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.

236 Responses to “Forced responses: Sep 2018”

  1. 101
    Mike Roddy says:

    Phil L,

    Natural Resources Canada is an arm of their timber industry. You should go to Google Earth Pro and see what British Columbia looks like from the air. NRC supports that activity.

    Killian,

    I cannot have a conversation with someone who begins by calling me a liar, never mind that you have zero understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle. All of my claims and data points are supported by peer reviewed studies and IPCC country land use submittals, and are controversial only among timber industry shills.

    I will, however, consider it a badge of honor, as I did when Guy McPherson called me “Lyin’ Mike Roddy”. As in your case, consider the source.

  2. 102
    Killian says:

    Re #99 Al Bundy said AB: Economies of scale matter. To build a single car, a single fuel infrastructure, a single healthcare system, a single education system, etc, just for ONE person/family is laughable, yet you say that that’s what a “believer” MUST do.

    No, those with their hands on the levers that move millions must lift a pinky and flip the switch.

    You will, in time, understand, hopefully for you and yours, you are incorrect. The problem is the basis of your analysis, of course. Your assumptions are wrong, thus your solution. Inherent in your statement is the belief that a thing can birth its opposite. It cannot and will not. This is a fundamental point virtually all miss because what they *think* sustainability is not sustainability. What they *think* can be done indefinitely cannot be done indefinitely. The directionality of change – top down – is not the directionality of regenerative systems, which are built from the bottom up, just as Earth began life with amino acids, then single-cell organisms, etc. A human begins as one cell and builds parts into a whole. This is Nature. This is not Capitalism – or any economics – nor any current form of governance found in any nation or nation state.

    The answer is, indeed, in the mirror and behind the doors of our neighbors. Networked small solutions.

  3. 103
    Killian says:

    Re 101 Mike Roddy said Killian,

    I cannot have a conversation with someone who begins by calling me a liar

    In fact, i began by merely saying you were wrong. You, in fact, said I didn’t understand, then that I was denying facts. If you’re going to sling arrows, don’t be surprised when they come back your way. Hypocritical.

    When you intentionally make false statements to diminish others arguments, never address their points and accuse them of ignorance because they don’t agree with you, you are what you have made yourself. I have not “called” you anything, have shown yourself to be a zealot on the issue of unsustainable practices to be used in place of unsustainable practices. More directly to the point, you cannot cut and past a single statement by me that shows ignorance of the carbon cycle in any way. What you have proven is you have no understanding of how to design regenerative systems.

    To be honest, I can’t tell if you are incapable of understanding what I have said or just ignoring the point because you cannot defend your stance in the face of it.

    It is simple: Forests can not only be sustainable, but wood from forests – and the forests themselves, can, do and will sequester massive amounts of carbon. You pretend this is not my point. You silo the discussion into discreet points, removing it from a holistic and regenerative context, intentionally, yet don’t want to be called out on it. But use of a forest would not be at all as you describe it. We don’t design that way.

    A food forest that has reached apex needs no human intervention to continue producing indefinitely. None. That is sustainable. That is ongoing sequestration of carbon in the forest floor, etc. Small, yes, but exiting. Wood and food culled from the forest can be sequestered in structures indefinitely and in garden soils indefinitely. All “waste” from the process is usable as inputs to other elements in the system. There is no waste in regenerative wood construction.

    Turned to bio-char, the time frame is greatly extended and continues to accumulate at as fast a rate as you can produce bio-char. Planting a forest for the primary purpose of creating bio-char can sequester massive amounts of carbon indefinitely.

    Not only can all this be done, all of the above already *are* being done.

    Your denial of this is absurd. To claim steel construction trumps this in terms of the carbon cycle is beyond laughable, it’s psychosis. You literally have to disbelieve reality to accept that conclusion. Denial.

    So, let me fix your psychosis:

    Steel frame construction is unsustainable, but long-lasting enough to essentially be sustainable over generational time frames, though there is an ultimate limit at some future point. Under the guidance of the Appropriate Technology concept, such construction may be of use, perhaps even at some economy of scale. It may, according to some, but not agreed to by all, be more effective than forest harvesting for wood frame construction **under typical forest management practices.** However, forests, of any kind, under regenerative, aka permaculture, practices are vastly superior to steel.

    And I still have said nothing against using the methods you state within the bounds of Appropriate Technology.

    never mind that you have zero understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle.

    Because I don’t agree with your deeply flawed, over-zealous conclusions – upon which your pocketbook depend? I have said nothing you can support this claim with. It is a foolish, defensive remark with no basis.

    All of my claims and data points are supported by peer reviewed studies and IPCC country land use submittals, and are controversial only among timber industry shills.

    Who cares? What do they know of regenerative practice? Virtually nothing. And I have yet to argue against your premise steel may outperform typical wood construction. I have not one time said otherwise. It is dishonest of you to imply that though I have NOT rejected that aspect of your hypothesis, that I somehow have and deny the data you present.

    This is nauseating behavior.

    I will, however, consider it a badge of honor, as I did when Guy McPherson called me “Lyin’ Mike Roddy”

    Guy is a suicidal fool. Ironic he dissed you because you are on his level: He distorts the science to support his claims, ignores arguments and simply waves away any he cannot argue against as politically or socially unobtainable. How convenient… You are doing similar here.

    So, let me say one more time: Under typical forest management, you may be right. I have made ZERO argument against that, but you respond as if I have. That is lying. You paint me as not understanding, yet refuse to address the point I have made. You still have not. You have given ZERO logical or factual support for the contention steel construction would be better for the carbon cycle than regeneratively managed wood construction.

    You haven’t even attempted it. The reason is clear: You have no argument that can reject this.

    It is up to you to be honest. You have not been. Will you? Or will you play industry shill forever?

    Ethics and honor matter. At least, to me.

  4. 104
    Killian says:

    Re #95 b fagan said Mike Roddy #79 and 80.
    you say: “Not sure if you or Killian are open to facts, though. Let’s try returning to them.”

    OK – so please stop the patronizing and stop repeating that the US lumber industry lies about everything and that many of us here are simply deluded pawns because we don’t agree with your own, personal article that says steel is better.

    Yes. However, a correction:

    There are billions of new people coming who need homes, food, water, energy. We can’t build billions of single-family houses and the necessary spread-out infrastructure. We need the land and materials and energy for too many other purposes, and as we’ve seen in Houston lately, sprawl combined with intensifying rainfall events leads to flooding which leads to more materials used to replace everything on the ground floor (except steel framing, if you wish.)

    This is correct if one is talking current practices or even tech-based fake sustainability, but is completely incorrect under regenerative regimes. Regenerative communities do not displace nature, they integrate into it. Co-existence is exactly the outcome of permaculture (aka regenerative) design. The zone system applies to any size settlement. The outer zones are greater and greater integration with the unmanaged area surrounding. All use and all functions being regenerative, the interactions with the non-built environment are circular, not unsustainable.

    On the other hand, there is no way to make any city, even small cities, regenerative. They require too many materials from the bio-region while returning little beyond unusable waste. There is no such thing as sustainable concrete and never will be. As you have mentioned, the full systemics must be considered: You may be able to make carbon-neutral concrete, or even carbon sequestering concrete, but you cannot undo the damage of extraction, you cannot make the factories regenerative, the transport, or even the entire building the concrete is built into.

    indeed a planet of networked villages is exactly what is necessary. Yes, necessary. We have no choice.

  5. 105
    Carrie says:

    BY way of example …. perspective and framing people pay attention how you and other think.

    97 b fagan
    The hope is we minimize disaster, and come out a couple centuries from now with better skills at managing a planet

    No, no, no, no, no. The planet does not require any management at all. It worked fina by itself for billions of years without our help.

    How about right now and coming decades from now humans come out with better skills at managing ourselves and our actions! ie stop fucking up everything we touch and doing such dumb idiotic things!!!

  6. 106
    nigelj says:

    AL Bundy @99, yes, and while I dont wish to discourage individuals from reducing their carbon footprints, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to do this too much, unless the electricity grid is moving firmly towards being renewable with solid political commitment. Otherwise its a wasted effort buying an electric car and making other cuts to consumption, because the difference it would make is too small. And not everyone can afford to go off grid.

    It’s not economically rational to make self sacrifices too much unless there is confidence that the whole system is going in the right direction in a coordinated effort. Why KIA can’t grasp this mystifies me.

  7. 107
    Phil L says:

    Mike Roddy #101, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service is a federal government research agency. If you think they are an arm of the timber industry you are deep into conspiracy ideation.

    I have flown over managed forests of more than one Canadian province. Cutblocks dating back to the 1970s and 1980s when a checkerboard pattern of cut and leave blocks was popular do stand out. However recent harvest patterns generally emulate natural disturbances quite closely. And of course in the boreal forest, the landscape is defined by disturbances.

  8. 108
    Hank Roberts says:

    ==============

    “When I look back to the 1980s, we recorded 200 to 300 events — catastrophe events — annually, and today we are close to about 1,000 events,” says Munich Re’s chief climatologist, Ernst Rauch, who has been doing this research for the reinsurer for 30 years.

    That means a lot of losses that insurers must be prepared to cover. Last year alone, it meant roughly $135 billion in insured losses — including a record amount in California, where wildfires drove nearly $12 billion in insurance claims in just a three-month span.

    That huge sum is just one reason why wildfires keep California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones up at night.

    “The climate scientists tell us that we’re going to continue to see temperatures rise, and that will contribute to more catastrophic weather-related events,” Jones says. “In California, what this has meant is loss of life, loss of property, business interruption, community devastation associated with wildfires.”

    It’s Jones’ job to be sure that insurance companies are ready to cover these losses….

    ================

  9. 109
    flxible says:

    M Roddy: “Natural Resources Canada is an arm of their timber industry”

    NRC is a ministry of the Canadian federal government, supporting sustainability in resource use and directing programs for energy efficiency, such as the R2000 program and LEEDS. NRCs Canadian Forest Service department focuses on sustainable forests and forestry practices.

    Forestry in Canada is primarily under provincial authority. Also note that Canadas timber industry is actually primarily a multinational industry tightly integrated with the American industry.

    As a long time resident of British Columbia, living and working in a dual purpose structure built primarily of recycled materials [including reclaimed and “reject” lumber], I resent M Roddys repeated assertions that anyone who disagrees with him [including NRC and no doubt the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials] is an “industry shill”. I’d suggest Mr Roddy is the shill for the profit-seeking suburban-sprawl-producing single family residence construction industry.

  10. 110
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin McKinney: Killing animals isn’t easy;

    AB: Yeah, there is a learning curve that most people probably won’t complete. I wonder how may will realize that during a drought you can light the place on fire, perhaps in a dozen places around a chosen kill zone’s perimeter. Kill-n-cook in one easy step!

    I was w… wr….. wrrr….. uh, not entirely correct.

  11. 111
    Carrie says:

    A long read. Not the extracts, the article they come from.

    Conscience and Resistance by Scott Russell Sanders

    The blurry photocopy of “Rain and the Rhinoceros” was given to me by a college chaplain, whom I had gone to consult about my troubled conscience. It was the spring of 1966. I was twenty years old. Like many young men of draft age, I was struggling to decide whether, if called to serve, I would fight in Vietnam, where nearly 200,000 US military personnel were already deployed. Could I join the effort to kill strangers in a poor country on the far side of the world simply because my government had declared them to be enemies? I was also debating whether I should give up the study of physics, which had fascinated me since childhood. Could I devote my life to a science that was heavily funded by the Pentagon, as a source of knowledge useful for devising ever more lethal weapons? I don’t recall what advice the chaplain gave me, except that I should read Merton’s essay, which might help me distinguish between the loud voices outside me and the quiet voice within. […]

    In Raids on the Unspeakable (1966), the collection of essays that opens with “Rain and the Rhinoceros,” Merton drew parallels between our nation’s methodical preparation for mass slaughter and the rational planning and implementation of genocide by the Nazis. Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief organizers of that genocide, was judged to be sane by the psychiatrist who examined him before his trial. “The sanity of Eichmann is disturbing,” Merton wrote. “We equate sanity with a sense of justice, with humaneness, with prudence, with the capacity to love and understand other people. We rely on the sane people of the world to preserve it from barbarism, madness, destruction. And now it begins to dawn on us that it is precisely the sane ones who are the most dangerous.” In America during the Cold War, he saw madness masquerading as sanity: “Those who invented and developed atomic bombs, thermonuclear bombs, missiles; who have planned the strategy of the next war; who have evaluated the various possibilities of using bacterial and chemical agents: these are not the crazy people, they are the sane people. The ones who coolly estimate how many millions of victims can be considered expendable in a nuclear war. . . .” […]

    Of all Merton’s works, none has had a greater impact on me than the essay I encountered first. “Rain and the Rhinoceros” offered me guidance at a time when I felt lost. It emboldened me to think critically about dominant beliefs and behaviors in American society, and to challenge those that violated my own ethics and affections. Merton himself must have experienced such an awakening from something he had read, for in The Sign of Jonas (1953) he remarked: “There are times when ten pages of some book fall under your eye just at the moment when your very life, it seems, depends on your reading those ten pages. You recognize in them immediately the answer to all your most pressing questions. They open a new road.”

    While “Rain and the Rhinoceros” did not answer all of my most pressing questions, it did give me the courage to face them. It opened a road that led from the self-preoccupation of youth to an adult concern for the well-being of other persons and other species, and for the health of our living planet. It spoke to my dismay about the contradictions between the teachings of the Gospel, as I understood them, and the conduct of those self-professed Christians who embrace racism, militarism, and consumerism, who scorn refugees, neglect the poor, and show little concern for the devastation of Earth. Merton’s work affirmed my reverence for nature, my sense that wildness is the divine creative energy owing through every atom and cell and star.

    Today, half a century after first reading the essay, I feel less sanguine about rain. I still recognize that wind and clouds and precipitation obey the laws of physics, not our wishes, but I no longer imagine that rain is impervious to our actions. Sulfur and nitrous oxide released from coal-fired power plants turn rain acidic, poisoning lakes and vegetation. Radioactive particles spewed into the air from accidents at nuclear power plants—such as those at Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima—descend in raindrops. By burning fossil fuels, clearing forests, plowing up carbon-rich soils, and raising methane-generating livestock, we have altered the chemistry of the atmosphere in a way that traps more heat. A warming atmosphere produces more extended droughts and more violent downpours, turning arable regions into deserts and forests into tinder for wild fires, burying villages in mudslides, displacing more and more of the world’s poorest people by rising sea levels and floods.

    Merton did not live to witness how thoroughly we have tainted the rain. He died in 1968, just as scientists were beginning to document the damage from acid rain, and as the average global temperature—which had crept upward since the onset of the Industrial Revolution—was beginning to rise more steeply. Well before his death, however, he noticed other ways in which humans were despoiling our planetary home. He saw evidence of the damage in Kentucky hillsides stripped of trees, heard it in the roar of chainsaws and tractors clearing more of the monastery’s land. He learned with dismay that pesticides were poisoning birds. He agonized over the ravaging of the Vietnamese people and countryside by American bombs. Most alarming of all, he perceived in the escalating arms race a threat to all life on Earth.

    https://orionmagazine.org/article/conscience-and-resistance/

    You get no brownie points for winning an argument on social media nor scientific forums.

  12. 112

    One great exercise would be producing a standardised assessment of high emissions impacts that could be applied at international, national or subnational levels. That would start the debate about how countries/states/cities should respond to worst case scenarios.

    Lack of food, water, energy? Migration? Extreme events and loss of property? Economic crisis?

    That would bring light to the question that matter the most regarding climate change’s impacts: how societies will absorb and distribute the burden of dealing with it. Who will keep the lights on, and who will be in the dark?

  13. 113
    nigelj says:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/environment/news/article.cfm?c_id=39&objectid=12129155

    Now this is quite something “Germany has rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-powered train signalling the start of a push to challenge the might of polluting diesel locomotives.

    Hydrogen fuel cells are more co-friendly technology, creating electricity to power a battery and motor by mixing hydrogen and oxygen.

    The only emissions are steam and water with excess energy stored in ion lithium batteries on board the train.

    However, they are more expensive than the fossil fuel based trains commonly used in the region where they have been unveiled.

    Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains, built by French TGV bullet train maker Alstom, began running a 62-mile (100km) route between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany.

    The Coradia iLint trains can run for around 620 miles (1,000km) on a single tank of hydrogen, similar to the range of diesel trains.”

  14. 114
  15. 115
  16. 116
  17. 117
    Hank Roberts says:

    > the question that matter the most
    > regarding climate change’s impacts:
    > how societies will absorb and
    > distribute the burden …

    You should be reading

    http://www.ecoequity.org

    “Cascading biases against poorer countries”
    A response to du Pont et. al. in Nature Climate Change

    This is a quick notice of a brief “correspondence” piece, just published in Nature Climate Change.

    Cascading biases against poorer countries (see the sharable link at https://rdcu.be/MMbA) was written by an ad-hoc group of analysts and philosophers who got together in 2017 to respond to Equitable mitigation to achieve the Paris Agreement goals (the sharable link is https://t.co/vXFWgLDBOV), which du Pont et. al. published in December of 2016 in Nature Climate Change.

    Our published response to du Pont et. al., Cascading biases against poorer countries, is quite short, but we think it manages to make its core points. In a nutshell, our claim in that du Pont and his colleagues reach counter-intuitive conclusions (for example that the EU has made a more “equitable” pledge than either China or India) by way of a cascading series of decisions that, taken together, skew their approach towards various kinds of grandfathering, while, at the same time, appearing to be derived from a balanced and comprehensive set of high-level equity principles.

    A bit more . . .

  18. 118
    Mal Adapted says:

    nigelj:

    It’s not economically rational to make self sacrifices too much unless there is confidence that the whole system is going in the right direction in a coordinated effort. Why KIA can’t grasp this mystifies me.

    Well, IMO the least hypothesis is that IAT understands the drama of the Commons perfectly well, and his comments here are aimed at prolonging his free ride.

    OTOH, he may actually be in denial. We know (per Upton Sinclair) that it is difficult for a man to understand something, when his free ride depends upon his not understanding it.

    Either way, he clearly wishes to remain erroneous.

  19. 119
    nigelj says:

    Killian @104 says “On the other hand, there is no way to make any city, even small cities, regenerative. They require too many materials from the bio-region while returning little beyond unusable waste. There is no such thing as sustainable concrete and never will be.”

    Concrete isn’t sustainable in the purest definition of sustainability, but here are some interesting things:

    1) Concrete is sometimes crushed and reused as aggregate in new concrete.

    2) Concrete can be broken down by lightening bolts (apparently) into its component parts of aggregate and cement as below. This is effectively recycled concrete used to make new concrete.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121005123732.htm

    3) The component parts of concrete and cement are abundant. 0.25% of the earths crust is limestone so it’s incredibly abundant, many trillions of tons. Reserves of iron ore are reasonably abundant and recycling is easy.

    So its hard to see a need to be excessively frugal with the use of concrete.

  20. 120
    Hank Roberts says:

    > concrete

    Can last for millenia, the way the Romans made theirs, or for decades the way we make it now.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=roman+concrete+longevity

  21. 121
    Carrie says:

    Anders Wijkman at Swiss ECS
    The root cause is the way we organized the economy. We don’t distinguish between quality and quantity. Everything that is production, is looked upon as good. But of course this is a ridiculous concept today.

  22. 122
    Carrie says:

    119 nigelj says: So its hard to see a need to be excessively frugal with the use of concrete.

    Ah, nigel, don’t forget that thing called CO2 which is a production side-effect pollution of making cement/concrete. If it wasn’t for that no one would have ever cared about cement…. except maybe the steel that goes into construction.

  23. 123
    Carrie says:

    104 Killian, on point as usual, says: “indeed a planet of networked villages is exactly what is necessary. Yes, necessary. We have no choice.”

    Takes a Village to raise a child. As true as ever. Good villages raise good children into adults. eg the 7 generations ahead concept. It’s long road to get there. And I certainly wouldn’t be starting from here to get there (old Irish joke)

    I still think culling the wealthiest 10% is an idea who’s time may yet come. :)

  24. 124
  25. 125
    barn E. rubble says:

    RE: 4 Jonathan R says:
    3 Sep 2018 at 10:44 AM
    “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.”

    Yes. You’re not the 1st to notice &/or ask about moderators &/or site policy. This is unfortunate as I believe the original plan wasn’t a free-for-all, echo chamber but a site for adult science discussion and discovery. And by ‘discussion’ I mean being able to ask reasonable questions in a cordial manner without being pounced on as some sort of heretic attacking the faith of the believers. For the most part hosts have been both informative and polite in replies when they’ve had time to reply. I fully understand the time constraints of the host/guest scientists and that not every query or comment will be answered. The issue for me (and I’m sure many others) is with those that have too much time who will feel free to fill in for them. Someone once said, “The numbers don’t lie.” There can’t be a whole lot of head scratching here on why the numbers are down. Simply read though the comments of those with too much time to spare . . .

    Again, unfortunate.

  26. 126
    barn E. rubble says:

    RE: 123 Carrie says:
    23 Sep 2018 at 2:53 AM
    “I still think culling the wealthiest 10% is an idea who’s time may yet come. :)”

    I would think it was the bottom end that was the problem. Keeping in mind who’s most likely going to be in charge of the culling . . . just say’n. ;)

  27. 127
    mike says:

    Nigel at 119 says: “… its hard to see a need to be excessively frugal with the use of concrete.”

    Cement production is estimated to be 5% of global CO2 emissions.
    https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2012/05/09/emissions-from-the-cement-industry/

    I understand that excessively frugal is a term that leaves a lot of wiggle room, but you pose a different point of view if you note that it makes sense to be very frugal with the use of concrete because cement production is estimated to be 5% of global CO2 emissions.

    There are other options, lower CO2 cement alternatives. The last time I needed to buy a few yards of cement, I asked the local provider if they could deliver low CO2 emission cement based concrete. They wrote it all down, said they would check and call me back. No calls back.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferhicks/2014/06/23/green-cement-to-help-reduce-carbon-emissions/#73573c917097
    I just went to my regular cement guy who mixes on the spot in smaller batches at higher cost, he was not familiar with low CO2 emission cement.

    I suppose Nigel is right. No reason to go to too much bother when cement is only 5% of the global CO2 load.

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

    Mike

  28. 128
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @122

    “119 nigelj says: So its hard to see a need to be excessively frugal with the use of concrete.”

    “Ah, nigel, don’t forget that thing called CO2 which is a production side-effect pollution of making cement/concrete. If it wasn’t for that no one would have ever cared about cement…. except maybe the steel that goes into construction.”

    I didn’t forget. Did you not read the bit in my comment about recycled concrete, where the cement component can be separated out and reused? So this greatly reduces CO2 emissions. This was the main point made in the article I linked to.

  29. 129
  30. 130
    Killian says:

    #119 nigelj said So its hard to see a need to be excessively frugal with the use of concrete.

    Yes, I’m sure you’ve covered all the angles on this. Please tell me where you buy your concrete light bulbs. I need a few. Some concrete tires would be nice. Need some concrete wiring. Oh, and some nice, thin, concrete sheet would be great. Etc. I’ll make a list.

    /sarc

  31. 131
    Killian says:

    Re #124 Hank Roberts said Here’s something else you-know-who probably thought of first, years ago:

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/09/23/650485867/do-healthy-diets-protect-the-planet-as-the-u-n-meets-a-focus-on-sustainability

    Sure. I remember when the two ladies started up Food Tank. I was completely tapped out so couldn’t join, and without paying the fee you were locked out, so it went on without me. I’ve paid some attention over the years and have never been able to see how permaculture, which they claim as part of their ethos/vision, has any direct impact on what they are doing. They don’t seem to promulgate a vision so much as advocate on specific issues.

    Sadly, the article isn’t very useful and the headline is misleading as to content. That said, everything mentioned is worthy of attention, if the opportunity to lay out a broader vision was missed.

    The intro is the closest it gets to actually addressing the issue raised in the title, but even there nothing about sustainability – an issue of system – is really raised. The fact corporations, and the food they system they represent, are engaging in #greenwashing, not sustainability, is not even hinted at.

    Still, the question is rhetorical. The answer is, “Of course. Is the sky blue and water wet?” The problem with the question is it gets it backwards. Principle: Use and value diversity. Why would this not apply to food? Non-Big Ag food systems tend to still be much more diverse than what, say, a typical American eats. Ipso-facto, if you plant diversity, there is more diverse food. So, regenerative systems make more diverse food systems and save the planet at the same time.

    Bur you knew that, and the dig was stupid and childish.

    ——————–

    Re: Concrete

    Also, anyone know the difference between city and concrete? Both are currently unsustainable, so half of one, six dozen of the other, but since all the millions of other things found in a city are being ignored to cherry pick one unsustainable element of cities, I wondered.

  32. 132
    Hank Roberts says:

    > culling the wealthiest

    Cf. the conclusion of John Brunner’s 1972 The Sheep Look Up.

  33. 133
    Hank Roberts says:

    http://retractionwatch.com/2018/09/19/four-years-after-readers-raise-concerns-journal-finally-retracts-controversial-climate-paper/

    https://skepticalscience.com/f13_content_analysis.html

    … paints a picture that the effect of CO2 on climate is based solely on climate model simulations. They attack this strawman by cherry-picking statements to make climate models seem worthless. They ignore the fact that climate models have showed remarkable prediction skill, as is quite clearly shown in one of F13 primary sources of information, IPCC AR4 [3]. Then they just declare the effect of CO2 on Earth’s climate negligible.

    … argumentation on this issue is flawed because they completely ignore the empirical research on the climatic effect of CO2. …

  34. 134
    Hank Roberts says:

    From his Facebook page:

    Ken Caldeira

    We have a new paper out today in Nature Climate Change that compares the share in climate damage that different countries are likely to experience as the result of CO2 emissions with that country’s share of total CO2 emissions.

    India’s and Brazil’s share in climate damage is expected to be about four times bigger than their share in CO2 emissions. The US is pretty close to 1:1. China’s share in climate damages is expected to be only about 1/4 of their share in emissions. Further, Canada and Russia are projected, in this analysis, to benefit from climate change.

    The paper is behind a paywall, but if you want a copy, you can request a copy by emailing me at kcaldeira@carnegiescience.edu.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0282-y

  35. 135
    Bill Henderson says:

    As a climate activist who has worked in the BC forest industry I’d love to correct the mis-info but I haven’t the time and it’s (mostly) beside the point. But

    There is a very informative, innovative and useful new report on decarbonization called The Exponetial Climate Action Roadmap that is really worth your time.

    Intro page http://exponentialroadmap.futureearth.org/

    actual report http://exponentialroadmap.futureearth.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Exponential-Climate-Action-Roadmap-September-2018.pdf

    The report is groundbreaking because it uses the reduce emissions by half each decade (Rockstrom) Carbon Law which accents the need for immediate emission reduction instead of 2050, slow transition, timeframes. Secondly, it is focused upon what digital tech, dematerialization, circular economy, etc exponentially changing technologies and synergies can offer.

    The main criticism of the report is that it stays strictly within BAU and maybe does not fully recognize path dependence, inertias and neolib constraints on change. No talk of emergency government or governance innovation to handle trade treaties, etc.

    And it is strictly demand side. Reducing subsidies is the closest it comes to supply side policies. There is no mention of government regulated managed decline or other regulation of a now potentially fatal toxin. Building renewable capacity and electric cars isn’t necessarily emission reduction.

    But worth your time for the presentation, language and leadership alone, not to mention the roadmap organization and the fresh info of interest on almost every page.

  36. 136
    Phil L says:

    More research demonstrating why building with wood has a lower carbon footprint than alternatives including steel and concrete:

    In our study undertaken by scientists from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the University of Washington’s College of the Environment we evaluated various scenarios including leaving forests untouched, burning wood for energy and use of wood as a construction material.

    The 3.4 billion cubic meters of wood harvested each year accounts for only 20% of new annual growth. Increasing the wood harvest to 34% or more would have several profound and positive effects. Emissions amounting to 14-31% of global CO2 would be avoided by creating less steel and concrete, and by storing CO2 in the cell structure of wood products. A further 12-19% of annual global fossil fuel consumption would be saved, including savings from burning scrap wood and unsellable materials for energy.

    http://theconversation.com/swap-steel-concrete-and-brick-for-wood-wooden-buildings-are-cheaper-and-cleaner-25694

    That article in The Conversation includes a link to the peer reviewed paper, but here’s a direct link:

    Chadwick Dearing Oliver, Nedal T. Nassar, Bruce R. Lippke & James B. McCarter (2014) Carbon, Fossil Fuel, and Biodiversity Mitigation With Wood and Forests, Journal of Sustainable Forestry, 33:3, 248-275, DOI: 10.1080/10549811.2013.839386
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10549811.2013.839386

  37. 137

    I still think culling the wealthiest 10% is an idea who’s time may yet come. :)

    And I think murder is murder, even when proposed with smiley face and a sanitary euphemism.

  38. 138
    Fred Magyar says:

    Hank Roberts @ 129:

    ROFL! I love XKCD but that was perfect!

    He has a few good ones on statistics as well.

  39. 139
    Killian says:

    Re #135 Bill Henderson said There is a very informative, innovative

    How can it be called innovative when it goes nowhere near far enough, and suggested solutions on these very pages go farther and are more innovative?

    and useful new report on decarbonization called The Exponetial Climate Action Roadmap that is really worth your time.

    How is a non-solution/are non-solutions worth anyone’s time?

    The main criticism of the report is that it stays strictly within BAU

    Which means it is actually useless.

    But worth your time for… leadership alone

    But you as much as posted it’s extremely insufficient. How is that leadership? That it is BAU. How is that leadership?

  40. 140
    Hank Roberts says:

    Kevin, you should read (or re-read) the Brunner book. For its time, it had a lot to say about what was then the future — that we’re now living in. But it was science fiction, a genre that has published a lot of horrible ideas.

    Ray Bradbury commented that he wrote not to predict the future, but to prevent it.

  41. 141
  42. 142
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Kevin:

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

    Writer William Gibson made a similar remark in a 2007 interview:

    No one except possibly the late John Brunner, in his brilliant novel The Sheep Look Up, has ever described anything in science fiction that is remotely like the reality of 2007 as we know it.”

  43. 143
    Killian says:

    Re #123 Carrie said 104 Killian, on point as usual, says: “indeed a planet of networked villages is exactly what is necessary. Yes, necessary. We have no choice.”

    Takes a Village to raise a child. As true as ever. Good villages raise good children into adults. eg the 7 generations ahead concept. It’s long road to get there. And I certainly wouldn’t be starting from here to get there (old Irish joke)

    I still think culling the wealthiest 10% is an idea who’s time may yet come. :)

    It may well come, but if so, it will be one of two ways: Rebellion vs. the wealthy as everything falls apart or through resource reallocation – and by reallocation I mean the establishment of the concept that the planet belongs to none and all. From that basis, alone, in my opinion, can resources be managed so as to mitigate and adapt to climate *and* resource limits *and* degradation (pollution and direct destruction of ecosystems.)

    And thanks.

  44. 144
    Carrie says:

    [too much. Dial it down]

  45. 145
    Carrie says:

    Cutting humor and fiction can tell truths that non-fiction and science have no words for.

  46. 146
    Hank Roberts says:

    Who was the theoretician here claiming that permafrost can’t exist underneath a lake?
    Another reassuring theory slain by a damn fact, eh?

    The research tackled the central question now animating scientists who study permafrost soils, which can reach depths of nearly 5,000 feet …

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/arctic-lakes-are-bubbling-and-hissing-with-dangerous-greenhouse-gases/?utm_term=.0cb71b57dd95

  47. 147
    Carrie says:

    Well if humor can’t do the trick, how about one of the world’s best Philosophers?

    Slavoj Zizek: Steve Bannon’s Brussels plans threaten Europe’s liberal legacy

    “In the same way as Trotsky required the mobilization of a narrow, well-trained “storming party, of technical experts and gangs of armed men led by engineers” to resolve this “question of technique,” the lesson of the last decades is that neither massive grassroots protests (as we have seen in Spain and Greece) nor well-organized political movements (parties with elaborate political visions) are enough.

    Instead, we also need a narrow strike force of dedicated “engineers” (hackers, whistle-blowers…) organized as a disciplined conspiratorial group. Its task will be to “take over” the digital grid, and to rip it from the hands of corporations and state agencies which now de facto control it.

    WikiLeaks was just the beginning, and our motto should be a Maoist one: let a hundred of WikiLeaks blossom. The panic and fury with which those in power, those who control our digital commons, reacted to Assange is a proof that such an activity hits the nerve. There will be many blows below the belt in this fight – our side will be accused of playing the enemy’s hands (like the campaign against Assange for being in the service of Putin), but we should get used to it and learn to strike back with interest, ruthlessly playing one side against the other in order to bring them all down.

    Were Lenin and Trotsky also not accused of being paid by Germans and/or by the Jewish bankers? As for the scare that such an activity will disturb the functioning of our societies and thus threaten millions of lives, we should bear in mind that it is those in power who are ready to selectively shut down the digital grid to isolate and contain protests. Indeed, when massive public dissatisfaction explodes, the first move is always to disconnect the internet and cell phones.

    Or, to put it in the well-known terms from 1968, in order for its key legacy to survive, liberalism needs the brotherly help of the radical Left.”

    …..

    You wanna fight fair and be nice and polite in civil society today and still expect to win? Hahahaha, you too funny.

    As Bannon admitted recently to Michael Moore (see his doco or many interviews) the reason why Bannon’s insurgency won in 2016 was because they are not afraid to take “head shots” against their opposition. Liberals (and especially those sell-out Democrats in the USA) are pussies and so they lose every time the time.

    Hows that carbon energy use doing? Going down fast? CO2 decreasing is it? More efficient low carbon less intensive capitalist production coming online as we keep sucking up all those fancy products like driverless vehicles and self-driving expensive Teslas?

    Yay, nirvana is breaking out all over the world. Isn’t it?

    Excuse me while a try to promote a little more logical thinking based on evidence not myths. Thankfully I do not chose to make a habit of it.

    Please all return to insulting Victor at your leisure. :-)

  48. 148
    Carrie says:

    Now many heads will this fly over? :-)
    Black rapper’s ‘hang white people’ video triggers meltdown in France
    https://www.rt.com/news/439571-conrad-music-video-kill-whites/

    “The incitement to murder in Nick Conrad’s video is despicable and unbelievably violent,” LICRA tweeted.

    The video was designed to get people thinking by “reversing the roles,” he said, claiming the video was deeper than it looked.

    “I was not looking for the buzz, this video is supposed to make you think and not stay on the surface,” the rapper told RTL. “I do not understand people who do not go in-depth.”

    ………..

    Hey, me neither Bro! (smile)

  49. 149
    MA Rodger says:

    Meow!
    We learn @145 that apparently “Cutting humor and fiction can tell truths that non-fiction and science have no words for.” How would that work?
    And do the “fake promises” @144 constitute the “pocket full of mumbles” of the song? (Feel free to disregard any of this that you don’t want to hear, although be warned that such empty-headedness is unscientific.)

  50. 150

    #144, Carrie–

    I can ‘work it out’ that poorly thought-out scapegoating is always a bad idea. I can work it out that durable social change doesn’t proceed from ‘othering’ people. I can work it out that murder always has its justifications; in fact, a pretty good diagnostic of murder (as opposed to varieties of negligence) is that someone, somewhere, decided that the right to life failed to apply for some reason they perceived (or, as you did) rationalized as sufficient. And I have worked it out that the death penalty is immoral, no matter how emotionally satisfying some may find it, nor how sanctioned by custom it may be.

    Lastly, I’ve worked it out that homicidal fantasy is useless in creating a sustainable world.

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.