RealClimate logo


Technical Note: Sorry for any recent performance issues. We are working on it.

Unforced variations: Dec 2012

Filed under: — group @ 1 December 2012

A new meteorological season, perhaps some new science topics to discuss…


369 Responses to “Unforced variations: Dec 2012”

  1. 51
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Fill barrel with water. Insulate outside of barrel

    Do any collectors that use just distilled water include a sterilization step?

    I’d want to build with copper instead of plastic anyhow, to avoid even a slight chance of contaminating the household hot water some day.

    A panel could include some pipe in a focused hot spot — doesn’t need to boil to Pasteurize. Or, heck, boil a few ounces at a time, that could be happening in daylight inside a sealed system; a steam pump would run in daylight. Use distilled water, drain back overnight to storage (minus enough left to prime the pump. No antifreeze.

  2. 52
    Russell says:

    Meanwhile back in Doha, the inimitable Viscount Monckton has been stripped of his UN credentials and given the keys to the Rub’ al Khali for pinching the microphone of Myanmar

  3. 53
    Hank Roberts says:

    (answering my own question): The Original Geyser Pumping Solar Water Heater seems likely; they promise info for homebuilders soon.

  4. 54
    sidd says:

    Re:Solar Hot Water

    1)i seem to have slipped a zero, i set that safety at 10psi not 1 psi
    also direct the blowoff down toward the floor (1 foot off the floor, just like the blowoff on your hot water heater, with a bucket under it, so you collect the antifreeze and pump it back in after the hissy fit is done
    2)Insulate underneath the barrel BEFORE you put stuff in it. Manhandling a full barrel onto a 4″ piece of polyiso is not necessary. Throw some bleach in the barrel.

    Mr. Hank Roberts writes on the 6th of December, 2012 at 4:56 PM:

    “Do any collectors that use just distilled water include a sterilization step?”

    you can use whatever fluid suits your fancy. water has freeze possibility in northern climes. probably want UV light to sterilize

    oil is a possibility, for heat transfer, storage and exchange, but it is messy when you screw up…that said, I have used it in all three roles

    “I’d want to build with copper instead of plastic anyhow, to avoid even a slight chance of contaminating the household hot water some day.”

    pex is pretty tough, and copper is expensive

    Two different loops have to fail at once for contamination. Both would indicate in pressure and temperature. Don’t put fittings inside the barrel.

    “… a steam pump …”

    expensive, can be done, remember you can’t push lo pressure steam, only pull it. pumping a mix of steam and water will destroy most pumps. hi pressure steam will kill you quickly, and all others within considerable range. Would not recommend unless you really know what you are doing.

    rather than pumpage, i would design thermosiphon, but lo, and behold, it’s been done, look at evacuated tube collectors. Alas, they use antifreeze…but they are getting cheaper and cheaper.

    “Use distilled water, drain back overnight to storage (minus enough left to prime the pump. No antifreeze.”

    Warm climates are nice. Antifreeze these days is propylene glycol, not nearly as toxic as ethylene.

    sidd

  5. 55
    perwis says:

    New report from NOAA on sea level rise released today!

    The report gives upper and lower bounds on global mean SLR until year 2100. They say: “We have very high confidence (>9 in 10 chance) that global mean sea level will rise at least 0.2 meters (8 inches) and no more than 2.0 meters (6.6 feet) by 2100.”

    It also provides four scenarios that can be used for planning, at 0.2 , 0.5 , 1.2 and 2.0 meter SLR by 2100 respectively.

    I think it is really good to promote scenario thinking in regards to SLR. However, it becomes a bit confusing when they make probabilistic assessments of upper and lower bounds and at the same time say that “specific probabilities or likelihoods are not assigned to individual scenarios in this report, and none of these scenarios should be used in isolation.”

    If you assign a high likelihood to “no more than 2.0 meters”, then it seems to me that you at the same time would have to assign a 2.0 m scenario much less likelihood than the lower scenarios.

    I also find the justification of the confidence claims weak.

    But hey! It is huge that NOAA and the U.S. National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee now take 2 meter scenarios into serious consideraation, which may be warranted in high-consequence outcomes.

    You find the report here: http://www.cpo.noaa.gov/reports/sealevel/

    Parris, A., P. Bromirski, V. Burkett, D. Cayan, M. Culver, J. Hall, R. Horton, K. Knuuti, R. Moss, J. Obeysekera, A. Sallenger, and J. Weiss. 2012. Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the US National Climate Assessment. NOAA Tech Memo OAR CPO-1. 37 pp.

  6. 56
    Susan Anderson says:

    Kevin McKinney. Please consider passive solar. Somewhere I have some plans somebody dug up for me; they also suggested DIY rather than paying for fancy. The house I stayed in for a year was a tall tower – expensive windows (good triple paned) a must. Sunward size was a three-story garden with outdoor shower, good for sunbathing when it was 20F outside. Pump pushed air below floor (old Roman concept). Backup heat was rarely needed, but I’ve never seen any other house that looked like it. Siting essential.

    I’d suspect incorporating the idea of passive solar might be possible without going to whole way, if you can find a sunny exposure and use the heating space as insulation, helping cool and freshen air and providing infinite pleasure.

    Russell, trust you to have the juicy news. What a wonderful fillip for the day!

  7. 57
  8. 58
    David B. Benson says:

    World’s Big Trees Are Dying: Alarming Increase in Death Rates Among Trees 100-300 Years Old
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206162519.htm

    That is certainly happening here. Except along seasonal and permanent streams and rivers all the trees were planted. The oldest ones, just over 100 years old, are indeed dying. Some topple in winter winds when the ground is saturated. Others appear to be diseased.

  9. 59
    Jim Larsen says:

    55 Susan A,

    Yes, do it yourself will save tons of money, and DIY passive probably gives the best return of all solar. A greenhouse on the south side with a solar hot water system inside is a grand investment in your house.

    The simplest DIY system is a breadbox heater. Get a plumber to find a good used hot water tank for you (bigger is better), strip off the insulation, paint it solar-rated flat black, and replace the anode rod. Put it in an insulated box (Don’t forget to include a plugged hole for anode rod replacement) and point the glazed side (single in the south, double in the north, triple for the extreme) to the southern sky. You’ve got a breadbox heater that will pre-heat your hot water and won’t freeze in all but the most extreme climates. Put 2 or 3 of these in series and you’ll have plenty of hot water. (One problem with solar hot water is that each use dilutes the hot water. Use 20% of your hot water and you don’t have 80% left, but 100% left at a temperature 20% closer to your inlet temperature (depending on stratification VS time…). This dilution and the resulting temperature drop can be mitigated by using multiple tanks, which isolates the output tank from the cold input water.) I could see some folks getting up and running for a hundred dollars a tank.

    Add in a bypass and drain and you’ve got a more efficient system (in early morning the solar tank temperature could be below the water supply’s temperature), but that requires work or expensive smart systems. Same with an insulated cover. A batch water heater that closes in the dark – haven’t seen one myself, but it’s not rocket science. I’m amazed that nobody sells a breadbox that uses a movable panel(s) as an insulated cover at night and a reflector during the day.

    Then there’s the thermosiphon conundrum. If you collect heat in an array that’s lower than the storage tank, you can put in a pipe from the top of the storage tank to the top of the collector and another from the bottom of the storage tank to the bottom of the collector. Gravity will automagically transport heat from your collector to your storage tank. You could alternatively install a solar-powered pump, allowing for the storage tank to be placed lower than the collector. But in either case you’ll end up with an easily-frozen array.

    So you can either:

    1. use antifreeze in the collector water. This means you have to have a separate loop for the collector, with a heat exchanger to transfer energy from the collector loop to the storage tank loop. If passive (thermosiphon), then it has to be below the storage tank and above the collector. With pumped, you’ll need a second PV-powered pump. This technique has the bonus of allowing for a non-pressurized collector, which is much more forgiving. It also isolates a cold collector from the system so the problem of feeding colder than normal water to your existing hot water tank is eliminated.

    2. Allow for manual draining of the collector via a drain valve and a bypass valve. Mess up and forget (or be on vacation) and your system freezes, potentially causing leaks.

    3. Put in a fancy management system. Well, now you’re leaving DIY and calling a professional or buying a pre-engineered system.

    Doing the math and considering the variables is daunting, as the options can drive you nuts. And you’ll surely see an obviously better way after you’re done. So, DIY is grand for soldering the joints, but nearly everybody would be better off enlisting professional help for design. Most any solar engineer’s first water heater won’t come close to optimal for the client’s lifestyle and climate. Design it yourself means you’re gonna be that unlucky first customer. And solar hot water is kind of a Goldilocks issue. Size your system too large and you’ll either scald someone or be forever having to dump hot water.

    In the end, a cheap breadbox or three will suit many folks. Lots of bang and few bucks, with no moving parts. If your water is heated by gas then you’re spending perhaps $200 a year; if electrical then ~$450. Even at $500 a DIY triple breadbox solar hot water system will pay for itself in a couple of years.

    And I’m peeved that solar hot water isn’t an off the shelf item tailored to each climate region. Talk about low hanging fruit! Domestic solar hot water in mass-produced quantities is a no-brainer for the consumer and a hefty slice of the global warming solution. If we took all that wind turbine and EV money and put it into solar hot water….what? an order of magnitude better results?

  10. 60
    Jim Larsen says:

    54 sidd said, “pex is pretty tough, and copper is expensive”

    Pex is a great insulator and degrades. Copper is the worst insulator and lasts. Using anything but copper in a water-based heat exchange system that’s exposed to sunlight requires serious analysis.

  11. 61
    Jim Larsen says:

    Oh, one cool Pex use is a collector with no joints. If all joints are kept in areas protected from freezing, then a Pex thermosiphon collector can be allowed to freeze. Though a crappy material for transferring heat, Pex can make for a cheap system. (No idea how many freeze cycles Pex can handle, but replacing it will be cheap.)

  12. 62

    Steve, sidd, thanks very much!

  13. 63
    Mark A. York says:

    My global warming thriller, the answer to State of Fear is live on Amazon. I had no other choice but put it on Kindle. The Realclimate team is in the acknowledgements. Reviews would be appreciated.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AIZ3L4E

  14. 64

    …and Hank and Jim and Susan!

    Yes, we will ultimately redo the structure and will definitely use passive solar principles. We have a southern exposure to the lake, which means no-one can build a sun-blocking high-rise. But all that is way off yet.

    No reason not to build solar chops a bit and save cash and emissions in the meantime.

  15. 65
    sidd says:

    Re:Solar Hot Water

    One last thing. I have no idea what the permitting requirements might be for those reading who want to do solar hot water. In projects in ag zoning, you can mostly do anything you like as long as it dont spook the livestock. The ones i have done in less permissive communities, the permits haven’t been that hard to pull, inspectors have been uniformly friendly, helpful and curious.

    sidd

  16. 66
    Hank Roberts says:

    Please, somebody competent in the required subjects create a blog or find one for the RC readers who want to do homebuilt solar.

    We might all get along.

  17. 67
    Hank Roberts says:

    One for the tree scientists:

    “… a rate that will surprise tree scholars (and lumber companies), who’ve long assumed that trees, like most living things, slow down as they age.” National Geographic story
    (hat tip to Krulwich at NPR)

    Is this also known about big trees in other forests?

    How about those last remnant old growth forests in Alaska, for example — that the Forest Service is under pressure to log in a hurry now?

    Do those bigger trees also speed up CO2 capture as they get older?
    Is this news about old growth forest generally?

    And will this change the carbon-capture calculation?

    (I’ve been protecting 10 acres of almost-old-growth, and working at 40 acres of recent-forest-fire restoration — everybody needs a hobby — but I’ve never been able to get good numbers on carbon capture, and this growth rate number would be worth capturing. How?)

  18. 68
  19. 69
    Jim Larsen says:

    Solar is simple in concept but complex in execution. A proper solar home will have a constituency of sorts. For example, a solar hot water system designed for evening bathers will be completely different than one for morning bathers.

    And it’s all still frontier construction. Think of the poor inspector. He sees a bunch of black-painted PEX loop-de-looped in a flat collector. He knows it’s gonna freeze and probably doesn’t have a clue how long it will last in this application. The homeowner could sell and if the buyer develops leaks he could get flak. Does he pass this solar “experiment”? If a neighbor is whining, I’m guessing no.

    [Response: This is all fascinating, but I think we're done. Thanks - gavin]

  20. 70
    MalcolmT says:

    @ Hank 66: “Please, somebody competent in the required subjects create a blog or find one for the RC readers who want to do homebuilt solar.” Sounds like a good idea – RC may even get back to climate science! – so I searched [homebuilt solar "blog OR forum OR discussion"] and got a long list of results. http://www.solardiy.info/?page_id=4 is a list of such sites.
    http://diyhomebuiltsolar.com/blog/ and http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PV/pv.htm are two of the better sites in the top dozen results.
    Have fun, guys!

  21. 71
    Woodwardia says:

    Questions: We hear the if the climate gets too hot that that could shut down the THC thermohaline circulation. I watched a video where it was conjectured that shutdown of the THC could result in the seas going stagnant. True? Also does anybody know what happened to it in the past at times when the climate has been even hotter, (oligocene, miocene)?

    Thank you.

  22. 72
    sidd says:

    Two papers on the cryosphere discuss

    Tedesco et al. on Greenland

    http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/6/4939/2012/tcd-6-4939-2012.pdf

    Figs 7e and 8 are nice. GRACE apparently sez 627 Gt for summer and 574Gt for the year, 2sigma below 2003-2012 mean, 1.5 mm SLR or so this year. The GRACE mass waste curve is more definitely supralinear.

    The other one that caught my eye
    Sole et al. on Fjords and What Goes On Under The Surface (not the actual title…)

    http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/6/4861/2012/tcd-6-4861-2012.pdf

    “Rising ice sheet runoff therefore increases the sensitivity of KG (and other Greenland marine-terminating glaciers) to ocean warming.”

    sidd

  23. 73
    dbostrom says:

    Jim Larsen says: 7 Dec 2012 at 2:09 AM

    [somebody on the Internet is wrong]

  24. 74
    MARodger says:

    sidd @72
    I’m seeing a blank fig 7e & I’m not entirely sure what your words ‘The GRACE mass waste curve is more definitely supralinear.’ mean but that Figure 8 yields numbers for mass loss that show the summer melts of 2010 & 2012 quite dramatically when the annual rate of mass change is plotted as per my graph here.

  25. 75

    [Response: This is all fascinating, but I think we're done. Thanks - gavin]

    Well, I’m certainly satisfied. Thanks to all…

    “Ask and ye shall receive”–and hope it doesn’t take things too OT!

  26. 76
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Woodwardia — google (plain google, and Scholar) for
    paleo proxy thermohaline circulation
    No simple clear single answer to your question. If you can name the program where you saw what you describe, looking that up and finding out what sources it claims for what it said would be useful.

    For MARodger: fig. 7e shows up in a PDF downloaded a few minutes ago, might try again; maybe a better copy is available since you checked.

  27. 77
    sidd says:

    Looks to me like GRIS will be losing a teraton a year right when minimum arctic sea ice goes to zero, say by 2020. That’s 3mm/yr from GRIS alone. The Shepherd reconciliation leads me to believe that APIS should be contributing a large fraction of a mm/yr SLR by then. And lets hope that WAIS doesn’t go nonlinear.

    The Gregoire saddle collapse paper estimates peak SLR around 20mm/yr at MWP1A (there are also higher estimates in the literature.) Not so far away now.

    sidd

  28. 78

    Hey everybody, I originally derived this result independently because of my need to scrub carbon dioxide from the cabins of a large methane rocket sitting on the poles of the moon next to very large dark thermal cold traps and reservoir craters, but upon further research it appears that cryogenic carbon dioxide CO2 capture is a very promising technique, especially when applied to massive liquid natural gas terminals and their feed streams. So it really looks like this technique could be scaled up globally to me.

    You can look it up, it’s already happening. There appears to be a reasonable cryogenic thermal cascade through commonly used and encountered simple cryogens.

  29. 79

    Hello everybody, I originally derived this result independently because of my need to scrub carbon dioxide from the cabins of a large methane rocket sitting on the poles of the moon next to very large dark thermal cold traps and reservoir craters, but upon further research it appears that cryogenic carbon dioxide CO2 capture is a very promising technique, especially when applied to massive liquid natural gas terminals and their feed streams. So it really looks like this technique could be scaled up globally to me.

    You can look it up, it’s already happening. There appears to be a reasonable cryogenic thermal cascade through commonly used and encountered simple cryogens.

  30. 80
    sidd says:

    rereading the Gregoire saddle collapse paper, compare Fig 4 there with Tedesco
    figs 1a),4a)-4b),6a)-6c),7a)-7d)

    Is it just me or do i see the flanks of the saddle at 65N collapsing ? on the order of a large fraction of a meter per year. And ELA is rising. And the Gregoire paper has no ice dynamics in it…but ice moves.

    sidd

  31. 81
    sidd says:

    I was wrong, in that ice motion is not in the Gregoire paper. In fact, they do have things like basal and other velocities in the model. Nevertheless, I think it is underestimate of how fast GRIS can waste. As usual I could b wrong.

    sidd

  32. 82
    Non-Scientist says:

    I’m trying to understand what is known, or if not know then a range of confidence prediction, regarding the climate in 2040 if current trends continue.

    If I understand correctly (…it’s quite likely not :-\ ) then in three decades we will have
    i) a global average temp increase of 1<x<2 degrees C
    ii) a noticeable average sea level rise of at least one foot compared to 2000.

    I don't know what the effects of these changes are; what I've read through links here indicate that a seemingly trivial average temp increase leads to surprising climate disruptions. Intuitively, two or three degrees F is nothing – so the growing season is a little longer, maybe bugs move north a few miles. Nature does not respect intuition, and I've also read that the a mere few degrees changes weather patterns, insect and mature tree ecology.

    How much certainty do we have about climate 30 years out? Will it be a matter of inconvenience (moving structures a half mile back or a few feet up from today's shoreline, adjusting what is grown where) or a what-the-h3ll disruption such as multi-year droughts and massive soil erosion? Do we know or must we guess?

    Here I assume that efforts to control CO2 output do not begin until after effects are obvious to the general population, so that means current output continues until at least 2020.

    The scenarios I've read here reference 2100. In historical time that's trivial, but average folks absolutely don't care about events a hundred years out unless it involves mile-wide asteroids or time-traveling robots.

  33. 83
    Edward Greisch says:

    “Why We Disagree About Climate Change” by Mike Hulme

    I have now read the entire book and I have started reading Chapter 3 for the second time. I still part company with “Why We Disagree About Climate Change” by Mike Hulme on page 77 where Hulme advocates Kuhn’s “Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” Kuhn didn’t learn the lesson that Nature rules, not scientists.

    Intentional confusion between subjectivity and uncertainty starts on page 84. If you are already a physicist or chemist, you already know the difference. For humanities people, this book would cause confusion. There is no sufficient instruction on what scientific uncertainty is. Hulme seems to be trying to cause intentional confusion between subjectivity and uncertainty, but Hulme did not prove that science is subjective.

    In the last chapter, Hulme says we should quit trying to stop Global Warming and use it to inspire creativity. Hulme has gone Dr Strangelove or Hulme has sold out to the fossil fuel industry. My guess is the latter.

  34. 84
    flxible says:

    “My guess is the latter.”

    Is there a confidence level on that or are you trying to confuse us?

  35. 85
    Hank Roberts says:

    > How much certainty do we have about climate 30 years out?

    There’s no simple, single answer to your broad questions.
    Click the “Start Here” button at the top of the page.

  36. 86
    sidd says:

    Gregory et al. , Journal of Climate on closure of twentieth century sea level budget.
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319.1

    The last sentence of the abstract:

    “Semi-empirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of our closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the 20th century.”

    So, twentieth century is not a good period to look for such semi-empirical relationship ? I look forward to a response from Rahmstorf et al.

    sidd

  37. 87
    Steve Fish says:

    Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Earthwise newsletter- “Stop Climate Misinformation in the Media”

    An analysis of climate science in the media by UCS found that “93 percent of the references made during a six-month period on Fox News Channel were misleading, and 81 percent of the references made during a one-year period in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion pages were misleading.”

    Also, “Fox News is America’s most popular cable news channel, with about 1.9 million prime-time viewers, and the Wall Street Journal is America’s most popular newspaper, with a daily readership of more than 2 million.”

    The full story and statistics are at- http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/news-corporation-climate-science-coverage.html

    Unfortunately I couldn’t find the excellent cartoon that is in the paper newsletter (called drawing conclusions) that pictures energy CO’s feeding power to a snow job machine that is blowing snow onto the capital under “2012 warmest year on record so far,” and the comment “The only job program they can pass.”

    And so it goes. Steve

  38. 88
    Jim Larsen says:

    87 Steve Fish said, “An analysis of climate science in the media by UCS found that “93 percent of the references made during a six-month period on Fox News Channel were misleading, and 81 percent of the references made during a one-year period in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion pages were misleading.” ”

    Perhaps this is more a revelation of my bias than theirs, but I find those numbers suspiciously low. Finding a single spot-on article (or even one which would be more likely to hit the board than the spectators behind the thrower) in the WSJ is beyond difficult.

  39. 89
    JesusR says:

    You may be interested in this paper on sea level rise:

    “The reconstructions account for the approximate constancy of the rate of GMSLR during the 20th century, which shows small or no acceleration, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing. Semi-empirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of our closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the 20th century.”

    Gregory et al 2012. Twentieth-century global-mean sea-level rise: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts? Journal of Climate 2012, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319.1

  40. 90
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Jim Larsen — 10 Dec 2012 @ 11:10 PM

    You say- “Perhaps this is more a revelation of my bias than theirs, but I find those numbers suspiciously low. Finding a single spot-on article (or even one which would be more likely to hit the board than the spectators behind the thrower) in the WSJ is beyond difficult.”

    You obviously haven’t read the article because the Union of Concerned Scientists included their data and methods so, if they have a bias, it is at least supported by evidence. What about your bias? Steve

  41. 91
    Hank Roberts says:

    More biology: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2012/12/frost-flowers-blooming-in-the-arctic-ocean-are-found-to-be-teaming-with-life/u

    “… photographs of ice were taken last year by University of Washington graduate student Jeff Bowman and his professor Jody Deming … in the central Arctic Ocean …. Their single focus was the study of frost flowers, a strange phenomenon where frost grows from imperfections in the surface ice amid extreme sub-zero temperatures nearing -22C or -7.6F, forming spiky structures that have been found to house microorganisms. In fact, the bacteria found in the frost flowers is much more dense than in the frozen water below it, meaning each flower is essentially a temporary ecosystem….”

  42. 92
    Steve Fish says:

    To see frost flowers, leave the “u” off of the end of Hank Roberts link. Steve

  43. 93
    prokaryotes says:

    Why Climate Change Denial Is Just Hot Air http://climatestate.com/item/why-climate-change-denial-is-just-hot-air.html (added link to interactive map on “general” studies)

    Originating from this excellent posting by National Science Board member James Lawrence Powell http://www.desmogblog.com/2012/11/15/why-climate-deniers-have-no-credibility-science-one-pie-chart

  44. 94
    Hank Roberts says:

    Turns out there were fewer actual conservatives than the faked large numbers of them that political spin firms claimed — when renting those mailing lists at considerable $PROFIT$
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/50153939#50153982

    “It may be that major parts of American conservatism have become such a racket that a kind of refounding of the movement as a cause is necessary” http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/footprints-sand-time_665188.html

  45. 95
    Jim Larsen says:

    90 Steve Fish,

    My response was tongue-in-cheek, but in fact the paper doesn’t note what the 19% so-called non-biased references were in the WSJ. So… did you read the paper? :-)

    They did mention the 3 Fox cases. One was “a correspondent noting that environmentalists say burning coal is a leading cause of climate change”. I’d have to see the tape to make a robust conclusion, but I think I disagree with this counting as “factual representation”, since in Fox-speak “environmentalists say” translates to “lazy hippies in dirty clothes say”.

    The second was a clip of Henry Waxman (D-CA). Well, that’s better. Not a Fox employee saying anything, but hey, they did broadcast it. I’d have to see the clip and the surrounding chatter to determine if I’d count this one.

    The third is a non-explained video of Bill O’Reilly. Given that Bill is Bill, I suspect the bit of truth that leaked past his lips was trivial.

    So yeah, even the most devout liar will leak small truths occasionally, so 7% or 19% truthfulness can be accidentally achieved… unless one weighs the incidents. “Environmentalists say” is surely less than 10% of the “incidence weight” of “global warming is a hoax” It’s inaccurate to count “the noting of the opinion of a marginalized group” the same as “a direct denunciation”.

    So, I started out tongue-in-cheek, but your prodding has prompted me to upgrade that to saying the UCS results are misleading because they give equal weights regardless of significance or magnitude of each incident, and the results might be based on too literal an analysis. Code-words, such as “environmentalist”, can fool an outsider into thinking a slam is a compliment.

  46. 96
    Jim Larsen says:

    40 Salamano said, “In Hank’s example, the “goal” is to devise ways for me to “Stop” my fossil fuel use. Killing me would be extraordinarily successful, but”

    Don’t forget! If you’ve got kids then your future emissions will be mostly done by the cell or four you contributed to the future of mankind, so you’ll have to kill your kids and grandkids, too. :-)

    What does it take to get us to stop? Renewables won’t get down to $30 a barrel equivalent any time soon, but at $30 most fossil fuel producers would still pump and mine. A few percentage points movement in oil supply wreaks havoc with oil prices, so at 75% of current consumption, oil would surely cost less than $30. You can’t drop world fossil fuel consumption significantly without drastic price drops that make all other energy sources ridiculously expensive in comparison.

    And tackling climate change means writing off most of the $20 trillion in proven fossil reserves. (40% of the world’s GDP). It isn’t just the super-rich; Mom and Pop and their 401K might not want to sign on, because “tackling climate change” means allocating which of the planet’s proven reserves can be extracted, and which become instantly worthless. Once we choose a low-carbon future the financial markets won’t allow such a huge error in valuation to be kicked down the road.

    http://capitalinstitute.org/blog/big-choice-0

    So, my take is that the loss of wealth involved in reducing the value of proven reserves plus the inelasticity of fossil supply means it’s going to take pervasive worldwide existential fear to do much better than keeping worldwide emissions constant. There’s nothing like a demo to instil fear, so that means sea ice demise, another big increase in temperature, and wild wild weather. Science will advance, and that will help a lot, but I think the debate will turn as the view outside changes.

    You mentioned direct action. Protests can help. Sitting or standing in the way until hauled off to jail is the time-honored way to fight the system. Worked pretty well (so far) with Keystone. There’s a pretty hard limit though, especially with today’s focus on hating terrorism. Blowing up Hummers or sabotaging a coal plant is not going to help the cause.

  47. 97
    Fred Magyar says:

    Steve at 47,

    Indeed!

    BTW, I’m still 100% in favor of a revolution and by that I mean a fundamental paradigm change away from the current business as usual model.
    If along the way a few apple carts get flipped over… C’est la vie!

    Here’s a few random thoughts and snippets of news.

    My personal vote is still doing more with less energy. Walk more, ride a bike, get an eletric assist velomobile, install LED lighting. turn the thermostat up or down a few notches as needed. Dry your clothes on a clothes line. Unplug your vampire appliances… etc,etc…And last but not least, try not to reproduce so much >;-)

    Then look again at what we can do with solar and wind, smart grids, off grid, pumped hydro storage, compressed air etc… I have family in Germany, it’s amazing how much hot water they can produce from evacuated vacuum solar panels in the dead of winter.

    Solar using up land for food is a strawman argument we can use already existing rooftops and parking lots.
    Not to mention we could raise insects for protien instead of cows, chickens and pigs raised on corn. The savings in water per pound of protien produced alone should make it a no brainer.

    http://californiaphoton.com/energy/world/rooftop.html

    Recent studies have examined the potential of a full-scale deployment of rooftop solar in particular nations, if not the world. A 2005 study by Navigant Consulting concludes that covering about half the rooftop space in the US could replace the use of coal for electricity generation. 3 A less detailed analysis of England’s rooftop resources concludes that the yearly production of rooftop PV panels could exceed the nation’s electricity use. 4 5 Both of these studies posit PV conversion efficiencies of below 20 percent, and neither considers the use of thermal or hybrid PV/thermal panels. In the present analysis, I will explore a worldwide conversion scenario using solar panels which, although having much higher efficiencies than today’s, are feasible without fundamental technological breakthroughs.

    Solar efficiency is still evolving this just hit the news:
    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/142962-princetons-nanomesh-nearly-triples-solar-cell-efficiency

    “PlaCSH is also capable of capturing a large amount of sunlight even when the sunlight is dispersed on cloudy days, which results in an amazing 81% increase in efficiency under indirect lighting conditions when compared to conventional organic solar cell technology. All told, PlaCSH is up to 175% more efficient than conventional solar cells.”

  48. 98
    SecularAnimist says:

    Hank Roberts quoted: “It may be that major parts of American conservatism have become such a racket that a kind of refounding of the movement as a cause is necessary”

    American “conservatism” has become an entertainment demographic.

    It’s important to recognize that, if you want to understand how, and why, global warming denial has become pervasive among “conservatives”.

  49. 99

    Incremental, but cool:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121211145240.htm

    (Prospective ‘green’ battery technology–bioelectrodes?)

  50. 100
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Jim Larsen — 12 Dec 2012 @ 12:59 AM

    You didn’t read it! There were 9 instances of accurate information listed for the Wall Street Journal in the data section. Your unsupported opinion regarding how a group of scientists interpreted their data is empty, and by overstating the case against the denialists you give them ammunition and a bad name to environmentalists. Steve


Switch to our mobile site