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Comments 751 to 800:

  1. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2023

    Thanks for making those excellent connections, OPOF, particularly forming the deep connection between Cameron & Carter's report and the HCF 'how are we doing?" cold bath.

    The Hamburg report is something we naturally want to turn away from, perhaps because it bolsters what for many of us has become more than a sneaking suspicion. 

    As we pointed out last week (?) when we featured it, it does hinge on a stipulation that is not even at this late date set in stone: "given the observable trajectories of social drivers." I wish we could feel more optimistic that we were collectively at the wheel and driving our society with a shared map. 

  2. The Problem with Percentages

    Although they're not obvious, Evan's data sources are in the figure captions for figs. 1-3. Although OWIND is not specialized along the lines of IEA or the like, it's not pitching data ideally suitable for producing "industry propaganda." OWIND's renewables projections seem to be substantially (for the precision required here given Evan's thrust) in agreement with the IEA, which admittedly have been conservative (as has been so much else assessment in this rapidly evolving scene). 

    This brings us to figure 4, which shows quite a bit of daylight betwen overall demand increase and the contribution of renewables to that— back to the point Evan is making about percentages. 

    Michael, using the conservative IEA source (it's better to pick one, and IEA seems to be a benchmark for most discussion) and so that we can better understand: do you think the overall demand projection in fig 4 is incorrect, given that the renewables portion appears largely commensurate with IEA's projection?

    I think Michael may have been typing in haste and dropped a clause when he wrote "Likewise your claim that renewables cannot generate more than 30% of all electricity was proven incorrect over 5 years ago when several countries exceeded that amount," because Evan did not make that claim.

    Also and notably with regard to the latter remarks, Evan's analysis is speaking of global energy demand, supply. It's not an apples-apples critique to employ a handful of wind-heavy US states to form a comparison with what's under discussion, the global situation. Not saying Michael's wrong, but it would be better to employ broader geography— the same whole globe that is the subject of Evan's analysis. Otherwise we're talking about quite different things.

    I'm pretty sure that whatever misunderstandings there are over this can easily be resolved with some collaboration. It's possible that Evan is wrong. That can more easily be established in an atmosphere of calm. I feel certain Evan would be fine with making his analysis better if such is shown necessary. Probably a good step would be to agree on data sources, make sure the subject being discussed is the same, and that what Evan is claiming is clearly understood.

  3. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    I am pleased to report that there are countervailing forces to "Citizens for Responsible Solar" (see #13) and their ilk in the development of solar energy in the US. A major development is explained in the following article:

    Public Lands in the US Have Long Been Disposed to Fossil Fuel Companies. Now, the Lands Are Being Offered to Solar Companies by Wyatt Myskow, Clean Energy, Inside Climate News, Feb 19, 2023

    The lede for this story:

    As the nation looks to transition to more forms of renewable energy, the country’s millions of acres of public lands could be key, drawing concerns over how local habitats could be impacted.

    The folk at "Citizens for Responsible Solar" must be crapping in their kinckers,

  4. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    Excerpted from the NPR article I cited in #12:

    "I think for years, there has been this sense that this is not all coincidence. That local groups are popping up in different places, saying the same things, using the same online campaign materials," says Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

    Citizens for Responsible Solar seems to be a well-mobilized "national effort to foment local opposition to renewable energy," Burger adds. "What that reflects is the unfortunate politicization of climate change, the politicization of energy, and, unfortunately, the political nature of the energy transition, which is really just a necessary response to an environmental reality."

    Citizens for Responsible Solar was founded in an exurb of Washington, D.C., by a longtime political operative named Susan Ralston who worked in the White House under President George W. Bush and still has deep ties to power players in conservative politics.

  5. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    Just like Big Tobacco, the Fossil Fuel Industry will never throw in the towel and cease to spread pseudo-science poppycock designed to halt the growth of clean energy.  

    Here's another case in point:

    An activist group is spreading misinformation to stop solar projects in rural America by Miranda Green & Michael Copley, KEDM Public Radio/NPR National News, Feb 18, 2023

  6. The Problem with Percentages

    This blog post is over 10 years out of date.  It should be removed from Skeptical Science.  It contains no references to support the absurd calcualtions and conclusions.

  7. The Problem with Percentages


    Your article on renewable energy is so bad that it is not even wrong.  Your claim that rneewables will only generate 30% of new demand for the next decade is simply fossil propaganda.  The IEA released their Electricity Market Report for 2023 on February 8.  Carbon Brief has a summary of the IEA report here.  According to Carbon Brief:

    "Carbon Brief analysis of the IEA figures shows that it expects global electricity generation to rise by 2,493TWh between 2022 and 2025.

    The IEA expects the growth in renewable generation to cover the vast majority of this total, growing by 2,450TWh. This is equivalent to 98% of the overall increase in global demand. my emphasis

    Do you really expect that renewables will replace 98% new energy demand for three years and then they will completely stop building renewables?  Obviously in 2025 the IEA expecte renewables to replace all demand and significant existing fossil power. Obviously after renewables replace all new demand they will begin to replace existing fossil power.  The Carbon Brief article cites several analysis that come to similar conclusions except they have renewables replacing all demand earlier than the IEA.  I note that the IEA has a long track record of underestimating how much renewable energy will be built in the near future.

    Likewise your claim that renewables cannot generate more than 30% of all electricity was proven incorrect over 5 years ago when several countries exceeded that amount.  According to The Motley Fool, using the latest year of data on the USA (fourth quarter of 2021 and the first three of 2022), ten states produced more than 30% of their electricity from wind and solar alone.  3 states produced over 50% and Iowa produced over 62%.   The analysis that I have seen indicate that over 80% of all electricity can be easily produced by renewables using existing fossil peaking plants as storage.  Since new batteries are cheaper than existing peaking plants, Utilities will be building out batteries as fast as possible to save money.

    Your post is a superb example of mathturbation.

  8. One Planet Only Forever at 10:12 AM on 20 February 2023
    The Problem with Percentages


    I agree with your reluctance to be 'too positive' about the transition away from fossil fuels.

    I have seen many reports indicating successful resistance to approvals of  new electricity transmission infrastructure and new renewable generation facilities. The Story of the Week and first two comments 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #7   indicate that significant efforts to impede the development of renewable need to be overcome. That will require a significant systemic transition that dramatically reduces the success of efforts to delay the required rapid transition.

    The Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook 2023 that is Story of the Week in 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #5
    robustly evaluated the current state of affairs and considers it very unlikely that the USA (and many other developed nations) will meet their current Paris Agreement NDCs. And those NDCs that are unlikely to be met are weaker than what is required to limit impacts to 2.0 C.

    The Hamburg Outlook appears to be a more justified perspective than perceptions based on speculation about the continuation of past rates of renewable development. It can be easy to produce a significant rate of increase when starting with a small amount. It is harder to continue that rate of increase, especially when efforts to resist the renewable developments are also increasing.

    One final point ... tragically there is very little discussion and leadership promotion of the benefits of limiting 'unnecessary energy consumption'. Admittedly there are many people who need increased energy consumption to live basic decent lives. But they are not the problem. Their per-capita energy demand will be small. The problem is the high energy consumers who believe that 'More consumption is necessary for them to enjoy their life' and everyone who aspires to develop to be Great over-consumers like them.

    If unnecessary energy consumption was significantly and rapidly reduced the curtailing of fossil fuel use would be more rapid sooner.

  9. It's not bad

    PollutionMonster @409 ,

    Good luck with your battle against the science-deniers.  As you have noticed, they use all sorts of poor logic and see-the-tree-but-ignore-the-forest stuff.  They are emotionally driven ~ as you must be, if you wish to entertain yourself by crossing swords with them in public.

    Your task of course is to persuade the onlookers, not the intransigent Denialists.   My humble advice is to Keep It Simple.

    A/  The observed Stratospheric Cooling is a great argument : being proof that it is not The Sun causing modern global warming.  And the Stratospheric Cooling was successfully predicted by "models" of 80-ish years ago.

    B/  The observed sea level rise is great proof of actual global warming (Denialists try to deflect on to the gray area of "but the rise is not accelerating" or the rubbishy "it's just rebound from the Little Ice Age".)   Also you can mention the coastal measurements by Kulp & Strauss [2019] showing that a 1 meter sea level rise would displace 230 million people (Denialists hate the idea of refugees & migrants).

    C/  When pressed to declare what the perfect climate is ~ I state the climate of 1950 A.D.  (Easy to defend.)

    These sorts of arguments suit my simple brain, and are difficult to counter by sophists, bloviators & other trollish propagandists.

  10. The Problem with Percentages

    Doug@18, Good stuff and it seems plausible. Let's hope EVs continue to penetrate the market and V2G with it. Unfortunately we have to sit by and watch, for now, because of our old EV that has no V2G capability. The cost of being an early adopter. :-(

  11. PollutionMonster at 07:00 AM on 20 February 2023
    It's not bad

    Eclectic@407 and MA Rodger@408

    Thank you both for the detailed responses. :) I am impressed. On other websites I may have been ignored or riduculed. Thanks again I read both posts entirely. This answers my question.

  12. The Problem with Percentages

    Evan, to your particular needs and thinking in terms of "improve averages," hopefully you have solar DHW in the picture? I seem to remember we've discussed this elsewhere, maybe. Anyway, a new-build is a perfect opportunity for laying pipework suitable for a "drain back" system, which if at all possible should be first choice of implementation, it being the least complex and most reliable available. Can you get all your hot water from the roof? No, likely not. However, in the case of our home which is massively shade-challenged and at 47N in a famously cloudy location we derive about 50% of our water heat gain from our drain back system, which is 2 square meters in size, uses only two wearing parts (bog standard hydronic circulator pumps, cheap) and no glycol etc., and is at 12 years of age with zero service. 

    With regard to vehicle-to-grid, I'm thinking very much of "to grid" specifically, not "to home." Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) promises to replace the spinning mass advantages and overall rapid response capability of combustion thermal generation plant, with its capacity relatively easily scaled via voluntary subsidy of storage by vehicle owners, plant operators leaning farther into "make hay while the sun shines" with energy capture systems such as PV, wind. 

    V2G will not be as efficient  in terms of loss and material input as centralized storage systems, but it carries the unique advantage of self-subsidy that is to some extent invisible in our economics. 

    (V2G is in fact an argument for continued subsidy of vehicle electrification, if public policy wants to put its thumb on the scale of an already advantageous emergence.)

    Again, lest it be lost in the discussion, link to a paper penciling out where numbers on V2G may lead, quite swiftly. 2030? Probably not. 2040? Significant effects practically guaranteed, given the direction we're heading with vehicle electrification. This will result in retired combustion thermal plants, measurable retirement of the storage problem, leading to an accelerating process of improvement as depth of the resource grows, skill of use and confidence grows. Arguably it will help to bend the curves you've highlighted. 

  13. One Planet Only Forever at 06:13 AM on 20 February 2023
    Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    I need to clarify that when I used the term "Education" in my comment @10 I meant: Learning/teaching that increases awareness and improves understanidng about what is harmful and how to be less harmful and more helpful to Others.

    I appreciate that some regional leadership try to manipulate their regional 'education' to impede that type of learning.

  14. The Problem with Percentages

    Doug@16, your's and Jim's comments certainly resonate as an efficient power model where electricity is generated and stored locally. I sense there are some hidden gremlins in this, because when a central power source distributes power broadly, they are averaging out the demand over a broad user area. When individuals plan for the needs of a single house, then shortfalls must be either suffered through, or supplemented by generators. And surpluses do not benefit neighbors in the dark, unless connected to a micro grid, which requires a new level of infrastructure change.

    To me all of these sound plausible, but I sense that there are engineering and policy issues that will take time to resolve. As you note, the V2H model is easy, because we adapt one home at a time and solutions are already readily available. For some. But we are still in the early-adopter stage, so no idea how this will scale.

    Incidentally, we are building a house and I want it to be all electric. But in the end, we are having to run gas to the house because neither our generator nor any of the battery systems on the market can run the ground-source heat pump. Or so we've been told by the geothermal company doing the install. We don't have the money to try risky solutions, so we are putting in a gas-fired boiler that can easily be run by a modest battery system or by our generator.

    I trust that 10 years from now there will be better solutions for providing suitable backup for ground-source heat pumps, but apparently not at this stage. There's nothing better that I would like than to have a small battery system or a Ford Lightning truck running our heat pump in the middle of the winter when we lose power, but unfortunately our 6-year old Tesla does not have V2H. We are caught in a number of transitions. :-(

    Tell me if I'm wrong, because we have not yet installed the gas-boiler nor the gas line to the house.

  15. The Problem with Percentages

    At the risk of swerving conversation outside of Evan's central point, Jim Hunt's remark about distributed storage is quite important. Perhaps going down this path may serve as a illustration that Evan's analysis is likely subject to emergent features, even while as a snapshot saying "we need to do better, faster" it should fall on listening ears.

    Electrification of automobiles is happening at a time when we're reevaluating the dependency we've formed on private automobile ownership, the broad negative effects of that. 

    A rethink and redo of our automobile accident is both independent of and connected with our climate problem. It's another heavy load of policy freight, among other matters.

    It needed decades and installation of a sprawling infrastructure and built environment to fold ourselves into what have effectively become prosthetic devices, machinery many of us must use in order to feed, house and clothe ourselves and our dependents. 

    It will require many years working at our fastest rate to undo our elaborate chain of dependency on automobiles. This work will need to incorporate and address not only purely material matters but also the economic dislocation problems attached to decommissioning the sprawling labor footprint of the automobile economy. It's not an easy problem at all, as a systems matter.

    Now, today, while we're only just beginning to deal with our lack of choice regarding automobile ownership and then on a continuum as we do deal that, we're going to continue to "need" a lot of automobiles.

    As electrification of automobiles progresses down the economic food chain, we'll be enrolling private automobile owners as volunteers in subsidizing improved grid compatibility with renewal energy sources. This will be an automatic process, more or less. The "vehicle to grid" horse is pretty much already leaving the barn, and the "subsidies" by private owners are as a matter of reality pretty much guaranteed, given that we're not going to see abandonment of private vehicles in many years, or even several decades.

    Something to think about when we hear strident calls for the unrealistic ambition of skipping from cars to no cars instantly, as part of dealing with our climate problem. Not only is that effectively impossible, but it might in engineering terms be a nonsensical trade. 

    Some background information here (open access, Nature Communications):

    Electric vehicle batteries alone could satisfy short-term grid storage demand by as early as 2030


  16. One Planet Only Forever at 04:46 AM on 20 February 2023
    Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    John Mason @8,

    To be clear, I am not suggesting an end to human efforts to combat misinformation. And I am sure that constant human monitoring would be required to ensure that an AI ChatBot was as effective as possible. And human monitoring and input would also be required to identify and counteract 'novel developed attempts to impede the effectiveness of the helpful AI ChatBot'.

    Thinking a little more about it, it is likely that harmful pursuers of advantage in obtaining personal benefits to the detriment of Others are already working on developing AI ChatBots for their interests.

    As is often noted, there is an endless possibility for developing 'harmfully appealing misleading claims'. And the efforts to limit the harm are always too little too late.

    Trying to correct harmful misunderstandigs is fighting an uphill battle. There is a profusion of harmful misleading unjustified positive impressions and unjustified anxieties and fears (negatives) that impede learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others. The Story of the week in 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #7 and the first 2 comments are evidence of a globally coordinated effort to oppose the interests of the future of humanity. And the Story of the Week in 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #5 provides a detailed evaluation of the success of such efforts impeding the achievement of the Paris Agreement objective, making that achievement 'not plausible' (Limiting impacts to 1.5 C not plausible even with significant systemic transformation starting today. And limiting impacts to 2.0 C requiring significant systemic transformations starting today).

    A significant systemic transformation could be one powerful ChatBot developed collaboratively by the UN (UNICEF, UNDP, UNEP, ...). That could help the 'effort to educated people' on the many matters of concern regarding the future of humanity, not just the climate impact challenge. But I would suspect very few current day powerful governments would support the effective development of something like that. They almost all have their power because of a lack of eductation of the population that gives them the power they have.

  17. The Problem with Percentages

    MA Rodger @13 thanks for the input. I understand the component curves for solar and wind, but also know it is speculative and risky to extrapolate continued high growth rates out as far as you are. I am not an expert in this area, but still wonder about material supply limitations, such as might occur when we start ramping up EV production. The curves you show remind me a lot of early-adopter curves when the renewable energy was picking low-hanging fruit, with no need for storage, and no competition from major EV manufacturing. The future requires more difficult renewable installations, with storage, and competing for resources with EV manufacturing. Hence, the landscape of the future is likely much more difficult than the past, even with the broad expanses of the Sahara. Even if Texas has the requisite land available, politics could get in the way.

    I am not trying to make specific predictions into the future, but rather to indicate to readers that despite the impressive-sounding numbers being reported, the renewable-energy revolution we've all been dreaming of has not really yet begun. Perhaps we are meeting the electric-growth demand, but likely no more. The real point to readers is that if we are to keep those solar and wind curves pointed skyward, that will likely only happen if voters opt for the kinds of policies we need to keep the curves rising. It may be that the impressive growth represents low-hanging fruit, and that future impressive growth numbers require much more willpower than we've collectively been called on to give.

    So I accept your comments and those of PrzemStep as a need to revise the analysis, but I am cautious about using a component analysis based on 10-year growth as a solid indicator of where we will be headed. Perhaps use it as a best-case scenario, bordered by a more conservative approach such as I showed. In 5 years we can update and see which of the scenarios has been followed.

    My point is not to be optimistic nor pessimistic; It is rather to indicate to readers that we need to do much better than we have if we are to meet the Paris goals by 2050. Otherwise readers might assume that with all of these curves currently headed skyward that we are well on our way, when in fact, it appears to me that we are just exiting the starting gate in a very long race.

  18. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    OPOF @6

    Thanks for the link to ScienceUpFirst which looks pretty neat! I see that they already list The Debunking Handbook as well as the COVID19-Vaccine Communications Handbook under their debunking and credible resources listing respectively. As I'm a big fan of networking, I filled out their contact form and hope to hear back from them.

  19. The Problem with Percentages


    Have you ever considered that "distributed energy generation" associated with "distributed energy storage" in the form of both static and mobile batteries might well prove to be easier to implement than centralised bulk storage and distribution of assorted gases?

  20. The Problem with Percentages

    Rob Honeycutt @10,

    In terms of storage, I would expect excess electric power would be used to provide storeable things like hydrogen or ammonia. There will be losses in the conversions but the 'storage' problem is overcome, as would be the 'transport' problem.

    Evan @8,

    The point by PrzemStep@2 that individual forms of renewables should be projected individually is entirely correct. The OurWoldInData renewables page presents some very useful numbers on this.

    OurWordInData renewables graph

    Myself I see the big player in future being solar as it has less restrictions on its useful location. Its generation has been growing on average 30% annually since 1990 but in recent years this has dropped to perhaps 20% annually. A 20% annual increase woud give solar 200,000TWh/y by 2050 and if we could get back to increases of 30%/y that would be perhaps the 160,000TWh/y by 2032.

    I see it as really depending on when we manage to put ideas like nuclear to one side and appreciate that 'mass' solar is the way to go, with for instance the Sahara powering Europe. (Some have already arrived at this conclusion with a £18 billion project to link Morroco with UK.)

    Or Texas powering the US. I remember some time back a provocotive statement saying just 10,000 sq miles (or was it kms) of solar farms in Texas would provide the US with all its primary energy needs. The response from denialists was that 10,000 sq miles was far to big an area to cover in solar farms to which the reply was that it wasn't so big when 10,000 sq miles of the US had been strip-mined for coal. And now that strip-mined coal was gone. Solar farms are somewhat more sustainable than strip-mining as a power supply. (Whether numbers are here correct, or were ever correct, I know not.)

  21. It's not bad

    PollutionMonster @406,
    I think I concur with Eclectic's 'snake pit'.
    Zhao et al (2021) is a paper those climate deniers would find useful as it does show that for the period 2002-18 globally there was a decrease of 275,000/y deaths correllating with cold weather while the increase due to hot weather rose 113,000/y, simplistically suggesting AGW is 'good', although as today cold deaths are found to be much greater (4.6M/y) than hot deaths (0.5M/y), this finding is not so surprising.

    In terms of this sort of analysis, this is very early work and likely an inaccurate account of the impact of "non-optimal ambient temperatures" on mortality. Note that a similar study Burkart et al (2021) drew criticism for its methods which found 1.3M/y cold deaths & 0.34M/y hot.

    And given the numbers involved with global mortality, it is not difficult to establish large numbers of deaths in such simplistic correlations. The premature deaths due to pollution resulting from fossil-fuel-use is a case in hand. And when these studies point in the direction of 'hot is bad' or visa versa, they will be happily wielded by either 'warmists' or 'deinialists' with little thought to what is being 'wielded'. (Regarding 'visa versa', note Wu et al (2022) from the same team as Zhao et al finding an increase in excess deaths over the same period (2000-19) of +0.16M/y due to "short-term temperature variability".)
    Much of this 'wielding' is remarkably poor. Note this Bloomberg headline - the 'subscriber only' article also covers Zhao et al (2021) and the actual account may be less ridiculous than the headline.

    The impact of temperature directly on mortlity is surely today not as great as the indirect impacts described in the OP above although quantifying it all will be always controversial. (But should they be. I recall an argument we presented to a UK enquiry over an off-shore wind farm. Using even the smallest estimates of AGW deaths, we suggested the wind farm [Navitas off the Dorset coast] would globally save a very significant number of lives globally, that is very significant to such enquiries. Sadly the denialists won the day with the enquiry although the reasons given for the decision were entirely flawed.)

    However, the direct impact of temperature should be a concern. Zhao et al point out "At a global level, the results indicate that global warming might slightly reduce net temperature-related deaths in the short term, although, in the long run, climate change is expected to increase the mortality burden." And the question, of course, is how big that "increase" will become. Myself, I would add that if AGW were allowed to intensify to +6ºC, we can say that the tropics will become a death zone for anybody outside an air conditioned environment. And +6ºC is not such a crazy number if we do nothing about AGW.

  22. The Problem with Percentages


    You are wandering into my area of "professional" expertise!

    Do (in situ) EV batteries need to supply "grid-level storage" (AKA V2G) in future?

    How about "microgrid-level storage" (V2B) or even "nanogrid-level storage" (V2H)?

    Ex EV batteries are certainly already being used to provide "stadium-level storage":

  23. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    OPOF - interesting idea but I think the human input is required for now, since it understands the illogical motivations behind the denial of reality.

  24. It's not bad

    PollutionMonster @406 ,

    you are getting down into a snake pit, if you aim to argue on the basis of AGW causing today's excess heat deaths / hurricanes / wildfires / tropical diseases / etcetera.   Best not to go there.

    Sure, basic science and common sense tells you that these problems will worsen in the future as global warming increases.  (Though I gather that hurricanes are expected to get fewer but stronger.)  And the tropical zone has large populations of great poverty who will struggle to achieve the necessary medical treatments, house-cooling, and other counteractions to deal with a hotter local climate.

    But the current statistics are very noisy, and it is easy for a "bad faith actor" to cherry-pick and confuse the situation.  (And some even believe their own propaganda.)  Every lot of data you supply will rest on a poor statistical foundation ~ and both you and he simply cannot get a knock-out "win".   You will need great skill to extricate yourself from the pig-trough of Mine Versus Yours versions of recent & historical data.   Find a better battleground !

  25. PollutionMonster at 16:39 PM on 19 February 2023
    It's not bad

    Hello, this is my first post. I've already taken the edx101 denial course and have been prebunking and debunking climate change myths since 2016. /waves

    I was posting and was called out as being an "alarmist" on another website. First, I would like a second opinion. Afterall, I could simply be incorrect.

    Second, if I am correct, I could use some help debunking the claim of a climate minimalizer.

    I claimed that there were five million annual deaths from climate change. Referring to the link above from theindependent which references a lancet peer reviewed article, linked below. The other person went to the peer reviewed article and rebutted by saying the theindependent was incorrect and the lancet article does not state there is five million deaths and concluded there were zero deaths from climate change.

    I then posted other articles about how many climate change deaths annually there are with a range between 150,000 and 8 million if you include co2 pollution deaths.

    Anyways they got real technical which I wasn't prepared for. Focusing on association as opposed to causation. I think the correct answer is five milllon from climate change and eight from fossil fuel emissions. They say zero deaths. So who is correct am I being alarmist or are they being a denier, or are both of us incorrect? Thank you. :)

  26. One Planet Only Forever at 14:18 PM on 19 February 2023
    Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    As a 'way-outside' thought, that I have no technical ability to evaluate or help develop: Would it be possible to develop an AI ChatBot that would seek out misleading Social Media content and respond appropriately with content from SkS, Climate Feedback, Science Up First, NASA, NOAA, ....?

    Such an effort is likely to trigger some powerful counter-measures trying to limit its effectiveness (maybe arguing that all-Bots-are-bad). But identifying (exposing) people who would try to fight against 'helping people be better informed' could be helpful.

  27. One Planet Only Forever at 14:06 PM on 19 February 2023
    Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    In addition to the uptick in media rebuttals of misleading claims (mentioned by John Hartz @4) there is a new Canadian development trying to combat misinformation that started in 2020. It is called Science Up First (website

    Their initial focus was on health issues, particularly COVID-19 misinformation. But they are expanding their scope.

    Their "Shareable Content" (see their webpage) includes a presentation of a climate science related example of how they try to counteract misinformation. I am not an Social Media participant so I do not know how to share it here. But it can be found by going to their "Shareable Content" and selecting either the "Data Misrepresentation" or "Environment" sub-sets.

    Mayby synergy could be developed between SkS and Science Up First as part of the Rebuttal Update Project, or be developed as a separate project.

  28. One Planet Only Forever at 13:12 PM on 19 February 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #7

    I just read this NPR report about how pursuers of benefit from fossil fuel use appear to be coordinating misleading 'local' campaigns against renewable energy developments.

    An activist group is spreading misinformation to stop solar projects in rural America

    The following is a quote from the article about the group coordinating opposition to Solar developments:

    "Analysts who follow the industry say Citizens for Responsible Solar stokes opposition to solar projects by spreading misinformation online about health and environmental risks. The group's website says solar requires too much land for "unreliable energy," ignoring data showing power grids can run dependably on lots of renewables. And it claims large solar projects in rural areas wreck the land and contribute to climate change, despite evidence to the contrary."

    The success of this type of 'claimed to be grass-roots' campaign is a reason that the "Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook 2023" (Story of the Week in 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #5) indicates there is a very low likelihood that the US will meet its current Paris Agreement NDCs (NDCs that need to be ratcheted up if global impacts are to be kept below 2.0 C).

  29. The Problem with Percentages

    Rob@10, concur with your assessment and questions. I've also wondered how the EV batteries will supply the grid-level storate need. Or will a market emerge for installing them as home battery systems? An end-of-life EV battery still has plenty of power for home battery systems.

    BTW, our EV has 125K miles and figure we've lost about 10% of the battery capacity. But we've no plans to retire the car nor do anything about the battery. We've owned the car for 6 years, and after that time and miles one adapts to the small loss of range. Our Tesla MS originally had 260 miles range (200 usable), and a 10% drop is not that big a deal. We still have plenty of range for the city commuting that dominates our lives.

  30. One Planet Only Forever at 06:31 AM on 19 February 2023
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2023

    I agree that the highlighted IISD Report “Why Carbon Capture and Storage Is Not a Net-Zero Solution for Canada’s Oil and Gas Sector” is a robust helpful evaluation of the important, but limited scope of, climate impact aspects of fossil fuel activity. In addition to climate impacts, there are other types of harm to consider. And all harms considered, including potential harms like leaks and spills, fossil fuels from oil sands can be more harmful than coal-fired electricity generation (especially if the coke waste from upgrading heavy crude gets burned).

    The future of humanity needs more people to ‘want to learn to be less harmful and more helpful’. That is an ‘eternal need’ because of the potential for misleading marketing to successfully impede learning about what is harmful and unsustainable (keeping people from learning how to be less harmful and more helpful at developing sustainable improvements).

    The misleading marketing problem is the misleading promotion of Positive and Negative perceptions (beliefs) in pursuit of superiority, popularity and profit. Focusing on positive perceptions excuses harm done or distracts from learning about harm (Canadian band The Northern Pikes said it well: She ain’t pretty she just looks that way). And it is also harmful to promote negative perceptions about improved understanding and actions that are more helpful, limit and repair harm done. Creating unjustified fear and anger regarding learning to be less harmful and more helpful is easy when something perceived to be personally desired or beneficial (those positive perceptions) would have to be given up (like people declaring “You Can’t Make Me” when confronted with increased awareness and improved understanding that would make them less harmful and more helpful ‘If they were willing to learn and change their mind and actions for Good Reason’).

    And there is lots of evidence today proving the success of political groups that abuse misleading ‘positive and negative’ marketing (not just the case of Alberta leadership touting the goodness of CCS and Blue Hydrogen while prompting Albertans to fear and be angry about the required rapid transition away from fossil fuel use).

    The highlighted report “Why Carbon Capture and Storage Is Not a Net-Zero Solution for Canada’s Oil and Gas Sector” relates to the Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook 2023 that is Story of the Week in News Roundup #5. The actions of Canada’s leadership, especially the leadership in Alberta, are why the Hamburg 2023 Outlook indicates that there is a ‘very low' likelihood that Canada will achieve its current Paris Agreement NDCs which, btw, need to be significantly ratcheted up if limiting impacts to 2.0 C max is to be plausible (figure 6 on page 92, but note that the figure does not indicate how helpful the NDCs are. Russia is shown to very likely meet its NDCs because the Russian NDCs are easier to achieve because they are very far below what is required).

    The Hamburg 2023 Outlook painstakingly presents the understanding that it is not plausible that impacts will be limited to 1.5 C. And Canada’s anti-leadership on the matter is a significant part of the problem (pursuing short-term gain and excusing it by claiming things like ‘Everybody else is doing it ’ and ‘It would be foolish not to try to maximize the benefit obtained from a harmful natural resource exploitation opportunity’. Those attitudes are worse than the Tragedy of the Commons attitudes).

    Attempts to excuse or put a positive spin on the harmful actions, and claiming that actions to reduce harm done are ‘harmful or foolish, and to be feared and be angry about’, are a systemic developed problem. The developed systems and institutions produce harmful results and a lack of helpful action. They will not responsibly limit and repair harm done.

    That connects to the Greta Thunberg Oped that John Hartz @1 pointed to. CCS in Canada is different from the CCS in the Iceland example that Greta talks about. The Iceland operations removes Carbon from the atmosphere and locks it away. That type of operation is needed because keeping impacts below 1.5 C is no longer plausible. Removing CO2 from the atmosphere is now necessary to bring the peak impact level back down to 1.5 C as rapidly as possible. CCS for fossil fuel combustion and Blue Hydrogen production used for fossil fuel production is a temporary measure at best. But Canadian leadership, especially in Alberta, try to claim their CCS and Blue Hydrogen are helpful sustainable improvements. They fully expect to continue to operate and export fossil fuel feed stock far past 2050. They need a longer future for exporting oil sands stuff to make the investments in CCS and Blue Hydrogen appear to be good investments. The business community seem to know those investments are ‘bad bets’. That is why government subsidy is required.

    The case of misleading marketing about CCS is well presented in the IISD report. But is more to be understood regarding Hydrogen. Blue Hydrogen is not great Hydrogen. It is better than Grey Hydrogen. But Green Hydrogen is the type of Hydrogen with a future. More importantly, the way the hydrogen is produced, its colour code, is not the only consideration. How the hydrogen is used also matters. Using it as a fuel source to displace fossil fuel use is the required and sustainable use. Using it to produce fossil fuels is harmful, no matter what colour it is (no matter how it is obtained).

    The following are two key statements from the IISD Report:

    “As of September 2022, only 30 commercial CCS projects are operating across all sectors around the world, capturing 42.5 Mtpa. This falls far short of the IEA’s (2009) previous target of 300 Mtpa by 2020. Most proposed projects have been withdrawn: of the 149 CCS projects anticipated to be storing carbon by 2020, over 100 were cancelled or placed on indefinite hold (Abdulla et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2021). In the United States, despite significant industry and government investment in the technology, more than 80% of proposed CCS projects have failed to become operational due to high costs, low technological readiness, the lack of a credible financial return, and dependence on government incentives that are withdrawn (Abdulla et al., 2020). Of those projects that are operating globally, 73% of the carbon captured is used for EOR (Robertson & Mousavian, 2022).”

    "The opportunity cost of investing in CCS and the risk of stranded assets for Canada’s oil and gas sector will intensify as global climate ambition ratchets up and demand for oil and gas declines. Ultimately, addressing emissions in the oil and gas sector will be critical in the short term, but scaling up alternative energy systems to allow a smooth shift away from oil and gas production will be essential for long-term, economy-wide decarbonization.”

    The Hamburg Outlook robustly presents that what needs to happen will not happen without significant systemic change. The future of humanity will continue to be more seriously harmed as long as leaders can become/remain popular by being misleading: Promoting a focus on positive perceptions to impede increased awareness of harm done and promoting negative perceptions about the actions that achieve the required limit of harm done and repair of excessive harm done (more than 1.5 C impacts due to a lack of responsible leadership actions – excused because of the popularity of claims like ‘all leaders are behaving harmfully irresponsibly’ and ‘others are the problem’).

  31. The Problem with Percentages

    Important questions on this topic are going to be,

    (a) what is the required penetration of grid storage? 

    (b) at what level will end-of-life auto batteries play into supplying those grid storage needs?

    (c) how do you factor in both resources constraints and new technologies?

    Recently, I was reading one energy researcher suggesting we'd only need ~10% storage, which was much lower than I would have guessed. (I think it was Andrew Dessler who said this, but I could be remembering wrong.)

    Given the rapidly expanding volume of new EV models hitting the market, within the next decade those are going to all be batteries available for a second life on the grid. A big question mark in my own mind is related to how long EV's are going to last. Initial data suggests EV batteries are still performing well (<10% degradation after >150k miles, off the top of my head). Is that going to translate to people using cars longer, or is that going to mean EV batteries are going to have a lot of remaining life when placed on the grid?

    Too often I read people discussing the constraints on resources producing an S-curve in deployment, which is an obviously important issue, but failing to acknowledge since those constraints are knowable new tech to address constraints is always in the works.

    I think one of the big differences between legacy FF energy and renewable+storage energy is the expanded breadth of opportunities. There are limited ways to utilize FF combustion and we've probably exploited that potential to near theoretical maximums. Whereas, renewables+storage are announcing potential new materials and methods on a weekly basis.

    Looking out even further, I'm fairly confident fusion technology is ultimately going to work, just not soon enough to address imminent climate change issues. But it's important to remember this framing: as likely as not, all of this is merely a bridge to 22nd century energy systems. The Herculean task our generation faces is building that bridge.

  32. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #7

    Similar tactics to those documented in the OP were used in the fight to oppose the construction of a wind farm off of the New Jersey coast. This effort is detailed in: 

    Whale deaths exploited in 'cynical disinformation' campaign against offshore wind power, advocates say by Elizabeth Weise & Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA Today, Feb 11, 2023 

  33. The Problem with Percentages

    Thanks! Will be waiting. And I commend you greatly for how you accepted my critique.

  34. The Problem with Percentages

    PrzemStep, thanks again for your feedback. After the 2022 numbers are in, I will consider reposting this article by breaking down the numbers further. Perhaps it would be useful doing trend analysis as I've done and comparing to trend analysis as you suggest: breaking the numbers down further and extrapolating each. But 2023 may be the first year where the world is operating at full capacity again (barring any severe recessions), so a recovery in fossil energy use may still be delayed beyond the 2022 numbers. Any of these projections are risky, because continued expansion of renewables beyond producing about 30% of power requires storage technology that must be deployed on a large scale and may compete for materials used in the transportation industry. Tough to predict.

    Bottom line, the analysis I provide gives a feel for the magnitude of the problem. My real goal is to demonstrate that just covering the growth of energy use is a mammoth task, one we're struggling to accomplish. Actually replacing fossil energy use is yet to come, and will require even more commitment to change. If people read optimistic-sounding reports and feel that we are doing better than we actually are, then they may prematurely relax the pressure that needs to be continued to really get this energy revolution going. I am trying to provide perspective.

    But I will consider your suggestions in a rewrite. I appreciate you taking the time to write your very informative comments.

  35. The Problem with Percentages

    Evan, thanks for the feedback. I would underline that COViD is 2020, but fossil fuel energy used hasn't risen since 2018, so this could be a global trend - impact of EV and heat pumps should start being felt. Let's wait for 2022 stats, but I believe the picture will be similar. I still believe that the potential of stagnating growth or even a drop in fossil fuel energy use should have been mentioned.

    As to the other point: In order for the argument to be more sound it would work better the actual numbers. And the fact is that by coupling wind and solar (degrading exponential) with hydro (linear) you muted the actual percentage growth of renewables. You reached 14000 TWh, I reached 26000 TWh. You must admit growth to 26000 TWh would look way more impactful on the above charts and over 100% of energy growth would be covered by renewables.

  36. The Problem with Percentages

    @Eclectic - Can "hydro" expand linearly? I don't know. That said growing linearly hydro from ca 4300 TWh would grow to ca 5000 TWh, so 700 TWh, so it is pretty insignificant given the scale of change needed. Or the numbers above. In total I assumed hydro and other renewables only add 1050 TWh by 2032. And as you said: you can only analyze the trend, you can't make an exact prediction. I'm just saying that there was an underlying mistake in the trend analysis, because hydro mutes wind and solar growth.

  37. The Problem with Percentages

    PrzemStep, thanks for your comments.

    Fossil-fuel usage seems to have stalled before the housing crisis, then started back up again. I am aware of the apparent stalling during the Covid pandemic, and am also aware that economies are starting to ramp up again. Will fossil-fuel usage stall or start back up? I am not making predictions, but simply showing where the overall trends have been leading for a long time, and what looks like a plateu may in fact be a temporary trend. Nobody knows the future, but trends are useful for showing the general direction.

    What I'm really suggesting in this post is that isolated, impressive-sounding percentages can often be misleading, and in the case of population, show the opposite trend to what is happening. I am suggesting that people look at the totals, and not just isolated percentages. I am not making specific predictions about the future, but rather showing that based on long-term trends, renewable energy is far from replacing fossil fuels, even though the impressive percentage growth of renewables makes it sound like renewables are replacing fossil fuels.

  38. The Problem with Percentages

    China is somewhat of a special case, owing in part to the rather complex financial rivalries between provinces (despite Beijing policy).

    PrzemStep @2/3 , you are right . . . predictions are difficult, especially of the future [as the saying goes].   Probably the Third World countries will continue to be open slather re fossil fuels, and even the First World countries will continue to use colossal amounts of gas/petroleum for decades.   And . . . our mathematical trend analysis really needs to be firmly based on the underlying physical situation (plus guessable politics).

    Can "hydro" expand linearly?  Or must it plateau out soon?  And will we eventually find domestic electric power supply being "shaped" by smart-meters (a la ISP download speeds) according to wind/sun ?   Or will new-technology batteries come to the rescue?   Crystal ball needed.

  39. The Problem with Percentages

    It seems in all honesty that you should revisit the math, calculate wind/solar growth separately and then adjust this piece with the new numbers. I'm afraid that in its current form it is simply misleading. As to the possibility of fossil fuel generation stagnation - I expect this to at least be discussed.

  40. The Problem with Percentages

    Hi there,

    Unfortunately I'm posting because I noticed what can only be called bad trend analysis.

    1. The renewable energy growth trend is simply badly done. 

    a) Renewable energy has four distinct components with different growth trends. Wind, solar, hydro and the rest (primarily bioenergy). Hydro and other renewables is following a linear growth trend, while wind and hydro are growing exponentially. However this exponentiality is hidden if you throw them in together: the dominant hydro represses the actual growth rates of solar/wind. This means your analysis is inherently flawed.

    b) Solar is growing from 2011 to 2021 by 38,8% annually, while wind by 16,5%. Assuming hydro and other renewables continue linear growth they reach respectively 5000 TWh and 1100 TWh by 2032. By comparison if solar and wind retain 38,8% and 16,5% annual growth rates they will reach 37600 TWh and 9900 TWh respectively, so jointly renewables would have 53600 TWh by 2032. That would be the result of a proper trend analysis. Surprisingly you seem to have had a problem with percentages...

    c) Now both solar and wind seem to be following more of an S-curve, so 38,8% and 16,5% growth rates seem unlikely to hold. Basic analysis of trends suggests average growth rate for 2022-2032 at 25,5% and 14% respectively, worst case scenario 20% and 11%. This average scenario would mean 26300 TWh renewable energy by 2032, while the worst case scenario 19000 TWh. As you can see all result put it much higher than your wrongly done trend analysis suggests.

    2. The fossil fuel usage graph has an even simpler flaw. It suggests continued linear growth, but absolutely ignore the fact that fossil fuel usage seems to have stalled in 2018 and shown little growth. We seem to have hit peak oil consumption. IEA notes all these facts. No does this mean that fossil fuel usage will stop growing or even start falling? No. But you should have at least noted the recent stagnation of fossil fuel growth as the sudden jump from 2022 is odd to say the east.

  41. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2023

    Yes indeed, John. 

    Beyond the repugnant cynicism of this tactic in support of the strategy of "prolong monetization for as long as possible,"  it has a notable side-effect, or so I think.

    Something I've observed is that on "our" "right" side there's tendency to conflation of all CO2 removal schemes with the fossil fuel industry's tactical adoption of a particular mode of so doing for purposes other than intended or claimed.

    Leading to (as in some other areas) a spectrum of what are effectively beat-downs of researchers daring to investigate CO2 removal. "They're just greenwashing!" The criticism is ineluctably a form of ad hominem attack, if unpacked at all. 

    Accompanied by "moral hazard" conjectures and "we can't walk and chew gum at the same time" appeals in support of monolithic solutions that as a practical matter can't be executed in an instant. 

  42. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    John M, Baerbel, Ken & Doug:

    At the risk of preaching to the choir, I believe the Climate Feedback website offers a rich lode of high quality rebuttals which can be mined by SkS volunteers working on the rebuttal project you have set forth in the OP.

  43. Underground temperatures control climate

    Suggested supplemental reading: 

    Fact check: False claim the rotation of Earth's core is responsible for climate change by Eleanor McCrary, USA Today, Feb 14, 2023

  44. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    John M, Baerbel, Ken & Doug:

    As an aside, I have noticed a welcome and recent uptick in the number of news media outlets which are now generating their own versions of rebuttals of climate pseudoscience. A case in point is the national newspaper, USA Today. It's most recent rebuttal:

    Fact check: False claim the rotation of Earth's core is responsible for climate change by Eleanor McCrary, USA Today, Feb 14, 2023 

    I believe this "fact check" directly relates to the SkS rebuttal, What influence do underground temperatures have on climate?

  45. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2023

    By coincidence, Greta Thunberg adresses CCS head-on in a recently (yesterday) published Op-ed that I today posted a link to on the SkS Facebook Page. A key pragraph from Thunberg's Op-ed:

    "Also, the carbon-removal facility in Iceland has some serious scaling up to do. Yet that is clearly not happening, which makes no sense at all. Why foster the idea that this underdeveloped technology could be a substitute for the immediate, drastic mitigation needed? Why bet our entire civilization on it without making the slightest effort to make it work? Why make the world picture a potential solution so vividly that we include it in every possible future scenario and then fail to invest in it? Could it be that it was never even meant to work at scale? That it was just being used — once again — as a way of deflecting attention and delaying any meaningful climate action so that the fossil fuel companies can continue business as usual and keep on making fantasy amounts of money for just a little while longer?"

    Source: Greta Thunberg: Global leaders are dropping the ball on climate change, Op-ed by Greta Thunberg, Winston-Salem Journal, Feb 15, 2023

  46. The Problem with Percentages

    "renewable energy grew 25% in a single year, recent, historical trends indicate that the growth of renewables is not even keeping up with growing, global energy demand."  Global energy demand may be accounted in terms if 'fossil energy in' rather than 'electricity out'.  As mentioned a week ago on this website, 60-70% of 'fossil energy in' is lost as waste heat upon combustion, the remainder becomes electricity.  For fossil energy, the 'energy in-to-power out' conversion is as low as 30%.  For renewable energy, it's closer to 80%.

  47. The escalator rises again

    I asked someone to think about climate related trends in terms of what a stock market chart might look like.  People can immediately picture and understand that a stock price which declines over the course of a year would nevertheless have periods of days or weeks or months wherein the price was rising and falling and rising and falling, only to close lower at the end of the year.  So when looking at charts describing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, or surface air tempertures, a short segment in the middle of the graph won't be an accurate representation of what's happening (i.e., a global warming "pause"); looking at the long term is what matters.  People intuitively understand stock market charts and I've found this analogy to long term climate changes to be helpful in day to day conversation. 

  48. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    John - thanks for the imput. "It's not bad" is in our next batch i.e. at an advanced draft stage and bearing in mind what you said, we'll likely take a look sooner rather than later.

  49. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    John, Baerbel, Ken & Doug:

    I have been sifting and winowing through the internet for more than a decade now to identify quality news articles about manmade climate change and related matters.* During this time, I have seen a signifigant growth in debunking articles generated by journalists, scientists, blog authors, and others.

    One such article was posted just two days ago. It is:

    Myth-buster: Why two degrees of global warming is worse than it sounds by Daisy Simmons, Climate Explained, Yale Climate Connections, Feb 13, 2023

    In the context of the rebuttal update initiative described in the OP, I thought it would be interesting to see which of the Skeptical Science (SkS) rebuttals Simmons' article best pairs up with. It appears that would be the SkS rebuttal, #3 It's not bad.

    Having said the above, the existing SkS rebuttal, #3 It's not bad covers almost the complete universe of climate science. Therefore, the best Advanced version of the rebuttal would in essence be the most recent scientific report of the IPCC.

    My basic recommendation re this ball of wax is to slice and dice the the SkS rebuttal, #3 It's not bad into distinct chunks.


    *The first SkS "Bi-Weekly News Roundup" was posted on Nov 16, 2012.  

  50. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    John, Baerbel, Ken & Doug:

    Kudos for taking on this much needed and somewhat overdue task. I will help out as much as I can.  

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