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Second CRU inquiry reports

Filed under: — gavin @ 14 April 2010

The Oxburgh report on the science done at the CRU has now been published and….. as in the first inquiry, they find no scientific misconduct, no impropriety and no tailoring of the results to a preconceived agenda, though they do suggest more statisticians should have been involved. They have also some choice words to describe the critics.

Carry on…

1,421 Responses to “Second CRU inquiry reports”

  1. 601
    dhogaza says:

    CFU says:

    “Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said that climate is what we expect and weather is what we get?”

    Which proves what?

    That Mark Twain was a clever guy who understood the difference between climate and weather.

    Climate leads us to expect nice warm, dry, days starting on July 5th in Portland, Oregon.

    When we get rain, that’s weather, not climate.

    Not so difficult, really.

  2. 602
    Frank Giger says:

    CFU, the Mark Twain quote just shows that the difference between climate and weather has been understood for a very long time.

    ;)

  3. 603
    Walter Crain says:

    thanks, gavin. guess i’ll just have to wait for that june issue of nature…

    the guy is a physicist, not a climatologist, but still seems like a real scientist. not sure what his reason was for doing that study. do you guys know of any other studies showing anything similar, or is this (supposed, purported) study a total “outlier”?

  4. 604

    Walter #598, I had a look at Kauppinen’s publications. There’s nothing in there to suggest anything but the usual pattern of a late-career scientist trying to build a bit of infamy by talking drivel. I bet the denialosphere is already alleging his “Nature” paper is going to be blocked.

    BTW, I have a few results I intend to publish in Nature too. Don’t hold your breath.

  5. 605
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Sam@582

    Well, given that the only concrete objection you raised to CO2 as a mechanism is the same denialist canard that in some past warming epochs, CO2 has followed rather then led the onset of warming, I think we can safely discard the hypothesis that you are an expert on the subject.

    Dude, think about it. In those epochs, the initial cause of warming was small changes in solar radiation. Once you got enough warming, natural (e.g. non-fossil) sources of CO2 kicked in and prolonged and intensified the warming event. Note that natural sources have not kicked in significantly.

    And actually, the greenhouse properties of CO2 are a property of matter–kinda’ by definition. So, Sam, you can either unlearn all the crap you think you know and start the work of actually learning the science, or you can remain an ignorant fool. Your choice.

  6. 606
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Yes Frank, et al.

    So what point was there to it? Counter to simon?

  7. 607
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “the amount of land to support a single hunter-gatherer is aboout 0.5 km^2”

    Even 15th Century farming was fine with less than 5 acres per person. 10Ha, or 0.1km^2. Most independent crofters had 5acres *per family*.

  8. 608
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Walter, you’d be better off asking the fella himself.

    How would you expect someone here to know why he did something?

  9. 609

    573 (simon abingdon)

    Is it possible in any case to talk about climate in terms which are convincingly specific?

    In answer to your question, most certainly, yes.

    If I think about it I have to say I honestly don’t know.

    As to your statement that you honestly don’t know… have you tried? Not by visiting silly denialist sites that are trying to mislead you, but by actually studying the subject, starting with a clear understanding of how greenhouse gases operate both on an atomic and macroscopic level?

    Did you start by learning all that you could, and then after developing a firm understanding of everything involved, decide that it was incomplete?

    Or did you start from a point of ignorance, and say to yourself “I don’t think this can be true, it doesn’t see right to me,” and then stop there?

    Maybe some of you can help.

    As to this last bit, well, yes, but no, not really. It has to start with you. No one can hold your hand on this and drag you, kicking and screaming, through all of the disparate components that would lead you to understand all of the facets of climate science.

    But if you honestly admit to your own ignorance, and the importance of the issue, and want to learn instead of rhetorically asking, quite honestly, childishly ignorant questions, then you need to do some hard work.

    Start here:

    The Discovery of Global Warming by Spencer Weart

    As you go through that, and have questions… use google. Don’t make any assumptions. Don’t treat it as a debate, or a legal case that you must personally decide. Certainly do not treat it as something that you have already decided is wrong, and so you can dismiss most of what you read as things that can’t possibly be true, before you really understand them.

    Be honest to yourself. Treat it as a college degree that you must earn, and remember that you are not qualified to make a decision until you completely understand as much as possible about all aspects of the subject.

    When you have specific, detailed, meaningful questions, come back and ask them, and people here will help you.

  10. 610
    Martin Vermeer says:

    #598 Walter, I find this at a Finnish climate site:

    Asiasta ensimmäisenä uutisoineen Turun Sanomien mukaan Kauppinen aikoo julkaista tutkimustuloksensa Nature-lehden kesäkuun numerossa.

    Kauppinen kuitenkin kertoo CO2-raportille, että artikkelia ollaan vasta kirjoittamassa, eikä sitä ole vielä edes tarjottu mihinkään tiedelehteen arvioitavaksi. Hän kuitenkin toivoo, että tiedelehdet sen julkaisisivat.

    “According to [the Turku daily] Turun Sanomat, who was the first to report on the matter, Kauppinen intends to publish his research result in the June issue of the Journal Nature.

    Kauppinen tells however to CO2-raportti, that the article is only just being written, and it hasn’t even been offered yet to any science journal for review. He hopes however that science journals will publish it.”

    (My translation. No comment…)

  11. 611
    Martin Vermeer says:

    corr: will publish it -> would publish it.

  12. 612

    573 (simon abingdon),

    I think people here could recommend some excellent books, too (real ones by scientists, not ones designed to confuse you), if you prefer solid paper to computer screens. Could someone suggest a list of titles, qualified by style/approach/content (e.g. “very scientific” versus “a good layman’s introduction” versus “focuses on the subject of [whatever]”)? Then Simon could choose a book most appropriate to his own background and style.

    A little perspective, too, Simon… You came to a site run by scientists, who have dedicated themselves to a lifelong career of studying climate to an intricate degree, and launched into what amounts to an accusation. What you have done is equivalent to walking into a room full of pilots at an airport and announcing, quite unequivocally, that planes cannot possibly fly.

  13. 613
    catman306 says:

    Your spam filter should return the questionable posting to the writer along with the suggestions on how to make it acceptable to the filter. I just lost quite a lengthy post and don’t think that I can recreate it. Not everyone writes in another file and copies to this comment box.

  14. 614
    Walter Crain says:

    wow! thanks so much for the responses guys.

    phillip,
    that link to his publications shows me he’s a “real scientist” whose opinions would (could) carry some weight with me. and it would be just like those extemeley clever denialists to begin the “his “Nature” paper is being blocked” rhetoric….

    martin,
    that’s hilarious! he hasn’t even written the paper. so “nature” obviously doesn’t even know about the paper, much less plan to publish it in june….

    are you finnish? can you read him “in the original”? i was quite amused by some of the obvious results of a poor translation in the google translation of the article. e.g. the caption of the photo reads:
    “Professor Jyrki Kauppinen front is built in the 1970s…”

    here’s what google comes up with for the words you translated:

    “On the first uutisoineen Turun Sanomat According to Kauppinen intends to publish the research findings to Nature magazine’s June issue.

    Kauppinen, however, the report says the CO2 that we are only writing articles, and it was not even offered any scientific journal for review. He hopes, however, that the scientific journals to publish.”

    can i quote your translation for a “buddy” of mine? – who alerted me to the article here:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2010/04/iceland_volcano_unlikely_to_ca.html#comments at April 19, 2010 12:27 PM

  15. 615
    J. Bob says:

    550 simon, interesting observation. I would say that with your life & death perspective of weather, gives a fresh outlook as opposed to the arm chair observers. And anyone who can fly a 474, especially in some of the airports I’ve been at, has my respect. I quite feel confident they know the difference between short term weather and climate (long term weather or summation of short term weather).

    Having been on the flight deck of a 747, it was interesting to see the evolution of the cockpit design from dials to the CRT/plasma/LED displays. Having been at one time, involved in the design and development of flight simulators, there might be a comparison to a flight simulator and climate simulator. Both start out with basic physical equations of motion, aerodynamics, etc. However a point is reached where, generally at the edge of an envelope, unexpected characteristics show up and must be incorporated, “tweeked”. However this is many times after the fact, not before. This is where pilot experience is invaluable.

    One has to wonder if climate models are “tweeked” to fit the present data, but might not work for future data.

  16. 616
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “One has to wonder if climate models are “tweeked” to fit the present data, but might not work for future data.”

    Why does “one” have to wonder that?

    Especially since you’ve been lurking here with your propaganda to know this isn’t the case:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/faq-on-climate-models/

  17. 617
    Hank Roberts says:

    > One has to wonder

    rebunking long debunked assertions of fraud by the modelers?
    Seriously, you are a waste of time.

  18. 618

    flxible (526),

    You’re probably right that our huge population is not sustainable in the long run. Nonetheless, I would prefer a slow decline by lowering the birth rate below the natural death rate, to a large decline that kills many quickly and destroys civilization.

    Why does what I want matter? Why the hell shouldn’t it?

  19. 619

    flxible (541): Citing why civilization is going to hell in the handbasket doesn’t define it or a solution to preserving “civil society” at some undetermined level.

    BPL: Let me spell it out for you.
    1. Drought becomes so severe that harvests fail all over the globe.
    2. Trucks and trains stop bringing food into cities.
    3. Governments try to cope with ration lines and soup kitchens. This lasts until the stored food runs out.
    4. Desperate people try to take food away from one another. The elites who have it will be prime targets. Anyone with a working farm will find it overrun.
    5. Areas who suspect other areas of having more food will invade them, first as refugees, then as impromptu armies. Pakistan and India each accuse each other of hoarding food. So do Serbia and Croatia. So do the US and Mexico…
    6. In the cities, pigeons and squirrels disappear almost overnight. Then the rats start to go.
    7. People start killing and eating each other.
    8. Deaths from starvation rise catastrophically.
    9. Deaths from infectious disease rise catastrophically because malnourished people have severely weakened immune systems and less bodily reserves.
    10. Governments collapse. Without farmers and workers, you can’t keep nation-states running.
    11. Nearly everyone on Earth dies. A few in isolated, hard-to-get-to places with good farmland survive. In the cities, a few successful bullies and gangs survive by exploiting everyone else around them. In the long run they also die because they’re too stupid to figure out how to farm, irrigate, ensure clean drinking water, etc.
    12. Most of the technology and records are lost when the cities burn, and more as buildings collapse over time. Unharmed magnetic disks gradually lose their data.

    Are you getting the picture yet? Yes, some kind of society will survive because humans are social animals. But the important future skills will be farming, hunting, gathering, and fighting. Not math, language, computer programming, or teaching. Women will again be subjugated, since they are vulnerable when pregnant or nursing and need to be defended by others, and average about 5% less upper body strength than men. (I know the protectors could be celibate females or whatever, but on average, women will be at a pronounced disadvantage.) Hated ethnic and religious minorities will be killed off in the absence of police protection.

    I would guess the dark ages last for about a thousand years. Or, since all the easily available metal and fossil fuels will be gone, possibly forever.

  20. 620

    RE #125 & the Iceland volcano. I don’t know what effect it will have — I’m no climate scientist. But from what I’ve learned here over the years is that, yes, the short-term effect could be some cooling due to the aerosol effect (or the warming we’re causing could be somewhat suppressed or masked), and long-term, tho volcanos do also emit GHGs, the amounts would be much smaller compared to the GHGs we’ve emitted since industrialization, so the added warming effect would be very small by comparison to human-caused warming.

    At least that’s what I told the students yesterday in a class where I gave a guest lecture on environmental issues, and a student put me on the spot with a question about the volcano’s impact…after I had spoken about how the end-Permian warming may have been triggered by Siberian trap extreme volcanic activity — which I later told the class was a lot more volcanic activity than volcanos we have in these times.

    So, let me know if I’m wrong, or my explanations need some tweaking.

  21. 621

    David B. Benson,

    Can you point me to a source of AMO data? I just had my AMO paper turned down by J. Climate for, among other shortcomings, using detrended AMO. That was what I had, and I thought it was appropriate because if the trend is mostly due to CO2, you’d be correlating CO2 with CO2 and get a spuriously accurate fit. But apparently I was wrong. I need the raw data, if you know where to get it. If not, does anyone here? Scientists?

  22. 622
    Jim Eager says:

    Lynn @620, for volcanic aerosols to cause warming they have to remain in the atmosphere long enough to do so. To remain in the atmosphere long enough to cool surface temperatures they have to get into the stratosphere. The Eyjafjallajokull plume only rose ~8km, 24,000 feet at it’s worst, well below the stratosphere. Moreover, it’s plume consisted mainly of condensed steam generated by the melting of 200 meters of overlying ice.

  23. 623
    Ray Ladbury says:

    J.Bob says “One has to wonder if climate models are “tweeked” to fit the present data, but might not work for future data.”

    The fact that you have to “wonder” means that you haven’t actually gone to the trouble to look, have you? If you had done so, you would see that:
    1) climate models are dynamical models. You put in the physics and let them run. There can be no tweaking based on a single criterion.
    2) Climate models are run on paleo and historical data as well as current scenarios. If they were overfit for the present, they would diverge from the past as well.
    3)There is a whole helluva lot more than a single temperature trend that climate models must match.

    Why not actually devote a couple of months to learning the actual science instead of continually attacking straw men?

  24. 624
    Triple Bay says:

    BPL #619

    Nikita Khrushchev is quoted as saying “The living will envy the dead” in comments he was making about nuclear war. Your scenario could happen very easily and I would suspect that same quote would apply. Perhaps you would consider using that line somewhere in your scenario.

  25. 625
    stevenc says:

    BPL, there is a link to the undetrended data at ESRL: PSD: Download Climate Timeseries: AMO SST

    I think what you need is there not positive.

  26. 626
    NoPreview NoName says:

    Me: Really, though, the Earth looks way too complicated for such simple arguments.

    CFU: Ah, well, there’s a problem right there.

    Just because the interaction of electrical forces are complex, it doesn’t mean that you can’t just say “well, if I burn this bit of wood, it will disintegrate”.

    Response: So you accept my simple argument that weather will be less active? Thank you, but I think that’s foolish. It’s people like you who think that global warming can’t be caused by carbon dioxide just because there’s such a small fraction of it in the air.

    CFU: What “complicated” thing would stop more energy in being expressed as higher temperatures?

    Response: How could you possibly come to the conclusion that I don’t think it will get warmer from my post? Of course it will get warmer! That’s backed up by much more than simple arguments by amateurs on a blog.

    CFU: So let’s stop changing the climate.

    Response: Of course. That’s what I was saying. I think everyone but you here understood that without me spelling it out.

  27. 627
    arch stanton says:

    Walter, Since Nature is published weekly – there is no single “June issue.” Although deniers might jump on such a detail as proof of something…it could just be a translation or reporting problem.

  28. 628
    caerbannog says:

    Off-topic, but hopefully not too much.

    Dr. Mann is *finally* threatening some deniers with legal action. See http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/climategate-figure-threatens-lawsuit-over,1256901.shtml

    My suggestion to Dr. Mann (take it for what it’s worth): A lot of us would like you and some sharp lawyers force those deniers to defend their sleazy statements under oath. And should you win a judgement from these bozos and they plead poverty, don’t let them off the hook — grab the little sobs by their ankles and shake the pennies loose.

  29. 629
    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    > The phrase “the top one percent” comes to mind.

    To paraphrase the immortal(?) General Buck Turgidson:

    “No more than one or two billion, tops!”

  30. 630
    Gilles says:

    BPL: Let me spell it out for you.
    1. Drought becomes so severe that harvests fail all over the globe.

    could you precise where the water evaporating from oceans is supposed to condensate in your scenario ? and on which known facts it is based ?

  31. 631
    Edward Greisch says:

    594 Completely Fed Up: You don’t have enough ammunition unless you live in an army ammo plant. See 619 Barton Paul Levenson, who got it right. You have a point that morality is instinctive, But: Reference book: “The sociopath next door : the ruthless versus the rest of us” by Martha Stout. New York : Broadway Books, 2005.
    4% of all people are born sociopaths/sciopaths/psychopaths. There is no cure yet. A written test, the MMPI [Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory] can identify sociopaths before they cause destruction. 4% of people don’t have those moral instincts. Once civilization falls, you had better shoot the psychopaths. Does that seem a self-contradiction?
    If civilization crashes, Morality will seem to have ended, at least for a while.

    526 flxible: Your last question is NOT IN MY JURISDICTION. I only do science and engineering. RC only does climate science. We are going to let the politicians take the blame.

  32. 632
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Response: So you accept my simple argument that weather will be less active?”

    Simple as in “wrong”? If so, yes, your argument that the weather will be less active is simple.

    If there’s more energy in a system, those things that dissipate energy will become either more prevalent or more violent and chaotic (so as to dissipate more energy per incident).

  33. 633
    Steve Fish says:

    QUESTION: How do you disrupt a blog that promotes discussion of climate science?

    ANSWER: Deliberately post an off topic complaint that questions a basic tenet of the science that has already been explained to you repeatedly and add some obviously inaccurate information about how aircraft traffic shouldn’t be disrupted by volcanic ash, just to insure maximum effect, and then sit back and grin at the multiple responses that someone seeking information will have to read though before finding any posts of substance.

    Having just read through the black hole of information, above, created by Simon Abingdon, I strongly suggest that if you cannot resist responding, only one or two sentences will be less likely to enable his disingenuous behavior.

    Steve

  34. 634
    Hank Roberts says:

    > weather … less active

    There’s good scientific reason to expect less rather than more variability; Gavin has mentioned it several times in the past.
    I’ll see if I can turn up the reference; I recommend looking for citations rather than simply proclaiming what you believe, regardless of “which side” you think you are on about this or any other question.

    While I’m looking for the cite, though, try logic:

    We know the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet.
    With a warmer Arctic, the difference in temperature that drives the heat engine is less.

    What happens when you reduce the temperature difference between hot and cold sides of a heat engine?

  35. 635
    Walter Crain says:

    arch (621)
    lol…it just gets funnier. i guess you could say he has 4 or 5 chances of having it published in a june issue of nature….

  36. 636
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “594 Completely Fed Up: You don’t have enough ammunition unless you live in an army ammo plant. ”

    You can’t eat ammunition, so what does that have to do with morality?

    Or were morals only invented after the rimless cartridge?

  37. 637

    Sam (582): Personally I think the evidence for CO2 driving climate or anything is really really weak. The basic idea behind it is seems plausible but when I look for the hard evidence what I find is shockingly unconvincing and based waaay too much on speculation. Basic science or properties of matter these are not.

    BPL: Actually, it is. It is based on the radiative properties of CO2, a quantum effect that has been known since the 19th century and explained almost as long.

    CO2 mostly passes sunlight but absorbs thermal infrared light. That’s a fact, laboratory-tested since 1859.

    Sam: I mean if CO2 drives temps then why do ice cores clearly show the exact opposite?

    BPL: Try here:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Lag.html

  38. 638

    EG (588),

    That’s a pretty good summary. I take issue with one minor point, though–humans are not “a race of chimpanzee.” We don’t even share a genus with chimpanzees, let alone a species or subspecies. (Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus versus Homo sapiens.)

  39. 639
    Hank Roberts says:

    > less rather than more
    And here’s one for the “more” side, but much later in the warming process, an example from the PETM I’ve mentioned before. This stuff isn’t simple. You can have more extreme rainfall while having less overall weather variability, and the devil is in the local details.
    http://ic.ucsc.edu/~jzachos/eart120/readings/Schmitz_Puljate_07.pdf

  40. 640

    Ray: “the amount of land to support a single hunter-gatherer is aboout 0.5 km^2″

    CFU: Even 15th Century farming was fine with less than 5 acres per person. 10Ha, or 0.1km^2. Most independent crofters had 5acres *per family*.

    BPL: That’s why he said “hunter-gatherer,” not “farmer.”

  41. 641
    caerbannog says:


    what do you make of the claim making the denialist rounds about a study from finnish scientist Jyrki Kauppinen saying that “increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide explains only 5-10 percent of observed global warming?

    That one’s easy to demonstrate; just take the time-derivative of the temperature data and *poof* — the CO2-forced global-warming signal vanishes!

  42. 642

    Walter Crain (614),

    Thanks advances to in linguistic analysis computers by, now can translate we perfectly any to English language!

  43. 643

    J. Bob (615): One has to wonder if climate models are “tweeked” to fit the present data, but might not work for future data.

    BPL: “Tweaked.” And no, they’re not. The only empirical data that goes into them is grid square data like the albedo, elevation, mean observed temperature, relative humidity, etc. at a given longitude and latitude. You start with that, the Earth in a particular known state, and then time-step away from it, modifying the parameters according to physical laws written in as equations. They are dynamic simulations, not statistical fits.

  44. 644
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Hank@634,
    You also get a low more water vapor–which puts a lot of energy into the atmosphere when it condenses. That could lead to more violent storm activity. It could also mean that things are prone to greater variability depending on condiions–competing effects tend to produce the wierdest results.

  45. 645
    flxible says:

    Gilles: “could you precise where the water evaporating from oceans is supposed to condensate in your scenario ? and on which known facts it is based ?”

    The question isn’t so much where it “condensates” [assuming you mean falls as rain], but where [and if] it collects, and whether that happens to coincide with productive arable land …. as well as whether the vaporizing occurs equally from fresh water bodies as from the oceans. Currently some areas “normally” in drought [southern California] is where the US produces a large part of it’s food crops, obtaining major amounts of irrigation water from a man-made lake that is already evaporating at problematic rates. Applies equally to the American “grain belt” and the aquifer below it which is paleowater [“fossil” really]

  46. 646
    Walter Crain says:

    oops…i meant “arch” – who made comment #627, (not #621…). dang.

  47. 647
    flxible says:

    BPL@416/417 “Why does what I want matter? Why the hell shouldn’t it?”

    Because you’re one individual of one species? As anther single individual, I suspect we’re already observing the “slow decline” that may [or not] result in extinction, but that doesn’t preclude the possibility that there is some much smaller [sustainable] level of human population that could have a perfectly acceptable “civilization”. Lowering the birth rate to achieve a decline to a sustainable level in time to preserve western social standards is IMO a pipe dream – denialism in fact – avoidance of a crucial core question.

    BPL: “You’re probably right that our huge population is not sustainable in the long run. Nonetheless, I would prefer a slow decline by lowering the birth rate below the natural death rate, to a large decline that kills many quickly and destroys civilization.

    Let me spell it out for you.

    1. Drought becomes so severe that harvests fail all over the globe.
    (Already happening, you haven’t shown it will be sudden, total or ongoing, just maybe that it’s time to consider the “100 mile diet”)
    2. Trucks and trains stop bringing food into cities.
    (Already a problem, consider the current situation with imported perishable commodities not being flown into EU/UK or what’s happening with the thousands of freight trucks needed to bring perishables daily into any large metro area like NYC paying exponentially more for fuel and tires)
    3. Governments try to cope with ration lines and soup kitchens. This lasts until the stored food runs out.
    (Ever notice how many soup kitchen and food bank lines there already are in every “civilized” urban area?)
    4. Desperate people try to take food away from one another. The elites who have it will be prime targets. Anyone with a working farm will find it overrun.
    (Growing a lot of my own food, I’ve experienced overnight thefts of crops for at least the last 2 decades – the current “civil society”, which in N America seems to involve a lot of guns)
    5. Areas who suspect other areas of having more food will invade them, first as refugees, then as impromptu armies. Pakistan and India each accuse each other of hoarding food. So do Serbia and Croatia. So do the US and Mexico…
    (Of course the increasingly fortified US southern border [as well as the northern one now] is evidence of this common human inclination, more related to an unsustainable population than climate)
    6. In the cities, pigeons and squirrels disappear almost overnight. Then the rats start to go.
    (Not to mention the various ungulates and small “game” as well as any size or type of marine life, all affected already)
    7. People start killing and eating each other.
    (Well …. might help with the overpopulation?)
    8. Deaths from starvation rise catastrophically.
    (Which of course is the sort of population control nature usually imposes, but does “catastrophic” really mean totally ruinous?)
    9. Deaths from infectious disease rise catastrophically because malnourished people have severely weakened immune systems and less bodily reserves.
    (Ditto #8, really a natural component of sustainability)
    10. Governments collapse. Without farmers and workers, you can’t keep nation-states running.
    (Have nation-states served so well achieving a sustainable civil society? As a life long “farmer/worker” I haven’t had support of state governments as even a secondary goal)
    11. Nearly everyone on Earth dies. (as they always have) A few in isolated, hard-to-get-to places with good farmland survive. In the cities, a few successful bullies and gangs survive by exploiting everyone else around them. In the long run they also die because they’re too stupid to figure out how to farm, irrigate, ensure clean drinking water, etc.
    (Really the “end of life as we know it” sci_fi scenario)
    12. Most of the technology and records are lost when the cities burn, and more as buildings collapse over time. Unharmed magnetic disks gradually lose their data.
    (Again, a fantasy scenario)

    Are you getting the picture yet? Yes, some kind of society will survive because humans are social animals. But the important future skills will be farming, hunting, gathering, and fighting. Not math, language, computer programming, or teaching. Women will again be subjugated (….) Hated ethnic and religious minorities will be killed off.”

    I’ve had the picture for some time Barton [and Edward, from books based on historical non-global events], because it’s been the reality for my lifetime, which is why I’m living the way I do, as an integral part of the primary production of a vibrant, varied, small community. But none of your points [based primarily on #1] really addresses sustainable population levels and how to get there [other than major collapse] at a point when the planet is poised to do it for us. I think that primary production has always been the important skill, and in modern times the “gathering” has been quite lucrative with the amount of waste in N America, and there are a lot of folks with the varied skills necessary for subsistence who also have excellent math, language and technical skills, and use them to teach self-sufficiency and sustainability. Specialization appears to have become the doom of our current societal arrangement, but can we “evolve” to a more sustainable system before nature vis climate force a change? Even optimistic scenarios seem to require a generation or more to get a grip on emissions and clarify where the climate is really heading and I much doubt the current state of “civilization” will get us there. Just sayin’ …. where is “there”, and how, realistically, do we get there from here?

    Sorry to be OT and sound so much like Gilles, but unsustainable population seems to me to be the root of most problems, including CO2 emissions.

  48. 648

    #550 simon monckton

    Think of it this way. A locomotive is coming from two states away, but it will come. Load times are variable and track and weather conditions may effect the conductors decision to go faster or slower.

    You are tied to the track and can not get up. You don’t know precisely when the train will kill you. but inevitably, you will die when the train hits you.

    We don’t know all the details but we do know the train is coming. PERIOD. Let me reiterate: PERIOD

    This is why I want you to confirm your real name. You constantly spout red herrings and miss simple points to maintain your religious belief that there really is no problem just because we actually can’t see the train two states away.

    Don’t forget, you are on the track with the rest of us and there is no other track. We have one planet. If we blow it, there is no second chance, we are warming there will be impacts. Survivability is reliant on adaptation and mitigation for peoples around the world. How many survive depends on the degree to which degradation happens; but it will happen, we just don’t know how bad ‘precisely’.

    Your logic is quite pathetic.


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  49. 649

    #523 J. Bob

    Again, short term is not long term and ice extent is not as important as ice volume or multi-year ice loss.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/arctic-ice

    On confidence levels I can say that confidence is reasonably high that we are losing multi-year ice, but I have not finished my reviews yet. so be patient.


    A Climate Minute The Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt


    Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’
    Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade
    http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

  50. 650
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “BPL: That’s why he said “hunter-gatherer,” not “farmer.””

    I noticed. Hence I said “15th Century farming”.

    Or is there some reason why farming will be impossible?

    Maybe where the climate is too marginal to manage a static farming system (cf Sub-Saharan Africa), but it’s not like the earth is going to get to the status of Arrakis…