Recently, Doc Snow and I decided to each create a hub on the topic of "How accurate are climate change predictions."
Here are our opposing hubs -
http://hubpages.com/education/Climate-C … e-Are-They
http://hubpages.com/politics/Climate-Ch … hey-Really
We are asking people to help out and keep an open mind.
Please read both hubs and take the poll at the end.
You are welcome to make comments, however, our focus here is to present our ideas and let the readers decide.
I believe this is a new paradigm on HubPages. As far as I know, this is the first time where two hubbers have jointly created hubs independently on the same topic. Their express purpose in presenting opposing view points is an attempt to sway public opinion. We have no preconceived notions as to the outcome. We are both passionate about our views and sincerely wants to help.
On behave on Doc Snow and I, we want to thank you in advance. We have put a lot of effort into this over a period of one month.
We will report back in some future time (perhaps one month time) on the results.
Thanks to all for your support.
By the way, the Final Poll is located in the first hub (jackclee's) at the very bottom. Please vote only after reading both hubs. Thanks for your participation.
jackclee writes "Dr. Philip Lloyd recently admitted that global warming is within natural variability."
This is not true. Dr. Lloyd was discussing surface temperatures, not the entire global system which includes upper atmosphere temperatures and more importantly ocean temperatures.
jackclee rests his case about storm severity by providing a Wikipedia page that focuses only on storms in New England. Evidently the rest of the globe is irrelevant
jackclee chastises sea level rise and as evidence provides a 1988 prediction (which is kind of like talking about the medical value of leaches in medicine) and by providing a graph which looks convincing but fails to provide sources. Who are these mysterious "experts"? What are the current sea-level rise predictions? How accurate or valuable are satellite measurements of sea-level rise?
If this were an honest scientific debate, all of those questions would be answered. But this isn't an honest scientific debate. It is part of the very large skepticism industry specifically designed to mislead and misinform and to cause confusion and doubt in people. In short it is a LIE. I appreciate at least saying that you want an honest debate, but that isn't what is happening here and I see no reason to be civil about it. This is junk science. Looks good, but smells like turds.
How is this junk science? You can't find anything questionable about my observations. I don't work for big oil. I am not paid by any one with an agenda. I am not even a denier just a skeptic. You can't handle the fact that the climate scientist have been exaggerating the effects and now they are like the boy cried wolf.
I pointed out a couple of specific problems with your observations. This sort of thing is always the same: looks decent on the surface, but scientifically doesn't hold up even under minimal review.
Scientists don't exaggerate. People talking about science do, generally because they lack understanding of the topic and lack fundamental understanding of scientific research. If you would like to complain about that, then please do so. It bothers me as well, but then, that was kind of the point I was trying to make in the first place.
The people I don't trust are the very scientists that make predictions that don't hold up and instead of backtrack, they try to hide it or manipulate the data. There is no reason the NOAA would refuse to give the raw data to Congress who is trying to get at the truth.
I don't see any problem with my observations. A prediction by definition is a forecast of future events. The debate of this hub addresses the accuracy of predictions made in the past (1988) about current years (2015).
My references to storms in the US is one part of the global warming debate. I'm citing one example. If you think globally that storms are more extreme, prove it.
I know how some climate models work and they are full of assumptions and "tweak factors" which can affect the outcome by a large degree with small changes. That is why they are so un-reliable and so wrong in the long term. If the models were true, I would expect a normal distribution where some predictions were low and some were high. That is not what we see. The projections have all failed on the high side. That should be a red flag for anyone serious about analyzing data.
There are all sorts of accusations of fraud, manipulation of data, hiding data, etc. but as far as I know, there isn't a single proven documented case of it, and certainly there isn't any grand conspiracy to do so. The NOAA issue isn't an issue at all, as Doc Snow noted, all of the data is available. NOAA just isn't giving in to their witchhunt to which I do not blame them.
I'm just going to ignore your comment about Congress trying to get to the truth.
"My references to storms in the US is one part of the global warming debate. I'm citing one example. If you think globally that storms are more extreme, prove it."
That is like going to a fishing hole, seeing a fish in the lake and concluding that nobody caught anything. Such selective cherry-picking just isn't a good faith argument.
As for me proving it. I don't have to. I have made no such claim.
To the topic, if you think it is an easy proof, you are wrong. It is an extremely complex aspect of climate change that is not firmly understood. Expand your single paragraph to about 10,000 and you might be part way there. From the evidence I have seen, there seems to be decent evidence that storm power has increased but not frequency, which of course varies by region of the world.
Regarding predictions and modeling and accuracy, I'd recommend this read: http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/le … CMIP5.html
Well, 5 years later, it seems the "do-nothing" side got their way and did nothing because they say climate change isn't real or climate change isn't caused by humans.
Now the earth has run out of time and the path to destruction is basically cast.
""Bottom line is that we have zero years left to avoid dangerous climate change, because it's here," Michael E. Mann, a lead author of the IPCC's 2001 report, told CNN."
https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/09/world/gl … index.html
bottom line is your side politicized it to the point young kids have been scared out of their wits like Greta Thunberg...
The earth is not ending in 10 years or 50 years.
The ocean is rising at 3mm per year on average for the last 100 years...
Major storms have not increased dramatically as predicted.
Michael Mann's hockey stick graph stopped at the year 2000. The global temperature are not rising through the roof...
Interesting that this discussion is still going on.
The climate is changing more dramatically than anticipated a decade ago. It is useless to discuss if it was manmade of natural.
Climate is a very complex dynamic system. Influencing factors are not always visible, so any simulation model will fall short.
An example of what happens if you only link CO2 greenhouse gases to climate change may be Germany.
While global warming had a temperature increase of some 1,2 C over the past 100 years, Germany had an increase of 1,5 C, with most coming from the past 2 decades.
Explanation: Germany started its getting clean iniative in the 80ties. By now the air is so clean, dust particles are missing and are somehow allowing more intensiv sunlight on our territory, leading to higher temperatures.
This kind of aligns to global temperature drops in the early 90ties, after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens had brought red sunsets to the world. The eruption brought more dust into the atmosphere and lowered mean temperature.
I am harvesting solar energy for more than a decade on a professional level. I should see a degradation of solar panel output over time, but i don´t. In some years i even had a rise in output. Also aligns to the theory that being too clean adds to more sun energy and warming problems.
I wonder if "clean air" was/is included in the simulation models, not only greenhouse gases and burping cows.
Being an engineer with a lot of background on complex dynamic systems, i have my doubts about far reaching prognosis. Long time intervals make even low complexity dynamic systems vulnerable to undetected all pass effects. What does happen to much more complex systems like our climate?
Not much to add to what jack said--he has summed up the project pretty well.
We're hoping for a good discussion, especially in light of the Conference of the Parties talks, which will attempt to reach a new climate agreement in Paris beginning November 30. I think it's vital that a good agreement be reached, as we are far behind the curve in our response to climate change. Jack, obviously, feels differently.
I'd only add that you can vote in the polls on *both* Hubs, as they ask different questions.
I have started to promote our hubs on some news sites by posting the link in news stories on the up coming Paris COP21 climate change meetings. I am hoping top get more traffic to our hubs. I usually don't do this with most of my hubs but I am hoping the recent events align with the climate summit will bring this debate front and center.
I agree. This up coming Conference in Paris is perfect timing for this discussion.
Yes, by all means vote in all polls. The final poll I added this morning to to gauge how many people are swayed if any.
"There is no reason the NOAA would refuse to give the raw data to Congress who is trying to get at the truth."
Correct. Which is why they pointed out to Mr. Smith that the *data is already publicly available*. And said that they stood ready to walk committee members through it.
But no, he wants years and years of emails, too.
NOAA have lost the confidence of some of us just like the IRS and the VA where bad things happen and no one is held accountable. It is Congress's job to over sight and get to the bottom of these issues. Don't you think someting is fishy here, when there is a global pause in rising termperatures as noted by
the lack of major storms in past 10 years and NOAA publish a paper claiming the opposite?
Here is link to story about manipulation of scientific data -
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/e … -ever.html
"Don't you think someting is fishy here, when there is a global pause in rising temperatures …"
Does this look like a 'pause' to you?
Very interesting data plot from NOAA.
How do explain during these last 10 years the lack of major storms if the warming is as plotted. Can NOAA explain their own discrepancy?
Doc, it really comes down to who are you going to trust with data? Who has an agenda? who profits? and who gets funded with research?
And what you see with your own eyes...
Why would you expect a straightforward link with 'major storms' and temperature, especially over a limited space (I presume you are thinking of the 'US landfalling hurricane' criterion you used earlier, though the term is ambiguous) and limited time?
And if you don't trust NOAA, compare their results to those of GISTEMP and HADCRUT, not to mention the Japanese Met Office. You'll find that these sources tell the same story.
http://woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/mean:1 … 1979/trend
Lastly, I'd note that your logic rather flies in the face of the story you began with: if NOAA's strategy was to basely kowtow to a government that holds their pursestrings, sacrificing every shred of scientific integrity, then when would they find themselves in a fight with the Chair of the S & T committee? Congress is the ultimate funding authority in the US system--and NASA has already suffered funding cuts because Congressional denialists don't like the fact that NASA data clearly shows that warming is a present reality.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/cap … w-protest/
It is not I who made the prediction and link between rising temperature and increase storm intensity and frequency. It is the very agencies that use that scare tactics on the people that climate change is real. When they don't seems to correlate, I and others have a duty to question their predictions and their competance.
You can show plots all day long but understand where they come up with the data is key. They are created from raw data with some adjustments which are suspect. That was the whole basis of the debunked hockey stick plot of Mann.
Fair enough, but you have to be careful with what the prediction was, and what the metric you use to evaluate it is.
Here's what AR5 has to say about tropical cyclones to mid-century:
Not exactly a ringing statement about future hurricane risk, is it? And even at that, you'll notice that the timescale is to mid-century. So you don't expect to see much of a trend over 10 years in any case.
By the way, it isn't true that the Mann 'hockey stick' graph has been 'debunked.' It was the criticisms of it that mostly got debunked:
That's from here:
I know a lot of folks are uncomfortable with Wikipedia, but it's a convenient summary, and the presence of footnotes lets you check the underlying citations to be sure they are not misrepresented.
Doc, Did you catch Obama's speech today at the Paris COP21 meeting? I was struck by the claim that even if we did everything they propose, it will only keep the rise of temperature to 2.7 degrees. This is with huge spending year after year... I have to wonder if the solution fits the problem?
http://dailycaller.com/2015/10/30/obama … f-warming/
Doc, I've been promoting our hubs on various news sites covering the Paris COP21 meetings. It has generated some traffic but very few polls results. Just wondering what's your experience so far. It seems less than 10% of people who visits actually votes. Very disappointing.
Jack, 2.7 is very definitely worth it, compared with 5 or so under business as usual. See my Hub series "Six Degrees" for lots of detail on that.
http://hubpages.com/literature/Mark-Lyn … ary-Review
Of course, 2 C would be safer, and 1.5 C safer still.
Quite a few analyses have been done of the cost-benefit ratio to mitigate or not to mitigate. Basically, it comes down mostly to the 'discount factor' chosen. That's a standard bit of economic modeling prestidigitation, meant to account for the fact that people value present goods (or harms) more highly than future ones. If you choose a high discount factor, that can make it seem that it's not worth mitigating; low ones end up with the opposite conclusion. (Cf., Britain's "Stern Report", the best known of the lot.) It's unclear to me, though, how the possibility of irreversible harms squares with that whole discount factor business at all. And if you don't trust climate models, where the underlying physics at least is well understood, then you probably would be less justified in trusting economic models.
For myself, looking at the magnitude of the possible harms, it seems the expenditures--large thug they are--are minor by comparison.
Here is NOAA prediction for sunspots -
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/content/solar- … d-may-2009
They were off by a lot.
What is the impact on global warming? When predicted sunspots are higher than reality by 20%.
Comparing with the observations graph--I posted that--it doesn't look to me that the predicted sunspots *were* 20%. It's hard to compare real data, which is noisy, to the idealized curve of the prediction. But the actual peak number was at 100, with some sort of smoothed curve (running mean, maybe?) peaking at 80. For 80, that's more like 11% lower.
But it doesn't make all that much difference to global warming anyway, because the total peak-to-trough change in insolation over a complete solar cycle is only about 1% anyway. So it doesn't have a huge effect when solar cycle 24 only makes it to 99.8%, as opposed to 100%, not when the minimum presumably stays close to 99%.
Really? If I compare the current observations, it looks to me as if the graph you provide is a pretty decent fit.
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/solar … rogression
Just as an update on the Lamar Smith witch hunt at NOAA, here's a response from several of the nation's foremost scientific societies:
Here is Lamar Smith's Op Ed - http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 … e-fiction/
I don't see any witch hunt going on.
He is asking for explanations from NOAA.
In light of past deceptions by Climate Scientists - Climategate...
I would want to see the internal emails of how the scientist use the data and any discussions internally to see what if any there were doubts and debates...
We are asked to trust them blindly and as I said in the past, our government agencies have not been the most truthful or reliable. Why would we take a chance on an important topic such as climate change. Why is the down side of more information? why is NOAA so defensive?
No, we aren't asked to 'trust them blindly.' The data that the Committee asked for is publicly available, and that fact was noted in the initial responses to Mr. Smith. (I say "Mr. Smith" because this is not an action of the whole Committee--so far, minority members on that Committee have not been included at all in the process.) The researchers also stated that they would be willing to meet with the Committee and discuss the findings and process, and did in fact conduct not just one, but two such briefings (June 16, 2015, and October 15, 2015)
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents … poena.html
As the official letter linked goes on to demonstrate in very concrete particular detail, the briefing was thorough, and addressed the questions on the table.
Basically, Mr. Smith didn't like the political implications of the paper, hence his repetitive demands for things he has already received and the subsequent expansion of his demands to anything else that might conceivably serve his political agenda.
I believe in Climate change , Spring , summer , autumn and winter !
There was a time when scientist's basic tool was the Dis- proving of fact and declarations , Now there are too many with an agenda in their studies .. "I believe in Climate warming so I'm going to prove it " instead of actual working from a dis-proving educational stance . Listened to a talk on a radio program about the gravitational pull of other planets affecting our climate , rather than the man made blame game .
Good point. I came across a book on scientific research of earth sciences published in the 1970's recently and just glancing through it, I noticed how different they were and their focus was on the actual science and deciphering the secrets of nature. That is how science should be conducted.
There really seems to be a hysteria on the left right now , from the administration on down , I mean I.S.I.L. and global warming , directly related , hmmmm....?
Yes, I was just about to pose the same question to Doc Snow. Do you think Climate Change is a cause of the rise of ISIS? and do you agree with Bernie Sanders that Climate Change is a bigger threat than ISIS?
No ! and No , I live in the state where Bernie Sanders has been a political entity for decades . He is a fool. The shift in the outlook that terror and climate change are related in a ruse ! For Obama , why not focus on ANYTHING but the mess his country is really in ? I do not believe that Obama actually has a clue to just how fragile the reality of todays America IS in . Crime , the economy , the deficit , immigration , riots , race relations , eco-terrorism , geo- terror , colonialism of nations on the rise .
And he's saying the weather is the cause of terrorism . I mean think about this .
There is good reason to think that the Middle Eastern drought in the years preceding the Syrian conflict did contribute to the unrest.
And it is a matter of record that climate modeling had for years been showing that under warming regimes, we could expect more frequent drought in that region. Just as one example, see Sheffield et al, 2008:
http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley … rought.pdf
Earlier this year, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science did formally link the drought and the conflict. It's been criticized, and may well not be the last word on the subject, but their estimate was droughts such as the one that was observed are about 3x more likely under the observed warming than in an 'unwarmed' world.
So, yes, I do think that there is a reasonable case to be made that climate change had a significant role in the current Syrian mess.
That's not to say that climate change is the sole cause of the rise of IS as a quasi-state in Iraq and Syria. Obviously, political events can't be uniquely determined by environmental factors; human choices will always be in the picture.
But I've noticed that there is a tendency for a lot of folks to think that every historical event must be the result of one, and only one, unique cause. But Tolstoy knew better:
Put simply: I think that climate change was one of many causes contributing to the rise of IS in Iraq and Syria, and that if we permit climate change to continue unchecked we will see more such instances in the future.
doc, I see your point of view and I concede there are multiple causes of many events. However, bring climate change into this argument is a diversion. The middle east have been in turmoil for over 2000 years. It is ludacrous to believe climate has any influence on radical terrorism based on religious extremism. The question one must ask is why do these politicians bring them up in the first place? Can't they argue the merit of climate change on face value?
A long answer, and I didn't get to the second question, which was "...do you agree with Bernie Sanders that Climate Change is a bigger threat than ISIS?"
Yes, I do. IS is horrific, and should be fought with much greater vigor, IMHO.
However, it is a political phenomenon, and like all such, its scope is necessarily limited in time and space. I don't think that there is the slightest possibility that IS can overthrow any Western government, or indeed that of any reasonably developed nation. I suspect that it has already reached its peak territorial extent in Syria and Iraq, and that it will continue to lose a slow, back-and-forth struggle until it is reduced to just another vicious terror group. In twenty or thirty years, there is a good chance it will be dead, and even to a considerable degree forgotten. Hundreds of thousands will have died due to the war (not just IS), and millions of lives will have been redirected, n many cases for the worse--and I don't mean 'redirected' as a euphemism to cover up the numerous cases in which lives are more or less wrecked, only an inclusive term recognizing that many refugees will also eventually make satisfactory new lives for themselves in their new homelands.
On the other hand, climate change will keep on killing for centuries. Guesstimating the cost so far is really difficult and uncertain because you can't know whether a particular disaster should 'count'--maybe it would have happened anyway? So there is a lot of uncertainty. My own guesstimate starts with events that have either been formally attributed (in a probabilistic way) to climate change--an example is the 2003 European heatwave--or which have a demonstrable link to physical processes consistent with a climate influence--examples include Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, both of which were observed to rapidly intensify over unusually warm waters. Add up the leading half dozen or so such incidents, and you get over 100,000 premature deaths and over $100 billion US in damages. Well over, actually.
So that's a rough measure of what you get with 0.7 C warming or so. With 2 C warming, it will be a lot worse, and with 5 C, we can expect it to be catastrophic. And it will keep on being catastrophic for millennia. So, as I see it, the human cost for climate change is vastly greater than the cost for IS.
And there's another aspect as well. War is bad for the environment, without question, and in multiple ways. But the impacts are much less systematic than is the case for climate change: large scale mechanized war may affect hundreds of square miles, and that's impressive. But climate change affects the whole planet. Consider, for instance, coral: the Great Barrier Reef has seen coral cover decline by half in 27 years. About 10% of that loss is attributed to climate change--again, that's with just 0.7 C warming. If warming continues, efforts to address the starfish plague by cutting agricultural runoff which over-fertilizes algae will be rather beside the point. (The crown-of-thorns starfish has done about 42% of the damage observed, with the rest attributed to tropical cyclones.)
It sounds fanciful, but we could lose essentially all of the world's coral. According to Elizabeht Kolbert, in her Pulitzer-winning book "The Sixth Extinction", in three of the previous 'Big Five' extinctions, reef-building organisms were pretty much wiped out, and 'reef extinctions' lasting many millions of years ensued, until new reef-building organisms could evolve.
If the coral were to go, then so would reef-living specialist species--just as we may lose species uniquely adapted to the Arctic sea ice. But such risks wouldn't be limited to just the polar or just the tropical regions; species would be lost all around the world, as rapid adaptation to warming reshuffled ecosystems everywhere.
Surviving humans would have to live in a world that was biologically impoverished--and in human terms, that would essentially be 'forever impoverished', as the time for biodiversity to recover would be much greater than the lifetime of the human species to date. Chances are that by the time biodiversity could recover, we ourselves will be either extinct or very significantly changed.
I don't think IS can remotely approach that kind of impact.
I disagree with your conclusion. The deaths due to climate and natural events are plentiful in recent years and down through history. At least in recent years, we have technologies that can warn of impending disasters such as Katrina so that less people would be affected. All you need is to go back to Galveston Tx and see the devastation a natural event can do - without human cause.
ISIS however is our own doing. We as the world super power can stop it anytime but Obama chose not to. He has allow ISIS to grow and cause more harm around the world and it will grow like a cancer if not stopped. The beheadings and Christians and Moslems refugees are Manmade and are a bigger threat than climate change. Even if you convince me that climate change is real, we have the time and means to mitigate it's damage. In 2015, we need to wipe out ISIS, we can look at ways to mitigate climate change...
But Jack, although you say that 'weather disasters have always happened'--certainly true, and no more than I said myself--you haven't actually said one thing to support the contention that ISIS is a worse danger. No comparative estimates of danger. Nothing addressing the point about time scales.
I've provided some very specific reasons why I think that climate change is a much, much greater danger than IS. Or Hitler, or Stalin, or Mao.
I wish you would address the question seriously, as I would like to know why some folks argue, as you do, that IS is a greater threat than climate change. There are two main factors, I think, at play: 1) magnitude of the threat, if realized, and 2) likelihood of the threat to materialize.
So, in the spirit of dialogue we're trying to maintain here, let me ask some questions:
1) On a 100-point scale upon which total extinction of the biosphere (say, by supermassive asteroid strike) is 100, what point value would you assign to worst case harm caused by IS? (Note that this is purely *magnitude*--keep the probability of the risk separate for now.)
2) On the same scale, what value do you think *I* would place on that case, based on everything I've written here?
3) On the same scale, what value would you place worst-case climate change threat?
4) On the same scale, what value do you think *I* would place on that case, based on everything I've written here?
5) Referring to your answer to question 3, what probability would you assign to your worst-case climate threat being realized?
6) Referring similarly to the question 4 answer, what probability would you assign?
Doc, I don't put both problems on the same plain but I will play your hypothetical assessment -
The difference is ISIS can be dealt with now by wiped out where as climate change if there is a fix will take decades...
The other thing to consider is we humans are ingenious when it come to dealing with problems. If and when climate change becomes a known problem that we can affect, I have confidence we will come up with some mitigating solutions.
I am a skeptic and some problems we have no control over and climate change is one of them (at this moment).
I was wondering if the biggest difference would be probability of harm. And that is significantly different in #5 & #6, with your estimate that the worst-case scenario might be realized only 1 time in 4, and 'my' estimate plumping for 1 in 20. (Although, given the magnitude of the risk, even 1 chance in 4 seems like a gamble a lot of us would refuse, given the option.)
I will also admit that I'm surprised that your estimate of worst-case climate change is as high as 40% of the 'wipe-out' scenario I posited. I myself would probably not go as high as 90%, because I think that there is virtually no chance that human-caused climate change will wipe out the biosphere. (There's little more chance, IMO, that it will wipe out mammals, and (I think) a pretty small chance that it could wipe out humans as a species. There's a much higher chance that it could wipe out what we know as a technologically-advanced society.)
My best guess at a worst case is that we would see, as has been the case with past extinction events, serious biological impoverishment over several million years, coupled with the more parochial harm of human losses on a large scale (material, lives, potential, and culture.) The number I put on that in my head seems most sensitive to the time scale I imagine it playing out: if I only think of human time scales, then a number like 90% doesn't seem so out of line. But if I think of geological time scales, then your 40% seems pretty reasonable. I suppose it basically comes down to how you value human civilization and life, with respect to how you value biological life in general.
Considering your ratings and your comments together, it seems that you feel that climate change could be worse than IS if the relative worst cases were realized, but that perhaps we have time to deal with climate change. Is that right, or am I missing something? Or maybe there is more you wanted to add about that?
(As you already know, I don't agree about the 'time to deal with it' point, but let's lay that disagreement aside for the moment.)
In general, your assessment of my position is correct. I am a skeptic at the moment but can be convinced if the evidence becomes irrefutable. However, I don't appreciate "experts" who use scare tactics and their "good intentions" to influence public policy and opinion. If they are honest, and mistakes are made, and they try to address them, that is an acceptable position. It seems to me, some of the climate change band wagon are overly promoting the effects in effort to gain attention. The earth is huge. Any changes will take years and decades to make a difference. We have time to deal with it. ISIS on the other hand can be dealt with now. I hope this answer your question. I am glad we are having this discussion. Even if you are not swayed by my arguments, I hope you will start to ask the right questions when confronted with extreme claims.
I think that all of us should question--true skepticism is a good thing. I certainly try to live by that, which is why I looked at all of those predictions in such detail. It wasn't easy or quick, but I think was worth doing.
I know that a lot of folks could (and actually, many *have*) say with you that "I don't appreciate "experts" who use scare tactics." I'd agree that some folks have done that, some probably intentionally. Others simply find their findings pretty alarming. Still others--and, contrary to a common impression among some, this includes the IPCC*--have cultivated a very intentional conservatism in order to make sure that what they say is well-supported.
*"Himalayagate" is an exception, but an accidental one, apparently. The attitude of conservativism was strongly inculcated in the scientific volunteer corps by Bert Bolin, a scientific great who was the first chairman of the IPCC:
So, I would advocate to anyone interested in the topic not to judge an entire field by the real or perceived 'over-reach' of some 'alarmists,' and not to assume up front that just because a particular claim is large or alarming or unexpected that it 'must be' over-hyped. It may be, but a true skeptic looks into such claims before drawing a conclusion.
You also say:
That's true, but don't forget that we have been releasing CO2 into the atmosphere in quantity for nearly two centuries now, and even the post-WW II period of accelerating industrial activity is now 70 years old. So we have clearly had the 'years and decades' to make a difference already!
And that's not mere rhetoric. Atmospheric CO2 has been measured for a long time now, and we know to a near-certainty that it is our emissions that have raised those levels over 40%.
http://hubpages.com/politics/How-Do-We- … Rising-CO2
Doc, yes I know rise in co2 is our doing but the overall effects are not so simple. Case in point, some natural occurance such as volcanic erruptions also put tremendous gases into atmosphere and have affected world weather patterns. Also, the sun is amajor factor. How can it not be? It is the source of all life and energy in our solar system. Climate scientist don't have a good understanding of that in my humble opinion. Hence, when their predictive model which don't account for these other factors, don't match reality, they need to go back and see what is going on. Co2 and global warming cannot be a religion. Blindly followed regardless of evidence.
Jack, solar influences have been considered all along in looking at the puzzle of climate. As you ask, how could it not be? So it's just not accurate to think that it hasn't. For example, if you look at the Summary from the latest assessment report, you will find a figure showing known climate forcings, and you will find a value given for solar radiation changes.
And it's just not accurate to claim that the mainstream science is a 'religion.' One look at the very extensive scholarship shows that. (For example, google up the latest Assessment Report and take a look at the chapter bibliography--there will typically be several hundred citations, each of a full peer-reviewed study. That ain't 'religion.')
Just as a hypothetical example: If climate scientist will tell me that recent pause in global warming is due to the effect of an inactive sun (which is the reality as reported by following)
and that they will go back and improve their models to account for this, then I would be more inclined to believe their other claims...
Instead the IPCC doubles down on their predictions and claim the future effects will be worst than they originally thought? We better do something fast or else...and come up with all kinds of excuses that the heat is hiding in the ocean...or some other nonsense...
I hope you see my point on this. I can be swayed if given a logical explanation.
List of 52 reasons given for the pause from WUWT -
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/09/11/l … -up-to-52/
Doc, I just thought of an analogy of where I view the current climate change issue. It's not a perfect fit but may help you understand.
Suppose the Titanic hits an iceberg and the ship is in distress.
There are 4 scenarios,
1. It is real bad and all hands on deck and abandon ship is ordered.
2. It is leaking but Captain is assessing the damage to see what to do next.
3. It is a small leak and can wait till ship return to port for repair.
4. No time to do anything, everyone for himself, it's in God's hand.
Where do you see we are? (Titanic being mother earth)
I am in stage 2. I want to see what the assessment is before acting. From where I sit, we have been talking about global warming since the late 1980's. The ship have not sunk in 30 years. I want to make sure our response is appropriate.
Doc, another thing I thought of as a parallel. Do you remember Y2K? Many experts was warning about pending disaster...
It turned out to be a bust.
The difference between Y2K and climate change is that Y2K had an end date. The year 2000 happened and all is well.
Jack, I'm working for the climate crisis to be a good parallel to the Y2K thing--though on a much longer time scale.
Here's what britannica has to say about it:
So there wasn't a disaster because people looked at what evidence said about a pending risk and made rational (albeit expensive) choices to remediate the issue.
That's what I'm advocating for in the climate field. I fear that your stance on climate would be analogous to someone saying, "Well, let's wait and see if anything fails on New Year's Day. It would be expensive to fix and maybe there's not a real problem. There's a risk that we could waste some money for nothing."
I hope you will be honest in your comparison of Y2K to Climate Change. We all lived thru 2000, and the facts are well documented.
I hope you're not suggesting that Britannica is dishonest about Y2K!
I worked in the computer industry for 28 years. I lived thru Y2K as many others. I don't need Britannica to tell me what happened.
By the way, I came across this article you might find interesting.
http://fabiusmaximus.com/2015/12/04/5-s … ign-91571/
Doc, here is another article that explains chaos and how it leads to inaccuracies in models. It contains some math equations but don't let that scare you. The concept is sound.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/05/a … er-models/
So what was your experience around Y2K? Inquiring minds want to know!
As to Fabius Maximus, he seems to think he has 'won.' I think he's delusional about that, frankly. Public awareness and concern around climate change continues to grow, national (and sub-national) policies to address it continue to proliferate around the world, and the question in Paris isn't so much whether there will be an agreement, as how much of an 'ambition gap' will be left.
We'll be arguing over climate policy for a long time to come--but more and more, in my opinion, it will be about policy, and not about the existence of the problem. And that's as it should be.
When Fabius notices, perhaps he'll be angry…
Doc - I wasn't going to address it in detail but since you asked.
Some Parallels between Y2K and Climate Change:
1. Both have extreme predictions of disaster that failed to materialize.
2. Both have funding as a primary driver. Y2K was used by some “experts” to make money. Climate change studies was created by funding grants that was funneling resources to study climate change. (conflict of interest)
3. Government involvements. Both had special government commissions created to address these issues which led to conferences, meetings, policies statements and bureaucracy…
4. Both allow other issues to embellish their causes –
Y2K was heightened by the “end time” predictions of a world crisis.
Climate Change was co opted by the environmentalist to tie it to green policies.
5. Sold as insurance policy – Both use the argument that it is better safe than sorry regardless of the “facts” regarding the extend of possible damage. That is - do the cost/benefit analysis justify the proposed actions?
1. Time scale – Y2K is <5 years in the making (1994-2000), Climate change is on-going with >50 years horizon (1990-2040 and beyond...)
2. Y2K wasted some money by companies and government and generated some temporary jobs… Climate Change requires a huge transfer of wealth from some nations to 3rd world countries run by dictators and pushed re-newable energy ahead of prime time and created very few jobs.
Hindsight is 20/20.
We have experienced the Y2K hype and lived to tell about it.
Climate change is still a work in progress…
My own experience with Y2K –
I was working at IBM Research in the 1990’s till 2002.
Y2K was identified as a problem with many companies especially the financial industries because the problem with keeping good time stamps relates to how files were organized and databases that track time related items such as mortgages and loans…
It was never taken more seriously than that. The hype that it would crash large computer networks was never a possibility.
However, as a computer company, as with many other computer consultants at the time, it was seen as a good money maker. Convincing all companies to upgrade their IT system will mean income to consulting companies and hardware manufactures.
Who in their right mind would be against it?
It was a good insurance policy and a safe bet.
It was seen as a push to refurbish old computer systems and softwares which the industry was doing anyway – just speeding up the timeline by a few years.
Link to related article in Computerworld –
http://www.computerworld.com/article/25 … crazy.html
1) An update on the Lamar Smith affair (which I continue to regard as a politically motivated witchhunt):
"About 600 scientists and engineers, including former employees of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have signed on to letters urging the head of that agency, Kathryn Sullivan, to push back against political interference in science.
For months, Sullivan has been tangling with U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas and chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, as he investigates a climate change study done by NOAA scientists."
http://www.npr.org/2015/12/07/458476435 … te-science
So there is reaction from the research community; and the story is starting to creep into mainstream media, which has mostly ignored it so far, at least outside of Texas.
2) You had written "...pushed re-newable energy ahead of prime time and created very few jobs. "
I just have to rebut that last bit: the job creation has been significant:
"5.7 million people employed in the renewable industry worldwide in 2012"
But by 2 years later, that number had reached 7.2 million:
http://www.theclimategroup.org/what-we- … na-report/
Here is article on actual green jobs created by industry -
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/art … mbers.html
You need to account for the lost jobs in coal industry that have been impacted.
You also need to account for jobs that were due to government subsidies that will be going away in 2016...
Thanks for that link. It seems broadly consistent with the IRENA information I posted. I think you'd agree that over 7 million jobs is not 'very few.'
I'd quibble with you about lost coal jobs; that isn't so much due to the rise of renewables as to the regulation of coal in general; and I suspect that in fact, more coal jobs have been lost to natural gas than to renewables. So I don't think that you necessarily have to net out renewable jobs versus lost coal jobs. (Especially when the statement you are responding to didn't say anything about any category other than renewables.)
And I'll go out on a limb and predict flatly that the global figure of 7 plus million renewable jobs will not fall in 2017, absent another quasi-global recession. I base that on several considerations:
1) ITC expiration only basically affects residential solar in the US. Therefore, international jobs won't be affected, wind jobs won't be affected, and utility-scale solar won't be affected. The proportion of renewable energy jobs in the US that *are* affected will amount to something under 30% of the total, and most of them will not be lost.
2) By then we'll have 2 more years of expansion in the books, so the baseline will be much higher than 7 million anyway. You'll note the expansion from 2012 to 2014, mentioned above, was something like 1.5 million jobs. So it would not be surprising to go into 2017 with close to 9 million jobs, globally, or even higher. Given that, I doubt that even US employment in renewable energy will fall in absolute terms in 2017, compared with the 2014 number--though you'd have to think that if the ITC does sunset as scheduled that it would restrain jobs growth in renewables generally, and particularly so in residential solar.
3) It's quite conceivable that the ITC could be renewed, or other policy initiatives undertaken that could affect US renewables jobs in 2017. The lobbyists are working hard on that… on both sides. Who knows how the politics will look a year hence?
Doc, what you are missing is that renewable energy has only a segment of the energy power industry and it will never fully replace fossil fuel. It is not a total one forone replacement. That is why Germany and Autealia and others have begun to realize. Having fully bought into the green energy initiative, they are finding the rewnewable energy are more expensive and less reliable. They still need traditional power plants to handle the cases when sun is cloudy and wind is too low or too high... That defeats the whole argument for replacing these old reliable cheap energy sources.
I'm not missing that, we just hadn't got to that part of the discussion yet!
This isn't a black/white area. Yes, intermittency poses issues which must be addressed. But nobody--or hardly anybody, anyway--initially was proposing complete replacement of all traditional fuel sources with renewables. The idea was a much broader mix of low-carbon energy sources, including nuclear.
In fact, it seemed to be a pretty common view that it would not be possible to have more than 10% penetration of the grid by renewables, because grid stability would be adversely affected by the intermittency. But that restriction has been rapidly exceeded, for instance in Texas. That's an interesting case because the ERCOT grid is pretty much one big energy island; there's little interconnection with other US grids. Yet Texas did 10.6% wind in 2014, and is still adding wind capacity:
Denmark, of course is hitting much higher percentages, but does a lot of trading with Norway and Germany, so that's a bit different. Still, Denmark has in fact used its wind capacity to decrease coal use and carbon emissions. Germany will, too, once they've gotten past the issues arising from simultaneously going to renewables AND retiring all their nuclear power. (That was a bit foolhardy if you ask me, but their grid reliability has actually gone up, so on the technical front they are managing, it seems.)
So far, I've only been talking about electricity. It's the biggest emitter, so it's the obvious target to tackle first. But other sectors have decarbonizing solutions in the wings, too. It's pretty clear that battery electric cars, with or without range extender small engines, are going to be a growth area, especially once gas prices go up again, which they will at some point. (The Saudis can't move petroleum as 'loss leader' forever, and American drilling capacity is finally starting to drop.) Industrial machinery--lifts and short-haul trucks--are selling in battery and even hydrogen versions now, and can scale up. There are even heavy trucks in battery versions, though range is going to be a big problem for quite some time. We may need to go to bio- or sun-fuels for that application, and also for most flight. (Aerobus has a battery electric light plane, but it's only good for short range applications.)
So--bottom line, challenges galore, but also promising solutions. Enough to say that we can definitely drive petroleum demand way, way down.
I don't think we're in any of those states. The analogy IMO would be that the Captain has reports of very serious underwater damage and is attempting to rally work parties to address the damage and save the ship, but is encountering problems with discipline among the crew. Some are obeying orders, some are rushing for lifeboats, but all too many are insisting that it's just a drill and they don't have to get out of their nice warm bunks!
What do you think we put an end to this debate after the COP21 meeting?
I propose a summary of results taking into account all the discussions and the result of the 3 polls. As much as I enjoy this debate with you, I think we have pretty much touched on most subject matter.
How about 12/21 as the end date? It is the start of Winter.
Let me know if you agree. Take care and enjoy the Holidays. Season's Greetings and Merry Christmas.
Yes, we can't go on forever.
Well, maybe we could, but that wouldn't necessarily make it a good idea. ;-)
Sure, 12/21 sounds fine to me. And best Christmas and holiday wishes to you, too.
Sounds good. I'll work on a summary hub and I'm sure we will revisit this topic over the next few years. It will get resolved. I'm an optimist.
Me, too. Whatever agreement comes out of Paris will give us a bit to talk about, and it won't be the end of the road, either, since there's no chance that the agreement will be adequate to the need. (Unless of course the whole thing is a big mistake, but I think the chance of that is vanishingly small--though it'd be a relief forgetting all about it and just concentrating on my music.)
So there will be twists and turns.
I don't know if I'll do a summary Hub or not--maybe just an update to the one I wrote.
Doc, did you catch what John Kerry said lately?
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government … pointless/
Well, duh! Of course no single country or group of countries can 'fix' this. Anybody who can do basic arithmetic could have figured that out for themselves: the biggest emitter is China--less than 30% of the global total--the second-biggest is the US--under 20%--and no other single nation accounts for even 10%. So to get emissions to close to zero, which is what is eventually necessary, you have to have basically everyone on board.
That's the point. And that's why 196 nations are in Paris, negotiating their guts out for 3 mostly sleepless days.
And we now have a draft agreement! I 'live-Hubbed' it, here:
http://hubpages.com/politics/Flame-In-D … ris-Accord
http://www.bbc.com/news/live/science-en … t-34922775
Doc, now that cop21 have an agreement, are you satisfied with the outcome? Do you have confidence that they will follow thru with their commitments?
I haven't seen the text yet, and based on past experiences, I'm frankly dubious of my ability fully to grasp the implications of the formal legal language. So I'll be looking at the analysis closely.
Some first impressions:
*I like the formulation that the official target remains 2 C, but there is ambition to try to hold warming to 1.5 C. It's not fully logical: hitting a 2 C target will be very tough, and 1.5 much more so. Yet 1.5 would be much safer, and a lack of ambition has been a serious problem for the process all along. It's been generally agreed that the INDCs--the national contributions countries have put forward--are enough to limit warming to perhaps 3 C or so.
*I like that the agreement is, in some sense at least, considered to be legally binding. That's a big issue, due to the importance of the US to the deal, and the hostility of Congress (as presently constituted.) It'll be interesting to see how that works in the agreement. But this Accord shouldn't just be a "Pirate's Code"--that is, to quote from the movie, "More of a guideline, really."
*I like the fact that there is a five-year evaluation cycle. It makes sense to review and renew the agreement as facts 'in the air' change and technology develops. And given the 'ambition gap,' we will need to do more than has been agreed at the outset.
*I hope that the 'differentiation' between developing and developed nations doesn't render the document effectively toothless, or (even worse) scupper adoption. The historic inequity among nations certainly calls for some differentiation as a matter of basic fairness, on the one hand, but on the other, the atmosphere doesn't care whether carbon is American or Chinese.
*I hope that nations will follow through on their commitments. As a Canadian, I have to say that we signally failed to follow through on ours under the Kyoto Accord, and so there is a huge precedent for failing to follow through. But most nations did better, and many did meet their Kyoto obligations (though Russia only did so through the inelegant process of economic collapse, when the Soviet Union went under.) And I think the sense of urgency is much stronger now: many more countries are seeing impacts than twenty years ago.
But of course, there are many other urgent problems--we've talked about terrorism, of course, as one example--and other priorities that will have to be addressed. So it would be unrealistic to expect perfect compliance. My biggest fear is the US: our legislature--I say 'ours' despite my Canadian roots, since I have lived in the US for 26 years now--is controlled by folks who are not just skeptical, but who are wedded to outright denial. They could make a lot of mischief for the entire world.
I will withhold my judgement of the accord until I had a chance to read it. I do like the 5 year review just to see if things are progressing as they claim.
I am working on a results hub of our debate and will be publishing it after 12/21. Cheers.
An interesting development in the light of the discussion above--Congress may be on the verge of extending renewable energy credits for several more years:
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/ … investment
Very interesting. Extending the tax credit to 2020 is ok by me. I just hope people will realize the long term implication of some of these alternative energy. Ultimately, they will succeed or fail on its own merit. Subsidies can only carry them so far.
Doc, have you noticed the drop in gas and oil prices? In the NY area, we are seeing gas at $2 a gallon. This is great for consumers. Not so good for electric cars or hybrids.
Of course. I paid $1.80.9 last night when I filled up.
It's a global phenomenon, mostly due to the Saudis trying to drive frackers and other providers of unconventional oil out of the market. And yes, it does suppress concern about mileage somewhat. But it's not going to last forever, and electrics and hybrids are dinged, not demolished, thereby, as you can see from the sales figures listed here:
By the way, there's a good chance that the next car we buy will be some sort of plug-in. Could be fall 2017, possibly, or a bit later. Though you never know with vehicles, and our current 2 are pretty darn long in the tooth--there's nothing sexier in a car, if you ask me, than being completely paid for and largely depreciated already.
My only experience is via my neice in LA and she has a tesla and they are disappointed in it after 2 years. They are afraid to go on long distance trips and the 90k price tag they will never recoup in gas savings.
Sorry they didn't like their choice. As you may have gathered, I wouldn't be buying a $90K car even if I had the $90K on hand in cash. ;-)
What other electric cars are economically feasible and does the job of getting from point A to point B?
Doc, this article does not bode well for electric cars-
http://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecroth … ojections/
I don't agree. The *headline* may not 'bode well,' but the story really doesn't give much reason to think that electrics are in trouble. You and I already talked about the impact of very low gas prices. And the fact that there are more competitors than GM expected surely isn't a bad thing for the industry or the consumer.
I think the link I posted has a pretty complete list of models, so you could check that out if you are interested in completeness.
The venerable Prius now has a plug-in version, and continues to be at the head of the pack. We know a number of folks who are very happy with theirs (including one couple with his 'n hers Prii).
Of pure electrics, the Nissan Leaf is probably at the head of the pack. Its range is limited, but it's favored by (relatively) a lot of commuters here in the Atlanta area. Not only is it very, very cheap to operate, Leaf drivers get to use the pay-to-play lanes for free.
Chev's Bolt and Volt have their fans and sell in considerable numbers, and BMW's offering (i3, is it?) seems to be well-regarded albeit pricey. (Hey, it's a Bimmer.)
We're going to need something with more range than most pure electrics, as we'll be living in the country, and as noted above, price is a big consideration for us. But the electrics are getting there.
Doc, Yes, all that may be true but they are in no way close to their original projected goals - remember Obama wanted 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesand … es_rpt.pdf
It is comparable to the failed climate projections...in my mind. I am working on the status hub will publish shortly.
How is an aspiration blocked by an uncooperative Congress in any way comparable to a 'failed climate projection'?
And remember, I've shown pretty well that a great many projections are not 'failed.'
Failed in the since that they over project in whatever they are trying to achieve instead of dealing with reality. In the electric car case, just because the President of the US declare he wants 1 million EV on the road does not make it happen...as powerful as he is. The reality and economics prevents it.
In the case of climate change, just because some scientists and environmentalist believe in their hearts and hearts that we humans are destroying our habitat, (exaggerate the effects) does not make it so. Science has its own reality.
We seem to be back at the start here. My Hub demonstrated that while not all projections have materialized, many have, or are visibly in the process of doing so. The 'belief' that we are destroying our habitat is founded on evidence of many specific harms.
Here's a quick example, a graphic summarizing some of the observations from the Working Group II report within AR5:
https://www.ipcc.ch/report/graphics/ind … &f=SPM
Naturally, you would refer back to the report for more specifics if desired.
By coincidence, this landed in my mailbox at the same time as the notification of your comment:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/haitian … lture.html
Doc, I just published my results hub -
http://hubpages.com/politics/Climate-Ch … ge-Results
Let me know if you have any additional input.
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