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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. 651

    #633–

    Great. So the model for climate change realists is to die nobly and accomplish exactly nothing useful. Wonderful ‘plan.’

    I really think we can do better than that.

    But, Dio, keeping doing what you do and saying what you say. It’s true that we’re in a tough place and it’s necessary that this be pointed out forcefully, frequently, and inconveniently. Seems to be your niche. I’d prefer it if you’d drop the pointless disparagement of anyone who differs with you, but ‘to thine own self be true.’

    Meanwhile, some of us will be working on plans that include action items that have a hope of getting done some time in the immediate future, and buying enough time to find out just how much of this nebulous ‘sacrifice’ you keep harping on (but not specifying) is really required.

  2. 652
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 22 Apr 2014 @ 6:29 AM

    My reference to Killian was not a cherry pick. You think that telling people that they have to suffer major cutbacks in consumption, but not telling them exactly what this means (like Killian does) is a convincing argument. You respond to straightforward questions about your ideas that you find inconvenient with name calling and abuse. Well, well, well.

    Steve

  3. 653
    Chris Dudley says:

    Killian (#650),

    “[D]eposit wastes locally” is unsustainable. Many places are running out of landfill space. It is important to “unmake” wastes, particularly those which are toxic. Bill McDonough’s book “Cradle to Cradle” would help you to better understand sustainability. Everybody deposits carbon dioxide fossil fuel waste locally, but it does not have a merely local effect. Minimal resource use is not a sustainability criterion and can be quite inefficient. Penny wise and pound foolish. “Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth” by Fuller is a book you don’t even have to walk to the library to read and it might wise you up. http://designsciencelab.com/resources/OperatingManual_BF.pdf

  4. 654
    SecularAnimist says:

    Steve Fish to DIOGENES: “You respond to straightforward questions about your ideas that you find inconvenient with name calling and abuse.”

    Well, that’s what DIOGENES has been doing here for months. That’s pretty much ALL he has been doing.

    And the response of the moderators was to take the unusual step of keeping this March “Unforced variations” thread open after the end of the month, so that DIOGENES could have his own dedicated forum for name calling and abuse.

  5. 655
    DIOGENES says:

    Kevin McKinney #651,

    “Meanwhile, some of us will be working on plans that include action items that have a hope of getting done some time in the immediate future, and buying enough time to find out just how much of this nebulous ‘sacrifice’ you keep harping on (but not specifying) is really required.”

    You, and the other members of the ‘tag team’, have yet to specify how these “action items that have a hope of getting done some time in the immediate future” will avoid our excursion into the ‘land of no return’. What is the value of mindless action; please, enlighten me? In this game, I’m not sure you can ‘buy time’. Nature is unforgiving. You won’t be able to make up for time lost due to half-hearted measures. Hansen has stated in no uncertain terms that we should not go above interim peak temperatures of about 1 C, and then only for a short time period. Killian has rightly mentioned CO2 concentration targets close to 300 ppm. How will the approaches recommended by you and the other members of the ‘tag team’ come even close to these numbers? None of you have provided any technical bases showing how these measures would avoid the ultimate catastrophe.

  6. 656
    DIOGENES says:

    Steve Fish #652,

    “My reference to Killian was not a cherry pick.”

    Not true! My specific statement was: “Killian makes that statement as part of the much larger context of moving rapidly towards sustainability. In parallel, he offers targets toward which we should aim, like GHG ppms in the near 300 region”. You did not present the larger context, only that one part of his recommendation with which you agree. That’s known as ‘cherry-picking’. Do you agree with his recommendations about how we have to move towards sustainability rapidly, and with his targets for radical ppm reductions? Most of all, do you agree with his statements showing the inconsistency between large substitutions of low carbon technologies and real sustainability? I agree that the problem starts at home. Probably the only way his approach can be fully successful, and mine as well, is to focus on the local. Look at my definition of sustainability in #650:

    *Live in a climate compatible with one’s physical makeup

    *Obtain resources locally; deposit wastes locally

    *Use minimal resources necessary for survival

    Living locally is the key to success!

    Do you see any insults here? Don’t need them. I tell the truth, and for many people, that is equivalent to an insult!!

  7. 657
    Chris Dudley says:

    Further to my #653, used the popup window and misread the byline. That was to DIOGENES not Killian. Nevermind about the book. Not sure it would help.

  8. 658
    Killian says:

    650 DIOGENES said principles of sustainability (as I define them) multiple times, but will repeat once more.

    *Live in a climate compatible with one’s physical makeup

    *Obtain resources locally; deposit wastes locally

    *Use minimal resources necessary for survival

    That’s it. That’s how every other species lives, except us. That’s the meaning of sustainability.

    Just want to add, the principles are not like morals or ethics. They need to be actionable and should be thought of as engineering, most similarly. Those above are fine, but do not go far enough, and are in some respects incorrect. If I can’t use them to do design, literally, they are insufficient.

    *Live in a climate compatible with one’s physical makeup

    We can’t all live in the tropics, so this is untenable. We can live naturally within whatever environment we choose. Humans have lived in deserts and the Arctic, sustainably, for a long time. I do not consider this a principle of sustainability, though it might be a nice ideal, perhaps achievable if population falls significantly.

    *Obtain resources locally; deposit wastes locally

    Certainly, but this also is not a principle as it is impossible. We have had trade since humans learned to talk, and probably before. That won’t change. We can’t produce everything locally, prima facie.

    *Use minimal resources necessary for survival

    The permaculture principles don’t even mention this because it is a subset of the 1st ethic: Care of the Earth. Your principle is a given outcome of the ethic. However, it is explicitly dealt with in the planning process. There is a Needs Analysis step, but no Wants Assessment step. Abundance is a natural result of effective design. To the extent we successfully meet needs and make the natural world more abundant (e.g. see discussions on forests), then wants are naturally met. However, setting out to design to wants will result in an imbalanced, unsustainable system as they are not self-limiting to natural limits.

    Here’s an example of abundance being the natural result of effective design and work. Skim for the bis about food.All work and no play make the Baining the most boring people on earth
    I won’t take up scientific discussion space with the list of other principles of sustainable design. Google will suffice for those interested. #permaculture

  9. 659
    Killian says:

    653 CD said #650 “[D]eposit wastes locally” is unsustainable. Many places are running out of landfill space. It is important to “unmake” wastes, particularly those which are toxic.

    Correct in that we want to get to a point where there is no waste. Principle: Every output must be an input to at least two other elements. This a more useful, more actionable, way to say zero waste.

    Bill McDonough’s book “Cradle to Cradle” would help you to better understand sustainability.

    I am sure he has great technical info, but if your comments are accurately reflective of his book, he’s clueless as to what sustainability really is. To wit:

    Minimal resource use is not a sustainability criterion and can be quite inefficient.

    This is a paean to today’s world and shows a complete dismissal of the role of resilience. This all comes from the world of economics and its demand of extreme efficiency in order to make profits. In a non-growth world, profit is irrelevant.

    Worse, and rather whacky, is the claim that minimizing resource use is not an aspect of sustainability. That rises to the level of denial. Perhaps you should explain what you mean.

  10. 660
    Killian says:

    633 DIOGENES said Killian #621, “But, hey, the problem is no longer numbers. We have enough. Some say only about 1/3 were in support of our own civil war with England, but we created a new nation. How small a fraction did anything about civil rights or suffrage?”

    You are conflating numbers with motivation.

    No, I am not.

    Re 646 Sean said William E Rees ““…just a .06% loss..”” oh yeah! and William kicks ass like Killian does. Keep it coming!!!

    LOL… thanks, I think.

    651 Kevin McKinney said Meanwhile, some of us will be working on plans that include action items that have a hope of getting done some time in the immediate future

    People have been designing sustainable systems throughout human existence, and still are. You are talking about action items that are non-solutions as they violate the principles of design that nature uses. We already know how to design them. What, then, are you suggesting we wait for?

    and buying enough time to find out just how much of this nebulous ‘sacrifice’ you keep harping on (but not specifying) is really required.

    Do you have time? It’s impossible to say with certainty whether tipping points are being passed already or not. That’s some careless risk assessment, isn’t, if you counsel taking time when none may be available?

    What sacrifice is needed? We already know. Why do you think differently? What do we not know and supposedly need to find out? you are advocating finding out if hitting a wall at 100mph will really kill you or not. We don’t need to prove what the future will be, we only need to know what the risk is. The risk is existential risk. In risk management, an existential risk is an unacceptable risk. The likelihood of hitting an existential risk condition in the future is well above negligible. BAU makes it a virtually certainty. There are a lot of people working very hard to continue BAU or some variant. You are a variant proponent, whether you recognize that or not.

    To recognize that an existential threat exists, but behave as if it doesn’t, would be a good definition of insanity, wouldn’t it?

    Re 652 Fish said You think that telling people that they have to suffer major cutbacks in consumption, but not telling them exactly what this means (like Killian does) is a convincing argument.

    Healthy. Sustainable. Clean. Community-based. Yes, pure hell, I tell you.

    LOL…. poor Fish.

    I think prevaricating, as you do here, is very convincing. History has shown The Big Lie works very well. Now, what would you like to know? What is it you are ignorant of? Ah, wait, you want to claim I should know what every community all over the planet will ultimately look like? Sorry, sustainable design doesn’t work that way.I have suggested looking to aboriginal groups for *patterns*, though maybe not specifics. Frankly, though, some of the specifics, too.

    Will people where you are live in straw bale homes? Renovated high rises? Yurts? How the heck would I know? Where will you drive a Flintstones car or take a tram, perhaps horse-pulled? Don’t know. How could I?

    This is why I tell you what is knowable and you mislead. Imagine a U.S. that uses 1/10 the energy and resources it does now. I think you can extrapolate for yourself. More effective for you would be to learn what sustainable elements and systems are out there. That will tell you pretty clearly what your world might look like.

    I’ve said all this for years. It’s scenarios, not prediction, and design is local. Always. You want to know what sustainability means for you? Go join a Transition Town group or some such in your area and design it. That is the *only* way to find out.

  11. 661
    MAXMARE says:

    Diogenes and Killian are on the right path.
    The only solution is to live simpler lives. There is no technology available now or in the near future that will solve the impending doom.
    At this point anyone who still spouses other solutions is akin in my mind to climate change deniers. They both will happily lead us to the abyss.

  12. 662

    #655–How will rapid adoption of renewable energy, energy efficiency measures, and the like help? By displacing increasingly large chunks of fossil fuel generation, starting a decade or so back, that’s how.

    If this is encouraged now, we will be in a much better place when the seriousness of our climate issues has become sufficiently clear to sufficiently many people that less palatable messages have a hope of being heard and acted on. Can’t wait to do the easy stuff until we have the hard stuff done.

  13. 663
    DIOGENES says:

    Killian #658,

    “*Live in a climate compatible with one’s physical makeup

    *Obtain resources locally; deposit wastes locally

    *Use minimal resources necessary for survival

    That’s it. That’s how every other species lives, except us. That’s the meaning of sustainability.”

    “Just want to add, the principles are not like morals or ethics. They need to be actionable and should be thought of as engineering, most similarly. Those above are fine, but do not go far enough, and are in some respects incorrect. If I can’t use them to do design, literally, they are insufficient.”

    You have to view the principles as targets toward which we should aim, not targets we will achieve. The point of living in a climate compatible with one’s physical makeup is that less resources are required to survive: no heating, no air-conditioning, not much clothes. All these accoutrements require resources and the energy necessary to process them. Of course people have survived in inhospitable climates, and substantial resources have been required to keep them alive.

    Obtaining resources locally and depositing wastes locally eliminates a major resource requirement: energy for transportation. Because of the imbedded infrastructure we have created for ourselves, where we are distanced from our jobs, our resource sources, and our waste sites, we have huge imbedded/sunk energy requirements to survive, which will be very problematical in any rapid transition to quasi-sustainable living.

  14. 664
    DIOGENES says:

    #654,

    “That’s pretty much ALL he has been doing.”

    Not quite. As two of many examples, I showed in detail that the two proxy plans posted by SA, the Spross-quoted plan [1] and the Ceres Clean Trillion plan [2], offered about a 1% reduction in emissions annually for decades, more than an order of magnitude less than that required to avoid the climate Apocalypse!

    [1] If You See Something, Say Something thread #396
    [2] Present thread #207

  15. 665
    steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 22 Apr 2014 @ 1:19 PM, #656

    You cherry picked from just one of many comments by Killian.

    You said- “Do you see any insults here? Don’t need them.”
    Does this mean that you are going to stop making repeated unsupported claims regarding “shills,” unpaid advertising and just one post above (#655) the “tag team?” I think you need to berate others in order to prop up your weak position.

    Your list of sustainability ideas is very general and a little silly. The “minimal resources necessary for survival” is what you are ignorant about and what needs to be outlined in detail. Do you do any of these things?

    I have never said that we all, especially the developed nations, don’t have to simplify and live sustainably, and unlike you, I am working on what I preach. For most of the last 7 years I and my wife have lived in a 450 sq. ft. cabin and supplied electricity with 0.9Kw rated PV solar panels. My daughter’s family shared the PV system living in a similar space. This means that 5 people lived on 5.4 Kwh/day until recently when PV approached $1/watt and we expanded when we moved into our new house a few months ago (6 years to build). The expansion replaced much of our LPG load. What is your daily fossil electric load?

    We heat domestic hot water with the sun and heat the house with wood and are prepared to use wood for cooking (two wood cook stoves) if needed. We cut, haul, and split our own firewood, by hand, and almost exclusively use dead trees. We brought in a load today. How much fossil CO2 do you emit for heating/cooling?

    We have three gardens (another large one in process) and planted a small orchard (>20 trees). We keep chickens, rabbits, and one pig for meat, eggs, but most importantly for manure to develop garden soil. How much of your own food do you produce?

    We like living in the woods, but we used a very large part of our hard earned lifelong savings to buy a big enough carbon ranch so that we can be carbon negative. I am still learning but I have friends who live more simply than we do.

    So, Diogenes, don’t tell me to simplify and be sustainable because you don’t have a clue. You don’t practice it and your, so called, plan is empty because you don’t have the required knowledge to make it realistic.

    Killian- yes, “poor Fish.” I and my community are working on the problem and making real changes. Lots of fun!

    Steve

  16. 666
    Chris Dudley says:

    Killian (#659),

    “Perhaps you should explain what you mean.” I did grasshopper. Read the book I linked when I thought I was addressing you. There was no point trying to educate the sort of fellow who lives in a jar and spends his time insulting Plato. But, you, despite all that p&v, have some potential. Read a few books. You will find a number of you views confirmed, but will gain a much greater understanding. You are running on instinct, but you don’t need to and you can avoid some clumsy mistakes by learning from those who got there before you.

  17. 667
    Killian says:

    DIOGENES said Killian #658,

    “*Live in a climate compatible with one’s physical makeup
    You have to view the principles as targets toward which we should aim, not targets we will achieve.

    I don’t see the logic of this. First, we absolutely do want to achieve them, which is why those that were gleaned from natural systems and elucidated in permaculture texts and teachings are stated as actions and or physical conditions. It’s the same as saying a roof of such and such weight and dimension must be sorted by so many beams of such type and such and such dimensions. They are stated so as to be applicable to any space. We can’t know that any given element (chickens, e.g.) will end up being part of any given sustainable location, but we can say that whatever does exist at that location had better not include any element that only serves or provides one function. Any element, regardless of what it is, that serves one function or supports only one other element creates a vulnerability, a part of the system that relies on too much efficiency and not enough resilience.

    Your principle to only live where our bodies are adapted to is 1. impossible, because our bodies are not adapted to ANY climate without clothing and/or shelter and 2. is irrelevant because the goal is sustainability, not efficiency.

    Why tell Inuits or Athabascans they should not live in the Arctic, or near it, when they can clearly successfully do so sustainably? This is an unnecessary stricture.

    Obtaining resources locally and depositing wastes locally eliminates a major resource requirement: energy for transportation.

    First, the principles should be to have no waste, period, and is. A complementary principle is: The output of every element must be an input to at least two other elements. This actually goes farther than your principle does. This one principle invalidates nuclear power generation because it has wastes that are useful to no other element, e.g. Second, if you have no waste, there is no issue of transport.

    However, remember, the goal is not perfect efficiency, it is sustainable. If you could make the world as it is today sustainable and non-polluting, I’d have no problem with it. We don’t judge things based on what they are or some inherent goodness or badness, we judge them on one thing: are they sustainable?

    Well, not quite true. There are three ethics used to shape design because it is technically possible to create a sustainable system that is not fair.

  18. 668
    MAXMARE says:

    To all who feel mistreated by Diogenes,

    You are dealing with a problem rooted in human psychology, not with a problem that can be solved by knowing facts and applying pure logic.
    If you were right there would be by now no problem. We would be living already sustainable lives with no foreseable problem for future generations.
    The fact that is not the case and it doesn’t look like it in the near future either should give you some pause.
    There is a big concentration of power in a group of individuals and what gets resource and focus very much depends on this small group. (I pose this as a fact, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heOVJM2JZxI)
    Instead of focusing on alternative energies and quantifying the capacities of these to carry human populations there is a focus on capturing shale gas, refining tar sands and drilling in the deep ocean.
    Of course some attempts are being carried out in the right directions but to me they don’t seem to have near the resources they would need for an energy transition.
    A majority of the population could decide tomorrow to change course, however they won’t because every individual makes decisions based on very personal reasons.
    When looking at the messages from the IPCC and from blogs like this or others that are shills for the oil industry the public finds a miriad of opinions so they decide to cull the extremes and go for the middle which tells them about an alternative using other sources of energy in the near or distant future.
    What would happen if indeed we go beyond 2036-2050 without taking any significant action? Nobody reading/writing in this forum knows the answer to that question, not even me.
    Many people studying the science thought significant action would had been taken by now, but it has not. (I pose this as a fact too, just search your souls)
    As it happens that there is no unified urgent message about the danger of doing nothing, nothing seems to get done.
    I think Diogenes is trying to tell people (as I am) to unify their message and to state the danger related to it as clearly as possible so any person not following the science can understand it.
    I know I am in for some serious ignoring here and elsewhere but I seriously try.

    Have an excellent weekend.

  19. 669
    DIOGENES says:

    Steve Fish #665,

    “Do you do any of these things?”

    You obviously have no understanding of the problem we face, so I will spell it out for you in detail.

    There is a wide carbon footprint distribution spectrum for the global population. For argument’s sake, let’s divide it into two parts: those whose carbon footprint is far larger than yours, and those whose carbon footprint is like yours or less. The task before us is to convince the former to surrender their fossil energy profligate lifestyle and adopt an extremely low carbon footprint lifestyle, and to convince the latter to reduce their aspirations to live like the former. If you don’t think that’s the case, look at China and their growth in consumption and fossil fuel use as more cash becomes available.

    Now, given that’s our task, how did your post #665 contribute to accomplishing this task? Do you think George W. Bush and the Koch Brothers will read your post, have an epiphany, run out and buy 450 square foot cabins, and live happily ever in the woods? Do you think some peasant in a 200 square foot cabin in rural China or India will read your post and surrender his aspirations for the high consumption life he sees on TV? He’s been there, and I will guarantee you he doesn’t go around bragging on the Internet about living a low carbon (and other resource) footprint life. So, your post will contribute NOTHING to solving the real-world problem that we face. And, you, and the other ‘tag team’ members, offer no solutions of any type to the real-world problem. That’s why talking about how you live is irrelevant to the problem outlined above. All that counts is describing how you would alter the behaviors and aspirations of the two groups above so that their carbon (and other resource) footprints are at the lowest levels necessary for survival. If JohnMcCain, with his seven large houses, were able to describe how to accomplish this goal, I would value his comments 1000 times more than your description of how you live!

  20. 670
    DIOGENES says:

    MAXMARE #668,

    “To all who feel mistreated by Diogenes,”

    Mistreatment?? My typical comment is represented by #664. SecularA posted two proxy plans that would incorporate the types of renewables proposals he has been posting. I showed in detail that these two proxy plans posted by SA, the Spross-quoted plan [1] and the Ceres Clean Trillion plan [2], offered about a 1% reduction in emissions annually for decades, more than an order of magnitude less than that required to avoid the climate Apocalypse! Would you call that ‘mistreatment’? Do you see any hint of invective? My fully-integrated self-consistent plan, if implemented, would offer a reasonable chance to avoid the impending climate Apocalypse. There you have it: a 1% solution vs a 100% solution!

    [1] If You See Something, Say Something thread #396

    [2] Present thread #207

  21. 671
    Killian says:

    [edit]

    Read the book I linked when I thought I was addressing you.

    I am quite familiar with the issues you are attempting to infer I am not educated in. It is quite obvious I understand them more fully than you do. After all, the manufacturing of solar systems is in no way sustainable, yet you keep claiming they are. Again, this is fact, yet you deny it.

    [edit]

    Sustainable solar? Build a cob house with a wooden and thatch roof with large windows facing south, small or no windows facing north and appropriate overhangs to block sun in summer and allow sun in winter. That is sustainable solar. Gardens, too. Trees. Forests.

    E.g.

    [edit]

    That you do not understand, and have not studied, sustainable design does not make me stupid, it makes you uneducated. You need to read a book or two: Permaculture A Designers Manual, Gaia’s Garden, Water Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Edible Forest Gardens, Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air.

    You need to become familiar with saner economics. Steve Keen, while imperfect yet in his analysis, comes very close to nailing down the functioning of a steady-state economics and has an actual functioning model he used to release for free. Probably still does.

    Herman Daly, for obvious reasons. Another professor in the U.S. recently developed another steady-state economic model, but a googling didn’t bring it forth and I cannot recall.

    Read some Tainter, Diamond, Dunbar, etc. [edit - just stop]

    …you can… learn… from those who got there before you.

    Yeah, eight years of non-stop study is why I’d make you look uninformed in a straight up debate. Your techno fantasy ain’t happening, so get over it. Understanding why is not complex, it’s simple. This is something you show no sign of ever contemplating, let alone understanding. You will lead yourself and those who listen to you into danger if you do not figure this out.

    Surprise me: Read the writings of those who have figured it out.

  22. 672
    gavin says:

    This thread has totally run it’s course. Can I suggest the main participants have a break for a while and think about something else? – gavin

  23. 673
    MAXMARE says:

    I think is valuable to have a permanent thread whith the goal of having a consensus about what plan should be messaged to people.
    When there are thousands of opinion on what to do/not do and when/when not the message that wins by default is no plan at all. My 2 cents.

    PS, When I said “…feel mistreated..” please do notice the word ‘feel’. I do agree with your opinions by and large.

  24. 674
    simon abingdon says:

    @gavin #671

    Any chance of setting a good example to your extensive readership by spelling the possessive “its” correctly?

    I wish.

  25. 675
    DIOGENES says:

    MAXMARE #673,

    “I think is valuable to have a permanent thread with the goal of having a consensus about what plan should be messaged to people.
    When there are thousands of opinion on what to do/not do and when/when not the message that wins by default is no plan at all.”

    You have hit the nail on the head!

    The climate change problem is global, and any amelioration policy and plans must be global. At the heart of any plan/policy must be requirements/targets. Climate science should play the central role in setting requirements/targets, and the identification of appropriate temperature, concentration, etc, targets should be the number one focus of climate science relative to climate policy and planning. Where is this central issue being addressed on RC?

    I find it ironic that the climate advocacy community complained when climate change was excluded from the Presidential debates, when climate change is by and large ignored by the major media, and when climate change is mainly ignored by our politicians. Yet, in a microcasm of the above, the central issue in climate science with respect to climate change policy and climate change planning is being ignored by RC. Why?

    What is the point of having a thousand posts debating the superiority of nuclear vs renewables vs fusion if we don’t know what their implementation would accomplish? Better to have ten posts addressing the issue of appropriate targets, and a few articles posted by experts with differing views on the appropriate targets. Why limit discussion of targets to one thread; there should be multiple threads addressing this topic. Why should a major newspaper limit coverage of climate change to one column buried deeply within the paper; there should be pages upon pages devoted to this, the defining challenge of our civilization.

    Why are we ignoring the 8000 pound elephant in the room?

  26. 676
    Joseph O'Sullivan says:

    When RealClimate first appeared I made a lot of comments about politics related to the science. I realized that RC is best served by focusing on the science. We can’t expect RC to be a everything related to climate science blog. That would dilute the message of RC, and finding interesting and informative posts about science would be harder for the layman.

    For the participants who are particularly passionate, how about starting a blog and getting the RC people to list it on their other opinions section?

  27. 677
    DIOGENES says:

    Joseph O’Sullivan #676,

    “I realized that RC is best served by focusing on the science……For the participants who are particularly passionate, how about starting a blog and getting the RC people to list it on their other opinions section?”

    ‘Science’ is a very broad area for any discipline, much less the climate. The question becomes: what aspects of the science should be emphasized? The most pressing technical need in climate change amelioration today is identification of the targets that need to be met to avoid disaster. That is a science issue, and is best served on a site like this. For whatever reasons, it has not gotten the emphasis it deserves. No proposed actions can be credible in the absence of credible targets.

    If I were to start a blog (and I have considered it), the predominant focus would be on generating plans that were fully-integrated and self-consistent, including identifying the targets mentioned above, and the actions required to achieve those targets. In order for such a blog to be useful, there would have to be a substantial core group of commenters who could contribute to the development of such plans.

    Well, on a number of occasions, I have tried to stimulate postings of these types of plans on this blog. The effort has been spectacularly unsuccessful. Why? I don’t think anybody has any salable concepts that will allow us to avoid the climate Apocalypse, and they are, for the most part, unwilling to post the unsalable ones.

    There are basically three plans that have been proposed/referenced that might give us a reasonable chance of avoiding the Apocalypse. These are Hansen’s, Killian’s, and mine. None are salable in any way, shape, or form. There are perhaps a couple of others (that have been referenced) that start with a contrived target that has nothing to do with climate science, and therefore would not avoid the impending disaster (they might delay it for a generation or so, if we’re lucky). I include Anderson’s plan and the Ceres Clean Trillion plan in this category. All the other proposals I’ve seen are combinations of fiction, unpaid advertising, or discussions on technology that have nothing to do with a plan.

    Why would I believe the contributions would be any different if I were to start my own blog? Let’s face it; we know what has to be done, and nobody wants to do it. Period! Having endless conversations on a blog won’t change that reality. Within a century or so, we’re toast!

  28. 678
    Hank Roberts says:

    >> “I think is valuable to have a permanent thread …”
    > You have hit the nail on the head!

    You have what you say you want. This topic, for you.

    Can you bring conversations here?
    Otherwise, you get diffused, scattering your conversation in whatever topic is recent on top.

    While you do that, you never get it together.

  29. 679
    Jim Larsen says:

    677 Dio said, “Within a century or so, we’re toast!”

    I don’t see it.

    You keep talking plans. Incomplete and off the cuff to be implemented mostly via international treaty:

    Demand:

    1. A huge rebated carbon tax. Target gas at $10 a gallon retail.

    2. Feebate cars so the most efficient are subsidized by the least efficient. Set CAFE at 75MPG.

    3. Include expected energy costs in the application process for house and car loans. People will be able to buy a more expensive house and car if they go green.

    4. Government programs for insulation, light bulbs, recycling, etc

    Power Supply:

    1. Stop drilling. Stop opening coal mines. Stop building fossil power plants. Let current infrastructure live out its life, more or less.

    2. Solve cellulose-based ethanol.

    3. Standardize and crank out Integral Fast Reactors. Learn to live with each other enough to allow plutonium proliferation.

    4. Keep driving down the costs for solar and wind. Keep ramping up production.

    Mitigation:

    1. Start geoengineering now, targeting 0-0.5C above preindustrial. We’ll need it soon enough, why not start learning on the bunny slopes?

    Current oil and gas fields have well-known depletion rates. Those natural rates are our target (no new wells).


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