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Forced Responses: May 2018

Filed under: — group @ 4 May 2018

The bimonthly open thread focused on climate solutions, mitigation and adaptation. Please keep this focused.

298 Responses to “Forced Responses: May 2018”

  1. 251
    Al Bundy says:

    Here’s one:
    Waste paper and other appropriate cellulosic waste, such as slash, can be turned into extremely low grade paper towels. These are distributed for free in a bin. Each household gets a second empty bin for free. People are instructed to use the towels to clean anything organic, especially fats (that currently go down the drain and create sewer-clogging fatbergs) and toss them in the empty bin.

    The dirty bins are collected and replaced with bins containing new towels. The enhanced-with-fat towels are burned to generate electricity.

    The resulting ash becomes fertilizer.

  2. 252
    Douglas says:

    A couple of months ago I asked a question what the folks here thought would be the single most important solution we should be working on regarding climate change. Surprisingly I thought, few mentioned a carbon tax, however, many said until we have a price on carbon, their idea wouldn’t get off the ground. So, my question now is, wouldn’t putting a “price on carbon” be perhaps the single most important thing we could be working on? I see it as somewhat realistic here in the U.S., versus say reforesting 1/3 of the country.

    What do the folks here think? Would you put having a carbon tax as perhaps one of the most important solutions we should be working towards? Thanks so much. -Douglas

  3. 253
    Nemesis says:

    @Al Bundy, #238

    Sorry, I forgot this:

    ” Nemisis, have you read Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land?”

    No, I haveen’t, but from what I saw at wiki it looks quite interestin^^

  4. 254
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @248, yes I did read your comment at 231 “you can describe certain flavours…”. But Minsky is just saying this unique, amazing invididual experience is an expression of the sum total of chemical reactions in our body when we eat a substance, and it will be a little different for every individual.

    Minsky :”The big mistake comes from looking for some single, simple, “essence” of hurting, rather than recognizing that this is the word we use for complex rearrangement of our disposition of resources.[21]”

    But you might be right. I’m not 100% decided on this thing.

  5. 255
    Carrie says:

    243 Nemesis “The crisis is rooted in a distorted perception: When you look at the world from a purely scientific materialistic/physicalistic worldview, then you lose the holistic view.” etc.

    Yes! Naturally. :-)

    244
    nigelj says: “hunter gatherers didn’t compete economically and hoard posessions. This was probably basically because they had populations that were too small for market economic competition, and not enough production of goods to hoard things.”

    Oh boy!

    “I’m just trying to figure out why ancient hunter gatherer society was different to ours. I dont think its was based in ethics and it was more just different circumstances.”

    You could crack a book on anthropology or better still read something written by an indigenous person who knows? Golly gee, you might even make a decision to watch the videos by that Greenland native elder I posted here? Shock horror, actually learn something you admit you do not know anything about in any holistic deeply Human sense? Surely not.

    248 Nemesis and then there’s Joseph Campbell who puts many things quite well too. eg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F7Wwew8X4Y TV series

    252 Douglas asks: “So, my question now is, wouldn’t putting a “price on carbon” be perhaps the single most important thing we could be working on?”

    A: NO!

    254 nigelj “the word we use for complex rearrangement of our disposition of resources.”

    Then Minsky is a not-knowing crank who ignores everything he refuses to acknowledge as making up Reality. Sounds like a climate science denier actually. Deluded and misguided and ignorant. :-)

  6. 256
    Scott E Strough says:

    Douglas @252,
    A carbon tax is just one way to establish a price on carbon.

    The mitigation proposal I have posted here before certainly could use that tax, or not, depending which is the dominant political view at the moment.

    The reason it doesn’t matter either way is because all the items I mention are beneficial stand alone actions on their own merits. There is no down side that needs forced. Quite the opposite. Right now many many billions of dollars in tax moneys are spent attempting to force people to do what causes AGW! A heavy regulatory burden too!

    In this case it is possible all you really need to do is stop purposely trying to promote the causes AGW! Once that has stopped then maybe it will be enough or maybe a small tax on carbon might be needed. I will be willing to bet it isn’t even needed. Just take the same subsidies that pay for subsidized crop insurance on corn and instead push restoration of native prairies. You can feed a cow corn and cause AGW or feed a cow grass and mitigate AGW. Simple. Same goes for fuels. You can use corn to make ethanol and cause AGW or you can use prairie grass to make ethanol and mitigate AGW. You can grade corn fed beef as “prime” or you can grade grass fed beef as “prime”. You can just flat out ban nasty CAFOs and feedlots and watch the price of meat drop dramatically (as economies of scale swap from feedlot expensive real cost beef to the other lower real cost grass fed beef) and mitigate AGW at the same time! These sorts of market changes can all be made without adding a single dime in new taxes.

    Oh and for God’s sake, PLEASE!!!!! When a native American tribe says “NO” don’t run that pipeline through our lands..listen to them! Don’t run the pipeline through their lands! If that means it is uneconomical to use that oil now because it must be shipped another way, so be it! Market forces at work! Build some windmills or a hydroelectric dam instead!

    https://www.quora.com/Can-we-reverse-global-warming/answers/34310028

  7. 257
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #248

    ” yes I did read your comment at 231 “you can describe certain flavours…”. But Minsky is just saying this unique, amazing invididual experience is an expression of the sum total of chemical reactions in our body when we eat a substance, and it will be a little different for every individual.

    Minsky :”The big mistake comes from looking for some single, simple, “essence” of hurting, rather than recognizing that this is the word we use for complex rearrangement of our disposition of resources.”

    But you might be right. I’m not 100% decided on this thing.”

    That’s ok, it’s your choice, this is what “Karma/Vipaka” is meant to be:

    Free will to decide your very own “unique, amazing individual” perspective as an “expression of the sum total of chemical reactions in your body” (if you see any free will at all^^) and take whatever consequences, just like I do.

    ” Minsky :”The big mistake comes from looking for some single, simple, “essence” of hurting, rather than recognizing that this is the word we use for complex rearrangement of our disposition of resources.” ”

    Exactly. Just like Linji said:

    ” If you want to be free,
    Get to know your real self.
    It has no form, no appearance,
    No root, no basis, no abode,

    But is lively and buoyant.
    It responds with versatile facility,
    But its function cannot be located.
    Therefore when you look for it,
    You become further from it;
    When you seek it,
    You turn away from it all the more.

    – Linji

  8. 258
    Nemesis says:

    @Carrie, #255

    ” Nemesis and then there’s Joseph Campbell who puts many things quite well too. eg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F7Wwew8X4Y TV series”

    Yep, I know Campbell very well, I’ve seen that great tv series many years ago and I studied Jungian depth psychology excessively as well ;) Btw, have you seen the excellent, outstanding “Alan Watts tv series” already (look up for Alan Watts tv series on youtube)?

  9. 259
    Nemesis says:

    @Scott E Strough, #256

    ” Oh and for God’s sake, PLEASE!!!!! When a native American tribe says “NO” don’t run that pipeline through our lands..listen to them! Don’t run the pipeline through their lands!”

    Excellent statement! But there goes the saying:

    ” These barbarians would have done the same if they’d just have the opportunity, stop hawking around the myth of the noble savage!”

  10. 260
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj (and anyone else who might be interested)

    I’d like to invite you to watch this:

    ” Alan Watts – Live original TV series – Things and thinks”

    https://youtu.be/JfnbX9lH7QI

    Btw, you still didn’t answer my question what tea tastes like^^… uhm, maybe you ask science or Minsky if you can’t give an answer :) Now again:

    What does tea taste like?

  11. 261
    Mal Adapted says:

    BPL:

    AB: Your praise of Jesus is inconsistent with your denunciation of the Christian God, since Christians regard Jesus as God. Have you ever actually read what the man said?

    Er – no one actually has, you know. We’ve only read what a few parties with fairly obvious agendas say he said, at least several decades after he allegedly said it. The gnostic gospels make it clear that a lot of what he’s purported to have said was left out of the canonical New Testament, e.g. the gospel of Mary Magdalene. There’s also good evidence that whatever Jesus actually did say has been embellished ‘for effect’. Then there’s the iterative curation of the Bible by successive earthly authorities, through centuries of violent schism and purging.

    Seriously, Barton, we have the words of Jesus only third hand at best, plenty of reason not to trust our sources, and no way to know when they’re trying to fool us. It may matter to Christians, but as an atheist I’m content not to know. That’s not to say none of the words attributed to him are wise, but IMUMO it’s the kind of wisdom any intelligent and thoughtful person with leisure to read and think could come up with eventually.

  12. 262
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @255, I have read a couple of textbooks on anthropology, for example The Human Past edited by C Scarre. It’s commonsense anyway. Hunter gathereres were small bands of wandering people, so were not practically able to carry and hoard many posessions, or form any significant form of economic competition.

    I agree hunter gatherers had some good conservation and social values as well, the two issues are not mutually exclusive, but my point was their values were driven by circumstances to some extent. But we can learn a thing or two from them.

    Materialism is associated with the invention of farming 10,000 years ago. As people formed fixed settlements productivity slowly increased, the economy became specialised, material goods started to become common, hoarding became possible in fixed settlements, and material goods became a symbol of status seeking.

    Its not even entirely clear why people chose a farming culture, because some evidence suggests it was very hard going in the early years. But it happened.

    The people were much the same with the same combination of competitive and cooperative instincts, but the basis of economic competition had started, and the road to capitalism had become I think. Unfortunately its possible that humans have become very dependent on materialism at a deep level. Personally I hope I’m wrong.

    “Then Minsky is a not-knowing crank”

    More like a celebrated and acknowledged expert. But who knows, and the fundamental difficulty with qualia is we just dont know enough to really be sure, regardless of what you or Nemesis think!

  13. 263
    Nemesis says:

    @Douglas, #252

    ” What do the folks here think? Would you put having a carbon tax as perhaps one of the most important solutions we should be working towards? Thanks so much.”

    It’s just another try to solve anthropogenic climate heating through capitalism. Those who got lots of money and influence/power (the big polluters^^) will always find ways to turn any capitalist “solution” into their own financial benefit and just do what they want as they always did anyway, while the middle class and the poors will pay for it in the end, that’s how the capitalist game always worked. A carbon tax will never bring co2 emissions down.

  14. 264
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @260, I think tea has a slightly astringent, pungent, bitter taste (which is why we add sugar). I have no interest in being more precise, just in drinking it.

    But look at wine enthusiasts with their descriptions of wine, for example hints of blue berries, flowers, and so on. This is getting quite detailed. We describe tastes of tea or wine in the sense of what they are like or ‘not’ like.

  15. 265
    zebra says:

    @Nemesis,

    “you can’t have an experience of taste through science”

    “but for the scientist there’s zero chance to know by himself what tea tastes like until he drinks it”

    Unless he hooks up some electrodes and/or em transmitters that stimulate the appropriate neurons.

    He could test this on a large population sample before experiencing it himself, so he would have some confidence in the accuracy of reproduction.

  16. 266
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #262

    ” But who knows, and the fundamental difficulty with qualia is we just dont know enough to really be sure, regardless of what you or Nemesis think!”

    Man that’s what I’m telling you all the time:

    We just don’t KNOW. I don’t know, science does not know, Minsky does not know and you don’t know either.

    See, I asked repeatedly “what does tea taste like” and still I got no answer, neither from you nor from science nor from anyone else. Therefore Linji said:

    ” If you want to be free,
    Get to know your real self.
    It has no form, no appearance,
    No root, no basis, no abode,

    But is lively and buoyant.
    It responds with versatile facility,
    But its function cannot be located.
    Therefore when you look for it,
    You become further from it;
    When you seek it,
    You turn away from it all the more.”

    – Linji

    There is no way to describe the ROOT of qualia (wich is the SELF) scientifically/objectively, because the Self has no form, no appearance, no root, no basis, no abode. Therefore when you look for it, you become further from it; when you seek it, you turn away from it all the more.

    ” The mind of the past is ungraspable;
    the mind of the future is ungraspable;
    the mind of the present is ungraspable.”

    – Diamond Sutra

    See, I came home to myself, I can’t even say exactly when and how it happened, and this is how it feels like (in an UNscientific, NOT objective way):

    ” Finally out of reach –
    No bondage, no dependency.
    How calm the ocean,
    Towering the void.”

    – Tessho’s death poem

  17. 267
    mike says:

    at N at 263: I tend to see carbon tax and capitalism as pretty discrete ideas. Capitalism tries to work everything into the capitalist model of profit and monopolies, price-gouging, exploitation, oppression are natural consequences of unregulated and inadequately regulated capitalist institutions.

    Carbon tax, on the other hand, is an idea about applying market forces and reducing accumulation of carbon dioxide (ghg proxy) in atmosphere and oceans. A carbon tax will almost certainly work to reduce the growth of the accumulation and that would slow the sixth extinction. Would capitalists look at the economics of carbon taxation and attempt to capitalize on any opportunities to make a buck out of carbon taxes? the answer is almost certainly yes, but that opportunism can and should be addressed in a manner that appropriately addresses the problems that capitalism creates. I favor a steeply progressive tax schedule with a top tax rate of 70% or higher, such as we had after the JFK tax cuts in the early 60’s or an even higher rate, like the one that was in place during the Eisenhower years.

    Two different problems with overlap and largely different solutions right there on the table.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  18. 268
    Al Bundy says:

    Nemisis: where mostly material things are percieved as “real”, while none-material things are mostly neglected.

    AB: Good point. Of course, money has no physicality and that is what capitalists chase, so…

    Nemisis: lost the living being, the living holistic entity of the tree

    AB: That’s the next phase. With the internet folks can access other fields. Bridging will see the tree. AIs will be massively useful for regaining holistic views.

    Nemisis: Would be a good idea, but the powers that be resp. the powers who ARE in fact billionaires, will never allow that ;)

    AB: First, you’d LOVE Stranger in a Strange Land.

    Well, I’ve got lots of tremendously valuable inventions and my plan is to gut capitalism. Given that the law is written to favor nonprofits… And given that the personal income tax law as manipulated via the constitution and modern technology allows one to legally do for everyone in your organization (one time, until “they” find out and get their ducks in enough of a row to pass something that can prevent it…. Given that…

    Once I get traction, they’ll be trying to fix one hole in the dike while I’m off blowing lots more holes.

    How about a new way to grow chickens? Tons more efficient and scales best at the family farm level. (It kicks climate change in the teeth, too.) I’m thinking Killian would want to learn how that works. Note that this works politically. Nothing like stripping off the Republican base.

    My standard offer is based on the first $10 million in lincenses:

    10% goes to the person most key to bringing this crucial work to humanity in a timely fashion. Zero investment is expected.

    5% to the second

    and 2.5% to the third.

  19. 269
    Al Bundy says:

    Scott,
    As you know, a year ago I insisted on signing mutual nondisclosure agreements. You thought that the idea was ludicrous. Well, a year later and I’m lucky that my first set of experiments were data seeking and didn’t include a solution. That’s be wise divulging anything to other people starts a clock. One year later you lose all rights to any intellectual property. So, your calls for investment kinda sorta rest on our agreement to be co-co-inventors. Perhaps you’d be wise to contact me.

    ManyAndVaried@hotmail.com
    402 913 6998

  20. 270
    Al Bundy says:

    Just to make it clear:
    Intellectual property rights law is designed specifically to strip IP rights from inventors and give the benefits to billionaires.

    What?! You’re surprised?

  21. 271
    Al Bundy says:

    By the way, my last comment wasn’t to Scott.

    But I want to clarify, the laws and the society that have been built to give you two options: you can be the enemy or you can be food. Six times the productivity of Leave it to Beaver means that a family of four should live comfortably with a couple of adults who switch off on 20 hour weeks.

    Do the math and then become a Laborist.

  22. 272
    Al Bundy says:

    So, the last gut pocket vetoed it (though I still hope he’ll change his mind), thus, I’m still looking for a toehold with humanity.

    Carrie, if you’d like to see my work, an NDO with damages limited to $1 will get you a peek. And if you have a pet problem (that’s appropriate for an inventor), give me a topic and I’ll weave. Perhaps something useful and/or beautiful will result.

  23. 273
  24. 274
    Mr. Know It All says:

    273 – Kevin

    They didn’t say why it is “zero emission” – I assume it has electric motors powered by some kind of battery. Thus, it is not zero emission – something has to charge the battery, and emissions were produced when the boat was made.

    The hydrofoil technology has been around since 1908:
    https://www.marineinsight.com/boating-yachting/what-are-hydrofoil-boats/

  25. 275
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigelj,
    I grew up on the dark side. My enlightenment came via a Readers Digest article about a Soviet pilot who flew his Mig to Japan. The Mig was total trash. It actually used tubes instead of shielded ICs. RD claimed that we had to increase our offense budget because the Soviets were crazy as a fox because tubes were more resistant to EMP than unshielded ICs. That no unshielded ICs exist in US military aircraft was irrelevant.

    I learned that Republicans work backwards from conclusion to any interpretation of any subset of data that will slightly support their closely held beliefs.

    In my entire life I have never met nor heard of a Republican who is intelligent, informed, and decent. Two out of three for sure, but no Republican hits the trifecta (using Jesus’ teachings as the definition of decent)

  26. 276
    Nemesis says:

    Wow, I dedicate this to Victor et al :) :

    ” “I heard a lot of experts, and I read a lot,” Bridenstine told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “I came to the conclusion myself that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that we’ve put a lot of it into the atmosphere and therefore we have contributed to the global warming that we’ve seen. And we’ve done it in really significant ways.” ”

    https://climatecrocks.com/2018/06/07/new-nasa-admin-from-denial-to-science/

  27. 277
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @275, good points. You might want to read up on “moral foundations theory” on wikipedia for a theory of what drives conservatives and liberals.

  28. 278
    Carrie says:

    Please stop making weak excuses for any Climate Scientist’s silence and inaction. Before they were scientists they were citizens of a nation somewhere, with a right to Vote.

    And before they were citizens, they were human beings. And when they will go where all other human beings go when they’re dead. They are not any more “special” or “so above it all” than anyone else.

    Scientists do not get a Free Pass simply because as scientists they claim a non-existent right to ONLY be Unbiased and Apolitical. They do not get a Free Pass claiming a non-existent right they can only speak for Science backed up by scientific consensus and journal papers. That’s a lie. It’s cowardly bullshit. It’s an excuse to hide behind the front lines of the battle.

    Progressive Realists Speak out against US Democrats – “Only Pragmatic Way Is Out”
    https://youtu.be/_C9NK6CXoYQ?t=18m9s

    18:09 hey you know, it’s like you lose an election to a political novice and then blame another country, right. That’s what the Democrats are doing, and now they’re suing Wikileaks, right, instead of offering a program to help people, they’re gonna file a lawsuit! I couldn’t be more letdown.

    19:26 It’s just there’s no future there you know. We weren’t just fighting for a future to believe in, we were fighting for a future at all.

    Right. You know I know with this level of corruption look at one of the existential threats is climate change the number one driver of climate change is animal agriculture. It’s not just because it contributes more greenhouse gas than all global transportation combined, it’s because it’s just the number one driver of deforestation.

    And I caught the Poisoning of the Oceans, so you’re eliminating the biomass that absorbs carbon so all that’s getting pumped into the atmosphere, and there’s nothing to absorb it.

    If you don’t take money out of politics both, both parties are bought and paid for, you’re not gonna stop, you’re not gonna stop the subsidizing of the meat and dairy industries. You’re not going to stop the wholesale corporate takeover of the levers of power in this country. And you’re not going to incentivize a plant-based diet or reforestation. So you know, do you want to planet to live on, because you have to get out of the system.

    So that’s what I keep telling people. And when people were shaming me to vote for a Corporatist Warmonger who promised to export fracking around the world, and who had a public position in a private position, and she let Billionaires know that but not the rest of us ………..

  29. 279
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @278, I think those are largely rather good points, which might surprise you.

    Scientists should indeed not be afraid to speak out passionately about the science and dangers of climate change, but I would stop short of expecting them to rubbish politicians for lack of action (if that was your point). Scientists can’t be expected to seriously annoy politicians, who are essentially their employers or can certainly have an influence on their employment, because scientists have families etc. It’s more our job to criticise politicians.

    The Democrats certainly won’t win with a purely negative campaign attacking Trump. They need a simple 5 point policy plan people can grab hold of. Hilary got lost in detail. They should attack Trump on the environment trade and economic policies – the things people really care about, or should care about like the environmment.

    Money in politics is a HUGE problem. Personally I would be happy to pay for tax payer funded election campaigns, or at least please can there be some commonsense cap on campaign donations.

    I think there are just so many reasons to adopt a low meat diet that the case is made. I don’t think it needs to be zero meat, because some land is only of much use for cattle farming and free range chickens seem no big issue to me, and grasslands is a good carbon sink. However meat is inefficient in terms of energy provision as below, and a low meat diet makes sense. Of course go vegetarian if you want, its all the same to me:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/08/save-planet-meat-dairy-livestock-food-free-range-steak

  30. 280
    Victor says:

    158 CCHolley says:

    Quoting Victor: If anyone here has a better proposal to satisfy the demand for radical changes to world civilization that we need to implement RIGHT NOW, in order to forestall total disaster, by all means post it.

    CC: A revenue neutral, economic stimulating, carbon fee and dividend plan is a good start.

    https://citizensclimatelobby.org/basics-carbon-fee-dividend/

    V: Thanks for responding. This looks like the plan currently being promoted by James Hansen. There are many things about it that do seem to make sense. However, as seems clear to me, it won’t do what he claims it will do.

    For one thing, it would take the creation of a huge worldwide bureaucracy before it could even get started, a process that could take many years, especially when we consider the huge political battles that would have to be fought over every single detail. Even after it’s eventually been implemented, assuming that would actually happen, it won’t do what he thinks it will.

    Take my own case. Like just about everyone in my city, I heat my home with natural gas. Placing a “price on carbon” would, in one way or another, raise the cost of heating, and if it were to be effective in reducing CO2 emissions to the extent deemed necessary by Hansen and others, that would have to be a very steep increase indeed. Now according to Hansen’s plan I would receive a monthly payout from the government to offset the additional cost. The idea, I suppose, is to make renewables more competitive, so perhaps in Hansen’s mind he sees me running out to buy solar panels with the govt money and drop my natural gas supplier. But why would I do that? First of all solar panels might keep my lights on but they won’t generate nearly enough electricity to heat my home — especially during the winter months when sunshine is in short supply. Secondly the govt. stipend would offset the higher cost of natural gas so I wouldn’t have much incentive to switch even if I thought it might work.

    Hansen’s ultimate goal, of course, is to squeeze the fossil fuel companies to the point that they can’t compete with renewables and will be forced out of business. If and when that happens I won’t any longer have a choice and will have to live with a heating system based on solar panels I can’t afford and can’t adequately heat my home in any case. And since there will no longer be any “price on carbon” there won’t be any govt. stipend to help me with the cost of purchasing solar panels and finding some other way to heat my home. Thus what might seem on the surface to be a relatively modest, reasonable plan has many hidden drawbacks of a very serious nature.

    This is why I find Hansen’s proposals naive. And also dangerous because the hysteria he is instilling will instigate all sorts of conflicts between haves and have nots all over the world, very possibly leading to strikes, demonstrations, riots, even civil wars. In order to deal with this threat, governments may well find it necessary to adopt totalitarian methods. Now I’m NOT one of those conservatives who worries all the time about “big government.” On the contrary, as a long time liberal, I usually favor big government as a counterweight to the powers of billionaire oligarchs. In this case, however, I do see a very real danger of totalitarianism, as certain world leaders fall into a blind panic over the incessant demand that we “do something” and “do it NOW!”

  31. 281
    Hank Roberts says:

    The findings are from a major climate assessment known as the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE), and are published today in Nature. It is the most complete picture of Antarctic ice sheet change to date—84 scientists from 44 international organisations combined 24 satellite surveys to produce the assessment.

    The assessment, led by Professor Andrew Shepherd at the University of Leeds and Dr. Erik Ivins at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, was supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-06-antarctica-ramps-sea.html#jCp

  32. 282
    Nemesis says:

    @Victor

    You will like that I’m sure :@)

    ” Fossil fuels are the problem, say fossil fuel companies being sued”

    https://grist.org/article/fossil-fuels-are-the-problem-say-fossil-fuel-companies-being-sued/

    ” The head of Canada’s largest oil company says climate change is backed by science, and deniers, including politicians, need to do a U-turn and accept it.”

    https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4694549

    ” Carbon bubble will plunge the world into another financial crisis – report

    Trillions of dollars at risk as stock markets inflate value of fossil fuels that may have to remain buried forever, experts warn…”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/apr/19/carbon-bubble-financial-crash-crisis

    I like especially his one:

    ” +5°C by 2050″

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/bp-shell-oil-global-warming-5-degree-paris-climate-agreement-fossil-fuels-temperature-rise-a8022511.html

    Want more? You still don’t feel the Heat? You will, dear Victor, you will :)

  33. 283
    nigelj says:

    Victor @280 complains that a carbon tax is too hard and would require a huge bureacracy. He just naively assumes it would be more complex. A carbon tax and dividend is not more complex than gst, which often has a complex series of exemptions. Taxes are largely done by computer these days anyway, and our local IRD is currently laying off staff.

    Dozens of countries already have carbon taxes as follows https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_tax.

    You don’t necessarily have to replace a gas heater with solar panels. If your local electricity utility is increasing it’s renewable energy component, it may make sense to buy an electric heater or heat pump. It’s also not just about home heating, because a carbon tax and dividend creates an incentive to buy an electric car. Such a tax wont solve every issue, and would be just one thing anyway.

    Personally I think part of the dividend should instead go into subsidising renewable electricity and electric cars to make them as attractive as possible. So the best scheme would be carbon tax and partial dividend.The main goal is simply to prevent the tax going into general government spending. And such a carbon tax is by its nature ultimately self extinguishing at some point.

  34. 284

    Victor, #280–

    Let me answer the objections to a carbon fee in order:

    …it would take the creation of a huge worldwide bureaucracy…

    No, carbon fee-and-dividend is very much compatible with existing legal structures and has been implemented at national and state or provincial levels in quite a number of places. A frequently-cited example is the Canadian province of British Columbia, which has had just such a scheme for something like a decade now. You can read about it here (and note that the paper publishing this is a conservative one):

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-insidious-truth-about-bcs-carbon-tax-it-works/article19512237/

    Since that article was written, the Trudeau government has come to power, and they are in the process of taking the carbon tax model national (as with most things in Canadian federalism, it will be a cooperative venture involving both federal and provincial levels–though to be sure, some provinces are considerably less cooperative than others.)

    Placing a “price on carbon” would, in one way or another, raise the cost of heating, and if it were to be effective in reducing CO2 emissions to the extent deemed necessary by Hansen and others, that would have to be a very steep increase indeed.

    This is a matter of some debate still, but the BC case does show that relatively modest fees can be significantly effective. So, it might not need to be as bad as you think.

    I would receive a monthly payout from the government to offset the additional cost. The idea, I suppose, is to make renewables more competitive…

    Well, renewables are already ‘competitive’, so I would put it that the idea is to make fossil fuels *less* competitive. But yes, the dividend is meant to cushion the financial blow. Just as important, at the macroeconomic level it ensures that the scheme doesn’t put a drag on the economy as a whole.

    Hmm, I think I need to go a bit out of order here for clarity. But…

    …the govt. stipend would offset the higher cost of natural gas so I wouldn’t have much incentive to switch even if I thought it might work.

    Two things. First, you do have an incentive, because you get to keep the money regardless of your choice–but the cost you pay for your natural gas is now higher than the cost of renewable energy. So you are ahead *if* you find a way to conserve energy. Second (and more subtly) this incentive doesn’t only operate on you, the consumer. It also operates for your utility company, for everyone you shop from, and for every service provider that you make use of in your daily life. One of the strengths of the approach is that it operates across the breadth of the entire economy.

    First of all solar panels might keep my lights on but they won’t generate nearly enough electricity to heat my home — especially during the winter months when sunshine is in short supply.

    That depends on your home’s area, the structure and orientation of its roof, and what you have to spend (or what you are willing to borrow). But first, solar can be much more effective in this regard than you think, even in northerly climes. (For instance, residential solar in Germany makes quite a large contribution even though the German solar resource is quite poor compared with that almost in anywhere in America–Germany lying essentially between the 47th and 55th parallels, and recalling that the northern border of the CONUS is the 49th.)

    But the main thing is that there are many options other than solar panels on your roof. There is, for instance, going to a heat pump for your HVAC needs–a very popular option here in SC now, because it consolidates heating and cooling mechanisms. You can simply insulate better, so you burn less natural gas. You can choose a more efficient automobile next time you replace the existing one. Again, there is a whole spectrum of choices that consumers can (and do, in British Columbia) take to conserve energy and save money.

    …squeeze the fossil fuel companies to the point that they can’t compete with renewables and will be forced out of business…

    Well, if they are smart, they will alter their business models appropriately. Every now and then, they take a stab at it, as in this recent example:

    https://seekingalpha.com/news/3344739-bp-tesla-team-battery-storage-venture-wind-farm

    But yes, if ultimately the economy is completely transformed, then the dividend will go away. But this will be a gradual process, not a sudden shock, and the growth in alternate energy will drive down costs (as indeed it has been doing for quite some time–that’s why renewables are now, broadly speaking, cost-competitive; it wasn’t always the case.) Nobody will be suddenly stranded with high-cost energy.

    …the hysteria he is instilling will instigate all sorts of conflicts between haves and have nots all over the world, very possibly leading to strikes, demonstrations, riots, even civil wars.

    Oh, you mean like this one?

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-hastened-the-syrian-war/

    Don’t forget that, unlike drought; the loss of crucial habitats (such as coral reefs) upon which people depend; unlike lost productivity due to physical limitations on all outdoor occupations; unlike food insecurities proceeding from droughts and other weather-related disasters; unlike ‘enhanced’ migration fluxes due to the preceeding cause–unlike all of these and more, carbon fees can actually be adjusted and managed according to their effects in the real world. Governments just have to be realistic enough to do so.

  35. 285

    Addendum:

    I do see a very real danger of totalitarianism, as certain world leaders fall into a blind panic over the incessant demand that we “do something” and “do it NOW!”

    I must say, if ‘certain world leaders’ are so susceptible to James Hansen’s urgings as to be verging on panic, I personally have failed to detect the threat. It took over 30 years to get everyone to agree to Paris, which is admittedly insufficient in its ambition; I wouldn’t call that precipitous, by any means.

    Meanwhile, there’s lots of totalitarianism right now, driven by the same old causes: greed for wealth and power, tribalism, and warped ideologies which amount to social delusions, sometimes such that we would, in an individual, term them ‘psychotic.’

  36. 286
    Nemesis says:

    I found out climate talks and politics is like carnival before the abyss. Ride on, I lay back.

  37. 287
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Weaktor: “In this case, however, I do see a very real danger of totalitarianism, as certain world leaders fall into a blind panic over the incessant demand that we “do something” and “do it NOW!””

    And of course, as the situation worsens and the impacts become so obvious and severe that even blind morons like Weaktor can see them, we can of course expect the same sort of measured calm response he exhibits toward all the “hysteria”.

    Fucking brilliant. Dude, if you favor calm, sensible action, you really ought to favor early intervention to solve the problem. Oh, no. Too late, because ignorant food tubes like you have kept electing idiots to office and opposing any common-sense action.

    A Brazilian friend has a phrase for people like you: “mala sem balança”–suitcase without a handle. Basically, it means you are a broken tool.

  38. 288
    nigelj says:

    Victor @280 says “I do see a very real danger of totalitarianism, as certain world leaders fall into a blind panic over the incessant demand that we “do something” and “do it NOW!”

    Another sharp increases in temperature like 2015 – 2016 and there will be blind panic, and some element of totalitarianism as people really start to wake up to reality. And why the totalitarianism? Because the Victors of the world have spent decades with their deceptive, denialist propaganda, thus delaying a democratic, robust, and rational response to the climate change leaving no option but a heavy handed, urgent approach. So if there’s totalitarianism, blame the Victors of the world.

    Keven McKinney 284, some interesting details in your comments.

  39. 289
    Hank Roberts says:

    Who’s trustworthy about total Antarctic ice accumulation, Dr. Zwally or the Daily Caller?

    Daily Caller – Media Bias/Fact Check
    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/daily-caller/
    These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation.

    https://yellowhammernews.com/upcoming-research-will-buck-the-consensus-and-show-antarctica-is-still-gaining-ice/

    http://www.thisisinsider.com/antarctica-ice-melt-glaciers-ice-shelf-collapse-2018-6

  40. 290
    Carrie says:

    Joshua Farley: Economics of the Anthropocene (20 mins)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNa2j2HDvo

  41. 291
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin: I have no serious beef with nuclear power per se

    AB: Note that I’m answering your comment on the appropriate thread. PLEASE folks, do the same. (Kind of a DUH thing, eh?)

    Well, climate change is a GLOBAL issue, so any solution MUST be available to every country in the world. As if Israel will EVER not bomb every Muslim nuclear reactor built in the region. Seriously, nuclear power is a total nonstarter because everyone has enemies and the strong will “nuke” the nukes of their weaker enemies.

  42. 292
    Al Bundy says:

    KillingInaction: Given the low cost, I trust that you have solar panels on your home? Ditto the rest of the FF bashers.

    AB: STOP commenting on the wrong thread.

    No. I moved into a small apartment and installed removable insulating panels that cover my windows when outdoor temperatures are non-optimal. I also only heat or cool the room I’m in (generally my small bedroom) and have installed an insulating panel/door in the hallway. The result is that I spew very little carbon.

  43. 293
    David B. Benson says:

    Al Bundy @ 291 — The UAE has a 4 nuclear reactor power station under construction with one finished. As these are only to generate electricity, Israel has no concerns.

    Do try to keep up.

  44. 294

    #292–Well, a good reminder about posting to the correct thread. You’re right that we should all try to do that…

    But I have to push back a bit on the idea that because climate change is global, therefore ‘the solution’ needs to be global, too. Should we develop no tidal power because land-locked countries can’t have it? While the need to mitigate carbon is a global problem, the need to power particular societies is a local/regional one.

  45. 295
    Mal Adapted says:

    mike:

    at N at 263: I tend to see carbon tax and capitalism as pretty discrete ideas. Capitalism tries to work everything into the capitalist model of profit and monopolies, price-gouging, exploitation, oppression are natural consequences of unregulated and inadequately regulated capitalist institutions.

    Carbon tax, on the other hand, is an idea about applying market forces and reducing accumulation of carbon dioxide (ghg proxy) in atmosphere and oceans. A carbon tax will almost certainly work to reduce the growth of the accumulation and that would slow the sixth extinction. Would capitalists look at the economics of carbon taxation and attempt to capitalize on any opportunities to make a buck out of carbon taxes? the answer is almost certainly yes, but that opportunism can and should be addressed in a manner that appropriately addresses the problems that capitalism creates.

    Well said, mike, that’s my position in a nice nutshell. I ultimately share with Nemesis (and Naomi Klein) the conviction that capitalism is close to the root of today’s unsustainable global society. However, while AGW is a tough political nut to crack, IMHO it’s not nearly as tough as capitalism itself. My own faint hope is that by capping the warming below civilization-destroying levels, we”ll have more time to grapple with the propensity of the ‘free’ market (free of targeted collective intervention, that is) to socialize every private transaction cost it can get away with.

    My preferred carbon tax is something close to the US national Carbon Fee and Dividend with Border Adjustment Tariff proposed by Citizen’s Climate Lobby, primarily because it will harness the opportunism you speak of to accelerate the build-out of the US and global carbon-neutral economies rapidly to completion. That, in turn, creates a politically powerful constituency of carbon-neutral entrepreneurs (i.e. capitalists), and CF&D with BAT’s simplicity of concept and design may make it politically palatable to enough voters to achieve an electoral plurality.

    Now, while I think CF&D with BAT has as good a political chance as any carbon tax and better than some, that’s not saying any such chances are great. OTOH, today’s NYTimes reported that a New Group, With Conservative Credentials, Plans Push for a Carbon Tax. The ‘new’ group’s Chair is former Republican Senate majority leader Trent Lott (!), and its proposal sounds pretty much like Citizens Climate Lobby’s. In fact, Lott cites former Republican Secretary of State George Schultz, who is on CCL’s advisory board with James Hansen.

    Perhaps coincidentally, quite a few media outlets carried Monday’s AP wire service piece by Seth Borenstein and Nicky Forster, titled “Warned 30 years ago, global warming ‘is in our living room’“.

  46. 296
    nigelj says:

    Some rare good climate news: the fossil fuel industry is weaker than ever:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/21/climate-change-fossil-fuel-industry-never-been-weaker

  47. 297
    nigelj says:

    Nuclear power is only going to be a limited part of the solution to climate change. It has a lot of problems as in this excellent, concise analysis, which looks particularly at the problems of costs and scaling up globally;

    https://phys.org/news/2011-05-nuclear-power-world-energy.html

    In addition, nuclear power has stalled in western countries because nobody wants it near them, and in democracies lobby groups and public opinion can be powerful. This is a reality of democratic government that the nuclear advocates don’t seem to appreciate. It’s not a surprise that it’s only really being built in autocracies or near autocracies in the middle east and asia etc.

  48. 298

    Hmm, arguably on point for the mitigation thread, and definitely following up on our discussions about the legal challenges to climate vandals:

    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04042018/climate-change-fossil-fuel-company-lawsuits-timeline-exxon-children-california-cities-attorney-general

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