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12/15/2015

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Alexander Ac

Thanks Dave!

Well, reading over-excited reactions after Paris I almost feel I wake up and "MY" rented house is

*retro-fitted with solar panels several times over
*super-insulated so passive house looks like total waste of energy
*my father's car had miraculously switched to Tesla driver-less car fuelled from ma solar panels
*I turned to vegetarian
*Carbon emission in the Czech Republic turned to negative... etc.

So at least MY day is not DAMNED! :-8

best,

Alex

The Wet One

Let's just get past the hysterics and start discussing how geo-engineering is going to work. We have some years left to delve into that profitably and we have some lead time. All is lost on the carbon front already so we might as well get to the next stage of the game.

After all, climate change can still, maybe, be mitigated by technological means. I admit, it's quite possibly that geo-engineering fails. Furthermore I admit that doing more of the same (techno fixes to human stupidity) probably isn't the wisest course of action. But if the alternative is that the world burns, well, let's try to be productive and throw that Hail Mary pass as well as we possibly can.

Or should I just sit back and watch it all burn? It's a tempting alternative, I have to admit, but I'm trying to be positive, helpful and productive as well as serious. As such, it seems that we really ought to simply get on with the geo-engineering discussion. Unless someone has some better ideas to pursue. Voluntary mass death by about 1/2 - 3/4 of the human population seems to be beyond reason, though it would work. We could do it involuntarily too, we have the nukes after all, but I suspect we're trying to be ethical in our activities. That narrows the field of options considerably.

So geo-engineering, solar shades, massive injection of sulfur dioxide, putting more dust in the air? What do you propose as the best proposal going forward? Maybe we could set off volcanoes annually. They seem to do a good job at cooling the planet.

What's your geo-engineering proposal? The time to brainstorm is now.

David Laskaris

@ The Wet One: You must be new here.

Alexander Ac

Damned day in UK:

The UK is going into reverse on renewable energy while pressing the accelerator on fracking, according to former Environment Agency chairman Lord Chris Smith.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/15/uk-is-going-into-reverse-on-clean-energy-says-former-environment-agency-head

UK is as green as Bonobos are agressive. :-/

Alex

Alexander Ac

Hi all,

check also great presentation of Glen Peters on why 2C is advanced Flarlanders dream:

http://www.cicero.uio.no/en/posts/news/a-journey-from-5c-to-2c

Alex

Paul

The Wet One, if only it was as simple as solving the 'climate problem'.

Roy Ramage

From Paris "The overall agreement is legally binding, but some elements – including the pledges to curb emissions by individual countries and the climate finance elements – are not." Flatland lives.

The Wet One

I am new. Only started commenting about 2 weeks ago.

I realize that the problem (namely humans) extends far beyond merely climate change. Still, let us not simply give in to the futility of it all, even though it is futile. As the poem says:

"Do not go gentle into that good night."

Fight on! No matter how ridiculous or futile the cause. Or maybe, I should just chill, sit back and enjoy the descent into ecological collapse.

Explain what I'm missing here if you don't mind. I haven't read all the archives yet (though I'm working on it). I know that environmentally things are probably in terminal decline, but I'm not sure that's the point.

Anyways...

david higham

The Wet One,
Remember that there are two major problems resulting from
the release of CO2 from fossil fuel burning. The Climate Disruption
Problem and the Ocean Acidification problem.A good book to read which
will make you realize the enormity of each is 'Earthmasters' by Clive
Hamilton.

Jim

@The Wet One: there is plenty of activism in the world. If that's your place, then that's good. Get to it.

A lot of us here are of a different sort, though. We tend to view activism with suspicion, as we tend to view the human animal with deep-rooted skepticism. Why that is is covered very well in this site. Activism falls prey to the same reasons for that skepticism, although I personally have respect for those who fight the good fight.

That said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that's what I think about geo-engineering. The idea that we should fight unintended consequences with global experiments that will be highly likely to lead to other unintended consequences is deeply foolish to me. Because it's so foolish, because I think we'll proceed along the heavy warming path with carbon emissions, and because I'm deeply skeptical of humans, I think we're highly likely to attempt geo-engineering at some point, and it won't require me to advocate for it at all.

I don't enjoy watching all this in the slightest.

Read Dave's stuff. Read other stuff. Think about these issues on your own. You'll find your place!

Mike

Quick question - Why is it that in every one of these pointless, dumbass conferences, no one ever addresses the load side of these energy systems? All they ever focus on is generating equivalent energy as is currently used, not on reducing the loads.

One example: If those infernal interstate billboards with their 20kw lights were required to be turned off at night when no one is looking at them, how much would that one change alone contribute to reducing energy consumption nationally? Or,if the Annointed Ones of Capitalism simply MUST have their 3am advertising for a store that is not open, can they at least use LED's?

Mike Roberts

The Wet One, read the Flatland essays here to begin to understand human nature. In 25 years of pretending to care, nothing has been done to address the problem and greenhouse gases have continued to increase in the air, oceans have continued to acidify. So, given that we've talked about and studied the issue for decades but not actually done anything, why do you think we'll suddenly really be concerned and get to work on geoengineering? It ain't gonna happen. It's a bit like the "theoretically possible" phrase Dave mentioned. It's only theretically possible in another reality and so does not apply here.

Keith Elder

Dave,

I really enjoy your writing. Off topic, you might like this video of Dennis Miller interviewing George Carlin for 10 min in 1997. Can't believe it has only ~5500 views.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQH_x6_vsPU

Keith

Jeff

And every God-Damned Day places like Miami Beach flood worse and worse, but I'm sure they'll think of something...

For example. the mayor is "installing enormous underground pumps that will suck water off the streets and dump it into Biscayne Bay," saying "We can’t let investor confidence, resident confidence, confidence in our economy start to fall away... I believe in human innovation. If, thirty or forty years ago, I’d told you that you were going to be able to communicate with your friends around the world by looking at your watch or with an iPad or an iPhone, you would think I was out of my mind. We’re going to have innovative solutions to fight back against sea-level rise that we cannot even imagine today."

Well, heaven forbid investors lose confidence! And we have iPhones!

Some real Flatland gold in here-- from Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/12/21/the-siege-of-miami

Paul

Also, Wet One, imagine if we did sort out the climate and found a way of transitioning to cheap and abundant energy that didn't cost the Earth and perhaps solved global poverty while we were at it (why not?).
Imagine what we'd do to the rest of the biosphere then? With virtually no constraints.

Charles

It's human nature to procrastinate and only deal with clear, immediate threats. Geoengineering will be attempted, but the Climate threat is not immediate enough, in most people's view.

The Wet One

As for the acidifying oceans (an excellent point that I overlooked. I am aware of the issue) this too can be geo-engineered.

The proper application of a mountain of baking soda ought to do the trick.

I am joking of course.

The post of Jim's states the problem succinctly.

"The idea that we should fight unintended consequences with global experiments that will be highly likely to lead to other unintended consequences is deeply foolish to me."

Indeed.

As for finding my place, I know that place already. I'm simply awaiting TEOTWAWKI. It may not arrive in my life, but probably in the life of my as of yet non-existent children. I lead a life of quiet despair, knowing I'm surrounded by an ocean of humanity that will ravage the world as I knew it, as I have done in my life and my children will do in theirs.

Ah well. It is what it is. Meanwhile, I watch, observe and consider. Action of any sort, on my part, appears utterly futile and pointless. So I enjoy what I can, endure what I must and carry on until I die. What else is there to do?

DoomedfromtheUK

@Alexander re: "*my father's car had miraculously switched to Tesla driver-less car fuelled from ma solar panels"

with the huge amount of energy involved in creating a Tesla - reflected in the price you don't think you could be possibly fooling yourself. If you want to be green you should limit yourself to a bicycle!

colinc

Mike, on 12/15/2015 at 08:44 PM, writes...

"Quick question - Why is it that in every one of these pointless, dumbass conferences, no one ever addresses the load side of these energy systems? ..."

Excellent question and an initial, perhaps superficial response is, "Because there's multiple fortunes to be made with all them electron-thingies!" :) Nonetheless, this aspect of the global dilemma is, as you note, almost never mentioned by the VSP and it does lead one to wonder "Why?". If one really thinks about it, this goes way beyond "those infernal interstate billboards." (BTW, I wholeheartedly concur with your observation.) For example, why does a refrigerator "require" 110/120VAC just to intermittently pump a couple pints of coolant around a small, closed-loop system? Also, with better insulation and design the frequency of pump-runs could also be reduced. Furthermore, consider that a house is an utterly egregious waste of energy by design AND by behavior. I know of a family near me, 20 mi. S of Lake Erie, 30 mi. W of CLE, whose home is "1/2-earthen," i.e. half (more like 3/4) is covered by "lawn." They have never had any water leaks, other than some internal plumbing, and their heating/cooling costs over the past 2 decades average $20-30 per month! That's for about 1400-1500 sq.ft. of living space. Does anyone really NEED double or triple that much space, or even more? It truly is a conundrum, deeply nested inside an enigma and all gussied-up with obfuscation... not to mention lifetimes of culturally-programmed, wasteful behaviors.

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