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Comments 1001 to 1050:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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".

  7. 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.)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 

  12. 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'.

  13. 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. 

  14. 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. 

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.)

  21. Doug Bostrom at 05:57 AM on 28 May 2022
    EGU2022 - A personal diary from a science enthusiast perspective

    Thanks, Baerbel. 

    Conscious practice of geoethics seems like a way forward to stop thoughtlessly stealing from people living now and in the future. 

  22. Doug Bostrom at 05:37 AM on 28 May 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2022

    Sorry Joel, that was a bit of an accounting joke. Given that Deloitte grew its first roots in financial accountancy, "in the red" is bad, and "in the black" is good. 


  23. Joel_Huberman at 00:06 AM on 28 May 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2022

    I found this to be confusing: " Conversely, not acting as Homo bolidus will see us squarely in the black," when the Deloitte report actually says that acting boldly to mitigate global warming will bring us prosperity.

  24. wilddouglascounty at 23:42 PM on 27 May 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2022

    Thanks, Doug, for resurrecting the Homo bolidus designation for our species. I'd forgotten about that, but given the many recent demonstrations of our (in)ability to use our intelligence to change the trajectory of our collective activities, I'd say that we're definitely destined to be a brief but impactful flash in the evolutionary pan of our planet.

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


    The article wasn't  really getting into a discussion about the  merits  of different power sources. It was more about how human behaviour can be factored into predictive models. However that might include concerns about reliance on China, and human perceptions of nuclear power, which are generally quite negative in America.

    Nuclear power is indeed largely self reliant and does have some merits imo,  but it is not a panacea. It has various downsides like high capital costs and its slow to design and build and there is public resistance. But this is not the right page to discuss nuclear power.My point is only that it has positives and negatives that would both have to inform any predictive model

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

    There are two main "political" arguments against nuclear reactors as an avenue to decarbonization of our electrical power supply: 

    1) They are too expensive and take too long to build, whereas solar and wind are cheap and quick. 

    2) They are dangerous because of the possibility of radioactive materials escaping into the environment. 

    Let's examine these arguments: 

    A modest wind farm costs about $15M, takes about 2 months to install and generates about 15 MW of power when the wind blows.  That's $1/W at best.  The installation is quick because wind turbines are being mass-produced in factories already.  It would take a lot longer if every wind farm had to be built "from scratch" the way reactors have been in the past.  The USA has been adding about 20 GW/year of wind capacity, and now has a net wind capacity of around 150 GW at a net cost of around $150 billion.  To reach the total national power requirement (490 GW) should take about 17 years and cost about another $340 billion.  We may want to increase the total capacity to account for windless days. 

    Prototypes of the proposed SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) are now under construction.  Once factories are built to mass produce them the way wind turbines are, proponents predict, a new 300 MW SMR can be turned out every 4 years (per factory) at a cost of about $1.5 billion each.  Thus it would take over a thousand new SMRs at a cost of around $1.7 trillion to take over the capacity now supplied by other means.  Worse yet, if there were only one supplier with one factory, it would take 4,000 years.  So obviously we'd need 100 such factories to get it done soon enough to help.  

    Of course, the operating lifetime of a reactor is at least half a century; wind turbines last at most half that long before they need replacing.  But my "back of the envelope" estimates tentatively agree with the RE claims.  Let's do both, and install appropriate power where needed. 

    Now, as to the hazards of radiation... please see

  27. Planetary Diets

    wilddouglascounty, thanks for the feedback. Unless I get comments, it's difficult to know what does and does not "click" with people. There is a lot of confusion about committed warming, expected warming, and what we can do about it. Trying to clarify the science and the terminology so that it is understandable is a challenge. It therefore helps to have feedback, such as yours, about which analogies effectively accomplish their "mission".

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

    I have been designated as editor for a series of articles on small modular reactors. The focus is to be on the issues of safety, waste management, weapons proliferation, and cost.  We have the first article ready for review. 

    This top article asks the questions. We have asked companies that are working on new reactor designs to answer these questions in an article that they will own.  Critiques and independent analysis will be included on a discussion page for each design.

    We have a response from one company, ThorCon Power LLC. The others are still just stub articles.

    Comments will be appreciated.

  29. louislorenziprince at 00:01 AM on 27 May 2022
    New study offers a glimmer of hope for climate solutions success

    This article talks about "renewables" but makes no mention of the fact that no solar panels are made in the US, all of them come from China. Should the US be totally dependent on China for panels? Also, no mention of nuclear power, which is the most reliable and self-reliant source of power for the future.

  30. One Planet Only Forever at 11:38 AM on 26 May 2022
    New study offers a glimmer of hope for climate solutions success


    The US polarized politics is like a Sport if one team tried to limit harm done and the other team tried to maximize harm done.

    One US team fights any way they can get away with to protect their team's interests from 'restrictions on how harmful they can benefit from being'. They powerfully resist learning to be less harmful.

    The other US team also fight against restrictions of harm that their team would benefit from, just not as aggressively as the more passionately harmful team..

    That US harmful competitive reality is likely the result of the free-for-all fight for status that is a fundamental aspect of the American experiment in maximizing freedoms. That is an experiment that is harmfully failing but the players won't admit it because that would mean they would have to learn to accept that less freedom is better. They would also have to admit they owe compensation for the harm they have benefited from.

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

    "Several of these factors tend to act against climate solutions in the United States, with its population heavily politically polarized and government policy not very responsive to public opinion in any event, perhaps due largely to structural status quo biases."

    Very true. Its like American politics has turned into a contest between republicans and democrats that exists for its own sake like a sport. Feuds can go on for decades.

  32. One Planet Only Forever at 06:17 AM on 26 May 2022
    Breaking Through Twitter's Spiral of Silence with the #ClimateDaily Pledge

    Aeyles @3,

    Anyone making reference to Biblical points could be challenged by the following 'biblical understanding'.

    The Bible requires its adherents to be stewards of God's creation, not be harmful unsustainable exploiters of God's creation.

  33. One Planet Only Forever at 06:07 AM on 26 May 2022
    New study offers a glimmer of hope for climate solutions success

    This study reinforces the understanding that without significant socioeconomic and political system changes the future of humanity will suffer the massive harmful consequences of warming impacts exceeding 1.5 C.

    Note that the peak warming and when the peak impact is achieved, not the warming impact by 2100 with more warming to follow, is required to determine the potential required adaptations.

    And it needs to be pointed out that the producers of the future problem owe the harmed people of the future (and harmed current day people) significant help by developing adaptations that are sustainable in the harmed future they are creating.

    An important systemic change is learning that development that results in increased energy consumption, or any other increased per capita consumption beyond the minimum consumption needed to live decently, is not improvement or advancement. Developments that require less consumption, and that reduce harm done by the consumption (ideally no waste), are needed. And socioeconomic-political systems that will reward and ecourage that (and discourage and penalize the opposite) need to be developed strengthened and maintained.

  34. One Planet Only Forever at 01:53 AM on 26 May 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #20 2022

    The SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets that put all those satellites up there burn kerosene. A recent CBC News item "Time to consider the impact of rocket exhaust on the atmospere" exposes the harm of the cheaper easier way of fossil fuel launching rockets.

    Another consideration regarding increased internet use, particularly for HD video, is a high energy demand. The reduction of energy demand, especially by the supposedly more advanced and higher status supposedly superior humans, is an essential part of the changes required to limit the harm done to the future of humanity.

    And yet other consideration regarding the addition of sattelites is the way they interfere with planet surface based space observation.

    Another concern regarding all the rocket launching is the addition of future space debris and the impact of the parts that fall back to earth.

    More newer technology is not necessarily advancement.

  35. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #20 2022

    Elon Musk also has this "starlink" project to bring internet to rural areas across the entire planet:

  36. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #20 2022

    The global trend of moving from rural areas to cities may experience a pause in developed countries.  Some power providers serving rural areas have installed fibre grids on existing physical networks. These have enabled rural dwellers to tap the fiber optic infrastructure, making it possible for internet workers to stay put. The presence of fiber on the pole in the yard has also increased the price of residential real estate. Savings from not having to drive to work, both in dollars and energy, are welcome developments.

  37. wilddouglascounty at 01:14 AM on 25 May 2022
    Planetary Diets

    Another factor, of course, is the age of the person and the "age" of the economy. A young person in the armed services who is physically quite active, burns a heck of a lot more calories than the retiring 67 year old general leading the troops. This gets a lot more complicated very quickly: can the young private consume more calories without affecting the overall food supply, and can the general cut back on his dietary choices despite easier access to very rich and expensive options? And how many staff have to be fed to provide the support network for each?

    I like the analogy, which anyone who has tried to lose weight will instantly understand the difficulty of, and as you said, it's even more complicated than the analogy. Its also useful in that needed sacrifices to accomplish the goal depends on a good understanding of the variables and not a small measure of willpower. Thanks for this!

  38. Doug Bostrom at 09:10 AM on 23 May 2022
    Breaking Through Twitter's Spiral of Silence with the #ClimateDaily Pledge

    Here's a freshly published article directly relevant to this campaign:

    Social Engagement with climate change: principles for effective visual representation on social media

    Open access. 

  39. Breaking Through Twitter's Spiral of Silence with the #ClimateDaily Pledge

    I think SKS would have to clearly state that the Christian Bible is not a source of peer-reviewed science and that political opinions do not trump peer reviewed science. Since SKS prohibits discussions about religion and politics, could this be done?

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Off-topic and moderation complaints snipped.  Really, you know better. 

    Please stay on-topic.

  40. Breaking Through Twitter's Spiral of Silence with the #ClimateDaily Pledge

    Most of my discussions about peer reviewed climate science result in rebuttals about what the Bible says, or a popular political opinion from a prominent corporate leader. Any advice on that? 

  41. Doug Bostrom at 10:10 AM on 21 May 2022
    Breaking Through Twitter's Spiral of Silence with the #ClimateDaily Pledge

    Climate silence is climate surrender. 

    It's worth noting that many people won't talk about climate change in online venues (or standing at a vista in a national park for that matter) because what stands for discourse around climate change is often dominated by ovewrought, highly emotional people expressing their fear of climate change, climate mitigation and climate adaptation as dismissal of the fairly simple handful of basic principles governing the climate. These few make talking about climate change extremely unpleasant.

    So, one must either swallow one's feelings of repugnance for the process of dealing with such folks, or clam up. It's of course far easier to do the latter. Particularly, everybody has limits of patience, and repeatedly dealing with the same fundamentally misguided and flawed opinions expressed in heated and often personal expressions becomes boring and hence exhausting.

    In short , anybody with a significant number of followers and committing to daily climate change reminders is going to encounter some tiresome crap.

    "Be a Marine" and deal with it. But here are a few tips to keep help things centered and most importantly useful.

    • The audience for disagreement is not those who are talking but those who are only reading. Write for the bystander. Make it easier for bystanders to understand what they're truly learning by witnessing disagreement, namely that there is no actual basis for disagreement and that disagreement is not only not rooted in what we know about climate systems but rather in matters having nothing to do with climate science itself.
    • Ad hominem remarks are a means to change the subject. Don't let the subject be changed— stick with the topic of climate change, remind bystanders of the purpose of ad hominem remarks (whether directed to yourself, other individuals or entire classes of persons).
    • Any remark dismissing or disagreeing with consensus agreement among the actual scientific community on matters of climate change -must- be accompanied by a citation to published research. Insist on this. Keep reminding the interlocutor of their deficiency until this is accomplished, or their energy is sapped.
    • Aside from a small handful of professionals, folks popping up to disagree with common sense are expressing their fear of something else. Remind them (and bystanders) of this.  
    • You will be challenged to explain why fringe theories are wrong, or engage in discussion over quibbles. Don't waste your time on this when the work of doing that has already been accomplished. As Steve says, lean on others; there are no new counter-arguments to scientific consensus left to explore, and more or less all of them are covered here at Skeptical Science. You won't change your interlocutor's mind but pushing a link to correction provides a service to bystanders. 
    • In short, educating bystanders is the only useful purpose for engaging with disagreement on climate change in any public forum. Exploit opportunities to the fullest extent possible— which is not complicated.
  42. The kids are not OK

    Yes, the willingness to contemplate that one's initial judgment may be incorrect is a sign of a real skeptic and scientist. Whether it is with respect to scientific conclusions, or with respect to what an audience might be interested in hearing, it shows some openness to being swayed by evidence.

    If you look at the situation in the climate discussions, the simple question "what would it take to change your mind?" will tell you a lot about someone's level of reasoning on the subject.

  43. One Planet Only Forever at 00:55 AM on 21 May 2022
    Breaking Through Twitter's Spiral of Silence with the #ClimateDaily Pledge

    The Spiral of Silence problem is likely partly, and maybe significantly, a result of the development of inflexible minds.

    See my comment on the recent SkS reposting of "The kids are not OK".

    As the recent BBC Ideas video "How new experiences 'rewire' your brain" explains things, people can respond to encountering something new or unexpected (prediction error - meaning not what a person's experience-based learning would lead them to initially expect) by flexible learning or inflexible resistance to learning (resisting changing their developed beliefs).

    People who are less flexible thinkers can learn to become more flexible thinkers. But if they developed their identity as part of a group that includes inflexible thinkers on an issue they risk being rejected from that group if they question and try to change the developed beliefs, even if the developed beliefs are contradicted by evidence or are understandably misunderstandings that are harmful to others.

    Harmful influencers who understand this will try to limit the raising of awareness or improvement of understanding. They will fight against the need to learn to limit and correct harmful lack of awareness and harmful misunderstanding.

    It would be great if Social Media Star Influencers would become part of the team that tries to raise awareness and limit and correct harmful misunderstanding. However, those people risk losing 'likes (and related profit)' if they do that.

  44. One Planet Only Forever at 03:24 AM on 20 May 2022
    The kids are not OK

    The author's flexibility in response to experiencing something inconsistent with her developed thoughts and expectations is a great example of an important understanding regarding people who resist accepting climate science and the related need to change developed ways of living and change related developed beliefs.

    The recent BBC Ideas item "How new experiences 'rewire' your brain" is a brilliant 4 minute presentation regarding the value of developing the ability for flexible thinking.

    As the BBC item states it helpful learning is about helpfully changing your mind in response to encountering a "prediction error". You learn to reduce the chance of future "prediction error". That can reduce stress, anxiety and related anger.

    A lack of diversity of experience and a developed set of passionately held beliefs related to that limited experience can result in a lack of flexibility in response to encountering a "prediction error".

    In my work as an engineer I often encountered inflexible thinking due to motivations for things to be cheaper or done quicker in pursuit of higher profitability. The people with the "profit motive" would create ethical conflicts of interest. And trying to explain the technical reason they could not get what they wanted pften failed to convince them, failed to change their mind. In some cases persisting in the attempt to explain why they could not maintain their desired beliefs and get what they wanted made them angrier.

  45. Doug Bostrom at 02:35 AM on 18 May 2022
    The kids are not OK

    A few years ago I assisted our local high school with a "climate fair," a two-day event organized at the insistence of the school's students. This effort was mounted against opposition that was not rooted in disagrement but rather inertia and the administration's preferences to practice "business as usual," that business already being quite sufficiently difficult. A metaphor, of sorts. 

    The hardest part of the work was the lying. Summarizing our challenges while simultaneously recognizing the various cultural forces arrayed in opposition to repair leaves no room for honest optimism, yet our duty as adults is to offer hope to children. I found myself bereft of cause for hope, and thus in a position of daily lying. 

    Apparently lying isn't enough, per this article. 

  46. Why and How to Electrify Everything

    The thing is if the heat pump cuts out at very low temperatures, have a few basic fan heaters or convection heaters available. They are very low cost to buy these days, and you wont be running them too often.

    "Dont make the perfect the enemy of the good" (Voltaire)

  47. michael sweet at 22:46 PM on 14 May 2022
    Flying is worse for the climate than you think

    There is also the possibility of future production of aviation fuel using CO2 captured from the air and renewable electricity (electrofuels).  This article describes the process and estimates that the cost of electrofuel would be about $4 per liter today. The projected cost would drop to below $1 per liter in 2050.  $1 per liter is comparable to current fossil jet fuel.  I note that fossil jet fuel is likely to increase in price in the future.

    To me the point is that it is possible to make jet fuel with no net release of CO2 into the atmosphere if you are willing to pay for it.  Today we simply avoid the payments by shifting the cost to future generations.

    The technologies exist to convert the economy to completely renewable energy once governments have the will to make those changes.  Then we will not have to worry about the Russians or OPEC damaging the economy by witholding oil from the market (and we will address climate change).

  48. Flying is worse for the climate than you think

    Lawrie @6. Traditional fossil fuels are not identical to effects on climate to biofuels. Traditional aviation jet fuel uses hydrocarbons that have been lying in the ground for millenia so they are essentially a new pulse of CO2 into the atmosphere. Biofuels are adding a pulse of CO2 that is the same as the CO2 their biomass removed shortly before, so they are effectively carbon neutral. (Ignoring carbon used in manufacturing the biofuels). 

  49. Flying is worse for the climate than you think

    Thanks Eclectic @4. As a scientist I have always found the term biofuels to be problematic. Bio implies userfriendliness to the atmosphere. If jet fuels are constrained to hydrocarbons of similar energy density to currently used jet fuel then for climate change purposes CO2 emissions will be identical. We might feel better but the atmosphere won't notice any difference.

  50. Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans

    Respectfully,  I believe we're all missing the point. 

    I don't care if global warming is occurring and I care even less if it's human activity that the culprit. If we don't like CO² (I like CO², because it increases crop yields in a hungry world),  then either live like a caveman and don't use fossil fuels or go nuclear (my preferred option). Clearly solar and wind are not the answer. Insulation and self denial are not the answer. These just assist in reducing energy.  (Improving the aerodynamics of a car is pointless, if there's no engine). 

    We need less people on the planet and - most of all - less politicians)

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] The topic of this post is about how human activities release vastly more greenhouse gases into the active carbon cycle than do al the volcanoes on Earth combined.  Please stay on-topic.  Off-topic snipped.

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