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Forced Responses: Jan 2018

Filed under: — group @ 1 January 2018

This is a new class of open thread for discussions of climate solutions, mitigation and adaptation. As always, please be respectful of other commentators and try to avoid using repetition to make your points. Discussions related to the physical Earth System should be on the Unforced Variations threads.

601 Responses to “Forced Responses: Jan 2018”

  1. 101
    Thomas says:

    Of 100 reefs examined worldwide, just six have escaped severe bleaching since 1980.

    “La Ninas in the tropics today are warmer than El Ninos were 40 years ago.” said Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, and the paper’s lead author.

    Mark Eakin, coordinator of the Coral Reef Watch program at the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and another author of the report, said “We’ve moved into a complete new regime.”
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/rather-startling-study-finds-rapid-increase-in-frequency-of-coral-bleaching-20180102-h0cgj5.html

    Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene

    Terry P. Hughes1,*, Kristen D. Anderson1, Sean R. Connolly1,2, Scott F. Heron3,4, James T. Kerry1, Janice M. Lough1,5, Andrew H. Baird1, Julia K. Baum6, Michael L. Berumen7, Tom C. Bridge1,8, Danielle C. Claar6, C. Mark Eakin3, James P. Gilmour9, Nicholas A. J. Graham1,10, Hugo Harrison1, Jean-Paul A. Hobbs11, Andrew S. Hoey1, Mia Hoogenboom1,2, Ryan J. Lowe12, Malcolm T. McCulloch12, John M. Pandolfi13, Morgan Pratchett1, Verena Schoepf12, Gergely Torda1,5, Shaun K. Wilson14

    See all authors and affiliations
    Science 05 Jan 2018:
    Vol. 359, Issue 6371, pp. 80-83
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8048
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/80

  2. 102
  3. 103
    Killian says:

    Re #1 and 2:

    Faster than expected. Has to.

    – Me, the last ten years.

    Cuz everything.

    Guess what? Only faster from here.

    Cheers

  4. 104

    On population (eg., Nigel’s #88)–

    As of 2010, about 48% (3.3 billion people) of the world population lives in nations with sub-replacement fertility.[3] Nonetheless most of these countries still have growing populations due to immigration, population momentum and increase of the life expectancy. This includes most nations of Europe, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Iran, Tunisia, China, the United States and many others. In 2015, all European Union countries had a sub-replacement fertility rate, ranging from a low of 1.31 in Portugal to a high of 1.96 in France.[4] The countries or areas that have the lowest fertility are in developed parts of East and Southeast Asia: Singapore, Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.[5] Only a few countries have had, for the time being, sufficiently sustained sub-replacement fertility (sometimes combined with other population factors like higher emigration than immigration) to have population decline, such as Japan, Germany, Lithuania, and Ukraine. As of 2016, the total fertility rate varied from 0.82 in Singapore to 6.62 in Niger.[5]

    I think a fair summation would be that the social solutions to limiting population are not only already know, but already widely in place, and require ‘scaling up’ by improving conditions in (basically) sub-Saharan Africa.

    Of course, that (relatively) rosy picture could well change if the social safety net is shredded by perverse social policies a la Trumpism; by deliberate government policy initiatives such as those enacted by the Ceausescu government in Romania; or by any degradation of economic and environmental conditions such that your kids become your retirement plan again.

    And nigel is clearly right that there is no population-based cure for the climate crisis (presuming that we rule out as deliberate policy levels of genocidal violence dwarfing anything seen in the violent 20th century).

  5. 105

    #96, KIA–

    “Trump is doing largely what he said he’d do…”

    Yeah? Maybe you can point me, then, to where he promised he would blow up the federal deficit, or enact tax measures tailored to help the ultrarich, or where he would do everything possible to ruin the ACA without ever even proposing an alternative?

    True, he promised to get rid of ‘burdensome regulations’, and is doing so. But that is just making my point for me: all the benefit of that goes to the oligarchs who elected him, not regular Joes and Janes who just wanted their lives to go a bit better. In fact, they are the ones who will be breathing more particulate matter in their air; drinking water contaminated with fracking chemicals the composition of which is considered a ‘proprietary matter’ and thus protected from disclosure; and eating food that is less and less safe–romaine lettuce, anyone? Et effing cetera, right down–and I do mean *down*–the line.

    I’m sure Joe and Jane are really enjoying watching the DJIA climb.

  6. 106

    “..a new class of open thread for discussions of climate solutions, mitigation and adaptation..”

    DRAFT of my new cryptocurrency project, seeking input, and team members with experience in the required fields, and expert advisors. This is all at a very preliminary stage so far, informations and details will be changed and tuned.
    http://spacealpha.com/sat-white-paper

    Please use the website’s contact formular for giving feedback or when offering support, not following this thread regularly.

  7. 107
    Killian says:

    Re: #106

    Interesting Chris Machens is not interested in experts in sustainability or any related design/management process. Perhaps there will be modifications to the team wants in the future… but one should be deeply concerned when people talk about low-carbon economics without talking about how to create the communities/society that would exist in.

  8. 108

    KIA 96: Hillary was an awful candidate, insincere, a criminal, and had no core beliefs other than “anything leftist” and “what’s in it for me”.

    BPL: Hillary has been investigated six times by highly motivated people and not once has anything emerged that led to an indictment. The charge of “criminal” is therefore false, and you should not bear false witness.

    It’s also hard to see how an “awful candidate” won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes when running against three other parties.

  9. 109

    KIA 96: At least since the 60s, schools have been indoctrinating students with leftist ideas

    BPL: Like evolution?

  10. 110
    Thomas says:

    LOL …. 96 Mr. Not Knower says:

    “The founding fathers made the Constitution the way it is for a reason – and it’s made the US the greatest nation on earth by far.

    Nothing like a dose of delusion to make one laugh all day long. Hehehehe.

    RE “Look at any nation that follows the beliefs of H or O and you’ll see failed socialist states – we rejected that as we should have.

    I’m no fan of O or H, but I am not so crazed while living in a world of make believe that I fail to see that dysfunctional politicians are the norm and not the exception in this world, now and throughout history.

    Mmmmm, so let’s see if we can find some “failed socialist states” as defined by Mr Not Knower and his trashy group of fellow non-thinkers????

    New Zealand, Australia, Canada, UK, France, germany, Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Israel, Switzerland, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, UAE, Ireland, India, China, Russia, Japan, brazil, Sth Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malayasia ……. and all the rest.

    Here’s a useful wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia

    I recommend that readers here take an hour out to read the insanity pouring out of tens of thousands of equally stupid ignorant uneducated fools on breitbart.

  11. 111
    Mr. Know It All says:

    105 – Kevin
    “Yeah? Maybe you can point me, then, to where he promised he would blow up the federal deficit, or enact tax measures tailored to help the ultrarich, or where he would do everything possible to ruin the ACA without ever even proposing an alternative?”

    Trump said he’d repeal and replace Obama-care, invest $1,000,000,000,000 in infrastructure, build a big beautiful wall, pass big tax reform including big corporate tax cuts…..
    That stuff doesn’t come cheap.

    I’m hoping that the tax cuts will stimulate the economy, which will result in greater tax revenues (that did happen under Reagan), but we’ll see. Regular Jane and Joe will get some tax relief from the tax bill, and will benefit greatly if the economy takes off so they can get raises, maybe a better job, etc. I don’t mind helping the ultra-rich; in fact I’d like to become one of them. ;)

    Obama-care is still 100% in effect, only change to date is that we will not have to pay a penalty tax if we don’t buy health insurance. I am hoping the next step will be to allow any insurer to offer any health insurance policy they want to anyone, across state (even across national) lines; so I can buy catastrophic insurance at any age – currently it is illegal to offer insurance that does not conform to the ACA, and it does not meet my needs in any way.

    Air, water and food are regulated by tens of thousand of regulations – most still apply just as they did the day before Trump was inaugurated. ;)

  12. 112
    Thomas says:

    100
    Killian a little heads up fyi …. RE “* Nuclear: For just 25% of needs would require 1,500 and 3,000 new stations needed by 2040. 100 or so a year. [To my knowledge no more than 4 have ever been completed in any given year. These are numbers I have long been familiar with and are just one of several reasons I don’t take nuclear seriously as a solution.]”

    KA mis-represents (kind of) that data. and most people do not pick it up in his “talks” as he repeats this a few times ….. however, pls note it is a “teaching moment” that KA is trying to convey …. but he could have done it better/clearer.

    In those figures KA is speaking about how much Nuclear is needed to REPLACE ALL FOSSIL FUELS ENERGY USE GLOBALLY. It’s a hypothetical point he is making — not that Nuclear could not play a positive role as much as soil carbon and sustainability and reducing waste and improving efficiencies can too.

    RE “The weakness in Anderson’s presentation is the complete lack of resource limits considered.”

    I think that is a more a matter of KA knowing his own “limits” — and his choice to remain focused on his own Core issues he has been trying to show/teach others for some time. iow one cannot discuss every possible related issue and subtext and interrelated truth. Nor be an “expert” in same and therefore get al the “data” correct and up-to-date in his presentations.

    btw if you you really want to know his own mind, then email him … he actually writes back :-)

  13. 113
    Thomas says:

    Chris….

    A healthy token ecosystem is vital for investors …. Why?

    Space Alpha Tokens tap into this market …. How?

    What’s the difference between funding a project with USD or Bitcoin or SATs?

    Space Alpha wants to facilitate market capitalization to channel funds into a diverse range of promising projects and technologies. ….. Why?

    Depending on the value, opportunities may arise which offer the chance to make investments into the global emerging low carbon economy……. So what? Those opportunities already exist right now right here, today.

  14. 114
    Thomas says:

    “The founding fathers made the Constitution the way it is for a reason – …. ”

    Gosh Mr Not Knower Troll, how could that be a good thing????

    Look at what it has given you ….. The New Deal, Roosevelt, the UN, the UNDHR, the Kennedys, the Vietnam War you lost, the Korean War you lost, President Carter, The CLINTONS, Black-Lives-Matter, #MeToo, Al Gore, George Soros, CNN, Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats, the Greens, an unpayable debt level and budget deficit, Barack Obama, Jeffersonian Democracy, and Oprah Winfrey, Gun Control Medicare and the IRS?

    Are you sure those mega rich founding fathers knew what they were doing?

  15. 115

    Atmospheric upward heat convection has the potential of providing carbon free energy while reducing global warming. A large hurricane produces more energy than annual electrical energy production and a single tornado can produce more energy than a large thermal power plant. It should be possible to control a naturally occurring process.

    Imagine a world where atmospheric convection provides abundant clean energy, where precipitation is produced where and when required and where global warming is not a problem. There would be no need to burn fossil fuel to produce energy. Carbon emissions are unlikely to be stopped unless an alternative high intensity energy source is found.

    Solving the global warming problem will require broad participation. There is a need for a platform suitable for in depth technical discussion of innovative ideas for solving the global warming problem. The peer review process is not effective for concepts that have not been demonstrated to work because articles are easily rejected or ignored. Article comments rarely lead to improvements of novel concept. Engineering experience in domains such as: chimneys, cooling towers, thermodynamic power cycle analysis and exergy analysis could bring new ideas and approaches.

    RealClimate meets the need to provide quality information and to respond to global warming doubters. The comments in RealClimate tend to be polarized and the site is not a good platform for constructive innovation.

    Twitter could provide a technically advanced platform for constructive discussion of innovative global warming solutions. Twitter has outstanding attachment capabilities and could even provide recognition of first to innovate. The platform forces participants to be concise. Participant can choose who they are interested in following. Naysayers can be blocked; there is no need to be distracted by comments from people who do not understand the underlying science. Twitter could be a fast mechanism for evaluating solution while giving participants more time to respond to objection than is available at conferences.

    I have tried to promote the atmospheric vortex engine process and have placed information relating to the proposal including links to several peer reviewed articles on web site: http://www.vortexengine.ca. Recently I started putting information on Twitter under identifier @vortexengine and hashtag: #vortexengine. This material could be a good starting point for testing the effectiveness of a Twitter type networking. Atmospheric scientists interested in thermodynamics and clean energy are invited to use @vortexengine as a test the Twitter networking route. Twitter discussions could enhance the peer reviewed and conference approach.

  16. 116
    Killian says:

    #104 there is no population-based cure for the climate crisis

    As I have said, exactly why I largely stayed out of that discussion. I know pointless when I see it. Huge number of words wasted on the obvious. Long term, we need below replacement trends across the board, but we really can feed 12 billion, so if one gets serious and literal about simplifying, *just* meeting needs, we can feed everyone and become low carbon virtually overnight. Even with a 1/4 reduction because of climate, we can avoid mass starvation with good management. It all comes down to the risk assessment.

    Statements here that we have hundreds of years to adapt and mitigate border on the insane given current rates of change. As a simple illustration, a 5-year doubling period for SLR equals all land ice melting this century… i think. Melt is over 4cm a year, I believe, though the last “official” number was 3.3… right? (What is the formula for 5- or 10-year doublings starting at whatever the most recent rate is over 82 years? My BOTE numbers are 13 meters at an average 10-yr doubling and all the ice on the planet at an average 5-year doubling starting from 3.3 millimeters/yr.) Such rates have already been noted in isolated locations.

    Sanguinity about time frames could lead to disaster. In fact, it doesn’t matter what zebs or nige or I or anyone else thinks will happen or expects to happen, all that matters is the risk assessment. What is the worst that has a risk of occurring?

    WRT SLR, somewhere between 10M and all the ice being gone is a real risk. I’d say 3 meters is absolutely guaranteed. That’s the end of all coastal cities less massive dike building, and that just makes the ecological damage that much worse.

    Etc.

  17. 117
    Killian says:

    #112 Thomas said 100
    Killian a little heads up fyi …. RE “* Nuclear: For just 25% of needs would require 1,500 and 3,000 new stations needed by 2040. 100 or so a year. [To my knowledge no more than 4 have ever been completed in any given year…

    KA mis-represents (kind of) that data.

    No, he very clearly says replace all.

    In those figures KA is speaking about how much Nuclear is needed to REPLACE ALL FOSSIL FUELS ENERGY USE GLOBALLY.

    Yes. My ears still work, but thanks. It is still one of the reasons I do not take nuclear seriously. It is a bridge for some, in very limited areas and, really, should be abandoned altogether except for R&D till we can actually tame that monster. We don’t need it, so the risk is unacceptable.

  18. 118
    Thomas says:

    Is NOAA on the chopping block list too?
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events/US/1980-2017

    During 2017, the U.S. experienced a historic year of weather and climate disasters. In total, the U.S. was impacted by 16 separate billion-dollar disaster events tying 2011 for the record number of billion-dollar disasters for an entire calendar year.

    In fact, 2017 arguably has more events than 2011 given that our analysis traditionally counts all U.S. billion-dollar wildfires, as regional-scale, seasonal events, not as multiple isolated events.

    More notable than the high frequency of these events is the cumulative cost, which exceeds $300 billion in 2017 — a new U.S. annual record.

    The cumulative damage of these 16 U.S. events during 2017 is $306.2 billion, which shatters the previous U.S. annual record cost of $214.8 billion (CPI-adjusted), established in 2005 due to the impacts of Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/

    Only 36 nations have a GDP above USD $300 bln/yr

    Luckily the US has an infinite credit card limit. :-)

  19. 119
    Thomas says:

    KIA 96: At least since the 60s, schools have been indoctrinating students with leftist ideas

    THO: Like Science?

    THO: Like Reason?

    THO: Like Philosophy?

    THO: Like studying History is a good idea?

    THO: Like the Laws of Thermodynamics?

    THO: Like Equality under the Law?

    THO: Ideas like Habeas Corpus perhaps?

    THO: Or Tax breaks for Charities?

    THO: Brakes on cars that work safely?

    THO: The idea that Clean water is good to use for human drinking water?

    THO: Starting Wars is never a good idea.

    ‘Crazy’ Ideas like these?

    What were those ‘teachers’ thinking? Tsk tsk :-)

  20. 120
    Thomas says:

    KIA 96: At least since the 60s, schools have been indoctrinating students with leftist ideas

    Like the leftist Trump’s administration plan to bolster coal-fired and nuclear power plants with government subsidies and tax payer funded give-a-aways to multinational corporations based in the Bahamas?

    tsk tsk

  21. 121
    Mr. Know It All says:

    108 – BPL
    “Hillary has been investigated six times by highly motivated people and not once has anything emerged that led to an indictment. The charge of “criminal” is therefore false, and you should not bear false witness.”

    It is a crime to use an unsecured private server to handle classified government documents. It is a crime to delete government email evidence after it’s been requested for an investigation.

    I committed a crime today – I drove over the speed limit. I wasn’t caught but I’m still a criminal.

    When I worked for the DoD you could not put a USB drive in a computer without permission.

  22. 122
    Mr. Know It All says:

    115 – Louis
    ” Naysayers can be blocked; there is no need to be distracted by comments from people who do not understand the underlying science. ”

    That can be done here on RealClimate. Just require that every person be approved to post comments by presenting credentials indicating they are climate scientists or other scientists or engineers that can contribute to climate science discussions.

  23. 123

    #107 Killian,

    ..not interested in experts in sustainability or any related design/management process

    Yes, we also seek experts in sustainability or any related design/management process.

    #113 Thomas

    A healthy token ecosystem is vital for investors …. Why?

    Otherwise they wouldn’t invest, at least not in the long run.

    Space Alpha Tokens tap into this market …. How?

    If you buy SAT you automatically take part in the cryptocurrency market, and the value of SAT reflects what you own, and what Space Alpha can possibly achieve. Existing token currencies are primarily structured around the markets https://coinmarketcap.com/tokens or have goals to develop future applications, mostly based on the underlying blockchain technology. There are a few examples with more meaningful goals, such as for voting.

    What’s the difference between funding a project with USD or Bitcoin or SATs?

    Ofc you can fund projects with other currencies, but this would mean its an individual choice, the mainstream approach.

    Space Alpha wants to facilitate market capitalization to channel funds into a diverse range of promising projects and technologies. ….. Why?

    Because the technology exists to achieve a 100% renewable energy economy, but it lacks roll-out and faces manufacturing bottlenecks. Then you have top down approaches, funneling funding, often with different results.

    Depending on the value, opportunities may arise which offer the chance to make investments into the global emerging low carbon economy……. So what? Those opportunities already exist right now right here, today.

    There exists no currency which enables investments, by simply trading, paying with it. Imagine each time you buy something with $ you contribute to the potential of funding something to reduce our emissions.

  24. 124
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas, #113:

    ” A healthy token ecosystem is vital for investors …”

    Hehehe, yeah, that will be the real funny side of ecosystem brakedown :’D Btw, 2017 was the most expensive year in the US related to “natural desasters” :)… and it’s still just the beginning :’D

  25. 125
    zebra says:

    Kevin M #104,

    You seem to be backtracking on what you said earlier about (not) washing your hands of the matter if things don’t come out almost perfectly as you would like in terms of energy transition and efficiency.

    All the proposals here, including yours, have a substantial probability of Not. Happening. Certainly not in the Nirvana Fallacy form that is implied when you dismiss what I said above.

    You’ve ignored my point about sovereign States whose populations would resist losing the major source of their income. These States have various ways to project power, as you are well aware.

    So thinking that CO2 production is going to decline to zero in twenty years or even 50, or 100, is as silly as Killian’s dreams about hippie communes magically appearing everywhere.

    Which leaves us with minimizing harm, and laying the groundwork for a sustainable future.

    You can’t use population statistics from the past to project forward, any more than you can use FF consumption statistics, without including the projected effects of the policies we are proposing. If you are counting on policy changes to drive the energy transition at an accelerated pace, then you have to accept me counting on policy changes to accelerate the demographic transition.

    And please, stop with the Africa thing. The US is generally assigned 25% of LNC. If you reduce our consumption by 75% by reducing the population by 50%, that’s a big deal; do the math. And this doesn’t take into account what might be forced by regulatory changes as you propose. Again, do the math. If global (including first-world) population decline is promoted as forcefully as transitioning from FF, you are going to get much more (non-linear) bang for the buck.

    Which brings me to the question nobody wants to answer: What is the buck? What’s the harm?

  26. 126
    Ray Ladbury says:

    The current occupant of 1600 Penn. Ave. in DC is a quintessential example of democracy as H. L. Mencken viewed it:
    “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

  27. 127
    Patrick says:

    Best solution out there. My discussion on Ocean Mechanical Thermal Energy Conversion folks.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PYxqfOcPDM&t=362s

  28. 128
    nigelj says:

    Keven McKinney and Killian

    Economic growth trends, and implications for renewable energy.

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

    https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10544.html

    https://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/can-long-term-global-growth-be-saved

    Key points:

    “In the century after the Civil War, an economic revolution improved the American standard of living in ways previously unimaginable. Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, motor vehicles, air travel, and television transformed households and workplaces. But has that era of unprecedented growth come to an end? Weaving together a vivid narrative, historical anecdotes, and economic analysis, The Rise and Fall of American Growth challenges the view that economic growth will continue unabated, and demonstrates that the life-altering scale of innovations between 1870 and 1970 cannot be repeated.”

    ” Gordon contends that the nation’s productivity growth will be further held back by the headwinds of rising inequality, stagnating education, an aging population, and the rising debt of college students and the federal government, and that we must find new solutions. A critical voice in the most pressing debates of our time, The Rise and Fall of American Growth is at once a tribute to a century of radical change and a harbinger of tougher times to come.”

    “The problem is that slower population growth and longer life expectancy are limiting growth in the working-age population….. Without action, global economic growth will almost halve in the next 50 years. A new McKinsey Global Institute report offers a solution: a dramatic improvement in productivity….. Even if productivity growth matches its rapid rate during the past half century, the rate of increase in global GDP growth will therefore still fall by 40 percent, to about 2.1 percent a year (Exhibit 2)”

    IMO its obvious economic (gdp) growth rates are declining. Rates of economic growth have fallen in most countries since the 1970s until this year evident in the graphs. The decline is most apparent in OECD countries.

    While we cannot of course assume growth will naturally decline to zero, I would argue it sure looks like it will. No efforts are likely to reverse this trend. If all the huge quantitative easing money creation since the 2008 global financial crash can’t reverse the trend, nothing can. Improvements in productivity growth look elusive. We are heading through natural processes towards zero growth, – possibly this century.

    It is possible to make economic growth fall even faster, with 1) monetary policy of higher interest rates, or 2)slower rates of money creation. Therefore zero growth could happen faster. But demand pressure suggests its unlikely that growth would go negative this century.

    IMO people could plausibly reduce consumption voluntarily as part of embracing less materialistic values, and reducing waste and energy consumption, but there are limiting factors. Its unlikely they would deliberately choose radical cuts in consumption, and thus poverty and hardship, in significant numbers. It would not even be sensible to do so.

    Therefore reduced economic growth and reduced general consumption does not look like a sufficient answer to dangerous climate change over the next 20 – 50 years. Its not going to reduce energy consumption enough or carbon intensive products enough, although it will help. We are left requiring renewable energy.

    Deliberate zero economic and population growth policies will lead to more time to adapt to resource scarcity. Mineral resource scarcity is inescapable regardless of what we do, even with the significant and useful potential of recycling. Recycling has some waste over time. We can only smooth the transition.

  29. 129
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney and Killian

    Mineral resource limits, recycling, and renewable energy:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/04/mineral-resource-fossil-fuel-depletion-terraform-earth-collapse-civilisation

    https://www.thebalance.com/an-introduction-to-metal-recycling-4057469

    http://www.tucsoniron.com/how-often-can-you-recycle-different-items/

    “US Geological Survey data analysed by the report shows that chromium, molybdenum, tungsten, nickel, platinum-palladium, copper, zinc, cadmium, titanium, and tin will face peak production followed by declines within this century. In particular, the report highlights the fate of copper, lithium, nickel and zinc. Physicist Prof Rui Namorado Rosa projects an “imminent slowdown of copper availability” in the report. ”

    “Nickel and zinc, which are used to combat iron and steel corrosion and for electricity storage in batteries, also could face production peaks in just “a few decades” – though nickel might be extended some 80 years – according to engineer and metals specialist Philippe Bihoux:”The easily exploited part of the reserves has been already removed, and so it will be increasingly difficult and expensive to invest in and exploit nickel and zinc mines.”

    “almost every kind of metal can be recycled again and again without degradation of properties….Nearly 40 percent of worldwide steel production is made using recycled steel. ”

    “Metal is the poster child of sustainability. Steel, aluminum, copper, and other metals are endlessly recyclable, regardless of where they came from. The properties of metal hold steady no matter how many times they are melted down, which is why some believe a large percentage of all the copper ever minded in history is probably still used in some capacity today.”

    “As long it’s properly sorted, certain types and forms of glass is endlessly recyclable.”

    “Plastics are not recyclable” (my note: however we have many ways of manufacturing plastics and raw material options, and many alternative materials as well)

    IMO its clear from the above we face serious resource limits, although The Guardian article is taking a slightly pessimistic view. Estimates of reserves tend to be under estimates, historically. Even sea water contains considerable dissolved minerals, that have been successfully extracted. Cheaper extraction technologies are likely to be developed.

    It’s clear metals and glass can be recycled endlessly without degradation. The limiting factor is waste. Any process will have some waste, however it is apparent waste can be very minimal with some planning.

    Clearly given the potential for recycling, renewable energy is viable.

    Clearly some materials cannot be recycled, however many are abundant.

    Of course ultimately minerals are not a fully sustainable resource because of waste in the recycling process, however that is not a logical reason to stop using minerals.

    Eventually we will run out of some materials, even with recycling, and / or costs will increase.We will have to adapt through reduced consumption and population size which could be painful and abrupt depending on levels of demand for materials.

    Reducing rates of population and economic growth to zero deliberately ahead of time, can only smooth this transition.

  30. 130
  31. 131
    Jean Finley says:

    49. WTF: “The current influx of refugees in Europe are due mostly to climate-driven crises in Africa and Syria.”
    Exactly. Yet these starving, war torn living souls are being blown up or capsizing and drowning at sea never to reach their life’s potential.

    Arguing climate science is like arguing whether cigarettes kill. Someone in the crowd always cites the rare person who smokes 4 packs a day and lives to 105.

    It is truly staggering that mankind, who pride ourselves as supreme beings with covenant over nature and all life forms have lost our own instinct for long term survivability. Our planet is well on its way toward failure to thrive – drought, mass starvation, massive loss of ice are just the beginning. Instead of focusing on developing solutions the robber barons continue to pull the wool over the eyes of the masses spreading doubt just like the cigarette makers spread doubt about the deadly health affects of smoking cigarettes. The rich and greedy have done a righteous job of protecting their singular goal.

    If the exclusive focus continues to be on wealth by a small but powerful few, life on earth will continue to deteriorate and eventually hostile to feed, clothe and shelter, the most basic requirements for survival of our species.

    The only solution is to enact strict recycle, remake, reuse and repurpose, focus on research and development of remanufacture of all post consumer and post commercial materials. Place strict restrictions on the extraction of any fossil fuel. Develop and implement the building of structures to eliminate the need for heat and cooling and develop the sun’s ability to create energy. Last, create jobs for every able person on earth to clean the ocean, cohabit and protect all other animals and clean up every abandoned mine on the planet. Initiate the death penalty for greed.
    Happy New Year and on the 16th and 17th January 2018, plan to stargaze. Bath in the beauty of the universe, Milky Way, planets constellations. Sagitarius should be visible.

  32. 132
    patrick says:

    Reinventing air conditioning.

    https://news.nus.edu.sg/highlights/reinventing-air-conditioning

    http://news.nus.edu.sg/press-releases/water-based-air-con

    At Singapore U. Thank you very much. It’s the concept that counts.

  33. 133
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Legislature in Oregon will consider cap and trade bill this year:
    http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/01/oregon_lawmakers_unveil_carbon.html#incart_target2box_default_#incart_target2box_targeted_

    Ditto in Washington:
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article193736644.html

    What does it all mean? PERS may have more money in the coffers soon. ;)

  34. 134
    Richard Creager says:

    Killian 91
    You take to task scientists, who “seem to only rarely have faith in anything they cannot measure in absolute terms.” Hard to believe you, even you, actually wrote that on RC.

  35. 135
    Philippe Chantreau says:

    A Know It All that is reminiscent of the Know Nothing. How fitting…

  36. 136
    Killian says:

    #127 nige prevaricated Its unlikely they would deliberately choose radical cuts in consumption, and thus poverty and hardship

    Lying is bad. Don’t lie.

    Clearly given the potential for recycling, renewable energy is viable.

    Yes, we know some things are recyclable. Endlessly? Not so much. Didn’t know there were all-metal energy systems. Also, sustainability is not just about resource availability. And, the article should have talked about losses in processing, etc. And, the recycling plants are not made only of metal.

    At least you are finally doing more than just saying, “But recycling!” It’s a positive step.

  37. 137
    Killian says:

    #133 Richard Creager said Killian 91 You take to task scientists, who “seem to only rarely have faith in anything they cannot measure in absolute terms.”

    Yes, yes I do. It has taken ten years to get soil/agriculture/regenerative systems acceptable conversation here even though their intimacy with climate is absolute, and absolutely clear. Also, any analysis that is not based in statistics is dismissed by the scientists *and* the commenters regardless how often non-scientists are proven more accurate in analysis.

    I do understand and appreciate scientific reticence, which is sometimes vital, but that doesn’t mean I can’t draw attention to it.

  38. 138
    Deb O'Dell says:

    A nice article describing some forward movement at the intersection between agriculture, agribusiness and climate change at:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2018/01/11/food-climate/

  39. 139
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @124

    “If global (including first-world) population decline is promoted as forcefully as transitioning from FF, you are going to get much more (non-linear) bang for the buck.”

    I’m assuming you are not suggesting some forced one child policy. I sincerely hope you have ruled out some forced euthanasia programme.

    It would be good for governments to more forcefully promote smaller families with education programmes, and easier access to contraception.

    The problem is governments are reluctant to educate too forcefully because of concerns about intruding on peoples personal lives, and because of religious lobbies etc. People are also reluctant to have one child families.

    IMO the net result is rates of population growth will reduce, but rather slowly and not enough to be a huge factor in preventing dangerous climate change. We can nudge things along, but radical and rapid change this century seems unlikely and change will gather strength next century. To me its about rates of change in cultural beliefs.

    “Which brings me to the question nobody wants to answer: What is the buck? What’s the harm?

    IMO there’s no harm in promoting and achieving smaller population, but NOBODY on this website to my knowledge has said its an undesirable goal.

  40. 140
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Patrick

    Interesting article on the air conditioner – hope it works. Says it can produce 18 deg C air (64.4 F). Didn’t say what entering air condition they were starting from, but 64.4 F isn’t cool enough for most applications – and would require a greater volume of air to maintain the indoor conditions we are used to – greater air volumes mean larger ducts, or more fan power, or both, so their 40% greater efficiency number may be high. Commercial/residential cooling units typically produce 55 to 60 F air.

    Not sure how it works, but those paper moisture removers may grow fungus, algae, etc so need to watch for that. Sounds somewhat like a desiccant dehumidifier, but those use a lot of heat for regeneration of the desiccant. How long do the paper sheets last? Will it require large volumes of paper?

    Separating out humidification from cooling is common practice any time you want close control of temp and dew point.

  41. 141
    Mr. Know It All says:

    “Separating out humidification from cooling….”

    I meant “dehumidification”, but it is also the case for humidification, unless you’re talking an evaporative cooler, then humidification results in cooling.

  42. 142
    Mr. Know It All says:

    130 Jean
    “The only solution is to enact strict recycle, remake, reuse and repurpose, focus on research and development of remanufacture of all post consumer and post commercial materials. Place strict restrictions on the extraction of any fossil fuel. Develop and implement the building of structures to eliminate the need for heat and cooling and develop the sun’s ability to create energy. Last, create jobs for every able person on earth to clean the ocean, cohabit and protect all other animals and clean up every abandoned mine on the planet. Initiate the death penalty for greed.”

    Only problem is that eventually you’ll run out of other people’s money to do all that stuff. Actually, it will not be “eventually”, but quite quickly. Minor problem, right? ;)

  43. 143
    Mr. Know It All says:

    118 – Thomas
    THO: Like Science?
    They don’t teach science – they indoctrinate – they “tell” the students they are destroying the planet. The students wouldn’t know CO2 from dirt. ;)

    THO: Like Reason?
    Nope, reason is not taught. They are told exactly what to think and they are told that all who don’t think that way are fascists, bigots, racists, blah, blah, blah. ;)

    THO: Like Philosophy?
    Nope, only philosophy they’re taught is the philosophy that everything lib is good, all else is evil.

    THO: Like studying History is a good idea?
    No, history is evil – people were bad back in the old days so bury your heads in the sand children, tear down the statues, make the old flags illegal, and don’t tell anyone that most of those bad people were Ds.

    THO: Like the Laws of Thermodynamics?
    They wouldn’t know thermodynamics if it hit ’em between the eyes with a 2 x 4.

    THO: Like Equality under the Law?
    They do teach this one! They teach that no matter how dumb or lazy you are, that you should have exactly the same wealth as those who are smart and/or who work hard. They teach equality of outcomes NOT equality of opportunity – as a result, Ferguson, Baltimore, Detroit, blah, blah, blah.

    THO: Ideas like Habeas Corpus perhaps?
    Nah, they don’t teach that in school – their lawyers teach that when they are picked up for various crimes.

    THO: Or Tax breaks for Charities?
    Not many charities left today – most “charities” lobby for particular political viewpoints. But they probably are taught that charity was invented by libs – would not surprise me.

    THO: Brakes on cars that work safely?
    Nah, those came about in the earliest days of cars – the car makers actually wanted to produce a safe product so people would want to buy it – can you imagine that?

    THO: The idea that Clean water is good to use for human drinking water?
    Yeah, they teach that as if libs invented clean water regs as if everyone else wants dirty water.

    THO: Starting Wars is never a good idea.
    Actually, starting a war would be a good idea if a rogue state threatens others.
    :)

  44. 144

    Kudos to the management of RC for launching “Forced Responses” as a space specifically for the discussion of mitigation strategies. Given that the cabal fraudulently promoting denial have clearly sought to disrupt any such discussion in favour of a focus on whether or not AGW is real, harmful, man made, etc, it seems bizarre that this is the only public site I know of across the anglophone web with a specific focus on mitigation.

    It is also very good to see that discussion of the need of and options for the deployment of both modes of climate engineering alongside rapid Emissions Control are no longer heavily discouraged here. I find the orthodox titles for these approaches very sub-optimal if not simply misleading, and this matters since the public will have to generally understand and support such measures for decisions on research funding, governance and any eventual deployment to be made.

    I’d thus replace CDR / “Carbon Dioxide Removal” (unclear and unhelpfully prescriptive) – with “Carbon Recovery”;
    and CCS / “Carbon Capture and Storage” (inaccurate) – with “Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration” [CDCS];
    and SRM / “Solar Radiation Management” (both ambiguous and off-putting: can be read as intervening in the sun’s energy production and needs the word ‘radiation’ like a hole in the head) – with “Albedo Restoration.”

    The rationale for adopting a ‘troika’ strategy of Emissions Control + Carbon Recovery + Albedo Restoration has become rather more cogent since my last attempt to discuss it on RC. Of many supporting indicators there are a few that seem to me particularly relevant.

    First, the recent paper describing the threat of the ‘aridification’ of a quarter of the planet’s land area under continued global heating implies a critical loss of agricultural capacity. This loss is exacerbated by the intensifying Climate Destabilization (reportedly reflecting the start of the ‘Albedo Loss’ feedback due to the decline of Arctic sea-ice and ice caps) which is suppressing subsistence farm yields and some commercial farm yields on a random basis by the impacts of extreme droughts, storms, floods, and heat and cold waves. Prof Peirs Forster (Univ of Leeds, UK; IPCC lead author) led a 2012 study of the probability of extreme drought across Asia, in which this was found to be liable to occur within 10 years on a scale potentially threatening global food security. Nations’ propensity to cease food exports and hoard supplies in times of scarcity can form a massive multiplier of what would otherwise be a relatively minor impact. That hoarding was seen during the sub-global crop failures in Russia, Ukraine and Thailand in 2012, while historically the famine that cut Europe’s medieval population by about half was due to a crop failure of a mere 10% to 15%.

    The implication is that society is drifting towards the onset of serial global crop failures which may occur within a decade by regional failures coinciding, and which becomes increasingly probable in subsequent decades. Their impact should not be seen merely in an unprecedented scale of casualties, but in the entirely predictable results of geo-political destabilization and conflict, which would greatly reduce, if not preclude, the co-operation necessary for the commensurate mitigation of global heating.

    Second, a recent report by ‘Bloomberg New Energy Finance’ [BNEF] found that under free market conditions (i.e. RE deployed only where profitable) the best that the renewables will achieve by 2040 is sufficient deployment to take up all increase in energy demand, but they would not by that date reduce fossil fuels’ overall usage. It perhaps needs saying that Bloomberg’s business has been built on a reputation for scrupulous attention to detail in its researches and on accurate reporting. In addition, BNEF is a leading advocate of the growth potential of the renewables. It thus seems reasonable to suggest that if we continue to fail to achieve a commensurate binding international mitigation treaty, we shall not see the end of a ‘lumpy plateau’ in global emissions before the 2040s.

    Third, the recent paper by Samset et al in GRL found that the loss of the cooling anthropogenic aerosols (primarily sulphates) emitted with fossil fuels combustion (mostly from coal and bunker fuels) would result in a near real-time warming of 0.5C to 1.1C. This finding confirms and is almost identical that by Hansen et al.
    Its implication is that even if anthro-GHG outputs were halted tomorrow, and the pipeline warming timelagged from past GHG outputs were to fail to appear, and the ongoing warming and GHG outputs from seven ‘Major Interactive Feedbacks’ were to come to an unexplained stop, then with observed warming of ~1.0C the loss of the cooling ‘Sulphates Parasol’ would give an outcome of 1.5C to 2.1C. In reality the three additional warming sources will impose substantial contributions.

    In this light the Paris Accord paid lip service to the need of Carbon Recovery, but such was the determination of the Obama White House to maintain the “Denial Of Urgency” (as epitomized by its goal for the Accord of “Net-zero global GHGs by 2100″) that the final text ludicrously referred to Carbon Recovery only as being needed “…..in the second half of the century.”

    With the modellers’ fantasy of BECDCS [Biomass Energy with Carbon Dioxide Capture & Sequestration] attracting wholly unwarranted official endorsements, a brief critique seems necessary.

    1/. Apart from a very costly energy supply (>£100/MWH) this option has no known self-funding potential.
    2/. In focussing on CO2 rather than carbon, it requires the capture and sequestration of 3.664 times the gigatonnage of material for a given impact on airborne CO2 stock.
    3/. Each km2 of farmland diverted to the monoculture of ‘Short Rotation Coppice’ for mechanized harvesting and processing to fuel power stations – is that much reduction of the host nation’s food security. Under the present threats to food security it seems unlikely that any nation with a real claim to be a democracy would be willing to host this technology, while overt command economies may be equally chary of its impact.
    4/. Capturing and sequestering 16% of current global annual CO2 output would entail managing a mass of material very close to the mass of the 80mb/d of crude oil handled by the oil industry’s entire infrastructure heritage – which has taken over a century to build while being funded by the planet’s most profitable enterprise.
    5/. For nations’ efforts at sequestering CO2 in suitable geology to be accredited at the UNFCCC, multiple verification wells would be needed annually around each insertion site to achieve even a vague record of the tonnage inserted, and the costs of those wells would multiply the overall cost in $/tCO2. With UNFCCC decision-making by consensus, the possibility of all nations deciding to trust all other nations and agree to forgo verification is near zero, and without official accreditation BECDCS is of zero diplomatic value to governments.
    6/. While a fraction of the coal-power stations that would be saved by switching to biomass will be sited on suitable geology for CO2 sequestration, the great majority are not, meaning that in every quite-developed country HP pipelines would be needed that would sum to many thousands of miles. With the great majority of cities and towns being founded beside rivers, many of those pipelines would inevitably be laid directly uphill of them. By my calculation a team of six Daesh/Nazi/AlQuaeda could easily dig down 5ms to an HP pipe in a single night to set a small bomb to release its entire contents from between pumping stations. Being heavier than air it would flow downhill on a suitable breeze to envelop the chosen target, and being both invisible and odourless the majority of its victims would be killed in their sleep within two or three minutes.
    7/. The level of public opposition to BECDCS is liable to be unprecedented, given that climate activists are spoiled for choice over the number of demerits that they can and will bring to the public’s attention. On top of the six points outlined above, there is the simple case that public funds should not be used to maintain the profitability of defunct coal power stations – but rather to accelerate the deployment of dispatchable renewables and the establishment of native coppice forestry for charcoal to be sequestered in farmland where it acts as a soil fertilizer and soil moisture regulator. The title of “Carbon Recovery for Food Security” may yet become a rallying cry.

    However, the scale of the anthro-carbon now in the atmosphere and oceans is such that there seems little prospect of this forest-based option, even alongside the other organic growth options, getting CO2 back well below 400ppmv before the late C21 – and even that will require rapid and unprecedented efforts. With the resulting minor cooling being timelagged by around 35yrs, it seems quite probable that intensifying climate destabilization would have severely degraded the annual sequestration capacity long before that goal was achieved.

    The rationale for the R,D&D of a reliably benign mode of Albedo Restoration rests on the points above: in the absence of any prospect of sufficient cooling by Emissions Control, it is required as a means to cool the planet sufficiently to avoid the ruinous climatic destabilization of agriculture, as well as to ensure the continued viability of forestry both as a major carbon bank and as a means of optimized Carbon Recovery. In addition, that global cooling is the only known way that the seven ‘Major Interactive Feedbacks’ will be decelerated, and at present they are on track both to fully offset the ending of anthro-GHG outputs and to continue their self-reinforcing acceleration thereafter.

    This comment is already longer than intended, so I’ll leave further discussion of Albedo Restoration for later.

    Regards,
    Lewis

  45. 145

    Zebra, #124–

    Kevin M #104,

    You seem to be backtracking on what you said earlier about (not) washing your hands of the matter if things don’t come out almost perfectly…

    Huh? There isn’t a single word in #104 about my intentions.

    …when you dismiss what I said above…

    Can you point to where I did that? I’m not sure what you are referring to.

    You’ve ignored my point about sovereign States whose populations would resist losing the major source of their income. These States have various ways to project power, as you are well aware.

    Again, you’d better contextualize this for me. As a native Canadian, the entire post-Kyoto period has been a painful exercise in my homeland resisting the loss of a major source of income, so I certainly get the idea in that regard. But I don’t see the connection to #104.

    So thinking that CO2 production is going to decline to zero in twenty years or even 50, or 100, is as silly as Killian’s dreams about hippie communes magically appearing everywhere.

    That would be a strawman in reference to anything I’m aware of having said–my emphasis has generally been on the difficulty and necessity of transforming the energy economy in order to get to zero emissions as quickly as possible. That’s precisely why I fight for Paris, and for RE, as I see these as the most promising current avenues to achieve that.

    That said, I do see some encouraging trends on the horizon that may *help*–RE is visibly starting to kick fossil butt in the energy marketplace; EVs are growing at a healthy clip, and have the promise to slash petroleum use dramatically; and, a bit more speculatively, the TaaS revolution (if it comes about) would be a very significant conservation measure, saving CO2 emissions, petroleum, numerous raw materials including steel, productive human hours, and household financial resources.

    But none of it is ‘magical’, and none of it is inevitable. Nor is it likely to be ‘enough’ in the absence of intentional effort and policy-making. Which, again, is something I am attempting to fight for.

    Which leaves us with minimizing harm, and laying the groundwork for a sustainable future.

    Sure. Have at it. You seem to have a vision. Killian has a vision. So, please, share your vision. I’m interested. And I’ll show that by asking questions.

    You can’t use population statistics from the past to project forward… then you have to accept me counting on policy changes to accelerate the demographic transition.

    Where did I say you couldn’t advocate for policy changes? But my point about population is more centered on current reality than on ‘projection’. That’s because the current population is somewhere northwards of 7 billion, and it’s relatively young on a global basis. That means that, *whatever* happens with fertility, in 20 years we’re still going to have a larger population.
    Therefore–and I know I’ve said this before–we can’t address the carbon crisis with population.

    And please, stop with the Africa thing. The US is generally assigned 25% of LNC. If you reduce our consumption by 75% by reducing the population by 50%, that’s a big deal; do the math.

    1) OK, what is “LNC?” Tried searching it, but no luck. Please explain. The following sentence hints that “C” could be ‘consumption’, but that guess doesn’t supply sufficient context.

    2) One is tempted to reply (from an ancient Greek playbook), “If.” It won’t happen in the next 20 years, barring complete social collapse and mass die-off, or systematic genocide, so *as solution to the carbon crisis*, it doesn’t cut it.

    3) Now, as to the ‘Africa thing,’ I wasn’t making a statement about how to reduce carbon emissions via population measures–I don’t believe, based on demographic realities today, that there is any acceptable path to do that *in time*. I was making a statement about the reality that 1) much of the world is today is already at or below replacement fertility levels, and that 2) the main high-fertility areas remaining in the world today are in fact sub-Saharan African nations. That’s a simple reality, not some sort of rhetorical premise.

    That said, work the math the other way: those nations are high-population growth AND some (Ghana, Nigeria, even Ethiopia) are also high economic growth. That’s not a good recipe for their future carbon footprints. So, what to do? Maybe encourage development that’s as sustainable and low-carbon as possible, in order 1) to avoid as much carbon emission as possible by ‘leap-frogging’ some of the carbon-intense practices that characterized past models, and 2) to facilitate the ‘demographic transition’ in those nations?

    And this doesn’t take into account what might be forced by regulatory changes as you propose… If global (including first-world) population decline is promoted as forcefully as transitioning from FF, you are going to get much more (non-linear) bang for the buck.

    No, it’s “If global… population decline is achieved.” You’re assuming that the ‘promotion’ is entirely effective. And it may be–which is one reason why I also fight for the empowerment of women, the education of girls, and wide availability and social acceptance of effective birth control. I think you’ll find there are quite a lot of people and organizations doing the same today.

    But again, that is effective over the longer term, and so will not address today’s carbon crisis.

    Which brings me to the question nobody wants to answer: What is the buck? What’s the harm?

    I don’t think I ever said there was a ‘harm’, particularly. (With the caveat that, of course, everything has an opportunity cost.) And as I’ve said elsewhere, it does make sense that a future, more sustainable global society would feature a significantly lower population. And I’d readily agree that ‘laying the groundwork’ would seem a worthy thing to do. (With the caveat that if we bilge the short-term crisis badly enough, population trends are quite likely to be driven by other factors than social policy.)

    I do question the non-linear decline notion some; I’ve actually thought about that several times, but rather inconclusively. Some aspects seem to me to be inescapably non-linear (say, number of interconnections in a transportation system). Some seem inescapably linear (say, land per capita required within a given agricultural model). And some seem to depend upon social structures (eg., the US and Canada have very similar economies and societies in many respects, yet differ greatly in population level and distribution).

    But what I was going to propose in that regard was to leave the question aside for now, so that you could explain more clearly just what the significance of this concept is? What follows from it, in your opinion? Is it both necessary and sufficient for a sustainable society. And what are *your* timelines in this regard.

    Just generally expand on the ‘why’ and ‘how’, if you would.

  46. 146

    Nigel, #127 & 128–

    Thanks for the links. Brief responses (do I hear a cheer somewhere in the distance?):

    Growth:

    –Yes, slowing growth in the developed world has been a persistent trend, and seems unlikely to reverse. It seems likely that that will spread globally, assuming that we avoid disaster.

    –I’m skeptical about the role of labor as discussed, particular in the McKinsey piece. Labor is less and less a determinant of prices, and capital costs more and more. That seems likely to continue as automation, AI and robotics proceed to develop. I wonder if anyone really has a handle on this?

    –I’m also skeptical about the notion that declining growth rate projects automatically to ZEG. I’d think that it’s very possible, all else being equal, that there might be some lower quasi-equilibrium growth rate toward which the global economy trends. Part of that is reflexive skepticism, but also it seems to me that ZEG is a radically different regime economically and socially–not just ‘another number.’

    Recycling:

    –I’m puzzled by the notion that plastics can’t be recycled. On the ground where I live, plastics are being recycled, whereas they’ve had to drop glass recycling because, allegedly, they can’t find buyers. Also in our little town, you can buy almost indestructible lawn furniture made from (we are told) recycled plastic milk jugs. And in Kenya (IIRC), there’s a startup that is making waves by making construction materials out of recycled plastic. Et cetera…

    –I’m not that interested, personally, in the question of long-term resource sustainability. Given the pace of technological change today, projections based upon present use patterns are of dubious utility or even relevance. Examples:

    1) Historical case: there could have been a ‘silver crunch’–until digital photography killed one of the primary uses. (Actually, some folks think there still will be, but that’s another–and I suspect, much wackier–story.)

    2) Possible future case: I think it’s highly unlikely that lithium-ion battery technology will be the same workhorse 30 years that it is today, or will be in, say 10 years.

    Konrad Lorenz (IIRC) said that “Man is a flame.” It’s profound comment, relevant in multiple dimensions. One of them is that our technology and economic structure will change in response to the changing availability of resources–always has, and will continue to do so. I don’t think that we need to try to predetermine too excessively what future generations decide to do in response to the conditions that they will face. Better to play our hand the best we can.

  47. 147
    nigelj says:

    BPL and Killian

    Is economics “voodoo”?

    I seem to recall the term voodoo economics originated with criticism of Ronald Reagons claims “deficits didn’t matter”. Well I like Reagon, but deficits do matter, and he added a lot of federal debt. No economics text book ever said deficits don’t matter. So perhaps Reagons “interpretation” or “application” of economics was voodoo.

    Economics attempts to understand how markets work at local scale: Microeconomics, and does a good job of this.

    Of course economics has a branch called macroeconmics, the economy at large scale. It gets criticised for difficulties making predictions. It pays to remember human beings are sometimes irrational, so their economic behaviour is hard to predict. This is not so much voodoo, as a limitation.

    Then we have macroeconomics prescriptive principles: That private sector and free markets to be generally encouraged. However economics does recognise that markets don’t provide all goods and services, and some must be provided by governments. The argument is really about “where do you draw the line”. Opinions of economists vary, but its up to politicians what policy they choose.

    What about the growth obsession? High rates of economic growth obviously make the climate problem worse. Seriously worse. Economic principles do not prescribe any particular rate of growth, they only discuss what affects rates of growth, and how to maximise growth if its desired. It’s largely politicians that promote high growth.

    So in conclusion, I do not consider economics to be voodoo, although it is certainly not an “exact science” either. I think it is mainly the way politicians ‘apply’ economics that is often voodoo.

  48. 148
    Thomas says:

    What 85 Scott E Strough says, and 91 Killian says are correct. eg “Those two performed a massive disservice to humanity with that sloppy, biased analysis.”

    How sloppy is it that these two reference a paper to prove their “claims” that did not even address carbon storage in soils the positive implications for ecosystems? ow sloppy is it that they did not once present factual information about the extent of carbon sinks prior to the industrial revolution and the massive LOSS of same the last 200 years.

    So when flippant comments start flying like this one: “133 Richard Creager” then it’s about time to give up…. because it is patently clear that no one has a clue how to think properly anymore. Cannot read or refuse to read relevant papers anymore.

    Someone writes a guest post on RC and then for eternity it’s a done deal and assumed “true” when it was little more than egregious incompetent SPIN more worthy of a biased politician than a couple of biased scientists obviously incapable of thinking holistically and unable to stop creating fraudulent Strawmen arguments out of thin air trying to prove they are ‘right’ and the other is ‘wrong’.

    That isn’t science , it bullshit. imho. I really pity those people here who are equally incapable of working this out for themselves. There is no point in me explaining it further or getting down into the true scientific details of the WHOLE / HOLISTIC FACTS of the matter – for it would only fall upon deaf ears. Sad but true.

  49. 149
    Thomas says:

    131 patrick says: “Reinventing air conditioning.”

    Nah. It’s a technological improvement on evaporator coolers that existed before coolant air-conditioning and are are still in use today practically everywhere.

    Yes they are less emmissions intensive, but then they are no where near as efficient or effective in lowering temps as real air-conditioners are.

    As for drinking potable water from them, well, unless I was dying of thirst I will be avoiding that due to the existing issue of Legionnaires-disease.

    The NSU researchers are far from being “pioneers”. imho

  50. 150
    Thomas says:

    129 Killian provides another link that says: “Huge portions of the world’s reefs face almost certain death —”

    And I will add that the truly expert scientists in the field say that is most likely to occur by circa 2050 or before, including the GBR, because nothing is changing for the better but instead getting worse faster. This is ‘logical’ – just ask Spock. :)

    But hey, do not believe me … ““These impacts are stacking up at a pace and at a severity that I never had anticipated, even as an expert,” says Kim Cobb, a climate scientist and coral researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “It’s really the rapidity of it that is so sobering and shocking — and for me personally, life-altering.”

    Cobb, who is not affiliated with the new study, had first-hand experience with the latest and most severe instance of global coral bleaching: a three-year event that hit almost every major reef system in the world and eventually decimated portions of the Great Barrier Reef. In 2016, around the height of the bleaching, she made a series of dives off remote Kiritimati Island, due south of Hawaii. There, Cobb watched in horror as roughly 80 percent of one of the most pristine coral ecosystems in the world died in a matter of months.”

    Nothing to see here? Too honest? Too much truth in a few short sentences to cope with? Too many published papers and not enough time to read them in order to realise how true it is?

    What global ‘crisis’? What ‘catastrophe’? What ‘extinction’ threat to humanity? What foolish human ‘tragedy’?

    “When you lose control and you got no soul it’s tragedy.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSVTOMkJdqs

    Synergy, Holistic Thinking, Systemic Change, Facts vs Ignorance, Lies, Spin, Incompetence, Deceit, Cherry-Picking, Illogical Strawmen Arguments, and Big Egos.

    What a Mix. :-)