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Climate Change has Nothing to do with the Sun?

COMMENT: You are wrong. This chart proves you are wrong and it is mankind that is creating global warming. The sun activity has been declining for 35 years and the temperature is rising. That proves you are wrong.

PL

REPLY: First of all, the chart you rely on starts in 1880. The historical record is millions of years. Over 35,000 scientists have signed a letter stating Global Warming is fake. If I charted the Dow Jones for just the post-2009 period, I could conclude that the stock market only rises and never crashes. There is absolutely no empirical evidence whatsoever that proves Global Warming is caused by mankind when there have been warming periods and ice ages long before fossil fuels. It is one thing to say that our use of fossil fuels have “accelerated” the trend and something entirely different to argue that we have caused the trend.

The ice core sample proves there is about a 300 years cycle between the maximum and minimum energy output of the sun. Looking at just 140 years of data does not prove anything. I am glad you trust the government so much that they argue this so they can tax it. Like cigarettes, if they are 100% bad, then outlaw them. Never! Why do that when they can tax them?

If you want to argue the sun has nothing to do with this issue, then provide a study that goes back beyond 1880. If I am wrong, then perhaps all those who think they are the cause of the planet turning warm should walk to work, use no heat or air conditioning, purchase no clothes and make your own from sheep without consuming energy, or just commit suicide to stop breathing since you put out CO2 which you demonize as the planet killer.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Burning Earth Bears Witness in California

The Burning Earth Bears Witness in California

Photo by Glenn Beltz | CC by 2.0

Watching the first ten minutes of the “Public” (Petroleum and/or Pentagon?) Broadcasting System (“P”BS)’s NewsHour two nights ago, I was overcome by a sense of the surreal. The first news item was the Insane Clown President’s (ICP) idiotic (if base-pleasing) announcement that the U.S. embassy in Israel will at some point be moved from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. NewsHour host and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member Judy Woodruff announced a special segment on this story later in the broadcast.

The next story was the coming likely resignation of the centrist corporate-Democratic Party pain-in-the-ass Al Franken from the U.S. Senate in response to cascading allegations of sexual harassment and weirdness.  That too was to receive a special segment, the CFR’s Woodruff assured viewers.

Then came a brief yet hair-raising report showing homes burning and enflamed mountains looming over motorists in southern California, just outside Los Angeles.  The wildfire footage was breathtakingly dystopian.

There was no special segment scheduled for the pre-apocalyptic California wildfires, which were taking down mansions in opulent Bel Air and forcing tens of thousands to evacuate.

How, I wondered, was this not the top story?

A correspondent writes me from Central California today (Thursday morning):

‘Climate apocalypse’ is accurate. I live on California’s central coast. Ojai and Ventura surrounded by fires. Carpenteria being evacuated.  Lompoc and Santa Barbara covered in ash.  White ash floating everywhere in central California.”

In The New York Times today:

Southern California is fighting a renewed onslaught from the wildfires menacing greater Los Angeles, with emergency crews contending with brisk winds, steep terrain and fatigue from days of relentless work.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Change – Volcanoes (Part II)

Eruption of volcano Agung in Bali

Over the past few decades, there have been several research papers in the scientific press that submit there is a correlation between cosmic-solar radiations and destructive geological events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. On top of this, there are correlations with climate change that kick in where volcanoes throw up ash into the atmosphere which blocks the sun and that sets in motion the global cooling sending the earth back toward an Ice Age. Therefore, the entire process is extremely complex. Our computer can put out a forecast, but it is looking at everything and the dynamic complexity of all the interactions. This is why I do not put forth X happens because of Y. It is just more complex than such correlations.

Nonetheless, the strongest correlation between volcanoes and earthquakes remains that with the sun. In the last two and half centuries the following major volcanic eruptions occurred during strong solar minimum when the energy is at its greatest: Grimvotn (Iceland) 1783/84 (14 km3), Tambora (Indonesia) 1810 (150 km3), Krakatoa 1883 (5.0 km3), Santa Maria (Guatemala) 1902 (4.8 km3), Novarupta (Alaska) 1912 (3.4 km3). The only major eruption to occur during a solar maximum was Pinatabo (Philippines) 1991 (between 6 and 16 km3).

Additionally, research has concluded that there is an extremely high correlation between global volcanic activity among the largest of classes of eruptions and solar activity lows. Over 80% of these volcanic eruptions greater than VEI 5 and almost 88% of the extreme largest eruptions measuring VEI 6 or greater also taking place with solar minimums. There appears to be a strong correlation of volcanic eruptions coinciding with solar minimum. Pictured above, the Bali, Indonesian Agung volcano has been putting out smoke for several weeks. If this eruption unfolds as a VEI 6+ or VEI 7 as was Tambora back in 1815, this will accelerate the Global Cooling. That is going to be devastating for society and the global economy.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Crisis and Managed Deindustrialization: Debating Alternatives to Ecological Collapse

Climate Crisis and Managed Deindustrialization: Debating Alternatives to Ecological Collapse

If we don’t change the conversation, if we don’t deal with the systemic problems of capitalism and come up with a viable alternative, our goose is cooked.

Demanding an end to coal and all forms of dirty energy extraction, over 4,000 activists descended on the Rhineland coalfields in Germany earlier this month in a mass demonstration just a day before COP23 climate talks began in Bonn. (Photo: Code Rood/Twitter)

On Monday November 13th, climate scientists from the Tyndal center for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia presented their carbon emissions research to the UN climate negotiators at Bonn Germany. The data were shocking: After three years in which human-caused emissions appeared to be leveling off, global CO2 emissions are now rising again to record levels in 2017. Global emissions are on course rise this year by 2%. China’s emissions are projected to rise by 3.5%. These may sound like small numbers but to climate scientists these are huge because if we’re to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Centigrade, those emissions need to be falling sharply, not just leveling off, let alone rising. Colorado State University climate scientist Scott Denning said “We’ve got to cut emissions by half in the next decade, and by half again in the next two decades, as well. The fact that it’s going up is like a red flag flashing light on the dashboard.”

“The problem is, we live in an economy built on perpetual growth but we on a finite planet with limited resources and sinks.”

The same day, the journal BioScience published a letter by more than 15,000 scientists from around the world that looks back at the human response to climate change and other environmental challenges in the 25 years since another large group of scientists published the 1992 “World Scientists Warning to Humanity.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How climate change will mess with water ‘recharge’ in Western U.S.

How climate change will mess with water ‘recharge’ in Western U.S.

Over pumping our aquifers beyond recharge is a dangerous situation and not “sustainable” as Northern California wine makers sell us. Both Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties have been merchandising our water resources beyond recharge for years according to our state. We are on the edge of drought patterns.

Source: University of Arizona

As the climate warms, the dry southern regions of the Western United States will have less groundwater recharge while the northern regions will have more, researchers report.

“Our study asked what will be the effect of climate change on groundwater recharge in the Western US in the near future, 2021-2050, and the far future, 2070-2100,” says first author Rewati Niraula, who worked on the research as part of his doctoral work in the University of Arizona hydrology and atmospheric sciences department.

“…for those places that are already having problems, climate change is going to tighten the screws…”

The new study covers the entire US West, from the High Plains states to the Pacific coast, and provides the first detailed look at how groundwater recharge may change as the climate changes, says senior author Thomas Meixner, professor of hydrology and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona.

“For the southern region of the Western US there will be a reduction in groundwater recharge, and in the northern region of the Western US we will have an increase,” says Niraula, now a senior research associate at the Texas Institute of Applied Environmental Research at Tarleton State University.

Groundwater is an important source of freshwater, particularly in the West, and is often used to make up for the lack of surface water during droughts, the authors note. In many areas of the West, groundwater pumping currently exceeds the amount of groundwater recharge.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Crisis, ‘Smart’ Growth and the Logic of Calamity

Climate Crisis, ‘Smart’ Growth and the Logic of Calamity

A few years back at a Leftish gathering a group of self-described Marxist economists channeled liberal Democrat Paul Krugman’s explanation of the Great Recession without apparently knowing of Mr. Krugman’s thesis. Basically, a self-perpetuating recession had a grip on the economy, Wall Street was a catalyst of the crisis but ultimately only a bit player, money is economically ‘neutral,’ and government spending could raise demand and end the recession.

This is all standard fare in liberal economics. Within the circular logic of the genre, it circles just fine. What was odd was hearing it from self-described Marxists. Since Wall Street created the money that fueled the housing bubble and bust through predatory lending, how was its role not (1) pivotal and (2) political? If money is ‘neutral,’ why have financial asset prices responded so favorably (for their owners) to asset purchases by global central banks? And finally, where is the class analysis?

In similar fashion, UMASS Amherst economist Robert Pollin arguedrecently that capitalist economic production is necessary to maintain social wellbeing. The object of his disparagement is the suggestion that a planned reduction in economic growth (‘degrowth’) is the most probable way of resolving climate crisis. For the uninitiated, the contention that challenges to capitalist production will hurt ‘the little people’ has been a rhetorical tactic of capitalist economists for at least a century now.

Graph: Real (inflation-adjusted) Per Capita GDP is more than double today what it was in 1970. In the U.S. in 1970 mass starvation was notably absent. So people could conceivably not only get by if U.S. GDP were halved, but could thrive. The problems with doing so are (1) social complexity has been built into the political economy and (2) unwinding this complexity requires planning and the political will to do so. However, climate crisis poses the threat of unplanned degrowth of similar or greater magnitude. Source: St. Louis Federal Reserve

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Change and the Challenge to All Forms of Agriculture

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE CHALLENGE TO ALL FORMS OF AGRICULTURE

We´ve all heard of climate change and probably understand the basics of how excess greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide produced by our society´s burning of fossil fuels is causing the earth´s temperature to rise. We´ve most likely seen maps of what the world will look like when the glaciers and icebergs melt causing the ocean to rise and most of us probably accept that it is a danger to our civilization.

For most people, however, we suffer from a cognitive dissonance that doesn´t allow us to make meaningful changes to our way of life-based on the knowledge that we have. Though the reports and predictions by climate scientists are certainly frightening, they seem like far away and distant possibilities. The 1-2 degrees of temperature change sure don´t feel that extreme, especially as we relax in our air-conditioned homes or drive to work in our air-conditioned cars.

In case you haven´t heard enough of the doomsday facts and figures, here are a few more figures from NASA to put into perspective how far climate change has advanced:

– The loss of ice in Greenland has doubled between 1996 and 2005.
– The ice cover in the Arctic decreases by 13.4% every decade.
– 9 of the 10 warmest years have occurred since the year 2000.
– Carbon dioxide levels in the air are at their highest level in 650,000 years.
– The sea will rise between 7 and 23 inches by the end of this century.

Over 100 million people who live in coastal areas will purportedly be affected by the rising sea levels caused by global warming leading to a serious demographic crisis of climate refugees.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Soft Belly of The Oil Industry: an Upcoming Seneca Collapse? 

The Soft Belly of The Oil Industry: an Upcoming Seneca Collapse? 

 
Ugo Bardi explains his idea of an impending “Seneca Collapse” of the world’s oil industry at the session on climate change of the meeting of the Club of Rome in Vienna, on 10 Nov 2017. What follows are not the exact words said, but a text which maintains the gist of this brief comment. It was focused on the concept that the oil industry has a “soft belly” in the fact that it produces mainly fuel for engines used for transportation. If this market were reduced by the introduction of electric vehicles and other transportation innovations, the whole industry could collapse. That would be a good thing for the earth’s ecosystem and for humankind in general.
 
Dear colleagues, we are having an interesting discussion on how to stop climate change and I think I could add some thoughts of mine on the basis of my recent work that I published in the form of the book titled “The Seneca Effect“.
The problem we have been discussing is how to limit emissions and we saw that it needs to be done fast and even drastically if we want to avoid the worse effects of climate change. Obviously, it is not easy. (image from Skeptical Science)
Most of what has been said today was based on a “top-down” approach, which I may also describe as supply-limiting. That is, we are speaking of a carbon tax, of emission limits, and the like; measures that governments should take in order to limit the production of fossil fuels. I don’t have to tell you that it is an effort that has been ongoing for several years and yet emissions keep growing. It doesn’t seem to work
So,  can we take the opposite approach? That is, look at the demand side in a “bottom-up” approach?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Agriculture and climate change: Is farming really a moveable feast?

Agriculture and climate change: Is farming really a moveable feast?

There is a notion afoot that our agricultural production can simply migrate toward the poles in the face of climate change as areas in lower latitudes overheat and dry up. Few people contemplate what such a move would entail and whether it would actually be feasible.

One assumption behind this falsely reassuring idea is that soil quality is somehow roughly uniform across the planet. But, of course, this is completely false. Soil quality and composition vary widely, often within walking distance on the same farm. Farmers simply moving north (or south in the Southern Hemisphere) in response to climate change will not automatically encounter soil suitable for farming.

We must also consider that lands not previously farmed may very well be forested. Knocking down the trees and clearing the stumps might make such lands arable. But the loss of carbon storage that trees represent would only make climate change worse.

Quite often we think of rural areas as being undeveloped. But nothing could be further from the truth. Agricultural regions have complex networks involving roads, communications and electricity grids, irrigation systems, grain elevators, farm supply and machinery merchants, rail depots, agricultural research stations and field projects, government-sponsored agricultural assistance centers and the specialists attached to them, and entire towns which act as gathering places and service centers for those working in rural communities. All of this would have to be duplicated in newly opened agricultural lands for which pioneering settlers would have to be recruited. These pioneers would have to want to live in previously unsettled or sparsely settled areas with few amenities.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Should we try to fix global warming with fake volcanic eruptions? TBD.

The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 sent planet-cooling aerosols into the atmosphere. Photo by Arlan Naeg/AFP/Getty Images.

By Mary Beth Griggs

With heat-trapping carbon emissions on the rise again, researchers are looking for ways to turn down the thermostat while humanity gets itself under control. One potential solution? Try to copy volcanic eruptions. But in addition to adjusting the temperature, such practices could change the frequency of hurricanes, or the location of droughts.

When explosive volcanic eruptions occur — like the one at Mount Pinatubo in 1991 — they send small particles of ash and gas high into the atmosphere. These so-called aerosols block and reflect sunlight, providing a temporary cold compress to the Earth’s rising temperatures.

After years of watching volcanos go through the motions, some researchers are looking into whether they can use that same method to help cool down the planet — an idea known as solar geoengineering. But a set of studies published this month show just how complicated a proposition that might be.

“Sulfur dioxide is emitted by volcanic eruptions. It’s also relatively cheap and relatively common, so it’s the natural candidate for solar geoengineering,” says Anthony Jones, author of a recent Nature Communications study on the subject. “It’s basically copying a volcanic eruption, and then extending the injection of the aerosols into the atmosphere.”

Sulfur dioxide is a common occupant of the dramatic cloud that follows an Earthly eruption, and when it gets into the atmosphere it expands and reacts with other chemicals — including water — to form aerosol particles, which can reflect sunlight back into space and cool the Earth below.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Implementing the Helm Review on the Cost of UK Energy

Implementing the Helm Review on the Cost of UK Energy

The UK Government has made a call for evidence on the Helm Review published on 25th October 2017. At the time the review was published I chose not to share my opinions on the consequences of implementing Helm’s proposals since I believe these may be far reaching and have a large negative impact on UK citizens, businesses and the economy. At the time I did not want to upset the apple cart since I also believe Helm offers the best path forward for so long as the UK Government remains committed to its 2008 Climate Change Act (CCA).  Helm’s proposals will deliver sharply higher energy and electricity prices, carbon reduction and hopefully a functioning energy and electricity system and market. Muddling along as now will also deliver sharply higher prices with no guarantee of carbon reduction and the near certainty of a broken and dysfunctional energy system.

[Inset image is the Coire Glas pumped storage hydro scheme in Scotland, designed to store surplus wind power and provide 30GWh of storage. Still empty after all those years, Coire Glas stands as testimony to renewable fantasy colliding with thermodynamic and economic reality.]

Energy is More than Electricity

Helm’s review was on the cost of UK energy, which encompasses oil, gas, coal, nuclear and renewables. While his review is focussed on electricity he does make sufficient reference to these other energy sources to make clear that his recommendations apply to the whole energy system.

[Inset image is the Coire Glas pumped storage hydro scheme in Scotland, designed to store surplus wind power and provide 30GWh of storage. Still empty after all those years, Coire Glas stands as testimony to renewable fantasy colliding with thermodynamic and economic reality.]

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse

Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse

Methane leaks in New Mexico’s oil and gas industry equal 12 coal-fired power plants.

A gas flare at a gas-processing facility in North Dakota. CREDIT: AP/Matthew Brown
A GAS FLARE AT A GAS-PROCESSING FACILITY IN NORTH DAKOTA. CREDIT: AP/MATTHEW BROWNThe evidence is overwhelming that natural gas has no net climate benefit in any timescale that matters to humanity.

In fact, a shocking new study concludes that just the methane emissions escaping from New Mexico’s gas and oil industry are “equivalent to the climate impact of approximately 12 coal-fired power plants.” If the goal is to avoid catastrophic levels of warming, a recent report by U.K. climate researchers finds “categorically no role” to play for new natural gas production.

Sadly, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has just published a “Commentary” on “the environmental case for natural gas,” that ignores or downplays key reasons that greater use of natural gas is bad for the climate.

In the real world, natural gas is not a “bridge” fuel to a carbon-free economy for two key reasons. First, natural gas is mostly methane (CH4), a super-potent greenhouse gas, which traps 86 times as much heat as CO2 over a 20-year period.

That’s why many, many studies find that even a very small leakage rate of methane from the natural gas supply chain (production to delivery to combustion) can have a large climate impact  —  enough to gut the entire benefit of switching from coal-fired power to gas for a long, long time.

Second, other studies find  —  surprise, surprise  —  natural gas plants don’t replace only high-carbon coal plants. They commonly replace very low carbon power sources like solar, wind, nuclear, and even energy efficiency, which is often overlooked as a major alternative to fossil fuels. That means even a very low leakage rate wipes out the climate benefit of fracking.

Humanity Sealed Its Own Fate: 15,000 Scientists Sign A “Doomsday Warning”

Humanity Sealed Its Own Fate: 15,000 Scientists Sign A “Doomsday Warning”

earthquake drought natural disaster

A catastrophic warning about humanity’s impending doom was just signed by 15,000 scientists; they all agree that we’ve already sealed our fate.

The signed letter, which was apparently first written in 1992, claims all of the predictions made by scientists have come true except one. Apart from the hole in the ozone layer, which has now stabilized, every one of the major threats identified in 1992 has worsened.

The prophetic warning letter from 1992 argued human impacts on the natural world were likely to lead to “vast human misery” and a planet that was “irretrievably mutilated.” Climate change, deforestation, loss of access to fresh water, animal species extinctions, and uncontrolled human population growth are all threatening mankind’s and the Earth’s future.

It’s been about 25 years since the first doomsday warning letter was signed and scientists are now saying that the Earth is in even more dire shape.  More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries said humans had “unleashed a mass extinction event,the sixth in roughly 540 million years.”

The message, which was posted online and is an update to the original Warning from the Union of Concerned Scientists and around 1,700 signatories delivered in 1992.  The World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity was written and spearheaded by the late Henry Kendall, former chair of UCS’s board of directors. But scientists still agree that runaway consumption of natural resources by an exploding population remains the biggest danger facing humankind, say the scientists.

In the more recent doomsday warning, scientists warn that human beings should eat less meat, have fewer kids, consume less, and use green energy to save the planet. In the past 25 years, scientists have pointed out the following:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Runaway Inequality Creates Runaway Global Warming

How Runaway Inequality Creates Runaway Global Warming

How Runaway Inequality Creates Runaway Global Warming

The bottom half of humans own next to nothing, but they own as much as the world’s richest 80 individuals do, because though the bottom half are poor, there are 3.79 billion of them.

The average person among the richest 80 owns 45,750,000 times as much as does the average person among the lower half. In other words: in terms of wealth, the typical one of those hyper-rich equals nearly 46 million of those poor people.

The richest person among the poor half of humanity owns approximately $5,000, but billions of people in the lower half own less than nothing — they’re negative net worth: owing more than they own. However, whatever they own is visible, and easily seizable, either by creditors, or by thieves.

By contrast, the wealth of all billionaires, including of the top 80, is largely secret, lots of it being in shell companies, many offshore, untraceable. Consequently, estimates of the wealth of the richest 80 individuals are probably unrealistically low. This secretiveness is a major reason why the public tolerates being ruled by an aristocracy: they don’t even recognize that they are — they think they live in a democracy, even if they don’t.

The roughly two thousand known billionaires do lots of business with others in the billionaire class, and with politicians whose careers they fund. And they tend to get what they want in the resulting governmental policies.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

People Act Where US Fails On Climate

People Act Where US Fails On Climate

The climate crisis is upon us. It seems that every report on climate conditions has one thing in common: things are worse than predicted. The World Meteorological Report from the end of October shows that Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) are rising at a rapid rate and have passed 400 parts per million. According to Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, “the changes we’re making today are occurring in 100 years, whereas in nature they occur in 10,000 years.”

The United States is experiencing a wide range of climate impacts from major hurricanes in the South to unprecedented numbers of wildfires in the West to crop-destroying drought in the Mid-West. In October, the General Accounting Office reported that the US has spent over $350 billion in the last decade on disaster relief and crop insurance, not counting this year’s hurricanes. These costs will continue and rise.

We are past the time to make a major commitment to the transformation we need to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. Imagine the benefits that such a commitment would have in creating a cleaner environment, better health and more jobs and, if structured in a way that is democratized and benefits the public, in ending environmental racism and economic injustice.

Climate talks in Germany

The 23rd session of climate talks is taking place right now in Bonn, Germany. The United States formally withdrew from its commitment to the Paris climate treaty, but delegations of people from the US are in attendance to show their commitment to addressing the climate crisis. A group of organizations, such as 350.org and Indigenous Environmental Network, presented their climate platform as “the people’s delegation.” They are calling for a just transition to a fossil-free future and an end to market schemes to offset carbon use.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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