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Unforced variations: Sep 2012

Filed under: — group @ 5 September 2012

Open thread – a little late because of the holiday. But everyone can get back to work now!

591 Responses to “Unforced variations: Sep 2012”

  1. 301
    Superman1 says:

    DHogoza #298,

    “298.Shorter Superman1 – since “the government” has been known to lie in the past, the “government” and all mainstream climate science researchers must be lying about the severity of upcoming global warming.”

    I am amazed at the amount of spin, misquotes, and taking out of context that occurs on this site, a supposedly science-oriented site. My point is that I have seen government statements and reports lie in many different areas, and that I accept no statements or studies without further verification. I don’t see why that should be so difficult to understand.

    Now, in climate change, we see a huge gap between what we are told by government and its funded scientists, and what we on this site believe to be the reality. There may be different ways of explaining this gap; my choice is ‘lying’. Now, can I prove it in court: no. There is insufficent accuracy in the science today that shows the government’s predictions are correct or our estimations are correct. But, there are many problem areas where the information is incomplete and highly uncertain, and decisions need to be based on other criteria.

    For different reasons, the politicians and the researchers have incentives not to present the full climate change picture in its stark, and I believe grim, reality. It’s fundamentally no different from the Iraq situation I described above.

    Now, rather than keep repeating myself, let me throw the ball back in your court. Do you believe the climate situation is as grim as has been proposed by some of us, and do you believe the government is not representing the seriousness of the situation to the public? If you believe both are true, what is your explanation for the gap?

  2. 302
    Patrick 027 says:

    re Superman1 @ 288 – “Rising water vapour had begun by 1940s;” – this is a fast feedback – a very important one, but out of place in the context in which you were working (ie it’s included in Charney sensitivity).

  3. 303
    sidd says:

    1) Prof. Lewandowsky’s blog is a better forum to demonstrate conspiracist ideation. I hear he’s collecting material.

    2)Probably will be lucky to avoid 2C total rise in temperature. Effects on the hydrological cycle are probably as bad. And a meter of SLR even over century is a bleak prospect.

    3)But I prefer to do what i can. Someone tells me there is no use in me planting trees or conserving KwH or treading more lightly on our planet, that it’s too late, that nothing can or will be done, that doom is nigh, that governments are lying, that scientists are obscuring the truth, that is their privilege. And it is my privilege to make my own judgements. Sometimes that judgement is to killfile the doom monger.

    4)Suggest that this forum split off the climate science threads from the climate policy threads.

    5)Speaking of science, Jokimaki brings news of a paper by Shiu et al in GRL:
    showing more evidence of shifting distribution of precipitation.


  4. 304
    Chris Korda says:

    Yes denialists derive incorrect conclusions from government malfeasance, but that doesn’t disprove government malfeasance. Why should it be surprising that governments have an interest in maintaining the status quo? Suppose I wave a magic wand and instantly replace humanity’s energy infrastructure with a zero-carbon equivalent. What is the value of the remaining fossil fuel deposits? Should I expect the current owners of those deposits to welcome the change? Think of Dubai, an imperial palace surrounded by desert, dedicated to opulence, built by slave labor and financed by mining the future. In what reality will the sheiks of the UAE gladly embrace a future that reduces them to just another impoverished nation, by making their windfall worthless? Do they believe they’re going to heaven regardless? Does Romney believe the Mormon dogma that riches acquired in this life determine placement in the next? What difference does it make as long as the powerful behave as though such things were true?

  5. 305
    Patrick 027 says:

    re 304 Chris Korda – besides your point, but Middle Eastern-oil countries would not completely lose their status in a solar-dominated world (see DESERTEC).

  6. 306
    dhogaza says:


    Now, in climate change, we see a huge gap between what we are told by government and its funded scientists, and what we on this site believe to be the reality.

    That would be the royal “we”, I assume, since it’s clear that many of us disagree with you.

    Also, note that those who run this site are largely government funded, and gavin, for instance, is a government employee, so you’re in essence calling the people who run this site liars.

  7. 307
    SecularAnimist says:

    Superman1 wrote: “no credible tangible method for extracting the carbon from the atmosphere”

    That’s not true. Organic agriculture and reforestation can sequester carbon in soil and biomass and draw down the already dangerous anthropogenic excess of atmospheric CO2.

    [Response:Thank you for your patience with these knuckleheads Animist.--Jim]

  8. 308
    David B. Benson says:

    Of course one thing that for sure will help is planting lotsa trees:

    Irrigated afforestation of the Sahara and Australian Outback to end global warming
    in which the full paper is open access (pdf).

  9. 309
    caerbannog says:

    (Must… not… …touch… …the… capslock key…)

    Shame on PBS!!:

    [Response:Absolutely outrageous, signs of the times. PBS is typically above that level.--Jim]

  10. 310
    dhogaza says:

    PBS gives Watts a bully pulpit …

    Lord preserve us …

  11. 311
    SecularAnimist says:

    Alastair McDonald wrote: “So long as scientists … refuse to face up to the urgency and to the impossibility of getting any action”

    I don’t think that scientists are “refusing” to face up to the “urgency”.

    Indeed the only reason that you, or I, or anyone else even knows about the “urgency” is because the scientists have told us about it. They have been telling us about it for at least a generation.

    And the “impossibility of getting any action” is not a scientific problem, it’s a political problem. Which means that it is up to all of us, not just the scientists, to deal with.

  12. 312

    Alistair, how will ‘facing the impossibility of getting action’ ‘undoom’ us?

  13. 313
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Alistair, Superman 1 and Chris Korda,

    What unmitigated, utter pathetic twaddle. All of you ought to feel ashamed. Utterly ashamed.

    The scientific community has been fighting this fight for 30 years. Where the hell were you?

    Al Gore has been at it for 40 years. Where the hell were you?

    This blog has been at it going on a decade. Where the hell were you?

    Your self-serving, self-congratulatory, ignorant and unjustified attacks on science, government and scientists are sickening. They accomplish nothing beyond inflating your already over-inflated egos. Do us a favor and get off of our side.

  14. 314
    dbostrom says:

    Alistair McDonald: So long as scientists such as yourself and Ray Ladbury refuse to face up to the urgency and to the impossibility of getting any action then we are all doomed.

    How should scientists respond to cues that they’re to remain mute on the subjects of their expertise as they pertain to policy? What if communicating the information they have to offer is consistently criticized as “advocacy?”

    Informed choices can be made between policy alternatives but offering cues to how to choose may be termed “advocacy,” even though it may be impossible to ignore one alternative’s faulty nature when offering genuinely neutral guidance.

    The very term “advocacy” is losing meaning and is being turned into a mild epithet as well as broadened in scope.

    The mere identification of facts let alone so-called “advocacy” can be career-wrecking. See the case of Monnett and Gleason. Michael Mann could hardly be said to have made a cakewalk by virtue of his risky discovery but things can be much, much worse as Monnett and Gleason’s case illustrates.

    Are the rest of us in front on this, or are we expecting others to stick their necks out, with us walking behind? How many of us did anything to defend M&G? How many have contributed to CSDF?

  15. 315
    Charles says:

    Interesting paper. Better start planting.

  16. 316
    adelady says:

    I had a quick look at David’s Sahara/Australia paper.

    Where on earth do they think they might get 1000mm pa in a succession of El Nino years like our last dance to this depressing tune? I can see that using advance notice of La Nina years we could be ready to plant largish areas in western and southern Queensland as the floods recede. Planting and irrigating in ordinary or El Nino years looks like a classic recipe for ruining the fairly unwonderful soil by salinity – the same way we’ve wrecked a whole lot of better soils by poor farming practice. In an El Nino year the evaporation rates would exceed the watering rates by multiples of 3 or more.

    Irrigating the whole 200,000sq km of the limestone Nullarbor Plain looks to be even more of a challenge. It’s called ‘null arbor’ (Latin for ‘no tree’) for a very good reason. The average rainfall at Ceduna is less than 300mm – and that’s near the coast!

    I’d be happy to see a proposal for reestablishing tree and scrub cover for farmland that should never have seen a plough or a hard hoof in the first place. There’s 10s of 1000s of sq km that would benefit mightily from that sort of proposal. But the idea of turning Coober Pedy or Broken Hill into a forest would need a lot more work before I’d be interested.

  17. 317
    Chris Korda says:


    All of you ought to feel ashamed.

    People should certainly feel ashamed of themselves, but not for criticizing scientists or the government. People should feel ashamed of their hubris which has emptied the ocean and is wrecking the climate. They should feel ashamed of covering earth with concrete and asphalt, and sacrificing their own children for the short-term wealth of a tiny elite. But don’t worry, I’m not on your side.

  18. 318
    Patrick 027 says:

    Electric power sector emissions (found by dividing table 11.3e by table 8.2b)
    g CO2 / kWhe, average of 2001-2010, average of 2006-2010
    (averages are not weighted by kWh per year)
    (these are not life-cycle emissions; I’m pretty sure it’s just the combustion of the fuel at the power plant)

    coal: 993.9 , 995.9
    petroleum: 902.2 , 935.1
    natural gas: 471.2 , 451.1

    total fossil fuels, sort’a (I just summed coal, petroleum, and natural gas emissions, and divided by total fossil fuel electricity – this may have missed some things):
    851.8 , 832.2

    geothermal: less than: 34.1 , less than 33.5
    (I don’t know how much less – it could be 30, it could be zero – the emissions table just indicates the geothermal emissions were less than 0.5 million metric tons).

    Total (including biomass generation and excluding biomass emissions):
    605.9 , 589.0

    g C instead (using 12/44 ratio g C / g CO2, so really just 2 significant figures):

    coal: 271 , 272
    petroleum: 246 , 255
    natural gas: 129 , 123

    total fossil fuels, sort’a: 232 , 227

    geothermal (less than): 9.3 , 9.1

    total: 165.2 , 160.6

  19. 319
    Patrick 027 says:

    … didn’t account for T&D losses.

  20. 320
    Rob Dekker says:

    Caerbannog “Shame on PBS”.

    Instead of taking on Watts for his cherry-picking and the slander and the absense of science on his blog as well as the on-going insults at scientists, the PBS interviewer actually is doing most of the “leading” talking with suggestive questions that scientists are motivated by “money involved and grants”, that the records are inaccurate etc etc ?

    Is that some kind of joke by PBS ?
    It looks like a Heartland-sponsored WSJ op-ed.

    Who is paying for this segment on OUR public radio network ?

    Either way, I just posted this comment over at PBS :

    After the spectacular mega-melt of Arctic sea ice to levels far below even the worst case scenarios of the IPCC projections, a hottest July in recorded history and significant heat waves and drought across the Northern Hemisphere, I am rather surprised that PBS News Hour decided to interview a non-scientist who still questions the science, humiliates scientists on his blog, and believes the main issue is Urban Heat Island effect.

  21. 321
    David B. Benson says:

    adelady @316 — Its not my paper, I merely linked to it.

    A most reasonable approach is to use (unmentionable here on Real Climate) power source for the desalinization of sea water and the pumping of the resulting fresh water into the interior. The interest in the two deserts proposed is that once the tree farms are well established some rain would fall so that it would be necessary to supply only about 1/2 of the total requirement.

    Since fresh water would in any case be in short supply I assume that these massive projects would use drip irrigation.

  22. 322
    Superman1 says:

    Ray Ladbury #313,

    “The scientific community has been fighting this fight for 30 years…… Do us a favor and get off of our side.”

    There’s the problem. ‘You’ve’ been “fighting this fight for 30 years”, and what have you accomplished in ameliorating climate change in any significant way? Bupkis!

    Anyone who wants to introduce a new product knows the first step is to do a market survey, and identify demand. Had ‘you’ done that for products to bypass climate change, you would have found that all the major climate change stakeholders were, and still are, comfortable with the status quo. Until that hurdle is overcome, and you come to grips with the central problem, ‘your’ efforts are in vain. Given the realities of what is available today, and what is necessary to solve the problem, I’m not sure a feasible solution exists.

    From my estimates of the completely unachievable case of ending all fossil fuel combustion tomorrow, we would reach temperature levels that I don’t believe could be sustained because of feedbacks that we are observing today. To solve this foundational problem, extremely drastic steps are required. The public is not being told this, and if they were, I don’t believe that, at this point in time, they would be willing to make the sacrifices necessary.

    I am struck by the parallels between climate change and cellular phones. Lennart Hardell, one of the world’s leading oncology epidemiologists, has shown that heavy cell phone use (thirty minutes per day) for a decade doubles the odds for some types of adult brain cancer and quintiples the odds for people who start as children. Yet, he and people like Henry Lai have suffered the same types of assaults as Michael Mann et al. How many people have changed their use of cell phones based on this knowledge; probably the same number that have changed their fossil fuel use knowing about its potential impact on climate change.

    In both cases, the central problem is addiction. For climate change, the average consumer is addicted to the high energy intensity lifestyle driven by ‘cheap’ fossil fuels, and for cell phones, the average consumer is addicted to ‘cheap’ and convenient wireless communications at all times and locations. And, there are many examples that people will die before surrendering their addictions. Yes, there are those who exploit these addictions substantially, like the fossil companies for climate change, and the vendors for cell phones, and the members of the research community and the media who do their bidding. They all should be reprimanded and punished, but without the driving force of the public’s addictions, they would get nowhere.

    “The scientific community has been fighting this fight for 30 years. Where the hell were you?”

    I answered this once, but I’ll repeat it. Thirty-five years ago, I was pushing advanced nuclear concepts to replace fossil-driven power plants. There were, and still are, reasons to eliminate fossil fuel other than climate change impact. At the time, we had an Administration that was hostile to promoting nuclear power, and there was no support on that front. In addition, there was an ‘environmental’ movement that strongly opposed nuclear, and was only promoting ‘renewables’. Had we moved forward on nuclear at that time in a big way, we might have been able to ameliorate climate change to some degree. Nuclear had its own set of problems, but in my view, it was the lesser of two evils.

    ” Do us a favor and get off of our side.”

    I don’t know who is included in ‘our’, but given ‘your’ track record, and the reasons for your track record, I have no inclination to join ‘your’ specific team. I want to reverse this Stage 4 cancer of climate change we are facing, not take two aspirins and call the Doctor in the morning.

  23. 323
    Alastair McDonald says:

    dbostrum asked ‘How should scientists respond to cues that they’re to remain mute on the subjects of their expertise as they pertain to policy? What if communicating the information they have to offer is consistently criticized as “advocacy?”’

    Scientists will always be criticised by the Skeptics. If they follow my advice they will be called alarmists. But they should not use that as an excuse for not telling the truth.

    It is not the job of climate scientists to advocate policies. Politicians have to decide whether to raise taxes or remove subsidies. Geo-engineering is the province of engineers and international agreements. It is climate scientists’s job to warn the public of the dangers if no action is taken. But those dangers are so horrific that scientists find it difficult to accept them. So long as scientists refuse to contemplate the worst case scenario, far less spell it out, then there is little hope of the public demanding the action that is needed. That is the log jam I am trying to breach.

    But you can see how the opposite effect is produced by my clumsy efforts :-(

  24. 324
    Jim Larsen says:

    294 SecularA said, “towards a concrete wall,”

    More like Ghostbuster’s marshmallow monster. Even the loss of the arctic ice cap is ever so soft. (even cushy for oil and shipping.)

    295 wili, when talking to students or friends, I’d focus on ocean and biosphere absorption, which isn’t based on our emissions, but on temperature and concentration. Rule of thumb is half our current rate, so we need to cut our emissions in half and hold our breath, hoping the planet doesn’t spring too many leaks. It gets less effective every decade, but it gives us time to cure the cancer, as Superman puts it. That sort of reduction is not beyond a typical town’s abilities.

    287 MaRodger, Hi back. :-)

    ” surely unwarranted: “So MPGe is based on 100% efficiency” ”

    Re-read 228. 34k(?) is the total energy derived from burning a gallon of gas. MPGe says putting 34k(?) energy into the battery equals one gallon of gas. So, assuming the grid were fed only with gasoline, MPGe says the grid is 100% efficient. Do the apples to oranges conversions for wind/solar/coal/hydro/CH4 and combine. Way messy and it changes by a factor of 2 simply by moving from my house to dhogaza’s. Easier to just go 100% efficient and help edge EVs into the market.

    “An electric motor is embarrasingly efficient… …the electric vehicle has technologies waiting in the wings to improve efficiency.”

    Considering only the drive train, batteries are already very efficient too, so I don’t see much headroom. Reduced battery weight will help. Braking will improve, too. 25% improvement in store for EVs?

    Your 25% potential efficiency estimate for liquids is low. The best ship diesels get over 50% efficiency. Unlike “normal” cars, a series hybrid can always operate near maximum efficiency. Atkinson engines are more efficient than diesels for the same compression ratio, so they will surely catch up to biodiesels as injection improvements allow for diesel-like ratios. Counting losses in the “electric transmission”, 35-40% should be doable. Compare to 15-20?% now and that’s 100% improvement for liquid fuels, and that’s not even counting braking and battery improvements.

    Liquid fuel waits for breakthroughs in biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol. Batteries wait for breakthroughs in weight and recharging rate. I think all four will be solved soon enough, so our decisions on what infrastructure to build should be based on that premise.

    “carbon emissions from driving electric cars is not a challenge confronting their widespread adoption.”

    Absolutely. Arguing over which is less carbon intensive is talking peanuts. Today, on an apples to apples comparison, both are about the same because both use fossil. In the future, neither will. So, letting current or future emissions enter into your thoughts when choosing future vehicles’ energy storage medium is dumb. The Prius and Leaf of the future will both be 100% renewable.

    Liquid fuel cars have the added benefits of lower vehicle cost, waste heat, no range anxiety, and an existing distribution network. Some can be fuelled with electricity at a reduced range.

    EVs have the benefits of superior handling, no exhaust (but compared to a 50% efficient alcohol engine – well, folks spike their gas with alcohol to pass emissions tests), and less maintenance, but have bigger batteries for potential replacement.

    The choice seems to be between spending $40K on an EV (rebates are transfers, not a reduction in cost), or $40k on BOTH a liquid-fuelled car and a ground source heat pump to replace your CH4 furnace.

  25. 325
    Jim Larsen says:

    add to prev post:

    and your inefficient air to air AC unit.

  26. 326
    Superman1 says:

    Rob Dekker #320,

    “Is that some kind of joke by PBS ?”

    At the risk of being on the receiving end of spears by the faithful, I offer the following. PBS, and public broadcasting stations in general, receive about 15% of their funding from the Federal government, mainly through CPB. As in every other human endeavor, the Golden Rule is followed: he who has the Gold sets the Rules. PBS does not want to lose this support, so they will not go out of their way to offend the sponsor. In practice, this is no different from how the Federal workers operate, and how those who receive Federal grants or contracts operate.

    So, as I have stated previously, if the politicians and government in general do not want to present the stark facts about the reality of climate change to the public, this philosophy will ripple down to their employees and grant recipients. Congress in particular can exert strong budgetary pressure by authorizing and appropriating funds for PBS, and given that a majority of the House of Representatives openly state their hostility to climate change amelioration actions (what they believe may be far different), PBS has to tread a narrow line in order to receive funding. That’s all you’re seeing with this particular program.

  27. 327
    adelady says:

    Sorry David, I only realised I’d written it that way afterwards.

    Drip irrigation? It’s expensive enough for a vineyard or an orchard. I’d be more inclined to look at restoring the original roughish landscape and focus plantings on natural swales and other depressions to start with. Reestablishing original tree cover in areas around the Flinders Ranges and salt tolerant species around Lake Eyre would be a more sensible starting point. Broken Hill and similar areas throughout the centre can support not much more than mulga, eremophilas or saltbush.

    I know eucalyptus species are variable, but these people suggest using throughout the interior and the southern dry areas a sub-tropical tree commonly known as flooded gum. **Nothing** in the Nullarbor has ever grown 100m tall nor are there any flooded or sub-tropical environments, let alone the damp, fertile soils of Australia’s east coast.

    I’d like to see recalculations of carbon sequestration numbers using a more realistic selection of dry, salt and infertile soil tolerant species. Once these were established, areas showing benefits from the expected increased rainfall could be used to introduce thirstier, larger growing species.

  28. 328
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Chris Korda, you have made it abundantly clear that you are on nobody’s side but your own.

  29. 329
    wili says:

    JL, thanks for your points.

    Unfortunately, the oceans seem to be slowing down this service of absorbing half the carbon we spew into the atmosphere:

    “decline of ocean as carbon sink”

    “The ocean can’t keep up with the amount of carbon dioxide we are putting in the atmosphere”

  30. 330
    SecularAnimist says:

    Superman1 wrote: “PBS, and public broadcasting stations in general, receive about 15% of their funding from the Federal government, mainly through CPB … they will not go out of their way to offend the sponsor.”

    PBS has received millions of dollars from David Koch, of the fossil fuel corporation Koch Industries, one of the biggest funders of global warming denialist propaganda in the world — including the Heartland Institute which equates climate scientists with the Unabomber and Osama Bin Laden — and a huge financial backer of politicians who oppose and obstruct any action to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, especially coal. Indeed, Koch is conspicuously named on PBS broadcasts as a “sponsor” of the science program Nova.

    Yet you think the problem with PBS is that it is funded by “the government”, and that it is “government scientists” who are “lying” about global warming. In support of this you offer nothing but vacuous, derogatory generalities about “the government” unsupported by any facts.

  31. 331
  32. 332
    dhogaza says:


    PBS, and public broadcasting stations in general, receive about 15% of their funding from the Federal government

    It used to be much higher, and it got cut deeply precisely because PBS *did* offend conservatives in goverment, despite your claim that PBS won’t “offend their [government] sponsor”. Conservatives fixed that by changing not only the funding structure, but governance.

    Now, as pointed out above, they get large sums of money from Koch, oil companies, etc. Corporate sponsership was always part of their budget, but as the need for more became greater, PBS began to run corporate commercials allowing sponsors to tout their message in a way the could not do in earlier days.

    Given that government doesn’t universally reject climate science, and given that government funding only accounts for about 15% of their budget, your claim doesn’t hold water.

  33. 333
    Chris Korda says:

    Ray @328:

    you are on nobody’s side but your own.

    Not true. I’m on the side of non-humans. I would prefer to see voluntary population reduction and orderly shutdown, but I’ll settle for collapse if that’s what it takes. A hothouse climate doesn’t favor mammals. Long-term, things are looking up for reptiles.

    PS On the unpopular subject of criticizing scientists, the latest “brutal logic” from Dr. Kevin Anderson and Dr. Alice Bows, A new paradigm for climate change:

    On the back of the Rio+20 conference Professor Kevin Anderson, Tyndall Manchester and Dr Alice Bows, Sustainable Consumption Institute argue that “how climate change science is conducted, communicated and translated into policy must be radically transformed if ‘dangerous’ climate change is to be averted”. They provocatively suggest the scientific community has contributed to a misguided belief that incremental adjustments in economic incentives, “a carbon tax here, a little emissions trading there and the odd voluntary agreement thrown in for good measure” will deliver the necessary reductions in emissions. They proceed to criticise the dominance of a financial mentality and how many within the scientific community underplay the severity of their analysis to ensure their conclusions support the orthodoxy of economic growth.

    With carbon dioxide emissions in 2011 up 3.2% on 2010, which itself rose by almost 6% on 2009, they argue that it is time to “leave the market economists to fight amongst themselves over the ‘right price’ of carbon … the world is moving on and we need to have the audacity to think differently and conceive of alternative futures”. They conclude that “Civil society needs scientists to do science free of the constraints of a failed economics”, and that whilst “decisions on how to respond to climate change are the product of many constituencies … science is important amongst these and needs to be communicated clearly, honestly and without fear.”

  34. 334
    Dan H. says:

    Regarding PBS funding, this may help:

    Roughly 15% comes from the Federal government, through CPB, as stated by superman1. However, when you total up all the state, local, and collegiate dollars, the total government revenue swells to 44%. Private donors account for about 27%, with businesses and foundations contributing another 22%.

    It would hard not to offend somebody, with that wide array of sponsorship.

  35. 335
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Korda, do you have even the faintest inkling of how a collapse of human population would affect ecosystems on this planet? Do you expect humans to watch meekly as their children starve? Here’s a hint there are regions of scarcity in India where one cannot find trees–none. All chopped down hundreds of years ago for firewood.

    If you think a catastrophic collapse of human population would benefit any lifeform more complicated than a bacterium, you are delusional. If you care about anything on this planet, you had better pray for a soft landing. Or better yet, get off your privileged ass and do something to make it happen.

  36. 336
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Dan H.: “It would hard not to offend somebody, with that wide array of sponsorship.”

    What a pity they chose to offend the truth.

  37. 337
    David B. Benson says:

    adelady @327 — Since the desalination and pumping costs are about US$4/tonne it strikes me as sensible to use the water as efficiently as possible.

    Any plan which lessens the amount of carbon sequestered per year means that much of the excess CO2 is not captured. There are many alternatives, including also greening the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Penninsula. Whichever alternative is the least cost per annum and is otherwise politically feasible ought to be put in motion.

    So far we got nothin’.

    [Response:I can appreciate that last statement David, but these kinds of schemes have to be considered carefully and there are enormous potential problems with many of them, including this one. Growing trees where they will grow is one thing; trying to force them to grow where they wouldn't otherwise--on a large scale-- is another thing altogether.--Jim]

  38. 338
    Jim Larsen says:

    296 SecularA said, “the New York Independent System Operator has found that for every 1,000 MW of wind on the system, consumers save $300 million in wholesale energy costs.”

    That doesn’t sound to me like a burden on our “finite budget”. It sounds like growing the pie.”

    Pies include all stakeholders. My guess is that the taxpayers’ slice gets smaller.

    You and Superman1 might have some similarities. No choice but to reduce as fast as possible VS no choice but to watch ourselves die…

  39. 339
    Jim Larsen says:

    329 wili quoted, “”But with this re-ventilation, there’s some places where actually it doesn’t get put away into the deep ocean for long at all, re-ventilating in the time-scale of a decade.”"

    Sounded way scary until I hit that. The effects are already mostly included in our sum-total figures. A decade’s CO2 farts based on the previous decade’s pre-farts are offset by the decade’s pre-farts. No biggie, unless I’m misreading.

  40. 340
    Charles says:

    I am not at all sure that they offended the truth. They is ample evidence that it has been oversold.

    [Response: How can the truth be 'oversold'? - gavin]

  41. 341
    David B. Benson says:

    Comet May Have Exploded Over Canada 12,900 Years Ago After All
    It seems there is now quite good evidence for the Clovis comet.

    But the most interesting finds at Topper are only indicated at the very end.

  42. 342
    wili says:

    JL, I can’t quite follow your logic.

    Carbon that was thought to be taken out of the atmosphere for a long time, we now know is coming back quite quickly. In fairly short order this largely eliminates the nearly fifty % of our emissions that we thought the oceans were locking away. But to echo your final sentence, I may be misunderstanding something.

  43. 343
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Superman1 — 18 Sep 2012 @ 5:54 AM 322

    It just keeps getting worse. First you identify the climate scientists as liars and now, by the same logic, you have outed that lying Lennart Hardell. Well, there is a little difference. There is no known physical mechanism by which the 60 cycle from your refrigerator, or 2 watts of radiation from your mobile phone, can affect living tissue adversely. Epidemiology is correlation without causation. So you should be saying that Hardell is lying about the cause while completely ignoring the several other obvious potential causes for the small correlation that has been detected by the scientific community. In contrast, climate scientists have a well established physical cause, can demonstrate a large effect, and have a whole UN agency to help them collate the science in a convenient form for us and the policy makers. Lying by omission?


    Capcha says gredos rest. We can only hope.

  44. 344
    Steve Fish says:

    Comment by Chris Korda — 18 Sep 2012 @ 3:46 PM:

    It would be helpful if you could point to where “the scientific community has contributed to a misguided belief that incremental adjustments in economic incentives.” I am sure that there are a few climate scientists who express their opinions about carbon taxes and such publicly, but the whole community? I must have missed something or, perhaps, Manchester and Bows are just blowing smoke.

    A little help would be appreciated. Steve

  45. 345
    David B. Benson says:

    Jim Boulding (reply @337) — Trees grew fine in China Lake CA (Mojave desert) the year I lived there. Watering was advisable as it only rained once in that year.

    Larger and longer experiences with desert irrigation can be found noticably in Israel and in the Imperial valley CA, surely elsewhere. Growing trees in deserts takes H2O and sometimes some of the NKPS micronutrients; have to control locusts and other pests.

    Sure there will be problems but often simply learning by trial and (hopefully not too many) errors is nearly the best we can do. Obviously the study in question is preliminary (and it doesn’t seem anybody has a follow-on). My plain just guess is that such a scheme would require a goodly portion of US$750 billion per annum. [To put that figure in proportion, it is the Institue of Medicine's recent estimate of what is just wasted in medicanl/hospital practice in the USA.] Obviously such a sizable budget has room for scientific studies as the engineering, construction and silviculture.

  46. 346
    Jim Larsen says:

    341 wili said, “Carbon that was thought to be taken out of the atmosphere for a long time, we now know is coming back quite quickly.”

    Not ‘is coming back’ but ‘has mostly already come back, and the bit that hasn’t will do so within a decade’

    We have the Keeling curve, which is the sum total of all carbon emissions and uptakes. Who cares whether that includes very short term storage? My fear was that it takes 50-100 years for the CO2 to reappear. The article increases my fear for that possibility.

    SecularA, if you’re looking for another analogy, perhaps Death by 1000 cuts? It hurts a tad at first, and some of you dies (blood). Things get progressively painful but you don’t all die for a very long time.

  47. 347
    Chris Korda says:

    @343 Steve Fish:

    I must have missed something

    Why not simply read their paper? I don’t have access to it, but maybe you do. I’m all for defending the honor of climate scientists but that means throwing Kevin and Bows out the front door, i.e. refuting their results. You could start by sending a letter to Nature.

  48. 348

    Cheers Alistair, stay Arctic cool! Ray is a great tutor, spends a lot of his valuable time explaining correct science, RC guys are wonderful, they do their best against the Giant energy industries to dumb to figure out that we need to burn H2, not carbon which bonds with hydrogen in the form of an oil molecule. I am an optimist thinking especially back about our distant ancestors, even before the world was invented by the Scottish! They had vague ideas about the universe, as we do, , but survived 3 million years… Now I really get motivated by the good news, Danish and German economies doing great despite banking collapse, in part due to renewable energy. Also encouraged by the Japan and Germany deadlines to end nuclear reactors destined to be replaced by renewables and cleaner energy such as as natural gas. So most countries are getting by as usual, but making better surviving somewhat happy, but caring more for the planet we live on. I can’t wait to see NY bankers figure out how to invest and make cash with renewables, they are probably smarter than the oil chemists having not cracked hydrogen from Carbon.
    ….. A Clue electricity which may come from wind may help!

  49. 349
    Chris Korda says:

    @335 Ray Ladbury:

    do you have even the faintest inkling of how a collapse of human population would affect ecosystems

    I do, thanks to Alan Weisman’s classic “The World Without Us.” Or if you’re in a hurry, you could watch “Life After People” which covers similar topics. A few thousand years would erase most evidence of human presence on Earth besides a few monuments like Mount Rushmore, radioactive waste, plastics, and of course, climate change. But not to worry: “If the planet can recover from the Permian, it can recover from the human.” (from Josie Appleton’s review).

    you are delusional … get off your privileged ass

    Your ad hominem attacks are bizarre and outrageous. I find it fascinating that RC tolerates such incivility. If this is indicative of how scientists normally communicate, no wonder they don’t want their emails leaked. You obviously don’t know the first thing about me.

  50. 350
    Jim Larsen says:

    MaRodger on MPGe,

    There is no “proper’ formula. How many gallons of CH4 equal one gallon of gas? You try to do a formula that is fair, but it’s artificial. I think any MPGe number from 1:1 (correct as is) to 3:1 (my original opinion) is defensible.

    I think the best formula is a random experiment, which the Prius and Leaf happen to be. Carbon average for US is 1:1, Mpge to Mpg is 2:1. So, the ‘best’ conversion is cut MPGe by a factor of 2.

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