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Unforced variations: Oct 2017

Filed under: — group @ 1 October 2017

This month’s open thread. Carbon budgets, Arctic sea ice minimum, methane emissions, hurricanes, volcanic impacts on climate… Please try and stick to these or similar topics.

286 Responses to “Unforced variations: Oct 2017”

  1. 51
    Thomas says:

    Narrator : As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits.

    Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen?

    Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.

    https://youtu.be/icmRCixQrx8

    (smile)

  2. 52
    zebra says:

    nigelj #47,

    “But tell me If you think I’m being too pessimistic with that?”

    OK, how about:

    zebra #34:

    “So, the point would be that efforts put into reducing population would have a much bigger payoff much quicker than what you are saying.”

    It’s perfectly OK for you to disagree with me– in fact, I welcome it, so I can refine my thinking. Again, that’s how science and reasoning in general works. It’s not that I don’t get what you are saying; I’m just trying to get some inputs that are more specific than

    “I just don’t see why this would be the case. Surely it would have to at least fall to cause a change?”

    Well, why? What determines the value of an oil lease as an investment? Are you saying that increasing the population doesn’t increase the probability that the oil will be more valuable in the future? You don’t have to be an economist or come up with an equation; I am thinking only of first approximations.

  3. 53
    wili says:

    AB wrote: “…People only need so much physical stuff at one time…”

    Explain that to the super rich who own multiple houses each with multiple helipads on them and multiple swimming pools…

    It is true that we only _need_ so much, but what is blindingly obvious is that some, at least, are driven to desire and acquire much much more…the root of our entire problem, basically.

  4. 54
    zebra says:

    Mal Adapted #43,

    First, I am a male, so it doesn’t matter, which I would have assumed you understood. But sure, to my knowledge, my particular genetic composition hasn’t been added to the mix, although there are more than enough of my “consanguinous fractions” out there, trust me. At this point I would probably forget some names if I tried to make a list.

    But, again– if you are also a male, you should not be thinking that your failure to contribute your specific genome makes the tiniest bit of difference to the numbers for the species.

    Which brings us to the actual question. I don’t see how what you are saying about genetics contradicts anything I have been saying. I paraphrase that famous guy: “and yet, In some long-prosperous countries it’s fallen below replacement TFR“.

    Clearly, the mechanisms that enable your “genetic imperative” argument are overcome by human culture. (And, human cultures that are not technologically advanced by our standards have in the past exercised population restriction by various means.)

    So, isn’t it up to you to demonstrate that e.g. Italy doesn’t define the default state, given the preconditions on which we both agree?

  5. 55
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @51, good quote and video. I would go further. Our socioeconomic systems are dumbing down the general population by allowing anyone to breed in significant numbers and survive, and intelligent people are interbreeding and marring each other more (evidence shows this)and thus perpetuating an ever more intelligent, separate, wealthy ruling class and technical elite.

    Sort of turning humanity into a well organised ant colony. We are no longer monkeys we are becoming like ants.

    Don’t take this as opposition to things like free health care, its just an observation.

  6. 56
    wili says:

    “Era of monster hurricanes roiling the Atlantic”

    (Echo’s of Hansen’s ‘Storms of My Grandchildren,’ but a bit ahead of schedule!)

    https://apnews.com/01e72fd70ba74cee9917558c54d67d8a/Science-Says:-Era-of-monster-hurricanes-roiling-the-Atlantic

    “It’s not just this year. The monster hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Jose and Lee that have raged across the Atlantic are contributing to what appears to be the most active period for major storms on record.

    And the busiest part of hurricane season isn’t even over.

    An analysis of 167 years of federal storm data by The Associated Press found that no 30-year period in history has seen this many major hurricanes, this many days of those whoppers spinning in the Atlantic, or this much overall energy generated by those powerful storms…”

  7. 57
    Scott Strough says:

    Mal,
    You can bury them in swamps too, to make coal for future generations. Still not nearly as efficient as Grasslands at sequestering carbon long term. You have two factors, one in where and how the carbon is sequestered, which below ground with glomalin and other soil glues retains a far larger % as stable carbon.

    Glomalin: Hiding Place for a Third of the World’s Stored Soil Carbon
    https://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2002/sep/soil
    Glomalin is Key to Locking up Soil Carbon
    https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2008/glomalin-is-key-to-locking-up-soil-carbon/
    Glomalin: The Real Soil Builder
    https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2003/glomalin-the-real-soil-builder/
    Glomalin, the Unsung Hero of Carbon Storage
    https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2002/glomalin-the-unsung-hero-of-carbon-storage/
    Liquid carbon pathway unrecognised
    http://scseed.org/wb/media/Liquid_Carbon_Pathway_Unrecognised_Dr._Christine_Jones.pdf
    Little Known Glomalin, a Key Protein in Soils
    http://schaechter.asmblog.org/schaechter/2013/05/little-known-glomalin-a-key-protein-in-soils.html

    Glomalin: an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal soil protein
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22990749

    The other factor is efficiency of photosynthesis.

    C4 carbon fixation – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C4_carbon_fixation

    “C4 metabolism originated when grasses migrated from the shady forest undercanopy to more open environments, where the high sunlight gave it an advantage over the C3 pathway.”

    … “Today, C4 plants represent about 5% of Earth’s plant biomass and 3% of its known plant species. Despite this scarcity, they account for about 23% of terrestrial carbon fixation. Increasing the proportion of C4 plants on earth could assist biosequestration of CO2 and represent an important climate change avoidance strategy.”

    So we start with trees being less efficient at photosynthesis, and multiply that by a higher respiration/decay to atmosphere rate, and multiply the fact what little that does make it below ground as root exudates, mostly feeds ectomycorrhizal fungi instead of endomycorrhizal fungi, which produces different sorts of soil glues. Not as stable. These factors all multiply. So even if we could somehow justify dumping perfectly good trees in the ocean subduction zones, it still wouldn’t sequester carbon as efficiently as a grassland. Plus it would be ridiculously expensive and probably require lots of fuel oil to run the ships out there.

    So again to the “lets just plant trees denialists”. It can’t work.

    Executive summary:

    Yes we can reverse Global Warming.

    It does not require huge tax increases or expensive untested risky technologies.

    It will require a three pronged approach worldwide.

    1)Reduce fossil fuel use by replacing energy needs with as many feasible renewables as current technology allows.
    2)Change Agricultural methods to high yielding regenerative models of production made possible by recent biological & agricultural science advancements.
    3)Large scale ecosystem recovery projects similar to the Loess Plateau project, National Parks like Yellowstone etc. where appropriate and applicable.

    So yes we should plant trees where deforestation has happened. It has uses as moderators of climate and many other ecosystem functions, but they are the wrong biome to discuss global cooling. Grasslands do that.

  8. 58
    Russell says:

    Has Tim Ball been binge watching Game of Thrones again?
    WUWT has escalated from charging fraud to accusing the IPCC of incest.

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2017/10/at-nipcc-plagiarism-is-sincerest-form.html

  9. 59
    Digby Scorgie says:

    The radio news this morning in New Zealand included an item about the warming and acidification of our ocean waters. The relevant science was discussed in a completely matter-of-fact way — warming caused by our carbon emissions, some atmospheric carbon dioxide being absorbed by the oceans, hence increase in temperature and drop in pH, and problems for marine life. There were no ifs and buts; climate change was taken as a given.

    I’m curious to know if radio and TV news in other countries treat climate change in the same way. Anyone care to assess their country’s media?

  10. 60
    Killian says:

    For those few vocally doubting rapid climate changes of less than a decade, pay attention to this video.

    Also should speak to any incrementalists -and that includes alk stripes of technofixists- wrt risk assessment.

    The quickest anthropogenic fix, and the only one that addresses climate and resources and equality/justice is simplification.

  11. 61
  12. 62
    jgnfld says:

    @58

    So…incest is now defined as consorting with other members of your own species and refusing to consort with those who are not???!!!

  13. 63
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @52

    I misinterpreted your comment about population plateauing and the value of resources. So yes if population falls the $ value of resources would fall and both oil and materials for renewable energy would fall. You think renewable energy would fall more but you don’t say why. I think its possible oil may fall more or at the same rate given OPEC manipulate the market. I hope it wouldn’t but that’s my immediate reaction.

  14. 64
    nigelj says:

    Wili @56, there is a good article on the relatively recent large number of hurricanes here.

    https://skepticalscience.com/2017-SkS-Weekly-Digest_40.html

  15. 65
    nigelj says:

    Killian @60 interesting article. Sadly I think its entirely possible we could have rapid or abrupt climate change. I don’t know about within the next ten years, but I would say an abrupt sudden swing could be possible this century as opposed to a gently accelerating temperature or sea level curve, etc. All of these scenarios are bad of course.

    I think there are various possibilities and reasons. Climate scientists have done some mindboggling and impressive work trying to isolate and evaluate every possibility, but its the unknown unknowns that bother me.

    The rapid lurches in temperature during the last ice age were due to feedbacks and this does suggest to me positive feedbacks could now do something similar in our future. Of course the nature of feedbacks is different. The rapid temperature swings during the ice age are attributed as ‘probably’ due to the vast quantities of land based ice melting and in turn affecting temperatures, and we dont have the same quantity of ice now. But other feedbacks operate now, and James Hansen has some warnings of possible rapid change in ice sheets as below.

    https://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/16/3761/2016/acp-16-3761-2016.pdf

    But I still don’t think its a great idea to start broadcasting potential for such rapid change too loudly to the public because it will get a cynical reaction and this will dominate in the media and with the denialist trolls dominating, and turn the public off. Put it this way such a message of rapid change would at least need to come from plenty of climate scientists in unison with emphasis that chances are low, but implications very serious. It would need to be very carefully communicated.

  16. 66

    n 55: Our socioeconomic systems are dumbing down the general population by allowing anyone to breed in significant numbers and survive, and intelligent people are interbreeding and marring each other more (evidence shows this)and thus perpetuating an ever more intelligent, separate, wealthy ruling class and technical elite.

  17. 67

    Okay, the thing tripped before I was finished.

    n 55: Our socioeconomic systems are dumbing down the general population by allowing anyone to breed in significant numbers and survive, and intelligent people are interbreeding and marring each other more (evidence shows this)and thus perpetuating an ever more intelligent, separate, wealthy ruling class and technical elite.

    BPL: This was a strong concern of eugenicists at least as late as the ’40s, but it’s a false issue. Intelligence was measured by IQ tests, which are notorious for being culturally biased and generally not very useful. Take a group of “less intelligent” workers and give them the income and lifestyles of “more intelligent” managers, and surprise, the workers now test much higher on IQ tests, and the kids’ scores are indistinguishable from those of long-term bourgeoisie. “Idiocracy” was a funny movie, but its basic premise was long discredited.

  18. 68
    zebra says:

    nigelj #55,

    “intelligent people are interbreeding and marring each other more (evidence shows this)and thus perpetuating an ever more intelligent, separate, wealthy ruling class and technical elite.”

    Seriously? This is why it’s never possible to rationally discuss population– the racist-based, completely false, memes that inevitably creep in.

    The disparity of marriage and birth rates, both globally and locally, is associated with prosperity and education, not “intelligence”.

    This mythology exists on the Right, of course, but also is manifested in certain populations of so-called “Progressives”– the idea that their privilege is somehow a sign of merit.

    People who are well off have fewer children exactly because it is a rational economic choice: Maximize per capita expenditure on ensuring that they will maintain status, however intelligent or competent they may or may not be.

    I guess you guys think that getting to be POTUS is a sign of genetic superiority in intelligence, right?

  19. 69
    Killian says:

    nigelj said Don’t tell anyone!

    40 years of not telling anyone has gotten us where, exactly?

    The argument is without merit, prima facie. And, again, you ignore the risk in favor of your preconceptions. What was that someone said about not listening? If there is a non-trivial risk of extinction (new study) and a non-trivial risk of very rapid change, it becomes insanity not to go into overdrive informing and showing the pathway to solutions, does it not?

    If you don’t tell them, uh… how do they change things?

    If you don’t tell them… when DO you?

    If we are at Year 1 of a ten year very rapid change, then what do you suggest? Wheaties to make us all stronger and tougher? Seriously, what in the world do you do?

    You let yourself get distracted with secondary, tertiary, and beyond, issues. There is one: What is the risk? Act accordingly. Stop ignoring the risk assessment and address it.

  20. 70
    alan2102 says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDUSyJiBmQU
    New Study Says Extreme Climate Change Preventable [1.5 still possible]
    TheRealNews
    Published on Oct 3, 2017

  21. 71
    MA Rodger says:

    With the 2017 hurricane season having hosted Hurricane Lee and Hurricane Harvey, we can at least be grateful that there will be no Hurricane Oswald.
    However, Tropical Storm Ophellia is presently being forecast to reach hurricane strength by the weekend. That would mean 2017 will have seen ten hurricanes in a row, equalling the record set in 1878 and equalled just twice before (in 1886 & 1893).
    Of course, the records back in the 1800s are not entirely complete so lesser intermediate storms may have been missed from the sequence. Also, in those years the ten-hurricanes-in-a-row were racked up more slowly than the potential ten-in-a-row this year – in both 1886 & 1893 it took four months to generate such a run of ten storms and in 1878 it was nine weeks for the ten hurricanes (with only 2 of them Cat3+), a little slower than the potential eight weeks in 2017 (with 5 storms so far Cat3+) if Ophellia behaves as predicted. And we would then await a Storm Philippe to form; a potential record-breaking Philippe the Eleventh, perhaps?

  22. 72
    Al Bundy says:

    Wili: It is true that we only _need_ so much, but what is blindingly obvious is that some, at least, are driven to desire and acquire much much more…the root of our entire problem, basically.

    AB: Good point. There is no limit to some people’s “more”. Whatever they have, it isn’t enough. That’s why the top tax rate used to be around 90%. A sane society has to strip folks of the possibility of infinity.
    ——————–

    Digby Scorgie:There were no ifs and buts; climate change was taken as a given.

    I’m curious to know if radio and TV news in other countries treat climate change in the same way. Anyone care to assess their country’s media?

    AB: Uh, there is no mainstream news about climate change in the USA. Now, there are occasional polls that show that the the peons are properly adamant that it’s just a hoax perpetuated by ultra-greedy brilliant people who deviously chose to work in a profession that pays little, just so they could lie, cheat, and steal money that goes into their work, as opposed to their pockets. Oh, yeah, and China, too. Damn Commies.
    ————–

    And BPL, want to see my engine?

  23. 73

    Seems significant, and the amplitude of the AMO Index and what it entails has been questioned before…
    Emerging negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index in spite of warm subtropics https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-11046-x

  24. 74
    nigelj says:

    Killian @69, maybe look at it this way. We have spent 40 years telling people about climate change and how it could be disastrous and catastrophic and the result has been a lot of cynicism, denialism and accusations of chicken little. I think lifting this to a new level of imminent catastrophe will if anything risk even more denialism. Its like trying to scare people about drugs, it can have the opposite effect of whats intended.

    If the science community wants to spread the word in a wide public campaign about possible abrupt climate change, at least do it in an adult way. Be upfront and honest that probabilities are low, but also that if it was to happen consequences would be horrendous.The message also needs to come from the entire climate science community ideally because if its just a small faction people will be confused and even more cynical.

    So yes do warn people about the possibility of rapid change if you want. I certainly wont stand in your way. It shouldn’t be hidden. But be very careful how you do this.

    Most of the problem with lack of action on climate change is politicians captured by lobby groups. A very thorny problem.

  25. 75
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @68

    I don’t see the racist connection. I never mentioned race, and only alluded to class, education, and intelligence.

    I would have thought there’s a reasonably good (not perfect) association between educational qualifications and intelligence. Do you really think there isn’t?

    “I guess you guys think that getting to be POTUS is a sign of genetic superiority in intelligence, right?”

    Its a hard fact that the vast majority of presidents in America have significantly above average IQ, something easily googled. Even GW Bush has official test scores well above average and Trump cant be all that dumb. Of course having a high IQ is no guarantee of anything and certain politicians seem to make the strangest decisions. And I don’t think intelligence IQ makes anyone a superior being, that’s way too elitist for me, and it is only a partial measure of ability.

    But the fact remains society appears to be dividing into a well educated elite and the rest, even more than in the past. But I don’t think its a good thing necessarily.

  26. 76
    nigelj says:

    I would quite like a clarification on methane emissions from livestock cattle. Climate denialists minimise the problem with various dubious memes and half truths about natural cycles, breaks down to CO2, blah blah ad infinitum.

    My understanding is methane still stays in the atmosphere for about 20 years, before it breaks down, so must still cause warming. Given we have added cattle numbers at quite a rate over the last 100 years, this means methane has got ahead of the ability of natural sinks to absorb the emissions. Therefore we should try to reduce these methane emissions substantially, but perhaps not to zero. Have I got this basically right?

  27. 77
    Steve Fish says:

    Re: Scott Strough says, 8 Oct 2017 at 3:46 PM, ~#57

    Hey, Scott. I read all of your linked references in post 57 and found support for good agricultural practices, known for a very long time, and scientific elucidation of the responsible biological processes, elucidated since the 1980s (e.g. Allen in multiple pubs). What the refs don’t support is your claims that all agricultural soils have an unlimited ability to incorporate carbon to the extent that they can reverse global warming, and that forests are insignificant for mitigating global warming. Please provide scientific references to support your assertions. Remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    Steve

  28. 78
    Thomas says:

    especially for bpl and to share with any others drowning in the koolaide of late and / or some where off with the faeries :-)

    https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

    https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165906452/The-Fog-of-War.html

    Importance of agw/cc across this world? Oh about 2 out of a 100 rating.

  29. 79
    Thomas says:

    “Idiocracy” was a funny movie, but its basic premise was long discredited.

    LOL that;s a funny comment. Some people think it’sa documentary of what the future “might look like”.

    The awfully slow and non-eclectic in this world simply do not realise it’s a movie about the PRESENT, and not a sci-fi movie or a documentary. Doh~!

    Seriously, it;ls basic premise is backed up and proven by reality every day of the week … especially on internet forums. (smiling)

    goodness me, read trumps tweets, watch fox news or read what VICTOR has to say for himself for a start …. judas priest man – time to wake up perhaps? ;-)

  30. 80
    KenD says:

    With regard to the recent Science paper “Long-term pattern and magnitude of soil carbon feedback to the climate system in a warming world” by Melillol,et al, DOI: 10.1126/science.aan2874–how much, on average, does forest soil heat up with each 1K rise in average air temperature measured at the standard height? This may be discussed in the paper, but it is behind the paywall for me and I have not been able to locate it elsewhere.

  31. 81
    alan2102 says:

    Excellent Joe Romm presentation on renewables and etc.

    Renewables are unstoppable.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6ag3b1WCYc
    Climate Change Solutions : What you thought you knew is obsolete. Joe Romm
    Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES)
    Published on Sep 12, 2016
    20:00: nuclear industry losing money at astonishing rate
    24:45: IEA: by 2030 renewables will be world’s primary power source
    26:00: renewable variability, integration (intermittency); SOLVED
    36:00: rapid adoption of LEDs = one of fastest tech shifts in history
    38:00: decoupling; flat U.S. energy demand, with rising GDP

  32. 82
    alan2102 says:

    Scott Strough makes a good case for grassland vs. forests/trees. However, it is a reductionistic view that sees only CO2. There is more to it than that. The objective is to heal the planet and all of the living things on it. To sequester CO2 and mitigate climate change is vitally important, but lots of other things are, as well. Trees make a great contribution on numerous fronts.

    Below: “afforestation … in addition to sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2) to soil, conserves biodiversity, protects cropland, works as a windbreak, and provides food and feed to human and livestock, pollen for honey bees, wood for fuel, and timber for shelters construction.”

    That is not to mention the physical beauty and recreational value (and even spiritual value) of trees and forests. And THAT is not to mention the public health and sanity value of trees and forests: less stress, less illness, less crime, less psychopathology, less social pathology. All of this is documented.

    Grasslands: great. Trees and forests: also great.

    …………………………

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28281063

    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Apr;24(12):11177-11191. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-8687-0. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

    Agroforestry: a sustainable environmental practice for carbon sequestration under the climate change scenarios-a review.

    Abbas F1, Hammad HM2, Fahad S3, Cerdà A4, Rizwan M5, Farhad W6, Ehsan S5, Bakhat HF2.

    Abstract

    Agroforestry is a sustainable land use system with a promising potential to sequester atmospheric carbon into soil. This system of land use distinguishes itself from the other systems, such as sole crop cultivation and afforestation on croplands only through its potential to sequester higher amounts of carbon (in the above- and belowground tree biomass) than the aforementioned two systems. According to Kyoto protocol, agroforestry is recognized as an afforestation activity that, in addition to sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2) to soil, conserves biodiversity, protects cropland, works as a windbreak, and provides food and feed to human and livestock, pollen for honey bees, wood for fuel, and timber for shelters construction. Agroforestry is more attractive as a land use practice for the farming community worldwide instead of cropland and forestland management systems. This practice is a win-win situation for the farming community and for the environmental sustainability. This review presents agroforestry potential to counter the increasing concentration of atmospheric CO2 by sequestering it in above- and belowground biomass. The role of agroforestry in climate change mitigation worldwide might be recognized to its full potential by overcoming various financial, technical, and institutional barriers. Carbon sequestration in soil by various agricultural systems can be simulated by various models but literature lacks reports on validated models to quantify the agroforestry potential for carbon sequestration.

    KEYWORDS: Climate variability; Environmental sustainability; Forest; Land use management; Model; Soil

    PMID: 28281063 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-017-8687-0

    ————————-

    see also:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23913584
    Glob Chang Biol. 2014 Feb;20(2):382-93. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12345.
    Growing biodiverse carbon-rich forests.
    snippet:
    “[we need] to find restoration solutions that maximize simultaneously biodiversity, carbon stocks, and other ecosystem services across landscapes… [we need] to achieve biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and other socio-economic co-benefits.” Yes! –alan2102

  33. 83
    Mal Adapted says:

    Scott Strough:

    1)Reduce fossil fuel use by replacing energy needs with as many feasible renewables as current technology allows.
    2)Change Agricultural methods to high yielding regenerative models of production made possible by recent biological & agricultural science advancements.
    3)Large scale ecosystem recovery projects similar to the Loess Plateau project, National Parks like Yellowstone etc. where appropriate and applicable.

    Scott, that’s an excellent proposal for reducing fossil carbon emissions to zero and sequestering climatically-active CO2 back from whence it came. In the time I’ve got left, I’ll be paying the most attention to number one. If that’s accomplished, expect me to move on to number three. You can be sure, though, that I think all three should be implemented fully.

  34. 84
    Mal Adapted says:

    nigelj:

    Our socioeconomic systems are dumbing down the general population by allowing anyone to breed in significant numbers and survive, and intelligent people are interbreeding and marring each other more (evidence shows this)and thus perpetuating an ever more intelligent, separate, wealthy ruling class and technical elite.

    Sorry, I gotta go with z here:

    People who are well off have fewer children exactly because it is a rational economic choice: Maximize per capita expenditure on ensuring that they will maintain status, however intelligent or competent they may or may not be.

    nigelj, you assert “intelligent people are interbreeding and marring each other more (evidence shows this)” without actually showing evidence, and I’m skeptical you can. IQ does not appear to be correlated with socioeconomic class. While IQ appears to be somewhat heritable, I’m aware of no evidence that it’s currently undergoing directional selection: as the late 20th-century philosopher F. Zappa said, “It’s not getting any smarter out there”. That won’t occur unless IQ is positively correlated with differential reproductive success, whether global population is growing, stable or declining.

  35. 85
    Mal Adapted says:

    Erratum: “IQ does not appear to be correlated with socioeconomic class.” refers to the heritable component of IQ.

  36. 86
    Steve Fish says:

    Re: KenD says: 10 Oct 2017 at 7:41 AM, ~#80

    An interview of Frey et.al. regarding their new “Long-term pattern…..,” paper.
    http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2017/10/08/on-long-term-pattern-and-magnitude-of-soil-carbon-feedback-to-the-climate-system-in-a-warming-world/

    Two earlier related papers by Frey et.al.
    Frey, S.D., J. Lee, J. Melillo, and J.W. Six. 2013. The temperature response of soil microbial efficiency and its feedback to climate. Nature Climate Change 3, 395-398

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/J_Six/publication/267280673_Temperature_sensitivity_of_microbial_efficiency_and_implications_for_soil_carbon_storage/links/5516ea370cf2b5d6a0f094b9.pdf

    Steve

  37. 87
    nigelj says:

    Mal Adapted @84

    Just to clarify my statement. I said intelligent people are inter marrying and breeding more etc. I meant intelligent well educated professionals are marring each other more and this perpetuates some obvious things socioeconomically.

    My choice of breeding more was also bad choice of words. I just meant breeding together, not having large families.

    I would say there’s a rough relationship between intelligence and education level? I have a lot of agreement and respect for most of your views, but it seems odd that there’s no relationship between social class and intelligence, are you sure?

    Surely if well educated and intelligent are marrying more this would be directional selection?

    But anyway articles on these changing marriage / relationship patterns: Both education, and social factors.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/429209/assortative-mating-uptick-people-marry-others-same-level-education

    I probably sound like an elitist snob or something. I’m definitely not, I hate snobbery and social class gets on my nerves. It was just an article I read similar to above that got me interested.

  38. 88
    Thomas says:

    The morons never seem to go away or stfu …. there’s Senator Malcolm Robert’s that drip who tried to take on Prof Brian Cox on Q&A last year – and severla years ago ex-Prime Minister (the Lying Manipualtive Dishonest) John Howard had his day in the sun speaking at the GWPF annual night of nights with his blathering ignorant commentary on AGW and Claimte SCience – the title of that speech was “One REligion is Enough” … the man is a fool.

    Now his cloned spawn in (again) Ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott now a humble narcissistic back-bencher in Parliament is geeting his opportunity to preach to the Idiotiocally Stupid of the World at the GWPF night of nights.

    Climate Scientists Attack Tony Abbott’s ‘Misleading’ Speech to Global Warming Policy Foundation
    By Graham Readfearn • Monday, October 9, 2017 – 17:07
    https://www.desmog.uk/2017/10/09/climate-scientists-attack-tony-abbott-misleading-speech-global-warming-policy-foundation

    The more things change the more they stay the same is as true as ever.

    Seriously, some people need to be forced to get a License that allows them to breath oxygen from the air and when they show up at the GWPF or do and say some other crass like garbage in public that License should be immediately revoked.

    The world would be in much better shape … the man’s a psychopath. It’s really that simple – there’s decades of evidence to prove it a 100 times over.

  39. 89
    Thomas says:

    Oh PS some good news …. not 100% certain yet but the odds are that Senator Malcolm Roberts is about to be kicked out as a Senator 18 months into his term for not being qualified to stand at the election where he won his seat. Awaiting final judgement by the High Court of Australia.

    ROFL …. couldn’t happen to a nicer idiot. Not doing his homework properly and not paying attention to accuracy seems to be a life time pattern for him extending way beyond climate science. hehehe

  40. 90
    zebra says:

    Mal Adapted,

    “sorry to agree with z”

    Yeah, I’m sure it pains you… ;^).

    So, how about getting back to the topic of human reproduction and my question at 54.

    We have very strong evidence that given the conditions stated (economic security, empowered women), humans choose to limit births. Why would you suggest (which apparently you have) that this is not a strongly attractive (in both senses) condition? Why, if you nudge the system in that direction, would it not be the most likely new equilibrium?

    And a note to all the people discussing all the “solutions” that are never going to happen without such a restriction: You just sound like you are more interested in imposing your will against opposition than dealing with climate change. Agroforestry, grasslands, simplicity, bicycles, blah blah blah… that’s what people would do “naturally” when there is no competition for resources.

    Without being instructed by morally superior, utopian futurist “geniuses”!

    I gave the example of the US with say 1/3 of its current population. What would be the rational economic choice, as demonstrated by what people do voluntarily now, about geographical organization, energy sources, and so on? Hey, let’s live in Cleveland? Let’s have dispersed inefficient little cities and ship coal around to provide them with electricity? And so on?

    Sheesh.

  41. 91

    Al Bundy, #72:

    there is no mainstream news about climate change in the USA. Now, there are occasional polls that show that the the peons are properly adamant that it’s just a hoax…

    Owing to uncertainty about just who ‘the peons’ are meant to be in this comment, I can’t say that the comment is false. However, it is deeply misleading: polls have for years shown majorities of Americans believing the takeaway message of mainstream science, and recent polls show those numbers at record highs–as well as increasing willingness to support action to protect the climate.

    http://www.people-press.org/2017/10/05/7-global-warming-and-environmental-regulation-personal-environmentalism/

    https://epic.uchicago.edu/news-events/news/infographic-where-americans-stand-climate-and-energy

    It is true that those numbers are much lower among ‘conservative Republicans’ and Trump supporters than among other groups less given to belief in ‘alternate fact.’ However, in aggregate, the policies of the current federal government do *not* reflect the views of Americans in general. It is important to remember that, as it is important to identify the real problem here: the takeover of American politics by an ultrarich oligarchy, most of which is deeply enmeshed in Big Fossil and allied interests.

  42. 92
    Mal Adapted says:

    alan2102:

    The objective is to heal the planet and all of the living things on it.

    That’s my personal objective, but I’m sufficiently self-aware to scale my objectives to my personal means. My life’s goal is to put the vegetation on a couple of hectares of North America back the way it was before the global market rolled over it. Of course, it can never be exactly how it was in 1491 CE, but I can approach the pristine state asymptotically by determined solitary effort. Depending on my mood, I assign the project a utility value somewhere between an absorbing hobby and a mission from God (figuratively speaking, of course).

    The problem is the 7.5 billion (and counting) other people on Earth. From my PoV, ‘healing the planet’ means paying down the aggregate cost to the biosphere of all individual human survival and reproductive choices since the spread of sedentary cereals cultivation. It’s highly improbable, sadly, that the biosphere will be healed by individual choices. Only collective intervention in the global free* market will “heal the planet and all of the living things on it.”

    Awareness of that puts me in complete sympathy with Aldo Leopold’s bitter reflection near the end of his life (my emphasis):

    One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.

    Leopold was describing the Tragedy of the Unmanaged Commons in the broadest sense. The land’s wounds have been inflicted in infinitesimal increments, by individuals who liquidated natural capital for private benefit while externalizing all the private cost they could get away with. Who is going to stop them from getting away with it going forward? How do those of us for whom the world’s wounds are all too visible achieve a governing plurality?

    Realistically, I’m pretty sure healing the entire planet is hopeless. For individuals who adopt Leopold’s Land Ethic however, as Leopold also said, “That the situation is hopeless should not prevent us from doing our best.”

    * free of collective intervention, that is.

  43. 93
    Hank Roberts says:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/10/sea-ice-hole-antarctica-southern-ocean-spd/
    new hole in Antarctic sea ice — why?

    ——–
    And re hereditability of intelligence, sorry nigelj, that’s nonsense.
    Post your sources so we can check and mock them.

    You don’t need Darwin to understand that. All you need is aware observation of history.
    ——————————————

    Tom Paine:

    “… Whatever wisdom constituently is, it is like a seedless plant; it may be reared when it appears, but it cannot be voluntarily produced. There is always a sufficiency somewhere in the general mass of society for all purposes; but with respect to the parts of society, it is continually changing its place. It rises in one to-day, in another to-morrow, and has most probably visited in rotation every family of the earth, and again withdrawn.

    “As this is in the order of nature, the order of government must necessarily follow it, or government will, as we see it does, degenerate into ignorance.

    ” … by giving to genius a fair and universal chance; … by collecting wisdom from where it can be found.

    “… As it is to the advantage of society that the whole of its faculties should be employed, the construction of government ought to be such as to bring forward, by a quiet and regular operation, all that extent of capacity which never fails to appear in revolutions.”
    —————————————–
    Tom Paine, The Rights of Man
    http://www.ushistory.org/Paine/rights/c2-03.htm

  44. 94
    flxible says:

    zebra: “… the example of the US with say 1/3 of its current population …”

    That would be about 1920 – what “rational economic choices” were made then? What makes current folks any different, particularly when faced with the sudden disappearance of 2/3 of the “competition”?

    Folks here are wasting too much bandwidth on fantasies.

  45. 95
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @90

    First just to be crystal clear. You are entirely right about your comments on humans and limiting family size. You say. ” We have very strong evidence that given the conditions stated (economic security, empowered women), humans choose to limit births.”

    I would say people tend to choose smaller families when empowered, contraceptives are easily available, economic conditions and healthcare are good, you have social security systems etc. And a good thing too.

    Smaller populations are obviously good for the environment among other things.

    But the rest of your comments are woeful blown fuse material indicating you need some circuitry repaired or something. Or you are obsessed with population or something.

    It will take decades to many centuries before population falls. Best estimates are population will peak somewhere between 2050 – 2100 and then slowly fall. Cultural changes tend to be slow. However there’s is good evidence that better access to contraceptives in certain African countries has slowed birth rates a bit.

    But this means falling population wont fix the climate problem and will be too slow to fix other environmental problems, although it will certainly help ultimately.

    So right now we need to be talking cuts to emissions, what we can do short term about sustainability, etc. So I see nothing wrong with considering masterplans, models of sustainable communities, saner farming systems, soil sequestration of carbon etc and how to encourage it.

    And you provide no evidence or argument as to why you think smaller populations would choose to ride bicycles, choose agroforestry or regenerative farming etc. I struggle to see why they would any more or less than large populations.

  46. 96
    nigelj says:

    Hollands farming sector is impressive. Massively efficient and productive, huge food exporter, low use of water, fertiliser and chemical pesticides, and low greenhouse gas emissions. Its built around a lot of use of greenhouses, high tech control systems and machinery, etc.

    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/holland-agriculture-sustainable-farming/

    https://www.hollandtradeandinvest.com/key-sectors/agriculture-and-food

  47. 97
    Killian says:

    #74 nigelj said Killian @69, maybe look at it this way. We have spent 40 years telling people about climate change and how it could be disastrous and catastrophic

    Blatantly false premise. Read some of Oreskes work if you want to understand why climate awareness peaked in the U.S., Canada, Australia, etc., in 2007 then fell off dramatically.

    and the result has been a lot of cynicism,

    See above.

    Your analysis, as always, is simplistic and suffers from your preconceptions. Let design arise from the space and need, and let analysis of problems arise from the facts, not your biases. The cynicism and lack of action has had virtually nothing to do with stating the risks. In fact, the opposite. The risks are barely discussed. Even among “green” activists, even permaculturalists, risk is almost never discussed. Believe me, I try constantly.

    Do you have any idea how many years I kept suggesting that framing here before it finally started rising into the conversation of more than a few of us?

  48. 98
    nigelj says:

    Hank Roberts @93

    “And re hereditability of intelligence, sorry nigelj, that’s nonsense. Post your sources so we can check and mock them. You don’t need Darwin to understand that. All you need is aware observation of history.”

    Well here goes. Intelligence (as in standard IQ measures) appears to be a combination of genetics and environment, but genetics is a strong factor:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-intelligence-hereditary/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/08/16/is-intelligence-hereditary_a_23078716/

    Mock away if you wish. I’m pretty open minded on the issue anyway, nothing invested in any firm convictions on it. I will go with whatever the science really says.

    I also think IQ tests only go so far, there are a range of abilities, so called emotional intelligence, other natural talents. Einsteins brain apparently had a lot of brain tissue associated with imagination.

    And obviously a lot of individual achievement is probably as much a function of focus, dedication, attitude, hard work, being open minded, and confidence. In my opinion this probably counts at least equally to intelligence or other natural talents.

  49. 99
    Mal Adapted says:

    nigelj:

    it seems odd that there’s no relationship between social class and intelligence, are you sure?

    There’s a relationship between socioeconomic class and IQ, the most common single quantitative metric for ‘intelligence’. IQ is only partially heritable, however, where heritability is “a mathematical estimate that indicates how much of a trait’s variation can be attributed to genes.” The heritability of IQ is controversial. A 1997 Letter to Nature concludes thus:

    Moreover, some of Herrnstein and Murray’s conclusions regarding human evolution such as the development of cognitive castes and IQ dysgenics, arise from their belief that IQ heritability is at least 60%, and is probably closer to the 80% values obtained from adoption studies. Our results suggest far smaller heritabilities: broad-sense heritability, which measures the total effect of genes on IQ, is perhaps 48%; narrow-sense heritability, the relevant quantity for evolutionary arguments because it measures the additive effects of genes, is about 34%. Herrnstein and Murray’s evolutionary conclusions are tenuous in light of these heritabilities.

    I won’t pretend expert judgment, but IMHO as a relatively trained armachair evolutionary biologist, that’s still enough heritability to drive directional selection if people with high IQ have more offspring on average than people with lower IQ.

    It gets complicated. Another candidate metric for intelligence is educational achievement. This PNAS article from three years ago, The high heritability of educational achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits, not just intelligence, concludes:

    Genetic research has shown that intelligence makes a major contribution to the heritability of educational achievement. However, we show that other broad domains of behavior such as personality and psychopathology also account for genetic influence on GCSE scores beyond that predicted by intelligence.

    Be that as it may, I’ve yet to see rigorous evidence that it’s getting smarter out there. I for one am reasonably sure it’s not, solely on the basis of my not especially rigorous personal observation.

    BTW, I came across this ‘evolutionary psychology’ article purporting to show that women prefer intelligent men. Other authors, however, conclude that a women who appears to choose a smart mate may really be choosing a tall one. I’m not going to evaluate either finding here, however, as I’m not up for another Internet slapfight.

  50. 100

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