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Forced responses: Oct 2019

Filed under: — group @ 1 October 2019

Bi-monthly open thread on climate solutions. Please try to be civil. Remember, climate science questions can be discussed on the Unforced Variations thread.

325 Responses to “Forced responses: Oct 2019”

  1. 1
  2. 2
    Mr. Know It All says:

    1 – Russel
    Good potential mitigation ideas in the video – Ocean Surface Iron Fertilization sounds promising. How much does it cost? Negative side effects?

    He starts off saying he will review the physics of AGW, but does not say a word about thermal radiation physics:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_radiation

    At 4:22, the temp/CO2 graph “Thousands of years before present” indicates the temperature (blue curve)started rising roughly 20,000 years ago, and even though the CO2 (red curve) is going vertical and is much higher than at any past point on that curve, the current temperature (blue curve) has not risen even to the levels of 125K, 230K, or 325K years ago. Why is that? The graph indicates that CO2 does not drive temperature.

    The graph at 6:02 covering the short period from 1900 to present indicates we have just in the past 5 years or so exceeded the observed temps of 1947, when CO2 was much lower.

    Summarizing, the mitigation methods shown are promising, but the part on the science of AGW does not support CO2 causing warming.

  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
    mike says:

    Rewilding on really big scale is a solution according to Troy Vettese

    https://newleftreview.org/issues/II111/articles/troy-vettese-to-freeze-the-thames

    Sounds ok to me.

    Mike

  6. 6
    Killian says:

    Re #273 James Charles said “Sep 22, 2019, 12:00am
    No One Seemed To Notice Greta Thunberg’s Critique Of The Green New Deal

    Jeff McMahon Contributor “
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/09/22/no-one-seemed-to-notice-greta-thunbergs-critique-of-the-green-new-deal/?fbclid=IwAR2GwXJoX5q_SyhPvEXSfZT_Vlh2a_6PRAbaSsPWIfUD9wMjmOzMECNFj3k#5f3f8ab338da

    From the article:

    The Achilles’ Heel of the Green New Deal is that it deploys the climate crisis as a liberal cause, which ensures conservative opposition.

    That’s a pretty amazing level of gaslighting and a more obvious Straw Man you’ll never see. Republican/RW fools without the moral, ethical fiber or backbone to do the right thing for humanity = Left propaganda that climate is only for lefties?

    Such lying on public policy/public good issues by for political ends should be illegal.

    But, hey, it’s a biz mag.

    ‘Nuff said.

  7. 7
    Killian says:

    Re #259 Al Bundy said Killian: Principle: Least change for maximum effect.

    AB: Principle: When a system was built with essentially zero thought or effort (the comments at RealClimate are surely whenever-it-was’s-freebee-default-comment-section), to use said “system” as a basis for a future release is dumb as dirt

    Future release? Changing the functionality to allow comments is not a “release”, it’s a setting.

    “least change” is irrelevant.

    This is an ignorant comment, literally. You have no idea what you are talking about, but I’ll not be doing a treatise on the nature of principles nor teaching a permaculture course to try to correct your error: This issue is not worth any more of my time. Suffice to say, the easier and faster it is for the site owners to make a useful change, the more likely they will.

  8. 8
    nigelj says:

    Killian, imo the GND makes some level of sense regarding the climate issue, and the socioeconomic provisions are standard fare in most OECD countries and fulfill an important role. However the GND does actually turn the climate crisis into a liberal cause. It’s better to just face it for what it is. The GND has plenty of ideas on mitigation and then goes further and adds on things like universal health care, minimum wages etcetera, which are obviously liberal causes in the American context.

    This more or less guarantees the GOP will see it as a liberal plan, and wont have a bar of it. It kills any hope of a bipartisan deal. The Democrats should have kept the social provisions separate from the GND, and at least that might have got some GOP support for the GND. I suspect they will walk the social provisions back out of the plan. The Democrats hearts and minds are in the right place, but they are a bit naieve at strategy.

  9. 9
    nigelj says:

    Russell @1, thank’s, very worthwhile video.

  10. 10
    Russell says:

    Mr. Know It All says:
    2 Oct 2019 at 3:26 AM

    the part on the science of AGW does not support CO2 causing warming.

    Little does he know.

  11. 11
    Killian says:

    Re #5 mike said Rewilding on really big scale is a solution according to Troy Vettese

    https://newleftreview.org/issues/II111/articles/troy-vettese-to-freeze-the-thames

    Sounds ok to me.

    Mike

    Good to know you like my model. Almost. My model is actually more sane, more aligned with Nature, more aligned with resource limits, and has the large advantage of not being stupid.

    Half earth is stupid, flat out. It has been a minimum of 15k years since any lands of this planet, by and large, have been anything like “pristine.” 1. As we see with the Amazon now, functioning ecosystems need protection. The only way to ensure that is to have people there to protect them. Given millions used to live there quite successfully, the idea we need to remove people from areas for them to function is… stupid. History makes this an obviously false claim.

    What we need are Regenerative Community (Incubators.) We need to embed regenerative communities everywhere. Turn towns into them, turn cities into archipelagos of them, etc.

    We don’t need to rewild the planet, we need to rewild humanity.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EELE7XfUcAAStTb?format=jpg&name=900×900

  12. 12
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian,

    Yes, as I’ve noted, I haven’t built software since 2001 so I am ignorant when it comes to current systems. No GUI experience, no object-oriented experience. That’s why I declined zebra’s suggestion that I write it all myself.

    Killian: Changing the functionality to allow comments is not a ‘release”, it’s a setting”

    AB: I seriously doubt that custom comment sections are impossible. I know that different sites’ comment sections have different looks and functionality. “Least change” begs “from what?” The currently-used system or any current system?

  13. 13
    Djr says:

    Hello,

    I’m not a climate scientist but I know enough of human behavior to state that it is absolutely necessary to win hearts and minds before behavior changes. It has to get emotional. There must also be certainty in the facts. With so much environmental damage caused by human activity already, science cannot afford to create doubt with words such as “may” or “could” or “possibly” in the mix. Start and end always with certainty, even if it takes a little longer to present.

    With that in mind I would like to pose a question: How would you react – how would anyone react – if snow accumulated in the middle of July – in Florida? Certainly, there would be panic and worry in the streets. Another Ice Age is coming! We have to do something! Heat up the planet, now, quickly!

    Why, then, is there so much denial and apathy when we know the opposite is occurring? Why is it that so many non-scientists (including leadership) cannot understand the urgency in melting glaciers and a warming planet?

    Science knows enough. And because Science knows, it is incumbent upon the scientific community to figure out how to get Average Joe’s everywhere to stop, listen and do something. And because science knows, it also incumbent upon the scientific community to be a good example, too.

    Personally, I get it (due in no small part to personal and scientific discovery). I have committed myself to changes already made and with more planned. With all the living Earth provides for me it’s the least I can do. I do not consider the efforts inconvenient or a sacrifice.

    Yes, it is a certainty. Earth was born and it will die. It will one day get to an age when it is most susceptible to heat stroke or some other calamity. But not now, not prematurely, not when it is in our power to prevent conditions that create the distress.

    And, frankly, to do otherwise is not only the epitome of waste, but a great moral failing, a terrible sin.

    Thank you for the opportunity to express my concerns.
    Djr

  14. 14
    Al Bundy says:

    Moved from ‘my country’s emissions left’:

    KIA: Greta is playing the politics game. Have to have thick skin to play. [link to Putin]

    AB: Yes, you had no answer but wanted to Trumpesquely change the focus.

    Putin’s insult to Greta was calculated to fool those who are ignorant of or suppress the fact that solar and wind are the best and fastest way to provide for those who currently have no access to electricity. Transmission lines are expensive and the Least are the last to be linked to the grid.

    All the more galling since Greta’s speech declared herself to be “one of the lucky ones”.

    Which parts of “solar and wind are cheaper” and “transmission lines are expensive” do you disagree with? Remember to use the voice of a poor person, one who’s quite familiar with temporary or permanent personal blackouts. If you were living without electricity would you cheer for Putin’s fossil power plant and grid someday (long after you’ve died?) or Greta’s solar cells on your shack within a year or so (putting words in their mouths)?

    And yes, Greta appears to have rather thick skin. I’m confident that while she was painting her sign she thought about the vile bile she’d receive in response to doing the right thing.

    Greta wasn’t indoctrinated, she’s got her own path. Heck, she’s the one who indoctrinated her parents! Got them to go vegetarian, to not fly, to walk their truth.

  15. 15
    Brian Dodge says:

    @Mr. Know It All says: 2 Oct 2019 at 3:26 AM
    “At 4:22,…(red curve) is going vertical…much higher… current temperature (blue curve) has not risen … Why is that?”
    INERTIA (At 5:30 in the video)

    “graph at 6:02 …does not support CO2 causing warming.”
    A) It’s European summer temperatures, not global annual averages.
    B) Eyeballing one graph isn’t what supports, nor can it refute that fossil CO2 emissions and other GHG’s cause AGW, which is changing the climate.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1900/mean:6/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.2/plot/uah6/from:1900/mean:12/offset:0.4

    Start here to increase your understanding – https://history.aip.org/climate/index.htm

  16. 16

    nigel, #8–

    [The GND’s social justice orientation] kills any hope of a bipartisan deal.

    Nigel, note that the GND is not a proposal from ‘the Dems.’ It’s a design proposal for legislative approaches to address climate change issuing from a subset of ‘Dems’–largely, climate hawks with a leftish orientation. As such, it’s not party doctrine. It’s a grand policy direction, not a political strategy. And it certainly never attempted to attract GOP support, which in any case is probably pretty much chimerical for any climate change mitigation measure except, just maybe, a revenue-neutral carbon fee.

  17. 17
    nigelj says:

    Djr @13

    “I’m not a climate scientist but I know enough of human behavior to state that it is absolutely necessary to win hearts and minds before behavior changes. It has to get emotional.”

    I’m not a climate scientist either, but I did some psychology at university, with other stuff. The climate issue does have to get emotional. Showing some feeling when discussing issues reinforces sincerity and urgency, but hysteria, begging and hype will attract near universal derision. So it needs care.

    It’s a two sided equation. You need both fear and hope and an upbeat approach to mitigation. The climate issue is becoming emotional anyway as the awful truth starts to sink in with people. Young people speak out, and they tend to be emotional.

    “There must also be certainty in the facts. With so much environmental damage caused by human activity already, science cannot afford to create doubt with words such as “may” or “could” or “possibly” in the mix. Start and end always with certainty, even if it takes a little longer to present.”

    This is a challenging issue because while complete certainty is obviously desirable psychologically, science works on the basis of “may, could and possibly”, and probabilities and you cant just throw this aside. If scientists say they are 100% certain about some issue they are not really certain about, they will be savaged mercilessly and will struggle to justify such a claim, and then their credibility is truly blown to pieces.

    I have no problem with “could and possibly” and so forth. I dont love it, but I accept some things are like that. The people who have a problem with this seem to be at the conservative end of politics, where they like things to be very certain, simple and black and white. Unfortunately life isn’t always like that, so they really need to just accept this.

    However some scientists are so nuanced its painful. There are times when directness and simplifying the issue is important perhaps by spelling out how possibly = playing with fire.

    In fact the problem isn’t really entirely lack of acceptance of the science. Polls consistently find the majority of people accept we are warming the planet and its serious. The problem is lack of action and the causes of this are many. Having said that it still makes sense to always promote the science.

    “With that in mind I would like to pose a question: How would you react – how would anyone react – if snow accumulated in the middle of July – in Florida? Certainly, there would be panic and worry in the streets. ….Why, then, is there so much denial and apathy when we know the opposite is occurring ( obvious warming)?”

    An impending ice age wouldn’t really involve sudden summer snowstorms, although such a thing if repeated a few times would certainly get people worried and cause panic. But global warming has been gradual thus far, so doesn’t get a lot of peoples attention and generate urgency. Humans are hard wired to respond best to more sudden and simple, obvious threats. It’s up to us to make people aware of the insidious and dangerous nature of the global warming threat, and promote a bit more altruism about looking after the interests of future generations of people. But again we have to be subtle about this because ear bashing people or trying to make them feel guilty will not work.

    “Why is it that so many non-scientists (including leadership) cannot understand the urgency in melting glaciers and a warming planet?”

    A shrewd guess would be a complicated mix of reasons. Some people don’t know the physical implications very well, although you would think most people get the basics by now, but there is a lot of deliberate ignorance about. The science leads to the need for some government involvement in the issue, some people hate this so downplay the science. Some comments indicate they associate the climate as some sort of conspiracy to enslave people to big government, which is completely crazy, but its what some people think. Studies show a close association between climate denial and the conspiratorial personality type.

    Judging by peoples comments, some don’t see climate change affecting them or this generation too much, and they don’t care about future generations or think their kids will adapt or be saved by some miracle technology. Some people clearly don’t want to change their lifestyle, and are scared of climate taxes.

    If I’m right, then the only possible response is to explain why each of these views is badly founded. I doubt there is a single simple tool to convince them like ‘ extinction’. You can shout ‘extinction’ and some people literally don’t care. Extinction is also a big sweeping claim to make if referring to humans, although we do need to point out parts of the world could become uninhabitable and thousands of species are at risk. Extinction is not a bad term, but I would think it’s insufficient in itself.

    “Yes, it is a certainty. Earth was born and it will die. It will one day get to an age when it is most susceptible to heat stroke or some other calamity. But not now, not prematurely, not when it is in our power to prevent conditions that create the distress.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Well said.

  18. 18
    nigelj says:

    AB says “Greta wasn’t indoctrinated, she’s got her own path. Heck, she’s the one who indoctrinated her parents! Got them to go vegetarian, to not fly, to walk their truth.”

    Exactly right. But sneering at young people is easier than thinking and researching.

  19. 19
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Djr,
    OK. You’re new here. You admit you aren’t a scientist. So, I am going to cut you some slack.

    I will instead suggest that you learn what science is and a little bit about how it works. In all but the simplest problems, science is dealing with systems having multiple drivers of behavior. Moreover, because correlation is not causation, science cannot make definitive statements such as A causes B. Once you do, you have left the realm of science. That’s fine. It’s fine to say that the evidence is incontrovertible that CO2 is driving the current temperature rise. That is a statement that is based on science–that is supported by the science. You can even say it is a scientific fact. It just isn’t part of science.

    Science is a human endeavor that seeks to enhance understanding of the subject of science. The “facts” it produces are a by produce. It may be possible to get some of the less significant facts wrong and still have a good understanding. It is certainly possible to get many of the facts right and have an incorrect understanding.

    Science deals with evidence–formulating theories that could explain the facts, and subjecting those theories to rigorous testing that could provide evidence that invalidates them. In fact, that is the whole goal, because it is by finding evidence that changes our understanding that we increase our understanding.

    But going to science for emphatic A-causes-B factual statements is simply wrong-headed. What science will give you is the interpretation/understanding that is best supported by the evidence.

    What you do with that evidence and understanding is outside the realm of science. It may be engineering. It may be politics. It may be risk mitigation. It may just be adjusting how you live your life. THAT is what has failed in the current crisis. Scientists have been doing their jobs admirably. Hell, they’ve been doing far more than their job for a very long time–as exemplified by this website. They will continue to go above and beyond the call of duty.

    But do not ask them to take on roles that are inconsistent with their duties as scientists.

  20. 20
    CCHolley says:

    Brian Dodge @15

    Start here to increase your understanding

    Unfortunately Mr. KIA has no interest in increasing his understanding.

    There is no excuse for his ignorance as he has been given multiple chances on this site to gain an understanding of the science. Yours is only one of many many attempts to provide him with explanations and sources of information. Yet he goes on repeating the same old debunked garbage with impunity over and over again. Mr. KIA doesn’t care what the science actually tells us, he is simply here to try to sow doubt about that science. He is a political ideologue who is morally corrupt and without a conscience. The future of the planet and future generations is of no concern to him.

  21. 21
    O. says:

    Ausser hohlen Phrasen kommt von der Politik nichts.
    Das war schon immer so, ist jetzt so und wird auch so bleiben.

    Dazu habe ich ja hier schonmal einen Kommentar geschrieben, der aber wohl nicht veröffentlicht wurde.

    Na, dann lass ich mal andere zu dem Thema sprechen:

    Die CDU macht jetzt Ernst mit dem Abbau der Ökostromerzeugung

    Das Eckpunktepapier der Bundesregierung ignoriert die Wissenschaft und blockiert den Ausbau von Erneuerbaren Energien

  22. 22
    b1daly says:

    Hi all, I have some thoughts on CC from the perspective of someone who remains skeptical that there is a “crisis”. I come at this problem simply as a concerned citizen. While I have generally accepted the theory of AGW since it became widely known in the 90s there are issues that continue to nag at me.

    My skepticism has modestly increased recently due to personal research on idiosyncratic personal interests. The common thread is that these are subjects where a large number of people have been persuaded of a position that is almost certainly false: “alternative medicine”, the belief that “cryptocurrencies” like bitcoin are in anyway viable as a useful currency, “true crime” documentaries like Netflix’s Making a Murderer where people are persuaded of the truth of narratives that fly in the face of common sense, and issues with “transgender rights” where it seems to me that basic principles of medicine and science have been effectively banned from professional medical practice, leading to catastrophic consequences for some young people.

    The last of these is probably the most complex, but I have tried to understand these issues based on how mass group behavior couples with psychological biases of human psychology.

    In some cases, like bitcoin, it’s not hard to see that the desire to make money, coupled with black market forces, combine to blind “believers” to obvious flaws in the system that guarantee massive losses to most participants in the end.

    In the area of “true crime” docs, we see how narrative framing can be very convincing, whether it’s true or not.

    With alternative health, humans inclination towards superstition, true medical needs, the need for caring attention, and the willingness of quacks to exploit vulnerable people combine to endanger and rip people off.

    The transgender rights movement is more vexing, but one thing that strikes me is that a dedicated movement of committed activists can conspire to effectively end scientific research on a subject that is a matter of life and death. A powerful and irrational belief system has hijacked the medical system.

    My nagging skepticism on whether AGW presents a crisis worthy of drastic action is mostly rooted in a disconcerting match of the narrative of “climate activism” along the lines espoused by Greta Thundberg maps onto the ancient narrative of apocalyptic consequences coming to destroy civilization unless we “repent” our sinful conduct.

    There are also a couple of competing biases of human psychology that make clear thinking more difficult. The first is the “chicken little” tendency. Humans of a certain age struggle with the perception that the world truly is going to “hell in a handbasket.”

    A countervailing bias is the desire to “hide your head the sand” when faced with terrible problems that have no easy solution.

    I think of these archetypes as representing the challenge of not acting like a “birdbrain” whether chicken or ostrich.

    The implication of avoiding problems, of “denial” are pretty obvious when it comes to how this can powerfully distort thought and policy, as evidenced by the US Republicans, who are quite something in their utter refusal to consider the implications of AGW.

    The Democrats reflect the obvious opposite side of this coin, with nearly universal support for the position the AGW is a real problem. The striking thing is the compete sorting of the political system around this issue.

    Within the scientific community ( climate) there is a position that scientists have been under reporting the severity of the problem for fear of overwhelming people, leading to psychological paralysis.

    Obviously the scientifically credentialed climate skeptics are a vastly smaller set, but they are there , and I perceive the opposite understanding: they think the reporting on the science is minimizing the actual uncertainty, and being used to “alarm” people and spur action.

    Here are some comments that remain problematic to me in adopting the position that AGW represents a crisis demanding extreme, worldwide action. And I think my thoughts reflect a broader failure in how the science is being presented in the media, and scientists role in that messaging.

    – the “alarmist” framing overstates the massive uncertainty in how severe the problem is. My understanding is that even the issue of climate sensitivity to CO2 is large, I’ve seen estimates from 1.5 to 4 C for a doubling of CO2. That is not accurately described as “settled” science

    – scientists like Mann have undertaken a nasty and overtly political tone in there public communications on AGW that is flat out deceptive. For example, he makes it a point to imply that scientific skepticism on AGW is funded by the “fossil fuel” industry. This is a distortion of reality, that is easily countered.

    – Mann has also taken to overstating the actual scientific consensus on how GW is affecting hurricane strength in editorials for the general public.

    – the continued use of the label of “denialist” on anyone skeptical of the consensus position in AGW is ridiculous and should be abandoned. There is a wide variety of opinions that come under the “skeptical” umbrella, and very few maintain that AGW is not happening.

    – the “activist” community also tends to launch attacks on the motives of skeptics without acknowledging that scientists and policy makers on their own “side” are no less subject to mixed motives and distorting incentives than their opponents. Not acknowledging this undermines their own credibility. (Both sides have this problem but since the skeptical side have become outsiders in some sense, their influence is less.)

    – IMO the dynamic system of the climate is far more complex than is conveyed by the focus of the role of CO2 forcing. A major deficiency is the lack of research into how human society, which a system far more complex and chaotic than the “weather”, is interacting with the physical climate. “Alarmist” narratives tend to ignore that any true understanding of the system must include attempts to model and quantify the role and impacts on humans. There are some ongoing research projects by economists, but far to few. Optimum mitigation strategies need active input from the social sciences along with the myriad of “hard scientific” disciplines required to understand the scope of the problem. Without a more comprehensive understanding of the whole coupled system, policy intervention is doomed to failure.

    – the climate activist side remains disturbingly reliant on childish, irrational, and inaccurate metaphors as part of their rhetorical strategies. As a literal example of the childish type, I saw a clip of Greta Thunberg comparing potential climate disaster to a car that is heading towards an tragic accident, and therefore she argued that it was obvious that we should “pull the emergency brake. I can hardly think of a less apt analogy and that she has addressed the UN defies comprehension. I also heard a quote from the Chief UN climate negotiator herself who said, essentially, we have angered “Mother Nature” and are reaping the consequences.

    – climate activists also downplay, to the extreme, the remarkable increase in human well-being afforded by technology and fossil fuels we are lucky to be living with. This is a distortion of reality that causes “cognitive dissonance” in open minded listeners.

    Anyway, thanks for reading to anyone who made it through. I know everyone here is at least familiar with these observations but it’s worth remembering that there are multitudes of people with a variety of understanding of the issue who have not been persuaded one way or another.

  23. 23
    Al Bundy says:

    Ray L: Once you do, you have left the realm of science… …But do not ask them to take on roles that are inconsistent with their duties as scientists.

    AB: So scientists should NEVER act like mothers towards their children? Of course they should, just like they should act like fellow citizens when talking to the public. The Prime Caveat should be, “I’m going to talk to you as a fellow human as opposed to a scientist. What I say will be informed by science but will be worded like a human. I will express my emotions. I will give you my opinions. I will use words like “prove” and “theory” exactly like a regular person uses them: “prove” is “beyond a reasonable doubt” and “theory” is what a scientist would call “hypothesis”. Thus, there is the FACT of gravity as opposed to the theory of gravity.”

    When in Rome speak Italian, not science-speak.

    And seriously, it’s a sick joke to read that “off the record” and “to each other” scientists tend to do exactly what i suggest above. Do it in the pulpit, dudes.

  24. 24
    Mal Adapted says:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2019/10/forced-responses-oct-2019/#comment-746240“>Kevin Donald McKinney:

    Nigel, note that the GND is not a proposal from ‘the Dems.’ It’s a design proposal for legislative approaches to address climate change issuing from a subset of ‘Dems’–largely, climate hawks with a leftish orientation. As such, it’s not party doctrine. It’s a grand policy direction, not a political strategy. And it certainly never attempted to attract GOP support, which in any case is probably pretty much chimerical for any climate change mitigation measure except, just maybe, a revenue-neutral carbon fee.

    Agreed, except that IMHO the GND is also a political strategy. It makes the GND a negotiating position, with multiple points that can be traded away. I generally think most of them are desirable policy objectives, but I’d trade them all for an effective national decarbonization policy, preferably similar to revenue-neutral carbon fee+tariff and dividend.

  25. 25
    Mal Adapted says:

    Non-fatal HTML fail 8^}.

  26. 26
    nigelj says:

    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/10/4/20896541/greta-thunberg-panic-carbon-tax-price

    This is excellent on how to price climate risks properly. Confirms what I was getting at on the UV thread.

  27. 27
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @16

    “Nigel, note that the GND is not a proposal from ‘the Dems.’ It’s a design proposal for legislative approaches to address climate change issuing from a subset of ‘Dems’–largely, climate hawks with a leftish orientation. As such, it’s not party doctrine. It’s a grand policy direction, not a political strategy. And it certainly never attempted to attract GOP support, which in any case is probably pretty much chimerical for any climate change mitigation measure except, just maybe, a revenue-neutral carbon fee.”

    Yes ok. I get that the GND was intended to be something like a modern version of the New Deal of the 1930’s. My understanding is The New Deal was an economic and social plan of government action, and they have added on an environmental “update” to reflect changing modern circumstances. I kind of like this in a general sense, because it aligns roughly with my beliefs about things and some government action doesnt bother me ideologically, up to a point. It makes for one possible version of a political philosophy, and most Parties have some sort of basic set of beliefs. Nothing wrong with that.

    However the issue is the GND is not just a proposed Party Philosophy. It is a potential legislative package and was put to the senate and resoundingly rejected as below as you probably know.

    https://nypost.com/2019/03/26/senate-rejects-ocasio-cortezs-green-new-deal-in-57-0-vote-blasted-as-a-sham-by-dems/

    It just seems so odd to think such a huge all encompassing thing would work as legislation, especially as it has things in it that the GOP loathes like free healthcare. Mal says it was a negotiating tool and points could be traded away, but that seems like a bad idea to me because who would want to trade away free healthcare for the environment, or vice versa? . Better to fight each policy separately on its merits.

    I like a carbon tax and dividend scheme, but it appears to me that taxes are such a toxic idea in America that it may not be viable.

  28. 28
    nigelj says:

    b1daly @22

    Thank’s for at least trying to look at both sides of the issues. But I disagree on a few things:

    “My (climate) skepticism has modestly increased recently due to personal research on idiosyncratic personal interests. The common thread is that these are subjects where a large number of people have been persuaded of a position that is almost certainly false: “alternative medicine”, the belief that “cryptocurrencies” like bitcoin are in anyway viable as a useful currency…etcetera”

    Your reasoning appears to be people accept false positions and so might be doing so with climate science. But the list of foolish beliefs are really examples of people ignoring mainstream science and logic, often for ideological reasons. Its wrong to conflate this with people accepting mainstream climate science.

    “My nagging skepticism on whether AGW presents a crisis worthy of drastic action is mostly rooted in a disconcerting match of the narrative of “climate activism” along the lines espoused by Greta Thundberg maps onto the ancient narrative of apocalyptic consequences coming to destroy civilization unless we “repent” our sinful conduct.”

    Consider this. Climate activism is strongest in atheists and science orientated people, and a bit weaker in the churches. For example the evangelical churches that talk a lot about sin and repenting to avoid apocalyptic consequences are the most sceptical about the climate issue (according to polling by Pew Research), and other churches are not hugely involved in climate activism. This actual evidence turns you argument completely on its head.

    So it just looks like the climate activism is mostly due to concerns about the physical consequences of climate change, rather than an apocalyptic sin narrative.

    “There are also a couple of competing biases of human psychology that make clear thinking more difficult. The first is the “chicken little” tendency. Humans of a certain age struggle with the perception that the world truly is going to “hell in a handbasket.”

    Yes there is chicken little, but you are not clear what age you mean. If you are referring to older, allegedly wiser people its simply not the case. Older people regularly complain that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, more so than younger people. Just turn on the radio, read almost any media.

    Doomy thinking is probably related more to personality than age. However we need a bit of doomy thinking to keep us grounded, but tempered with a recognition that some things have got better ( as in books like The Moral Arc, and Enlightenment Now).

    “A countervailing bias is the desire to “hide your head the sand” when faced with terrible problems that have no easy solution.I think of these archetypes as representing the challenge of not acting like a “birdbrain” whether chicken or ostrich.

    Yes sure is.

    “The implication of avoiding problems, of “denial” are pretty obvious when it comes to how this can powerfully distort thought and policy, as evidenced by the US Republicans, who are quite something in their utter refusal to consider the implications of AGW…..The Democrats reflect the obvious opposite side of this coin, with nearly universal support for the position the AGW is a real problem. The striking thing is the compete sorting of the political system around this issue.”

    The climate debate has become very polarised particularly in America, and has divided along political party lines. It is hard to shift opinion once an issue becomes politically tribal because political tribalism is by nature rather rigid. But this division is mostly coming from the republican side of the debate, because they have become increasingly anti environmental ever since Reagon as below. Not saying the Democrats are perfect, but the history “is what it is”.

    https://www.vox.com/2017/4/22/15377964/republicans-environmentalism

    (Continued in another post)

  29. 29
    nigelj says:

    b1daly @22 just on your other voluminous comments:

    “– the “alarmist” framing overstates the massive uncertainty in how severe the problem is. My understanding is that even the issue of climate sensitivity to CO2 is large, I’ve seen estimates from 1.5 to 4 C for a doubling of CO2. That is not accurately described as “settled” science”

    This statement doesn’t make sense. You are saying the alarmists both overstate and understate the uncertainty. The fact is the IPCC have been perfectly open about the climate sensitivity issue and how its uncertain, so nothing has been hidden. Most evidence and the best quality evidence points to middle towards higher sensitivity. Even low climate sensitivity will be a huge problem. The science is settled as a whole, but some aspects are still not 100% certain and scientists have acknowledged this. The science doesn’t have to be settled on everything to be settled on the crucially important things.

    “– scientists like Mann have undertaken a nasty and overtly political tone in there public communications on AGW that is flat out deceptive. For example, he makes it a point to imply that scientific skepticism on AGW is funded by the “fossil fuel” industry. This is a distortion of reality, that is easily countered.”

    You haven’t provided any examples. I haven’t heard him take a nasty or political tone, but if he has, this is not by definition going to be “deceptive”. It would just be a political tone, and may or may not be justified. But its unarguable that the right wing are more sceptical about the science than the left wing, because polling shows this, and the right wing have politicised the issue into an ideological debate about big government. Still, some on the left have conflated it with inequality.

    “– Mann has also taken to overstating the actual scientific consensus on how GW is affecting hurricane strength in editorials for the general public health”

    You don’t provide any evidence or link for your assertion, and its really just your opinion. Remember he is one guy, very well qualified, and is entitled to his view’s and in the end we should look at what the IPCC says. I personally think he’s right about the public health issue, but may be overstating the hurricane issue a bit, but not much. Look at the science: There is evidence pacific hurricanes have increased in intensity, data in the atlantic is not good enough to be certain, but with warming oceans the outcome is 99% certain to be more intense hurricanes.

    “– the continued use of the label of “denialist” on anyone skeptical of the consensus position in AGW is ridiculous and should be abandoned. There is a wide variety of opinions that come under the “skeptical” umbrella, and very few maintain that AGW is not happening.”

    The term is applied to people who deny pretty basic stuff. If they don’t want the term denialist used, stop denying the basics. However I don’t love the term, fwiw.

    “– the “activist” community also tends to launch attacks on the motives of skeptics without acknowledging that scientists and policy makers on their own “side” are no less subject to mixed motives and distorting incentives than their opponents….”

    Well the sceptics do often lie, cheat, and have often got vested interests of various types. They deserve whats coming to them. Please appreciate climate scientists are just doing a job, and are not handsomely paid and have to bid to even get research grants from governments. If they overstate climate risks this could just as easily alienate governments and reduce research grants, because governments dont want to hear about yet more problems. I would be much more suspicions of the sceptics and their funding sources. But yes it would be correct to say nobodies perfect.

    “– IMO the dynamic system of the climate is far more complex than is conveyed by the focus of the role of CO2 forcing.”

    And every scientist would agree anyway and much research has been done which has pinned down the role CO2 plays.

    “Optimum mitigation strategies need active input from the social sciences along with the myriad of “hard scientific”…”

    Where have you been hiding? There are many hundreds of studies on social aspects. We have more than enough to know climate change is a problem and what drives it and what the basic answers are.

    “– the climate activist side remains disturbingly reliant on childish, irrational, and inaccurate metaphors as part of their rhetorical strategies. As a literal example of the childish type, I saw a clip of Greta Thunberg comparing potential climate disaster to a car that is heading towards an tragic accident, and therefore she argued that it was obvious that we should “pull the emergency brake. I can hardly think of a less apt analogy and that she has addressed the UN defies comprehension. ”

    This is just your opinion and you don’t explain why you think its a bad analogy. The planet has a huge problem, and pulling on the brake is the obvious answer surely? Ideally you would do this slowly, but because we have dithered and delayed (due to the denialism) our options are becoming limited, so the brake now needs a big pull.

    “– climate activists also downplay, to the extreme, the remarkable increase in human well-being afforded by technology and fossil fuels we are lucky to be living with. This is a distortion of reality that causes “cognitive dissonance” in open minded listeners.”

    Most don’t. I haven’t seen it and you provide no study to back your assertion. We mostly all recognise the value of technology and fossil fuels, but have discovered they have a fatal flaw. Be careful you are not cherry picking a few activists opinions and letting that distort your thinking.

  30. 30
    nigelj says:

    b1daly @22, sorry I accidently deleted part of my comment on M Mann. Yes maybe he has accused the fossil fuel lobby of funding climate scepticism. I dont see this as deceptive because he never claimed all climate scepticism is funded by the fossil fuel lobby, but certainly a significant portion has been. The following articles contain plenty of documented evidence of how the fossil fuel industry has funded climate scepticism:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/25/fossil-fuel-firms-are-still-bankrolling-climate-denial-lobby-groups

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

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

    https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/global-warming/climate-deniers/koch-industries/

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

  31. 31
    Rex Tasha says:

    17 Nigel
    “However, some scientists are so nuanced it’s painful. There are times when directness and simplifying the issue are important perhaps by spelling out how possibly = playing with fire.”

    Wow, that sounds scientific, why just give up the whole facade? Just kidding we know why.

  32. 32
    Al Bundy says:

    RayL: Science is a human endeavor that seeks to enhance understanding of the subject of science. The “facts” it produces are a byproduct.

    AB: Great post, Ray. It begs the question: If humanity only needs the byproduct why use the system designed to ignore the byproduct to interact with humanity, especially when said system is confusing and warpable as ef?

    Kind of like discussing the growing of tasty and profitable cows with dung beetles.They’ll just misuse your words to gather more dung.

  33. 33
    Al Bundy says:

    nigelj’s link to Vox: But every second of delay makes the challenge more expensive, more difficult, and more dangerous.

    AB: This sort of framing is counter-productive. This isn’t “Whew, we dodged a bullet” but “We need to minimize the number of bullets we’re going to take, given that we’re already taking some serious hits”.

    And I disagree with their model’s focus on emissions as opposed to infrastructure. If it’s built forces will work to ensure it is used for as long as an argument can be made that it’s useful, resulting in a big fight with no non-losing conclusion, especially since nowadays big mechanical things last a long time because tolerances are getting tighter and materials are getting better. All our brand new gonna-last-a-loooong-time CH4 infrastructure is a curse, not something to crow about. Naw, better to keep that coal going for, say, five years. (5 years at 1X = 5, 40 years at 0.5X = 20, which is four times more CO2!) At this point, adding CH4 infrastructure is like curing heroin addiction by introducing Fentanyl.

  34. 34
    Mr. Know It All says:

    You can’t make this stuff up. Michael Bloomberg says it’s OK that China is burning lots of coal because they are locating the plants outside of cities:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/28/michael-bloomberg-chinese-president-is-not-a-dictator-because-of-climate-change/

  35. 35
    b1daly says:

    Nigelj @29, thanks for the reply, I sort of had a “brain dump” there as I have been actively researching this topic for personal understanding lately, and it’s just mind bending. I thought I would respond to some interesting points you brought up.

    It is interesting that alarm about possible apocalyptic outcomes from climate change is associated more with secular groups than, for example, Christian’s who already have an apocalyptic outlook on the fate of humanity. Hazarding a guess, it might be simply that since they already have an apocalyptic narrative they grew up with, and an easy solution, alarming news about climate change doesn’t trigger that narrative archetype.

    I do think though that this is a built in bias in all humans. My theory is that humans evolved to use narratives as high powered filters that reduce the overwhelming data streaming into our minds at all times. They are heuristic psychological tools. I’m stumped as to why this would be an evolutionarily successful approach. All animals the same problem, and it might be just enough better that we basically dominated (for the time being) conflicts for resources between species.

    But stories are in a way the most important thing to people, more than mere facts. When push comes to shove, we will choose a narrative that doesn’t challenge our belief system over mere facts that do.

    But humans have thrived so much that the biological scale of our activities is outstripping familiar narrative coping strategies ability to cope with real world problems.

    The problem with our reliable on narrative archetypes is that they can easily lead us astray by clouding perception and judgement. For argument sake, let’s say that the leading climate “activists” are under the influence of the “sky is falling” narrative bias. The sky might actually be falling, but letting oversimplified narratives run unexamined reduces ability to, at the least, make the best of a bad situation.

    This relates to how the discussion of climate policy has been politicized. It becomes a convenient psychological comfort to impute evil motives to your political enemies. But people are mixed bags, and probably your political enemies are not evil.

    As an example, it’s tempting to equate fossil fuel industries to the apparently dire fate of human kind, and conclude they have nefarious intentions. Where this falls down is that it is almost certainly not true as a whole. Virtually the entire world depends on the products of these companies to maintain the standard of living it’s all to easy to take for granted, and that billions of humans have yet to attain.

    Even if I am convinced that, yeah, it’s the Merchants of Doubt that are preventing the necessary dramatic steps that need taking from being taken, I can’t really deny on a more fundamental level that it’s not that simple. This conflict of perception is only maintained through some kind of process of cognitive dissonance. When people are struggling with cognitive dissonance, there actions can become irrational and disordered, with the need to prevent consciousness of the “inconvenient truth” from gaining prominence.

    This is when we see dialogue become impossible. Because the world doesn’t quite make sense, conspiracy style thinking can gain currency.

    Ironically, there are parties on both sides of the public debate who accuse their opponents of conspiratorial ideation, while engaging it themselves. The skeptics think that “green” types supporting things like the GND are trying to piggyback their true goals of having government control people and establishing socialism onto the climate change issue.

    As I mentioned,climate “activist” types see the malign influence of the fossil fuel industry in the motivations of public figures or scientists who don’t agree with their views.

    Michael Mann does engage in this, but I should probably take it easy on him as he has been unfairly attacked by his opponents for years, and I think it has affected his perspective.

    It’s not hard to find examples of any of the phenomenon I’m describing, but I’m not trying to make a scientific argument. These are my intuitive analysis. based on having been around the block a few to many times.

  36. 36

    My edited post on the Green New Deal, written not long after its proposal. You can read the original at https://adviceunasked.blogspot.com/2019/02/reflections-on-green-new-deal.html.

    It’s good, it’s not perfect, and it’s not enough.

    It’s a resolution. I support its passage. You can read it here. The bill as it stands mandates nothing and collects no revenue. Instead, it sets out an ambitious list of goals. The basic proposal is to switch the USA off of fossil energy and onto “renewables” (not completely defined – is nuclear power renewable?) and to hire a lot of people to do the job. There is also something of a laundry list of moderate left goals: indigenous rights, “equal pay for equal work,” and so on. It’s not a bad list. Some of the goals probably conflict with others, global policy must be addressed, and I hate the callout to family farms.

    But it should have been passed 25 years ago.

    By now we should have run the numbers and be implementing the programs. That we have not run the numbers worries me. A lot. We are near to the breaking point, and we haven’t even tried to figure out a plan that will work. Will wind and solar power be enough? How many climate refugees will there be? We don’t know any of this. We don’t even have estimates.

    If it were up to me, I would put some of my old colleagues at the national labs on the job. Time has run out.

    We need a real plan, not just ambitious goals.

  37. 37

    Later I found out that California has actually been working on some of this. And, no, variable renewable energy – wind and solar – is not enough; it gets to somewhere between 60% and 90% of the demand for electricity. After that you need something else – large scale hydro, nuclear, some as yet undeveloped long-term energy storage technology.

    I concluded

    My preference would be to roll forward on the Green New Deal, to continue research into the smart grid and long-term energy storage, and also to restart research into nuclear power generation. This seems to me likely, though, to be a counsel of perfection. I fear we are likely to come up short when it is too late to act, and many people will be left, literally, out in the cold, or perhaps the burning heat.

    You can read the whole thing at https://adviceunasked.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-green-new-deal-running-numbers.html.

  38. 38

    I think this has already turned into an apocalyptic sin narrative, and that scares me because many people love them some fire and brimstone sermons. They bring catharsis. Then the people go home and keep on sinning.

    Veganism, not flying – these things will not stop climate change, they are not major parts of the problem. Relying exclusively on wind and solar power will not work; this alone will not be enough, unless we are willing to accept poverty as a norm.

    There are going to be terrible costs for delaying action as long as we have. Human civilization must stop using fossil fuels, the sooner the better. There will be privation, but no one individual will be able to escape or choose this privation. It will be imposed. Doing it willingly, proactively, reluctantly, or forced will not make a jot of difference.

    Many people lost and wondering what to do and which way to go and there are all these preachers and propagandists ready to offer solutions which place the blame on the people in the street, in the factories, in the fields. The blame belongs on the people who are striving to squeeze the last few dollars or riyals out of their fossil fuel holdings before it all becomes worthless.

    (original essay at https://adviceunasked.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-spiritual-transformation-of_23.html)

  39. 39

    For example, [Mann] makes it a point to imply that scientific skepticism on AGW is funded by the “fossil fuel” industry. This is a distortion of reality, that is easily countered.”

    IMO, Mann is being generous only to “imply” this. In fact, the funding of scientific (and also, to be fair, totally nonscientific) “skepticism” on AGW is a reality that is thoroughly documented, and has been ongoing for decades.

    Willy Soon’s invoicing of fees for supposedly scientific papers as “deliverables” to a prominent denialist propaganda outfit is only the most egregious example of many.

  40. 40
    Crom says:

    Hello, yesterday I sat down with a close friend, a brilliant mind and physicist with postgraduate studies in lasers. We tried to walk through the “CO2 as a greenhouse molecule” assumption. We never got far. The assumption didn’t make sense at all (for the limited amount of time we had). How does a molecule “trap” longwave albedo energy and doesn’t release it to reach equilibrium? Shouldn’t that eventually lead to an intensely ionized atmosphere from a huge number of “loose” electrons? Moreover why doesn’t convection principles apply to CO2? Shouldn’t CO2 molecules rise in the atmosphere hence equalizing thermal energy next to higher/cooler molecules? Moreover, can someone explain why incoming shortwave solar radiation is allowed to pass through whereas IR longwave is not and gets “trapped”? Thanks in advance.

  41. 41
    kickbass says:

    RE: nigelj @ 27
    The AOC GND was conceived of primarily as a political and economic resolution which accounts for, in large part, why it’s been ridiculed and disapproved of overwhelmingly across the Right. AOC’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti was quoted, saying “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing,” when talking to Sam Ricketts, Governor Inslee’s climate director. https://news.yahoo.com/aoc-chief-staff-admits-green-124408358.html (original cite is behind WashPo paywall).

    While I personally favor equal pay, free higher ed, etc., etc., I don’t see any of these issues as being anywhere near as urgent as CO2 mitigation and massive/large scale green energy rollout. I’m inclined to think that AOC/her COS aren’t weighting the threat of CC existential properly nor are they very good at strategy w.r.t. legislation (or resolutions) that gets something done.

    NY State’s GND has none of the social justice agenda found in the AOC resolution, it passed, it has some teeth, and (maybe I’ve missed something?) it has escaped much of the controversy and ridicule that the AOC GND received.

  42. 42
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @33, the use of natural gas for electricity generation is a horrible political compromise. It should really stay in the ground in case there are severe difficulties dealing with a largely renewable powered grid, that might require some use of gas as a compromise solution.

  43. 43
    Russell says:

    b1daly says:
    5 Oct 2019 at 5:54 AM
    “Hi all, I have some thoughts on CC ”

    Please speak them loudly and clearly into the ear trumpet attached to the lemming wheel.
    Do not be alarmed if it continues rotating at constant speed.

  44. 44
    Mr. Know It All says:

    36 – Raven Onthill
    “It’s good, it’s not perfect, and it’s not enough.”

    That’s EXACTLY what she said:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epwUTVUwB7A
    :)

    38 – Raven
    “…The blame belongs on the people who are striving to squeeze the last few dollars or riyals out of their fossil fuel holdings before it all becomes worthless.”

    Everyone who drives a FF vehicle when they could ride a bike, walk, take public transportation, etc is to blame. Everyone who uses FF powered electricity, if they could afford to install PV and/or solar thermal panels on their property, is to blame. Who are those people? Most people reading this comment. Greta is to blame for taking an airliner back after sailing the Atlantic. Each of us could, if we chose, use A LOT less energy from FFs. Turn that t-stat down to 50 in the winter, up to 82 in the summer. Lights out and go to bed when the sun goes down. Don’t eat meat. Take out a 401K loan, or a HELOC, and go renewable. Don’t blame others until YOU have walked the talk; and NO, you do not need the goobermint to FORCE you to do it.
    ;)

    39 – Kevin
    “In fact, the funding of scientific (and also, to be fair, totally nonscientific) “skepticism” on AGW is a reality that is thoroughly documented, and has been ongoing for decades.”

    The man on the street does not read science papers paid for by the FF industry or anyone else. The man on the street has been around the block, seen wild climate for decades, knows it has always occurred, and just flat does not believe that 413 ppm CO2 is a big deal, and may even be looking forward to warmer temps. Plus, he’s seen a constant din of hysteria coming from environmentalists over this or that for decades and just plain thinks they are wackos! The FF industry doesn’t have to do ANYTHING to make people skeptics.
    ;)

    42 – nigelj
    “….It should really stay in the ground in case there are severe difficulties dealing with a largely renewable powered grid, that might require some use of gas as a compromise solution.”

    Do you mean “severe difficulties” such as the fact that it really can’t be done at this point, because the storage technology does not exist for a reasonable cost and assuming the required materials even exist in sufficient quantity?
    ;)

  45. 45
    nigelj says:

    b1daly @35

    Yeah I realise it was a brain dump and possibly had a few typos, as I did as well. Here’s a quick response and probably my final one on this. But thanks for your interesting take on things.

    “It is interesting that alarm about possible apocalyptic outcomes from climate change is associated more with secular groups than, for example, Christian’s who already have an apocalyptic outlook on the fate of humanity. Hazarding a guess, it might be simply that since they already have an apocalyptic narrative they grew up with, and an easy solution, alarming news about climate change doesn’t trigger that narrative archetype.”

    Don’t conflate catastrophic with apocalyptic. Warmists do get a bit catastrophic but perhaps with good reason, but this is a very different thing from an apocalyptic fire and brimstone end of world vision. Perhaps a few of the younger activists are a bit apocalyptic but I don’t think you can generalise to all warmists or activists. But I agree with your comments on how Christians react, it’s a good point.

    “I do think though that this is a built in bias in all humans. My theory is that humans evolved to use narratives as high powered filters that reduce the overwhelming data streaming into our minds at all times. They are heuristic psychological tools. I’m stumped as to why this would be an evolutionary successful approach. All animals the same problem, and it might be just enough better that we basically dominated (for the time being) conflicts for resources between species.”

    It’s actually quite well established that humans use narratives and ideologies as filters, and I think N Y Harriri covered this in his book A Short History of Humankind. I think you answered your own question really in that such things gain evolutionary advantage as they simplify understanding by filtering information that would otherwise overwhelm us. They are useful especially in situations requiring a quick decisions, but are not without their downsides. All simplifications and exclusion of data are dangerous actually, and that is why science evolved in all its horrendous complexity but greater completeness and accuracy. So as such I personally try to maximise science and evidence, and minimise narratives and ideology. I have some values that are beliefs, like fairness, but I try to keep the list short so I’m not guided by too many beliefs. Beliefs are rather vague things.

    “But stories are in a way the most important thing to people, more than mere facts. When push comes to shove, we will choose a narrative that doesn’t challenge our belief system over mere facts that do.”

    This can happen. Our job is to make sure it doesn’t too much.

    “The problem with our reliable on narrative archetypes is that they can easily lead us astray by clouding perception and judgement. For argument sake, let’s say that the leading climate “activists” are under the influence of the “sky is falling” narrative bias”

    Is the climate issue really a sky is falling narrative? If it is, it could be quite close to the truth. If the narrative is objectively true, what argument can we really have with it?

    “This relates to how the discussion of climate policy has been politicized. It becomes a convenient psychological comfort to impute evil motives to your political enemies. But people are mixed bags, and probably your political enemies are not evil.”

    Yeah but that’s obvious. Whats worse is sometimes both sides DO have evil motives. However we are still left having to figure out who is correct in relation to a specific problem issue, like the climate science issue. We have two choices. We are either guided by science (and reason and logic) or gut feelings and guesswork. Im afraid if you choose the second approach, we would have to part company.

    Mitigation is more challenging. There is the question of a persons emissions causing another person problems and future generations problems. Most people agree there is a harm going on that should be rectified, ( although its a complicated tragedy of the commons situation). Its like any situation where the actions of one person cause another harm, one can argue that this is immoral or even evil, although its best to avoid such terms because it becomes mud slinging and unproductive.

    “As an example, it’s tempting to equate fossil fuel industries to the apparently dire fate of human kind, and conclude they have nefarious intentions….Virtually the entire world depends on the products of these companies to maintain the standard of living it’s all to easy to take for granted….”

    Strawman. Not many people are claiming fossil fuel companies are inherently nefarious, but if they ignore the climate problem they increasingly invite this label do they not?

    “Even if I am convinced that, yeah, it’s the Merchants of Doubt that are preventing the necessary dramatic steps that need taking from being taken, I can’t really deny on a more fundamental level that it’s not that simple. This conflict of perception is only maintained through some kind of process of cognitive dissonance. ”

    The merchants of doubt are PART of the problem preventing action. Its virtually self evident, like with the tobacco issue. Its not cognitive dissonance to recognise several factors can contribute to a problem. I listed these factors, and how they all lead to denial of the science and mitigation.

    “As I mentioned,climate “activist” types see the malign influence of the fossil fuel industry in the motivations of public figures or scientists who don’t agree with their views. ”

    Unfortunately there is mud slinging on both sides of this debate. But the sceptics have been caught out repeatedly lying and cheating and the warmists that have been officially investigated have been cleared of wrong doing every single time. So one side here is looking a bit dirty… I assume you have read the history of exonn mobil. They are begging to be maligned.

    “Michael Mann does engage in this, but I should probably take it easy on him as he has been unfairly attacked by his opponents for years, and I think it has affected his perspective.”

    Agreed but unfairly attacked does not fully describe the death threats he has received and him receiving packages of white powder in the mail. We should cut him a lot of slack. He has been very patient.

  46. 46
    nigelj says:

    Crom @40, you have posted on the wrong thread. Climate science goes on Unforced variations. All that stuff you ask is easily googled. You say you discussed this with a brilliant physicist but no physicist would have mentioned CO2 releasing electrons. Greenhouse gas theory is not an assumption: Laboratory experiments have repeatedly demonstrated CO2 in a canister heats up when a radiation source is applied and to a temperature almost exactly as theory predicts.

  47. 47
    nigelj says:

    Kickbass @41, agreed, although obviously at least some of the things you list could be done separately from the GDN and in parallel.

  48. 48
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Crom,
    What the actual fuck? Evidently your brilliant friend isn’t that brilliant. Why do you think the greenhouse mechanism implies an atmosphere far out of equilibrium? What the hell does ionization have to do with the greenhouse mechanism?
    Also, CO2 is well known to be well mixed throughout the atmosphere. And as to the SW vs. LW difference for CO2, even a cursory glance at the absorption spectrum ought to give you a clue.

    Yes, there are subtleties to understanding the greenhouse mechanism (collisional relaxation is one), but you guys aren’t even to first base yet. Ray Pierrehumbert’s climate test has a pretty good elementary treatment. Read it.

  49. 49
    zebra says:

    #40 Crom,

    A couple of suggestions:

    1. You should re-post your question on the Unforced Variations thread, which is designated for discussing the science.

    2. You should rewrite it so that it is easier for people to explain things to you, if you seriously want to learn something.

    Without knowing your background, and what you base your questions on, it is really difficult to know where to start. It sounds as if you think you know something about physics, since you are questioning what this brilliant physicist friend is telling you. If so, then explain more specifically, based on physics, why you think what they are telling you is wrong. (It isn’t sufficient to just express incredulity… again, I wouldn’t know where to start explaining.)

    Hope to see you over on the UV thread.

  50. 50

    RO 38: Relying exclusively on wind and solar power will not work

    BPL: Prove it. Show your work.

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