RealClimate logo


Forced responses: Sep 2018

Filed under: — group @ 3 September 2018

This thread is the bimonthly open thread for discussion of climate solutions. A good starting point might be this clear description from Glen Peters on the feasibility of staying below 2ºC. Please stick to substantive points and refrain from attacking other commenters (as opposed to their ideas). The open thread for climate science issues is here.

84 Responses to “Forced responses: Sep 2018”

  1. 1
    Killian says:

    The best thing we could do is train the entire planet in permaculture. To see presentation after presentation not show any useful awareness of regenerative nee sustainable practices on a large scale and completely ignore the economist and other scientists own statement on ending Capitalism and the system as it is, thus ignore the biggest elephant in the room – just slowing down – is torture.

    Can we get to negative emissions without simplification? Sure. We’re running out of many resources. When they’re gone (actually long before due to prices/availability), very interesting things will happen to the economy, etc., as they already have been for years due to light crude becoming dearer. Things are going to slow down whether we like it or not. When looking at trends from a macro perspective, it is well known what happens when energy per capita falls: So does the economy. This unavoidable. It’s thermodynamics.

    So, the only way to deal with all this long term and avoid uncontrolled simplification (technically even controlled simplification is still a form of collapse once you pass a certain degree of reduction) is to simplify first, thus reducing emissions and sequestering large amounts of carbon. If we simplify to 10 or 20% of current consumption/emissions, then regenerative farming alone gets us to negative emissions. Go crazy with this and actually maximize all regenerative types if draw down and we can get to some very large reductions. Farming alone – fruits and veggies – can get us down as much as 40% of current. That could be -30%

    It is not as if there is a choice.

    Peters needs to call me. He is misinforming people.

  2. 2

    For those who believe that there is potential utility in political street theatre, plan to attend one of the many nationwide events this Saturday:

    https://riseforclimate.org/

    I don’t think anyone expects the federal apparatus to change their mind; but you can help give the very visible lie to the proposition that no-one cares. And perhaps it’s also worth mentioning that this is a prequel to Governor Brown’s conference for non-national actors (states, cities, NGOs) who wish to make sure that there is effective mitigation action in the US even in the face of federal obstructionism.

  3. 3
    Dan Pangburn says:

    MODTRAN6 corroborates low determinations of climate sensitivity https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DmLamxqV4AET6h3.jpg

  4. 4
    Jonathan R says:

    “Please stick to substantive points and refrain from attacking other commenters” – This is why so many people avoid this site. Many of the participants enjoy attacking other people and do it quite often. They also introduce numerous straw argument and ad hominen type attacks. It’s not clear to me if this site is actually moderated or not.

  5. 5
    Mike Roddy says:

    Once again, I suggest that climate scientists begin to pay more attention to the human caused destruction of 50% of earth’s biomass:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-race-just-001-of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-of-wild-mammals-study

    Unlike banning fossil fuels for energy- which requires major hits to Utilities who are trapped by low interest Power Purchase Agreements- we can address this in the short term. Emissions from clearcutting and intensive logging are immediate, but regrowth in its early stages is slow. Avoided deforestation by product substitution is the answer, especially since wood products, including lumber, must be constantly replaced.

    The United States consumes roughly 25% of the earth’s wood products, far more than comparably wealthy countries in Europe and Asia, who prefer durable consumer and construction goods. Much of our logging is subsidized in various ways.

    Existing industry obstructions- including tax breaks for clearcutting- exist here as for switching from burning fossil fuels. We can eliminate them and begin a concerted effort to avoid fragile and combustible construction materials, paper towels, printed ads, and much else.

    Compared to halting coal and gas plants, it’s low hanging fruit, and can occur in the short term. Afforestation, natural or human aided, means more carbon dioxide breathed in and sequestered by plants and soil.

    We have few other options today. A campaign to use only durable materials for housing- as does about 95% of the rest of the world- will mean safer, longer lasting, and dimensionally stable homes. It’s easily done if people get on board. We almost did back in the 90’s, when (disclosure) I built hundreds of steel framed houses here and in Japan. Additional costs are trivial, and people will pay them when properly educated. Without timber subsidies, and with a proper carbon tax for lumber (4 times more CO2 emissions for the same tasks, per IPCC submittals), we can do this immediately. NAHB will cooperate- when testifying before their Board and Congress 20 years ago, the non Georgia Pacific and Weyerhauser people told me they hated the timber industry anyway.

    Environmental organizations have lagged, and provided no support for inert materials back in the 90’s. Most are even worse now.

    If anyone wants documentation for the above, he can reach me at
    mike.greenframe@gmail.com

  6. 6

    #3, Dan–

    That’s just the start of climate sensitivity, as no feedbacks are included in your calculation.

    Luckily, help is at hand:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/01/on-sensitivity-part-i/

  7. 7

    ❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①

    Solving Global Warming is easy. _ (a do it yourself guide)

    https://agree-to-disagree.com/solving-global-warming-is-easy

    ❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①❶①

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Generic commenter says:

    I’d like to know what you think your city and your life would look like, with 0-carbon energy, and what the path to reach it would be. And what the first steps of that path would be, and what the groundwork for future steps would be.

  10. 10
    Mal Adapted says:

    Kevin McKinney:

    And perhaps it’s also worth mentioning that this is a prequel to Governor Brown’s conference for non-national actors (states, cities, NGOs) who wish to make sure that there is effective mitigation action in the US even in the face of federal obstructionism.

    Thank you Kevin, that is worth mentioning. It sounds like Jerry Brown has read Elinor Ostrom, the late Economics Nobelist, who expected collective decarbonization to be polycentric. Ostrom thought global collective action might ultimately be needed, but also that we shouldn’t wait for it.

  11. 11

    @Mike Roddy: Actually, there is currently a movement to switch from “durable” materials in building to modern wood architecture, the reason being, that at least some durable materials (i.e. concrete and cement generally) are very GHG intensive.

  12. 12
    Fred Magyar says:

    This thread is the bimonthly open thread for discussion of climate solutions. A good starting point might be this clear description from Glen Peters on the feasibility of staying below 2ºC.

    After watching Glen Peters’ presentation on the feasibility of staying below 2ºC of warming, unless I misunderstood, he seems to be saying it is only possible in the models but not in the real world.

    He also seems to be of the opinion that while there will certainly be impacts at 2ºC of warming, they are supposedly manageable.

    Ok, regardless, and for the moment ignoring the risks of potential runaway feedbacks and tipping points in many of the planet’s systems, such as large scale biological extinction, melting permafrost with accompanying CH4 release, Arctic ice loss, sea level rise, coral reef dieoff, ocean acidification, droughts, fires, floods, increasingly severe storms, disruptions in the Jet Stream, impacts to coastal cities around the world, damage to most of the world’s bread baskets, etc… etc..

    Glen Peters also seems to be saying that the only realistic way to stay below 2ºC of warming is to implement negative emissions technology, technology which he states does not yet exist in any practical form.

    I would hope that given what we already know about the current state of many of our planetary systems we could at least all agree that humanity and industrial civilization, is shall we say, at a bit of a crossroads.

    I see three main obstacles to mitigating the consequences of climate change. To be clear, I don’t like the term ‘solutions’ in this context. As I see multiple dilemmas.

    1) The continued addition of about 80 million humans to the planet every year. in the face of already diminishing ecosytem services and finite natural resources.

    2) The propagation of the myth that economic growth is possible on a finite planet and that such growth is a solution to all our problems. I’m with Donella Meadows in her Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System where she clearly explains that growth is the right lever but it is being pushed in the wrong direction.

    3) The apparent lack of understanding by the general public of the magnitude of the crisis we are facing and the total lack of will by the economic and political leaders of the world to do more than just pay lip service and actually grab the bull by the horns and start doing what is necessary instead of just continually kicking the can further down the road.

    So if might channel the late Great George Carlin, ‘The Climate is Fine, It’s the People that are F@cked!’

    In any case, it would seem to me that besides dealing seriously with the three obstacles I have mentioned above. We need to put our personal and national differences aside and focus on not only reducing CO2 emissions but eliminating them completely and then focusing on developing practical ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and the oceans. And we need to do it in the next 20 years.

    Cheers!

  13. 13
    Mike Roddy says:

    Dominik Lenne, #11:

    I agree that there is a movement to switch to wood construction materials, on the grounds that it is less GHG intensive than other materials. Problem is, that position is wrong, and is a direct product of misinformation from the timber industry. Wood construction is a bad joke, resulting in houses that last 60 years on average, with devastated ecosystems and massive greenhouse gas emissions as side effects:

    https://thinkprogress.org/which-emits-the-most-co2-in-home-construction-steel-concrete-or-timber-a6a8b2d3370f/

    If you do not work for the timber industry, I hope you study the link and the relevant IPCC reports carefully. If you do, there is nothing I can do to change your mind.

  14. 14

    #7, SW–

    Well, that’s 10 seconds of my life I’ll never get back.

  15. 15

    #10, Mal–

    It sounds like Jerry Brown has read Elinor Ostrom, the late Economics Nobelist, who expected collective decarbonization to be polycentric.

    I don’t know, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

    He certainly does know that there are lots of people, some in surprising places, who want to help. I could count the mayors and councils of the last two metropolitan centers I’ve lived near, Atlanta and Columbia, SC–both actively trying to mitigate deep inside the context of states that are, er, ‘less concerned.’

  16. 16
    Dan Pangburn says:

    #6 kevin – Valid direct feedback depends only on the temperature of liquid surface water as shown here https://landshape.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/climate_sensitivity.pdf

    In response to your 5-year old link is this 5-year old link which shows how assessments of climate sensitivity had already declined https://landshape.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/climate_sensitivity.pdf
    All this makes the assessment using the ARL sponsored program look credible.

  17. 17

    GC at 9,

    The first step is to pass a carbon fee-and-dividend system so there’s economic pressure to use less fossil fuel. Immediately after that, we have to switch to renewable energy as fast as possible, insulate buildings, encourage cogeneration and biofuels, and reform agriculture to use techniques like biochar which bury carbon.

  18. 18
    Supernaut says:

    Any comments here regarding the recent Energy Initiative MIT study?

    http://news.mit.edu/2018/mitei-releases-report-future-nuclear-energy-0904

  19. 19
    Russell says:

    To the extent that climate change manifests itself as water loss, attention should be paid to locally managing the albedo of water.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05151-8

  20. 20
    Geoff Beacon says:

    Glen,

    Cost effective: Not flying, not driving cars, not eating much meat?

    In your talk “cost effective” confuses me. It has actually saved me money to travel less, ride a bike and eat much less meat (esp. beef and lamb). Building wooden houses, which store carbon is now cheaper than bricks and mortar construction.

    These are good for the planet and are not costs.

    I get more confused when I think of one possible very cheap way to cut emissions – just tell people how evil they are in having large emissions by flying, driving cars and eating beef (&cheese). Government spreading the message to populations could be inexpensive but this would bring degrowth.

    Degrow is necessary to save the climate(given that decarbonisation isn’t delivering fast enough) but should degrowth be considered a cost?

  21. 21
    Carrie says:

    Let’s hope cows don’t get seasick.
    https://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/worlds-first-floating-dairy-farm-comes-rotterdam.html

    Are humans smart? That’s the key question here.

  22. 22
    Mike Roddy says:

    There are several key climate events scheduled in San Francisco next week, mostly on Feb. 11-13 in several locations. The topic is climate solutions, and the event will include Silicon Valley executives, Governor Brown, and top local scientists. Linda and I held a much smaller version of this idea in December of 2016, during AGU, which was a success:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMQ3iSQIu2Y&feature=youtu.be

    I hope to see RC contributors there. Email me if you want conference schedules etc, and I may be able to help in other ways. The conference itself is mostly free, but remaining space is being reserved quickly.

  23. 23
    Mike Roddy says:

    Geoff, #20, I’ll repeat my link above about lumber and carbon sequestration. It is based on IPCC submittals, and lumber’s high carbon footprint- it does, after all, derive from deforestation- is not controversial among non-timber industry scientists:

    https://thinkprogress.org/which-emits-the-most-co2-in-home-construction-steel-concrete-or-timber-a6a8b2d3370f/

    I’m going to assume the best, that you are not another timber troll. Here’s another data point, that derives from work by Dr. Harmon of Oregon State, and has been confirmed by studies all over the country: When a forest is logged, only about 15% of the site carbon (up to 20% in some cases) ends up in wood products. The rest is mill waste, logging truck emissions, and leaving non lumber components (bark, branches etc) to be either burned or to rot on site. After a forest fire, 85% of the site carbon remains as charcoal, unburned stems, and soil amendments.

    It’s the opposite of what intuition tells you. Unfortunately for timber industry trolls, it’s scientific measurements that govern among those who study these things.

  24. 24
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Dan Pangburn: “#6 kevin – Valid direct feedback depends only on the temperature of liquid surface water as shown here…”

    Absolute, complete, undiluted bullshit!

    Thanks, Dan, but I think I’ll go with the peer-reviewed science here rather than “some guy on a blog”. I can think of at least a half a dozen feedback mechanisms that are exceptions to your rule. Now run along. The adults are having a discussion.

  25. 25

    #16–Dan, my point was that you weren’t clear that you were talking about TCR. By simply saying ‘climate sensitivity’ you can mislead or confuse. Not every reader here will know all the ‘flavors’ of climate sensitivity.

    (Indeed, I wasn’t sure myself, based on what you wrote, that you knew your Transient Climate Response from your Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, but given that you now cite a graph showing both separately, I’ll presume that you do.)

    I do note, though, that there are certainly some more recent higher estimates in the literature (in which, frankly, I am by no means expert). For one, Cox (2018):

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25450

    “Here we present a new emergent constraint on ECS that yields a central estimate of 2.8 degrees Celsius with 66 per cent confidence limits (equivalent to the IPCC ‘likely’ range) of 2.2–3.4 degrees Celsius.”

  26. 26
    Mike Roddy says:

    There’s this going on, too, and climate activists have been pretty silent so far:

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/05/the-houses-version-of-the-farm-bill-is-loaded-with-anti-environmental-provisions/

    Going after the logging companies is frustrating and makes us feel soiled. The records of our major green organizations are a little weak here, including on climate consequences. Somebody has to do it, if we are to have a chance of a decent future.

  27. 27

    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    .

    Global Warming – Did we Pass or Fail?

    A detailed analysis of global warming, in the different regions of the Earth.

    – The Arctic region

    – the Antarctic region

    – the Land

    – the oceans

    This is one of the most important articles ever written about global warming.

    Can we save the Earth, and the human race?

    Have the 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius temperature limits, become irrelevant?

    https://agree-to-disagree.com/global-warming-did-we-pass-or-fail

  28. 28
    Geoff Beacon says:

    Mike #23

    I’m not another timber troll. We do need to have more knowledge about the role of timber in construction and it’s use as biomass for power, particularly on how it is sourced. But first, I have doubts about your message that concrete is better and steel is best.

    This discussion might go on for months but let’s start with steel. In your Think Progress Article, the average value of embodied CO2 at 1.19 CO2/Steel by weight seems to be for virgin steel. Is that correct? The Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) gives an estimate of 2.75.

  29. 29
    Phil L says:

    Mike Roddy #5 and #13 argues that building with nonrenewable resources is superior to building with wood. However study after study using life cycle analysis show that over the life of a typical building, wood has a lower carbon footprint than non-wood alternatives including concrete and steel. A recent literature review for The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions can be found at 
    Climate impacts of wood vs. non-wood buildings
     

  30. 30
    b fagan says:

    Regarding timber construction (Mike Roddy #5, etc) – Skidmore, Owings and Merrill have been conducting studies for use of timber, but in high-rise construction rather than for homes. Their collection of reports (w/funding from lumber industry) are here: https://www.som.com/ideas/research/timber_tower_research_project

    The reports are detailed and interesting. They found the carbon footprint in this type of construction, at least in the first report, was significantly lower than traditional steel/concrete for high-rises. I’ve not read the most recent reports where they appear to be going more towards a more mixed use of the different materials, in part, I think, to allow larger open spans of floor space with less load-bearing internal structure.

    But as Mike points out, where does one get all the trees from? Though the other question is “can we reduce the emissions in cement and steelmaking any faster?”

    Perhaps the future means harvesting some of the boreal forest before beetles and fire kill it, and also build a solar/battery powered steel and cement industry with carbon capture and sequestration – especially if we’re thinking of the all the cities that are still to be built in the developing nations of Asia and Africa.

    Speaking of Africa – large-scale wind generation in the Sahara is predicted to increase rainfall and vegetation growth in the area, including the Sahel. Since every climate problem has other problems connected, this sounds good – power plus water and vegetation in an area short on all of them.

    Just out today in Science, so paywalled.
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6406/1019

  31. 31
    Killian says:

    Re #23 Mike Roddy said Geoff, #20, I’ll repeat my link above about lumber and carbon sequestration. It is based on IPCC submittals, and lumber’s high carbon footprint- it does, after all, derive from deforestation- is not controversial among non-timber industry scientists

    For chrissake, that is some weak analysis. We determine what is best by measuring sustainability as what is occurring during overshoot? Who the heck is in charge of your head? Seriously? You are looking to climate scientists and other scientists WRT to issues of sustainable systems? Do we ask doctors about carburetors or mechanics to do brain surgery?

    The facts are actually this: Steel and concrete ***can never be sustainable.*** And trees are utterly sustainable. That some come from deforestation does not mean all do, and that any do does not reflect where they will come from under a sustainable design regime.

    Principle: No waste. Under regenerative management, none of the negatives of wood harvesting will exist, so the long-term outcomes are exactly opposite of what you state.

    This is utterly irresponsible commentary and analysis on your part and their parts. Climate scientists – no scientists – should be doing sustainability analysis without a regenerative design professional being consulted.

  32. 32
    Killian says:

    Re #22 Mike Roddy There are several key climate events scheduled in San Francisco next week, mostly on Feb. 11-13 in several locations. The topic is climate solutions, and the event will include Silicon Valley executives, Governor Brown, and top local scientists.

    The blind leading the mostly blind leading the half-blind. This is brilliant policy-making.

    I hope to see RC contributors there.

    Sure. Just send me the ticket price from Korea and days of lost income.

  33. 33
    nigelj says:

    Sheldon Walker @27, I have a couple of comments on your website article “Global Warming did we pass or fail”.

    Nice maps, but most people already know global warming varies regionally.

    And yes while many land areas are already above 1.5 degrees, its the oceans which are particularly important because of thermal expansion, evaporation, and hurricane formation etc. So its not too late for humanity to make a difference.

    You appear to say asking people to stop burning fossil fuels wont happen, because of operant conditioning that reinforces our behaviours. I would say change is possible. Remember humanity has lots of systems of rules which have either stopped or reduced various behaviours that had become entrenched. What we have to do is stop rewarding fossil fuel consumption, and a carbon tax would help.

  34. 34
    jef says:

    It is all about money! Without it you DIE! Only way to get it is to participate in consumer capitalism. The entire world is struggling to do what ever they can to plug into consumer capitalism as it represents the one and only way to “make a living” going forward.

    If you are not a part of it you are losing. Not my opinion, just facts.

    Every “solution” I have ever seen is essentially promoting less consumption without any thought as to how people get money so they and their loved ones don’t suffer and die.

    Solve this issue and you might be able to make a difference.

  35. 35

    nigelj @ 33

    I agree, that most people already know global warming varies regionally.

    But what is important, is how much it is varying. If it varies by a small amount, then there is not much of a problem. But if it varies by a large amount, then …

    I don’t think that I gave an opinion on “asking people to stop burning fossil fuels won’t happen”. But sometimes my left hand types things, while I am not looking.

    Thank you. You have made an intelligent comment, without calling me a Denier. Don’t tell the others, because they will start picking on you.

  36. 36
    b fagan says:

    In #30 I misspoke. The Science article about renewables in the Sahara is open access.

  37. 37
    Fred Magyar says:

    b fagan @ 30 said:

    But as Mike points out, where does one get all the trees from? Though the other question is “can we reduce the emissions in cement and steelmaking any faster?”

    Perhaps the future means harvesting some of the boreal forest before beetles and fire kill it, and also build a solar/battery powered steel and cement industry with carbon capture and sequestration – especially if we’re thinking of the all the cities that are still to be built in the developing nations of Asia and Africa.

    A couple thoughts, as a native of the city of São Paulo, I find it highly unlikely Asia, Africa, or other developing regions of the world are going to be able to find ways to sustainably procure lumber to build their cities. Let me go out on a limb here and say, that it ain’t gonna happen! There’s that pesky little issue of over population and ecological overshoot that needs to be dealt with first.

    Having said that, the entire paradigm of why and how we use lumber, steel and cement for construction, in the first place, might do with a little reexamining. Especially in Asia and Africa perhaps something like bamboo, which has the tensile strength of steel, grows much faster than trees and sequesters more carbon than monoculture plantations of trees such as eucalyptus and pines could be substituted for structural steel. There is a long history of traditional bamboo construction techniques and plenty of research available on current possible applications. I have a very long list of sources to back that up should anyone be interested.

    As far as cement is concerned, again, new paradigms are emerging that could be scaled up, vastly reducing CO2 emissions if implemented in a timely fashion.
    There are companies already producing cement with biomimicry techniques based on how corals create their structures from CaCo3 with zero carbon emissions and others incorporating living bacteria into concrete that heals micro fissures and cracks.

    But all of this is completely moot if humanity doesn’t find a way to reverse the growth paradigm we seem to have gotten stuck on. We are currently adding the populational equivalent of about 4 greater metropolitan São Paulo areas to the planet every year!

    Anyone who still thinks that is even remotely sustainable should visit São Paulo and the surrounding region! Where exactly do people think the tipping point to catastrophe lies? At 8 billion, 9 billion or 11 billion?

    Hint: we are well into overshoot at 7.6 billion…
    Cheers!

  38. 38
    Geoff Beacon says:

    Fred Magyar said:

    Anyone who still thinks that is even remotely sustainable should visit São Paulo and the surrounding region! Where exactly do people think the tipping point to catastrophe lies? At 8 billion, 9 billion or 11 billion?

    The tipping point depends on whom you are counting. There is a nice Oxfam infographic that shows that killing off the poorest half of the world and greenhouse gas emissions are only reduced by 10%. Kill off the richest 10% and the reduction is 49%.

    The poorest half cause only 10% of emissions.

    Infographic can be seen here

    Somehow, I think the tipping points will kill the poor first.

    Fred, were you suggesting we should fly to São Paulo?

  39. 39
    zebra says:

    #37 Fred Magyar,

    As you are no doubt aware, population is a taboo subject. I am curious if you have any suggestions as to why the various “very concerned” global citizens here are so reluctant to discuss it?

    Anyway, I think I disagree with your thinking about “economic growth”, although I may not be understanding it exactly. It would certainly be possible, in the stable-population scenario I have proposed (as a way of examining various issues around consumption), for people to improve goods or services in a way that makes them more “valuable”.

    Let’s consider the current discussion about “build with wood” “no, build with steel”, yadda yadda on and on… (tastes great, less filling?…)

    If you had a stable world population of 300 million people, and say 30 million in the USA, what kind of houses would make economic sense? I propose that the US population would live on (say) the East coast, and there would be cities, suburbs, exurbs, rural, farms, and so on, as we have now.

    Would we be building lots of flimsy, minimally insulated 2×4 tract houses, whither with wood or metal studs, that would need lots of refurbishing in their short lifetimes and consume lots of energy? I don’t think so. What makes sense is to produce more permanent and efficient structures that match the different desires of the population, not “develop” more land, when the demand is relatively stable.

  40. 40
    Omega Centauri says:

    Supernaut@18
    I don’t have a huge amount to say about it, but my understanding is it say’s that building a zero carbon energy economy with more types of resources will be cheaper than one which restricts itself to just wind and solar plus storage. Its almost a tautology that adding more degrees of freedom to an optimization problem should usually be expected to yield a more efficient solution. I think they may have overly constrained the types of storage solutions, its not just batteries….

    Now in general, I think its more likely to be a distraction at this point in the transition. We have to get to fifty percent renewables before we get to ninety percent, and then to one hundred percent. Most of the current effort should be spent pursuing those sub-goals, with some research being done to shed light on how to proceed further.

  41. 41
    Carrie says:

    35 Sheldon Walker says:
    But what is important, is how much it is varying. If it varies by a small amount, then there is not much of a problem. But if it varies by a large amount, then …

    Then, what?

    Seems to me all you’ve done is taken existing data and found a different way to present it. If this helps some people understand global warming better then that is a good thing. So long as you and they also understand the presentation has limitations like every other presentation method, graph etc.

    And that you’ve not really said anything via those contour maps about regional difference by latitude that wasn’t already known in climate science circles. The most relevant question therefore is what does that data mean and how can viewers use your ‘presentations’ to improve their understanding of the data?

    I can only speak for myself, when I say, it hasn’t told me anything I didn’t already know and understand before. Others can give you their own feedback.

  42. 42
    Carrie says:

    37 Fred Magyarl only need to cull the richest 10% to cut emissions by 50% (K Anderson et al Tyndall)

    That’s only a reduction of 760 million not billions. Simplicity and sharing while locking up Musk so he can’t go ahead with the insanity of Space Tourism and more $60,000 plus luxury cars for overinflated egos. :-)

  43. 43
    Mike Roddy says:

    Geoff, #28:

    Steel coils that are turned into studs and beams for house framing can come from recycled steel, as from Chaparral or Nucor’s plants. The IPCC country submittal averages were used for my calculations. Industry average recycled content is 67%. I stand by my numbers.

  44. 44
    Mike Roddy says:

    Phil L, # 29, “study after study” shows lumber to be better for our emissions? Again, I refer you to IPCC country submittals. You are apparently looking at studies generated by the timber industry.

    Another way to look at the data: US IPCC reports indicate steel emissions to be in the 120 mt/CO2 per year. Lumber is about 425 mt/CO2 per year. (Apologies if this is out of date, my research was done a few years ago, but these figures remain stable).

    Also: Steel is renewable, since 4% of the earth is iron ore, and steel products can be recycled indefinitely. Wood is difficult to recycle, and rotted lumber ends up in landfills. Not to mention that we have reduced global biomass by 50% since human population took off, much of that from deforestation. Opportunity capital lost includes the chance to allow afforestation to cheaply provide sequestration opportunities.

    The timber industry has been lying about all of this for over a century, and they are good at it. The fossil fuel companies learned from them. I urge RC readers to research my claims yourselves if you question them, but be sure to go to a land use emissions scientist, such as the ones who write IPCC reports.

  45. 45
    Phil L says:

    Mike Roddy at #23 makes the incorrect claim not only that lumber has a high carbon footprint, but that it supposedly derives from deforestation. By definition, deforestation is when forest land is converted to another use (e.g. parking lots, strip malls, agriculture, etc.)
    Note that Mike Roddy makes a living from promoting steel building products, so his snark about “timber trolls” should be taken with a grain of salt.

  46. 46
    gallopingcamel says:

    Ganopolsky and Archer suggest that there will be no glaciation for at least another 150,000 years if we fail to curb carbon emissions.

    Given that a glaciation would kill at least 95% of humanity (~7 billion people) we should support anything that will raise CO2 emissions:
    https://judithcurry.com/2018/08/14/nature-unbound-x-the-next-glaciation/

  47. 47
    Duncan Idaho says:

    Hint: we are well into overshoot at 7.6 billion…

    Bingo!
    We have a winner—-

  48. 48
    Mike Roddy says:

    Killian above, #31 and 32:

    You are saying that we are not supposed to believe climate scientists when it comes to the CO2 emissions of various construction materials, as expressed in peer-reviewed papers, field measurements, and IPCC submittals.
    Not sure who you suggest we consult here: timber industry analysts? Georgia Pacific? Marc Morano?

    Gavin and Mike, I suggest you do something about this person, who seems to have zero understanding of emissions calculations.

    B Fagan, Skidmore, Owens, and Merrill are not qualified to opine about the various carbon footprints of construction materials. They are cozy with production builders, who like wood because it’s cheaper than steel or concrete. They don’t care if it rots, burns, or contributes to global warming.

    Rather than cite unknown studies- to me at least- go to IPCC land use reports, wherein forestry is over 420 million tons of CO2 annually on average in the US alone. US steel emissions are in the 120 million tons annually range, and less than 20% of that tonnage could frame every new house in America. Do the math, don’t read the lies from timber industry sources.

  49. 49
    JB Northwest says:

    If it’s true that 85% of the carbon captured by trees is returned to the air in the process of making wood products, I think we have our answer. i know the timber industry has gotten more creative, using a higher percentage of the tree than in the past, I wonder what the latest numbers are. I’m also curious what percentage of tree carbon is sequestered in forests left alone. My father was a home builder and I grew up in the Pacific NW of US, so I love trees and i love lumber…that said, steel seems a more responsible building material.

  50. 50
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Here’s an interesting idea, from the estimable Ramez Naam: Yes, Blockchain Can Help Us Solve Climate Change – Why I Joined Nori.

    In the white paper (p. 63), they claim that the soil carbon store can sequester 3.5-11 gigatons of CO2 per year, which seems high. I have a vague memory that the entire soil carbon store can hold about 2GT total.

Leave a Reply

Comment policy. Please note that if your comment repeats a point you have already made, or is abusive, or is the nth comment you have posted in a very short amount of time, please reflect on the whether you are using your time online to maximum efficiency. Thanks.