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Comments 651 to 700:

  1. It's not urgent

    I"m with Rob. The writing of that specific sentence could be clearer. The "50% chance" part is definitely associated with the "staying below 1.5 degrees", but the comma that follows that separates the "50% chance" probability from the "risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions".

    Two possible re-writes that would make the writer's intentions clearer:

    1. "The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius]." It also brings a "risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control."
    2. "The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of" avoiding two outcomes: "staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control."

    Expect "The Usual Suspects" to insist that the only possible interpretation is the one that fits their preconceived notions of Greta Thunberg.

  2. Rob Honeycutt at 08:14 AM on 9 March 2023
    It's not urgent

    Hm... Yeah, those are quotes from 2019 and I think she's probably conflating two issues. One being the likelihood of staying below 1.5°C or 2°C, and the other being the likelihood of setting off irreversible feedbacks. To my understanding, they're two different issues with very different confidence levels. 

  3. PollutionMonster at 07:38 AM on 9 March 2023
    It's not urgent

    Most of the quote is here in this NPR article. Risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions NPR.

    I would have to reread the book to get the exact quotes, I read in local bookstore.

    ""The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control." Thunberg


  4. wilddouglascounty at 07:25 AM on 9 March 2023
    The little-known physical and mental health benefits of urban trees

    Little known? Ask any kid on a playground with one large tree on it where they want to play. Actually, you don't even have to ask: use your eyes!

  5. Rob Honeycutt at 07:22 AM on 9 March 2023
    It's not urgent

    PM @17... Would you have the precise quote from Thunberg's book related to "50% chance of runaway greenhouse effects beyond human control at 2°C"? 

    My suspicion is that's not an entirely correct assessment, though I'm confident Thunberg's book went through a thorough review by researchers prior to publication. My understanding is, past 2°C we move into a realm of much greater uncertainties. Also, even at 2°C significant feedbacks (say, from methane releases) remain long tail uncertainties. But I could be wrong.

  6. Rob Honeycutt at 07:14 AM on 9 March 2023
    Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes

    Dennis... Getting things wrong is part of learning. We all get things wrong from time to time. The only true error is when we fail to learn from our mistakes.

  7. PollutionMonster at 07:11 AM on 9 March 2023
    It's not urgent

    I read all the responses, and I want to thank all of you. :) Climate justice is a major part of climate change. That rich nations including the United States, France, and United Kingdom need to reach zero emissions by 2030 so that poorer nations have time to develop and have some emissions until 2050.

    Thunberg in her book referenced some specific page of the IPCC page 100 or so stating that there is a 50% chance of runaway greenhouse effects beyond human control at 2C and only 34% chance at 1.5C. Is this true? That there really is that high a chance that climate change will be the end of everything? Did I misread? I haven't read the source material, navigating the IPCC report is difficult.

  8. One Planet Only Forever at 06:32 AM on 9 March 2023
    “It’s almost like a cult.” Activists shout down rural renewable energy projects

    Cult-like expressions of angry opposition to helpful developments are being driven by passionate belief in harmful misunderstanding.

    That is a common tactic of people who likely know what is harmful and helpful but want to benefit from the ability to harmfully mislead "common people". And it is happening on many issues, not just climate change.

    Too many people are too easily misled because there is no effective penalty mechanism. Commercial product marketers can be penalized for being misleading. But there is no comparable penalty for being politically misleading.

    It is important to remember that even a "renewable energy development" can have harmful aspects hidden by 'a focus on the positives'. The important requirement is full understanding of the negatives with the set of 'least negative' alternatives being considered to be the only viable development alteratives.

    That requires the development of regional populations that will be governed by learning to be less harmful and more helpful to people who need assistance.

    Everyone does not have to learn to be less harmful and more helpful. There just have to be enough helpful people to effectivey limit the harm done by attempts to benefit from harmful misunderstandings.

  9. Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes


    Sorry, please remove anything not right or the comments in their entirety. Thanks.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] If we wanted to, we would have. Usually we start with nudging users to remind them of proper posting etiquette. The initial goal is to make sure that users do not wander too far off, before things reach the point where we have to start editing or deleting posts.


  10. One Planet Only Forever at 05:36 AM on 9 March 2023
    It's not urgent

    MA Rogers has correctly clarified that the total harmful warming impact is what matters. Limiting the impact to 1.5 C needs to continue to be the focus. And the reality that the peak impact will almost certainly exceed 1.5 C needs to be understood to mean that wealthy people today need to be paying for safe/harmless technological extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere. That extraction will be expensive and never be profitable. And the spending of tax money on it rather than other things will never be "most" popular.

    That is the challenge. Leadership has to do something unpopular and unprofitable to benefit future generations. The diversity of developed socioeconomic-political systems is tragically lacking in the development of that type of leadership. And it is now undeniable that humanity only has a future if it develops governing of all significant human activity in ways that understandably limit and correct harm done.

    A related point is that it is harmful to cause increased CO2 to be absorbed in the oceans. The fact that CO2 will continue to be absorbed in the oceans is not a positive.

    Also, a lack of significant methane release from massive thawing of permafrost (a miss named item) is not a helpful positive.

    It is essential to remain focused on the need to end harmful activity regardless of its developed popularity or profitability abnd related popular 'perceived to be positive' misunderstandings (and that applies to authoritarian as well as democratic governing).

  11. At a glance - Is Antarctica losing or gaining ice?

    The CO2 615ppm limit for the East Antarctic ice sheet remaining stable seems to me somewhat optimistic.

    One of the 25 drainage basins used to measure ice sheet mass loss in East Antarctica (Wilkes land) has lost 400 Gigatons (i.e. 400 Cubic Kilometres) of ice in the last 20 years, the fourth highest of all the basins, and comprising about 15% of the total ice mass loss of 2,500GT. The highest three are in West Antarctica. 

    Every time a new field survey is undertaken, it generally seems to come up with more bad news about the vulnerability of this apparently solid ice sheet.

  12. It's not urgent

    According to the following article, we are on the precipe of multiple climate tipping points. As they say, "Hold onto your hat, we're in for a wild ride."

    Risky feedback loops are accelerating climate change, scientists warn by Emma Newburger, Climate, CNBC, Mar 6, 2023  

  13. It's not urgent

    EddieEvans @13,
    The net carbon sink into the oceans is far more predictable than the carbon interchange in/out of the biosphere. There is still some uncertainty and re-assessment (eg Watson et al 2020) in the matter but generally the only big variable is the ocean surface temperatures. So as long as we prevent massive SST rises, I would think it is safe to say "the global ocean will continue to act as a viable carbon sink." The actual size of that sink over the coming millennium will thus depend on how well we do preventing AGW but otherwise it's size is fairly predictable. What is far less predictable under AGW is the biosphere as a source/sink.

    You also raise the threat of methane, this usually focusing on natural feedbacks and the melting permafrost. In the past I was rather worried by the poor coverage of this subject in the scientific literature but having dug into the subject I now feel more comfortable about it. Additionally the absence of significant methane fluxes resulting from the significant permafrost melt in recent decades is a reassuring sign.

  14. It's not urgent

    "These extractions from the atmosphere are additional to the natural draw-down of CO2 into the oceans.)"

    And we have no idea if, at all, the global ocean will continue to act as a viable carbon sink, not to mention methane. Then there's the political will and economic resources to make the abrupt ideological and technological changes needed, assuming that critical tipping points were not breached long ago. I'm assuming that we don't know everything to know about the neew climate change and our test-tube earth mentality.


  15. It's not urgent

    PollutionMonster @10,

    You ask about the timing for reaching net zero carbon. That single timing doesn't properly capture the task in hand.

    The science strongly suggests that increasing global temperatures by more than +1.5ºC risks potential dramatic climate change. To prevent such rise, there is just one scenario presented within the IPCC AR6 that fits the bill - SSP1-1.9.

    AR6 SPM Fig8.a

    This SSP1-1.9 scenario does include a timing of 2050 for net zero carbon but it also requires a halving of global net carbon emissions by 2030 and large net negative carbon emissions post-2050. These net negative emissions amount to roughly extracting atmospheric CO2 equal to all the emissions post-2007 and storing them away safely. (There are many saline aquifers around the world which this CO2 could be desolved into after its extraction from the atmosphere. These extractions from the atmosphere are additional to the natural draw-down of CO2 into the oceans.)

    But it seems it is only the 'net zero' message that is being heard by politicians. So calling for an earlier 'net zero' is probably a useful message.

  16. It's not urgent

    "PollutionMonster at 14:13 PM on 8 March 2023"
    "How urgent is it?" is a value question. Another value question is "How much threat to diversity does humanity's anthropocentrism" cause to the long-term survival of species-populations in the wild (10,000 years)? And I agree, how do we quantify "How much threat"?

    In an anthropocentric (human-centered) context, judging from what I'm witnessing, we were out of time long ago.

    I need only point to the proliferation of nuclear warheads and greenhouse gases to bolster my case. I don't see much genuine effort by governments and corporations to do the real work, and make long-term decisions for the benefit of humanity and biodiversity's long-term existence; we continue to pass the buck to future generations.

  17. Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes

    Ah, I might add to "burst," rather than "explosion,"  a synonym for grazing cattle's flatulence, "bursting" gut gas.

  18. Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes

    Maybe "burst" is a better word for the release of pressure from the methane's underground vault?

  19. Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes

    Again, Explosion does not equal ignition. Think about what an explosion really is. Your "ignition" type is when have a rapid chemical reaction generating large local gas pressures which then expand when any containment broken. Chemical reaction (needing ignition) isnt the only way to generate large gas pressures though. This paper goes into the process much more deeply than news articles. Clearly no ignition.

  20. PollutionMonster at 14:13 PM on 8 March 2023
    It's not urgent

    Hi, I just read the book No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg. Wow, what an emotional rollercoaster. I've played the Cranky Uncle game for hours, taken the edx101 course, surfed the skeptical science website, and argued with deniers.

    Book no one is too small Greta Thunberg

    Yet, only in 2022 have I heard about net zero emissions. Even then, I thought it was by the year 2050. Greta Thunberg makes the case that global climate change is an existential urgent crisis. That we need net zero by 2030. Is this really true?

    As a millennial I feel a lot of the same emotions that the older generations are out of touch when I say I cannot get a job or having trouble with the basics like a roof over my head, running water, heat in winter. I find I get scolded by the older generations and they offer out of touch simplistic solutions blaming the victim or even calling me a liar.

    Did I get distracted by the pandemic, George Floyd's murder, and possible nuclear war between Russia and Ukraine? With all my climate activist since 2016 did I really miss that we only have a 50% chance to avoid a climate catastrophe of runaway greenhouse effect if we go for a 2 degree Celsius increase by 2050 or whatever Thungberg said in her book?

    How urgent is climate change? Thank you in advance. :)

  21. Rob Honeycutt at 11:50 AM on 8 March 2023
    Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes

    Dennis... Reading the article you link to, I believe they're using the term "explosion" the same way you would say a balloon "explodes" if you blow too much air into it. There is no "source of ignition." The pressure is merely reaching a point to where the ground above the methane build up catastrophically fails to hold it in.

    Note that the before and after photos shown at the end of the article don't indicate any fire or charring around the crater, suggesting there was no actual "ignition" event related to the formation of the crater.

  22. Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes


    I'm asking a question. When the methane explodes, as it clearly can, what is the source of the ignition?

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] It's appreciated when you utilize the link tool to activate your references.

  23. Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes

    I cant see anything in these that suggest the methane is igniting (explosion != ignition). In fact several of your sources explicitly discuss the gas blowout mechanism which I believe is what causes these. It is just build up a huge pressure from methane release until ground-strength is exceeded.

    Pretty much same mechanism that causes gingerbeer or sauerkraut explosions, especially in days before plastic bottles and screw-tops.

  24. Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes


    Moderator Response:

    [BL] As noted by moderator RH in comment #5, please turn your text into proper links. 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.

    In addition, please note that the comments policy discourages link-only comments. Specifically:

    No link or picture only. Any link or picture should be accompanied by text summarizing both the content of the link or picture, and showing how it is relevant to the topic of discussion. Failure to do both of these things will result in the comment being considered off topic.

  25. Rob Honeycutt at 07:54 AM on 8 March 2023
    Which state is winning at renewable energy production?

    Peppers @5... Yes, there is a link there to the CA PUC but it's not clear how this supports anything you're saying. 

    Right now, any home owner in CA can order solar without actually even owning the solar panels. You can merely lease them and pay lower, fixed energy rates over the lifetime of the panels. No installation cost. Just lower bills. For non-home owners, in CA you can select the sources of your electricity on your energy bill. 

    I think you should consider taking a careful look at the graph I posted. If CA residents are using half the electricity per capita, even if paying higher rates than the rest of the nation, they end up (on average) paying less than people who live in low per-kwh rates.

  26. Which state is winning at renewable energy production?

    Peppers appears to be saying solar panels are subsidised, but even with subsidies only high income people can afford solar panels, and the cost of the the subsidies falls on the avergage tax payer and this is unfair. The poor are allegedly subsididing the rich. I hear this same reasoning with electric car subsidies. I acknowledge what people are getting at and we have to be careful that the costs of the transition to renewables don't disproportionately fall on low income people .

    But doesn't America have a progessive tax system, so the rich do ultimately contribute more to the subsidies for the solar  panels than low income people? And the subsidies promote the deployment of solar panels, so their price eventually drops, making them more accessible to low income people. So there are some positives in the subsidy policy.

    Other ways of speeding the uptake of solar panels are carbon taxes or cap and trade schemes, but these can potentially hurt low income people and have other downsides. There is no magic bullet, just a choice of the least worst option.

    Whether subsides or carbon price schemes are best for promoting renewables is contested. Economists seem to prefer carbon price schemes over subsidies. However Norway has strong incentives to buy EV's and uptake has been very impressive.

    Carbon pricing schemes are largely quite weak. The price has to be high to promote change but its politically difficult to have strong carbon pricing, strong carbon taxes, and the like. Quite a conundrum.

  27. Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes

    Dennis, did I miss something? What makes you think that the methane ignited? I understand these to be pressure-blasts.

  28. Which state is winning at renewable energy production?

    peppers @ 5:

    No, I am not "talking about the speaker". I am talking about your lack of reponse to counter-arguments that have already been made, and suggesting your lack of response indicates a failure to engage in meaningful discussion. Also, your provision of arguments against things that people have not said - in other words, putting (inaccurately) words into people's mouths - also reflects poorly on your level of engagement. It is your actions that are in question, not you as an individual.

    I suggest that you read the Comments Policy carefully. So far, I'm giving you mild suggestions on how you should approach discussions here. If I have to step in as moderator, I will also have to step out as a participant in the discussions. So far, you have not responded at all to my previous comments on regulation in the California electricity market, on that other thread. To make it easier for you to find those comments, here are links to them:

  29. Methane emissions from Siberian sinkholes

    The methane explodes. What is the source of the ignition - lightning?

  30. Which state is winning at renewable energy production?


    Bob, your are talking about the speaker and not the topic. Chime in whenever.

    Rob, the link to Ca. Gov statistics is provided up there, and is the basis of my comments. As the wealthy install solar panels with incentives and sell power back and reduce their bill to low or none even, they do not participate in the fees or absorbing Cares discounts, the addon's and subsidy participation costs which are routinely added on the the electric bills. The burden is now passed to the common payer as the payer pool shrinks, and Ca is scrambling to change regs to stem this inequity. As they raise recovery times against costs to put up solar from 3.5 to 10 years and consider charging these costs as an aside ( removing big incentives for buying solar ), it will be hitting the brakes on new purchases of panels as well. A yo yo outcome. I am not just speculating, I am responding to what I read from the site there.

  31. Filling an editorial policy hole

    Please consider using columns or borders to create categories for  content with different degrees of credibility.

    For example, direct (or indirect but accurate) quotes from research reports or letters published in peer-reviewed journals might have green borders. Likewise, quotes from annual reviews or treatises whose editors' prior research reports have been published in more than one peer-reviewed journal might also have green borders. 

    Quotes from government agencies of stable democracies might have black borders.

    Quotes from agencies of other governments or from journals, magazines and newspapers (or unpublished original research data and opinions from authors previously published in the same discipline) and research reports without peer review which the Skeptical Science moderator finds to be credible might have grey borders. 

    Unpublished observations of natural events and on-topic opinions from unknown commentators might have orange borders. 

    Typical non-authoritative but on-topic comment that is constructive in tone might have no border. 

    Material the moderator finds to be barely within the limits of what is fit to post might have a red border. 

    If creating these borders in the web site proves too difficult, different type styles, fonts and sizes might be used instead (with explanation).

  32. Rob Honeycutt at 10:16 AM on 6 March 2023
    Renewable energy is too expensive

    Ah, that makes more sense, stranger1548. I was trying to reconcile the two and defaulted to the latter half as what you were claiming. There are a bunch of formatting functions in the text editing box that you can use to differentiate your words from others. I tend to utilize the...

    Block quote and/or italics to doubly reinforce the separations between speakers/sources. And will also make sure to include an "[emphasis added]" if want to point out specific aspects of someone's written comments which they didn't include.

  33. stranger1548 at 07:53 AM on 6 March 2023
    Renewable energy is too expensive

    Sorry for the confusion!  I forgot put in the quote marks.  The first paragraph is what I wrote.  The rest was the skeptics claim.

  34. michael sweet at 06:40 AM on 6 March 2023
    Renewable energy is too expensive


    As Rob Honeycutt says doing your own calcualtions is usually a waste of time.

    This Carbon Brief article finds that comparing the most inefficient coal plants electricity to the most efficient ICE car on the road (Toyota Prius ECO) that the life time emissions of CO2 are about the same.  With partial renewableenergy the electric car is better.  Compared to less efficient cars the electric cars are much better.  Once all electricity is renewable the electric cars will be much more efficient.

    There must be a number of errors in your estimate.  For  one, you use the gasoline at the time it is burned while the electricity has to be transmitted and charged.  The gasoline does not magically appear at the gas station, about 10% of the embodied energy is used for mining, refining and transporting it to the gas station.

  35. michael sweet at 06:01 AM on 6 March 2023
    The Problem with Percentages

    A recent article in Carbon Brief says that:

    "The Global Carbon Project points out that “the latest data confirm that the rate of increase in fossil CO2 emissions has slowed, from +3% per year during the 2000s to about +0.5% per year in the past decade”.

    Newspaper reports suggest that the increase last year (2022) would have been about 3 times higher without new installations of renewable energy.  That means that in 2022 2/3 of all CO2 increases were erased by new renewable energy insallations.  The increase in CO2 over the past 5 years has dramatically decreased due to new renewable energy .

    In order to resolve the AGW problem emissions of CO2 must dramatically drop.  This has not yet started and all of us have to work hard to achieve this goal.

    I remember 10 years ago when renewable energy was much more expensive than fossil energy and the situation looked compeltely hopeless.  That is no longer the case.  Renewable neergy is the cheapest energy and is being built out everywhere.  Since it takes 5-10 years to plan and buid a fossil power plant there are still some plants being completed that were planned before renewable energy was cheapest. 

    Fossil interests have a lot of political power and are holding us back.  In addition, it takes years to plan and build out the manufacturing plants for renewable energy.  Everyone has to work to move renewable energy along.

    The faster we convert to renewable energy the less damage we will have to deal with.

  36. Rob Honeycutt at 04:06 AM on 6 March 2023
    Renewable energy is too expensive

    stranger1548 @28...  More thorough peer reviewed work on this subject is available, so there's really no need to do this kind of back-of-the-napkin estimate. And when doing this kind of thin analysis it's certainly no justification for making definitive assertions such as your final sentence here. 

    Here's one study saying, yes, EV's are more efficient WTW (well to wheel) but not significantly. Although, they add, if you include electricity from renewable resources, which nearly all grids now increasingly include, EV's are up to 70% efficient.

    When I look at other WTW analyses, most aren't even comparing ICEV's to EV's. They're comparing HFCV's (hydrogen fuel cell) to BEV's. Internal combustion isn't even in the running.

    If you think the available research is getting the results in error, it is incumbent upon you to also publish your results in a reputable journal. That'll require a lot more napkins.

  37. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #9

    Republican Leaders Want to Reinvent the Party’s Climate Image. The Far Right Won’t Let Them

    It's 2023, fifty-seven years since President Johnson warned the world about Green House Gases, and still, the Republican Party deceives, denies, and delays. Let's see if the coming El Nino moves a few of the thirteenth-century minds sets in the right direction.

  38. stranger1548 at 00:06 AM on 6 March 2023
    Renewable energy is too expensive

    This was a post that I just read last night. I told the poster I had read up on the gas turbines and there effiency. I asked if he couId produce a paper because I thought there were facts he had probably not included.  I refered him the the Anderson Economic study where some cherry picking had been done. He said I was math deficient and that anyone with even moderate math skills should be able to come to the conclusion.  


    The most BTU efficient method of fossil fuel energy generation is, of course, the natural gas turbine. The very newest (built within the last few years) hybrid NG plants can reach up to 60% thermal efficiency, but most combined cycle plants fall around the 38-42% mark.

    Taking that, we know that a gallon of gasoline contains 112,000 BTUs, and in a perfect world without losses, 112,000BTUs = 32.82kWh. We also know a Honda Accord can travel 38-highway miles on 112,000BTUs per the EPA's testing.

    But if we burn 112,000BTUs at an NG plant at 40% efficiency, we only get 13.12kWh. Then there's line losses to consider, which per Schneider Electric, are at around 12% on average (How big are Power line losses? | Jacques Schonek). But then that brings us down to only 11.54kWh.

    Oh but Tesla also stated that charging losses are around 16%, which puts us down to 9.69kWh.

    However, a 82kWh Tesla Model 3 can travel 310 miles per the EPA (using the same testing method as the ICE vehicle), for roughly 3.7 miles per kWh (with no A/C, heat, or other auxiliaries). Meaning the Tesla can travel for 35.85 miles from the same amount (112,000BTUs) contained in a gallon of gasoline that was burned at a natural gas plant.

    When measuring from the time the fuel is combusted, EVs are the same, or even less efficient.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] As noted further down in comment #31, stranger1548 failed to make it clear that only the first paragraph is his/her writing, and the rest is a quote from a "skeptic". All but the first paragraph has been modified to be indented, to help clarify this.

    [No, you can't edit your own comments.]

  39. PollutionMonster at 17:10 PM on 1 March 2023
    CO2 limits will hurt the poor

    I agree about the mode two. I am guilty of not being able to change my mind in the heat of battle. Even 48 hours cooldown can help a lot.

    I am having trouble in online debate with that I go out of my way to be respectful and the other person does the opposite. Oddly, I've found I can learn from a denier. Sounds silly, but I get my facts mixed up and sometimes just having someone, anyone to talk to even a troll can help. That forming an argument helps me synthesize and process data into information, as opposed to just passive reading or watching videos.

    As for values, I think some may be genetic. Others is circumstances. For example, I have lived around lower class my entire life. Sometimes below the poverty line, other times barely middle class. Therefore, the economics of climate change interest me more.

    If someone was to say sea level to rise 1 meter over the next century that isn't going to affect me much. While I do care about other people, if I am locked into short term thinking, how do I pay to get gas and my car fixed so I don't lose my job? The long term effects of climate change are lost on me.

    In brief, I care most about how climate change affects me in the past and present, then how it effects me in the future. So part of the reason I struggle so much is that there is 20% more heavy rain in my area. The last thing my location needs is more rain.

    Another example of values, is people might value the free market economy based upon how they were taught and life experiences. A student exposed to the dangers of monopolies will have less value in a free market than those exposed to the horrors of Communism versus a control group.

  40. CO2 limits will hurt the poor

    Nope, never heard of him. But I would iterate that most people do not change their minds, especially if position tied to values. Unless you have ongoing discussion with mutual respect, then I think you are wasting your time. However, on public forums, there is a bystander audience and reasonable to assume that they will not all be vested. Pushing the facts won't convince a denier, but challenging misinformation can help prevent it spreading.

    Email for discussion with friends has plus and minuses. The plus is time to think about what and how you say things. Everything else is minus. Remember that changing a friends mind is not as important as maintaining friendship. Also that in active discussions, mode-2 responses are what you will both be using and no one is likely to back down in the heat of battle. Some days or weeks or months later however, the nagging doubts might prompt a re-examination of beliefs. That is why ongoing respectful contact is important.

    Oh never even try to change a persons value system. Some evidence I think that it is baked in at genetic level.

  41. PollutionMonster at 07:40 AM on 1 March 2023
    CO2 limits will hurt the poor

    scaddenp @80

    Thank you for the informative post. This sounds a lot like street epistmology. Have you ever heard of Anthony Magnabosco? I've tried your techinque with friends over email didn't work too well. Either feast or famine. Would go silent or flood me with way too much words.

    I tried with some deniers and some replied to my questions "if your too stupid to figure it out yourself I am not gonna tell you." I did seem to have success with strangers that believed in Qanon using street epistmology. 

  42. Rob Honeycutt at 02:32 AM on 1 March 2023
    Which state is winning at renewable energy production?

    Peppers @2... You're making an assertion that systems "have crushed the common citizen" but you're not providing any analysis that supports that claim. I'm a "common citizen" in CA and I'm not feeling particularly crushed by energy rates. My own sense of your assertion is that it's a conclusion you're seeking and are merely looking for reasons to justify it.

    In fact, as far as I can see, CA is doing a very good job at managing energy usage.

    Note that CA's population grew during this entire period, save the past couple of years when the population has slightly declined.

  43. Which state is winning at renewable energy production?


    Deregulation of California's electricity market was previously discussed on this thread.

    Nowhere in that thread does anyone claim that "all the electric cost issues in Ca. were from public utility deregulation and not mismanagement.", as you are claiming here.

    In your last comment on that thread, you stated "Ill have to study up on the deregulation someone, maybe you, mentioned that before. Apparently it is a factor Im not familiar with."

    You are doing your credibility a serious blow by creating strawman arguments that others claim that deregulation is the only factor involved. You have not responded to any of the comments on that other thread that discuss the deregulation problem.

    Based on your current comment, you are still "not familiar with" the deregulation issue.

  44. Which state is winning at renewable energy production?

    IN California, one problem is the badly managed arrangement for solar generation on rooftops. The planners were so rushed to get solar accepted with incentives and subsidies, they have crushed the common citizen.

    Below is from NEM is net energy meter, or power obtained from (primarily) rooftop systems and sold back to the grid. Ca did succeed in getting many systems built, and they incentivized rebates and high 'sell' to the grid rates so buyers were reinbursed within 3-5.5 years. Now all the wealthy ( able to afford ) homeowners who did that are set up, have the systems and the common citizen is paying through the nose subsidizing the whole mess.

    Of course the solution to this has to be, more regulations. Now they are going to remove incentives, engineer a 10 year recovery period for the incentives and the buying of solar will change ( plummet?) as they try and make it more fair.

    I am mostly entering these comments because I cannot find the gentleman here I discussed this with several weeks ago, who said all the electric cost issues in Ca. were from public utility deregulation and not mismanagement.

    No, its mismanagement, and the common citizen is paying for wealthier households to have gotten the NEM free passes. Now, as they reduce the benefits after all these systems have been put in, they will succeed in angering everybody.

    This will diminish the goal. Alternative sources are good, but running with scissors in hand and eyes closed at the words solar and wind is disserving the most vunerable of citizens, and saying they need to suck it up for the cause doesnt cut it.

    "All ratepayers pay as much as 10 times more for exported NEM energy than for other sources of renewable energy.[3] Californians today spend more than $3 billion a year to support NEM programs.

    An independent third-party evaluation of NEM 2.0 found that its costs substantially exceed its benefits as residential NEM 2.0 participants only pay 9 to 18 percent of what it costs their utilities to serve them, even considering the value of the energy produced by their NEM systems.
    Under NEM 2.0, the typical solar customer pays for the solar energy system through energy bill savings in 3-5.5 years depending on utility[4], and then receives substantial bill savings for the remainder of the current 20-year tariff.
    Ratepayers without NEM systems, who are disproportionately low-income, pay significantly higher electricity rates due to NEM."


    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Link 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.

  45. CO2 limits will hurt the poor

    Well Skepsci- this site - puts its mission statement at the top "Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation".

    But in terms of discussion, I dont think we would have changed the mind of a single hardened denier. It more about provide protection from misinformation and informing those who haven't taken a ideological position. I think bystanders quickly see who has the facts in discussions here.

    In relationships, when someone comes up with a statement about something that you are pretty sure is wrong, then the appropriate response is "That's interesting, why do you believe that?". Ie what has informed your prior. And a zillion non-confrontational followup questions to understand it. If it is a value-based belief, then directly going to countering facts is probably going to antagonize. You have to think first about what line of retreat they might have that doesnt run counter to their values. And that needs a lot of active listening from you to understand where they are coming from first. I think you can see why that doesnt really work in blog conversations and why relationship is important.

    Of course, all of us have false beliefs I think. When challenged yourself about something, taking a moment to think about your own lines of retreat can help in not falling into Mode-2 thinking.

  46. PollutionMonster at 17:53 PM on 28 February 2023
    Tips on countering conspiracy theories and misinformation

    I am getting a warning message when I click on the top tips link.

    "Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead

    Firefox detected an issue and did not continue to The website is either misconfigured or your computer clock is set to the wrong time."

  47. PollutionMonster at 14:54 PM on 28 February 2023
    CO2 limits will hurt the poor

    scaddenp @78.

    First, I want to say I agree with everything you said, except I am not sure what Skepsci is. As for relationships I am highly socially isolated, introverted, or socially akward. I am not sure which, because I desire more close friends and family, but I always seem so overwhelmed all the time I can't seem to make any time for them.

    The few friends I have I am afraid to talk to them about these issues because I might chase them away.

    I am fairly strong in critical thinking, logic and science, I would say at least above average. Though weak in relationships.

    I'll give an example, during the heigth of the pandemic I went online way more and make some sort of online friends. Only to lose them when I accidentally said something mildly racist, despite profusely apologizing. Many of my online friends turned enemy and or blocked me. For someone as socially akward as me this is a nightmare, I don't normally let people in.

    This has left me sore and relucentant to form new relationships. The messed up part is I am still unsure who was correct. Afterall many liberals are against poltical correctness and are tolerant of the occasional accidentally mildly racist comment. Furthermore, I see obvertly racist comments on other websites all the time, much worse than anything I said. I mean if I was 100% sure I did something wrong, I could learn from my mistakes, but what I am supposed to learn from that experience?

    There is an Atlanic Article The Atlantic Babel that talks about the fragmation of America and the Internet. Seems every website has its own hidden rules and taboos that a person doesn't know about until they break one. On one website it is normal to debate religion, on another it is taboo.

    So, the entire part about a long term relationship seems really difficult for me. Yet, I also agree entirely that is easier to get through to people you have a long term relationship. Finding common ground seems more and more difficult. To give another example, I was part of the new atheist movement and most of us viewed ourselves as liberal. Now my friends are Christian, Wiccan, Buddist. Despite, all being raised as Christians.

    I heard person A were blocking person B because person B was a libertarian. Everything seems so fragmented into various micro-tribes and cultures. Much more than just simply polarization.

  48. Which state is winning at renewable energy production?


    While it is impressive that several states are generating large % of electric generation from renewables, we need to maintain a realistic appreciation of the limitations and realistic appreciation of real world data.

    North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota among other states are part of Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc (MISO grid).

    The US Energy Information association provides a wealth of real time information. Below is a link to the Electric generation by source The real time data shows the following when electric generation from renewables dropped below 30% of average electric generation (approx 10% of name plate capacity). Note the frequency of 72+ hours of significantly reduced electric generation.

    december 6 2022 , 1am through 12/11/2022, 5pm approx 5 days less than 30%

    Dec 18, 2022 11am though Dec 21 8pm - approx 3 days less than 30%

    Jan 5, 2023 9pm through Jan 8th 2023 9pm - approx 3 days less than 30%

    jan 20, 2023 10Am though jan 23 2am approx 3 days less than 10%

    Nov 12, 2022 through Nov 15, 2022 approx 3 days, less than 30%

    9 day span in June 2022 with less than 40%

    14 day span in august 2022 with less than 30%

    40 day span in July August 2021 with less than 30%


    Moderator Response:

    [PS]Replaced bad link with proper one.

  49. CO2 limits will hurt the poor

    PollutionMonster, I think that people looking at an unknown reality have two modes of thought:
    1/ Think like a scientist - "I wonder what the answer is".
    2/ Think like a lawyer - "Defend my preferred position and convince the jury".

    I rather think that our evolution as social animals has made mode-2 our normal default. Furthermore, even when in mode-1, we slide into mode-2 as soon as we latch onto a promising hypothesis. The process of scientific discovery with its protocols and peer-review are an imperfect way to try and counteract this. All of us are running on flawed hardware.
    You are arguing with people in mode-2 and they perceive your responses as mode-2 type arguments even when they are not. I doubt you will make any impression at all. When someone is vested in a position, particularly one that is motivated by their values, then they will not give ground easily. At best, you might convince unvested bystanders and unless there are in fact bystanders then arguing is pointless. Pretty much what Skepsci does.

    If you are arguing with someone with whom you have a long term relationship, then you have hope, and it depends on shifting thinking modes. You need to begin with discussing how you come by your beliefs and how you use evidence to change them. Warning - most people are not in the habit of changing their beliefs.

    So beliefs - these are our mental map of what reality is like. I think you can convince most people the Litany of Tarsky is desirable.

    ie If X is true, then I desire to believe that X is true. If X is not true, then I desire to believe that X is not true

    In reality many will find that a challenge too when it comes close to the bone.

    The tricky bit is how to form accurate beliefs. Ideally we do this with Bayesian reasoning but a necessary first step is to start thinking about beliefs in terms of probability. Eg I am 99% sure that the globe is warming. Can never be 1 or 0. Then it comes down to doing thinking about rules of evidence – what observations are predicted by one hypothesis but are not consistent with alternative hypotheses. This kind of thinking takes practise and someone interested in improving their mapping of reality needs to start on things they are not vested in (eg prediction markets) before tackling it on difficult beliefs that strongly attached to values. Hence the need for a long term relationship. Good luck.

  50. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #8

    Bob@15, I've been found out. :-)

    You are correct that I am simply trying to get people to appreciate the unbelievably delicate balance that defines many of our natural systems.

    That planets 100's of millions of miles away can cause sea-level change (by whatever mechanism) on the order of 120m (400') is astounding!

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