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Comments 851 to 900:

  1. Philippe Chantreau at 11:38 AM on 8 September 2018
    Book Review: A Global Warming Primer, by Jeffrey Bennett

    In case mods haven't noticed, claudiaevans' post at 16 is total spam. 

  2. CERN CLOUD experiment proved cosmic rays are causing global warming

    Dr Kirkby’s discovery of the significance of biogenic vapours on aerosols is  remarkable, but light on the chemistry and I’m struggling to find more detail; anyone have any good references? (i.e. what are biogenic vapours and what influences their global production rate?)

    Also, seems to me likely there are some interdependencies here, e.g. photosynthesis converts more CO2 in stronger sunlight, but if this same sunlight also increases biogenic vapour production then this could increase cloud cover and regulate both processes. I’d like to have a stab at some transfer functions to look for instabilities there; but no idea how to estimate the biogenic vapour component.

    Finally a belated thanks to MA Roger, post 20 above, for the reference. I must say, as suspect as that graph clearly is, more recent, reliable data does seem to reproduce it, at least in part. That, as I understood it, formed a significant part of the first of CLOUD’s goals.

  3. Does breathing contribute to CO2 buildup in the atmosphere?

    Geotim,

    Since CO2 is 12/44 carbon if I exhaled 355 kilograms of CO2 that would be about 100 kg of carbon or more than my entire body mass.  About 60% of my mass is water.  Perhaps you need to review your calculations.

  4. Does breathing contribute to CO2 buildup in the atmosphere?

    “Does breathing increase CO2 in atmosphere?” is the question. The direct answer is humans inhale on average about 11,000 liters of air per day. The current concentration of CO2 in atmospheric air is about 410 parts per million (ppm). We exhale on average about 11,000 liters of air per day with a concentration of CO2 at about 40,000 ppm or one hundred times the concentration we inhale. My calculations indicate that we intake about 3.6 kg of CO2 per day and exhale about 360 kg of CO2 per day or a net increase of CO2 in the atmosphere of 355 kg per day. Therefore, in a year, an average human on earth increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by about 130,000 kg or about 65 metric tons. With about 7.5 billion people on earth today, this equates to approximately 488,000 million metric tons per year. In 2014, it is estimated that the world produced about 36 billion metric tons of CO2 by burning fossil fuels. Therefore, breathing increases CO2 in atmosphere by about 1 percent that produced by burning fossil fuels.

  5. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    nigelj @20

    There is good reason to question the value of some biofuels when you look at the cost of raising the crops used for feedstock and how some that can come from food production.

    The difference with thermal depolymerization is it takes things we currently treat as waste and often struggle to dispose of safely as feedostock for a catalytic process that converts the waste to useful and marketable products. 

    One of the first things produced from the process is methane which can then be used to heat the water that is used in the process, I think about 80% of the energy needed is provided from the process itself.

    Here's a list of potential feedstocks;

    Feedstocks and outputs with thermal depolymerization

     

    Everything from plastic, paper and offal to human sewage.

    The potential to replace a lot of current waste handling infrastructure with something that produces near carbon neutral light crude oil, naptha and solids like black carbon seems like a smart use of technology while reducing many waste issues.

    Why have any landfills for instance when we can use all organic waste as feedstocks and recycle all the non-organic material like metals, glass and ceramics.

  6. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Doug_C @6

    Ok good points, and I'm now persuaded in favour of  thermyl depolymerisation. I have this bias against biofuels that keeps influencing me, and I must get rid of it.

    -------------

    Jef @8

    "Modern civilization requires growth in order to avoid collapse."

    Fallacy of argument from assertion.  I suggest look up steady state (zero growth) economies on wikipedia. Japan had near zero growth for decades and didn't collapse.

    The main challenge is financing. Bank lending is made assuming certain growth rates and this would have to change to some other model. I just suggest its a bit too pessmistic to assume there isn't some other potential model that could deal with zero growth.

    --------------

    Sunspot @15,

    "And that means that, despite the millions of solar panels and windmills that have been installed in the past couple of decades, none of it has replaced a single barrel of oil. Not one barrel"

    Ok but it obviously stopped even higher use of oil, which is a good thing.

    At the risk of being pedantic, its unlikely anyone would rely just on solar power unless you live in northern africa for example. It will be combined with wind power and battery storage. Coal fired power stations in America have been replaced with combined wind / solar / battery packages.

    But I'm trying to discern your real point. You appear to be saying the real problem is our huge appetite for the  consumption of technology and energy intensive products.

    In theory renewable energy could be substituted for oil without considering this element. Whats getting in the way is politics which has slowed down rapid mass deployment of renewable energy. Because of slow progress we do need to consider our use of energy.  The first port of call is more efficient appliances. The next target is to own smaller and fewer appliances, so in other words be less materialstic. 

    Theres also an argument to conserve the use of scarce mineral resources  given the prodigous rate the world is using them. The challenge is how do we get people to conserve energy and be less materialistic like this? Because humans are status seekers by nature,  and having the latest technolgy has become a symbol of this for many people. Humans are also poor long term thinkers shown clearly by psychological studies.

    We could of course use education programmes at every possible level to encourage less use of energy, and less materialism by expressing self worth in other ways,  and we should also encourage an understanding that the world has finite resources and we need to start using them more prudently. The government could encourage lower use of energy and materials with better efficiency standards or some form of tax deduction. Given the escalating climate problem it could become urgently required.

    However I'm left thinking what is really required is a complete change of socio economic and cultural mindset towards embracing  environmental values and less materialism and this will take time, and is up against the profit motive of capitalism and people who want maximum instant gratification. This means maximum effort still needs to go into the deployment of solar and wind power and things like carbon taxes which help incentivise change.

     

  7. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    michael sweet @17

    The energy potential of solar power is vast and it's just one alternative source of energy to replace fossil fuels. And as you say the technology is always adavancing as is the way to store and use the energy converted from sunlight.

    Australia could easily replace all its fossil fuel energy production with solar. But it wouldn't need to, Australia also has huge areas of underlying hot crustal rock relatively close to the surface that can be utlized form geothermal power generation.

    Geothermal power in Australia

    The fact we aren't well into a global planned phase out of all fossil fuels has nothing to do with rational policy.

  8. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Sunspot @14

    Solar power resources are effectively unlimited, built in a large enough scale they can power anything we want.

    And solar power production is far more efficient and far less polluting than fossil fuels. PV cells are just one variety, there are also solar furnace power generation and passive solar. Most homes in Japan have solar hot water heaters installed on the roof with small backup heaters for cloudy days.

    But we don't need to base our entire energy model on solar, there are many alternatives to fossil fuels.

    - Geothermal power resources are vast, places like Australia have access to tens of thousands of years of geothermal power at current rates at relatively shallow depths.

    Geothermal Energy Resources

     

    There are many geothermal power plants already in operation around the globe and the untapped potential is virtually unlimited in current power demage terms.

    Geothermal power plants global map

     

    There's hydro-electric, tidal, biomass, and some forms of nuclear power that are far more abundant and sustainable than any fossil fuels.

    There's no real limits in alternatives to fossil fuels despite what some still try and claim based on studies done with a thumb on the scales.

    Like the one of solar power EROI that you refered to that underestimated the returns on building solar power production by an order of magnitude.

  9. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    DougC:

    Interesting reference you cited.  I noted that they conclude that in June, 2016, solar in Switzerland had an EROEI of 9-10.  With technical improvements since then it will currently be higher.  In locations with more sun (who goes to Switzerland for the sun?) the EROEI would be much higher.  Locations like Arizona and Australia would have very high EROEI.

  10. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Just one more instance where the logic is irrefutable but this abuse of the people of this planet is propped up by vested interest money in politics.  It is clear what we should be campainging about so that we stop spinning our wheels with all the things we have to get done to save us from our sorry selves.

  11. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    And just one more thing - I keep hearing the assumption that we are well along the road to replacing fossil fuels with solar and wind. But here's the thing: the latest forecast is that the world is going to be demanding 100 million bpd of oil by the end of the year. A record. And that means that, despite the millions of solar panels and windmills that have been installed in the past couple of decades, none of it has replaced a single barrel of oil. Not one barrel! We need more oil. More natural gas. more coal. more solar panels. more windmills. More SUVs and big-screen TVs. This is not working. Not even close...

  12. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Well good. I'll worry about Hurricane Florence instead! But I still want to see a complete manufacturing cycle running totally from solar power. You have to start with the mining operations. Then processing of course. Building the solar panel factory. Every little bit of energy used to build a solar panel being provided by solar panels. No fossil fuels. Like I said - I think solar panels are just great. But I'm far from believing that we can run our civilization at anything approaching the current level from solar and wind. I hope I'm wrong. But don't bother to convince me with studies. Show me. 

  13. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Sunspot @7

    "I read somewhere recently that solar has a negative EROEI."

    Probably one more instance of really bad science being done to either deny the science of climate change or the applicability of alternatives to fossil fuels.

    Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for photovoltaic solar systems in regions of moderate insolation: A comprehensive response

    Abstract:

    "A recent paper by Ferroni and Hopkirk (2016) asserts that the ERoEI (also referred to as EROI) of photovoltaic (PV) systems is so low that they actually act as net energy sinks, rather than delivering energy to society. Such claim, if accurate, would call into question many energy investment decisions. In the same paper, a comparison is also drawn between PV and nuclear electricity. We have carefully analysed this paper, and found
    methodological inconsistencies and calculation errors that, in combination, render its conclusions not scientifically sound. Ferroni and Hopkirk adopt ‘extended’ boundaries for their analysis of PV without
    acknowledging that such choice of boundaries makes their results incompatible with those for all other technologies that have been analysed using more conventional boundaries, including nuclear energy with which the authors engage in multiple inconsistent comparisons. In addition, they use out-dated information, make invalid assumptions on PV specifications and other key parameters, and conduct calculation errors, including double counting. We herein provide revised EROI calculations for PV electricity in Switzerland, adopting both
    conventional and ‘extended’ system boundaries, to contrast with their results, which points to an order-ofmagnitude underestimate of the EROI of PV in Switzerland by Ferroni and Hopkirk."

  14. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    From the OP: "The Trump administration could avoid the premature American deaths from coal pollution – which amount to about 52,000 per year in total"

    And " Coal employment has dropped so low there are fewer than 53,000 coal miners in total in the U.S".

    For every coal miners job one person is killed every year in the USA Is it really worth it to kill someone else every year to preserve a coal miners job??

  15. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    How many of the things we buy are really necessary? Or to put a finer point on it, how many people are employed in manufacturing and marketing items and services of far less importance than supplying clean energy and eliminating the host of problems associated with burnings fossil fuels.

    It seems to me that a rather minor adjustment to the world economy could accommodate educating and re-educating workers. A somewhat larger, but by no means overwhelming, adjustment could make up for the inefficiencies in switching to solar, wind and other nonpoluting sources of energy.

    Present technologies, while in need of improvement, are nevertheless already sufficient to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nor is there some overwhelming economic obstacle to deploying them. Eliminating planned obsolescence in a few key industries might just about cover it, possibly with some spare change left over.

    It boils down to politics: matters of political will, organization and strategy. Now that is one hell of a problem, but let's try not to be overwhelmed. Keep in mind that the geopolitical Juggernaut is not a solid mass covered in seemless armor. Political systems are just that, complex systems true, but no more so than those of the natural world. Tackle them with the same level headed analytical techniques we apply to nature. Pressure points abound and perhaps there will be a favorable tipping point in there somewhere

    Look at what the planet's aristocrats and oligarchs have managed in the last twenty years just through tugging the strings! They have plundered more resources than those necessary to stave off irreversible climate disaster for another decade, or two, perhaps even long enough to turn things around. The global economy is in need of an overhaul, but that process will stretch out for many decades. In the meantime, much can be accomplished merely by manipulating the existing system.

    (I am profoundly pessimistic most of the time. A bit of arm waving and cheerleading helps to keep my spirits up. If you read all the way to this point, thank you for indulging me!)

  16. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Sunspot @7

    You read somewhere something negative about solar power?

    That's like sayng you read something that attacks the scientific basis of human driven climate change. The same groups are behind both disinformation campaigns.

    Why and How Fossil Fuel and Utility Interests Are Attacking Clean Energy

     

    This isn't about aesthetic appeal, this is about a functional replacement to an energy source that is already hugely expenisve in terms of human lives, financial cost and ecological damage. Half the Great Barrier Reef system dead and gone already and growing climate disaster worldwide.

    "Unless you need a lot of electricity."

    The amount of energy constantly being transmitted from the Sun to Earth is incredible, the amount of availble energy from fossil fuels is a tiny fraction of the energy potential of solar power.

    Yes it's intermittent, which means as you replace coal, oil and gas fired power plants with solar power you also must construct grid scale power storage. Which we already have with pumped hydro, redox-flow, lithium and zinc-hybrid batteries. One more opportunity for technological and economic growth away from hugely expensive fossil fuels.

    "Whether or not that's true ( and I have always suspected it), by the time you add up all the energy inputs to manufacturing these devices, transporting them, and installing them, there couldn't be much "energy profit" left, if any."

    Basing our collective future on someone's suspicions is a very poor policy choice. Once solar production is built and installed, it converts sunlight into electricity for decades with no other inputs, the returns are impressive over the lifespan of the equipment. Your suspicions are baseless.

    "And one thing I have never seen discussed - how are we going to replace all of these panels when they die. Because they do die. I guess they are up to about 25 years for a projected lifetime, but 25 years, 50 years...whatever. They all have to be thrown away and replaced. Right now we use the energy from fossil fuels to make solar panels. But when oil runs out - and it must - can we remake all of those solar panels with only energy from solar panels?"

    Solar panels are already recycled, setting up a comprehensive system to recycle aging PV panels is going to be just one more part of a carbon free energy model that provides jobs and more economic opportunities.

    The Opportunities of Solar Panel Recycling: What Happens to PV Panels When Their Life Cycle Ends

     

    The more solar and other sustanable energy we build into the system, the less dependence there is on fossil fuels for anything. That includes building solar panels or any other technology that provides energy in a fossil free energy model, this should be obvious.

    If we use up all the oil - and other fossil fuels - making solar panels will be the least of our worries the climatic impacts will be so catastrophic.

    As I've already said, the more solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, etc... that we build into our grid and overall energy model, the less we depend of fossil fuels until they are completely removed from the energy model.

    And then we will be using alternative sources of energy to base all economic actiivty and production on, there will be no need at all for any fossil fuels when that is done.

  17. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Sunspot,

    The short answer to your questions is you are reading too many denier falsehoods.  Please provide references to your sources of information.  It is difficult to respond to "I read somewhere recently" and "one thing I have never seen discussed".  Were these issues you thought up on your own?

    This reference indicates that current solar panels return the energy needed to manufacture and install them in 3 years but with expected improvements in the future 1 year will be the payback time.  Many peer reviewed references like here and here document that wind and solar can generate all the needed energy for the entire economy more cheaply than using fossil fuels.   In addition, several hundred thousand deaths per year will be prevented from lower pollution.  What do you imagine people will do in 100 years when all the fossil fuels are gone? 

    There have been great discussions about what to do with old panels.  To start off, after 25 years most panels are producing 80-90% of what they did when new.  The biggest difference wiith new panels is that the new ones have better technology so they produce more electricity.  I have 2 25 year old panels on a boat and they produce the rated electricity when it is sunny.  There is not even 10% decline.  I am not going to replace them.  Most old panels will go to developing countries to install new energy cheaply.  This is already being done with wind generators.

    Of course they can be recycled also.  Deniers claim this will be a big issue but since all the materials are reusable I see no reason why they cannot be recycled.  Please provide a reference that suggests this will be a problem.

  18. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Modern civilization requires growth in order to avoid collapse. Humanity has never transitioned away from any energy source. Even when new sources are brought on line old sources are still used too until they are completely uneconomic. Growth requires ever increasing amounts of net positive energy.

    The only way to make any kind of transition off of FFs would be to end growth and in fact begin shrinking modern civilization.

  19. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Solar panels are lovely. They really are. Great way to turn sunlight into electricity. Unless you need a lot of electricity. Which we do. I read somewhere recently that solar has a negative EROEI. Whether or not that's true ( and I have always suspected it), by the time you add up all the energy inputs to manufacturing these devices, transporting them, and installing them, there couldn't be much "energy profit" left, if any. 

     

    And one thing I have never seen discussed - how are we going to replace all of these panels when they die. Because they do die. I guess they are up to about 25 years for a projected lifetime, but 25 years, 50 years...whatever. They all have to be thrown away and replaced. Right now we use the energy from fossil fuels to make solar panels. But when oil runs out - and it must - can we remake all of those solar panels with only energy from solar panels? 

  20. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    nigelJ @5

    Thermal depolymerization creates a light oil similar to Texas sweet at the end, along the way it also produces methane, naptha, and some solids like black carbon which are marketable. All from any organic waste, the feedstock is adapted based on the input material. I think it's a great way to avoid treating anything as waste.

    The oil doesn't have to be refined into petrol(gas here), it can be used in petrochemical production of lots of different products. It's just one more way to reduce then phase out completely fossil fuel production in a meaningful timescale.

    I also think having a wide variety of energy sources is a good thing as it enocurages genuine competition in a market that has been an effective cartel in some aspects for a long time

    With a total phaseout of fossil fuel production there are also things like synthetic diesel and gas from air, water and electricity. Battery powered electric vehicles may not be suitable for some niche markets and it's always nice to leave options open.

    The main point is we will have a viable economy with plenty of well paying jobs without any fossil fuels with the technology that is now available. And many of the skills in the current coal, oil and gas sector are transferable to the new energy market.

  21. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Doug_C good points about solar power and geothermal energy.

    I'm a little bit sceptical about the the process of oil manufacture from offal and other organic waste. There seems little point encouraging this if it just creates petrol, especially cheap petrol. We have enough conventional oil for things like plastics probably for millenia.

  22. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    Retraining workers for solar power manufacture makes complete sense. I sympathise with coal workers being resistant to change, we all get like this, but its a hard physical job and people mainly do it for the money, and they are being offered a really good way out on even better pay.  Huge numbers of people are facing retraining as AI becomes widespread, so they aren't alone.

    Switch the government subsidies currently going to fossil fuels to retraining people for renewable energy jobs, and problem solved. This would be revenue neutral.

    However it probably won't happen until the luddites exit the White House.

  23. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    There is a third sector that can also be converted from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.

    Oil and gas wells can in many cases be coverted to geothermal energy production and the expertise of gas and oil well drillers is also convertable to geothermal energy.

    From an Oilfield to a Geothermal One:

     

    New startup looking at tapping into abandoned oil & gas wells for geothermal power

     

    Alberta Making Clean Energy in Abandoned Oil Wells

     

    There are so many options to fossil fuels and so many career and economic opportunities in converting to sustainable energy production.

  24. Rising CO2 levels could push ‘hundreds of millions’ into malnutrition by 2050

    The much vaunted agricultural revolution of the 60's already did this.  Grain crop yields were greatly increased, some say trippled - but this was an increase of food storage by the plant as endosperm.  The concentration of the vital nutrients mentioned decreased per kg of grain.  Add to this that we, at least in the Western world have commoditized wheat flour by seiving out the germ, the location of about 80% of the necessary nutrients  and what we are left with is a pale shaddow of true whole grain flour.  Leaving that aside, the Northern Hemisphere supplies much of the world with grain and especially wheat.  There is a very real possibility that we will see severe failure of our grain crops if we have a lurch northward of our climate zones instead of the present slow creep.  Malnutrition will be the least of the world's problems.  We will see massive starvation.

  25. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    How about we also encourage the petrochemical industry workforce to transition to carbon neutral production like with hydrous thermal depolymerization.

    Hydrous Thermal Depolymerization

     

    Instead of extracting carbon deposits of ancient life overloading the Earth's carbon cycle, we build thermal depolymerization facilities in every large center and turn petroleum sector workers into municipal workers employed in turning long chain organic waste in a matter of hours into the equivalent of Texas sweet light, one of the easiest to refine crude petroleum products.

    Thermal depolymerization also produces methane as part of its process which can be used to power much of the process. Instead of building large sewage treatment facilities, composting or any other method of discarding organic waste it can all be turned into light crude oil, methane, naptha, black carbon and other marketable products by this one process.

    Thermal depolymerization is also one of the few processes that destroys prions meaning medical waste can also be converted safely.

    There are those many thousand experienced workers in the petroleum field who instead of working to pad the bottom line of ExxonMobil, Dutch Shell, Syncrude, BP, etc while helping to enable crippling climate change, could be retrained in a field that has no shelf life and would be an incredible public service.

    There is no such thing as peak oil when you're turning organic waste into light crude, the thermal depolymerization pilot plant at Carthage Missouri was producing over 500 barrels of oil a day from turkey offal.

    Anything Into Oil

    We could completely replace all fossil fuel production and use in a matter of a few decades if the vaible alternatives were supported in the same way fossil fuel production and use is now.

    And we'd be creating jobs that will never become obsolete because they rely on a sector and a source that never runs out. Like sunlight and organic waste which human society produces in large amounts on a constant basis.

  26. An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

    The thing about solar is it's an intermittent power source, not producing electricty during the night or when skies are overcast. Which means to maintain constant flow with a solar and other intermittent alternative power production you need grid scale power storage.

    So not only will transitioning coal workers to solar production create jobs in sustainable energy, the more solar you build into your grid, the more jobs and economic activity will be created in grid level power storage technology.

    Grid scale storage can take several form, the most applicable being redox-flow batteries which require a large scale to be economic.

    How three battery types work in grid-scale energy storage systems

     

    Flywheel power storage is also a mature technology, the more people that are trained and working in solar, wind, geothermal, etc.. the more investment there will be in all phases of sustainable energy production.

    Flywheels power storage

    Using that energy in a much more stable, sustainable and energy dense form is also about to become much more practical and appealing to consumers. With the development of lithium metal batteries that use a solid polymer instead of a flammable liquid for an electrolyte the risk of catastrophic release of energy with lithium batteries has effectively been removed. They also have more energy density that current lithium ion batteries meaning vehicles will have more range, one of the big shortfall of current electric vehicles.

    The future is going to be electric in a big way or there is going to be no future. President Trump's approach to energy production and support of the coal sector is just one more instance of his retreat to a past that no longer exists. And probably never did.

    With the technology we currently have, work forces like the coal sector are far better off being retrained and employed in a sector that does have a future and a far more justifiable social license.

  27. Rising CO2 levels could push ‘hundreds of millions’ into malnutrition by 2050

    The article says "if little is done to stop the greenhouse gas emissions." As I have said before exploration is continuing and I doubt emissions will be reduced soon. So here is an experiment that could be implemented within a day or two, and an idea to grow plants to take up the CO2.

    Rain-maker experiments could be set up all along the coast and be running within a few days: Just get old fishing boats or ships that still float, but are going to be used for scrap and get some old mirrors (say enough for a 50 m by 50 m array of them). Reflect sunlight onto the floating fishing boats or ships from the mirrors set up on land. Now measure the sea surface temperature, relative humidity, etc around the boat. In some places near the equator there are more than 10 kWh of solar energy falling on a square metre of sea in a day. 1 kWh can evaporate about 1.5 litres of water, so you may be able to evaporate 15 litres or so using the solar energy falling on 1 square metre every day. Sunlight has an infrared portion that heats the upper layer of the sea, but the light portion can extend 40 m or so below the surface. If you change all the solar energy to infrared then 100% of it would heat the upper layer and you could efficiently heat the sea surface. You can change almost all of the solar energy to infrared radiation energy by reflecting the solar energy onto a dark surface. The surface will heat up and if you keep the temperature of the surface below about 500 deg C almost all of the radiation from it will have wavelengths of more than 2 microns. This radiation would be absorbed within the top millimetre or so. If there are no losses you could evaporate 15 litres a day or so using the energy falling on 1 square metre. The 15 litres could dramatically increase the relative humidity of a column of air with base 1 square metre and height 1 km. Heating a lot of water and air in this manner will cause convection and probably convectional rain.
    If you look at http://www.tis-gdv.de/tis_e/misc/klima.htm you can calculate that, at 20 deg C, with saturated air (RH=100%), there are only 17.3 kg of water vapour in a column of air of base 1 square m and 1 km high.

  28. Rising CO2 levels could push ‘hundreds of millions’ into malnutrition by 2050

    We have all heard the phrase "the delicate balance of nature" many times, and everyone nods their heads in agreement with this seemingly obvious observation. But then we go about the business of business fully knowing that our actions are upsetting this balance. Oh well. Can't fix stupid. What is objectively amazing, though, is how quickly the balance goes out of whack as we blow through the tipping point barricades that were far in the future not long ago. I became concerned about AGW around 1990, but I really thought it would be maybe 2030 before we started seeing any clear signs of change. It's only 2018, and the world has already changed. And the changes are accelerating. Food problems will likely be an early warning sign of things to come.

  29. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Bob Hoye @ 21

    Assuming the poster is actually the same Bob Hoye he purports to be, a few seconds on Google brings him up as the "Chief Investment Strategist and Editor, Institutional Advisors".
    The following link points to one article of a long list. His institutional address is #210-1095 West Pender Street
    Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 2M6

    I suspect he is a little biased?

    http://www.24hgold.com/english/news-gold-silver-climate-promotion-seriously-failing.aspx?contributor=Bob+Hoye&article=10360035190H11690&redirect=False

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Cyber stalking. Posting personal details about a poster is banned by comments policy. I appreciate that you only posted institutional details but this is pushing the line.

  30. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Real climate change mitigation mean creating effective measures to end large scale fossil fuel use as quickly as it can be replaced with low carbon alternatives.

    The argument for decades has been that will be too expensive.

    The counter to that is that it is already too expensive to keep using fossil fuels, any attempts to justify decades more fossil fuel use is a cynical attempt to defend catastrophe on a scale that is simply beyond human comprehension.

  31. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    One Planet Only Forever @29

    The Trudeau liberals in the 2015 election ran on a platform of genuine climate change mitigation followed up by Prime Minister Trudeau boldly stating in Paris at the end of that year that "Canada is back" in regards to real climate change action plans and letting the science dictate policy.

    Justin Trudeau tells Paris climate summit Canada ready to do more

     

    That is not consistent at all with Justin Trudeau then telling fossil fuel industry executives in Houston that Canada would in fact not restrict its production of the most polluting fossil fuels here.

    173 billion barrels of oil

     

    How is that not misleading the voters on the most important issue of our time, it's not the voters who are misinformed here it is intentional misrepresentation of policy to get elected that is at fault in Canada and our climate change mitigation.

    Also the argument that we're somehow going to be worse off with another party in office is spurious. The Trudeau governments carbon dioxide emission targets are even worse than the Harper governments and as we've seen by both word and action from the Canadian federal government they are fully committed to decades more tar sands production no matter what the science or even the courts say.

    The reaction of the Trudeau government to the Canadian appeal court decision overturning the rigged Trans Mountain NEB approval was to double down and complete the purchase of the pipeline anyway. Still claiming that tar sands production for decades is essential to the interests of Canada. Essentially saying this country was firmly behind making the climate change worst cas scenarios a reality.

    The liberals were elected with a clear majority under a promise of real climate change action and a firm mandate to provide that. Followed up with an international commitment to do that just as a previous liberal government had done at Kyoto in 1997 and did nothing to follow up.

    There is a clear pattern of promising action then doing the opposite with the current leadership in Canada, this results in the same effect as with governments who openly deny climate change as the conservatives did.

    I don't know that answer is, I just know that the current "leadership" in Canada at all levels isn't providing it and I'm not going to be involved in the slightest in the ongoing fraud of Canada claiming to be part of the solution to the growing climate change catastrophe while dedicating vast resources to enable business as usual in the fossil fuel sector for decades more. Like spending tens of billions of dollars on fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidizing the industry with tax breaks and other benefits.

    The time for this blatant hypocrisy is over as anyone who is even marginally rational can see from the real world effects of this profound disconnect from the evidence.

  32. One Planet Only Forever at 05:53 AM on 6 September 2018
    California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Doug_C,

    I share your concern about the future.

    But nothing you have presented changes the fact that the popular alternatives to the leadership you declare is unacceptable will be even less acceptable (as you note the new Conservative Leadership in Ontario is worse than the Liberals who can be claimed to be in bed with the wealthy, and I would add worse in more ways than their actions related to climate change).

    The problem is the way Voters will choose to Vote. And that requires people to hear about their unacceptability "from people they meet and know". And an insidious part of the problem is Freedom. Freedom is easy and can be very rewarding especially if you can get away with bad behaviour. Responsibility is Harder and undeniably less rewarding, the future of humanity gets the real benefit.

    Improving the awareness and understanding of the voters and getting more people to care about all of the Sustainable Development Goals, not just Climate Actions, is what is required. But, as I explained, that is very hard work. A lot of people have pet-personal interests that they will vote for even if it means voting for a party that is against another 'less immediate concern of theirs' like climate action.

    It may be more helpful to direct your efforts to improve the awareness and understanding of what will happen if the popular alternative to the current leadership in Alberta, BC and Federally in Canada win power (and not just the negative climate action consequences).

    The 'United greedy and intolerant claiming to be Right' equivalents of the wrongly developed Republican Party in the USA (based on made-up beliefs and made-up claims) are itching to get the power to do more damage to the future of humanity (that they justify as the Right things to do). Right now those damaging wanna-be-leaders of Alberta, BC and Canada are limited to shifting the current leadership actions further from the actions they would take if there was less populist promotion succeeding against those actions.

    The real problem is the success of appeals to the primitive basic human nature driving people to identify and vote for their 'more personally urgent concerns' rather than vote for a less concerning issue like climate action.

    Getting people to embrace the need to achieve all of the Sustainable Development Goals may be helpful. Climate Action can then be pointed out as one of the most important issues, because more rapid climate action makes it easier to achieve the other goals.

    Of course, another way to sell sustainable development that may be easier is that truly sustainable economic activity will never face the uncertainty currently faced by activity like attempts to benefit from the burning of fossil fuels. But I have had people stop talking to me when I try that approach (I live in Alberta, a land filled with many made-up minds angry about losing their incorrectly developed perceptions of prosperity and superiority relative to others).

    And until First past the Post voting is replaced with something like Australia's Ranked Transferable vote, groups like the United Greedy and Intolerant claiming to be Right have an unjust competitive advantage in Canada's multi-party politics, an advantage that can only be attempted to be overcome by voters gambling on how to vote against that group. And even then, only 51% support is required by the Winner in enough ridings to have 51% of the seats (that is just over 25% support to be all powerful - but better than the current system where the math is less than 15% support required to win uncontested power in a 4 party competition).

  33. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    One Planet Only Forever @27

    The planet doesn't care at all about the politics of fossil fuels only the impacts of releasing billions of tons of carbon dioxide and in the case of gas fracking and LNG millions of tons of methane a year from leakage.

    We have viable options now and can be building a planned phase out of all fossil fuel right now.

    The Trudeau government isn't doing that, Justin Trudeau has directly stated that fossil fuels are in the national interest and used public funds to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline and committed billions of dollars to it not because we need to be extracting, selling then burning tar sands bitumen for decades because we have no options. But because his political fortune is tied to the sector who funds the individuals and parties making these reckless decisions.

    Same for Notley and Horgan, they were elected on a mandate of change, but have brought no real change. The science is now clear, we no longer have the decades for gradual change that these leaders claim is necessary as we are seeing here in BC, in California, in Europe and in Australia with drought, heat waves, massive wildfire and massive die-off of some of the most important ecosystems on the planet like the Great Barrier Reef.

    You don't bring about real climate change mitigation be exempting from legal measures those corporations that need to be made non-comptetive through taxing so that they are removed by market forces.

    Creating carbon taxes then exempting fossil fuel producers is greenwashing and goes on at all levels in Canada now.

    Canada gives big polluters a break on carbon levies

     

    "Canada is scaling back its planned carbon pricing scheme to curb greenhouse gas emissions after industry executives warned it would hurt their international competitiveness, the office of the environment minister said Wednesday."

    John Horgan offers tax break incentives to $40B Kitimat LNG project

     

    "B.C. Premier John Horgan says the province is willing to offer a break on carbon tax as well as an exemption on provincial sales tax related to construction costs at a $40-billion liquefied natural gas export terminal under consideration for the northern community of Kitimat, B.C.

    The NDP leader laid out the incentives as part of what he said was a clear framework for the approval of any LNG projects under his government's tenure."

    Subsidizing fossil fuel producers with billions of dollars while removing any real tax burden on them is not climate change mitigation, it is promoting those conditions that are already catastrophic and will become increasingly so as more years of total inaction proceed.

    Show me anything real that has been done to limit CO2 and methane emissions in Canada and that will bring about a planned phaseout of the entire fossil fuel sector in a meaningful timescale.

    There is none in this country, instead governments are directly behind massive projects that will enable decades more fossil fuel production and burning with Canada as the source.

    That includes the Horgan government committing over $10 billion to build the Site C dam to power gas fracking in the Peace River region, offering billions of dollars in tax and royalty breaks to LNG and the Trudeau government committing billions of dollars to build a pipeline expansion that Canadian courts have already decided was only approved by ignoring all conisderation that were not in support of the fossil fuel producers.

    Court quashes Canadian approval of Trans Mountain oil pipeline

    It's been a rigged game in regards to fossil fuels in Canada for decades and remains so under the current federal and many provincial governments. The new conservative government of Ontario just killed any plans for a carbon tax there.

    The guarantee is that if we aren't part of a real global climate change mitigation plan the eventual costs will dwarf any short term economic costs in transitioning to a very low carbon emitting energy model.

    In fact we will save money by getting off all fossil fuels as soon as possible while preventing some of the worst impacts of fossil fuel generated climate change.

    The Data Says Climate Change Could Cost Investors Trillions

     

    These individuals and parties are deciding to be fossil fuel sector boosters, not climate change mitigators even though there is great support from the public both here and globally for real change and an international framework to do so.

  34. One Planet Only Forever at 01:51 AM on 6 September 2018
    California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Doug_C,
    A follow-up to my comment @23.

    The Trudeau led Federal Liberal Party and the current political leadership of Alberta and BC can indeed be seen to be promoting expansion of fossil fuel extraction for profit and related government revenue (and related political popularity).

    However, they are each acting more responsibly regarding Climate Action (and many other Sustainable Development Goals) than their most popular political alternatives. With the socioeconomic-political system so full of people focused on “Their person Interests”, leaders will be losers if they do not act to some degree in ways that appease the harmful easily-triggered selfish interests among the voters.

    The more helpful political leaders will likely lose the popular vote to their worse alternatives unless they take some actions, and make related claims, to appear to support the unsustainable and harmful activities.
    Notley's declaration of Alberta withdrawing from the Federal Climate Action Plan has no relevance through the next two years. The Federal plan does not start for 2 years, and the NDP leadership already has action in Alberta that meets the minimum level of action required in the future Federal plan.

    And the BC leadership promoting LNG export as an alternative to Bitumen export is also better than their alternative leaders. The alternative would want even more bitumen export done less safely, plus expansion of many other unsustainable and more harmful activities (to make the books look good).

    And Federally, the Conservative alternative to the Liberals is a “Dig Baby Dig” type of party that will return Canada to the Climate Action crippling type of leadership of the Harper Conservative decade of rule (a government that politically-minded any and all messages from Federal fund receiving scientists and redirected federal funding to science that was expected to be 'helpful to their interests', and away form science that was expected to be contrary to 'their interests').

    The reality is that many regions, and extra-regional collectives like multi-national corporations, have developed incorrectly based on unsustainable and harmful economic activity (and social attitudes and actions). Their developed perceptions of prosperity are real. They are popular and profitable for as long as they can be gotten away with. But what they benefit from is undeniably unsustainable and harmful.

    The tragic creation of real reality and related perceptions of reality that needs to be corrected is due to people being allowed to compete for popularity and profitability before they have conclusively proven that what they want to benefit from is not harmful to any others, particularly not harmful to future generations (and correcting someone's harmful unsustainable beliefs is not harming them, no matter how adamant they are that 'they' are being harmed by being corrected).

    Unsustainable and harmful activity will always be easier, quicker, and cheaper than the harder work of knowing that the actions are sustainably helpful (benefiting from unsustainable and harmful actions is often claimed to justify doing them).

    That is the fundamental reason for the need to have Professional Engineers be responsible for the development of 'new things' and the correction of incorrectly developed things. It is understood that pursuers of personal benefit cannot be trusted to care to ensure that their pursuit of maximum personal benefit is actually sustainable, not harmful. And it is undeniable that the current developed socioeconomic-political systems are all about the winning by the people who get away with the easiest way of doing things (deliberately misleading the easily impressed). The level and type of unacceptable behaviour that is Winning, or nearly winning), is proof that there are serious 'errors in the developed systems'.

    That is why I continue to repeat my concern that achieving the required correction for Climate Action will actually require increasing the number of people who honestly want to help develop a sustainable better future for all of humanity.

    I will add that not all religious people are anti-climate science, just as not all wealthy and powerful winners try to benefit in the most harmful way they can get away with. It is important to surgically identify the real problem people rather than name generic categories of people as being the problem.

    The only 'generic' category of people that are a serious problem are the wealthy and powerful people who deliberately try to deceive and mislead so that they can get more unjustified power and benefit for 'their harmful unsustainable collective interests' (the interests of their Tribe, Cabal, Corporation, Region, Nation, Religious Sect, ...) in ways that are impediments to, or harmful to, the development of a sustainable better future for all of humanity.

    Humans can all thoughtfully consider how to help develop a sustainable better future for everyone That is what the modern part of the human brain can do. But people can more easily be primitively triggered to be short-sighted. Helping other people by trying to improve their awareness and understanding of how to not be harmful, to be helpful to others, is just harder work. And those helpful actions can be less rewarded than the misleading alternatives, and even result in the helpful people being attacked (made-up idea-wise and in other ways excused by made-up claims), by those who they try to help become more helpful people (attacked by those they try to 'correct' the 'unjust harmful unhelpful' beliefs and behaviours of).

    And one of the most insidious impediments to the required correction is the popular claim that 'people freer to believe and do as they please is the only way to get good results'. Misunderstandings related to things like the Constitution of the USA include carefully phrased decisions by members of the Supreme Court of the USA that are harmful to the advancement of humanity to a sustainable future for a robust diversity of humanity fitting into the robust diversity of life on this, or any other, amazing planet.

    Note that the recent decision by the Federal Appeals Court in Canada did not terminate the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. It stated specific items that need to be corrected. The current stoppage of work ordered by the court was made because there is a significant probability that the corrected evaluation of the impacts of the project will not justify the 'currently planned expansion'. All that means is that other actions will be required to be part of the expansion, not that the expansion cannot be built. Hopefully the built pipeline will ony be run for a short time, long enough to recover costs and many a little bit more (maybe pay off some of Alberta's debt recently accumulated to build roads schools and hospitals, required actions that were neglected by the previous government's pursuit of claiming they had 'eliminated the Provincial Debt' but neglecting to spend while boosting the rate of extraction and export of fossil fuels).

    The building of the pipeline and how much increase there is in the rate of bitumen extraction and export from Alberta will depend on the type of leaders that win the popularity and profitability contest for election.

    Some people do not like to be corrected, especially when the correction is contrary to a developed popular belief or profitable activity. That will never change. What has to change is that the required corrections, and limitation of influence by people who resist being corrected, have to happen sooner so that less damage is done to the future of humanity (that is the basis of all harmful behaviour correction efforts, govern and limit all behaviour with Good Helpful Altruistic Reasons).

  35. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    It is interesting to me that Bob Hoye describes a person who studies scripture (ie religion) and produced a failed prediction.  He then tells scientists that they need to work harder. 

    Why does the failure of a religious prediction have anything to do with scientists?  Bob Hoye cannot differentiate between religion and science.

  36. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    John Englander works in oceanography and consulting. His website has an interesting graph of 9 different mass extinction events and the strong relationship to historical CO2 levels here.

  37. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Bob Hoye @21

    "Those preaching a disaster through climate may have to go a study a little geology. This is a preaching site that has nothing to do with the skepticism of real science."

    It's through studying geology that we know how mass extinction is intrinsically linked to climate change primarily through the atmospheric concentration of one gas long identified as the prime persistent radiative forcing agent in the atmosphere - carbon dioxide.

    That includes the Great Dying 251 million years ago with a high confidence that it was massive emissions of carbon dioxide from the Siberian Traps that triggered global feedbacks that eventually killed over 95% of life then in the oceans and over 70% of species on land.

    The end Triassic extinction was also probably another climate change induced extinction level event.

    The Deccan Traps and large scale release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases probably played a significant role in the End Cretaceous extinction.

    The fingerprint of CO2 and mass death is all over the geological record, which makes sense when you look at the basic physics. This site has a meter for anyone to consult that indicates how much heat is added to the Earth on a constant basis by the addition of billions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere.

    It now stands at over 2.6 billion Hiroshima bomb heat equivalent units since 1998 alone. There's no way that much heat can be added to the global system without major impacts on climate as most of that heat ends up in the oceans which are the prime driver of climate globally. Able to store vastly more heat than the atmosphere and transport it around the Earth by ocean currents and by determining how atmospheric circulation behaves to a great degree.

    "Bob Hoye, B.Sc. geophysics."

    Working in the oil and gas sector perhaps...

  38. One Planet Only Forever at 15:01 PM on 5 September 2018
    California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Doug_C,

    As an attentive Albertan for decades, I can attest to the accuracy of your observation of leadership of Alberta.

    I will add that PM Trudeau is on record declaring that it would be foolish to not try to profit from the massive oil sands reserves. And I am sure his thinking would extend to profiting from the burning of natural gas which is still significantly harmful.

    In the comments on this site I have often found appropriate times to share a very appropriate quote from the the UN sanctioned 1987 report "Our Common Future": (If you are interested there was an update "Back to Our Common Future")

    "25. Many present efforts to guard and maintain human progress, to meet human needs, and to realize human ambitions are simply unsustainable - in both the rich and poor nations. They draw too heavily, too quickly, on already overdrawn environmental resource accounts to be affordable far into the future without bankrupting those accounts. They may show profit on the balance sheets of our generation, but our children will inherit the losses. We borrow environmental capital from future generations with no intention or prospect of repaying. They may damn us for our spendthrift ways, but they can never collect on our debt to them. We act as we do because we can get away with it: future generations do not vote; they have no political or financial power; they cannot challenge our decisions.
    26. But the results of the present profligacy are rapidly closing the options for future generations. Most of today's decision makers will be dead before the planet feels; the heavier effects of acid precipitation, global warming, ozone depletion, or widespread desertification and species loss. Most of the young voters of today will still be alive. In the Commission's hearings it was the young, those who have the most to lose, who were the harshest critics of the planet's present management."

    That was in 1987. And since then the UN has developed more improved understanding, especially the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. And Climate Action is a significant goal since achieving it quicker makes it easier to achieve most of the other goals.

    No wealthy or powerful person today should be able to legitimately claim a 'lack of awareness of the future consequences of their actions'. They know that they benefit at the expense of others, particualrly at the expense of future generations (including acting in ways that would limit and may actually eliminate the potential for future generations of collaborative humanity - leaving only primitive human nature driven barbarians). And the small-minded small-worldview believers of the stories told by the likes of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman about the 'Glorious results that will certainly be created by the freedom of people to believe whatever they want and pursue their happiness any way they please' are fighting mad to defend and promote the made-up stories they want all others to accept as gospel truths.

    And people who allow their primitive human nature to overpower their ability to have their thoughts and actions based on Good Helpful Altruistic Reasoning (the things that can be done by that newer part of the human mind), are easily impressed by stories that sound like what their barbaric self-interest wants to hear, especially when the story makes 'Them personally feel threatened'.

    It is no surprise that so many people want to defend unjustified developed perceptions of prosperity and opportunity from 'claims of the unacceptability of the popular and profitable burning of fossil fuels'. Many people are easily tempted to believe such efforts to improve their awareness and understanding are attacks 'on them'. And the attackers must be jealous people who maybe want to get rich by stealing 'Their perceived prosperity or potential for wealth'.

    More people need to become more aware of the importance of helping to develop the gift of a sustainable better future for all of humanity, rather than doggedly and angrily pursuing a Better Present for themselves any harmful unsustainable way they think they can get away with (and that they believe they can justify and defend).

    And those people who become more aware and understanding will grudgingly accept that many developed perceptions of superiority relative to others are undeserved, need to be corrected at the expense of those who benefited from the fool's game that was being played.

    And that explains many things that are happening all around the world, and not just regarding the required corrections that have been identified by climate science. Some people genuinely try to improve the awareness and understanding of others to help develop a sustainable better future for humanity, and they potentially get viciously attacked rather than rewarded.

  39. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Bob Hoye is posting from Vancouver, BC where this has become a highly politicized issue with vast economic and political fortunes at stake.

    Federally the Trudeau government just bought the Trans Mountain dilbit pipeline shipping bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to tidewater on the BC coast to be shipped from their to offshore refineries.

    That's a $7.4 billion expansion project up in the air on a project our own courts have ruled went through with a rigged approval process that left most stakeholders out in the cold on.

    Canada court halts Pacific pipeline in blow to Trudeau

     

    Provincially the government in BC rubber stamped another review process for the Site C dam that is probably even more biased than the federal NEB review process was with the TMX.

    Site C dam will cost the BC public over $10 billion and counting and was the centerpiece of the previous government which wanted to turn BC into a global scale LNG producer and the current one wants to do the same also offering massive incentives.

    John Horgan offers tax break incentives to $40B Kitimat LNG project

     

    There's a huge amount of money on the line for fossil fuel production on the decade scale in Canada right now and a great deal of money and time going into making sure that government at all levels holds the course on fossil fuel production no matter the externalized costs.

    Study reveals scale of influence by fossil fuel industry on BC government, public officials

     

    What policy makers in California are doing in regards to fossil fuels and official policy is clearly critical in today's world.

    What is going on in BC and Canada is the opposite of ethical and sound business practices as our courts are already beginning to find.

    For instance after the court decision that revoked the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline Expansion was made the Premier of Alberta pulled that province out of the Canadian climate change response plan and demanded an emergency session of Parliament to pass a law that once again cleared the building of the TMX.

    Premier Rachel Notley pulls Alberta out of federal climate plan over Trans Mountain ruling

     

    "In a dramatic announcement Thursday evening, Premier Rachel Notley said she is pulling Alberta out of the national climate-change plan to protest a federal court ruling that quashed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline."

    "The premier called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government to immediately appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court and recall Parliament for an emergency session."

    'Notley blamed both the current federal government and the previous one for creating a situation she said has made it "practically impossible" to build a pipeline to tidewater in a country with more coastline than any other on Earth."'

    Shifting to 100% clean energy production is now possible, there have been major breakthroughs in battery technology that make the kind of grid scale energy storage required by intermittent alternative energy production like wind and solar now possible.

    How three battery types work in grid-scale energy storage systems

     

    Solid state lithium metal batteries are about to create a revolution in electrical transportation and energy storage.

    All-solid-state lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries – paving the way to large-scale production

     

    So instead of here in BC spending $7.4 billion to triple the capacity of a dilbit pipeline, +$10 billion on the Site C which will power gas fracking across the BC north and massive tax breaks and subsidies to build a $40 billion LNG production and shipping terminal in BC... we could be investing billions of dollars where they will actually be viable for the future by building a very low carbon emitting energy model.

    Our governments and the energy sector which injects huge amounts of "donations" into the public sector to drive policy are not behaving in a rational fashion right now.

    They really need to look to California and its decision to go with carbon free energy as the rational choice for an economic, social and ecological future for all the communities involved.

  40. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    I'll leave this site with a suggestion to read about calculated catstrophe:

    In the 1840s a guy by the name of Miller determined by thorough research of scripture that the world would end on a certain date in 1842. Being V. convincing it became a movment throughout the Eastern States. Being a V. good salesman he was selling "ascension gowns" to the true believers. The big day arrived and there was no disaster. Back to the books brought forth a new day for the end of the world.

    That widely watched day came and with no disaster, it went into the literature as the "Great Disappointment". Because there was no disaster.

    Those preaching a disaster through climate may have to go a study a little geology. This is a preaching site that has nothing to do with the skepticism of real science.

    Bob Hoye, B.Sc. geophysics.

    It has been entertaining but I'm out of here.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] The poster has recused himself from further participation here.

  41. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Bob Hoye seems to be working on a marine version of "CO2 is plant food":

    https://skepticalscience.com/co2-plant-food.htm

    Perhaps he should read the response to that myth and take his comments there.

  42. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Bob Hoyes theory appears to be more CO2 dissolved in the oceans equals more photosysnthesis and production of oxygen so the oceans won't become anoxic. However its a totally flawed idea. The oceans are already becoming more anoxic so this process if it occurs much is indisputably being overwhelmed by other factors.

    The factors causing the anoxic oceans are apparently a combination of warming oceans holding less oxygen, and nutrient runoff from land use changes leading indirectly to less oxygen in the oceans. These nutrient runoff processes are linked to both land use and climate change. See this climate conversation article.

  43. One Planet Only Forever at 08:43 AM on 5 September 2018
    The silver lining of fake news

    nigelj,
    I share your concern about needing to change the behaviour of the masses. But the masses (the people) need to see examples to aspire to in the behaviour of 'all of the wealthier and more powerful' - the winners need to be deserving examples to aspire to. The developed socioeconomic-political environment significantly influences how people develop. The way they see people win is a significant factor.

    The leaders/winners need to set Good Examples (and directly and openly correct people like John McCain often did). Many wanna-be-leaders/winners claim they only do what the masses want, while what they actually do is try to deceive people into supporting understandably unacceptable and ultimately unsustainable things that the wanna-be-leaders/winners actually want to benefit from.

    Improved awareness and understanding of climate science and the emergent truth about the corrections of what humans have developed is an essential part of the bigger picture of what is going on. It is an important part of the larger worldview that more people need to embrace for humanity to actually have a sustainable and improving future.

    Improved awareness and understanding of that larger worldview already has a good start in many collectives (tribes/organizations/institutions/nations). All that needs to be overcome is the ease with which people can be tempted to believe made-up stories that appeal to more primitive human nature. Good Helpful Altruistic Reasoning (GHAR) needs to overpower the temptations of more primitive human nature.

    I have just finished reading Jonah Goldberg's “Suicide of the West - How the rebirth of tribalism, populism, nationalism, and identity politics is destroying American Democracy”. Jonah is a self-declared conservative who presents many incorrect stories in his book (correcting his story about families and economies come later in this comment). But he does present a fundamental understanding that could be a useful way to connect with people like him: “Human beings are hardwired to want to belong, to be part of a cause larger than themselves, and to be valued for their contribution to that cause”. That fits what I have presented above (also, refer to my previous comment @12).

    The diversity of causes people choose to be part of need to all be governed by the same universal objective(s). For a universal objective to be helpful it needs to be developed by people dedicated to Good Helpful Altruistic Reasoning (GHAR). Any other motivations would weaken the helpfulness of a Universal Objective (because its objective would be biased). The emergent truth is that global collaboration of people who embrace GHAR has developed a very robust set of Universal Objectives. They are the Sustainable Development Goals and the many other developed UN documents, especially declarations like the Declaration of Human Rights. And those objectives all need to be achieved for humanity to have a viable lasting future.

    Having GHAR globally govern over primitive human nature is required to achieve the Universal Objectives. Getting everyone aspiring to have their diversity of interests and actions governed by GHAR and those universal objectives is the required correction of the masses and the winners/leaders (and the Constitution of the USA can easily be honoured and defended in ways that are governed by, and consistent with, those Universal Objectives).

    A diversity of innovations governed by GHAR that are sustainable aspects of a robust diversity of humanity fitting into the robust diversity of life on this or any other amazing planet can be, and need to be, developed.

    Back to Jonah and an incorrect story he (and many others like him), tells about families that relates to concerns regarding the required corrections of developed human activity that climate science has exposed. He claims that the correlation of family stability with perceptions of prosperity, and family instability correlating with economic troubles, is proof that stable families (with his narrow worldview of a family being a manly man married for life to a womanly woman and raising their 'properly identified as' male and female off-spring) produce economic prosperity. An extension of the claim is that anything developing other than that 'type of family' will result in economic failure. The rather self-evident emergent truth among those studying what is going on is that declines of perceptions of prosperity resulting from instability and unsustainability of developed economic activity lead to future family/social problems and worse (like the tragic 2008 result of fiscal freedom fighters successfully excusing and allowing unsustainable and harmful economic activity to compete for popularity and profitability, and like the excuses being made by wealthier and more powerful people for their lack of effort to correct the unsustainable and harmful burning of fossil fuels).

    Undeserved developed perceptions of prosperity due to benefiting from the burning of fossil fuels will fail at some point in the future. The experience of current day USA coal miners will be experienced by many others who choose to gamble on getting away with benefiting from the burning of fossil fuels. The longer the correction is delayed the more rapid and significant the correction will be, and the more damage will have been done before the correction is achieved. It will be a double-hit on the families and institutions of future generations. The ones benefiting most today, those undeserving wealthy powerful people, are quite certain that it will be Others in the future (near future or more distant future, but others nonetheless) who will suffer the negative effects of the required economic correction, and others in the future (immediate future as well as far into the future) will suffer the climate change effects and other environmental effects (including the reduced access to easy to get buried ancient hydrocarbons).

    Being able to benefit by getting away with harming others needs to be weeded out of the ranks of the winners among humanity. That will require 'Government of the people, by the people, for the people' to intervene to correct incorrect developments (economic and social).

    Many conservatives seem to be unable to see that emergent truth. Their smaller worldview constrained by faith in made-up stories about how great their dogma would be if it only could be freely imposed on the entire population is a serious problem.

    Holding winners accountable and responsible for setting Good examples is the solution. Having the masses demand better behaviour from all of the bigger winners, fewer members of the masses so easily impressed by the made-up stories that excuse thoughts and actions that are detrimental to achieving the universal objective of a sustainable better future for all of humanity, is the change of the masses that is required to get responsible climate action, rapid reduction of harm creation and rapid increase of assistance for those needing help correcting the unacceptable things that have been developed.

    Without that correction of the wealthier and more powerful, driven by correcting the expectations of the masses, it is unlikely that the future of humanity will be protected from a damaging major future correction of the economy. And without that correction of the economy, human impacts will go well beyond the 2.0C warming which will be very harmful to the future of humanity.

    Without the less deserving among the wealthy and powerful being effectively corrected, the future of humanity will corrupt into barbarism, meaning that the future of humanity will be brief, with only primitive barbaric human-nature driven humans remaining. And there may be no correct history of how it happened. The correct history that could help avoid a future disaster for humanity would require non-barbaric humans to survive and have the stories they tell be believed.

    (p.s. money in politics is only a problem if undeserving people are winning because of it)

  44. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Bob Hoye @13

    Biological equation of photosynthesis:

    No biology = no photosynthesis

    The factors in the ocean alone that support overall photosynthesis are so complex as to be almost impossible to quantify.

    What we can say with a high degree of certainty is that when overall factors that encourage the growth of life that engages in photosynthesis are changed in such a way as to discourage this systemic function... then it can be greatly decreased and even stop in many places.

    And things like removing vast swaths of the biological community in the ocean through the warming of the oceans and a rapid transition in pH is already doing exactly that. Killing vast regions of coral reef ecosystems and creating low oxygen zones in the oceans that will no longer support most aerobic life.

    This goes so far beyond a simple equation that the question becomes why would someone even present that as a discussion point on such a critical debate.

    Photosynthesis is a biological process and the keystone process for most life on Earth. And current human activities are calling into question the long term viability of this keystone process as the site it is mostly active in is altered in a way that is profound to say the least.

  45. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    DrivingBy @12

    "1. If we're due for an anthropegenic extinction event, it will be a few hundred years in the future."

    What do you base that on, we are already starting to see some very significant loss of species from coral reef die-off alone. 

    Best Protected Great Barrier Reef Corals Are Now Dead

     

    And if almost all coral reef systems are gone by 2050;

    Coral Reefs Could Be Gone in 30 Years

     

    With up to 25% of ocean species being reliant on coral reefs, that's an extinction level event right there when you consider the ripple effect it will have across the marine habitat. Plus what is going on with rapid removal of tropical rainforest and rapid transitions in many habitats globally as climate change literally rewrites local conditions so the things that used to live there no longer can.

    This isn't a process that is going to take place at some point in the future, it is happening right now.

    "2. Each time such an event has occured, life sprung forth again, eventually in more complex form."

    Sure life comes back after extinction level events, but it can take a very long time to recover to previous levels of complexity. After the End Permian extinction it took up to 100 million years for diversity at the family level to recover.

    And the life producing factors on Earth are winding down and the Sun is heating. On the scale of tens of millions of years the crisis with CO2 will be the lack of it as tectonic activity drecreases.

    And as the Sun continues to heat the Earth will eventually leave the CHZ.

    We may be the Earth's only shot at "intellegent" life, which isn't behaving in a very smart fashion at the moment.

  46. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Bob Hoye,

    Since I teach college level chemistry I am familiar with the photosynthesis equation.  I note you provide no commentary to support your wild claims.  You have also not provided any peer reviewed papers to support your wild claims.  I will point out that the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere is decreasing since it is being converted into CO2 by reaction with carbon.

    Since you are relying on your personal experience can you provide any evidence that you are an expert on atmospheric chemistry?

  47. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Driving by:

    Can you provide a peer reviewed source to support your claim "it will be a few hundred years in the future."?  I think that if the temperature goes up by 5-6C by 2100 that could cause the collapse of civilization.   Since 5-6C is possible continuing BAU it could be in the lifetime of people now living.

    Suggesting that the problems we face now are not due for several hundred years does not help motivate people to get started working on the problem.

  48. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Oops typpo

    should be = C6H12O6 + 6O2

  49. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Chemical Equation of Photosynthesis:

    6CO2 + 6H2O + light energy = C6H12)6 + 6O2

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] This is verging on sloganeering. Having more CO2 does not obviously create more sites (plants) where this reaction can occur, nor does it necessarily change the kinetics. Because we emitting more CO2 than plants can absorb, O2 is dropping and CO2 is rising. If this is the quality of your arguments, then SkS is not the site for you. Please back any more claims with scientific evidence or face having your sloganeering summarily deleted.

  50. California's response to record wildfires: shift to 100% clean energy

    Welll....

    1. If we're due for an anthropegenic extinction event, it will be a few hundred years in the future. 

    2. Each time such an event has occured, life sprung forth again, eventually in more complex form. 

    So another Great Dying, if that happens, will result in a sharp reduction of the human population and will probably not be pleasant until the system is back in balance.  Humanity's arc of history frequently flexes towards vast wars, a die-off will thus prevent a WWIII or totalitarian techno-dystopia. 

    It would have been much better if the world had heeded the warnings about this issue starting in the '50s, we could have avoided the current predicament with ease. But that's just not how humans at mass scale work. Hysteria and witch hunts, we do those very well. Calm, deliberate and effective planning, that's mostly a dream. It happens (Holland, Switzerland) but it is rare.  

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