Unforced variations: Mar 2014

This month’s open thread.

679 comments on this post.
  1. DIOGENES:

    Pete Best, Unfor Var, 2/14, #435,

    “I would questions one of your assumptions. The notion of some collective humanity deciding that we can all wean ourselves off of FFs with or without some hardship to ourselves. I doubt human nature in various states of ignorance regarding the implications of ACC can make the world take the action you state we should.”

    Pete, this is not what I want. This is what the numbers tell us we have to do to avoid the Apocalypse. We can talk about implementing renewables and nuclear and improved energy efficiency technologies from here until Sunday, but when you put the numbers in, they won’t do the job alone. There’s no alternative to strict demand reduction, and you won’t see one alternative presented on these pages consistent with what the numbers tell us we need!

  2. wili:

    http://www.ecoearth.info/blog/2013/10/essay_ecology_is_the_meaning_o.asp#more

    “Industrial growth at the expense of ecosystems and climate must end as soon as possible. For human and all life’s survival and well-being, intact ecosystems must remain the context for human endeavors…

    Growth in industry, population, consumption, and inequity cannot be maintained. Together we must reach a steady state economy whereby natural capital is replenished, not diminished…

    For capitalism to have any future and avoid social, ecological, and economic collapse on a dead planet, it must learn to price external costs and environmental risk now, while rejecting its obsession with growth as the ultimate measure of well-being. Otherwise industrial capitalism will have to be replaced soon just so most may survive, let alone thrive.

    Only total societal reorganization away from destroying ecosystems and burning fossil fuels can save Earth and humanity. Either humanity finds a way together to implement difficult ecological policies to end fossil fuels, protect ecosystems, and achieve a steady-state economy – or it is the end. No measures except indiscriminate terrorism targeting innocents can be off the table in efforts to together protect ecology.”

    Ecologist Dr. Glen Barry
    From “Ecology is the Meaning of Life”

  3. pete best:

    Re #1 – we wont avoid 2C but we can avoid 3-4C. I did understood you. Any cuts to our emissions are positive. 2 ppmv to 1 ppmv is a good start. The USA average car does 22 MPG so its easy to go to 40 + MPG. In the EU its 33 MPG so its easy to goto 60 MPG here as we like diesels and hybrids. We could all change our behaviour of course but I think that’s not that likely due to the mainstream message out there on ACC especially in the USA. The media message is weak

  4. DIOGENES:

    Wili #2,

    “Industrial growth at the expense of ecosystems and climate must end as soon as possible.”

    The ending of growth is only the first step of a journey that needs to be completed extremely rapidly. We have run out of carbon budget, and are heavily in carbon debt. We need to stay under the 1 C temperature increase ceiling if we are to avoid the climate Apocalypse. The two main components required are the cessation of CO2 emissions and the reduction of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. The sooner these are accomplished, the better. The only real near-term lever under our control is drastic reduction of fossil energy use; the more drastic, the greater our chances of avoiding the climate Apocalypse.

  5. SecularAnimist:

    Diogenes wrote: “when you put the numbers in, they won’t do the job alone”

    Numerous detailed studies have shown that claim to be false. While you have repeated that assertion numerous times, you have yet to present any “numbers” regarding the actual, demonstrated potential for rapidly eliminating GHG emissions with renewable energy and efficiency.

    Nor has anyone except your straw man ever claimed that renewable energy and efficiency can “do the job alone”. Other crucial measures include moving to organic agriculture and reversing deforestation, which again have been discussed in detail in numerous studies.

    What experts who have studied the issue have found — and have detailed in numerous studies — is that we can, if we choose, eliminate ALL fossil fuel use much more quickly and easily and at much lower cost than most people realize, with very large reductions achievable up front.

    Diogenes wrote: “There’s no alternative to strict demand reduction”

    Well, it is obvious that ending all GHG emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels requires reducing the demand for fossil fuels to zero.

    It does not, however, follow — as the fossil fuel interests would have us believe — that reducing the demand for fossil fuels requires reducing the demand for “energy”. In fact we have an abundant supply of zero-emission energy — orders of magnitude more energy, in fact, than all the fossil fuels on Earth could ever provide.

    Neither does it follow — as the fossil fuel interests would have us believe — that reducing the demand for energy requires reducing the demand for the goods and services that energy provides. With more than half the USA’s primary energy supply being outright wasted, we have huge potential for reducing the energy we use to provide the goods and services we need.

    Moreover, there is a false dichotomy here between “renewable energy and efficiency” on the one hand and “strict demand reduction” on the other.

    Increasing efficiency IS demand reduction. Residential rooftop solar IS demand reduction (just ask the electric utilities in Germany and Australia). Rapid deployment of renewable energy and efficiency technologies IS demand reduction.

    Remember, what urgently needs to be eliminated is not demand for goods and services, and not demand for energy — but demand for fossil fuels. A BTU of fossil fuel energy eliminated by personal sacrifice is indistinguishable from a BTU of fossil fuel energy eliminated by insulation, solar panels or wind turbines.

    In short, there is no reason whatsoever that completely eliminating the demand for fossil fuels must necessarily require “major personal deprivation and economic dislocations” — as the fossil fuel corporations, peak oil alarmists and others would have us believe.

  6. prokaryotes:

    what urgently needs to be eliminated is not demand for goods and services, and not demand for energy — but demand for fossil fuels – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/unforced-variations-mar-2014/#sthash.Ce5dZhs3.dpuf

    A big motivation to accomplish less fossil fuel combustion would be to ban-restrict CO2 emitting vehicles in city centres. it is this kind of commitment which accelerates real changes.

  7. Russell:

    If you’re not sufficiently alienated by Anthony Watts sense of entitlement to his own facts, he’s now promoting close encounters of the first kind .

  8. wheelsoc:

    Just wanted to thank those that posted some resources in response to my question in the last thread. I’m still going through some of them.

  9. Random:

    I do admit, I’m curious about the – hopefully – imminent model-data-comparisons for 2013. The last years they were ready in February. Are you guy factoring in the approach from Kosaka & Xie?

  10. MARodger:

    pete best @3.
    Your European mpg figures look a bit low. This graphic is for UK average new car fuel economy (182 g/km = 38mpg, 133 g/km = 52 mpg, 95 g/km = 72 mpg.) from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders who can be a bit motorhead-ish when they start estimating stuff but on stuff like this they’re usually factual. The average for the fleet will be higher as older cars guzzle more but the ones that did 33 mpg must mainly be long ago strapped. And my understanding is that UK is poorer for mpg than Europeans.

  11. sidd:

    Ice surface views of greenland added to

    http://membrane.com/sidd/greenland-2013/

    sidd

  12. Hank Roberts:

    “I won’t name names, but ….

  13. Gary Hurd:

    I was just reading “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.”

    I think my “Mann number” is a fuzzy 2.

    [Response: Thanks Gary--I saw that, and posted on Facebook & twitter (@MichaelEMann). Thanks for the mention of the book and the interesting post :-) - mike]

  14. Dave:

    What are the implications of the findings regarding the speed of the Pine Island Glacier, reported in this article ? I know that article is from a rather biased source and so I was wondering whether anyone from the RealClimate community could comment on the actual research and its relevance to warming of Antartica?

  15. prokaryotes:

    Russsel #7, there is even a movie for this topic and watchable. In any case, E.T.’s could probe our atmosphere from far away to see what’s going on. They would notice that Earth is on the brink to a failed planet.

  16. Dominik Lenné:

    Although widely criticized, there is this cap and trade policy in europe, this emission allowance system. I believe it has the potential to do job if overhauled a bit:

    - Include all instead of 50 % emissions. Small emitters like cardrivers, houseowners, small and medium businesses, buy their allowances from their fuel suppliers.

    - Allow to sell allowances for exported goods, but require to buy them for imported goods. This would make any exception for export oriented industries obsolete. Also it would give the governments of outside nations exporting into the EU an incentive to introduce an allowances system themselves, because they then can skim the allowances income, which would otherwise to the EU territory.

    - Distribute them completely by auctioning.

    - Reduce and detoxicate the Clean Development Mechanism so, that it really works.

    Then scrap all other policies. More or less.

  17. Hank Roberts:

    MediaBugs is a service for correcting errors and problems in media coverage, funded with a grant from the Knight News Challenge program for innovations in journalism

  18. Tony Weddle:

    SA: “What experts who have studied the issue have found — and have detailed in numerous studies — is that we can, if we choose, eliminate ALL fossil fuel use much more quickly and easily and at much lower cost than most people realize, with very large reductions achievable up front.

    And I’ve seen studies that show renewables can’t power industrial civilisation, as we know it, because of the low net energy return (even if the resources were available to build out a big enough infrastructure). Of course, air travel and international trade, as we know it, would be impossible.

    I’m afraid we’re going to have to go cold turkey to get out of this mess. And if we don’t get out of this mess, the cold turkey will be even more frigid.

  19. sidd:

    Re:Pine Island Glacier recent papers

    Dutrieux(2014)
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1244341

    Johnson(2014)
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1247385

    (Please don’t make me read or look at the Register. Do use doi numbers instead.) Dutrieux argues that 2012 reduction in ice melt is due to lowering of thermocline, allowing less warm circumpolar deep water over an underwater ridge which partly blocks the entrance into the cavity beneath the shelf. Johnson warns that the glacier has been known to retreat for decades, once triggered by circumpolar deep water intrusion or loss of ice shelf buttressing. Neither paper is cause for rejoicing; the first because increased variability in PIG ice melt can swing both ways, the second since, once initiated, glacier retreat can continue for a generation.

    sidd

  20. Hank Roberts:

    > this article
    (Grauniad on the speed of the Pine Island Glacier

    Look at 8,000 years ago: http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature_Rev_png
    It’s reasonable that happened 8,000 years ago — after the ice age ended — as happened each time after an ice age ended — there was a warmest-ever spell.

    It makes sense there would be more melting of the glaciers, in that thousand years or so, right at the warmest temperature ever — until now.

    But you wouldn’t expect that to be happening again, 8,000 years afterward — we should be into the long slow cooling period that has happened after every previous ice age.

    What’s the difference?
    People
    What’s the difference?
    Rate of change
    What’s the difference?
    Where we’re headed.

  21. GlenFergus:

    May be of interest:

    https://theconversation.com/killer-climate-tens-of-thousands-of-flying-foxes-dead-in-a-day-23227

  22. simon abingdon:

    #5 Secular Animist “abundant supply of zero-emission energy”

    So let’s get to work developing the nuclear airliner.

  23. Alex Lawrie:

    I have a question for the climate scientists out there: what would constitute an emergency?

    What I mean by this question is that climate change poses a real challenge to social change movements because it is gradual, delayed in its effects, and uneven in its impacts.The message that is coming from climate scientists at present, along with climate-hawkish public figures, is that we still have time to change – that international conferences, evolving public policies, steady but small annual emissions reductions, could still prove sufficient to keep us within the ‘safe zone’.

    I’ll assume for the sake of argument that this is presently true – that we have time to build consensus and implement incremental reforms that do not disrupt everyday life. But presumably, as long as the consensus fails to emerge and the reforms are not implemented, there will come a point when that isn’t true any more.

    This point – which I’ll call the Do or Die moment – is when a combination of accumulated emissions, gathering positive feedbacks, and operational fossil fuel infrastructure, have pushed the level of risk to heights that no sane person would contemplate. It is the point when further delay would have such drastic impacts that the world would be unrecognisable afterwards and organised human society difficult if not impossible.

    As I say, I don’t claim we’re at that stage yet. It might be a considerable distance away. But whether we can accurately pin point it or not, as long as GHGs are accumulating in the atmosphere it must be waiting for us somewhere in the future.

    At the Do or Die point, different policies become rational. Countries that continue to emit more than a very modest amount per capita can be said to be committing an act of war against all others. Policies that rely on further technological innovation are redundant. Politicians that maintain incremental policies must be removed from office by whatever means are necessary, without waiting for elections. Severe restrictions on people’s lifestyles, including rationing and blanket bans on certain technologies, are essential. Climate change becomes an issue akin to the proverbial asteroid-hurtling-towards the earth; no activity or discussion other than those directly addressing the crisis can be justified as sane or worthwhile.

    Not a scenario which I hope to live through. But one which is a very real possibility.

    So my question is, can we pin down the threshold? Can we draw a line in the sand and say, if these variables reach these levels, we must Do or Die? I imagine the threshold will be subject to regular revision as our understanding improves, and there is a real problem in agreeing what is an acceptable level of risk when the danger is existential… But even with those caveats, we need to be able to clearly show people right now where (to the best of our knowledge) the edge of the cliff is. Otherwise, we can’t see how fast we are approaching it or be ready to grab the steering wheel.

  24. freemike:

    I hope my question isn’t littering this comment section but you have helped me before. Can anyone help steer me to information for the skeptic argument that “It’s been warmer in the last 2000 years so why aren’t we boiling now”
    I know of temp reconstructions by Mann,Bradley and also read skeptical sciences relevant sections. I am looking for something maybe a little more succinct (I know answers are not easy and often long). Thanks again.

  25. Pete Best:

    Here is a really good conspiracy video that speaks as if a lot of people will get rich from tackling ACC/GW. In actual fact using capitalism is a good idea to get the job done I would suggest.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp0Mp1KxPOM

    Terrible video but you get to see all of your favourite climate conspirators under one roof and they are interviewed in a terribly dramatic way which is laughable but at the same time watched by a lot of people no doubt.

  26. Pete Best:

    Here is a cheerful story regarding UK car emissions.

    http://priuschat.com/threads/uk-new-car-average-fuel-economy-now-54-mpg-uk-45-mpg-us.107526/

    I wonder how the USA fares in new cars sold over the past 5 years

  27. Pete Best:

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089565_new-car-average-fuel-economy-rose-to-24-8-mpg-in-2013

    American still buy relatively thirsty cars. You have to admit it that in the USA no one is really getting serious about the subject.

  28. BillS:

    Interesting short Commentary in the latest Nature Geoscience (paywalled) by Schmidt, Shindell, & Tsigaridis titled “Reconciling Warming Trends”.
    Perhaps Gavin could say a word or two on the topic?

    [Response: See next thread. - gavin]

  29. Hank Roberts:

    > the world would be unrecognisable afterwards

    If we know the baseline for a degraded ecosystem, we can work to restore it. But if the baseline shifted before we really had a chance to chart it, then we can end up accepting a degraded state as normal — or even as an improvement.

    Know any teenagers? Ask them to tell you in as much detail as possible what the state of the world was thirty years ago, and what has changed.

  30. prokaryotes:

    Re #21
    Acidic Ocean Kills Millions Of Shellfish In Vancouver Canada

  31. Radge Havers:

    Alex @ 23

    “So my question is, can we pin down the threshold?”

    Not a climate scientist, but that hasn’t stopped me before… My take is (short answer) sort of ‘no’. It’s not so much finding the fog shrouded edge of an actuall cliff as it is a best estimate deemed practical given socio-political atmospherics; like a line with a target point on it tossed artfully out along a variably striking slope by a skilled Master of Climate Ceremonies.

    Think 350.org, for instance.

  32. DIOGENES:

    Alex Lawrie #23,
    “At the Do or Die point, different policies become rational….Severe restrictions on people’s lifestyles, including rationing and blanket bans on certain technologies, are essential…..So my question is, can we pin down the threshold? Can we draw a line in the sand and say, if these variables reach these levels, we must Do or Die?”

    We can pin down the threshold quantitatively; see the thread If You See Something, Say Something (IYSSSS), #291. To stay within the temperature target/ceiling of ~1 C that leading climate scientists recommend, we have run out of carbon budget, and have accumulated significant carbon debt. In other words, we are at your Do or Die point NOW! To have any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse, we need to institute NOW the severe restrictions on lifestyles/fossil fuel expenditures to which you allude above. THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION! You will never find any postings to the contrary that contain any numbers, and for good reason. They won’t do the job.

  33. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Tony Weddle — 3 Mar 2014 @ 10:33 PM at ~#18

    You responded to SecularAnamist (3 Mar 2014 @ 12:08 PM at ~#5) with- “And I’ve seen studies that show renewables can’t power industrial civilisation, as we know it.”

    Could both you and SecularAnamist post references/links to the studies that support your assertions so the rest of us can evaluate them?

    Steve

  34. SecularAnimist:

    Alex Lawrie: “I have a question for the climate scientists out there: what would constitute an emergency?”

    I’m not a scientist, but then that’s not really a scientific question.

    FWIW, as far as I’m concerned, based on your definition of emergency (“accumulated emissions, gathering positive feedbacks, and operational fossil fuel infrastructure, have pushed the level of risk to heights that no sane person would contemplate … further delay would have such drastic impacts that the world would be unrecognisable afterwards and organised human society difficult if not impossible”) anthropogenic global warming has obviously been an emergency for decades.

  35. SecularAnimist:

    Diogenes wrote: “we need to institute NOW the severe restrictions on lifestyles/fossil fuel expenditures to which you allude above”

    Eliminating unnecessary use of your computer would be a good first step.

  36. DIOGENES:

    Tony Weddle #18,

    ” And I’ve seen studies that show renewables can’t power industrial civilisation, as we know it, because of the low net energy return (even if the resources were available to build out a big enough infrastructure). Of course, air travel and international trade, as we know it, would be impossible.

    I’m afraid we’re going to have to go cold turkey to get out of this mess. And if we don’t get out of this mess, the cold turkey will be even more frigid.”

    You are right on target. And, you notice these postings that try to convince us that renewables or some other ‘magic bullet’ will allow us to avoid the climate Apocalypse NEVER contain any numbers to support their assertions. That’s because these postings, which should be displayed in a section of paid advertisements, have no factual basis.

  37. Dave Peters:

    A couple items of food-for-thot from 3/3/14:

    Warren Buffet released his annual letter to stockholders on the first, and sat for a long CNBC interview. As one of the biggest re-insurers in the world, he has found “no trend” yet, in climate-related, insured damages. Also, oblique to climate, one of his long term reasons for investing in the Burlington RR, was its compatability with environmental pressures over the long run. (That was second, though, to comparative advantage due to truck driver wages.) As to whether he plans to “electrify it,” he said that would be a lousy way of making money. Also, Buffet favors Keystone.

    Also on the air: C-SPAN covers and archives argument before the Supreme Court, which yesterday heard the current challenge to EPA carbon regulation. We are where we are with our imperfect institutions, but there was an other-worldly quality to this one. Since concern over climate cannot command a contemporary consent for restrictions in Congress, the Court was wrestling with the absurdities of the ploy to jam CO2 into the machinery established in the seventies for airborne toxins. There is both high drama and a biting glimpse into the deepest collective reality, when such absurdity is so intertwined with great consequence.[Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA]

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?317950-1/regulation-greenhouse-gases-oral-argument

  38. SecularAnimist:

    Diogenes wrote: “That’s because these postings, which should be displayed in a section of paid advertisements

    So apparently you’ve run out of anything substantive to say, so you are now going to once again flood the thread with childish name-calling and baseless, deliberately inflammatory accusations that anyone who disagrees with you is a paid liar.

    Which seems like a pretty unnecessary use of fossil-fuel-generated electricity.

  39. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #33,

    “Could both you and SecularAnamist post references/links to the studies that support your assertions so the rest of us can evaluate them?”

    Better yet, instead of assertions, why don’t the people who constantly promote renewables, nuclear, and other technologies post the temperature and other critical quantitative targets that would be met if these technologies were implemented? Hint – there’s no way implementation of these technologies (without radical fossil demand reductions) would even come close to staying within the temperature ceilings required to avoid the climate Apocalypse. That’s why all you’ll ever see are these baseless assertions that these technologies can save us.

  40. Pete Dunkelberg:

    I submitted a comment on the Science editorial. h/t Skeptical Science. It may not show yet. You can register and do the same.

    My comment:
    “Resistance is futile.” What a useless outlook. First you say you approve of the KXL pipeline. You go on to say that if the tar sands carbon is not moved through our country by pipeline it will be moved by other means with the threat of serious spillage. This is the mean side of “resistance is futile:” if you do not let us hurt you one way we will hurt you worse another way. Must Americans meekly surrender to environmental blackmail? How do you know that other transport can not be resisted once stopping the pipeline gives people hope? Notice that Canadians do not want this carbon moved to either of their coastlines. That’s why the company wants to bring it here and give USA a cut of the action. Notice also that human vs rulers feeling is so strong in Canada that their government has passed a law to limit freedom of speech on the subject. (1)

    I should mention that your argument that not yet having a pipeline has not prevented (some) tar sands exploitation, so the pipeline would not fulfill its purpose of furthering this exploitation is a non sequitur.

    The real situation is that the carbon remaining in the ground is several times what we can safely burn. Most of it must be left in the ground. You say that some Arctic carbon is not yet accessible. Alas, part of the function of tar sands carbon is thaw the Arctic and make Arctic carbon available. Will investors invest in this carbon? Resistance makes such investment look riskier. Risk inclines investors to look elsewhere.

    How long must business as usual go on before you deem it alright to say “Enough?” Once climate get bad enough or carbon investment looks risky enough or we seriously support non-carbon energy it will take twenty years or more to make the change. In a decent society this could be a wonderful jobs program. It would have to be a pretty good jobs program. Why put it off and let things get worse? You may counter that we are far from that much good sense, yet if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. I fear your editorial has cost humanity a few years before we acknowledge that we must leave unburned carbon in the ground. Some will be able to drive their Priuses in comfort for quite a few years, but for the great mass of humanity your “resistance is futile” position is useless and dangerous.

    Alas I forgot to include the reference which was to be a great plug for Kate.

  41. DIOGENES:

    Pete Best #25,

    “as if a lot of people will get rich from tackling ACC/GW”

    Wili, one of our most astute posters, once referenced a book titled Windfall, which describes how entrepreneurs, charlatans, and multinational corporations are devising ingenious ways to make a buck amid the coming climate chaos. But, in truth, they’re not the only ones. When we see posts on the climate blogs that promote technologies (renewables, energy efficiency improvement, nuclear, etc) that will purportedly save us from the climate Apocalypse without showing the quantitative targets that implementation of these technologies would produce, all we’re seeing are variants of the Windfall scheme. Interestingly, the only way we can have any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse is the most severe reduction in fossil fuel demand/expenditures, and this will produce Windfalls for almost no one. Paradoxically, the only schemes that provide a chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse will result in massive global Depression because of reduced demand, and those schemes that provide no chance of reaching the necessary temperature targets for avoiding climate Apocalypse will result in Windfalls for the few!

  42. Hank Roberts:

    Just a reminder of work in progress by the physicists and engineers at the Azimuth Project:

    These are action plans the Azimuth Project currently considers to be the highest priorities:

    In phase 1, 2010 to 2030, the world finally gets serious about avoiding catastrophic global warming impacts (i.e. Hell and High Water). We increasingly embrace a serious price for carbon dioxide and a very aggressive technology deployment effort.

    In phase 2, 2030 to 2050, after multiple climate Pearl Harbors and the inevitable collapse of the Ponzi scheme we call the global economy, the world gets truly desperate, and actions that are not plausible today — including widespread conservation — become commonplace …

    We believe that while optimism is a crucial part of any successful endeavor, it is also good to have a plan that assumes plausibly suboptimal behavior on the part of the human race. This is the idea behind Plan C.

    Typically, people only take dramatic action when their livelihood is in immediate danger. This is not the currently the case with climate change and the depletion of the world’s oil reserves. The effects of these problems are only slowly becoming visible. Many doubt their seriousness. Few are willing to take bold steps. And since most proposed solutions involve some self-sacrifice, nobody wants to take the first step.

    It is quite possible that the conditions for dramatic action will only be met at a fairly late stage — a stage when we wish we had taken action much sooner. At this point, we may have to make some very hard choices. It would be good to have Plan C mapped out by then.

    It’s not a site for ranters, but if you can do arithmetic, or write coherently and convincingly, or both, there’s work there to help with.

  43. SecularAnimist:

    Steve Fish wrote: “Could both you and SecularAnamist post references/links to the studies that support your assertions so the rest of us can evaluate them?”

    I have done so repeatedly — to the point that the moderators of this site have had to remind me that it is a climate science blog, not an energy and efficiency technology blog, and that the comment threads are a forum for discussing climate science, and not a forum for discussing or debating the merits of different approaches to phasing out energy-related GHG emissions.

    I certainly do not feel compelled to try the patience of the moderators in response to the childish provocations of an anonymous troll whose consistent response when I have posted such links has been to ignore them completely and accuse me of lying for money.

    I would commend to your attention the work of Marc Jacobson at Stanford, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Institute For Local Self-Reliance, and the Rodale Institute. For news about renewable energy and efficiency technologies, I recommend CleanTechnica.com as a good starting point.

  44. SecularAnimist:

    Diogenes wrote: “the only schemes that provide a chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse will result in massive global Depression because of reduced demand”

    Nonsense.

    The only “demand” that needs to be reduced is the demand for fossil fuels.

    And there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that eliminating ALL fossil fuel use very quickly needs to harm the economy at all — let alone cause a “massive global Depression”. (Of course, it will cause a massive transfer of wealth from the fossil fuel industry to other sectors of the economy, but that’s not the same thing as a “massive global Depression”, as the fossil fuel corporations would have us believe.)

    Which is of course why you have NEVER, in all your dozens and dozens of comments, given ANY reason why eliminating the demand for fossil fuels must necessarily cause any economic downturn whatsoever.

    You just keep repeating that it is so, and when anyone dares to ask you WHY it must be so, you respond with personal attacks, insults and false accusations of lying for money.

    I am utterly bored with your appallingly buffoonish trollery, Diogenes. The stupid flame-baiting games you are trying to play here were old and tired and worn out when USENET was young.

  45. wili:

    @ Hank at #42: Thanks for the reminder and links. Your quotes remind me of the old saying: “We have only two modes—complacency and panic.” – James R. Schlesinger–originally about US energy policy, but I think it applies more broadly, and is particularly apt here.

    Diogenes, thanks for the undeserved compliment. I had forgotten about that link. It seem to me that the next step in implementing your plan is to get as many people to themselves pledge to reduce their personal carbon footprint by over 10% per year starting now, and to push institutions that they are affiliated with–churches, businesses, schools, municipalities…–to do the same. There needs to be a media front as well. Are there other allies you’ve run across.

  46. Eric Swanson:

    #42 – Hank Roberts – If Plan B fails, Plan C must deal with the impact of 9 or 10 billion people on a planet with resources for perhaps as few as 2 without fossil carbon. Simply feeding all those people will require doubling agricultural production if their diets are improved with a bit more meat as the fish in the oceans will be long gone and that’s all supposed to happen without tractors powered by fossil fuels and nitrogen fertilizers from NatGas. The likely “solution” would be some sort of selective “culling” of of the herd, with all the negative consequences that implies. Maybe a global crusade of the religious of one faith against those on the other side, as in Fundamentalist Christians vs Islamist Jihad or perhaps national wars, maybe Pakistan vs India or China vs Russia, each of which has nukes. There are folks like Guy McPherson who suggest humanity might not make it past 2050.

  47. Thomas:

    Diogenes and others. When I look at renewables buildout I do think about EROEI, and what that says for the limits to the growth rate under the assumption that the buildout uses no more power than current renewables are putting out. At fixed time for energy breakeven (and you need to factor in a time lag between when the energy is spent and when the renewable resource is actually producing), you find you can exponentially grow the renewables. Typical energy breakeven times for solar/wind are now under two years, so they could support something like a 40% annual growth rate, which amounts to something like thirty times if sustained over a decade. So energy really isn’t a limitation on how much we can build, but it does constrain the length of time needed to reach a given target.

    We can also free up more to spike the buildout rate beyond the self-sustainable rate by making efficiency improvements (assuming we are willing to give the fossil fuel plants a few extra years before shutdown), that could be directed towards a renewables buildout. For instance widespread adoption of LED lighting could shave something like 10% of the electricty demand, and this could be doable within two to three years.

    What is needed is the political will. The technology has already shown it is capable, and it is improving at a pretty good clip, so the achievable self-powered growthrate is actually increasing with time.

  48. Hank Roberts:

    > pledge to reduce their personal carbon footprint
    > by over 10% per year

    Wait. Take a baseline, then do way better.
    Aim for a negative footprint, not just a shallower footprint.

    You kids who don’t recall when gasoline was 33 cents a gallon aren’t in near the carbon debt we old guys mostly accumulated, just driving around.

  49. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 4 Mar 2014 @ 3:12 PM at ~#39

    You quote my question to Tony Weddle and SecularAnimist and tell them, essentially, not to answer. I fully expect that they will provide some data because I believe that they are honest posters here. I would never ask you for references and data regarding how to solve our climate problem because you never, ever, provide anything when asked. All you are able to talk about is a climate target, NOT A PLAN, and dismiss anyone who provides a way to accomplish a strict target by writing a very repetitive religious tract including the phrases “carbon budget,” “carbon debt,” “apocalypse,” and “there is no other option” (usually capitalized). Because you express this silliness on a blog where all of the contributors and most other commenters know much more about the climate problem than you do, your behavior is that of a doomer climate denier troll.

    Because your targets are so absolutist and inflexible your actual plan should include the method by which all of the leaders of the world can be convinced to, in turn, convince the 7 billion people of the world to completely stop emitting carbon and all but the most opulent to voluntarily die of starvation. If you had any intellectual honesty you could, for example, provide constructive arguments to refute the thoughtful points made by SecularAnamist (3 Mar 2014 @ 12:08 PM, ~#5 above). Just claiming that others are wrong without any factual argument is what a doomer climate denial troll does to clog discussion on a science blog.

    Steve

  50. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Mar 2014 @ 10:15 PM, at around #48

    Excellent recommendation. This is difficult for the young folks, but as an old fart I am running very carbon negative to try and make up.

    Steve

  51. Chuck Hughes:

    DIO, The words, “Climate Apocalypse” tend to lose their meaning when you use them 4 or 5 times per post.

    We get it already.

  52. Tony Weddle:

    Regarding EROI and energy needed for our industrial economy, check out the works of Charles Hall (who also has a good quote in a SciAm interview) and the analysis of Richard Heinberg, as a start.

  53. wili:

    Quote from #42: “It would be good to have Plan C mapped out by then.”

    Plan C. Good name (if not completely original).

    “C” for Contraction? Curtailment? http://www.communitysolution.org/pdfs/NS10.pdf

    Or C&C? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraction_and_Convergence

    Or perhaps, Pat Murphy’s book with that name? http://www.resilience.org/stories/2008-07-26/review-plan-c-pat-murphy-and-small-possible-lyle-estill

  54. Tom Bond:

    SecularAnamist (3 Mar 2014 @ 12:08 PM at ~#5) with- “And I’ve seen studies that show renewables can’t power industrial civilisation, as we know it.”

    For those who are interested in data a very interesting reference showing the limits of renewable energy is David McKay at

    http://withouthotair.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/tedx-talk-people-power-area.html

    and

    http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/withouthotair/sewthacontents.shtml

  55. prokaryotes:

    Re messaging, Joe Romm posted on this topic recently:

    There’s a simple rule: You say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and then again and again and again and again, and about the time that you’re absolutely sick of saying it is about the time that your target audience has heard it for the first time.

    The original motivation for this post actually came up two years ago because I received an e-mail from a journalist commenting that the “constant repetition of doomsday messages” doesn’t work as a messaging strategy. I had to demur, for the reasons noted above.

    However, i personally would call it more meaningful (no extra drama) climate disruption etc. and you can remix content within messaging and robotic repetition can turn off people.

    Here are the key points about what repeated messages the American public is exposed to – read here http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/02/3349451/oscars-media-doomsday-climate/

  56. Dave Peters:

    Last July, a handful of us kicked around airborne CO2 behavior under the hypothetical where emissions are abruptly terminated. (see also, Gavin’s keypost addressing the distinction between “pipelined”, or previously committed warming assuming constant CONCENTRATION, as contrasted with the complete cessation of combustion:)

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/climate-change-commitments/

    The Academy (&RS) explicitly treat cessation at question # 20, with a graphic:

    http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-full.pdf

    The depicted guillotine break is effected in year 2300, following a century of stable concentration at 2000 ppm. A central assessment reduction of ~175 ppm (9%) occurs in 100 years, or a minimum drain of but 200 ppm could obtain, in 700 years.

  57. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #49,

    “All you are able to talk about is a climate target, NOT A PLAN,”

    Au contraire! I have generated the only Plan on the climate blogs that offers a chance to avoid the climate Apocalypse. It can be found in the thread ‘If You See Something, Say Something’, #511.

    Now, a credible Plan requires at least two major components: an end point/target, and a series of actions/policies that will lead to the target. My Plan has both: quantitative targets recommended by the leading climate scientists to provide a reasonable chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse, and actions that will come close to achieving the targets. If either major component is missing, there is no Plan. In particular, if actions are proposed with no quantitative target specified, as Secular always proposes, what we have is essentially an unpaid advertisement for the technologies proposed. This is the essence of Windfall!

  58. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #49,

    “Because your targets are so absolutist and inflexible”

    This is not monetary bankruptcy court, where compromise can be negotiated. In carbon bankruptcy court, the other side does not negotiate. My targets come from what the best of the climate scientists are recommending we need. If you have problems with these targets, take them up with Hansen et al. The targets make sense to me, especially when I read of the unfolding disaster that is already occurring at 0.8 C.

    “refute the thoughtful points made by SecularAnamist”…..” claiming that others are wrong without any factual argument”

    What thoughtful points? He, and you, offer nothing but unpaid advertisements and invective in your responses to me. I am the one putting forth the numbers and the Plans. My responses don’t require invective; I prefer facts that link as closely to the science as possible.

  59. DIOGENES:

    Wili #45,

    “Diogenes, thanks for the undeserved compliment. I had forgotten about that link. It seem to me that the next step in implementing your plan is to get as many people to themselves pledge to reduce their personal carbon footprint by over 10% per year starting now, and to push institutions that they are affiliated with–churches, businesses, schools, municipalities…–to do the same. There needs to be a media front as well. Are there other allies you’ve run across.”

    I appreciate your tenacity and motivation, but I have no illusions about the acceptability of my Plan. Only a handful of people on this climate advocacy blog have shown interest in the concepts reflected in the Plan; what does that say about how many people in the general public would be willing to support the main requirements? People with whom I’ve discussed the topic are believers that severe climate change is happening, and that something needs to be done starting now. However, they have become so brainwashed by the technology purveyors that they believe a timely transition to low carbon technologies is all that is required. No one has shown that implementation of low carbon technologies and energy efficiency improvement technologies can rescue us from the climate Apocalypse; in fact, Kevin Anderson has done the computations for a 50/50 chance of staying within 2 C, and has shown that transition to low carbon technologies can’t do the job without some serious additional fossil demand reduction. To stay even near the ~1.1 C ceiling that Hansen suggests, the strongest fossil demand reduction is required, far more than the 10% Anderson requires for 2 C. My Plan describes the elements of how this could be done; I show the numbers that are required; no one else does! Who’s willing to make the sacrifices that will save our civilization? Very few, I’m afraid.

  60. Ray Ladbury:

    Diogenes: “Quit emitting CO2″ is NOT a plan.

  61. Radge Havers:

    Prokaryotes @ 55

    Good point. I’d note that while Romm uses a strong voice, he’s still capable of modulation, nuance and flexibility.

    One thing he doesn’t do is discredit his message by playing to a negative stereotype of his ‘type’. For instance, he doesn’t go on science sites, imply that everyone is dishonest and generally act like an Apocalyptic Troll.

  62. Hank Roberts:

    > avoid the climate Apocalypse

    You’re being silly. Please stop.
    It’s well under way.
    It’s too late to avoid it, by half a century or so.
    It’s a slow event. Few of us will see the worst of it.
    It will go on happening over more than one human life span.
    It’s the fastest great extinction by far.
    It seems slow on our mayfly time scale.
    Some of our descendants will get through it.
    Some of the trees we plant will get through it.
    Some of the lives we save will get through it.
    We won’t. Six billion or so of us will die this century.
    Gracefully, or disruptively. Fat and greedy, or not so.

    People who work in the field of conservation biology are quite desperate…. They want to get this material out to a wider audience.

    Work on it.

    Get to know your local botany. You can anywhere from the dirt strip next to the sidewalk to any parcel of damaged property you can work on. I’ve mentioned these before. Aim for a negative carbon footprint — plant, protect, restore what grows where you live.

    Get a baseline for later reference. Historical Ecology Handbook : a Restorationist’s Guide To Reference Ecosystems (01 Edition).
    We don’t live long enough to know if we make a difference; if we leave a baseline record of conditions, others later can see what we did and understand what changed.

    (ecological restoration; sample book chapters)

    Go look at what grows where you live. Encourage that. Natural History of Vacant Lots (California Natural History Guide No. 50) (ISBN: 0520053907 / 0-520-05390-7 ) Matthew F. Vessel, Herbert H. Wong

    Restore what’s around you

    Earth Manual: How to Work on Wild Land Without Taming it (ISBN: 0930588185 / 0-930588-18-5) Margolin, Malcolm (1985, revised edition, green cover)

    —-
    You won’t avoid the climate apocalypse.
    We are in it now. We won’t see the end of it.
    We can help change what gets through it, by how we live.

  63. DIOGENES:

    Ray Ladbury #60,

    ““Quit emitting CO2″ is NOT a plan.”

    I never said it was. My plan is listed below. It has two main components: species survival and lifestyle maintenance. The lifestyle maintenance includes the rapid implementation of low carbon technologies and energy efficiency improvement technologies that people have been proposing for years. If I believed that was adequate to avoid the climate Apocalypse, I wouldn’t include the species survival component. Maybe two generations ago, it would have been adequate; today, it is not. The elements in the species survival component are the most important, and because of the near term urgency to stop adding CO2 blankets that will last for a long time, the sharp demand reduction is the most critical. There are no guarantees here, but the sharper the demand reduction, the greater the chances of avoiding the worst consequences of the climate Apocalypse.

    The problem I’m having here is that I don’t see the basis for a debate. I have presented the only self-consistent plan on the climate blogs that will provide any chance of avoiding the worst features of a climate Apocalypse. If you, or anyone else, would present an alternative self-consistent plan, complete with quantitative targets and policies and actions that will allow a reasonable chance of those targets being achieved, that would offer a tangible basis for debate. Now, all I see are unpaid advertisements with absolutely no indication of the consequences of implementing these technologies.

    PLAN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AMELIORATION

    The objective is to maximize chances of staying near, and preferably below, Hansen’s suggested interim temperature increase maximum of ~1.2 C. The approach/strategy/plan consists of two major components: species survival and lifestyle maintenance. Species survival addresses the critical short-term barriers that must be overcome to insure survival into the long-term, and addresses long-term as well. Lifestyle maintenance allows a low-carbon energy-assisted lifestyle, and focuses mainly on the long-term.

    Species survival has two main sub-components: sharp demand reduction and high carbon capture. It does not include geo-engineering at this point, since no effective geo-engineering has been proposed/demonstrated that would be safe on a global scale nor ready for deployment in the short-term time scales required. Sharp demand reduction provides the earliest benefits in the critical near-term, and is the cornerstone of the strategy/plan. It divides present fossil energy use into two subjective categories: optional and essential. The first step is to eliminate the optional uses, and the second step is to eliminate the wasteful elements of the essential category. Optional uses would include most vacation-related expenditures and others not absolutely essential to daily living. Wasteful element reductions of essential uses would include radical reductions of thermostat settings in Winter and increases in Summer, smaller vehicles with greater occupancy per vehicle, etc. Hundreds of each type of reduction or elimination can be easily identified.

    High carbon capture would include the massive reforestation suggested by Hansen and others that have been proposed (biochar, artificial trees, etc). Ideally, it would be conducted in a low carbon emissions mode.

    Lifestyle maintenance includes rapid implementation of existing renewables, nuclear, and other low carbon technologies, as well as implementation of existing enhanced energy efficiency technologies. R&D would continue on renewables, nuclear, and other low carbon technologies, and they would be implemented rapidly once efficient and reliable operation has been demonstrated. All of these technologies would need to be implemented using the most low carbon approaches; to do otherwise would defeat the purpose.

  64. Eric Swanson:

    Hank Roberts #62 – Looks to be lots of effort at rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Looking at the demographics of population, it would appear obvious that humanity has already grown much beyond the support capacity of the natural ecosystems. It’s been 40 years since the publication of “Limits to Growth” and 10 years since the 30 year update to same (which I recently read).

    There is still no realistic global effort to address the basic problem, which is that our economic system is based on consumption of the resources of the Earth, especially fossil fuels. Many nations are on a path of rapid population growth and there’s a large fraction of humanity which refuses to limit their own reproductive urges. Population is still growing at around 1% a year, or roughly 75 million additional people, which translates to adding another Egypt or Iran EACH YEAR. Since they gained their independence from British rule, Egypt’s population went from about 19 million to about 80 million and and India’s went from 350 million to about 1,200 million. The US population was around 75 million in 1900 and is now at roughly 310 million. For other examples, take a look at individual nations at the MAZAMA Population Data Browser or Google.

    Each person needs resources to survive and human wants can far exceed the resources for basic survival level. Much of the growth in population is occurring in the so-called “Developing Nations”, where the consumers are just beginning to use the automobile for private transportation. China’s i child per couple has limited their population growth, but that has freed those resources previously used to support children for other uses, such as increasing their industrial output for export. China now builds more new cars than the US and those are going to people who did not have cars before.

    Sorry to say, I must conclude that all those efforts at local conservation and “ecological restoration” which you mention are wishful thinking, just p*ssing into the wind…

  65. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 5 Mar 2014 @ 7:55 AM, ~#57 plus #s 58 and 59

    You co-opted Hansen’s and others targets and say “a credible Plan requires at least two major components: an end point/target, and a series of actions/policies that will lead to the target,” and then claim that more targets, such as sharp demand reduction, are the steps. It is not a plan because you do not provide any reasonable means to achieve your various targets. Further you berate others who advocate reasonable components of demand reduction but provide no reasons why.

    Please respond to the following. If all fossil carbon energy were switched to renewable energies, wouldn’t this completely reduce demand for fossil fuels and CO2 pollution? If this were accomplished by a bunch of industrialists who made a whole bunch of money, wouldn’t this be a way to avoid the apocalypse? Discussing these sorts of actions is a way to actually come up with steps for a plan. Just dismissing them without any argument or numbers is just Dumbth.

    Finally, please stop accusing others here of being big technology shills. Keep in mind that doomer climate denial trolling is thought to be a pro carbon tactic.

    Steve

  66. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #49,

    “your actual plan should include the method by which all of the leaders of the world can be convinced to, in turn, convince the 7 billion people of the world to completely stop emitting carbon and all but the most opulent to voluntarily die of starvation.”

    My plan outlines what is required if we are to avoid the worst features of the climate Apocalypse. It has to be taken in that context. My objective is not to sell the plan; I don’t think it can be sold. Anderson’s plan of 10% reduction in fossil demand per year is somewhat softer, and my reading of his papers and hearing his presentations have convinced me he doesn’t believe his plan is salable either. In the thread If You See Something, Say Something, #396, I critiqued a post entitled “How The Northeast Could Cut Carbon Pollution By 75 Percent In 5 Simple Steps”. This plan, EnergyVision 2020, showed that a consortium of Northeast USA states had taken a series of steps to reduce carbon emissions, and had achieved slightly over 1% emissions reductions per year for the last decade. Their projections were targeted at reducing emissions about 1% per year for the next decade, and perhaps 2% per year for the following two decades. Those targets were viewed as extremely challenging, and many experts quoted were pessimistic about their being achieved. That, to me, is what the real-world is willing to do (under quite favorable conditions almost unique to the Northeast), and is more than an order of magnitude less than what is required to avoid the worst features of the climate Apocalypse. Under that plan, we’re toast!

  67. Dan H.:

    Alex Lawrie,
    When we experience a significant disruption to the food supply, then we have experienced an emergency. Small, incremental changes would not constitute anything dire, as people would simply adapt. Rising seas occur slowly, and affect only those near the coast, and they would move. People adjust to small temperature or weather changes by varying their clothing or activities. If changes affect agriculture in a large negative fashion, then we have exceeded our adaption capabilities. When people cannot adapt, then very unpleasant situations will occur worldwide, and there is a real emergency.

  68. Hank Roberts:

    > efforts at local conservation and “ecological restoration”

    If you don’t act as though you have hope for the future
    you won’t convince anyone to do anything about the present.

    ‘Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.’ — Mahatma Gandhi

  69. MARodger:

    The daily rainfall for February has been posted by HadUKP allowing the recent heavy rains in Southern England to be put in context.
    The rains & exceptional weather stretched from mid December to Mid February. So while January broke the monthly records for SE England (see graph) that stretch back to 1873, December and February with only a half-a-month of rain only appear in 11th & 2nd place respectively.

    (SW England that also got heavy rain is combined within the published HadUKP data with S Wales that was less affected & which normally has high rainfalls, swamping the SW England data.)

    When daily data is used, the 60-day ‘event’ stands out well above other maximum 60-day events from previous years (back to 1931 for daily data) both within the time-series & in a histogram of that data.
    A simplistic analysis puts this recent 60-day event at 4.25 sd from the mean for last century, but I feel measuring from the median & re-calculating the sd (with the lower half of the data replaced with a reflection of the upper half about the median) may yield a more reasonable lower limit for the result. That comes out at 3.75 sd or a one-in-11,300 year event. So I reckon to round it up to a one-in-20,000 years event.
    Of course, an alternative explanation is that it is the result of some sort of climate change. So, has there been any reports of climate change recently?

  70. SecularAnimist:

    Diogenes wrote (#41): “the only schemes that provide a chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse will result in massive global Depression”

    Well, here’s one energy expert who emphatically agrees with Diogenes:

    “We do not see a viable pathway with any known technology today to achieve the 350 outcome that is not devastating to economies, societies and peoples’ health and well-being around the world.”

    Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, May 2013

  71. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Tom Bond — 5 Mar 2014 @ 3:26 AM, ~#54

    MacKay is fun and provides food for thought. I read his book some time ago and thought it was often centered on England and didn’t apply well to a worldwide situation. Also, he blows a bit of hot air himself. Take a look at section 18 “Can we live on renewables?” and sentence 4 beginning “Also, some….” and you will find that “photovoltaic panels and hot-water panels would clash with each other on roofs.” You have to watch out for those clashes (?). Further on he suggests that “solar photovoltaic farms using 5% of the country might compete with the energy crops…” How about putting them on roofs and other spaces unsuitable for agriculture?

    Steve

  72. Eric Swanson:

    #68 Hank Roberts said:

    “If you don’t act as though you have hope for the future you won’t convince anyone to do anything about the present.”

    I disagree. There’s usually 2 ways to “convince” people to follow a path they don’t want to tread. There’s the carrot and there’s the stick. The Chinese 1 child policy used the stick, which was rather successful, but the sterilization plan for Indian males apparently didn’t do so well.

    The fundamental systematic changes which I think will be necessary will be much less popular than the proposed steep increase in fuel taxes, which is now DOA in the US. The whole concept of suburbia, as in, low density residential connected to higher density urban retail and industrial areas via automobile, would surely become a thing of the past and the tremendous wealth which this pattern now represents would evaporate. Public long distance travel via aircraft would also need to shrink considerably, killing most of the airlines in the process. Shipping perishable food from one continent to another via air, such as Maine lobster to LA or Hawaiian MahiMahi to NYC would become rare. There’s a long list of activities called “the service sector” which depend on cheap fossil carbon for fuel and many of those jobs would of necessity disappear. That one nation or region should decide to enact drastic cuts in CO2 emissions would not guarantee that the rest of the Earth’s people would follow along and give up the wealth derived from burning fossil fuels.

    Sorry to say, over more than 40 years of study, the more I learn about the situation, the less hope I can muster regarding the future. It would appear that humans are a plague upon the Earth…

  73. SecularAnimist:

    Diogenes wrote (#32): “You will never find any postings to the contrary that contain any numbers, and for good reason.”

    Right.

    Bill McKibben actually names his entire organization 350.org to emphasize the target that we must aim for — and you claim that no one but you in the whole wide world has put forth any “numbers”.

    Diogenes wrote: “My Plan describes the elements of how this could be done; I show the numbers that are required; no one else does!”

    That’s blatantly false.

    You have never posted ANY NUMBERS — not even ONE NUMBER — showing how much emissions will be reduced, and when, by any specific measures.

    In fact you have rarely even mentioned any specific measures for reducing emissions. With one famous exception, of course — shutting down ski resorts. Which simply goes to show that when it comes to identifying carbon-intensive activities that are the most significant contributors to the problem, you are clueless.

    Other than that, you’ve offered nothing but number-free handwaving at completely unspecified, unidentified and unquantified “deprivation and hardship” that will inexplicably result from ending fossil fuel use.

    So your so-called “Plan” really contains nothing but a “target” — which is simply reiterating what others (see Bill McKibben) have been saying for years, that GHG concentrations are already well into the danger zone — with NO specific, quantifiable steps to get there.

  74. sidd:

    Picture this: a trio of ladies of a certain age, one in fact quite advanced in years, denizens of a developing country, whose combined fossil carbon footprint is smaller than that of 95% of the posters on this forum.

    One of them is an internationally known economist specializing in labor law in the developing world, who spearheads efforts to involve labor in GHG reduction. Another is prominent in working to educate street children and develop textbooks for schools which emphasize ecology and fossil fuel use curtailment. The eldest is the founder of an organization that works with destitute women and helps them set up solar installations and small businesses servicing these.

    They tell me that they have decided to take a vacation. Great, I say, you deserve it. To my personal knowledge, the economist has not taken one in more than a decade. They intend to visit a region where the eldest of the trio passed her formative years, to which she has not returned since most of the world’s population were yet unborn. Wonderful, I think.

    Then I am informed that the journey involves two (short) trips in an airplane. This of course, plays havoc with their carbon footprint. They are not unintelligent women, and know as well than I the calculations involved. Yet they chose to do so.

    Some here would have me rail at them for condemning future generations to apocalypse. Some here would prevent the trip, if they had the power to do so. Some here are heartless zealots, who will brook no deviation from the One True Way. In short, some here are self-righteous idiots.

    These women individually and severally, have done more to better the world and the lives of future generations, than I will ever do. And I daresay, more than any of their critics on this blog will ever do.

    I briefly amuse myself by working out how many languages I might be abused in if I repeated some of the opinions expressed on this forum as to the morality of their trip. (One is fluent in more languages than I can count on the fingers of both hands, all are fluent in no less than four.) Then, I recall, that these are all ladies of great strength, charm and grace; they have spent their entire lives facing down worse opposition, violent and otherwise, than most here have ever seen. They know better than to respond to provocation.

    Apparently I do not. Which I suppose, is why I have a killfile. I must remember to use it all the time.

    sidd

  75. wili:

    Sidd, come on, give it a rest. “Some here would…” you say repeatedly based on…what? Has anyone here actually said any of those things to you or them? If not, then you are falsely defaming people as “heartless zealots” based on zero evidence.

    For the sake of mere decency and civility, please avoid attributing to others positions that they have not taken. Thanks.

  76. SecularAnimist:

    Responding to the thoughtful comments from Tony Weddle (#52) and Tom Bond (#54) regarding the EROI (energy return on investment) for wind and solar:

    In short, the plummeting cost and skyrocketing efficiency of both wind and solar technologies have proved the peak oil theorists like Richard Heinberg wrong. The energy returned over the operating lifetime of today’s solar panels and wind turbines is vastly greater than the energy invested in producing them.

    Moreover, unlike fossil fuels whose EROI necessarily gets worse over time, as the lowest-cost, highest-quality supplies are exhausted, the EROI of wind and solar gets better over time because the energy sources themselves are both free and inexhaustible, so the EROI is purely a function of the rapidly improving technology.

    Moore’s Law is a better model for the future of wind and solar energy than the conventional fuel-oriented EROI calculations.

    See the articles linked below.

    The energy return on energy investment (EROI) of photovoltaics: Methodology and comparisons with fossil fuel life cycles
    Marco Raugei, Pere Fullana-i-Palmer, Vasilis Fthenakis
    Energy Policy
    Volume 45, June 2012

    Abstract:

    A high energy return on energy investment (EROI) of an energy production process is crucial to its long-term viability. The EROI of conventional thermal electricity from fossil fuels has been viewed as being much higher than those of renewable energy life-cycles, and specifically of photovoltaics (PVs). We show that this is largely a misconception fostered by the use of outdated data and, often, a lack of consistency among calculation methods. We hereby present a thorough review of the methodology, discuss methodological variations and present updated EROI values for a range of modern PV systems, in comparison to conventional fossil-fuel based electricity life-cycles.

    Highlights

    * We perform a review of the EROI methodology.

    * We provide new calculations for PV compared to oil- and coal-based energy systems.

    * If compared consistently, PV sits squarely in the same range of EROI as conventional fossil fuel life cycles.

    Meta-analysis of net energy return for wind power systems
    Ida Kubiszewski, Cutler J. Cleveland, Peter K. Endres
    Renewable Energy
    Volume 35, Issue 1, January 2010

    Abstract:

    This analysis reviews and synthesizes the literature on the net energy return for electric power generation by wind turbines. Energy return on investment (EROI) is the ratio of energy delivered to energy costs. We examine 119 wind turbines from 50 different analyses, ranging in publication date from 1977 to 2007. We extend on previous work by including additional and more recent analyses, distinguishing between important assumptions about system boundaries and methodological approaches, and viewing the EROI as function of power rating. Our survey shows an average EROI for all studies (operational and conceptual) of 25.2 (n = 114; std. dev = 22.3). The average EROI for just the operational studies is 19.8 (n = 60; std. dev = 13.7). This places wind in a favorable position relative to fossil fuels, nuclear, and solar power generation technologies in terms of EROI.

  77. SecularAnimist:

    sidd wrote: Some here would have me rail at them for condemning future generations to apocalypse. Some here would prevent the trip, if they had the power to do so. Some here are heartless zealots, who will brook no deviation from the One True Way. In short, some here are self-righteous idiots.”

    Of course, many here have expressed no such views.

    Meanwhile, research by NASA among others into carbon-neutral biofuels for aviation is ongoing.

  78. prokaryotes:

    The Antarctic Half of the Global Thermohaline Circulation is Collapsing (With short video)

    The study: Cessation of deep convection in the open Southern Ocean under anthropogenic climate change doi:10.1038/nclimate2132

  79. Hank Roberts:

    Might be worth revisiting the subject; the last long discussion of the thermohaline circulation mentioned a number of data sources that should, by now, have given the modelers more to work with:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/05/gulf-stream-slowdown/

  80. wili:

    From the excellent (as usual), if grim, video and article that prok just posted:

    “…this study probably underestimates the amount of fresh water around Antarctica and its effects on Antarctic Bottom Water (ABW) formation…

    Global political policies are not keeping up with the rate of change and our models have, to date, underestimated the rate of change. We are witnessing a total failure of global leadership to deal with changes we caused that are spiraling out of control.”

    Peter Ward on the consequences of this development: “When [the global ocean current conveyor belt] stops, we lose oxygen at the bottom, and we start the process toward mass extinction.”

  81. Dan Bloom:

    Both TIME mag and NYT are poised to report news of new literary and movie genre dubbed “cli fi” — coined by yours truly from my earlier “polar cities” work, one things leads to another — and the NYT story will be about “climate science education” issues and “climate change education” issues in higher education in USA and overseas……so it’s a story that interview academics and professors of science education etc……and TIME mag will be about new NOAH movie by Darren A set 5000 years ago and TIME is calling it a “cli fi movie” on its cover March 24 issue, get ready. like sci fi, cli fi has the power to energize writers and readers and critics. like the term. it has arrived. see my blog at ”cli fi central” or a wezine titled “cli fi books”

  82. wili:

    Congrats, Dan. And thanks for the heads up.

  83. prokaryotes:

    Thanks wili, notice similar is happening in the Arctic.

  84. prokaryotes:

    Listen to Isaac Asimov explaining the CO2 Tax (19 mins in).

  85. Bob Bingham:

    I give talks on climate change in New Zealand, mostly to mature white males, and I get a very clear understanding of the science from the audience. There are very few deniers and I would say they make up 1 or 2% of the 500 or more people I have spoken to.
    On the internet it is completely different where the deniers make up around 50% or even more except on a really big site like the Huffington post.
    From this I believe that there are a certain number of people who are paid to portray the climate science as being uncertain. The fact that they always use a very limited range of points to paid employees who do this work on behalf of their employers.
    There are not many climate change sites where comments can be left and so it would only require 50 to 100 people with multi identities to cover the World. Journalists employed by newspapers with links to the fossil fuel industry could easily have five journalist and it would quickly add up to make a real impact. Its either that or the USA is peopled by a huge proportion of ignorant rednecks.

  86. wili:

    Here’s the original Nature Climate Change article for the piece than prok linked to above at #78:

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2132.html

    doi:10.1038/nclimate2132

    [b]Cessation of deep convection in the open Southern Ocean under anthropogenic climate change[/b]

    Casimir de Lavergne, Jaime B. Palter, Eric D. Galbraith, Raffaele Bernardello & Irina Marinov

    From the abstract:

    “…among the present generation of global climate models, deep convection is common in the Southern Ocean under pre-industrial conditions, but weakens and ceases under a climate change scenario owing to surface freshening.

    A decline of open-ocean convection would reduce the production rate of Antarctic Bottom Waters, with important implications for ocean heat and carbon storage, and may have played a role in recent Antarctic climate change.”

  87. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #65,

    “You co-opted Hansen’s and others targets”

    I would phrase it differently. I used the best of modern climate science to establish the temperature targets, and then built on that for the remainder of my Plan.

    “then claim that more targets, such as sharp demand reduction, are the steps. It is not a plan because you do not provide any reasonable means to achieve your various targets.”

    Sharp demand reduction is a policy/action; it is not a target. In the Plan, I provide a few examples of sharp demand reduction. See #63 above for the details. If you want more, give me a list of e.g. fifty activities on which significant fossil-based energy is expended, and I will identify those that I would eliminate. The basic principle is eliminate the non-essential, and improve the efficiency of the essential. Remember, essential/non-essential is subjective. What I think is non-essential, someone else may think is essential.

    “Further you berate others who advocate reasonable components of demand reduction but provide no reasons why.”

    My Plan contains all the “reasonable components of demand reduction” these ‘others’ advocate. See #63 above, especially the section on lifestyle maintenance. However, that’s where ‘these others’ stop, and try to pawn off on us the idea that’s all that is required to avoid the climate Apocalypse. Anderson showed with computations, not arm-waving, that the supply side alone is insufficient to stay under 2 C, and demand reductions are required. The way to refute Anderson is with hard computations, not arm-waving and invective. So far, I have seen no refutation of Anderson’s results for staying within 2 C, and my Plan goes to an even harsher level of staying within 1 C.

    “Please respond to the following. If all fossil carbon energy were switched to renewable energies, wouldn’t this completely reduce demand for fossil fuels and CO2 pollution? If this were accomplished by a bunch of industrialists who made a whole bunch of money, wouldn’t this be a way to avoid the apocalypse? Discussing these sorts of actions is a way to actually come up with steps for a plan. Just dismissing them without any argument or numbers is just Dumbth.”

    I have addressed this issue specifically in previous posts; I have never dismissed it. This is the problem of immediate cessation of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels. A number of researchers have published on this topic. The results show global mean temperature increasing to a peak somewhere between one and two decades after cessation, then gradually decreasing. The lowest numbers I’ve seen for the temperature peak are about 1.2 C, and the highest numbers well over 2 C. In a Rolling Stone article, McKibben has stated “But, in fact, computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 now, the temperature would likely still rise another 0.8 degrees, as previously released carbon continues to overheat the atmosphere.” Thus, his sources show a peak of 1.6 C. The results differ based on what is assumed for climate sensitivity and aerosol forcing.

    In addition, as a recent study has shown (summary from CP), “Thawing permafrost will release carbon to the atmosphere that will have an appreciable additional effect on climate change, adding at least one quarter of a degree Celsius by the end of the century and perhaps nearly as much as one degree (about 1.5°F).
    The permafrost feedback response to our historic emissions, even in the absence of future human emissions, is likely to be self-sustaining and will cancel out future natural carbon sinks in the oceans and biosphere over the next two centuries.”

    Thus, even if fossil fuel combustion ceased immediately, these carbon sources in the permafrost and elsewhere that we have unleashed already will continue to release greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Depending on the extent of the release as the temperature continues to rise toward the peak, there could conceivably be no downturn, or a much more gradual downturn. So, even in this most ideal case of complete cessation of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel immediately, the temperature will rise to unacceptable levels. Now, assume all fossil fuel use could be converted to zero carbon technology within a generation (another fantasy). The first year, (ignoring lag times for planning, construction, and start-up) would still have 95% of the original CO2 emissions, since only 5% of the capability had been converted. The second year would have 90%, and so on. There would be roughly ten additional years of the original fossil fuel use expended, further exacerbating the temperature increase and driving us closer to the climate Apocalypse. That’s why sharp demand reduction is required in parallel with low carbon technology introduction, as well as some type of rapid carbon concentration reduction.

  88. DIOGENES:

    Bob Bingham #85,

    “It’s either that or the USA is peopled by a huge proportion of ignorant rednecks.”

    The problem is far more complex. There are two main types of climate change deniers. Type 1 are the classical deniers within the larger public. Type 1 deny the science, and, obviously, deny the need for any solutions to a non-existent problem. Type 2 are a smaller segment, found in part on the climate advocacy blogs. Type 2 accept the science, but deny the need for the personal deprivation and hardships required to avoid the climate Apocalypse. Type 2 offer the facade of a solution without the substance of a solution. For some Type 2, a final Windfall is the desired end point. Both types will lead us directly to the climate Apocalypse, Type 1 using the Express lanes, and Type 2 following closely behind.

  89. Hank Roberts:

    Read Twitter, these days, to follow climate science.
    Scientists eschew wearisome volubility.

  90. Eric Swanson:

    Re: prokaryotes #78 and Hank Roberts #79 – To add to the list of recent references, there’s new evidence form the RAPID program which suggests reduced THC sinking in the Labrador Sea.

    Observed decline of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation 2004 2012

    I know of another possible indicator which has appeared in the western Greenland Sea, but it’s not published, to my knowledge. Maybe it’s time for RC to do a post on the latest findings about the THC/AMOC.

  91. DIOGENES:

    Anderson, in late 2013, at the Radical Emissions Reduction Conference:

    “Today, in 2013, we face an unavoidably radical future….No longer is there a non-radical option. Moreover, low-carbon supply technologies cannot deliver the necessary rate of emission reductions – they need to be complemented with rapid, deep and early reductions in energy consumption”

    And, that’s for 2 C ceiling. For the ~1 C required to avoid the climate Apocalypse, VERY rapid, VERY deep, and VERY early reductions are required!

  92. SecularAnimist:

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

    Actually, the “Type 2″ deniers — the Defeatists — may either reject or (to varying degrees) accept the science.

    What they have in common is the false, baseless, thoroughly debunked claim that ending fossil fuel use requires “personal deprivation and hardships”.

    The point of such rhetoric is simply to persuade the public that the cost of ending GHG emissions is unacceptable, and to thereby defuse and discourage public support for action.

    Which is why your repetition of that baseless claim is indistinguishable from the rhetoric of Bjorn Lomborg, or ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson: “We do not see a viable pathway with any known technology today to achieve the 350 outcome that is not devastating to economies, societies and peoples’ health and well-being around the world.”

  93. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 6 Mar 2014 @ 9:02 AM, ~#87

    You claim that- “Sharp demand reduction is a policy/action,” -but this would require all of the governments of the world to enforce it on all their citizens almost immediately and this idea is obviously utterly impossible. It is not a viable step in a plan. Adults, when faced with a seemingly insoluble problem don’t dither about and argue that an action plan has to be established before any action can be taken. Instead, they pick out portions of the solution that are individually doable and get to work while continuing to look for better solutions. The problem is fossil fuel pollution and the obvious solution is to switch to nonpolluting energy as quickly as possible. You claim that this can’t be done quickly enough? Prove it or, better yet, think of ways to make this happen. I can. Ultimately, renewable energy is the only solution.

    With reference to all the need for “personal deprivation and hardships required to avoid the climate Apocalypse” that you advocate, how much are you currently contributing? Steve

  94. prokaryotes:

    Re THC and abrupt climate change

    Sea-ice switches and abrupt climate change Link (2013 / OA)

  95. prokaryotes:

    Above paper is from 2003.

    Multiple sea-ice states and abrupt MOC transitions in a general circulation ocean model Link(2013) DOI 10.1007/s00382-012-1546-2(7-8):1803-1817

  96. prokaryotes:

    Warm Arctic, Cold Continents: A Common Pattern Related to Arctic Sea Ice Melt, Snow Advance, and Extreme Winter Weather http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/26-4_cohen.html (2013 / OA)

  97. Eric Swanson:

    #96 prokaryotes – Quoting from the article:
    ” Anomalously low sea ice during summer exposes darker (i.e., low albedo) ocean water to sunlight, producing strong Arctic warming via direct radiative impacts and anomalous latent and sensible heat fluxes that persist into the winter months. The ensuing feedback leads to amplified warming of the Arctic relative to the rest of the globe (e.g., Serreze and Francis, 2006, etc.”

    Trouble is, this often repeated claim isn’t strictly correct. During summer, when there’s sunlight in the Arctic, the zenith angle for the incoming solar energy is quite large. Thus, under clear sky conditions when the energy beaming down is at a maximum, the albedo of water can be quite high, upwards of 30%. Most analysts claim that the albedo is very low, 5 to 7%, which is correct when the zenith angle is smaller, but wrong when the sun is low on the horizon. Then too, when the sky is cloudy, which happens most of the time, the effective zenith angle is low due to the scattering of the sunlight as it passes thru the clouds. But, the amount of energy deposited is also low, as clouds have a high albedo, reflecting some fraction of the energy back to space and absorbing another fraction, which heats the air above the surface.

    Other than that, Cohen’s comments regarding the effects of lower sea-ice cover after the melt season would appear to be plausible after a quick read.

  98. Hank Roberts:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26455763

    The world’s financial markets could be creating a “carbon bubble” by over valuing the fossil fuel assets of large companies say MPs.

    Much of this coal and oil may have to be left in the ground to combat climate change, according to the Environmental Audit Committee

    [PDF]

  99. Chris G:

    Here’s one: Are there any GCMs which predict no major climate changes for the foreseeable future? (If there are then I haven’t been able to find them.) In principle, one’s skepticism of human-induced climate change could be motivated by a model which both accounts for past observations and predicts no significant changes in the future. In reality, are there any such individuals?

  100. Dave Peters:

    In the piece mentioned two weeks ago (UV Feb. 22; # 337), Dr. Michael Ventrice reached for a forecast of upper air in the West Pacific that called for “two pair” of equator-straddling cyclonic systems–to help give birth to an El Nino. And indeed, storms arose with westerlies adequate to blow the CPC off neutrality, as they describe here:

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.pdf

  101. prokaryotes:

    #97, Eric Swanson, “..the albedo of water can be quite high.”

    Well, there are many studies who estimated the albedo loss from cryospheric degradation and they all have in common – a general agreement in regards to albedo forcing, and we can observe dramatic changes in the Arctic. So if you suggest all the estimates are bad, provide some study, thanks. Even if water can keep ice-albedo like properties, these are minimal at best when compared to a white snow or ice layer, i would suspect.

    At least waves, water composition, temperature, angle of incoming rays – seasons, different physical properties, particulates and clouds play a role.

    Water reflects light very differently from typical terrestrial materials. The reflectivity of a water surface is calculated using the Fresnel equations (see graph).

    At the scale of the wavelength of light even wavy water is always smooth so the light is reflected in a locally specular manner (not diffusely). The glint of light off water is a commonplace effect of this. At small angles of incident light, waviness results in reduced reflectivity because of the steepness of the reflectivity-vs.-incident-angle curve and a locally increased average incident angle.

    Although the reflectivity of water is very low at low and medium angles of incident light, it increases tremendously at high angles of incident light such as occur on the illuminated side of the Earth near the terminator (early morning, late afternoon and near the poles). However, as mentioned above, waviness causes an appreciable reduction. Since the light specularly reflected from water does not usually reach the viewer, water is usually considered to have a very low albedo in spite of its high reflectivity at high angles of incident light.

    Note that white caps on waves look white (and have high albedo) because the water is foamed up, so there are many superimposed bubble surfaces which reflect, adding up their reflectivities. Fresh ‘black’ ice exhibits Fresnel reflection. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo#Water

    “Just the melting of all the floating ice in the arctic ocean, will add as much heat to the earth, as all the Co-2 we put in the atmosphere to date.” Dr. James Lovelock

    Estimating the Global Radiative Impact of the Sea-Ice-Albedo Feedback in the Arctic
    ..a more realistic ice-free-summer scenario (no ice for one month, decreased ice at all other times of the year) results in a forcing of about 0.3 W m−2, similar to present-day anthropogenic forcing caused by halocarbons. The potential for changes in cloud cover as a result of the changes in sea ice makes the evaluation of the actual forcing that may be realized quite uncertain, since such changes could overwhelm the forcing caused by the sea-ice loss itself, if the cloudi- ness increases in the summertime. Source

  102. prokaryotes:

    Re #97 Albedo claim by Eric Swanson

    A perfectly black surface has an albedo of zero percent and a perfectly white surface has an albedo of 100 percent. The albedo of fresh snow is typically between 80 and 90 percent whereas the albedo of the ocean surface is less than 20 percent. Clouds and other factors also influence the albedo of the Earth.
    The researchers calculated that the albedo of the Arctic region fell from 52 percent to 48 percent between 1979 and 2011.
    “It’s fairly intuitive to expect that replacing white, reflective sea ice with a dark ocean surface would increase the amount of solar heating,” said Pistone. “We used actual satellite measurements of both albedo and sea ice in the region to verify this and to quantify how much extra heat the region has absorbed due to the ice loss. It was quite encouraging to see how well the two datasets — which come from two independent satellite instruments — agreed with each other.”
    The National Science Foundation-funded study appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 45 years after atmospheric scientists Mikhail Budyko and William Sellers hypothesized that the Arctic would amplify global warming as sea ice melted.
    The Scripps study is the first to use direct satellite measurements to assess the changes in albedo associated with retreating sea ice. Previous studies have relied on computer models. The Scripps team used NASA’s CERES satellite instruments, as well as observations of sea ice cover made with other satellites.
    The researchers found that the magnitude of surface darkening has been two to three times as large as that found in previous studies. They also compared their results to model simulations to assess the capability of computer models to portray and forecast albedo changes.
    “Scientists have talked about Arctic melting and albedo decrease for nearly 50 years,” said Ramanathan, a distinguished professor of climate and atmospheric sciences who has previously conducted similar research on the global dimming effects of aerosols. “This is the first time this darkening effect has been documented on the scale of the entire Arctic.” Link

  103. Tony Weddle:

    SA,

    Using adjectives like “plummeting” and “skyrocketing” does nothing to improve your argument. I’ve been reading about skyrocketing efficiencies for years and see little (by skyrocketing standards) improvement in what people can put on their roofs (or elsewhere). Even cost improvements seem to take ages to percolate down, though I wasn’t really talking about costs.

    David McKay’s talk was more about the area needed to provide the energy used by today’s societies, though it didn’t address (as far as I could tell) the resources needed for that infrastructure or whether electricity could be used to power our whole global civilisation.

    Sadly, there hasn’t been much work done on determining the limits of renewables (both environmentally and resource-wise).

    However, speculation that so-called renewable power is the solution does enable people to think that there are no limits and that can be comforting.

  104. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #93,

    “You claim that- “Sharp demand reduction is a policy/action,” -but this would require all of the governments of the world to enforce it on all their citizens almost immediately and this idea is obviously utterly impossible. It is not a viable step in a plan.”

    Suppose you wanted to launch a mission to Pluto in the next decade, and you found there was a five minute window three years from now. Suppose you designed a plan that would allow you to meet that window, but it would cost one trillion dollars, and the voters and legislators are not willing to spend anywhere near that amount. What is it you have? Well, you have designed a plan that will meet the required objective, is doable in theory, but is not viable.

    Well, the plan I designed to avoid the climate Apocalypse is the only one I have seen that will meet the required objectives/targets. The main parts are not viable because the citizens and politicians of the planet have made an unstated decision that they are not willing to endure the privations necessary to meet the objectives. The plans I have seen that are viable will not even come close to meeting the targets or objectives. What is the value of a viable plan that will lead you straight into the climate Apocalypse, other than the Windfall it will provide for its supporters and sponsors?

    “Adults, when faced with a seemingly insoluble problem don’t dither about and argue that an action plan has to be established before any action can be taken. Instead, they pick out portions of the solution that are individually doable and get to work while continuing to look for better solutions.”

    Actions in the absence of targets are the foundation of Windfalls. Look, my plan, stated in #63, has a lifestyle maintenance component. That includes rapid implementation of low-carbon technologies, energy efficiency improvement technologies, and other measures we have known about for years. Someone can obviously implement the lifestyle maintenance component of my plan only and achieve what you want. It won’t avoid the climate Apocalypse, but it will insure that a few are in ‘fat city’.

    “The problem is fossil fuel pollution and the obvious solution is to switch to nonpolluting energy as quickly as possible. You claim that this can’t be done quickly enough? Prove it or, better yet, think of ways to make this happen. I can. Ultimately, renewable energy is the only solution.”

    Your first sentence is not correct, and your conclusion is not correct. The problem is threefold: massive fossil fuel emissions now; high CO2e concentration in the atmosphere now; autonomous emission of GHGs that we have already unleashed, especially in the Arctic. Addressing any one of these problems is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to solve the problem. Any credible plan has to address all three. My plan addresses the first two, and has severe requirements for both because of the urgency of time in which the problem must be corrected. The hope, as Hansen points out, is that a ceiling on temperature could hold the positive feedbacks to manageable levels. My plan would offer reasonable chances of staying within this ceiling. If further computations show that such a temperature ceiling is insufficient to control the positive feedbacks, then some form of geo-engineering might be required. I have not included geo-engineering in my plan so far, since I view such unproven actions on a global scale as a last resort.

  105. prokaryotes:

    The Albedo Effect Explained With The DaisyWorld Model (NASA)

  106. Fred Magyar:

    Some food for thought, (pun intended)
    http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/
    http://www.uni-kiel.de/ecology/users/fmueller/salzau2006/ea_presentations/Data/2006-07-05_-_Thermodynamics_II.pdf
    Thermodynamic Footprint http://www.paulchefurka.ca/TF.html

    Meeting of anaerobic bacteria circa 3.5 billion years ago… “we need to tax the oxygen production of those pesky cyanobacteria, they are destroying our environment!”

    There is nothing that I have seen in my 60 plus years on this planet that gives me any reason to believe that collectively humans are any smarter than yeast or the cyanobacteria that changed the atmosphere about 3.5 billion years ago! Every where I go I see drastic changes to every part of the ecosystem that supports human life. Those changes are caused mostly by humans! Humans have only been around for a blink of an eye and there is nothing special about us in terms of long term staying power… “The planet is fine it’s the people that are f@cked! Pack your bags folks, we’re leaving!” The late great George Carlin.

  107. Chris G:

    One could map out global surface reflectance and how it varies with time (season) from analysis of data MODIS, ETM+, etc. Three questions:
    1) Has that been done and, if so, where’s the database?
    2) How much of an effect does reflectance (emissivity) variation have on climate model predictions? (Do climate models incorporate wavelength-dependence or do they just use a single effective albedo?)

  108. DIOGENES:

    Tony Weddle #103,

    “However, speculation that so-called renewable power is the solution does enable people to think that there are no limits and that can be comforting.”

    More importantly, it enables lucrative Windfalls for those who ‘speculate’ that renewable power is the solution, but offer no tangible evidence other than adjectives like ‘plummeting’ and ‘skyrocketing’. These ‘speculations’ are nothing more than unpaid advertisements!

  109. Ray Ladbury:

    Just a wild thought. I wonder what effect on albedo there might be from the undulating nature of a fluid surface compared to a flatter ice surface. If the low angle of the sun were a limiting factor, you might get an effect that goes both ways, increasing variability. Also, if angular effects were significant, it seems to me that any increased energy on top of what would be a very low baseline could significantly affect dynamics.

  110. Eric Swanson:

    Re: prokaryotes #101 & #102 – I do not disagree with claims that there will be an increase in energy into the Arctic Ocean as sea-ice declines. My disagreement is with the earlier assessments which claim that this increase will be large and due in most part to the changes in the relative areas covered by sea-ice and open water. As your references point out, during summer, sea-ice melts and ponds form, thus the sea-ice albedo declines sharply. The energy absorbed enters the sea-ice and causes further melting. Little of that energy penetrates the sea-ice and warms the water below, so there isn’t going to be much additional melting after the melt season has ended. I think this process is seen in the fact that the Spring maximum sea-ice extent has seen little change, while the Fall minimum has exhibited considerable decline. As it is, the yearly sea-ice minimum in the Arctic occurs near the Equinox, when the sun slips below the horizon at the North Pole.

    Your second reference notes:

    “The Scripps study is the first to use direct satellite measurements to assess the changes in albedo associated with retreating sea ice. Previous studies have relied on computer models. The Scripps team used NASA’s CERES satellite instruments, as well as observations of sea ice cover made with other satellites.”

    One should be aware that the CERES is another of those cross track scanners and they are mounted on satellites with sun synchronous orbits, which thus results in an inability to directly measure all the energy reflected from pixels with high solar zenith angle orientations. Also, the orbits cross the highest latitudes at early morning or late evening times (~equator crossing time +/-12 hrs), which puts the instruments in such situations most of the year. The CERES data in the study is adjusted using a model to calculate the reflected energy from the actual measurements. The next question is, obviously: “How good are those adjustments?”…

  111. Ray Ladbury:

    Eric Swanson,
    But if you are correct, then any increase in solar energy absorbed will be on top of a very low baseline, won’t it? As such, it could significantly affect the dynamics of the cryosphere.

  112. Eric Swanson:

    Darned. The local time of highest latitude ground track passage occurs at local equatorial crossing time +/-6 hours, not 12. The Aqua satellite has a daylight equator crossing time of 1:30PM local time and Terra crosses at 10:30AM local.

  113. prokaryotes:

    Eric, please provide a study to further explain your disagreement with the science.

  114. SecularAnimist:

    Tony Weddle wrote: “Using adjectives like ‘plummeting’ and ‘skyrocketing’ does nothing to improve your argument.”

    I’m not making any “argument”. I am trying to communicate real-world information about the cost and EROI of solar and wind. Those adjectives are entirely appropriate and if anything are an understatement.

    Hard data on the rapidly plummeting cost and skyrocketing efficiency of both wind turbines and solar photovoltaics is readily available online if you want to look at the real world numbers. They are quite different from the outdated numbers that peak oil theorists like Richard Heinberg wrote about years ago.

    Mainstream, mass market silicon PV panels today cost about half what they cost in 2008, and 100 times less than much less efficient panels cost in 1977. The cost of installed PV systems dropped 15 percent in 2013 alone — that’s one reason why solar accounted for 29 percent of new US electricity generation capacity in 2013, up from 10 percent in 2012, second only to natural gas. More solar capacity has been deployed in the USA in the last 18 months than in the previous 30 years.

    Some references from the Solar Energy Industries Association, if you are interested in following up:

    http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-market-insight-2013-q3

    http://www.seia.org/news/new-report-us-solar-market-grows-41-has-record-year-2013

    Regarding wind power, a February 2012 report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that “Recent declines in turbine prices & improved technology have reduced the estimated LCOE [levelized cost of energy] of wind; LCOE for projects being planned today in fixed resource areas is estimated to be at an all-time low … the LCOE for 2012-2013 projects is estimated to be as much as ~24% and ~39% lower than the previous low in 2002-2003 …”

    PDF available at:

    http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/wind-energy-costs-2-2012_0.pdf

    The American Wind Energy Association reports that “American wind power topped 4 percent of the U.S. power grid for the first time last year and has delivered 30 percent of all new generating capacity for the last five years. In Iowa and South Dakota, wind power now exceeds 25 percent of total electricity production. In nine states it provided more than 12 percent and in 17 states, more than five percent … In a 2010 study, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reported over 10 million MW of wind resource in the U.S., enough to power the equivalent of the nation’s total electricity needs 10 times over.”

    With minimal and unreliable support from public policy, both wind and solar power are growing rapidly and are already making major contributions to eliminating GHG emissions from electricity generation. Much more is possible, and much faster progress is possible, with support from appropriate public policies.

  115. SecularAnimist:

    Tony Weddle wrote: “Using adjectives like ‘plummeting’ and ‘skyrocketing’ does nothing to improve your argument.”

    By the way, it is interesting — and disappointing — that your response complains about the “adjectives” I used, and completely ignores the two peer-reviewed studies on the EROI of solar and wind that I linked to and excerpted, which were a direct and substantive response to your comment “regarding EROI and energy needed for our industrial economy”.

  116. prokaryotes:

    Re THC and abrupt developments.

    Rapid Reductions in North Atlantic Deep Water During the Peak of the Last Interglacial Period [..] southward expansions of polar water influence, suggesting that a buoyancy threshold for convective instability was triggered by freshwater and circum-Arctic cryosphere changes. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6175/1129.abstract

  117. SecularAnimist:

    Joe Romm has a good article today discussing the relationship between global warming and the California drought:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/07/3370481/california-drought/

  118. Killian:

    Re 18 SA: “What experts who have studied the issue have found — and have detailed in numerous studies — is that we can, if we choose, eliminate ALL fossil fuel use much more quickly and easily and at much lower cost than most people realize, with very large reductions achievable up front.”

    And I’ve seen studies that show renewables can’t power industrial civilisation, as we know it, because of the low net energy return (even if the resources were available to build out a big enough infrastructure). Of course, air travel and international trade, as we know it, would be impossible.

    The problem is the failure to do a proper resource assessment to determine what the planet can provide vs. what we wish we could keep. However, there is more immediate problem, no? Rapid Climate Change? So, the question is, what does THAT require of us? So, what is the problem, what are the resources? Stop talking about anything else until you figure this out first.

    Let’s take the 2nd first. What level of GHG’s equals a (relatively) stable climate, say similar to the period 1 CE to 1850 CE? The best proxy for this is Arctic Sea Ice. If you check the historical extent record you see it measurably started falling @ 1953. CO2 at that time? 315, iirc.

    Now, we all accept climate has a 30 year lag, roughly, due to ocean overturning, yes? So, we can guestimate the conditions for ice melt really were being put in place by 1900 – 1925. What was CO2 then? @ 300. Took a while for the extra heat to warm the oceans is my take. Atmospheric temps probably had little to do with ASI melt till the warming restarted in the 1970′s.

    We also have a couple million years of the Ice Age in which CO2 never went above @ 300. These two extremely well-correlated facts frame where we must be. Anything above that risks continued warming, even if at a slower rate than today – if, say, we could get to and hold at 350 ppm.

    So, 300 is the threshold. What can we do at 300 ppm without going above 300? A lot less than we do today, at least in terms of industry. We can intentionally raise the level of sequestration to fudge this a bit so consumption might be able to be a bit above what equaled a steady 300 ppm back then, but consumption must drop to something between 1700 and 1800.

    The more informed here will recognize innovation, rediscovered old tech and new tech combined can give us a higher standard of living than in, say, 1850, but let’s set this issue aside for brevity.

    The fact is, consumption must fall dramatically to 1. get back to <300 ppm and can then 2. rebound a bit to maintain < 300. Those who frame this discussion in terms of maintaining current productive ability are quite simply either ignoring or dismissing facts we cannot afford to dismiss.

    The resources simply do not exist for even an extensive "renewables" energy system. We have plenty of resources for a sustainable lifestyle. Many of you will likely confuse that with a caveman-like existence, which is not the case.

    Still, even if you only frame this in terms of CO2 levels, it is clear consumption must fall dramatically for **at least some extended period of time,** and if we are going to bother for a century or so, why not just keep that up?

    Nature is framing the conversation for you. Listen.

  119. Eric Swanson:

    prokaryotes #113 – Here’s one:

    Perovich et al., “Increasing solar heating of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas, 1979–2005: Attribution and role in the ice-albedo feedback”, GRL 2007, which says:

    “Pegau and Paulson [2001] determined that while the albedo of open water in Arctic pack ice had modest variations due to solar zenith angle and cloud conditions, a value of 0.07 was typical and representative. The ocean albedo is set equal to 0.07 for all calculations in this paper.”

    Sad to say, that’s not what Pegau and Paulson concluded. They claim higher albedo for high zenith angles, agreeing with work published by Paine in 1972, which also as indicated in your #101 Wiki link above. Perovich has done lots of data collection which shows the effects of surface melt ponds on albedo, as also shown by Pistone et al. in figure 3 of their recent PNAS paper: “Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice”.

  120. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 7 Mar 2014 @ 6:13 AM, ~#104

    In this comment you admit that your plan is not viable, so why do you keep repeating it? You say that the “absence of targets are the foundation of windfalls.” In other words, nobody should profit from a shift to renewables. Tell this to your local photovoltaic retailer and installer. It seems to me that one of the more possible scenarios out of our mess is for a bunch of corporations to make outrageous profits in the switch to renewable energy. They have the resources and power to get the job done and they could be revved up like Franklin D. Roosevelt did to alter the U.S. economy for WWII. Do you really think that outrageous profit is worse than apocalypse?

    Finally, there is no point in future climate warming that suddenly produces an apocalypse (biblical end of everything). Instead there would be a graded response to increasing CO2. The more positive changes we make now will result in more future ecological diversity and fewer human deaths from starvation and war. Just quit stalling. Again, what “personal deprivation and hardships required to avoid the climate Apocalypse” are you currently volunteering for the cause?

    Steve

  121. Dan Bloom:

    CLI FI COMMUNITY ALERT: cli fi writers seminar March 21 – #clifi – http://www.vabook.org/site14/program/details.php?eventID=85

  122. barry:

    I’ve been reading up on studies about the jet stream and the polar vortex (yup, someone on the internet is wrong). Recent explanations about the weakening of the jet stream from a reduced equator to pole temperature gradient tie extreme weather in the northern mid-latitudes to AGW. But the history of research on the atmospheric circulation seems to conflict with recent theory – which I assume is driven mainly by Jennifer Francis and colleagues, and which is what US science advisor Holdren is referring to when he says there is a growing body of evidence linking meandering jet stream behaviour to Arctic temperature amplification. Prior to the 2010s, it seems that it was expected the polar vortex would strengthen under global warming, factoring GHGs, temperature, ozone and sea ice.

    As the topic has received quite a bit of press due to winter’s weather events in the UK and US, it would be great to have a realclimate post on recent developments and historical context of the science. My immediate interest is to understand the scientific validity of the recent hypothesis, and more generally to understand the processes and interactions affecting NH atmospheric circulation, particularly the jet stream and polar vortex. If I had my druthers, I’d love to see Jennifer Francis or other expert do an overview. But I’d be greatful for any comments/pointers. (Hank, I’m still trawling google scholar, checking the cite lists too, but if you have any tips, bring them on)

  123. simon abingdon:

    #109 Ray Ladbury “Just a wild thought.”

    Not a wild thought Ray; that would be uncharacteristic. Rather, it’s yet another reasonable question that needs answering before climatology can ever claim to be a mature science.

  124. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #120,

    “In this comment you admit that your plan is not viable, so why do you keep repeating it?”

    What I said specifically was “the plan I designed to avoid the climate Apocalypse is the only one I have seen that will meet the required objectives/targets. The main parts are not viable because the citizens and politicians of the planet have made an unstated decision that they are not willing to endure the privations necessary to meet the objectives.”

    I also said “The plans I have seen that are viable will not even come close to meeting the targets or objectives. What is the value of a viable plan that will lead you straight into the climate Apocalypse, other than the Windfall it will provide for its supporters and sponsors?”. I could ask you the same question: why do you and SA continually repeat the call for actions that will not even come close to meeting the targets or objectives?

    “You say that the “absence of targets are the foundation of windfalls.” In other words, nobody should profit from a shift to renewables.”

    Again, the SA tactic of attributing statements to me I never made. What my statement says is that if you are proposing actions that you have not shown will meet the targets necessary to avoid the worst of the climate Apocalypse, their effect will be to create Windfalls for their proponents. Why else would anyone propose such actions? In any other field of endeavor, people usually propose actions that will solve a problem, and the proposal usually is required to demonstrate that. In the climate change amelioration business, the usual rules don’t seem to apply. You/SA propose actions with no evidence they will reach the necessary targets. In fact, Anderson has shown with – gasp – actual computations that the supply side is insufficient to stay within 2 C as peak temperature; fossil demand reductions are REQUIRED. If that’s the case for 2 C, fossil demand reductions must be the predominant mode to come even close to 1 C.

    “It seems to me that one of the more possible scenarios out of our mess is for a bunch of corporations to make outrageous profits in the switch to renewable energy. They have the resources and power to get the job done and they could be revved up like Franklin D. Roosevelt did to alter the U.S. economy for WWII. Do you really think that outrageous profit is worse than apocalypse?”

    Oh, don’t worry, a bunch of corporations (and their myriad front men) will make outrageous profits in the switch to renewable energy, and nuclear (if we go that route), and geo-engineering (if we go that route), and whatever other technologies can be foisted on an unsuspecting public as the ‘solution’. I don’t have problem with them making profit, as long as the actions resulted in avoiding the worst of the climate Apocalypse. Unfortunately, all we will get is their making the profit, and we the citizenry heading directly into the climate Apocalypse. The choice is not between profit and Apocalypse, since the profit will occur and the actions will have little impact on avoiding the Apocalypse.

    Actions in the absence of targets are the foundation of Windfalls. My plan, stated in #63 and the only one on the climate blogs that could avoid the worst of the climate Apocalypse if implemented, has a lifestyle maintenance component. That includes rapid implementation of low-carbon technologies, energy efficiency improvement technologies, and other measures we have known about for years. Someone can obviously implement the lifestyle maintenance component of my plan only and achieve what you want. It won’t avoid the climate Apocalypse, but it will insure that a few are in ‘fat city’. The demand reduction is the essential component at this late point in time, and much of it could be implemented starting today.

  125. Ray Ladbury:

    Simon,
    Horse puckey! Climate science is older than evolution, older than electromagnetism, older than thermodynamics. The prediction that we would warm the planet is older than relativity, older than plate tectonics, and 11 years older than Al Gore’s father.

    The basic elements of the consensus theory of Earth’s climate haven’t changed since about the 1950s. Anthropogenic warming is an inevitable consequence of that theory if we insist on dumping powerful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

    There are things we do not know, but at the same time, there are things we can take to the bank. A scientist would know the difference. Don’t mistake your own ignorance for global ignorance.

  126. DIOGENES:

    Killian #118,

    “The fact is, consumption must fall dramatically to 1. get back to <300 ppm and can then 2. rebound a bit to maintain < 300. Those who frame this discussion in terms of maintaining current productive ability are quite simply either ignoring or dismissing facts we cannot afford to dismiss."

    You are 100% correct. Unfortunately, as with my plan in #63 that requires severe fossil demand reduction to achieve its targets, that's not the message even posters on a climate advocacy blog want to hear, much less the general public. The plans that will offer even a chance of avoiding the worst of the climate Apocalypse are not salable because of their hard demand reductions (and ensuing global economic collapse), and the plans that are salable will insure an express ride to the Apocalypse. We know what has to be done; is there any way you see to get this accomplished in the real-world?

  127. prokaryotes:

    Eric Swanson: During summer, when there’s sunlight in the Arctic, the zenith angle for the incoming solar energy is quite large. Thus, under clear sky conditions when the energy beaming down is at a maximum, the albedo of water can be quite high, – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/unforced-variations-mar-2014/comment-page-2/#comments

    Yes, but for how long is the incoming Sun’s ray angle actually in that “pseudo-albedo” position? What are the actual angle’s you referring to and what is considered “albedo-like” angle? Further, you’ve to factor in inter-annual variability of sea ice thickness and extent. I would assume study models or observation calculations will take this into account and estimate the mean. You really need to provide more explicit findings – and not from 2007, since the science is advancing fast.

    When you plot observational sea ice data to satellite measurements of albedo you should be able to verify the actual impact, thus your arguments in regard to albedo changes (or cloud cover) in time and space might be interesting but doesn’t change the general assumptions, the observations.

    However, because extra energy warmth surface water, you would require to take water samples from below to really understand the entire situation. “Will ocean heat uptake come back to haunt us?”

    On another note, freshwater influx creates a cold water lid (even a bulge) in the Arctic – protecting sea ice to some extent. But how fast is the Arctic water warming beneath the freshwater lid? And what happens if wind changes drive warmer waters through the lid? And what exactly happens if the freshwater spills into other Oceans?

  128. prokaryotes:

    Eric mentioned the “Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice” study, here more data:

    Significance

    The Arctic sea ice retreat has been one of the most dramatic climate changes in recent decades. Nearly 50 y ago it was predicted that a darkening of the Arctic associated with disappearing ice would be a consequence of global warming. Using satellite measurements, this analysis directly quantifies how much the Arctic as viewed from space has darkened in response to the recent sea ice retreat. We find that this decline has caused 6.4 ± 0.9 W/m2 of radiative heating since 1979, considerably larger than expectations from models and recent less direct estimates. Averaged globally, this albedo change is equivalent to 25% of the direct forcing from CO2 during the past 30 y.

    Abstract

    The decline of Arctic sea ice has been documented in over 30 y of satellite passive microwave observations. The resulting darkening of the Arctic and its amplification of global warming was hypothesized almost 50 y ago but has yet to be verified with direct observations. This study uses satellite radiation budget measurements along with satellite microwave sea ice data to document the Arctic-wide decrease in planetary albedo and its amplifying effect on the warming. The analysis reveals a striking relationship between planetary albedo and sea ice cover, quantities inferred from two independent satellite instruments. We find that the Arctic planetary albedo has decreased from 0.52 to 0.48 between 1979 and 2011, corresponding to an additional 6.4 ± 0.9 W/m2 of solar energy input into the Arctic Ocean region since 1979. Averaged over the globe, this albedo decrease corresponds to a forcing that is 25% as large as that due to the change in CO2 during this period, considerably larger than expectations from models and other less direct recent estimates. Changes in cloudiness appear to play a negligible role in observed Arctic darkening, thus reducing the possibility of Arctic cloud albedo feedbacks mitigating future Arctic warming. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/02/13/1318201111.abstract | doi: 10.1073/pnas.1318201111

    So Eric, Pegau and Paulson was from 2001 and they used melt ponds and models? So why relay only on them on your argument?

  129. prokaryotes:

    Btw if you type the name into the search the second thing which pops up is WUWT and they even offer the paper for download, lol.

  130. prokaryotes:

    In any case here is a legit download of the paper

    K. Pistone, I. Eisenman, and V. Ramanathan (2014). Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111, 3322-3326. http://eisenman.ucsd.edu/reprints/Pistone-Eisenman-Ramanathan-2014.pdf

  131. Dave Peters:

    California got normal rain in February, in parts, but March is not looking wet. The subject is likely to linger this year. Here are some current WH thoughts:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/critique_of_pielke_jr_statements_on_drought.pdf

  132. Eric Swanson:

    prokaryotes #127, 128, 129, 130 – Your rants are noted. Clearly, sea-ice with melt ponds will have lower albedo than sea-ice with snow cover and the data show this. Also, I don’t disagree with the overall finding that there’s an Arctic Amplification due to the difference in albedo between sea-ice and open water. My questioning is about the size of that difference and the resulting effects.

    I have no clue what you mean when you write “pseudo-albedo” and “albedo-like” angle. The zenith angle varies thru the day at the top of the atmosphere and can be calculated for any position minute-by-minute for any date thru the year.

    It’s been known for many years that the surface waters of Arctic Ocean are freshened by melting sea-ice and runoff from rivers. That does not impede the formation of new sea-ice, once the air temperature falls in Winter. When the sea-ice forms later in the year, the freezing process rejects brine and thus the resulting sea-ice has a lower salt content than the surface water below.

  133. Hank Roberts:

    > “Prior to the 2010s, it seems that it was expected”

    Suggestion: Post a brief summary and links to what you’ve found so far that sums up, to attract the attention of the real scientists who know more and might join the conversation (the standard advice from http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html‎ )

    > “my plan … avoid”

    Good advice for the 1950s, woefully outdated now — we’re well into it.
    “Don’t go there” is helpful before trouble. Too late for that now.
    But I expect everyone’s glad you’ve caught up that far. Keep reading. Remember, others have been through this, you’re rediscovering what’s known.

  134. SecularAnimist:

    To speak of “consumption” without specifying consumption of WHAT, to speak of “growth” without specifying growth of WHAT, to speak of “demand” without specifying demand for WHAT, to speak of “reductions” without specifying reductions in WHAT — this is obfuscatory, not illuminating.

  135. Peter Shepherd:

    A British geologist & TV nature show host said (~ 2009) that we’re now burning 3 million years worth of paleo-historic fossil (or it might have been oil only) production per year. I emailed him to ask where he got these figures, he said he’d get back with details from those who sent him the original calculations but never heard back. Does this sound right for either all fossil, or simply oil paleo-production/present consumption rates?

  136. prokaryotes:

    Eric Swanson, if you take my comments as ranting then you’ve misunderstood something. “Like-Albedo” stands for the supposed larger albedo of watery areas you allege might exist during summer time when the sun is in it’s zenith, with areas considered ice free (-15%), besides the latest assessments from satellites. I asked you about any evidence to back up your arguments, but you only cite some references which do not support your questions.

  137. Pete Dunkelberg:

    As a warm up for our annual model-data comparison enjoy the Climate Model Bake-Off. It links to a pdf you get for free. In that pdf one thing does not look obviously right to me: “a run with an instantaneous quadrupling of CO2 to derive the equilibrium climate sensitivity;”. Doubtless team RC can explain why this is a good approach. Is sensitivity the same at all starting temperatures? Does the pathway to a certain CO2 concentration make a difference? How is potential Arctic carbon release handled?

  138. deconvoluter:

    Re: #105 prokaryotes. Daisy World.

    Clouds = white daisies ?? (i.e. all clouds), incorrectly implying a world with low climate sensitivity?

    Is this neglect of cirrus clouds and long wavelengths due to advice given by James Lovelock or Richard Lindzen? I think it may confuse those trying to learn.

  139. Pete Dunkelberg:

    Global warming and changes in drought.
    Kevin E. Trenberth, Aiguo Dai, Gerard van der Schrier Philip D. Jones Jonathan Barichivich Keith R. Briffa, Justin Sheffield 2013

    Note that Dai and Sheffield are co-authors.

  140. prokaryotes:

    Climate Change Pushes World to Brink of Food Crisis

    From 2013 but still worth watching

    Slaying the “Zombies” of Climate Science: Dr. Marshall Shepherd at TEDxAtlanta

  141. Thomas:

    Pter @135. That sounds ball-parky (to coin a phrase) correct. The reasoning is that the deposits are mostly from the last 300 million years, and we are consuming them in the century timeframe. Of course the deposition rate was far from constant, and much buried carbon has been lost due to geologic processes, so I don’t think anything which attempts to be more accurate than order of magnitude makes sense.

  142. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Peter Shepherd — 8 Mar 2014 @ 1:38 PM, ~#135

    This is a good start if you want to know more about fossil carbon formation and the carbon cycle.
    http://old.dgeo.udec.cl/~gshaffer/MSCfiles/Literature/BernerNature2003.pdf

    Steve

  143. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 8 Mar 2014 @ 6:32 AM, ~#124 and elsewhere

    OK let’s summarize. Folks who advocate a fast switch to nonpolluting energy starting as soon as possible are acting like shills of carbon polluting industries because this isn’t viable as a complete solution to the problem. In contrast, you have a plan that you have admitted has a nonviable principal component and thereby is not a complete solution to the problem, but you think that you are not acting like a shill of polluting industries.

    I am still waiting for examples of demand reduction sacrifice that you insist others should undergo and if you are setting a good example of this.

    Steve

  144. barry:

    Hank@133

    Your link no longer exists, but thanks for the suggestion. I’ll try again.

    Below is a list of papers proposing that a shallower equator to pole temperature gradient due to GHG-incurred Arctic amplification may be responsinble for a weakened polar jet stream and more southerly excursions.

    I am curious to know how robust the theory is – something I can’t figure out just from trawling google scholar. US science advisor John Holdren refers to a “growing body of evidence” as he explained why extreme weather events in northern mid-latitudes may be linked to anthropogenic global warming, saying he believed the “odds are good” that this will occur more frequently in future.

    ——————————————————————————-

    Winter Northern Hemisphere weather patterns remember summer Arctic sea-ice extent – Francis et al (2009)
    doi:10.1029/2009GL037274

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation changes are associated with the recent loss of Arctic sea ice – Overland & Wang (2010)
    doi:10.1111/j.1600-0870.2009.00421.x

    Warm Arctic–cold continents: climate impacts of the newly open Arctic Sea – Overland et al (2011)
    doi:10.3402/polar.v30i0.15787

    Impact of a Reduced Arctic Sea Ice Cover on Ocean and Atmospheric Properties – Sedlacek et al (2011)
    doi:10.1175/2011JCLI3904.1

    Impact of sea ice cover changes on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric winter circulation – Jaiser et al (2012)
    doi:10.3402/tellusa.v64i0.11595

    The recent shift in early summer Arctic atmospheric circulation – Overland et al (2012)
    doi:10.1029/2012GL053268

    Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes – Francis & Vavrus (2012)
    doi:10.1029/2012GL051000

    The Atmospheric Response to Three Decades of Observed Arctic Sea Ice Loss – Screen et al (2013)
    doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00063.1

    Cold winter extremes in northern continents linked to Arctic sea ice loss – Tang et al (2013)
    doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/014036

    Warm Arctic, cold continents: A common pattern related to Arctic sea ice melt, snow advance, and extreme winter weather – Cohen et al (2013)
    doi:10.5670/oceanog.2013.70

    ——————————————————————————-

    These developments are somewhat antithetical to predictions made in the 90s and 2000s, when the polar vortex was in a strong phase (positive AO). Eg,

    ——————————————————————————-

    Simulation of recent northern winter climate trends by greenhouse-gas forcing – Shindell et al (1999)
    doi:10.1038/20905

    TAR 2001 – Ch 9.3.5.4
    “A few studies have shown increasingly positive trends in the indices of the NAO/AO or the AAO in simulations with increased greenhouse gases, although this is not true in all models, and the magnitude and character of the changes varies
    across models.”

    Dynamics of Recent Climate Change in the Arctic – Moritz et al (2002)
    doi:10.1126/science.1076522

    AR4 2007 – Ch 10.3.5.6
    “A plausible explanation for the cause of the upward NAM trend simulated by the models is an intensifi cation of the polar vortex resulting from both tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling mainly due to the increase in greenhouse gases (Shindell et al., 2001; Sigmond et al., 2004; Rind et al.,2005a).”

    AR4 2007 – Ch 11.8.1.1
    “In the future, global models project a positive trend in the NAO/NAM during the 21st century”

    ——————————————————————————

    Because of the press on the recent weather extremes in the NH and focus on the polar jet stream, including Holdren’s public remarks giving credence to the hypothesis that global warming may be responsible for weakening the polar jet, there is greater public consciousness of the topic (and some minor controversy). A realclimate overview with some historical context would be useful. I note Gavin was a co-author of Shindell et al 1999.

    Once again, any comments/leads greatfully received.

  145. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #143,

    “OK let’s summarize. Folks who advocate a fast switch to nonpolluting energy starting as soon as possible are acting like shills of carbon polluting industries because this isn’t viable as a complete solution to the problem.”

    Again, the Secular approach of attributing statements to me I never made. The goal of rapid switching to renewables WITHOUT STRONG DEMAND REDUCTION, which is what you/Secular are proposing, will yield Windfalls for the proponents (and their front men), but will result in an express ride to the climate Apocalypse. Why would anyone support such a losing proposition; that’s like investing in a Yugo after it’s been on the market for five years!

    “In contrast, you have a plan that you have admitted has a nonviable principal component and thereby is not a complete solution to the problem, but you think that you are not acting like a shill of polluting industries.”

    My plan is the only self-consistent plan on the climate blogs that will offer any chance of avoiding the worst of the climate Apocalypse. As listed in #63, it requires severe fossil demand reduction to achieve its targets. That’s not the message the Type 2 deniers who post on a climate advocacy blog want to hear, much less the general public. The plans that will offer even a chance of avoiding the worst of the climate Apocalypse are not salable because of their hard demand reductions (and ensuing global economic collapse), and the plans that are salable (such as yours/Secular’s) will insure an express ride to the climate Apocalypse. Now, if you had any interest in avoiding the worst of the Apocalypse, you might think about ways in which my plan could be made viable. It’s the only way out!

    “I am still waiting for examples of demand reduction sacrifice that you insist others should undergo and if you are setting a good example of this.”

    Secular must have sent in a new play from the sidelines: divert! I’m not playing that game; I remain focused on avoiding the climate Apocalypse.

  146. DIOGENES:

    Pk #140,

    http://guymcpherson.com/2014/03/presenting-in-olympia-washington/

    McPherson’s response to a general question on extinction; relates to your post “Climate Change Pushes World to Brink of Food Crisis”. Do you agree or disagree with his response; why?

    Q: “He mentions 3.5 C by the 2030′s means extinction but does not explain very well why or by what manner. People want to know exactly (and specifically) what events will cause extinction, not just that humans have not been around at those temperatures in the past. That is not sufficient explanation. They feel we’re more advanced so we could develop technologies to survive higher temperatures than our ancestors.”

    A: “It’s about habitat for humans, not about temperature per se. As I’ve explained frequently, we need food. Our food comes from two sources: oceans and land. We’ve lost half the phytoplankton in the ocean at 0.85 C above baseline. At 3.5 C above baseline, we’ll lose all or nearly all the phytoplankton, the base of the marine food web. Also at 3.5 C, we’ll lose habitat for all or nearly all land plants because of temperature fluctuations and denaturing of proteins.”

    [Response: This is complete nonsense. 'Denaturing of proteins' does not occur with a 3.5ºC change in global mean temperatures. The Jurassic would have been a rather tough time if that were even approximately true. - gavin]

  147. DIOGENES:

    Gavin #146,

    Appreciate the comments. However, I find it interesting that you offered immediate comments on a question I raised with Prokaryotes about McPherson’s statement , but neither you, nor any of the other moderators, have offered any comments on the plan I put forth that might offer a chance to ameliorate climate change (#63). Any reason?

    [Response: I prefer to talk about stuff I know something about. On other topics, it's usually best to listen. - gavin]

  148. prokaryotes:

    Diogenes, as much as i welcome strong messaging,Guy McPherson lost his credibility with his fatalistic one way messaging of unpreventable doom. And surprise, he plays exactly the role the denial machine needs for their alarmist claims. Just ask yourself why would he bother if everything is set into stone already?

    See, we only just begun to experience the emissions we helped to emit 40 years ago

  149. SecularAnimist:

    Recommended reading for anyone interested in multiple, detailed studies with real numbers attached on what it will take for clean energy to make a major contribution to ending GHG emissions:

    Green Bank Academy Provides Lessons Learned, Direction For States Looking To Help Finance Clean Energy
    By James Lester
    CleanTechnica.com
    March 9 2014

    Excerpt:

    The clean energy sector, backed by innovative entrepreneurs, investors, and government policymakers, has seen enormous growth over the past 6 years. US solar power capacity recently surpassed 10 gigawatts as the price of solar panels has fallen some 75% during the past 5 years … Wind installations have surged past 60 gigawatts and non-hydro renewable energy sources accounted for more than 99% of all new US electrical generating capacity installed during January. These numbers are spurring new investment from the private sector, but this investment is not enough to close the gap and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

    Ceres, a coalition of investors, industries, and environmental groups that advocates for sustainable business development, recently completed an analysis looking at closing this gap, identified as the Clean Trillion. In order to limit global warming to 2°C and avoid the worst effects of climate change, the world needs to invest an additional $36 trillion in clean energy, an average of $1 trillion per year for the next 36 years.

    Likewise, groups such as the World Economic Forum (WEF), the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the International Energy Association (IEA) have produced studies of the shortfall of current clean energy investment. Everyone agrees that closing this gap will be an enormous challenge, and will only be possible if businesses, investors, and policymakers join forces.

    To put the Ceres figure of $1 trillion per year in perspective, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2013, total military spending by the nations of the world in 2012 was 1.75 trillion dollars, with just the top six spenders accounting for more than 1 trillion of that.

  150. Kevin O'Neill:

    #146 — From Global Climate Change and Agricultural ProductionTemperature effects on the rates of biochemical reactions may be modelled as the product of two functions, an exponentially increasing rate of the forward reaction and an exponential decay resulting from enzyme denaturation as temperatures increase (Figure 6. la). The greatest concern is whether it is possible to increase the upper limit of enzyme stability to prevent denaturation.

    Failure of only one critical enzyme system can cause death of an organism. This fact may explain why most crop species survive sustained high temperatures up to a relatively narrow range, 40 to 45°C. The relationship between the thermal environment for an organism and the thermal dependence of enzymes has been well established. (Senioniti et al., 1986).

    Gavin — Wouldn’t 3.5ºC global increase push temperatures in many areas above the denaturization threshhold for dangerous periods of time?

    [Response: Tropical temperatures will rise less, and while I'm certainly not saying there is no affect on agriculture, most places currently used for agriculture have a long way to go before they are above 45ºC on a regular basis. - gavin]

  151. Kevin McKinney:

    Trying to avoid getting completely sucked into the more tedious back-and-forth that’s been going on lately, but still participating in some way, let me offer some thoughts on what a worthwhile ‘Plan To Avoid Climate Catastrophe’ ought to include.

    And in advance: sorry, but this is going to be wordier than I (and almost certainly you too, dear reader) would like.

    For me, #1 is action items. Yes, a strategic vision is important. But it very often happens that you do not, at the beginning of a planning process, know what the solutions to every necessary step ought to be. Ideally, you determine what the unknowns are, and that they are, in principle, feasibly solvable. (Hideous verbal formulation that, but you probably know what I mean.) You can then place the task of devising their solutions in the appropriate places in the ‘to-do’ list, and proceed with the task.

    However, you don’t always have even that luxury: it is not infrequently the case that problems cannot be determined to be solvable. What people do when this is the case–other than just giving up, which may be a good approach for some problems, but not, I think we all agree, for the problem of climate change–is to assume that the problem can be solved somehow, and to continue with the task in hand.

    As an example of the latter, consider the problem of trying to arrive at a workable solution for some very tough political conflict–say, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. There are points of irreducible conflict, which can likely never be ‘solved’ but which could potentially be ‘set aside’ if both parties had enough incentive to do that. So what diplomats have done is to define a ‘roadmap’ of the ‘peace process’ which gives structure to negotiations, and to begin with what are called ‘confidence building’ measures, where easier agreements can be made and then demonstrated to work in practice. This builds the psychological foundation for tackling the tougher challenges–including those for which no solution has yet been envisioned.

    It can work–though it hasn’t, so far, in the Middle East, unfortunately–at least, if we mean by ‘work’ the reaching of a final agreement.

    To my mind, we will be forced to use this kind of approach to the climate crisis. (Actually, that’s exactly the kind of approach that the Kyoto Accord took, in many ways–and yes, I share the disappointment with that process felt by most of those concerned with the crisis.) But there are simply too many unknowns to be able to plan a ‘clean’ through-strategy. We don’t know what we can do technologically; we don’t know what we can do economically; we don’t know what we can do institutionally; and we don’t know what we can do politically. Therefore there will have to be many points at which we adjust this or that along the way.

    For example, what will happen with the Kyoto process? Are we going to see an agreement that helps? Or will it become increasingly irrelevant with various multilateral initiatives supplanting it? Many jurisdictions are ahead of the global curve and are taking action at their level–think the BC carbon tax, the German energiewende, or the Connecticut Green Bank. There’s a lot going on that most of us never become aware of, despite the sharing of information here and elsewhere:

    http://www.globeinternational.org/studies/legislation/climate

    And that brings up another point: that of who ‘we’ is. Most obviously, the blogosphere (not even RC!) is going to ‘solve the crisis.’ What happens in the real world is not going to be dictated by any one actor, leader, understanding, or agreement.

    If we want to be useful, we will think not of telling everybody else what to do–enjoyable though we might find that–but of sharing information and perspectives, advocating for policies we find to be promising, and educating folks who haven’t yet got this stuff on their radar screens. (And that’s a surprising number of folks, I think–in that sense even the denialists play a useful role as foil in the public space: they stimulate the debate, which provides seemingly unending opportunities to educate. Media loves that stuff…)

    But let’s include action points in the planning. It’s pointless and discouraging to say “Well, the good news is we know what to do, but the bad news is, we can’t possibly do it.” And it’s untrue, since what we can ‘possibly do’ remains very much to be determined.

  152. Kevin McKinney:

    As a terser codicil to my ramblings above: what I think Action Plan Point #1 ought to be right now is this:

    All of us should do everything in our power to encourage the increasing adoption of non-carbon power sources. I think that renewables are the closest thing to ‘the solution,’ but if Ed Greisch wants to forward me a petition in favor of making sure that the plant Vogtle nuclear expansion currently going on in my state is competed, I’ll gladly sign. (No nuclear vs renewable sniping.) That would also include institutional initiatives such as carbon taxes or permitting plans, policies of divestment from fossil fuel investments, direct political pressure, and the ending of fossil fuel subsidies around the world.

    If we can do the best possible job of de-carbonizing our energy economy, starting from where we are right now, we will then be a long way down the road to knowing just how much ‘self-sacrifice’ we need to invoke–and we will have avoiding increasing the amount needed for survival through gratuitous delay of the ‘action steps.’

  153. SecularAnimist:

    Recommended reading for anyone interested in the potential of organic agriculture and forestry to draw down the already dangerous anthropogenic excess of atmospheric CO2 by sequestering carbon in soil and biomass:

    Soil as Carbon Storehouse: New Weapon in Climate Fight?
    By Judith D. Schwartz
    Yale Environment 360
    March 4 2014

    Excerpt:

    “… the world’s cultivated soils have lost between 50 and 70 percent of their original carbon stock, much of which has oxidized upon exposure to air to become CO2. Now, armed with rapidly expanding knowledge about carbon sequestration in soils, researchers are studying how land restoration programs in places like the former North American prairie, the North China Plain, and even the parched interior of Australia might help put carbon back into the soil …

    Many scientists say that regenerative agricultural practices can turn back the carbon clock, reducing atmospheric CO2 while also boosting soil productivity and increasing resilience to floods and drought. Such regenerative techniques include planting fields year-round in crops or other cover, and agroforestry that combines crops, trees, and animal husbandry.”

  154. Thomas:

    To put in perspective Secular Animists #149 figue of $1T per year. Current investment in fossil fuels is north of $600M per year. Our spending is already in the right ballpark, the problem is that so much is on the wrong things. Its not a matter of can renewables do the job, its a matter of can we muster the will required to make them do the job.

  155. SecularAnimist:

    Kevin McKinney wrote: “let me offer some thoughts on what a worthwhile ‘Plan To Avoid Climate Catastrophe’ ought to include …”

    The first thing that such a plan needs to do is to recognize that ending GHG emissions and drawing down the already dangerous excess of GHGs to preindustrial levels (350 ppm or less) requires not one, but MANY plans.

    Even looking only at US emissions, it is obvious that we need a multitude of plans to address multiple aspects of the problem.

    A reasonable place to start is to quantify the problem. A good place to start doing that is the EPA’s U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory, an annual report which is submitted to the United Nations in accordance with the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    There you will see that emissions from fossil fuel combustion account for 78 percent (weighted for global warming potential, GWP) of US emissions in 2012 and that “The five major fuel consuming sectors contributing to CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion are electricity generation, transportation, industrial, residential, and commercial.”

    So there you have the broad map of where you need to look for opportunities to make large reductions very quickly. Each of those opportunities requires a specific, detailed plan if those deductions are to be realized.

    You will also find that “Electricity generators consumed 32 percent of total U.S. energy uses from fossil fuels and emitted 40 percent of the CO2 from fossil fuel combustion in 2012.”

    Electricity generation is dominated by coal, and consumes almost all the coal burned in the USA. And coal produces disproportionately large emissions even compared to other fossil fuels. So clearly, coal-fired electricity generation is a HUGE part of the problem, and the task of eliminating coal requires multiple plans in and of itself.

    Likewise, you will find that “transportation activities accounted for 28 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2012″ with the largest sources being “passenger cars (43.2 percent), light duty trucks, which include sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and minivans (18.1 percent), freight trucks (22.2 percent), rail (2.6 percent), and commercial aircraft (6.3 percent)”.

    Transportation is of course dominated by oil, and eliminating — even significantly reducing — oil consumption by the USA’s vast fleet of a quarter billion passenger vehicles requires a whole host of entirely different plans from those involved in eliminating coal.

    And then there are many more plans needed to address emissions at the level of what EPA calls the “end-use sectors” of industrial, residential and commercial fossil fuel use.

    There is a lot of work being done out there in the real world beyond the blogs, to research and develop and enact and implement all these types of plans, for specific emissions sectors, at all levels from residential to corporate to municipal to state to national.

    Recognizing that this is a climate science blog rather than a mitigation-energy-emissions-reduction blog, I appreciate the moderators’ indulgence in allowing occasional links to informative articles about that work.

  156. DIOGENES:

    Pk #148,

    “Diogenes, as much as i welcome strong messaging,Guy McPherson lost his credibility with his fatalistic one way messaging of unpreventable doom.”

    Believe me, I understand McPherson’s credibility issues, and have commented on them myself. Nevertheless, he made one point about losing ~half the phytoplankton that I was able to verify (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/abs/nature09268.html). Then, he made the projections about losing sea and land sources when we hit ~3.5 C, which he did not reference and I was not able to verify. I know you are familiar with the full-spectrum climate change literature, and thought you may have run across relevant articles.

  157. prokaryotes:

    Diogenes, when the study was published in 2010 Joe Romm covered it, i just googled and there was a recent follow up

    The impact of temperature on marine phytoplankton resource allocation and metabolism http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n11/full/nclimate1989.html doi:10.1038/nclimate1989

    A subsequent news release

    One effect of the warming of the oceans will be to depress the growth of plankton, with consequences for fish and other species that depend on it. http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2013/09/plankton-will-suffer-as-oceans-warm/

    Joe Romm covered another related study in january http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/02/3113101/climate-change-starve-deep-sea/
    Study paper: Global reductions in seafloor biomass in response to climate change – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12480/abstract (OA)

    In regards to Oxygen, Scripps Institution Of Oceanography is tracking and observing a decline trend, (though marginal but it hints to increased CO2 sequestration – atmospheric reactions and could mean more.

    This is all very worrying but it is certainly not to late to change these developments. And even if we choose not to change anything, the timescales alleged by McPherson are not scientific .

  158. Meow:

    @135: [quote]A British geologist & TV nature show host said (~ 2009) that we’re now burning 3 million years worth of paleo-historic fossil (or it might have been oil only) production per year…. Does this sound right for either all fossil, or simply oil paleo-production/present consumption rates?[/quote]
    I was going to say that you might indirectly estimate this quantity by considering how long a pulse of CO2 persists in the atmosphere. But then I read IPCC FAR WG1 s.1.2.1, which includes this stunning nugget:
    [quote}The concentration [of CO2 following a pulse] will actually never return to its original value, but reach a new equilibrium level, about 15 percent of the total amount of CO2 emitted will remain in the atmosphere.[/quote]
    This doesn’t seem correct — we have had snowball-earth interludes, possibly caused by long-term weathering drawdowns of CO2 (see, e.g., Pierrehumbert, “Principles of Planetary Climate”, at pp.43-45) — but I think someone more qualified than myself should speak to that question.

    That said, if you could determine N such that CO2 levels following a single year’s current emissions declined to radiative insignificance following N years, perhaps we could be said to be burning N years of fossil carbon per year.

    Perhaps someone with paleo-biological knowledge has an answer based upon fossil fuels’ formation rate.

  159. MARodger:

    Meow @158.
    The longevity of a residual but significant % of a CO2 pulse released into the atmosphere has been described as lasting essentially “forever” by Archer (2005) The actual quote is ‘A better approximation of the lifetime of fossil fuel CO2 for public discussion might be “300 years, plus 25% that lasts forever.”‘
    This site is not given to such restrictions as occur within ‘public discussion’ so perhaps the relevant quote from Archer et al (2009) would be better suited:- “Nowhere in these model results or in the published literature is there any reason to conclude that the effects of CO2 release will be substantially confined to just a few centuries. In contrast, generally accepted modern understanding of the global carbon cycle indicates that climate effects ofCO2 releases to the atmosphere will persist for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years into the future.”
    I would suggest that on a scale relevant to human civilisation, tens of thousands of years is effectively “forever”.

  160. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by SecularAnimist — 9 Mar 2014 @ 1:15 PM, ~#153

    Let’s not forget forests. The older a forest is and the bigger the trees, both carbon sequestration rate and total amount increases. http://andrewsforest.oregonstate.edu/pubs/pdf/pub4835.pdf

    There is an industry promoted assumption that younger forests and trees sequester more carbon but they don’t. They also claim that cutting the forest sequesters carbon because of new tree growth, but this is really, really false.

    Those of us who are carbon ranchers (git along little dogies, yi-ha!) protect (hug) our big trees. Steve

  161. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Kevin McKinney — 9 Mar 2014 @ 12:44 PM and @ 12:57 PM, ~#151 and #152

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Terse is good. You mentioned the self-sacrifice issue and this is something I am interested in. I have already related our comfortable life living on 900 watts of PV solar (producing approximately 20% used by the average household) for ~7 years, and now with the PV system doubled I live in the lap of luxury. From my real world experience there is no sacrifice required from switching to renewable electricity.

    There are those who think of the overindulgence of developed nations, especially the US, as a sort of addiction or slothful behavior, but this notion dodges an important reality. I think that this so-called demand is manufactured by standard business practices. Although some of this involves advertising the next new product, I think it is mostly driven, and sustained, by the silent and insidious effects of planned obsolescence. I am not going to write a thesis about this because there is an excellent video documentary that explains the problem well in an entertaining and well documented format. I have posted this previously but here it is again. The piece is getting a little old because it is centered on the old incandescent light bulb but it is factual and there is much more on other products. It starts with a guy whose printer fails and ends with what he found out about this and how he fixed it. If the following doesn’t link properly search for The Light Bulb Conspiracy on YouTube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfzQzGNYaiU

    Steve

  162. DIOGENES:

    Kevin McKinney #151-152,

    “All of us should do everything in our power to encourage the increasing adoption of non-carbon power sources. I think that renewables are the closest thing to ‘the solution,’…..If we can do the best possible job of de-carbonizing our energy economy, starting from where we are right now, we will then be a long way down the road to knowing just how much ‘self-sacrifice’ we need to invoke–and we will have avoiding increasing the amount needed for survival through gratuitous delay of the ‘action steps.’”

    This is not a plan to avoid the climate Apocalypse, but rather a Declaration of Surrender. All you are doing is negotiating the Date of Execution!

    The first step in any plan is to set the requirements/targets. Then actions/policies that make sense can follow. This is a climate science blog; one would expect the best of modern climate science would be used in establishing the requirements/targets. The desirable target from modern climate science is ~1 C, as Hansen (and others) have stated. The 2 C target is a political target, not a scientific one. Even for this unacceptable level of 2 C, as Spratt points out: “As the graph shows, based on a chart from Mike Raupach at the ANU, at a 66% probability of not exceeding 2C, the carbon emissions budget remaining is around 250 petagrams (PtG or billion tonnes) of CO2. However this “carbon budget” also has A 17% CHANCE OF EXCEEDING 2.5C AND AN 8% CHANCE OF EXCEEDING 3C, which is clearly a risk we would be mad to accept. If one wants a 90% chance of not exceeding 2C, there is NO “carbon budget” left (blue circle). From this point of view, it is time to “Re-do the maths” that Bill McKibben popularised in his Rolling Stone article.”

    At best, there is no carbon budget left, and at worst (depending on the temperature target selected), we have run up substantial carbon debt. So, we won’t have the luxury of being, in your words “a long way down the road to knowing just how much ‘self-sacrifice’ we need to invoke–and we will have avoiding increasing the amount needed for survival through gratuitous delay of the ‘action steps.” We are out of carbon budget; EVERY expenditure of fossil fuel from now on increases our carbon debt, and reduces our chances of avoiding the climate Apocalypse. That’s why severe fossil fuel demand reduction is not a nice-to-have; it is a hard requirement if we are to have any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse.

  163. Kevin McKinney:

    #161–Thanks, Steve.

    I agree with you about the planned obsolescence (though I suspect, based on pure hunch, that it isn’t always entirely planned these days, but is sometimes emergent from ‘the way we do things.’) There was even a bit of a conversation about it here, with a bit of BOTE calculation, based mostly on automobiles and the embodied emissions associated therewith. This topic connects with the question of a zero-[energy]-growth economy, which we ultimately need to be truly sustainable–and which humanity really has apparently only barely begun to think about.

    It’s tough socially and politically because without growth, economic gain or loss becomes a zero sum thing, and questions of equity become extremely pointed indeed. (Kyoto, again, anyone?)

    On another note, Steve, I wonder if you’d be willing to offer some practical pointers (offline, since it would be off-topic) from your experience? It’s not a theoretical question; our household is planning a move within the next couple of years, and de-carbonizing our lifestyle is a significant priority for us. If you care to, you can contact me via my website:

    ispeakmusic.com

  164. Hank Roberts:

    > 133 … link
    Somehow three invisible html characters got into the link, compare what I typed on the page, the clickable text, with what shows up in the browser navigation bar where they show up as stuff with percent signs. Damfino wothappenthere.
    Trying again, the link is: http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

  165. Hank Roberts:

    > Steve, I wonder if you’d be willing to offer some practical
    > pointers (offline, since it would be off-topic)
    Please, if you do, I’d appreciate an invitation.

  166. SecularAnimist:

    Recommended reading — an example of the economic benefits of demand reduction:

    Hospital Energy Managers: Six Steps For Major Energy Savings Via HVAC & Central Plant Peak Performance
    By Manny Rosendo
    CleanTechnica.com
    March 10 2014

    Excerpt:

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), healthcare organizations spend nearly $8.8 billion annually on energy to meet patient needs. In a typical hospital, the biggest consumer of electrical power is the HVAC system, accounting for as much as 42% of total usage. The HVAC system and chiller plant alone can push a hospital’s electric bills close to over a million dollars a year.

    With the right peak performance strategy and technologies, it is possible to cut HVAC and central plant energy use by as much as 40%. As case in point, one of the nation’s largest public healthcare systems, Broward Health Medical Center (BHMC), registered savings of $311,000 in just one year, including more than $30,000 in a single month. This was possible after implementing advanced analytics and data science, providing visibility and transparency into the performance and service of its HVAC system and 6,000-ton chiller plant.

    Opportunities abound for major cost savings from major reductions in demand for fossil fuels.

  167. Hank Roberts:

    http://xkcd.com/1338/
    Graphic and appalling

  168. SecularAnimist:

    Recommended reading:

    Meat Makes the Planet Thirsty
    By James McWilliams
    The New York Times
    March 7 2014

    Excerpt:

    With California producing nearly half of the fruit and vegetables grown in the United States, attention has naturally focused on the water required to grow popular foods such as walnuts, broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, almonds and grapes … But for those truly interested in lowering their water footprint, those numbers pale next to the water required to fatten livestock

    … in the case of agriculture and drought, there’s a clear and accessible action most citizens can take: reducing or, ideally, eliminating the consumption of animal products. Changing one’s diet to replace 50 percent of animal products with edible plants like legumes, nuts and tubers results in a 30 percent reduction in an individual’s food-related water footprint. Going vegetarian, a better option in many respects, reduces that water footprint by almost 60 percent.

  169. Eric Swanson:

    DIOGENES #162 (and posts) – The first step isn’t formulating a plan as any plan is going to be doomed from the start unless the public will accept it. Thus, I think the first step is to convince the public that there’s a problem which must be addressed. At the moment in the US, polling data suggests that the public’s opinion has built up against AGW as an important problem, this being the result of decades of efforts by the denialist camp. So, until you (we) get out the door and start talking to Joe SixPack face-to-face, I think things are just going to slide downhill on the Business-As-Usual slope.

    Hey, for what it’s worth, I have a plan. Lets ration fossil fuels! None of that Cap-and-Trade mess, which would hit the public as an increase in price and would line the pockets of the traders who would end up gaming the system (as they always try to do). Start small, perhaps gasoline rationing, giving all adults an equal allocation each month, perhaps half that presently used. Allow trading of those allocations and the purchase of additional allocations thru a national white market. The other portion of the allocations would be sold into the market at the current price and business interests, which wouldn’t have an allocation, would then purchase that which they need from the market. Over time, reduce the total allocation, thus signaling to all that there will be less available in future, which would tend to increase the price in the market. Add other carbon sources, like coal for electric generation. Allocations would need an expiration date, at which time the allocations would converted to cash at the prevailing market price, which would prevent hoarding and (hopefully) minimize the incentive to game the market. Individuals or businesses could still purchase physical product, such as heating oil or propane, and store it for later use, but this would involve the purchase of additional allocations from the market.

    Such a system would reward those who consume less than the average and signal to business that they need to invest in conservation measures. I think this incentive would work very differently from a carbon tax, such as promoted by James Hansen. That’s because the carbon tax would need to increase rapidly to achieve a desired reduction and the price increases from the tax would ripple thru the economy and blunt the effectiveness of the tax over several years. Remember that we’ve all experienced the effects of a major price increase for oil, which was around $25 a barrel, but has now pushed to around $100 a barrel, or 4 times the previous price. The result is the US is again experiencing growth in gasoline consumption at a few percent a year. A carbon tax would need to increase faster than overall inflation, if it were to maintain it’s effectiveness, a situation which is a positive feedback and which would be a danger both to the economy and to further tax increases. I think that Dr. Hansen’s proposed rebate would further erode the effectiveness of the tax.

    So, there’s a rough idea of my plan. All that’s needed is for the elected government to adopt it, which has essentially no chance in Hell, given the current political situation. Have you got a plan which has any better chance of passing in the US House or next year’s US Senate?

  170. Kevin McKinney:

    Dio, you are repeating yourself. And it’s no more convincing this time around.

    If anything amounts to ‘surrender,’ it’s a ‘plan’ own creator says “can’t be sold.”

  171. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Mar 2014 @ 8:23 AM, ~#163

    I think that planned obsolescence has become so imbedded in business models and engineering software that it is invisible. The growth problem is a very difficult one, but one Idea I have heard is to somehow switch growth from energy consuming products to such things as knowledge, creative activities, entertainment (the U.S. is way out in front in the movie biz), computer software, and craftsmanship where actual human effort, not stuff, is valued. This is a tough nut to crack.

    I sent an email regarding solar living. Steve

  172. biolaw:

    I agree with many of you who have posted as it pertains to doing all we can to reduce carbon emission. However, our politics backed by corporate greed is what we are allowing to dig a deeper whole for us. As for fertilizing the ocean in addition to some of the other strategies discussed, leaves me very skeptical regarding the possible negative side effects. Forgive me for being so straightforward, but in some cases, our selfish lifestyles will be very difficult change. What gives me hope in regards to reducing carbon emission is that there is a 37% increase in public transportation ridership. I take the subway and commuter rail often. What is equally discouraging is that in one of our most populous states, Florida, (Florida which will soon be our 3rd most populous state)the governor has played politics by rejecting rail projects funded by the federal government (Sunrail and a high speed rail project) simply because President Obama suggested an increase in rail projects. The traffic in Florida is horrendous and gets worse during the spring and summer months (it’s actually horrible year round).

    The energy companies in addition to automotive manufacturers could greatly assist in controlling carbon emissions, but I have no confidence that many of them will take the initiative without being forced (if forced you will hear all the communism, job killing regulation rhetoric). Globally, we are going to have to force the change before we’re forced to take drastic measures which may render ineffective and even more damaging such as geoengineering.

  173. Hank Roberts:

    Gavin, from the link Kevin provided, your mark — “45ºC on a regular basis” — isn’t the threshold for worry. India’s wheat crop is already hitting temperature limits, because it’s a few hot days or nights — not the average but the extremes — that cut final crop yield drastically.

    That’s hit midwest US corn and soy too, in recent summers.

    Hot spells — not the average — is the worry.

    There are critical periods during fetal development for plant seeds just like for animals when exposure to something adverse has bad results — before or after the critical point, no worry.

    I know a lot of work is going into heat stress tolerance for crops.

    A lot of hungry animals will be going after any such heat-tolerant crop plants, as wildland yields get impacted by climate.

  174. OnceJolly:

    #160 – Steve Fish

    I’d be careful how I interpret that paper. The authors note:

    “We highlight the fact that increasing individual tree growth rate does not automatically result in increasing stand productivity because tree mortality can drive orders-of-magnitude reductions in population density. That is, even though the large trees in older, even-aged stands may be growing more rapidly, such stands have fewer trees. Tree population dynamics, especially mortality, can thus be a significant contributor to declining productivity at the scale of the forest stand.” – page 3

  175. Hank Roberts:

    In other news,
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.v41.3/issuetoc
    more reasons to leave the trees alone:

    Montane forest root growth and soil organic layer depth as potential factors stabilizing Cenozoic global change (pages 983–990)

    Christopher E. Doughty, Lyla L. Taylor, Cecile A. J. Girardin, Yadvinder Malhi and David J. Beerling

    Article first published online: 6 FEB 2014
    DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058737
    key points:
    Weathering rates decrease at elevation partially due to a thick soil organic layer
    If global climate is perturbed, montane ecosystems may buffer perturbations
    We show two tectonic events when this may have occurred

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/2013GL058737/asset/image_n/grl51316-fig-0001.png?v=1&s=92b696691edb6acb687236810ccf4be27db6e12e

    see e.g.
    http://homepages.uwp.edu/frien001/walandslide.htm

  176. prokaryotes:

    James Hansen: World’s Greatest Crime Against Humanity And Nature

  177. prokaryotes:

    Re Hank, “..more reasons to leave the trees alone”

    That won’t be easy with climate disruption, things we set in motion.

    “…recorded wind speeds topped 108mph and it is estimated by the Forestry Commission that up to 30 million trees may have been blown down.” — http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/plants/trees/10683870/Storms-and-floods-have-your-trees-been-damaged.html

  178. Hank Roberts:

    PS — ‘oogle “virgin+forest”+”even-aged”

    (Watch out for logging, then planting and leaving a tree farm to grow old, even-aged, and claiming carbon credit — a bogus tactic; you don’t get back what was lost, neither in carbon capture as plants nor in topsoil.)

  179. OnceJolly:

    #168 – SecularAnimist

    James McWilliams is one of those commentators that is seemingly incapable of reporting on the environmental implications of meat-eating without letting his vegan advocacy color his faculty for critical thinking. Here we find him claiming that “based on IPCC AR4 guidelines, the Livestock sector is responsible for at least 51% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, as Goodland and Anhang have calculated.” However, as Gavin has pointed out elsewhere, respiration is not included according to the guidelines. (G&A are also inconsistent on a number of fronts, including applying the 20-year GWP for methane to livestock but using the 100-year GWP for other anthropogenic methane emissions, and making an adjustment to emissions figures for the year 2000 to account for increases in livestock tonnage between 2002 and 2009, but not making similar adjustments for rising fossil fuel consumption over the same time).

    In the Times articles, McWilliams advocates “replac[ing] 50 percent of animal products with edible plants like legumes, nuts and tubers,” without mentioning that in the cited paper (Table 3), the protein yield of chicken (per kg of water) exceeds that of nuts, while the calorie yield is only marginally worse. Of course, the problem for a vegan pushing the environmental case against meat (to which there are certainly a number of valid arguments) is that from an animal welfare case, the middle-ground (replacing beef with chicken) is probably worse.

  180. Hank Roberts:

    ‘oogle finds a debunking of that McWilliams story, with references, here:

    http://vegan.com/articles/environment/a-sympathetic-but-skeptical-look-at-goodland-and-anhangs-livestock-and-climate-change/

    In other news:

    http://phys.org/news/2014-02-scientists-debunk-climate-myths.html#nwlt
    reports two surprises:

    there has been no increase in the number of tropical cyclones and that much of the perceived change in numbers is a result of improved storm detection methods. “From 1940, there was a huge increase in observations because of aerial reconnaissance and satellite imagery,” she says.
    The big surprise came when Fitchett and Grab looked at where storms have been happening. As the oceans have warmed and the minimum sea surface temperature necessary for a cyclone to occur (26.5 degrees Celsius) has been moving further south, storms in the south-west Indian Ocean have been moving further south too.

    This is not what we expected from climate change. We thought tropical cyclones might increase in number but we never expected them to move.

    and

    while global warming is causing the fruit trees to flower as much as a month earlier than 50 years ago, which is a very rapid shift, changes in late season frost are not happening nearly as quickly.
    Before 1988 there were zero to three days between peak flowering and the last day of frost in Kerman, Iran; since then, the number has increased to zero to 15.

    “The layman’s assumption is that as temperatures get warmer, there will be less frost. But although the severity of the frost has decreased, the last day of frost hasn’t been receding as quickly as the advances in flowering. The result is that frost events are increasingly taking place during flowering and damaging the flowers. No flowers equals no fruit,’” says Fitchett.
    According to the study, at current rates, it will take only 70 years before it becomes a certainty that frost will occur during peak flowering in Kerman. Already, since 1988, frost has occurred during peak flowering in 41% of the years.

  181. DIOGENES:

    Eric Swanson #169,

    “The first step isn’t formulating a plan as any plan is going to be doomed from the start unless the public will accept it. Thus, I think the first step is to convince the public that there’s a problem which must be addressed.”

    The purpose of my plan was to understand/identify what targets and actions/policies are required if we are to have any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse. I have done that to my satisfaction, and the resulting product is the only plan on any of the climate blogs that, if implemented, would allow the worst of the climate Apocalypse to be avoided. Functionally, I view it as a baseline against which I can evaluate the performance of other self-styled viable plans, similar to the way the Carnot Efficiency is used to gauge engine performance.

    My plan has a number of key tenets. First, the interim temperature ceiling cannot go much above 1 C if we want to minimize the chances of over-triggering the carbon feedbacks. Second, to get anywhere near the required temperature ceilings, we have not only run out of carbon budget, but have run up considerable carbon debt already. This means that ANY fossil fuel expenditures from here on out must be minimized severely. Third, the most important element in the plan is elimination of all non-essential fossil fuel expenditures as soon as possible, in parallel with increasing the efficiency of the supply of the essential expenditures. Fourth, we need to institute a massive effort to draw down the present CO2 in the atmosphere as soon as possible. Fifth, we need to phase out fossil sources for the essential energy expenditures and replace them with low/zero carbon sources, in parallel with increasing the efficiency of these myriad sources. Any proposed ‘plan’ that does not contain ALL these elements, in roughly the priority order presented, will probably not get us where we want to go, but each proposed plan in its entirety needs to be compared to my plan overall to gauge its merits.

    The fragmented actions that constitute the typical post are not ‘plans’, and unless they are presented in the context of other required actions to achieve a stated target, should not be viewed as plans. In many/most cases, they are no more than unpaid advertisements.

  182. SecularAnimist:

    OnceJolly wrote: “In the Times articles, McWilliams advocates “replac[ing] 50 percent of animal products with edible plants like legumes, nuts and tubers,” without mentioning that in the cited paper (Table 3), the protein yield of chicken (per kg of water) exceeds that of nuts, while the calorie yield is only marginally worse.”

    Thank you for the followup. Yes, McWilliams clearly states near the beginning of his article that “some nuts, namely almonds, consume considerable blue water, even more than beef”.

    Interesting, though, that you singled out “nuts” while ignoring “legumes and tubers” which are the major vegetarian sources of protein and calories.

    Is nut-picking something like cherry-picking?

    The cited paper you linked to is “A Global Assessment of the Water Footprint of Farm Animal Products” by Mekonnen and Hoekstra, published in the journal Ecosystems in January 2012. Here’s the abstract (emphasis and paragraph breaks added):

    The increase in the consumption of animal products is likely to put further pressure on the world’s freshwater resources. This paper provides a comprehensive account of the water footprint of animal products, considering different production systems and feed composition per animal type and country.

    Nearly one-third of the total water footprint of agriculture in the world is related to the production of animal products. The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of crop products with equivalent nutritional value. The average water footprint per calorie for beef is 20 times larger than for cereals and starchy roots. The water footprint per gram of protein for milk, eggs and chicken meat is 1.5 times larger than for pulses. The unfavorable feed conversion efficiency for animal products is largely responsible for the relatively large water footprint of animal products compared to the crop products.

    Animal products from industrial systems generally consume and pollute more ground- and surface-water resources than animal products from grazing or mixed systems. The rising global meat consumption and the intensification of animal production systems will put further pressure on the global freshwater resources in the coming decades.

    The study shows that from a freshwater perspective, animal products from grazing systems have a smaller blue and grey water footprint than products from industrial systems, and that it is more water-efficient to obtain calories, protein and fat through crop products than animal products.

    I think that paper strongly supports McWilliams’ contention that “in the case of agriculture and drought, there’s a clear and accessible action most citizens can take: reducing or, ideally, eliminating the consumption of animal products.”

  183. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by OnceJolly — 10 Mar 2014 @ 4:51 PM, ~#174

    Thanks for your caution, but I believe you have misinterpreted what the authors are saying relative to my expressed concerns. Their use of the word “productivity” refers to mass gain for a tree or a forest. Because tree mass consists largely of CO2 that was removed from the atmosphere, a recovering forest might have high productivity but low total mass. In contrast a tree in a climax forest may be very productive but the forest is in a steady state with no net productivity. Most important is that a climax forest represents the maximum amount of carbon that can be stored by the forest.

    So, if one is concerned about using forests as atmospheric carbon capture machines they should be allowed to grow to steady state and then left alone. As soon as any tree, especially the most profitable large ones, is harvested the carbon it contains is released back into the atmosphere very quickly and will not be removed again until the same amount of tree mass regrows. This would be a net loss in terms of global warming.

    Steve

  184. Chris Dudley:

    Andy Revkin has been channeling deniers with extra enthusiasm lately. This comment urges that climate mitigation has no effect on avoiding extreme weather events associated with climate change:

    “Your argument only holds up if her call is for action to limit impacts from extreme climate events. Here’s another line of logic that I failed to include: There’s no evidence that even super aggressive action on curbing emissions would meaningfully tweak patterns of extreme weather in the lifetime of anyone reading this blog. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t mitigate emissions; we should. But don’t claim that this will meaningfully blunt the losses in hazard zones on time scales relevant to policymakers or taxpayers (especially in poorer countries).”

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/10/kerry-orders-u-s-diplomats-to-press-case-for-climate-action/#commentsContainer

    Does anyone happen to recognize this phrasing from one of the soft-denial sites?

    Thanks.

  185. Hank Roberts:

    no evidence that … curbing emissions would meaningfully tweak patterns of extreme weather in the lifetime of anyone reading this blog.

    Wait, business as usual already tweaked patterns of extreme weather.
    What idea is he trying to argue there?

  186. Chris Dudley:

    Hank,

    He is saying that mitigation won’t keep extreme weather caused by a failure to mitigate from killing people.

    Is this Breakthrough Institute codswallop?

  187. Kevin McKinney:

    #184-5–Well, mitigation isn’t going to have a strong effect for a couple of decades, right? Time lags to equilibrium, and all that. Though personally, I’d really like it better if timescales of a couple of decades were generally considered “relevant to policymakers or taxpayers.”

  188. Tony Weddle:

    Before thinking that vegetarianism is some kind of answer, I’d recommend reading “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith, a vegan for 20 years before letting various pieces of knowledge about vegetarianism percolate her conscious.

  189. Chris Dudley:

    Kevin,

    Mitigation takes effect immediately. End emissions and you avoid all the extremes that BAU would cause.

  190. David MacKay:

    Is there going to be a Realclimate discussion of “Inhomogeneous forcing and transient climate sensitivity”
    by Drew T. Shindell
    , and how this affects the expert assessment of Otto et al and other energy balance papers?

    Thank you very much!

  191. prokaryotes:

    The estimate of 40 years for climate lag, the time between the cause (increased greenhouse gas emissions) and the effect (increased temperatures), has profound negative consequences for humanity. However, if governments can find the will to act, there are positive consequences as well.

    With 40 years between cause and effect, it means that average temperatures of the last decade are a result of what we were thoughtlessly putting into the air in the 1960’s. It also means that the true impact of our emissions over the last decade will not be felt until the 2040’s. This thought should send a chill down your spine!
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-The-40-Year-Delay-Between-Cause-and-Effect.html

  192. DIOGENES:

    Prokaryotes #176,

    Your post contains a presentation by Hansen that includes a comparison between nuclear and solar, emphasizing the benefits of nuclear for the applications discussed. Not exactly the Solar Industry’s scripted talking points that are parroted incessantly by our resident Windfall proponents. Some excerpts follow.

    “R&D on advanced technologies, including thorium reactors with the potential to ameliorate remaining concerns about nuclear power, was stifled, seemingly because it was too promising. Powerful anti – nuclear forces had their way with the Democratic Party. “Green” organizations had indoctrinated themselves in anti – nuclear fervor, and their intransigence blinded them to the fact that they were nearly eliminating the one option for abundant clean electricity with inexhaustible fuel and a small planetary footprint.”

    “None of the developing nations and none of our descendants had any voice in the decision. I cannot blame President Clinton. 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 can not satisfy energy needs of countries such as China and India.”

    “We also should not expect China to use renewable energy for base – load electricity. We just completed a solar power plant, Ivanpah, near the Nevada – California border on public land provided free. Ivanpah cost $2.2B and it covers five square miles (about 13 square kilometers). With a generous estimate of 0.25 for the plant’s capacity factor (the ratio of average power to peak power when the sun is highest and the sky is clear), Ivanpah will generate 0.82 TWhours of electricity per year. The power is intermittent because Ivanpah does not have energy storage, which would make the plant far more expensive. In contrast, Westinghouse is nearing completion of two AP – 1000 nuclear plants in China. These nuclear facilities each require about 0.5 square miles (about 1.3 square kilometers).

    With a capacity factor of 0.9, typical of nuclear power plants, the output of each plant will be 8.8 TW hours per year. It would require more than 10 Ivanpahs to yield as much electricity and an area of more than 50 square miles (128 square kilometers), area that China does not have to spare. The AP – 1000 cost in China is about $3.5B per plant What the United States should do is cooperate with China and assist in its nuclear development. The AP – 1000 is a fine nuclear power plant, incorporating several important safety improvements over existing plants in the United States, which already have an excellent safety record.”

  193. Kevin McKinney:

    #192–Please do not restart the renewable vs. nuclear sniping. It is counterproductive and foolish, and has repeatedly derailed discussion.

  194. prokaryotes:

    Diogenes, if you would like to discuss the CS article with me, reply to the CS article instead of here, thanks.

  195. Chris Dudley:

    Prokaryotes (#191),

    Be a little careful. Your link aims for stabilization. Stabilizing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at the current 400 ppm requires more emissions. So, the future rise in temperature is dependent on future emissions, not so much on past emissions. Ending emissions starts a decrease in atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and within five years or so, an end to land surface temperature increase. The oceans take longer to stop warming but because of the ongoing reduction in forcing, the global average temperature reaches its maximum in not much more than a decade.

    While some stabilization targets are out of reach without intentional sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere, 280 ppm, for example, some targets below the current 400 ppm still require more emissions to get to stabilization. 350 ppm is an example. Without future emissions (ending emissions now) we end up around 330 or 320 ppm if I recall correctly.

  196. wili:

    I would like to second the suggestion at #190 for a thread devoted to a discussion of the new Shindell paper…or should we just launch into one here?

    Chris Dudley, do you have some links to support your figures at #195? They look a bit out of date (or just wrong) from what I understand the situation to be.

  197. Kevin McKinney:

    #195–”Ending emissions starts a decrease in atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and within five years or so, an end to land surface temperature increase.”

    Right, but that’s a theoretical possibility only. Even RCP 2.6, which is widely regarded as too optimistic to be probable, sees increases for the end of the century between (IIRC, but I just looked at it) of .3-1.7 C.

  198. Kevin McKinney:

    On a procedural note, it appears that the Recaptcha issues that have somewhat impeded commenting for me lately have been resolved, either by the RC updates or by the OS update I did yesterday.

    ;-)

  199. Chris Dudley:

    wili (#196),

    The future emissions required to achieve stabilization are exterminated from an IDL script I posted here a while back. The timing comes from inverting the step function thermal response that Hansen et al. used for their Greens Function approach to model simplification.

    It should be obvious though that stabilization does require future emissions to achieve. The oceans are out of equilibrium with the atmosphere in carbon dioxide partial pressure so ending emissions means equilibration will draw down the atmospheric concentration. To support that concentration at a stabilization target requires emissions to counter the leakage to the oceans.

  200. SecularAnimist:

    Recommended reading …

    Energy: Islands of light
    By Jeff Tollefson
    Nature
    11 March 2014

    Excerpt:

    … Around the world, nearly 1.3 billion people live without access to electricity, many of them far from the ever-expanding electric grid.

    The quest is on to find the best way to bring clean power to rural areas. Mixing local development work with Silicon-Valley-style entrepreneurship, engineers, scientists and economists are setting up independent ‘microgrids’ that can be deployed quickly and cheaply one community at a time. Those leading such electrification schemes aim to create small-scale renewable-energy systems, building an archipelago of light across the developing world and helping remote communities to kick their dependence on fossil fuels.

    Such efforts have often failed in the past, as subsidies lapsed or infrastructure collapsed. But today’s entrepreneurs are better placed to succeed. A new generation of cheaper photovoltaic panels and wind turbines can be managed with simple smart-grid devices. The price of fossil fuels has soared over the past decade, making renewable energy more competitive. And the United Nations has set a goal of achieving universal access to electricity by 2030, providing political impetus.

  201. Chris Dudley:

    Kevin (#197),

    Well, it is worth it to consider limiting emissions profiles so we can understand what we are working with. That inertia actually depends strongly on future ongoing emissions to act like inertia is a result that makes you wonder if “inertia” is really the right term to use.

  202. Chris Dudley:

    estimated not exterminated….

  203. Jeffrey Davis:

    Corn dies at 45C. It doesn’t take repeated or prolonged exposure either.

    It got that hot in Kansas 2 summers ago, and the corn was gray the next morning.

    We haven’t even had 1C of warming yet.

  204. Hank Roberts:

    The Atlantic:

    “too warm” is a concept we need to wrap our soon-to-be-baked brains around, according to new research from NASA’s Drew Shindell. After performing a region-specific analysis of the things that affect the global climate, Shindell has come to the conclusion that, slowdown be damned, we are still looking at a vast leap in the earth’s heat levels. In fact, there could be a warming increase about 20 percent greater than indicated by surface-temperature observations from the last 150 years, according to his new study in Nature Climate Change

    The [in original] map of the globe, furnished by NASA’s visualization and simulation teams, shows where the heat is likely to come down hard by 2099. Dark-red areas at the North Pole indicate positive temperature anomalies of up to 25 degrees. Much of Canada could see hikes of 10 to 20 degrees and in the United States, 5 to 12.5 degrees. That would mean that future warming will be much worse than described in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (which took the slowdown into account when making its projections). NASA has the figures

  205. prokaryotes:

    As i mentioned last month, i offer all RC regulars full forum access at CS. Just email me your TinyPass email or ask here http://climatestate.com/forums/forum/support/

    And i second wili’s comment #196

  206. Hank Roberts:

    Tonight on San Francisco’s KQED Radio (usually audio and transcripts may be available later online at the website):


    Climate One: From the Commonwealth Club

    Skeptics and Smog — The basic principles of human-caused climate change have been known for more than a century and are based on physics 101, chemistry 101 and economics 101. Yet the public debate about the consequences of burning fossil fuels is muddied by manufactured confusion about the science. The balance bias – giving a tiny faction of skeptics as much weight in news articles as the 97 percent of scientists publishing peer-reviewed articles – has skewed mainstream media coverage of the scientific underpinnings of climate disruption.

    It is no wonder average citizens have difficulty seeing through the smoke of industry obfuscation and exaggeration spewed by some environmentalists.

    The Six America’s research from Yale offers insight into what American’s really think about climate disruption. Public opinion, however, tends to fluctuate in part due to media coverage and extreme weather events.

    How well has the mainstream news media covered the carbon story? Have some reporters crossed the line from journalism into advocacy?

    The program hosts a conversation with three communicators deeply involved in the public debate about carbon pollution, including:
    Bud Ward, editor of The Yale Forum on Climate Change and The Media;
    John Cook, founder of Skeptical Science and co-author of “Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand;”
    and
    Jim Hoggan, co-founder of DeSmog Blog and chair of The David Suzuki Foundation.

  207. DIOGENES:

    WINDFALL TO END ALL WINDFALLS

    The Ceres Clean Trillion Report (referenced on this thread recently) proposes an investment of $36 TRILLION over the next 36 years in low carbon, energy efficient, and carbon capture technologies to ameliorate climate change impacts. The plan is based on the IEA’s 2DS scenario, defined by the IEA as follows: “The 2°C Scenario (2DS) is the focus of ETP 2012. The 2DS describes an energy system consistent with an emissions trajectory that recent climate science research indicates would give an 80% chance of limiting average global temperature increase to 2°C. It sets the target of cutting energy-related CO2 emissions by more than half in 2050 (compared with 2009) and ensuring that they continue to fall thereafter. Importantly, the 2DS acknowledges that transforming the energy sector is vital, but not the sole solution: the goal can only be achieved provided that CO2 and GHG emissions in non-energy sectors are also reduced. The 2DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook 450 Scenario [450ppm] through 2035.”

    As Mike Raupach at the ANU has shown, if one wants a 90% chance of not exceeding 2C, there is NO “carbon budget” left”. This is actually a low bar; if your chances of landing safely on a flight from NYC to LA were 90%, would you take the flight? Why, then, would this risk be acceptable when the survival of our species is at stake? In any case, even with 90%, this means that ANY expenditure of fossil fuel from now on reduces our chances of staying below 2 C, and we have shown repeatedly that even 2 C is a target that the experts term VERY/EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Well, reducing CO2 emissions by half over the next 36 years, if the plan were implemented now, means that we will be starting from 100% emissions, and reducing them by a non-compounded average of about 1.5% per year.

    WOW!!! For $36 TRILLION, we end up with more than an order-of-magnitude less emissions reductions than that required to give us any chance to avoid the climate Apocalypse. If this isn’t the Windfall to end all Windfalls, I don’t know what is!

    How does this proposed Windfall compare with my plan (#63)? My plan has two major components, species survival and lifestyle maintenance. The Ceres/IEA plan could be a modest approximation of what is required for the lifestyle maintenance component of my plan, and would include a small portion of what I require for the carbon removal component. So, my plan would capture this. However, implementing only the Ceres lifestyle maintenance component by itself would take us on the HOV-3 Express Lanes to climate Apocalypse. The remaining components of my plan, especially the strong fossil fuel demand reduction over and above that provided by the lifestyle maintenance component, provide the near term emissions reductions that offer any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse.

  208. MARodger:

    Have we seen the winter maximum for Arctic Sea Ice. I think the Sea Ice Area probably has ‘maxed’. It’s mid-March, hot for the time of year (UAH TLT anomaly over the Arctic Ocean (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) at a record level, NOAA SSTs from nomad3 (graphed here but to show winter temps) were February records) & we are 2 weeks & 200k below the maximum SIA so far.
    If it is the maximum, it will the a record low maximum. That icy “recovery” thro’ 2013 so loved by all the denialists – it didn’t last very long, did it.

  209. Doug Bostrom:

    Chris, quoting:

    There’s no evidence that even super aggressive action on curbing emissions would meaningfully tweak patterns of extreme weather in the lifetime of anyone reading this blog.

    Similarly there was no evidence that backing off from the fully-deployed stance of mutual assured destruction as built in the Cold War would avert a catastrophe within “time scales relevant to policymakers or taxpayers”. Apparently the statesmen and negotiators dedicated to that effort were wasting their time.

    Who knew?

    It’s a shame that a professionally-trained journalist was not at the table to bring reason and logic into the discussion; we’d not have wasted all that hardware and taxpayer revenue dealing with an imaginary problem.

  210. Doug Bostrom:

    Further to Revkin’s appeals to a misty-eyed, imaginary future of caring: figure out in hard numbers–dollars and cents– what you yourself are spending to help the poverty-stricken of today. To the extent that number is larger you can legitimately shed tears for the poverty-stricken of tomorrow. Most of us will remain dry-eyed after performing that simple calculation unless we’re crocodiles.

  211. wili:

    To the mods: Was the site shut down for a day or two a little while ago? A number of folks (myself included) at SkS and at tamino’s site couldn’t access the site. Was it just down for routine maintenance, or was there hacking involved?

    Thanks for all your work, by the way. I was wondering if we were about to experience the feeling of ‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’!

  212. prokaryotes:

    Re crop’s and non-linear effects

    Lock scale determines, non linearity for crops under heat stress (Begins around 16:00 mins in). It doesn’t require a lot of hot days.

    The upcoming IPCC estimated around 50% decrease in crops for parts in Africa by 2020

  213. Chris Dudley:

    Thanks for considering my question. After a few more posts at dot earth, I’m thinking that Andy is trying to do something quantitative again. This is probably an original idea of his based on misunderstanding climate commitment. If any one does see this in the denialsphere though, I’d be glad to read of it. I avoid those sites the way I avoid fishing in polluted waters.

  214. Hank Roberts:

    Wili, your question “to the mods” was answered at the top of the page, right below the graphic: “Technical Note”

  215. prokaryotes:

    Clarification, i meant Logarithmic scale.

  216. Hank Roberts:

    http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/article/67/3/10.1063/PT.3.2295

    Citation: Phys. Today 67, 3, 14 (2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.2295

    A nanoscale look at how soil captures carbon

    Organic matter bound to mineral grains can remain there for many decades. But only a fraction of the mineral surface area ever binds any carbon.

    Soil is a huge component of the global carbon cycle. As shown in figure 1 ,
    http://scitation.aip.org/docserver/ahah/fulltext/aip/magazine/physicstoday/67/3/PT.3.2295.figures.online.f1_thmb.gif
    the world’s soils contain more carbon than the atmosphere and all living things combined, and the flux of carbon into and out of the soil dwarfs the rate of anthropogenic carbon emission from fossil fuels.

    Among much else, this is why leaving forests alone even when the wind blows the trees down is a good idea. Much of the carbon captured is in the roots and in the soil around them, which persists (unless disturbed).

    Plant a tree, or protect a forest.
    If you can’t do anything else, go to woodfortrees and make a contribution, eh?

  217. wili:

    Thanks, Hank.

    Chris 23 213 said ” I avoid those sites the way I avoid fishing in polluted waters.” Me too.

  218. Hank Roberts:

    > Chris Dudley
    check (carefully) the link on your home page for “Affordable Solar Power” which looks right but isn’t taking me where it should — I suspect
    either your page has been hacked, or I’ve got malware, or some DNS is confused.

  219. Walter:

    Hi DIOGENES @ 104, 108, (killian 118), 124, 126, 145, 146, 147, (kevin 151), ( SA 155 ), 156, (prok/romm 157), 162, (swanson 169), 181, 192,

    Please try these on for size to see if they fit and look good :-)

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

    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/energy-use-projection-graphs.html

    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/james-hansen.html

    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/hans-rosling.html

    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/most-climate-scientists-arent-being.html

    and my favourite

    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/see-reality-as-it-really-is.html

  220. wili:

    Apologies if this has already been linked by prok or others:

    “Leaked IPCC Report Reveals Unsettling Findings”

    #Time2Act

    http://climatestate.com/2014/03/11/leaked-ipcc-report-reveals-unsettling-findings-time2act/.

  221. Chris Dudley:

    Joe Romm has a nice rhyme today:

    “The science is clear. The solutions are here. It’s time for the political will to appear.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/12/3396341/nasa-study-climate-sensitivity-high/

  222. DIOGENES:

    Walter #219,

    I assume that’s your blog being referenced; best of luck on its success. My favorite of those you’ve posted is: http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/bau-disaster-in-making.html.

    Look, no blog is perfect. People invest the substantial amounts of time and effort (and money) involved in running a blog to fulfill personal agendas. If these agendas align with ours, we think it’s great; if not, well…..

    The people who moderate RC are world-class climate scientists, and they could obviously be making more profitable (in the classic sense of profit) use of their time doing more research and consulting. Obviously, there is a sense of public service from what they are doing, in addition to whatever personal agendas are being advanced. While your specific points are valid critiques, my main problem is with the larger picture.

    The expertise here is climate science, and that should be the main focus. But, what aspect of climate science? Forty years ago, the esoterica of climate science, and vaguely related fragmented technologies as well, would have been appropriate for the mission. Today, in 2014, the Huns are at the Gates!! We no longer have the luxury of climate science for the sake of climate science. The need is for climate science in the national interest. We need ideas and plans for how to extricate ourselves from the impending climate disaster on the horizon, informed by what the latest in climate science has to offer. Every thread should have this focus, and every post should contribute to advancing this mission.

    Instead, what we have is the equivalent of a bulletin board in a large building, where many posters are advertising technologies for sale, masquerading as approaches to stave off the impending disaster. That is a waste of everyone’s time, is extremely misleading, and diverts our attention from the problem at hand. Any post that offers a technology or other type of option for ameliorating the climate problem should be required to identify the consequences of that option quantitatively. Allowing the unpaid advertisements to dominate postings, as is the case at present, detracts from the credibility of the Web site.

    Once the mission becomes strengthened and more focused, many of the problems you have identified will vanish. Then, the value of this site will increase dramatically.

  223. DIOGENES:

    GALLUP POLL – CLIMATE CHANGE

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/12/the_only_thing_americans_care_about_less_than_climate_change_is_race_relations/?source=newsletter

    This is the same general finding that David Spratt reported for an Australian poll (and which I referenced a while back). Given what is required from the citizenry to even have a chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse, this is extremely disquieting news.

  224. MARodger:

    The first +400ppm daily CO2 level of the year has been reported at MLO by NOAA-ESRL. Last year there were six +400ppm days recorded by ESRL, split between two weeks so the highest weekly CO2 was 400.01ppm.
    The CO2 value for 12 March 2014 is 400.62ppm making it a new daily record, although these reports can be subsequently revised downward. It is also a fair bit above recent values. So it could prove an outlier or it could be the start of an upward jump following the preceding eight-week ‘hiatus’. The hourly data graphed by Scripps Institute should provide some clue as to whether it is outlier or ‘jumper’ when they update through to 12 March. (But note that a Scripps day is 12-hours out of sync from an ESRL day.)

  225. DIOGENES:

    Interesting post by RobertScribbler on Arctic methane.

    http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/7749/#comments

    “How dangerous and vicious the monster ends up being to a world set to rapidly warm by humans depends largely on three factors. First — how fast methane is released from warming stores in the sea bed. Second — how swiftly and to what degree the tundra carbon store is released as methane. Third — how large the stores of carbon and methane ultimately are.

    On the issue of the first and third questions, scientists are divided between those like Peter Wadhams, Natalia Shakhova and Igor Simeletov who believe that large methane pulses from a rapidly warming Arctic Ocean are now possible and warrant serious consideration and those like Gavin Schmidt and David Archer — both top scientists in their own right — who believe the model assessments showing a much slower release are at least some cause for comfort. Further complicating the issue is that estimates of sea-bed methane stores range widely with the East Siberian Arctic Shelf region alone asserted to contain anywhere between 250 and 1500 gigatons of methane (See Arctic Carbon Stores Assessment Here).”

  226. SecularAnimist:

    Recommended reading:

    Cultural production of ignorance provides rich field for study
    By Michael Hiltzik
    LA Times
    March 9 2014

    Excerpt:

    Robert Proctor doesn’t think ignorance is bliss. He thinks that what you don’t know can hurt you. And that there’s more ignorance around than there used to be, and that its purveyors have gotten much better at filling our heads with nonsense.

    Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford, is one of the world’s leading experts in agnotology, a neologism signifying the study of the cultural production of ignorance. It’s a rich field, especially today when whole industries devote themselves to sowing public misinformation and doubt about their products and activities.

    The tobacco industry was a pioneer at this. Its goal was to erode public acceptance of the scientifically proven links between smoking and disease: In the words of an internal 1969 memo legal opponents extracted from Brown & Williamson’s files, “Doubt is our product.” Big Tobacco’s method should not be to debunk the evidence, the memo’s author wrote, but to establish a “controversy.”

    … Big Tobacco’s program has been carefully studied by the sugar industry, which has become a major target of public health advocates.

    It’s also echoed by vaccination opponents, who continue to use a single dishonest and thoroughly discredited British paper to sow doubts about the safety of childhood immunizations, and by climate change deniers.

  227. Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid:

    THE “ENEMY” AT HOME … A few hours ago I emailed to “webmaster@giss.nasa.gov” what follows:
    Subject: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20140311/
    How can a scientist say:
    ” … But since 1998, the rate of warming has been only 0.09°F (0.05°C) per decade …”
    You DO know 1998 was an exceptional positive ENSO year, NOT VALID for any comparison, let alone saying “per decade” just with a sample of 1 1/2 decade!
    That IS what deniers now use for their purpose, NOT what is expected from NASA scientists!

  228. Hank Roberts:

    > who believe the model assessments

    That’s wrong; paleo evidence, not models, have been cited in replies to AMEG stuff: it’s been warmer in the past, without a burp.

  229. FurryCatHerder:

    One brief comment on the $36T plan –

    It is worth noting that many of the technologies which are candidates for ending our dependence on fossil fuels have extremely favorable ROIs compared head-to-head ago fossil fuels.

    There’s another more interesting property of an all-in approach to renewable energy – it has the potential to make energy so plentiful that we’ll actually be able to waste the stuff.

    A year ago I leased a Nissan LEAF. For a while I only drove my “normal” amount. After enjoying NO GASOLINE BILLS for several months I started driving around for no particular reason. That got old because it takes time to drive around for no particular reason.

    For what it’s worth, my electric consumption for today should be around -10kWh. I recharge my LEAF every night, so that -10kWh includes recharging my car.

  230. wili:

    LO CO2 daily reading above 401 ppm on March 12 – two months earlier than last year.

    METOP IASI CH4 above 1800 ppb on March 12 – two weeks earlier than last year.

    See: http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/

  231. DIOGENES:

    FCH #229,

    “One brief comment on the $36T plan…..There’s another more interesting property of an all-in approach to renewable energy – it has the potential to make energy so plentiful that we’ll actually be able to waste the stuff.”

    The main point of my comments on the $36T plan was that, while it would maintain lifestyle, it would not avoid the climate Apocalypse. Based on the recent polls I cited in #223, most people would be more than willing to make that tradeoff. Energy to waste; what’s not to like?

  232. FurryCatHerder:

    Diogenes –

    “Energy to waste” includes “energy to do all sorts of otherwise unimaginable things”.

    I believe that it is possible to sequester any carbon-bearing “whatever” that we can get our grubby fingers on. Think of it as “putting the coal back in the ground”. There’s the answer to The Apocalypse.

    I spent 30 years in high tech, and the last 5 in renewable energy. The advances in just those 5 years are truly unbelievable. A year or so after I found RC, in 2007, I was looking at what it would take to replace all my energy consumption with solar. The price tag was around $68,000 (from bad memory — it was around 6.8kW DC) and would have meant no more gasoline or electric bills. Ever. Today that figure is right around $20,000, except that efficiency changes in my life mean it is even lower. The ROI on that $20,000 is better than the stock market, which means the cost is negative (it’s a profit).

  233. DIOGENES:

    More on the polling issue referenced in #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.

  234. DIOGENES:

    FCH #232,

    “I believe that it is possible to sequester any carbon-bearing “whatever” that we can get our grubby fingers on. Think of it as “putting the coal back in the ground”. There’s the answer to The Apocalypse.”

    Could you be more specific? For example, how would you sequester the CO2 in the atmosphere to reduce the concentration from 400ppm to ~325ppm in a timely and low-carbon fashion?

    “I spent 30 years in high tech, and the last 5 in renewable energy. The advances in just those 5 years are truly unbelievable.”

    I’ve never questioned that. My concern was expressed in #87: “So, even in this most ideal case of complete cessation of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel immediately, the temperature will rise to unacceptable levels. Now, assume all fossil fuel use could be converted to zero carbon technology within a generation (another fantasy). The first year, (ignoring lag times for planning, construction, and start-up) would still have 95% of the original CO2 emissions, since only 5% of the capability had been converted. The second year would have 90%, and so on. There would be roughly ten additional years of the original fossil fuel use expended, further exacerbating the temperature increase and driving us closer to the climate Apocalypse. That’s why sharp demand reduction is required in parallel with low carbon technology introduction, as well as some type of rapid carbon concentration reduction.”

    The main point, as Kevin Anderson has pointed out repeatedly, is that the supply side can’t reduce emissions sufficiently to bring us to even the unacceptable 2 C temperature ceiling, much less the desired 1 C ceiling. Anderson suggests a demand reduction on the order of 10% per annum. If one requires a 90% chance of staying under 2 C, then there is no carbon budget left. The CO2 emitted during the period the transition to renewables occurs will reduce the chances of staying within the 2 C ceiling.

  235. DIOGENES:

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/07/are-temperature-targets-fit-for-purpose

    Good summary of the Steinacher paper published in Nature last year (see summary below). Basically, it concludes that e.g. if we need a 10% annual demand reduction in fossil fuel use to stay within a 2 C temperature ceiling, as Anderson recommends, then, if six critical parameters are taken into account, we essentially need to double the emissions reduction number, or 20% per year in the Anderson case. And, that only gives us a reasonable chance to stay within the scientifically unacceptable level of 2 C. For high chance, we have run out of carbon budget, and if we are to have any hope of coming near the scientifically desirable level of 1 C, we have run out of carbon budget and run up carbon debt.

    ” The study by Steinacher et al suggests that climate targets need to be based on a broader assessment of climate risks, rather than looking just at temperature change. Their modelling shows that emissions consistent with ‘safe’ temperature rise would produce unacceptable results in other aspects of the climate.

    Steinacher and his team took a number of variables related to the climate system – temperature rise, sea level rise, ocean acidification, change in plant productivity, and loss of carbon from soils – and defined what they called acceptable limits of risk. They then used computer models to work out how much carbon dioxide could be released before these limits were reached.

    They found that to stay below all of the limits they set, greenhouse gas emissions would have to be much lower than if they were only trying to keep temperature rise below two degrees.

    To stand a 66 per cent chance of keeping below two degrees, emissions of carbon would need to be limited to about 570 gigatonnes by the end of the century. But staying below the safe limits on all six variables, including temperature, would mean limiting emissions to between 290 and 350 gigatonnes of carbon, the model showed.

    There are some big uncertainties here, and these figures aren’t exact, but the point is fairly clear. When you consider the impact of emissions on other parts of the climate system, cumulative emissions need to be considerably lower.”

  236. Ram Samudrala:

    I think scenarios beyond preserving the planet need to be considered if we’re facing an apocalypse. One option is space travel by the creation of an ark/biosphere based on various propulsion systems including Beamed Propulsion where humans can continue on as a species. Another is to create a dome like environment where everything is controlled and we live either underground or above ground with a highly regulated environment (again, the same thing as a spaceship but without propulsion). Both options could be tried.

    I think the work we’re doing to control the greenhouse effect will be hugely helpful in the design of both systems. A first step is to create a biosphere capable of sustaining life completely independently with internal power sources. A parallel stuff is to work on propulsion systems capable of carrying large payloads to distant star systems.

    I think we already have the technology needed to accomplish both tasks. I also think this is more doable by independent actors (nations) than all nations working collectively to reduce emissions drastically.

  237. wili:

    Diogenes, thanks for reminding us of that important Steinacher study. But to be clear, the study itself doesn’t come up explicitly with figures like “20% per year,” right? That’s your extrapolation? It would definitely be nice to have such concrete figures from a study like this.

    In any case, is 20% per year the figure that _you_ are proposing? If so, is it mostly from this study, or from other considerations. And has anyone of standing in the field come up with a figure for, say, staying within 1.5 degrees C (though this is clearly still too high)?

    ….

    I thought the following quote would be a good one to add to the on-going conversation about the role of growth in any imaginable sustainable society:

    “The fundamental problem with issues such as Climate Change and Ecological Degradation is that they stem from a core problem, the exponential growth of human demands upon the earth, and thus the only solution is an end to that growth.

    With the industrialized human societies having spent the past two centuries developing a tight fit to the exponential growth facilitated by fossil fuels, an end to that growth will require wrenching changes to how those societies are structured and operate. Such changes, while producing great concern to the general populace, will be extremely threatening to those that have succeeded under the current societal arrangements.

    These are the rich and powerful that have most control over media organizations, as well as other determinants of social reality such as the school system and the workplace.”

    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-03-13/the-creation-of-society-s-shared-hallucinations

  238. Jim Larsen:

    236 Ram S,

    The odds of finding a better planet than a ruined Earth are low. Geoengineering is easier than terraforming.

    Fortunately, our species is not in jeopardy. Climate change could drive us toward the poles or make us manipulate the climate, but we’ll survive.

  239. Hank Roberts:

    http://www.samefacts.com/2014/03/everything-else/three-new-economics-papers-related-to-mitigating-climate-change/
    March 12, 2014

    Matthew E. Kahn

    … three of my new applied NBER economics papers focused on climate change mitigation….
    One is on Walmart’s energy consumption.
    One is about public bus purchases and scrappage and
    the third is about learning about California voter’s preferences for carbon mitigation based on voting on AB32 and High Speed Rail.

  240. Ram Samudrala:

    Hi Jim (Larsen), one wouldn’t do this to find a better planet necessarily but to exist in space. If there is a self-contained biosphere (or many of them) floating around in space, I think it has potential for the advancement of humanity in many ways.

    The geoengineering solution assumes we can keep things below a certain limit, like 4 degrees C, after which no matter what we do, we’ve gone past a point of no return. Kevin Anderson has talked about this 4 degree limit apparently (according to Wikipedia) where the system becomes unstable. Still, I agree that geoengineering done in time could be the answer but I was proposing alternatives in case we’re unable to keep this planet habitable for humans.

    As far as humanity surviving, I’m not so confident it will happen. The dinosaurs ruled the earth far longer than we’ve been around but yet ALL went extinct. We’re putting all our eggs in one basket staying on this planet while dealing with an apocalyptic scenario (which I presumed was what diogenes was talking about). The planet currently is ruled by bacteria who’ve been around the longest and I presume they will survive but I’m not sure about any other species if certain scenarios come into play.

  241. FurryCatHerder:

    Grrr.

    I hate the spam filters sometimes. I had a great post, but something in it is being flagged as “spam”.

    Here’s the net-net — a lot of things that reduce carbon emissions are now cost-savers. We need to get that message out. My annual electric bill is now less than my highest summer electricity+gasoline bill.

    That’s it. That’s how we “sell” people who don’t want to be “sold” on protecting the planet.

    (BTW — after getting the “I think you are SPAM” message, I couldn’t get the “Captcha” box to come back, so I had to switch browsers to post …)

  242. Phil L:

    There have been some comments in this thread seeming to indicate that forests should not be harvested. The forest type with which I’m most familiar is the boreal, which relies on periodic major disturbances such as wildfires for renewal, with a resulting mosaic of stands of different ages across the landscape. It seems reasonable to me that a forest management regime that more-or-less mimics natural disturbances while producing wood products is a sensible approach.

    Here is part of what the IPCC Working Group 3 said about the role of forests in mitigating the effects of climate change:

    “… Mitigation options by the forestry sector include extending carbon retention in harvested wood products, product substitution, and producing biomass for bioenergy. This carbon is removed from the atmosphere and is available to meet society’s needs for timber, fibre, and energy. Biomass from forestry can contribute 12-74 EJ/yr to energy consumption, with a mitigation potential roughly equal to 0.4-4.4 GtCO2/yr depending on the assumption whether biomass replaces coal or gas in power plants…

    In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit. Most mitigation activities require up-front investment with benefits and co-benefits typically accruing for many years to decades. The combined effects of reduced deforestation and degradation, afforestation, forest management, agro-forestry and bioenergy have the potential to increase from the present to 2030 and beyond … “

    https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch9.html

  243. Hank Roberts:

    > forests
    Yeah, the studies I cited are newer than that IPCC report.

    Remember, there’s always going to be something more to learn. In this case both how soil is holding carbon, and how forests work.

    We’ve already degraded almost all the forest ecosystems. The few remaining ones are terribly tempting to those who’d rather have money.

  244. Goober:

    People who think commercial levels of biomass can be removed from ecosystems, especially low soil nutrient systems like boreal or tropical, in perpetuity need to review some basic ecology. Each system is producing the level of nutrients it needs to feed on and recycle within the system to retain its productivity and diversity. There is no free lunch.

  245. DIOGENES:

    Wili #237,

    “Diogenes, thanks for reminding us of that important Steinacher study. But to be clear, the study itself doesn’t come up explicitly with figures like “20% per year,” right? That’s your extrapolation? It would definitely be nice to have such concrete figures from a study like this.”

    That’s correct. The numbers of gigatonnes allowed she presented in the summary showed a halving from the temperature-ceiling-only case, and that was the basis for my doubling. I had seen a written interview with Steinacher shortly after the study was published, and his bottom line was that emissions reductions would have to be roughly doubled over those from the temperature-only case. I have not been able to locate that written interview, or else I would have quoted from that.

    In any case, is 20% per year the figure that _you_ are proposing? If so, is it mostly from this study, or from other considerations. And has anyone of standing in the field come up with a figure for, say, staying within 1.5 degrees C (though this is clearly still too high)?”

    My plan (#63) starts with the temperature target that cannot be exceeded in the interim. The target is thus conservative if we take Steinacher’s requirements for additional parameter targets into account. I show that for high chance of staying under 2 C (~90% or more), we have run out of carbon budget, and for even coming close to the desired target of ~1 C, we have not only run out of carbon budget, but have accumulated substantial carbon debt. I selected ~1 C as the target, but even if I had selected high chance 2 C, there would still be no allowable carbon budget remaining.

    Based on that, I have not set a specific figure for CO2 emissions reduction, but rather a maximization condition. We eliminate all non-essential expenditures of fossil fuels, and introduce behavioral changes and technologies that will make the remaining fossil fuel expenditures more efficient. The number would be determined by what the market would bear; we tighten the fossil belt until it hurts! It would have to be at least the twenty percent, and hopefully much higher. ANY expenditures of fossil fuel from now on decrease our chances of staying under 2 C and even coming close to 1 C.

    I haven’t seen any proposals for emissions reductions to achieve 1.5 C, but no doubt they exist. Remember the example I provided a few weeks ago. If we eliminated all CO2 emissions today, we would still get temperature increases in the unacceptable region within a decade or two. McKibben mentioned a doubling to ~1.6 C based on computer outputs he had seen; I have seen studies that showed temperature peaks ranging from ~1.2 C to well over 2 C. How rapidly the temperatures would decline afterwards, or even if they would decline afterwards, would also depend on the level of permafrost (and other carbon feedback) emissions we have triggered already, and those that would be triggered as we went to even higher temperatures.

    So, for a 1.5 C ceiling, especially for a relatively high chance, we have also run out of carbon budget, and piled up some carbon debt. And, this is for the ideal case of CO2 cessation today. Again, in this case, we need to do whatever the traffic will bear. Within that context, the $36T Ceres proposal doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of what is required to avoid the impending climate Apocalypse.

  246. Ray Ladbury:

    To those advocating space travel as a means of ensuring species survival:

    1)Please share the source of the drugs you are taking.

    -or-

    2)Do the math.

    Even a cursory examination of the fuel needed to send an expedition to Mars for 6 months shows it is at the limits of our capability. Now multiply that by the factor needed to make that expedition self-sufficient in an inhospitable environment, and maybe you will start to understand the difficulty of what you are proposing. And Mars is a)easy to get to and b)probably impossible to terraform due to its cold temperatures, dust and lack of planetary magnetic field.

    And once you have begun to contemplate this, then consider the effects of space radiation. You cannot shield against galactic cosmic rays–you’d need 13 cm of Aluminum shielding just to cut down the flux by a factor of 2.

    If we don’t keep Earth survivable, we won’t survive.

  247. Ram Samudrala:

    Ray Ladbury, I wouldn’t claim it is easy. But neither is keeping Earth survivable the way we’re all living. I assumed we’re discussing a looming apocalyptic scenario given our inability to reduce emissions and that we’re seeing the effects of emissions from decades ago catching up with us now. Do you really honestly believe we have the political will to cut emissions and keep it down to under 2 degrees C variance, and then under 4 degrees? If you read Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows’ 2011 paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, you’ll see projected likelihoods of achieving certain scenarios. I don’t think we have a lot of the carbon budget left before the situation becomes completely untenable. The math for space travel is at least doable.

    I think space travel is not that much more unlikely than us avoiding a 2 degree threshold (i.e., both are unlikely), perhaps 4 degrees (after which people like Kevin Anderson have said the system would become unstable) and it doesn’t have to be either/or. We could try it all, and perhaps we’re obligated to do so, and end up with a hybrid solution with different likelihoods for individual components. I understand the time it takes for light to travel across stars, but I never said it had to be done in a single generation and terraforming is one option, just surviving as a species in space was the point.

    It doesn’t mean challenges don’t need to be surmounted, but we have similarly extreme challenges facing us in terms of living on this planet, and unlike with space travel, the challenges are predominantly political instead of technological (which if past experience is any guide, are the easier type of challenges to surmount). The Wikipedia article on interstellar travel lists challenges to be faced (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstellar_travel), which includes not only radiation but also lack of gravity and impacting objects.

    Perhaps we could just live in space in an equatorial orbit, but my point was that we should learn to construct self contained biospheres that could be used in a adapted to a variety of scenarios. Doing this may well teach us how to keep Earth survivable. And if we fail in that effort, then we have other options, including living underwater, on the surface, in low orbit, as well as travelling constantly across great disances.

    IMO, the key difference to me between the space travel/biosphere approach and the let’s keep the entire planet survivable approach is that the former necessitates only one or a few countries with similar social, political, and technological cultures working together to make it happen. The latter requires a far more diverse segment of humanity spanning multiple countries, societies, political regimes, and stages of technological development. The former can be accomplished by relatively small segment of humanity while the latter needs a larger segment to work cooperatively. It, however, has a bigger payoff in terms of the number of humans that can survive of course. And it would be terrific if both happened down the road, but I think they’re both extremely difficult tasks ahead for humanity to accomplish.

    I think the problem really is that it takes decades for the effect of emissions on climate to show up. So there’s a complacency about the way we approach this problem collectively even if we intellectually understand what’s going on.

    –Ram :)

  248. Radge Havers:

    Um, I’m all for getting out into space, but a moment of reflection should dispell any near future, sci-fi fantasies of space opera redemption.

    The other planets are all less hospitable than Earth under the very worst scenario of “APOCALYPSE OF SCREAMING BLOOD ON THE FRANKEN-EARTH OF DOOM.” If we can’t build a survivable enclave here at home where it’s most convenient, then we won’t do it elsewhere. Don’t confuse whatever capacity we’ll have in the coming decades for exploration with salvation through mythic pioneer expansion.

  249. DIOGENES:

    Ray/Ram #246-247,

    Unfortunately, you’re both correct. Not only is there a fuel problem and a radiation problem for the extended space flight, but there are a few G’s on takeoff that have to be withstood, and many other troubling issues. The idea of transporting ten billion people to live in equatorial orbit boggles the mind, even if spread out over a few generations.

    Even if we could limit the peak temperature increase to 2 C in the transition period, there is little guarantee that it would be adequate. See Hansen’s discussion on this issue in his Plos One article; it’s about as good an argument as I’ve seen. And, to limit the temperature increase to 2 C with high chance, we have basically run out of carbon budget, and need to reduce CO2 emissions radically. To minimize CO2 generation would require strong cooperation and motivation among seven billion citizens of this planet. When you couple that requirement to the poll results in #233, where about half the American respondents don’t even EXPRESS the most minimal commitment to ameliorating climate change, WORRYING about it, then there is infinitesimal chance we will even approach anything near 2 C. These conclusions apply to the situation today. Things can always change, and maybe some series of Pearl Harbor events could make a major change in the international consciousness.

  250. SecularAnimist:

    FurryCatHerder wrote: “… a lot of things that reduce carbon emissions are now cost-savers. We need to get that message out.”

    Interestingly, some regular commenters here seem greatly concerned to prevent that message from getting out, to the point of calling anyone who dares to suggest such a thing a paid shill and part of a deliberate “Merchants Of Doubt” disinformation campaign — while they continue to repeat (with no supporting evidence whatsoever, and often contrary to observed facts) that rapid, major emissions reductions MUST impose draconian “deprivation and hardship” on the entire population.

  251. Hank Roberts:

    http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/03/15/068246

    Among Americans ages 18 to 29, Gallup found that 78 percent thought the effects of global warming were already occurring or would occur during their lifetime. Just 47 percent of seniors (those 65 and over) said the same. Gallup officials say their poll’s results could explain why Americans don’t politically prioritize environmental issues; instead, their top concerns are issues that will affect them immediately, like the economy and health care.

    “Whatever the reasons, those who argue climate change is the top problem of our age are no doubt aghast that even now, in 2014, Americans are not more worried or concerned than they are. A lot of the efforts to raise concern levels and awareness to date have obviously not worked well. It may be that new tactics are needed. So far, however, even if it is a case of whistling past the graveyard, Americans are clearly more focused on other issues.”

  252. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Phil L — 14 Mar 2014 @ 10:44 PM, ~#242

    Phil, I don’t disagree with the IPCC and I have not been saying that no forests should be cut, just stating the realities of forest carbon sequestration. Any time that fossil carbon burning is displaced by biomass for energy production there is net reduction in atmospheric CO2 because the biomass is a part of the short carbon cycle where regrowth reabsorbs the CO2 on the basis of a few years, while fossil CO2 is added for hundreds of years and longer.

    When the IPCC piece mentions “mitigation options by the forestry sector” they are discussing practices that the wood products industry have been and will continue to resist because they reduce short term profits. For example, there is a myth that cutting trees for lumber sequesters carbon. It is untrue because half of a tree is wasted and releases its CO2 in less than 10 years and the lumber is gone in much less than 100 years.

    Further mitigation practices involve what Hank Roberts and Goober have mentioned. If you don’t promote a healthy forest ecosystem (yes this includes natural fires) then soil degradation can result in a switch from forest to, for example, savanna or oak grassland which retain less carbon. Goobers comment is so obvious that I am amazed at some of the schemes I have heard regarding carbon sequestration. One really dumb example is growing artificial forests in a watered desert and burying the logs to sequester carbon. Anyone with a passing acquaintance with farming or even a backyard garden would know that you can’t grow a crop over and over again without putting something back in the soil. Currently, much of what is put back into the soil is made from natural gas which results in large releases of fossil CO2.

    Steve

  253. wili:

    I would propose that we ban/borehole discussions of space travel as solutions to destroying the earth, just as we have done so with discussions of nuclear power. It is really a waste of everyone’s precious time.

    But while we’re on the subject, besides the unfeasiblities already mentioned, please note two things:

    >>Blasting people and equipment into space itself creates GHG’s which we don’t need any more of in the atmosphere and uses scarcer and scarcer energy resources–such should be mostly restricted to vital research and communications satellites, if that.

    >>Even if we imagine that there was another pristine planet within relatively easy reach of earth (which of course there isn’t), do we really deserve such, having despoiled the one precious Earth that we actually had? If a kid kills his pet newt, does he deserve to be given a new pet pony?

  254. Ram Samudrala:

    Diogenes, I wasn’t suggesting we could/should transport 10 billion people. Far from it – just enough so that all our eggs aren’t in one basket. As you point out, there are issues even with the 2 degree variance limit, and it looks like we’re headed for 4 degrees, which I think will indeed mean every increasing likelihood that this process will continue regardless of what we do with emissions, and also an increasing likelihood that none of humanity will survive the outcome. I think the Arctic is the bell weather of this process, going from a stable climate system to an unstable one. You are asking how we can put the genie back in the bottle and I’m in agreement with some of the posts you’ve made, that it may not be possible.

    Radge Havers, I fully accept that there may not be other planets that we could live on/in, but if we’re able to build a space ark of sorts, we could continue to live in it. Also, not only do I refuse to accept an either/or mentality (we could try politically to get all the nations in the world to work together to cut emissions, and we could try to preserve some portion of humanity in space, at the same time), I also feel that the research done could be complementary and applicable in many different scenarios. If we can learn to build self contained biospheres, then we could live underwater, on the surface, underground, in equatorial orbit (lower radiation), and so on. Basically we could live where we wanted provided the biosphere surface/shielding can withstand the external environment. And also we’d have learnt to coexist in such environments which will be instructional for the future so we don’t mess up again. These environments can be connected to form large structures if we choose to remain on this planet.

    No, I’m not shilling for self-contained biospheres (in some forums I see ads for these kinds of objects). It’s just a response to Diogenes’ very valid comments about the situation we’re in (and really the only solution to an apocalypse on this planet, what else could you do?). Like I said earlier, the problem is that the lag between emissions and effect is so long, that it occupies half an average lifespan, and people dismiss it or aren’t worried about it since they are more worried about immediate survival. Humanity evolutionarily might not be capable of dealing with this problem effectively. However, our pioneering/explorative spirit is one of our more “successful” traits. Modern humans have generally not learnt to coexist with their environments without destroying it entirely but we have been able to move to new environments quickly and take over. Just as capitalism is successful by exploiting human greed, the biosphere concept that can go anywhere exploits our traits for exploration.

    I think appropriate large scale geoengineering solutions are also possible, including, or as well as, creating a set of large mirrors facing the sun that blanket the earth and regulate the temperature/climate system (in effect creating a biosphere that envelopes the planet, which could also provide power). By large, I mean really really really large, enough to account for the albedo loss from diminished Arctic ice. Unlike the smaller biosphere concept, this would require huge problems to be solved in both technological and political realms (i.e., requires multiple natures, cultures, societies to cooperate).

    A political issue with the smaller biosphere idea is that if a truly self-contained one can be built, then no one in it needs anyone else, and this takes away power from centralised authorities, which may be resisted by some. Besides issues like radiation, gravity, energy requirements, you’d also have to worry about inbreeding, and have access to a large enough population to keep the species going. It’s obviously nontrivial, but I really don’t see what else can be done given our addiction to fossil fuels.

  255. Ram Samudrala:

    wili, I’d have no problem if someone said the solution had to be limited to staying within the planet – I still think the self-contained biosphere idea is viable beyond space travel applications. I didn’t realise nuclear power in its entirety was banned from discussion but if you think about how nuclear submarines work, I’d say they’ve found a reasonably successful solution to living in an environment that one day may be where we end up. These biospheres, which otherwise could be nuclear powered, could be constructed around the region of the methane hydrates and sediments could use methane as a power source also, and as I said before, could be interconnected as needed to form large structures.

    Yes, almost anything we do technologically these days will result in the use of fossil fuels. I don’t see a way out of this: we’re already going to do it anyway, i.e., burn enough fossil fuels to exceed the 2 degree limit, and within a few decades, to the 4 degree limit.

    And yeah, I’m saying we should move most of humanity into little boxes to adapt to instability we create in the climate system. I don’t know what other viable solution is there in response to diogenes’ posts. And I think this is slightly easier than getting all the politicians in the world to agree on curtailing greenhouse gas emissions to a point where we don’t create instability in the global climate system.

    Re: space travel, a lot of smart and well intentioned people are in favour of it. It doesn’t mean they’re right, but I do think it shouldn’t be dismissed offhand. I also see it more as a hedge against some catastrophic event that occurs on the planet to ensure the survival of the human species, not to move everyone currently on earth there.

  256. Ram Samudrala:

    wili, also your argument about what we deserve is not very relevant either. We could ask the same question of this planet: do we really deserve to live in it and continue the propagation of our species considering how much we’ve messed it up for all the other organisms? Until we came along, the climate system on the earth has been managing on its own without our interference. By discussing solutions to preserve humanity on this planet, I believe we implicitly have agreed the answer is “yes”.

  257. Hank Roberts:

    from Slashdot

    NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

    A new study (PDF) sponsored by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that ‘the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.’ Cases of severe civilizational disruption due to ‘precipitous collapse — often lasting centuries — have been quite common.’ They say, ‘Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use.’ After running simulations on the survivability of various types of civilizations, the researchers found that for the type most resembling ours, ‘collapse is difficult to avoid.’”

  258. numerobis:

    Hank @251: I don’t see how it is so surprising that the youth would expect effects of global warming to appear “during their lifetime” whereas the old wouldn’t. The youth have 80 years to go; the old have 20. I could easily see gramps answering a poll saying that they don’t expect “effects” (by which they mean Florida and Bangladesh going underwater) even if they were fully aware of the more modest changes that have taken place so far.

  259. Patrick Flege:

    # 257 Hank Roberts

    Interesting for sure, but don’t overestimate the use of this model. It consists of four(!!!) equations (elites, commeners, natural resources, and wealth), and does (imho) represent an interesting exercise. Way too simplistic to deserve the hype that has been done about it, however. I once did a simple excel-based model on substance flows in agriculture as an academic exercise. It consisted of dozens of interdependent equations with dozens of input variables (most of the equations were developed by other researchers), and still was not able to capture more than a highly abstraced image of reality, so simplified as to be not really useful.

    Of course, the quality of the model is much higher than the stuff I did, but a model which uses 4 equations to capture all the complexities and dynamics of the real world should not be overestimated.

  260. Hank Roberts:

    (ps, the Slashdot link refers to a Guardian article by Hafeez Ayeed, who also featured the scary AMEG stuff a while back; I’d welcome pointrs to other commenters about this NASA study)

  261. Ray Ladbury:

    Ram, I prefer my solutions not to violate more than one basic law of physics at a time.

  262. flxible:

    “Any time that fossil carbon burning is displaced by biomass for energy production there is net reduction in atmospheric CO2 because the biomass is a part of the short carbon cycle where regrowth reabsorbs the CO2 on the basis of a few years, while fossil CO2 is added for hundreds of years and longer.”

    Providing the harvested biomass is replaced by an equal amount of regrowth “in a few years”, which in today’s forestry practices it is not – and of course, if the biomass hadn’t been burned the fossil carbon could have been what was absorbed by the growth. There’s not a “better” way to generate atmospheric CO2.

  263. Walter:

    235 DIOGENES, a copy of the Steinacher paper published in Nature is available here http://www.climateemergencyinstitute.com/uploads/Multiple_climate_targets_Allowable_carbon_July_2013_.pdf

    fwiw I have edited/updated my BAU page fwiw http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/bau-disaster-in-making.html

    some words of wisdom from Dr James Hansen Feb 2014 – regarding Nuclear power and ‘merchants of doubt’ — eg “Climate scientists have long warned of potential catastrophic effects of unchecked fossil fuel use. ” Hansen
    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/renewable-energy-nuclear-power-and.html

    Avoidance of a mature, science based, nuclear energy discussion usually comes back to cognitive dissonance alone, and from that comes a lack of rational cognitive thinking as well as a lack of courtesy to others and much ‘hand waving’. Hansen is now making a personal effort to change this by setting a new example others could follow.
    Regards

  264. Phil L:

    #243 Hank Roberts, #244 Goober, #252 Steve Fish, #262 flxible: There seems to be some confusion about what sustainable forest management is. Here in Canada’s boreal forest, stands managed on a rotation of 80 or 90 years accumulate a lot of organic matter in the soil. The portion of the stem removed is a very small fraction of the carbon produced by the stand since the last disturbance. I think that Chapter 9 of the IPCC AR4 WG3 report, which I linked to in #242 above, does a good job of explaining forests and climate change mitigation. They used peer-reviewed science to draw their conclusions. Perhaps Hank is correct and that body of forest science has been overturned since 2007. We’ll see what the IPCC AR5 WG3 report due in April 2014 will say. Meanwhile, this short video by Dr. Werner Kurz of the Canadian Forest Service (one of the authors of the IPCC AR4 WG3 report) seems to indicate that he hasn’t changed his mind since 2007.
    http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/video/13557

  265. Kevin McKinney:

    Welcome back to commenting, Furry Cat Herder! Haven’t heard from you for a while. I like your comment that:

    “…a lot of things that reduce carbon emissions are now cost-savers. We need to get that message out.”

    As SA says, it’s very strange, but there is more resistance to this notion than one would expect. (Perhaps some folks develop an emotional attachment to the idea of the apocalypse (whether capitalized or not.))

    Yet it is a good starting point for the sort of plan we need, which is a communications/education plan. As an online writer, I have a certain vantage point on that: I’ve published 92 articles, with 41 of them focussing on climate change. Those articles also account for all the oldest articles (and therefore the ones with the most ‘opportunities’ to accumulate views.)

    Music ‘how-tos’ account for 16 articles, and about 12,000 page views.

    The ‘how to’ articles number just 10, and account for over 78,000 page views–damn near half of my page view total.

    So–’how to save money by embracing solar energy’ would clearly be a very salable article. Currently, I acquiring the wherewithal to write that first-person (which is pretty much the only way I know how to do it.) But you, Furry, may (like Steve Fish, and probably some others on this forum, too) already be there. Have you considered writing up your experiences in order to help ‘get the message out?’ If not, I’d gladly welcome any info you have to share with me offline, for my eventual work on the topic!

    (And on a technical note, I’ve had the same issue with the Captcha box going away as you did, and worked around it the same way you did. It seems to have cleared up since I updated my Safari, though.)

  266. SRJ:

    I have a question about the forcings in the IPCC table of forcing found here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/images/ipcc_rad_forc_ar5.jpg

    I want to find the net anthro forcing from 1980 to 2011. In the bottom of the table the net forcing from:
    1750-2011 is given as 2.29
    1750-1980 is given as 1.25

    So can I calculate the forcing from 1980-2011 as the difference between these two, giving 1.04?

    [All units are of course W/m^2]

  267. wili:

    Is there going to be a post on Gavin’s (and friends’) recent excellent article on updates to effects of aerosol’s and other forcings? “Reconciling warming trends”
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n3/full/ngeo2105.html

  268. wili:

    Oops, I see the Schmidt article is covered in the “pause” thread. I should learn not to post before my first cup of coffee.

  269. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by flxible — 15 Mar 2014 @ 6:05 PM, ~#262

    What I have been griping about is bad forestry practices and the imperative to allow forests to grow and mature as much as possible, but your further comment- “if the biomass hadn’t been burned the fossil carbon could have been what was absorbed by the growth. There’s not a ‘better’ way to generate atmospheric CO2” – is confusing. You seem to be saying that we humans should not be using any wood, fiber, or food products from plants because we need them to absorb fossil CO2.

    To put a sharper point on this, if I grow a potato plant every year, using homemade fertilizers, and eat the resulting potatoes and burn them with my metabolism to release CO2, how much atmospheric CO2 accumulates from this practice? None, right? Isn’t this a better way to generate atmospheric CO2? I am a responsible manager of my own little forest and use it, instead of gas, or oil, or coal to heat my house and domestic hot water and think this is a much better way to generate atmospheric CO2. Please clarify.

    Steve

  270. Hank Roberts:

    SRJ, look again at the link I posted and read the abstract:

    Montane forest root growth and soil organic layer depth as potential factors stabilizing Cenozoic global change (pages 983–990)
    Christopher E. Doughty, Lyla L. Taylor, Cecile A. J. Girardin, Yadvinder Malhi and David J. Beerling

    Article first published online: 6 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058737

    This site tries to promote a discussions of climate science, not a debate.

    No single new study is going to “overthrow” what’s in the last IPCC report or change any prominent individual’s worldview.

    That’s about the Cenozoic.

    Relevance to current events is something to talk about, not fight over.

    The idea is to inform.

  271. Hank Roberts:

    Dang, the blog software again has converted a link to an outside source into a circular link to this topic. Let me try that again.

    Well, this gets you to it indirectly]
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Montane+forest+root+growth+and+soil+organic+layer+depth+as+potential+factors+stabilizing+Cenozoic+global+change

  272. DIOGENES:

    Kevin McKinney #265,

    “…a lot of things that reduce carbon emissions are now cost-savers. We need to get that message out.”…..it’s very strange, but there is more resistance to this notion than one would expect…..Perhaps some folks develop an emotional attachment to the idea of the apocalypse”

    If we want to avoid the Apocalypse, the message we need to get out is the following: 1) we are out of carbon budget, and into carbon debt; 2) we need to eliminate all non-essential uses of fossil energy, and make the essential uses more efficient. Period.

    The components are not equal; the dominant term by far is elimination of all non-essential uses of fossil energy, which includes trimming the fat off the essential uses (e.g., lowering thermostats in Winter, raising them in Summer). In the two proxy plans posted by our resident ‘sock-puppet’, the Spross plan and the Ceres Clean Trillion plan, I showed in detail that each will provide ~1% reduction in CO2 emissions per year over decades. To avoid the Apocalypse, we need reductions at least an order of magnitude higher. So, play all the word games that you want, the numbers tell the whole story. If all these papers on climate change you are publishing emphasize only the minor term in the equation, and ignore the major term, you are doing no more to ameliorate the worst of climate change than the Koch Bros. or Sen. Inhofe!

  273. flxible:

    Phil@264, The govt figures don’t paint as rosy a picture of the sustainability of Canadian forests, nor does observation of the practices here in “beautiful British Columbia”. While I support responsible harvesting, slash and burn forestry isn’t doing it, replanting isn’t anywhere near keeping up, and pulp and paper aren’t the ideal end products.

  274. DIOGENES:

    Walter #263,

    “Avoidance of a mature, science based, nuclear energy discussion usually comes back to cognitive dissonance alone, and from that comes a lack of rational cognitive thinking as well as a lack of courtesy to others and much ‘hand waving’. Hansen is now making a personal effort to change this by setting a new example others could follow.”

    What the renewables types on this blog want is unchallenged unpaid advertising. Comparison with nuclear brings out many of the weaknesses with renewables. Both approaches have strong points and weak points, and if we are going to allow unpaid advertising for one, we need to allow it for both for fairness, including comparisons.

    However, changing the supply side from high carbon to low carbon technology, while important, is the minor part of what’s needed if we want to avoid the Apocalypse. We need to eliminate all non-essential uses of fossil energy, and make the essential uses more efficient, which includes trimming the fat off the essential uses (e.g., lowering thermostats in Winter, raising them in Summer). This elimination is the dominant part of the equation, BY FAR. The Koch Bros., Rex Tillerson, and Sen. Inhofe don’t want to do this elimination, and the Type 2 deniers on this blog don’t want to do this elimination. Both will take us to the same Apocalyptic end point, albeit at slightly different speeds.

  275. DIOGENES:

    Ram #254,

    “Diogenes, I wasn’t suggesting we could/should transport 10 billion people. Far from it – just enough so that all our eggs aren’t in one basket.”

    OK. Now I see where you’re headed. You are proposing some interim adaptation schemes for where we are headed on anything close to BAU. I say interim, since it’s hard to see how truly long-term survival would be possible in these options you’ve mentioned. So, maybe we place a few thousand in orbit; how many generations could they last under those conditions, and what kinds of mutations would we get after decades in those radiation environments? And, what is the quality of life under such conditions?

    I haven’t really been focused on these types of adaptation; I’ve been focused on the issue of what it would take to have a reasonable chance of avoiding the impending climate Apocalypse. I believe I’ve identified it with my plan. The next step is to identify a plan that’s salable that provides most of the benefits of my plan. So far, I haven’t even come close. The proxy plans posted on this blog that I’ve analyzed in some detail, such as the Spross plan and the Ceres Clean Trillion plan, aren’t even in the ballpark of what we need. As I have shown, their focus on altering the supply side, and some energy efficiency technology introduction, provides emissions reductions slightly over 1% per year for decades. To avoid the climate Apocalypse, we need emissions reductions over an order of magnitude greater, and my plan provides those. I focus on the major terms in the equation; the proponents of these plans ignore the major terms, and concentrate on the minor terms.

  276. SecularAnimist:

    Diogenes wrote: “What the renewables types on this blog want is unchallenged unpaid advertising.”

    Just one more of the childish insults that comprise much of the verbal diarrhea with which you’ve been flooding this site for months.

  277. SecularAnimist:

    Hank Roberts linked (#257): “NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization”

    It is interesting to compare and contrast that study with the Club Of Rome’s 1972 “Limits To Growth”, and the 1992 sequel by Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows, and Jørgen Randers, “Beyond The Limits”.

    Based on a quick perusal of the PDF of the new study, it seems quite a lot simpler and less sophisticated, though it also seems to point in much the same direction. Pretty much all such studies do.

  278. Ram Samudrala:

    Diogenes, I believe we’re going to suffer a huge drop in the quality of life before it gets better. Lots of people will die as the system corrects to adjust for overpopulation. The next 100 years or so I feel will be very telling for humanity. But there are at least two issues: 1. survival of humanity as a species (especially the traits that make us distinctly “human”); 2. having a good quality of life. The carbon budgets and debts are different for the two. I think we’ve already exceeded the budget and are in the red for (2) but not for (1). I think if we can get 10,000 humans to survive and preserve our intelligence (the neocortex), we’re okay. The other stuff is part of evolution.

    I think you’re right about needing reductions in emissions greater than what’s needed by plans that sugarcoat the situation. I think such cuts are difficult to achieve due to a lack of political will, not for any other reason. It require cooperation by varied cultures, societies, political systems. China and US have to cooperate with the Indian subcontinent and Europe, which have to cooperate with the Middle East, Russia, and South America to achieve drastic emissions cuts (elimination of all nonessential uses of fossil fuels).

    As people have stated, a case can be made that if humanity can’t keep this planet habitable for us, then our species doesn’t deserve to propagate. If that’s the case, then we can wait and see if the political stars align but I think it’s unlikely to happen. What I am saying assumes the minimum goal is (1).

    In other words, I personally believe that the chances of humanity building selfcontained biospheres and existing somewhere (on or off this planet) is slightly greater than the chances you’ll get the vast majority of the people in the world to agree to eliminate nonessential uses of fossil fuels before it’s too late. I think the odds are about the same but I lean towards tapping into our curiousity (to explore space, underwater, underground) rather than our foresight (decades ahead views).

  279. Hank Roberts:

    If you address him, he is encouraged to reply.
    Just sayin’, choose who you want to hear more from.

    __________
    On forests, another very different area of the world shows similar behavior — question seems to remain unanswered is whether any extraction can be done without degrading the forest.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112705007498?np=y

    A decade or two ago there was talk of removing individual trees straight up using helicopters or blimps; that seems not to have worked anywhere I can find, tho I hope some forestry science folks will comment.

  280. SecularAnimist:

    Kevin McKinney wrote: “Perhaps some folks develop an emotional attachment to the idea of the apocalypse”

    At times it does seem that something like that is going around (the “12 Monkeys” syndrome).

    I speculate that some people are so uncomfortable with uncertainty, that they actually prefer the certainty of doom.

    And some people seem to want humanity to be punished — to feel it’s what we “deserve”.

    But I think the main driver of attacks on the potential of renewable energy and efficiency to both rapidly eliminate GHG emissions AND create sustainable, equitable prosperity, is the effort to drive that message out of the public discourse, and to drown it out with this one:

    “We do not see a viable pathway with any known technology today to achieve the 350 outcome that is not devastating to economies, societies and peoples’ health and well-being around the world.”
    Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, May 2013

    In the fossil fuel industry’s propaganda, attacks on renewable energy and efficiency have ALWAYS gone hand in hand with denial of the problem:

    Deny there is a problem, deny that there is a solution.

  281. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by SecularAnimist — 16 Mar 2014 @ 1:00 PM, ~# 276

    No, no, you have Diogenes all wrong! He has explained in detail why “changing the supply side from high carbon to low carbon technology, while important, is the minor part of what’s needed if we want to avoid the Apocalypse.” He explains that it is demand that important, such as “lowering thermostats in Winter, raising them in Summer.” That is what is going to avoid the apocalypse. Damn, it is all just so simple. I think that Diogenes is really wasting his talent on this blog and should take his message over to Wally World (see Walter’s post ~#263) where posting his inspired commentary anonymously will be welcomed.

    (Please excuse the satire, but this was just too much temptation) Steve

  282. flxible:

    Steve@269 – No, I’m saying the burning of wood to generate ‘energy’ in place of burning fossil carbon in various forms, is still generating CO2, the sum total of which is well in excess of the ‘natural’ carbon cycle. The only way to fit human activity to the natural carbon cycle is to stop purposely burning carbon, natural processes produce as much as they consume. I’m thinking the planets biomass isn’t likely to support 7 billion burning it in place of fossil fuels. Which is to say, the less of anything we burn, the closer we get to allowing the carbon cycle to balance. [I must say tho' that I also burn wood for heat, primarily waste lumber]

  283. DIOGENES:

    Walter #263,

    “fwiw I have edited/updated my BAU page fwiw”

    Excellent post. The bigger picture is becoming clear.

    Let’s define X as the total emissions reductions per year required to avoid the impending climate Apocalypse. Then, in the nearer-term critical years, about 95% of X has to come from behavior changes (eliminating non-essential fossil expenditures, trimming the fat from the essential), since only about 5% is projected to come from technology changes (substitute low-carbon for fossil sources, substitute high-efficiency for low-efficiency) in studies such as the Ceres Clean Trillion posted recently. Now, the Koch Bros/Inhofe reject the behavior changes responsible for the 95% and reject the technology changes responsible for the 5%, which will result essentially in zero total emissions reductions. The Windfall proponents on this blog also reject the behavior changes responsible for the 95%, and sound the trumpets for the technology changes responsible for the 5%, which will end up providing 5% of the total emissions reductions required. Thus, to first approximation, the Windfall proponents on this blog will lead us to the same end point as the Koch Bros/Inhofe et al, albeit slightly slower. Their emphasis on the 5% at the expense of the 95% is a bullet-proof plan for unmitigated disaster masquerading as concern.

    Unless the moderators have a counter-argument to what I have presented, it is a travesty to allow this misinformation/disinformation to be continually posted on such a critical issue. Would the moderators give a green light to a study whose equations neglected a term responsible for 95% of the impact while focusing on another term responsible for 5% of the impact? Why then do they allow posts that recommend ignoring a component responsible for 95% of the emissions reductions required to avoid the impending disaster?

  284. Phil L:

    flxible #273, What concerns you about those numbers? The area re-planted is lower than the area harvested largely because many areas naturally regenerate (e.g. trembling aspen). I see numbers such as “Net accumulation in forest biomass and dead organic matter (CO2e/yr) (megatonnes) 154.0″ for Canada’s managed forest, and unless I’m interpreting it wrongly, that doesn’t look bad.
    Keep in mind that the “deforestation” number isn’t from forest management, but from conversion of forest land to other land uses, such as housing developments.

  285. Phil L:

    Hank Roberts # 279, I don’t have a lot of experience with forestry on steep slopes, in fact in my part of Canada we have relatively flat terrain and there are ground rules restricting timber harvest on steep slopes. In places like B.C. cable systems are often used.
    http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/pubs/docs/sil/Sil468-2-1.pdf

  286. Phil L:

    Hank Roberts # 279, The forestry I am familiar with is on relatively flat terrain, so erosion isn’t a big problem. Steep slopes are generally avoided. In places like B.C. I understand that cable systems are used.
    http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/pubs/docs/sil/Sil468-2-1.pdf

  287. Thomas:

    I’m convinced that non sugar coated solutions just won’t sell. I’m also convinced that as the quality and cost of renewables improves, that more and more people will come over to taking action. The cost of not being able to take the crash decarbonization path is that the 2C goal will be missed. But 3C is still better than 4,5,6 or more.

  288. Chris Crawford:

    Can anybody tell me where I can find net error results for the ensemble of model outputs used in AR5? My eyeball tells me that the RMS error is very low, but I’d still like to see the numerical values of RMS error for temperature output versus observation for the last 100 years.

  289. flxible:

    Hank, Helicopter logging is fairly common in BC [and most of Western N America], including some single stem operations for high value product, helicopters burn a LOT of fuel. This company near me on Vancouver Island is one I’m most familiar with.

    Phil, the numbers don’t compute, the forests are not being replaced at anywhere near the rate they’re being harvested, and, at least on the coast, ‘slash and burn’ is still practiced: limb the trees, burn the biomass[slash] piles left behind.

  290. SecularAnimist:

    Regarding forests, here’s a useful resource:

    Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that empowers people everywhere to better manage forests. For the first time, Global Forest Watch unites satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about forests. GFW is free and follows an open data approach in putting decision-relevant information in the hands of governments, companies, NGOs, and the public.

    GFW is supported by a diverse partnership of organizations that contribute data, technical capabilities, funding, and expertise. The partnership is convened by the World Resources Institute.

  291. Walter:

    282, 274 DIOGENES,

    What I am hearing Diogenes is that there is a Demand side and a Supply side in the Energy Equation. A pull and push dynamic scenario working together that has/is increasing Carbon emissions from 1% pa up to 3% pa globally now. It can end badly, or simply end.

    That’s the hard problem, and the current situation seems to be one where individuals are unable to, or are restricted from, making ‘better choices’ … However, it is also true that individual and collection action can and does point the needle to a reduction direction or the increasing direction.

    1) Any sustained actions over time that reduces ‘demand’ has a cumulative equivalent effect on the ‘supply’ of the equation.

    2) All Governments have the power and authority to implement laws and regulations that moderates human behavior in positive ways. That’s why we have Road Rules and vehicle Registration requirements for a ‘civilized world’.

    3) However, reality also constrains Governments. Tough regulation could put 20% of a nations fossil fuel power generators out of business very quickly if there was the will to do so. The constraint is, there is no Energy replacement or efficiency gain immediately to hand that can replace that 20%, or even 10%, or 5%.

    4) Everyone owns the air and so everyone has a basic human right to a say in how it’s being used. “Hoi, that’s MY atmosphere you’re polluting there buddy!”

    Private Profits and Individual Use is predicated upon the existing system of Socialized Costs being spread Globally and not being paid by those who actually benefited from the Energy Use.

    5) All climate scientists, scientists, and academics, plus all science and academic institutions have an influential role they can play in the field of political action, beyond merely crunching the numbers and spitting out the scientific facts.

    Meanwhile, all available science and data suggests the current medium term trajectory for Global Energy Use in the next 25 years remains Business As Usual. Yet, business as usual is not a rational option. Here we are, anyway.

    (long version http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/supply-and-demand-in-energy-equation.html )

  292. Tony Weddle:

    I’m not sure if this has come up before but the oft-quoted 2C target, that is given in AR5 WG1 SPM, presumably is calculated based on some climate sensitivity (whether transient or equilibrium). I couldn’t see than in the SPM. Is that given somwhere in the full report (I couldn’t see it in the final draft and haven’t downloaded the published version). Even then, all of the ranges of allowed emissions to have a chance (between 33% and 66% chance) of staying under 2C include 0 as the lower end of the range (i.e. the summary is saying that it’s possible no more emissions are possible to have a chance – only a chance – of staying under 2C).

    But, as I was perusing this New Scientist article, I relised that the climate sensitivity is now thought likely to be at the high end of estimates. Wouldn’t this change the emissions budgets substantially (so that the lower end of the range is negative and the upper end much lower)? I realise that 2C is almost certainly far too high but, as it seems to be ingrained in all the reporting and in our leaders’ minds, shouldn’t the allowed budget be adjusted down?

  293. DIOGENES:

    Ram #278,

    We seem to get two types of posts on the major climate blogs: chatter and what are essentially unpaid technology advertisements. The latter are cloaked in buzzwords like renewables and energy efficiency, and presented as solutions to ameliorate climate change. Since they neglect the major emissions reductions component of demand reduction, they are in effect plans for geocide.

    Both you and I have actually done something very different. I have proposed a plan that, if implemented, would have a reasonable chance of avoiding the impending climate Apocalypse. It is the only plan of this type on the climate blogs. You have looked at the other side of the spectrum, recognizing there is no will to ameliorate the impending disaster. I believe that, at this point in time, based on every shred of evidence I have seen, your assumption is correct. You have then asked the question: how could some small segment of our species survive and propagate into the future, either on this planet or some other (or perhaps inter-planetary). That’s actually an interesting question, although unbelievably difficult to answer. You are dealing more with the reality of our climate predicament than most of these Windfall proponents, who are promoting fiction for personal gain.

    I’m not optimistic that you will be successful in identifying cohesive solutions, but I think the quest is a useful exercise. The Windfall proponents, on the other hand, are cynically banking on fear and desperation to drive public acceptance of their non-solutions, in order to profit from this final affliction of humanity.

  294. Kevin McKinney:

    #272–Diogenes, your posts seem to get nastier and nastier in tone.

    However, when you insist only a message that is ‘unsalable’–however correct–you are, as SA points out, insisting on continued inaction, whether that is your intent or not.

    On the other hand, to point out that there are useful actions to be undertaken now–and that they come, in many cases, with significant co-benefits, is something with ‘legs’–something with a reasonable chance of efficacy, not only in reaching the public, but in effecting real mitigative action over short timeframes.

    I expect you are right that that, by itself, will not be ‘enough’ to deal with the carbon problem. But it will put us in much better position to take whatever further steps we need to take. The ‘apocalypse’ has already come, after all, for those who’ve died already from climate-related events. (I make the number so far to be on the order of 100,000, with at least $100 billion US in losses, for what it’s worth.)

    So, by all means keep the doom-beat going, if it amuses you. But kindly spare us the insults.

  295. DIOGENES:

    When Rex Tillerson makes the statement: “We do not see a viable pathway with any known technology today to achieve the 350 outcome that is not devastating to economies”, he is entirely correct. He’s not the only one coming to that conclusion. Kevin Anderson, Tim Garrett, myself, and many others who have examined the economic consequences of the severe fossil fuel usage reductions required to give us any chance of avoiding the impending climate Apocalypse all come to that conclusion, with perhaps somewhat different views of ‘devastating’. The Windfall proponents who post their unpaid advertisements on this blog offer the complete fiction that prosperity is possible under the severe economic contraction required. The only prosperity that will result is for the Windfall proponents and their front men!

  296. DIOGENES:

    Thomas #285,

    “But 3C is still better than 4,5,6 or more.”

    That’s true, IF we are able to stabilize at 3 C. The question is whether the increasing carbon cycle feedbacks will allow us to stabilize at 3 C, and not go on autopilot to take us to 4, 5, 6 C and above. That’s a question that I’d like to avoid answering, if at all possible.

  297. Vendicar Decarian:

    Wyoming first state to block new science standards

    One of lawmakers’ big concerns with the Next Generation Science Standards is an expectation that students will understand humans have significantly altered the Earth’s biosphere. In other words, the standards say global warming is real.

    That’s a problem for some Wyoming lawmakers.

    “[The standards] handle global warming as settled science,” said Rep. Matt Teeters, a Republican from Lingle who was one of the footnote’s authors. “There’s all kind of social implications involved in that that I don’t think would be good for Wyoming.”

    Teeters said teaching global warming as fact would wreck Wyoming’s economy, as the state is the nation’s largest energy exporter, and cause other unwanted political ramifications.

    Micheli, the state board of education chairman, agreed.

    “I don’t accept, personally, that [climate change] is a fact,” Micheli said. “[The standards are] very prejudiced in my opinion against fossil-fuel development.”

    http://trib.com/news/local/education/wyoming-first-state-to-block-new-science-standards/article_5d0ec624-6b50-5354-b015-ca2f5f7d7efe.html

  298. Radge Havers:

    The ironically challenged use of caps in some comments gives pause.

    The unified theory of the crank
    The Denialism Blog
    http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2007/04/30/unified-theory-of-the-crank/

    Hoofnagle points out that cranks and denialists are not necessarily the same thing and points to a list of universal crank characteristics on Wikipedia:

    1. Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts.
    2. Cranks insist that their alleged discoveries are urgently important.
    3. Cranks rarely if ever acknowledge any error, no matter how trivial.
    4. Cranks love to talk about their own beliefs, often in inappropriate social situations, but they tend to be bad listeners, and often appear to be uninterested in anyone else’s experience or opinions.

    “Almost every time I succumb to the temptation to respond to a crank I end up regretting it.”
    ~ Orac

  299. DIOGENES:

    Kevin McKinney #292,

    ” Diogenes, your posts seem to get nastier and nastier in tone.”

    Everything is relative. My posts are heavy in technical detail, and extremely light in invective. The polar opposite is true with your tag-team partner SA, whose posts contain NO TARGETS and maximum invective.

    “However, when you insist only a message that is ‘unsalable’–however correct–you are, as SA points out, insisting on continued inaction, whether that is your intent or not.”

    I wish you, SA, and Fish would stop assigning to me statements that I never made. I don’t know what pathology drives the three of you, but the issue is far too important to be dominated by these perverse games that you play. I don’t insist on continued inaction; just the opposite. My computations show that many radical actions need to be started NOW, and performed in parallel. These include severe demand reduction IN PARALLEL WITH rapid installation of low-carbon technologies and energy efficiency improvement technologies. The problem I have with the recommendations of the three of you is they only address the minor part of the problem. Your recommendations are encompassed under the lifestyle maintenance component of my plan; I suggest you go to #63 and read the plan until you understand it. I have stated multiple times that if only the lifestyle maintenance component of my plan is instituted, it probably won’t allow us to avoid the impending climate disaster. That’s not a call for inaction. That’s a call for maximum action possible. if all you want to do is institute the lifestyle maintenance component of my plan, as the three of you propose, don’t deceive the audience by telling them that is sufficient to avoid the disaster.

  300. Hank Roberts:

    carbon cycle feedbacks …. a question that I’d like to avoid answering, if at all possible.

    You’ve certainly help drive away the scientists who are working on answering it.

    Fortunately those interestedin learning can find them elsewhere.

  301. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by flxible — 16 Mar 2014 @ 2:58 PM, ~#281

    I think we probably agree, so how about these basic concepts?

    1) Anybody who advocates trying to provide the energy needs for 7 billion people with just biomass probably forgot to take his meds.

    2) Insuring a worldwide balance between CO2 absorption and CO2 release in the human usage of plants will require a determined application of known science and common sense.

    3) Going further to provide for a substantial worldwide net storage of carbon by forests and other ecologies is politically difficult, but doable.

    Otherwise, using waste lumber for heating is an excellent use of biomass. It was already rapidly returning its carbon to the atmosphere. I have been heating my home with wood for much of the last 48 years and have only occasionally cut down a live tree, and this was mostly for fire and other safety measures.

    Steve

  302. SecularAnimist:

    Diogenes wrote in #274: “What the renewables types on this blog want is unchallenged unpaid advertising.”

    Diogenes wrote in #282: “Unless the moderators have a counter-argument to what I have presented, it is a travesty to allow this misinformation/disinformation to be continually posted on such a critical issue.”

    So.

    First (#274), for about the millionth time, he falsely accuses commenters who he disparages as “renewables types” of using this blog for purposes of commercial gain, i.e. “advertising” — which is utter nonsense and nothing more than a pathetic flame-baiting insult.

    Moreover, he accuses “renewables types” of demanding “unchallenged” use of this blog. Of course, no one has ever done, or even hinted at, any such thing.

    Then (#282), he himself insists that the moderators must disallow any comments that he finds objectionable — and this is at least the second time he has seen fit to lecture the folks who maintain this site that their “credibility” depends on deleting comments that he disagrees with.

    The hypocrisy is stark.

    In nearly 25 years engaging in a variety of discussions in various Internet forums, I have rarely if ever encountered such blatant, boorish, belligerent trollery or such abject intellectual dishonesty.

    For some three months now, this fellow has dominated this site with a steady stream of repetitious slogans (“Apocalypse! Apocalypse! Deprivation and Hardship!”) presented as “THE plan”, empty rhetorical fallacies of every kind, self-glorifying blog combat with straw-men, and — increasingly — personal attacks on other commenters.

    And now — incredibly — here he is condescendingly lecturing the hosts of this site on how they should moderate the comment page to his liking.

    Is anyone else sick of it?

  303. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by SecularAnimist — 16 Mar 2014 @ 1:00 PM, ~# 276

    No, no, you have Diogenes all wrong! He has explained in detail why “changing the supply side from high carbon to low carbon technology, while important, is the minor part of what’s needed if we want to avoid the Apocalypse.” He explains that it is demand that is important, such as “lowering thermostats in Winter, raising them in Summer.” That is what is going to avoid the apocalypse. Damn, it is all just so simple. I think that Diogenes is really wasting his talent on this blog and should take his message over to Wally World (see Walter’s recent posts above) where posting his inspired commentary anonymously will be welcomed. Besides, I think that Wally has only gotten a single response comment to his multiple essays and is lonely.

    (Please excuse the satire, but this was just too much temptation) Steve

  304. SecularAnimist:

    Diogenes wrote (#282):

    “Let’s define X as the total emissions reductions per year required … about 95% of X has to come from behavior changes … The Windfall proponents on this blog also reject the behavior changes responsible for the 95% Why then do they [the moderators] allow posts that recommend ignoring a component responsible for 95% of the emissions reductions …”

    The moderators cannot disallow posts such as you describe, for the simple reason that there has never been even one such comment posted on this blog, by anyone.

    NO ONE commenting here has EVER “recommended” ignoring ANY “component” of emissions reductions.

    This is a perfect example of the blatant intellectual dishonesty of your tiresome, interminable blog combat with nonexistent straw-men.

    What multiple other commenters HAVE done, of course, is to utterly refute the multiple fallacies underlying your strident sloganeering that the technologies, efficiencies AND “behavior changes” needed to rapidly reduce emissions must necessarily impose “deprivation and hardship” on everyone.

    You have NEVER offered even the slightest support for that claim. And you have been utterly unable to respond to criticisms of it, except with personal attacks on the character and motivation of other commenters, and now, with demands that the moderators suppress criticism of your comments.

  305. SecularAnimist:

    Diogenes wrote (#293): “The Windfall proponents who post their unpaid advertisements on this blog offer the complete fiction that prosperity is possible under the severe economic contraction required. The only prosperity that will result is for the Windfall proponents and their front men!”

    For the millionth time, Diogenes falsely accuses other commenters of using this blog for purposes of commercial gain, as a vehicle for “advertisements”.

    I would point out that this is exactly the same thing as accusing climate scientists of misrepresenting the science of global warming for grant money.

  306. Ram Samudrala:

    Diogenes, #291, I’ve noticed a defense of sugarcoated solutions stating that nonsugarcoated solutions won’t be accepted (Thomas #285) and that once a sugarcoated solution is accepted, then increasing reductions can be achieved (the gradual step-by-step reductions approach). If the will was there for even this type of an approach, I’d say there is a decade or two left for trying this out to avoid the 4 degrees C variance limit (BTW, I’ve assumed that you’d agree that 4 degrees is the limit we could go to avoid an Apocalypse) but even the will isn’t there for a gradual step-by-step solution among the populace.

    I’ve always said it takes all kinds in this world and different people react differently to certain kinds of news. There is the reality that the majority of the people aren’t ready to accept that the problem is more serious than they think for various reasons and I’ve seen this among my colleagues who are all scientists (not in climate science) and academics who should know better. They believe the problem will be largely limited to the developing world, that the developed world will be insulated from global warming, while remaining ignorant of what has happened in the Arctic (I mean they are completely unaware of the latest trends). Even the IPCC is very conservative and behind by a few years while the earth system is changing much more rapidly.

    It may indeed take some huge events for people to wake up. By which time we’d be looking at a beyond 2 degrees C variance world and possibly 3 or 4 degrees C. I think 4 degrees C is the absolute limit after which the *only* solution left is the biosphere one. We have a couple of decades maximum before all this is resolved.

    I also think the average temperature variance is a poor metric of global warming. Even the maximum CO2 concentration to stabilise at is not an ideal metric. What matters is the total accumulated emissions. What is your definition for: Adaptable, Dangerous, and Apocalyptic (extinction of humanity) in terms of peak emissions (ppm CO2) and accumulated emissions (in Gt CO2 and C)?

    This paper I think gives a very good idea of what needs to be done and when in terms of different carbon budgets:
    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934/20.full

  307. Pete Dunkelberg:

    > “We do not see a viable pathway with any known technology today to achieve the 350….”

    Well yeah since we are already at 400.

  308. Pete Dunkelberg:

    > “… I relised that the climate sensitivity is now thought likely to be at the high end of estimates….”

    Either that or the other way ’round.

  309. flxible:

    Steve@301 – Your 3) is not only politically difficult, but practically difficult. Case in point: in the 30+ years I’ve been in one place I’ve planted/transplanted quite a number of trees, fir, cedar and standard root apple …. in the same time, slightly more mature trees in the immediate neighborhood have been removed, with most of the small parts chipped and sent to the landfill or used as surface mulch. Trunks and large limbs do usually go to firewood, but for sale, not for use of the property owner, many of whom prefer the convenience of fossil fuels for heating.

    As a master composter instrumental in advancing local education initiatives, I’ve been part of pushing my community to responsible agriculture, including composting sewage solids [the pictures on this Wikipedia entry are mine, as well as those on various other compost related entries :)], and campaigning to ban chemical pesticides locally. Unfortunately the citizenry are not all on board, including some of the ‘big box’ stores who’s sales can’t be limited.

    When it comes to actualities, we responsible folks are not in the majority, and likely won’t be any time soon.

  310. FurryCatHerder:

    Well, if I’d known I was using this blog as unpaid advertising for renewables, I’d have asked IBM to lay me off 4 years earlier!

    But seriously, the situation with renewables is that technology has finally caught up with the cost of fossil fuels. That’s it — every year that goes by, more and more parts of the country (and the world, as a whole) have more expensive fossil fuel based energy than one can make themselves with renewable sources.

    Solar really used to be just for rich people, and people who want to live in the middle of nowhere. The 7 year old battery-backed part of my system makes electricity for about $0.23 / kWh. That’s not bad if you live in Hawaii or California, but it’s horrible for many parts of the rest of the country. The non-battery part of my systems makes electricity for around $0.06 / kWh (pre tax credit and rebate pricing), if you assume it breaks the day the warranty ends. If you assume it lasts as long as solar systems seem to actually last, it’s even cheaper. I pay $0.117 / kWh, up from $0.105 / kWh just a year or three ago. That’s why people talk about renewables.

  311. Phil L:

    Secular Animist # 290, The Global Forest Watch website looks alarming, but it doesn’t differentiate between wildfires and timber harvest areas. For example if you zoom in on the province of Saskatchewan, there is a lot of red colour in the top 1/3 of the province. That is precambrian shield country with basically zero timber harvest. Forest fires are generally allowed to burn unless they are threatening communities.

  312. Kevin McKinney:

    #293–”My posts are… extremely light in invective.”

    Oh, really? Then it must have been some mysterious trans-dimensional entity who typed:

    …these Windfall proponents, who are promoting fiction for personal gain… plans for geocode… cynically banking on fear and desperation to drive public acceptance of their non-solutions, in order to profit from this final affliction of humanity.

    INVECTIVE: of, relating to, or characterized by insult or abuse

    HYPOCRISY: the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do : behavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel

  313. DIOGENES:

    Ram #306,

    I can’t accept the 4 C as a viable target, although I read about more and more scientists resigning themselves to the fact that that’s where we are headed, if not higher. David Spratt, in a well-documented monograph that I documented previously, shows that we are in dangerous territory already at 0.8 C. Hansen, in his Plos One paper, raises serious concerns about going much above prior Holocene temperatures because of the impacts on ‘slow feedbacks’. He views 2 C as going into dangerous territory. At 4 C, I have a hard time imagining the carbon feedbacks not going on autopilot.

    You’re right about the lack of will for any meaningful action. Australia and the USA have had a number of extreme climate-related events in recent years, and what has been the response? Well, the recent polls I cited for USA and Australia asked minimal effort questions about climate change, and even those did not have majority support.

    And, even on the climate advocacy blogs like RC, what do we get? Well, we have proposals by e.g. McKinney/Fish/SA that are Plans for Geocide masquerading as climate change solutions. They concentrate on the 5% of the required solution that will create a Windfall for the few and reject the 95% of the solution that requires motivation and hardship.

    We’re headed straight for the situation that would require the types of extreme measures you have proposed. What makes you believe the motivation will exist to pursue even those measures?

  314. DIOGENES:

    #302,

    “In nearly 25 years engaging in a variety of discussions in various Internet forums,”

    Right; 25 years of posting the type of misinformation and disinformation we see posted here, proposing actions that are a Plan for Geocide masquerading as climate change solutions.

    I’m not impressed!

  315. Walter Pearce:

    Secular Animist @ 302: Yes.

  316. DIOGENES:

    Kevin McKinney #294,

    “by all means keep the doom-beat going”

    Actually, I’m the anti-doom person. I have proposed the only plan (#63) on the climate blogs that offers any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse. That offers hope, not doom!

    The doomers are posters like you/Fish/SA, who call for actions that will address 5% of what’s needed to avoid disaster, while stridently rejecting actions that will provide 95% of what’s needed to avoid disaster (#283). That’s a sure-fire Plan for Geocide masquerading as a climate change solution.

  317. Hank Roberts:

    “If everybody would only ‘X’” is always a great plan.

    The IEWOX approach guarantees success,
    if everybody would only do what they’re told.

  318. Asnadi Jamil:

    About to see agavin on TED live. Just wanted to say hello.

  319. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Radge Havers — 17 Mar 2014 @ 9:33 AM, ~#298

    Thanks for the Unified Theory of the Crank link.

    Steve

  320. DIOGENES:

    Kevin McKinney #312,

    ” Oh, really? Then it must have been some mysterious trans-dimensional entity who typed:”

    I notice your last few posts have followed the SA/Fish diversion approach: anything to avoid addressing the points I made in #283, showing that you/Fish/SA trumpet the actions that will provide 5% of the emissions reductions required to avoid the climate Apocalypse while stridently rejecting the other 95% that will give any chance for survival. Maybe your musical background helps with the fancy footwork, backpedaling, and tap dancing that your team uses to avoid addressing the key deficiency of your proposals. That doesn’t work with me. The 95% is not a nice-to-have; it is a must-have. How do you propose to accomplish these major early-stage required emissions reductions? The SA-Ceres plan does the 5%; where will you get the remaining 95%?

  321. Ram Samudrala:

    Diogenes. #313, 4 degrees C I think is the autopilot limit – that’s my definition of apocalypse, when things go on autopilot. When people realise this is going to happen, we will still be a few decades before it actually goes on autopilot. That’s when the will will be there to do things (survival will be the motivating drive). By that time, it will be too late to reverse things, but there will be enough time to build structures one could potentially survive in and continue life that way. What else can be done?

    Also, the will required to do what I’ve suggested requires as a minimum a single government to execute it.

  322. MartinJB:

    DIOGENES,

    you never provide any evidence for this 5%/95% split you keep harping on. Is it a product of your imagination? Did you do some careful analysis of the potential for renewables and efficiency to reduce carbon production in the future? Did you read it somewhere?
    You gotta give us a clue if you want anyone to address your point or really to take you seriously at all. No-one here is likely to take your word for it. You haven’t developed the credibility on this board (which has pretty high standards) to warrant that.

  323. DIOGENES:

    Ram #321,

    I agree that 4 C looks pretty likely from today’s vantage point. We may have some lead time to look for a way out before the curtain comes down; we may not. I don’t see Space for long-term survival in the time frames we are discussing; too many resource and hazard issues. Domed cities; possibly. Remember, once the planet becomes unlivable, it is projected to stay that way for millenia. Venturing out of these cities might have to be similar to the way astronauts venture out of the Space Station. Also, when things get really bad, how will one keep the hoi polloi out of these cities. It could get ugly.

    I’m still having problems wrapping my mind around this problem. I’m just finding it hard to believe that the citizenry is not willing to tighten their belts today to stave off this catastrophe. We need to find some way to get this point across; unfortunately, I haven’t seen a convincing approach yet.

  324. Chris Dudley:

    I’d urge people who are interested in the cost of various mitigation scenarios, carbon capture an sequestration, going nuclear, utility scale renewables with transmission, or more local scale resilient renewables to read “Reinventing Fire” by Amory Lovins. http://www.rmi.org/reinventingfire

    For the US market, all the work has been done. No need to speculate on affordability.

  325. wili:

    “Climatologists offer explanation for widening of Earth’s tropical belt”

    “Climatologists posit that the recent widening of the tropical belt is primarily caused by multi-decadal sea surface temperature variability in the Pacific Ocean. This variability includes the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (a long-lived El Niño-like pattern of Pacific climate variability) and anthropogenic pollutants, which act to modify the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Until now there was no clear explanation for what is driving the widening.

    Recent studies have shown that Earth’s tropical belt — demarcated, roughly, by the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn — has progressively expanded since at least the late 1970s. Several explanations for this widening have been proposed, such as radiative forcing due to greenhouse gas increase and stratospheric ozone depletion.

    Now, a team of climatologists, led by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, posits that the recent widening of the tropical belt is primarily caused by multi-decadal sea surface temperature variability in the Pacific Ocean. This variability includes the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), a long-lived El Niño-like pattern of Pacific climate variability that works like a switch every 30 years or so between two different circulation patterns in the North Pacific Ocean. It also includes, the researchers say, anthropogenic pollutants, which act to modify the PDO.

    Study results appear March 16 in Nature Geoscience.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318113829.htm

    obert J. Allen, Joel R. Norris, Mahesh Kovilakam. Influence of anthropogenic aerosols and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on tropical belt width. Nature Geoscience, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2091

  326. Ram Samudrala:

    Diogenes, I’ll make the same sort of argument you make, which is that if 4 C looks likely, then what other option is there? This is really the only reason I responded to you, to point out the real lack of will that exists to even take smaller steps (not by people here, but the general public); I’m in agreement with you about where we’re headed and I don’t see any other option, not because your plan isn’t going to get us there, but that the will isn’t there even to execute a fifth of your plan (let alone the required 90% or so).

    believe humans are capable of anything IF they can agree to doing it. The problem is with the agreement, and how many people need to agree to effect a solution. To reduce carbon emissions on a superlarge scale, we’re talking about huge portions of the populace (billions of people) needing to agree. It’s not enough for people here in RC to agree with you; you’d need millions of people who’re in the opposite camp to agree (perhaps billions).

    I still have hope, however little it may be, that humans will get around and solve the 4 C problem before it occurs. But every day that passes by with business as usual makes it less and less likely. I think the gradual reduction people (the 5% crowd, if you want to call them that) have a point also. Maybe we should start with something small before something big can be done, because if we can’t do the small things, how can we do the big things? But I also think you have a point that the small things will never be enough, but I don’t believe that’s why people propose 5% solutions, thinking it will be enough. I think they see it as a first step and so it may make sense to view any solution that you know is not going to be enough as a first step. I think if this problem is to be solved, the person who is able to convince others of their first step is the one who’s going to get the second step, and so on. There’ve many first steps that’ve been tried with mixes success but we’re really still at the first step stage given the vast number of people who don’t believe in even taking this step.

    I think first coming to an agreement that some limit, such as 4 C, or lower if that’s desireable (and express it as ppm CO2 and Gt C), is the absolute limit we can have BEFORE there’s uncontrollable warming which will lead to the extinction of humanity if nothing else is done. By this I mean we’re headed towards another Venus. I think 4 C is that limit and you’re right, the planet won’t be liveable. So then one can focus their energies on living their lives knowing that they themselves may not have to live through such a scenario depending on their age (i.e., I don’t think we’ll get to 4 C before 2050, and that would put me at the average American lifespan), and/or one could focus their energies on making sure their children and grandchildren would be okay, and/or one could worry about humanity’s extinction in the abstract, and/or taking a first step towards solving this problem, and/or taking all the steps necessary (as you seem to be advocating). These are not exclusive desires and like I said, it takes all kinds.

    We’re not at a stage where the 4 C limit is certain yet, but it will be in another couple of decades. At that point, the only option left will be the biosphere one. I think it will take some serious culling of humanity before action is taken.

  327. Tony Weddle:

    As I understand it, anything above 1.1C is highly unlikely to be stable. So 2C (or 1.99C) would not give us a stable climate, nor would 4C. This should be scary. If any temperature above 1.1C is not stable, is 2C better than 3C, 3C better than 4C? I guess the climate, above 1.1C, will eventually become stable and, presumably, at a lower temperature, the lower we can manage to keep the transient response?

  328. Tony Weddle:

    Interesting article by Mike Mann in Scientific American.

  329. wili:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/climate-sensitivity/?&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20140317

    “A recent study suggests that other greenhouse gases may be the key to answering this question. Specifically soot-like air pollution and ozone. Taking into account the unique characteristics of this localized air pollution suggests that the climate is “very unlikely” to be insensitive. The research appears in the journal Nature Climate Change. [Drew T. Shindell, Inhomogeneous forcing and transient climate sensitivity]

    That means climate change with an increase of more than a degree Celsius compared with the last century is very likely already. It’s going to take cutting out most further greenhouse gas pollution to restrain further global warming.”

  330. Kevin McKinney:

    “They concentrate on the 5% of the required solution that will create a Windfall for the few and reject the 95% of the solution that requires motivation and hardship.”

    Nope. Wrong on multiple counts. First, as has been pointed out, your quantification is completely unsupported. Second, no-one is rejecting any further actions such as your ‘sacrifice.’ I’ve argued rather for accelerated action on renewables because that is something that might actually have a chance of happening–and indeed, is happening to a surprising (if not yet sufficient) degree already.

    It’s remarkable that you keep insisting on a ‘plan’ that you yourself admit ‘can’t be sold,’ even going so far as to describe it as the only one “that offers any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse.”

  331. DIOGENES:

    Ram #326,

    “I think the gradual reduction people (the 5% crowd, if you want to call them that) have a point also. Maybe we should start with something small before something big can be done, because if we can’t do the small things, how can we do the big things?”

    Usually, that’s a reasonable policy; that’s how much of science and engineering work. Start on a small scale; if it works, scale up gradually. That probably would have been a good approach with the climate forty years ago. But, due to decades of neglect, we no longer have that luxury. What we do in the next few years is crucial. We need to drastically limit the CO2 ‘blankets’ we place in the atmosphere NOW, and the 5% approaches won’t do it in time. That’s the essence of Kevin Anderson’s analyses.

    Remember, if we are out of carbon budget based on a 90% chance of staying below 2 C, or a much lower chance of approaching 1 C, then ANY CO2 emissions from now on reduce our chances of missing these targets. Allowing the 95% to go unchecked for even a modest period gives the ‘green flag’ to accelerate into the Apocalypse.

  332. DIOGENES:

    #302,

    “In nearly 25 years engaging in a variety of discussions in various Internet forums, I have rarely if ever encountered such blatant, boorish, belligerent…..”

    You forgot to complete the sentence: …..who 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

  333. DIOGENES:

    Kevin McKinney #330,

    “no-one is rejecting any further actions such as your ‘sacrifice.’”

    Au contraire. The SA/Fish/McKinney triumvirate has stated on many occasions that reduction in fossil energy use over and above that resulting from introducing low-carbon and energy efficient technologies is not necessary. These additional reductions in the near-term are the core of any responsible plan to avoid the climate Apocalypse, and the additional reductions will result in severe economic penalties.

    “I’ve argued rather for accelerated action on renewables because that is something that might actually have a chance of happening–and indeed, is happening to a surprising (if not yet sufficient) degree already.”

    Accelerated action on renewables is part of the lifestyle maintenance component of my plan, and a key part of the Ceres Clean Trillion plan. As I have shown in detail, the Ceres Clean Trillion plan results in average non-compounded annual emissions reductions of about 1.5% per year for decades. This is more than an order of magnitude less emissions reductions than that required to avoid the climate Apocalypse.

    “It’s remarkable that you keep insisting on a ‘plan’ that you yourself admit ‘can’t be sold,’ even going so far as to describe it as the only one “that offers any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse.””

    It’s not remarkable at all; it’s a statement of the truth. Show me another self-consistent plan on the climate blogs that offers any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse; mine is it!

  334. Dave Peters:

    Chris (# 324)
    I often curse my own closed mind. On sundry comment threads, I admit this, and tell minimalists /deniers: “My fiancée’s Dad skippered the first n-sub under the cap in the fifties, and described to me what it was like to carefully crawl under it looking for that rarest spot to safely surface, in a long-into-the-night reminiscence in the mid-seventies. So, first put that 2/3rds of the ice mass since melted off the North Pole back, and then I’ll be all ears to your climate musings.”

    I appreciate that this site is dedicated foremost to knowns and unknowns of climate. And that said purpose can be subverted by fisticuffs over best means of mitigation. But I would ask that you consider how some of us receive admonitions to listen to RMI. Amory is a gifted soul who in my eyes wielded influence in the extreme. His famous article and subsequent book were written before the discovery of global warming, and when we had no clue how the Pleistocene worked. Before even, Ramanathan had collapsed the time horizon. It was concerned with efficiency and the aesthetics of scale—climate, not at all. I attribute near-magical powers to him, like the Pied Piper. More than Michael Douglas, Jane Fonda, Mike Nichols, Ralph Nader, or Jackson Browne, I think he wielded a greater leadership than any single other being, to the movement which arrested the construction of the second hundred generating plants in the US, and sent that entire generation of engineers into pre-mature retirement, or to careers sidelined to litigation support.

    I cannot imagine the headache it would give me, were I historically pregnant with such work, when along comes, out of blue, an altogether divergent interest: minimizing combustion exhaust. I hope I would not be so close-minded, as to not issue a conditioned apology (Hey folks, I now caution you that that soft path notion might have downsides, should the climatic dimension justify placing some weight for that concern, upon the balance pan). Absent that, RMI is akin to a red flag before the bull. (Imagine your entire retirement portfolio vanished with Enron, and along comes someone with a hot recommendation for Jeff Skilling’s latest financial advice writings.) Please be sensitive to this.

    Having opened the worm can, one last notion. One does not need skills in applied sciences adequate to grow bananas in the high Rockies, to line dry clothes. For those who care enough about future generation’s climate struggles, this CO2 saving is there for minor inconvenience, as it has been since the Soft Path was first identified forty years ago. Carbonless substitutions centrally made, dry clothes without climatic adversity. Clothes lines are perfectly low hanging, but efficacious in proportion to adoption.

  335. DIOGENES:

    Tony Weddle #327,

    “As I understand it, anything above 1.1C is highly unlikely to be stable. So 2C (or 1.99C) would not give us a stable climate, nor would 4C. This should be scary.”

    It should be scary, but there are some to whom a final Windfall is more important than restricting the temperature to a safe level. The statement on 2 C I prefer is from Hansen’s recent Plos One paper, and I have appended it below. The concern is triggering the slow feedbacks; who knows where they will lead? We are better off not trying to answer that question.

    His statement emphasizes the danger and foolhardiness of aiming for a 2 C target. Yet, we continually see proposals on this blog that will result in achieving at least 2 C targets. The Ceres Clean Trillion plan, based on the IEA 2DC scenario, aims for an 80% chance of staying under 2 C, which means a modest chance of even exceeding it. And, major carbon feedbacks are not included, so these targets are underestimated, perhaps substantially so.

    Tony, your concerns are right on target, and we should not be aiming for 4 C, or 3 C, or 2 C, but we should be pulling out all the stops and enduring all the deprivations and hardships necessary to come as close to 1 C as we can. My plan (#63) is the only one on the climate blogs that offers any chance to come close to 1 C, but it is not for the faint of heart!

    HANSEN’S STATEMENT FROM PLOS ONE
    “However, distinctions between pathways aimed at ~1°C and 2°C warming are much greater and more fundamental than the numbers 1°C and 2°C themselves might suggest. These fundamental distinctions make scenarios with 2°C or more global warming far more dangerous; so dangerous, we suggest, that aiming for the 2°C pathway would be foolhardy.

    First, most climate simulations, including ours above and those of IPCC [1], do not include slow feedbacks such as reduction of ice sheet size with global warming or release of greenhouse gases from thawing tundra. These exclusions are reasonable for a ~1°C scenario, because global temperature barely rises out of the Holocene range and then begins to subside. In contrast, global warming of 2°C or more is likely to bring slow feedbacks into play. Indeed, it is slow feedbacks that cause long-term climate sensitivity to be high in the empirical paleoclimate record [51]–[52]. The lifetime of fossil fuel CO2 in the climate system is so long that it must be assumed that these slow feedbacks will occur if temperature rises well above the Holocene range.”

  336. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #322/Kevin McKinney #330,

    “you never provide any evidence for this 5%/95% split you keep harping on. Is it a product of your imagination?” “First, as has been pointed out, your quantification is completely unsupported.”

    So, we have two more SA/Fish clones making entirely unsupported assertions. I have answered this question multiple times; I will answer it one final time.

    Consider the following X-Y plot. The Y axis ranges from 0-100%, where Y is the fraction of today’s emissions. The X axis ranges from 2014-2050, the time range covered by the Ceres Clean Trillion plan. Now, to show the basis of the 95/5% split, we need two graphs: the graph my plan would give over this time span, and the graph the plans without the severe fossil fuel use restrictions over and above what the low carbon and energy efficient technology introductions would provide.

    My plan uses as its target basis maximum chance of coming near the prior Holocene limit of ~1 C recommended by Hansen, or, as a very second choice backup, very high (>90%) chance of staying within 2 C. The former target is much preferred. In the best case (90% chance of <2 C), we have run out of carbon budget (Raupach, ANU), and in the worst case, we have piled up substantial carbon debt as well. The ideal graph would be a vertical line at very short time, reflecting that we have run out of carbon budget. Since this is not practical, my plan would aim for the steepest curve practically possible starting from time zero. How steep? Anderson suggests 10% emissions reduction per year based on reasonable chance of staying under 2 C, and Steinacher's results including six target parameters suggest doubling that number. So, my plot would have to be at least a 20% reduction per year, preferably more, at the steepest level the population would be willing to support. For purposes of this exercise, assume a reduction of ~20% per year.

    The second graph would reflect the plan that does not include the severe deprivations over and above the technology upgrades. Well, unfortunately, none of the posters who arbitrarily feign urgency in calling for rapid installation of these technologies are willing to take ownership of any plan. So, I'm forced to select a plan for which none of the posters will take responsibility. The Ceres Clean Trillion report/plan was posted by SA, and I analyzed it in some detail in #207. I'll select this as the plan, until one of the technology proposers is willing to take ownership of some better plan. Given that the Ceres Clean Trillion plan is projected to cost $36 TRILLION by 2050, one would expect some climate change amelioration for the money.

    For the Ceres graph, at 2014, Y=100%, and at 2050, Y is about 46% (from the IEA 2DC scenario, on which the Ceres report is based). As I pointed out in my analysis of the SA-posted Ceres report/plan (#207), the non-compounded average annual reduction in emissions under this plan (whose cost is projected to be $36 TRILLION by 2050) is about 1.5% per year. The plan, if implemented, has an 80% chance of staying under 2 C, which means a finite chance of going above 2 C.

    So, in the critical initial stages, on which I have focused, my plan shows emissions reductions at least 20% per year, while the Ceres plan shows reductions at least an order of magnitude less. Given that the bulk of the emissions reductions in my plan can be instituted almost immediately (in theory), while the bulk of emissions reductions at the earliest stages of the Ceres plan will be accompanied by the lag times of technology planning, construction, implementation, and start-up, the ratio is even larger at the earliest stages. This is essentially the graphic counterpart of what Kevin Anderson has been preaching. The introduction of supply side technologies cannot provide the emissions reductions required to avoid the climate Apocalypse; severe personal restrictions on fossil fuel use over and above the emissions reductions provided by the technology substitutions are required. As Anderson, Garrett, and many others conclude, this contraction will result in global economic downturns, with possible global economic collapse. Anderson believes saving our species is worth the tradeoff; those who support plans like Ceres obviously believe otherwise.

  337. Ram Samudrala:

    Tony, 327, Kevin Anderson is apparently quoted as saying somewhere that the climate system will become unstable beyond 4 degrees C, i.e., no additional mitigation measures by us will prevent the variance from increasing (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoiding_dangerous_climate_change and the 4 Degrees and Beyond Climate Change Conference). I think the 1.1/2 degrees C variance limit assumes industrial civilisation of some kind still continuing with emissions, but emissions peaking at that point then reducing at some rate.

    Diogenes, #331, as I’ve said, I tend to agree with your assessment and in general I’m that kind of an extreme personality, an all or nothing person. However, the dangers of doing little vs. nothing vs. all isn’t the issue which we agree on. The problem is the political will among people who fundamentally disagree with you. It’s not to test a 5% plan’s ability to solve a problem, but to see its acceptance. It has little to do with the time we have left, which we agree is too little. It has to do with the general acceptance of even a small plan—think of it as a bait and switch plan rather than a gradual reduction plan. :) No matter what, we still indeed have a decade or so to avoid a 4 degrees C world.

    As Kevin Anderson’s 2011 paper illustrates, certain things have to happen by a certain period to reduce/keep the total amount of C in the atmosphere. I asked you what you thought was the max CO2 you think we could get to and how many Gt CO2 we could accumulate before it was > 50% likely that we’ll get to 2 degrees C and 4 degrees C. I think this is where it’s worth starting since this is what we can all agree on. Then we can see which plans do what but like I also said, there’s the bait and switch concept that’s key to salesmanship (I think many sales pitches in the world today are bait and switches).

    But that’s why I posited the biosphere idea. It’s more likely to be doable by a single powerful country than all the world agreeing to cut emissions.

  338. Hank Roberts:

    U.N. panel: Reduce greenhouse gases or suffer catastrophic effects

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201403180044
    March 18, 2014

    THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

    “Greenhouse gases must be cut 40 to 70 percent within 36 years to prevent cataclysmic environmental changes, according to a U.N. panel’s draft report that urges an immediate shift away from coal-fired power plants.

    The draft report by the Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change details how the international community should reduce greenhouse gas emissions to curb temperature increases, including the promotion of renewable energy sources.

    The IPCC is expected to finalize the draft at a meeting scheduled for April in Germany….”

    Wait and read what it actually says before commenting?
    Yes, good idea.

  339. Thomas:

    I thought I would share this from Cleantechnica. It discusses the likely energy policy of India’s next prime minister.
    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/03/19/narendra-modi-big-fan-solar-coal/
    Narendra Modi, the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party who is currently leading in the polls in the lead-up to the general election in May, is in fact a big fan of solar – and pioneered the first incentives for large-scale solar power in 2009.

    As Bloomberg writes in this profile piece, if Modi wins the election: “One thing is clear: he’s signaling a clean energy revolution to end blackouts and revive economic growth.”

    Some observers suggest Modi will effectively abandon most new coal projects and turn instead to solar, potentially increasing the government’s already ambitious solar target 10-fold. Vineet Mittal, managing director of Welspun Energy, a major Indian power producer and solar developer, told Bloomberg. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out with a 200,000-megawatt target by 2025.”

  340. patrick:

    Why models of climate change matter: Gavin Schmidt at TED2014, TED Blog:

    http://blog.ted.com/2014/03/18/why-models-of-climate-change-matter-gavin-schmidt-at-ted2014/

    “What is the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” (Frank Sherwood Rowland, Nobel laureate in chemistry 1995)

    Models are necessary because “observations of the future are not available at this time.” (Thomas Knutson and Robert Tuleya)

    “A model result is skillful if it gives better predictions than a simpler alternative.” (slide, photo)

  341. flxible:

    Ram Samudrala – The Biosphere idea hasn’t worked too well so far, do we have the time and resources to re-create a functioning “biosphere 1″ for millions [or even thousands] of humans? I don’t think so.

  342. doug:

    A very big problem here in the U.S. for trying to get effective climate policy is that people who are very smart in other areas of their lives, when it comes to voting, go brain dead.

    The ONLY criteria a person should have when trying to select a candidate, is that the candidate will fight for the policies that person believes in. Period. End of story. But that does not happen here.

    What are the criteria that 99% of the populace base their vote on? Here are several, but certainly not all of them. 1. People are fearful to vote for a third party, because it’s safer to identify with a large social group, so they limit themselves to Republicans or Democrats 2. Because they want to side with a “winner”. 3. Because their families have always voted Democratic (or Republican) 4. Because so and so candidate is good looking. 5. Name recognition 6. Because it’s time for a “change” (doesn’t matter what the change is) 7. Because they don’t like the kind of people who vote for “the other” party (Democratic or Republican) 8. Because they only see Democrats and Republicans on T.V. 9. Because advertising and money convinces them one way or the other. 10. Because they are fearful of the “other” party winning if they do not vote for either the Republicans or Democrats.

    These are most of the reasons almost all people vote for candidates, that they themselves do not really believe in. It’s like a big veil of stupid has descended over the United States.

    I think it’s fair to say that at least 30% of the U.S population would agree with the policies of the Green Party, yet almost all of them vote for the Democrats if they bother to vote at all, for one of the reasons listed above. I am sure many of the regulars on this site are no different. People do this, even when they know Green Party candidates are on the ballot and what the Green Party stand for. That is the point, and this is what we are up against when we hope for policies that would drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations.

    What does this have to do with climate policy? Everything. The U.S. congress approval rating is at something like 8%, yet people will not elect third parties except in rare circumstances on the very local level.

    Because of the psychology of the typical voter, I do not see sufficient climate policies coming out of our politicians. You can only blame inept politicians so much, when inept people keep putting them in office.

    My point is that we are going to have to work outside of the political process somehow, to avoid the “climate Apocalypse” to borrow a phrase from one of our more frequent commenters. (Just once, he doesn’t have to capitalize apocalypse, and I think we would all be grateful) lol.

    I certainly don’t have the answers, but I do believe in talking with as many people as possible about what you know. Neighbors, co-workers, everybody. It seems when people have the knowledge on climate change, they……wake……up. Then they hopefully will make changes in their own lives, (while still voting for candidates that won’t address the big issues) but at least they are making changes in their own lives.

    But if you expect large scale political transformation, you are barking up the wrong tree, and probably should be putting your efforts elsewhere. People avoid voting for candidates that represent their views, like the plague.

  343. doug:

    A very big problem here in the U.S. for trying to get effective climate policy is that people who are very smart in other areas of their lives, when it comes to voting, go brain dead.

    The ONLY criteria a person should have when trying to select a candidate, is that the candidate will fight for the policies that person believes in. Period. End of story. But that does not happen here.

    What are the criteria that 99% of the populace base their vote on? Here are several, but certainly not all of them. 1. People are fearful to vote for a third party, because it’s safer to identify with a large social group, so they limit themselves to Republicans or Democrats 2. Because they want to side with a “winner”. 3. Because their families have always voted Democratic (or Republican) 4. Because so and so candidate is good looking. 5. Name recognition 6. Because it’s time for a “change” (doesn’t matter what the change is) 7. Because they don’t like the kind of people who vote for “the other” party (Democratic or Republican) 8. Because they only see Democrats and Republicans on T.V. 9. Because advertising and money convinces them one way or the other. 10. Because they are fearful of the “other” party winning if they do not vote for either the Republicans or Democrats.

    These are most of the reasons almost all people vote for candidates, that they themselves do not really believe in. It’s like a big veil of stupid has descended over the United States.

    I think it’s fair to say that at least 30% of the U.S population would agree with the policies of the Green Party, yet almost all of them vote for the Democrats if they bother to vote at all, for one of the reasons listed above. I am sure many of the regulars on this site are no different. People do this, even when they know Green Party candidates are on the ballot and what the Green Party stand for. That is the point, and this is what we are up against when we hope for policies that would drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations.

    The U.S. congress approval rating is at something like 8%, yet people will not elect third parties, except in rare circumstances and on the very local level.

    Because of the psychology of the typical voter, I do not see sufficient climate policies coming out of our politicians. You can only blame inept politicians so much, when inept people keep putting them in office.

    My point is that we are going to have to work outside of the political process somehow, to avoid the “climate Apocalypse” to borrow a phrase from one of our more frequent commenters. (Just once, he doesn’t have to capitalize apocalypse, and I think we would all be grateful) lol.

    I certainly don’t have the answers, but I do believe in talking with as many people as possible about what you know. Neighbors, co-workers, everybody. It seems when people have the knowledge on climate change, they……wake……up. Then they hopefully will make changes in their own lives, (while still voting for candidates that won’t address the big issues) but at least they are making changes in their own lives.

    But if you expect large scale political transformation, you are barking up the wrong tree, and probably should be putting your efforts elsewhere. People avoid voting for candidates that represent their views, like the plague.

  344. MalcolmT:

    “Turbulence incidents at ‘unprecedented’ levels over summer, Australian Transport Safety Bureau says” on ABC news, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-18/turbulence-incidents-levels-unprecedented-atsb-says/5327694.
    Pure coincidence or a consequence of our record-breaking hot weather? My money would be on the latter. Another unanticipated result of climate change?

  345. Fred Magyar:

    Thomas @335,

    As Bloomberg writes in this profile piece, if Modi wins the election: “One thing is clear: he’s signaling a clean energy revolution to end blackouts and revive economic growth.”

    While I certainly applaud anyone who promotes a clean energy revolution, I think that anyone who continues to spout the mantra of economic growth to be either a coward, a liar, or a blooming idiot or all of the above!

    The emperor obviously has no clothes and doesn’t want to honestly address the impossibility of continued growth on a finite planet. Not to mention population dynamics… there aren’t enough resources to support 7 let alone 9 or 10 billion inhabitants on this planet in an equitable way.

    Unless the world comes to terms with controling population every other problem including climate change becomes moot!

    Tom Murphy from ‘Do The Math’ blog has a great little video titled ‘Growth Has An Expiration Date’ the math and the basic physics behind it are really simple, it doesn’t take a PhD in advanced mathematics or physics to understand it. One would assume that any university graduate, even an economist or politician would be able to grasp the concepts.

    When it comes to denial, the climate change denialists can’t hold a candle to the ‘Continued Growth is Impossible’ denialists…

    In the smartness competition it’s a tie score between bacteria and humans!

    “Bacteria grow by doubling. One bacterium divides to become two, the two divide to become 4, the 4 become 8, 16 and so on. Suppose we had bacteria that doubled in number this way every minute. Suppose we put one of these bacteria into an empty bottle at 11:00 in the morning, and then observe that the bottle is full at 12:00 noon. There’s our case of just ordinary steady growth: it has a doubling time of one minute, it’s in the finite environment of one bottle.

    I want to ask you three questions. Number one: at what time was the bottle half full? Well, would you believe 11:59, one minute before 12:00? Because they double in number every minute.

    And the second question: if you were an average bacterium in that bottle, at what time would you first realise you were running of space? Well, let’s just look at the last minutes in the bottle. At 12:00 noon, it’s full; one minute before, it’s half full; 2 minutes before, it’s a quarter full; then an 1?8th; then a 1?16th. Let me ask you, at 5 minutes before 12:00, when the bottle is only 3% full and is 97% open space just yearning for development, how many of you would realise there’s a problem?”

    From: Dr. Albert Bartlett: Arithmetic, Population and Energy (transcript)

    Houston, “we have a problem” Humans are ‘BLOOMING’ idiots. (pun intended)

  346. DIOGENES:

    Kevin McKinney #330,

    “no-one is rejecting any further actions such as your ‘sacrifice.’”

    Au contraire. SA/Fish/McKinney have stated on many occasions that reduction in fossil energy use over and above that resulting from introducing low-carbon and energy efficient technologies is not necessary. These additional reductions in the near-term are the core of any responsible plan to avoid the climate Apocalypse, and the additional reductions will result in severe economic penalties.

    “I’ve argued rather for accelerated action on renewables because that is something that might actually have a chance of happening–and indeed, is happening to a surprising (if not yet sufficient) degree already.”

    Accelerated action on renewables is part of the lifestyle maintenance component of my plan, and a key part of the Ceres Clean Trillion plan. As I have shown in detail, the Ceres Clean Trillion plan results in average non-compounded annual emissions reductions of about 1.5% per year for decades. This is more than an order of magnitude less emissions reductions than that required to avoid the climate Apocalypse.

    “It’s remarkable that you keep insisting on a ‘plan’ that you yourself admit ‘can’t be sold,’ even going so far as to describe it as the only one “that offers any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse.””

    It’s not remarkable at all; it’s a statement of the truth. Show me another self-consistent plan on the climate blogs that offers any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse; mine is it!

  347. DIOGENES:

    Tony Weddle #327,

    “As I understand it, anything above 1.1C is highly unlikely to be stable. So 2C (or 1.99C) would not give us a stable climate, nor would 4C. This should be scary.”

    It should be scary, but there are some to whom a final Windfall is more important than restricting the temperature to a safe level. The statement on 2 C I prefer is from Hansen’s recent Plos One paper, and I have appended it below. The concern is temperatures in the range of 2 C triggering the slow feedbacks; who knows where they will lead? We are better off not trying to answer that question.

    His statement emphasizes the danger and foolhardiness of aiming for a 2 C target. Yet, we continually see proposals on this blog that will result in achieving at least 2 C targets. The Ceres Clean Trillion plan, based on the IEA 2DC scenario, aims for an 80% chance of staying under 2 C, which means a modest chance of even exceeding it. And, major carbon feedbacks are not included, so these targets are underestimated, perhaps substantially so.

    Tony, your concerns are right on target, and we should not be aiming for 4 C, or 3 C, or 2 C, but we should be pulling out all the stops and enduring all the deprivations and hardships necessary to come as close to 1 C as we can. My plan (#63) is the only one on the climate blogs that offers any chance to come close to 1 C, but it is not for the faint of heart!

    HANSEN’S STATEMENT FROM PLOS ONE
    “However, distinctions between pathways aimed at ~1°C and 2°C warming are much greater and more fundamental than the numbers 1°C and 2°C themselves might suggest. These fundamental distinctions make scenarios with 2°C or more global warming far more dangerous; so dangerous, we suggest, that aiming for the 2°C pathway would be foolhardy.

    First, most climate simulations, including ours above and those of IPCC [1], do not include slow feedbacks such as reduction of ice sheet size with global warming or release of greenhouse gases from thawing tundra. These exclusions are reasonable for a ~1°C scenario, because global temperature barely rises out of the Holocene range and then begins to subside. In contrast, global warming of 2°C or more is likely to bring slow feedbacks into play. Indeed, it is slow feedbacks that cause long-term climate sensitivity to be high in the empirical paleoclimate record [51]–[52]. The lifetime of fossil fuel CO2 in the climate system is so long that it must be assumed that these slow feedbacks will occur if temperature rises well above the Holocene range.”

  348. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #322/Kevin McKinney #330,

    “you never provide any evidence for this 5%/95% split you keep harping on. Is it a product of your imagination?” “First, as has been pointed out, your quantification is completely unsupported.”

    I have answered this question multiple times; I will answer it one final time.

    Consider the following X-Y plot. The Y axis ranges from 0-100%, where Y is the fraction of today’s emissions. The X axis ranges from 2014-2050, the time range covered by the Ceres Clean Trillion plan. Now, to show the basis of the 95/5% split, we need two graphs: the graph my plan would give over this time span, and the graph the plans without the severe fossil fuel use restrictions over and above what the low carbon and energy efficient technology introductions would provide.

    My plan uses as its target basis maximum chance of coming near the prior Holocene limit of ~1 C recommended by Hansen, or, as a very second choice backup, very high (>90%) chance of staying within 2 C. The former target is much preferred. In the best case (90% chance of <2 C), we have run out of carbon budget (Raupach, ANU), and in the worst case, we have piled up substantial carbon debt as well. The ideal graph would be a vertical line at very short time, reflecting that we have run out of carbon budget. Since this is not practical, my plan would aim for the steepest curve practically possible starting from time zero. How steep? Anderson suggests 10% emissions reduction per year based on reasonable chance of staying under 2 C, and Steinacher's results including six target parameters suggest doubling that number. So, my plot would have to be at least a 20% reduction per year, preferably more, at the steepest level the population would be willing to support. For purposes of this exercise, assume a reduction of ~20% per year.

    The second graph would reflect the plan that does not include the severe deprivations over and above the technology upgrades. Well, unfortunately, none of the posters who arbitrarily feign urgency in calling for rapid installation of these technologies are willing to take ownership of any plan. So, I'm forced to select a plan for which none of the posters will take responsibility. The Ceres Clean Trillion report/plan was posted by SA, and I analyzed it in some detail in #207. I'll select this as the plan, until one of the technology proposers is willing to take ownership of some better plan. Given that the Ceres Clean Trillion plan is projected to cost $36 TRILLION by 2050, one would expect some climate change amelioration for the money.

    For the Ceres graph, at 2014, Y=100%, and at 2050, Y is about 46% (from the IEA 2DC scenario, on which the Ceres report is based). As I pointed out in my analysis of the SA-posted Ceres report/plan (#207), the non-compounded average annual reduction in emissions under this plan (whose cost is projected to be $36 TRILLION by 2050) is about 1.5% per year. The plan, if implemented, has an 80% chance of staying under 2 C, which means a finite chance of going above 2 C.

    So, in the critical initial stages, on which I have focused, my plan shows emissions reductions at least 20% per year, while the Ceres plan shows reductions at least an order of magnitude less. Given that the bulk of the emissions reductions in my plan can be instituted almost immediately (in theory), while the bulk of emissions reductions at the earliest stages of the Ceres plan will be accompanied by the lag times of technology planning, construction, implementation, and start-up, the ratio is even larger at the earliest stages. This is essentially the graphic counterpart of what Kevin Anderson has been preaching. The introduction of supply side technologies cannot provide the emissions reductions required to avoid the climate Apocalypse; severe personal restrictions on fossil fuel use over and above the emissions reductions provided by the technology substitutions are required. As Anderson, Garrett, and many others conclude, this contraction will result in global economic downturns, with possible global economic collapse. Anderson believes saving our species is worth the tradeoff; those who support plans like Ceres obviously believe otherwise.

    One final note. The area under the curves represents total emissions between now and 2050. Since we are out of carbon budget if we want to avoid the climate Apocalypse, the ideal total emissions target is zero; since that is not possible practically, the goal should be to get as close to zero as possible. Consider the Ceres Clean Trillion curve. Assume the emissions decrease follows a straight line. Then, since the line ranges from 100% of today's emissions to ~50% of today's emissions in 2050, it can be approximated by a horizontal line at about 3/4 of today's emissions over the full 36 year range. The area under this curve is equivalent to 27 years of emissions at today's level! So, we need zero emissions from here on out if we are to have any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse, and this $36 TRILLION dollar plan will give us the equivalent of 27 more years of today's emissions. This is a ticket to geocide!

  349. DIOGENES:

    Ram #333,

    “It’s not to test a 5% plan’s ability to solve a problem, but to see its acceptance. It has little to do with the time we have left, which we agree is too little. It has to do with the general acceptance of even a small plan—think of it as a bait and switch plan rather than a gradual reduction plan. :)”

    I’ve considered the ‘Trojan Horse’ approach. I don’t think it’s a good idea. Getting the 5% solution accepted means selling the public on the fallacious idea that merely switching technologies and adding energy efficiency will stave off the impending Apocalypse. Once they accept that philosophy, and the lack of need for personal deprivation and hardship, the hard sell for the severe reductions required will be even harder.

    I’m a firm believer in telling the truth, painful though it may be to hear. That should be obvious from my posts on this blog, and the resultant squeals of pain from the readers when confronting the truth. That’s the only possible way the larger public can be motivated to make the sacrifices necessary to head off the disaster. The 5% as a total solution is a lie, and the public will see through it. The 5% approach will never motivate the public to change their habits, and that’s what’s required if we are to have any chance of surviving.

  350. DIOGENES:

    Ram #333,

    “But that’s why I posited the biosphere idea. It’s more likely to be doable by a single powerful country than all the world agreeing to cut emissions.”

    OK; assume the solution is a domed city. If we knew ~thirty years ahead of time that extinction was our fate as a species, how many of these could be built, how many people could they support for generations, and what fraction would that be of the ~seven billion (or more by then) who would perish?

  351. DIOGENES:

    http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/the-monsters-of-our-growth-shock-arise-to-harry-us-conflict-in-the-ukraine-global-food-crisis-and-spending-500-billion-dollars-to-permanently-wreck-the-worlds-climate/#comments
    Outstanding article; outstanding comments. No unpaid advertisements there!

  352. Walter:

    Diogenes, in 2011 ~83% of energy came from fossil fuels. Current carbon emissions are ~10 GtCe globally out of a total energy demand of 12 GtCe.

    BAU forecasts put ff energy increasing by another 50% by 2040 making carbon emissions ~16GtC per year, and 20 GtC in 2050. Share of ff energy drops to 78%, with Nuclear 9%, Biomass 7%, Hydro 3%, the rest 3%.

    Making a (less radical) 70% cut in ff energy emissions by 2050 means being asked to replace 17 GtC of “economic” demand in energy at 2050 with something else over and above the bau energy mix projections.

    17 GtC is equivalent to an energy demand of 1.5 times the entire size of today’s global energy use. What is going to replace that?

    17 GtC will be 68% of the total global energy demand/use in 2050 (of 25 GtCe). Replace 68% of world energy demand up to 2050 with something other than what? That’s a lot of ‘energy’ to find and deliver.

    more waffle here
    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/supply-and-demand-in-energy-equation.html

  353. DIOGENES:

    AAAS REPORT ON CLIMATE CHANGE
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/20/3416741/climate-scientists-alarmed/

    From the CP narrative:

    “That is why we must pay any price or bear any burden to avoid the worst-case.”

    Where have we heard that before?

  354. Hank Roberts:

    > Where have we heard that before

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/timeline.htm

  355. Ram Samudrala:

    flixble, what really has worked so far? The fact that intellectual biosphere exercises have failed isn’t indicative of much except mismanagement of the projects tried. All I am saying is that soon (within a couple of decades) there won’t be any other option and we will know that time well ahead of when it happens. Tell me your target average surface temperature variance, the maximum concentration of CO2 we can peak at, and the carbon budget you will need to avoid an apocalypse, i.e., the extinction of humanity, and we can predict how many years you will have before you run out (if not already). Then what other option is there besides a biosphere kind of idea that doesn’t require cooperation from the populace of the entire planet? Geoengineering is another strategy that could be tried once we’ve run into the danger zone, to try to undo the damage. Again, I don’t see small scale geoengineering being adequate.

    Diogenes, I agree with the whole truth thing. Like I said, the people you have to truly convince control about half the governments at multiple levels (federal and state) in the US alone. I also would say the ideas I have about saving humanity come from the same kind of frankness that you talk about and people like Kevin Anderson publish with, and doesn’t require resources beyond the capabilities of nations that can construct nuclear powered submarines. We’re close to running out of our carbon budget to avoid a 2 degree variance and we’re heading towards a 4 degree variance at this point within the next 20-40 years. I don’t see a way out of this that doesn’t require massive political will being directed at the problem.

    I do not think the real problem we face is a technical one: as you’ve noticed, not everyone subscribes to a “let’s do it one shot” solution even among the crowd that agrees on the nature of the problem. So you not only have to *first* convince those who think there is no problem, which comprise a significant amount of people in this country, but *second* even among those who agree about the nature of the problem (or about the limits of temperature variance, concentrations of CO2, the total carbon budget, etc.), there is no will to implement a singular solution that will cause significant adjustment in their mentality.

    To both of you, I will say that we need about at least 10,000 humans from a varied genepool. As to who and how that selection will be made, I fortunately will not have to live to witness that process. :) But if there is a way to create submarine-like environments that can last hundreds of years even with small numbers of people (hundreds) that could then be interconnected (to make tens of thousands of people interacting), and then we still make a half-hearted effort to keep the ultimate temperature variance to within 2 degrees or so, then we could perhaps outlast the apocalypse and regrow as we once did (there was a time when human population went down to 10K and look at us now at 10^6 more). I think it is very likely at this point that fossil-fueled industrial civilisation as we know it isn’t going to last through 2100.

    I also personally feel that global warming is already out of our control given what’s happening in the Arctic. For me personally the summer ice completely disappearing in the Arctic (any year soon) will mark the point of no return, after which the methane release will not be in our control and we’re looking at massive levels of warming unless serious geoengineering strategies, again requiring cooperation of multiple governments, are implemented (and it’s not clear if that’ll work either) to reduce methane levels. At that point, again, I will say that the biosphere idea is the only way I see humanity can be preserved in adequate numbers for the population to grow at a later stage when the climate system returns to normal. So in this sense, I think Malcolm Light’s work is the most likely scenario to occur based on everything I see and read.

    As with peer reviewed literature, I think we can only discuss likely (>50%) scenarios and unlikely (< 50%) scenarios. Anything can happen – an asteroid could crash into our planet and wipe out all nonmicrobial life, or we could have a nuclear war that does about the same, etc. But I think the way global warming will actually play out, given everything (the lack of political will, the lack of will among the average person to change their lifestyles, etc.) is the way that has been outlined by Malcolm Light. Perhaps not that degree, and perhaps not to that exact time frame, but I think it is likely that the Arctic will be the first to go, and where the rest of the world will follow.

  356. MartinJB:

    DIOGENES, ignoring your gratuitous snarky comments, you do realize that in neither post 333 or 342 do you explain your 95/5 split? Or did you fail to notice that? In fact, you have also given almost no USEFUL indication as to how you would actually reduce emissions at the pace you claim is necessary. Saying it will require substantial reduction in economic activity is not useful. You might as well say you will reduce emissions by inventing cold fusion. I suspect that has about an equal chance of occurring as the kind of economic retraction you suggest is necessary (in as much as that can even be divined from the “plan” you’ve put forward).
    And before you criticize others for the presumed (by you) inadequacy of their ideas, consider that the kind of economic disruption you appear to be advocating could conceivably be as damaging as your yellow-journalism-alarmingly entitled “climate Apocalypse” (or your new and rather sillier “geocide” – clue for you.. the Earth will be just fine… different, but fine – people and current biodiversity not so much).

    And in addition to the gross inadequacies of what you have put forward, you pepper it it with pot shots at other posters, calling into question their motivations (Windfallers??? gimme a break), all the while puffing up your own chest and proclaiming your unique righteousness. Try this on for size. I think maybe you could be a shill for big oil. Yeah. After all, you suggest the only path to salvation is one so dire that it WILL NEVER BE IMPLEMENTED! So why bother doing anything? Big oil wins! Well done.

    Actually, I no more think you’re shilling for big oil than I believe Secular Animist is plumping for the renewable industry. But whereas I think that SA has probably overstated the capacity of renewables to replace fossil fuels as things stand or as they’re like to exist in the next decade or so (30 years out is another story entirely), I am absolutely certain that your “plan” is utter fantasy land. Which all makes your attitude (from the snarky, dismissive comments about other posters and the hard-working scientists who run RealClimate to your laughable self-righteousness) particularly egregious. Some time back you concluded that your presence here was wasted and you disappeared for a little while. Go with that first thought. Or start behaving like an adult and consider the possibility that you might not have perfect foresight.

  357. ClimateWatch:

    Looks like Nate Silver has made another epic fail on climate change, hiring Pielke Jr. as his climate science correspondent. Here’s a nice piece on Silver’s fallacy. Silver just dropped another set of notches in my book.

    http://theweek.com/article/index/258254/nate-silvers-fivethirtyeight-and-the-dangers-of-being-ideologically-neutral

    Can any of the RC folks reach out to Silver and try to communicate to him what a stupid decision that was? Mike Mann corresponded with him in the past, right? Worth a few emails to Silver?

  358. Chuck Hughes:

    Is this an accurate assessment of our situation?:

    “Many scientists concede that without drastic emissions reductions by 2020, we are on the path toward a 4C rise as early as mid-century, with catastrophic consequences, including the loss of the world’s coral reefs; the disappearance of major mountain glaciers; the total loss of the Arctic summer sea-ice, most of the Greenland ice-sheet and the break-up of West Antarctica; acidification and overheating of the oceans; the collapse of the Amazon rainforest; and the loss of Arctic permafrost; to name just a few. Each of these ecosystem collapses could trigger an out-of-control runaway warming process. Worse, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley now project that we are actually on course to reach global temperatures of up to 8C within 90 years.”

    http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-the-rise-of-the-post-carbon-era/

  359. Ram Samudrala:

    Chuck, #358, it seems reasonable. “without dramatic emissions reductions” is the key phrase there. I don’t see how a 4 C world can be avoided at this point (I mean in terms of political will, not in terms of technical ability).

  360. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #356,

    “you do realize that in neither post 333 or 342 do you explain your 95/5 split?”

    Give it up. This is the SA/Fish approach of asking and re-asking a question, even though I have answered it. One more time.

    In the X-Y plot of #342, consider two graphs. The Ceres CLEAN TRILLION graph goes from Y=100% at 2014 to Y=46% at 2050. That’s a non-compounded reduction in emissions of ~1.5% per year, as I showed in my analysis of the SA-posted Ceres plan in #207. Let’s assume for this purpose that the curve can be extrapolated to zero emissions per year. That would occur at about 1980. My plan, as I have stated, would require reductions greater than 20% per year, as close to 100% as is feasible. Let’s assume 25% per year emissions reduction.

    The area under each curve is the total emissions expended under that plan. Remember, we have run out of carbon budget for the selected temperature targets, so the area desired is zero. My plan would give the equivalent of two more years of emissions at today’s levels. The Ceres plan would give the equivalent of 33 MORE YEARS OF EMISSIONS AT TODAY’S LEVELS! That’s a factor of 16 difference. If the Ceres plan is not a ticket to the climate Apocalypse, I don’t know what is.

    Now, we could use other time ranges to compute the differences between the two plans. I have emphasized the differences in the critical EARLY stages, and given the lag times for complete planning/installation/operations for low carbon technologies, the ratio would be even larger. Many of the demand reduction measures I require could be instituted by mandate almost immediately.

    “you have also given almost no USEFUL indication as to how you would actually reduce emissions at the pace you claim is necessary.”

    As I have stated in many posts, this is a plan for what is REQUIRED to avoid the impending climate Apocalypse. I have made the point many times it is not viable, because few in the world today are willing to undergo the privations and hardships required to achieve the targets of the plan. To implement the plan, there would need to be agreement among at least hundreds of millions (and probably billions) of the appropriate people. If that were to occur, it would mean enough people were willing to do what was required. The first step would be the issuance of mandates to eliminate ALL non-essential uses of fossil fuel. I have given some examples before: close down ski resorts, all vacation travel, institute massive rationing for essential uses. The list could go on and on. Will such actions have ramifications; you bet! But, if we want to avoid the climate Apocalypse, that’s what we need to do. If you want to invent fantasy solutions like SA’s Spross-quoted plan (If You See Something, Say Something thread #396) or Ceres plan that will reduce annual emissions by ~1% per year, when we need more than an order of magnitude to have any chance of avoiding the impending catastrophe, be my guest.

    ” I no more think you’re shilling for big oil than I believe Secular Animist is plumping for the renewable industry.”

    Well, your batting average just improved to .500; you got the first part right!

    “I am absolutely certain that your “plan” is utter fantasy land.”

    Unlike other posters, I don’t hide the truth. I’ve said many times the plan is not viable, for reasons I stated above. Now, think about what you are saying. You are criticizing the one plan on the climate blogs that, if implemented, would offer any chance of avoiding the impending climate Apocalypse. You have not shown any alternative that comes even close, although have intimated that others should be considered. Why would I, or anyone else, consider alternatives with zero evidence that they would come anywhere near what is needed.

    I also find it interesting that we have posters like you, SA, McKinney, and others I have mentioned previously who take all the potshots they can at my plan, along with substantial servings of invective, while offering no solutions of their own that will even come close. Yes, I had problems with SA’s and other plans, but I didn’t just offer valid criticisms. I developed a plan of my own that, in theory, would work. I wanted to identify what was actually required, and how much we could back off on that to make it practical. I have done the former, and have not yet been able to do the latter. This may in fact be a problem with no real-world solution. But, if you want to do something of value, rather than present the drivel in #356, provide some constructive criticism on my plan. Show how we can back off the theoretical requirements to make it more acceptable. Until you start doing that type of constructive criticism, your posts are nothing more than the hand-waving sniping in the tradition of SA/Fish/McKinney.

  361. wili:

    Martin, “economic disruption” is coming no matter what we do. Saying that biodiversity is in trouble but not the “Earth” is rather odd–most people when they express concern for the earth are expressing exactly concern for biodiversity–that’s what “Earth” _means_ in such contexts.

    Unless you think that groups like Friends of the Earth intend their organization to be friendly to the molten iron core of the third planet out??

    Chuck, the quote seems pretty accurate to me, but some will cavil about the use of the phrase “out-of-control runaway warming process” for “each” of those systems; but there are certainly feedbacks associated with most of them that will indeed drive toward more warming, though some effects are going to be stronger and faster than others.

  362. wili:

    Chuck @ # 358, I note that your linked article includes a ‘plan’ of sorts: The imperative now is for communities, activists, scholars and policymakers to initiate dialogue on the contours of this vision, and pathways to it.

    “Any vision for ‘another world’, if it is to overcome the deep-rooted structural failures of our current business-as-usual model, will need to explore how we can develop new social, political and economic structures”… I won’t copy all the points here, but perhaps this could be another locus of discussion of plans? (Here’s that link again: http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-the-rise-of-the-post-carbon-era/)

    It seems to me that the imperative for each of us who ‘know’ is to start pointing out to as many individuals and institutions that we know or are affiliated with that there is an imperative to reduce our personal and collective carbon footprint by at least ten percent a year starting now. Then start sharing ideas about how each is planning to do this. Some will listen, some won’t. But the message has to be sent clearly. And if enough start to listen, pressure will build on those who don’t to fall in line.

  363. DIOGENES:

    Chuck Hughes #358,

    “Is this an accurate assessment of our situation?”

    It’s somewhat dated (Sept 2010), but the points are still valid. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, and it’s probably the main reason for Hansen’s concern about going much beyond prior Holocene temperatures. We really don’t know if and how and when these feedbacks will be accelerated and triggered when we go to the higher temperatures, and if we had any collective sense, we would do everything possible to avoid answering that question. That’s why my plan pulls out all the stops in both reducing fossil emissions and reducing GHG atmospheric concentrations. That’s also why these plans like Ceres CLEAN TRILLION are ludicrous relative to what is required to avoid the impending climate Apocalypse; we’ll spend $36 TRILLION by 2050 to get non-compounded emissions reductions of 1.5% per year.

  364. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #356,

    “After all, you suggest the only path to salvation is one so dire that it WILL NEVER BE IMPLEMENTED! So why bother doing anything?”

    I have never stated that last sentence; that is your deliberate mis-statement, and has been used by SA and his other groupies as well. My plan (#63) includes a strong lifestyle maintenance component, which would not rule out something similar to the Ceres plan. But, I have stated that if the lifestyle maintenance component is adopted without the hard demand reduction I have shown in my responses to you, we will in all probability not avoid the impending climate Apocalypse. That’s a very different statement from the one you made. I don’t believe the full plan is viable, even though some components may be (like the lifestyle maintenance component), and the full plan needs to be implemented to give any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse.

    But, your post also brings up another issue. The climate (and other) blogs provide a tempting free platform to inform, or mislead, the public. It is difficult for me to believe that many organizations don’t recognize this, and are not taking proactive steps to exploit this opportunity. Climate change business could result in trillions being made or lost, and it’s hard to see organizations on all sides of the spectrum foregoing the opportunity to cover all the bases.

    I don’t know the background of any of the posters here. I don’t know the source(s) of their paychecks or the structure of their investment portfolios. They could all be objective inquisitive members of the public whose only aim is to acquire more knowledge about the climate and perhaps make some contribution to climate change amelioration, or they could be mainly people who for one reason or another have pre-determined agendas to influence public opinion. I have no way of knowing which category they represent, and I make no assumptions a priori. I judge each post on its merits, and whether it passes the sanity test: does it make sense based on real-world experience.

    When I see posts that feign urgency about implementing technologies without stating specifically what targets will be achieved, and in fact downplay the necessity of targets, the red lights start flashing. When I see similar patterns of comments among different posters, the alarm bells go off. When I see a poster like you who offers nothing but invective and destructive criticisms, and not one constructive criticism, the alarm bells go off. Especially when I see you use patterns that seem to come out of the SA/Fish playbook, of which I have only pointed out a few. The comment about shilling, and the accompanying misquote, is exactly what SA has used on multiple occasions. Now, maybe it is a coincidence, and I allow for that. But, I let the facts and merits of the argument speak for themselves.

  365. Hank Roberts:

    For Chuck Hughes:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=%228C%22+%2290+years%22+%22Lawrence+Berkeley+National+Laboratory%22+%22University+of+California+at+Berkeley%22

    I can’t find a source for that in anything recent. Google finds it going back to 2010. I suspect it’s all copies of something by the Arctic Methane Emergency Group — a guy named Nafeez Ahmed at one of the British newspapers posts a lot of their PR.

    I did look for anything recent at both LBL and UCB’s press offices, and found nothing — neither a science publication nor a press release with such claims.

    Perhaps someone with more patience will make more effort to try to track it down for you.

    Have you asked your local library’s Reference Desk for help?
    That’s usually the best way to check stuff, if you can’t find it mentioned in Snopes and it’s got big scary numbers in it.

    It’s always interesting to track how this kind of story gets copied and pasted and develops some appearance of credibility just by repetition, with those who like that kind of thing.

    Waste of time if you ask me, to chase uncited stories very far.

  366. Kevin McKinney:

    #356–Plus one. DIO is, functionally, just another troll.

  367. Kevin McKinney:

    A timely perspective on past and future renewables deployment trajectories, and on what the writer thinks the WEA should do in presenting these. Retrospective consideration of annual reports certainly demonstrates a systematic bias toward underestimation of deployments.

    As the article puts it:

    The WEO’s New Policies Scenario describes the mainstream developments in global energy. These developments put us on a track for a disastrous global warming of more than 3.5°C, according to the WEO. The globally agreed (but not yet operational) target is an upper limit of 2°C. Hence, the IEA also publishes an ‘alternative’ scenario, which shows what actions should be taken to stay within the 2°C limit. This so-called 450 scenario, named after the upper limit of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere (450 ppm) that still provides a reasonable chance of staying under a 2°C average temperature increase, is regarded as possible but not very likely to happen. According to our retrospective, especially from 2010 onwards, the alternative, 450 scenarios have been much more representative than the reference scenarios when it comes to the actual development of wind energy (and to a lesser extent, of solar power).

    Got that? The observed trajectory is closer to what we need for ’450′ than to the (supposedly) BAU trajectory.

    Dunno about you, but I call it good news–though it would probably be even better if the WEA were to improve its modeling (and hence policy implications), as the writer suggests.

    It’s worth noting that a broadly similar pattern exists at the US EIA, as I’ve shown in past comments here.

  368. Ric Merritt:

    Re #357 ClimateWatch and Nate Silver’s 538:

    Silver made his name with accurate predictions of election outcomes. In that field, I believe his successes were real.

    Does he or any of his columnists have any falsifiable climate predictions, especially contrarian (no awards for just believing mainstream climate science, else I should be famous), that they are willing to put out there to be tested?

  369. Mal Adapted:

    wili:

    It seems to me that the imperative for each of us who ‘know’ is to start pointing out to as many individuals and institutions that we know or are affiliated with that there is an imperative to reduce our personal and collective carbon footprint by at least ten percent a year starting now. Then start sharing ideas about how each is planning to do this. Some will listen, some won’t. But the message has to be sent clearly. And if enough start to listen, pressure will build on those who don’t to fall in line.

    That suggest that you don’t think AGW is a Tragedy of the Commons. There is nothing wrong with individuals voluntarily reducing their carbon footprints, of course. But do you think voluntary efforts alone can reduce emissions sufficiently, without government-imposed (e.g. carbon tax) measures?

  370. Hank Roberts:

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest non-government general science membership organization and the executive publisher of Science, a leading scientific journal. Its mission is “advance science for the benefit of all people.” Its goals include providing a voice for science on societal issues and promoting the responsible use of science in public policy. There may be no more pressing issue intersecting science and society than climate change and the What We Know initiative was born in response to that reality.

    http://whatweknow.aaas.org/get-the-facts/

    while the public is becoming aware that climate change is increasing the likelihood of certain local disasters, many people do not yet understand that there is a small, but real chance of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts on people in the United States and around the world.

    It is not the purpose of this paper to explain why this disconnect between scientific knowledge and public perception has occurred. Nor are we seeking to provide yet another extensive review of the scientific evidence for climate change. Instead, we present key messages for every American about climate change ….

  371. Steve Fish:

    Re- Multiple comments by DIOGENES

    OK, so you want constructive criticism. Please explain what the specific components and reasonable timing is for your rapid 95% decrease in fossil fuel use that is needed to avoid disaster. Without substantial replacement of needed energy by renewables your targets would result in a massive reduction in heating and cooking fuels, no clothing, no transportation, and not enough agriculture to support 7 billion people. This would result in wars over resources, massive starvation, and the death of something like 6 billion people. Is this not an apocalypse?

    You have admitted that your targets are not politically feasible but they are, apparently, also not practically possible to do while providing “lifestyle maintenance.” If you disagree then provide the plan with numbers and timing. No more accusations regarding the motives of others. This is tone troll behavior. No more impossible targets and apocalyptic claims. This is the behavior of concern trolls and doomer denialists which is a form of climate delay denialism, and as pointed out by MartinJB above, a boon for big oil. No more long and repetitive tracts. This is a form of blog clog trolling.

    Just explain what specifically are you asking everybody to do without and what you are personally planning or already doing to reduce fossil CO2 emissions? Many of us here have already made the commitment and are reducing our own carbon footprint. No more vague references to waste and trimming fat. No more excuses that you are just the messenger because we all already know what the message is. Explain why your targets aren’t just a “plan” for apocalypse? It is time to put up or shut up.

    Steve

  372. DIOGENES:

    Kevin McKinney #364,

    “just another troll”

    Well, one of the categories of troll is a concern troll, defined on the Web as: “A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user claims to hold. The concern troll posts in Web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”.” Now, would an example of that be someone who professes to be concerned about climate change amelioration, but whose real objective is to push technology that has little to do with real climate change amelioration?

  373. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #356,

    “you do realize that in neither post 333 or 342 do you explain your 95/5 split?”

    Here we go again! This is the SA/Fish approach of asking and re-asking a question, even though I have answered it. One more time.

    In the X-Y plot of #342, consider two graphs. The Ceres CLEAN TRILLION graph goes from Y=100% at 2014 to Y=46% at 2050. That’s a non-compounded reduction in emissions of ~1.5% per year, as I showed in my analysis of the SA-posted Ceres plan in #207. Let’s assume for this purpose that the curve can be extrapolated to zero emissions per year. That would occur at about 1980. My plan, as I have stated, would require reductions greater than 20% per year, as close to 100% as is feasible. Let’s assume 25% per year non-compounded emissions reduction.

    The area under each curve is the total emissions expended under that plan. Remember, we have run out of carbon budget for the selected temperature targets, so the area desired is zero. that’s not a nice-to-have, that’s a must-have! My plan would give the equivalent of two more years of emissions at today’s levels, an expenditure we can ill-afford. The Ceres plan would give the equivalent of 33 MORE YEARS OF EMISSIONS AT TODAY’S LEVELS! That’s a factor of 16 difference. If the Ceres plan is not a ticket to the climate Apocalypse, I don’t know what is.

    Now, we could use other time ranges to compute the differences between the two plans. I have emphasized the differences in the critical EARLY stages, and given the lag times for complete planning/installation/operations for low carbon technologies, the ratio would be even larger. Many of the demand reduction measures I require could be instituted by mandate almost immediately.

    “you have also given almost no USEFUL indication as to how you would actually reduce emissions at the pace you claim is necessary.”

    As I have stated in many posts, this is a plan for what is REQUIRED to avoid the impending climate Apocalypse. I have made the point many times it is not viable, because few in the world today are willing to undergo the privations and hardships required to achieve the targets of the plan. To implement the plan, there would need to be agreement among at least hundreds of millions (and probably billions) of the appropriate people. If that were to occur, it would mean enough people were willing to do what was required. The first step would be the issuance of mandates to eliminate ALL non-essential uses of fossil fuel, using very hard-nosed definitions of what is essential. I have given some examples before: close down ski resorts, all vacation travel, institute massive rationing for essential uses only. The list could go on and on. Will such actions have ramifications; you bet! But, if we want to avoid the climate Apocalypse, that’s what we need to do. If you want to invent fantasy solutions like SA’s Spross-quoted plan (If You See Something, Say Something thread #396) or Ceres plan that will reduce annual emissions by ~1% per year, when we need more than an order of magnitude to have any chance of avoiding the impending catastrophe, be my guest.

    ” I no more think you’re shilling for big oil than I believe Secular Animist is plumping for the renewable industry.”

    Well, your batting average just improved to .500; you got the first part right!

    “I am absolutely certain that your “plan” is utter fantasy land.”

    Unlike other posters, I don’t hide the truth. I’ve said many times the plan is not viable, for reasons I stated above. Now, think about what you are saying. You are criticizing the one plan on the climate blogs that, if implemented, would offer any chance of avoiding the impending climate Apocalypse. You have not shown any alternative that comes even close, although have intimated that others should be considered. Why would I, or anyone else, consider alternatives with zero evidence that they would come anywhere near what is needed.

    I also find it interesting that we have posters like you, SA, McKinney, and others I have mentioned previously who take all the potshots they can at my plan, along with substantial servings of invective, while offering no solutions of their own that will even come close. Yes, I had problems with SA’s and other plans, but I didn’t just offer valid criticisms. I developed a plan of my own that, in theory, would work. I wanted to identify what was actually required, and how much we could back off on that to make it practical. I have done the former, and have not yet been able to do the latter. This may in fact be a problem with no real-world solution. But, if you want to do something of value, rather than present the drivel in #356, provide some constructive criticism on my plan. Show how we can back off the theoretical requirements to make it more acceptable. Until you start doing that type of constructive criticism, your posts are nothing more than the hand-waving sniping in the tradition of SA/Fish/McKinney.

  374. DIOGENES:

    Kevin McKinney #365,

    “Dunno about you, but I call it good news”

    Ah yes, another unbiased objective article about renewables from Clean Technica. I hate to disillusion you, but the issue is not the accuracy of projected growth in renewables. It is the accuracy of projected growth/use of fossil fuels. The only real benefit from renewables comes WHEN THEY CAN START CARVING OUT A MAJOR SHARE OF PRESENT FOSSIL FUEL USE, to say nothing of fossil fuel growth. Do you see that happening? Do you see emissions plummeting year after year as a result of renewables taking away market share? Do you think the fossil states and fossil companies will just sit back and allow renewables to capture larger and larger shares of the present fossil market without putting up a fight? There are huge amounts of fossil profits that can be traded off in part to retain market share, if necessary. I don’t see the fossil companies or states backing off. They are exploring for new fossil reserves for all they’re worth, even starting to go into the Arctic. The key is the IEA’s accuracy of fossil use projection; what is their record in this regard?

  375. Chris Dudley:

    Dave Peters (#334),

    Not quite sure what you are getting at, but I don’t think you are getting the gist of the book. “Reinventing Fire” looks at options for mitigation (80% cut in emissions) and costs them out. It also discusses business strategies to bring these option to fruition.

    Are you writing in this vague manner to avoid the ban on discussion of nuclear energy?

  376. Walter:

    Diogenes,

    World Energy Consumption Increases by ~60% from 2010 to 2040 to more than 20,000 Mtoe.

    By 2040 4,400 Mtoe or 22% is expected/projected to come from nuclear, hydro, bio, and renewables. Only a 50% increase on the 3,000 Mtoe from these sources since 2011. Is that too low vs the reality? It’s very hard to find reliable figures for renewable projections 10 to 20 years out.

    Therefore in 2040 all up 15,000 Mtoe of energy is projected to be coming from fossil fuels. That is up from 10,000 Mtoe in 2011, a 50% increase, often mentioned in reports. This is BAU and the RCP scenario 8.5plus.

    To meet UNFCCC (safe climate)) targets and remain under 2 C requires Carbon energy use reductions by 2040 from Fossil Fuels in the order of >60% below 2011 levels. This means a cut in fossil fuel use down to 4,000 Mtoe per year versus the 15,000 Mtoe being predicted by the ‘energy experts’ for 2040.

    The difference is the Energy GAP of 11,000 Mtoe energy per year in 2040.

    Replacing 11,000 Mtoe of energy – Per Year – by 2040 means replacing (or reducing the demand for) more than all the fossil fuel energy used globally today. What energy supply has the Capacity to replace ~15,000 Mtoe of energy by 2050? It means being able to cut 5,000 Mtoe or 50% of our current FF energy by 2030.

    And that means being able to cut 3,000 Mtoe or 30% of our current FF energy use by 2025, which means being able to cut 1,000 Mtoe or 10% of our usage plus the >3% growth = 1,300 Mtoe or 13% by 2020.

    A 13% cut in global FF energy by 2020 wouldn’t be easy … would it?

    But by 2040 energy researchers suggests out of 20,000 Mtoe total energy demand, that Nuclear, Hydro, Biomass, and Renewables would still only be supplying ~4,400 Mtoe (22%).

    What would need to happen for N-H-B-R to instead supply four times as much eg 15,400 Mtoe of energy per year by 2040?

    At the moment the Energy Gap is somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 Mtoe energy supply per year coming from some “unknown” source before 2050.

    That’s the 95% Question (answer). Where is all that coming from if not from fossil fuels?

    Clean green renewables forecasts only look like growing to 3% of the total supply or 600 Mtoe (according to IEA etc) in 2040, all things being equal. That’s the 5% question (answer)….. it’s good but still doesn’t really do very much to change things,(are the 3% figures correct?)

    In 2013 total global energy demand was ~14,000 Mtoe. The tough question then is how does Nuc-Hyd-Bio-Renewable or ‘Unknown’ REPLACE 15,000 Mtoe energy demand per year by 2050 ???

    Table of energy figures 1973 – 2050 http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Xp6W9d2RLoU/UyzpsgoFTxI/AAAAAAAAAJE/zvjT2VZOhrI/s1600/2050+global+energy+shares+hypothetical.png

    full text
    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/the-energy-gap.html

  377. prokaryotes:

    Video: Spot On – Rising Seas in South Florida (PBS 2014)

    Study: Global Warming Speeds Up Methane Emissions From Freshwater

  378. Pete Dunkelberg:

    Surely there is some unforced variation to talk about besides the same back and forth with Diogenes. Dio, you are engaged in functional self contradiction. You appear to wish to convince others of your points, yet you keep making remarks about other posters and claiming to have the only or best plan meeting some criterion. This has the opposite effect.

    If you want to make progress, refrain from remarks about others. Just stop. Discipline yourself to just say “The least bad way forward as I see it is ….” without any unhelpful remarks about others or claims of a superior plan. Just says yours without that other stuff. And the rest of you, cease making personal remarks about Diogenes. Just cease. Then perhaps we may actually make progress.

  379. Pete Dunkelberg:

    Anyway aren’t we all Doomers now, just varying by degree? As the political situation gets worse year by year, it is hard to remember the good old days when we though it worthwhile to discuss sensitivity. Now we think “Lower sensitivity? that will just buy us a decade or two. Is a way out even possible?

    Let’s all sing along:

    You may say that I’m a Doomer,
    but I’m not the only one.
    Maybe someday you will join us
    and the world will cry as one.

  380. Thomas:

    Walter, The IEA consistently predicts that the exponential renewables expansion is over, and even the linear rate of increase will decrease. And they are wrong every year, but never “learn”. They are no more than paid shills for the fossil fuels industry, they are anything but experts.

  381. Hank Roberts:

    I posted this some years ago on one of those social media thingummies, because I had to create an account because family/inlaws wanted that.
    It’s the kind of thing you can post anywhere strangers might see it, just as an example. You can think of the content you’d like to advertise this way. Mine has said, for years:

    Advice for Contacting Hank

    What advice would you give to users considering contacting you?
    ———
    http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/63fae3tq9780252008184.html
    ———
    http://symposia.cbc.amnh.org/archives/expandingthearc/speakers/transcripts/jackson-text.html
    —————-
    look at this:
    http://sackler.nasmediaonline.org/2007/ile/jeremy_jackson/jeremy_jackson.html

    Look at/listen to the slide captioned “Cap carbon emissions and achieve large reductions in 20 years.”

    “But if we don’t — there’s a guy down the hall, I never knew what he did, I mean, he’s a chemist and I don’t talk to chemists, and then he came and he gave a lecture to our conservation course this summer about the standardization of the pH of the surface ocean globally, which he’s in charge of, and they measured a 0.1 decrease in pH and it’s exactly what they’re expecting from the increase in CO2, and you can plot the graph and you know when you’re going to get there.”
    —- end quote—-

  382. prokaryotes:

    Equatorial signatures of the Pacific Meridional Modes: Dependence on mean climate state

    Abstract Extratropical atmospheric variability can impact tropical climate in the Pacific sector via the Pacific Meridional Modes (PMMs). The South PMM (SPMM) has a larger equatorial signature than the North PMM (NPMM) for the same amount of extratropical variability. Here we explain this interhemispheric asymmetry using an atmospheric general circulation model coupled to a slab ocean model. By imposing an anomalous interhemispheric heating gradient, we strengthen the northeasterly trades and weaken the southeasterly trades, shifting the Intertropical Convergence Zone south of the equator.
    As a result, the SPMM no longer influences the equatorial region while the NPMM shows strengthened linkages to the central-western equatorial Pacific. By demonstrating that background winds determine the propagation of the wind-evaporation-sea surface temperature feedback fundamental for the PMMs, we conclude that the interhemispheric asymmetry between the PMMs is largely attributed to the asymmetric mean trades in the Pacific. The results have implications for both paleoclimate studies and model development. DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058842

    Captcha sideliner = nhRGenes Quantity, which yields this paper Differential gene expression of Caenorhabditis elegans grown on unmethylated sterols or 4a-methylsterols, as the 1st search result and which concludes with — “One may speculate that this versatile animal, evolved to adapt to rapid and dramatic alterations in the environment of its compost pile home..” – which when readded to google brings us to this relevant search engine result.

  383. Chuck Hughes:

    Thank you Hank Roberts. I trust your opinions on things. You can be cryptic about some of your assessments but you’re straight down the middle and consistent. Sometimes I wish you wouldn’t make me work so hard to find answers but that’s okay. I’m always learning something new.

  384. wili:

    MA at 369: I meant for “institutions” to include governmental bodies at various levels. Yes, ultimately we need such regulation at the highest levels of both national and international levels. But you may have noticed that nothing much very effective has been happening at those levels recently.

    If we can get an energized movement going throughout all the other levels, the ‘leaders’ will eventually have to follow.

    Please note also that the actual historical Commons–lands used in common by communities to, for example, graze their cattle–were not generally degraded because of the number of people in those communities. Usually there was quite a bit of self-policing; the mind set was to preserve what was necessary for community survival, and any commoner who was seen to be abusing the privilege came under fairly extreme social (and sometime physical) pressure from the rest of the community.

    Rather, it was mostly when one or a few powerful people with a mind set of making maximum profit in a hurry came in and drove the many off of the commons that they became over-grazed. Hardin’s original mathematical model overlooks differences of mindsets and power (as most simplistic models are wont to do).

    But in any case, I’m all ears for anything that looks remotely like a plan that may get us anywhere close to the needed changes within the necessary time frames.

  385. Walter:

    Good morning life, logorama
    http://vimeo.com/10149605 :)

  386. prokaryotes:

    Pete Dunkelberg: “aren’t we all Doomers now, just varying by degree?”

    This term has a fatalistic, panicked and unreasoned notion to me, i didn’t thought a lot of this before but i consider myself to be a realist who tries to keep up curiosity and optimism. We all know what is brewing and each of us makes the choices who can make a difference. It begins with things like the choice of engine technology for your car (Yes, we got this choice by now). Be part of the problem or do something. Are Doomers doers too or just Ostrich’s?

  387. prokaryotes:

    Pete Dunkelberg: “..aren’t we all Doomers now, just varying by degree?”

    This term has a fatalistic, panicked and unreasoned notion to me, i didn’t thought a lot of this before but i consider myself to be a realist who tries to keep up curiosity and optimism. We all know what is brewing and each of us makes the choices which all make a difference. It begins with things like the choice of engine technology for your car (Yes, we got this choice by now). Be part of the problem or do something. Are Doomers, Doers too or just Ostriches?

  388. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #371,

    “OK, SO YOU WANT CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. Please explain what the specific components and reasonable timing is for your rapid 95% decrease in fossil fuel use that is needed to avoid disaster. Without substantial replacement of needed energy by renewables your targets would result in a massive reduction in heating and cooking fuels, no clothing, no transportation, and not enough agriculture to support 7 billion people. This would result in wars over resources, massive starvation, and the death of something like 6 billion people. Is this not an apocalypse? ”

    Finally!! Good constructive criticism!!

    Let me start from ground zero. The plan as stated in #63 has five major elements: lifestyle maintenance (mainly the conversion of high carbon to low carbon and low energy efficiency to high energy efficiency), rapid carbon removal, fossil fuel use reduction over and above that coming from lifestyle maintenance, the targets that should not be exceeded (temperature only, at present, but the other five parameters used by Steinacher could be employed), and risk (the chance that the three major components of the plan would allow the target to be met).

    The interim peak target I have selected at present is ~1 C, based on Hansen’s recommendation to stay as close to prior Holocene temperature as possible. I want to maximize the chance (decrease the risk) of coming as close to the target as possible. This translates ideally into going full bore on all three components, although some compromise will be necessary to increase salability.

    My starting point is Hansen’s plan outlined in his recent Plos One paper. He includes a lifestyle maintenance component of installing renewables and nuclear, a massive reforestation component that will yield 100 gigatons of carbon from 2030-2080, and a demand reduction of 6% per year accompanying the massive reforestation. If the reforestation is cut in half, his demand reduction rises to 9% per year.

    Why not stop there, and accept Hansen’s plan? He discusses the uncertainties in many of the parameters, and uncertainties from the carbon feedbacks already triggered. In addition, a recent paper showed mature trees were more effective at carbon reduction than young trees, so the reforestation impact may kick in later than desired. It seems to me that an all-out effort for further reduction is required to minimize the potential adverse impacts that could result from the uncertainties going in the wrong direction.

    My plan would initiate the reforestation even earlier, and supplement, if possible, with other approaches such as the ‘artificial trees’ developed at Columbia (if the marginal benefits of this addition relative to reforestation are sizable). Both the reforestation and construction/deployment of ‘artificial trees’ would need to be done in a low carbon manner, which may be difficult in the early stages.

    As I have shown, present low carbon technology implementation proposals (Ceres) provide minimal fossil emissions reduction (~1-2% per year). However, if avoiding the climate Apocalypse is the goal, there is no reason that such implementation could not be accelerated. For example, assume (for discussion purposes) that all present fossil use could be completely converted to low carbon. If this conversion takes place over 100 years, then there would be a non-compounded reduction of 1% per year; 50 years, 2% per year; 20 years, 5% per year; 10 years, 10% per year. At five years, the 20% per year reduction starts getting close to the demand reduction I used for my posted examples. So, the question becomes how rapidly we could make the transition IF WE WERE 100% SERIOUS ABOUT HAVING ANY CHANCE TO AVOID THE CLIMATE APOCALYPSE. Additionally, especially in the early stages, how much fossil fuel expenditure would be necessary to effect this transition?

    The data on answering this question is sparse. Jacobson and DeLucchi had a two part paper on what it would take to convert the energy economy completely to renewables. While their approach was admirable, decades would be required under their plan, too little to offset demand reduction appreciably. In addition, they were roundly criticized as being far more expensive than a nuclear-based option, and in total too expensive for anything other than a wartime effort. The question in my mind is, if we viewed our present global situation with extreme wartime urgency, how rapidly could conversion to low carbon technology be done, almost irrespective of cost as has been the case with some major wartime efforts.

    For salability, the demand reduction component would have to be partially offset by the demand reduction from the enhanced transition to low carbon technology. This is not my first choice, since it would allow much unnecessary consumption to be continued, and would raise the risk of the targets not being achieved. Additionally, the greater the demand reduction component, the less is the amount of low carbon technologies that would have to be installed, and the faster the installation could be completed. Nevertheless, there would still be elimination of the non-essential uses of fossil energy, with modest easing of the restrictions on essential uses. The sum of the fossil fuel usage reductions of the lifestyle maintenance component and the demand reduction component should be in the 20%-25% per year range. Thus, if the low carbon technology substitution could be done on the order of a decade (I have no idea about the practicality of this level of intense effort), then additional demand reduction could be on the order of 10-15% per year. Any further easing of this demand reduction would trade off economic adversity for increased chances of survival.

    Anyway, Steve Fish, I appreciate your constructive criticism, and hope this is a harbinger of things to come. How would you improve the version of the plan I have outlined above?

  389. Kevin McKinney:

    “Now, would an example of that be someone who professes to be concerned about climate change amelioration, but whose real objective is to push technology that has little to do with real climate change amelioration?”

    – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/unforced-variations-mar-2014/comment-page-8/#comment-474883

    Classic trolling, with a needling remark.

    Nice try, DIO, but you just proved my case beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Goodbye, and try to have a nice life.

  390. DIOGENES:

    Walter #376,

    “It’s very hard to find reliable figures for renewable projections 10 to 20 years out.”

    It’s very difficult to find reliable/consistent figures for any type of energy source decades out in the future, and it’s equally difficult to compare the various proposed scenarios for climate change amelioration. The models are different, the assumptions are different, and the data sources are different. For those of us who don’t have ready access to the models, we have to depend on these myriad sources of information and results.

    Again, for energy source projections, the key is not renewable projections, it is fossil projections. The numbers I’ve seen from responsible organizations range from about ten percent more than 2010 levels three decades out to almost fifty percent more than 2010 levels three decades out. These are almost two orders of magnitude larger than what is acceptable if we are to avoid the climate Apocalypse. So, unless low carbon alternatives can be projected to reduce fossil emissions DRASTICALLY, they will be relatively inconsequential by themselves. See my recent climate change amelioration plan posting on this issue.

    Now, the extrapolations of renewables I have seen on this blog leave much to be desired. I’ll give a football analogy to show why. The ball is kicked off, and the receiver catches it ten yards deep in the end zone. It takes him three seconds to run it out to the five. Now, using the extrapolation approaches we see presented on this blog, they would estimate that it would take him about eighteen seconds to run the remaining 95 yards to the goal line. In reality, most of the time he will be lucky to make it out to his own twenty!

    Right now, renewables do not pose a significant threat to existing fossil; they may shave a slight amount off of fossil growth. If they start posing a significant threat, then the power of the fossil states, the fossil companies, and other affected groups will be brought into play in full force. These are the tacklers who will meet the receiver at about the five or ten yard line. And, there’s a lot that the fossil Special Interests can do to outcompete solar, using the full range of excess profits, political influence, and national mandates. Unless there is a global wake-up call, we will see BAU until the curtain starts to come down.

    Finally, I think the material you have posted on BAU is very informative. It presents the stark reality without all the sugar coating in intricate detail. Keep up the good work!

  391. MartinJB:

    DIOGENES,

    you are a hoot. You keep saying you’ve explained the 95/5 split, but nowhere in your explanations does a 95 or 5 even show up. NOWHERE!!! It’s just amazing.

    And, if your “plan” is infeasible (and I agree: it’s utter fantasy) then why should I care about it? Why should anyone? I mean, if I actually bought your premise that it was the only plan that could lead us to salvation, then why would I bother doing anything? I know you don’y explicitly say it, but given that you deride anyone actually offering proactive things to do (transition to renewables, increase energy efficiency, continue to educate people about climate change to hopefully change behavior etc.), it’s not so hard to conclude that in the end you would have us do nothing.

    So, given the choice between actions that would actually accomplish something (and maybe, in the end it’s not enough and things get really bad) and your “plan” that will never accomplish anything, I’ll take the former. And THAT is why the only folks who should be cheering you on are deniers and big oil. Not saying that’s your intent, but that’s the real world.

    But really, what got my back up and led me to wade into this was your behavior towards the really admirable people who run this site and your calumny for other posters who are trying to fight the same fight you are. You are free to wallow around in your fantasy world and pontificate (heck, that describes LOTS of blog posters… myself too at times, I’m sure). The only harm you’re going to cause is if you convince people it’s not worth doing anything (I KNOW, that’s probably not what you intend to advocate), but I doubt many people take you that seriously. And it’s not BAD to remind folks that we really can’t do too much to deal with climate change. But the disrespect you showed to the people who run this site as a sideline to their already difficult jobs was just too much.

  392. MartinJB:

    DIOGENES,

    on the off-chance you really want constructive criticism, I’ll offer a few points. And these are really, truly meant to inform you and give you something to think about.

    1 – don’t use empty, alarmist terms like “climate Apocalypse” or “geocide”. They serve mainly to obfuscate and make it hard to take you seriously.

    2 – take your own thoughts with a grain of salt. Just because you can’t imagine any other solution besides yours working, doesn’t mean you haven’t missed something or that you might not be seeing the whole picture.

    3 – don’t question the motives of others based only on weak inference. None of us know enough on our own to burn bridges like that.

    4 – there is not now and in all probably never will be a governing body with the authority (let alone the willingness) to mandate the types of actions your plan seems to call for on a global scale (e.g. reducing carbon use by 10-20% per year). Having that as, really, the lynchpin of your plan makes it a non-starter. Any further discussion of it is kinda useless, from my perspective.

    But let’s go on anyway, because there are some important points to be made.

    5 – I suspect that the impact of your plan (as I read it) could be worse than the impact of climate change under a non-BAU scenario (i.e. one where we gradually reduce emissions down to zero over the course of say 3-5 decades and then manage to go carbon-negative – more on that below). This is largely because the latter gives us time to react and adapt, whereas the former is far too abrupt given the extent of the disruption. I believe you do not appreciate the kind of disruption and dislocation reducing carbon by 10-20% per year would probably create. Seriously, look at a carbon budget for humanity and then imagine what it would take to reduce even 10% per year.

    6 – you talk about a “lifestyle maintenance component” that seemed to involve renewables and increased efficiency. However, those require a pre-existing industrial base to accomplish. Your idea of reducing carbon use by 10-20% per year utterly guts that industrial base. Thus, those lifestyle maintenance activities just could not happen in the wake of the economic devastation your plan would probably cause.

    7 – species extinction is not the issue. Humanity lives in every climate zone and biome on the planet. We use tools and learn from each other. We will survive short of the most extreme, abrupt event. It could be an existence both rude and crude and with WAY fewer people, but it will be something. That endpoint is exactly what I think we have to try to prevent or at least mitigate as much as is humanly possible. But talking about extinction is not the issue.

    Finally, here is how I hope things play out. Honestly, I think it is the best we can expect short of unexpected events (e.g. unforeseen technological development). We will gradually reduce carbon use (hopefully more quickly than CERES suggests) through a combination of fossil fuel substitution, increased carbon/energy efficiency and lifestyle changes. At the same time, we will work to make our civilization more resilient to inevitable impacts of climate change. We will likely have some bad times that will cause a lot of pain and suffering. But we are an innovative, adaptable species. The more we reduce carbon use, the longer we will have to adapt, the less bad the endpoint, and the more chance we have to salvage something good.

    So, GO renewables and fossil fuel substitution! GO efficiency! GO educating people, so we can speed the transition! GO doing research that will help us understand how to make our civilization more resilient. So, maybe you can see why I think people who (whether or not that is their intent) might encourage doing nothing are a bad thing.

  393. DIOGENES:

    Outstanding article by RobertScribbler.
    http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/far-worse-than-being-beaten-with-a-hockey-stick-michael-mann-our-terrifying-greenhouse-gas-overburden-and-heating-the-earth-by-2-c-by-2036/#comments

    Bottom line:

    “In short, it might not be possible to avoid some or even all of these effects. But we may as well try. And this is what trying would look like.

    First, we would rapidly reduce human greenhouse gas emissions to near zero. As this happens, we would probably want a global fleet of aircraft that spray sulfate particles into the lower atmosphere to make up for the loss of aerosols once produced by coal plants. Finally, we would need an array of atmospheric carbon capture techniques including forest growth and cutting, then sequestration of the carbon stored by wood in lakes or in underground repositories, chemical atmospheric carbon capture, and carbon capture of biomass emissions.

    For safety, we would need to eventually reduce CO2 to less than 350 ppm, methane to less than 1,000 ppb, and eliminate emissions from other greenhouse gasses. A very tall order that would require the sharing of resources, heroic sacrifices by every human being on this Earth, and a global coordination and cooperation of nations not yet before seen. Something that is possible in theory but has not yet been witnessed in practice. A test to see if humankind is mature enough to ensure its own survival and the continuation of life and diversity on the only world we know. A tall order, indeed, but one we must at least attempt.”

  394. doug:

    Here’s a thought for a large scale “plan” to address our climate crisis. Most people here are probably aware of the potential for computers to become thousand if not millions? of times more powerful than they are today, through advances in quantum computing and other types of computing. What I am wondering with really no computer expertise (or scientific expertise for that matter) is, could a computer that is a million times more powerful than today, tell us a geo-engeneering solution that would “work”?

    If we had a Manhattan project type commitment to build a computer with this type of capacity in the next decade or two, could this computer tell us exactly what type of geo-engeneering response would be the least harmful, or even helpful? If this is even remotely possible, it seems like a far more cheaper and practical solution to our climate crisis, than say changing the life styles of every human on earth, and turning upside down our economies.

  395. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #391,

    “you are a hoot. You keep saying you’ve explained the 95/5 split, but nowhere in your explanations does a 95 or 5 even show up. NOWHERE!!! It’s just amazing.”

    You need to learn one thing. If you’re going to repeat your scripted talking points, make sure they address a very ambiguous topic, not actual numbers. Then, you can be held to task for your deliberate misrepresentation. I’ll quote verbatim from my post #373: “The area under each curve is the total emissions expended under that plan. Remember, we have run out of carbon budget for the selected temperature targets, so the area desired is zero. that’s not a nice-to-have, that’s a must-have! My plan would give the equivalent of two more years of emissions at today’s levels, an expenditure we can ill-afford. The Ceres plan would give the equivalent of 33 MORE YEARS OF EMISSIONS AT TODAY’S LEVELS! That’s a factor of 16 difference. If the Ceres plan is not a ticket to the climate Apocalypse, I don’t know what is.

    Now, we could use other time ranges to compute the differences between the two plans. I have emphasized the differences in the critical EARLY stages, and given the lag times for complete planning/installation/operations for low carbon technologies, the ratio would be even larger.”

    Repeat: a factor of 16 difference….the ratio [in the early stages] would be even larger. At least try to be subtle in your continual misrepresentation.

  396. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #392,

    “(i.e. one where we gradually reduce emissions down to zero over the course of say 3-5 decades and then manage to go carbon-negative – more on that below). This is largely because the latter gives us time to react and adapt,”

    Right, 3-5 decades; there’s no rush. Read #393 before posting any more nonsense. You have no concept of the seriousness of the situation, and the extreme nature of the steps required to even have a chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse.

    “We will gradually reduce carbon use”

    Sounds nice; unfortunately, has no relation to what the numbers require. More nonsense.

  397. wili:

    diogenes (and other bloggers, dreamers, activists, scientists…):

    1 – Please raise the alarm as widely and loudly as you can using whatever language gets a response.
    2 – Please don’t let others tell you not to take your efforts very, very seriously.
    3 – Please continue to be on the look out for those with agendas they do not fully disclose, and be sure to remind other readers that such people are certain to be on most forums.
    4 – Please don’t let anyone tell you not to state clearly what must happen just because current political structures seem to be a roadblock. Such structures can (and must, eventually) change suddenly and dramatically, and we need to have plans on hand to implement them when those roadblocks are removed. I personally know of many instances where people developed detailed plans that seemed impossible to implement at the time, but then circumstances changed and they were suddenly able to do so. If those people had listened to the voices saying that coming up with plans was a ‘non-starter’ because of such conditions, they never would have had them available at the opportune moment.
    5 – Always keep clearly in mind what Anderson and other have clearly pointed out: We no longer have the leisure to slowly reduce emissions if we want anything like a habitable planet for ourselves, for our progeny and for most of the rest of complex life on earth.
    6 – Remember that economics (unlike the basic life support systems of the planet) is a human construct, nearly infinitely malleable. With the right will, vision and leadership, we could have near total employment tomorrow by reducing hours worked per week. That we don’t is a political and economic decision and we can make different ones. As we have seen, the government is willing to throw endless quantities of cash at banks to support an utterly corrupt and unworkable system. The same resources could be used to soften the blow of economic collapse by forgiving debts, outlawing foreclosures, guaranteeing basic healthcare etc.
    7 – Species extinction is _the_ ultimate issue. The only worthwhile measure of our value as a species is whether we leave the planet at least as full of the rich diversity of life as we found it. Right now, industrial society is doing all it can do to fail that most basic of tests. Even if we miraculously save the planet from GW but we proceed to wipe out most complex life on earth, we will clearly have utterly failed as a species.

    Finally, thank you for your efforts. When others join you from all walks of life on all other web and face-to-face fora, when we make sure that no other work gets done before we address these very basic issues, when we talk every doubter and sunny-sider into the truth of our dire situation and the fundamental changes needed immediately at all levels…only then can we let up, and probably not even then.

  398. Mal Adapted:

    wili

    Please note also that the actual historical Commons–lands used in common by communities to, for example, graze their cattle–were not generally degraded because of the number of people in those communities. Usually there was quite a bit of self-policing; the mind set was to preserve what was necessary for community survival, and any commoner who was seen to be abusing the privilege came under fairly extreme social (and sometime physical) pressure from the rest of the community.

    Rather, it was mostly when one or a few powerful people with a mind set of making maximum profit in a hurry came in and drove the many off of the commons that they became over-grazed.

    It may be true that some common grazing land was historically protected from degradation by (in Hardin’s phrase) “mutual coercion mutually agreed upon”. As a metaphor however, “the tragedy of the commons” applies to any situation where a consumer of a good is able to avoid paying directly for some of the costs of consumption, instead imposing those costs (or “externalities”) on others who may not enjoy any direct benefit from consuming the good. AGW is clearly such a situation, as Gavin Schmidt, citing the Stern Review, tells us in Climate Change: Picturing the Science.

    I submit that when the costs of AGW are internalized via a carbon tax, the higher price of gasoline will persuade more Hummer drivers to trade them for Priuses (or bicycles, if the price of gas goes high enough) than public shaming will.

    I also know that “a few powerful people with a mind set of making maximum profit in a hurry” will continue to protect their profits in part by paying for skillful propaganda to counter moral suasion aimed at Hummer drivers, as well as to reduce public support for a carbon tax or any other government action that internalizes more of the true cost of fossil fuel use. That leaves voluntary efforts, inadequate thought they may be, as the only hope for slowing the global growth of CO2 emissions in the near term. Carry on.

  399. wili:

    MA at 396:”I submit that when the costs of AGW are internalized via a carbon tax, the higher price of gasoline will persuade more Hummer drivers to trade them for Priuses (or bicycles, if the price of gas goes high enough) than public shaming will.”

    Maybe, but on the other hand the whole point of getting such monstrosities for many people is exactly to parade their conspicuous consumption. If that is someone’s goal, then the higher gas prices are, the more everyone knows just how much you are able and willing to throw at such absurdities.

    Price is sometimes a more perverse motivator than you seem be considering here.

    …”“a few powerful people with a mind set of making maximum profit in a hurry” will continue to protect their profits in part by paying for skillful propaganda to counter moral suasion…”

    Very true. All the more reason to spend even more effort at getting as many people on board on the right side as possible.

    But again, I am not against national or international tax or (better) regulation. But we can no longer wait around for these things to happen. We have to be pursuing multiple strategies at once, and hope for unexpected breakthroughs in these crucial but so far mostly intransigent macro-levels.

    Unless you see some promising developments on the national or international level that I have missed?

  400. Hank Roberts:

    … the weightiest mistake in my synthesizing paper was the omission of the modifying adjective “unmanaged.” In correcting this omission, one can generalize the practical conclusion in this way: “A ‘managed commons’ describes either soci alism or the privatism of free enterprise. Either one may work; either one may fail: ‘The devil is in the details.’ But with an unmanaged commons, you can forget about the devil: As overuse of resources reduces carrying capacity, ruin is inevitable.” With this modification firmly in place, “The Tragedy of the Commons” is well tailored for further interdisciplinary syntheses.

    A final word about interdisciplinary work–do not underestimate its difficulties. The more specialties we try to stitch together, the greater are our opportunities to make mistakes–and the more numerous are our willing critics. Science has been defined as a self-correcting system. In this struggle, our primary adversary should be “the nature of things.” As a matter of policy, we must not reply in kind to those critics who love to indulge in name-calling. (They are all too numerous in interdisciplinary undertakings.) But critics who, ignoring personalities, focus on the underlying nature of things are the true friends of science.

    – Garrett Hardin

  401. DIOGENES:

    Doug #394,

    “could a computer that is a million times more powerful than today, tell us a geo-engeneering solution that would “work”?”

    Interesting question. I would be surprised if there is not already substantial activity along those lines. Proposals that would generate substantial activity, to say nothing of profit, tend to attract much interest, whereas those that recommend reducing activity, to say nothing of profit, attract little interest. Space programs, military hardware, technology substitution, etc, don’t suffer for lack of support.

    The problem I have with the extension to geo-engineering is that the results would be limited by the quality of the models and the quality of the data. While larger computers can obviously give you better accuracy in the solution fields, they will be limited by the functional relationships employed and the data used.

    By all means, let’s keep the research going looking for improved geo-engineering options. Yes, it would be great to replace the stringent and disrupting measures my full plan requires with some doable technical ‘fix’. I wouldn’t bet the farm on one appearing.

  402. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #392,

    “Just because you can’t imagine any other solution besides yours working, doesn’t mean you haven’t missed something or that you might not be seeing the whole picture.”

    Where do I make a statement like that? Why do you think I have continually asked for constructive criticism on my plan (and unfortunately have received precious little)? I realize there are shortcomings, and look forward to people coming forth with ideas to correct the shortcomings. Where are these ideas???

    “Your idea of reducing carbon use by 10-20% per year utterly guts that industrial base.”

    My plan requires elimination of all non-essential uses of fossil energy, and trimming the fat off the essential uses. This both cuts the emissions radically in the earliest stages, when we need reductions the most, and cuts total energy requirements, so less low-carbon technologies need to be constructed to replace high-carbon technologies. The latter replacement will not be a carbon-free process, especially in the early stages when the main source available is fossil fuel.

    Eliminating ski resorts guts the industrial base; riiight! Eliminating all non-essential travel guts the industrial base; riiight! Reducing thermostat settings in Winter and increasing them in Summer guts the industrial base; riiight! The other members of your tag team need to step back in; you’ve accomplished your diversion.

  403. Kevin McKinney:

    #396–”Moral suasion aimed at Hummer drivers?”

    Just illustrative, I know, but methinks that ship has sailed:

    http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2013/09/hummer-sales-figures-usa-canada.html

  404. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #303,

    “I think that Diogenes is really wasting his talent on this blog and should take his message over to Wally World (see Walter’s recent posts above) where posting his inspired commentary anonymously will be welcomed. Besides, I think that Wally has only gotten a single response comment to his multiple essays and is lonely.”

    So, we now have a new implied metric for gauging the quality of a climate blog: the number of hits. Well, I took a look at WUWT this morning. On articles posted since 20 March, he has received 1359 comments. You must be in awe.

    ClimateCodeRed rarely gets comments, yet I have the highest regard for David Spratt’s articles. They are solidly referenced, and tell it like it is. They pull no punches, and offer no unpaid advertising. RobertScribbler posts a few articles per week, and gets about 40 comments per article. Again, pulls no punches, and has no unpaid advertising. Walter’s site is just a start-up, and most of his articles are well documented, with facts not all that easy to find elsewhere. His articles on BAU are first rate. In my view, he could have done without the article commenting on moderators and posters individually; that didn’t advance the technology or science for me. But, right now, his articles provide some much needed information.

  405. MartinJB:

    Well DIOGENES, I think I’ve heard enough from you. If you think eliminating ski resorts, non-essential travel and moving thermostats around is gonna cut 10-20% of carbon usage (let alone continue to cut it that much in years going forward) then you are obviously more clueless than I originally thought. I gave it a shot (heck, I even tried being civil in the wake of your pot shots), but some deficits will just never be overcome. Cheerio.

  406. Hank Roberts:

    My plan requires elimination of all non-essential uses of fossil energy, and trimming the fat off the essential uses.

    – the Tea Party Method, applied to climate change.
    Hey, if everybody would only …..

    But remember Garrett Hardin’s advice.

    Get a name, get a blog, set an example, show how you do it.

    You’re not alone, although you will seem to be as long as you’re anonymous.

  407. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #402,

    ” If you think eliminating ski resorts, non-essential travel and moving thermostats around is gonna cut 10-20% of carbon usage…..I even tried being civil”

    The feigned indignation never ends. I provide a few examples of what I mean by elimination of non-essential uses of fossil energy, and that is taken out of context as meaning the full extent of my plan. The chief perpetrators of this seem to be people who offer no plan of their own, or no other plan for which they will take ownership.

    We in the advanced nations live a lifestyle that has a strong component based on the production of non-necessities; i.e., junk. Most of that production is energy intensive. When I talk about elimination of non-essentials, it means at some point getting rid of the junk to which we have become accustomed, including the seemingly endless fossil-based travel that seems to occupy the lives of many people. Junk food, junk toys and ornaments, and much of the non-necessities of life that we now take for granted. We would eliminate the energy intensive practice of raising cattle for food. Right now, I can buy food from all around the world at my supermarket, all of which consumes unnecessary energy for travel, and much of which is processed. Most of that processing would be eliminated, as well as the long-distance travel.

    Is this a brutal plan; you bet! Am I happy about it; you bet not! Remember the stakes: we are trading off the non-necessities in our life for a chance of potential species survival. Show me another way, based on the numbers necessary for survival!!!

  408. Steve Fish:

    Re- More comments by DIOGENES

    You have misunderstood what is being asked, so I will try to make the question clearer. You have said that there must be a 5% – 95% split in solving our CO2 emission problem. You are saying that 100% of emissions must be stopped in just a few years with only a 5% compensation increase from renewables (relative to existing fossil energy). What this means is that in just a few years 7 billion people must live on something around 10% of currently required energy. The big question we are asking you is to demonstrate how this would be possible. I am very skeptical but prove me wrong.

    So what you appear to be proposing is not only politically not feasible but is also a plan for mass extinction of humans, an apocalypse. If you disagree, then do what has been asked of you repeatedly and supply data. What would the average person have to live on? What would they have to give up? Are you prepared to undergo these privations and are you currently practicing them in your own life?

    Again, please answer the question. No more vague references to fat trimming and trivial examples like ski lifts and thermostats. Talk in some detail about food, housing, heating, clothing, transportation, and how the vast majority of our 7 billion who live in cities are going to survive on less than 10% of current energy use. All you have to do is provide a doable explanation of this problem, otherwise your proposal of a politically and practically impossible “plan” can be accurately described as a proposal for apocalypse and thereby trolling and a form of climate denial. Proposing an impossible plan is saying that nothing can be done and therefore there is no real reason to do anything. Big oil (and coal etc.) wins.

    Steve

  409. Pete Dunkelberg:

    Dio, let’s give Martin credit (I do anyway) for trying, just like you, to aid in our deliberations. That said, I too wonder about this:

    “Your idea of reducing carbon use by 10-20% per year utterly guts that industrial base. Thus, those lifestyle maintenance activities just could not happen in the wake of the economic devastation your plan would probably cause.” – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/unforced-variations-mar-2014/comment-page-8/#comments

    Martin, Suppose, even if we don’t get up to 10% in the first year due to dependence on carbon energy for building new things, we embark on a program of building, installing, retrofitting for conservation and so on to match the carbon reduction year by year. Wouldn’t that be an economic stimulus? Could it be that the real problem is that even though the economy and regular folks would prosper, some large current cash flows would be altered?

  410. Radge Havers:

    On Theology and Geometry

    “I don’t hide the truth.”
    ~ DIOGENES says

    Oh, come off it. Do you hear yourself? Do you really think the people here are so unsophisticated that they’ll be impressed by this sort of posturing?

    “I dust a bit…in addition, I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”
    ~ Ignatius J. Reilly

  411. DIOGENES:

    Hank Roberts #403,

    “Get a name, get a blog, set an example, show how you do it.”

    I don’t see how starting my own blog will make a difference. Most of what I submit gets posted, so what is to be gained by my own blog?

    What’s the bigger picture? This blog has been around for almost a decade. It has world-class climate scientists as moderators, and some sharp commenters. Yet, with all this mental firepower, when I read the comments, I’m essentially looking at a circular firing squad. I see no plan presented that will meet the requirements necessary to avoid the climate Apocalypse that is salable.

    Now, if this blog had been devoted to e.g. looking for a cuure for cancer for nine years, I could understand the lack of a potential solution. Some problems inherently take a long time to solve. For climate change amelioration, do we not know what has to be done? We know the answers, and they are relatively straight-forward. Killian has provided some examples of what is ultimately required. The key is living locally; acquiring resources locally, and depositing waste locally. Living simply, without all the accoutrements of modern energy-intensive technology. There are communities in the USA and across the world that function this way. Yes, this is not the world of highly processed foods and things, of jet-set travel, of massive militaries that travel around the world continuously. But, if most people reject this necessary lifestyle version, we probably won’t last much longer as a species. No more complicated than that. I have shown that the more popular possibly-acceptable plans like Ceres Clean Trillion are not adequate. They may buy us an extra generation, but that’s a blink of the eye in human existence terms. So, if I repeat this statement on my own blog, how will that change this larger perhaps insoluble picture?

  412. Pete Dunkelberg:

    RC: your books page refers to Ray’s Paleoclimatology 2nd edition but the third is out:
    http://www.amazon.com/Paleoclimatology-Reconstructing-Quaternary-Raymond-Bradley-ebook/dp/B00HR7GTWW/

  413. Mal Adapted:

    wili:

    Maybe, but on the other hand the whole point of getting such monstrosities for many people is exactly to parade their conspicuous consumption. If that is someone’s goal, then the higher gas prices are, the more everyone knows just how much you are able and willing to throw at such absurdities.

    Price is sometimes a more perverse motivator than you seem be considering here.

    I realize we’re substantively in agreement, but it’s important IMO to understand why it’s called the tragedy of the commons: paraphrasing Whitehead, “the essence of tragedy resides in the remorseless working of things.” I presume this is old hat for most RC-ers, but let’s review anyway:

    An individual exploiter of an unregulated commons has sound economic incentive to continue or even intensify his exploitation, as long as he gains direct benefit greater than the sum of his direct cost plus his perceived share of the externalized cost.

    Appeals to conscience or fashion work, to the extent they do, by reducing the fossil-fuel consumer’s perceived benefit of consumption (or equivalently, by increasing his perceived share of the externalized cost), for only a sub-population of consumers. Tragically, the net effect on the global atmospheric commons will be negligible, because if enough consumers respond to non-price incentives to reduce their consumption, the direct price of fossil fuels will decline, making it economic for others to increase their consumption. By the same logic, increasing the direct price, as through a carbon tax, will motivate all “rational economic agents” to reduce their fossil fuel consumption by increasing efficiency or by substituting alternative energy sources. That’s all standard Environmental Economics.

    Again, I’m not saying that no-one should voluntarily reduce their individual carbon footprint in the absence of a carbon tax. I just don’t expect it to have much effect on the course of AGW by itself. I do understand that wili isn’t advocating for only voluntary individual decarbonization:

    But again, I am not against national or international tax or (better) regulation. But we can no longer wait around for these things to happen. We have to be pursuing multiple strategies at once, and hope for unexpected breakthroughs in these crucial but so far mostly intransigent macro-levels.

    Sounds like he’s been reading Ostrom:

    The literature on global climate change has largely ignored the small but positive steps that many public and private actors are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A global policy is frequently posited as the only strategy needed. It is important to balance the major attention on global solutions as the only strategy for coping with climate change. Positive actions are underway at multiple, smaller scales to start the process of climate change mitigation. Researchers need to understand the strength of polycentric systems where enterprises at multiple levels may complement each other. Building a global regime is a necessity, but encouraging the emergence of a polycentric system starts the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and acts as a spur to international regimes to do their part.

    That’s hard to argue against, and it’s enough to fend off abject despair for now.

  414. Pete Dunkelberg:

    I think many here will not agree with my reply to Martin, and one reason may be an implicit assumption that BAU will not hurt the economy. You will probably not want to make this explicit.

    Anyway note
    this article by Nafeez Ahmed in the Guardian. Don’t chase squirrels like the commenters do. Read at least down to this section of the article:

    “An academic conference paper on the HANDY model by a cross-disciplinary team of natural and social scientists led by Dr Rodrigo Castro of the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, delivered earlier this month, explains in detail why the HANDY model is so useful: …”

    The paper is linked in the article.

  415. wili:

    If any one is really interested in the latest developments of Hardin’s theories, they could do worse than to examine the works of Elinor Ostrom, the Nobel laureate who has done more than anyone to increase our understand how real world commons have been managed badly or well. I had the great privilege of hearing her speak months before she left us.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elinor_Ostrom

  416. Walter:

    Diogenes,
    based on some rough numbers (?), cutting fossil fuel carbon energy use to only 10% of 2011 levels by 2050 is the action required to stay under ~2 C.

    To achieve this I figure that Non-Carbon Energy has to replace an extra 17,500 Mtoe of Carbon energy on top of that already forecast in 2050.

    To do this an average of 500 Mtoe in global energy demand needs to be replaced by Non-Carbon Energy every year for 35 years (2050). That equates per year, to 5% of the Fossil Fuel energy supply in 2011.

    That amount of energy is equal to supplying 2.5 x 6,000 MW Non-Carbon power stations per Week for 35 years. This is what is needed to replace both the energy demand growth and retire most of the fossil fuel carbon energy supply as well.

    see table/details
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GUtc1LRdCnk/Uy-6ueWIqWI/AAAAAAAAAKE/t7r61_fxraI/s1600/table+2+Non-carbon+energy+supply+and+the+energy+gap+2050.png

    What are the barriers?
    What can supply an extra 15 GWe of clean energy every week?
    The fossil fuel business is a good profitable business to be in.
    Governments are quite attached to the big stream of ‘carbon royalties’
    Coal is cheap.
    BAU is easier.
    NIMBY Syndrome

  417. Walter:

    PS What can supply an extra 15 GWe of non-carbon energy every week?

    15 GWe is 3 x large nuclear power plants
    15 GWe is 3 x large hydro power plants
    15 GWe is 15 x biggest Wind farms
    15 GWe is 30 x biggest PV solar plants
    15 GWe is 40 x Ivanpah CS solar plants

    if my numbers are close… each week.
    cheers

  418. DIOGENES:

    TRUTH IN ADVERTISING

    A comment was posted on ClimateCodeRed that summarizes the credibility predicament of the climate advocates. I quote verbatim from the front end of Gail’s comment: “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. No “sustainable” energy can replace the concentrated power of fossil fuels. That’s why they ask, what, do you want us to go back to living in caves? The fact is, if we are to avert our own extinction, we would have to drastically reduce our population and developed country standards of consumption. Pretending otherwise has doomed civilization.”

    There you have it, in a nutshell. No hype, no magic, only the pure unadorned harsh truth! The members of the general public are not stupid. They understand from real world experience that the recovery from serious financial problems or even bankruptcy is not associated with prosperity or other similar fantasies. Recovery typically involves serious pulling back of activity, reining in expenditures, and seriously tightening our belt. When we see messages posted on this blog to the effect that prosperity will flow during the process of recovering from carbon bankruptcy, with no analytical backup to support such nonsense, all they do is demolish our credibility with the general public readership. The time has come for truth in advertising!

  419. Hank Roberts:

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-03/iop-fhw031814.php

    The researchers, from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (University of East Anglia, Norwich), Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (London School of Economics and Political Science, London), and Global Environmental and Climate Change Centre (McGill University, Montreal), arrived at their results using the global crop model PEGASUS to simulate crop yield responses to 72 climate change scenarios spanning the 21st century.

    The study also identified particular areas where heat waves are expected to have the largest negative effects on crop yields. Some of the largest affected areas are key for crop production, for example the North American corn belt for maize. When the CO2 fertilisation effects are not taken into account, the researchers found a net decrease in yields in all three crops, intensified by extreme heat stress, for the top-five producing countries of each crop.

    “Our results show that maize yields are expected to be negatively affected by climate change, while the impacts on wheat and soybean are generally positive, unless CO2 fertilisation effects have been overestimated” ….

    “However, extreme heat stress reinforced by ‘business-as-usual’ reduces the beneficial effects considerably in these two crops….
    … this paper can be downloaded from http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/3/034011/article

  420. DIOGENES:

    Kevin McKinney #389,

    There is a small sub-set of posters here who have the characteristics of a dysfunctional family. They have their own rituals, their own language, their own view of reality completely disconnected from reality. In their world, the abnormal is the norm!

    If the Internet and blogging had existed in the 16th century, Galileo would have been called a ‘troll’ by the Kevin McKinney’s of the day.

  421. MARodger:

    NOAA-ESRL report the first +400ppm week of the year at MLO – 400.76ppm. (Scripps Institute, who run different week-beginnings (and day-beginnings) posted their first +400ppm week a few days back.) Because of the mini-CO2 “hiatus” of the last couple of months, March will not be the first month in 13 million years to top 400ppm (or 3.5 million years if you prefer). That will fall to April. And July may yet give us 4 months above 400ppm this year.
    Also, with the end of the mini-”hiatus”, the annual CO2 rise is back up to the high levels seen at the end of last year – and not an El Nino in sight.

  422. wili:

    Apologies if this, Tim Jackson’s TED talk, has already been linked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZsp_EdO2Xk

  423. DIOGENES:

    Hank Roberts #403,

    Garrett Hardin, from Wikipedia: “advocating eugenics by forced sterilization, and strict limits to non-western immigration…..drew heavy criticism from the left for his alleged indulgence in theories that may justify genocide on the grounds of ecological balance. This thesis was put forward and defended by his readings of the early Christian philosopher Tertullian, who believed that famine and war were good for society as a whole as a means of solving the problem of overpopulation and resource-sharing…..published the article “Living on a Lifeboat” in BioScience magazine, arguing that contributing food to help the Ethiopian famine would add to overpopulation, which he considered the root of Ethiopia’s problems.”

    This is your hero?

  424. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #405,

    “You have misunderstood what is being asked, so I will try to make the question clearer. You have said that there must be a 5% – 95% split in solving our CO2 emission problem.”

    I have understood quite well what you have asked, and have answered it in some detail in #388. I have appended the key parts of that response to this post. I didn’t say there must be a 95/5% split; read the initial part of the appended response. In fact, in the appended, I allow for the possibility of rapidly accelerating the implementation of low carbon technologies, and thereby easing somewhat the requirement for hard front-end remaining fossil reductions. As I state, this is not my first choice, but if it is anyway feasible and makes the overall plan more salable, then it would be acceptable to me. I’m interested in solving the problem, not pushing any ideology.

    “You are saying that 100% of emissions must be stopped in just a few years with only a 5% compensation increase from renewables (relative to existing fossil energy). What this means is that in just a few years 7 billion people must live on something around 10% of currently required energy. The big question we are asking you is to demonstrate how this would be possible. I am very skeptical but prove me wrong.”

    I have addressed that in the previous paragraph.

    “So what you appear to be proposing is not only politically not feasible but is also a plan for mass extinction of humans, an apocalypse. If you disagree, then do what has been asked of you repeatedly and supply data. What would the average person have to live on? What would they have to give up? Are you prepared to undergo these privations and are you currently practicing them in your own life?

    Again, please answer the question. No more vague references to fat trimming and trivial examples like ski lifts and thermostats. Talk in some detail about food, housing, heating, clothing, transportation, and how the vast majority of our 7 billion who live in cities are going to survive on less than 10% of current energy use. All you have to do is provide a doable explanation of this problem, otherwise your proposal of a politically and practically impossible “plan” can be accurately described as a proposal for apocalypse and thereby trolling and a form of climate denial. Proposing an impossible plan is saying that nothing can be done and therefore there is no real reason to do anything. Big oil (and coal etc.) wins.”

    You misunderstand the nature of my plan/proposal. It is in the spirit of Hansen’s plan/proposal. If you read Hansen’s recent Plos One article, he proposes a MASSIVE reforestation effort and demand reductions on the order of 6-9%, along with implementation of renewable and nuclear technologies. The massive reforestation is not a nice-to-have; it is the major difference between what he proposes and Kevin Anderson proposes (along with the different temperature targets), and is a must-have if he wants to keep the demand reduction below ten percent. Now, Hansen hasn’t done (or at least reported) a full scale operations research model showing how this reforestation effort would be accomplished in detail, how much fossil fuel would be involved in the total reforestation, how many people would be required and how many dollars would be required. This component of his plan is the reforestation REQUIRED to meet the targets. Can it be done in the time frame identified, with minimal carbon expenditure, with acceptable costs and carbon removal performance; who knows? But, if we want to survive as a species, this is what is required, according to Hansen.

    What I am giving in my plan/proposal are the temperature targets required to offer any chance of avoiding catastrophe, and the components required to meet these targets. I am starting with the same reforestation required as Hansen, and adding other potential approaches such as ‘artificial trees’ to reduce risk. Can they be implemented; who knows? Without them, forget about meeting the ~1 C targets. In the appended, I allow for a partial tradeoff between hard demand reduction based on elimination of non-essential fossil energy expenditure and reduced emissions due to accelerated low-carbon source implementation. These levels of total emissions reductions are what is required to avoid the catastrophe. Going all out on the hard front end emissions reductions provides these reductions when needed most and also means less low carbon technologies need to be implemented as replacements, thereby reducing the carbon expenditures that will be required for the implementation. That’s what the numbers tell you is needed. If all you want to do is implement a less stringent alternative like the Ceres Clean Trillion plan, which will yield ~1.5% non-compounded annual reductions in emissions for decades, and give you an 80% chance of staying below 2 C (based on models that do not include the major carbon feedbacks, which means an underestimation of the danger), recognize that you are proposing entre into a regime that has been described as Extremely Dangerous. To me, that’s a code word for carbon feedbacks that may go on autopilot.

    The key point of my plan/proposal is that ALL THREE MAJOR COMPONENTS ARE REQUIRED IN AN INTEGRATED MANNER; any component by itself is insufficient. Each component will be extremely challenging to implement, even with some of the tradeoffs suggested. Implementation of the full plan will not be without its casualties, as you rightly point out. We are too far down the road to avoid those.

    FROM POST #388
    “As I have shown, present low carbon technology implementation proposals (Ceres) provide minimal fossil emissions reduction (~1-2% per year). However, if avoiding the climate Apocalypse is the goal, there is no reason that such implementation could not be accelerated. For example, assume (for discussion purposes) that all present fossil use could be completely converted to low carbon. If this conversion takes place over 100 years, then there would be a non-compounded reduction of 1% per year; 50 years, 2% per year; 20 years, 5% per year; 10 years, 10% per year. At five years, the 20% per year reduction starts getting close to the demand reduction I used for my posted examples. So, the question becomes how rapidly we could make the transition IF WE WERE 100% SERIOUS ABOUT HAVING ANY CHANCE TO AVOID THE CLIMATE APOCALYPSE. Additionally, especially in the early stages, how much fossil fuel expenditure would be necessary to effect this transition?

    The data on answering this question is sparse. Jacobson and DeLucchi had a two part paper on what it would take to convert the energy economy completely to renewables. While their approach was admirable, decades would be required under their plan, too little to offset demand reduction appreciably. In addition, they were roundly criticized as being far more expensive than a nuclear-based option, and in total too expensive for anything other than a wartime effort. The question in my mind is, if we viewed our present global situation with extreme wartime urgency, how rapidly could conversion to low carbon technology be done, almost irrespective of cost as has been the case with some major wartime efforts.

    For salability, the demand reduction component would have to be partially offset by the demand reduction from the enhanced transition to low carbon technology. This is not my first choice, since it would allow much unnecessary consumption to be continued, and would raise the risk of the targets not being achieved. Additionally, the greater the demand reduction component, the less is the amount of low carbon technologies that would have to be installed, and the faster the installation could be completed. Nevertheless, there would still be elimination of the non-essential uses of fossil energy, with modest easing of the restrictions on essential uses. The sum of the fossil fuel usage reductions of the lifestyle maintenance component and the demand reduction component should be in the 20%-25% per year range. Thus, if the low carbon technology substitution could be done on the order of a decade (I have no idea about the practicality of this level of intense effort), then additional demand reduction could be on the order of 10-15% per year. Any further easing of this demand reduction would trade off economic adversity for increased chances of survival.”

  425. Ray Ladbury:

    Diogenes,
    Wow, that’s all you took from that biography? Really? That is just sad.

  426. Mal Adapted:

    wili:

    Ostrom is certainly worth reading. As was pointed out, she was a promoter of “the small but positive steps that many public and private actors are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Questions for the RC community: how would we measure the efficacy of the polycentric approach? Are estimates of annual CO2 emissions accurate enough to detect reductions on that scale? Estimates aside, how large would actual emissions reductions have to be to show up in the Keeling curve, even in the 2nd derivative?

  427. DIOGENES:

    Ray Ladbury #422,

    “Wow, that’s all you took from that biography?”

    No, that’s all I posted here. He did many brilliant things, but these statements/actions I posted negate the good. LBJ had many courageous and important accomplishments in his time as President, but his actions on Vietnam canceled them out, and then some. At least for me.

  428. prokaryotes:

    The cost of living in the Anthropocene

  429. Kevin McKinney:

    News on the economy of solar–apparently, grid parity has officially arrived in some important markets:

    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/03/24/italy-spain-germany-hit-commercial-solar-grid-parity-2013/

    Many analyses of future renewable energy scenarios appear to overlook the technical and economic dynamism of the sector: that is, cost and capability trends seem always to be underestimated. It makes a difference; Jacobson and Delucchi, for instance, was published in 2009. But according to NREL (just as an instance), reported US costs for solar had already declined by about 25% by 2011. They have continued to drop since, and no-one expects that to change much, as the declines are driven by the increasing scale of deployment (and hence, manufacturing.)

    It would be an interesting exercise to redo J & D’s costs assumptions on the basis of what 2013 costs were, and possibly quite illuminating.

    NREL paper:

    http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/56776.pdf

  430. DIOGENES:

    Walter #413-414,

    Challenging! That’s why I prefer the hard front-end reduction of all non-essential uses, and trimming of the fat from the essential uses. Less replacement to build later. Trouble is, at least in the USA, we have substantial energy waste built into our infrastructure: suburbia, long commutes, etc. Just the opposite of what I projected we need: simple lifestyle, obtain resources locally, deposit wastes locally. Changing to a more energy efficient infrastructure will be fossil energy intensive in itself, and the process of change will be brutal.

  431. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 24 Mar 2014 @ 9:45 AM

    You have not answered my question here or in #388. The question is- After the five, or ten, or whatever year elimination of fossil carbon pollution is accomplished in your “plan” to avoid APOCALYPSE, what energy resources will be available to minimally sustain seven billion people, much less “lifestyle maintenance?” You claim to provide accurate numbers for carbon release to avoid an APOCALYPSE, so provide numbers for kilowatt hours, or whatever, that will be available to avoid APOCALYPSE by starvation and war if your “plan” was implemented.

    Your answer looks like a very long essay that an undergrad student writes when they have no answer to the question. Just write whatever and hope. What does Hansen’s suggestions for reforestation over a five or ten year period have to do with the question? What does anyone else’s plan have to do with the question? I am asking you to provide your estimate of what resources will be available to sustain human life and society after your targets have been met, and to make this realistic, what are you willing to give up and have already given up in your own life. Your inability, so far, to provide the answers to these questions completely undermines all your complaints about the scientists who run this website and the ideas of other commenters here.

    Steve

  432. MartinJB:

    Pete,

    good question in 406. First, a quick note on 411. I doubt anyone who pays much attention to climate change believes that BAU is a recipe for a pain-free economic. I think it’s pretty apparent we’re already feeling some of the pain now to some extent and that the pain will just get worse. However, that will be a relatively gradual process, and I think it’s safe to say that our actions over the next few years would be unlikely to have any impact on that BAU path of pain for some time… couldn’t say how long that is.

    As for your question about my statement that the path set out by the prolific poster would bring economic ruin, I think I can explain that fairly easily. The numbers here are somewhat arbitrary, but I think they demonstrate the order of magnitude

    First, remember the context. Evidently we are supposed to reduce carbon emissions by 10-20% (I think 25% even came up once) per year for the next 5-10 years, with the use of renewables accounting for only a minor part of that (and given the timescale to ramp up renewables, that is certainly realistic in the early years). Let’s say renewables is 10% of that. That leaves us having to find reductions of 9% to 18% per year.

    Second, how much could efficiency (in all its forms) get us? Total, given plenty of time to implement, maybe 25%? I really don’t know, but I would doubt it’s that much more. And we’re not talking long term… we’re talking about what we could do pretty much immediately (by the standards of changing a global economy!) based on the schedule we’ve been given. Maybe some low-hanging fruit gets us a quick 5% in the first year, but I think that’s pretty farfetched. No way we average 5% over an extended period of time as the easy stuff gets done quickly.

    Third, how much of economic production is truly unnecessary? Let’s say 25% again (I don’t know, but no-one does). But again, implementing these things takes serious time. You can’t just turn a switch. And this is totally ignoring the point that there is not and never will be a governing body on the planet with the authority to make these decisions. But let’s pretend that suddenly we’re all reasonable, rational people.

    So, where does that leave us? An all-out effort to increase efficiency and reduce excess uses of energy. And maybe over a long period that reduces our emissions by 50%? Maybe a bit more. I won’t quibble. But it won’t be that much more. Oh, and one more complication… the world’s least-developed countries are going to keep growing. You CAN NOT ask them not to! Which just means that there is that much more for the rich world to do.

    To go much further than that, especially over a short period of time, will basically require turning off fossil fuel generation. And in a big way. And that will involve halting essential parts of the economy. You can argue that the “essential” part of the economy is actually much smaller, but to get to this hypothetical back-to-basics economy (what, pastoralists?) would involve rewriting most of our industrial, transportation and agricultural infrastructure. Probably have to move lots of people too. Either way, there’s no way these things are not epically disruptive if done over the period of a decade (or probably even two or three decades!). And a crash course gives us no time to adapt.

    If you want to preserve the industrial base to transform the economy to carbon-free power, you can’t disrupt global supply chains that abruptly. Because that transformation will take time (especially if we’re simultaneously going all-out on efficiency). And there would inevitably be missteps (it’s practically axiomatic that infrastructure projects go over schedule and over budget!).

    Yes, at some point climate change would be every bit as disruptive if left unchecked (or even not checked enough – though what that threshold is not certain by any means), but the more we do developing renewables (which is actually Hansen’s main thrust) sooner than later, the more time we have to adapt and hopefully reduce the inevitable impacts.

    I am as gungho about preventing the worst effects of climate change as anyone you are likely to meet. And I talk to a lot of people who are actively working on a lot of the things that might help us get there: the people who develop renewable projects and do cutting-edge research. I talk to folks trying to find more efficient ways to heat homes and manufacture goods. I talk to activists who are out there trying to convince people that we have to do all we can. And they ARE making progress. In the end, it might not be enough, but by gum we’re going to give it all we can.

    And that is the longest post I have ever done or will ever do. I am abjectly ashamed of myself.Pete,

    good question in 406. First, a quick note on 411. I doubt anyone who pays much attention to climate change believes that BAU is a recipe for a pain-free economic. I think it’s pretty apparent we’re already feeling some of the pain now to some extent and that the pain will just get worse. However, that will be a relatively gradual process, and I think it’s safe to say that our actions over the next few years would be unlikely to have any impact on that BAU path of pain for some time… couldn’t say how long that is.

    As for your question about my statement that the path set out by the prolific poster would bring economic ruin, I think I can explain that fairly easily. The numbers here are somewhat arbitrary, but I think they demonstrate the order of magnitude

    First, remember the context. Evidently we are supposed to reduce carbon emissions by 10-20% (I think 25% even came up once) per year for the next 5-10 years, with the use of renewables accounting for only a minor part of that (and given the timescale to ramp up renewables, that is certainly realistic in the early years). Let’s say renewables is 10% of that. That leaves us having to find reductions of 9% to 18% per year.

    Second, how much could efficiency (in all its forms) get us? Total, given plenty of time to implement, maybe 25%? I really don’t know, but I would doubt it’s that much more. And we’re not talking long term… we’re talking about what we could do pretty much immediately (by the standards of changing a global economy!) based on the schedule we’ve been given. Maybe some low-hanging fruit gets us a quick 5% in the first year, but I think that’s pretty farfetched. No way we average 5% over an extended period of time as the easy stuff gets done quickly.

    Third, how much of economic production is truly unnecessary? Let’s say 25% again (I don’t know, but no-one does). But again, implementing these things takes serious time. You can’t just turn a switch. And this is totally ignoring the point that there is not and never will be a governing body on the planet with the authority to make these decisions. But let’s pretend that suddenly we’re all reasonable, rational people.

    So, where does that leave us? An all-out effort to increase efficiency and reduce excess uses of energy. And maybe over a long period that reduces our emissions by 50%? Maybe a bit more. I won’t quibble. But it won’t be that much more. Oh, and one more complication… the world’s least-developed countries are going to keep growing. You CAN NOT ask them not to! Which just means that there is that much more for the rich world to do.

    To go much further than that, especially over a short period of time, will basically require turning off fossil fuel generation. And in a big way. And that will involve halting essential parts of the economy. You can argue that the “essential” part of the economy is actually much smaller, but to get to this hypothetical back-to-basics economy (what, pastoralists?) would involve rewriting most of our industrial, transportation and agricultural infrastructure. Probably have to move lots of people too. Either way, there’s no way these things are not epically disruptive if done over the period of a decade (or probably even two or three decades!). And a crash course gives us no time to adapt.

    If you want to preserve the industrial base to transform the economy to carbon-free power, you can’t disrupt global supply chains that abruptly. Because that transformation will take time (especially if we’re simultaneously going all-out on efficiency). And there would inevitably be missteps (it’s practically axiomatic that infrastructure projects go over schedule and over budget!).

    Yes, at some point climate change would be every bit as disruptive if left unchecked (or even not checked enough – though what that threshold is not certain by any means), but the more we do developing renewables (which is actually Hansen’s main thrust) sooner than later, the more time we have to adapt and hopefully reduce the inevitable impacts.

    I am as gungho about preventing the worst effects of climate change as anyone you are likely to meet. And I talk to a lot of people who are actively working on a lot of the things that might help us get there: the people who develop renewable projects and do cutting-edge research. I talk to folks trying to find more efficient ways to heat homes and manufacture goods. I talk to activists who are out there trying to convince people that we have to do all we can. And they ARE making progress. In the end, it might not be enough, but by gum we’re going to give it all we can.

    And that is the longest post I have ever done or will ever do. I am abjectly ashamed of myself and apologetic.

  433. wili:

    Martin @#432: Your post was so good, I had to read it twice! :-D
    Ultimately we have to ask very basic questions: What is an economy for? How do we judge whether it is a ‘good’ economy? Providing basic food, water, clothing, shelter, fuel for cooking and heat, basic education and healthcare… and then enough time to have a life beyond work, seem like some of the essentials for an economy. A minimum requirement of a economy that comes at least close to doing that for almost all people (which ours doesn’t) would also be that it does not foreclose the possibility that future generation can partake in any kind of life at all (or any life remotely close to these minimums), and that it does not destroy or massively reduce the vitality of the living earth and the systems that sustain it (a minimum standard which again our industrial system has utterly failed to meet).

    As a number of ‘third world’ countries and provinces have shown, societies can fulfill these basic requirements at a tiny fraction of the cost that the US spends to _not_ fulfill many of them.

    I don’t want to be accused of writing super long posts, so I’ll stop there for now, and just add that we have created a culture that validates consumption and accumulation, especially capital accumulation by the few. We have to start more strongly validating other equally human propensities.

  434. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #431,

    You’re still missing the point, so I’ll try to explain it from another perspective. Assume you’re the CEO of a corporation that has 1000 employees. Your Board of Directors evaluates your operations and your books. The BOD Chairman tells you that unless you reduce staff by 40% over the next two years, the company won’t survive.

    At the next BOD meeting, you announce that you agree with their assessment of the seriousness of the situation and the targets they have identified, and you will reduce staff by 40% over two years. You have taken the most important step in the process. You have identified the requirements for your company to survive, and you have announced you will do what is necessary to meet those requirements. You haven’t presented them with the details of your actions.

    You then assemble your planning staff, and charge them with the responsibility of restructuring operations compatible with a 40% reduced staff. When they are finished, you commission an evaluation of each employee, rank them by how essential they would be to the revised organization, and issue ‘pink slips’ to the bottom 200. One year later, repeat the evaluation process, and issue pink slips again to the bottom 200.

    That’s the same process required to implement my plan. The first step is to get buy-in by the leaders of at least the major countries in the world. ‘Buy-in’ means agreement on choice of targets required to avoid the Apocalypse, and then agreement to do whatever is necessary to meet those targets. Assume there is buy-in on the massive reforestation, and that the combination of emissions reduction due to substitution of low carbon technologies for fossil and hard additional demand reduction has to total about 20% per year for a few years. Assume the low carbon component provides about 5% (~twenty year full replacement). This means demand reduction for fossil fuels over and above the replacement component would have to be about fifteen percent a year.

    Now, the process becomes mechanistic similar to the company analog provided above. There would be teams from the countries working together on identifying how the infrastructure and activities would be restructured to be compatible with the large fossil draw-down and, hopefully, an accompanying large draw-down in all energy and resource use. When these plans gain some consensus, then, all the energy end-uses would be identified, including the sources of energy for those end-uses, and decision-makers would rank them for essentiality. Then, starting at the bottom, they would work their way up the list until ~fifteen percent had been identified. It would be a continuous process. Much of the truly non-essential could probably be eliminated very early.

    Now, back to the company example. Firing those 400 people will not be a pleasant process. Not pleasant for the decision-maker, and far less pleasant for those on the receiving end. Some people are on the psychological thin edge; they may go over upon being fired. Some may be supporting sick relatives; loss of a paycheck could be life-threatening. Some may have kids in college, who may have to drop out without parental support. The point is, if survival of the company is the primary objective, and the decision is made to do whatever is necessary to guarantee survival, there may be substantial collateral damage. That’s the price to be paid for survival!

    I see the same potential for collateral damage in the fossil energy reduction case. Even the simplest examples that I have presented, such as closing the ski resorts, eliminating ALL non-essential travel, etc, will have massive collateral damage. There are major industries built upon the waste of many resources, including energy. What will happen to these people? Some can be reassigned to help in the reforestation or in the production/implementation of the low carbon substitutes. Can all find such alternative (albeit probably lower paid) employment; highly doubtful? The focus is on cutting back; doing less, reducing the activities that got us into this critical situation in the first place.

    It all boils down to whether we want to pay a high price now or the ultimate price later. I have proposed a plan at high-level that will provide a reasonable chance to avoid the Apocalypse. I have never stated that it would be free from collateral damage. I understand quite well the effects. You/SA/MartinJB/McKinney have proposed nothing that would even come close. The best of what I have seen, which SA posted but for which none of you have taken ownership, is the Ceres Clean Trillion plan. It would reduce emissions by a non-compounded average of ~1.5% per year for decades, would cost $36 TRILLION by 2050, and would provide an 80% chance that global mean temperature increase does not exceed 2 C. The 2 C is a number that has been characterized by all variants of dangerous by leading climate experts, which I interpret to mean that the carbon feedbacks could go on autopilot.

    So, you have come up with NOTHING that would avoid the Apocalypse, yet you keep trying to perpetuate the image that my plan is non-workable. For someone who professes to be interested in saving the biosphere rather than promoting a Windfall, I find your comments rather strange. Why, instead, don’t you do what I requested in the first place: PROVIDE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM THAT WILL IMPROVE THE PLAN. So far, none of the members of the tag team have provided such criticism. Tell us how you would achieve the required targets without collateral damage. Ceres might avoid the collateral damage, but won’t achieve the required targets that I (and Hansen and many others) have identified.

  435. Walter:

    Well I think the best way to mark down the future is as “unknown”.
    The ‘energy’ of a ‘Mtoe’ equals a million tonnes of Oil equivalent

    In 2011 total global energy demand was 13,000 Mtoe
    Non-Carbon energy was 17% and Fossil Fuels was 83% or 10,000 Mtoe.

    Clean green renewable energy from Solar, Wind, Geothermal, and Tidal was 2%, Hydro 3%, Biomass 4%, and Nuclear 8% which totals 17% Non-Carbon energy.

    On current fossil fuel energy use forecasts we run out of the remaining 250 GtC Carbon Budget to remain under a 2 C rise around 2033 or in 20 years.

    Business as usual energy forecasts include realistic plans for an expanding Non-Carbon energy sector into the future. They estimate by 2040 a total global energy demand of 20,000 Mtoe.

    Non-Carbon energy is forecast to be 22% and Fossil Fuels 78% or 15,600 Mtoe.

    Clean green renewable energy from Solar, Wind, Geothermal, and Tidal rises to 3%, Hydro stays 3%, Biomass rises to 7% and Nuclear to 9% which totals 22% for all Non-Carbon energy.

    The 25 year forecast up to 15,600 Mtoe of fossil fuel carbon energy use by 2040 is 50% larger than the 10,000 Mtoe used globally in 2011.

    In order to remain under 2 C rise, Hansen et al papers and others have shown that carbon energy use needs to be down under 1,500 Mtoe (~10% of current levels) by 2050.

    Fact is we are going in the completely opposite direction towards 15,600 Mtoe from fossil fuels in 2040. This equals 179,000 TW-h of energy capacity (electric generation). To put that 179,000 figure into perspective, it’s 20% more than all the energy we used in 2011

    179,000 TW-h is equivalent to the energy from 3,580 large sized 6,000 MW power stations! It would take 25 years to replace all this energy by adding 140 new large 6,000 MW Non-Carbon power stations every year.

    That means on average building 2.5 x 6,000 MW Non-Carbon power stations per week, every week. This would add 15 GWe of clean energy supply every week.

    The average large power station today is 5,000 to 6,000 MW in capacity. Large generators are powered by hydro, nuclear, coal, oil and gas.

    I can’t see how it is possible to build this amount of Non-Carbon energy power stations.

    I can’t see how it is possible to achieve a Carbon emissions target anywhere close to 10% of 1990 emission levels by 2050.

    And I can’t even see how it would be possible to hold carbon emissions at the current 2013 levels into the near future, let alone cut them back.

    But I can see business as usual unfolding easy enough with fossil fuel carbon emissions still rising ever higher into 2040 and beyond. The energy gap is much bigger than I had believed it was.

    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/the-energy-gap.html

  436. DIOGENES:

    In a series of outstanding well-documented articles (http://www.climatecodered.org/2013/09/is-climate-change-already-dangerous-1.html), David Spratt outlines the case for climate change to be already in the Dangerous regime. A few important takeaways are reproduced below.

    The core of any climate change amelioration are the targets that should not be exceeded and the risk for such targets being exceeded by the actions proposed. Yet, we see almost no comments on these temperature target issues on a climate science Web site.

    *Around +1.5ºC warming may be the tipping point for the Greenland Ice Sheet and for the large-scale release of Arctic carbon permafrost stores. At +1.5ºC, coral reefs would be reduced to remnant systems.

    *Holocene CO2 levels have varied between 270 and 330 ppm. The higher figure occurred in the early Holocene around 10,000 years ago when temperatures were around 0.5°C warmer (known as the Holocene maximum) than pre-industrial levels, when the CO2 level was around 280 ppm.

    *A safe climate would not exceed the Holocene maximum. The notion that +1.5ºC is a safe target is contradicted by the evidence, and even +1ºC degree is not safe given what we now know about the Arctic.

    *In June 2013, a German research institute which advises Angela Merkel’s government concluded that “policy makers must come up with a new global target to cap temperature gains because the current goal… limiting the increase in temperature to 2°C since industrialization is unrealistic”. It recommended that “world leaders either allow the 2°C goal to become a benchmark that can be temporarily overshot, accept a higher target, or give up on such an objective altogether”.

    *International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol calls the 2°C goal “a nice Utopia”: “It is becoming extremely challenging to remain below 2°C. The prospect is getting bleaker. That is what the numbers say.”

    *The World Bank and PriceWaterhouseCoopers have recently published reports which complement a wide range of scientific research which concludes that the world is presently heading for 4ºC or more of warming this century, and as soon as 2060. Reuters correspondent Michael Rose (2012) quotes IEA Chief Economist, Fatih Birol as saying that emission trends are “perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6°C, which would have devastating consequences for the planet”.

    *Anderson says there is a widespread view amongst scientists that “a 4°C future is incompatible with an organised global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’, is devastating to the majority of eco-systems and has a high probability of not being stable”.

    *YET THE 2ºC GOAL IS NOT AN OPTION EITHER, BECAUSE, WITH CLIMATE AND CARBON CYCLE POSITIVE FEEDBACKS IN FULL SWING, IT IS LESS A STABLE DESTINATION THAN A SIGNPOST ON A HIGHWAY TO A MUCH HOTTER PLACE. The real choice now is to try and keep the planet under a series of big tipping points by getting it back to a Holocene-like state, or accept that a 3-6ºC “catastrophe” is at hand.

  437. DIOGENES:

    Walter #435,

    I really appreciate what you are doing by researching and posting the numbers. Each post reduces the ‘wiggle-room’ for the arm-wavers and their unpaid advertisements.

    One note of caution. For each temperature target and plan of action, there is an associated risk. It is usually phrased as ‘chance of staying under x degrees C’. There are a lot of games being played with proposed plans and associated temperature targets, especially when the risk associated with the plans is not stated. When you state “On current fossil fuel energy use forecasts we run out of the remaining 250 GtC Carbon Budget to remain under a 2 C rise around 2033 or in 20 years.”, what is the risk associated with remaining under 2 C while expending 250 GtC? As I posted previously concerning Spratt’s article on Tony Abbott (http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/01/as-tony-abbott-launches-all-out-war-on.html#more)”

    In his point #6 (Scale of Task), he states: “Scientists describe warming of two degrees Celsius (2C) not as the boundary for dangerous climate change, but as representing a boundary between dangerous and extremely dangerous CLIMATE CHANGE, pointing to a safe boundary as being under 350 parts per million carbon dioxide equivalent (ppm CO2e), more than 120 ppm CO2e below the current level. Our stated purpose is to prevent dangerous climate change, but the current level of greenhouse gases is already extremely dangerous. Even for 2C, there is no carbon budget left if one wants a low risk (less than 10%) of exceeding 2C…… As the graph shows, based on a chart from Mike Raupach at the ANU, at a 66% probability of not exceeding 2C, the carbon emissions budget remaining is around 250 petagrams (PtG or billion tonnes) of CO2. However this “carbon budget” also has a 17% chance of exceeding 2.5C and an 8% chance of exceeding 3C, which is clearly a risk we would be mad to accept. If one wants a 90% chance of not exceeding 2C, there is NO “carbon budget” left”.”

    Thus, if you are using the same source, then expending 250 PtG of CO2 gives only a 66% chance of not exceeding 2 C. One could also phrase this as an 8% chance of exceeding 3 C. Even though both numbers place us in Extremely Dangerous territory, the latter becomes Extremely Extremely Dangerous! If you want at least 90% chance of staying under 2 C, we have ZERO CARBON BUDGET LEFT. If I tell you there is a 90% chance of making it across the street to buy some chewing gum at the store, would you take it? Why, then, would even only 90% be acceptable when it comes to survival of our species?

    So, as intimidating as your numbers look, the reality may even be far worse. But, in presenting these numbers, you are doing far more than all the arm-wavers here combined!!!

  438. Walter:

    Is this right?

    Global energy use ~13,000 Mtoe = 151,190 TWh energy = ~18,142 GW capacity
    That global wind power capacity totals 318 GWe or 1.75% in 2013?
    http://www.gwec.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/01_glob-inst-wp-cap-reg-dist.jpg
    http://www.wwindea.org/webimages/Half-year_report_2013.pdf

  439. Ray Ladbury:

    Diogenes,
    Great. All we have to do is convince the CEO. Now who is that? Got his number?

  440. rocketeer:

    Haven’t seen any mention on any of my favorite climate sites of the American Physical Society appointing Judith Curry, John Christy and Richard Lindzen to a committee to study the APS position on Climate Change. They are part of a six-member panel so a deadlock might seem like the most likely outcome. I find this baffling unless the intention is to provoke an outcry from the rank and file members to demonstrate that climate denial is not something the average physicist endorses. Interested in everyone else’s thoughts here.

  441. DIOGENES:

    Ray #439,

    “Got his number?”

    It’s unlisted!

  442. DIOGENES:

    Walter #438,

    The wind energy growth rates seem impressive, but, again, unless they come at the expense of legacy fossil, they are useful for ornamental purposes only. From the 2013 IEA 2035 projections:

    “Global energy demand will grow to 2035, but government policies can influence the pace. In the New Policies Scenario, our central scenario, global energy demand increases by one-third from 2011 to 2035. Demand grows for all forms of energy, but the share of fossil fuels in the world’s energy mix falls from 82% to 76% in 2035. Low-carbon energy sources (renewables and nuclear) meet around 40% of the growth in primary energy demand. Nearly half of the net increase in electricity generation comes from renewables.”

    That means that fossil grows by ~20% in 2035 over that in 2011. Since we have run out of carbon budget if we want any kind of a chance to avoid the climate Apocalypse, ANY fossil fuel expenditures from now on decrease even our present limited chances. So, we have ~25 years of fossil fuel emissions averaging 110% of 2011 from now until 2035 from the IEA estimates (and they tend to be low relative to other projecting organizations such as EIA, etc); that spells disaster no matter what renewables do. If you can show me credible estimates where the growth in low carbon technologies offsets LEGACY fossil, then I’m mildly impressed. Even under those circumstances, far too many emissions will have been expended compared to the allowable budget (zero). Right now, even they are a pipe dream!

  443. prokaryotes:

    Let’s Put a Price on Carbon with Fee and Dividend
    Michael Mann: The irreversible impacts from Climate Change

  444. Kevin McKinney:

    #438–Yes, that seems about right.

    Growth is impressive (though not in the USA, thanks to Congress allowing incentives to lapse). And solar is coming on very nicely as well, though of course from a lower baseline (but with greater opportunities for continuing price drops.)

    However, growth needs to be quite a bit greater still, as we are all agreed. As Prok suggests, we need to have carbon properly priced, so that we are not playing ‘whack a mole’ quite so much with our emissions. Again, we are all agreed, I think, that the point of renewable energy from a climatic POV is to replace carbon-emitters, not to accommodate increased energy use.

  445. Hank Roberts:

    Uncovering, Collecting, and Analyzing Records to Investigate the Ecological Impacts of Climate Change: A Template from Thoreau’s Concord

    Richard B. Primack and Abraham J. Miller-Rushing
    BioScience (2012) 62 (2): 170-181. doi: 10.1525/bio.2012.62.2.10

  446. Walter:

    A word about Wind
    A 1 Gigawatt wind farm would have 200 x 5 Megawatt wind turbine towers. Total worldwide Wind capacity was 318 Gigawatt in 2013 adding over 15 GW (<5%) of new installations per year recently. Total worldwide Energy capacity is well over 19,000 GW in 2013, whereas the 318 GW from Wind equals only 1.7%.
    http://www.gwec.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/01_glob-inst-wp-cap-reg-dist.jpg
    http://www.wwindea.org/webimages/Half-year_report_2013.pdf

    Practical operation Capacity factors play a larger role in energy use mix than the top line plant output numbers. A 350 MWe coal fired plant will have a far higher MWh energy output "capacity" than a 350 MWe solar plant could – 58% vs 15%. The best is Nuclear at 90% output capacity.

    James Hansen says the "Assumed capacity factors: fossil (58% per IEA WEO 2013) hydro (34% per IEA WEO 2013); wind (33%); nuclear ( 90%); solar (15%)." see Renewable Energy, Nuclear Power and Galileo

    Therefore Wind Farms have a real world capacity 50% less than a coal fired power plant. Short term projections have new Wind farm capacity increasing by +20 GW per year only being able to replace maybe 2 x 5 GWe Coal Fired power stations per year.

    Which Diogenes describes accurately as being 'ornamental' at best. The world is chasing 179,000,000 Gigawatt hours of fossil fuel energy replacement by 2040.

  447. doug:

    Diogenes,

    Hank made the comment that (paraphrasing) that in order for your ideas to stick, or get some traction. Lose your anonymity, and start your own blog. You responded by saying essentially what good would that do, because you are already “publishing” here. (again paraphrasing)

    I would say it is not good enough in this society unfortunately for someone just to type ideas and expect them to gain traction. You have to sell YOURSELF. People learn after awhile to trust the opinions of certain individuals, and they want to associate ideas with names. I for example almost by routing now, believe just about everything the scientists write here, and that is with little scientific expertise on my part. I have learned to trust their opinions. I think this was Hank’s point. He might not of been saying it explicitly, but we are a society that focuses on people, and to get about anywhere one has to “sell” oneself. So, if you really believe all the stuff you are writing, and want to be effective, maybe taking Hank’s advice would be a good idea. Somebody has to step up. It might as well be you.

  448. Walter:

    Dr James Hanson, 21 Feb 2014 says:

    “The largest growth of CO2 emissions and energy use was in China, where provision of electricity expanded to more than 90% of the population, lifting several hundred million people out of poverty.6 Coal use caused most of the emissions growth and coal is now the source of nearly half of global fossil fuel carbon emissions (Fig. 1a).

    “Fossil fuels provide more than 85% of the world’s energy (Fig. 1b). One misconception discussed below concerns the fallacy that renewable energy is rapidly supplanting conventional energy. Total non-hydro renewables today offset only about one year’s growth (3%) of energy use.”

    from Renewable Energy, Nuclear Power and Galileo:
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf

  449. MARodger:

    rocketeer @440.
    The American Physical Society revisit of its 2007 AGW statement (a standard 5-year review) has certainly spread across the deniosphere in recent days. I’m not sure why (but then I couldn’t be bothered to look). The trio Curry. Christy & Lindzen were actually in action back in January, the other half of the six “experts” being Ben Santer, William Collins, and Isaac Held.

    There is a 573 page transcript of the meeting back in January. It appears not much was achieved, which is no great surprise given the composition of the “experts” present. The final 100 page discussion would likely be a useful trawl for those attempting to understand the thinking processes of denialist science.

  450. DIOGENES:

    Pk #443,

    Excellent post! Mann’s statements about the ‘unknown unknowns’ and the high uncertainties mean the Precautionary Principle must predominate in any plans of action we generate. We need to take all possible actions that will minimize the risk of exceeding those stringent targets for avoiding the climate Apocalypse, no matter what deprivation and hardships are incurred by the planet’s citizens.

  451. prokaryotes:

    Diogenes, if you want to sell it look for framing ideas at the other post i posted above, a fee and dividend CO2 tax is maybe the best instrument to reduce emissions, since the savings go back to the consumer and people who actively participate in carbon footprint optimisation win even more. And once you have this there is an entire new industry born, when people come up with the craziest ideas to further draw down emissions. As an example, many companies could start to build longer lasting products for instance.

  452. DIOGENES:

    Doug #447,

    “So, if you really believe all the stuff you are writing, and want to be effective, maybe taking Hank’s advice would be a good idea. Somebody has to step up. It might as well be you.”

    I agree with you (and Hank) in principle. Personal persuasion works in inter-personal relationships, in politics, and in business. Basically, you are suggesting that I do the equivalent of going into business (albeit non-profit) by starting a blog. There are two necessary (but not sufficient) conditions for being successful in business. You have to believe in what you are selling, and there has to be a potential market for the product.

    I believe the only chance for avoiding the catastrophe requires implementation of my full plan. I also believe there is essentially zero market for the full plan, and I have stated that repeatedly. Now, I could start a blog and sell perhaps the Ceres Clean Trillion plan. I wouldn’t do it; I don’t believe it will get us where we need to go, and I refuse to sell something which I don’t believe will work.

    What will people buy? SA posted two ‘plans’ (or whatever one wants to call them), the Spross-quoted plan and the Ceres plan. Both involved emissions reductions on the order of ~1% per year, or slightly higher, for decades, and even these low levels were viewed by the proponents as challenging. They are an order of magnitude lower than what I believe we need.

    I have tried to propose some of these measures to our family, friends, acquaintances, etc. For the deniers, I don’t even get to first base. For those who profess to be concerned about climate change, I may get to first base, and that’s as far as it goes. They’re interested in ameliorating climate change IF it doesn’t impact their electric bill significantly, IF electricity is fully available on demand 24/7, IF it doesn’t disrupt in any significant manner their present lifestyle, etc.

    So, I don’t see the market for anything in any way near what we need to avert catastrophe. In fact, on this blog, I have stated repeatedly that the plan I generated is not salable. My main goal was to identify the requirements of what we need to do to avert catastrophe. If these required actions are not salable, then draw your own conclusions about what lies ahead.

  453. Ray Ladbury:

    The APS Forum on Physics and Society, which is behind this revisit, is a cesspit of stupidity. It is not a particularly popular forum, and so it relies on volunteers for a lot of its activities. Sometimes volunteer spirit is motivated by a minority agenda rather than civic commitment. Things like this are among the reasons why I let my APS membership lapse.

  454. Hank Roberts:

    Five years ago: What is to be done about climate change?

  455. DIOGENES:

    Doug #447,

    However, your (and Hank’s) suggestion raises the broader question of what is the best way to ‘sell’ climate change amelioration. To answer this would, at a minimum, involve examining what has been tried already, what has worked and not worked, what methods have been tried in other large-scale movements (ending smoking, ending wars, etc) and what has worked and not worked, and what methods have not been tried previously and offer some promise of working.

    Do you think blogs are a successful approach? We have plenty of climate advocacy blogs; what are their metrics for success and what have they accomplished? Numbers of ‘clicks’ don’t cut it for me; what have they done from the larger perspective? TV programs? Tom Hartman has been around for a while, and has produced some hard-hitting videos and has had some hard-hitting interviews. What has that done from the larger perspective? Movements like 350.org? Well meaning and hard working; what has that accomplished of major significance? As far as I’m concerned, we have found nothing that works yet anywhere near the scales required. Either we haven’t found the right technique, or we have a market with no interest in our product (or some other factor). Now, as Brulle pointed out, there has been a billion dollar + disinformation campaign, which certainly has not helped the cause of climate advocacy. But, there is an implicit assumption repeated over and over on this blog that the disinformation campaign is the main reason for public disinterest. I’m not convinced for reasons I outlined on the previous post on this topic, but there’s no way we can re-run the experiment without the disinformation campaign, and see how much more support would have been engendered.

    It seems to me these other successful campaigns worked either because we ran out of funds (ending certain wars), or there was majority public support (reducing smoking in public facilities), or there was the potential for expanded employment and large profits (Space Program), or ……. Offhand, I don’t see a ready extrapolation from these successful efforts to the central problem we face, that of getting people to do with less for at least a few decades. That’s not how most programs are sold (except for perhaps Weight Watchers). And, I don’t believe the expansion portion of what is required (planting more trees, substituting low carbon technologies for high carbon) will offset the contraction portion of hard fossil demand reduction.

    Do you have any proposals for how we could sell what is needed to avoid the climate catastrophe?

  456. prokaryotes:

    Private enterprise is beginning to take climate change seriously

  457. DIOGENES:

    http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/monster-el-nino-emerging-from-the-depths-nose-of-massive-kelvin-wave-breaks-surface-in-eastern-pacific/#comments

    “We are observing an extraordinarily powerful Kelvin Wave, one that was likely intensified by factors related to human global warming, traveling across the Pacific. It appears to be an epic event in the making. One that may be hotter and stronger than even the record-shattering 1997-98 El Nino. What this means is that we may well be staring down the throat of a global warming riled monster.”

  458. sidd:

    New paper on DEM and mass waste for Greenland and Antarctica from Cryosat-2

    http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/8/1673/2014/tcd-8-1673-2014.html

    Greenland: Mass loss doubled in between the periods 2003-2008 and 2011-2012
    The latter period saw rates of 353 +/- 29 Km^3/yr or approx 1mm/yr sea level rise

    West Antarctica from 25 to 188 +/- 11 Km^3/yr

    sidd

  459. wili:

    sidd wrote: “Greenland: Mass loss doubled in between the periods 2003-2008 and 2011-2012″

    Crikey! That’s doubling every five years or so. At that rate of increase (or slightly worse), wouldn’t we expect over a meter of rise by mid century or so, just from this one source?

  460. Walter:

    Diogenes: “Do you think blogs are a successful approach?” – Nah. It’s more like an image of doing something useful. Blogs are often the lazy man’s solution of avoiding having to do anything. (procrastination)

    Doug: “People learn after awhile to trust the opinions of certain individuals, and they want to associate ideas with names” – which is another way of relying upon the ‘appeal to authority’ fallacy. It is far better to rely upon the truthfulness of the content. Truth and genuine facts should be the yardsticks used to chose what ‘content to trust’.

    Diogenes: “They’re interested in ameliorating climate change IF it doesn’t impact their electric bill significantly, IF electricity is fully available on demand 24/7, IF it doesn’t disrupt in any significant manner their present lifestyle, etc.” – Often true, good point.

    Diogenes: “So, I don’t see the market for anything in any way near what we need to avert catastrophe. In fact, on this blog, I have stated repeatedly that the plan I generated is not salable.” – That’s true.

    “there is an implicit assumption repeated over and over on this blog that the disinformation campaign is the main reason for public disinterest. I’m not convinced for reasons I outlined on the previous post on this topic” – I agree, the public are more interested in their electricity prices not going up and running all the gadgets they have and more.

    This is what consumers have been trained to expect and what they want:
    - An unlimited electricity supply to suit every need and whim in the home, office, and factory.
    - A cheap residential electricity supply historically costing under 2% avg weekly earnings ~$22/wk/person
    - A reliable electricity supply 99.9% time with no extended ‘brown outs’ and ‘black outs’ only occur during extreme weather situations.
    - An easy to use local retail service to have the electricity (water/gas) supply connected and billed appropriately.
    - Sufficient electricity supply to operate all major social and government infrastructure 24/7 such as dams, sewerage works, street lighting, transportation etc.
    - Giving bucket loads of heavily Discounted Electricity to Industry to grow the economy and employment.
    - A petrol diesel lpg gas station on almost every corner.
    - Abundant inexpensive heating oil/gas and cooking gas supplies available.

    Most people would want a cheaper and a more reliable supply of at least the same amount of energy (probably more) into the future. Lots of cheap energy makes life a lot easier. The more the better. Tough luck for the 3 billion of Earth who have zero to an ounce of electricity their entire life.

    So, bundle the above into a clean green energy package for the entire planet – More Energy For Little $ – as THE Vision for the future and billions would buy it. :)

  461. Tony Weddle:

    Dave Cohen has been writing about the upcoming IPCC climate impacts report, in a blog entry entitled The Death Of “Climate Exceptionalism”. I sincerely hope that the final draft will not play down the risks by talking of a slight hit to the global economy and by placing it as just another risk among many that our global civilisation has.

  462. DIOGENES:

    Pk #456,

    C’mon. You post an article entitled “Private enterprise is beginning to take climate change seriously”, which contains unsubstantiated arm-waving like “It seems that an increasing number of perfectly hard-nosed financiers and investment managers are coming round to the view that investing in low-carbon technology and infrastructure makes good financial sense.” That’s the kind of unsupported hype I would expect from our resident tag team, not from you. Last I saw, Rex Tillerson wasn’t standing in a soup line due to lack of support! Where are the numbers on this issue? Look at Walter’s posts, especially on what to expect from BAU. There, the numbers tell the grim story.

    We have run out of carbon budget if we are to have any chance of avoiding the climate Apocalypse. For private enterprise to ‘take climate change seriously’, they have to be doing massive restructuring and re-investments of their portfolios and operations, commensurate with our having run out of carbon budget. For all practical purposes, they, along with government and the citizenry that empowers both government and industry, are doing ZERO!

  463. prokaryotes:

    Diogenes, that is an nature editorial with cites. It is not clear what your were referring to as “unsubstantiated arm-waving”. And you are wrong in your claim that this is considered an unsupported hype.

    Apparently you generalize a lot and make false assertions such as your claim that industry and government are doing zero.

  464. prokaryotes:

    Walter wrote: Blogs are often the lazy man’s solution of avoiding having to do anything. – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/unforced-variations-mar-2014/comment-page-10/#comment-476913

    Good information on the internet is as much needed as the wide spectrum of actions everybody can take in his life. Each day we make our choice to what to buy or what not. To come to a blog and calling bloggers lazy is pure ignorance.

  465. Kevin McKinney:

    #463–”Apparently you generalize a lot and make false assertions such as your claim that industry and government are doing zero. – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/unforced-variations-mar-2014/comment-page-10/#comment-476772

    No offense, prok, but are you only figuring that out now?

  466. DIOGENES:

    Pk #463,

    “Apparently you generalize a lot and make false assertions such as your claim that industry and government are doing zero.”

    I do generalize, but I do not make FALSE assertions. My specific generalization was:

    “For all practical purposes, they, along with government and the citizenry that empowers both government and industry, are doing ZERO!”

    The clause ‘for all practical purposes’ was not put in there by accident. If we need to march for 100 miles to get to our destination, and in the last decade we have marched fifty feet, and no one with any credibility is forecasting any substantial marching in the future, then I think it’s a fair conclusion that industry, government, and the citizenry are doing ZERO ‘for all practical purposes’. ‘Fifty feet’ is a finite distance, but compared to the 100 miles required, it is zero.

  467. prokaryotes:

    Kevin, sorry if i do not follow every single discussion here, i skipped most of it i guess.

  468. MartinJB:

    Wili (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/unforced-variations-mar-2014/comment-page-9/#comment-475116), I’m not making any judgement about what is a good economy. I’m suggesting that the pace of economic retrenchment that the prolific poster insists is necessary (jury’s still out on that – Hansen for one doesn’t suggest anything close) is not doable without causing immediate, devastating impacts on the well being of the vast majority of humanity. That might sound like an exaggeration, but since we can’t substitute fossil fuel use nearly that quickly, it’d basically involve shutting down our existing infrastructure and moving to a non-powered economy without time to prepare and react.

    And, again, apologies for the previous overlong (and then doubled) post.

  469. DIOGENES:

    Pk #463/ Kevin McKinney #456,

    Now you have expressed your disagreement with my specific statement “For all practical purposes, they, along with government and the citizenry that empowers both government and industry, are doing ZERO!”, perhaps you can enlighten us with the specifics of what industry, government, and the citizenry are doing to ameliorate climate change ON THE SCALE OF WHAT IS REQUIRED TO AVOID THE CATASTROPHE!

  470. MartinJB:

    C’mon Kevin, it’s a binary world. It’s either 1 or 0. If you’re not following the path of DIOGENES you’re a windfaller leading humanity to ruin (but making a quick buck along the way). I know people who have gotten arrested to promote action on climate change. They’d do anything in their power to promote change and be the change. But they’d still be zeroes in his world.

  471. prokaryotes:

    Worst Weather Ever: Record Breaking Heat Waves Explained

  472. prokaryotes:

    Diogenes wrote: “For all practical purposes, they, along with government and the citizenry that empowers both government and industry, are doing ZERO! – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/unforced-variations-mar-2014/comment-page-10/#comment-476979

    Source? Your stomach feeling?

  473. prokaryotes:

    Diogenes wrote: Now you have expressed your disagreement with my specific statement “For all practical purposes, they, along with government and the citizenry that empowers both government and industry, are doing ZERO!”, perhaps you can enlighten us with the specifics of what industry, government, and the citizenry are doing to ameliorate climate change ON THE SCALE OF WHAT IS REQUIRED TO AVOID THE CATASTROPHE! – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/unforced-variations-mar-2014/comment-page-10/#comment-476980

    We can all agree that not enough is done to combat dangerous climate change, however there is progress and i personally like to focus on that. Very relevant are ClimateProgress news coverage of US climate action and energy topics. Problems are often associated with bad policy decisions continued dirty energy usage/generation and some mandatory actions need to be made, i.e. Carbon fee and dividend or more and bigger renewable energy projects.

  474. prokaryotes:

    Mike Mann: How Scientists Are Moving Climate Change Conversation Forward

    Last January, I wrote an op-ed for the New York Times—If You See Something, Say Something—about my feelings of duty as a climate scientist to engage with the public. I hoped it would help other scientists feel more comfortable speaking out to the public about the dangers of a world warmed by human emissions.

    Little did I know that exactly two months later, the largest scientific organization in the world and publisher of the leading academic journal Science would launch an initiative aimed at doing just that—move the conversation forward by telling Americans “What We Know.” 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.

    The focus of this initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is to help Americans understand climate change, but also to inform us of some of the less probable but more painful risks we face by our continued inaction. By consulting with economists, the report was able to address the fact that the sooner we take action, the lower the cost and the less risk we face.

  475. prokaryotes:

    Citigroup says the ‘Age of Renewables’ has begun

  476. prokaryotes:

    US Salamanders ‘Shrinking?’ Study Suggests ‘Clear’ Correlation To Climate Change

    Dwarfing.

  477. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #468,

    “(jury’s still out on that – Hansen for one doesn’t suggest anything close)”

    It might be useful to see what Hansen actually stated. From his recent Plos One paper: “As discussed above, keeping global climate close to the Holocene range requires a long-term atmospheric CO2 level of about 350 ppm or less, with other climate forcings similar to today’s levels. If emissions reduction had begun in 2005, reduction at 3.5%/year would have achieved 350 ppm at 2100. Now the requirement is at least 6%/year. Delay of emissions reductions until 2020 requires a reduction rate of 15%/year to achieve 350 ppm in 2100. If we assume only 50 GtC reforestation, and begin emissions reduction in 2013, the required reduction rate becomes about 9%/year.”

    So, Hansen is proposing “at least 6%/year” emissions reduction starting now, with the requirement for 100 GtC reforestation, and “about 9%/year…..if we assume only 50 GtC reforestation”. The latter number is comparable to Anderson’s 10%/year emissions reduction, which Anderson (and many others) admit will lead to a severe economic downturn. Now, given that Anderson sets a temperature target of 2 C (which he admits is in the Extremely Dangerous region) and Hansen sets a temperature target of 1 C, the only reason that Hansen’s required emissions reductions are not in the many tens of percent per year range is that Hansen adds the assumption/requirement for MASSIVE reforestation. Well, maybe the massive reforestation is doable, maybe not. Hey, if we’re going to make radical assumptions like that, let’s convert everything to renewables/nuclear in four years. This will give us our 25% emissions reduction per year (corrected for lag times to get this working), and everybody will be happy.

    What my plan does is start with Hansen’s, use his temperature target (which I believe is the best around), and then minimize the risk of straying from that target. The severe demand reduction component of my plan is mainly for the purpose of risk reduction. If anyone wants to trade off risk of species survival for maintaining present energy wasteful lifestyle, feel free to do it, but, admit that’s what you’re doing.

  478. MartinJB:

    DIOGENES, I’d say that converting the world to renewables/nuclear in four years is just about as likely as reducing carbon by 20% per year (your number) without devastating the population and causing chaotic societal collapse in very short order.

    You might have noticed that Hansen includes several alternative scenarios with substantially less radical reductions in carbon that all result in temperature tracks that not only do not approach +2deg, but also have temperatures declining in the medium term. Not only do they suggest that the situation is not so cut and dried as you suggest, but I suspect they are also closer to what will likely occur and is actually achievable.

    Yes, they would probably cause more hardship than his preferred scenario and have higher risks of things going truly pear-shaped, but I suspect they would be less damaging than your “plan”. Your risk assessment ignores the risks caused by what you propose.

    Recaptcha: flat geoHot

  479. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #470,

    “If you’re not following the path of DIOGENES you’re a windfaller leading humanity to ruin (but making a quick buck along the way).”

    Just the opposite! I have practically begged the members of our resident tag team to provide a fully integrated self-consistent alternative to my admittedly harsh plan for providing any chance to avoid catastrophe. And, what have I gotten? Arm-waving, fancy footwork, invective, and all their other specialties, but not one specific. For the Nth time, what IMPROVEMENTS do you recommend to my plan?

  480. Kevin McKinney:

    #470–Exactly. Quantification works much better in a non-Boolean world–or at least, is much more useful in one.

  481. DIOGENES:

    Pk #473,

    “however there is progress and i personally like to focus on that. Very relevant are ClimateProgress news coverage of US climate action and energy topics.”

    Ok. Let me add one to your repertoire that you may have overlooked: http://www.exxonmobilperspectives.com/2014/03/19/eia-reports-highest-u-s-oil-production-in-a-quarter-century/. “Not since 1940 [when we were preparing for global war and ramping up armaments production] has the nation seen a larger annual percentage jump in U.S. oil production.”

    As the title suggests, the EIA reports the highest USA oil production in a quarter century. At a time when we have run out of carbon budget and run up carbon debt for avoiding climate catastrophe, the oil production in this country has shot up. Does this not reflect government policy: all-of-the-above, and energy independence? Does this boots-on-the-ground result contradict in any way the statement of mine to which you objected? Where is the USA ‘climate action’ here; if anything, it is action in the wrong direction!!!

  482. Kevin McKinney:

    #475–Thanks for that link, prok.

    In a major new analysis released this week, Citi says the big decision makers within the US power industry are focused on securing low cost power, fuel diversity and stable cash flows, and this is drawing them increasingly to the “economics” of solar and wind, and how they compare with other technologies.

    Much of the mainstream media – in the US and abroad – has been swallowing the fossil fuel Kool-Aid and hailing the arrival of cheap gas, through the fracking boom, as a new energy “revolution”, as if this would be a permanent state of affairs. But as we wrote last week, solar costs continue to fall even as gas prices double.

    Citi’s report echoes that conclusion. Gas prices, it notes, are rising and becoming more volatile. This has made wind and solar and other renewable energy sources more attractive because they are not sensitive to fuel price volatility.

    Citi says solar is already becoming more attractive than gas-fired peaking plants, both from a cost and fuel diversity perspective. And in baseload generation, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydro are becoming more economically attractive than baseload gas.

    There’s a decent amount of analysis in there, including an unusually clear succinct account of what goes into LCOE calculations–and the analysis includes quite a few caveats, appropriately.

    Overall, it’s another indicator that the economics are shifting underfoot–a trend not likely to reverse anytime soon. But as all here agree, it’s not enough in itself. Every effort should be made to accelerate this, and to limit the use of fossil fuel as much as possible. If, for instance, we were to get a carbon tax enacted, we’d probably start to see coal plants being retired at an accelerated rate.

    Oh, wait, we’re already seeing that:

    http://www.commdiginews.com/politics-2/economic-politics/pace-quickens-for-extinction-of-coal-fired-electric-in-the-us-13013/

    (Note that item has a perspective from the ‘other side.’)

    OK, a *further* accelerated rate.

  483. Radge Havers:

    “For the Nth time, what IMPROVEMENTS do you recommend to my plan?”

    Translation:
    “For the Nth time, what improvements could you possibly recommend to MY plan?”
    Way to think inside the box.

    “If the Internet and blogging had existed in the 16th century, Galileo would have been called a ‘troll’ by the Kevin McKinney’s of the day.”

    Diogenes and Galileo rolled into one. Whatever, dude.

  484. prokaryotes:

    Does this not reflect government policy: all-of-the-above, and energy independence? – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/unforced-variations-mar-2014/comment-page-10/#comment-476914

    How does the current US developments compare with lesser fossil fuel imports? So far it appears as if US emissions shifted and some tiny progress is at the horizon.

  485. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB,

    “Your risk assessment ignores the risks caused by what you propose.”

    If I believed that 2 C or 3 C were ‘safe’, meaning we could stabilize at those temperatures and adapt, albeit to very uncomfortable conditions, then a more comfortable and less disrupting transition such as the Ceres Clean Trillion would be acceptable. From all I have read on the subject, I don’t believe those temperatures are ‘safe’ and Hansen doesn’t believe it. He states that in no uncertain terms in his paper, and I assume there is buy-in from his 10+ knowledgeable co-authors. Now, given the uncertainties and the ‘unknown unknowns’ I mentioned yesterday, if we were truly truly lucky, we might be able to stabilize. Do you want to take that gamble with the survival of our species at stake? If not, there are not many options available. We end up trading off substantial pain today for ultimate pain tomorrow.

    Now, I mentioned the four year transition to low carbon in jest. However, some posters have suggested a decade is not out of the question. I have no idea whether such a number is within the realm of possibility/plausibility, but if it is, some modifications may be possible. My plan has five major components at present, with the door open for a sixth. The components are: specification of a target temperature; specification of a condition on the risk of staying near/under that temperature; a front-end reduction of fossil fuel use over and above that provided by the lifestyle maintenance component; rapid carbon removal; and replacement of high carbon and inefficient energy technologies by low carbon and more efficient technologies. The sixth possible component, only to be used as a last resort, would be some form of geo-engineering to probably replace the aerosols that would be lost as carbon emissions are reduced and do not replace the short-term aerosols.

    I would hold the line on temperature near 1 C; this is the most critical component of the plan. I would minimize the risk of straying from the target temperature. If fossil can be replaced by low carbon in a decade, as some posters have suggested, that would reduce emissions in the ballpark of ten percent per year. I would accelerate reforestation. Hansen assumes today’s deforestation rate stays constant to 2020, linearly decreases to zero by 2030, then reforestation to 100GtC occurs from 2030-2080. If we’re serious enough to consider the possibility of a decade transition to low carbon, why not use the same level of optimism about reforestation? Don’t waste fifteen years; start ASAP, and complete the task by 2065-2070. Complement with ‘artificial trees’ and other CO2 removal concepts, if feasible.

    Finally, we get to front-end demand reduction. I would not let up on this component, since it reduces the risk of the uncertainties in forcing us to stray from the target temperature. If we are getting 10% contribution from the low carbon substitution, then we can perhaps reduce the front-end fossil use decrease to perhaps 10-15%. Given that the transition to low carbon will not be carbon-free, and the massive reforestation will not be carbon-free, we need to insure that all non-essential uses of fossil are eliminated, and the fat trimmed from the uses we deem essential. I would even broaden this statement to all non-essential uses of energy, since it would reduce the number of low carbon replacement plants required. There are other reasons to minimize resource use besides fossil reduction, and cutting back on unnecessary consumption is the first step.

    There are other issues involved in terms of restructuring the presently inefficient infrastructure and how we do business, but they await a later time.

  486. Steve Fish:

    Re- DIOGENES above (many posts as usual)

    I don’t have any concerns about increasing electricity costs, or brown outs, or any hint that my “lifestyle maintenance” is threatened. My plan works. It doesn’t solve the whole problem in 5 years you say. Your plan is not only impossible, it is a disaster so nothing is solved. My plan is infinitely scalable and is already working toward limiting CO2 emissions. Your plan cannot be sold. My plan can be sold because it offers monetary savings on energy, a feeling of self-reliance and that one is more in control of one’s life, and very fine “lifestyle maintenance.” With expansion my plan can pretty much supply most electrical energy for home, industry and transportation, and a big chunk of agriculture, all with no CO2 emissions.

    I am not the originator of my plan. I learned a lot about it around 25 years ago from friends and signed on 12 years ago. Almost all of my current neighbors had already, or have since, signed up. The thing is that it works by word of mouth because it is so attractive and all it would need to expand dramatically is intensive governmental encouragement. Pushing your plan blocks progress on CO2 emissions because it cannot and will not ever work. Adding artificial trees (not economically viable) and reforestation (not possible in your five year short term) to support your vacuous plan is not helpful.

    Steve

  487. MartinJB:

    DIOGENES, I’m done with this. Your “plan” is just so divorced from reality that it’s just not worth engaging. If you still don’t get that you never will. You are free to keep spinning your fantasy here as long as the moderators you have utterly disrespected tolerate you. I just hope no-one buys your premise that nothing short will work. I’d hate for folks to give up on what might help because someone has convinced them it can’t possibly be enough.

  488. MartinJB:

    Prokaryotes and Kevin,

    That article at reneweconomy actually does a good job of conveying the message of the original Citi report (which was penned by some really good analysts covering the power sector and sustainability in C’s equity research team). The one thing it kinda misses is the sense that I got from the original report of the current and likely continuing dominance of gas in the USA. Also note the limitations they mention about the alternatives to gas for supplying baseboard power at present. They are competitive mainly in the most advantageous locations, although presumably substantial increases in gas prices would expand that range.

  489. Walter:

    482 ‘But as all here agree, it’s not enough in itself.’

    Hydro, biomass, and geothermal always was relatively ‘cheaper’ than gas, the problem is the lack of ‘supply capacity’ close to population centers, not the cost per unit.

    The problem with wind and solar was two fold; the higher price per kwh, and the unreliability & low volume of the supply capacity. But supply issues persist with location, energy storage for 24/7 supply, overall capacity, and wind reliability.

    I would like to see the source figures for this ‘PR article’: “In 2013, solar was the second-largest source of new generation capacity behind natural gas – its prospects look bright in 2014 and beyond as costs continue to decline and improve the LCOE picture. from http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/citigroup-says-the-age-of-renewables-has-begun-69852

    It’s self-evident that becoming cheaper means wind and solar would be cheaper to finance. Hooray for Financing!

    That doesn’t change the reality of ‘supply’ side constraints. For neither are as cheap per kwh nor possess the output Capacity that Gas already has.

    Dr James Hansen says the “Assumed capacity factors: fossil (58% per IEA WEO 2013) hydro (34% per IEA WEO 2013); wind (33%); nuclear ( 90%); solar (15%).”

    A gas fired 1,000 MWe plant has an output Capacity of 580 MWe; but the same ‘size’ Solar plant would likely produce only 150e MW over the same time!

    Dr James Hansen says:
    “Coal use caused most of the emissions growth and coal is now the source of nearly half of global fossil fuel carbon emissions (Fig. 1a).”
    “Fossil fuels provide more than 85% of the world’s energy (Fig. 1b). One misconception discussed below concerns the fallacy that renewable energy is rapidly supplanting conventional energy. Total non-hydro renewables today offset only about one year’s growth (3%) of energy use.”
    http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/renewable-energy-nuclear-power-and.html

    In 2011 3% energy growth = total of 546 GWe Capacity. To replace this growth needs 15 x 3,000 MWe power plants PER MONTH just to keep ahead.

    Compare that to the largest solar plant in the world today, Ivanpah which finally opened late last year, took 5+ years and $2.5 billion to build and is only 380 MWe. The largest Wind farm is 1,000 MWe.

    A 10% fossil fuel cut equals 1,000 Mtoe which means REPLACING 1820 GWe energy capacity per year, in order to stay under 2 C increase.

    So replacing growth and 10% of fossil fuels per year would equal 2360 GWe of new Non-Carbon energy, the equivalent of 788 x 3,000 MWe power plants per year.

    I have seen no evidence that Non-Hydro Renewable energy can replace the equivalent of 65 x 3,000 MWe fossil fuel plants per month with Non-Carbon Energy … none at all. I have seen no evidence that future Nuclear energy supply could replace that amount.

    So, it isn’t going to happen. Not without cutting total energy use by 5% to 10% per year at the same time using both efficiency gains and real demand reduction from end users over and above everything else being done.

    Human nature being what it is, that ain’t going to happen either. So the reality is increasing fossil fuel use rising to meet the energy demand into the future and likely doubling as per current forecasts by 2050 to 20,000 Mtoe.

    The facts are that:
    Non-carbon energy supply capacity and cost per kwh combined cannot match that of Fossil fuel sources into the future.
    Non-carbon energy cannot grow fast enough to keep up with total energy growth into the future.
    Non-Carbon energy supply is unable to totally replace the existing 11,000 Mtoe per year of fossil fuel energy used today into the future either.

    Until something else changes significantly, this is the real trajectory for global energy use. Where the Non-carbon sources of hydro, nuclear, biomass, wind, solar, tidal and geothermal do not have the physical capacity to replace fossil fuel energy into the foreseeable future.

    Not only is there a lack of political will to make major cuts to fossil fuel use, there is no physical capacity to replace such cuts now or into the future in full with any Non-carbon energy supply.

    Looks more like a 4 C world and then some.

    Or some kind of a long term global energy efficiency drive alongside a demand reduction programme.

  490. Tony Weddle:

    prokaryotes,

    My my, are you becoming optimistic?

    Have you noticed that, globally, emissions are increasing?

  491. DIOGENES:

    Radge Havers #483,

    “Translation:
    “For the Nth time, what improvements could you possibly recommend to MY plan?”
    Way to think inside the box.”

    Look, I have continually asked for radically new self-consistent plans that would give any chance of avoiding the catastrophe, and NONE have been forthcoming. I thought I would propose one, and perhaps we would get some useful ideas to improve it. I’m getting comments that it’s too painful and risky, but I have yet to see comments that will IMPROVE it. Sure, I can remove pain and risk, but that would substantially lessen the chances of avoiding the impending catastrophe. So, you tell me, how do I remove the pain and risk without reducing our chances of coming out whole? Would the modified plan of #485 do it?

    “If the Internet and blogging had existed in the 16th century, Galileo would have been called a ‘troll’ by the Kevin McKinney’s of the day.”

    Diogenes and Galileo rolled into one. Whatever, dude.”

    Well, our resident tag team likes to associate me with the Koch Bros. or Rex Tillerson or others of similar persuasion because we all agree the sky is blue in a clear day. I thought I would change the associations for once. But, I still believe the statement I made about Galileo!

  492. Hank Roberts:

    “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
    ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac (1949)

  493. DIOGENES:

    MartinJB #487,

    “I just hope no-one buys your premise that nothing short will work. I’d hate for folks to give up on what might help because someone has convinced them it can’t possibly be enough.”

    The way to overcome that is to show them that something short WILL work. Unfortunately, neither you nor Fish nor the other tag team members have done that. In #486, Fish talks about his ‘plan’, but doesn’t tell us what it is, what would be involved in implementing it on a global scale, or what temperatures it would produce in the transition period. Not that I’m surprised; none of the resident tag team members ever do that; all they offer is smoke and mirrors. In addition, Fish offers a deliberate misrepresentation of my plan as follows: “and reforestation (not possible in your five year short term)”. The reforestation I proposed in both the original plan and the modified plan was fifty years, following Hansen. In the modified plan, I suggested starting the reforestation a few years earlier than Hansen’s start date of 2030, but nowhere did I suggest shortening the time period. But, hey, why let a few facts cloud the scripted talking points?

  494. Radge Havers:

    @ ~ 491

    You are having some difficulty engaging with people here, and it may be because you seem more interested in drawing them into role-playing your internal monologue than in partaking of a meaningful discourse.

    It could be that you are unable to appreciate the distinction, or perhaps you just have a tin ear for social context. Either way the Galileo gambit is so familiar and hackneyed, so cringe-worthy, that at this point whoever deploys it identifies themself as clueless to the extent, in some cases, of being self-absorbed, lacking in self-awareness, and therefore difficult to engage in any productive exchange (which by its nature is a social activity).

    To help understand why eyes are rolling, contemplate:
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Galileo_gambit

  495. Walter:

    From the IEA 12 November 2013 – World Energy Outlook Executive Summary
    http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/WEO2013_Executive_Summary_English.pdf

    “As the source of two-thirds of global greenhouse-gas emissions, the energy sector will be pivotal in determining whether or not climate change goals are achieved. [...] In our central scenario, taking into account the impact of measures already announced by governments to improve energy efficiency, support renewables, reduce fossil-fuel subsidies and, in some cases, to put a price on carbon, energy-related CO2 emissions still rise by 20% to 2035.
    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.”
    http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/
    (sorry if someone already posted this last year)

  496. Hank Roberts:

    Climate change and human survival

    This is an emergency. Immediate and transformative action is needed at every level: individual, local, and national; personal, political, and financial. Countries must set aside differences and work together as a global community for the common good, and in a way that is equitable and sensitive to particular challenges of the poorest countries and most vulnerable communities.

    What we all do matters, not least in how it influences others. Those who profess to care for the health of people perhaps have the greatest responsibility to act….

    … we can expect to see this message flowing into the World Health Organization’s plans for action, to be discussed at its climate conference in August.

    Editorial
    Climate change and human survival
    BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2351 (Published 26 March 2014)
    Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2351

    The science of climate denialism

    Robert Brulle’s (Drexler University, Philadelphia) study of the financing of the “anti climate science” movement in the United States shows that, where previously, funding for climate denialism was more clearly linked to oil companies, it is now largely underwritten by conservative billionaires, often working through anonymized funding channels. Kert Davies from Greenpeace has also noted that “the funding of the denial machine is becoming increasingly invisible to public scrutiny.”
    In an article published in the European Journal of Public Health, Pascal Diethelm and Martin McKee describe five tactics commonly used to undermine science….

    … In a study of climate skepticism, Stuart Capstick and Nicholas Pidgeon note the difference between “epistemic scepticism” (where people doubt the reality or causes or climate change) and “response scepticism” (where people dispute the efficacy of acting to tackle the problem). Their research suggests that response scepticism is more strongly associated with a lack of concern about global warming, and argue that this is less bound to issues of science than it is to broader societal questions …. response scepticism may also emerge from perceptions that climate change is too large and complex a problem to solve; as well as with wider cynicism about governments, the UN and politics in general.

    In many ways, it is response scepticism (rather than epistemic scepticism) that should exercise our minds. But what is the antidote? An emerging academic literature is concerned with answering this question and includes the study of more effective collective action, concepts of environmental citizenship and participatory democracy. We can and must overcome the response scepticism—and the health community should be at the forefront of this.

  497. DIOGENES:

    Walter #489,

    It is so refreshing to read posts such as #489 compared to the smoke and mirrors that our resident tag team offers. You have shown quantitatively the problems we face, and the types of temperatures we can expect. And, the 4 C you mention is only a signpost on the road to oblivion. No evidence we can hold the line on that, given the unknowns about what the carbon feedbacks will do at such temperatures.

    When we cut to the chase, there are two categories of posts on this blog; those that propose mass extinction, and those that propose possibilities of avoiding mass extinction. Those that propose mass extinction are cloaked in the flowery language of ‘it will reduce emissions, but we won’t get everything you want’. This is the specialty of our resident tag team. But, the scenarios that they are proposing are nowhere as stringent as those of Kevin Anderson, and Anderson’s only give a reasonable chance of staying under 2 C. That can be re-stated as a modest chance of reaching 2.5 C or even 3 C. So, their scenarios would offer a modest (or perhaps more than modest if we would ever see actual numbers) chance of reaching temperatures that could allow the carbon feedbacks to go on autopilot and lead to extinction of our species. When I read their proposals, I see scenarios that would offer some chance of leading to mass extinction. Not exactly the positive image they are trying to present!

    Back to the numbers. Jacobson and DeLucchi have published a series of papers over the last five years showing what would be required to convert ALL our energy sources to renewables. I have appended an Abstract of a 2011 paper. Now, they don’t mention the expenditure of fossil energy required to get these plants operational (siting, construction, etc), or the intensity required. I wonder how long such an installation would take if we could institute two conditions: working at wartime speed to effect the transition (24/7, all available resources and industry drafted for the effort), and reducing energy expenditures to only the most essential in order to both reduce fossil fuel use in the interim and reduce the number of renewables facilities required (and minimize fossil fuel use for their construction). It seems to me that a max construction effort combined with a max non-essential energy reduction effort, and complemented by a max reforestation effort started early, might actually give a reasonable chance of avoiding catastrophe. Would it be painless; no way! It would involve unloading those myriad industries founded on providing ‘junk’, and founded on extravagant waste of energy. For those in such industries, there could be some possibilities in working on the massive construction required or massive reforestation, albeit at much lower wages. No guarantee jobs would be available for all.

    Have you seen any computations that would provide answers relative to the feasibility of such a scheme? Right now, I’m just interested in exploring what is possible; forget about what people and governments would actually support.

  498. Hank Roberts:

    from http://www.energyandpolicy.org/dominion_thwarts_solar_net_metering_bill_in_virginia

    The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the utilities trade group, released a report (.PDF) entitled “Disruptive Challenges” in January 2013, outlining the threat that distributed energy generation presents to the traditional utility industry business model of selling electricity from large, centralized, mostly fossil fuel power plants. According to the latest disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dominion Virginia Power primarily generates electricity from large power plants ….

    It’s no wonder Dominion wants to limit the growth of distributed solar energy by blocking net metering from reaching multi-family communities. Republican delegates support for Dominion’s protectionism is the equivalent of supporting an attempt by Kodak to stop people from buying digital cameras. Dominion’s lobbying effort is anti-competitive and anti-free market. It’s meant to slow the growth of clean energy in order to maintain one special interest’s “dominion” on the sale of electricity in Virginia, and should generate bipartisan opposition.

  499. Hank Roberts:

    Oh, and on the other hand:

    – Dominion Virginia Power placed its Altavista Power Station into commercial operation Friday with renewable biomass as its fuel, the first of three stations to be converted from coal to biomass.
    – July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/

  500. Meow:

    House Republicans are pushing a bill to force NOAA to “protect lives and property by shifting funds from climate change research to severe weather forecasting research”. http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/202051-gop-government-should-focus-on-storm-prediction-not . My floor, it has a jaw-shaped indentation in it.

  501. Hank Roberts:

    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

  502. Hank Roberts:

    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.

  503. Tony Lynch:

    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]

  504. Chuck Hughes:

    Shouldn’t that be “Diogeneric”?

  505. Walter:

    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.

  506. Walter:

    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. :)

  507. DIOGENES:

    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.”

  508. DIOGENES:

    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.

  509. Walter:

    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/

  510. DIOGENES:

    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?

  511. Pete Dunkelberg:

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

  512. Walter:

    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. :)

  513. Walter:

    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.

  514. Walter:

    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

  515. MAXMARE:

    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]

  516. DIOGENES:

    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.

  517. wili:

    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.

  518. Pete Dunkelberg:

    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.

  519. DIOGENES:

    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?

  520. DIOGENES:

    [edit - don't make accusations against other commenters.]

  521. DIOGENES:

    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.

  522. Pete Dunkelberg:

    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?

  523. wili:

    “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.

  524. MAXMARE:

    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.

  525. Walter:

    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)

  526. Walter:

    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?” :)

  527. DIOGENES:

    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.

  528. Walter:

    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

  529. DIOGENES:

    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.

  530. DIOGENES:

    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?

  531. Jim Larsen:

    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.

  532. Walter:

    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

  533. Walter:

    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

  534. Walter:

    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

  535. DIOGENES:

    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!

  536. DIOGENES:

    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!

  537. MAXMARE:

    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.

  538. DIOGENES:

    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.

  539. DIOGENES:

    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

  540. DIOGENES:

    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!

  541. wili:

    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.

  542. wili:

    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/

  543. Walter:

    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 :)

  544. Walter:

    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.

  545. Walter:

    537 maxmare .. good point, great quote! thx

  546. Walter:

    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 ….

  547. Walter:

    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

  548. Walter:

    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

  549. DIOGENES:

    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.

  550. DIOGENES:

    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!

  551. Walter:

    Just quickly, re “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”

    curious what are those gdp decline numbers based on Diogenes? thx

    Hey, I hear Obama is full speed ahead after picking up on my Carbon Pollution Regulation is the rational way forward ….

    See the numbers don’t matter it’s the ‘quality’ of site visitors that counts! hehehe

  552. DIOGENES:

    Walter #551,

    “curious what are those gdp decline numbers based on Diogenes? thx”

    I’ve seen various plots of GDP vs total energy use, some with accompanying analysis, and there’s about a 60-70% link. Given that most of the energy supply today is fossil-based, if we make hard cuts to fossil initially in any of the plans, that’s the type of reduction we will see in GDP. As time goes on, and low carbon replace fossil, the relationship becomes weaker. But, remember my analysis of the Ceres Clean Trillion plan. The average emissions reduction over 36 years is ~1.5% per year. That means the dependence of GDP on fossil will weaken very slowly under that plan.

  553. DIOGENES:

    Pete Dunkelberg,

    On another thread, you provided a link to a list of ‘climate misinformers (http://skepticalscience.com/misinformers.php). That’s only a partial list; those are the Type 1 misinformers, who deny the science (officially, anyway). You omitted the Type 2 misinformers, who accept the portion of the climate science that fits their pre-determined agenda, but reject the climate science that informs them what targets are necessary to avoid the ultimate climate disaster. The latter are no more credible than the former. We don’t even need their pictures to identify them as in your link; their use of fictional terms like ‘prosperity’ to describe the radical belt-tightening required to avoid climate disaster is the giveaway!

  554. MAXMARE:

    I can account for my lack of understanding about the clear and present danger posed by CC until 9 years ago when I came across the 2003 pentagon report on the possible effects by not having them shown to me.
    Now when trying to convince other people to even look at the problem it doesn’t help measuring words.
    Even in these forum most of my words have been edited out and I possibly agree with the criteria used for it and recognize the breakdown in discourse that will follow if not for this very criteria.
    I still think the hubris that allows people to think that better batteries or hydroponics will deliver us from CC is the same hubris concerned people show when they measure their words.
    Showing statistics, rate of methane emission, or some other hard measured fact falls short of conveying to people that the death of billions of people is imminent in a historical time frame if not acted upon in the very present day.
    I am not articulate enough to try convince people of the true dangers of CC if I am not allowed to hit you over the head with a mental stick because you see we are hominids, the same ones that flee from pain and seek pleasure.
    I know every thing is futile but limiting what you can tell people to solid facts shows little imagination…twice.
    Telling a tale affects people in far more profound ways than telling them facts, the same way being burn by fire is more effective at fearing it and moving away from it than any explanation you can conjure up.
    I still don’t know why I not allowed to express my concern about hundreds of nuclear power plants when society turns into chaos and are left to melt and emit pesky harmful radiation.

  555. Hank Roberts:

    Proposal: discuss what might be the pieces of humanity’s eventual response to overuse of fossil fuels, because
    (1) no single plan does everything, but many of the plans do something, and
    (2) much of the calculation is available to discuss, and
    (3) humanity’s response, like the climate, is an emergent phenomenon, and
    (4) when asked to conserve, people do better than top-down planners imagine,
    and (5) the best is all too often the enemy of the good.

    You’re presumably doing all you can personally, and I hope I have been.
    (Or you’re here to mock those who are trying, but I dowannatalk2u)

    What’s possibly going to help, that you know about?
    Citations, of course, are expected.

  556. Jim Larsen:

    555 Hank,

    The problem with plans is that an immediate fight breaks out between those who like breeder reactors and want us to take an improved version of what France did; and those who say “Hell no, we won’t glow!” (If you see that graffiti, be sure to paint in front, “Is nuclear power dangerous?”)

    There are no viable plans without nukes. (Dio just says kill the world’s economy on purpose – that is NOT a viable plan)

    Viable plans with nukes are easy, but there are no plans with nukes that prevent proliferation.

    Take your pick.

  557. Chris Dudley:

    Hank (#555),

    Since energy infrastructure looks different in different places now, it may well be that that will continue for clean infrastructure. For the US, the project you are proposing has already been carries of by Amory Lovins in his book “Reinventing Fire” Here is a summary of four options for electricity:

    “Four futures, one broad direction

    The U.S. electricity system’s unprecedented risks and opportunities now make “business-as-usual” unrealistic. Decades of steadily slackening demand growth have dwindled to about zero or less and can no longer be counted on to raise revenues. Just replacing aging U.S. power plants and infrastructure—for example, over 70 percent of U.S. coal plants, half of U.S. coal capacity, are over 30 years old and 33 percent over 40—would cost $3.5 trillion (undiscounted). The transmission and distribution grid is inherently prone to blackouts that scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimate cost U.S. businesses and residents up to $160 billion annually. Perpetuating this system would not only degrade national security but also drive up carbon emissions 40 percent by 2050—nearly 600 percent above levels needed to meet U.S. treaty obligations.

    Electricity’s carbon risks could be managed by new nuclear plants and “clean coal,” sustaining and even bolstering many of the power sector’s century-old institutions —traditional business models, vendors, and regulators, coal-mining, even railroads. But that wouldn’t meet all of the needs of the 21st century and would indeed create new risks: high and uncertain costs plus increased financial, fuel, security, and technological risks. Such “bet the company” investments in large conventional power plants would also foreclose other choices for decades.

    Alternatively, climate-safe power from quintupling today’s utility-scale renewable capacity, so it meets 80–90 percent of 2050 electricity needs, would cost slightly less and cut carbon emissions even more. This approach would sustain or improve reliability while reducing financial, fuel, and technology risks. Finally, letting distributed generators compete and interconnect fairly could nearly eliminate blackout risks by organizing the grid into local “microgrids” that normally interconnect but can stand alone at need (“islanding”). This resilient future, already demonstrated in about 20 experiments worldwide and being successfully adopted in Denmark and Cuba, would cost about the same as business-as-usual, but would manage all its risks and maximize customer choice, entrepreneurial opportunity, and innovation.

    In short, many different electricity futures are possible. They differ immaterially in cost but greatly in risk. Choosing a future with similar cost but far lower risk, while fitting and speeding powerful market trends, can restore American energy leadership and security by building the electricity system of the 21st century with high skill and ambition, just as we did with the technology of more than a century ago.”

    http://www.rmi.org/electricity

    Transportation industry and buildings are also covered.

    In some places where a full US-style grid does not already exist, the shape of technology available now may make the development of one less inevitable. Here is a look at some options in India: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/beyond-grid-electricity-india

  558. Walter:

    fwiw some mind-boggling China electricity & grid info 2013 – [all text is quotes from links provided]

    By the end of July, 5.95GW of PV-generated electricity has been connected to the grid within SGCC’s operating area, with a year-on-year increase of 134%.

    Since February this year (to Sept 2013), the company has accepted 625 distributed PV grid interconnection applications with a total installed capacity of 1.31GW. SGCC’s PV generation grew fastest in the world.

      Since State Council attached great importance to the development of PV industry, … to achieve the total installed PV generation capacity of 35GW in 2015, PV industry ushers in an important opportunity to accelerate the generation and improve the grid interconnection service.
    http://www.sgcc.com.cn/ywlm/mediacenter/headline/09/296564.shtml

    http://www.geni.org/globalenergy/library/national_energy_grid/china/chinesenationallectricitygrid.shtml

    On December 27th (2013), Shanghai Yetang 110kV new generation of smart substation was put into operation, signifying the completion of 6 smart substations of the new generation in the first batch.
    http://www.sgcc.com.cn/ywlm/mediacenter/corporatenews/01/300811.shtml

    In 2013, … (as well as meeting 2015 renewable capacity targets), new renewable energy capacity additions surpassed thermal installations for the first time . In terms of total capacity on the grid, thermal dipped below 70 percent http://theenergycollective.com/michael-davidson/335271/china-s-electricity-sector-glance-2013

    image % chnage by fuel type year on year 2007 to 2013. http://theenergycollective.com/sites/theenergycollective.com/files/imagepicker/478171/2013_FLH.png

  559. Hank Roberts:

    So, instead of fighting about what’s inappropriate here, how about the wedges that are of interest to climatology?

    Because the change in the world will happen as an emergent change, from the ‘bottom up’ actions of individuals; governments will follow, to the extent you live in “a republic, if you can keep it”

    So assume you do instead of arguing that non-climatology thing.

    What are the pieces of the puzzle that change the climate?
    There are a lot of experts here, with resources, to contribute.

    Given enough puzzle pieces, SOMEONE should be able to put a plan together that, while incomplete, suggests what could be done.

    How about it? Do some work rather than complain that nobody is standing up astride the world to force everyone to do the right thing?

    Soil conservation, restoration — how much can it help/cost?
    Woody agriculture instead of corn/soy — how much difference?
    My hobbyhorse, bringing the big whales back to fertilize the ocean …
    White roofs — reflecting visible light — when reroofing;
    High-emissive roofs — radiating infrared — when reroofing;
    harvesting krill — good idea?
    algae-based biofuel — how’s that working?
    better electric storage — implications?

  560. Kevin McKinney:

    “Viable plans with nukes are easy”

    Mmm. I’ve heard that said often enough, but it seems to assume that nukes are easily scalable. In the real world, we’d need to drastically scale up:

    1) a highly skilled and specialized labor force;
    2) available water for cooling, in many locations; this may sound a bit frivolous, but the water requirements are very large, and there have been several incidents now in which drought restricted generation; and
    3) most critically, financing. That appears to be the real killer, per “The Economist”:

    http://www.economist.com/node/21549936

    (Hopefully that link will work.)

    I personally wouldn’t mind seeing more nuclear built, but I am highly dubious that anything like the requisite amount could be built in anything like the requisite time.

    Observations from 2 of the only 4 US reactors currently under construction:

    http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2014-03-16/plant-vogtle-expansion-draws-industry-veteran
    http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2014-03-10/plant-vogtle-module-weighing-1100-tons-moved-place

    Background on same:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogtle#Units_3_and_4

    Summary:

    Hard numbers are hard to find, but reportedly the project is behind at least 14 months and $1.7 billion. Although I note that one blogger tells us:

    Meanwhile, the Sanmen project in China, which is identical to the Vogtle project using the same contractor, is under budget at $5.9 billion and ahead on its 4-year schedule. The difference between the projects is the perverse incentives of the U.S. regulatory system that rewards failure and managerial incompetence.

    http://www.masterresource.org/2013/03/vogtle-nuclear-more-overruns/
    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Last-module-for-first-AP1000-2201141.html

  561. Hank Roberts:

    http://co2scorecard.org/home/researchitem/27
    Demand Reduction Slashes US CO2 Emissions in 2012

    “An October 2013 analysis by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) re-affirmed the main findings of this research note.”

    The CO2 Scorecard initiative supports climate policy monitoring, evaluation, and communications through user-friendly data analysis and display tools, dashboards, and research notes. This website is the first step towards our goal of bringing together on one site all of the publicly-available data on:
    CO2 emissions;
    Other sources of greenhouse gases (GHG) and GHG sinks;
    Energy production and consumption;
    Energy investment, prices and taxes;
    Socio-economic benchmarks & drivers.

  562. prokaryotes:

    Is this the oldest known climate record?

    The ups and downs of early atmospheric oxygen

    There is a growing body of data that points to oxygen production and accumulation in the ocean and atmosphere long before the GOE,” said Timothy W. Lyons, a professor of biogeochemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences and the lead author of the comprehensive synthesis of more than a decade’s worth of study within and outside his research group.
    Lyons and his coauthors, Christopher T. Reinhard and Noah J. Planavsky, both former UCR graduate students, note that once oxygen finally established a strong foothold in the atmosphere starting about 2.3 billion years ago it likely rose to high concentrations, potentially even levels like those seen today. Then, for reasons not well understood, the bottom fell out, oxygen plummeted to a tiny fraction of today’s level, and the ocean remained mostly oxygen free for more than a billion years.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140219133331.htm (DOI: 10.1038/nature13068 ) and see oldest records from “The Geological Time Scale” http://tinyurl.com/qxdscdx or here Archean Molecular Fossils and the Early Rise of Eukaryotes

  563. Walter:

    Kevin fyi, QUOTING James Hansen:

    pg 8 “” This distortion of reality, pointed out by Armond Cohen13 of the Clean Air Task Force, is common and contributes to energy misconceptions discussed below.” and “China and the U.S. are the source of more than 40% of today’s emissions (Fig. 7a). Reduction of THEIR emissions is essential and URGENT.”

    pg 9 “Second, the United States and China should agree to cooperate in rapid deployment to scale in China of advanced, safe nuclear power for peaceful purposes, specifically to provide clean electricity replacing aging and planned coal-fired power plants,….”

    “Furthermore, for reasons that do not need to be debated here, construction time for a nuclear power plant in the U.S. is of the order of a decade, while it is as short as 3-4 years in China.”

    pg 10 (at least please read this one page – mainly about untruths and manipulations of the world US public regarding Nuclear energy) “I am saying that the global energy discussion should be based on facts, not on myths”

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140310_ChinaOpEd.pdf

    further research about what James H summarizes here can be found elsewhere which confirms what he says is in fact correct.

    Also water is not required for the gas cooled reactors, nor the safest geniv which the pebble bed reactor. Can find the ref at the moment, but China is planned to build ~300 reactors power plants before 2030. I suspect/guess the US will still be talking about the possibility and the Greens/enviros running street protests about it.

    There is always a long lag time between Science/Tech and the public awareness of what is and what isn’t. ( oh well ) More people could pay attention to James Hansen now, for their own benefit.

  564. Walter:

    More China insights, from a China man. And yes this info and what happens in China politically and economically has a major impact on what will come out from Paris 2015 (if anything). How China is treated by the US and what the US decides it can do about cutting emissions itself is critical and comes first, imo.

    https://theconversation.com/party-insider-offers-rare-insight-into-what-chinas-reforms-mean-25367

    eg
    “Several key challenges are now shaping the future of China,” he replies. “The prime tensions are between economic development and social fairness; economic growth and ecological protection; social stability and political democracy; individual rights and public goods; and between the China model and universal values.” … ”

    My comment .. the same challenges that are little different than right now in the US and other western nations, imo. China isn’t the only nation on Earth that is run or controlled by an unelected elite, ahem.

  565. Jim Larsen:

    560 Kevin M said, “I am highly dubious that anything like the requisite amount could be built in anything like the requisite time.”

    France took ~20 years.

  566. Hank Roberts:

    So — any of the atmosperic scientists and geologists talking about this odd coincidence?

    The newly discovered ‘OH hole’ in the atmosphere over the Pacific northeast of Australia
    http://www.wired.com/2014/04/oh-hole-washing-machine/
    shown here (German, from the source)

    http://www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Abb3de_w1.jpg

    is roughly coincident with the big geomagnetic anomaly that’s been known for a while in about the same area of the Pacific

    http://specialpapers.gsapubs.org/content/433/1/F2.large.jpg

    “Isochrons correspond to identified magnetic anomalies. This map was prepared by David Sandwell …

    (that page is paywalled, that’s a link to a result in an image search)

    It’s long been tempting to imagine some kind of connection between Earth’s magnetic field and climate, but no mechanism found
    but now, there’s this — hmmmmmm???

  567. Hank Roberts:

    Oh, no surprise I’m not the first to wonder about that particular location, it’s been studied in the past:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=ozone+hole+geomagnetic+anomaly

  568. Hank Roberts:

    Ooookay, it’s a small effect compared to the forcing from burning fossil fuels, but there is possibly at least something interesting there:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682611002896?np=y

    Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
    Volume 74, January 2012, Pages 129–135

    Abstract

    We highlight the existence of an intriguing and to date unreported relationship between the surface area of the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) of the geomagnetic field and the current trend in global sea level rise. These two geophysical variables have been growing coherently during the last three centuries, thus strongly suggesting a causal relationship supported by some statistical tests. The monotonic increase of the SAA surface area since 1600 may have been associated with an increased inflow of radiation energy through the inner Van Allen belt with a consequent warming of the Earth’s atmosphere and finally global sea level rise. An alternative suggestive and original explanation is also offered, in which pressure changes at the core–mantle boundary cause surface deformations and relative sea level variations. Although we cannot establish a clear connection between SAA dynamics and global warming, the strong correlation between the former and global sea level supports the idea that global warming may be at least partly controlled by deep Earth processes triggering geomagnetic phenomena, such as the South Atlantic Anomaly, on a century time scale.

  569. Walter:

    #565 Jim L … re France Nuclear, make that 10 years (?)

    “France achieved the greatest reduction of energy intensity (Fig. 4b) via a shift over about a 10-year period to nuclear power for 80% of its electricity. French carbon intensity stalled at about half of global carbon intensity, because of fossil fuel use in transportation, heating and manufacturing.”

    By Dr James Hansen, page 5 published Feb 2014 … http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf

    Page 9 “Second, the United States and China should agree to cooperate in rapid deployment to scale in China of advanced, safe nuclear power for peaceful purposes, specifically to provide clean electricity replacing aging and planned coal-fired power plants, as well as averting the need for
    extensive planned coal gasification in China, the most carbon-intensive source of electricity.14″

    “Failure of the United States and China to achieve such cooperation would practically guarantee the future predicted by the pessimists who believe that humanity is incapable of exercising intelligent free-will in a situation as complex as global climate change, where rewards for fossil fuel use are immediate and the most undesirable consequences are delayed. Failure of the two largest polluters to cooperate, while there is still time to avert disastrous change, would assure that global warming moves well into the dangerous zone, unleashing domino effects as global climate impacts would make it more difficult for all nations to move to clean energies”

  570. Walter:

    Cyclone ITA, Cat 5, hits NE Australia in 9 hours.
    It’s the same rain depression that just hit Guadalcanal (Solomon Is).
    That flooding rain was a record weather event, rainfall 700mm was double their once in a century planning scenario. Unprecedented iow.

    Haiyan that hit the phillipines last Nov 3013 was also Cat 5. MOst powerful storm ever to make landfall. “The Hong Kong Observatory put the storm’s maximum ten-minute sustained winds at 275 km/h (170 mph)” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon_Haiyan

    Cyclone ITA’s current windspeed max is estimated via radar at 300 K/hr 186 Miles per hour.

    Cyclone Ita is now stronger than Cyclone Yasi, which tore apart Mission Beach and Cardwell in 2011. (Australia’s most powerful cyclone ever.)

    A disaster area has already been declared.
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/disaster-declared-in-cooktown-as-severe-tropical-cyclone-ita-threatens-to-wipe-out-town/story-fnkt21jb-1226880411248

    Cooktown, north of the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park, was last battered by a cyclone in February 1949.

    Only about ~9,000 people in the path. Any homes built before 1985 warned they will not survive this Cyclone.

    Unprecedented, and extremely late in the season — northern cyclones usual end by the end of February – so this is like Gulf States or Florida being hit by a major Hurricane in October.

    What catastrophic climate change? What urgency for global action?

    eta 8-9 hours from now 10am NYC time.

  571. WebHubTelescope:

    Since we are on the topic of geoscience, I tried to capture what I think are periodic perturbations to ENSO in this blog post:
    http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim/

    ENSO is only quasi-periodic yet the underlying mechanism may be periodic. The Chandler Wobble beat frequency of about 6.4 years is the right frequency to set off Mathieu cycles in liquid sloshing.

    Fun stuff.

  572. Killian:

    Killian #118,

    “The fact is, consumption must fall dramatically to 1. get back to <300 ppm and can then 2. rebound a bit to maintain < 300. Those who frame this discussion in terms of maintaining current productive ability are quite simply either ignoring or dismissing facts we cannot afford to dismiss."

    You are 100% correct. Unfortunately, as with my plan in #63 that requires severe fossil demand reduction to achieve its targets, that's not the message even posters on a climate advocacy blog want to hear, much less the general public. The plans that will offer even a chance of avoiding the worst of the climate Apocalypse are not salable because of their hard demand reductions (and ensuing global economic collapse), and the plans that are salable will insure an express ride to the Apocalypse. We know what has to be done; is there any way you see to get this accomplished in the real-world?

    Comment by DIOGENES — 8 Mar 2014 @ 6:46 AM

    First of all, thanks for asking. The Alphabetistas don’t much care for my commentaries and are constantly asking for references. Convenient given I am always pointing to the future, for which there are none, thus I can be safely ignored and ridiculed. My field, permaculture, is not recognized by Alphabetistas, so I have no relevance. Yet, I do have alphabits, B.A. from a Top 10 school in it’s category (Redlands University) and a PDC, permaculture Design Course certificate, probably the single most important bits one can have at this juncture. So, thanks; weird for me to be asked.

    I have just written and deleted a looong response. Let me offer a shorter one: http://www.academia.edu/3778603/Autonomy_An_Idea_Whose_Time_Has_Come

    Skip to page 19. This long essay gets around to saying what I’ve been saying, but never gets to the climate/resource issue. But it does describe the basic invisible structures (social structures) changes we must engage in. I’ve covered all his ground in posts here, so there’s some verbosity. However, he does it in a style the Alphebetistas here can appreciate.

    Pay close attention to the fact that we’ve already seen the types of large-scale invisible structures we need now in our past, and even our future. Paris had a year of egalitarian governance I’d never heard of. Spain had a short period. The Zapatistas are currently showing how an entire region can run on such models. This is what the writer brought to this discussion. Until he ties it more concretely to the physical challenges, it’s so much talk. But do note I do not have to point to only small tribal societies to support my call for such simplification. Modern people have done this on large scales.

    What he basically advocates is what I’ve been saying since 2011. Let’s just start with that and go on from there.

  573. DIOGENES:

    Wili #72,

    “I’m a bit confused by one thing: If Anderson’s plan has a target of the unsafe 2 degrees and is therefore too slow, why is his goal for rate of emissions reduction 10% per year, while Hansen’s is 6-9% per year, iirc. And can we be so sure that reforestation will work? Aren’t climate changes in various regions going to make it very difficult to reestablish forests?”

    Yes, that caught me by surprise at first, as well. There may be two reasons, one minor, one major. The minor reason relates to a complaint I made a few weeks ago. There appears to be no common platform used for climate change amelioration planning. So, Hansen may have one model, Anderson another, McKibben another, etc. The models may incorporate different assumptions; I have no idea, but that could account for some differences.

    The major reason is that Anderson doesn’t assume massive reforestation, while Hansen does. For Hansen’s 6% demand reduction case, he basically assumes 100GtC removal from reforestation over 2030-2080; 9% with 50GtC. Remember, absent geo-engineering, there are basically two ways to reduce emissions/concentration: demand reduction (either cutting back on consumption or replacing high-carbon low-efficiency technologies with low-carbon high efficiency) or carbon removal. So, given how far down the climate change road we have gone already, we have two main choices if we want to devise a plan (based on 1 C target) that will avoid the ultimate catastrophe: make outlandish assumptions about demand reduction, or make outlandish assumptions about carbon removal. I have done the first; Hansen has done the second.

    Why has Hansen taken that approach? There are at least two reasons. First, the physics probably won’t allow us to get where we need to go from demand reduction alone. Look at the extreme; immediate cessation of CO2 emissions. The published results I have seen (which do not include carbon feedbacks, and are therefore optimistic) show interim temperature peaks ranging from 1.2 C to ~2 C, with some larger outliers. Well, 1.2 C is about the maximum that Hansen is comfortable with, and then only for short time periods. So, even with immediate cessation of emissions, the desired temperature ceiling will be exceeded.

    Equally important is the political aspect. Suppose Hansen had recommended demand reductions at the level that I proposed: over 20% per year. Look at the reaction I received on a climate advocacy blog. Can you imagine the reaction Hansen would receive from the general public? So, going past the 10% demand reduction level seems to be the third rail of climate change amelioration proposals. In reality, I suspect that neither 10% nor 20% demand reduction will be salable to the general public. Frankly, I don’t see Hansen’s plan being any more acceptable than my plan, and if you listen to Anderson’s videos carefully and read his papers carefully, he doesn’t come across as believing even his plan for achieving 2 C will be acceptable. I think it’s still theoretically possible to get where we need to go to avoid catastrophe, but I see zero early warning indicators that there is any interest among the general public to do so.

  574. DIOGENES:

    Wili #72,

    In my initial response to you, I stated, in part: “So, given how far down the climate change road we have gone already, we have two main choices if we want to devise a plan (based on 1 C target) that will avoid the ultimate catastrophe: make outlandish assumptions about demand reduction, or make outlandish assumptions about carbon removal. I have done the first; Hansen has done the second.”

    In actuality, I have made both outlandish assumptions, with the radical demand reduction being the primary outlandish assumption. I have taken Hansen’s outlandish carbon removal assumption, and made it even more outlandish by moving the start date forward ~fifteen years. The reason I do this is to add contingencies and risk reduction. There are so many uncertainties in predicting where temperature et al will go that taking the most immediate action on both strict demand reduction and massive reforestation seems the most prudent course.

    I also think another reason Hansen chose to emphasize massive reforestation over demand reduction, especially consumption reduction, is that the former will lead to jobs and profit while the latter may eliminate much of both. Much easier to sell activity than non-activity.

    Finally, the main recommendation I get from Hansen’s Plos One paper is the ~1 C temperature ceiling target. I interpret the 100-50 GtC options and the 6-9% options as two examples of how to achieve the temperature target. If the world leaders came back to Hansen and stated they could only guarantee e.g. 25GtC of reforestation, then they would be greeted with demand reductions in the double digits. Hansen just did not present those regions of parameter space in his paper.

  575. Chris Dudley:

    Walter (#563),

    Gas cooled reactors still need water to generate electricity and water for a heat sink at the cold end.

    The US puts effort into having a nuclear fleet that operates safely and yet it has over a dozen near misses on accidents each year. Last year that appears to have included a tampering incident. http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/mar/08/fewer-nuclear-plant-near-misses-recorded-oversight/

    Cutting corners to reduce construction times may not be the best choice for a political order in a country whose mythology says it is always one disaster away from a political revolution.

    Nuclear power is on the decline in the US because it is not economical compared to natural gas and wind power, even when plants have been fully paid off. It is hard to see how construction of new reactors would be proposed again for the South Texas Project (rejected owing to foreign ownership) with Austin getting solar power at $0.05/kWh. http://cleantechnica.com/2014/03/13/solar-sold-less-5%C2%A2kwh-austin-texas/

    It is difficult to see how new nuclear power can be competitive with solar and wind plus transmission now and with advances in electrification of transportation, low cost storage, which previously would have helped nuclear power, will eliminate the whole baseload concept. I doubt that more than 20% of our present nuclear fleet will be operating a decade from now. This raises issues on funding of decommissioning which are already troubling in Vermont.

    China, in its imitations of the West, obviously makes very poor choices in power sources, as can be seen in its heavy reliance on coal. Perhaps they will be just as obstinate regarding nuclear power. Whereas in Greek mythology, heroes sow the seeds of their own destruction, in China, dynasties do. Nuclear power looks like that kind of seed.

  576. Kevin McKinney:

    #565–”France did it [ie, built a nuclear energy economy] in ~20 years.”

    Yes, France’s story is one of success: energy exports are a source source of national income, domestic electricity is affordable, and there have been no serious accidents.

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/France/

    (That’s the WNO; there are probably more critical profiles out there if you look.)

    It was not cheap:

    France’s nuclear power program cost some FF 400 billion in 1993 currency*, excluding interest during construction. Half of this was self-financed by EdF, 8% (FF 32 billion) was invested by the state but discounted in 1981, and 42% (FF 168 billion) was financed by commercial loans. In 1988 medium and long-term debt amounted to FF 233 billion, or 1.8 times EdF’s sales revenue. However, by the end of 1998 EdF had reduced this to FF 122 billion, about two thirds of sales revenue (FF 185 billion) and less than three times annual cash flow. Net interest charges had dropped to FF 7.7 billion (4.16% of sales) by 1998.

    * 6.56 FF = EUR 1 (Jan 1999)

    In 2006 EdF sales revenue was EUR 58.9 billion and debt had fallen to EUR 14.9 billion – 25% of this.

    But then, any departure from BAU is not going to be, so we shouldn’t be surprised. 58 reactors providing 63 GW or so comprise a sizable chunk of infrastructure.

    However, just how replicable is this on a global scale in 2014? The jury is still out on the Vogtle expansion and its sister project in South Carolina, but it’s expensive–a projected $17 billion at this point. It doesn’t seem likely that this is cheap enough to spark a US ‘nuclear renaissance.’

    The big action is in China, but:

    “China will invest more in nuclear power technological innovations, promote application of advanced technology, improve the equipment level, and attach great importance to personnel training. China’s installed capacity of nuclear power is expected to reach 40 GWe by 2015.” The installed generating capacity of wind power is expected to reach 100 GWe by the end of 2015, and that of solar energy is expected to exceed 21 GWe by then…

    That, too, is from the World Nuclear Organization:

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/China–Nuclear-Power/

    As for the longer term:

    “By around 2040, PWRs are expected to level off at 200 GWe and fast reactors progressively increase from 2020 to at least 200 GWe by 2050 and 1400 GWe by 2100.”

    So, let’s take the 2050 projections: if we assume the projection just quoted comes to pass, that implies ‘at least’ 400 GW of nuclear generation. How does that compare with Chinese capacity?

    Installed generating capacity at the end of 2012 reached 1145 GWe 19% up in two years. Capacity growth is expected to slow, reaching about 1600 GWe in 2020, and 2000 GWe in 2025.

    So, on current form, the world’s most ambitious nuclear program will account for less than 20% of capacity–probably much less, but the mismatch in projection dates obscures the exact number.

    Numbers on the investment involved seem to be few and far between, but reportedly the Shandong project is estimated at $5.1 billion. Those are APR-1000 units, nominally 1250 MW, with two reactors planned. So, for order of magnitude, let’s say China plans to put in 360 GW at roughly $2 billion per GW–that’s $720 billion, optimistically.

    Big, but doable, perhaps. Is it likely to quintuple? Or even double? And we haven’t got into the other constraints yet.

    And that’s for China, where cash is plentiful by developing world standards. What about India (also building new nuclear capacity these days, BTW), Indonesia, Mexico?

    I don’t mean to bash nuclear (and thereby re-ignite a perennial and pointless controversy here.) I’m glad that China is expanding nuclear capacity, because I see it as much less dangerous than coal. And there will, whatever we do or don’t wish, be a role for nuclear in the global energy mix over the next century.

    But I do mean to question what appears to be a facile assumption that nuclear can scale up easy and quickly if only we could muster the political will to do it. Real world experience doesn’t support that assumption very well, as I see it.

  577. Killian:

    573 Wili #72, So, given how far down the climate change road we have gone already, we have two main choices if we want to devise a plan (based on 1 C target) that will avoid the ultimate catastrophe: make outlandish assumptions about demand reduction, or make outlandish assumptions about carbon removal. I have done the first; Hansen has done the second.

    These are not outlandish, they are conservative. The problem here is failure to not listen to we minimum Alphabetistas. When you do not understand how to design systems that reinsert us into natural cycles by designing like nature does, you are stuck with assumptions about what “modern” responses are and only within “modern” types of actions. Hansen, for example, considers reforestation, but only to a point. In fact, we can reforest virtually anywhere. Yes, that will become more difficult as temps rise and GHGs accumulate, but you would be surprised what can be done. but because it hasn’t been studied by Alphebetistas, these options don’t exist.

    Further, Hansen includes “carbon farming”, or rebuilding carbon in our soils i.e. growing soil, but, again, only includes Big Ag acreage when, in fact, sustainable systems will have far more widespread areas of acreage being holistically farmed because the food system must localize and be resilient. That is, we need farms to move to natural farming, but most food will be produced at homes and in neighborhoods. There is as much area in lawns as there is in corn production in the US, for example.

    Basically, my guestimate is we can equal all current emissions, and more, just with natural carbon sequestration. Given this, it is ridiculous to claim we can only equalize and maintain. Wrong. We can actually start reversing CO2 accumulation almost immediately – at least on human time scales. We can easily move the planet to carbon farming in five to ten years. If we then also make the kinds of changes we need to deal with resources sustainably, too, we’re now going backwards by 2 or more ppm/yr.

    Seriously, we could literally be back to sub-300 in 20 years. We won’t be, but we could. 100 years is not just feasible, but would be embarrassingly slow.

    Equally important is the political aspect. Suppose Hansen had recommended demand reductions at the level that I proposed: over 20% per year. Look at the reaction I received on a climate advocacy blog. Can you imagine the reaction Hansen would receive from the general public? So, going past the 10% demand reduction level seems to be the third rail of climate change amelioration proposals. In reality, I suspect that neither 10% nor 20% demand reduction will be salable to the general public.

    Fact is, you point to a burning house, people act. You get on the radio and say Japan has attacked, the country willingly goes to war and sacrifices comfort and convenience to do so. The problem is we are afraid to acknowledge we are at the point that FDR was in Dec. 1941: It’s time to go to war. We need a global war-level footing and attitude. We have to stop accepting the lie that people are only freaked out by hearing extreme truths. They are freaked out when they hear extreme truths *if* they are not also told how to fix the problem.

    We have to tell people the house is on fire and to get the heck out.

  578. wili:

    K at #577 wrote:

    “we can reforest virtually anywhere” Hard to grow the grains and beans needed to feed 7+billion people on a planet where all the land is covered only with forest. In any case, reforestation is really only effective in cooling the planet when done in (certain places) in the tropics. Mid- and high-latitude reforestation will cause albedo shifts that undo the carbon sequestration effect, iirc.

    “my guestimate is we can equal all current emissions, and more, just with natural carbon sequestration. Given this, it is ridiculous to claim we can only equalize and maintain. Wrong.”

    So based on a ‘guestimate’ you feel justified in unequivocally calling a claim ‘rediculous’ and “Wrong”? Hmmm.

    “We have to tell people the house is on fire and to get the heck out.”

    Nicely put, but we also have to tell them to stop throwing every more gas (=ff) on the flame, and certainly to stop doing so at accelerating rates of increase!

    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=66.0;attach=6025;image

  579. MAXMARE:

    #559
    “Given enough puzzle pieces, SOMEONE should be able to put a plan together that, while incomplete, suggests what could be done. How about it? Do some work rather than complain that nobody is standing up astride the world to force everyone to do the right thing?”

    I do have a plan, see the end of my post.

    #555
    “You’re presumably doing all you can personally, and I hope I have been. (Or you’re here to mock those who are trying, but I dowannatalk2u)”

    I haven’t been doing anything different than if there was no CC, but then I live a frugal life. Now that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do as much as is needed when only if everybody else is doing it too so I can do it in the comfort of knowing there is a way out.

    #559
    “Soil conservation, restoration — how much can it help/cost?
    Woody agriculture instead of corn/soy — how much difference?
    My hobbyhorse, bringing the big whales back to fertilize the ocean …
    White roofs — reflecting visible light — when reroofing;
    High-emissive roofs — radiating infrared — when reroofing;
    harvesting krill — good idea?
    algae-based biofuel — how’s that working?
    better electric storage — implications?”

    How much can it help?. if it helps you should do it, I don’t understand your not understanding.
    White roof? are you serious? What about dressing in white, would that help too?

    #577
    “Seriously, we could literally be back to sub-300 in 20 years. We won’t be, but we could. 100 years is not just feasible, but would be embarrassingly slow.
    Fact is, you point to a burning house, people act. You get on the radio and say Japan has attacked, the country willingly goes to war and sacrifices comfort and convenience to do so. The problem is we are afraid to acknowledge we are at the point that FDR was in Dec. 1941: It’s time to go to war. We need a global war-level footing and attitude. We have to stop accepting the lie that people are only freaked out by hearing extreme truths. They are freaked out when they hear extreme truths *if* they are not also told how to fix the problem.
    We have to tell people the house is on fire and to get the heck out.”

    I agree with this. Only trouble is people in the burning house are getting ready to eat breakfast while they watch it burn as they have no other plan.

    Ok, folks here is my plan and you only need one hand,

    i. Stop burning FF.
    ii. Start reusing the maufactured goods you already have. Start growing food in any patch of soil with the help of your community and manufacture what you may need.
    iii. Tell people this is the only solution every time anyone asks you what the possible solution for CC could be after hearing in the news some unusually large number of people have died after being hit by a weather event that cannot be linked with more than 95% confidence to CC.
    iv. Stop telling people nonsense about painting roofs white or that you need your mommy’s permission to tell people the truth without having a citation and a reference to back it up.
    v. If this plan is not enacted by people CC will do.

    Yes, some people will be harmed in the proccess of enacting this or any other plan.

  580. DIOGENES:

    Killian #577,

    “Fact is, you point to a burning house, people act. You get on the radio and say Japan has attacked, the country willingly goes to war and sacrifices comfort and convenience to do so. The problem is we are afraid to acknowledge we are at the point that FDR was in Dec. 1941: It’s time to go to war. We need a global war-level footing and attitude.”

    Here’s the problem as I see it. We need true sustainability to avoid the impending catastrophe. What is sustainability? It starts with living in a climate suitable to our nature/structure. The polar bear lives in polar regions, not in the tropics, because it is built/structured for cold weather. Similar for species that live in the tropics. We believe it’s our right to live in any type of climate, and generate all the myriad types of structures and heating/cooling systems required to keep us alive in those inherently inhospitable climates.

    Sustainability requires obtaining resources locally, depositing wastes locally, and recycling as much of the waste as possible. It also means using the minimal resources required for survival. That’s how every other species lives, but us. However, survival is the starting point for how we use resources. Wasting resources for non-survival purposes seems to be the global pastime. And, the waste of resources goes well beyond energy resources.

    The above mode of living necessary to avoid catastrophe bears no relation to how we live now (essentially, the polar opposite of the above), or how we want to live. Look at the major climate advocacy blogs: RC and CP. The main discussions revolve around how to keep doing what we’re doing but using low-carbon and higher efficiency technologies. Low carbon energy sources are a necessary condition of sustainability, but do not even begin to approach a sufficient condition. Unfortunately, if one reads through the posts on these blogs, transitioning to low carbon is the be all and end all of what we need.

    Because of the above, the message of yours I quoted has no audience, perceptive and accurate though it may be. Show me one group who wants to hear the message that we need to change course radically, and take great strides toward sustainability. The general public? In recent posts, I quoted recent Gallup and Australian polls showing that public support/concern for climate change amelioration had peaked around 2007, and had dropped a significant amount since then. 2007, when we had a significant melting of the polar ice cap, and one would have thought public concern would increase. But, we don’t need polls to tell us public support/concern/interest is withering. People we meet, TV programs, Presidential debates, etc, reflect the withering interest.

    Do the people who post on RC and CP want to hear that message? Read their comments: switch to low carbon ASAP; that will solve all our problems. No mention of sustainability. Yes, it will solve the financial problems of the low carbon technology investors, creating some of the greatest Windfalls the world has ever known. It will do little to avoid the impending disaster.

  581. Pete Best:

    I would suggest that we need to question humans motives on every level about ACC as there are lots of methods of reducing fossil fuels impact on the earth systems but presently there are few ways to combat it.

    The first motive is LIFE STYLE: if the first world (annex 1) countries expect to continue as we presently are in our life styles then transforming our energy systems to a renewable infrastructure will be difficult. There are many options to consider but unless everyone knows and cares about reducing emissions (which they don’t universally that is) then its going to be a real mess. There are so many examples of humans travelling for recreation and on business which might not be necessary but who is going to tell them in the libertarian world of the USA and others that they should reconsider what they are doing.

    EFFICIENCY: making everything more efficient and using equipment more efficiently can amass large scale energy cuts. Everything can be impacted here.

    (THREAT) ENERGY COMPANIES that provide only one kind of energy might not be around for long and hence will fight and have done successfully for 40 years to obfuscate the evidence and actually increase their market share. Getting all of these companies to come on board and still remain profitable is a massive issue. Politics, economics and vested interests will always hold sway in some very libertarian motivated countries and hence this is a big issue to overcome

    The global Energy system is about 14 TW in size presently and its not going to shrink either. increases of 50% by 2030 are slated to occur. Its a massive job

  582. DIOGENES:

    Killian #577,

    “They are freaked out when they hear extreme truths *if* they are not also told how to fix the problem.”

    I will guarantee you they will be ‘freaked out’ when they hear what the required ‘fix’ to the problem is. You’re making the assumption that the desire for survival and longevity trumps all. Back in the mid-50s, there used to be the adage: Better Dead than Red! Narrowly, it meant that it was better to be dead than live under Communism. More broadly, it reflected a truism that many people place more importance on other values than life itself. Today, we see many people pursuing very risky behaviors that impact longevity adversely because they get various vicarious pleasures from doing so.

    The population at large understands what will be required to halt in some way the inexorable advance of climate change. As Gail put it in one of my posts: “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.” Only on the climate advocacy blogs can such nonsense as ‘prosperity’ accompanying real climate change amelioration be propounded and posted and, worse yet, accepted by the ideologues. My guess is that the majority of the world’s population have no interest in surrendering all the ‘benefits’ of modern technology and resource exploitation for extended survival. This is confirmed by the continued climate-destroying actions of any group category we can identify. Even the polls, which require zero commitment of action, can’t get the non-binding statements of support from the pollees!

    That’s the difference between climate change action and Pearl Harbor or the house on fire. Pearl Harbor or the house on fire offered the threat of taking away what we have, and for that people were willing to fight and take other actions. Real climate change action requires VOLUNTARILY GIVING UP WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE, just the opposite of Pearl Harbor or the house on fire, and that’s the last thing we the people want to do!

  583. Jim Larsen:

    Speaking of toys, once one considers servers and towers, a single iPhone uses as much electricity as a refrigerator.

    [Response: Cite? Don't actually believe this. - gavin]

    [Response: Nor do I. - mike]

  584. wili:

    “Pearl Harbor or the house on fire offered the threat of taking away what we have, and for that people were willing to fight and take other actions. Real climate change action requires VOLUNTARILY GIVING UP WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE, just the opposite of Pearl Harbor or the house on fire, and that’s the last thing we the people want to do!”

    Yes and no.

    In a house fire, if you get out and the house burns down, you are still losing everything (except your life).

    I think the real difference here was immediacy and visibility of the threat. The idea that swarms of kamakaze fighters were about to fly into your town and blow up everything, or the threat that the wall of fire is about to consume your are threats you can vividly see/imagine and can see how they may hurt you in the very short term. They are the kind of threats we are basically hard wired to respond to with alarm, at least.

    Threats that don’t have a face or an immediate, threatening image are easily dismissed as constructs, abstractions, or at worst, tragedies that happen to other people but can “never happen to me.”

    What we need now, more than just additional facts and more accurate models, is teams of artists and marketers that know how to attach compelling imagery with motivational messaging–a world wide organization of such, really. As Kim pointed out, we have been far out-organized (and, not unrelated, out spent) by the other side. You can’t overcome a well organized global dis-information campaign without an at least equally organized, at least as global truth campaign: truth even more compellingly told than the perpetrators of the lies. 350 was trying to do some of that. But there is much more to be done.

  585. DIOGENES:

    Wili #584,

    “What we need now, more than just additional facts and more accurate models, is teams of artists and marketers that know how to attach compelling imagery with motivational messaging–a world wide organization of such, really”

    Marketers are most successful when there is either a major demand for the product, or they tell people exactly what they want to hear. That’s why the Farmma boys are so successful. Take this one little pil*, and you can go on doing what you’ve been doing, without having to change your erroneous habits one bit. That’s why the climate deniers are so successful. They know the public wants to keep living the profligate energy lifestyle, and their message resonates with that desire. That’s the tack the marketers on the climate advocacy blogs take. Take this one little pil* (aka renewables), and you can continue on your profligate use of energy and other resources, without having to endure the real hardships that climate change amelioration requires. Why, you can even have ‘prosperity’ and full employment, to boot.

    No, what we need is to get the hard truth to the public. Tell them the Huns are at the Gates, and real sacrifice is required if we are to have any hope of success in avoiding the impending catastrophe. It’s time for the climate advocacy blogs to stand up and be counted. Stop promulgating this unpaid advertising under the rubric of balance and fairness! It confuses the public about what is really required, and delays the hard actions that we need to begin immediately.

  586. Mal Adapted:

    Anybody know what’s up with SkepticalScience.com? As of right now, neither my home nor my work computers are able to resolve the address. Sounds suspicious 8^(!

  587. flxible:

    re 583 iPhone power use: The origin of the statement. – and study debunked.

  588. Jim Larsen:

    583 Sorry, I read it recently but have no cite. I’ll retract the claim. If I find it again, I’ll post it.

  589. Jim Larsen:

    http://news.msn.com/rumors/rumor-an-iphone-uses-more-power-than-a-refrigerator

    It looks like a denialist professor Mills is being used by the Clean Coal Energy foundation, inflating the energy use of an iPhone to scare people into supporting coal.

  590. dhogaza:

    #583: Gavin, Mike, that’s based on a coal-industry shill’s analysis meant to prove that we need more coal-generated electricity. The same person once supposedly “proved” that the same was true for a PC.

    Widely debunked, here’s a piece at Joe Romm’s place:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/25/2518361/iphone-electricity-refrigerator/

  591. Walter:

    Dr Craig Cormick from the CSIRO Education Outreach program takes a deeper look at what drives attitudes and the values chasm between the science fans and the non-science fans. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/what-do-people-really2c-really-think-about-science-and-technol/5346568

  592. Walter:

    Typo correction sorry,

    US $22 TRILLION alone (GAO office data).

  593. Walter:

    Years of Living Dangerously Season 1:
    Bonus Footage – The Crossroads of Climate and Faith
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY1HweENTeU
    5 minutes communicating

  594. DIOGENES:

    Killian,

    Here’s part of the problem, and it comes from our team: the climate advocacy blogs.

    The following article appeared in today’s CP.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/13/3426117/climate-panel-avoiding-catastrophe-cheap/
    “Now you might think it would be a no-brainer that humanity would be willing to pay a very high cost to avoid such catastrophes and achieve the low emission “2°C” (3.6°F) pathway in the left figure above (RCP2.6 — which is a total greenhouse gas level in 2100 equivalent to roughly 450 parts per million of CO2). But the third report finds that the “cost” of doing so is to reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06%.

    You read that right, the annual growth loss to preserve a livable climate is 0.06% — and that’s “relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6% and 3% per year.” So we’re talking annual growth of, say 2.24% rather than 2.30% to save billions and billions of people from needless suffering for decades if not centuries. As always, every word of the report was signed off on by every major government in the world.”

    At first glance, it appears that we can effectively retain our present modus operandi and save the biosphere at the same time, sort of like the ‘prosperity’ fiction we hear on RC many times. But, then, we look at the targets desired: 450ppm, 2 C (the figure in the article calls for ” stabilization at a level “likely” to stay below 2°C (3.6°F).”, which I interpret to mean some non-negligible chance of exceeding 2 C. Well, Hansen calls 2 C dangerous, Anderson calls 2 C the entre to the Extremely Dangerous regime, as do many other leading climate scientists. You have suggested desirable targets near 300ppm, and I have reluctantly accepted Hansen’s target of ~1 C, which correlates with about 350ppm (the target by 2100 given in his paper). So, what is the cause for jubilation over the IPCC findings expressed in the CP article, other than a Windfall for the renewables investors? Designing for catastrophe does not seem to me to be an appropriate objective!

    But, as I have stated before, there are code words that are the giveaway. When we see ‘prosperity’ on RC posts associated with climate change amelioration, we can just feel the hand reaching deep into our wallets and removing the contents. Likewise, when we see the magic words “every word of the report was signed off on by every major government in the world”, which includes such well-known fossil energy opponents as Australia, Canada, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and even the US-all/of/the/above-A et al, we can rest assured that the proposed actions will do nothing to decelerate the impending climate catastrophe.

    So, tell me, Coach, how do we tell the global citizenry their house is on fire, and we need to get the ppms down to ~300-or else?

  595. Hank Roberts:

    A Marxist Joke

    Chico: Hey, I heard there’s a million dollars in the house next door.
    Groucho: But, there is no house next door!
    Chico: No? Well, let’s go build one then!

  596. Chris Dudley:

    Killian (#957),

    You are quite mistaken about prosperity being a fiction when renewables are adopted. While The Oil Drum folks get quite a lot backwards, they are not incorrect when looking at how energy returned divided energy invested affects economic prospects. Already this ratio is high for thin film solar panels (about 30) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032112006478 and is anticipated to climb as improved silicon refining methods reduce energy inputs for conventional panels. In the case of silicon, this ratio could end up in the hundreds as reannealing cosmic ray damage gives extended life to this technology. It is pretty much all upside from here on out, modulo the cost of climate damage should we delay.

  597. JimD:

    I have been reading the Open Threads going back to the beginning of the year the last few days. I want to complement the moderators for allowing more in depth discussions than used to be the case when I came by this blog in previous years. There is a lot more value here than there used to be in my opinion. In light of that I plan on contributing some here off and on. I have not yet read ALL of the open thread comments since 1 Jan – though I intend too – so if this has already been covered then I apologize.

    EROEI of renewables.

    SecularAnimist has stated a number of times, and provided links to studies, that the EROEI of PV’s is comparable to that of fossil fuels. As someone who has been involved in EROEI discussions for many years and read many articles on such I have a very strong skepticism of such work and claims. They just do not make sense in light of all the other work on EROEI which has been done over the years. As many will note such calculations are difficult to execute and what is counted is extremely critical. Like economics one can make the numbers come out in any way you want just by adjusting the factors being considered in the calculation. Some EROEI calculations are rigorous and some are not. Strong advocates for a technology tend to not do very rigorous analysis.

    In light of what I have stated above I want to point to the work on the EROEI of Spain’s solar power industry by Prieto and Hall. They are publishing an entire book on their study.

    “Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution. The Energy Return on Investment”, by Pedro Prieto and Charles A.S. Hall. 2013.

    If one has followed the field for some time Charles Hall is noted as one of the world’s best experts on calculating EROEI and, as such, his findings should be seriously considered.

    This study is the FIRST comprehensive EROEI study done on a large scale set of installations using actual operating data. This is not theoretical EROEI numbers but ‘actual’ numbers.

    “This is the first time an estimate of Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROI) of solar Photovoltaics (PV) has been based on real data from the sunniest European country, with accurate measures of generated energy from over 50,000 installations using several years of real-life data from optimized, efficient, multi-megawatt and well oriented facilities.

    Other life cycle and energy payback time analyses used models that left out dozens of energy inputs, leading to overestimates of energy such as payback time of 1-2 years (Fthenakis), EROI 8.3 (Bankier), and EROI of 5.9 to 11.8 (Raugei et al).”

    Note the mention of the works quoted by SecularAnimist.

    This is what Hall and Prieto found using actual cradle to grave real world data.

    “Prieto and Hall added dozens of energy inputs missing from past solar PV analyses. Perhaps previous studies missed these inputs because their authors weren’t overseeing several large photovoltaic projects and signing every purchase order like author Pedro Prieto. Charles A. S. Hall is one of the foremost experts in the world on the calculation of EROI. Together they’re a formidable team with data, methodology, and expertise that will be hard to refute.

    Prieto and Hall conclude that the EROI of solar photovoltaic is only 2.45, very low despite Spain’s ideal sunny climate. Germany’s EROI is probably 20 to 33% less (1.6 to 2), due to less sunlight and efficient rooftop installations.”

    Thus a cradle to grave full spectrum analysis of the EROEI of several years worth of actual data from Spain’s PV plants yields an EREOI number of 2.45. And Germany’s is estimated at 1.6 to 2.0.

    So my point is let us not be too complacent about what renewables can achieve until we know a lot more. Theoretical claims are normally found to be such and the real world numbers are almost always a lot less than theory indicates might be possible. We cannot maintain industrial civilization on EROEI numbers like those actually calculated.

    http://energyskeptic.com/2013/tilting-at-windmills-spains-solar-pv/

  598. Chris Dudley:

    JimD (#597),

    Your link in an interesting read. Some large energy items that would not normally be included are

    GWh/year Factors

    138.6 Security and surveillance

    178 Electrical network / power line restructuring

    198 Associated energy costs to injection of intermittent loads; network stabilization associated costs (combined cycles)

    148.4 Premature phase out of unamortized manufacturing and other equipment

    To me, that seems like a double counting that exceeds the energy input for the equipment itself.

    A few items that seem a little hard to count in energy are:

    19.9 Insurance

    26.4 Fairs, exhibitions, promotions, conferences

    34.3 Administrative expenses

    14 Municipal taxes etc (2-4% of total project)

    8.7 Land cost (to rent or own)

    16 Indirect labor (consultants, notary publics, civil servants, legal costs, etc)

    6 Market or Agent representative

    11.9 Equipment theft and vandalism

    12.2 Contribution to Skynet to build terminators

    No, that last one is a joke, but as has been pointed out from time to time, carrying EROEI calculations deep into society ends up with an EROEI of 1 for anything you examine. If equipment is stolen and used to produce energy, obviously energy is being returned. So, there seem to be some problems with the counting method here. Certainly fossil fuels have a bigger impact on transmission costs owing to centralization, so that ought to be counted as an energy gain. Similarly, if insurance is to be counted as energy, then the reduced insurance rates owing to reduced health impacts from fossil fuel burning should be counted as well.

    I think the numerical value arrived at in this study can’t really teach us much about the energy advantages of renewables.

    In the review you linked there was no mention on how weather played into power production. If you have read the book, I’d be interested in knowing what was done there.

  599. GlenFergus:

    Jim, the EROEI concept is fundamentally flawed. Most implementations assume that all forms of energy are of equal utility, which is absurd. On the thermodynamic level that is obviously wrong; so wrong that one wonders whether proponents know any physics at all. Did they just get the “can’t be created or destroyed” bit and miss all the rest? On a more practical level, EROEIs typically assumes that, say, transport fuels have the same value as thermal fuels. Junk science and junk economics.

  600. Killian:

    K at #577 wrote: “we can reforest virtually anywhere” Hard to grow the grains and beans needed to feed 7+billion people on a planet where all the land is covered only with forest.

    Huh?

    In any case, reforestation is really only effective in cooling the planet when done in (certain places) in the tropics. Mid- and high-latitude reforestation will cause albedo shifts that undo the carbon sequestration effect, iirc.

    1. Not just about temps. 2. As a person who designs sustainable systems, why would I want to go about helping people design systems that make things worse? 3. Ask me before assuming.

    “my guestimate is we can equal all current emissions, and more, just with natural carbon sequestration. Given this, it is ridiculous to claim we can only equalize and maintain. Wrong.”

    So based on a ‘guestimate’ you feel justified in unequivocally calling a claim ‘rediculous’ and “Wrong”? Hmmm.

    Why are you being a pain? Not usually your style. Every scientific forward-looking estimate or scenario is a guestimate, so, yes, I do, because I’ve looked at this issue for years and only call it a guestimate only because I don’t have the exact carbon sequestration numbers for trees, etc., across different areas, or even trees in general. Also, reforestation means forests, not trees, so there is other stuff there. And, concurrent with all this will be widespread population shifts and changes in land use. The numbers are much, and even a guestimate will logically prove this logically. In the long run, virtually every home and/or community will be sequestering carbon if we build a sustainable future.

    “We have to tell people the house is on fire and to get the heck out.” Nicely put, but we also have to tell them to stop throwing every more gas (=ff) on the flame, and certainly to stop doing so at accelerating rates of increase!

    Obviously part of telling them to get out of the burning house.

    Comment by wili — 11 Apr 2014 @ 4:29 PM

  601. Killian:

    DIOGENES said Killian #577,

    “Fact is, you point to a burning house, people act. You get on the radio and say Japan has attacked, the country willingly goes to war and sacrifices comfort and convenience to do so. The problem is we are afraid to acknowledge we are at the point that FDR was in Dec. 1941: It’s time to go to war. We need a global war-level footing and attitude.”

    Here’s the problem as I see it. We need true sustainability to avoid the impending catastrophe. What is sustainability? It starts with living in a climate suitable to our nature/structure. The polar bear lives in polar regions, not in the tropics, because it is built/structured for cold weather. Similar for species that live in the tropics. We believe it’s our right to live in any type of climate, and generate all the myriad types of structures and heating/cooling systems required to keep us alive in those inherently inhospitable climates.

    We cannot define sustainability as living where natural for humans. There is no such place. Every place requires some effort to obtain food, water and manage body temps. What matters is that the input/output loops are closed. That’s probably the best way to define sustainability: Living so that the input/output loops are closed. That said, it is possible to have regenerative systems in the sense that our intelligence allows us to note what nature does, then help it do it a little better, thus getting more out than nature would of its own accord. That is what permaculturists actually design for.

    Sustainability requires obtaining resources locally, depositing wastes locally, and recycling as much of the waste as possible.

    Closing those loops is actually necessary to claim sustainability, so all outputs must be inputs somewhere else. This is why a simple thought experiment is all one needs to understand many of these issues.Nuclear? What do you do with the waste? Where are the resources to build entirely new fleets of nuclear, globally, every half century? Nuclear is not a solution, and it does not require a single minute of discussion about dangers, economics, ideology or what have you. It fails on resource use and unsustainable outputs. Discussing anything else is a waste of time. (Not starting a debate, so nobody answer on this… it’s about issues of sustainable design only.) There will be some very long loops, however.

    It also means using the minimal resources required for survival.

    I prefer “to meet needs,” but yes. Bearing in mind the ability to create abundance however, within limits of sustainability… which would be “excess” or “waste” if beyond those limits.

    The above mode of living necessary to avoid catastrophe bears no relation to how we live now (essentially, the polar opposite of the above), or how we want to live. Look at the major climate advocacy blogs: RC and CP. The main discussions revolve around how to keep doing what we’re doing but using low-carbon and higher efficiency technologies. Low carbon energy sources are a necessary condition of sustainability, but do not even begin to approach a sufficient condition. Unfortunately, if one reads through the posts on these blogs, transitioning to low carbon is the be all and end all of what we need.

    Yes. I type, “Efficiency does not = sustaianbility” a lot. I try to remind people their one area of concern is not enough to create sustainable solutions so they need to study resource depletion (all of them, not just fuels and energy), climate, sustainable governance, and the nature of collapse. They ignore me, yet, it is because I have studied all this and more that I can make some of the predictions and scenarios I do.

    Because of the above, the message of yours I quoted has no audience, perceptive and accurate though it may be.

    It’s a statement that creates it’s own audience, just as FDR did. Compared to even two years ago, there is massively more awareness than there was on every part of the collapse problem. Think of post-2007 as the period of wobbles before the bifurcation and the bifurcation now being in progress.

    Show me one group who wants to hear the message that we need to change course radically, and take great strides toward sustainability.

    Nobody wants to. I don’t want to. The only reason one would willingly do this outside of a collapse scenario is to improve happiness quotients, but that is a real esoteric sell. I come back to it over and over and over and over: Speaking in a PC style about all this was and is a waste of time. What changed people’s minds significantly? First, An Inconvenient Truth, then the denial machaine, then a hurricane in NY then three eyars of freaky weather all over the globe.

    Did talk? Nope. Did polite rebuttals of disgusting, slanderous, defaming lies? Nope. Real stuff did.

    So let’s get real.

    Do the people who post on RC and CP want to hear that message? Read their comments: switch to low carbon ASAP; that will solve all our problems. No mention of sustainability. Yes, it will solve the financial problems of the low carbon technology investors, creating some of the greatest Windfalls the world has ever known. It will do little to avoid the impending disaster.

    :-)

    Yes! We have had the renewables are sustainable debate. They’re not. Not even a little. They are more efficient and less impacting, but nowhere near sustainable. But since they are allowed to say “renewable” when they should be saying more efficient or less impacting, it’s a Big Lie being quite successful. If it can’t be done from now till the sun gobbles the planet, it’s not sustainable, it’s just slightly less suicidal.

    It is the very thing itself that is the message: Collapse is here. We are well into a series of bifurcations that will end with some degree of damage to our planet and ourselves if we don’t change very quickly. BUT, we can return to the level of weather and climate that allowed us to create what we have. We CAN live quite comfortably, but it will be much simpler. You will likely be very content… eventually. At least, future generations will. We can *probably* keep communications and medical technologies going well enough to keep things interesting. But mostly, we need to simplify. The good news is, societies and cultures that live this way are happier, healthier than we are and have a lot more fun… even when working. And a lot more free time.

    With IPCC V finally telling it like it is just enough that people are recognizing that is what it is doing, we may have our final tipping point to change. One indication is, I used to be the only person I knew who speaks like I do. Now,I’m bumping into a few people, like yourself, who really see the whole picture. That must mean something.

    Good news? I believe I read somewhere quit recently that the US now gets 10% of its energy from wind, water, sun. That’s the level of consumption we have to get down to, so… yay! People think we need all this energy for the transition. Nope. We have all the energy we need, and far more, because we don’t need to create new systems, we need to simply stop using what we have. Simplification is…. simple.

  602. Killian:

    Killian #577,

    “They are freaked out when they hear extreme truths *if* they are not also told how to fix the problem.”

    I will guarantee you they will be ‘freaked out’ when they hear what the required ‘fix’ to the problem is.

    Yup. Among this learned group, “I’d rather we all die than live that way!” is not uncommon. But remember, the freakout is largely due to people not understanding what life in that solution would actually be like… at least, once stabilized.

    You’re making the assumption that the desire for survival and longevity trumps all.

    Huh? Why would you assume that? I’m assuming nothing. However, throughout history we have examples of peoples rising tothe occasion. I’ve never said it is likely we will respond. In fact, the opposite. And I have posted here many times over the years about discounting the future, etc. Don’t be confused about simplicity vs. likelihood.

    Back in the mid-50s, there used to be the adage: Better Dead than Red! Narrowly, it meant that it was better to be dead than live under Communism. More broadly, it reflected a truism that many people place more importance on other values than life itself.

    1. That’s an ideological approach to an issue. I’ve stated many, many, many times you cannot, literally cannot, get to sustainability via ideology. 2. Precisely why I advocate a design principles-based approach to informing, educating and doing.

    bThe population at large understands what will be required to halt in some way the inexorable advance of climate change.

    No, they really don’t. The “greens” don’t. The scientists don’t. Hansen advocates natural sequestration, then falls far short with his analysis, and talks not at all about lifestyle changes, etc. Some people just can’t conceive of a massive correction to the system, though they see them all the time in the form of famine, market crashes, etc., and there is a long history of societies crashing.

    My guess is that the majority of the world’s population have no interest in surrendering all the ‘benefits’ of modern technology and resource exploitation for extended survival. This is confirmed by the continued climate-destroying actions of any group category we can identify. Even the polls, which require zero commitment of action, can’t get the non-binding statements of support from the pollees!

    That’s the difference between climate change action and Pearl Harbor or the house on fire. Pearl Harbor or the house on fire offered the threat of taking away what we have, and for that people were willing to fight and take other actions. Real climate change action requires VOLUNTARILY GIVING UP WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE, just the opposite of Pearl Harbor or the house on fire, and that’s the last thing we the people want to do!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 12 Apr 2014 @ 8:30 AM

    I think you’re letting go of the facts: Simplify or face the possibility of extinction or near extinction. That’s hardly voluntary. You are correct: they are being misled. On the one hand by the deniers, who should be taken to courts as Micheal Mann is demonstrating, and on the other by the technocopian folk who have so much faith in tech and progress and have probably never read Tainter or Diamond.

    Still, we have to try to wake them up. I said in 2007 and say to day: Say it hard, give ‘em solutions. Seems even the IPCC finally is getting that.

    Kraken? Let’s build that bridge!

  603. Killian:

    So, tell me, Coach, how do we tell the global citizenry their house is on fire, and we need to get the ppms down to ~300-or else?

    Comment by DIOGENES — 13 Apr 2014 @ 9:31 AM

    A: There’s a Kraken! Let’s build a bridge!

    B: But, how?

    C: Err… the bamboo!

    B: Who knows how?

    A: I’ve built small ones in my garden, “D” is an engineer, and the internet still works. YouTube!

    A-Z: But how will we live?

    A: How will you live in the belly of a kraken?

    A-Z: Good point.

  604. Killian:

    Killian (#957),

    You are quite mistaken about prosperity being a fiction when renewables are adopted. While The Oil Drum folks get quite a lot backwards, they are not incorrect when looking at how energy returned divided energy invested affects economic prospects. Already this ratio is high for thin film solar panels (about 30) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032112006478 and is anticipated to climb as improved silicon refining methods reduce energy inputs for conventional panels. In the case of silicon, this ratio could end up in the hundreds as reannealing cosmic ray damage gives extended life to this technology. It is pretty much all upside from here on out, modulo the cost of climate damage should we delay.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 13 Apr 2014 @ 1:44 PM

    Dear Mr. Dudley, please explore the difference between efficiency and sustainability. Also, neo-economics is a fiction and has no part in discussing sustainability except in the transition phase, and even then only if we are rather stupid. EROEI, yes. EROI, no. Did I mention prosperity? Not on this thread, so what are you on about? However, since you raised the issue, “economic prosperity” is a misnomer. There is no such thing. As we have seen, the true cost accounting of “wealth” leads to the conclusion it is really just sui-genocide. However, regenerative prosperity, or having a comfortable home, warm/cool clothes, plenty of food and good people to share it all with? That’s so very doable.

  605. Chris Dudley:

    Kilian (#607),

    Sorry, I badly mangled the post number I was responding to. It was #594, not #957. Here is where you trivialize prosperity:

    “At first glance, it appears that we can effectively retain our present modus operandi and save the biosphere at the same time, sort of like the ‘prosperity’ fiction we hear on RC many times.”

    Regarding efficiency: that is concept that can be pretty effectively quantified and measured. For example, nuclear power plants use their fuel inefficiently with the consequence that their thermal pollution can be overwhelming to river ecosystems. Natural gas power plants use their fuel efficiently and can be dry cooled.

    Regarding sustainability: that is a useful normative concept which, as Bill McDonough points out, should not be considered a goal since that would be dehumanizing. The sustainability concept is most useful in the negative: Attempting to run a marathon at a sprint pace is unsustainable for example. It does not imply anything wrong with sprinting, it just shows a limit to how much can be done in a particular context. McDonough points to fecundity as a useful tonic to too much engrossment in sustainability thinking.

  606. Killian:

    Regarding sustainability: that is a useful normative concept which, as Bill McDonough points out, should not be considered a goal since that would be dehumanizing.

    Staying alive should not be a goal. Got it. Dying is *not* dehumanizing. Got it. Near-extinction or extinction are *not* to be avoided. Got it. Choosing collapse is a *worthy* goal. Choosing extinction, near-extinction is a laudable plan. Staying alive is for sissies. Got it.

    Whomever Bill is, he would do well to stop speaking publicly.

  607. JimD:

    Glen at 599

    Let’s be serious. You can’t actually believe what you wrote.

    Chris at 598

    Interesting points. Some I might question and others I think should be. But Hall is the expert and one needs to find out why he thinks they should be counted. No, I have not yet read the book but I do intend to at some point.

    But part of the point of looking into Hall’s numbers is that he is known for doing a very through job of it. I have followed his work for some years and I am not aware of any bias of his towards any industry. Rather than say he has included a lot of stuff that others do not normally include, and indicate by that statement that he has done the calculation wrong, it might be better to ask why the others did not include everything they could think of. This is the effect of the real world over theory. You can decide to include, or not, anything you want, and justify it anyway you want, when you are talking theory. But that is not possible in the real world as everything counts and you do not have the option of just deciding to ignore something that you don’t like. One has to deal with reality. Thus the common theme between theory and the real world where actual results never quite match up to what we might think they are going to because it is so difficult to figure everything out ahead of time.

    It will be interesting to see whether other experts on such calculations can poke any real holes in Hall’s work. Probably a few. But it is also unlikely that there will be large ones. And then let’s see where some other real world data lands when it is calculated in the same rigorous manner.

    There is no free lunch as they say and we need to keep that in mind when very high numbers are tossed around. Someone is normally selling something when that happens. We see the same type of very high EROEI numbers when the ardent advocates of nuclear power get going.

  608. sidd:

    I have made some contour maps of NE Greenland surface and bedrock from the Bamber(2013) data. They are at

    http://membrane.com/sidd/greenland-2013/convel.html

    together with a comparison to the Rignot(2012) velocity map.

    It is very interesting , how the concavities in the contours map to the ice velocity. I may do a regression at some point. Another interesting thing is the bedrock trough leading north, which does not seem to be reflected in the surface data.

    For an overview based on the Bamber data

    http://membrane.com/sidd/greenland-2013/

    sidd

  609. Chris Dudley:

    Killian (#606),

    Yes, I recall that you are unfamiliar with the most important literature in your area of expertise. http://www.mcdonough.com/speaking-writing/cradle-to-cradle/#.U00_JR6An0o

  610. Chris Dudley:

    Jim #907),

    I wonder if a “build-a-better-mousetrap” fence would be useful. If transmission has been built to a power plant, isn’t that the world beating a path to its door, not energy invested in producing power? It turns out that utility scale renewables plus transmission are the lowest cost way forward for the US. http://www.rmi.org/reinventingfire and it does take “extra” transmission to bring that about. But the Pacific Intertie is over 40 year old and isn’t going anywhere. Surely the amount of energy it has carried and will carry makes its energy investment round off error.

  611. DIOGENES:

    Walter,

    You might want to raise your fossil fuel use projections for decades from now. From today’s CP:

    “In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Japan shut down a good deal of its nuclear reactors — and it looks like coal may be replacing them.

    Before the 2011 accident, in which a tidal wave caused three of the six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to go into meltdown, Japan only got 62 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels. Nuclear power made up the vast majority of the rest.

    Since then, environmentalists’ hopes that the Japanese government would use the incident as an opportunity to move to renewables have not panned out. According to Bloomberg, coal and liquified natural gas rose in fiscal year 2012 to make up 90 percent of Japan’s electricity generation. And on April 11, the Japanese cabinet approved a new energy plan that designates coal as an important long-term energy source, giving it the same prominence as nuclear in Japan’s energy strategy. The new plan sets no specific goals for electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.”

  612. DIOGENES:

    Killian #601,

    “Because of the above, the message of yours I quoted has no audience, perceptive and accurate though it may be.

    It’s a statement that creates its own audience, just as FDR did. Compared to even two years ago, there is massively more awareness than there was on every part of the collapse problem. Think of post-2007 as the period of wobbles before the bifurcation and the bifurcation now being in progress.”

    Well, if we have massively more awareness, how do you explain the two polls I addressed in #223, 233? I concluded:

    “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.”

    Or, maybe you don’t see an inconsistency. Maybe you believe we can decouple ‘awareness’ from ‘concern’ or ‘action’ or ‘activism’. If so, what’s the point of increased climate change awareness if it doesn’t link strongly to activism at some level, given where we are on the road to biosphere oblivion? Here’s the truth, Killian. Very few people across this planet care sufficiently about climate change to take or support any meaningful action today. By the time that climate change has progressed sufficiently to make them sit up and take notice, it will be far to late for meaningful action to stop the onrushing train.

  613. JimD:

    Chris

    I am not familiar with the Pacific Intertie so I can’t comment on where to assign the energy invested in its construction.

    Transmission issues are huge today. Not just for the proposed buildout of renewables, which would require many new lines and a much smarter grid, but also just because the grid is old and badly needs upgrading regardless of what energy path we pursue. The grid does not last forever and upgrades and maintenance costs are part of what we invest in them and have to count in any EROEI calculation. Once a part of the grid is moving renewably generated power then part of the costs for it must be assigned appropriately. It obviously gets to be a headache.

    Your statement…”If transmission has been built to a power plant, isn’t that the world beating a path to its door, not energy invested in producing power?” conflates two things which are different. Neither is unimportant and neither stands alone as the real world is all factors interacting with each other.

    Without a doubt the energy invested in all the aspects of building a transmission system must be assigned in the EROEI calculations as part of the costs of obtaining the power produced. The other part of your statement falls into the realm of economics and refers to Demand for the service (power in this case).

    So one ends up with one factor driven by data which provides a window to evaluate the process scientifically and another factor which helps from a social needs based perspective. There are of course many other factors involved in any real world decision that we are ignoring right now.

    I would caution about using one’s gut reaction (common sense) to assume the energy investment on something is just round off error. A close examination will many times come up with the opposite answer. I would note that if we let the fossil and nuclear power industries not count their externalized costs they come up with much higher EROEI’s than is realistic. The impact of burning coal and slowly killing a lot of people and animals, not to mention destroying our climate, is a real cost of producing that power. It is normally not counted in many EROEI calculations. But it is a real cost. Decommissioning nuclear power plants, cleaning up nuclear accidents and maintaining spent nuclear fuel are also real costs and should be counted in the EROEI calculations for nuclear power. This lowers their numbers dramatically.

    We clearly cannot continue BAU. Well we can and probably will – but we shouldn’t. The main point of what I was digging at in my original post is that we have almost certainly taken advantage of the highest EROEI energy sources which were an option to us by using the fossil fuels. What follows will have lower numbers and we will not be able in the future to continue the approaches to running civilization we have followed in the past. Those who try and leave an impression that everything is hunky dory and all we have to do is follow them down the yellow brick road need to be held at a long arm’s length. They are most likely manipulating us and have some kind of unspoken agenda. There is no free lunch. Our long-term prospects are not good at all, success in dealing with AGW is far from certain, and we could easily makes things far worse by not thinking through our decisions.

    And then there is sustainability……

  614. Edward Greisch:

    [OT - you know the rules]

  615. DIOGENES:

    JimD #613,

    “Those who try and leave an impression that everything is hunky dory and all we have to do is follow them down the yellow brick road need to be held at a long arm’s length. They are most likely manipulating us and have some kind of unspoken agenda.”

    Truer words were never spoken. You bet they have an agenda, and it’s not for our benefit. They are today’s version of Tokyo Rose, preaching that personal hardship and sacrifice are unnecessary to avoid the impending climate catastrophe. Their message of ‘prosperity’ and continued growth is no more credible than the words of Tokyo Rose preaching surrender seven decades ago. Would the American media of the early 1940s have allowed Tokyo Rose and her brethren to broadcast their disinformation to the public? Why, then, do the climate advocacy blogs let these Tokyo Roses of climate change amelioration broadcast their unending misleading propaganda to an audience hungry for the truth? We are in a similar wartime situation today, and we need to close ranks globally in order to have any chance of ‘victory’. The climate advocacy blogs need to take a stand and stop promulgating this false information.

  616. Chris Dudley:

    Jim (#613),

    I guess the Pacific Intertie turns out to be a good example to show you why our EROEI glory days are just beginning. So, lets take oil to start. Oil started out nice, go out an shoot a gopher and you end up with a gusher and a mansion in Beverly Hills. But too much of a good thing caused a market distortion through the formation of an international cartel, and now artificially high prices are introducing very energy intensive oil into the supply chain. By the time all the tar sand and oil shale is used up, we’ll see an overall EROEI for oil around 3 or so. A finite resource can look good to start, but dependence and desperation can make it a dog in the end.

    The Pacific Intertie, on the other hand, supplies LA with renewable energy from Washington State. That supply is not finite. And, while it may be needful to repair a pylon from time to time, the initial energy investment in the Pacific Intertie divides a number similar to infinity. Similarly, for the silicon used in Spain, the energy invested in purification stays invested as minor future energy expenditures are put into recycling. Over time, the initial investment divides and energy return similar to infinity. Reconditioning a wind turbine takes little energy compared to making it initially, but over time, that is the only important energy investment because it is the only one that scales with ongoing return.

    Renewables thus far exceed the EROEI of any finite resource.

    Notice also that this is very very dangerous for climate. That EROEI similar to infinity that renewables possess makes cooking oil out of oil shale formations a completely reasonable thing to undertake. It is an energy transformation that would produce liquid fuels at a lower energy cost than, for example, the Navy’s new fuel-from-seawater technology. If the TOD mindset that only recognizes fossil fuels as having viable EROEI were correct, we’d grind to a halt before releasing all available fossil carbon. We might avoid the truly crazy scenarios that Jim Hansen has explored. But, renewable energy makes those scenarios plausible.

    Now, you will notice that EROEI has become a slippery number is a new way now. You might want to put up a fence saying we’ll only consider energy returned to the generation that made the initial investment. And, that might be a useful thing to do when considering the likelihood that an investment will be made. That consideration suggests that the utility of an EROEI calculation depends on context and perhaps various kinds of fences should be standardized to make calculations for different applications. Hall’s contribution then would be exploring the territory over which fences might be erected rather than producing EROEI estimates that have practical utility.

  617. DIOGENES:

    Chuck Hughes #114 Unforced variations: Apr 2014,

    “Factoring in politics, human nature and the rest, what is the most likely outcome for the planet? Is 2C out of the question? Are we looking at 4C as the most likely probability? Is it going to be worse than that?”

    Wrong question! We don’t take actions based on ‘most likely’ outcome. We take actions based on worst case with finite probability. Consider your own case. What’s most likely? You get up tomorrow morning, drive twenty miles to work, work eight hours, then drive twenty miles back home. That’s most likely. However, when you buy car insurance, you insure against the unlikely (but very low probability) case that you will run a stop sign, ram into a van loaded with passengers, and cause serious injury to half of them. You want to insure that you don’t go broke in that very unlikely case. So it should be with climate change.

    What are analogous cases in climate temperature increase projections? In April 2012, DJ Rowlands, from Oxford, published an article in Nature Geoscience that concluded, in part: “We find that model versions that reproduce observed surface temperature changes over the past 50 years show global-mean temperature increases of 1.4-3 K by 2050, relative to 1961-1990, under a mid-range forcing scenario”. Two months later, in Nature, June 2012, Maslin and Austin stated, in part: “Dan Rowlands of the University of Oxford, UK, and his colleagues have run one complex model through thousands of simulations, rather than the handful of runs that can usually be managed with available computing time. Although their average results matched well with IPCC projections, more extreme results, including warming of up to 4 °C by 2050, seemed just as likely.” To repeat their last concept: “more extreme results, including warming of up to 4 °C by 2050, SEEMED JUST AS LIKELY.”

    Think about that. The Rowlands model did not include any carbon feedbacks, yet two noted experts concluded that up to 4 C by 2050 seemed just as likely as the IPCC projections. With carbon feedbacks, one can only imagine what temperature increases are possible BY 2050, LET ALONE 2100!!! If there were such a commodity as climate change insurance, those are types of temperatures against which we should be insuring, not he ‘most likely’ IPCC projections.

  618. Killian:

    Jim, the EROEI concept is fundamentally flawed.

    Measuring the amount of energy needed to generate energy is flawed? How else do we figure out net energy?

    Most implementations assume that all forms of energy are of equal utility, which is absurd.

    They do? Not in my experience. Economic measures do, some governmental counting does, bot anyone actually talking about EROEI *can’t* be because it does not count resources, it counts energy. Counting barrels of gas as a barrel like oil is a barrel is fundamentally flawed if talking about the energy it provides, but people who are in any way activists about energy or peak oil or what have you don’t do this.

    Regardless, the contention EROEI is flawed because people either don’t use it or misuse it is ridiculous. That’s like saying the universe if flawed because people used to think the sun orbited Earth.

    Comment by GlenFergus — 13 Apr 2014 @ 9:41 PM

  619. Killian:

    Killian (#606),

    Yes, I recall that you are unfamiliar with the most important literature in your area of expertise. http://www.mcdonough.com/speaking-writing/cradle-to-cradle/#.U00_JR6An0o

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 15 Apr 2014 @ 9:19 AM

    Dear Mr. Dudley, first, IF this fellow said sustainability is dehumanizing, then he’s said something ridiculous, prima facia. That he wrote a book and says some intelligent things others have already said, and more effectively, does not make him a god, nor correct in all things. I am not convinced he said what you think he said given some of the thing *you* say, but it is unimportant either way.

    The idea of systems having no waste and being designed that way has been around a very long time. It has most effectively been said, imo, by Holmgren and Mollison some 35 years ago when they said, simply, every output must be an input to some other element. Every element must support two or more functions. I.e., there is no waste, and make systems both efficient and resilient.

    These are two of my favorite design principles because doing these two things alone gets you a huge portion of the way to a sustainable system. Now, to further educate, the idea of systems being regenerative, i.e. abundant, als ocomes from the same source. The principle is, “Obtain a yield.” Seems simple enough, but it’s important in distinguishing sustainable from regenerative. However, the layperson only knows what “sustainable” means, and so we talk this way most of the time, using the two words interchangeably. McDonough should know this, and so should you.

    McDonough appears to be a technocopian sort, though, believing we can overcome problems with technical design. Yes, he correctly applies the principles of no waste and gaining a yield, but he incorrectly ignores the principle of natural solutions first and foremost. Natural > mechanical > technical, in that hierarchy of emphasis. Thus, our first response should not be technical solutions that increase complexity, but natural solutions that reduce it.

    As you can see, rather than being “one of the most important,” it is flawed and derivative. Others said it first, and said it better. I’m sure there excellent ideas for specific things that one can do contained in this book, and so there has value, but the important part of the message is old news, and wrong in some respects. At least so far as I can tell thus far.

    You see, sustainable/regenerative is *simple.* Any discussion of it that moves away from that fact is a discussion that likely has little merit. We face not just issues of climate, resource consumption and economics, but also complexity. Do keep all four in mind at all times.

    BTW, the most important literature on the subject was and remains “Permaculture A Designers Manual.” It could use revision given its age for the science and knowledge bases have increased considerably, but it gets the gist and by far most of the facts right. In design principles and process terms, it’s flawless.

    We appear to be allies overall, so please stop being rude.

  620. Killian:

    Jim #907), I wonder if a “build-a-better-mousetrap” fence would be useful. If transmission has been built to a power plant, isn’t that the world beating a path to its door, not energy invested in producing power? It turns out that utility scale renewables plus transmission are the lowest cost way forward for the US. http://www.rmi.org/reinventingfire and it does take “extra” transmission to bring that about. But the Pacific Intertie is over 40 year old and isn’t going anywhere. Surely the amount of energy it has carried and will carry makes its energy investment round off error.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 15 Apr 2014 @ 9:58 AM

    We face little difficulty in knowing what to design, and partly that applies to what kind of grid we need. However, what we don’t need and don’t want is a massive patchwork of utility-scale energy production. How do we know this? Do we need scientific studies and such? Well, they can help, but they currently do not reflect sustainable i.e. regenerative design principles, so are limited in their usefulness. The first instinct is to do efficiency. The problem with that?

    That’s not how nature does it. Not only does our science tell us highly efficient systems are more prone to breaking down and catastrophic failure, so does Nature. Referring to principles previously discussed, we can see that a balance of efficiency and resilience is needed for healthy, adaptive systems, and the emphasis should be on resilience rather than efficiency. I wrote of this grid issue in an essay on nuclear power vs. a distributed grid of “renewable” energy on A Perfect Storm Cometh back in ’08 or ’09 or so.

    I’ve no opinion at this time on a globally networked system, but I have zero doubt about massively distributed, localized energy being the final solution in order to meet the design principles by which we might avoid collapse (as oppsoed to simplification…. or controlled collapse.)

  621. Killian:

    612 DIOGENES says: Killian #601,

    “Because of the above, the message of yours I quoted has no audience, perceptive and accurate though it may be.

    It’s a statement that creates its own audience, just as FDR did. Compared to even two years ago, there is massively more awareness than there was on every part of the collapse problem. Think of post-2007 as the period of wobbles before the bifurcation and the bifurcation now being in progress.”

    Well, if we have massively more awareness, how do you explain the two polls I addressed in #223, 233?

    I don’t care about them because, greater awareness does not = accurate awareness. Very well-informed people are making bass ackwards suggestions of what to do because they have awareness, but not insight, or perhaps, enough knowledge, what have you. What we do have is enough awareness to already past a social tipping point. The problems are several, but the key one is the flat out lying going on. Less that, I trust we’d have acted far more widely and cohesively long ago.

    But, that is the world we live in, so rather than worrying about changing minds, we would be far more efficient in activating minds already changed.

    Very few people across this planet care sufficiently about climate change to take or support any meaningful action today.

    And how many have been told, unflinchingly, without hedging or scientific reticence attached, what is really likely to happen by a source *they* consider credible? Less than 1%?

    Even with IPCC V we are not telling them the whole story because it’s… science. And science is always behind observations, and both are always going to rely on risk assessment in policy-making/planning for any forward-looking actions.

    IPCC V is just out. Let’s not assume how wide its impact will be just yet.

    By the time that climate change has progressed sufficiently to make them sit up and take notice, it will be far to late for meaningful action to stop the onrushing train.

    So I’ve been saying for years, and why I *used* to spend much energy combating denial. I wasn’t heard and so nothing even beginning to approach a widespread legal effort has been forthcoming, though there is some action with the defamation side of things, thank goodness.

    The president never got up and spent a 1 to 3 hours a night for a week broadcasting on all frequencies and laying out the facts of climate/collapse, as I suggested.

    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?

    We have the numbers, we don’t have the actions. And, we need different kinds of actions than ever before. We are time limited, response limited, resource limited. We can’t do decades or centuries of civil disobedience, public discourse, etc., this time.

    Answer? Opt out. Grow a garden. Build a community. Get carbon negative.

  622. Killian:

    Dan D said some things.

    This:

    success in dealing with AGW

    equals this:

    And then there is sustainability……

    so the “and then” there is inaccurate. And this:

    we could easily makes things far worse by not thinking through our decisions

    should be stated thus:

    we will definitely makes things far worse by not thinking through our decisions.

    This is demonstrate by a few early decisions: The Green “Revolution” that killed the soils of the planet, and still is; the Great Fracking which is doing nothing to ease the GHG emissions burden, but has driven land use, food prices and other problems; and electric cars, which are doing pretty much nothing to affect climate change but are lengthening the likely period of time for which we hold desperately to our car-driven culture.

  623. Chris Dudley:

    Killian (#698),

    I’m glad you are beginning to turn your attention to McDonough. You will learn much to your advantage. Regarding sustainability’s dehumanizing aspect, it is this: it is boring. There is not enough in it to challenge the human spirit and thus it cannot be sustained. Rather a nice recursive loop there, no? You’ll understand more listening to this:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Monticello-Dialogues-McDonough-Conversation/dp/0781307325

  624. Chris Dudley:

    Killian (#619),

    Sorry, more post number mangling in that last reply. So, now it is also time to read Lovins. He points out that while utility scale renewables plus transmission are the cheapest way forward, they are not the most inherently reliable way forward and greater emphasis on local generation avoids a number of issues with transmission.

  625. DIOGENES:

    For the Windfall proponents and their resident front-men, who like to provide us with glowing reports of renewables expansion, here’s a look at what the real world has to offer. We may end up viewing the EIA as conservative when it comes to fossil fuel use projections!

    http://insideclimatenews.org/slideshow/chinas-coal-bases-tour-largest-fossil-fuel-development-project-world
    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140213/chinas-plan-clean-air-cities-will-doom-climate-scientists-say

  626. Killian:

    Chris Dudley said Killian (#698), I’m glad you are beginning to turn your attention to McDonough. You will learn much to your advantage.

    No, I won’t. You don’t get that sustainable design is beyond where you are with McDonough, not behind it. Perhaps if he rewrote his book now that might be different, but as it stands, his basic assumptions invalidate his conclusions. You seem to be ignoring the fact what McDonough said was said better long before he said it.

    Regarding sustainability’s dehumanizing aspect, it is this: it is boring. There is not enough in it to challenge the human spirit and thus it cannot be sustained.

    Societies where the brain is engaged constantly, where human interaction dominates vs. isolated individuals engaged in disembodied communication about things that matter not at all wrt getting from birth to death, these are dehumanizing and this that we have now is enriching? I suppose that is well-reflected in the U.S.’s exceptionally poor academic performance an massive dropout rate despite our access to so much stimuli?

    Perhaps McDonough is a robot character escaped from an Asimov book. Or, perhaps he and you merely need to read Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel and note what he observes with regard to the intelligence of the aboriginal folks he spent much time with.

    Rather a nice recursive loop there, no?

    I’d say a null set. I speak as someone with 14 or 15 years as an educator.

  627. Killian:

    You want me to read Lovins because he said something I wrote an essay on in 2008, likely before he figured out massively distributed energy is the way forward? Do you just not read what is posted? Sorry, but I’ve known of Lovins for a long time and determined most of what he says can be safely dismissed because, like McDonough, it is based in a technocopian fantasy that requires us to ignore that resources are limited and accept that long-debunked idea of endless substitution.

    When you start from a whacked premise due to an ideological stance, or a mere refusal to give up the good life, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, you’re still going to end up in the weeds. An uneducated person with a correct premise will get closer to a valid solution than a genius with an incorrect premise.

    Lovins is the mad scientist you call when you have a very specific problem to solve. You do not ask him to design a community for you. A least, not until he understands the systemic issues better.

  628. Chris Dudley:

    Killian (#625, 626),

    I think you are becoming a sort of parody. Claiming to have “beaten Lovins” to decentralization in the very early year of 2008 is quite rich. Your claim about the uneducated, while not completely impossible, is very very rare. Usually those who persist in their ignorance, despite having some talent, end up reinventing the wheel, as you are apparently unaware you have done. Little helpful contribution comes from that sort of exercise.

    Really, it does not hurt to read a book, and I’m sure your library can get you either one.

  629. GlenFergus:

    Killian, you appear to be the perfect example. Reassure me. At high school or freshman college you studied a subject called thermodynamics. So you understand that, though they carry the same units (BTU or joules or kWh), heat and work are different. And you can expound at length on how to characterise their interplay. You understand that the ability of a unit of heat to do a unit of work depends fundamentally on relative temperature. Good.

    So tell me, this thing called net energy, is that net heat or net work, or a mish-mash of the two? And if heat, at what temperature? The 600°C of a coal-fired boiler or the 1600°C of a gas turbine? Makes a big difference.

    In many years of following the peak oilers I’ve found North Americans in particular often think it’s heat energy that matters (perhaps from those huge heating bills). In fact industrial society is built on the other thing — it’s mechanical work that moves people and goods, turns machines (including fraccing pumps and PV factory clean rooms), and, as a direct surrogate called electricity, powers households, factories, cities.

    But not even all work is equal. Work from a mobile source, like a liquid fueled engine or a lithium battery, is much more valuable than work from a stationary engine to which a task must be brought. So it seems there might just be a little more to it than a one-number EROEI, however calculated.

  630. Killian:

    628 Chris Dudley says Killian (#625, 626),

    Claiming to have “beaten Lovins” to decentralization in the very early year of 2008 is quite rich.

    Actually, I didn’t use the declarative, so read more carefully. Regardless of when he did, and I’ve not see him write or speak on it yet,I did in 2008. I had already pointed this forum to that fact. Thus, for you to point me to Lovins to learn something I had already said I’d figured out was childish and patronizing.

    The actual point, you know, those salient bits you habitually ignore?, was that I wrote on massively distributed energy systems in 2008. When Lovins got to it was not a salient aspect of my post, which is why I used a qualifying word in that sentence. Speak a’ d’ English?

    Your claim about the uneducated, while not completely impossible, is very very rare.

    And, Captain Obvious? It’s been seven years of it for me, so far, so you’ll have to deal with it or just stop engaging.

  631. DIOGENES:

    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?

    We have the numbers, we don’t have the actions. And, we need different kinds of actions than ever before. We are time limited, response limited, resource limited. We can’t do decades or centuries of civil disobedience, public discourse, etc., this time.”

    You are letting your ideology cloud the facts. We don’t have the numbers and we don’t have the actions. I referenced the results of an Australian poll and the Gallup Poll in #233, and showed the similarity as follows:

    “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.”

    The respondees are not even willing to take the minimal step of showing support on a poll; how willing do you think they would be to convert to sustainable living? There’s no magic here; people are not willing to give up this wasteful lifestyle to save the biosphere. Plain and simple! Even on this so-called climate advocacy blog, how many people are clamoring for the actions necessary to save the biosphere? Most of what I have seen proposed, especially by the ‘tag team’, is Koch-Brothers-Lite. No different from the prosperity projections the Koch Brothers and Rex Tillerson make, with the exception that low carbon is substituted for high carbon.

  632. Hank Roberts:

    Sometimes an idea is just an idea, not a unique discovery.

    “Vulnerability to faults is an unintended side effect of highly centralized technologies” (Lovins and Lovins, 1982).

    “The dominance of a single energy source and centralized power generation are highly susceptible to disruption, failure and even sabotage with severe consequences economically and socially,
    as articulated clearly and convincingly by Lovins and Lovins, 1982 and Lovins and …” (Diversification and localization of energy systems for sustainable development and energy security
    X Li – Energy Policy, 2005 – Elsevier) (Cited by 74)

    “When you start from a whacked premise, … it doesn’t matter how smart you are” — Killian, 2014

  633. DIOGENES:

    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. Those who participated in the American Revolution or the Civil Rights movement were willing to surrender their lives to achieve the objectives. Where is that fervor among the climate activists? Their version of a cannonade is a series of Tweets expressing their support for Al Gore!

    The types of people we need as climate activists if we are to have any hope of avoiding the Apocalypse were described by Tennyson 150 years ago, and they ring true today:

    Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.
    “Forward, the Light Brigade!
    “Charge for the guns!” he said:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismay’d?
    Not tho’ the soldier knew
    Someone had blunder’d:
    THEIRS NOT TO MAKE REPLY,
    THEIRS NOT TO REASON WHY,
    THEIRS BUT TO DO AND DIE:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the six hundred.

    Flash’d all their sabres bare,
    Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army, while
    All the world wonder’d:
    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right thro’ the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reel’d from the sabre stroke
    Shatter’d and sunder’d.
    Then they rode back, but not
    Not the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro’ the jaws of Death
    Back from the mouth of Hell,
    All that was left of them,
    Left of six hundred.

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
    All the world wondered.
    Honor the charge they made,
    Honor the Light Brigade,
    Noble six hundred.

  634. Chris Dudley:

    Killian (#630),

    My suggestion was helpful. Lovins has things figured out much more completely than you do. You could learn something. Positive contributions are made from the shoulders of giants. Don’t begrudge them their existence.

  635. Killian:

    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?

    We have the numbers, we don’t have the actions. And, we need different kinds of actions than ever before. We are time limited, response limited, resource limited. We can’t do decades or centuries of civil disobedience, public discourse, etc., this time.”

    You are letting your ideology cloud the facts. We don’t have the numbers and we don’t have the actions.

    What ideology? There is no ideology involved in these comments. I provided factual examples that reflect nothing of my opinion. There are multiple lines of thought on social change tipping points, and all those numbers are in the 50% range or less, most less. We absolutely do have the numbers.

    I referenced the results of an Australian poll and the Gallup Poll in #233

    I don’t care about those polls; they aren’t asking a germane question. Show me one that asks, “Since we are in the 6th Great Extinction, and that will involve either extinction or near-extinction for humans, also, are you willing to live a much simpler lifestyle to avoid the 6th Great Extinction?”

    Yup, show me a poll that actually frames the question correctly and then I’ll pay attention to it.

    Even on this so-called climate advocacy blog, how many people are clamoring for the actions necessary to save the biosphere? Most of what I have seen proposed, especially by the ‘tag team’, is Koch-Brothers-Lite. No different from the prosperity projections the Koch Brothers and Rex Tillerson make, with the exception that low carbon is substituted for high carbon.

    Yes, people are still uneducated/clueless/hopelessly hopeful/technocopianly disinclined/ideologically opposed/financially disincentivized, etc., to do what needs doing. That doesn’t change the fact the *numbers are there.* What is missing is the right framing overall. We’ve tried the PC approach, how about we now just tell the truth? We’re facing extinction or near-extinction; it’s avoidable. You wanna help or not?

    You can’t get the right answer if not asking the right question. E.g., I said from the start we needed to prosecute climate denialists because they were literally committing crimes against humanity and, imo, treason. While no study has been done, I’d say Michael Mann’s thus-far-successful legal actions have helped to mute the nature and form of denial attacks. More of the same would almost certainly drive that more. An actual Hague prosecution for CAH, even more so. Take away their ability to lie, you take away their impact. Instead, the response was to be oh so polite and batter them with facts. How’d that work out? The question was, how do we get moving forward on Climate Change? The correct answer was, shut down the denial machine.

    Oops.

    Anywho… thanks for belittling my response to you as ideological. Massive insult, that. Shows serious ignorance of who I am and what I do. Not surprising, just unfortunate and disappointing. For future reference, everything I do and say is based in a principles-based response to the issues we face for the precise reasons that ideology creates problems rather than solves them, and the solutions lie within application of those principles.

  636. Killian:

    Hank said, Sometimes an idea is just an idea, not a unique discovery.

    While I came to this conclusion of my own accord, I never said it was unique. Speak a’ d’ English? What was unique was my plan for achieving it.

    grid vs household

    NOTE: People, please read what people write, not what you want to read into it. Every “conflict” I’ve had here in the last week flowed directly from people failing to do this, causing me to repeat what I’d already clearly stated.

  637. Killian:

    Hank said, Sometimes an idea is just an idea, not a unique discovery.

    While I came to this conclusion of my own accord, I never said it was a unique idea. Speak a’ d’ English? Try not to engage in your knee-jerk patronizing responses to me, Hank.

    What was, and remains, unique was my plan for achieving it.

    grid vs household

  638. DIOGENES:

    Killian #634,

    “Take away their ability to lie, you take away their impact. Instead, the response was to be oh so polite and batter them with facts. How’d that work out? The question was, how do we get moving forward on Climate Change? The correct answer was, shut down the denial machine.”

    You have no idea what the correct answer was, or is. To get the correct answer, you would have to run the experiment with the denial campaign and without the denial campaign. My guess is that if the Koch Brothers and their pals had not invested one cent in a denial campaign, the ‘boots-on-the-ground’ results would have not been much different. Down deep, extremely few want to make the sacrifices required to avoid the Apocalypse. It’s not the framing of the question that’s the problem, it’s the motivation of the majority of the citizens on the planet that’s the problem.

    Let’s take a specific example, the readers and posters on this blog. Between RC and CP they have more than enough information about the seriousness of the problem. How many of them have expressed the willingness to do what is necessary to avoid the Apocalypse. The vast majority of the posters want continued ‘prosperity’ (in the conventional sense) and growth. Hardship and sacrifice; give me a break! So, even here, at climate amelioration Ground Zero, we don’t see the willingness to do much more than continue our morbid consumption, using low carbon instead of high carbon technology. What can you expect from the public at large?

  639. Killian:

    DIOGENES said Killian #634, You have no idea what the correct answer was, or is.

    Logically incorrect. Of course I do. I can’t prove it, but I know. Every hypothesis is exactly this. Some get proved, some don’t. You can call my statement an opinion I can’t prove, but to tell me I can’t know is ridiculous. I absolutely do know, and can prove, everyone here and elsewhere counseling calm, polite speech were wrong, that’s for sure.

    What’s baffling is you pick on this unimportant nit about what we did or didn’t do over the last 40 years. Who cares? Shall we focus on more forward-looking issues? But remember, I “couldn’t know” the crash of ’08 was coming, that Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic would all be melting much faster than thought, that we’d have new record low ASI in 2012, but not in 2013, either. But I did. There’s a difference between knowing and proving. You should avoid telling people what they can’t know.

    To get the correct answer, you would have to run the experiment…

    No, I’d have to do that to prove it, not to know it.

    with the denial campaign and without the denial campaign. My guess is that if the Koch Brothers and their pals had not invested one cent in a denial campaign, the ‘boots-on-the-ground’ results would have not been much different.

    So, I can express my opinion if I frame it as a guess? Too bad. I’m not guessing, I’m certain. By your logic I can’t “know” simplification is required, but I do. Prove me wrong.

    Down deep, extremely few want to make the sacrifices required to avoid the Apocalypse. It’s not the framing of the question that’s the problem, it’s the motivation of the majority of the citizens

    What they know and understand affects their motivation. Take a poll re: involvement in WWII on December 6th, then again on Dec. 8th. What you know matters, and we aren’t telling them what we know. Or, to use language you want to approve for me to use, apparently, the risk assessment makes it foolish to not simplify. People need to know that. They need to know that even solar and wind are unsustainable as yet. They need to know the likelihood is far too high for an existential threat for us not to act drastically.

    They don’t know that, and those polls are useless in judging willingness to act because they did not ask useful questions. And, yes, the primary reason they do not know is the denial industry. Before the climate denial industry, people trusted scientists. Interesting, on issues *not* climate or evolution, they still do.

    What does that tell you?

    Let’s take a specific example, the readers and posters on this blog. Between RC and CP they have more than enough information about the seriousness of the problem. How many of them have expressed the willingness to do what is necessary to avoid the Apocalypse.

    I disagree. Have you read Archer on Methane? Good lord! I’d think I should never let it worry my little head ever again reading his stuff. Hope to heck he’s right, but goodness me, I’ve a very bad feeling he isn’t. And, no, lots of people do not accept the idea collapse can happen at all. Even here.

    But all this misses the point. You said such and such polls said, so that shows what people really think. I said the poll question was incorrect. This is true in either an environment where people are knowledgeable and one where the question is purely hypothetical, so for the purposes of this debate between us, the framing of the question is vital, and it did not ask the correct question.

    If you want to know how people will respond to an existential threat, you have to frame it as an existential threat. You can’t expect them to suppose that a question framed as less than existential actually is asking an existential threat question. It’s just… silly.

    The vast majority of the posters want continued ‘prosperity’ (in the conventional sense) and growth.

    Of course they do! So do I! Too danged bad! Can’t have it! Get over it! The science is in: we’re using to o many resources across the board and risk altering the ecosystem so badly the 6th Great Extinction rolls on till it takes us with it. I literally would not be surprised to wake up tomorrow to read in the paper the oceans were turning pink, so bend over and kiss our hineys g’bye.

    Hardship and sacrifice; give me a break! So, even here, at climate amelioration Ground Zero

    This blog is not ground zero. Do an informal poll and see how many actually accept, and fully understand, the issue is not just climate, but energy, resources, governance, scale and organization of society… No, many still do not accept and/or understand these things. Still, you have to frame the question correctly to get the answer to fit the problem – even if they think it’s just an abstract question.

    IF you accepted we are in the process of the 6th Great Extinction, and the collapse of society by 2100, would you be willing to live like the 1800′s, but with some tech conveniences, if it would prevent the extinction of humanity and the collapse of society?

    That is a question worth asking that will actually get to the info you want: faced with an existential risk, but with solutions available, are you willing to live vastly differently?

    Dude, have you not noticed most of the people we should consider allies don’t believe collapse and extinction are real risks? Or, at least, do, but think their technofreaky dreams will save us all? LOL… try getting anyone here to admit solar and wind are still currently unsustainable! Even though that is blindingly obvious, the argument rages on if you put forth this fact.

    No, the soft serve ain’t getting it done. Ask a real question, I’ll pay attention to the response.

  640. Killian:

    Chris Dudley said Killian (#630), My suggestion was helpful.

    Dude, admit you were being patronizing and move on. You specifically suggested Lovins regarding the issue of distributed systems. Let it go; don’t try to justify the error.

    Lovins has things figured out much more completely than you do.

    This is incorrect. When your basic premises violate the principles of natural design, you’ve got precious little figured out about creating a sustainable world. It doesn’t matter how brilliant he is (not being debated), or how many gadgets he invents if he is making a core error in premise.

    His premise is just plain wrong: we can’t solve this via tech. period. It’s basic thermodynamics, physics, logic and violates, simplest of all, the design principles culled from Nature, herself.

    I don’t need to learn much of anything from Lovins because the solutions don’t require any of his gadgetry. Remember: Simple.

    Positive contributions are made from the shoulders of giants.

    We need better giants.

    Don’t begrudge them their existence.

    If we achieve WARP drive, Lovins will be the first guy I’ll look to to help design a Jetsonian future, but as for straw bale homes, walipinis, organic food production, community kitchens with cob ovens, etc.? I’ve got that covered, thanks.

    To be completely clear, and redundant, we need no more tech than we have today to simplify to a regenerative future. Not even a little. That’s what you don’t get. You’re still looking for answers we’ve had for decades. It’s time to do it. We already know how. Now, go read Tainter.

    reCAPTCHA pulls a funny: nutholo arrange.

  641. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 18 Apr 2014 @ 4:46 PM

    You said- “Down deep, extremely few want to make the sacrifices required to avoid the Apocalypse” and- “How many of them have expressed the willingness to do what is necessary to avoid the Apocalypse. The vast majority of the posters want continued ‘prosperity’ (in the conventional sense) and growth. Hardship and sacrifice; give me a break!”

    Absolutely amazing! You refuse to answer any questions about what you are currently sacrificing, as a good example, or exactly what you expect others to sacrifice to avoid APOCALYPSE. As a member of the, so called, “tag team,” I have explained, multiple times how I am carbon negative and how I have, as a result, reaped major (intangible) “windfalls” from this.

    Steve

  642. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #641,

    “Absolutely amazing! You refuse to answer any questions about what you are currently sacrificing, as a good example, or exactly what you expect others to sacrifice to avoid APOCALYPSE. As a member of the, so called, “tag team,” I have explained, multiple times how I am carbon negative and how I have, as a result, reaped major (intangible) “windfalls” from this.”

    I could care less about what you purport to ‘sacrifice’ or not ‘sacrifice’. What I really care about are your ideas to avoid the impending climate Apocalypse. From what you have posted, you have ZERO ideas that will come anywhere near the targets required to avoid the Apocalypse. And, that statement holds doubly true for the other members of the ‘tag team’.

  643. DIOGENES:

    Killian #639,

    “This blog is not ground zero. Do an informal poll and see how many actually accept, and fully understand, the issue is not just climate, but energy, resources, governance, scale and organization of society… No, many still do not accept and/or understand these things.”

    The point I am making is that the posters on this site have access to the requisite information. They are not the ones who you believe have been subject to this vast denial campaign, and who have succumbed to it. And, still, they do not buy into the hardships and deprivations required to avoid the impending climate Apocalypse.

    The poll respondees were asked the simplest of questions, with no commitment required, and half weren’t even willing to say they were concerned about climate change. If you frame it in terms of the Sixth Extinction…; Give me a Break. They’ll slam the door in your face!

    “Have you read Archer on Methane? Good lord! I’d think I should never let it worry my little head ever again reading his stuff. Hope to heck he’s right, but goodness me, I’ve a very bad feeling he isn’t”

    Now, you’re getting into the real purpose of this site; keep the readership from being too hard on the Administration for lack of leadership on climate change. Concerned about rapid methane release; well, we’ll just post an article by Archer assuring us the release will be chronic occurring over centuries. Nothing to see here; just keep moving. And, above all, don’t post any articles to the contrary, by Wadhams, Shakhova, or Semelitov. Concerned about appropriate temperature targets to avoid the impending climate Apocalypse; well, we’ll just post an article by Knopf stating “many of these issues cannot be answered solely by science, such as the question of a temperature level that avoids dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. Nothing to see here; just move right along. And, above all, don’t post any articles to the contrary, by Hansen, Anderson, or Spratt. And, so it goes.

  644. Chris Dudley:

    Killian (#640),

    “We need better giants.”

    Now that sounds like the beginning of a worthy ambition, but while you stumble around blindfolded, below knee level, you’re not going to be achieving much in that direction. Read a book or two.

  645. Walter:

    Killian kicks ass. Tells it like it is ….

  646. Sean:

    What Diogenes says about you know who …. “you have ZERO ideas”

    Agree 100% …. great to see the new voices showing up. Especially the Russians and Europeans who were cruising thru wuwrc

    Here’s a few thoughts:
    Jef ” want to accomplish anything positive then let’s admit the truth and work from there”

    Carlos: re WG3 “There appears problem in the analysis” [ you betcha there is !!! ]

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

    Edward: ” being soft on unworkable ideas” addressing RC owners

    drTskoul: ” can have BAU like emissions under a growth collapse scenario ” yee ha another truth teller .. please make more than ONE comment

    and Jef again: “GDP is a meaningless measurement for assesing the future impacts of FF reduction. GDP itself is pretty meaningless” and
    ” This report looks like something my son could have put together playing SimCity. It has no grip on reality.”

    Oh yeah baby! That’s correct Jef …. they never removed what Tol left behind either. Finally a few home truths bubble up from the still brackish waters. Where’s Micheal Mann?

    Bruno Latour – The Affects of Capitalism http://youtu.be/8i-ZKfShovs?t=12m48s Should also be sub-titled with the Effects of Cognitive Dissonance too.

    He addresses the insanity of Australia’s current ‘political’climate science and economics SPIN CYCLE position first, we bough those denialist myths from the USA establishment.
    The Reality of Freedom for the 99% http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-16/national-press-club-tony-sheldon/5394944

    Please remember every second of every day that the richest 85 people on this planet have more wealth more income the poorest 3.5 BILLION people, or half the Planet…. for those who still are, please stop kidding yourself!

    THINK GLOBALLY …. ACT LOCALLY …. STOP deceiving yourself all will be fine or that the great USA will save the world. It isn’t 1942 anymore.. it’s 2014 folks.

    Yes, where is Michael Mann …. ???

  647. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 20 Apr 2014 @ 4:51 PM

    As per usual, you are unable to answer a simple question. Why? You are not doing anything but just want to talk the talk without any knowledge of what is required by individuals, families, and communities in order to solve global warming and move toward sustainability. This is shameful ignorance.

    I disagree with Killian on several large issues, but where he has it right in my not so ignorant estimation, is that the problem starts at home. This means you, your family, your neighbors, and your community. I learned what I know about reducing my carbon footprint from family, neighbors, and my community, and am passing it on by my knowledge and example. My community has a big local sustainability movement with several groups working on local production of food and fuels and we have a yearly, well attended, Not So Simple Living Fair that consists of presentations and workshops (it used to be called the Simple Living Fair but the name was changed because living simple requires a lot of knowledge). If you don’t know what the endpoint of the elimination of fossil energy is to families you don’t have a clue.

    Steve

  648. Killian:

    643 DIOGENES said

    Killian #639,

    “This blog is not ground zero. Do an informal poll and see how many actually accept, and fully understand, the issue is not just climate, but energy, resources, governance, scale and organization of society… No, many still do not accept and/or understand these things.”

    The point I am making is that the posters on this site have access to the requisite information. They are not the ones who you believe have been subject to this vast denial campaign, and who have succumbed to it. And, still, they do not buy into the hardships and deprivations required to avoid the impending climate Apocalypse.

    Not quite true. It’s not just denial, it’s a lack of knowledge, it’s biases, etc. Back in 2007/2008 when I was saying pretty much the sorts of things I say now, I was almost totally ignored. Tolerated might be the correct term. Well, now there is wider acceptance of the things I say, and I know a lot more on the solutions side than I did then, but the reality that the climate people kinda dismiss the TEOTWAWKI climate people, and both sorts of climate people tend to dismiss the straight collapse people, and everybody ignores the resources/collapse people, and all these people kinda ignore each other to one degree or another… that continues. Not as badly as 6, 7 years ago, but still pretty bad.

    And the efficiency/tehcnocopians? They ignore everybody else.

    Fun! Here, it’s the Alphabetistas that reign, mostly. Cite your sources! What sources? You aren’t even interested in funding research into truly sustainable design! Right?

    No, lot’s of compartmentalization here still. Show of hands, who here believes that if we had no climate issue we’d still be facing collapse?

    The poll respondees were asked the simplest of questions, with no commitment required, and half weren’t even willing to say they were concerned about climate change. If you frame it in terms of the Sixth Extinction…; Give me a Break. They’ll slam the door in your face!

    Yup. Have heard that excuse since 2006. Didn’t accept it then, don’t accept it now. Since Rachel Carson, it’s been 99.9% slow pitch lobs. Time for some fastballs.

  649. wayne davidson:

    There is no contest, computer Meteorological models forecast thousands times a day, and are greatly successful for the short term. Long range climate models are equally often accurate, but not for sea ice. The interim period, the next few months, computer models have the greatest shortcomings, it is a void of filled with failures. Some say flip a coin and get the same result. However, those humans who try, the few who learn from their mistakes, those who study the pulse of the weather world every day, those who read the science at Real Climate, those who try, are better than a coin! Perhaps the models will catch up with us one day. I use a refraction method to help refine a projection read all about it http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/ .

  650. DIOGENES:

    Steve Fish #647,

    “I disagree with Killian on several large issues, but where he has it right in my not so ignorant estimation, is that the problem starts at home.”

    Sorry, ‘cherry-picking’ doesn’t work with me. 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. He is not shamelessly promoting Windfalls for the renewables investors, as you and the rest of the ‘tag team’ do incessantly, without any mention of quantitative targets. Fundamentally, his approach is not very different from mine, and the reception to the implementation of either approach among the global population will not be very different. I have provided the 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.

    Forty years ago, when we had a reasonable amount of carbon budget remaining, we could have made a transition toward this desirable end state with relatively little pain and suffering. That era is past. We have run out of carbon budget. If the biosphere can be saved at this point even in theory, and my doubts on this increase every day, the efforts required will be of a heroic nature. There is no avoiding the pain and suffering required at this late date.

  651. Kevin McKinney:

    #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.

  652. Steve Fish:

    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

  653. Chris Dudley:

    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

  654. SecularAnimist:

    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.

  655. DIOGENES:

    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.

  656. DIOGENES:

    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!!

  657. Chris Dudley:

    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.

  658. Killian:

    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

  659. Killian:

    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.

  660. Killian:

    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.

  661. MAXMARE:

    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.

  662. Kevin McKinney:

    #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.

  663. DIOGENES:

    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.

  664. DIOGENES:

    #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

  665. steve Fish:

    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

  666. Chris Dudley:

    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.

  667. Killian:

    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.

  668. MAXMARE:

    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.

  669. DIOGENES:

    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!

  670. DIOGENES:

    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

  671. Killian:

    [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.

  672. gavin:

    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

  673. MAXMARE:

    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.

  674. simon abingdon:

    @gavin #671

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

    I wish.

  675. DIOGENES:

    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?

  676. Joseph O'Sullivan:

    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?

  677. DIOGENES:

    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!

  678. Hank Roberts:

    >> “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.

  679. Jim Larsen:

    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).