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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. 301
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @295, thanks for the link on Tony Seba. No I missed that one.

    I see Seba’s views, electric cars and ‘simplification’ and possibilities for emissions reduction by 2050 exactly the same way you do.

    I also agree its hard to predict things, and how society will respond. In that respect building developers in Australia are offering “free” solar power and tesla battery packs in new homes as a marketing tool. Who would have predicted something like that? It’s just a little thing, but demonstrates a wider issue.

    We are heading for some inevitable form of simplification anyway. It’s more a question of how it plays out over time. High levels of population and economic growth will push up against resource scarcity, and push prices up, and this will push growth and consumption down. The system will self correct, but harshly, especially if scarcity develops over short time frames, and for materials that are hard to recycle. But you know all this.

    Imo humanity should obviate the worst of this by more deliberately reducing growth rates ahead of time in a precautionary strategy, and reducing consumption about 25% at least in countries that can afford to do this. More drastic simplification like 80 – 90% voluntary cuts to consumption doesn’t look likely to have wide appeal, or like much of a life. Having said that it depends on the details, and whether its possible to maintain adequate health services and transport within significantly reduced overall technology and consumption, and it wont be easy.

    I think Killian is more right about principles. People need to embrace living with sustainable principles, or regenerative principles, and this might help make it easier to formulate more quantitative goals.

    I read Limits to Growth back in the 1980s when at university, as I suspect many people did, and I concluded back then that humaity had to reduce population growth and excessive reliance on technology, and ideally develop a more sharing society. I have become cynical about collective ownership, but the consumption questions remain.

  2. 302
    nigelj says:

    Killian @296, regarding your essay done around 2008. Yes there’s a sort of “perfect storm” of peak oil, economic problems, and climate problems.

    I dont know if we have hit peak oil yet, but it would be close, given how yields are behaving in the larger fields and the extent of water pumping required. We will only know for sure when theres a sustained increase in prices of more than a decade or so, with no obvious alternative explanation. I thought that had happened with the price increase from 1975 – 2005, but the gfc, fracking, and opecs response has caused prices to drop since then. However I dont think this will be maintained all that much longer.

    Of course hopefully oil use will decline sharply anyway as a response to the climate issue. This will in turn delay peak oil or at least reduce impacts in terms of uses of oil for things like fertiliser.

    The 2008 global financial crash was caused by a chain of events as you probably know. Alan Greenspan set low interest rates in a panic move after the twin towers tragedy, causing a housing bubble and crash, with predatory and almost criminal behaviour by the banking community contributing. Expect a rinse and repeat in some form, especially given interest rates are still being held artifically low for too long now. That sort of stimulus should be short term. It’s just a matter of time efore theres another economic bubble and crash.

    I quite like the idea of modelling envirommental issues with a sort of computer game role playing approach, but you have to actually do it. I know, not easy, but someone out there would have the resources and inclination.

  3. 303
    Tushar Vidyarthi says:

    We should go with the Biofuels as well the renewable sources especially for automobiles and try to remove the concept of Aircondition with the ethical way of cooling by earthen pipeline concept working on the principal of hot wet thermometer.
    so that the CFCS relies on can also be decreased, which will reduce the effect of greenhouse gases as well the ozone depletion.

  4. 304
    Killian says:

    #300 Al Bundy said Killian: saying we have oil for another 50 or 100 years means nothing. A meaningless stat.

    AB: True, but saying that we have 50-100 years (or whatever it is) of oil currently booked as assets is a humungus stat.

    If you mean a humongously dire, you’re correct. Otherwise, if you think it is any way a positive stat, then you likely do not understand energy, resources, climate and collapse.

    As I said, saying we have 50 – 100 years of oil is meaningless: You cannot know future rates of use. Even with (non)renewables coming to play, adding 2 billion people could keep consumption where it is, or even raise it. Regardless, it’s not enough because we have already been using oil for over 100 years, so if we have *between* 50 and 100, we are well on the downside of the oil curve.

    Add, people think electrification solves energy. Bwahahaha! Oil is used in some way for 95% of the stuff made in the modern world. Can’t electrify a a great deal of that use.

    If we *use* that oil, we are massively screwed environmentally.

    Then there’s what happens as net per capita energy falls. Hold on tight…

  5. 305
    Killian says:

    # 297 wili said
    I would really, really like to believe that best practices in ag could re-sequester at least some carbon, but this study does not seem very…optimistic…about that prospect:

    “While NT management strategies, inclusion of perennial crops, manure, and grass pasture all had beneficial effects on the C stocks at WICST, none of the six systems sequestered atmospheric C when the entire 90 cm profile was considered.

    If you want to show a thing does not do what it claims, then don’t measure it. That is what they have done. Regenerative is not a technique, or even three techniques.


  6. 306

    Zebra, #298–

    “fraught, difficult, and dangerous”


    Yep, seriously.

    Tell that to the climate refugee children 100 years from now, who are dying because we didn’t “wrestle the beast quite to the ground.

    I won’t be around to tell them anything, unless some of my writing survives somehow. And nobody will need to tell them that their lives are fraught, difficult and dangerous–just as no-one needs to tell the climate refugee children who today are dying of starvation and disease; rotting in refugee camps as prey for radicalizing terrorist recruiters, human traffickers, or sexual predators; or just drowning quietly somewhere in the Mediterranean.

    All I can say in my own defense is that I’m trying to ‘wrestle’ as hard as possible today, and constantly trying to do better. I don’t feel particularly effective, to be honest, but I’m not going to quit.

    Either you (and all the others) are serious about how serious this issue is, or not. Stop being equivocal, and stop the Nirvana thinking.

    Perhaps you are mistaking a description of what I think will probably happen for a description of what I would like to happen.

    So, I know I’ve asked before, and still await an answer: What’s your Plan B?

    I answered before, with a kidding tone but with underlying seriousness, that I’m still working on ‘my’ Plan A. In the meantime, your Plan B is perfectly acceptable to me–especially as my dance card is likely to be filled with ‘wrestling’ for the next couple of decades. How many Plans ‘B’ do we need, anyway?

    And BTW, Kevin, “difficult to imagine nonlinear change”, coming from you to me???

    Hey, we’re both human.

  7. 307
    zebra says:

    BPL 299 and KIA,

    You can actually make a pretty good case that when a woman moves from a third-world country to a developed one, it contributes to reducing population growth rates.

    It is not clear how much of an increase in Liquidation of Natural Capital by any individual occurs when moving to a developed country from a less developed one. Economic and technological factors may result in a wash; certainly, most unskilled immigrants are not going to become profligate consumers very rapidly.

  8. 308
    zebra says:


    Dude, all these years I never suspected you were part of the Vast Conspiracy! Good cover, referencing real science… but Mr. K is hard to fool.

    (sarcasm alert, for those slow on the uptake)

  9. 309
    wili says:

    Killian at 305: So do you have access to studies that have in fact studied the carbon sequestration rates of your “regenrative” methods (or whatever you want to call them) including the entire top meter of soil (or more). If so, could you please link to them. Thanks ahead of time.

    I ask because I really do want to think there is a way for ag to play an important role in C sequestration, but I kinda like data… ‘-)

    (Apologies if you have already posted them…hard as I try, I can’t quite seem to read each and every syllable written on this marvelous firehose of info, and I sadly only retain a portion of what I do get to :/ )

  10. 310
    Peter Shepherd says:

    I’m curious to know where the 136,000 tonnes of light crude oil/natural gas condensate from the sunken Sanchi tanker would partition to in the atmosphere and what effect it would have. One chemist implied it would be harmlessly oxidized after quickly evaporating into the atmosphere.

    How do light oil/gas condensate releases compare to either combusted condensate or methane in global warming impact?

    How toxic would it be in the ocean before evaporating, as this chemist implied evaporation would be so quick and complete to be a non issue in the ocean, and this industry-based technical document seems to support his statement.

    40 years ago I worked briefly in the North Sea and the two rigs I was on continuously flared associated condensate gas.

  11. 311
    Al Bundy says:

    KIA 290: The entire article can be summarized as: there are too many humans! I think we all know that, but nonetheless, the leftists in the USA (and the EU) want open borders with unlimited numbers of people moving in and consuming stuff just like the citizens of those areas.

    BPL: Immigration and emigration only affect the distribution of people, not the total number.

    AB: Given that CO2 emission limits are, at least so far, linked to countries, any country that allows any immigration at all is reducing the CO2 emissions allowable by its current citizens and their descendants in the future. And KIA’s point was that allowing emigration from a low emissions situation (mud hut, for extreme example) to a high-emissions culture increases humanity’s emissions. He’s right, at least on this point. (And you’re right about his NOT.)

  12. 312
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigelj: Of course hopefully oil use will decline sharply anyway as a response to the climate issue. This will…

    AB: … lower oil’s price, providing an incentive for various individual actors to grab some bucks at the world’s expense.


    Killian, yes, that 50-100 years of oil is in a “sunk cost” position (since declaring something “yours” and placing a value on it is exactly the same thing, in a warped way, as if you actually bought it. Note that all the fossil fuel infrastructure is also a sunk cost. Do you think we should pay off the “owners” of the means of our destruction? Perhaps it’s a choice: we can direly die or be broke suckers.

  13. 313
    Dave says:

    [W/apologies to The Thread for the Hi crime of commenting, W/O actually reading … regrets; (time-crushed in the CA Central Valley). (Ah, should the latest WU 10-day forecast Hold for Fresno, we’ll be knock, knock, knocking upon Mid-Feb’s Door; & @ or below all Human-measured Monsoon Seasons for the ‘Fresh Fruits & Veggies, State.’ I was IN Santa Rosa the entirety of December, where tho four days registered technically “wet,” two were immeasurably so & a 3rd was minimally so. Ditto, here, where I’ve spent all of January–two wet days, & as I noted, February looks ‘Nothin but Blue Bowled Skies, thru its 1st third. Phfft!

    @ some point, we ought think about NOT using terms of comfort such as “drought,” to describe California. All credit to Dr. Jennifer Francis, up Rutgers, here, but THIS now has the unmistakable–Five Sigmas, even–Signature of Permanence lurking all over it. To this Cowboy).

    Our Governor, just last month, & in the Midst of searching for the MIAs, @ northern Santa Rosa, still counting the Dead, still rounding up Fountaingrove’s missing cats, & while the largest collection of Backhoes ever assembled upon a Single Knoll in all history–as well as the, again, Very likely Candidate for a Specific “Five Sigma” Situation–(the Fountaingrov Hill Top’s ‘Fire Station # 5,’ directly beside its water tower, utterly Burnt into the Ground!)–Gerald Brown said of the Ventura Burn very much in-progress & when it was still blocking Northern La’s multilane arterials: “This–the desperate fighting of Fires, right in the heart of the Rainy Season, of CA’s Monsoons–is the New Normal.”]

    This is but my opinion, and I might prove right or wrong, long term. But I strongly believe this Bust Out of the RC multi-topic Post Board & Sand Box, will prove out … HUGE!

  14. 314
    nigelj says:

    Zebra, you ask what are the plan B’s if emissions reductions fail? They are well known, and none of them are good. This is why people like me and so many others put reducing emissions as a priority.

    The Plan B’s include geotechnical engineering, adaptation, sucking carbon out of the air with technology, radical forced population reduction, radical cuts to consumption. Again to repeat they are not good on the whole.

    If people think they can be feasible, please explain exactly how, and with facts and references, rather than posting interminable rhetoric and questions. At least Killian has attempted to make a detailed argument for his position, but you have not.

  15. 315
  16. 316
    nigelj says:

    wili @309, you quoted one research paper sceptical of soil sequestration of carbon. Be careful of not falling into the trap of looking only at one paper that might be flawed. The IPCC have reviewed all the research papers, and think soil carbon has value.

  17. 317
    Thomas says:

    The report by the European Academies of Science Advisory Council (EASAC) dismisses the potential contribution of negative emission technologies (NETs) to meet the Paris Agreement’s targets of avoiding dangerous climate change.

    NETs have “limited realistic potential” to halt increases in greenhouse gases at the scale envisioned in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, said EASAC.

    EASAC represents the consensus among national science academies in the 28 EU member states, plus Norway and Switzerland, giving its opinions considerable authority among the scientific community.

    “None of the NETs has the potential to deliver carbon removals at the gigaton scale” that could help meet the Paris Agreement objective of keeping global warming well below 2°C, warns the report.

    These include “reforestation, afforestation, carbon-friendly agriculture, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCs), enhanced weathering, ocean fertilisation, or direct air capture and carbon storage (DACCs),” the report adds.

    Relying on those technologies to compensate for failures to mitigate emissions elsewhere may even have “serious implications for future generations,” the EASAC report warns, saying geo-engineering should provide no excuse for tackling emissions in areas such as industry, transport or buildings.

  18. 318

    K 315,

    Thanks for the biochar article. That does seem like a very promising technology, and one we should probably implement with all speed.

  19. 319
    Killian says:

    #309 wili said I’d really like us all to die.

    Well, not really, but might as well have. He did say, Killian at 305: So do you have access to studies that have in fact studied the carbon sequestration rates of your “regenrative” methods (or whatever you want to call them)

    Then comes but I kinda like data… ‘-)

    Based on the last paragraph, I think wili is very doubtful, but wanting to set up a pretense he is not. I do think he would accept any info presented. Maybe.

    I will not directly address the question asked because I see a far larger question here:

    How in the hell do people here not understand policy almost never rests on perfect science back-up? Or that the bifurcations related to The Perfect Storm may already be occurring, thus we may already be in a massive emergency that we (well, many of you, anyway) still can’t see clearly? How do people not realize relying on data for clearly modeled work so they can feel all scientificky about things might be suicidal this time round?

    The Amazon is peppered with bio-char deposits. It works.

    North American prairies were meters-deep in rich soil. Large herds of roaming animals work, along with massive diversity of the plants.

    The Dervaes
    Greening the Desert
    Green Gold
    Beltain Cottage

    People have transformed deserts, denuded yards, all kinds of things, with regenerative practices. They work.

    And you know what? Even if they don’t work as well as some of us think, they still work.

    And you know what? All the things we would replace with regenerative are killing us. Regenerative can only make things better, so the question of how well it works is moot.

    Oh, and you do not have a choice, so there’s that.

    Go to Facebook and find the Soil4Climate page. They have a lot of info linked somewhere on the page.

    Keep waiting to engage benign alternatives to deadly systems. See how that works out for you.

  20. 320

    Al B, #311–

    …any country that allows any immigration at all is reducing the CO2 emissions allowable by its current citizens and their descendants in the future.

    Well, since Al was kind enough to add a bit of nuance to my BOTE comments on emissions and concentrations–ta for that!–let me return the favor.

    It’s true that, all else being equal, such a reduction results. However, in the real world, all else is not equal. Many developed countries have a multidecadal trend of *falling* emissions–even as immigration has taken place, and quite often at significant levels. Might those emissions have fallen still further without that immigration? Maybe, but it sure doesn’t look like immigration is the principle driving factor, does it?

    Moreover–and more importantly–let me point out that the proper goal of national policy is not to squeeze out every last bit of ‘allowable’ emissions for ‘our’ nation. The policy ought to be to get to net zero as fast as possible: if we leave ‘allowable’ emissions ‘on the table’, that’s actually a POSITIVE.

  21. 321

    Al B, #312–

    …lower oil’s price, providing an incentive for various individual actors to grab some bucks at the world’s expense.

    Yeah, there’s no getting around that, I think, but at least it also lowers the incentive to extract oil in the first place.

  22. 322
    Killian says:

    So many stories like this that science so long ignored. That is changing, but far too slowly given modern human’s penchant for taking the easy, aka maladaptive, way out.

    In an emergency, knowing is enough. Waiting for proof will likely kill you.

  23. 323
    wili says:

    Thanks for the reminder, nigelj (at 316). Point taken. What struck me about this one was that it appeared to be pointing out a consistent gap/oversight in all earlier studies, so it seems a bit more significant. But I’m sure (and hope) there will be follow up studies, and some may show flaws in the one I cited.

    Killian (@315): I’m very interested in biochar and plan to use some in my garden next year. But I do wonder about problems of scaling up to full farm use.

    “Application rates of 2.5–20 tonnes per hectare (1.0–8.1 t/acre) appear to be required to produce significant improvements in plant yields. Biochar costs in developed countries vary from $300–7000/tonne, generally too high for the farmer/horticulturalist and prohibitive for low-input field crops. In developing countries, constraints on agricultural biochar relate more to biomass availability and production time.”

    Of course, the scaling up is a problem for all sequestration strategies, as I understand it.

  24. 324
    wili says:

    Not surprising, but…

    “Negative emissions have ‘limited potential’ to help meet climate goals”

    Extract: “The potential for using negative emissions technologies to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement could be more “limited” than previously thought, concludes a new report by European science advisors.

    Some of these techniques are already included by scientists in modelled “pathways” showing how global warming can be limited to between 1.5C and 2C above pre-industrial levels, which is the goal of the Paris Agreement.

    However, the new report says there is no “silver bullet technology” that can be used to solve the problem of climate change, scientists said at a press briefing held in London…”

  25. 325
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @317, thanks for that interesting information on NET’s. The report confirms what I have said many times, negative emissions technologies like forests, carbon friendly agriculture, beccs etc are slow to scale up, and land areas are limited, etcetera, and so will have limited impact on the 50 year Paris goals.

    However NET’s have value in 1) reducing atmospheric CO2 over much longer time frames and 2) as an offset for emissions that are difficult to reduce, such as heavy industry. This is just as important as the Paris goals. Their function needs to be more tightly related to such specific goals.

  26. 326
    Thomas says:

    (Making sense of the forecasts?)

    If climate change curbs live up to their promise, oil demand may fall 20 percent by 2040, Exxon Mobil Corp. says in one forward-looking report.

    But a more likely scenario is it will grow by 20 percent, the company says in separate outlook.

    The reports were both released Friday. Which one to believe?

  27. 327
    Scott E Strough says:

    325 Nigelj,

    Be careful of confirmation bias. Remember that paper is a rebuttal to another paper from a set of scientists that drew the exact opposite conclusion. The matter is still under fierce debate. In fact it is under fierce debate here as well.

    You must dig deeper to really understand such completely opposing views. Most of the time the widely different views are a result of how much of the current “green revolution” industrialized agriculture we are keeping.

    For example, if we decide we still must overproduce massive excesses of comodity crops in monocultures, it limits us to improvements like standard herbicide based no till combined with off season multi-species cover crops. Types of improvements like this:

    It is a vast improvement over past methods, but still a long way away from the true potential.

    If we scrap this destructive type of agriculture altogether, and put the animals back on the farm fully integrated, we can improve that system above even more:

    This gives us a whole new set of numbers much improved over the others.

    But even that is a far cry from the true potential. We can completely scrap a huge % of commodity crops altogether and restore the grasslands ecosystems, raising or animals foods directly off that! This will give us something like this:

    Now we start getting into numbers capable of completely reversing AGW.

    So depending on how many farmers move forward and to what degree, a researcher could actually obtain any result from helping about 20% mitigate emissions, up to and including over 100% with optimal compliance on all farmland worldwide.

    Keep in mind too that by no means is this the end. No diminishing returns level has been found yet. There are people even far more advanced than the above.

    Examples beyond even what these farmers are doing include:

    These guys are all way beyond what we need to reverse AGW with no sign of diminishing returns in many decades.

    So keep in mind the POTENTIAL is there. The hurdles we need to overcome getting every farmer in the world trained and operating at 100% potential being the main limiting factor.

    This is why I have routinely stated I have no ego in this. If we as a society decide to go with 50% agricultural changes and 50% reductions in emissions, that’s fine by me. Maybe we decide on only 20% changes in Ag and 80% reductions in emissions. Or maybe we do 80% changes in Ag and 20% reductions in emissions. That part of the argument I am staying out of. The main thing to remember is that we can do this as long as the total ends up being a net negative, which is very doable.

    We can do this, and at a net profit, so we should do it ASAP while we still can.

    Executive summary:

    Yes we can reverse Global Warming.

    It does not require huge tax increases or expensive untested risky technologies.

    It will require a three pronged approach worldwide.

    1)Reduce fossil fuel use by replacing energy needs with as many feasible renewables as current technology allows.
    2)Change Agricultural methods to high yielding regenerative models of production made possible by recent biological & agricultural science advancements.
    3)Large scale ecosystem recovery projects similar to the Loess Plateau project, National Parks like Yellowstone, Savory’s Operation Hope etc. where appropriate and applicable.

  28. 328
    Thomas says:

    Behind the scenes and little reported LULCC issues and research has been pottering along steadily.

    New measurements show widespread forest loss has reversed the role of tropics as a carbon sink

    Peer reviewed report provides the most comprehensive picture of deforestation’s toll on critical climate change safeguard; reveals hard-to-measure forest degradation is responsible for nearly 70 percent of emissions from tropical forests. September 28, 2017 Source: Woods Hole Research Center

    The findings by a team of scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center and Boston University add new urgency to the critical need for aggressive global and national-scale efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. Importantly, the study suggests there is a critical window of opportunity to reverse the trend in emissions by halting deforestation and degradation, and actively restoring forests to degraded lands.

    AND: Deforestation long overlooked as contributor to climate change Date: September 5, 2017 Source: Cornell University

    As agriculture expands in tropical areas and the pressures to turn forest into croplands increase, Mahowald stresses the importance of using extended timelines to assess the impact these practices have on the climate.

    “We have a nice phrase: multi-centennial legacy of current land-use decisions,” she said. “When we think about climate change, we can’t stop at the end of the century. The consequences keep going for a couple more centuries.”

    Future studies using integrated assessment models and other climate simulations should include more realistic deforestation rates and the integration of policy that would reduce LULCC emissions.

    Currently, although only 20% of the accumulated anthropogenic rise in carbon dioxide originates from land use and land cover change (LULCC), 40% of the net positive radiative forcing from human activities is attributable to LULCC sources (Ward et al 2014). The effective LULCC radiative forcing is enhanced by LULCC emissions of methane and nitrous oxide (figure 1(a)).

    […] Thus in some ways LULCC emissions may be just as difficult or more difficult to mitigate than energy (Lambin and Meyfroidt 2011).

    More realistic consideration of LULCC is needed in IAM projections used for IPCC assessments (e.g. Riahi et al 2017), so that the many policy choices and tools for LULCC are more fully considered (e.g. Foley et al 2011, Chabbi et al 2017).

    AND: Tropical forests all over the world are at risk. Two of the main threats are the deforestation for arable land and climate change.

  29. 329
    Thomas says:

    I was reminded recently that LULCC has, since 1750(?), contributed 50% of the amount of total GHGs/CO2 from using fossil fuels for energy over that same period.

    That because there has been such a widespread destruction in forests and grasslands already and FF use has increased so much that today LULCC is only contributing about 10% of what FF do now (?).

    However, if total LULCC emissions amount to around 500GtC(?) [ versus total Net Emissions ~10GtC (?) per year now and increasing] that would seem to indicate that any system that could restore ‘At Scale’ some of that GtC back to the land (eg SOC sequestration) and vegetation (eg forests and grasslands) would be a winner idea – passing basic cost benefit evaluations of course.

    It appears much scientific work/trials/analysis is being down in the LULCC area these days and new material is becoming more available. Calls to stop Land Clearing, to switch to Regenerative Agriculture and expand Reafforestation included. The numerical potential for LULCC to Mitigate and/or Sequester CO2/CO2e is huge, imho.

    A hypothetical scenario – stabilizing CO2 at current levels. What would that require? [The following numbers are representative only, and not definitive – too much data to sift through accurately, so some broad assumptions are being made here to merely present an different approach to the problem – “that nothing can be done”]

    Current CO2ppm is rising on average 2.4ppm per year recently. The 2017 Average Mean was 406.5 ppm. Imagine making a Goal to keep CO2 at 406.5ppm in 2018 instead of BAU increasing it by 2.4ppm.

    iow the Goal is to Cut Net Annual Carbon Emissions by 2.4 ppm – which roughly equals 2.2(?) GtC (Gigaton of Carbon.)

    Annual Carbon Emissions is 10-11 GtC (roughly?) Therefore annual NET Carbon Emissions (from all sources & sinks) must be cut by ~20% or 2.2 GtC this year and sustain that lower level.

    (And then go no higher while energy demand increase 3% each year from population and economic growth drivers out to 2040, but that’s another story.)

    That 2.2 GtC would need to be made up of Sequestered Carbon from Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) and real reductions in Fossil Fuel, Cement and Fertiliser Use.

    By industry segment the cuts/changes might look something like this:
    Coal/FF Use – 0.5 GtC – a 6% Cut
    More Forests – 0.3 GtC)
    Neg. Carbon AG – 0.3 GtC)- 11% Sinks draw down
    SOC Grasslands – 0.5 GtC)
    Cement/Fert. – 0.2 GtC – a 20% cut
    Efficiency – 0.4 GtC – a 4% cut
    Total – 2.2 GtC

    The question is, is that achievable now or at some point in the near future? Obviously not at the moment. A ‘fantasyland’ scenario.

    But I do not know about the near future possibilities. And I do not know all the ‘facts’ either.

    Is it potentially sustainable? Can NETs be scaled up to drive down total atmospheric and ocean GtC content across the board over time?

    Long term is it ‘conceivable’ to reverse the cumulative CO2 back down to 350 PPM by 2070 or later?

    This would mean not only reducing FF etc emissions but simultaneously SEQUESTERING ~2GtC per year (NETs soil/vegetation), which might put back 20% (or more) of the 500 GtC HISTORICAL LULCC Land Use Carbon emissions?

    While this area of climate science related research does not get a lot of press or attention, I think it is really important.

    I wish it was easier to find out what the facts really are and keep up-to-date. It’s hard to find different papers talking about things in the same way and using the same yardsticks – where apples are apples.


  30. 330
    patrick says:

    Even the Kentucky Coal Museum is going solar. (That’s a quote.)

    Solar is a resource. Harnessing it is an innovation or service. But it is not a commodity. It never will be. (No matter how much of it there is or isn’t. No matter how much of it is put to use.) Ditto: wind (for all practical purposes). Therefore power purchase agreements are offered to residential and commercial users which guarantee the cost of power to the purchaser for twenty years and more. This kind of predictability is unheard of in the regime of commodities. For this reason alone, beyond the facts of plummeting price tags, the adoption of these innovations, which are new in history, will accelerate.

  31. 331
    Thomas says:

    SOC NETs etc – Ok finding things via google is not as easy as it used to be imho. Takes much more time and care.

    2013 – How ecological restoration alters ecosystem services: an analysis of carbon sequestration in China’s Loess Plateau
    As a result, the Loess Plateau ecosystem had shifted from a net carbon source in 2000 to a net carbon sink in 2008. The carbon sequestration efficiency was constrained by precipitation, and appropriate choices of restoration types (trees, shrubs, and grasses) in accordance to local climate are critical for achieving the best benefit/cost efficiency.

    […] Home to 108 million people, the Loess Plateau in Northern China is one of the world’s most eroded regions, as a result of thousands of years of over-exploitation over its fragile ecosystems built on dry powdery wind-blown soil9. Effectively restoring the semi-natural and natural vegetation through the GTGP program in this over-exploited fragile ecosystem is therefore a critical measure for the welfare of the people inhabited in this plateau and beyond 10.

    […] This sequestration of carbon is equivalent to 6.4% of China’s total fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions in 2006 [14]. It should be noted that the restored area in the Loess Plateau accounted for about 6.4% of the total area covered by the GTGP program [15].
    (full paper)

    2006 – Effect of land use conversion on soil organic carbon sequestration in the loess hilly area, loess plateau of China

    China seems to have been doing a lot of “little known” work in this area too and may be well ahead in their knowledge and application already.

    2014 – The conversion into grassland showed the highest soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration rates, ranging between 0.4 and 0.8 t C ha−1 yr−1, while the opposite extreme scenario (100% of grassland conversion into arable) gave cumulated losses of up to 2 Gt of C by 2100. Among the other practices, ley cropping systems and cover crops gave better performances than straw incorporation and reduced tillage.

    The allocation of 12 to 28% of the European arable land to different AMP combinations resulted in a potential SOC sequestration of 101–336 Mt CO2 eq. by 2020 and 549-2141 Mt CO2 eq. by 2100. Modelled carbon sequestration rates compared with values from an ad hoc meta-analysis confirmed the robustness of these estimates.

    The issue is a complex one. Methodologies vary and it’s hard to compare studies results, ‘standards’ are variable, as are variations in scope are quite large, then there’s in time and place and history.

    imho only experts in this field would be able to work out what the potential for SOC and SIC sequestration is in different places around the globe…. and find a way to total that up one day.

    The IPCC has included this subject matter previously, but maybe something more definitive that gains broad acceptance will come out of the AR6 or later. The potential and the benefits long term seems self-evident, all things being equal.

    Expert proponents need to take this potential, convince others and then turn it into a reality. Not my problem. Good luck though.

  32. 332
    Thomas says:

    330 patrick, that’s so funny.

    What about this new method – approach – attitude – a Virtual 250 MW Power Plant ?

    SA Gov will give away 50,000 Solar + Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries as part of 250MW virtual power plant

    At least 50,000 homes in SA will be given solar panels and batteries in a scheme (over 4 Years) by Elon Musk’s Tesla and the SA Government to build the world’s largest virtual power plant.


  33. 333
    Mr. Know It All says:

    I am very pleased to read above that changes in agricultural practices may solve the AGW problem for us. I hope it is doable economically without huge disruption of the current economic system.

    Liberal fascists are doing their part to mitigate the spread of thought that does not conform to their narrative at the AMNH – it will be a good day when this fascism and thought control stops:

  34. 334
    Thomas says:

    325 nigelj, finally getting back to your comment on NETs, and thank you.

    You say: “(NETs) are slow to scale up, and land areas are limited, etcetera, and so will have limited impact on the 50 year Paris goals.”

    It sure looks that way atm, but I am not yet convinced the potential is that depressing.

    I’m seeing the work and analysis being done now with various ‘natural’ carbon sequestration options similar to where climate science was at in the 1990s. Many unknowns, many unknown unknowns and great variations coming out of research findings and the early IPCC ARs. Plus limited funding and limited “systems” & “tools” in place to evaluate new developments / potentials accurately.

    eg in the early days “urban heat islands” where a big deal … not any more. Now it’s more a matter of “Urban GHG hot spots” (as per those satelite visuals on CO2 and CO emissions via NASA I posted recently)

    There has been minor sustained focus on natural/agriculture GHG emissions and approaches to reversing that trend. I think more time is needed to allow those in the field “mature” the science/data.

    Funding is critical. As is keeping an open mind on the subject. The “mainstream jury” is still out …. info is limited but there;’s far more out there in the hands of expects than what we (or the IPCC) knows about by the look of it.

    There are only so many things an individual can keep up to date with. My personal interest has always been on the GBR *acidity/bleaching*, the ASI, CO2/CO2e PPM growth, global land clearing per se, into GenIV Nuclear especially VHTRs, and global energy use projections (….. with sidelines into LNG, Gas fracking (vs agricultural land and water resources) and the obvious fugitive emissions — especially the endless DISTORTIONS that occur via the “media” and online “activists”.

    NO way can I continue to pay any attention to SOC, Regenerative Ag, or NETs. I’ll leave it to the “experts” knowing that it makes a 1000 times more sense than anything Geoengineering might come up with.


  35. 335
    Thomas says:

    and nigelj SIC may be just as important a strategy as SOC, as per Kilian’s Biochar comment. I can’t keep up with what that is all about either.

    I’m too old. Besides, no one listens to what old farts or grumpy old men have to say. :-)

  36. 336
    Thomas says:

    Liberal fascists .. is that something like ‘Nazi Communists’?

    Or Atheist Catholics?


  37. 337
    Killian says:

    Re #325

    Stupid damned comment. It takes exactly zero years to start sequestering carbon. The process can begin at any time anywhere in the world via a large range of measures.

    Adoption takes time due *only* to lies like yours. There are only *positive* effects to any and all farmers and gardeners in doing this, so the *only* true barrier is propaganda.

    Shut your face if you so badly need to lie, nigel. It’s too damned important for such intentional, glaring stupidity.

    Enough, already. We need to start prosecuting any and all forms of climate denial and misdirection as crimes against humanity.

    If you lie, go to jail. Way past due.

  38. 338
    Killian says:

    Re:317 and 325:

    Did any of you actually READ the report?

    1. It does not in any way say regenerative SoC storage cannot scale up.

    2. It does not in any way say regenerative SoC will have no useful effect.

    3. It does say CCS will not be enough ***in the absence of emissions reductions.***

    This is real important to get because every post on this in this thread fails to note the equivocation. So, I repeat: THEY do not think CCS’s will ***be enough*** absent emissions reductions.

    Let me translate: If we do BAU and bio forms of CCS, we are still screwed.

    Gee, really? Who’da thunk.

    That’s a massive Straw Man to build a science lit survey around. Let me translate myself: Nobody with even the brain of a rock is suggesting zero mitigation. (Many rocks are, however. Maybe thwy thought rocks worth listening to.)

    IN FACT, rather than poo-poo reg. CCS, the report acknowledges 1% **per year** carbon addition to soils is being achieved. That is a massive number. Massive.

    4. This paper is not a study, it is a lit review. Lit reviews are designed to find hidden trends and establish orthodoxy, i.e. consensus. That is great when you are Oreskes trying to legitimize climate science as mature and robust, but is premature when used to assess a process/processes scientists have been largely not studying. Put simply, in this case the lit review is building past errors/omissions on each other.

    Let me repeat, the great error in this thread is people not carefully reading and/or not reading (nigel, unless I miss my guess) the report and speaking anyway, thus misreporting what it said.

    Ironically, what this report does do is bear out what I have said for years now: Less decarbonization, we cook. Yes, reg. SoC can sequester more than we produce, but not enough quickly enough to be sure we avoid feedbacks that would overwhelm those efforts. But, simplification plus reg. SoC can take us far enough, fast enough to return to <300ppm this century.

    5. To its credit, the paper does say don't depend on non-existent CC tech.

  39. 339
    Thomas says:

    104 zebra @ the-global-co2-rise

    (putting aside the unnecessary waffle and pointed performance review) said, essentially: “But perhaps, this is too concise for you to process?”

    Unfortunately zebra & I have very different attitudes and definitions for the meaning of words “concise”, “goals” and “numbers”.

    See my original

    OK, then. No worries. My decision to ignore this “topic/conversation” for ages was correct. Good.

  40. 340
    Thomas says:

    338 Killian says: Re:317 ….. “Did any of you actually READ the report?”

    Um, yes, I read it. What I did was copy/paste a snippet w url to the news report, in case anyone else wanted to read it. Some media spin perhaps? :-)

    Here’s the report url

    It’s really detailed so I do need to go back it again, and more than once.

    I checked the abstract for this mentioned in the article:

    There’s a steady theme now of ” limiting global temperature to 1.5 °C is only possible when using XYZ approach …. ”

    RE: “If we do BAU and bio forms of CCS, we are still screwed.”

    I’d put it like this: “still totally screwed!!!”

    RE: “4. This paper is not a study, it is a lit review.”

    Well sure Killian, it is what it is. I went looking for this kind of info and it fell into my lap and shared it.

    By all means clarify and summarise the contents and KEY take away messages you might find in it …. pro or con, doesn’t matter to me if it’s “useful info” to know/consider.

    imho focusing on terrestrial ghg forcings be it stop destroying forests/veg/soils and go “natural” w PermaC RegAg SOC NETs etc are all “no-brainers”.

    It’s very rational thinking / attitude imho…. no matter what.

    RE: “simplification plus reg. SoC can take us far enough, fast enough to return to <300ppm this century."

    Undoubtedly. Though <350ppm would be a massive win as well! :-)


  41. 341
    Thomas says:

    grrrrgh typos — doesn’t matter to me (so long as it’s) “useful info” to know/consider.

  42. 342
    Thomas says:

    Global Sequestration Potential of Increased Organic Carbon in Cropland Soils – Robert J. Zomer et al

    news report DW
    On a global level, there is a growing realization that protecting our soils is essential — both to the climate and our food supply — and a rising number of countries are starting to take action.

    “At the COP23 climate conference, soils were finally recognized as an important element for the fight of climate change,” Vargas said. “Now, we need to show the benefits not only for the environment and the fight against climate change, but also for farmers.”

    Guggenberger said we have a choice to make: “use soils to mitigate climate change or, instead, lead them to release CO2 into the atmosphere, making things worse.”

  43. 343
    Killian says:


    Thomas, try not to take personally that which is clearly stated to the general.

  44. 344
    Thomas says:

    Another example of where science trounces bullshit yet again.

    The incidence of ‘wind turbine syndrome’ in countries that don’t speak English is low, Simon Chapman says.

    That, along with other data, suggests that it’s a disease communicated when wind farm opponents stir up unease within communities where these farms are proposed, Professor Chapman argues in his new book.


    Professor Simon Chapman

    Emeritus Professor, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney


    This issue was latched onto by politically motivated AGW/CC deniers especially the politicians / denier activists here.

    Norman Swan: Why have you called this a communicated disease?

    Simon Chapman: Well, anyone with a five-minute acquaintance with the data will see patterns in where it manifests itself, and those patterns are dominated by where there has been negative publicity, drummed up usually by anti-windfarm groups. The symptoms are heard about and people start taking them on board and attributing often problems that they’ve had for a long, long time like sleep problems or blood pressure or just general problems of ageing to exposure to windfarms. So it’s communicated as it follows around the negative propaganda.

  45. 345
    nigelj says:

    Scott E Strough @327

    My comments at 325 are really my own conclusions based on reading a little bit on both sides of the soil carbon debate, and applying some simple logic. I think the potential of regenerative agriculture is clearly there, and it should be pursued, and even get some government support, but it looks like it will be slow to scale up purely in the practical sense of educating people fast enough etcetera. Still we should definitely try.

    But given its likely to be slow to scale up, its sensible to accept its use might be primarily just sufficient to offset certain forms of emissions. Put it in a quantitative, defined context.

    I also don’t think we have to have 100% certainty of these systems before pushing them hard. There are wide enough benefits in regenerative agriculture to push ahead.

    And its not all about meeting 50 year Paris accord time frames. It will be important to reduce emissions beyond this.

    The same scaling up is a problem for renewable energy, controlling population, reducing carbon footprints etc. However look what countries did under pressure in WW2. Sorry I’m thinking aloud a bit.

  46. 346
    nigelj says:

    Scott Strough. Addendum. It will be important to try to draw down atmospheric carbon after 2050 if possible.

  47. 347
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @334, Yes I broadly about soil carbon etc.

    “There are only so many things an individual can keep up to date with.”

    I find that as well. I’m attracted to this regenerative farming thing and soil carbon issue, but I don’t really know if I want to do the in depth reading to get right to the bottom of it. Its a question of time, and I’m a little more interested in certain other aspects of climate change.

    I have read enough and know enough basic level chemistry to think regnnerative agriculture has a lot of potential, and I want to lend some support to the issue. Having said that, I don’t like hype and need to see proof of big claims. Just my inner sceptic talking.

    However my inner pragmatist says that regenerative agriculture has a wide set of benefits, not just the climate thing, so just “do it”. If we expect 100% of certainty on everything, we would not get anywhere.

  48. 348
    Cody says:

    Well, I’ve managed to get thru a few feet of the UV usual screed; & notice that many of the usual suspects have jumped here. Fine.

    Was super-surprised to see that Dave Posted. Woud have bet that he’s stay fixed to his Word, following the Asleep-@-the-Wheel-trick, back in 2015: “I’m Done!” (W/fighting the AGW ‘thingy’) Great!

    So – allow me this one. The big-assed Dictionary at the Main Fresno County Pl downtown, an American Heritage of some vintage, lists 15 definitions of the term “lead” as active verbs, 15 as intransitive and another 15 as nouns, before coming to the ultimate noun definition I learned via the nifty cyber portal here @ RC to Nevin’s Sea Ice Blog–must be near a decade ago. Viz., a Big Crack in the Ice.

    Bob Schieffer, recently retired reporter aging back to the Good Old days when we had fully functional, rational and non-shattered Adult Conversations in these United States, via what reporter D. Halberstam called the “three nightly séances”–ABC’s, NBC’s & CBS’s, W/the latter featuring the Master of the Broadcast News, Walter Kronkite, Schieffer recently revealed his all time Fave DC coutisan: President Ford’s 1974 campaign chair; Presiden Reagan’s WH Chief of Staff, & later Secretary of the Treasury, ++ subsequently the Secretary of State for President Bush the Elder–James baker III. To grasp the significance of what I am attempting to alert RCers to here, if this one is not widely known already, one must back up and revisit that bit of Taxidermy which is mounted as a Trophy over the R Entrance to the House Gymnasium, within the bowels of the Rayburn Building, up Capitol Hill. That’d be Bob Ingliss, a very rare species of bird indeedie: an R who acknowledges the PHISICAL REALITY OF … well, RC:

    OK. So, within the last year, Secretary baker has written upon the subject of AGW. [I don’t have the piece & have not personally perused it. But, you can discern from this site that his Shop @ Rice is Not of either the Limbaugh/Fox/George Will/Michael Barrone/John Stossel/Charles Krauthammer/whole ratfull of writers @ National Review–nor the Sci Guy Triumvirate of MIT’s Richard Lindzen, Georgia Tech’s (formerly) Dr. Judith Curry, nor the ageless statstician, Dr. X (I’m old and the name slips and I’m so out of time].

  49. 349
    nigelj says:

    Killian #337

    “Stupid damned comment. It takes exactly zero years to start sequestering carbon.”

    I never said it didn’t. Neither did the report referenced by Thomas. I never said it cant be scaled up either.

    All I said is it will be hard to scale up. You want to scale up regenerative farming enough to have a substantial effect, this means convincing and educating MILLIONS of farmers, therefore its likely to take time. There are other challenges as well. Its important to try to be realistic about time frames so humanity can plan what the hell it does and how it allocates resources.

    You appear to mistake scepticism about some aspect of things for denial of the basic idea.

    “There are only *positive* effects to any and all farmers and gardeners in doing this, so the *only* true barrier is propaganda.”

    I never said otherwise. In fact I have consistently promoted regenerative farming.

    “Shut your face if you so badly need to lie, nigel. It’s too damned important for such intentional, glaring stupidity.Enough, already. We need to start prosecuting any and all forms of climate denial and misdirection as crimes against humanity.”

    Really? I haven’t lied, and Im no climate denialist.

    In fact I have just been asked to join the team on a huge, well known climate science website, that promotes awareness of the problem of agw climate change. This is based on comments I have posted on their website. Im not going to name which website because these offers are made in confidence.

    You are highly abusive and truly delusional.

  50. 350
    Killian says:

    #349 nigelj:

    Lying is abusive. That is the greatest abuse of all in this context. Survival depends on people not lying about what will and will not work. It is OK to be wrong, it is not OK to lie. Like you do here:

    I never said it cant be scaled up either.

    Straw Man. And I didn’t say you did, so why make this claim? It misleads.

    All I said is it will be hard to scale up.

    I wish you had. We would not be having this conversation. But that is absolutely *not* what you said.

    You said, “…are slow to scale up, and land areas are limited, etcetera

    So, you could have slowed your fingers down and wrote what yu actually thought, if the above misrepresents your intent, but you did not slow down. You wrote it as a declarative statement. The problem here is, you claim you are trying to claim you didn’t say what you said even though you have made the same declarative statement multiple times in the past. There’s a more than a trend, there’s a pattern due to your bias against non-tech, not-profit-centered solutions, I assume.

    You follow up with another declarative whopper: …and so will have limited impact on the 50 year Paris goals.

    Will have!!! You can see 50 years ahead that people are too damned stupid to do something that takes a single season to implement and about five to seven years to fully integrate, world-wide, even though this simple thing **anybody can do with no tech and no machinery** will literally help save their futures and that of the entire planet.

    this means convincing and educating MILLIONS of farmers, therefore its likely to take time

    Indeed. But a few years ago only permaculturists and a few others were doing this on any scale. Millions of acres have been converted, and, though a small percentage, momentum is incredible compared to what I was seeing ten years ago. I assume you have seen a hyberbolic curve once or twice in your life, so you surely understand this. Yet, you claim it **cannot** scale up, and specifically not over 50 years.

    The entire Green Revolution took well under 50 years!

    There are other challenges as well. Its important to try to be realistic about time frames so humanity can plan what the hell it does and how it allocates resources.

    Don’t lecture me on The Perfect Storm. While you have of late made some clear shifts in your thinking and have, much to my surprise, but also appreciation as I literally thought it not possible, in this case you have retreated to form: Straw Men, false statements, declarative claims that do not match reality. And you still do not understand the work I do and i get tired of you lecturing to me on it. You do not know nor do regenerative systems, so stop making claims out of ignorance. Learn, then speak.

    You appear to mistake scepticism about some aspect of things for denial of the basic idea.

    No, again it is you making the mistake. While it is true you do not understand regenerative systems, I do not claim you deny them some efficacy. Had I meant that, I would have said it. I did not. You simply do not know, but do not police yourself in speaking on things you are a novice at.

    There is a reason I do not challenge anyone on math or the actual scientific content of research: I cannot. I do not claim that which is beyond my ken. (You do.) I can, however, stand with anyone on analysis of the science and outcomes because that is a different skill set that does not require *doing* the science. You need to learn to stay within your limits.

    “There are only *positive* effects to any and all farmers and gardeners in doing this, so the *only* true barrier is propaganda.”

    I never said otherwise. In fact I have consistently promoted regenerative farming.

    Reading comprehension: Nor did I claim you had. That statement was explanatory to reasoning why scaling up *is not limited* in any way other than profit motives and politics. There is no inherent limit to the speed of scaling up. In fact, the theoretical lower limit is as low as 5 years globally. This is the sort of thing, once the tipping points hit, governments can dictate due to public need, safety, health, etc., so the only limit is the time from denuded soils to productive soils, and that is as low as one, but no longer than five years under good practices.

    You say you are no denialist, yet you and I have had almost the same conversation repeatedly, which is why I have no patience for this tripe. You still think some form of capitalism can be sustainable and this colors your analysis and comments. It is flatly, patently not true that the two can co-exist. Capitalism in any form will at best slow response and at worst lead to extinction. It is denial, or ignorance, to believe otherwise. And, I said, to cover this base, “…and misdirection…”

    In fact I have just been asked to join the team on a huge, well known climate science website, that promotes awareness of the problem of agw climate change.

    Frankly, this says a great deal about the ignorance in climate science activism. Believe me, if you’ve found birds of a feather, that site will be doing more damage than good as regards solutions because you are still so far from understanding what needs to be done that you still should not be posting at all, you should still be listening and learning.

    And, you have seen me comment here before that very few climate activists have the tiniest idea what true sustainability is, let alone regenerative communities. That they think you have something to offer when you don’t yet know what you are talking about? Jesus… Blind leading the blind. Congratulations. If even true. I cannot imagine any site being so ignorant as to take you on as a major participant. Not an insult. If true, I am truly freaked out that any climate site would want someone who does not understand economics, climate, nor solutions.

    I am not abusive. You have been told all this over and over and keep doing it. That is abusive to all of humanity.

    If you **mean** it may take time or might take time or will likely take time…. ***say that.*** I say what I mean. I always assume others do, also. If you make false claims, I assume you do it out of either ignorance or mal intent and react accordingly. Thus, I did not, for example, call you a stupid man, though you almost certainly want to believe I did. I said, “Stupid damned comment.” That is not an insult. It is not a personal attack. It is a strongly-worded rebuke, but in no way an insult.

    Why don’t you know the difference?

    You did lie. You said, unequivocally, regenerative farming 1. cannot scale up quickly, 2. that means within even 50 years, and 3. so will not affect the goals significantly over that time.

    De. Clar. A. Tive. State. Ments.

    To repeat, reality is…

    1. 1-5 years; 5 – 30 for full maturity if one includes such things as mature food forests with canopy at adult heights

    2. Can be done anywhere, by anyone, without tech, and even without any advanced tools

    3. Is growing exponentially already

    4. Is already practiced in limited form and to varying degree and varying degrees of being recognized as such as “subsistence” farming by more than half the population already. it requires very small shifts to get those billions into 1%/year sequestration mode, e.g.

    You spoke falsely, It is not insulting to say so, it is insulting for you to do so.