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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.

379 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Dec 2017”

  1. 101
    Killian says:

    #66 nigelj said We may be forced by circumstances over several centuries to adopt Killians simple life, although he underestimates what recycling can do

    I have never stated a single word quantifying how much recycling can do. I have stated many times it is not a solution because it, also, is unsustainable.

    And you don’t have several centuries by pretty much any measure. Three meters of SLR this century, alone, leads to global destabilization. Add weather extremes, rapidly falling water supplies, and, and, and… Centuries is a joke.

    but the real question is what do we no now over the next 20 – 50 years?

    Over any time frame, only simplification addresses every aspect of this global emergency.

    I cannot see much to be gained by just panic, and leave minerals in the ground

    Logic and analysis is not panic. Try to be more adult.

    but not as much as Killian appears to be suggesting (if anyone can work out what he is saying?)

    80-90% repeated over and over is not clear to you? Jesus…

    You’re wrong.

  2. 102
    nigelj says:

    Killian @83, says he doesn’t believe in the philosophical school of simple living, instead he believes in simplicity.

    Is this not splitting hairs? I think it’s escapism from taking a clear position, in case he is challenged.

    You take examples of abuses of government power (some good examples I have to say) as a reason to get rid of government entirely, which makes exactly zero sense. You don’t “throw the baby out with the bath water”: you have to come up with some constructive model that works. Breaking the planet into tiny little communities is not terribly convincing. There are obvious good reasons for some central government.

    Please write a list of your simplicity principles. I will be constructive in comments. I always list the points I agree with people on, including you, to show I’m not being personal, or playing a game.

  3. 103
    Killian says:

    #73 Barton Paul Levenson said more stupid crap.

    Kevin-san,

    Killian is right that we have to stop economic growth sooner or later, preferably sooner.

    Yes, I am. Because it’s blindingly obvious.

    He is wrong that A) we have to do so by all becoming small farmers

    Straw Man. Straw Men are for stupid people.

    B) that if that were desirable we could do so easily

    You have zero experience here. ANY piece of land can be made fertile enough for farming/gardening within 5 years except highly toxic spaces.

    C) that economics is not science

    I merely agree it is not a science. Not my original idea. Steve Keen, et al., know a heck of a lot more about it than you do. In fact, it is not. It is not based in scientific process at all. It grew out of, and continues to be, philosophy. I have linked sources on this many times. You are, in fact, wrong.

    D) that it doesn’t help to use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels

    Straw Man. Stop lying. I have never once said this here or elsewhere. To say a thing is not sustainable is not equal to saying it has no use or utility. I have stated numerous times “renewables” are not sustainable, but can and do serve as bridge technologies. However, building out a grid to meet 100% of current and projected future FF demand would be stupid.

    Why lie? Why are so many of you comfortable with lies, telling and/or condoning them?

    E) that government policies are irrelevant

    In the long term, they are. They cannot and will not lead us to sustainability. In the short term, activism might change a few, but not enough to matter much.

    F) what he says is clear, but everybody is either too stupid and lazy to get it or is deliberately lying about it.

    Not everybody, so, again, a lie.

    That population growth and new-resource-use have to stop (and, in the long run, reverse) to save the planet is trivial

    Trivial: of little value or importance.

    If you think so, you have serious deficiencies in this discussion.

    So I tend not to give him any points at all.

    Thanks, peanut. Your support would be no feather.

  4. 104
    Killian says:

    #86 Kevin McKinney said Barton, #73–

    I made D) and E) pretty explicitly in the same comment you were replying to.
    I repeat:

    D) that it doesn’t help to use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels

    Straw Man. Stop lying. I have never once said this here or elsewhere. To say a thing is not sustainable is not equal to saying it has no use or utility. I have stated numerous times “renewables” are not sustainable, but can and do serve as bridge technologies. However, building out a grid to meet 100% of current and projected future FF demand would be stupid.

    Why lie? Why are so many of you comfortable with lies, telling and/or condoning them?

    E) that government policies are irrelevant

    In the long term, they are. They cannot and will not lead us to sustainability. In the short term, activism might change a few, but not enough to matter much.

    So you needn’t worry that I’ve suddenly turned into a Killian acolyte.

    You will. Rather, your analysis will come around to mine just as the climate science has.

    But I’m very interested in the question of what a sustainable society would really look like.

    Then you cannot dismiss what I say about principles, risk, time lines, and First Principles, which you must to think D and E above are an intelligent response.

    And Killian pushes that question persistently and provocatively, which makes him a good gadfly for a highly necessary inquiry–even a better one, given more devotion to the relevant topic and less to emotional reactivity.

    I am not the one invoking my name in post after post, it is you and others. Stop doing so, stop the false statements, solve the problem, which is yourselves.

    2) If population reduction cannot address the carbon crisis, it still remains important for the eventual hoped-for establishment of a reasonably sustainable human civilization.

    Correct. It is, as I have said, a long-term goal with some urgency. Who knows what we can exceed in terms of ruining the planet over x number of years, but in terms of food, exceeding 12 billion gets quite dangerous… under normal conditions.

    We have to come up with some combination of demand reduction, efficiency, and substitution that will bring emissions down fast. Killian thinks that can only happen by abandoning the current paradigm

    No. Wrong. Again. Christ… EVERYTHING ties to the risk assessment and rate of change. These thoughts do not just pop up out of nothing. It is a lie of omission for all of you to claim I say these things and leave out the context and reasoning. It is dishonest. Stop.

    I think it can only be done *fast enough* to stay within the risk parameters via simplification. How many times do I have to repeat this before you “get it”/stop misrepresenting it?

    I think that abandoning it can’t happen that fast (except by a catastrophic process as hinted at above, and even that isn’t likely to end up as well as he envisions, IMO).

    Envisions? I have laid out no explicit vision for how “well” it would go, only that the end result could be a happy, healthy society. In between, I have consistently said the transition would be difficult for 2 – 4 generations. What is this “well” you speak of?

    Fundamental changes tend to be hard, and to require a hell of a lot of work. They also incur the mmost opposition

    And aren’t the constant rudeness and false statements here a perfect illustration.

    Just what *might* work fast enough is the question that interests me the most.

    If that were true, you would not be dismissive of what I say. It is consistent with addressing and solving all problems we face. No other plan comes close.

    4) I support substitution strategies, including rapid deployment of RE and electrification of transportation

    So do I, as I have said. The question is scale. If you want 100% replacement of current and future demand, that is a foolish use of resources given what we need to eventually look like.

    5) All of this… implies economic growth over decades

    Why? Why can’t other things be diminishing as those things build out?

    But whatever the specifics, to realize them intentionally we must first imagine them. Hence my appetite for visions of the ‘contours of the solution

    And how does Regenerative Governance not fit the problem?

  5. 105
    Killian says:

    1. We need sensible growth.

    Said those who either do not understand or do not properly consider the exponential function.

    2. Growth is to raise up the poor.

    See above.

    3. Growth is needed to build out unsustainable stuff so we can build less unsustainable stuff and reduce emissions.

    Except more decades of growth add to the burden; it’s a case of receding horizons.

    Those who justify this system insist that economic growth is essential for the relief of poverty. But a paper in the World Economic Review finds that the poorest 60% of the world’s people receive only 5% of the additional income generated by rising GDP. As a result, $111 of growth is required for every $1 reduction in poverty. This is why, on current trends, it would take 200 years to ensure that everyone receives $5 a day. By this point, average per capita income will have reached $1m a year, and the economy will be 175 times bigger than it is today. This is not a formula for poverty relief. It is a formula for the destruction of everything and everyone.

    http://www.monbiot.com/2017/11/24/everything-must-go/

    There are other interesting tidbits in there.

  6. 106
    sidd says:

    Re: killfile

    Here is a quick hack for those on unix systems.

    http://membrane.com/sidd/prkill.txt

    to kill posters named AAAAA,BBBBB, …. on the second page of comments to Dec 2017 unforced variations on this forum.

    Adjust to your taste.

    sidd

  7. 107
    zebra says:

    Kevin M #86,

    Let me be a little less concise as well to mitigate the apparent confusion/conflation.

    When I say that population reduction is the most hopeful approach to all three goals, I mean jointly, not severally. It’s obvious that if we separate out reducing CO2 very rapidly as a goal, RE and EV and “efficiency” and so on, are more likely to achieve it…if implemented rapidly.

    And there’s the rub. As I said, that may happen, or not. More likely, in my projection, conversion will happen, but the timeline will be nothing like what we here would prefer, and humanity will find itself in one of the less palatable scenarios from IPCC.

    So, let’s look at humanity 300 years from now, and ask how we can make the journey there less painful, and the journey forward from there more likely to contain the “good stuff” that we all apparently agree on.

    I’ve provided my clearly defined, quantitative, answer, and justified it without, so far, any substantive refutation.

    What are the alternatives that deal with M, A, and S, putting aside wishful thinking? Anyone?

  8. 108
    CCHolley says:

    Alastair B. McDonald @59

    Here is a book I bought last Christmas and has lasted me all year:
    Hay, W. W. (2016) Experimenting on a Small Planet: A History of Scientific Discoveries, a Future of Climate Change and Global Warming, 2nd ed. 2016 edition. New York, NY, Springer.
    An enjoyable read!

    Thank you very much for the recommendation. Just received my copy. It is a very large volume that appears at first blush to be well written with wonderful illustrations and covers many aspects pf climate change science. Seems like quite a bargain for the price as compared to many of the textbooks that I have in my collection. Looking forward to digging into this one further!

  9. 109
    Thomas says:

    Hey, Macron comes good …. in less than 6 months :-)

    More than 5,000 people from about 100 countries expressed interest in the grants. Most of the applicants – and 13 of the 18 winners – were US-based researchers.

    Macron’s appeal “gave me such a psychological boost, to have that kind of support, to have the head of state saying I value what you do”, said winner Camille Parmesan, of the University of Texas at Austin. She will be working at an experimental ecology station in the Pyrenees on how human-made climate change is affecting wildlife.

    In an interview with The Associated Press, Parmesan described funding challenges for climate science in the US and a feeling that “you are having to hide what you do”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/11/macron-awards-grants-to-us-scientists-to-move-to-france-in-defiance-of-trump

  10. 110
    Killian says:

    Feed 12 billion, reduce atmospheric carbon.

    “Because they tend to use more labour, grow a wider range of crops and work the land more carefully, small farmers, as a rule, grow more food per hectare than large ones. In the poorer regions of the world, people with fewer than five hectares own 30% of the farmland but produce 70% of the food. Since 2000, an area of fertile ground roughly twice the size of the UK has been seized by land grabbers and consolidated into large farms, generally growing crops for export rather than the food needed by the poor.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/11/mass-starvation-humanity-flogging-land-death-earth-food

  11. 111
    Killian says:

    #92 nigelj said Peanuts!

    Discuss a list of your key principles

    You are fond of telling others what to post, but I have done so many times. “Permaculture,” “Principles,” Google, you.

    Go!

    Bear in mind, I will never explicate fully here on the principles because this is a CLIMATE forum. Asking me to is a Red Herring: This is a climate forum, not a design forum.

    Extinction would require …possible severely catastrophic climate change event (very unlikely but cannot be 100% ruled out).

    1. 5% risk of extinction. Scientific study. 2. Extinction would not be tomorrow. Tipping points and all that. 3. But you just said I have provided no backing. 4. But, hey, you’re not a liar.

    Thanks for the peanuts!

    93 nigelj said More peanuts!

    You want people to discuss “steady state” “if they must” but wont deign to participate

    One flew over…

    One more time: Please do not discuss economics.

    #95 Barton Paul Levenson said My peanuts have salt!

    K 82: they are not above a distortion or outright lie.

    BPL: The liar is quick to accuse others of lying. Psychiatrists call it “projection.”

    Indeed. All these years, no cut and past of any lie.

    Thanks, peanut. Take your baby with you:

    #98 nigelj said Zebra @84

    Strawman. Nobody on this website is saying don’t try to reduce population growth, apart possibly from Killian

    But this isn’t a lie, is it, Kevin? Get some guts, call out the actual harassers. I have never said a single word against population reduction since coming across The Oil Drum in 2005, and have never advocated anything but that here. Yet…

    If the rest of you don’t start calling these trolls out, this will never end.

  12. 112
    Killian says:

    #106 sidd said Re: killfile

    Here is a quick hack for those on unix systems.

    Please, God, one for Windows and Android… Call it Peanut.

  13. 113
    Killian says:

    #107 zebra said I’ve provided my clearly defined, quantitative, answer, and justified it

    Where, pray tell? Really. I do not believe I have read it.

  14. 114

    K…

    The usual “that’s not what I meant, I meant something else, nobody gets me and/or they’re lying!” Not worth responding to. If I could filter this person I would, but I’m not on a Unix system.

  15. 115

    Some responses to Killian’s #104:

    Killian: I think it [ie., mitigation] can only be done *fast enough* to stay within the risk parameters via simplification. How many times do I have to repeat this before you “get it”/stop misrepresenting it?

    I’ve got what you think on this. However, I don’t agree, based on my knowledge and view of the world–disagreement is not ‘misrepresentation.’

    If, in a selected audience of folks who are already highly concerned about climate change, you encounter serious difficulties in persuading folks that you have a solution, what does that say about the time needed to get your message out to the globe as a whole?

    Killian: I am not the one invoking my name in post after post, it is you and others. Stop doing so, stop the false statements, solve the problem, which is yourselves.

    Um, dude, that was in response to my saying that you “[push] that question persistently and provocatively”. What exactly leads you to think that I regard that as a ‘problem’?

    Probably you focused on the following bit, that “more devotion to the relevant topic and less to emotional reactivity” would make you more effective in advocating your cause. I do think your reactivity is a problem for you (and secondarily for others here, who get bored with the personal stuff). I think Barton is quite right: you are less clear than you think you are. (Actually, nearly all of us are.) If you were to set as your default assumption that folks misunderstand rather than ‘lie’ or ‘misrepresent’, a far higher percentage of your words would get read, as opposed to scrolled past.

    Killian: Envisions? I have laid out no explicit vision for how “well” it would go, only that the end result could be a happy, healthy society. In between, I have consistently said the transition would be difficult for 2 – 4 generations. What is this “well” you speak of?

    Well, I got this idea way back when you talked about how billions would survive the transition relatively unscathed. I think that’s unrealistic: even in the developing world, populations are increasingly urban, and increasingly dependent upon ‘the machine’. Stop it, and huge numbers of them–and us–die. The machine has to be wound down and transformed, not stopped.

    Perhaps my interpretation was wrong, but it was based on what you said.

    Kevin: Just what *might* work fast enough is the question that interests me the most.

    Killian: If that were true, you would not be dismissive of what I say. It is consistent with addressing and solving all problems we face. No other plan comes close.

    Given that I’ve repeatedly commented, sometimes favorably, on your assertions; that I’ve asked you for references and read them; that I’ve addressed you candidly but honestly, I think that claiming now that I “dismiss” your ideas is unsupported and unsupportable.

    (Notice that I didn’t say you were “stupid” and didn’t call it a “lie” or a “misrepresentation”. In the first instance, that’s because I don’t think you are lying, or are stupid; but even if I did think so, I wouldn’t say it for the simple reason that it would reduce the likelihood that you would be able to take in the message.)

    Kevin: But whatever the specifics, to realize them intentionally we must first imagine them. Hence my appetite for visions of the ‘contours of the solution

    Killian: And how does Regenerative Governance not fit the problem?

    I didn’t say it didn’t fit the problem. I said that I’m skeptical that it can be implemented fast enough to address the mitigation piece of the problem before we are committed to catastrophic levels of warming; and that there seem to me to be problems with model in terms of human behavior. (I.e., ‘humans mostly suck.’)

    I’m open to hearing more about why my perception is wrong, specifically, and just how, specifically, you think the transition might be done. (I know that that is not easy, and I know that you have said that it’s not a ‘one size fits all scenario’, because, for one thing, ‘design in place.’)

    In other words, I’m interested in policy–whether ‘political’, social, or personal. But if that information gets buried in an avalanche of ‘you lie’, then the odds go up that I never see it.

  16. 116
    Mr. Know It All says:

    77 – Mo said:

    “Folks, I’m not sure whether it matters to you, but I’ve gone from being a daily lurker on RC to more like monthly. That’s because between the sterling contributions of Killian, nigelj, and Thomas, I’m only reading about one article in five. It’s pretty easy to scan the comments to avoid wasting time on the garbage.”

    Mo, I’m guessing that if people were required to register and log in to RC before they could make comments, there would be fewer garbage comments. One downside would be that non-scientists who did not want to register and log in might not ask their questions. If the goal is to limit discussions only to climate scientists, and largely to those who are believers, then registration might help.

    Another option might be to have a forum for political/economic/sustainability discussions, comments from skeptics, etc so the unforced variations comments can stay on the topic of climate science. It would be interesting to see which forum got the most comments.

  17. 117
    mike says:

    December 3 – 9, 2017 406.76 ppm
    December 3 – 9, 2016 403.92 ppm

    2.84 ppm increase in yoy comparison. Noisy number.

    Wish I was on linux system and could use killfile. I am ms based and can’t figure out a way to filter out the noise in this system.

    Warm regards all

    Mike

  18. 118
    nigelj says:

    BPL @96, I agree. I think we see the whole sustainability / environmentalism issue much the same way. If only everyone else would catch up.

    Its about types of growth. While we should say we need less growth, broadly, there’s no escaping looking at details of types of growth and impacts. Its intellectually lazy to avoid this. This is where the word “simplify” stops making sense in real world.

  19. 119
    nigelj says:

    Killian @101

    “I have never stated a single word quantifying how much recycling can do. I have stated many times it is not a solution because it, also, is unsustainable.”

    Nonsense. You have repeatedly claimed metals cannot be recycled indefinitely, and made various related claims, on last months and previous months UV.

    Calling recycling unsustainable is an absurd statement, and its also making a claim about what you think recycling can or cant do contradicting your original assertion.

    “And you don’t have several centuries by pretty much any measure. Three meters of SLR this century, alone, leads to global destabilization. ”

    If its true we have to stop emissions fast. Your option is just stop consumption of everything, but it makes more sense to use renewable energy, and this is more practically likely to happen.

    “Over any time frame, only simplification addresses every aspect of this global emergency.”

    So by analogy, if you have a broken leg just cut it off, because its simpler and easier than complicated surgery. Yes lets just “simplify”.

    “Logic and analysis is not panic. Try to be more adult.”

    You don’t do logic and analysis, you just scream slogans over and over.

  20. 120
    Fid says:

    MA Rodger @ 87 Thanks!

  21. 121
    nigelj says:

    zebra @107

    So in other words you have finally worked out population alone will not resolve dangerous climate change, and neither will anything else. Well why dont you just agree with me that we have to push all these things being promoted in parallel? Its reasonable to say they will all achieve something, and all are at least politically possible to some extent,so will add together.

    “I’ve provided my clearly defined, quantitative, answer, and justified it without, so far, any substantive refutation.”

    Where, what? All you have said is we don’t want the gene pool getting too small and some other statement about scale. This is a true thing to say, but hardly an answer to the full issues.

    The question is what is the number of the gene pool, or how do we recognise it? I would think it would be hugely smaller than 10 billion and not a pressing concern.

    And in no way is it a reasonably full answer to the environmental issue or population question. It is one small component.

  22. 122
    nigelj says:

    Killian posts a quote “Those who justify this system insist that economic growth is essential for the relief of poverty. But a paper in the World Economic Review finds that the poorest 60% of the world’s people receive only 5% of the additional income generated by rising GDP. As a result, $111 of growth is required for every $1 reduction in poverty. This is why, on current trends, it would take 200 years to ensure that everyone receives $5 a day. By this point, average per capita income will have reached $1m a year, and the economy will be 175 times bigger than it is today. This is not a formula for poverty relief. It is a formula for the destruction of everything and everyone.”

    Fine, this is true enough, then we need to ensure the benefits of economic growth of whatever level are spread more equitably. Then we at least don’t need high growth.But here is the rub, very poor countries would still need at least some growth to have anything to share to make enough difference.

    Killian promotes a sharing economy so believes benefits of economy should be shared more equitably anyway.

  23. 123
    Thomas says:

    Findings were discussed at the American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans.

    “What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic; it affects the rest of the planet,” said acting NOAA chief Timothy Gallaudet. “The Arctic has huge influence on the world at large.”

    About 79% of the Arctic sea ice is thin and only a year old. In 1985, 45% of the sea ice in the Arctic was thick, older ice, said NOAA Arctic scientist Emily Osborne.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/12/arctic-permafrost-sea-ice-thaw-climate-change-report

    iow more than three quarters of the critically important historically ‘normal level’ of thick, older ice is gone already!

    imho keeping an eye on the ‘canaries in the coal mine’ can help to keep up-to-date with the real status quo.

    More than 10% of the GBR is now dead. It’ll be the reverse around 2050 with only 10% still alive and 90% dead and gone.

    That is “if” nothing changes fast.

    fwiw “the canaries” are local droughts, bush fires, record breaking storms and rainfall, the arctic, permafrost, forests, river systems, antarctic, glaciers, record floods, coral reefs, ocean acidification, fish kills, tree die back, extinctions, regional heat waves and record temps ….. it’s such a big world, sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what happening to the right hand.

  24. 124
    Thomas says:

    Australian scientists getting into fine-tuning over Catastrophic fire conditions for Bush Fire Ratings

    “The fires we see nowadays, when we start getting those catastrophic type fires, it was never designed to predict fires of that sort of magnitude,” he said.

    Following the Black Saturday fires of 2009, a new category (“catastrophic” or “code red” in Victoria) was added to the roadside signs to describe conditions more extreme than those thought likely by McArthur.

    The new system will go a step further by improving the formulas that form the basis of the rating system.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/bushfire-danger-rating-system/9203446

    and
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-04/cyclone-and-extreme-weather-events-intensifying-bom-says/8869042

  25. 125
    Thomas says:

    The EU funds will form part of the bloc’s External Investment Plan, and will be focused on sustainable cities, clean energy and sustainable agriculture.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/12/eu-announces-9bn-in-funding-for-climate-action

  26. 126
    Thomas says:

    By Kevin Pluck co2 etc a quick history
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2LOHNIjQMg&feature=youtu.be

  27. 127
  28. 128
    zebra says:

    BPL 96,

    “nitrogen fertilizer”

    As population declines, artificial inputs become less economically sound.

    Before we had pretentious quasi-mystical terms like “regenerative” and “permaculture” and the others, people practiced “crop rotation” and “lying fallow”. What’s the secret to that? Well, it’s all about supply and demand.

    If you have a growing population with lots of people demanding food, and ten acres of farmland, it makes sense to use fertilizer, let the land deplete, and sell it off for tract housing when you get tired of the work.

    If you have a stable or declining population, you can buy 50 acres for the same price, and get the same yield without much increase in labor if any.

    IIRC, the Dust Bowl was exacerbated because of a perceived growth in demand– so trees were removed, every possible acre was plowed, and drought and wind did the rest.

    And if we want to talk about “economic growth”, let’s establish a framework that everyone agrees on. Most basic level: Per Capita? Local, Global?

    “It’s the topology, stupid.” (And I guess the topography too given my farming example.)

  29. 129
    zebra says:

    nigel 98,

    I think you should pay attention to what a lurker said at #77, and what I have said previously, about quantity v quality. But I will answer this because perhaps you will see how ridiculous your high output has become:

    “1. Sufficient numbers to maintain genetic diversity.
    2. Sufficient numbers to maintain specialization (that is, a technological culture where everyone isn’t a small farmer)…”

    Good points, but what do you think might be sufficient numbers, or way of determining this, and how would we know when we get there? We would need to know obviously.

    Do you even stop to think?

    1. Duh. Ask a geneticist.
    2. Duh. Ask someone who knows about the history of science and technology.

    Or, stop and think for yourself: What’s the population of, say, Western Europe? If a plague wiped out every other human on the planet and left them healthy, would they revert to Killian’s peasant culture? Why?

    Seriously nigel, you have too many words and not much useful content at this point.

  30. 130
    Alexander Glass says:

    “Tidalgate” is spilling over into the debate on sea level rise in North Carolina….looking forward to hearing from realclimate.org on this matter…albeit AFTER AGU :)

  31. 131
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @129

    “Seriously nigel, you have too many words and not much useful content at this point.”

    You have said fewer words, and zero useful content.

    You have the nerve to accuse me of not quantifying things and even said at one stage at least have a guess, then refuse to do the same yourself and ask me to ask someone else.

    You 1) continually dodge issues 2)continually shift the goal posts and 3) havent the courage of your own convictions and 4) never have a nice word to say.

  32. 132
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @123 true enough, but I think the canary in the coal mine died some time ago and some people are just determined not to notice. How much more rapid and obvious change in the arctic do they need I wonder?

  33. 133
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @128 the only way I can make sense of your post is that you promote a very small global population, therefore it can continue to use current rather inefficient and polluting industrial agriculture, and get away with it, because of small population.

    This would be technically correct, but the problem is 1)this is an odious sort of ideology and 2) it will take two or three centuries AT LEAST to get to such low population so how do we farm in the mean time? Surely regenerative farming would make sense?

    Honestly I’m beginning to think Killian talks more sense than you do.

  34. 134
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @129

    “Or, stop and think for yourself: What’s the population of, say, Western Europe? If a plague wiped out every other human on the planet and left them healthy, would they revert to Killian’s peasant culture? Why?”

    What has that got to do with anything I just said? What has it got to do with an adequate gene pool? Its a very contrived situation and unlikely.

    Surely by now its obvious I think Killians peasant culture is not the right way to go? So why are you suggesting I support the idea?

    What you suggest is so hypothetical. I would say the survivors are hardly going to choose a peasant culture, given they would have global technological infrastructure they could borrow, and such a small population is not going to cause environmental problems. They could lead quite the hedonistic lifestyle. Of course it would depend, and life would be tough in some respects, if it was very small number of survivors trying to rebuild a society.

    You might want to read a relevant book, the Stand by Steven King.

    Getting back to your topology, population is the key factor because no people would mean no environmental problems, obviously. The difficulty is getting it small enough fast enough, so we need to also be doing other things in parallel, and Killian is right about some of these things.

  35. 135
    Killian says:

    Re #114 Kevin McKinney said disagreement is not ‘misrepresentation.’

    In this case it is.

    3) Addressing the carbon crisis, therefore, is primarily a question of sociology, economics and technology, broadly defined. We have to come up with some combination of demand reduction, efficiency, and substitution that will bring emissions down fast. Killian thinks that can only happen by abandoning the current paradigm

    The preceding sentence is too vague, so makes that last sentence false. I have, to repeat, been very, very clear that my primary metric is risk assessment. You choose to dismiss or discount this issue to some degree as evidenced by your comfort with much slower processes. In order to accurately present my view and juxtapose with yours requires but one word added:

    3) Addressing the carbon crisis, therefore, is primarily a question of sociology, economics and technology, broadly defined. We have to come up with some combination of demand reduction, efficiency, and substitution that will bring emissions down fast. Killian thinks that can only happen fast enough by abandoning the current paradigm.

    This is important because *if* resources were more abundant and *if* climate change were happening more slowly and *if* climate could not possibly change multiple degrees and multiple meters of SLR on decadal time scales, my solution set would be vastly different. I would, e.g., be at the head of reforming Congress and the political system as a core part of the solution because our Constitution is perhaps the greatest political document ever written. But it requires an activist populace. As Jefferson said, a little revolution every 20 years keeps a democracy healthy. If you have 535 Mr. Smiths (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) in Congress and and/or an activist population and are sure things will not collapse in less than 100 years, have at it. Do your thing.

    But that is VERY unlikely to be the case. The risk of acting too slowly is, literally, extinction. I’ve been saying that for nearly a decade, science for a few months, but, finally, science too is broaching this risk discussion.

    How you stated my view is a distortion. Sometimes two words matter. You are generally fairly intentional with your words. If anything, you must be more so with me, not less, because my positions are not well understood here… or elsewhere… because they are unlike anything people have previously considered, and are more subtle than most can parse.

    Be mindful.

    If you were to set as your default assumption that folks misunderstand rather than ‘lie’ or ‘misrepresent’, a far higher percentage of your words would get read,

    I always quote what I am responding to. What you and others are never able to do is copy and paste evidence of what you claim. Why? Because I only call something out as prevarication *when it it is.* I show the language used, I explain why it is dishonest. The least popular person in any space is far more often the scapegoat for others’ failings. That is the groupthink result on this forum.

    Stop it, and huge numbers of them–and us–die. The machine has to be wound down and transformed, not stopped.

    Perhaps my interpretation was wrong, but it was based on what you said.

    I have never said just stop in the sense you mean it. I am trying to indicate the degree of complexity. Building complex solutions to already-complex problems invokes Tainter’s curve and Diamond’s choice as response. I mean, stopping is the simplest, easiest path. Doing less cannot possibly be harder or take more time than adding layers of complexity. I have consistently said 20 to 100 years. And you have to bear in mind I am suggesting *deep* simplicity, not just scratching the surface. Get food, get water, get stable body temp. Done. That equals success. More than that means greater comfort, but more than that is *not* necessary. Sorry, no, there is no stop it all tomorrow. Deep Green Resistance, now they might mean what you thought I meant, and I disagree with that modality completely.

    Killian: If that were true, you would not be dismissive of what I say. It is consistent with addressing and solving all problems we face. No other plan comes close.

    Given that I’ve repeatedly commented, sometimes favorably, on your assertions; that I’ve asked you for references and read them; that I’ve addressed you candidly but honestly, I think that claiming now that I “dismiss” your ideas is unsupported and unsupportable.

    You have said I am broadly correct, but pretty much wrong in all other respects, to paraphrase. You cannot think your ideas are a better response and mine a no-go unless your risk assessment is far more optimistic than mine. So, yes, you dismiss my risk assessment, thus my solution set. I was not rude nor calling you any bad name: You are dismissive of what I say, even though at least one study is now in line with my risk assessment. And that is how risk assessment works: The worst case is what you insure against. My solutions do that. A rational analysis of my suggested pathway would be that it must be the primary response unless and/or until the shorter time line can be definitively dismissed. In other words, you are doing risk assessment backwards.

    I didn’t say it didn’t fit the problem. I said that I’m skeptical that it can be implemented fast enough to address the mitigation piece of the problem before we are committed to catastrophic levels of warming; and that there seem to me to be problems with model in terms of human behavior. (I.e., ‘humans mostly suck.’)

    I’m open to hearing more about why my perception is wrong, specifically,

    Yours is wrong because if my risk assessment is accurate, yours has zero chance of fixing the problem. Mine at least has a chance because it attacks the problems at their sources while your approach is the equivalent of cutting back the kudzu instead of getting rid of it altogether.

    Cheers

  36. 136
    flxible says:

    from the mental diarrhea expert:
    “If the rest of you don’t start calling these trolls out, this will never end”

    “Seriously nigel, you have too many words and not much useful content at this point.”
    More appropriately called stream of consciousness, and spread around a few other blogs comment sections as well

  37. 137
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @115

    Killian says why not just stop? Ie just quickly revert to self sufficient simple lifestyle.

    I agree its just not that easy.

    It appears from a link he posted that he has been a active part of self sufficient lifestyle, along with organic style farming in one of the rust belt cities in america hit hard with manufacturing jobs going, and economic decline. People reacted by using abandoned or cheap land for organic farming and self sufficient lifestyle etc. All credit to Killian.

    However those people were driven by pretty specific circumstances. Including a combination of dire need and suitably available resources. Its a very different thing for that to happen rapidly on global scale and he doesn’t appear to appreciate this. To me the problems are so obvious its frustrating having to list them. Clearly for most people the immediate job and economic pressure is not there to force change, so they have little need to change. Even if they wanted to, finding land for little small organic farms is not so easy. Its just not for sale. Many people live in high rise apartments, so would have to move and rebuild in the country. Then all the supporting infrastructure has to change and people are trying to survive with considerably reduced transport, because if petrol powered, this must be slashed in Killians world to have much affect on reducing emissions and he is sceptical about electric cars etc.

    I can’t see this happening at sufficient scale within the next 20-50 years, and it leaves open the question “what have we really achieved?” Our radically reduced consumption might deal with emissions, but it only slows the inevitable point where eventually we have to recycle anyway.

    It looks more plausible politically to promote less consumption, but within the existing infrastructure and general economic and ownership systems.

    Having said that there is evidence smaller scale regenerative farming has merit, but this is plausible without having to adopt Killians complete philosophy.

  38. 138
    Killian says:

    #119 nigelj said Peanuts! Get your peanuts!

    Oh, peanut, at this point I respond solely out of pity and the hope you may, someday, learn something.

    I have stated many times it is not a solution because it, also, is unsustainable.”

    Nonsense. You have repeatedly claimed metals cannot be recycled indefinitely

    Peanut, pay attention: Those two statements are the same thing. I have never talked about *how much* or *how long* they can be recycled. I have said, ad nauseum, but what the heck… they are unsustainable. Thus, it is not a solution, it is a bridge. It has a limit with *any* finite resource. THUS, making it a major part of a new system sets that system up to fail in the future. Making it an adjunct, recognizing its limited utility, is something I have **always** advocated, but you **choose** to conflate unsustainable with bridge/limited usefulness.

    Calling recycling unsustainable is an absurd statement

    No, it’s basic math. As I have often said, you do not belong in this conversation. Your claim is not just absurd, it is uneducated.

    “And you don’t have several centuries by pretty much any measure. Three meters of SLR this century, alone, leads to global destabilization. ”

    If its true we have to stop emissions fast. Your option is just stop consumption of everything

    I assume you are just being colloquial here because reality would be stop many things, reduce others, do more of others. All depends on what the thing under discussion is. I assume you understand this, but perhaps not. You have said I said countries with low economic development should reduce their consumption when this is not what I have ever said, so…

    but it makes more sense to use renewable energy

    I never said don’t use it. Ever. I said in the U.S. and some other countries, we already have enough for demand under simplification. What makes sense is to rationally reduce demand over time – hopefully a short time, but up to 100 years – to equal this level of energy production. So, rather than build more “renewables,” just keep shutting down other sources as consumption falls.

    But you like to pretend things I haven’t said means I am for/against those unstated things.

    and this is more practically likely to happen

    It is happening. And it’s maladaptive.

    “Over any time frame, only simplification addresses every aspect of this global emergency.”

    So by analogy, if you have a broken leg just cut it off, because its simpler and easier than complicated surgery. Yes lets just “simplify”.

    That analogy is completely incorrect. It equals simplification in no way, shape, or form. Cutting off a leg **is** a major surgery with massive complications afterwards and is in no way simpler than just setting it putting it in a cast. FYI, only a compound fracture would require surgery unless some other special condition exists.

    You do not belong in this conversation.

  39. 139
    Killian says:

    122 nigelj said Killian promotes a sharing economy so believes benefits of economy should be shared more equitably anyway.

    For clarity, promotes is not quite accurate. It’s a bit nit-picky, but I don’t really want to share everything. I like living alone, e.g. However, to be sustainable a sharing economy is **necessary** rather than a preference. The distinction matters to set the correct reasoning and rhetorical structure and tone.

    #123 Thomas said, clearly and simply(!) imho keeping an eye on the ‘canaries in the coal mine’ can help to keep up-to-date with the real status quo.

    About 79% of the Arctic sea ice is thin and only a year old. In 1985, 45% of the sea ice in the Arctic was thick, older ice, said NOAA Arctic scientist Emily Osborne.

    iow more than three quarters of the critically important historically ‘normal level’ of thick, older ice is gone already!

    I agree with this risk assessment.

    #128 zebra brayed Before we had pretentious quasi-mystical terms like “regenerative” and “permaculture”

    He’s marching toward the Peanut Gallery. Mystical? Permaculture is a clearly defined process of planning/design. There is nothing even slightly mystical nor pretentious about it. This statement is defamation against Mollison and Holmgren and all those who work to make soils healthier year by year. It is a disgusting comment.

  40. 140
    Mr. Know It All says:

    For those who only want to read discussions among scientists, would it be possible to only allow climate scientists to make comments? Make each person register with some kind of credential indicating they are a climate scientist – maybe just a legit email address from a scientific organization or corporation; maybe require a resume. If they can’t show legit credentials, no comments allowed.

  41. 141
    sidd says:

    Re: killfile

    I am sure someone can hack together a powershell script to do the same for windows. That someone will not be me. For the truly desperate, install a unix environment on windows like cygwin, or run a unix in a virtualbox.

    for mac, recall that you can open a unixish terminal, but will have to install lynx or screw with curl which does seem to be installed. Perl seems to exist on the latest mac osx version also.

    Ideally ( as i have said before), someone at realclimate can build something similar into this website. I once set up something that would grab all comments, present a list of posters, from which one could choose those to ignore, and view the rest of the comments. But i killed the thing since i was not willing to do all the work to make sure it could not be used for denial of service or other attacks on realclimate or the machine i was hosting it on. So sad.

    sidd

  42. 142
    zebra says:

    Kevin M 115,

    “humans mostly suck”

    Well, yes. They tend to be greedy and not want to share, and they tend to pollute the commons with their effluent– pretty much what Killian does here: Filling up the bandwidth and shouting people down.

    Not a very good role model for that cooperative future human culture.

    But let me relate this back to your earlier observation about declining birthrates. Humans (women in particular obviously) in Japan or Italy, where they are socially empowered and not constrained by economics, choose to have fewer children. Now, it mostly isn’t some noble ecologically-based sacrifice, rather it is a rational selfish choice– it maximizes the potential for the one or two existing offspring, as well as allowing the parent to survive and prosper.

    (You characterize this as a “problem”, but there are plenty of people in the world willing and eager to provide young bodies to support the ageing populations in those countries. So let’s put that aside and consider alternatives.)

    What I suggest, which is maximally “nudging” the system to promote this kind of choice, works with “human nature”.

    Carbon tax, not so much…Becoming peasants, not so much…and so on.

    I think you get the point. Of course we need to promote alternatives, and some of them– Tesla roadster…mmmmmm– offer positive incentives. But if I am correct about the non-linear relationship between population and per capita consumption, that critical transition period offers a chance to minimize harm. Turn the curve from up to down, and lots of good stuff happens.

  43. 143

    z 128: BPL 96,

    “nitrogen fertilizer”

    BPL: From your post, you seem to think I’m endorsing nitrate fertilizers. I am not. Read for context. I have no problem with crop rotation and contour plowing; I would prefer them to overwhelming the land with fertilizers much of which winds up in the ocean in the end. Please read for context.

  44. 144
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Alexander Glass:
    Tidalgate? Really, dude? Do you really think that a Brietbart take on a publication in a Journal out of Saudi Arabia including an author who has such a series of frauds that he publishes under a pseudonym and that looks at only a few cherrypicked sites is worthy of a look by the professionals?

  45. 145

    #130–

    According to Google, “tidalgate” is not a thing–yet, at least. (That is, no search results under that term by itself.)

    I suspect you are talking about the ‘Albert Parker’ paper that accuses PMSL of misaligning incomplete tidal data–and indeed, if you add a few ‘helper’ terms, like ‘sea level’ and ‘albert parker’, a search will turn up several articles, all conveniently titled “Tidalgate”, and all coming from sources like Delingpole, Breitbart, and WUWT. Apparently, the echo chamber is trying to gin up a virtual stadium wave.

    It’s no surprise that this puppy is being mentioned in North Carolina as that state has a GOP-dominated legislature–who, we may safely presume, are largely equipped with IV injection ports connected to a Breitbart drip–and a history of climate denial in public policy, especially as it relates to the impact of sea level rise on real estate developer’s profits.

    I don’t envy commentators attempting to deal with the paper, as they will be forced to decipher a poorly-written and confusing essay. However, on the face of it, there seems to be a serious incoherency. Much of the paper reads like an essay in the salesmanship of doubt; for instance, the Aden tidal gauge is highlighted as the sole one for the Arabian peninsula, and the fragmentary nature of its record is discussed at some length, as in this sentence:

    In Aden, similar to Karachi and Mumbai and other tide gauges of the area, a single-tide gauge record is the result of multiple sets of data subjectively coupled together.

    However, the purported conclusion essentially argues that this fragmentary and ‘subjectively coupled’ record can be used to justify accusing PMSL of scientific fraud, and claiming *zero* SLR for the entire Indian Ocean! I guess you just need the *right* subjectivity.

    The sea levels have, therefore, been stable in Aden, as at Karachi and Mumbai, over all the 20th century.

    These and other key sites of the Indian Ocean indicate a stable sea level of about zero mm/year over the last 50 years, as shown in Mörner (2007, 2010, 2014, 2015a, b, 2016a, b), Parker and Ollier (2015) and Parker (2016).

    The citation of multiple Mörner papers is rather telling; from what I can gather, his credibility is about zero (possibly even negative).

    As mentioned, the writing and editing are awful. While that does not prove that the content is equally bad, it is true that confusion in the formulation of ideas in language often mirrors confusion in the ideas themselves–and if one doesn’t take the trouble to write a clean manuscript grammatically, why should that one be trusted to have taken the trouble to write one that’s clean in matters of fact, attribution and analysis? And if this was reviewed, why did the reviewers not help the authors out with their faulty mechanics?

    At the very least, it’s a pain to have to wade through stuff like this:

    Therefore, if a shift should be make for compliance with neighbouring tide gauge results, the data after July 1957 must be shifted down and not further up as done in the RLR. We shift down of 30 mm the data measured July 1957–December 1969.

    However, if anyone’s a glutton for punishment, have at it:

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41748-017-0020-z

  46. 146

    Further to my last comment on the supposed ‘tidalgate’ paper–of course, the white elephant in all of this is that Parkerites must ignore the satellite record, as indeed it does, barring a dismissive comment or two.

    Results from that field stand in pretty stark contrast:

    http://polarice.geo.arizona.edu/papers/Chen.etal.AcceleratingGMSL.NClimate.2017.pdf

  47. 147
    Mr. Know It All says:

    130 – Alexander

    Here is my real-time sea level monitor. This monitor is below India, so the time is 12 hours ahead of US Pacific time, so it’s daylight from about 6 pm to 6 am Pacific time.

    Looks like sea levels are steady as she goes:
    https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/maldives/lhaviyani-atoll/kurendhoo/maldives-kuredu.html

  48. 148
    Scott E Strough says:

    @128 Zebra,
    There is nothing quazi mystical about regenerative agriculture. It is very simply the observation that natural ecosystems evolved to be highly productive without nitrogen fertilizer inputs nor any human inputs at all really.

    Even with all our NPK etc inputs the primary productivity of a crop field is typically less that 20% that of a natural biome.

    So that leads one to believe there must be another way natural biomes are fertilizing themselves. And sure enough there is. Invisible to the eye is a whole host of soil organisms maintaining soil fertility and health whether or not an animal happens to deposit some manure on the surface or not. (Although some manure/compost/rotting material every now and then certainly helps, it is not the primary mechanism for natural fertility)

    So this means the so called “law of return” is simply wrong. Clever farmers have been breaking this law for quite a while now. Furthermore it is science based new understanding of the function of soils and all the myriad biological organisms’ complex interactions.

    “When farmers view soil health not as an abstract virtue, but as a real asset, it revolutionizes the way they farm and radically reduces their dependence on inputs to produce food and fiber.” -USDA NRCS

    It is called regenerative because unlike agriculture for the last 10,000 years, the longer you farm and the less inputs you use the more fertile the land becomes each year. Instead of a long slow degradation of the land followed by periods of fallow to recuperate, agriculture land can now increase in fertility each year it is farmed.

    And why does this matter to a blog on climate change? Because central to this new scientific understanding of how soils function is the realization that it is fundamentally a biological function. All life on the planet is carbon based. Excess carbon in the atmosphere is causing AGW. Returning it to the soil solves two problems simultaneously. More fertility and primary productivity in the land, and less CO2 in the air! It’s a win win. And it is in fact just as Allan Savory said in his (in)famous Ted Talk. It is the ONLY solution large enough to actually reverse AGW that doesn’t have massive cost or massive risk or both. It actually reduces risk and increases profits. That makes it a win win win win. No other AGW mitigation strategy comes even close. Period.

    There is more carbon missing from our agricultural soils than there is excess in the atmosphere. Fix that and we solve both issues. Regenerative Ag does just that very thing and amazingly rapidly rate of ~5-20 tonnes CO2e/ha/yr +/-. Those microbes grow and die and cycle carbon FAST! What’s left is a deposit of long term stable deep in the soil profile that is highly resistant to oxidizing into CO2. (unless we disturb the soil with our plows and chemicals)

  49. 149
    Richard Creager says:

    Moderators
    Like #77 Mo’Handy I am a scientifically literate long time lay-lurker who comes by regularly for climate education and insightful commentary. Your core audience. Like he or she I come by less and less often, wishing the moderators would moderate a bit more assertively. I find comment threads filled with Killian, Nigel, MKIA in an endless loop of insults, nitpicks and misstatements of others assertions that read like a poorly led therapy session. Yes, there’s a place for discussion of what sustainable society might look like; these guys aren’t having that discussion. The word to content ratio is a great example of what is “unsustainable”. No Ray Ladbury here, that’s sure. C’mon, guys, borehole this stuff please. RC is being commandeered by people who post a hundred comments and say nothing clearly comprehensible. If it’s not about the science, delete it. Thanks.

  50. 150
    nigelj says:

    More dumb stuff from Trump Administration. Head in the sand, and not understanding the big picture and the longer term.

    “Trump ‘will REMOVE climate change from the list of national security threats’ ”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5186005/Trump-removes-climate-change-national-security-policy.html