Apocalypse Almost?

By Keith Kloor | September 17, 2012 8:49 pm

Two bits of climate news caught my attention today. One comes from Grist’s David Roberts, who says:

Yikes: Avoiding dangerous climate change is still possible, but just barely.

Whew. Good to hear us humans are still mathematically in the race to avert climate doom.

But then I saw this article from ClimateWire, reporting:

India is poised to contend with China as the globe’s top consumer of coal, with 455 power plants preparing to come online, a prominent environmental research group has concluded.

The coal plants in India’s pipeline — almost 100 more than China is preparing to build — would deliver 519,396 megawatts of installed generating capacity. That is only slightly less than pending new capacity in China, which remains the undisputed king of coal consumption.

So is it game over, or what?  Either way, can we at least agree with R.L. Burnside:

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate change, coal, global warming
  • MarkB

    When Obama was elected, Jim Hansen said that the United States had four years to ‘do something’ or it would be ‘too late.’ We’re here now – it’s already ‘too late.’ If you trust Jim Hansen, that is. And when Hansen made that statement, I didn’t hear any climate scientists calling him out for them, so I trust that he was speaking for ‘the consensus.’ So I guess that this November we can all have an ‘end of the planet’ party, and then set about raping and pillaging until the end comes.

  • Keith Kloor

    Actually, this is the prediction Hansen made in 2006 that I think is the most problematic.

  • Edim

    Soon it will be game over for AGW nonsense.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    I think we’re pooched. it’s now largely a question of how pooched our kids will be. there is simply too much institutional inertia to make the kinds of changes that are needed to prevent at least some shit from hitting the fan.

  • Jarmo

    I do not believe that the Indians will be able to achieve their ambitions. The state of government-controlled coal mining industry , who have been missing production goals, probably won’t allow it. India is not China. Nevertheless, they will build a lot of new coal power.

     Perhaps soon it will become obvious that the policy promoted by climate change advocates is on the rocks. Cutting emissions in Europe and the US, while allowing developing countries build their industrial base on coal is not working. Annual average growth rate of coal production since Kyoto Protocol was created has been between 4 and 5 %.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    India has a lot of coal. They need a lot of power. But that has been true for quite some time.

    A lethal combination of bureaucracy and corruption has made it almost uneconomical to get coal out of the ground there. Maybe this time they’ll get it done.

    But this is more or less the path that India was projected to follow. If they bring coal online all in one batch as opposed to gradual growth, it’s not that big a deal.

    This is why American progress in tempering emissions over the past decade is important–we at least are partially balancing the growth in emissions in the developing world.

    It’s obviously not enough. Worse, the coal plants India is now planning to install is not enough to meet their needs. They’ll have to do more. But India has options–they are putting up a lot of solar and working on hydroelectric.

    What this story should point to is the inadequacy of prior estimates of energy consumption in the developing world. Everybody lowballed their estimates–the DOE, the IEA, World Bank and the U.N. all ignored the past two decades of growth in energy consumption and created very…civilized… estimates of the path consumption would take.

    Conspiracy theorists, undaunted by Stefan Lewndowsky, might note that this allowed those organizations to maintain both focus and pressure on CO2 emissions in the developed world, as if CFL lightbulbs and unplugging our Tivos would solve a global problem.

    We are on track to consume six times as much energy in 2075 as we did in 2010. We are on track to consume (from that time forward) in each year what we consumed in the decade of 1990 – 2000. We are on track to power that consumption with coal. Almost all of that consumption is predicted to be provided by coal.

    The climate alarmists made perhaps the fatal mistake in communications by ignoring this and focusing on consumption which had already plateaued in the developed world, and using idiocies like Xtreme Warming and No Pressure videos to bully the rich world instead of enlisting support for clean energy development in the developing world.

    Of course, as long as there are skeptics (and lukewarmers) still free in the wild, these alarmist idiots will have a convenient scapegoat (maybe they’ll start spelling it ‘skapegoat’) to hitch the blame to.

    Those who have followed the issue will understand that the fire brigade has an almost uncanny record of making every mistake it was possible to make.

  • harrywr2

    India’s national electricity plan(12th plan thru 2017) with references to 13th plan is herehttp://www.cea.nic.in/reports/powersystems/nep2012/generation_12.pdfThe coal fired capacity additions for the 12th plan are 84,000 MW and in the ‘low renewables’ scenario 49,000 MW in the 13th plan.Most of India’s coal fired plants are in the 500MW and smaller class.(about 1/3rd are in the 200MW and smaller class) which makes for a ‘big count’ where in China they tend to be in the 1,000MW plus class.

  • harrywr2

    #6 Tom Fuller

    India has a lot of coal

    Look at the size of the backhoe in this coal picture from India. It is a backhoe sized to load a small truck, not a railcar

    http://origin-www.livemint.com/Industry/RjIZ9xoNIReU5XP3bCp1YM/Firms-follow-unfair-practices-to-source-coal-from-Coal-India.html

    At the risk of being a broken record. How much coal someone has is irrelevant. How efficiently that coal can be extracted and delivered to market is the only thing that matters. Most of India’s coal has a very poor thermal value. Much of it is underneath protected forests. A lot of it is in mountainous regions difficult to reach by rail.

    To clarify what I said above, about 1/3 of India’s planned coal plant build is in the 200MW and smaller range. Some ‘advocacy group’ played the standard ‘advocacy wording game’. They multipled plant count by the average size of a coal plant to come up with a number. India’s coal fired plants tend to be substantially smaller then ‘average’.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hiya Harry, The fact remains that India has a whole lot of coal and they will find a way to use it. 

  • Tom Scharf

    Well it’s a good thing that wealthiest and greenest countries of Germany, France, and Japan are ramping up their emissions free nuclear power capacity to counterbalance this problem.

    Oh, wait…. 

  • Tom Scharf

    America may have a huge new export market for natural gas if it is cheaper than extracting India’s coal.  I’m sure the greens will get on board for this (ha ha).  The mantra of “Oppose everything everywhere” has not been very effective to date.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Tom Scharf, well who cares as long as center stage is Stefan Lewandowsky busily proving Richard Feynman correct?

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    “Actually, this is the prediction Hansen made in 2006 that I think is the most problematic.”All of the predictions in that article appear spot on, so far. Decline of Arctic sea ice, 2-3C committed warming shortly, multimeter sea level rise in response (by “quickly” he presumably means quickly by geologic standards, not instantaneously). Was there one statement in particular you doubted?

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    When you take the word “dangerous” and replace it with “climate doom” and “apocalypse,” are you conscious of shoring up your weak argument with a straw man, or does it just happen naturally?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Actually, Robert, only one prediction has come to pass–decline in Arctic sea ice. His temperature projections were far off. Neither he nor you know if 2-3C is committed at all, let alone shortly, and sea level increases keep at a glacial 3mm/year or less pace.

  • andrew adams

    Tom,You said above<i>We are on track to consume six times as much energy in 2075 as we did in 2010. We are on track to consume (from that time forward) in each year what we consumed in the decade of 1990 ““ 2000. We are on track to power that consumption with coal. Almost all of that consumption is predicted to be provided by coal.</i>Given the amount of emissions that level of power consumption would generate if provided by coal, there is absolutely no doubt that we are committed to 2-3C, in fact that would be an understatement.And there is no disagreement that clean energy development is required in the developing world. The developing world agrees, the developed world agrees. The problem is that it’s more expensive than coal so the question is who is going to pay for it. The answer at the moment seems to be the putative Green Climate Fund, but in the current economic climate it’s hard to see Western countries stumping up the cash in the short term. 

  • andrew adams

    Tom,

    You said abovebr>

    We are on track to consume six times as much energy in 2075 as we did in 2010. We are on track to consume (from that time forward) in each year what we consumed in the decade of 1990 ““ 2000. We are on track to power that consumption with coal. Almost all of that consumption is predicted to be provided by coal.br>

    Given the amount of emissions that level of power consumption would generate if provided by coal, there is absolutely no doubt that we are committed to 2-3C, in fact that would be an understatement.br>

    And there is no disagreement that clean energy development is required in the developing world. The developing world agrees, the developed world agrees. The problem is that it’s more expensive than coal so the question is who is going to pay for it. The answer at the moment seems to be the putative Green Climate Fund, but in the current economic climate it’s hard to see Western countries stumping up the cash in the short term.

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    Actually, Tom, it’s not 2016 yet. Complaining that predictions for 2016 haven’t come to pass in 2012 demonstrates how empty yours and most “skeptic” critiques of Hansen et al are.No, his temperature predictions are not “way off.”"Neither he nor you know if 2-3C is committed at all . . .”Actually, you’d be amazed what scientifically literate people know. I think you’re generalizing from your own ignorance. But your ignorance is actually beside the point here. Hansen predicts committed warming of 2-3C if we continue with BAU. We will not be able to observe that committed warming until it has already happened. So the only relevant question is: “Does the peer reviewed science of the last six years support the idea that absent rapid emissions cut starting now we will be commited to >2C of warming?” And the answer to that question, if you read the literature, is obviously “yes.”So you’ve failed to find any predictions that are wrong, or that are less likely given the events of the last six years, and one, as you point out, has already come to pass, years ahead of schedule.Looks pretty spot on, objectively speaking.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Robert, I’ve read the literature. I don’t think it says what you think it says.

    Andrew, I’m trying to divorce energy consumption from CO2 emissions and climate change for a reason. First, I don’t believe we understand the carrying capacity of the major carbon sinks very well at all, nor their inter-exchanges. 

    I not only don’t know that even that huge amount of energy consumption will cause 2-3C warming, I don’t think it’s possible to know at this time. I suspect you’re close, but I think we chase down the wrong trail every time we get into this discussion. We don’t know sensitivity, we don’t know the carbon sinks, let’s just admit that we don’t know.

    The reason I want to separate the two is that it is possible for everyone to understand the simple metrics of energy consumption. No higher math required, no need to dispute the arcana or methodology. 

    We know how much energy is liberated from the various fuel stocks we use. We know how much is bought, sold, used and stored (with some leeway for Chinese individuals heading up the mountain with a pick and a wheelbarrow every weekend). 

    We know pretty closely how many people there are and how many there will be over the next few decades. We have good estimates on what will happen to the global economy over the next 63 years. We have case histories of countries (including the U.S.) and what happened to their energy consumption while they developed.

    It’s just arithmetic.

    And anybody who can see a picture of any Chinese metropolitan skyline can see the consequences of rapid development powered by coal and understand it is not a good thing. Moving to cleaner energy is a no-brainer, unless the conversation gets diverted to skeptics believing in conspiracy theories or how well polar bears can dance.

    My pitch is simple–our CO2 does warm the planet and that warming is likely to prove harmful for many regions on this earth. But the energy that produces this CO2 has consequences of its own that we will see more quickly and that will harm many of us and kill no small number even more quickly.

    I do not want to fight against those who consider global warming more of a threat than global asphyxiation. Go get ‘em! But I think the story I want to tell is clearer, easier to demonstrate and more understandable. 

  • jim

    Keith,
     
    Great thoughts, I always appreciate your effort to tone down the bizarre rhetoric in this debate.  I suspect Hansen’s comments alone have made compromise nearly impossible on this issue.
     
    But the real tragedy of the climate change issue is that radicals like Hansen don’t want compromise ““ they want all or nothing.  They see compromise as a moral cop-out.  That’s why we make no progress.  And they talk about the Republicans being unwilling to compromise…what a hoot.

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    “Robert, I’ve read the literature.”It doesn’t show. Do some undergrad work, maybe? Understand what you’re reading a little better? Because if you think that we are “way off” from 1C of warming relative to preindustrial, well . . . but that’s OT.”I not only don’t know that even that huge amount of energy consumption
    will cause 2-3C warming, I don’t think it’s possible to know at this
    time.”You’re not even playing with the right game pieces with that statement.So far we have about 0.8C.The permafrost carbon feedback adds perhaps 0.4-0.8C.There is a certain amount of warming inevitably in the pipeline: perhaps 0.6-0.7C.Total committed warming: 1.8C — 2.3CNow, that’s one estimate (specifically, Dr. Weaver’s: http://bit.ly/QNlprL). But other estimates of these three major components of committed warming are similar. All of which means that we do not need to posit the effects of “huge” future energy consumption; our past energy consumption is likely enough to take us close to, or over the 2C threshold.You can bet James Hansen understands that math. So do many other scientists. Before you waste a lot of time trying to critique their statements, maybe you should try to understand it too.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Why, thanks, Robert. I never knew…

  • Sashka

    Is it a BBD’s doppelganger?

  • harrywr2

    Tom Fuller,

    The fact remains that India has a whole lot of coal and they will find a way to use it.

    The last I checked India had 74 billion tons of recoverable reserves.

    They missed their 2010/2011 production target of 460 million tons by 30 million tons. If you read their 12th five year plan, they fully expect to import 100 million tons/year  by 2017. They’ll be consuming somewhere around 600 million tons per year in the 2017 timeframe.

    Nowhere near the consumption implied by the nonsense link provided by KK…closer to 15%-20% of Chinese consumption.

    When someone shows me an official Government of India document showing coal consumption in the next 5 years is expected to exceed 1 billion tons I’ll get myself upset. No one can produce such a document because such a document doesn’t exist

    India doesn’t have a Powder River Basin…I visited a coal mine in the Powder River Basin this summer. The coal is basically laying on the ground begging to be burnt. If we didn’t have a Powder River Basin our coal consumption would be 30%-40% lower then what it is now.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Robert,

    Son I am dissapoint. when u and full of shit get together i expect fireworks. i was all set to put the popcorn in the microwave.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    oh and +1 to @24. numbers matter sometimes, but we’re still pooched even if harrycoalbot thinks that coal will magically get priced out of the market in the next 10 years…..

  • Tom Scharf

    Robert,

    Wow. It’s really great you have it all figured out!  The climate modelers will be very happy to receive your modeling updates that have finally nailed down CS so definitively. Good job.  This should teach all those so called skeptics a lesson or two. No more confusion about uncertainty now that you have laid down the law.  We are all in your debt. We can finally stop talking about the lack of acceleration in temps and sea level over the past 20 years.  What a distraction that was. Keep up the faith brother!!!

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    #26, you’re still pooched, but that’s just because you passed out in a kennel. Which makes you some lucky pup’s…

  • BBD

    Tom Fuller @ 28

    WTF?

    You are unforgivably inconsistent:

    I’m going to have to be more disciplined with you, willard and Marlowe. Much like I did with another commenter two years ago, this will be my last comment to either of you, no matter what matter of tripe you spew

    Do us all a favour and stick to your own resolutions.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    BBD,

     my working hypothesis is that Fuller comes to play with us when his bromance with Mosher isn’t going well ;) .

  • BBD

    Don’t be cruel, Marlowe :-)

    It’s interesting that Tom ‘I’m not a denier’ Fuller feels compelled to tell Robert – of all people – that he doesn’t understand the science.

    Of course we must trust Tom, so the wellspring of this compulsion cannot be denial of the science. But what else could it be? I’m at a loss.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    None of the three of you are worth a foolish consistency on my part. Moonshine dropped the F-bomb. I lit him up. 

    Do us all a favour, BBD and go away. Note the correlation–willard started infesting Bart’s and he quit posting. You showed up here after being exiled from Bishop Hill and now Keith’s quitting posting.You’re all boring, predictable and pathetic.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Moonshine, have another drink. This thinking thing seems not to be working too well for you.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    That Bart Verheggen got a baby has nothing whatsoever to do with his blogging habit.

    Perhaps we could quote what Bart said about Groundskeeper Willie’s shirt ripping.

    We could also recall Keith’s admonishments to that same sad character.

    In any case, this wins an Internet:

    None of the three of you are worth a foolish consistency on my part.

    Consistency is quite relative, then.

  • BBD

    Tom Fuller

    Do us all a favour, BBD and go away.

    No. Shan’t!

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Groundskeeper Willie might wish to consider Abe’s advice from way back….

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. 

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Have another drink, Moonshine:”Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” Proverbs 17:28.Did you wake up with fleas?

  • Marlowe Johnson

    willard I’m thinking that ‘Billy‘ might be a more appropriate moniker for our dear mr. fuller. i’m torn as i do enjoy reading fuller’s bloghorrhea with a thick scottish accent but if the shoe fits….

  • Isabelle

    Sympathy to Keith ….. Responses start intelligently then descend to farce – with the same old devils… Are any of you truly interested in what Keith brings to the table or is this the quasi intellectual equivalent of Todger measuring?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I am quite interested in what Keith brings to the table, actually.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir. Marlowe,

    There is no honor in piling on.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @39

    Are any of you truly interested in what Keith brings to the table 

    sometimes, but in this particular instance it’s hard to say, as it’s not clear to me what point Keith is trying to make…

  • David in Cal

    From the beginning, it’s been fairly clear that the entire world will not agree to reduce their use of carbon-based fuels sufficiently so that we atmospheric CO2 would stop rising.  I’m not convinced that CO2 is the major driver of global warming nor am I convinced that global warming would be a catastrophe.  However, if both of these are the case, I think the solution must lie in the field of geo-engineering.  Fortunately we have decades before disaster would strike, according to the pessimists.  That gives us plenty of time to devise engineering approaches to reducing the earth’s temperature.

  • harrywr2

    #Marlowe.

    but we’re still pooched even if harrycoalbot thinks that coal will
    magically get priced out of the market in the next 10 years

    You might want to wander over to Isaac Held’s blog. Transient Climate Response of 1.4C doesn’t sound particularly ‘pooched’ to me. Isaac Held – elected to the National Academy of Science in 2003 in Geosciences. He’s only got 31 posts. Everyone worth reading.

    IMHO 450 ppm CO2 is for all intents and purposes is ‘in the bag, done deal’….for 600 ppm we don’t have the ‘cheap coal’. The only thing to like about coal is it’s price

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Harrywr2, what price would you pay to keep the lights and heat turned on in your house? At what point would you say to hell with it–it isn’t worth having refrigeration, washing machines, dryers, television, computing, a car…

    I submit that once someone has experienced life with power they get remarkably used to it and will do almost anything and will pay almost any price to retain access to it. 

    I agree with you that cheap coal will fly off the store shelves and that we will begin to pay more for (fossil) fuels (which does not bother me overmuch). 

    But both in the developed and developing world, I think price elasticity for energy will prove to be a myth. If energy cost you more than health insurance (and at some point it may), you will pay. And if people had to choose between the two, I will bet most would choose to keep the lights on.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    We might have more than domestic consumers to convince:

    Industrial users (agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and construction) consume about 37% of the total 15 TW. Personal and commercial transportation consumes 20%; residential heating, lighting, and appliances use 11%; and commercial uses (lighting, heating and cooling of commercial buildings, and provision of water and sewer services) amount to 5% of the total.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_consumption

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    Thus Tommy:”Wow. It’s really great you have it all figured out!”It doesn’t take much to surpass the knowledge of people, like yourself, who start with limited science literacy and give themselves to active science denial.” The climate modelers will be very happy to receive your modeling updates that have finally nailed down CS so definitively.”Ah, yes, the famous “If we don’t know everything we can’t know anything” fallacy, beloved of anti-Darwin and anti-vaccine loons as well as climate deniers.” We can finally stop talking about the lack of acceleration in temps and sea level over the past 20 years.”Just as well, since you obviously lack the scientific background to understand the data you’re looking at.Thus Harry:”Transient Climate Response of 1.4C doesn’t sound particularly “˜pooched’ to me.”That would be the difference between you and someone who knows what they are talking about.I suggest you look up the meaning of the word “transient.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @44

    as robert said look up the definition of ‘transient’ and then consider how it differs from ‘equilibrium’. when you’ve done that you may take your foot out of your mouth.

  • BBD

    harrywr2

    Do as Robert suggests. Not least because you have been <i>clearly confused</i> about this for as long as you and I have been discussing it.

    Note what Held says:

    TCR is smaller than the equilibrium response to CO2 doubling (the climate sensitivity) because of the effects of heat uptake “” but note also the complication
    discussed in post #5:  the strength of the radiative restoring can change (it typically decreases in models) as the deep ocean equilibrates to a change in forcing.  I won’t discuss equilibrium sensitivity further here.

    Note also that working with short, recent, observational temperature time series increases the influence of natural variability and anthropogenic aerosols on the estimate of TCR.

    Finally, if you are trying to comfort yourself with the notion that TCR of <2C is ‘okay’ you are utterly missing the point. This is global *average* temperature and it is only a *transient* response to ongoing forcing.

    Please take five to <i>think</i> about this. You might want to start with polar amplification and carbon feedbacks from  permafrost melt.

  • BBD

    Crossed with Marlowe there – apologies.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    To Keith’s point, if the game is over it’s because of puerile comments such as 46-50 inclusive. Robert, don’t be a jackass. Neither you nor anybody else (except BBD, who received a vision) know what ECS is. We don’t have the data. TCS is somewhere under 2C and that’s precise enough for planning.The difference between you and Harry is that Harry knows what he doesn’t know.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Harry, if you want to head over to my place of business we could continue the discussion there–the trolls are at play in the fields of the lord.

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    “Wow. It’s really great you have it all figured out!”But then . . .” Robert, don’t be a jackass.”Troll, heal thyself.”Neither you nor anybody else (except BBD, who received a vision) know what ECS is.”Tommy, you’ve illustrated several times that you are not very good at understanding what you read, so you should probably consider the possibility that that’s the problem you’re having here.You know nothing about climate sensitivity. That’s fine. It’s not particularly surprising. But don’t project your ignorance onto others, OK?”TCS is somewhere under 2C and that’s precise enough for planning.”I really don’t think people like yourself lacking a basic understanding of the science are a useful guide to what grown-ups need for their planning.In any event, I’m going to have to reject your Gish Gallop of misunderstanding through the world of climate sensitivity. It’s all ground in your original fallacy in pretending that if scientists don’t know everything about everything, they know nothing. It’s a common mistake among guys like you — confusing science with religion and expecting that same sort of mindless certainty. It’s ironic that “skeptics” are so unskeptical in their outlook, but you’re just the latest example.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I’ll leave it to somebody else to take out the trash.

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    <p>Reposted with (hopefully) better formatting:</p><p>”Wow. It’s really great you have it all figured out!”</p><p>But then . . .</p><p>”Robert, don’t be a jackass.”</p><p>Troll, heal thyself.</p><p>”Neither you nor anybody
    else (except BBD, who received a vision) know what ECS is.”</p><p>Tommy,
    you’ve illustrated several times that you are not very good at
    understanding what you read, so you should probably consider the
    possibility that that’s the problem you’re having here.You know nothing
    about climate sensitivity. That’s fine. It’s not particularly
    surprising. But don’t project your ignorance onto others, OK?</p><p>”TCS is
    somewhere under 2C and that’s precise enough for planning.”</p><p>I really
    don’t think people like yourself lacking a basic understanding of the
    science are a useful guide to what grown-ups need for their planning.</p><p>In
    any event, I’m going to have to reject your Gish Gallop of
    misunderstanding through the world of climate sensitivity. It’s all
    grounded in your original fallacy in pretending that if scientists don’t
    know everything about everything, they know nothing. It’s a common
    mistake among guys like you “” confusing science with religion and
    expecting that same sort of mindless certainty. It’s ironic that
    “skeptics” are so unskeptical in their outlook, but you’re just the
    latest example.</p>

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    Man, what does a brother have to do to get some paragraph breaks around here?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Act like a civilized human and people will tell you. 

  • Marlowe Johnson

    robert,

    click on the blue < > in the toolbar to reveal code. then manually put at lease one empty line between paragraphs (e.g. after the “/p”. Pain in the ass, but most of the other features work (bold, italics, indent, etc).

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    Thanks! Let me try:

    “Wow. It’s really great you have it all figured out!”

    But then . . .

    “Robert, don’t be a jackass.”

    Troll, heal thyself.

    “Neither you nor anybody
    else (except BBD, who received a vision) know what ECS is.”

    Tommy,
    you’ve illustrated several times that you are not very good at
    understanding what you read, so you should probably consider the
    possibility that that’s the problem you’re having here.You know nothing
    about climate sensitivity. That’s fine. It’s not particularly
    surprising. But don’t project your ignorance onto others, OK?

    “TCS is
    somewhere under 2C and that’s precise enough for planning.”

    I really
    don’t think people like yourself lacking a basic understanding of the
    science are a useful guide to what grown-ups need for their planning.

    In
    any event, I’m going to have to reject your Gish Gallop of
    misunderstanding through the world of climate sensitivity. It’s all
    grounded in your original fallacy in pretending that if scientists don’t
    know everything about everything, they know nothing. It’s a common
    mistake among guys like you “” confusing science with religion and
    expecting that same sort of mindless certainty. It’s ironic that
    “skeptics” are so unskeptical in their outlook, but you’re just the
    latest example.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    It doesn’t look any more intelligent with paragraph breaks, Robert. Next time try thinking first.

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    Ah, better!

    For those, like Tommy, who may be unfamiliar with the concept, that is what is called “learning.” Once you acknowledge you don’t know it all, it’s surprisingly easy!/

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    I’ll leave it to somebody else to take out the trash.

    But then . . .

    “Act like a civilized human . . .”

    “Next time try thinking first.”

    It’s sad to see people without the self-discipline to do what they say they’ll do. Tommy said he was gonna take his toys and go home but he doesn’t seem to be sticking to that resolution . . . oh, well.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Poor Robert. I received a message for you from the Klimate Kompliance Kommittee– it says, “You’ve posted several times on this thread without using the terms ‘Dunning-Kruger  syndrome’ or ‘Overton Window.’ Please note that using accepted cliches is not optional. Members of the Klimate Koven will be monitoring your future posts.”Alas, babble on.

  • harrywr2

    #49 BBD

    Finally, if you are trying to comfort yourself with the notion that TCR of <2C is “˜okay’ you are utterly missing the point.

    BBD, I had a front row seat for the Iran-Iraq war – 1/2 million to a million dead and the Afghan-Soviet conflict – 1/4 million to 1/2 million dead. It was what it was. 

    The humanity I live in is brutal and selfish.

    The idea that there will be a globally enforceable treaty to limit CO2 to 450 PPM is beyond a complete joke. The people advocating for such a treaty are so insulated from the world as it exists one wonders if they ever read a newspaper or are somehow under the influence of some feel good drug.

    No sane government will risk civil unrest, once the killing starts it can take decades to turn it off. 

    The economics of coal vs nuclear are similar at a price for coal of $80-$100/ton.

    You can’t sell nuclear in Germany or Japan or France at the current time regardless of the economics. India has nuclear power plants ready to spin up…but they can’t spin them up without incurring some civil unrest. They did a poor job of public outreach and education.

    The ‘fat tail’ anti-nuclear fear mongers have made a case to the public and the public has bought it. You can not fight fat tail fear mongering with fat tail fear mongering.

    What you will get is paralysis or a bunch of nonsense symbolic measures.

    Most of the world saw Fukushima cook off on TV. Total Equilibrium Climate Response is somewhere out in 2300. Somehow I think things like zero energy buildings will be standard by then.

  • http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/ Robert

    “Poor Robert”

    Poor Tommy. Out on his feet, but still mumbling on. Can we get you an empty chair to talk to?

    Klimate Kompliance Kommittee

    It’s funny because the KKK are murderous domestic terrorists. You are quite the wit. It’s easy to see why Lewandowsky scraped you off his shoe.

    “You’ve posted several times on this thread without using the terms “˜Dunning-Kruger syndrome’ or “˜Overton Window.’ Please note that using accepted cliches is not optional.”

    Wow, you’re bringing up the Dunning-Kruger effect as it applies to you? The science literate must really have gotten in your head for you to for you to feel the need for a preemptive denial.

    From the annals of protesting too much. ;)

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Harry, as these fools begin to reap what they have sown, remember China… They have firm plans to build up to 150 nuclear power plants at a rate of between two and four per year. They’re busy building 22 dams on their three major rivers and are preparing to go after their own shale gas. 

    They’re not doing it to fight global warming. They’re doing it to secure their own energy supplies and to prevent their population from choking to death.

    They have a lot more to do. And I have no respect for their government–they’re thugs. But at the end of the day, the countries that will succeed in lowering emissions will be those who ignore the hysterical alarmist brigade and swim with the river, picking the low hanging fruit of natural gas, hydroelectric and even solar (really, Harry). The ecologically pure of heart, like the EU, will tilt at windmills and watch their CO2 emissions rise.

    That’s the problem with believing their own propaganda.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Indeed, Robert, just look what you make China do.

  • BBD

    harrywr2 @ 64

    The reason I don’t take your comments at face value is that you persist in rebroadcasting misleading nonsense that you pick up on denialist pseudo-sceptic blogs.

    You can not fight fat tail fear mongering with fat tail fear mongering.

    It’s not fearmongering. That is disinformation by vested interests and you are being used to spread it.

    As it happens, I share you bleak and realistic view of the present and its implications for the future. However, I do not feel compelled to seek out and rebroadcast incorrect statements about climate science on the internet. You do appreciate that this can mislead others don’t you? You do see that?

    Here’s a modest proposal: demonstrate some good faith. Refrain from doing harm. Stop foghorning deceptive rubbish about climate science and talk only about energy. Never mention the science again.

  • BBD

    And harry, just how exactly is this not fearmongering?

    No sane government will risk civil unrest, once the killing starts it can take decades to turn it off.

    Do you not see what you are doing?

  • http://rabett.blogspot.com Eli Rabett

    Now some, not Eli of course, might point out that Mr. Kloor’s jihad against an innocent bunny for being a meany fails the laugh test when Mr. Fuller enters left.  Just sayin’

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Jes sprayin’

  • jim

    Echo #39.  Sorry kieth.  You do good work.  Please keep posting links here to your articles.j

  • Joshua

    Just can’t figure out why Keith sees limited return for his investment in writing blog posts. The discussion in this thread is so enlightening. And so unusual!

  • harrywr2

    #69 BBD,

    Do you not see what you are doing?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/protests-disrupt-indias-nuclear-energy-plan/2012/09/15/ec75ca58-fdad-11e1-98c6-ec0a0a93f8eb_story.html

    For nearly 400 days, residents of fishing villages in the southern
    Indian state of Tamil Nadu have demonstrated against a new seaside
    nuclear plant here
    . Thousands marched toward the site this week,
    chanting, “We don’t want nuclear power,” until police firing tear gas
    and brandishing bamboo canes beat them back.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/10/us-india-nuclear-idUSBRE8890ZE20120910

    A south Indian fisherman was killed on Monday after police opened fire to clear a highway blocked by demonstrators protesting against the country’s largest nuclear power project

    Have you not noticed that India is suffering civil unrest as a result of it’s nuclear power plans? Fortunately for the ‘climate concerned’ the Naxilites have similar feelings about open pit coal mining.

    Civil Unrest as a result of ‘modest action’ to address climate change isn’t a ‘projection’ or ‘prediction’, it’s an absolute 100% certainty that is already occurring.

    So what do you suggest the Indian Government should do? Wholesale slaughter anti-nuclear protesters? An aggressive public education campaign? India has a literacy rate of 74%. They can’t even teach all their people to read. What exactly?

  • BBD

    harrywr2

    What a miserable exercise in self-serving false equivalence and fearmongering:

    Here’s the objective view, from the end of first link:

    “It is politically unsustainable to ignore the growing demand for power,” said Mitra, the New Delhi-based analyst. “They know that the number of beneficiaries of power is huge compared to the small number of protesters near the nuclear plant site. The protests in the short term
    will delay the plants, but they will not be shut down.”

    Here’s your fearmongering distortion, designed to… what? 

    No sane government will risk civil unrest, once the killing starts it can take decades to turn it off.

    Spot the difference?

    What exactly is it that you are doing, harry? And why does involve incessant rebroadcasting of lies about climate science?

    Why is that, harry?

  • Marlowe Johnson

    BBD,

    harry is in an awkward spot. on the one hand, he has a relatively good understanding of the realpolitik constraints wrt to low carbon transition. OTOH he is plainly ignorant when it comes to climate science. In itself this isn’t a sin (we can’t all be experts in everything). But the fact that he sees conspiracies in climate science, chooses to believe the impacts won’t be that bad (despite his ignorance), is a textbook example of using denial as a coping mechanism. IOW we can’t do anything meaningful about the problem, so it’s a good thing that it isn’t a problem. Funny how often these two beliefs go hand in hand.

    I’d wager that you and I probably agree that it’s going to be very difficult to do something meaningful to avoid very bad impacts in the future (when harry and tom and mosh will be dead), but an intellectually consistent and honest appraisal of the situation prevents us from behaving the way that harry and tom do when thinking about the issue.

  • hr

    Great song thanks

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, a senior editor at Cosmos magazine, and adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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