RealClimate logo


Unforced variations: Nov 2017

Filed under: — group @ 4 November 2017

This month’s open thread. Lawsuits about scientific disputes, the new Climate Science Special Report from the National Climate Assessment, and (imminently) the WMO State of the Climate statement for 2017.

342 Responses to “Unforced variations: Nov 2017”

  1. 101
    patrick says:

    @90 Nemesis: I know what you mean, but that’s not what the science says. It says communication and cooperation are the best survival skills. It’s a group thing, and it’s how the human race got this far. Cheap thrills can shorten one’s life. A lot of movies give you cheap thrills, and that one is no exception. It was written, designed, and acted to have that effect. It is fantasy.

  2. 102
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @87,
    The announcement has been made, not of a La Nina, but of La Nina conditions. This is based on the ONI, itself a 3-month rolling average of Nino 3.4. These conditions have to persist for three consecutive months for a La Nina to be declared. Such conditions are expected to last that long but being weak, it is possible it may fail to constitute an official La Nina. It is so far weaker than the La Nina conditions of 12-months ago on the ONI. And you will note the comment made on the Weather Underground webpage you linked to –

    “The La Niña of 2016-17 was a marginal event, just long-lived enough to qualify as a La Niña and never even reaching moderate strength. In fact, it’s the only La Niña event in NOAA records going back to 1950 where three-month average SSTs in the Niño3.4 region failed to even get as cool as 0.8°C below average. The current La Niña is expected to be another weak one.”

    The La Nina conditions as defined by the ONI to-date are weaker even than that.
    There are other measures of ENSO. By the MEI, La Nina conditions are considered to exist when the index drops below -0.5. The MEI numbers didn’t manage such values last winter but the last update did record -0.551, the first La Nina MEI conditions since 2012.

    And the impact of ENSO is only seen in CO2 data six months after the event. So the weekly CO2 data showing am annual rise of just 1.3ppm/year over last week with a similar rise expected for this week (the data for 11/11/17 is yet to be posted and so far sits at 1.45ppm/yr): these low annual rises in CO2 do not the result from ENSO.

  3. 103

    #73–

    KIA, thanks for the thoughts. Lovely little pep talk.

    However, I don’t think it really quite fits our reality.

    “Just stop using FFs. Who has done that so far? Not very many. Instead they cry and moan about Trump.”

    The ‘just say no’ school of thought… ’cause it worked so well in the ‘war on drugs.’

    While it is possible, through committed and highly disciplined effort, to seriously cut your personal emissions, it’s not possible to go carbon neutral in isolation from the rest of your society. *Everything* we need to live has a potential carbon footprint–and in many cases, there is no very ‘clean and green’ option for the carbon-conscious consumer to select.

    “We’ve al been told that all other nations are WAY better than the US on stopping the AGW runaway train.”

    Actually, no, we haven’t. Assessments involve values and choice, but by many, the US is sort of a “middle of the pack” country: the worst historical emitter, by far, and the one whose politics are most disfigured by climate change denialism, on the one hand; but which has also, on the other, done much of the relevant research not only on the basic science of the issue, but also on mitigation policy and sustainable technology.

    And in terms of recent performance, US emissions are roughly at 1990 levels, and have been falling for a decade now:

    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=30712

    https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/inventory-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-sinks

    For one assessment of national carbon ‘virtue’, see the Carbon Brief national comparison I linked above; IRRC, the US is ranked in the mid-40s.

    “Thus, if all of those other nations plus the 1/2 of Americans that agree with the scientists simply stop using FFs, the problem will be solved.”

    That’s rather like suggesting that if you want to get downstairs you should jump out the window. It may be the fastest method, but we all know there can be ‘downsides.’ It almost makes me think that you aren’t really serious…

    Take Denmark. That nation has worked hard to reduce emissions, and as a result has become a world leader in wind power. Emissions have in fact been reduced by about 10% since 1990:

    https://unfccc.int/files/ghg_emissions_data/application/pdf/dnk_ghg_profile.pdf

    But it’s taken a lot of hard work and thought.

    “Let the Trumpsters continue to use their FF powered cars, airplanes, home heating, etc. The number of Trumpsters is not significant and those few will have no significant impact on AGW, AND as they age they will die out.”

    You are kidding, right? First, ‘Trumpsters’ are something like a quarter of the voting population, based on current polling. That is not insignificant. Second, it’s not about Trump only: it’s about the GOP as a whole, which has been largely hijacked by climate change denialism. (See Jane Mayers’s “Dark Money” for who has done the hijacking, and how.) The GOP is the party of the minority–again, based on polling–but has managed to work the system to achieve a lock on current federal power.

    And they are using that power–precisely as their funders and ideological drivers have mandated–to do everything they can to *increase* emissions; to sabotage international action; and to degrade the capacity of the US to monitor, let alone address, the problem.

    And your suggestion is that we ignore them? Again, it’s not easy to believe you’re actually serious…

    “The problem is that all of those who dislike Trump are not willing to stop using FFs. So, what it boils down to is that the problem is not Trumpsters, but those who dislike him. Be the change you wish to see in the world. You have the power.”

    Well, I’m certainly being intentional about using the power I do have. I use less, eat more local and vegetarian, constantly take carbon footprint into consideration in practical decision-making, work every single day to spread awareness about the problems and solutions around climate change. And I plan to go on doing just that.

    But it isn’t about just being a ‘green consumer’. Fossil fuels are addictive for a reason: just as various drugs help you forget your unhappiness and give an easy and reliable feeling of euphoria, fossil fuels bring power, convenience and wealth. Of course (and once again), there are downsides. It takes work and thought to find out how to live best while polluting least.

  4. 104
    Fred Magyar says:

    nigelj @ 71 says:

    “I wonder if this would become a global trend, or whether profit motive, cheating rules, and exploitation is just too strong?

    Perhaps it might slowly become a dominant trend but cant see the Koch brothers being early adopters. Like Zebra points out its about who owns / controls basic resources.”

    There is a lot happening in the world at large you just need to know where to look. Try googling the Disruptive Innovation Ferstival, It is happening right now through Nov. 26

    Here’s a sample, Trump the Kochs and Fossil Fuels may be even more irrelevant than any of us thinks. Plastics? How about Chitin:
    The Biggest Revolution in 3D Printing is Yet to Come

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=974&v=_wHT-FsCJjM

  5. 105

    #85, KIA–

    “Here’s another hard fact: LIFE is about doing what is necessary to survive, not about “saving the planet”. That’s a fact!”

    Ah, yes, now you’re saying what you really think.

    Where you are wrong is in thinking that you can separate the two. Well, that and putting it as ‘saving’ the planet, when the real issue is ‘ceasing to fuck up’ the planet.

  6. 106
    drfog says:

    I’ve posted a comment earlier on that was relevant and pertinent but it neither was published nor it went to the borehole, can you please let me know what happened to that comment? Thanks.

  7. 107
    Hank Roberts says:

    Killian says:
    11 Nov 2017 at 7:03 PM
    … I calculate … Please check my math….

    [Response: Wasdell’s conclusions about ESS are not supportable. He makes fundamental errors in discussing forcings and feedbacks. Not a good basis for any kind of policy or prediction. – gavin]

    Thank you, Gavin

  8. 108

    K 95: Only by no longer caring about ownership, and understanding sustainable societies don’t do ownership, wilk [sic] people move en mass [sic] to a Commons

    BPL: Good luck with that.

  9. 109
    mike says:

    MAR at 102: thanks for clarity on the la nina and enso stuff. It seems we are observing some drop in the y on y comparison. This drop is very noisy number like daily and weekly averages, but still… anything under 2.0 ppm is like a cool breeze on a hot day. I enjoy it.

    MB at 98: I am not sure what your point is, but when I talk about 1%ers, I am talking about the population identified by the Occupy movement; the folks who have immense wealth and influence. In that sense, the term 1%er is pretty rhetorical. If you get into an actual analysis of the 1% and expand it to encompass the global human population, you end up with a lot of folks who are above that bar and may be somewhat comfortable with a fairly large carbon footprint, but most of these folks do not have the influence/power/wealth to set public policy. That’s all I am going to say on that matter.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  10. 110
    Killian says:

    #71 nigelj said Some good news among the gloom. Some businesses have become ‘ethical’ businesses as article below.

    https://www.magzter.com/preview/13970/250663#page/1

    I wonder if this would become a global trend, or whether profit motive, cheating rules, and exploitation is just too strong?

    First Principles: If you are for self (business), you are not for all.

    Better to say #greenwashing is becoming all the rage. Far more accurate. Try to remember, sustainability is a threshhold.

  11. 111
    Killian says:

    Re Thomas, in super rant mode: Ha, that’ll be the day when hell freezes over! They’ve never understood before, on any critical subject matter, so they are not going to be having a ‘road to Damascus’ experience over Climate Change now, nor in the future.

    Collectively, too damn stoopid and narcissistic – ie immature, ignorant, gullible, selfish and self-centered!

    This is unequivocal. If true, there is no hope. Cutting off the U.S. would solve nothing.

    Your rant is still suicidal nonsense.

    As for my students, they are quite happy to be placed at appropriate levels with appropriate materials and in groupings close enough to be workable, yet divergent enough for effective group work.

    You undermine yourself. Take the observation or don’t.

  12. 112
    Killian says:

    By all means “disagree” with my opinion/conclusion and recommendation to the world, but stop the PERSONAL JUDGEMENT CRAP

    Well, that’s the rub; I usually don’t disagree with you. I don’t disagree the U.S. is a problem, but Trump does not equal the U.S., despite your apparent view he does. There are many like me in the U.S. creating regenerative systems and/or teaching people to. It is not a Trumpian monolith. In fact, the entire premise of a Trump presidency being better than a Clinton presidency is based on the fact it will be, to coin a phrase, brutal and short, but would trigger a progressive awakening out of pure shock, if nothing else.

    So, your premise is flawed, your conclusion is flawed, your solution is flawed. Yes, saying the U.S, is forever flawed is inherently suicidal because it means there is no way to save humanity: The ecosystem cannot be compartmentalized.

    More so, you are intentionally dense and/or too complex, and intentionally obtuse, with your language. It is a disservice to yourself, above all.

  13. 113
    Mr. Know It All says:

    103 – KM
    “You are kidding, right? First, ‘Trumpsters’ are something like a quarter of the voting population, based on current polling. That is not insignificant. Second, it’s not about Trump only: it’s about the GOP as a whole, which has been largely hijacked by climate change denialism.”

    No, I’m not kidding. The US does not matter. All “Trumpsters” and the GOP combined, are say, at most, 50% of the US population, or max 175,000,000 people. That is max 2.5% of the world population. So, if the other 97.5% will stop using FFs, the problem will be solved. It could occur as soon as next week, if they really, really, want this problem solved. No, they’d rather complain about Trump than to solve AGW and that is exactly what they are going to do. Disconnect from the FF grid next week – here’s only one of many examples where you can buy what is needed to giterdone:
    https://www.mrsolar.com/grid-tie-solar-power-systems/

  14. 114
    Mal Adapted says:

    zebra:

    As I often say, Tonto-like: There is no “we”.

    Heh. You got me, tonto. I should have made it clear my ‘we’ meant ‘citizens of the USA’. We’re a fractious polity, each with our own idiosyncratic agendas. We, or at least subsets of us, occasionally recognize our mutual interests and act collectively, to achieve what none of us can on our own. That has usually, but not always, occurred by a formal electoral process (for better or worse).

    You tend to be overly reliant on this “commons” theme.

    Maybe. IMHO, AGW is best understood as an economist would, namely as a ‘tragedy of the (unmanaged) commons’. It’s the foundation of my support for carbon taxes in general, and specifically a US Carbon Fee and Dividend with Border Adjustment Tariff as advocated by citizensclimatelobby.org. As I know you understand very well, z, AGW ensues from the freedom of ‘free’ markets to socialize as much private marginal cost as the society they’re embedded in will let them get away with. It’s up to US voters to recognize that “freedom in the commons does not produce a stable prosperity” (Hardin), and not let the energy market get away with socializing any more of our marginal climate-change costs. Many of us apparently find that difficult to grasp, however, perhaps because in our relatively successful pursuit of private happiness, we (US voters, and fossil fuel producers and investors rather more so) socialized the largest share of the global cost.

    That last observation, OTOH, logically suggests that by collective action to cap our total CO2 emissions, Americans can have a disproportionate influence on future global climate. My advocacy of CF&D-BAT stems from my reasonable certainty that if we act collectively, then the per-capita consequences of AGW will be much less severe than if we don’t. My hopes, faint as they are, ride on the small but finite probability that an effective plurality of my fellow Americans will , and enact a national CF&D-BAT within my remaining lifetime.

    A US CF&D-BAT alone probably won’t bring global climate change to a halt, but AFAICT stands a good chance of slowing it down some. Every little bit buys more time to avert immense tragedy for millions of Americans, to say nothing of everyone else in the world.

    Go back to my last-month discussion of the end-point of population decline.

    Only if you go back to my Aldo Leopold quote:

    That the situation is hopeless should not discourage us from doing our best.

  15. 115
    Killian says:

    PERSONAL JUDGEMENT CRAP Killian

    1. I have to stop trying to respond between classes. I either leave a ton of typos strewn about or completely forget what I wanted to say. (Walking through a door effect?)

    2. I didn’t, haven’t, said anything personal. I said your fatalistic rants are not useful and should be ended. I said you are intentionally obtuse/dense/high fallutin’ with your language and it is inappropriate here. I think we all have a responsibility to write so that any person able to read at a HS level can follow the conversation: Sustainability is ultimately local.

    3. When I get personal, you’ll know. –> I may have to start calling you Tommy Boy based on the rantiness of your posts on this issue.

  16. 116
    Thomas says:

    The ‘Climate Matters’ press conference COP 23 Fiji 12th November 2017
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLuWNew3znU&feature=youtu.be

  17. 117
    Nemesis says:

    @patrick, #101

    ” I know what you mean, but that’s not what the science says. It says communication and cooperation are the best survival skills. It’s a group thing, and it’s how the human race got this far. Cheap thrills can shorten one’s life. A lot of movies give you cheap thrills, and that one is no exception.”

    “Cheap thrills”? Are you talking to me? I never said anything about “cheap thrills”, I said, Nature is a cooking pot, just like capitalism and that’s no “cheap thrill” for sure. You don’t deny that, do you? About “cooperation”:

    Yeah, cooperation, like the military-industrial complex cooperating with the fossil fuel industry, like politicians cooperating with economy, like the pope cooperating with the mafia ect ect. Let’s see, what that kind of cooperation will bring in the End- no “cheap thrill” will come out of that kind of cooperation , I bet 8)

  18. 118
    Thomas says:

    Letterman on ‘the planet is doomed – happy holidays!’

    “If a dumb guy like me understands that things are not the way they were 30 years ago, you would think that dumb guys all over the country would understand that. And I am not that worried for myself because it’s way too late, but I have a child.” […] “So what can I do? […] I’m ready to do something, so let’s go start a fight!”
    https://youtu.be/SOKBOFLhgqM?t=5m20s

    in late 2009 (smile)

  19. 119
    Nemesis says:

    There’s a saying among a certain part of society:

    ” Eyes wide shut.”

    That’s exactly the parole, that is ruling the planet. A rather suicidal parole in the cooking pot of Nature. Good luck everyone.

  20. 120
    Thomas says:

    RT America
    Published on 22 Oct 2017
    On Contact: Climate Crisis with James Hansen
    17,470 views
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt8EUMu6S7c

  21. 121
    Thomas says:

    that RT video is only 794 views per day

    DR GAVIN SCHMIDT – GLOBAL WARMING EXPOSED – Part 1/2 | London Real
    4,138 views, or 188 per day

    James Hansen and Daniel Galpern: Making the Carbon Majors Pay for Climate Action
    191 views the first day

    What Everyone Gets Wrong About Global Warming
    777,796 views, or 10,654 per day ….
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fseG2IwpBqM

  22. 122
    Thomas says:

    “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.”
    — Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals

    Kant, Immanuel (1993) [1785]. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Translated by Ellington, James W. (3rd ed.). Hackett. p. 30. ISBN 0-87220-166-X..

    (smile)

  23. 123
    Thomas says:

    How America Got Divorced from Reality: Christian Utopias, Anti-Elitism, Media Circus | Kurt Andersen
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XirnEfkdQJM

    aka where the notions of ‘no there is no climate change happening’ and trump as president comes from.

  24. 124
    Gorgon Zola says:

    Figure Estimated U.S. Energy Use in 2011 from the Lawrence Livermore National Labs shows the energy use per ‘energy sector’ in 2011 for the US. The figure shows that nearly 40% of energy use was in the form of electricity.

    The often cited percentage for electric energy use is 20%, about half of what is shown in the figure.

    Can anyone shed some light on this discrepancy and/or direct to a similar figure for the global picture?

    Kind regards,

    GZ

  25. 125
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr. KIA: “LIFE is about doing what is necessary to survive, not about “saving the planet””

    OK, now help me out here. Are you doing an elaborate piece of performance art or was the part of your brain that handles irony surgically destroyed?

    This is right up there with, “We had to destroy the village to save it.”

  26. 126
    Hank Roberts says:

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/oregon/articles/2017-11-13/oregon-state-professor-writes-updated-warning-to-humanity/

    —-excerpt—-

    In November of 1992, more than 1,500 scientists put their signatures on an extraordinary document titled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity,” imploring global leaders to save the planet from environmental disaster.

    Now, 25 years later, more than 15,000 scientists have signed an updated version of that historic plea, saying “time is running out.”

    “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice,” published Monday in the international journal BioScience, charts the progress — or lack thereof — on the issues highlighted in the original document and renews the call for urgent action.

    Lead author William J. Ripple, a distinguished professor of ecology at Oregon State University, said he was astounded by the level of support he and his seven co-authors received for their manuscript.

    “I initially sent it out to 40 of my colleagues,” he recalled. “After 24 hours there were 600 scientists who signed it. Within two days, there were 1,200. . There were so many people signing that our website crashed a couple of times.”

    By the time the paper was ready for publication, the authors had received the endorsement of 15,364 fellow scientists from 184 countries.

    The original “Warning,” published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, was a sort of environmental distress signal that began with this chilling statement: “Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course….”

    “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.”

    ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

  27. 127
    Killian says:

    Re: #92 Killian said Wasdell calculates Earth System Sensitivity at, IIRC, 7.8C. This fits with my supposition it had to be higher given observations, which I have argued for about the last decade. (Admittedly, at that time I was conflating sensitivity and ESS.)

    Based on this higher number, I calculate we’re already due for 3.48C rise as all feedbacks kick in. That’s 2.2C more based on an average CO2 of 405ppm.

    Please check my math.

    Comments on Wasdell should be interesting.

    [Response: Wasdell’s conclusions about ESS are not supportable. He makes fundamental errors in discussing forcings and feedbacks. Not a good basis for any kind of policy or prediction. – gavin]

    Can you state what one or two of the most important are, and briefly their nature? That’s usually enough to sort the rest out myself. I assume most of it has to do with assumptions of that last couple degrees he seems to fill in out of nowhere?

    Much appreciated if you’ve a moment or two.

  28. 128
    Mr. Know It All says:

    The best thing that could happen to earth. Remember, AGW is the cause of it. :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLh67Y2Tz2k

  29. 129
    Thomas says:

    William J. Ripple Christopher Wolf Thomas M. Newsome Mauro Galetti Mohammed Alamgir Eileen Crist Mahmoud I. Mahmoud William F. Laurance et el
    15,364 scientist signatories from 184 countries
    BioScience, bix125, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix125
    Published:
    13 November 2017

    Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1700 independent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” (see supplemental file S1). These concerned professionals called on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and cautioned that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” In their manifesto, they showed that humans were on a collision course with the natural world.

    [end quote]

    earlier in 1992
    http://www.ucsusa.org/about/1992-world-scientists.html

  30. 130
    mike says:

    Daily CO2

    November 12, 2017: 404.72 ppm
    November 12, 2016: 402.21 ppm

    back up above 2 ppm, so last might week might have been a noisy blip. In the 1998-2000 CO2 record a person can see the CO2 rise from the strong EN, then you can see the CO2 accumulation drop off in the year after the EN effect ends. In that case, the drop off was showing increase of less than 1 ppm in year on year comparison. We jumped to over 3 ppm in weekly and monthly numbers in the most recent strong EN event and we have fallen off to around 2.2 ppm in the post-EN year. I think the baseline increase number continues to rise and is probably around 3 ppm, but we will only know that when we see years and decade in the rear view mirror.

    Read yesterday that the global CO2 emissons are on the rise again after looking flat for a couple of years. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-global-warming-cop-23-un-co2-emissions-carbon-record-a8051666.html

    oh, well… what is the worst that could happen?

    Cheers

    Mike

  31. 131
    mike says:

    oh, yeah, and the flat earth society had a conference!

    http://www.bbc.com/news/av/41973119/why-do-people-still-think-the-earth-is-flat

    I didn’t hear where that group stood on climate change. A lot of dynamics and models have to be reworked if the earth is flat, we would have to determine if it is static or spinning etc. as the sun orbits the disk.

    Some of our steady posters here may have been at the conference and maybe they can bring us up to date.

    Cheers

    Mike

  32. 132
    Hank Roberts says:

    Roadmaps to Transition Countries to 100% Clean, Renewable Energy for All Purposes to Curtail Global Warming, Air Pollution, and Energy Risk
    Mark Z. Jacobson
    Version of Record online: 23 OCT 2017
    DOI: 10.1002/2017EF000672

    Roadmaps to transition 139 countries to 100% clean, renewable energy have been developed
    Countries will reap massive benefits from a transition
    Transitioning will require concerted efforts by individuals, communities, businesses, and policy makers

    (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017EF000672/abstract)

  33. 133
    Hank Roberts says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/14/upshot/climate-change-by-education.html

    So what does it take for a college-educated republican to worry about climate change?

  34. 134
    Mr. Know It All says:

    124 Gordon

    Have to read the fine print but this should have your answer:
    https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/?page=us_energy_home

  35. 135
    patrick says:

    @117 Nemesis:

    I said the movie clip you supplied @90 is a cheap thrill.

  36. 136
    patrick says:

    COP23 is streaming live, & on-demand too, from Bonn. So anyone can catch up on things of interest. For example: block chain for enhanced climate solutions (by non-state actors) and Hack4Climate, along with the rest.

    https://unfccc.cloud.streamworld.de/ondemand

  37. 137
    drfog says:

    Who is the worst denier, someone that blatantly denies reality or
    someone that publicly acknowledges reality, and says that AGW is now
    one of humanity’s biggest problem, but in private does the opposite of
    what he/she acknowledges publicly?

    In my opinion the latter is far, far more dangerous.

    A good example of the latter is the German chancellor Angela Merkel:

    (article published yesterday)
    https://www.srf.ch/news/international/energiewende-durch-kohle-klimakanzlerin-kohlekanzlerin

    “So werden heute 41 Prozent der gesamten Stromerzeugung in 148
    Kohlekraftwerken produziert. Ein Teil dieser Kohlewerke musste in den
    letzten drei Jahren reaktiviert werden.”

    Translation:

    Today, 41 percent of total electricity generation [in Germany] is
    produced by 148 coal-fired power plants. Some of these coal power plants
    were reactivated in the last three years.

  38. 138
    Killian says:

    #132 Hank Roberts said Roadmaps to Transition Countries to 100% Clean, Renewable Energy for All Purposes to Curtail Global Warming, Air Pollution, and Energy Risk

    Mark Z. Jacobson
    Roadmaps to transition 139 countries to 100% clean, renewable energy have been developed

    Countries will reap massive benefits from a transition
    Transitioning will require concerted efforts by individuals, communities, businesses, and policy makers

    Any plan that seeks to meet 100% of current demand is a non-starter, completely ignoring resource limits. The presentation offers a number of deep flaws: Climate costs will be eliminated!!!! I can only hope to god he meant *additional* climate costs will be eliminated. He also says extraction will be eliminated, thus cost savings and energy savings, completely ignoring the deeply ingrained use of fossil fuels in almost everything we produce and do.

    Seems extremely naive, to the point of incompetence. Bizarre. The fact this guy filed a lawsuit over people disagreeing with him kinda seals the deal. Hard to take him seriously. Still, have to let the work speak for itself, and it is a weak analysis on the surface. If ya don’t get the basic assumptions right, well…

  39. 139
    Killian says:

    A response to the lawsuit. Assuming the response is accurate in it’s presentation of Jacobson, the respondents are correct and add further evidence that Jacobson is not making a useful contribution to the issue.

    However, this is the deeper issue with this lawsuit:

    Jacobson’s lawsuit is an appalling attack on free speech and scientific inquiry and we urge the courts to reject it as grossly unethical and without legal merit..

    What Jacobson has done is unprecedented. Scientific disagreements must be decided not in court but rather through the scientific process.

    http://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/11/1/stanford-university-professor-mark-z-jacobson-sues-prestigious-team-of-scientists-for-debunking-100-renewables

  40. 140
    zebra says:

    Mal Adapted #114,

    Yes, if the US enacts that legislation, it will have a positive effect globally. But I obviously am on board with that; the question is whether this follows from the idea of the commons.

    I like to go back to fundamentals, (also obviously from my boundary-value approach), so let’s see:

    1. If my sewer line empties into the river downstream from me and upstream from you, that is not a “tragedy of the commons”. Downstream is not part of my commons.

    2. If you take action, legal or physical, to change my behavior, that is simply self-interest; your sewer line may well be discharging into some other person’s water supply downstream from you.

    The “principle” here is another old saying: Don’t foul your own nest. The US has been following that idea for a while now, through environmental regulation and offshoring the immediate, local, pollution.

    But the idea that the global climate is a commons is way too much of an oversimplification. It is more a “territorial” dispute; your legislation intends to change the behavior of your neighbors through economic consequences– warfare by other means.

    And this is exactly my position, which leads me to devise devious methods like nudging the population curve to reduce the value of “owning” fossil fuels. (Sun Tzu would approve, I think.)

    Anyway, the underlying point I was trying to make was that this is about realpolitik at all levels, and moralizing and ideology are subordinate to economic realities.

  41. 141
    MA Rodger says:

    Mike @130.
    Your link to coverage of the prelimenary 2017 emissions findings of the Global Carbon Project did end on a note of encouragement. “This year “might well prove a small blip on an otherwise flattening emissions curve,” he (Richard Black, director Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit think-tank) said.”
    Fuller reporting from CarbonBrief shows some interesting breakdowns of where the emissions ‘plaeau’ and this prelimenary ‘blip’ come from. The final graphic even scales the ‘blip’ within the grand scheme of emissions zeroing.

    And I would suggest your comment that ” the baseline … is probably around 3 ppm” is not borne out by the data.

  42. 142

    Mr. KIA, you assure us of your seriousness in ‘just saying no to carbon’:

    “The US does not matter. All “Trumpsters” and the GOP combined, are say, at most, 50% of the US population, or max 175,000,000 people. That is max 2.5% of the world population.”

    Uh-huh. And the US, with ~6% of the world’s population, still produces ~18% of emissions. So your ‘doesn’t matter’ group would still be producing more-or-less India-sized emissions.

    “So, if the other 97.5% will stop using FFs, the problem will be solved. It could occur as soon as next week, if they really, really, want this problem solved.”

    Uh, didn’t I mention that mitigation isn’t easy? That you can’t simply drop everything you’re doing to, as you put it, “LIVE”? For example, to do so, you’d need to find zero-carbon transportation to get to work, zero-carbon food to eat, and zero-carbon medical care, when you need it. (By the way, good luck with the zero-carbon medications when you need them, as most of us will at some point–that’s a niche market yet to be addressed at all, AFAIK.)

    I shouldn’t forget to mention, either, that something like 15% of the ‘others’ in the world are already practically *at* zero-emission, as they have no access to electricity and live mostly by subsistence farming. Not much potential for reduction there–in fact, the reverse, as they, and their governments, hope to live more prosperous and secure lives through a little something called the ‘development process.’ The challenge is providing a pathway for them to do that without also ballooning their emissions footprints.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/world/world-without-power/

    “No, they’d rather complain about Trump than to solve AGW and that is exactly what they are going to do.”

    Well, considering the pure pleasure of complaining about Trump, who could blame them? Plus, solving AGW is hard. Did I mention that?

    But the evidence of the current COP says you are dead wrong. The only ‘complaining about Trump’ that’s come out of that is yesterday’s occupation of the Trump-sponsored “clean coal” forum. Judging by accents, sub-par singing ability, and familiarity with Lee Greenwood’s magnum opus, the occupiers were pretty solidly American.

    https://www.facebook.com/350.org/videos/10156015326292708/

    By contrast, the national delegations were busy doing what they are supposed to do, which is working out the practical details of implementation. There is political news, some of it bad: most worrisome, IMO, the relative lack of financial support (a place where American contributions will be sorely missed, by the way–many national pledges include conditions based on financial support levels). Also worrisome is a hint that Turkey may defect. On the other hand, non-national actors, including many cities, and now Microsoft, are making their own commitments. Anyway, nary a mention of Trump.

    https://dailyplanet.climate-kic.org/latest-news-cop23-15-november/

    “Disconnect from the FF grid next week – here’s only one of many examples where you can buy what is needed to giterdone…”

    Well, I hope to implement residential solar in the nearish future at our place (though probably grid-connected). However, when I do, and even if I am driving a BEV charged from said solar PV, my carbon footprint won’t be zero, because I will still be wearing clothes, eating food, and using appliances, tools, and assorted gizmos all of which come with ’embodied emissions.’ Those can only be reduced by changing the character of the global manufacturing system. Similarly for any services I may use: my attorney, my bookkeeper, my doctor, any restaurant meals I may eat, any shows I may attend, any civic meetings, any religious services–all come with an emissions footprint, unless and until the infrastructure that supports them is on a zero-carbon footing.

    And speaking of those nifty panels, inverters, and associated gear I hope to install, just how many are currently available in the world? And how many global citizens are able to pay for them? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure that there aren’t enough of either for everybody to ‘giterdone’ by next week. In fact, there’s certainly no way I can do so–ever tried to actually reach a contractor on the phone?

    All this seems pretty painfully obvious to me. So are you *sure* you’re serious? I keep getting this feeling I’ve been trolled…

    As I said, there is a reason that denialati don’t want to admit that carbon emissions are a problem–and that is that kicking the carbon habit is very much non-trivial. That is why it would have been highly preferable to get serious about doing so a long time ago. But the current reality is what it is.

  43. 143
  44. 144
    Nemesis says:

    @patrick, #135

    ” I said the movie clip you supplied @90 is a cheap thrill.”

    Whoar, wake up dude, I DIDN’T supply ANY stupid movie clip AT ALL. Read that comment at #90 AGAIN and you will have to realize, that I just QUOTED Mr. Know it All, who refered to that video in his comment at #52 ! And now, PLEASE, leave me alone, because my time is extremely precious, so I don’t like to waste anymore time on such stupid gamez. Thank you very much. See you out there in the djungle.

  45. 145
    nigelj says:

    Drfog @137

    “Who is the worst denier, someone that blatantly denies reality or
    someone that publicly acknowledges reality, and says that AGW is now
    one of humanity’s biggest problem, but in private does the opposite of
    what he/she acknowledges publicly?”

    I think you are right. I see this with various politicians in my country, the two faced spin artists.

    However it may be unfair or premature to make accusation against Merkel. My understanding is Germany closed down several nuclear plants after japanese tragedy at Fukushima, so had to bring coal fired plants back on line immediately to fill gap. Time will tell whether she replaces these with wind and solar etc. I think she has previously shown commitment to renewable energy before the nuclear issue so give her a chance.

  46. 146
    nigelj says:

    Killian @138

    “He (Jacobson) also says extraction will be eliminated, thus cost savings and energy savings, completely ignoring the deeply ingrained use of fossil fuels in almost everything we produce and do.

    For goodness sake, jacobsons report was only on electricity. It was never intended to be a treatise on everything to do with climate change, like how we deal with industrial emissions for example! No one research group could do such a full report covering everything in detail.

    I think we have enough evidence that we can do renewable energy and improve transport and farming, etc enough to deal with more than half our emissions. This is enough to make it worth the effort and knock the edge off dangerous climate change, even if we struggle to completely close the gap with other emissions like industry.

    Dont let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  47. 147
    nigelj says:

    Mal Adapted is exactly right to bring climate debate back to tragedy of commons issues and market failures. Any text on economics recognises both value and limitations of market mechanisms and need for boundaries and rules. IMHO if we want a reasonably open market type of economy, and the whole world is going that way apart from lunatics like Donald Trump and Brexit supporters, then the only answer is strong environmental standards and legislation. Republicans used to understand this back in the 1960’s, and seem to have become lost on the issue.

    At least better environmental standards seems a plausible way forwards, if we also add on moderate cuts in personal consumption, and personally make more voluntary efforts to reduce negative environmental impacts.

    The other alternative is some sort of very radical cuts to consumption and shared ownership. Best of luck with that! Sounds unjustified, doomed to failure, and like a form of self punishment, almost self flaggelation.

  48. 148
    Hank Roberts says:

    Why we’re losing topsoil to erosion — bare fields part of each year, fields that are used for corn and soybeans.
    ____________
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/15/stop-pretending-the-estate-tax-has-anything-to-do-with-us-family-farmers/

    —–excerpt—-

    Only about 20 farms a year are subject to any inheritance tax, and in almost all cases, those farms have adequate liquid assets to cover the taxes without having to sell any part of the business to do so. After searching for 35 years for one example of a family farm that was lost due to the estate tax Iowa State professor Neil Harl stated simply, “It’s a myth.”

    It is a sales pitch, nothing more, again capitalizing on that mystique of the family farm that people hold so dear. Getting rid of the estate tax is a gift to the very rich, not to farmers. As the old saying goes, ask a farmer what they would do if they won a million dollars: Keep farming till it ran out….
    “… Corn and soy are in such oversupply that farmers, even on the largest farms, are lucky to recoup their production costs. So taxpayers are helping prop up low grain commodity prices through the government subsidy programs: Farmers get a government deficiency payment when prices are low. This works well for the international grain companies. They can purchase cheap grain, knowing that next year, farmers will keep planting because subsidies will keep the farms afloat.

    While subsidy programs are at best a very poor solution to a very big problem (low farm income), the real beneficiary of the subsidy program has always been the corporate grain buyers and the dairy and livestock processors. Farmers only want a fair price for what they produce, not government programs that encourage overproduction of low-priced commodities.

    The U.S. agricultural economy has and always will be designed to ensure corporate agribusiness profits at the expense of farmers and consumers….”

  49. 149
    Hank Roberts says:

    > even if I am driving a BEV charged from said solar PV, my carbon footprint won’t be zero, because …..

    Well, go for a negative NET carbon footprint. Do things that build topsoil, for example

    Buy a parcel with some trees and don’t cut them down. Consider donation to a local land trust.
    Hire a biology or ecology grad to do an inventory of what lives there. You’ll be amazed how rich any small parcel can be in life.
    Look up “bioblitz” and find a real estate agent who’s not insane.

    Buy some cut-over or burned-over or trashed land and grow dirt on it. Then don’t build on it.
    Make a small park somewhere. The bugs and snakes and birds will find it and make it a beautiful habitat.

    You can read about how. For example, this little book:

    Earth Manual: How to Work on Wild Land Without Taming It: Malcolm Margolin
    https://www.amazon.com/Earth-Manual-Work-Without-Taming/dp/0930588185

  50. 150
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @140

    “1. If my sewer line empties into the river downstream from me and upstream from you, that is not a “tragedy of the commons”. Downstream is not part of my commons.”

    Yes it is. Its definitely a tragedy of commons sort of issue that impacts your neighbour, as waste is carried downstream. My commons is a misnomer, the commons is everybodies commons. With respect, I suggest stop quoting weird, hypothetical examples and over complicating things.

    Tragedy of commons is obvious, well recognised, commonsense problem of a domain that is not dealt with by competition and self regulating behaviour, with options of 1) civil court action or 2) environmental legislation and penalties. Civil court action is expensive and only the lawyers really win, and very hard for individual to prevail against a large group or corporate, so environmental rules and standards evolved to help and / or replace court process. None of this is perfect, but its only feasible looking solution humanity has found.

    “2. If you take action, legal or physical, to change my behavior, that is simply self-interest; your sewer line may well be discharging into some other person’s water supply downstream from you.”

    Yes but so what? Why is self interest of significance here? We all have rights and right to be free from someone hurting us. self interest in that equation is beside the point

    “The “principle” here is another old saying: Don’t foul your own nest. The US has been following that idea for a while now, through environmental regulation and offshoring the immediate, local, pollution.”

    Yes they are offshoring the problem, your comment is bang on, but this doesn’t change the tragedy of commons problem in essence. I also don’t think it was deliberate, more a unforseen consequence of more open trade and investment.

    “But the idea that the global climate is a commons is way too much of an oversimplification. It is more a “territorial” dispute; your legislation intends to change the behavior of your neighbors through economic consequences– warfare by other means.”

    No it isn’t a simplification. Climate in particular knows no boundaries, so is perfect example. The trouble is we have competing nation states so environmental standards are harder to enforce in a global sense, but its interesting the TPPA multi country free trade and investment agreement does have some agreed environmental standards. We are getting there slowly.

    “And this is exactly my position, which leads me to devise devious methods like nudging the population curve to reduce the value of “owning” fossil fuels. (Sun Tzu would approve, I think.)”

    Yes ok.

    “Anyway, the underlying point I was trying to make was that this is about realpolitik at all levels, and moralizing and ideology are subordinate to economic realities.”

    Mal Adapted wasnt moralising. It was pure economic discussion and hard realities and economic theory.

    But ultimately there is an ethical / ideological question we cant escape: Do we have rule of jungle or recognise community rights, rule of law, environmental law etc? And try to be fair to the “little guy”? Its a choice with an ethical dimension that is inescapable. Obviously I would encourage the later approach.

    That’s not to say your particular economic analysis is wrong, or that ideology is a great thing (it frustrates me). Its just that we CANNOT entirely escape a moral / ethical, ideological dimension entirely. Instead we have to get the ideology minimised, and on soundest possible footing and balanced.