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Fall AGU 2017

It’s that time of year again. #AGU17 is from Dec 11 to Dec 16 in New Orleans (the traditional venue in San Francisco is undergoing renovations).

As in previous years, there will be extensive live streams from “AGU On Demand” (free, but an online registration is required) of interesting sessions and the keynote lectures from prize-winners and awardees.

Some potential highlights will be Dan Rather, Baba Brinkman, and Joanna Morgan. The E-lightning sessions are already filled with posters covering many aspects of AGU science. Clara Deser, Bjorn Stevens, David Neelin, Linda Mearns and Thomas Stocker are giving some the key climate-related named lectures. The Tyndall Lecture by Jim Fleming might also be of interest.

As usual there are plenty of sessions devoted to public affairs and science communication, including one focused on the use of humour in #scicomm (on Friday at 4pm to encourage people to stay to the end I imagine), and a workshop on Tuesday (joint with the ACLU and CSLDF) on legal issues for scientist activists and advocates.

AGU is also a great place to apply for jobs, get free legal advice, mingle, and network.

A couple of us will be there – and we might find time to post on anything interesting we see. If any readers spot us, say hi!

56 Responses to “Fall AGU 2017”

  1. 1
    nigelj says:

    I hope this isn’t off topic, but in terms of public affairs and science communication, I recently came across a brilliant article on how to convince people to change their minds, based on some robust research. It confirms some obvious things, but has some real surprises and interesting findings.

    Obviously it’s applicable to persuading climate denialists. The article is as follows.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/how-to-convince-some-to-change-their-mind-according-to-science-a6867291.html

  2. 2
    Mr. Know It All says:

    No use of FFs to get to Nalens.

    :)

  3. 3
    Ed Davies says:

    I always thought collecting thousands of geoscientists on a famous fault line showed a certain amount of chutzpah so, in these days of concern about climate change, moving the meeting to New Orleans seems like a good idea … ummm.

  4. 4
    MarkR says:

    Our session on climate sensitivity and feedbacks has really great contributions, both talks and posters. I’m excited!
    https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/preliminaryview.cgi/Session23637

  5. 5
    Bill Jackson says:

    So collect them all in the path of a river that could be changed violently by the New Madrid fault! Perhaps that is also chutzpah….

  6. 6
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    Mark R,

    The link you gave only takes me to the titles of the presentations. Is it possible to see the abstracts and whether a presentation is a talk or poster?

  7. 7
    Dan DaSilva says:

    Funny to see Dan Rather on the list of highlights. He is stuck with the famous George Bush national guard letter. The letter was a fake but never the less it was accurate according to Rather. Reminds me of the Hockey Stick.

    Hope that not all scientists see this as a highlight but many will.

  8. 8

    “I always thought collecting thousands of geoscientists on a famous fault line showed a certain amount of chutzpah so, in these days of concern about climate change, moving the meeting to New Orleans seems like a good idea … ummm.”

    I think one of the significant recent findings in geophysics is the influence of lunisolar forcing or tidal stress on the triggering of earthquakes.

    Initiation of Plate Tectonics on Exoplanets with Significant Tidal Stress

    This idea is going beyond earthquake triggering to other events, such as SSW

    SA13A-2269: Relationship between lunar tidal enhancements in the equatorial electrojet and tropospheric eddy heat flux during stratospheric sudden warmings

  9. 9

    DDS 7: Reminds me of the Hockey Stick.

    BPL: And you remind me of a broken record. Got anything useful to say?

  10. 10
    Mitch says:

    Here is a place to look at the AGU fall meeting abstracts, but do not know if it is the best place:
    https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/Home/0

  11. 11
    Pete Best says:

    30,000 tonnes of co2 emitted to host this conference. Global warming can’t be an issue really can it?

  12. 12
    CCHolley says:

    Pete Best @11

    30,000 tonnes of co2 emitted to host this conference. Global warming can’t be an issue really can it?

    Ever hear of investing money to save money? Apparently not.

  13. 13
    CCHolley says:

    Dan DaSilva @7

    Reminds me of the Hockey Stick.

    Funny how that would remind you of Dr. Michael Mann’s famous hockey stick chart that has been confirmed by more than thirty other peer reviewed studies using multiple different temperature proxies. I would have to assume you have a huge problem separating truth from fiction.

  14. 14
    Dan says:

    re: 11.
    Quite misleading and obviously on purpose. Your “30000 tonnes” is used to make it sound like a lot but of course it really is relatively little. So you are purposely misleading with no context.
    That amount is absolutely trivial relative to the scientific work to provide data to address the problem to reduce emissions.

  15. 15
    Mr. Know It All says:

    11 – Pete

    Wow! 30K tons? That’s huge! I checked, and did find an article that confirmed your number:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/12/why-did-climate-scientists-emit-30000-tonnes-of-c02-this-weekend/comment-page-1/

    That George Carlin video is awesome!

  16. 16
    Nick O. says:

    # 11 Pete Best: “30,000 tonnes of co2 emitted to host this conference”

    How is that calculated, Pete?

  17. 17
    Robert M says:

    What do readers think are the main advances in climate change science in the past 10 years?

  18. 18
  19. 19
    chris says:

    Are there any talks on methane, permafrost, abrupt/rapid climate change, or worst case scenario assessments (since we are tracking the upper bound of 8.5RCP pathway)?

  20. 20
    nigelj says:

    Pete @11, what is your personal CO2 emissions per year on average, and how does it compare to other people?

  21. 21
    Pete best says:

    My emissions are low. Only drive 5,000 miles a year, don’t fly, heat a modest house etc

  22. 22
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Regarding the dumbassery of the 30000 tonnes of CO2:
    1) Many of those taking part will offsets greater than or equal to their total
    2) It is not feasible for 7.3 billion humans to return to a neolithic lifestyle. That is why society and the economy have to change and not just individual lifestyles
    3) Can you think of a better investment of carbon that getting the smartest people together to talk about a)how bad the consequences of this problem will be and b) how to solve them?

  23. 23
    Geoff Beacon says:

    Ray Ladbury @22

    2) It is not feasible for 7.3 billion humans to return to a neolithic lifestyle. That is why society and the economy have to change and not just individual lifestyles.

    Putting one meaning on this,I could agree but the carbon footprint of the world’s population must soon return to carbon footprints rather like those in neolithic societies. The key word is “soon” – soon enough to keep within existing carbon budgets. Updating the Global Carbon Project’s remaining carbon budgetumber for the end of 2014, in Global carbon budgets and wildfires, I got under 120 tonnes CO2e per person in the world (from the end of 2016). (I would like to point out I wrote this before the current tragic phase of the Californian wildfires.)

    Now the excellent CoolClimate Network from the University of California, Berkeley gives the average carbon footprint for US households as 48.5 tonnes CO2e. That’s 19.4 tonnes CO2e per person, which exhausts the carbon budget for a 2°C global temperature rise since pre-industrial.

    Seems to me we have to persuade the world to have clean electricity and also cut flying in planes, traveling in cars, building with bricks and steel and eating beef and lamb pretty damn quick.

    We need to prototype new lifestyles and neighbourhoods.

  24. 24
    pete best says:

    Re #22 The USA (and Canada for that matter )consumes vast amounts of fossil fuels per head of population and need to bring it down by at least 50% quite quickly. What options are there presently, life style choices are await technological miracles?

    Technological miracles include everyone driving a Tesla (100K car being about 20K) or Chevy Bolt and everyone charging it up from Solar, Wind or Nuclear based sources within 20 years, NO CHANCE!!

    That type of Miracle is what everyone is hoping for whereas changing your lifestyle to half your current fossil fuel consumption does not appear to be entering anyone’s consciousness presently.

    Regarding the dumbassery of the 30000 tonnes of CO2: SUMS IT ALL UP

  25. 25
    Killian says:

    #23 Geoff Beacon

    Prototypes are a poor approach because they impose solutions and ready-made solutions short circuit critical thinking and problem solving. Each location is unique and needs unique solutions. I suggest Regenerative Community Incubators.

    Ask if you’d like a quick comment on what that means.

  26. 26
    Omega Centauri says:

    Pete @24.
    Well I am driving a Bolt, and my wife a used Leaf. And we have solar. Its actually quite doable, and is actually cheaper than business as usual. And the green new tech is getting better all the time….

    Not, that people are getting the message in anything like the numbers needed. It doesn’t help that GM advertising is big on all the “awards” its cars got, but never mentions the car of the year (Bolt). They are planning to extend the tech into several models, but they won’t advertise what they already have!

  27. 27
    Astringent says:

    Pete @24.

    I can’t quite work out if there’s a message in your post. Getting society off its fossil few addiction will be hard? Agreed. But are you suggesting that therefore we should stop trying?

    Just taking that 30K tonnes of CO2 figure – it appears that the assumption behind it is a that a) everyone flew to San Francisco, and b) the average flight length was 2500 miles assuming about 0.2 kg/passenger/mile. Probably not an unreasonable assumption.

    But why pick on scientists at AGU (many of whom wouldn’t be climate scientists btw)? Las Vegas Airport has over 500 commercial flights per day, assuming they seat 200, and fly say 1500 miles on average, that’s exactly the same CO2 as AGU. But of course all you can eat buffets and rigged roulette are way more important than climate change.

  28. 28
    Geoff Beacon says:

    Omega Centauri #26

    And the green new tech is getting better all the time.

    But not fast enough..
    The transition to low carbon, “modern” lifestyles may break existing carbon budgets. There is a carbon cost of building homes, electric cars and electricity generation that makes low carbon living “a modern standard of living” – unless very,very soon we change lifestyles.

    The carbon cost of achieving low-carbon lifestyles
    There may have been an improvement since this was written but a report by Climate Central, Roadmap to Climate-Friendly Cars: 2013, gives carbon emissions from the manufacture of an electric car as 12.3 tonnes CO2e. Two new electric cars to be bought before 2050. That’s embodied carbon equal to 25 tonnes CO2e. (Note: the embodied carbon in a gasoline car is given as 7.4 tonnes CO2e.) Dividing carbon budgets into equal sized categories for food, transport, building and government, gives about 30 tonnes per category. New buildings usually have enormous embodied carbon.

    @Killian
    OK, what are Regenerative Community Incubators?

    Yes. We need a vision of lifestyles that by their organisation do not need much flying in planes and traveling in cars &etc.

    I don’t mind what you call the experimental developments but we need a rich gene pool of settlement types so we can find lifestyles that work. Suggested parameters to be measured:

    Size of settlement
    % of residents employed locally
    % of food produced locally
    % of goods bought from local retailers
    Social class of the residents.
    Average weekly travel distances.
    A measure of ecosystem services
    Average carbon footprint of residents
    Protection of ecosystems

    Since at least 1965 I’ve dreamed of living in a city that had next to no cars.

    Could we make a Regenerative Community Incubator modeled on car-free Venice?

    Correction from earlier
    That’s 19.4 tonnes CO2e per person, which exhausts the carbon budget for a 2°C global temperature rise since pre-industrial – within six years.

  29. 29

    Pete, #24–

    Technological miracles include everyone driving a Tesla (100K car being about 20K) or Chevy Bolt and everyone charging it up from Solar, Wind or Nuclear based sources within 20 years, NO CHANCE!!

    Well, at least one serious analyst thinks it’s not only possible, it’s inevitable:

    https://tinyurl.com/k88ee3s

    We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles (AVs), 95% of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS). The TaaS disruption will have enormous implications across the transportation and oil industries, decimating entire portions of their value chains, causing oil demand and prices to plummet, and destroying trillions of dollars in investor value — but also creating trillions of dollars in new business opportunities, consumer surplus and GDP growth.

    I don’t know if things will happen the way ReThinkX is calling it, but I have yet to hear a cogent analysis as to why they couldn’t. And, interestingly, GM just announced that they expect to be running AVs in dense urban environments by 2019.

  30. 30
    Donald Condliffe says:

    Statements that we must bend the emissions curve down by 2020 or else are unfortunately likely correct. We need to leave carbon reserves in the ground.

    However a reasonably accurate way to look at the question of what will anthropogenic carbon emissions actually be in the next decade plus, is to look at production of carbon fuels. This answers the question whether there will in fact be a near term reduction in carbon emissions, giving us all a chance to avoid dangerous warming that triggers significant additional carbon releases. (We already see beginning global positive feedbacks accelerating non-anthropogenic releases, that have the potential to surpass all human emissions.)

    Look at the estimates for future global production of coal, oil and natural gas. https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/pdf/0484(2017).pdf

    The economic studies and estimates from the U.S. EIA have a solid track record for decent accuracy and take into account accelerating rates of installation of non carbon power sources. The obvious conclusion is that demand for power is so great that non-carbon power plus carbon burning are both able to expand profitably. The only way carbon fuel production will slow and stop in time is if a radical, new, cheap, and effective technology suddenly under prices carbon, causing people to stop buying carbon fuels. Not likely.

  31. 31
    nigelj says:

    Look at any new technology, and it follows an evolutionary cycle and reaches a tipping point of fast growth. Smartphones are a good example. Initial development takes a decade and uptake is slow, they are clunky, unreliable and very expensive but improving all the time, then along come slim, reliable phones that are affordable and growth is suddenly exponential, and within a decade virtually everyone owns one, including a whole range of different prices.

    Electric cars are now reliable, nicely styled, cool and affordable enough (except that the big tesla is maybe too expensive and has had some problems) and could well follow the same trajectory as phones and take off exponentially very soon. Tony Selba might be just hyping it a little, but not much.

    The nissan leaf just got an award for most reliable car of the year in NZ and eventually this will register in the public’s mind. It just takes a little time for public to make big changes in technology, because they are cautious.

    Anyway its not an either / or situation between buying an electric car or flying less or buying less carbon intensive produce. It’s a combination of these things and they add up powerfully.

  32. 32
    d_le_nen says:

    It would have been good to have had calculated and offset the AGU related emissions as an official campaign. Not because of the 30 k tons, but because of the awareness increase.

  33. 33
    Killian says:

    #29 Kevin McKinney

    Show me,directly, where the analyst includes a clear understanding of resource depletion.

  34. 34
    Killian says:

    #29 Kevin McKinney

    As expected, nothing more than one short comment about lithium ion being able to be made with other materials. First, this is nonsense. How is something made from not-lithium equal to lithium? Second, It is the only statement regarding physical resources in the entire report.

    This is not analysis, it’s crazy talk and magical thinking.

    Cheers

  35. 35
    Killian says:

    #28 Geoff Beacon said Killian
    OK, what are Regenerative Community Incubators?

    Yes. We need a vision of lifestyles… we need a rich gene pool of settlement types…

    This requires some care in answering… be back…

  36. 36
    Killian says:

    #28 Geoff Beacon said Omega Centauri #26 And the green new tech is getting better all the time.

    But not fast enough…

    It’s already good enough. Better isn’t bad, but it’s not necessary to change the system because we have enough in some places, like the U.S., if we look long term. If you want 100% replacement of current energy consumption you are 1. failing to understand energy, 2. failing to understand consumption, 3. failing to understand resource limits, 4. failing to understand the ecosystem is already in the process of collapse (not approaching it, but already deep into it), 5. failing to understand fungibility and energy density of FFs, and failing to understand how to design a regenerative aka sustainable community/society.

    Simply put, replacing 100% of consumption is impossible; worse, it’s flat stupid given the effects of having gotten here. Anywho, to keep this manageable, let’s look at the end point: Sustainability. The transition period must be dealt with, but much of that comes from what makes us sustainable, so speaking of one is essentially speaking of the other, but the endpoint is easier to lay out and discuss. While discussing the transition is so similar, to those who have not studied energy, non-linearity, resources, collapse processes, and much more, it can look like magic. It’s not. It’s logic, math, engineering, bio-mimicry, etc., but to a Neanderthal a flashlight is magic, so… People must understand some effort is required. This board is not for permaculture training, e.g.

    My BOTE calculation is 90 reduction in consumption for the U.S. and similar economies, 80% for other industrialized economies, and smaller, or even increases, for less-industrialized societies. Thankfully, a good number of nations (actually, bio-regions) have populations that are H-G or close to. This is a GOOD thing: They have teachers on hand.

    90%?! Yup. The U.S. already has more than that in W, S and hydro. Were we intelligent, we would focus on reducing to fit in that parameter, not keep building out. The more we build, the more consumption we enable so that simplifying instead becomes a feedback loop of continued consumption.

    The stage is set. On to what the end looks like.

    We must bring the planet back into radiative balance, stabilize unstable bio-regions, let ecosystems heal and the flourish, and learn to live within the limits of the planet. This requires agency and cooperation. The planet is so denuded and some resources already so scarce only full cooperation will suffice. What is full cooperation in economics? Commons. What is full cooperation in politics? Egalitarian decision making. Do we see this being successful anywhere? Small, networked, aboriginal communities. Has it ever worked at scale? Investigate pre-Columbian Amazonia.

    Is there any other system that has worked on both small and large scales? No. Is there any other system that has worked at all? No.

    Houston, we have a pattern. If you are conversant in these things, I really do not need to go on in this mein. If you are not, we can explore later. What you should see now is that a global society that looks anything like today under the hood is likely suicidal. One thing, though, that is vital.

    Small communities is one thing, networked is one thing, but how are decisions made at different levels? Scale. Nor power, not authority, not right, not jurisdiction, not who owns, only scale and need. Solve the problem. We would have governance councils at, likely, four levels, but as needed:

    Neighborhood/small town
    city/region
    bio-region
    inter-bio-region/global

    Neighborhood/Small Town Council = all people >> Issues in its borders
    City/Regional Council = Reps from each N/ST C >> Issues crossing one or more borders
    Bio-regional Council = Reps from each N/ST C >> Issues within bio-region borders
    IBR/G Council = Reps from each BRC >> Issues crossing one or more B-R’s

    Since everyone owns everything, everyone has a voice, and cooperation must be to the Nth degree, where are the politics, greed, racism, etc?

    And what we mostly have to do is… stop. That always takes far less time than creating/building.

    There is a carbon cost of building homes, electric cars and electricity generation that makes low carbon living “a modern standard of living” – unless very,very soon we change lifestyles.

    Note what I have said here does not even attempt to pretend we can live as we have been. No, it’s a back to the future sort of thing, with a boost from current knowledge streams to enhance that to be a comfortable life.

    Let’s leave this aside. How do we get there?

    @Killian, OK, what are Regenerative Community Incubators?

    Yes. We need a vision of lifestyles that by their organisation do not need much flying in planes and traveling in cars &etc.

    I don’t mind what you call the experimental developments but we need a rich gene pool of settlement types so we can find lifestyles that work.

    So little trust in humanity!

    Size of settlement
    % of residents employed locally
    % of food produced locally
    % of goods bought from local retailers
    Social class of the residents.
    Average weekly travel distances.
    A measure of ecosystem services
    Average carbon footprint of residents
    Protection of ecosystems

    It is the opposite. We don’t impose solutions because no two communities can possibly be the same without terraforming vs. integrating ourselves into it to the greatest degree possible.

    I have said ad nauseum design emerges. Logical conclusion? What I say is based on observation, not belief or ideology. The beauty of permaculture is its freedom from ideology. We are taught: Don’t impose ideas, let the site, the needs, the resources, the contours, the energy flows, etc., *show* you what to do. It’s freeing. Yet, the ideas I discuss are often intentionally conflated with my self here on RC. No better way to diminish an idea than associate it with an unpopular person. But that conflation comes at the price of honesty.

    Regenerative Governance isn’t any more mine, or any more my dream or my Nirvana than a stone on the ground in front of me was created or exists because of me. It’s quite simply the only system that has ever produced sustainable societies. I merely suggested it’s what we must return to because literally nothing else has ever succeeded. Well, and it fits with fixing all the social ills we have (by fixing I mean minimizing as much as is humanly possible.) I noticed the history, realized it fit with all the other issues we have, fits with all solutions, and simply let it be the answer.

    There was no part of me dying to be egalitarian or live in a Commons or give up all the wonders of tech, etc. We simply have no choice.

    Reg. Comm. Incubators

    Simple: Start an, for lack of a better term, eco-village. A sustainable community. As part of that process, pre-plan space and resources for some number, N(rci), of the ideal population of the village *plus* people to be the core of a future village and grow to that level.

    2. While growing, all people are learning multiple skills and learn Egalitarian Governance and Commonsing and, and, and… People who join the village are aware they may one day be part of the core of a new group that is split off, amoeba-like, to be the nucleus of a new community.

    3. During 1. and 2., funds are saved and locations scouted, then one chosen, for the next village. This could be in a previously uninhabited area or in the middle of NY, wherever the need and conditions pointed.

    4. Ta-da! New village… with time.

    5. Then they make two more, then they make four more, then they make 8 more… and in a really short period of time, human lifetime-wise, you have a million eco-villagey entities out there, all able to design a regenerative community. And, all of them being knowledge and training resources to people outside this network, thus spawning even more communities.

    (You may see some aspects of TT’s in this except TT’s have no sense of governance, of replacing the current paradigm, etc.)

    And that’s how we get there from here, and save the planet by simplifying at the same time.

  37. 37

    K 34: How is something made from not-lithium equal to lithium?

    BPL: If it can perform the same role in a similar process. This would make whatever it is a “substitutionary good” for lithium. If transparent plastic were to become more expensive or rarer (or both), more people would use glass. If steel were to become more expensive, more people would use aluminum or titanium. And so on.

  38. 38
    MA Rodger says:

    Donald Condliffe @30,
    The EIA forecasts you cite paint a pretty lacklustre future for renewables. In the 25 years to 2040 it shows a rise of 86% in renewables while the IEA’s forecasts show a rise of 43% in the six years 2016-22, which pro rata over 25 years would amount to a 345% renewables increase, enough to meet all of the EIA’s 2015 global energy consumption. And the EIA projections of future energy consumption are probably still polluted by too much pre-energy-conservation non-AGW thinking. Even with power-consumption-type activities blossoming within the developing world, is energy consumption really going to grow 30% in the next 25 AGW-ridden years? (For comparison, it grew 60% since 1990, a period when folk mainly didn’t give a toss about AGW.)
    I would suggest that it is not unreasonable to ask for peak CO2 emissions to occur this decade.

  39. 39

    Killian, #33–

    “Show me,directly, where the analyst includes a clear understanding of resource depletion.”

    He doesn’t. The paper is a business-oriented economic (and secondarily social) analysis of what he thinks will happen in the transportation sector, and it maintains a tight focus on that topic.

  40. 40

    Killian, #34–

    “This is not analysis, it’s crazy talk and magical thinking.”

    No, it’s not, since it doesn’t propose that the change being considered has any pretensions to permanent sustainability. In fact, it doesn’t, to the best of my recollection, even make a value statement about the transition it envisions–though it does list more or less positive and negative probable effects. In short, the analysis is about what ReThink thinks is *going* to happen, not about what they think *should* happen.

    Obviously, you don’t think that that is a well-chosen frame, for various reasons. You’ve certainly been pretty clear in proposing that quasi-permanent sustainability should be our more or less immediate goal. (Again, if I’m mis-stating your position, I’d welcome the correction.)

    However, I don’t think that your model is workable in the short term, as recently discussed. I think that a change in paradigm that would result in the cratering of petroleum demand over the next couple of decades would be quite salutary, if only as a ‘bridge measure.’ And that perspective would lead me to welcome the TaaS paradigm as helpful. (Not to mention that personally I really, really hate being mortgaged to maintain a depreciating resource so that I can get around. The current paradigm is a vampire of both time and money.)

    On past form, you will dismiss my perception rather than provide actual evidence that it is incorrect. Too bad, as that way I won’t learn anything from you.

  41. 41

    #28 Geoff Beacon said Killian
    OK, what are Regenerative Community Incubators?

    Yes. We need a vision of lifestyles… we need a rich gene pool of settlement types…

    Killian: This requires some care in answering… be back…

    Looking forward to hearing more.

  42. 42
    Ric Merritt says:

    Despite any childish trolling and spluttering you may see in this thread, Kevin McKinney’s worthwhile ReThinkX link includes a hefty proportion of lithium discussion, with multiple paragraphs and footnotes. Nowhere does it say or even hint that lithium is not lithium. There’s room for adult discussion of course, should anyone be interested in that, as a welcome substitute for logorrhea.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Killian says:

    Typical of the magical thinking of the Tech/Complexity Will Save Us delusion, this article explores the issue of where the resources will come from for EV batteries, but at no point talks about the actual total reserves, rate of use vs. those reserves, and whether those reserves become uneconomic to exploit at some point.

    This omission is not accidental, IMO: It’s necessary to maintain the fantasy of a techno future.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/materials-needed-to-fuel-electric-car-boom-2016-10

  45. 45
    nigelj says:

    Killian @36

    Killian talks about ecovillages, egalitarianism, less wasteful consumption and less militarism. These are all reasonable ideas, and I personally think society has to go in that direction longer term in some form. But I knew all this already 20 years ago. If we don’t become a lot less aggressive the planet is in deep trouble, its obvious.

    Killian says he has calculated we need 90% cut in electricty use. He doesn’t provide any idea of how he arrives at that number.

    He seems unaware this would mean getting rid of basic things like stoves and heaters because these use most power. Passive solar systems help, but only up to a point, and are expensive and slow to build, and use technology themselves. What do elderly people do?

    Radical cuts in energy use of 90% have big impacts on quality of life or even health and survival. I would say 25% is realistic at least in the immediate future.This means we are reliant on developing some level of renewable energy.

  46. 46
    nigelj says:

    Killian @44,

    The following article is a good analysis of global lithium reserves and implications for electric cars. There’s enough for many millions of electric cars but there are limits obviously.

    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/is-there-enough-lithium-to-maintain-the-growth-of-the-lithium-ion-battery-m#gs.fR1GNXo

    Lithium can be recycled, although the process is expensive at this stage.

    But I still don’t know what else you expect us to do? If we don’t use the lithium available for something, what have we gained? Its essential for medicine but this only requires relatively small quantities. Lithium is also used in ceramics.

    If lithium becomes expensive to use and extract, there are other probable battery option like aluminium and some new carbon battery I read about.

    Renewable energy and batteries are of course not ideal, but appear to me to be the only thing enough people would buy into fast enough, to help stop dangerous climate change. I have no vested interests in renewable energy or anything, just trying to be objective and realistic.

  47. 47
    sidd says:

    I timidly venture to make an on topic comment:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wwbNEkSJ38&index=15&list=PL7Ihm2Mh3MZ5cidsvhD1mOa9dgO7gtdCI

    includes a talk by Kopp on his latest paper arguing that the difference between an expected range of 0.97-2.43 m of sea level rise by 2100 and merely 0.26-98m is not reflected in SLR projections until 2050. As the authors of the paper said in the abstract: “The minimal correlation between the contribution of AIS to GMSL by 2050 and that in 2100 and beyond implies current sea level observations cannot exclude future extreme outcomes.”

    The paper is at doi: 10.1002/2017EF000663

    Open access. Read all about it.

    sidd

  48. 48
    KenD says:

    #4
    Marc are any videos, or at least abstracts, from your climate sensitivity session available on the internet? If so could you relay any links?

  49. 49
    zebra says:

    sidd #47,

    “on topic”

    +2

    nigel, killian, et al…

    So this is the new, responsible, less-intrusive-and-wasteful-of-resources version of commenting on RC?

    How about taking the discussion back to UV where it at least kind of belongs?

  50. 50
    Killian says:

    #40 Kevin McKinney said Killian, #34–

    “This is not analysis, it’s crazy talk and magical thinking.”

    No, it’s not, since it doesn’t propose that the change being considered has any pretensions to permanent sustainability.

    How is that not crazy talk?

    In fact, it doesn’t… make a value statement… though it does list more or less positive and negative probable effects.

    And how are perceptions of positive and negative not inherently value statements?

    the analysis is about what ReThink thinks is *going* to happen, not about what they think *should* happen.

    And if that analysis suggests the impossible or foolish *will* happen, how is that not magical thinking and piss-poor analysis? EVs do not exist in a vacuum. Any analysis that ignores resources, rapid climate change, rapid SLR, the restructuring of societies on massive scales as refugees number in the tens of millions…

    It’s worse than just bad, it’s nonsensical. Systemic analysis in all things is no longer optional, but mandatory. Every decision is an ecological decision.

    You’ve certainly been pretty clear in proposing that quasi-permanent sustainability should be our more or less immediate goal.

    Should is irrelevant here. Must. The risk analysis and limits to growth are what they are. Justifying an analysis by saying it rather crazily didn’t consider any part of the Perfect Storm we face, so should not be judged on how well it fits reality makes no sense to me.

    However, I don’t think that your model is workable in the short term, as recently discussed.

    What short term? I have said, consistently, 20 – 100 years. That’s *beyond* the ken of this badly flawed analysis. And, you have yet to give a viable reason why Reg. Gov. can’t happen over that time frame.

    I think that a change in paradigm that would result in the cratering of petroleum demand over the next couple of decades would be quite salutary, if only as a ‘bridge measure.’

    It’s not a bridge if it allows the continued mass consumption of resources, which is what EVs do. Try to bear in mind: Most of periodic table is made up of non-renewable resources.

    On past form, you will dismiss my perception rather than provide actual evidence that it is incorrect. Too bad, as that way I won’t learn anything from you.

    OK, peanut. (Why be a #$%& when things were going so well?)

    As for evidence, the problem is you simply do not accept the evidence. The evidence here is the analysis and logic itself because we are talking about future events. Your evidence is wishful thinking: Hey! Someone did an analysis of EVs completely divorced from any of the constraints we face today!

    Kevin, someone’s opinion is all you have offered as evidence. What I cite is FACTS: Lithium is, as you noted, unsustainable. That is reason enough to find better ways than continued mass consumption. What you did not address in this area is the continued mass consumption that the car-based society implies. Lithium is not the only resource used in cars. Then there are roads. Bridges. Parking garages. Yet, not a peep about those resources in that paper nor from you. It is a fact that *any* car culture requires the continued consumption of mass amounts of many, many resources beyond lithium.

    You should never post without that in mind, and thus Liebig’s Law of the Minimum. It doesn’t matter if lithium will last 500 years if bauxite is gone by 2070, e.g. When a critical (non-substitutable) resource for a product is gone, so is the product. Where is the analysis on this issue WRT EV’s? Without it, the analysis is moot. How can they say, “This will happen” when their analysis is so completely narrow?