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Messages - fred

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1
Consequences / Re: When and how bad?
« on: May 08, 2013, 06:04:33 PM »
I think the idea that a market economy exists that will level food prices and restore food to everyone is wrong.

I think that ideal might exist in a single roughly homogenous economy. over the scope of the entire world, i think it is absurd.

Over on Wunderground, someone recently posted about the Indian suicides and Monsanto. Take that as you will, where was the market then? Regardless of cause, the suicides are facts. So is drought, etc.

And this will get worse, not better, as food prices go higher. Imagine the reaction in the US if we decided to contribute more money to ship food to Africa in an environment of rising prices? The GOP would go crazy as would a lot of Dems.

So a lot of third world people die, which leads to a lot of revolutions, extremism, etc. That is what I fear more than direct physical causes: our track record of solving disputes peacefully is poor at best. Look at congress today. How are they going to solve anything when situations start getting bad?


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Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise by 2100 (POLL)
« on: April 30, 2013, 03:51:42 PM »
I read over on the "why does the sea level rise unevenly" (under the consequences category) that in some cases there could be even 100s of meters of difference in rise based one location.

Based on what i understood from skimming that article that shallow oceans near mountains and continents would gain the most rise. In other words, based on the geoid, the mediteranean and Asia would be hit the hardest.

All the sealevel rise projections I have seen to my knowledge just show flooding based on topography, i.e. if every one walked out to the high water mark of their nearest ocean and stood there for 100 years, eventually they would be waist deep.

However, is it true that the sea level rise is this different from place to place based on gravity, et al?

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Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise by 2100 (POLL)
« on: April 30, 2013, 12:27:46 PM »
> 3 meters is not only the maximum but also what I expect.

Very subjective reasoning based, today, on the fact that a dog bit me when I was walking my dog and then when I forgot the code for my phone, the phone company texted me the temporary password: Wild Dog.

Seems unrelated but what are the chances of those two events happening together? Given all the different changes that are happening in the arctic and the fact that NONE of them, eh.. to my knowledge, are negative, I think we are screwed.

I say "we" in the general global warming sense, however obviously those people in Miami, Baltimore, the Amazon, Sri Lanka, etc are far more so.

4
Consequences / Re: When and how bad?
« on: April 15, 2013, 03:36:33 PM »
@JimD

Do you hear yourself?: "But there will be a winnowing of consumers triggered by their lack of ability to afford food long before we lose the capability to grow enough food for everyone actually occurs (a totally different issue). "

Uh, so it isn't a disaster for you, short term, nice to know. Sad about the rest of effing us.

Freak.

5
Consequences / Re: When and how bad?
« on: April 14, 2013, 11:05:01 AM »
@JimD

Long post, let me condense:

"I don't trust people who think disaster is right around the corner (w/i 10 years) because some experts may have privately not said anything to amateurs."

I think if you were to start doing an article analysis on experts publicly stated opinions, you would find that as the effects have accelerated, there has been a huge shift in recent years about how bad and how quick the situation will change. Until you can find some scientist saying that the short term isn't a problem, I would have to say you are blowing smoke. I find many more amateur comments of the ilk: "I spoke to so and so and their fear is causing auto-defecation."

However, I leave it to you find contrary comments since those seem to have registered with you while the reverse registers with me.

I didn't read the rest of your post since i assumed it was pointless.


6
Consequences / Re: When and how bad?
« on: April 12, 2013, 11:06:20 AM »
As I've said upthread, I'm with the more optimistic few on this thread.  There is a high likelihood of significant starvation events in countries that are already poor and net food importers.  But not mass starvation in developed nations unless we really screw the pooch and go to a +6C world.

I'm a little skeptical about that graphene desalination filter - I'll have to do more reading to see how that's really supposed to work, but the news article must have something wrong.   Taken at face value, it's saying that water molecules are smaller than salt ... but salt dissolved in water is separate Na+ and Cl- ions.  I looked up the ionic radii of those and they're 116 and 167 respectively.  Water has a molecular diameter of 275 or 320, depending on how you weight the charge distribution.  (All of those in picometers.)  So while there may be some way for graphene to act as a salt filter, there's more to it than the news article explains.

Well, the graphene membrane for reverse osmosis may well be a major advance.  You're right, I think, about ionic radii--in a vacuum.  In water, each ion is surrounded by a spherical arrangement of polar H2O molecules.  Confronted with a sufficiently small pore, solo water molecules will get through and ions will stay on the salty side.

So far, nothing new in this.  Reverse osmosis has been around for a long time for desalination.  It seems the energy and pressures needed depend on the *thickness* of the membrane.  Graphene, being at about the theoretical limit for a membrane, would seem to be ideal.  This *might* be a just-in-the-nick-of-time advance, to make water for agriculture cheap/plentiful around the world.  Let's hope, anyway.

Have they actually produced graphene sheets in any useable dimension? Serious question, I mean useable in the very subjective sense of finding a way to make graphene useable commercially even if that useable dimension is very very small.

7
Consequences / Re: When and how bad?
« on: April 12, 2013, 11:01:43 AM »
Fred,

There is a big difference between Neven's Arctic Sea Ice blog and AMEG.

Neither of these blogs is populated by the leading PhD (researcher) experts in these subjects.  Neven's blog is one of those rarities who posters have largely managed to investigate their subject area in a well reasoned manner.  While they go out on speculative limbs far more than a published expert would be willing to do they control themselves with reasoned polite feedback.  The are not  top of the line experts and do not sell themselves as such.  However they do good enough work that they are paid attention to by those who are doing the leading edge work.  They have earned respect and some credibility.

AMEG however is held in some distain and contempt by the leading researchers in that subject area.  That should tell you something.  I, who an no great shakes as a scientist or mathematician, have looked at postings there and found serious flaws.  I find the site to have little value in adding to my understanding of the subject.

As to who is correct on when real collapse kicks in time will tell.  If I am right I will be long gone by then so you won't have to hear me tell you I told you so.  If your right I'll be around and you can have what satisfaction it gives you.

I would have no satisfaction for any bad result so that whole paragraph wasn't even worth writing.

My point was that there are NO scientists who are willing to come out and say that collapse, etc won't happen in the next 10 years. You were wrong to imply that there were. You were doubly wrong to take the superior tone of voice about people who think imminent danger is here.

Scientists in this field, of whom I am not (at least in this field), write papers that are about 95% certainty. Thus: we can say within 95% certainty that the oceans will rise one meter in the next 100 years.

That is an essentially useless statement and the lack of data doesn't imply that the oceans won't rise 1 meter within 20 years. I realize there is a statistical way to get the likelyhood within 20 years from the same dataset. And I am sure that any scientist who calculates 95% also calculates 10, 20 50, etc percent even if they don't publish those figures. So maybe it is possible to extrapolate that scientists are not alarmed based on this fact. However that line of reasoning has any number of weak spots.

Maybe you are right about AMEG, I don't know anything about them. They sprang to mind because they are in the news, one of the few bright spots in public awareness. But your whole post about the blogs makes no sense. You said nothing except that the average blogger on Nevin's site and here are polite.

So I repeat, find a single scientist who is willing to state on record that we are not in deep emergency doo doo, to express it scientifically. Otherwise, concede that your whole 'tone of reason' post is hypocritical.

8
Sorry if this was posted somewhere. I skipped page 2 (will go back though).

The Greenland ice sheet melt to sea level rise is roughly 220:1 based just on surface area. In other words, for the sea level to go up 1 meter, 220 meters has to melt from Greenland across the entire ice sheet.

I don't know how the melt varies with height but using the value of 2,135 metres as an average (wikipedia), if the arctic melts in the summer and there are warm winds across greenland, I could see a few meters on average per summer based on similar melts in mountain glaciers at that height.

Of course I have no data on this, just experience living on mountains and watching ice melt there. But that doesn't cover soot, water flow, etc... all the stuff that a serious guess would try to take into account.




9
Consequences / Re: When and how bad?
« on: April 11, 2013, 10:10:11 AM »
Most of what has been said in this thread is not supportable by rational argument or peer-reviewed literature. The tendency of posters on this forum to throw peer-reviewed literature out the window because scientists are too "conservative" is unfortunate.

Potential food production on earth is FAR greater than actual food production. Market-based national food-exporting economies will never issue blanket bans on exports. Russia's grain yields that year were not large enough to export grain regardless of the ban. Food is an international commodity. Say a major food exporter, like the U.S. has a bad year. So we export less food than normal. We don't ban exporters unless the yield is so bad that we cannot meet domestic demand (we wouldn't even issue a ban in such a case, market forces would simply lead to zero exports). Breaking things down on a country by country basis is irrelevant. As long as global food production approximately equals global caloric demand in any given year, market forces will distribute the food. Given global food production is not even close to its potential, there is little need for concern. There is unused and under-utilized land. In addition, the use of land for feeding and raising meat is incredibly wasteful calorically. This land will gradually be converted to feeding people directly, as prices rise.

The real issue is that portions of the world (primarily Africa) currently and will likely continue to have economies that are unable of producing enough food to meet domestic demand, or producing enough value to import sufficient quantities of food. This situation may gradually and slightly exacerbated by any negative effects of climate change on global food production.

And yet your entire post is not supported by rational argument, science or peer review. I defy you to find one peer reviewed publication that says, "oh don't worry about it". You will find lots that project a trend within 95% certainty, etc.. When was the last time you let you kid play on a train track based on 95% certainty schedules of a train coming? I'll bet even a few percent is too much for you.

The rest of your post shows a stunning lack of understanding about anything outside a nice cozy little first world market. For example, no one is starving right now in Africa, yeah? Or ever have? Because the magical market fairy supplies food to them under cost.

Jesus effing Christ.

10
Consequences / Re: When and how bad?
« on: April 11, 2013, 10:09:49 AM »
Most of what has been said in this thread is not supportable by rational argument or peer-reviewed literature. The tendency of posters on this forum to throw peer-reviewed literature out the window because scientists are too "conservative" is unfortunate.

Potential food production on earth is FAR greater than actual food production. Market-based national food-exporting economies will never issue blanket bans on exports. Russia's grain yields that year were not large enough to export grain regardless of the ban. Food is an international commodity. Say a major food exporter, like the U.S. has a bad year. So we export less food than normal. We don't ban exporters unless the yield is so bad that we cannot meet domestic demand (we wouldn't even issue a ban in such a case, market forces would simply lead to zero exports). Breaking things down on a country by country basis is irrelevant. As long as global food production approximately equals global caloric demand in any given year, market forces will distribute the food. Given global food production is not even close to its potential, there is little need for concern. There is unused and under-utilized land. In addition, the use of land for feeding and raising meat is incredibly wasteful calorically. This land will gradually be converted to feeding people directly, as prices rise.

The real issue is that portions of the world (primarily Africa) currently and will likely continue to have economies that are unable of producing enough food to meet domestic demand, or producing enough value to import sufficient quantities of food. This situation may gradually and slightly exacerbated by any negative effects of climate change on global food production.

And yet your entire post is not supported by rational argument, science or peer review. I defy you to find one peer reviewed publication that says, "oh don't worry about it". You will find lots that project a trend within 95% certainty, etc.. When was the last time you let you kid play on a train track based on 95% certainty schedules of a train coming? I'll bet even a few percent is too much for you.

The rest of your post shows a stunning lack of understanding about anything outside a nice cozy little first world market. For example, no one is starving right now in Africa, yeah? Or ever have? Because the magical market fairy supplies food to them under cost.

Jesus effing Christ.

11
Consequences / Re: When and how bad?
« on: April 11, 2013, 09:59:30 AM »
@JimD  « on: April 10, 2013, 10:30:45 PM »

LOL: "For instance, it is not difficult to find posters here and on other blogs who are making comments about collapse occurring within a very short timeframe and that you must take affirmative action to deal with it now, or, conversely, that it is too late to do anything.  Are these tyle of statements based upon rational thought or real possibilities?  I think not.  "

So your thoughts are sage but everyone else who disagrees with you is not?

The entire post is content-less, unless you consider that a real expert at Real Climate was not worried about one part of methane release....on the other hand, a lot of experts are worried. AMEG.me et al for a few.

As you pointed out, it is a complex system. So where do you get off saying because we don't have the capacity to predict it, therefore we have time?


12
Consequences / Re: When and how bad?
« on: April 10, 2013, 12:24:49 PM »
I say rapidly and very bad.

I think arctic seaice will go this summer or the next. That is the first structural failure of our equilibrium. Shallow sea methane is next, permafrost following. All of these will happen unless there is some massive CO2 storage scheme, which won't happen. I'd say roughly 10 years for that.

After that I have no predictions but that is enough. That isn't enough time to adapt, to shift populations, etc. I'd guess minimum 10% casualty rate in the next 15 years, more if war, etc are involved.

13
I'm going for  -700000.

The negative represents the amount of ice that would be melted if we were not already at zero.

This works better for volume, because then heat content could be used. But given the subject is area, this is what I would guess.

Sorry if I am pessimistic but eyeballing the charts, then adding the fracturing and loss of heat into Europe and the US this winter, I think we are effed.

14
Arctic sea ice / Re: What will the Arctic resemble in 2050?
« on: March 11, 2013, 01:02:42 PM »
@Jim Hunt

Bar Harbor because I see it becoming the new playground for the rich: better climate than the Carribean, losts of real estate, etc..   a playground for those who can afford to escape it all.

15
Arctic sea ice / Re: What will the Arctic resemble in 2050?
« on: March 09, 2013, 03:41:38 PM »
The Arctic in 2050 will resemble Bar Harbor in the summer 2010.

(My instinctual response: "effin' Miami beach, man" was held up in committee and so a new response was drafted, which not only made it out of committee but managed to squeak by in both House and Senate, and consequentially you see it above.)

16
Policy and solutions / Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« on: March 07, 2013, 04:10:27 PM »
Aye, I read it and didn't reply immediately. I don't mind the poetry, by the way, in fact I'd prefer reading comments like yours, I just didn't follow the logic in this case, not saying it wasn't there, just that I didn't follow it.

17
Policy and solutions / Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« on: March 07, 2013, 03:16:38 PM »
Well…I attributed the qualification ‘hopeless’ to the concept of monkey wrenching. That, of course, is a personal qualification. ....

......I may never get to see a whale. But I know they’re possible. And, in a way, they’re immortal.

There is hope, but it will be wasted by violence.

Um, not sure I get the point here. Sorry to be obtuse. Are you saying that because of a deep sense of inner poetry, violence destroys the hope of stopping global warming?

If so, I hope you'll forgive me for not accepting your argument. Neither do i accept your argument about instantaneous results. Instantaneously, the results could be perfect; it is the backlash and repair that ruins monkeywrenching - and as noted above, anonymous monkeywrenching, of the type that seems to be being done to some attempts to drill in the Arctic, could be effective. (So far there hasn't been any backlash against the green movement for the failure of Shell to drill.)

However, I agree with you about the renaissance, except for Donatello and Brunelleschi, you could throw the whole fat little baby classical/catholic/pagan smorgashborg in the Arno for all I care.

18
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic sea ice free (extent)
« on: March 06, 2013, 02:24:20 PM »
My guess is 2014. I don't think there is anything linear about this.

Not only does open water earlier have more heating, open water has more currents. I think it's like dropping a pat of butter in a soup: as long as the soup isn't stirred, the pat remains insulated by its melt a bit. Stir the pot and the melts almost instantly (i.e. relatively instantly: within margins of error for size of pat, etc.)

If melting is on the same scale more or less as last year, it seems that the chances of another storm dealing serious damage, if not a death blow, seem larger each year. I think the edge or tipping point for loss of summer ice could be well more than 1 million skms.

19
Policy and solutions / Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« on: March 04, 2013, 09:33:08 AM »
I think the direction the thread went made sense: Monkeywrenching is a viable alternative provided that the end result doesn't hurt anyone and is effective. The road block seems to be that effective monkeywrenching is difficult to define and even more difficult to do, all the results seem to backfire, and so while it may be theoretically a noble thing to do, practically it doesn't work.

But of all the reasons not to monkeywrench, worrying about homeland security or a trip to cuba or whatever seem really far down the scale. Not that i am interested in bodily harm or being tortured, but the premise was that if the Keystone pipeline is so bad, then there is a moral obligation to do something about it, even if it means running afoul of the various agencies protecting the US. It goes abck to the concentration camp metafore: if someone builds a concentration camp down the road from you and you don't act, your life is over anyway in all terms except biological.

20
Policy and solutions / Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« on: March 01, 2013, 08:18:23 AM »
From a anal retentive philosophical point of view, I don't think the statement that "monkey wrenching is a hopeless" could be 100% true in any universe that wasn't created just to make it true. Categories and reality don't work like: the odds that a two separate phenomena (hopeless and monkeywrenching) line up perfectly in some category space is essentially nill.

Aside from the philosophically anal retentive argument, there are many examples of monkey wrenching sabotage that have worked, e.g. partisans, some of GreenPeace's actions (some!), etc.. That was what this thread was about: defining that line. Blanket statements that are a priori wrong about  the phenomena in question being a priori wrong without evidence to back them up are stealing denialist's methodology.

That doesn't mean that I don't agree with you emotionally though. I think your stance is one that I would rather fail with than risk monkey wrenching just to save the planet. Hmmm, "just to save the planet"....  "I agree with you emotionally though" ... both seem to be true in me. I still have some internal resolving to do... I'm missing something here.

As far as biking goes, I would love to join you but it would have to be a family affair... and given my wife's stance that she will bike with me when we buy an electric bike, combined with the emergency purchase this morning of a washer dryer set for her parents... well, please post the pictures so I can live vicariously.

21
Policy and solutions / Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« on: February 28, 2013, 08:55:03 AM »
By the way, there is a third type of monkey wrenching.

I am basing my categories on the social divisions created: the first being violence based blowing stuff up (very divisive: us v. them), the second being controlled soft (political protest but we are all human). The third is unknown: invisible monkey wrenching that doesn't create divisions because no one knows it ever existed: soft sabotage that raises costs, lowers productivity, etc but can't blamed on anyone.

Think of, for lack of bothering to find a better example, my social life: suddenly I am driving home by myself and thinking hmm, that went pretty well... oh wait, hang-on a minute, I am driving home by myself again.

22
Policy and solutions / Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« on: February 28, 2013, 08:46:27 AM »
I am not sure how to judge hostility levels in the country either. I have experience with both unbelievable aggression and with great levels of commonsense between very politically opposed people.

So here is my take on it:

Fred's rule of human behavior is that any subset of humanity has all the flaws of any other subset, i.e. even one section of my brain has all the behavior (love, hate, charity, mercy, cruelty, apathy, etc.) that has even been exhibited in any other section of humanity from conquering nations to little kids playing in the street.

So I assume these divisions have always existed in the world and that people are always in conflict internally with each other (as opposed to overt actuall conflict). What scares me is the trigger point and the magnitude of the emotion that is coming. So I think what people are sensing is not new conflicts between people but a building up of pressure; maybe an earthquake analogy is appropriate here, or two people who are stuck in an elevator for 8 hours and one kills the other and later can't explain why.

Why the build up of pressure? I have hypotheses but I won't waste time here with them. I think though, that climate change can be either the event that relieves these pressures or the event that focuses them into flash points, i.e. if climate change happens at a certain speed and is duly recognized, them we all pull together and fight it as one. If it is ignored until it is a disaster, then we turn into Haiti and have to hope for some sort of second foundation to pull us out of the mess.

23
Policy and solutions / Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« on: February 26, 2013, 11:10:21 AM »
I appreciate everyone's comments and there are some points to think about.

The general tone seems to be that monkeywrenching wouldn't help as it might give ammunition to the GOP faux conservatives to paint the issue as an 'eco-nut' issue. I also accept the 'powder dry now' argument given above.

And that is partially what I was thinking about in terms of not being effective. But more I was thinking about physically being not effective: the only way to shut down the pipeline (other than legal challenges) would be temporary and probably cause environmental damage. I had assumed that the monkey wrenching could be done in such a way as to control the press somewhat. I see the point though, even if no one is killed, any sort of explosion or damage would still trigger right wing paranoid fantasies.

So I think the question has been answered: the cause is just (i.e. the gun to our children's head) but the timing is that the monkey wrenching should start when it will be effective, i.e. it is not about the deep emotional satisfaction of watching a piece of pipe get blocked or whatever because that only leads to the deep emotional dissatisfaction of watching new and worse actions being done, legal, infrastructure-ish, etc.

I guess that leads to the next question: how to judge effectiveness? Under what conditions and what type of action is correct to do?

Maybe if it was done right, e.g. a mile of pipe is filled with apple pie, or something else so innocuous it can't be taken seriously as terrorism...

 

24
Policy and solutions / So when does monkey wrenching start?
« on: February 25, 2013, 10:32:43 AM »
I originally started to post this in response to the Keystone Pipeline topic: if the pipeline is so bad, when does monkey wrenching start?

It is a serious question. I don't want anyone killed. I believe the workers on the pipeline are good people just trying to support their families and thier lives have just as much value as anyone else's, including mine and my families.

But if the pipeline will cause so much destruction, when do we, as a community that believes this pipeline will kill thousands if not millions, take a stand? Are we like the people who live in a small town outside of a concentration camp and pretend it is all ok?

If it was a person being held hostage, or some other situation where that required immediate action, we would all be climbing all over each other to save the person, etc. How is this different?

If there was a world wide effort to monkey wrench oil and coal pollution, it would add to the cost at the pump and help make alternatives more viable.

So the question is: given all that we all believe, when do we take action? (I am not going to do so, by the way, so this isn't a holier than thou comment or a call to action, it is just a moral puzzle that bothers me. I am trying to discuss the moral issue to try to find within me a definition of where this line is written - and a big part of that is that I am not sure monkey wrenching is actually effective action.)

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