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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. 101
    Hank Roberts says:

    |_| I affirm that I have cited a good source
    |_| I worked it out myself, see my work at my blog ________________

    > writing off most of the $20 trillion in proven
    > fossil reserves. (40% of the world’s GDP)

    Thought experiment:

    You have proven reserves: three bullets in a six-chamber revolver.

    You’ll be playing Russian R**l*tt*.

    Does the value of the unfired bullets increase for you each time you pull the trigger?

    Using only one of them takes you out of the game?

    GDP can be a negative number. Count the environment.
    Burning more carbon degrades the environment.

    If you don’t count the environment — well, as Harrison Schmidt said on the Moon:

    “When you’ve seen one Earth, you’ve seen them all”

  2. 102
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Fred Magyar — 12 Dec 2012 @ 9:34 AM

    I don’t know of any conventional organic solar cells and the experimental ones are not as efficient as silicon ones, so the improvement in efficiency touted in the ExtremeTech article is a bit misleading. There is always some new technology for photovoltaics and batteries, but they don’t ever seem to come to the market.

    Right now conventional solar electric technology is pretty good but for the most bang for the buck, solar hot water and other energy efficiencies can reduce CO2 release by a very large amount. Conservation does not require any unproven technology, components are off the shelf, and it can be attained very quickly. At least for North America, there are several nations with equivalent or better quality of life that generate 50% to 70% less CO2 per capita.


  3. 103
    Fred Magyar says:

    Steve @50,
    I certainly agree with your points!

    As for the efficiency of the solar modules in question, this isn’t really the proper forum to discuss the merits but in case you are interested, the actual research paper on which the article was based, is linked to at the very bottom of the article.

    Though I also agree that from theoretical physics and experiments in a lab to actual panels in a store, it might take a some time. In the mean time, high quality polycrystalline panels have become quite affordable.

  4. 104
    JCH says:

    sidd – it would be great if a discussion about global warming would break out here. I read that abstract when it appeared on AGW Observer. My thinking, as a lay person, is there was not much nonlinear melting during the 20th Century, so the abstract is stating the obvious.

  5. 105
    sidd says:

    For some reason, Gregory et al. remind me of the review in the 26 August 2012 Nature Geoscience by Carlson and Winsor, which differentiate NH response between marine based and land based ice sheets. Land based ice reacts immediately to changes in energy input, whereas marine bedded ice sheets tend to episodic, abrupt collapse later in the cycle. I tend to doubt that the latter fit neatly into semi-empirical models…


  6. 106
    Hank Roberts says:

    > energy efficiencies

    Cautionary information here about undesired consequences: well worth a few minutes if you own or plan to build a house

  7. 107
    Magnus W says:

    Any comments to this regarding Sea level rise? It follows that a modest increase in temperature will not be sufficient to compensate for the increase in accumulation… etc

  8. 108
    Jim Larsen says:

    99 SecularA said, “American “conservatism” has become an entertainment demographic.”

    I happen to know and love many who represent the true core of the conservative movement. All, bar none, would consider your post offensive and without the slightest merit.

    I’d put their charitable donation rate or volunteer work hours per week up against most anybody else’s. They work hard as kids. They work hard as adults. They do what they have been taught is right. They avoid that which is wrong, though they fail, as we all do.

    If you want to form a moral or ethical opinion about Conservatives as a group, first lose all knowledge that you have that they don’t.

  9. 109
    Hank Roberts says:

    > unintended consequences
    But also, not mentioned there but in something else I came across– solar photovoltaic is getting to be inexpensive enough that the old approach — heating a leaky house, so the warmth drives the moisture away and the wood doesn’t rot — may again make sense. This is a serious issue given the reports of rot in sealed buildings.

  10. 110
    Jim Larsen says:

    101 Hank R quoted, ““When you’ve seen one Earth, you’ve seen them all””

    OMG. So true, so funny, and so tragic.

  11. 111
    Jim Larsen says:

    100 Steve Fish said, “You didn’t read it!’

    Well, I suppose it depends on your definition of “it”. I read your link. I read the embedded link in that link. I read them both again after reading your “accusation”.

    Yep. I’m still ignorant and probably not any more insightful as the next guy. Nowhere did I see anything remotely resembling anything you describe.

    So… give me a SPECIFIC link and SPECIFIC directions that, when followed keystroke by keystroke will lead me to what you describe.

    Cuz so far I’ve got nada that substantiates diddly of what you claim, and if this information is important, I’m scratching my head as to why the purveyors of said info have decided to make it so dang hard to find.

  12. 112
    Jim Larsen says:

    108 Hank R said, “But also, not mentioned there but in something else I came across– solar photovoltaic is getting to be inexpensive enough that the old approach — heating a leaky house, so the warmth drives the moisture away and the wood doesn’t rot — may again make sense. This is a serious issue given the reports of rot in sealed buildings.”

    I agree 1000%, with the caveat that “may” should be capitalized plus “in certain circumstances” should be added.

    SIPs avoid most of the problems you’ve brought up, though there’s some question about their wood components, especially if engineered instead of dimensional.

    Your valuable insights boil down to:

    If you wanna build a house that will help save the planet, the #1 issue you must address is the rotting of a poorly designed or constructed house for the climate your location will have decades from now. (yes, the PERFECT house design is far worse than an average one if the contractor doesn’t accidently or on purpose fulfill the design goals of the architect.)

    Also, US construction has traditionally relied on leakage to provide ventilation. A proper modern house has an air-to-air heat exchanger, which not only brings in oxygen, but also helps maintain proper relative humidity. ANY tight energy efficient house WILL have an air-to-air heat exchanger (and/or enough greenhouse and dehumidification systems). A modern home requires modern sensors and mechanics to keep moisture away via enforced humidity levels.

    But this is not standard. So many design choices. So many micro-climates. So little leeway in design. Once you go modern, it isn’t a simple cookie-cutter solution.

    But vapor barriers are improving. Some are of variable perms. They will pass moisture differently depending on how saturated the air is. (I’m not yet the guy to ask to interpret that)

    This leaves the typical reader in a lurch. Spend your hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whether it rots, well, no guarantees, but depending on who you trust, pick your answer. (My suggestion is to build a SIP house with a greenhouse and an air-to-air heat exchanger. The rest is merely a couple decades worth of detailed research and study.)

  13. 113
    Jim Larsen says:

    Hank R,

    Damn, a SPAM error. Oh well, every word gets hyphonated…

    Just like my op-inions, the folks who made the videos you linked to are just guys who are trying to figure out stuff that takes decades to figure out.

    We’re in a very long transition period, where the old common know-ledge doesn’t apply, and the old rules actually prevent proper solutions. If the old solution was based on the axiom that huge amounts of air would leak, then a modern solution where air is pumped where desired and blocked where not, well, the odds a mod-ern system will fulfill the code requirements of an old leak-y system are small.

    Your links have taken the stance that a single vapor barrior is proper. But modern vapor barriers are variable. A single material can act differently depending on the humidities involved. Plus, there are tremend-ous differences in the strength of barriers. A strong barrier on the inside plus a weak one on the outside could be just the ticket. What the building inspector requires, well, that’s a crap-shoot. So inspectors have to fit your strange new system into their legally mandated specs. And then it’s all experimental. The stuff that’s critical is mixed in with the stuff that’s not, and the contractor, let alone the architect, has little knowledge as to what’s what, but the whole system, including human activity, must be included when designing a modern h-ouse. So, assuming hundreds of thousands of dollars of analysis, a 100% pe-rfect house that uses no carbon could send you to nirvana. So you sell it. The next owners might end up with a moldy crappy house that pretty much needs a bulldozer to correct. (this is an exaggeration meant to illustrate a point)

    Real estate just got more complicated….

  14. 114

    For those who don’t wish to go Googling, “SIP” apparently stands for “Structural Insulated Panel”:

  15. 115
    Dan H. says:

    You forgot to include the importance of adequate circulation to prevent the buildup of undesireable vapors. Not just natural gases, like radon, but all the intangibles that people bring into their homes, like pets and plants.
    Then, you have the complications of homeowners upgrading their existing homes to increase energy efficiency, but lacking proper air flow.
    On an aside, the report by UCS concerning the news media, is their own analysis of whether a news story is accurate or misleading. The report does not reveal the individual stories, so no corresponding analysis can be performed to determine if any bias was involved. Based on the views of both parties, I would not be surprised to find significant disagreement between the two. Additionally, the stories analyzed occurred in the midst of the election campaign, which may have politicized the reports further. The actual report can be found here:

  16. 116
    wili says:

    In an effort to steer discussion back to something slightly more climat-y and scienc-y:

    CP points out that at the beginning of December in the US there was a 92:1 ratio between record highs and record lows (132:1 for the lower 48). The background ratio of course should be 1:1 on average. I knew it was bizarrely warm around here–50’s and 60’s in MN. But I didn’t quite realize just how warm or how widespread the warmth was. We were already on our way to the warmest year on record for 2012, and that kind of clinched it.

    I have to assume that this 92:1 ratio is itself some kind of record. Anyone know where to track such info down?

  17. 117
    Tom Adams says:

    Just putting this out for discussion.

    A Modest Proposal: Make Global Cap and Trade Feasible and Implement It

    Just google your way to a carbon footprint calculator, one that puts the results out in dollars (or your fav currency). My footprint is around $500/yr

    That’s a reasonable estimate of the impact of a responsibly introduced global cap a trade system that stops the atmospheric CO2 buildup. The cost is not that unrealistic. (Could be 5 times less with economies of scale.)


    1. We need more capacity for alternatives and sequestration. Or a high rate of capacity expansion without runing up the cost too much. My footprint can be offset now for $500. But everybody cannot now do it all at once. We need to built the capacity to offset/reduce all the carbon.

    2. As a practical matter, we need to address the social disruption to the poor, and manage economies to that we don’t have a big recession and all that. Quite doable in my opinion.

  18. 118
    sidd says:

    Paper by Winkelman et al., Nature

    Increased snowfall in Antarctica will increase ice discharge. This treatment is for Antarctica, where icesheets are bounded by floating shelves, which sink to compensate added precipitation, whereas the interior grounded ice does not. Thus the gradient of ice surface steepens and driving stress increases, increasing outflux.

    I expect this to work for Greenland as well as the lower elevations melt and subside faster, increasing slope gradients, look forward to similar analysis of GRIS.


  19. 119
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Jim Larsen — 13 Dec 2012 @ 11:52 PM

    You say- “I’m scratching my head as to why the purveyors of said info have decided to make it so dang hard to find.”

    (Heavy sigh). The pertinent portion of my statement to you (above) was that “the Union of Concerned Scientists included their data,” and I provided a link to a UCS news article which, in turn, provided links to the actual research article and links to Fox News and WSJ (Excel) datasheets. Excel datasheets are where one often finds data. Each of these datasheets consists of three pages, the first, called Database Use, has a little text; the second and third, labeled Opinion Page Coding and Excluded Citations, contain the data. Here are the links:

    Download the full report (PDF) –

    Download the Fox News Channel Datasheet (Excel) –

    Download the Wall Street Journal Opinion Page Datasheet (Excel) –

    This is all in plain sight and not at all hard to find. Steve

  20. 120
    tokodave says:

    Don’t know how to find that…but speaking of records there’s this from Climate Central for the US:

  21. 121

    I don’t. But observations such as that presumably have a lot to do with this:

  22. 122
    Tom Adams says:

    The USA could become carbon neutral for less than the funding that can be obtained by merely doing nothing about the fiscal cliff.

  23. 123
    Dan H. says:

    The characterization of would constitutes a misleading, undermining or disparaging statement appears to be highly subjective. For example, the following quote, “There is one very important distinction that needs to be made between global warming and quasicrystals. If Mr. Shechtman’s discovery of quasicrystals had turned out to be incorrect, it would have had little effect on the future of life on planet earth. However, if it turns out that the current theory of global warming is correct the effects for mankind could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic.” is labelled as both midleading and undermining climate science.

  24. 124
    Hank Roberts says:

    > doing nothing about the fiscal cliff
    Where “doing nothing about” means “going over” — like drowning government in the bathtub is a wiser climate policy. Yeah right.

    Good story in that CBC cite, thank you Kevin McKinney:

    “The biggest change in the polling is among people who trust scientists only a little or not at all. About one in three of the people surveyed fell into that category.

    Within that highly skeptical group, 61 per cent now say temperatures have been rising over the past 100 years. That’s a substantial increase from 2009, when the AP-GfK poll found that only 47 per cent of those with little or no trust in scientists believed the world was getting warmer.”

    That’s serious good news — and interesting it takes CBC to publish it. They also note something I suspect many don’t realize:

    “In general, U.S. belief in global warming, according to AP-GfK and other polls, has fluctuated over the years but has stayed between about 70 and 85 per cent.”

    You wouldn’t know that, to listen to the denial crowd — or the politicians, or the soapbox kibitzer crowd.

  25. 125
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Dan H. — 14 Dec 2012 @ 8:34 AM

    All the data are available from the link I provided.

    Re- Comment by Dan H. — 15 Dec 2012 @ 10:32 AM

    You are babbling.


  26. 126
    Hank Roberts says:

    > 10/17/2011… William B. Jones Unviersity of Boulder Colorado

    Point to Dan H., that spreadsheet wasn’t proofread — from that one example. “Unviersity” is a red flag; the original appears to be misclassified:

  27. 127
    Dan H. says:

    Your link to the Fox News data is corrupted – no data is available. Are you implying that the article saying the effects of global warming on mankind could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic is an example of a misleading statement?

  28. 128
    prokaryotes says:

    2 new great videos from Potholer…

    Medieval Warm Period — fact vs. fiction

    Climate Change — The “800-year lag” unravelled

  29. 129
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Dan H. — 15 Dec 2012 @ 4:56 PM

    Your question is incomprehensible because I have said nothing about the danger of warming in this conversation. In your previous post the first sentence does not make sense in plain English and the quote is not cited.

    If you are having trouble with the Fox data link, go to the original article that I cited in post #87 (10 Dec 2012 @ 2:52 PM) and scroll down the page to “Download the Fox News Channel Datasheet (Excel).” I know that this is very hard for you but you can do it.


  30. 130
    Hank Roberts says:

    guys, it’s a letter to the editor — it does appear it was misclassified.

    Note the misspelled “University” in the same row.

    It raises questions, such as:

    Is that data from the published paper (in which case, someone slipped up) or is it a copy someone retyped for UCS (in which case a different someone slipped up).

    Are there any other obvious mistakes, and where do they originate?

    This is why peer review isn’t the gold standard, it’s just the admission ticket to the arena — in which people kick the crap out of your data, your analysis, your peers, and your review.

    That’s science at work. Keep at it.

  31. 131
    Dan H. says:

    It appears that you are one having difficulty. The link clearly says, “File not found.” The question was not one of the dangers of global warming, but rather, what they classify as misleading. I am sure you can comprehend that. Forgive me if I left out the word “what,” but the sentence is not all that incomprehensible, that a little insight could not overcome.

  32. 132


    “In general, U.S. belief in global warming, according to AP-GfK and other polls, has fluctuated over the years but has stayed between about 70 and 85 per cent.” You wouldn’t know that, to listen to the denial crowd — or the politicians, or the soapbox kibitzer crowd.

    No, you wouldn’t; they tend to be quite ‘triumphalist’, or many do that I’ve encountered, anyway. But, really, it’s not surprising–why should they be any more accurate in assessing poll numbers than satellite-derived or instrumental ones?

  33. 133
    Superman1 says:

    If one reads the climate projection reports of Kevin Anderson based on non-inclusion of positive feedbacks (and the other recent major climate projection reports as well), and reads especially between the lines, one sees a message being delivered loud and clear. Mother Nature is telling us, to paraphrase Bush the Elder:

    “Read my lips; no more fossil fuels”.

    She is not saying: 1) no more fossil fuels, except to help transition to a renewables economy; 2) no more fossil fuels, except to assist in reforestation; 3) no more fossil fuels, except for life-threatening emergencies; 4) no more fossil fuels, except to prevent the world economy from going under. She is saying the atmosphere presently contains all the CO2 necessary to drive us from ‘Dangerous’ climate conditions to ‘Extremely Dangerous’, in Anderson’s terminology. Any further additions for any purpose have the potential to drive us over the climate cliff.

    Now, a caveat. What Mother Nature is really saying is ‘no more net additions of CO2/GHG’ to the atmosphere. If we could generate some magical technology that might use one unit of CO2 to extract e.g. three units of CO2 from the atmosphere, this could be allowable. In fact, if we could replace fossil fuel with a magical fuel that removed more CO2 from the atmosphere than any greenhouse gases it might generate, and perhaps generated sulphates/aerosols as well to increase the albedo, then we might have a chance. Absent this, or similar magical solutions, we are left with 1) having to live like the Pennsylvania Amish or perhaps indigenous Native Americans until we are on the downside of the temperature peak in three or four or five decades, 2) having to massively reforest with little assistance from fossil fuels (that should end the unemployment problem), and 3) having to come up with some less magical geoengineering scheme that will quench some of the positive feedback mechanisms already being observed.

    I will end with a metaphor, which really shows the problem. One hundred people are sentenced to jail for twenty years. They are confined to one large room, with relatively close quarters, a low ceiling, and almost no ventilation. Ninety-eight of them are three pack a day smokers, and the other two are non-smokers. Five of the smokers are ‘deniers’, and two of those five own the cigarette concession.

    Ninety-three of the smokers recognize the dangers of smoking, but are too hooked to quit. The two non-smokers recognize the dangers of smoking, and also recognize the dangers of inhaling second-hand smoke. The two non-smokers talk about the dangers of smoking, but no one changes their habits. The two non-smokers take a poll, where sixty smokers say they would like to quit, but none reduces their smoking by even one cigarette. The two non-smokers ask their elected leader to show strong leadership in reducing smoking; the leader replies he is powerless to act without popular support.

    After two years, three of the smokers have died from lung cancer. The ‘deniers’ say people have been smoking for thousands of years, and no one has died prematurely from smoking; they died when their time came. The ‘deniers’ say the three dead smokers died from ‘natural causes’. No matter what the two non-smokers try to change the environment, they run up against a stone wall. That’s where we are with man-made climate change today, and that’s why there is little hope of the problem being solved in the real world.

  34. 134
    Rita Umile says:

    Greetings and salutations!

    Although I’ve been an enthusiastic reader of this site since February 2011, I am a neophyte to climatology.

    As my background is in behavioral sciences, I will appreciate your kindness in accepting my tender-footed attempts at understanding the scientific information presented here.

    Clearly, I can only speak from a layman’s pov.

    But, I CAN bring the importance of this subject out into the public…into the lives of the everyday people I meet….And, to this effect, I initiated a brief discussion at a holiday party last night on Dennis Baker’s opinion regarding conversion of human and agricultural organic waste to hydrogen.

    Although my discussion occurred among fairly educated individuals, none of us were scientists, so we were less concerned with the method of conversion, i.e. through exposure to intense radiation, and more concerned with why something which seems to make such perfect sense, (the utilization of organic waste) especially from an ethical standpoint, is taking such a long time to catch momentum as an environmentally friendly renewable energy source…

    Of course, there is the public’s attitude and perception of hydrogen fuel to consider…

    Also, those I spoke with last night were familiar with solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, and biomass energy via anaerobic digestion…. My suggestion that organic waste could be turned into hydrogen and utilized as a viable energy source was looked at as perhaps dubious…

    This is where information and knowledge is the key…and where I hope to make a difference…as I truly believe that an informed public can move politics…

    Apathy is the real enemy (on all social issues-imo).

    Thankfully, I did not see indifference when I talked with this group of upper middle-class individuals…many had already made small but sustainable changes in their lives towards being green.

    Simply, they were not informed; and, this (although not excusable) is understandable…we are all so busy with our own particular set of interests, we sometimes neglect those very important issues of which we haven’t really been schooled, or which might cause an uncomfortable change in our lives.

    To those of you here with scientific knowledge, I look forward to learning from you and welcome information to share with others who are currently less knowledgeable but nonetheless still interested in protecting our planet.
    Elie Wiesel: “The world is not learning anything”

  35. 135
    Tom Adams says:

    “> doing nothing about the fiscal cliff
    Where “doing nothing about” means “going over” — like drowning government in the bathtub is a wiser climate policy. Yeah right.”

    Assuming I did my math right, the fiscal cliff is equivalent to about a $12 increase in the price of a barrel of oil. We had a increase bigger than that a few months ago. Did you see the government drown? Heck, did you even notice the increase?

  36. 136
    Hank Roberts says:

    Guys, guys, c’mon. Work with each other here. You know how to find this stuff.

    Today, searching, I find a working link:“fox+news”

    Compare the link you’ll find in your search result to the link Steve first posted.

    Using “C” is correct and works; “c” is a typo in the text Steve posted.

    Bit rot happens; typos happen; corrections get made.

    It’s possible the source copied from had the typo in the original, or that Steve mistyped it the first time, or that UCS had the link working (with the typo) a few days ago and subsequently capitalized that one word, breaking the old copies of the link. Stuff happens.

    Guys, seriously. Proofreading is nitpicking — which is one of the basic primate social skills. Assume it’s worth trying.

  37. 137
    Hank Roberts says:

    and — in what I posted, if the quoted string doesn’t appear hilighted, that part won’t be included in what the blog posting software makes clickable. Copy and paste the whole link.

  38. 138
    Hank Roberts says:

    > suggestion that organic waste can be turned into hydrogen
    Radiolysis doesn’t transmute toxic waste into fuel gas. The first commenter under “Some AGU Highlights” promotes that various places. Ignore, it’s wacko.

  39. 139
    Superman1 says:

    Rita Umile #234,

    “Apathy is the real enemy (on all social issues-imo)……Simply, they were not informed; and, this (although not excusable) is understandable…we are all so busy with our own particular set of interests, we sometimes neglect those very important issues of which we haven’t really been schooled, or which might cause an uncomfortable change in our lives.”

    In order to correct a problem, one has to define and diagnose it properly. While the ‘apathy’ you mention exists, I do not believe it is the central problem. The main barrier among the citizens of the developed nations is addiction to a high intensive energy use lifestyle enabled by the availability today of ‘cheap’ fossil fuel, and the main barrier among the citizens of the major developing nations is their aspiration to achieve the same level of fossil fuel addiction as the citizens of the developed nations. Education and information are not the main stumbling blocks. Many highly educated people chain-smoke, and they know the consequences only too well. We can go down the list of addictions, and the same considerations hold. That’s what makes the fossil fuel use problem so difficult; addiction has to be overcome, and that’s far more difficult than providing education or information.

  40. 140
    Rita Umile says:

    Fox news (obviously) aims to a right wing audience at the cost of quality coverage.

    As a matter of fact, Fox provides (perhaps) the poorest quality of coverage available via media.

    However, for positive change to occur, it is precisely the FOX viewer who will need to be coached to realize that”conservative” views on climate change are actually DANGEROUS for both the environment and the ECONOMY, as these two issue are really (completely) intertwined.

    Regarding climate change (imo) it is the LIBERAL who actually holds the more CONSERVATIVE (and sane) approach…and therefore, must (forcefully) advocate for change….

    Consider that this science truly needs a spokesperson who can speak the language of the Fox viewer…and make these individuals realize that ignoring climate change will ultimately impact them where they will feel it the most..their wallet…

    It’s sad for me to realize that $$$ makes the world go ’round….

    See links below.

  41. 141
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Dec 2012 @ 11:00 AM

    I agree. In this case all links were copied from the UCS news article using right click> Copy link location. I don’t know why some would work this way and others not. The actual links in the news article have always worked and so has my link to the article in my post #87 which I copied directly from my browser. I told Dan H. to go there, but he apparently doesn’t want to. Steve

  42. 142
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Dan H. — 15 Dec 2012 @ 10:33 PM

    As I said on 15 Dec 2012 @ 7:00 PM, the data link in the article works just fine. Otherwise Hank Roberts has figured out the problem in the link text for you. This is not difficult.

    It is clearly stated in the data spreadsheets that text provided for the different items are just fragments. Criticizing the article on the basis of a fragment of one data point is a bit like criticizing climate science on the basis of one out of context e-mail. Each letter and op-ed is clearly referenced, so you can go look them up. You will have to look up the whole text and context before you can claim an error.


  43. 143
    Rita Umile says:

    Superman1 #139:

    Awesome view on the energy problem…

    And yes…addiction to ease and comfort is paramount.

    But, what is the first step to breaking any addiction?

    I would say awareness or recognition.

    What does it take to reach a point of awareness?

    IMO, it takes discomfort.

    Discomfort on this issue may take the form of either prohibitive cost or lack of availability (or both)…

    However, we haven’t reached discomfort yet in the United States.

    That’s why (at least in my neck of the woods), people aren’t willing to acknowledge the extreme seriousness of the issue at hand.

    And they live delusional lives…as examples:

    • Apparently, it is easier for residents to DRIVE their trash can to curbside than walk it down the driveway.

    • Who wants to take the commuter bus to work, when it adds 45 minutes each way to your commute?

    • In winter, why keep the temperature in your home at 58 degrees F when 75 will feel so much more comfortable? Besides, at 75 degrees F the kids can run around sleeveless!


    We’re already on the brink of disaster.

    So, aside from discomfort, HOW ELSE MAY WILL IMPACT BEHAVIORAL CHANGE?

    Perhaps through education…through media….redundancy in hammering the message home…

    Also, consider monetary rewards for green living…tax incentives and such….

    I’m new to this subject, so I am certain there are ideas on change you all have already tossed around…and I’d love to hear them….

    It really wasn’t very long ago when smoking was commonplace….we’ve done a good job of changing behavior on this issue.

    We can move the public’s view on climate as well….

    It takes TONS of effort on the part of those who are enlightened…and this is where I speak of apathy…indifference….

    Certainly no one at last night’s holiday party WANTED to hear me speak on climate change…I had to keep on turning the conversation back to climate change…if I had been indifferent…apathetic…then the conversation would not have occurred at all…never mind to the extent to which I forced the issue. Maybe I touched someone…who knows…I can hope.

    Getting people to think about the issue is a start—imo. And, we have to start NOW.

  44. 144
    prokaryotes says:

    Must Watch

    The Twin Sides of the Fossil Fuel Coin – Guy MacPherson

  45. 145
    Hank Roberts says:

    Steve, likely UCS fixed a typo in the middle one, after you posted the links on 14 Dec 2012 at 12:21 PM.

    To beat this dead horse finally (I hope) into hamburger:

    If you delete your browser’s cache, forcing your browser to follow that link, you’ll see what it gets right now. While it’s cached, you’re probably only seeing your browser’s cached recollection, not what I and others see.

    I expect you’ll see the 404.

    (Same applies for the line in the spreadsheet that Dan H. caught).
    We don’t yet know who made the obvious mistakes, nor if others remain to be pointed out. That’s how this works.

  46. 146
    Superman1 says:

    Rita #143,
    “• Apparently, it is easier for residents to DRIVE their trash can to curbside than walk it down the driveway.

    • Who wants to take the commuter bus to work, when it adds 45 minutes each way to your commute?

    • In winter, why keep the temperature in your home at 58 degrees F when 75 will feel so much more comfortable? Besides, at 75 degrees F the kids can run around sleeveless!”

    That’s positive compared to where I live. Some residents drive 1/2 block to pick up their mail. But, that’s small change. I would estimate that my neighbors average two annual overseas trips for vacation, independent of whether they are climate change ‘deniers’ or ‘believers’. Independent of what they say they believe about climate change, their actions related to climate change are indistinguishable.

    “It really wasn’t very long ago when smoking was commonplace….we’ve done a good job of changing behavior on this issue.”

    There is a crucial difference between smoking and fossil fuel use. In 1964, when the Surgeon General’s Report on smoking was issued, about 42% of adults smoked. That meant that 58% did not smoke, and many of those non-smokers hated smoking. The non-smoking majority was able to institute economic penalties (mainly taxes) and mandates through the legal and voting system. Today’s fossil fuel addicts constitute probably 98% of the electorate, and the penalties and mandates that worked for smoking will not get off the ground for fossil fuel use because of this difference.

  47. 147
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Dec 2012 @ 5:31 PM

    With Firefox I use Ctrl + f5= Reload (override cache), to refresh.

    Thanks for the article, it was fun as I was in the rough-and-tumble of research and grant games many moons ago. Regarding Dan H’s trollish take, he will have to research the whole text of the letter in order to complain. No nitpicking. My prediction, he won’t.

    I found the author of the letter, William B. Jones at UC Boulder and sent him an e-mail via his address on his Emeritus page, but it came back as “no such number, no such zone.”


  48. 148
    Hank Roberts says:

    Steve, I read the full text of that letter — I linked to it at the WSJ. It’s the second letter on the page, “below the fold”

  49. 149
    prokaryotes says:

    Understanding uncertainty in climate models

    Robustness of the atmospheric circulation response to climate change: In this Grantham Special Lecture, Professor Ted Shepherd, Grantham Chair in Climate Science at University of Reading looks at the persistent uncertainties in model predictions of the atmospheric circulation response to climate change.

  50. 150
    Dan H. says:

    I went back to your old post (it would have been nice to reference such earlier, rather than make snide comments about not being able to follow your many links). The analysis is based on 40 articles, a very small sample size by any measure. Of the 37 quotes labelled “misleading,” 6 detailed one of the presidential candidates position on global warming, and appear to accurate portray each candidate’s position. Two discuss recent satellite data concerning the melting of glaciers in Greenland and the Himalayas. These were also classified as “cherry-picks,” but that would be true of all the short-term satellite data. Another was a discussion about how America should wean itself off foreign oil, with only a passing mention of climate change and getting totally off carbon. Of note, none of the articles were labelled as disparaging scientist.

    Using this same criteria, I wonder how many of the quotes from other news networks would be classified as “Misleading” also.