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Unforced variations: Mar 2014

Filed under: — group @ 3 March 2014

This month’s open thread.


679 Responses to “Unforced variations: Mar 2014”

  1. 351
  2. 352
    Walter says:

    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

  3. 353
    DIOGENES says:

    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?

  4. 354
  5. 355

    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.

  6. 356
    MartinJB says:

    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.

  7. 357
    ClimateWatch says:

    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?

  8. 358
    Chuck Hughes says:

    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/

  9. 359

    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).

  10. 360
    DIOGENES says:

    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.

  11. 361
    wili says:

    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.

  12. 362
    wili says:

    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.

  13. 363
    DIOGENES says:

    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.

  14. 364
    DIOGENES says:

    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.

  15. 365
    Hank Roberts says:

    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.

  16. 366

    #356–Plus one. DIO is, functionally, just another troll.

  17. 367

    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.

  18. 368
    Ric Merritt says:

    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?

  19. 369
    Mal Adapted says:

    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?

  20. 370
    Hank Roberts says:

    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 ….

  21. 371
    Steve Fish says:

    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

  22. 372
    DIOGENES says:

    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?

  23. 373
    DIOGENES says:

    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.

  24. 374
    DIOGENES says:

    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?

  25. 375
    Chris Dudley says:

    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?

  26. 376
    Walter says:

    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

  27. 377
  28. 378
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    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.

  29. 379
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    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.

  30. 380
    Thomas says:

    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.

  31. 381
    Hank Roberts says:

    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—-

  32. 382
    prokaryotes says:

    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.

  33. 383
    Chuck Hughes says:

    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.

  34. 384
    wili says:

    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.

  35. 385
    Walter says:

    Good morning life, logorama
    http://vimeo.com/10149605 :)

  36. 386
    prokaryotes says:

    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?

  37. 387
    prokaryotes says:

    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?

  38. 388
    DIOGENES says:

    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?

  39. 389

    “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.

  40. 390
    DIOGENES says:

    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!

  41. 391
    MartinJB says:

    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.

  42. 392
    MartinJB says:

    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.

  43. 393
    DIOGENES says:

    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.”

  44. 394
    doug says:

    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.

  45. 395
    DIOGENES says:

    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.

  46. 396
    DIOGENES says:

    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.

  47. 397
    wili says:

    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.

  48. 398
    Mal Adapted says:

    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.

  49. 399
    wili says:

    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?

  50. 400
    Hank Roberts says:

    … 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


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