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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. 151
    Killian says:

    #140 zebra said Mal Adapted #114,

    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.

    False. Your bio-region equals your Commons, at one scale.

    But the idea that the global climate is a commons is way too much of an oversimplification.

    False. You cannot segment ecology. Imbalance in one area will affect other areas. You seem to be having trouble understanding how the planet works.

    It is more a “territorial” dispute; your legislation intends to change the behavior of your neighbors through economic consequences– warfare by other means.

    Yes, but this is like saying we are all still, or should be, erectus rather than sapiens sapiens.

    moralizing and ideology are subordinate to economic realities.

    Economics is not THE reality, it is a current condition only, and eminently changeable. That it must change is the current actual reality.

  2. 152
    Killian says:

    #142 Kevin McKinney said Mr. KIA, you assure us of your seriousness in ‘just saying no to carbon’… “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.

    Actually, we really can. And, in a very real sense, will do exactly that, some suddenly, some slowly, but all will.

    Or you can keep pretending the conditions and risk don’t drive the change and we all leisurely change as we wish, regardless the real world and sane risk assessment.

  3. 153

    Good suggestions, Hank, and thanks. We hope to do some of those things where we are–especially the ‘growing soil’ part. (We’ve at least got the composting happening, as a start.)

    Sadly, a few of the extant trees are going to have to go–but only a few, and new ones will be coming in their places.

  4. 154
    Killian says:

    #146 nigelj said 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.

    Which has no infrastructure from FFs? Dream on.

  5. 155
    Thomas says:

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

    In regard “baseline & data” MA, are you referring to the past, the present, the near future, or the long term future?

  6. 156
    Thomas says:

    #100 K “Cutting off the U.S. would solve nothing.”

    That’s an opinion.

    I reckon it would solve ‘everything’, including everything that is wrong delusional and unbalanced inside the USA…. given a decade or two of the USA simmering in it’s own juices with zero exports, unable to sustain it’s 1000 military bases world wide the world will be a much safer saner place for all to live, and their house of cards economy and Budget falling off a cliff.

    CO2 emissions globally would fall off a cliff almost instantly. And Billions around the world might wake up and get real for a change.

    So there! My opinion rocks. It’s based on logic reason human nature/psychology true knowledge and reality. :-)

  7. 157
    Russell says:

    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 …”

    I’d go with consistency.

  8. 158
    Killian says:

    Color me confused. Maybe. In this study the big reveal is there was no big change in SL over the last 115M years. At least, not as previously thought. However, the article and paper don’t clearly state – at least for me – why this is important today.

    Clearly the broader problem of reliable paleodata on SL is important, but what do these results mean now? Climate is more sensitive? Less? Current magnitude of change is even more extreme than thought?

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-01225-9

  9. 159
    mike says:

    MAR at 141: I think you are probably right on baseline. I checked this one:
    https://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/gr.html It looks like 3, but elevated by the most recent EN. Baseline maybe 2.4 or 2.5?

    I have stopped tracking very diligently since the 2016 election cycle. I think I just don’t see the point in analysis and presentation anymore, but I appreciate folks who retain their connection and involvement.

    I skimmed this one: Quest for adequate biodiversity surrogates in a time of urgency

    http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/early/2017/11/14/1717722114.extract.html?collection
    “Earth’s biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate, in what some have dubbed the “sixth mass extinction” that life has faced in the history of our planet (1). This rapid decline of biodiversity, the realization that some of its components, such as fungi, remain relatively poorly known, and limited resources are rendering the process of prioritizing conservation efforts more challenging. The expression “agony of choice,” put forward by Vane-Wright et al. (2) to describe the context in which these decisions have to be made, has become even more pertinent.”

    Agony of choice? Ouch. I think some folks just feel the need to step up the rhetoric a bit. What is wrong with “we face some tough choices”? Why use a phrase like agony of choice?

    Cheers

    Mike

  10. 160
    zebra says:

    nigel 150,

    Mal has a plan.
    I have a plan.

    They may be different, but they are pragmatic, not ideological or moralistic, whatever the motivation of the individual proposing them.

    You keep repeating this vague business about “environmental regulation”, and a lot of “on the one hand…on the other hand”, and “balance”. But this is really only somewhat more pragmatic than “let’s all simplify! kumbaya.”

    I think about this the same way I think about physics and engineering problems, and that means that we at least use consistent terminology, and incorporate fundamental principles, and come up with a result that can be evaluated.

    It’s fine if you personally don’t want to see things at that level of specificity, but, if you want to critique my arguments… to repeat my earlier phrase:

    You can’t beat something with nothing.

  11. 161
    MA Rodger says:

    GISTEMP has posted for October with an anomaly of +0.90ºC, a little up on the last few months (+0.70ºC to +0.88ºC) and cooler than the months at the start of the year (+0.93ºC to +1.13ºC). It is the 2nd warmest October on record after 2015 (+1.08ºC) and just ahead of 2016 (+0.89ºC) with 2014 the 4th warmest Oct (+0.81ºC) with 5th place 2005 (+0.76ºC). October 2017 is =17th warmest anomaly on the full all-month record.
    The table ranks years by the Jan-to-Oct average and 2017 is now pretty firmly set in second spot for the full year, requiring a Nov/Dec average above +1.4ºC top topple 2016 from top spot and below +0.67ºC to drop into 3rd below 2015. Without the assistance of a big El Nino to boost the average, 2017 remains “scorchyissimo!” (Weak El Nino are now in place in the Pacific with predictions of it lasting throught the winter, giving more reason that global temperature anomalies for the rest of the year will be unlikely to dip.)
    …….. Jan-Aug Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. + 1.02 ºC … … … + 0.99 ºC … … … 1 st
    2017 .. + 0.91 ºC
    2015 .. + 0.83 ºC … … … + 0.87 ºC … … … 2 nd
    2014 .. + 0.73 ºC … … … + 0.73 ºC … … … 3 rd
    2010 .. + 0.72 ºC … … … + 0.70 ºC … … … 4 th
    2005 .. + 0.67 ºC … … … + 0.68 ºC … … … 5 th
    2007 .. + 0.67 ºC … … … + 0.64 ºC … … … 7 th
    2002 .. + 0.65 ºC … … … + 0.62 ºC … … … 9 th
    1998 .. + 0.64 ºC … … … + 0.62 ºC … … … 10 th
    2013 .. + 0.63 ºC … … … + 0.65 ºC … … … 6 th
    2009 .. + 0.62 ºC … … … + 0.64 ºC … … … 8 th

  12. 162

    Th 156: given a decade or two of the USA simmering in it’s own juices with zero exports, unable to sustain it’s 1000 military bases world wide the world will be a much safer saner place for all to live

    BPL: Sure! Just ask the Rohingya or the Ukrainians, or the Tibetans, or Taiwan, or the Yemeni. Just take the USA out of the picture and everything magically gets better! Russia (aka USSR v2.0) isn’t a threat to anybody, nor is North Korea, nor China, Saudi Arabia, or the Lord’s Resistance Army. The USA is the source of all evil, and without it, all men will be holy.

  13. 163

    Here’s my plan: Level a tax of $150 per ton of emitted carbon dioxide on every emitter of carbon dioxide, and tariffs on imports from countries which don’t impose such a tax, or have some equivalent. Ban new investment in fossil fuel infrastructure. Ban further deforestation. Move energy investment to solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, ocean thermal, tidal, wave, and biomass. Invest in biochar and move agriculture away from its heavy dependence on fertilizer. Contour plow and rotate crops. Insulate buildings and cogenerate.

    Take measures to ensure population growth slows to a stop as soon as possible: universal access to free birth control, abortion if politically possible. Mandatory recycling of everything possible. Clean up the oceans with plastic ingesting devices.

    Research, on a crash-priority, Project Apollo type basis, the construction of giant plants to remove CO2 from the air and ocean. Implement as fast as possible.

    It would help to get fresh water and food to everywhere/everyone that needs it. That would mitigate the need for armed conflict.

  14. 164

    I skipped transportation. Let’s have more railroads and fewer cars, and go all-electric or biofuel ASAP. Bring back airships instead of airplanes. High-speed trains ditto.

  15. 165
    Mal Adapted says:

    zebra:

    nigelj has answered your reply to me @140 in detail, and I doubt I can do better. I’ll just expand on him a little.

    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.

    1. The idea that the global climate is a commons is indeed a simplification. So is the idea that it’s a “territorial” dispute; since the quote marks are yours, I presume you recognize that. Whether or not either idea is over-simplified depends on how much background knowledge you and I share. I’m using ‘commons’ as a term of economic art, i.e. ‘jargon’. Economists, as in any scholarly discipline, like to pack maximum semantic content into a minimum number of characters. ‘Commons’ is itself a simplification of ‘common pool resource‘. Even beginning to unpack it easily fills a long Wikipedia page!

    2. Carbon Fee and Dividend with Border Adjustment Tariff isn’t my idea any more than ‘commons’ is. I advocate the legislation proposed by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, simplified here, because I think the economic rationale is sound, and because I think getting something like it enacted by the US Congress has a non-zero probability of success. Simplicity is its primary political appeal! As stand-alone legislation, I think it’s not only simple enough for an effective plurality of US voters to grasp, but crucially, simple enough to result in substantial decarbonization of the global economy. It’s worth my support, if perhaps not yours.

    3. Commons problems arise from ‘free’ markets, thus they require collective, that is, political, resolution; ‘warfare by other means’, IOW, taking ‘”territorial” disputes’ into account. ‘Morality’ is a political factor with a link to economic understanding. AGW is a moral issue, in part, because every bilateral transaction in the fossil energy market injures involuntary third parties, who furthermore are disproportionately ‘financially disadvantaged’, ever the losers in warfare by any means.

    4. One’s preferred political solution for AGW is influenced by one’s ideology, which (one hopes) has a moral foundation. I, for example, support both the revenue-neutrality and the net downward income transfer ensuing from CCL’s CF&D-BAT. This thoughtful libertarian position, for another, is what an ideological follower of Hayek and von Mises arrives at once he accepts the reality of AGW. Other ‘principled conservatives’ (you be the judge) who accept the scientific consensus for AGW are supporting a version of CF&D-BAT tied to “significant regulatory rollback’. Yet other soi disant conservatives advocate a carbon tax made revenue-neutral by rolling back other taxes. In any case, while we’re earnestly discussing it here, warfare over AGW is intensifying by every means.

    Somebody else can have the last word, I’m done with this for now.

  16. 166
    Mitch says:

    @158.
    The study has some serious flaws. It assumes that all sites have been buried to the same depth, which they are not, and then assumes an average geothermal gradient to calculate an exchange with the carbonate test. If their model were correct, deeply buried sites would show much higher apparent temperatures than shallow-buried sites. This doesn’t happen.

    In addition, the paper ignores corroborating temperatures achieved using different proxy methods than oxygen isotopes, including the distribution of tropical and subtropical fossils.

  17. 167
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @160

    I criticised some of your more specific claims. I note Killian made similar criticisms. Its pretty rare for Killian and me to see things the same way, so just maybe SOME of your specific claims were WRONG.

    But I’m not saying you are wrong in your overall philosophy. Please stop being so defensive. I hear totally where you are coming from. Clearly your would be right that practical steps to solve tragedy of commons problem, and reducing population growth is a technical issue and laudable useful solution, and avoids appeals to morality and “doing the right thing etc” or promoting guilt and shame over climate change .

    I’m just saying that ultimately technical solutions are still bedded in moral choices. Whether we address population or have rules to deal with tragedy of commons ultimately requires moral belief of whether this is right or wrong or whether it is right or wrong for governments to have policies on these things. Morality is inescapable but can be more logical form of morality.

    There’s nothing vague in what I said about environmental rules. The main thing we can do to start the ball rolling on reducing emissions is environmental rules, whether carbon taxes, cap and trade (both these can work about equally well), subsidising renewable energy, and / or other rules. The Republicans in America are just going to have to accept this. This is also similar to what Mal Adapted is saying anyway.

    Promoting better environmental rules probably requires demonstrating why they make pragmatic and technical sense, and are actually mainstream economics, but also there is bound to be a moral dimension. Its inescapable because the question of environmental rules comes back to whether you prefer strong government or rule of the jungle which is ultimately a moral, or at least a belief related choice.

    None of this is either / or. We should ideally do all these things reduce population, resolve tragedy of commons, discuss moral dimension.Perhaps its more a case of getting better understanding of right sort of morality, and bedding it more in logical understanding of things rather than gut reaction on morality.

  18. 168
    nigelj says:

    BPL @163, good plan, sums it up nicely. I hear plastic is even finding it’s way into organisms at bottom of deep ocean trenches. Makes one think.

  19. 169
    Killian says:

    #147 nigelj said Mal Adapted is exactly right to bring climate debate back to tragedy of commons issues

    Bring it back? When had it ever left? This is the core of it all: Maladaptive consumption.

    I’m developing a climate comedy for TV: Nigel!

    Dont let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    First episode. The Good, The Perfect and the Necessary. I.e., These issues are about neither the good nor the perfect, but the necessary. Not being a designer of any sort, you cling to the delusion this is about choice. Nature does not care what you *think,* she does, and we mitigate and adapt.

    Second Episode: How to completely ignore Boundary Conditions and Risk: Nigel Swims withe Sharks and Crocs!

    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.

    This will be fun, but out of time. Later!

  20. 170

    Killian @ #152:

    Killian: Actually, we really can. And, in a very real sense, will do exactly that, some suddenly, some slowly, but all will.

    Well, we’re all going to die sometime, if that’s what you mean. But if you recall, the context was ‘we can do this next week.’ And no, ‘we’ can’t, for the most part. Most of us are dependent upon our existing employment, and hence upon available means of transport to get there. Some means are greener, some less so. But while changing these methods can literally happen overnight sometimes, it usually takes a while to get to ‘that’ particular night.

    Killian: Or you can keep pretending the conditions and risk don’t drive the change and we all leisurely change as we wish, regardless the real world and sane risk assessment.

    I have no idea why you think I’m ‘pretending’ that, or anything else. My experience is that restructuring your life takes time and thought. Not infrequently, it takes financing of some sort, too. (Restructuring our social life, writ large, ain’t a piece of cake, either.)

    If you have concrete suggestions, I’m all ears.

  21. 171
    Killian says:

    As they say in Korean, mali aupda. Nonsense, It is a fool who over and over insults and misrepresents something they literally have no knowledge of.

    Let’s take this mali aupda word salad one piece at a time.

    The other alternative is some sort of very radical cuts to consumption

    Radical can mean large, but we all know this fool thinks the cuts that resource limits, pollution, rates of climate change and population growth *require* are radical in the sense of radical change, radical politics, radical terrorism, etc.

    Imagine if you were on that plane in the Andes or in Donner Pass. What is radical? The necessary redefines the radical. The only way this mali auptda speaker can use such unintelligent statements is because 1. you all let him without consequence and 2. he knows nothing.

    Know-nothings should not dominate a science-based message board. Even the simplest analysis shows these words (mal) to be empty (aupda) nonsense: Every doubling in a sequence equals all that came before. This is why being at or past 50% of so many resources (oceans are 90% or more depleted) is so dangerous. It means time is up. Continuing such behaviors will cause a collapse of the system. But this mali aupda spouter thinks suggesting dramatic cuts in consumption is somehow “radical.”

    and shared ownership. Best of luck with that!

    Despite shared ownership existing all over the planet, even with some true Commonses, it’s some sort of fantasy? Mali aupda. And humans simply will not act to preserve themselves, ever. Brilliant. Mali aupda.

    Sounds unjustified

    Sounds? How very scientific. Mali aupda.

    doomed to failure

    Any number of resources, including virtually the entire contents of the oceans, are severely depleted already, but people will continue to use them as they do now, or some level above “radical” cuts in consumption…. because? Mali aupda.

    and like a form of self punishment, almost self flaggelation.

    Let me get this straight. If one is walking across a desert, is halfway there and has used 90% of their water, they should ignore this, treat suggestions to cut back as radical nonsense, and head full speed into dying of dehydration. To deny oneself the same level of consumption is not wise, is not necessary for survival, but is mere self-flagellation.

    Mali aupda.

  22. 172
    Killian says:

    #66 Mitch said @158.
    The study has some serious flaws. It assumes that all sites have been buried to the same depth, which they are not, and then assumes an average geothermal gradient to calculate an exchange with the carbonate test. If their model were correct, deeply buried sites would show much higher apparent temperatures than shallow-buried sites. This doesn’t happen.

    In addition, the paper ignores corroborating temperatures achieved using different proxy methods than oxygen isotopes, including the distribution of tropical and subtropical fossils.

    Thanks, Mitch. If it does have merit, or at least some merit, what would the implications be? I can’t see how it much matters today, but it is supposed to.

  23. 173
    patrick says:

    The nullschool.net earth map has a chemistry and particulates mode. If it was there since day one I missed it.

    https://earth.nullschool.net/about.html

    For particulates, select size on the “Overlay.”

    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/particulates/surface/level/overlay=duexttau/orthographic

  24. 174
    Killian says:

    #156 Thomas said that’s an opinion by way of defending an opinion. Tell me, collective wisdom, what would happen if the world chose to cut off the U.S.?

    Correct: World war. However, there are two more salient points: The U.S. election being re-run has a better chance of happening. Two, you CANNOT isolate a huge swath of the remperate part of the planet and get anywhere close to sustainability.

    A “What if?” that is utterly pointless. Seriously, not one of your projected outcomes has any chance of occuring.

  25. 175
    patrick says:

    @137 drfog:

    > “someone that blatantly denies reality”

    The fault is in the blatancy–as seen in the willful ignorance of climate denialism which is so well-funded and so rampant.

    > “in private does the opposite of what he/she acknowledges publicly”

    This is a moral slur against Merkel, because it’s made up. It’s innuendo and association. It’s false. The imagined hypocrisy isn’t there.

    The spin you propagate about Merkel has more to do with negotiations on the next democratic coalition in the GDR–which, Merkel observed yesterday, is “difficult but worth continuing”–than with her energy outlook. The fact that she has to negotiate with coal interests-and-sentiment doesn’t mean she’s two-faced, it means she’s real.

    As world leaders go Merkel is a model of transparency and a practiced consensus builder. Ditto, the German energy plan. What matters most is the rate of change towards renewables in the energy profile. Germany is a leader. The biggest hurdle to understanding the German energy mix is the German phase-out to ZERO nuclear by 2022, a huge move. It is not a recognized renewable because it involves mining a commodity fuel. Plus, it has serious trouble and costs of never-ending remediation with both mine tailings and waste. The German recycling effort, on all sides, is far more determined than here. Ditto, the focus on designing-out waste in the first place. Which is one result of long experience with coal. It’s the total package that counts and Merkel is playing the long game.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-27/merkel-may-have-promised-too-much-in-carbon-pollution-fight

    Merkel is open about the coal problem in an effort to build public sentiment for coal cuts OR for buying international credits or allowances. Hard. Moral failing by Merkel? Not.

    Now compare that to someone who insists against all evidence that coal is not a problem.

  26. 176
    zebra says:

    Mal Adapted #165,

    I already have endorsed the plan– more than once. But, reading through your reference with respect to support from the Right…meh. A small percentage of those with any influence appear to offer a my-way-or-the-highway choice of the tax in exchange for eliminating regulation. I can go along with a non-zero probability of getting it passed, in an effective (all-of-the-above) context, but that non-zero isn’t much to pin one’s hopes on.

    With respect to your point 1: Yes, unpacking is what I am talking about. Reading through carefully even just the Wikipedia articles on TOC and CPR, my position is not some outlier arising from ignorance. From the CPR page:

    Common property systems typically function at a local level to prevent the overexploitation of a resource system from which fringe units can be extracted. In some cases, government regulations combined with tradable environmental allowances (TEAs) are used successfully to prevent excessive pollution, whereas in other cases — especially in the absence of a unique government being able to set limits and monitor economic activities — excessive use or pollution continue.

    (my bold)

    Along with the lack of that unique government, we need to face the fact that climate is not fish. So, the kinds of agreements that operate to prevent violent conflicts at sea are way more difficult to achieve, because the consequences of polluting the atmosphere with CO2 are not uniform. Some governments may, in some time frame that matters to them, accrue a net benefit from climate change, particularly if combined with selling/exploiting their FF.

    That simply doesn’t fit with the commons paradigm.

    Sorry if you don’t want to continue. I try to put in the effort of reading carefully and looking at your references before refuting your arguments. Well, maybe that’s the problem.:)

  27. 177
    Killian says:

    #165 Mal

    #1. Bullcrap.

    It’s a concept that existed long before the voodoo of economics was born. It’s called sharing. Stop pretending White Europeans invented everything. There are people on this planet who never stopped living via a Commons.

    Get simple, people, or lose it all.

  28. 178
    mike says:

    per CarbonBrief weekly briefing:

    “Carbon Brief’s analysis of the GCP’s latest data includes a video interview with report co-author Dr Glen Peters, recorded on Monday at the COP straight after the press conference. He explained to us how much of the slowdown in the growth of global emissions in recent years has been driven by a combination of reductions in the US and China, as well as relatively little growth in emissions in other countries.

    However, this changed in 2017, with little-to-no reductions in US emissions and a sizable increase in Chinese emissions. The growth in emissions from 2016 to 2017 also more than doubled in the rest of the world.”

    Maybe 2017 is a blip. Maybe most countries will make major reductions in emissions in 2018 and every year after. 2017 might be the peak, then global emissions will start falling like a rock. It’s what we need to do, so we will probably get on it bigtime in 2018.

    MAR at 161: says ” (Weak El Nino are now in place in the Pacific with…” pretty sure you meant La Nina conditions. That is the way I read it in any case.

    Lots of animals disappearing and trying to extinctivize themselves. More planet for us tough survivors!

    Future is bright!

    Cheers

    Mike

  29. 179
    Hank Roberts says:

    Killian says:
    16 Nov 2017 at 6:50 PM
    … It is a fool who over and over insults and misrepresents something they literally have no knowledge of.

    Well, yeah. I’m sure readers here can think of examples.

  30. 180
    Mal Adapted says:

    Moi:

    Somebody else can have the last word, I’m done with this for now.

    I was lying, sue me. I’ll say at least this much more about the global climate commons: beware the Dunning-Kruger effect. Commons denial is economics denial, and no more justified than AGW denial is.

  31. 181
    Mal Adapted says:

    I’m expected to cite my arguments for a climate commons, of course. Please see, for example, A Polycentric Approach for Coping with Climate Change, by Elinor Ostrom. For the economically meta-illiterate, Ostrom was awarded the Nobel Economic Sciences prize in 2009 for her work on collective responses to commons problems. More of her work can be seen in the National Academy of Sciences publication The Drama of the Commons.

    Ostrom’s close colleague Kenneth Arrow noted she was “one of the few political scientists to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences”. He apparently demarked those two disciplines somehow. AFAICT, though, the Universe isn’t actually divided into departments.

  32. 182
    nigelj says:

    Killian @169

    “#147 nigelj said Mal Adapted is exactly right to bring climate debate back to tragedy of commons issues.”

    “Bring it back? When had it ever left? This is the core of it all: Maladaptive consumption.I’m developing a climate comedy for TV: Nigel!”

    It left with long discussions over population, and low tech philosophies. Could you perhaps please read things, before going on the attack and yet again personalising issues, and engaging in cynical empty, personalised rhetoric?I can play that silly game as well, but I refuse to go down to that level. This is supposed to be a science website.

    “These issues are about neither the good nor the perfect, but the necessary.”

    Fine make it about necessary then if you prefer. Its very simple it is not “necessary” for renewable energy to be completely free from fossil fuels components in manufacture somewhere. It just has to be minimised and phased down.

    “Not being a designer of any sort, you cling to the delusion this is about choice.”

    And how would you know that? I have never made comment. Just another of your assumptions. I have an advanced technical design degree, and have worked for a leading multi award winning company. However I only say this because YOU make it a childish competition about qualifications.

  33. 183
    nigelj says:

    Killian @171

    “Know-nothings should not dominate a science-based message board”

    More insults. I think this website only posts your comments because you say the right things sometimes about ‘dangerous’ climate change. I suggest you tone your rhetoric down. Come on stick to the issues, and stop being so defensive and its more interesting.

    “oceans are 90% or more depleted”

    Yes, now here I totally agree, oceans are under pressure. For example ” The Guardian has revealed that due to vast overfishing, nearly 90 percent of global fish stocks are either fully fished or overfished, based on a new analysis from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

    https://www.ecowatch.com/one-third-of-commercial-fish-stocks-fished-at-unsustainable-levels-1910593830.html

    However we can reduce use of fish in at risk areas, and make better use of fish farming etc. I dont know that it requires “radical cuts” everywhere, probably depends exactly what you mean by radical and where you live and how under pressure resources are. In NZ we have a fishing quota system and its sustainable. If we can do it so can other countries.

    “and shared ownership. Best of luck with that!”

    “Despite shared ownership existing all over the planet, even with some true Commonses, it’s some sort of fantasy? Mali aupda. And humans simply will not act to preserve themselves, ever. Brilliant. Mali aupda.”

    Your last attempt at justifying your claim came up with just two small communities, Aureavale and one other in America. It’s not very impressive, and both communities have the usual problems. The history of shared and communal ownership in modern times is one of problems. Trying to get rid of private property has been a general disaster. How many times do we repeat this experiment before we get the point?

    However, if some group wants to experiment, I have no problem with that. Shared ownership might work for very small businesses of a dozen people at most, but once they get large, you have all the problems the soviet union had, people stop caring and working hard. And some things can only be made by large organisations.

    I assume you live in one of these communities, without cars or phones etc? Just wondering.

    “and like a form of self punishment, almost self flaggelation.”

    “Let me get this straight. If one is walking across a desert, is halfway there and has used 90% of their water, they should ignore this, treat suggestions to cut back as radical nonsense, and head full speed into dying of dehydration. To deny oneself the same level of consumption is not wise, is not necessary for survival, but is mere self-flagellation.”

    Obviously a population of 10 billion or more ( a scary thought) cannot all live middle class lifestyles with big homes and five televisions, and computers in each house. Something has to give, and eventually we will be forced by circumstances to consume less. Even recycling will not be able to achieve these levels of consumption I would say.

    However what should we do RIGHT NOW? It appears you want us to adopt a low tech very low consuming lifsetyle right now. This seems to me to be a glorified version of a third world peasant farmer, with small farms and sharing a few very basic electric appliances. You also appear to oppose both fossil fuels and renewable energy, so only leave the option of quite radical cuts in energy use, which Killian will tend to mean heating etc because appliances like computers don’t use much energy. As I have said before, if I have this wrong, you have ample opportunity to explain exactly what you mean.

    Firstly this low tech and huge reduction in consumption thing all seems like a self punishing, self flagellating approach. I already live reasonably sustainably but I don’t want a life of misery, and have no intention of living in some communal sort of community. You are welcome to it but I think you will find its not a popular idea.

    Secondly we only put off the inevitable. We strictly conserve resources like minerals and radically scale everything back asap, which will all eventually be used by future generations anyway. Sooner or later we will be forced to recycle and innovate.

    Of course we should reduce consumption to a reasonable extent to avoid essentially shocking the system into rebellion. There’s an obvious middle ground. There’s also something to be said for things like passive solar home design to reduce energy consumption for example.

    It all depends on exactly whats meant by RADICAL CUTS. In reality we may not be that far apart in our views, but you are so non specific and defensive it makes it hard to know.

    I suppose I’m saying my approach is we need we should promote sustainability in the way the general public understand this, and more sensible expectations on general consumption and size of homes and better controls on pollution, but I’m not persuaded we need to willfully adopt a very low tech lifestyle, and the sort of radical cuts you appear to be promoting. However it also depends on specifics, and some things do need radical cuts, like fisheries in certain specific areas.

    And we simply have to promote lower rates of population growth. Its obvious.

  34. 184
    Al Bundy says:

    Hank Roberts: While subsidy programs are at best a very poor solution to a very big problem (low farm income

    AB: True, but the issue is NOT low healthy-food farm income, but HIGH industrial semi-toxic-food farm income. If industrial farming were made less profitable, then there would be less land being degraded by….. industrial farming.

    The solution is easy. STOP all farm subsidies and use the money to buy failing farms and let them return to nature. (At least in the USA) there is far too much land owned by farmers. We need to cull the herd.

    $23,000,000,000 per year at $500/acre is 46,000,000 acres per year saved from the ravages of industrial farming. Like we really need $2/pound hamburger. Meat should be $expensive$. Note that this would increase profits for healthy-food farmers since people would start eating better as Mickey-D’s prices go up.

  35. 185
    nigelj says:

    Mike @178

    Regarding reasons Chinese coal production increased this year. I hope you are right and its a blip. However this is background:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-coal-china-india-us-20170626-story.html

    “China’s production rose more than 4 percent through May, (2017) according to government figures, compared to a drop of more than 8 percent for the same period a year earlier.

    Hundreds of mines shut down in China last year and the government forced others to cut back hours in a bid to reduce an oversupply of coal and boost prices. The government has since relaxed that policy and production is rebounding.

    Also, as China continues to recover from a 2015 economic slowdown, it’s seeing increased manufacturing and new investments in roads, bridges and other projects. That creates more demand for electricity, most of which continues to come from coal even after huge Chinese investments in wind and solar power.”

  36. 186
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @176

    “Some governments may, in some time frame that matters to them, accrue a net benefit from climate change, particularly if combined with selling/exploiting their FF.”

    “That simply doesn’t fit with the commons paradigm.”

    Very true. Oil exporting countries particularly. However same thing can happen with certain individuals in our local communities.

    The difference is about rules. Its much harder enforcing global commons rules, than rules within one country. Global agreements don’t have equal strength of force of law you have within a country. In other words its hard work, but its all we have and we have to push for global agreements like Paris accord, because alternatives are too horrible to contemplate.

    I don’t see what other alternative we have. Please do enlighten me.

    It’s exactly the same issue with less population growth that you sensibly talk about. Getting this to happen both within countries, or as global agreement is hard work, and its possibly in some countries interests to increase population. Although fortunately this could at least be done with immigration, rather than net global increase.

    You keep saying you agree with tragedy of commons and rules based approach then attack the same.

    We know what has to be done: Promote environmental rules and regulations, carbon tax (fee and dividend appeals) contraception, smaller population and less consumption. All of this. The impediment is political, ideological, and attitudinal and we know which side of politics it mainly comes from. I merely observe here, and observation is key component of science.

    What to do about it, what to do, that is the tricky question.

  37. 187
    nigelj says:

    Tesla unveils new electric truck:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11945310

    “CEO Elon Musk said the semi is capable of traveling 804 kilometers on an electric charge – even with a full 36,287-kilogram load – and will cost less than a diesel semi considering fuel savings, lower maintenance and other factors.”

    I seem to recall discussion some months ago on this website that such things are impossible. Things are changing fast.

  38. 188
    drfog says:

    @ 175 patrick

    > This is a moral slur against Merkel, because it’s made up. It’s
    > innuendo and association. It’s false. The imagined hypocrisy isn’t
    > there.

    The evidence, as clearly pointed out in the Swiss article, is that a massive number of 148 coal-fired power stations are still operating in Germany, this is hypocrisy of the highest level, to deny that is to deny the evidence.

    > As world leaders go Merkel is a model of transparency and a practiced
    > consensus builder. Ditto, the German energy plan.

    Transparency? That is total, total BS:

    “Merkel’s “first comment to me after the doors closed was a complaint … that California with its very strict nitrogen oxide limits is hurting German car makers,” Nichols said, according to the magazine.”

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/merkel-complained-in-2010-about-california-emissions-rules-2015-11-12-121035519

    > Merkel is open about the coal problem in an effort to build public
    > sentiment for coal cuts OR for buying international credits or
    > allowances. Hard. Moral failing by Merkel? Not.

    “The UK and Canada have launched a global alliance of 20 countries committed to phasing out coal for energy production.
    Members including France, Finland and Mexico, say they will end the use of coal before 2030.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42014244

    Dig Germany join this alliance? Of course not.

    > Now compare that to someone who insists against all evidence that
    > coal is not a problem.

    That is exactly what you are saying, that the 148 coal-fired power stations in Germany are not a problem, there still is plenty of time to keep on polluting.

  39. 189
    Thomas says:

    James Hansen & Michael Shellenberger: Nuclear Power? Are Renewables Enough?
    Nov 16, 2017 – Climate Matters – In this show from COP-23….. 24 minutes

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1f4BKsFrCA&feature=youtu.be

  40. 190
    Thomas says:

    K: ask “what would happen if the world chose to cut off the U.S.? Answer: World war.”

    Th: and who would start that?

    Answer: The USA.

    Therein lays the deep seated core problem where the US is concerned. And yes, in case you did not know, Money aka Power based upon fossil fuels and nuclear energy and bombs and non-stop belligerence aka global bullying in manifold forms (especially banking/trade/sanctions) is at the root of those deep seated core problems.

    The degree of one’s Wisdom is an opinion too. :-)

  41. 191
    Killian says:

    Econo.ics still largely voodoo, thus of limited value in climate mitigation and adaptation, yet the primary lens used.

    Hmmm…

    THE PROBLEM IS that only a few journals and subfields in economics have been willing to take up the new standards of controlled trials, openness, and reproducibility that other social sciences—behavioral psychology, most notably—have largely embraced.

    Dismal Science
    https://www.wired.com/story/econ-statbias-study/?mbid=social_twitter_onsiteshare

  42. 192
    Thomas says:

    “The USA is the source of all evil…”

    It’s called putting words in other people’s mouths by exaggeration in a low grade attempt to win an “argument”.

    But I ain’t arguing.

    Not very “scientific” nor “logical” or “evidence based”. In fact the opposite.

  43. 193
  44. 194
    zebra says:

    nigel 167,

    About me being “wrong”: Whether you or Killian, pronouncements and assertions without the support of evidence or reason are useless. Dude, read the freakin’ Wikipedia article on TOC! It’s a complicated concept; people with expertise don’t all agree on it. Just using the phrase in a rhetorical way because it sounds good isn’t helpful.

    And yes, we all agree that there’s this list of things “we could do” that sound good. So what? I don’t mean this in a personally angry or condescending way, but you live on some paradise-type island that some see as the ultimate haven from the apocalypse, and you’re telling me:

    “The Republicans in America are just going to have to accept this.”

    ???

    Come visit, nigel, and you can look at my neighbor’s Trump signs that are still up. You can go to a store with me and my African-American friend and get stared at and followed around. Look, I live in a country where people– wealthy people– get into physical altercations over lawn care practices, and in some cases it ends in gunfire.

    So pardon me if I am a bit cynical and pessimistic about humanity and its monkey-nature, and see wishful thinking about what “we can do” as a waste of time. We all know the goals. But getting there involves conflict, as uncomfortable as that may make the comfortable.

  45. 195
    MA Rodger says:

    NOAA have posted the October temperature anomaly at +0.73ºC, a little down on the last few months and the coolest of the year-so-far. (Conversely GISS showed a rise for October and BEST showed a larger rise.) It is the =4th warmest October on the NOAA record (2nd in both GISS & BEST), in NOAA lying after October 2015 (+1.00ºC), 2014 (+0.79ºC) and 2016 (+0.74ºC) and equal with 2003. October 2017 is =57th warmest anomaly in the full NOAA all-month record (=17th in GISS & 16th in BEST).
    When things start going in opposite directions it is perhaps worth looking for the underlying reasons. (The TLT satellite anomalies have been on a different path to surface measurements in recent months, showing a strong rise in temperature over the southern oceans.) The drop in the NOAA record results from northern ocean temperatures cooling, with the southern oceans unchanged and land in both hemispheres averaging a strong increase.
    The table below ranks years by the Jan-to-Oct average and for NOAA 2017 is now pretty firmly set in third spot for the full year (for GISS & BEST it is second spot), requiring a Nov/Dec average above +1.16ºC top topple 2015 from second spot and below +0.19ºC to drop into 4th below 2014.

    …….. Jan-Oct Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.98ºC … … … +0.95ºC … … …1st
    2015 .. +0.88ºC … … … +0.91ºC … … …2nd
    2017 .. +0.86ºC
    2014 .. +0.74ºC … … … +0.75ºC … … …3rd
    2010 .. +0.72ºC … … … +0.70ºC … … …4th
    1998 .. +0.66ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … …8th
    2005 .. +0.66ºC … … … +0.66ºC … … …6th
    2013 .. +0.66ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … …5th
    2009 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.64ºC … … …7th
    2007 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.61ºC … … …12th
    2012 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … …9th

  46. 196
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @178,
    My apologies indeed. Quite what latched me on to the El Nino rather than the La Nina (to be precise, we have rather weak La Nina ‘conditions’ in place) I know not. The comment had been talking El Nino and with the predictions for the ENSO state quite recently (August) predicting a coming El Nino, or perhaps SOI being upside down from ONI/MEI, or… …too much rush is a more likely explanation.

  47. 197
    Killian says:

    Regarding sustainability and economics: Equality is neessary. Gotta get that Gini Coefficient down below 0.20. Only one way, Commons. Suck it up, peanuttles.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/inequality-has-been-growing-for-thousands-of-years-2017-11

  48. 198
    Omega Centauri says:

    But of course the US emissions do matter. Even 18% of the current world emissions is too much for long term stability. But, mostly a highly visible laggard provides a powerful straw-man argument for foreign interests to exploit for their own agenda. Remember how for decades the Republicans largely blocked the US AGW agenda, by claiming it was pointless, because the Chinese would go along. Now fossil interests in China and India can scream, “It’s pointless, because the Americans”. Also the US has been an incubator for many of the technologies needed for the global energy transition. Now, much of that innovation is dispersing, and China is rapidly becoming the world leader. But, what happens in the US, still impacts the trajectory of the rest of the world.

  49. 199
    prokaryotes says:

    Scientists Discover Carbon Secret beneath Rainforest https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd6oa3MaXro

  50. 200
    Killian says:

    Why most of you don’t “get” permaculture aka regenerative systems design: It is first principles, but all the conversations here are deeply embedded in present paradigm, keeping you stagnant, like bugs in amber.

    “I think it’s important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. [With analogy] we are doing this because it’s like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing. [With first principles] you boil things down to the most fundamental truths…and then reason up from there.”
    ― Elon Musk

    In order to create a new system that cannot rely on virtually any of the underpinnings of the present, it is necessary to return to the very nature of life as humans within the womb of nature and create a new future that does not violate this.

    In the 1960’s and ’70’s Mollison noticed during field studies that things humans kept failing at, Nature did with simplicity, connections, resilience and no waste over the long term.

    This is not magic, nor ignorance, nor wishful thinking, it is returning to First Principles. It is not asking what others think, but looking to see whatis there in front of our eyes.

    The current paradigm is broken and suicidal, yet virtually all of the conversation on this site is completely embedded in it.

    As Einstein said, you can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it.

    Looking at you, Kevin McKinney. You’re right that you can’t do simplicity as long as you choose to give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s rather than create what Ceasar cannot.