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Unforced variations: Mar 2014

Filed under: — group @ 3 March 2014

This month’s open thread.


679 Responses to “Unforced variations: Mar 2014”

  1. 501
    Hank Roberts says:

    So, noticing the natural experiment in progress — has anyone seen numbers on light levels and primary production under the Asian smog of the last few years?

    In other news:

    doi: 10.1177/2053019613516290
    The Anthropocene Review April 2014 vol. 1 no. 1 78-109

    Introducing the Scientific Consensus on Maintaining Humanity’s Life Support Systems in the 21st Century: Information for Policy Makers

    links on that page for both Abstract and Full Text of Article

  2. 502
    Hank Roberts says:

    I’d have preferred seeing a title closer to “… Maintaining Life’s Support Systems in the 21st Century … ” but alas, anything for “policymakers” seems the very definition of anthropocentricism.

  3. 503
    Tony Lynch says:

    I love realclimate but hate being shouted at (DIOGENES!) Is there way one can access the comment threads and be spared?

    [Response: we have set up a separate open thread for non-DIOGENETIC discussions. – gavin]

  4. 504
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Shouldn’t that be “Diogeneric”?

  5. 505
    Walter says:

    Radge Havers (anon nym meaning Crazy Oats ) said “Diogenes … perhaps you just have a tin ear for social context.” Big call assigning your own ‘social norms’ as the yardstick all are required to follow. Playing at being an online Psychologist is no sign of sanity and reason. Maybe he isn’t the one with the ‘problem’ here? Any and all “difficulty engaging with people here” is usually the difficult people themselves.

    I can’t choose between describing the ‘discussion’ (if you could call it that) as the flight of the bubble bees or a journey into the twilight zone? :)

    So breaking this down quickly, all climate change authorities describe a limited carbon budget before the world breaks 2 C. So does Diogenes. No one disagrees. No RC scientist from Gavin down has challenged or corrected these statements by Diogenes. (yet)

    All climate change authorities place this event occurring at current business as usual fossil fuel energy use forecasts (or RCP 8.5) by ~2040 or 25 years from now. So does Diogenes. No one disagrees. No RC scientist from Gavin down has challenged or corrected these statements by Diogenes. (yet)

    All energy use and climate change authorities place the trajectory for fossil fuels use as doubling between now and 2050. So does Diogenes.

    This forecast amount and today’s current use is calculated by all energy use and climate change authorities to determine how much fossil fuel needs to be cut and by when. Diogenes uses the same figures.

    The safe climate middle-ground number from Hansen, Anderson, McGibbon, Alley, IPCC, IEA, AIE, UNFCCC, NAS, Nature, PLOSone et al to remain below 2 C increase means cutting Fossil Fuel Energy use to 10% (1400 Mtoe) of 2011 levels by 2050. Diogenes agrees that this is what the Science and the evidence says is so.

    This broad “Target Goal” being the ONLY rational solution for ameliorating climate change into the future = cutting fossil fuel use to 10% of the current use by ~2050. And Diogenes agrees. No one disagrees. No RC scientist from Gavin down has challenged or corrected these statements.

    The difference, the Energy Gap, between business as usual and the Target Goal is 17,400 Mtoe over 35 years, or 500 Mtoe per year. The choice is between replacing all that energy demand growth and Fossil Fuel energy with Non-Carbon Energy sources, or cutting back in demand use, or allowing Business as Usual growth in carbon pollution. And Diogenes agrees. No one disagrees. No RC scientist from Gavin down has challenged or corrected these statements.

    Now all energy use and climate change authorities have acknowledged that there is no known capacity for Non-carbon Energy supply to replace an extra 17,400 Mtoe of energy demand between now and 2050. OK. Can’t be done. And Diogenes agrees again with these authorities.

    Therefore, if the Target Goal to stay below 2 C in 2050 is to met then Energy demand/use has to be cut to make up for the Gap. This is the ONLY rational solution to adopt if maintaining a safe global climate for the future is what is the most important issue at stake. And Diogenes agrees this is a rational plan to adopt, and why it is part of his ONLY solution for ameliorating climate change into the future.

    BUT, immediately declares such a plan is inoperable too, because the agreement needed would be impossible to achieve under our current circumstances.

    So in a world where there is little to no agreement to cut overall energy demand, no capacity to supply an extra 500 Mtoe Non-Carbon energy per year,
    and where Fossil Fuel energy use is forecast to rise 150% to 19,000 Mtoe in 2050 what kind of a climate would one likely expect then?

    So Diogenes agrees with the majority of energy and climate science authorities today, but no he is deemed 6 pancakes short of a stack and having difficulty ‘partaking of a meaningful discourse’? Ok, then. :)

    Dr Michael Mann says the same thing in his own way and it’s fine:

    “It boils down to three main points—97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is here and now, that this means we risk abrupt and irreversible changes to the climate, and the sooner we act, the lower the costs and risks we face.”

    Diogenes simply puts some time frames and a few numbers on it No one disagrees with the scientific facts given or the forecast CO2e emissions growth. No RC scientist from Gavin down has challenged or corrected these statements by Diogenes. (yet)

    The consensus appears to be that it is “Diogenes’ that is the problem here.

    My best at sizing the current situation up.

  6. 506
    Walter says:

    The State of the Climate

    – We live in a world already affected by climate change from global warming
    – Our current trajectory is to break through 2 C and dangerous climate change conditions around 2040.
    – There is no known capacity for Non-carbon Energy sources to replace the energy demand growth or our existing fossil fuel use now or into the foreseeable future
    – The present Science suggests a GMSTs rise of ~2-3 C before 2050 rising to 4-6 C by 2100, assuming there are no changes in our present behavior and choices.
    – Business as usual forecasts are the factual reality to deal with today. Everything else is hypothetical make-believe.

    Start at the beginning, define the problem, and then go from there.

    Short and sweet. :)

  7. 507
    DIOGENES says:

    http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2013/11/06/our-consumptive-madness/#comments

    An interesting excerpt:

    “Speaking candidly about the prospects of the industrialized world being able to reduce its GHG emissions and avoid catastrophic warming, the only three living diplomats responsible for leading past and present UN global warming talks had this to say:

    “‘There is nothing that can be agreed in 2015 that would be consistent with the 2 degrees,’ said Yvo de Boer, who was UNFCCC executive secretary in 2009, when attempts to reach a deal at a summit in Copenhagen crumbled with a rift between industrialized and developing nations. ‘THE ONLY WAY THAT A 2015 AGREEMENT CAN ACHIEVE A 2-DEGREE GOAL IS TO SHUT DOWN THE WHOLE GLOBAL ECONOMY.’””

    That view has been expressed in different ways by many others as well, including Kevin Anderson, Tim Garrett, et al. If the statement above refers to a 2 C target, what would be the economic consequences of trying to achieve a scientifically-based 1 C target? No surprise; if we have an economy founded in large part on the profligate waste of energy and many other resources, then eliminating that waste to save the biosphere would devastate such an economy. If De Boer had the audacity to post this truism on RC, he would be greeted with the usual fantasies of prosperity, full employment, no sacrifice required, etc, from our resident tag team.

    Gail had it right in #418: “One reason people are not motivated to change their behavior is that activists and scientists have tried to placate them with the myth that no sacrifice is required, and we can have all our toys by switching to “green” energy sources. Deniers know in a visceral way that is simply not possible.”

  8. 508
    DIOGENES says:

    Walter #489,

    Following is the Abstract of the 2011 Jacobson and DeLucchia paper on converting all energy supplies to renewables, referenced in #498.

    ABSTRACT OF 2011 PAPER
    Climate change, pollution, and energy insecurity are among the greatest problems of our time. Addressing them requires major changes in our energy infrastructure. Here, we analyze the feasibility of providing worldwide energy for all purposes (electric power, transportation, heating/cooling, etc.) from wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). In Part I, we discuss WWS energy system characteristics, current and future energy demand, availability of WWS resources, numbers of WWS devices, and area and material requirements. In Part II, we address variability, economics, and policy of WWS energy. We estimate that ∼3,800,000 5 MW wind turbines, ∼49,000 300 MW concentrated solar plants, ∼40,000 300 MW solar PV power plants, ∼1.7 billion 3 kW rooftop PV systems, ∼5350 100 MW geothermal power plants, ∼270 new 1300 MW hydroelectric power plants, ∼720,000 0.75 MW wave devices, and ∼490,000 1 MW tidal turbines can power a 2030 WWS world that uses electricity and electrolytic hydrogen for all purposes. Such a WWS infrastructure reduces world power demand by 30% and requires only ∼0.41% and ∼0.59% more of the world’s land for footprint and spacing, respectively. We suggest producing all new energy with WWS by 2030 and replacing the pre-existing energy by 2050. Barriers to the plan are primarily social and political, not technological or economic. The energy cost in a WWS world should be similar to that today.

  9. 509
    Walter says:

    fyi
    James Hansen and Colleagues Offer Evidence for a Disruptive Call to Action
    By Damian Pattinson, December 3, 2013

    The article PLOS ONE publishes today from James Hansen and colleagues is extraordinary in many ways.

    From its diverse list of authors to the breadth of the analysis and the conclusions that emerge, the paper goes beyond the scope of a traditional research article by dismantling boundaries between disciplines and adding a moral dimension to the collective dialogue.

    Most significant for scientists and non-scientists alike is the paper’s prediction that current carbon emissions targets will prove too high to prevent long-lasting, irreversible damage to the planet.

    As a result, the authors say, cohesive, unified action is required – now — to reduce fossil fuel emissions to pre-Industrial Era levels.

    http://blogs.plos.org/everyone/2013/12/03/james-hansen-and-colleagues-offer-evidence-for-a-disruptive-call-to-action/

  10. 510
    DIOGENES says:

    Walter #495,

    I addressed the IEA Report in part in #442; same conclusions; 20% increase in fossil fuel in 2035 compared to 2011.

    “This leaves the world on a trajectory consistent with a long-term average temperature increase of 3.6 °C, far above the internationally agreed 2 °C target.””

    The wording in your quoted excerpt is interesting. They use the specific term ‘internationally agreed 2 C target’. They don’t say ‘agreed by top scientists’ for good reason; many top scientists, such as Hansen, would view such a target with myriad variants of Dangerous. If they had said ‘agreed by diplomats for political selling purposes’, that would be a more accurate reflection of reality. So, they’re comparing a VERY unsafe trajectory with an unsafe target. Does any of this make sense to you?

  11. 511
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    See Accelerating Use of Renewable Energy for a slightly different view.

  12. 512
    Walter says:

    Pete, this is a good approach http://thesolutionsproject.org/#page-welcome

    Carbon pollution is a global issue but solving it is a local issue, so this site helps to see that in the right perspective. Each local region has it’s own constraints and opportunities.

    The ‘solution project’ is also only a recommended plan, far from being adopted and far from being accepted as viable. What works for CA or the USA will not be possible in other nations for all kinds of reasons.

    Of course non-carbon energy physical supply is increasing, but it is not accelerating much, if at all. From now to 2050 forecasts have non-carbon energy (nuclear included) as doubling on today’s use. (3,000 to 6000 Mtoe) or 25% of the total energy demand in 2050.

    Ideas and plans from academics sound good but they do not equate to action on the ground that is moving towards a major acceleration or exponential growth in renewables or all the non-carbon energy.

    Of course presenting such ideas and alternatives backed up with some scientific facts and data sure is a critical first step. Big tick for that.

    Hansen’s suggestion for a Joint China USA effort on nuclear and renewable development is an obvious god idea too.

    But one could also be mindful of the backdrop in how Energy and the Economy are in fact major ‘national security and defense’ issues for the US in particular and a few others. So it’s not an issue just about electricity and heating oil.

    The higher up the chain of decision making on Energy goes, the more differently the issue presents itself. :)

  13. 513
    Walter says:

    Diogenes, yes re 448 and the IEA
    All industry plans and data tends to be pointing in this general direction.

    RE 497 – “We suggest producing all new energy with WWS by 2030 and replacing the pre-existing energy by 2050. Barriers to the plan are primarily social and political, not technological or economic. The energy cost in a WWS world should be similar to that today.”
    The Solutions Project. Our Mission: Use the powerful combination of science + business + culture to accelerate the transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. http://thesolutionsproject.org/#tsp-section-blog
    No doubt the devil is in the details, but a great project on the surface.
    https://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/JDEnPolicyPt1.pdf – I cant find a part 2?

    RE “Have you seen any computations that would provide answers relative to the feasibility of such a scheme?” No. Taken too much time to find everything else. :)

    Forecasts place Non-Carbon Energy supply amounting to ~6,000 Mtoe in 2050
    6000 Mtoe equals 60% of the fossil fuel used in 2011, so it’s a huge amount! BUT it is still only 34% the size of the 17,500 Mtoe Energy Gap needed by 2050. Little short of revolutionary global change is likely to change that…. or climate change will.

    What needs to be done to close this Energy Gap? That is the question.
    There are multiple unknowns and probably several interconnected answers which could work. Time will tell I expect, but it looks like a hard problem. I have no idea how it can or will be solved.

  14. 514
    Walter says:

    The reality of cutting energy demand today is that 80-90% of the population really don’t have any wasted excess energy to cut. Beyond switching over to a self-sufficient solar power system if you’re lucky enough to be middle-class living in the OECD. It’s the really wealthy who turned up the energy use tap onto full and not the hoi polloi suburbanite living a normal existence in the real world.

    The largest majority of real cuts in fossil fuel energy use need to come from the world’s richest people and largest corporations to solve the problem faster. Along with governments, the military, and then the wealthiest people and shareholders in the world reductions in their excessive energy use can have the greatest effect.

    Average Joe Public can only have a very small effect on the total amount because we use so very little of the energy ourselves. Such is this shell and pea game being played out. Very little is really out in the open for all to see. Self-interest and national self-interest rules this roost.

    Or as Hans Rosling pointed out in his talk it’s the wealthiest 1 billion in the world get to use 50% of all the energy. The second 1 billion wealthiest in the world get to use 25% of all the energy while the remaining 5 Billion people get to fight over the 25% that’s left.

    It’ll take more than a Carbon Price, an IPCC Report, or an extreme weather event to change that reality.

    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/march-2104-summary.html

  15. 515
    MAXMARE says:

    It looks like some people would like to turn the switch off the global economy and its capitalistic underpinnings and other people would like to merely switch from CO2 emitting forms of energy to other forms of energy. The problem I see is that there is no switch to turn.
    [edit]

  16. 516
    DIOGENES says:

    Radge Havers #494,

    “you seem more interested in”.

    No need to guess. I am interested in identifying pathways that will avoid the end-point climate disaster to which we are headed presently. Period!

    It is rather clear that three necessary conditions are required, although, at this late date, even they may not be sufficient in total. First, maximum effort must be made to draw down atmospheric carbon, through some combination of massive reforestation and other soil/vegetation and perhaps artificial means. That effort must be started NOW, not ten or twenty years from now. All required resources must be made available, and applied in as low carbon a manner as is possible.

    Second, all energy production needs to be drastically limited to the most essential uses only. This means eliminating all non-essential uses of energy (including non-fossil to minimize consumption and use of resources), and trimming all the fat from essential uses of energy. Limiting energy production to the most essential uses also means that less low carbon plants will be required to satisfy total energy demand, thereby limiting the fossil fuel generation necessary for construction and implementation of low carbon plants.

    Third, remaining fossil plants used for supplying only essential uses need to be converted to low carbon production plants as rapidly as possible. These replacements need to be performed with minimum fossil fuel use possible. Sharp front-end demand reduction will insure that only the minimum number of low carbon plants are produced, thereby shortening the transition period and use of fossil fuels to effect the transition.

    Any one of these conditions by itself is grossly insufficient to avoid the end-point climate disaster. Even any two conditions will not do it. Only the combination of all three conditions will provide any chance of avoiding the end-point climate disaster, and even in that case, some form of geo-engineering might be required as a last resort to compensate for the cooling effect no longer provided by the aerosols due to reduced fossil generation.

  17. 517
    wili says:

    Walter at 514 wrote: “The reality of cutting energy demand today is that 80-90% of the population really don’t have any wasted excess energy to cut. Beyond switching over to a self-sufficient solar power system if you’re lucky enough to be middle-class living in the OECD. It’s the really wealthy who turned up the energy use tap onto full and not the hoi polloi suburbanite living a normal existence in the real world.”

    Most US suburbanites ARE in that top 10-20% globally. We can and must pretty much all cut back ten percent essentially immediately. The people who shouldn’t have to are the poorest billion or two who live on a dollar or two a day, hardly use any ff anyway, and mostly have uncertain access to reliable sources of food and potable water.

    We all want to define ourselves out of responsibility, but pretty much of you have the resources to be on this site, you almost certainly are using a whole lot of excess energy that you could cut back on without causing extreme suffering or loss of life. That is the standard we need to set everywhere, just as was set sometimes previously in times of war–cut back until it hurts, the cut back a bit more.

  18. 518
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    I think there is more agreement here than sometimes appears. Surely no one would fault Diogenes for wanting to head off great harm. Well, no one except the Impact Denialists. You had best learn that term and who they are and how they operate.

    The “disagreement” here is that few think that anything like Diogenes plan is at all likely to happen. Diogenes may agree but wants to try anyway and come as close as possible. Lesser (in Dio’s view) plans are proposed by others. The major obstacle to getting creatively moving in a big way on any of these plans is politics.

  19. 519
    DIOGENES says:

    Pete #518,

    “Lesser (in Dio’s view) plans are proposed by others.”

    I’m not sure what is being proposed by others. I see ‘actions’ being proposed, but not an integrated ‘plan’ that shows the targets for which those actions are aiming. How can anyone treat these proposals as credible? Tell me, which plans that you have seen proposed by others on this blog do you view as credible, and why? Which targets will they achieve if successful?

  20. 520
    DIOGENES says:

    [edit – don’t make accusations against other commenters.]

  21. 521
    DIOGENES says:

    Walter,

    Your blog contains a thread called the Ivory Tower Syndrome. There is the following sentence: “It is long overdue that the scientists and media communicators of these groups and organisations got off their backsides to actually do something to stop this disinformation infesting the world’s Internet Servers and Newspapers.”

    How do you define ‘disinformation’ as applied to climate science and climate change amelioration? it seems to me both the high carbon and low carbon technology advocates are guilty of the grossest disinformation. They both have no self-consistent fully-integrated plans that incorporate their technologies and stay within temperature targets that will avoid the end-point climate disasters. Or, at least, have never presented one on the climate blogs. The main deficiency, as I have shown repeatedly, is that neither wants to admit the truth that hard front-end demand reduction is the cornerstone of any plan to avoid disaster. Are these two groups really any different in the disinformation they provide? One may buy us an extra generation of survival or two (if we are very lucky, and the carbon feedbacks don’t kick in with a vengeance), but neither avoids in any way the end-point climate disaster.

  22. 522
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Dio, I think you are implicitly defining “credible” as meeting your standard. Others may view your standard as incredible. I will mention below an even higher hurdle. But first, it is not the case that if CO2 reaches a certain level we all fall down. Transient sensitivity is not that high. It is alas possible that some millions may die sooner than even you expect though. So I can not gainsay your urgency.

    But none of the plans discussed here address the overriding problem: politics. I know I said this before, but did it really sink in? I ask all in this thread to visit Romm daily for just one week. Can you do it?

  23. 523
    wili says:

    “I ask all in this thread to visit Romm daily for just one week. Can you do it?” I already do. What’s your point.

  24. 524
    MAXMARE says:

    Pete’s point is also my point of view. There is no political will so it won’t happen. By political will I mean the people’s. Who wants to cut back on anything unless you are forced to? Only if everybody is forced everybody would do it. And who’s going to force people into action?
    Only the death of billions would put things in perspective if we are lucky, it we are not nothing will be done.
    There is no solution except the one I cannot mention.

  25. 525
    Walter says:

    521 diogenes hi, re “Are these two groups really any different in the disinformation they provide?”
    I think in this situation one is speaking about future scenarios in a make believe world, it is all ‘opinion’ and it’s an area where opinion fits. In the ‘how to solve the problem’ world of discussion most tend to pick how to couch the problem and then go from there. People ‘see’ the problem differently for all kinds of reasons, and thus the ‘cure’.

    In the Ref you made was in regard actual past factual scientific well researched data and sound ‘theory’ being mis-represented as being X when really the science said Y. Done on purpose to mislead or not makes no difference imho. Being silent about that is equivalent to a copyright holder not enforcing his ‘rights’ against someone he found red-handed ‘selling pirated copies’ of his dvd movie. (by analogy at least)

  26. 526
    Walter says:

    wili 517, “Most US suburbanites ARE in that top 10-20% globally.”

    It still depends in which suburb they live in, but i essentially do agree with what you said.

    I was speaking globally and across national borders regarding who’s in the top 10% or the richest 1 billion wili.

    eg 47 million of 317 million are now on food stamps in the US. It’s doubled in 5 years, and costs $80 billion a year now.
    http://demonocracy.info/infographics/usa/food_stamps/food_stamp_nation-SNAP.html (good site)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/26/food-stamps_n_4669729.html

    I think of the richest 1 Billion (and those doing well in corporations) in all the OECD, G20 and BRICS nations which totals ~4 billion. So we are talking about the wealthiest 25% of them to find your richest 1 billion people. Maybe a few more % over 25% could be in the USA but I doubt it would be much higher than the 80 million, and would only include those people (families) on well above avg weekly earnings in the US.

    It’s not about ‘blaming’ them for the pollution or making their actions ‘bad’ either. But if anyone could afford to make a bigger and earlier switch to Non-carbon energy use it would be the richest 1 billion people (and the corporations/government they might work for) – these ‘wealthier’ people also have “the pull” to tell those who they buy stuff from that fossil fuels is not an option in their supply line anymore.

    The question is what would motivate the richest one billion on the planet to make a determined switch to non-carbon energy use for themselves and those they buy things and services from?

    What would motivate the world’s richest corporations to make a policy change to cut fossil fuel energy use in their company to under 10% by 2050 or else?

    (hint: lower costs, better staff, higher sales, better profits, avoiding fines or jail – take your pick – but non-carbon energy has to be cheaper and better than FF on every yardstick or it is a waste of everyone’s time )

    Knowing exactly how bad the situation actually was might be motivation enough for some, but we’ll never know. No one yet is really successful at getting that message across to those who need (and would probably want) to hear it before it’s too late.

    Imagine the total energy demand among the richest 1 billion, knowing they could cut their energy use by 20% and barley notice the difference. That alone would be a 10% cut in demand across the whole world.

    The other thing is that putting energy costs up (such as carbon tax/levy/ets) affects the rich the least of all. Energy is only a small ticket item for them of little consequence. Double the cost tomorrow and it wouldn’t put a dint in the energy use of the go-getter set and giant corporations who literally eat up energy 24/7.

    Put the price of electricity up 10% and Maccas will raise the menu price by 0.3% to cover it .. and the management will move on to the next business item on the agenda.

    Yes, the biggest users of all energy, and fossil fuel energy especially, are the global corporations (bigger than nations), and government, and the rest of business … not the residents of either middle-income US suburbs or farming villages and cities in China.

    imho 99% of the world has no idea what’s really happening regarding climate change and carbon emissions growth. It reminds me of the internet back in 1995 … no one had a clue what was coming then, bar a few million of the world. You couldn’t get a loan for an internet business because there wasn’t a bank manger on earth who knew what it was, let alone how it worked back then.

    “yeah, the internet, oh i heard about that, some computer thing isn’t it?” :)

  27. 527
    DIOGENES says:

    Pete #522,

    “Dio, I think you are implicitly defining “credible” as meeting your standard. Others may view your standard as incredible.”

    I don’t know what you mean when you refer to my ‘standard’, so I will define it. My standard is a fully-integrated self-consistent plan that consists of: 1) a target(s) that, if met, will avoid the curtain coming down on our species; 2) some estimate of the chances of meeting that target(s); 3) actions that, in total, will allow the target to be met with the defined level of risk; 4) some statement that the poster/promoter of the plan ‘owns’ the plan and is willing to support that plan. Now, in every endeavor of business or life in general, plans similar to the above are used very frequently. Somehow, in climate change amelioration, these rules don’t apply, and unbridled laissez-faire unpaid advertising seems to dominate the major climate change blogs.

    I offer you this challenge. Identify one post on an RC thread where a plan has been offered by any member(s) of our illustrious tag team that meets the above criteria.

  28. 528
    Walter says:

    M Mann keeps extending his public campaign.
    Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036

    Scientific American: Most scientists concur that two degrees C of warming above the temperature during preindustrial time would harm all sectors of civilization—food, water, health, land, national security, energy and economic prosperity. ECS is a guide to when that will happen if we continue emitting CO2 at our business-as-usual pace. […]

    I then instructed the model to project forward under the assumption of business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions. I ran the model again and again, for ECS values ranging from the IPCC’s lower bound (1.5 degrees C) to its upper bound (4.5 degrees C). The curves for an ECS of 2.5 degrees and three degrees C fit the instrument readings most closely. The curves for a substantially lower (1.5 degrees C) and higher (4.5 degrees C) ECS did not fit the recent instrumental record at all, reinforcing the notion that they are not realistic.

    To my wonder, I found that for an ECS of three degrees C, our planet would cross the dangerous warming threshold of two degrees C in 2036, only 22 years from now.

    When I considered the lower ECS value of 2.5 degrees C, the world would cross the threshold in 2046, just 10 years later

    http://climatestate.com/2014/03/25/michael-mann-the-irreversible-impacts-from-climate-change/

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036/

    Did I hear an echo?

    Our 250 GtC Carbon Budget to remain under 2 C runs out in 2033. So, ‘Business As Usual Fossil Fuel Energy Use’ is a disaster in the making

    Right now it seems that:
    It’s more likely that Summer Arctic Sea Ice extent will disappear before 2025
    It’s more likely that 2 C will occur nearer to 2033 than 2040
    It’s more likely that 4 C will occur closer to 2050 than 2100
    It’s more likely that more people will die from heat stress, disease, or
    severe clean water and food shortages than extreme weather events.
    It’s more likely that nothing will be done to rapidly and permanently
    reduce fossil fuel energy use and carbon pollution in the next 20 years.
    Unless something radically unexpected changes soon.

    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/bau-disaster-in-making.html

  29. 529
    DIOGENES says:

    MAXMARE #524,

    “Pete’s point is also my point of view. There is no political will so it won’t happen. By political will I mean the people’s. Who wants to cut back on anything unless you are forced to? Only if everybody is forced everybody would do it. And who’s going to force people into action?”

    Your point is well-taken; see #223. There were two recent polls that included climate change in the USA and Australia. Both these countries experienced an upsurge in extreme climate events in the past few years, and one would think that would have serious impact on peoples’ attitudes. Well, here are the poll results.

    Gallup Poll: Question: tell me if you personally worry about this problem [climate change] a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all. Results: a great deal – 24; a fair amount – 25; a little/not at all – 51. “According to Gallup, environmental concern peaked back in 2007.”

    Australian Poll (from David Spratt’s blog-ClimateCodeRed): “In the last six years, support in Australia for the view that global warming is a serious and pressing problems that requires taking steps now, even if it involves significant costs, fell from over 60% to under 40%, according to Lowy Institute polling (below). WE LOST OUR MAJORITY.”

    So, in both cases, concern peaked about six years ago, and has been dropping since. Consider the significance of these results. All the Gallup Poll is doing is asking whether people WORRY about this problem. The Poll doesn’t ask whether the people would be willing to pay higher costs, or give up non-essential travel, or give up meat; it asks about the minimal commitment possible, do they even worry. AND ABOUT HALF SAID ESSENTIALLY NO!! The Poll doesn’t ask about specific actions they are taking for the problem, such as changing personal habits, joining organizations, attending meetings, etc. And, it certainly doesn’t ask them for a financial commitment to help solve the problem.

    I suspect that if any of these more serious commitments were in the Poll questions, then the number of supporters would have plummeted to rock bottom. This essentially closes the loop that we have been observing with our own eyes. Very few politicians supporting any meaningful legislation on climate change, limited discussion in the Press and political debates, projections for increasing fossil fuel use as far out as the eye can see, etc.

    Most of the posts on this blog for proposals to decelerate climate change require maximal efforts. We see terms like ‘Manhattan Project’, wartime effort, conversion to renewables in a decade, eliminate all non-essential fossil fuel expenditures, etc. Any of these proposals would require massive political and public support to have any chance of being implemented. Extrapolating the results of the above minimal polls to polling asking for real commitment, there would be insignificant support for any of the amelioration measures that have been proposed. The gap between what we need to stave off the impending climate Apocalypse and the willingness of the population to participate in these amelioration efforts is as wide as can be imagined.

  30. 530
    DIOGENES says:

    Walter #528,

    “Our 250 GtC Carbon Budget to remain under 2 C runs out in 2033.”

    The remaining carbon budget is extremely critical for climate change amelioration planning purposes; it is at the core of any credible plan. It depends on the temperature target chosen under which we need to stay, and the desired risk of remaining under that target. We see numbers floating around like the 250 GtC budget, the 500+ GtC budget McKibben used in his Rolling Stone article, the 0 GtC budget that Raupach showed for 90% chance, etc. We then see proposed plans making myriad assumptions about actions they would take to remain within their allotted carbon budgets.

    One major problem is that, for those of us without ready access to large-scale models, it is next to impossible to compare these plans. For example, as I showed in one of my posts, the Ceres plan assumes 80% chance of remaining under 2 C, and would allow the equivalent of 33 years of today’s full-time fossil emissions if extrapolated to zero emissions. Raupach, on the other hand, shows that for a 10% additional chance of remaining under 2 C, 90%, there is zero carbon budget left, and ANY emissions from now on decrease the chances of remaining under 2 C?

    In most technical disciplines, there is either a Gold Standard or, more typically, a common platform that is used to compare alternative methodologies for solving a problem. This levels the playing field for making comparisons, and allows an understanding of the effects of varying different parameters. Where is this common platform for climate change amelioration plans? Climate change is, by far, the most critical problem our civilization faces today, and identifying the approach necessary to avoid the ultimate climate end-point disaster is the most critical technical problem we face. Yet, for the myriad plans we have existing right now, we have no way to compare them on a common basis. Is this for real?

  31. 531
    Jim Larsen says:

    526 Walter said, :The other thing is that putting energy costs up (such as carbon tax/levy/ets) affects the rich the least of all”

    Not necessarily. Ration cheap energy and charge through the nose for those who splurge. The rich will all buy solar and wind to evade the rationing.

  32. 532
    Walter says:

    Jim, imho and experience the ‘rich’ won’t care about rationing, nor buying solar and wind to power their own multiple homes. They are already best placed in the world to afford switching to renewables as it is. But a roof top solar, or using wind power on GW Bush’s “Crawford Ranch” isn’t going to solve the energy supply problem anyway.

    I opine that even if they all did that tomorrow it would make zero cumulative difference on current global BAU trajectory.

    But their consumerism (the 1 billion plus on the planet today) takes all forms via services rendered and purchases (whether that’s a 10 bathroom villa, flying to London for the latest stars rock concert, or another new car, or buying $1 million in shares with their loose change to keep the tax free/low tax income coming in from shares and other special “investment” opportunists only they get offered.)

    They have no interest in a electric Rolls Royce either. It’s reflected in Al Gore who was ‘rich’ all his life, when he said that if you’re gonna fly then hey just buy some Green offsets, too easy. THAT is not living in the real world.

    The problem is the “mindset of wealth”, the default thinking process at play, which places folks above the reality of ‘normal life’ for the general public…. and a complete inability to have empathy for those in developing nations or hit by Hurricane Haiyan (no doubt still living under temporary tents).

    This aspect of the issue, to me at least, isn’t the price of the KWhs and certainly not rationing. Do you know of anyone in the top 1% or even 10% who did it “tough” during WW2 rationing? very few if there were.

    Do you know any millionaires personally, or know what it is like for yourself to have so much money that your total energy bill is an incidental cost of ZERO importance, far far less than ‘office expenses’ and ‘entertainment’ bills?

    The reality is that their combined energy use is bound up in every $ they spend. And this is NOT to say that they are ‘bad’ people, nor that it is all their fault or all responsibility either.

    My point is simply that, in all suggested plans to cut fossil fuel use, one needs to look seriously and closely at the economic dynamics that operates in the real world, and not rely on simplistic ‘thought bubbles’ that sound good on the surface, until one starts to dig a bit.

    The rich and the capital base of the world support the economic activity that keeps the world turning, so turning them into pariahs isn’t a rational reaction. The question I posed was how do these people become SELF motivated enough to actually change their thinking and values such that by DEFAULT they voluntarily as a collective group start placing non-carbon energy use as a priority demand on all their spending choices and on all their ‘suppliers’ – this would be a positive use of the power of their money and personal clout.

    No, I don’t have the answer, merely the questions.

    What I see as being important is not rationing of energy nor more expensive energy, but increasing the global energy supply to all, and driving down the cost of energy as low as possible. That is what will help ALL human beings.

    Now, how to do that and cut out fossil fuel use simultaneously is the present dilemma. Which I see as a catalyst for positive change all round, and not only a negative outcome.

    An unusual pov no doubt. And why so few would agree with anything I may have to say on these matters. I get that! :)

    And the world is still in a state where it doesn’t quite comprehend the carbon emissions and energy issues at hand that must (well that best) be decided now, despite the WGII report, and the next and the next still coming.

    Meanwhile a housing and financial bubble bursting in China, and the inflationary bubble in the US funded by the magic money of the Fed are both set to burst into undeniable reality any time soon, will at least drive down fossil fuel use during the looming new global recession about to hit from the two biggest economies on the world going someways down the toilet ….. hopefully the US will lose it’s Global Currency status too and out of this fallout a higher degree of common sense may prevail into the future … so sayeth the eternal optimist! :)

    I can however accurately predict that human nature will continue apace. I guarantee it. :)

    Best

  33. 533
    Walter says:

    Diogenes: “One major problem is that, for those of us without ready access to large-scale models, it is next to impossible to compare these plans.”

    YES, so very true. Biased gate-keepers Dio. Knowledge is power. The powerful try to manage the availability of knowledge to their own advantage obviously.

    The default position is forced upon people to seek out “expert authorities”. Be it Monckton, Mann, Hansen, Schmidt or Watts, it’s the exact same problem of ‘choice’.

    I had to ‘cherry-pick’ my number of 250 GtC from a collection of similar propositions, which came down to the IGBP video I used as the template. However then I still had to do MY OWN numbers because the IGBP did not actually use accurate projections for GtC use. So their year end was 2038, whereas mine is 2033 on BAU.
    http://www.igbp.net/multimedia/multimedia/climatechangethestateofthescience.5.30566fc6142425d6c911a08.html

    Wouldn’t be a surprise to actually have a genuine and totally verifiable and credibly agreed upon number and year for just this one thing barely 20 year ahead of us? But no …. let’s have a 1000 conclusions being parroted all over instead .. who cares if the IPCC doesn’t compare with Hansen, Mann, Anderson, or the IEA energy figures for next week …. it’s ALL ‘free speech’ and that’s gotta be a good thing for all …. as Rasmus Benestad responded to me one day:

    “I guess the great democracy of the Internet does the job of sorting these out ;-)”

    The problem with free-speech Rasmus, is that you get what you pay for! lol

    The IPCC was pretty good, until the more ‘powerful’ governments started to impose their demands upon the TEXT written into the WG Reports before release.

    In the absence of true knowledge then anything and everything will flood in to fill that vacuum on either a horse named Paranoia or on his half-sister Conspiracy Theory. :)

    It’s interesting to watch the ripples of the WGII report flow and the comments and looks from the talking heads in the media and politicians.

    I see nothing to encourage me when the ‘problem’ cannot even be defined and enumerated clearly yet. Who is going to change their behavior or vote under such obnubilation all round?

    When people who agree can’t even agree on a definition of the extent and urgency of the problem, then what’s the point of saying anything to anyone?

    I wrote to Matthews here to enquire about his data, because I think there were other VERY useful ways to collate that and present it in a more meaningful ways that the way he did. His paper only lists the top 20 nations …. there are far more constructive ways to look at this historical and current emissions rates. He never replied, unfortunately.
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/1/014010/article

    I guess we could ask RC what is the current Carbon Budget left to burn and when that will run out based upon the science. Given a few do future Climate modelling one could assume they have some kind of ACCURATE raw data scientifically validated source to plug in energy use per year from 2014 onwards … but I don’t know.

    Like everything else lately it might vary from the IPCC “conclusions” and forecasts, so we end up in the very same pot all over again. Meanwhile WUWT and Monckton et al are drifting even further off into an ethereal twilight zone of epic proportions. It’s looking that there was more science and reason and commons sense in this world in the middle of the dark ages!

    The people writing articles and responding on WUWT are really quite cognitively disturbed, emotionally bent out of shape and living in make-believe world so utterly anti-science and anti-reason irrational it defies belief…. ya gotta believe in the dream to believe it.

    Kinda a catch 22 imho.

    Cheers

  34. 534
    Walter says:

    To emphasize a couple of matters ….

    Energy is totally integrated into the ‘new age’ global financial system, it cannot be separated out – cannot have disconnected moral judgments made about it’s use – fiddled about with hypothetically – then plugged back into this real world global economy and financial system of today.

    Energy Use can NOT be dealt with in isolation.

    The implications of Climate science can NOT be dealt nor solved with in isolation either.

    Climate scientists have no better edge to giving advice about the implications of climate change or energy use than anyone else on the planet (on average).

    Scientists only (but big) advantage is (hopefully) providing empirical facts based on rigorously accurate research and data compilations.

    The potential solutions proposed, and calls for urgency by folks like Hansen and Mann and Anderson are all well and good – but they are NOT really Plans but merely “ideas”.

    They are not realistic “ideas” either because they cannot be implemented in isolation nor in a vacuum that ignores the realities of global economy, trade, geo-politics, and the Financial system in particular which “pulls the strings” of every thing on earth.

    Money does make the world go round…. it’s inter-connection with Energy Use is the domain of ‘experts and authorities’ yet no one actually has their hand on the tiller.

    99% of major decisions and actions operate under “automatic pilot” formulated by the accepted “rules” being applied. That includes energy financing and use and cost and global trade of energy resources.

    Politicians across the world are as beholden to these “rules” as anyone is. Their choices are extremely LIMITED, so complaining about that won’t change a thing there either. No one politician nor national government is more powerful the global ‘Rules of the Game’. So give them a break too.

    The IPCC et al climate change issue operates OUTSIDE this formidable global auto-pilot dynamic .. until it is INSIDE nothing will change because nothing CAN change. No one is actually “in control” to move any of the levers that are well and truly welded in place since the 1970s when the world changed by ignoring the “energy crisis’ knocking on their doors then.

    History tells the only real story of what why how where and when .. but ONLY after the event, not before it. :)

    References to prior comments include:

    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/matters-of-public-opinion.html

    A sign that China’s economy is on the verge of collapse
    New figures reveal that China’s big banks wrote off 10 billion dollars in bad debts last year, double the amount recorded in 2012. The doomsayers reckon the US dollar’s days are numbered as well, after five years of money printing.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-31/a-sign-that-chinas-economy-is-on-the-verge-of/5357700

    China’s steel industry under siege
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-01/chinas-steel-industry-under-siege/5357810

    http://www.richardduncaneconomics.com/

    http://www.financialsense.com/user/376

    “It’s a pattern that’s hard to see unless you understand the way a catastrophe like this gains traction,” Dr. Moors says. “At first, it’s almost impossible to perceive. Everything looks fine, just like in every pyramid scheme. Yet the insidious growth of the virus keeps doubling in size, over and over again – in shorter and shorter periods of time – until it hits unsustainable levels. And it collapses the system.”
    http://moneymorning.com/ob/economist-richard-duncan-civilization-may-not-survive-death-spiral

    (sounds exactly like the arctic sea ice and the climate change ‘death spiral’ never ending journey towards catastrophe)

    Mark “Doctor-Doom” Faber – The opening speaker at an investment conference in Melbourne is perhaps the world’s most famous living Cassandra, economist Marc Faber. He is often known as Dr Doom and Editor and Publisher of “The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report”.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-31/mark-doctor-doom-faber-talks-to-the-business/5357702?section=business

  35. 535
    DIOGENES says:

    Pete #522,

    “Others may view your standard as incredible.”

    Well, unfortunately, your choices of plans/standards are very limited. Hansen, McKibben, Anderson, et al have stated that ~1 C is the desired target. Any plan whose end target is much beyond that, say 2 C, is truly gambling with the survival of our species. Would you call such a target credible?

    Now, based on what has been posted or referenced on this blog, you have two options: Hansen’s plan or mine. That’s it; you don’t have tens or hundreds to choose from if achieving the recommended scientific target of the leading scientists is your goal. Hansen’s plan contains three elements: implementation of low carbon technology, reduction of present deforestation to zero followed by massive reforestation, and cuts in demand. Between now and 2030, for his half-reforestation effort, his plan requires deforestation to zero, 9% demand reduction per year, and implementation of low carbon technologies (a mix of renewables and nuclear). Anderson’s plan, which uses a temperature ceiling of 2 C as a target, recommends 10% demand reduction per year. So, for the next fifteen years, Hansen’s and Anderson’s plans don’t differ all that much. Both will result in GDP reductions on the order of 6-7% per year, with this amount being reduced VERY gradually as low carbon technologies replace high carbon technologies. Consequently, both will result in massive global economic Depression, or, as Yvo De Boer was quoted as saying in #507: “THE ONLY WAY THAT A 2015 AGREEMENT CAN ACHIEVE A 2-DEGREE GOAL IS TO SHUT DOWN THE WHOLE GLOBAL ECONOMY”.

    My plan starts with Hansen’s targets, his implementation of substituting low carbon technology for high carbon, and his requirement for massive reforestation. Because the near-term actions we take are critical to our chances of being able to avoid climate disaster, I place much more stringent requirements on the actions we take from now until 2030 than Hansen or Anderson. My plan starts the massive reforestation ASAP, and more than doubles the front-end demand reduction. Yes, my plan will do what De Boer says, shut down the present form of the global economy, but so will Anderson’s and Hansen’s. My plan, if implemented, will provide the greatest chance of staying near the desired temperature target. Hansen’s should also provide a modest-reasonable chance, but Anderson’, McKibben’s, IPCC, et al, won’t. The latter three are gambling with the survival of our species, and Anderson and McKibben are essentially admitting it when they state that 1 C is the desired target based on science.

    So, people may view my standard/plan as ‘incredible’, in your words. What choice do they have if they are truly interested in maximizing the chances of our species surviving? And, again, can you point to one post on any RC thread that offers a credible alternative? The unpaid advertisements won’t cut it!

  36. 536
    DIOGENES says:

    From Salon, this morning: “John Kerry on climate change: “Denial of the science is malpractice” ”

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/31/john_kerry_on_climate_change_denial_of_the_science_is_malpractice/?source=newsletter

    That’s half the story. Acceptance of the science, but denial of the necessary solution is equal malpractice. And, the disinformation we see posted here (that hard demand reduction and the associated personal deprivation and hardships are not necessary to avoid our biosphere collapse) is the poster boy for malpractice writ large!

  37. 537
    MAXMARE says:

    I have to say I agree with DIOGENES and the point he raises. He is also much more articulate at expressing it than I could ever be.
    The thick of the issue as stated in #535 is the denial by almost all in all camps, be it the climate change deniers or the scientific counterparts that are actually involved in discovering the workings and effects of climate change but don’t see the real fact that civilization won’t act to reverse it.

    “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” Friedrich Nietzsche et al

    We are all deniers.

  38. 538
    DIOGENES says:

    Walter #533,

    “YES, so very true. Biased gate-keepers Dio. Knowledge is power. The powerful try to manage the availability of knowledge to their own advantage obviously.

    The default position is forced upon people to seek out “expert authorities”. Be it Monckton, Mann, Hansen, Schmidt or Watts, it’s the exact same problem of ‘choice’. ”

    Yes, but I think those comments apply to other science and technology disciplines as well. And, yet, most of these other disciplines are able to develop common platforms on which researchers and developers can demonstrate the advantages (or disadvantages) of their approaches using common models and common assumptions. This way, when differences are observed among results, they can be tracked back to the appropriate parameters that were varied.

    In the case of climate change amelioration plan differences, I see large differences in the outcomes resulting from apparently small changes in the parameters. Ordinarily, I would attribute these types of relationships to nonlinearity as the result of nonlinear dynamical systems behavior. I hesitate to make that attribution in the present case, until the structural and assumption differences among the models are resolved.

    It might behoove the moderators of RC to publish an article on this issue, and call for a common platform for evaluation of the myriad climate change amelioration plans.

  39. 539
    DIOGENES says:

    BeezleyBub,

    On 30 March, you posted an article that ended up in The Borehole (#1497). Deep in the bowels of the article, you made four allegations about hazards of renewables: wind turbines, solar panels, bio-fuels, and rechargeable batteries. You provided no references or backup documentation. Do you have references/documentation to substantiate your allegations? If so, could you please provide? The most preferable would be journal articles/conference proceedings/book chapters, etc, but reports such as the following would be acceptable.

    http://svtc.org/wp-content/uploads/Silicon_Valley_Toxics_Coalition_-_Toward_a_Just_and_Sust.pdf

  40. 540
    DIOGENES says:

    Walter #533,

    “The people writing articles and responding on WUWT are really quite cognitively disturbed, emotionally bent out of shape and living in make-believe world so utterly anti-science and anti-reason irrational it defies belief…. ya gotta believe in the dream to believe it.”

    You’re focusing too much on the words, and not enough on the actions. Here’s my take on what’s happening.

    There are two main groups competing for the energy supply of the future: the high carbon group, consisting mainly of the fossil energy organizations, and the low carbon group, consisting mainly of fission/renewables/fusion proponents/developers/vendors. They both share at least two common features: neither has presented a fully integrated self-consistent plan for avoiding the end-point disaster (as reflected in what is posted on the various climate blogs), and neither admits to the need for personal sacrifice, hardship, and deprivation. Since they are not able to provide the SUBSTANCE of avoiding disaster, they are left with having to provide the IMAGE of avoiding disaster. This means fighting to control the message the general public receives through myriad media, including the widely-accessed Web.

    The Brulle study showed the myriad pathways the fossil interests use to disseminate their message to the public, with an associated expenditure of at least a billion dollars that Brulle was able to identify. A similar study has not been done for the low carbon interests, but with trillions of dollars at stake, we can be assured they are not sitting idle.

    We are bombarded with massive disinformation campaigns from both camps. As you rightly point out, the Type 1 deniers deny (officially) the science, and therefore deny the need for changing business as usual. Their approach will lead us into climate oblivion rapidly. While the Type 2 deniers accept (officially) the science, they reject the actions required to avoid the end-point climate disaster, especially the hard demand reduction required at the front end. They use the right buzzwords, as we have seen repeatedly on this blog, but their proposals will lead to the same ultimate end as those of the Type 1 deniers, perhaps lagging behind by a generation or two.

    The word ‘officially’ in the previous paragraph was not emplaced by accident. In reality, the Type 2 deniers DON’T accept all of the science. The Type 2 deniers don’t accept the science that requires the 1 C target be met, and they propose ameliorative actions that won’t come anywhere close to what the science requires for survival. That’s not how it works; you don’t pick and choose which aspects of the science you will follow. But, that’s how the Type 2 deniers work; anything for a final Windfall!

  41. 541
    wili says:

    Walter, I agree that it would be best if the very richest took the lead. If you have a plan that you think will work to do that, please do share it. The fact remains that, even with the enormous income differences you rightly point out, most suburban (and other) Americans are on the high end of global consumption. I have been asking my students to take the quiz at http://www.myfootprint.org for many years now, and only one came close to consuming at a rate that, if shared by all humans, would only consume ‘one earth’ and she was a vegan who never flew and rarely drove in cars.

    The very fact of living in the US means that you are ‘benefiting’ from the high carbon use of the military and the high carbon expense of building enormous quantities of infrastructure. The global bottom 10-20 percent should not be asked to reduce anything, since there is essentially nothing to reduce. The rest of us should start immediately looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint by at least 10% per year starting now, but also advocating loudly that all institutions they can influence, governmental and non-, do the same.

    Pretty much anyone at any income level can decide to eat less meat and dairy, can walk, bike or bus instead of driving, can forgo unnecessary travel, can reduce heating, cooling and electric use, can insulate…and many can find a place to have a garden…and note that nearly all of these are likely to make the person doing them healthier.

  42. 542
    wili says:

    Apologies if this has already been posted: “Is It Possible To De-Couple Economic Wealth From Carbon Dioxide Emission Rates?”
    http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2014/03/27/the-biophysics-of-civilization-money-energy-and-the-inevitability-of-collapse/

  43. 543
    Walter says:

    Diogenes “And, yet, most of these other disciplines are able to develop common platforms on which researchers and developers can demonstrate the advantages (or disadvantages) of their approaches using common models and common assumptions. This way, when differences are observed among results, they can be tracked back to the appropriate parameters that were varied.” and etc.

    Yep, i think that is a fair assessment. There is a very thin veneer of climate science unanimity and collegial spirit in the public sphere. On the other hand the ipcc process began with good intent, and now i would think those doing the work (ie volunteer scientists/authors etc) are equally committed as ever and doing good work under trying unsatisfactory conditions and constraints.

    Then national govt overlords rock-in and by the time it gets to the UNFCCC COP meetings well everything is a basket-case. The Bus is overloaded, the wheels are falling off, the brakes no longer work and the bridge ahead is out BUT no one is in charge and no one is driving the bus…. or knows how! :)

    So when it comes to climate science, economics, energy and simple maths, yes, who is in charge here? Where is the central embodiment of wisdom and resources to factually address the issues? No where, but hundreds to thousands of individual actors .. I find it really odd, and so telling too, that a M Mann feels so compelled to keep writing articles and doing interviews because no one has really taken notice for 25 years of the science. Given the bad press/reputation he gets from the skeptic side, this seems counter-productive.

    Then there’s SoS Kerry a government actor calling for Governments to act, in response to the WGII. Does no one else notice the hypocrisy of what doesn’t get done by the US Govt at UNFCCC & COP meetings for 25 years now, with Kerry himself showing up nowadays?

    I think James Hansen suggests where the wheels fell off (vaguely) here:

    “What makes me sick is the realization that climate change and air pollution were both preventable. Thus they are true human-made tragedies. And I know that we in the West bear a moral burden.
    “We scientists have special responsibility. We had knowledge 25 years ago that should have allowed climate change and air pollution to be manageable problems, not tragedies. However, we failed to communicate the implications well enough with political leaders and we did not achieve effective action.
    We must try harder now, because it is still possible to minimize the climate change effects and it is possible to solve the air pollution problem.
    “We scientists should have made clearer that there is a limited “carbon budget” for the world, i.e., a limit on the amount of fossil fuels that could be burned without assuring disastrous future consequences. We should have made clear that diffuse renewables cannot satisfy energy needs of countries such as China and India. It seems we failed to make that clear enough.”
    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/james-hansen.html

    Then Al Gore made it a US political ‘partisan issue’ versus a ‘science issue’ simply by showing up on stage in AIT. 7 billion on the planet and Al was the only one up for it?

    Post-AIT and AR4 in 2007 was the high point for opinion surveys .. it;s been going down every since, and 2007 also which coincides with the beginnings of the more formal coordinated denial project in full flourish, from heartland to wuwt and monckton and the tea partiers et al.

    —-

    PS The back-end loaded economists from the 90s never really helped to do anything except complicate the process and promote ETS/cap’n’trade “economic rationalism” which masquerades as a ‘free market system’ …. but there are no free markets anyway, anywhere.

    [Economic rationalism is the dogma which says that markets and money can always do everything better than governments, bureaucracies and the law. This definition of an economic rationalist places emphasis on production, on what is to be produced and how it is to be produced. ala Ron Reagan: The problem is the government!]

    Economic rationalism never got seat belts and brakes that work into cars – Ralph Nader’s exposure did + strict Regulations on Auto Safety = The Law = Government = Elected by the people FOR the people

    (that wasn’t: Elected by The Markets FOR those with Money to gamble on the Markets)

    wili : healthier, … and Happier :)

  44. 544
    Walter says:

    540, sounds fine by me. Though is also a very strong ‘let’s remain positive’ aspect to that too. iow focusing on one small win/step hoping that will lead to more. Or promoting the latest prototype or test level advance as proof that 1000 more will make all the difference (easier said than done), when technology itself isn’t the main leverage for change anyway — it’s mind-sets and the ‘system rules’ itself that’s in the way.

    RE “The Type 2 deniers don’t accept the science that requires the 1 C target be met, and they propose ameliorative actions that won’t come anywhere close to [2 C either or] what the science requires for survival. That’s not how it works; you don’t pick and choose which aspects of the science you will follow.”

    However diogenes, people do and they will pick and choose. And right now, there really are NO valid choices for people to choose from. 99% is theory or if this then that forecasts .. and there’s hundreds of forecasts be it the climate or energy use or economic needs. Not to mention repeated pronouncements via new ‘papers’ and commentaries by public figures in climate science of how ‘conservative’ and out of date the IPCC reports are as soon as they are released. After being told for 25 years the real science is to be found via the IPCC process …. the best of the best climate science available. Shifts like this do have an effect on people, and the media who report the “news”.

    another quote from james hansen:
    It is easy to blame governments for the fact that we are marching inexorably toward climate disasters, as if humanity were a bunch of lemmings scurrying toward a cliff. I have argued that politicians are well-oiled and coal-fired,and, indeed, documentation of that exists.
    However, this is surely not the only cause, and it may not be the most important one.
    Indeed, a case could be made that politicians have been pushed into a situation such that they have no choice but to approve continued coal-burning, hydro-fracking for increased gas and oil production, and pursuit of oil and gas in extreme and pristine environments.

    For the sake of understanding the present situation, we must introduce and combine some basic economic, energy and carbon facts. (page 3 bottom)
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf

    Diogenes, you missed Hansen’s #1 part of his plan which is the CCL carbon fee/price, and #2 part of his plan which is getting China and the USA in bed together on the carbon price to ‘lead the world’ and fast paced nuclear development together. So much for the UNFCCC system then.

    But Hansen (the reluctant public figure, as he calls himself) has overlooked some ‘basics facts about US-Sino geo-politics’ he should add to his basic economic, energy and carbon facts. (all of which is useful and accurate) and good on him, someone has to do it, a man for his time no doubt who had celebrity thrust upon him. Life’s like that.

    If you have the energy one day I’d suggest re-writing your Plan as a single post, using bullet points under each of the 3 main aspects .. with a few years and figures as a guide; given it is kind spread all over here, and i many don’t really ‘get it’ given the responses you had before.

    Fact is there are no real global comprehensive plans out there, from the UNFCCC and IPCC, down that actually articulate set goals to be met and the action plans to get there. Comprehensive as in a total integrated package, not the fine details.

    Copenhagen in 2009 really was more like the bus driving off the cliff never to be seen again.

  45. 545
    Walter says:

    537 maxmare .. good point, great quote! thx

  46. 546
    Walter says:

    Re the various comments, and the posted quotes from others in the media from here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/ipcc-wg2-report-now-out/

    Nothing more need be said ….

  47. 547
    Walter says:

    This, fyi, is the kind ‘blowback’ which is coming from Michael Mann’s law suit for defamation:

    “….if the case of a Swiss-based journal is any guide.

    It means that if a paper is published that the climate deniers don’t like the look of, they can bombard the journal with complaints or threats

    Climate change academics say the decision by a publisher to retract their paper examining the links between conspiracy theorists and denial of global warming because of legal threats could have a “chilling effect” on research.”
    From
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/conspiracist-climate-change-study-withdrawn-amid-legal-threats-20140402-35xao.html

    plus
    http://retractionwatch.com/2014/03/21/controversial-paper-linking-conspiracy-ideation-to-climate-change-skepticism-formally-retracted/

    and of course the Looney Tunes side of this event from WUWT
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/01/lewandowskys-peer-reviewer-makes-things-up/

    This kind of ‘action’ won;t be going away anytime soon, in fact it is going to get far far worse before it gets better.

    The paranoia and conspiratorial aspects from the denier side of life has come to be over and above that from the 9/11 Truthers ….. pointing out such things to ‘deniers’ via a published academic paper (whilst probably true and fair game) is like pouring petrol on a blazing bush fire …. the emotional driven reactions will be manifold they will be persistent and they will continue to go off the scale even more the rest of the year.

    Michael Mann had better win his legal case …. the alternative will have some dire effects. With the latter being, imho, far more likely the outcome, unfortunately. best

  48. 548
    Walter says:

    final quote from page 36/37
    Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in
    response to research on conspiracist ideation
    Stephan Lewandowsky
    file:///C:/Users/Kirsty%20&%20Marty/Documents/CLIMATE%20CHANGE%20FILES/LskyetalRecursiveFury4UWA.pdf

    Although suggestions exist about how to rebut conspiracist
    ideations|e.g., by indirect means, such as armation of the competence and character of
    proponents of conspiracy theories, or armation of their other beliefs (e.g., Sunstein &
    Vermeule, 2009)|we argue against direct engagement for two principal reasons.
    First, much of science denial takes place in an epistemically closed system that is
    immune to falsifying evidence and counterarguments (Boudry & Braeckman, 2012;
    Kalichman, 2009). We therefore consider it highly unlikely that outreach e orts to those
    groups could be met with success. Second, and more important, despite the amount of
    attention and scrutiny directed towards LOG12 over several months, the publication of
    recursive hypotheses was limited to posts on only 24 websites, with only 13 blogs featuring
    more than one post (see Table 1). This indicates that the recursive theories, while
    intensely promoted by certain bloggers and commenters, were largely contained to the
    \echo chamber” of climate denial. Although LOG12 received considerable media coverage
    when it rst appeared, the response by the blogosphere was ignored by the mainstream
    media. This con nement of recursive hypotheses to a small \echo chamber” re
    ects the
    wider phenomenon of radical climate denial, whose ability to generate the appearance of a
    widely held opinion on the internet is disproportionate to the smaller number of people
    who actually hold those views (e.g., Leviston, Walker, & Morwinski, 2013). This
    discrepancy is greatest for the small group of people who deny that the climate is
    changing (around 6% of respondents; Leviston et al., 2013). Members of this small group
    believe that their denial is shared by roughly half the population. Thus, although an
    understanding of science denial is essential given the importance of climate change and the
    demonstrable role of the blogosphere in delaying mitigative action, it is arguably best met
    by underscoring the breadth of consensus among scientists (Ding, Maibach, Zhao,
    Roser-Renouf, & Leiserowitz, 2011; Lewandowsky, Gignac, & Vaughan, 2013) rather than
    by direct engagement.

    The paper also covers the ***cognitive dissonance*** ground (which affects us ALL ), and many other matters already raised by my good self here on RC (of little interest) plus here:

    “Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Why people aren’t always listening!”
    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/if-you-are-not-part-of-solution-then.html

    and here
    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/biased-towards-ourselves-our-opinions.html

    and here
    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/prophets-of-deceit-studies-in-prejudice.html

    plus here:
    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/warmist-and-denier-fundamentalists-two.html

    Best

  49. 549
    DIOGENES says:

    Walter #544,

    “However diogenes, people do and they will pick and choose. And right now, there really are NO valid choices for people to choose from. 99% is theory or if this then that forecasts .. and there’s hundreds of forecasts be it the climate or energy use or economic needs.”

    Here’s what we have. There are two main groups competing for the energy supply of the future: the high carbon group, consisting mainly of the fossil energy organizations, and the low carbon group, consisting mainly of fission/renewables/fusion proponents/developers/vendors. They both share at least two common features: neither has presented a fully integrated self-consistent plan for avoiding the end-point disaster (as reflected in what is posted on the various climate blogs), and neither admits to the need for personal sacrifice, hardship, and deprivation.

    For both, the science is, in practice, irrelevant. Both have two major driving motivations: maintain present lifestyle and, for a small sub-set of each, profit to the maximum from this final Windfall before the curtain comes down on our civilization. So, they enter the debate knowing the desired answer beforehand, and the ‘science’ is that which ‘fills in the blanks’. For the first group, the emphasis is on the uncertainty of the science. Romm’s comment section, which seem to include an increasing number of Type 1 deniers, offers their comments like ‘IPCC says might, maybe, but never says will’. For the second group, since the science is not compatible with their fiction of prosperity, they either ignore the temperature targets entirely (‘numbers are not important’), or select targets that are politically-based, not based in science (e.g., 2 C).

    The extremely small group that accepts the science fully offers remediation plans that will result in massive global Depression at best and complete global economic collapse at worst. The 10% per year front end emissions reductions of Hansen’s half-reforestation plan or Anderson’s base plan (even though it is based on the 2 C political target) will result in GDP reductions on the order of 6-7% per year initially, which will decline EXTREMELY gradually as high carbon sources are replaced by low carbon sources. Steinacher’s results show that 20% emissions reductions per year would be required, resulting in GDP reductions on the order of 10-15% per year. My plan of the strictest front end emissions reductions would result in GDP reductions even higher than Steinacher’s. Any of these GDP reductions would be more than enough to wreak major havoc with the global economy.

    In summary, neither the Type 1 deniers nor the Type 2 deniers who post on RC have any interest in following the dictates of the climate science. It is merely a tool to be misused for furthering their goals of lifestyle maintenance and maximum exploitation of the climate crisis.

  50. 550
    DIOGENES says:

    Fred #29, Unforced Variations: Part II,

    “Sorry – but you guys and gals are doing a SHITTY job informing the world just how serious the situation really is. You’ve lost the public debate already. And I’m going to keep saying that until somebody in your group starts telling it like it is. Just how bad does it need to get before somebody speaks up?”

    Well, in actuality, some of the experts have spoken up. Hansen, in his recent Plos One paper, tells it like it is. Make sure the temperatures in the transition from fossil fuel use to low carbon don’t exceed prior Holocene of about 1 C. Given that we are already at about 0.8 C, with perhaps another degree or more built into the system from our prior commitments, that’s about as serious as it gets. It means that we have not only run out of carbon budget, but have accumulated substantial carbon debt.

    But, as the old adage goes, ‘if a tree falls in a forest, and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound’? Even on this blog of supposed climate advocates, how many have accepted the 1 C target that Hansen sets and are willing to do what is required to achieve that target? There are only two plans I have seen that aim for getting anywhere near that target: Hansen’s and mine. Mine is harsher than Hansen’s in order to minimize the risk of straying too far from the 1 C target, and for this purpose I emphasize the need for the harshest front end demand reduction. Both plans will result in GDP reductions that will probably collapse the global economy as it is structured presently.

    How many on this site have bought into Hansen’s plan or mine? The majority of what we tend to see posted here are proposals to start implementing low carbon technologies (typically renewables or nuclear), independent of what targets such implementation alone will provide. If the targets and associated plans required can’t be sold on this site of supposed climate advocates, what chance in Hell do you think they have to be sold to the global public? The real problem is not that the Paul Reveres of our time like Hansen are not warning us; it is that the global citizenry doesn’t want to buy what they have to sell!


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