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Forced responses: May 2019

Filed under: — group @ 2 May 2019

A bimonthly open thread on climate solutions and policies. If you want to discuss climate science, please use the Unforced Variations thread instead.

360 Responses to “Forced responses: May 2019”

  1. 1
    Russell says:

    A 1965 White House report that shifts the foundational narrative of modern climate policy has emerged from the archives, one that re-centers Roger Revelle and Charles Keeling in the Presidential advisory process.
    .
    Its most remarkable paragraph is posted at

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2019/04/and-godfather-of-solar-radiation.html

  2. 2
    Scott E Strough says:

    First Australian carbon credit units issued to a soil carbon grazing project
    https://blog.pasturemap.com/issuance-of-the-first-australian-carbon-credit-units-to-a-soil-carbon-grazing-project

    I project a farmer who knows what they are doing could earn an extra $50.00 to $200.00 per hectare per year indefinitely just by sequestering carbon.

    ‘Bout time!

  3. 3
    Dan DaSilva says:

    The reasoning that Micheal Mann uses to deduce man-made global warming is that there is no natural phenomenon known that could cause this warming. I may have to agree with him after reading this article: Impacts of Small-Scale Urban Encroachment on Air Temperature Observations. https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JAMC-D-19-0002.1 The Urban Heat Island Effect is alive and well and accounts for at least some of the observed warming. Could the 1.5 to 4.5 sensitivity range be much closer to 1.5?

  4. 4
    Russell says:

    Wishful thinking, Dan. Low urban albedo and impermiable surfaces makes cities warmer than rural areas, but great as the human impact of urban warming is, cities cover too small a fraction of the Earth for their impact to rival atmospheric radiative forcing.

  5. 5
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Uh, Dan, did you even bother to read that article. It says that there is a heat island effect, but that the observed effect is commensurate with past observations, and the analyses already include this correction. I think we’ll just leave the field and let you score own goals.

  6. 6
    Richard Creager says:

    Dan DaSilva writes at 3, “The reasoning that Micheal Mann uses to deduce man-made global warming is that there is no natural phenomenon known that could cause this warming.” Somehow a mixed reference to the Wizard of Oz’ fallacy of the straw man with no brain makes itself here. No Dan, that’s the reasoning neolithic humans used to deduce warring giants made thunder. Mann’s is not a diagnosis of exclusion and is not deductive. Think.

  7. 7
    nigelj says:

    DDS @3

    “The Urban Heat Island Effect is alive and well and accounts for at least some of the observed warming. Could the 1.5 to 4.5 sensitivity range be much closer to 1.5?”

    Nobody has ever doubted that there is an urban heat island effect, however 1) the effect is known to be quite small and 2) temperature adjustments remove the effect. So it has no effect on climate sensitivity.

    The research paper you quote dealt with hypothetical cases only, except for one real world measuring station case (The experimental findings were comparable to a known case of urban encroachment at a U. S. Climate Reference Network station in Kingston, RI) so is a) no basis to reach conclusions about thousands of measuring stations and b) provides no information on specifics of many real world situations.

    The main point to be made is unadjusted urban and rural temperatures are pretty similar, so the Urban heat island effect is obviously small.

    Some references:

    https://skepticalscience.com/urban-heat-island-effect.htm

    “Scientists have been very careful to ensure that UHI is not influencing the temperature trends. To address this concern, they have compared the data from remote stations (sites that are nowhere near human activity) to more urban sites. Likewise, investigators have also looked at sites across rural and urban China, which has experienced rapid growth in urbanisation over the past 30 years and is therefore very likely to show UHI. The difference between ideal rural sites compared to urban sites in temperature trends has been very small:

    Another way to explore the UHI would be to look at where the majority of warming has occurred across the globe. The UHI should match where most people live. However, if you look at the 2006 global temperature anomaly (figure 2.), you find that the greatest difference in temperatures for the long term averages where across Russia, Alaska, far north Canada and Greenland and not where major urbanisation has occurred.”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/02/urban-heat-islands-and-u-s-temperature-trends/

    “In our paper (Hausfather et al, 2013) (pdf, alt. site), we found that urban-correlated biases account for between 14 and 21% of the rise in unadjusted minimum temperatures since 1895 and 6 to 9% since 1960. Homogenization of the monthly temperature data via NCDC’s Pairwise Homogenization Algorithm (PHA) removes the majority of this apparent urban bias, especially over the last 50 to 80 years. Moreover, results from the PHA using all available station data and using only data from stations classified as rural are broadly consistent, which provides strong evidence that the reduction of the urban warming signal by homogenization is a consequence of the real elimination of an urban warming bias present in the raw data rather than a consequence of simply forcing agreement between urban and rural station trends through a ‘spreading’ of the urban signal to series from nearby stations.”

  8. 8
    Dan says:

    re: 3.
    The Urban Heat Island effect has long been accounted for in warming analyses. Furthermore, urban areas are tiny on a global scale.

  9. 9
    Fred Magyar says:

    Dan DaSilva @ 3

    Amazing! Who would ever have imagined that an asphalt parking lot would reflect less heat than a forest?!

    http://www.uni-kiel.de/ecology/users/fmueller/salzau2006/ea_presentations/Data/2006-07-05_-_Thermodynamics_II.pdf

    Ecosystem Thermodynamics
    Presentation given in the course of the
    Master’s Programme
    Environmental Management
    – Module 2.1.1 “Ecosystem Analysis” –
    Aiko Huckauf
    Ecology Centre Kiel

    The lecture contains illustrations with the following captions:

    On page 41:
    A perfect mirror reflects the sun radiation without any
    exergy losses.

    Page 42:
    Quantum chemical processes in the asphalt consume
    exergy (degrade energy quality) so that the reflected
    radiation contains less exergy, i. e., the outgoing
    radiation is cooler.

    Page 43:
    Quantum chemical processes as well as metabolic
    processes of the grass will occur. Hence, the reflected
    radiation will contain even less exergy and thus be
    even cooler with the same incoming radiation.

    Page 44:
    Invading bushes and shrubs involve more biological
    activity. Hence, the outgoing radiation during the
    same circumstances will be cooler

    Page 45:
    Further succession brings animals and further plants
    into the area, which implies a large exergy
    consumption. The outgoing radiation will thus be
    rather cool compared to that of the perfect mirror.

    Ain’t basic science great?!
    Cheers!

  10. 10
    James Charles says:

    “Could the 1.5 to 4.5 sensitivity range be much closer to 1.5?”

    Probably not?

    ‘However, new research published in Science by Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor Daniel Rosenfeld shows that the degree to which aerosols cool the earth has been grossly underestimated, necessitating a recalculation of climate change models to more accurately predict the pace of global warming.
    And, they discovered that aerosols’ cooling effect is nearly twice higher than previously thought.
    However, if this is true then how come the earth is getting warmer, not cooler? For all of the global attention on climate warming, aerosol pollution rates from vehicles, agriculture and power plants is still very high. For Rosenfeld, this discrepancy might point to an ever deeper and more troubling reality. “If the aerosols indeed cause a greater cooling effect than previously estimated, then the warming effect of the greenhouse gases has also been larger than we thought, enabling greenhouse gas emissions to overcome the cooling effect of aerosols and points to a greater amount of global warming than we previously thought,” he shared.’
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190122104611.htm?fbclid=IwAR3zOtLzDBlG_3gGDdxHw91lE1ESN7en-zviFRHo7FfVI2gonFdYvr22fAQ

  11. 11
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    Sure. When both the polar sea ice, Greenland and Antarctica is melting away a lot faster, an the permafrost everywhere thawing and warming way faster than measured anytime before, it must of course be due to the urban island effect. You really have your finger on the “essential” “scientific” “facts”, Mr. climate ignorance moron da Silva.

  12. 12
    Dave_Geologist says:

    #3

    The reasoning that Micheal Mann uses to deduce man-made global warming is that there is no natural phenomenon known that could cause this warming.

    You know that’s untrue Dan. You’ve been told often enough. And the UHI zombie meme is so last century.

  13. 13
    Dave_Geologist says:

    #1 I know Russell, let’s fill the oceans with, thinking off the top of my head, megatonnes or gigatonnes of microplastics. What could possibly go wrong?

  14. 14
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    Corrected for the usual and inevitable typing errors when using an idiot-phone: Sure. When both the polar sea ice, Greenland and Antarctica is melting away a lot faster, *and* the permafrost everywhere thawing and warming way faster than measured anytime before, it must of course be due to the urban *heat* island effect. As we all know, there are lots and lots of big cities in the Arctic and especially in the Antarctica… You really have your fingers on the “essential” “scientific” “facts”, Mr. climate ignorance moron da Silva. Congratulations.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/east-antarctica-s-ice-melting-unexpectedly-rapid-clip-new-study-suggests

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46517396

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-08240-4
     

  15. 15

    DDS: The Urban Heat Island Effect is alive and well and accounts for at least some of the observed warming.

    BPL: No, it does not. You’re mistaking the value of a variable for the value of its first time derivative. In other words, a warm reading is not necessarily a warming reading. Urban thermometers can regularly read hotter than rural ones and it still wouldn’t necessarily cause the average to rise over time.

  16. 16
    Johnno says:

    @2 Biosequestration will almost certainly be exaggerated as to the amounts and permanence of carbon uptake. I’m an Australian small acreage owner but I think Californians have it right
    https://www.energycentral.com/c/cp/california%E2%80%99s-cap-and-trade-program-may-vastly-overestimate-emissions-cuts
    As the link says the reason governments will seize on it is because it’s welfare for ‘carbon farmers’ and it makes governments look as though they are doing something. If biosequestration was rigorous it should take back money previously paid for carbon captured then released through drought, fire and disease. Instead the policy seems to be ‘better luck next time’. Carbon farming is mostly a scam.

  17. 17

    #3, DDS–

    Given that the urban heat island effect has been known since the days of Guy Callendar–whose first paper on CO2-induced warming came out in 1938–and that its effects on warming have been under consideration pretty much ever since, the short answer to your question would be “no.” UHI is real, and well-studied. It’s not driving warming at a global level, period.

    https://skepticalscience.com/urban-heat-island-effect-intermediate.htm

    How can that be, if UHI is real, given that the world has been urbanizing at a rapid clip?

    I don’t claim to be an authority, but the outlines of the answer seem pretty clear. It would appear from this that the urbanized area of the world’s land surface amounts to something from ~1-3% of total land surface (being generous with my rounding). Since land is only about 30% of the total surface of the planet, that reduces the proportion to ~0.3-0.9% (again being generous with rounding).

    One could go on, reasoning that not all that urban area exhibits a change in forcing over the relevant period (because it was already long since built up), and examining what the forcing per unit area actually amounts to, but I trust a start has been made in addressing the “why not?” question: the area involved with UHI is much too small in comparison with the 100% of the earth’s surface which is affected the well-known and well-studied radiative changes to Earth’s atmosphere.

  18. 18
    Bill Henderson says:

    Even though publics and policymakers seem to be awakening to the fact that climate change is now an emergency different varieties of denial still stand in the way of effective mitigation. Perhaps analysis of why we haven’t achieved effective mitigation in the past can help us over the last (still daunting) hurdles:

    Neoliberalsm, solution aversion, implicatory denial and predatory delay

    https://countercurrents.org/2019/05/03/neoliberalism-solution-aversion-implicatory-denial-and-predatory-delay-bill-henderson/

  19. 19
    Geoff Beacon says:

    Enhanced Town Planning

    We must find new patterns of living that are pleasant and climate friendly so that the developing world might just be persuaded to join. This needs enhanced town planning to design decent lifestyles with very few cars, local jobs and facilities – including food production.

    It needs input from engineers, economists, climate scientists, agronomists, house builders, architects, town planners & all of us. Most of all it needs people with ideas and vision who can understand the evidence of our current awful situation.

    http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/the-institute-of-enhanced-town-planning/

  20. 20
    Scott E Strough says:

    @16 Johnno,
    You are partially correct regarding the California markets, but the Aussie carbon shown in the link excludes biomass and simply measures soil organic carbon. It’s a measured result and not an exaggerated estimate. That big machine you see her operating is a hydraulic soil core machine. Oh and BTW that particular farm listed has MEASURED a sequestration rate a bit over 10 tonnes CO2e/ha/yr. Plenty significant enough if done worldwide on all 4,911,622,700 ha worldwide.

    Yeah, that’s right. Not a math error. A measured result. Not an exaggerated estimate. Project that over the whole world and we turn an industry that is currently 20% of emissions into a net sink of 50 gigatonnes CO2e /yr ….. compared to worldwide annual fossil fuel emissions of 36 gigatonnes CO2e /yr…..

    Stick in your pipe and smoke it.

    It is also not welfare. That’s a ridiculous statement actually. Paying a carbon farmer is nothing more that paying for a service from a skilled and critically important sector that ultimately is the foundation of all civilization on this planet. It’s about time you moochers wanting everything done for them for free, finally started paying for the services that will clean up the mess you made spewing tons of excess CO2 in the atmosphere. Society has freeloaded for too long. Time to pay to clean up the mess made.

    You don’t ask a garbage man to pick up your solid trash for free do you? So why do you insult a farmer who fills a needed service by calling his income from hard work “welfare”?

    BTW: SOC has many properties, including increased fertility and water infiltration and holding capacity, mitigating droughts and floods both. Refilling aquifers. Immune to forest fires too. It’s a completely different sort of carbon and rather than the short term biological carbon cycle, the sequestered soil carbon is part of the deep geological carbon cycle, returning right back where the fossil fuels came from originally.

    You would think improving the hydrological cycle in drought plagued areas would be welcomed, not insulted. The fact that it also is helping Mitigate the carbon cycle imbalance too makes it a win / win and to be respected. The fact this also feeds people too make it a win / win / win. In fact you should be ashamed yourself for being so scornful of what helps supply your clean air, water and food, all the necessities of life.

  21. 21
    zebra says:

    #18 Bill Henderson,

    The reference you gave has some mention of the issue I’ve often raised, which is that FF producing Nation-States, whatever their political orientation, have not and probably will not, stop producing. Noble Norway, and Canada The Good, are examples, and it is difficult to see how, if they will not stop, Saudi Arabia and Russia will.

    But I have a question which I can never get answered.

    I know what Free Market Capitalism means– a competitive, internalized marketplace, with Capital allowing for operation in the time dimension.

    I also know what Laissez-Faire Capitalism means– a noncompetitive (monopolistic) “marketplace”, with unconstrained externalities, and Capital devoted to rent-seeking.

    But what I don’t get is what “Neo” “Liberalism” is supposed to mean. What part is the Neo, and what part is the Liberalism? The quote by Aaron Saad is a fine example of how the term is no more meaningful than when right-wingers use “Socialist” as an all-purpose pejorative.

    Since you provided the quote, could you perhaps characterize what the term means more definitively?

  22. 22
    Killian says:

    Re #16 Johnno said @2 Biosequestration will almost certainly be exaggerated as to the amounts and permanence of carbon uptake.

    It’s easily measured, so, no, not so much. Claims certainly can be exaggerated, soil measurements, not so much.

    I’m an Australian small acreage owner

    And? Lots of people own land. Knowing what to do with it is what matters.

    but I think Californians have it right

    While something is better than nothing, offsets are dead stupid as a response to climate change. It’s moving deck chairs. How can it possibly matter if I reduce my CO2 and someone else pays me to produce it for me?

    As the link says the reason governments will seize on it is because it’s welfare for ‘carbon farmers’

    Since when has carbon farming been the great love of politicians? BTW, every farmer doing some form of regenerative ag is a carbon farmer. The truest of all farmers are more focused on soil than the plants themselves; the former ensures the latter. How can it possibly be a bad thing to encourage people to put carbon in their soils, even if they do it poorly, it’s better than not doing it. We subsidize FF’s for chrissake, but shouldn’t subsidize carbon sequestration in soils?

    and it makes governments look as though they are doing something.

    If biosequestration was rigorous it should take back money previously paid for carbon captured then released through drought, fire and disease.

    That’s an unintelligent comment. Because nature happens, people should have to give back payment for doing good work? Right…

    Instead the policy seems to be ‘better luck next time’. Carbon farming is mostly a scam.

    What we have here, ladies and gents, is another climate denier to a confidence level of 95%

  23. 23
    Killian says:

    Re #19 Geoff Beacon said Enhanced Town Planning

    We must find new patterns of living that are pleasant and climate friendly so that the developing world might just be persuaded to join.

    The developing world is not the problem, the OECD is. Most of the world produces very little GHG’s.

    This needs enhanced town planning to design decent lifestyles with very few cars

    Correction: None. Try to understand “finite.”

    local jobs

    Correction: Commons. No form of ownership is sustainable. Ownership creates inequality, rents, profits, etc., which either must be balanced by others having less or growth, neither of which is sustainable on a finite planet.

    and facilities – including food production.

    Local, local, local – and regenerative. Already known. We call them aboriginal communities and ecovillages, etc.

    It needs input from engineers, economists, climate scientists, agronomists, house builders, architects, town planners & all of us.

    No. We already know literally everything we need to know. What we don’t have is a common framework for determining the best choices for any given situation, and that framework is permaculture design.

    Most of all it needs people with ideas and vision who can understand the evidence of our current awful situation.

    As I said, already done. Regenerative Governance, fka PermOccupy, and Deep Simplicity.

    Until you understand you must let go of the entire system as it exists now, you’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  24. 24
    anonymous says:

    Note: the australian “SOILKEE” soil carbon system mentioned in #2 is patented. This means that it’ll be a 20 year delay before mass deployment will be possible, and then it’ll take time to scale up. Don’t look for this to be useful to most farmers until *at least* 2060.

  25. 25
    nigelj says:

    Zebra says interestingly “I know what Free Market Capitalism means– a competitive, internalized marketplace, with Capital allowing for operation in the time dimension.’

    With respect this is not really the standard definition of free market capitalism. It’s way too narrow. You have just listed a couple of key features. You can find a good example of a standard definition below:

    https://financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Free-market+capitalism

    “I also know what Laissez-Faire Capitalism means– a noncompetitive (monopolistic) “marketplace”, with unconstrained externalities, and Capital devoted to rent-seeking.”

    Again that definition is way too narrow. Although monopolies are indeed a feature. Proper definition below:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laissez-faire

    What you appear to be doing is suggesting its important for governments to have anti trust laws, that minimise monopolies, which would be a very desirable point but rather narrow. To achieve a sensible form of free market capitalism imho you need some other things like government health and safety laws and environmental laws because economic organisations do not adequately self regulate to promote adequate health, safety and environmental outcomes. In other words genuinely free markets taken literally dont work and do need some government constraints.

    In reality the term free markets is taken by economists to actually mean markets unconstrained by trade protectionism and explicit government control over allocation of resources but that government regulation is appropriate in the areas of health, safety and the environments. Sensible people get this, the GOP don’t.

    “But what I don’t get is what “Neo” “Liberalism” is supposed to mean.”

    Look it up on wikipedia which has a good definition: broadly deregulation, privatisation, flat taxes and free trade. Yes the article says the term can mean different things to different people, but this definition covers generally agreed attributes. Something to work with. Neoliberalism was a reaction against big government of the 1970s.

    As you can see neoliberlism is tending towards laissez faire capitalism. Enough has been written on it.

    So what do we make of neoliberalism? Well the IMF are the great promoters of neoliberalism, and have admitted it has created some problems here:

    http://fortune.com/2016/06/03/imf-neoliberalism-failing/

    How has neoliberalism faired in practice? Financial deregulation has clearly been a failure and is implicated as a causal factor in the 2008 global financial crash. The sort of environmental deregulation promoted by the Republican Party in America since Reagon has had disastrous consequences epitomised in the Trump Administration. Privatisation since the 1980s has had both its successes and failures.Flat taxes are regressive. Free trade has imho been more of a success.

    So how do we make sense of this, and have a better system? The economy was over regulated in the 1970s with capital and wage controls, but it seems we still need good financial, health and safety and environmental regulation and thus free markets have to work within these boundaries, but we avoid regulation that goes beyond these areas and use self regulation where is really does work.

    We should promote privatisation except for core functions like education and water supply where a case can be made for state ownership. We should promote free trade, but ensure the tax payer gives some targeted help to people hurt by the process.

    Above all for our purposes because of the tragedy of the commons problem we should acknowledge governments have a role in environmental matters.

    It’s all commonsense really. Let’s not over complicate it.

  26. 26
    nigelj says:

    Soil sequestration of carbon by enhanced farming techniques, particularly livestock grazing systems.

    I’ve been trying to make sense of this out of curiosity. The peer reviewed research, expert opinion, and field trials have rather varying results, from about 5% of our yearly global CO2 emissions to significantly over 20%. I get the strong impression that the truth is in the middle, and that very wide adoption of regenerative farming and more natural forms of rotational livestock grazing could sequester 10 – 20% of our yearly global CO2 emissions. This is not insignificant.

    There is a glomalin root fungus enhanced pathway promising very high levels of sequestration above 20%, however one of the problems is that requires very precise livestock farming systems, and whatever is done soils are predicted to eventually become a net source of emissions, so this counters the effects. Hence why I think 10 – 20% looks more realistic, but is obviously still a big number.

    To suggest it’s a scam to subsidise farmers doesn’t seem justified. And its a catch 22, because without getting farmers on board, we can’t measure how well it works at better scale over extended time periods. Current studies are limited. So we should promote regenerative farming, but be realistic about what it can do.

  27. 27
    nigelj says:

    Hank Roberts @9 on UV thread billionaires funding geoengineering. Good point, but it seems more relevant on this thread.

    Another possibility is countries like India sweltering under the heat of climate change may go it alone with risky plans like geoengineering, and what could the world do about it? Eject them from the UN? Fine them? Invade them and implement “regime change?” Shoot down aircraft they use to alter the atmosphere? The mind boggles.

  28. 28
    Johnno says:

    For those outside Australia I should point out that emissions mitigation is front and centre in the May 18 federal election. In particular whether the big Adani coal mine will go ahead. It has been given federal approval despite Australia’s pledges to cut domestic emissions. The state of Queensland is dragging its heels with an uncertain outcome.

    The Australian Labor Party is favoured to win the federal election. They promise subsidies for home batteries, assisting the uptake of electric vehicles and a baseline-and-credit system for emitters. They appear indifferent to some multibillion dollar pumped hydro schemes underway. Controversially they will purchase overseas carbon credits so the the veracity of that approach will come under the spotlight. They see no role for Australia’s abundant uranium.

    I expect undoctored emissions to hold the line in the next three year parliamentary term. FWIW I think nothing will happen until coal baseload is replaced with nuclear but for now the public is in thrall to 100% renewables.

  29. 29
    Bill Henderson says:

    Check out the detailed and extensive Wikipedia article on neoliberalism Zebra.

    Free market capitalism, laissez faire capitalism and neoliberalism are all closely related but not identical; depends upon the focus.

    But concerning climate mitigation it is the deregulation and reduction in govt powers vs the market in order to grow the economy, esp the global economy, that is the major impediment to effective mitigation. Govts have to put on the Golden Straitjacket in order to be competitive, limiting their ability to regulate emissions. Even if fossil fuels are now a deadly toxin the market must come first; incremental tools that work in markets such as carbon pricing are allowed, regulation to keep fossils in the ground, regs that might hurt investors are not allowed.

    Aaron Saad’s quote captures what happens when you are only allowed to try and shoehorn climate mitigation into neolib BAU, not effectively mitigate.

    BTW, if you want to read a sobering article chock full of the latest climate science (that should be front and center for policymakers) check out

    Lessons from a genocide can prepare humanity for climate apocalypse
    The bad news is that our slow-motion ecological catastrophe demands new ways of thinking. The good news? We’ve faced the end of the world before.
    by Roy Scranton
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613343/lessons-from-a-genocide-can-prepare-humanity-for-climate-apocalypse/

  30. 30
    Snape says:

    The “Park Cool Island” effect, PCI, is in my opinion a more appropriate topic for this thread than the UHI, since this thread is supposed to be about solutions or policy.

    “Besides, it was observed that the PCI effect existed in each park and all parks were on average cooler than their surroundings, which confirmed the term “Park Cool Island”. However, the cooling effect of urban parks in summer was very different from that in autumn. In summer, the parks were on average 4.52 °C cooler than their surroundings.”

    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/17ce/4614c45bfee6cd33c8d0dc0218b992c4460f.pdf

    Along similar lines:
    https://landscapeforlife.org/plants/use-vegetation-to-increase-energy-efficiency/

  31. 31

    @24 anonymous,
    Yes indeed the Australian “SOILKEE” soil carbon system is patented. However, it is not required to use their system to obtain the same results. They have simply put together several well known methods and added a bit of equipment. However pasture cropping was being done for decades already and averages in the 5-20 tonnes CO2e / ha/ yr were obtained by multiple farmers in 10 year case studies monitored by Dr Christine Jones of CSIRO.
    This is from 11 years ago and the case studies were started 10 years before that:
    http://scseed.org/wb/media/Liquid_Carbon_Pathway_Unrecognised_Dr._Christine_Jones.pdf

    It has also been confirmed by many others around the world as well, including several in the US. Many different methods, many different types of equipment, many different species of crops, with and without animals…..it is no longer in doubt except there is a huge effort to squash the potential because it is well over 40 Gt annually. People don’t want to hear that technically if all agriculture everywhere changed to these regenerative Ag systems like holistic management and permaculture, it would offset over 100% of emissions.

    It is offensive to certain sectors of the advocates for AGW mitigation policy to hear such blasphemy. However, it is measured results. Repeated measured results.

    The scientists in the room should be happy. But very few are.

  32. 32
    Killian says:

    Re #25 mike said Guardian headline: ‘We are in trouble’ / Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life

    “David Obura… “We tried to document how far in trouble we are to focus people’s minds

    How far in trouble. Anyone to characterize that? Skyrockety, is it? Alarmist? Just pure bullshit? Truth to power?

    Yeah, I said we had ten years… ten years ago. More and more every day it looks like that was optimistic. Just in the last week or two the news out of Greenland (6x faster), Antarctica (faster than expected), the Arctic (permafrost and record extent lows) and now a comprehensive report showing trophic cascades are almost certainly already in play. (Well, of course they are, but the issue is extent…) How does one shut down a trophic cascade?

    but also to say it is not too late if we put a huge amount into transformational behavioural change.

    Does that sound like a call for BAU to you? Does it sound like a call for huge gov’t programs? Not to me. Need to read the report, but maybe they are one of the few to get over this *stupid* “It’s not us poor consumers! It’s Inc’s!” crap that is as logical as saying the gov’t we get has nothing to do with our votes. (Well… you know what I mean.)

    This is fundamental to humanity. We are not just talking about nice species out there; this is our life-support system.””

    Fundamental to. M-W says:

    fundamental

    1a : serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function

    So, what keeps us alive is crashing because we’ve driven it over some very rough terrain shattering it so badly it is ceasing to function. Ceasing. As in, in process. Present progressive tense. Happening now, not to some future generation.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/06/human-society-under-urgent-threat-loss-earth-natural-life-un-report

    David Obura sounds like he is getting a little woundup about the matter.

    I remember years ago a science teacher posting some great videos on the logic of acting on climate change. He got a bit famous for a hot minute, got invited to a conference, his computer crashed, he freaked out a bit and since he couldn’t do his presentation winged a bit of an apoplectic rant on how serious it was and how he had been told privately scientists were very worried.

    That shut him down. He was a loony, apocalyptic alarmist.

    Maybe not so much, eh?

    After the news of the last couple weeks, anyone still thinking we have time for anything but simplification might just be the ones beginning to deserve the “denialist” label. Confirmation of this should come relatively soon, say, 0 ~ 24 months for a seat-of-my-pants, no-specific-analysis-involved guess.

  33. 33
    zebra says:

    #29 Bill Henderson,

    The Wikipedia article says pretty much what I said– the term has (and has had) so many “meanings” as to become meaningless.

    Claiming that “neoliberalism” is what prevents us from solving the climate problem is just rhetorical, unless you can characterize it clearly enough to allow us to attempt to achieve the goal of “not-neoliberalism”.

    How about this:

    Say a truly democratic country has sovereignty over land with oil deposits. The government establishes an agency that extracts the oil and sells it on the international market. There is minimal corruption– salaries at all levels are fair, capital for construction is obtained at fair market rates, workers are protected from harm, and so on.

    Then, all the proceeds above costs are distributed equally to the citizens.

    Question:

    1. Is this neoliberalism or not-neoliberalism?
    2. How would you run for office in that country– a truly democratic country, remember– on a platform of shutting down the extraction and sale of the sovereign resource?

  34. 34
    Hank Roberts says:

    Hat tip to Soylent News

    | Could Air-Conditioning Fix Climate Change? |
    | from the chilly-reception dept. |
    | posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday May 07, @04:46 (Science) |
    | https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=19/05/06/2024244 |
    +—————————————————————————-+

    [0]MrPlow writes:

    Submitted via IRC for AndyTheAbsurd

    It is one of the great dilemmas of climate change: We take such comfort from air conditioning that worldwide energy consumption for that purpose has already tripled since 1990. It is on track to grow even faster through mid-century—and assuming fossil-fuel–fired power plants provide the electricity, that could cause enough carbon dioxide emissions to warm the planet by another deadly half-degree Celsius.

    A [1]paper published Tuesday in the Nature Communications proposes a partial remedy: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (or HVAC) systems move a lot of air. They can replace the entire air volume in an office building five or 10 times an hour. Machines that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—a developing fix for climate change—also depend on moving large volumes of air. So why not save energy by tacking the carbon capture machine onto the air conditioner?

    This futuristic proposal, from a team led by chemical engineer Roland Dittmeyer at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, goes even further. The researchers imagine a system of modular components, powered by renewable energy, that would not just extract carbon dioxide and water from the air. It would also convert them into hydrogen, and then use a multistep chemical process to transform that hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbon fuels. The result: “Personalized, localized and distributed, synthetic oil wells” in buildings or neighborhoods, the authors write. “The envisioned model of ‘crowd oil’ from solar refineries, akin to ‘crowd electricity’ from solar panels,” would enable people “to take control and collectively manage global warming and climate change, rather than depending on the fossil power industrial behemoths.”

    Source:
    [2]https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/could-air-conditioning-fix-climate-change/

  35. 35
    nigelj says:

    Those who worry that we don’t have enough mineral resources to build renewable electricity generation at scale should have a read of this research study which suggests otherwise:

    https://phys.org/news/2017-04-mineral-resource-exhaustion-myth.html

  36. 36
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @34

    You have presented a model where oil is owned by a state owned enterprise with dividends going to the public. Clearly its not neoliberal because neoliberalism is hostile towards state owned enterprises.

    You ask how such a thing could be regulated (not a neoliberal thing). Obviously the public might resist forcing the enterprise to reduce oil output.

    But here are some facts. Norway has another model where its oil is produced by a state owned enterprise, dividends going to the government, and they have a carbon tax. This is also not neoliberal, because neoliberalism is hostile towards carbon taxes and SOE’s. Norways system is quite good, and clearly has been politically possible, although they are still exporting oil which is a problem.

    The only format neoliberalism tolerates is private ownership and cap and trade, but it only tolerates cap and trade grudgingly. Unfortunately cap and trade has some problems….

  37. 37
    Killian says:

    Re #35 nigelj said Those who worry that we don’t have enough mineral resources to build renewable electricity generation at scale should have a read of this research study.

    https://phys.org/news/2017-04-mineral-resource-exhaustion-myth.html

    And those who cannot think independently should not bait, maybe?

    The article mentions, but glosses over, several key points.

    1. It does not state how long any of these resources would last. What does “many centuries” mean? 4? 6? 9? 24,657?

    Humans have existed for 3,000 centuries. The article is suggesting a tiny fraction of that with tech before running out of resources is a good risk to take. That is a shortsighted, foolish – even stupid – perspective.

    2. Ecological damage can be mitigated. Except it isn’t. Efforts to restore ecosystems by the destroyers of those ecosystems is never adequate. How can it be? Ecosystems are incredibly complex and these are entities not interested in 100% renewal of them in the first place. See: Mountaintop mining. And, as you move to ever lesser quality sources, proportionately more ecosystem damage must be done to get the same amount of resource out, creating an ever-expanding footprint for resource extraction.

    3. Did you not see the new report on extinctions? Do you really think that trophic cascades already being triggered are worth the risk of being pushed further into collapse by expanding resource extraction rather than choosing simplification?

    4. Liebig’s Law of the Minimum: The article completely ignores this issue. It doesn’t matter if, merely for argument’s sake to illustrate the point, you have 99 elements that are relatively infinite if the 100th is critical to your systems and will only last another decade.

    5. Why must we keep consuming? What is the point of the article? Consume till you drop? Don’t worry, buy happy? Climate, ecological destruction, extinctions are all accelerating. What difference do resources matter if society collapses or biodiversity gets so low humans go extinct?

    6. What is the point of having resources for technologies that are not sustainable and whose mining and use are creating the destruction they are supposed to be preventing?

    7. It acknowledges the planet is finite. So, which generation gets screwed when they run out?

    8. Resources are finite, and we solve climate without using if we simplify. Why put future generations at risk of not having needed resources for now-unknown risks? Is it not much wiser to preserve them since they are not needed to solve our current crises and we have no idea what challenges future generations will face?

    9. The article could not be more vague and incomplete. Which other resources are critical? How do we deal with those criticalities? What are the potential Liebigs in the periodic table?

  38. 38
    Killian says:

    An interesting resource for sorting climate reporting fact from friction, all done for you. (Cross-posted to both forums.)

    https://climatefeedback.org/?fbclid=IwAR0asWZs9BPAJqPRsl5yXbIoI8-UITjxFMHuK5c3JnadSu_SHcXUh_96RJg

  39. 39
    Killian says:

    Cross-posted from UV because of the obvious impact on mitigating climate via soil sequestration of atmospheric carbon. Those who do not understand the vast potential of soils to sequester carbon largely do so, imo, because they do not understand the process by which carbon is and can be sequestered, thus also do not understand the staggering rates at which it can be done, both in terms of quantity and time frames.

    Double soil carbon in a single year? Yes, particularly if the carbon fraction is already very low.

    pdf warning.

    scseed.org/wb/media/Liquid_Carbon_Pathway_Unrecognised_Dr._Christine_Jones.pdf

  40. 40
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    If anyone doubted: crackpot denialism is very much alive and kicking. Recently one “researcher” managed to get this out through academia.edu, see https://www.academia.edu/39036258/Exploding_Stars_Produce_Polynyas_In_Press_Journal_of_Earth_Science_and_Climate_Change_? From the conclusion if this very strange paper:

    “If the incoming energy flux from an exploding star was extremely large, it may be possible to destroy the society of the USA in 2083 (There is of course no reason whatsoever given for this crackpot “result”. Note that the year 2083 happens to be the same as the title of the neonazi massmurderer Behring Breiviks “manifesto”, which he spread as legitimation for his atrocities in the norwegian capital july 22th 2011. KJ).  The incoming energy flux of 600 W/m2 could be very destructive to the human body and cause heat stroke in an Indian heat wave or destroy Siaga antelope in Asia (strange examples, KJ). The problems of India and Asia are caused by the central tine of an incoming debris stream and the delivered energy is produced by larger particles (Sic! KJ) than those of the polar tines.  Hopefully we will learn to defend against this phenomenon before 2083 arrives (Sic! KJ).

    Addendum:  *Please send financial support for this research in USA dollars to the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church*, 210 W. Harrison Street, PO Box 336, Oakland City, IN 47660.(…etc. My *s, KJ.)” 

    Surely, here we have another “good shepherd” at work. Probably in the fullest compliance with the orange one at the very top and especially his cosponsors like the fossil fuel multibillionaire Koch brothers and their ilk.

    I just wonder why nobody in the socalled mainstream media are concerned with Koch-brothers-gate and everyone with “Russiagate”? My hypothesis: even the elite of the main opposition party in the states is (just as the russian etc. fossil fueled regimes around the globe) dancing to the tune of the fossil fuel oligarchs like the Koch-brothers etc. After all the young Hillary Clinton was a Barry Goldwater fan and has never since changed her views from the formative years with the raving mad global hydrogenbomb-terrorist core “argument” for the view of the US as the god – selected instrument for the second coming. And she as even her many ideological siblings like now Joe Biden all belong to the very same hyperrich segment of professional policymakers as everyone else everywhere “leading” mankind on it’s steady, unchangeable course towards the sixth extermination and climate collapse since the invention of the first practical fossil-burning engine by Newcomen and in the next maximum fifty years to come.

  41. 41
    Russell says:

    K: What is the point of having resources for technologies that are not sustainable and whose mining and use are creating the destruction they are supposed to be preventing?

    They allow the flowering of civilizations that advance to the point of knowing things like what the Earth weighs, and the concentration of the chemical elemenets in its crust that if widely known might put a major dent in resource depletion anxiety, and threaten a mass extinction of tendentious Grauniad and New Scientist op-eds.

  42. 42
    nigelj says:

    Killian @39, even if what you say is true, I cannot see people making huge reductions in their use of energy and technology, because everyone wants to do the opposite, judging by what I see all around me, and big reductions in the use of technology and energy always has effects, and it is not always pain free. Likewise I can’t see people completely abandoning the current socio economic system for the same reasons.

    Most of the management of resource scarcity is going to have to come from smaller population, because its simply less painful, and involves less personal change of lifestyles. Even getting society to see sense on this will be challenging.

    I think the best we can hope for is renewable energy, people living in smaller homes, sharing self drive cars, wasting less and recycling and more sustainable farming, because these things look relatively plausible and pain free. Some form of zero growth economy also looks inevitable to me, but will be bitterly resisted by the corporate sector and the political right.

    You want to be idealistic, fine. I’m more of a realist.

  43. 43
    nigelj says:

    Karsten V. Johansen @40, I agree with your concerns.

    “I just wonder why nobody in the socalled mainstream media are concerned with Koch-brothers-gate and everyone with “Russiagate”’

    People like the Koch brothers own the media in many cases! The media are not going to bite the hand that feeds and will only be allowed to makes noises within strict limits. Likewise people like the Koch brothers fund politicians and the influence of political funding and lobby groups is huge and toxic and lacks transparency.

    There is a relevant book called Dark Money on the influence of people like the Koch brothers.

  44. 44
    Killian says:

    Wouldn’t simplification be horrid?

    https://www.businessinsider.com/american-worker-less-vacation-medieval-peasant-2016-11

    When workers fought for the eight-hour workday, they weren’t trying to get something radical and new, but rather to restore what their ancestors had enjoyed before industrial capitalists and the electric light bulb came on the scene.

    Go back 200, 300, or 400 years and you find that most people did not work very long hours at all. In addition to relaxing during long holidays, the medieval peasant took his sweet time eating meals, and the day often included time for an afternoon snooze.

    “The tempo of life was slow, even leisurely; the pace of work relaxed,” notes Shor. “Our ancestors may not have been rich, but they had an abundance of leisure.”

    In my travels, I have found “undeveloped” nations still have some vestige of this unhurried lifestlye. All my research indicates aboriginal cultures still function this way. Those who intentionally conflate simplicity with primitivism, pretending due to ideological or personal bias it is not the pattern or approach simplification refers to, but the specifics of living like ancient H-G’s, are doing a disservice to humanity and preventing adaptive change.

  45. 45
    Colin Rust says:

    I’ve been interested in the question of what are efficient climate charities to give to, in terms of $/tonne of CO2e averted. I see one John Halstead did a report for the Founders Pledge on this.

    HIs top two picks are:

    Coalition for Rainforest Nations, estimated $0.12/tonne of CO2e (plausible range: $0.02-$0.72)
    Clean Air Task Force, $1.26/tonne ($0.35-$4.40)

    Has anyone looked at this analysis or have any views on it?

  46. 46
    Russell says:

    While I share Colin’s interest :
    ” in the question of what are efficient climate charities to give to, in terms of $/tonne of CO2e averted.” I doubt if the Coalition for Rainforest Nations is a Best Buy.

    Presons of liberality and taste can take a bite out of their airline carbon footprint by contributing to wood-fired Mongolfier balloon research via Mnestheus@paypal.com

  47. 47
    Killian says:

    Re #41 Russell said I need work on my verb tenses!
    K: What *is* the point of having resources for technologies that are not sustainable and whose mining and use are creating the destruction they are supposed to be preventing?

    They allow[ed] the flowering of civilizations that advance to the point of knowing things like what the Earth weighs…

    *Is*, not *was.* You are addressing a different question, one not raised.

  48. 48
    Killian says:

    Re #42 nigelj said <b…I cannot see people making huge reductions in their use of energy and technology, because everyone wants to do the opposite…

    Nobody cares what you see. That’s not analysis, it’s not even a useful observation: You’re stating the obvious. Stop posting when you’ve nothing to say, which is likely well north of 90% of what you post.

    You want to be idealistic

    Design and analysis have nothing to do with what one wants and even less so ideology, so stop lying like this. Really, lying is shameful, so stop doing it. I am dealing with the parameters as presented and nothing else.

    I’m more of a realist.

    No, you’re point-less. We all know your grand thesis, “People won’t! Because!” Save it for your kindergarten thesis.

    Please reduce your posting to the level of its useful content, which is virtually none.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Russell says:

    47

    Killian makes a dandy End Of Civilization avatar, but Bill Clinton beat him to the punch on the End of History by redefining what the word ‘is’ means.