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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.

358 Responses to “Unforced variations: Oct 2017”

  1. 201
    alan2102 says:

    #195 zebra 18 Oct 2017: “You appear to be agreeing with me, as painful as that may be for you.”

    Not painful at all, z. Mostly I am just trying to understand you. I am still having trouble.

    Alan2102: “What it DOES seem to require is a degree of social development sufficient to bring the population out of a dark-ages-like state of backwardness.”

    zebra: “My problem is that you appear fixated on Africa when you say this.”

    My problem is that you appear to be fixated on accusing me of being fixated on Africa when you say this. When I wrote those words, I was thinking about CHINA, mainly, which was in a feudal-like state throughout most of the country before the revolution, and which actually did undergo a demographic transition at a very low level of general development, as I described. China is the main example, but same applies mostly to India. I was talking about the conditions required for a demographic transition, and you went direct to this Africa-fixation accusation. Why did you do that?

    But yes, let’s discuss high-fertility areas of Africa in relation to the foregoing. It may be true, as I said, that only a very low level of development will be necessary to produce the demographic transition there, as elsewhere. That is very good news, if true. Is it true? Let’s discuss it, instead of accusing each other of “fixations”.

    zebra: “there’s a lot to discuss for Africa about numbers and consumption”

    Then go ahead and discuss. Don’t delay!

    zebra: “but first, read this very articulate piece from a very prosperous and high-tech location and tell me what you think: [link to item on mormon fertility]”

    Once again, zebra, you’ve got me stumped as to what you are talking about. OK, I get that mormons in the U.S. have high-ish fertility. What of it? Is that supposed to tell us something relevant to this conversation? If so, what? Explain it to me like I’m an idiot, because maybe I am.

  2. 202
    MA Rodger says:

    And NOAA have posted for September with an anomaly of +0.78ºC, a little cooler than recent months and equalling the previous coolest month of the year-so-far (which was June).
    As per GISS, it comes in 4th warmest among NOAA Septembers (after Sept 2015 (+0.93ºC), 2016 (+0.88ºC) and 2015 (+0.79ºC) and ahead of Sept 2012 (+0.73ºC)).
    For all months, Sept 2017 is the =41st warmest anomaly on the full record (GISS =34th). Of the anomalies warmer than Sept 2017, only six months are not from 2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017, the five of exceptions being two months from 2010 and single months from 2007, 1998, 2013 & 2002.
    It looks almost certain that the full NOAA annual anomaly for 2017 will end up in third spot, as the remainder of the year now would have to average above +1.16ºC to claim top spot, would have to average +1.02ºC to claim second and would have to drop below +0.35ºC to fall to fourth. The following table is ranked by the Jan-Sept averages.

    …….. Jan-Sep Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.00ºC … … … +0.94ºC … … …1st
    2017 .. +0.87ºC
    2015 .. +0.86ºC … … … +0.91ºC … … …2nd
    2014 .. +0.73ºC … … … +0.74ºC … … …3rd
    2010 .. +0.73ºC … … … +0.70ºC … … …4th
    1998 .. +0.68ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … …8th
    2005 .. +0.65ºC … … … +0.66ºC … … …6th
    2013 .. +0.65ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … …5th
    2007 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.61ºC … … …12th
    2009 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.64ºC … … …7th
    2002 .. +0.63ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … …13th

  3. 203
    Steve Fish says:

    Re K says: “why is there a limit…,” on 15 Oct 2017 at 4:52 PM, ~#168

    K, I just replied to Scott with an equally naive alternative hypothesis to make a point. The real fine point on this question is that what we all think is logical, or not, is irrelevant. What is needed is scientific support for how much carbon can realistically be sequestered in soil supported by an analysis of the conditions required. Steve

  4. 204
    Steve Fish says:

    Re Scott Strough said: 15 Oct 2017 at 5:30 PM, ~#170

    What you say is great! However, you have claimed that we commenters here at RC and climate scientists are not paying attention to your “facts.” Because you are knowledgeable about this subject, it should be easy to provide several peer reviewed articles to support your claims. Specifically, how much carbon could be sequestered in soil and the realistic conditions required. A couple of scientific reviews of the literature would be great. You have made some extraordinary claims, please provide the evidence. To paraphrase Hank Roberts in another context, you may be correct in everything you say, but how would we know. Steve

  5. 205
    Steve Fish says:

    Re what alan2102 said, 17 Oct 2017 at 11:37 AM, ~# 190

    To add what I have read to what you said about conditions for reducing population growth: A woman has to have control of her own body in male dominated societies, and men in these same societies need to feel that they will be able to support their family. Steve

  6. 206
    Mal Adapted says:

    zebra:

    I already did that but you didn’t reply.

    My invitation to trash my comment was blanket, z. My previous replies to you, nigelj and alan2102 obtain. This isn’t about any one of us, you know.

  7. 207
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @196

    Im not from America so your previous comments were hard to decipher.

    Yes ok if all the coal is inland, a smaller population might live on the coast and choose renewable energy, as they might be cheaper. It would not guarantee this because politics is a huge factor, but it increases the odds.

    However America also has coal near the east cost (I checked) and other countries have considerably different geography. I think all you can claim is smaller population slightly increases odds of choosing renewable energy at the very best and it would depend on varying geography. Its all far more a political thing.

    I agree about grasslands but that’s another issue. Smaller population would certainly increase those and more trees as well. I have never said it wouldn’t be a factor.

    Just look back 100 years to smaller population and wasn’t always so great in terms of environmental decisions among other things. But as I said, smaller population is still preferable for many obvious reasons.

  8. 208
    mike says:

    i am going with nigelj at 194 for the win:

    Regarding the great debate on carbon sinks, with some people pushing trees, some pushing better soil management through better farming, and a mention of biochar.

    Surely its likely a combination of all three? These are not all mutually exclusive?

    mike says, yup, and we have to keep thinking up new ways to stop emissions and to enhance the sinks. It’s all of the above.

    How are we doing?

    October 8 – 14, 2017 403.42 ppm
    October 8 – 14, 2016 401.48 ppm
    October 8 – 14, 2005 380.87 ppm

    peachy!

  9. 209
    Killian says:

    Fish in a barrel, but, hey, gotta have *some* fun in life…

    #193 nigelj said Killian @172:

    ” You are ignorant on these topics.”

    I don’t think so. I would say I’m better informed and more nuanced than you.

    This is demonstrable: You think capitalism, which requires growth, is sustainable; you think sustainable means unsustainable stuff can be used and, even though it will run out someday, it’s not unsustainable.

    These are things you actually have stated repeatedly. There are many more. The problem is, these are important issues and, as they relate to climate, it is extremely important to understand what behaviors can and cannot lead to appropriate mitigation and adaptation. Your views are antithetical to solutions. This is why I engage you. It is important people do not read your comments unchallenged because they are so clearly wrong, yet fit the current paradigm so well that people will happily grab onto them like precious life vests to keep their cute little pictures in their lattes afloat. Which brings us to…

    Virtually all the criticism from people on this website is directed firmly at you.

    Yet another logical fallacy. Guess what? Everyone on this site is the product of the current paradigm. Very few on this site are versed in regenerative design. That is, of course they agree with you. More importantly, you just used a logical fallacy (others agree with me so I am right) and have no idea you have done so.

    “Why do you constantly lie about what I have and have not said?”

    I don’t tell lies, and I rarely accuse others of lies. Calling people liars is just cheap mostly empty rhetoric.

    I didn’t call you a liar. Another thing you do not understand. I said you had lied. The former is habitual, a character flaw. The latter is descriptive of specific behaviors. If you cannot handle this extremely simple rhetoric, how have you convinced yourself of your superiority?

    And you have. We all know it because it is all right there. Saying I have called you a liar is, itself, a falsehood. Demonstrably false.

    “I didn’t expect pages of empty ranting, and insults directed at me.Nor did you get any.”

    I find your many accusations of ignorance are an insult.

    And I think green should be called sheboygan (not really). So what? Neither of us is going to get what we want. FYI:

    1 a :destitute of knowledge or education ·an ignorant society
    ; also :lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified ·parents ignorant of modern mathematics.

    b :resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence ·ignorant errors

    2 :unaware, uninformed

    1a and 2 are not insults and, from context, are clearly how I have used them. 1b. = He is an ignorant man, a fool. That is not how I have used the word. Ironically, by claiming to feel insulted you have stated your own sense of yourself as ignorant as in 1b, for why else would you be insulted?

    “You make some good points on denialism, but I don’t think there’s some organised cadre or conspiracy of the denialists.Oh my jesus…”

    Killian you are just over reacting a bit.

    Nope.

    Anyone can cut emissions and resource use by saying”low tech small scale”. You say this as if its some great revelation, as if nobody else has thought of this

    Your brain might be broken: Of Holmgren, Mollison and aboriginals, et al., I am none of the above.

    You refuse to engage in specifics.

    False. You refuse to accept 1. the degree to which your ignorance limits my ability to explain things to you and 2. that you are ignorant of what is a vague answer and what is an accurate answer that you do not understand.

    you ask a lot with your overall harsh prescription

    My prescription? Design arises from the site/context/conditions. I am an analyst. I do not impose. If there is a prescription, it is from Nature, not me. Given there are people living simply, well, you’re being a bit judgmental aren’t you?

    and so the duty is on you to prove your case really well, and you havent. YOU HAVENT.

    I am confused why you think regenerative societies existing doesn’t constitute proof.

    I have knocked so many holes in it I have lost count.

    Joke of the day!

    I have also offered an alternative approach at the end of last unforced variations fyi.

    And?

  10. 210
    Thomas says:

    RE Steve Fish and “A couple of scientific reviews of the literature would be great.”

    Scott has done this since the first day he ever posted here Steve.

    If you’ve missed it all thus far, and or expect Special VIP Service maybe you could send him a HUGE stamped self-addressed envelope and $25+ for photocopying and he’ll send you the package with a his autograph as a free bonus memento?

    Seriously, the older I get …. the less forgiving I have become. :-)

  11. 211
    Killian says:

    #203 Steve Fish said Re K says: “why is there a limit…,” on 15 Oct 2017 at 4:52 PM, ~#168

    K, I just replied to Scott with an equally naive alternative hypothesis to make a point. The real fine point on this question is that what we all think is logical, or not, is irrelevant. What is needed is scientific support for how much carbon can realistically be sequestered in soil supported by an analysis of the conditions required. Steve

    Nope. What we need is the doing of it. Thankfully, people are. More will. Science will have virtually nothing to do with it, imo. We already know terra preta exists. We need no pat on the head from a scientist. We know sheet mulching, cover crops, green manures, humanure, rotational grazing, food forests, etc., all work. They will work whether or not studied and the vast majority of the people on the planet will never read a single paper on any of this.

    Scientific support for the known is good, don’t get me wrong. But if we had to wait for scientific prrof, we’d likely end up extinct.

    It’s easy to think the conversations here represent the world at large, but they are, in fact, rarified. We are the 0.001% here.

  12. 212
    Thomas says:

    “To paraphrase Hank Roberts in another context, you may be correct in everything you say, but how would we know. Steve”

    That’s your job and responsibility to do Steve (and everyone else from Gavin down.) Isn’t it? Not Scotts.

    Only you can decide what you know before making a decision based on that or lack of it.

    iow Do your own homework. Be 100% responsible for your own choices. That isn’t Scott’s responsibility. He told you all what he knows and what he thinks and and why he thinks that — the rest is up to you. IMHO.

    https://scholar.google.com

  13. 213
    Thomas says:

    Nigel, #193– “The Heartland institute is awful, but not some giant global conspiracy or mobile cadre of denialists.”

    #198 Kevin McKinney replies with: “Heartland is not ‘the conspiracy,’ but it is part of one.”

    Um, how do I say this? Nigel, it’s time to take the rose coloured glasses off mate.

    AND
    #198 Kevin BELIEVES – “Killian takes everything personally and doesn’t even know he’s doing it…”

    There’s no evidence for that and besides I’m not buying because I can see and hear a totally different Killian than you seem to be “seeing/hearing”.

    Yeah, I BELIEVE I am reading Killian much more accurately and fully than Kevin et al do. You’ve created your own special version of “make believe Killian” who doesn’t actually exist anywhere but in your own minds.

    But hey, I could be wrong. The only person who could know is Killian, and so he’s the only expert here on the subject. :-)

  14. 214
    Thomas says:

    IT’s been claimed that: “Virtually all the criticism from people on this website is directed firmly at you.”

    So? Is there a scientific paper to support such a claims about Killian are scientifically valid and grounded in factual verifiable evidence that could be peer-reviewed?

    Such unsupported claims based upon “personal tastes” will Shirley get no mileage here. What were you discussing again? :)

    Let’s stick to the “sciences” shall we? :-)

  15. 215
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @198

    Thanks for the comments and links. I accept almost all of what you and Killian say on this global warming denial movement and Heartland Institute.

    Let me clarify a bit. I have already read a summary of Dark Money and related articles and books, like Merchants of Doubt and also Naomi Kleins book and pointed much of this out to Killian.

    I agree we have a sort of network of “institutes” and so called “think tank” lobby groups opposed to climate science like heartland institute, funded with fossil fuel money, often indirectly so its not so easy to trace, and you have people like the Koch Brothers providing funding. Its part of an essentially libertarian leaning opposition to government regulation, taxation etc of all kinds, and climate science is a big target for them for obvious reasons.

    My point was more that we have to be very careful not to start talking publicly too much about some cadre, and organised conspiracy etc, as I said earlier like some huge one world government thing. There is a “convergence of interests” and I know our government has talked to Heartland people, but its not some giant conspiracy as such -that pushes it too far. More importantly, once we start talking about a “cadre” or some giant evil conspiracy network the general public will write climate scientists and warmists and the like as complete nutters. Even if we are right. That was my point.

    I disagree with virtually all Trumps policies, but I think he has different motives in terms of climate denial. It’s partly dislike of rules and a promotion of business above the public good, but also more just a hatred of international agreements, Nationalism, and also a yearning for the past and old heavy industry. I think climate denial is quite complicated, and once we jump to simplistic conclusions that’s not a good thing. But Trump does feed right into Heartland Institute and would be music to their ears and vice versa. Its symbiotic, and a giant echo chamber of craziness becoming accepted wisdom.

  16. 216
    Killian says:

    I apologize to all in advance, but he complained I had ignored him. In reality, I never saw it. Secondly, why bother? More of the same. Aigooo…

    I will try to minimize.

    Dear nigelj,

    The key here is a point you have yet to respond to: Because you do not understand the fundamentals, you get lost among the details. If your premise is wrong, nothing that follows matters. You do not seem to grasp this. So, the fact you do not understand and/or accept what a true definition of sustainable is, your solution set is flawed. Because you have no idea what regenerative systems are, your solution set fails. Thus, everything you attempt to discuss here is flawed. It’s rather pointless to engage you.

    However, since I missed this certain-to-be-irrelevant post, I will respond to it… irrelevantly.

    #398 nigelj said Sustainability is most certainly about what sacrifices we make now.

    Framing positive change as sacrifice is inaccurate, even foolish. It colors your solution set and causes you to assume “People won’t…”

    It is not about sacrifice, it is about design: How do we live sustainably? Stop talking about your poor little discomforts and poor mental and emotional distresses. Get over it. Change is almost always uncomfortable. So what? Not the issue. The issue is, how do we create sustainable communities?

    I strongly agree future collapses are possible, very possible indeed. This is the case with about five main critical points

    These are not separable. Thus, your solution set…

    Many of these can be resolved with more sustainable practices which operate within the boundaries defined by natural cycles, while others can be resolved with recycling and substitute materials, or some combination of both, while others can be resolved with technology that reduces pollution, like that used to reduce sulphate emissions.

    There is no sustainable hi-tech. None. You laugh at long time frames. I laugh at your willingness to risk extinction. ALL of our problems can be solved with simplification. You do not want simplification. You want to design to your wants. You think people will not design to need even if the risk is extinction.

    This low tech. is essentially based around the idea of hugely and rapidly reducing mining to conserve minerals for future generations.”
    “Again, no. It is about avoiding collapse/extinction.”

    I feel you are avoiding the issue. You are changing the subject.

    Sigh. No, you simply do not understand. There are two things going on. As usual, you miss the assessment. To wit, if we do not survive, the future does not exist. **Simplification** is about survival. Regenerative systems design nee sustainability is about future generations.

    You are not prepared to engage in the difficult discussion of reducing mining and how much and why, because why wont you? Because you would rather wave your arms about possible collapse, and avoid specifics and being seen to be mortal, without all the answers or having to modify your basic position.

    This is not the first time you have 1. lied and 2. impugned my character. Maybe you are ignorant, as opposed to ignorant about/of… Since I have said we must stop mining, how have I avoided it? Since it is self-evident, why must I debate it with you? By wanting to debate it, you show you do not understand the issue. Or, to be kind, disagree. I don’t care. I am not here to learn what nigelj is incorrect about.

    The level of your approach is sort of like there could be a collapse, so lets just stop all mining right now in a sort of panic reaction.

    Middle school rhetoric. Panic? Your failure to understand risk, tipping points, non-linear and chaotic systems equals my “panic”? At every juncture I discuss risk of rapid climate change. I have posted materials on rapid climate change. But rather than say, “Well, there seems to be a risk of very rapid climate change, so I see your point, but I disagree,” you prefer to insult rather than behave like an adult.

    Once again, you lie. I at no time and in no way act, speak or refer in any way to panic. My points are well-reasoned, regardless your immaturity.

    But it’s ultimately irrational and emotive.

    To the ignorant.

    Its like saying we could have a car accident,so lets stop using cars.

    Could? What the hell do you think risk assessment is?

    I’m not wasting any more time on this. If you’re not a paid denialist troll, you do a perfect impression of one.

    One last point because it shows the “quality” of your “work.”

    But I don’t think this gives future generations much real advantage. Metals can be recycled”

    “Metals? The entire civilization consists only of metals? What are we, Humanobots?”

    I never said civilisation revolves just around metals.

    Look up proxy. Look up first-order. But let me help you: Digging up ores is bad. It is unsustainable. At present, recycling is unsustainable. Without solving for those two truths ****there is nothing else to talk about as it relates to sustainability.**** At this point, ANY use of metals comes under the heading of ****appropriate technology*****, which I have ****many times**** stated is a discussion we have all the time. Me using this computer to type this out is an example of the fact I am not now and have never been against the concept of Appropriate Technology.

    That none of this sticks in your head, none of it made the slightest impression upon you as you typed your screed, says all that ever need be said of your participation here.

  17. 217
    Scott Strough says:

    Steve,
    There has never been found to be a limit, so no, there is no peer reviewed paper on what the limit is. If you find a limit, publish it. You’ll be the first.

    Now I say that but actually in a planted pasture heavily irrigated and fertilized with haber process nitrogen and phosphorous etc….. they did find a tapering off and projected a limit. To be honest I was surprised it lasted as long as it did, knowing how destructive that sort of management is to soil life.

    But for example, the multiple 10 year case studies Dr Christine Jones did in CSIRO Australia and she published about here: http://scseed.org/wb/media/Liquid_Carbon_Pathway_Unrecognised_Dr._Christine_Jones.pdf she uses a figure of 5-20 tonnes CO2/ha/yr. But the guy who started it all over 30 years ago, a guy by the name of Colin Seis? 32 tonnes CO2/ha/yr.

    The rate is not saturating. The rate is accelerating. This makes perfect logical sense as the carbon is well proven to improve soil health which improves plant growth. So the 30-40% of plant growth that is directed to this symbiosis should logically increase too. Case studies done by Dr Jones show this logic is confirmed.

    There is no logic anywhere that would even suggest that it should stop. Biomass saturate? Yes The LCP saturate? How? Why? Is it even biophysically possible to stop the LCP in a healthy grassland biome? None that I see. What you suggest is astonishing and quit frankly sounds ridiculous. How could it possibly stop? Do you even really understand what you are implying?

    Saturation is when new growth of biomass is offset by the processes of decay back into CO2 and back into the atmosphere. The LCP is not biomass, and it does not decay into CO2. Instead it builds new soils in a mollic epipedon. These soils build and build and build for centuries. There really is no known limit. It is a pathway into the long carbon cycle…yes the same long cycle that gives us coal, oil limestone etc….. It would be like asking how deep can a peat bog get? It just keeps getting deeper as long as conditions are right for it to form.

  18. 218
    Killian says:

    #208 mike said i am going with nigelj at 194 for the win

    Oh, Mikey, such issues have been discussed here for years. ironically, it goes far beyond just those three. Principle: Let design emerge. Translation, use what works where you are. **Everything** goes in the toolbox.

  19. 219
    Thomas says:

    I found this interesting

    by A-Team short extracts on Arctic Sea Ice research/reanalyses from AGU17 eg “piomas” “Changes in Arctic sea ice are a fingerprint of natural and anthropogenic climate change. The dominant signal in sea ice variability from 1979 to the present is the reduction of sea ice extent, area and thickness. Prior to 1979, the state of our knowledge about sea ice variability is limited to information about sea ice extent and concentration assembled mostly from shipping logs and very little is known about the variability of sea ice thickness and total sea ice volume. […]
    The PIOMAS-20C sea ice thickness is generally in good agreement with available observations before and after 1979. We specifically investigate patterns of sea ice thickness and volume variability in the early 20th century and compare them with changes over the more recent period.”

    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,119.msg131864.html#msg131864

    In this graph, the PIOMAS Minimum recently is around 5,200 Km3
    http://psc.apl.uw.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/ice_volume/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrentV2.1_CY.png

    and you’ll see that the recent PIOMAS Maximum has been around 22,000 Km3
    The Minimum represents 23.6% of the Maximum – meaning that 76% of the total Arctic Sea Ice is thawing and refreezing each year. [give or take a bit – that is 16,000 Km3 of melting Sea Ice then reforming as 1 year Sea Ice.]

    I’m not sure what the % of 1 year sea ice was in the 1970s but suspect it was far lower than 76%.

    This graph is the PIOMAS anomaly (which I hear is more accurate in making comparisons over time.) http://psc.apl.uw.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/ice_volume/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrentV2.1.png

    This graph is very up to date comparing each year to 1979-2016 (mean/avg?)
    The current anomaly is -6,000 Km3 less than the “average” or what might otherwise have been without all the warming the last few decades.

    Which, if I have this right, and maybe i don’t? – wouldn’t that mean the Minimum instead of it being a really low 5,200 Km3 it would, absent global warming, +6,000km3, and so be closer to 11,000 Km3 – more than double what it presently is???

    6,000 Km3 of missing ice is a very large block of ICE!

    And the 22,000 Km3 Maximum might, absent global warming, be something in the order of 28,000 to 30,000 Km3? But this isn’t the case. 2107 the maximum barely broke 21,000 Km3.

    All that’s left of that at the summer minimum now is about 5,200 Km3 – and it’s still capable of even more melting out next summer and in the near future regularly going below 4,000 Km3 in September – like it did in 2012.

    2017 was noted for the wide expanses of ice slush. I expect when the minimum Piomas falls to near 2,000 Km3, then the only thing left then will be slush and not genuine pack ice. Once that happens I doubt it will ever recover. I’m unsure how many thousands of years ago it was when the winter arctic sea ice maximum was made up of almost 100% under 1 year old Ice.

    There is a lot of activity and research these days into the arctic. worth keeping an eye on – if you handle the bad news.

  20. 220
    nigelj says:

    Alan 2102 @201

    “It may be true, as I said, that only a very low level of development will be necessary to produce the demographic transition there, as elsewhere. That is very good news, if true. Is it true?”

    Probably true. Even some moderately poor africans are having smaller families provided they get contraception from something I read recently. Just gut instinct but I think a basic level of prosperity helps in that it’s a pre-condition for better medical care and thus lower infant mortality. But it may not take much of an improved income to make a significant difference.

    Changing attitudes on getting more womens rights might be challenging, but its taken time everywhere.

    I like your general optimism and comment on considering decent time frames in your previous post. I would say better still is to have a sense of ‘realistic’ optimism.

  21. 221
    Thomas says:

    Oh and the Piomas anomaly tend is -3,000 Km3 per decade.

    Meaning the sea ice minimum may be at low as 2,000 Km3 by 2027.

    I suspect that situation may occur as soon as 2020, and might bounce around a little.

    And I also suspect there will not be any sea ice left circa Summer/September 2027….. with a Maximum dropping as low as 15,000 Km3 of ice by then. At least this is what the data and the science papers have been saying to me… all things being equal and reasonable. :-)

  22. 222
    Thomas says:

    Looking at Piomas Anomaly against a 1979-2009 avg has Piomass dropping by 8,000 to 10,000 Km3 in recent years.
    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=119.0;attach=54061;image

    Or look for the light gray line in the top section of the graph – that’s 1979 to 2001. Every year since is below that relatively short term Mean Avg
    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=119.0;attach=54059;image

    …. would be nice to see similar data graphs based on the reanalyses of the late 19th early 20th century Piomas / area estimates in the past.

    imho the condition of the Arctic is one of the worlds best kept secrets at the moment. :-)

  23. 223
    mike says:

    More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas

    “Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth [but] there has been some kind of horrific decline,” said Prof Dave Goulson of Sussex University, UK, and part of the team behind the new study. “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.”

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185809

  24. 224
    zebra says:

    alan2102,

    I take #200 to be your manifesto.

    The essence of “what I am talking about” is that we don’t need no stinkin’ manifestos. I’m tired of pointing it out, but there seems to be this psychological need from certain contributors for there to be (a), grandiosity, and, (b), some kind of profoundly “moral” component, in order for a suggestion to be worthwhile.

    In case you missed my original comment(s), this Malthusian cynic said:

    Hey guys, pick a minimum population number that will

    1. Maintain genetic diversity, so humanity will survive and adapt if necessary.

    2. Allow for specialization, so that science and technology can continue to progress, (and at the same time allow for creativity in art and music and so on.)

    And, alan, that will give all you futurist/fantasists the “ecological civilization” you are supposedly after.

    But I have trouble believing that’s what you want, in reality. Rather, it sounds like y’all only want it if it incorporates your personal agenda, whatever that may be.

    I’m not quite sure what yours in particular is, other than to be “anti-Malthusian”. Why do you care? Why do you object to promoting the demographic transition as much as possible?

    What benefit is there to having 10 billion humans on the planet?

  25. 225
    zebra says:

    nigelj 207,

    I acknowledged that you might not be familiar with our geography in that comment that got lost. Also, I covered the question of what happened “environmentally” in the past in a reply to someone earlier– you can’t compare stuff from 100 or 200 years ago because the technology was so different. And, the whole point of putting this out for input from others is that yeah, I write about what I know– the US– and maybe others more familiar with other geography could give some insights about areas that could “sustain” a technological population.

    But really, you are failing to think outside a very tiny box on this. It is all politics, and economics. If you are talking about a democratic society, think about it:

    What would the politics be like in my bi-coastal US? There would be no Senators or reps from Wyoming, or any of the other resource-dependent locales. Do you think West Virginia is going to dominate the country and force everyone to burn coal?

    The smaller the population, the less valuable non-renewable resources become, and so less powerful are those who control them.

    The smaller the population, the more valuable labor becomes, which reduces inequality and the concentration of power.

    We’re not talking about some marginal effect here.

  26. 226
    alan2102 says:

    #186 Thomas 17 Oct 2017: “alan states/queries the assumption that: ‘Humans are not creative and intelligent beings capable of worthwhile contribution’.
    imho, the rare exceptions of individuals who act on their creative intelligence to manifest it in the world and who also happen to be human beings, prove the rule above is reasonably accurate.”

    Wow. Dreadfully pessimistic and cynical, in addition to being out of touch with empirical reality, in which billions of intelligent people make worthwhile contributions every single day.

    #191 Thomas 17 Oct 2017: “#166 Hank re ‘Mitigating global warming therefore remains a priority to avoid dangerous impacts on global water and food security.’ Ha, in their dreams maybe. Not going to happen in the real world upon planet Earth. Merely more unheard unheeded voices crying in the wilderness.”

    Damn! More pessimism and cynicism. But understandable on the part of a citizen of a failing nation. It is all but impossible to be optimistic when your country is going down the tubes, with gangs of corrupt idiots as “leaders”.

    Fortunately, the rising world powers, the forces shaping our new planetary future, display much better mental health, as well as fortitude, dedication, perspicacity, stamina, and other qualities necessary to lead us out of the wilderness — which will happen unless catastrophe supervenes, as it might.

  27. 227
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @197

    Makes sense.

    The general theory is smaller families / lower fertility is caused by a combination of lower infant mortality (requiring improved prosperity), and better contraception, and better women’s rights, and I find it persuasive.

    It correlates in part with your graph on America and there are global correlations of all these factors as a general rule, but with exceptions in various places, and perhaps these have specific reasons.

    We had a reasonable correlation of increasing prosperity and reduced infant mortality and smaller families in America from at least 1900 to 1931 about. Perhaps the depression once it really kicked in it made people adverse to large families as it was so severe.

    Perhaps the oddity of the increase in fertility in America from 1940 to 1960 during a period of rising prosperity ,is partly a rebound from delayed child bearing in the depression, and related to the demands of the war effort,and booming post 1940 economy all over riding the normal patterns of higher prosperity/low infant mortality associating with low fertility.

    This possibly ended as the trend ran out of power by the 1960s and you had the 1960s revolution of contraception and better womens rights etc contributing.

  28. 228
    Mal Adapted says:

    alan2102:

    Your argument sounds like the arguments I’ve had in past years with overpopulationists who cannot believe the glaring fertility drop-off numbers. All they know is that population is still growing; they seem blind to the fact that growth is slowing and will cease in a few decades. In other words, they seem blind to the (all-important) TRAJECTORY of things, seeing only a snapshot of the way things are, frozen in time at this moment. Same with renewables skeptics who point to the very small percentage of total energy derived from renewables, as yet; no appreciation of the (all-important) TRAJECTORY of things, which have renewables doubling every 2-3 years, reaching 100% in a few decades!

    Dude, I really get annoyed when I’m attacked for things I did not say. You know I have not said any of your optimistic claims are impossible. I’ve merely said they’re optimistic. I’m not rejecting them at the outset, I’m merely leaving it to you to support them. That’s the skeptical position.

    All your observations of existing trends are more or less accurate. Their future trajectories have yet to become real, that’s all. As I have no crystal ball, nor am I a haruspex, I’m reserving judgment.

  29. 229
    Mal Adapted says:

    On reflection, alan2102, I’ve done a little more than say your claims were optimistic; I’ve discussed historical human population dynamics, and suggested that while current demographic trends appear related to economic and political factors, there are underlying biological mechanisms that may be countervailing.

    Projecting demographic futures is like projecting climate futures: there are multiple physical, economic and political factors acting on various timescales, and the precise future trajectory of global population depends on their relative strengths at every instant from now. Therefore, I’m unwilling to say yet whether global TFR will fall below replacement rate permanently or not. It may rise to replacement level or higher again, perhaps when total global population is lower. By the same rationale, I’m unwilling to say whether or not AT will decline as P does, either.

    I really don’t have anything more to say on this subject. If you put words in my mouth, however, I might make you eat them instead.

  30. 230
    Thomas says:

    C21G-1179: A Novel Approach To Retrieve Arctic Sea Ice Thickness For Prediction And Analysis L Brucker et al

    “In spite of October-November Arctic-sea-ice-volume loss exceeding 7000 km3 in the decade following ICESat launch (2003), most global ocean reanalysis systems are not able to reproduce such a drastic decline.

    “Knowledge of the sea ice properties and its thickness distribution is critical to our understanding of polar ocean processes and the role of the polar regions in the Earth’s climate system. […]

    “For the first time, we were able to reproduce the Arctic sea ice thickness field at 10 km resolution with success for fall, winter, and spring (April/May depending on melt conditions) from passive microwave data. Our results reveal the same patterns of thickness distribution in the Arctic basin and peripheral seas as CryoSat-2, and the majority of the retrievals are within 0.5 m of CryoSat-2.
    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2141.msg131840.html#msg131840

    and Published: 6 July 2017 A weekly Arctic sea-ice thickness data record from merged CryoSat-2 and SMOS satellite data Robert Ricker
    https://www.the-cryosphere.net/11/1607/2017/tc-11-1607-2017.pdf

    C035: Sea ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions in the “New” Arctic and Southern Oceans
    Conveners solicit papers on observational, theoretical and numerical investigations that advance a system level understanding of processes that affect sea ice extent and thickness in the Arctic and Southern Oceans
    https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/preliminaryview.cgi/Session22340

    or Published: 24 August 2016 Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Estimation from CryoSat-2 Satellite Data Using Machine Learning-Based Lead Detection by Sanggyun Lee et al Academic Editors: Walt Meier, Mark Tschudi, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/8/9/698

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICESat-2

    https://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov/

    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/The_Living_Planet_Programme/Earth_Explorers/CryoSat-2/ESA_s_ice_mission

    There is much happening atm in this subject area.

  31. 231
    Thomas says:

    Some fun quotes for Victor et al – not wise to continually miss the already known and the obvious. :-)

    Climate Change [Science] 2014 Synthesis Report by the IPCC
    https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_All_Topics.pdf

    Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.

    Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.

    Ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting for more than 90% of the energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010 with only about 1% stored in the atmosphere).

    Over the last two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass. Glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide. Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover has continued to decrease in extent.

    Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era driven largely by economic and population growth. From 2000 to 2010 emissions were the highest in history.

    Historical emissions have driven atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide to levels that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years, leading to an uptake of energy by the climate system.

    The total anthropogenic radiative forcing over 1750–2011 is calculated to be a warming effect of 2.3 [1.1 to 3.3] W/m2, and it has increased more rapidly since 1970 than during prior decades. Carbon dioxide is the largest single contributor to radiative forcing over 1750–2011 and its trend since 1970.

    About half of the cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions between 1750 and 2011 have occurred in the last 40 years.

    About 40% of these anthropogenic CO2 emissions have remained in the atmosphere (880 ± 35 GtCO2) since 1750. The rest was removed from the atmosphere by sinks, and stored in natural carbon cycle reservoirs.

    Total annual anthropogenic GHG emissions have continued to increase over 1970 to 2010 with larger absolute increases between 2000 and 2010.

    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes contributed about 78% to the total GHG emission increase between 1970 and 2010, with a contribution of similar percentage over the 2000–2010 period.

    Total annual anthropogenic GHG emissions have increased by about 10 GtCO2-[Equivalent] between 2000 and 2010. This increase directly came from the energy (47%), industry (30%), transport (11%) and building (3%) sectors. Accounting for indirect emissions raises the contributions by the building and industry sectors.

    [ Therefore it would be logical that the greatest scope to lower GHG emissions will be found in the Energy and Industry Sectors, ~77% of the total. ]

    The evidence for human influence on the climate system has grown since AR4. Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, and in global mean sea level rise; and it is extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.

    In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans. Impacts are due to observed climate change, irrespective of its cause, indicating the sensitivity of natural and human systems to changing climate.

    It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in GHG concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.

    Many terrestrial, freshwater and marine species have shifted their geographic ranges, seasonal activities, migration patterns, abundances and species interactions in response to ongoing climate change.

    ‘Cascading’ impacts of climate change can now be attributed along chains of evidence from physical climate through to intermediate systems and then to people.

    Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been observed since about 1950. Some of these changes have been linked to human influences, including a decrease in cold temperature extremes, an increase in warm temperature extremes, an increase in extreme high sea levels and an increase in the number of heavy precipitation events in a number of regions.

    Impacts from recent climate-related extremes, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones and wildfires, reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability (very high confidence).

    The character and severity of impacts from climate change and extreme events emerge from risk that depends not only on climate-related hazards but also on exposure (people and assets at risk) and vulnerability (susceptibility to harm) of human and natural systems.

    Adaptation and mitigation experience is accumulating across regions and scales, even while global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase.

    Continued emission of greenhouse gases [GHGs] will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.

    Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks.

    That link again https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_All_Topics.pdf

  32. 232
    Thomas says:

    Despite what is depicted on page 59 of AR5 https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_All_Topics.pdf

    Where it shows a September Ice free Arctic Ocean not happening until 2050 at the earliest and probably sometime before 2070 – the latest data and research keeps suggestin to me that a Summer Ice Free Arctic Sea Ice extent (as per NSDIC contraints) is likely to occur by 2025 or before.

    2025 is only 8 years away. An Ice Free Summer Arctic will be a significant “tipping point” to cross and should have significant ongoing impacts across the global climate system. In ways unable to predict.

  33. 233
    Killian says:

    #198 Kevin McKinney said Killian takes everything personally and doesn’t even know he’s doing it, but he’s absolutely right on this.

    This exchange is a perfect illustration of the dysfunction of message boards: You could have simply confirmed my perspective was historically accurate, but you could not resist the personal dig. **You** created the negative exchange, whole cloth, on your own. This is not the first time. It will not be the last. And you will always blame me for your failings, both the lesser analysis and the inappropriate personal comments.

    What makes it personal are comments like you made above. You specifically make it personal, then complain that I take it personally. Foolish. However, when people are snide, dismissive, sarcastic, engage Straw Man arguments, etc., it *is* personal, and you all should be called on it, and are.

  34. 234
    Killian says:

    #213 Thomas said #198 Kevin BELIEVES – “Killian takes everything personally and doesn’t even know he’s doing it…”

    There’s no evidence for that and besides I’m not buying because I can see and hear a totally different Killian than you seem to be “seeing/hearing”.

    Yeah, I BELIEVE I am reading Killian much more accurately and fully than Kevin et al do. You’ve created your own special version of “make believe Killian” who doesn’t actually exist anywhere but in your own minds.

    Bingo. It is especially common for INTP types to be misunderstood because we jsut don’t, as I have said very many times, care about your damned egos! These are serious times for serious people, and ego has no place in it. Ironically, it is their responses they are projecting, thus are the ones making it personal.

    But hey, I could be wrong. The only person who could know is Killian, and so he’s the only expert here on the subject. :-)

    Not in the least. Your words will, however, have zero impact because most people have little capacity for dealing with being told they are wrong.

  35. 235
    alan2102 says:

    #205 Steve Fish 18 Oct 2017: “A woman has to have control of her own body in male dominated societies”

    If you are correct, then it may be that the strong women’s rights themes of the Mao period were instrumental in their dramatic demographic transition at very low levels of general and economic development.

    http://www.unz.com/article/mao-reconsidered/
    “[Mao was] a tireless campaigner for women’s rights …. [he denounced the]
    whole feudal-patriarchal ideology and system [that oppressed women]. In 1945 he made colleagues promise that, in victory, they would ‘ensure freedom of marriage and equality between men and women’ and, in 1950, his first official act as head of State was to sign the Marriage Law of the People’s Republic of China, which promised to protect women and children, guarantee gender equality in monogamous marriages, women’s choice of marriage partners, equal pay for equal work, maternity leave and free childcare. (Encountering resistance later, in 1955, he insisted, “Men and women must receive equal pay for equal work. Genuine equality between the sexes can only be realized in the process of the socialist transformation of society as a whole”).”

  36. 236
    alan2102 says:

    #226 Mal Adapted 19 Oct 2017: “Dude, I really get annoyed when I’m attacked for things I did not say.”

    Feel free to get annoyed, but at least make it over something real. Although other paragraphs in my post may have had to do with you, the paragraph you quoted did not. I was addressing (unnamed) “overpopulationists” and “renewables skeptics”, not you. I mean, if the shoe fits, then wear it and get annoyed, but I was not directing my comments at you personally.

  37. 237
    nigelj says:

    Killian @209

    Thanks for the comment.

    Capitalism does not require growth. BPL has already explained this to you. The only fixed principle in capitalism is private ownership (or most of the economy in private ownership). All other aspects can be changed or controlled as we wish. Please note gdp growth is relentlessly falling anyway.

    I have never said things that run out are sustainable. I have only said many things can be recycled and substitute materials are likely to be found.

    You need to consider that if you are getting a lot of criticism – you could actually simply be wrong, or partly wrong.

    No you didnt call me a liar, you said I lie about what you said. Whats the difference other than pedantry? And I dont lie about what you said.

    I’m telling you right now almost all your posts would be deleted form scepticalscience.com another climate change website. They would not buy into your distinctions.

    You say “My prescription? Design arises from the site/context/conditions. I am an analyst. I do not impose. If there is a prescription, it is from Nature, not me”

    I think that’s just too general. Its true but so general.You have promoted “small scale, local, sharing low tech, but with a technology backbone in transport and communications and healthcare”.

    Please note Killian this is already partly prescriptive. It sounds nice and impressive. I thought this sort of thing 30 years ago when I was still at university. But its still too general as well and for no good reason.

    Heres what I think such a society looks like in terms of technology: Individuals and families with no computers, cars, televisions, washing machines or even fridges. They would possibly have electric stoves and a shared phone between families.The technology “backbone” would have to be basic is its consistent with a generally low tech so called sustainable society with less mining and use of basic raw materials. I think a few minimal trains and buses and basic hospitals with very basic services.

    I have described a typical farming peasant economy. Anything much more becomes high tech. I don’t want to live like that, and I don’t think we NEED to because recycling has so much potential. I wonder if you would be prepared to yourself.

    IF YOU have a different prescription, feel free to define it. I’m not claiming you propose such a prescription, I’m simply giving my interpretation. I suppose you think there’s such a dire environmental problem that people should be quietly shuffled towards low tech and don’t scare them by filling in too many details. We have some big environmental challenges but Im just not quite as pessimistic as you. I mean Im pessimistic and pretty worried, – but you really are over the top!

    I propose high tech, but cleverly done to minimise environmental problems, and with appropriate laws, somewhat like Holland does well.

    I also think its ridiculous when families have huge houses with five ensuites, dozens of phones, computers etc and obviously we should all be more sensible. Im not argiung the staus quo can simply continue because obviously that would be difficult.

    What I propose wont be 100% sustainable in pure form for all eternity, but it will be reasonably sustainable. That’s good enough for me in an imperfect world.

    I also go along with regenerative farming and related principles to some extent from what I have read.

  38. 238
    nigelj says:

    zebra @223

    “What would the politics be like in my bi-coastal US? There would be no Senators or reps from Wyoming, or any of the other resource-dependent locales. Do you think West Virginia is going to dominate the country and force everyone to burn coal?”

    Oh come on Zebra, those are wild imaginings and assumptions and straw people. Not your usual rigorous style.

    Smaller population will still have politics, and people who don’t give a toss for the environment. Even hunter gatherers weren’t perfect and that was small population. The Maori in my country, fine people but killed off half the native birds and animals.

    Even coastal settlements have resources. And thus competition and squabbles just smaller populations might reduce the squabbles.

    “The smaller the population, the less valuable non-renewable resources become, and so less powerful are those who control them.”

    Yes and a good thing too, but that doesn’t make them any less tempting to use because they would be cheap and abundant.

    “The smaller the population, the more valuable labor becomes, which reduces inequality and the concentration of power.”

    Yes, and a good thing, but beside the point.

  39. 239
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @210

    “RE Steve Fish and “A couple of scientific reviews of the literature would be great.””Scott has done this since the first day he ever posted here Steve.”

    Not on the specific question of how much total extra emissions could potentially be absorbed by soil carbon sinks. I have yet to see anything rigorous.

  40. 240
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @212

    “To paraphrase Hank Roberts in another context, you may be correct in everything you say, but how would we know. Steve”

    “That’s your job and responsibility to do Steve (and everyone else from Gavin down.) Isn’t it? Not Scotts.:”

    No, if Scott makes big claims he has to prove them, with citations, or from first principles and in specific detail. Period.

  41. 241
    nigelj says:

    zebra @222

    “The essence of “what I am talking about” is that we don’t need no stinkin’ manifestos.”

    What is your ranting about population and family size if its not a manifesto?

  42. 242
    nigelj says:

    Killian @215

    With respect what you have written is totally empty sophistry. Its too childish, aggressive and rudely vindictive and wrong for words.

    I just dont have to take this rubbish. I could walk away, but no there are reasons to respond.Most people reading your rhetoric will run a mile and do the complete opposite of everything you say. You are a danger to climate science and environmentalism, and too childish for this discussion.

    Principles and concepts are fine, but if you cant get specific and presecriptive when required, your ideas are hopeless and not even remotely science based or of any use.

    By analogy because its the only way I can get this across, your comments are on the same level as “the world needs more fairness, love and respect”. Yes of course it does we all know that, but if you cant specifically say how in specific detail and in a practically and workable way, just shut up.

  43. 243
    sidd says:

    To: Scott Strough

    Do you have an email address or a website so I may contact you ?

  44. 244
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @233

    “The smaller the population, the more valuable labor becomes, which reduces inequality and the concentration of power.”

    Sounds plausible, but have you checked this against reality? Because it doesnt appear so. The four highest countries by income inequality America, Turkey, Mexico, Chile. NZ my county also has above oecd average now.

    Chile and NZ smaller populations and low population density. America average population density. Mexico and Turkey higher population density. So just not an obvious correlation.

    And from a study within America: “On average, lower (population) density areas are both poorer and more unequal.”

    http://www.mcleveland.org/Class_notes/Population_Distribution_and_Poverty.pdf

    I could be wrong, just a two minute look at the issue.

  45. 245
    zebra says:

    Kevin McKinney 197,

    Two problems:

    1. What you are doing is like trying to infer/construct a theory of climate using short-term time-series data on global temps. You can’t.

    2. There’s prosperity and then there’s prosperity. It’s all relative, as someone once said.

    The underlying principles are there to observe across contemporaneous cultural variations; if you want to question them, you should be working in that space.

    -higher birthrates make economic sense for subsistence (or marginal) farmers or laborers where manual labor and low-pay labor is the only option for offspring.
    -higher birthrates make sense if you are invested in some identity group that is trying to dominate others, control resources, or maintain identity.
    -lower birthrates make sense if offspring can achieve wealth through status in an elite sub-group.
    -high birth rates don’t make sense from a (woman’s) individual perspective if she has a choice not influenced by the above.

    Nothing in the Depression, WWII, baby-boom time period contradicts that, as far as I can tell, at least without some finer resolution data.

  46. 246

    Killian, #233–

    #198 Kevin McKinney said Killian takes everything personally and doesn’t even know he’s doing it, but he’s absolutely right on this.

    This exchange is a perfect illustration of the dysfunction of message boards: You could have simply confirmed my perspective was historically accurate, but you could not resist the personal dig…

    Dude, you had just called nigel a liar–something that you can’t possibly know, for the simple reason that you have no way of really knowing what he did or did not understand based upon what you wrote.

    It was my judgment the exchange was already well into emotional escalation, and that absent some acknowledgement of that aspect from me, nigel was unlikely (or at least less likely) to be able to take in what I thought was an important point. So the comment wasn’t ‘for’ you, though it was formally ‘about’ you. It was you who took it as a ‘personal dig’, though I can certainly understand why; it’s not a flattering assertion. But would you agree that you have now indeed “taken it personally”–as indeed, in the past, I have “taken personally” your accusations of lying?

    I suppose that I must concede that strictly speaking I don’t know for sure whether or not you *know* you do this. But I frankly don’t see much evidence that you do–except perhaps Thomas’s comment that he sees a ‘different Killian’, which I find unsurprising, but duly note regardless.

    Bottom line: this is how you appear to me. You have basically three choices, I think: learn what you can from the (understandably unwelcome) perspective; blow it off as being due to my emotional immaturity, or perfidy, or whatever; or take it personally (yet again) and escalate the exchange.

    I am hopeful, for various reasons, that you will *not* choose #3.

  47. 247

    #245, zebra–

    Good comments. I like the way you summarized the ‘principles,’ as you call them. Though a question–why “lower birthrates make sense if offspring can achieve wealth through status in an elite sub-group”? Why not “lower birthrates make sense if offspring can live securely as participants in a productive and not excessively hiererarchical society?” Or would you see that as an additional case?

    However, you may be overestimating the intended scope of what I wrote; I wasn’t trying to construct some grand theory, just engaging in curiousity-fueled thought about said short(ish) term trends. That was the context set by the previous comments, at least as I saw it. So what you wrote was more or less implicit in the background for me–even if I hadn’t summarized it so clearly for myself.

    (The main takeaway of the exercise for myself–FWIW–is that, as has been observed elsewhere on this thread, there are effects on varying timescales, which may be of opposite sign–eg., prosperity may corellate with *higher* birthrates on shorter time scales, but with *lower* rates over longer scales.)

    Turning to the conversation about resources, labor, and conversation, nigel summarized:

    “The smaller the population, the less valuable non-renewable resources become, and so less powerful are those who control them.”

    Yes and a good thing too, but that doesn’t make them any less tempting to use because they would be cheap and abundant.

    “The smaller the population, the more valuable labor becomes, which reduces inequality and the concentration of power.”

    Yes, and a good thing, but beside the point.

    Let me once again question a bit. On point #1, is population really the independent variable here? Isn’t techological state more the driver? (Of course, I have to acknowledge that there may be no way of really separating the two cleanly in practice. We have the historical examples that we have, and we probably don’t have a very comprehensive ability to constrain the feasibility of various speculative social possibilities.)

    On point #2, I’m not so sure about that, either. Clearly for large(ish) populations the significance of any one individual’s labor is less, because it is a smaller proportion of the total available labor. But labor in general? That’s not intuitively obvious to me. Again, I’d be inclined to ascribe changes in the value of labor in general to changes in technological state. (An example would be the escalating value of capital in relation to labor over much of the world today, as production is driven more and more by technologically sophisticated processes of various types.)

    The relevance of all of this for climate change, I suppose, lies in the desirability of trying to envision just what may or may not be likely and/or possible for our future. For the remainder of my life–absent social collapse on a global scale!–we will see an increasing population, but beyond that time, what is possible for global society? What is desirable? And to what extent will we be able to ‘steer’ matters toward what is deemed desirable, given that we are having quite a lot of trouble trying to ‘steer’ contemporary matters toward a rational policy in regard to climatic sustainability?

  48. 248
    Mal Adapted says:

    alan2102:

    I mean, if the shoe fits, then wear it and get annoyed, but I was not directing my comments at you personally.

    Whatever, dude, I’m not up for tango right now. I’ll be in the tall grass.

  49. 249
    Scott Strough says:

    You may contact me at teamred33064@yahoo.com

  50. 250
    alan2102 says:

    Not to detract from globally-significant bickering and backbiting on the realclimate forum, but in Beijing, a notable speech was just delivered, featuring the concept of Ecological Civilization:

    “[We must] cherish our environment as we cherish our own lives.” — Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People’s Republic of China

    https://qz.com/1105119/watch-what-xi-jinpings-19th-chinese-communist-party-congress-work-report-said-on-climate-change/
    Speaking at the opening session of the 19th Communist Party congress on Wednesday (Oct. 18), Xi turned early in his remarks to “ecological civilization.” He noted that China had made major efforts to reduce consumption and save resources, and that these steps were paying off domestically–and setting an example globally.
    “Taking a driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change, China has become an important participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization,” said Xi, about 15 minutes into the start of a three-hour-plus speech known as a “work report.”
    In many ways, Xi’s remarks on the environment at the leadership reshuffle meeting, which evaluates the previous five years and sets priorities for the next five years, were couched in more emotional terms than those used by then president Hu Jintao at the last party congress in 2012. While both leaders spoke of the importance of protecting the planet for future generations, Xi said (about 67 minutes in) that China must “cherish our environment as we cherish our own lives.”
    “Any harm we inflict on nature will eventually return to haunt us… this is a reality we have to face,” Xi told the congress about an hour from the end, adding that China must “develop a new model of modernization with humans developing in harmony with nature.”
    Xi’s remarks came as the country has increasingly focused on shifting from relying on fossil fuels to reduce its deadly air pollution and coal overcapacity problems at home. But China has also realized that these efforts allow it to command greater respect on the world stage, particularly as the US, under president Donald Trump, has made it clear it isn’t interested in playing a leadership role on safeguarding the environment.
    In January, speaking at the Davos economic gathering in Switzerland, Xi defended the Paris climate accord and urged all signatories of the agreement to “stick to it rather than walking away from it.” Less than five months later, US president Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw from the agreement.
    “We will get actively involved in global environmental governance and fulfill our emissions reductions,” Xi promised on Wednesday.

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    videos:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqn5iI35wEw
    Xi Jinping address to 19th CPC National Congress
    at 26:15-27:50 : comments on ecological civilization, green development, climate change, resource conservation, etc.
    at 2:37:55 : more along the same lines; discusses reforestation, restoration of grasslands, and much more, in detail; this guy takes ecological civilization seriously! Note also that this is a 3.5 hour speech. Note the DETAIL of his comments; note how incredibly informed and intelligent he is.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyrCcyo6x4Q
    China Has Achieved Notable Results in Building up Ecological Civilization: Xi