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Latest Posts


2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23

Posted on 10 June 2017 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

Trump’s Climate-Change Sociopathy 

Trump & Paris Climate Accord

Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement is not just dangerous for the world; it is also sociopathic. Without remorse, Trump is willfully inflicting harm on others. The declaration by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, that Trump believes in climate change makes matters worse, not better. Trump is knowingly and brazenly jeopardizing the planet.

Trump’s announcement was made with a bully’s bravado. A global agreement that is symmetric in all ways, across all countries of the world, is somehow a trick, he huffed, an anti-American plot. The rest of the world has been “laughing at us.”

These ravings are utterly delusional, deeply cynical, or profoundly ignorant. Probably all three. And they should be recognized as such.

Trump’s Climate-Change Sociopathy, Commentary by Jeffry D Sachs*, Project Syndicate, June 7, 2017

*Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common WealthThe Age of Sustainable Development, and, most recently, Building the New American Economy.

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 73:

  1. Great comments, and I agree with your overall assessment of Trump.

    Is it socipathy? Well probably yes. Trump does not exactly display and great empathy or sense of genuine mercy or concern for others. The only time I see some empathy or mercy is when it happens to make Trump look good, because his shows of empathy or sympathy are very erratic and contradictory, and are not backed up with cogent policies.

    I don't understand how Trump can possibly conclude that everyone is laughing at America, over America joining the Paris Accord.  Sure America had signed up to join the Paris Accord and made cutbacks to emissions, but so have other countries and more determined ones with tougher rules than America, so its hard to see why they would be laughing at America. Trumps claims are deviod of any sense at all, and seem to be paranoia.

    Even if some twisted people  thought it made America look weak who cares about them? I admired America for joining, and I would think the vast majority would given most countries are behind the Paris Accord. You can only please the majority, you will never impress everyone.

    America has a powerful economy and military and many fine institutions, and  is obviously strong, but doesn't need to keep proving it every single day. America makes itself look stupid, weak, panicky and selfish with unprincipled foreign policies and erratic behaviour. Perhaps Trump is deliberately erratic to try to scare people, but this approach will weaken America in the long run as people see through the charade. 

    Ironically other countries may be laughing at America all right, but its because of Trumps dubious, erratic and incomprehensible leadership.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Re your second point, be sure to check out the Toon of the Week in tomorrow's edition of the Weekly Digest. 

  2. nigelj@1,

    T-man is a sociopatic retard in every aspect of his life and all his dealings. It's been pointed out that his vocabulary, even general cognitive skills are at 6th grader level. One of my colleagues maintains that T-man is even worse that an adolescent: he's like a spolied child ravaging a candy store. Well, chatting recently with 13y old children (7th graders) of my friend, I must admit those youngsters would feel offended if compared to T-man: they happened to be very eloquent, surprisingly mature people, understanding our world at large and our challenges, including climate change mitigation. So, it might be that we give T-man too much credit by even describing his immaturity as that of 6th grader, perhaps more accurate would be to describe him as a spoiled child, a brat in a candy store.

    So T-man's characterisation in the feature article:

    "utterly delusional, deeply cynical, or profoundly ignorant"

    [my emphasis: it should be "and"]

    is accurate. And it has been known before his election to WH. It concerns every and all his actions, starting from extorting $1b from Uncle Sam 20y  ago, and ending on pussygate.

    His latest action (iresponsible walkaway from Paris accord) is just a confirmation of his standard modus operandi. If his party were pro-Paris, and they offered him tons of rewards to stay there, he would have done it. He would have done everything to have candy store for himself. Unfortunately, climate change mitigation is a difficult business, at a level way beyond his understanding, and there is no immediate reward for engagement in it, and it's difficult to setup a candy store on this path to lure him in.


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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] this is getting extremely marginal for tone and very political.

  3. Moderator, perhaps the use of the term retard is a bit blunt and inflammatory,  but I think Chriskoz final paragraph is 100% correct. It is not really political, and is a very good hypothesis that describes Trump's psychological behaviour.

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  4. Look, there needs to be some objectivity brought to this topic. The Paris climate agreement does nothing to impact climate change. Dropping a projected rise of say 2 degrees in the next century by 0.2 degrees is essentially the same as doing nothing. The question is really, should we spend $100 trillion dollars over the next century to essentially do nothing or use that $100 trillion dollars differently? With $100 trillion dollars we could, for example, construct a sunsheild at the L1 Lagranian point at a cost of a mere $5 trillion. We could also probably solve most of the world's problems and mitigate any rise in temperature.

    The argument therefore is not a sociopathic argument, it is an economic argument. One can believe in climate change and also believe that the Paris agreement is not the right way to attack the problem.


    Climate Change is a One Trick Pony -

    There are No Climate Change Deniers

    Solar Change Deniers -

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    Moderator Response:

    [RH] This is not a platform to advertise your blog.

  5. I find it very difficult to compare cited costs of different climate change mitigation efforts. Let's just take the $100 trillion over 100 years cost cited by too, above. 

    • Is that just the US or the whole world?
    • Is that incremental costs above previous commitments (like the oft-misused 0.2c benefit) or inclusive of those previous commitments?
    • Is that additional to what would be spent on BAU infrastructure or is the incremental cost substantially less as the amount that would be spent on infrastructure is already in the $10s of trillions?

    I'm pretty sure that most of the time people cite costs, they don't know themselves what they're actually talking about. So, who has read really good studies about costs that lay things out in a genuinely useful manner? Does anyone have good sources? Thanks!



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  6. MartinJB@5,

    Before debating the evaluation of the challenges and costs faced by people who do not benefit from the creation of the challenges and costs (that group is the entire population of future generations and people who are less fortunate today), it is important to understand that it is unacceptable for anyone to obtain a personal benefit at the expense of others who have "no equity of influence in the decision-making".

    Nations (more correctly individuals influening or controlling the leadership of nations) that try to "balance" the "amount of benefit they consider their current generation have to give up to avoid creating future costs" with "the future costs they think they are creating for the future genetations" are being extremely irresponsible and inconsiderate. And the nations (individuals) that apply a discount rate to their evaluations so that future costs are considered to be less important are being less considerate.

    So it really is irrelevant to try to be precise about the created future costs. No created future cost is accpetable. Even the potential for such future challenges and costs to be created is unacceptable.

    So the required understanding is that any already highly developed economy that continued to bet on getting away with more fossil fuel burning benefit, including shifting the burning out of their nation to places where even more horrible pollution than the generation of excess CO2 was more-permitted, should actually face a penalty today for their lack of responsible actions since 1972 when the Stockholm Conference first made the unacceptability of such pursuits of "National Interests" undeniably understandable to all international leadership.

    And any leadership in 2017 that would decide to take actions contrary to the achievement of the even better developed international understandings of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals should be dealt with by responsible leaders (business and governmnet) as potential significant threats to the future of humanity.

    As a minimum, there should now be international consideration of trade sanctions against specific USA pursuits that get an unjustified competitive advantage from being able to behave less acceptably (while hiding among those in the USA who genuinely are acting More Responsibly).

    National performance clearly needs to stop being the measure that matters. Targetted measures against specific big trouble-makers will be required, with international influence (by responsible leaders of business and governments) assisting "Responsible National Leaders - who may not be the Winners-of-Leadership-of-the-Moment" to effectively address aspects of "National Economic Activity" that a "Nation's Leadership-of-the-Moment" deliberately fails to effectively responsibly address (deliberate failure of leadership includes: not properly enforcing existing helpful laws, and changing helpful laws to make them less helpful - or simply erasing helpful laws).

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  7. @One Planet Only Forever - Yes.

    It is absolutely correct to look at something that will cost x and reduce temperatures by y and say, look there is a better way to spend .5x and reduce temperatures by 2y. 

    The Paris climate agreement was completely ineffective and would have cost huge sums of money. It was a placebo. It did nothing. Better to be rid of it and actually focus on solving the problem rather than pointing to it as the solution when it did zero, zilch, nada.

    I would much rather solve the problem than do nothing. That being said, climate change is really just a repackaging of a Malthusian catastrophe.


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    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Again, we're not here to advertise your personal blog.

  8. too @8, following your second link, you find a definition of the  Malthusian catastrophe" as:

    "There is a variable x that is growing exponentially. This growth is caused by people. Continued, uncontrolled growth in this variable will result in the end of the world."

    Firstly, that definition is inadequate.  It is too strong, because in Thomas Malthus' prediction was of collapse of the population, not an "end of the world".  It is also inadequate because for a Malthusian catastrophe, the variable x must necessarilly grow with increased population.  If there is a way for x to grow without an increase in population, the problem is not Mathusian.  More importantly, if there is a way to decrease x without decreasing population, the problem is also not Mathusian.

    Net emissions are often approximated by the equation:

    Emissions = Emissions per unit GDP * GDP per unit Population * Population

    Clearly emissions can be reduced by reducing GDP per unit population, or by reducing emissions per unit GDP.  The possibility of either means that global warming is not a Malthusian catastrophe.  In fact most recommended solutions to AGW focus on reducing emissions per unit GDP (ie, emissions intensity).

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  9. Malthusian catastrophes can be defined by your equation:

    Food Consumed = Food Consumption per unit GDP * GPD per unit Population * Population

    Rich people eat more than poor people. Thus by Malthusian logic, making people poorer would suffice as a "preventative check". Malthusian catastrophes do not require that the variable x necessarily grow with increated population. This is specifically address by Malthus, although he emphasized "moral restraint.

    Climate Change = Malthusian Catastrophe

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  10. too @9, making people poorer would only restrain population growth, and hence be a "preventative check" if making people poorer would reduce the rate of population growth - something it fails to do.  In the meantime, in stark contrast to the relationship between food and population, GHG emmissions can be reduced to zero while maintaining an industrial society.  Consequently, it can be reduced to zero regardless of population growth.  Ergo, AGW is not a Malthusian Catastrophe.

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  11. @Tom Curtis, your argument is not correct. Preventative checks be it based on moral restraint or some other mechanism can achieve a zero population growth rate just as emissions can be zero. Let's be clear. The Mathulsian aspect of both arguments is that some variable growing exponentially that is tied to population growth is outstripping the ability of the planet to support. That is what is occurring today with climate change, nobody disputes this fact. A growing population needs more energy and thus more CO2 emissions. How this is mitigated has nothing to do with Malthusian doctrine. With respect to food, this was mitigated by increased food production in excess of population growth thanks to technological advancements. This is also a potential mitigation for climate change, increasing CO2 sinks thanks to technology. In theory, we could also decrease CO2 output per person. Similarly we could decrease food consumption per person, decrease baby output per person, etc. The definition of Malthusian theory is the that population increase would outpace the ability of the Earth to support. This is what climate change says. Population, by proxy of CO2 output, is increasing at a rate that currently outpaces the ability of the Earth to support.

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  12. too @11, if food consumption could be reduced to zero calories per day for all people, then the arithmetic increase of food production would not place any restraint on the exponential increase in population.  In consequence, given that hypothesis, Malthus could not have inferred the potential of a Malthusian catastrophe.  The fact that GHG emissions can in principle (and at current technology, can in practise at some indeterminate economic cost) makes a fundamental difference in the problem.  Calling the AGW problem a "Malthusian catastrophe", therefore, in misleading in the extreme.  You summarize the problem by saying:

    "The definition of Malthusian theory is the that population increase would outpace the ability of the Earth to support. This is what climate change says. Population, by proxy of CO2 output, is increasing at a rate that currently outpaces the ability of the Earth to support."

    But with a net emissions intensity of zero, population can vary freely with no impact of GHG emissions.  Indeed, hunter gatherer, or purely agrarian populations also can have populations vary freely with no impact on GHG emissions.  They may be more prone to the conventional food production based Malthusian catastrophe, but again this demonstrates that AGW is not a Malthusian problem.

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  13. I could accept that climate change could be a malthusian catastrophe at least in theory, or has some similar attributes. The basis of Mathus argument is exponential population growth leads to "some form" of breakdown generally related to resource and environmental issues. 

    But the theory breaks down when applied in the real world as follows.

    1) It is only going to become a malthusian catastrophe if no alternatives to fossil fuels are found and we have alternatives. So it becomes more a question of where money is best spent.

    2)Most experts project that population growth will essentially stabilse sometime from 2050 - 2100 as remaining developing countries inevitably move through a demographic transition, so the problem is already decreasing.

    3) Countries are already doing all you can practically expect to stabilse population growth. To some extent it is a cultural issue about family size and these things take time to change.

    4) Throwing trillions at the population growth problem rather than renewable energy seems unlikely to me to do much to speed up the demographic transition.

    5) Its unlikely that giving trillions away to developing countries to reduce population growth would be popular politically, and even less likely that it would actually be spent on birth control, better health care or the like and much could be squandered.

    6) moral restraint will never stop population growth, and sorry but with respect,  its a totaly unrealistic argumment if you look at history.

    7) It may be sensible to promote birth control, and some western aid to poor countries on this seems pragmatic, but this morally and politically contentious, and efforts so far are slow to achieve results. It will work and is a desirable strategy, but is a slow process.

    8) Even if trillions were poured into reducing rates of population growth, results would almost certainly come too late to reduce dangerous levels of climate change. This is one of the key problems. 

    9) Even if you reduce rates of population growth emissions from existing populations  are still a huge problem, and so you are back considering the need for renewabale energy etc.

    Conclusion: Trying to solve the climate problem "purely" by spending all the available money on reducing population growth is fraught with insurmountable problems, and reducing emissions is more plausible.

    But sensible efforts should be made to reduce rates of popultion growth. This makes sense for many reasons including both climate issues and other issues,  so at least some global resources should be put into reducing rates of population growth. 

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  14. @niglej - Correct, the basis of a Malthusian Catastrophe is that unchecked population growth causes a catastrophic effect. That is what is being stated today by climate science. Population growth is causing an imbalance in CO2 levels that, left unchecked, will lead to a catastrophe. This is very straight-forward.

    The particular form of mitigation to avoid such a catastrophe has zero bearing on the defition of something as a Malthusian Catastrophe.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Tiresome. Please cite your evidence that climate science blames change on population growth. Quit the sloganeering (maybe take a moment to actually read the science).

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Moderating this site is a tiresome chore, particularly when commentators repeatedly submit offensive, off-topic posts or intentionally misleading comments and graphics or simply make things up. We really appreciate people's cooperation in abiding by the Comments Policy, which is largely responsible for the quality of this site.
    Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion.  If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter, as no further warnings shall be given.

  15. Perhaps what we need to do is to use Malthus' own words to describe his theory in order to prevent misinterpretation and people from adding their own interpretation. To use his own words: “By nature human food increases in a slow arithmetical ratio; man himself increases in a quick geometrical ratio unless want and vice stop him."

    We can restate this simply. "By nature CO2 absorption increases in a slow arithmetical ratio; man's CO2 production increases in a quick geometrical ratio unless want and vice stop him."

    I think that is pretty clearly a Malthusian catastrophe definition. And these are Malthus' own words so please do not try to add things that have nothing to do with the definition of Malthus' theory.

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    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Your "restatement" is not just fundamentally wrong, it's a classic a straw man. And no, those are not Malthus' words since you clearly reconstructed them and misapplied them to a completely different topic. You can't rephrase someone's words and call them "their own words." 

    Malthus was talking about food production and consumption. Period. 

  16. Sorry, forgot the reference:

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  17. In response to the moderator, citations for climate science blaming population growth are as follows:

    Paul and Anne Ehrlich:

    Additional citations:

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Better but hardly science papers - did you actually read your cites?

  18. Too @14, I'm only saying climate is a population / mathusian issue in very general terms and has some similar attributes, and that I think you have a interesting point to make. Tom Curtis is technically correct by the way that agw is not really a  malthisian problem in a strict sense, but I look a little more broadly at things.

    Read my point 1) again and this shows how it is not strictly a malthusian problem - provided we reduce emissions and we have that option.

    And there seems little point discussing definitions too much on this.

    I think the real issue is whether its viable to solve the climate problem by putting all our resources into reducing rates of popultion increase as opposed to other measures, and  I briefly described this doesn't appear viable to me. Or at the very least it we need to put resources into both renewable energy and reducing rates of population growth. The maths deciding the balance  would be very complicated but I'm sure I have read an article where a researcher analysed the issue and did calculations. But seriously you dont need to do some research paper to see that using reducing rates of population growth as a main strategy has huge, seemingly insurmountable problems.

    Plenty of studies have found its plausible to reduce emissions with renewable energy etc and I have seen on this website studies studies that find Paris could achieve more than 0.2 degrees and up to 1 degree which is very significant.

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  19. Yes, the Scientific American article cites the United Nations Population Fund, the Global Population and Environment Program at the non-profit Sierra Club, the Worldwatch Institute, a nonprofit environmental think tank. The Biological Diversity quotes Global Environmental Change from Elsevier. Are you saying that these institutions are not legitimate science and research institutions?

    Added to that, I thought that 97% of all climate scientists agreed that climate change is anthropogenic and that this figure comes from an analysis of scientific papers. Are you saying that is not the case, because I think that is pretty much a fact that that is the case.

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  20. Just out of interest, I determined the relationship between the rate of increase of world population and the rate of increase of CO2 concentration for the years 2000-2016, ie, those for which we have annual data on population.  Interestingly, a linear regression shows a negative slope.  That is, the greater rate of growth in population, the lower the rate of growth in CO2 concentration, and vise versa.  That is because the rate of growth in population has been consistently declining over that period, having peaked around 1962, while the rate of growth in CO2 concentration continues to increase.  The correlation between the two is -0.356. 

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    Moderator Response:

    [RH] From a moderation standpoint, Too needs to address this salient point before making any other comments. Any distractions from this will be deleted.

  21. Not sure where you are getting your numbers @Tom Curtis. My numbers come from from and from the CO2 readings from Mauna Loa. When you plot these you get a positive correlation. I can't share a graphic because this site does not allow you to upload an image, just link to an image. At the risk of being banned or censored, here is the link to the tweets of the images:

    It would help if you cited the sources of your data specifically. There is no possible way that either of these graphics could be interpreted as having a negative correlation.

    BTW, I agree @nigelj that we should return to the actual topic at hand, which is the economics argument versus sociopathic argument. The Malthusian Catastrophe was simply a throw-away comment about something I feel is rather obvious. CO2 increase and climate change has anthropogenic causes. Anthropogenic CO2 output increases as populations increase. I'm really confused here, are you arguing that population increases do not increase CO2 production by humans? Because if that is the case, wouldn't that throw anthropogenic cause of climate change into question? And obviously, that is not the case. 

    Back to economics:
    Cost per MWh
    Nuclear - $108 per MWh
    Solar - $144 per MWh
    Wind - $221 per MWh
    4 Billion MW hours United States in 2016

    Cost to generate:

    $432 Trillion nuclear
    $576 Trillion solar
    $884 Trillion wind

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    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Please read Tom's comment more carefully. You are improperly applying Malthus to climate change because Malthus makes a specific claim relative to food and population. Just because both are rising does not indicate a Malthusian correlation. Please acknowledge this error on your part before moving on to other topics.

  22. OPOF (@6)

    Even if one agreed with all you said, it is still important to understand costs.

    They can help to undstand the equity of a given plan - e.g. how much of the cost is born by different countries over which time period? - and can be useful in choosing between mitigation options.

    In addition, and relevant in this context, understanding those estimates can help when discussing the issue with folks like too, who cite $100 trillion as a reason not to participate in the Paris Climate Agreement. He thinks $100 trillion is a big number. But if that $100tn is really over all countries and includes costs of existing commitments and is not additional to BAU infrastructure costs, then maybe it doesn't look like such a big number afterall. 

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  23. Too @21,

    Your first link didnt work, but the image in the second link measured simple population increase against increases in CO2. Clearly they are positively related. More peope does tend to generate more emissions thats obvious but the solution does not have to be less population increase, equally obviously although it is certainly a help.

    I think Tom Curtis graph shows something different: that the "rate" of increase of population growth has slowed since the 1960s, thats what his graph shows, and over the same period CO2 "density" has increased. The source as noted at the bottom of the graph.

    The message for me is that  even despite the "rate" of population growth slowing carbon output is increasing as a density function!

    Therefore in order to make a difference we would have to make population slow at a faster rate, maybe double the rate. This would reduce global warming but only a certain amount, and my guesstimate is by about 20% maximum. To achieve this limited effect would require big measures. It means massive contraception programmes and lifting the third world out of poverty at a more rapid rate than currently tracking, so that they are comfortable having smaller families. But the demographic transition is a slow thing no matter what you do so it will not be easy. Theres tons of research on all this.

    Lifting people out of poverty requires economic policies and / or wealth redistribution. Take your pick. But note that Trumps anti free trade agenda will definitely not help lift developing countries out of poverty, so he is doubly toxic for resolving climate change!

    But its fair to say that reducing rates of population growth does help reduce climate change to at least some extent, so this is serendipity.

    But I digress.

    Regarding your claimed costs of nuclear energy, solar and wind power you say.

    "Cost per MWh
    Nuclear - $108 per MWh
    Solar - $144 per MWh
    Wind - $221 per MWh"

    But the article says: The total system cost for a natural gas combined cycle plant is $65.60 per MWh; onshore wind is $86.60 per MWh; offshore wind, $221.50; and solar, $144.30. Unlike renewable sources, however, nuclear energy facilities produce electricity around the clock.

    So you were rather selective in your list. Wind is actually quite cost competitive, and so probbaly has a big place in the mix of things.

    However I agree energy diversity is important. I see nothing wrong with a mix of nuclear, solar wind and gas (gas as the smallest possible component) in America at least. All countries would be different.

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  24. too (@21)

    It's late, so I might be glitching, but I think you're off by a factor of 1,000. For solar, $144/MWh * 4 billion MWh = $576 billion. Of course, that seems too cheap, but then I don't know how they're treating capacity factors. Also, you used the price of off-shore wind instead of on-shore - which is substantially cheaper.

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  25. @MatinJB - I definitely might be. It's a lot of numbers and I could be a factor off. Admittedly, those numbers seemed high. But, if it is any solace, I did all the calculations the same way? :) At least the ratios should be correct...

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  26. One side note, we should take into account the acreage required:
    To generate 1,800 MW

    Nuclear - 1.7 Sq Miles

    Wind 720 units
    169 Sq Miles

    21 Sq Miles

    Since I apparently suck out loud at math, I'll leave it to whoever to calculate the acreage.

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  27. Too @26, onshore wind is clearly the cheapest renewable option, not nuclear, (using your link) although as I said in 23 above, we do need some sort of mix of options because of wind intermittency etc.

    First its not clear if your wind area measure is for the farms as a whole, or just the footprint of the towers. But assuming its just the footprint of the tower this would not add up to all that much. Wind farms could be on farms with cattle wandering around the towers couldn't they.  

    Only a tiny proportion of America is urbanised with hard surfaces and I doubt wind farms would add significantly to this. It's just not an issue.

    Nuclear power is moderately cheap power, but this is only realised quite long term. You also have a range of other challenges, eg safety requirements mean its a lengthy and difficult process getting approval which is one reason not much nuclear  power has been built in America in recent decades. And I suggest you don't want to cut corners on safety approvals.

    I dont know how the public perceive nuclear power in America, but it's not popular in parts of Europe. Wind and solar may simply be easier to get underway, and more practical to get regulatory approval and public approval. You have to consider this.

    But let's not let this become a debate about nuclear versus other sources, which is clearly your unspoken intent.

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  28. too @26, nigelj has already covered this in part but, both wind and solar can make multiple use of their footprint.  Specifically, and most obviously, neither interfere with land used for grazing, and wind does not interfere with land used for cropping.  Wind can also be built as an offshore facility.  Solar can be built in the roof of buildings, over railway tracks and roads, or (apparently) along border walls.  In addition, solar pavements and roof tiles have both been developed.

    More importantly, the total amount of area, even if dedicated single use area, needed to power the world is miniscule relative to the total land area.  Below are the areas of solar facilities required to power, respectively, the World, the EU, and the Middle East and Africa set against a map showing Algeria and Tunisia:

    If one, medium sized country in North Africa has enough effectively unused space to power the world, I don't think the "but think about the surface area required" has any but emotional appeal.

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  29. Tom@28,

    You cannot concentrate your power production for the entire world in a single spot as you've shown on your map. If taken literally, the map is moot, even say for powering nearby EU, because network and transmition costs would be enormous.

    Too's point is an issue for renewables not in a sense that there is not enough land to build the renewable power plants. The point is that the energy has to be produced over larger areas (i.e. in smaller, sparsely located units) and then longer, smarter transmition lines able to equalise intermittency of various sources, then concentrate the energy and send it to the regions of high demand. I'm not saying this is unsolvable problem but it hasn't been solved yet. The exiting energy distribution models hve small concentrated sources (FF power plants) that simply allow expansion of said energy in a given direction. Because, FF have miracuously high energy density, and releaqsing that energy is very cheap with the process of burning them, and expansion of that energy into the neighbourhood follows the natural process of rising entropy, is can be done/controlled with ease. The industrial civilisation have been following that model of energy flow forever.

    Now, with renewables, the energy density at the source is must lower and intermittent, so it must be gathered over larger area and concentrated before being redistributed and then redistribution mst be able to balance different sources over long transmission linesin real time. This is a difficult task. I'm not saying it's impossible to solve but it hasn't been solved by energy distributors yet. In a very basic physical sense, concentrating renewable energy, a process that lowers the environmental entropy, that must be done on a larger scale to feed customers like e.g. aluminum smelters, is a unique challenge that hasn't been even considered by distributors in the past.

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  30. chriskoz @29, that was not the point that too made, and nor should you assume that it is the point he wanted to make.  His comments in general do not warrant that sort of confidence.

    Adressing your point, obviously nobody thinks the worlds energy should be generated in the Sahara.  The inclusion of the area required for that is merely for illustrative purposes.  However, there already exists a commercial plan to generate the majority of the EU's, Middle East's, and Africa's energy using concentrated solar in the Sahara, with the required network connections.  Moreover it is a plan that is already attracting serious funding from major corporations including Siemens, Deutche Bank and Munich Re.

    With regard to the cost of the required interconnectivity, the Eastern States of Australia (including South Australia) have already set up a broad distribution network because it was expected that the cost savings through increased competition among power suppliers would reduce overall costs, not to mention increasing reliability in the event of specific power stations having an outage.  Europe already has even more connectivity between member states.  From what I understand, the US would benefit from a similar arrangement.  Building the extended network required for renewables does not add a lot to the interconnectivity required for such programs, and ergo not a lot of additional costs.  That is particularly the case given that a 100% renewable network would not require the extensive logistic network required to supply fuel to FF power stations.

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  31. Chriskoz @29 , help me to understand the point you are wishing to make in your post #29.

    Electric power requirements per head of population are likely to keep increasing through this century, even despite some degree of increased efficiencies in lighting and home insulation.    Ever cheaper "renewables" electricity costs will encourage less frugality; plus there will be greater use of electric vehicles; and perhaps more heat waves will increase demand for refrigerative air-conditioning especially in the tropical zone.   As Tom Curtis has said, there would be a marginal increase in the present grid distribution system.

    Present-day impoverished areas, with isolated villages and houses, have largely been excluded from grid power distribution because of grid set-up costs.   However, these areas will likely benefit in future from micro-networking of solar-panel power generation even where that generation is "daytime only" [in the absence of battery or other storage].

    Aluminium-smelting and other high demand industrial concentrations are mostly already served by an existing grid.   At need, new solar-farms at a distance can be efficiently plugged into the grid via high-voltage DC lines.   Solar-farms tend to be placed in areas of low-value soil — but it should be possible also to use higher value pasture land, provided that the arrays are elevated and spaced sufficiently to permit better-than-50% insolation of pasture land over the course of each day.   All this can be done with present-day technology, let alone with the hi-tech stuff Tom Curtis is mentioning.

    Disregarding how our poster "Too" has magically transposed (in his post #21) the Billions dollar costs into eye-watering Trillions dollar costs [ for our shock and amusement!!! ] . . . nevertheless there will have to be a continued ramping-up of investment in electric power generation in coming decades.   Yet this investment will be cheaper via "renewables" than via fossil fuels.

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  32. @Eclectic, yes I made an error, which I was clear about making in @25 and @26. It was an honest mistake that I performed on each of those calculations. I was actually jumping through hoops using a different source where I had to convert the cost per MW (not MWh) of a facility and then found the nei source and I totally screwed up. The correct numbers are billions, not trillions. I am not yet magical enough to have never made a mistake.

    I would like to know if the nei stats on cost per MWh in @21 are good or if there are better sources out there. Similar with the entergy-arkansas stats for land use in @26. Surely there are better sources than entergy-arkansas??

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    Moderator Response:

    [RH] You might want to read up on Levelized Cost of Electricity.

  33. Right you are [RH]. Thanks. The Wikipedia article on this looks like it repeats much of the same information although has some nice graphs and a breakdown by country. Appreciate turning me on to that.

    I found this for land use but you have to pay for it ($38 US).

    I guess the Arkansas article does cite some decent sources that you could cobble together: *3 American Wind Energy Association. *4 U.S. Energy Information Association. *5 American Wind Energy Association: *6 Sun power® Tracker Solar Systems:

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Fixed links. Please learn how to do this yourself with the link tool in the comments editor.

    And thank you too for a refreshing conformance to our comments policy.

  34. too @33, the cost of electricity by particular sources varies by location.  This 2017 paper takes that into account, and provides a map of the cheapest source of electricity by county in the US:

    As you can see, wind is the cheapest power source across the majority of the US.  In the south west, utility scale solar PV becomes very important, and residential solar PV is cheapest in a scattering of counties across the country.  Other than that, the dominant player is combined cycle Natural Gas, followed by nuclear.  Coal is not cheapest in any county.

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  35. So, if I understand the cost differences in this paper versus pure LCoE one of the cost factors this report considers is the EPA's SCC?

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  36. too @35, yes the Social Cost of Carbon is considered.  The alternative is that the adverse direct health effects from the combustion of coal be neglected, not to mention the costs of AGW.  If, however, you want to ignore these factors you need only look at Figure 4, which shows the cheapest source of electricity with out consideration of availability or externalities:

    You will notice that coal is cheapest in just 29 counties.

    Factoring in availability but not externalities, you need to look at figure 5 of the Supplemental Information, which shows coal is cheapest in just 89 counties, a long way behind solar (482 counties) and wind (1,125 counties).  Natural Gas (1344 counties) and Nuclear (70 counties) rounds out the list.

    The SI also shows the LCOE for each power source by county, along with the national mean.

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  37. It is very helful Tom Curtis, I am beginning to get a sense of why the two sides in this debate cannot seem to have productive discussions.

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  38. Too @32, 33, 35, where are you going with this? What are your trying to argue? 

    Are you trying to claim wind is not an economic source and promote nuclear? Please just say what you are going on about, because I can respect someone who wants to argue in favour of nuclear power (even if Im a bit cautious about this power source), or has some specific doubts about the costs of something specific,  but I have no respect or patience for people who just quote tables of numbers without making it plain what their real point is. Its like they are hiding something.

    The wikipedia article on costs by source is consistent with other sources I have seen. The obvious fact is that onshore wind and photovoltaic has become very cost competitive as a full lifetimes cost measure. Its fair to assume costs of offshore wind will drop a bit and costs of solar thermal are likely to drop considerably. In other words renewable energy (and I include nuclear in that) is economic even without factoring in costs of agw as such.

    I would have thought the more important question is making the grid reliable (I dont mean transmission lines as such, but resolving intermittency problems, and substation problems to deal with more fluctuating loads than normal). But the law of large numbers applies, and the more the grid is renewable as in dispersed solar and wind power etc, the smaller these sorts of problems become. 

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  39. Tom Curtis @30 that plan to power Europe with solar power from deserts in northern africa is absolutely amazing, and quite jaw dropping.

    But just looking at it a bit critically, a few things jump out at me. Northern africa is not the most politically stable place, to be so fully reliant on.


    And Europe has high winter nightime heating requirements, so how does this  square with a gigantic solar panel array or solar thermal array? They are going to need substantial storage, and / or backup from alternative generation sources. 

    A solar system would need significant water for cleaning, and this is going to put serious pressure on local resources.

    But the very fact the scheme is being seriously considered tells me these things are likely to have answers, and the world is about to change radically in our lifetimes. I  mean its pretty amazing.

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  40. @nigelj - I'm new to the community and still learning that phrases like "calm down" are inflammatory. So please have a little patience while I get the gist of things here, every community is extremely different.

    I stand by my original point that there is an economic reason for Trump to pull out of the Paris accords and that it is not simply the stereotypical partisan view that he is a complete and utter sociopath. And my other point but that is topic verboten apparently.

    The problem is that the average American does not view the economics the same way that you guys view the economics. Frankly, it isn't even close. The two sides aren't even speaking the same language when they refer to things like economics. So, I'm trying to understand where, fundamentally, the disconnect is by better understanding things from this point of view. I get the other point of view already and I equally do not agree with it. I honestly don't have a horse in this race but I like to observe and understand and learn. But, what I realized was that I can't make a point about "the economics" in this discussion unless I understand what you guys refer to as "the economics" from your perspective. So, I'm not making the case until I feel that I grasp this community's view of this topic because otherwise I have a feeling it will be tossed away as nonsensical (even though many others would see it as absolutely sensible) because it is not speaking in your language. I'm sure that this will be censored in some way and I honestly mean no offense it is an honest observation, but this community is highly, as in astronomically, intolerant of alternative points of view and points made that do not speak in the correct voice and language.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] if you reference and use the language of professional economists, you should be fine. Arguments an economist would laugh at won't work. 

  41. Too @40, I dont have a huge problem with your tone. You are pretty polite, - and its always a tough one balancing being polite, and not being so polite its painfull, if you know what I mean.

    And yeah I get you are just trying to figure things out. I will go with that for now. We are all trying to do that really.

    However I would just say that "calm down" is condescending. One thing I like about this website is it is more a facts based website, with some sophisticated views. I read some websites and its nothing more than insults, sarcasm, accusations and slogans and arguments about who is the most intelligent poster! This can all be cleverly put and amusing, but for me it gets boring after about five posts, and a bit deadening.

    Remember websites can set whatever rules they like and nobody is forcing anyone to participate. I value freedom of speech, but you need some moderation or it becomes a shouting match.

    Remember sociopathy is a mental condition and not simply an insult. It exists on a sort of spectrum.

    Thank's for clarifying your basic concerns about Paris etc. Personally I think most of the reason Trump dumped Paris was to do something more to humiliate Obama. Even if you argue it economically, he could have stayed in Paris and then done nothing, so why leave?

    And you think the Paris accord doesn't stack up economically. I disagree. The thing is you have to prove your scepticism. A lot of research going back to the Stern report finds the benefits of reducing emissions, outweigh the costs.

    Although the sceptic Bjorn Lomberg claims Paris will have a neglegible effect on global temperatures, numerous other reputable studies find otherwise. Lombergs assumptions are also clearly excessively pessimistic, and in conflict with the success of other historical environmental improvements that have worked, like reducing the Ozone problem.

    It's a difficult issue to resolove in a few blog posts, and you would have to prove in detail why the people supporting Paris are wrong.

    Your own information on renewable energy tends to show its economic, so goes against your own scepticism! There are numerous studies showing costs of wind power etc are looking good (at least on land), its beyond doubt now. The thing is will you accept such evidence, or desperately search for something otherwise? 

    Regarding feedback, and moderation, and tolerance of different points of view. The moderator has only really asked you to address certain issues clearly before moving on, and provide sources to back claims. This seems fair to me. The website does set quite high standards compared to many but they want a constructive debate not a shouting match. Whats wrong with that?

    In all farness you have provided sources quite well.  I have been guilty of not backing things up. Its all a learning experience.

    But personally I dont like comments crossed out. This is rather like being humiliated at school. 

    I think you commented on the no politics thing somewhere? Basically I have found what works for me is if articles are science focussed, stick to science, if articles clearly have a political component then I make political comments sometimes, but I try and keep them "measured". What else can we do?

    However this website certainly allows alternative points of view, provided its more than simple empty assertions.

    And you cannot expect other people to just agree with you. You have to persuade, people and this goes for me and everyone.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Let's make this clearer. The comments policy exists to foster calm and fact-based discussion of the science around climate change. Plenty of sites  tolerate/welcome wide-ranging flame wars - this site isnt one of them. Prohibitions on politics etc are there to prevent discussions veering down value-based, volatile paths with little connection to climate science.

    As moderators, we deal daily with rabid deniers more used to WUWT et al style, who are not interested in data, logic and have no intention of conforming to comments policy here. The concept of letting data define your opinions is also foreign. We try education, but someone only intent on trouble not learning usually attracts minute attention from moderators and is kicked off asap.

    That said, "too" did not make a great start and so is certainly getting moderator attention. Unlike many we deal with however, he/she has clearly made an effort to understand the policy. We welcome discussion where participants are prepared to cite sources, argue logically and let the data speak rather just motivate reasoning. Please carry on.

    We would rather have conformance than exclusion so cross-outs are a form of education. You may find them intrusive, but the alternative (before moderators had this tool) was simply deleting the whole comment with not even an indication of why.

  42. nigelj @39, I agree about the political stability of North Africa.  I consider the plan likely to be technically feasible, but not likely to be politically feasible in the near to mid-term.  Having said that, the area required to power the EU alone is not so large that it could not be located in Spain alone, or perhaps Spain, Mauretania, Morroco and Algiers (which are more stable than nations further east).

    With regard to winter nights, the proposal is for concentrated solar thermal power plants.  Solar thermal power plants have a large thermal inertia which allows the delay of use of the power by up to six hours with current technology, and with unlimited duration with supplemental gas heating.  The later, in turn, can be provided by hydrogen gas seperated from H2O by electrolysis using excess power production in the day time.

    On top of that, heat itself can be readilly stored in domestic situations by heating large containers of water, and or large stones while power is cheap in the daytime, and using that heat to warm the house over the following night.  I do not see night time usage being a problem with this scheme.

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  43. Trump dumped Paris because, first and foremost, he is a complete scientific ignoramus.  I saw that yesterday in video of him claiming that aerosols cannot effect the ozone layer because his apartment, where he sprays the hair spray, "is all sealed", and goes on to suggest safety regulations in coal mines are also without basis.

    It is clear that, first, Trump has no basic scientific understanding, given that he equates a shut door with an air tight seal; and second, that based on his complete ignorance he rejects any science that results in regulations that he or his business friends might find convenient.  If Trump has his way, if nothing else, he will cut down on unemployment one mining disaster at a time.

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  44. Too @40 , if I may, I can add something on top of the comment by Nigelj and the Moderator.

    ( I speak only for myself, since I am a newcomer to SkS and am definitely not a Moderator or long-time inhabitant or anyone entitled to represent SkS. )

    Too @40 , if you are genuinely wishing to engage constructively with this website (and are not merely a troll amusing himself) then you will have little trouble learning the standards set by SkS.   As a website addressing the "controversial" topic of AGW, this SkS website is in that very small minority of websites which demand intelligent and civil discussion.

    SkS is all about science & scientific thinking, regarding the problems associated with AGW.   So there is no room for the gutter level of Partisan Politics [especially of the American sort].

    You will notice in the Comments Guidelines, that Ad Hominems [in the sense of a logical fallacy] and accusations of dishonesty are verboten (both in relation to other posters and in relation to public figures such as research-scientists / media-commentators / and yes even those deplorable politicians!!! ].   The best we can offer, is some gentle snide irony/sarcasm of a rather indirect sort  ;-)

    Too @40 , simply comport yourself in a civilized way, and your innate gentlemanliness will keep you out of danger!!

    A couple of points :- when Moderators "strike out / cross out" parts of a post, it provides a useful educational feedback to newcomers [rather than simply "snipping" the lot].   Secondly, if anyone wishes to avoid being "snipped" or banned as a troll [and then being put to the nuisance of constructing more sock-puppet accounts! ] then it is wise to restrict one's questioning to one or two topics/threads rather than use a shotgun/machine-gun assault on multiple threads.  And this also requires one to engage genuinely & attentively to points made in the OP or in other posters' comments/replies.  "Sloganeering" is the SkS term for mindless assertions which are unsupported / unscientific / and have (long ago) been debunked.

    Anyone is entitled to bring up (in a non-trollish way) an idea or concept which is "contrarian" — provided that the poster can make a good case for it (and usually this requires some reference to and support from valid scientific research papers.  I need hardly add, that well-supported contrarian ideas are rare as hens' teeth!! ).

    Too @40 , when I say that AGW is "controversial", I mean that the topic itself receives much controversy, even though the science of AGW is not at all controversial (since it is well-demonstrated and accepted by virtually all climate scientists . . . with the inevitable exception of a few characters possessing a perverse personality and/or a purse of gold from the Oil Industry).  And please note that such description by me is not an Ad Hom but merely a factual description!


    Too @40 , you seem to be hinting that there are "two sides" to AGW.   Perhaps it would be best if you explained yourself there — and you could do this by briefly listing 3 or 4 points which support the consensus science position, and then specifying a few points [ if you can find any valid points ] which would support the "opposite" position.  But just before you list the "contrarian" points, please check that they haven't already been debunked (check through the Climate Myths, found in the top left corner of the Home Page).

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  45. @44 On the subject of two sides to the science of AGW. I point to the existence of this website in support of my position that there are two sides. If there were not two sides, everyone would agree and this site would have no need to exist. Now, whether or not you give the other side credence does not negate its existence or the barriers it imposes to solving AGW, which I presume is the end goal of AGW and not a purse of gold from the solar and wind industry (you see, those kinds of things can work both ways so they should be avoided in my opinion). I will refrain from making my point about recent examples of scientific consensus being wrong in the past. I do not believe in AGW based upon scientific consensus but rather from the aspect of the Earth essentially being a closed thermodynamic system and thus it is reasonable that significant carbon release into the atmosphere by humans likely has some degree of impact.

    Now, there are certainly many sides when it comes to the true impact of and how to address AGW. As a side note, the use of pejorative terms like "Climate Change Denier" and other mockery are harmful to the resolution, which I again assume to be the goal state. Whoever invented the term "Climate Change Denier" has likely done the most of any human to harm to the climate through impeding proper discussions around the subject and having discussions end up being name calling contests.

    Summing this up, unless the two sides of this topic can engage in proper dialogue to come to a resolution on addressing AGW then simply proving the science is absolutely meaningless and has been a complete and utter waste of time because it has done nothing to actually solve the problem. Hence, a listing of Climate Myths, to be honest, is absurd to me because I haven't come across one that does anything to actually address the true issue, which is how to best implement and address fixing the problem.

    My interest is understanding where the dialogue has gone wrong and how to make the sides talk in a common language that is not demeaning to one side or the other. I probably seem to come at this in a rather unconventional way but that is simply because I deeply and truly do not care about who is right or wrong or who is the supposed "idiot" or who is to blame. Now, I say this and you still have no idea the depths to which I do not care.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Science is not a game! Do your "research" elsewhere!

    [PS] Sites like ThinkProgress engage in the political debate. SkS has the narrower focus of addressing climate myths with science. You can assume the people are interested in fixing but that does not make this the appropriate forum for political questions.

    Also, it is extremely difficult to have meaningful dialogue with those whose position is based on ideology/group identity and who even openly acknowledges that no evidence would change their mind. Meaningful debate means giving up on misinformation, strawmen, cherry-picking, and preferring blog rhetoric to the crucible of peer-reviewed research. You cannot expect dialogue when you engage in sophistry instead of evidence. If you think you have a cure, then state it.

  46. So, there is no interest in solving the problem of climate change, which needs the other side to cooperate to actually implement something meaningful which means that everyone needs to have productive dialogue? There is only the science and whether it is right or wrong? That seems counter-productive. We have proven climate change, but we don't care about fixing it?

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Blatant sloganeering snipped. 

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Moderating this site is a tiresome chore, particularly when commentators repeatedly submit offensive, off-topic posts or intentionally misleading comments and graphics or simply make things up. We really appreciate people's cooperation in abiding by the Comments Policy, which is largely responsible for the quality of this site.
    Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion.  If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter, as no further warnings shall be given.

  47. Too @45 , on the contrary , whether (or not) the climate scientists are all wrong about rapid Global Warming — is one of the most seriously important issues of this modern age.

    If all the scientists are wrong ..... then we should all put our feet up and do nothing to alter the old (Twentieth Century) methods of energy production from fossil fuel burning.   And SkS website need not exist.   And you yourself would feel no urge to come posting here.

    But unfortunately, all the scientists are very much in the right about AGW.   And it is noticeable how you have deflected away from supplying any (repeat: any) evidence or genuine arguments that could counter what the scientists are saying.   Mr Too, you are making a complete Fail.

    Just as in the Round-Earth / Flat-Earth analogy, where the scientists are completely right and the Flat-Earthers [despite their alleged "arguments" and their description of themselves as "skeptics"] are simply science-deniers.   And the Flat-Earthers don't have a Turtle to stand on  ;-)

    Admittedly the Flat-Earther analogy does break down somewhat.   The Flat Earth issue is too trivial, to have any necessity for an "SkS Round Earth Website" to exist to counter Flat-Earther propaganda & Myths.   Also the Flat-Earthers are not strident and self-righteous as Climate Deniers are.   Nor do they receive big money from the Oil Industry (Exxon / Koch / Murdoch et alia).   Nor do the "Flatties" exert any harm on present and future humanity.

    The Flat-Earthers do have similar Conspiracy Theories to many of the climate-science-deniers ..... but AFAICT, the Flatties don't get butthurt about their denier label, and furthermore some of them seem to have a humorous twinkle in their eye — and they don't have the deep anger motivation possessed by the Climate Deniers.   So there are significant differences  ;-)

    Nor, Mr Too , have you explained your self-contradicting assertion that the scientists are wrong about the AGW problem yet at the same time we need to find "how to best implement and address fixing the problem" [your quote].   Altogether, you thinking seems quite confused.

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  48. Why would I supply evidence that there is no global warming when I, in fact, concur that there is? Since we are here to point to facts, where did I say that scientists are wrong about AGW? Please help me understand where this is coming from because to the best of my knowledge I said no such thing. And if you want to point to the Malthusian Catastrophe comment, but definition, AGW would have to be occuring for it to be a Malthusian Catastrophe.

    Can some moderator show me some mercy and explain how "I want to learn about and help fix AGW" is sloganeering? The Comments policy reads:

    "No sloganeering. Comments consisting of simple assertion of a myth already debunked by one of the main articles, and which contain no relevant counter argument or evidence from the peer reviewed literature constitutes trolling rather than genuine discussion. As such they will be deleted. If you think our debunking of one of those myths is in error, you are welcome to discuss that on the relevant thread, provided you give substantial reasons for believing the debunking is in error. It is asked that you do not clutter up threads by responding to comments that consist just of slogans."

    I have looked through all 195 myths I can't find a reference to I want to learn about and help fix AGW" being in one of the myths.

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    Moderator Response:

     JH] To find what you are looking for, type in a key word or phrase ("clean energy" for example) into the website Search box and hit "Go".

    The vast majority of articles posted on SkS over the years are not directly tied to the denier myths — especially those addressing potential mitigation and adaptation measures.

    You should also explore other websites that focus on the policy responses to manmade climate change. The World Resources Institute would be a good place to start. 

  49. Too ,

    You are coming across as a concern troll who claims to agree with the facts of AGW but raises "questions" that make it appear that you really want to challenge the scientific consensus.  If you have anything you want to learn about use the search button in the corner to find an appropriate thread, virtually anything relating to AGW can be found on SkS.  When I review your posts I see a lot of complaints and little content.  "I want to learn about and help fix AGW" is a general platitude that is not answerable.  You could look at threads that discuss renewable energy as a solution to AGW.

    If you continue to complain about the moderators your posts will be deleted.

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  50. Too @various.

    Perhaps we should examine your comments down this thread in the round.

    Your first position down this thread (@4 & @7) is that the Paris agreement will cost a fortune and achieve effectively zero. This is perhaps the conclusion you would reach if you only relied on a climate-change denier like Lomborg.

    You next suggest (@9, @14, @15 & @16) that food à la Thomas Malthus is equivalent to GHG emissions à la AGW and so, bizarrely, AGW could be tackled by making people poorer (which interestingly is the exact opposite of the fix mankind has effected to escape the Malthusian delemma). Then you decide (@21) this was not a line of discussion you wanted to pursue.

    There follows (@25/26 & @32/33) your not-untroubled assessment on renewable electricity production.

    This leads to your redolent but ambiguous statement @37 "I am beginning to get a sense of why the two sides in this debate cannot seem to have productive discussions," followed @40 by your first mention of Trump and his fake reasons for rejecting Paris.
    Concerning the existence of "two sides," your argument @45 is poor. If a 'second side' does exist as you say, perhaps you could find your way to setting out who it comprises and what it's position is and on what basis it has established such a position.
    I would suggest that there is in truth no such 'second side' and that you are simply alluding to a bunch of nay-saying climate-change deniers who collectively hold any number of incompatable and unscientific beliefs. This cannot in any way constitute a 'second side' with any equivalence to the UN IPCC.
    That you further set out your position (@44/45) in which you see no reason for either "side" to be proved right or wrong but instead that they have to be reconciled to properly address AGW - this is illogical nonsense. It is nonsense even if there were "two sides," which there aren't, because the positions you paint as "sides" cannot be reconciled without proving one to be correct and the other wrong. And this proof has already been established à la IPCC. Thus you must appreciate that your approach to fixing AGW and your desire for learning in that regard is pointless and a waste of everyone's time.


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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] too acknowledges the science consensus. I believe his/her two sides refer to the political debate where there certainly are two sides. 

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