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Comments 951 to 1000:

  1. Planetary Dieticians

    Great analogy, well presented.

    The footnote/moral makes it sound like Bob can eat as many donuts as he wants without hurting his health, as long as he exercises enough. He can't. 

    IOW, offsets aren't the same as emission reductions. If Bob weighs 280 and is still gaining weight, it's time for him to stop eating donuts, eat only as much of everything as he needs, with a healthy mix of nutrients, and still exercise enough to lose weight.

    The world has to stop emitting carbon now. It has to stop burning fossil fuels and replace them with efficiency, wiser lives, and clean safe cheap renewable energy as fast as humanly possible. It needs to replace chemical-industrial agriculture with small-scale low-meat organic permaculture; transform industry to ecological forms. No amount of offsets can make up for not doing all of that now, but we need to offset massive amounts of carbon by planting and nurturing forests, undisturbed wild grasslands, and mangroves. 

  2. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Michael Sweet, I understand that you are busy, and not enough time to thoroughly research these issues.  Me too. I know that the "propagandists" who are designing the new reactors are even busier than us, and I don't want to bother them with this debate.

    Let me suggest that we avoid a long debate with lots of ad hominem, argument from authority, etc., and just focus on a few of the most important questions.  I will get expert responses to any issues you care to pursue.  What I need from you is a short statement on each issue, exactly the way you want it to appear on one of our Discussion pages. I will give you the same control over your statement that the "propagandists" have on the content of the articles on their own reactors.  You will also have the opportuntity to modify your statement after you see their response. We need a short point-counterpoint on any unresolved issues.

    On the issue of increased nuclear waste from the ThorCon reactor, I understand you think the company's response is "deliberately evasive". It looks to me like they responded perfectly to the issue as stated. I quoted the criticism directly from the abstract of the Krall paper.

    Perhaps you would like to restate the issue, emphasizing what you think they are evading.  If you are worried about non-fuel waste, that is a separate question, already addressed on the Discussion page.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Hotlinked URL.  Please learn to do this yourself.

  3. michael sweet at 12:56 PM on 8 June 2022
    What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?


    I am too busy to write a full reply to your posts right now.

    A paper printed in the PNAS has much more wieght than propaganda released by nuclear plant companies.  Who cares what paid shills say compared to nuclear reactor designers with decades of experience.

    The issue with Thor Cons whining is that the paper clearly says that one of the major problems with small reactors is the high neutron leakage.  In post 8 you say you do not understand this problem and that it is endlessly discussed on facebook.  We have an clear answer to the facebook arguments: scientists think neutron leakage is a major problem.  The fact that you  do not understand it does not mean that it is not a problem.

    ThorCons answer that you quote is deliberately evasive.  Yes, the amount of fission products is about the same.  The high neutron leakage of their design results in the rest of the reactor becoming much more radioactive than happens in larger reactors wiith low neutron leakage.  The final result is much more radioactive waste that has to be permanently disposed of.  Thor Con ignores the claims made in the paper and argues using an answer that everyone who is informed already knows.  The ThorCon argument has no merit.

     Where I come from that is deliberate deception.

    I note that no process exists to treat the leftover salt mix in the Thor Con reactor. 

    In addition, ThorCon has 12 mol% Beryllium in its salt mix.  There is only one large Breyllium mine in the entire world.  From ThorCons' numbers I calculate that a single 1,000 MW  plant would use approximately 2.5 tons of Beryllium to start up.   Since total world production of beryllium is about 260 tons/year and ThorCons have to be replaced every 4 years, 400 1,000 MW ThorCons (approximately current world nuclear reactors) would use up the entire world supply.  You forgot to include in your summary that there are many elements that do not exist in sufficient supply to build out more than an insignificant amount of nuclear power. (always take calculations that have not been peer reviewed with a large grain of salt.  You could do the calculation yourself to check my numbers, if you know how.)

    ThorCons 137Cs claims also do not stand up to scrutiny.  Much 137Cs is carried out of the salt in the noble gas stream.  They have to say what they plan to do with the 137Cs that is mixed with their radioactive noble gasses.  If it remains in the salt they have to explain how that occurs.

    I suggest that you find someone who understands nuclear reactor design to moderate your thread if you want to correctly deal with the nuclear industry propaganda.

    If the bleeting from the nuclear designers has any merit they can write a letter to the editor of PNAS and it will be answered in time.  Until their letter is published we have to figure that the paper is correct.  

    I note that the rest of the responses that you have linked did not address the issue of increased radioactive waste even though that was what the headline in the newspaper was.

    It is difficult to discuss nuclear power on line since the proponents of nuclear consistently make false claims.

    Nuclear power is too expensive and the elements to build out the reactors does not exist.

  4. One Planet Only Forever at 10:50 AM on 8 June 2022
    Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    Doug, Bob and peppers,

    Natural Resources Canada has developed a tool for searching and comparing the fuel efficiency of personal vehicles sold in Canada.

    NRC Fuel consumption ratings search tool

    Setting the search "vehicle type" to be "battery-electric" finds 81 vehicle models, including 4 pickup truck models showing the following comparisons:

    • The most efficient vehicles (3 of the 81 models) are 1.8 le/100 km. And they are sedan style vehicles. (le is litres equivalent - see Note at end of comment).
    • The next most efficient models (4 models) are 1.9 le/100 km including the most efficient SUVs.
    • The next set (9 models) are 2.0 le/100 km and includes several SUVs.
    • The most efficient battery-electric truck is 3.3 le/100 km which is better than the least efficient SUV (3.6 le/100 km). And it is slightly better than the least efficient sedan which is 3.4 le/100 km.

    And setting the search to only be conventional (ICE)/hybrid vehicles finds that the most efficient hybrid is 4.0 l/100 km (not as good as the least efficient battery-electric)

    Note: The search can be set for "miles/gallon". But there are 2 choices because the antiquated imperial system has 2 different gallon size: "imperial (the Canadian gallon before the switch to metric in 1979)" and "US (the smaller one the US created and still uses)".

  5. Doug Bostrom at 08:33 AM on 8 June 2022
    Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    As a hint about voting w/wallets and heavier vehicles, Ford's "F-150 Lightning" (now being delivered into customer hands) has generated about 200,000 reservation orders, with Ford needing close to order availabilty and add manufacturing capacity. Ford is being forced to consider cutting dealers out of the equation on selling these vehicles, because dealers are successfully extracting absurd markups from customers willing to pay.

    Granted, these are early adopters but it remains the case that such empirical evidence as we have suggests that the love affair for "heavy" doesn't axiomatically require that heavy vehicles be farting thrashers (IC powered). 

    Meanwhile, the same efficiency gains that make carrying a 900+ pound battery in a sedan a productive decision apply to heavier vehicles as well. The pertinent equation after all is not K.E. = 1/2 m2 v2


  6. UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong

    knaugle @2,

    I would not myself say that UAH TLTv5.6 "showed reasonably close agreement" with anything other than HadCRUT4 which itself showed less warming than other SAT records like GISTEMP.

    And while RSS TLTv3.3 showed lower warming than all others back in the day, RSS TLTv4.0 is now showing more warming than UAHv5.6 did.

    A comparison between HadCRUT4, UAH TLTv5.6 & v6.0 and RSS TLTv4.0 is plotted in this WoodForTrees presentation. Note how UAH v6.0 diverges over a short period 2000-12 which is symptomatic of a satellite calibration issue, something the UAH folk themselves accuse other satellite records of ignoring.

  7. UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong

    It would be interesting to see the corrections applied to subsequent versions.  I know UAH 5.6 showed reasonably close agreement with the surface datasets (and with RSS TLT v. 4).  Then it was replaced by UAH 6.0 and it immediately diverged to lower warming relative to all the other sets I follow. 

  8. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    From ThorCon: 

    "All fission reactors produce essentially the same amount of fission products per thermal energy produced. This is immutable physics. Designs with higher thermal efficiency produce less fission products per kWh electricity produced, but this difference is less than a factor of two from the clunkiest LWR to the fanciest paper HTGR."

    I am not a nuclear engineer, and I did not spend more than an hour trying to understand Krall's article, but it seems like the whole thing fails on this one point.  What is wrong with the peer review at NAS?

  9. Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline


    The blog post does address the issue of the recent spike in gas prices as a comparison. Note that it says (emphasis mine):

    Clearly, making these comparisons using high gas prices will reflect a big savings for EVs. But you’d have to go back to 2002 to find a time when the price of gasoline was consistently below the $1.41 per gallon price of driving an EV.

    As for heavier vehicles being inefficent: do you have a reference for that? In general, my understanding is that vehicles with electric drive are much more efficient that IC engines at low speeds, starting, etc. Electric motors can generate high torque at low speeds - a range where IC engines are very inefficient. For truck used for many short, local trips, the advantage of an electric drive could be substantial, even if range is limited. Long hauls, not so much.

  10. Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    I'd like to see this run up against real activity, instead of the apples for apples comparing sedans. SUV's and pickups have increased in sales the last 6 years so that they overtook sedans in 2020, and now are 2 to 1. And there are not electric SUV's/pickups for the larger vehicles as they are so inefficient to EV those weights, so I understand why that comparison is not there. But thats where people are buying. Worldwide. And this comparison is using temporary gas prices as gas/oil is not worth that much and will change. In terms of climate change this is off topic except highlighting how people, well before hitting any relevance of this article, are not caring. I mean voting with their wallets not caring. And that is an important take away here. And neither this article nor I can answer that at this moment.

  11. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    BaerbelW at 9

    So am I to take it that these collections of NEWS roundups are not to be considered "topics" and therefore not to be discussed here? If so, I do need to be directed to the portion of your site that tell me what "stuff" is "on topic". For example, One Planet's comments (above) are being allowed, but I'm not making the connection of his essay on harm to a particular topic in the many cites above. 

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] More complaints deleted.


  12. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22


    As clearly stated at the top of each of these weekly News roundups, these are simply collections of articles we shared on our Facebook page during the week. They cover a somewhat wider range of topics than what we usually post on our website.

  13. One Planet Only Forever at 12:45 PM on 7 June 2022
    2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    Recent posts at SkS, including this week’s News Roundup, provide great information and examples of the need for a broad integrated (systemic) perspective when learning about climate science and the challenges of getting the collective of humanity to collaborative converge to learn to achieve the required rapid changes to limit harm done by developed and developing human activity and help those who need assistance now and in the future.

    I will start with the SkS re-post of the Yale Climate Connections article Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline. The article provides a detailed presentation of the cost advantage of electric personal vehicles. But, because of its focus on only a small part of the bigger picture, it does not mention the more important consideration that even electric vehicle use needs to be limited to limit the power demand. Because all power demand causes harm (as the deniers of the need to stop burning fossil fuels constantly point out regarding renewable energy production and use). People should be “dramatically reducing non-essential personal vehicle use”. By all means switch to electric vehicles. But limit personal vehicle use, including taxi or other ‘personal ride services, to essential travel. And make changes to limit “essential travel”. Note that even using public transit consumes energy. And consuming energy, even renewable electricity, is not harm free.

    Another example of the narrow perspective problem (a problem highlighted in the ‘convergent’ set of articles opening this week’s Recent Research), is the recent BBC News story Drought-stricken US warned of looming 'dead pool'. This article is narrowly focused on the water shortage and electricity generation limits due to the water shortage in the SW US. The article mentions the ‘temporary’ water use restriction measures. And the recommended actions include building new dams and building household roof-top solar powered machines that will extract water from the air. What is missed is the need to fundamentally change how people live to reduce power and water demand. People should not grow things in yards that need ‘extra water - more than naturally would occur’. They should stop non-essential water use. That would maximize water to be used efficiently to grow food (far more essential than water used to have pretty yard plants). Another consideration is that reservoirs behind dams result in loss of water through evaporation. In warm dry climates, water stored for later use or power generation should be kept in ways that minimize evaporation losses (not is sprawling lakes).

    A different example of the difficult of narrow focused articles or, more correctly, the problem of people reading items in isolation with a narrow focus is the Guardian article We cannot adapt our way out of climate crisis, warns leading scientist (Katharine Hayhoe). This article mentions that harmfully misleading narrow-minded claim by pseudo-economists like HSBC’s Stewart Kirk that future problems caused by people benefiting from unsustainable harmful pursuits can and should be discounted (marginalized, ignored) because future generations can deal with it (and more importantly the harmed people of the future can’t vote today and would have a hard time suing those who harmed them). The morally rational understanding is that the people who benefit from a harmful action should be the only ones to suffer the harm of the harmful action (the classic medical harm done to patients, or risk of harm, to best help patients). So if there is required future adaptation due to climate changes the current generation needs to build sustainable adaptations that will protect future generations from the future potential harm (it is unjust to leave it to future generations to adapt, if they can).

    In We cannot adapt our way out of climate crisis, warns leading scientist (Katharine Hayhoe) it is also correctly declared that unless dramatic, but technically feasible, changes happen it is likely that the future of humanity will be irreparably seriously harmed. That relates to the recent BBC News article Why is climate 'doomism' going viral – and who's fighting it?. Katharine Hayhoe correctly declares the massive harm likely to be done unless dramatic changes are made starting today. That can be considered to be a statement that triggers doomism. But the bigger story is to know that ‘doomism’ is a step in learning about important required changes like the need to stop climate change impact harm. This is well presented by Kimberly Nicholas PhD in her 2021 book “Under the Sky We Make”. She lists the stages of learning about climate change What she calls radical climate acceptance) as: Ignorance, Avoidance, Doom, All the feel(ing)s, and Purpose. The feelings that follow the Doom stage include righteous anger at all those who have been harmfully misleading through the past 30 years.

    And that brings things to the wider understanding of the harmful misleading group of characters that is well presented in the SkS re-post of the Yale Climate Connections article Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet. That systemic socioeconomic-political problem is described by Eve Darian-Smith in the following quote:

    • Political and industrial leaders collude to extract wealth from the land and its people, without regard for sustainability.
    • Industries effectively capture and control state agencies assigned to regulate them.
    • Politicians, their parties, and affiliated media use campaign contributions and advertising from these industries to build and maintain messaging operations that dis-inform the public and otherwise obstruct democratic oversight, including free and fair elections.
    • They do this by playing on nationalistic fears and animosities to gain and retain power.
    • This nationalism at home is combined with isolationist foreign policies.
    • Nationalism and isolationism lead to anti-environmentalism out of resistance to global environmental concerns.
    • This combination of ultranationalism, isolationism and anti-environmentalism intensifies systemic environmental racism in these countries.

    That can be understood to be a version of the harmful misleading actions described by the Propaganda Model that Edward S. Herman developed and presented, along with Noam Chomsky, in Manufacturing Consent (Book and documentary from decades ago).

    There is lots for people to learn to be angry about and be motivated to act helpfully contrary to the interests of people who choose to try to evade learning to be less harmful and try to benefit more from being more harmful. And children who learn that leaders among their ancestors tried to keep people from learning to be less harmful and more helpful should be expected to express the most righteous anger.

    Go Greta! Same Go(es) for all the other younger people (and the young at heart with an open curiosity to learn new things like all children are born with) who are justifiably angry (the ones who have learned to move beyond the awareness of their potential Doom due to the lack of concern by elders and a lack of helpfully well-directed narrow laser-like focused anger among elders who should know better - elders who should be focused on limiting the influence and impacts of people who do not care to learn to be less harmful and more helpful).

  14. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    I'm concluding that since your choices of topics/essays are not open for discussion, would that mean that if you chose a "political" post, you would not expect anyone to make it a topic of discussion, and those of us who do, are risking a warning or deletion? Or do you expect us to sense out the "politics" and be wise enough to leave it alone?

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] I will leave this moderation complaint intact for now. Clearly you are incapable of reading and understanding a Comments Policy. To quote:

    • No politics. Rants about politics, religion, faith, ideology or one world governments will be deleted. Occasional blogposts on Skeptical Science touch on issues intimately related to politics.  For those posts this rule may be relaxed, but only if explicitly stated at the end of the blogpost.

    While I am at it:

    Moderation complaints are always off topic and will be deleted

    ...and for good measure:

    • No multiple identities.  Posting comments at Skeptical Science should use only one registered screen name. Use of more than one account will result in all accounts being banned.

    You seem to be more intent on arguing with the moderators than with the blog posts or other commenters. This has to stop.



  15. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    Maybe I have not figured out what off topic means. I was citing the essay above by Zach Budrik. Is that a topic, or do I look in a particular place for the topic? I don't wish to be offensive, but I would like to know if the term eco-fascist has a definition. I am aware of the meaning of Hadley Cell, eutrophication of the oceans, Milankovich Cycles,  AMOC, carbon capture, CFCs, IPCC, and many other terms SKS and similar organization use in discussing climate, but eco-fascism is a stumper for me. Labelling is not considered academic discourse, but is certainly a common characteristic of political commentary. Your rules discourage politics, yet it seems to me that Zach's essay reeks of it. How does this fit into SKS' rules for discourse? What am I missing that leads you to erase my comments?

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] More moderation complaints deleted.

    If you cannot keep on topic, we will not spend time trying to edit your comments so that small parts remain and violations of the Comments Policy are edited out. You are the one that needs to sit back, think about what you post, and do your own editing. If you cannot do this, entire comments will be deleted.


  16. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    I'm not complaining about "moderator judgement". I'm not complaining about featured topics. I'm asking how it is that SKS, billed by some of my colleagues, as a Science discussion portal also posts articles that take a position that terms, such as eco-fascist, are used to describe a particular point of view. Fascism is a political ideology resting on five central tenets: Control of the means of production and distribution by the State (but not ownership), One party rule, A Monopolistic Propaganda Machine that depends upon the Demonizing of a particular group (an enemy of the state) and an all powerful Leader (dictator) exercising a monopoly on the use of force (a disarmed citizenry).  I came to SKS on a referral from a colleague who maintained that SKS was the place to go to discuss peer reviewed scientific evidence of a crisis in our environment, so I am asking how that is connected to some of the expressions such as "right wing eco-fascism" and similar labels that appear to categorize a line of thinking that "demonizes" a perceived "enemy of the State". ???

    Moderator Response:


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

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

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  17. Doug Bostrom at 02:55 AM on 7 June 2022
    Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    "Price subject to change," indeed.

    Given "Potemkin Markets" for electricity such as that found in Texas it's not a rule, but for many of us living in states that still acknowledge the reality of natural monopolies it's nice that the cost of driving an EV doesn't change from hour to hour as it does with the more primitive and annoyingly flatulent Victorian-era IC alternatives. 

  18. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    Several of these articles are clearly "political". As a newby, I'm confused how these fit in to the SKS "rules". What am I missing?

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] More moderation complaints snipped. I don't think you are new to this.

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

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.


  19. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    A buch more responses. NAS not looking good.

  20. EGU2022 - A personal diary from a science enthusiast perspective

    For anybody interested to know more about Svitlana Krakovska, the head of the Ukranian delegation for the recent IPCC report, please check out this article in Nature which comes in the form of an interview with her. In the article she talks of the terrors of the war in Ukraine and how divesting from fossil fuels will bring humanity onto a safer path towards a sustainable future.

  21. EGU2022 - A personal diary from a science enthusiast perspective

    Thanks, for your feedback, Robin!

  22. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    There is a response to the PNAS article from NuScale, one of the reactors featured in the Citizendium series:

    I think we might get a similar response from the other companies, but before I bother them, lets see how this one pans out.

  23. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Michael Sweet, what specifically is "deliberately false"? On Cs-137, did you read their section on safety? "The most troublesome fission products, including iodine-131, strontium-90 and cesium-137, are chemically bound to the salt." 

    I will add the paper you cite to the Bibliography page, but to include it in the Discussion page, we need specific challenges to this design, not general speculations about all MSRs.

    I started to read the article you cite, and it looks to me very similar to other general complaints that lead to endless arguments on FaceBook forums.  I read that there is some problem with neutron leakage, and it makes no sense to me.  Do any of these complaints apply tp this design?  I will then get a response from the company.

    On the question of cost, did you read that section?  It looks to me like they have done a thorough analysis.  They are saying they can deliver a complete nuclear plant, reactor, turbines, generators, switchgear, everything, for $1200 per kW, lower than the cost of a coal plant.  Anyway, it seems like a waste of time to debate cost.  If a vendor offers a product you want, at a price you like, don't tell him he is wrong about his own design, place an order.

  24. One Planet Only Forever at 03:45 AM on 5 June 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #22 2022

    Having read all 3 I would add the following regarding the required paradigm shifts and systemic changes.

    A major challenge is ensuring that collective wisdom regarding how to limit harm done and help those needing assistance effectively governs and limits the harm done by 'clever humans figuring out how to benefit from harmul actions and related harmful misunderstanding'.

    The popular appeals of the 'freedom to believe and do whatever a person please' and/or the 'perception that certain types of people deserve to be exclusive groups protected from contamination or compromise by Others who aspire to be considered to be equally worthy people' has been harmfully successful at resisting correction of harmful misunderstandings that excuse harmful pursuits of benefit and superiority relative to others.

    Edward S. Herman's "Propaganda Model", as presented in the book and documentary "Manufacturing Consent" is a long established and fairly robust understanding of the problem of Free Speech protections for marketing. Legal restrictions have been developed for economic competition marketing (that people like Elon Musk appear to try to find clever loopholes in). But there are very few legal consequences for harmful misleading marketing by political competitors. Clever political misleading marketing to defend and excuse the harmful status quo can be seen to continue to happen with harmful abandon.

  25. One Planet Only Forever at 07:29 AM on 4 June 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #22 2022

    Another recommended reading that is aligned with the 3 articles highlighted on this week's New Research is the 2021 book "Under the sky we make" by Kimberly Nicholas PhD. It is a book about the harm of the developed "Exploitation Mindset: thinking that some humans should dominate other humans and that humans in general should dominate nature." It presents the need for a paradigm shift to a Regeneration Mindset which would naturally develop sustainable improvements for all of humanity far onto the future.

    The book includes a summary chapter called TLDR (Too Long Did't Read) which is recommended for people who don't have time to read a complete book (or fully read articles like the ones highlighted this week - I am midway through the second one but I have read all 3 abstracts).

    The TLDR's first point is "It's warming, it's us, we're sure, it's bad, we can fix it." And the 3rd summary point is "We need to clarify our values and shift our mindsets in line with what science tells us is necessary to stop climate and ecological breakdown and preserve humanity."

  26. One Planet Only Forever at 03:19 AM on 4 June 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #22 2022


    There are indeed bright rays of hope. But, for many people, it will not be extremely easy to learn and adopt helpful habits.

    Another way of presenting the challenge of learning to be less harmful and more helpful to others, learning to correct harmful developed perspectives and related biases, is to say that people simply need to set aside their 'learned shortcut gut-instinct predisposition regarding their evaluations of things' so that they can have the open curiosity of an inquisitive child.

    Growing up in an environment of competition for impressions of superiority relative to others can develop preferences for harmful misunderstanding that need to be recognised and be deliberately set aside in order to be open to learn what is required to be less harmful and more helpful to others.

    A big challenge for many people will be transitioning to the more 'open to diversity' perspective that is required to be an effective member of collaborative diverse group. Shifting away from a more restricted perspective can result in rejection by some members of a group that a person has develop an identity with.

    And, regrettably, many people will struggle to 'leave a group they have developed their identify within' even if they learn that there are significant harmful misunderstandings that the group fight against correcting. Some people will compromise better understanding to remain a member of their developed 'group identity'.

  27. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet


    My apologies for my question about handling One Planet's political remark, (MAGA, etc) but could you reinsert  my comment to Planet without my comment about "monitor"? 

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] The moderators are not here to provide editing services. Moderation of comments that violate the site's policies will progress through warning snips (such as this one), to complete snips, to deletion of comments in their entirety, to eventual rescinding of posting privileges after repeated violations.

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

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  28. Doug Bostrom at 14:22 PM on 3 June 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #22 2022

    From One Planet's recommendation:

    "In one set of trials, the advisors were told about this potential reward at the very start of the experiment, before they started considering the different options. While they were ostensibly picking the best choice for the client, they were much more likely to go with the choice that was favourable to themselves.

    In the rest of the trials, however, the advisors were only told of this potential reward after they had been given some time to weigh up the pros and cons of each. This time few chose to let the reward influence their decision; they remained honest to their goal of giving the best advice to the client."

    I say this is a bright ray of hope— being better turns out to be extremely easy. We only need to learn and adopt certain habits. :-)

    The article also conveniently illustrates— commensurate with our featured trifecta— the kind of benefits we might obtain by better operationalizing hard-earned information on human behaviors. 

  29. One Planet Only Forever at 06:31 AM on 3 June 2022
    Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet


    I am aware and understand that the US system is slow to act.

    But I am also aware that the slowness to act does not only result in keeping the "... system from going off the rails from passion, bad planning, lust, greed, and downright dangerous, non-deliberative decision making."

    Leadership should be leading the pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding applied to reduce harm done and help those who need assistance. In cases where increased awareness and improved understanding develops outside of leadership pursuits of that objective, leadership, all of its participants, should rapidly learn and catch up to effectively lead the harm reduction - helpful improvements actions.

    However, there are undeniably cases in the US (and other nations), especially regarding the matter of climate science, where the "slow to change" system can be seen to delay leadership actions to limit harm done and help those who need assistance.

    So the US system is indeed slow to change. But that can be Good or Bad, especially Bad when it is slow to learn. Reading the BBC item I refer to, especially the part about Picking Sides, could be helpful.

  30. One Planet Only Forever at 03:31 AM on 3 June 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #22 2022

    Doug and Marc,

    Thank you for finding and highlighting the 3 items regarding systemic understanding and the need for systemic changes to achieve a more successful limiting of the harm being done to the future of humanity.

    I look forward to learning more by reading them, and potentially reading additional items they refer to.

    The following BBC Worklife article "How self-deception allows people to lie" presents related understanding of how humans are tempted to think. It is regarding workplace situations. But it relates to the challenge of improving awareness and increasing understanding of the climate change harms of developed ways of living and thinking. It helps understand why it can be difficult to get people to learn to support important changes to what has developed, especially the systemic changes that are fundamental to better success on the climate change front. And the article concludes with a recommendation for the constant work, "systematic reasoning", required for a person to limit the likelihood that they have allowed their thinking to be harmfully deceived into harmful misunderstanding with a related potentially passionate resistance to learning that it is a harmful misunderstanding.

  31. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    One planet

    Sorry. I can't engage in any debate that blames an interest group for the troubles you allege. As I understand the SKS policy: "no politics", I can, as a college professor of political science, describe how and why the American system is "set up" to work, while leaving behind all color of competing political philosophies that try to discuss the "ought" to be something that the American system is not...or not yet. I would think your post would have already been struck by the monitor for its conspicuous political positioning.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Moderation complaints snipped.  You know better.

  32. One Planet Only Forever at 14:04 PM on 2 June 2022
    Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    Aeyles @5 and 6,

    Read the BBC article I refer to @3. Then consider if your beliefs about the US are consistent with all of the evidence. That may involve reading books like "A People's History of the United States", or "How to be Antiracist (which starts with understanding than the root of racism is harmful competition for status)"

    An explanation of the US that is more consistent with the evidence is that the US system was developed and significantly controlled by harmful misleading wealthy and powerful people. And that system powerfully resists learning that many appearances of higher status are due to harmful unsustainable actions and related popularity of harmful misunderstanding. The actions of US leadership on many issues, including climate change, are not aligned with the opinions of the majority of US citizens.

    Admittedly the US today is better than its origin of only land owning males being considered "people" (male landowners were the only voters). All others were to be owned, dominated and exloited. But even today there are some in the US who want to turn back from the present progress and MAGA to be more like those earlier Early Republic times.

  33. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    Meanwhile, the "govetnment" is planned and run by professional bureaucrats and diverse interest groups...all vying for influence and power and pushing their separate points of view

  34. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    Perhaps the American system is best defined as a Republic with democratic features. Since "we" vote, and majority votes spawn our representatives and since a Republic is a "representative system" where our elected officials are supposed to seek and secure a "majority view" within the parameters of our Constitution (which is the contract between the governed and the government servants)  our system is subject to changes only every few years. We vote for a handful of candidates every two years for some, every four years for some others and every six years for 100 "special representatives" (senators) which keeps our system from going off the rails from passion, bad planning, lust, greed, and downright dangerous, non-deliberative decision making. In effect, slow change prevents an unhinging of the body politic...something James Madison was keenly concerned about in FED 10.

  35. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    I also remember in middle school civics class, learning the difference between a direct democracy and a representative democracy.

    Direct democracies, where everyone votes on every decision, are very rare for anything other than small groups.

    Indirect democracies involve electing a smaller number of individuals to act on your behalf:

    A policy under the rule of people acting on the behalf of and, to a lesser extent, in the interests of the voting blocks by which they were elected.

    Note the " a lesser extent..." clause. If the elected representatives act mostly in the interests of someone other than the people in their district (e.g., in their own interest, or in the interest of a small group of funders or friends, etc.), then democracy is failing.

    Representatives are supposed to represent all their constituents, regardless of whether or not a constituent voted for them. You can't make everyone happy, but you are supposed to at least listen to them and consider their point of view and interests. They are not supposed to be your enemies.

  36. One Planet Only Forever at 10:30 AM on 2 June 2022
    Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet


    There is an imoprtant difference between 'An inclusive equitable democracy' and a Republic. Being inclusive and equitable are core aspects of a democracy. Republics can be exclusive and nationalist. And Republics can be very inequitable, especially if they have core beliefs about being God's chosen with a manifest destiny to dominate others.

    A Republic can unjustly restrict who gets to become a member and unjustly restrict who gets to vote (like the Republicans in the USA have been doing), while allowing competitors for leadership roles plenty of freedom to be harmfully misleading.

    And humans have a nasty tendency to be harmfully misled as is well presented in the recent BBC Worklife article "How self-deception allows people to lie". The BBC article focus is about work situations. But it can easily be seen to apply far beyond "work situations".

  37. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    For information: “Democracy” vs. “Republic”: Is There A Difference?"

    "A democracy is defined as “government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” A nation with this form of government is also referred to as a democracy....."

    "A republic is defined as “a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. Sound familiar? It should.You see, many of today’s democracies are also republics, and are even referred to as democratic republics. So, the US and France are considered both democracies and republics—both terms point to the fact that the power of governance rests in the people, and the exercise of that power is done through some sort of electoral representation."

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Link activated. (I think  you know how, and forgot.)

  38. michael sweet at 02:08 AM on 2 June 2022
    What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?


    The answers to questions about waste in your discussion section on the ThorCon reactor run the gamut from evasive to deliberately false.  ThorCon presents no plan to deal with 137Cs and says only that they will process most waste offsite.   I expect that you will add the information from the nuclear waste paper cited in comment 6 to your general post on MSR's.

    MSR's are uneconomic and the materials to build out a significant number of reactors do not exist.

  39. michael sweet at 01:59 AM on 2 June 2022
    What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    A recent paper published in PNAS titled: Nuclear waste from small modular reactors analizes the waste streams from small modular reactors.  The short answer is that SMR's produce much more nuclear waste than the large reactors currently running.  In adition, much of the waste is in the form of reactive molton salts and liquid sodium.  These reactive wastes have no methods of preparing them for long term storage.  

    Claims by the nuclear industry that SMR's will produce less nuclear waste are simply industry propaganda.  I was stunned to learn that no process exists to convert much SMR waste into materials that can be long term stored.  The DOE plans to entomb in place the molten salt reactor built in 1969 because they have not been able to develop a method of stabilizing the left over salt mix for long term storage at an offsite location.  

    This paper is very techical but the basics can be understood by a careful reader.

  40. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    Someone please tell Eve we are a republic, not a democracy.  And also that the California fires were unnaturally severe because of prior fire suppression and lack of herbivory, as noted by Trump with his "poorly managed" conclusion.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Your habit of short, unsupported assertions are not constructive.

    Please take the time to review the Comments Policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  41. Doug Bostrom at 04:29 AM on 30 May 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2022

    "So much of the harmful misunderstanding in 2012 is alive and kicking harder today."

    An observation supported by hard data.

    We log accesses to our rebuttals coming in via Facebook. We can't tell who is referring to our stuff but we see the usage. It is truly amazing to see what's in play in the public mind; the oldest and most shopworn rubbish is still "debated," judging from resources people on FB are drawing upon.

    For the "lifer" doing this crazy work it's all too easy to think of an issue as done-and-dusted, if only from sheer boredom over "rinse, repeat" ad nauseam. 

  42. One Planet Only Forever at 02:45 AM on 30 May 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2022

    "Homo bolidus" was indeed presented by you in your comment on the 2012 SkS post by dana1981 "Lindzen, Happer and Cohen Wall Street Journal Rerun".

    Revisiting that item highlights how difficult it is for public opinion to be 'improved to reduce harm done' by attempts to get people to have increased awareness and improved understanding the evidence based fuller story related to harm done on any issue. So much of the harmful misunderstanding in 2012 is alive and kicking harder today.

    The legacy dominance of utilitarian beliefs that 'harm done can be dismissed or justified by claims that some people benefit from the harmful unsustainable activity and associated developed harmful misunderstandings' is hard to correct. People motivated by competitive pursuit of higher status can be very reluctant to learn that their current status or desired ways of obtaining more benefit are harmful obtained and unsustainable. Giving up potential for more benefit and making amends for harm done can be contrary to their liking. And they will readily believe and support purveyors of harmful misleading messages. They can even be seen to become more irrationally determined to believe that 'increased awareness and improved understanding of what is harmful and the required corrections' is a political ideology that is harmfully trying to 'cancel their type of people'.

    It is tragic that a harmfully misled minority can have so much influence due to 'Defending and demanding Freedom to believe what they want and do as they please'.

  43. EGU2022 - A personal diary from a science enthusiast perspective

    Amazing Baerbel!  I just loved reading this. I looked at many of the links you provided. Thank you for sharing all this wonderful information and your personal experience. 

  44. Doug Bostrom at 17:29 PM on 29 May 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2022

    One Planet, that may have been me writing that here in 2012. The first time I used it the term was original within the confines of my mind and experience— but with 7.753 billion people on the planet I seriously doubt I was the first to think of it. :-) 

    "Under the Sky We Make" hopefully is a leading indicator. Not caring about what happens after we're personally dead is maximal nihilism. 

  45. One Planet Only Forever at 12:50 PM on 29 May 2022
    New study offers a glimmer of hope for climate solutions success

    peppers @7,

    There is indeed evidence that public perceptions developed due to harmful misleading marketing or a simple lack of concern among richer people are a problem.

    The Lincoln MKZ is an interesting case. The luxury sedan had a hybrid model sold at the same price as the non-hybrid model. Yet the hybrid version never exceeded 30% of annual sales.

    And there is indeed a pickup popularity problem (that is bigger in Canada and the USA than in other places like Europe).

    However, SUVs are not necessarily a serious problem. The serious problem is the over-sized vehicles, particularly the luxury models.

    And the fuel efficiency ratings tell the story. My resource for comparing fuel efficiencies is National Resources Canada's "Fuel consumption ratings search tool"

    The Lincoln MKZ hybrid model consumption was about 6 litre/100km. The non-hybrid MKZ was about 10 l/100. That significant fuel saving was not enough motivation for the majority of the MKZ buyers.

    The comparison of ICE vs Hybrid for general vehicle categories like sedans and SUVs using the Canadian search tool shows the following for 2022 models:

    • Subcompacts: No hybrids. Best is Chevy Spark at 7.0 l/100.
    • Compacts: Best Hybrid 4.5 l/100. Best ICE 6.2 l/100.
    • Midsize: Best Hybrid 4.4. Best ICE 6.4
    • Full size: Best Hybrid 4.0. Best ICE 7.1
    • Station wagon: Best Hybrid 4.6. Best ICE 7.6
    • SUV: Best Hybrid 5.8. Best ICE 7.2
    • Minivan: no hybrids. Best ICE 6.6
    • Pickups: Best Hybrid 6.3. Best ICE 8.9. Note the F150 hybrid is 9.7. A more important note is that the efficient ICE trucks are diesel which is now understood to produce NOx problems.

    So trucks are a problem. And Hybrid SUVs are potentially worse than Hybrid sedans. But the luxury and higher powered sedans are worse than the best SUVs. And the tiny cars are not necessarily better.

  46. One Planet Only Forever at 07:17 AM on 29 May 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2022


    Unlike wilddouglascounty I was not familiar with the origin or meaning of the term 'homo bolidus'. My internet searches came up empty. But I found it by searching within SkS (back to 2012). It is indeed an appropriate term for the majority of the portion of humanity that wins competitons for superiority.

    Coincidentally, I have recently read "Under the Sky We Make" by Kimberly Nicholas PhD. The book promotes the need for a systemic change to a Regenerative Mindset, displacing and correcting the harmful developed influence of the Exploitation Mindset. The author says that without that systemic correction "We are the asteroid".

    Though the book is not "research" it is based extensively on published research (and refers to SkS and John Cook). But I may be biased because I found the content to be consistent with my developing understanding of the issue.

  47. EGU2022 - A personal diary from a science enthusiast perspective

    peppers @2

    Thanks for your comment! I can't answer your question though as I kept to sessions related to communication and education. You can however search the conference's program to see if there are relevant abstracts.

  48. EGU2022 - A personal diary from a science enthusiast perspective

    What a detailed and wonderful recount of your convention. Was there any mentions of the Age of Aluminum ( not the movie )? Co2 almost perfectly follows aluminums climb from 85k tons in 1913 to over 22M a year today. It takes 8 times the energy to produce than iron. The more we identify the reasons the better we can calculate.

  49. New study offers a glimmer of hope for climate solutions success

    I think there may be much more than adding a little reason here or a nudge there to have the public match the concerns. IN 2014 SUV's matched sedan sales and in 2019 they doubled those sales of efficient sedans. Pickup sales almost tripled between 2008 and 2019. The sacrificing is not there. No one is turning in thier stockings to make parachutes for this. This voting with thier wallets covers a larger period of time than mentioned, that spans several political administrations, several rounds of political waverings, and many years of warnings. And it represents a direct cancelling of gains by, say, all new EV sales. This indicates a stronger task than just rephrasing the importance, or some new study indicate.

  50. Doug Bostrom at 08:04 AM on 28 May 2022
    New study offers a glimmer of hope for climate solutions success

    Louis, the solar panel manufacturing situation is quite a bit more complicated than you imply. 

    Here's a fairly deeply reported story on that:

    Which solar panels are made in America? (2022 edition)

    Reading all the way to the end, we end up with four manufacturers with all parts created in the US. Many more source polysilicon from overseas, with everything else made in the US. Others are a more mixed bag. 

    But "no solar panels are made in the US, all of them come from China" is misinformation. 

    (Not as a slight personally directed to Louis but more as a remark on behavior we all more or less share, it required about 5 minutes to learn what's actually true in this particular situation.)

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