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Unforced Variations: August 2017

Filed under: — group @ 2 August 2017

This month’s open thread.

592 Responses to “Unforced Variations: August 2017”

  1. 451
    Thomas says:

    re 436 etc etc etc luckily I have been aware of Nafeez Ahmed ideas and writings for some time. And others too numerous to mention. People are responsible for their own education and state of knowledge, imho.

    His latest book, Failing States, Collapsing Systems: BioPhysical Triggers of Political Violence (Springer, 2017) is a scientific study of how climate, energy, food and economic crises are driving state failures around the world. https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/the-new-economic-science-of-capitalisms-slow-burn-energy-collapse-d07344fab6be

    Should be a mandatory read for all politicians, policy makers, media execs and journalists, talk show hosts, civil servants and AGW climate scientists whatever their particular field. And a prerequisite read before one is registered to Vote at the next election? (grinning)

  2. 452
    Thomas says:

    #426 et al BPL “…. The pipelines would go through the Ukraine. The deal was worth $500 billion.

    Mate, mate, ….. maaaaaate, there’s enough to keep you busy in your own back yard without needing to travel to Ukraine or Russia or even laying blame for MH17 or chemical weapons or nations chasing defensive nuclear weapons of their own. ;-)

    New Published Study
    EXXON-Mobil – the largest oil producer in the United States, with revenue of $218bn last year – denied having led a four-decade disinformation campaign.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/24/exxon-deliberately-misled-public-on-climate-science-say-researchers

    Not to mention Enron and ….. all the multi-Billionaire American Oligarchs who run the US Government and the Congress and the SCOTUS. People in glass houses and all … nothing personal here on my end. ;-)

  3. 453
    nigelj says:

    This Russia thing needs to be faced head on. There’s good evidence Russia interfered in the 2016 election, nicely covered below.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/07/06/heres-the-public-evidence-that-supports-the-idea-that-russia-interfered-in-the-2016-election/?utm_term=.32828958115c

    This evidence is quite strong, and obviously the intelligence agencies would only release some of it so its likely even stronger still. That’s not to say America should take a highly aggressive attitude to Russia, because I don’t see how war mongering helps. Just respectful cool neutrality might be the sensible approach.

  4. 454
    Nemesis says:

    @Scott Strout, #447

    ” My guess is that CCS and BECCS are simply funded by the merchants of doubt as a way to misdirect and obfuscate people away from what is already well known…”

    That’s exactly the way, I look at CCS, BECCS and stuff like that. It’s just another attempt to go on with BAU, another attempt to maintain the status quo of omnipresent, only saving capitalism. Here’s a technology review of BECCS an CCS, done by the MIT:

    ” The Dubious Promise of Bioenergy Plus Carbon Capture – Climate change agreements rest on negative emissions technologies that may be unachievable

    … Although there are dozens of projects that use biomass, either alone or in combination with other fuels such as coal, for producing electricity, there are serious doubts about the economic viability of the sector, the availability of biomass supplies to support growth, and the life-cycle contribution of such facilities to greenhouse gas emissions. Ambitious projections for carbon capture and storage programs, meanwhile, have proven unrealistic, and there is little indication that such systems will become economically viable in the foreseeable future.

    What’s more, although the full BECCS process is often touted as carbon-negative, there are several faulty assumptions in that characterization…

    The most prominent BECCS project currently underway is Archer Daniels Midland’s project at Decatur, Illinois. The project has been years in development. “Permitting has been a long and complex process,” says Scott McDonald, the project manager. And it still awaits final approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Once it’s complete, the captured carbon will not be stored underground but used for enhanced oil recovery in nearby wells. Studies have estimated that about a billion barrels of residual oil could be recovered in the Illinois basin using carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery. In other words, a technology advertised as carbon-negative would result in the production of a billion new barrels of carbon-producing fossil fuels—oil that would not otherwise be produced. That is hardly a climate-friendly solution…

    In short, BECCS represents the marriage of two technologies, neither of which has proven to be viable on its own. The technology’s “credibility as a climate change mitigation option is unproven,” concluded a September 2014 study in Nature Climate Change led by Sabine Fuss, a scientist at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin, “and its widespread deployment in climate stabilization scenarios might become a dangerous distraction.” ”

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/544736/the-dubious-promise-of-bioenergy-plus-carbon-capture/

    Isn’t it quite unsettling, that BECCS and CCS is a key “solution” of IPCC assesments?! Yes, it is 8-)

    For those, who are interested in sustainable and climate friendly agriculture, I recommend:

    ” Vandana Shiva – Food, farming, and climate change: People centred solutions (Part 1)”

    https://youtu.be/F1im5y87W3s

    But that will never happen, because it undermines profit optimized, feel-good solutions of mythical technocratic capitalist future super-heroes. Hail technology and capitalism!, that will be the prayer carved in our tombstones.

  5. 455
    Nemesis says:

    Btw, I’d really like to thank the moderation of realclimate.org (is it really famous Gavin Schmidt, who moderates this board?)! Not a single one of the rather unorthodox posts of mine has been weeded out so far (unlike on many other forums I’ve posted on). Thanks for your openness and your completely unbiased moderation!

  6. 456

    Th: BPL I do hope your work in astronomy is much better than your gullibility over Assange et al.

    BPL: I wouldn’t say I’m the gullible one here. Your response is full of attacks on me, but none on the substance of what I said. As I asked KIA, to no response, Vwy Chekista? Because there are a number of them on the internet, and like you, they never say anything bad about Russia.

  7. 457
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @438

    “It’s (capitalism) a “culture” of exploitation, slavery and destruction. And it will soon be gone.”

    In case you haven’t NOTICED modern western capitalist societies have mostly actually dropped the idea of slavery.

    The Soviet Union had slave labour camps, Ancient Greece and Rome had slave labour. Its a feature of all cultures of any size.

    I was a capitalist despising idealist in my youth. Maybe the idealism’s gone, or maybe there’s a terrible lack of viable, workable alternatives.

    You can cure most of the ills of capitalism just with better laws, get rid of dumb corporate worshiping politicians, teach more social responsibility.

    The problem is too many stupid people. The five universal laws of stupidity:

    http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2016/09/the_basic_laws_of_human_stupidity.html

  8. 458
    zebra says:

    Mal Adapted (and nigelj),

    Mal: Yes, it is a cheap rhetorical ploy. “Monkey nature” is more correct, and seems more pointed than “chimp nature” or “primate nature” or “social animals with hierarchical organization defined by individual status…nature”.

    I don’t agree with your implied inevitability of population growth because, as I pointed out earlier, we can say with confidence (from observation) that it is not necessarily human nature to reproduce beyond replacement. Large subgroups demonstrate this, as you know, given certain conditions.

    This is why I keep suggesting to nigel that a more reductionist approach is necessary before we construct policy options.

  9. 459
    Nemesis says:

    Climate change and capitalism, a fatal combination:

    ” This is Not Going to End Well, Climate Change & Corruption!”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLpWnYBY1aM

    Btw: I’d like to stress, that I DON’T vote for communism or whatever political system, I vote for hard facts, reality only.

  10. 460
  11. 461
    Nemesis says:

    One more for today:

    I have to admit, that I don’t like capitalism that much. BUT:

    The inevitable end of capitalism will be really painfull. I guess, when capitalism will be finished, then the following political system will be even worse. See, I give a shit about ANY political system at all (I am finished with politics for quite a while). I’m just interested in facts, painfull, nacked facts in the cooking of Nature.

  12. 462
    Mal Adapted says:

    zebra:

    I don’t agree with your implied inevitability of population growth

    I can see why you thought I was implying that, but by saying population growth has been positive for 10ky, I don’t mean continued positive growth is inevitable. Future population growth may be negative, zero or positive.

    No, by pointing out that it was an historical trend that was not a “roller coaster” in nigelj’s phrasing, I was actually implying that population growth may have been the most important driver for cultural evolution to date.

    And if I didn’t make it clear, to an evolutionary biologist ‘nature vs. nurture’ is a false dichotomy. ‘Human nature’ includes cultural adaptation, propagated by juvenile modelling of adult behavior and by rich and flexible symbolic language, a uniquely human adapation. Any specific behavior has both biological and cultural causes, and I’m not claiming population growth is caused more by one than by the other.

  13. 463
    Killian says:

    #448 Thomas…

    As I’ve been saying, while offering a new design for society, since at least 2011.

    There is exactly one choice: Simplify. All else follows from the logic of that, because if not EAU, Econ As Usual, then what?

  14. 464
    Killian says:

    #442 Thomas said “I don’t want to have to interpret your posts…” while assuming I must be the only cause of the problem? Aha.

    You are taking this too hard. You use more words, and with less directness, than is strictly necessary. Style, for sure, but when it slows communication, then perhaps a bit less…?

    Not only don’t I try too hard, frankly I do not ‘try’ at all. :-)))

    Playfully disingenuous, but still disingenuous. :-)

    No offense intended.

    #435 nigelj said Killian @433

    “Nigel, got to admit: Didn’t even read your response cuz… economics… blah, blah… economics… blah… no such thing as sustainability… blah, blah…”

    Where have I ever said I don’t support sustainability?

    Friend, everything you say is the opposite, ipso facto.

    #437 nigelj said we need to keep the current measure of gdp growth as it is, or economists will have a fit.

    You had not/have not read the link at #436, it seems.

    And, who cares what voodoo priests do?

    #425 BPL indicated “I inhaled AND drank the KoolAid.”

  15. 465
    Killian says:

    #451 Thomas said …I have been aware of Nafeez Ahmed ideas and writings for some time… His latest book, Failing States, Collapsing Systems: BioPhysical Triggers of Political Violence (Springer, 2017) is a scientific study of how climate, energy, food and economic crises are driving state failures around the world…

    Should be a mandatory read for all politicians, policy makers, media execs and journalists, talk show hosts, civil servants and AGW climate scientists whatever their particular field. And a prerequisite read before one is registered to Vote at the next election? (grinning)

    Why? I hate the assumption one must live in and/or visit Ivory Towers to understand anything worth knowing. I needed exactly zero “scientific” analysis to figure the same things far sooner and much more simply. Go to First Principles, core concepts and logic. Anyone can figure this stuff out. We need no more supermen.

    Certainly exposure to others and conversations hither and thither and even a few books inform one, but the idea we need some special person somewhere to sort it all out for us is dangerous, insulting and false.

    Know what’s far more important than why we fall? What we need to bring about.

  16. 466
    Thomas says:

    453 nigelj, hi mate, I refer you first to my 451/452 comments for perspective. Here I am speaking about ‘critical thinking’ and ‘asymmetrical information’ in general. Apply as you see fit, keeping in mind my key point that “People are responsible for their own education and state of knowledge, imho.” and not me nor anyone else. :-)

    fwiw with a background in multinational corporate mngt and business marketing (and PR Advertising which is separate to Marketing btw) it’s noteworthy that I have far more Bookmarks in my ‘Geo Politics $ Media’ folder than I do on my Climate bookmarks folder.

    One ref is this: https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/04/11/wash-post-doesn-t-disclose-writer-supporting-syria-strike-lobbyist-tomahawk-missile-manufacturer/215976 I quite like Media Matters as well as credible Journos like Seymour Hersh.

    One could certainly “conclude” that US Intel and media leaks is credible so long as one keeps ignoring the historical record surrounding Pinochet, Sth Africa, Marcos, the 1st and 2nd Iraq wars, and people like Sen. John McCain standing in front of a violent NeoNazi gathering in Ukraine calling for the overthrow of an elected Government and President. One can easily imagine what kind of response such illegal demonstrations would reap in the land of the free. Check the historical record in ‘the homeland’ if unsure about that.

    Woodward and Bernstein no long work at the WP and it’s not 1971 anymore either. Hint: Breitbart, Fox and the IPA in Oz are not the only “media/pr” operators acting as an arm for political party/geopoltical ideologues and Corporate self-interest in modern democracies as “fake news networks.”

    I recently counseled Ray L. about such things when I said: “A Conclusion is Simply Where You Stopped Thinking”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/08/unforced-variations-august-2017/comment-page-8/#comment-682031

    It’s not only useful, but it’s psychologically healthy to not hold to fast to beliefs that have been fed by others as if they are 100% true and already proven fact – when they are not. Much can be gained by looking at climate science developments alone and the public disinformation machine about it. Nothing exists in a vacuum, right?

    As MartinJB said here “Deniers simply want to re-adjudicate the conclusions of the world’s climate scientists in a venue where it is easier to obfuscate and misdirect.” http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/07/red-teamblue-team-day-1/#comment-680270

    Or Killian who said “False premise leads to false conclusion.” http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/06/unforced-variations-june-2017/comment-page-3/#comment-679058

    And as the RC scientists have again poignantly reminded us: “Not one of these answers is correct. None of these conclusions would be logical. Why not?http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/07/the-climate-has-always-changed-what-do-you-conclude

    For as jgnfld says: “Presenting information in its full context is not a denier attribute. Nor could it be or the conclusion would be that there is warming. Hence the constant cherrypicking and presentation of singular, out-of-context factoids exactly as we saw with tobacco, acid rain, etc. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/07/the-climate-has-always-changed-what-do-you-conclude/comment-page-5/#comment-681403

    Beware the Memes – Focus on the Hard Data instead and do not confuse the two.

    “A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.”
    ― Dan Chaon,

    “I have come to the conclusion, after many years of sometimes sad experience, that you cannot come to any conclusion at all.”
    ― Vita Sackville-West

    Beware whom you choose to believe and why you do that.
    – Thomas@RC

  17. 467
    Thomas says:

    454 et al Keywords Soil organic carbon; phytoliths, phytOC, terrestrial
    carbon sequestration, occluded carbon; organic matter decomposition.
    Jeff Parr·Leigh Sullivan – Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW 2480 Australia and Plantstone Pty Ltd, 90 Zouch Road, Stoney Chute, 2480, NSW,
    Australia – Received: 14 July 2008 / Accepted : 6 February 2009
    Abstract – The potential to reduce emissions from agriculture
    and increase the amount of carbon captured in soils is currently
    being examined by researchers in a number of countries.
    we have shown that the quantity of
    carbon occluded in phytoliths varies considerably between
    different sugarcane varieties. This indicates that farmers simply
    choosing
    to grow cultivars of high PhytOC yields over those
    that have lower PhytOC yields could sequester substantial
    amounts of additional carbon. The results presented in this
    paper do not represent the full potential of this process, which
    could be significantly improved by selective breeding. Our
    field trials on various crops indicate that the selection of
    cultivars for this trait may be undertaken with no apparent
    loss in yield or plant biomass or other desirable traits under
    current farming practice.

    http://cargoroadwines.com.au/sba/pdf/BioCCS-plantstones.pdf

    Nah, there’s no money in “simply choosing” …. it’ll never work. :-)

  18. 468
    Thomas says:

    Hey BPL and others – Lismore NSW 2480 Australia – is Julian Assange country. He went to school there for a number of years and was dipped in the prevailing ‘consciousness’ of the region. Such as http://www.byron-bay.com/region/nimbin.html :-)

    Julian was a bit of an ‘App’ trailblazer when he went to Melb Uni. His first foray in public notoriety was when he created a Bulletin Board as a Free Public Service that listed vacant houses and warehouses that could be used as “Squats” for poor Students and the homeless.

    Julian became a modern day equivalent of another great Australian Tradition https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squatting_(pastoral)

    (smile)

  19. 469
    Thomas says:

    @454 et al
    http://www.globalccsinstitute.com/projects/large-scale-ccs-projects

    an example from the list of 39 projects
    November 2015 – http://reneweconomy.com.au/the-fallout-from-saskpowers-boundary-dam-ccs-debacle-54803/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundary_Dam_Power_Station

    and
    Shell’s Quest $1.35 billion carbon-capture project – The Alberta government is providing $0.745 BLN for construction and Quest‘s first 10 years of operation. The federal government provided $0.120 BLN for engineering and design work.
    “It aims to capture and store up to 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 [1.2Mt – Megatonnes] per year from the Scotford Upgrader, the facility at Fort Saskatchewan which produces synthetic crude oil from bitumen derived from the Athabasca Oil Sands extraction project.
    http://edmontonjournal.com/business/energy/shells-quest-1-35-billion-carbon-capture-project-near-edmonton-on-target-for-completion
    http://www.energy.alberta.ca/CCS/3822.asp
    http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/quest-project

    Perspective:
    According to international data, Canada’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fuel combustion in 2010 accounted for 1.8% of global emissions
    “Under the “with current measures” scenario, Canada’s GHG emissions in 2020 are projected to be 734 megatonnes (Mt) [millions of tonnes.”
    https://www.ec.gc.ca/ges-ghg/985F05FB-4744-4269-8C1A-D443F8A86814/1001-Canada%27s%20Emissions%20Trends%202013_e.pdf
    1.2Mt = 0.16% of annual Canadian GHG emissions in 2020 at a start up cost of ~$1.35 BILLION

    There are 38 such publicly funded “Rent Seeking Neoliberal Multinational Corporate Projects” floundering world wide. This reminds me of pissing in the ocean and expecting Sea Level to rise measurably. (smiling)

  20. 470
    Thomas says:

    @456 BPL re “Your response is full of attacks on me..”

    Nah, you’re clearly taking my comments and humour way too seriously and personally mate.

    and re “… but none on the substance of what I said.”
    If you’re interested, and it’s fine if you are not, I did address the “substance” in my own way. I am simply not going to get down into the mud over the details. It’s a waste of all our time, mine especially, because I know no matter how many “data points” I produce to counter your and others beliefs at present, it will make no difference.

    To me, it’s just not worth the arguments and disagreements that would follow. I think I summarise my perspective and reasoning really well in my “453 nigelj, hi mate” comment.

  21. 471
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @454, now you are making tons of sense on that issue. Carbon capture (as in burying the stuff in fissures in rocks or similar) is barking mad. Its incredibly intuitively obvious this is an expensive process, and prone to huge leakage, and worse still it becomes an excuse to just keep emitting carbon. Some things just are what they obviously are. No need to quote studies on this one.

    Sequestering carbon in soils and greater root growth has more proven potential, and solves other problems as well, so there’s a certain serendipity, but I don’t see how you get literally millions of farmers to do this within a reasonable time frame. By the time it is broad enough to have some effect, emissions will be way over 2 degrees, but it’s a good long term project and could help in the long run.

  22. 472
    Thomas says:

    Perspectives matter?

    “It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election. Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/

    imho, irresponsible children should not play with matches or firearms.

    https://wikileaks.org/vault7/#ExpressLane
    https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Category:Russia
    https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Category:Whistleblowers/Russia

    Ok, so perspectives can determine almost everything. Yet it’s interesting how much influence one’s state of knowledge (or lack thereof) matters to enshrining those “perspectives” in place in the first place. This shows up in AGW/CC debates all the time.

    Consider this as a unconnected but related truism: A Roman Catholic would never recommend a seeker should become a Southern Baptist, and vice versa. Then there are Professors of Religious Studies and their knowledge and perspectives.

  23. 473
    Nemesis says:

    Now it’s even scientifically proven fact:

    ” 23.8.2017 – Exxon Misled the Public on Climate Change, Study Says”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/23/climate/exxon-global-warming-science-study.html

    Direct Link to the Harvard Paper:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa815f/pdf

    ExxonMobil et al are just INSANE, aren’t they? No, not just insane, but criminal.

  24. 474

    Th 452: People in glass houses and all … nothing personal here on my end. ;-)

    BPL: Vwy Chekista?

  25. 475
    Mal Adapted says:

    Heads up: the AGU is taking comments between today and midnight Sep. 25, on a draft position statement on geoengineering:

    https://eos.org/agu-news/position-statement-on-geoengineering-call-for-comments“>Position Statement on Geoengineering: Call for Comments

    AFAICT the draft statement is publicly readable, but you may need to be an AGU member to submit comments. What, you’re not an AGU member? So join, then! My regular membership is $50/year.

  26. 476
    MA Rodger says:

    HadCRUT4 has reported for July with an anomaly of +0.65ºC, pretty-much unaltered from the preceeding two months (May +0.66ºC & June +0.64ºC) and somewhat cooler than the start of the year (very roughly in line with NOAA & GISTEMP). July 2017 weighs in as the fourth warmest July on record after July 2016 +0.76ºC, July 2015 +0.70ºC and good old 1998 +0.67ºC. (Jul 2017 was the warmest July in GISTEMP, just, and 2nd warmest in NOAA.) HadCRUT July 2017 sits just ahead of fifth place July 2010 (+0.62ºC) with then a bit of a gap to the Julys of other previous years: 6th 2010 +0.55ºC, =7th 2005 & 2014 +0.54ºC.
    July 2017 sits as 40th warmest all-month anomaly on the full monthly HadCRUT4 record (while in GISTEMP it was 28th, NOAA =26th).
    “Scorchio-wise”, the first seven months of 2017 sits in 2nd spot behind 2016 and ahead of 2015. It looks quite probable that 2017 will be a top-three-warmest year with these HadCRUT figures, and if the end of the year shows a bit more heat than the last three monthly anomalies, toppling 2016 from top-spot is not at all impossible. (This top-spot would be very unlikely in NOAA or GISTEMP.)
    The year-to-date, being without the boost provided 2016 by the El Nino; it is possible to say HadCRUT shows continuing “scorchyissimo”

    Below, the years are ranked by Warmest-Jan-to-July. (They are the same years as per NOAA & GISTEMP although the rankings are not always the same.)
    …….. Ave Jan-July … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.87ºC … … … +0.77ºC … … …1st
    2017 .. +0.73ºC
    2015 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.76ºC … … …2nd
    2010 .. +0.61ºC … … … +0.56ºC … … …4th
    1998 .. +0.61ºC … … … +0.54ºC … … …6th
    2002 .. +0.56ºC … … … +0.50ºC … … …11th
    2014 .. +0.55ºC … … … +0.58ºC … … …3rd
    2007 .. +0.54ºC … … … +0.49ºC … … …12th
    2005 .. +0.53ºC … … … +0.55ºC … … …5th
    2009 .. +0.48ºC … … … +0.51ºC … … …9th
    2013 .. +0.48ºC … … … +0.51ºC … … …7th

  27. 477

    K 455: I hate the assumption one must live in and/or visit Ivory Towers to understand anything worth knowing. I needed exactly zero “scientific” analysis to figure the same things far sooner and much more simply. Go to First Principles, core concepts and logic. Anyone can figure this stuff out. We need no more supermen.

    BPL: So you reject science? You seem to be favoring logic over evidence here–a very dubious proposition, if you’ll excuse the small pun.

  28. 478
    Mal Adapted says:

    Killian:

    who cares what voodoo priests do?

    Speaking for myself, I don’t care what vodou priests do. None of the economists I know do AFAICT, and while I can’t be certain about any others, I’m certain my older brother isn’t a mambo, and I’m pretty sure he isn’t a houngan either.

    To an evolutionary biologist, an economy isn’t magic, it’s a mechanism of intraspecific resource allocation in Homo sapiens, therefore susceptible to scientific investigation. In the conventional scientific hierarchy (also a mechanism of intraspecific resource allocation), however, Economics is a ‘social science’, thus commonly dismissed as ‘magic’, i.e. ‘not-science’, by those trained in physical sciences. That suggests a reformulation of Clarke’s 3rd law as:

    “To a physicist, Economics is indistinguishable from magic.”

    To anyone trained in Evolutionary Biology and/or Economics, it’s science. I’ll readily acknowledge that Economics is more challenging to investigate than physical and biological sciences are, due to empirical and intersubjective-verifiability constraints. OTOH, much economic data is quantitative, so it’s somewhat more mathematical than other social sciences.

    Genuine skeptics who keep those things in mind can learn a great deal of Economic truth. First, though, they’ll have to forget about ‘voodoo’!

  29. 479
    Mal Adapted says:

    Nemesis:

    ExxonMobil et al are just INSANE, aren’t they? No, not just insane, but criminal

    [As always, single-quote characters around a word or phrase indicate figurative and/or ironic use – MA]

    First, while individual officers and directors of ExxonMobil Corporation may or may not qualify for a judgement of insane, that word can only be metaphorical when applied to a corporate ‘person’.

    Next, it’s likely that, seeking to avoid civil liability, ExxonMobil’s board of directors voted to instruct its employees to withhold ‘proprietary’ information that would reduce its share value in the short and/or long term. In many economically-developed countries, a corporation whose equity is publicly traded can legally have only one goal: maximizing its equity value measured in currency. Any ExxonMobil shareholder who suspected its directors or officers of conflicting goals could vote to replace them, and even sue them for monetary damages.

    So, while you and I might agree that the ExxonMobil directors who voted to withhold what they knew about their product’s climate costs are immoral or figuratively ‘insane’, criminal liability is for the courts to decide. IMHO that’s important for AGW abatement because US law and its domestic monopoly on force are backed the political power of fossil-fuel wealth. Barring a political ‘miracle’, our government will defend the economic status quo.

  30. 480
    mike says:

    Daily CO2

    August 24, 2017: 404.69 ppm
    August 24, 2016: 401.96 ppm

    2.73 ppm over same date last year. The number has been running in the 2.3 to 2.8 range, so this one is typical of recent increase comparisons.

    August 13 – 19, 2017 405.14 ppm
    August 13 – 19, 2016 401.90 ppm

    that’s 3.24 ppm increase per my math. Ugly number. Should be down under 2.0 because 2016 was EN year with significant ppm bump, but I think it’s becoming more clear each week and month that the old carbon cycle has been kicked to curb. The sinks aren’t working like they used and some of them have become carbon sources instead of sinks, so plan accordingly. If you are in Texas this week, just ignore the carbon numbers for now and move to high ground and take an umbrella with you. Gonna get a little rain in the Lone Star state this coming week. Were you planning a trip to surf fish on Padre or Mustang Island? Reschedule. Have reservations in Galvestion or Corpus Christi? Cancel. Go visit Wichita Falls, Lubbock or Muleshoe instead. Corsicana does not have a lot of charm imho, but it’s prettier than Bay City in this weather pattern. Good fruitcake in Corsicana if you are into that kind of thing.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  31. 481
    nigelj says:

    Killian

    You keep claiming I don’t support sustainability. You are so wrong.

    My country of NZ is a free market capitalist country with a public health system etc so some socialism added on.

    We also have huge environmental legislation called The Resource Management Act 1991, that has Sustainability as the prime goal and directive. All new mining projects, industries have to go through an evaluation under the act and plenty of damaging projects have been turned down. I totally support this Act and have written plenty in the media supporting it.

    Link to Act:

    http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1991/0069/189.0/DLM231905.html

    The point is the Act sits alongside a free market capitalist society. Killian are you comprehending this?

    I’m not saying it works perfectly, and we have a river pollution problem, partly because of historical issues before the act, but even that is being tackled now. There’s a huge political debate about where to draw the balance on all these issues, but at least we are trying.

    So I know plenty about “sustainability” from real world efforts, not the rubbish Killian writes.

  32. 482
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @466

    Ok fine. Of course you are right don’t never take the media or intelligence agencies at face value.

    I don’t deny American intelligence agencies have messed up sometimes (Iraq) and American foreign policy has a dark side. Just finished Reading “Who Rules The World By Chomsky” which is a nice summary.

    But just because intelligence agencies get some things wrong, is not a reason to totally dismiss them. Remember they were somewhat circumspect and conditional about the evidence of weapons of mass destruction. It was Bush and Blair that decided to run with it as if these things were totally proven.

    The devil is in the detail on these sorts of things, and also the motives of different groups. You have to ask what are the things where intelligence agencies might get sloppy and cheat the rules, and what are the reasons politicians might manipulate things. For example check out Menkens famous quotes. Politicians look for scapegoats and to create fear.

    The type of evidence presented on Russias involvement in the 2016 election is broad and multi faceted, and I think there’s something in it. You also have to look at Putins own history on all sorts of things. As we say in climate science, look at the full range of evidence, all lines of evidence.

    However its ultimately about technical stuff of how you combat cyber interference and firewalls etc. But If America any any sense it will do this, and we don’t need fools of presidents weakening such systems.

  33. 483
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @466, I meant don’t ever. Doh, must proof read.

  34. 484
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @473

    “23.8.2017 – Exxon Misled the Public on Climate Change, Study Says””

    Yes, and some interesting commentary here

    https://skepticalscience.com/harvard-scientists-exxon-challenge-tobacco-playbook.html

  35. 485
    Mal Adapted says:

    Killian:

    I needed exactly zero “scientific” analysis to figure the same things far sooner and much more simply. Go to First Principles, core concepts and logic. Anyone can figure this stuff out.

    Anyone can claim to have ‘this stuff’ figured out, but over-reliance on “[f]irst [p]rinciples, core concepts and logic” are why Aristotelian epistemology was superceded by Science. Science, as you know, is founded on empiricism and intersubjective verification. IOW, both empirical data and ‘review’ by trained, disciplined peers are necessary, though not sufficient, when you’re honestly trying not to fool yourself.

    Your three sentences, OTOH, neatly evince the Dunning-Kruger effect, so we can blame anything you get wrong on it. I submit that anything you get right, you arrive at either by sheer accident or by evidence-based analysis on some level, in which case you should have no trouble convincing the average RC commenter. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure most of us aren’t really out to get you.

  36. 486
    nigelj says:

    Mal Adapted @478 and Thomas.

    You are right economics is a social science and therefore still a science subject to observation, evidence, deducing laws etc.

    Of course its poorly regarded by many, makes astrology look good etc.

    There are reasons. Firstly economic theories are not as strong as the physical sciences and have limited long term predictive ability. They sure didn’t see the 2008 global financial crash coming, or at least there was no “consensus”.

    This is because economic behaviour combines rationality and irrationality of human psychology and its very hard to model this.

    Secondly economics is both observation and prescription. It’s both science and technology or application, maybe applied science is the best term. And its very hard to be certain the mainstream applied science, namely “neoliberalism” is totally correct. There’s evidence some elements have worked but others haven’t. Even The IMF has admitted neoliberalism hasnt worked that well as below:

    http://www.salon.com/2016/05/31/wrong_all_along_neoliberal_imf_admits_neoliberalism_fuels_inequality_and_hurts_growth/

    http://fortune.com/2016/06/03/imf-neoliberalism-failing/

  37. 487
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas,#+452

    ” Mate, mate, ….. maaaaaate, there’s enough to keep you busy in your own back yard without needing to travel to Ukraine or Russia or even laying blame for MH17 or chemical weapons or nations chasing defensive nuclear weapons of their own. ;-)”

    Hahaha, mate, mate, you nailed it down once and for all XD

  38. 488
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas, #466

    ” it’s noteworthy that I have far more Bookmarks in my ‘Geo Politics $ Media’ folder than I do on my Climate bookmarks folder”

    Hehehe, same here :-)

  39. 489
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas, #466

    ” “A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.”
    ― Dan Chaon,

    “I have come to the conclusion, after many years of sometimes sad experience, that you cannot come to any conclusion at all.”
    ― Vita Sackville-West

    Beware whom you choose to believe and why you do that.
    – Thomas@RC”

    Yes, occasionally it’s tricky, to come to appropiate conclusions:

    ” Four Zen monks were meditating in a temple when, all of a sudden, the prayer flag on the roof started flapping.

    The youngest monk came out of his meditation and said, “Flag is flapping.”

    The second, more experienced monk said, “Wind is flapping.”

    The third monk, who had been there for more than twenty years, said, “Mind is flapping.”

    The fourth monk, who was the eldest, said, “Mouths are flapping!”

  40. 490
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #471

    “Sequestering carbon in soils and greater root growth has more proven potential, and solves other problems as well, so there’s a certain serendipity, but I don’t see how you get literally millions of farmers to do this within a reasonable time frame. By the time it is broad enough to have some effect, emissions will be way over 2 degrees, but it’s a good long term project and could help in the long run.”

    Yes, I agree on all points. And, sure, you can’t “get literally millions of farmers to do this within a reasonable timeframe”, because they all depend on income, money, money, money, that simple. The same in a million other sectors. It’s a pitty, but that’s just capitalism, obviously :-) Well then, hard, hot times ahead.

    Some point in general:

    Sure, the Russia bashing makes sense on a lot of issues, but, there is more than enough to do in the own backyard. And:

    You can never ever solve any capitalist problems by some repetitive prayer like “Look at the USSR, look at these evil communists, they got their just punishment!” all the time. Makes no sense, because communism is long dead, but capitalism is still alive, for now :-)

  41. 491
    Thomas says:

    465 Killian says: “Anyone can figure this stuff out. We need no more supermen.”

    Well my dear friend Killian. If that was true (and it is not true) then you would have nothing to say here or anywhere else that you make comments. “We” would already have this figured out. Killian, reality states categorically that this stuff is not figured out. Not by anyone nor by everyone involved.

    Why was I (grinning) Killian? Because pieces of the truth make me smile, at times lol. I’m grinning because what I said [ aka “Certainly exposure to others and conversations hither and thither and even a few books inform one” ] isn’t going to happen anytime soon. That’s reality and the truth.

    First principle before all others is – face reality and the truth first – anything useful must come from and be based upon that #1 First Principle before any others are introduced. imho. Cart horse etc. At the end of the day the best one can achieve is to point a handful of travellers (out of the many) toward the right direction. And hope for the best. That’s about it, imho.

    Killian also says: “… the idea we need some special person somewhere to sort it all out for us is dangerous, insulting and false.”

    Thankfully RC has someone special to set us all straight on that point. (grin) Do try and chill out a bit though. It doesn’t matter as much as you may believe it does. imho.

  42. 492
    Thomas says:

    474 BPL … Que Hasbara? :-)

  43. 493

    Mal,

    Good post. May I use your line about “To a physicist…?”

  44. 494
    Thomas says:

    475, thx for the heads up, I have forwarded info to Prof. Philip Mirowski and Prof. Kevin Anderson. Better some expert/authoritative comments were coming from the likes of them than me.

  45. 495
    Thomas says:

    @ nigelj, fwiw, seeing you bought it up thanking the mods to allow open debate here, I find your contributions here really useful, worthy, positive and quite comprehensible. I hear what you say, I can understand what you say and where you’re coming from quite easily. I appreciate the detail you provide (including in the longer comments/responses), the qualifications your present, and the explanations you give to correct what you see as others misunderstandings of your position/opinions and facts provided. The subject matter you tend to address is also imho really critical in the overall subject of AGW/CC science and wtf to do about it. Your ideas and opinions are as valuable as anyone elses, imho. So, from me, Thank you!

  46. 496
  47. 497
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Killian: “Go to First Principles, core concepts and logic. Anyone can figure this stuff out.”

    Great! When do you plan to start?

  48. 498
    zebra says:

    Mal Adapted:

    “…population growth may have been the most important driver for cultural evolution to date.”

    What I’m trying to suggest is along those lines.

    “Any specific behavior has both biological and cultural causes, and I’m not claiming population growth is caused more by one than by the other.”

    Well, here I would not call population growth a “behavior”.

    If you agree that social security for all and empowerment (de-subjugation) of women leads to lower birthrates, then biological urges are probably a constant. (I did read an article about women having better sex under communism, but I don’t think that contradicts my claim.)

    Anyway, what I am really interested in is the potential for a changes in the population trend to modify existing economic/power relationships. Too much attention is paid, I think, to a simple linear “per capita” model for consumption and pollution.

    I would argue that bending the curve, getting it flat, turning it down, each modifies cultural imperatives and has the potential for creating a virtuous cycle. If I imagine a world where the resources available per capita are abundant (or at least not rapidly diminishing), I see power and status accruing to a different set of players with a different skill set.

  49. 499
  50. 500
    Mal Adapted says:

    zebra:

    Well, here I would not call population growth a “behavior”.

    Population growth represents aggregate behavior, namely the choices individual women make to bear or not to bear children. And yes, social security and empowerment do appear to lead to lower birth rates. Interviews with individual women in Brazil and India corroborate those observations.