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Unforced variations: September 2014

Filed under: — group @ 2 September 2014

This month’s open thread. People could waste time rebunking predictable cherry-picked claims about the upcoming Arctic sea ice minimum, or perhaps discuss a selection of 10 climate change controversies from ICSU… Anything! (except mitigation).

189 Responses to “Unforced variations: September 2014”

  1. 51
    Hank Roberts says:

    > borehole
    The guy using various permutations of fast food company names is a whack-in-the-box.

  2. 52
    Dan H. says:

    Kevin,
    I think the issue with the term consensus is not its meaning (general agreement), but rather the content that is agreed upon. Going back to the original Doran/Zimmerman study, the consensus was that the globe had warmed. While many scientists stated that mankind has contributed to that warming, there was no consensus as to what extent the warming was manmade. To date, scientists debate on the amount of warming caused by man, and what is expected in the future.

  3. 53

    To date, scientists debate on the amount of warming caused by man, and what is expected in the future.

    Why do you keep pushing this false meme here, Dan? All of the current post industrial warming is caused by man, and we know that in the future, it will get warmer, according to the forcings, the TOA energy imbalance and the thermal loads and buffering capacities of the ice sheets and the ocean.

    The atmosphere determines the forcings, but is a minor player in the heat loads other than distributing it around to the sinks. There is not debate except in your mind and the minds of lukewarmers, skeptics and deniers.

  4. 54
    Chris Dudley says:

    Space weather coming: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/powerful-solar-flare-091020143/

    6) Planetary Boundaries: Where do you draw the line?

  5. 55

    Judith Curry and her co-author have written a book on the science of clouds that features a preposterous theory of using Bose-Einstein (B-E) statistics in the degenerate limiting case to describe the condensation nucleation rate (8.2.3) and freezing nucleation rate (8.3.2).

    When forced to defend the bizarre model, Curry minimized the importance of their theory, yet Curry’s co-author Vitaly Khvorostyanov responded in a Climate Etc post with “Thus, if in the future, B-E statistics will appear to be valid for nucleation at low T, the first reference will be this book.”

    In essence, they want the glory should their theory eventually pan out but rationalize any deficiencies by suggesting it was an exercise in “hypothetical applicability”.

    A case of uncertain certainty, if you will.

  6. 56
  7. 57
    Dan H. says:

    Hank,
    I Agree that cherry-picking the Doran/Zimmerman survey does not discredit a survey of scientists on climate change. There are others.

  8. 58
    Hank Roberts says:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/09/02/global_warming_cryosat_observations_show_rapid_greenland_antarctic_ice_loss.html

    I can’t help but mention that I saw this news literally the day after an atrocious Mail Online article also reported on satellite imagery of the North Pole but then grossly misinterpreted it to make the claim that Arctic sea ice is recovering from the record loss in 2012. As I pointed out yesterday, that claim is just so much fertilizer. The contrast between the Mail reporting and that of the Guardian can’t be more different. The latter is trustworthy, the former … less so.

    >Be careful where you get your news about anything, of course, and especially when it’s about scientific issues that have become political ones. It seems that a lot of venues out there are going to great lengths to keep people in the dark about global warming. I will do what I can to shine a light on them.

  9. 59

    We’re not doing mitigation, I know, but this would appear to be “anti-mitigation,” essentially:

    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/09/11/shell-invests-solar-power-based-enhanced-oil-recovery-technology/

    Give Chris Dudley a sickly smile for having predicted this.

  10. 60
    Chuck Hughes says:

    While many scientists stated that mankind has contributed to that warming, there was no consensus as to what extent the warming was manmade. To date, scientists debate on the amount of warming caused by man, and what is expected in the future.

    Comment by Dan H. — 10 Sep 2014

    I don’t know Dan… it sounds to me like you’re attempting to split hairs over what we know which is that human activity is warming up the Planet. If you’re trying to make a point I think you missed. I’m no expert but even I can see through that comment.

    So, is it an attempt at wishful thinking on your part or do you seriously doubt the consensus and the evidence? And at what point in the future would you be ready to accept the reality of our situation? Just curious.

    Thanks

  11. 61
    Chris Dudley says:

    Kevin (#59),

    Yes, three or four doublings of carbon dioxide concentration should be easy.

  12. 62
    Unsettled Scientist says:

    Has anyone watched the film “Disruption” yet? If so, what are your thoughts? If not, here’s the link

    http://watchdisruption.com/

    I just discovered it tonight. Looks like 350.org timed the release of this film to generate some extra momentum going into the marches on the 21st.

  13. 63
    Dan H. says:

    Chuck,
    It is not an attempt at wishful thinking. I have never doubted the consensus nor the evidence that the globe has warmed. Extensively scientific research has gone into determining the cause(s) of that warming and the extent to which each cause has contributed. It is difficult to accept any “reality” until we can accurately ascertain to what that “reality” consists. Different research has made different claims about the causes and how mich mankind has contributed – some even claim that other causes are cooling the planet, but that mankind has caused enough warming to overcompensate for this. I accept the reality of what is occurring. If you were to make a prediction as to what the future holds, and it materializes, then I am likely to accept your reasoning.

  14. 64
    MARodger says:

    Latest Arctic Sea Ice Area daily data is reporting 2014 having passed below the minimum of 2013 but of course a long way short of the 2012 record.

    2012.6986 . 2.2397964 -2.5096879 anomaly
    2013.6931 . 3.5543971 -1.1726882 anomaly
    2014.6904 . 3.5422461 -1.1779362 anomaly

    The more usual measure of Sea Ice Extent shows less melt compared with 2013. SIE is running 160,000 sq km behind 2013 according to JAXA and 40,000 sq km behind according to NSIDC.
    The 2009 comparison may be of interest as if 2014 SIE remains above 2013 minimum levels the denialists will be hoping it also remains above 2009, making this year the freeziest for a whole 8 long years rather than a whimpy 5 years. JAXA has 2014 daily SIE values already 60,000 km below the 2009 minimum while NSIDC have 2009 & 2014 tracking neck-and-neck with 2009 bottoming out 55,000 sq km below today.
    Then with values so close, the headline monthly SIE values could turn out in any order of ranking.

  15. 65
    Pete Best says:

    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2014/08/28/G35783.1.full.pdf+html

    An interesting paper from CESPAR about past climate chamnges and their relevance to the future of climate change and how hard it is to know how quickly past climate changed

  16. 66
    Hank Roberts says:

    some even claim that other causes are cooling the planet, but that mankind has caused enough warming to overcompensate for this

    — Dan H.

    She had a way of carrying a cloud of what Potter once called “retroactive doubt.” When she was anywhere near you, you breathed it. You’d say something and she would repeat it, and by the way she did it — I can’t describe it at all, but I’m telling you the truth — by the way she did it, she made whatever you’d said into a falsehood. Sometimes it suddenly sounded like a lie and sometimes like a mistake and sometimes like something you could be expected to believe because you were ignorant. I mean just repeating your own words….

    “The Pod in the Barrier” — Theodore Sturgeon, Galaxy, Sept. 1957

  17. 67

    #63–A bit disingenuous, Dan, IMO.

    There is, after all, quite a bit of room between certainty and ‘different claims.’ That ‘space’ does include a best estimate:

    GHGs contributed a global mean surface warming likely to be between 0.5°C and 1.3°C over the period 1951–2010, with the contributions from other anthropogenic forcings likely to be between –0.6°C and 0.1°C, from natural forcings likely to be between –0.1°C and 0.1°C, and from internal variability likely to be between –0.1°C and 0.1°C.

    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter10_FINAL.pdf

    Not exactly news, of course, since we’ve been discussing this very point over on the other thread.

  18. 68
    Chuck Hughes says:

    If you were to make a prediction as to what the future holds, and it materializes, then I am likely to accept your reasoning.

    Comment by Dan H.

    If you’re going to wait around for scientific predictions to materialize then what’s the use of having scientific predictions?

    Yeah, let’s wait and see if that stage 4 cancer kills you before we do anything about it. It’s killed everybody else that’s had it but you just might be the rare exception.

    Really Dan… do you expect anyone to take you seriously?

  19. 69
    Dave Peters says:

    My lingering obsession is the great unfinished project of “analysis sales.” Putting what is known “across.” Not saying the following is the answer, but it is humorous, clever, and out of the box.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/nsh/

  20. 70
    Chuck Hughes says:

    I just discovered it tonight. Looks like 350.org timed the release of this film to generate some extra momentum going into the marches on the 21st.

    Comment by Unsettled Scientist — 12 Sep 2014

    “Disruption” is another well produced documentary PSA that probably won’t get much attention. I have about come to the conclusion that the ONLY thing that will get attention is some sort of mega-disaster, bigger than hurricane Sandy. Look at California right now. How bad does it have to get??? I’m all for people marching in protest but OWS didn’t seem to do much. People are talking about it but nothing has really changed. You still have the Senate killing a bill to overturn Citizen’s United. Every time it snows it “disproves Climate Change.”

    I tend to think we’re gonna drive ourselves into the wall of reality. I don’t mean to kill anyone’s optimism on this but emissions are still increasing. We’ve simply outsourced out pollution to China and India. Let’s see what happens when world population hits 10 billion.

  21. 71
  22. 72

    Chuck, currently #70: – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/09/unforced-variations-september-2014/comment-page-2/#comment-594111

    “I’m all for people marching in protest but OWS didn’t seem to do much.”

    Change doesn’t come easy. It takes a LOT of people even to get noticed, and a lot of people for a considerable time to motivate legislators. And that takes effort and organization. I’m hopeful that we’re seeing that process ramp up.

    “People are talking about it but nothing has really changed.”

    Not quite. We’ve got a non-denier in the White House (and kept him there for a second term in the face of a challenger who literally treated climate change as a joke.) And the result has been meaningful changes in policy that support structural changes to the US economy. We also appear to be in a considerably better place in terms reaching some sort of climate deal in 2015 (though Heaven knows that’s far from a lock.) Let’s keep the pressure on.

    “We’ve simply outsourced out pollution to China and India.”

    China is now the leading deployer (and a exporter) of renewable energy tech, and India’s new government is pushing solar in a big way (coal having been failing badly for some time now.)

    Some semi-random recent items illustrating the sentence above:

    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/09/01/china-reach-100-gw-pv-capacity-2018/
    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/08/26/chinas-coal-consumption-finally-decreased/
    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/09/12/worlds-largest-single-rooftop-solar-power-project-commissioned-india/
    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/08/30/india-subsidise-solar-power-projects-army-railways/

    Nor are they alone in the developing world: Renewable energy is surging from Latin America to the Arabian peninsula (Qatar and Saudi Arabia are both looking to the future beyond oil with big bets on renewable tech.)

    That’s not to indulge in triumphalism; we’re still a long way from where we need to be. But the status quo has shifted in significant ways.

  23. 73
    Icarus62 says:

    Do climate scientists in general think that there is a significant risk of triggering self-sustaining climate feedbacks? i.e. Will we set off enough feedbacks that the climate will continue to warm rapidly, even if we could find a way to reduce anthropogenic forcings to zero, and not stop until the feedbacks are exhausted? If so, what’s the best guess about what would take us to that point?

  24. 74
    Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid says:

    #64 and others: ARTIC SEA ICE
    Please kindly don´t forget its “3rd dimension”:
    Snow Cover on Arctic Sea Ice Has Thinned 30 to 50 Percent:

    http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/news/snow-cover-arctic-sea-ice-thinned-20140815/#.VA2Auhy7KEs

  25. 75
    wili says:

    Thanks for the SkS and the ‘Disruption’ links.

    Here’s something recent from Naomi Klein: http://www.macleans.ca/society/the-interview-climate-activist-naomi-klein/

    “…the countries that have been emitting longest need to cut our emissions between eight and ten per cent a year, starting now.

    … It would require that climate change receive wartime levels of action.”

  26. 76
    Chuck Hughes says:

    That’s not to indulge in triumphalism; we’re still a long way from where we need to be. But the status quo has shifted in significant ways.

    Comment by kevin Mckinney

    I will change my mind about our situation when global emissions start coming down. The Keeling Curve has to change its trajectory. If ANY of the multiple feedbacks have set in it’s going to be a tough slog, and West Antarctica isn’t looking too promising right now.

    Unfortunately, the real battle is with human nature, not nature itself. We still have half the population electing people who have no business holding public office, along with a deadlocked Senate and Congress. Even if the President wanted to make progress on Climate Change he’s hamstrung by low information voters and a corporately owned government. I’m not about to give up but the clock is ticking and emissions are still going up. The fact that things could be worse doesn’t mean things are getting better.

    We’ve managed to export our emissions and jobs while unbridled consumerism in the U.S. continues to thrive. The folks on Wall Street call that “progress.”

  27. 77
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    I keep running into the “pause” skeptics and counter it with “it’s going into the deeper oceans,” when it occurred to me that may be of concern.

    Isn’t the deeper oceans where the methane hydrates or clathrate ice encasings are? Now, is that deeper ocean warming warm enough and deep enough to be melting those clathrates?

    Does this relate: “Widespread methane leakage’ coming from hundreds of vents off East Coast ocean floor” http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/25/widespread-methane-leakage-coming-from-hundreds-of-vents-off-east-coast-ocean-floor/

  28. 78

    “I will change my mind about our situation when global emissions start coming down.”

    – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/09/unforced-variations-september-2014/comment-page-2/#comment-594417

    Ah, Chuck, you’re a hard fellow indeed. Wouldn’t you at least change it a little if they started going up slower?

    ;-(

  29. 79
    Unsettled Scientist says:

    wili linked to a Naomi Klein interview in which she is quoted:

    “One of the craziest things I discovered in my book is that the Nature Conservancy isn’t just taking money from fossil fuel companies, and isn’t just investing its own money in fossil fuel companies, but there is an oil well on their land in Texas! It doesn’t get much crazier than that. This oil well is on a nature preserve that was supposed to protect one of the most endangered birds in America. Under their watch all the birds have disappeared.

    Some big green groups have made terrible deals with fossil fuel companies. I do name names in the book. I think they are going to become irrelevant.

    I did not know about this, and it is very sad. I won’t have the time to get her book and read it, but I would love to see that list of named names along with a little blurb about what they did. I would make the time to look up these organizations, especially if they are/were ones that I have trusted.

    This news really bummed me out on this beautiful “pre-Autumn” day in which I can feel the change in the weather and have been building recipes for the soups I plan to make these coming cooler months.

  30. 80
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Ah, Chuck, you’re a hard fellow indeed. Wouldn’t you at least change it a little if they started going up slower?

    Comment by Kevin McKinney

    I welcome any change except the one we’ve just seen where emissions went up.

    Climate Change is vastly different from anything we’ve ever faced. Understanding the science is key and that’s a tall order for the majority of the population who are absorbed with taking “selfies” and playing with gadgets.

    It’s taken me several years to fully appreciate our delicate situation and that’s with a lot of reading and study. Relatively few people are going to take the time to study the science like we have. Unless they’re standing neck deep in mud and even then it ain’t likely. I know plenty of folks in Colorado who lost everything last September in the floods along the Front Range and they still don’t know what Climate Change is. They’re too busy building right back in the same exact location they were wiped out in last year, with no insurance against the next disaster. It’s all “live for tomorrow and hope for the best.”

    We’ve always been our own worst enemy. I want to be optimistic but we’re talking about changing people’s mindset very quickly, then there’s the time factor. My understanding is we’re out of time. I remain hopeful because that’s all there is. Humans are full of hope and a lot of crap as well, or we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. I’m taking the ‘wait and see’ approach and hoping that some really smart people come up with a viable solution that doesn’t run out the clock.

    If I see any evidence that we’ve turned a corner on emissions I’ll be jumping up and down like everyone else. That would be a major accomplishment. Should that happen, we’ll have some momentum to maybe turn the next corner until we turn things around. That’s what I’m looking for.

  31. 81
    Dan H. says:

    Chuck,
    Poor analogy. If they predict everyone in my area will get cancer, and the rate does not exist the normal occurrance, why should I believe that I will succumb? However, if the occurrence exceeds the normal rate, then I will take notice. The higher the occurrence, the more vigilant. Your analogy assumes that I already have cancer, and am close to death. You are comparing apples and porcupines.

  32. 82
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Poor analogy. If they predict everyone in my area will get cancer

    Poor analogy. Don’t argue the analogy.

    Argue the prediction and observation.

    They predicted the only planet we all live on would get warmer.
    That has started and is continuing.
    ‘Ignoramus ignorabimus’ argues over the details.

  33. 83
    Chuck Hughes says:

    You are comparing apples and porcupines.

    Comment by Dan H.

    I should have known better than to argue by analogy as there’s already a thread about that very topic.

    Suffice it to say that waiting around for scientific predictions to materialize before taking action or taking them seriously is poor judgement. We’re talking about Physics in this case which is a pretty exact science. CO2 traps heat.

    No analogy needed.

  34. 84
    Ric Merritt says:

    Re: Nature Conservancy owning land containing an oil well, and similar complaints. (Subject was raised in the Naomi Klein interview linked a few comments up.)

    I haven’t seen the details on this one, and they aren’t cited in the comments here or the interview either. The details might make some difference to ones point, depending on what ones point is. Not clear here.

    But one point I would not pay any attention to is to make The Nature Conservancy out to be the equivalent of a kindly pediatrician by day who sneaks around at night murdering toddlers. It’s a wee bit more complex than that. We all agree on our tolerance for murdering toddlers, namely zero.

    If you have zero tolerance for compromising with FF interests, I’ll listen after you stop flying, riding in cars, living in dwellings built with FF, and eat only food grown with hand tools which were forged using renewable energy and carried by donkey to the place of use … well, you get the point, we all are compromised to various degrees, and it’s a tough wriggle to escape. None of us lives naked in the woods sustained by dew dripping off epiphytes. By our existence, we benefit from FFs.

    Did TNC look around for good oil plays where they could drill baby drill? Or was grandfathering some amount of oil production a condition of whatever effort they were making in the relevant area? I’m guessing they made some compromise, as do we all. If you disagree with theirs, rolling your eyes until your Mom warns you they may get stuck there is not sufficiently articulate.

  35. 85
    Walter Pearce says:

    Dan H.’s comment #81 embodies one of Chuck Hughes’ spot-on analogies:

    “…full of…a lot of crap…”

  36. 86
    Unsettled Scientist says:

    The Nature Conservancy

    Wow Ric, you certainly made a drastic leap from my “very sad, really bummed” to “murdering toddlers.” So, instead of engaging in wild hyperbole, let’s just look up the details.

    Group Earns Oil Income Despite Pledge on Drilling

    The Texas property’s purpose was to protect a specific bird, Attwater’s prairie chickens. In 1999 they created a lease allowing the energy company to drill (provided it didn’t disturb the chicken’s habitat) and dedicating the money to protecting the chickens. That might have been a reasonable compromise.

    That well failed in 2003. An outside attorney said that company had the right under that 1999 lease to drill a new well in 2007. However, the Nature Conservancy’s internal documents identified a potential out from that lease, namely that the new well would disturb the chickens. Rather than pursue a termination of the lease and protect the bird, TNC decided doing so *might* be too costly. So they took the money, and screwed the bird.

    This raises the question of how committed The Nature Conservancy is to the cause of protecting the land and the wildlife? They saw a path that they could have followed to protect the wildlife, but chose not to do so. The site was specifically for protecting an endangered bird, they didn’t fight to protect it, and that bird is now gone from the site.

    Now that I know these details, I am indeed very sad, and really bummed about this. The Nature Conservancy didn’t even try to terminate the lease when they thought that they could do so in order to protect one of the most endangered species in the country. And loss of habitat is the primary reason for this bird’s downfall.

    There is a difference between compromising and being compromised. This renews my interest in a list of the big greens that are getting a too cozy big energy. I would hope that the organizations we trust to protect the environment would do more than get a CYA memo and actually put up a legal fight to protect the things they say they are protecting.

  37. 87
    Dan H. says:

    Chuck,
    No one is arguing the fact that CO2 traps heat. The larger debate circles around the varying feedbacks, positive and negative, resulting from that effect. Taking the physics from an experiement in a closed, controlled environment, and applying it to an open, chaotic system is not easy, nor is it exact.

  38. 88
    Hank Roberts says:

    > *might* be too costly

    Voltaire — ‘I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.’

    It’s an ugly situation that lawyers made worse.
    Imagine my surprise.

  39. 89
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Some “blog science” claiming to debunk HadCRUT4:

    HadCRUT4 strikes out

    If corrections this large are needed to support the claim that there are no fundamental differences between surface air temperatures and SSTs then clearly the claim clearly isn’t a very robust one. The fact that the specific goal of the corrections was to match the SSTs to the air temperatures also doesn’t help. As a result we can’t dismiss the possibility that HadCRUT4 really is averaging apples and oranges, in which case it won’t be representative of anything, except possibly a lemon.

    etc.

  40. 90
    dhogaza says:

    Unsettled Scientist:

    I wouldn’t take Noami Klein’s word on the matter, and the NYT article you cite isn’t nearly as cut-and-dried as your summary. The Nature Conservancy has done a lot of good work on private lands.

    The typical non-profit conservation organization’s approach is to concentrate on public lands, which in western states can exceed 50% of the state’s area. I was a board member on the co-lead plantiff of the spotted owl suit which led to drastic changes (though IMO not drastic enough) in timber harvest practices on PNW forests in the 1990s, so can attest to the effectivement of the public lands approach.

    This approach does not work well in Texas, where most of the biologically interesting land is in private hands. TNC frequently purchases conservation easements on privately-held land, or buys land but grandfathers in certain existing management activities. This approach has served them well, in many cases, but no one – least of all TNC – argues that it is perfect. It is a compromise that lowers the cost of protecting land for conservation, which allows them to stretch their funds and buy or obtain conservation easements for more.

    I don’t know the details of the Atwater Prairie Chicken episode. As the NYT article you cite states, it’s not known if drilling was the cause of their disappearing from the tract or not (again, don’t trust Noami Klein who states with certainty that this is the case).

    I *am* quite familiar with their efforts to protect Lesser Prairie Chickens in eastern New Mexico (south of Clovis, of “point” fame), and nearby bits of West Texas. Their efforts include conservation easements, education, working with ranchers, the state of NM, etc. It has working. Even if it were to fail and Lesser Prairie Chickens were to disappear from the area, their hard work to prevent this from happening is unquestionable.

    Going back to PNW old-growth protection and spotted owls, it is becoming increasingly obvious that protection may’ve come too late for that species in much of its range. That’s sad. That doesn’t NOT mean however that the dedicated people (including me) who worked for a couple of decades to get those protections in place were – what’s your point? – charlatans, perhaps? Sometimes outcomes of hard, dedicated work are failures despite best efforts.

    TNC may – or may not have – screwed up in the case you’ve mentioned. Again, I don’t trust Noami Klein to lay out the facts objectively, she clearly has an agenda. And any organization the size of TNC is going to screw up from time-to-time, that’s just reality. Cherry-picking a possible screw-up to indict the entire body of work of the organization is just wrong.

  41. 91
  42. 92
  43. 93
    dhogaza says:

    Unsettled Scientist:

    Of course, the real reason why the prairie chickens disappeared from the site might be this (from the NYT article you cite):

    “The birds disappeared from the reserve in 2012, though the primary reason seems to have been a decision by the federal government to stop renewing the wild population with birds bred in captivity. Those birds are now being released at a larger preserve where they are thought to have a better chance of survival.”

    Ahh, the feds stopped releasing birds there …

    The article also points out that the drilling decision was made by the Texas chapter of TNC. TNC state chapters are fairly autonomous …

  44. 94
    Ric Merritt says:

    Unsettled Scientist, thanks for the helpful link.

    No, I didn’t make a “drastic leap” from anything you said: I was mainly talking about the contents of the previously linked interview.

    And from your linked NYT piece, as I had suspected, this particular oil lease is grandfathered. Beyond that, a lot of folks think TNC swung too far toward compromise a decade or so ago, and they have made significant adjustments since then. A lot of murk, complicated stuff that is hard to summarize, a large space within which to agree and disagree. I sure there are loads of details that never got into the Times piece.

    The Klein interview just cited the existence of the well and went straight to eye-rolling. Too simple for me. (And this from an author and activist I applaud, all things considered.)

  45. 95
    wili says:

    Ric, false comparison. By your argument, almost no free person in the antebellum south (or the north, for that matter) could have had a firm opposition to slaves or slave owners because they all got some benefit from that system. No one who has ever done any drugs could claim any right to a position that people shouldn’t push drugs…

    Just because people are stuck in a system dependent on FFs doesn’t mean they can’t be against that dependence and the people who work to keep the system so dependent. People don’t _want_ to burn sequestered carbon in such a way that it compromises their and their childrens’…futures. They want warm homes, an ability to get to where they need to go, and a way of feeding themselves…

    It is in fact a moral imperative for those who don’t want these services to continue to be based on burning carbon to challenge those who are profiting from this pattern most and who are most responsible for keeping the system carbon based to their profit and to everyone else’s detriment.

    In the mean time, I do think it is worth looking at how much each of us can, to the best of our abilities, remove ourselves from burning carbon more than necessary–but ultimately it is collective actions, not just individual actions, that will get us where we need to be.

  46. 96

    applying it to an open, chaotic system

    Claiming that whatever it is you are claiming to be an ‘open chaotic system’ is ‘not even wrong’. Why do you continue with this kind of FUD here when anyone with a minimal science training can easily see through your BS?

  47. 97
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Taking the physics from an experiment in a closed, controlled environment, and applying it to an open, chaotic system is not easy, nor is it exact.

    Comment by Dan H. — 16 Sep 2014

    Again Dan, why have scientific predictions if you’re going to ignore them? I think most or all of Albert Einstein’s predictions materialized including his prediction of Black Holes. That nothing can travel faster than the speed of light has been tested time and again. They’re called “the Laws of Physics” for a reason. Theoretical Physics is based on known laws and predictions are based on what we already know. That’s how we’re able to land on Mars and send the Voyager I and II out of the solar system with dead accuracy. How do you think GPS can pinpoint your exact location? There’s no guesswork involved. It’s a mathematical calculation based on known factors.

    The Earth is a “closed environment” albeit a very large one, and we pretty well know what caused the last 5 mass extinctions. Only one was caused by an asteroid, the rest were caused by a changing climate. Either you understand the Physics of the situation or you do not. Maybe you’re not willing to accept the reality. No matter. Your reasoning is flawed and could be dangerous, especially if you’re trying to convince others that we’re not in serious trouble.

    CO2 traps heat. Humans produce billions of tonnes of it. That’s it. What happens as a result is a matter of time. We don’t know exactly how soon things will happen but so far, everything that has been predicted has happened much faster than expected. I fully expect things to continue to speed up as we cross more and more tipping points. The only way to reverse the situation is to understand what put us here in the first place.

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    Chris Dudley says:

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will participate in the climate march this weekend in NYC which is otherwise being kept away from the UN. http://mainenewsonline.com/content/1409736-un-chief-join-people-s-climate-march

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    Ray Ladbury says:

    Dan H., again invokes the favorite talismans of the lukewarmers: “nonlinear,” and “chaotic”. As if these are supposed to scare any real scientist. We deal with nonlinear and chaotic systems every day. Once the lukewarmers develop sufficient cojones to make actual predictions, maybe I’ll listen. ‘Til then, they aren’t even wrong.