Dealing with climate change

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MikeB
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I think a new thread is in order, since this is really a change of topic. For the purpose of this thread, let's make the simplifying assumption that the core climate science presented in the most recent IPCC report is entirely correct.

marcopolo wrote:

But more interestingly, I would be interested to hear your views on what could, if anything, be practically done to remedy the changes GW will create?

As davew said, it's going to be far cheaper to prevent change than it is to mop up afterwords. And, just as importantly, the sooner we act to prevent change, the less expensive action will be. It's kinda like we are all in a large bus driving towards a cliff. Right now, the driver has his foot on the accelerator, and the bus is speeding up. The sooner we get him to take his foot of the gas, and start applying the brake, the easier it'll be to slow down before hitting the cliff. But if we can't convince the driver to stop accelerating, then basic physics starts to make a disaster inevitable: after a point, you simply can't brake hard enough to stop in time.

So, I'm going to start talking about prevention, and then come back to adaptation. We have to stop increasing the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and then we need to start reducing that concentration from whatever the peak level reached to a safer level. To achieve that, there's a million different things that need to be done, and I think we need to do a little bit of all of them. However, 2/3rd of those million things become much easier if we start with two basic changes:

First, we have to put a $$ price on greenhouse gas emissions (mostly carbon dioxide and methane). This should be blatantly obvious, but people are resisting for all sorts of silly reasons. As I see it, you have to pay a fee/fine if you pollute the oceans, you pay a fee/fine if you pollute rivers & streams, you even pay a fee to dump your trash into a landfill. Why should dumping pollution into the atmosphere somehow be free? There are arguments about a cap & trade system vs a simple carbon tax, and the arguments are worthwhile on both sides, but we can come back to that.

As soon as you put a higher price on carbon emissions, then all sorts of changes gain a big economic advantage. Clean energy (wind, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, hydro, geothermal, wave, biomass, landfill methane, etc) all become cost competitive over dirty energy, and the conversion starts immediately. In addition to making clean energy, people also become more willing to spend money on using less energy, meaning that efficiency takes off. We could actually halt all increases in energy use in this country right now, never needing a brand new power plant (replacement construction only), if we just took some basic steps towards efficiency, both in transportation and in building energy use. (California has already done this, halting energy consumption increases with no obvious penalty to economic growth.)

The second big change that we need to make, and this is a much harder one to manage, is to work towards 'sustainable' population levels. Right now, we can't quite feed everyone on the planet, and a warming and more chaotic climate will only make that harder. The fundamental inequality of wealth isn't going to be fixed anytime soon, so we're essentially guaranteed that there will be increasing hardship and death from famine and water shortages. Increases in agricultural production are not likely or sustainable, wealthy populations will never give up eating meat, and decreases in raw crop yields appear inevitable. At some point down the line, population is either going to crash hard or be reduced gracefully, and I'd much rather see gracefully.

How do you actually manage world populations? War is the cheap and easy way, but I don't consider that to be a moral solution. The moral way is actually education and financial opportunity for women. We have to promote legal and social equality for women worldwide, and try to reduce the frequency of endemic poverty. The natural result of treating women better has always been a reduction in population growth, not to mention the fact that they lead much more enjoyable lives. And happier women always translates into happier men, so everyone wins.

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wookey
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Re: Dealing with climate change

MikeB wrote:

As davew said, it's going to be far cheaper to prevent change than it is to mop up afterwords. And, just as importantly, the sooner we act to prevent change, the less expensive action will be.

See the Stern report for a very staid economist's analysis of why this is so.
http://www.occ.gov.uk/activities/stern.htm

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jdh2550_1
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Re: Dealing with climate change

For some nuts-and-bolts ideas and examination of the economics I really like this book and the ideas it encapsulates: http://zfacts.com/p/carbonomics-book.html

His whole website is great as well.

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reikiman
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Re: Dealing with climate change

I read a report on EV adoption released by "Transport and Environment" last fall. It's a European organization that does technology/policy analysis/recommendation.

One point was that every time EV's have been popular it was due to outside influences. Either tax considerations, legal requirements (government mandates), or higher fuel prices for gas powered vehicles.

It seems to me that theoretically the people could choose to change because of an inner decision that things should be different. But they're not. Hence there's a reliance on external influence to cause change.

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MikeB
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Re: Dealing with climate change

reikiman wrote:

It seems to me that theoretically the people could choose to change because of an inner decision that things should be different. But they're not. Hence there's a reliance on external influence to cause change.

This is the core reason why action at the government level is needed, and cooperation between governments as well.

If a small number of people, like those of us at V, decide to go electric and reduce our gas usage, the most we accomplish is a reduction in demand for gas which creates a price drop. Other drivers then take advantage of the cheaper gas, and net consumption isn't changed. It's only when the price impact of using gas vs electric is more universal that a net shift in behavior happens. Personal action to prevent climate change is needed, but personal action alone simply isn't enough to do the job, so we need to create universal incentives.

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marcopolo
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Re: Dealing with climate change

MikeB wrote:

I think a new thread is in order, since this is really a change of topic. For the purpose of this thread, let's make the simplifying assumption that the core climate science presented in the most recent IPCC report is entirely correct.

marcopolo wrote:

But more interestingly, I would be interested to hear your views on what could, if anything, be practically done to remedy the changes GW will create?

So, I'm going to start talking about prevention, and then come back to adaptation. We have to stop increasing the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and then we need to start reducing that concentration from whatever the peak level reached to a safer level. To achieve that, there's a million different things that need to be done, and I think we need to do a little bit of all of them. However, 2/3rd of those million things become much easier if we start with two basic changes:

First, we have to put a $$ price on greenhouse gas emissions (mostly carbon dioxide and methane). This should be blatantly obvious, but people are resisting for all sorts of silly reasons. As I see it, you have to pay a fee/fine if you pollute the oceans, you pay a fee/fine if you pollute rivers & streams, you even pay a fee to dump your trash into a landfill. Why should dumping pollution into the atmosphere somehow be free? There are arguments about a cap & trade system vs a simple carbon tax, and the arguments are worthwhile on both sides, but we can come back to that.

As soon as you put a higher price on carbon emissions, then all sorts of changes gain a big economic advantage. Clean energy (wind, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, hydro, geothermal, wave, biomass, landfill methane, etc) all become cost competitive over dirty energy, and the conversion starts immediately. In addition to making clean energy, people also become more willing to spend money on using less energy, meaning that efficiency takes off. We could actually halt all increases in energy use in this country right now, never needing a brand new power plant (replacement construction only), if we just took some basic steps towards efficiency, both in transportation and in building energy use. (California has already done this, halting energy consumption increases with no obvious penalty to economic growth.)

Ok, granting for the purpose of this thread,the assumption that core climate science is entirely correct;

The programs proposed, are scientifically possible to implement. However, the difficulties all idealists ignore, especially those from the left, is the political and economic enforcement of such programs. As I see it there are there are three major problems with your propositions:-

1) The 'clean technologies', windpower , solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, hydro, geothermal, wave, biomass, landfill methane, are all infant technologies. (some may prove to be of no practical value.)None of these technologies could be replace fossil fuels in accordance with your schedule.

2) The immposibilty of obtaining cooperative agreement from nations unwilling to lose economic advantage, unable to afford, or just plain physically unable to implement such programs.

3) Everyone's good at spending other peoples money! The economic/political cost of attempting to impose such a radical program, is beyond the political ability of most democracies, and certainly beyond the will or economic capacity of totalitarian governments. The concept that the rich should become poor to idealistically fund the poor to compete with the rich, is too hard to sell politically. A carbon tax is not impractical, but on the sort of scale you are suggesting it would prove impossible to enforce. As Copenhagen displayed.

The very well meaning, but naive book, 'carbonomics' is an example of this sort of fuzzy thinking. The concept that the US and Europe can compelled to use caps, but China and India need not be forced , but somehow trusted to honor binding commitments, not monitored, or enforced, is typical of this sort of naivety. India and China are becoming the largest polluting nations, with growing economies of consumer demand for carbon emitting manufacture. Neither of these nations has a strong record of of overt government reporting. The rest of the developing world industry will follow Chinas example.

However, we do have available a technology that can fulfil most of your ambitions. Undoubtly many will find unpalatable, not for any scientific reason, but based on 60 years of prejudice and emotion.

The technology exists to establish an Independent International Nuclear Power Authority. Such a body could be staffed and operated as an independent trust established by UN treaty. Trustee Member states, could be drawn from the UN security council, and oversee the operation and control of waste disposal. Responsible trustee nations could provide the military and political support to control nuclear power production by international licence. Monitoring and enforcement models already exist. Only nuclear has the immediate capacity to replace fossil fuel power, can be constructed in most regions, and if properly built and operated, has an excellent safety record. Most of the worlds population accepts that Nuclear is a dangerous technology, best left in the hands of the most trusted Authorities. (the Swiss for example). One thing George Bush did establish, was that the world would accept military action in the face of potential nuclear threats from rogue regimes.

I can just see the green movement violently objecting to any such practical suggestion. Mass demonstrations etc.. but Copenhagen has proved that nations, and populations will continue to mistrust and resist any radical plans based on uncertain technologies.

{quote]The second big change that we need to make, and this is a much harder one to manage, is to work toward 'sustainable' population levels. Right now, we can't quite feed everyone on the planet, and a warming and more chaotic climate will only make that harder. The fundamental inequality of wealth isn't going to be fixed anytime soon, so we're essentially guaranteed that there will be increasing hardship and death from famine and water shortages. Increases in agricultural production are not likely or sustainable, wealthy populations will never give up eating meat, and decreases in raw crop yields appear inevitable. At some point down the line, population is either going to crash hard or be reduced gracefully, and I'd much rather see gracefully.

The remarks I have highlighted, would seem to indicate your political persuasion. Or more probably the scientists bafflement at the obtuseness of human behaviour. In the '60's TV series " Prisoner', UK actor Patrick McGoohan created an episode featuring the planet controlled by a super computer. When an idealistic scientist asked the computer "History is plagued by war, solve the problem of war!'. The computer replied with simple, but pure logic, "eliminate the human species!".

The claim the world can't quite feed itself is erroneous. The planet has a huge food surplus. The problem is economic and distribution, not production. The proposition of world famine is as erroneous today, as it was at the time of the last great consensus of scientist's confident prediction, made famous by The Club of Rome, "that 1977 would be the year the "Stork passed the plough". This was the year world famine would commence unabated until the population was reduced to 3 billion. Well, the world has more than doubled its population, yet it's better fed today than ever before.

The only way you can attempt the sort of social engineering you advocate, is by inefficient economic enforcement. Socialism died economically, not because of some evil conspiracy, but because of its own inherent flaws. The death of socialist economic theory left a moral vacuum for former socialists. Most of the old left embraced green activism to validate the moral or ideological component that socialism provided within a secular philosophy. Such moral concepts are deeply rooted in Judo-Christian values of western society. Attempts to implement such ideology through government control always ends in tears. Such enforcement, has shown the dreadful human cost of such policies.

Quote:

How do you actually manage world populations? War is the cheap and easy way, but I don't consider that to be a moral solution. The moral way is actually education and financial opportunity for women. We have to promote legal and social equality for women worldwide, and try to reduce the frequency of endemic poverty. The natural result of treating women better has always been a reduction in population growth, not to mention the fact that they lead much more enjoyable lives. And happier women always translates into happier men, so everyone wins.

Noble sentiments! Ok.. lets see, that's right up there with.. "if women ruled the world, there would be no more war" . yeah, right! Golda Mier, Indira Gandhi, Margret Thatcher, all fought several wars! (still, it must be said, they actually won, so at least they were good at warfare!).

What makes you think women don't want to have babies? Or that human lives, male or female, are not enriched by children (plural) and family?

It's true that in the absence of a secure, strong well organised society, with reliable welfare infrastructure, populations rely on the large family model, to provide social security and protection.

However, in negative population growth societies such as Japan, women are complaining that material wealth at the expense of family, is a source of misery. In western society, the childless baby boomer's are suddenly wanting to raise children. IVF, sperm banks are proliferating. Prosperity, career, and "fulfilment" are not necessarily a replacement for families life and values. No matter how wealthy, or educated, older first time mothers, rarely make better parents. In fact research would suggest quite the opposite. Evidence exists to suggest that womens heath suffers from a lack of childbearing before the age of 25.

More alarmingly, yielding to internal pressure, China is about to modify it's one child policy. Since this policy was very selective anyway, change is understandable given the difficulty of providing adequate social welfare programs for the vast numbers of elderly, without replacement population.

The problem is not so much too many people, but too many in the wrong places. I do not advocate mass migration, although this would be the 'natural' solution. Historically, local populations would either kill the invaders, or be displaced. This is the sad story of not just human, but species population expansion control.

Since this option is no longer available, it looks like we're back to the ole Randy Newman solution?

It is to the great moral credit of the West,(especially the USA), not to exercise the option of a Neutron War. With overwhelming military superiority, the West (10%), could easily reduce the other 90% of the planets population to manageable numbers! Obviously, this is morally unacceptable, but in the not so distant past, had the science been available to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc.. it would have certainly occurred.

Boris Johnson is doing far more for the environment than Professor Stern. (I should declare that I have a certain history with Prof. Stern. He once referred to me as a "Taiwanese apologist!" I would have thought my blue eyes would have been a give away that I am not Taiwanese!)

Articles are appearing daily from major manufactures, announcing EV car models about to enter production. No product should rely upon Government handouts or subsidies to compensate for inadequate quality or production.

Annual fossil fuel transport consumption in the relatively underpopulated Australian continent exceeds 30 billion litres, about half is used in private transport. 3 billion litres are consumed by the light commercial fleet. EV's can successfully compete in this segment. Yet few major companies are interested, and almost no hopeful entrepreneurs. I have never seen an article or post on commercial EV's on this forum. Yet there are small manufacturers making great progress in developing this segment such as Smith (Ford) Electrics, Goupil ind, etc..

Smiths in particular have been successfully making commercial EV's, at a profit, yet curiously received far less stock-market support than Vectrix imcopetent management squandered.

The potential environmental benefit from Electric Buses is vast! The replacement of one ICE bus, is the equivalent of maybe a thousand individuals diligently pedalling bicycles. Yet these practical products do not appear to capture the public imagination. Why?

John, Mik, anti-scab and other have tremendous acquired EV knowledge, but concentrate on the small two-wheel transport market. Two-wheel ICE's are environmentally insignificant in comparison to goods delivery vehicles.

'One of the best ways to ensure nothing will actually be done about anything, is to draw 'grand Plans' to force a massive reorganisation of society, while ignoring small practical steps.' (Boris Johnson)

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Mik
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Re: Dealing with climate change

marcopolo wrote:

...
...
...

John, Mik, anti-scab and other have tremendous acquired EV knowledge, but concentrate on the small two-wheel transport market. Two-wheel ICE's are environmentally insignificant in comparison to goods delivery vehicles.

'One of the best ways to ensure nothing will actually be done about anything, is to draw 'grand Plans' to force a massive reorganisation of society, while ignoring small practical steps.' (Boris Johnson)

Hey, that's long sorted out!

See this: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/5839-vectrix-fairing-improvements-hot-food-or-cold-drinks-anyone

And now I'm into four wheels, anyway....the Vectux has not moved in over a month!

Small practical steps is really what I'm trying to find all the time; hence I'm contributing less to the lengthy debates here, but have figured out ways how to restore the traction batteries of the first generation Prius hybrids.

I have been trying to convince others for decades that pollution (including climate change) is a massive problem and that urgent action is needed. Since long before the worlds governments started to meet and debate it and it became fashionable.

Global warming is just one of many formidable problems we are facing! That gets forgotten in the whole media hullaballo!

I don't claim to have a workable solution that would work for everyone - or maybe I do?

I just cannot stand doing nothing, and I cannot stand the futility of trying to get the rest of the lot to do something!

So at least I'll be able to give a whole lot of interesting answers if and when I get asked "What did you do to prevent this?"

That keeps me busy and sane (opinions vary considerably on the sanity aspect!) and makes a small difference.

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wookey
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Re: Dealing with climate change

jdh, another excellent book covering these issues, which I'm sure you'd enjoy is 'without hot air' by David McKay, which has the pleasing feature that you can just read it online if you like: http://www.withouthotair.com/

UK-centric, but does a very good job of explaining the numbers - just how much energy we all use, and for what, and the various ways that energy can be produced and thus some idea of national and global schemes that satisfy the simple physics of the matter. Far too many people don't really have a good grasp of this, and thus propose 'solutions' that simply aren't.

Marco, as ever, I take issue with some of what you say:

1) The 'clean technologies', windpower , solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, hydro, geothermal, wave, biomass, landfill methane, are all infant technologies. (some may prove to be of no practical value.)None of these technologies could be replace fossil fuels in accordance with your schedule.

None of them on their own, but the combination of a range of renewables is effective, and wind particularly is no longer an immature technology - there are huge amounts of it being installed all over the place. Onshore wind gets cheaper than CCGS and coal conventional generation when the oil price is over around $90/barrel (see http://www.wind-energy-the-facts.org/en/part-3-economics-of-wind-power/chapter-6-wind-power-compared-to-conventional-power-gener... ), which was true for much of 2008, and may well be again in the not-too-distant future.

And there is multi-gigawatts going in every year. 27GW was commissioned worldwide in 2008 (including 8GW in the US, 6.5 in China). In the EU, of 17GW total power-generation capacity installed, 43% of it was wind. (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/02/wind-installations-continue-to-break-records-across-the-globe-54658 ). I don't think you can fairly characterise those sorts of installation levels as 'immature'. Importantly in this context it is quick to build, in the same way that gas turbine plants also are, but nuclear isn't.

I wouldn't call solar thermal or solar PV immature either, having both had over 30 years of development to the current standard and stable designs. I do agree that the latter is not cost-competitive yet.

It seems to me that both renewables and nuclear are an important part of the solution. Nuclear has unassailable kWh/m2 numbers, but it is slow to build: start today and you might get some power in 12 years time. The equivalent 2GW of wind (replacing 1GW of nuclear with respective capacity factors of 75% and 35%) will be up and running in less than 18 months. A CCGS plant can be built in a similar period typically 2 years - you'd need 2 for a nominal GW). Nuclear may also be a rather stopgap solution, depending on how much uranium we can actually find.

Most of the rest of your post is fair enough.

I'm not against nuclear power, but to suggest that it can solve the problem quickly-enough alone, and that renewables are not important is just wrong. Only quick-build renewables (and replacing coal with CCGT) can provide significant CO2 emissions changes in timescales less than a decade. That, combined with major energy efficiency changes and a load more nuclear should let us turn (most of?) the coal off, and/or fit CSS kit. It might even be possible to do this fast enough, although it's going to be touch and go.

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dp
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Re: Dealing with climate change

Marcopolo writes:

"John, Mik, anti-scab and other have tremendous acquired EV knowledge, but concentrate on the small two-wheel transport market. Two-wheel ICE's are environmentally insignificant in comparison to goods delivery vehicles."

I am not as worried about goods delivery vehicles. Rail is quite efficient. There was a time when we moved vast amounts by train, even in rural areas, up to the last 30 miles. Rail companies even planed their stations around the limits of a horse draw wagon to move only that last 30 miles.

We can make this work again. We preserve fuel for trains, farm machines and short range trucks. Electric vehicles can easily move that last 30 miles especially if its at a slow rate down a rural road or faster over a smaller distance in the city. There was a time when many cities also had intercity railways with multiple stations. Some were even electric... so much of the technical problem is solved. It's already been done a while ago.

There is even been some work on solar tractors... Heavy batteries in the machines actually work well when plowing or working the land. Charge for weeks then use for a few days...very efficient and lasts for decades.

Long-range trucking will probably decline to near nothing with rising fuel prices. Rail will survive that's probably why Buffet invested in it.

marcopolo
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Re: Dealing with climate change

wookey wrote:

Marco, as ever, I take issue with some of what you say:

1) The 'clean technologies', windpower , solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, hydro, geothermal, wave, biomass, landfill methane, are all infant technologies. (some may prove to be of no practical value.)None of these technologies could be replace fossil fuels in accordance with your schedule.

None of them on their own, but the combination of a range of renewables is effective, and wind particularly is no longer an immature technology - there are huge amounts of it being installed all over the place. Onshore wind gets cheaper than CCGS and coal conventional generation when the oil price is over around $90/barrel (see http://www.wind-energy-the-facts.org/en/part-3-economics-of-wind-power/chapter-6-wind-power-compared-to-conventional-power-gener... ), which was true for much of 2008, and may well be again in the not-too-distant future.

And there is multi-gigawatts going in every year. 27GW was commissioned worldwide in 2008 (including 8GW in the US, 6.5 in China). In the EU, of 17GW total power-generation capacity installed, 43% of it was wind. (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/02/wind-installations-continue-to-break-records-across-the-globe-54658 ). I don't think you can fairly characterise those sorts of installation levels as 'immature'. Importantly in this context it is quick to build, in the same way that gas turbine plants also are, but nuclear isn't.

I wouldn't call solar thermal or solar PV immature either, having both had over 30 years of development to the current standard and stable designs. I do agree that the latter is not cost-competitive yet.

It seems to me that both renewables and nuclear are an important part of the solution. Nuclear has unassailable kWh/m2 numbers, but it is slow to build: start today and you might get some power in 12 years time. The equivalent 2GW of wind (replacing 1GW of nuclear with respective capacity factors of 75% and 35%) will be up and running in less than 18 months. A CCGS plant can be built in a similar period typically 2 years - you'd need 2 for a nominal GW). Nuclear may also be a rather stopgap solution, depending on how much uranium we can actually find.

Most of the rest of your post is fair enough.

I'm not against nuclear power, but to suggest that it can solve the problem quickly-enough alone, and that renewables are not important is just wrong. Only quick-build renewables (and replacing coal with CCGT) can provide significant CO2 emissions changes in timescales less than a decade. That, combined with major energy efficiency changes and a load more nuclear should let us turn (most of?) the coal off, and/or fit CSS kit. It might even be possible to do this fast enough, although it's going to be touch and go.

As ever, I am always appreciative of the fact that you take the time to read what I say, and take issue!

Actually, we are not really in disagreement. I agree that we should be researching and building as many alternatives to coal and oil as possible. Coal and Oil resources are far too precious to waste as fuel.

My advocacy of uranium is based not on a dislike of renew-ables but that nuclear technology is available, and easily built in all most every region.renew-ables all show a degree of promise. Wind power, is making a contribution, but has drawbacks and is limited in the regions it can function.

I agree that Uranium supplies are by definition finite, so we should regard the nuclear option as a stop gap, while researching, developing and building renewable power solutions. Nuclear has the ability to reliably fulfil the demands of a modern industrialised society. Developing clean technologies is far more constructive and sensible, than attempting impractical Utopian visions of de-populating or de-industrialising the planet!

dp wrote:

Marcopolo writes:"John, Mik, anti-scab and other have tremendous acquired EV knowledge, but concentrate on the small two-wheel transport market. Two-wheel ICE's are environmentally insignificant in comparison to goods delivery vehicles."

I am not as worried about goods delivery vehicles. Rail is quite efficient. There was a time when we moved vast amounts by train, even in rural areas, up to the last 30 miles. Rail companies even planed their stations around the limits of a horse draw wagon to move only that last 30 miles.

We can make this work again. We preserve fuel for trains, farm machines and short range trucks. Electric vehicles can easily move that last 30 miles especially if its at a slow rate down a rural road or faster over a smaller distance in the city. There was a time when many cities also had intercity railways with multiple stations. Some were even electric... so much of the technical problem is solved. It's already been done a while ago.
There is even been some work on solar tractors... Heavy batteries in the machines actually work well when plowing or working the land. Charge for weeks then use for a few days...very efficient and lasts for decades.

Long-range trucking will probably decline to near nothing with rising fuel prices. Rail will survive that's probably why Buffet invested in it.

Let me see if I understand you correctly. You are not concerned because someone will build some trains and then someone else will build EV trucks and Buses to complete the network?

Phew! That's a relief! Except, it's funny how why it doesn't exist? I know! It's a conspiracy by the big bad oil companies!

"It's already been done a while ago" !

Actually, developing the technology to build EV commercials is pretty difficult! True, you have a marketing advantage, since high speed is not a requirement, but do you think, weight, aero-dynamics, load distribution, are all just 'minor' problems? Don't you think it might be a tad easier to develop practical, reliable, Commercial EV's, rather than attempt to reconstruct a 19th century railroad system. Don't get me wrong I love trains and you are correct they should play a greater transport role.! It's just that the logistical requirements have changed just a little bit in the last 60 years, and that renders a railway system far less viable in most respects.

As I said, replacing one diesel bus with an EV, achieves more environmental benefit than a thousand bicyclists.

Find me a Solar tractor and I will buy it!! Design one, build a model,? Show me a workable concept and I will fund production!? Even an old fashioned efficient EV, battery tractor? Name me a manufacturer?

But, Jacobsen do still produce a large EV Golf course ride on mower. Sad to report, to date, not one government, including the Obama admin station have done anything to encourage this humble, but important EV development.

The point I was trying to make, (and I guess you answered it) is why no-one seems interested in Commercials? If I am being a little hard on you, I probably shouldn't be! It's just that everyone's got a grand plan to re-organise society to assist the environment, while ignoring the practical steps that can be achieved in EV development. Vectrix, Brammo etc, are all very sexy, but less valuable to the planet than a ride-on EV mower or EV bus.

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dp
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Re: Dealing with climate change

"Find me a Solar tractor and I will buy it!! Design one, build a model,? Show me a workable concept and I will fund production!? Even an old fashioned efficient EV, battery tractor? Name me a manufacturer?"

Not really interested in having a debate, but there is some work being done out there:

http://www.solarcarandtractor.com/Cub.html

http://www.solarcarandtractor.com/8N_Ford_Tractor.html

Eco Tractors: Open Energy to launch solar-powered tractor by 2010

"Austria-based Open Energy has stated that the company will be launching a tractor completely powered by the energy of the sun by 2010. The tractor will be powered by a 26-square meter solar panel, which will generate a modest 4KWs for tasks such as drilling and weeding."

http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-tractors-open-energy-to-launch-solar-powered-tractor-by-2010/

http://www.renewables.com/Permaculture/ETractorSpecs.htm

http://www.electrictractor.com/

http://www.niekampinc.com/electric-g-tractor/

Converting an Allis-Chalmers "G" Cultivating Tractor into an Electric Vehicle

http://www.flyingbeet.com/electricg/

dp
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Points: 145
Re: Dealing with climate change

"Don't you think it might be a tad easier to develop practical, reliable, Commercial EV's, rather than attempt to reconstruct a 19th century railroad system."

Not really, rail is the way to go for the long haul over land. I don't think a comercial EV will ever beat a train over the the long haul.

In my country, much of the rail lines still exist (espeicially the important ones). It's more a matter of higher utilization and re-building some of the branches.

I think the future higer cost of energy will push us towards higher utilization of rail.

marcopolo
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Points: 837
Re: Dealing with climate change

dp wrote:

Not really interested in having a debate, but there is some work being done out there.

Well, I suppose you are right, that's really something ain't it! My goodness, they look really promising! 'Course they've been round on the Internet a fair time now, and well maybe I'm a tad cynical but they do seem a wee bit away from any sort of production run.

If, and this is the big if, anyone could develop a large tractor or agricultural EV. This is the holy grail of EV marketing. John Deere, Kuboto, Caterpillar,ford are all trying to develop a hybrid using mining/railway technology. Sadly, despite billions of dollars of investment, no real breakthrough. Diesel is a huge expense to farmers. Machinery servicing costs, Fuel storage and repair downtime are very crucial overheads. A large part of the consumer cost of farm food is fuel.

Developing an EV for this market, is a really worthwhile challenge.

__________________

marcopolo

dp
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Points: 145
Re: Dealing with climate change

Another nice photo:

My vision of the future is quite different from many others. I really believe a portion of our wasteful ways are being forced to end. We need to preserve fuel for trains and farm machinery. Those are the things we must have and we will let many things end before them. The days of long distance comutting in a gas guzzling SUV are on the decline.

The good thing is that there is so much inefficiency in the world that can easily be corrected. Natural gas being flared off really bothers me. It should be made into fertillizer.

This morning I rode the bus passing by houses in -20 C or -32C with the windchill. Some of these houses had no snow on the roof. They had so little insulation that the snow had melted off in -20C!

The energy being wasted could probably run a farm to feed people.

Over the past 4 years I have renovated one of these houses to save $5000 every year on heating.

wookey
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Joined: 04/08/2009
Points: 90
Re: Dealing with climate change

I don't think a comercial EV will ever beat a train over the the long haul.

Erm, I know what you are trying to say, and I even agree, but couldn't let this pass. Many trains _are_ commercial EVs. They all (even the diesel ones) have electric drive trains and many (most?) in Europe use electricity as the power source.

All the new train lines I've heard about recently are planned to be electrified. I don't know if anyone is proposing to build lines using other power sources. So I guess trains are a rather uncelebrated, but very successful (except in the US), part of the EV revolution.

__________________

Wookey
Sakura s50 (Efun A)

dp
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Joined: 03/30/2009
Points: 145
Re: Dealing with climate change

"3 billion litres are consumed by the light commercial fleet. EV's can successfully compete in this segment. Yet few major companies are interested, and almost no hopeful entrepreneurs. I have never seen an article or post on commercial EV's on this forum."

Marcopolo didn't seem to be referring to rail as Commercial EV. He seemed to be mostly referring to trucks and buses, so I just went along with that. I thought it was mostly understood. Let's try it again:

"I don't think a road-based commercial EV will ever surpass a similarly advanced train over a long-distance haul."

marcopolo
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Points: 837
Re: Dealing with climate change

dp wrote:

"3 billion litres are consumed by the light commercial fleet. EV's can successfully compete in this segment. Yet few major companies are interested, and almost no hopeful entrepreneurs. I have never seen an article or post on commercial EV's on this forum."

Marcopolo didn't seem to be referring to rail as Commercial EV. He seemed to be mostly referring to trucks and buses, so I just went along with that. I thought it was mostly understood. Let's try it again:

"I don't think a road-based commercial EV will ever surpass a similarly advanced train over a long-distance haul."

Of course large modern locomotives are a great example of Hybrid EV's but dp is right, I was not referring to to rail, with the exception of the lamentable instances where major cities have removed light rail, tram, and trolley bus infrastructure in favour of introducing diesel buses.

If EV Trucking develops to compete with the same freight capacity as current diesel trucking, then logic would suggest that the rail will still suffer for the same reasons as currently exist? Its only the technology, not the inherent efficiency of rail.

__________________

marcopolo

Thomas SH
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Points: 2
Re: Dealing with climate change

Climate change solutions in Denmark

Apart from building windmills, using bio energy for heating and turning up fees for fossil fuel driven vehicles, in Denmark, we are promoting cycling like never before.

The term "Copenhagenization" has become extremely popular throughout the major cities of the world; – especially since climate change is so topical. Copenhagenization derives from the vision of improving urban life and pollution problems.

In Denmark, cycling is so popular, that we're actually having congestion problems on the bike paths. This is however a problem that we are proud of. – Most major cities across the world would love to have problems like these, their major goal is to promote and make people use the bicycle, whereas in Copenhagen, we need to find ways to make more room for the cyclists.

The solution

"Build it and they will come"

One of the main reasons, that we have so many cyclists in Denmark, is due to the fact that we have promoted the facilities for cyclists throughout the last 40 years.

The most popular bike in Copenhagen is the city bike (in Danish: By cykler), which is a practical, sturdy and efficient mean of transportation. These bikes can vary in price and quality, but there are actually some really good offers out there. You can easily get a city bike for 600$ which is approved by European standards. – That might sound expensive according to American or Canadian prices, but keep in mind, that we in Denmark have a mind-blowing VAT of 25 %.

PJD
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Points: 1240
Re: Dealing with climate change

Here in the US, things have never looked worse for action on global warming.

There was some wind energy development in the Allegheny Highlands but this will probably stop as government incentives are allowed to expire and opposition by people who don't like the wind turbines spoiling their view of the countryside.

Most US city's public transportation, which is already regarded (except the largest cities) as only a charity-service for the poor and others unable to drive cars, are facing funding cuts, requiring them to cut service, abandon many routes, and raise fares.

Few accommodations are made to accommodate bicycles or even walking. The suburban areas around my city are without even sidewalks along the streets and roads. Merely taking a walk somewhere in these areas is nerve-rattling and dangerous.

With gasoline prices moderating (3.40 a gallon/$.90 a liter), the popularity of large SUV's continues.

Yesterday, for the Independence Day celebrations in my community, temporary bins were placed every 20m all along the main street and were filled to overflowing with beer, water and pop cans and bottles - all of it went to the dump. Recycling has always been regarded as vaguely "un-Aperican" and it use is declining in my area. You don't find refillable drink containers here.

Coal and oil industry-influenced politicians and judges may soon take away the US Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate CO2 emissions at all.

In most social situations, Anthropogenic Global Warming can't even be brought up in polite conversation. About half of US population regards anthropogenic global warming as a hoax perpetrated for the purpose of furthering "socialism"; so, you dare not bring it up unless you are sure such a person is not present. The other half either regard it as "controversial" and not yet "proven", or are concerned but are alone and isolated in their concerns and helpless to do anything about it. What can one person do?

And to be clear, none of the above is an exaggeration of the situation here.

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Dealing with climate change

PJD wrote:

In most social situations, Anthropogenic Global Warming can't even be brought up in polite conversation. About half of US population regards anthropogenic global warming as a hoax perpetrated for the purpose of furthering "socialism"; so, you dare not bring it up unless you are sure such a person is not present. The other half either regard it as "controversial" and not yet "proven", or are concerned but are alone and isolated in their concerns and helpless to do anything about it. What can one person do?

Hmmm.... have you ever thought that this may be a natural reaction from people who have been harassed and abused by over-zealous enviro-pests? I've always predicted that calling people 'climate deniers' is counter-productive. The arrogant and dismissive cry of "The debate is over, we have reached a consensus" , effectively silenced and intimidated the average Joe, in the short term. Even environment supporters who were mild Sceptics of the more extreme environmental claims, were intimidated and made to feel inferior and uncertain.

The more the Environmental movement propounded weird conspiracy theories,(or wildly exaggerated and inaccurate claims), the more alienated the average person became.

The backlash was always inevitable! Sooner or later, mild sceptics and radical dissidents alike, began to find strength and support, emboldened by environmentalist schisms and scandals, and..well.... just plain dislike of the arrogant fanaticism of the environmental lobby. The hypocrisy and inaccuracies of the environmentalist arguments began to be exposed by charismatic spokespersons.

Joe Public sat up and listened! More importantly he voted! But the environmentalist-left is not good at listening to the average Joe, so they invented conspiracy theories. It must be corruption,secret deals, big oil, big.. well... anything other than blame themselves. In their self-appointed role of the 'people spokesperson', they couldn't grasp the truth, that the 'people' loath them! Again, instead of asking why, they invented the delusion that the 'people' are 'brainwashed', and need to be protected by a self-appointed elite, 'the environmental-left'.

This type of thinking is so stereotypical of the old socialist-left, that most people can be forgiven for confusing the two!

So, PJD, ask yourself, can you in your heart of hearts, actually concede that it might be you who are looking at things with the wrong perspective? Can you revise your thinking to focus on something to further your environmental passion effectively, or do you really just want to convince others to believe in your particular lifestyle/philosophy/ creed?

__________________

marcopolo

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 587
Re: Dealing with climate change

...the "Climate Cycle" causes "Climate Change" which has (in one direction) "Global Warming".

Most of the problem has been with terminology. Once the term "Climate Cycle" takes a larger share of people's thought processes we can tend to forget the older terminology.

The image is of temperature changes in past "Climate Cycles".

.

MikeB
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Joined: 04/14/2008
Points: 517
Re: Dealing with climate change

Safe, why do you continue to post such deliberately dishonest graphs? Are you trying to lie to people, or just so badly misinformed that you don't know what you're doing?

You've got a great graph for showing the variations in global temperature triggered by Earth's orbital patterns. These orbital patterns are well understood, and are capable of bumping the temperature along on a multi-thousand year scale. But your graph is utterly useless for talking about the current problem.

First, it's a simple fact of physics that the impact of greenhouse gasses simply dwarfs the impact of periodic orbital patterns, by multiple orders of magnitude. You're showing a peak variation in that graph of about 10 degrees of temperature shift, though it doesn't say if that's degrees F or C. And the temperature swings in your graph are triggered by orbital shifts, but magnified dramatically my feedback effects, so only a fraction of the total swing is caused by the trigger event. But the greenhouse effect is holding our temperature a good 30C warmer than the planet would be without it. Without the greenhouse effect, Earth would be a solid ball of ice-covered rock, and utterly lifeless. Feedback of greenhouse gas effects is, in fact, the primary cause of most of the temperature swings in your graph, an initial change from non-greenhouse causes is magnified and accelerated by following feedback that changes the existing greenhouse gas concentrations.

Second, all of human industrial history is completely invisible on your graph, since it's been compressed down into the last few pixels or so. But the reality is that orbital patterns have put us into a cooling path for 6,000 years. We're well past the peak of the last warm period, and have started a 23,000 year cooling trend. Of course, that cooling trend is about .1F per century, which will be completely drowned out by a potential 12F per century warming trend created by greenhouse gasses. Your graph is simply hiding all the interesting information by expanding the scale too much. We've warmed up nearly 2C in the last 200 years, and most of that was actually in the last 75 or so. Does your graph include that 2C spike at the end?

So your graph is dishonest in a third way: it not only shrinks human history at the end, but it doesn't show anything about where we're headed. On the current path, we've got 6C of warming this century, and another 6C of warming next century, and perhaps another 4C in the century after that. So, take your blue line where it ends, and then add a red line skyrocketing towards the heavens, about 3x the height of your entire existing graph.

There's nothing wrong with the terminology. Climate cycles exist, but they are small and slow, and mostly irrelevant in today's context. Nobody alive cares about a 23,000 year trend, it's the 50 and 100 year trend that matters most. The problem we have today is warming that is nearly instantaneous in the geological scale, warming that is 100x faster and more extreme than anything ever experienced on planet Earth before. Warming that quickly causes extinctions because life has no time to adapt and evolve. Warming that much will absolutely devastate human agriculture, which cannot adapt to the chaos fast enough to keep up with an expanding human population. And when our food supply is dramatically reduced, that is when civilization itself is tested.

__________________

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 587
Re: Dealing with climate change

The "Climate Cycle" is only the trigger.

What acts as the primary "thermal mass" is the oceans.

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

Do some research... there was a period when the plate tectonics PREVENTED circulation to the northern regions and that disrupted the pattern. It is ocean currents that matter.

Historically the cycle goes:

Ice Age

Global Warming (oceans circulate)

Polar Ice Melts (less salty water reduces ocean flow)

Cooling

...scientists have placed ocean current measurement devices out in the oceans and we expect to see ocean currents slow over the coming decades.

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

If the oceans DO NOT SLOW, then I'll be surprised... ;)

(it's the ocean currents that we need to watch)

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

The "Climate Cycle" is normal... (it still means "Climate Change")

PJD
Offline
Joined: 11/22/2006
Points: 1240
Re: Dealing with climate change

Safe,

So are you trying to assert that all we are seeing is "natural" climate changes and human CO2 emission have nothing to do with it? Because if you are, every reputable climate scientists is in disagreement with you. The graph you present does not show anything useful - it is on an entirely wrong scale. The dramatic human caused increases over the past several decades would be a vertical line too thin to see on the right edge of the graph - if it presented the most recent instrumental data at all, which it doesn't.

The fact are that temperatures are warmer than the warmest parts of Emian period - the last glacial epoch. Do-nothing scenarios take us to the temperatures comparable to the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum event 50 million years ago, when life and ecosystems were completely different than today.

CO2 levels right now are certainly higher than they have been in 15 million years - and the rates of increase are absolutely nothing like those found in nature - the only natural event that can duplicate the changes that human activity is producing are asteroid impacts - 100 years of human fossil fuel burning and asteroid impacts are both instantaneous events from a geological perspective.

And in belated reply to Marco Polo (who doesn't comment here very often anymore), all I can say is he must have never been to the United States.

Watch this cool video:

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

Here's another good debunking....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5hs4KVeiAU&feature=related

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 587
Re: Dealing with climate change

...that might be the chart you are looking for.

...this one goes back into the distant (dinosaur) past.

(interesting how in he Permian Era CO2 was LOW, then went back up on it's own !!! )

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

Hard to imagine that CO2 was at 7000 ppmv when we are at under 400 ppmv now.

The earth was once dominated by CO2... which is why so much was used as an element in life and turned into fossil fuels.

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

My point here is that CO2 is not "dangerous" in itself. We are presently in a political situation where the left wing has used the "Climate Cycle" (combined with CO2) as a sort of talking point.

The only thing we "know" is that CO2 triggers the ice caps to melt. Melting makes the oceans less salty and slow down. Slowing oceans change weather patterns and prepare the way for cooling.

So CO2 acts like the "trigger" for the "Climate Cycle".

It's not that complicated...

.

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 587
Re: Dealing with climate change

Let's get back on this chart...

What is VERY INTERESTING is that the earth has a "maximum temperature" no matter how much CO2 is in the atmosphere !!!

See that ?

Now the oceans will fight this trend when they slow, but if 400 ppmv were actually going to overwhelm the oceans (unlikely) we still have a maximum limit no matter how much CO2 is there.

So we know the worst case scenario... and the dinosaurs survived with no problem in those times.

Many places like Siberia would flourish in such a time. More land mass is in the far north than in the middle, so we might actually see improvements in comfort in places like Canada, Siberia and Alaska.

Buy early? While property levels are still low? ;)

.

MikeB
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2008
Points: 517
Re: Dealing with climate change

safe wrote:

My point here is that CO2 is not "dangerous" in itself. We are presently in a political situation where the left wing has used the "Climate Cycle" (combined with CO2) as a sort of talking point.

The only thing we "know" is that CO2 triggers the ice caps to melt.

Why do you keep telling such lies? Utter nonsense.

What we "know" is that thermodynamics works: if we slow the heat escaping into space, the planet gets warmer. And CO2, among other greenhouse gasses, do exactly that: slow the transfer of heat into space. CO2 at current concentrations isn't dangerous to our body chemistry, nobody is claiming that (so bringing it up is a dishonest distraction). But that accumulated heat messes up our biosphere. And by biosphere, I mean our agriculture. Humanity depends heavily on about a dozen basic food crops. And all of those crops have basic dependencies on things like topsoil, water, and moderate temperatures. If you exceed the normal range for any of those, crop yields drop dramatically. At 104F, photosynthesis halts entirely. Think about that for a second: severe heat waves are enough to completely shut down the core chemistry of plants. Look at the massive crop failures in the US this summer due to drought and heat. Imagine moving to a situation where the conditions of this last summer are considered both colder and wetter than average, and our massive crop failure is considered a bumper crop!

Sure, there might be an upper limit on CO2 concentrations, but that upper limit is beyond the point at which agriculture simply ends for most of the planet. You are asking for massive resource wars to span the globe, death and destruction and suffering beyond imagination. 6C of warming in this century may easily be that point, and that's well within any sort of theoretical maximum you are proposing. Look at your graphs: I see a temperature fluctuations of 10C across half a billion years. But has there ever been a change of 10C within a single century? And look again at your graphs where the temperature shifts wildly in a few tens of thousands of years, what else happened at exactly the same time? Mass extinctions, every single time. Ecological collapse means agricultural collapse, without a shred of doubt.

You keep looking deep into the Earth's history and saying 'hey, it's ok, we were like that once before'. Well, if you look deep enough, there wasn't any oxygen in the atmosphere, are you really saying you can live without any oxygen? Your ideas fail because you aren't looking at any of this in the context of humanity: we have 7 billion people to feed right now, and any radical changes to our environment are going to endanger that ability.

Safe, between 1991 and 2012 there were 13,950 peer-reviewed scientific papers on climate change that support the mainstream opinion. There were 24 that disagreed. And the nonsense you are spewing probably doesn't even agree with any of those 24! You are the one that is off in the weeds, and desperately need to come back to reality.

__________________

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

safe
safe's picture
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Points: 587
Re: Dealing with climate change

So in effect "you agree" with the facts as presented?

There will be change... whether "Climate Cycle" (oceans) or CO2 related we can agree that a "constant climate" is unrealistic to imagine.

We then move on to "adaptation".

Mankind has adapted many times to climate changes in the past. Often this involved warfare and mass death.

Can we agree that no matter which changing scenario we get that war, disease and mass death is likely?

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

My point is that with an exploding population and Islamic radicalism, and a declining economic picture that we don't have long before "human based" catastrophy dominates anything the weather will throw at us.

In these last years before the wars break out can't we just let things continue?

Do any of these climate issues matter in the end?

(in the big picture there are bigger dangers than the climate)

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

To make a sort of metaphor:

"It's like the Titanic is sinking and you are talking about how the coal engines were polluting too much."


.

PJD
Offline
Joined: 11/22/2006
Points: 1240
Re: Dealing with climate change

Safe,

Did you view the second link I provided to you??? It completely debunks what you present here. Please view it again, and pay particular attention to the role of long-term solar forcing. Nobody ever said CO2 concentration were the ONLY driver of climate. CO2 concentration _had_ to be higher in the Paleozoic becasue solar output was lower (a main-sequence star's output increases steadily over the life of the star). Otherwise the earth would have been an iceball. The various homeostatic "Gaia" mechanisms have provided for a clement earth over the long period of ever increasing solar output - mainly by varying atmospheric CO2. This is all well established science.

But that was then, this is now. The near-instantaneous CO2 output by human activity is like nothing Gaia has ever seen, and she is no likely to accommodate with compensating climatic forcings nearly rapidly enough.

But as soon as you started this "AGW is just leftist politics" stuff, then went on about how the "Muslims are out to kill us all" nonsense, I should have ended the discussion.

The charts you produce were made by a West Virginia coal mining engineer, not a climate-physicist.

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Dealing with climate change

Thus the debate still rages !

It must be said for 'Safe' that he has pursued his cause with considerable determination and humour.He may not be right, or even accurate, but the tone, terms and rabidness of some responses to his posts, are obviously generated by fanatic's.

PJD, Mike B and Safe's other detractors, evangelize grim scenarios, yet offer no practical solutions that could be logistically implemented. These GW/CC/CC, or whatever, evangelists have done the wider cause of environmentalism, great harm.

Joe Public listened respectfully to scientists, until about 2009. Joe Public became disillusioned by the intolerance, rudeness and fanaticism of the new breed of environmental spokespeople. Curiously, when it was obvious that such abrasive tactics only alienated public opinion about all environmental causes, far from abating, the abrasive behaviour intensified !

The original science has long since been forgotten along with moderate veiws, as the political debate intensified. At some point it became obvious that the environmental or 'green' movement had been hi-jacked by activists of the old socialist left.

Naturally, these activists have little interest in preserving a broad-based movement, and as I predicted popular support has all but evaporated.

But here's a simple challenge, show me an economically affordable, simple, politically acceptable, enforceable priority, that could actually produce tangible, measurable, results. (without being unacceptably disruptive).

Simplistic schemes to complex problems are not acceptable. Nor is doing nothing but yelling at Safe.

Safe, the challenge goes for you too...!

__________________

marcopolo

MikeB
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2008
Points: 517
Re: Dealing with climate change

marcopolo wrote:

Joe Public listened respectfully to scientists, until about 2009.

Sorry marco, this is completely false. Joe Public was manipulated by lies from the oil and gas and coal industry from as early as Al Gore's run for president. These lies are well documented, and delivered by the exact same think tanks that sold doubt about the health effects of smoking. This is nothing new.

marcopolo wrote:

The original science has long since been forgotten along with moderate veiws, as the political debate intensified. At some point it became obvious that the environmental or 'green' movement had been hi-jacked by activists of the old socialist left.

This has nothing to do with socialism or leftism. If an astronomer told you that an asteroid was going to hit the earth in 2024, what's the political implication? None. Nor should there be. The real problem is denial: people don't like the proposed solutions, so they pretend that the problem itself doesn't exist. And denial of reality is something that is documented to be strongly associated with conservatives. So the real problem comes from the right, not the left. How can you possibly blame the left for that? The left has a number of problems, but accepting scientific reality is not one of them.

The left suggested a simple carbon tax, the right countered with cap and trade. So the left said 'fine, we'll do it your way.' The right backed off of cap and trade, and said it was a socialist conspiracy! No really, that's exactly how it played in this country. The right wasn't interested in solutions, they would offer something and then back off. The left kept moving to the right to find a way to take action, and the right kept fleeing. Crappy negotiating on the part of the left, sure, but they didn't expect outright suicidal and delusional behavior from the right.

marcopolo wrote:

Naturally, these activists have little interest in preserving a broad-based movement, and as I predicted popular support has all but evaporated.

How on earth do you create a broad-based movement with people that think the problem doesn't exist? No really, that's the core issue in this country: the 'party line' coming from the right is that the entire thing is a hoax. How can you discuss solutions to a problem that doesn't exist? You can't, it's an utter waste of time (like having discussions with Safe, apparently).

marcopolo wrote:

But here's a simple challenge, show me an economically affordable, simple, politically acceptable, enforceable priority, that could actually produce tangible, measurable, results. (without being unacceptably disruptive).

You ask for the impossible. There's no possible politically acceptable solution when one party denies the problem exists. None whatsoever. The republican party will accept nothing less than the worst case solution: extract all possible oil, gas, and coal from the ground and burn it at the maximum rate possible. If we follow the republican plan, we're on the worst case trajectory, and everything the 'alarmists' have been suggesting will look mild in comparison.

But if you throw out the idiot objections, the actual solution you want is exactly what I proposed in the first post of this very thread: add a direct economic cost to fossil carbon emissions, either by tax or via cap and trade. Increase that cost over time. That's the minimally disruptive path, the simplest path, the most enforceable path. Once you put a cost disadvantage on fossil fuels, everything else gains an advantage, and will be adopted at best possible speed. The right is apparently terrified of a market-based solution, because they aren't able to think straight anymore!

But if you want the absolutely maximally disruptive path, do exactly what the right suggests: nothing. Doing nothing is what will bring about the greatest social upheaval, the greatest misery, the greatest economic damage. And more importantly, do nothing for as long as possible. Because eventually we're going to take action. And the longer we wait for that action to happen, the more severe that action will have to be. If we continue on the path we are on now, the right will have brought about exactly the rigid government takeover of their lives that they fear most. If we do nothing for long enough, we will eventually have to go down the path of an outright ban on all fossil fuel use, economic consequences be damned! They might be happy with mandatory gun ownership, but the constant resource wars might temper that enthusiasm. The right's denial is, in fact, going to become their own worst enemy. Everything they fear will be forced upon them by their own idiotic policy choices.

__________________

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

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