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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. 151
    nigelj says:

    Killian, you say simplify over and over. Could you please do me a favour. Explain what you mean by simplify, including examples, or provide an internet link.

    I was an ‘A’ grade student in most things, but I’m not a mind reader, and I’m not the dali lama.

  2. 152
    Killian says:

    #149 Richard Creager said I find comment threads filled with Killian, Nigel, MKIA in an endless loop… there’s a place for discussion of what sustainable society might look like; these guys aren’t having that discussion.

    You may not understand the conversation is being had, but it is. By nigel? No. MKIA? Zebra? Et al.? No. But it is. You don’t recognize what of the conversation is on point and what is not, so be careful with your broad assertions. As for who is attacking whom, you can see here in this unprovoked personal insult devoid of any content, I am at the defensive, not the offensive:

    142 zebra said …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.

    Mind you, 115 was a discussion between McKinney and myself in which none of what you claim or z claims even existed. Yet, I am the antagonist? Meh… While your point about off-topic drivel is sound, it’s a poor analysis of the problem. Take responsibility: Call out those that attack, not those that defend.

  3. 153
    Killian says:

    #142 zebra said Peanuts!

    Then he said Humans (women in particular obviously) in Japan or Italy, where they are socially empowered and not constrained by economics, choose to have fewer children… it is a rational selfish choice

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

    The only way to “maximally nudge” the system is to make everyone economically stable at a level they are happy with, educate women everywhere on issues of sex and childbirth choices, educate men everywhere to respect women’s choices – even in societies that explicitly place them second, let alone the yet-unequal claimers of equality like the U.S. – and all in a time frame population dynamics do not follow less a massive disaster.

    This is wishing and hoping, not solutions. In contrast, Regenerative Governance has it its core egalitarianism. Egalitarianism doesn’t guarantee pure equality, but equality is inherently what you are are claiming what we need to get to the population level we need – whatever that is. There is no faster way there than egalitarian decision making.

    Then he said peanuts!

    Tesla roadster…mmmmmm– offer positive incentives.

    Is available to a tiny fraction of the Earth’s population and is unsustainable. What does it offer any but the richest 1% of the planet? Comments such as this show how poorly understood the nature of sustainability is. Reducing the carbon footprint of anything is not a victory unless it is also sustainable.

  4. 154
    zebra says:

    BPL 143,

    Not disagreeing with you at all; it was a quickie and perhaps needs clarification.

    If you have a small plot and want to get a high yield (for profit or survival), then your economic input choices are artificial fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides, or intensive labor.

    If you have multiples of that plot, you can produce the same amount with no artificial inputs. And, depending on the crop, now that I think about it, even appreciably less labor input may be possible.

    So, since the theme I’ve been presenting involves the population-to-resource ratio, these two options can be seen as boundary values on a continuum.

    But, for Scott Strough and Killian, who have tunnel vision, and are engaging in a kind of circular reasoning, the second option is invisible.

    If we have lots of land relative to the population, as I said, we don’t need fancy labels for simple traditional techniques, or proselytizers thereof– the rational economic choice for a farmer is to produce the amount that maintains the quality of her land. Simple market forces, supply and demand.

  5. 155
    zebra says:

    Richard Craeger 149 and other lurkers on this:

    Two points:

    1. If I were the moderator, I would not like to be in the position of deciding when to use some kind of “nuclear option” for any particular individual. My approach, which I’ve illustrated in my comments, is to modulate conditions so that people make rational economic choices that benefit all.

    I suggest, if it isn’t technologically burdensome, to simply place a limit on how many comments anyone can make in some time period, perhaps along with a word limit. Then, the individual would (one hopes) have to be more focused in thought and coherent in communication– deciding how to use the limited resource to best make the point.

    2. But… . Here, you guys have to take some responsibility. Are you going to step up and replace the traffic that is lost?

    I often make comments with the hope of drawing out lurkers with information and opinions to contribute. For example, I brought up the question of maintaining genetic diversity in some sustainable future. I don’t know with any precision how many humans you need to do that. So, where are all the biology types out there with the answer?

    Yeah, it would be appropriate to have the discussion about mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability here– it’s really hard to keep that in a separate compartment from what the climate is doing. But, if you want it to be on a “scientific” level, you can’t just leave it to the usual suspects and then complain about the quality.

  6. 156
    Ray Ladbury says:

    I sympathize with the readers who are put off by the back and forth monopolized by a few prolix individuals. However, I also sympathize with the moderators, who, in addition to having day jobs, are also reluctant to censor the commentariat too heavily.

    In a way, the evolution of comments on this board reflects the evolution of the debate in society at large. There is very little real (as opposed to manufactured) controversy about the basic science of climate change. The scientific ignoramuses who still reject 150 year old science are mostly relegated to a few asylums where they can console each other that the whole “creaking edifice” of climate science is about to fall…any minute now…really. Even the luck warmers are getting less and less attention.

    Most of the debate now is about what to do about the problem–and here there is substantial room for disagreement, even as proponents of a given strategy loudly proclaim there is no room for reasonable people to disagree. The Unforced Variations thread was initiated to avoid policy debates swamping the science. It has decreased the noise to a significant extent in those technical threads.

    However, due to the business of the scientists who run this blog, we often go more than a week with no new technical threads. As such over time, Unforced Variations has become a venue to post links to interesting studies and debates elsewhere and for technical questions. And it has gotten difficult to find this signal among the noise of those who passionately debate policy.

    It seems to me that perhaps the best remedy to the unhappiness among the commentariat would be the creation of a new “Open Thread” dedicated to technical issues and questions AND a separation of the recent posts into those in Unforced Variations and everything else. I realize that this would require the moderators to decide whether to re-route an offending post from a technical thread to UV, but they already have to perform this function for the Borehole.

    Realclimate has been an invaluable resource in the climate wars, and it continues to be so if one can separate the wheat from the chaff. I also realize that I don’t have insight into the running of this blog, so if my comments are off base, feel free to educate me or to borehole this comment.

  7. 157
  8. 158
    mike says:

    I hope we can fix the comments here one way or another. If folks would limit themselves to one post a day, 500 words or less, that would help a lot. As others have said, the bickering is tedious. No one is going to win the endless argument, declare victory for yourself and post one time per day or less please. Can we all employ a little self-control?

    Cheers

    Mike

  9. 159
    Killian says:

    #148 Scott E Strough said “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…

    And why does this matter to a blog on climate change? …new scientific understanding of how soils function is the realization that… There is more carbon missing from our agricultural soils than there is excess in the atmosphere. Fix that and we solve both issues.

    None of this meets their preconceptions, Scott, so they belittle what has become fact as some kind of magical thinking. Now that it’s backed by science, not just me saying so, maybe they will begin to listen. More likely, more peanuts.

    We don’t get to sustainable without building lots and lots of soil.

  10. 160
    nigelj says:

    Apologies if I have written too much. I will pull back in future.

    However I have posted a lot of comments lately because I think Zebra and Killian have got some things partly wrong, and its damaging to efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. While I support smaller global population and some form of simple life and permaculture philosophy, these are not stand alone solutions to the climate problem because they cannot happen fast enough.

    Zebra in particular is very fixated on population and dismissive of other things. Killian is at least acknowledging recently that we need a range of measures at least as an interim sort of thing (I think).

    I personally think we have to embrace a range of things, including lower population growth as best we can, significantly lower gdp growth, permaculture, renewable energy, carbon taxes, etc. Its the only solution that may work, and also get enough public support. The public will never support a single, brutal, answer.

  11. 161
    Richard Creager says:

    Perhaps the lay-lurkers need to speak up with feedback re: what’s appreciated or not. MA Rodger thanks for 49, Ray L, Hank R thanks for your input always. Killian 152, you haven’t the slightest knowledge regarding my ability to “recognize what of the conversation is on point and what is not”. I don’t appreciate your comment. The Moderators, thanks again for this amazing resource and the opportunity cost you all sustain to provide it for people like me.

  12. 162
    Killian says:

    Dear Striped Peanut, your obsession is a bit disconcerting, but your ignorance more so. Circular? Support defamation or just shut the hell up. Why troll when conversation is to be had, and is so important?

    But, for Scott Strough and Killian, who have tunnel vision, and are engaging in a kind of circular reasoning, the second option is invisible.

  13. 163
    Killian says:

    #155 Striped Peanut said I’ve illustrated in my comments, is to modulate conditions so that people make rational economic choices that benefit all.

    In a finite world, there are no rational decisions that economic. Every decision is an ecological decision first and last. Everything in between is dependent on what is first and last, so for all intents and purposes, there are only ecological decisions in the end.

    Key to this is what defines sustainability. Population alone does not define sustainability. In fact, it has zero impact on whether a finite resource is sustainable, but only on rates of depletion.

    You choose to remain blind to this fact, thus do not see at all. Population matters, but reduction does not solve either depletion nor climate.

  14. 164
    Killian says:

    Small, networked communities, as I have said. 9 to 12 billion before we start down the other side of the population curve means we cannot be nomadic communities, but we can be communities of nomads… and must be.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155727269655549&id=721550548

  15. 165
    Killian says:

    One Mr. Creager said I don’t appreciate your comment.

    Previously he had said, 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.

    This is hos claim: MA Rodger thanks for 49, Ray L, Hank R thanks for your input always. Killian 152, you haven’t the slightest knowledge regarding my ability to “recognize what of the conversation is on point and what is not”.

    I can, because I can read. You thanked three people who add nothing but regurgitated words from others while sniping in exactly the way you complain about in virtually every Variations.

    Meanwhile, I have offered accurate forward-looking climate analysis for a decade while also offering the only solution set that meets the criteria of dealing with climate, returning to sub-300ppm in a (gods willing) workable time frame, creating a just and fair governance and achieves sustainability.

    But, sure, I should just be quiet. You are known by your friends, friend, and those three have been rude and disrespectful to others over the entirety of that ten years.

    You spoke, but said nothing.

  16. 166

    Killian, #35–

    You cannot think your ideas are a better response and mine a no-go unless your risk assessment is far more optimistic than mine.

    Actually, I can. I think our risk assessments are pretty similar, and our time lines for action are pretty similar. As a check on that, let me say that my understanding is that we have 20 years to radically reduce emissions, and several more decades in which we can work usefully in various ways that I won’t go into right now. (Adaptations and carbon drawdown efforts would be two possible categories, though.)

    As to the magnitude of the risk, it is unfortunately not well constrained, but certainly ranges at least as far as the total crash of civilization, potentially including the loss of most of our accumulated cultural knowledge, and severe and (in human terms) permanent impoverishment of the biosphere. I don’t think human extinction can be firmly ruled out, though humans in our way are almost as good survivalists as cockroaches (though not as lovable, from the perspective of most of the rest of the biosphere.)

    I don’t think you can have risks a whole lot worse than that.

    Where we *do* differ is in the probable time frame of relative mitigatory actions. You see your paradigm of simplification as being potentially effective in the needed time frame. I don’t think that it can happen that way: I think that there’s enough lag in the system that by the time humans en masse are seeing the reality clearly enough to adopt your paradigm (or something like it), it will be too late for mitigative efforts.

    That’s why I think that it’s important to do as much mitigation now, within the existing paradigm (or, better, a relatively less destructive developmental successor of it) within the next 20 years. Paris can do that; transitioning to a much less carbon-intensive economy can do that.

    Meanwhile things will continue to get worse climatically speaking–that’s a straightforward prediction, given that GHG levels are still increasing, and that feedbacks are already apparently kicking in (as discussed here and elsewhere.) That means that humans en masse will continue getting closer to the point of recognizing reality, and getting ready (maybe even eager) to develop/accept a different paradigm.

    You said:

    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.

    Yes, activism is a tough sell, no doubt; I should know, as I keep trying to sell it.

    However, IMO, it’s not nearly as tough as asking essentially everybody to learn a whole new set of life skills; have a great many of them move out of cities; create a whole new economy not based, as you put it, on “desire”; and to completely forswear our regrettable but apparently evolutionarily-based inclination to use lethal violence to resolve conflict. One might wish it were otherwise, but as I see it at least, it’ll be a lot easier and faster to get people to sub out fossil fuel use–even if ultimate sustainability is not completely attained thereby.

    Basically, what I’m saying is metaphorically that, while it is indeed important to find out who is throwing babies into the river and stop them, it is also important (indeed, essential) that someone keep fishing those drowning babies out in the meantime.

  17. 167
    BrettnCalgary says:

    I have been lurking here almost as long as RealClimate has been on line, I really do appreciate the opportunity to learn from climate scientists and educated amateurs. That said, I tend to agree with Richard Creager and Ray Ladbury regarding overkill (overkillian?). It doesn’t matter if he and others like him have anything useful to say, if reading his diatribes is an unpleasant chore.

    Please tone it down, be less personal. Maybe then I might read enough of your stuff to actually form an opinion on it.

  18. 168
    nigelj says:

    I suggest make UV a climate science zone only. Then its free of clutter, and off topic comments.

    Have an additional monthly page called “climate change mitigation”, which allows free ranging discussion on soil sinks, renewable energy, lifestyle issues, population issues, and human and economic communities and systems etc,etc. I’m sure I have advocated this before.

    It would not need much moderation, as long as its not full of personal abuse, or blatant propaganda. We don’t want painfully polite either, but there’s an obvious middle ground.

  19. 169
    nigelj says:

    Mr Creager, you allege I talk too much. Possibly, take your point.

    You allege I have misquoted people and nit pick. I don’t think so and you provide no evidence.

    You criticise certain peoples views on sustainability. Its a complex issue and people are pressed for time and discussion does become fragmented back and forth. However I stand by my views.

    I suspect you simply don’t like the implications of those views. Instead of complaining, you should perhaps provide a better theory on how to achieve sustainability or analysis of the issues. Until you do, I have little time or tolerance for your comment.

    I don’t entirely agree with killians or Zebras views, but at least they have a view and the courage to state that view.

  20. 170
    Killian says:

    You want to solve people’s rudeness? One solution: Any post with any personal comment whatsoever gets Bore Holed.

    Done.

    MA Rodger, Ray L, Hank R., you’ve been allowing these three fee reign the entire time I’ve been here, yet you wonder why others feel free to snipe? On this board, even people who are natural allies turn on each other. It’s absurd. But boards take on the personalities moderation allows. They do not self-regulate.

    This is simple: No favorites, Bore Hole everything with even a whiff.

    Cheers

  21. 171
    Killian says:

    #167 BrettnCalgary whined (overkillian?)

    First time I’ve ever heard from you and it’s an attack. You are not unique, you are the norm. Welcome to the Peanut Gallery. Your delusion is that the negativity begins with me. It does not.

    First post in this variations:
    1 Barton Paul Levenson K: Seriously, why lie like this? You crack me up, peanut.

    BPL: You cracked a long time ago.

    BPL had a choice to let the thing lie. He chose not to and started off this month with a non-sequitur, meaningless insult. And he had lied.

    Second post in this Variations:

    #2 Barton Paul Levenson said 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… If one person doesn’t get it, that’s one thing, but according to your own posts, nobody seems to get it… or what you wrote is bloody incomprehensible.

    He doubles down, by lying. I have never said nobody gets it. Also, that many don’t get it is due primarily to ideology and fear. Expected. We are talking a new paradigm here. That’s not the issue. They lie. Flat out. Belittle, flat out.

    Fifth post in this thread:

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

    I had never said anything close to this in my life, let alone on RC. I had made a statement that we could feed 10 or 12 billion. The connotation of “just fine” is bizarre, and was a repeated, and previously corrected, distortion. When a false statement is not only repeated, but corrected and repeated, it cannot but be intentional.

    This is the sort of propagandistic stuff i deal with from ideologues here. Yet, you blame me for saying it’s B.S. Not so good on your analysis.

    Seeing a pattern in all this? Now go educate yourself, or remind yourself if you’ve been around that long:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/06/recent-trends-in-co2-emissions/comment-page-3/#comments

    If you think I went from being an accepted poster to the crap we have today because I changed my tone, you’re out to lunch. People don’t like being wrong, and like less when the one who is right says so.

    That is where all this came from.

  22. 172
    nigelj says:

    Killian @171 says I misquoted him by claiming he thought a population was 10 billion was just fine.

    This is not the case. Killian said at 328, 1 Dec 2017 at 2:32 AM (nigel)“you do not think population is much of a problem”? (killian) Never have.

    Killian you forget what you say sometimes, and lack clarity. We all do.

  23. 173
    Richard Creager says:

    Killian 165-
    Yes, I thanked MA Rodger for 49. It showed the path for me to wrestle with the appropriate concepts to improve my understanding of a core climate notion. That’s why I’m here. Hank Roberts does that all the time. That you can charge him with “sniping” must be ridiculously absurd to anybody who has read this blog for any time with any attention. While Ray Ladbury may have taken a snipe or two, I don’t think he does it “in exactly the way [I] complain about”. Would that Mr Ladbury ran the borehole. I’d give him the keys, prior access to all comments and full discretion. You think you can determine that I am unable to “recognize what of the conversation is on point”, and you cite for evidence that you can read, and that I appreciate these three posters comments. That’s how you do analysis? Having read a fair number of your comments, in view of their repetitiveness and high word to content ratio, your appearance on RC having approximately coincided with the removal of the recaptcha feature, and noting your tendency to meet challenges to your assertions with deflecting personal insults, I feel obligated to invoke the Turing Test to ensure that you are not a text generator. I ask that you write something showing thoughtfulness and insight to demonstrate your humanity.

  24. 174
    Richard Creager says:

    Nijel 169-
    OK, fair enough, and since you asked. The main soft spot in all this discussion of sustainable cultures is that there is no plausible notion for getting there from here, with the warming crisis imminent, sustainable culture, hopefully to follow. Inventing a sustainable culture seems likely to be a problem susceptible of numerous solutions. If we’re fortunate enough to get there, the actual solution we develop will be the result of historical processes so wrenching as we cross the divide that pretending we can anticipate what that culture will look like seems hubris. Anticipating what one trajectory our future history will have taken, and how that will manifest in perhaps wholly new social institutions, is science fiction, not science. You can spin plausible scenarios and argue about them, but there is no criteria for validity. A new culture likely simpler, yeah, tho not certainly so. More or less egalitarian? Probably(sic). One thing we do know: they’ll burn a lot less fuel.

  25. 175
    MA Rodger says:

    GISTEMP has posted for November with an anomaly of +0.87ºC, much the same as the last few months (+0.70ºC to +0.90ºC) and cooler than the months at the start of the year (+0.93ºC to +1.13ºC). It is the 3rd warmest November on record after 2015 (+1.03ºC) and 2016 (+0.90ºC) with 2010 & 2013 sharing 4th warmest Nov (+0.78ºC). with 6th place 2009 (+0.76ºC).
    November 2017 is =25th warmest anomaly on the full all-month record.
    The table ranks years by the Jan-to-Nov average and with just December remaining, 2017 is firmly set in second spot for the full year, requiring a Dec anomaly above +2.0ºC to topple 2016 from top spot and below +0.5ºC to drop into 3rd below 2015. Monthly anomalies 2010-to-date for GISS, NOAA, BEST and TLT UAH & RSS are graphed here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your anomaly’) showing the surface records boosted in the early part of the year by weak El Nino conditions. Strangely, the TLT records showed no similar springtime weak-El-Nino ‘boost’ but have instead saw a curious upward ‘boost’ through the autumn (seemingly associated with warmth over the southern oceans). With the autumn ‘TLT ‘boost’, it will not just be the surface records showing “scorchyissimo!!” for a big-El-Nino-less 2017. The weak El Nino now in place in the Pacific is predicted to turn neutral early in the new year so will have minimal impact on 2018 global temperatures.

    …….. Jan-Nov Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.01ºC … … … +0.99ºC … … …1st
    2017 .. +0.90ºC
    2015 .. +0.85ºC … … … +0.87ºC … … …2nd
    2014 .. +0.73ºC … … … +0.73ºC … … …3rd
    2010 .. +0.72ºC … … … +0.70ºC … … …4th
    2005 .. +0.67ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … …5th
    2007 .. +0.66ºC … … … +0.64ºC … … …7th
    2013 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.64ºC … … …6th
    2002 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … …9th
    2009 .. +0.63ºC … … … +0.64ºC … … …8th
    1998 .. +0.63ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … …10th

  26. 176
    MA Rodger says:

    Killian @170,
    I think you overstep a mark with that comment. It is plainly long overdue that the Killianisation of recent RC UV comment threads requires proper reckoning. So Killian, my message to you is:-
    “Reduce the volume or stick to climatology. No more verbage prattling on and on and on about the minutae of mitigation policies or politics or whatever it is you’ve been prattling on about. Because such prattle is off topic here!!!”

  27. 177
    Thomas says:

    quoting from email notice: Sent by Galilee Blockade |

    Downer quietly dropped to the stock exchange this morning that they will no longer build or operate Adani’s Carmichael mine.

    (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmichael_coal_mine )

    Adani are pretending that it’s ‘mutual’, that they can build the mine themselves. But Adani have never built a mine in Australia and never built a mine this big. They simply can’t do it without huge delays, massive costs and extra risk to investors.

    We’ve led the campaign to get Downer out of bed with Adani. Hundreds of citizens have blockaded Downer industrial sites day and night, bought shares, protested, donated and even got arrested. Please honour their efforts and celebrate this victory by:

    Sharing this news story
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-18/adani-parts-way-mining-services-company-down-carmichael-mine-qld/9267778

    Sharing our Facebook post, excited video and Tweet
    Donating to our fighting fund so we can target Aurizon, Gina, Macmines or whoever is next

    Thank you for your ongoing support. Together we will win!

    [end quote]

  28. 178
    Thomas says:

    quick comment re: 160 nigelj says:
    “… because I think Zebra and Killian have got some things partly wrong, and its damaging to efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.”

    Mate, you’re over-egging it. Even if Z & K were 100% totally wrong (or as rich and powerful as Murdoch and seriously “wrong” in the head) they are having zero impact on anyone’s efforts to reduce CO2 etc etc.

    They are causing zero “damage” … you’re looking in the wrong place and criticizing the wrong people versus those who really are damaging to efforts to reduce CO2 emissions

    There are thousands of them you could email or telephone and harrass daily. :-)

  29. 179

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

    BPL: You cracked a long time ago.

    K: BPL had a choice to let the thing lie. He chose not to and started off this month with a non-sequitur, meaningless insult. And he had lied.

    BPL: Note what was said (1st two paragraphs), and then how K interpreted it (3rd paragraph). I’ll let that speak for itself.

  30. 180
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Killian,
    You are rather in the same situation as someone who has walked into a movie in the middle and started criticizing the plot without having inquired what you missed. Hank, Kevin, BPL, MA Rodgers and I have been here on this board for a very long time. Hank, in particular has a long history of directing people to interesting papers, presentations, etc. BPL has contributed some invaluable resources on his climate page and some good analysis here and elsewhere. I’ve helped people understand some of the subtler points of the greenhouse effect and other issues, and MA Rodgers has been a consistent contributor, finding relevant articles, etc. What we contribute may not interest you, but it has been helpful to others.

    I will also confess to having contributed a good deal of snark. Usually, I reserve said snark for those who attack dedicated, talented climate scientists or others I feel are making a good contribution in the climate wars. You’ve been on the recieving end of some of that snark.

    I would like to say that you’ve given as good as you’ve gotten, but that would be a lie. Crafting a good insult takes a degree of talent. You have to file the insult down to a fine point, so that it can deliver its sting effectively. It also helps if there is a bit of humor or good nature in it.

    If there is one talent you lack, it is certainly that of expressing yourself succinctly. What you propose as a solution the the current climate crisis is not without merit. I do not think it would get us where we need to be. I do not think it could be widely adopted by everyone. However, it could buy time–and very important and scarce commodity.

    Myself, I think that the less a solution changes the structure of society, the more likely it is that people will adopt it. Change is certainly needed, even drastic change, but change is what people hate more than anything else. People will still want to travel. Scientists will still have to gather in conferences, because that’s how science gets done. People will still need to be fed–2.7 billion more people than today by 2050.

    If you want to persuade people, you will have to do more than fling untalented insults. You will have to understand what people believe and why. You will have to consider whether they might have a point even if it is only a prerequisite to refuting that point. And you will have to realize that people can tell the difference between not suffering fools gladly and merely being an insecure twit.

    BTW, if you just want to become better at the art of the insult, study Churchill, Dorothy Parker, George Bernard Shaw, Wolfgang Pauli and Oscar Wilde. If all you learn is how to deliver a brief, well targeted insult that contains a bit of wit, your posts will at least be less boring to read.

  31. 181
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Killian,
    Oh, and it’s “free rein,” (as in letting the horse run wild) not “free reign”. I am certainly not descended from nobles.

  32. 182
    BrettnCalgary says:

    killian, as I said I’ve been lurking here a long time, I have learned a lot.

    I’m afraid you aren’t helpful in that regard.

    whining?

    Whatever Gavin et al do with their blog is fine with me, I just think it would be helpful to mute a few posters who aren’t improving the process.

    They have done it before.

  33. 183
    BrettnCalgary says:

    One last thing killian, insult away, I won’t be responding to you. If I choose to post further (unlikely), it will be to respond to climate science discussions.

  34. 184
    Mo'Handy says:

    OK, guys, I’ve had it with Killian and others, who seem to have missed the point of the recent discussion about personal attacks and supercilious trash talk. I’ll look in again in the next couple of months, if I think of it.

  35. 185
    Killian says:

    #166 Kevin McKinney said Killian, #35–

    You cannot think your ideas are a better response and mine a no-go unless your risk assessment is far more optimistic than mine.

    Actually, I can. I think our risk assessments are pretty similar, and our time lines for action are pretty similar. As a check on that, let me say that my understanding is that we have 20 years to radically reduce emissions, and several more decades in which we can work usefully in various ways that I won’t go into right now.

    Not even close. That is not how risk assessment works. You listed what you think will happen. What we *think* will happen is not directly related to risk assessment. Risk assessment is a threat analysis, It’s the worst viable outcome. A planet-killing meteor is a real risk, but you don’t base building codes on it, you develop deflection systems. Climate and resources are also existential risks, and also require deflection. The difference is, they are already here, not coming. I read this morning widespread permafrost melt may be only a decade away. Your approach guarantees failure under that scenario. Mine has the possibility of limiting those effects.

    More later.

  36. 186
    flxible says:

    Killian says: “You want to solve people’s rudeness? One solution: Any post with any personal comment whatsoever gets Bore Holed.
    […..]
    This is simple: No favorites, Bore Hole everything with even a whiff.”
    Then proceeds with another post not just “whiffing” of personal comment, but absolutely reeking concerning a number of posters who disagree with him.

  37. 187
    Killian says:

    #166 Kevin McKinney part II: Where we *do* differ is in the probable time frame of relative mitigatory actions… simplification as being potentially effective… in the needed time frame. I don’t think that it can happen that way: I think that there’s enough lag in the system that by the time humans en masse are seeing the reality clearly enough to adopt your paradigm (or something like it), it will be too late for mitigative efforts.

    The same argument applies to both. And, I repeat, the messaging has been, and continues to be, wrong. Until there is a stark risk assessment laid out and a clear map to solutions, you cannot expect rapid change. But you, et al., have neither the correct risk assessment nor the correct solution set. I am repetitive because simplicity really is simple: Only my approach can be shown to deal with every aspect our our multivariate problem. Your approach extends the period before deep change occurs. (Jeavons’ Paradox, madical thinking, etc.)

    That’s why I think that it’s important to do as much mitigation now, within the existing paradigm (or, better, a relatively less destructive developmental successor of it) within the next 20 years. Paris can do that; transitioning to a much less carbon-intensive economy can do that.

    Holistic aka regenerative forms of farming are growing, and are real, permanent solutions. nonRenewables are growing exponentially as prices fall. Yes, nonRenewables can be part of a permaculture design; the design process is distinct from the *state* of being regenerative. This falls under Appropriate Technology. The dichotomy between my stance and yours is mostly in your own head. While I exist fully in your half of the dichotomy, you do not exist in my half, yet, you trust your analysis over mine. (Strange, no?) You do not fully understand what I am proposing, but I understand what you are proposing.

    No matter how you slice it, simplification and regenerative systems get us there significantly faster than your solution set.

    Paris was born inadequate, so to say, “Paris can do that,” makes little sense. And you say it’s important to mitigate now… how is simplification not the most effective form? Renewables aren’t even mitigation unless you think you can de-couple climate from resources, which you cannot.

    Meanwhile things will continue to get worse climatically speaking… humans en masse will continue getting closer to the point of recognizing reality, and getting ready (maybe even eager) to develop/accept a different paradigm.

    And, yet, will have made it significantly worse. The consumption of 9 or 10 billion… led by Teslas and Leafs Again, give them an accurate message…

    535 Mr. Smiths (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) in Congress and and/or an activist population…

    Yes, activism is a tough sell, no doubt; I should know, as I keep trying to sell it.

    However, IMO, it’s not nearly as tough as …learn a whole new set of life skills… move out of cities; create a whole new economy… forswear… lethal violence to resolve conflict.

    You mean people do not want to survive? Yet, in disaster after disaster exactly this happens.

    it’ll be a lot easier and faster to get people to sub out fossil fuel use–even if ultimate sustainability is not completely attained thereby.

    Not on;y will sustainability not be achieved, virtually no mitigation, either. You don’t seem to want to deal with the enabling aspect of replacing demand with a different source. The rest of the consumption set will dwarf the effects of more nonRenewables, in some part due to more bodies on the planet. But the effect of letting people think they can keep consuming the same amount of energy as long as its solar keeps consumption where it is now.

    What you’re saying is, the message is too hard, so let’s try something easier. Look into Ecosystem Restoration Camps, a new thing started this year. It’s quite similar to my concept of five or so years ago for Rgenerative Community Incubators, but less effective in the long run. Still, very much the right kind of change.

  38. 188
    Killian says:

    You appear to be a congenital liar. This is the full text:

    Killian the planet has a population of 7.6 billion. How do you seriously expect us to live like these cultures? Especially as you have specifically stated “you do not think population is much of a problem”?

    Never have. Around that text would have been further exposition, such as in the near term, at this time, interns of food production in that we can feed up to 12 billion…. etc. But, you are a dishonest person, so are comfortable cherry picking quotes.

    Clearly I refuted your claim I had said population wasn’t much of a problem.

    You are lucky I am not a mod here. A board cannot survive willful liars like yourself. They are too disruptive, and the lie is better remembered than the truth. What a perfect experiment we have had here! It is exactly the case the more you lie about what I say, the more I explain your lies, the more people pop up and say i am the problem.

    Amazing.

    You do not belong here.

  39. 189
    nigelj says:

    Richard Creager @174

    Yeah fair comments. Designs for future societies are indeed speculative, and you will note I said my attempt at post 90 this month was done reluctantly (although I rather like it). However I don’t see that they hurt, and they provoke thought.

    However we have certainty on some things. Science says we have a problem with pollution, climate change, and fast use of resources. There’s good evidence that its generated by a combination of high population growth and high gdp growth, and fossil fuels.

    The solution is up to the people ultimately, and can only be informed by science. But IMO it’s going to include a combination of renewable energy, slower economic growth and smaller population, and a lot of recycling ultimately. These things have a range of hidden benefits as well.

    As I have said the thing is to point the ship in the right direction, and take account of what the public is most likely to accept,and our institutions and economic systems will then inevitably evolve and change in ways we can only partly predict.

  40. 190
    Killian says:

    #173 Richard Creager said Would that Mr Ladbury ran the borehole. I’d give him the keys, prior access to all comments and full discretion. You think you can determine that I am unable to “recognize what of the conversation is on point”

    You have just proven it. Perhaps take your own advice and post something that adds the science. Playing attack dog does not.

    #176 MA Rodger said Killian @170… the Killianisation of recent RC UV comment threads

    Look in the mirror. You are a cause.

    So… “Reduce the volume or stick to climatology.

    Soil is climatology, as I said long ago. (Again, ahead of the curve. Will it never end…?)

    Because such prattle is off topic here!!!”

    No, it no longer is. Soil, and all other design we do for regenerative systems have direct effects on climate. You are behind the times.

    180 Ray Ladbury said Killian,
    You are rather in the same situation as someone who has walked into a movie in the middle and started criticizing the plot without having inquired what you missed. Hank, Kevin, BPL, MA Rodgers and I have been here on this board for a very long time.

    Peanut, I’ve been here since at least 2008. What a foolish thing for you to have said. It perfectly illustrates your absurdly biased perspective.

    And, for chrissake, who *wants* or *seeks* to be good at insulting others?

    Criminy…

    More later… class…

  41. 191
    Digby Scorgie says:

    There are some contributors here who seem to be unpopular. Don’t complain. Just scroll past their comments at high speed. It saves time and you’ll find interesting snippets of information in the comments by others.

    One comment that interested me was Richard Creager’s @174. There might be several methods to achieving a sustainable society, Richard, but I suspect humans will still be squabbling about it when the planet imposes its own solution.

  42. 192
    nigelj says:

    Killian @187

    “(KM)However, IMO, it’s not nearly as tough as …learn a whole new set of life skills… move out of cities; create a whole new economy… forswear… lethal violence to resolve conflict.”

    “(Killian)You mean people do not want to survive? Yet, in disaster after disaster exactly this happens.”

    Sure if there’s a famine or something immediately threatening, people adapt quickly and make big changes because they are forced.

    But climate change is slow and insidious and our psychology reacts differently. You have a good chance to get people to adopt a carbon tax and renewable energy, and some lifestyle changes, but they are never going to accept your huge cuts to consumption and salaries. These are the realities.

  43. 193
    Killian says:

    What you propose as a solution the the current climate crisis is not without merit.

    Yet, you comment *about* me far more often than you comment *to* me.

    See the problem?

    I do not think it would get us where we need to be.

    Opinions are universal; opinions are not universally valid. It is the only way to get where we need to be. Again, math. While too many here like to pretend I am the only saying finite resources means sustainability must be simple, I am not. And the numbers that understand this are growing. What is bizarre is that there are those who deny this basic math… on this forum.

    E.g.

    I do not think it could be widely adopted by everyone. However, it could buy time–and very important and scarce commodity.

    Absolutely could. It is the nature of the beast. I have no idea why you say this, given the nature of the beast.

    Myself, I think that the less a solution changes the structure of society, the more likely it is that people will adopt it.

    Principle: Least change for maximum effect. Do the least you must to solve the problem is generally the best approach. However, this society is very far into overshoot. That is no longer an option. What is an option is moving to doing a lot less.

    Change is certainly needed, even drastic change, but change is what people hate more than anything else. People will still want to travel. Scientists will still have to gather in conferences, because that’s how science gets done.

    What people want does not matter if it cannot be done.

    People will still need to be fed–2.7 billion more people than today by 2050.

    And we can… so far. Climate change may change that.

    If you want to persuade people, you will have to do more than fling untalented insults.

    As if I haven’t talked of these things for a decade here.

    More later.

  44. 194
    Thomas Alvord says:

    I’ve skipped looking at the forced variations for several weeks in hopes that the Killian phenomenon would come to an end, but I see it has not. This used to be an interesting blog!

  45. 195
    Killian says:

    #182 BrettnCalgary said killian, as I said I’ve been lurking here a long time, I have learned a lot.

    I’m afraid you aren’t helpful in that regard.

    Then you almost certainly don’t know what you need to learn.

    . If I choose to post further (unlikely), it will be to respond to climate science discussions.

    The irony of you doing anything other than that… you pick a fight, then blame the victim. #metoosorta

    #180 Ray Ladbury said You will have to understand what people believe and why.

    I do, but spreading the word is not my thing. Mine is teaching those who can. Convince? No. Teach? Yes. If you are so skilled, stop talking, start learning, go convince. However, you do not follow your own advice.

    You will have to consider whether they might have a point

    I always do. That you seem to think I do not indicates 1. you’re not paying close enough attention and 2. you don’t understand the issues. I disagree because people are wrong, not because I don’t like them. I don’t play that stupid game played by the Peanut Gallery. Correct or incorrect stands on its own.

    you will have to realize that people can tell the difference between not suffering fools gladly and merely being an insecure twit.

    You can’t.

    BTW, if you just want to become better at the art of the insult, study Churchill

    Your interest, not mine. And a foul one.

    #186 flxible said Peanuts!

    Each of you has chosen to align yourself as you have. Look back at our conversations of 2008 or so. You weren’t being a rude little peanut. Now you are. My tone has not changed. What changed? What are you afraid of?

    The solutions.

    Being shown to be wrong.

    It ain’t rocket science.

    #181 Ray Ladbury said it’s “free rein,”not “free reign”

    Indeed, peanut. Nice catch. Hard to write correctly when doing so in the few minutes between classes.

  46. 196
    Killian says:

    #174 Richard Creager said The main soft spot in all this discussion of sustainable cultures is that there is no plausible notion for getting there from here

    An opinion. Implausibility lies only in the realm of, “People won’t do that/don’t want that/aren’t willing to/aren’t going to,” etc. Nobody has stated why other than this. My standard response: They have not been given an appropriate rubric. Do that, they will, or will be more likely to.

    Inventing a sustainable culture seems likely to be a problem susceptible of numerous solutions.

    One cannot invent what already exists. More correct to say spreading, perhaps.

    If we’re fortunate enough to get there, the actual solution we develop

    Correction: If we’re fortunate enough to get there, the actual **solutions** we develop

    will be the result of historical processes so wrenching as we cross the divide that pretending we can anticipate what that culture will look like seems hubris.

    Then every problem ever solved was an act of hubris, no? Every act of science. What’s your point?

    Anticipating what one trajectory our future history will have taken, and how that will manifest in perhaps wholly new social institutions, is science fiction, not science.

    Again, then no problem would have ever been solved. This is illogical. Of course it can be analyzed. If you mean to say we cannot know the details of things, that is correct. How could it be otherwise? But I think, and i may be wrong, you mean we have pretty much no idea what will be on the other side. This is false.

    First, we have examples of sustainable cultures now. Just as we now use bio-mimicry for other things, we can use bio-mimicry here in copying the patterns and principles found in those societies. Why is this hubris? To look, see, and copy? I think the problem lies in your own vision. You can’t see it, so you assume nobody can.

    You can spin plausible scenarios and argue about them, but there is no criteria for validity.

    Of course there is. Nature operates on principles. Concepts rest on First Principles. Both can be and are known. Given your claim of long-time lurking, you should have picked this up.

    If a design idea violates one of these principles we know it is invalid. If it does not, it is valid. Whether it is *useful* is a design issue; one can build a straw bale house, but one cannot build it in 100 ft of water. Rather, you can, but it would be pretty bizarrely wasteful.

    A new culture likely simpler, yeah, tho not certainly so.

    Yes, certainly so. Thermodynamics. One thing I learned from my time on the The Oil Drum, you can play all the math games you want, but less per capita energy means less complexity. Also, fungibility. Solar and wind are wonderful, but they do not have anything even close to approaching the fungibility of FFs. These two combined guarantee simplicity.

    Then there’s water supply… and so many other things.

    More or less egalitarian? Probably(sic).

    I can imagine a sustainable serfdom; I cannot imagine it remaining that way… thus it would be unsustainable.

    One thing we do know: they’ll burn a lot less fuel.

    One would hope.

    Now, why the hell didn’t you come in and discuss these things in the first place?

    Rhetorical question.

  47. 197
    Killian says:

    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Don’t be surprised, most of you, when Santa leaves you a bit of coal!

    I’m out till the new year arrives unless something new pops up in the science… like the 10 years to permafrost melt….!!!

    :-)

    Cheers

  48. 198
    Thomas says:

    Maintaining the positive spirit of friendship and camaraderie that pervades this little internet group, I offer my best wishes for this ‘Season to be Merry’ and the best ever for the New year to all those in the saving the Planet and preserving Life at any cost Team.

    You know who you are, you cuddly possums! :-)

    Mele Kalikimaka!

    Hanukkah Sameach!

    Merry Christmas!

    Nollaig Shona Dhuit!

    Feliz Natal!

    Boas Festas!

    Feliz Navidad!

    Joyeux Noël!

    Zalig Kerstfeest!

    Fröhliche Weihnachten!

    Buon Natale!

    Geseënde Kersfees en ‘n Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar!!!

    Geseënde Kersfees!

    Joyeux Noël

    Nedeleg Laouen

    Bon Natale

    E güeti Wïnâchte Joyeux noël

    Melikam Gena! (መልካም ገና!)

    Jabbama be salla Kirismati

    Izilokotho Ezihle Zamaholdeni

    Christmas Mubarak (کرسمس مبارک)

    Eid Milad Majid (عيد ميلاد مجيد)

    Շնորհավոր Ամանոր և Սուրբ Ծնունդ

    រីករាយ បុណ្យ​ណូអែល

    圣诞快乐

    聖誕快樂

    Veselé Vánoce

    Hyvää joulua

    Καλά Χριστούγεννα

    გილოცავ შობა-ახალ წელს

    Gleðileg jól

    শুভ বড়দিন)

    शुभ नाताळ

    عيد ميلاد سعيد

    eid milad saeid

    めりーくりすます

    즐거운 크리스마스 되세요

    Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus

    Kirîsmes u ser sala we pîroz be

    圣诞老人 – shèng dàn lǎo rén

    கிறிஸ்துமஸ் வாழ்த்துக்கள்

    Krismasasya shubhkaamnaa

    Selamat Hari Natal

    Santim Vah!

    Santa’s Xmas Tip for 2018 from up there in the not quite frozen Arctic: “Everyone’s your mirror!”

  49. 199
    Thomas says:

    Re 158 mike,

    “If folks would limit themselves to just one or two metric tons of CO2 emissions per year (instead of the current 5 tonnes average per person), that would help a lot.”

    There, fixed it for you. :-)

    ref: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC

  50. 200
    Thomas says:

    Killian says: “Population matters, but reduction does not solve either depletion nor climate.”

    Spot on Killian! Unfortunately, for some / or many (?) that’s not as obvious a true fact as it is for many others.

    Philosophy ‘n’ Logic 101