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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. 301
    MA Rodger says:

    Adam Lea @293,
    I was careful only to set out the coincidence of AGW arriving with a period containing more-than-average stormy Atlantic cyclone seasons. This is reflected in the Atlantic number-of-storms data 1851-to-date graphed here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’). And do note the reason for considering solely the Atlantic is because it allows an understanding of what happened before 1970.
    (Plus if you want global numbers, a better place to look is Dr. Ryan N. Maue’s up-to-date Global Tropical Cyclone Activity’ page. While the global value will comprise ocean basins where there could be no rise or even a fall in cyclones, the global data does show a quite convincing rise in the nuumber of major tropical cyclones globally.)
    Taking it beyond there being a ‘coincidence’, we perhaps should start with the IPCC AR5 that says (TS5.8.4):-

    “Projections for the 21st century indicate that it is likely that the global frequency of tropical cyclones will either decrease or remain essentially unchanged, concurrent with a likely increase in both global mean tropical cyclone maximum wind speed and rain rates (Figure TS.26). The influence of future climate change on tropical cyclones is likely to vary by region, but there is low confidence in region-specific projections. The frequency of the most intense storms will more likely than not increase in some basins. More extreme precipitation near the centers of tropical cyclones making landfall is projected in North and Central America, East Africa, West, East, South and Southeast Asia as well as in Australia and many Pacific islands (medium confidence).”

    And you will note the comment in TFE9 which is saying there is an evident increase in Atlantic hurricane activity since 1970 but on attribution says “However, the cause of this increase is debated and there is low confidence in attribution of changes in tropical cyclone activity to human influence….” This suggests that you are not the only one “unconvinced there is a significant link between Atlantic hurricane seasons and global warming.”
    For me, the worrying take-away from the 2017 Atlantic season is that it is accepted that tropical cyclone activity is less to do with the potential strength of storms and more to do with how many storms are seeded by weather systems and how long they are allowed to develop by the prevailing weather. The 8-week spell in the Atlantic this year perhaos showed what was possble when they were allowed. The suddenness of storm development and their persistence (in the case of Hurricane Ophellia, all the way to Ireland!!) were quite a feature.

  2. 302
  3. 303
    Thomas says:

    286 nigelj, hi mate, i am not interested in past achievements or “glories” only the present.
    and there’s nothing wrong with group think, the problem is what the group thinks where the focus should be on. but it’s all good, thanks for the reply. I hear where you;re coming from. happy new year over the ditch. have one for me from the ‘chilly bin’ :-)

  4. 304
    zebra says:

    Kevin M #292,

    OK, let’s deal with possible misunderstandings first.

    1. The map is not the country. The height of one of the grid boxes does not represent a skyscraper. Manhattan is surrounded by many single-family homes and manufacturing facilities even within the boroughs, and suburbs and undeveloped land and farms and so on within a relatively small radius. People will distribute themselves as they like, but, they will concentrate in the city because that’s what they do now. (If they can afford it.)

    2. When I said “hover over and zoom in”, you (as the student) are supposed to visualize on your own how map A is different from map B. What you should see is that the lines for the NYC node in B radiate like spokes of a wheel, while the lines for the USA in A look like a net wrapped around two poles and opened up left to right.

    3. Which brings us to “why the coasts?”. Well, I’m happy to repeat all the reasons I’ve given in past comments, but what should suffice is: Because that’s what they do now.

    Let’s review:

    I am using this easy, obvious, variable– the energy involved in the transportation topology– to support my argument about the non-linear relationship between declining population and declining “Liquidation of Natural Capital.” There are other things we can overlay on the map, like climate, which also support my claim, and would constrain where the final nodes end up.

    As you said to nigel, I am not prescribing an end result beyond my constraints about genetic diversity and specialization. I have fond memories of Toronto from my misspent youth; perhaps it will be one of the final nodes, but if it is extinguished in the service of sustainability, so it must be.

    I’m happy to continue with this but you have to be willing to “do the math”, which doesn’t mean solving equations and producing exact numbers, but rather internalizing the (abstract) model. As I said to Nigel, this is something that doesn’t come easy to anyone, without practice.

  5. 305
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    293 Lea: I think you will find that as records get more accurate and consistent that a clear trend will emerge of rising ocean temps and stronger hurricanes. The jet stream currents which usually prevent hurricanes getting to ludicrous size are shifting in course, speed and duration. Now very often forming blocking fronts helping vast tracts of ocean to warm unhindered and when that causes sufficient evaporation to form hurricanes but this time with no roof so the vertical volume of super saturated air is greater thus causing stronger hurricanes or deeper rain depressions etc.

  6. 306
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    253 Thomas: I could not agree with you more if it was indeed possible to do so. Sustainability is always the correct choice. Fix the earth before destroying any other planets.
    We are NOT spiritually mature enough!
    So if 2.5mill years is our lot, do be it.
    Weren’t the dinosaurs wise.

  7. 307
  8. 308

    KIA 297: Holy Cow! Record cold in the eastern half of the USA!

    BPL: Holy Cow! KIA STILL doesn’t understand the difference between weather and climate!

  9. 309
    zebra says:

    Richard Creager #299,

    (A) I don’t know and I know that I don’t know. Instead I see people stating a social outcome they think likely, then shout it when others don’t embrace it.

    No analysis. No, spinning a plausible scenario that really appeals to you isn’t analysis. C’mon, I’d like an actual discussion about sustainability. No unicorns, what do we do now to make it happen.

    (B) We need to shut down all fossil fuel use essentially immediately for a decent chance to retain a recognizable civilization. So we need to rapidly add all transportation, all heating and a growing cooling energy budget to the grid and run it all with renewables. How do we do that? Can we talk about nukes again? How do the nuts and bolts work, the devil in the details? How to get there, what does the transition look like?

    (My A and B inserted)

    Sounds like you are talking to yourself here.

    You are correct that people are coming up with the solution and then writing the “problem” to fit it– but that’s also what you are doing in B, it seems.

    Some comments back I stated the problem in a clearly defined way– Mitigation, Adaptation, Sustainability. You can use my definitions or your own, but the first rule of designing a solution is to state the goal in an unambiguous way. Then your solution can be put to the test.

    The point is, people can’t (constructively) disagree on this kind of project until they agree, meaning starting from the same point with the same rules and the same goal. I’m trying to do that with Kevin in the last few comments, FWIW.

  10. 310
    Hank Roberts says:

    https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2017/12/scientists-learning-from-indigenous-peoples/

    … the source of global resilience lies within the Indigenous traditional territories, which support about 80 percent of the world’s biological diversity and contain close to a quarter of the carbon stored above ground in the world’s tropical forests (not including the carbon stored in the soil). The Archipelago of Hope is my attempt at conveying the fundamental role that Indigenous territories have in determining the future of humankind and our planet.

    Amy Brady: You tell in your book a story about how you became acquainted with Indigenous cultures and the concept of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, the environmental knowledge that Indigenous peoples developed after thousands of years of working and living in their territories. What inspired you to start thinking of these communities in terms of climate change?

    Gleb Raygorodetsky: It has not emerged out of some naïve vision of Indigenous peoples as “noble savages” or a romantic belief that somehow we must all be magicked back into the “ancestral ways” to solve our current problems. On the contrary, what has motivated me all these years is quite rational and pragmatic. In two decades of scholarly and community-based learning, observation, and participation, I have come to realize that it is the Indigenous peoples who are the true stewards of global biocultural heritage. After all, it is they who have a robust millennia-long track record of maintaining intimate relationships with the natural world, which has nourished their communities and sustained their cultures, without devouring the life-giving environment. This is the track record that they continuously strive to maintain, despite formidable odds, including fierce opposition from the “developed” world.

    The “accomplishments” of modern society, however, are a lot more recent, paltry, and have had much more destructive consequences for life on Earth. …

    Not as Killianesque as he sounds from the short quote. Book review worth reading.

  11. 311
    Thomas says:

    283 Barton Paul Levenson might one day stop playing chicken and egg and get real grown up like.

    aka why can’t ‘we’ all just blame Japan then? They “started” it all before WWI – doh! I thank god your ‘science papers’ have to go through ‘peer review’ first.

  12. 312

    Nigel, #284–

    I’m in agreement with a lot of what you say in the comment. However, a couple of points.

    First, I rule out the ‘Venus scenario’ completely, based on the reading I’ve done. I don’t think it’s really taken seriously any more in the field at large. IIRC, there’s just not enough water to drive it for a planet with Earthly specs. (Corrections welcome!)

    Therefore, essentially *all* human extinction risk in my mind is associated with loss of ecosystem services, though abetted a bit by adaptational factors. (Cf., Diamond’s account of the Norse collapse in Greenland; as the Norse were starving into near-extinction, the better-adapted Thule culture people were thriving.)

    What I think just about everybody underestimates is 1) the historical difficulty of ‘living off the land’, and 2) the degree to which that is compounded by ecosystem disruption and ‘weather weirding.’ One of the tricky things about warming at particular locations is that the responsive ability of organisms–even apparently similar ones–can vary widely. A sterling example of this is discussed in Elizabeth Kolbert’s “Sixth Extinction,” which I wrote about here:

    https://letterpile.com/books/Elizabeth-Kolberts-The-Sixth-Extinction-A-Summary-Review

    There’s a chapter in which she looks at the Andean forest plots the flora of which are regularly resurveyed, using uniform methods, and have been for many years now. The researchers were quite surprised to find a strong biological signal of warming in the form of changes in altitudinal distribution of trees. (The plots cover a wide band of altitudes, thanks to their mountainous topography.) Many tree species were measurably moving upwards, apparently ‘seeking’ to maintain their favored temperature range–but the second surprise was how widely the rates of change varied. The ‘slowest’ species were nearly stationry; the ‘fastest’ evoked the metaphor of a ‘sprint’. Clearly, when you consider mobility rates for wider groups of organisms, not just flora but fauna such as insects, amphibians, mammals and birds, you are going to ssee still wider ranges.

    The sad corollary of that fact is that under climate change, ecosystems are literally torn apart. As that happens, biodiversity will certainly plummet, and it is very likely that biological productivity will, too. That would mean environments that offer less, probably very much less, in the way of ‘country food’ to humans attempting to survive. It would also mean less support to agriculture, as intact natural ecosystems have important effects on hydrology and on the viability of natural (and possibly semi-domesticated) pollinators, as well as tending to stabilize populations of pest species.

    Add that to the ‘weather weirding’ aspect, and I feel much less assured than you do about the notion that:

    I can see a combination of soil degradation, pollution and increased growth causing relatively sudden famines and hardship but not extinction.

    Remember, several consecutive ‘good years’ for crop production aren’t enough for sustainable agriculture; for example, if there’s a killing drought every ten years, on average, then long-term prospects are not good for that particular location. Likewise for other perils. And all our crops were developed by selective breeding over a period of exceptional climatic stability.

    I wonder if there’s a statistical modeling study in there somewhere?

    Moving on to the resource depletion question you mention, just a couple of minor comments.

    One, mining seawater would essentially amount to using natural regeneration, IMO. Everything ends up in the sea eventually, pretty much, as witness our oceanic ‘plastic gyres’.

    Two, and speaking of plastics, they can be manufactured–indeed, *already are* being manufactured, and in non-trivial quantities–from natural materials. They do not necessarily rely on fossil fuels.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic

    “As of 2014, bioplastics represented approximately 0.2% of the global polymer market (300 million tons).”

    Disclaimer: Neither ‘bioplastic’ nor the preferred term ‘bio-based polymer’ necessarily means “zero environmental impact.”

    But in one sense, at least, plastic is a ‘renewable’ product–though just how sustainable (or even just ‘green’) it might be in practice requires a good deal more analysis.

  13. 313
    nigelj says:

    Zebra,

    According to you:

    1)Smaller or falling population leads to more people living in cities, so reduced transport needs, so less use of raw materials. I cant argue with this, it seems obvious to me and important.

    However I’m still curious as to what you think they would prefer, highrise towers or low rise suburban living, based on your way of thinking. I think it would be suburban living because of 1) the privacy factors and 2) energy efficiency factors.

    2) Smaller population means more availability of land so less use of industrial fertilisers would be required to boost production. Perceptive and seems clear cut.

    3) People would live on coasts and use wind power. I think maybe, depending on so many other things.

    Now here are a few quick further thoughts of my own expanding and reinforcing the general idea of smaller population / slower growth.

    1) The obvious thing that smaller population uses less resources and emits less pollution as a global average. This is the most powerful factor in favour of small population.

    But bear in mind there will still be local pollution problems, because people are by your own definition going to live in concentrated nodes. Therefore humanity will still face all the same political and technical issues of how to control pollution. But on balance its going to be a lot easier than in a high population world, and cross border pollution problems will be less for example.

    2)Smaller population will mean less conflicts and less wars over resources, but only providing population is small enough to be within the level of resource availability.

    3)Smaller population will at least require quite a strong demographic transition to smaller families in the smallest possible time frame. We have already seen an increasing trend to wider use of contraception and improving womens rights and lower infant mortality, but cultural and religious factors act in reverse to slow this down. People are not having such large families of 6 children, and are now having families of 2-3 children typically. IMO it will be a slower process for families to accept having less than two children, because the desire to have children is so strong within people. So two children might determine the shape of future populations.

    The point being rates of population decline are going to possibly flatten, out at two children, and resources are still being used up in the process. Will these two curves cross at a point that is sustainable, or will it end in problems?

    Of course its all utterly speculative and one child families are at least a possibility. Who knows.

    4)Smaller population means gradual recovery of endangered species, and also the viability of genuinely sustainable recreational hunting (if that’s your thing).

    5)Smaller population will reduce the risk and nature of global disease pandemics.

  14. 314
    Thomas says:

    287 nigelj posits: “But smaller population will make it much easier to survive and prosper in this environment.”

    Which is precisely where it’s heading faster than you could possibly imagine.

    293 Adam Lea says: “I’m unconvinced…”

    Cognitive Dissonance maybe?

    298 Mr. Know It All in Fantasy Land thinks “the Washington Post – about as leftist as it gets”. OMG get a life or a good psychologist!

    299 Richard Creager says: “….at least comments often included actual information and links to further support, about an issue on society’s dockett.”

    Oh, you must mean like my posts with multiple peer reviewed papers from multiple domains of science, economics, psychology, cognitive science, history, and the like?

    Re: “C’mon, I’d like an actual discussion about sustainability.”

    GO FOR IT ….. who is stopping you from reading prescient science based papers, and doing a copy and paste and asking for input and dialogue? You are.

    You can do that or “complain” about others and blame them instead for the low level of “informative content & discussions.” Or even pray to god that the humans here were not so, well, HUMAN! :-)

    300 Mr. Know It All; hard to ascertain who is the biggest idiot. You or Bob Carter (rip). I’m in a dilemma here. Bob at least achieved something in his life. Yeah, maybe that’s the difference?

  15. 315
    nigelj says:

    Richard Creager

    You are critical of speculation about shape of future society, and it not being science. Relax, chill, Its interesting discussion and a real problem that has to be faced. Lots of people on this website have a huge range of high level qualifications that can inform the discussion.

    You say “So we need to rapidly add all transportation, all heating and a growing cooling energy budget to the grid and run it all with renewables. How do we do that?’

    I agree. But this is also not science, its mitigation strategy, but lets face it its urgently important as you say and needs discussion.

    I’m just going to suggest that the problem of renewable energy is largely political, or perhaps half political.

    Consider firstly the technical side and costs. Its possible to completely convert fossil fuels generation to wind and solar, or hydro etc, and upgrade lines networks for about 1.5% of a countries gdp per year, spread over approximately 20 years. Many studies show this and the calculations are basic arithmetic.

    The technical challenge is easy in the initial stages, but obviously closing the last 10 – 20% of generating capacity is hard, because wind and solar intermittency becomes a problem, but its really a question of either having storage or surplus generation, and so is about costs ultimately, and the good thing is costs are generally falling. However it may be that some gas fired power is unavoidable.

    So we know renewable energy can be done technically, and without bankrupting anyone. Jacobson has done a useful study. 1.5% of a countries gdp per year is almost nothing. America spends far more on old age pensions alone (entitlements?).

    So whats stopping us? Politics, inertia, worries about costs, vested interests, campaigns of climate doubt, it’s all been said 100 times. But if you are worried about the issue, it is here that we need a breakthrough and some lateral thinking, rather than technical details. Economics 101, the best use of scare resources, so how do we combat the politics? Or maybe that’s really well beyond the scope of this website to discuss. But its something to think about anyway.

    I think we could gain something if the public just became more aware of how renewable energy costs are falling, and that its not “fake news”.

    I think you mentioned nuclear energy generation. This is a giant can of worms. It’s slow to build and slow to get regulatory approval and has high capital costs, so these things alone mean its hard to see it dealing with dangerous climate change problem within the time constraints of the next 30 – 40 years.

    Wide adoption of nuclear energy would also significantly raise risk factors, and it doesn’t look viable for third world countries. In fact the economist.com did a great article on the benefits of dispersed local solar power in Africa.

  16. 316
    Thomas says:

    283 Barton Paul Levenson, so tell me again who demanded that those ‘evil communists’ of Russia invade north korea again? Oh yes, that’s right it was the USA.

    You see BPL dumb-assed Americans isn’t a new thing that only happened in Iraq chasing wmd recently. It’s a highly developed art form of lunacy that goes back 70 years. The US hasn’t won a war since 1945! Let that sink in because they will not win the next big one either.

    So back to agw/cc again, which single nation is responsible for ~25% of all agw impacts since the industrial revolution … and then why as a “scientist” are you always defaulting to crying in your handkerchief about “communists”?

    How many millions of “communists” died in WW2 while taking on the nazis and japan that was critical in America ensuring their Freedumb to be rank fools for the next 70 years? Any idea?

    Yes BPL it’s the communists fault for allowing the USA to get to this point of getting out of the Paris Accord …. there’s more idiots like Mr KIA in the USA than communists who died in WW2 that enabled all the Mr KIAs to talk absolute crap and destroy your democracy wholus-bollus. Bloody Communists! Bad bad bad!

  17. 317
    Dan says:

    KIA 297: Holy Cow! Record cold in the eastern half of the USA!

    Mister KIA (aka “Doesn’t Know Crap About Science”), who has no true climate science credentials, now does not understand the definition of the word “global” versus “regional”. And yet flaunts his ignorance on a science blog, run by peer-reviewed climate scientists.

  18. 318
    nigelj says:

    Richard Creager

    Something interesting on renewable energy: “Tesla’s enormous battery in Australia, just weeks old, is responding to outages in ‘record’ time”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11966231

  19. 319
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @312

    I read Jared Diamonds great book Collapse a few years ago. But bear in mind those were collapses of specific societies, not total global collapse.

    I mostly agree with your concerns about impacts of climate change on agriculture and the biosphere. There’s plenty of research demonstrating warming seriously reduces agricultural productivity particularly after 2050. (right at a time of probably still increasing global population).

    There are short term gains from C02 causing increased plant growth, but this is already nearing its limits. People are mostly incapable of thinking long term / bigger picture.

    I agree temperature is only one thing, and there are the effects of more variable weather and what you list. However its a regional thing: Some places will be hit very hard, and Africa particularly is expected to suffer huge impacts on agriculture due to its geography, and is in the least favourable position to cope. Extinction is possible.

    Other countries may gain something in terms of agricultural productivity, so extinction seems less likely, but they will loose out in other respects due to hurricane damage and so on. I don’t think there will be any net ‘winners’ from climate change, or very few.

    Thank’s for the info on mining sea water which I will read in detail later. You could argue its natural regeneration. I would simply argue (and this will drive a certain person nuts) it’s simply there, so we should mine it. It’s probably more about doing it in the best possible way, that doesn’t damage the ocean ecosystem.

    Yes plastics can be made from many things. Fossil fuels are just currently the most economic, and if we reserved them just for manufacturing plastics, we would have millenia of supply.

    However we have to overcome the huge problem of plastics waste in the oceans, but there are many ways of doing this. To me this is where the option of better rules and fines for misuse and poor waste disposal comes in. Like many issues it may be a case of tackling the problem from both ends, so for example reduce the need for plastic bags, and work on biodegradable alternatives, while also having some legislative rules limiting use of plastic bags,and fining people who dump plastic in the oceans.

    Many uses of plastics are just wasteful packaging that we don’t really need, so even if we did reduce plastic use it wont cause serious hardship.

    Recycling and sustainability is a complex issue. Are recycled materials truly 100% sustainable? Probably not in the purist sense, but this question seems silly to me because we are already recycling, and this will continue because its stupid not to recycle.

    The critical thing is surely important materials that are in short supply that are hard to recycle, or find alternatives for. Sorry if I’m stating the obvious. Some metals are in very short supply. But from humanities point of view critical applications are clearly medicine and healthcare, and fortunately these do not use vast quantities of metals.

    And we have really only got two choices 1) actively conserve these critical materials with legislative policy or 2) let the market pricing mechanism sort it out. This will prioritise the most critical needs although this will be imperfect, and may need some additional legislative measures in some cases.

    Killian has a third way, and says its impossible to know with certainty what materials are important, so radically cut use of everything asap. It’s the precautionary principle taken to the extreme, and is certainly a simple solution, but I’m not 100% convinced by the thinking, and there’s the question of whether people would do it anyway. And Killian then says we can have a “technology backbone”, so undermines his own position a little, and is just taking an educated stab at what he thinks would be sustainable. Maybe we all are.

    There are many unknowns, but IMO a valid and sensible use of the precautionary principle is to reduce rates of population growth, and also economic growth ( but in a way that recognises regional differences).

  20. 320
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @314,

    “But smaller population will make it much easier to survive and prosper in this environment.”

    “Which is precisely where it’s heading faster than you could possibly imagine.’

    I can imagine all right, if we don’t slow down environmental impacts. Then there’s also the looming problem on The korean peninsula and the warmongering egotistical leaders on both sides of this conflict.

  21. 321

    I would reply to Thomas’s at 311, except I have no idea what he’s talking about–and I rather suspect he doesn’t, either.

  22. 322

    Th 316: How many millions of “communists” died in WW2 while taking on the nazis and japan that was critical in America ensuring their Freedumb to be rank fools for the next 70 years? Any idea?

    BPL: The Soviets claim 20 million, but ignore the 9 million who died in ethnic cleansing operations ordered by Stalin during the war, which were probably added to the total. Then there were “punishment brigades,” etc.

    Th: Yes BPL it’s the communists fault for allowing the USA to get to this point of getting out of the Paris Accord …

    BPL: Apparently it escaped your attention that the Russians fixed the last US election. V.V. Putin is a former KGB Colonel, which means a former spy, torturer, and murderer.

    I mentioned Communists because you defended a Communist regime, North Korea, while blaming the US for the Korean War, which is sheer idiocy.

  23. 323

    I also like Thomas’s fantasy that the Soviets took on Japan, since they waited until the absolute last minute to take any action at all against Japan. That war was pretty well entirely borne by the USA and the Commonwealth countries, plus the assorted resistances in the Asian countries the Japanese ran over.

  24. 324
    Thomas says:

    317 Dan, the self-acknowledged Troll ie KIA 297 “HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL from the troll who knows it all!” would not get within cooee of this place if I was the Moderator.

    Myths like “don’t feed the trolls” is an unrealistic fantasy. His only purpose is to annoy and obfuscate and push people’s buttons. It’s not readers or posters job to sort him out for good. I wouldn’t even let his posts make it to the Bore hole, instead I’d have already thrown a few lawsuits at him and his ISP. (shrug)

  25. 325
    Thomas says:

    Nigelj … “But this is also not science, its mitigation strategy.” (sigh)

    Nigel, no science, no mitigation strategy. One begets the other. The SCIENCE comes first, it’s not a mutually exclusive option. Mitigation IS Science at Work. (big sigh)

  26. 326
    Thomas says:

    310 Hank Roberts – Kudos! (smiling)

  27. 327
    Thomas says:

    Hi 306 Lawrence, great minds think alike … happy new year mate up there on the sunny coast. Nice to hear from you again here. ;-)

  28. 328
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    We seem to have a new record Ice Extent minimum as of yesterday. According to the NORSEX SSM/I Ice Extent graph.

  29. 329
    Killian says:

    #274 Ray Ladbury said Killian: “Yet, you’ve not taken that perspective [sustainability] in all these years.

    Actually, no. I’ve always taken the perspective that we need to get to a sustainable society–ever since reading Limits to Growth back in the ’70s.

    No, Ray, you claim it while acting in opposition here on this forum. Things you could have, and by your own claim, should have embraced and helped promote you have instead attacked out of pettiness, making only grudging comments on occasion that there was something to what (whomever) said.

    That is what we need to see from all the claimers: Stop attacking people and deal with content.

    The questions that are still open in my mind are:
    1)How do we get there while shortening the lives of as few people as possible?

    I have suggested pathways nobody has debunked. Comments amount to won’t, can’t, don’t want to, but no explanation as to the why’s.

    2)How do we get there without casting in cement the economic injustice that pervades our present society?

    Same.

    3)What does “sustainable” look like? After all, it’s never been done previously on much larger than a village scale.

    Done that, too. People are in denial about the simplicity needed, so reject the prescription.

    4) How much do we need to grow in the near term to lay the foundation for a sustainable society in the long term–and would that required growth put us over the edge of climate catastrophe.

    Zero. The implication of your question is a version of ecotechnic/Venus Project-type nonsense that is nonsense because it is drawn from wants, not needs so ignores starting with tabla rasa and First Principles design parameters.

    Sustainability is a wonderful word–lots of syllables, lots of warm fuzzy connotations, but I don’t know anyone who can give me an operational definition of it in sufficient detail that I’d recognize it if I saw it.

    You seem to be conflating definitions for sustainability and a description of a sustainable finished product.

    Rather than telling me what I propose isn’t correct or isn’t enough, or whatever, let’s debate from first point to last, not moving from one point to the next till consensus occurs on the current point.

    That is my challenge to one and all.

  30. 330
    Killian says:

    #268 Kevin McKinney said Killian, @ #50 (AGU thread)–

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

    Killian: Should is irrelevant here. Must. The risk analysis and limits to growth are what they are. Justifying an analysis by saying it rather crazily didn’t consider any part of the Perfect Storm…\

    Kevin: “And how does reducing automotive production by about 70% and oil consumption by more than that not address an important part of the “Perfect Storm?”

    1. Unsustainable.

    2. Keeps consumption higher, longer, thus making the baseline of the problem worse: More energy and material needed t solve the problem… and more time.

    3. Risk: E.g., if SL rises on a 5-year doubling as has been hypothesized by Hansen, et al. as possible, and reinforced by the recent SLR analysis of corals off the Texas coast where SLR rose 1.5 or more meters on decadal scales…? You keep planning by the mid-case.

    4. If you aren’t solving the problem, you aren’t really addressing it.

    5. Why not actually solve the problem?

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

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

    Kevin: RG would take “multiple decades,”

    Yet there has been no why. So, why?

    which is reasonably congruent with 20-100 years. However:

    MITIGATION STARTING IN 20 YEARS IS TOO FREAKIN’ LATE!

    Kevin, I have posted on this sooo many times. Argh… 20 years is the full transition period! With CO2 down to 280-260! RG and drawdown in 20 – 100 years, start to finish.

    Getting started? Hell, no! That would be stupid.

    #271 Richard Creager said Killian 230
    I welcome your apparently revised approach to interpersonal communication, being the recipient of a second gratuitous Killian compliment when you note my “noise to info ration [ratio?] to be tiny.” Kudos.

    I meant to type info to noise ratio is tiny. That is, you have said absolutely nothing of value.

    Cheers

  31. 331
    Killian says:

    #272 Kevin McKinney said #266, Killian–

    I am not here to dialogue on simplicity: I am here to teach it. Do not try to teach sustainability to a regenerative systems designer: Listen.

    And that is your problem, Killian, in a nutshell. I’ve been teaching since I was 19 years old… you cannot teach without meeting your students where they are, cognitively and emotionally; and you cannot know where they are without listening to them with respect.

    Multiple errors. The first is mine. I should have said training. The two have some differences, the key being training tends to proscribe and tell, teaching to facilitate.

    Second is yours: You cannot know your students on the internet, so get over yourself.

    Over and over you fail that test by treating those you aspire to teach with contempt.

    False, I treat those who insult me with contempt. You, sadly, started out *not* doing that, then into *doing* that. Step out from the groupthink hysteria.

    You imagine that you are completely enlightened, that you know The Truth, and that therefore you need not listen to anyone else.

    False. I need not listen to anyone *here* on the nature of sustainability or how to do it because virtually all of you, with perhaps two exceptions off the top of my head, have show you have no idea what is what. You need to be trained in recognizing sustainability and in how to do it.

    The arrogance is yours. You have demonstrated you have yet to accept in the most basic definition of sustainability, yet want to teach? How?!

    Simply asserting your Truth, in your mind, should always suffice because it is entirely factual, entirely correct, and is therefore always the perfect answer.

    Foolishness. Analysis, not some mystical capital-T truth. FACTS. Facts that fit the conditions. You ignore those conditions to allow yourself to still believe in Big Gov, Big Biz. Go for it. See you in hell, because that’s where we all end up with “your” vision.

    even if your conceptual model were as completely correct as you think it is–which I very much doubt, for reasons that I’ve attempted to make clear over a span of years now

    Yet, have never stated a single cogent reason why.

    you are not understanding and responding to the realities that your interlocutors are living in.

    I live in the same ones. You cannot understand even this simple error in your own thinking. I don’t understand the conditions I live in. Good lord…

    As a teacher, you need to build a bridge for your students to cross

    We are not in school, we are at war. Wake up.

    You say you want to teach. Evidence says you’re failing miserably

    Am I? It took a while. It took me being Bore Holed. It took thousands of insults from the Peanut Gallery, etc., yet, what is the conversation on thee boards these days? You think that was for any other reason than me being here every year pushing these topics? Dream on. The science says, as I said for years before anyone ran a simulation, PLEASE run a simulation of what happens if we get back to sub-300. What happens? My guess was we halt climate change. Guess what? The simulation shows the poles starting to stabilize within decades.

    Yeah, just one of the many things I said before others did that the science now backs.

    So, Kevin, your problem is not me. It is your ego. Stop whining about someone else knowing more, but, gosh, he’s such a meanie! and do something with the information and analysis *they* do that you *cannot.*

    Choose building a future over your fragile damned ego.

    I do not write from ego, you damned fool, I write from what I know. No more, no less. You and others cannot handle nor accept that. YOU are holding back change, not me. I’ve done my part: I’ve shown you the nature of the problem and the solutions. I never claimed to be the one to get them accomplished.

    Now shut up, learn, go change things.

    Or just shut up.

    Re Paris: Sorry, Hansen. The reference makes everything else you claim is horse manure germane. This is not debate class. You get nothing for perfect references or style. Be germane or shut up.

    However, Bates envisions virtually the same future I do, but he’s more willing to pretend the system, itself, can play a vital role, so perhaps you should read more. ALbert’s take on Paris can be summed up, I think accurately having read far more from him and had actual conversations with him, as, “Deeply flawed, but at least a line was drawn and some action will be taken. It’s a starting point, but nothing like an end.”

    But you can ask him yourself.

  32. 332
    Killian says:

    #298 Mr. Know It All slimed I didn’t realize that the USA was never even IN the Paris climate agreement, so Trump did not “pull out” because we were never “in”. In an unconstitutional move, Obama “adopted” the agreement by executive order and failed to get consent of congress which is required to be a party to the treaty.

    Presidents negotiate and agree to. Congress ratifies. Given our Congress prefers to commit Crimes Against Humanity, the President had no choice. Also, UN agreements happen all the time without Congress. This is not a treaty between individual nations, like extradition treaties, economic agreements, or even the treaty on Parental Abduction which explicitly states agreements between individual nations are necessary for it to take effect in those nations. No, this a global decision on a global issue. Bypassing Congress is legit, imo.

    273 nigelj Killians claims are all just such exaggeration and unfounded assertion. Not one research paper I have heard of suggests climate change would cause the extinction of humanity.

    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/science/sd-me-scripps-climatechange-20170914-story.html

    Links to this have been posted before.

    nige also said only Venus syndrome can kill us!

    Wrong. Go find out why. Hint: Start with anoxic oceans.

    #283 Barton Paul Levenson said Thomas 278: there was not a single piece of infrastructure left and barely a building standing when the US was done with the North Koreans as their chosen fanatical paranoid proxy for China/communist mode of living.

    BPL: Keep in mind that North Korea attacked first. The Korean War was a U.N. operation. But in Thomas’s mind, Communists can do no wrong and America is the source of all evil.

    Way off topic, but juicy, and in my wheelhouse, so…

    Last first: You know you’re lying, right? If not, the statement of Thomas’ politics says more about you, and explains your views on mitigation in important ways.

    First last: The U.S. abrogated a friendship treaty with Korea giving Japan right of influence (control) in exchange for the Philippines. The U.S. allowed annexation, allowed all that followed.

    U.S. did allow a gov’t in exile.

    After VJ Day, the U.S. caused separation by forcing the Russians, and Kim, to stop halfway down. Without that step, there is never a divided Korea, or if there never was the previous abrogation, so you can blame the U.S. quite directly for the separation and the Korean War, not to mention the annexation and 40 years of subjugation.

    True, the Korean War did start from the NK side and was approved by the USSR, then interceded in by the Chinese, but the conditions for that war lay directly at the feet of the dear old US of A.

    Nice diversion!

  33. 333
    Killian says:

    #309 zebra said You are correct that people are coming up with the solution and then writing the “problem” to fit it– but that’s also what you are doing in B, it seems.

    Who? And you do the same, do you not? You’re taking hypothetical future numbers and hypothetical intersections of those numbers and saying design hypothetically to these hypotheticals…. all based on your understanding of populations as the key to solving climate rather than behavior change and system change.

    Looks like you found a solution set you liked and worked from that ever since. Disabuse me.

    Some comments back I stated the problem in a clearly defined way– Mitigation, Adaptation, Sustainability. You can use my definitions or your own, but the first rule of designing a solution is to state the goal in an unambiguous way. Then your solution can be put to the test.

    Holy ambiguity, Batman!

    The point is, people can’t (constructively) disagree on this kind of project until they agree, meaning starting from the same point with the same rules and the same goal.

    Never been part of a Design Charrette, I guess, or a permaculture design where there is no goal other than to meet needs, but those are rarely agreed upon except design process. Frankly, I don’t know what your design goals are because they are, in fact, extremely vague. I know 2 things from you after all your words: You are stuck on population despite the demographics making that a poor choice for your primary design metric, and you somehow thing adaptation, mitigation and sustainability are specific.

    First of all, if you are waiting for population to lead us to sustainability, you are waiting for failure, imo. Despite the numbers you have all played with here, population takes too long to change, and if it is changing rapidly, you are already collapsing at a likely parabolic rate as system failure causes system failure causes system failure.

    The idea should not be how to survive till population falls, but how to feed 12 billion should it get that high, and definitely 9 billion because it will almost certainly get that high.

    This we know how to do. So, why not do that rather than wish and hope for what might or might not happen?

    Second, Adaptation, mitigation and sustainability defines absolutely nothing. This was a surprising thing to read.

    The issue is, what do we need? We begin with water, food, stable body temperature. How do we do that in a way that does not add to problems, does not create new ones, and feeds everyone?

    That is a goal. Adaptation is not a goal, it’s a process. Same for mitigation. Only sustainability is a goal, and even it is a threshold that can only be determined by getting there, varying for every location and scale.

    Water: This is a resource that is declining, has only a three-day lag time, and has rates of use limits. How can everyone get the water they need to maintain life and health? That is the design question.

    How do we keep body temps stable? Site-dependent, but a question that likely has parts of local solutions at all levels, from neighborhood to inter-bio-regional.

    These are not esoteric questions, you’ll hopefully notice, just so easily solved for OECD people that it seems hardly worth asking. However, we need to recognize these are existential threats for many today, and will be for all if things go too far. We also need to move on: That is just the beginning!

    The next question is, what resources do you have to bring to bear? What affects a given site from the outside? Who is affected for a given design boundary? How does design there potentially affect other spaces? (Will your new pond affect water availability downstream temporarily or permanently? Will reforestation cause flooding or drought downwind? E.g.)

    Notice the difference between what you present and what I do. You offer esoteric maths. I offer rock-ribbed, down-to-earth problem/solution dichotomies.

    And so on.

    I’m trying to do that with Kevin in the last few comments, FWIW.

    No, you’re telling Kevin to do it your way. You are not seeking agreement on what things mean, you are telling Kevin what things mean. It’s nothing to me, but honesty is admirable.

    *****************************

    #304 zebra said Kevin M #292,

    OK, let’s deal with possible misunderstandings first… I’m happy to continue with this but you have to be willing to “do the math”

    See, Kevin, he’s the teacher, you’re not. He said so quite clearly. I somehow guess you won’t be yelling at him about it or insulting him for knowing something you don’t.

    Yes, I know… It’s not you, it’s me. Right, Thomas?

    ;-)

  34. 334
  35. 335
    zebra says:

    zebra #69 said:

    -Mitigation: Reduce those effects of humans on the environment that negatively impact humans.

    -Adaptation: Reduce the negative effects on humans of those environmental changes which we (inevitably) will not be able to mitigate.

    -Sustainability: Keep a human population in existence as long as possible.

    But it got buried by the compulsive spammers who fill the thread up with incoherent, repetitive, rants.

    Just sayin’…

  36. 336
    mike says:

    K says: Sustainability is a wonderful word–lots of syllables, lots of warm fuzzy connotations, but I don’t know anyone who can give me an operational definition of it in sufficient detail that I’d recognize it if I saw it.

    Mike says: definition should not be hard if folks are reasonable and accept that sustainability is a fundamentally utopian notion. How about: A community-implemented steady-state/no-growth economic system (or way of life?) that does not create overshoot and/or resource depletion.

    December 28, 2017: 408.28 ppm
    December 28, 2016: 404.48 ppm

    spiky day at 3.80 ppm in you increase comparison. Background level has been running about 2.3 ppm increase. I think this carries a .5 ppm deficit due to comparison of LN-like conditions in present year in comparison with the EN-like conditions for the same date in 2016. I think the decadal (2010-19) increase level is going to come in about between 2.6 and 2.8, but this is always a moving target because the CO2 ppm number is clearly upward-sticky, so the baseline increase level at the end of that decade and carrying over to the 2020 decade is going to be around 3.0 to 3.2 ppm.

    Wishing all a better year ahead. We can hope for that, but who knows.

    Mike

  37. 337

    zebra, #304

    1. The map is not the country. The height of one of the grid boxes does not represent a skyscraper… People will distribute themselves as they like, but, they will concentrate in the city because that’s what they do now. (If they can afford it.)

    Check. I got this as metaphor, no problem.

    On the ‘that’s what people do now’ bit, you might note that I just moved from a suburb in a conurbation of 5 or 6 million to a rural road outside a town of about 7,000. So I can’t help but feel that your statement needs a bit of qualification, at least! ;-)

    True, urbanization has been a defining trend of the Industrial Age, so on balance yes, that is what people mostly do now. Particularly striking is the urbanization of sub-Saharan Africa. (Four cities are now well over 10 million inhabitants, and most urban areas are showing quite explosive levels of growth.)

    However, that’s been driven by economic growth, which has historically been fastest in urban areas. People go to the city to find money, essentially–though cultural factors may also play in. “City air makes free,” as the medieval saying had it; literally true then, it’s still powerfully true in a metaphorical sense.

    But: would that urban economic lure remain in a contractive economic phase? I can ‘hunch’ it either way. On one hand, I can ‘play the movie in reverse,’ arguing that economic value will still be concentrated in the nodes, however many there may be, and that the economic lure will still operate. On the other, I can imagine that with a shrinking population, we’ll also have a ‘greyed’ population, in which labor is a good deal scarcer and more valuable. May it possibly be also more dispersed as well?

    2. When I said “hover over and zoom in”, you (as the student) are supposed to visualize on your own how map A is different from map B. What you should see is that the lines for the NYC node in B radiate like spokes of a wheel, while the lines for the USA in A look like a net wrapped around two poles and opened up left to right.

    Check. Got that, too–well, as a relative statement, anyway; sub-nodes will still have traffic amongst them. And I can ‘see’ the radical asymmetry of the bipolar ‘net’ in A, too, though that’s not important for the thought experiment.

    What I don’t see is that this really demonstrates the nonlinear decrease that is the main point here. If resources were evenly distributed–a counterfactual, but we’re already pretty deep in simplifications so what the hell–then it would be pretty meaningful to speak in terms of ‘carrying capacity’, which is stated in terms of area per person. That would imply that the area needed for that population would scale *linearly.*

    There is a sort of embedded or covert non-linearity here; if you graph the proportion of the total resource being conserved, you get:

    Pr =1/R

    That turns out to be an equation for a hyperbolic curve. (H/t to Barton on that, as I am a Bear Of Very Little Math.) Essentially, with a linear decrease in resource use, you get a hyperbolic growth in the proportion of resources conserved. But I’m pretty sure that’s not the non-linearity you are envisioning.

    3. Which brings us to “why the coasts?”. Well, I’m happy to repeat all the reasons I’ve given in past comments…

    Is this part really central, or is it becoming a red herring that distracts from the main point? Put another way, do we really care whether or not there’s an inland node somewhere? If not, I’m willing to let the question go in order to pursue more central points.

    I am using this easy, obvious, variable– the energy involved in the transportation topology– to support my argument about the non-linear relationship between declining population and declining “Liquidation of Natural Capital.” There are other things we can overlay on the map, like climate, which also support my claim, and would constrain where the final nodes end up.

    Clearly, the model is not yet ‘obvious’ enough for me. And, at the risk of sounding ‘simple’, I don’t really grasp how ‘climate supports’ the claim. But hey, every teaching dialog traditionally required somebody named ‘Simplicio’; if it’s me that’s elected to play the role, I’m willing.

  38. 338

    Nigel, #319–

    Other countries may gain something in terms of agricultural productivity…

    Not unless warming is limited, fast. There may be short-term gains in productivity, but the more agricultural productivity is threatened across the globe.

    Some extracts to the point from AR5 (WG II Summary for Policymakers):

    Increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts. Some risks of climate change are considerable at 1 or 2°C above preindustrial levels (as shown in Assessment Box SPM.1).

    Global climate change risks are high to very high with global mean temperature increase of 4°C or more above preindustrial levels in all reasons for concern (Assessment Box SPM.1), and include severe and widespread impacts on unique and threatened systems, substantial species extinction, large risks to global and regional food security, and the combination of high temperature and humidity compromising normal human activities, including growing food or working outdoors in some areas for parts of the year (high confidence).

    It’s certainly true that risks for ‘low-latitude’ countries are very high.

    All aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change, including food access, utilization, and price stability (high confidence). Redistribution of marine fisheries catch potential towards higher latitudes poses risk of reduced supplies, income, and employment in tropical countries, with potential implications for food security (medium confidence). Global temperature increases of ~4°C or more above late-20th century levels, combined with increasing food demand, would pose large risks to food security globally and regionally (high confidence). Risks to food security are generally greater in low-latitude areas.

  39. 339

    #331, Killian–

    I do not write from ego, you damned fool…

    I think that entire comment is one extended demonstration of the contrary.

  40. 340

    Killian, #330–

    Kevin: “And how does reducing automotive production by about 70% and oil consumption by more than that not address an important part of the “Perfect Storm?”

    Killian: 2. Keeps consumption higher, longer, thus making the baseline of the problem worse: More energy and material needed t solve the problem… and more time.

    Er, no, it doesn’t. It results in *lower* consumption, quite dramatically so.

    Now, perhaps ‘higher than under an RG regime’ was meant, in which case the comment would at least make sense. But even if we presume that RG can be taking large-scale hold by 2030, which is undemonstrated, what is the anticipated reduction in consumption? And on what grounds is it estimated? I’ve seen the assertion multiple times. I do not recall seeing something approaching a demonstration, nor a supporting citation.

    Killian: 3. Risk: E.g., if SL rises on a 5-year doubling as has been hypothesized by Hansen, et al. as possible, and reinforced by the recent SLR analysis of corals off the Texas coast where SLR rose 1.5 or more meters on decadal scales…? You keep planning by the mid-case.

    Well, no, I’m not assuming any particular case, but in any case, it’s irrelevant to my argument. I’ve been saying all along that we need to act with maximum urgency. In my mind that means using methods that can act quickly without drastic social transformation–not because I’m against social transformation, but because history shows pretty convincingly that it is usually a pretty slow process. Killian, you believe that RG can be effective very quickly, and have asserted that as fact repeatedly. But you have yet, as far as I know, to support that with some substantial reason why that is so, or to lay out how it could happen.

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

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

    Well, I sure thought I had said that implementing RG would apparently mean teaching most of the global population a completely different set of life skills, and physically relocating some considerable portion of them. Education these days typically lasts about 15 years in the developed world; even a certificate course takes a couple of years. So we’re talking about several billion student years. Just how many folks are qualified to teach the life skills needed?

    And given that residence today is regulated by a deeply-entrenched body of custom and law predicated on, well, money, just how are we going to pay to relocate those who are in places that just can’t be made self-sufficient? The goal may be instituting a ‘need-based economy’ as opposed to a ‘desire-based economy’, but we’re starting operations within the existing paradigm.

    YMMV, but those seem like a pretty compelling reasons to think that simplification will take time–and by time I mean:

    Kevin: RG would take “multiple decades…”

    Yet there has been no why. So, why?

    Was that enough ‘why’ for you? If not, I’d add the need for getting everybody more or less on board with the need to radically transform their lives. People either choose their lives, or accept a pattern that seem easy or inevitable. Either way, change has to have a strong motivation.

    So, how close do you think we are to the global population really grasping on a visceral level that they need to live in a drastically different fashion? I’d say 20 years is a reasonable guess, based on the notion that by then Miami Beach and similar communities will really be struggling; that we’ll have had at least one (and probably multiple) scenarios like the Syrian climate change-migration-civil war-more migration-humanitarian/political disaster play out; that wildfire costs will continue to skyrocket; that we’ll have more Harveys, Marias, and Irmas. Most people already believe the mainstream science, and the long-term trend is moving in that direction. But I think it’s a much smaller proportion who are actually directing their lives in a fashion that takes climate issues into account.

    Kevin, I have posted on this sooo many times. Argh… 20 years is the full transition period! With CO2 down to 280-260! RG and drawdown in 20 – 100 years, start to finish.

    Getting started? Hell, no! That would be stupid.

    Well, it would, wouldn’t it?

    That’s why I keep asking for reasons to believe that a 20-year ‘full transition’ period is possible. I don’t believe it, for the reasons that I gave above.

  41. 341

    #333, Killian to Zebra–

    Despite the numbers you have all played with here, population takes too long to change, and if it is changing rapidly, you are already collapsing at a likely parabolic rate as system failure causes system failure causes system failure.

    The idea should not be how to survive till population falls, but how to feed 12 billion should it get that high, and definitely 9 billion because it will almost certainly get that high.

    Gotta say, that’s what the situation looks like to me, too. As we’ve been discussing, population is very important to the long-term sustainability of Earthly society, but is not a key to the immediate carbon crisis. But then, Zebra already obliquely dealt with this in our exchange about Plans ‘A’ and ‘B’.

    The issue is, what do we need? We begin with water, food, stable body temperature. How do we do that in a way that does not add to problems, does not create new ones, and feeds everyone?

    That is a goal. Adaptation is not a goal, it’s a process. Same for mitigation. Only sustainability is a goal, and even it is a threshold that can only be determined by getting there, varying for every location and scale.

    Water: This is a resource that is declining, has only a three-day lag time, and has rates of use limits. How can everyone get the water they need to maintain life and health? That is the design question.

    How do we keep body temps stable? Site-dependent, but a question that likely has parts of local solutions at all levels, from neighborhood to inter-bio-regional.

    These are not esoteric questions, you’ll hopefully notice, just so easily solved for OECD people that it seems hardly worth asking. However, we need to recognize these are existential threats for many today, and will be for all if things go too far. We also need to move on: That is just the beginning!

    The next question is, what resources do you have to bring to bear? What affects a given site from the outside? Who is affected for a given design boundary? How does design there potentially affect other spaces? (Will your new pond affect water availability downstream temporarily or permanently? Will reforestation cause flooding or drought downwind? E.g.)

    That is a useful passage. No personalities, no distractions, just an example of how Killian thinks the design process should be approached.

    Appreciated.

    My design question would be this. If we begin with the need to decrease carbon emissions as rapidly as possible, what measures best serve that need? (Bearing in mind, of course, that ongoing governance/sustenance/nurture remain quotidian realities that cannot be ignored.)

  42. 342

    Oops, almost missed this bit in #333–

    See, Kevin, he’s the teacher, you’re not. He said so quite clearly. I somehow guess you won’t be yelling at him about it or insulting him for knowing something you don’t.

    You’re right, Killian, I won’t. That’s because he is responding to concerns, questions or misunderstandings without emotional reactivity.

    Telling you honestly where you are falling down as a teacher isn’t ‘yelling at you,’ and while I don’t know of any objectively bombproof way of separating a negative assessment from insult, I will say that the point of saying what I said was not to call names, it was to offer feedback.

    If you teach, I’ll study. That’s what I’m here for. But I’ll scroll past the personal crap every time.

    And on the supposition that what I perceive as ‘personal crap’ may not be obvious to all, here’s an example which basically doesn’t involve me:

    No, you’re telling Kevin to do it your way. You are not seeking agreement on what things mean, you are telling Kevin what things mean. It’s nothing to me, but honesty is admirable.

    To me, that is ‘personal crap’ because it does not address the points being made; because it implies that the other’s point of view can safely be ignored (ie., the other’s stance is ‘dishonest’, rather than possibly proceeding from predicates not fully grasped); and, most of all, because its main effect is to assert personal superiority (ie., “I’m doing it right and you are not.”)

    And no, I’m not ‘yelling’ this; I’m typing it quite calmly, as an FYI. ;-)

  43. 343
    nigelj says:

    Killian @333

    Thanks for the link to the Scripps research. The article says “The school’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography published a paper that said there is a 5 percent chance of catastrophic change within roughly three decades, and a smaller chance that it would broadly wipe out human life.”

    This is one paper claiming a very low probability of extinction. I don’t think its arguments are compelling. I’m also not persuaded by one paper any more than I am by relatively small number of climate sceptical papers claiming “climate sensitivity is low”. Maybe I’m getting conservative in my views.

    Ocean anoxia is a serious concern but hard for me to see it leading to global human extinction.

    Having said that, climate change is a deadly serious problem, but as I have said before both underestimating and over estimating the risks will get us into trouble in so many ways.

    You may want to also recall some basic history that we have had considerable climate change before, including periods of rapid sea level rise and superstorms and obviously humanity survived. But of course it would not have been easy, and modern society will not find it easy, as it is so specialised and in some ways and very vulnerable as a result.

    So where does this get us? Prevention is better than cure. Reduce emissions.

    The new study linked below put the costs of climate change at 1- 3% of global gdp per year by 2050 and more after this period, who knows it could reach 10%.

    https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10640-017-0197-5

    Studies show it costs 1% of global gdp to convert to renewable energy. The conclusion should be self evident.

  44. 344
    nigelj says:

    Regarding the United states V communist countries debate. The USA has engaged in some predatory, devious foreign policy at times, but so have various communist countries. It’s obvious there fault on both sides.

    Does it make sense trying to do an in depth analysis, and apply some score chart of who is to blame? Maybe, but not on a frigging climate website.

  45. 345
    nigelj says:

    Killian @333, you complain that Zebra’s population reduction can’t happen fast enough to deal with climate issue. Of course it cannot. It’s impossible to see enough people deciding to have one child families or less no matter how its promoted.It goes against all human reproductive instincts.

    However I would say your steep cuts to consumption have ‘exactly’ the same problem. It’s impossible for me to see enough people going down this road rapidly enough, as it goes against all instincts to get ahead in life – and half the global population is living pretty minimally anyway.

    I can only see people accepting renewable energy, and some reductions to carbon footprint etc. This has got to be the priority with the other things added on.

    I can see smaller population and less consumption as longer term outcomes over the next couple of centuries, and enough to hugely help with sustainability. Changes in attitudes to family size and consuming less take time to evolve obviously, and will happen but I feel it will take more than 50 years.

    Unless you are suggesting some nightmare laws forcing less consumption and one child families? I doubt you would.

    Read KMs article on mining the oceans because this buys us time to get population down to a manageable size.

  46. 346
    Thomas says:

    (smiling)

    Hey BPL try these maybe?

    Myopic – lacking foresight or intellectual insight.

    While this only focuses on climate change issues, I wise insightful self-aware person will see the very same dynamic active across other subject matters. :-)
    http://psychdemo.cf.ac.uk/home2/whitmarsh/Biased_assimilation%20pre-print.pdf

    http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/school/parents/secondary/readingcomprehensionpractice.pdf

    https://www.memorylosstest.com/free-short-term-memory-tests-online/

    Might help?

    But starting here https://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html pretty much nails your primary problem, imho and ime. It’s much easier to see it in others, unfortunately.

    Happy New Year Barton ;-)

  47. 347
    Thomas says:

    BPL “I also like Thomas’s fantasy that the Soviets took on Japan …”

    To help you out using this one example, what you have here is Strawman:101

    It occurs due to all those points with educational links above.

    One potential solution is called Active Listening (psychologists and psychiatrists apply this method in every session to corral their clients wrong thinking and poor listening / comprehension skills.)

    https://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/ActiveListening.htm

    Maybe try it one day – then at least you’d get to the point of actually understanding what others actually said, wrote and meant …. from that point is a great point to then disagree or discuss a topic rationally?

  48. 348
    Thomas says:

    331 K .. about this “I write from what I know. No more, no less.”

    I wish that could be placed into a virus that would infect the entire world overnight.

    Though, fwiw, I do go a step further than “no more, no less” by tossing in multiple humour grenades Killian. :-)

  49. 349

    K 332: You know you’re lying, right?

    BPL: No, but I know you’ve got serious personality problems.

  50. 350
    Thomas says:

    Nigelj, do you really think is right?

    “Not one research paper I have heard of suggests climate change would cause the extinction of humanity.”?

    Have you read the AR5 perchance? eg https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/syr/
    eg the SPM from page 13 onward?

    Most people are not well equipped to read the holistic and pointed messages encoded in the white space of texts like the IPCC reports.

    In that regard, maybe this “Helping Individuals to Understand Synergistic Risks: An Assessment of Message Contents Depicting Mechanistic and Probabilistic Concepts” could help develop the necessary skills to comprehend what’s actually being said about agw/cc impacts into the future especially +2100 and the reality of the present global trajectory?

    url
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2012.01878.x/full

    Hi, I’m Thomas, and I’m here to help. :-)

    Such as, hey, check this paper out! Yeah pay the Fee!
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2007.00960.x/full

    try
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/277/5325/494

    or this book
    https://books.google.com.au/books?id=sTkfAQAAQBAJ&lpg=PA363&ots=z2cda44Loz&dq=human%20extinction%20social%20collapse&lr&pg=PA363#v=onepage&q=human%20extinction%20social%20collapse&f=false

    maybe this?
    https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss1/art34/main.html
    ———-

    FOR KILLIAN to book mark :-)

    These are testable ideas that may enhance the strategies of conservation organizations and improve the way in which we convey difficult and important information about global climate change.
    https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss1/art34/main.html#LEADERS,ARCHTYPES,ANDTOTEMS:APSYCHODYNAMICTHEORYOFSUSTAINABLECULTURE29

    and

    The frequency with which scientists currently discuss “adaptation to” and “mitigation for” climate change is disturbing, and may speak of a reluctance to confront the problem with a realistic attitude (Dyson 2006). Awareness of this possibility can help redirect scientists to circumvent distal defenses in this somewhat ironic context.
    https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss1/art34/main.html#SCIENCEASAPANACAEA:FETISHIZINGTHEPROBLEMOFGLOBALCLIMATECHANGE32

    You’re welcome!