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  1. Here’s the direct NYT link:
    If You See Something, Say Something

    [Response: Much thanks David-fixed. I was sure I'd updated the placeholder link before posting, but apparently not. Glad you caught and brought to my attention. - mike]

    Comment by David Sanger — 17 Jan 2014 @ 7:17 PM

  2. The rest of us could help by being your eyes and ears. Could Real Climate or some other group offer a way – a webform perhaps – to let you know of climate communication that might (or might turn out not to) benefit from a scientist’s attention?

    Also, what about communication that is scientifically accurate, but exacerbates or fails to dispel confusion about what policies are needed, realistically, to fix the problem? What expert should say something then?

    Comment by No climate scientist — 17 Jan 2014 @ 8:40 PM

  3. A brilliant article by Dr. Mann! We all need to speak up, scientist and scientifically literate citizens.

    Comment by Larry Saltzman — 17 Jan 2014 @ 10:14 PM

  4. Another approach: James Hansen
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140114_LegalCaseMichigan.pdf
    alerted us to a need for help
    “There is a request from Lansing, Michigan for expert assistance in trials of young protestors who blocked reconstruction of a pipeline that caused a major oil spill. They want to use the necessity defense, their actions being required to protect the environment and their own future. Expertise needed: (1) engineers with knowledge about pipeline risk and reliability, (2) scientists with knowledge of climate change that could be caused by tar sands development.”
    “If you are in Michigan and have relevant expertise the contact is Kathy Murphy
    murphyklh05@yahoo.com

    I answered Kathy Murphy saying in part: “The young people are in self defense.  The bullet will take 40 years to arrive, but it can’t be stopped later.  So at what time when the bullet is traveling down the barrel are you allowed to shoot back?  The Koch brothers should be in jail for genocide. GW [Global Warming] is killing a million(s) of people each year already.  Search http://thinkprogress.org/climate/ for number of people killed already and where.  The crime has been committed and continues to be committed.  So stop the felony in progress.”

    Kathy Murphy thanked me, saying “Your analysis of the situation really helps put things in the right perspective.”

    This legal approach is different from writing an op ed, but is a form of speaking. I hope we all got Dr. Hansen’s letter. RealClimate people are the natural people to help with this case. If Kathy Murphy manages to turn the tables, this could be a landmark in law and in the public discussion. So please help Kathy Murphy if you can.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 17 Jan 2014 @ 11:13 PM

  5. Good commentary, Dr. Mann! Thanks, and agreed (FWIW.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 17 Jan 2014 @ 11:47 PM

  6. ‘Who is silent gives consent.’ The only way to convince the public that climate change is a serious to problem is to act as if we think it is. With civil disobedience, Hanson is showing the way.

    Comment by John Williams — 17 Jan 2014 @ 11:56 PM

  7. Invoking TSA plays directly into the hands of hype hunters looking for targets of oportunity.

    In 2004, London’s Institute for Strategic Studies , a body as sober-sided as the IPCC, estimated al Qaeda’s total strength to be in the range form 3,000 to 18,000,

    Yet after a decade of decimation and constant vigilance , the TSA has 975,000 names on its No Fly list.

    Do you really want climate scientists to adapt the Best Pactices of the most ridiculed administrative body in recent American history ?

    You’ll have plenty of time to reflect on the consequences of the Precautionary Principle run amok the next time you wait in line at an airport.

    Comment by Russell — 18 Jan 2014 @ 12:47 AM

  8. There should be a journal for Cassandra studies, somewhere — studying how it is that people remain so oblivious to what’s discovered, for so long after it’s discovered.

    among others:

    R Rabin. Warnings unheeded: a history of child lead poisoning. American Journal of Public Health December 1989: Vol. 79, No. 12, pp. 1668-1674. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.79.12.1668

    http://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/

    http://climatehealthconnect.org/

    http://www.apha.org/NR/rdonlyres/0BB28118-6236-4586-99DE-294C00199628/0/APHAClimChg_PHissue_4d.pdf

    http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/late-lessons-2‎

    http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1103515/

    … The likelihood that climate change will fundamentally alter basic ecosystem services important to public health (Myers and Patz 2009; Schroter et al. 2005). Examples are abundant, including ecosystem shifts driving increased bioaccumulation of toxins such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (Carrie et al. 2010) and the potential for groundwater salinity as a result of saltwater intrusion from sea level rise (Khan et al. 2008).

    The likelihood that climate change will result in abrupt ecosystem shifts (Walther 2010) favoring the introduction or reemergence of diseases for which effective surveillance and management practices are not yet in place. An example of this is the 2004 outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus associated with Alaskan oysters harvested during an unusually warm period, which abruptly shifted the northernmost range of the endemic area for this disease by 1,000 km (McLaughlin et al. 2005)….

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Jan 2014 @ 1:29 AM

  9. I believe that the most effective way to be effective, is to get in the face so to speak of the oil billionaires, and hopefully to *force* them to understand what they are doing. These billionaires do not see much of what we do and comment on. A walled off mentality, and in many cases literally walling oneself off from the majority of people has taken root among our billionaires. This is why we need to be creative to “get in their face”. Occupy Wallstreet had it right by taking protests right up to the personal homes of the elite. Then these people were forced to see them. There are obviously many ways we could get our messages so that the elite see them. It just takes some creativity.

    Almost certainly the billionaires that are most responsible for continuing keeping us addicted to fossil fuels, do not really understand climate science. I am sure they have walled themselves off from knowing how much agreement there is among climate scientists that greenhouse gases are responsible for Earth’s warming. Getting this information to them is exactly what I am talking about. It could take some hard work, and patience and thinking outside of the box to get these truths in front of the Koch brothers and the like.

    One could cynically say that people like the Kochs do know the truth but don’t care. I doubt that is the case. They are human beings after all, with children and grandchildren. They must care about the future as well.

    We should not underestimate the bubbles these people live in, and it is our responsibility to burst them, perhaps gently, but to burst them.

    When we just talk among ourselves, for the most part it is waisted energy. It is time to make yourself known, and what you know and believe to these elite.

    Comment by doug — 18 Jan 2014 @ 1:46 AM

  10. Of course when all the peer reviewing has been done and the work has entered the annals of science as currently the best interpretation of the data based on what is understood about such matters then yes please speak out.

    Of course even if science does speak of what we know it does not necessarily matter to some as our system states that politics comes first and that makes for some odd decisions at time to those who are not politicians or involved in the political sphere.

    Comment by Pete best — 18 Jan 2014 @ 6:08 AM

  11. “To point out that we now live in troubled times is trite. It has been made clear in many quarters for almost a decade … we have become conscious of … the energy crisis, the full nature of which the American public is still only dimly aware …. The individual scientist can survive for a long time by lying low in the valley of specialized intellectual interest … We in science must get up and face the wind, confront the future.”

    William Bevan, “The Sound of the Wind That’s Blowing.”
    American Psychologist. July 1976

    Comment by Lance Olsen — 18 Jan 2014 @ 7:53 AM

  12. In Germany academic teacher have still the title Professor, to profess something it’s part of the job, it seems.

    Comment by Michael Walther — 18 Jan 2014 @ 8:22 AM

  13. When you speak up about what your scientific speciality says about climate change, you are speaking as an expert; when you advocate a particular policy, estimation of the impact of which requires knowledge of economics, laws and regulations in foreign lands, trade and technology trends in addition to your scientific speciality, you are speaking as a citizen, and have no more authority than anyone else. As long as everyone concerned recognizes that, including yourself, it should be fine.

    Comment by Arun — 18 Jan 2014 @ 8:36 AM

  14. So pleased – if you can call it that – to see the stark truth in print. Wish there was more of it.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 18 Jan 2014 @ 9:14 AM

  15. John McCormick says:
    18 Jan 2014 at 8:47 AM

    Dr. Mann, “Until the public fully understands the danger of our present trajectory,” is the rationale for putting off the national and global response to the trajectory leading the planet’s organisms to a sixth extinction.

    We are living in the dark ages of political discourse that questions evolution, age of our planet and science, in general. Our salvation must come from top down where governments act to save lives.

    The Center for Disease Control marshals the best minds in disease prevention by employing world-class scientists to research, propose and implement sometimes drastic policies to avert catastrophe. When CDC issues a declaration of danger from an exotic microbe, a terrorist’s biological weapon or whatever poses a threat to human health, orders are immediately issued to take action. That could enforce the elimination of stock animals, plants or products known to present that threat. Nobody questions the CDC’s authority, science or advocacy when it goes into action. It does not wait for a fully informed public, farmer, importer, manufacturer, florist, pet shop or any politician.

    I see no difference between Dr. Jim Hansen and Dr. Tom Frieden CDC Director and disease detective. He sees his mission as putting science into action for safer, healthier people.

    So, I am led to ask who is the audience for your opinion piece?

    From the CDC Mission Statement, climate scientists can take some measure of advocacy and do some straight talking to the public so that it is fully informed. The risk of holding back for fear of being sidelined as an alarmist, lefty or worse is a good deal less than the chaos delivered by the trajectory on which we are heading.

    The CDC Mission Statement:

    CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when they arise.

    Putting science into action is what CDC is all about. It starts with the research and moves on to policy, then action. A sensible way to avert catastrophe or chaos is to pull on the fire alarm.

    And, many thanks for your lifetime dedication to your science.

    Comment by John McCormick — 18 Jan 2014 @ 9:28 AM

  16. Sorry to disagree, but the problems with this type of science advocacy are obvious and manifest. Once a scientist is “out” in the public square advocating vigorously for certain scientific conclusions and policy responses that will inevitably affect his activities in the scientific sphere. These effects need not be obviously corrupt, but they will include things like choice of research topics, affiliation with like minded colleagues, on-the-margin suppression of opposing viewpoints in scientific journals, less than vigorous pursuit of contradictory hypotheses, etc. It’s human nature, and it’s been quite visible in the scientist/activist community in climate science for quite some time.

    Comment by CPV — 18 Jan 2014 @ 9:54 AM

  17. It seems to me that scientists have already done a good job of holding up their primary obligation, i.e. providing good science. The bottleneck is with the policy makers.

    If critical goods have been delivered to the loading dock in good order, and the dock workers insist on sitting around picking their noses instead of moving things along, it’s reasonable to kick up a fuss. And if that doesn’t do the trick, the next logical step is to pitch in and do what needs to be done yourself– shoving aside the laggards if necessary.

    “Most Romans believed that their system of government was the finest political invention of the human mind. Change was inconceivable. Indeed, the constitution’s various parts were so mutually interdependent that reform within the rules was next to impossible. As a result, radicals found that they had little choice other than to set themselves beyond and against the law. This inflexibility had disastrous consequences as it became increasingly clear that the Roman state was incapable of responding adequately to the challenges it faced. Political debate became polarized into bitter conflicts, with radical outsiders trying to press change on conservative insiders who, in the teeth of all the evidence, believed that all was for the best under the best of all possible constitutions.” 
    ― Anthony Everitt, Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician

    Comment by Radge Havers — 18 Jan 2014 @ 10:23 AM

  18. It’s a good article. Frankly hand wringing about boundaries is inappropriate in the face of an existential threat to humanity and biodiversity and strikes me as somewhat precious. I doubt our grandchildren will thank us for it.

    Comment by Spike — 18 Jan 2014 @ 10:32 AM

  19. Mike,

    While I agree with everything you and Gavin say, I wonder how many laymen and, more importantly, scientists are going to have their minds changed by these articles. From what I can gather, peoples minds are not changed by reason. They are changed by emotional arguments. That is where Stephen Schneider got it right when he said we have to offer up scary scenarios.

    Of course the deniers argue that this means lying, but it does not. If no action is taken to curb the emissions of CO2 then the future is scary! We have to point this out to the public. That should be our message, not that the science proves that CO2 causes global warming. The latter is a straw man argument got up by our enemies to divert us and the public from confronting the real issues.

    And if we are going to switch to emotional arguments then we need a bogey man. That is the tactic that the sceptic think tanks adopted when they attacked you, Mike. We have to fight fire with fire. But the candidates for demonisation need careful selection otherwise it could backfire.

    In summary, we should not be advocating carbon taxes, geo-engineering, or rationing of fuel. We should be warning of the consequences of taking no action i.e. tell scary stories.

    But is this argument emotional enough? Or will we scientists continue to sit in our ivory towers playing with our equations? Meanwhile, wild fires driven by global warming will convert bountiful states such as Texas, California, Chile, and Victoria in Oz into deserts e.g. http://phys.org/news/2013-06-thirds-chile-desertification.html.

    Cheers, Alastair.

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 18 Jan 2014 @ 10:39 AM

  20. > when you advocate a particular policy

    “Stop” is not a particular policy.

    > estimation of the impact of which
    > requires knowledge of economics

    Now that’s silly–economics failed already.
    Economics applauded creating this disastrous situation.

    No tech will be more important than efficiency and sustainability tech. And those who obstruct such things are the purest villains ever produced.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Jan 2014 @ 11:05 AM

  21. What Spike said (~16)

    captcha: pledges eminently

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 18 Jan 2014 @ 11:35 AM

  22. Thank you for this great short article! I have been debating the role of climate scientists with a variety of folks, and unfortunately, often scientists seem to be afraid to lose their scientific credibility when speaking up. I never understood that.

    When I found out that Henslow´s Sparrows need large prairie fragments to nest successfully, then of course I´d speak up for the conservation of large grassland areas and against policies that´d allow prairies to be fragmented even further. Who else but me and other grassland bird scientists would be competent to comment on those matters?
    So why should climate scientists not do the same for sustainable lifestyles, renewable energies and politics that drastically reduce carbon emissions? I hope your article will help to activate more scientists to speak up. Thanks!

    Comment by Maiken — 18 Jan 2014 @ 11:39 AM

  23. How will history judge us if we watch the threat unravel before our eyes, but fail to communicate the urgency of acting to avert economic disaster?

    Comment by simon abingdon — 18 Jan 2014 @ 11:43 AM

  24. A strong ethical argument can be made that scientists who conclude that there is strong evidence that citizens in their country are harming people around the world and putting millions of others at risk have a duty to speak up. If for instance a scientist learned that there was evidence that an out of control railway train was speeding toward a bus filled with people and the train could be diverted to avoid the harm, the scientist would have an ethical duty to speak up. Knowledge of potential serious harm creates responsibilities particularly in cases where the harms could be avoided. Knowledge sometimes create obligations. This is particularly the case for scientists when the vast majority of scientists agree that some are putting others at great risk.

    Comment by Donald Brown — 18 Jan 2014 @ 11:45 AM

  25. Dr. Mann

    I support all in your NYT article. But you left out three key words: Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). Most of the scientists you mentioned (Hansen, Caldeira, Sachs) have their names on papers supporting at least afforestation, but often more. I have searched unsuccessfully for Steve Schneider’s views – and could only find support for study – not implementation of anything. I think he, as a biologist, would have supported biochar – my favorite. Biochar’s problem is that it is so new, receiving its present name less than 7 years ago. Many climate analysts (eg Lenton, Lovelock) place biochar at or near the top of their CDR lists. There is no way to keep to 2 degrees, much less 1 degree rise without CDR. CDR is justified immediately by the polluter pays principle.
    This past week’s report by Reuter’s that Volume III of the AR5 report will be calling for considerable CDR probably occurred after your editorial deadline. Many of your supporters would like to know that you also can support some forms of CDR.

    Ron

    Comment by Ronal Larson — 18 Jan 2014 @ 12:09 PM

  26. Alastair McDonald #17,

    “we have to offer up scary scenarios.”

    Actually, all you need is to offer up the truth; that is scary enough. The truth has been published extensively in the literature, and is quite straight-forward. There are four interesting climate change numbers that need to be addressed in an integrated manner. First, we have Hansen’s prior-Holocene-based target temperature ceiling increase of ~1 C. Second, we have Anderson’s agreement with Hansen’s target, further stating that many climate scientists agree. Additionally, we have Anderson’s computations showing that ~10% CO2 emissions reduction per annum is required for years to stay within a (dangerous) 2 C ceiling target, and these numbers don’t include the adverse effects of major carbon cycle feedbacks. Third, we have the EIA stating that “global energy-related CO2 emissions will rise from 31.2 billion metric tons in 2010 to 36.4 billion metric tons in 2020, and 45.5 billion metric tons in 2040 — an increase of 46 percent over 30 years.”

    Finally, we have estimates of what would happen if all CO2 emissions were to cease soon. Hare and Meinshausen, 2006, predicted that cessation of CO2 emissions would result in a further temperature increase of 0.4 C, raising the total temperature increase to ~1.2 C in a decade or two. MacDougall et al, Journal of Climate, Dec 2013, stated:

    “In a scenario of zeroed CO2 and sulfate aerosol emissions, whether the warming induced by specified constant concentrations of non-CO2 greenhouse gases could slow the CO2 decline following zero emissions or even reverse this trend and cause CO2 to increase over time is assessed. It is found that a radiative forcing from non-CO2 gases of approximately 0.6 W m(-2) results in a near balance of CO2 emissions from the terrestrial biosphere and uptake of CO2 by the oceans, resulting in near-constant atmospheric CO2 concentrations for at least a century after emissions are eliminated.” In “Climate response to zeroed emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols”, Matthews and Zickfeld (2012) concluded:

    ‘Eliminating all emissions led to a peak followed by decline in non-CO2 forcing, which drove a global warming of 0.3  °C over a decade, followed by a gradual cooling that converged with the CO2-only result after about a century’.

    So, we need no more than a temperature increase of ~1.1 C to (hopefully) stay out of the real danger zone. If we reduce emissions by ~10% annually for decades, resulting in essentially zero emissions by well before 2040, we should be able to stay within (dangerous) 2 C. If we reduce emissions by 100%, according to the above, we get to the upper limit of what Hansen views as ‘safe’. If, however, we GROW emissions by ~1% per annum, as the most likely scenario from EIA predicts, and the CO2 emissions in 2040 are over 40% greater than those of 2010, then we would probably be in serious, in fact extremely serious, trouble. How do we reconcile the emissions we need by 2040 (~0) with those projected from BAU? I cannot think of another endeavor where we are two orders of magnitude away from an extremely critical target, and there are NO precursors showing ANY movement to close the gap!

    But, even on this blog, the ‘scary’ scenario of what we can expect is insufficient. We have advocates assuring us that rapid introduction of renewables, or rapid introduction of nuclear, or rapid introduction of carbon capture, are all we need to avoid catastrophe; no need for sharp demand reductions independent of non-fossil technology introduction. What the above (conservative non-carbon feedback) numbers tell us is very clear: strong reduction in demand in the near term is required if we are to avoid going much above Hansen’s prior-Holocene experience target of ~1.1 C (we are basically committed to the upper limit of Hansen’s recommendation already), along with introduction of renewables to prepare for a carbon-free future. See the comments in Unforced Variations; very little support for the hard reality even among climate advocates!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 18 Jan 2014 @ 1:22 PM

  27. Thanks Mike for yet another good article. Business As Usual(BAU)is a scary scenario. Policy? What makes it seem complex is failure to say first things first and work from there. If we burn all available carbon there is a very high probability of great harm resulting. So stop burning carbon. Leave it in the ground. Use other energy sources.

    Problems? Carbon is massively subsidized, making other energy appear to be more expensive (relative to carbon)than it need be. Dollars are spent to discourage the use of alternate energy. In short, politics.

    Some other countries have already achieved a high percentage of alternate energy. The methods are known. Just get to work and deploy them.

    People making counter arguments, please distinguish between risk and “the future has not happened yet, so there is not absolute proof of what will happen. Climate scientists are very qualified to speak of the risk of BAU. Some may have studied alternate energy sources as well. Failing that, a policy of “Deploy it!” and let the relevant engineers handle the details is surely justified.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 18 Jan 2014 @ 2:27 PM

  28. From Bill Chameides’ blog:
    On Meeting Obama, His Innovation Initiative, and His Priorities

    … The meat of the president’s speech was about the Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute — a $140 million project involving a university-corporation consortium led by North Carolina State University and aimed at developing next-generation wide bandgap semiconductors [pdf] ( http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/rd/pdfs/wide_bandgap_semiconductors_factsheet.pdf ) capable of improving the efficiency of electronic chips and other devices.

    This center is one of three planned hubs ( http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/12/remarks-president-state-union-address ) for manufacturing innovation ( http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/09/obama-administration-launches-competition-three-new-manufacturing-innova ) . (The other two, yet to be announced, will focus on “digital manufacturing and design innovation” and “lightweight metal innovation.”)…

    But what did spark my enthusiasm was the president’s decision that the first of the three manufacturing innovation centers is focused on energy efficiency. I think I’ll score that one for the environment.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Jan 2014 @ 2:40 PM

  29. DIOGENES,

    You are correct that the future is scary, but your post does not mention anything that would scare the general public. In fact you say “So, we need no more than a temperature increase of ~1.1 C to (hopefully) stay out of the real danger zone.” That is not scary; that is hopeful!

    What we have to do is lay out the consequences of going over 2C, and truthfully lay out what we think will occur. We must not shy away from that just because we are not sure. We have got to be honest and explain our fears.

    For instance, we do not know what causes abrupt climate change. It could strike at any moment now that we are disturbing the climate. If such a change occurred it would be impossible to stop or undo. We know this: Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises (2013), but we have failed to warn the public.

    Why? Is it because we are not willing to face up to the terrible consequences of our actions? Burning fossil fuels which took hundreds of millions of year to form within hundreds of years. Are we too ashamed that our generation has not only consumed the birthright of our children, but also that of the developing nations?

    Scary stories and truth are the same thing!

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 18 Jan 2014 @ 3:34 PM

  30. Diogenes wrote: “We have advocates assuring us that rapid introduction of renewables, or rapid introduction of nuclear, or rapid introduction of carbon capture, are all we need to avoid catastrophe; no need for sharp demand reductions independent of non-fossil technology introduction.”

    I am one of the advocates of rapidly scaling up renewable (wind and solar) electricity generation to completely replace fossil fueled electricity generation as quickly as possible — and I believe that the ongoing, rapid and accelerating deployment of wind and solar demonstrates that it is possible to virtually eliminate GHG emissions from electricity generation much faster, and at much lower cost, than most people think. That’s a very important thing to do, since emissions from electric power plants are a big part of the GHG problem.

    However, I have NEVER said that there is “no need for sharp demand reductions”. In fact, I have repeatedly stressed that, as reported by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, much more than half of all the USA’s primary energy consumption is outright wasted, so there are plenty of opportunities to drastically reduce “demand” by reducing waste and inefficiency.

    Which is a point that seems often overlooked by those who stress the need for demand reduction and imply that it requires draconian sacrifices by the general public:

    The “demand” is not really for “energy”, but for the goods and services that energy can provide. Since the opportunities for reducing waste and inefficiency are so huge, and since solutions for doing so are already in hand, and since much more powerful solutions emerging daily, there is plenty of room to reduce energy use without depriving anyone of the goods and services that are actually what’s “in demand”.

    In a nutshell: maximally efficient use of 100 percent renewable, zero-emission energy sources.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 18 Jan 2014 @ 4:26 PM

  31. Allistair: In the decades after Steve Schneider made his famous quote about media hype in the ‘nuclclar winter ‘ controversy I often had to defend the co-author of ‘Nuclear Winte ‘ Reappraised against those incorrrigibly bent on using ellipsis of the most sophomoric sort to reverse the sense of what he said about media hype when climate models first collided with Madison Avenue.

    Factoids have a strange life of their own, and so many of the talking heads that got their start mangling Steve’s words have gone on to misrepresent climate science today that he may by now be better known by deliberate misquotation than for the sense of what he actually said.

    Comment by Russell — 18 Jan 2014 @ 4:35 PM

  32. I like it! Further, because of the unearned crap you have put up with from the anti-science crowd, you are in a good take-the-high-road position to speak out. Keep up the good work. Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 18 Jan 2014 @ 4:36 PM

  33. I think scientists need to speak out more as long as its carefully measured comment. Of course the general rule is scientists should be detached, for obvious reasons, but every rule has exceptions.

    Scientists would argue let the science speak for itself. Thats the problem, the science doesnt speak for itself on climate change, its very complex for the public to grasp. Climate scientists speaking directly would add credibility. If they believe climate change is a real risk, they can certainly reinforce that and why wouldn’t they? Can scientists just sit back mute in the corner?

    Right now only a couple of scientists speak out, like Hansen. This means he comes across as rather extreme. You need a more united voice and a measured voice.

    Comment by nigelmj — 18 Jan 2014 @ 4:52 PM

  34. Alastair #29,

    Your comment about the general public is spot on. I am reminded of a wonderful bit of dialogue in the 1950′s SF novel ‘The Kraken Wakes’ when the protagonist attempts to alert people to the extent of the aliens’ underwater engineering works, making reference to a small rise in a sea level indicator. When taken to task, he points out that the rise multiplied by the ocean surface area is an enormous amount of water, and is told that the ordinary person will treat that statement as indicating a trivial change.

    People treat a 2 degree rise the same way, especially in the US where the general public REACTS Fahrenheit even when (if?) they know the number is Celsius.

    Comment by ozajh — 18 Jan 2014 @ 5:17 PM

  35. nigelmj: This means he comes across as rather extreme.

    What exactly do you think is extreme?

    Comment by prokaryotes — 18 Jan 2014 @ 5:32 PM

  36. Michael,

    There are three simultaneous conditions that have to be fulfilled to achieve the results you want. First, climate (and other) scientists need to speak out at every opportunity to alert the public of the impending (and present) danger. Second, the climate scientists need to have a clear, simple, and unified message to present; otherwise, the public will be confused and do little. Third, the message has to be consistent with what the hard numbers predict; otherwise, it will not address the real-world problem.

    What are the numbers, and what is the required message? I have pointed the numbers out in #26. Hansen (and others) state that keeping within the limits of prior Holocene experience (~1.1-1.2 C) may be relatively safe for our species, although severe damage will have been done. The studies I quote in #26 are among many that examine the temperature peaks associated with eliminating fossil fuel combustion today. They show that, at a minimum, with conservative assumptions, we have already committed to at least 1.2 C, with others of that ilk showing higher temperatures.

    Think about what that means. We have used up our allowable carbon budget according to what Hansen, Anderson, and others believe is relatively safe. ANY further fossil fuel combustion puts us further away from prior Holocene experience, and into a potentially dangerous regime. Therefore, the only message that makes any sense under these conditions is a hard emissions minimization scenario. Unfortunately, there is no agreement with this in the general climate science community, and certainly not on the pages of this blog. Without these three conditions being fulfilled, we will not make real progress in solving the problems that need to be solved.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 18 Jan 2014 @ 6:13 PM

  37. Alastair #29,

    “You are correct that the future is scary, but your post does not mention anything that would scare the general public. In fact you say “So, we need no more than a temperature increase of ~1.1 C to (hopefully) stay out of the real danger zone.” That is not scary; that is hopeful!”

    Not very many people have accused me of offering a hopeful message; you may be the first. Two points. First, the particular post you reference also shows primary sources that conclude if we stop burning fossil fuels TODAY, we are already committed to a peak temperature increase of at least 1.2 C. This is with conservative assumptions (including no carbon cycle feedbacks), and other studies of this ilk predict higher temperatures. This means that ANY further combustion of fossil fuel places us further away from prior Holocene experience, and into an unknown danger zone. If you view that as a ‘hopeful’ message, then we have a different perspective on the meaning of ‘hopeful’.

    Second, as I have posted previously in the last month or so, the global climate models predict that, with BAU, we are headed for ~5 C by the end of the century. According to those who have studied life under such conditions, like Mark Lynas (Six Degrees), many species go extinct under those temperatures, including ours. And, that is the good news. These models do not include the major carbon cycle feedbacks, which only exacerbate the temperature rise, and bring potential extinction closer in time. In my view, the default condition under BAU is extinction of our species somewhere between end of century and one or two generations before. That doesn’t sound too hopeful to me.

    And, what are the chances we will remain on a BAU trajectory? As I have shown in #26, “we have the EIA stating that “global energy-related CO2 emissions will rise from 31.2 billion metric tons in 2010 to 36.4 billion metric tons in 2020, and 45.5 billion metric tons in 2040 — an increase of 46 percent over 30 years.” ” I place far more credibility in the projections of the EIA than those of the ideologues on this blog, and the EIA is basically saying that we will continue on our present reckless path for the foreseeable future. That also doesn’t sound very hopeful. You may not find the above message scary enough; I do!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 18 Jan 2014 @ 6:33 PM

  38. ““Stop” is not a particular policy.”
    And it’s not that helpful, since it just brings us up to the next step on the ladder of resistance. What have we learned from the previous steps, that could help us minimize time spent on this one?

    Explain it like I’m five: What policies and actions are politically and practically feasible, that would cut emissions effectively? How could we realistically and fairly get there? Why should I find your advocacy of them more convincing than, say, someone else’s plugging of actions that are misguided or utterly insufficient?

    Comment by No climate scientist — 18 Jan 2014 @ 7:14 PM

  39. Russel,

    It seems not only have you misunderstood what I am saying, but you are also a little confused about Schneider’s remarks. I will quote them in full from Wikipedia, where there is also a link to a re-quote he made himself when explaining how his ideas had been distorted.

    On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts.

    As I see it, this is a major problem. If scientists continue to be pedantic with the truth then we are all doomed. We are not going to convince the public that they must take action, if we continue to prevaricate about what we know. We must spell out our fears. That is what I believe Schneider was said when he continued:

    On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change [my emphasis]. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

    What I am saying is that there is a formula to solve the double ethical bind. We need only be honest about our fears. There is no need to lie. But I have one caveat. We scientist must also be honest with ourselves and face up to just how disastrous things could become. We must stop burying our heads in the sand, because if we don’t then we cannot expect the public to do so either, and the result will be disastrous.

    At present the public are not going to demand action until they can see that climate change is taking effect. That means a series of hurricanes, droughts, wild fires, and floods. The USA has already suffered these, but they have not been enough to persuade the public at large to take action. When the signs become undeniable, then because of the “climate commitment” it will be too late to prevent catastrophe. This is just simple logic.

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 18 Jan 2014 @ 7:25 PM

  40. CPV (Comment 16) expresses the concern that once a scientist takes a public stand on an issue, he or she is likely to succumb to various pressures that can undermine scientific objectivity, encourage confirmation bias, etc. I suggest that these risks are very small, largely because taking a public position tends to make people even more careful with their science. A far greater problem, in my view, are those scientists and researchers in various fields who accept funds from certain vested interests even if they are aware of possible harms associated with the work – and say NOTHING publicly. Silence doesn’t always signify objectivity. I also suggest that those of us with a scientific training who work in other fields but have a fair grasp of the issues have some obligation to speak out on climate change – within the bounds of our understanding. After all, we are far more numerous than our colleagues in climate science. There should be no contradiction between working like a scientist and behaving like a citizen, and if there is, it’s probable that the second role is the more important one.

    Comment by Charles Worringham — 18 Jan 2014 @ 7:36 PM

  41. A drive-by comment, if that’s OK:

    What does it take in terms of climate change/CO2 concentration to trigger a large reduction in the ocean’s oxygen production?

    Is there a reasonably likely climate change scenario that would reduce atmospheric O2 below the level at which an average human dies within an hour?

    If that is a reasonable possibility (I have no knowledge to determine this), then the resulting 50% or so population reduction would mitigate or even solve issue.

    Comment by Hmmm — 19 Jan 2014 @ 12:30 AM

  42. Scientists have done their duty and don’t need to get too far out there on policy issues. The public has heard them loud and clear. They don’t want to make any changes. It is not the result of poor leadership etc., they just don’t want to change. It’s like watching a slow train wreck coming. So be it.

    Comment by DHouck — 19 Jan 2014 @ 1:48 AM

  43. to No climate scientist #38 re: “Stop”

    “Stop” is a perfect policy statement. Succinct and representative.

    It can stand for “stop carbon emissions, stop business-as-usual, stop ignoring the problem, stop being passive, stop carbon industry bribery, stop opposing the future. Stop, etc”

    I think most any 5 year old child can understand breathing clean air and not getting too hot and not too cold. And animals and plants stressed in our world. It’s much harder to explain oil company tax subsidies.

    (hmm such a 5 year old will be entering middle age by 2050 )

    And it is totally appropriate for science to dictate policy. Crucially so, public policy cannot be allowed to ignore science when the consequences are infinite.

    There are hundreds of things in policy to “stop”: Stop using carbon fuel to power the grid. Stop opposing a tax on carbon. Stop ignoring the true cost of coal. etc.

    Perhaps even convert all carbon industries to a federal utility and then stop carbon energy production and then drown it in a bathtub. (where did I hear that last phrase?)

    Comment by richard pauli — 19 Jan 2014 @ 2:09 AM

  44. Steve and I concurred that hyperbole corrodes scientific credibility, witness our separate critiques of the selling of nuclear winter, but we differed in our estimates of how the episode might impact the future credibility of climate sciencee.

    In 1984, I told him , and others, that I considered the professional PR campaign designed to advance Sagan’s political agenda to be a sort of bad joke played on strategic policy analysts at the expense of the credibility of climate modeling on the eve of the warming debate — this was half a decade before Jim Hansen’s testimony .

    I argued that Moore’s Law notwithstanding, further exercises in existential threat inflation or sematic aggression might alienate a policy community already wary of the polemic abuse of global systems models because the ‘energy crisis ‘ had just morphed into ‘the oil glut” of the early 1980′s– the IPCC’s recent PR woes pale in comparison to the implosion of the Club of Rome’s authority.

    What I find scary about framing is that it once again amplifies the temptation to deploy one set of facts for internal scientific discussion and another for public discourse.

    Things have gotten quite bizarre enough with the denialati declaring their entitlement to their own facts without others following suit.

    Comment by Russell — 19 Jan 2014 @ 3:52 AM

  45. I watched Gavin’s lecture, and I was recommended by YT a video of debate of Stephen Schneider with skeptics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWgLJrkK8NY

    It was very enjoyable, although the anger in the eyes of the “skeptics” was intimidating. The only issue I had was that it was rather short, so they really didn’t get to cover much of the issue.

    It reminded me of the talk show Atheist Experience (www.atheist-experience.com), which is hosted by volunteer atheists and aimed at people who believe in God, they can call in and they can learn about atheism by debating with the hosts. So they actively outreach to the other side, and I think they converted quite a lot of people in the process.

    I think there should be more events like this, maybe even a talk show in similar format to A.E., about climate change and climatology, it seems to me that this is really a way forward in communication. So I hope someone will read this and maybe will try this idea too.

    Comment by JS — 19 Jan 2014 @ 7:56 AM

  46. nigelmj: “Of course the general rule is scientists should be detached, for obvious reasons, but every rule has exceptions.”

    and
    “Right now only a couple of scientists speak out, like Hansen. This means he comes across as rather extreme.”

    Dude, do you even know any scientists. “Detached” is not a word that comes to mind when describing them. They are passionate about their field of study and often much else. Given what James Hansen’s research has shown, how, precisely has he been “extreme”.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Jan 2014 @ 8:21 AM

  47. I am involved witha project developing a graduate certificate program, a series of 5 graduate level courses called Science and the Public Interface at SF Austin State University. This point where scientists doing science and advocates doing activism, advocacy and public education is a gap to be filled. The communicators need to be better at science and the scientists better at communication or a third central role that has fine tuned communication skills and a dedication to absolute scientific integrity.

    Comment by DougL — 19 Jan 2014 @ 8:44 AM

  48. > We have advocates assuring us that rapid introduction
    > of renewables,… nuclear, or … carbon capture, are
    > all we need to avoid catastrophe; no need for sharp
    > demand reductions

    Not here we don’t. As you have no name and no publications,
    point to where you’re seeing what you think you’re seeing.
    Otherwise people will wonder if you’re imagining things.
    ————————-

    > explain like I’m five

    When you get older, you will be able learn the math, program a computer, and check this work on this for yourself. Until then, find someone you can trust and pay attention.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Jan 2014 @ 10:02 AM

  49. Perhaps you could address your scientific powers towards my unfolding blog about the omission of 80 years of ocean pH data from the record of ocean acidification. As scientists you would understand the need for full disclosure of data omission. When you see something that doesn’t seem right, say something, as you say. That’s what I’ve done on that blog and elsewhere, but for some reason, no one can seem to say anything.

    Comment by Michael Wallace — 19 Jan 2014 @ 10:17 AM

  50. Re JS: that’s about as clear a case of Dunning-Kruger as I’ve ever seen! We have a bus driver, a 15 year old boy and a cattle rancher arguing about climate change with Steve Schneider! Unbelievable.

    Comment by sh — 19 Jan 2014 @ 10:29 AM

  51. SA #30,

    “I am one of the advocates of rapidly scaling up renewable (wind and solar) electricity generation to completely replace fossil fueled electricity generation as quickly as possible — and I believe that the ongoing, rapid and accelerating deployment of wind and solar demonstrates that it is possible to virtually eliminate GHG emissions from electricity generation much faster, and at much lower cost, than most people think. That’s a very important thing to do, since emissions from electric power plants are a big part of the GHG problem.

    However, I have NEVER said that there is “no need for sharp demand reductions”. In fact, I have repeatedly stressed that, as reported by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, much more than half of all the USA’s primary energy consumption is outright wasted, so there are plenty of opportunities to drastically reduce “demand” by reducing waste and inefficiency.”

    You have presented two very good features: rapid transition to renewables using known technology, and improvement of energy efficiency using both off-the-shelf technology and technology that needs to be developed. However, you have not shown whether it fits within our ‘budget’.

    What is our ‘budget’? In #36, I describe our allowable budget for further carbon emissions, based on the numbers of people for whom I have the highest respect (Hansen et al). If we terminate use of fossil fuels TODAY, we have already committed to a peak temperature of at least 1.2 C (and probably more, if carbon cycle feedbacks are included) within the next decade or two, based on numerous high-quality peer-reviewed studies I have referenced previously. Hansen emphasizes that it is imperative that we keep the peak temperature within the prior-Holocene levels of ~1.1-1.2 C, and preferably less. Put these two numbers side-by-side, and you see that we have run out of carbon budget. Your proposals, while certainly far better than what we are doing today and what the EIA projects we will continue to do for the foreseeable future, will take us over budget. WE CAN’T AFFORD YOUR PROPOSAL! How much over? I don’t think your proposals will meet Anderson’s conditions for staying under 2 C, so my guess would be somewhere between 2 C and 3 C, and at those levels, all bets are off. In some of Anderson’s videos, he describes using improved energy efficiency and accelerated introduction of renewables as part of his recommendations, but he still requires a (substantial) economic activity cutback to have even a 50/50 chance of staying under 2 C. Your proposals don’t include this (necessary) cutback in economic activity. So, they’re not only over budget, but well over budget, in my opinion.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 19 Jan 2014 @ 11:45 AM

  52. A page search of the first 49 comments + the article find zero occurrences of the word “food” and zero occurrences of the word “famine.”

    Bravo for 24 Donald Brown, but it isn’t about trains. If you want to scare them, why are there zero mentions of either global famine or food so far?

    Most people would like winter to go away. GW seems like a good idea. WE have to explain why no more winter is not a good idea. It isn’t that hard. No more winter means no more food. The connection is not obvious. GCMs don’t tell us that. You have to look at Aiguo Dai’s work, which is not about GCMs.

    So you have to show us GCMs predicting no more food.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Jan 2014 @ 11:54 AM

  53. > Michael Wallace
    That’s re replacement of the old style glass electrode pH sensors with the new optical type, I think? The PDF indexed at your site doesn’t open when I download it (“Wallace20thCenturyOcean_pH.pdf‎”). Clearly you don’t like the change.

    This appears relevant: http://www.whoi.edu/cms/files/EUR-OCEANS_SensorIntercomparisonReport_39645.pdf

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Jan 2014 @ 12:22 PM

  54. Russel,

    It is clear from the text that I quoted that that Schneider’s “scary” remarks were about global warming and not the nuclear winter. A nuclear winters is a receding threat as a result of nuclear disarmament. OTOH, CO2 levels continue to increase. So, the main threat is no longer a nuclear winter. It is a carbon dioxide sauna.

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 19 Jan 2014 @ 1:15 PM

  55. I spend a lot of time following the renewables community. The EIA is not
    considered to be a credible source in these circles (to put it mildly).
    They have consistently pooh-pooed the prospects of renewables -particularly PV,
    and the industry keeps blowing past their past predictions, but they don’t
    seem to learn. They are considered to be either fools, or paid water carriers
    of the fossil industry.

    In any case we have seen startling progress in a few critical areas, solar PV,
    electric transport, and the beginning of an energy storage industry. There is a
    good chance that as the potential becomes more widely known that the perception
    of the cost of a program of rapid (or even any) carbon reductions could change
    fairly rapidly.

    I would heartily with Edward Greisch @51, the public largely sees GW as
    my backyard will be a couple of degrees warmer, big deal. The real impacts
    will be from extreme events, and from the difficulties of maintaining a
    globally adaquate supply of food.

    Comment by Thomas — 19 Jan 2014 @ 3:12 PM

  56. Ray Ladbury # 46. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough. By “detached” I meant scientists take a very measured approach in the public forum debate, and tend to let the science do the talking. They certainly do this in my country of New Zealand and leave a lot of science communication up newspaper editorials. This is generally proper as they need to appear objective and cool headed.

    I was simply making the point that climate change is such a serious issue, and the proof of climate change is so complex for the public to grasp, that this is a valid reason for scientists to be more “outspoken”. To front the issues themselves more in the daily media (newspapers and television), and state their concerns more frankly.

    My point on Hansen is he is one of the few scientists that has spoken out passionately and loudly, in the daily media the public read. I totally agree with Hansens opinions, but the issue is he stands out as one of few voices, and is thus at risk of appearing to be an eccentric. Its an issue of perception.

    The public dont hear him being backed up by other scientists that much, not in the daily media. Even though other scientists almost all agree we are causing climate change and at a very concerning level. It would therefore be great if other scientists were more visible in the daily media and made their concerns very plain.

    I hope you have read what I have said really carefully.

    Comment by nigelmj — 19 Jan 2014 @ 3:20 PM

  57. Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 19 Jan 2014 @ 11:45 AM

    OK, so how much economic cutback is required and, realistically, how do you propose to convince the people of the developed and developing world to do it? Please provide a budget and a funding source.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 19 Jan 2014 @ 3:31 PM

  58. Fish 56 “Please provide a budget and a funding source.” ??

    Are you kidding?

    You need to first decide how long you want our species to survive.
    Just you? or do you want your grand kids around? Maybe twenty, 50 years? Do you aim for past the year 2100 – say 2150? What’s your plan?

    Because until we decide to commit to multigenerational survival, then all this quibbling over budget and finances and sacrifices means little. Whining over cost and sacrifice is not a valid argument against action. First decide what you want – then you can squeeze budgets and profits all you want.

    Comment by richard pauli — 19 Jan 2014 @ 4:29 PM

  59. Nigelmj,
    The details of climate change may be difficult to grasp. The basics are not–it is simply conservation of energy. There is no question that our release of CO2 is warming the planet. The only question is how much, and the odds on it being a small amount are not good.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Jan 2014 @ 5:07 PM

  60. Re- Comment by richard pauli — 19 Jan 2014 @ 4:29 PM

    That is exactly my point! DIOGENES keeps doing accounting and complaining without providing any means to get from here to there.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 19 Jan 2014 @ 5:34 PM

  61. >Michael Wallace-

    Went and looked at your site. You refer to scientists using glass pH electrodes, while the marine scientists were moving away from them, and this suggests to me that despite your claim to be a doctoral student (in what?), you’ve never run a pH measurement in your life, nor do you understand how they work, what their limitations are, and what’s more, you’ve spent more time arguing about things you don’t understand rather than trying to gain some understanding. And there’s no obvious reference in your blog to how to use a glass pH electrode either.

    pH electrodes do not measure pH. They measure the impedance in the MegaOhm range across a glass junction. That impedance is converted into pH. Two electrodes are needed for the electrochemical cell, there’s also a reference electrode involved. Glass pH electrodes are routinely used in the laboratory where they are recalibrated frequently, often after each sample is tested. Why? Because the surface of the glass electrodes can absorb/adsorb all kind of ions and molecules changing the background impedance of the electrode. In the laboratory, where millions of these reference/pH electrode pairs are used, routine cleaning and calibration procedures apply. Temperature compensation is also a routine part of converting that impedance into pH.

    Glass pH electrodes are thus basically unstable devices for long term measurements. In industrial use, electrodes are pulled from water treatment systems, cleaned, calibrated and reinstalled on a fixed schedule.

    You can’t use the same electrode in all circumstances, and as the X-Prize notes:

    While ocean acidification is well documented in a few temperate ocean waters, little is known in high latitudes, coastal areas and the deep sea, and most current pH sensor technologies are too costly, imprecise, or unstable to allow for sufficient knowledge on the state of ocean acidification.

    I’ll simply say because production of pH measurement devices is in my family (aside from my personal use of pH equipment over decades) that they’re right, and that the reference Hank Roberts gave you is right.

    Please put your vanity away- the X-Prize had nothing do with you. Take it from someone who is related to one of many people who have been looking for something better than the glass pH electrode for decades, and I do mean decades. That also goes for ion selective electrodes of course. A direct Total carbonate measurement is a far more useful number than pH, as far as AGW is concerned, since local acidification due to sulfates etc can complicate the analysis.

    And speaking of complicating the analysis- you, like many lay people mis-interpret the efforts to compensate for known problems with instrument accuracy, precision and stability with fudging the data. It’s not. Your arrival at those such conclusions says more about your world view than your knowledge of science.

    Comment by Not my regular handle too much background — 19 Jan 2014 @ 5:40 PM

  62. Alisdair- Your view is mildly anachronistic- Steve’s intitial experience of ‘Science as a contact sport ‘ arose from his response to the ‘apocalyptic predictions’ made by Sagan in the Winter 1983 issue of Foreign Affairs with an article challenging them <a href="http://www.jstor.org/stable/20042777in the Summer 1986 issue of the same journal

    Science writer Eliot Marshall reviewed the confrontation in’ The Little Chill’, by “T.R.B.” In The New Republic, February 16, 1987.
    The quote applies to the Climate Wars in general.

    Comment by Russell — 19 Jan 2014 @ 5:48 PM

  63. A page search of the first 49 comments + the article find zero occurrences of the word “food” and zero occurrences of the word “famine.”

    “Bravo for 24 Donald Brown, but it isn’t about trains. If you want to scare them, why are there zero mentions of either global famine or food so far?

    Most people would like winter to go away. GW seems like a good idea. WE have to explain why no more winter is not a good idea. It isn’t that hard. No more winter means no more food. The connection is not obvious. GCMs don’t tell us that. You have to look at Aiguo Dai’s work, which is not about GCMs”

    No more winter? No more food? Hahahaha! Children won’t know what snow is? Mann that’s funny.

    Delete, delete, delete.

    So you have to show us GCMs predicting no more food.

    Comment by clipe — 19 Jan 2014 @ 5:53 PM

  64. Matthew England from UNSW had a go at this on Australian radio this morning (~1:34:00 onwards). It’s worth having a look how he went. Sure, he’s a touch nervous and talks too fast, but he does two things extremely well; things lots of would be scientist-communicators could learn from.

    He keeps it simple and he keeps saying it.

    He doesn’t get diverted when the interviewer invites him to give a dissertation on the nature of El Niño. He stays on message; his message. He doesn’t clutter it with “scientific” uncertainty. He just says it; then says it again. And after that, again. Then some more. And once more at the end for luck.

    To a scientist this has gotta feel awful. Surely once, clearly stated, is enough for anyone? Nope; ain’t so. Look at how the professionals do it: an advertising agency, a politician, or even a school teacher. Say it ’till you’re bored witless. Then repeat.

    Err, that would be… Keep it simple and keep saying it.

    Comment by GlenFergus — 19 Jan 2014 @ 6:06 PM

  65. Re- Comment by Not my regular handle too much background — 19 Jan 2014 @ 5:40 PM

    From a lot of experience from my own research your comments on pH meters is dead on.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 19 Jan 2014 @ 8:46 PM

  66. “Sorry to disagree, but the problems with this type of science advocacy are obvious and manifest. ”

    Anthony McAuliffe would like a word with you.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 19 Jan 2014 @ 9:18 PM

  67. Reply 59. At this point, I don’t think we can be sure there is any path that will lead us to a world that can support ~10B people in the future. I doubt that present money is the correct merit function to weigh against when we are talking about survival of a civilization, and the larger part of humanity.
    The science indicates that we are headed into a climate that is unprecedented in human history. That is the best prediction that science can provide us with at this time
    From a policy point of view,this should be sufficient to elevate this issue to the top of government agendas around the world. The fact that this does not occur shows that the science is not understood by the policy makers. Science can be wrong, but for scientific questions, it is the best we have.

    Comment by HarveyMoseley — 19 Jan 2014 @ 9:22 PM

  68. http://www.salon.com/2014/01/19/why_scientists_should_embrace_the_liberal_arts_partner/
    is originally from Scientific American. While the education of future scientists should certainly include a healthy dose of liberal arts IMO, the reasons in this essay are not particularly good ones.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 19 Jan 2014 @ 10:23 PM

  69. #58 Ray Ladbury

    “CO2 is warming the planet. The only question is how much, and the odds on it being a small amount are not good.”

    To those without any axe to grind it has been apparent that the odds on it being a small amount have been shortening relentlessly since the turn of the century. But “climate sensitivity is a mature field” (your words). You paying much attention to what’s happening in the real world Ray?

    Comment by simon abingdon — 20 Jan 2014 @ 5:17 AM

  70. Richard Pauli #57,

    “Fish 56 “Please provide a budget and a funding source.” ??

    Are you kidding?

    You need to first decide how long you want our species to survive.
    Just you? or do you want your grand kids around? Maybe twenty, 50 years? Do you aim for past the year 2100 – say 2150? What’s your plan?

    Because until we decide to commit to multigenerational survival, then all this quibbling over budget and finances and sacrifices means little. Whining over cost and sacrifice is not a valid argument against action. First decide what you want – then you can squeeze budgets and profits all you want.”

    Richard, you have it exactly right. In most endeavors, the first step is problem definition, followed by target definition, and finally followed by proposed solutions. On this blog, the ideologues go right to the solution without bothering about the preceding steps.

    We are not going to leave our grandchildren the world we inherited; we have caused too much damage already, and there is more to come from what we have already put in the pipeline. Probably the best we could do at this point would be the damaged world that Hansen’s ~1 C limit would offer. As I have shown with the ‘accounting’ that Fish deprecates, to meet this target means we have run out of carbon budget, and no more fossil fuels can be expended. Obviously, this would not be workable, and it would be ludicrous for me to offer a “budget and funding source” and plan for how to achieve it. Anderson believes an emissions cut of ~10% would be extremely difficult to ‘sell’, and that would only keep us within 2 C. I am at the point where I see no appetite for ANY decrease in economic activity from the developed and developing nations alike to maintain the semblance of a livable climate for our grandchildren. Maybe the best that can be sold to any substantive number of people is the technology substitution approach offered by e.g. SecularA, which would maintain economic activity. As I have pointed out, my estimate is that it would lead us to a temperature peak somewhere between 2-3 C (given that Anderson has considered renewables and improved energy efficiency as part of his proposal, and still requires substantial demand reduction to stay within 2 C). How horrific life would be at such temperatures, and whether we can stabilize at such temperature levels is open to question, and is one of these questions which would best be left unanswered by proactive avoidance policies.

    My bottom line is that I think we’re stuck with what we can ‘sell’ to the public, rather than what we need to solve the problem.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 20 Jan 2014 @ 6:30 AM

  71. #55 …and is thus at risk of appearing to be an eccentric

    …when judging from a PR marketing perspective? Look at his recent lectures?

    The world needs more Hansen’s which warn us of the risk and already occurring changes. We have decades of studies and observation, it screams we have to stop burning fossil fuels.

    As a scientist you need to voice your concerns until the message is understood. Because if you don’t you didn’t account for the complexity and noise in our systems, thus your message was only directed from a limited angle. Or was muzzled down in a lot of noise. Thus you have to repeat the message(which involves a lot of learning) until you addressed all entities who are involved, hence the entire system processes. You need to apply systems thinking because we deal with a systemic problem.

    Comment by prokaryotes — 20 Jan 2014 @ 6:41 AM

  72. To Hank Roberts #53 and to “not my handle too much background” #61 thanks for visiting my site. Hank that reference you provided is a keeper, thanks. Unfortunately I searched the entire document for the term “glass electrode” and no such term is listed. It therefore explains NOTHING regarding the supposed deficiencies of the so called ‘old style’ pH meters, and as I’ve pointed out, there is no such deficiency that would merit their replacement. Also that link that you looked for is only in context with the extended dialogue I had with Drs. Feely and Sabine. If you wish for me to dredge that up, please post that question at my blog and I will provide it.
    To #61, my Ph.D. in progress is in Nanoscience and Microsystems (with a nanogeoscience focus). Yes I have made many field measurements of pH with the ‘old style’ meters, as as my blog posts point out, that approach is the rule on continental hydrology (non ocean pH measurements. That will likely comprise millions of measurements per year. You might know that if you really work in the field. In any case just because you can parrot a definition of pH doesn’t convince me that you are a subject matter expert in anything. Please now let me know what your expertise is and perhaps we can have a productive dialogue here or at my blog.

    Comment by Michael Wallace — 20 Jan 2014 @ 8:41 AM

  73. Simon Abingdon: “You paying much attention to what’s happening in the real world Ray?”

    Why would you like to quit living in your fantasy world and you’d like me to catch you up?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Jan 2014 @ 10:17 AM

  74. I searched the entire document for the term “glass electrode” and no such term is listed. It therefore explains NOTHING
    See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-2/#comment-451942

    Read, or at least skim the text, and you’ll find it. They do point out that terminology differs and cite the sources they use.

    Citation to sources on which you base your own statements also would clarify your thinking.

    > the extended dialogue
    The link on your blog to “http://www.abeqas.com/mwApics/Wallace20thCenturyOcean_pH.pdf” returns a broken 247-byte PDF.
    This link; you can find it, as Google does — it’s mentioned three places: your blog, at RC, and at WUWT:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=“Wallace20thCenturyOcean_pH”

    Please note — you can argue the science with scientists. I’m arguing for citing sources that can be found and reading the material that’s available.

    > Hank that reference you provided is a keeper

    I spent three minutes with Scholar, which convinced me there is ample work published documenting longterm problems in open ocean use of the old tech pH sensors, and much published about the work on replacements using different technology. Look up biofilm, and fouling, and calibration, for those sensors. Your reference librarian can do far more than some guy on a blog finding source material.

    Just for examples:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003267013005679
    Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 786, 5 July 2013, Pages 1–7

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165993612002427
    TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 40, Nov. 2012, Pages 146–157

    http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/359137/

    You say no such deficiency exists. You should find the work saying otherwise, and publish a refutation, not deny the problem — seriously, the Holocaust analogy and suggestion of conspiracy will fly at WUWT but not in a science discussion.

    You claim to discuss science; cite sources that support your claims.

    This isn’t about you.
    This is about librarianship and citation, that’s my issue here.

    You’re facing a general problem — how to assemble longterm reliable time series records using data from multiple sites, and different instruments. This is an issue using satellite instrument records, weather station records, tide gauge and elevation records — all through science.

    Nobody likes to see their beloved instrument questioned. It happens.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Jan 2014 @ 10:28 AM

  75. Sometimes plain Google is more productive.
    for Michael Wallace:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=pH+sensor+glass+bulb+electrode+fouling+biofilm+adjustment

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Jan 2014 @ 10:44 AM

  76. #59 Ray Ladbury …

    “CO2 is warming the planet. The only question is how much, and the odds on it being a small amount are not good.”

    … and further to my #69:

    Since the turn of the century it has been observed that the global temperature has consistently been flatlining while month by month CO2 emissions have continued to escalate.

    There are two explanations which might account for such observations:

    (1) The warming due to CO2 is compensated by an effect of unknown provenance which month by month provides just the right amount of cooling necessary to neutralize it.

    (2) The theoretical warming due to CO2 is in practice negligible.

    Most intelligent people will at once see which of these two explanations is (overwhelmingly) the more likely.

    Perhaps Ray you can pinpoint the flaw in their logic.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 20 Jan 2014 @ 10:57 AM

  77. Ah, here it is: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3342762/
    Environ Sci Technol. 2012 May 1; 46(9): 5018–5024.
    Published online 2012 March 31. doi: 10.1021/es300491s

    Footnotes in the original; excerpt follows

    Measurements of seawater pH are currently obtained both potentiometrically and spectrophotometrically. Spectrophotometric pH measurements are much more precise (±0.0004)6 than potentiometric measurements (±0.003)7,8 and are increasingly preferred for direct ocean monitoring, but potentiometric measurements are advantageous for many types of studies for which less precise measurements are adequate. As such, use of glass electrodes and other potentiometric pH devices9 is likely to continue as a very common practice in laboratory and field investigations.

    Although the accuracy of both potentiometric and spectrophotometric measurements is intimately related to calibration protocols, calibration procedures for the two methodologies are distinct in one critical aspect. Modern spectrophotometric pH measurements, which involve the use of indicator absorbance ratios and characterizations of the intrinsic molecular properties of purified substances, do not require periodic calibration.10−13 In contrast, pH measurements with glass electrodes require frequent conjugate measurements in standard solutions in order to ensure consistent measurement accuracy.14

    … The Guide to Best Practices for Ocean Acidification Research and Data Reporting(15) describes two critically important limitations associated with potentiometric pH measurements ….

    The goal here, as I read it (remember, I’m an interested amateur reader, I’m not a scientist) is to have pH instruments on untethered mobile devices — like the ARGO floats and the Slocum gliders — which can’t be regularly retrieved for recalibration.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Jan 2014 @ 11:57 AM

  78. Further comparing the two types of sensor:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23413223
    Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2013 Mar 15;27(5):635-42.
    doi: 10.1002/rcm.6487.
    Evaluation of reagentless pH modification for in situ ocean analysis: determination of dissolved inorganic carbon using mass spectrometry.

    > ARGO floats
    Lost the link in the previous post. Here:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=argo+float+pH

    Richard Feely, a NOAA senior scientist …. noted that ship-based work is still essential for calibrating the Argo float data for pH and total CO2 concentrations.

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20110902_oceanacidification.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Jan 2014 @ 12:12 PM

  79. Simon,
    The oceans, which constitute 98% of the climate system’s thermal mass are warming faster than ever. Ice continues to melt. The current decade is the warmest in record, and of the 20 warmest years, all but one have been in the past 20. In this universe, that implies we aren’t in thermal equilibrium. How about yours?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Jan 2014 @ 12:44 PM

  80. Re #50 sh: “We have a bus driver, a 15 year old boy and a cattle rancher arguing about climate change with Steve Schneider! Unbelievable.”

    Precisely! Except they are not really arguing, he educates them (and he doesn’t really care who they are, in the spirit of R.Feynman). It’s hard and thankless work. That’s why I have to applaud Steve Schneider for doing it.

    For an atheist, watching A.E. is sometimes painful too. People thinking they have a perfect proof of God, while struggling with basic logic. But on the other hand, there are people with different levels of understanding. Large majority of callers want, on a certain level, to understand more. If they wished to remain ignorant, they probably wouldn’t bother calling at all.

    I think this method brings a honest (albeit often crude) dialogue with the public that a lecture or website doesn’t do. In a way, it builds mutual trust and empathy, not just with the callers, but to many outside observers. And this trust is needed, because propaganda often conditions people the other way, to distrust climate scientists. You can actually see it in the Schneider video, and you can see it in A.E. as well. That’s why I think it’s needed, or at least I think someone should try it.

    Comment by JS — 20 Jan 2014 @ 1:05 PM

  81. #79 Ray Ladbury

    “The oceans, which constitute 98% of the climate system’s thermal mass are warming faster than ever.”

    What typical rate of warming of the world’s oceans (degC/century) would we be talking about?

    “Ice continues to melt.”

    What percentage of the world’s ice continues to melt?

    Ray, I would welcome your considered answers. Regards, simon

    Comment by simon abingdon — 20 Jan 2014 @ 1:07 PM

  82. Simon,
    If the oceans are warming at all, or if the net ice melting is positive, we are not in equilibrium. Nonetheless:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/12/the-global-temperature-jigsaw/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/what-ocean-heating-reveals-about-global-warming/

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Jan 2014 @ 1:20 PM

  83. Simon, I suggest you consult the paleorecord, it will answer your questions. I can’t speak for others here but I personally don’t wish to waste my time serving your personal research needs if you aren’t enthusiastic about learning about it and listening to what it’s telling you. Thanks in advance.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 20 Jan 2014 @ 1:45 PM

  84. …it has been observed that the global temperature has consistently been flatlining … There are two explanations …
    - See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-2/#comment-451967

    Three or four, actually: (3) you confuse air temperature with global temperature, or (4) your uncited source has been debunked already.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Jan 2014 @ 2:37 PM

  85. Simon certainly knows this and is ignoring it, but for any new readers coming along who don’t — you can look this up:
    http://woodfortrees.org/notes#trends

    Depending on your preconceptions, by picking your start and end times carefully, you can now ‘prove’ that
    Temperature is falling!
    Temperature is static!
    Temperature is rising!
    Temperature is rising really fast!
    What you find can depend on where (or when) you look!

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Jan 2014 @ 2:47 PM

  86. Michael,

    I doubt there is a possibility of a constructive dialogue with you. Hank has done yeoman’s work of providing literature references to what I learned at the knee (so to speak) and in diverse industrial settings. Your interest in my credentials (Undergrad UCal system, Ph.D. MIT….long ago), seem more focused on the pleasure you might get from outing someone who works for private industry….where there is no freedom of speech. Enjoy your possibly protected status while you have it. My familial connection the pH instrument industry you’ll just have to take for granted, but here’s a hint: I attended family days at a certain well known instrument maker in Southern California as a child….begins with a B…… hm. One of many connections at different points in time.

    Your reference to millions of measurements (in fresh water systems) seems unrelated to the focus of your doctoral work and your sloppy language implies you personally made and/or had QC responsibility for those measurements, and you made no effort to bridge that gap.

    You also failed to get to the precision question. Your typical lab pH meter reads to 2 decimal places. High precision meters will give 3, but very little lab work depends on measuring pH that precisely. (note very little, not none).

    I’m also not interested in parsing your correspondendence with some administrators. You’ve already demonstrated that you play the typical game of lawyering language. You should look to the scientists who publish the papers reporting the changes…go the primary data source…and in fact it is those people you should contact directly.

    However, I guess few are likely to respond, seeing your accusatory website, and your precious formulation of ‘phfamily’. You’ve effectively labeled yourself a crank, and pointless to talk to. Perhaps you are good enough at whatever you’re really doing for your thesis, and will publish a few papers. I hope you’ll experience the pleasure of having some hack with a blog take a negative interest in your work, and experience the frustration of trying to talk sense to someone who dismisses anything you say.

    IF, and I do mean if, you have a serious interest in the subject-take down the website, read the primary ocean pH literature and contact the authors with a clean slate and an open mind.

    Comment by Not my regular handle too much background — 20 Jan 2014 @ 5:59 PM

  87. Ray Ladbury @ 59. I totally agree with you. The basics of climate change are clear, carbon dioxide is warming the planet and very significantly.

    However its still complex for the public, for example they hear sceptical claims about a “pause.” This pause has been refuted by Cowtan (2013) but sceptics use this to push their agenda.

    I would like to see more climate scientist’s front up in the daily media (television and newspapers etc), and explain the issues like this and in laymans terms. Explain that the pause is insignificant and heat energy continues to build up in the oceans. I commend the efforts this site makes along with skepticalscience.com, but more needs to be said in the daily media as well.

    Comment by nigelmj — 20 Jan 2014 @ 6:10 PM

  88. “How will history judge us if we watch the threat unfold before our eyes, but fail to communicate the urgency of acting to avert potential disaster? How would I explain to the future children of my 8-year-old daughter that their grandfather saw the threat, but didn’t speak up in time?

    Those are the stakes.

    Is it time for The Age of Stupid to be rereleased in the cinema yet?

    Comment by Colin Reynolds — 20 Jan 2014 @ 6:25 PM


  89. Cowtan and Way (2013) is now open access

    Links to the paper, a poster, comments and discussion and a FAQ

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Jan 2014 @ 6:35 PM

  90. Simon Abingdon @ 76.

    You say “Since the turn of the century it has been observed that the global temperature has consistently been flatlining while month by month CO2 emissions have continued to escalate.

    You say there are two explanations which might account for such observations:

    (1) The warming due to CO2 is compensated by an effect of unknown provenance which month by month provides just the right amount of cooling necessary to neutralize it.

    (2) The theoretical warming due to CO2 is in practice negligible.”

    My response is that temperatures haven’t flatlined, they have slowed. Its unlikely the temperature has even slowed much. Refer to the research by Cowtan (2013).

    The most likely explanation for slower warming is the temporary effect of a natural cycle. We know we have a combination of a low point in the sunspot cycle and a mid point in the pdo cycle, both of which have a temporary cooling effect. These cycles will reverse in the near future. You might also note that ocean heat energy content hasn’t “paused”.

    Comment by nigelmj — 20 Jan 2014 @ 6:40 PM

  91. Many of us climate watchers (non-scientists) believe that scientist have failed us. Just when we needed you most, you let us all down. The scientific reticence, and the unwilling to put career on the line to be forcefully outspoken is unforgivable in the context of what is now happening.

    Consider that we would not be in the position of where we are today if scientist had simply demanded an audience back in the 70′s and 80′s when there were already clear signals of danger even then. And then stuck to their guns throughout all the denial.

    Many environmental scientists are just as “guilty” in my book. Species extinctions are now occurring at an unprecedented rate and scientists are simply not trying hard enough to get the message across. The oceans globally are in a state of severe collapse – and yet, this is barely even known in the public discourse.

    Their not alone of course, but you guys and gals are the researchers of what is happening to our planet – and you are most definitely NOT sounding the alarm stridently enough.

    If it took a “science walkout” on a global scale to “send the message” of the clear and present danger we are now all in – then that is exactly what should have been done (at a minimum). But almost at no time (with few minor and noteworthy exceptions) did this sort of thing occur.

    So now we’re all faced with the “too little, too late” and “how in $#@ do we solve the crisis” situation. Species extinction for example, is forever, and we’re just now being told how many species and which ones are now gone forever.

    Climate science is the biggie, and climate scientists are STILL not sounding the alarm stridently enough. Do you scientist actually think for example, that all the now missing ice can simply be replaced? Do most climate scientist truly realize what this means RIGHT NOW for over one billion people who rely upon glacial melt? Why aren’t you literally screaming from the rooftops to literally force policy makers, including your own departments to finally pay attention? Do something RADICAL FOR ONCE.

    We’re way past the time when we should have had a global rebellion over the ongoing planetary destruction occurring virtually everywhere – and scientist should have been leading the way with facts, evidence, research, analysis and their decades of expertise. They should have been blowing their horns loud and long – and if that didn’t work, they should have chained themselves to the Lincoln Memorial. SOMETHING to finally garner media, public and government attention to the sheer scale and scope of the crisis we are now in.

    There is no point in sounding the alarm after the cows have escaped the barn, but now, finally, scientists are themselves “waking up”. Too bad for all of us – you’re really a day late and a dollar short. This isn’t a game people, its life or death for the whole of the biosphere.

    But we’ve yet to see this. We’ve yet to see scientists “get involved” at the level of activism that is absolutely essential and necessary. You’ve had DECADES to do this – and it simply never happened. You’ve also got the credentials the rest of the world desperately lacks – so USE IT.

    So as much as I appreciate all that you have done, and all the work and research, what I’d much rather see now is a total global outcry to demand actions from the world’s governments and leaders. Nothing less than this “will do”. Nothing less then this will stand a chance of changing the outcome now.

    This has always been a part of “your job” by the way. No expert in his or her field is expected to stay silent or demurely say “but you don’t understand the significance of what this means…” or some such polite nonsense, especially when you consider the true significance of what you’ve uncovered.

    The world DESPERATELY needs scientists from all disciplines and research fields to take a VERY strong position regarding what is occurring to our planet. The very survival of the entire biosphere is at stake – or if you scientists still don’t realize this yet – then shame on you. Many of us have taken years out of our lives to read up on the real state of affairs, spending countless hours connecting all of the dots to the best of our abilities. We think we are in serious trouble and there is absolutely no time at all to waste piddling around anymore. We don’t believe we have a decade or two – or even a year or two, the time to act is already past, but now is still far better then NEVER.

    So where are you? Why are you still engaged in the field when we need you engaged with our governments and leaders? Do you really need more proof or evidence? Why not task some of your best and brightest and most outspoken and organize a resistance movement? Or would you rather just stay in the field taking your measurements and writing your reports? What good is that going to do any of us now?

    I’m not advocating you stop science – not at all, but it’s time to put down the pens and pencils and the spreadsheets and databases and instrumentation and go grab our stupid politicians and corporate destroyers by the throat and GET SOMETHING DONE that will enhance our chances of surviving the destruction we have unleashed.

    Nothing less then this will suffice. Some of you know this. Some of you still haven’t connected all the dots. If we can do it – so can you. You are eminently more qualified to do this then we are.

    So where ARE YOU in this fight for our survival?

    Comment by J.R. — 20 Jan 2014 @ 8:21 PM

  92. Michael,

    My apologies, I found your abeqas site. Since I’m in private industry, where I have no free speech, I can’t say directly who I am. My current line of work is very public. Suffice it to say that as a child I attended familly day parties at a certain Southern California instrument maker’s, and have a close relative who spent a lifetime in the field at the first mentioned company and a variety of others. I could pull pictures and/or video from my files of every step in making a glass pH electrode. I did my undergraduate work in the UC system, (where I used the library access in those pre-internet days to run literatures searches on pH electrode design and manufacture- all in the family) and my doctoral work at MIT was completed before you graduated from your undergraduate institution. I chose not to go into the family business. The rest of the time has been spent in a variety of roles in the chemical industry, which serves me well in my present position.

    However, that nicety out of the way, Hank Robert’s references are correct, and any patent search will find dozens of patents each on various aspects of aqueous water sensor electrodes. Since this is old art, going back to Arnold O., and things like glass formulas are trade secrets, there are natural limitations to the literature.

    Having acknowledged that I gave a correct off the cuff description of pH electrodes, you then proceeded to ignore the meaning. While no doubt you’ve had access to many pH measurements, you certainly didn’t do them all yourself, and you give no indication of having responsibility for the QA/QC of those measurements. I can’t access any papers of yours to see you report pH, and in general pH isn’t something important enough to report in abstracts. I note that NPDES standards for pH ranges are only 1 significant figure 6.0-9.0. (no not from memory…it’s been a while since I was involved in that kind of permitting). In other words, you need to make a case that pH in hydrology is measured with the kind of accuracy and precision and stability that the marine geochemists are looking for. Glass electrodes have always been less than ideal for that kind of work.

    I don’t however think that we’re going to be able to have any kind of collegial exchange. Arguing with adminstrators vs going to the scientists working in the field isn’t how to go about things. Your choice of a graduate research advisor and your field is in my view hunting for unicorns. You might as well consider publishing in the now defunct journal Pattern Recognition in Physics. If you really want to demonstrate you’re serious about this stuff, you’ll take down your preciously named pHfamily posts, and talk to researchers. They’re not likely to answer you if that see that kind of thing, and will dismiss you as a crank with no interest in anything but confirming your existing conclusions.

    Captcha: Composed IncAfro

    Comment by Not my regular handle too much background — 20 Jan 2014 @ 11:21 PM

  93. Hank thanks for putting in some time to address my concerns. First I appreciate your diligence in searching the web for items on pH meters, even though some of those papers are paywalled, and a few are not actually about pH meters, such as the Cardenas-Valencia et al., paper. Second, in answer to an earlier comment of yours, I have re-posted the pdf file that you were trying to find at http://www.abeqas.com/Wallace20thCenturyOcean_pH2.pdf. This is only provided for context as I had already posted some of the images in that file.

    Also as you have pointed out in #77, “potentiometric measurements (±0.003)” is a reported accuracy for glass electrode pH meters. Given that ocean pH ranges from 2 to 4 whole pH units I think it’s safe to say that ±0.003 is more than accurate enough for any determination of a trend in ocean acidification or alkalinization. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Moreover, your comments about ‘in situ’ measurements are understandable, but are not relevant to any of my concerns. Ocean scientists would like all of their chemistry measurements to be as in-situ and automatic and as easy and trouble free as possible. What of it? That has nothing to do with the fact that 80 years of ocean pH data consisting of millions of pH measurements which were already collected the hard way have been omitted from the contemporary narrative of ocean acidification. As my blog posts focus on, this data was replaced by a fabrication of historical data, using model hindcasts apparently solely to assert a trend of ocean acidification. Do you really think the minor concern of convenience of in situ pH measurement justifies data fabrication on such an epic scale? I doubt you do.

    I also believe that until I brought this concern up, neither you nor anyone else reading this blog post were aware of this massive amount of data fabrication and promotion. I hope you will keep this particular point in mind and consider it in depth over time. Sorry about the related snarkiness in my blog. It is only a provocative blog after all, just as this forum is.

    Comment by Michael Wallace — 21 Jan 2014 @ 12:01 AM

  94. just a clarification on last comment: The entire range of recorded ocean pH for all depths ranges approximately from less than 6.5 to more than 9.5. See NOAA WOD database for any desired verification.

    Comment by Michael Wallace — 21 Jan 2014 @ 12:18 AM

  95. So “the data items which have been added represent values recovered so far by Wallace through various searches on 20th century ocean pH data, esp. prior to 1988″ and you’ve published this somewhere showing you’ve redone the trend statistic with the amended data? — ok, that’s how science works.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Jan 2014 @ 12:32 AM

  96. “… data fabrication … ”
    I really, REALLY don’t think you are in a position to level that kind of accusation.

    Comment by wheelsoc — 21 Jan 2014 @ 1:25 AM

  97. Eh, since when is someone allowed to make large claims of fraud here, like Michael Wallace does at #92?

    Comment by Marco — 21 Jan 2014 @ 1:53 AM

  98. Alfred the Great, King of England 871-899AD, put it rather succinctly some time ago,

    “Each man, according to his intelligence, must speak what he can speak and do what he can do.”

    And I agree with #90 J.R. that scientists have generally failed us in failing sufficiently to speak out, whilst I applaud those, like Mann and Hansen, who have done so.

    We need far more articles by scientists in the popular press explaining time and again what the problems are and what the possible solutions may be. Saying it once is not enough. It needs to be said time and time again.
    Everyone has a vote and it is votes that elect politicians to act. Just imagine the catastrophe if what has happened in Australia with the election of Tony Abbott became a worldwide phenomena.
    Speak out!

    Comment by Slioch — 21 Jan 2014 @ 5:05 AM

  99. 57 Steve Fish: YOU are the one who thinks an “economic cutback” is required. I said no such thing. Who told you that an “economic cutback” was part of the program? Not me.

    On the other hand, see “Galactic-Scale Energy” at Do the Math
    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/07/galactic-scale-energy/#more-20
    It would seem wise to cut back before the Earth becomes hotter than the surface of the sun.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Jan 2014 @ 6:52 AM

  100. Re- Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Jan 2014 @ 6:52 AM

    I have no idea what you are referring to.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 21 Jan 2014 @ 10:10 AM

  101. JR, [edit] How dare you denigrate and diminish the role scientists have been and continue to play. Have you ever even read any posts on this site?!

    Scientists have been calling attention to this danger for decades. Where the hell have you been?

    Scientists are getting death threats. What the hell are you doing about it?

    And did it occur to you that maybe we want to keep a few scientists working on this problem to figure out exactly how bad things are likely to get?

    Congratulations. Your post is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read on the Internet. And THAT is an impressive feat.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Jan 2014 @ 10:19 AM

  102. Hank, in my blog and comment responses I have described my intention to publish and why I haven’t yet. I know it takes some stamina to get through all the details, but since you find it useful to comment, I ask you to try to read more carefully (both that and the myriad other papers you have cited).

    In any case, in that blog I also point out that the feel2899.pdf paper was never published in any peer reviewed journal and yet the time series plot in that report is the very foundation of contemporary assertions of historical proof of ocean acidification, particularly in representations made to the U.S. Congress in 2011 (Markey Hearings). I don’t see why the feel2899.pdf authors get a pass from peer-review for their misrepresentations and fabricated time series. Must I first write a peer reviewed paper to counter a non-peer reviewed paper?

    For that matter, their own report fails to provide citations for the missing 80 years of ocean pH data that I was looking for. Even the guest author of this RealClimate post, Dr. Mann, typically provides citations and and data tables so that other readers can work to verify his time series. Again I don’t see why the feel2899.pdf authors get a pass from provided data sourcing for time series, when virtually all other researchers, including Dr. Michael Mann, don’t enjoy that privilege.

    Accordingly I see nothing wrong with my blog bringing the facts the overall epic omission of real ocean pH time series data to the attention of anyone who will read it.

    Comment by Michael Wallace — 21 Jan 2014 @ 10:25 AM

  103. J.R.:

    This has always been a part of “your job” by the way. No expert in his or her field is expected to stay silent or demurely say “but you don’t understand the significance of what this means…” or some such polite nonsense, especially when you consider the true significance of what you’ve uncovered.

    Sigh. Once again (my italics):

    An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise. -Aldo Leopold

    How can scientists speak to the mass of consumers who do not want to hear that they are unwell and need strong medicine (seriously, why can’t we sell this stuff)? Science lacks the cathedra, not to mention the following, of the Pope. Scientists have only their epistemic authority, already seriously undervalued in America, to support their demands to be heard. Speaking “stridently” can only undermine that authority further.

    Then there are the opposition forces. Are you truly unaware of the pervasive and sophisticated disinformation campaign being prosecuted by those who stand to lose the most if fossil fuel use is curtailed? If only scientists weren’t ethically and financially prohibited from adopting the tactics available to the deniers!

    And how will their message reach the 20-30% of Americans who are solely “informed” by Fox News, which is fully enlisted in the denialist campaign? How will they get decarbonization legislation past the denier-funded, Fox-News-watcher-elected politicians who are publicly declaring AGW to be a hoax?

    You ask too much of scientists, for they are over-matched in this fight. If it is to be won, then it is up to non-scientists like yourself to win it.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 21 Jan 2014 @ 12:07 PM

  104. It might be helpful to keep reminding the public of three things.

    1) Pointing out policy options is not the same as advocating a particular policy. When their work has revealed a future problem, scientists have a duty to inform the public about options that can reduce or eliminate that problem.

    2) Advocating a particular policy (as James Hansen has done while director of GISS) is not the same thing as prescribing that policy, because few scientists have the authority to set policy.

    3) If advocating reductions in carbon emissions, as Dr. Hansen and other scientists do, is unethical, the same thing can be said about advocating increased use of fossil fuels, as industry spokesmen do.

    Comment by Christopher Winter — 21 Jan 2014 @ 12:41 PM

  105. simon abingdon wrote: “Since the turn of the century it has been observed that the global temperature has consistently been flatlining while month by month CO2 emissions have continued to escalate. There are two explanations which might account for such observations: …”

    You left out the correct explanation, which is that in fact, no such thing “has been observed”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 21 Jan 2014 @ 1:18 PM

  106. I’m just guessing here, that Michael Wallace is working up to a “Sea Surface Stations” kind of thing like WTF did for surface stations, and that perhaps there is a comparable situation: a vast quantity of raw data collected over the years has been assessed and either used, or adjusted and used, or dismissed as not sufficiently reliable to combine into the sort of large scale trend done with temperatures.

    The point about surface stations was that the large scale weather changes — a front, say, with temperature and pressure change — moving across many miles — shows up in all the different weather stations, so the data from all those separate instruments could be looked at and used for climatology even though the weather stations were not set out to do climate studies and weren’t ideal instruments. Nevertheless, with enough of them, and each looked at carefully for needed adjustments, the result was a combined data set that has been useful. And eventually it’s being replaced with a more modern network.

    Guessing, I say, only guessing — that something similar has been happening with ocean pH data.

    I recall the people handling the weather station records took a while to get up to speed in explaining to the reading public what they were doing with the raw data and why (step changes when an instrument was changed or moved, for example — could put that individual record off by half a degree or a full degree all of a sudden — but once that change was understood, the data from it could again be useful)

    So, last plea for citations to sources other than blogs and for explanations other than suspicions. Pointers welcome. Enough.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Jan 2014 @ 1:47 PM

  107. http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130924/srep02732/full/srep02732.html
    Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 2732
    doi:10.1038/srep02732
    24 September 2013

    Isotopic evidence for continental ice sheet in mid-latitude region in the supergreenhouse Early Cretaceous

    … indicating much larger temperature fluctuations than previously thought during the supergreenhouse Cretaceous.

    Is this any help improving resolution of short term variability?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Jan 2014 @ 2:35 PM

  108. it’s time to put down the pens and pencils and the spreadsheets and databases and instrumentation and go grab our stupid politicians and corporate destroyers by the throat

    There are criminal laws and municipal ordinances that discourage and punish that kind of behavior. Most of my collaborators have decided to leave Earth. Good luck, so long and thanks for all the fish.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 21 Jan 2014 @ 3:54 PM

  109. 103 Christopher Winter:
    1. Scientists DO NOT have a duty to inform the public of anything. It isn’t in my job description. In fact, my job description specifically forbids telling anybody who might report to an enemy. Half of all physicists work for the US Department of Defense at some time in their careers.

    2. NO scientist has authority outside of his own lab, if at all.

    3. Corporation and ethics do not belong in the same sentence.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Jan 2014 @ 4:29 PM

  110. 99 Steve Fish: I am referring to your comment at 57: “OK, so how much economic cutback is required and, realistically, how do you propose to convince the people of the developed and developing world to do it? Please provide a budget and a funding source.”

    So don’t tell me “I have no idea what you are referring to.”

    97 Slioch: 1. Scientists need to keep their jobs, but scientists are also humans who have children and grandchildren.
    2. Scientists are not billionaires or even millionaires. Scientists cannot buy the media. Scientists are speaking out as well as can be expected.
    3. We are looking for better ways to communicate to the public, but the coal industry is $100 Billion ahead of us on cash flow.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Jan 2014 @ 4:45 PM

  111. Humans may be an intelligent species. We’ll soon find out. … – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-3/#comment-452157

    And if we blow it, the cyanobacteria will handle it, in their own way, in their own good time:
    The Rise of Cyanobacteria in Freshwater Resources
    http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/features/feb12/cyanobacteria1.jpg

    Many produce toxins that are poisonous to people and animals, causing illness and death to those who breathe, drink, or even touch too much toxin at once…. water utilities require extra filtration …. Swimming areas can close to protect public health. Livestock and pets that are exposed to blooms may die.

    Researchers funded by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science are trying to better understand cyanobacteria and what makes them so successful ….

    … conditions must be just right for cyanobacteria to undergo a population explosion: the right nutrients, the right temperatures, specific salinity, as well as a lack of predators, and competition all play a role.

    Humans … are improving the conditions that cyanobacteria readily thrive in.

    And they say “Thank you, failed primates!”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Jan 2014 @ 7:25 PM

  112. Re- Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Jan 2014 @ 4:45 PM

    Ed, notice the little “Re” in front of your name in the first line of this post. “Re” means regarding or in reference to (It’s in the dictionary), and in this case refers to your comment on 21 Jan 2014 @ 4:45 PM. My #57 comment was Re- DIOGENES on 19 Jan 2014 @ 11:45 AM and others, not you. He has been strongly advocating a very fast switch to renewables and a major economic cutback in order to keep warming within safe limits. Because he has been doing a lot of accounting regarding warming in the near future, but not providing anything about the amount of needed economic cutback, I was asking him to provide this with some kind of plan to convince the whole world to do this, and how to fund such a campaign. You should go back and read his post. In the next post after my #57, Richard Pauli also did not check what I was responding to and commented on it and I responded to him two posts below this. I think you are getting over sensitive about reducing power consumption because of your unnatural association with your air conditioner. Because PV panel prices have dropped drastically, some folks in my area just add a few panels and get an air conditioner. I prefer to depend on good house insulation.

    As an aside, I have been referring to posts by their author and time stamp because you can highlight the time and Ctrl + F it into the search window, and search up to the referred comment to read it, and then search down to get back to the starting point (this is for windows, there must be a similar function for the Mac). The search function will not find comment numbers because they are not text and often change when delayed comments are inserted above, an annoying function.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 21 Jan 2014 @ 7:52 PM

  113. Thomas: “Most of my collaborators have decided to leave Earth. – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-3/#comment-452159

    And go where?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Jan 2014 @ 7:55 PM

  114. Hank,

    In perusing the literature I looked at the data from AR5 and I also found this:

    Andrew G. Dickson, The measurement of sea water pH, Marine Chemistry, Volume 44, Issues 2–4, December 1993, Pages 131-142, ISSN 0304-4203, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0304-4203(93)90198-W.
    (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/030442039390198W)

    Abstract
    This paper reviews the thermodynamic basis of two approaches that are used to measure the total hydrogen ion concentration of sea water, potentiometry using a glass electrode and spectroscopy using an indicator dye. Both of these methods depend ultimately on measurements made using the classical hydrogen/silver-silver chloride cell for their calibration and thus provide equivalent pH scales. As a result of recent advances in measurement techniques and calibration, we should expect to see a revival in the popularity of pH measurements and a renewed understanding of the importance of this parameter in interpreting acid-base processes in sea water; particularly those involving the geochemically important carbon dioxide system.

    I draw few things from these:

    1. from AR5 regardless of the detailed data the pH measurements are backed up by carbonate measurements. pH is after all only a surrogate for carbonate when we’re discussing the global carbon balance.
    2. From AR5 looking at the trends of 0.002 per year…that’s some mighty precise pH measurement podner. Meaning that marine instruments for those years were doing way better than your conventional bench top instrument out of the cole parmer catalogue.

    I’m not familiar with this brand…but +/- 0.005 pH
    http://www.coleparmer.com/Product/inoLab_7310_advanced_pH_mV_T_benchtop_meter_with_printer/WU-58890-64

    I’m more familiar with Orion, had here the accuracy is 0.002 pH…now we’re in the range of recording a years difference.

    http://www.coleparmer.com/Product/Thermo_Scientific_Orion_Versa_Star_with_Two_pH_ISE_Modules/WU-58825-89

    (now also comes the question at this level- do you keep samples and measure at the same time, what are the protocols for the atmosphere over the sample…remember the sample will be attempting to equilibrate its CO2 content with the gas above.)

    3. Given Dickinson’s remark about a “revival of popularity” of pH measurement, I’ll go out a bit on a limb here, since the primary document is paywalled for me and I haven’t able to find a free copy… His position in reviewing pH measurement was that the prior measurements weren’t fit to use, and that the field had given up on them because of a broad recognition that the measurements weren’t accurate.

    Now since Michael is accumulating data…I wonder about what instruments and electrodes were used, what the base accuracy and precision were AND how many significant figures were reported in those measurements. If we’re getting pH of 8.35-=/- 0.01 that’s not much good for tracking a 0.002 per year change…and given that glass pH electrodes don’t last 10 years, and the uncertainty in calibration at that level, even logging anomalies per electrode/potentiometer won’t help.

    Comment by Not my regular handle too much background — 21 Jan 2014 @ 8:03 PM

  115. > don’t last 10 years …. even logging anomalies per
    > electrode/potentiometer won’t help

    So we’re well into something changing,
    and need some kind of baseline observations of what the planet used to be like.
    D’oh.

    Call in the paleobiologists? Got proxies?

    So this isn’t about the Canadian government recently disposing of a research library collection via dumpster — or is it?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Jan 2014 @ 8:56 PM

  116. #115 Not my regular handle too much background says:
    “I’m not familiar with this brand…but +/- 0.005 pH” &
    “I’m more familiar with Orion, had here the accuracy is 0.002 pH…now we’re in the range of recording a years difference.”

    No, actually you’re not.

    Most people don’t understand calibration of a pH meter. There are actually four separate parameters that need to be tested and all four will impact the uncertainty. What you’ve quoted above is the meter accuracy — this does NOT include ISE electrode calibration, buffer solution accuracy, or thermometer errors.

    The meter is typically calibrated using a mV calibrator; i.e., it’s an electronic calibration. The electrode is usually tested only for repeatability over a period of a few seconds to a few minutes. The temperature sensors usually have accuracies of anywhere from 0.5 to 2 C. Buffer solutions are typically +/- 0.02 or 0.01 pH (It’s possible to find solutions that *claim* tighter accuracies, but I stress *claim*).

    Taking all of this into account it is highly unlikely that any measurement made with a handheld or inexpensive portable ISE electrode pH meter is going to have an expanded measurement uncertainty of better than 0.03 or 0.04 pH — and that’s probably overly optimistic :)

    Comment by Kevin O'Neill — 21 Jan 2014 @ 10:08 PM

  117. RE: Edward Greisch (#109):

    OK, I will stipulate that no scientist has “informing the public” written into his or her job description, and that those engaged in weapons work — which I infer to be your line of work — are specifically forbidden to do so. (I did some weapons work too, back in the day — but as electrical engineer, not as physicist.)

    It nevertheless remains the moral duty of a scientist, or anyone with superior knowledge about a subject, to inform those in authority of potential problems affecting the commonweal. The Montreal Protocol is an example of how this is supposed to work: scientists reveal that CFCs are depleting the ozone layer; government and industry work together to develop substitute refrigerants that don’t cause this problem. Result: the ozone layer is recovering.

    Climate change is a counterexample. Scientists have been warning about its effects since the 1960s, but nothing substantial has been done. The responsible authorities have been derelict in their duty to set effective policies in place. American government still depends on the will of the public. Thus, the public must be informed of the facts relevant to this future problem. If elected politicians won’t inform the public about the effects of climate change, scientists must.

    Comment by Christopher Winter — 21 Jan 2014 @ 11:21 PM

  118. Most people don’t understand calibration of a pH meter.
    See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-3/#comment-452168

    I love this place.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Jan 2014 @ 1:17 AM

  119. Kevin-

    Thanks for continuing the point. The meters I was citing aren’t cheap handhelds but rather expensive benchtop units.

    Another little foible is when you’re dealing with samples in a cup, not only do you need to worry about drift from picking up from or degassing to the atmosphere, but the rate of stirring matters. Another thing most people don’t know about pH electrodes is that the reference electrode has a chemical junction with the solution, and the reference electrode solution can and does migrate through that junction into the sample. That’s why some people use refillable reference electrodes-

    http://www.fondriest.com/pdf/hach_51940_manual.pdf

    If you stop stirring a solution you can change the local concentrations around the reference electrode, AND if you’re using a combined pH-reference electrode that simply adds to the issue.

    Of course, if you have a really small sample volume, you’re automatically contaminating the sample.

    All said and done then, it comes down to a matter of statistics.

    If glass electrodes can only do +/-0.02 or so with a good meter and good calibration standards….then how many measurements do you need to take to get a handle on real pH change of 0.002…if you can. My stats are too rusty to answer this, and I’ve got other, unfortunately worse things, that must be done with my time right now than sit down with my book are reinstruct myself.

    captch- cell acterrl – cell, act, err- don’t know what the l is going on.

    Comment by Not my regular handle too much background — 22 Jan 2014 @ 8:55 AM

  120. Joe Romm writes about Michael Mann’s op-ed, and says in part:

    … for an individual, attempts to avoid the severe health consequences of cigarette smoking by smoking less may turn out to be futile — and yet it is the smart thing to do. And it is the moral responsibility of their doctor to tell them so — particularly since we know that, overall, the population benefits from a large-scale reduction in smoking. And so it is with carbon pollution.

    I agree that climate scientists have a “moral responsibility” to inform the public about the danger of “severe consequences” from GHG emissions, and to inform the public that the “smart thing to do” to avoid those consequences is to quit emitting fossil fuels.

    That “moral responsibility” arises from the fact that climate scientists know what they know, and therefore are an authoritative voice on the realities of GHG emissions and consequent global warming, climate change and extreme weather — just as a medical doctor is an authoritative voice on the realities of the negative health impacts of smoking tobacco.

    At the same time, medical doctors may not be particularly knowledgeable about the most effective public policy options available for bringing about a “large-scale reduction in smoking” — e.g. taxes, labeling requirements, advertising and other public education campaigns, prohibiting smoking in more and more public places, the availability and effectiveness of nicotine addiction treatments, etc.

    Doctors are certainly entitled like anyone else to advocate particular smoking-reduction policies, but their advocacy does not necessarily carry the same expert authority as does their insistence that one way or another, smoking must be reduced.

    Likewise, when climate scientists go beyond calling for urgent action to reduce GHG emissions and begin advocating specific policies to do that, they are outside the realm of their expert authority.

    Again, I have no objection to climate scientists doing that — it may at least help to bring attention to the ongoing conversation about how to reduce emissions, simply by virtue of the fact that climate scientists are in a position to get attention on anything related to AGW.

    James Hansen is certainly a shining example of a climate scientist who has embraced the “moral responsibility” of sounding the alarm about the grave danger of AGW, and his expertise makes his voice powerful and effective in calling for the urgent necessity of ending GHG emissions, which necessarily requires ending fossil fuel use.

    But is James Hansen really speaking from expertise and authority when he advocates against cap-and-trade and for a carbon tax as the best way to internalize the cost of carbon pollution? Or when he dismisses renewable energy technologies and insists that the best (or only) way to a zero-emissions energy economy is through decades of research into “next generation” nuclear power?

    Hansen is neither an economist nor an expert on energy technologies. He may be right, or wrong, on either of those questions. But I’d rather be guided by the views of economists and experts in the relevant technologies who have studied those questions for as many decades as Hansen has studied the climate system.

    [Response: The analogy Romm uses is commonplace. But it's not a good one; there's a big difference between what we know about the effects of cigarette smoke on a human, and what we know about the effects of future climate change on the world. Completely different systems and levels of scientific knowledge and predictability, the former being much stronger.--Jim]

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 22 Jan 2014 @ 10:07 AM

  121. #120 Eli had an intriguing (to me) post on pH meters. http://rabett.blogspot.com/2013/07/measuring-ph.html

    Eli writes: “In one deployed version, the precision is +/- 0.0007 pH unit and an accuracy of 0.0005 relative to a reference system the principal requirement being holding the temperature in the spectrophotometer cell constant.”

    Precision is often misleading. The extra digits can be meaningless. NIST sells reference solutions. Their uncertainty is +/-0.01 pH and no laboratory traceable to NIST can claim a better uncertainty.

    Perhaps the ‘reference system’ is not a reference solution, but assuming it is and your reference solution has an uncertainty of +/-0.01 pH, and you have several other errors that need to be accounted for, it’s hard to envision any pH measurement – even with the equipment Eli mentions and directly traceable to NIST – with an uncertainty better than +/- 0.015 pH.

    Comment by Kevin O'Neill — 22 Jan 2014 @ 11:05 AM

  122. While I agree with the great majority here about seeing something and doing something, those in that position should not be naive. In a highly partisan and politicized scenario, one is not necessarily rewarding for doing the right thing. I applaud those who do so, and recognize their courage. And it isn’t always intentional courage. I don’t think Dr. Mann made such an explicit decision – others chose him for the role he now has. And I also understand those who will do their science and try to stay off the public radar screens. There is a role for both under the current and unfortunate circumstances.

    Comment by Dean Myerson — 22 Jan 2014 @ 12:49 PM

  123. Jim wrote: “… there’s a big difference between what we know about the effects of cigarette smoke on a human, and what we know about the effects of future climate change on the world. Completely different systems and levels of scientific knowledge and predictability, the former being much stronger.”

    I think the point of the analogy is not that the dangers of tobacco smoke and of global warming are similar, or that the state of scientific knowledge of their effects is similar — but rather, that in both cases, it is the scientists with relevant expertise who are best equipped to tell us what we DO know about those dangers, and thus to tell us what is the “smart thing to do” about avoiding them.

    And I would argue that what scientists DO know about the present and likely future effects of AGW is more than sufficient to support the view that the “smart thing to do” is to phase out anthropogenic GHG emissions as quickly and completely as possible. And simply having that knowledge creates the “moral responsibility” that Romm talks about.

    [Response: Good clarification Animist.--Jim]

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 22 Jan 2014 @ 1:09 PM

  124. SA #120,

    “Hansen is neither an economist nor an expert on energy technologies. He may be right, or wrong, on either of those questions. But I’d rather be guided by the views of economists and experts in the relevant technologies who have studied those questions for as many decades as Hansen has studied the climate system.”

    In fact, we need both climate scientists like Hansen working hand-in-hand with the economists and technology experts to arrive at a useful deployment scenario. If we depended solely on the “views of economists and experts in the relevant technologies” as you propose, we would end up with the scenarios we see posted on this blog time and again: proposals for deployment of technologies with little or no consideration of the peak temperature (and other) consequences during the transition.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 22 Jan 2014 @ 3:06 PM

  125. I cannot stop thinking that the main problem right now is that mother nature is not a very good team player on this issue.

    It would have been a much stronger argument if you could say:
    THE overwhelming consistence between global average temperature and the predictions from our models demonstrates that we have a very good understanding of climate. The correlation between CO2 and global average temperature is very strong. CO2 is causing the global average temperature to increase significantly. The rate of increase is 0,00X(K/ppmCO2) +/- 0,000Y (K/ppmCO2) the increase in CO2 is currently Z (ppmCO2/year).

    Rather than:
    “THE overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that human-caused climate change is happening.”

    Consensus does not sell very well to people educated within science. Students learn that an argument based on consensus is an unsound argument. Very many do have education within science. Unsound arguments may cause loss of confidence.

    If the development of global average temperature had a better fit to the models the fit itself would be a sufficient argument and the sense of urgency would have been so much stronger.

    However if we just have a little patience the global average temperature should show a dramatic increase every minute now.
    Sound arguments and proper timing will make the job effortless.

    Comment by DF — 22 Jan 2014 @ 3:19 PM

  126. #120 Secular Animist

    I think that some of the tactics used by the tobacco companies and their allies are very similar, if not identical.

    [Response: That's right. There have been entire books written (e.g. "The Merchants of Doubt" by Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway, and my own book "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars" that discuss some of the remarkable parallels, including the very same front groups and individuals involved in the campaigns to deny the science. -mike]

    I think scientist speaking out about what the AGW facts really are is very valuable, but not easy for the scientists.

    I’ll have to chime in and agree with Jim on the science and the comparison with tobacco’s effects on people. There is a more direct and predictable cause and effect with smoking and illness.

    A year or two ago I went to a lecture given by an ornithologist about the effect of climate change on birds in the mountains of California. The standard canard was as temperature rose, birds would increase in the upper mountains and decrease in the lower mountains tracking roughly the change in temperature. The data pointed to different results.

    Many birds followed the predicted pattern. However, some birds actually moved their ranges down the mountains, apparently due to increases in precipitation, even though the temperatures were higher. Another variable was conversion of habitat for human uses. Birds that could adapt to these changes held or increased in numbers, even though temperatures were above their optimum.

    [Response: Yes, evaluating climate change effects on ecosystems is particularly difficult, analytically, for exactly the kind of reason you illustrate there. We are pretty wary of simple explanations, and with good reason.--Jim]

    Comment by Joseph O'Sullivan — 22 Jan 2014 @ 3:40 PM

  127. http://www.rockethub.com/projects/38630-climatememe2-mother-earth-strikes-back

    This ClimateMeme2 group is doing the marketing “research” on GW.

    “Last year our Climate Meme Project revealed the cultural drivers of the conversation about global warming.  What we discovered was that the idea of global warming is psychologically damaging and creates trauma in the minds of those who come together to advocate for it – and drives many to strive to discredit it.  We found ourselves realizing that our goal is not to spread the concern about climate change.  That would only make more people scared, anxious, and filled with despair.

    What we really need is hope and healing.  We need loving compassion toward ourselves, each other and towards our planet Earth.  And we need positive visions of the future that cross ideological lines and cultivate unity among people who have come to feel divided.  

    ClimateMeme2 is a project of culture design.  Our research target is Middle America’s middle income housewives. We will map out the idea landscapes for people who are immune to the psychological threat of global warming.  

    Along the way, we will discover the stories that make people strong in the face of crisis. These will be the stories we will go out and spread to help humanity tackle the global challenge of climate change. We need these stories to share that make us strong in the face of crisis.

    The focus of this project is to interview those people who did not catch the “global warming thought virus” and learn how they are able to cope — and even thrive — in our rapidly changing world.  (This will tell us a lot about what it takes for others to be hopeful about the future.)  We will then compare what we find with the insights from ClimateMeme1 to create and spread memes that are symbiotic to humans: those who will be infected will care about the climate and the planet and still maintain a hopeful view on our common future.
    ….continues……”

    http://www.slideshare.net/culture2inc/climatememe1
    The slides are good.

    It is a good idea to study the social science before trying to talk a lot. As ClimateMeme said, just telling them has exactly the wrong result. “Humans” are mal-adapted/crazy. “Human” “thinking” is wrong. It is necessary to carefully research what to say before saying anything. The right meme should be infectious enough to spread with little effort on our part.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 22 Jan 2014 @ 4:37 PM

  128. Diogenes wrote: “If we depended solely on the ‘views of economists and experts in the relevant technologies’ as you propose …”

    I said NOTHING about depending “solely” on the views of anyone. You repeatedly attribute to me views that I have never expressed and do not hold. It is becoming tiresome.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 22 Jan 2014 @ 4:49 PM

  129. Re Jim’s response to the SecularAnimist (#120)

    Jim,
    What is the difference between a doctor telling his patient that if he continues smoking he is likely to suffer from lung cancer, and an Earth System scientist telling the public that if we continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere we may cause an abrupt climate change? [See Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change:Anticipating Surprises (2013) Is it that the odds of smoker getting lung cancer is higher than CO2 causing abrupt climate change? But how to you know?

    Or is it that you think that there may be no connection between abrupt climate change and increasing carbon dioxide? That may be true, but we do know that increasing CO2 will make global temperature rise, whereas the doctor does not know whether his patient will suffer form cancer. We do know that rising temperatures cause melting glaciers and wild fires. The glaciers provide the water to extinguish those fires, and without the rivers flowing from them large parts of the USA and the Earth will inevitably become deserts. Surely it is our duty as scientist to warn the public of the catastrophes which will inevitably follow if no action is taken to curb CO2 emissions?

    [Response: Yes, it is always the duty of anyone having exclusive knowledge to alert others of potentially harmful situations. The difference in the two examples is the degree of certainty, and more importantly the likely final impact (i.e. death), of the effect, and the degree to which the causal chain can be definitely traced. This results from the ability to do extensive and powerful controlled experimentation in cell biology. As for fire regime changes, that's something I have some knowledge of, and it is far from just a climate change issue-Jim]

    The funding of the sceptic campaign is provided by right wing think tanks whose paradigm is based on the belief that American exceptionalism is a result of individual freedom. They believe that every US citizen should be free to smoke cigarettes, and corporations should be free to peddle them. Knowing that they could not disprove smoking causes cancer they tried to shake the public’s faith in scientists by highlighting the uncertainties in the science.

    [Response: I also believe that individuals have the right to smoke and potentially kill themselves if they so choose, as long as they are fully aware of that possibility and its ramifications on others, even though I myself am very much against tobacco and wish that nobody smoked and the damned substance didn't even exist (just one of many very strong health- and nutrition-related views I hold). The problem with tobacco is that many people did not have this essential information, because of the lies of the tobacco companies and their other criminal (IMO) activities, such as trying to get teenagers hooked.--Jim]

    They are now campaigning for the coal and oil and (fracking) gas companies (which they own) to have the freedom to continue exploiting fossil fuels. Their technique has not changed. Their campaign is still based on emphasising the doubts scientists have in order to persuade the public that there is no urgency. We are playing into their hands if we too emphasise our doubts. As Schneider proposed, we must put those doubts aside and recognise that it is our duty to warn the public of the scary consequences of increasing CO2, just as the doctor has a duty to warn a patient of the consequences of smoking.

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 22 Jan 2014 @ 5:04 PM

  130. How can we solve the problem of public talks which regularly touch on climate in a way that diminishes audience understanding of its urgency? How many of us are feeling “climate silenced” and wishing others who haven’t yet been silenced would speak up? How can we know whether what we’re facing is an opportunity to stand up and do the right thing, or carefully crafted mudslinging bait? Does stepping into the realm of unfathomably powerful fossil fuel interests mean we’ll never be able to tell the difference until it’s too late?

    Comment by Say something — 22 Jan 2014 @ 5:50 PM

  131. Michael E Mann interviewed by KCWR on his NYT op http://climatestate.com/2014/01/23/michael-e-mann-if-you-see-something-say-something/

    Comment by prokaryotes — 23 Jan 2014 @ 6:18 AM

  132. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycD38HRc1gY (Kevin Anderson/Alice Bows – Royal Society of philosophical transaction)

    Yes definitely speak out

    IPCC AR4 – filtered through lawyers and economists.

    Comment by Pete Best — 23 Jan 2014 @ 9:54 AM

  133. Mike ought to examine the methods and materials of the polemic book he cites with the same critical vigor he applies to the articles he is called upon to review.

    Comment by Russell — 23 Jan 2014 @ 10:23 AM

  134. Sorry id this is a double post, but the first one appeared to go…poof:

    Not having a fraction of the climate knowledge of most of the posters on this site, (although I have spent hundreds of hours reading what I can on climate change, and a fair per cent of that on this site,) I offer myself as a guinea pig to your powers of persuasion.
    I smoke three cigarets a day and burn five cords of wood each year. I have a huge garden with compost pile, don’t use much home heating oil but do use petro-based fertilizers and obviously gasoline to run my chain saws, rototiller, lawn mower, vehicles etc. I am guessing that my household/homestead produces more CO2 than it consumes, but that my overall deficit is less than it is for the average person, but who knows?
    I burn the wood because it is cold in the winter and I run the a/c because it is hot in the summer in New England.
    Each cigaret now costs about 40 cents and each gallon of gas around 3.40. I am not hurting for money and, I suppose COULD pay 80 cents a cigaret and $10 a gallon for gasoline if I had to, but, not being a missionary or an activist, I am not volunteering for said duty.
    One of the major reasons I don’t completely trust your nostrums is that scientists, although they always progress over time, are often wrong. Vitamin E and nuclear winter come to mind. I have also been permanently affected, at least until now, by the purloined emails, which, although they did not reveal fraud, did reveal how badly these supposedly objective scientists needed/wanted to prove, not just their hypothesis, but their belief. Then there is this “smoothing”that has to be done, analysis of ancient tree rings and ice cores, global temperature reading at all those stations over who knows how many years, done by people who (in my mind) have a strong agenda. Then we are hot with predictions about extreme weather, as if we have not ALWAYS had extreme weather, droughts, blizzards, hurricanes. But wait, what do I know, just the history of many of these past events, but I don’t have data on a graph about the events that supposedly happened and how often they happened, blah, blah.
    The news would have us believe that there are unbelievable disasters happening every day, and AGW gets thrown in there a lot, but when you don’t that excited about the latest snow storm, blizzard, or heat wave that is being hyped on the day’s news, you/I tend to dismiss much the AGW stuff as more of the same. I will grant you that a serious drought would get my attention, but I have transcribed an old diary talking about a frightful drought in Massachesetts in 1762. Droughts happen, apparently.
    There is no question that I can be asked, “who are you to question the experts?” but there is also no question that until people like me in the mushy middle are convinced, that we will not push for all the inconvenient, if not crippling, proscriptions flying about.

    I have always supported the reduction of emissions, clean water standards, tree planting, conservation of green open space etc., but this CO2 stuff seems so close to questioning/challenging the very EXISTENCE of who we are and how we live, that one needs a religious experience to embrace the new order. Not there yet.

    Comment by Dwight Mac Kerron — 23 Jan 2014 @ 10:47 AM

  135. Apparently none of you experts get it. You think your role is limited to polite discourse, while we’re talking about near-term collapse and human extinction, caused by our near-total failure to address the human contribution to climate change.

    Some of you are choosing to hide behind your credentials and presumed “roles” as if this cloak will protect you. What will you do then when the climate goes absolutely ape and then policy makers and the public decry your reticence? Continue to claim that you were “just doing your job”? Do you really and truly believe you have done all that you can, especially considering the extreme threat this now poses to humanity?

    I “dare” call you out on this point because there are in fact a great many of us in the public that do not think you have done enough. Ladbury’s high and mighty assumption is that science is “unassailable” to the unwashed public whom is deemed “unworthy” to question. Bullshit. My child is qualified to question ALL of you – and clearly should. His LIFE is at stake here.

    What do you think the public is going to do to all of you scientists if you don’t get off the pot and force this issue to the forefront with our policy makers? Got a good place to hide?

    And why do ANY of you actually think you need to convince the public of anything? The public does not set policy. The public doesn’t do a damned thing except complain and ask for more crumbs. It isn’t the public that is going to change the outcome now. This is not your target audience and never has been. You’re quite ignorant of this fact.

    Ladbury, you’re an arrogant d**k and you need to be b* slapped into sensibility. You understood nothing in my post. I will simply ignore you from here on out because you are simply not bright enough to pick up on the specific points I brought forward. I have no use for fools.

    For ten years I have been publishing the documents and the research and the news regarding climate collapse and environmental collapse. I’ve done everything I can to inform the public – but I realize that this is in error as I’ve mentioned above. It is pointless to expect the public to “lead” – they’ve got no idea where they’re going. You’re not handing them anything when a new scientific report or assessment on the current state of affairs comes out. It’s meaningless to them because they do not and never have had the tools to do anything about it.

    But science? Science should be taking the lead. A planetary emergency exists and I keep reading about how “you can’t” do this or “you can’t” do that or what your “role” supposedly is. Unbelievable. What a pathetic excuse this is. You scientist ALONE have the credentials and the respect of your peers and institutions regarding your own finding. It’s nearly pointless for the non-credentialed to “raise the alarm”. You don’t even recognize your own roles or responsibilities after you’ve made your discoveries and investigations that now affect ALL of humanity and the future of this planet. Unbelievable.

    Why don’t you band together and demand a global forum? It’s time to put your job and your careers on the line. You apparently lack the imagination – or the courage – to do what needs to be done. Passing the “buck” to the public to “demand change” is absurd beyond belief. It’s up to YOU scientists to do this – you’re the ones that the policy-makers must listen to because you are the experts – not us.

    I think none of you really understand what is going on here. We’re talking about the future of the biosphere and the habitability of the planet, but you’re still arguing amongst yourselves, or like Ladbury, getting his panties in a bunch because someone finally dared point out the obvious.

    If this is the best you can do – then the rest of us are well and truly screwed, because it means NOBODY has the courage to step up to the plate. Science and the public HAVE tried – I am quite aware of this. But it has utterly failed and you all know it. Therefore, you must raise your game considerably higher, because the stakes are far to high to continue to fail. You NEED to band together – and FORCE the attention of Congress and this Administrator and EVERY government of the world by SOME means.

    If what you’ve done hasn’t worked – why keep doing it?

    Don’t fall for the illusion that you need another assessment or another report or another study to present to your stake-holders, you’ve done that already, in spades (and I did NOT advocate you stop science research at all). We need YOU to lay it on the line now in a unified stance against the ongoing denial, disinformation and lack of action.

    Or not. You can continue to do what you’ve done and watch what we’ve already seen – denial, obfuscation, disbelief, disinterest and the ongoing disintegration of the planet. You apparently believe we’ve plenty of time left. You apparently believe that you’ve done your best. You apparently believe that it’s not serious enough to start breaking all the “rules” you think control you.

    It no longer matters what “laws” need to be broken or whether or not “scientist should be advocating policy”. Those of you still stuck in this mold are fools and cowards. You’re not bright enough to realize that when survival is at stake, the “rules” are useless and were only useful when we could expect them to apply. We are FAST approaching the point when ALL the rules and laws will go out the window. Do you have ANY idea what it’s going to be like when civil disorder breaks down? Do you really think “the rules” will be meaningful – or that you will belatedly realize that you should have done all that you could to prevent this from happening? And if you really have no idea what policy should be established – FIND SOMEBODY THAT DOES and advoate THAT. There has got to be some qualified people among you.

    And if you think our policy makers are the best we “have” for setting policy – then you have NO IDEA how policy is actually created. American politicians are complete idiots compared to most of you. They are beholden to corporate interests and the policies adopted by this country are not going to do anything that threatens this relationship. They simply do what they are told by their handlers. It is quite obvious however that this must be changed, and as soon as possible. Forget voting as I already pointed out – the public does not and never has controlled the direction of this country. We are NOT going to “vote” ourselves into a habitable climate. Many of you still believe this utter nonsense (wake up). If this is going to happen, it’s going to be rammed down our throats because that is exactly what it is going to take to break the strangle-hold the corporate world holds over Congress.

    You guys need to step outside the box, grow some big balls and get deadly serious about forcing Congress to demand fundamental changes on how we’re ruining this planet, ASAP. You should have been bright enough to have figured this out – a decade ago. We need our scientists – and we do respect you – but you MUST step up to the plate and make this happen.

    [Response: Knock it off with the inflammatory, accusatory language. Thanks.--Jim]

    Comment by J.R. — 23 Jan 2014 @ 12:06 PM

  136. > J.R. … For ten years I have been publishing …

    Anonymously? Anyone we might recognize?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Jan 2014 @ 12:37 PM

  137. JR, your rant is so riddled with contradictions it’s bizarre you claim to be doing ‘everything you can to inform’. If science can’t influence politicians because the politicians are controlled by ‘corporate interests’, and the public can’t influence the politicians OR corporate interests, how are scientists expected to “force” political change? Don’t blame the messenger.

    Comment by flxible — 23 Jan 2014 @ 1:04 PM

  138. J.R. #135,

    Your post over-generalizes in parts, but I like the overall message. It reflects the urgency of taking the RIGHT corrective action.

    “You apparently believe we’ve plenty of time left.”

    This is one of the over-generalizations I find problematical. Who is the ‘YOU’ to whom you refer? I can only speak for myself, but if you read my posts on this thread and Unforced Variations for Dec and Jan, I said nothing of the sort. I concluded, based on 1) Hansen’s concern that any temperature increases above prior-Holocene experience would take us into uncharted waters, and could be dangerous, and 2) cessation of CO2 emissions studies in the published literature, that WE HAVE RUN OUT OF CARBON BUDGET. That’s far beyond even where you have gone!

    Now, we understand quite well what we would do if we ran out of personal budget, and the types of cutbacks we would have to make until we got back on our feet. As you can see from the responses to my posts calling for an inclusion of sharp demand cutbacks in parallel with rapid introduction of renewables and implementation of off-the-shelf energy efficiency improvements, even on this climate advocacy blog few are willing to support such measures (Wili and Tony Weddle being notable exceptions).

    So, the first step needed as a foundation for the type of action you recommend is that the climate advocacy community come up with a clear, simple, and unified message, which contains the credible components to lead to a real solution. As should be obvious from the posts on this blog, and the other major climate advocacy blogs as well, there is no clear or simple or unified message, and most of the messages you see here will not lead to a real solution of the problem. Implementation of many of the proposals you see on this blog, and I have pointed out a few, would lead to interim temperatures well into the danger zone, with potentially unthinkable consequences.

    So, your call for action, while certainly laudable, is putting the cart before the horse. We need to get some agreement among ourselves what to propose, or there’s no way we will convince the general public to support these efforts in any way.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 23 Jan 2014 @ 1:16 PM

  139. Re- Comment by Dwight Mac Kerron — 23 Jan 2014 @ 10:47 AM

    You have offered your opinions about how you are informed by science and provided a few factual examples that you apparently think are especially telling. I suggest that you are confusing science with the popular press and other non-scientific sources of information. Could you explain how you know about the scientific falsehood of, for example, nuclear winter and why data “smoothing” is bad (vitamin E is another good one, but not as appropriate for this site). I think you may have been misled.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 23 Jan 2014 @ 2:28 PM

  140. It’s unbelievable that this is still an issue. I don’t understand how people can ignore scientific fact which has been proven. It has to be chosen ignorance right?

    Comment by Matt — 23 Jan 2014 @ 4:35 PM

  141. J. R.: “Ladbury, you’re an arrogant d**k and you need to be b* slapped into sensibility.”

    Ooh, jump down, get back. J. R.’s an internet toughguy. Congrat’s JR, you’ve topped even the stupidity of your last post. Kudos, assclown. The saddest thing in your post is that you’ve managed to reproduce.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Jan 2014 @ 5:48 PM

  142. While JR doesn’t raise any points worthy of anything beyond derision, his screed is an indication of a concern I’ve long had. Those of us who’ve been in this fight for decades now know that fossil fuel interests and libertarian political organizations have been quite effective in “teaching the controversy” even where none exists. However, this can’t go on forever. Mother Nature bats last, and she’s a bitch. So, the denialati need to plan an exit strategy so they don’t get the blame for the caca that is heading our way.

    Watch them blame it on the scientists–the very people who have to date been most active in drawing attention to the threats of climate change. And anti-science clowns like JR will be there to link arms. JR and his ilk will hide safely behind their Intertube anonymity while climate scientist continue to get death threats.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Jan 2014 @ 6:10 PM

  143. Dwight,

    I’m a scientist (not in the climate game) who has been persuaded by the evidence that the understanding of our climate, developed in part by the people who put together this site is correct, within the normal standards of the progression of science. But the kinds of things that persuade me won’t persuade you because you don’t have the same tool kit to work with. First, of course is the basic science…CO2 being a greenhouse gas, the need to balance incoming and outgoing energy for the earth to stay at a roughly constant temperature. Then there’s the consilience, a fancy word for how it all hangs together. And third is the elimination of alternatives. Now maybe, maybe you grok that and say, that’s not where you’re hung up… it’s the business of predicting the future, the consequences and the need to take action. That’s where the tools come in again for me. I’ve done modeling and rhetoric about things being too complex, or having to explain everything, or have an infinite degree of accuracy don’t impress me. “Close enough” means something.

    The question is for folks like you-whether you can take some time and acquire some of the tools, or whether you will always have to base your opinion on surrogates such as other people’s actions and opinions.

    One conclusion you seem to have drawn is that there is a strong agenda. I’m not sure what your exposure to scientists is, but going along with the flow isn’t why people become scientists. You can talk about curiosity driven research, but the competitive urge to one up the last guy and plant your flag on top of the hill is far stronger than running with the herd. That’s why we still have Lindzen, Curry, Spencer and Christy fighting a rear-guard action. If you look more closely at the literature you’ll see disputes all over the place- one of my current interests is the Francis/Trenberth/Hansen difference on Polar Amplification and the effect of Arctic Ice loss. There are many others, including what I regard as a tedious and pointless niggling about the exact warming provided by doubling the CO2 levels, when I think we are far less certain of the effects of a given degree of warming and the rate at which we force it to happen.

    So the question is what a prudent path is. I’m sure we’ve all heard about the philosophy on “homeland security” that action should be taken even if there’s a 1% chance of a terrorist attack. Those actions have costs, consequences and unforeseen consequences. I suspect that the unforeseen consequences of geopolitical actions from the aftermath of the 1st world war are still playing out today.

    Now I think, based on paleoclimate data that even if we waved a magic wand, and stopped right here at 400 ppm of CO2 in the air we’re committed to a very different world over the course of several centuries. No north polar ice, trees up to the shore of the Arctic Ocean. Displacement of agricultural zones, devastation and reorganization of many tropical and temperate ecosystems are among the likely possibilities that reside along the long slow path.

    But we’re not going to stick at 400 ppm and we’ll be lucky to stop at 600 ppm given politics and organized disinformation campaigns. So we’re facing more likely quick change over the span of decades and not centuries. Flood and drought cause civilizations to collapse. I don’t care that regional extremes have happened before I’m concerned about what to expect in the severity and duration of the ones to come.

    Prudence. How much do you spend now to avoid problems later? How much insurance do you buy? How much of the path do we need to walk eventually anyhow? (nearly all of it because fossil fuels aren’t infinite).

    You raise an interesting point about scientist having been wrong in the past. It’s true. But you missed the other side of things: Every other approach to the world has been wronger…more often with worse consequences. Law, Politics, Religion, Philosophy, have terrible records when it comes to what the nature of the world is. Which of those areas of human endeavor would you look to instead of science for the truth about Vitamin E and nuclear winter? Never mind whether the stories you know are the popular press versions of things, or the real McCoy- what other discipline can you look to but science?

    Comment by Dave123 — 23 Jan 2014 @ 7:43 PM

  144. > reproduce
    What was he thinking, to do that at a time like this?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Jan 2014 @ 7:44 PM

  145. “forcing Congress”

    And how in bldy hell does anyone ‘force’ congress to do anything, especially if you are going to ignore the public and voting and trying to do anything with individual congresspeople??

    Look, I, and as far as I can tell pretty much all posters here, agree that the situation is beyond urgent. But you haven’t presented anything very helpful here–just a lot of ‘don’t's: Don’t bother educating the public; Don’t vote; Don’t try to influence congress…but somehow DO FORCE congress to do something. Are you proposing that the scientists stage a coup?? Otherwise, what substantive contribution do you think you are making here?94522323

    (By the way, JR, very few of the regular posters here are climate scientists. So are you primarily addressing your screed to the moderators?)

    Comment by wili — 23 Jan 2014 @ 8:18 PM

  146. reading this thread reminds me of the progression

    1) it’s not happening
    2) it’s not us
    3) it’s not bad
    4) it’s too hard
    5) it’s too late

    different individuals are, of course, at different stages

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 23 Jan 2014 @ 8:24 PM

  147. To avoid being successfully trolled keep responses to provocative posts to a minimum. I try for two sentences, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. This is especially true for initial posts where you can ask a specific question in a friendly manner in case the poster is just naive.

    The climate denial trolls will expose their nasty hobby very quickly when frustrated and I check the Bore Hole frequently when I suspect a troll. Frustrating a troll is very satisfying but if you write an essay they are laughing.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 23 Jan 2014 @ 8:55 PM

  148. A lot of the commenting on this post is about what scientist should or can do about anthropogenic global warming (AGW). The most valuable thing scientists can do is the science itself.

    After that we are talking about different full-time jobs with a different skill set. I have worked at a big-green environmentalist group and saw this. Environmentalist may not be the most popular people with everyone, but they are the ones in the trenches fighting the good fight. There are scientists, full blown Phd researchers, who struggle with juggling the competing roles they have to take working as employees for these groups.

    If I had to pick one thing scientist can do is start a group that just focused on disseminating to the general public what the AGW science facts are. I’m not sure if there are groups doing only that, other than blogs like RealClimate. It would be a simpler thing to do, having scientist testify for things they know best. They would not stray into laws, lobbying, economics etc. They could be like expert witnesses for the scientific truth.

    Comment by Joseph O'Sullivan — 23 Jan 2014 @ 9:43 PM

  149. Steve,

    The essay is useful for my own purposes. The real troll came by in the first 50 or so posts when he talked about climate corresponding to models any minute now. Ignored that one, as there are far better parties here to talk about models than me.

    But I love counter-trolling the model issue elsewhere by asking people who say the models aren’t right to specify exactly how wrong they are, and to say how close is good enough. I’ve never gotten a reply to those questions. Me? I think Christy’s little game evades his published statements about the error coming from measurement, and then reminding people how he personally was responsible for measurement errors in the 1990s. I’d love to see him confronted with that at a Senate Hearing.

    Professor Christy- Did you or did you not author in 2006 a consensus paper that identified the difference between models and tropopsheric tempearture measurements as most likely coming from measurement errors? Yes or no please.

    Professor Christy- Is it not true that in the 1990s you and Professor Spenser were responsible for a gross error in the tropospheric temperature measurements, favoring your bias towards no global warming? Yes or no, please.

    Thank you. No further questions.

    And for the ordinary model sets, I note that for 2013 the central estimate of CMIP 5 is only 0.0125 C higher than actual, while in 1998 it was 0.02 lower and ask: why isn’t this close enough.

    and the captcha is good for this: calamity Deekar

    Comment by Dave123 — 23 Jan 2014 @ 9:53 PM

  150. Dwight, “this CO2 stuff,” as you put it, doesn’t question or challenge the very existence of who we are and how we live, it just doesn’t give a rat’s ass who we are and how we live. Nor does it care if you’re convinced or not. It just does what it does and always has done: absorb some of the energy that the planet sheds, thereby making the planet warmer than it otherwise would be. Adding more will make it warmer still, as it always has. The how is obviously more complex than that, but the end result is just that simple.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 23 Jan 2014 @ 11:29 PM

  151. Mike

    Why do scientists need to be apologetic about informed advocacy, when advocacy is a core value of those opposing the mainstream – to the extent that their advocacy will embrace any argument even when they contradict themselves?

    Somehow, being an advocate when you are almost certainly right is unacceptable whereas being an advocate when you are almost certainly wrong is just fine.

    People like Richard Lindzen are no strangers to the op-ed pages, and the people who took you on in the faux hockey stick controversy did not restrict their commentary to scientific publication – I wouldn’t call subjecting someone to multiple levels of inquisition rather than publishing scientific rebuttals standard scientific etiquette.

    The gloves have been off for a long time, and the people who threw the Queensberry rules out of the window are on the anti-science side.

    It’s time we started saying this loud and clear, and stopped letting them get away with the myth that the mainstream has somehow perverted science to a political and rather doubtfully-constructed economic agenda, when it is clearly the case that the denial camp is guilty of all the above (except the economic case is crystal clear).

    More on this at my blog.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 24 Jan 2014 @ 3:35 AM

  152. I still say that the case needs to be articulated by professional media types. We have access to these folks and they are listening and will help but an we have to make an urgent appeal. I mentioned people like Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DeCaprio and many others who have already had success in addressing environmental problems utilizing their cenematic skills. Robert Redford is on the Board of Directors of the NRDC. We need a massive PR campaign by people who know how to use a camera. The scientific message as presented by scientists has absolutely no “sex appeal” and will not get the attention it deserves. Bill Nye is great but it’s not enough. You’re going to have to employ people with the media skills if you want your message to be heard. I think most of the people I mentioned would gladly volunteer their time and efforts. Again, it’s going to take a MASSIVE PR campagin from people who have the skill and ability to do it. It’s not an impossible task.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 24 Jan 2014 @ 5:28 AM

  153. Dwight Mac Kerron@134
    You say you have a problem with the science being carried out by human beings with an agenda. OK, can you introduce me to a person with an IQ above room temperature who doesn’t have an agenda? Do you have similar concerns about scientists doing research in evolution? Wouldn’t scientists doing orbital mechanics have a vested interest in the heliocentric solar system hypothesis? Do you realize that the theory of anthropogenic global warming is older than quantum mechanics and relativity, far older than the discovery of DNA and just a bit younger than the theories of Darwin and Mendel from which descended modern biology?

    With all due respect, does it occur to you that maybe you are asking the wrong question? Maybe the question you should be asking is: “How is it that science can be so successful as to completely revolutionize the way humans live and look at the world in 4 short centuries when it is practiced by fallible humans who all have an agenda?”

    THAT is a question that gives you an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of how science works. To start understanding that question, you have to begin with the understanding that what motivates scientists is an insatiable curiosity to understand how their object of study works. That, above all else, defines their agenda. If they fudge data or selectively interpret results, they retard that goal and they squander the opportunity to be the one to revolutionize their field.

    A second key to understanding how science works is that not all hypotheses are equally well established. We regard evolution as a fact, because it is so central to understanding biology that the field would be altered completely without it. Likewise, that humans are warming the planet is predicated on the powerful greenhouse nature of CO2–a fact so firmly established that we couldn’t even explain why there is liquid water on Earth without it. Likewise, the fact that the planet is warming is so firmly established that even when a scientists starts with an agenda to disprove anthropogenic warming (Richard Muller), he winds up producing trends that agree with all the other temperature products available.

    So, I hope you will do 2 things, Dwight. First, take the opportunity to better understand how science works. This will help you navigate the abysmal scientific reporting that exists in news media today (and is responsible for the silly-assed and contradictory headlines). Second, got off the cigarettes. A couple of years ago, I lost a good friend to lung cancer way too young. Maybe look into E-cigarettes if you can’t quit–hopefully easier on the lungs.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Jan 2014 @ 6:16 AM

  154. Dave, nice response at #143.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 24 Jan 2014 @ 9:07 AM

  155. Jim, re your in-line response in 120, I think the difference in certainty regarding the causal chain between smoking and lung cancer vs GHG and climate change are not so wildly different as you make them out to be, though it depends very much on how it’s being expressed.

    [Response: Agreed on that last phrase Bart--and I was trying to respond to Alastair's specific question. The difference between the two issues is the certainty, and severity, of the likely final effect, given the proximate effect. In tobacco-related oncology the proximate effect for a random individual (getting cancer or not), is quite uncertain, but the certainty of the final effect (death), given the proximate effect arising, is strong. In climate change, you could argue it's the opposite: the certainty of the proximate effect (climate change) is relatively high, whereas the certainty of the final effects thereof on human health/welfare is very low. Relatedly, the pathways by which harmful effects can occur are much different in the two situations, and because of this, the certainty with with ultimate causes can be inferred, in cancer vs climate change effects, is vastly different. Having said that, both situations, if we think of them as dose/response studies, are heavily dependent on the dose administered. But note also that he phrased it in terms of certainty of sudden climate changes, specifically--Jim]

    Indeed, the possibility for double blind experiments means that in toxicology a much higher standard of proof can be achieved than in earth system science.

    But for sake of argument, let’s assume that the certainty in the causal chains mentioned above is 99.9% vs 99%. That means a factor of 10 difference in chance of it being incorrect (0.1 vs 1%). But barely a 1% difference in the (in both cases very large) chance of it being correct. For public and political relevance, both is about as certain as it could possibly be.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 24 Jan 2014 @ 10:04 AM

  156. “The Climate Debating Game”
    – by Horatio Algeranon

    We’ll argue till the day we die
    And children will ask “Why? Oh why?”
    We didn’t do a single thing
    And we’ll just say “We had our fling,
    And now it’s your turn for a time
    Don’t think about the future clime”

    Comment by Horatio Algeranon — 24 Jan 2014 @ 10:10 AM

  157. <a href="http://www.who.int/tobacco/health_priority/en/&quot;

    Why tobacco is a public health priority

    Tobacco use kills more than 5 million people per year. It is responsible for 1 in 10 adult deaths. Among the five greatest risk factors for mortality, it is the single most preventable cause of death. …
    … The economic costs of tobacco use are equally devastating….
    … Tobacco use and poverty are inextricably linked…. in the poorest households in some low- and middle-income countries, more than 10% of total household expenditure is on tobacco.

    Sounds a lot like coal and diesel fuel.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Jan 2014 @ 12:38 PM

  158. I appreciate the generally civil and informed responses. I would ask that people note that I did say that scientists WERE responsible for much of our progress, so I was not trying to trash all science, but merely pointing out that there are a number of short term over-assertions, dead ends, and/or findings which get taken by others to sell a product, pass a law etc.
    I made an earlier post which went poof, which added my local context of weather (not climate) where I am currently burning wood in two stoves 24/7 as New England gets another extended patch of polar air. Hell, I will grant that because the cold air is here, it is not elsewhere, there possibly being a zero-sum, and allegedly overall decreasing pool of cold air, but we certainly have no shortage thereof right now in Massachusetts.
    I also would not dispute that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and has some warming effect. What I do not accept is that there is a tipping point in the near future at which point all the polar ice will be gone and Massachusetts will be Florida. Yes, there are a variety of unknowns from volcanoes to large meteor strikes to earth wobbles to the Rumsfeldian unknowns that you don’t even know that you don’t know…. which can be game-changers and kill us all off, but…so it goes.
    I also make a judgment about myself and a majority of my fellow human beings that we want/need our nice cheap stuff, which includes warm houses in the winter, cooled houses in the summer. I won’t even mention what the developing world needs/wants. To me the tipping point will be when the expense of petro fuel, because of scarcity, not regulation, reaches par with the alternatives, which as far as I can tell, despite a few assertions to the contrary here, has not happened.
    I acknowledge that it is valid to bring up the ways in which our government subsidizes the petro industry and how that balances out with how they tax it.
    Given my varied interests, I could make the case that I already spend to much time puttering and occasionally posting on climate sites, so, short of a Road to Damascus experience, I am not likely to get too deep into all the science, but I will listen to you folks kick it around and sometimes follow links.
    (I did make a short post comparing JR to Robespierre and sympathizing with you for the fire you take from those long on emotion and short on process.) Is there some secret to typing out the anti-spam Decaptcha words, the first one I often find nearly impossible to decipher.

    Comment by Dwight Mac Kerron — 24 Jan 2014 @ 12:57 PM

  159. What I do not accept is that there is a tipping point in the near future at which point all the polar ice will be gone and Massachusetts will be Florida.

    - See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-4/#comment-452484

    Citation needed, if you claim anyone, anywhere, said that.
    If you just made that claim up, for rhetoric, please stop.

    You’re illustrating the problem. Shifting baselines underlies incredulity about long-term changes in the world that science detects, while individual people can’t see them happening.

    world.http://www.qc.edu/biology/Waldman/Images/Goliath_Grouper.png
    from Loren McClenachan’s already classic 2009 ‘shifting baselines’ paper on changes in sizes of fish landed at a Florida dock between 1956 and 1979

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Jan 2014 @ 2:36 PM

  160. Dwight- What I don’t understand is where you get “What I do not accept is that there is a tipping point in the near future at which point all the polar ice will be gone and Massachusetts will be Florida. ” I don’t know **anyone** who says that kind of thing except people with a definite agenda to dismiss what we know about the earth’s climate and our future. The same people who want to say “catastrophic AGW”, or who say that people have changed the name from global warming to climate change (or is it the other way around).

    I don’t know about you, but Near Future means to me what it means to most people in the business world: the next 3 years. (I just got out of a client meeting discussing exactly that about their business plans…long term is 5-10 years). The best estimates of polar ice disappearing in the summmer are around 2030. Again the spin and propaganda on this stuff is just awful: Al Gore gives a speech in which he says that scientists have made a range predictions with the extreme low end being 2016+/- 3 years, and others 20-30 years later. This gets twisted into “Al Gore predicted that sea ice would be gone in 2013…ha ha he got it wrong”, by people with problematic morals. (The whole reason this came up was that the models had been saying about 2100 for this, and they’re pretty clearly wrong on that point….far wronger than they might (and I mean might) be about current matches with Global Mean Surface Temperature.

    I learned sailing from my late New Englander father-in-law, and one of the points was the bigger the boat the earlier you had to react to avoid colliding the with iceberg ahead. Climate is on helluva big boat. In order to have a chance of lessening the affects 50-100 years out we need to start now…and the sooner we start the less draconian we have to be about it. The whole point IS to avoid giving up the air conditioners and living in 40 degree houses (I spent some time in winter in Nanjing a few years back where people kept warm indoors with personal hot water bottles and lots of hot tea….far cheaper than heating the University buildings).

    Lastly, there is no country on earth where there are “natural” fuel prices…every place either taxes or subsidizes fuel costs…sometimes both. Only at the wholesale level do you see anything like a free-market in energy.

    If you look at the modern western world as a whole we have a lot of what I’ll call discretionary spending power. One thing we can do is have the discretion to focus that on replacing high CO2 emitting energy generation with other alternatives. It’s kind of like the choice of fixing the leaking roof on the house or buying the 60″ TV on a personal level. It’s a choice we can make and still have our basic life style. You can live with the 40″ display.

    Comment by Dave123 — 24 Jan 2014 @ 4:11 PM

  161. Jim,

    You wrote to Bart (#155)”the certainty of the final effects thereof on human health/welfare is very low. … he phrased it in terms of certainty of sudden climate changes, specifically–Jim]

    Perhaps it would have been more apt if I had cited this book: Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (2002), also a NAP publication.

    But even if abrupt climate change is not inevitable, disastrous consequences will follow if we do not persuade the public to curb the burning of fossil fuels. The reason is simple. If we fail to convince them, then CO2 will increase until there is a major catastrophe, or conditions become unbearable. Moreover, when that happens then the climate will continue to warm because of what is called commitment. The AR5 Headlines end:
    “Cumulative emissions of CO2 largely determine global mean surface warming by the late 21st century and beyond. Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped. This represents a substantial multi-century climate change commitment created by past, present and future emissions of CO2.”

    For instance, I had noticed that when temperatures rise above 40C wild fires become more dangerous. If CO2 continues to rise and temperatures continue to rise then there will be more cases of temperatures above 40C. That means more dangerous wild fires.

    AISI, the public don’t believe that catastrophes happen, but they do. No-one thought when the first World war began that 37 million people would die. No-one thinks that if we do not stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere that billions could die. But if the climate becomes unsuitable for agriculture that is what could happen!

    [Response: I think about all I can say is (1) of all potential impacts, concern for those to agricultural systems should indeed be #1 on the list, and (2) that fire behavior and danger depends on much more than ambient temperature (and in fact, temperature is typically a relatively minor consideration)--Jim]

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 24 Jan 2014 @ 6:17 PM

  162. Dwight Mac Kerron,
    The question of “tipping points” is one that is actively being researched. There are several candidates, including Arctic methane, complete loss of Arctic ice during Summer months and even the question of how much warming is in the pipeline. So, do you remember how I said that there are varying degrees of how confident we are in a result? These come under the rubric of moderate confidence but high impact. If any of them materializes, then we are well and truly screwed.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Jan 2014 @ 6:26 PM

  163. Dwight, you might want to ponder this:

    From the ice core record we know that CO2 has never been higher than ~300 ppm over the last 800,000 years covered by the ice core record. Other evidence indicates that the last time CO2 stood at the current level of just under 400 ppm was around 2.5 million years ago during the Pliocene, when evidence also shows that global mean temperature was 2-3C (3.5-5.5F) warmer, and sea level around 25m (81ft) higher than today. Assuming we make no progress on reducing our output of CO2 from burning fossil carbon any time soon, that is the world we are heading for. It will take several hundred years to get there, probably over 1000 years, as there is a lot of ocean to warm and a lot of ice that has to melt to get there, but the past shows us were we are heading because Earth has been there before. It’s in the geologic record. It is a known known.

    I would urge you to learn more about the science. I recommend Spencer Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming. It’s available to read for free on-line at http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.htm

    Comment by Jim Eager — 24 Jan 2014 @ 8:08 PM

  164. I see that two of Michael Wallace’s posts got boreholed, which leaves me wondering if he’s followed the discussion since. But since I don’t have any other way of communicating with him here goes in two parts:

    Michael claims we’ve discarded 80 years of data. The problem is that the pH meter with glass electrodes was invented in 1936, and certainly didn’t come into wide use until the 1940s. So if we say that modern collection w/o glass electrodes started in 1993, that means Michael is talking about data collected long prior to 1936….and that means titration using color changing indicators. Those are even less accurate than pH meters with glass electrodes. Titrations are such fussy business. Now maybe I’ve misunderstood Michael, and he’s trying to count backwards from 2010, in which case you get to the 1930s. But he will have to be sure of the method used, and its accuracy and precision.

    Part two is this that I’ve been strongly influenced by Tamino, who regularly generates synthetic data to show what we can and can’t figure out from the real data (because the real data is always an estimate while there’s no dispute about the synthetic data).

    I think Michael could save himself a lot of time and grief if he either did the following himself or got a statistician to help him with it.

    1. Generate two sets of artificial data. One assuming that the 0.002 unit acidification has been going on from 1930, with an arbitrary pH base of say 8.3. The second one would take the model data he doesn’t like- that will be non-linear, and treat the smoothed curve as synthetic data.

    2. Using a properly large synthetic data set, then apply our RealClimate consensus accuracy of 0.03 pH units (for two standard deviations) to generate a random normal error around the synthetic trends in each case.

    3. Then round the resulting numbers to the number of significant figures for the pH meters used (almost certainly two significant figures. Eg 8.22

    4. Now do various regression and curve fitting analyses on the synthetic data with an imposed random error. Can 40, 50 years worth of data pick up signal for the linear synthetic data? (about 0.1 pH units). What about the curve for the model output with random error imposed. I suspect you might be able to do the former, but probably not the later.

    For Tamino (or equivalent) this would probably be a few hours worth of work. You’d have a sanity check on the whole argument. Why spend a zillion hours validating however many pH measurements were made if you can show that they can’t generate a statistically significant result from synthetic data?

    Comment by Dave123 — 24 Jan 2014 @ 10:46 PM

  165. Regarding “Massachusetts becoming Florida”:

    On January 22, 2014 the high temperature of Sitka, Alaska was 56 degrees F. The high temperature of Jacksonville, Florida was 45 degrees F. Just sayin’….

    [And I know weather does not equal climate. Still, it is freakishly warm up here….]

    Comment by Kevin Hood — 25 Jan 2014 @ 3:14 AM

  166. On the recommendation of Jim at #163, I just read Spencer Weart’s section on aerosols. It is a wonderful compilation of a lot of stuff, and generally re-enforces my view that there are lot of unknowns in the mix and that each (well, every so often) new study can trigger a whole new bunch of dramatic concerns about the planet. It’s the “here’s why my study is important” or “here’s why you should pay attention to this story” syndrome, a very human thing.
    It also leads me to respond to Jim’s point about CO2 levels in the ice cores, that there are also most likely a lot of other variables at play. I can understand the point of view that all other things being equal, higher CO2 means higher temperatures. But, obviously, other things are never always equal and it has seemed to me for some time that higher temperatures would force there to me more water vapor in the atmosphere and that rain would have to fall somewhere and we would work with that.
    It also still seems more likely to me that we will do things like put more sulphur back into the air to intentionally create cooling, detonate some massive bombs, and/or create massive infrastructure canals or tunnels to move water from flood to drought… than we are to stop using petro fuel.

    #165 And there was a high temp in the teens at my house in Mass.

    Comment by Dwight Mac Kerron — 25 Jan 2014 @ 11:32 AM

  167. Congratulations, Dr. Mann.

    January 23, 2014

    A judge for the D.C. Superior Court on Thursday refused to let libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and conservative news site National Review off the hook from a defamation lawsuit brought by climatologist Michael Mann, saying the sites’ musings about the accuracy of Mann’s research may not be protected by the First Amendment.

    Comment by John McCormick — 25 Jan 2014 @ 11:39 AM

  168. Dwight Mac Kerron:

    but this CO2 stuff seems so close to questioning/challenging the very EXISTENCE of who we are and how we live, that one needs a religious experience to embrace the new order.

    Please clarify something for us. By “the very EXISTENCE of who we are and how we live” do you mean the material prosperity created by 300 years of fossil-fuel-powered economic development? If that’s what you’re saying needs a religious experience to question/challenge, then I think I understand your problem with accepting the urgency of AGW. Am I on the right track?

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 25 Jan 2014 @ 11:40 AM

  169. Without waiting for Dwight Mac Kerron’s reply to my previous post, I’ll draw his attention to An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming. Prominent signers include Roy W. Spencer and a few other scientific “skeptics”. The signers affirm their belief that AGW can’t be a serious problem because their god wouldn’t allow it. A religious experience may indeed be required before they can accept the evidence considered overwhelming by the vast majority of Spencer’s professional colleagues.

    [Response: OK, I don't like what you're implying here, at all. There are also Christians and other religious people who are very concerned with climate change. This is clearly an ad-hominem attack. No more!--Jim]

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 25 Jan 2014 @ 12:47 PM

  170. fwiw, it has indeed been freakishly warm in most of Alaska all winter. As far as that goes, the only thing I’d note is not to get too local about weather.

    Speaking of which, in the interests of precision various periods are posited for how long denotes a trend, 17 years, 30 years, but regardless of that, it might be useful to remember that regardless of the interval, one should put whatever interval into the context of all the temperature record we have. Those dips and peaks do not occur in isolation. It is only cherrypickers who wish to leave out the rest of the record, and that is plain stupid.

    (ps. Ray Ladbury, for your work here and elsewhere, thanks. Lotta sense there.)

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 25 Jan 2014 @ 1:16 PM

  171. #168 asked “Please clarify something for us. By “the very EXISTENCE of who we are and how we live” do you mean the material prosperity created by 300 years of fossil-fuel-powered economic development?” Yes.

    Comment by Dwight Mac Kerron — 25 Jan 2014 @ 3:13 PM

  172. Dwight Mac Kerron wrote (#134): “this CO2 stuff seems so close to questioning/challenging the very EXISTENCE of who we are and how we live, that one needs a religious experience to embrace the new order.”

    To quote Tonto, what do you mean “we”, kemosabe?

    A very small number of human beings, during a very short period of human history, are responsible for burning most of the fossil fuels, and emitting most of the CO2, so far.

    In no way is the “existence” of human beings, or the “existence” of a technologically advanced, prosperous human civilization, “challenged” by phasing out fossil fuels. We certainly don’t need them for energy — the energy available from sunlight and wind every year is greater than all the energy contained in all the fossil fuels on Earth.

    On the contrary, it is the continued use of fossil fuels that constitutes a grave threat to humanity.

    Even the mildest consequences of continued GHG emissions at anything like today’s levels — let alone the scientifically plausible worst outcomes — will be devastating to humanity.

    What is, of course, “challenged” by the urgent necessity of ending GHG emissions is the trillions of dollars in profit that the fossil fuel corporations expect to rake in from business-usual consumption of their products until the last drop of oil and the last crumb of coal have been dug up and burned.

    And “religious experience” has nothing to do with any of this. Common concern for our own well-being and that of our children and grandchildren is more than sufficient reason for urgent action.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 25 Jan 2014 @ 4:34 PM

  173. Regarding the comment by Mal Adapted at 169, stating briefly “Roy W. Spencer and a few other scientific “skeptics”. The signers affirm their belief that AGW can’t be a serious problem because their god wouldn’t allow it.” The site moderator responded and thinks this is a personal attack

    Totally disagree. Its a fact, and a fact cant be a personal attack. Peoples beliefs are relevant to the discussion, religious or otherwise. How many sceptics are influenced by ideology? This is important to know, its not all about “the content of the argument.” There is an element of simple credibility.

    However obviously not all christians fall into the same beliefs about climate change, but thats not the point.

    [Response: Wrong on all counts. No more on this.--Jim]

    Comment by nigelmj — 25 Jan 2014 @ 4:37 PM

  174. Jim:

    [OK, I don't like what you're implying here, at all. There are also Christians and other religious people who are very concerned with climate change. This is clearly an ad-hominem attack. No more!--Jim]

    Jim, I’m not implying that simply being religious prevents anyone from accepting the evidence for AGW. I’m well aware that there are many people of faith who are deeply concerned about climate change and other grave environmental problems (I once spent a fascinating morning riding around Portland with Peter Illyn). They aren’t among the signers of the declaration, which seems pretty unambiguous to me:

    We believe Earth and its ecosystems —created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence— are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.

    We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.

    Jim, do you honestly think that Spencer, having affirmed those statements, is entitled to claim that his “skepticism” about AGW arises from scientific objectivity?

    [Response: Look, if you have a problem with Spencer's scientific views, then stick strictly to those points. You were the one who brought him into this out of the blue in the first place, and not even in the open thread either. There's no need to bring his religious views into it, you just muddy the waters with that stuff--Jim]

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 25 Jan 2014 @ 4:57 PM

  175. > material prosperity

    … a baseline is an important reference point for measuring the health of ecosystems. It provides information against which to evaluate change. It’s how things used to be. It is the tall grass prairies filled with buffalo, the swamps of Florida teeming with bird life and the rivers of the Northwest packed with salmon. In an ideal world, the baseline for any given habitat would be what was there before humans had much impact.

    If we know the baseline for a degraded ecosystem, we can work to restore it. But if the baseline shifted before we really had a chance to chart it, then we can end up accepting a degraded state as normal — or even as an improvement.

    The number of salmon in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River today is twice what it was in the 1930s. That sounds great — if the 1930s are your baseline. But salmon in the Columbia River in the 1930s were only 10% of what they were in the 1800s. The 1930s numbers reflect a baseline that had already shifted.

    This is what most environmental groups are now struggling with. They are trying to decide: What do we want nature to look like in the future? And more important: What did nature look like in the past?

    http://www.shiftingbaselines.org/op_ed/index.html

    300 years ago, the world was ‘too cheap to meter’ — free to take.

    Our “material prosperity” couldn’t come close to buying us a planet in that condition now.

    You can’t afford it. What’s it worth?

    Where’s your prosperity, once you’ve degraded the source?

    Yum, that goose was tasty.
    Why are there no more golden eggs?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 25 Jan 2014 @ 5:04 PM

  176. No more comments on religion or religious views please. Any such will be trashed. Thanks in advance for cooperating.
    Jim

    Comment by Jim — 25 Jan 2014 @ 7:51 PM

  177. Jim, it’s your blog, and I won’t appeal your choice to trash my last comment. I will say, however, that I thought the topic of this post was “If you see something, say something.” I saw something, and I said something about it.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 25 Jan 2014 @ 8:36 PM

  178. I think the crux of the issue of scientific advocacy in the two RC posts about it is summed up in these comments by John Benton and Gavin:

    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=16540#comment-438139

    JB: “All scientists who become advocates, irrespective of who they are, cannot be trusted to produce unbiased scientific output.”

    Gavin: “So according to this theory … is it that the only scientists who are pure and objective and without any preferences can do ‘real’ science?”

    I would put the question differently: Would you trust a scientist that has “no opinion” or “no position” on other very important environmental or social issues besides climate science, say like: the psychological effects of genocide on children in certain countries? The annual slaughter of hundreds of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary? The fact that the multiple meltdowns in Japan is apparently unstoppable and that hundreds of tons of extremely radioactive water is pouring into the Pacific every day? What about Deforestation, mountaintop mining and removal, the effects of toxic waste dumping, the destruction of the ozone layer, etc. etc.?

    Would you trust a scientist that doesn’t care enough to take a position? Isn’t human enough to speak out? I would think that those are precisely the people one should doubt.

    It the extreme view of objectivity that has led to the idea of scientists as being cold and impersonal Mengeles.

    Keep in mind that when a scientist takes a position, he is placing his reputation on the line; if he is wrong he will be exposed and likely ridiculed. It is in his interest, then, to be a accurate as he can.

    Certainly, one needs to find out if the advocate has a large financial stake in the position he is taking. Thus, all scientific advocates, on whatever side, should probably reveal their sources of income, perhaps it should even be required that they do, a minor inconvenience if simply in the interests of the furtherance of science. Trust is the stepping-stone to acceptance and then action.

    One small suggestion. It would be helpful to place the captcha next to the “Say It!” button so that one doesn’t forget to write it in.

    Comment by Ron R. — 25 Jan 2014 @ 9:41 PM

  179. Possibly Mal Adapted is free-associating somewhat ponderously to all things religious. My point was that it takes a Road to Damascus type experience to put on the hair shirt of giving up “petro in any manner approaching cold turkey. Not being particularly religious now, (after a very religious childhood many moons ago,) I am not coming down the aisle to declare my commitment to the Lord of CO2 renunciation. But amelioration? …. quite possibly. And there’s always hope. Didn’t Pat Robertson declare himself to be a believer in Global Warming after a particularly hot summer several years ago?
    But there’s another obvious rub; with CO2 buildup and any related warming being a gradual and intermittent thing in the experience of living humans, statements emanating from a geological time scale cut both ways. They show that bad things will happen, but also that a lot of scary things have already happened. That is where climate can seem like “God’s will,” whether the divine power carries a thunderbolt, stone tablets, or just an inherent inclination to tip the earth’s axis, ever so slightly, every so often. Attempts to dramatize the coming apocalypse put believers in the camp with other evangelists and in the double-bind of needing to get the attention, but becoming less trusted when they do.

    Comment by Dwight Mac Kerron — 26 Jan 2014 @ 9:13 AM

  180. Ideally this discussion about advocacy wouldn’t be necessary. But since we live in a world where the hard work of scientsts in the public arena is effectively being flushed down the toilet, we’re stuck with the painful process of figuring out how best to move around the situation.

    Clearly there are no easy, palatable answers, so it’s no use hiding from unpleasant and sensitive realities. For instance one doesn’t have to intrude on religious freedom to balk at superstition intruding on science, though creationists and their cranky fellow travelers argue otherwise. Such crude and pernicious arguments should be scorned by all principled, thinking people.

    Good science is what we’re advocating for, so all open avenues and constraints regarding advocacy should be tied to specific arguments that favor promoting good science. So obvious it’s easy to forget.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 26 Jan 2014 @ 11:34 AM

  181. Robert Redford was on CNN this morning talking about Climate Change. This isn’t the exact clip because I couldn’t locate it directly but this explains what he’s trying to do: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/robert-redford-to-obama-time-to-act-on-climate-change/

    This is where the Scientific community needs to engage professional media types like Redford, combine forces and come up with a clear and powerful message utilizing the plethora of dramatic footage from the various Climate Catastrophes we’ve been experiencing the last several years. Put that with a sound scientific narrative. It could be the next BIG Reality TV Show. (Snark)

    In other words, bring ALL sides together, i.e. religious, non religious, whatever, and start pounding away at getting the message out until we drown out the denialists with solid, visible PROOF and a variety of voices from all corners. Even the Pope if necessary.

    The problem is getting the message out. Al Gore tried and did well but being a Democratic politician he became a prime target. We can’t allow the other side to “kill the messenger.” Not that they won’t try but that’s why you need professional, media savvy help. If you’re standing in water and need a plumber, you don’t call an electrician to fix the problem. There’s a powerful story here that needs to be told.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 26 Jan 2014 @ 1:04 PM

  182. Dwight wrote:

    “I can understand the point of view that all other things being equal, higher CO2 means higher temperatures.”

    That’s not a point of view, Dwight, it is a scientific fact. It is a physical reality.

    “there are also most likely a lot of other variables at play.”

    Of course there are. The mid-Pliocene is not a perfect analogue because the straight between North and South America closed at about the same time, completely altering global ocean circulation, giving rise to the Gulf Stream that now brings warmth to the north Atlantic. And although the Milankovich orbital cycles have governed the ebb and flow of the glacials and interglacials of the last million years, the pattern has not been entirely uniform over that time span.

    “But, obviously, other things are never always equal and it has seemed to me for some time that higher temperatures would force there to me more water vapor in the atmosphere and that rain would have to fall somewhere”

    Yes, higher atmospheric temperature does mean that the atmosphere can hold more moisture, aproximately 7% more per degree C rise. That’s the primary amplifying feedback of the greenhouse effect because water vapour is itself a powerful greenhouse gas. You are also spot-on that more water vapour means more precipitation when it does rain or snow. But that greater precipitation also means increased risk of flooding. Sound familiar in view of the past decade?

    “seems more likely to me that we will do things like put more sulphur back into the air to intentionally create cooling, detonate some massive bombs, and/or create massive infrastructure canals or tunnels to move water from flood to drought”

    Once you start to intentionally put blocking aerosols in the atmosphere you will have to keep doing so in perpetuity because they don’t stay there for very long and because the forcing from rising CO2 will only be masked, not halted. Were you to stop it would come roaring back higher than before in a very short time. It also does not address the problem of ocean acidification at all, while it raises the contradiction that if you think we don’t fully understand the climate system as it is, what makes you think we understand it well enough to start deliberately reengineering it?

    As for creating massive infrastructure canals or tunnels to move water from flood to drought, you must not have noticed that the industrialized world is having trouble paying for maintenance and replacement of the infrastructure it already has, never mind funding massive new schemes of the sort you imagine.

    Why seek out costly, unproven and downright risky ways to manage with the symptom instead of the best, most cost effective solutions to the root problem itself?

    Comment by Jim Eager — 26 Jan 2014 @ 1:16 PM

  183. Dwight Mac Kerron wrote: “I also make a judgment about myself and a majority of my fellow human beings that we want/need our nice cheap stuff, which includes warm houses in the winter, cooled houses in the summer.”

    Having warm houses in the winter and cooled houses in the summer does not require fossil fuels.

    Dwight Mac Kerron wrote: “I won’t even mention what the developing world needs/wants.”

    The things that people in the developing world need and want don’t require fossil fuels, and in fact cannot be provided by fossil fuels. Moreover those things are gravely threatened by global warming.

    Dwight Mac Kerron wrote: “To me the tipping point will be when the expense of petro fuel, because of scarcity, not regulation, reaches par with the alternatives, which as far as I can tell, despite a few assertions to the contrary here, has not happened.”

    First, if we continue burning fossil fuels until they actually become “scarce”, then we ensure a global catastrophe that will utterly destroy everything you just said that you value. If we are to have any hope of avoiding the worst outcomes of global warming, most of the fossil fuels remaining in the ground need to stay there.

    Second, there is every reason, and We The People have every RIGHT, to demand “regulation” of fossil fuels. To begin with we must demand that the cost of carbon pollution be internalized in the cost of fossil fuels, through some mechanism such as a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade market. Allowing those costs to be dumped on the general public amounts to a huge public subsidy to the fossil fuel producers and makes fossil fuels artificially cheap. And carbon pollution is not the only reason to regulate fossil fuels: the toxic pollution from burning coal and gasoline inflicts a massive toll of illness and death on the public.

    Third, in addition to the huge subsidy to fossil fuels represented by not putting a price on carbon pollution, there have been massive direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry for over a century, which are ongoing today, and which utterly dwarf the meager support that has only very recently been offered to the renewable energy industries. If you want a “level playing field”, that will require ending all subsidies for fossil fuels immediately and extending billions of dollars in subsidies to renewable energy for decades to come until they catch up with what has already been lavished on coal, oil and gas.

    And last, you are misinformed about the relative cost of fossil fuels and alternatives. In fact, electricity from wind and solar is already cheaper than fossil fueled electricity in many places, even without subsidies, and even without putting a price on carbon pollution. In fact, it costs less to run an electric car than to run a gasoline-fueled car, and electric cars are far less expensive to maintain.

    In short, your belief that the lifestyle you value is threatened by a rapid transition from an energy economy based on fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy is mistaken. In fact, the opposite is true: continued reliance on fossil fuels is what threatens your values.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 26 Jan 2014 @ 1:59 PM

  184. Secular Animist at #183; I don’t know whether to respond that I would not want YOU making financial decisions for a business of mine, or instead take a whopping leap of faith and hire you immediately as a financial advisor, because if you happen to be correct that the non-petro ways really are cheaper, there are billions and billions of dollars to be made by simply making a couple good investments in wind or solar.
    Alas, both you and I know that neither one is close to being cheaper at this time unless you cherry pick a few places that can push power back out into the grid some of the time. Even proponents of our off-shore Cape Wind project here in Mass. have been forced to admit that it will RAISE, not lower the electrical rates for Cape Cod.
    I belabor the obvious, but petro gives you unmatched ability to generate massive amounts of power on demand at any time, to run your “economical” electric cars… and power the rest of the country, rather than relying on an as yet uninvented huge storage capacity. Obviously, nuclear could give you immediate generation capacity, but certainly not wind and solar.
    I don’t worship the market, but I believe in it enough to “know” that if wind and solar were more efficient, they would drive out petro. Solyndra or companies like it would have taken off, not crashed and burned.
    Your system has to rely on an abstract computation of the “true” cost of petro, which you would then abitrarily add to its price as a sin tax and invest that money in the “safer” wind and solar… and batteries the size of one or many aircraft carriers. Some day, we may have that system, or one would hope, some breakthrough ways to store huge amounts of energy. When those inventions are made, they will market themselves.

    Comment by Dwight Mac Kerron — 26 Jan 2014 @ 5:29 PM

  185. Just to recall some events surrounding Christy and Spencer and keeping in mind Jim’s wise advice about ad-hominem:

    In April of 2005, Christy and Spencer stopped their regular monthly updates of their MSU T2LT data. Shortly afterward, a new version (5.2) data suddenly appeared on their web site and showed a substantial correction. But without explanation. The next day, the data was pulled off the site again. In early August, they provided version 5.2 again as a rework of their earlier MSU T2LT data. The data included the missing summer months of 2005 plus a rework of the older data. They wrote:

    “An artifact of the diurnal correction applied to LT has been discovered by Carl Mears and Frank Wentz (Remote Sensing Systems). This artifact contributed an error term in certain types of diurnal cycles, most notably in the tropics. We have applied a new diurnal correction based on 3 AMSU instruments and call the dataset v5.2. This artifact does not appear in MT or LS. The new global trend from Dec 1978 to July 2005 is +0.123 C/decade, or +0.035 C/decade warmer than v5.1. This particular error is within the published margin of error for LT of +/- 0.05 C/decade (Christy et al. 2003). We thank Carl and Frank for digging into our procedure and discovering this error. All radiosonde comparisons have been rerun and the agreement is still exceptionally good. There was virtually no impact of this error outside of the tropics.”

    (For that one day it was on the web, the correction yielded a new higher trend than before at something like 0.193 C/decade for Dec 1978 to July 2005. When it returned, that had been adjusted to 0.123C/decade. But perhaps they removed it quickly and took a breather because they recognized another unfortunate mistake slipping out.)

    John Christy posted their data after months of delay. Intersestingly, that posting took place on the very same day that GW Bush signed the then new energy bill. (And only after the conference committee dumped the Senate’s recommendations regarding GHG emissions.) The early release that lasted only one day was at an _inauspicious_ time, regarding the politics taking place. The immediate removal the following day and the re-posting instantly after political issues were made moot does make me wonder a little.

    Regardless, their correction at the time fit brought the slope of their results within the range of the IPCC TAR (the AR4 wouldn’t be out for a couple of years, yet) and removed the distracting use of their MSU T2LT trending as a point of instrumental record dispute.

    I don’t recall the details, but I know that Christy and Spencer were asked repeatedly by various groups and individuals, over a period of several years, to consider reviewing their methodology, tools, etc., with an idea to helping resolve their dataset’s singular conflict (and it’s abuse by groups with an interest in fostering confusion in the public) regarding the trend in global warming. So far as I’m aware, that didn’t publicly happen and it appears that it was left to Mears and Wentz to perform the singularly unrewarding act of attempting to duplicate results and make them public.

    I believe there remains a trend difference between RSS and UAH datasets for the MSU T2LT. I then gather there also remains some disagreement about how to process the raw data for climate use. It seems a shame that two groups continue to feel it necessary to process the raw MSU T2LT data.

    But there it is.

    Comment by Jon Kirwan — 26 Jan 2014 @ 7:20 PM

  186. > Solyndra
    They had a better product — more efficient — but more expensive, at a time when Chinese panels were dropping in price. (Those are now starting to fail, cheap sometimes is actually cheap, but ymmv.)

    If they’d sold the backlog of material at the bankruptcy sale, a whole lot of people would have been happy to buy them, at discount prices. It’d have been an ideal chance for many of us to get going.

    One wonders why the judge had them destroyed instead of preserved for sale. One wonders, sometimes. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/01/19/bankrupt-solyndra-caught-destroying-brand-new-parts/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Jan 2014 @ 7:33 PM

  187. Dwight Mac Kerron,
    Given how many good men and women we have lost in the Middle East, and the billions in treasure we’ve expended there, I don’t see how you can call petroleum cheap. Were it not for the demand for petroleum, do you think we would have spent nearly as much in that region–a region with no other important resources of note?

    The earliest cars were battery powered. Who is to say that this technology would not be a lot more advanced had we not gone down the petroleum route?

    And coal? Have you been to Appalachia? If fossil fuels had to pay their own way, I would like the odds on renewables quite a lot better. However, I would expect fossil fuel interests to be just as dishonest and ruthless in defending their subsidies as they have been in suppressing the truth about climate change.

    I’d love to see the free market work, if you’d just point me to where one exists.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Jan 2014 @ 7:49 PM

  188. #173 The Moderator says: [Response: Wrong on all counts. No more on this.--Jim]

    Mr. Moderator, what you have said is extremely unlear. Please clarify exactly what you were referring to when you said “wrong on all counts”

    Was this wrong: The site moderator responded and thinks this is a personal attack …?

    Was this wrong: Its a fact, and a fact cant be a personal attack. …?

    Was this wrong: Peoples beliefs are relevant to the discussion, religious or otherwise. … ?

    Was this wrong: sceptics are influenced by ideology ….?

    Was this wrong: This is important to know, its not all about “the content of the argument.” There is an element of simple credibility. …?

    Was this wrong: obviously not all christians fall into the same beliefs about climate change …. ?

    was this wrong: but that’s not the point. …. ?

    Using objective reason and logic, please show the readers what was “Wrong on all Counts”.

    Also re #176
    Jim says: 25 Jan 2014 at 7:51 PM
    No more comments on religion or religious views please. Any such will be trashed. Thanks in advance for cooperating. Jim
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-4/#comment-452946

    Jim, now using consistent values based on reason and logic, please explain to the readers the basis for moderating out the following posts to the Bore Hole.

    (1) http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-bore-hole/comment-page-30/#comment-452966

    Nothing was mentioned about anyone’s religious views, the word religion was not used at all. eg “In normal discourse, pointing out logical flaws in another’s argument is fair game. The fallacy of an appeal to authority is a valid issue to bring into question, as it highlights another’s lack of basic reasoning ability. It is a question of basic credibility.”

    Exactly what is wrong with that post and precisely how does it not meet the stated standards for acceptable posts to RC?

    Is it simply a matter that the Moderator cannot deal with a valid argument that shows, quoting “Jim’s judgement is in error here.” ? That is an opinion, it is not Ad Hominem, it is not an attack, it is a discussion point and a moderators judgment. That too should be fair game, and the moderators must be able to support their own thinking in the public domain, or they should not be acting as Moderators at all.

    NEXT: Mal Adapted says: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-bore-hole/comment-page-30/#comment-452945

    eg Jim:
    Look, if you have a problem with Spencer’s scientific views, then stick strictly to those points.

    “OK. I have a problem with this scientific view of Spencer’s:”

    Mr Moderator, please explain to the readers precisely why MalAdapted’s post was relegated to the BoreHole besides the fact that he is challenging your perosnal bias and opinion and judgment on this matter?

    He is NOT being rude, not being personally abusive, not cursing anyone, not using adhominem, but simply and clearly challenging you to back up your our judgment and actions here.

    That is what all scientists do to each every day of the week. Challenge other scientists thinking processes as well as checking for unconscious BIAS in their work and their judgments.

    Please explain yours.

    Or why it is you believe you can be excluded from such reasonable everyday inquiry?

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 26 Jan 2014 @ 10:30 PM

  189. Recruiting Redford’s cohort to lend Oscar-strength gravitas to CO2 policy pronouncements recalls the moment of high comedy on PBS when Steve Gould produced Joe Di Maggio to endorse nuclear winter on prime time.

    At least he didn’t overact.

    Comment by Russell — 26 Jan 2014 @ 11:26 PM

  190. Is it really that big of a deal?

    Lets accept science’s best guess scenarios as to future climate changes. Take the perspective of a middle class American. Is life really going to be that much different in 100 years due to climate change?

    Sure, maybe there are a few more hurricanes; maybe New Orleans will have to have some neighborhoods permantly abandoned and New York may build flood walls. People can move. Maybe there will be droughts and crop failures, so food gets more expensive. That may be famines in India and Africa, but middle classes in rich nations can afford it. Its not like ALL the crops are going to fail, so there will still be things for people who can pay the price. (Since when has the average American cared much about the problems of poor dark-skinned people in far-away lands?) Maybe the extinction rate goes up, but its been high for decades and it hasn’t made any difference to anyone. We can still see the cute polar bears at the zoo.

    So what is it that middle class Americans are supposed to be up in arms about?

    Comment by Devil's Advocate — 26 Jan 2014 @ 11:36 PM

  191. For what it’s worth… and I don’t know if this is OT or not but I’m kinda going with the flow here…

    We bought a Chevy Volt last Fall 2013. When we bought it they mentioned a $7500 tax credit. We’re in the process of filing our 2013 tax returns and it’s looking like this is going to be a $7500 tax REBATE. Along with all our other usual deductions this is a really big deal financially for us. For our income bracket we’re now at the Zero line.

    First off the car set on the lot for almost 3 years. By the time we got around to looking at it the dealer was ready to get rid of it. The sticker price was $44,000. They knocked $12,000 off of that with a trade in and threw in the kitchen sink. This car has all the bells and whistles because it was fully loaded. Bottom line, we’re getting a nice rebate and NO GAS BILL as long as we drive it local. In the warm months the battery gets up to 45 miles on one charge and our electric bill has been steadly going down.

    It’s a great car and it will soon pay for itself. So yes, at least for us, Green Tech is way cheaper. When you break or coast the battery is charging back up. The new Chevy Volts have already come way down in price and you’re still eligible for the tax rebate until X-number of cars are sold. I don’t remember the number but they still have a long way to go yet. Even my Republican relatives are impressed! This is the same Chevy Volt that was trashed by Rush Limbaugh and company when it came out.

    It also has plenty of power and acceleration and gets lots of attention whenever we drive it. The technology in this thing is amazing! So there’s some good news for those looking to cut their CO2 emissions. Embrace the technology.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 27 Jan 2014 @ 12:40 AM

  192. #185–”I believe there remains a trend difference between RSS and UAH datasets for the MSU T2LT. I then gather there also remains some disagreement about how to process the raw data for climate use. It seems a shame that two groups continue to feel it necessary to process the raw MSU T2LT data.”

    Yes–RSS now shows the least warming of any of the Big Five datasets, for reasons as yet undetermined (AFAIK.)

    Yes, there are differences in processing algorithm.

    Why is it a shame to have two versions? Independent (or at least quasi-independent) checks and all that. (And actually, it’s three groups and four datasets, since there’s a group at U Washington which further processes both RSS and UAH satellite data.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 27 Jan 2014 @ 12:43 AM

  193. Hello, I’m new to this blog.
    I want to say firstly that I’m immensely grateful for the work done by the worldwide climate science community. I understand that the subject is inherently highly complex, and findings are met with mass misunderstanding, indifference or hostility.
    I have been working on the demand side (energy efficiency, conservation) for many years, which I believe is as important as the fight for renewables. But really, we need both.
    I wanted to comment on the religious aspect. The current belief in an ever growing economy powered by instant fossil fuels seems to be a belief system akin to a religion. It’s irrational and devoid of evidence. It can only perpetuate when scientific evidence is ignored. It gives no value to diversity of life and the natural world (i.e. non-believers). And of course it’s irrational because it could lead to our own demise eventually.

    So religion is important, if only that the religion of non-stop growth must be exposed for the lie that it is.

    Comment by Rachel F — 27 Jan 2014 @ 4:03 AM

  194. Dwight #184,

    “unless you cherry pick a few places that can push power back out into the grid some of the time”.

    ‘Cherry-picking’ is the modus operandi of the ‘foot soldiers’ of the climate advocacy movement. Rather than accept reality, they invent their own reality. For example, in Rolling Stone articles over the last couple of years, McKibben has stated that the 2 C temperature ceiling target for the interim is a politically-based number, not a scientifically based number. He has quoted leading scientists who say that approximately 1 C should be the target. Yet, in his ‘terrifying new math’ paper and other forums, he has used the 2 C target to set the remaining carbon budget (>500GT). Further, he has stated “But, in fact, computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 now, the temperature would likely still rise another 0.8 degrees, as previously released carbon continues to overheat the atmosphere. That means we’re already three-quarters of the way to the two-degree target.” In fact, if the scientific target is about 1 C, as Hansen and many other leading climate scientists have stated, we have already exceeded it by 50% because of our past commitments, with no end in sight.

    Over the last few years, Anderson has made the same statement as McKibben on the political nature of the 2 C ceiling. He also emphasizes that the leading climate scientists believe the 1 C target is far more appropriate, for the reasons Hansen states. Yet, he uses the 2 C ceiling as the basis for his computations, and the recommendations he makes for emissions reductions.

    CO2 emissions and concentrations have been growing steadily for decades, with no end in sight. Long-term energy use projections by all credible organizations show continued growth for fossil fuel use for decades. For the near-term growth, McKibben had a useful quote: “By the time Obama leaves office, the U.S. will pass Saudi Arabia as the planet’s biggest oil producer and Russia as the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas combined. In the same years, even as we’ve begun to burn less coal at home, our coal exports have climbed to record highs. We are, despite slight declines in our domestic emissions, a global-warming machine: At the moment when physics tell us we should be jamming on the carbon brakes, America is revving the engine.” Australia, Canada, Russia et al are not letting up as well, doing everything possible to satisfy the insatiable demand from China, India, and other developing nations. Right now, most of that energy demand requires fossil.

    Rather than face the reality that we are 1) out of carbon budget (and 50% in carbon debt according to the above), that we are 2) out of any options that will increase emissions in the interim, and face the real problem head-on, our resident ‘foot-soldiers’ invent even further realities. In this imaginary world, since the 1 C targets are not to their liking, well, then we declare that targets are un-necessary, targets don’t matter. These words are like a Koch brothers wet dream!

    We are carbon bankrupt. When people who are financially bankrupt sit down to negotiate, they are not promised ‘prosperity’ et al by the negotiator. They are forced to adhere to a minimal budget necessary for survival, in order that they can continue working and pay off as many creddditors as possible. That’s the kind of reality we need for carbon bankruptcy. Minimal expenditures for decades, with associated reductions in the economy, until we have gotten back on our feet from a carbon perspective.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 27 Jan 2014 @ 8:39 AM

  195. Devils advocate, are you sure that there will be an American middle class in 100 years?

    Comment by Jim Eager — 27 Jan 2014 @ 9:32 AM

  196. 188 Walter: To take on only one subject per web site. There are lots of other places for other subject comments. Don’t try to fight as many wars as possible at one time. Fight one war, then consolidate your gains. You can’t win against too many at once.

    Other places:

    http://www.atheist-experience.com/
    http://www.livingwithoutreligion.org/
    http://www.richarddawkins.net
    http://ffrf.org
    http://americanhumanist.org
    http://the-brights.net
    http://www.centerforinquiry.net

    and many more.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 27 Jan 2014 @ 10:11 AM

  197. DA @190–Well, you are certainly trying to live up to your name. May I suggest reading Mark Lynas’s “Six Degrees,” consider that that level of temperature rise (C) is well within possibilities, then get back to us on your cheery notions? Alternatively, you could just look at today’s CA. A few more months of the current drought and there just won’t be anything available for farming and living. There will be mass migration and worse. That is possible NOW. That kind of thing will become the norm SOON. Let’s not mention spread of tropical diseases to mid and northern climes, sea level rise–possibly abrupt–disrupting your happy family’s life if the live or get water from anywhere near the coast, crashing of food availability, beyond-biblical flooding, ever-more-intense super-storms, extremes weather of all sorts, unsurvivable ‘wetbulb’ temperatures… But don’t take my word for it–read the book, or just read anything reliable on consequences of the juggernaut we have unleashed.

    Comment by wili — 27 Jan 2014 @ 10:34 AM

  198. Nicely put, Diogenes. Any idea what an adjustment of Anderson’s proposal would mean if we adopted the 1 degree target rather than the 2? Would that require a 20% annual reduction in industrial emissions? More? Less?

    Comment by wili — 27 Jan 2014 @ 10:40 AM

  199. Diogenes wrote: “In this imaginary world, since the 1 C targets are not to their liking, well, then we declare that targets are un-necessary, targets don’t matter.”

    Setting CO2 or temperature targets is indeed absolutely pointless while we continue moving, and in fact accelerating, in the wrong direction, and when we know that the current anthropogenically-elevated CO2 levels and temperatures are already well into the danger zone.

    The only relevant “target” is to reverse direction as quickly as possible, and move in the right direction as rapidly as possible.

    Interestingly, your response to every single proposal put forward here for reversing direction has been (1) to denigrate and disparage it with entirely unsupported, contrafactual claims that it will make matters worse; (2) to misrepresent it as a proposal to continue business-as-usual; and (3) to incessantly hand-wave at scary-sounding, unspecified, Lomborgian “severe” economic consequences that you insist must result from rapidly phasing out fossil fuels, claims which are, again, blatantly contrary to fact.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 27 Jan 2014 @ 10:59 AM

  200. Devil’s Advocate wrote: “Its not like ALL the crops are going to fail”

    Don’t be so sure.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 27 Jan 2014 @ 11:02 AM

  201. Many rhetorical questions are best answered by reference to the 11th Commandment, which is “You do too know what I mean.” Else they’re invitations to have an argument.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jan 2014 @ 11:19 AM

  202. Dwight Mac Kerron: “… if wind and solar were more efficient, they would drive out petro. Solyndra or companies like it would have taken off, not crashed and burned.”

    As denialist propaganda slogans, “Solyndra” is to the solar energy industry what the “East Anglia CRU email scandal” is to climate science: what actually occurred is grossly misrepresented, and then those gross mispresentations are used to attack the entire field.

    This is not an energy blog, let alone an appropriate venue for financial analysis, but for those who think that how the solar industry is performing on Wall Street is an indicator of the potential of renewable energy to address the GHG problem, I suggest watching two exchange traded funds (ETFs) that represent a broad range of solar companies: Guggenheim Solar (TAN) and Market Vectors Solar (KWT). During 2013, the value of those two ETFs approximately doubled, and most analysts expect continued strong growth.

    As for wind and solar “driving out petro”, wind and solar energy are used to generate electricity, so they compete with coal, natural gas, nuclear power and hydropower. And given that most of the new generating capacity added to the US grid in 2013 was wind and solar, and given that coal-fired power plants are being closed and long-term contracts for coal-fired electricity are being canceled because of the plummeting cost of wind and solar power, it is arguable that they are already contributing to driving coal out of the electricity mix.

    The more important measure, of course, is the actual deployments of wind and solar generating capacity, which continue to grow rapidly.

    In the USA, little or no “petro” — ie. oil — is used to generate electricity. Oil is predominantly used for vehicle fuel. And that is certainly a tougher nut to crack than eliminating coal and gas from electricity generation, since it requires some combination of replacing the entire US vehicle fleet with EVs and/or alternative fuel (e.g. hydrogen) vehicles, combined with phasing out automobile use in favor of public transit and pedestrian-friendly land use. But given the increasing availability and rapid adoption of EVs and the cost-lowering advances in EV tech that are now being commercialized, it seems more doable today than many would have thought just a few years ago.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 27 Jan 2014 @ 11:23 AM

  203. “Scientist Advocates”
    – by Horatio Algeranon

    Scientists shouldn’t advocate.
    It simply is quite dumb,
    Especially when they throw their weight
    Like Einstein, on the Bomb.

    //end sarcasm (now!)

    Comment by Horatio Algeranon — 27 Jan 2014 @ 11:31 AM

  204. The problem explaining climate change:
    http://xkcd.com/402/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jan 2014 @ 12:11 PM

  205. For those coming late to the conversation (or who missed earlier links, or who are just too damn lazy to do a simple search–as I usual am, despite hank’s constant exhortations ;-\ ), here are some links to Kevin Anderson’s and Alice Bow’s statements on various media and fora:
    http://www.whatnext.org/resources/Publications/Volume-III/Single-articles/wnv3_andersson_144.pdf
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RInrvSjW90U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KumLH9kOpOI
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v2/n9/full/nclimate1681.html
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-01-06/radical-emissions-planning-kevin-anderson-interview
    http://kevinanderson.info/blog/follow-up-to-articles-by-klein-romm-about-2c-and-economic-growth/

    Comment by wili — 27 Jan 2014 @ 12:15 PM

  206. If you see something … say something. OK, I can see a lot.

    The IPCC AR5 states: “A nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean (sea ice extent less than 1 × 106 km2) in September before mid-century is likely under RCP8.5 (medium confidence), based on an assessment of a subset of models that most closely reproduce the climatological mean state and 1979‒2012 trend of the Arctic sea ice cover. Some climate projections exhibit 5‒10 year periods of sharp summer Arctic sea ice decline—even steeper than observed over the last decade—and it is likely that such instances of rapid ice loss will occur in the future.” see page 12-5 Changes in the Cryosphere http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_Chapter12.pdf

    For the IPCC graphic of this see: (B) Nth Hemisphere Sept sea ice extent http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/graphics/WGI_AR5_FigSPM-7.jpg

    According to that graph an Ice-free summer Arctic does not appear possible until 2060-2080 (not 2050) under RCP8.5 or expected BAU emissions.

    However locate the years 2010, 2011 & 2012 in that graphic. Compare the Red Line RCP8.5 at that time is above 5 million km2. 2010 = 4.60m, 2011 = 4.33m, 2012 = 3.41m
    (ref http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2013/09/Figure26.png )

    September 13, 2013, sea ice extent dropped to 5.10 mill km2 – the lowest extent of the year. http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2013/09/

    OK, selecting individual years over the short term, plus noting the RCP8.5 is a range of possibilities taking into consideration ‘natural variability’ isn’t scientifically valid in itself. Nevertheless the last 7 years have each been the seven lowest Sea Ice extents in the satellite record since 1979. The trend is heading in one direction only since 1979 and before despite normal variability.

    NSDIC: “Summer weather patterns during 2013 were very different from those seen in 2007 to 2012. Overall it was considerably cooler. There was little evidence of the summer dipole pattern seen in recent years. Relatively cool conditions also characterized the Greenland Ice Sheet, and surface melt was much less extensive than for 2012. The year 2013 reminds us that natural climate variability is very strong in the Arctic.”

    Arctic sea ice extent for December (start of winter 2013) was 12.38 million square kilometers. This is 700,000 square kilometers or 270,300 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average, making it the 4th lowest December extent in the 36-year satellite data record.
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    In January 2014 79% of the Sea Ice is under 1 year old. Sea ice is also much thinner now than 1979 or before due to the greater amount of summer sea ice loss not only in extent but in it’s thickness across the Arctic area.

    Still, 2013 has ended the year in December with the 4th lowest modeled volume on record. http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/piomas/

    CRYOSAT: The volume of ice measured this autumn is about 50% higher compared to last year. In October 2013, CryoSat measured about 9000 cubic km of sea ice – a notable increase compared to 6000 cubic km in October 2012.
    Over the last few decades, satellites have shown a downward trend in the area of Arctic Ocean covered by ice. However, the actual volume of sea ice has proven difficult to determine because it moves around and so its thickness can change. http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/CryoSat

    So Arctic Sea Ice extent increased markedly in Sept 2013 over 2012. This is well known by now. The deniers sure made a big issue about this. (global warming must have stopped – they say)

    See this next graph from PSC – PIOMAS Arctic Sea Ice Volume Anomaly
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/
    Fig.3 Monthly Sea Ice Volume from PIOMAS for April and September.
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/ice_volume/BPIOMASIceVolumeAprSepCurrent.png

    Please note the last 4 years Sept PIOMASS (volume) is between 3,400 to 5,000 km3. The trend rate of Ice loss is 3,300 km3/Decade.
    Therefore this would indicate an Ice-Free Arctic in the August-September-October period occurring sometime between 2023-2028.

    Now that is 40-50 years sooner than the 2013 IPCC AR5 Report projects.

    Here is an image superimposing actuals to 2012 over the IPCC AR4 2007 projections http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XMCrtE01yXg/ULQ9tHH1jvI/AAAAAAAAG80/5EsDHCesykA/s1600/FIGURE10.JPG

    Significantly different.

    Here are two recent images showing potentially a Summer Arctic being Ice-free from 2015 onward using the existing exponential trend.
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XsZcFyKSMAQ/UTd7G_TVGtI/AAAAAAAAJcw/Sc4BBrpb99c/s1600/piomas-trnd6.png

    A more complex version suggesting an Ice-Free Arctic winter from circa 2040 onwards
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WKuyZuzuqUQ/UTd7NSYPI0I/AAAAAAAAJc4/cvd2_db-ybE/s1600/piomas-trnd2.png

    According to IPCC AR5 consensus an Ice-Free Winter couldn’t occur until mid-22nd century… a difference in the above graphic of about 100 years. Which is more likely I wonder?

    In 2007 the IPCC did not expect the Arctic to be Ice Free at anytime until post-2100. In 2013 the IPCC do not expect the Arctic to be ice-free until post-2060 at the earliest. Already their data seems out of date. In the middle of preparing the AR5 report the Arctic ice volume fell off a cliff to a new record low.

    Current trends, as shown by several credible bodies, are presenting data like this: http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/ice_volume/BPIOMASIceVolumeAprSepCurrent.png

    An even better visual graphic is this one: Arctic Death Spiral 1979-2013
    Data source via the Polar Science Center (University of Washington)
    http://climatestate.com/2014/01/26/arctic-death-spiral-1979-2013-sea-ice-decline-deglaciation/

    An Ice-Free September Arctic now appears very likely(?) circa 2025.

    Surely this has implications for positive warming feedbacks – not included in any IPCC projections over the short or long term? Sooner and higher average surface temperatures? Increased potential for add-on feedbacks kicking in sooner then expected, such as Arctic Methane releases possibly occurring way ahead of the expectations of most scientists?

    All sooner and potentially more extreme than conveyed in the Sept 2013 IPCC AR5 WG1 report http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/#.UmSc6Plmh8E

    Is anyone else somewhat concerned about this credibility gap?

    Having looked at the current energy use projections to 2040 it also appears clear that the IPCC CO2e emission projections are equally as under-estimated as the Artic sea ice loss has been.

    It appears clear the science of global warming was already in and proven back in 2007 as to the implications on the climate of not significantly reducing CO2 emissions into the future.

    That the only thing that 2013 IPCC report has done is to reinforce the state of the known science, make some adjustments, but again to show how very conservative and not up to date their estimates are when compared to reality.

    The IPCC’s highest RCP 8.5 scenario appears extremely conservative when compared to current BAU as usual fossil fuel use already planned for globally and expected from now till 2040.

    What the IPCC suggests would be an RCP 8.5 timeline indicates a +4C world above 1900 temps by 2100. Given all the scientific papers released since 2010 and the ongoing BAU scenario of fossil fuel use globally this is actually looking more like a +4C world circa 2050.

    All other IPCC RCP theoretical scenarios appear to be null and void now.

    Kevin Anderson has recently mooted a ‘radical’ CO2e reduction program of 10% per year. That is clearly a Policy Proscription that scientists like Michael Mann suggests is unacceptable for scientists to be proposing. I totally disagree with Mann.

    I don’t see such a policy proscription as being radical. To me it is looking decidedly Rational and Sane. Unrealistic and highly improbable given the state of play, yes. But anything less sounds more like a denial of and disconnection from reality and quite disingenuous. At best utterly uninformed of the facts as they stand today.

    The projected and planned increases in renewable energy is pretty insignificant in the big picture. CO2 emissions will be rising year on year at an increasing rate into the foreseeable future. No doubt about that unless something massive in the world’s thinking changes unexpectedly.

    I can’t see touch hard edged Policy suggestions by Kevin Anderson or James Hansen nor anyone else making things any worse than they already are destined to be anyway.

    Being positive about the obvious potential of renewable energy is one thing. Ignoring the reality of business as usual (BAU) which is in the pipeline already with the political and economic realities as they stand in 2014 is not in anyone’s best interests.

    Survival planing sounds like a far better and practical option than arguing about AGW, Climate Change, or the science and people’s beliefs about it.

    Something has to give. And it won’t be Physics, the Earth, nor it’s climate. Leave you with it.

    Comment by Walter — 27 Jan 2014 @ 12:41 PM

  207. Dwight Mac Kerron said, “I don’t worship the market, but I believe in it enough to “know” that if wind and solar were more efficient, they would drive out petro. Solyndra or companies like it would have taken off, not crashed and burned.”

    Dwight if you run a business you must be aware that there is a high rate of attrition in all start ups and that rate is especially high amongst new tech companies. While those who wish to diminish the success love to point to Solyndra, they rarely take note that the overall loan guarentee program it was part of was highly successful meaning there were far lower overall failures than was originally anticipated and budgetted for. Somehow I think the list of failed American autombile companies shows that arguning that if this company or that didn’t make it means the whole concept is not economically feasible just doesn’t cut it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_United_States_automobile_manufacturers

    Comment by Wayne Fowler — 27 Jan 2014 @ 1:07 PM

  208. Wili #198,

    “Nicely put, Diogenes. Any idea what an adjustment of Anderson’s proposal would mean if we adopted the 1 degree target rather than the 2? Would that require a 20% annual reduction in industrial emissions? More? Less?”

    Anderson recommends about 10% decrease in global CO2 emissions annually starting in the near term in order to have a reasonable probability of not exceeding 2 C, which he, McKibben, Hansen and many others agree is dangerous. Steinacher et al, in 11 July issue of Nature state: ” For any given likelihood of meeting a set of such targets, the allowable cumulative emissions are greatly reduced from those inferred from the temperature target alone. Therefore, temperature targets alone are unable to comprehensively limit the risks from anthropogenic emissions.” In other words, Anderson is actually being optimistic, according to their computations.

    In direct answer to your question, suppose we take the extreme limit of Anderson’s emissions reductions: 100%. This is the immediate CO2 cessation case, on which I posted some studies a few weeks ago. I chose the most conservative (least temperature increase) studies, and showed they predicted a temperature increase about a decade or two past cessation of about 1.2 C total, an increase of ~50% over today’s 0.8 C. One quote by McKibben that I posted previously contained the following: “But, in fact, computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 now, the temperature would likely still rise another 0.8 degrees, as previously released carbon continues to overheat the atmosphere.” This would imply an increase of about 1.6 C total after a decade or two. Other results I have seen show even higher temperatures after CO2 cessation, depending on assumptions about climate sensitivity and aerosol forcing.

    Thus, in Anderson’s extreme case of 100% reduction, which, let us remember, doesn’t include carbon cycle feedbacks, the temperature would exceed the 1 C target by at least 25% and more likely by 50% or more. Now, you can see why Anderson and McKibben ‘cherry-pick’ the targets for their computations. Cutting CO2 emissions completely won’t get us to a limit deemed by the experts as one we should not exceed. McKibben’s 565 GT remaining carbon budget disappears, and actually there is a deficit already. Anderson’s recommendations evaporate; you can’t get there from here (without possibly some extraordinary carbon recovery measures, or other magic to be invoked). And, you can see plainly why our resident foot soldiers don’t want to specify temperature targets, and call them un-necessary. Phasing in of low carbon technologies over a generation, even with improving energy efficiency, only adds to the carbon burden substantially if demand is not cut to the bone in parallel. Is the phasing in of low carbon technologies rapidly better than what we’re doing now? Let’s face it, anything is better than what we’re doing now. But, staying as close to 1 C as possible requires cutting carbon expenditures to the bone, as I showed for the money bankruptcy analog, and that can only be achieved by sharp demand reduction.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 27 Jan 2014 @ 1:54 PM

  209. Walter wrote: “Kevin Anderson has recently mooted a ‘radical’ CO2e reduction program of 10% per year … I don’t see such a policy proscription as being radical … Unrealistic and highly improbable given the state of play, yes.”

    There are no real technological or economic obstacles to reducing GHG emissions at an even faster rate than 10 percent per year.

    The only real obstacle — the only thing that makes that program “urealistic and improbable” — is the wealth and political power of the fossil fuel corporations, which enables them to manipulate “the state of play” to obstruct and delay the phase-out of their destructive products.

    The meaningless and wholly inadequate “targets” that the USA, the EU and others are proposing have the fossil fuel industry’s fingerprints all over them.

    Walter wrote: “Being positive about the obvious potential of renewable energy is one thing. Ignoring the reality of business as usual (BAU) which is in the pipeline already with the political and economic realities as they stand in 2014 is not in anyone’s best interests … Something has to give. And it won’t be Physics, the Earth, nor its climate. Leave you with it.”

    Yes, something has to give. What has to give is the fossil fuel corporations’ death-grip on energy policy.

    Once you accept the premise that the hegemony of the fossil fuel interests is a “reality” that “won’t give” — once you grant the political power of one particular industrial sector the same immutable and unchallengeable status as the laws of physics — you have basically surrendered.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 27 Jan 2014 @ 2:01 PM

  210. Diogenes wrote: “… that can only be achieved by sharp demand reduction.”

    As you are well aware, everyone advocates sharp reductions in the demand for fossil fuels, Diogenes.

    Your pretense that rapid deployment of zero-emission energy technologies and eliminating the outright waste of far more than half of the USA’s primary energy consumption are somehow antithetical to demand reduction is silly.

    And your insistence that sharply reducing demand for fossil fuels will necessitate unspecified, unidentified “severe” economic sacrifices is nothing more than Lomborgian fear-mongering.

    Diogenes wrote: “And, you can see plainly why our resident foot soldiers don’t want to specify temperature targets, and call them un-necessary.”

    Yes, anyone can “plainly see” why I call temperature targets unnecessary and irrelevant — because I have plainly stated my reasons several times. So there is no need for you to make up imaginary reasons and attribute them to me.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 27 Jan 2014 @ 2:51 PM

  211. Have any of the climate scientists researching plankton feedback and iron fertilization figured what whales used to contribute to that effect? If so, please inform those trying to value whales:
    http://news.sciencemag.org/economics/2014/01/psst.-wanna-buy-whale
    because it turns out whaling is on the rise again

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jan 2014 @ 3:34 PM

  212. I agree with Rachel where she wrote:

    “The current belief in an ever growing economy powered by instant fossil fuels seems to be a belief system akin to a religion. It’s irrational …”.

    The problem is that it is impossible to convince someone, even it they aren’t Christian, that their beliefs are wrong.

    In an economy powered by burning fossil fuels, growth means producing more carbon dioxide. Even if we stopped emitting CO2 today temperatures would continue to climb and the Greenland ice cap continue to melt. That will eventually lead to a 7m (25 ft) rise in sea level. Is it really possible to build sea defences of that height around New Orleans, New York, Florida, the Netherlands, and Bangladesh?

    In other words the future is scary! But until ALL scientists recognise that their beliefs may be fallacious, that we are not heading for a Utopia, then they will not be able to convince the general public that the future is scary. The President will fail to get his measures through a sceptical Congress, and the planet will continue on its slippery slope towards the precipice.

    Cheers, Alastair.

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 27 Jan 2014 @ 3:57 PM

  213. @wili 197, Jim 195, SA 200 :

    I have skimmed Lynas’s “Six Degrees”, and generally accept what he’s saying. Its not cheery; I picture a billion people starving to death, primarily in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. I’m taking as likely something around 3 degrees Celsius warming by 2100, with the consequences that entails. That will be a world quite different from the one we live in today. But even in that scenario I see an American middle class doing pretty much okay.

    Is that wrong?

    Comment by Devil's Advocate — 27 Jan 2014 @ 4:05 PM

  214. DA #212,

    “I’m taking as likely something around 3 degrees Celsius warming by 2100″

    Well, take something more likely if we continue BAU, say, nearer to 5-6 C as some of the more recent global climate models predict, and then tell me how well the American middle class fares.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 27 Jan 2014 @ 4:38 PM

  215. DA @ ~ 112

    “Is that wrong?”

    If what you’re saying is “I’ve got mine, screw everyone else,” then yes it’s wrong.

    If you think that the American middle class lives in some sort of charmed space-time dilation separate from the rest of the world both politically and physically, that’s probably wrong too. But I await your explanation of why it should be so– unless it’s just some feely-feeling you have in your gut, in which case don’t bother.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 27 Jan 2014 @ 4:48 PM

  216. DA wrote: “But even in that scenario I see an American middle class doing pretty much okay.”

    Does “okay” mean accepting that the southwest quadrant of the country would be pretty much uninhabitable?

    Comment by Jim Eager — 27 Jan 2014 @ 5:10 PM

  217. But even in that scenario I see an American middle class doing pretty much okay.

    I think we are not prepared for what is coming and that we will have problems to sustain our society. The notion that the developed world will do just fine is fantasy. Yes, some effects will be felt later in the developed world but it’s the small things, the shifting patterns and invisible impacts which will crush our systems. It’s also a psychological challenge and humans are not even aware of it. Just look how riots and violence rises in the world – much of it has to do with climate related woes. Yes, attribution is difficult but the moment you get scarcity people will start fighting and old problems will be channeled through this process. (Arab spring and food riots or Syria drought comes to mind)

    Our civilisation is about to break and with it all hopes for emissions reductions. There are solutions but it is science fiction to us. It begins with income equality, basic income, eradicating poverty, new forms of how we life our lives and how we work or how we use transportation – we require paradigm shifts on all levels. If we do not address our systemic problems today, problems will break free with the first hurdles from climate disruption.

    We can’t solve the problems today with the same mindset which created the problems in the first place.

    Comment by prokaryotes — 27 Jan 2014 @ 5:20 PM

  218. the Devil’s Advocate wrote:

    “… I see an American middle class doing pretty much okay. Is that wrong?”

    Do you mean factually, or morally? They are the ones who burnt most of the oil. Why should they get off scot-free?

    Factually, there are over a billion Chinese, and another billion Indians, both armed with nuclear weapons who will not be prepared to starve while the US basks in plenty, despite in their eyes, being the cause of the problem. With the Arctic ice gone, an invasion from the north will no longer be impractical.

    Moreover, starving South Americans could also invade from the south. meanwhile, will a well armed working class remain as docile as the did during the Great Depression?

    The middle class in Florida will lose their homes when Greenland melts and sea levels rise, but what is not realised is the the whole of the Mid West of the USA will be inundated if the Antarctic ice sheets melt and central North America reverts to being a shallow sea. However, that will probably only happen when CO2 exceeds 1000 ppm.

    Here is a map which shows the areas of the USA that are in danger of desertification: US Drought Monitor.

    So, no the middle class of the US are not safe.

    Cheers, Alastair.

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 27 Jan 2014 @ 6:10 PM

  219. Devil’s advocate,
    Even with your scenario of 3 degrees per doubling (probably too optimistic), yields on wheat and corn will drop 40%, soybeans over 20%. The decline in corals will decimate seafood harvests. Now, also, keep in mind that we are talking a global population of 1.5 times our current population, maybe more. California, currently the leading agricultural state in the US will be hit very hard, and Florida, another major agricultural state as well.

    Now, I don’t know if you expect folks in the developing world to starve quietly, but the CIA doesn’t. So what does that do to our supplies of copper, tungsten, platinum and rare earths–necessary to keep our current economy functioning.

    We have already seen a 4x increase in damage due to climatological extreme events–an increase not seen in geological events, which we can take as a control. The rise has been super-linear with temperature.

    What is more, there is no prospect of things getting better for thousands of years. Doesn’t sound like fun to me.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 27 Jan 2014 @ 6:44 PM

  220. The Americam Middle Class? See Krugman on the Pew survey today. Seems like the MC already gone for many. Maybe they aren’t really Americans, thought that’s where they live.

    Comment by Tony Lynch — 27 Jan 2014 @ 7:18 PM

  221. and –economics?

    … the newly non-crazy Heritage will now have a chief economist who is the equivalent, for the dismal science, of having a chief scientist who denies climate change and evolution. If this counts as a move toward sanity, think of what that says about the starting point.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/23/heritage-still-hackish/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jan 2014 @ 10:55 PM

  222. 216 prokaryotes: GW is not a liberal political cause. GW is a science. Science needs to be de-linked from politics completely for action on GW to have any chance. It is the same as the deal with religion and with energy. No other science has anything to do with politics either. RC doesn’t discuss these off-topic subjects for the obvious reason that fighting multiple wars at once is a sure-fire way to loose. Politics and religion are off-limits during working hours if you work for the government.

    If you want to push any political cause, do it on a political web site. This isn’t one.

    PS: Energy is an engineering subject, not a political subject and not a religion subject. Evolution is a science subject, neither a political subject nor a religion subject.

    PPS: If you box me into a political category, you are wrong.

    reCaptcha works on Firefox26.0 but not on Safari5.1.10.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 27 Jan 2014 @ 11:24 PM

  223. @DA @ #212–Enough people have said enough already. I’ll just add that if you actually read Lynas’s book, you will not be asking these questions. Even the “One Degree” chapter, pretty much where we are now, makes clear that much of the US west of the Mississippi is right on the edge of drying up and turning into something like the more desolate parts of the Sahara. The book was written in ’07 and most of the research is from well before that. We really do seem to be seeing that already underway.

    I do think that there are people in the upper middle and upper classes in the US who really do think that their gated communities will protect them from everything. It is true that most of the worst of GW will hurt the poorest (who did the least to create it) first. But droughts, heatwaves, sudden torrential deluges from ‘atmospheric rivers,’ spread of tropical diseases, bigger-than-Sandy mega-storms…these calamities mostly do not discriminate according to class, race, religions, sexual orientation…they are equal-opportunity conveyors of souls to the other side.

    Comment by wili — 27 Jan 2014 @ 11:57 PM

  224. #169 is not an ad hominem attack. It contains a snide remark or ironic pun–namely, in the last sentence–but it is not an ad hominem attack.

    I think the comment is relevant (along with the reference it links) and I think that it belongs here, on this thread.

    It sums up the argument of the referenced document as ‘…AGW can’t be happening because…God wouldn’t allow it.’ I think this is a perfectly good brief tag for the general fallacy of the document and the movement it represents. I am quite familiar with it by now. It is common sense to point it out.

    The attack on climate science–which includes the attack on Dr. Mann and others–has been conducted often-enough for perceived religious reasons (among others) that are not clearly disclosed.

    This is where religion-where-it-doesn’t-belong starts, regarding climate science.

    If one regards this blog, and related conversations, as education–then Neil deGrasse Tyson is relevant:

    “If you have a religious philosophy that is not based in objective realities that you then want to put in the science classroom, then I’m going to stand there and say no, ‘I’m not going to allow you in the science classroom.’”

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-neil-degrasse-tyson-on-science-literacy/

    Comment by patrick — 28 Jan 2014 @ 1:26 AM

  225. #216. Your solution – “basic income, eradicating poverty, new forms of how we life our lives and how we work or how we use transportation” – I couldn’t agree with more. It sounds like a Scandinavian model of left-leaning democracy.

    I wish the UK had gone in that direction, but we have followed Canada and Australia back into the linear economic model of the 20th century, with Cameron tearing up any green legislation he can get his hands on and trying to leave the EU. Abbot undoing the carbon taxes and Canada and Japan leaving the UN agreements. Going backwards.

    I fear that more climatic instability will bring more reactive, retrograde politics rather than visionary leadership for a more sustainable future. When we need to work together, there’s just more push for “I want mine”. Like the poster who finds the American MC to be somehow special.

    I’m all for a pardigm shift. We need a positive vision of how we can live on a finite world.

    Who can provide that vision? Climate scientists? Bill McKibben is trying but it doesn’t work. Not sure why. He just doesn’t have that magic that Mandela or Churchill had. Gore tried but fell victim to denier ridicule.

    I think we need someone, or a group of people, with a vision, knowledge, charisma, and a very, very thick skin.

    Comment by Rachel F — 28 Jan 2014 @ 3:57 AM

  226. Some topical music from one of the most inspiring songwriters who ever lived.
    Thanks Pete Seeger for helping us to sing together. RIP

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvnsB_kVNYI

    Comment by Rachel F — 28 Jan 2014 @ 4:19 AM

  227. Edward Greisch, all these things are connected and when you discuss the middle class, we discuss income. If we discuss the problems we need to discuss the solutions (Basic 101 of messaging bad news). The solutions are new ways of transportation and the switch to carbon neutral, less, negative forms of energy – which require relative income or subsidies. As a scientist you ought to point out the implications from subsidising fossil fuels, because it directly affects the science. The only off topic comment i see here is yours.

    Captcha: ountsrad doctrines

    Comment by prokaryotes — 28 Jan 2014 @ 7:14 AM

  228. #225–Rachel, thanks for passing that along. OT, I know, but Seeger was a great human being.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 28 Jan 2014 @ 9:02 AM

  229. #224–Rachel, having recently read a dual bio of Churchill and Gandhi–this one, actually, if anyone is particularly intrigued:

    http://www.amazon.com/Gandhi-Churchill-Rivalry-Destroyed-Empire/dp/0553383760

    –I can assure you that neither Al Gore nor Bill McKibben has so far spent nearly as much time out in the political cold as did Mr. Churchill–let alone Nelson Mandela! So don’t give up! (It would hardly be Churchillian, would it?)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 28 Jan 2014 @ 9:07 AM

  230. It sounds like a Scandinavian model of left-leaning democracy

    Rachel, if you look up the different topics you will see that they come from a broader political spectrum. Basic income for instance is a liberal idea. However, when it comes to climate action we should be guided by science not an political agenda.

    Comment by prokaryotes — 28 Jan 2014 @ 9:10 AM

  231. A number of folks have already expanded in a pretty able fashion on the domestic reasons why thinking the US middle class will be ‘pretty much OK’ under a 3 C warming regime is, well, foolish. (Though I note that ‘devil’s advocate’ nowhere states this is his actual opinion–perhaps he is looking for ammunition to counter a perception he, too, thinks is foolish.)

    Be that as it may, there’s the international dimension, which I think has been mentioned in only one comment so far. If millions are dying, then economic value is being lost–be they never so impoverished. It’s a globalized economy, and one of the fastest-growing regions today is sub-Saharan Africa. What happens to the rest of the world’s economy if Africa, India and tropical South America are all on the economic ropes? Hint: “Shaky economies and plunging currencies in the developing world are fueling a global sell-off in stocks.”

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fiw-wall-street-20140127,0,2693832.story#ixzz2rhclzhOV

    And that’s just a demand slowdown in China, not the evisceration of most tropical economies.

    Then there’s the political fallout. It’s pretty well established that people tend to get more violent as the misery index increases. And it’s also pretty well established that the developed nations, and particular the US, have done the most to create climate chaos, while the developing nations will bear the most immediate burden. (Indeed, that’s been a major them at just about every COP since the framework convention, UNFCCC, began them.)

    So: with millions dying, with whole regions in upheaval, with massive migrations of those desperate to survive, and with bitter resentment toward ‘the West’, what do you think the odds of political peace look like? What happens when terrorism isn’t the just province of religious wacko minority (albeit propped up by some governments for short-term tactical advantage), but a nihilistic impulse shared by vast swathes of the population? When resources are scarcer, when commercial activity is much harder due to multidimensional instabilities in financial, political and physical environments?

    I don’t think they are at all good. And that’s not just my opinion; it’s the opinion of most major military establishments around the world:

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Climate-Wars-A-Review

    No–the only way in which ‘the American middle class’ could potentially be considered ‘pretty much OK’ in the 3 C (let alone 5 or 6 C) world is by comparison with those tropic millions. By comparison with today’s middle class, they’ll be living in a hell of food shortages, internally displaced persons (those Western water shortages), more frequent disasters, terrorist threat, persistent war, and extreme economic dislocation–and probably much, much less democracy. Folks will be much more willing to accept (and even to clamor for) a ‘strong man on a white horse.’ The desire for that in times of crisis is one thing, at least, that won’t change. But in the America of the 3 C world, most other things will.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 28 Jan 2014 @ 9:31 AM

  232. Hmm, wrote my screed on America in the 3 C world, then navigated away to come across this:

    “Just last month, the bubonic plague killed 20 people in Madagascar. A squirrel was also found carrying a strain of the plague that is a descendent of the Black Death in a Los Angeles park last year.

    All it takes for the disease to spread are fleas that feed on rodents infected with the plague to then feed on humans, Poinar said — though thanks to much cleaner cities than fourteenth-century Europe and modern antibiotics, a widespread plague like the one that swept across Europe is unlikely, Poinar said.”

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/black-death-mysteries-unlocked-by-mcmaster-scientists-1.2512930

    Hmm, starving tropical millions in a still semi-globalized world still using air travel, filthy refugee camps (yes, perhaps in America, too), and an economic system under stress already. Add a novel strain of Y. pestis and stir… what could possibly go wrong?

    In general, the medical community has not been very, er, enthusiastic about the public health implications of climate change:

    http://science.time.com/2013/08/02/infectious-disease-could-be-more-common-in-a-warmer-world-especially-for-plants-and-animals/?iid=sci-main-lead

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 28 Jan 2014 @ 9:43 AM

  233. Re Kevin McKinney

    The plague is rare in the US, but not totally unheard of. Cases of the disease, often caused by flea bites, pop up a few times every year, according to the CDC. http://www.thewire.com/national/2013/07/bubonic-plague-infected-squirrel-discovered-california/67656/

    You should be more worried about Lyme disease and the various others vectors which will rise with climate change. However, this is all OT.

    Comment by prokaryotes — 28 Jan 2014 @ 10:15 AM

  234. #233–Yes, plague is just one of the splashier nasties–hence my link to more sober possibilities.

    However, OT? I think not. There’s literature, and not just a bit, on climate change and disease, and I’m just “saying” so to remind d.a. of it. Seems directly on point to me.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 28 Jan 2014 @ 12:07 PM

  235. “However, OT? I think not.” – Agreed, i was abit too quick with my response.

    Comment by prokaryotes — 28 Jan 2014 @ 12:47 PM

  236. Mike – I’d love to read the piece in the NYT but many do not have access – is there an alternative site.

    Comment by David Hellstern — 28 Jan 2014 @ 3:06 PM

  237. Wili,

    Two issues. First, do you have any comments on my response (#208) to your request (#198) for what is required to stay under 1 C?

    Second, further on that point. David Spratt is one of the most readable and straight-forward authors on the reality of climate change. For any newbies on this site, I highly recommend the following document (http://www.scribd.com/doc/168483927/Already-Dangerous-1). Spratt, who it appears is Australian, has published a very interesting think-piece today (http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/01/as-tony-abbott-launches-all-out-war-on.html#more). I highly recommend it.

    His article contains ten points. In his point #6 (Scale of Task), he states:

    “Scientists describe warming of two degrees Celsius (2C) not as the boundary for dangerous climate change, but as representing a BOUNDARY BETWEEN DANGEROUS AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGE, pointing to a safe boundary as being under 350 parts per million carbon dioxide equivalent (ppm CO2e), more than 120 ppm CO2e below the current level. Our stated purpose is to prevent dangerous climate change, but the current level of greenhouse gases is already extremely dangerous. Even for 2C, THERE IS NO CARBON BUDGET LEFT IF ONE WANTS A LOW RISK (LESS THAN 10%) OF EXCEEDING 2C…… As the graph shows, based on a chart from Mike Raupach at the ANU, at a 66% probability of not exceeding 2C, the carbon emissions budget remaining is around 250 petagrams (PtG or billion tonnes) of CO2. However this “carbon budget” also has a 17% chance of exceeding 2.5C and an 8% chance of exceeding 3C, which is clearly a risk we would be mad to accept. If one wants a 90% chance of not exceeding 2C, there is NO “carbon budget” left”.

    Thus, if we want to minimize risk, which makes sense given that our survival as a species is at stake, THEN THERE IS NO CARBON BUDGET LEFT EVEN FOR STAYING UNDER 2 C!!!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 28 Jan 2014 @ 5:28 PM

  238. # 233 prokaryotes and Kevin McKinney: on ‘various…vectors which will rise with climate change,’ I’m painfully aware of reduced ability to work outdoors. I saw expert comment on this in passing–perhaps in an insurer or re-insurer’s assessment of the warming world–but I fail to place it now.

    In any case, this is huge for the economic impacts of a warmer world, should anyone care. Add heat stroke to epidemics and health care disabilities coming due.

    A ‘science and sports’ segment (ESPN) when outdoor play at the Australian Open was shut down by heat said human physical efficiency falls by up to 30% within the range of temps being hit by the heat wave, and critical reaction times are significantly impaired–if I am not mistaken.

    Johnathan Swift where are you now? ‘Air conditioning’ was always a pathetic euphemism. Now it’s an allegory. The worse it gets the worse you make it to make it better.

    Comment by patrick — 28 Jan 2014 @ 6:59 PM

  239. Thanks for the replies all.

    @RH 215, AM 218, wili 223: I think the moral responsibility question is actually complicated. The big problem to humanity in the coming century is the collision between climate change and overpopulation. We number 7 billion today, probably already more than our planet could sustain for the long term, with perhaps 3 billion more added by the time of peak population. People in poor countries who expect a dozen or more grandkids are the ones who can expect some of those grandkids to starve. Should any of the blame lie with those most responsible for the overpopulation?

    @JE 216: yes, I count as “okay” outcomes where people are regionally displaced, but still able to participate in a functioning
    industrial society. (If you’ve got your health and your family, a roof over your head and food on the table, with stable prospects to maintain these, you’re okay.)

    @KM 231: you are convincing. War is likely, and among the most threatening of the direct and indirect consequences of climate change.

    Comment by Devil's Advocate — 28 Jan 2014 @ 8:43 PM

  240. Re #237 #238 Inaction and denial are bringing us each day closer to dangerous climate change. So we are on track for rapid collapse and a world which no longer favours our species. We have a global emergency and most governments are still sleepwalking.

    More people need to speak up and say something in face of inaction and climate wrongs.

    Comment by prokaryotes — 28 Jan 2014 @ 8:52 PM

  241. Yeah. Maybe if we were quiet for a while, some more people would speak up. Hard to do though.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Jan 2014 @ 9:33 PM

  242. Diogenes, I agree with pretty much everything you wrote in 208. Mostly what you see here and elsewhere is people at various levels of Kubler-Ross’s spectrum of reactions to loss–bargaining is particularly prevalent here, along with anger. All that is understandable. I still think it is worth a last rallying cry: reduce by at least 10% this year. Then let’s see if we can do even better in the immediately following years.

    But, yeah, we are locked into our current temperature and almost surely something a good bit higher, even with total immediate cessation of all further emissions. And yes, those are not the conditions that have been conducive to human life on the planet, much less to global civilization. I’m sure we will get more anger, denial and bargaining directed our way for writing such things.

    Are you listening, DA? A 400 ppm CO2 is not the atmosphere that human beings evolved in. It is likely to breed a climate that is hostile to our very existence. And we are going way way past that level very very quickly. If you are worried about over population, don’t have a kid and do what you can to support women’s rights. But really your own personal contribution to the problem is almost certainly more than that of a whole village of folks from, say, Tanzania; so it might be a bit easier for you to have an immediate effect on that than on what people on the other side of the world are doing in their bedrooms. Just sayin’.

    Comment by wili — 28 Jan 2014 @ 11:29 PM

  243. Dwight Mac Kerron:

    Possibly Mal Adapted is free-associating somewhat ponderously to all things religious.

    Possibly, and I probably should have focussed on this part of Dwight’s comment:

    …questioning/challenging the very EXISTENCE of who we are and how we live…

    which he agreed meant “questioning/challenging the prosperity that has resulted from economic development powered by fossil fuels”. To question that, one just needs a course in Environmental Economics.

    Have you heard of “externalities”, Dwight? Allow me: to an Economist, externalities are costs of producing a good that the producer avoids paying directly, and can therefore be kept external to the price charged to consumers of that good. But because there’s no such thing as a free lunch, those external costs must be paid by someone, sometime. When external costs are shared across part or all of society, they are referred as socialized costs.

    AGW is a cost that has been externalized by the producers of fossil-fuel-derived energy for 300 years. Along with other socialized costs of energy production, it has kept the dollar price of energy low enough to permit historically unprecedented economic development, for long enough that its beneficiaries may consider the resulting prosperity a gift. Now that the external costs of development are increasingly difficult to ignore, it’s all too easy to deny that they are due to us. Nevertheless, we will all pay them one way or another; some more, some less, but none will be wholly exempt. Proposals for a government-imposed carbon price are intended to internalize the external costs of fossil-fuel consumption, so that consumers are encouraged to consider alternatives with lower external costs.

    Now, the signatories to An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming may claim that (per article 1 of “What We Deny”) the external costs aren’t real, because (per article 1 of “What We believe”) material prosperity is divinely provided. However, on closer analysis the other articles reduce to the argument from consequences:

    2. We believe abundant, affordable energy is indispensable to human flourishing, particularly to societies which are rising out of abject poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that accompany it. With present technologies, fossil and nuclear fuels are indispensable if energy is to be abundant and affordable.
    3. We believe mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, achievable mainly by greatly reduced use of fossil fuels, will greatly increase the price of energy and harm economies.
    4. We believe such policies will harm the poor more than others because the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on energy and desperately need economic growth to rise out of poverty and overcome its miseries.

    2. We deny that alternative, renewable fuels can, with present or near-term technology, replace fossil and nuclear fuels, either wholly or in significant part, to provide the abundant, affordable energy necessary to sustain prosperous economies or overcome poverty.
    3. We deny that carbon dioxide—essential to all plant growth—is a pollutant. Reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant reductions in future global temperatures, and the costs of the policies would far exceed the benefits.
    4. We deny that such policies, which amount to a regressive tax, comply with the Biblical requirement of protecting the poor from harm and oppression.

    Concern for the poor is hard to criticize, and may even be sincere on the part of all the signers. Many AGW deniers self-consciously boast of their concern for the poor, without explicitly religious justification. It has no bearing on whether carbon dioxide is a pollutant, Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to “dangerous” alteration because of “minuscule” changes in atmospheric chemistry, or recent warming was abnormally large or abnormally rapid; or whether the scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing “dangerous” global warming is convincing.

    If Science is a way of not fooling yourself, then the signatories have announced their willingness to be fooled by logical fallacies, whether the argument from divine providence or the argument from consequences, rather than accept the consequences of AGW. That is what scientific advocates for the acceptance of climate reality need to explain to the public.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 28 Jan 2014 @ 11:36 PM

  244. Oh Dear. Such a sad state of affairs it is.

    This is by Tamino: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/judith-curry-responds-sort-of/

    Ends with: UPDATE: Judith Curry has responded to my response to her response. Not. curryja | January 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm |

    “I don’t see any further point to this exchange. The temperature of the entire Arctic region is unknown, owing to the lack of observations over the Arctic Ocean. The IPCC’s statements were made with regard to publications that looked at various regions in the Arctic. If you think the IPCC is incorrect in its statements regarding Arctic surface temperatures in the 1930′s, I encourage you to submit to the IPCC an error notification, and see what kind of response you get. If you think you have something publishable in your analyses, by all means try to get them published. If you think I mischaracterized what the IPCC said in my Senate testimony, write a letter to the Senate committee.”

    “In the mean time, Arctic climate scientists will continue to do research on this problem. And people in the climate blogosphere will continue to argue over what does ‘comparable’ really mean, what does ‘recent’ really mean, etc. Go for it.” end curry quote.

    The main issue being the IPCC AR5 (5th Assessment Report) said:
    “Arctic temperature anomalies in the 1930s were apparently as large as those in the 1990s and 2000s.”

    Appears that Tamino shows the IPCC statement of Sept 2013 is incorrect, and provides some evidence for that. I find Curry’s response curious, yet not surprising.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-bore-hole/comment-page-30/#comment-453342

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-bore-hole/comment-page-30/#comment-453343

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-bore-hole/comment-page-30/#comment-453378

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-bore-hole/comment-page-30/#comment-453381

    Still, many people wonder why so little progress has been made in the public and political spheres of the science about global climate change issues and the most likely solutions to alleviate at least the man-made causes as soon as possible.

    I find this also quite curious, and yet not at all surprising. So, “go for it”.

    Comment by Walter — 29 Jan 2014 @ 1:15 AM

  245. #225 Rachel F says: “I think we need someone, or a group of people, with a vision, knowledge, charisma, and a very, very thick skin.”

    I pray for “a very, very thick skin” emerging as the essential ingredient first if at all possible. The rest is a skill that can be taught and acquired fairly quickly.

    #209 SecularAnimist says: several astute things.

    I agree with all you have said thank you. I have not surrendered though in certain circumstances it is appropriate to face reality square on and be rational enough to make a tactical retreat in order to survive and fight another day.

    Things are somewhat still fluid at present, but they are not looking good at all. If I may repeat myself current global long term plans and expectations for continued Fossil Fuel Energy use to 2040 are significantly above the RCP 8.5 scenario of the Sept 2013 IPCC AR5 Report.

    The short and long term planned and expected renewable energy use is significantly below both the technically feasible and far below the hopes and dreams of those seeking even below a +4C world this century.

    When I finish compiling these numbers in a way that is consumable for the average wood duck, I will pass them on. Keep an eye in the Borehole though, for that will likely be where such information will end up. A pretty sad state of affairs.

    Walter “And that’s the way it is” Cronkite

    Comment by Walter — 29 Jan 2014 @ 2:19 AM

  246. An interesting study that seems related to many of the comments arising in this thread of “if you see something”.

    National contributions to observed global warming
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/1/014010/article
    Abstract – There is considerable interest in identifying national contributions to global warming as a way of allocating historical responsibility for observed climate change.

    Bias is as human as breathing. Everyone does it. There were many media reports about this Paper. Here is one: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/new-global-warming-data-shows-which-countries-are-most-responsible-162334607.html

    Some of the ways the paper was presented was:
    “They found that, since 1750, the United States has been the largest single contributor to global warming, responsible for nearly 20 per cent of the rise in average temperature. Second in the list was China, followed by Russia, Brazil and India in the top five.”

    “The picture changed dramatically when the team calculated the contributions to global warming on a per capita basis [..] The figures show that the UK comes top of the list, responsible for an increase of 0.54 degrees Celsius per billion people, narrowly ahead of the USA (0.51 degrees). Next in line were Canada, Russia, Germany and the Netherlands, with Australia, Brazil, France and Venezuela rounding out the top ten.”

    “..the team of scientists acknowledges that future temperature changes will depend on emerging economies adding to the current levels of emissions. ”

    The report concludes: ‘If we are to have a chance of staying below 2 °C while also addressing fundamentally important issues associated with international equity, it is imperative that developed countries do not allow their greenhouse gas emissions to continue increasing at historical rates.’

    In the abstract the Study says: “However, the sources of these emissions have and continue to vary dramatically between regions and individual countries, with countries in the developed world responsible for the vast majority of historical emissions (Bolin and Kheshgi 2001, Raupach et al 2007, Matthews and Solomon2013).
    “While some rapidly developing countries have begun to overtake developed countries in terms of current emissions—China, for example, is now the largest national emitter of carbon dioxide (Peters et al 2012)—there remains a general pattern of disparity between countries in the developed and developing world with respect to total historical emissions, and consequent contributions to observed global warming.”

    So I dug a little deeper which I’ll summarize briefly:

    Highest Per Capita emitters *historically* are in order: UK, USA, Canada, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, France, Venezuela, Argentina.

    Highest emitters were all the Empire building nations 1800-1990 including UK, USA, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, and France, with Japan close but it like China had a delayed industrial development vs the West. See a pattern here?

    This information relates back to a previous comment of mine yesterday
    Total OECD Pop. 2012 = 1,250,403,059
    CHINA = 1,354,040,000
    INDIA = 1,210,193,422
    GRAND TOTAL = 3.814 Billion = 55% of Global Population

    Of those nations in the Study’s top 20 list (see Tables) that are also in the OECD their combined Temp contribution is 0.35 C
    China is 0.063 India is 0.047

    The grand total for ALL OECD nations Temp. contribution is circa >0.50 C
    This is about 5 times that of India and China combined.
    Russia = 0.059 Brazil = 0.049
    The BRICS nations combined = ~0.22 C to 2005
    The Temp. total of all warming noted 1906 to 2005 ~0.8 C

    So, who is responsible to date and into the future to 2040 for the majority of the Global Warming and Temp. increases?
    Answer is the 1.25 Billion people of the OECD nations!

    Especially the first 24 nations who joined the OECD in the 1960s, and in particular, from the empire building nations, the Colonial powers, of 1800-1990 the UK, USA, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, and France, along with all the other western Colonialist powers from ~1800 such as Austria, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain, & Turkey (Ottomans).

    The only BRICS nation in the above is Russia. But where is the focus so often placed upon in the public discourse?

    Onto the BRICS nations by saying: “Second in the list was China, followed by Russia, Brazil and India in the top five.”

    Isn’t 21st century Climate Science really an issue about media framing, about logical fallacies, about bias, about the politics, about cognitive dissonance, and also still very much about the science, aka scientific facts?

    The old saying about statistics comes to mind.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 29 Jan 2014 @ 4:18 AM

  247. Wili #242,

    Thank you for your response; as usual, well-conceived and well-taken. After re-reading my excerpt from Spratt’s latest document in #237, the following occurred to me. Spratt states: “If one wants a 90% chance of not exceeding 2C, there is NO “carbon budget” left”.” Think about that. If someone gave you a meal, and said there was 90% chance you would not be poisoned after you ate, would you be comfortable with that? If they offered you a car, and said there was 90% chance that one of the wheels would not come off in the next 100 miles, would you be comfortable driving that car? So, even with no carbon budget left, if there’s a 10% chance of exceeding 2C, with potential implications of heading toward the Apocalypse, would you be comfortable with that? Oh, wait a second; that’s where we are! Are you comfortable? Given that survival of our species is at stake, I would be comfortable only with well over 99.9% of not exceeding 2 C, with a few more decimals added on. Now we can understand why the Koch brothers don’t want these target numbers to be advertised or even mentioned at all, due to their implications.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 29 Jan 2014 @ 7:03 AM

  248. Rachel:

    I think we need someone, or a group of people, with a vision, knowledge, charisma, and a very, very thick skin.

    We also need media outlets with enough market share to compete with the deniers. They’re outshouting us on Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Daily Mail, the Australian, The National Post, and all the other megaphones owned by self-interested obstructionists. Meanwhile, less-obviously-biased organs like the New York Times are careful to provide “balanced” coverage. When climate realists can reach an audience as large and as motivated as this Capitalist Tool enjoys, we might begin to make headway. It will still be a hard sell, though.

    BTW Rachel, welcome to the RC community. We may not have the strength of ten Koch brothers, but our hearts are purer ;^).

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 29 Jan 2014 @ 8:06 AM

  249. David,

    re your #236, Mike’s OpEd can be read by clicking on the link in his post. You don’t need to log into the NYH site.

    All,

    Just seen this All Dry on the Western Front, so I am saying it!

    Note, although the primary concern is a drought which may continue into desertification, it is not the fate of the farmers that is my main concern. It is all of us. when they can no longer produce our food.

    And besides, middle class Americans will have to go without their Californian wine! :-)

    Cheers, Alastair.

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 29 Jan 2014 @ 10:04 AM

  250. > Stewardship

    They’re doing it wrong.
    It doesn’t mean bringing to a slow boil.
    That’s “stewing”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Jan 2014 @ 11:13 AM

  251. Vol.5, No.1A, 99-105 (2013) Natural Science
    http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ns.2013.51A016
    Reducing consumption to avert catastrophic global climate change: The case of aviation
    Philip Cafaro
    Department of Philosophy, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA

    When a small farmer in Thailand plants and harvests rice to feed his family and buy supplies, that generates subsistence emissions, while my sushi dinner in Colorado, including fish flown half way around the world, represents luxury emissions. A lawyer’s daily commute to work generates subsistence emissions, while her flight to Paris for a weekend get- away generates luxury emissions. “The central point about equity”, Shue notes, “is that it is not equitable to ask some people to surrender necessities so that other people can retain luxuries” [17]. With this basic distinc- tion in mind, we may ask whether particular kinds of air traffic generate mostly necessary or mostly luxury green- house gas emissions.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Jan 2014 @ 11:18 AM

  252. The first results from the 9-11 contrail study are not the last word; three days of data from that event got people started studying the issue (as much science starts with an observation — hmmm, that’s funny ….). And then proceeds, which is why a single paper isn’t an answer, it’s a place to start looking for citing papers.

    Here’s an early contrail paper:

    Travis, David J., Andrew M. Carleton, Ryan G. Lauritsen, 2004: Regional Variations in U.S. Diurnal Temperature Range for the 11–14 September 2001 Aircraft Groundings: Evidence of Jet Contrail Influence on Climate. J. Climate, 17, 1123–1134.
    doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(2004)0172.0.CO;2

    Looking at the list of papers that has been “cited by” leads to more. There’s a “cited by” list with the abstract, and there’s also a “cited by” list when Google Scholar finds the paper (and they differ, there are multiple sources for “cited by” info)

    Here’s one that’s more recent, just as an example:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GL045161/abstract;jsessionid=77820D43C41244BE8D96237B4DDE5F7F.f03t03

    Estimating the climate impact of linear contrails using the UK Met Office climate model
    DOI: 10.1029/2010GL045161

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Jan 2014 @ 11:28 AM

  253. Diogenes wrote to wili: “First, do you have any comments on my response (#208) to your request (#198) for what is required to stay under 1 C?”

    Your comment (#208) was yet another in which you call for “sharp reduction” in “carbon expenditures” while offering not one single concrete suggestion as to how that “sharp reduction” might be achieved — while you simultaneously attacked Bill McKibben and others who are actively working harder than anyone in the world to bring about such reductions.

    That has basically been the whole and entire content of all your comments here — you disparage and denigrate those who are working the hardest to reduce CO2 emissions, while you offer not one single useful suggestion for doing so, and instead preach defeatism and futility, and repeat vague and entirely unsupported claims that eliminating fossil fuel use will necessarily require “severe” economic sacrifices.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 29 Jan 2014 @ 11:44 AM

  254. “If you see something, say something.”

    What does that mean? To me, one meaning is that if one is a climate scientist, and one sees a context larger than the narrow bounds of one’s particular research, they should make it known even if all the i’s are not dotted and the t’s are not crossed. Case in point. The 1 C science-based maximum temperature increase target has been known for at least two decades, and I have no doubt that most, if not all, credible climate scientists are aware of this. Every CO2 cessation today study I examined predicted temperature peaks at least 20% above this 1 C limit, and the CO2 emissions cessation study that McKibben quoted (and I re-quoted in #208) predicted temperature peaks of 60% above this 1 C limit. Yet, did ANY of the original authors of the CO2 emissions cessation studies point out the simple conclusion that we have already committed to NO CARBON BUDGET REMIANING based on their findings? None that I found; all they showed were numbers without context. Even McKibben concluded that the 1.6 C temperature increase finding means that we are already 3/4 of the way toward the 2 C limit. Well, if one is going to arbitrarily normalize on a politically-based, not scientifically-based, number, one could just have concluded as easily that we are already 1/2 the way toward a 3 C limit, or 1/4 the way toward a 6 C limit. Why did he not conclude that we have exceeded the carbon budget by at least 50%, and if feedbacks are taken into account, perhaps by 75 or 100%, given that he quoted leading scientists who emphasized the 1 C target?

    Setting this temperature target is a critical issue for determining climate amelioration policy and strategy. It should be a central climate science issue. But, where are we seeing this conclusion of NO CARBON BUDGET REMAINING on this, the leading climate science site? I don’t remember any posted articles displaying this conclusion. I am not a climate scientist, and I don’t feel overly comfortable being one of the few on this site coming to this conclusion, even though it seems rather obvious when one tries to find consistency among the published statements from the climate science experts.

    So, my question to the moderators, who are themselves world-class climate scientists: do you agree with my conclusions from two moderately different perspectives (#208, 237) that there is no remaining carbon budget, and in fact we are in carbon debt? If not, why not? And, would it be possible for the moderators, or some of the other world-class climate experts to whom they have access, to post an article or two discussing this issue. I can’t think of a climate science issue of greater importance!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 29 Jan 2014 @ 12:52 PM

  255. Hmmm, was EcoEquity removed from the sidebar intentionally?

    That’s been my go-to site for answers to questions like those “Diogenes” asks, for quite a while.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Jan 2014 @ 1:20 PM

  256. Excerpt quoting from EcoEquity’s current front page (which changes); my ellipses:

    … a set of reference mitigation pathways which represented the choices before humanity, albeit in a simplified and schematic fashion…. a Strong 2ºC pathway, a Weak 2°C pathway, and a G8 pathway — and their levels of risk, in a fairly precise and technical manner.

    ***

    A very large number of analyses and debates refer to these or quite similar pathways. Here we assess them them in the light of Working Group I’s … three specific global carbon dioxide (CO2) budgets, and associated them with specific risks….

    The Strong 2°C pathway is defined to be the most challenging mitigation pathway that can still be defended as being techno-economically achievable (Höhne et. al. 2013). Emissions peak in 2014 and then decline …. it has a considerably greater than 66% probability of staying below 2°C.

    The Weak 2°C pathway is fashioned after well-known and often-cited emissions pathways …. Our comparison with the IPCC budgets suggests that these pathways actually carry substantially higher risks than previously believed – they appear to have a slightly less than 50% chance of holding warming below 2°C.

    The G8 pathway, a marker of the high-level political consensus in developed countries …. is sufficiently well-defined that we can compare it with the IPCC budgets…. We find that its chance of keeping the warming below 2°C is far less than 33%.

    Read that in connection with the philosophy cite I gave above
    There’s an ethical position stated there:

    “… it is not equitable to ask some people to surrender necessities so that other people can retain luxuries”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Jan 2014 @ 1:29 PM

  257. Diogenes wrote: “But, where are we seeing this conclusion of NO CARBON BUDGET REMAINING on this, the leading climate science site? I don’t remember any posted articles displaying this conclusion. I am not a climate scientist, and I don’t feel overly comfortable being one of the few on this site coming to this conclusion …”

    If you really think that you are “one of the few on this site” who has come to the conclusion that the already existing anthropogenically elevated level of atmospheric CO2 is already dangerous, and that in addition to ending anthropogenic GHG emissions as rapidly as possible we ALSO need to draw down the existing excess to preindustrial levels, then you are not reading other commenters’ posts.

    I, for one, have said that numerous times, and more clearly and succinctly than you typically do.

    You are indeed, however, “one of the few on this site” who responds to that conclusion by offering no concrete suggestions regarding what to do about it, while disparaging those who are actively working on solutions.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 29 Jan 2014 @ 2:41 PM

  258. I’d like to thank hank for his link at 251, and to join him in praise for the EcoEquity site and his call to restore it to the sidebar (unless there is some fatal flaw with the science there that we don’t know about–if so, please inform us so that we will not be led astray).

    May I also humbly suggest that it would behoove (don’t you love that word?) SA to spend some quality time perusing said site–just a friendly suggestion.

    Diogenes, I think you already know the answer to your question. They don’t want to be branded with the ‘doomsayer’ label so readily applied to the likes of us.

    Mostly though, for me, it would be nice to know how many top climatologists would go along with Anderson’s over-ten-percent-annual-cuts requirement (even if it is for only a fighting chance to stay below the way-too-high 2 degrees C line).

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I would like to go out in ‘a blaze of glory,’ calling for what is at least remotely possible (10+% reductions) and at least potentially not-utterly climacticly catastrophic (2% C net increase), even if there seems no chance for this to be a winning strategy at this point politically.

    But maybe I’ve been watching too much of this sort of thing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51oEk21ax5A

    Comment by wili — 29 Jan 2014 @ 2:45 PM

  259. HR #255,

    “That’s been my go-to site for answers to questions like those “Diogenes” asks, for quite a while.”

    What answers? They’ve stacked the deck to start with, using the politically-based 2 C target rather than the scientifically-based 1 C target as the starting point. Even their strong 2 C pathway statement concludes “it has a considerably greater than 66% probability of staying below 2°C.” I addressed that in my quote from Spratt, in #247. “Spratt states: “If one wants a 90% chance of not exceeding 2C, there is NO “carbon budget” left”.”” I showed further, with some examples, that even allowing a 10% chance of exceeding a dangerous target is unacceptable when the survival of our species could be severely threatened. If anyone disagrees with the numbers I’ve presented, including numbers where I may be overly optimistic, please state your case. If my conclusions are correct, there’s mainly one real option we have remaining.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 29 Jan 2014 @ 3:50 PM

  260. Hank Roberts wrote: “Excerpt quoting from EcoEquity’s current front page …”

    A crucial point, I think:

    Both the “Strong 2°C pathway” and the “Weak 2°C pathway” require emissions to peak in 2014 … which is to say, NOW.

    That is the target that matters.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 29 Jan 2014 @ 4:29 PM

  261. #250 Hank Roberts. Thank you, that’s brilliant. I’ll take the flight steward image. Fly the damn planet. Please.

    Comment by patrick — 29 Jan 2014 @ 5:33 PM

  262. I think realclimate.org should either: (1) stick to “scientific topics and…not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science”; or (2) change the “About” portion of the website to state that political or economic implications are involved.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/about/

    Comment by Jerry — 29 Jan 2014 @ 6:12 PM

  263. #247 DIOGENES says: “Now we can understand why the Koch brothers don’t want these target numbers to be advertised or even mentioned at all, due to their implications.”

    Walter replies: I think this would have already been obvious for a very long time. I would have thought that everyone, especially the active leadership within the climate science community globally, would have been aware of this for a very longtime, like from the early 1990s, as well.

    However, only mentioning the Koch Brothers (as a major example I assume) is tending to cloud the true reality. Moms and pops at the kitchen table also feel the same way about avoiding the implications. Scientists including many climate scientists (pro or con CAGW scenarios) feel the same way too and then act accordingly.

    My point being that everyone is an everyday human being first before acting out their role as a businessman, worker, environmentalist or climate scientist. Human nature comes first, personal values and social values & ideals comes second and third, and then somewhere after those comes what one might make of the output of science research on global warming and it’s implications.

    There has been a strong theme from some quarters in the climate science and related groups that by presenting the science output, such as via the IPCC reports, will convince people of the reality of the situation and would by default indicate clear pathway for a solution to the problem.

    Various groups of like-minded friends within climate science have coalesced around a common value point, discussed their thoughts with ‘friends’ who think the same way, and then approached this in the manner they felt most comfortable with.

    But this ‘response’ by each was based upon their personal and social ideals and not so much about the already agreed broad facts of the science. Each climate scientist has had to personally deal with the apparent ‘implications’ of the climate science output since the early 1990s in their own way.

    What I am saying is that this is human nature, and one’s pre-existing Political Values and Ideals does in fact influence each individuals choices and responses about the “science” or even whether they will actually look at the science. Makes no difference be they the Koch brothers, a climate scientist, a retired nuclear Physics professor, a mom and pop, a business person, a millionaire, or a low paid healthcare worker.

    Yet some people still are holding tightly to the belief that simply presenting the facts of the climate science to the world is sufficient enough to convince that world that the science is valid and that a global response is essential as soon as possible.

    Some people believe that this is all they have to do and is the limit to their own personal responsibility about the subject. That this is all that they are paid to do, this is why they were hired in their specific job role, and that anything over and above this is beyond their ken and outside their job description.

    People quickly forget that people are people first and it is human nature and our accepted beliefs about life which drives most of our own thinking and choices. Not scientific facts. Politics is a part of all our lives. The overt national government politics is obvious. But politics extends throughout all of society, all social groups and business, the local P&C or Church, as well as throughout the 27,000 climate scientists as well. Everyone is touched by ‘politics’ of some kind and usually on a daily basis.

    In climate science like everywhere else there are ‘professional jealousies’, there is politics, there are arguments, there is major ideological disagreements despite what the agreement is on the scientific facts. The most obvious are the 97% consensus versus the recalcitrant Currys and Spencers etc.

    But do not pretend that all is sweet and nice among the 97%. It is not. There is a Climate War going on there as well. It has been going on for a very long time. It manifests everywhere, in OP-Ed articles, on Blog sites, on RealClimate, at the AGU, the IPCC discussions, inside NASA and every other such organisation.

    Basically every time some climate scientists opens their mouth or writes something, or sends another an email, it’s “political’ in some form. It is not about the Science though. It is about the “Implications” and the views and values behind this are all extremely “Political” and “Ideological” in nature.

    It’s about to get bloody and will become more overt as the year/s unfold. I don’t know which of the groups in this battle is right. It doesn’t really matter anyway. What will decide the outcome is which side wins the war. Not who is more right or more rational.

    Someone had to say something. May as well have been me.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 29 Jan 2014 @ 7:09 PM

  264. Jerry:

    I think realclimate.org should either: (1) stick to “scientific topics and…not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science”; or (2) change the “About” portion of the website to state that political or economic implications are involved.

    The trouble is that scientific problems around the causes and effects of AGW, and the technologies to replace fossil fuels with renewables, are pretty much solved. The hard problems remaining are economic and therefore ultimately political: namely, how to overcome the obstructionism of the people who will make less money if FF use is curtailed. That’s what “If you see something, say something” must really be about.

    I’m just sayin’!

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 29 Jan 2014 @ 8:07 PM

  265. #253 SecularAnimist

    I have read what DIOGENES has been saying the last couple of months. I am wondering if you and some others have really listened to what he has been saying quite consistently and understood that.

    Not whether DIOGENES ideas have merit or not, but if you are clearly understanding exactly what his key points have been thus far.

    Your reply here seems to be focusing upon and making a complaint about this aspect, quoting SA: “while you offer not one single useful suggestion for doing so, and instead preach defeatism and futility”

    I am certain that DIOGENES #1 point has been the current lack of agreement by parties of precisely what is the current state of the situation now.

    He put that point forward on the sound reasoning of that when one is confronted with a problem requiring a comprehensive strategy to solve that the most important thing to do first is to at least define clearly what the problem is and to quantify that precisely in the present.

    His focus has also been about rational practical and long proven Problem Solving Strategies and Process. He has not been here “preaching” about what he believes those solutions might actually be in the long term.

    He has of course pointed out repeatedly that the current beliefs about the success and potential of several solutions have not and will not achieve the goal of reducing any GHG emissions growth into the future on a Business As Usual scenario. That is a proven fact in my opinion for it is based upon multiple credible and scientifically based sources of hard physical evidence and not wishful thinking.

    BAU projections already includes the inputs of current and planned take up of existing renewable energy alternatives as well as Nuclear energy. I believe DIOGENES main point is that he believes that until the reality of the current situation is clearly defined and accepted for what it is and agreed upon across the board by all parties concerned with Climate Change issues, then discussing anything else is a waste of time. In fact the current approach is counter-productive to implementing genuine long term solutions to the Climate problem the world is facing.

    He reinforces this point by asking things like this: “my question to the moderators, who are themselves world-class climate scientists: do you agree with my conclusions from two moderately different perspectives (#208, 237) that there is no remaining carbon budget, and in fact we are in carbon debt? If not, why not?”

    DIOGENES is presenting an issue that he feels is of critical importance here. He is asking for other people’s input. He is humbly requesting the climate scientists, moderators and posters on RC engage him in a genuine and fruitful discussion about these issues. To debate them openly and honestly as well as to present their own thinking and opinions about this matter.

    DIOGENES does not appear to having much success thus far. Silence appears to be the dominant response, mixed in with a few pointed complaints about himself even raising the issues he would like to discuss maturely and rationally.

    Looks to me the issues DIOGENES has raised (eg what is the Carbon Budget, what does the science tells us is the ‘safe’ upper limit in GHGs and Temp.) are clearly within the realm of “climate science” and are appropriate to the purpose that RC was created for in the first place.

    I still feel that it is a real shame that so many find that unacceptable here and others choose to remain silent and ignore him completely as if he does not exist.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 29 Jan 2014 @ 8:33 PM

  266. #260 Walter, sorry I forgot to include with the text a relevant google search url: psychology of climate change denial
    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=psychology+of+climate+change+denial&oq=psychology+of+climate&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l5.10875j0j7&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8

    All I can say is I encourage everyone, from climate scientists down to the most recent person looking into the climate change issues to dig deep into the academic and scientific research to date regarding people’s reactiosn to climate change issues, know what the “known knowns” about human psychology, human nature already are, and why it is that the ‘facts about climate science’ are not actually the main game here.

    All the scientific facts in the world are unable (incapable) to shift human beliefs and values. A Plus element is required.

    Meaning that the science alone and climate scientists alone are not the solution to the problem the scientists have presented to the world and repeatedly been articulating as being true and correct for the last 25 years that Global Warming became a well known problem.

    Several here have made some great suggestions about communicating the truth more effectively to the world at large in a way that more voters and politicians would understand and embrace, before it is too late.

    I’d suggest two celebrities, media personalities as being a yardstick to shoot for to communicate the facts about the science in a way the average person could understand. But two people who a majority of the public might actually be willing to listen to in the first place due to their existing high level of non-political ‘non-climate science’ credibility.

    Sir David Frederick Attenborough, OM CH CVO CBE FRS FZS FSA, the English broadcaster and naturalist.

    Professor Brian Edward Cox, OBE, the English physicist and former musician, a Royal Society University Research Fellow, PPARC Advanced Fellow at the University of Manchester.

    Go for it!

    Comment by Walter — 29 Jan 2014 @ 8:56 PM

  267. #246

    About national and per capita contributions to observed global warming.

    Considering cumulative contributions is more fair than not considering it. But I have doubts about considering per capita contributions. There are regions where population size has not changed in the last 100 years, in some regions it hasn’t changed since the Middle Ages (even while consumption levels have grown many times). I argue that it would be more fair (and prudent from the ecological footprint perspective) to consider cumulative contributions per land area unit.

    And larger countries should divide their country budget into smaller sections, so that China Proper does not benefit from Tibet and Inner Mongolia and European Russia does not benefit from Siberia (and lower USA does not benefit from Alaska and Australian coastal regions do not benefit from the outback) and glacial lands should be excluded from the budget (Denmark and Greenland). One logical area size could be derived from the distance of regional climate change impact, for example Arctic ocean changes impact spreads 1000-1500 km from the Siberian coast (which as I understand is also incidentally the ballpark distance of necessary grid temperature measurements to compute global average temperatures).

    Comment by concerned citizen — 29 Jan 2014 @ 9:05 PM

  268. Any thoughts on the Presidents SOTU Address? Did you hear anything positive concerning Climate Change and what he intends to do about it? I caught a couple of sentences but nothing substantial. I’m wondering if there’s any chance of holding his feet to the fire on getting something around Congress? Thoughts?

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 30 Jan 2014 @ 12:02 AM

  269. http://anthropocenejournal.com/category/earth-at-night/

    November 2013

    Félix Pharand-Deschênes and I have just produced a new data visualization on climate change for the UN’s climate negotiations taking place in Warsaw, Poland right now. It was commissioned by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and funded by the UN Foundation.

    The visualization is a summary of the findings presented in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Working Group I, Summary for Policymakers, the Physical Science Basis).

    The wonderful Gizmodo has covered it in its own inimitable style. In the article I try to explain what we were attempting to do. We wanted to find a way of communicating climate risks in a way that showed exactly what climate scientists mean when they say likely or unlikely. While the terminology used by researchers can sound a little vague, it is more precise than most people realize.

    It was important for us to try to find a way of simplifying the complexity of fossil-fuel emissions, temperature rise and future carbon budgets to keep within policy targets. The ending is a little bleak: societies are running out of time, and running in the wrong direction. Sorry.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jan 2014 @ 12:05 AM

  270. I agree with the article. We have the right in the US Constitution for freedom of speech, so why not exercise it? That’s part of the reason I decided to go to school to become an environmental scientist is to do proactive work in the field that can be shared with the scientific community and the general public. We need to think long term and utilize the 7th Generation Concept more thoughtfully and we need to take the issue of global climate change seriously so Earth can still be a sustainable place to live in the future. We need to collectively start thinking more long-term, and I know that it’s difficult, but we only have one home….So why not fight for it? Not only for the future generations, but also for ourselves and the survival of mankind. We should turn our relationship between us and the environment more toward mutualistic symbiosis instead of parasitism. No more take, take, take…But more of take and give back.

    Comment by Alexis Crawford — 30 Jan 2014 @ 1:03 AM

  271. From Gavin’s AGU talk:
    ‘Advocacy is perceived as problematic within the science community’
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJC1phPS6IA&feature=youtu.be&t=16m13s

    Gavin took a straw poll: “Positive? Oh. Negative? Oooh, ah, actually that’s about half-half. That’s interesting. Oh, OK, that was not what I expected.”

    From the Yale climate summary:
    Scientists who choose to communicate widely cannot avoid advocacy, Schmidt said. “You can’t be a science communicator and pretend you have no values. What instead you need to do is accept them.”

    If scientists don’t, people will choose for them what values they hold, he said. “You’re much better off owning that, and telling people what you’re advocating for.”

    Scientists must be careful, however, and follow a handful of rules of engagement that will protect their integrity as a scientist as well as their rights as a citizen. Responsible advocacy is characterized by a handful of principles, Schmidt said.

    The individual should:
    - communicate his/her values fairly and truthfully;
    - make the connections between his/her values and policy choices explicit;
    - make sure to distinguish his/her personal conclusions from the scientific consensus;
    - acknowledge that people with different values would have different policy choices; and
    - be aware of how his/her values might impact objectivity, and be vigilant.

    Irresponsible advocacy, on the other hand, can be recognized through a handful of clues.

    Among these:
    - Individuals misrepresent and hide their values.
    - The basis of their policy choices is unclear.
    - There’s an untested presumption that the individual’s personal scientific conclusions are widely held in the ‘scientific community’ (see above)
    - Assumption that disagreement about policy implies disagreement on scientific data
    - Using science-y arguments as cover for hidden differences in Values
    See video overhead here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJC1phPS6IA&feature=youtu.be&t=34m34s

    An interesting question.
    Is the following a difference over Values or a Difference over the Science?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJC1phPS6IA&feature=youtu.be&t=54m30s

    More info:
    http://ameg.me/index.php/about-ameg
    and here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/arctic-and-american-methane-in-context/

    AGU Fall Meeting 2013 – Richard Alley
    Overall, the very large impacts of past Arctic changes, and the likelihood that future changes under business-as-usual fossil-fuel emissions will be unprecedented in combined size and speed, raise important questions. http://climatestate.com/2013/12/21/abrupt-climate-change-in-the-arctic-and-beyond-an-update/

    http://climatestate.com/2014/01/03/usgs-climate-hydrate-interactions/

    http://climatestate.com/2014/01/02/dangerous-climate-change-required-reduction-of-carbon-emissions-to-protect-young-people-future-generations-and-nature/

    http://climatestate.com/2013/08/26/methane-release-from-the-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-and-the-potential-for-abrupt-climate-change/

    http://climatestate.com/2014/01/03/nrc-abrupt-impacts-of-climate-change-2013/

    Papers
    http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?q=methane+clathrates+permafrost&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ei=qPfpUq2zHorllAWxmoHgDg&ved=0CCUQgQMwAA

    I don’t know much about Siberian, Canadian, or under sea Arctic Methane. So, I do not have an opinion about it.

    I do have an opinion about the conservative future projections and RCP scenarios contained in the IPCC AR5 WG1 report though. In particular about collapsing summer Arctic Sea Ice extent, about BAU CO2e emissions growth rates, and the impacts of increasing ocean acidification upon reef systems and biodiversity in the short term. Not saying my opinion does or should matter.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 30 Jan 2014 @ 2:08 AM

  272. @263 Walter: On people as people: yes, but think about it in your own life: if someone is always unrelentingly wrong about something, are you more likely to trust them on other matters, or not?

    Comment by patrick — 30 Jan 2014 @ 2:40 AM

  273. In the AGU 2013 meeting talk by Richard Alley (ref link above) he mentioned an interesting thing (to me) in responding to a question. What to do about the numbers in the latest IPCC report, and the numbers from the IMF and EIA (US Energy Information Agency) regarding the ongoing subsidizing Policies that are actually serving to greatly accelerate Climate Change.
    This link starts at 46m40secs in the middle of the question.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2qfa3TYgcs&feature=youtu.be&t=46m40s

    Comment by Walter — 30 Jan 2014 @ 3:25 AM

  274. Walter #265,

    Appreciate your comments. One observation. In many types of testimony or other commentary, the potential conflicts of the commenter are required beforehand. These include sources of income and investment portfolio. We don’t require this information on blogs, and therefore have no idea of the larger context in which the comments are made. When I see scripted talking points repeated incessantly, and mindless promotion of specific technologies independent of targets achieved, I understand the motivations precisely and ignore the comments.

    We have run out of carbon budget, and are well into carbon debt. We are carbon bankrupt! Unlike the monetary bankruptcy court, the carbon bankruptcy court offers no leniency. The full carbon debt must be repaid. If the repayment is not sufficiently rapid, the ultimate penalty will be exacted.

    We know the extent of the problem. The simple numbers I have generated approximate its severity. Moreover, the solution is obvious; we have relatively few options for the critical short-term window available. Like any bankruptcy resolution, they do not involve ‘prosperity’. They involve strong elimination of the profligate ways that got us into carbon debt in the first place. As you point out in #263 “Moms and pops at the kitchen table also feel the same way about avoiding the implications. Scientists including many climate scientists (pro or con CAGW scenarios) feel the same way too and then act accordingly.” I would only add to that excellent observation, let us not forget those waiting in the wings who would use the siren call of ‘prosperity’ to create a Windfall (Wili’s reference) with technologies that will not achieve the required temperature targets.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 30 Jan 2014 @ 6:25 AM

  275. #269 Thank you. Fly the blue marble.

    Comment by patrick — 30 Jan 2014 @ 7:36 AM

  276. This chart is in Gavin’s media gallery now on Twitter:

    pic.twitter.com/aZaBw24Lpj

    pic.twitter.com/kazvU4M6f2

    It’s very clear. Thank you, Dr. Schmidt.

    Comment by patrick — 30 Jan 2014 @ 8:13 AM

  277. That chart is here too, the second graphic:

    http://quantpalaeo.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/well-all-be-dead-by-then-lindzen-in-london/

    Comment by patrick — 30 Jan 2014 @ 8:17 AM

  278. From the recent Radical Emissions Reduction Conference, some notes from Kevin Anderson’s presentations. These were posted on David Spratt’s blog (http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/01/radical-emissions-reductions-1-kevin.html). For anyone who wants the straight scoop on what’s really happening with the climate. the extent of the problem, and what’s really required to fix it (if still possible), I recommend this site with no reservations, especially Spratt’s articles. No scripted talking points here!

    In a later article posted on his blog, from which I quoted recently, Spratt draws a conclusion differing from Anderson. Spratt concluded that for 90% chance of staying below 2 C, we have RUN OUT OF CARBON BUDGET ALREADY. Additionally, both Spratt and Anderson have quoted the leading climate scientists as saying the 2 C TARGET IS OVERLY DANGEROUS, AND 1 C IS A MORE APPROPRIATE SCIENTIFICALLY-BASED TARGET.

    “Anderson starts with the proposition that stabilisation at 2°C remains a feasible goal of the international community, just. [Readers of this blog will know well that AT LESS THAN 1 DEGREE OF WARMING, THERE IS A GOOD DEAL OF EVIDENCE THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS ALREADY DANGEROUS AND OF THE VIEW OF LEADING SCIENTISTS THAT 2°C HOTTER IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE CLIMATE TARGET BUT A DISASTER.]

    Anderson makes the point that radical mitigation has economic benefits, not financial. He says it is time to wrestle economics away from the financiers. The word economics originates from the Greek oikonimia, meaning stewardship of the household; no mention of money. The word financial comes from the Greek chrematistic meaning the making of money. IF MAKING MONEY IS OUR PRIORITY THEN 2°C IS NOT VIABLE. If we’re interested in the wellbeing of our lives and the planet, then 2°C is viable with a successful economy.

    The science message contained within latest IPCC report hasn’t changed in the last 20 years. This science is mature. But what has changed, says Anderson, is that:
    •Since IPCC AR4 in 2007, an additional 200 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (GtCO2) has been released;
    •Annual emissions are ~70% higher than at the time of the first report in 1990;
    •Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are higher than during past 800 thousand years.
    The world says it is still committed to make a fair contribution “To hold the increase in global temperature below 2°C, and take action to meet this objective consistent with science and on the basis of equity”. (Copenhagen Accord 2009).

    So why do we need to concentrate on energy demand rather than supply? Because, says Anderson, IN 2013 IT’S TOO LATE TO ONLY RELY SOLELY ON THE SUPPLY SIDE. WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THE DEMAND SIDE NOW TOO.

    So what of future emissions? Everything built today based on fossil fuels is locking ourselves into a high carbon future: power stations, large scale infrastructures, built environment, aircraft and ships. All this infrastructure will be in place for 30 to 100 years.

    [CHART NOT SHOWN]

    Emissions in the above chart are higher than emissions in IPCC’s highest emission pathway (RCP8.5), with 2% a year growth from 2020. Are such rising emissions scenarios realistic? They are certainly viable, says Anderson, since UK is considered a leading country on climate change and the UK has made extensive fossil fuel investments.

    Current pathway leads to emissions of greater than 2500 GtCO2 for the period 2000–2050, and 5000 GtCO2 for 2000–2100. Yet for a 66% chance of less than 2°C, we can emit only 1000 GtCO2. Along our current pathway all of that will be emitted by 2032. There is nothing left for emissions by 2032.

    The carbon dioxide trend, says Anderson, is “PERFECTLY IN LINE WITH A TEMPERATURE INCREASE OF 6°C, which would have devastating consequences for the planet” as IEA chief economist Faith Birol has noted. Whether it is 4, 5 or 6°C doesn’t mean too much; they’re all devastating.

    There is nothing we can do significantly in the wealthy parts of the world to get emissions down with just low carbon supply in the short term. THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO NOW IS REDUCE OUR DEMAND. The supply side is a pre-requisite in the long term to holding temperature below 2°C.”

    Comment by DIOGENES — 30 Jan 2014 @ 10:39 AM

  279. Diogenes quoted Spratt: “So why do we need to concentrate on energy demand rather than supply? Because, says Anderson, IN 2013 IT’S TOO LATE TO ONLY RELY SOLELY ON THE SUPPLY SIDE … “

    I think you have beaten that strawman to death by now.

    There is no one who thinks, claims or advocates that relying “ONLY” on decarbonizing the energy supply is sufficient.

    Diogenes quoted Spratt: “Anderson makes the point that radical mitigation has economic benefits … 2°C is viable with a successful economy.”

    And yet in your previous comments here, you have repeatedly cited Anderson to support your claim that any serious effort to keep the peak warming below 2°C must require “severe economic reductions”, and you have repeatedly dismissed and disparaged any suggestion that “radical mitigation” is compatible with a “successful economy”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 30 Jan 2014 @ 11:51 AM

  280. 227 prokaryotes:

    Noam Chomsky: How Climate Change Became a ‘Liberal Hoax’
    The Nation and On The Earth Productions
    http://www.thenation.com/video/158093/noam-chomsky-how-climate-change-became-liberal-hoax#
    February 9, 2011  
    video

    “In this sixth video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” from The Nation and On The Earth Productions, linguist, philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky talks about the Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute and other business lobbies enthusiastically carrying out campaigns “to try and convince the population that global warming is a liberal hoax.” According to Chomsky, this massive public relations campaign has succeeded in leading a good portion of the population into doubting the human causes of global warming.
    Known for his criticism of the media, Chomsky doesn’t hold back in this clip, laying blame on mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times, which will run frontpage articles on what meteorologists think about global warming. “Meteorologists are pretty faces reading scripts telling you whether it’s going to rain tomorrow,” Chomsky says. “What do they have to say any more than your barber?” All this is part of the media’s pursuit of “fabled objectivity.”
    Of particular concern for Chomsky is the atmosphere of anger, fear and hostility that currently reigns in America. The public’s hatred of Democrats, Republicans, big business and banks and the public’s distrust of scientists all lead to general disregard for the findings of “pointy-headed elitists.” The 2010 elections could be interpreted as a “death knell for the species” because most of the new Republicans in Congress are global warming deniers. “If this was happening in some small country,” Chomsky concludes, “it wouldn’t matter much. But when it’s happening in the richest, most powerful country in the world, it’s a danger to the survival of the species.”
    Go here to learn more about “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate,” and to see the other videos in the series.
    —Kevin Gosztola”

    Search “liberal” in RC. Get About 698 results
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/03/with-all-due-respect/

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 30 Jan 2014 @ 11:53 AM

  281. Chuck #268. Yes, caught the SOTU.

    A few encouraging signs with Obama stating that the science is settled and he supports regulation of emissions. But his trumpeting of domestic energy production, including oil and gas, contradict his statements on bringing down emissions. The dots aren’t joined up.

    It seemed to me to be a piecemeal and parochial approach, but then this was very much a speech focused on domestic issues.

    I don’t think climate change can be solved with each country focusing on themselves. There has to be international cooperation. So I wasn’t too encouraged.

    Comment by Rachel F — 30 Jan 2014 @ 11:58 AM

  282. Diogenes wrote: “In many types of testimony or other commentary, the potential conflicts of the commenter are required beforehand. These include sources of income and investment portfolio … When I see scripted talking points repeated incessantly, and mindless promotion of specific technologies independent of targets achieved, I understand the motivations precisely.”

    So now you are reduced to accusing me of being a paid liar.

    Which is, in fact, a false accusation, made with no factual basis whatsoever.

    It is also an ad hominem fallacy.

    It is also a sleazy and cowardly personal attack.

    It is also a step down from your earlier strawman-beating and name-calling.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 30 Jan 2014 @ 12:14 PM

  283. re Walter says: 27 Jan 2014 at 2:37 AM
    An old truism reads: “Knowledge is Power”.
    On the subject of the Earth’s climate into the future then, who in a world of equals possesses the greatest power other than working climate scientists and scientists in general? I cannot think of any other group who doesn’t know more about the science. It is not enough though.

    re Walter says: 28 Jan 2014 at 11:51 PM
    #222 Edward Greisch says: “GW is not a liberal political cause. GW is a science. Science needs to be de-linked from politics completely for action on GW to have any chance.”
    Edward, this kind of theory is not correct nor workable …….

    Here is a pretty good reason why. Nothing trumps Geo-Politics.

    Snowden revelations of NSA spying on 2009 Copenhagen climate talks spark anger – Developing countries have reacted angrily to revelations that the United States spied on other governments at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/30/snowden-nsa-spying-copenhagen-climate-talks

    9 December 2009 Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after ‘Danish text’ leak http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/dec/08/copenhagen-climate-summit-disarray-danish-text

    29. januar 2014 Dokumentet: NSA spionerede mod COP15 29. januar 2014
    http://www.information.dk/databloggen/486321

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 30 Jan 2014 @ 2:15 PM

  284. #272 patrick says:
    @263 Walter: On people as people: yes, but think about it in your own life: if someone is always unrelentingly wrong about something, are you more likely to trust them on other matters, or not?

    Patrick,

    I think you’re asking the wrong question here. A person can be hopeless in love relationships or in buying lemons for cars, but if he is a good family doctor and gives me the right advice, then so what? It depends on the “subject matter”. No one has been as unrelenting wrong about somethings as I have been. So what?

    The best climate scientist in the world may not be able to balance his check book, should I ignore his Papers?

    Should I automatically assume he is also a genius in Public Communication, the Media, Politics, 10 Year Business Plans, Economic realities, and Psychology too? See what I mean? It is not as simple as we would probably all like it to be. Nothing seems to be as complex a hard problem than the implications of Climate Change.

    Fact is Patrick, as human beings we are each always unrelentingly wrong about all kinds of things. To be able ourselves to realize when this the case is the only solution. Trusting in our own ability to work this out for ourselves separates the men from the boys. Being mature enough to listen to external criticisms and critiques from others telling us we “might be wrong” and a willingness to reconsider our own personal position and revisit our prior judgements in the light of new information is critical.

    So few can do this. Nelson Mandela did this, yet it also took him a couple of decades in jail to work that out for himself. If we were all so wise, and be able to change our views so much quicker, then life would be so easy! Wouldn’t it?

    Quoting:
    “One of the main IPCC activities is the preparation of comprehensive Assessment Reports about the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response strategies. The IPCC also produces Special Reports, which are an assessment on a specific issue and Methodology Reports, which provide practical guidelines for the preparation of greenhouse gas inventories.”

    “Since its inception in 1988 the IPCC has prepared four multivolume assessment reports and is in the process of finalizing the Fifth Assessment Report.”

    “The early identification of a set of “Representative Concentration Pathways” (RCPs) facilitates coordination of new integrated socioeconomic, emissions, and climate scenarios.”

    “The main rationale for beginning with RCPs is to expedite the development of a broad literature of new and integrated scenarios by allowing the modeling of climate system responses to human activities to proceed in parallel to emissions scenario development.”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/activities/activities.shtml

    Personally I do not question the validity of the science that has been done, nor the credibility of the scientists who publish their research Papers, nor the current state of the (mountainous volume of) accumulated knowledge produced.

    I do suggest that the RCP 8.5 scenario published in Sept 2013 AR5 is already out of date and therefore essentially ‘wrong’.

    RCP 8.5 is the highest / worst case scenario. The rest of the RCPs appear to be in fantasy land, and may as well be a display at Disney World so disconnected from any future reality are they.

    I am not being critical of the scientists, personally nor individually. My understanding of the IPCC work is that it is drawn upon genuine published climate science papers by genuine active scientist teams. The majority of the working groups are volunteer authors and assistants that make value judgments in selecting which of those Papers are most ‘credible/realistic/valuable’ by agreement. No problem there in seeking a reasonable consensus.

    An aspect of which I am not fully knowledgeable (not been able to do due diligence in this area) is that the next step appears to be where each member nation (ie Government) must first ‘sign off’ on each WG report before it is accepted by the IPCC process and then Published for the world to see. I am unsure to what degree such prior requirement for all Nations agreement/consensus could politically influence the end result.

    What does seem clear though is that many/most national governments have simply ignored the scientific based content and the implications of all IPCC Reports anyway since 1988 so far. The worst case of this, the most belligerent of nations appears to be the USA closely followed by Australia, Canada, the UK and many other OECD nations.

    China despite massive growth in fossil fuels also has the highest uptake of renewable & nuclear energy since 1988. It is the worlds #1 supplier of PV solar, electric cars, high end battery technology, and Wind turbines now. How much of that is genuine or if it is merely a callous marketing ploy to generate economic growth for itself I have no idea.

    Consider this new item: http://climatechangenationalforum.org/fox-news-radio-host-brian-kilmeade-suggests-only-corrupt-climate-scientists-believe-in-global-warming-and-asks-how-else-do-they-make-their-living/

    The CCNF has only just begun, and yet Climate Scientists Jim Bouldin, John Nielsen-Gammon, Bart Verheggen are, in my opinion, totally ‘wrong’ in their responses to this item by their “media communicator / fact checker”.

    Michael Quirke is ‘right’ to highlight the BS by Fox News here. But rather than confront it head on, and actually *Educate the Public* better as to why Fox is ‘wrong’ they simply dismiss it out of hand as being beneath them addressing it.

    They state: (CCNF) is a national platform, founded and led by scientists, to educate the American public on the science of climate change and its policy implications.

    The issue is not what the Fox presenter himself says or believes but the fact that that “false information” is constantly being fed into the national consciousness and people actually DO believe it. That needs addressing head on, and not dismissed as and I Quote:

    “It’s really not worth responding to such hypocritical idiocy. We don’t have time for it.”

    Sorry but people actually DO believe and swallow whole “such hypocritical idiocy”. If these scientists don’t have time for that, they may as well shut the website down right now and go fishing.

    And Michael Quirke who I think is 100% right here, should pack his desk and take his smarts somewhere else if this is how he is going to be publicly dressed down by the climate scientists on CCNF

    They say: “Our aim is to SERVE as an objective source for journalists, policy experts, scientists, and interested citizens.”

    Well it would help enormously if they were to actually deal with REALITY as it is in the USA, Fox News and all, and not how they would prefer it to be.

    Surely that is Reason and Logic: 101, isn’t it?

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 30 Jan 2014 @ 4:10 PM

  285. > Michael Quirke is ‘right’ to highlight the BS by Fox News

    Yeah, but the scientists are right that there’s no claim there to rebut. You don’t need a climatologist to deal with that kind of claim, and they have no expertise special to addressing it.

    Fox over and over presents “have you quit beating your wife?” stuff.
    But it ain’t climate science.

    Someone with research in rhetoric and PR might have a useful response. Or a humorist. Or David Brin:

    A friend recently asked me to explain our present political insanity, in the United States of America. Especially, he was puzzled as to why there are elements of anti-science mania on the left (e.g. “anti-vaxxers” who oppose vaccination) when the War on Science is clearly in large part an epi-phenomenon of the maniacal right.
    Our Favorite Cliché: The Idiot Plot

    The Fox stuff reminds me of the old folklore story that appears in different ways in hundreds of different cultures:

    Br’er Rabbit becomes offended by what he perceives as the Tar-Baby’s lack of manners, punches it, and in doing so becomes stuck. The more Br’er Rabbit punches and kicks the tar “baby” out of rage, the worse he gets stuck.

    People captured by that kind of language don’t understand why responding to it makes them look, well, like that kind of people.

    XKCD is cautionary about being captured by that sort of rhetoric.

    Replying to it at a science site? Not a good idea.
    There are damn few science sites. Don’t waste any of them.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jan 2014 @ 7:58 PM

  286. #285, Hank I am not going to argue with you here, but will disagree with the points you’ve made.

    You and I and thousands of others know it is BS by Fox, ludicrous logical fallacies and manipulative spin. Still, this does not change the reality on the ground. eg I have no idea what scientists, or professors, or NASA directors are paid myself.

    CCNF say: “Our aim is to SERVE as an objective source ….” If this requires them to spoon feed people, then so be it.

    Why? Because I say again, people actually DO believe and swallow whole “such hypocritical idiocy”.

    See #271 about Gavin’s AGU talk I think it’s related here:
    From the Yale climate summary:
    Scientists who choose to communicate widely cannot avoid advocacy, Schmidt said. “You can’t be a science communicator and pretend you have no values. What instead you need to do is accept them.”
    If scientists don’t, people will choose for them what values they hold, he said. “You’re much better off owning that, and telling people what you’re advocating for.” [end quote]

    Confronting publicly and bluntly using clear facts these ludicrous claims about income and motivation is a part of that I believe. Wishing it just wasn’t so, is mystical thinking.

    The referenced page was about “fact checking” and that can be done on this issue. The specific Fox case is only one example of hundreds in the ‘media’ and online that casts false aspersions about the motivation and income of Climate Scientists.

    This is a great opportunity for CCNF to deal with this issue once and for all, present a reasonable retort to the whole BS story in one go, and then create a permalink to that report summary of the facts.

    Easy enough for Michael Quirke to search online and compile a summary of the most prolific false claims being made, and then for the scientists on CCNF to address those with some accurate facts.

    Like I note that John Nielsen-Gammon has already addressed an issue about his funding sources and short funding needs on his own blog. That’s a great example. He and the others could send out an email request for some “basic pay scales” of different roles people play in the climate science field and report those.

    I also note that John Nielsen-Gammon, and Richard Alley, and Michael Mann, work for “State” universities who I can only imagine receive far less in Salary and benefits than other high powered Private Universities funded by Corporate Giants with multiple political strings attached.

    Hansen (retired) and Gavin work for Nasa/Giss … I suspect they are not millionaires either, nor receiving annual bonuses like the CEO of Goldman Sachs who just pulled another $23 million.

    There are multiple ways to adequately address this “fact checking” issue whilst maintaining privacy of individuals. The public have a right to know, even if they are too slow or too gullible to work it out for themselves.

    Is this not the exact reason that CCNF, and RC, were actually created for in the first place? CCNF is going a step further now (or claim they are going to) by getting into the social, journalism, economic and political aspects as well.

    People actually believe this BS, right? Well if they do it needs to be addressed, and doing it on a fact checking page of CCNF is the perfect place to it.

    Michael Quirke has brought this important point to the attention of the scientists there and they have dismissed it out of hand as releavnt. I disagree. This looks more like an “emotional reaction” by them and not a thoughtful, clear headed rational one.

    Michael Quirke is the one who is the EXPERT here, and not the scientists. He should be listened to and his counsel seriously considered and then acted upon even if they can’t see the wisdom in it. They MUST learn to trust the media/communication (marketing/psychology) experts or give it up right now.

    That’s my view. I suspect it won’t change a thing, let alone the approach by the CCNF. I think that’s a pity and another wasted opportunity. But that’s just me. I am pretty unusual and some may say too weird.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 31 Jan 2014 @ 2:09 AM

  287. Hank, I also don’t think it would be very hard to research what the salaries and income is for the average Fox news presenter or Think Tank operative. How much income was made by several Fox geniuses from their multiple book sales which get all that free advertising from Rupert?

    Recently someone released some salary data of the public broadcaster in Australia. the highest paid TV presenter was pulling about $750K, and several others $350K to $500K (?)

    How much do you think they get paid on FOX et al?

    People in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing stones. That they make this an issue about scientists is a clear giveaway they have much to more to hide themselves.

    Human Behavior:101

    They won’t teach you that at climate science university — ok!

    Comment by Walter — 31 Jan 2014 @ 2:20 AM

  288. Walter, you’ve demonstrated the five points Brin lists at Turn Your Heads!
    How old were you in 1970? Have you seen this movie before?
    It gets boring the second or third time around.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Jan 2014 @ 10:05 AM

  289. Walter needs to move on to Logic and Human Behavior:102.

    Faux media personalities don’t carry on about scientists ‘rent seeking’ because they want to hide their own, nor are they conveying facts or information or ‘news’, they’re providing confirmation for the masses who stay glued to them specifically for that, confirmation of myopic opinion. Those presenters will not report your ‘rebuttals’ and alienate their viewers and bosses, and those viewers [who are the ones you really want to reach] would blank them out if they heard them, or twist them to suit the blinders they wear or simply flip over to the sports channel.

    “red-shifted soXpar” says CAPTCHA

    Comment by flxible — 31 Jan 2014 @ 10:19 AM

  290. I think this article by Joe Romm offers a number of good examples of climate scientists seeing something and saying something:

    Leading Scientists Explain How Climate Change Is Worsening California’s Epic Drought
    By Joe Romm
    http://www.ClimateProgress.org
    January 31, 2014

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 31 Jan 2014 @ 11:14 AM

  291. Walter #265,

    To amplify your main points, I have integrated and summarized the targets I have discussed in recent weeks, and the associated policies and strategies that derive therefrom.

    1. Reasonable (~50/50) chance of peak temperature increase staying under 2 C during transition

    This is the base case of Kevin Anderson’s computations. His model does not include the major carbon feedback mechanisms, and thereby under-estimates the CO2 emissions reductions required. This 2 C temperature is also viewed as the entre to the Very Dangerous regime, and Anderson has stated that many leading climate scientists believe 1 C should be the target.

    Anderson includes demand reductions, renewables installation, and energy efficiency improvements in his amelioration strategy. He concludes we cannot achieve the temperature targets through supply side alone, and that substantive demand reductions are required. He states that CO2 emissions reductions of ~10% per year globally are required for an extended period of time. Further, he states that the Annex 1 (developed) nations, who are responsible for much of the problem, would have to bear a larger share of the reductions than the non-Annex 1 nations at any international negotiations.

    He states the economic consequences of his recommendations in somewhat subdued terms, in my estimation, such as ‘planned austerity’ or ‘planned recession’. Given that GDP is closely tied to fossil fuel use in today’s economy, reductions of 10-20% annually in CO2 emissions would translate into GDP reductions on the order of 6-15% annually, for years. GDP reductions of this level would result in a major Depression with unthinkable consequences; only those who read from scripted talking points could in any way associate this economic consequence with ‘prosperity’. And, this is the best-case!

    2. High (~90/10) chance of peak temperature increase staying under 2 C during transition

    This case was discussed by Spratt, and in my view, still allows too much (10%) of a chance for temperature to exceed 2 C. To achieve the 90% level, we have run out of carbon budget! So, ANY expenditure of fossil fuel from here on out increases our chances of exceeding 2 C, and moves us closer to the Apocalypse. Eliminating fossil fuel use is obviously impractical at this time, but we need to keep in mind the Faustian tradeoff we are making every time we use fossil fuel for any purpose.

    3. Peak temperature increase staying under ~1 C during transition

    This case was discussed by Hansen, and was motivated by the desire not to exceed prior-Holocene experience and venture too far into the unknown, where carbon cycle feedbacks (not included in Hansen’s analysis) could become important. In Hansen’s words: “2°C warming would have major deleterious consequences”.

    I quoted sources that examined immediate cessation of CO2 emissions, and showed examples where conservative models (none included carbon cycle feedbacks) had temperature peaks at about 1.2 C after a decade or two. McKibben quoted one source that had temperatures peak at about 1.6 C, and I have seen other computations that produced temperatures of 2 C, or higher. In other words, terminating CO2 emissions immediately, with no other ameliorations, would mean we have not only run out of carbon budget but have piled up substantial carbon debt. And, unlike bankruptcy court, the carbon debt will need to be repaid in full, and fast!

    Hansen proposes rapid introduction of non-carbon sources such as renewables/nuclear, energy efficiency improvements, massive reforestation, and demand reductions of 3-6%, depending on the level of reforestation.

    Integrating the above findings, it is clear that the appropriate temperature peak increase target should be ~1 C. Even at that level, Spratt shows the adverse effects that have occurred already, and concludes that we have entered a Dangerous regime. What are the appropriate policies and strategies that will keep us within 1 C, or more realistically, not too far beyond 1 C? My own view is that we integrate the best proposed strategies from each of the above. Since time is of the essence, demand reduction offers the most immediate benefits, and would have major impacts. The sharper the demand reduction, the greater are our chances of avoiding the Apocalypse. Massive reforestation would be critical to CO2 drawdown this century, and should be implemented as soon as is practical. These two elements are necessary for survival of our species, and avoidance of the Apocalypse.

    The remainder help provide some semblance of an energy-assisted lifestyle. This includes rapid installation of non-carbon sources, such as solar, wind, and nuclear, and substitution of energy-efficient technologies for present non-efficient technologies. We need to keep in mind that, perhaps with the exception of some types of demand reduction, introduction of the remaining technologies and carbon capture approaches will require some fossil fuel expenditures at the present time and perhaps decades into the future. These fossil fuel expenditures must be included in any cost-benefit analysis we perform of their value.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 31 Jan 2014 @ 11:22 AM

  292. Walter #263,

    Your statement “Moms and pops at the kitchen table also feel the same way about avoiding the implications. Scientists including many climate scientists (pro or con CAGW scenarios) feel the same way too and then act accordingly.” relates to an interesting article on Spratt’s blog (http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/01/as-tony-abbott-launches-all-out-war-on.html). The focus is re-considering strategy in light of Abbott’s aggressive words and actions against climate change amelioration. As Spratt states: “It should be now obvious that the Abbott government is on a complete bender to smash climate action and the renewable sector, and no amount of rational argument or reasoned lobbying inside the walls of parliament house are going to make any difference.”

    What I find interesting, and very refreshing, is his honest statement as evidenced by the title of the next section: “3. The majority of Australians are not really with us”.

    He goes on to state: “In the last six years, support in Australia for the view that global warming is a serious and pressing problems that requires taking steps now, even if it involves significant costs, fell from over 60% to under 40%, according to Lowy Institute polling (below). WE LOST OUR MAJORITY.” He goes on to analyze the poll results, and how to best use them to revise strategy.

    Much of what I see posted on the climate blogs is what Spratt calls Bright-siding (http://www.climatecodered.org/p/brightsiding.html). He explains it thusly: “Most climate advocacy and campaigning appears to assume that as long as you tell a positive story and move “in the right direction”, it doesn’t matter if people understand or agree about the problem. It’s all about selling “good news” and not mentioning “bad news”. This is how the Obama administration, Australia’s Labor government, the Say Yes campaign and many national climate advocacy organisations worked in 2011.

    But if you avoid including an honest assessment of climate science and impacts in your narrative, its pretty difficult to give people a grasp about where the climate system is heading and what needs to be done to create the conditions for living in climate safety, rather than increasing and eventually catastrophic harm. But that’s how the big climate advocacy organisations have generally chosen to operate, and it represents a strategic failure to communicate.”

    Yet, what do we see repeated ad nauseam on the blogs: Prosperity, Growth, etc; everything except the real hardships that avoiding the Apocalypse requires? Spratt has it exactly right, whether it is his assessment of the science and its prospective consequences, or the communications and activist strategies.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 31 Jan 2014 @ 12:58 PM

  293. Diogenes wrote: “everything except the real hardships that avoiding the Apocalypse requires? Spratt has it exactly right …”

    After dozens of repetitive and verbose comments, you have yet to state specifically what “hardships” are “required” in order to eliminate GHG emissions, or to explain why those unidentified “hardships” are “required”.

    Indeed, while you have repeatedly quoted David Spratt’s articles, which you recommend “with no reservations”, and you repeat here your view that Spratt “has it exactly right”, you have refused to even address the clear contradiction between Spratt’s statement that “radical mitigation has economic benefits” and your insistence that mitigation MUST require economic “hardships”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 31 Jan 2014 @ 3:54 PM

  294. SA at 290, thanks for that link to the Fromm piece. If people haven’t looked at it yet, it is very good, imvho.

    Diogenes, Barbara Ehrenreich has a book on that: “Brightsided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America”
    http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/brightsided.htm

    Comment by wili — 31 Jan 2014 @ 3:59 PM

  295. Flexible to say this “Those presenters will not report your ‘rebuttals’” etc tells me clearly you haven’t understood what I said or meant. I have no interest in what captcha says, but do accept that others like it.

    Hank, what Brin said has nothing to do with me or what I said. Those are your issues not mine. My age is irrelevant too. I am happy to consider any input or queries regarding my actual content within the context of which it was presented. Which was within the ambit of ‘see something say something’ issues raised by Mann and earlier by Gavin about advocacy. I’d be interested in hearing comments about that.

    DIOGENES, thanks for your comments. Regarding this in particular: “3. The majority of Australians are not really with us”. I think you probably like that because it is what I would label as dealing with Reality as it is.

    That is always a helpful position and point of view to take. It’s rare. Which is why we find ourselves in the current pickle. Too much mythical thinking about fantasies, hopes and dreams. aka unreal things. And too much noise is made about noise. It is only wishing to pretend it isn’t there, hoping if one ignores it long enough it will dissolve like a morning mist without effort. Not going to happen. It will get a lot worse in fact.

    Insightful recent interview with David Suzuki. Discusses environmental and AGW/CC issues from 15 minutes onward. Highly recommended. His only life’s regret is failing to make the ‘Paradigm Shift’ in decades past is noted at the very end.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-31/one-plus-one-david-suzuki/5230012
    downloadable link http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/oneplusone/video/201401/ONEs_SuzukiIV_3101_512k.mp4

    Comment by Walter — 31 Jan 2014 @ 9:37 PM

  296. DIOGENES, “a strategic failure to communicate” sums it up perfectly in my own view and experience.

    The experts of Hollywood’s mass propaganda is required, as in WW2.

    For example John Wayne http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wpHkmU5u7s and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzSDkG3yQAc

    People don’t grasp complexity. Regular people (ie those who are not scientists and academics) are human creatures who only respond to story telling on an emotional level. Not data.

    All the academic papers in the world could never hold a candle to The Adventures of Oliver Twist or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to communicate.

    Good luck with your efforts in addressing reality. To me you sound a lot like Winston Churchill when Neville Chamberlain was PM. Don’t let it drive you to drink, as it did Mark Twain.

    Comment by Walter — 31 Jan 2014 @ 10:16 PM

  297. Key historical background on PM Abbott mentioned by DIOGENES & Spratt.

    In late 2009, post Australia surviving the GFC, Opposition Leader Turnbull was going to support comprehensive ETS legislation and other strategies of the then Labour Govt. It had won a huge majority and mandate from national elections in late 2007, with climate change action being a key issue behind that win being post Al Gore’s AIT, and the IPCC AR4 reports.

    Abbott challenged Turnbull for the leadership of the (right of centre) parties in Parliament and won by one single Vote.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/liberal-leadership-spill-tony-abbott-wins/story-e6frfkvr-1225805630744

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/turnbull-the-canary-in-the-coalmine/story-e6frg6zo-1225805525149

    The ETS legislation was then blocked, and abandoned by labor when they could not get the Greens in the Senate to support them either. The next election in 2010 was 50/50, Labor just won, to introduce a Carbon tax variation with Greens support, and a few months back Abbott’s side of politics (mostly AGW/CC & RW Moralistic Fundie conservatives too) won a huge majority, but not control in the Senate.

    Their repeal of the carbon tax/ets legislation has been blocked so far in the Senate. In July 2014 new RW independent senators will take the balance of power from the Greens, and are likely to proceed with all Climate Change related legislation in place since 2009.

    It is amazing what a difference one single politician’s Vote can have over time.

    I think it is fair to say that the AGW denial campaign is one that is predominatnly driven by anjd inside the Anglosphere nations, but it is slowly gaining traction in eastern european and other developed nations as well now.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 31 Jan 2014 @ 10:56 PM

  298. Typo sorry.

    Abbott’s side of politics (mostly AGW/CC DENIERS …)

    likely to proceed with REPEALING all PREVIOUS Climate Change related LEGISLATION

    Comment by Walter — 31 Jan 2014 @ 11:02 PM

  299. The importance of Fox News is over-rated enormously. The accepted beliefs in it’s own self-importance is ‘endless spin’ pushing the notion it is the *Leading* cable news channel, which is accurate if all you care about is the prime numbers.

    However FNC is still a nobody of shrill non-importance when it comes to being a major news source in the USA or anywhere else in the world.

    For example: “According to Nielsen data through Dec. 8, Fox News Channel averaged 1.774 million viewers in primetime (down 13% from 2012)”
    http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/fox-news-remains-ratings-dynamo-as-2013-comes-to-close-1200964903/

    In a nation of 330 Million that is minuscule, except the propaganda of what it is supposed to mean. There is another side to this sophistry.

    Jon Stewart on The Daily Show pulls in 2 million viewers alone!

    Young Viewers Avoid Fox News Like the Plague as Ratings Drop 30% http://www.politicususa.com/2014/01/02/young-viewers-avoid-fox-news-plague-ratings-drop-30.html

    There is this: http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/category/cable-news/

    and then there is this: With an audience of 296,000 viewers all year long, Channel 7 (NYC) attracts a larger audience than any other television station in the nation.

    That one single TV station News program in NYC pulls 17% of Fox News’ entire national audience.

    Cable accounts for 40 million subscribers. Fox News pulls 4.4% ?
    Total Pay TV has 83 million subscribers. Fox News pulls 2.1% ?

    Population Voter stats say for 2008 USA:
    Total number of Americans eligible to vote 206,072,000
    Total number of Americans registered to vote 146,311,000
    Total number of Americans who voted in the 2008 131,144,000.

    Level of Fox News effective ‘penetration’?

    1.35% of those who voted, and barely 0.9% of those eligible to Vote.

    The importance of Fox News in the USA and the world is a myth. Barely anyone watches it. The majority of people get their news from other sources.

    NYTs average daily circulation in 2013 ~1.87 million
    NYTs online digital readership ~1.13 million
    NYTs paying online subscribers ~676,000

    Total penetration of this ONE newspaper totals 3 million in the USA. Equals 2.3% of those who actually voted in 2008, just shy of 1% higher than Fox News.

    Add up all the Cable/PayTV & free2air TV News programs and add in online sources, plus newspapers. What is the Fox News share and total penetration then? Someone has the numbers.

    PBS NewsHour had 2.5 million viewers in 2005. This year the show is at 1.3 million. vs Fox News’ @ 1.74 million.

    Democracy Now! is aired by more than 1000 radio, television, satellite and cable TV networks in North America. Has over 53,000 subscribers. It’s Alexa US Ranking is 5624.

    Fox News Alexa Rank is 39
    PBS is 322
    NYTs is 36
    LA Times is 112
    The Daily Show is 1,489
    RT.com is 594
    CBS is 305
    tytnetwork.com is 9,611

    But YoungTurks do have 1.4 million Youtube subscribers
    RussiaToday.com has 1.2 Million via Youtube
    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has 2.78 Million

    FoxNewsChannel subscribers on Youtube?

    82,757

    Fact vs Fiction?

    Myth vs Reality?

    I know which I prefer.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 1 Feb 2014 @ 1:53 AM

  300. Walter #265,

    “DIOGENES does not appear to having much success thus far. Silence appears to be the dominant response, mixed in with a few pointed complaints about himself even raising the issues he would like to discuss maturely and rationally.”

    What is your definition of “success” in blog postings, and what are the quantitative measures? On some blogs, they show numbers of thumbs up or thumbs down for each post; is that your measure, or something equivalent? If so, the ‘secret’ is simple: pander to your audience. Tell the readership what they want to hear, and thumbs up will predominate. And, what does the readership on the major climate blogs (with the notable exception of McPherson’s) want to hear? The Apocalypse can be avoided, we can do it mainly by substituting one group of technologies for another, no personal hardships required, no major changes to daily living required, and we can have ‘prosperity’, full employment, etc, etc. And, as you have seen, our resident ‘sock-puppets’ exploit this pandering to the fullest.

    That’s not why I post; I’m not selling anything. I’m trying to further my understanding of 1) the seriousness of the climate situation, 2) the targets we need to meet to avoid the Apocalypse (if still possible), and 3) workable strategies to achieve those targets. My posts reflect my latest understanding of these issues, and any comments they can attract to further my understanding are useful. My measure of ‘success’ in blog posting relates to the improvement in understanding resulting from any dialogue stimulated.

    In some sense, the discourse on this blog, and the other major climate blogs, reminds me of theological discussions. The numerical targets that must be met to (hopefully) avoid the Apocalypse are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from any actions being taken today, and there are no credible precursors showing the potential for movement away from the polar end of the spectrum. Spratt, in the column I’ve referenced (http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/01/as-tony-abbott-launches-all-out-war-on.html), discusses the recent Australian poll showing, in his words “We lost our majority.” I would quarrel with his choice of words: this was a majority on paper, at best. A country that had the supposed overwhelming support for global warming action in 2006-2008, as the poll chart shows, would not shift so dramatically to elect an unabashed opponent of climate action like Tony Abbott, especially in light of the weather extremes Australia has experienced in recent years.

    Spratt goes on to analyze the different segments of the poll responders, and he draws this conclusion: “Looking in more detail at this middle group, the fact that they are unwilling to countenance climate policies they perceive as costing them even a small amount — hence Abbott’s largely fallacious but effective appeal to “cost of living pressures” and electricity prices — will only change when the visceral impacts of climate change — on health, home, livelihoods, children — are well understood as personally affecting their lives in a significant way, and sooner rather than later.”

    I think he’s correct, and I don’t believe that attitude is limited to Australia. Now, contrast that with my statements of what actions and economic consequences are required if we are to avoid the Apocalypse. Even for the Anderson base case, which has a reasonable amount of carbon budget remaining, the 10-20% annual CO2 emissions cuts required for decades would translate into annual GDP reductions on the order of 6-15% for years, since GDP is related strongly to fossil fuel use. This would lead to a major Depression of unthinkable proportions. For the other cases, where I showed we have run out of carbon budget and have piled up various amounts of carbon debt, the CO2 emissions cuts required would be far higher than for the Anderson base case, and the scale of the resulting Depression would be much larger. How do we relate this easy-to-show reality to the above “the fact that they are unwilling to countenance climate policies they perceive as costing them even a small amount”.

    So, what some/many of us are doing on this blog are sounding the alarm for immediate action, and proposing radical strategies with differing levels of radicalism. They bear no relation to actions being taken by governments or actions demanded by voters to start implementing some of these amelioration strategies. In the larger picture, ‘success’ has nothing to do with what we are posting here.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 1 Feb 2014 @ 7:30 AM

  301. #300 (Walter #265),

    In #300, I make the statement: “Even for the Anderson base case, which has a reasonable amount of carbon budget remaining, the 10-20% annual CO2 emissions cuts required for decades would translate into annual GDP reductions on the order of 6-15% for years, since GDP is related strongly to fossil fuel use. This would lead to a major Depression of unthinkable proportions. For the other cases, where I showed we have run out of carbon budget and have piled up various amounts of carbon debt, the CO2 emissions cuts required would be far higher than for the Anderson base case, and the scale of the resulting Depression would be much larger.” How do we place these large GDP annual reductions into context?

    The following link lists GDP growth since 1930 (http://useconomy.about.com/od/GDP-by-Year/a/US-GDP-History.htm). Most recessions shown have perhaps a year or two of GDP reduction, preceded and followed by increases. The year 1946 had a large one-year GDP decline of 11.6%. Even the Great Depression of the 1930s had perhaps four rough years averaging ~7% GDP decline annually, followed by years of substantial increase. The bottom end of the numbers in the preceding paragraph start from Great Depression levels, would probably be substantially higher for serious efforts to combat climate change, and would persist for many years. That’s the scale of what’s required to (hopefully) avoid the Apocalypse, at least from the perspective of today’s economic structures, and no attempts to spin this as ‘prosperity’ will change the facts on the ground!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 1 Feb 2014 @ 11:11 AM

  302. Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 1 Feb 2014 @ 7:30 AM and 1 Feb 2014 @ 11:11 AM

    You tell us “…the 10-20% annual CO2 emissions cuts required for decades would translate into annual GDP reductions on the order of 6-15% for years, since GDP is related strongly to fossil fuel use.” This pretty much demonstrates the quality of your argument. GDP is not related to fossil fuel use, it is related to energy use, so if nonpolluting energy and simple conservation replaced fossil fuels, GDP wouldn’t decline and the jobs created would be a big boost to the world economy.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 1 Feb 2014 @ 12:32 PM

  303. Diogenes: “…the 10-20% annual CO2 emissions cuts required for decades would translate into annual GDP reductions on the order of 6-15% for years…”

    because of course nothing would take the place of the fossil fuels, and the technological advances required to develop a reduced fossil-fuel infrastructure wouldn’t result in any technological advances and the improved health from lack of pollution wouldn’t have any effect, and…

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Feb 2014 @ 12:57 PM

  304. Steve Fish #302,

    “This pretty much demonstrates the quality of your argument. GDP is not related to fossil fuel use, it is related to energy use, so if nonpolluting energy and simple conservation replaced fossil fuels, GDP wouldn’t decline and the jobs created would be a big boost to the world economy.”

    Nothing new here; it’s well known that GDP is related to energy use. However, in the near-term on which much of our discussion is focused, where it is crucial to get through the transition period, the major energy available is from fossil fuel, and the GDP reduction will relate strongly to CO2 emissions reduction. In the long-term, if we survive and non-carbon emission sources have replaced fossil sources, then GDP reduction can be decoupled from fossil fuel use.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 1 Feb 2014 @ 1:17 PM

  305. Diogenes wrote: “… it’s well known that GDP is related to energy use … in the near-term … the major energy available is from fossil fuel, and the GDP reduction will relate strongly to CO2 emissions reduction”

    First, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s January 2014 Monthly Energy Review, in the USA primary energy consumption per real dollar of GDP has plummeted from 1950 to 2012 (PDF).

    There is every reason to expect that trend to continue — certainly there is plenty of room for it to continue, and accelerate, given that far more than HALF of the USA’s primary consumption is completely wasted. And the waste reduction and efficiency improvements needed to continue that trend will result in economic benefits, not economic harm.

    Second, you once again equate emissions reductions with reduced energy supply. They are not the same thing, and there is absolutely no need whatsoever that reducing emissions even VERY quickly should reduce the energy supply.

    In short, making maximally efficient use of zero-emission energy sources will have economic benefits — and in fact, the ongoing deployment of both renewable energy and efficiency is already having economic benefits.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 1 Feb 2014 @ 3:47 PM

  306. Ray Ladbury #303,

    “because of course nothing would take the place of the fossil fuels, and the technological advances required to develop a reduced fossil-fuel infrastructure wouldn’t result in any technological advances and the improved health from lack of pollution wouldn’t have any effect, and”

    See my comments in #304 concerning the replacement of fossil fuels by non-carbon emitting sources. Anderson’s major concern, Hansen’s concern, my concern, etc, is really how we get over the ‘hump’ and survive the near-term to get to the long-term. Had we initiated the transition from fossil fuels to renewables/nuclear forty years ago in a timely manner, we could have met the energy demand necessary to maintain GDP vitality. We lost that window! These necessary sharp demand cuts for fossil fuel in the very near term means there will not be sufficient energy available to maintain GDP activity, since the non-fossil sources will not have been installed yet. That’s one main factor in driving the major Depression. Obviously, as time proceeds and non-fossil sources are made available, GDP activity related to energy availability can increase. That’s why, in #291, I stated: “Given that GDP is closely tied to fossil fuel use in today’s economy, reductions of 10-20% annually in CO2 emissions would translate into GDP reductions on the order of 6-15% annually, for years.” I emphasized ‘today’s economy’, not thirty years from now. Additionally, I used the term ‘for years’ rather than ‘for decades’, precisely because of the continued installation of non-fossil sources to replace the fossil sources that had been eliminated.

    But, you’ve opened up another can of worms, and I would like to see some economists on this blog jump in. Energy use/energy availability has a chicken-and-egg relation to GDP, and is a strong factor. However, we have had recessions, and perhaps the Great Depression, where factors other than energy availability drove the downturn. Consumer and investor confidence come to mind, and I’m sure there are other factors. So, continuing the theological debate, if all the global governments decided to get serious about taking the necessary steps to combat climate change, and the first year agreed to e.g. a 15% cut in CO2 emissions through the demand route, how will the other GDP factors respond? How will consumers respond; how will investors respond; what else will happen? Will we see a cascading positive feedback mechanism operating, where, like immediately after 9/11, the market and other parts of the economy over-respond, and we end up with a Depression even deeper than I am predicting? I have no idea, and that’s why I’d like to see some economists address this point. In the past, when crises occurred, like 9/11 or the attack on Pearl Harbor, the response has been expansion of economic/industrial/military activity. More investment, more jobs, more ‘prosperity’, at least for a few. We are talking here about a massive change in the other direction; contraction of the economy. Yes, there may be some more research on advanced technologies, etc, but I think their impact would pale in comparison with the above GDP drivers.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 1 Feb 2014 @ 4:06 PM

  307. Diogenes wrote: “And, as you have seen, our resident ‘sock-puppets’ exploit this pandering to the fullest.”

    Such childish name-calling does not divert anyone’s attention from your failure — or refusal — to respond to substantive criticisms of the one or two actual points that can be found in your voluminous verbiage.

    For example, you have yet to address the glaring contradiction between your unsupported assertions that reducing CO2 emissions MUST require reducing energy consumption, and that reducing energy consumption MUST result in “severe” economic “hardships” — and the statement by David Spratt, which you quoted saying that he “has it exactly right”, that “radical mitigation has economic benefits”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 1 Feb 2014 @ 4:09 PM

  308. Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 1 Feb 2014 @ 1:17 PM

    You define “gobbledygook.” There is no way to make a transition to non-polluting energy without using the existing polluting energy for a short term bootstrap. You don’t agree? Provide a path. If you think this doesn’t meet your carbon budget idea, then provide a path.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 1 Feb 2014 @ 9:18 PM

  309. A few thoughts and ideas that may connect back advocacy in a generic sense, be one a working scientist or others seeking to lend their shoulder to the wheel of encouraging practical action to minimize further AGW etc or simply communicating the science accurately where or when they see fit.

    Group think mediocrity is no match for in the moment adaptability. Consider it within the context of W. Edwards Deming’s advice for a rational perspective that in most situations: “Survival is optional. No-one has to change.” It is not a given of ‘eventually’ nor ‘hopefully’.

    Susan Cain’s exceptionally researched Quiet explains how new group think or brainstorming sabotages itself by making it comfortable for intellectual loafers to not participate when the most dogmatic learn how to block and dominate all others input by using emotional blackmail and fear of embarrassment.

    This one small group example got some action going a couple of years ago now. One of the people they intentionally “embarrassed” labeled SeaSol as “Reactionary bullies who do nothing to address systemic problems but only rush from place to place like a for-hire pitchfork mob.”

    Seattle Solidarity (SeaSol) evidently got the problem solved when no-one else wanted to address it. Demonstrations can be and are effective for obtaining justice and equity and reason when other means for it are not efficient and self-defeating.

    Direct action stops abusive debt collection by corporate housing giant…
    http://seasol.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=87:direct-action-stops-abusive-debt-collection-by-corporate-housing-giant&catid=1:recent

    These are today’s youth organizing to help themselves without passively standing by to become “victims.” Our grassroots are alive and well and working and successful.

    Jan 2012 The Power of Introverts: A Manifesto for Quiet Brilliance
    Author Susan Cain explains the fallacy of “groupwork,” and points to research showing that it can reduce creativity and productivity
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-power-of-introverts/

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is a 2012 non-fiction book written by Susan Cain. Cain argues how modern Western culture misunderstands and undervalues the traits and capabilities of introverted people, leading to “a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness.”

    The book presents a history of how Western culture transformed from a culture of character to a culture of personality in which an “extrovert ideal” dominates and introversion is viewed as inferior or even pathological.

    Adopting scientific definitions of introversion and extroversion as preferences for different levels of stimulation, Quiet outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each temperament, emphasizing the myth of the extrovert ideal that has dominated in the West since the early twentieth century.

    Asserting that temperament is a core element of human identity, Cain cites research in biology, psychology, neuroscience and evolution to demonstrate that introversion is both common and normal, noting that many of mankind’s most creative individuals and distinguished leaders were introverts.

    Cain urges changes at the workplace, in schools, and in parenting; offers advice to introverts for functioning in an extrovert-dominated culture; and offers advice in communication, work, and relationships between people of differing temperament.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiet:_The_Power_of_Introverts_in_a_World_That_Can't_Stop_Talking

    I was watching a science show the other which took people through a role play of (almost real) disaster scenarios, one bush fire, another hurricane and flooding. They also interviewed people who had recently survived catastrophes where others were killed.

    The key issues which came up all the time, was how the mind shuts down in extreme disaster stressful fearful situations, and that one of the first functions to go was language. That’s speaking, hearing and thinking.
    the other key item was how ‘denial’ is always predominant.

    The “bright positivist” type, we will be ok, *it* won’t be that bad. Even people who had planned to depart a home in a severe bush fire situation changed their minds ‘falsely believing’ they could fight it ok, or someone else will come to help them. Their home burnt down around them and they barely survived.

    So this “Denial of Reality”, or say an avoidance of not wanting to clearly seeing and understanding the evidence about ‘XYZ potential disaster scenario’ may not be as uncommon as people imagine.

    This Denial issue is not always about politics, or being a paid shill or being ethically challenged nor being intentional liars. Most folks simply expect that really bad things simply won’t ever happen to “them”.

    The many Academic/Science research studies and Published Papers done in recent years, plus the various survey polls about people’s feelings and beliefs about AGW/CC, looking at climate science denial especially, seem to support this is the case across the board.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 1 Feb 2014 @ 11:15 PM

  310. I’m a 3 minute egg whose time is about up. AS I look around the web I see multiple examples of ‘advocacy” for the acceptance of the scientific truth of climate science AGW/CC issues and the serious problems caused or will be caused. Always it does seem to come down to “if you see something, then say something.”

    Say something to who? There would be no point in communicating to people who already believe in or accept the science and act accordingly, right?

    Therefore the targets for communication would rationally be skeptics and deniers of all kinds, in all walks of life, but especially those scientists and politicians already operating in the public domain.

    Let’s take Roy Spencer and Judith Curry as two representative examples. Who better than, who other than an active well grounded and respected Climate Scientist or Academic could possible convince them of any errors in their understanding of the science?

    If not you, who? If not now, when?

    Bring the politicians into the mix and it’s all way out of my league that’s for certain.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 1 Feb 2014 @ 11:41 PM

  311. Hi, based on this Hans Roling talk mainly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grZSxoLPqXI and a bit from Anderson’s http://youtu.be/KumLH9kOpOI and general background info I think the following is fairly accurate and should be the kind of basis used in discussing the issues raised by Diogenes and others. The specific numbers I use are close, not perfect, but anyone can generate their own scenario with more perfect numbers if they wish. It’s the big picture that I wish to address.

    All energy use amounts to about a 10% of total GDP historically in the world. That energy underpins everything else that is done to generate production and $gdp. 1 part energy produces the other 9 parts of the economy. Energy is a critical component. Remove that energy and the economy (iow the life support system) grinds to a halt.

    Anderson and others are now calling for massive and immediate cuts in fossil fuel GHGs of 10% per year until the late 2020′s probably. That is IF the world wishes to possibly stay under 2C and avoid extreme climatic impacts from circa 2050 and ongoing

    Currently 83% of all Energy comes from Fossil Fuels & produces most GHGs.
    Nuclear 8%. Bio & Hydro 7%. Solar & Wind (other renewable) not quite 2%.
    = 100%

    Therefore, hypothetically only – all things being equal – a direct cut of using 10% less FFs per year would mean a direct hit on global GDP output of ~8%. That is far worse than the 1930′s depression years. An order of magnitude of about 3 fold the impact from the GFC in 2008 thru 2011.

    But that is the effect if such a cut on fossil fuels use was not replaced by efficiency or alternative energy sources or a major drop in demand. A 10% reduction of FF GHGs each and every year will mean an ~8% cut in global GDP each and every year for a decade unless that ‘energy’ is replaced some other way.

    In most of the Developed world Nuclear is on the nose and being cut back.
    Much talk about major successes in new renewable energy sources of various kinds coming online recently. Further expansion of hydro power is limited by available locations. Geothermal is only really successful in Iceland thus far.

    Lets repeat some key numbers of where the world is at after 25 years of the major focus on AGW and calls for major reductions in FF use and GHGs being put into the atmosphere.

    Wind & Solar is less than 2% of total energy use.
    Biomass is 4%. Hydro is 3%. and Nuclear is 8%.
    Realistically, can any single one of those even replace (half) 5% of FF energy in a single year going forward?
    No. Physically that is impossible at this time.

    Fossil Fuel use itself is already growing by +2% per year. All Fossil Fuel use combined is already Projected to increase by a total of 50% in the 30 years from 2010 to 2040.

    This means that Anderson’s 10% cut really equates to a 12% real cut into the future. It’s far harder already. CO2 is projected to actually increase from 31 Billion tons to 46 billion tons per year by 2040. That is a 48% increase.

    That figure is already taking into consideration Non-Hydro Renewable GROWTH Projected (planned) to increase 280% (2.8 times) from 200 Billion KWH in 2010 to 560 Billion KWH in 2040. The biggest component being Wind, with Solar & Biomass about equal second.

    By 2040 China will account for 40% of the total increase in Nuclear Power. Major growth will also come from India, Russia, Sth Korea, and other non-OECD nations the latter of which is likely to triple.

    On BAU this where the globe is heading right now and what 2040 will in REALITY look like then:

    Currently 83% of all Energy comes from

    Fossil Fuels 78% was 83%
    Nuclear 9% was 8%
    Biomass 7% was 4%
    Hydro 3% was 7%
    Solar & Wind & other Renewable 3% was just under 2%
    = 100%

    Any massive reductions of Fossil Fuel use in the order of 10% per year in the short term needs to be considered in the light of the above which is the current reality of Business as Usual projections and already planned and possible Renewable uptake from now to 2040.

    I thought this may help put the discussions of this important aspect of Climate Change Science and Advocacy issues back on a solid footing. Good luck!!!

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 2 Feb 2014 @ 1:00 AM

  312. One could also consider the Geo-Political environment with the Economic & Energy Use constraints mentioned above.
    The USA vs it’s #1 banker China
    The uptick of USA vs Russia such as over Ukraine
    The EU still hanging together by a thread
    The numerous proxy wars of the Sunni vs Shia in the Islamic world
    Syria, Thailand, Egypt, Libya, and Iran issues in particular
    The repeated failures at COP and the UNFCCC since 2009
    The fragility of the global economic and financial system
    BRICS being outside the OECD block
    The USD continuing as the global reserve currency
    The likelihood of increasingly disastrous weather events globally
    Global population increasing from 7 billion to 10+ billion by 2100

    So many things to juggle whilst simultaneously re-configuring the worlds energy system by ‘international agreement’ and world’s best practice?

    Interesting times!

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 2 Feb 2014 @ 1:24 AM

  313. DIOGENES says #306, 304 & 301,

    Well I can hear you and can agree with your general position 100%!

    The figures don’t matter if they are not perfect, the picture is accurate.

    Meanwhile the world (mainly OECD nations) is still subsidizing fossil fuel extraction and use to the tune of $US500 Billion each and every year. That’s half a $Trillion!!! With no reduction in sight.

    The literate western world also needs to come to grips with the hard facts that the Richest One Billion people in the world today are using over 50% of all the energy resources of this world.

    That this means that the OECD nations of 1.25 Billion people are using about 60% of the entire energy resources of the world each year right now.

    And that over 80% of that Energy is coming from Fossil Fuel Sources, and this is growing not decreasing right now and for the foreseeable future.

    And that the Wealthiest 10% of the richest One Billion people in this world are using and capitalizing upon well the over HALF of the 50% of the entire world’s energy for their own personal ends and self-enrichment.

    The IPCC reports are way too conservative and are not up-to-date with the actual Science today. The IPCC RCP scenarios are all unrealistic, with even the RCP 8.5 understating the reality of BAU from now to 2040, only 25 years away now.

    What Hansen & Anderson and the other astute rationalists are saying (advocating for) now is a Science based analysis that is substantially accurate and valid.

    They do need the assistance of some high-end credible Economists to crunch more accurate numbers based on that Valid Science scenario of BAU .. and if this then that …. and if this instead then you get that.

    And the world needs a Toto to tear the curtain down for good to expose the Mythical Thinking and egregious Sophistry of the AGW/CC anti-science Denier campaign funded by that top 10% of the Richest most powerful People in this world.

    And that the world needs to know how that Top 10% have successfully taken the OECD/G20 Political Class Hostage across the globe in the process.

    Michael Mann’s NYTs article barely scratches the surface. I wish he and the rest of the 28,000 ‘scientists’ plus the sane economists would also say something about what is really going on here and what the reality actual is.

    Ha! In my dreams maybe. Not going to happen!

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 2 Feb 2014 @ 2:30 AM

  314. Let’s be honest. Most scientists, whether in academia or private firms, are focused on one thing – their job, income and retirement.

    Try to pry some clear, understandable statement out of most of them and you get evasion usually. Especially if you’re a citizen calling by phone.

    Most are hunkered down, taking care of No. 1 and his/her family. This is plain wrong for anyone on the public payroll. They owe answers to the public that pays their check.

    But the few stand outs we should honor and admire. Let’s be more vocal in doing that.

    Comment by William Gloege — 2 Feb 2014 @ 3:47 AM

  315. Diogenes, I’m afraid few economists can talk about anything other than endless economic growth, despite the impossibility of that happening in a finite world. And I’m afraid you are not getting through to your persistent detractors here–again, the (stunningly obvious) reality you are presenting seems to threaten their world-view too radically for them to really hear what you are saying.

    They can present no historical precedent for going from 1-3% growth in ff use to 10-20% annual reduction in the same without significant financial contraction, but they are pretending that the onus is on you, for some reason, to prove that such a rapid decline must correspond with contraction. I don’t know how one can get through such a wall of incomprehension. Best wishes in your attempts, though.

    If you are interested in a less denial-ridden conversation on these topics, neven has a number of good threads discussing this stuff in his Arctic Sea Ice forum. (Don’t be put off by the security warnings–it is a very safe site, in my experience.)

    (reCapthca notes: poweret check)

    Comment by wili — 2 Feb 2014 @ 5:05 AM

  316. William Gloege,
    You post makes me wonder whether you know any scientists. Most of the scientists I work with are focused on figuring out whatever it is that they are studying–to the point where most of our nonscientist friends think of us as only lightly tethered.

    Since the public pays our paycheck, what they owe the public is an honest days work and an honest effort to work in the public interest. As a matter of fact, if they spend to much time with you on the phone, they are not doing their job. And frankly, most of them don’t even speak the same language as the public, so it is really not all that fruitful to have them interfacing directly with the public.

    There are gifted communicators, though, and some of these folks decide to give of their time–time when they could be with their family, doing research and advancing their career or having fun. Let me be clear. They don’t owe this to you–very few scientists have interfacing with the public in their job description. They are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.

    If you want to help them in their endeavor, you can meet them half way and become literate in their subject matter and in science in general. As you are more likely to benefit from what they have to say than they are by what you have to say, one could just as easily say that you owe them this attempt to become literate.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Feb 2014 @ 9:12 AM

  317. Wili #315,

    “Diogenes, I’m afraid few economists can talk about anything other than endless economic growth, despite the impossibility of that happening in a finite world.”

    OK. I was hoping there were some who had studied recessions/depressions in various countries who had some estimate of what could happen under such anomalous circumstances. I suspect, for the case I hypothesized of 15% CO2 emissions reductions, that the GDP drop would be far more than the energy GDP multiplier result of ~10%. Uncertainty almost always works against us, whether applied to investor confidence or consumer confidence.

    “And I’m afraid you are not getting through to your persistent detractors here–again, the (stunningly obvious) reality you are presenting seems to threaten their world-view too radically for them to really hear what you are saying.”

    You’re being too kind. With some, it is an honest world-view threat or even a deeply-felt difference of opinion. That’s fine. With others, the repeated scripted talking points, the constant selling of specific technologies that won’t avoid the Apocalypse, and the obvious misrepresentations and misquotes, imply ominous external motivations for the posts.

    “They can present no historical precedent for going from 1-3% growth in ff use to 10-20% annual reduction in the same without significant financial contraction, but they are pretending that the onus is on you, for some reason, to prove that such a rapid decline must correspond with contraction. I don’t know how one can get through such a wall of incomprehension. Best wishes in your attempts, though.”

    Given how straight-forward is identification of the temperature and emissions reductions targets for survival, how relatively few options there are to meet these targets, and the drastic economic consequences that will necessarily follow, any reader of this blog will easily see the absurdity of any mention of ‘prosperity’. If we are serious about avoiding the Apocalypse, we will have to face substantial hardships and deprivation.

    As I pointed out in a previous post, I don’t count ‘thumbs up’ for my posts. I post to aid in developing my understanding of what is happening in climate change, what is necessary to avoid disaster, and to share my thoughts. I am not out to ‘convince’ anyone of the truth. I present my perspective, and if they agree, fine, and if they don’t agree, fine also. [edit - stick to substantive arguments]

    Comment by DIOGENES — 2 Feb 2014 @ 9:21 AM

  318. > your persistent detractors here–again, the
    > (stunningly obvious) reality you are presenting

    He’s arguing with people who are not here.
    Finding those you want to convince
    is the first step for each newbie.

    That’s why I asked where he was in 1970.
    First Earth Day. Anybody you know there?

    The past always looks empty to the young.
    They weren’t there to see the bad paths that _were_ avoided.

    Things could have been much worse.

    You have no idea.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Feb 2014 @ 11:34 AM

  319. The oceans have given us at the surface a temporary reprieve, and we continue to waste it by failing to take serious steps to address the underlying problem; a problem that wishful thinking can’t solve.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Feb 2014 @ 2:10 PM

  320. Diogenes wrote: “With others, the repeated scripted talking points, the constant selling of specific technologies … imply ominous external motivations for the posts.”

    Once again, you refuse to even acknowledge, let alone attempt to address, the substantive criticisms from other commenters of YOUR repetitive “talking points”, which you have by now recited verbatim in dozens of comments — e.g. that emissions reductions MUST equal energy supply reductions which MUST equal economic hardship, and that anyone who disagrees with this formula MUST BE “pandering”.

    Instead of responding substantively, you offer only insulting personal attacks, baselessly accusing your critics of unspecified “ominous external motivations”, and proceed from there to the ad hominem fallacy that their criticisms are without merit … because of the “ominous motivations” that you baselessly accuse them of harboring!

    Diogenes wrote: “the obvious misrepresentations and misquotes”

    No one has misrepresented or misquoted anything you have posted here. As with your line about “scripted talking points”, you are simply accusing others of doing what you have consistently done — namely beating up “straw men” that are at best grotesque misrepresentations of other commenters’ arguments.

    Meanwhile, setting aside the trollery, you have yet to address the contradiction between your repeated assertions that reducing emissions must require “severe economic hardship” and David Spratt’s assertion — which you endorsed “without reservation” — that “radical mitigation has economic benefits”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 2 Feb 2014 @ 2:46 PM

  321. Relevant, from http://real-economics.blogspot.com/2014/01/20-returns-what-were-they-thinking.html
    (Remembering as Overshoot points out that any “investment” claiming returns far exceeding what nature provides over time is stripmining.)

    Friday, January 31, 2014
    20% returns? What were they thinking?
    Jim Clark, one of the legendary entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley learned something very significant during his days bringing Silicon Graphics to life—if you are in the hardware business, it requires so many rounds of venture capital funding to get all the bugs out that the founder is unlikely to have any stake left in the venture by the time there is anything interesting to sell. Clark would start several more companies—some made a pile of money—but after being forced out at Silicon Graphics, he made damned sure that he never got caught in the hardware trap again.

    It looks like a bunch of Germans are discovering Clark’s lesson by trying to make start-up profits from ventures that require seriously expensive hardware—hardware that must compete with very expensive hardware already installed. In the case of German wind power, the problem is not that the wind turbines don’t work as designed but rather that they cannot provide 20% returns in an economic climate organized by neoliberals. Of course, the promise of a 20% is utterly insane so it isn’t especially important who is organizing the economy. After all, Bernie Madoff was only promising 14% and he resorted to a Ponzi scheme to keep his operation alive for as long as he did.

    After watching hardware ventures crash and burn under ridiculous profit promises for almost four decades, I seriously doubt that any green technology will ever return those sorts of profits. We will be grateful as a society if something like wind turbines can replace power stations that burn brown coal and so reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere. 20% profits? Who are they kidding? Green ventures like wind power should probably be organized as non-profit ventures that should be considered roaring success stories if they break even selling affordable power to their customers.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Feb 2014 @ 3:12 PM

  322. Walter:

    Let’s take Roy Spencer and Judith Curry as two representative examples. Who better than, who other than an active well grounded and respected Climate Scientist or Academic could possible convince them of any errors in their understanding of the science?

    Curry may be reachable, but good luck with Spencer, because “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.” For one thing, he’d have to repudiate the Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, which is all the more unlikely after re-nailing his colors to the mast (h/t Stoat). YMMV, but it looks to me like any attempt to penetrate his denial will only make it stronger.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 2 Feb 2014 @ 3:12 PM

  323. Walter: “…take Roy Spencer and Judith Curry…”

    Please?!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Feb 2014 @ 4:26 PM

  324. #311 “By 2040,”
    “Solar & Wind & other Renewable 3% was just under 2%.”

    That sector obviously has to grow much faster. I am not an expert, but I recall that solar and wind are growing at somewhere between 30% to 100% per year. We need to keep that pace and stimulate to keep that pace above 50% per year. A growth like Fibonacci sequence would look promising: 2%, 3%, 5%, 8%, 13%, 21%, etc. But there will come problems with energy storage, smart grid and excess capacity once the Fibonaccy numbers saturate the energy market. And I am sure that there will be other problems as well.

    What we need:
    1. increasing price on CO2 emissions (to account for the 1240 trillion USD damage during the current century). Stop fossil fuel subsidies.
    2. carbon tax & dividend to compensate for the less wealthy. Businesses should only get the tax and no dividend, since businesses are not people.
    3. feed in tariffs for solar and wind (and for storage and other smart grid components)
    4. More strict building codes (passive, zero energy and positive energy houses)
    5. Road networks need to be revamped

    If we can’t do that while growing GDP, then we have to take the necessary hit. The collapse of the Soviet Union showed that constriction of 50% over 5-10 years is possible to endure. But the possible reaction of a global capitalist system to such a constriction is a big unknown (to me).

    There are issues, like:
    1. passanger aviation industry (the building of new passanger planes) becomes obsolete overnight and recovers only after new carbon neutral planes have been built, if ever. The dwindling demand for air travel can be served with the current fleet.
    2. The overcapacity (and the subsidies) in car industry have to be dealt with. Let them produce bicycles instead, with electric assist motors (and wind covers).
    3. Ship emissions have to be added (and taxed) to the country where the ship is registered, because the ship is part of the country anyway (just like the ground of an embassy).

    Since transport is carbon intensive, global trade will take a hit. And with that also global GDP, unless we can quickly make ships to run on renewables.

    But one of the biggest issues I see is the inertia of legislation. It was a nightmare during the collapse of the Soviet Union and it is even a bigger problem in the capitalist world, because there is more legislation (and more of those darn lawyers). What was that saying about the lawyers and a good start? The same applies to career politicians.

    Comment by concerned citizen — 2 Feb 2014 @ 7:45 PM

  325. #316 Ray Ladbury (and others that believe the same)

    I think you are getting this completely back to front here and are possibly only seeing things from your own restricted ‘sciency’ (as Gavin uses the word) point of view.

    eg Your post makes me wonder whether you know any NON-scientists.

    Regular everyday people and how they actually think and see the world and make their choices? Small business people, and tradesmen, and bank clerks and cleaners and shop keepers. What matters to them and how they go about making their own decisions about politics and life. They all Vote.

    “One pretty certain fact about science is that much of the public is more interested in the various findings of science, than in the methods by which they are generated.” Jim Bouldin, Scientist

    I’d suggest that the solution to climate change action is not that the rest of the world needs to study up and get up to speed with your level of knowledge nor practice, or can use the same jargon as scientists use and can understand as good as a graduate could.

    This kind of approach is not the solution at all. The world doesn’t have the educational resources nor the time to teach the public up to your ‘preferred’ standards before appropriate action is taken.

    We have enough ‘scientists’ who know enough already.

    AS Bouldin continues: “So I think it’s important to outline some concepts that determine scientific practice, that is, some epistemology, however boring or obvious that might seem.
    Inference, roughly, is the process of reaching conclusions about the world based on observations of it.”

    Honestly Ray, hardly any one else cares less how scientists do your work. They simply want genuine valid proven findings that they can trust and understand the ‘top line’ factual situation and the implications of that.

    They need plainly spoken advice on what to do about those findings. How you got from A to B is irrelevant and of very little interest to the public or policy makers. KISS Principle: 101

    You have only to convince the majority of the public of the veracity of your findings being valid. Not prove them ‘scientifically’. They don;t care about that.

    This is where ‘mass communication’ processes come in. Not science. Not scientists. Unless they are naturally highly skilled in public speaking to non-scientists and non-academics but especially direct to Politicians and Business and Community leaders.

    Complaints about regular people not being smart enough or knowing enough to handle the science is a waste of time and quite irrational, no matter how many times you or others repeat it here. Won’t resolve anything, won;t help anyone, and it never will.

    It would be far wiser of scientist to listen to what people like William are saying #315, and then really think about what may be behind the surface words that are being said. Rather than making knew-jerk reactive comments about how wrong he has it.

    Whilst actually missing and not addressing his key point: “But the few stand outs we should honor and admire. Let’s be more vocal in doing that.”

    Ref: http://climatechangenationalforum.org/thoughts-on-inference-and-method/

    Comment by Walter — 2 Feb 2014 @ 8:55 PM

  326. #324 concerned citizen,

    Thanks for the comments there. No argument from me.

    Regarding: #311 “By 2040,” “Solar & Wind & other Renewable 3% was just under 2%.” You said: “That sector obviously has to grow much faster.”

    Yes, that’s right. What I am saying is that it is actually not growing anywhere near as much as most people believe that it is. As per that Hans Rosling data. The quoted figures are already based upon the existing growth to date, and all the planned growth in the short term, and then expected growth potential in the longer term to 2040.

    The reality does not match the rhetoric of most people who suggest that these rewnewables are already proven as the solution. The hard factual evidence suggests the opposite. All success stories to date and the current expansions are but a tiny drop in the ocean of global energy use. People simply do not know this. That’s a big problem.

    Also “But one of the biggest issues I see is the inertia of legislation.”

    To me it is the nettle of the ONLY real issue of any importance today. Science and technology have the capacity to rise to the occasion. But first that occasion needs to become a reality.

    A well informed and rational National Leadership Response (and forced upon them by the Public) of the OECD/G20 nations in particular is THE only solution. A first step at least.

    The world is far from that event horizon at present. Making that a reality is the challenge.

    History proves that the last 25 years of the IPCC process etc has not been successful. That is what needs to change and fast.

    Or forget about it. Bigger crises will need to faced instead.

    This is how I see it. I note many others do to, but not yet enough. Many Climate Scientists and Academics included don’t seem to get this need for urgency and clear headed focus. Time is of the essence, now.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 2 Feb 2014 @ 9:30 PM

  327. Ray Ladbury says:
    Walter: “…take Roy Spencer and Judith Curry…” — Please?!

    Ray, if you see yourself incapable of convincing by force of valid arguments and evidence another climate scientist of their errors and mistakes, what makes you believe you or anyone else is capable of convincing the masses of the general Public who can’t even understand the language of science?

    To me it appears you readily admit your own lack of competence to influence others to the truth of the science. This does not instill in me any degree of trust nor hope that you know or have any solution to the current problems.

    Maybe I have that wrong. If so, please explain to me and others what you believe are the immediate solutions to reverse the current trend of major increases in Fossil Fuel use and increasing rates of GHGs going forward.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 2 Feb 2014 @ 9:42 PM

  328. So why do they call it “Fossil Fuel”?

    http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

    I know this kind of ignorance exists but I’d rather not be reminded of it.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 3 Feb 2014 @ 12:49 AM

  329. Wili #315,

    Here’s the fundamental problem. There are two types of climate change deniers. Type 1 are the classical deniers within the larger public. Type 1 deny the science, and, obviously, deny the need for any solutions to a non-existent problem. Type 2 are a smaller segment, found in part on the climate advocacy blogs. Type 2 accept the science, but deny the need for the personal deprivation and hardships required to avoid the Apocalypse. Type 2 offer the facade of a solution without the substance of a solution. Both types will lead us directly to the Apocalypse, Type 1 using the Express lanes, and Type 2 following closely behind.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 3 Feb 2014 @ 6:20 AM

  330. To emphasize a number of points made by some posters here recently, the IPCC folks are (reported to be) actually saying identical things now.

    FEB 2, 2014 Rising costs of climate change
    “The international community has as little as 15 years to limit greenhouse gas emissions and invest in clean energy technologies before climate change will become too serious a problem for current technology to tackle or will be extremely costly, states a United Nations draft report that was recently leaked in an apparent effort to influence policymakers.”

    “The draft report by the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that …..

    “Stating that carbon-dioxide emissions grew by 2.2 percent a year on average from 2000 to 2010 — nearly double the 1.3 percent rate of growth from 1970 to 2000 — the IPCC identifies the two main forces fueling this phenomenon: a steady rise in the world’s population and a sharp increase in economic growth. The burning of coal and oil were responsible for the majority of emissions.

    “A number of energy-rich countries sell gasoline and other fossil fuels to their citizens at a discount. The draft report recommends that such fossil fuel subsidies, which totaled $544 billion in 2012 according to the International Energy Agency, be cut. “Reduction of subsidies to fossil fuels can achieve significant emissions reduction at negative social cost,” it states.”

    “The IPCC, however, argues that such a perspective is extremely shortsighted even when viewed solely from an economic perspective. If the international community does not do something within the next 10 to 15 years to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the cost of reducing them later would be far higher because existing technologies would be incapable of achieving the current goal of limiting global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.”

    “Even if this goal is met, experts contend that vast economic and ecological damage would still result, but it would likely occur at a pace gradual enough to be managed. ”

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/02/02/editorials/rising-costs-of-climate-change/

    Emissions still increasing, according to leaked IPCC findings, with urgent action required to avert worst effects
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/17/un-climate-report-carbon-economy

    Climate change may become nearly impossible to solve if not addressed soon, warns leaked UN report
    http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/16/5315592/ipcc-leaked-climate-change-report-warns-change-needed-soon

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 3 Feb 2014 @ 8:05 AM

  331. Sorry, but the discussion has, imho, become a farce when mainly 2 or 3 people write the majority of posts, which all basically consist of complementing each other for having the right opinion, and always repeat the very same messages. I fully understand at this point that the moderators do not have the time nor nerves to influence the direction of the discussion given the persistence of a few commentators. And please stop using terms like “Apocalypse”, this is neither an objective, scientific term, nor helpful for serious, evidence-based discussions.

    Patrick

    Comment by Patrick Flege — 3 Feb 2014 @ 9:26 AM

  332. Patrick #331,

    “Sorry, but the discussion has, imho, become a farce when mainly 2 or 3 people write the majority of posts, which all basically consist of complementing each other for having the right opinion, and always repeat the very same messages.”

    Right church; wrong pew! There certainly is a problem when only a few readers are participating in a discussion on what is, in my view, the central science issue in climate change (and its potential consequences). The question you should be asking is why, out of (I would guess) thousands of RC readers, many/most of whom are undoubtedly concerned and could contribute valuable inputs to the discussion, only a few choose to participate? I can give you my take, which may or may not be correct.

    If we collectively were focused on trying to identify potential solutions to this difficult problem, we would have a different type of discourse. We would look for the value in each person’s comments, and build on it. That is the essence of constructive commentary.

    [edit - do not attack commenters or insinuate in this fashion. Just stop]

    I don’t know how one corrects this situation. The moderators, who are practicing world-class climate scientists, have better uses for their time than policing the exchanges in detail. But, I would really like to see some incentive system (or whatever) for bringing in more of the Silent Majority to these conversations. We will all increase our growth and understanding as a result.

    As for the use of ‘Apocalypse’, it is a proxy term for the endless paragraphs that would be necessary to describe the world with temperature increases ~5-6 C, as e.g. Lynas has done. We can only guess what that world would be like at present, and Apocalypse is about as accurate as is necessary.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 3 Feb 2014 @ 9:59 AM

  333. Thanks for that, Walter #330–I incorporated the stories into my article asking “How Much Time Do We Have?”

    I rather liked the NYT story:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/science/earth/un-says-lag-in-confronting-climate-woes-will-be-costly.html

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 3 Feb 2014 @ 10:17 AM

  334. Walter,
    Science has only completely revolutionized the way humans live their lives in the mere 4 centuries of its existence! Why would we want people to actually understand how it works?

    Walter, people need to understand how science works if they are to be able to consume scientific facts/knowledge responsibly. How else are they to know whether a study suggesting everyone eat bacon grease by the pound is to be trusted? This is as important as literacy. It is a basic survival skill in an increasingly technical world.

    The fact of the matter is that science works. It does what it was intended to do. Science reporting and laymen’s consumption of science…not so much. So your answer is to “fix” the thing that works so that the laziest of science journalists and laymen can continue to be ignorant and lazy? I ask you–does this make sense?

    And there is another issue–how do you figure out which scientists are trustworthy? Even a quick perusal of Aunt Judy’s or Uncle Roy’s oeuvre reveals inconsistency and a long track record of simply being wrong. To anyone who understands, it is clear that they represent a tiny minority of climate scientists and do not significantly add to the understanding of climate.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 3 Feb 2014 @ 11:15 AM

  335. Honestly Ray, hardly any one else cares less how scientists do your work. They simply want genuine valid proven findings that they can trust and understand the ‘top line’ factual situation and the implications of that.

    This is the kind of casual comment that I see often. What I think you might mean is that YOU could care less how scientists do their work and that YOU want or demand valid proven findings that YOU trust and understand vis a vis – FACTS.

    You speak only for yourself, especially when it comes to science, and I’m sorry to be the one to have to say something very few other people say about these kinds of casual comments, but science does not work the way that YOU want it too or in the way that your comment reveals to me how you think it does. Sorry. Your beliefs about what ‘other’ people think are meaningless here.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 3 Feb 2014 @ 11:16 AM

  336. Patrick Flege wrote: “2 or 3 people write the majority of posts, which all basically consist of complementing each other for having the right opinion, and always repeat the very same messages”

    At least it appears to be 2 or 3 people.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 3 Feb 2014 @ 11:17 AM

  337. Diogenes wrote: “Type 2 accept the science, but deny the need for the personal deprivation and hardships required to avoid the Apocalypse.”

    You have repeated that bumper sticker slogan about “deprivation and hardships” in dozens of comments.

    You have yet to state WHAT the “deprivation and hardships” are, WHO will experience them, or WHY. Your vague suggestion that reducing emissions = reducing energy supply = economic hardship has been repeatedly debunked by multiple commenters.

    You have refused to substantively respond to numerous criticisms of your argument, instead responding with insults, straw men, ad hominems, and argument by repetition.

    And you have completely contradicted your own assertion that economic “deprivation and hardship” are required, by endorsing David Spratt’s statement that “radical mitigation has economic benefits”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 3 Feb 2014 @ 11:35 AM

  338. #332
    Ok, I’ll give this a go.

    I think the only way to solve the problem is to use the magic word “and” a lot.

    Technology-only or single-issue changes won’t work because we got ourselves into this mess through a socio-technical-economic change called the industrial revolution. In it, technology supports economy, supports medical advances, supports population growth, supports lifestyle increases, all leading to carbon emissions. Systemic change requires revolutionising economic rules, and technological efficiency, and land use practice, and social norms, and halting population growth.

    These things are all related, dependent, interdependent, sometimes in complex ways.

    I’m currently working on a system dynamics model of the relationship between economy, consumption, emissions, and social norms. It’s tricky. However, I believe that only a systems approach can change a system in the way you would like it to be changed.

    Of course, overshadowing all this is the need to incorporate scientific findings into decision making. For that we need some brilliant leadership.

    Comment by Rachel F — 3 Feb 2014 @ 12:46 PM

  339. @~131

    Yeah, I won’t call ‘sock puppet’, but it would be nice if commenters could make an extra effort to be concise. People overly enamored of the sound their own voice are soon boring, eventually tiresome, then irritating, and finally just plain obnoxious.

    Please tighten up if you feel that you absolutely must comment. At least let a few go. You don’t have to get all wound up and belabor every piddly thing that crosses your minds eye.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 3 Feb 2014 @ 12:50 PM

  340. It’s a tag-team Occupation, by people who don’t have real names, don’t have publications, don’t have their own blog, and insist they’re the most important news you could see today. Advertisers for themselves.
    Their hearts are in the right place. That doesn’t help their thinking.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Feb 2014 @ 1:26 PM

  341. Here is another good example of a climate scientist seeing something and saying something:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/31/keystone-xl-pipeline-obama-state-department-impact

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 3 Feb 2014 @ 2:50 PM

  342. Wili #315,

    “I don’t know how one can get through such a wall of incomprehension.”

    [edit - please stop attacking commenters rather than their arguments.]

    Here are the facts. Spratt discusses Anderson’s presentation at the recent Radical Emissions Reduction Conference (http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/01/radical-emissions-reductions-1-kevin.html). Following are the two key paragraphs taken verbatim from Spratt’s article.

    “Anderson starts with the proposition that stabilisation at 2°C remains a feasible goal of the international community, just. [Readers of this blog will know well that at less than 1 degree of warming, there is a good deal of evidence that climate change is already dangerous and of the view of leading scientists that 2°C hotter is not an acceptable climate target but a disaster.]

    Anderson makes the point that RADICAL MITIGATION HAS ECONOMIC BENEFITS, not financial. He says it is time to wrestle economics away from the financiers. The word economics originates from the Greek oikonimia, meaning stewardship of the household; no mention of money. The word financial comes from the Greek chrematistic meaning the making of money. IF MAKING MONEY IS OUR PRIORITY THEN 2°C IS NOT VIABLE. If we’re interested in the wellbeing of our lives and the planet, then 2°C is viable with a successful economy.”

    So, the statement taken out of context above refers to Anderson’s philosophy, and is not a statement of Spratt’s philosophy. In addition, in paragraph two, Anderson uses a definition of economics different from what we ordinarily mean when we talk about the economy. He states that “If making money is our priority then 2°C is not viable.” This comports quite well with Anderson’s statements on the record that ‘planned austerity’ or ‘planned recession’ are our only hope of staying below 2 C. Additionally, if making money were removed from the approaches to staying under 2 C, as Anderson recommends, we would no longer see the endless posts about solar installations and other technologies being adequate for climate change amelioration; they’re all about making money!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 3 Feb 2014 @ 4:48 PM

  343. [edit - please just bring examples to our attention]

    Diogenes wrote: “we would no longer see the endless posts about solar installations and other technologies being adequate for climate change amelioration; they’re all about making money!”

    Straw man fallacy and ad hominem fallacy.

    Diogenes wrote: “the statement taken out of context”

    I took NOTHING out of context, your smokescreen of doubletalk and insults notwithstanding.

    You have repeatedly stated — without any supporting evidence whatsoever — that emissions reductions MUST require “deprivation and hardships” and “severe economic reductions”, and you have ALSO endorsed “without reservation” the assertion that “radical mitigation has economic benefits”. Which is self-contradictory and incoherent.

    Your latest attempt to dance around that self-contradiction is the most incoherent thing you have posted yet, devoid of substance, relying wholly on increasingly childish name-calling, rhetorical fallacies and evasion.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 3 Feb 2014 @ 5:33 PM

  344. Rachel @~338

    Thanks! I’m a big fan of “and”.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 3 Feb 2014 @ 6:07 PM

  345. I have some sympathy for the claim that decarbonizing energy supply by restricting fossil carbon combustion to an extent sufficient to avoid 2C temperature rise over preindustrial will crash the economy. I am not convinced, but I concede a case can be made. But I have definitely not enough sympathy to endure thousands of words saying the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over. This causes severe beatings of my pagedown key, and I kills whatever nascent impulse I might have to engage those fanatics, “who won’t change their mind and can’t change the subject.”

    We get it. You think that we are doomed either to climate hell or economic hell. Telling us the same thing a million times will not convince, repetition is not an argument. Move on.

    More fundamentally, there seems to be an important point that is missed.

    What is the necessity for economic growth ? Most benefits of economic growth are increasingly captured by the minority at the apex of the pyramid. Those at the bottom starve, or at best live hand to mouth, no matter what the state of the economy. It is quite amazing that those dispossessed are not (yet) in the streets with pitchforks and torches.

    I suppose they have (so far) been successfully distracted. For if they realized that none of the benefits of a growing economy were to accrue to them, but that they would have to pay the heaviest for unpriced externalities such as pollution, the game would be up. Why should anyone labor to expand an economic system which only punishes them for doing so ?

    Shrinking the economy will hurt the apex predators the most. They will fight such a notion, with approximately the same results as, say, France in 1789.

    We live in interesting times.

    Comment by sidd — 3 Feb 2014 @ 6:27 PM

  346. Kevin McKinney, I’ve followed your Doc Snow Hub pages for some time. Reading the comments at page you linked to shows that you have the patients of Job.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 3 Feb 2014 @ 6:42 PM

  347. Diogenes, will you please stop with the “we’re stuck between the rock and hard place” mantra and cut to the chase.

    What’s your solution?
    I mean other than spread our legs, bend over and kiss our….

    Comment by Jim Eager — 3 Feb 2014 @ 7:24 PM

  348. I have to agree with sidd@345, it seems to me unlikely that economic growth is going to be part of the solution to the problems of climate change, but flaming back and forth, subtly or viscously, will definitely not provide an answer. Please refrain from tedious repetitive postings of opinion about other commenters.

    CAPTCHA suggests “ngoouth attorneys”

    Comment by flxible — 3 Feb 2014 @ 8:01 PM

  349. #346–Jim, thank you! However, you may wish to consult with my wife about the ‘patience of Job’ bit! :-P

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 3 Feb 2014 @ 9:17 PM

  350. Patrick Flege says: “And please stop using terms like “Apocalypse”, this is neither an objective, scientific term, nor helpful for serious, evidence-based discussions.”

    Patrick, if people are saying things that are wrong along with explaining “what they see, and saying something about it” is incorrect then showing where they are wrong is what most discussion boards were created to provide. Discussion! Agreement isn’t the priory concern here. Varying ‘argument’ generates better understanding when people engage in the process properly, more than agreement does. (must be an accepted published Paper on that out there somewhere).

    If you wish to discuss another topic or focus, then why not write a post about that? On discussion boards usually one idea/comment leads to another leads to another. This is normal. This is also how science progresses too when different people are inspired or interested enough to take an idea a little further than before, or to try to disprove it when they do not like the implications.

    Here is my latest idea. If the word ‘Apocalypse’ is inappropriate in the context of others comments and climate science, then please would you recommend a better word or term to use in it’s place?

    Maybe have a browse through here http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter12_FINAL.pdf for a bit of background homework.

    Page search for the words abrupt, severe, dangerous, catastrophic, irreversible, “significant change”, variation, substantial, and extreme (the latter mentioned 137 times). Also consider deeply the context of how those words relate to the broader picture being painted by this IPCC AR5 Report Chapter 12. Can’t get more scientific than this can we?

    I believe there is not one single piece of scientifically based or credible evidence available today that would indicate an ongoing Energy Use scenario better than RCP 8.5 from now to 2040 and after on current BAU reality. Do you agree or disagree? A straight yes or no would be fine.

    Assuming that words like ‘Apocalypse’ or ‘Catastrophic’ are not to your liking, then please what word/s would you suggest communicate the LIKELY OUTCOME 25-50 years hence continuing on with BAU as the hard facts from multiple lines of evidence repeatedly show is exactly where we are headed on the current trajectory!

    I tend to accept that Words do matter. Here’s some alternatives:

    Synonyms for catastrophic, adj destructive = calamitous, cataclysmic, disastrous, fatal, ruinous, tragic, cataclysmal, catastrophal. http://thesaurus.com/browse/catastrophic

    Synonyms for apocalypse, noun mass destruction = annihilation, cataclysm, catastrophe, devastation, holocaust, Armageddon, decimation, end of the world (as we know it). http://thesaurus.com/browse/Apocalypse

    Are you 100% certain such words above are not appropriate on a scientific basis alone?

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 3 Feb 2014 @ 9:18 PM

  351. #335 Thomas Lee Elifritz:

    Thanks so much for the ‘nasty’ tone of your reply. It was not appreciated.

    TLE said: “What I think you might mean is that YOU could care less how scientists do their work” – Incorrect

    “and that YOU want or demand valid proven findings that YOU trust and understand vis a vis – FACTS.” – Incorrect, a misrepresentation of what was said.

    “You speak only for yourself,…”

    Yes I speak only for myself. But like thousands of others on this planet I also have common sense, can understand what others say and mean and how they think, and report such matters to others in writing about them. With or without academic and science papers to back up such comments.

    Just as any journo can do, as any author or classroom teacher can do, so can I relay ideas of one group to another group. But still, yes, here I do speak for myself and express those things that I opine/believe are of some value for others and on topic. If I didn’t think that I would not send in a comment.

    Neither would you Thomas. You only speak for yourself to. You are actually doing the very thing you are complaining that I do and shouldn’t. In this case however you cannot speak for me personally because I am here reading what you wrote and I know it is false with no evidence at all to support you, bar what you ‘believe’ is true. It is not true Thomas.

    “….especially when it comes to science, and I’m sorry to be the one to have to say something very few other people say about these kinds of casual comments, but science does not work the way that YOU want it too or in the way that your comment reveals to me how you think it does. Sorry. Your beliefs about what ‘other’ people think are meaningless here.”

    Also incorrect. I know what I believe and think, and it is shown by what I wrote here. Your beliefs about what I think are meaningless because they are egregiously false. Thomas you have no right to misrepresent what I have said and intended and was focusing upon on the sole basis of you not understanding it and by taking ‘offense’ where none existed and becoming unnecessarily ‘defensive’.

    There was no attack by me made against scientists nor science nor methodology nor evidence in what I have written anywhere on these pages. None. Thomas I suggest you should reconsider the basis of your false assumptions and perhaps apologize for and withdraw your comments unreservedly. They were completely wrong and inappropriate.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 3 Feb 2014 @ 9:43 PM

  352. Re- Comment by Walter — 3 Feb 2014 @ 9:18 PM

    So you say.

    Steve

    Capcha says “sabooms from” which sounds pretty much like something from Stan Freberg who I think of as a mentor for us all.

    Comment by Steve Fish — 3 Feb 2014 @ 9:50 PM

  353. #347 Jim Eager says:
    3 Feb 2014 at 7:24 PM
    Diogenes, will you please stop with the “we’re stuck between the rock and hard place” mantra and cut to the chase.
    What’s your solution? I mean other than spread our legs, bend over and kiss our….

    Jim, Diogenes can speak for himself, but I have this to say on my own behest.
    My understanding of what Diogenes has presented here rests upon the primary point of the need for broad agreement as to the present state of reality, and the current trajectory the globe is on regarding GHG emissions. AS it has been presented by the science community, IPCC, energy experts, and others.

    Looks to me that those most aggrieved and annoyed by Diogenes ongoing comments are those who have not yet even agreed with him as to the current reality. I see little point in anyone presenting add on solutions to a problem when they have not yet agreed there is a problem to the extent he has portrayed.

    The horse should come before the cart. Shouldn’t it?

    I also see him presenting his ideas and the basis for his thoughts and then asking for others to comment about that and feed on more accurate info or ideas in order for him to improve his overall understanding and how he presents his ideas.

    Criticisms of his person or word usuage or endlessly focusing on “what is the big picture solution” is unhelpful.

    Does anyone know anyone else who has the Magic Bullet Solution? Do you or anyone here? Why insist Diogenes should be the one to have one?

    This is all so fundamentally illogical to me, and so I simply ignore it and avoid it. But as I said the other day, I am a little weird. I have my own way of viewing the world that isn’t universal by a long shot.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 3 Feb 2014 @ 10:02 PM

  354. A relevant piece for your consideration. Only about 18 minutes long. “Enough is Enough”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ-LYElvtEU

    Blurb: “Enough Is Enough lays out a visionary but realistic alternative to the perpetual pursuit of economic growth—an economy where the goal is enough, not more. Based on the best-selling book by Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill, the film explores specific strategies to fix the financial system, reduce inequality, create jobs, and more. Drawing on the expertise of Tim Jackson, Kate Pickett, Andrew Simms, Natalie Bennett, and Ben Dyson, Enough Is Enough is the primer for achieving genuine prosperity and a hopeful future for all. “

    Comment by wili — 3 Feb 2014 @ 10:46 PM

  355. Another bit of info and discussion relevant to the discussion: http://www.mixcloud.com/21stCenturyPermaculture/2nd-feb-2014/ David Holmgren on problems with growth, collapse, and other things.

    Comment by wili — 3 Feb 2014 @ 11:41 PM

  356. #352 Steve Fish

    Re- Comment by Walter — 3 Feb 2014 @ 9:18 PM

    Thanks very much for kind, insightful, and wise insight. Breathtakingly succinct! Real Climate visitors will be all the better for it in the years to come. Excellent. Do keep it up.

    Yours appreciatively,

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 4 Feb 2014 @ 12:21 AM

  357. > Are you 100% certain

    Not the right question, about science.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Feb 2014 @ 12:27 AM

  358. One more bit: The only time there has actually been a global reduction (for however briefly) in CO2 emissions in the last few decades was during the global recession of 2007-8: http://www.skepticalscience.com/iea-co2-emissions-update-2010.html
    http://stochastictrend.blogspot.com/2012/04/global-trends-graph-updated-to-2010.html

    Comment by wili — 4 Feb 2014 @ 12:32 AM

  359. LONDON — Prince Charles has called people who deny human-made climate change a “headless chicken brigade” who are ignoring overwhelming scientific evidence.

    The heir to the British throne, a dedicated environmentalist, accused “powerful groups of deniers” of mounting “a barrage of sheer intimidation” against opponents.

    He made the comments at a Buckingham Palace awards ceremony on Thursday.

    Charles said it was “baffling … that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything — until, that is, it comes to climate science.”

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/prince-charles-climate-change-deniers-headless-chickens-20140131

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 4 Feb 2014 @ 3:08 AM

  360. Jim Eager #347,

    “What’s your solution?”

    Read #291 again. It is the one solution on this blog that will achieve the necessary targets to (hopefully) avoid the Apocalypse.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 4 Feb 2014 @ 6:00 AM

  361. Walter #353,

    “Does anyone know anyone else who has the Magic Bullet Solution? Do you or anyone here? Why insist Diogenes should be the one to have one?”

    In #291, I identified the numerical targets that have to be met to avoid the Apocalypse (if, in fact, it can be avoided at this late date), and I outlined one potential solution that would achieve the required targets. The main component of the solution is very sharp reduction in fossil fuel use, undoubtedly leading to a global Depression for years. Hansen’s Plos One paper sans massive reforestation would give you exactly that conclusion, Anderson’s computations based on ~1 C would give you exactly that conclusion, McKibben’s ‘new math’ based on 1 C would give you exactly that conclusion….. All three have stated that ~1 C is the appropriate scientific target.

    Oh, by the way, no one, including the moderators, has challenged the numerical targets, and no one has offered any other approach that would achieve these quantitative targets. Like it or not, this is what we as a collective global society have to do.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 4 Feb 2014 @ 6:24 AM

  362. #357 Hank, that’s a very strange response given it was a question to Patrick about his choices of word usage and semantics to describe something. That’s not a science statement but a personal opinion question. I hope you can see the difference.

    #340 I thought was an unusual comment to make, in particular if it is appropriate to broadly label unnamed others of ‘poor thinking’ or was there a specific error in logic or data you wanted to address about something?

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 4 Feb 2014 @ 8:05 AM

  363. Just going to say that, long about the time comments from yesterday were edging toward the new page, I was seeing a few dozen other people bearing witness against Keystone XL, on a cold Atlanta street corner. Love realclimate, and cherish the insights often to be found here.

    But this morning I want to suggest that perhaps some of the energy around this particular thread would be more usefully manifested on some other street corner on a like occasion. There will be many more such occasions, no doubt, and the more energy, the better.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 4 Feb 2014 @ 9:41 AM

  364. Diogenes, I perused your 291, and I saw nothing that resembles a plan. “Don’t burn fossil fuels,” is not a plan.

    Somehow we need to get from an economy where 80-90% of our energy comes from fossil fuels to one where virtually all of it comes from renewables. Do you not agree?

    We need to do so as quickly as possible–certainly within 20 years. No?

    This means we must replace the fossil fuel infrastructure with a renewable infrastructure, does it not?

    That requires a whole helluva lot of economic activity, doesn’t it?

    It also requires a lot of technological development, no?

    So, how can that equate to a 15% decrease year on year in economic activity? It seems to me that we ought to be able to achieve nearly 100% employment just building the new infrastructure over this period.

    Maybe you should rethink things.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 4 Feb 2014 @ 9:49 AM

  365. Ray Ladbury #364,

    I appreciate your comments; they are well thought out and well-considered. I will address them in order.

    “Diogenes, I perused your 291, and I saw nothing that resembles a plan. “Don’t burn fossil fuels,” is not a plan.”

    Cutting back drastically on fossil fuel use is a key part of the plan. If you agree with the targets I define in #291, and agree with the conclusion that we have run out of carbon budget today, then the sharpest cutback in fossil fuels that we are willing to bear as a society is required.

    “Somehow we need to get from an economy where 80-90% of our energy comes from fossil fuels to one where virtually all of it comes from renewables. Do you not agree?”

    Depends on your objectives. If your main objective is continued survival of the human species with reasonable probability, then our need is to eliminate use of fossil fuels as quickly as possible and bring down atmospheric CO2 concentrations as rapidly as possible. If a secondary objective is maintenance of a lifestyle resembling to some degree that which we enjoy today, then our need is to expand low-carbon sources as rapidly as possible along with higher energy efficiency technologies. I think survival needs to be separated from lifestyle, at least on paper, since the strategies for addressing the two may be somewhat different.

    “We need to do so as quickly as possible–certainly within 20 years. No?”

    According to #291, we have run out of carbon budget, and have probably run up substantial carbon debt. Every day we delay the drastic action I believe is required we get one step closer to the Apocalypse. I appreciate Anderson, McKibben, Hansen et al have the best of intentions, and they have all been willing to put their necks on the line for their climate change amelioration beliefs. However, for Anderson and McKibben, their time frames and reductions don’t mesh with the targets they state are scientifically-based. My only time estimate for the reduction is as fast as the traffic is willing to bear.

    “This means we must replace the fossil fuel infrastructure with a renewable infrastructure, does it not?”

    I haven’t disagreed, nor have Anderson, McKibben, and Hansen. Remember, however, it is the secondary objective I have stated above, and if any aspects of the implementing strategy conflict with those of the primary objective, the primary objective (by definition) comes first.

    “That requires a whole helluva lot of economic activity, doesn’t it?”

    Yes, and no one disagrees with that, including myself, Anderson, McKibben, and Hansen.

    “It also requires a lot of technological development, no?”

    There happens to be much technology on-the-shelf ready to go; that’s really what we need for the short time frames of interest. More technology development will be useful, but we can’t expect results in the time frame of interest, where e.g. turning down your thermostats in Winter and up in Summer can have far more immediate effects.

    “So, how can that equate to a 15% decrease year on year in economic activity? It seems to me that we ought to be able to achieve nearly 100% employment just building the new infrastructure over this period.”

    I don’t have access to the models that e.g. Anderson or Hansen use for their CO2 emission estimates and their renewables/nuclear implementation estimates, so I am at a disadvantage with respect to specifics. Look, during the Great Depression, we instituted many projects focused on infrastructure development with the purpose of keeping people employed. At that time, reduced use of fossil fuels was not an issue. We could do something similar in the transition period to non-carbon energy sources. Between reforestation and e.g. building renewables facilities, we could undoubtedly keep many people employed. What fraction of the total available labor force, I have no idea. But, there would be the added constraint of minimal fossil fuel energy use during that period, and whatever time is required for ALL fossil energy sources to be eliminated. For an ultra-rapid transition of e.g. electricity production to renewables, we would have to retire existing fossil fuel plants before their projected lifetimes. Somebody will have to bear the costs associated with that early retirement, and I can guess who. So, while there could be substantial employment associated with the conversion to non-fossil sources and reforestation, I don’t know whether it would be adequate, and I don’t see maintenance of GDP activity under the sharp fossil fuel use constraints.

    At this point, I still agree with Anderson and others who have studied this conversion in detail that sharp reductions in GDP will result from the sharp reductions in fossil fuel use in this interim transition period.

    “Maybe you should rethink things.”

    I never said I had the final answer. If someone can show me (with detailed calculations) how we can achieve the above objectives and avoid Depression, I would welcome it. I have not seen it yet.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 4 Feb 2014 @ 11:12 AM

  366. “Read #291 again.”

    I just did. Like Ray, I see no plan, just broad stroke generalizations that we need to reduce energy demand, replace carbon based energy with renewables, and plant trees, none of which are new ideas, and none of which I disagree with. But you offer no plan how to implement those strategies.

    What you do offer is voluminous, repetative descriptions of how screwed we are (which I also don’t disagree with), I assume to use as a motivational hammer. The problem, based on my on-the-ground experience over the past several years trying to communicate the seriousness of the situation and help people to reduce their consumption, is that it is a hammer that does not work well. All it does is depress people and motivate them to stop listening, turn off and just throw in the towel.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 4 Feb 2014 @ 11:45 AM

  367. Please take a moment to look over the linked paper:
    http://www.climateemergencyinstitute.com/uploads/Multiple_climate_targets_Allowable_carbon_July_2013_.pdf

    “Allowable carbon emissions lowered by multiple climate targets”
    Marco Steinacher, Fortunat Joos & Thomas F. Stocker Corresponding author
    Climate and Environmental Physics, Universityof Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
    Oeschger Centrefor Climate Change Research, Universityof Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
    Contact Marco Steinacher
    Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12269
    Published online 03 July

    If you are in a hurry, just scroll down to figure 4 on page 7. Most of the crucial information is here.

    Note the indication of the carbon ‘budget’ already used by 2011 on the lower left, and adjust for a couple more years of emissions (at about 35 Gt/year now, that would add about another 70 Gt to that black bar).

    With that addition we have blown past the possibility of having a 90% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, if all effects of that increase (considered in this study) are factored in.

    Note that the graph and study does not even consider the possibility of staying below one degree C. Why do you suppose that is?

    You are pushing a baby in a buggy. You suddenly find that you have come to the edge of a cliff and the front wheels have gone over… so there is now a 10 percent chance the kid will fall out of the buggy down the cliff. There is about a 30% chance that if you go another foot forward the baby will stay in the buggy and not fall down into the chasm below. Do you keep going that next foot? That is the question before us.

    Ray, thanks for pointing out that important protest/vigil. My daughter went (so proud of her!). I couldn’t for reasons I won’t go into. I will sent letters to the president and all representatives, something I hope others here will do, too.

    Comment by wili — 4 Feb 2014 @ 12:04 PM

  368. Diogenes wrote: “Cutting back drastically on fossil fuel use is a key part of the plan.”

    As Ray Ladbury pointed out, “cut back drastically on fossil fuel use” is not a plan. It’s a bumper sticker slogan.

    Stating what everyone here already knows — that the anthropogenic excess of CO2 is already dangerous, so we must stop increasing it as soon as possible — does not constitute a “plan” for realizing that goal. Setting pointless “targets” for dangerous GHG levels that must be avoided, when GHGs are quite obviously ALREADY at a dangerous level, does not constitute a “plan”.

    And indeed, you have repeatedly failed or refused to suggest any specific actions, let alone a comprehensive “plan” for “cutting back drastically on fossil fuel use” within the time frame that is required.

    What you have done is to attack every proposal for replacing fossil fuels with zero-emissions energy technologies with ad hominem nonsense about “ominous money making motives”, and to reject efficiency improvements out of hand as a means of reducing demand.

    What you have done is to repeat over and over and over that eliminating fossil fuel use MUST result in “severe economic reductions” and “deprivation and hardship” — assertions which you have failed or refused to support with any evidence whatsoever.

    This line of discourse that renewable energy is a “money making scam” and that rapidly phasing out fossil fuel use will destroy the economy and subject us all to deprivation and hardship is a familiar one.

    Usually, though, it winds up accusing Al Gore of promoting renewable energy for “ominous money making motives”, not me.

    For the record, I am not fat, and I do not live in a big house.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 4 Feb 2014 @ 12:09 PM

  369. Diogenes,
    Getting to zero carbon is not a plan. It is a goal. The plan is HOW we get there. It is no more helpful for you to say that we’ve run out of carbon budget than it is for John Boehner to say, “We’re broke!” We are not going to achieve a zero carbon economy solely by cutting back on burning fossil fuels any more than the US will achieve a balanced budget by cutting spending alone.

    Yes, we’ve squandered nearly 30 years. As I said on Tamino’s Open Mind recently, we are like the 6 and 9 team that must not only win our last game, but have 3 other teams lose to squeak by into the playoffs. We do not entirely control our own destiny and will have to get lucky to avoid catastrophe. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get out there and kick some serious ass in the portion of our fate we do control.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 4 Feb 2014 @ 12:11 PM

  370. Somehow we need ….
    We need to do so …
    This means we must …
    That requires …
    It also requires …
    Maybe you should rethink things Hank, that’s a lot of assumptions that pre-define a solution. Start with the “economy” part. Who will be the final beneficiary of all this wonderful economic techno-revolution, the planet or some few beneficent investors? And is “we” the vegetarians or the meat eaters? The generation who’ll be dead in 20 years or the generation that’s just being born?

    What I see is the planet following the path that humanity has set with the assumption that humanity and it’s “economy” is the center of the universe, and our growth, comfort, plans and desires set the agenda.

    You know Ma Nature bats last, so you’re trying to throw a knuckle ball?

    RECAPTCHA says “subject USASite”

    Comment by flxible — 4 Feb 2014 @ 12:14 PM

  371. Ray Ladbury #369,

    “Getting to zero carbon is not a plan. It is a goal. The plan is HOW we get there.”

    The goal is to keep peak temperature during the transition as close to 1 C as possible. The plan consists of the components for achieving this, and I have listed them at the appropriate level of generality. The approach is the specific steps required to implement the plan.

    I have separated the plan into two parts: primary component is aimed at species survival, and secondary component is aimed at lifestyle maintenance. The present global mode of energy expenditure has these two components inverted, and many, if not all, of the approaches we see presented on this blog retain this inversion. The approach for the primary component is sharp reduction in fossil fuel use in the transition period, and massive reforestation (if possible). The approach for the secondary component is rapid introduction of renewables/nuclear and energy efficiency improvements. If there are any conflicting requirements between the two, the primary component requirements take precedence over the secondary component requirements (e.g., [hypothetically] too much fossil fuel expenditure would be involved in the total nuclear mining/construction process).

    I suspect what you’re really asking is for the details of the approach for sharp reduction in fossil fuel use in the transition period. You outlined the approach in one of your postings: start with the lowest hanging fruit, and work your way up the tree. I could probably list 100 examples, and you could as well. Turn down the thermostats drastically in Winter (as we have done) and turn them up drastically in Summer. Close fossil energy intensive facilities, such as ski resorts. Eliminate energy-intensive cattle breeding. Eliminate any non-essential fossil-based travel……

    This is the minimum required to achieve the CO2 emissions reductions target. All these activities to be eliminated help generate a lot of economic activity at present, and when they are eliminated in the transition period, will lead to a massive Depression. Yes, people will be needed to reforest and to construct low-carbon replacements for fossil fuels (using very low carbon approaches for these replacement and reforestation processes), but they will not be able to generate the economic activity in this transition period to maintain GDP.

    Keep in mind, every gram of fossil fuel expended for any activity during the transition period from today’s fossil fuel use to essentially zero total fossil fuel use (covering far more than electricity conversion) takes us that much closer to the Apocalypse. That’s the meaning of having run out of carbon budget and run up carbon debt.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 4 Feb 2014 @ 12:57 PM

  372. Chuck Hughes #359

    Oh bugger. Prince Charles is seen as a bit of a fruitcake in the UK. His record on science has not been good. This could be counter-productive…

    Comment by Joe Cushley — 4 Feb 2014 @ 1:09 PM

  373. FYI …

    How The Northeast Could Cut Carbon Pollution By 75 Percent In 5 Simple Steps
    By Jeff Spross
    ClimateProgress
    February 4, 2014

    A new report says the northeastern U.S. could cut its carbon dioxide emissions in half — just by taking advantage of technology that’s already available.

    “It’s really about heating buildings and powering transportation,” said Jamie Howland, the director of the Climate Energy Analysis Center at ENE, and the report’s lead author. “Those are two things that have traditionally been done directly by fossil fuels.”

    The ENE EnergyVision report covers Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey. It notes that over the last decade, oil and coal collapsed as power sources for the electrical grids of those states. Hydroelectric, other renewables, nuclear, and natural gas rose to take their place, making electrical power there greener. So simply switching things like building heat and transportation over to electric power — using technology that’s already commercialized — could deliver huge gains.

    “If you just hypothetically did that, greenhouse gas emissions would be cut in half. I don’t think most people realize that,” Howland said. “You get cost reductions in many cases. And you get those today, with today’s electricity generated by natural gas.”

    Beyond that, combining such a move with a big push onto renewables to power the electrical grid, and the northeast’s emissions could drop 75 percent by 2050.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 4 Feb 2014 @ 1:27 PM

  374. Have have not seen anyone here proclaim that Mann or Schmidt or Hansen or anyone else have a perfect plan to address the problems they present us with, or that they should just shut up if they can’t present such a perfect plan along with their grim news. So why the double standard with Diogenes. He is adding essentially one element to the discussion, an element that should be stunningly obvious to anyone not totally blinded by the prevalent pro-growth ideologies of our day–that element is that we can’t have economic growth and a viable planet.

    Why should he even bother presenting a plan to people who can’t even see that this premise is inescapable.

    It’s like arguing against someone’s proposition that one plus one equals two, but also insisting that that person develop calculus and ring theory.

    @368 SA wrote: “Setting pointless “targets” for dangerous GHG levels that must be avoided” So, SA would you call the considerable sections of the IPCC report which set just “pointless ‘targets’” to be itself pointless?

    Comment by wili — 4 Feb 2014 @ 1:52 PM

  375. flxible, who are you quoting at 4 Feb 2014 @ 12:14 PM?
    You seem to attribute to me words I didn’t write and don’t believe.

    You’re replying to someone who posted what I call IEWOK notions:

    “If everybody would only know”

    – everybody never does, though.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Feb 2014 @ 2:41 PM

  376. SA @ #373. Thanks for pointing this out. Yes, there are a lot of things we can and should be doing. But, yet again, the timing is crucial. The last line of your quote is: “northeast’s emissions could drop 75 percent by 2050.” But we need even greater cuts and most of that has to come much much earlier than 2050. Still, these are clearly a big part of what we have to be working toward longer term.

    For those actually interested in reducing CO2 emissions starting now, let’s get on with radically reducing demand and with withdrawing as much as we can from the finance economy. The global financial system is in a fragile state right now, and it may not take much of a push from consumers in the developed world pulling back to get the crash we need.

    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-02-03/crash-on-demand-pathways

    Comment by wili — 4 Feb 2014 @ 3:57 PM

  377. wili wrote: “So why the double standard with Diogenes.”

    There is no “double standard”. Diogenes has repeately pointed to his comment #291, saying that it provides “the one solution” that will “avoid the Apocalypse”.

    In fact, it contains no “solutions” at all — not even one single specific proposal for reducing emissions. Just his repetitive insistence that ending emissions must require “severe economic reductions” and “deprivation and hardship”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 4 Feb 2014 @ 4:00 PM

  378. I remain puzzled why there has not been a more determined move to stimulate plankton growth in the oceans.

    The reports I read sounded like the only thing done was a half-hearted experiment by people who were not really hoping for success. A determined effort to establish a serious method is still necessary, and this seems to hold real practical promise.

    There are other things to do that would not bring economic harm. There are even possibilities that could bring prosperity. But a lot more creativity is needed than to just insist on severe limitations on fossil fuel usage.

    I read the words ‘massive reforestation’ which might hint at constructive action, though my approach would not require the ‘re’ prefix, and thus my ‘massive’ could be really massive.

    Comment by Jim Bullis — 4 Feb 2014 @ 4:15 PM

  379. Hank, apologies, my comment was in response to Ray @364

    Comment by flxible — 4 Feb 2014 @ 4:23 PM

  380. Considering scientific based analysis, interpretations and implications.

    About ‘Words’ that often get people confused and into arguments.

    When I use them in context of climate change science I mean what is said in the IPCC Glossary. When I use them in other contexts I do not. If that matters to anyone, or be able to remember anyway. I think having the same word meanings and be clear about that is helpful in ‘discussions’.

    From the IPCC AR5 WG1 Report: This glossary defines some specific terms as the Lead Authors INTEND them to be INTERPRETED in the CONTEXT of this Report. http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_AnnexIII_FINAL.pdf

    I believe that within online discussions 99.9999% of people only care about what they mean, NOT what the people they are TALKING AT mean or understand.

    I believe these word definitions are very often misused and/or misunderstood, which is why I have copied and pasted sections here to make it easier for others to re-consider their own beliefs and memories if they wish:

    #1 in importance
    UUNCERTAINTY A state of incomplete knowledge that can result from a
    LACK of INFORMATION or from DISAGREEMENT about what is known or even
    knowable.

    It may have many types of sources, from imprecision in the data to AMBIGUOUSLY DEFINED CONCEPTS or TERMINOLOGY, or uncertain projections
    of HUMAN BEHAVIOUR.

    Uncertainty can therefore be represented by quantitative measures (e.g., a probability density function) or by qualitative statements (e.g., reflecting the judgment of a team of experts)

    (see Moss and Schneider, 2000; Manning et al., 2004; Mastrandrea et al., 2010). See also Confidence and Likelihood.
    ——————————————-

    More words

    Abrupt climate change A large-scale change in the climate system [..]
    and causes substantial disruptions in human and natural systems.

    Afforestation Planting of new forests on lands that historically have
    not contained forests. For a discussion of the term forest and related terms such as afforestation, reforestation and deforestation, see the IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (IPCC, 2000).

    Anthropogenic Resulting from or produced by human activities.

    Blocking It is an important component of the intraseasonal climate
    variability in the extratropics and can cause long-lived weather conditions
    such as cold spells in winter and summer heat waves.

    Chaotic A dynamical system such as the climate system, governed by
    nonlinear deterministic equations (see Nonlinearity), may exhibit erratic or chaotic behaviour [..] . Such chaotic behaviour limits the predictability of the state of a nonlinear dynamical system at specific future times

    Climate change (UNFCCC), in its Article 1, defines climate change as: ‘a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability

    Climate feedback In this Assessment Report, a somewhat narrower definition is often used in which the climate quantity that is perturbed is the global mean surface temperature, which in turn causes changes in the global radiation budget. In either case, the initial perturbation can either be externally forced or arise as part of internal variability.

    Climate prediction A climate prediction or climate forecast is the
    result of an ATTEMPT to produce (starting from a particular state of the
    climate system) an estimate of the actual evolution of the climate in
    the future.

    Climate projection A climate projection is the simulated response of
    the climate system to a scenario of future emission or concentration of
    greenhouse gases and aerosols, generally derived using climate models.
    Climate projections are distinguished from climate predictions by their
    dependence on the emission/concentration/radiative forcing scenario
    used,

    Projection A projection is a potential future evolution of a quantity or
    set of quantities, often computed with the aid of a model. Unlike predictions, projections are conditional on assumptions concerning, for example, future SOCIOECONOMIC and technological developments that may or MAY NOT BE realized

    Climate scenario A plausible and often simplified representation of the future climate, based on an internally consistent set of climatological
    relationships that has been constructed for explicit use in investigating
    the potential consequences of anthropogenic climate change, often serving as input to impact models.

    Scenario A PLAUSIBLE description of how the future may develop based on a coherent and internally consistent set of assumptions about key driving forces (e.g., rate of technological change, prices) and relationships. NOTE that scenarios are NEITHER Predictions nor Forecasts!

    Drought A period of abnormally dry weather long enough to cause a
    serious hydrological imbalance. Drought is a relative term; [...] A period with an abnormal precipitation deficit is defined as a meteorological drought. A megadrought is a very lengthy and pervasive drought, lasting much longer than normal, usually a decade or more.

    Energy budget (of the Earth) The Earth is a physical system with
    an energy budget that includes all gains of incoming energy and all losses
    of outgoing energy. The Earth’s energy budget is determined by measuring how much energy comes into the Earth system from the Sun, how much energy is lost to space, and accounting for the remainder on Earth and its atmosphere.

    Extreme climate event See Extreme weather event.

    Extreme weather event An extreme weather event is an event that is rare at a particular place and time of year. Definitions of rare vary, but an extreme weather event would normally be as rare as or rarer than the 10th or 90th percentile of a probability density function estimated from
    observations.

    Extreme sea level See Storm surge.

    Storm surge The temporary increase, at a particular locality, in the
    height of the sea due to extreme meteorological conditions …

    Heat wave A period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot weather.

    Irreversibility A perturbed state of a dynamical system is defined as
    irreversible on a given timescale, if the recovery timescale from this state due to natural processes is significantly longer than the time it takes for the system to reach this perturbed state. In the context of WGI, the time scale of interest is centennial to millennial. See also Tipping point.

    Tipping point In climate, a hypothesized critical threshold when global
    or regional climate changes from one stable state to another stable state.
    The tipping point event may be irreversible. See also Irreversibility.

    Likelihood The chance of a specific outcome occurring, where this
    might be estimated probabilistically.

    Methane (CH4) Methane is one of the six greenhouse gases to be mitigated under the Kyoto Protocol and is the major component of natural gas.

    Mitigation A human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the
    sinks of greenhouse gases

    Near-surface permafrost A term  frequently  used in climate model
    applications to refer to permafrost at depths close to the ground surface
    (typically down to 3.5 m).

    Nonlinearity A process is called nonlinear when there is no simple proportional relation between cause and effect. The climate system contains
    many such nonlinear processes.

    Permafrost Ground (soil or rock and included ice and organic material)
    that remains at or below 0°C for at least TWO consecutive years.

    Prediction quality/skill Measures of the success of a prediction against observationally based information. No single measure can summarize all aspects of forecast quality and a suite of metrics is considered.

    RAPID adjustment The response to an agent perturbing the climate
    system that is driven directly by the agent, independently of any change
    in the global mean surface temperature. [..] Adjustments are rapid in the sense that they begin to occur right away, before climate feedbacks which are driven by warming (although some adjustments may still take significant time to proceed to completion, for example those involving vegetation or ice sheets). It is also called the rapid response or fast adjustment.

    Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) Scenarios that
    include time series of emissions and concentrations of the full suite of
    greenhouse gases and aerosols and chemically active gases, as well as land
    use/land cover (Moss et al., 2008). The word representative signifies that
    each RCP provides only one of many possible scenarios that would lead to
    the specific radiative forcing characteristics. The term pathway emphasizes
    that not only the long-term concentration levels are of interest, but also
    the trajectory taken over time to reach that outcome.

    RCP2.6 One pathway where radiative forcing peaks at approximately 3 W m–2 before 2100 and then declines.

    RCP8.5 One high pathway for which radiative forcing reaches greater than 8.5 W m–2 by 2100.

    Response time The response time or adjustment time is the time needed for the climate system or its components to re-equilibrate to a new state, following a forcing resulting from external processes

    Trend In this report, the word trend designates a change, generally
    monotonic in time, in the value of a variable.

    Comment by Walter — 4 Feb 2014 @ 5:30 PM

  381. wili wrote: “The last line of your quote is: ‘northeast’s emissions could drop 75 percent by 2050.’ But we need even greater cuts and most of that has to come much much earlier than 2050.”

    Note that the study projects that a 50 percent reduction by 2050 can be achieved by replacing the direct use of fossil fuels for heating buildings and fueling ground transport with electricity, even using today’s fossil fuel generated electricity — and the 75 percent is achievable by substantially replacing fossil fuel generation with renewable energy.

    Those are important steps given that heating buildings and fueling vehicles are among the top sources of GHG emissions. But those are far from the only measures that could be implemented to reduce emissions without requiring draconian “deprivation and hardship”, and in fact they would promote economic prosperity.

    I agree, and have commented here a number of times, that in my view we need to reduce global GHG emissions to near zero as rapidly as possible, beginning as soon as possible, with the steepest reductions coming up front.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 4 Feb 2014 @ 6:09 PM

  382. #368 SecularAnimist says:
    quote “As Ray Ladbury pointed out, “cut back drastically on fossil fuel use” is not a plan. It’s a bumper sticker slogan.”

    quote “replacing fossil fuels with zero-emissions energy technologies” – isn’t that just another Bumper Sticker comment too SA? What is your specific plan of action to achieve that?

    quote “…assertions which you have failed or refused to support with any evidence whatsoever.”

    SA where is your evidence/data about your plan to rapidly replace fossil fuel use with renewable sources? I have never seen one mentioned by you except for Bumper Sticker typical comments made by yourself and also others here.

    How is it bad for Diogenes to present vague general themes about emergency goals/action as a matter of urgency, but when you and others do the exact same thing it is seen as OK and is somehow considered science based as opposed to a vague generality?

    Where is the fully detailed Economic scenario 2 decades into the future by Hansen et al? It is not in their paper. It is not in Anderson’s writings and talks. They don’t get down to the GDP % impacts either. They don;t produce a detailed global financial budget, but you seem to be asking Diogenes to produce one here. Why is that, because I do not understand why you and others are making such a big emotional deal about it?

    These comments attacking Diogenes make zero rational sense to me when they are done like this. It’s just more ad hominem criticisms on top of other frustrated ‘ad hom’ type activeness by him in response to criticism of himself and his ideas presented in good faith here.

    Is he supposed to be perfect or something in being able to ‘present a valid written case’ for urgent change? M Mann wrote a decent article for the NYTs, but I didn’t see any supporting references to peer reviewed studies nor GDP data to support his ‘opinions’ about the seriousness of the climate change challenge today.

    This discussion is not dialogue, not valid arguments, not anywhere near the scientific method of how discussions among trained scientists usually operates, and it certainly is not reason or common sense at play.

    “For the record, I am not fat, and I do not live in a big house.”

    I believe you SA. Now what is your specific plan to rapidly reduce GHG emissions and replace them with renewable energy sources …. what should be the yearly cut as a % to GHGs going forward from 2015?

    Or is it not a serious problem today? Maybe you believe it will simply sort itself out by itself and common sense by the politicians and business leaders of the world. I don;t know what you think, except you don’t like what Diogenes thinks. That doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in my perspective. It’s merely shouting one’s beliefs and opinions from the battlements. That’s not reason and logic at work. It’s pure emotional bs.

    SA, what will be the specific effect on GDP activity globally and regionally and nationally, eg recession, depression or increasing economic Growth of your longterm plan to cut GHGs?

    Also who out of the 7 billion people on the planet should be the ones who immediately cut there GHG emissions the most and by what % and for how long?

    I fail to see how it is reasonable or rational to criticize another for not being able to detail a proposal when those making the criticisms fail to be able to present the same level of detail when they make “Bumper Sticker” comments themselves, and repeatedly so right here.

    Makes no sense to me. Maybe I am too dumb to work it out. Perhaps you could enlighten me better?

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 4 Feb 2014 @ 6:19 PM

  383. SecularAnimist says:
    wili wrote: “So why the double standard with Diogenes.”

    SA says: There is no “double standard”.

    Oh yes there is. It is blatant, overt and under spot lights. The kinds of responses and criticisms he is receiving are belligerent and recalcitrant and illogical.

    They are also hypocritical as Wili pointed out, though he didn’t specifically use that word, it is the most appropriate one to describe this situation. Wili has got this down pat, in far less words than I used to basically say the exact same thing.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 4 Feb 2014 @ 6:30 PM

  384. #374 wili: “Why should he even bother presenting a plan to people who can’t even see that this premise is inescapable?”

    He shouldn’t bother. Diogenes would be better off taking his excellent ideas elsewhere and discussing them further with people who appreciate them and him.

    assuming it’s a him)NO pointing bashing one’s head on a brick wall. It will only give one a headache and a lump.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 4 Feb 2014 @ 6:35 PM

  385. #373 SecularAnimist says:
    “How The Northeast Could Cut Carbon Pollution By 75 Percent In 5 Simple Steps – A new report says the northeastern U.S. “COULD” cut its carbon dioxide emissions in half — just by taking advantage of technology that’s already available.”

    SA what is your Plan to make that a reality? Is it just another Bumper Sticker report?

    “If you just hypothetically did that, greenhouse gas emissions would be cut in half.”

    OK, fine. But that is only a HYPOTHETICAL, and not a real Plan Mr Secular.

    What is your plan to make this a reality SA? Please can you be detailed and specific, and also include the Economics of such a thing plus the Political change needed as you are aware of implementing this Bumper Sticker Idea.

    Otherwise it is only attention seeking rhetoric and a dreamlike mythical fantasy, without a real Plan.

    “Beyond that, combining such a move with a big push onto renewables to power the electrical grid, and the northeast’s emissions could drop 75 percent by 2050.”

    “a big push” is not Science, nor economics, nor Political realism. Can you define the “push” that is needed in real numbers and over what time scale and at what Cost in hard $ please? What will be the affect on NE USA GDP grwoth, and upon employment, manufacturing businesses, and all the positive and negative spin-off effects across the Economy?

    What will happen to the massive recent investment in Shale Gas developments in the NE USA, and the capital that already been committed to those projects? Will any of those projects go broke? Will the US Govt lose out on investment subsidies given to those Gas projects? What wil be the implications of this nationally and geo-politically into the future to 2050?

    Can the NE afford the spare the Capital to buy all this Wind and Solar Infrastructure from China, or being built inside the USA? What does your research tell you about this already please?

    Sounds attractive, a 75% reduction by 2050, yet it appears to be not enough nor soon enough. The NE alone won’t change the worlds temperature alone by itself. What about the rest of the USA and the rest of the world too?

    Isn’t this really what you yourself have labelled as another Bumper Sticker: “The NE saves the globe from overheating!” Meaningless stuff.

    If it is not meaningless, then neither is what Diogenes has to say about the current reality and the constraints involved in reversing the current trend of massive growth in Fossil Fuel Use and GHGs now into the future.

    Am I wrong? Can you answer any of these critical questions and produce a credible plan for even achieving such a small gain in the NE USA?

    I don’t think you can SA. But I am willing to be proven wrong.

    In fact I think presenting this material above actually proves how wrong you and others are for being so critical of Diogenes and ignoring the valid rational and logical ideas he has so far presented.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 4 Feb 2014 @ 7:14 PM

  386. wili wrote: “we can’t have economic growth and a viable planet.”

    That depends entirely on how you define “economic growth”. The fossil fuel interests, for example, prefer to define economic growth as “continued growth in consumption of fossil fuels”. Others reject that definition and see that sustainable, equitable prosperity for people everywhere can be achieved through maximally efficient use of zero-emission renewable energy sources.

    Also, there are many challenges to preserving a “viable planet”. Ending anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and drawing down the already dangerous excess of atmospheric GHGs, is just one of them, and it is the one that is relevant to the purpose of this site, so it’s the one that gets discussed on these comment pages.

    It is also unique in that we have abundant, indeed virtually limitless, supplies of wind and solar energy which can easily replace fossil fuels. This is not the case with other challenges relating to finite resources, such as fresh water and topsoil, for which there are no replacements.

    As I’ve said before, there most certainly are limits to “growth” — but the energy supply is not one of them.

    wili wrote: “Why should he even bother presenting a plan to people who can’t even see that this premise is inescapable.”

    The assertion that rapidly phasing out fossil fuels MUST result in “severe economic reductions” and “deprivation and hardship” is most certainly not “inescapable”, and Diogenes has offered no evidence whatsoever to support it, and has refused to substantively reply to criticisms of it. He simply repeats it, and attacks his critics with insults and rhetorical fallacies.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 4 Feb 2014 @ 7:22 PM

  387. #381 SA says
    “But those are far from the only measures that could be implemented to reduce emissions without requiring draconian “deprivation and hardship”, and in fact they would promote economic prosperity.”

    You claim this is a “fact”, and doesn’t require ‘draconian’ impacts.

    On what basis do you make this assertion SA? What are the numbers that tell you this is true? Please cite the science or economic or other academic papers that prove this is an accurate portrayal of the reality.

    Then if you can, please tell us what your plan (anyone’s Plan) is to actually implement these actions given the current situation globally and inside the USA regarding AGW/CC beliefs, lack of political will, and the already in place PLANS for ongoing reduction in Nuclear Energy Plants in many nations plus the massive increases of PLANNED Fossil Fuel energy use now up to 2040 across the world as well as inside the USA.

    And I’ll leave this matter alone from now on. I think most readers will see what the real problem actually is by now.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 4 Feb 2014 @ 7:32 PM

  388. SA @ #377: Solutions, like causes, have many _levels_. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proximate_and_ultimate_causation

    Just as there are proximate and ultimate causes (and many levels in between), there are proximate and ultimate solutions. Diogenes (meaning ‘born from God’ I might point out just for fun, and doubtless referring to Diogenes of Sinope a founder of Cynic philosophy who didn’t give much of flying f what anyone thought about his behaviors…) seems to me to presenting something like ultimate solutions–the shift in attitude that is necessary before any tactics for implementation will have much chance. The chilly reception here for this perspective bodes ill for its wider acceptance I’m afraid.

    Jim B. @378, in his usual utilitarianism (some of my best friends are utilitarians), proposes that we solve problems brought on by our massive interventions into global life-support systems we don’t fully understand by intervening massively in global systems that we understand even less.

    But as to SA’s statement at #381: ”

    I agree, and have commented here a number of times, that in my view we need to reduce global GHG emissions to near zero as rapidly as possible, beginning as soon as possible, with the steepest reductions coming up front.” Well, I’m glad we can agree on something here. None of us know how to get there. Let’s all show a smidgen of good humor and patience as we struggle together to try to get some clarity toward a possible path.

    Comment by wili — 4 Feb 2014 @ 7:39 PM

  389. #306 DIOGENES says: 1 Feb 2014

    Quoting Diogenes:
    “But, you’ve opened up another can of worms, and I would like to see some economists on this blog jump in. Energy use/energy availability has a chicken-and-egg relation to GDP, and is a strong factor.”

    “How will consumers respond; how will investors respond; what else will happen? Will we see a cascading positive feedback mechanism operating, where, like immediately after 9/11, the market and other parts of the economy over-respond, and we end up with a Depression even deeper than I am predicting?”

    “I have no idea, and that’s why I’d like to see some economists address this point.”

    Knowing one’s own personal limitations, and also knowing when to request help from others more qualified is a sign of a healthy well-balanced reality based and rational human individual. At least in my personal experience and knowledge it is.

    Walter

    Quote Ref: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-7/#comment-453857

    Comment by Walter — 4 Feb 2014 @ 7:43 PM

  390. Wili,
    Oh, I’m sorry. You wanted the answer to the most difficult problem humans have ever confronted to be easy?

    It was never going to be easy–not even if we’d started making changes 30 years ago when the scientific case had been made. Now, we’ve squandered 3 decades–indeed made things worse for 3 decades. Frankly I do not even know if there is a solution. I do know there won’t be a solution unless we get very lucky.

    Even so, we know where we are. We know where we need to be. We have at least a vague idea of when we need to arrive. That is enough to start with. We’ll have to make do with the technologies available at the time and work like hell to find technologies to fill in the gaps. It won’t be pretty, but maybe it will work. Anyone got a better idea.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 4 Feb 2014 @ 8:12 PM

  391. “Anyone got a better idea.” Yep–stop over-consuming the planet.

    Comment by wili — 4 Feb 2014 @ 9:14 PM

  392. #388 wili and others

    I am pleased to be thought of as a utilitarian. I rate what I do as to whether it is useful or not. I guess that is the same thing.

    But there seems to be a strain of too much modesty as to what we understand.

    I think we are quite clear on the mechanism of heat transfer and basis of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere. But not so clear on ocean interaction as to heat uptake by the ocean, reactions of CO2 using organisms, and rate of actual global warming. But the CO2 imbalance has an effect in a constant direction which over time is a powerful force.

    There already is a massive amount of plankton in the ocean and relatively simple fertilization is said to be capable of expanding this, where such fertilization is no more unnatural than a shift in wind that would cause dust to distribute differently over the ocean. And one would not need to commit instantly to a plan, rather, experimentation could be followed by action, as appropriate.

    Also, massive expansion of forests seems fairly understandable, as this would move to correct the well understood damage from removal of forests, as in the rain forests, and also on our own National account where we mowed down much of our country East of the Mississippi long enough ago that most of us know nothing of it. I advocate for establishing compensating forests, and yes, expanding agriculture of many types, on the vast arid Western lands that are minimally used for much of anything.

    Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans and more recently, Californians were very successful in re-distributing water. This being the key to serious change in the CO2 capturing process by natural means. Whether this is a meaningful concept depends on whether such a system can be established with a sound economic basis, which I think could be in the productivity of agriculture. We might even be wise enough to avoid abusing the environment without being hogtied by excessive caution.

    All the while, we could continue to enable the lifestyles that are clearly the choice of an overwhelming majority by rethinking the automobile to be actually a lot more efficient, and not getting misled into thinking electric vehicles actually accomplish a significant improvement in efficiency.

    My list would accomplish the CO2 reduction with CO2 capture by natural means which would counter use of fossil fuels, not impose draconian limitations. I would argue that we do know well that National productivity is closely tied to availability of cheap energy, and we should also recognize that our National productivity is less and less in the running among world competition, so there is not room for measures that would make the situation a lot worse.

    All the while, significant improvements in real efficiency could lead to reduction in demand for electricity, which would naturally reduce the use of fossil fuels in a way that would reduce cost of energy.

    Comment by Jim Bullis — 5 Feb 2014 @ 1:47 AM

  393. If when Ray Ladbury says this: “we know where we are. We know where we need to be. We have at least a vague idea of when we need to arrive”

    I think it is only true if Ray is speaking about Wili and himself, RC readers and maybe the others in his circle.

    But if he actually meant “WE” as in “the world community”, and more narrowly as far as historical responsibility is concerned the “WE” as in 1.25 billion people of the OECD, then the truth is that the clear majority, and especially the Politicians and even the Scientists actually do NOT know where we are exactly , nor WHAT is needed to be done, nor HOW to do it, nor what it will cost, what the impacts will be, nor can agree when the WHEN of it being done by should be or could be.

    This is summarizes the many issues and ideas that have been percolating up through the science led by Hansen, in business, economics, finance and environmental communities throughout 2013 with the noise level increasing near the end. It also is behind the NYTs articles by M Mann as well as his decision to take a law suit as well I believe.

    Followed by many online reports, blog posts, comments, articles, videos, new CC websites beginning, as well as queries by those like Diognenes too. This is coming from all kinds of backgrounds who are raising the exact same issues this 2014, and it is only February.

    At the Davos World Economic Forum climate change didn’t get much press but it was a seriously major focus of the participants. For example and notice the word ‘catastrophic’ here and previous post I made about word choices.

    “…the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions to avoid the catastrophic impacts of global warming.” http://www.weforum.org/issues/climate-change-and-green-growth

    A growing consensus is emerging among the scientific and BUSINESS communities that weather and climate extremes are on the increase, and that climate change contributed to a number of recent natural disasters. These include the European heat wave of 2003, and drought in East Africa in 2011 and in 2012. Losses resulting from climate-related disasters remain unacceptably high – in economic, social and human terms – making it imperative to build resilience, particularly in vulnerable areas. http://www.weforum.org/content/global-agenda-council-climate-change-2012-2014

    Global Agenda Council on Climate Change 2012-2014 http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GAC/2013/WEF_GAC_ClimateChange_MidtermReport.pdf

    This issue has moved far beyond the domain of ‘climate science’ and scientists alone to drive the AGW and climate change response agenda.

    Yes scientists and their knowledge are still vitally important but they (and the IPCC) can no longer be the only ones responsible to communicate the seriousness of the current reality to the world nor set and guide the pace for the rapid changes required.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 5 Feb 2014 @ 4:27 AM

  394. Diogenes asked about the relationship between energy consumption and GDP. One interesting relationship was noted by physicist Art Rosenfeld: “the amount of energy required to produce one dollar of GDP has decreased by about one percent per year since 1845.”

    My day job is electronics. When I see a relationship like this, I’m thinking, “Hey, Moore’s Law!” Moore’s law is the basis for the entire electronics revolution. Initially, it was based on CMOS scaling–a purely physical relationship that told you how the features of MOS transistors must scale with each new generation. That took us from single-transistors to billion-gate processors and gigabit DRAMs. Then scaling failed. You could no longer reliably build transistors with thin enough gate oxides, etc. Moore’s law is still going strong even though its initial physical basis has failed. It is now driven by economics–it is the target microcircuit manufacturers must shoot for if they are to remain economically viable. Think about that.

    So, I ask myself, if we understood the physics behind Moore’s law better, could we improve the doubling time from 69.3 years to maybe 10 years, or even five. Do you realize what that would mean for the economy? And for our climate? The transition we have to undertake is not a zero-sum game. We have to stop thinking in terms of zero-sum games.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 5 Feb 2014 @ 6:11 AM

  395. Worth a look:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12053/full

    Hat tip to Alterslash for discussion:

    Why are we so shortsighted? A psychological study of voting behavior suggests an answer and points to a simple fix. … Healy and Lenz challenged their subjects to evaluate hypothetical governments based on slightly varying information. For example, some received information expressed as yearly income while others received the same information expressed as a yearly growth rate. The same information in a plot of steadily increasing average personal income over 3 years—$32,400, $33,100, $33,800—can also be expressed as a steadily decreasing rate of growth—3%, 2.3%, 2.1%. That did the trick. Just changing the units of the data was enough to cure voter fickleness. When economic trends were expressed as yearly income rather than rates of change, the subjects made accurate judgments. But if the same information was expressed as a change over time—the bias reappeared.”

    Can you do that with climate–related information?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Feb 2014 @ 8:24 AM

  396. Walter #384,

    I have integrated the best features of Hansen’s, Anderson’s, and others’ plans to generate a plan that, if implemented, provides a reasonable chance of avoiding the Apocalypse. My detractors have offered no counter-plan. Period.

    [edit - stop attacking other commenters. Last warning]

    Consider the article referenced yesterday by Jeff Spross: “How The Northeast Could Cut Carbon Pollution By 75 Percent In 5 Simple Steps”. The title certainly has the right IMAGE to dazzle the unsuspecting. A link was provided to the following: http://www.env-ne.org/public/resources/ENE_EnergyVision_Framework_FINAL.pdf. The report talks in glowing terms about the emissions reductions possible, and concludes “it is reasonable to forecast a scenario in which emissions from vehicles and buildings fall by over 75% by 2050″.

    I didn’t see this link initially, so I Googled ENE energyvision and came across a companion report (http://www.eneclimatevision.org/sites/default/files/ENE_ClimateVision2020_v1.1_0.pdf), which I recommend to the viewers. This report goes beyond the glowing projections of the above report, describes what the underlying performance has been so far, and what can be expected. It might be instructive to go beyond the IMAGE reflected in the title alone.

    The project is summarized as “ClimateVision 2020 takes stock of the progress towards reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in eight northeastern states…..New England is 12 years into the regional 2020 emissions reduction target originally adopted in 2001…..Total regional emissions dropped by 12% between 2000 and 2010.”

    One of the key components to reducing electrical sector emissions was fuel switching to natural gas, and the report concludes that “There is limited opportunity for more emissions savings from fuel conversion”. In other words, the low-hanging fruit from this tree has been mainly picked!

    The 2020 targets are projected as ‘reduce 1990 levels by 10%’. The 2050 targets are projected as ‘reduce 2001 levels by 75-85%’. The report concludes, based on emission trend projections, “none of the northeastern states are expected to meet longer-term science-based targets”. Specifically, they mean the 2020 and 2050 targets listed above.

    So, in a region that lost manufacturing jobs (and associated emissions) from 2000-2010, suffered from the emissions-reducing downturn of 2008-2009, and had small population growth, they reduced emissions by a grand total of 12%. Now, that’s not 12% per annum, that’s 12% over the decade, which averages out to a non-compounded 1.2% per year! WOW!!!

    To meet the 2020 target, which they believe may be too challenging based on emission trend projections, they would have to reduce non-compounded emissions by about 1% per year! WOW!!!

    To meet the 2050 target, which again they believe may be too challenging based on emission trend projections, they would have to reduce non-compounded emissions by about 2% per year! WOW!!!

    Let us follow the Biblical admonition “Be charitable unto the poor”, and assume, by some miracle, they are able to meet these ‘challenging’ targets. How does that relate to what needs to be done to avoid the Apocalypse; in other words, what is the context of these numbers? In #291, I showed that to have a 90% chance of staying under 2 C (in itself, a dangerous target), we have run out of carbon budget, and to stay under ~1 C, we have both run out of carbon budget and piled up substantial carbon debt. Now, what do we mean when we say ‘run out of carbon budget’? We mean zero CO2 emissions from fossil fuels over at least the interim period. We don’t mean 99% or 98%, as the ‘plan’ would provide.

    This ‘plan’ should be re-labeled as the Apocalypse Express; it won’t make any stops taking us headlong into oblivion. It is all IMAGE and no substance, being more than an order of magnitude below what we need. While it’s certainly better than nothing, it has no relation to what is required.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 5 Feb 2014 @ 8:44 AM

  397. To the Moderators,

    A few years ago, John Mashey/Deep Climate did an in-depth analysis of the infamous Wegman Report, and showed evidence of plagiarism, at the very least. Their findings eventually led to the retraction of a paper that had been published in a statistics journal. Non-action would have damaged the credibility of the journal.

    In #342, I presented incontrovertible evidence of deliberate misrepresentations and misquoting of my statements. In my opinion, this is far worse than what Mashey/DC found in the Wegman Report. Why, then, haven’t the Moderators on this blog retracted the offending posts? I can think of little more damaging to the credibility of the Comments section, with perhaps spillover to the blog itself, than allowing such posts to be displayed.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 5 Feb 2014 @ 9:11 AM

  398. [edit]

    Diogenes wrote: “In #342, I presented incontrovertible evidence of deliberate misrepresentations and misquoting of my statements.”

    You “presented” nothing of the sort. What you DID do in that comment was to accuse me of lying, for money — as you have done repeatedly.

    Name-calling, baseless accusations of financially-driven “ominous motives”, along with puerile insults, straw man fallacies, fallacies of the excluded middle, and ad hominem fallacies have comprised most of what you have posted here day after day after day.

    Diogenes wrote: “I can think of little more damaging to the credibility of the Comments section”

    I don’t think your flagrant trollery will damage the credibility of anyone but yourself.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 5 Feb 2014 @ 12:11 PM

  399. Diogenes wrote: “I have integrated the best features of Hansen’s, Anderson’s, and others’ plans to generate a plan that, if implemented, provides a reasonable chance of avoiding the Apocalypse.”

    Here is the entirety of the “plan” that you have “integrated”, from your comment #371:

    Turn down the thermostats drastically in Winter (as we have done) and turn them up drastically in Summer. Close fossil energy intensive facilities, such as ski resorts. Eliminate energy-intensive cattle breeding. Eliminate any non-essential fossil-based travel.

    In fairness, way back in the January Unforced Variations thread, you did link to an article you called “insightful”, which called for abolishing private property and capitalism and establishing a global collective to run society and the economy. So there’s that too, in addition of course to closing the ski resorts.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 5 Feb 2014 @ 12:18 PM

  400. Patrick Flege,

    “If more readers were to comment, we would have thousands of comments. Highly undesirable for people with little time, who want to grasp the necessary information.”

    What you are seeing presently are the perspectives of relatively few individuals, repeated endlessly. That’s not an efficient way to generate crucially-needed new ideas to circumvent this extremely challenging problem. I understand it’s time consuming, but this blog has been around for almost a decade, and we don’t see an acceptable solution around which many people can coalesce. Maybe we bite the bullet, incentivize more people to participate, and spend some more time focused on the most important problem we will face in our lifetime. To cut the volume per post, maybe we place a limit of 300-500 words. That should be adequate for defining the essence of the concept. Maybe the moderators could identify very promising concepts, and have the poster expand them in a feature blog article. We need to get more ideas on which we can build.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 5 Feb 2014 @ 1:42 PM

  401. “What you are seeing presently are the perspectives of relatively few individuals, repeated endlessly”

    YES, so please STOP! We can all get a perspective on what’s possible and what’s being done in terms of mitigation and adaptation by looking around us in the real world, and reading blogs devoted to that. What this blog is about is the actual science of climate, not the disparate and desperate reactions to it by one species with no apparent interest than pulling it’s own bacon out of the fire.

    Comment by flxible — 5 Feb 2014 @ 3:49 PM

  402. Walter #384,

    “He shouldn’t bother. Diogenes would be better off taking his excellent ideas elsewhere and discussing them further with people who appreciate them and him.”

    If ‘elsewhere’ is another climate blog, it is not clear to me the reception would be much different. RC seems to get a broad-based readership focused on the science, with much more eclectic interest. I suspect my message is not what the vast majority of climate bloggers or the public in general want to hear. Remember, there are two components to my plan: species survival and lifestyle maintenance. My emphasis has been on the species survival component, with its attendant requirement for sharp reductions in emissions. From what I see, most members even in the climate advocacy community focus mainly on the lifestyle maintenance component.

    My recommendation is reductions as harsh as the traffic will bear, based on lifestyle restrictions. Kevin Anderson recommends substantially less harsh demand reductions, on the order of 10% per year, along with rapid implementation of renewables and energy efficiency improvements. My reading of his papers and viewing of his videos convinces me that he has little hope that reductions of even that order of magnitude can be achieved. Jeff Sprouss’ reference that I evaluated this morning targets emissions reductions about an order of magnitude below those of Anderson, and states quite frankly that meeting them will be a challenge.

    So, it seems to me that a very few percent reduction in emissions is what the traffic will bear, and these in turn will result mainly from technology improvements under lifestyle maintenance rather than increased lifestyle restrictions. That is completely on the other end of the spectrum from my message and my plan. There seems to have been a decision made by the global community, knowingly or probably unknowingly, that lifestyle maintenance will trump species survival. The numbers tell the whole story.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 5 Feb 2014 @ 3:56 PM

  403. JB at #392 wrote: “…more recently, Californians were very successful in re-distributing water…”
    Thanks for the laugh. That fits under the category of things that work…until they don’t.

    (reCaptcha confesses: ibutwa some)

    Comment by wili — 5 Feb 2014 @ 5:37 PM

  404. Making the bus free would increase ridership and to some extent collection of fees and new fee advisory committees etc, makes up much of the cost of the system.” I don’t take the bus so why should I pay for those who do.” The answer is, of course, take the bus or pay for it anyway. At some point you will lock your keys in your car and have no change. Just think of how happy you will be and quickly put on your happy helmet.

    You can build new roads for the proposed increase in cars for the future or make smaller cars and reduce congestion by 50%. In some cases there is no more room for new roads unless you bulldoze houses, anyway. People like large cars and feel safer with the steel dash classic tank. If everyone is driving small cars everyone is safer. So how do you quickly change? Well if you make parking half for small cars and ferries half for small cars and hov lanes only for small cars, suddenly they become less of a gay idea. You can also build A very small garage if you are including total cost of ownership. More carrots, less sticks, makes happy fluffy bunnies.

    Comment by ying yang — 5 Feb 2014 @ 6:09 PM

  405. Diogenes: “but this blog has been around for almost a decade, and we don’t see an acceptable solution around which many people can coalesce.”

    Please read the “About” page for this blog (emphasis added):

    RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science.

    In short, this is not a site that is intended for discussions of potential technological, political or economic “solutions” to the climate crisis — it is a site for informing and educating journalists and the public about climate science.

    I have observed that the working climate scientists who maintain this site, and who write the highly informative articles for this site, and who moderate the comment pages, do allow a certain amount of off-topic discussion, usually on the monthly “Unforced Variations” threads, of potential solutions or strategies for addressing the GHG emissions problem. It’s gracious and generous of them to do so.

    But if you are looking for a venue that is focused on developing and debating solutions, you are in the wrong place. There are many other blogs on the Internet that are focused on that.

    And if you want to actually accomplish anything, however large or small, posting comments on blogs is not going to do it.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 5 Feb 2014 @ 7:00 PM

  406. ” A fungus and E. coli bacteria have joined forces to turn tough, waste plant material into isobutanol, a bio fuel that matches gasoline’s properties better than ethanol.

    University of Michigan research team members said the principle also could be used to produce other valuable chemicals such as plastics.”

    … in other news, university members invited on hunting trip with Dick Cheney.

    This also would make bio fuel that could be readily mixed into bitchymen extremely fracking crude oil pipelines or other. If some Super President were to say…say, that bio is mixed at an ever increasing rate (or no pipeline), there would be many more jobs created and less inclusion of Jurassic co2 into the atmosphere from whenever Moses killed off the dinosaurs. These are real jobs and not the 20 thousand phantom people, supposedly standing around watching a fully robotic, pipeline welding machine.

    Comment by ying yang — 5 Feb 2014 @ 7:44 PM

  407. This thread has demonstrated the extremely low probability (no matter how much you might wish otherwise) of significantly reducing ff emissions any time soon. But then, I, knowing only a piddling amount about the science, but a fair amount about my fellow citizens, already said that.
    You have to live with what is possible which might include expanding forests and working on ways of getting water from where there is too much to where there is too little. I know that is not what you want to hear, and that you also “know” that we SHOULD be greatly reducing ff consumption, but that is not going to happen for some time. On the other hand, if you start to gather hard figures on the amount of government subsidy going to ff production (not your estimates of all the damage that is out in the future somewhere) people will pay some attention to that. Did I say, hard SPECIFIC figures?
    Whether or not Diogenes or anyone else feels that this plan is enough to avoid the carbon bankruptcy, doesn’t matter because that is not actually a known number, and much more importantly, you have to work with what you CAN do.

    Comment by Dwight Mac Kerron — 5 Feb 2014 @ 11:33 PM

  408. #305 SecularAnimist, I really do hope you are not a ‘scientist’ as your observations and memory skills appear to me to be extremely limited.

    You say: “In short, this is not a site that is intended for discussions of potential technological, political or economic “solutions” to the climate crisis..”

    Really? Who says? You must be one of the people that Hank spoke about recently … “It’s a tag-team Occupation, by people who don’t have real names, don’t have publications, don’t have their own blog, and insist they’re the most important news you could see today. Advertisers for themselves.”

    Yes? Sure appears so as that description by Hank fits SecularAnimist and several others to a tee. It also fits Hank, who posted many a non-climate science “political or economic” item himself in this here very thread as well. We are all doomed to a netherworld of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ on Real Climate it appears if this SecularAnimist world view rulership prevails.

    To tin tacks then. First of all on this thread Michael Mann did mention Gavin’s recent thread here about his GRU talk. Yes? Yes. That wasn’t strictly about the ‘science’. Yet SecularAnimist was happy.

    Then Mann referenced his NYTs artilce. And that wasn’t strictly about the ‘science’ either. In fact it was actually about the IMPLICATIONS specifically of climate science today and the politics of it.

    Allow me to remind SecularAnimist exactly what the topic of that article and this thread is actually about here, and do remember that it was posted by Mann a founder of this very RC blog site:

    QUOTING: “This virulent strain of anti-science infects the halls of Congress, the pages of leading newspapers and what we see on TV, leading to the appearance of a debate where none should exist.
    In fact, there is broad agreement among climate scientists not only that climate change is real (a survey and a review of the scientific literature published say about 97 percent agree), but that we must respond to the dangers of a warming planet. If one is looking for real differences among mainstream scientists, they can be found on two fronts: the precise implications of those higher temperatures, and which technologies and policies offer the best solution to reducing, on a global scale, the emission of greenhouse gases.
    For example, should we go full-bore on nuclear power? Invest in and deploy renewable energy — wind, solar and geothermal — on a huge scale? Price carbon emissions through cap-and-trade legislation or by imposing a carbon tax? Until the public fully understands the danger of our present trajectory, those debates are likely to continue to founder.”

    In case that is a bit of a blur here are some Keywords:
    newspapers, TV, debate, climate change is real, must respond, dangers, differences, implications, technologies, policies, best solution, reducing, emission, nuclear power, renewable energy, wind, solar, geothermal, scale, Price carbon, cap-and-trade, legislation, carbon tax, public, understands, the danger, present trajectory, debates, founder.

    It seems necessary to spell out the bleeding obvious here: Diogenes comments and his subject matter were INSPIRED by and encouraged by Mann’s article, to be discussed here, and are therefore totally ON-TOPIC here.

    It is a pity that the moderators and other readers here couldn’t or wouldn’t acknowledge this simple fact of observation.

    In case this is not enough, consider these points made by Mann in his article:

    “In my view, it is no longer acceptable for scientists to remain on the sidelines.”

    “James Hansen, who has turned to civil disobedience to underscore the dangers he sees.”

    Dr. Hansen … making a compelling case that emissions from fossil fuel burning must be reduced rapidly if we are to avert CATASTROPHIC climate change.”
    [See my response to a complaint about word usage which discusses this very point http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-7/#comment-454196 ]

    “Should we resist commenting on the implications of our science? There was a time when I would, without hesitation, have answered “yes” to this question.”

    “.. nothing inappropriate at all about drawing on our scientific knowledge to speak out about the very real implications of our research.”

    “If scientists choose not to engage in the public debate, we leave a vacuum ..”

    “WE SCIENTISTS are citizens, too, and, in climate change, we see a clear and PRESENT DANGER.”

    “The URGENCY FOR ACTION was underscored this past week by a draft United Nations report warning that another 15 years of FAILURE to cut heat-trapping emissions would make the problem virtually IMPOSSIBLE TO SOLVE.”

    None of the above are about the ‘hard science’ or GCMs or data analysis NONE OF IT!

    It was in FACT ALL ABOUT the politics and the implications of climate science. This should be patently obvious to all readers here, even SecularAnimist and all the others who complained about the subject matter.

    Unbelievable, but true. Did you actually read the article by Michael Mann? Why do you then fail to see the direct connection between that and the issues raised by Diogenes?

    Why be Nasty, when you could equally be Nice? Would you treat Hansen and Mann like that just because you disagreed with a single idea they might propose or ask others to at least consider?

    However, the last line by SecularAnimist I totally agree with:
    “And if you want to actually accomplish anything, however large or small, posting comments on blogs is not going to do it.”

    SecularAnimist, then I have to ask, why are you here? According to you, you do not “want to actually accomplish anything”. On that score, it appears you are fully achieving your ‘own goal’.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 12:22 AM

  409. #26 DIOGENES first comment on this thread to help the memory http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-1/#comment-451708

    In that he mentioned many climate science orientated facts quoting Published Papers, in line with the serious questions posed by Michael Mann in his NYTs article:

    “Actually, all you need is to offer up the truth; that is scary enough. The truth has been published extensively in the literature, and is quite straight-forward.”

    “If, however, we GROW emissions by ~1% per annum, as the most likely scenario from EIA predicts, and the CO2 emissions in 2040 are over 40% greater than those of 2010, then we would probably be in serious, in fact extremely serious, trouble.”

    “How do we reconcile the emissions we need by 2040 (~0) with those projected from BAU?”

    “We have advocates assuring us that rapid introduction of renewables, or rapid introduction of nuclear, or rapid introduction of carbon capture, are all we need to avoid catastrophe;”

    “See the comments in Unforced Variations; very little support for the hard reality even among climate advocates!”

    And that’s a problem because …… SecularAnimist et al doesn’t want to hear it?

    Well tough, eat it up I say!

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 12:42 AM

  410. #402 DIOGENES “My reading of his papers and viewing of his videos convinces me that he has little hope that reductions of even that order of magnitude can be achieved.”

    He’s right Diogenes. Better get used to it. Not going to happen. That window of opportunity closed about 5 years ago. The anti-science and anti-reason crowd won that global ‘debate’ already.

    We are in a slow crash – like being in a car crash where things happen slowly – and all we can do is make ourselves safe where ever we are now. Then maybe slow down the forward momentum, maybe steer away from serious obstacles… and keep doing those things until the crash is done unfolding.

    This is a horrid future. I am actually quite forgiving of simple deniers – because it is a horrible future to consider. And nobody wants it… and nobody wants to face it. Not so forgiving of those who propagandize denial though. That’s why promoting denial is so easy and rewarding, because people want to believe everything will be OK.

    I haven’t figured out how to talk to a child or young teenager, or my own adult children. What will their life be like? But I think it is important to talk to others and listen to them too.

    There are some very predictable societal events: Regional destabilization will progress in its own way – this is not the time for deniers to speak out. The future belongs to those who network, and those who landed in the wrong network may feel quite left out of the future.

    And so the best general advice is to make yourself safe, encourage co-operation with family and friends, and encourage governments to mitigate harm in the future.

    I once met the author/researcher Naomi Oreskes, and asked her how she handles stress and despondency – she quickly answered “Yoga”. And I asked others the same question but with similar answers like meditation or religious acceptance – or even Tai Chi. I must say that such discipline is important, and each individual may find true solace – but I wanted a mechanism that could save the future of all humans.

    It may be that is not possible, and it may be something that the world will realize very soon. Such a difficult and disruptive thought, I think we are fortunate to process this notion now. I know that I need lots of time to think about what is happening.

    Always good to talk with others. It sounds like you understand the situation well. I get discouraged often. But I set my goals to connecting with one person at a time. Making a small difference adds up, and gives one a sense of at least achieving something worthwhile, while everything else goes to hell in a hell basket.

    We want to influence millions, and exhort them to change quickly – a noble goal, hard to see how it is possible. But we can find ways to talk to others individually who do have such a clout – I have a good feeling about this year. Like maybe ‘reality’ might actually hit home in the west finally.

    The denialist movement, with its parasitic infection – should be ending soon. One can only hope! Thanks for all that you do.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 1:00 AM

  411. Walter #408,

    “However, the last line by SecularAnimist I totally agree with:
    “And if you want to actually accomplish anything, however large or small, posting comments on blogs is not going to do it.”

    SecularAnimist, then I have to ask, why are you here? According to you, you do not “want to actually accomplish anything”. On that score, it appears you are fully achieving your ‘own goal’.”

    You raise an excellent question, and it gets into the Clintonesque definition of what we mean by ‘accomplish’. It is obvious from our posts that you, Wili, myself, and a few others view accomplishment as presenting potential approaches for avoiding the Apocalypse. It is obvious from SA’s posts that accomplishment is convincing the readership of this blog to support purchase and implementation of renewables and energy improvement technologies, independent of whether doing so will avoid the Apocalypse. That is the main reason he avoids any mention of targets, and what implementation of his technologies will do toward achieving these targets.

    The posting of the Spross article was a perfect example. It had a provocative headline ‘ Cut Carbon Pollution By 75 Percent In 5 Simple Steps’ that would lead the unsuspecting reader to believe we have a simple effortless solution for avoiding the Apocalypse; no hardships required. Any reader with an understanding of the science would see immediately this article offered emissions reductions on the order of 1% per year, whereas I (and others) have shown that tens of percents per year reductions are required to even have a chance of avoiding the Apocalypse. But many readers, especially those who either don’t understand the science or don’t have the time to read the full article, will look at the headline and draw the inferences intended. That’s the audience for SA’s comments, and no doubt the main goal was achieved.

    What you are seeing is a disinformation campaign of the type described in Merchants of Doubt. The difference is, the Merchants of Doubt in the book had to be credible scientists selling their distorted research to the peer-reviewed journals. On the blogs, we have people hiding in the shadows throwing out data with no targets attached, and substituting IMAGE for substance.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 6 Feb 2014 @ 6:01 AM

  412. Now, reading this thread, why do I keep thinking of this?

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Feb 2014 @ 8:51 AM

  413. Dwight Mac Kerron: “This thread has demonstrated the extremely low probability (no matter how much you might wish otherwise) of significantly reducing ff emissions any time soon.” – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-9/#comments

    I’d be careful with statements like that. If you start drawing conclusions about what is possible in the real world based on comments on a blog, you face a real risk of being declared non compos mentis. What we see is a lively debate about how to achieve the needed reductions–a healthy component of the political process that begins when people face reality and accept the fact of climate change. I would be a lot more worried if everyone agreed without dissent.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 6 Feb 2014 @ 9:09 AM

  414. Walter: “That window of opportunity closed about 5 years ago. The anti-science and anti-reason crowd won that global ‘debate’ already.” – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-9/#comment-455083

    One thing that has always astounded me is the ability of people to witness a glaringly untenable or unsustainable situation and yet project it into the future indefinitely, drawing conclusions that are not just wrong, but laughably wrong. I would be awfully careful making prognostications like this, as they have no basis in reality. Our future actions can always make things better, or they can make things worse. They can buy time–time in which we may develop an effective remediation–or they can squander time. If there is anything the past teaches us, it is that we should be wary of those who think they glimpse the future clearly.

    And even if there is no probability of avoiding catastrophe, we must preserve the hope of doing so. The consequences of climate change will unfold over a very long time–preserving hope is essential to preserving civilization as long as possible.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 6 Feb 2014 @ 9:17 AM

  415. Yeah, a while ago I came across their discussion elsewhere of their shared efforts here, but that site seems to have disappeared. It’s teamwork, anyhow. Aptly illustrated, Kevin.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Feb 2014 @ 9:44 AM

  416. Walter #408,

    “Dr. Hansen … making a compelling case that emissions from fossil fuel burning must be reduced rapidly if we are to avert CATASTROPHIC climate change.””

    In fact, the detailed case he makes for a 1 C peak interim temperature target is so compelling that I increased emphasis on the 1 C peak temperature target in my plan at #291. I have appended excerpts from his Plos One article on slow feedbacks that show the necessity of staying within the 1 C target. Overall, these comments make the point that within the prior Holocene range of ~1 C, these slow feedbacks are known, modest, and can probably be excluded from the climate models with relatively modest error. Above that temperature range, the slow feedbacks become more important, need to be included in models, and their rates of increase and functional forms may not be known that well. I would also argue the possibility that new, unforeseen feedbacks may kick in, since increasing temperature, as McPherson has identified, tends to activate these mechanisms.

    “However, distinctions between pathways aimed at ~1°C and 2°C warming are much greater and more fundamental than the numbers 1°C and 2°C themselves might suggest. These fundamental distinctions make scenarios with 2°C or more global warming far more dangerous; so dangerous, we suggest, THAT AIMING FOR THE 2°C PATHWAY WOULD BE FOOLHARDY.

    First, MOST CLIMATE SIMULATIONS….DO NOT INCLUDE SLOW FEEDBACKS such as reduction of ice sheet size with global warming or release of greenhouse gases from thawing tundra. These exclusions are reasonable for a ~1°C scenario, because global temperature barely rises out of the Holocene range and then begins to subside. In contrast, GLOBAL WARMING OF 2°C OR MORE IS LIKELY TO BRING SLOW FEEDBACKS INTO PLAY…..The lifetime of fossil fuel CO2 in the climate system is so long that it must be assumed that these SLOW FEEDBACKS WILL OCCUR IF TEMPERATURE RISES WELL ABOVE THE HOLOCENE RANGE…..with our ~1°C scenario it is more likely that the biosphere and soil will be able to sequester a substantial portion of the anthropogenic fossil fuel CO2 carbon than in the case of 2°C or more global warming…..With the stable climate of the ~1°C scenario it is plausible that major efforts in reforestation and improved agricultural practices, with appropriate support provided to developing countries, could take up an amount of carbon comparable to the 100 GtC in our ~1°C scenario. On the other hand, with warming of 2°C or more, CARBON CYCLE FEEDBACKS ARE EXPECTED TO LEAD TO SUBSTANTIAL ADDITIONAL ATMOSPHERIC CO2, perhaps even making the Amazon rainforest a source of CO2…..a scenario that slows and then reverses global warming makes it possible to reduce other greenhouse gases by reducing their sources. The most important of these gases is CH4.”

    Comment by DIOGENES — 6 Feb 2014 @ 11:17 AM

  417. Walter wrote: “You say: ‘In short, this is not a site that is intended for discussions of potential technological, political or economic solutions to the climate crisis’ … Really? Who says?”

    Walter, please read the About page for this site.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 6 Feb 2014 @ 11:23 AM

  418. Diogenes wrote: “It is obvious from SA’s posts that accomplishment is convincing the readership of this blog to support purchase and implementation of renewables and energy improvement technologies … What you are seeing is a disinformation campaign of the type described in Merchants of Doubt.”

    This is just another personal attack, utterly devoid of substantive content.

    Which is pretty much all you have been posting here in your last several dozen interminably verbose comments.

    Except, of course, your “plan” to prevent “Apocalypse” by closing ski resorts.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 6 Feb 2014 @ 11:27 AM

  419. #415–Thanks, Hank.

    I think we all agree that Things Are Bad. There may be some marginal utility in knowing whether it’s ‘Just Bad’ or ‘Really, Really Bad.’ But, IMO, there is more utility in actually making things ‘Less Worse.’

    Could be actual planning: meaning something that has a reasonable probability of leading to, or influencing, real action. Could be educating, which I make periodic stabs at in my Doc Snow persona. Could be running, oh, a climate science blog (educating by another name, mostly.) Could mean bugging congresscritters, city councilpersons, or state senators. Could mean being active in media conversations. I know a lot of folks on this site do one or more of those things already.

    But increasingly, I think, it needs to mean actual activism: feet on bricks, signs in hands, imaginations fully engaged. And even more important than those, building relationships and organizations. I’m not very good at that; by instinct I’m a loner and contrarian. But I’m doing my best, because we are not at our most effective in social isolation.

    It’s one thing to say that you care. It’s another thing to visibly invest energy and social capital and scarce and precious time; to risk looking like an idiot or a sucker; to take ridicule, libel, and intimidation in stride.

    I’m contemplating a saying of George Bernard Shaw:

    Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

    The science around climate change is eminently reasonable. But the effort to ‘turn the Titanic’ on carbon mitigation transcends the merely ‘reasonable’ in social terms–which are the terms from which I take Mr. Shaw to have being operating.

    Some of us on this thread seem to get that–but is this really the place to make change by sheer force of insistence? Or would that work better on a street corner near you? After all, here, the conversation is carbon 24/7; there, it runs much more to the Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus of the hour.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Feb 2014 @ 11:28 AM

  420. Walter #410,

    ” I haven’t figured out how to talk to a child or young teenager, or my own adult children. What will their life be like?”

    I have the same problem, but I am less forgiving than you. I look at the statements and actions of the Type 1 deniers (those who deny the climate science) and the Type 2 deniers (those who accept the climate science but deny the hard requirements for avoiding the Apocalypse), and especially the actions of their well-heeled sponsors, and draw a direct link to the increased difficulties and potentially reduced life-spans of my progeny. So, when I read comments on this blog aimed at placing personal benefit above species survival, I don’t just see harmless words, I see people contributing in some small way to accelerating the demise of my progeny.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 6 Feb 2014 @ 11:55 AM

  421. Ray @ 414: “And even if there is no probability of avoiding catastrophe, we must preserve the hope of doing so.”

    Thank you.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald, in The Crack-Up: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”

    BTW, I assume Ray is using hope “hope” in the same connotation as Joanna Macy — “Hope isn’t something you have, it’s something you do,” and the poet Tracy K. Smith — “Hope is not about receiving, about being the beneficiary of some nebulous good fortune, it’s about putting desire into action. Hope is an idea with an engine.”

    Comment by Rick Brown — 6 Feb 2014 @ 12:39 PM

  422. #414 Ray Ladbury:

    One could equally say it has always astounded me the inability of people to witness a glaringly untenable or unsustainable situation, and not see it for what it is, in reality. Do nothing, and then suffer the consequences.

    If I were you Ray, I would be awfully careful making prognostications like this, as they have no basis in reality. The evidence is already in.

    Our PRESENT actions can always make things better, or INACTION will make things even worse.

    Ray, you are unwilling to listen. “If there is anything the past teaches us, it is that we should be wary of those who think they glimpse the future clearly.” Ray, I was speaking of the PAST not the future. The past is a fact that can be observed if one chooses to look at it. Pretending the historical evidence which already exists is not so is mystical thinking not reason.

    Regarding this “The consequences of climate change will unfold over a very long time”. You see Ray this is where you and so many others have it wrong. Consequences are already upon us, right now.

    As to “preserving hope is essential to preserving civilization as long as possible.” To what end for as long as possible, if it goes down the toilet anyway? For that is where it is going, like the frog in a slow boiling pot.

    This kind of belief to me, is illogical, irrational, and mythical as it is not grounded in truth nor reality and certainly not in scientific facts and other evidence already available. Hope is nothing more than “wishful thinking” … I hope I win the Lottery tomorrow! It is a cop out and an abdication of personal responsibility to Act. The trains were full of people who “hoped” they were being relocated to a reasonable life when they arrived at the Birkenau train station. What about common sense and reason instead based upon the previous 10 years of proven history before being loaded onto the cattle carriages?

    But the most telling example of wishful thinking is this one Ray: “And even if there is no probability of avoiding catastrophe, we must preserve the hope of doing so.”

    Ray, if there is no probability of avoiding catastrophe, then the time for every rational sane person is to start acting now in their own best interests. One example is planning to relocate one’s family out of the city as a first logical step.

    Hope is for losers! It’s a nothingness option. But we always believe that we know best, and that the person suggesting things are actually not looking so great is a negative delusional loser. Don’t we?

    You know Ray, like the best advice from climate scientists for the last 25 years that Climate Change is the most serious problem the ‘civilized’ world has ever faced? Like, how easy it was to misrepresent that ‘truth’ and that ‘evidence’ as being the raving lunacy of doomsayers, idiots, corrupt leftist scientists and delusional gullible Warmists.

    Even though you have been surrounded for 25 years by the exact opposite manifestation of your beliefs, you still choose to not see it right in front of your face? Which I totally understand, and accept you are being sincere and honest. It’s still not my problem though.

    Tell me all you wish that I am laughably wrong. It’s meaninglessness. That’s your opinion. One that defies both the present and history in my view. I already know better, thank you. I trust myself here to make the best choices for my self and loved ones. Screw ‘civilization’. Not my concern, it’s what created the problem and is still making it even worse.

    Listen and consider for your own benefit, or reject out of hand. It makes no difference to me. Each to their own self be true.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 3:17 PM

  423. Kevin McKinney says:
    6 Feb 2014 at 8:51 AM
    Now, reading this thread, why do I keep thinking of this?

    Answer: Because maybe (?) you are not reading it correctly Kevin? Instead skimming it and cherry picking tiny bits and so you are missing the really important take away ideas. In this world of twitter today, so many have been trained to seek only simple instant answers without having to personally engage in some complex deep thought. Everyone’s in a hurry these days. Like lemmings lazily pouring over the cliff.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 3:24 PM

  424. #411 DIOGENES says: “What you are seeing is a disinformation campaign of the type described in Merchants of Doubt.”

    Yes.

    But they mean well. They even believe they are right.

    Such is the ‘certainty effect’ of holding tightly to false beliefs while misinterpreting those as the ‘reality’.

    Even graduate Scientists and Ph D Professors can do this, for no one is immune from such a virus. Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter, Judith Curry et al. All highly trained scientists. Deny the evidence as well as Reality. Their education, the scientific method, and status didn’t save them.

    Therefore there must be some other key component involved than simply being a scientist or academic, and for others believing in their wisdom and expertise.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 3:53 PM

  425. They were completely wrong and inappropriate.

    Walter, the fact that you spent several paragraphs demanding an apology from me makes me think even more that I was right on the mark with your remark.

    I’m glad I didn’t waste my time reading it. But I saw something, more precisely – you projecting your thoughts on what others do or should think, and I said something. Take it or leave it. If you have something specific to say about what YOU think, say it. But broad sweeping generalizations about what other ill defined groups should or do think doesn’t cut it, with me at the very least. Maybe that works with the masses, maybe not, but if you are addressing the masses about some vague irrelevant subject and expect ME to take you seriously or to remain silent or even apologize for something I say, then you can expect someone (me for instance) to respond to that, and not in the way that you expect or desire. That’s science for you. That’s how it works, sorry.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 6 Feb 2014 @ 4:04 PM

  426. Kevin McKinney wrote in comment #363:

    Just going to say that, long about the time comments from yesterday were edging toward the new page, I was seeing a few dozen other people bearing witness against Keystone XL, on a cold Atlanta street corner. Love realclimate, and cherish the insights often to be found here.

    But this morning I want to suggest that perhaps some of the energy around this particular thread would be more usefully manifested on some other street corner on a like occasion. There will be many more such occasions, no doubt, and the more energy, the better.

    In my humble opinion, that is the best and single most important comment posted on this thread.

    Hopefully the folks who are convinced that they have found “THE ONE PLAN” for preventing “the Apocalypse” are conveying their insights most urgently to those who actually have the power to do something about it — and not merely posting comments on a blog.

    It takes no more time or effort to send an email, fax or letter to the White House, for example, than it takes to post the same thing in a comment here.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 6 Feb 2014 @ 4:14 PM

  427. #413 Ray Ladbury says: “What we see is a lively debate about how to achieve the needed reductions–a healthy component of the political process that begins when people face reality and accept the fact of climate change.”

    I also see a lot of childish immaturity where some people keep telling other people (in so many words) to shut up and go away. “I’m right you’re wrong, na na nah, get lost!”

    AS is usual on such forums, 99.99% of responses are only ever about a small point someone wants to challenge. Rarely do people say, yes yes what you say is true about the fact that GHGs are programmed to increase massively, and yes yes, less then 2% of all current energy use is renewable like wind, solar, geothermal, wave and yes yes by 2040 the world will be lcuky if it 3% of the total, while Fossil Fuel use increases another 50% in the next 25 years.

    And yes yes, that will be catastrophic and probably could lead to apocalypse for civilization as we know because that is exactly what the existing climate science tells us it will be. The writing is on the wall, and yes it really is scary to think about. BAU is not an option.

    Yes yes, barely anyone actually knows this bar Rosling, Anderson, Hansen, McGibbon and several others. RC scientists except Mann never say a word about it here. They do not add their own voice to this ‘debate’ even though it was exactly what Mann was calling for.

    The newspapers and the politicians sure don’t seem to get it. But yes yes, this is the reality right now today. And thanks for pointing it out Diogenes, more people need to realize this is the truth of it today. BAU means heading for a human disaster and very dangerous climate change far worse than projections in the 2013 IPCC report.

    Ray you see parts of “a lively debate” while others make pronouncements that this site is not for debates over the implications and policy to reduce GHGs, even though that was actually the subject matter of the Thread. Of if you see something then say something.

    Very little about this kind of behavior is “healthy”. As soon as someone says something they are ridiculed and all kinds of ‘paranoia and distrust’ of dubious claims made about sock puppets, about using made up names by people who use made up names themselves.

    I tend to agree with Dwight: “This thread has demonstrated the extremely low probability (no matter how much you might wish otherwise) of significantly reducing ff emissions any time soon.”

    When people on the same side of the big issue treat others as if they are science deniers or paid Corporate shills or Fox News presenters it’s not healthy. Far from it. I don’t mind pointing that out in my own way. Which at times might include a verbal pointy stick to the rib cage.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 4:25 PM

  428. Diogenes wrote: “On the blogs, we have people hiding in the shadows …”

    You mean people who hide behind the shadow of anonymous pseudonyms, like “Diogenes” and “Walter”?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 6 Feb 2014 @ 4:27 PM

  429. Kevin McKinney #416,

    “But increasingly, I think, it needs to mean actual activism: feet on bricks, signs in hands, imaginations fully engaged.”

    No question that we’re not going to get change without sweat and blood. But, equally important, we need to make sure we’re headed in the right direction, and the change sought is on the scale of the problem. Otherwise, we’re just spinning our wheels; we’re confusing activity with progress! So, if our ‘action’ is on the level of the Jeff Spross study posted recently, with 1% reduction in emissions proposed and we need tens of percent, we are doing very little to impact the real problem. Yes, 1% reduction per annum certainly is better than nothing, but on the scale of what needs to be done, it is indistinguishable from nothing.

    What concerns me here is that on a climate science blog, we are seeing precious little of the critical climate science being addressed in many of the comments. What could be more important than getting a handle on the temperature and other targets we should not be exceeding; what is more critical for setting policy and strategy? Yet, how many posts address this? if we’re going to talk policy and strategy, and specific ‘plans’, they need to have a strong link to what the climate science tells us is required. Otherwise, the plans reduce to arm-waving proposals of technologies with zero understanding of what they will do to ameliorate the climate change problem.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 6 Feb 2014 @ 4:36 PM

  430. It’s human nature to assume our own ideas are the more right ones. If we didn’t, then we wouldn’t already accept them.

    When someone decides to post their ideas to a forum like this naturally they believe those thoughts are right and justified. But the internet has become a space of instantaneous objection and argument, mainly because it is not face to face. People usually react online in a manner they would never behave like in their local saloon bar or family gathering.

    Whilst most people already believe they are more wright than wrong, what they are seeking and need is not so much a default agreement by everyone else, but actually an acknowledgement that their contribution is worthwhile, valued and that they have been at least heard and understood.

    The best way to do this is to apply active listening skills using text responses but this does take time and some effort. Most resident netizens are usually in too much of a hurry to tell someone new how wrong they are instead. Thus circular dysfunctional dialogue is the typical result.

    It is a choice though. Healthy open ended discussion arises when the listener first ensures that they have fully understood what it is another is trying to express. Before firing a volley of criticism back. Really genuine people seeking a discussion do not speak in one liners nor using clever quips. They make more of an effort to explain their thinking by providing the background and context and reasoning behind their ideas.

    That takes time, and it takes up space. Appreciating such an effort is a wholesome attitude to nurture. That’s how we all learn form each other and get pushed out of our comfort zone of always presuming we already got it right.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_listening

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 4:52 PM

  431. Markets do not operate efficiently without a proper indicator / measure. As long as fossil fuels are subsidized, almost all markets are skewed. And I don’t believe that the capitalist society could achieve necessary change without striving for proper indicators / measures, which include all the significant indirect / external costs. Communism and soc(i)alism failed in that and BAU capitalism (and Obama’s “All of the Above”) is failing as well.

    One very specific activity should be to demand elimination of fossil fuel subsidies. If governments do not want to eliminate ff subsidies, then those governments do not really want to tackle the AGW problem.

    As to scientists and climate scientists in particular, why can’t they end their conclusions of each of their articles with:
    “… And btw, based on the IPCC AR4 and AR5 reports and also based on the supporting statements from the Academies of Sciences, mankind should eliminate ff industry as soon as possible.”

    The “Carthago delenda est” kind of statement.

    And that statement should be the starting statement of any interview.
    Only after that should come: “As to Your question, …”.

    Comment by concerned citizen — 6 Feb 2014 @ 5:38 PM

  432. Another microbiology-and-climate find.

    From a press release:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120615125303.htm

    The Iroko tree makes a mineral by combining calcium from Earth with CO2 from the atmosphere. The bacteria then create the conditions under which this mineral turns into limestone. The discovery offers a novel way to lock carbon into the soil, keeping it out of the atmosphere.

    In addition to storing carbon in the trees’ leaves and in the form of limestone, the mineral in the soil makes it more suitable for agriculture.

    The discovery could lead to reforestation projects in tropical countries, and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the developing world. It has already been used in West Africa and is being tested in Bolivia, Haiti and India.

    The findings were made in a three-year project involving researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Granada, Lausanne and Neuchatel, Delft University of Technology, and commercial partner Biomim-Greenloop. The project examined several microbiological methods for locking up CO2 as limestone, and the Iroko-bacteria pathway showed best results. Work was funded by the European Commission under the Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) scheme.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Feb 2014 @ 6:07 PM

  433. concerned citizen wrote: “One very specific activity should be to demand elimination of fossil fuel subsidies.”

    That is extremely important — at least as important, I think, as putting a price on carbon pollution.

    According to the International Energy Agency:

    The IEA’s latest estimates indicate that fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $544 billion in 2012, slightly up from 2011 as moderately higher international prices and increased consumption offset some notable progress that is being made to rein in subsidies. Subsidies to oil products represented over half of the total.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 6 Feb 2014 @ 6:21 PM

  434. Maybe this has something to do with the entrenched inaction over Climate Change Science?

    The richest 85 individuals now own the equivalent wealth and income of half the world’s population.

    That is these people possess and control more of the world’s resources than what 3,500,000,000 other individuals have or earn in a year.

    This New Yorker explains the background and whole context of this recent CNBC report on MLK Day
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEGfR6zBHos

    Could be the best value 17 minutes of life you ever spend.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 6:34 PM

  435. Diogenes wrote: “What you are seeing is a disinformation campaign of the type described in Merchants of Doubt.”

    Right.

    You are saying that the fossil fuel corporations have paid individuals such as myself to post comments on blogs demanding that all fossil fuel use be ended as quickly as possible, and insisting that this can be done quickly and easily using today’s renewable energy technologies, without any negative impact on prosperity?

    How clever of them. What will they think of next?

    Maybe something like this.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 6 Feb 2014 @ 6:36 PM

  436. Posting solutions on a blog does a bit more than single bagging.

    As for future projections there was some projections that were quite accurate in the past of what actually did happen in a 30 year span. Followed by revised (in your face) non climatologist studies under Ronald Ragan who found the problem still significant in 40 years ? The word irreversible had not been invented back then. The quote from Ragan was ” get back to me in 39 ” luckily they didn’t say 70 years or 667. The date is rapidly approaching and Ragan did not leave a forwarding number.

    Projections are based on human contribution. There are others, we know tipping events happened in the past. Deniers seem to realize this if nothing else. The dynamics may be something other or symbiotic to what Frankensteins climate lab has considered.

    There are inalienable laws in the universe, like buttered toast law, law of infinite power cord entanglement, one sock extra lint law, flat tire flat spare law, loaded question law, someone shook that beer law, etc. These all work at the quantum level, especially the etc law and probably also effect the ANO circulation or lurk under the Arctic ice like Dick Cheney… if he were a Russian nuclear sub. ps if it’s under the ice it’s a sub ice, sub. There are sub ice, sub, sub atomic particles on board and probably a toilet plunger.

    Comment by ying yang — 6 Feb 2014 @ 6:40 PM

  437. Walter wrote: “Really genuine people seeking a discussion do not speak in one liners nor using clever quips.”

    You mean like calling those who disagree with them “sock puppets” and accusing them of being paid shills who are lying for money, as Diogenes has done in virtually every comment he has posted here?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 6 Feb 2014 @ 6:40 PM

  438. #428 SecularAnimist says:
    Diogenes wrote: “On the blogs, we have people hiding in the shadows …”

    You mean people who hide behind the shadow of anonymous pseudonyms, like “Diogenes” and “Walter”?

    OMG

    So says ‘SecularAnimist’

    Shoot me through a scan of your SSN SecularAnimist, but first get it signed by a Notary!!!

    How do you spell self-deluded hypocrisy again.

    Please SecularAnimist, how about you just stick to the science? This has become embarrassing just watching it unfold.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 6:43 PM

  439. #425 Thomas Lee Elifritz says:
    Walter said “They were completely wrong and inappropriate.”
    Walter, the fact that you spent several paragraphs demanding an apology from me makes me think even more that I was right on the mark with your remark.

    Thomas there is no need to lie or to misrepresent the facts as the evidence is in the thread already. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-8/#comment-454198

    I never DEMANDED a single thing. Anyone who may be interested can see with their own eyes I spent ONE SENTENCE which said and I quote it:

    “Thomas I suggest you should reconsider the basis of your false assumptions and perhaps apologize for and withdraw your comments unreservedly.”

    Why are you now blatantly lying to the whole world about me Thomas Lee Elifritz?

    I hope you are not a scientist. For I would certainly doubt the scientific rigor in your research and analysis if this is an example of your ‘observation’ and critical thinking skills.

    Since when has correcting egregious errors made by others about the facts?

    Thomas said “But I saw something, more precisely – you projecting your thoughts on what others do or should think, and I said something.”

    And I told you you were completely wrong, for it was YOU projecting your own incomprehensible fantasy beliefs onto what I had actually said. And I explained it, but NOW you say you didn’t even bother to read it? If you are going to make a comment about what someone has said, it is not only necessary but CRITICAL that you first actually read what they said.

    Or are you lying about that too?

    Your behavior here on this matter is that to be expected of a disingenuous and very foolish person. It is not ad hominem opinion, it is a fact. The proof with supporting evidence of this is in the thread.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 7:04 PM

  440. #420 DIOGENES

    I can certainly understand and accept that!

    It’s not easy.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 7:08 PM

  441. #417 SecularAnimist says:

    “Walter, please read the About page for this site.”

    Already had long ago, and I didn’t need your help nor advice to do it. But you do seem to need my help so please go try and read what my comments said again. Clearly you missed the import.

    Then go read Gavin’s AGU talk thread, and go read Michael Mann’s NYTs article, and then come back to this thread and start at comment #1.

    Then maybe (if you so desire) stop to consider if it’s in your own best interests to spend your life and your time here always insisting you are 100% right about everything when the self-evident proof shows you are not.

    I have some other suggestions for you but prefer not to upset the moderators needlessly. They have enough to do already.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 7:17 PM

  442. #415 Hank Roberts says:
    “Yeah, a while ago I came across their discussion elsewhere of their shared efforts here, but that site seems to have disappeared”.

    Are you talking about ‘me’ Hank? It looks like you maybe. Hank if you are, then I can assure you that you could be suffering from some kind of paranoia and tin foil hat syndrome.

    I have no idea who Diogenes is, and I have never in my life spoken about such issues as increasing FF use to 2040 etc., nor do I see any similarities with Diogenes and any other person on a discussion forum or blog or website I have even visited in my life.

    Of course, you are welcome to believe whatever you wish. However you have now totally convinced me, once and for all, about your own credibility, common sense as well as your general attitude and state of mind.

    Thanks for letting me know. It really helps me a lot as it can save me a lot of time and wasted energy.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 7:27 PM

  443. I was ready to drop this topic and the thread on the last page, and said so. But if people are going to continue on with vapid fantasies and false accusations about me (such as those about Mann now leading towards a court case) and what was really said then I will have to continue setting the record straight and defending myself from this kind of immature ad hominem behavior.

    Translated from Latin to English, “Ad Hominem” means “against the man” or “against the person.” It is more effective to focus instead on the truth or falsity, on the data and evidence presented to support a statement being made and the quality of the argument itself.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 7:50 PM

  444. dftt

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Feb 2014 @ 8:25 PM

  445. For those who’ve paid their dues, follow the science, and care about policy:
    AGU Blogs:

    The Bridge: Connecting Science and Policy
    By AGU staff and collaborators

    Latest Posts:
    State of the Union Takeaways
    AGU’s State of the Union Wishlist

    The Biggest Surprise

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Feb 2014 @ 8:43 PM

  446. http://blogs.agu.org/blogs/

    The Bridge: Connecting Science and Policy
    http://blogs.agu.org/thebridge/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Feb 2014 @ 8:45 PM

  447. Word meanings.

    HOPE noun, a feeling
    1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.
    2. a particular instance of this feeling: the hope of winning.
    3. grounds for this feeling in a particular instance: There is little or no hope of his recovery.
    4. a person or thing in which expectations are centered: The medicine was her last hope.
    5. something that is hoped for: Her forgiveness is my constant hope.

    verb (used with object), hoped, hop·ing. A Belief or a Desire
    6. to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
    7. to believe, desire, or trust
    (idioms)
    10. hope against hope, to continue to hope, although the outlook does not warrant it: We are hoping against hope for a change in her condition.
    Synonyms 1. expectancy, longing.

    OPTIMISM noun
    1. a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
    2. the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
    3. the belief that goodness pervades reality.
    4. the doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.
    Synonyms 1. confidence, hopefulness, cheerfulness.
    Antonyms 1, 2. pessimism, cynicism.

    Then there is REALISM, noun
    1. interest in or concern for the actual or real, as distinguished from the abstract, speculative, etc.
    2. the tendency to view or represent things as they really are.
    4. Literature.
    a. a manner of treating subject matter that presents a careful description of everyday life, usually of the lower and middle classes.
    b. a theory of writing in which the ordinary, familiar, or mundane aspects of life are represented in a straightforward or matter-of-fact manner that is presumed to reflect life as it actually is. Compare naturalism.

    5. Philosophy .
    a. the doctrine that universals have a real objective existence. Compare conceptualism, nominalism.
    b. the doctrine that objects of sense perception have an existence independent of the act of perception. Compare idealism.

    Choose your poison: Hope, Optimism, Realism? Or maybe all three?

    Realism is an international relations theory which states that world politics is driven by competitive self-interest.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realism_%28international_relations%29

    “In summary, realists think that humankind is not inherently benevolent but rather self-centered and competitive. This perspective, which is shared by theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, views human nature as egocentric (not necessarily selfish) and conflictual unless there exist conditions under which humans may coexist.

    It is also disposed of the notion that an individual’s intuitive nature is made up of anarchy. In regards to self-interest, these individuals are self-reliant and are motivated in seeking more power. They are also believed to be fearful. This view contrasts with the approach of liberalism to international relations.

    The state emphasizes an interest in accumulating power to ensure security in an anarchic world. Power is a concept primarily thought of in terms of material resources necessary to induce harm or coerce other states (to fight and win wars). The use of power places an emphasis on coercive tactics being acceptable to either accomplish something in the national interest or avoid something inimical to the national interest.

    The state is the most important actor under realism. It is unitary and autonomous because it speaks and acts with one voice. The power of the state is understood in terms of its military capabilities.”

    The obvious question then should be:

    “What does all this have to do with Climate Science, Scientists, or Dr Michel E. Mann’s articulated ideas about dangerous catastrophic climate change in the near or distant future?”

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 9:14 PM

  448. For those, such as me, not courant:
    http://www.internetslang.com/DFTT.asp

    Comment by David B. Benson — 6 Feb 2014 @ 9:53 PM

  449. Kevin quotes George Bernard Shaw:
    “Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.”

    Isn’t that exactly the attitude that got us where we are today? Thinking that adapting the world to ourselves is “progress”? I’ve long noticed little consideration here of adapting to the world, beyond of course, building more “stuff” to make our surroundings more to our liking, must be a lot of Shaw followers here.

    And will someone please make a killfile to blank the mental diarrhea that’s taken over the comment threads? My scroll finger can’t take much more.

    Comment by flxible — 6 Feb 2014 @ 9:59 PM

  450. #437 SecularAnimist says:
    “You mean like calling those who disagree with them “sock puppets” and accusing them of being paid shills who are lying for money, as Diogenes has done in virtually every comment he has posted here?”

    Yes, actually, I do mean that and I did mean Diogenes as well as others. But I do not agree that was done in “virtually every comment”.

    When I said this Walter wrote: “Really genuine people seeking a discussion do not speak in one liners nor using clever quips.” If that is all they do, it proves it. If they make serious comments mixed with a few quips then maybe they are simply frustrated with the kind of responses they have been getting, or something else is going on. If in doubt, ask.

    Also regarding your friend Diogenes here, perhaps you got back what you yourself was putting out in the first place, and he was responding in kind? That’s what it looked like to me at least. I do not know what he/her was thinking though. Going back a few days and having another look at what you said and how it may have been taken could be a useful insight.

    There is the old saying ‘if it looks like a duck’ but it doesn’t make it true. Also for those who do not know: “A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception.” It can get a bit confusing. Intentions are extremely difficult to judge. How many here use pseudonyms, I do not know.

    I suggest you’d get a much better reception from me (and maybe others) if you could simply acknowledge simple things when you yourself are using an anonymous pseudonym, and not ignore that fact when accusing others of doing the same and it is brought to your attention.

    Kind of loses much of your own credibility in the telling. Can you see what I mean? No clever quip by me there, I assure you. A simple observation.

    Same goes for this from Hank Roberts http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-7/#comment-454183 It is the very same thing.

    Beauty and labeling people trolls is very much in the eye of the beholder. If you’re concerned or convinced, then take Hanks advice and dftt. No point getting upset over it. Disagreement and a different point of view and values, does not make the other a troll by default. Neither does a pseudonym.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 10:52 PM

  451. #435 SecularAnimist gave this link: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/05/3022271/alec-solar-clean-energy-freeriders/

    Yes there is much manipulations going on. It’s a problem, another manifestation of the underlying cause.

    It doesn’t change the fact that solar and wind still only represent under 2% of total energy use today, projected to rise to under 3% in 2040.

    It doesn’t change the fact that with BAU fossil fuel use is planned to rise ~50% from now to 2040, will still be >78% of total energy use then, and the CO2 ppm in the atmosphere will continue to rise exponentially as a result.

    I believe this is more than projected by the IPCC AR5 in Sept 2013. Most people on the planet do not know this. I think they should because it is far more important than knowing anything else. It is the contextual framing in which everything else needs to viewed within, because it represents the reality of now plus BAU and exactly where everyone is heading (all things being equal).

    Links I presented show that the some bureaucrats in the OECD and the WEF, plus another showed that the IMF/WB know this too so some are taking it seriously. There is however a huge communication barrier between these people along with the climate scientists and the policy makers and the public. No, I do not have or know of a solution either. Merely trying to articulate the reality and extent of the problem. A personal interest of mine. Nothing more.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 11:12 PM

  452. #445 found on Hank Roberts’ AGU links:

    “We live in an environment today that has an ever growing need for scientists to engage in cross-disciplinary problem solving and a world that requires basic policy understanding. If more scientists are up for the job now is our time to really engage beyond our labs and coffee shops to work alongside our state and federal legislators to influence decisions that so desperately need our expertise.”

    A “cross-disciplinary problem solving” activity is exactly what Diogenes directed asked/encouraged the RC scientists about recently, as far as engaging with economists and the like. Which I assumed was to take the hard science numbers to replicate BAU into a more realistic and understandable economic context. I assumed interactions between scientists and economists and financial modelers and policy makers and mass media communicators was already ongoing behind the scenes. Maybe not. Seems like a good idea though.

    Hank Roberts added: “For those who’ve paid their dues, follow the science, and care about policy.”

    Was that really necessary?

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 6 Feb 2014 @ 11:26 PM

  453. Walter #430,

    “Really genuine people seeking a discussion do not speak in one liners nor using clever quips. They make more of an effort to explain their thinking by providing the background and context and reasoning behind their ideas.”

    When there’s nothing tangible to offer, one liners or clever quips are all that remain. SA offered a proxy plan for climate change amelioration devoid of context. When it was analyzed (see #396), it was shown to reduce emissions by ~1% per year over the past decade, and projected to reduce them 1 or 2% per annum until 2050. That’s more than an order of magnitude below what is required to avoid the Apocalypse.

    Conversely, my plan (#291, #371), unlike SA’s proxy plan, will maximize our chances of staying within or near the 1.1 C desired peak temperature target. It has two major components, species survival and lifestyle maintenance. Species survival includes sharp reduction in fossil fuel use in the transition period, and massive reforestation (if possible) and/or other carbon capture approaches. The approach for the secondary component is rapid introduction of renewables/nuclear and energy efficiency improvements. We can accomplish most of my plan’s targets with what we know and have today!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 7 Feb 2014 @ 6:26 AM

  454. flxible

    the mental diarrhea that’s taken over the comment threads

    Inevitably, there’s a concise neologism for what you’re referring to: blogorrhea.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 7 Feb 2014 @ 8:19 AM

  455. #423–(Walter)–

    No, I do not think that I am reminded of the ‘circular firing squad’ because I’m misreading things due to ‘training by Twitter.’ (Which I don’t use, BTW.)

    I’m reminded of it because any substantive points made are being swamped by rancorous stuff with words like “illogical, irrational, and mythical,” or “vapid fantasies.”

    Walter, you are spending hundreds of words accusing people of not being sufficiently realistic. IMO, not very interesting not illuminating–nor very accurate, either: I’ve been reading comments by Hank Roberts, Ray Ladbury, and Secular Animist for years now, and this history proves to my satisfaction at least that they are all well aware of how serious our situation is.

    Please, if you are as sincerely concerned as you say, find a more productive use of your time and energy: go out and join 350.org, or start your own blog or activism group. I’m not saying ‘don’t post here’–but as I say, your substantive points are getting lost in the noise you are making. As with some past posters, I’ve given up reading your comments in detail because the rhetoric to information ratio is just too high. Not an ‘ad hominem’–just straight feedback.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 7 Feb 2014 @ 8:35 AM

  456. #449–Good point, flxible–but I’m taking it that the Shaw context for ‘world’ was society, not environment. And in that context, he was right. We can’t just go along and get along.

    And yes, my scroll finger feels your pain. Or at least its own corresponding discomfort.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 7 Feb 2014 @ 8:39 AM

  457. Walter,
    Tell ya what. You say something worthwhile–something that isn’t just sanctimonious twaddle and woe-is-me despair–and I’ll listen.

    Telling us the situation is dire is not telling anyone who frequents this blog anything they do not already know. As I have said multiple times, the fact that we have squandered 30 years we didn’t have to waste means that we have relinquished control of our fate. It means that we will not only have to act, we will have to get lucky to avoid severe consequences. Now I had a coach one time who said “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” so you can increase your odds of getting lucky if you prepare to capitalize on it.

    So that is our job–to try and make our own luck and to try to buy as much time for us to get lucky as possible. That is what I mean by preserving hope–persevering while realizing that a good outcome while not probable is at least possible. I think that is a realistic attitude. I really don’t care what you think, as you’ve yet to demonstrate the capacity for original thought.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 7 Feb 2014 @ 8:40 AM

  458. Walter #451,

    “#435 SecularAnimist gave this link: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/05/3022271/alec-solar-clean-energy-freeriders/

    Yes there is much manipulations going on. It’s a problem, another manifestation of the underlying cause.

    It doesn’t change the fact that solar and wind still only represent under 2% of total energy use today, projected to rise to under 3% in 2040.”

    Another link by SA devoid of context. Yes, we know there are many groups who are opposed to more rapid introduction of ‘clean’ energy, and who profit from continuance of the status quo; nothing new there. Neither the article nor SA admits that, while clean energy is required for the long-term, it will not avoid the Apocalypse of the near-term. Kevin Anderson showed that supply-side cannot get us over the ‘hump’; strong reductions in demand are required. In #396, my analysis of SA’s proxy plan (which contained introduction of clean energy and energy efficiency enhancement technologies) showed it would give emissions reductions of 1 or 2% annually to mid-century. Even these targets were labeled as ‘challenging’ by the analysts quoted, and are less than an order of magnitude than that required to avoid the Apocalypse. My plan (#291, 371) provides a good chance of avoiding the Apocalypse, and we can do much of it with what we know and have today!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 7 Feb 2014 @ 8:42 AM

  459. #429–Diogenes, you’ve made this point before:

    we need to make sure we’re headed in the right direction, and the change sought is on the scale of the problem.

    (See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-9/#comment-455383)

    At which point I responded, “Fair enough.”

    However, it’s hardly an either-or choice, is it? And every classically-trained musician knows about the phenomenon of ‘analysis paralysis,’ in which the quest for technical perfection impedes effective action. So, sure, think about where we should be going, and whether it’s adequate. But let’s not allow that to substitute for action. A 1% improvement is obviously marginal–but if all we do is plan, then we will have a 0% improvement.

    There are many actions that can be taken NOW that we know will lead us in the right direction at least: ending support for fossil fuel subsidies:

    http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 7 Feb 2014 @ 8:49 AM

  460. I think it’s time Diogenes and Walter got their own thread.
    Oh, wait……, they already have one.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 7 Feb 2014 @ 9:08 AM

  461. Walter #450,

    “Also regarding your friend Diogenes here, perhaps you got back what you yourself was putting out in the first place, and he was responding in kind? That’s what it looked like to me at least. I do not know what he/her was thinking though.”

    You have the patience of Job; I do not. We are on a default path to the Apocalypse in the most serious crisis to have faced our civilization. I have no respect for anyone who knowingly will keep us on this path, whether it is the Koch brothers, ALEC, or SA. Yes, one uses fossil energy and the other uses clean energy, but neither will avoid the Apocalypse. You tell me how I can have respect for someone whose efforts to push renewables et al while denigrating sharp demand reduction, will result in the possibility that my grandchildren’s lives may be curtailed or made significantly harsher if these efforts are successful.

    [Response: What you feel or don't feel is irrelevant to this forum. If you cannot maintain respectful communications with other commenters, we will ask you to take your comments elsewhere. No more warnings. - gavin]

    Comment by DIOGENES — 7 Feb 2014 @ 9:45 AM

  462. #451
    “It doesn’t change the fact that solar and wind still only represent under 2% of total energy use today, projected to rise to under 3% in 2040.”

    Walter, that growth does not seem credible.
    If total energy use grows 50% and solar + wind grows about additional relative 50%, then the aggregate absolute growth of solar + wind would be about to 2-3 times the current level. That would mean an annual growth rate of 3-4%.

    Wind is growing at around 15-40% annually:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power#Growth_trends

    And solar also at 10% annually.
    http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/13/global-solar-pv-installations-will-double-hit-grid-parity-by-2020/

    So not nearly as much as I previously assumed (at 30% to 100% annually), but much faster than your report suggests.

    Comment by concerned citizen — 7 Feb 2014 @ 10:17 AM

  463. Diogenes at 453: An element of what you said helped me resolve a problem I’ve been having trying to think through messaging. People have shown, over and over again, that when it is clear to them that there really is a crisis, they are willing to give up comforts and change habits. But generally this is in the context of a temporary crisis. GW, of course, is not going to be a temporary crisis no matter what we do at this point. And whether it’s war rations or restrictions on water use during drought, one of the reasons people are willing to cooperate with restrictions in such situations is because they can see that those will probably be _temporary_ (and that they are fairly distributed and crucially needed).

    But it could be that some of the cutting back that we will need to do most immediately can be seen as a ‘special period’ when we get rapidly carbon emissions down (on something like the schedule that the physics requires) mostly through efficiency and immediate curtailments, but such curtailments that will only be fully needed until the build up of alternatives catches up.

    So we may need some of SA’s sunny optimism that alternatives are riding to the rescue as a reason why curtailments may be temporary–just not as an excuse to avoid the necessary pain of the curtailments that need to happen promptly.

    No one seems to be looking at any of my links any more (perhaps because there’s already plenty of text to absorb on this thread? ‘-)), but I’ll just note that there are more and more economists pointing out that endless growth was never a vision of the early architects of economic theory, and that we seem to have reached (and long past, really) the point of diminishing returns with it, as far as happiness and well-being achieved per unit of growth go.

    Comment by wili — 7 Feb 2014 @ 10:29 AM

  464. Kevin McKinney #459,

    “There are many actions that can be taken NOW that we know will lead us in the right direction at least: ending support for fossil fuel subsidies:”

    Granted. Unfortunately, we are running out of time to take actions at the scale required. It’s one thing to petition your Senator to end subsidies; it’s another thing to approach him/her with a meaningful plan that will avoid the Apocalypse. The former has the appearance of progress, like the Spross posting that I analyzed in #396, but unless the impact is on the scale of what is required to solve the problem, it won’t have the substance of progress, again like the proxy plan of the Spross posting.

    In the link provided, the range of subsidies to the fossil fuel industry in the USA is estimated between $14B-$52B per year. Let’s take the average for discussion, $33B per year. What is the context for these numbers? A Web article (http://priceofoil.org/2013/09/26/profits-oil-gas-coal-companies-operating-u-s-canada/) states: “$271 billion is the profit made in 2012 by companies involved in extracting, transporting, refining, distributing and trading in fossil fuels in the United States and Canada.” I couldn’t locate better numbers; if someone has them, please provide. I don’t know what the breakdown between USA and Canada is in these numbers; let’s assume ~$200B for USA profits in 2012. So, if all the fossil fuel subsidies were eliminated (and I have no problem with that at all), that’s ~15% of profits. Would this have an impact on demand? It could have a modest impact, but with profits at that level, they could cut profits modestly, eat the reduced subsidies, and not miss a beat.

    The point is, cutting subsidies is a very indirect approach to reducing fossil fuel consumption, and certainly would not produce the sharp reductions in demand that avoiding the Apocalypse requires. It parallels the proxy Spross plan in that regard. We need to have a plan to present to our elected representatives, and to the media, that shows the seriousness of the problem, the targets required to avoid the Apocalypse, and the strategy required to meet those targets. I have presented such a plan in #291, #371.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 7 Feb 2014 @ 11:06 AM

  465. Walter, when I pointed to the AGU policy forum, you asked if paying dues is necessary. You can decide for yourself. I recommend it highly.
    http://membership.agu.org/benefits/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Feb 2014 @ 11:23 AM

  466. wili wrote: “we may need some of SA’s sunny optimism that alternatives are riding to the rescue”

    I don’t know why other commenters attribute views to me that I have never expressed, especially when I have repeatedly, explicitly, expressed the opposite view.

    I am not at all optimistic. On the contrary.

    For one thing, as I have repeatedly written here, the global warming problem is much worse than most people realize. It is already having severely harmful and dangerous effects, and is certain to get much worse no matter what we do at this late date. Indeed, my views of what we can expect and when we can expect it would probably be considered “alarmist” even by the moderators of this site.

    What I have said, because I believe it to be true, is that it is possible to rapidly eliminate the GHG emissions from fossil fuels without subjecting humanity to “deprivation and hardship”.

    The amount of energy provided on an ongoing basis by sunlight and wind completely dwarfs all the energy in all the fossil fuels on Earth.

    And the technologies that we have in hand today for harvesting those sources of energy, which are already being deployed at all scales all over the world, are fully capable of providing abundant, cheap, zero-emissions energy more than sufficient to meet the needs of a technologically advanced human civilization. Humanity faces any number of “resource limits”, but the energy supply is not one of them. “Energy scarcity” is a myth.

    And the rapid deployment of wind and solar and efficiency technology, which is already far exceeding all projections even with minimal support from public policies, demonstrates that we CAN, IF we choose, eliminate the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation much more quickly and easily and at much lower cost than most people realize, while at the same time creating a basis for sustainable, equitable prosperity for all.

    Please note the word IF emphasized in the previous paragraph.

    Because the reality is that what we ARE doing falls far short of what we COULD do.

    At this point I am actually pretty pessimistic that people, corporations, governments and other institutions will actually implement these emissions-reducing solutions anywhere near as quickly and widely as could be done, and as needs to be done if we are to stop and reverse the growth of GHG emissions and begin steep reductions within a few years.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 7 Feb 2014 @ 11:46 AM

  467. Diogenes wrote: “SA offered a proxy plan for climate change amelioration devoid of context. When it was analyzed (see #396) …”

    With all due respect, that is just another strawman.

    I did not “offer” any “plan”, proxy or otherwise. At no time have I ever offered anything resembling a “plan for climate change amelioration” in any comment that I have posted on this site. At no time have I ever claimed to have any such “plan”.

    In the comment that you refer to (#373), I simply linked to and briefly excerpted from an article about a study by the nonprofit organization ENE, which examined ways that the Northeastern US could achieve significant GHG emissions reductions through such undertakings as replacing fossil fuels with electricity for building heat and vehicle fuel, modernizing the electric grid, deploying renewable energy and increasing efficiency — all without subjecting anyone to “deprivation and hardship”.

    I “offered” that link simply as information about one of many ongoing efforts to find ways to rapidly reduce GHG emissions from fossil fuels, which might be of interest to readers concerned about addressing the global warming problem.

    My only comment about it in that post was “FYI”. I certainly did not represent it as a “plan” to completely solve the global warming problem.

    I do believe that it supports my contention that much greater emissions reductions CAN be achieved, much more quickly and at much lower cost, than most people think — IF we choose to do so.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 7 Feb 2014 @ 12:29 PM

  468. Wili #462,

    “People have shown, over and over again, that when it is clear to them that there really is a crisis, they are willing to give up comforts and change habits. But generally this is in the context of a temporary crisis.”

    I don’t think we’ve gotten to Step 1, making it clear that there really is a crisis. I don’t think on this blog we have shown unambiguously that there is a crisis. As you can see by my posts, I don’t believe in gimmicks. In this case, we should be communicating the deadly seriousness of the problem, the targets that need to be reached to contain the problem, and the difficult personal choices required to meet these targets.

    There seems to be an unwritten consensus among many of the leaders in the climate change advocacy movement to downplay the depth of personal hardship required to achieve these targets, specifically the level of demand reduction required. Now, some of the key people who have related the proposed climate policies to climate change targets, such as Hansen, Anderson, McKibben, all use some similar underlying assumptions: rapid implementation of renewables, of energy efficiency improvement technologies, etc. These are certainly needed for the long-term, but they are insufficient to overcome the short-term barriers.

    What remains are two variables that determine demand reduction: carbon capture and peak target temperature. They can be related as follows:

    DEMRED = f(CARBCAP, PEAKTEMP)

    Thus, the amount of demand reduction we require is a function of the carbon capture intensity and the peak temperature needed for the interim, in addition to the renewables and energy efficiency technology installations that all assume. The greater the carbon capture intensity, the less the demand reduction required. The greater the allowable peak temperature in the interim, the less the demand reduction required. Anderson and McKibben choose to increase the peak temperature to 2 C, and immediately acknowledge that it is a political target and 1 C is the appropriate scientific target. That does not prevent Anderson making recommendations based on 2 C, or McKibben saying we have 565GT remaining carbon budget based on 2 C in his ‘terrifying new math’. Hansen chooses to increase the carbon capture intensity and duration, assuming massive amounts of reforestation.

    I have started with Hansen’s selection of peak temperatures near prior Holocene experience (~1 C), and have added as much demand reduction as the traffic will bear. As Spratt effectively implied for the 2 C case, increasing demand reduction increases the chances that we can remain under 2 C, going from the 50/50 case of Anderson with 10% annual demand reduction to 90/10 for very high demand reduction (no carbon budget left). Thus, my addition of very high demand reduction increases the chances of remaining within (or far more probably near) the 1.1 C limit. I think that’s what needs to be communicated to the public. They will not buy into increased installation of renewables et al with no targets specified and no personal deprivation or hardships required. That’s not how people conduct their daily lives. They want to understand what any treatment will do for their medical problem, and they will want to know what any climate change strategy will do for their survival. No more gimmicks; tell them the truth!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 7 Feb 2014 @ 1:09 PM

  469. Walter wrote: “It doesn’t change the fact that solar and wind still only represent under 2% of total energy use today, projected to rise to under 3% in 2040 … It doesn’t change the fact that with BAU fossil fuel use is planned to rise ~50% from now to 2040 …”

    With all due respect, “projections” are by definition NOT YET “facts”, and what the “facts” will be in 2040 is subject to change, depending on our actions, to a degree that can only be determined empirically.

    As I have noted previously, the current actual growth of renewable energy far exceeds previous projections — even in the absence of strong public policies to support and facilitate that growth.

    Readers who are interested in comparing and contrasting several projections for the growth of renewable energy may be interested in the January 2013 “Renewables Global Futures Report” from REN21, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century:

    The REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report (GFR) is a pioneering publication that provides access to the range of credible possibilities on the future of renewable energy. The report is based on interviews with over 170 leading experts around the world and the projections of 50 recently published scenarios. The report can serve as a tool for dialogue and discussion on future options, and compliments well the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report.

    Released in January 2013, the report was authored by Dr. Eric Martinot and was the product of a unique collaboration between REN21 and the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) during 2011-2012.

    REN21′s companion publication “Renewables 2013 Global Status Report” provides a similarly detailed look at the current state of renewable energy (through 2012).

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 7 Feb 2014 @ 2:36 PM

  470. Diogenes wrote: “You tell me how I can have respect for someone whose efforts to push renewables et al while denigrating sharp demand reduction”

    I have NEVER “denigrated sharp demand reduction”.

    In fact, I have REPEATEDLY emphasized the CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE of reducing demand for fossil fuels — and I have REPEATEDLY stressed that the USA in particular has enormous potential for reducing the demand for fossil fuels, given that much more than half of the USA’s primary energy consumption is wasted.

    What I have “denigrated” is your entirely unsupported assertion that sharp reductions in the demand for fossil fuels must require “severe economic reductions” and “deprivation and hardship”.

    You just keep making stuff up and pretending that I wrote it, and then insulting and attacking me for things that you pretend I wrote.

    I’m not asking for “respect”, Diogenes.

    I am simply asking you to STOP LYING ABOUT MY COMMENTS.

    I am simply asking you to cease your baseless, ugly and nonsensical accusations that I am a paid shill who is lying for money as part of a “Merchants Of Doubt” style “disinformation campaign”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 7 Feb 2014 @ 2:53 PM

  471. #461 concerned citizen says:
    #451
    “It doesn’t change the fact that solar and wind still only represent under 2% of total energy use today, projected to rise to under 3% in 2040.”

    Walter, that growth does not seem credible.
    If total energy use grows 50% and solar + wind grows about additional relative 50%, then the aggregate absolute growth of solar + wind would be about to 2-3 times the current level. That would mean an annual growth rate of 3-4%.

    Wind is growing at around 15-40% annually:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power#Growth_trends

    And solar also at 10% annually.
    http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/13/global-solar-pv-installations-will-double-hit-grid-parity-by-2020/

    So not nearly as much as I previously assumed (at 30% to 100% annually), but much faster than your report suggests.

    —————–

    Concerned Citizen,
    those are good points to raise, because it is that complex and it is hard to line up the ducks. Took me a while, and I have yet to complete my summary of the key numbers facts regarding the BAU ‘projections’.

    What I find it that there is little consistency in how various orgs/bodies present their data. That and the starting point always shifts. Like how the 1998 starting point of temps changes the ‘outcomes’ of temp increases and so this manipulates how things appear.

    On the projections I have seen both Wind and Solar GWH output multiply by a factor of somewhere between 15 to 20+ times (2000%) from 2010 to 2040.

    Nuclear increases by a factor of 10+ (1000%) even though many nations will be reducing or stopping nuclear power plants.

    And yes Fossil Fuels only increase by 50% over this same time period. The problem is the starting point. Now 83% of total energy is fossil fuel, and solar wind geothermal wave is barely 2%.

    I’ll put a link to the summary doc here when it’s finished. Otherwise if you’re keen the EIA is as good place to start as any. Just keep alert viewing such sites of when apples aren’t being compared to apples, and the implications of shifting starting point levels and years being compared.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 4:03 PM

  472. #455 Kevin McKinney,

    Gavin has his way of doing and saying things. Michael Mann has his way. And James Hansen has his. They are each different and a positive difference they all make.

    I prefer to dance the Cha Cha, but you may like dancing the Twist. You say tomato but I say tomatoe. I have no issues with diversity and I do not complain about that.

    I do not complain about your writing style or personal values. I will not make judgments about the content and presentation style of your blog site either.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 4:28 PM

  473. #460 DIOGENES says: “You have the patience of Job”

    Not really. Appearances are deceiving Diogenes. Learning to manage ourselves and our reactions is a life long project, it never stops. As much as humanly possible I endeavor to be nice and tell the truth. My failure rate is very high. Fact is Diogenes, no matter how nice one can be when they tell the truth they will be attacked anyway. Not being nice opens another door and the truth is then lost on the wind.

    If I may be presumptuous I do have an idea to suggest. Take some time out. Skim through the threads where you presented your thoughts. Copy and paste all of that into a single document. When you are relaxed again, start going through it, create section headings as you go, and then edit the hell out of it until you have a clear and coherent theme running that presents exactly what it is you wish to say. Toss in the various reference links that apply as well.

    Save it as a PDF document (MS Word, Open Office, and Adobe will let you do this free). Email it to whomever you think needs to hear it and may be interested. Create a simple website, eg google sites is free and easy to use. Publish your text on one page, and also upload the PDF file so people can download it easily. Use the URL link to share with others on sites you frequent from here on in. Update that document when new information comes to hand.

    Then repeat the process when a different subject matter takes your fancy. Keep using news and blog sites (like RC) to crystallize your thoughts, getting feedback, and honing your skills by posting comments.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 4:47 PM

  474. #462 wili, excellent observations! Very true. I read the content of the links you offered. very good, ty.

    I will add that the reason why business etc is taking matters more seriously now is not so much about 25 years of science but the real impacts of climate change being felt in financials and in risk assessments of business and the financial system. The first thing that began to bite was Insurance costs rising. The average person does not understand the implications of Insurance in fixed cost impacts on business and how much Insurance is intricately linked into the Financial system of the world. As in in Loans, Debts, Stock Markets, and National Budgets.

    The GFC of 08/09 gives a good example of how critical it all is, but again most average people still don’t grasp what actually happened then or why. It’s a long ‘story’.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 5:08 PM

  475. FYI …

    “The biggest thing you can do in this country is to close coal-fired power plants. They generate a third of all of the emissions.”

    – Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NPR Interview, 2/6/2014

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 7 Feb 2014 @ 5:14 PM

  476. #461 concerned citizen,

    An aspect to consider is the differences between ‘capability’ and ‘capacity’.

    A Capability is the ability to perform or achieve certain actions or outcomes through a set of controllable and measurable faculties, features, functions, processes, or services. As it applies to human capital, capability represents the intersection of capacity and ability.

    Capacity utilization, in economics, the extent to which an enterprise or a nation actually uses its potential output
    Productive capacity, in economics, management and engineering, refers to the maximum possible output of a system
    Capacity planning, in economics, the process of determining the required production capacity
    Technologically (not practically) there is a huge capability to introduce renewables to replace fossil fuels for electrical power generation. What the world currently lacks is the capacity to manufacture all the components needed and physically build such massive plants, and reconfigure the existing Grid system to integrate such shifts. And at the rate needed to rapidly reduce GHGs growth.

    There is also a huge technological capability (maybe existing Potential is a better word?) to improve electricity efficiency by ~30%, however there is also a lack of capacity both from the capital expenditure required (finance streams) and the physical production of replacement ‘products’ and market forces.

    For example, Domestic refrigerators are already available that consume ~10% of the electricity that the best available units did barely 5 years. Proven capability. But everyone with a fridge does not have the capacity to go out and buy a new one. Replacement also raises GHGs emissions if it was possible to manufacture the billions of new units. So there is no real ‘capacity’ for the world to actually make this existing efficiency gain we are already capable of doing.

    Also Governments are refusing to impose tighter Regulations to insist that all new fridges being sold from here on in are at world’s best practice either. Manufacturers also have serious constraints over “patents”, limited finance support, plus their capacity to retool or expand plants to meet a demand even if the Govts imposed best practice on energy efficiency products.

    Massive changes would be needed to rebuild the grid system in a way which is more efficient too. Which would need to be done in coordination with bringing on new smaller sized renewable power plant systems built closer to population areas.

    Then there are the physical and geographic constraints. Arizona does have the physical ‘capability’ of powering the entire USA in solar power, but there is no capacity to get that power from there to New Hampshire. Most high population and industrial centers all have huge multiple >5GWe power stations. No existing solar or wind plant gets anywhere near 1GW output yet (?) let alone 5GW.

    No renewable technology as yet exists in scale that can provide a replacement for these typical power stations in the foreseeable future (20 years). One cannot shut down 10 coal fired power station in Pennsylvania nor NYC producing 50GW of electricity and replace them with either solar or wind power. There is no capacity to do that now or in a decade. 20 years maybe but still who knows.

    Nuclear could but that would still take 10 to 15 years to roll it out, and then there is the lack of political support in the west in particular needed to do that.

    Of course, any move to end user self-sufficiency can only decrease Grid demand. Most advanced nations industry and business etc pulls twice as much electrical power than residential does. Again only so much can be achieved at present, and in the foreseeable future. Such known realities (and expectations) are what has been plugged into energy use projections to 2040 so far.

    On the other hand China is building ~300 Nuclear power plants in the next decade and a bit, and yet still their Fossil Fuel use will increase towards 2040. Well if their economic growth continues on trend, which it may well not. China has 65 million empty residential apartments at the moment, with no capacity to put people into them. Just siting idle. They have over 25 cities enough to fill with 1 million people each and they are totally finished but empty.

    Meanwhile there is not as yet a viable ‘global’ alternative for Oil based transport ‘fuel’ on the scale required to really make a difference yet. Despite some potential technologies, this is still a huge unknown. In formal Energy projections Oil use keeps rising at a faster rate than Coal and Gas which is being partly replaced by renewables and nuclear power plants.

    Among all these complexities in 2014, as mentioned by Mann in his NYTs article which this thread is about, there are still Politicians, Media & Business power brokers, some Scientists, and millions of Voters who refuse to accept AGW is real yet or that Climate Change should even be addressed.

    China on the other hand doesn’t have the typical constraints of democracy therefore it is taking much more rational action there to implement massive renewable alternatives and nuclear power plants. It has poured $billions into research and development the last 2 decades. For the last 2 decades and into the next 2 China continues to build it’s industrial scale low carbon ‘capacity’ from scratch as we speak.

    No other nation, bar India at the moment, has such a ‘capability’ and the ‘capacity’ to do so at such a high and fast rate.

    It’s complex. More complex when one needs to reinvent the wheel and replace all the existing wheels out there at the same time. Many totally separate components have to come together in coordinated harmony for major and rapid reductions in GHGs of the order need to block the dangerous implications of what the science says is unfolding.

    The existing Science and Technology are not the problem. Science tells us that climate science is very complex and is not linear. Global Economics and the Business world is actually more complex and even less linear. It is also less understood by people than the climate crisis currently is.

    From what I have seen over the years most everyday people do not realize this and don’t understand why consistent long term action on climate change is so difficult, bordering on the impossible.

    Like an iceberg, 90% of the barriers to change are unseen because they are ‘under the radar’ and out of sight. The expertise of scientists is recognized in their field. Few know ‘how they do it’. Only those on the inside of a system really know how the system really works.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 6:34 PM

  477. For those coming late to this thread and interested in the topics raised the following may be helpful:

    U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
    AEO 2014 EARLY RELEASE OVERVIEW December, 2013
    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/index.cfm

    Gavin A Schmidt, NASA/GISS – Stephen Schneider Lecture AGU December 2013
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJC1phPS6IA

    Michael Mann radio interview by KCRW 21 January 2014
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYygBAQ2RVs

    Professor Kevin Anderson on scientists who get “political” December 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjrAZhymE5Q

    Hans Rosling IPCC AR5 Lecture – 200 years of global change September 2013
    http://youtu.be/grZSxoLPqXI

    Dr James Hansen Discusses Solutions To Climate Change July 2013
    http://youtu.be/6Ibp_gMk3i8

    Dr James Hansen Discusses Species Extinction July 2013
    http://youtu.be/v5B-JsTLEF0

    Prof. Kevin Anderson & Dr. Alice Bows-Larkin post-COP19 November 2013
    Anderson says that to avoid an increase in temperature of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the world would require a “revolutionary change to the political and economic hegemony.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEQ7cOUjwgM

    Naomi Klein: How science is telling us all to revolt October 2013
    “Is our relentless quest for economic growth killing the planet? Climate scientists have seen the data – and they are coming to some incendiary conclusions.”
    http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/10/science-says-revolt

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 7:18 PM

  478. Mike Mann @ 17 January 2014 said on page one:
    “The New Republic once called (Stephen Schneider) a “scientific pugilist” for advocating a forceful approach to global warming. But fighting for scientific truth and an informed debate is nothing to apologize for.”
    “We scientists are citizens, too, and, in climate change, we see a clear and present danger. ”
    The piece ends on this note: “How will history judge us if we watch the threat unfold before our eyes, but fail to communicate the urgency of acting to avert potential disaster?”
    “Constructive contributions are welcome in the comment section below :-)”

    I’d like to contribute the following extracts and URLs:

    12/10/2012 Is The Earth F**cked?
    Brad Werner AGU 2012 – Why shout out the blunt question on everyone’s mind? Werner explained at the outset of the presentation that it was inspired by friends who are depressed about the future of the planet. [..]

    Lonnie Thompson, one of the world’s foremost experts on glaciers and ancient climates, framed the dilemma in a speech he gave to a group of behavioral scientists in 2010: “Climatologists, like other scientists, tend to be a stolid group. We are not given to theatrical rantings about falling skies. [..] Why then are climatologists speaking out about the dangers of global warming? The answer is that virtually all of us are now convinced that global warming poses a clear and present danger to civilization.”

    That’s the sound of serious-minded scientists fretting out loud to the rest of us that the earth is indeed f**ked, unless we get our s**t together. More and more are willing to risk professional opprobrium to drive that message home. In short, some scientists are now turning to environmental activism. However, there is a constant avoidance of the only question which really matters, which in the context just above, turns out to be — Why can’t humans get their shit together?

    Now, allow me to be blunt. This is a problem with humans, it is about humans, and to figure out what that problem is, you have to step outside the Human Condition (to the extent possible) and take a long, hard look at what humans are, and why they do what they do.

    This is not the kind of problem which can be solved with the same techniques used to simulate the dynamics of natural systems like glaciers or coastal landscapes. [..] But Brad Werner is completely immersed within the Human Condition. He can not step outside of it (to the extent possible) in order to draw some conclusions about human behavior. So he has come to the totally absurd conclusion that he can facilitate “better decision-making” with a computer model of human-environmental interactions. But it is that very human decision-making which is at issue! He has begged the question!
    [..]
    The great tragedy of the Human Condition is that humans can not figure out who they are and why they do what they do. In short, humans are completely immersed in their own nonsense. [..] But humans are apparently intrinsically incapable of taking the large leap toward self-knowledge which would make possible the very slim HOPE for a happy outcome.
    http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2012/12/is-the-earth-fcked.html

    08/08/2012 Climate Change Idiots
    Freelance journalist Beth Gardiner wrote an editorial called ‘We’re All Climate Change Idiots’ which appeared in the New York Times Sunday Review on July 21, 2012. There are valuable insights in it, though they are not the ones Beth had in mind when she wrote it.
    http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2012/08/climate-change-idiots.html

    There’s No Hope At All — Zero, Zip, Nada — Forget about it!
    As I work on another long essay on … I thought I’d pass along this little economic update from the Wall Street Journal (February 6, 2014).
    http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2014/02/theres-no-hope-at-all-zero-zip-nada-forgettaboutit.html

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 8:29 PM

  479. 12/30/2013 Elizabeth Kolbert On The Sixth Extinction

    It was back in 1992 that I first had the thought about the Sixth Extinction. At that time 3,000 acres of forests every hour were being clear felled and otherwise destroyed. This despite it was already known that >80% of all native forests had been totally destroyed since civilization began thousands of years ago.

    Human behavior has continued regardless when it came to my awareness the other mass extinction under way, humans are causing it too, it is centered in the oceans, and it is happening incredibly rapidly on the geological time-scale. I have a Bookmark folder with links to papers, articles, documentaries and videos on that subject too.

    By 1995 I had the ideas and structure ready for a book titled ’2020 Vision’. Then the computers and the internet came along and I was distracted for the following 18 years. It was easy to say to myself, next year I will get to that 2020 book. Of course it never happened. No problem though, for some things are not meant to be and it’s too late anyhow. Now I know a little better than I did before.

    So long before Elizabeth Kolbert started working on her new book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, I could have written it. Years ago I gave up on the idea that people (generally speaking) would pay any attention to the well-informed warnings I was issuing, but I also knew a few people would get the message. And a few people did. I don’t expect Kolbert will fare any better than I have.

    In the New Yorker podcast below Kolbert talks about her forthcoming book. It’s worth listening to, and I recommend that you listen all the way to the end. http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2013/12/elizabeth-kolbert-on-the-sixth-extinction.html

    02/04/2014 The Argument From Ignorance
    I see that Elizabeth Kolbert’s book The Sixth Extinction has been published. Before I get to Kolbert, for whom I have a lot of respect, I am reminded of some text I wrote in another context but didn’t publish.
    http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2014/02/the-argument-from-ignorance.html

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 9:27 PM

  480. #457 Ray Ladbury says:
    “Walter, Tell ya what. You say something worthwhile–something that isn’t just sanctimonious twaddle and woe-is-me despair–and I’ll listen.”

    Ray, I do not believe you would. Why should it matter to me if you personally listen or not? You seem to think it should, though I cannot understand why. But thanks for the warm positive encouragement. It says so much. I think I should listen to Hank more and dftt.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 10:20 PM

  481. #464 Hank Roberts says:
    “Walter, when I pointed to the AGU policy forum, you asked if paying dues is necessary.”

    For the record I didn’t ask that. Doesn’t matter anyhow. Many thanks, Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 10:37 PM

  482. #468 SecularAnimist says:
    “With all due respect, “projections” are by definition NOT YET “facts”, and what the “facts” will be in 2040 is subject to change, depending on our actions, to a degree that can only be determined empirically.”

    This is quite true. Have you considered that the very same thing applies to the IPCC projections? Yet I suspect you and others are quite willing to accept them on the basis that those very projections are based upon empirical facts modeled into the future. And also subject to change. I cannot comprehend how it is that when both cases are the same ‘process’ that you take to time out to criticize the very same kinds of projections of scientists and economists about energy use. Which I am merely sharing here and not making up. This makes no sense to me at all, because it makes no sense.

    SA “As I have noted previously, the current actual growth of renewable energy far exceeds previous projections — even in the absence of strong public policies to support and facilitate that growth.”

    Yes that is also true. For it is also true of other information I have shared and quoted on this thread such as IPCC projections made in Sept 2013 are already out of date and wrong now.

    Who on this blog still believes that summer arctic ice will not disappear totally until ~2060? Yet that is what the IPCC says, and that is what has been handed to Policy Makers worldwide barely 4 months ago.

    SecularAnimist I did not argue with your facts as presented. I simply offered a grander more accurate framework into which those facts should be placed in order for them to be seen in truer more accurate context.

    When you combine the truth about the ‘potential’ of change being possible as per your NE USA example. Then add that to the truth about the real future projections for Fossil Fuel Use to 2040 in the USA and globally. Then also add that to the truth of where the IPCC projections are far too conservative in their future projections … then and only then can the true extent of the challenge and urgency be seen with more clarity and in it;s correct context.

    As well as this the reality of either the climate impacts from inaction far sooner than ‘expected’ or the economic impacts of massive change occurring in the economy and financial systems in order to implement rational mitigation of GHGs.

    I do not know what you (and several others now and then) are arguing about, why you see important differences where probably none exist, nor why splitting hairs about ‘projections’ discounts the truth of what I have actually said as if it is wrong. Given such figures and findings are actually supported by credible reports, papers, studies and experts around the world already.

    If the ‘projections’ I have made or the assumptions are in fact wrong, then please the door is open to present the evidence of where and why they are wrong. So far not one person has produced an ounce of contrary evidence they are. Nor why any conclusions based on those are in error.

    I have also presented material that indicates how these matters are in fact on topic given the content of Michael Mann’s article, and the general topic of climate science here. Everything else is a complete mystery and I consider quite irrelevant to anything I have presented myself. Thanks.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 7 Feb 2014 @ 11:22 PM

  483. 18 months ago now – Sept 2012 NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE | COMMENTARY
    A new paradigm for climate change by Kevin Anderson & Alice Bows

    “How climate change science is conducted, communicated and translated into policy must be radically transformed if ‘dangerous’ climate change is to be averted.”

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v2/n9/full/nclimate1646.html?WT.ec_id=NCLIMATE-201209

    “.. politicians may well have left the Rio+20
    conference without understanding the
    viability and implications of proposed low-
    carbon pathways.
    We urgently need to acknowledge that
    the development needs of many countries
    leave the rich western nations with little
    choice but to immediately and severely
    curb their greenhouse gas emissions.”

    “Hope and judgement
    There are many reasons why climate science
    has become intertwined with politics, to the
    extent that providing impartial scientific
    analysis is increasingly challenging and
    challenged. On a personal level, scientists
    are human too. Many have chosen to
    research climate change because they
    believe there is value in applying scientific
    rigour to an important global issue. It is
    not surprising then that they also HOPE that
    it is still possible to avoid dangerous..”

    Blogs citing this article http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v2/n9/nclimate1646/metrics/blogs

    The Nature article was Quoted by Naomi Klein in Oct 2013

    Klein says: So what Anderson and Bows are really saying is that there is still time to avoid catastrophic warming, but not within the rules of capitalism as they are currently constructed. Which may be the best argument we have ever had for changing those rules.

    In a 2012 essay that appeared in the influential scientific journal Nature Climate Change, Anderson and Bows laid down something of a gauntlet, accusing many of their fellow scientists of failing to come clean about the kind of changes that climate change demands of humanity. On this it is worth quoting the pair at length:

    Anderson: ” . . . in developing emission scenarios scientists repeatedly and severely underplay the implications of their analyses. When it comes to avoiding a 2°C rise, “impossible” is translated into “difficult but doable”, whereas “urgent and radical” emerge as “challenging” – all to appease the god of economics (or, more precisely, finance). For example, to avoid exceeding the maximum rate of emission reduction dictated by economists, “impossibly” early peaks in emissions are assumed, together with naive notions about “big” engineering and the deployment rates of low-carbon infrastructure. More disturbingly, as emissions budgets dwindle, so geoengineering is increasingly proposed to ensure that the diktat of economists remains unquestioned. ” [end quote]

    Klein continues: In other words, in order to appear reasonable within neoliberal economic circles, scientists have been dramatically soft-peddling the implications of their research. By August 2013, Anderson was willing to be even more blunt, writing that the boat had sailed on gradual change.

    Quoting Anderson:
    “Perhaps at the time of the 1992 Earth Summit, or even at the turn of the millennium, 2°C levels of mitigation could have been achieved through significant evolutionary changes within the political and economic hegemony. But climate change is a cumulative issue! Now, in 2013, we in high-emitting (post-)industrial nations face a very different prospect. Our ongoing and collective carbon profligacy has squandered any opportunity for the ‘evolutionary change’ afforded by our earlier (and larger) 2°C carbon budget. Today, after two decades of bluff and lies, the remaining 2°C budget demands revolutionary change to the political and economic hegemony” (his emphasis).

    Klein says: We probably shouldn’t be surprised that some climate scientists are a little spooked by the radical implications of even their own research. Most of them were just quietly doing their work measuring ice cores, running global climate models and studying ocean acidification, only to discover, as the Australian climate expert and author Clive Hamilton puts it, that they “were unwittingly destabilising the political and social order”.

    But there are many people who are well aware of the revolutionary nature of climate science. It’s why some of the governments that decided to chuck their climate commitments in favour of digging up more carbon have had to find ever more thuggish ways to silence and intimidate their nations’ scientists.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/10/science-says-revolt

    If I have a point, it is that the issues raised by Micahel Mann in january 2014 are not at all new. But it is good to see these matters being exposed in the NYT and elsewhere now. The Nature article by Anderson and Dows was not carried in the mainstream press and therefore have minimal impact.

    In Marketing semantics this relates to the idea of ‘market penetration’. One could say the timely message 18 months ago now by Anderson and Dows was lost in the ‘noise and clutter’.

    Perhaps RealClimate is in a position to offer them a venue in which their research and analysis could be presented here as ‘guest authors’? Thereby contributing to this critical subject being even further disseminated thus adding to a more informed public debate.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 8 Feb 2014 @ 12:12 AM

  484. Jevon’s Paradox, Energy Efficiency, Price and Economics [Backgrounder Info]

    In 1865, a twenty-nine-year-old Englishman named William Stanley Jevons published a book, “The Coal Question,” in which he argued that the bonanza couldn’t last. Britain’s affluence, he wrote, depended on its endowment of coal, which the country was rapidly depleting. He added that such an outcome could not be delayed through increased “economy” in the use of coal-what we refer to today as “energy efficiency”.

    Jevon concluded, in italics, “It is wholly a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to a diminished consumption. The very contrary is the truth.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stanley_Jevons

    During the 1970s oil crisis, Brookes argued that devising ways to produce goods with less oil – an obvious response to higher prices – would merely accommodate the new prices, causing energy consumption to be higher than it would have been if no effort to increase efficiency had been made; only later did he discover that Jevons had anticipated him by more than a century!

    Brookes says: “Jevons is very simple. When we talk about increasing energy efficiency, what we’re really talking about is increasing the productivity of energy. And, if you increase the productivity of anything, you have the effect of reducing its implicit price, because you get more return for the same money-which means the demand goes up.”

    Nowadays, this effect is usually referred to as “rebound” – or, in cases where increased consumption more than cancels out any energy savings, as “backfire.”

    In a 1992 paper, Harry D. Saunders, an American researcher, provided a concise statement of the basic idea: “With fixed real energy price, energy efficiency gains will increase energy consumption above where it would be without these gains.”

    The above sounds quite similar to the Climate Science term “positive feedback” as it operates in quite similar ways within a complex non-linear system.

    I do not know if anyone has done any studies but I have been coming to the view that Economics is as complex, if not more so, than the Climate.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 8 Feb 2014 @ 3:42 AM

  485. Walter@479: “Ray, I do not believe you would. Why should it matter to me if you personally listen or not? You seem to think it should, though I cannot understand why.”

    Walter@422: “Ray, you are unwilling to listen.”

    Do you have a problem with short term memory in addition to all your other cognitive difficulties?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Feb 2014 @ 6:29 AM

  486. Walter #472,

    “If I may be presumptuous I do have an idea to suggest. Take some time out.”

    Well, I have basically achieved the posting objectives I set out to achieve. I have increased my understanding of the targets we need to meet in order to avoid the Apocalypse, and have in fact presented a ‘plan’ that will meet those targets with modest/reasonable chances of success. While the ‘plan’ is certainly not perfect, it provides a reasonable indication of where we need to go, and what is required. Unfortunately, ‘what is required’ is the polar opposite of what we are doing now and what we are projected to be doing in the critical few decades from now. It is even far more rigorous than ‘what is required’ by climate change experts for whom I have the greatest respect: Anderson, McKibben, and even, to some degree, Hansen.

    The ‘fixes’ proposed on this blog won’t begin to scratch the surface of what is needed. All these target-less strategies tend to do is substitute one technology for another, when the critical need for the transition period is demand reduction.

    So, at this point, I see little purpose in any further posting on this blog. I find I am in a repetitive mode, and that’s becoming a time burden. But, keep up the good work here. Your projections of the future indicate a strong tie to reality, and are not dependent on ‘hope’ or ‘miracles’.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 8 Feb 2014 @ 8:18 AM

  487. “…summer arctic ice will not disappear totally until ~2060? Yet that is what the IPCC says, and that is what has been handed to Policy Makers worldwide barely 4 months ago.”

    Er, no. What AR 5 says on this is:

    …Among the five selected models, four project a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in September (sea ice extent less than 1 × 106 km2 for at least 5 consecutive years) before 2050 for RCP8.5, the earliest and latest years of near disappearance of the sea ice pack being about 2040 and about 2060, respectively…. It is also likely that the Arctic Ocean will become nearly ice-free in September before the middle of the century for high GHG emissions such as those corresponding to RCP8.5 (medium confidence).

    This is just a highlighting of a much more extended discussion, page 995 (Chapter 11)–a discussion which includes Maslowski’s projection of a possible 2016 [+-3} date for an ice-free Arctic Ocean.

    True, that's the full WG1 report, not the SPM. The SPM says, in not-quite-identical words:

    ...a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in September before mid-century is likely for RCP8.5 (medium confidence)

    Do I (as one of the commenters "on this blog") "believe" this projection? Well, I certainly believe it is reasonable--in fact, it may be the best projection available (subject mainly to the delays inherent in producing and publishing such a massive report, which unavoidably mean that the newest work is always excluded.) So I suppose the short answer is 'yes,' I 'believe' it.

    But what does that actually mean, more specifically? In view of the fact that [a] it’s given as “medium confidence”, and [b] it’s contingent on an emissions trajectory close to RCP 8.5, that doesn’t mean that I think that it is necessarily exactly what WILL happen. Maybe Dr. Maslowski’s projection is more nearly right than the CMIP 5 models selected, which would bring the date forward. Maybe the rapid growth of renewables, and their seemingly relentless drop in price, will take us below RCP 8.5, which might take the date backward. And maybe we will actually see concerted, meaningful action on mitigation, despite the years of delay, denial and disappointment we’ve endured so far. Projections are not predictions…

    But please note: I’m not just passively ‘wishing for’ the last outcome, not just ‘hoping for the best.’ I’m devoting significant amounts of my time and energy to actively trying to make them happen. And the hope for success at some level helps fuel that activity. There’s a reason that humans have evolved a tendency to be hopeful creatures: hope does fuel action, and action (sometimes) brings success.

    In a word, despair is not adaptive.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 8 Feb 2014 @ 9:36 AM

  488. #485–”I… have in fact presented a ‘plan’ that will meet those targets with modest/reasonable chances of success.”

    Honestly, Diogenes, I missed it in all the back and forth, all the repetition, rhetoric and whatnot that has been clogging this thread of late. Before you go, can you restate it briefly–say, under 250 words? (Maybe point form, even?) Or provide a specific pointer to where you already did so?

    I would certainly be interested to read it.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 8 Feb 2014 @ 9:44 AM

  489. Thanks Dave, You are right about my having temporarily stopped following this post, but you do have a way to reach me at my own blog http://www.abeqas.com. In that blog you are free to comment of course, and you will see some additional posts I’ve made on pH data, including my ongoing features of pH measurements for each decade, and the actual locations of sample collection are mapped. There are many additional time series statistical processes I am working on with regard to the data sets, as time permits.
    But I think the simple data descriptions and the maps of their collection points are compelling. ALL of the data I’ve been featuring had been omitted without public disclosure or rationale, by virtually the entire world community of ocean acidification scientists.
    More statistical work than I can muster will be welcome, as well as many other lines of study. If only a few other ethical scientists can seize the opportunity.
    It’s somewhat a challenge for me to keep following the conversation here in a timely manner (and I don’t know what it means to have my comments ‘boreholed’) because there are very many independent conversations etc. If you don’t hear back from me on this blog, please feel free to visit my pH blog site. At least there, it is set to ping me when there is a comment.

    Comment by Michael Wallace — 8 Feb 2014 @ 10:56 AM

  490. Diogenes, do you have a blog? Is there another forum where you might want to continue to develop your ideas? Do let those of us interested in your ideas (and your passion) know, please.

    Comment by wili — 8 Feb 2014 @ 2:14 PM

  491. Re #403 wili

    California did a good job of distributing water. It worked ok until government lost self control and over-reacted with protection of species. We should ask the question whether the climate would take over the task of species removal, and then maybe adjust laws a little.

    Or are you thinking about the ‘drought’ which might well go away this week-end. Well no, it will take more than just this weekend.

    Water distribution on a continental basis is quite another thing, which could be a way to seriously do a lot of good things. I put that as an alternative to economy damaging options such as seriously penalizing fossil fuel usage.

    Comment by Jim Bullis — 8 Feb 2014 @ 2:20 PM

  492. Ray Ladbury says:
    8 Feb 2014 at 6:29 AM
    Walter@479: “Ray, I do not believe you would. Why should it matter to me if you personally listen or not? You seem to think it should, though I cannot understand why.”

    Walter@422: “Ray, you are unwilling to listen.”

    Rat: Do you have a problem with short term memory in addition to all your other cognitive difficulties?

    Walter: No Ray. I hadn’t forgotten I said that @422, then or now. I am functioning fine, thank you for asking.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 8 Feb 2014 @ 2:30 PM

  493. 483 Walter

    On the basis of your quote of Jevons, it sounds like he failed mathematics.

    If one thinks according to the definition of the partial derivative, he speaks of the effect of a change of one variable, all others remaining constant. That is how logical thinking avoids confusion of ideas.

    Comment by Jim Bullis — 8 Feb 2014 @ 2:32 PM

  494. #485 DIOGENES good luck with it. Please remember to credit Michael Mann in the future for his inspiring article that motivated you to speak up and go another step forward to achieve what you have done. Use the good information suggested & linked to by your critics as much from those who agreed with you is another suggestion. Valid factual evidence doesn’t take sides, doesn’t react emotionally, and doesn’t criticize anyone. Real facts are only stepping stones to the truth. The truth is always more confronting than a lie.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 8 Feb 2014 @ 2:54 PM

  495. 485 DIOGENES

    Keeping a dialogue going about a plan is a good thing, though nobody seems interested in seriously discussing possibilities other than the simplistic and obvious action of choking off the cheap energy supplies of the developed world, and complaining about China for seizing on cheap energy as it becomes part of the developed world.

    My actions in response to the CO2 problem have been to ‘invent’ high efficiency cars, trucks, power generation systems, tractors, and new agriculture systems. ‘Invent’ means working out design details and proceeding with patent applications and prosecution. Some of this work has been over-shadowed by electric car nonsense from the very authorities that should be guiding such things.

    That which seems to be a scientific community says a collective ho-hum to a fake definition of MPGE by the EPA that denies the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Thus leaving serious misguidance in place about how to significantly reduce CO2.

    Inventing a way to expand plankton to an extent that could accomplish a lot for CO2 capture as well as stimulate the function of the oceans as a source of higher level food, did not involve me, but it certainly seems like a much better thing to harangue about than the Keystone pipeline. Killing Keystone might seem like something that would be a great victory, but it comes with a serious impact on the economy; quite the opposite from a beneficial action such as a plankton project could be.

    Why not also promote National or better still, a continental, water system directed to enabling universal irrigation, while also providing the means to alleviate both floods and drought effects could lead to a greatly increased amount of growing vegetation, including establishment of standing forests where under-use land achieves little?

    Are we up to 483 comments of chatter?

    Comment by Jim Bullis — 8 Feb 2014 @ 3:02 PM

  496. #468 SecularAnimist, thanks for the REN21 links. I am slowly trudging through that information. Mainly interested in the Futures scenarios http://www.ren21.net/Portals/0/documents/activities/gfr/REN21_GFR_2013.pdf

    The hardest aspect for me is working through the different ways that data is ‘framed’ as per my prior comment about ‘comparing apples with apples’. On the plus side is that REN21 appears to draw on some high level experts in the field and organisational research compiling of data. Good to see the German Govt supporting such an activity with funding.

    A couple of initial thoughts:

    “The annual REN21 Renewables Global Status Report provides evidence of this rapid development. In 2011, over $260 billion was invested in new renewable energy capacity, more than for fossil fuel and nuclear power combined. This is up from just $40 billion in 2004.”

    I don’t doubt the figures here but considering the larger context of ~$550 Billion being spent each and every year on Fossil Fuel Subsidies alone by governments globally I think this places the $260 Billion into it’s proper perspective. Better than nothing, but a drop in the bucket is still only a drop.

    Whilst 2011 investment for FF/Nuc might have been below $260 Billion it doesn’t show the value of the operating “capital investment” in multi-Trillions of ‘capacity’, nor the new investments over the previous decade in expansion of FF mining activities that keeps feeding the existing ‘capacity’.

    In nuclear the 2011 figures don’t show the decade long research and development of China’s GenIV pebble bed reactor tech is about to be a decade long investment program of building ~50 of them and another ~250 other Nuclear power plants of various configurations from 350MW to circa 3+GW.

    The report also said: “Cost comparisons between renewables, fossil fuels, and nuclear, and the role of future policy for all technologies are of course key elements of the context for future energy choices. However, choices also depend on how cost comparisons are made, and on changing paradigms for energy systems and services, mobility, and buildings.”

    Very true!

    Also: ” “High renewables” outlooks project 50–95% energy shares by 2050. Such shares were cited by many experts, and are projected in several scenarios, typically those of public advocacy organizations, but also in recent scenarios of the International Energy Agency (IEA), which has traditionally published more conservative projections.”

    I find that too hard to believe right now, especially the ref to the EIA unless it is an old report by them. Maybe it is similar to the RCP 2.6 forecasts by the IPCC. A theoretical possibility if, if, if and if X happens by some miracle shift away from the BAU reality. Need to see exactly what they mean by “energy shares” too.

    Other issues that has come up before are bio-mass vs bio-fuels and how they are treated. EIA plugs bio-fuels straight into their “Oil” component, they don’t treat that as a ‘renewable’ (from what I saw). But bio-mass used for electricity generation they do. Very hard to get a handle on this and understand what various organisations are presenting and any biases or framing influences may be there. Very complex. Better to not jump to conclusions to quickly. The devil (if there is one) is usually hidden in the details.

    I’ll keep looking through the REN21 reports and see what they say. Looks like there is some some very good data there and rational ‘possibilities’ for the future on first view. Thanks again. Got any more credible future projection reports?

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 8 Feb 2014 @ 4:13 PM

  497. #468 SecularAnimist, an update

    GFR Page 31 Theory:
    “Automakers also offer many future visions. Almost all of the
    top-25 global automakers are developing plug-in hybrids and/or
    electric vehicles, and many appeared set to bring them to market
    in 2013–2014, following early leaders such as Mitsubishi, Nissan,
    BYD, Kia, and GM, which already introduced commercial products in
    2009–2012. Mitsubishi envisions that 15–20% of its annual vehicle
    sales by 2020 will be electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles (following
    the commercial introduction of its iMiEV electric car in 2009).59

    Reality?
    “Mitsubishi sold 588 units of the all-electric model last year (2012) and appeared to get a little momentum earlier this year, moving 594 i EVs through February. That may have been helped by lease deals for as low as $69 a month, and sales plummeted to 31 units in March and 127 vehicles in April.
    http://green.autoblog.com/2013/05/13/mitsubishi-brings-back-10-000-rebate-on-i-miev-electric-vehicle/

    Cumulative sales since November 2009 reached 8,496 i-MiEVs through September 2013.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug-in_electric_vehicles_in_Japan

    Electric/hybrid to be 15-20% of Mitsubishi sales by 2020? I do not think that is realistic.

    This isn’t important in itself, it is only a minor item. What is important is that it is suggestive of a lack of credibility in the report as a whole. Up this point there has been no genuine facts presented. Unless one considers reporting the ‘theoretical’ scenarios produced by others is reporting ‘facts’ which I have concerns of being valid or realistic already. There are (or should be) limits to being upbeat about future possibilities.

    So far this GFR is reading more like a glossy PR brochure prepared by a corporate marketing department or a speech by a Chairman/CEO to their annual shareholders meeting. Having been involved in this kind of work myself I am speaking from personal experience of how these things are done. Clients and shareholders never get to hear the whole story.

    I already accept that the IEA and US EIA can equally be over optimistic and naturally biased too. I do not find fault in SecularAnimist for suggesting the GFR info. He/she is not responsible for the content. I am merely suggesting there is a need to apply a lot of discrimination to what is being said here. It is not adding up as ‘factual’ to me. Yet.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 8 Feb 2014 @ 5:40 PM

  498. #486 Kevin McKinney, thanks for the comments and feedback.

    I did say: “…summer arctic ice will not disappear totally until ~2060?”

    ~ being circa, about. I also used the words “disappear totally”

    May I refer you to this IPCC AR5 RCP image/graph
    http://econnexus.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2013-09-27_AR5-SPM-SeaIce.png

    Kevin, you also said: “The SPM says, in not-quite-identical words:
    …a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in September before mid-century is likely for RCP8.5 (medium confidence)”

    That uses the words “nearly ice-free”. This may seem pedantic you some, but to me it is important to compare apples with apples. Yes?

    You did say however at the beginning: “Er, no. What AR 5 says on this is:”

    I have no argument with what the AR5 actually says. I have read the full AR5 report not only the SPM. No, I do not claim I understand it as fully as a climate scientist or academic might.

    But when you say “Er,no” about what I said, I simply need to say that you are wrong on that point. And the IPCC AR5 in fact supports my “more simple” representation of what they have provided.

    I still believe what I said is a true and accurate representation of the AR5 on arctic sea ice forecasts. It might be a good exercise to compare the very same diagram as provided in the AR4 Report. That put it at ~2100.

    I believe, taking all the materials I have looked at thus far, that summer arctic ice will disappear totally ~2025 +/-5 years.

    If I am more correct than the IPCC AR5 this means that all their RCP8.5 scenarios and the SREX go out the window overnight. Any and all positive feedback estimates (not included in any RCP scenario) also start to play out in very unexpected ways.

    I could be wrong. And that’s OK. I’ll be in good company if I am. Time will tell. The potential variations involved and the unknowns makes this purely crystal ball stuff anyway.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 8 Feb 2014 @ 6:25 PM

  499. #492 Jim Bullis,

    I am not responsible for Jevon’s words or thinking. The quote and ref and the idea of the little known effects by the general public about ‘energy efficiency’ feedbacks/rebound is what was important for me to share here.

    I could have said a lot more but am already under pressure to not post information or say what it means to me. I left it to anyone interested in the Jevons paradox to research it for themselves and maybe see where it continually shows up in modern day economics and energy use research, commentaries, and published academic papers today. I trust people are capable to look after themselves and make their own judgments.

    That aside, I heard what you said. Thanks. Not sure how many here already know the context and how that may or may not fit their own opinions about ‘energy efficiency’ potentials for lowering GHG emissions going forward within our current global economic paradigm. It’s very complex.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 8 Feb 2014 @ 6:37 PM

  500. Jim B at 290 blames “over-reacted with protection of species” for California’s woes. {Sigh.}

    Which prompts the questions: Do you also then blame climatologists for the calamities brought about by GW?
    And: Do you think we are going a bit to slowly in driving the 6th Mass Extinction Event since the evolution of complex life?

    Comment by wili — 8 Feb 2014 @ 6:53 PM

  501. For more perspective now and over time into the future. I think these figures are close enough accurate to be fit for purpose.

    First some basic info on USA operating Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)
    - The nine Solar Electric Generating Station plants in California’s Mojave Desert. The combined capacity is more than 350-megawatts.
    - Abengoa Solar a 280-megawatt plant. The thermal energy storage system provides up to 6 hours of generating capacity after sunset.
    - Sierra SunTower 5-MW, Saguaro Power Plant 1-MW, Kimberlina 5-megawatts
    - Nevada Solar One capacity of 64-megawatts
    - Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is the second largest solar facility in the world and the largest solar plant of any kind outside of California. First hybrid in the world to connect a solar facility to an existing combined-cycle power plant, providing 75-megawatts of solar thermal capacity in an innovative way that directly displaces fossil fuel usage.
    - Ivanpah 1 has a total capacity of 126 MW and Ivanpah 2 and 3 are both 133 MW each. Upon completion, Ivanpah will be the largest solar thermal power tower system in the world. Total Capacity to become 377.0 MW

    Total potential output of all CSP projects in the USA 2013 = 1,157 MW

    2012 Net Summer Generating Capacity All Sources = 4,047,765 MW (or 4,047 GW-Gigawatts)

    Therefore CSP Solar accounts for only – 0.02% – of the national total.

    U.S. power plants used renewable energy sources — water (hydroelectric), wood, wind, organic waste, geothermal, and sun — to generate about 12% of our electricity in 2012.

    Hydro 7% – Wind 3.3% – CSP/PV Solar 0.12% of Total Electric Generation

    Totals are: Renewable 12% – Nuclear 19% – Gas 30% – Coal 37%

    The largest share of the renewable-generated electricity came from hydroelectric power (56%), followed by: wind (28%), biomass wood (8%), biomass waste (4%), geothermal (3%), and solar (1%).

    Total US Capacity Now
    Coal Fired = 1,497,673 MW
    Gas Fired = 1,214,329 MW
    Solar = 40,477 MW

    With a 100% exponential increase (doubling) of Solar Capacity every 5 years to 2040 would equal 1,295,264 MW (~30% of total).

    Any idea how much that would cost if it was physically possible to manufacture and build at this rate? Which on the surface appears impossible.

    In 2020, natural gas-fired generation in AEO2014 is 7% higher than in AEO2013, and in 2040 it is 16% higher.

    Electricity generation from nuclear power plants grows by 5% in the AEO2014 Reference case, from 769 billion kWh in 2012 to 811 billion kWh in 2040, accounting for about 16% of total generation in 2040 (compared with 19% in 2012)

    The current Solar Power annual growth rate in the USA is what?
    20% 10% 5%?

    Reported renewable capacity already under construction has increased in recent years and is represented in AEO2014. Growth in renewable generation is supported by many state requirements, as well as regulations on CO2 emissions in California. The share of U.S. electricity generation coming from renewable fuels (including conventional hydropower) grows from 12% in 2012 to 16% in 2040 in the AEO2014 Reference case.

    In 25 years the TOTAL renewable share increases by only 4% !!!

    With growing electricity demand and the retirement of 103 gigawatts of existing capacity, 340 gigawatts of new generating capacity is added in the AEO2013 Reference case from 2012 to 2040.

    Natural gas-fired plants account for 63 percent of the capacity additions from 2012 to 2040 in the Reference case, compared with 31 percent for renewables, 3 percent for coal, and 3 percent for nuclear.

    Real growth in Solar Power is negligible now to 2040. Wind is significant, but Gas Fired is MASSIVE growth of another 214,000 Megawatts

    Remembering that today, the total CSP output was only 1,157 MW or 200 times less. That is a 20,000 percent less that the expected growth in Gas powered stations alone up to 2040.

    And this is only thinking about the USA. There be ZERO decrease in GHG emissions from the USA into the foreseeable future. None. BAU+ reigns supreme. Interesting times indeed.

    Walter

    Refs
    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/early_elecgen.cfm
    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/MT_electric.cfm
    http://www.nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/

    Comment by Walter — 8 Feb 2014 @ 9:18 PM

  502. 500 wili

    I have trouble with your logic and your suggested parallels.

    You must recognize that there are choices that have to be made, and sometimes priorities get a little out of balance.

    Comment by Jim Bullis — 8 Feb 2014 @ 9:46 PM

  503. Kevin McKinney wrote: “Honestly, Diogenes, I missed it in all the back and forth …”

    You didn’t miss anything.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 9 Feb 2014 @ 12:39 AM

  504. University of California Television (UCTV)
    Recorded on Oct 5 2013
    Climate Change Politics and the Economy: Rhetoric v. Reality

    Rapidly melting arctic ice, catastrophic hurricanes, devastating wildfires, and record-breaking drought—scientists agree that the climate is changing, that it’s human caused, and that it will undeniably be one of the most serious problems facing the world’s citizens for generations to come.

    They acknowledge that technologies to combat climate change do exist. How can we come together to address this challenge which has become a partisan political issue in the United States in a way it has not elsewhere in the world?

    Join UC Berkeley Professor Dan Kammen, an internationally recognized energy policy expert and Mr.Tom Steyer, business leader and investor, for a lively and timely conversation to understand where we are now, the solutions at hand, the barriers we face, and what must happen to “overcome the partisan divide” to speed the transition to a sustainable planet.

    Moderated by Richard “Dick” Beahrs – 1h30m
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uua_OEW2QY

    Comment by Walter — 9 Feb 2014 @ 3:26 AM

  505. 3 videos covering topics of Cognitive Thinking, Morality, Framing, Values, Politics, Irrationality, Climate Science, Climate Change Action.

    University of California Television (UCTV) Nov 2005
    Professor George Lakoff: Moral Politics
    Framing, Metaphorical Thought, Rationality, Morality Metaphors, Thought.

    UC Berkeley professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics George Lakoff explores how successful political debates are framed by using language targeted to people’s Values instead of their support for specific government programs.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f9R9MtkpqM

    New America Foundation 2008
    How to Make Friends and Manipulate Irrational Voters

    UC Berkeley professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics George Lakoff is a New York Times bestselling author of “The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st Century American Politics with an 18th Century Mind”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCXxc_M9EmE

    University of California Television (UCTV) May 3013
    The Scientific Case for Urgent Action to Limit Climate Change

    Distinguished Professor Emeritus Richard Somerville, a world-renowned climate scientist and author of “The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change,” discusses the scientific case for Urgent Action to limit climate change.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4Q271UaNPo

    Comment by Walter — 9 Feb 2014 @ 4:02 AM

  506. Biased towards ourselves and our own opinions and values

    The way we perceive ourselves and others can influence how we respond to contested issues, including climate change.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.269/pdf

    However, these perceptions are subject to cognitive biases or distortions as we attempt to make sense of the world around us.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

    Our mis-perceptions about what others think about climate change extend to mis-perceptions about what others do.
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n4/full/nclimate1743.html?WT.ec_id=NCLIMATE-201304

    Research shows these Biases extend far beyond our opinions, scientific knowledge, or climate change issues. Most of us tend to think we are always better than others.

    The “better than average effect” describes our predisposition to think of ourselves as exceptional, especially among our peers.
    http://psp.sagepub.com/content/38/2/209.short

    The effect reflects our tendency to think of ourselves as more virtuous and moral, more compassionate and understanding, and ironically even less Biased than other people too!

    In a famous example, when people were asked to assess their own driving ability relative to peers, more than three-quarters of people considered themselves to be safer than the average driver.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0001691881900056

    Every where we go, whatever we do, good science has been consistently telling us all, and for a very very long time, that we are not as ‘smart’ as we believe we are.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 9 Feb 2014 @ 4:23 AM

  507. More and more often now the topic of what to do about the clear and present danger of Climate Change catastrophe is being spoken about across the world today. Here’s another classic example of rational everyday people: “Seeing something and saying something about it.”

    “A growing group of activists, ecologists, authors and scientists are saying only a serious economic crash could save us from climate doom.”
    http://www.ecoshock.org/

    “Kevin Anderson is saying basically exactly the same thing I concluded 4 or 5 years ago. I happen to believe that we are about to hit economic collapse…. and THAT will do the trick. We don’t need economic growth, and it’s a total myth that such growth brings prosperity. All growth does is line the pockets of the 1%. Have a listen to this…:”

    CRASH ON DEMAND – Do we need to break the system to save the climate? Permaculture co-founder David Holmgren says “YES”, in this rare radio interview. http://www.ecoshock.net/downloads/ES_140205_Show.mp3

    Comment by Walter — 9 Feb 2014 @ 5:18 AM

  508. Thank you very much to RC for the cyber ‘space’. Tres Bon!

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 9 Feb 2014 @ 5:37 AM

  509. Walter asks “The current Solar Power annual growth rate in the USA is what? 20% 10% 5%?”

    None of the above. The year-on-year growth rates for solar PV for the last twelve years are as follow (most recent, 2012, first):

    75.6% 73.2% 55.9% 40.5% 40.7% 33.1% 30.3% 27.4% 36.6% 29.7% 26.5% 20.9%

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_the_United_States

    Perhaps you’re thinking about CSP, which is a much smaller slice of the solar pie.

    The article doesn’t give growth rates for actual generation, but if my manipulations of Excel can be trusted, generation (including distributed) growth rates were:

    2001: 2.24%
    2002: 4.26%
    2003: 8.40%
    2004: 9.80%
    2005: 12.25%
    2006: 14.59%
    2007: 30.95%
    2008: 28.52%
    2009: 32.34%
    2010: 54.18%
    2011: 65.46%
    2012: 71.38%

    “There’s something happening here…”

    In any case, I wouldn’t be guided by the EIA projections on renewables. They have been wrong in just about every forecast they’ve done, since I started paying attention at least. And oddly enough, it’s always an undershoot…

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 9 Feb 2014 @ 6:23 AM

  510. Walter, #501, etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy

    Wind share in total energy is at about 0,51-1,00% at present. Solar PV is at about 0,07-0,08 at present. Those two sectors together are at about 0,58-1,08% at present. The current projected doubling time is about 7 years. If that doubling pace continued, it would take about 50 years to reach 100% share, given that total global energy use would slightly decrease.

    Wind probably couldn’t grow at 100% annual rate, wind sector might even run out of useable economic resources. Solar PV could well grow at 100% annual rate after it has reached grid-parity in most of the world, but that would require continuous improvement similar to Moore’s Law (over comparable time period).

    I don’t believe in the bright future of nuclear. The existing designs do not have insurance. And neither do the new designs. And Fukushima and Chernobyl and Hanford (we should try to keep that sad list as short of possible) keeps on highlighting the costs.

    Comment by concerned citizen — 9 Feb 2014 @ 8:10 AM

  511. Kevin McKinney #488,

    “Before you go, can you restate it [THE PLAN] briefly–say, under 250 words? (Maybe point form, even?) Or provide a specific pointer to where you already did so?”

    No credible plan can be presented without requirements and targets. #291 addresses the targets required. #371 addresses the remainder of the plan, as does the last paragraph of #453. I will summarize briefly, to have it all in one place.

    PLAN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AMELIORATION

    The objective is to maximize chances of staying near, and preferably below, Hansen’s suggested interim temperature increase maximum of ~1.2 C. The approach/strategy/plan consists of two major components: species survival and lifestyle maintenance. Species survival addresses the critical short-term barriers that must be overcome to insure survival into the long-term, and addresses long-term as well. Lifestyle maintenance allows a low-carbon energy-assisted lifestyle, and focuses mainly on the long-term.

    Species survival has two main sub-components: sharp demand reduction and high carbon capture. It does not include geo-engineering at this point, since no effective geo-engineering has been proposed/demonstrated that would be safe on a global scale nor ready for deployment in the short-term time scales required. Sharp demand reduction provides the earliest benefits in the critical near-term, and is the cornerstone of the strategy/plan. It divides present fossil energy use into two subjective categories: optional and essential. The first step is to eliminate the optional uses, and the second step is to eliminate the wasteful elements of the essential category. Optional uses would include most vacation-related expenditures and others not absolutely essential to daily living. Wasteful element reductions of essential uses would include radical reductions of thermostat settings in Winter and increases in Summer, smaller vehicles with greater occupancy per vehicle, etc. Hundreds of each type of reduction or elimination can be easily identified.

    High carbon capture would include the massive reforestation suggested by Hansen and others that have been proposed (biochar, artificial trees, etc). Ideally, it would be conducted in a low carbon emissions mode.

    Lifestyle maintenance includes rapid implementation of existing renewables, nuclear, and other low carbon technologies, as well as implementation of existing enhanced energy efficiency technologies. R&D would continue on renewables, nuclear, and other low carbon technologies, and they would be implemented rapidly once efficient and reliable operation has been demonstrated. All of these technologies would need to be implemented using the most low carbon approaches; to do otherwise would defeat the purpose.

    One final word. If your doctor says that high-dose chemo is the only way to save your life, then ‘take two asspirin and call me in the morning’ won’t do. In our case, the patient is extremely ill. What I have presented above is the high-dose chemo, and we have most of it available today. Like any chemo treatment, there are no guarantees; there is only maximization of chances of survival. All other proposals I have seen presented are ‘take two asspirin and call me in the morning’. They won’t do the job.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 9 Feb 2014 @ 10:08 AM

  512. Wili #490,

    “Diogenes, do you have a blog? Is there another forum where you might want to continue to develop your ideas? Do let those of us interested in your ideas (and your passion) know, please.”

    I do not have a blog. I’m not sure what more I could do in another forum. I have laid out a plan that maximizes (not insures) chances of survival of our species, and summarized the full plan in a recent response to Kevin McKinney. Until there is buy-in of the major components, there seems to be little merit into adding more details. Getting buy-in of the majority of seven billion fellow citizens, or at least the vast majority of their leaders, requires people skilled in these processes. That’s not what I do; my focus is identifying requirements and targets, and an approach to meeting or exceeding these. I believe I have done that, and am now moving on.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 9 Feb 2014 @ 10:23 AM

  513. Diogenes wrote: “Species survival has two main sub-components: sharp demand reduction and high carbon capture … Sharp demand reduction provides the earliest benefits in the critical near-term, and is the cornerstone of the strategy/plan … Lifestyle maintenance includes rapid implementation of existing renewables, nuclear, and other low carbon technologies, as well as implementation of existing enhanced energy efficiency technologies.”

    Fallacy of false dichotomy.

    “Rapid implementation of existing renewables” and “enhanced energy efficiency technologies” ARE “demand reduction”, since they reduce the demand for fossil fuels, and thereby reduce emissions.

    There is, in fact, no actual dichotomy between rapid deployment of renewable energy and efficiency technologies on the one hand, and rapid reduction of demand for fossil fuels on the other. In fact, rapid deployment of renewable energy and efficiency technologies is a proven, powerful means of reducing demand for fossil fuels.

    The problem is that you fail to distinguish between demand for goods and services, demand for energy to provide those goods and services, and demand for fossil fuels as one of many sources of energy. These are three distinct things.

    Reducing demand for fossil fuels does NOT require reducing demand for energy, thanks to the availability of abundant renewable energy.

    And reducing demand for energy does NOT require reducing demand for goods and services, thanks to the availability of improved efficiency.

    Ronald Reagan once said “conservation means we’ll be hot in the summer and cold in the winter”, which neatly expresses the “radical reductions of thermostat settings in Winter and increases in Summer” approach to reducing demand for fossil fuels. Reagan was mistaken then, and that notion is just as mistaken now.

    With solutions as simple as weather-stripping and attic insulation, or as high-tech as rooftop solar panels, smart thermostats and high-efficiency electric heat pumps, the fossil fuel demands of most existing buildings in the USA can be quickly and drastically reduced without requiring anyone to shiver through winter and sweat through summer. And new buildings can be designed and built from the start for “net zero energy” consumption, generating as much or more power than they consume over the course of a year.
    Diogenes wrote: “No credible plan can be presented without requirements and targets.”

    No credible plan lacks specific, detailed, quantitative measures to achieve its stated targets, and no credible plan fails to identify who will implement those measures, and how.

    Vague notions like “eliminating vacation-related expenditures” are not specific, or quantitative, nor do they identify WHO will be responsible for “eliminating” those expenditures, or how this will be done.

    Will this be left up to the discretion of the general public on a voluntary basis? Will governments enact and enforce laws defining and prohibiting “non-essential” uses of fossil fuels? Will ALL the governments in the world do this? Including governments which are now actively promoting and expanding the extraction and/or use of coal, gas and oil? How much would such prohibitions reduce fossil fuel use, and how quickly? Where is the “plan” that spells this out?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 9 Feb 2014 @ 4:07 PM

  514. When people talk of “lifestyle maintenance” and reducing emissions by eliminating “optional” energy use by cutting “vacation-related expenditures” and adjusting thermostats, I think it needs to be pointed out that any “credible plan” for reducing GLOBAL greenhouse gas emissions must also address this aspect of the problem:

    Roughly 300 million Indians living in 80 million households — about a quarter of the country’s population of 1.2 billion — do not have access to electricity. According to the World Bank, per capita electricity consumption in India, centered mainly in cities and towns, is 684 kilowatt hours — just 1/20th of the United States’ per-capita consumption of 13,246 kilowatt hours.

    What “deprivation and hardship” will such “plans” demand of millions of people in India and elsewhere who currently consume 1/20th of the per capita energy use of Americans?

    And what about the hundreds of millions of people across the world who currently have no access to electricity at all, and who will never — who MUST never — get electricity from centralized fossil-fueled power plants?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 9 Feb 2014 @ 4:27 PM

  515. #510 concerned citizen, the wind solar info sounds credible, but don;t rely on wiki alone, take another step and go to the original sources, and find more up-to-date data.

    CC says: “I don’t believe in the bright future of nuclear. The existing designs do not have insurance. And neither do the new designs.”

    GenIV HTPB reactors can not meltdown, can not blow up. Repeat: Can not! This is scientifically proven technology already, built upon 40+ years of research and development. China is building ~50+ in the coming ~15 years. First full scale ~350MW plant comes online this year and is built by the sea, just like Fukushima was.

    GenIV HTPB are also much cheaper to build versus the ‘existing’ larger type being built in Iran and the replacement versions coming in the USA etc. China has designed them for mass-production units, no different than the Model-T Ford system and a box of Lego. Deliverable anywhere in the world within ~5 years from now. Assembled and operating within a year of breaking the ground for the foundations. That’s what China has been doing. No theory. Not hypothetical, but reality. Now.

    GenIV HTPB are proven safe to use over their entire life including decommissioning and waste. Other GenIV nuclear are nearly as safe, but have added benefits of destroying plutonium waste from nuclear weapons and old power plants. I am not making this up. The Scientific evidence and operational testing over a decade now says it is so. Not me.

    However, how bright the future of nuclear outside of China will be, depends solely on reason and logic being able to break through the emotional fear barriers erected in the social consciousness. On that score I don;t see much ‘hope’. If it was so easy, then the world would have been taking effective action on climate change ~25 years ago, and there wouldn’t be a problem today. Unfortunately, us humans are dumber than yeast. We are our own worse enemy.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 9 Feb 2014 @ 5:27 PM

  516. #509 Kevin McKinney says he found on ‘line’ to focus upon and claim it was wrong. The problem being it was but a question, and not a statement.

    about this “Perhaps you’re thinking about CSP”. It should be clear from the text where I was using CSP data, and when I extrapolated figures showing CSP & PV Solar. I used both.

    Kevin what about the rest of the ‘facts’ contained in my informational comment about energy use?

    I do not accept your figures from Wiki are necessarily comparable to mine, nor accurate. I have no faith in your excel, I much prefer known sources which are valid credible authoritative scientific rigor/papers data to start with. I am not going to argue about the figures either. I made my point, I said what I wanted to say.

    This next comment to me shows the level of your own entrenched bias and prejudgments, and resistance to having an open mind and actually looking at what other people have to say and what the facts reflect. So easy it is for people to simply dismiss things out of hand as being (as al gore said) Inconvenient. It is exactly what the skeptics and denier s do online very single day.

    Look here: “I wouldn’t be guided by the EIA projections on renewables. They have been wrong in just about every forecast they’ve done, since I started paying attention at least. And oddly enough, it’s always an undershoot…”

    A truly aware person would be able to say the same thing about the IPCC and the majority of IPCC scientists since the 1980s. DO you now reject their data evidence and advice too?

    One can look at the EIA data, one can see where it may be in error and make adjustments in their own judgments and thinking. Long term, the error bars reduce of effects/changes based on science physics maths etc, just like IPCC projections where short term variables are never credible, but long term the science is far more valid.

    Your personal challenge (and many others) is being able to apply your credible rational willing acceptance of the known variables of climate science and see that it equally applies as a standard to use on energy projections and economics as a whole. It would help not making a mountain out of a molehill.

    By all means take the time to prove the actual point i was making in my energy use in the USA was wrong. It is in fact correct to >95% confidence. The minor variables in the ‘data’ do not matter. The US as a nation is driving itself and the globe over a cliff of no return. That’s the point. The myth that renewables are going to save you without first a massive paradigm shift in your values, politics, economy and financial system is the Big Lie here.

    Another science paper I presented here recently showed that 0.56C of the 0.78C avg temp increase since 1910 (?) can be laid at the doorstep of the USA and it’s people alone. Instead of actually reducing GHGs right now across the board already and making deep cuts in future FF use the US is in fact doing the complete opposite right now. That is insane.

    Extracting Tar Sands is insane. Helping to ship it overseas is equally insane. You do not need a science degree nor be a psychiatrist to know this.

    My comments on this thread here are not the problem. I can only recommend that readers spend less time complaining, and more time viewing some of the source material (science papers, authors, websites, video lectures) I have presented. Do yourself a favor. I am doing quite OK.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 9 Feb 2014 @ 5:53 PM

  517. #513 SecularAnimist, I finished this http://www.ren21.net/Portals/0/documents/activities/gfr/REN21_GFR_2013.pdf

    I am glad I read it, but it was quite tedious. The part I liked most was Eric Martinot’s ePilOGUe: pages 63/64.

    He also has ‘theoretical what IF ideas’ too in his plan. He says similar things to Diogenes in his plan. But it is only a ‘plan’. It isn’t real. It is a ‘motherhood statement’, a desire and hope that what he says can be enacted and become real. But it does NOT contain hard and fast actions nor genuine targets, nor time frame yardsticks to judge the implementations of his theoretical plan either.

    The report is mainly about expert people’s opinions and hopes for the future. Martinot agrees with some but disagrees with many as being still ‘pie in the sky’ if nothing real happens on a political and economic level.

    I recommend you read that part, and maybe pretend it is Diogenes talking – would you be as critical of Martinot’s words and framing and lack of DETAIL ACTION STEPS as you are of Diogenes’ here? Just a thought. There are thousands of Diogenes out there and there are thousands upon thousands of
    SecularAnimists out in the world too. Frankly you are both actually on the same side.

    It seems clear that Diogenes refers repeatedly to Fossil Fuel use (GHGs) when he says “Sharp demand reduction”.

    Demand reduction in all cases means that end users (govt, business, citizens) reduce their own USE of, ie demand upon the FF energy – system – sources that exist.

    If you have a listen to Tom Steyer he basically says the same thing as Diogenes has been saying. Tom also gets very clear about this important aspect:
    First step is to be very clear about what the Goal is, what the purpose is when a group of people get together on a topic requiring change. be absolutely sure everyone agrees with what the Mission Statement, the TASK actually is. Do not make assumptions everyone else believes the same as you. Watch the video I provided here. Similar to Anderson last spring, it’s another ‘Rhetoric to Reality’ lecture people need to face up to, and soon.

    Diogenes has been nailing this rhetoric to the cross for weeks now. Will you believe Tom Steyer of NextGenClimate at least? How about Professor Emeritus Richard Somerville? Or Professor Dan Kammen? Can you stop criticizing and splitting hairs long enough to listen to what David Holmgren has to say? Or Bill McGibbon?

    All of these people are basically saying the exact same things that Diogenes has been presenting in his own way, with his own focus and purpose. SecularAnimist I have worked as an executive for a multinational OIl Company as well a several other US based huge multinational corporations. In Senior Management, Personnel & Training, and Marketing. I totally understand what Tom Steyer says and what he means and the context in which he places it. He’s a business man. He has his way of saying things. Scientists say things differently. very few people can cross that language, cognitive thinking and attitude divide. There is a huge gulf between the two. Listen to him.

    Listen to Holgrem when he speaks about the Financial system and how totally embedded it is now in every aspect of our daily life now or what we call “normal”. Nobody can create a workable plan for anything now if it does not first have the financiers on board and on side. Right now that is impossible because the machine is actively working against genuine rational action for mitigation of GHGs across the world.

    Despite some success, like 1GW of CSP power in the USA after ~20 years of development and billions of $ spent and huge subsidies provided, the more ‘rational’ regulation and laws and goals in California, Europe and in China. The fact is renewable energy will not make it self available as if by magic while fracking for shale gas is going off the scale, and while emotional fears blocks people and governments from supporting proven safe Nuclear options that could be rolled out decades faster than wind farms, solar mirrors, while at the same time new coal & gas fired power plants are being built simultaneously.

    Until the everyday voter clearly comprehends that by 2040-50 on BAU which includes all the good stuff being done to date and planned you me the world are heading for a major disaster of catastrophic proportions. Just the effects of resource, water, food, ala regional ‘climate wars’ is enough to bring such a catastrophic world wide calamity to a head faster than any can yet ‘project’. These can be many times worse than WW2 ever was. Think Iraq, Syria and Libya over have the world at the same time, the USA included.

    No time left for Pollyanna theories and fantasy forecasts all will be ok. Dreams that we have the technology to replace FF already, IF as reality shows already it is not being acted upon nationally and globally right now. No time left for arguing about arguing, nor for splitting hairs about words or theoretical plans and minor examples of how a plan might work.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 9 Feb 2014 @ 6:36 PM

  518. #509 Kevin McKinney on the EIA

    “I wouldn’t be guided by the EIA projections on renewables.”

    Kevin to sure this request doesn’t get lost: If you have better hard facts, better data, more credible sources, then please provide them.

    I am realistic, no one’s perfect. Also different organisational bodies use different measures and time-frames. It’s complex. Just like Climate science data and published papers and IPCC data are complex. The devil is in the details. So are the dragons and the angels. First one has to SEE it to believe it.

    Hit me with your known credible sources on energy use in the USA, past present and future. I will look at that material. And anything else you have to hand. I will save it for later use too.

    There is the IEA, the WEF, the IMF, the WB, and various national statistics held, the EU bodies, the IPCC, the UNFCCC … The US EIA is but ONE of my sources. I like to keep it simple here though, and also use the most up-to-date. The EIA draft release came out in late Dec 2013. Got any better, then please show me. I don’t cherry-pick. But I will judge credibility and reliability. If I include such data then I also (usually) include a reader disclaimer to beware.

    It will help me finish my compilation article (based on science, facts & experts) on global energy use to 2040 and why “We’re Really F**ked!” travelling down the present BAU fantasy road. Maybe my children will read it.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 9 Feb 2014 @ 6:51 PM

  519. from Alterslash today:

    … he wasn’t paranoid: documents released after a lawsuit from Midwestern towns against Syngenta, the manufacturer of atrazine, showed a coordinated smear campaign. Syngenta’s public relations team had a list of ways to defend its product, topped by ‘discredit Hayes.’ Its internal list of methods: ‘have his work audited by 3rd party,’ ‘ask journals to retract,’ ‘set trap to entice him to sue,’ ‘investigate funding,’ ‘investigate wife,’ etc. A recent New Yorker article chronicles this war against Hayes, but also his decision to go on the offensive and strike back. He took on the role of activist against atrazine, giving over 50 public talks on the subject each year, and even taunting Syngenta with profanity-laced emails, often delivered in a rapping ‘gangsta’ style. The story brings up important questions for science and its public persona: How do scientists fight a PR war against corporations with unlimited pockets? How far should they go?”

    More links in the original. And just for yucks, the mandatory Slashdot response follows. Irony isn’t quite dead, though obviously, as we all know, Slashdot Beta doesn’t understand that ….

    Oh, come on.
    By Daniel Dvorkin • 2014-Feb-9 17:48 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
    This is just the free market fighting back against heavy-handed soc ialist regulation. We should all cheer a scrappy little company like Syngenta for their struggle for liberty against Hayes, who like all government “scientists” is just a shill for the multibillion-dollar environmental lobby.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Feb 2014 @ 7:57 PM

  520. and, coincidentally, apropos that, David Brin: Sunday, February 09, 2014
    Fight Back Tuesday Against One-Way Surveillance!

    It’s important that we all participate on Tuesday, when the Powers of state and oligarchy will measure the strength of our determination!….

    Still, occasionally something practical comes along to help individuals assert a little power over their own lives… here’s an Android App that warns when you’re being watched.
    Just remember that each pragmatic measure of concealment will be temporary! ….
    … your best hope will not be to hide… but to detect and know who is staring at you.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Feb 2014 @ 8:05 PM

  521. Walter wrote: “No time left for Pollyanna theories and fantasy forecasts all will be ok.”

    There is no time left for pretending that ANYBODY commenting on this thread has EVER offered a “forecast” that “all will be ok”.

    Diogenes spent hundreds of words, over dozens of comments, beating that “Pollyanna” strawman to death. It’s long past time to give it up.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 9 Feb 2014 @ 11:05 PM

  522. Ruth R. Wisse, Professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard said: “My point is broader (than anti-Semitism): Stoking class envy is a step in a familiar dangerous and highly incendiary process. Any ideology or movement, right or left, that is organized negatively – against rather than for – enjoys an inherent advantage in politics, mobilizing unappeasable energies that never have to default on their announced goal of cleansing the body politic of its alleged poisons.” The Dark Side of the War on the One Percent, Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2014. http://goo.gl/2mUJec

    The idea of class envy, warfare, income inequality, or social injustice, or whatever you want to call it, is related to maturity and self-responsibility. Where the principles of justice, fairness, balance, and equality reach their zenith as a socio-political issue, symbolized by the scales of justice and representative accountability.

    It may be most pronounced now in a combination of factors that have been simmering under the surface. The never-ending duality of capital v labor. The haves and the have nots. The let them eat cake hubris versus the mass rallies for equal pay and equal rights in the 1960s.

    Suffice it to say that this time in particular is giving rise to these issues just mentioned: social justice, fairness, and equality. The problem is when these issues are used to “divide” people and lead society into class warfare and envy, for as Ruth Wisse states, “…Any ideology or movement, right or left, that is organized negatively – against rather than for – enjoys an inherent advantage in politics…”

    Today this manifests in accusations of the IPCC climate scientists are part of a global cabal seeking to create a world government run by welfare loving liberals. On the flip side comes counter claims of the conspiracy theorists having lost touch with reality and being paid shills for fat fossil fuel Barons determined to destroy the Earth and all upon it. These are the rallying cries. This is divisive, it is dangerous, and bound to end badly.

    Thus we experience yet another manifestation of this powerful human struggle for self actualization, personal freedom, security, and a semblance of independence and control over one’s own destiny. Rich or poor is irrelevant here. Always the way of the world it highlights these same social principles under duress.

    There is no argument that the past 30 years have witnessed an almost obscene widening of the income gap between the top 1% and lower 50%. That difference has widened even more during the past five years. Why is that, and what can be done to reverse that trend? Is it the role of the government to intervene and correct it?

    And if so, is the means to do this best achieved by encouraging the populace negatively against the top 1%? Is the means to do this best achieved by encouraging the vocal minority negatively against the role of rational Government involvement in society?

    The positive issue in this debate – and understanding – might be with principals inclusive of the human urge for freedom and independence. But to have the awareness of being free and independent, it is first of all necessary to have the opportunity to move upward in one’s community, if that is the choice one wishes to make.

    Ultimately, as President Obama himself explains, it is really *income opportunity* that is necessary to stress, not income inequality backed by provocations that arouse divisions and lead to a class warfare. Look to Syria today to see what a class war looks like when push really comes to shove.

    As always, there is a higher expression possible with keeping these higher principles front of mind. Sure, arguably no matter what this is challenging. Note the unrest in Thailand, Ukraine, South Sudan, and elsewhere today. Of the reactions in European nations over recent years. Even street riots in the UK. The Occupy movement. There has been a pattern of escalating conflict and tension and even explosions (as in “class warfare”).

    They can also peak in the expression of harmonious integration too. Of practical win-win resolutions and agreement. Iran is in negotiations. The Taliban are sitting down with the Afghan government again. Marriage equality laws are changing and medical marijuana legalized. Resolutions are rare. But they do happen.

    In the first case, the result is polarizing and divisive. Sides are drawn and intensive battles (for power, in this present case) commence. In the latter case, the result is unifying and liberating. There is a leap of mass consciousness because “we overcame this together,” with the inclusion (not exclusion) of many diverse people and ideas involved. The people and ideas were not branded as hostile to society just because they were not “the norm.”

    Today, politics in America have the image of being divided between the Democrats (or liberals) and Republicans (or conservatives). Both parties have so far successfully diminished the fact that more Americans now belong to neither party. They belong to a group called “Independents.” Isn’t that what has been happening over the last decade little by little?

    The majority of voters in the United States now consider themselves genuine “Independents.” The unexpected is indeed alive and well. And as long as this positive expression is winning, there is hope for America, for it means the “norm” is changing. As long as this trend continues towards independence of political affiliation, there is hope for a positive “unity in diversity” and away from “power via separation and division”, the negative expressions of society.

    The conventional political party system may not like this trend that is happening under the radar and on their watch, but I think it bodes well for the period to come. This represents the pain of birth, not death. It is more akin to the Sun rising at dawn, rather than setting at dusk.

    No birth is painless. There may be some screaming and a moment of crisis. Yet it does typically denote a joyful new beginning. One worthy of being nurtured as it takes it’s first wobbly steps. The world is pregnant with possibility. How will it go from here is up to everyone.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 10 Feb 2014 @ 5:13 AM

  523. My, my, seems I struck a nerve with you, Walter. So many words, so few really worth a response. However, you said:

    Extracting Tar Sands is insane. Helping to ship it overseas is equally insane. You do not need a science degree nor be a psychiatrist to know this.

    Bottom line: I was on a street corner for last Monday’s Keystone XL vigil, and I expect to be back again many times on like occasions. Where were you?

    You said:

    Got any better, then please show me… It will help me finish my compilation article…

    I don’t have enough time for my own research, so I’m not going to do yours for you. But I will point out that if you consult EIA table 16 as it has appeared over the years in their annual energy outlook, you will find the following:

    AEO reference case projections for solar PV generation:

    2006 outlook: .27 GW
    2009 outlook: .23 GW
    2012 outlook: 1.90 GW
    2013 outlook: 3.29 GW

    So, off by an order of magnitude over 7 years, and off by nearly a factor of 2 over just 1 year. See what I mean?

    The EIA are ‘conventional energy’ folks–not cheerleaders for it, I don’t think, but thoroughly imbued with the energy paradigm as it had been for decades. Given that, it’s perhaps not surprising that they are slow to recognize a paradigm shift in process. (My take on it, anyway.)

    I see that as a systemic bias, and I don’t see any comparable error in the IPCC reports–pace those obsessed with “Himalayagate.” (A much more random error, embarrassing as it must have been for WG 2.)

    As to the WIki source, you’re quite right; it isn’t comparable to the EIA, and wasn’t offered as such. It’s based on NREL data as well, which is thought to capture distributed solar generation better than the EIA figures (probably the gold standard for industrial generation.) IOW, it wasn’t intended to be ‘comparable’ or to contradict, but to *complement,* thereby providing a better picture overall. If you are a ‘Wiki snob’, fine–just look up the underlying source. It’s given in the notes.

    And there’s no need for trust in my Excel numbers when verification is so simple. All I did was calculate YOY growth rates from the tabulated data. If Excel is too complicated, doing it by hand would still probably only take you 10 minutes at the very most. ;-)

    And hey, maybe you could include it in your article, since you are looking for data.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Feb 2014 @ 9:49 AM

  524. Feh. Somehow “2013″ got omitted from the label “AEO reference case projections.”

    So, in reading my comment above, realize that the AEO projections given were all for 2013–so in 2006, the EIA thought we’d see .27 GW of solar PV in 2013; in 2009 (with the economy in free fall) they lowered that to .23 GW, and so on until 2013, when their projection for the year in progress reached 3.29 GW.

    Oh, and I shouldn’t have stopped looking when I got to the 2013 AEO; the early release of the 2014 outlook (cited by Walter) gives solar PV as 5.08 GW! Presumably that was actual capacity, which brings in 2013 actuals 60% above the 2013 (beginning of the year) forecast. That’s the best result I found in my (rather cursory) examination of EIA projections on solar PV.

    And actually, since the revised outlook for 2013 came out in April of 2013, and the early release of the 2014 outlook came out in December of 2013, that ‘best result’ would seem to be effective over a period of just seven months!

    To be fair to the good people at EIA, that is just their reference case; they do consider alternate scenarios, some of which (I’m pretty sure, OTOMH) come a bit closer. But we started this sub-thread with quotes of the reference cases, and my suggestion that they are not historically a very good guide to the future growth trajectory of renewable energy. (Certainly not solar, specifically.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Feb 2014 @ 10:23 AM

  525. #515 Walter

    /GenIV HTPB reactors can not meltdown, can not blow up. Repeat: Can not! This is scientifically proven technology already, built upon 40+ years of research and development. China is building ~50+ in the coming ~15 years. First full scale ~350MW plant comes online this year and is built by the sea, just like Fukushima was./

    If it is safe enough, it is also insurable. None of the current nuclear designs are fully insured. Insurance is a necessary, but not sufficient requirement. May I note that those newer nuclear designs also have to withstand the nuclear meltdown of a nearby older reactor. There is nothing else to argue about at this point before the new designs have insurance.

    #517

    ren21.net report has referenced and aggregated many reports. Many of those reports project above 50% renewable by 2050. Greenpeace projection is around 80% and WWF wishful projection is around 95%. Of course, year 2050 is not 2040. An important ingredient to reach above 50% renewable is to curb overall energy demand.

    Comment by concerned citizen — 10 Feb 2014 @ 5:30 PM

  526. #521 SecularAnimist, I wasn’t specifically referring to anyone’s comments on this thread, nor this thread as a whole. What I said wasn’t a criticism of anybody.

    That last sentence of mine “No time left for Pollyanna theories and fantasy forecasts all will be ok.” was a global statement about the imminent danger of looming irreversible climate change catastrophe where BAU means relying upon dubious data and analysis of exactly what the facts are for Energy Use now and how accurate are these ‘assumptions’ being made in the forecasts.

    All will not be OK if inaccurate, out of date, and conservative forecasts of the IPCC AR5 and those by Greenpeace & GEA (from your GRF ref) and everyone else are taken as ‘possible, ‘probable’ or ‘real’ or ‘valid’ future scenarios.

    Decisions made today will have a climate effect going forward for the life of ‘investments’ ~50 years and for the climate system hundreds of years hence. This is no longer something anyone can afford to get wrong now. Close enough isn’t good enough anymore, given the consistent advice of the climate scientists across the board today. Is it clear what I meant by what I said now?

    Walter
    ————————————————————————-

    Background about ‘forecasting’ and business planning: (optional extra)

    In business for example it is critical to produce future budgets using the art of business marketing analysis (the’s real marketing not advertising). The standard is a 5 year plan for the future. Such plans are done yearly on a rolling basis. Predicting the future is very difficult even one only makes widgets, which is why it is an ‘art’. It is requires a particular mindset to be able to look into the future and make credible assumptions upon which to make such a 5 year plan. It also requires an unusual high degree of the people doing it removing false biases, recognizing shifting assumptions, and the self-discipline to focus on hard data then extrapolate out into the future.

    Business that gets this wrong will suffer the consequences, get it really wrong and it’s likely to go out of business. Furthermore, business is really bad at doing this. Because it is a hard problem to get right as so many future changes are missed anyway.

    China runs standard longer 15 year plans which are boiled down to 5 year plans, and she has been doing that since the 1940s. Governments, City Planners and Business are the three most common entities that do this process. Climate scientists only started doing this in trying to predict future climate trends and responses in the 1990s ala GCMs and RCPs.

    Only since then has the energy entities and global economic bodies needed to start plugging in new complex variables and assumptions such as wind, solar, biomass, wave, and the multitude of variables as simple as uptake of low energy use light bulbs. This is new, iow mostly unknown inputs, where data did not exist and still doesn’t not exist accurately in all nations, nor is it combined accurately. More than this far too many influences exist such as new Government decisions about these new technologies that then change when the Government changes next time keep being made. Therefore such ‘forecasts’ are intrinsically flawed as they are based on far too many ‘guesswork personal judgments’ for future assumptions. As such they are far more unreliable.

    People like to hear what they want to hear. In this cacophony of the latest new ‘report’ of future trends most people (pro and con CC issues) pick the eyes out it and remember what they want from it, but never really understand the basis of these forecasts and how flaky they truly are. Nothing stops them (journalists and politicians included) from then repeating by rote XYZ said this, and that begins to be expressed in public AS IF it is a realistic probability that supports their particular point of view and opinions on the broader subject.

    If such a person promoting a idea based on these ‘forecasts’ has pre-existing credibility then thousands will hear it, tweet it, add it to their facebook, a hundred other journalists will write a story about it, and before too long the whole world starts to begin to believe it as fact. X is going to happen. Pro-cc will say see this is going to save us from CC. The anti-cc will say it’s useless and not enough for peak energy needs. Same ‘data’ future prediction, two alternative interpretations and that becomes the argument everyone engages in. This is a waste of time arguing about. That’s what happens here, and everywhere else online too and it extends into Congress and the White House and the UN as well.

    My argument, or rather my simple point is that the basis of these ‘good news stories’ and energy reports is fundamentally flawed to begin with. The separate projections are invalid and in accurate or simply now out of date.

    Such things really need a very healthy dose of common sense and reason applied to them. That’s hard to do if one has no experience or understanding about how long term ‘forecasts and 5 years plans’ are developed or how to judge the reliability of what they see presented.

    There needs to be a body of reliable core data being kept and proper best practice applied to that data. Unfortunately no one has a unlimited budget to do this, then nations and different bodies have their own inbuilt Bias and ‘political’ messaging they wish to promote to everyone else.

    Among all the existing forecasts for energy use today, one needs to look into the source data and make a judgement how credible that is first, then try and work out how they made their future assumptions, and finally then do some detailed analysis across all Reports.

    Only then can one make a reasonable ‘judgment’ about where the middle of the bell curve sits. What is a sanguine unbiased representation about the most likely future scenario of energy use … all things considered?

    That this is not yet happening and not being done by any credible global ‘oversight’ body [like the IPCC system] with the resources to do it properly is a serious problem which blocks fact based decision making at all levels, including Voters.

    Geopolitics, national politics, the paid spin masters, and the self-interest funding of private research (Greenpeace or Koch it’s the same problem) keeps getting in the way and muddying the waters as what the reality actually is.

    [further research refs on request]

    Comment by Walter — 10 Feb 2014 @ 6:16 PM

  527. #523 Kevin McKinney.

    “My, my, seems I struck a nerve with you” No. Simply saying what I wanted to say.

    Bottom line on Tar sands. I wasn’t speaking to ‘you’ personally. Stating your agreement with my point would have been more constructive. I was at an anti- Coal Seam Gas mining rally. Does this matter and is it relevant? I don’t think it is.

    “I don’t have enough time for my own research, so I’m not going to do yours for you.” I wasn’t asking you to do any research at all. I asked if you have knowledge of other data sources than I had already listed, then please point me to it. I do not consider sharing a URL link as too onerous nor is it research.

    “See what I mean?” No. I have no idea to what ‘info’ I am supposed to have stated which your figures are referring to there. I am short of time also.

    “I see that as a systemic bias, and I don’t see any comparable error in the IPCC reports”. OK, I will provide you with a little research you don’t wish to do yourself and look at Kevin. The following are only two examples of many. I will keep it as short as I can.

    Start looking here:

    Please view all the way to 17:15 mins. Stop there, and perhaps save the video to your favorites for when you have 90 minutes to watch the whole thing. Produced in December 2013 barely 2 months ago now.

    Next please look here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/sea-level-rise-what-the-experts-expect/

    I assume you already read that article as you made a comment yourself here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/sea-level-rise-what-the-experts-expect/comment-page-2/#comment-431361

    IPCC AR5 Projections: http://www.realclimate.org/images//IPCC_AR5_13.27.png
    Experts Survey projections: http://www.realclimate.org/images//Horton_SLR_Survey.png

    Quoting Stefan of RC: “Complex problems often cannot simply be answered with computer models. Experts form their views on a topic from the totality of their expertise – which includes knowledge of observational findings and model results, as well as their understanding of the methodological strengths and weaknesses of the various studies. Such expertise results from years of study of a topic, through ones own research, through following the scientific literature and through the ongoing critical discussion process with colleagues at conferences.”

    Feel free to draw your own conclusions what this means for you Kevin. I will do the same. When I see something I say something. As per Michael Mann’s article. Maybe he only meant it applies to climate scientists and PhDs. I don’t know. Looks to me that Diogenes took what he said at face value and ran with it.

    I am not a ‘Wiki snob’. I often reference it myself. I agree with you and also suggest to others they “just look up the underlying source” and dig deeper. The usefulness of Wiki depends specifically on the page and the quality of the editors who produce it. As a rule of thumb the greatest weakness with ‘data sets’ on Wiki is how up-to-date they are. In this case the underlying sources are not as useful when there are others that supercede those. They will not be listed on the wiki page.

    one example is ‘your wiki source’ says: “A report finds that solar power’s contribution could grow to 10% of the nation’s power needs by 2025.”

    Excellent? That is based on a June 2008 report. Yes it is critical that people “just look up the underlying source” before accepting the image being portrayed on Wiki, as well as the EIA and all the rest too.

    If you had a moment to check on SecularAnimists reference (whihc I responded to in 3 comments) about ‘energy use and rewnewables’ you will find that there is actually no data references given at all. Well none worth looking at at. It’s a ‘report’ totally based ‘expert opinion’ and motherhood statements. Not credible factual data that arrives at valid conclusions.

    I said before “There is the IEA, the WEF, the IMF, the WB, and various national statistics held, the EU bodies, the IPCC, the UNFCCC … The US EIA is but ONE of my sources.”

    Did you take a moment to check the summer arctic ice extent diagram provided by the IPCC AR4 and compare that to their AR5 one I gave the url too?

    Kevin, I don’t have enough time for my own research, so I’m not going to do yours for you. I do not need convincing. If you seek to argue about the details maybe you could swing a few general public skeptics on Curry’s blog who have been egregiously misled?

    Quick anecdote: I never went to see Gore’s Inconvenient Truth movie in 2007. I didn’t need any convincing then either. The AR4 report which I read in full (like the AR5 WG1 last year) was merely icing on the cake of what I already knew was true and valid. Shifting sands in the data, the scenarios and confidence levels are mere unimportant details that keep changing.

    Energy Use data ‘reports’ keep changing too but underneath those headlines is a truer more accurate ‘reality’ that doesn’t change much at all. And hasn’t. This important fact is being hidden underneath all the ‘noise’ going on.

    It’s time to stop arguing about details and believing that name of the game is debating the ‘science’ with naysayers and get down to tin tacks and call it it as it really is. BAU, including all the current activities and growth renewables at present levels, is a disaster not waiting to happen but one that is happening right here and right now.

    Time is critical or the fat lady Gaia is going to be singing a very different tune very soon. She’s only warming up her voice box at present.

    Thanks for your reply Kevin,

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 10 Feb 2014 @ 7:44 PM

  528. Kevin says: “and my suggestion that they are not historically a very good guide to the future growth trajectory of renewable energy. (Certainly not solar, specifically.)”

    Kevin, I totally agree. Still the EIA and all the others do produce future growth trajectories to 2040 and 2050.

    My open ended hypothetical question was therefore in the white space of my comments which is this:

    Where does one find a historically accurate, credible very good guide to the future growth trajectory of renewable energy to 2040?

    Got any references? Apparently not.

    So, in the mean time …. what exactly would you suggest that Business, Governments, Ecologists, Climate scientists and climate economists and climate activists, and the IPCC system and we ‘Voters’ rely upon to inform themselves better?

    What is more critical now than knowing what our current trajectory for GHG emissions actually is under BAU?

    What else can someone like Diogenes say except just like Hansen and Anderson et al that seriously deep and immediate cuts to fossil fuel demand is critical across all advanced economies right now?

    Yet we are actually doing the complete opposite of this. Such reductions on demand should be spoken about as ‘radical’ like Anderson says but RATIONAL and self-evident.

    There is in fact absolutely no valid evidence which shows that renewables will have any discernible effect of avoiding a climate catastrophe.

    It is Michael Mann who is using words like clear and present danger and catastrophe. There is a hair’s breath of difference to the word apocalypse. I showed in a prior comment using the dictionary countered the short sighted sophistry argument (emotional spin) that Diogenes’ word choices were ludicrous. They were not. Anyway he has as much right as Mann to select what words he wishes to use to make his point.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 10 Feb 2014 @ 8:03 PM

  529. Sorry I missed ‘not’.

    “Such reductions on demand should NOT be spoken about as ‘radical’ like Anderson says but as ‘rational’ and self-evident.”

    Comment by Walter — 10 Feb 2014 @ 8:06 PM

  530. Sorry Kevin, I was in a rush and forgot to add in this item completely.

    Start looking here: http://youtu.be/3Uua_OEW2QY?t=12m22s

    Please view all the way to 17:15 mins. Stop there, and perhaps save the video to your favorites for when you have (a spare) 90 minutes to watch the whole thing. Produced in December 2013 barely 2 months ago now.

    It was provided in a previous ref comment I gave.

    Climate Change Politics and the Economy: Rhetoric v. Reality
    University of California Television (UCTV)

    UC Berkeley Professor Dan Kammen, an internationally recognized energy policy expert and Mr.Tom Steyer, business leader and investor, for a lively and timely conversation to understand where we are now, the solutions at hand, the barriers we face, and what must happen to “overcome the partisan divide” to speed the transition to a sustainable planet.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uua_OEW2QY

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 10 Feb 2014 @ 8:18 PM

  531. #523 Kevin McKinney, a quick fyi.

    By 1985 I was using an IBM35 mainframe located interstate via direct cable to do a small part my business management work. This was being in charge of six X $1+ million profit centers geographically dispersed. Included more than just spreadsheets but full P&L’s, budgeting, and accounting/payroll systems.

    Excel and calculators are not an issue for me. This is not about having tickets on myself either. Please, it is best not to make default assumptions on the lower end of the scale. It directly influences your attitude and then how you speak to others and how you read what they are actually saying.

    I was shifted to a lower turnover, less staff, group of profit centers in 1986. Applying first principles within weeks a did a new ‘marketing business plan’. Some in the existing management team didn’t like me, others saw it as a breath of fresh air. The first group either adapted or they were soon gone. What I wasn’t told by my boss was that 3 of those centers were already up for sale, as they had not made a profit in ~15 years and the Board had given up. Before 9 months was up the board reversed their decision. It was clear by then they were in fact profitable and would continue to be so into the future even more. I know from multiple experiences like this that ‘assumptions’ can and do change. What matters is where the rubber meets the road, and what actually happens not wrong behaviors and not unrealistic ambitious projections either.

    Next I was in charge of a state wide roll out of a new cutting edge national computerized POS system connected back to the mainframe via onsite 286 PCs ($5K each then) and fax speed modems though the old style telephone system then. I had to manage a program for training of non-computer literate staff and the site management as well co-ordinate how the executive teams were to use all this massive realize of data and apply it to improving our profitability and daily controls.

    In 1988 I was running another business with 26 profit centers which entailed a 24/7 operation, 900 staff, on today’s value equivalent to a turnover of ~$100 million per year. Years of planning and forecasting had gone into this before I arrived. This project exceeded sales budgets by 350%, and our net profit was 600% above expectations. All the planning was for nought, we invented the wheel every day for the first 3 months until we could actually get it right and meet the required standards.

    The ancient city of Nanjing was the most important of China’s past capitals. Only a small population there vs other places China’s Government decided to modernize this city, still underway now, whilst protecting the ancient parts. I saw a recent report about the main ‘city architect’ company hired to create all the plans from scratch and get them approved. This company could not keep up the pace of the speed that China’s construction companies could work. 30 story buildings would erected and fitted landscaping included in a week! No kidding. The boss on a field visit presented the Plans he had of which really only the roadways defined in a quarter of the city area. he came a back a couple weeks later and they had all been constructed and ready for traffic. The poor architect boss still hadn’t finished the rest of his plans for the area, and builders were waiting to fill in the gaps of parks, open space and city tower blocks among the roads already finished.

    This is incomprehensible and for most people impossible to believe such action can be done. Compare this kind of speed with the various comments being made by Dan Kammen and Tom Steyer in that video ref about ‘future change needed’ and the time frames they talk about and more importantly the barriers to achieving those possibilities and goals decades from now. The real difference here is about the existing MINDSETS between what’s possible in China and what is possible in the USA. It is an incomprehensible gap between the two. While China is acting, the USA is still barley talking about what is needed.

    When I hear Tom Steyer talking I can tell how credible he is simply by what he says and how he says it. I understand his ‘language’ and recognize it because I speak the same language and understand the fundamentals of it. I don’t need to read a “paper” by him, nor analyse his Resume, nor crunch his ‘numbers’ up which he bases his conclusions, nor have someone else tell me this guy really knows his bacon and ‘gets it’.

    I suggest you listen to him, and more just like him. Don’t need to believe me, and I do not ask you to. There’s no reason to. I am not Al Gore nor James Hansen. I do not care either. I simply say what it is I think is worth saying, and where possible give some reasons why with the odd ref for anyone interested to dig deeper.

    Each has to work this out for themselves at the end of the day. And then act accordingly. I won’t tell others what they should think, nor what they should do.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 10 Feb 2014 @ 9:28 PM

  532. Saw this in an email I received, so I’m saying something:

    Buy shares of GFOX now while you can still get
    them at around $1.00 and you could…

    Fellow Energy Investor:

    Newsflash: Thanks to fracking, big-oil is now prowling previously under-developed areas of America searching for ripe-for-picking shale oil leases.

    Practically overnight, parts of Nevada have become the red-hot squabbling grounds where land-hungry, profit-conscious, big-oil companies are practically in hand-to-hand combat over the purchase of the most promising oil and gas leases.

    While big-oil and opportunistic energy investors have been preoccupied with the vast oil reserves of the Bakken and the Monterey shales, the smaller, but still-significant and I think, potentially more-profitable resources of Nevada are now capturing the attention of major oil companies.

    I believe that the under-developed areas of Nevada are in the early stages of another Bakken-type of land rush.

    And if you followed what happened to some of those early Bakken energy stocks, you already know that getting in early was the key to profits of…etc.

    Comment by Dwight Mac Kerron — 11 Feb 2014 @ 8:06 AM

  533. #527-531–Geez, Walter, how you multiply words. And, no offense, I could care less about your accomplishments in management–much less five paragraphs of summary thereof.

    “Where does one find a historically accurate, credible very good guide to the future growth trajectory of renewable energy to 2040?

    Got any references?”

    No, I don’t. That is because, as far as I can tell, this is terra incognita for just about everybody, and also because disinformation, prejudice and habitual thinking are rife, creating a great deal of ‘noise’ in the subject space. I’ve been looking quite hard, actually, which is why I knew that the EIA reference case numbers have been such drastic underestimates. But I haven’t found sources that are comprehensive and that I trust entirely (which is not to say that some of them aren’t right–perhaps I should be trusting some!)

    I wrote about the frustrations I experienced–and presented some of the information I did find–here:

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/Renewable-Energy-Whats-Going-On

    And, less focally, here (final section, following discussions of Arctic sea ice, wild weather, AR5, and COP 19):

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/Climate-Stories-To-Watch-In-2013

    The one thing that I do observe is that the growth rates for renewables are phenomenal, and have been accelerating. Obviously, there are limits to this; we all know that exponential growth can’t continue indefinitely. Unfortunately, I’ve not seen anything really definitive on what those limits might turn out to be. And that’s pretty crucial to know, because current rates are still too low to really make a dent in the emissions problem: off the top of my head, 4 decades or more to reach just one or two stabilization wedges, of the eight to twelve needed. So renewables need to be built something like four times faster than today.

    That may be possible. China is pushing hard on renewables targets, as is India. In fact, renewables seem really to be taking off in the developing world generally.

    I don’t know if you are aware of IRENA. They are a UN agency dedicated to–well, here’s what they say:

    IRENA seeks to make an impact in the world of renewable energy by maintaining a clear and independent position, providing a range of reliable and well-understood services that complement those already offered by the renewable energy community and gather existing, but scattered, activities around a central hub.

    They do a lot of analysis, which I have barely begun to examine. But a recent report, REmap2030, presents a ‘roadmap’ (including country-by-country bottom-up analysis) to a doubling of renewable energy’s share of generation and an emissions scenario potentially stabilizing below 450 ppm. (See their figure 10. No, I don’t quite see how that jibes with my BOTE estimate above, either.) But if we are looking for data, then their contributions are worth considering.

    http://irena.org/remap/REmap%20Summary%20of%20findings_final_links.pdf

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Feb 2014 @ 8:27 AM

  534. Oh, please.
    Passing on hot stock tips you found in your email?
    Those don’t belong here.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Feb 2014 @ 8:36 AM

  535. Concerned Citizen, I made a couple of mistakes, the new China HTR-PM is only 250 MWe and wont be online for another 4 years. Insurers are highly skilled people. They will work through it. One would think that the 1960/70s models like fukushima’s would be uninsurable everywhere by now.

    China is also building new GenIII LW models too. I see geniv as a potential long term option (if it all goes well) to fill gaps where rewewables can’t. Your point about demand reduction especially short term still applies.

    re “Many of those reports project (50% to 80% to 95%) renewable by 2050″ Yes that’s right, some ‘predictions’ are very high. I think of it as there are reports and then there are reports with substantial real data and analysis behind them. Good to remain mindful of the old saying about statistics too, no matter whose report and use discrimination. Everyone is time poor though. I too have my own limitations, biases and point of view about broader issues to deal with like everyone else. At some point we all get to a point where we just have to trust others and make our best judgement on the day.

    Comment by Walter — 11 Feb 2014 @ 8:38 AM

  536. Correction: IRENA is not a UN agency; it’s a free-standing international agency created in 2009 by its own cooperative Statute; I believe over 160 nations are members, with more in the accession process.

    http://www.irena.org/menu/index.aspx?mnu=Subcat&PriMenuID=13&CatID=30&SubcatID=67

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Feb 2014 @ 8:42 AM

  537. > Walter
    > I saw a recent report about the main ‘city architect’ company

    Got a reference? A week is barely enough time for concrete to set; did buildings built that fast end up structurally sound?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Feb 2014 @ 8:55 AM

  538. Dwight Mac Kerron@532,
    Are you going to tell us about your friend the Nigerian prince as well?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Feb 2014 @ 10:08 AM

  539. “Where does one find a historically accurate, credible very good guide to the future growth trajectory of renewable energy to 2040?’

    The standard go to for international energy projections is the International Energy Agency. While they have made some pretty bone-headed projections wrt oil prices and production in the past (as have many others in various directions), their more recent work has seemed a bit better. But I would still take anything they say with many grains of salt. Anyway, here’s their most recent report: http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/mtrenew2013sum.pdf

    Here’s the first paragraph of the executive summary:

    “The role of renewable sources in theglobalpower mix continues to increase. On a percentage basis,renewables continue to be the fastest-growing power source.

    As global renewable electricity generation expands in absolute terms, it is expected to surpass that from natural gas and double that from nuclear power by 2016, becoming the second most important global electricity source, after coal.

    Globally, renewable generation is estimated to rise to 25% of gross power generation in 2018, up from 20% in
    2011 and 19% in 2006.

    Driven by fast-growing generation from wind and solar photovoltaics (PV), the share of non-hydro renewable power is seen doubling,to 8% of gross generation in 2018, up from 4% in2011 and 2% in 2006.

    In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), non-hydro renewable power rises to 11% of OECD gross generation in 2018, up from 7% in 2012 and 3% in 2006.”

    Not quite out to 2040, but a quarter of all power generation by 2018 is pretty eye opening. Think what that would mean if we crashed energy use by 75% over the same period! About half of that could probably be through increased efficiency and decreased waste. The rest would involve curtailment–yes, some sacrifice. But if people can be asked to cut back on their water use in the face of drought, why not ask people to cut back on energy use in the face of GW calamities? Of course, a slight increase in the rate of renewables growth would bring the time of eliminating the need for fossil-death-fuels even closer.

    But the big problem is that, even if these resources were available, the ff industry isn’t going to just quietly go away. As McKibben pointed out recently, the major ff companies have been making more than any other company in the history of money. And money buys influence. They seem to be pretty much dictating what the current US administration says and does recently.

    We will know governments and global institutions are serious about avoiding catastrophic global warming when the UN (or other such organization) sponsors an invasion of a country to stop them from drilling oil or mining coal. Till then, all added renewables will just be part of “all of the above,” and we will continue to pump more planet-killing CO2 into the already overburdened atmosphere.

    Comment by wili — 11 Feb 2014 @ 11:44 AM

  540. To #534 Hank, The “hot stock tips” from me had nothing to do with any of us investing, but were only to demonstrate the EXPANSION of ff exploration as we speak.
    Dwight

    Comment by Dwight Mac Kerron — 11 Feb 2014 @ 1:32 PM

  541. Walter wrote: “Where does one find a historically accurate, credible very good guide to the future growth trajectory of renewable energy to 2040?”

    Well, if you want a “historically accurate” trajectory, it will probably be published in the first quarter of 2041.

    Whereas the future growth of renewable energy over the next 25 years or so is entirely dependent on the choices that we make, so the various projections have to make assumptions about what those choices will be, and those assumptions may prove to be correct, or not.

    The ongoing extremely rapid growth of renewable energy is precisely what the fossil fuel interests are doing everything possible to prevent, obstruct, undermine and delay, since they fully understand that it makes their entire business model obsolete.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 11 Feb 2014 @ 1:55 PM

  542. #540 SecularAnimist that’s really clever and humorous.

    I will be more clear about this.

    “historically accurate” means that any future forecast report is first based upon historically accurate reality for both Fossil fuels and renewable use, in a particular nation or globally. Does that make more rational sense now?

    “Whereas the future growth of renewable energy over the next 25 years or so is entirely dependent on the choices that we make”

    You are moving the goal posts, and that is a logical fallacy. I am talking about ‘reports’ for future projections. When scientists, businesses, governments and economists and others make future projections they extrapolate the current reality into the future based on various ‘assumptions’. Those assumptions are based on various sources, existing known plans, reasonable expectations, and the report authors/committees best judgement.

    Now SecularAnimist this is the exact same thing that the IPCC/scientists (including Gavin Schimdt – ask him) does in their GCMs and in their RCPs. I know you know this already. This is exactly what the IEA and the EIA and all the others do too. Please explain to me why you are complaining about me asking Kevin to suggest WHOSE PROJECTIONS are we supposed to accept? For at this point he and now you are basically saying no body is good enough, and/or it is impossible. After it happens, then we will know.

    Using this exactly same cognitive thinking you are now applying to my queries about finding credible projections for future energy use you should automatically cut all IPCC and climate science funding because it is impossible to know. So we may as well sit back and wait and see what to do about global warming if/when it happens? But this is not your position. So why totally reverse your ‘thinking’ on the topic of future energy use forecasts now? This isn’t a sound reasoning at all. It’s emotional bias at work I think.

    The basis of your argument here is unsustainable and basically recalcitrant in nature. It contains so many ‘logical fallacies’ and errors I don’t rate it as an argument. I am not interested in debating such things. But it was a clever quip and I smiled.

    Regarding this: “The ongoing extremely rapid growth of renewable energy is precisely what the fossil fuel interests are doing everything possible to prevent, obstruct, undermine and delay, since they fully understand that it makes their entire business model obsolete.”

    I have no disagreement with that view, the accumulated evidence appears so. The point is it is totally irrelevant to my interest which is this: “Where does one find an accurate historically (based) and credible very good guide to the future growth trajectory of renewable energy to 2040?”

    I have found several but there are model nuances and variations and comparative differences that makes them difficult for the average person to understand where we are actually at. Some are in the AR5 report. The EIA report is more up-to-date but comparing the tow is very difficult. Same goes for all the rest. Analysis and digging deeper into the source data ‘assumptions’ etc is needed. That’s what I am doing for my own self-interest.

    If anyone knows of another credible source (not like the Greenpeace one ok) please let me know. I will look at it. Thanks

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 11 Feb 2014 @ 9:54 PM

  543. Business Budgeting:101 a Metaphor for Future Renewable Energy Use Projections

    Business first notes their past records for sales and costs and profits.
    This is BAU or Business as Usual. They wish to know the best ‘realistic’ ‘expectation’ of a forecast budget over the next 5 years.

    On top of the ‘historical results’ they can add in ‘new business’ by opening another shop, and then they extrapolate a ‘reasonable expectation’ what that shop sales will be based solely on their historical past BAU scenario. Average shop sales is X. Each new shop can be reasonably expected to add another X in gross sales. But overhead costs remain the same therefore each new shop may add an extra X + 5% to the bottom line profit of the whole business enterprise. This is called increased profitability/productivity through ‘economies of scale’.

    Initial research suggest the firm ‘may’ be able to secure additional capital investment and Loans to build another 2 stores per year for the next 5 years. So they plug into the future budget 2 x X each year.

    They also consider any need for extra office staff, warehousing costs, and management capacity needed to operate those extra 10 stores. But each new store is expected to operate at current best practice in sales and profit results. “all things being equal” is the rational thing to do.

    Sound management practices of ‘testing’ have shown that introducing a new computer POS system will increase sales and productivity by 5%. They plug that in.

    Marketing analysis shows a TV advertising plan will bring in a 10% sales growth on average. They plug that in.

    Planned menu pricing of 3% every year they plug that in for all existing stores, then as each new store is most likely >80% confidence to be opened.

    Best advice by economists and suppliers suggests labor, raw materials, and electricity ‘may’ increase costs by an average 7.5%. They plug all that in.

    Any manager worth his salt will not make an assumption that sales will grow 20% or he can cut costs by 10% just because it sounds nice. He must have supporting evidence that such shifts are possible and sustainable over the long term using reason and logic and some degree of evidence.

    Sounds great and over confidence is no basis to input financial numbers into a BAU future projected Budget. It is irrational.

    Then they run the Budget Projection P&L spreadsheet five years out. And it spits out the Result of BAU + reasonable assumptions.

    The Business Owner/ Board then says the Profit (ROI) is not high enough. They need it to increase by 10% on this current Forecast. The Budget is not reality, but it is based upon reality, ie BAU + good rational assumptions.

    The outcome is not good enough.

    Now the Management team has a GAP to close. Between their Budget Forecasts and the desired Goal 5 years hence. There exists here a “credibility gap”.

    Renewable energy use into the future is calculated in the exactly same way. The better quality the past historical data, and the assumptions into the future that include existing known plans and ambitions will spit out an end result.

    If that end result shows a GAP between future BAU and the GOAL eg 2 degrees C, or under 400 ppm CO2, then there is a major problem to be faced now, not after that result comes in above expectations in 2040.

    The ‘credibility gap’ needs to be closed. Either lower the Goal, or increase the unfolding future better than BAU.

    As Diogenes repeatedly pointed out here, as yet there is not even an agreement exactly what the CARBON BUDGET is, nor what it looks like into the future under BAU + Renewable take up + additional FF use, to any degree of credibility or consensus.

    Yes the IPCC does present possible scenarios in their RCPs, but at present these again appear way too conservative based on the additional science available post their 2010 figures those RCPs are based upon.

    It is also unclear to me if the energy use plugged into all the RCP scenarios were based on credible historical data, or more on ‘best estimate’ judgments by the IPCC system.

    In the video with Tom Seyer he specifically mentions the importance of having a very clear Mission Statement or Goal. One that everyone involved in a project not only agrees with but actually understands in detail what it means and how it will be achieved. When people believe different things about the Goal, then co-operation and success will not be had.

    This is where it appears the world is at now, especially among the climate science community, and not just the policy makers. There is some agreement in braod terms but not in specific terms. There is no agreement in the science community or business economists exactly what the BAU of energy use is now, nor from now to 2040.

    All of these represent quite serious ‘credibility gaps’. These need to be closed as fast as possible. Heads need to get together and at least first come to an agreement of exactly what is BAU now and going forward.

    Guesses and ambitious unrealistic goals are a huge part of this problem. Science of itself cannot answr all these quetstion sue to unknowns. Business can’t answer all these questions either as far too much is unknown into the future. Governmetn can’t do it either. The IPCC can’t do it either. It requires a very sincere co-operative approach by all.

    A defined credible expectation of what the ‘real world’ will be like regaridng Energy Use in 2040, and then understadning what that most likely will mean regarding “climate impacts’ should be defniend asap. ONly then can more credible responses be made about what needs to be done to close the Gap between BAU into the future. From that more hard and fast Goals should be set, and once they are made clear and defined only then can business, economists, finance, governemtns take rational steps to try to achieve them.

    Much like climate science itself. Without credible hard evidence nothing can be known and therefore no rational choices in actions can ever be taken accordingly. More than no rational Goal can even be made to start the ball rolling. This is where I see we are at right now.

    meanwhile a huge % of politicians and the public don;t even believe climate change or AGW is real yet. This makes it more than a merely complex problem to solve.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 11 Feb 2014 @ 11:02 PM

  544. #537 Hank Roberts:
    > Walter
    > I saw a recent report about the main ‘city architect’ company
    Hank says “Got a reference? A week is barely enough time for concrete to set; did buildings built that fast end up structurally sound?”

    No I don’t have a ref to hand. It was a tv report. Plug in enough keywords it will show up in a search. I didn’t consider it critical to the points I was making, but as a anecdotal example. A very common one. The internet is full of such stories and reports about china’s building capacity and how they do it. Think Lego blocks Hank.

    If they were not structurally sound do you imagine anyone would risk building them when the likely outcome for failure is a bullet in the head and the bill sent to your next of kin?

    Well maybe some might. Anything is possible of course. China is more or less the longest surviving singular civilization on earth. They are a pretty clever race of people Hank. Very much survivors too. Practical wisdom seems to be in their DNA.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 11 Feb 2014 @ 11:26 PM

  545. > do you imagine

    No, I search.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=china+building+collapse

    Very clever people.

    This has become exquisitely boring.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Feb 2014 @ 11:47 PM

  546. Perhaps, Walter, checking what you think you know would help.
    It’s a useful habit to develop — take your opinion, and paste it into a search and put “?” after it before posting it to the world.

    You might change your mind about what you think you know.

    “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards” as the White Queen remarked to Alice. Nowadays, we have Google.

    Which finds, e.g.:
    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-27/the-cracks-in-chinas-shiny-buildings

    At a forum on green building in 2010, Deputy Minister of Construction Qiu Baoxing said, “Every year, new buildings in China total up to 2 billion square meters and use up to 40 percent of the world’s cement and steel, but our buildings can only stand 25 to 30 years on average.” U.S. commercial buildings are expected to stand for 70 to 75 years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

    For residential and commercial developments, architectural design and construction phases are typically allotted half the time as in the U.S., says Beijing-based landscape architect Paul Maksy. “With such a rapid pace of construction, there’s often relatively little monitoring of standards,” says Stephen Hammer, a lecturer in energy planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has worked in China.

    Poor materials can cause problems: The collapse of school buildings in the wake of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake was due in part to the use of low-quality cement, resulting in so-called tofu buildings. “When cement is mixed inadequately or when other materials are mixed in, it’s not very strong, so any major storm or stress on a building could make it fall down,” says Francis Cheung, author of brokerage firm CLSA’s 2012 report, China’s Infrastructure Bubble.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Feb 2014 @ 11:58 PM

  547. Thanks to wili and kevin. Good additions.

    wili: “Driven by fast-growing generation from wind and solar photovoltaics (PV), the share of non-hydro renewable power is seen doubling,to 8% of gross generation in 2018, up from 4% in 2011 and 2% in 2006.”

    That is a good example of the difficulty involved here. What do they mean by “non-hydro renewable”? Probably everything, and maybe biomass and bio fuels as well. Don’t know. These are the things needing to be checked.

    Hans Rosling puts solar/wind at barely 1% in 2013. EIA (via IER figures) has “non-hydro renewable” at 2% in 2013 vs the figures above @ 4% in 2011.

    A 100% difference is pretty large globally when bringing it back to GW capacity in plants. Also there is PV solar incremental growth via roof tops every where, and actual major PV Solar “power plants” being connected to the grid. I think they should be separated as the ‘technology’ used, the economic realities to supply and build what is required is very different. Including the Financing and recognizing specific Government levels of support & action for each type for example.

    In 2040 EIA has “non-hydro renewable” at 3% of the total, but that total has increased significantly, mainly a 50% assumed growth in total fossil fuels. Mainly due to GDP growth.

    It’s as hard to comprehend as the ipcc figures and graphs are for a newbie. I shall continuing diving into these figures nevertheless and try to line them up and see which may be more credible/reliable. If you don’t hear back from me with some manner of results, could be because I have gone mad trying to work it out. (that would please many I suspect – do you feel lucky?)

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 12 Feb 2014 @ 1:47 AM

  548. 545 Hank Roberts I am not going to play your cherry picking game here. I know what I said and why. I know what I know. I never said China didn’t use concrete. I never said whatever it is you think I said. I am not interested. I have more important things to deal with. Thank you.

    Comment by Walter — 12 Feb 2014 @ 1:52 AM

  549. Comparing Apples with Porcupines – that is the question!

    Using the ref given by wili as an example only, Market Trends and Projections to 2018 IEA. And I am only referring here to the Executive Summary and not more detailed underlying source reports.

    Predominately it uses GWh which is generation used. The EIA mainly uses GW as in generating capacity. Two different things albeit connected. Capital investments will have to use GW (or MW TW capacity) for new plants. But they might not generate electricity at full capacity nor be able to ‘sell’ that onto the grid at a profitable price regularly. That little ‘h’ makes as big difference between reports produced by different organizations.

    I can see now the IEA includes “bioenergy” (biomass) for electric generation, as well as “biofuels” used in petroleum. This is very different than how others do it. eg in the EIA biofuels go straight into Oil use.

    Then at times the IEA switches from using GWh to GW, as in here: “Renewable power capacity in the OECD Americas rises by over 100 GW over 2012-18.”

    Not only that but the chart about this combines activity in the USA, with Mexico, Chile and Canada. Yet speaks about their use and growth as if it is ‘single kind of entity’. They also speak of the OECD nations quite diverse. But that also excludes Brazil and Russia and the other BRICS nations. But if you hear someone speaking about the G20, well they are in that along with China and India.

    Then the IEA makes odd statements like this:
    “Despite remaining high, global new investment in renewable energy fell in 2012. Policy uncertainties continued to cloud the investment outlook for some key markets. In some countries, investment moderated in the face of macroeconomic uncertainties and incentive reductions, particularly in countries with strong deployment of solar PV.”

    I think that is vague and non-specific as to be meaningless. I wonder why they choose to say it like that. Unless it is on purpose for some particular reason besides being a summary. They can’t be that bad at ‘communication’ at this level of expertise? eg ‘key markets’, ‘some countries’, ‘macroeconomic uncertainties’ etc. ends up as gobbledygook.

    Then they say:” Meanwhile, renewables faced strong competition from other energy sources in some markets (e.g. natural gas in the United States).” That was specific. I wonder if they actually quantify that in ‘real terms’ elsewhere in the reports?

    Next comes on page 4, Figure 2: Number of countries with non-hydro renewable capacity above 100 megawatts (MW) .. the next heading suggests “Total renewable electricity generation grew strongly in 2012, increasing by 8.2% from 2011.”

    The rising bars ‘appear impressive’, generation grew ‘strongly’. Sounds wonderful. What do the numbers really say though? – It’s only about ‘countries’ the number of countries above 100 MW –

    Perspective? I randomly chose two from MO.
    University of Illinois Abbott Power Plt – Coal/Gas Capacity: 85 MW
    Pioneer Trail Wind Farm, LLC – Wind Turbine Capacity 150.4 MW

    And place this into it’s proper perspective (or context) in a ‘meaningful way shows – Missouri’s total Electricity generation? 7,170 MWh – 16th highest in the USA.

    Again the best word that comes to my mind about this ’100MW+ country’ info being included in this report is that it is ‘meaningless’. Though ‘useless’ has a >99% likelihood of also being appropriate.

    Meanwhile ‘journalists’ copy and paste such ‘cherry picked’ material and present it to the world as is.

    It is no surprise then that Hans Rosling would be saying things like this last September: http://youtu.be/grZSxoLPqXI?t=18m6s (only 38 seconds)

    Another example is this recent study that was published
    http://www.rtcc.org/2014/01/17/uk-has-made-largest-contribution-to-global-warming-says-study/ and http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/

    They mix and match all kinds of data from the original source data they had collected and then analysed. The authors had a purpose and that flows through as biases as they ‘assemble’ their data and choose how they want to present it. Their highlights in their Abstract and the Paper are then mirrored in all the news reports, even more selectively.

    In the process the full meaning of the data is lost. I am not accusing them of manipulation here. Choices have to be made on how best to present the ‘meaningfulness of data’ records. Still there is some inbuilt ‘bias’ that arises from that choice. These guys presented two key streams of analysis which then generated lists of nations and their basic conclusions about their study. They chose only to show the top 20 *nations* of CO2 emitters.

    Then they focused on each nations temperature increase contribution since 1850. A bit of a problem is that today’s nations states do not truly reflect the historical status and geographical extent of all these nation states which changed over time.

    I came to the view that that it would be also useful to have a third stream of how the data was presented and compared. I wrote to the main author to ask about this, but no reply. Why would he bother anyway? This kind of ‘data’ is very tightly controlled because it worth it’s weight in gold. They won’t just give it to anyone.

    Just another reason why it is very rare one will ever get to see the physical core data that underpins these studies or the “energy reports” that get published. Just about everything these days goes though a process similar to (not equivalent) the final IPCC Reports. What to put in and what to leave out. What ‘key words’ to use. How to RE-Present that core data to tell the story the originators wish to tell. And appear credible, ‘authoritative’ and basing their conclusions of ‘hard evidence’ at the same time.

    I mean nothing ‘conspiratorial’ about that. It’s really normal human nature, and good communication skills at work. It can be called ‘manipulation’ of the data to tell a ‘story’. It isn’t necessarily ‘manipulation’ of the ‘reader’. But it can be. It depends. No matter what an “Image” of reality is being presented for others to see.

    How accurate, meaningful and useful that Image really is, is the question.

    Imagine you are concerned about climate change future impacts but you’re only a regular citizen who doesn’t really understand the details. Too complex, not enough time.

    Yet you keep seeing reports and good news stories of the ongoing growth in renewable energy use today and into the future. Then how would that make you feel?

    Would such a person feel more concerned or less concerned about climate change issues, what ever nation they lived in?

    As usual this is much longer than I anticipated. Sorry about that.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 12 Feb 2014 @ 5:35 AM

  550. The more I look into this the more inclined I am now to forget it. It’s like trying to pull teeth from a chicken. I doubt it is worth a few days to dig into these things.

    Like this IEA Report. http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/IEA_WorldwideEngagementforSustainableEnergyStrategies.pdf

    Page 9 World vehicle oil demand in the ‘New Policies Scenario’
    Oil use by cars expands by only 15% between 2010 and 2035.

    Starting point Oil use is 20 Billion barrels per day.
    The car fleet doubles in size theoretically 40 billion barrels.
    Yet between now and 2035 they assume that “fuel economy” will improve so much usage will drop by >22.5% (equiv to 9 billion barrels of oil a day) across the board.

    Perspective? Avg US 26 mpg for new cars rises to >32 mpg? 2008 “midsize” ranged from 11 mpg to 46 mpg. EU has mandated minimum >50 mpg for new cars in 2012. How does combined old/new vehicle average a MPG increase of 22.5% across the entire 25 year period to 2035? (used some wiki numbers)

    Page 13: World energy-related CO2 emissions in 2035 by scenario
    “OECD countries alone cannot put the world on a “450 ppm” trajectory – the stabilisation in carbon levels needed to keep global warming to a 2 C increase – even if they were to reduce their CO emissions to zero”

    “Energy efficiency measures” account for 50% of the cumulative CO2 abatement over the Outlook period – in order to achieve the 450ppm scenario by 2035.

    That is markedly better than the “new policies scenario” – is that even achievable?

    A BAU scenario is … best not think about it

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 12 Feb 2014 @ 7:05 AM

  551. #548–”Then at times the IEA switches from using GWh to GW, as in here: “Renewable power capacity in the OECD Americas rises by over 100 GW over 2012-18.””

    Just to clarify: I would hope everybody (not just the IEA) uses GW when talking about “capacity”, as GWh is an inappropriate unit for that purpose.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt#Confusion_of_watts.2C_watt-hours_and_watts_per_hour

    “A power station would be rated in multiples of watts, but its annual energy sales would be in multiples of watt hours.”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 12 Feb 2014 @ 10:01 AM

  552. SecularAnamist gives a succinct (short and pithy) explanation of uncertainty in making projections (11 Feb 2014 @ 1:55 PM, ~#540) and Walter, in the next 7 of 9 posts and 3,500 words (no I don’t count words, I have a computer), explains how he doesn’t understand the concept of uncertainty and the difference between projections and predictions.

    One word- scenario- Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 12 Feb 2014 @ 11:52 AM

  553. The spam capture is a pain. Its my fault I do not already know every drug name and the rest of the keywords in the list. Doesn’t matter. I’ll save what I wanted to post for elsewhere. Thanks. Walter

    Comment by Walter — 12 Feb 2014 @ 8:42 PM

  554. #550 Kevin McKinney: Did you take that as a ‘criticism’ of the IEA or me suggesting they shouldn’t do that? I know the difference.

    “everybody” ……… how about Mrs Jones who lives down the corner?

    You imagine that ‘everybody’ will already know the difference as they read along, and read another report? And if they don’t then they should go ‘educate themselves’ at their local College before they go Vote next time? is this the idea?

    It is always the ‘readers’ fault they do not understand what these publicly released reports mean? And really, this is the only thing worth commenting on according to Kevin. Well thanks Kevin. Really good point!

    Was the word “confusion” in that wiki link you gave. I wonder why I mentioned it in the first place? This is tedious, not the information contained in my comments. Know it all already? Then move along. It’s not for you.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 12 Feb 2014 @ 8:57 PM

  555. Kevin @550:

    I’ve never like KWh or GWh as units. You take a perfectly good unit, the Watt, which expresses energy transfer per unit time (Joules per second), and multiply it by a different time unit (hours) to get back to a total energy. What the heck is wrong with Joules or kiloJoules or megaJoules?

    A GWh is GJ-hour/second. When you spell it out in full, it looks stoopid. It’s like measuring distance in kilometer-seconds/hour (or furlong-hours/fortnight).

    Comment by Bob Loblaw — 12 Feb 2014 @ 9:45 PM

  556. Walter says:
    12 Feb 2014 at 6:11 PM

    Regarding Historical and Future Projections for Energy Use and GHG emissions

    From IPCC AR5 Sept 2013
    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_TechnicalSummary.pdf

    TS.5 Projections of Global and Regional Climate Change

    Projections of changes in the climate system are made […] These models simulate changes based on a set of scenarios of anthropogenic forcings. A
    new set of scenarios, the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), was used for the new climate model simulations carried out under the framework of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 CMIP5) of the World Climate Research Programme. […] CMIP5, whose results form the core of the climate system projections. This section summarizes the assessment of these climate change projections.
    Projected changes are given relative to the 1986–2005 average unless indicated otherwise.

    TS.5.2 Future Forcing and Scenarios

    [..] a series of new Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) are used that largely replace the SRES scenarios. They produce a range of responses from ongoing warming, to approximately stabilized forcing, to a stringent mitigation scenario (RCP2.6) that stabilizes and then slowly reduces the radiative forcing after mid-21st century.

    In contrast to the AR4, the climate change from the RCP scenarios in the AR5 is framed as a combination of adaptation and mitigation. Mitigation actions starting now in the various RCP scenarios do not produce discernibly different climate change outcomes for the next 30 years or so, while long-term climate change after mid-century is appreciably different across the RCPs. […]

    Future anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), aerosol particles and other forcing agents such as land use change are dependent on socio-economic factors, and may be affected by global geopolitical agreements to control those emissions to achieve mitigation.

    AR4 made extensive use of the SRES scenarios that do not include additional climate initiatives, which means that no scenarios were included that explicitly assume implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or the emissions targets of the Kyoto Protocol.
    […] In this report, outcomes of climate simulations that use new scenarios (some of which include implied policy actions to achieve mitigation) referred to as (RCPs) are assessed. These RCPs represent a larger set of mitigation scenarios and were selected to have different targets in terms of radiative forcing at 2100. The scenarios should be considered plausible and illustrative, and do not have probabilities attached to them.

    The RCPs were developed using Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) that typically include economic, demographic, energy, and simple climate components. The emission scenarios they produce are then run through a simple model to produce time series of greenhouse gas concentrations that can be run in AOGCMs. […]
    Considering CO2, both ‘concentrations-driven’ projections and ‘emissions-driven’ projections are assessed from CMIP5. These allow quantification of the physical response uncertainties as well as climate-carbon cycle interactions. […]

    There is robust evidence that accompanying controls on methane (CH4) (Fracking Shale Gas CSG & natural) emissions would offset some of this
    sulphate-induced warming, although the cooling from methane mitigation will emerge more slowly than the warming from sulphate mitigation due to the different timescales over which atmospheric concentrations of these substances decrease in response to decreases in emissions.

    Including uncertainties in projecting the chemically reactive greenhouse gases methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from RCP emissions gives a range in abundance pathways that is likely 30% larger than the range in RCP concentrations used to force the CMIP5 climate models. Including uncertainties in emission estimates from agricultural, forest, and land-use sources, in atmospheric lifetimes, and in chemical feedbacks, results in a much wider range of abundances for N2O, CH4, and HFCs and their radiative forcing.
    In the case of CH4 it likely extends the range up to 500 ppb above RCP8.5 and 270 ppb below RCP2.6 through to 2100, with smaller ranges in the near term. […]

    TS.5.3 Quantification of Climate System Response

    Estimates of the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) based on observed climate change, climate models and feedback analysis, as well as paleoclimate evidence indicate that ECS is positive, likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C with high confidence, […]

    Further near-term warming from past emissions is unavoidable due to thermal inertia of the oceans. This warming will be increased by ongoing emissions of GHGs over the near term, and the climate observed in the near term will also be strongly influenced by the internally generated variability of the climate system. Previous IPCC Assessments only described climate-change projections wherein the externally forced component of future climate was included but no attempt was made to initialize the internally generated climate variability. Decadal climate predictions, on the other hand, are intended to predict both the externally forced component of future climate change, and the internally generated component.

    TS.5.4.2 Projected Near-Term Changes in Temperature

    In the absence of major volcanic eruptions—which would cause significant but temporary cooling—and, assuming no significant future long term changes in solar irradiance, it is likely that the GMST anomaly for the period 2016–2035, relative to the reference period of 1986–2005 will be in the range 0.3°C to 0.7°C (medium confidence).

    There is high confidence that higher concentrations of greenhouse gases and lower amounts of sulphate aerosol lead to greater warming. [..]

    The projected warming of global mean temperatures implies high confidence that new levels of warming relative to pre-industrial climate will be crossed, particularly under higher greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Relative to a reference period of 1850–1900, under RCP4.5 or RCP6.0, it is more likely than not that the mean GMST for the period 2016–2035 will be more than 1°C above the mean for 1850–1900, and very unlikely that it will be more than 1.5°C above the 1850–1900 mean (medium confidence).

    Possible future changes in solar irradiance could influence the rate at which global mean surface air temperature increases, but there is high confidence that this influence will be small in comparison to the influence of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    TS.5.5 Long-Term Climate Change
    TS.5.5.1 Projected Long-Term Changes in Global Temperature

    Global mean temperatures will continue to rise over the 21st century under all of the RCPs. From around the mid-21st century, the rate of global warming begins to be more strongly dependent on the scenario. […]

    It is virtually certain that, in most places, there will be more hot and fewer cold temperature extremes as global mean temperatures increase. These changes are expected for events defined as extremes on both daily and seasonal time scales. Increases in the frequency, duration and magnitude of hot extremes along with heat stress are expected, however occasional cold winter extremes will continue to occur. […]

    Under RCP8.5 it is likely that, in most land regions, a current 20-year high temperature event will occur more frequently by the end of the 21st century (at least doubling its frequency, but in many regions becoming an annual or two-year event) […]

    TFE.6: Climate Sensitivity and Feedbacks

    The description of climate change as a response to a forcing that is amplified by feedbacks goes back many decades. The concepts of radiative forcing and climate feedbacks continue to be refined, and limitations are now better understood; for instance, feedbacks may be much faster than the surface warming, feedbacks depend on the type of forcing agent (e.g., greenhouse gas vs. solar forcing), or may have intrinsic timescales (associated mainly with vegetation change and ice sheets) of several centuries to millennia.

    The analysis of physical feedbacks in models and from observations remains a powerful framework that provides constraints on transient future warming for different scenarios, on climate sensitivity and, combined with estimates of carbon cycle feedbacks (see TFE.5), determines the greenhouse gas emissions that are compatible with climate stabilization or targets. […]

    TS.5.6 Long-Term Projections of Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles

    Projections of the global carbon cycle to 2100 using the CMIP5 Earth System Models (ESMs) represent a wider range of complex interactions between the carbon cycle and the physical climate system. With very high confidence, ocean carbon uptake of anthropogenic CO2 will continue under all four Representative Concentration Pathways through to 2100, with higher uptake in higher concentration pathways. The future evolution of the land carbon uptake is much more uncertain. […]

    The loss of carbon from frozen soils constitutes a positive radiative feedback that is missing in current coupled ESM projections. […]

    6.1.2.1 CO2 and the Global Carbon Cycle

    Since the beginning of the Industrial Era, humans have been producing energy by burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas), a process which is releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (Rotty, 1983; Boden et al., 2011; see Section 6.3.2.1). The amount of fossil fuel CO2 emitted to the atmosphere can be estimated with an accuracy of about 5–10% for recent decades from statistics of fossil fuel use (Andres et al., 2012). Total cumulative emissions between 1750 and 2011 amount to 365 ± 30 PgC (see Section 6.3.2.1 and Table 6.1), including a contribution of 8 PgC (2.19%) from the production of cement. [...]

    6.3.2.1 CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion and Cement Production

    Global CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels used for this chapter are determined from national energy consumption statistics and converted to emissions by fuel type (Marland and Rotty, 1984). Estimated uncertainty for the annual global emissions are on the order of ±8% (converted from ±10% uncertainty for 95% confidence intervals in Andres et al. (2012) to the 90% confidence intervals used here).
    The uncertainty has been increasing in recent decades because a larger fraction of the global emissions originate from emerging economies where energy statistics and emission factors per fuel type are more uncertain (Gregg et al., 2008). CO2 emissions from cement production were 4% of the total emissions during 2000–2009, compared to 3% in the 1990s (Boden et al., 2011). Additional emissions from gas flaring represent

    quoting again:
    The total amount of anthropogenic CO2 released in the atmosphere since preindustrial (often termed cumulative carbon emission, although it only applies to CO2 emissions) is a good indicator of the atmospheric CO2 concentration and hence of the global warming response. The ratio of global mean surface temperature change to total cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions is relatively constant over time and independent of the scenario.

    This near-linear relationship between total CO2 emissions and global temperature change makes it possible to define a new quantity, the transient climate response to cumulative carbon emission (TCRE), as the transient global mean surface temperature change for a given amount of accumulated anthropogenic CO2 emissions, usually 1000 PgC.

    TCRE is model dependent, as it is a function of the cumulative CO2 airborne fraction and the transient climate response, both quantities varying significantly across models. Taking into account the available information from multiple lines of evidence (observations, models and process understanding), the near linear relationship between cumulative CO2 emissions and peak global mean temperature is well established in the literature and robust for cumulative total CO2 emissions up to about 2000 PgC.

    It is consistent with the relationship inferred from past cumulative CO2 emissions and observed warming, is supported by process understanding of the carbon cycle and global energy balance, and emerges as a robust result from the entire hierarchy of models.

    Expert judgment based on the available evidence suggests that TCRE is likely between 0.8°C–2.5°C per 1000 PgC, for cumulative emissions less than about 2000 PgC until the time at which temperature peaks. (see Page TS-60)

    FINAL Note:

    Giving a temp range of 0.8 to 2.5 seems to me to be EXTREMELY UNDEFINED and overly broad. So wide in fact that it becomes useless as a methodology to Define anything regarding actual PgC Carbon increases that is known and defined by other physical methods.

    This WIDE RANGE as numerical figure merely opens the door wide open for all kinds of recalcitrant and special interest groups to use it as a WEDGE to be CHALLENGED as being “meaningless’, a guess and NOT a valid scientific Judgement based on hard evidence and scientific rigor anyone could ‘rationally’ rely upon to make a ‘fair’ Political Judgement regarding action. Leave the barn door open and the horse will bolt though it.

    Of course, the Uncerntainities still have to be addressed and noted in the IPCC reports and climate papers. A Catch 22 maybe. Give an honest range and one is critcised for vagueness or trying to eat your eggs and have them too. Be too narrow in this and one can be challenged for drawing too much assumtpion in one’s ‘judgment’ that’s not ‘sceintifically supported by all the evidence.

    In this game of sophistry, the scientists cannot win by being scientific. Well they can win, as they can hold to the ground that they are “right” based upon the evidence. The point is are the people of the world then subsequently fully informed about the reality when surrounded by all the ‘noise’?

    What is the Mission and Goals for all this Climate Science at the end of the day? Was it to get the science 100% perfect and be ‘right’ about the data at all times? Or was the motivation behind the Mission of Climate Science to do the ‘work’, get the hard facts, and then inform the people of the world so that they would UNDERSTAND the current and future reality we are all facing as a direct result of AGW?

    If so, are those two options the very same thing, or are they mutually exclusive alternatives? Maybe another way to ask that is: Which is of higher importance? The method or the accomplishing of the set Task or Goal? Frankly I am unsure. What I think I do know is that BAU is simply not an option anymore. The minor details and nuances and uncertainties no longer matter to me.

    FINI

    Comment by Walter — 12 Feb 2014 @ 10:48 PM

  557. Kevin’s ref to IRENA wasn’t too bad. Here is an example report if interested. http://irena.org/remap/REmap%20Summary%20of%20findings_final_links.pdf

    Still very problematic when reconciling what they suggest and what others suggest. Too many porcupines as usual. But there are some representations in this report others don’t do, and the website as a whole seems to be more ‘action’ support orientated than others.

    As yet I am unable to locate exactly where the IPCC AR5 shows it’s primary sources for the assumptions of future Carbon CO2e emissions that relate to their RCPs. I am also unable to find exactly where they record their figures of the specific amounts of projected CO2e emissions upon which they base their RCPs Models on for the future.

    Probably it is right in front of my face yet I fail to see it.

    Anyway, it is very clear based on several observations in recent weeks about Carbon Emissions Reports that spending any more time on them to seek out a credible valid estimation of future BAU carbon emissions and credible renewable projections is a futile exercise.

    Others far more qualified than me with the actual source data at their finger tips and the resources to present a readable report for the average person or policy maker could do this themselves already if they chose to.

    Morally speaking I come to the view that I have no right to interfere with people’s free choices even if that involves them metaphorically driving their car over a cliff. I have no desire to martyr myself to any cause.
    May as well enjoy the rest of my life as best I can and continue on being as self-responsible and self-sufficient as I can. If I can teach and encourage my adult children better that’s great.

    All the rest can do as they wish. And those who choose to listen to denier flakes or self-serving politicians etc deserve all they get long term. Those who prefer choose to argue over hair splitting and insist they must be right, they can have at it. What goes around, comes around. People are responsible for their own choices, eventually.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 12 Feb 2014 @ 10:54 PM

  558. Please note in the IRENA REmap 2030 report that:
    “Biomass currently makes up 75% of the total
    renewable energy consumption, with traditional
    biomass use accounting for more than 50% of
    all renewables. Not all traditional biomass used
    today is sustainable, however.”

    Beware of any quotes by anyone and any ‘report’ that renewables are X, Y Z % already, or can double or triple that. It totally depends on what their base line is, and what they are actually ‘listing’ as being ‘renewable energy sources’.

    Most do not include “biomass”, and all treat all sources differently, over different timescales, and upon different sources (and figures) for current use.

    Just about all the statements and graphs in these kinds of report are based on quite unsubstantiated ‘numbers’ and assumptions and constraints of every kind imaginable.

    Frankly I cannot see that any of the ~10 “renewable energy projections” and all the existing current energy use figures I have see are in any way credible and trustworthy enough for any purpose. Buyer Beware! Don’t believe me either. Make up your own mind. Just sayin’ what I think is correct today.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 12 Feb 2014 @ 11:21 PM

  559. MISSED AN IMPORTANT SECTION …. between
    compared to 3% in the 1990s (Boden et al., 2011). Additional emissions from gas flaring represent

    AND HERE

    quoting again:
    The total amount of anthropogenic CO2 released in the atmosphere since

    ——————-

    CO2 emissions from cement production were 4% of the total emissions during 2000–2009, compared to 3% in the 1990s (Boden et al., 2011). Additional emissions from gas flaring represent

    [END SECTION]

    Comment by Walter — 12 Feb 2014 @ 11:50 PM

  560. OK then, a work-around is in order. Much better.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/206878243/Historical-and-Future-Projections-for-Energy-Use-and-GHG-Emissions-the-IPCC-AR5

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 13 Feb 2014 @ 12:53 AM

  561. Important IPCC AR5 data source

    A synthesis of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion
    R. J. Andres 1

    Abstract. This synthesis discusses the emissions of carbon
    dioxide from fossil-fuel combustion and cement production.
    While much is known about these emissions, there is still
    much that is unknown about the details surrounding these
    emissions. This synthesis explores our knowledge of these
    emissions in terms of why there is concern about them; how
    they are calculated; the major global efforts on
    inventorying them; their global, regional, and national
    totals at different spatial and temporal scales; how they
    are distributed on global grids (i.e., maps); how they
    are transported in models; and the uncertainties
    associated with these different aspects of the emissions.

    Correspondence to: R. J. Andres
    Received: 28 November 2011 – Published in Biogeosciences Discuss.: 31 January 2012
    Revised: 17 April 2012 – Accepted: 24 April 2012 – Published: 25 May 2012

    http://www.biogeosciences.net/9/1845/2012/bg-9-1845-2012.pdf

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 13 Feb 2014 @ 12:58 AM

  562. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAnVNXaa5oA

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 Feb 2014 @ 10:40 AM

  563. ““everybody” ……… how about Mrs Jones who lives down the corner?

    You imagine that ‘everybody’ will already know the difference as they read along, and read another report? And if they don’t then they should go ‘educate themselves’ at their local College before they go Vote next time? is this the idea?”

    - See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-12/#comment-457440

    Don’t be silly, Walter. “Everybody” should be using the customary units for everyday communication on the topic. (Although I agree with you about the conceptual slipperiness (or should I say ‘convolution’?) involved in GWh.)

    So, yeah, if Mrs. Jones has an opinion (and why shouldn’t she?), it should be phrased accordingly.

    Oh, and glad the ref was useful.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 13 Feb 2014 @ 11:50 AM

  564. PS, beware the bubble: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1caomf/what_are_some_useful_secrets_from_your_job_that/c9es3w2

    use incognito mode on your browser.

    We use your own cookies against you: raising the price … the more times you check, as you shop around for better deals. That way you’ll think the price is going up …

    This can also happen with news, and with history. What you see depends on who you are and where you are.

    Back when publishers sold regional versions of grade school American History texts, in the 1950s, we gradeschoolers in the South had four chapters about the War Between The States. Yankees reading the “exact same textbook” got one chapter about the Civil War. Heroes differed.

    Here’s to the new world, same as the old world.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 Feb 2014 @ 12:24 PM

  565. Kevin, I see using the word “should” as an expression of ‘hope’. In a perfect world there is no need for hope. When people consciously choose to communicate information of high value, such as the report on renewable energy, then they ‘should’ accommodate all readers in their target audience which includes Mrs Jones. Assumptions that she ‘should’ already know the difference is self-defeating by those who ‘should’ already know better.

    Even knowledgeable people like bloggers can skim a report like this to cherrypick out key points and represent that incorrectly by accident. Shifts in the focus of subject matter ‘should’ be very clearly delineated in the text. The GW and GWh ‘movement’ was important. The numbers mean something completely different, and yet the ‘numbers’ themselves seem as if they are the same ‘kind of thing’. That goes back to basic philosophy of Aristotle et al. Professionals doing this kind of work ‘should’ know better already. They simply forget they are no longer speaking to their peers anymore, but to the ‘public’ and not very ‘smart’ politicians and business people as far as the science and semantics and jargon goes.

    My very point about that one small item was that they shifted conceptual realities in their discourse. They ‘should’ have made a ‘note’ about that, added in a small ‘glossary point’ of the difference. Then all would be well (better) no matter who was reading the document. This is good planning and foreseeing problems ahead of time. Therefore it is being more effective in the field of ‘communication’. Five Ps.

    The only thing I did on my comments about this item in their report was to ‘flag’ it. I didn’t complain, I merely used it as an example of how easily things become misconstrued and then mis-reported and mis-understood by readers due to this kind of “conceptual slipperiness or should I say ‘convolution’”. I was flagging for the benefit of those who might not notice such subtle problems. Anyone who already knew the difference between GW and GWh (eg scientists and the well informed on climate science) are likely to not recognize WHY it can be such a problem for most other readers and zoom past it. I took the time out to say “hey” watch out for this. Don’t do it yourself when writing on a blog, is unwritten in the white space of my comments. Misinterpreting this minor item and building a mountain out of it actually missed the point. I had to respond to clear that up.

    It goes back to many comments I make about semantics and language choices. It is self-defeating to blame readers (the average Mrs Jones public and Joe Skeptic) for not being up to speed, when the one’s responsible are in fact the authors. All the way up the science totem pole to the IPCC body.

    A problem is this. When I or you say something here, I am accessible. The IPCC and the scientists etc are not. Even RC authors rarely respond to direct queries and confused comments by people here. 99% of the time people are all left to their own devices. When they get it wrong, they carry this forward for years or decades and it spreads like a virus. (Climate Science in Denierville Land)

    Scientists and academics can comprehend a science paper because they have been FORMALLY trained in this particular ‘mindset’. This method in fact goes against our primal default human nature settings of how we usually think and form our beliefs.

    The public have not been trained and they never will be. Yet they still vote and all form their hard and fast opinions. When an otherwise intelligent person reads something ‘convulsed’ that they cannot follow or understand it makes them FELL DUMB. An emotional reaction arises which turns them off to the author (in an idealized sense). They get hit with cognitive dissonance and FEEL really uncomfortable and stupid.

    Most will keep looking for something to make them FEEL better and when they see a skeptic website blog criticizing the ‘author’ and his group it makes them FEEL better, and very welcome. If others on that site present Values and social beliefs similar to their own the cognitive dissonance goes away, and they feel relaxed and believe they have found the TRUTH. The default position then is to BELIEVE what they say on that skeptic site and then all the others too. Why? because they no longer feel so DUMB and the cognitive dissonance goes away. They TRUST such people who make them feel good, they do not trust the climate scientists who make them feel bad and instill all this doom and gloom fear of the future in them. They shut down to ‘reason and evidence’. Refuse to even look at it anymore.

    They need help not personal abuse for being an even bigger idiot now. Arguing with them, pushing hard facts will NOT change their cognitive thinking. Another method is required and it will work but it takes time and effort to re-engage such people once they have switched off completely.

    It really doesn’t matter about the ‘facts of the science’. The link I provided of George Lakoff is one of many instructive science based truths which explain this process and how the average person engages and actually thinks. It explains why otherwise intelligent people reject the science about climate.

    The responsibility for communication is solely in the domain of the ‘speaker’ and ‘author’ and not the listener. The assumption must be that the listener has cognitive and emotional barriers that must be circumvented. One proven method is the use of imagery, metaphor built within a narrative. Story telling is in fact the primal basis for all human cognitive activity, in effective communication and therefore learning.

    Science Papers and IPCC Reports total neglect this fact of life. Al Gore showed the science world HOW to communicate climate science to the public back in 2007. No one was listening or noticed the importance of this then and no one is listening now.

    The question is do people who do all this work want to be right, or do they want to be successful and achieve the higher much more important goal of actually making a positive difference in what people know and think about the climate science?

    A few have taken up this challenge, but not enough yet, and time is running out.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 13 Feb 2014 @ 5:49 PM

  566. Say “Stop” ?? To who ?? To what ??

    Since the corporations own about 99% of everything – especially the government (OUR POLICY MAKERS), and they write the ‘Business-as-usual’ laws that allow government to stall on any climate change mitigation, going down the useless path of writing reps, parading around with signs, yelling slogans, will produce the same old tired response – yawn….. nothing. Energy is in a race to yard out as much burnable carbon as possible to rip the profit from it before it can be slowed. The Koch brothers know full well what climate change is – with the top analysts money can buy – think they’re going to miss that ?? So instead of trying to stay within the useless rules that corporations wrote for us, we need to break out of them. The corporations hope to keep us penned in by those nice rules. After all – we’re a democratic society with 1 vote per person – we can just use our vote to make change all we need. Yeah – and that’s just how Al Gore became president. One more piece of ‘legislation from the bench’.

    Naomi Klein’s, et al., “Fossil Fuel” boycott isn’t in the rules.
    The Lakota nation tribe – trying to blockade the Keystone equipment from getting to that Stalin-esque pipeline isn’t playing within the rules.
    The cops just clubbed the Indians out of the way. Haven’t the Indians put up with enough of the white-man’s “Manifest Destiny”?
    Our own State Department decided that the pipe is going to be built anyway – might as well be us.

    Instead of laying down in the road to stop an 80 ton truck – think of ways to make building and maintaining a massive pipeline so expensive that it becomes an economically bad idea?

    If women played within the rules – would they have the vote today?
    If the slaves played within the rules – would the they be free today?
    If the colonists had played within the rules, would they have fired the shots at Lexington Green ? The law was of no help to any of them. It was in fact the enemy. The laws that allow corporations run the entire show are bad and need to be rooted out.

    Comment by dave petersen — 13 Feb 2014 @ 6:03 PM

  567. Hank Roberts says with the mindset and maturity of an 8 year old girl:

    Nothing important.

    I am reminded of the endless waffle on climate skeptic sites and blogs. A well intended person presents a comment with supporting evidence that argues the false claims being made by a denier. They point out logical fallacies in the flawed arguments made, as well as pointedly showing where the ‘facts’ being presented are in fact incorrect.

    They provide the hard scientific proven evidence via links to Published papers, to RC articles, to skeptical science, and the IPCC. It proves beyond doubt (if the skeptics would LOOK at it and think about with an open rational mind) that the ‘claims’ being presented are not supported by factual well researched evidence and logical conclusions therein.

    To truly understand what this person has presented (which is typically much longer than the one-liners of the denial activists comments) the readers of the blog MUST check for themselves the ‘long winded’ papers, articles, blog posts, graphs & diagrams. More than they actually have to THINK about what is being presented. This all takes time and personal effort to understand the reality of what has been presented.

    However extreme fanatics and fundamentalists already know everything. NO one is going to tell them to spend ‘a lot’ of time looking at things they already know are wrong and not worth reading.

    The responses come back like 8 year old girls who have had their hair pulled in class. It goes like this:

    Pro-Science Person: “So you don’t believe in the scientists, the 98% of the climatologists that said that…?”

    Denier Host: ”You mean the corrupt ones? You mean the corrupt ones who admit they screwed up — they skewed — their findings?”

    Pro-Science Person: ”[..] [R]ead my lips, 98% of climatologists!”

    Denier Host: “[..] How do [the climate scientists] make their living? Their industry has to be addressed. Believe me, for anyone at the very least to think that it is settled science is a huge leap.”

    This is what Hank often does. It is the same flippant shut down that deniers and skeptics use everyday against people who present ‘long winded’ hard to grasp complex information about the truth of climate science. They instead choose not to listen and then spend their life complaining about everyone on earth who keeps talking about what is really important.

    They refuse to LOOK at the substantial evidence and anecdotal examples being presented and handed to them on a silver platter. All they do is make up stuff, get all bent out of shape emotionally, play the man using ad hominem tactics, ignore the content completely even they do read it, and then proffer irrelevant illogical counter-arguments.

    When all else fails then they stoop to delusional conspiracy theories and fantasy paranoid beliefs about the person.

    Impatience is an initial form of frustration and dislike. Frustration is an initial less energetic form of anger. The pernicious effects of this state of mind are deep and long lasting. I could quote multiple science papers about this, but who would read them? Not those who really need to the most, that is for sure.

    You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink. No point getting upset about it or taking it personally. It’s only a horse.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 13 Feb 2014 @ 6:40 PM

  568. #552 Steve Fish says:
    ” explains how he doesn’t understand the concept of uncertainty and the difference between projections and predictions. One word- scenario- Steve”

    Interesting Hypothesis Steve Fish. This is where you present your scientific valid evidence and analysis and well reasoned arguments that actually supports this ‘Theory’ that you are claiming is true.

    Please put up. Or ….. ? You are a scientist Steve Fish. Prove to me you can do the ‘work’ involved in the scientific method. Your assertion is egregiously False.

    Please Mr Moderator, it is grossly unfair to allow such underhanded ad hominem claims being asserted and then delete a response which qualifies such emotive put downs for what they really are: B******t!

    Please be consistent. Intentional ad hom insults about a ‘person’ warrant responses in kind. Maybe you deleted the comments in the wrong order. Delete the first, the second would not be necessary as a response. This is only logical.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 13 Feb 2014 @ 6:59 PM

  569. [Moderator, this would be a more acceptable response to Hank. Yes? Delete the other.]

    Hank Roberts expresses his personal preferences by way of a youtube video.

    To myself Hanks personal ‘feelings’ and preferences are of no importance.

    I am reminded of the endless back and forth on climate skeptic sites and blogs. A well intended person presents a comment with supporting evidence that argues the false claims being made by a denier. They point out logical fallacies in the flawed arguments made, as well as pointedly showing where the ‘facts’ being presented are in fact incorrect.

    They provide the hard scientific proven evidence via links to Published papers, to RC articles, to skeptical science, and the IPCC. It proves beyond doubt (if the skeptics would LOOK at it and think about with an open rational mind) that the ‘claims’ being presented are not supported by factual well researched evidence and logical conclusions therein.

    To truly understand what this person has presented (which is typically much longer than the one-liners of the denial activists comments) the readers of the blog MUST check for themselves the ‘long winded’ papers, articles, blog posts, graphs & diagrams. More than they actually have to THINK about what is being presented. This all takes time and personal effort to understand the reality of what has been presented.

    However extreme fanatics and fundamentalists already know everything. NO one is going to tell them to spend ‘a lot’ of time looking at things they already know are wrong and not worth reading.

    The responses come back like 8 year old girls who have had their hair pulled in class. It goes like this:

    Pro-Science Person: “So you don’t believe in the scientists, the 98% of the climatologists that said that…?”

    Denier Host: ”You mean the corrupt ones? You mean the corrupt ones who admit they screwed up — they skewed — their findings?”

    Pro-Science Person: ”[..] [R]ead my lips, 98% of climatologists!”

    Denier Host: “[..] How do [the climate scientists] make their living? Their industry has to be addressed. Believe me, for anyone at the very least to think that it is settled science is a huge leap.”

    This is what Hank often does. It is the same flippant shut down that deniers and skeptics use everyday against people who present ‘long winded’ hard to grasp complex information about the truth of climate science. They instead choose not to listen and then spend their life complaining about everyone on earth who keeps talking about what is really important.

    They refuse to LOOK at the substantial evidence and anecdotal examples being presented and handed to them on a silver platter. All they do is make up stuff, get all bent out of shape emotionally, play the man using ad hominem tactics, ignore the content completely even they do read it, and then proffer irrelevant illogical counter-arguments.

    When all else fails then they stoop to delusional conspiracy theories and fantasy paranoid beliefs about the person.

    Impatience is an initial form of frustration and dislike. Frustration is an initial less energetic form of anger. The pernicious effects of this state of mind are deep and long lasting. I could quote multiple science papers about this, but who would read them? Not those who really need to the most, that is for sure.

    You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink. No point getting upset about it or taking it personally. It’s only a horse.

    The IPCC AR5 WGI TS ‘drones on’ for 2216 pages. Small minded people and those with little patience and limited personal ability to consume complexity do not read it either.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 13 Feb 2014 @ 7:35 PM

  570. #564 Hank Roberts.

    Relevance to climate science, advocacy, Mann’s article, prior comments or RC in general? Please explain. (if you want to) In case it is of some importance.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 13 Feb 2014 @ 7:46 PM

  571. Mr Moderator, it would be a good idea to delete these comments as being unnecessary now. Thanks Walter

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-12/#comment-457930

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-12/#comment-457440

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-12/#comment-457435

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-12/#comment-457411

    Comment by Walter — 13 Feb 2014 @ 8:15 PM

  572. Mr Moderator: It would be a great idea to delete the verbal digital diarrhea listed in 571, as well as all the others by the same author . . . better yet, the borehole? It is getting extremely boring.

    Comment by flxible — 14 Feb 2014 @ 1:02 AM

  573. Earlier I mentioned the importance and methodology about ‘forecasting’ and business planning here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-11/#comment-456505

    and Business Budgeting:101 a Metaphor for Future Renewable Energy Use Projections here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/if-you-see-something-say-something/comment-page-11/#comment-456867

    It is really important and very helpful for climate action advocates to have an understanding about how business people think and how they behave under normal circumstances. Their decisions are generally well reasoned and rational. Reality butts up against business decisions every day and at times instantaneously. Numbers might be able to be massaged, but they do not lie.

    I mentioned the following video before. This time I want to call attention to Tom Seyer speaking about “full cost accounting” (and a few other things). This ‘full cost accounting’ function goes to the fundamentals about business operations and financial budgeting. The basics I mentioned in the two earlier comments feed into this idea and why it is so important to understand in relation to the changes needed to change business and consumer behavior across the board.

    Tom Seyer artfully summarizes how this key aspect ‘full cost accounting’ integrates into almost every other aspect of climate change advocacy and political change. From Fossil fuel subsidies to everyday politics to corporate board room decisions over the long haul.

    Walter

    Climate Change Politics and the Economy: Rhetoric v. Reality

    “Most people don’t want to think about Science. When the science teacher showed up they left.”

    Join UC Berkeley Professor Dan Kammen, an internationally recognized energy policy expert and Mr.Tom Steyer, business leader and investor, for a lively and timely conversation to understand where we are now, the solutions at hand, the barriers we face, and what must happen to “overcome the partisan divide” to speed the transition to a sustainable planet.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uua_OEW2QY Oct 5 2013

    At the of end his talk Tom Seyer explains why his http://nextgenclimate.org/ project is only focusing upon the KeystoneXL pipeline, as opposed to advocacy about a Carbon Tax or other issues. This connects very closely with John Cook’s advocacy. Cook explains on ScepticalScience why they decided to focus on two major denier myths for the whole of 2013.

    These are very specific Missions with clear Goals. From there they have both developed very cogent Action Plans and called on others to support them anyway possible. To see the section where Tom Seyer speaks about his thinking and choices about the Keystone pipeline use the following link:
    http://youtu.be/3Uua_OEW2QY?t=55m19s to 1h00m27s

    From the Q&A section these are really worth considering:

    Carbon Tax, the Economy, Full Cost Accounting, the Politics, & Renewable Energy: http://youtu.be/3Uua_OEW2QY?t=1h6m27s to 1h14m

    “The job of a Politician or Advocate is to take a complicated Policy idea, that no one understands, and translate it into words that people can relate to care about.”

    “Americans spend 5 minutes a month on Politics. It better be short and sweet. It better be straight forward and it better hit them right in the gut.”

    Shadow Science, KeystoneXL, Government assumptions, Bill MacGibbon, restoring integrity to Science & Policy, Political criteria and overlays (framing):
    http://youtu.be/3Uua_OEW2QY?t=1h14m10s to 1h20m

    ——

    The above is included in this summary doc: http://www.scribd.com/doc/206878243/Historical-and-Future-Projections-for-Energy-Use-and-GHG-Emissions-the-IPCC-AR5

    Comment by Walter — 14 Feb 2014 @ 1:45 AM

  574. #565–Walter, do you really not see a difference between a technical report and popular article? It is not practical (nor desirable) in the former to explain everything ab initio. Yet it seems that that is what you demand in your comment.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 14 Feb 2014 @ 7:48 AM

  575. Quoting extracts below from the IPCC AR5 Sept 2013: http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_TechnicalSummary.pdf

    TS.5.2 Future Forcing and Scenarios

    In contrast to the AR4, the climate change from the RCP scenarios in the AR5 is framed as a combination of adaptation and mitigation. Mitigation actions starting now in the various RCP scenarios do not produce discernibly different climate change outcomes for the next 30 years or so, while long-term climate change after mid-century is appreciably different across the RCPs. […]

    TS.5.3 Quantification of Climate System Response

    Estimates of the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) based on observed climate change, climate models and feedback analysis, as well as paleoclimate evidence indicate that ECS is positive, likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C with high confidence, […]

    Relative to a reference period of 1850–1900, under RCP4.5 or RCP6.0, it is more likely than not that the mean GMST for the period 2016–2035 will be more than 1°C above the mean for 1850–1900

    Summary Notes: Total cumulative fossil fuel CO2 emissions

    Between 1750 and 2011 amounts to 365 ± 30 PgC (261 years)

    2000–2009 increased by 3.2% yr–1

    2011 amounts to 9.5 ± 0.8 PgC

    Hold that rate of 9.5 x 88 years = 836 PgC to 2100

    Between 2012 and 2100 amounts to 1685 ± 225 PgC for RCP8.5

    This scenario amounts to 19.1 PgC yr-1 over 88 years

    1685 PgC is 462% above the 365 PgC cumulative total of 1750 to 2011

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 14 Feb 2014 @ 10:47 AM

  576. > This is what Hank often does. It is the same flippant
    > shut down that deniers and skeptics use

    Gavin? does this “Walter” person have a name and email?
    I’d like to talk with him, outside the forum here, and he doesn’t attach a link to his name. I do, so he knows how to reach me.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Feb 2014 @ 11:18 AM

  577. Kevin, “Yet it seems that that is what you demand in your comment.”

    I am sorry it seems that way, but really I do not ‘demand’ anything. Of anyone. I think what I am doing in this specific case is suggesting there may be a better way to achieve better understanding by all those outside the ‘science economic academic’ circles. I am assuming by the way these reports are being presented publicly and what they say in them that they are not only intended for peer level readers. Maybe I have that wrong. Also in regard the ‘renewable energy forecasts’ displayed in numerous public reports that they are confusing for many reasons already listed and require caution, which is probably already assumed by high achievers and regulars here. Because I say something or raise an issue (that takes my attention) it does not mean I think that no body else here knows it already or needs me to clear anything up for them. It was only late last year when I started having a close look at future forecasts in more depth and researching (reading up) on what’s out there. It was a co-incidence to see Diogenes also very interested in this aspect too. More than anything else I am a little surprised at how disjointed and inharmonious all these data sets and reports are. I assume the IPCC AR5 inputs are high quality and rigorous. It is very hard to find anyone else’s future energy scenarios matching up with the IPCC figures in a way that is overt and understandable. To me that’s a problem., Not because I am paranoid or doubting peoples/orgs bona fides, but because I cannot work out why the gaps are there nor how to narrow them without reinventing the wheel (which I do not want to do). I only wish to understand what is a well reasoned credible evidence based estimate for mid-term energy use v potential CO2ppm increase. Everyone seems to be doing their own thing in their own way and not talking to each other much. Maybe all you guys here already knew this and don’t see it as a problem. Fine. OK. No worries. Lucky you. Mann says there’s a clear and present danger. When I go to look for whats the current state of play I find multiple answers none of which adds up. Sorry for mentioning it. I’ll go work it out by myself I suppose. And sorry for sharing the things I have found over the years that makes sense to me about the political advocacy social psychological and public communication aspects too. Even though it’s why the message about climate hasn’t got through and just about everyone these days really do not understand it at all well. Outside of a very small percentage like most readers of this site of course.

    Comment by Walter — 14 Feb 2014 @ 12:58 PM

  578. flxible wrote: “… better yet, the borehole? It is getting extremely boring.”

    Or just rename the site RealWalter.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 14 Feb 2014 @ 1:36 PM

  579. 2000–2009 increased by 3.2% yr–1

    2011 amounts to 9.5 ± 0.8 PgC

    According to the EIA estimates Fossil fuel use globally increase by ~50% by 2040. At which time the growth rate is tapering/leveling out.

    To me this means that ~2030> it amounts to ~14 PgC per year

    Given more recent papers the figure does not include higher than ‘expected’ rates of methane CH4 fugitive emission from fracking across the world nor any major climate feedbacks causing further CO2e emissions which are not included in the AR5.

    I have no idea how ~14 PgC 2030> relates back to the models used in the AR5 RCPs. I have very little faith that Arctic summer sea will be around in any summertime ~2030 either vs the 2050/60 time frame in the AR5.

    All key markers in prior IPCC reports have occurred sooner and far worse that were expected.

    Worst case RCP8.5 scenario suggest CO2 from fossil fuels *averaging* 19.1 PgC yr-1 to 2100. Right now I do not know how to reconcile these figures. Or if it matters.

    I do wonder though what a well reasoned BAU forecast with limited planned renewable uptake (as today’s state of play suggests is a likely outcome) would look like in 2030 to 2040. I doubt I will be here then so will likely never find this out.

    Comment by Walter — 14 Feb 2014 @ 1:53 PM

  580. Should the existing expectations not be met for renewable and nuclear power expansion now to 2030 then the 14 PgC could easily jump to 18 PgC per year. If that was to happen all the RCPs in the AR5 (and the AR6) will be quite moot. “if” who knows? COP19 seemed like a disaster in geopolitical terms, and a majority of voters in some key nations have been saying there is little interest in tackling the issue. That’s all I am saying. Forecasts and projections and ambitious goals can go either way, and suddenly. All 2008 there wasn’t anything to worry about in the US housing market or financial system according to the ‘consensus’ of the experts of Bernake down. Talking heads on cable were putting out buy orders for Lehman’s et al the day before they went belly up. That’s how good ‘experts’ can be on a bad day.

    For several years many other expert individuals (trained economists and the like) were putting out dire warnings about the Stock market and Housing bubble. They were being laughed at and ridiculed on the finance shows by their ‘peers’, journalists, and Government/Fed spokespeople. Barely 5% got it right. Those that got it seriously wrong are still there still doing the same ‘expert’ work they were doing in 2008. Weird huh?

    Comment by Walter — 14 Feb 2014 @ 2:13 PM

  581. One of the ‘experts’ in Feb 2008 saying the sky was about fall in if nothing was done was Gov Eliot Spitzer of NY. The 1% shut that ‘chicken little’ up big time. A convenient co-incidence maybe. But anyone who has studied what Spitzer was saying and doing for a couple of years then knows he had it 100% right in early 2008 and before.

    Comment by Walter — 14 Feb 2014 @ 2:20 PM

  582. @576 14 Feb 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Hank asks “Gavin? does this ‘Walter’ person have a name and email?”

    I’ve been scrolling past “Walter’s” blather for many days but his reference to Elizabeth Kolbert caught my eye and I followed his link to http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2014/02/the-argument-from-ignorance.html. The identical text there and here (@479, 7 Feb 2014 at 9:27 PM) leads me to suspect that “Walter” and Dave Cohen are one and the same. Either that or Walter is a plagiarist as well as a bore.

    Comment by Rick Brown — 14 Feb 2014 @ 5:44 PM

  583. Walter wrote: “Really genuine people seeking a discussion do not speak in one liners nor using clever quips.”

    ” A Buddhist duck walks into a bar and says make me one with everything, put it on my bill.”

    If this is clever or not is purely subjective to the viewer. I am reminded of Monty pythons famous funniest joke used on the battle fields. They did not elaborate I expect to reduce friendly fire incidents. There was of course the German retaliation ” My dog has no nose “… ” How does he smell? “…” Terrible ”
    The Achilles is, the response to, My dog has no nose, could be ” I don’t care “. Likewise, Science has been attacked constantly by people studying only the science of scare crow argumentation. Scare crow argumentation throws in a non relevant non argument statement an ICKA or Irrelevant Common knowledge Attack. Please try to respond to these in some way like ” what is the point you are trying to make ” or even ??? if you are in a rush. Slipping it in and continuing on with other ICKA or what i call the layer cake of often conflicting ICKA. At this point you are dealing with someone connected to the Borg mother ship of dirty energy cheer leading. The clever quip is then considered useable under the Geneva conventions ignored by the previous administration.

    Comment by ying yang — 14 Feb 2014 @ 6:07 PM

  584. #577–For what it’s worth, Walter, my take is that these reports aren’t aimed at the public ‘at large,’ but at those with a more serious interest. I aim more toward the public ‘at large’ in my pieces, but I think I still don’t simplify nearly enough to be truly ‘popular’ in my approach. It’s quite hard to do that well.

    (BTW, has Google taken over Captcha? The latter is ‘all Valentine’s all the time’ right now!)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 14 Feb 2014 @ 6:46 PM

  585. Analyzing the hard data shows.

    Error/Mod posts = 12
    Regarding and supporting Diogenes = 18
    Dealing with falsehoods, nastiness, ad hom, personal insults, complaints totally disconnected to the actual content of my comments, and time wasters = 44

    Post by me that were on-topic to this thread, replies to people on-topic to my comments, plus my specific scientific and advocacy interests = 50

    Total Thread Post now = 581
    My total Posts now = 125 or 21%
    My # posts before 200 Comments Page 5 were made = 1
    My on-topic Posts and Replies = 50 = 8.6%

    My time spent dealing with errors, falsehoods, off-topic unnecessary recalcitrant complaints and ad hom BS = ~67 Posts or 54% of my total posts made.

    That’s the Scientific Based Facts.

    The evidence is there clear as day across 12 pages so far.

    Make of that what you will.

    Do you want 50 – ~8% of on-topic relevant posts some containing some high quality referenced material and links plus genuine specific queries being put?

    Or that plus another 67 posts dealing with the emotionally biased garbage by people unable to read what’s there in the first place, who default to nitpicking blaming and endless complaints who repeatedly present mindlessly ridiculous false claims in the process, and who couldn’t ask a respectful question if their life depended on it?

    Yeah, it’s all MY fault. Not!

    This is of a very similar quality, by several (nameless) commenters, of the cognitive thinking that goes into most climate science denier blog comments. Absolutely irrational illogical garbage that ignores the mountain of climate science evidence right in front of their faces, and who refuse to actually ‘read’ what it is pro-science advocates are actually ‘writing’ on those blog sites, as they point blank REFUSE to go investigate even one link provided to high quality information that could actually help them if they would stop long enough to LOOK at it with an open-mind and a decent attitude.

    Walter

    Here ya go RECapture : speak seva tart

    I even know what that means too!

    Comment by Walter — 14 Feb 2014 @ 8:58 PM

  586. Had a look through several files here 1990

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_first_assessment_1990_wg1.shtml

    On the surface purview it seems as if this IPCC report (and accepting the obvious constraints back then, and the disclaimers for uncertainties and ranges given) has over estimated SLR from 1990 to now and to 2030.

    ‘predicted’ 2013 ~12cm and 2030 ~ 20cm (?) +/-

    On all other items, CO2 ppm, other GHGs, GMST temperature, arctic ice loss (though not specifically mentioned), surface ice loss, extreme weather events, maximum & minimum temperature records broken, and so on, this report has ‘underestimated’ all of these issues ~25 years into the future from 1990.

    All measures able to be followed from this 1990 report (uncertainties aside and SLR) all measures have been tracking at or above BAU forecasting.

    eg CO2 wasn’t expected to hit 400 ppm until ~2020+

    However, in all the explanatory texts the IPCC report has proven true and correct in it’s overall ‘thesis’ or rather Message given then. They did articulate the future expectations of what ‘should’ occur under AGW theory and known facts.

    In fact they are very spot on how this report was presented, and they clearly laid out the high level of uncertainties and the need for much new detailed climate science research. I doubt one denier could find one error in it bar the SLR estimate.

    The kicker for me is that it also appears that zero improvement has been made on adopting significant global emissions reduction plans or actual as advised by the Report was what was needed. And ‘immediately’ then in 1990 to avoid severe climate change effects and +1.5C temperature increase over 1850.

    In 2014 everything is now running at or above BAU with zero mitigation occurring. That’s where we are 25 years later.

    Sure many things have changed, the knowledge is much greater but the results show nothing really has changed as far as ‘actual improvements’ is concerned. The climate is reacting harder and faster than expected in the 1990s.

    I ‘hope’ that in 25 years from now (2040) that the world is not still tracking on 2013 BAU projections with minimal mitigation achievements.

    Hope is not enough I suspect. Walter

    Comment by Walter — 15 Feb 2014 @ 1:27 AM

  587. “Hope is not enough…”

    No, it is not. The adaptive purpose of hope is to energize, not to tranquilize.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Feb 2014 @ 7:27 AM

  588. Kevin McKinney

    The adaptive purpose of hope is to energize, not to tranquilize.

    An Evolutionary Biologist would say that the adaptive purpose of hope is to allow individuals who possess it to reproduce, despite poor odds of their progeny surviving to reproduce in turn.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 15 Feb 2014 @ 1:21 PM

  589. Joseph O’Sullivan:

    This requirement to bring a case, in US courts at least, is called foreseeability. A defending party must reasonably know that the action they took would cause harm.

    Yep, that’s how we arrived at our current predicament. Go ahead and dump CO2 into the atmosphere by the gigaton, what could possibly go wrong? And if anything does, a wise master wizard will sort it!

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 15 Feb 2014 @ 2:09 PM

  590. Oops, wrong blog! That’ll teach me to use RC’s comment preview for comments elsewhere 8^(.

    Oh well, ReCAPTCHA says “fookyi pursuit”. Not a total disaster then.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 15 Feb 2014 @ 2:14 PM

  591. > (and accepting the obvious constraints back then,
    > and the disclaimers for uncertainties and ranges given)

    Science at work. It’s not a mighty oak with a taproot –science can’t be challenged by showing the early work was wrong. Of course it was.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Feb 2014 @ 2:49 PM

  592. ying yang wrote: “A Buddhist duck walks into a bar and says make me one with everything, put it on my bill.”

    A skeleton walks into a bar and orders a beer and a mop.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 15 Feb 2014 @ 3:18 PM

  593. > An Evolutionary Biologist would say that
    > the adaptive purpose of hope is

    To be willing to go farther out on a limb than any other monkey.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Feb 2014 @ 6:01 PM

  594. #591 Hanks says the IPCC science #1 was wrong, when (or because) I said it was right? Dyslexia is my best judgement with >95% confidence.

    Comment by Walter — 16 Feb 2014 @ 12:58 AM

  595. Repeat:
    “However, in all the explanatory texts the IPCC report has proven true and correct in it’s overall ‘thesis’ or rather Message given then. They did articulate the future expectations of what ‘should’ occur under AGW theory and known facts.

    In fact they are very spot on how this report was presented, and they clearly laid out the high level of uncertainties and the need for much new detailed climate science research. I doubt one denier could find one error in it bar the SLR estimate.”

    Correction to #586: “arctic ice loss (though not specifically mentioned)”

    It was mentioned but not quantified in any forecasts/predictions.

    Page 150 in Ch 5
    Equilibrium Climate Change – and its Implications for the Future http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_chapter_05.pdf

    “5 2 2 4 Sea ice changes
    In simulations with enhanced CO2, both the extent and
    thickness ol sea ice are significantly reduced In some
    summer simulations sea ice is completely removed in the
    Arctic (Wilson and Mitchell, 1987a Boer, 1989, personal
    communication) and around Antarctica (Wilson and
    Mitchell 1987a) In other models there aie large reductions
    in the extent ol sea ice but some cover iemains in the
    Arctic and aiound Antarctica in summer (Noda and
    Tokioka, 1989 Meehl and Washington, 1989) Finally in
    some models (Wetherald 1989, peis comm) the extent ol
    sea-ice change is less, but the thickness is reduced bv up to
    a factor of two.

    The factors contributing to the differences between
    models include diffeicnccs in the sea-ice extent and depth
    in the control simulation (Spelman and Manabe, 1984),
    differences in the treatment of sea-ice albedo (for example,
    Washington and Meehl, 1986), and the inclusion of
    corrective heat-llux undei sea ice in some models (for
    example Manabe and Wetheiald, 1989, personal communication,
    Boer, 1989 personal communication) and not
    others

    On the basis ot cunent simulations, it is not possible to
    make reliable quantitative estimates ol the changes in the
    sea ice extent and depth It should be noted that the models
    considered here neglect ice dynamics, leads, salinity
    effects, and changes in ocean circulation.”

    (end quote – typos caused by original doc quality – see original url)

    Comment by Walter — 16 Feb 2014 @ 2:39 AM

  596. Updated Doc includes GenIV Nuclear section about safety and operations

    Historical and Future Projections for Energy Use and GHG
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/206878243/Historical-and-Future-Projections-for-Energy-Use-and-GHG-Emissions-the-IPCC-AR5

    More specific data & diagrams about future energy projections including ‘renewables’ to 2040 may be added later – in the meantime enough source URLs are included.

    Comment by Walter — 16 Feb 2014 @ 3:53 AM

  597. An example of how the IPCC leaves open the door to activist deniers by not paying enough attention to the details during their editing process.

    This is very ‘picky’ however it is what deniers take ‘advantage of’ whenever they can by cherry-picking specific quotes that include specific ‘weaker’ terms and phrases left open for misuse.

    Compare these two sentences

    1) Consequently, in the near term, global-mean surface temperatures are projected to continue to rise at a similar rate for the four RCP scenarios.

    2) In the near term (2016-2035), global mean surface warming is more likely than not to exceed 1°C [,,]

    section TFE.8: Climate Targets and Stabilization
    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_TechnicalSummary.pdf

    Temperatures is correct.

    Warming is not correct, it should have been written as ‘temperature’.

    Experienced ‘Proof readers’ not associated with writing the material are best placed to pick these kinds of ‘errors’ up. Not those writing the reports whose eyes start glazing over in discussions about what is to go into the ‘text’.

    An apparently ‘small point’ for the uninitiated, but a very important one that can bring negative long term consequences. The above is one example. It is not a criticism. It is a heads up.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 16 Feb 2014 @ 7:20 AM

  598. Heisenberg, Gödel and Chomsky walk into a bar.

    Heisenberg suddenly stops and says, “Wait, we just walked into a bar, and there are three of us. This must be some sort of joke, but is it a funny joke?”

    Gödel explains: “Well, we are part of the joke, so we cannot determine whether the joke is funny or not.”

    Chomsky chimes in: “Of course it’s a funny joke. You just aren’t telling it right!”

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Feb 2014 @ 7:44 AM

  599. Apologies ahead of time if this is really boring and redundant. When thinking about the ‘grand strategy’ of the ‘denier’ activists, most will notice a pattern over recent years since AR4 of ‘direct attacks’ on the IPCC/Climate Science that is focused around the GMST …. temperature, iow.

    ‘Temperature’ is an extremely fluid ‘marker’, a ‘vague’ number that can only be determined within a range. Could we call it a ‘slippery’ number? I think so.

    Therefore Temperature is not an accurate nor timely measure for determining the extent of a measurable ‘real world effect’ of the global warming / forcing.

    On the other hand, monitoring of actual GHG concentrations these numbers are tight, especially for CO2 PPM, the #1 main component in GHGs at present.

    We know, irrespective of any natural variability +/-, that higher CO2 PPM and other rising GHG concentrations will and must raise GMST over the medium to long term. That’s what climate science tells us is so.

    Therefore, logically, GHG concentrations in PPM are the most stringent tool that science has to accurately measure the cumulative forcing on the climate system. In real time, and as far as temperatures global and regionally increasing is concerned, well ahead of time.

    There is no better a tool available today than GHG PPM measures to monitor the medium term likelihood of increased temperatures over time. Yes?

    With all the advances in climate science since 1990 there is an almost direct co-relation between a Carbon Budget and Fossil Fuel Use back to a specific measurement of downstream CO2 PPM increases.

    Consider the typical pattern of attacks by the denier ‘industry’ on the science of climate change about ‘temperature’. Do they ever raise CO2 ppm as an issue? Not really. Now have a look at the recent IPCC AR5 report and consider this in light of the ‘temperature and denier strategy, extracts below:
    (of course others will know this already, i am emphasizing it as a very important matter to keep aware of.)

    ——

    TFE.8: Climate Targets and Stabilization

    The concept of stabilization is strongly linked to the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC, which is:

    “to achieve […] stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the
    atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
    interference with the climate system.”

    Recent policy discussions focused on limits to a global temperature increase, rather than to greenhouse gas concentrations, as climate targets in the context of the UNFCCC objectives.

    The most widely discussed is that of 2°C, i.e., to limit global temperature increase relative to preindustrial times to below 2°C, but targets other than 2°C have been proposed (e.g., returning warming to well below 1.5°C global warming relative to preindustrial, or returning below an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 350 ppm).

    Climate targets generally mean avoiding a warming beyond a predefined threshold. Climate impacts however are geographically diverse and sector specific, and no objective threshold defines when dangerous interference
    is reached. Some changes may be delayed or irreversible, and some impacts could be beneficial.

    It is thus NOT POSSIBLE TO DEFINE a single critical objective threshold without value judgments and without assumptions on how to aggregate current and future costs and benefits.

    This section does not advocate or defend any threshold or objective, nor does it judge the economic or political feasibility of such goals […]

    [ NOTE – This shift in POLICY EMPHASIS from a GOAL based on GHG PPM CONCENTRATIONS to one of AVERAGE SURFACE TEMPERATURE (GMST) ‘appears’ to have been imposed onto the IPCC process by the most powerful National Governments in the UNFCCC.
    This change is NOT something instigated by the Climate Scientists and IPCC Authors themselves during the writing of the AR5 IPCC reports, nor does this appear based upon the scientific work in any of the published climate science Papers since the AR4 in 2007.]

    Con’t:
    Temperature targets imply an upper limit on the total radiative forcing (RF). Differences in RF between the four RCP scenarios are relatively small up to 2030, but become very large by the end of the 21st century and dominated by CO2 forcing.

    Consequently, in the near term, global-mean surface temperatures GMST) are projected to continue to rise at a similar rate for the four RCP scenarios.

    Around the mid-21st century, the rate of global warming begins to be more strongly dependent on the scenario. […]

    In the near term (2016-2035), global mean surface warming is more likely than not to exceed 1°C and very unlikely to be more than 1.50C relative to preindustrial (assuming 0.61°C warming has occurred prior to 1986 – 2005) (medium confidence).

    [NOTE:
    The last 5+ year emphasis by denier activists and recalcitrant anti-Science National Governments & Legislators has been on the idea of a HIATUS-PAUSE in TEMPERATURE INCREASES.

    Their OBJECTIVE (I believe) goes like this: There has been Nil to Minimal short-term Average Temperature Increase ? = UNFCCC Goals Are Being Met = NOT A PROBLEM = No Action Required = Nothing to see here ]

    Ref: section TFE.8: Climate Targets and Stabilization
    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_TechnicalSummary.pdf

    Comment by Walter — 16 Feb 2014 @ 9:08 AM

  600. 594
    Walter says:
    16 Feb 2014 at 12:58 AM

    #591 Hanks says the IPCC science #1 was wrong, when (or because) I said it was right? Dyslexia is my best judgement with >95% confidence.

    Please email me about your concerns.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Feb 2014 @ 1:15 PM

  601. Hank Roberts says: “Please email me about your concerns.”

    I have no ‘concerns’. I have no interest in, nor reason to email you Hank. And won’t.

    I responded to your other comment in this vein before ‘directly & nicely’ in a few words, but the Mod deleted it.

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 16 Feb 2014 @ 7:39 PM

  602. When did RealClimate become RealWalter?

    It’s gotten RealTedious.

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 16 Feb 2014 @ 9:04 PM

  603. Tedious indeed. I come by here when I have time to learn stuff (when it’s not over my head; I do like sinning about my station) and see what’s up, and perhaps get a few pearls from the keyboard of Ray Ladbury. Aside from a delightful excerpt from the IgNobels and a zinger from the aforementioned, this is not what those of us who are interested in the topic came here for. And it seems a shame to further insult Dr. Mann who deserves better.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 17 Feb 2014 @ 1:03 AM

  604. Walter Pearce, don’t cry, I’m done

    Have at it.

    The floor is yours Walter. Contribute something.

    Go out on a Limb. Even GetReal, if you want to.

    (thx again to the mods)

    Walter

    Comment by Walter — 17 Feb 2014 @ 1:48 AM

  605. #597–Er, Walter, have you forgotten that the AR 5 release is a draft, and that one of the main processes going on leading up to the official publication (next month, I think?) is in fact proof-reading?

    [Response: The official publications are now available. - gavin]

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 17 Feb 2014 @ 9:23 AM

  606. [Response: The official publications are now available. - gavin]

    Gavin’s Link:

    http://www.climatechange2013.org/report/full-report/

    Missed that (obviously!)

    Awesome, as the kids say! It will be great, when referring to the report in future, to have the figures *with* the relevant text…

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 17 Feb 2014 @ 11:08 AM

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