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Unforced Variations: Dec 2017

Filed under: — group @ 3 December 2017

Last open-thread of the year. Tips for new books for people to read over the holidays? Highlights of Fall AGU (Dec 11-15, New Orleans)? Requests for what should be in the end of year updates? Try to be nice.

91 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Dec 2017”

  1. 1

    K: Seriously, why lie like this? You crack me up, peanut.

    BPL: You cracked a long time ago.

  2. 2

    Killian always accuses people of lying about what he actually said. K, if what you say is that hard to grasp, it doesn’t mean people are lying about it. It means you’re a lousy writer. Stop blaming the audience and start thinking about how to communicate. If one person doesn’t get it, that’s one thing, but according to your own posts, nobody seems to get it. It’s unlikely that they’re all wrong and you’re right; it’s far more likely that you’re either unwilling to own what you wrote, or what you wrote is bloody incomprehensible.

  3. 3
    Killian says:

    Please, no more economics. At least, no more capitalism rah-rah. If you want to talk economics, do some sane economics, like RBE, Donut, Circular, Steady-State. These at least approach sustainability as a goal.

  4. 4
    nigelj says:

    I enjoyed the book “The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell”.This is an analysis of when ideas, trends and social behaviour cross a threshold, and tip and spread like wildfire. It has great amusing examples, and may help insight into how electric cars and renewable energy may develop, and also how acceptance of climate science may improve.

    Part of me is optimistic that we are close to a tipping point on electric cars, and also wider acceptance of agw climate science, especially looking at electric car developments and continually emerging evidence of increasing temperatures. Although the cynical part of me thinks the climate denialists have made things impossible, and too many people are just dumb or emotively committed to political ideologies. I seem to have an internal war over this, positive, negative, positive, negative.

    I have another interesting book but haven’t all of it read yet “Adventures in the Anthropocene, by Gaia Vince’ on climate change and change in other biological systems etc, with human interest stories on specific cases, and reference to impacts and changes to atmosphere, oceans, mountains, rivers, farms, grasslands, savanahs, deserts, geology etc

  5. 5
    nigelj says:

    A steady state economy is an important idea, and according to Wikipedia, is” an economy made up of a constant stock of physical wealth (capital) and a constant population size. In effect, such an economy does not grow.” in other words it has zero economic growth and zero population growth. Whew!

    Killian has a problem here, because he believes 10 billion or more people is just fine. So he is conflicted and needs to clarify.

    Personally I don’t buy into so called holistic, sweeping ideologies like “steady state economy” and other ideologies, because I think they are massive over simplifications.

    What we can say IMO is:

    1) Lower or zero population growth makes huge sense to me and even falling population could be ok within reason, although we have to be careful not to enter some spiral. Zero population growth reduces demand pressure, less pollution, less resource use, less human conflict, and when there are so many positives and no strong argument that the world needs 12 billion people, it is “case closed” as far as I’m concerned.

    2)The question of zero economic gdp growth is more difficult. However it may be academic. Rates of growth have been falling in developed western economies since the 1960’s, and are heading towards zero anyway or at least low growth. This is despite all attempts to boost growth by money printing, QE, lowering taxes, low interest rates, and different political ideologies. This is possibly due to saturating markets and other complicated reasons.

    Remember gdp growth is increased output, and is generated by science, technology and innovation, and / or discovering resources, and also demand pressure. It’s possible ability to make new breakthrough technologies that generate big gains in output are decreasing slightly. The Economist.com had some evidence on this. New discoveries of resources have been decreasing on the whole for decades.

    Demand pressure may be decreasing, as people decide they have enough basic main appliances and look more to personal hobbies that are low consuming. Remember in the 1950s there was huge demand for all the new appliances and so huge growth, now its just new smartphones and gadgets, there is a difference in scale in here. Environmental law might also be reducing gdp growth, although regulation can actually lead to innovation, so I’m not sure. So it just appears to me growth is at least on a downward trajectory, on the evidence.

    It’s not as if the western world is short of “stuff”. The problem is more some people at the lower skilled end missing out, but that is a political and distribution problem.

    The picture is of course different in poor countries, and anyone that suggests they should have zero growth is almost quite evil in intent. Even if global wealth was massively re-distributed, which is unlikely to happen and understandably so, it would not be enough to fix the problem of poor countries. They need at least some gdp growth.

    Maybe it’s more a question of what sort of growth we have. If its growth in services output this seems fine, as environmental impacts are low. A lot of growth in industrial output has potential environmental impacts, but many can be mitigated with pollution controls so this becomes a technical, legal and political issue. Other forms of growth are problematic and harder to mitigate, especially if they lead to more use of fertilisers and pesticides, etc. Gmo organisms can promote better output that doesn’t necessarily cause problems.

    My gut feeling is the western world should aim for medium growth rates of 2% – 3%, BUT with much more focus on increasing growth in the least damaging areas. Growth above 3% is insanity, and unlikely anyway, and as I said it may fall towards 1% ultimately anyway, and this may not be a bad thing, or cause for panic.

    Zero growth however could be a problem. Lack of forward momentum could send the economy into a downwards spiral of decay. It would also be difficult to keep things exactly at zero growth.

    However zero growth is theoretically possible within capitalist system simply by forcing it legislatively in various ways, or with monetary policy, and as stated may be heading towards zero anyway.

    I don’t think its really a question of debating zero growth, versus some other level of growth. Its more about controls on pollution, and encouraging sustainable activities, sensible more specific economic polices, lower consuming lifestyles ( within what is practically feasible) and changed values, and less single minded focus on profit, and growth will end up finding its own natural level, whatever it is but its going to be low growth I think.

  6. 6
    nigelj says:

    One further comment on steady state economies. Yes of course infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet. It’s more about what happens in the short to medium term future.

  7. 7
    Killian says:

    #1 and #2,

    Neither of you make the slightest attempt to “get it.” I am saying the same things recently I have been saying for years. And others here, and elsewhere, grasp them just fine. Even nigel has never claimed he couldn’t understand.

    You are making yourselves look silly.

  8. 8
    nigelj says:

    I agree with BPLs comments at 2 above.

    I have never lied about a thing Killian said or put words in his mouth. I have never said Killan says ‘abc’ when he didn’t. I have limited time and raise points and I make statements, it doesn’t mean I’m implying Killian said it. Surely this is obvious? People do the same to me, and I don’t get uptight.

    However on numerous occasions Killian has said “nigel says” when I haven’t. Killian claimed I said “nigel says say nothing to the public about possible dangers of rapid sea level rise” when I said the complete opposite in two previous posts he was referring to. I said that “we should communicate this, but carefully…”. However I let his stupid comments wash over. His mistakes and inconsistencies are so numerous, I assume they are obvious to all.

    I don’t like having to write posts like this, and they are distracting, but when someone repeatedly falsely accuses me of lying and calls me names, I ultimately have to respond to protect myself.

    This doesn’t mean I dismiss everything Killian says, but for gods sake control your anger Killian.

  9. 9
    Mr. Know It All says:

    4 – nigelj

    “I enjoyed the book “The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell”.This is an analysis of when ideas, trends and social behaviour cross a threshold, and tip and spread like wildfire.”

    I think things spread like wildfire when a product or idea people like and want is made available for a reasonable cost. Two examples are smart phones and FF powered cars. This would also apply to EVs, RE, etc. What is considered “reasonable cost” to one person may be unreasonable to another, and may include factors other than money.

    Here are a couple of books on atmospheric radiation, but I haven’t read either one:

    https://www.amazon.com/First-Course-Atmospheric-Radiation-2nd/dp/0972903313/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

    https://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Atmospheric-Radiation-Introduction-Problems/dp/3527405038/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1512373782&sr=1-1&keywords=Fundamentals+of+Atmospheric+Radiation%3A+An+Introduction+with+400+Problems

    Killian, what are a couple of examples of sustainable societies today?

  10. 10
    Thomas says:

    It’s probably best to trust your own instincts on issues of speaking truth to power. This end of year period often signals a joyous and yet rebellious final two weeks of the month, when the urge is strong to speak out for a deep personal intention, and when for most people the existing social status quo is even more in question than it has been in recent months.

    As we head into 2018 and the further political polarization likely to accompany the mid-term USA elections, we have quite a lot of ethical searching to do in order to figure out where indeed we do stand, and what we are willing, in the face of a conservative agenda to preserve oligarchic power at all costs, to do about our most bottom-line beliefs?

    As we head into a largely uncertain future for the earth and our collective place within it, the time is indeed come to stand up and be counted, wherever your own beliefs may land, for the sake of your children, your children’s children, and your children’s children’s children and everyone you already know.

    yes/no/don’t know?

  11. 11
    MA Rodger says:

    RSS are first off the mark posting a TLT anomaly for November with a temperature anomaly at +0.55ºC. This brings to an end the startling rise of the last 4 months (that hit +0.85ºC in September) and restores the anomaly to levels seen in the early part of the year. Nov 2017 is the 3rd warmest November on the RSS TLT record, behind 2015 (+0.63ºC) and 2016 (+0.58ºC) and ahead of 4th place 2009 (+0.43ºC).
    November 2017 is the 45th warmest anomaly in the full RSS all-month record.
    For RSS TLT, 2017 is now firmly in 2nd spot for the full year as it would take a December anomaly above +1.90ºC to best 2016 and below -0.04ºC to drop below 1998 into 3rd. Second spot for a non-El Nino year is surely “scorchyissimo!!!!!”
    The table below ranks years by the Jan-to-Nov average.

    …….. Jan-Nov Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.77ºC … … … +0.74ºC … … …1st
    2017 .. +0.64ºC
    1998 .. +0.60ºC … … … +0.58ºC … … …2nd
    2010 .. +0.59ºC … … … +0.57ºC … … …3rd
    2015 .. +0.53ºC … … … +0.54ºC … … …4th
    2005 .. +0.44ºC … … … +0.43ºC … … …5th
    2014 .. +0.42ºC … … … +0.42ºC … … …6th
    2002 .. +0.39ºC … … … +0.38ºC … … …8th
    2007 .. +0.38ºC … … … +0.37ºC … … …9th
    2003 .. +0.38ºC … … … +0.39ºC … … …7th
    2013 .. +0.37ºC … … … +0.36ºC … … …10th

  12. 12
    zebra says:

    nigel #5,

    Back before Thomas acquired some self-control and stopped flooding the bandwidth with quantity rather than quality, I said to him:

    “Saying everything is the same as saying nothing.”

    Now, you and Killian, each in your own way, are doing the same thing.

    You both make some claim to be some kind of “designers”. I don’t know your histories, but in your present incarnations, you are as far from that as one can be.

    Designers– visual designers, engineering designers, grant-seeking experiment designers, whatever– have to follow some rules. They have to be able to communicate/justify/defend a testable goal, and then communicate/justify/defend how that is to be achieved.

    What you just did here was to throw out a bunch of “on the one hand on the other hand” statements and then reach some arbitrary yet still equivocal conclusion.

    So far, over a long period and lots of words, you have communicated that

    1. You don’t want things to change too much.
    2. The way to achieve that is by not changing things too much.

    I’m pretty sure that many here would agree with me that in the next few hundred years, that would lead to an outcome we would not prefer. They might also agree that it’s really just circular– like Killian, your goal is there to justify your “method”.

    Now, it would be proper to ask Killian, as I did with Nemesis, I believe:

    “Even if we can feed 12 billions with permaculture/localism/whatever, why would we want to– what’s the benefit?”

    But how is what you are saying different? What’s the benefit of 7 billion people? What’s the benefit of “GDP” growth– 1%, 2%, whatever? And how do you, concretely and quantitatively, justify your answer?

    What, Mr Designer, is your vision for humanity in two or three hundred years? Other than “something like now, but, you know, nicer”? We might all accept that, but it ain’t gonna happen… rather, the opposite.

  13. 13
    Ric Merritt says:

    pete best #330 in Nov Unforced variations wants to know why John Christy can’t lose his job.

    If Christy kept a secret stash of real data, then published falsified data, that malfeasance would be grounds for investigation and probably termination. Howling for his scalp just because he’s a pitiful hack who’s been shown wrong repeatedly is an astoundingly stupid strategy, and would encourage ripping apart science for every wrong reason anybody could think of.

  14. 14
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @9, yes smartphones took off when they became cheap, but I think other things came into it as well like reliability, user friendly, small size and the fast web browsers.

    Remember plenty of people buy expensive smartphones as well.

    I think electric cars are close to being remarkably similar in growth patterns.Prices are definitely affordable for vast numbers of people even if not everyone. Prices are close to a typical middle quality hatchback. I think people have held back more just because they are still new and different, but people are getting accustomed to them now.

    Electric cars are also getting quick to charge, user friendly and the Nissan leaf electric car just came in as the most reliable car of the year in New Zealand Consumer Magazine survey! Once the public absorb these things, and it takes a little time, a tipping point will be reached and growth of sales will be exponential.

    Thanks for the tip on the book, but staring at maths equations over xmas is not lighting my fire!

  15. 15
    Mr. Know It All says:

    One clarification, the US isn’t just a democracy, it’s a constitutional republic, as explained here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiKAs8Po24I

    and here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_government_of_the_United_States

  16. 16
    Russell says:

    10
    Fortunately for the sake of our children’s children’s children, the West Wing has decided to prioritize food science policy.

  17. 17
    nigelj says:

    The RSS temperature graph posted by MA Rodger doesn’t show any sign of the so called pause. You know the satellite temperatures the sceptics say are all important. I hear Greenland also currently has astonishing temperatures.

    The general media like Fox, CBS, Time Warner etc have a DUTY as far as I’m concerned to be printing this RSS graph, and not on the back page either, the bloody useless, cowardly, cynical, ignorant twots.

  18. 18
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    The weather where I live (Norway) us just getting more and more weird. Extreme rainfall events are the new normal, all the year. The (probably ordered from high up, this is an oil producing country) attempts by weather forecasters to make this misery look amusing are simply absurd.

  19. 19
    Gorgon Zola says:

    For those who missed it:

    Bart Verheggen’s post, coauthor of the underlying paper, on the blogosphere Vs. the actual science..

    https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/there-once-was-a-polar-bear-science-vs-the-blogosphere/

  20. 20
    Killian says:

    #8 nigelj said more B.S.

    I agree with BPLs comments at 2 above.

    What a shock. Two people with loose relationships with the truth agreeing with each other.

    I have never lied about a thing Killian said or put words in his mouth.

    C’mon, man, it’s been demonstrated over and over and over. Get this: Argumentation by assertion is childish.

    However on numerous occasions Killian has said “nigel says” when I haven’t.

    But, as always, you offer no evidence, let alone proof.

    Killian claimed I said “nigel says say nothing to the public about possible dangers of rapid sea level rise” when I said the complete opposite in two previous posts

    Then where is the link?

    he was referring to. I said that “we should communicate this, but carefully…”. However I let his stupid comments wash over.

    Carefully and not at all are the same in this case. You don’t understand this, nor the use of hyperbole to make a salient point. Carefully has gotten us where we are. I likely said something like this in that post. I always quote directly what I am responding to, so, no, I do not misquote, lie, or distort. Every one of my posts does this.

    Go away, troll.

    I don’t like having to write posts like this

    Don’t believethat either because, to state the obvious, there was no gun to your head, and no point in writing it: You are reinforcing what is already known.

    This doesn’t mean I dismiss everything Killian says, but for gods sake control your anger Killian.

    You wish I was angry. Not even close. Your posts aren’t worthy of my anger. My responses to you show just how poor your rhetoric is. Learn or don’t. Grow up or don’t. Stop being a troll or don’t. Stop being a capitalist apologist or don’t. Accept limits mean an end to growth in the current situation or don’t. Learn what is actually sustainable or don’t. Stop lying with your Straw Men, et al., or don’t.

    Up to you.

  21. 21
    Killian says:

    #4 nigelj said I enjoyed the book “The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell.”

    Interesting given your consistent insistence, “People won’t!”

    This is called Cognitive Dissonance. Also, poor analysis.

  22. 22
    Glen Koehler says:

    RE #11 Interesting to see that relationship between 2017 and 2016 in RSS values tracks almost exactly NASA GISS. Year to year relationships for other years not so similar.

    My amateur spreadsheet tracking and projecting the monthly NASA GISS values suggests that while 2018 and 2019 are likely to be cooler than 2017, they may also be the last years on Earth with global average land and ocean surface temperature anomaly below 1C above pre-industrial average (using 1850-1900 proxy).

    By 2021, an upswing in solar cycle, in addition to continued and accelerating long-term trend suggests that except for volcano or strong La Nina, ALL subsequent years will be above +1C. By 2024, even volcano or La Nina may not be enough to create another sub +1C year.

    Thus, it paints a picture of less dramatic temperature headlines for the next few years (so Ted Cruz can once again claim global warming has ended). But that is followed by a 2021-2015 growth spurt by the end of which we are at 1.26C.

    By 2027, increasing long-term trend (forced by tuning to RCP8.5) overwhelms solar cycle such that every year is warmer than the last (again, no accounting for volcanoes, PDO etc.)

    You’d have to think if every year is warmer than the last, even Republican politicians could see the folly of ignoring the writing on the wall. But don’t hold your breath. Who would have ever predicted we would have gotten this far with climate denial and ignorance still so strong?

    The home-grown GISS tracker is tuned to match IPCC (2013) RCP8.5 long-term trend (because that’s the best match to current emissions trajectory), solar cycle and short-term (9-month) ONI/ENSO sea surface temp forecasts, but no accounting for PDO, AMO, AO or NAO. No doubt it is simplistic and incomplete, but also true that its estimates of yearly average GISS approximate the end of year NASA summary months in advance, and track Gavin Schmidt’s midyear projections very closely, so it must doing something right.

    The spreadsheet has us at 1.5C > 1850-1900 by 2033, and +2C by 2044 (because that’s what RCP8.5 calls for), = threshold tipping point values only 15 and 26 years from now.

    Getting past the number crunching, it summarizes the impact of temperature anomalies as:
    +1.5 – “Systems are cracking” (e.g. Greenland, WAIS, permafrost. Not that they haven’t already started cracking by 1c)
    +2C = “It happens” (citing Forrest Gump, keeping it clean for our younger readers)
    +2.5C (2054? if we are that stupid) = “It hits the fan”
    +3C (2066?) = “Holy Cow”
    +4C (2087?) = “Deep Dung”, or “Game over” (paraphrasing Kevin Anderson and World Bank 2012 in’Turn Down the Heat’).

    This holiday season, talk to the deity of your choice. We need all the help we can get. Of course, it is all really up to us. I don’t think we can count on Elon Musk coming up with scaleable atmospheric CO2 scrubbers powered by Lockheed Martin modular fusion reactors. If there is no cavalry coming to the rescue, the solution is in the details and the wide scope of revising our energy generation and use systems. I do find some hope in that if we were effective enough to screw up the planetary climate system without even trying to do so, we can be equally effective at intentionally correcting the error. And while we are cleaning up that mess, we can improve a lot of other things at the same time. Make Earth Great Again!

  23. 23
    Killian says:

    #5 nigelj said Another ignorant thing.

    Really, can’t he educate himself before speaking?

    Nigel, dude, get a clue: That one *can* speak creates no requirement *to* speak. Really, just sit on your fingers once in a while. Step away from the keyboard.

    Killian has a problem here, because he believes 10 billion or more people is just fine.

    Lie. I have made exactly zero comments regarding 10 billion being economically feasible.

    So he is conflicted and needs to clarify.

    How so since I never said what you claim? I assume you are attempting another lie, this time by implication: I advocate Steady-State, so saying we can feed ten billion means I also advocate a higher population. However, both claims/assumptions are lies. I have never said 10 billion is a good idea, favorable, wanted, or a goal or any other thing of the sort. I have said merely that we can feed 10 billion. Only in your muddled head does that equal advocacy.

    Nor did I advocate for S-S, nor any of the other concepts I posted at the same time. In fact, the use of “at least” in that post should have clued you in that I was not supporting them at all, but was suggesting only they are far closer to what a sustainable economy would look like than capitalism. Which is what I said. Yet, your muddled head hears that as advocacy.

    The picture is of course different in poor countries, and anyone that suggests they should have zero growth is almost quite evil in intent.

    Tell us, who said that?

    I don’t think its really a question of debating zero growth, versus some other level of growth. Its more about controls on pollution, and encouraging sustainable activities, sensible more specific economic polices, lower consuming lifestyles ( within what is practically feasible) and changed values, and less single minded focus on profit, and growth will end up finding its own natural level, whatever it is but its going to be low growth I think.

    Word salad. And Bauxite. (I note you never responded re: bauxite. Good choice for you, else further Cognitive Dissonance.)

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Killian says:

    MKIA,
    Only aboriginals.

  26. 26
    Solar Jim says:

    Can any scientist associated with RC provide a reference(s) for the GHG equivalent of methane as compared with CO2 on a molecular basis? I am a little tired of reading (such as in today’s HuffPo) that the factor is 30, which I suspect is off by a couple orders of magnitude since no time period was stated.

  27. 27
    nigelj says:

    zebra @12

    “You don’t want things to change too much.”

    What you have just is just wrong. I specifically said we need to aim for zero population growth globally, even a falling population, and accept lower gdp growth. That’s considerable change. If you don’t believe me ask your average Republican, ha ha.

    As far as I can gather, you want America to have a population of 10 million people, total. Although like Killian, you are never specific, and I have no idea if this was a hypothetical number, or real number. I don’t see it needing to be that low, and why you have taken such an extreme position, and in no way have you justified that specific number, and how you would get it that low. You claim I don’t quantify things, when you plainly don’t quantify things yourself other than to pick numbers out of a hat!

    You have made no comment on what gdp growth rates you prefer, and yet criticise my views on gdp growth. Come on criticism is not enough, you need an alternative theory of your own.

    “What’s the benefit of “GDP” growth– 1%, 2%, whatever? And how do you, concretely and quantitatively, justify your answer?”

    If we didn’t have gdp growth we would still be living in caves. Ultimately economic growth is something we do because 1) we are driven by our evolutionary instincts and 2)it makes us happy 3) it makes life easier. There are actually hundreds of reasons especially if you are a poor person and there are billions of poor people in the world.

    “Even if we can feed 12 billions with permaculture/localism/whatever, why would we want to– what’s the benefit?”

    I have just SAID we should have a smaller population. I said I’m not sure of an ideal number, but my instinct is the world would do ok with a total global population of about 2 or 3 billion. Our technology is formidable with current numbers so its hard to see how 12 billion would be significantly better. But if the numbers were too small, we could loose ability to produce new types of technology, because economies of large scale are important.

    I think the issue would be to look at pollution levels from farming and industry, and this would be a key determinant of an ideal size. My instinct is about 3 billion is feasible, but I admit its only instinct, If you can calculate such a thing go ahead and calculate.

    I think your numbers of just 10 million in America (and presumably a very small global population) appear too small, and you haven’t really explained why you arrive at that number. But I’m open minded about numbers.

    Again you are possibly over designing the issue. IMO the important thing is to aim to reduce rates of growth, and adopt good environmental laws, etc and as things change we will get the data we then need to determine optimal levels better.

    However it may be useful to have a series of quantified short term / medium term goals. Right now I think our goal should be zero population growth and simply accepting lower gdp growth rates as ok. When we get to this point, we can worry about the next step.

  28. 28
    nigelj says:

    Killian @23, I’m still no clearer what you think about population growth. You wanted a discussion, but refuse to take a clear position.You give no real commentary on the issue, and you still haven’t said whether you think population should just go on increasing (if it can be fed) stop growing asap, or decrease in absolute numbers.

    Everyone is none the wiser on what you think. Remember its not just about finding enough food, its about pollution impacts and so on and resource use.

    I think our immediate aim should be to reduce population growth to zero as soon as we can, really soon, and this can only benefit climate and other issues. I’m comfortable with a global population of about 3 billion, and I have given at least some explanation of why. Zebra thinks a lot less.

    I’m also no clearer what you think about gdp growth. You asked for discussion, yet give no commentary on the issues, no analysis, and no indication of a preferred level.

    At least I have given some commentary, and I think about 2% globally is ok medium term, but less in western countries, and more in poor countries, and it needs to be certain types of growth (eg not use of fossil fuels or massive quantities of fertilisers and the like). Maybe that’s a complex answer, but I have explained why its a complex issue, without a simple one line answer and single equation. At least I have said something, rather than engaging in a stream of abuse and massively contradictory statements.

  29. 29
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Sea levels steady as she goes, no worries:
    https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/maldives/lhaviyani-atoll/kurendhoo/maldives-kuredu.html

    25 – Killian
    Only abos? WOW! I have not followed your argument too closely – are you proposing that humans should live a lifestyle similar to abos? Are you an abo? Do you live like an abo? (Doubt it since you’re on Al’s internet.)

    14 – nigelj
    I said reasonable cost, not necessarily cheap. I don’t consider $500 for a smart phone reasonable, but many people do, so they voluntarily spend their money to buy one. EVs will grow, but need improvements to compete with FF vehicle sales.

    15 – MKIA (me)
    10 – Thomas
    Comment 15 was meant for Thomas who apparently thought the US form of government was oligarchy. I had wrongly said in an unpublished comment that the US had a democracy, not an oligarchy. Comment 15 was a correction – we have a republic, not a democracy.

  30. 30
    Marco says:

    Solar Jim @26:
    See https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/understanding-global-warming-potentials
    GWP of methane is 28-36 for a 100-year period, 84-87 for a 20-year period.

  31. 31
    Øyvind says:

    #5 solar Jim

    Table TS.2 in IPCC AR 4 says 3.7*10-4 W /m2 ppb -1 for methane
    1.4*10-5 W/m2 ppb-1 for CO2
    The baseline for CO2 calculation is 378 ppm
    The relative efficiency is then 26, not too far from 30

  32. 32
    Killian says:

    #12 zebra said Killian make[s] some claim to be some kind of “designers”.

    Claim? Had the training, got the certificate, founded an organization, trained others. Go ahead, try the wayback machine.

    Seriously, this forum is filling up with horse manure. Watch your mouth, son.

    I don’t know your histories

    Yet you engage in character assassination without any cause whatsoever. Brilliant. And illegal in many places.

    but in your present incarnations, you are as far from that as one can be.

    No, I am still a designer. And you are making claims you cannot possibly support. It’s called defamation. I *am* a designer with designs in place in Michigan, Washington and California.

    Designers– have to follow some rules.

    Principles and ethics, in my case. Specific design elements have their own specific issues.

    They have to be able to communicate/justify/defend a testable goal, and then communicate/justify/defend how that is to be achieved.

    And? My installations still exist, so…

    So far, over a long period and lots of words, you have communicated that

    1. You don’t want things to change too much.
    2. The way to achieve that is by not changing things too much.

    Accurate.

    like Killian, your goal is there to justify your “method”.

    I don’t have a method, so…

    As for what I do propose, why do I need to justify that with any of you? Why would an architect justify his design to untrained passersby? No, I am here to educate. To share what I have analyzed. To share solutions. Justify? There is nothing to justify: Design emerges via observation, measurement, research, and, most of all, following principles and patterns gleaned from Nature.

    There’s nothing to justify, just to teach, share. The chance of your feedback being germane is quite small. Should it happen, it would be considered. It’s a principle: Accept feedback.

    Now, it would be proper to ask Killian, as I did with Nemesis, I believe:

    “Even if we can feed 12 billions with permaculture/localism/whatever, why would we want to– what’s the benefit?”

    Why? I never said we should. Rather than worrying about whether I can design, perhaps you should concern yourself with English reading comprehension practice.

  33. 33
    Russell says:

    Nigel:
    the HuffPO got the order of magnitude right for a change- the IPCC number I recall for the CH4 to CO2 forcing ratio is ~22 to 1, with a few decades of atmospheric residence needed to oxidize the former into the latter.

    Grist seems to have taken the lead lately in the gonzo environmental journalism race.

  34. 34
    MA Rodger says:

    And UAH has posted for November with a TLT anomaly at +0.36ºC, like RSS TLT a big drop on recent months (that in UAH hit +0.63ºC in October) and a return to the anomaly values thro’ the early months of 2017. Nov 2017 is the 2nd warmest November on the UAH TLT record (in RSS it was 3rd), behind 2016 (+0.46ºC) and ahead of 2015 (+0.33ºC).
    November 2017 is the 37th warmest anomaly in the full UAH TLT all-month record (45th warmest in RSS).
    For UAH TLT, 2017 is now firmly in 3rd spot for the full year (in RSS it is 2nd) as it would take a December anomaly above +1.70ºC to best 1998 and below -0.10ºC to drop below 2010 into 4th. And even third spot for a non-El Nino year (behind two strong El Nino years andahead another El Nino year in 4th) surely deserves the accolade of “Scorchyissimo!!!!!”
    The table below ranks years by the Jan-to-Nov average.

    …….. Jan-Nov Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.53ºC … … … +0.51ºC … … …1st
    1998 .. +0.50ºC … … … +0.48ºC … … …2nd
    2017 .. +0.37ºC
    2010 .. +0.36ºC … … … +0.33ºC … … …3rd
    2015 .. +0.25ºC … … … +0.27ºC … … …4th
    2002 .. +0.22ºC … … … +0.22ºC … … …5th
    2005 .. +0.21ºC … … … +0.20ºC … … …6th
    2007 .. +0.18ºC … … … +0.16ºC … … …9th
    2014 .. +0.17ºC … … … +0.18ºC … … …8th
    2003 .. +0.17ºC … … … +0.19ºC … … …7th
    2013 .. +0.13ºC … … … +0.13ºC … … …10th

  35. 35
    nigelj says:

    Killian @21

    #4 nigelj said I enjoyed the book “The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell.”

    “Interesting given your consistent insistence, “People won’t!”

    “This is called Cognitive Dissonance. Also, poor analysis.”

    Not at all. Just because some things reach tipping points doesn’t mean your theories will.

  36. 36
    Gorgon Zola says:

    #26

    It’s 35.7 over a 100 year time frame..

    Cheers..

  37. 37
    nigelj says:

    Killian wanted a discussion on steady state economies, and now refuses to give any real commentary on the issues, and refuses state his preferences on rates of population and gdp growth. This is just annoying and of no help.

    As I have already explained, in terms of climate and general environmental issues we need to freeze population growth asap, and reduce global numbers ultimately to about 2-3 billion (this is just my guesstimate, and a very long term exercise, and a bit outside of the immediate climate problem. It depends on levels of pollution, resource limits etc and requires research).

    The western world is heading for about 1% gdp growth. It should be higher in developing countries to help alleviate poverty.

    As I said before but some people don’t want to get it and move beyond simple numbers, it also depends a lot on what type of growth. We have to get specific about sectors of the economy, and implications because there are big differences between agriculture, industry and services and very different sorts of solutions.

    For example, agriculture is a huge generator of pollutants and soil degradation. IMO the solution is permaculture, but there is no reason this cannot have a large high tech component as well for as long as we can maintain this. It will need a high tech component to maintain reasonably high yields. So we reduce growth of the bad stuff but try to keep yields high in clever ways as Holland does.

    Heavy industry is polluting, but pollutants are easier to deal with to some extent. The difficult CO2 emissions could be dealt with by improving natural carbon sinks.

    Electricity generation is blessed with many options, some more damaging than others. The ultimate constraint is resource use. But right now the priority is to deal with dangerous climate change, so we want high growth of renewable energy as the most obvious answer.

    Services are by nature less environmentally damaging, and so the response and growth rates are different again.

    This is complicated, like solving several different related equations.

    Or we could embrace a simpler solution, and go half way back to stone age as certain people advocate, while desperately pretending they don’t. Or wait a dozen centuries until global population falls to a few millions.

    Take your pick people.

  38. 38
    emerson tibbets says:

    I just turned to the December thread and see nothing but postings and mentions of Killian, Killian, Killian! Can someone post a short explanation of why Killian is the subject of so much discussion so I don’t have to trace back through many, many postings.

  39. 39
    Steve Emmerson says:

    #15 Mr. Know It All said “One clarification, the US isn’t just a democracy, it’s a constitutional republic…”

    I’m not sure what MKIA was clarifying, but in any case…

    In theory, the US is a democratic republic. In practice, however, the US acts more like an oligarchy — at least according to the research performed by Martin Gilens (professor of politics at Princeton) and Benjamin Page (the Gordon S. Fulcher Professor of Decision Making at Northwestern University). For more information, see https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf.

    I was saddened that their finding weren’t disseminated more broadly.

  40. 40
    nigelj says:

    Zebra and Killian, since both of you have rubbished my commentary on GDP growth In the USA relentlessly falling since the 1950s, for once read some economic data as below in the graph. Just read something and stop blathering on. You did say I should quantify the issue. Well here it is quantified!

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/06/trump-defies-data-with-6-percent-gdp-growth-forecast.html

    So the problem you people see of high growth is falling anyway, without your wild schemes and hand wringing. Do good sensible environmental stuff, and the worst components of this growth will fall further. You don’t have to redesign the entire global system, just do sensible stuff.

    Of course Trump thinks its going to increase to 6% due to his voodoo economic tax cuts. We can all have a good laugh about that. Its not going to happen, not for any length of time.

  41. 41
    Thomas says:

    15 Mr. Know It All asserts some special point about the USA. Yes justlike France, Russia, and China and south africa and taiwan and and and and .. the US is a “constitutional republic” …. like wow “ain’t you just so special” and a really “big deal”? (shaking my head)

    Australia is a Constitutional Monarchy Commonwealth …. similar to Virginia … whoopee bloody do!

    The Constitution of Australia is the supreme law under which the government of the Commonwealth of Australia operates, including its relationship to the States of Australia.

    OMG we’re all gonna die!!! America is a Constitutional Republic and we’re not!!!

    (sigh)

  42. 42
    Killian says:

    #27 nigelj said zebra @12

    “You don’t want things to change too much.”

    What you have just is just wrong. I specifically said we need to aim for zero population growth globally, even a falling population, and accept lower gdp growth. That’s considerable change. If you don’t believe me ask your average Republican, ha ha.

    Zebra’s characterization is correct. You are tinkering.

    Although like Killian, you are never specific

    Grow up, both of you: Do not drag a third party into your stupidities… and lies. Never specific. Idiocy.

    What’s the benefit of “GDP” growth– 1%, 2%, whatever? And how do you, concretely and quantitatively, justify your answer?”

    If we didn’t have gdp growth we would still be living in caves.

    The ignorance in this statement is difficult to quantify. Here are two definitions of GDP:

    The OECD defines GDP as “an aggregate measure of production equal to the sum of the gross values added of all resident and institutional units engaged in production (plus any taxes, and minus any subsidies, on products not included in the value of their outputs).”[2] An IMF publication states that “GDP measures the monetary value of final goods and services – that is, those that are bought by the final user – produced in a country in a given period of time (say a quarter or a year).”

    Neither of those apply in any way to Commons-based societies, and all societies were Commons-based until the dawn of agriculture, most until about 4k years ago, and some still. GDP “growth” had zero to do with human development. When it became measureable in the sense of the above definitions, it instantly led to unsustainable societies.

    Here’s new research on the GINI Coefficient:

    The introduction of agriculture led to designated social classes. Horticulturalists (small-scale, low-intensity farmers) had a median Gini of .27, while larger-scale agricultural societies had a median Gini of .35.

    But, the researchers unexpectedly found that while societies in North America and Mesoamerica (the New World) plateaued at .35, inequality kept rising in the Middle East, China, Europe and Egypt (the Old World). Eventually the median Gini reached about .59 in these regions.

    The researchers believe domestic animals may have been a main factor in the difference between the New World and Old World.

    Old World farmers had the luxury of cattle, horses and oxen to do the labor of plowing fields, and carrying goods and people longer distances. This increased efficiency allowed farmers to expand and create larger plots, and stockpile foods. They also established groups of warriors to protect large territories and conquer new land.

    The land and animal assets could also be passed down to future generations, allowing some families to accumulate even more wealth over time, while the poor struggled to do the same.

    “These processes increased inequality by operating on both ends of the wealth distribution, increasing the holdings of the rich while decreasing the holdings of the poor,” the researchers write.

    https://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2017/11/researchers-measure-inequality-caused-agriculture-ancient-world

    As you can see, your ownership is good” and “Capitalism is good” mantras are basically B.S., as is your GDP assertion, nigel. What should be prima facie at this point for any human being continues to allude you two.

    Ultimately economic growth is something we do because 1) we are driven by our evolutionary instincts

    I don’t think there is a limit to your ignorance. Again, Commonses for 290,000 years, and they still exist, *and* they are the only sustainable societies on the planet. But Capitalism and growth are our “nature.”

    Lordy…

  43. 43
    PeacefulJeff says:

    IF I understand the slow thermal inertia of the climate system correctly, the California fires, this hurricane season, and other extreme weather we have seen in the past few years, all those things that have been exacerbated by climate change are the result of GHG put into the air 30-50 years ago. Which means even if we stop all GHG in 10 years, we still have 40-60 years of temp increases before they level off. Yet, I don’t recall ever reading about thermal inertia of the climate in any articles I’ve read by journalists about any of these climate-driven events. Is my understanding of climate inertia wrong, or do journalists just rarely mention it? Thanks!

  44. 44
    Thomas says:

    29
    Mr. Know It All says: about 25 – Killian
    “Only abos? WOW! I have not followed your argument too closely – are you proposing that humans should live a lifestyle similar to abos? Are you an abo? Do you live like an abo? (Doubt it since you’re on Al’s internet.)”

    Mmmm, interesting insulting/abusive racism and bigotry there. Saying the above is the equivalent of walking down Martin Luther King Blvd in any US city and crying out “Hey nigger, f”’ you!”

    Maybe MKIA might like to “retract”?

    and RE 15 – MKIA (me)
    10 – Thomas
    Comment 15 was meant for Thomas who apparently thought the US form of government was oligarchy.

    Huh? LOTE?

    as The Don would say: “Sad.”

  45. 45
    patrick says:

    Fall AGU online on-demand registration page with form.

    https://onlinexperiences.com/scripts/Server.nxp?LASCmd=AI:4;F:QS!10100&ShowKey=43296

    All 90 sessions in the AGU On-Demand program will be available on AGU’s YouTube channel by early January.

  46. 46
    nigelj says:

    Killian @42

    By your own definition gdp growth is simply an increase in output of goods and services. Ever since humans discovered tools, they have been doing this, just at different rates. Even hunter gatherer culture grew in output, just very slowly. It was the same in medieval Europe after the fall of Rome.

    But I agree the big acceleration in gdp came with farming, and it did lead to social classes and inequality and higher production of waste and higher environmental impacts. In fact Brian Rudimann has theorised that farming was the start of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and is a factor in the unusually stable interglacial period.

    Basic anthropology suggests the invention of farming may have been partly a result of status seeking along with the discovery of grain crops. I just cannot see how humans are ever going to go back to the egalitarian society of hunter gatherers. Maybe I’m getting old and cynical, but too much has changed.

    Remember status seeking was not entirely absent from all hunter gatherer society, and the seeds were lying dormant. Even ape and chimpanzee society has status and complicated status at that.

    However while eliminating all inequality looks hard to me, we do need to reduce it and get at least some way back to less inequality of the reasonably low levels in the 1960’s if we can. Egalitarianism is a good value if sensibly interpreted,we don’t have to be all equal, just knock off the extremes. People might want to read Thomas Pickettys analysis of inequality.

    High inequality is not just a social issue, but can cause economic stagnation, and high levels of stress and anxiety. And obviously excessive staus seeking cements in a desire for continued fossil fuel burning as this has itself made materialism and status seeking more prevalent, in a vicious kind of self reinforcing cycle particularly noticeable after the industrial revolution. However industry has a good side as well, and we have to weigh all factors and try and find a solution that makes sense.

  47. 47
    nigelj says:

    Killian@42, another comment. As you stated farming is where inequality emerged etc. So when you promote permaculture technology, you are still accepting a form of farming and I suspect inequality. Interesting that you cannot see this.

    Only hunter gatherer culture guarantees prefect egalitarianism, and of course its not viable in a world of billions, and would not be wanted anyway. Its better to focus on whats viable culturally and politically in the next 50 years, especially in relation to the climate problem, which is why I promote the things I do. It’s not total, absolute dismissal of your or Zebras ideas.

    We need a simple five point plan that looks at everything as I have already proposed. People relate to five point plans, not huge complex lists, or over simplified partial answers to problems.

  48. 48
    nigelj says:

    More-severe climate model predictions could be the most accurate
    December 6, 2017
    Carnegie Institution for Science

    Summary:The climate models that project greater amounts of warming this century are the ones that best align with observations of the current climate, according to a article. Their findings suggest that the models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on average, may be underestimating future warming.

    Caldeira added. “Our study indicates that if emissions follow a commonly used business-as-usual scenario, there is a 93 percent chance that global warming will exceed 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century. Previous studies had put this likelihood at 62 percent.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171206132220.htm

  49. 49
    MA Rodger says:

    Solar Jim @26,
    Noting the comment @30,31&36 replying to you: concerning the GHG potential of methane, when you say “on a molecular basis,” I assume you do not mean also on a line-by-line IR basis which is the grown-up method. Mind, while the calculations within HITRAN are beyond the reach of mere mortals, there is always the modest MODTRAN hosted by the Uni of Chicago that can be readily accessed.
    Note that the resulting equations for quantifying Forcing for the various GHGs are not yet immune to significant amendment. (See for instance Etminan et al 2016) but that aside, the power of CH4 relative to CO2 can as a first cut be simply calculated from AR5 AII Tables AII.1.1a and AII.1.2. In 2011 CO2 had risen from a 1750 level of 278ppm to 390.5ppm, an increase of 112.5ppm resulting in a Forcing of 1.816Wm^-2. Meanwhile CH4 had risen from 0.722ppm to 1.803ppm, an increase of 1.081ppm resulting in a forcing of (Ooops! AR5 AII doesn’t give a figure for CH4, so look at the EPA data for 2011) 0.492Wm^-2. Thus per man-emitted molecule floating around in the atmosphere, CH4 is 28-times more potent than CO2 (pedantically as of 2011, but it won’t vary significantly by the century).
    The GWPs calculated can produce higher values due to various factors. As GWPs are concerned with a GHG emission today and as the Forcing of CO2 is logarithmic, the averaged 1750-2011 values would be roughly 25% too low (so 28 becomes 37). Also GWPs are concerned with weight not molecules, specifically a 1kg emission of GHG. With CH4 being almost three-times lighter than CO2, it has more molecules per kg (which would account for numbers up to up to 104-times). And the atmospheric life of a GHG is taken beyond its disappearance as CH4 will persist as CO2 after the hydrogen has been burned off it. (I’m not sure if stratospheric H2O is also accounted for, another significant GHG that CH4 contributes to.) Thus, over very very long period GWPs, the value for CH4 would presumably tend towards 2.75 as it has more that much more carbon per kg.

  50. 50
    Killian says:

    #38 emerson tibbets said I just turned to the December thread and see nothing but postings and mentions of Killian, Killian, Killian!

    Imagine two freshmen accidentally being sent into a graduate seminar on climate, resources, collapse, risk, mitigation and adaptation.

    Imagine telling them they don’t belong there and they’re spouting nonsense, but they are certain their mere presence there means they are qualified to dominate the class.

    This is like that.

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