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Comments 601 to 650:

  1. UN report: The world’s farms stretched to ‘a breaking point’

    NigelJ, 

    Thank you for your quick return comments.  It's of novel coincidence that the research results I am citing are the product of a 4 year work authored in Australia.  It is a revision of a World Bank study conducted a little more that 13 years ago which generated a considerable amount of controversy following a number of studies on Animal Ag topics from IPCC, from (Gerber et al., 2013a)...from FAO, 2009...(Steinfeld et al., 2006a)...(Pitesky et al., 2009) and numerous others.

    Perhaps Red Baron will see this exchange and recognize my email address.

    "See" you around.

    Swampy

  2. UN report: The world’s farms stretched to ‘a breaking point’

    Swampfox @3 &4

    "I didn't say the science of Regen is faulty."

    Hmmm. You said "Just the requirement to move cows from place to place on a rotational schedule requires another ranchhand for about every 50-100 head, plus miles of fence maintenance, water drops, etc. I find the "science" faulty and little more than another USDA attempt to salvage industrial animal agriculture"

    I thought by this you meant regenerative agriculture, but perhaps you just mean rotational grazing? I think you lacked a little bit of clarity and its still not clear how you feel the science is faulty.

    Regarding your statement " I said, almost nobody will do it (regenerative agriculture)." Fair point. I live in New Zealand and Regenerative farming is also a small minority of farmers. However  we are starting to see some growing interest over the last five years and more farmers getting on board. However personally I doubt it will really scale up without some sort of government incentives. I know some countries pay farmers to use regenerative farming to conserve soil carbon. Australia I think.

    And I do see the same objections to to regenerative agriculture that you list.

    Its the same sort of issue with organic farming. Its still a minority of farmers in New Zealand, and it costs more to farm that way. But at least with organic farming theres a customer base prepared to pay the higher prices and certification schemes helps identify genuine organic food. In New Zealand we have no such certification scheme for regenerative agriculture. But again I doubt organic farming would take over without some sort of government incentives or rules.

    Personally I think our civilisation will have to change from industrial farming to some form of regenerative / organic farming sooner or later, but I don't subscribe to doctrinaire versions of these things, and I don't oppose every single facet of industrial agriculture. We may have to combine systems. We may keep some limited level of industrial fertilisers to maintain adequate yields and get enough farmers interested. Just my opinion of course. However the impact of industrial pesticides on insect populations is very concerning. We must find a solution to this and fast.

    Thank's for the offer to visit and review your work, but I regretfully wont take it up simply because I live in New Zealand on the other side of the world, and I probably don't have nearly enough farming and biological expertise to review your study. But I wish you all the best with your research. You should probably get in touch with Red Baron (Scott Strough) who posts comments on this website.

  3. UN report: The world’s farms stretched to ‘a breaking point’

    Hal Kantrud @ 3:

    You seem to be making a habit of posting comments related to the carbon cycle, from a position of not really knowing what the science is saying.

    On the subject of carbon dioxide removal (CDR), the most recent IPCC report has a few useful quotes.

    From the Technical Summary (page TS-65 in the draft version from last August):

    The largest co-benefits are obtained with methods that seek to restore natural ecosystems or improve soil carbon sequestration (medium confidence).

    and from the full report (page I-114)

    CDR can be achieved through a number of measures (Chapter 5, Section 5.6, and E SRCCL). These include additional afforestation, reforestation, soil carbon management, biochar, direct air capture and carbon capture and storage (DACCS), and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

    I found that from doing a simple search for "soil carbon". Why you think this subject is being avoided is a mystery to me.

  4. UN report: The world’s farms stretched to ‘a breaking point’

    Nigelj

    Since you are a frequent contributor to SkepSci, we should visit. I live in Virginia. If you are within 2-300 miles of Lexington, VA. I will bring a new study on Animal Ag and let you review bits of it, in confidence of course. It is in peer review and is expected to be published in early summer. You can reach me at: swampfoxh@hotmail.com

  5. UN report: The world’s farms stretched to ‘a breaking point’

    Nigel 

    I didn't say the science of Regen is faulty,

     I said, almost nobody will do it. Bovines have to be managed, a la the Joel Salatin (Polyface) Model. Joel uses "free" intern help on his farm to accomplish most of what an animal farmer has to do to maintain this system. His cattle farmer neighbors always point out that substantial extra labor will be required and none of them are willing to forgo chemicals and manufactured fertilizers. Plant farmers won't do it either. The entire Midwest soil situation shows that the only utility of soil is to hold the plant erect, the non-man-made soil attributes are seriously depleted...all across the great plains. The Oglalla Acquifer is being mined well beyond its recharge rate, forcing circular irrigation wells to have to go deeper to mine what's left of this water resource. Unless we command plant and animal farmers to make painful changes, which we won't do, the current situation across the globe will not change. I'm not a vegetarian. I work for Joel Salatin. Elimination of Industrial Animal Agriculture will buy us a lot of time while we wrestle with the fossil fuels problems, and while we tackle the FF problem, we have an adequate alternate food supply...from plants.

  6. SkS Analogy 1 - Speed Kills: How fast are we going?

    Perhaps it's "rah-rah" from the team but I really like this analogy.

    Not least because it neatly addresses the "climate's always changed" confusion.

    I stop and start my car every time I drive. The velocity of my car constantly changes when it's in normal use. Running into a brick wall is a change of velocity. Even while the ultimate kinetic result of a brick wall is identical to using brakes, running into a brick wall results in destruction. 

  7. UN report: The world’s farms stretched to ‘a breaking point’

    Why are losses of soil carbon usually avoided in reports centered on climate change, especially global warming?  To survive, we mined the element from soils with highest carbon content while thickening the "greenhouse" gas blanket, a prime indicator of global warming.  We "sequestered" the great bulk of the mine waste in basins, rivers, and the oceans.  We are highly dependent on remaining soil carbon as the element is concentrated in carbohydrates, proteins, and fatty acids. Only a few ecosystems, mostly grasslands, store carbon deep underground; deposition rates are excruciatingly slow.  I have heard estimates of 800 years per the thickness of a dime for the uppermost humic layer, and that was for tallgrass prairie, already underlain by very fertile soil   Retrieving carbon and replacing it upper layers of the soil proile where it can be used by shallow-rooted crop and forage plants would be a daughting task, but likely a much better invstment than planting trees and injecting carbon dioxide thousands of feet underground.

  8. UN report: The world’s farms stretched to ‘a breaking point’

    Swampfox @1. On what basis do you find the science of regenerative farming  faulty?

    And what is your alternative to regenerative farming and industrial agriculture? Im scratching my head because I dont know of one. Or are you promoting vegetarianism?

    I really do wish people would spell out exactly what they are saying / promoting and stop talking in riddles. It just aggrivates me and I have no respect for it.

  9. UN report: The world’s farms stretched to ‘a breaking point’

    Frankly, nothing about this is encouraging. Even the FAO estimate that agriculture produces 31% of global emissions, up from 14.5% nearly two decades ago, offers no bright spot in the picture. In our local community, trying to interest cattle farmers in Regenerative Ag has failed. Regen is good theory but nearly nobody wants to do it. Just the requirement to move cows from place to place on a rotational schedule requires another ranchhand for about every 50-100 head, plus miles of fence maintenance, water drops, etc. I find the "science" faulty and little more than another USDA attempt to salvage industrial animal agriculture from necessary extinction. Eight billion humans, shoulder to shoulder, will wrap around the planet at the Equator about a hundred times...another 2 billion by 2050 feels like a mass extinction already thoroughly underway.

  10. How much has nuclear testing contributed to global warming?

    ClayHansen99,

    While [roblems with your equations can presumably be sorted, there appears to be some fundmental problems with a thesis that argues the increase in atmospheric CO2 results from nuclear tests releasing CO2 from the oceans.

    The generally accepted view (as set out by, for instance, the Global Carbon Project who enumerate rising atmospheric CO2 since 1780) is that there is today something like 11Gt(C) of CO2 is annually released by humankind into the atmosphere and any proposal of an alternative source for the atmospheric increase in CO2 will have to identify what happens to that annual 11Gt(C) of CO2 release by humankind.

    And if an appropriate CO2 sink is identified allowing the true source to be argued as the oceans, the generally accepted view is that there are already CO2 sinks in operation as only half the humankind release remains in the atmosphere. One of those sinks is the oceans. So if the true source is to be argued as the oceans, the thesis would have to be backed by evidence showing a loss of CO2 from the oceans, this overturning the evidence currently generally accepted showing the oceans to be a major sink of atmospheric CO2 not a source.

  11. How much has nuclear testing contributed to global warming?

    Clay Hansen:

    I was able to open the link in your first comment. It does not make your argument stronger.

    A few key errors:

    • Equations 2 and 3 are incorrect. You have assumed that energy in = energy out (solar vs earth's emissions to space).
      • It takes time for the earth-atmosphere system to respond to an imbalance between energy in and energy out.
      • The speed at which it responds depends on the heat capacity.
      • For the atmpsphere only - ignoring land or water - the e-folding time is on the order of 200 days.
      • If you include the ocean mixed layer (60 to 70m depth), we are talking a decade or two for it to respond to an energy imbalance.
      • The deeper ocean takes even longer.
      • It is impossible to model temperatures on an annual basis without inclduing these heat capacity issues and non-equilibrium conditions.
    • Equation 4 is incorrect. You have assumed that the energy in can be calculated from the difference between the σT4 terms for solar (6000K) and terrestrial (assuming about 255K or 288K, you don't specify) along with a "shape factor".
      • No such constant "shape factor" can be used for both sources (solar, terrestrial).
      • σT4 for solar temperature gives a flux at the surface of the sun. The earth is not located that close to the sun. You need to account for the difference in area between a sphere with the radius of the sun, and a sphere with a radius of the earth's distance from the sun.
      • The solar radiation received from the sun also needs to be reduced by a factor of 1/4 to account for the area of the earth as a sphere vs the area of the earth as a disk.
      • The solar radiation absorbed by the earth also need to account for global albedo.
      • You may claim that your shape factor accounts for this - but the "shape factor" for solar radiation (which is simple geometry) is vastly different from any "shape factor" for earth's emissions to space, and you only have one "shape factor".
      • Since the solar "shape factor" is purely geometric, it will not vary over time as you assume in equation 5b.

    Given these fundamental errors in the first equations of your model, the rest is nonsense. I did not bother to try to follow the rest of your mathematics, as the initial assumptions are fundamentally wrong.

  12. One Planet Only Forever at 07:26 AM on 25 January 2022
    The phenomenon of ‘Don’t Look Up’ (Part 2)

    It is incorrect to restrict Don’t Look Up to being an attempt to raise awareness about climate change.

    I watched the movie in late December. And I watched it again recently. It is not just a satirical story trying to expose the many aspects of the harmful resistance by leadership to taking action that would limit the rate and ultimate magnitude of climate change harm caused by human activities.

    I will start with the item that triggered my interest in responding – a comment about the End

    Having watched the movie again, and trying to avoid spoiling the movie for anyone who is yet to see it, the scene described as “And the one scene praised even in negative reviews of the movie, the reconstituted family that gathers for a final prayerful meal at the end, may ultimately promote a sort of religious resignation or fatalism in the face of climate change.”, is not what it is claimed to be at all. That presentation is a gross distortion. See for yourself. The gathering is more than a reconstituted nuclear family. And the religious aspect is a minor part of the gathering interactions. It is sort of along the lines of ‘an atheist faced with the ultimate end may briefly dabble in spiritual possibilities’. And the spiritual bit is presented in a religiously neutral way, but mono-theistic so not truly representing the spectrum of spirituality, by a young outsider of the family who is welcomed at the gathering. And the gathering only happens when it is virtually certain that they can do nothing more to avert or lessen the harm done by the coming tragedy.

    The Movie is about more than the challenges of climate change

    Don’t Look Up exposes the developed socioeconomic-political system challenges to raising awareness and improving understanding of the harmful aspects of popular and profitable developments. Those challenges are not exclusive to climate change. The UNEP 2022: Emergency mode for the environment published January 6, 2022 as a Climate Actions Story identifies the “... enduring crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.” That is far more than climate change. And the story links to 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. And the other Sustainable Developments Goals, which are social rather than environmental, face similar resistance to learning that what has been developed is harmful and unsustainable.

    Court Jester style ridicule of high status more powerful people, not just the ‘rich’, can help everyone, including lower status people, identify the harmful actions among the higher status, particularly exposing who is being harmfully misleading in pursuit of personal benefit. But, as the movie exposes, many people can be tempted to Identify with cult-like incorrect beliefs and biases. And, like cult members, they will resist learning, and even fight against learning, that their bias and beliefs are incorrect until it is glaringly obvious to them through the potently restrictive biased filter of their developed Identity. (At this point I will add that everyone has developed personal biases and beliefs. My current developed bias is towards increased awareness and improved understanding of what is harmful and the application of that learning to help others by developing sustainable improvements – The Ethical Engineer).

    Note that the movie was not made to make money or garner ‘popularity points’. And the criticism that it may ‘turn-off’ some people who are not yet convinced about climate science is a bit of misleading marketing. When it comes to matters like Sustainable Development the fence sitters need to learn and choose a side. Their choices are:

    • Learn what is harmful to the future of humanity and try to Help reduce, idealing ending, the Harm Done so the future of humanity is sustainable and improving or,
    • Continue to be the harmful distracted learning resistant people they have been by resisting that learning and potentially becoming more harmful by choosing to fight to defend and excuse harmful unjustified aspects of the developed Status Quo.

    Science is helpful when it is biased to increase awareness and improve understanding of what is harmful and apply what is learned to help develop sustainable improvements. That requires constant investigation for evidence of harm being done to the robust diverse ecosystem that humans undeniably are only a part of and cannot survive ‘apart from’.

    More considerations

    Criticisms of the film also expose the harmful ridiculous (deserving ridicule) developed ways of thinking that have regrettably been able to dominate development. They can be seen to be misleading marketing efforts by people who have a bias for the Status Quo. That bias opposes corrections of development required by the global leadership level learning that was developed and presented at the Stockholm Conference of 1972, and has continued to be developed and publicly shared since then.

    The Stockholm Conference was a significant global leadership admission of the diversity of global Human Development problems that had occurred. It exposed that the problems would get worse and new problems would develop unless significant systemic changes were made to the developed predominant beliefs and biases.

    A harmful response to that raising of awareness of the need for systemic changes that would alter developed perceptions of superiority and progress blossomed in the 1980s. The Reagan-Thatcher right wing power plays for popularity and profit can be understood to be concerted efforts by harmful wealthy powerful interests who would lose status if the harmful unsustainable beliefs and actions they benefited from were limited and corrected to achieve sustainable improvements for global humanity. The scope of the Stockholm Conference went beyond the harmful injustices of colonialism that people were still attempting to raise awareness and improved understanding of (A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn was written in 1980 was part of that centuries long effort that continues today). Raising awareness and improved understanding of what was harmful and unsustainable threatened many powerful wealthy interests. And it continues to threaten them because they have not yet lost their undeserved perceptions of status and related harmful biases and beliefs.

    .......
    With the above frame of reference, worldview, established I will make the controversial point that, contrary to a gross generalization that science is unbiased, “science can be biased”. All individuals have biases and perceptions of reality that they develop based on their experiences and learning. And scientists are people.

    The claim that science is unbiased is understandably restricted to the constantly improving awareness and understanding based on the evidence found so far regarding what was investigated so far. Science can be understood to be biased against investigating more complex matters, especially having a bias against anything that cannot be confirmed by repeatable experiments. Experimental learning is important. But it is limited to parts of more complex reality that can be isolated for ‘repeatable’ experimentation. And that Achilles heel of science is a weakness that has been exploited to raise doubts and discredit scientists ... they change their minds, never say something is absolutely certain, and seem to be unable to extend their rigorous science to more complex realities. That leads to the obvious opening to play games of misleading influence claiming that the current understanding on any issue can be wrong and subject to change, no matter how ‘distinguished’ a scientist may appear to be (the competition for status relative to Others governs everybody – doesn’t it).

    And I will build on that point to ridicule criticisms that simplistically claim that the film is biased and, as a result, may turn-off people who have ‘to date’ resisted learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others. ‘Learning resistant’ is a more accurate description of the ‘moderates' who are not yet biased to believe that many aspects of developed human activity are harmfully degrading the future of humanity. On important matters the 'moderates’ or ‘undecided’ can be understood to be willing to compromise better understanding because of a desire for respecting less sensible, more harmful, opinions (Loving the Freedom to believe and do whatever one wants is a powerfully harmful bias and belief system).

    Science is biased to be the pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding. It can be opposed to a bias to maintain and defend the developed status quo. But science is not biased to focus on the investigation of harmful or potentially harmful things. Science can be biased away form that by the status quo it operates in.

    And the ‘status’ part of ‘status quo’ gets pursued by people who allow themselves to be co-opted into a status quo competition for perceptions of status (including competitions pursuing popularity and profit). And the pursuit of status is also not biased to be governed or limited to developing lasting improvements for humanity. The harmful reality of the results of people being freer to believe and do as they please are undeniable. Yet some people still fight to maintain the status quo belief in Individual (or Regional, or National, or Cult) Sovereignty to believe and do as they please. Even scientists can feel they should be sovereign to investigate whatever they would choose to investigate. That sovereignty of science investigation can be helpful or harmful, just like competition for popularity or profit can be helpful or harmful.

    So the obvious key is for everyone to be biased to want to learn what is harmful and learn how they can be more helpful to Others. Science (and economics and politics) governed (and limited) by that bias is what is required.

    The lack of interest and paltry funding for increased awareness and understanding of what is harmful and the related lack of having everyone governed and limited by learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others can be understood to be the expected result of pursuits of status in poorly governed and ineffectively restricted competition for status (popularity and profit).

    Science can also be understood to potentially be harmfully biased against investigations and explanations of the complex interconnected nature of reality that cannot be experimented on to rigorously confirm theories being investigated. The hierarchy of the importance of pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding can be understood to be (one of many references supporting this is Sean Carroll’s The Big Picture):

    • Physics - the ways things happen down to the sub-atomic levels
    • Chemistry - the interactions of physical items that are larger than the sub-atomic
    • Biology – the more complex interactions of organic matter
    • Psychology – the way that brains work in biological organisms to respond to their experience in their environment
    • Sociology – the ways that independent organisms of similar type (societies) interact.
    • Ecology – the ways that organisms of different types interact.

    The most important and most complex, and least able to be investigated by experiment, is clearly the Ecology and its potential to develop sustainable constantly improving success for the organisms involved. And the lowest level of importance to the future of humanity, while still having significant importance, is Physics.

    Note that that ranking also means that protecting the environment from harm should also significantly govern economic and political actions. And it also means that protecting the society of global humanity, now and into the distant future, from harm also needs to significantly govern economic and political actions. The resulting understanding is that individual interests, including that tempting individual freedom of belief and action, also need to be governed to limit harm done. Restricting freedom and changing the status quo are not 'harmful by default'.

    That understanding explains why it can be so hard to change the mind of a person who has developed their biases and beliefs immersed in poorly governed socioeconomic-political competition for perceptions of superiority. Anyone who has powerfully developed their identity in that way is like a conscript in a cult. And extreme measures can be required to free minds from harmful cults.

    Note that being a member of a cult can also be helpful if the cult is helpfully governed to limit harm done. But it would be preferable for people to learn to be less harmful and more helpful rather than be that way because of the leadership of a cult they have become a captured member of.

    And science is also biased to the belief in the supremacy of humans, and the related harmful potential belief in the superiority of a sub-set of humanity that developed perceptions of their superiority through unjust pursuits of perceptions of superiority relative to others.

    Competition for perceptions of superiority can be fierce among scientists. And there are many examples of scientists being harmfully biased regarding their choice of what to investigate by the biases they developed based on their experience in the system they learned in. That will be harder to change without significant systemic changes that effectively restrict the Freedom of development of harmful competitive biases for pursuit of status.

  13. How much has nuclear testing contributed to global warming?

    Thank you and I apologize.  My lengthy text was in reply to someone asking for a summary of our article.  The link isn't working.  Of course, the article includes the math and citations.  It was ignorant of me to post those data without showing reference to our original piece.  Thank you very much for your advice!!! 

  14. How much has nuclear testing contributed to global warming?

    Please see my posts at https://aplausibletruthaboutclimatechange.com/

    Basically, the article describes the earth based on a thermodymanic balance.  Using equations from Newton and Stephan/Boltzmann, we can determine, with confidence, how an impulse of quantum energy affects our climate.  With it, we can model a solar flare, an above ground nuclear test and a below ground nuclear test.  In each case, the energy of the earth increased and must therefore be dissipated to return to our previous state of equilibrium.  Above ground, the amount of energy we receive is only a fraction of the total amount possible.  In engineering terms, we call it the Shape Factor.  A shape factor on 1 is 100% and 0.5 is 50%, etc.  Above ground, the shape factor of a nuclear bomb is only maybe 20%.  In addition, the rock will reflect most of that 20% back.  However, underground, 100% of the energy is absorbed.

    Based on 89 megatons of TNT worth of nuclear detonations underground only, our temperature rise should be 2.95K by 2118, using standard thermodynamic equations.

    I do try to take a stab at how the energy got through the rock in my hypothesis.  I also show reliable correlations to recent nuclear testing and direct changes in CO2 global average delta.

    Our team has what I believe to be the perfect solution.  These data are also available on my website.

    Change the Paradigm, Save the world

     

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please read the opening post and all the comments in this thread in their entirety before commenting further.  As noted in an earlier response, looking at those peak years of testing, the forcing from those 20 years of peak tests of the nuclear weapons on the Earth came to about one eight-millionth of a Watt per square meter (8 x 10-6 W m-2) of power

    For comparison, the 1.8 Watts per square meter (1.8 W m-2) of CO2 radiative forcing as of 2011 generates approximately twenty nine billion, trillion Joules of energy (29 x 1021 J) over the Earth's surface in a single year, or more than ten thousand times as much energy in a year than the entire combined nuclear weapons program of the world had generated in those 20 years.

    http://railsback.org/FQS/FQSNuclearWeaponsTesting01.jpg

    You are welcome to disagree with that, but in order to be taken seriously, you'll need to cite credible relevant sources and show your maths in your analysis.  

     Sloganeering snipped.

  15. How much has nuclear testing contributed to global warming?

    Clay Hansen:

    Thank you for bringing data to Skeptical Science.  When I click on your link nothing opens.

    I note that in the counter in the upper right corner that the atmosphere has absorbed more than 3 billion Hiroshima bombs worth of energy.  I cannot imagine that the underground nuclear tests released a comparable amount of energy.  In addition, all of the energy was released decades ago while the climate continues to warm.  Perhaps you could summarize your findings here so that we do not have to access your entire original document.

  16. How much has nuclear testing contributed to global warming?

    I'm a professional chemical engineer with a bakground in nuclear weapons and an eidetic memory.  I have compiled a huge amount of data that proves that underground nuclear testing is the root cause of climate change.  In addtion, we have developed the thermodynamic equations, following the laws of Newton and Boltzman, that show us where we are headed and about how long it will take.  Please read the attached technical article that explains the reasoning.  In addition, there are links to my original hypothesis and the video I put out.

    Change the paradigm, save the world

    Clay W Hansen PE

    What really causes Global Warming and How it can be attenuated

  17. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3

    Jonas, a couple of points :-

    (A) Slow down. You are on a multi-decade marathon run, not a 100m sprint.

    (B) Life is like a jigsaw puzzle, made up of many pieces.  Some large, some small.  Some more important, some trivial.  Each piece has its own place in the overall picture.  It is the picture itself which has meaning - even where a piece or two is damaged or missing.

  18. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3

    @Baerbel: this time: 10 items read. I would like to read all, but I have to prioritize: I need more sleep. The non-read and read articles will feed into my overall picture and tickle down into my small networks via liks to here and elsewhere (reduced by pandemic; before): ca. 700 people from a small local support forum for a local official city garden project and ca 40 people from an unspecified social network group and my private network. I hope this small spreading footprint justifies the whole reading I do. Sometimes I feel it's worth it, and sometimes I despair (most of the time, to be honest: the small remaining part keeps me going: despair would not make me behave differently (posting from 11.9C in my one room app (luxury!) ..), but I would reduce reading and spreading: hope dies last? I am a Zombie .. I remember being shocked when this SkS hiroshima bombs widget showed the "even" number of 2.040.000.000. Current number: 3.090.020.000 .. I fear we are already completely lost, but I don't want to make this a self fullfilling prophecy ..).

  19. ‘Don’t Look Up’ – See the movie. Ignore the comet. (Part 1)

    I managed to sit through about a third of this movie. It tries to be satire but is more like poor farce, and fails big time in either role.

    I understand the objective, but a film this crude in its approach does little for a cause.

  20. Sea level rise is exaggerated

    Thank you BaerbelW  ~ and the same Peter Hadfield has brought out a new video on sea level rise, as of a day ago.  This, number 58 in his YouTube climate series.   Title is :- "Are prominent environmentalists buying beachside property?"

    The one you mentioned (number 57) was excellent in debunking the usual strawman myths & faked/false "scientific predictions".

    The new video also humorously looks at sea level and the ongoing Denialist cries about the hypocrisy of very prominent rich Lefties  who are continually buying expensive beach properties which would surely be doomed to inundation in the immediate future.

    Potholer54 provides a handy bunch of rebuttals.  Amusing, too.

    Over 20,000 views already.

  21. ‘Don’t Look Up’ – See the movie. Ignore the comet. (Part 1)

    To nigelj: As I understand it, one of the motivations in making the movie was in fact to promote action on climate change in an indirect way.

  22. ‘Don’t Look Up’ – See the movie. Ignore the comet. (Part 1)

    I watched the trailer for the Dont Look Up movie and it seemed quite good satire overall and hit the political and pshychological targets accurately, but the humour seemed a bit strained at times. Reviews have been a bit negative overall.

    Our brains are indeed hardwired to respond most strongly to immediate threats rather than long term slow moving train wrecks like climate change. Good commentary here. From our point of view the problem is how do we motivate more action on the climate problem given most peoples minds are not aroused much by the problem? 

    The movie does of course invert reality. I would say most people would respond strongly to a reasonably immediate threat from a comet, although theres probably some actual truth in the movie because a few people would probably still deny the problem, or see a perverted advantage to themselves out of it. 

    "It’s just not clear to this reviewer how Don’t Look Up, which vividly portrays Americans not solving a comparatively simple problem, will help Americans solve the truly wicked problem of climate change. "

    Remember its just a movie. Its entertainment, satire and a bit of social and political commentary and nothing more. Its not a documentary or a mitigation plan or intended to motivate action or change the world. Although who knows, it might embarass a few people into taking climate change more seriously.

  23. One Planet Only Forever at 02:25 AM on 20 January 2022
    ‘Don’t Look Up’ – See the movie. Ignore the comet. (Part 1)

    The connections of Don't Look Up to the tragedy regarding climate change because of the quirks of the human psyche are more terrifying than what is presented.

    Rwanda is just one of many lessons from human history of a collaborative society with a diversity of people that was rapidly perverted into being destructive by political game players who wanted to benefit from unjustly dominating Others. Their success was achieved by making misleading claims promoting alternate (irrational) beliefs that are obviously nonsense to anyone whose self-interest does not tempt them to embrace and immerse themselves in stories claiming the need to fight against "All Others who are not part of Their cult of believers".

    Anti-climate science storytelling is part of bigger harmful political cults that are built on a diversity of lies created by harmful political opportunists. And those harmful misleading political cult leaders have repeatedly succeeded in causing massive harm because many people are easily tempted to believe nonsense messages that trigger their emotions to overpower their ability to be reasonable. And once a mind is captured by cult identity it can be hard to free that mind from the harmful irrational alternate reality it has been perverted into believing.

    Back to Rwanda, one sub-set of the diverse population who had been meeting and greeting each other and working together were startlingly rapidly convinced to viciously slaughter their own neighbours (Note that Unionization of workers has been shown to reduce animosity between people with diverse backgrounds).

    Partisan democratic politics that has been allowed to be contaminated by "successful storytelling of lies" (misleading marketing) is already clearly causing massive harmful climate change impacts by delaying and diminishing leadership efforts to limit the harm done. The scarier part is that that successful misleading politics is not that far away from what happened in Rwanda and many other places that rapidly devolved into more destructive behaviour.

    Hopefully, the efforts to raise awareness of what is harmful and improve the understanding of how to limit the harm done to the future of humanity, not just the harm of rapid significant climate change, will help to counteract the powerful pressures of divisive destructive pursuits of superiority relative to others that are so harmfully dominant in the world.

     

  24. One Planet Only Forever at 14:03 PM on 18 January 2022
    There is no consensus

    In response to Star-affinity @#900:

    Comprehensive responses to the question about the magnitude of consensus regarding human induced global warming and resulting climate changes have been provided by others.

    My initial supplement is: Rather than debating the magnitude of consensus for the theory that “significant anthropogenic climate change is occurring” ask for an evaluation of the level of consensus for the theory that “No anthropogenic climate change impacts are occurring”.

    Increased atmospheric CO2 is unquestionably due to human activity. And increased CO2, along with other human impacts, unquestionably produce global warming and significant, hard to precisely identify, but unquestionably harmful climate changes from the conditions that human civilization developed in through the past several thousand years.

    However, there is more to consider. It is important to be aligned on the context/objectives for a 'debate'. Without objective alignment the result can be a waste of time.

    My primary objective is to try to help develop a sustainable improving future for humanity. Increased awareness and improved understanding of what is going on is essential to sustainable improvement of the future of humanity. And increased awareness of what is harmful and learning how to limit harm done is key, with climate change impacts of human activity being a significant sub-set of concern.

    Science questions things with the objective of increasing awareness and improving the understanding of what is really going on in a way that develops “improved common sense”. It is important for that “common sense” to help improve the future of humanity.

    Note that not all science or application of science is helpful. Misleading marketing is a good example of harmful scientific investigation and application. It can develop cult-like groups of believers with nonsense as “their common sense”.

    Every individual’s perception of what is going on is their reality. All understandings of what is going on are individual beliefs. And everyone has biases regarding what they learn. Everyone develops their understanding based on their experiences in the socioeconomic-political environment they grow up in. In many cases people develop a fondness for, or addiction to, harmful unsustainable developments (systems and beliefs) and resist correction of harm done that they benefit from or hope to benefit from.

    Getting alignment on the objective of “reducing harm done to the future of humanity and developing lasting improvements for humanity” is essential. Without that alignment the discussion can be a competition with the different sides having different sets of rules about how the game is played or judged/refereed. That can be a waste of time.

    Debating details about the level of consensus of understanding that human activity is causing harmful rapid climate change impacts is one of those waste of time games. Establishing that there is significant consensus is important. However, questioning a well developed understanding of the level of consensus is a game being played to delay and distract from the important discussions of how to identify and most effectively limit the harmful impacts of the many developed unsustainable activities that cause climate change impacts.

    One of the most harmful activities is misleading marketing. Always keep in mind that popularity and profitability have no reason to be aligned with limiting harm done. They are measures that are indifferent to harm done . Being more popular or profitable does not mean something is less harmful. In fact, getting away with being more harmful or misleading can be a competitive advantage in games of popularity and profit. And being more popular and profitable can make harmful beliefs and actions harder to correct (the persistence of climate science denial is one of many cases proving that point).

  25. The 1.5 degrees goal: Beware of unintended consequences

    I think it has been shown that industrial animal agriculture, which is about a 33% contributor to CO2e emissions, still carries the burden of deleterious ecological effects outside of the subject of GGEs, and, of course, the emissions footprint of nearly 8 billion humans added to the biomass is a major issue. Trying to add up all CO2e emissions while passing up the Industrial Animal Ag piece seems to leave a rather large deficiency in the math. Moreover, the body count of Humans and domestic animals, together, requires action, but COP26 avoided conversations that implicated both. The Animal Ag piece probably upsets environmental health because of its contribution to the list of nine serious adverse effects, starting with deforestation, desertification, fresh water use and land use changes made for the benefit of Animal Ag...the other 5 topics being no less important to curtail.

  26. Big numbers – dollars and institutions – behind divestments from fossil fuels

    Hal, in terms of being better informed, Newton isnt connected with conservation of energy - first steps in that direction would be Leibnitz, but in a very limited context. von Mayer and, independently, Joule would first to really state it in a modern form in 1840s. Attempts at attribution to Newton require very creative interpretations of his work, using concepts that Newton never knew.

    Renewable energy can be thought of as conversion of energy to useful forms (generally electricity) from renewable sources.

  27. There is no consensus

    Thank you, Bob, for showing the ingenious Project Steve.

    The vonStorch survey [referred to, above] may not have many Steves, but it is a good survey - in the sense that it has a suitable first filter.  It contacts many thousands of appropriately qualified scientists.

    Unfortunately, the low 7% return rate is the first weakness.  It would have been better (but at much greater expense) for expert interviewers to personally meet with a truly random selection of perhaps 200 of the scientists . . . and gently hound them for their views, allowing no-one to drop out or excuse himself!

    At 7% return , there is the reasonable fear that the respondents include a relatively high proportion of "extremists" (from either end of the spectrum).   For example, in one of the questions, 2.5% of respondents replied that they were "not at all"  convinced that AGW existed.   And this 2.5% is an amazingly high percentage, in view of the accumulated overwhelming evidence that the 2.5 percenters are flat wrong.

    In such extreme cases, one suspects that a big slice of the 2.5 percenters have bizarre/extremist political views & a lot of cognitive dissonance.  But 'twas ever thus ~ for almost any field of science.  (Personal anecdote - I know quite well a PhD-level scientific researcher who is a member of his local Flat-Earth Society.)

    And the vonStorch survey questions were very unsuited to elicit actual consensus-relevant opinions.

    Overall, John Cook's 2013 survey of the true scientific literature was the optimum approach to the "consensus" issue.  It was reasonably neutral in selection; it didn't suffer from drop-outs (drop-outs by the busy, or by the disgruntled) . . . and it looked at the actual science , not the sometimes-flaky opinions of us imperfect human beings.

    And on top of it, the Cook 2013 survey doubled-down by asking the scientists personally to confirm (or not) what they viewed their scientific papers as saying.   Brilliant !

  28. There is no consensus

    Regarding the utility of surveys such as the Oregon Petition mentioned by Eclectic, I always think of Project Steve, which the National Center for Science Education uses to track opinions on the scientific validity of evolution theory. (Wikipedia also has a page on the project.)

    The question basically comes down to whether the selection of individuals responding to the survey is reasonable or not.

  29. There is no consensus

    BaerbelW  @  #902  :  We can look even further, regarding the Forbes 2016 article mentioned by Star-affinity @ #900 .

    The article's author, Mr Earl Ritchie, has grossly misrepresented the vonStorch 2013 survey  ~ the survey simply does not support Ritchie's thrust of argument.   Ritchie is severely misleading the Forbes  readers - readers who are probably good at business but probably rather unthinking (and ill-informed) on science.   And Ritchie is also misleading them about the Cook 2013 survey of scientific papers.

    The vonStorch 2013 survey [now 8 years old] had its interesting points.  And I think the brief "Mertonian" discussion on pages 68 & 69 was a pleasant change of pace.   And at the end of the survey report, Bray & vonStorch published a long list of comments criticizing the deficiencies of the survey (participants' critiques ~ especiallly about the ambiguities of the survey questions).

    Additionally, please note that the survey had a 7% return rate.  (Vastly different from the Cook 2013 survey, which had a different structure.)

    And, the survey was about opinions ~ and much of it was about opinions on technical aspects/adequacies of climate models & future projections.

    Most of the questions were rather vague and fuzzy and "word based" instead of scientific concept based.  So, somewhat difficult for the participants to express themselves about the overall climate science situation  ~ in analogy: they were invited to give opinion about a leaf or two, but not to discuss the background forest.

    (There were a few exceptions in the questions:  one where 2.5%  of respondents opined that they were not at all convinced about AGW.   And another question, where 89% of respondents said they were now more convinced [versus in 2007] that greenhouse gasses had produced modern global warming.)

    All this compares very poorly with the excellent methodology used in the Cook 2013 assessment of scientific consensus.

  30. There is no consensus

    Star-affinity @#900:

    Several other studies have looked at the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change since that Forbes article was published. Here is a blog post from last year written by John Cook about a study he was involved with, replicating Doran & Zimmermann (2009) with a larger sample:

    The scientific consensus on climate change gets even stronger

    The interesting thing with the Forbes' article is, that it has to cherry pick a particular study to make its point of a lower than 90% consensus. And expecting 100% agreement of climate scientists before accepting the evidence is a case of impossible expectations, one of the main science denial techniques covered in the FLICC framework.

  31. wilddouglascounty at 08:31 AM on 16 January 2022
    How weather forecasts can spark a new kind of extreme-event attribution

    Eclectic,

    I appreciate your patient discussion of the topic, which I believe has met its desired level of mutual understanding. I think you understand my desire for folks to use the term "greenhouse gases" or the related phrases: "changes in the chemistry of the atmosphere linked to human activity," "anthropogenic greenhouse gases," "increased AGGI index," or any other term you want to choose, when trying to attribute the causes of a particular extreme weather event, or trends for that matter. For clarity's sake, it leads to a cleaner understanding of the causes of the observed changes, in the same way as pointing to steroid use is a cleaner understanding of the causes of changed performance patterns in sports. It is also more encompassing in that the change in greenhouse gases is linked to observed physical phenomena outside the realm of the earth's climate.

    On my part, I have a renewed respect that the terms climate change, AGW and global warming are still useful terms, especially when they are used outside the discussion of causality. The observation that most years I cannot skate on ponds that I grew up skating on in the winter is one example of global warming that I can point to in my neck of the woods, just as peonies that were planted by my ancestors to bloom on Memorial Day at the end of May but now bloom weeks too early most years is another indication of a changing climate.

    Regarding when terms first began to be used, I am not so interested in when they were first used so much as what terms are currently being used, which is increasingly climate change, as evidenced here: LINK

    Personally I find climate change to be more inclusive so I'm fully supportive of using that phrase when talking about generalities, for the reason I've already stated. But I understand that this is a usage preference only, as any term is fraught with and susceptible to misuse and abuse. So thanks for the conversation and hopefully we have all gained something from the exercise.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Shortened link breaking page formatting.

  32. There is no consensus

    Star-affinity @ #900 :

    Thank you for the reference to the 2016 Forbes  article by Earl Ritchie, who describes himself as a retired oil industry executive (not a scientist).   I read the article with interest, and found it disappointing.  It was more a propaganda piece, and not at all a rigorous logical examination of the issue.

    Star-affinity, if one chooses to define things very loosely, and also use rhetoric like a lawyer-advocate  ~ then one can come to any "conclusion" that is desired.   (e.g. the good Lord Monckton - not at all a scientist - can re-define "3%" to be the result of the excellently clever Cook 2013 survey of scientific papers which produced the famous "97%" consensus figure.)

    What is a consensus here?  (See some of the comments upthread.)   Broadly, consensus in non-scientific matters is all about opinion  ~ and opinion is worth the price of the paper it is printed on [except in politics!]

    But consensus in scientific matters (such as climate science) is all about the evidence.  And that evidence is expressed in the scientific literature (peer-reviewed papers published in reputable journals).   And there you will nowadays  find a 99+% consensus in line with the mainstream science.   Not an 80-90% consensus (not even in 2013 or 2016).

    The 80-90% figure you (or Mr Richie) are mentioning, is a result of canvassing opinions of "scientists"  ~ not of canvassing the evidence.   And who is a scientist?  And are their individual opinions relevant?  The notorious Oregon Petition (of the 1990's) had "scientists" ranging from Wood Engineers to Spice Girls.   In other words, it was a completely worthless survey,  simply gathered for propaganda value.

    In short, Mr Ritchie's article is worthless.

  33. The 1.5 degrees goal: Beware of unintended consequences

    Hal @8, I think you may be looking for where the GHGs came from before the Industrial Revolution. The GH effect is necessary for life on Earth. Our black body temperature would be 34 deg C lower than the current avg T---too cold for liquid water, hence no life. Carbon is emitted by volcanos, which currently produce about 1-2% of our emissions annually, and converted to limestone by weathering of silica based rocks. You are correct that paleo-agriculture increased CO2. From around 5000 years ago to around 1790, our ancestors increased CO2 back up to where it was at the last climate optimum (280 ppm). Since then, the rise to 420 ppm has been mostly from the burning of fossil fuels.

  34. Big numbers – dollars and institutions – behind divestments from fossil fuels

    Hal @ 1:

    Ditto what Doug said @ 2.  Your statement ".. but assume the contrubution of fossil fuels to building the blanket was very small." is virtually certainly incorrect.

    Yet another pointer to other posts here at Skeptical Science:

    Climate Change Cluedo: Anthropogenic CO2

    Short version: the atmospheric increase is half of what has been spewed into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, and the only reason it hasn't all stayed in the atmosphere is because of natural sinks absorbing the other half. The contribution from fossil fuels is not small.

  35. Big numbers – dollars and institutions – behind divestments from fossil fuels

    Hal, one must always remember that from the layperson's perspective our tendency is to wrongly imagine "nobody thought of this before,"  then to construct a mental model from our paltry state of information. 

    "I have no data, but assume..." nicely captures the problem. 

    With all respect the best thing to do in terms of getting up to speed would be to go over to Google Scholar and apply imagination with respect to your assumptions (and I don't mean this in snarky fashion) to search terms there. 

  36. Big numbers – dollars and institutions – behind divestments from fossil fuels

    We built the greenhouse gas blanket that is raising Earth's surface temperature by feeding ourselves.  It took about 7-10 millenia, and our mining of soil carbon certainly must be increasing annually.  I have no data, but assume the contrubution of fossil fuels to building the blanket was  very small.   Since we deposited the bulk of that soil carbon into oceans, rivers, and wetlands, perhaps a retrieval system should be considered if we wish to keep feeding ourselves.   Besides food prices, the  'social costs of carbon" must include the use of hydrocarbons for nearly every prouct used in our daily lives including plastics, drugs, coatings, roads, vehicles, and (shudder) the energy used to move them.

    As an aside, i cringe a bit when I see the term 'renewable' applied to energy and energy sources.  Newton showed us hundreds of years ago that energy can only change state.  

  37. There is no consensus

    What do you think of the article critizising the 97% number here?

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2016/12/14/fact-checking-the-97-consensus-on-anthropogenic-climate-change/

    It's claiming the consensus number is closer to 80% – at least in the study being referred to from 2013 by Dennis Bray & Hans von Storch, (linked to below).

    While 80% is still a strong consensus I must agree with the Forbes article author (Earl J. Ritchie) that:

    "It’s not as easy to discount dissenters if the number is 10 or 15 percent."

    The reason for me asking this is that I'm discussing with a friend whether there's still a debate going on if the climate change is of "natural" origin or if human activity is contributing. I'm arguing that the science is basically settled, but he seems to think it's not since not all climate scientists agree. He was the one giving me that article questioning the 97% claim. Now, I of course think the researchers behind the 97% number presented here on the Sceptical Science site has been thorough and honest, but if there are serveys such as the one below pointing more to 80% agreement I'm wondering how we can be sure the consensus number is around 97%?

    "A survey of the perceptions of climate scientists 2013":

    http://www.hvonstorch.de/klima/pdf/CliSci2013.pdf

    A comment on the above study from the Forbes article by Earl J. Ritchie:

    "A value of 1 indicates not convinced and a value of 7 is very much convinced. The top three values add to 81%, roughly in the range of several other surveys."

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Links activated.

    The web software here does not automatically create links. You can do this when posting a comment by selecting the "insert" tab, selecting the text you want to use for the link, and clicking on the icon that looks like a chain link. Add the URL in the dialog box.

  38. How weather forecasts can spark a new kind of extreme-event attribution

    Wilddouglascounty ,  your analogy with steroids is a good one.  (Though technically an athlete can achieve "steroid performance" via scientific strength-training  ~ it just takes a little longer and requires more willpower.)   And apart from Thatcher, our politicians tend to lead from behind . . . excepting for just their rhetoric, as shown in international conferences!

    Bob Loblaw points out that the terms CC (Climate Change) and GW (Global Warming) have both been in use for many decades.   CC from the 1950's and GW from the 1980's at least.

    Always it comes back to what the public - the voters - perceive.  They seem moderately happy to use the terms CC and GW in their thinking about the anthropogenic CO2 problem.   I would worry that your proposal for using a third term might well be counter-productive, with some portion of the population being irritated by a sense of "constant revolution" in climate terminology.

    Using a broad-brush classification, people can be divided into 4 categories :-

    A/  the cognoscenti/activists, who see the AGW problem for what it is ~ regardless of terminologies used.

    B/  the general public, who are moderately aware of the AGW issue, and who don't really care whether it's called CC or GW.

    C/  those who, while not actively hostile to broad socioeconomic changes required in solving the AGW problem  ~ are nevertheless a bit reluctant to suffer mild inconvenience, or who feel unease about prospective changes.  And they also don't care whether it is called CC or GW.

    D/  the Denialists, who oppose anything and everything AGW-related.   They do definitely care about the terminology used  ~ and they tend to froth at the mouth at any flip-flop in terms used, and they create strawman arguments regarding "the science obviously not being settled". (Among other things.)

    For my sins, I often look through the articles and comments at the WattsUpWithThat  blogsite.  (It doesn't take long to skim through the day's effusions, provided that you only pause to read comments - and immediate replies to - the handful of commenters who are scientifically well-informed and intellectually sane.)

    Sadly, the great generality of WUWT  commenters are like a group of tetchy backyard dogs.  They launch into prolonged barking at even the slightest disturbance  ~ at someone's door closing; at a pedestrian walking by; at a bird chirping in a tree; at a vehicle going past.   Perhaps they like barking, or they are hungry, or their emotional needs are not being met.

  39. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2 2022

    "Thank you," Mike. :-P

    That one showed up past deadline, for this week.

    It adds to quite an unusually large litany of "similar & consistent" in this edition #2. 

    Not least, Intense ocean freshening from melting glacier around the Antarctica during early twenty-first century

  40. The 1.5 degrees goal: Beware of unintended consequences

    swampfoxh and Hal

    The additional carbon stored in (human and domestic animal) biomass is part of the modern carbon cyle. It would otherwise exist in another biosphere carbon compartment, such as soil or standing biomass, such as forests.

    It is true, however, that a significant amount of soil and aboveground standing carbon was, and is, on average, transferred to the atmosphere for thousands of years. Yes, it was at times a function of population due to agriculture expansion. Scientists summarize it under the term "land use change" (LUC), and you can read up on that in IPCC reports that discuss the carbon cyle and/or sources of atmospheric CO2 over time. A sumary graph is here:

    https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/technical-summary/

    Figure TS.4

  41. The 1.5 degrees goal: Beware of unintended consequences

    Swampfox @14 and 15. The suggestion that industrial agriculture is articially manufacturing greenhouses gases has merit. Bear in mind you could argue that the explosion in human population is doing the same. And it its true that we have more humans than previously and perhaps more grazing animals and all expiring greenhouse gases. The issue with all these things is the respiration of both humans and animals is ultimately absorbed by natural carbon sinks through photosynthesis and this is regardless of how animals are farmed. Its a carbon neutral process. So the previous points are moot. Its quite a different thing from buring fossil fuels where emissions are not quickly absorbed by natural sinks.

    The increase in emissions from agriculture relates to transport and processing. For THAT particular reason there is merit in low meat diets, and more natural lower technology forms of farming like regenerative agriculture.

  42. One Planet Only Forever at 03:14 AM on 15 January 2022
    How weather forecasts can spark a new kind of extreme-event attribution

    Bob @23,

    The lack of certainty of how to design things for the future climate is a serious problem. Not having 'adequate certainty' regarding what needs to be adapted to is the real problem, more so for food production than for things like structures or drainage systems. And a related problem is that the people benefiting from compromising the certainty of future climate conditions face very little potential for personal negative consequences.

    If a designed and built item fails, or other harm is done, there can be legal and image problems for anyone directly involved like the engineer. But the people who push for things to be quicker, less expensive, more harmful or more likely to be harmful (pursuers of maximized personal benefit) can be very hard to penalize.

    Demands for things to be more popular and profitable leads to things being done quicker and cheaper, which leads to pressure for more harmful and riskier things to be done, especially if Others will likely suffer any negative consequences.

    A root of the problem is the lack of effective penalty for people who benefit from harmful activity. Their defence is typically a lack of proof that what they benefit from is unjust or harmful. They also raise doubt about the proof of their harmfulness. They will try to limit the emergence of evidence and improved understanding. They also demand that the "certainty of proof that they are being harmful" must be absolute. And they also raise doubt about being harmful by claiming Others are also, or are more, harmful.

    And in a system governed by public opinion, like the competition for superiority based on popularity and profitability, it can be easy to get support for misunderstanding 'what and who is harmful', especially when there is ample evidence of the ability to get away with benefiting from being more harmful, especially if the benefit is being obtained at the risk of harm to Others.

    A root understanding of ethics is "Do No Harm". Games played to determine who gets to benefit from 'Harm or Risk of Harm Done to Others' are ultimately unsustainable. The popularity and profitability of getting away with being harmful is able to powerfully compromise leadership actions almost everywhere. That type of game playing, or pragmatic or moderate balancing of interests, has no sustainable future. But a lot of harm can be caused before leadership is forced to prioritize effective actions to limit the understandable harm being done.

  43. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2 2022

    File under “faster than expected.”

    “we detect a sustained pattern of retreat coincident with high melt rates of ungrounded ice, marked by episodes of more rapid retreat. In 2017, Pope Glacier retreated 3.5 km in 3.6 months, or 11.7 km yr–1. In 2016–2018, Smith West retreated at 2 km yr–1 and Kohler at 1.3 km yr–1. While the retreat slowed in 2018–2020, these retreat rates are faster than anticipated by numerical models on yearly timescales. We hypothesize that the rapid retreat is caused by unrepresented, vigorous ice–ocean interactions acting within newly formed cavities at the ice–ocean boundary.”

  44. How weather forecasts can spark a new kind of extreme-event attribution

    wilddouglascounty @ 24:

    It is worth noting that "They changed the name from 'global warming' to 'climate change" is #90 on the SkS list of "Global Warming and Climate Change Myths".

     

  45. wilddouglascounty at 01:26 AM on 15 January 2022
    How weather forecasts can spark a new kind of extreme-event attribution

    #18 Eclectic,

    Thank you again for your continued discussion, which on the whole has been much more extensive on this thread than I ever expected. I agree that "global warming" and "climate change" have become extremely recognizable in the media and the public around the world, and wanting to replace it with a mouthful of words with nearly the same meaning has questionable merit, so I understand why you are wondering why I want to shift it to what seems to be a subtle point which might be lost on most people. And you may be right.

    But there are a couple of points I want to bring up for consideration. The first point is that do you remember when the phrase "global warming" was first popularized, the denialists got a lot of coverage whenever a greenhouse gas turbocharged polar vortex came barreling down from the arctic? Or when the north Atlantic cooling and salt dilution from all the ice melt from Greenland became a thing, potentially causing colder weather for northern Europe, as another example?  The climatological community quickly realized that "global warming" did not adequately capture the complexity of changes that were occurring as a result of the changing atmospheric chemistry that were being observed. So "climate change" became the new replacement mantra, at least in the US community. This is an example of how popular terms are changeable, and made more accurate, thereby short circuiting misinformation in the process.

    The second point to consider is how the use of steroids has played out in the sporting world.  I've used baseball as an example, but steroid use clearly has had its impact across all sports as is evidenced in the Olympics Committee rules development and the increasingly complex monitoring of athletes across all sports. If the conversation in the sporting community just focused on homerun inflation, or increasing serving speeds in tennis, or other sports specific measures, then it would perhaps be harder to connect the dots to reveal the larger cause: steroid use. As we know, climate science has had to look at the much larger net of causality and relationships that impact and are impacted by the increase in the atmospheric greenhouse gas component. The ocean has increased CO2 absorption rates, resulting in acidification. The oceans themselves, not just the atmosphere, is warming, which contributes to sea level rise. The bottom line is that there are several monitoring indexes that are important to watch to understand the impact of greenhouse gas composition in the atmosphere. So just as the sporting community has focused on steroid use as the source of the myriad changes occurring in the sporting community, it makes sense to me to focusing on the source of ocean acidification, sea level rise relating to ocean water temperature, etc. AND climate change: greenhouse gases. It leaves the conversation about whether humanity is causing the problem behind us so we can move ahead with the next steps.  

    Thanks again for persisting, and I hope that this clarifies why I think it is worth considering this.

  46. How weather forecasts can spark a new kind of extreme-event attribution

    With regard to desiging for weather/climate, this happens at the individual buliding scale (insulation levels, weight-bearing capacity for roof snow loads, solar heating rates to determine A/C capacity, etc.) and at the regional infrastructure scale (road drainage and frost-heave protection, storm sewer capacity, snow-clearing equipment capacity, etc.)

    Getting it wrong can mean relatively manageable issues - higher operating costs (heating, cooling) - or catastrophic failures (roof collapse, bridge collapse, major flooding. loss of life).

    Uncertainty is not our friend, and "that's someone else's problem, in the future" is not a very considerate point of view.

    Overdesign costs money and is rarely noticed as a long-term problem. Underdesign makes the news, does undesirable things to an engineer's liabilty insurance premiums (or career), may end up in court, and may end up forever archived in Youtube videos.

  47. The 1.5 degrees goal: Beware of unintended consequences

    To go on...the authors, Bar-On et al (2018), found that the biomass of humans and livestock combined have increased the total mammalian biomass by a factor of 4...It's not too much of a leap in logic to conclude that, above some minimum livestock population threshold or meat animal product consumption level, additional livestock units need be considered as added sources of GHG emissions akin to any other emissions-producing industrial factor of production.

  48. One Planet Only Forever at 13:23 PM on 14 January 2022
    How weather forecasts can spark a new kind of extreme-event attribution

    Bob Loblaw @21,

    Indeed, the Canadian Building Codes include regional climate design requirement extremes (like snow, wind, rain, temperatures) based on the Climate Normals and Averages that Environment Canada updates every 10 years (EC has not yet published the 1991-2020 data). And design requirements like the Canadian Building Code are written as if they establish design requirements that will be adequate for the potential extreme weather conditions that would potentially impact a structure or system that is being built to last an established number of years like 50 or 100 years. But the rate of climate change and uncertainties of future climate make a difference to design requirements that is hard to establish.

    What you have pointed out is indeed a challenge for designing things to successfully deal with the potential future climate conditions in any region. The Building Code only establishes “minimum design requirements to be met”. Everyone is free to design for more extreme requirements but, as I mention @16, without knowing how quickly the human impacts causing climate change will ‘change the climate’, and without knowing the expected peak level of impact, it is a bit of a fool’s errand to try to establish a regional design basis that would be sufficient to withstand conditions that may occur in the next 100 years, or even 50 years. Even if the regional climate forecasting could reasonably provide potential climate change results far enough into the future (like 100 years), knowing the peak human impact and how quickly it will be reached is required to establish appropriate design requirements.

    Of course, absurdly severe design conditions could potentially be used. But who will establish what is ‘absurd enough’? And who will choose to impose the absurd requirements on what they ask to have designed and built, with the person making the request paying what it costs to get the result?.

    And, as I mentioned @16, food producers have an even harder challenge attempting to plan their ‘adaptation to rapid human caused climate change’.

    The conundrum of designing Civil and Structural systems for hard to predict (uncertain) rapid human-caused climate changes (and the potential absurdity of requests for that to be done) is what initially sparked my interest in learning more about this issue of “Rapid human caused Global Warming causing significant Climate Changes”.

  49. The 1.5 degrees goal: Beware of unintended consequences

    There is a study, currently in peer review, that approaches some elements of analysis differently than has been published over the last decade or two. This particular one asks the question, "what would we not have if we did not practice industrial animal agriculture?" The total absence of domesticated animals tended as food would see the reduction in methane and CO2 from animal respiration. The philosophical argument is: animal agriculture is a purely human invention, so the CO2 exhaled by livestock is no less unnatural than the CO2 emitted by cars and factories, etc.

  50. The Debunking Handbook 2020: Downloads and Translations

    In December, the Dutch translation of The Debunking Handbook 2020 was published, followed by the Galician translation today.

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