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If You See Something, Say Something

Filed under: — mike @ 17 January 2014

Gavin provided a thoughtful commentary about the role of scientists as advocates in his RealClimate piece a few weeks ago.

I have weighed in with my own views on the matter in my op-ed today in this Sunday’s New York Times. And, as with Gavin, my own views have been greatly influenced and shaped by our sadly departed friend and colleague, Stephen Schneider. Those who were familiar with Steve will recognize his spirit and legacy in my commentary. A few excerpts are provided below:

THE overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that human-caused climate change is happening. Yet a fringe minority of our populace clings to an irrational rejection of well-established science. This virulent strain of anti-science infects the halls of Congress, the pages of leading newspapers and what we see on TV, leading to the appearance of a debate where none should exist.

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My colleague Stephen Schneider of Stanford University, who died in 2010, used to say that being a scientist-advocate is not an oxymoron. Just because we are scientists does not mean that we should check our citizenship at the door of a public meeting, he would explain. The New Republic once called him a “scientific pugilist” for advocating a forceful approach to global warming. But fighting for scientific truth and an informed debate is nothing to apologize for.

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Our Department of Homeland Security has urged citizens to report anything dangerous they witness: “If you see something, say something.” We scientists are citizens, too, and, in climate change, we see a clear and present danger. The public is beginning to see the danger, too — Midwestern farmers struggling with drought, more damaging wildfires out West, and withering, record, summer heat across the country, while wondering about possible linkages between rapid Arctic warming and strange weather patterns, like the recent outbreak of Arctic air across much of the United States.

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The piece ends on this note:

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

Those are the stakes.

I would encourage interested readers to read the commentary in full at the New York Times website.

Constructive contributions are welcome in the comment section below :-)


606 Responses to “If You See Something, Say Something”

  1. 301
    DIOGENES says:

    #300 (Walter #265),

    In #300, I make the statement: “Even for the Anderson base case, which has a reasonable amount of carbon budget remaining, the 10-20% annual CO2 emissions cuts required for decades would translate into annual GDP reductions on the order of 6-15% for years, since GDP is related strongly to fossil fuel use. This would lead to a major Depression of unthinkable proportions. For the other cases, where I showed we have run out of carbon budget and have piled up various amounts of carbon debt, the CO2 emissions cuts required would be far higher than for the Anderson base case, and the scale of the resulting Depression would be much larger.” How do we place these large GDP annual reductions into context?

    The following link lists GDP growth since 1930 (http://useconomy.about.com/od/GDP-by-Year/a/US-GDP-History.htm). Most recessions shown have perhaps a year or two of GDP reduction, preceded and followed by increases. The year 1946 had a large one-year GDP decline of 11.6%. Even the Great Depression of the 1930s had perhaps four rough years averaging ~7% GDP decline annually, followed by years of substantial increase. The bottom end of the numbers in the preceding paragraph start from Great Depression levels, would probably be substantially higher for serious efforts to combat climate change, and would persist for many years. That’s the scale of what’s required to (hopefully) avoid the Apocalypse, at least from the perspective of today’s economic structures, and no attempts to spin this as ‘prosperity’ will change the facts on the ground!

  2. 302
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 1 Feb 2014 @ 7:30 AM and 1 Feb 2014 @ 11:11 AM

    You tell us “…the 10-20% annual CO2 emissions cuts required for decades would translate into annual GDP reductions on the order of 6-15% for years, since GDP is related strongly to fossil fuel use.” This pretty much demonstrates the quality of your argument. GDP is not related to fossil fuel use, it is related to energy use, so if nonpolluting energy and simple conservation replaced fossil fuels, GDP wouldn’t decline and the jobs created would be a big boost to the world economy.

    Steve

  3. 303
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Diogenes: “…the 10-20% annual CO2 emissions cuts required for decades would translate into annual GDP reductions on the order of 6-15% for years…”

    because of course nothing would take the place of the fossil fuels, and the technological advances required to develop a reduced fossil-fuel infrastructure wouldn’t result in any technological advances and the improved health from lack of pollution wouldn’t have any effect, and…

  4. 304
    DIOGENES says:

    Steve Fish #302,

    “This pretty much demonstrates the quality of your argument. GDP is not related to fossil fuel use, it is related to energy use, so if nonpolluting energy and simple conservation replaced fossil fuels, GDP wouldn’t decline and the jobs created would be a big boost to the world economy.”

    Nothing new here; it’s well known that GDP is related to energy use. However, in the near-term on which much of our discussion is focused, where it is crucial to get through the transition period, the major energy available is from fossil fuel, and the GDP reduction will relate strongly to CO2 emissions reduction. In the long-term, if we survive and non-carbon emission sources have replaced fossil sources, then GDP reduction can be decoupled from fossil fuel use.

  5. 305
    SecularAnimist says:

    Diogenes wrote: “… it’s well known that GDP is related to energy use … in the near-term … the major energy available is from fossil fuel, and the GDP reduction will relate strongly to CO2 emissions reduction”

    First, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s January 2014 Monthly Energy Review, in the USA primary energy consumption per real dollar of GDP has plummeted from 1950 to 2012 (PDF).

    There is every reason to expect that trend to continue — certainly there is plenty of room for it to continue, and accelerate, given that far more than HALF of the USA’s primary consumption is completely wasted. And the waste reduction and efficiency improvements needed to continue that trend will result in economic benefits, not economic harm.

    Second, you once again equate emissions reductions with reduced energy supply. They are not the same thing, and there is absolutely no need whatsoever that reducing emissions even VERY quickly should reduce the energy supply.

    In short, making maximally efficient use of zero-emission energy sources will have economic benefits — and in fact, the ongoing deployment of both renewable energy and efficiency is already having economic benefits.

  6. 306
    DIOGENES says:

    Ray Ladbury #303,

    “because of course nothing would take the place of the fossil fuels, and the technological advances required to develop a reduced fossil-fuel infrastructure wouldn’t result in any technological advances and the improved health from lack of pollution wouldn’t have any effect, and”

    See my comments in #304 concerning the replacement of fossil fuels by non-carbon emitting sources. Anderson’s major concern, Hansen’s concern, my concern, etc, is really how we get over the ‘hump’ and survive the near-term to get to the long-term. Had we initiated the transition from fossil fuels to renewables/nuclear forty years ago in a timely manner, we could have met the energy demand necessary to maintain GDP vitality. We lost that window! These necessary sharp demand cuts for fossil fuel in the very near term means there will not be sufficient energy available to maintain GDP activity, since the non-fossil sources will not have been installed yet. That’s one main factor in driving the major Depression. Obviously, as time proceeds and non-fossil sources are made available, GDP activity related to energy availability can increase. That’s why, in #291, I stated: “Given that GDP is closely tied to fossil fuel use in today’s economy, reductions of 10-20% annually in CO2 emissions would translate into GDP reductions on the order of 6-15% annually, for years.” I emphasized ‘today’s economy’, not thirty years from now. Additionally, I used the term ‘for years’ rather than ‘for decades’, precisely because of the continued installation of non-fossil sources to replace the fossil sources that had been eliminated.

    But, you’ve opened up another can of worms, and I would like to see some economists on this blog jump in. Energy use/energy availability has a chicken-and-egg relation to GDP, and is a strong factor. However, we have had recessions, and perhaps the Great Depression, where factors other than energy availability drove the downturn. Consumer and investor confidence come to mind, and I’m sure there are other factors. So, continuing the theological debate, if all the global governments decided to get serious about taking the necessary steps to combat climate change, and the first year agreed to e.g. a 15% cut in CO2 emissions through the demand route, how will the other GDP factors respond? How will consumers respond; how will investors respond; what else will happen? Will we see a cascading positive feedback mechanism operating, where, like immediately after 9/11, the market and other parts of the economy over-respond, and we end up with a Depression even deeper than I am predicting? I have no idea, and that’s why I’d like to see some economists address this point. In the past, when crises occurred, like 9/11 or the attack on Pearl Harbor, the response has been expansion of economic/industrial/military activity. More investment, more jobs, more ‘prosperity’, at least for a few. We are talking here about a massive change in the other direction; contraction of the economy. Yes, there may be some more research on advanced technologies, etc, but I think their impact would pale in comparison with the above GDP drivers.

  7. 307
    SecularAnimist says:

    Diogenes wrote: “And, as you have seen, our resident ‘sock-puppets’ exploit this pandering to the fullest.”

    Such childish name-calling does not divert anyone’s attention from your failure — or refusal — to respond to substantive criticisms of the one or two actual points that can be found in your voluminous verbiage.

    For example, you have yet to address the glaring contradiction between your unsupported assertions that reducing CO2 emissions MUST require reducing energy consumption, and that reducing energy consumption MUST result in “severe” economic “hardships” — and the statement by David Spratt, which you quoted saying that he “has it exactly right”, that “radical mitigation has economic benefits”.

  8. 308
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 1 Feb 2014 @ 1:17 PM

    You define “gobbledygook.” There is no way to make a transition to non-polluting energy without using the existing polluting energy for a short term bootstrap. You don’t agree? Provide a path. If you think this doesn’t meet your carbon budget idea, then provide a path.

    Steve

  9. 309
    Walter says:

    A few thoughts and ideas that may connect back advocacy in a generic sense, be one a working scientist or others seeking to lend their shoulder to the wheel of encouraging practical action to minimize further AGW etc or simply communicating the science accurately where or when they see fit.

    Group think mediocrity is no match for in the moment adaptability. Consider it within the context of W. Edwards Deming’s advice for a rational perspective that in most situations: “Survival is optional. No-one has to change.” It is not a given of ‘eventually’ nor ‘hopefully’.

    Susan Cain’s exceptionally researched Quiet explains how new group think or brainstorming sabotages itself by making it comfortable for intellectual loafers to not participate when the most dogmatic learn how to block and dominate all others input by using emotional blackmail and fear of embarrassment.

    This one small group example got some action going a couple of years ago now. One of the people they intentionally “embarrassed” labeled SeaSol as “Reactionary bullies who do nothing to address systemic problems but only rush from place to place like a for-hire pitchfork mob.”

    Seattle Solidarity (SeaSol) evidently got the problem solved when no-one else wanted to address it. Demonstrations can be and are effective for obtaining justice and equity and reason when other means for it are not efficient and self-defeating.

    Direct action stops abusive debt collection by corporate housing giant…
    http://seasol.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=87:direct-action-stops-abusive-debt-collection-by-corporate-housing-giant&catid=1:recent

    These are today’s youth organizing to help themselves without passively standing by to become “victims.” Our grassroots are alive and well and working and successful.

    Jan 2012 The Power of Introverts: A Manifesto for Quiet Brilliance
    Author Susan Cain explains the fallacy of “groupwork,” and points to research showing that it can reduce creativity and productivity
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-power-of-introverts/

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is a 2012 non-fiction book written by Susan Cain. Cain argues how modern Western culture misunderstands and undervalues the traits and capabilities of introverted people, leading to “a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness.”

    The book presents a history of how Western culture transformed from a culture of character to a culture of personality in which an “extrovert ideal” dominates and introversion is viewed as inferior or even pathological.

    Adopting scientific definitions of introversion and extroversion as preferences for different levels of stimulation, Quiet outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each temperament, emphasizing the myth of the extrovert ideal that has dominated in the West since the early twentieth century.

    Asserting that temperament is a core element of human identity, Cain cites research in biology, psychology, neuroscience and evolution to demonstrate that introversion is both common and normal, noting that many of mankind’s most creative individuals and distinguished leaders were introverts.

    Cain urges changes at the workplace, in schools, and in parenting; offers advice to introverts for functioning in an extrovert-dominated culture; and offers advice in communication, work, and relationships between people of differing temperament.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiet:_The_Power_of_Introverts_in_a_World_That_Can't_Stop_Talking

    I was watching a science show the other which took people through a role play of (almost real) disaster scenarios, one bush fire, another hurricane and flooding. They also interviewed people who had recently survived catastrophes where others were killed.

    The key issues which came up all the time, was how the mind shuts down in extreme disaster stressful fearful situations, and that one of the first functions to go was language. That’s speaking, hearing and thinking.
    the other key item was how ‘denial’ is always predominant.

    The “bright positivist” type, we will be ok, *it* won’t be that bad. Even people who had planned to depart a home in a severe bush fire situation changed their minds ‘falsely believing’ they could fight it ok, or someone else will come to help them. Their home burnt down around them and they barely survived.

    So this “Denial of Reality”, or say an avoidance of not wanting to clearly seeing and understanding the evidence about ‘XYZ potential disaster scenario’ may not be as uncommon as people imagine.

    This Denial issue is not always about politics, or being a paid shill or being ethically challenged nor being intentional liars. Most folks simply expect that really bad things simply won’t ever happen to “them”.

    The many Academic/Science research studies and Published Papers done in recent years, plus the various survey polls about people’s feelings and beliefs about AGW/CC, looking at climate science denial especially, seem to support this is the case across the board.

    Walter

  10. 310
    Walter says:

    I’m a 3 minute egg whose time is about up. AS I look around the web I see multiple examples of ‘advocacy” for the acceptance of the scientific truth of climate science AGW/CC issues and the serious problems caused or will be caused. Always it does seem to come down to “if you see something, then say something.”

    Say something to who? There would be no point in communicating to people who already believe in or accept the science and act accordingly, right?

    Therefore the targets for communication would rationally be skeptics and deniers of all kinds, in all walks of life, but especially those scientists and politicians already operating in the public domain.

    Let’s take Roy Spencer and Judith Curry as two representative examples. Who better than, who other than an active well grounded and respected Climate Scientist or Academic could possible convince them of any errors in their understanding of the science?

    If not you, who? If not now, when?

    Bring the politicians into the mix and it’s all way out of my league that’s for certain.

    Walter

  11. 311
    Walter says:

    Hi, based on this Hans Roling talk mainly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grZSxoLPqXI and a bit from Anderson’s http://youtu.be/KumLH9kOpOI and general background info I think the following is fairly accurate and should be the kind of basis used in discussing the issues raised by Diogenes and others. The specific numbers I use are close, not perfect, but anyone can generate their own scenario with more perfect numbers if they wish. It’s the big picture that I wish to address.

    All energy use amounts to about a 10% of total GDP historically in the world. That energy underpins everything else that is done to generate production and $gdp. 1 part energy produces the other 9 parts of the economy. Energy is a critical component. Remove that energy and the economy (iow the life support system) grinds to a halt.

    Anderson and others are now calling for massive and immediate cuts in fossil fuel GHGs of 10% per year until the late 2020′s probably. That is IF the world wishes to possibly stay under 2C and avoid extreme climatic impacts from circa 2050 and ongoing

    Currently 83% of all Energy comes from Fossil Fuels & produces most GHGs.
    Nuclear 8%. Bio & Hydro 7%. Solar & Wind (other renewable) not quite 2%.
    = 100%

    Therefore, hypothetically only – all things being equal – a direct cut of using 10% less FFs per year would mean a direct hit on global GDP output of ~8%. That is far worse than the 1930′s depression years. An order of magnitude of about 3 fold the impact from the GFC in 2008 thru 2011.

    But that is the effect if such a cut on fossil fuels use was not replaced by efficiency or alternative energy sources or a major drop in demand. A 10% reduction of FF GHGs each and every year will mean an ~8% cut in global GDP each and every year for a decade unless that ‘energy’ is replaced some other way.

    In most of the Developed world Nuclear is on the nose and being cut back.
    Much talk about major successes in new renewable energy sources of various kinds coming online recently. Further expansion of hydro power is limited by available locations. Geothermal is only really successful in Iceland thus far.

    Lets repeat some key numbers of where the world is at after 25 years of the major focus on AGW and calls for major reductions in FF use and GHGs being put into the atmosphere.

    Wind & Solar is less than 2% of total energy use.
    Biomass is 4%. Hydro is 3%. and Nuclear is 8%.
    Realistically, can any single one of those even replace (half) 5% of FF energy in a single year going forward?
    No. Physically that is impossible at this time.

    Fossil Fuel use itself is already growing by +2% per year. All Fossil Fuel use combined is already Projected to increase by a total of 50% in the 30 years from 2010 to 2040.

    This means that Anderson’s 10% cut really equates to a 12% real cut into the future. It’s far harder already. CO2 is projected to actually increase from 31 Billion tons to 46 billion tons per year by 2040. That is a 48% increase.

    That figure is already taking into consideration Non-Hydro Renewable GROWTH Projected (planned) to increase 280% (2.8 times) from 200 Billion KWH in 2010 to 560 Billion KWH in 2040. The biggest component being Wind, with Solar & Biomass about equal second.

    By 2040 China will account for 40% of the total increase in Nuclear Power. Major growth will also come from India, Russia, Sth Korea, and other non-OECD nations the latter of which is likely to triple.

    On BAU this where the globe is heading right now and what 2040 will in REALITY look like then:

    Currently 83% of all Energy comes from

    Fossil Fuels 78% was 83%
    Nuclear 9% was 8%
    Biomass 7% was 4%
    Hydro 3% was 7%
    Solar & Wind & other Renewable 3% was just under 2%
    = 100%

    Any massive reductions of Fossil Fuel use in the order of 10% per year in the short term needs to be considered in the light of the above which is the current reality of Business as Usual projections and already planned and possible Renewable uptake from now to 2040.

    I thought this may help put the discussions of this important aspect of Climate Change Science and Advocacy issues back on a solid footing. Good luck!!!

    Walter

  12. 312
    Walter says:

    One could also consider the Geo-Political environment with the Economic & Energy Use constraints mentioned above.
    The USA vs it’s #1 banker China
    The uptick of USA vs Russia such as over Ukraine
    The EU still hanging together by a thread
    The numerous proxy wars of the Sunni vs Shia in the Islamic world
    Syria, Thailand, Egypt, Libya, and Iran issues in particular
    The repeated failures at COP and the UNFCCC since 2009
    The fragility of the global economic and financial system
    BRICS being outside the OECD block
    The USD continuing as the global reserve currency
    The likelihood of increasingly disastrous weather events globally
    Global population increasing from 7 billion to 10+ billion by 2100

    So many things to juggle whilst simultaneously re-configuring the worlds energy system by ‘international agreement’ and world’s best practice?

    Interesting times!

    Walter

  13. 313
    Walter says:

    DIOGENES says #306, 304 & 301,

    Well I can hear you and can agree with your general position 100%!

    The figures don’t matter if they are not perfect, the picture is accurate.

    Meanwhile the world (mainly OECD nations) is still subsidizing fossil fuel extraction and use to the tune of $US500 Billion each and every year. That’s half a $Trillion!!! With no reduction in sight.

    The literate western world also needs to come to grips with the hard facts that the Richest One Billion people in the world today are using over 50% of all the energy resources of this world.

    That this means that the OECD nations of 1.25 Billion people are using about 60% of the entire energy resources of the world each year right now.

    And that over 80% of that Energy is coming from Fossil Fuel Sources, and this is growing not decreasing right now and for the foreseeable future.

    And that the Wealthiest 10% of the richest One Billion people in this world are using and capitalizing upon well the over HALF of the 50% of the entire world’s energy for their own personal ends and self-enrichment.

    The IPCC reports are way too conservative and are not up-to-date with the actual Science today. The IPCC RCP scenarios are all unrealistic, with even the RCP 8.5 understating the reality of BAU from now to 2040, only 25 years away now.

    What Hansen & Anderson and the other astute rationalists are saying (advocating for) now is a Science based analysis that is substantially accurate and valid.

    They do need the assistance of some high-end credible Economists to crunch more accurate numbers based on that Valid Science scenario of BAU .. and if this then that …. and if this instead then you get that.

    And the world needs a Toto to tear the curtain down for good to expose the Mythical Thinking and egregious Sophistry of the AGW/CC anti-science Denier campaign funded by that top 10% of the Richest most powerful People in this world.

    And that the world needs to know how that Top 10% have successfully taken the OECD/G20 Political Class Hostage across the globe in the process.

    Michael Mann’s NYTs article barely scratches the surface. I wish he and the rest of the 28,000 ‘scientists’ plus the sane economists would also say something about what is really going on here and what the reality actual is.

    Ha! In my dreams maybe. Not going to happen!

    Walter

  14. 314
    William Gloege says:

    Let’s be honest. Most scientists, whether in academia or private firms, are focused on one thing – their job, income and retirement.

    Try to pry some clear, understandable statement out of most of them and you get evasion usually. Especially if you’re a citizen calling by phone.

    Most are hunkered down, taking care of No. 1 and his/her family. This is plain wrong for anyone on the public payroll. They owe answers to the public that pays their check.

    But the few stand outs we should honor and admire. Let’s be more vocal in doing that.

  15. 315
    wili says:

    Diogenes, I’m afraid few economists can talk about anything other than endless economic growth, despite the impossibility of that happening in a finite world. And I’m afraid you are not getting through to your persistent detractors here–again, the (stunningly obvious) reality you are presenting seems to threaten their world-view too radically for them to really hear what you are saying.

    They can present no historical precedent for going from 1-3% growth in ff use to 10-20% annual reduction in the same without significant financial contraction, but they are pretending that the onus is on you, for some reason, to prove that such a rapid decline must correspond with contraction. I don’t know how one can get through such a wall of incomprehension. Best wishes in your attempts, though.

    If you are interested in a less denial-ridden conversation on these topics, neven has a number of good threads discussing this stuff in his Arctic Sea Ice forum. (Don’t be put off by the security warnings–it is a very safe site, in my experience.)

    (reCapthca notes: poweret check)

  16. 316
    Ray Ladbury says:

    William Gloege,
    You post makes me wonder whether you know any scientists. Most of the scientists I work with are focused on figuring out whatever it is that they are studying–to the point where most of our nonscientist friends think of us as only lightly tethered.

    Since the public pays our paycheck, what they owe the public is an honest days work and an honest effort to work in the public interest. As a matter of fact, if they spend to much time with you on the phone, they are not doing their job. And frankly, most of them don’t even speak the same language as the public, so it is really not all that fruitful to have them interfacing directly with the public.

    There are gifted communicators, though, and some of these folks decide to give of their time–time when they could be with their family, doing research and advancing their career or having fun. Let me be clear. They don’t owe this to you–very few scientists have interfacing with the public in their job description. They are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.

    If you want to help them in their endeavor, you can meet them half way and become literate in their subject matter and in science in general. As you are more likely to benefit from what they have to say than they are by what you have to say, one could just as easily say that you owe them this attempt to become literate.

  17. 317
    DIOGENES says:

    Wili #315,

    “Diogenes, I’m afraid few economists can talk about anything other than endless economic growth, despite the impossibility of that happening in a finite world.”

    OK. I was hoping there were some who had studied recessions/depressions in various countries who had some estimate of what could happen under such anomalous circumstances. I suspect, for the case I hypothesized of 15% CO2 emissions reductions, that the GDP drop would be far more than the energy GDP multiplier result of ~10%. Uncertainty almost always works against us, whether applied to investor confidence or consumer confidence.

    “And I’m afraid you are not getting through to your persistent detractors here–again, the (stunningly obvious) reality you are presenting seems to threaten their world-view too radically for them to really hear what you are saying.”

    You’re being too kind. With some, it is an honest world-view threat or even a deeply-felt difference of opinion. That’s fine. With others, the repeated scripted talking points, the constant selling of specific technologies that won’t avoid the Apocalypse, and the obvious misrepresentations and misquotes, imply ominous external motivations for the posts.

    “They can present no historical precedent for going from 1-3% growth in ff use to 10-20% annual reduction in the same without significant financial contraction, but they are pretending that the onus is on you, for some reason, to prove that such a rapid decline must correspond with contraction. I don’t know how one can get through such a wall of incomprehension. Best wishes in your attempts, though.”

    Given how straight-forward is identification of the temperature and emissions reductions targets for survival, how relatively few options there are to meet these targets, and the drastic economic consequences that will necessarily follow, any reader of this blog will easily see the absurdity of any mention of ‘prosperity’. If we are serious about avoiding the Apocalypse, we will have to face substantial hardships and deprivation.

    As I pointed out in a previous post, I don’t count ‘thumbs up’ for my posts. I post to aid in developing my understanding of what is happening in climate change, what is necessary to avoid disaster, and to share my thoughts. I am not out to ‘convince’ anyone of the truth. I present my perspective, and if they agree, fine, and if they don’t agree, fine also. [edit - stick to substantive arguments]

  18. 318
    Hank Roberts says:

    > your persistent detractors here–again, the
    > (stunningly obvious) reality you are presenting

    He’s arguing with people who are not here.
    Finding those you want to convince
    is the first step for each newbie.

    That’s why I asked where he was in 1970.
    First Earth Day. Anybody you know there?

    The past always looks empty to the young.
    They weren’t there to see the bad paths that _were_ avoided.

    Things could have been much worse.

    You have no idea.

  19. 319
  20. 320
    SecularAnimist says:

    Diogenes wrote: “With others, the repeated scripted talking points, the constant selling of specific technologies … imply ominous external motivations for the posts.”

    Once again, you refuse to even acknowledge, let alone attempt to address, the substantive criticisms from other commenters of YOUR repetitive “talking points”, which you have by now recited verbatim in dozens of comments — e.g. that emissions reductions MUST equal energy supply reductions which MUST equal economic hardship, and that anyone who disagrees with this formula MUST BE “pandering”.

    Instead of responding substantively, you offer only insulting personal attacks, baselessly accusing your critics of unspecified “ominous external motivations”, and proceed from there to the ad hominem fallacy that their criticisms are without merit … because of the “ominous motivations” that you baselessly accuse them of harboring!

    Diogenes wrote: “the obvious misrepresentations and misquotes”

    No one has misrepresented or misquoted anything you have posted here. As with your line about “scripted talking points”, you are simply accusing others of doing what you have consistently done — namely beating up “straw men” that are at best grotesque misrepresentations of other commenters’ arguments.

    Meanwhile, setting aside the trollery, you have yet to address the contradiction between your repeated assertions that reducing emissions must require “severe economic hardship” and David Spratt’s assertion — which you endorsed “without reservation” — that “radical mitigation has economic benefits”.

  21. 321
    Hank Roberts says:

    Relevant, from http://real-economics.blogspot.com/2014/01/20-returns-what-were-they-thinking.html
    (Remembering as Overshoot points out that any “investment” claiming returns far exceeding what nature provides over time is stripmining.)

    Friday, January 31, 2014
    20% returns? What were they thinking?
    Jim Clark, one of the legendary entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley learned something very significant during his days bringing Silicon Graphics to life—if you are in the hardware business, it requires so many rounds of venture capital funding to get all the bugs out that the founder is unlikely to have any stake left in the venture by the time there is anything interesting to sell. Clark would start several more companies—some made a pile of money—but after being forced out at Silicon Graphics, he made damned sure that he never got caught in the hardware trap again.

    It looks like a bunch of Germans are discovering Clark’s lesson by trying to make start-up profits from ventures that require seriously expensive hardware—hardware that must compete with very expensive hardware already installed. In the case of German wind power, the problem is not that the wind turbines don’t work as designed but rather that they cannot provide 20% returns in an economic climate organized by neoliberals. Of course, the promise of a 20% is utterly insane so it isn’t especially important who is organizing the economy. After all, Bernie Madoff was only promising 14% and he resorted to a Ponzi scheme to keep his operation alive for as long as he did.

    After watching hardware ventures crash and burn under ridiculous profit promises for almost four decades, I seriously doubt that any green technology will ever return those sorts of profits. We will be grateful as a society if something like wind turbines can replace power stations that burn brown coal and so reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere. 20% profits? Who are they kidding? Green ventures like wind power should probably be organized as non-profit ventures that should be considered roaring success stories if they break even selling affordable power to their customers.

  22. 322
    Mal Adapted says:

    Walter:

    Let’s take Roy Spencer and Judith Curry as two representative examples. Who better than, who other than an active well grounded and respected Climate Scientist or Academic could possible convince them of any errors in their understanding of the science?

    Curry may be reachable, but good luck with Spencer, because “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.” For one thing, he’d have to repudiate the Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, which is all the more unlikely after re-nailing his colors to the mast (h/t Stoat). YMMV, but it looks to me like any attempt to penetrate his denial will only make it stronger.

  23. 323
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Walter: “…take Roy Spencer and Judith Curry…”

    Please?!

  24. 324
    concerned citizen says:

    #311 “By 2040,”
    “Solar & Wind & other Renewable 3% was just under 2%.”

    That sector obviously has to grow much faster. I am not an expert, but I recall that solar and wind are growing at somewhere between 30% to 100% per year. We need to keep that pace and stimulate to keep that pace above 50% per year. A growth like Fibonacci sequence would look promising: 2%, 3%, 5%, 8%, 13%, 21%, etc. But there will come problems with energy storage, smart grid and excess capacity once the Fibonaccy numbers saturate the energy market. And I am sure that there will be other problems as well.

    What we need:
    1. increasing price on CO2 emissions (to account for the 1240 trillion USD damage during the current century). Stop fossil fuel subsidies.
    2. carbon tax & dividend to compensate for the less wealthy. Businesses should only get the tax and no dividend, since businesses are not people.
    3. feed in tariffs for solar and wind (and for storage and other smart grid components)
    4. More strict building codes (passive, zero energy and positive energy houses)
    5. Road networks need to be revamped

    If we can’t do that while growing GDP, then we have to take the necessary hit. The collapse of the Soviet Union showed that constriction of 50% over 5-10 years is possible to endure. But the possible reaction of a global capitalist system to such a constriction is a big unknown (to me).

    There are issues, like:
    1. passanger aviation industry (the building of new passanger planes) becomes obsolete overnight and recovers only after new carbon neutral planes have been built, if ever. The dwindling demand for air travel can be served with the current fleet.
    2. The overcapacity (and the subsidies) in car industry have to be dealt with. Let them produce bicycles instead, with electric assist motors (and wind covers).
    3. Ship emissions have to be added (and taxed) to the country where the ship is registered, because the ship is part of the country anyway (just like the ground of an embassy).

    Since transport is carbon intensive, global trade will take a hit. And with that also global GDP, unless we can quickly make ships to run on renewables.

    But one of the biggest issues I see is the inertia of legislation. It was a nightmare during the collapse of the Soviet Union and it is even a bigger problem in the capitalist world, because there is more legislation (and more of those darn lawyers). What was that saying about the lawyers and a good start? The same applies to career politicians.

  25. 325
    Walter says:

    #316 Ray Ladbury (and others that believe the same)

    I think you are getting this completely back to front here and are possibly only seeing things from your own restricted ‘sciency’ (as Gavin uses the word) point of view.

    eg Your post makes me wonder whether you know any NON-scientists.

    Regular everyday people and how they actually think and see the world and make their choices? Small business people, and tradesmen, and bank clerks and cleaners and shop keepers. What matters to them and how they go about making their own decisions about politics and life. They all Vote.

    “One pretty certain fact about science is that much of the public is more interested in the various findings of science, than in the methods by which they are generated.” Jim Bouldin, Scientist

    I’d suggest that the solution to climate change action is not that the rest of the world needs to study up and get up to speed with your level of knowledge nor practice, or can use the same jargon as scientists use and can understand as good as a graduate could.

    This kind of approach is not the solution at all. The world doesn’t have the educational resources nor the time to teach the public up to your ‘preferred’ standards before appropriate action is taken.

    We have enough ‘scientists’ who know enough already.

    AS Bouldin continues: “So I think it’s important to outline some concepts that determine scientific practice, that is, some epistemology, however boring or obvious that might seem.
    Inference, roughly, is the process of reaching conclusions about the world based on observations of it.”

    Honestly Ray, hardly any one else cares less how scientists do your work. They simply want genuine valid proven findings that they can trust and understand the ‘top line’ factual situation and the implications of that.

    They need plainly spoken advice on what to do about those findings. How you got from A to B is irrelevant and of very little interest to the public or policy makers. KISS Principle: 101

    You have only to convince the majority of the public of the veracity of your findings being valid. Not prove them ‘scientifically’. They don;t care about that.

    This is where ‘mass communication’ processes come in. Not science. Not scientists. Unless they are naturally highly skilled in public speaking to non-scientists and non-academics but especially direct to Politicians and Business and Community leaders.

    Complaints about regular people not being smart enough or knowing enough to handle the science is a waste of time and quite irrational, no matter how many times you or others repeat it here. Won’t resolve anything, won;t help anyone, and it never will.

    It would be far wiser of scientist to listen to what people like William are saying #315, and then really think about what may be behind the surface words that are being said. Rather than making knew-jerk reactive comments about how wrong he has it.

    Whilst actually missing and not addressing his key point: “But the few stand outs we should honor and admire. Let’s be more vocal in doing that.”

    Ref: http://climatechangenationalforum.org/thoughts-on-inference-and-method/

  26. 326
    Walter says:

    #324 concerned citizen,

    Thanks for the comments there. No argument from me.

    Regarding: #311 “By 2040,” “Solar & Wind & other Renewable 3% was just under 2%.” You said: “That sector obviously has to grow much faster.”

    Yes, that’s right. What I am saying is that it is actually not growing anywhere near as much as most people believe that it is. As per that Hans Rosling data. The quoted figures are already based upon the existing growth to date, and all the planned growth in the short term, and then expected growth potential in the longer term to 2040.

    The reality does not match the rhetoric of most people who suggest that these rewnewables are already proven as the solution. The hard factual evidence suggests the opposite. All success stories to date and the current expansions are but a tiny drop in the ocean of global energy use. People simply do not know this. That’s a big problem.

    Also “But one of the biggest issues I see is the inertia of legislation.”

    To me it is the nettle of the ONLY real issue of any importance today. Science and technology have the capacity to rise to the occasion. But first that occasion needs to become a reality.

    A well informed and rational National Leadership Response (and forced upon them by the Public) of the OECD/G20 nations in particular is THE only solution. A first step at least.

    The world is far from that event horizon at present. Making that a reality is the challenge.

    History proves that the last 25 years of the IPCC process etc has not been successful. That is what needs to change and fast.

    Or forget about it. Bigger crises will need to faced instead.

    This is how I see it. I note many others do to, but not yet enough. Many Climate Scientists and Academics included don’t seem to get this need for urgency and clear headed focus. Time is of the essence, now.

    Walter

  27. 327
    Walter says:

    Ray Ladbury says:
    Walter: “…take Roy Spencer and Judith Curry…” — Please?!

    Ray, if you see yourself incapable of convincing by force of valid arguments and evidence another climate scientist of their errors and mistakes, what makes you believe you or anyone else is capable of convincing the masses of the general Public who can’t even understand the language of science?

    To me it appears you readily admit your own lack of competence to influence others to the truth of the science. This does not instill in me any degree of trust nor hope that you know or have any solution to the current problems.

    Maybe I have that wrong. If so, please explain to me and others what you believe are the immediate solutions to reverse the current trend of major increases in Fossil Fuel use and increasing rates of GHGs going forward.

    Walter

  28. 328
    Chuck Hughes says:

    So why do they call it “Fossil Fuel”?

    http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

    I know this kind of ignorance exists but I’d rather not be reminded of it.

  29. 329
    DIOGENES says:

    Wili #315,

    Here’s the fundamental problem. There are two types of climate change deniers. Type 1 are the classical deniers within the larger public. Type 1 deny the science, and, obviously, deny the need for any solutions to a non-existent problem. Type 2 are a smaller segment, found in part on the climate advocacy blogs. Type 2 accept the science, but deny the need for the personal deprivation and hardships required to avoid the Apocalypse. Type 2 offer the facade of a solution without the substance of a solution. Both types will lead us directly to the Apocalypse, Type 1 using the Express lanes, and Type 2 following closely behind.

  30. 330
    Walter says:

    To emphasize a number of points made by some posters here recently, the IPCC folks are (reported to be) actually saying identical things now.

    FEB 2, 2014 Rising costs of climate change
    “The international community has as little as 15 years to limit greenhouse gas emissions and invest in clean energy technologies before climate change will become too serious a problem for current technology to tackle or will be extremely costly, states a United Nations draft report that was recently leaked in an apparent effort to influence policymakers.”

    “The draft report by the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that …..

    “Stating that carbon-dioxide emissions grew by 2.2 percent a year on average from 2000 to 2010 — nearly double the 1.3 percent rate of growth from 1970 to 2000 — the IPCC identifies the two main forces fueling this phenomenon: a steady rise in the world’s population and a sharp increase in economic growth. The burning of coal and oil were responsible for the majority of emissions.

    “A number of energy-rich countries sell gasoline and other fossil fuels to their citizens at a discount. The draft report recommends that such fossil fuel subsidies, which totaled $544 billion in 2012 according to the International Energy Agency, be cut. “Reduction of subsidies to fossil fuels can achieve significant emissions reduction at negative social cost,” it states.”

    “The IPCC, however, argues that such a perspective is extremely shortsighted even when viewed solely from an economic perspective. If the international community does not do something within the next 10 to 15 years to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the cost of reducing them later would be far higher because existing technologies would be incapable of achieving the current goal of limiting global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.”

    “Even if this goal is met, experts contend that vast economic and ecological damage would still result, but it would likely occur at a pace gradual enough to be managed. ”

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/02/02/editorials/rising-costs-of-climate-change/

    Emissions still increasing, according to leaked IPCC findings, with urgent action required to avert worst effects
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/17/un-climate-report-carbon-economy

    Climate change may become nearly impossible to solve if not addressed soon, warns leaked UN report
    http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/16/5315592/ipcc-leaked-climate-change-report-warns-change-needed-soon

    Walter

  31. 331
    Patrick Flege says:

    Sorry, but the discussion has, imho, become a farce when mainly 2 or 3 people write the majority of posts, which all basically consist of complementing each other for having the right opinion, and always repeat the very same messages. I fully understand at this point that the moderators do not have the time nor nerves to influence the direction of the discussion given the persistence of a few commentators. And please stop using terms like “Apocalypse”, this is neither an objective, scientific term, nor helpful for serious, evidence-based discussions.

    Patrick

  32. 332
    DIOGENES says:

    Patrick #331,

    “Sorry, but the discussion has, imho, become a farce when mainly 2 or 3 people write the majority of posts, which all basically consist of complementing each other for having the right opinion, and always repeat the very same messages.”

    Right church; wrong pew! There certainly is a problem when only a few readers are participating in a discussion on what is, in my view, the central science issue in climate change (and its potential consequences). The question you should be asking is why, out of (I would guess) thousands of RC readers, many/most of whom are undoubtedly concerned and could contribute valuable inputs to the discussion, only a few choose to participate? I can give you my take, which may or may not be correct.

    If we collectively were focused on trying to identify potential solutions to this difficult problem, we would have a different type of discourse. We would look for the value in each person’s comments, and build on it. That is the essence of constructive commentary.

    [edit - do not attack commenters or insinuate in this fashion. Just stop]

    I don’t know how one corrects this situation. The moderators, who are practicing world-class climate scientists, have better uses for their time than policing the exchanges in detail. But, I would really like to see some incentive system (or whatever) for bringing in more of the Silent Majority to these conversations. We will all increase our growth and understanding as a result.

    As for the use of ‘Apocalypse’, it is a proxy term for the endless paragraphs that would be necessary to describe the world with temperature increases ~5-6 C, as e.g. Lynas has done. We can only guess what that world would be like at present, and Apocalypse is about as accurate as is necessary.

  33. 333

    Thanks for that, Walter #330–I incorporated the stories into my article asking “How Much Time Do We Have?”

    I rather liked the NYT story:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/science/earth/un-says-lag-in-confronting-climate-woes-will-be-costly.html

  34. 334
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Walter,
    Science has only completely revolutionized the way humans live their lives in the mere 4 centuries of its existence! Why would we want people to actually understand how it works?

    Walter, people need to understand how science works if they are to be able to consume scientific facts/knowledge responsibly. How else are they to know whether a study suggesting everyone eat bacon grease by the pound is to be trusted? This is as important as literacy. It is a basic survival skill in an increasingly technical world.

    The fact of the matter is that science works. It does what it was intended to do. Science reporting and laymen’s consumption of science…not so much. So your answer is to “fix” the thing that works so that the laziest of science journalists and laymen can continue to be ignorant and lazy? I ask you–does this make sense?

    And there is another issue–how do you figure out which scientists are trustworthy? Even a quick perusal of Aunt Judy’s or Uncle Roy’s oeuvre reveals inconsistency and a long track record of simply being wrong. To anyone who understands, it is clear that they represent a tiny minority of climate scientists and do not significantly add to the understanding of climate.

  35. 335

    Honestly Ray, hardly any one else cares less how scientists do your work. They simply want genuine valid proven findings that they can trust and understand the ‘top line’ factual situation and the implications of that.

    This is the kind of casual comment that I see often. What I think you might mean is that YOU could care less how scientists do their work and that YOU want or demand valid proven findings that YOU trust and understand vis a vis – FACTS.

    You speak only for yourself, especially when it comes to science, and I’m sorry to be the one to have to say something very few other people say about these kinds of casual comments, but science does not work the way that YOU want it too or in the way that your comment reveals to me how you think it does. Sorry. Your beliefs about what ‘other’ people think are meaningless here.

  36. 336
    SecularAnimist says:

    Patrick Flege wrote: “2 or 3 people write the majority of posts, which all basically consist of complementing each other for having the right opinion, and always repeat the very same messages”

    At least it appears to be 2 or 3 people.

  37. 337
    SecularAnimist says:

    Diogenes wrote: “Type 2 accept the science, but deny the need for the personal deprivation and hardships required to avoid the Apocalypse.”

    You have repeated that bumper sticker slogan about “deprivation and hardships” in dozens of comments.

    You have yet to state WHAT the “deprivation and hardships” are, WHO will experience them, or WHY. Your vague suggestion that reducing emissions = reducing energy supply = economic hardship has been repeatedly debunked by multiple commenters.

    You have refused to substantively respond to numerous criticisms of your argument, instead responding with insults, straw men, ad hominems, and argument by repetition.

    And you have completely contradicted your own assertion that economic “deprivation and hardship” are required, by endorsing David Spratt’s statement that “radical mitigation has economic benefits”.

  38. 338
    Rachel F says:

    #332
    Ok, I’ll give this a go.

    I think the only way to solve the problem is to use the magic word “and” a lot.

    Technology-only or single-issue changes won’t work because we got ourselves into this mess through a socio-technical-economic change called the industrial revolution. In it, technology supports economy, supports medical advances, supports population growth, supports lifestyle increases, all leading to carbon emissions. Systemic change requires revolutionising economic rules, and technological efficiency, and land use practice, and social norms, and halting population growth.

    These things are all related, dependent, interdependent, sometimes in complex ways.

    I’m currently working on a system dynamics model of the relationship between economy, consumption, emissions, and social norms. It’s tricky. However, I believe that only a systems approach can change a system in the way you would like it to be changed.

    Of course, overshadowing all this is the need to incorporate scientific findings into decision making. For that we need some brilliant leadership.

  39. 339
    Radge Havers says:

    @~131

    Yeah, I won’t call ‘sock puppet’, but it would be nice if commenters could make an extra effort to be concise. People overly enamored of the sound their own voice are soon boring, eventually tiresome, then irritating, and finally just plain obnoxious.

    Please tighten up if you feel that you absolutely must comment. At least let a few go. You don’t have to get all wound up and belabor every piddly thing that crosses your minds eye.

  40. 340
    Hank Roberts says:

    It’s a tag-team Occupation, by people who don’t have real names, don’t have publications, don’t have their own blog, and insist they’re the most important news you could see today. Advertisers for themselves.
    Their hearts are in the right place. That doesn’t help their thinking.

  41. 341
    SecularAnimist says:

    Here is another good example of a climate scientist seeing something and saying something:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/31/keystone-xl-pipeline-obama-state-department-impact

  42. 342
    DIOGENES says:

    Wili #315,

    “I don’t know how one can get through such a wall of incomprehension.”

    [edit - please stop attacking commenters rather than their arguments.]

    Here are the facts. Spratt discusses Anderson’s presentation at the recent Radical Emissions Reduction Conference (http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/01/radical-emissions-reductions-1-kevin.html). Following are the two key paragraphs taken verbatim from Spratt’s article.

    “Anderson starts with the proposition that stabilisation at 2°C remains a feasible goal of the international community, just. [Readers of this blog will know well that at less than 1 degree of warming, there is a good deal of evidence that climate change is already dangerous and of the view of leading scientists that 2°C hotter is not an acceptable climate target but a disaster.]

    Anderson makes the point that RADICAL MITIGATION HAS ECONOMIC BENEFITS, not financial. He says it is time to wrestle economics away from the financiers. The word economics originates from the Greek oikonimia, meaning stewardship of the household; no mention of money. The word financial comes from the Greek chrematistic meaning the making of money. IF MAKING MONEY IS OUR PRIORITY THEN 2°C IS NOT VIABLE. If we’re interested in the wellbeing of our lives and the planet, then 2°C is viable with a successful economy.”

    So, the statement taken out of context above refers to Anderson’s philosophy, and is not a statement of Spratt’s philosophy. In addition, in paragraph two, Anderson uses a definition of economics different from what we ordinarily mean when we talk about the economy. He states that “If making money is our priority then 2°C is not viable.” This comports quite well with Anderson’s statements on the record that ‘planned austerity’ or ‘planned recession’ are our only hope of staying below 2 C. Additionally, if making money were removed from the approaches to staying under 2 C, as Anderson recommends, we would no longer see the endless posts about solar installations and other technologies being adequate for climate change amelioration; they’re all about making money!

  43. 343
    SecularAnimist says:

    [edit - please just bring examples to our attention]

    Diogenes wrote: “we would no longer see the endless posts about solar installations and other technologies being adequate for climate change amelioration; they’re all about making money!”

    Straw man fallacy and ad hominem fallacy.

    Diogenes wrote: “the statement taken out of context”

    I took NOTHING out of context, your smokescreen of doubletalk and insults notwithstanding.

    You have repeatedly stated — without any supporting evidence whatsoever — that emissions reductions MUST require “deprivation and hardships” and “severe economic reductions”, and you have ALSO endorsed “without reservation” the assertion that “radical mitigation has economic benefits”. Which is self-contradictory and incoherent.

    Your latest attempt to dance around that self-contradiction is the most incoherent thing you have posted yet, devoid of substance, relying wholly on increasingly childish name-calling, rhetorical fallacies and evasion.

  44. 344
    Susan Anderson says:

    Rachel @~338

    Thanks! I’m a big fan of “and”.

  45. 345
    sidd says:

    I have some sympathy for the claim that decarbonizing energy supply by restricting fossil carbon combustion to an extent sufficient to avoid 2C temperature rise over preindustrial will crash the economy. I am not convinced, but I concede a case can be made. But I have definitely not enough sympathy to endure thousands of words saying the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over. This causes severe beatings of my pagedown key, and I kills whatever nascent impulse I might have to engage those fanatics, “who won’t change their mind and can’t change the subject.”

    We get it. You think that we are doomed either to climate hell or economic hell. Telling us the same thing a million times will not convince, repetition is not an argument. Move on.

    More fundamentally, there seems to be an important point that is missed.

    What is the necessity for economic growth ? Most benefits of economic growth are increasingly captured by the minority at the apex of the pyramid. Those at the bottom starve, or at best live hand to mouth, no matter what the state of the economy. It is quite amazing that those dispossessed are not (yet) in the streets with pitchforks and torches.

    I suppose they have (so far) been successfully distracted. For if they realized that none of the benefits of a growing economy were to accrue to them, but that they would have to pay the heaviest for unpriced externalities such as pollution, the game would be up. Why should anyone labor to expand an economic system which only punishes them for doing so ?

    Shrinking the economy will hurt the apex predators the most. They will fight such a notion, with approximately the same results as, say, France in 1789.

    We live in interesting times.

  46. 346
    Jim Eager says:

    Kevin McKinney, I’ve followed your Doc Snow Hub pages for some time. Reading the comments at page you linked to shows that you have the patients of Job.

  47. 347
    Jim Eager says:

    Diogenes, will you please stop with the “we’re stuck between the rock and hard place” mantra and cut to the chase.

    What’s your solution?
    I mean other than spread our legs, bend over and kiss our….

  48. 348
    flxible says:

    I have to agree with sidd@345, it seems to me unlikely that economic growth is going to be part of the solution to the problems of climate change, but flaming back and forth, subtly or viscously, will definitely not provide an answer. Please refrain from tedious repetitive postings of opinion about other commenters.

    CAPTCHA suggests “ngoouth attorneys”

  49. 349

    #346–Jim, thank you! However, you may wish to consult with my wife about the ‘patience of Job’ bit! :-P

  50. 350
    Walter says:

    Patrick Flege says: “And please stop using terms like “Apocalypse”, this is neither an objective, scientific term, nor helpful for serious, evidence-based discussions.”

    Patrick, if people are saying things that are wrong along with explaining “what they see, and saying something about it” is incorrect then showing where they are wrong is what most discussion boards were created to provide. Discussion! Agreement isn’t the priory concern here. Varying ‘argument’ generates better understanding when people engage in the process properly, more than agreement does. (must be an accepted published Paper on that out there somewhere).

    If you wish to discuss another topic or focus, then why not write a post about that? On discussion boards usually one idea/comment leads to another leads to another. This is normal. This is also how science progresses too when different people are inspired or interested enough to take an idea a little further than before, or to try to disprove it when they do not like the implications.

    Here is my latest idea. If the word ‘Apocalypse’ is inappropriate in the context of others comments and climate science, then please would you recommend a better word or term to use in it’s place?

    Maybe have a browse through here http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter12_FINAL.pdf for a bit of background homework.

    Page search for the words abrupt, severe, dangerous, catastrophic, irreversible, “significant change”, variation, substantial, and extreme (the latter mentioned 137 times). Also consider deeply the context of how those words relate to the broader picture being painted by this IPCC AR5 Report Chapter 12. Can’t get more scientific than this can we?

    I believe there is not one single piece of scientifically based or credible evidence available today that would indicate an ongoing Energy Use scenario better than RCP 8.5 from now to 2040 and after on current BAU reality. Do you agree or disagree? A straight yes or no would be fine.

    Assuming that words like ‘Apocalypse’ or ‘Catastrophic’ are not to your liking, then please what word/s would you suggest communicate the LIKELY OUTCOME 25-50 years hence continuing on with BAU as the hard facts from multiple lines of evidence repeatedly show is exactly where we are headed on the current trajectory!

    I tend to accept that Words do matter. Here’s some alternatives:

    Synonyms for catastrophic, adj destructive = calamitous, cataclysmic, disastrous, fatal, ruinous, tragic, cataclysmal, catastrophal. http://thesaurus.com/browse/catastrophic

    Synonyms for apocalypse, noun mass destruction = annihilation, cataclysm, catastrophe, devastation, holocaust, Armageddon, decimation, end of the world (as we know it). http://thesaurus.com/browse/Apocalypse

    Are you 100% certain such words above are not appropriate on a scientific basis alone?

    Walter


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