Lest you thought that whole climate thing was solved already....

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.
Status
Not open for further replies.

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,412
SE PA
There is a new article in New York magazine that has made a stir:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html

it deals with what the Earth would be like in 2100 in some approximation of the 'business as usual' fossil carbon usage scenario, which is like a 4-6°C temp increase. Not the sort of thing anyone would like.

So, on the one hand, you have people saying...well, if we do COP21 (Paris) then we keep to 2°C maybe a little more (or less) and the worst (as in the article) won't happen. And then maybe its irresponsible to **scare** people with these >4°C, 2100 scenarios.

I myself could be called Pollyanna. I tend to be an optimist. This thread is my penance.

It is NOT a bad thing to point out that those folks that currently are speaking out against action like COP21 or the CPP plan, or renewable energy or EVs or all the above initiatives, are basically advocating a CRAZY position that science says will yield a rather unpleasant outcome in 2100. One that any optimist would say will never be allowed to happen....but which nonetheless MANY people with money and power are driving us towards full speed ahead.

The situation is not unlike the Cold War in the 80s. I remember watching 'The Day After' as a teen and thinking it pretty scary (if you don't recall it is about a full nuclear exchange). It got people's attention, scared the chit out of a lot of people, and in the end probably that was a good thing. The optimists kept on telling themselves it wouldn't happen, but a lot of complacent people took the issue more seriously afterwards.

I think that the major issue re climate IS complacency. There is no 'The Day After' for climate. If it is covered in fiction, the picture is not that realistic, personal or detailed. And yet the BAU scenario for fossil usage (as spelled out by the oil majors in their business projections and the EIA) is clearly MUCH WORSE in 2100 than a full nuclear exchange...in terms of leaving large portions of the earth unlivable for centuries, driving many species to extinction through habitat loss and ocean acidification, and knocking down the earths agricultural productivity several notches (by separating the regions that have suitable weather from those that have suitable topsoil), again, for centuries. And yet it is storms and sea level rise that get discussed, and people don't get scared of those things the same as say, starving to death.

The other major difference re nuclear war and climate change is the former is basically binary....it happens or it doesn't happen and if it doesn't happen....no harm done except to the federal budget deficit. But climate change IS happening and WILL get worse....we just don't know if the world will keep it to 1.5 to 2°C and if so, it might turn out to not be that that much worse that the current climate...OR...will we drive well past that limit, find out that various tipping points have been exceeded, and then there is not much to do about it except deal for the next 500 years. Complacency in the US, among average people, the leaders they vote for, media on both sides...they are all picking the scary side of that outcome spectrum!

Where's the outrage?

Go read the article.

And then read David Robert's take on it.

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/7/11/15950966/climate-change-doom-journalism
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,717
Philadelphia
One that any optimist would say will never be allowed to happen....but which nonetheless MANY people with money and power are driving us towards full speed ahead...

Complacency in the US, among average people, the leaders they vote for, media on both sides...they are all picking the scary side of that outcome spectrum!

Where's the outrage?
Folks vote with their wallet. Always have, always will... until some other emergency distracts them from it. It's unfortunate that one of our two viable political parties has taken a stance of climate change denial, but when the other party puts the most massive estate tax increase in history as bullet item #2 on their platform, it's unlikely they're going to get any votes from those "people with money and power" you malign. Get the Dem's off wealth re-distribution (aka penalizing the ambitious), and we might see some movement on this issue.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hasufel

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,412
SE PA
I see. But that still doesn't explain why folks on the left seem nearly as complacent as those on the right....it is just not on most people's radar.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ashful

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,717
Philadelphia
I wonder if it's complacency or confused paralysis. Most feel they can only contribute to one small aspect of the problem, their personal vehicles and home energy use. Large-scale shipping, local freight, the cruise ship industry, mega-yachts... all enormous polluters, and eliminating the mostly-impractical step of deciding you're not a "consumer", we have little sway over these factors.

Seems to me that most folks are taking small steps in the right direction, and as some of the PV and EV tech costs are coming down, those small steps are slowly becoming large strides. Call me a Pollyanna, too... but I count on technology to save us, as long as our government can stay out of the way of it.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,217
Eastern Central PA
Folks vote with their wallet. Always have, always will... until some other emergency distracts them from it. .
Which is why most folks are pretty much fed up with all our leaders on both sides. Too bad we dont have a common sense commission that actually finds solutions to our problems void of any ideological spin either way. Its not rocket science. There are solutions that are tried and tested but we seem to keep making the same mistakes over and over on purpose it seems. Pushing so called solutions that have never and will never work.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,217
Eastern Central PA
Call me a Pollyanna, too... but I count on technology to save us, as long as our government can stay out of the way of it.
I dont share your optimism. No amount of technology will save us from an ocean full of trash and the warming that is already in the works.Especially when just about nothing of substance is being done to even slow either one, let alone reverse it. The best years for the environment are certainly behind us IMO. I hope im wrong ,but the realist in me thinks im not. I do think the trash and pollution will be worse than the warming.
 
Last edited:

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,717
Philadelphia
I dont share your optimism. No amount of technology will save us from an ocean full of trash and the warming that is already in the works.Especially when just about nothing of substance is being done to even slow either one, let alone reverse it. The best years for the environment are certainly behind us IMO. I hope im wrong ,but the realist in me thinks im not. I do think the trash and pollution will be worse than the warming.
I don't know about that, Oak. Seems to me we've improved in a lot of ways, just over my 40-odd years of life. Go back and read about air quality issues in Victorian-era city life, and you'll see enormous improvements have been made, on many fronts.

Growing up near the Jersey shore in the 1970's - 80's, I just thought it was normal to not see my feet when standing in 6 inches of tidal water, or to not see my hands four inches in front of my face when diving in the bay. It wasn't until the mid-1990's when efforts to reduce coastal ocean pollution and sewage dumping had me noticing I can now see my feet when standing in waist-deep water. You think today is the low point?

We create new problems, and then we fix them. It's what we do. The only way to avoid creating new problems, is to do nothing new. Our kids will be griping about some new environmental problem created by EV's... and then our grandkids will fix it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: georgepds

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,663
South Puget Sound, WA
Clear water can also be a sign of the absence of plankton and life. The desertification of the oceans seems to already taking place. A couple years ago we lost most of the starfish on the west coast. This year crabs? This was a shot on a WA state beach yesterday. Not a normal sight. Locally we have a harbor that was the winter ground for thousands of grebes every year. This was because food was plentiful. They have been in decline over the past 2 decades. This year only a few have been spotted.
19904950_10154523921916262_5216999212596983361_n.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ashful

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,356
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
No amount of technology will save us from an ocean full of trash

I'm optimistic. I've also been 40 miles out in the ocean fishing and only once out there can you appreciate the hugeness. There is plenty of clean ocean to dilute whatever trash falls in. It's vast.

Sit in a city and you will not feel the same way. You are surrounded by filth, stink, danger, and human created scenery. Get out of the city and things get much better.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,663
South Puget Sound, WA
The vastness of the oceans gives one a sense of the dire global scale of the problem with acidification as excess CO2 is absorbed into these waters. The atmosphere and ocean work together as an enormous, life-giving engine and we have introduced great imbalance into this system. The effect global and in particular, locally. Hope for quick reversal is slim to none.
https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-ocean-acidity
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/540071/dont-count-on-geoengineering-the-oceans/
https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Acidifying+Water+Takes+Toll+On+Northwest+Shellfish
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,412
SE PA
You folks are making my point for me perfectly.

You are all up in arms about the stuff you can see, pollution and trash, but the idea that invisible CO2 acid could make the entire ocean unlivable for everything but squid and jellies, or that the onshore climate could shift 1000 miles north, stranding all the forests and animals (and killing 95% of them that can't adapt), and leaving the interiors of ALL the continents looking like the Sahara....that's too big and unthinkable I guess.

And yes, it is much worse for humans and the planet than 'The Day After' that we feared decades ago.

But that is exactly what the science says happens if we burn all the "economically recoverable fossil fuels". And those conditions persist for 500-1000 years (versus a 6 month nuclear winter)! And yet all our leaders, our companies, their shareholders and CNBC and the WSJ assume that that is exactly what we should and will do! And the media is NOT making them talk about it.

Please go talk about ocean microplastics in the other thread, I'm sick of them.

Here...OPEN YOUR EYES and imagine a broken world that is broken for a millennium and 95% of species extinct forever. And then try to wrap your head around the fact that that is exactly what lies in store (according to scientific consensus) if we implement the business plans of several of our largest companies, that you are likely partial shareholders in, and the vision of our current leaders.

And then see how you feel. And if you still give a chit about the recycling rates, microplastics and food composting.
 
Last edited:

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,412
SE PA
Which is why most folks are pretty much fed up with all our leaders on both sides. Too bad we dont have a common sense commission that actually finds solutions to our problems void of any ideological spin either way. Its not rocket science. There are solutions that are tried and tested but we seem to keep making the same mistakes over and over on purpose it seems. Pushing so called solutions that have never and will never work.

Guess what? This is science's job. The commission is called the National Academy of Science. They are the best and brightest, but all old, fat and happy graybeards that have nothing to lose and owe nobody nothing but the Truth. Many are retired, serving as a public service, and their personal superpower is a finely tuned bullchit detector when reading any scientific study.

And their reports say, and have said for more than a decade now, that the business as usual (BAU) fossil consumption path will render the planet unlivable for humans and animals by 2100. And they have been completely ignored, and subsequently accused of bias, vilified by the right wing media, hounded by trolls, etc.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: vinny11950

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,412
SE PA
I do think the trash and pollution will be worse than the warming.

With all due respect Randy, that is simply not correct. Trash gets buried, microplastics gets eated and buried, and pollution gets washed from the air, all on week to month to year timescales.

Did you see those studies about air pollution after 9/11 grounded all those flights? They imply that if we ceased all pollution emission today, the atmospheric levels of most tocic species and particulates would go to zero in 2 weeks. We are just two weeks away from pre-industrial air!

And CH4 and HCFC stick around for 20-50 years, short enough that you can see results of your clean up.

The big kahuna exception is good ol CO2. It sticks around for 500 years. And it doesn't pack much of a wallup per gram....but it keeps on doing it for 20 generations.

Its all about the CO2.

No amount of technology will save us from an ocean full of trash and the warming that is already in the works.

Note that the baked in warming from the emission already made is an entirely different beast. While there is an uncertainty, it does not look like that a 2°C world is badly broken to the point of apocalypse. 4-6°C yes, that is what the article is about. But that will depend entirely on what we emit in the next few decades to be realized.

Effective action starting today CAN avoid the worst effects in the OP article.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Laszlo

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,412
SE PA
I'm optimistic. I've also been 40 miles out in the ocean fishing and only once out there can you appreciate the hugeness. There is plenty of clean ocean to dilute whatever trash falls in. It's vast.

Sit in a city and you will not feel the same way. You are surrounded by filth, stink, danger, and human created scenery. Get out of the city and things get much better.

The vastness of the world is real, and under-appreciated and part of the problem. We are hard wired by evolution to keep our little nests and bodies clean, and not equipped to do so at the global scale.

SO lets do some numbers. World consumption of oil is ~1 cubic mile per year, if you can imagine that volume. If you burn it to CO2, that much CO2 is 3 cubic miles in solid form (the 2Os add to the bulk). If you evaporate that CO2, it expands 1000x in volume....you have just made 3000 cubic miles of pure CO2 gas from all those tailpipes running a year.

IF to break the climate, you need to increase atmospheric CO2 (as in the article), from 400 to 1000 ppm CO2, you can mix the CO2 in 1500 equal parts of the current earth's atmosphere to dilute the pure CO2 down to 1000 ppm.

You have just created 3000 x 1500 = 4,500,000 cubic MILES of brand-new 1000 ppm atmosphere for your new apocalyptic world. Since the atmosphere is about 20 miles thick, that is enough CO2 to cover and kill for 500 years 200,000 square miles of the earth, about the size of California. Just from one years emission of just oil. Add in the coal and gas and the concrete and the agriculture, and we are creating enough CO2 to kill a million square miles of the future earth EVERY YEAR.

And that is a million square miles that people live on today, and which can, given enough years, cover your vast ocean like paper covers rock.
 
Last edited:

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,217
Eastern Central PA
We may make some headway only to have it zeroed out by population increase. The rain forest is still being decimated. So absent the "lungs of the world " is bound to have some detrimental effect as well. Ill be optimistic when i see something to be optimistic about. I dont see a world effort yet. It dont do us much good to go it alone.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,412
SE PA
We may make some headway only to have it zeroed out by population increase. The rain forest is still being decimated. So absent the "lungs of the world " is bound to have some detrimental effect as well. Ill be optimistic when i see something to be optimistic about. I don't see a world effort yet. It dont do us much good to go it alone.

Where do you get your news? You have it exactly backwards. COP21 is a world effort. Not strong enough, but more than halfway to avoiding the bad outcomes in the New York article, and an annual international meeting/review mechanism to track and tighten up on emissions.

Right now the WORLD is going it alone without US. We, the large country with the highest per capita emissions! FWIW, we are also the only country with any significant amount of climate dissent/denial....the rest of the world is scared of global warming, not complacent, and mobilized to do something about it DESPITE our denial and inaction in the US.

Population growth is flattening out and will be a non-issue by 2100. Peak population projections keep moving earlier. And rainforests....they're nice, but if we stopped making oxygen....it would take a million years to run out. And most is made in the sea anyway.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,203
central pa
I'm optimistic. I've also been 40 miles out in the ocean fishing and only once out there can you appreciate the hugeness. There is plenty of clean ocean to dilute whatever trash falls in. It's vast.

Sit in a city and you will not feel the same way. You are surrounded by filth, stink, danger, and human created scenery. Get out of the city and things get much better.
You you are saying we can dump in the ocean with no problems endlessly it will just be diluted. You do realize how crazy that is right.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,217
Eastern Central PA
Where do you get your news? .
About all i watch on TV is news . I dont see the bright picture you paint for the rest of the world on the news ,mostly bad news! Problem with other countries is mostly small ones going green. The big ones getting worse.
 

vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,735
Eastern Long Island, NY
Hopefully the big cities that care about climate change will pull together with companies that also care about the issue. As crazy as it seems, pulling out of the Paris agreement may provide a spark that gets people thinking of new ways to tackle the issue because the old way wasn't getting it done. We should be on a war path like during WWII when we organized and focused for a common goal.

The sad part is that we have it pretty good right now living in the U.S. and we are risking it all to avoid making reasonable lifestyle changes that wouldn't be that burdensome and would at the same time have some great benefits. But we don't want to change. It is frustrating.

I am beginning to wonder if as a species we are suffering from some sort of meltdown hardwired into us. Some sort of colony collapse after a certain population point is achieved. We haven't had a big die-off in a while, so we might be due for one soon. History is full of civilizations that suddenly disappear or self destruct.

I don't want to be doom and gloom, but the challenge we are facing is massive. If there is hope, it lies with the younger generations since this will be their cross to carry. Once the older, non-believers are out of power, the next generations will have to put their efforts into overdrive to fix the issue.

Even if you think about the problem practically and economically, it is better to tackle this now rather than later. I was reading an article on how a new financial crisis could be triggered if mortgage lenders stop lending money for properties that will flood because of rising seas. The owners of all those pricey condos in Miami beach would be stuck with them because buyers would not be able to get financing. Those values would then crash, wrecking the balance sheets of the banks that own the mortgages - so now the banks have to write down the loss in value and raise capital. The point is, we are all going to be poorer because of climate change.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WoodyIsGoody

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
About all i watch on TV is news.

Now it all makes sense.

The telly is not the best way to be informed. It's all pretty bad but some are worse than others.

Did you know that people whos only source of new was Fox are less informed than people who don't consume ANY tv news!

http://www.businessinsider.com/stud...-informed-than-watching-no-news-at-all-2012-5

And people here wonder why no one is very alarmed by the elephant in the room (global warming).

Fox news regarding global warming:

1) It's fake
2) The scientists lie and falsify data to create a job for themselves
3) It's a hoax
4) It's a liberal over-reaction
5) It's the gubermint trying to tell you what to do.
6) We need the oil
7) There's nothing we can do about it anyway
 
  • Like
Reactions: georgepds

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
And their reports say, and have said for more than a decade now, that the business as usual (BAU) fossil consumption path will render the planet unlivable for humans and animals by 2100. And they have been completely ignored, and subsequently accused of bias, vilified by the right wing media, hounded by trolls, etc.

I talked to a fundamentalist Christian who was rooting for climate disaster. Because then it would be time for Jesus to descend from the heavens and take all the Christians to a perfect and everlasting world. And I think a lot of people secretly do want this for that very reason. Which explains why they attack the scientists. They see them as standing in the way of God's plan.

Nice, eh?
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,412
SE PA
About all i watch on TV is news . I dont see the bright picture you paint for the rest of the world on the news ,mostly bad news! Problem with other countries is mostly small ones going green. The big ones getting worse.

Not to my knowledge.

Thirty years ago a friend of mine went to (mainland) China for a a visit, and it was pretty broken down as a country. Her host family saw her ready to throw away the ziploc bags she had packed some stuff in....and they begged her to have them b/c they would use them to store things until they fell apart...nothing like that was available to them at the time.

Nowadays, my Chinese students arrive in the US, in fine shiny clothes and the latest bling, and shake their heads when they see the state of infrastructure decay and poverty in the streets in the US. They literally can't believe it until they see it, and ask me how it came to be like that? I have no answer for them but 'politics'.

Meanwhile, China is winding down their coal plants (reducing their duty cycle), and building enough wind and solar in the next 10 years to power the entire US! My colleagues that travel in Beijing report riding in all EV taxis while there. China sold close to a million EVs last year, domestically produced, and are gearing up EV battery factories that dwarf Elon Musk's current gigafactory vision.

And (near future) Chinese peak CO2 per capita emissions will likely be <50% of our current emissions.

I'm blowing my CO2 budget on a (rare) business trip in Seoul right now. They have a fricking maglev train out here. I'm a gonna have to ride it just to say I did.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Laszlo and sloeffle

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,217
Eastern Central PA
Probably doing a lot of that on the interest we pay them on the money they loaned us plus the huge trade deficit that greatly benefits them. I have to agree that china for a communist country is making us look bad in a lot of ways. I have a few chinese friends and they are extreme workaholics and all upper middle class living here. I wouldnt want to live under a communist dictatorship govt but they have shown it can be efficient. Too much infighting in our govt (and getting worse)to make that kind of progress
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,217
Eastern Central PA
Did you know that people whos only source of new was Fox are less informed than people who don't consume ANY tv news!
I watch all the news channels, some just to see how ridiculous they can get. Unfortunately most of them are all politics recently and do not cover any real news. I can filter out the facts if they would present some ,but alas real news programs are in the past. Its all political opinion, spin, fake news and conspiracy theories. Cant believe everything you read on the internet either. I absolutely do believe the planet is warming. Would like to see a rapid conversion to EVs , but dont see much progress there quickly enough no matter who is running the govt.
 
Last edited:

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,412
SE PA
.... Would like to see a rapid conversion to EVs , but dont see much progress there quickly enough no matter who is running the govt.

Well the next 12 mos are going to be interesting. Tesla delivers its first Model 3s the end of the month, and then plans to rapidly scale production to sell tens of thousands by the end of 2017, and six figures in 2018. Nissan is behind, but will announce their long-range Gen 2 LEAF in September, and start shipping them in January. They are also ready to sell six figures in 2018 (in the US), more globally.

EV sales have been growing at 60% yoy growth rates for the last 7 years, including since oil got cheap. TV news has often misreported this fact...instead talking about the flatlining of sales of hybrids (due in part IMO to the cannibalization by EVs).

If we are going to see mainstream adoption, it begins this year.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.