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Forced Responses: Dec 2018

Filed under: — group @ 2 December 2018

A bimonthly thread for discussions on solutions and responses to climate change. For climate science topics, please comment on the Unforced Variations thread.

697 Responses to “Forced Responses: Dec 2018”

  1. 101
    James says:

    Victor, the Climate Science Coalition is the American arm of the International Climate Science Coalition, the others being an Australian and a New Zealand branch (though it’s been claimed that they all originate, or originated, from the same IP address – Sourcewatch). They are on record as taking $45,000 from the Heartland Institute.

    http://conservativetransparency.org/recipient/international-climate-science-coalition/

    Next see,
    http://conservativetransparency.org/donor/heartland-institute/ (click View Record As Recipient)

    As you can see, Heartland has taken (and distributed) a lot of money from the corporately connected 1%. Thus, they seem to be acting as a sort of money launderer.

    Though that money could be a drop in the bucket though.

    “They do a good job of hiding. Unfortunately, our laws allow wealthy donors to funnel money through opaque brokers and anonymous shell companies. The dark money could be from the ultra-wealthy, rightwing Mercer family, from the Koch brothers’ empire, from ExxonMobil, from whomever–even a Russian oligarch. We get only occasional glimpses into these dark-money channels of influence in our political system, often through leaks or mistaken filings or extraordinary, painstaking research. It is not easy.”

    https://web.archive.org/web/20180502020041/https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/speeches/time-to-wake-up-web-of-deceit

    IOW, their information is biased and quite suspect, to say the least, since these donors also represent Big Oil and Coal. Knowing that blatant conflict exists should be enough to put any honest searcher on notice.

  2. 102
    Killian says:

    Re: U.S. population.

    These numbers are of little use to most, so thought I’d pare them down to human numbers.

    The current pop density of the U.S. is @ 92.2/sq mile (2017) or 0.144/acre. multiplying to get a pop density for 1.6B we end up with 4.9125 as the ratio. That gives us a whopping 0.707 persons per acre.

    1 sq mile = 640 acres or 43,560 sq ft. A typical city lot is about 3k sq ft. (30 x 100), so 14.5 lots or so equals an acre. A typical residential block, then, is 1.5 to 3 acres. 1/10 an acre, with a home *in Southern California*, can be made to feed a family of four and more. (Assuming a food bill of $300/family, ten small families. Higher food bill, fewer families.)

    Now, this is not arable land, but as a permaculturist, I don’t care what is or is not arable because we can make much of what is not arable productive and keep ecosystems intact while doing so. Still, arable land (which doesn’t mean land that *could* grow food, but that *is growing* food) is 1,632,444 acres doing agriculture. But what about grass?

    40 million acres. That’s a minimum of 40 people per acre, which is… 1.6 billion. So, if we just turned all the grass into food production there is the potential to feed the entire current population 5 times over, and all 1.6 billion with all that immigration. We can then feed the rest of the world with our farm land.

    Remember, much of the Americas and Australia were one big garden when Europeans invaded. and they lived within the world, not apart from it. They ate of it, and modified it to provide, but in such a way Europeans were clueless it had ever been thus until very, very recently.

    I am not minimizing the population issue. I take it very seriously. I have one son intentionally and think more than 2 kids is tantamount to a criminal act from this point forward. Actually, even more than 1 is. The exponents *will* get us, but at this time, right here, right now, population is not our limiting factor. We can feed a LOT of people. But it will be.

    What makes it a limiting factor is consumption of non-food items and industrialized food production. Under a regenerative paradigm, simplicity, it is not a limiting factor for quite a while in terms of being able to feed everyone. (But, 7.5 becomes 15 becomes 30 becomes 60… If we want a future, we take Zebra’s concerns seriously now to avoid 60 billion in the future, and we simplify as fast as is possible.)

    Because it will take time – though it needn’t; we could simplify the planet in five years or less, the only true limit being how quickly we can make all food production regenerative – to wind down, thus consumption will remain too high too long, we need to try to start limiting population now. But, again, it is, in fact, the least important issue over the next several decades *so long as we understand we must manage it for the long term, and that planning should be in place sooner rather than later.*

  3. 103

    #100, Victor–

    Took him about 15 seconds to get to the first outright lie–and that’s only if you don’t count the banner hanging in the background.

  4. 104
    Ron R. says:

    Kevin McKinney, #98.

    And in North American wilderness and periwilderness areas today, what is the threat?

    I’m resisting getting back into this debate, but I feel a need to point out the obvious interconnectedness of the biosphere.

    Please read Barnosky. Here’s one: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235752538_Approaching_a_state_shift_in_Earth's_biosphere

    Barnosky, et al, has been talking about a tipping point for earth’s biosphere to a “state shift” when 50% of the earth’s ecosystems have been changed. Snippets:

    More generally, dense human populations, roads and infrastructure, and land transformation are known to cause ecological changes outside the areas that have actually undergone sledgehammer state changes. Translating these principles to the planetary scale would imply that once a sufficient proportion of Earth’s ecosystems have undergone transformation, the remainder can change rapidly(Fig. 2)….

    Human population growth and per-capita consumption rate underlie all of the other present drivers of global change. The growth in the human population now (77,000,000 people per year) is three orders of magnitude higher than the average yearly growth from 10,000–400 yr ago (67,000 people per year), and the human population has nearly quadrupled just in the past century. The most conservative estimates suggest that the population will grow from its present value, 7,000,000,000, to 9,000,000,000 by 2045 and to 9,500,000,000 by 2050. As a result of human activities, direct local-scale forcings have accumulated to the extent that indirect, global-scale forcings of biological change have now emerged. Direct forcing includes the conversion of 43% of Earth’s land to agricultural or urban landscapes, with much of the remaining natural landscapes networked with roads. This exceeds the physical transformation that occurred at the last global-scale critical transition, when 30% of Earth’s surface went from being covered by glacial ice to being ice free….

    …it has already been demonstrated that at least 43% of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems have undergone wholesale transformation, on average equating to 2.27 transformed acres (0.92 ha) per capita for the present human population. Assuming that this average rate of land transformation per capita does not change, 50% of Earth’s land will have undergone state shifts when the global population reaches 8,200,000,000, which is estimated to occur by the year 2025. Under the same land-use assumption and according to only slightly less conservative population growth models, 70% of Earth’s land could be shifted to human use (if the population reaches 11,500,000,000) by 2060….

    Thresholds leading to critical transitions are often crossed when forcing sare magnified by the synergistic interaction of seemingly independent processes or through feedback loops. Given that several global-scale forcings are at work today, understanding how they may combine to magnify biological change is a key challenge. For example, rapid climate change combined with highly fragmented species ranges can be expected to magnify the potential for ecosystem collapse, and wholesale landscape changes may in turn influence the biology of oceans. Feedback loops also occur among seemingly discrete systems.

    More:

    http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/barnosky/a-d-barnosky-publications.html

    https://www.newsweek.com/endgametipping-point-planet-earthendgame-tipping-point-planet-earthanthony-d-603256

    And as for resources, the US far from impoverished, despite its overweening appetite for consumption.

    Again, we are not the only species on the planet. But we behaving as if we are, and the effects are clearly impacting the environment in a negative way – at today’s population levels – and have been especially since the beginning of the industrial revolution with amplification in consumption in around 1950. What kind of a world do we want?

    https://midmiocene.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/1950/
    https://midmiocene.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/knowing-the-score/

    I do acknowledge, btw, your concerns about population.

  5. 105
    dhogaza says:

    Victor’s youtube video is by Steve Goreham, Heartland Insitute.

    ’nuff said, Victor.

  6. 106
    Ron R. says:

    By the way, Barnosky does acknowledge that the 50% number is approximate:

    It is still unknown, however, what percentage of Earth’s ecosystems actually have to be transformed to new states by the direct action of humans for rapid state changes to be triggered in remaining ‘natural’ systems. That percentage may be knowable only in retrospect, but, judging from landscape-scale observations and simulations it can reasonably be expected to be as low as 50%, or even lower if the interaction effects of many local ecosystem transformations cause sufficiently large global-scale forcings to emerge.

    An interesting correlation with Edward O. Wilson’s idea of setting aside half of the earth as a nature preserve (though personally I believe it should be much higher. Don’t want retrospective regret).

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/01/science/e-o-wilson-half-earth-biodiversity.html

  7. 107
    Ron R. says:

    Ok, I’m just going to say it. I think the entire planet should be a nature preserve, i.e. we should plan our actions, not just with vision limited to our immediate gain, but also always with the welfare of the biosphere, and its many offspring in mind. To the “seventh generation” if you like.

    “This planet is not terra firma. It is a delicate flower and it must be
    cared for. It’s lonely. It’s small. It’s isolated, and there is no
    resupply. And we are mistreating it. Clearly, the highest loyalty we
    should have is not to our own country or our own religion or our hometown
    or even to ourselves. It should be to, number two, the family of man, and
    number one, the planet at large. This is our home, and this is all we’ve
    got.” ~ Astronaut Scott Carpenter

    https://midmiocene.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/a-glimpse-of-divinity/

    Naive, I know. Still I feel like we could be at the beginnings of an awakening.

    Nuff said.

  8. 108
    James Charles says:

    nigelj #79

    “Raw data show more global warming since 1880 than is reported by NOAA. This is because NOAA “adjusts” temperature data to fairly compare different measurement times, places, and technologies. The cooling effect of adjustments on global temperatures has been shown lots of times, such as with the graph below for 1880—2013 temperatures.”
    https://climatefeedback.org/claimreview/breitbart-repeats-bloggers-unsupported-claim-noaa-manipulates-data-exaggerate-warming/

  9. 109
    Hank Roberts says:

    I refute Victor thus:

    https://www.drawdown.org/solutions

    The objective of the solutions list is to be inclusive, presenting an extensive array of impactful measures already in existence. The list is comprised primarily of “no regrets” solutions—actions that make sense to take regardless of their climate impact since they have intrinsic benefits to communities and economies. These initiatives improve lives, create jobs, restore the environment, enhance security, generate resilience, and advance human health.

    In our book Drawdown, each solution is measured and modeled to determine its carbon impact through the year 2050, the total and net cost to society, and the total lifetime savings (or cost). The exception to this are our “Coming Attraction” solutions, which are a window into what is still emerging. For these solutions, we did not measure cost, savings, or atmospheric impact, but we illuminate technologies and concepts whose growth we will continue to watch.

  10. 110

    Ron R., #104, 106-7–

    Agreed. Elizabeth Kolbert’s Sixth Extinction is also relevant–I summarized it here.

    Ok, I’m just going to say it. I think the entire planet should be a nature preserve, i.e. we should plan our actions, not just with vision limited to our immediate gain, but also always with the welfare of the biosphere, and its many offspring in mind.

    Bravo. We’re the unfortunate heirs of the illusion that we are separate from nature (and relatedly, separate from one another). Our activities and processes are no less natural than anything else–such as, say, a cancer cell. But unlike carcinomas, we have the ability to choose and to modify said activities and processes such that we preserve the systems that support us.

    But it doesn’t seem inevitable that that’s what we will choose, at this point. Possible, yes–but not inevitable.

  11. 111
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Victor @100

    Real Climate is a website provided by working climate scientists to provide scientific information for interested people beyond that which is found in the mainstream media. I believe the purpose is to help people understand the state of the science better and to help people sort through the widespread misinformation promoted by fossil fuel interests. The forum provides a place where questions may be asked and the science can be discussed with the realization that accurate information should prevail through input from those that are knowledgable and by real climate scientists i.e. Real Science.

    Unfortunately there are some who abuse the site and come here to attempt to spread the fossil fuel misinformation with the pretext of providing alternative viewpoints. However, the real motive is easily recognizable because the information presented has generally not been vetted in anyway for accuracy nor are the sources qualified. These are things that are easily done by anyone. If such people were actually interested in truthful discourse and learning as per the site’s purpose, such information would not necessarily be cited as legitimate, but with the intent of asking for feedback and opinions on its veracity. That’s what honest people would do.

    But not Victor. So much for renewables…so much for honest discourse.

  12. 112
    Ron R. says:

    Killian, #102. So, if we just turned all the grass into food production there is the potential to feed the entire current population 5 times over, and all 1.6 billion with all that immigration. We can then feed the rest of the world with our farm land.

    By grass I assume you mean grasslands. Next we’ll be advocating for wholesale, worldwide deforestation to feed our need for lumber.

    It seems a hard concept for people to accept. We are not the only species on this continent or on this planet. In fact, we make up but a tiny fraction of 1% of all species. Yet we apparently believe that we are all that really matters, as the above comment aptly demonstrates (not intentionally, I suspect) appropriating at will resources for ourselves that belong to all. Again, there are lots of others here too, other lives (comprising an intricate, interwoven biosphere) which not only have the right to existence as well, but that we need – in their natural habitats, doing what they do.

    https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/grassland-songbird-populations-pressured-by-the-plow https://www.iucn.org/commissions/world-commission-protected-areas/our-work/grasslands

    “Covering ~8% (~9 mill. km2) of total global land cover, grasslands were once home to some of the largest assemblages of wildlife the earth has ever known. Today these grasslands are considered the most altered terrestrial ecosystem on the planet and are recognized as the most endangered ecosystem on most continents. Only a small percentage (4.5%) of this vast area is protected, not enough to guarantee the survival of the herds of wild ungulates that depend on them, or provide essential ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, and soil erosion control. Temperate grasslands have been cradling the needs of humans for millennia, however conversion for agriculture, fragmentation, development, and chronic overgrazing have severely degraded the natural ecosystem.”

    Remember, grasslands, prairie and savanna house elephants and giraffes, lions and bison, prairie dogs and songbirds etc, etc. etc. I don’t know about you, but I am not willing to lose songbirds just so we can have more people.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/prairie-grassland-birds-at-risk-wwf-1.4289550

    Still, we expand, and expand. But to what end? What’s the point? Talking about the population possibly someday limiting itself is not only the lazy man’s way of kicking the can down the road, but a delaying tactic and gift to the PTB so that things can continue BAU. Come on, how many people do we really need and want here? We’ve got to accept that there are unalterable, unavoidable limits to growth. Period. Yet if we refuse to accept it, limits will imposed upon us either by physical terrestrial space or by ecological collapse, and in either case life on this world would barely be worth living. So why not stop asap while it’s still a beautiful and functioning (though faltering) planet?

    My apologies for coming off as a “hair on fire” advocate. Now I’m going to turn off the computer and go do something else. Happy holidays.

  13. 113
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigelj: I also doubt you would get democratic societies to aim as low as 1.0. People feel insecure with just one child and socially its good to have 2.

    AB: There’s another variable you aren’t considering. The number of adults in a household is variable. Three couples can run a household far more efficiently than four couples can run three households. Add in a slew of elderly relations and you’ve got the proverbial village to raise three or four kids.

  14. 114
    Victor says:

    Re 101, 103, 105

    Regarding the lecture by Steve Goreham ( https://youtu.be/mtHreJbr2WM ):

    I share the view of the Heartland Institute held by so many of my fellow liberals and most definitely take everything emanating from that source with a huge grain of salt.

    At the same time I refuse to dismiss someone simply because he is associated in some way or funded to some extent by an organization which I tend to distrust. Since I too have been accused of being a shill for “big oil,” or the Koch brothers, which is most definitely not the case, accusations of that sort mean nothing as far as I’m concerned. I’ve also been accused of lying on this forum, which is also untrue, so accusations of THAT sort, emanating from the usual sources, also mean nothing. And as far as guilt by association is concerned, I lived through the McCarthy era so am immune to inferences of that sort as well.

    I found Goreham’s presentation convincing, largely because he offered convincing evidence from what appears to be reliable sources. If anyone here can provide proof that these sources are not reliable, and/or provide other sources that contradict Goreham’s claims, then please do so. Ad hominems count for little, however, especially on this forum, where they are so regularly invoked as a substitute for serious argument.

    As far as renewables per se are concerned, I’m all for them. In the long run, we wont have any choice but to rely on them — as fossil fuels run out — so by all means let’s have more research done in any and all such areas. If Goreham is right, however, then the notion that renewables will ever be much use in “fighting” climate change is seriously flawed.

  15. 115
    nigelj says:

    America need not fear extra population, providing it comes from immigration and doesn’t increase global total population numbers obviously. It’s population density is so low. Not suggesting a completely open door immigration policy either, because this would be overwhelming.

    http://m.statisticstimes.com/demographics/countries-by-population-density.php

    If you turned grasslands into crop farming agricultural output could hugely increase, and lower meat consumption has health benefits, but such a change comes with a problem. Grasslands cattle farming apparently creates an excellent carbon sink well known and easily googled. So its a challenging choice.

  16. 116
    Killian says:

    Re #107 Ron R and #110 McKinney

    Interesting that I have said simplification is our only option, permacultural simplification, which gives you your garden world, for about a decade, yet here we have this suggestion as if it’s some great pronouncement.

    LOL…

    Glad, though, to see you’ve been listening, after all. There’s much to learn. Climb aboard. The internet allows global teaching. Come learn what you need to learn to help grow that global garden. Like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9T4T-LqQJk&t=613s
    (I’ve been trying to find the video that shows what the place looked like before she started; it was bare.) Those who say we must live separately from Nature, set aside 50%, are deeply ignorant of the past First Nations of a very large portion of Earth and deeply ignorant of what people are currently doing. In fact, stuffing ourselves into cities and leaving all else to Nature would only destroy Nature because the cities offer nothing back. It’s a one-way drain. Foolish. Living like she does at Beltain shows we can enhance Nature. It’s a choice.

    This is relevant:

    https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/roy-sesana-right-livelihood-speech/

    This, too:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/14/reforesting-world-australian-farmer-240m-trees

  17. 117
    Killian says:

    Re #112 Ron R. said Killian, #102. So, if we just turned all the grass into food production there is the potential to feed the entire current population 5 times over, and all 1.6 billion with all that immigration. We can then feed the rest of the world with our farm land.

    By grass I assume you mean grasslands. Next we’ll be advocating for wholesale, worldwide deforestation to feed our need for lumber.

    Dear Ron,

    Please do not assume. Ask first.

    I said grass, not grassland.

    I am a permaculture designer and teacher. Please look this up if unfamiliar. This will help you understand your error of assumption.

    I appreciate your passion. We seem to be of similar minds.

    Happy Holidays.

  18. 118
    Killian says:

    Re #114,

    Dear Victor,

    If you hear someone say, “…there is no empirical evidence that increasing greenhouse gases are the primary cause of global warming,” you should b fully aware you are listening to a liar or a fool.

    If you continue to listen to them, you are the fool.

    Now, there are any number of reliable, trustworthy sources on why “renewables” can’t save us as currently being implemented, so citing a liar/fool is a foolish thing to do and marks one as, at the very best, naive. But I think we have here a case of confirmation bias.

  19. 119
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @113

    “Three couples can run a household far more efficiently than four couples can run three households. Add in a slew of elderly relations and you’ve got the proverbial village to raise three or four kids.”

    Yes in theory, and you think outside the box, but how likely is it the world would willingly adopt this model? It just seems we have been heading towards private households so the nuclear family, and I doubt western society would give that up too easily and even developing countries seem to aspire to this model. Im not saying this is good, just what is happening.

    Your idea seems unrealistic like various ideas proposed on various things around this website. I’m about promoting ‘realism’ – what might be reasonably possible. For example, I like your idea of non for profit companies as an alternative to to corporate greed and domination by the profit motive, because this seems at least plausible, and more likely to happen than everyone completely abandoning any form of corporate structure.

  20. 120
    Victor says:

    CCHolley: “I believe the purpose [of this forum] is to help people understand the state of the science better and to help people sort through the widespread misinformation promoted by fossil fuel interests.”

    If you truly believe AGW skepticism is driven solely, or even largely, by “fossil fuel interests” then you are not someone with a genuine interest in scientific discourse, but a conspiracy nut. Since there are a great many Internet forums devoted to all sorts of conspiracy theories, I suggest you find one devoted to the absurd notion that climate change skeptics are “deniers” paid off “by fossil fuel interests” and post your theories there. I would’t be surprised if Naomi Klein hosts a website of that sort — or your friend, Tamino, who forbids comments by anyone so “corrupt” as to challenge his certainties.

    As for me, I’m here to discuss the science and you won’t find a single post of mine that doesn’t focus on either the evidence relating to climate change, the scientific literature in this field, or the basic scientific principles used to evaluate such evidence.

    And for the record, no I am not sponsored, financed or influenced in any way by any organization on the right or left. And if you spend some time reading what’s posted on my blog, you’ll see that my politics is much closer to that of Bernie Sanders and Noam Chomsky than any oil baron.

  21. 121
    zebra says:

    Kevin McKinney (various#),

    “You do you, and I’ll do me.”

    I am doing me– trying to get some focus in the discussion.

    But here you are, “Bravo-ing” population reduction proposed by Ron, whose “personal preference” is for the Singapore approach, which is also known as “Sterilize The Undesirables”.

    And, talking about “nature preserves” and all the species that need protection, but not wanting to be tied down to working out how to achieve a minimum H… that’s minimizing harm to humans, remember?

    As I’ve pointed out in the past, most of what the people here claim to want– from KIA to Killian– would happen, without heavy-handed enforcement, and without proselytizing and moralizing leading to “conversion”– if population declines.

    And as I’ve also pointed out in the past, and you know very well, simple observation tells us that population decline occurs without enforcement or moralizing. But, there are clearly some kinds of predispositions or psychology that are impediments to discussing that.

    Perhaps only solutions that do require moralizing and enforcement are gratifying?

    BTW this

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/14/opinion/rural-america-trump-decline.html

    has a very informative comment thread.

  22. 122
    MA Rodger says:

    Victor the Troll @114,
    You tell us that you find “Goreham’s presentation convincing.” If that is true, it is because you are a moron. If it is not true, you are a liar.
    I couldn’t be bothered wasting my time watching the full 45-minute of the serving of bullshit you bring here. I did watch through to 4:20 where the combined Chicago diurnal and annual temperature range [plus weather] was shown to yield a temperature range of one hundred degrees fahrenheit and is then compared with global temperature change over the last 130 years. The prat on the stage managed to get a giggle out of the audience with that comparison.
    So Victor the Troll, this being part of “Goreham’s … convincing” presentation, do you really consider such a comparison is something a sensible grown-up would ever present? If you do, you must truly be a moron. If you don’t, why would you find a presentation that included such a hair-brained comparison “convincing”?

  23. 123
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Victor @114

    Will the path to full renewables be smooth and easy? Of course not. In my opinion (and many many others) the best policy is a revenue neutral carbon fee that makes the cost of fossil fuels closer to their actual cost to society. Thus the market can efficiently drive the best solutions and outcomes over the long term. Pricing carbon should eliminate the quirks that can arise from well meaning renewable policies that are not market driven.

    Follows are two sources on the state of renewables that are far more legitimate than anything one will ever see from the Heartland Institute.

    Deloitte–2019 Renewable Energy Industry Outlook:

    In 2018, the US renewable energy sector remained remarkably resilient, gaining ground despite uncertainty about the effects of federal tax reform legislation and a spate of new import tariffs. Output from utility-scale wind and solar capacity topped 8 percent of total US electricity generation through the third quarter of 2018, compared with 7 percent for the same period in 2017.

    https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/energy-and-resources/articles/renewable-energy-outlook.html

    REN21–Renewables 2018 Global Status Report:

    This year’s Renewables 2018 Global Status Report GSR reveals two realities: one in which a revolution in the power sector is driving rapid change towards a renewable energy future, and another in which the overall transition is not advancing with the speed needed.

    The REN21 Renewables 2018 Global Status Report (GSR) portrays a dynamic renewable power sector characterised by falling costs, increased investment, record-setting installation and new, innovative business models that are creating rapid change. Thanks to years of active policy support and driven by technology advances, rapid growth and dramatic reductions in costs of solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind, renewable electricity is now less expensive than newly installed fossil and nuclear energy generation in many parts of the world; in some places it is less expensive even than operating existing conventional power plants.

    http://www.ren21.net/status-of-renewables/global-status-report/

    So much for renewables

  24. 124

    #116, zebra–

    But here you are, “Bravo-ing” population reduction proposed by Ron…

    Not at all. I was “bravo-ing’ the proposal that *all* of Earth be treated as a nature preserve, which does not have anything directly to do with population policy. (“Implications for,” quite possibly, sure.) My previous comments on his population proposals stand, as far as I am concerned.

    The main point of what I said was that our illusion of separateness from nature is in itself a source of “H”. And I believe that to be true.

    Perhaps only solutions that do require moralizing and enforcement are gratifying?

    Moralizing is a persistent feature in human life; in fact a lot of discourse here can be seen as such, in that a good many of us are making prescriptive comments on a regular basis. (Clearly, I have myself, “bravo” just being the latest instance.) One may presume that there’s pleasure in it. How innocent or otherwise that pleasure may be I suppose to be variable, and hesitate to judge in general.

    Personally, and with reference to the population issue once again, I’d point back to my previous comments affirming the empowerment of women, education, and good public health (including robust contraception and pre-natal, perinatal, and postnatal care) as the primary means of keeping birth rates low. As you said, simple observation.

    And I’ll confess that I take a certain pleasure in the prospect of ‘not-enforcement.’

    (In a somewhat parallel case, I have defended the non-coercive nature of the Paris Accord as an advantage, not an instance of ‘toothlessness’, making the argument that any external sanctions one could possibly impose would already be minor in comparison with the costs of failure–and access to the treaty amounts to formal affirmation of that reality. In general, custom accomplishes far more than does law–though I don’t mean to imply here that law is useless or unnecessary. But it is secondary to custom, most of the time.)

  25. 125

    V 114: I share the view of the Heartland Institute held by so many of my fellow liberals

    BPL: Victor, you know damn well you’re not any kind of liberal, unless you’re using the 19th century definition of “liberal.” Who do you think you’re kidding?

  26. 126
    CCHolley says:

    RE Victor @120

    If you truly believe AGW skepticism is driven solely, or even largely, by “fossil fuel interests” then you are not someone with a genuine interest in scientific discourse, but a conspiracy nut.

    The role of the fossil fuel industry in funding, promoting and growing AGW denialism to what it is today has been well established and is well documented. The fact that almost 10% of the US population are hardcore AGW denialists that repeat the same old tired unsubstantiated denier memes merely shows the effectiveness of the fossil fuel funded campaigns. Equating recognizing the evidence for what it is to conspiracy theory is preposterous. Typical trash from Victor.

    Here are a few (of many) highly credible sources supporting what the fossil fuel industry’s role was that are well referenced. Conspiracy theory? What a joke.

    Merchants of Doubt
    https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942

    Dark Money
    https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radical/dp/0307947904

    The Climate Deception Dossiers (2015)
    https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/fight-misinformation/climate-deception-dossiers-fossil-fuel-industry-memos#.XBUYkS2ZMnU

    Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-climate-change-almost-40-years-ago/

    Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/15/leak-exposes-heartland-institute-climate

    As for me, I’m here to discuss the science and you won’t find a single post of mine that doesn’t focus on either the evidence relating to climate change, the scientific literature in this field, or the basic scientific principles used to evaluate such evidence.

    ROFLMAO

  27. 127
    nigelj says:

    Zebra ,

    Smaller population is highly desirable, but doesn’t solve every environmental, social or economic problem obviously. You cannot escape the need for reduced levels of per capita consumption at least medium term, laws and regulations and some level of personal transformation to more enlightened values.

    We just need to be realistic about what is possible.

    You keep asking for specific population policies. Such policies are easily googled and plenty of good ones do exist so why do you keep asking?

    The population problem requires political policies. The solution is putting in the hard work, lobbying your local politicians, forming a political party, or lobby group.

  28. 128
    Mr. Know It All says:

    100 – Victor
    I watched it. I think it is persuasive, and I would like to see comments on why he is wrong, but no one here seems to understand why he is wrong – they are just attacking the speaker, and maybe he’s full of crap; if so, it should be an easy task to show where he gets it wrong. I think the video is good enough to warrant an RC article, with scientific comments refuting it, not political attacks. I commented on the video on unforced variations because I thought it was about climate science rather than mitigation/politics, but it went to the bore hole. :)
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-bore-hole/comment-page-38/#comment-714707

    [Response: What I don’t get is how – if you are genuinely interested in this subject and have learned even the simplest things- you think Goreham has anything of value to discuss? Take his very first ‘science’ statements. Starts off with a result from a paper of mine, which he doesn’t really understand. Skip past that and then he pulls a sleight of hand and uses the difference in annual emissions of CO2 to make a totally false claim about concentrations of GHGs (neglecting both the uptake of CO2 which is bigger than the natural emissions and the feedbacks of water vapor). Did you simply not notice? It isn’t even an original bit of fakery. This is beyond silly and unworthy of any serious discussion. – gavin]

    103 – Kevin, 105 – dhogaza, 111 – CCHolley, 118 – Killian
    It’s easy to call someone a liar, or a fool, paid by big oil, etc, but it is more difficult to state in scientific terms why they are wrong.

    On the discussion of grassland, wilderness, food production, etc – I have noticed that huge portions of the western US are irrigated, and producing crops eaten by animals and humans. I’m wondering if and/or when that water will run out. If it does, our food production capability will drop significantly.

  29. 129
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Quick, whip out your calculator. How many square miles of solar panels, and how many megatons of batteries would it take to run this one town?
    https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/united-states/new-york/new-york/new-york-skyline.html

  30. 130
    Ron R. says:

    Zebra, #121. But here you are, “Bravo-ing” population reduction proposed by Ron, whose “personal preference” is for the Singapore approach, which is also known as “Sterilize The Undesirables.”

    Ug. Here I am taking the bait. But I can’t let a comment like that stand.

    Seriously? You’re claiming that I said that? Wow. For the record here’s my mention of sterilization.

    Let’s go in order.

    First in broaching the subject of population on another thread I said: “Despite what opponents of population control insist, it’s not about draconian solutions (a few idiot comments by worried past notables excluded). It’s actually about loving and trying to preserve the good in the human race and our reason for being, and wanting the best for future generations – a happy life, not a wasted world. Yet not just for people, but for all of the other species that share, and have a perfect right to share, this still beautiful world with us.”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/11/4th-national-climate-assessment-report/#comment-713928

    Did you note that I said that it’s not about draconian solutions? That would include forced sterilization, which I assume you were implying that I advocate.

    Then you asked: “OK, what’s your plan?…” and what I would do if I were “running for president”.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/11/4th-national-climate-assessment-report/#comment-713953

    My answer was, “…what would I do if I had the ability? First, listen to what people, especially biologists, are saying, what conclusions they are reaching after all this discussion. Then implement the best ideas. Personally, I like the idea of paying women not to procreate, or try to keep thing below the replacement/attrition level. Discover what the optimum human population should be and work towards that. I’ve heard one billion, but it’s open. Restructure our aggressive pro-growth economy. Etc. But before we can do that, begin the talk.”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/11/4th-national-climate-assessment-report/#comment-713986

    No mention of sterilization there.

    Then you asked, “So you are going to run for USA president on a platform that includes ‘paying women not to have children’. Got it. Could you flesh that out a little? Just a ballpark monetary figure, to begin with.”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/11/4th-national-climate-assessment-report/#comment-714050

    Then, continuing on this Forced Responses thread, you said, “And, of course, if Ron R wants to offer some concrete specifics on how we go about ‘paying women not to have children’, perhaps this approach can be incorporated into the calculations”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/12/forced-responses-dec-2018/#comment-714235

    To which I replied (with a link to a Wikipedia article that discussed it at the end): “#6. I have relatives who live in Singapore. I’m told that that small city-state had a population problem in the past but instituted financial incentives to reduce it. It worked so well, the population dropping below replacement level, that they had to reverse it. I looked up the associated policies and some of them sound a bit harsh and nascent. Clearly they weren’t sure what they were doing, they just knew they had to do something soon. But the fact is financial incentive worked.”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/12/forced-responses-dec-2018/#comment-714316

    Yes, voluntary (Voluntary Sterilization Act) tubal ligation was/is one part of their policies. I didn’t say that I agreed or disagreed with it if that was a woman’s choice. However, tubal ligation was not the only way mothers could receive money to limit births. From that same article, “Starting 1993, the sterilisation cash grant for lowly educated women was liberalised, allowing women to agree to use reversible contraception rather than sterilisation; educational bursaries for existing children were added as existing benefits, so long as the number did not exceed two.[14]”
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_planning_in_Singapore. I also agreed with Nigel’s suggestion about using tax incentives. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/11/4th-national-climate-assessment-report/comment-page-2/#comment-714139

    Since you asked me multiple times for solutions such as here: “But you apparently don’t want to actually discuss solving the problem.”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/11/4th-national-climate-assessment-report/#comment-714104

    So I gave a list of ideas here, (again, no mention of sterilization):
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/11/4th-national-climate-assessment-report/comment-page-2/#comment-714201

    Again and again I’ve emphasized education and public discussion. And I quoted from the World Scientists Warning To Humanity where they say, further reducing fertility rates by ensuring that women and men have access to education and voluntary family-planning services, especially where such resources are still lacking….estimating a scientifically defensible, sustainable human population size for the long term while rallying nations and leaders to support that vital goal.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/11/4th-national-climate-assessment-report/comment-page-2/#comment-714201

    Now if you have a cite that I’ve forgotten where I said that “my personal preference is to sterilize the undesirables” then by all means let’s see it.

    I hope that clears things up.

  31. 131
    Ron R. says:

    Kevin McKinney, #110. Thank you. I’m part way through your review of Elizabeth Kolbert’s book, The Sixth Extinction, and am enjoying it.

    Killian, #117. My apologies for misunderstanding you comments in #102.

  32. 132
    Al Bundy says:

    Victor defends his honor…
    Do
    AB: Well, tis true that you rarely, if ever lie to anyone but yourself.

    And you’re no shill. Which reminds me that prostitutes call sluts “fools who give it away”.

    Dude, you’ve got a published paper, academic credentials, and a book. Quit being a fool. You’d not only pocket serious coin but your ideas would find fertile soil if you’d market your talent Trumpwards…

    Nigel,

    When designing an alternative system, one can’t be terribly concerned with getting from here to there, which is a separate issue.

    My plan is to shove the printing-press levels of cash flow from the engine and other inventions into the alternative tax sphere of the nonprofit, with the “societal good” objective being to slaughter capitalistic industries from the most profitable and income unequal on down.
    And the household I described above wasn’t a stretch – the issues are:

    opportunity – the construction of multisingle residences (where multiple adult “households” cluster around a family-oriented core)

    Motivation. Ahh, employee housing benefits combined with social science experiments are a grand way to spend some tax-free cash…

  33. 133
    Carrie says:

    Good to know I;m not so alone these days. Finally others are waking up to to the reality and the facts of the matter. Not only that but they are speaking to it and standing up for it.

    Including little 15 year old girls like Greta with more brains and scientific logic than the entire body of global collection of politicians and corporate whores put together.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6s8YgRH5T0

    This civilisation is finished: so what is to be done?

    @20:00 mins

    “This waking up process is not necessarily particularly pleasant or easy. It may involve you

    for example, if you’re willing to go through it, experiencing some despair. It certainly

    should involve you experiencing some fear, and some, well a lot of sadness. If you’re not sad

    about what’s happening, if you’re not afraid in the context of the kind of thing I’m saying,

    then you’re not paying attention. In fact we can go further than that I think.

    There’s a wonderful new branch of psychology called eco psychology and what the Eco

    psychologists argue is that the despair, the fear, the sadness, the rage that we feel in this

    kind of context is rational. It could even be described as a kind of consciousness arising

    from the earth itself. In the sense that we are feeling what we are doing to our beautiful

    planetary home.

    And those kind of feelings are appropriate. If you’re not feeling suddenly some of those

    feelings, you’re not feeling some of them right now, well then one suspects there might be

    something wrong with you.”

    @ 23:11 mins

    “It’s really unhealthy to keep all this in the confines of your own mind. Let me tell you a

    very quick story about how ‘The Green House facing up to Climate Reality Project” started we

    decided we needed to have a conversation among ourselves in the core team at green house of

    what was happening in relation to climate was it enough etc. and we started off and what we

    had to say in the go-round was ‘What do you think is going to happen and what are your

    feelings about it?’

    If I remember rightly I was the first person to go and I said something like:
    ‘Well what I think is gonna happen is that very probably there is going to be a collapse. And

    all of my feelings about it: I’m terrified for myself let alone for people who are younger

    than me, and I feel very lonely in it, I feel very alone in it. Because I think that no one

    else is really thinking this.’

    And the next person went and they said pretty much the same and then the next person said

    pretty much the same and what was interesting about that was that by the time we’ve gone

    around two things had emerged.

    Firstly that the feeling that some of us had had, certainly that I had had that maybe I could

    have sort of hold on to some hope that maybe I was wrong because maybe it was only me who was

    thinking this, well that was gone right. No it turned out that everyone else has been secretly

    thinking it as well.

    But then the second thing was more encouraging and more liberating which was: ah so actually

    we can talk about it, it’s not just me. We can talk about it in a group and perhaps if we’re

    having this conversation, starting to realize that we’ve all really got this fear, perhaps lots of other people out there who have it too.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzCxFPzdO0Y

  34. 134
    Dan says:

    re: 120. ” I’m here to discuss the science…”
    That statement is truly disingenuous. Time and time again you have shown that you do not know the scientific method. Nor any understanding of statistics. That is unequivocal. People have bent over backwards trying to educate you but you fail to make any effort to learn. You only regurgitate what you want to believe and primarily from non peer-reviewed sources. You ought to be ashamed. Seriously.

  35. 135
    Ron R. says:

    Killian, #116. Some thoughts on your links and comments. First on the permaculture video from Ireland. I love this way of gardening, and agree that her land looked lovely, and definitely more biodiverse than the land to the side of it. It obviously took time, she says 13 years, and hard work, but paid off. I try to live this way as well and love such lush life. There are a lot of sites on small space, or “tiny gardens” and urban and backyard forests. And I agree with your comments re: simplicity. That said, I have a few concerns, though it sounds like you are better acquainted with the practice of permaculture than I am and can correct my possible misunderstandings on it.

    1. Again, this is in Ireland, which she mention is very wet. That kind of wetness is a boon to growth. Rains are like ambrosia to plants. But they aren’t so globally regular. Sure water can be brought in from other areas, and one can somewhat alter a local areas climate by planting to “attract” more rain, but I’m not sure how successful on a world basis it would be.
    2. Turning the world into a giant permaculture garden, while it would be beautiful, it would also be ignoring the fact that the earth has many different biomes, and that each has its own set of evolved plants and animals that need that land to stay in way. Again, we’d be adding to the world’s transformation in the harmful way that Barnosky describes. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gloss5/biome/
    3. She mentions that she plants whatever will grow, and doesn’t give thought to the native/non-native issue. That’s would be a big issue to a lot of biologists https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/invasive-plants/ . Personally, on a fanciful level, I’ve wondered at times if our “role” here is to do exactly what we are doing, spreading non-native plants everywhere to mix things up evolutionarily, especially far in the future after the waves of inevitable extinctions that will follow from all the plant wars. But like I said, it’s purely speculation, and the fact of the matter is that those wars and resulting extinctions, not just of native plants, but animal species that depend on them is not speculation. Barnowski seems to allude to this when he says, ”the ultimate effects of changing biodiversity and species compositions are still unknown…”, but he goes on to warn of dangers – Approaching A State Shift In Earth’s Biosphere
    4. Turning city lots into agriculture sounds like a great idea. On that land next to hers it looks pretty virgin. But I’d be pretty hesitant about the healthiness of food grown on presently vacant lots in, say, Los Angeles because of pollution. Maybe permaculture has considered this though.
    5. Roy Sesana mentions that he’s been told that his people have been hunting too many animals, but he thinks they’re wrong. Hunting is something that his people have always done, it’s embedded in their genes, and therefore is as unquestioned and unquestionable as western cultures find the Bible to be. My guess, though, is that there’s truth in the accusation. As others have pointed out here, Africa is slated to grow the fastest of all continents. That won’t give wildlife much of a chance in the future if the practice of hunting continues unabated. Already, lots of species are dropping away into the black night of eternity. Like humanity’s deep seated drive to fill the world with us, I believe that hunting is an obsolete practice based on continuing to do what we’ve always done, which in the prehistoric past, because our numbers were much much less, had small effects, but that don’t now and especially won’t in the future.
    6. You mention in 102 that you don’t believe that population is an urgent issue, but that’s not what science is telling us.

  36. 136
    nigelj says:

    BPL & CCHolley

    I think you normally well informed people are wrong to claim Victor is not a liberal and has some hidden agenda. I don’t think he is politically driven, secretly a conservative, or pushing business interests, because there’s nothing like that in his rhetoric, and he has expanded on his liberal positions in some detail.

    Not all liberals accept agw climate change, although it seems the majority do from polling.

    If Victor is hiding some agenda, he is doing a good job of it. He could be, but I doubt that he is.

    I think Victor is partly driven by a reluctance to change his lifestyle. He has made this obvious in various comments.

    But Victor is essentially a ‘contrarian’. He is one of those characters with an extreme form of scepticism about science in general beyond what is normal. He has mentioned his scepticism of other scientific matters.

    The scepticism gets compounded because he doesn’t think in a scientific cause and effect sort of way, which is absolutely obvious, so simply doesn’t grasp half of what you guys say. His scepticism means he also doesn’t “want’ to grasp it so you have a double whammy here.

    I had a school friend who was top of the class in most subjects, but near the bottom in science and maths, possibly due to a lot of broken schooling, and he reminds me of Victor.

    But anyway, I think more of his comments should be bore holed because of the repetition.

  37. 137
    John Sadowsky says:

    Jordan Peterson’s podcast recently interview Lomborg:

    https://jordanbpeterson.com/podcasts/59-bjorn-lomborg/

    They grossly misrepresented climate science – claiming that the worst case effect would be a 2-4% loss of GDP by 2100, and that any action is wasted money. I posted a reply on Peterson’s Reddit page:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/JordanPeterson/comments/a6iu22/jordan_peterson_podcast_59_bjørn_lomborg/

    It is getting upvotes. I’d love to have some real climate scientists jump into that thread. It will take some more upvotes to get Peterson’s attention.

  38. 138
    zebra says:

    #130 Ron R,

    Ron, I have “personal preferences” about some things, like how to optimize the generation of electricity with the reduction of fossil fuel use. I’ve described the structure of my idea and had interesting discussions on RC about how it would all work. Without doing that, it’s just hand-waving or rhetoric, and the discussions help refine the proposed solution.

    I asked you two simple questions about your “personal preference” of paying women not to have children:

    How much would you pay them, and which women.

    The only concrete response you gave was the Singapore reference. Absent you putting more flesh on your proposal, I took that as indicative of what you think would be a good idea– you said “it worked”, right?

    So, accounting for inflation, I’m guesstimating that your plan would be to pay “lowly educated women” something like $15-20,000, to be “voluntarily” sterilized, right?

    Maybe you could elaborate on how you see the reversible long-term contraception option working, since you present that as an alternative.

    Again, how much would you pay them, and which women?

  39. 139
    Ron R. says:

    Oh, before I’m misunderstood, I realize that hunting is the primary means of eating for indigenous populations around the world. I’m just saying that if the practice continues, and even increases as the population grows, an already dwindling fauna could well be pushed over the edge. Thus, as the World’s Scientists Warning states, we need to “remedy defaunation”.

    Now how to do that is another question.

  40. 140
    CCHolley says:

    Mr. KIA @129

    It’s easy to call someone a liar, or a fool, paid by big oil, etc, but it is more difficult to state in scientific terms why they are wrong.

    Actually usually not that difficult, but it does take time and becomes tiresome to have to repeatedly debunk the same old trash often from the same tiresome people who do not show a willingness to actually take the time to learn the science behind what they post or link beforehand. You know, those who pretend to be interested, but don’t make the effort to learn basic science but claim they do.

    I think it is persuasive, and I would like to see comments on why he is wrong, but no one here seems to understand why he is wrong – they are just attacking the speaker, and maybe he’s full of crap; if so, it should be an easy task to show where he gets it wrong.

    And apparently you are too lazy or incapable of sorting through any of this on your own?
    Here is your assignment for today:
    https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    BTW, who claimed that anyone in particular on this site was paid by big oil?

  41. 141
    zebra says:

    #124 Kevin McKinney,

    “custom, law,…” and so on

    Well yes, Kevin, we agree, but that does not excuse us from articulating how to achieve the desired mix. “Affirming” doesn’t really cut it.

    And so, I point out the obvious yet again.

    If there were a stable population of 300 million humans globally, then the planet would be a “nature preserve”, requiring no declarations, nor any “morality” with respect to preserving other species.

    People could live in cities, or suburbs, or exurbs, or yurts, as they preferred and the economics permitted. They could write software, or they could hunt bison on the great grasslands that would then exist. And the “footprint” would be minimized, by eco-nomics in a broad sense.

    But we are where we are now, and we know what conditions would move things in that direction, but there is great reluctance to discuss how those conditions could be promoted, beyond “affirmation”.

  42. 142

    Mr. KIA, #129–

    How many square miles of solar panels, and how many megatons of batteries would it take to run this one town?

    OK, I’ll play.

    If we take the consumption of NYC to be ~1 billion MMBTUs–

    https://www.nycedc.com/economic-data/july-2013-economic-snapshot

    and if an “MMBTU” is a million BTUs, as is apparently the practice in the natural gas industry–

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

    then in GW-hours, that’s:

    293,071,070

    http://www.unitconversion.org/unit_converter/energy.html

    Which is 293+ Petawatt-hours, which seems wrong, since Wiki gives *world* annual primary energy consumption as ~158PWh:

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

    So I’m assuming source #1 screwed up their units, in line with the ambiguity of nomenclature by which “MBTU” may mean either a *thousand* BTU, or a million. That would mean that NYC uses 293+ Terawatt-hours yearly. (Note that’s primary consumption, so everything including heating and transportation–not just electrical generation.)

    If we take the average annualized power density of solar PV to be ~15 W/m2, as here:

    https://www.masterresource.org/smil-vaclav/smil-density-new-renewables-iv/

    –then that bakes in assumptions about day length, weather, etc. (as well as a guesstimate for the improvement of the conversion efficiency since that post was written). That gives:

    15 Mw/km2

    Hours in the year are, of course, 24 x 365, or 8760. (Yes, I must count them all, since the empirical estimate of power density already ‘baked in’ non-sunlit hours.) So,

    15 x 8760 Mw-hours/km2, or 131.4 Gw-hours/km2

    Then 273 Tw-hours/131 Gw-hours/km2 x 1000 (for unit conversion) gives us:

    ~2094 km2.

    That’s roughly 3x the area of NYC itself (not the metropolitan area). On the other hand, the area of New York State is 141,300 km2, which puts our hypothetical ‘NYC mega-solar park’ at a couple of ticks under 1.5% of the state.

    Cross-checking, the Solar Star (1 & 2) park in California is the largest in the world for which annual production is listed–

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

    It produces 1,664 Gw-hours a year on 13 km2, for a unit output of 128, which compares pretty well with the estimated 131 I used above. You’d need 160 or so Solar Star-sized parks to produce one NYC-worth of energy (though note, once again, that that would account for everything–heating, transportation, etc.) It may seem daunting, but note that for actual use, it can now be the case that building and running such a park is cheaper on a watt-for-watt basis than *just operating and maintaining* an existing coal plant.

    I’m not going to get into the batteries needed, though, because solar-only is a ridiculously artificial scenario which would require large amounts of approximation and assumption to calculate, with little actual insight resulting. Real-world proposals always include other forms of renewable energy besides solar.

    In this connection, note California’s Alta Wind Energy Center, which features a nameplate capacity of ~1.5 Gw, and produces 2,680.6 GWh annually, net:

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

    That’s also on roughly 13 km2 (i.e., 3200 acres). New York could achieve comparable numbers by going off-shore–it wouldn’t have to be in their own rather restricted state coastal waters, since they already import a lot of their energy anyway (including emissions-free Canadian hydropower from Quebec). There’s also Lake Erie, if they want to go that route; it’s pretty windy and quite shallow, which makes for cheaper turbine foundations. (Lake Ontario has scope, too, but is a whole lot deeper and so less attractive economically.)

    Ohio is already dipping a toe in that particular water:

    http://www.leedco.org/index.php/about-icebreaker

  43. 143

    KIA, #128–

    You want specific critiques? OK, here’s a few. (Note: my comment above is inaccurate in that the link took me, not to the actual beginning of the video, but to a point 40 minutes or so in. So it was essentially 15 seconds to the first lie from a random point, apparently. But this comment’s time stamps are correct, albeit cued to the *end* of the relevant statement.)

    1:07–Misstates goal of climate protestors as a “superstitious” demand to “control climate”. Demonstrably false.

    1:10–“If they change their light bulbs they can save polar bears.” Ditto, albeit clearly pure rhetoric, as opposed to logic.

    1:14–Ditto, WRT wind turbines and rising seas.

    1:19–Ditto, electris cars and severe storms.

    1:43–Points out that almost everyone thinks he’s wrong, but labels it “climatism”. Again, pure rhetoric–and pure name-calling. It doesn’t even rise to the level of ad hominem.

    2:06–“Lower-energy infrared radiation”–a poorly-formulated description apparently confusing energy and entropy. Invites audience confusion by obfuscating the fact that energy in and out must balance in the big picture.

    2:20–Accepts that GHGs do “tend to warm the surface of the Earth.” Duly noted…

    2:49–Reasonably accurate round numbers for CO2 concentrations, and human attribution thereof.

    3:0–Reasonably accurate approximation of observed temperature rise.

    3:17–Multiple errors and confusions. First, he ignores that “projections” of “much faster” temperature rises involve assumptions, which is a critical point to understand. (How much carbon will we emit before 2100?)

    Second, “much faster” is questionable; if we accept his (conservative) 0.8 C warming, then 3 C would obviously involve 2.2 more degrees over 8 decades, for an implied rate of 0.275 C/decade. That’s about double the observed trend, per GISTEMP, which is considerable. But is 2x really “much” faster? Or would a reasonable person take “much” as 3, 4 or more times faster? And (FWIW, I’d argue that a better approximation would be 1 C to date, which would imply a projected rate of 0.25 C/decade, which is only about 1.5x.)

    Third, and most important, he’s already excluded vast swathes of ‘basis’ for the extant theory–for instance, numerical modeling of current weather and past climate, as well as paleoclimate evidence, and *very* large amounts of empirical work umderpinning our grasp of the fundamental physics and meteorology.

    3:40–“No empirical evidence that greenhouse gases are the Primary Cause [sic] of global warming.” Well, that’s not what the scientific literature says–cf., 5 Assessment Reports, summarizing precisely that empirical evidence. So, a flat-out lie. He may *dispute* that evidence, or he may try to spin the meaning of “empirical”, just as a debater taking the ‘con’ side tries prove that her opponent’s argument is either off-topic or insignificant in context. But he can’t successfully assert that it simply doesn’t exist.

    3:45–Why is he quoting the *3rd* AR, of 2001, in 2018? Plus, “projections…”

    4:48–Well, that’s a minute of my life I’ll never get back! Gee, you mean that the change in mean is small compared to the total extent of the range? Who’da thunk? Again, pure rhetoric, no logic.

    5:28–“Climate has been changing throughout Earth’s history…” OK, check another rhetorical box off the Denialist’s checklist… Still no actual logic, though.

    6:16–“There’s nothing there today but scrub grasses; it’s cooler there today.” That doesn’t follow at all. Trees, once extirpated from a region, whether by climate change or human over-exploitation or both, don’t magically pop up from the ground. Seeds must be brought in by some physical agent. They must also be able to compete with the established grasses, which is by no means a given. But the “Vikings in Greenland” box can be checked off.

    6:32–“Very tough time in Europe–shorter growing seasons, famine…” Wait, I’m confused! I thought changes of ~1 C in the mean temperature were supposed to be irrelevant because they are so small compared with the annual range?

    7:08–The existence of natural climate change says nothing about the possibility of “unnatural” climate change, just as the fact that fire is a natural phenomenon doesn’t imply that humans can’t set it. Straw man argument…

    7:50–Pretty sure that’s the GISP Greenland temperature graph–and it only runs up to 1950 or so (and is only good for its actual location high on the ice cap.) So it doesn’t reflect recent, or global, warming. Don’t know if Goreham knows that, though. If he does, it’s lying. If he doesn’t, it’s incompetence or carelessness.

    8:03–More rhetoric, this time about how short the instrumental record is WRT GISP. But note that he aligns the end of the temperature record with the end of the GISP record, implying he doesn’t actually know that the end of GISP is ~1950. Incompetence, then.

    8:11–Accuses US government of being “misleading” by only referencing the instrumental record, when he only references GISP, making no reference to serious reconstructions of *global* temperature–which actually *support* the summation he is trying to criticize. Again, prevarication or incompetence? I’m guessing the former this time, because I’m pretty sure he has heard of said reconstructions…

    8:44–More clever rhetoric. He’s actually changed the topic sneakily; a moment ago he was critiquing the claim that recent climate is unprecedented on a time scale of a millennium or two; now he presents evidence that the climate in northern Canada may be cooler now than ~5000. The conclusion he’s inviting people to draw is that those crazy ‘alarmists’ are just out of touch. But the reality is that mainstream paleoclimatology has thought quite a long time that the warmest period of the present interglacial was probably several millinnia back.

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

    “The Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) was a warm period during roughly the interval 9,000 to 5,000 years BP.”

    8:53–“You guys use kilometers. What is that? I don’t know.” Somebody calling himself a scientist can’t convert 1,000 miles into kilometers? Really?? You’d think an electrical engineer would remember that much about SI, especially when he spent his career developing radio com gear for Motorola… but I digress.

    9:52–A twofer of cherry-picking and strawman (or glacier). Yes, it may be true that the Mendenhall Glacier was smaller 1,000 years ago than today. But that does not show that *global* temperature was warmer then (see point above.) And it certainly doesn’t show that human-induced climate change isn’t causing it to shrink today. (See point above.)

    Well, that’s 10 minutes worth of crap. Yet to make an actual scientific argument, but has managed a number of dishonest, incompetent, or misleading statements. And he hasn’t even got to the part Gavin was talking about yet. I’m done; I desperately need to get some actual work done.

  44. 144
  45. 145
    Mike Roddy says:

    Good to hear discussion of land use on this thread. There is a simple means for America to improve our housing stock, reduce pressure on forests, and make a big dent in our annual emissions: Stop building houses out of two by fours, resulting in our high fire death rates even before this year’s disasters four hours north of our place in Alameda.

    American houses last an average of 60 years. European houses are designed to last for centuries, because they are built from reinforced concrete or masonry. America consumes 26% of the earth’s wood products, an insane number. US forests contain less than half of historical timber volume, resulting in hotter microclimates, less biodiversity, and, in some cases, conversion to prairie, desert, or industrial croplands.

    We will know soon if Americans are waking up when we see how the town of Paradise rebuilds. Santa Rosa, a larger city to the south, also saw a huge fire in 2017, but rebuilt with lumber, because it’s cheaper (and highly subsidized), and fire marshalls advised them to go ahead and do it while achieving “defensible space” and closed eaves. They said the same thing to Malibu fire survivors in 1994, and this year’s Malibu fire burned twice as many houses as the last one.

    One reason is that CalFire is a division of the California Department of Forestry, which wants to keep cutting down trees.

    American civilization is in a degenerative phase, but there is hope. Paradise could show the way. A screenwriter friend and I are headed there in two weeks to try to persuade them (the local paper published my OpEd). If they spurn flammable building materials this time, I will feel much better about my family’s future. mike.greenframe@gmail.com

  46. 146
    Mr. Know It All says:

    140 – CCHolley
    “BTW, who claimed that anyone in particular on this site was paid by big oil?”

    Some insinuated that Victor’s unpopular video (or the Heartland Institute, or denialism in general) was funded by big oil – see comments 101 by James, 126 by you, CCHolley

    ;)

    128 – Gavin
    140 – CCholley
    143 – Kevin
    HOLY COW – I’ve been stuffed! Got my homework cut out! Thanks!

  47. 147
    CCHolley says:

    nigelj @136

    I think you normally well informed people are wrong to claim Victor is not a liberal and has some hidden agenda. I don’t think he is politically driven, secretly a conservative, or pushing business interests, because there’s nothing like that in his rhetoric, and he has expanded on his liberal positions in some detail.

    I don’t believe I have ever made any claims about Victor’s politics or what drives him. However, he is an admitted obstructionist of climate action. His interest in the science is limited to that which helps him justify his obstructionism. He has referenced disreputable sources that spread the fossil fuel funded denialism and justifies that by making claims that he does not judge the sources on reputation rather he accepts the information on its own merits (meaning it supports his position). Of course, he never does any due diligence to determine if such information actually has any legitimacy. Take for example Goreham’s presentation where he provides the link and declares without qualification: So much for renewables. He proclaims it as fact. No discussion.

    The scepticism gets compounded because he doesn’t think in a scientific cause and effect sort of way, which is absolutely obvious, so simply doesn’t grasp half of what you guys say. His scepticism means he also doesn’t “want’ to grasp it so you have a double whammy here.

    Well he either has no concept of how to sift through information and make sound judgments, is incapable of thinking scientifically, or he is purposefully deceptive. Or perhaps all the above. I dunno, I’m not capable of judging. However, he may very well not “want” to grasp it as he certainly seems to make no effort to do so.

    But anyway, I think more of his comments should be bore holed because of the repetition.

    Agree.

  48. 148
    Mr. Know It All says:

    142 – Kevin
    Not bad, thanks!
    I get, using your article’s stated consumption for buildings of 75% of the total energy input (no transportation):

    1 x 10^15 BTU/ 8760 hours per year = 1.14 x 10^11 BTU/hr
    For 1 kW = 3,412 BTU/hr, converting to kW:
    33.5 x 10^6 kW x 0.75 (for buildings only) = 25.125 x 10^6 kW

    Using your 15 W/m^2, area required = 25.125×10^9 W/15 W/m^2
    =1.675 x 10^9 m^2
    =1675 km^2 = 643.9 mi^2
    15 W/m^2 seems a little low, but probably in the ballpark.

    If I had counted transportation as you did, I’d get 1675/0.75 = 2235 km^2
    Close enough to your 2094 km^2.

    I agree – I’ll save the battery calc for others – would depend on battery type, temperature, how far you want to discharge them each day, how many cloudy/snow-covered days you’d want to allow for, but it’s probably not economically feasible given current technology. Of course, consumption in the city could be reduced considerably with a big effort – and that is the first thing to do in any solar install.

  49. 149
    Ron R. says:

    Zebra, #138. Since they are so “simple”, perhaps you have some ideas of your own you’d like to share? Anyway, I think/hope that Singapore has learned something from their early stumbling efforts to curb population growth. I suspect that if you were to study their model(s) you might get some ideas yourself. And yes, paying women not to reproduce worked there. Too well apparently. I hoped that answered your original questions.

    But I’ll try again. How much would I pay women not to reproduce if I had that ability? I assume it would have to be some worthwhile fraction of their local economy. Thus in Singapore it would be more, since that money has to have value to them there, while in Africa it would be less (yet still of equal value). Beyond that I can’t be specific.

    Which women? Women of childbearing age, I would think. Could be more for younger women and less as they approach middle age. Are you, perhaps, wanting me to choose a class of woman? Sorry, no eugenics here.

    From where would the money come? I gave some ideas here in point #3. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/11/4th-national-climate-assessment-report/comment-page-2/#comment-714201

    I’ll add another. Maybe it could come from the the UN Population fund, with nations pledging a % of their GDP for that purpose. https://www.unfpa.org/ But again, these are only ideas. I’m not pretending to have all the answers. That’s why I’ve repeatedly stated that we need lots of minds working on it, perhaps even AI, because there are a lot of issues to work out, entrenched and conflicting interests to overcome, and not a lot of time to do it. But I do believe that it can be done, if we have a mind to. Still, before we reach that stage we need national and international dialog and education on the subject (though not of the awful climate change model of paid denial and endless debate), realizing that there will always be those who fight against it.

  50. 150
    nigelj says:

    Zebra says

    “Again, how much would you pay them, and which women? (to have fewer chidren)

    The thing is is nobody here probably knows the answer off hand. You could do a random poll of young women and ask them what would be a sufficient incentive. It would require asking they give a considered sensible answer and making it clear that large sums would not be viable.

    You could also try modelling it on the basis of trying to quantify the costs on the economy and environment of one child. This would be complicated exercise, and again do you seriously expect anyone here commenting in their spare time to have a viable answer?

    The government would then try something and see how it works.

    Identifying the target group is not so hard. Young fertile women from groups that have large families, this is usually certain socio economic and cultural groups. I know exactly what groups in my country. It could be extended over time to all women if effective and affordable.

    The problem here is government would be accused of racism, social engineering, and all sorts of things, so might be forced to keep the definition of applicable women pretty wide. But I think the idea is still worth a try and the benefits to society and the individuals involved are huge.

    ———

    Kevin McKinney @143

    Your answer to KIA. You have the patience of a saint. I gave up watching those types of videos because its the same old same old and just an extended list of cherry picking, lies and deceit. If there is a new and genuinely interesting sceptical idea it will get into a scientific journal. If I had watched it my response would have been short and coldly poite at best. But well done, at least someone is pointing out the flaws in the video. Just dont expect it to have the slightest effect on KIA. He is beyond hope.