Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts: What Can I Do? (3)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 2:33 AM GMT on April 10, 2013

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Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts: What Can I Do? (3)

This is the continuation of a series in response to the question, “What can I do about climate change?” I thank Doug Glancy who helped me out last week with a blog Smoking, Marriage and Climate, which discussed the role of peer pressure and social networking to organize and develop a growing movement. These are ideas I will come back to later in the series.

In the first entry of the series, I set up the discussion with the definition of mitigation and adaptation. In this blog, I will focus on what individuals can do to mitigate climate change. That is, what can individuals do to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases?

The easy answer is to be more efficient. I included a complicated graph in the first blog that provided a foundation for thinking about efficiency. The message of that blog is that insulation improvements in building, fuel efficiency in transportation, elimination of standby losses, and more efficient lighting, air conditioning and water heating not only reduce emissions in a significant way but in a very short time they save money. “Standby losses” refers to computers that are left in a state of reduced power rather than being turned off. Chargers and adapters that are left plugged in when they are not being used also contribute to standby losses. According to Energy Star the average U.S. household spends about $100 per year on standby energy.

More efficient use of energy means less money spent buying energy. Over time, the savings in energy will pay for the upfront cost, for example, of installing better insulation or a more efficient water heater. Earlier, I wrote about personal barriers to taking action. Happily, federal and local governments and corporations have taken steps to reduce upfront costs, which many people cite as the reason they don’t spend on more efficient buildings and appliances. In other cases, there are local regulations and coding requirements that demand improving efficiency. A place, therefore, that an individual can contribute is to advocate and to support policies and corporations that advance more efficient use of energy. This helps to provide an environment that encourages better use of resources.

Individuals can and do make choices about fuel-efficient cars, public transportation, appliances and light bulbs. If your concern, however, is climate change, then you make these decisions and then don’t see immediate benefit to the climate. In fact, mostly we hear that carbon dioxide emissions continue to go up and that the planet is warming and changing in profound ways. Therefore, it is easy to become discouraged that an individual does not have a lot of impact. Turning this problem around, however, provides a different framing. Our individual behavior in the consumption of energy has, collectively, led to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: it has made the problem. Therefore, we have ample evidence that the collective behavior of individuals can have global consequences. This suggests that individuals should look at ways to promote the emergence of groups of people to enhance adoption of more energy-efficient buying and behavior.

Many individuals have the opportunity to contribute to the emergence of societal groups because they are part of organizations ranging from community associations to civic organizations – the list is long. As a member or leader of local organizations, you have opportunity to have a more direct impact. Students of mine have worked in efforts to improve insulation in entire neighborhoods and in the development of recycling and composting programs. Working in small organizations is also a place where people can take advantage of our natural competitive instincts and peer pressure to incorporate the power of social behavior.

A local activity that especially appeals to me is to get involved in local government and schools boards. This can either be as a citizen speaking at the meetings, volunteering, seeking appointments to committees or even getting elected. Activities range from working to assure excellent science education to asking for and developing weather and climate preparedness plans. Thinking about weather and climate in planning (adaptation) is a good way to make mitigation seem real.

Finally, individuals are often not individual in the resources they influence and control. People own businesses and work in management in companies. These are places where there is often strong attention to reducing cost; hence, efforts to reduce cost through efficiency are likely to be well received. Good businesses are often thinking long term – energy costs, appeal to customers who might be environmentally interested, emerging technology, protection of property, buildings and resources; therefore, business might see advantage in taking up initiatives that are beneficial to climate change. Businesses are places where individual influences have impacts that are far greater than that of a single person (UPS and Sustainability).

Here, I have provided a list of possibilities where the influence of an individual can reach beyond that of a single person. However, referring back to an earlier entry, I would argue that rather than a list of things that one can do, it is at least as important to state what to do and then provide the skills on how to do it. I need some help on skills of how to get things done, people with experience - perhaps the next guest blogger.

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Some Resources

Here are a couple of the better web sites I have found with the basic information of what individuals can do. Please send me more.

EPA: What You Can Do

Union of Concerned Scientists: What You Can Do About Climate Change

Links to the Series

Setting Up the Discussion Deciding to do something, definition of mitigation and adaptation, and a cost-benefit anchored framework for thinking about mitigation

Smoking, Marriage and Climate Behavioral changes and peer pressure

Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts A little detail on efficiency and thinking about how individuals can have more impact than just that of a single person

The Complete List Eight categories of things we can do to reduce greenhouse gases

We Are What We Eat Food and agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions

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From IEA:

Progress towards clean energy has stalled, IEA says

17 April 2013

The rapid expansion of renewable technologies is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak assessment of global progress towards low-carbon energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in an annual report to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) here today.

"The drive to clean up the world’s energy system has stalled," IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven told the CEM, which brings together ministers representing countries responsible for four-fifths of global greenhouse-gas emissions. "Despite much talk by world leaders, and despite a boom in renewable energy over the last decade, the average unit of energy produced today is basically as dirty as it was 20 years ago."

To illustrate this inertia, the report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, introduces the Energy Sector Carbon Intensity Index (ESCII), which shows how much carbon dioxide is emitted, on average, to provide a given unit of energy. The ESCII stood at 2.39 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of oil equivalent (tCO2/toe) in 1990, and had barely moved by 2010, holding at 2.37 tCO2/toe.

"As world temperatures creep higher due to ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide – two thirds of which come from the energy sector – the overall lack of progress should serve as a wake-up call," Ms. Van der Hoeven said. "We cannot afford another 20 years of listlessness. We need a rapid expansion in low-carbon energy technologies if we are to avoid a potentially catastrophic warming of the planet, but we must also accelerate the shift away from dirtier fossil fuels."

Read More>>
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
News from ETUI:

17 April 2013

Parliament vote on carbon change reform: dark day for climate and "just transition"

On 16 April, the European Parliament rejected a Commission proposal to breathe new life into the carbon emissions’ trading scheme (ETS), the Union’s flagship instrument for fighting climate change. The vote clearly confirms once more how Europe’s economic and financial crisis has put the EU’s green agenda on a back burner.

The Commission had proposed to postpone the auctioning of 900m carbon allowances (a reform known in EU-speak as "backloading") in an effort to tackle the extremely low market price of these permits. At current prices , the industry does not really have any incentive to introduce new low-carbon technologies as it can buy allowances to pollute at a very cheap price.

After heavy lobbying from different stakeholders, the MEPs voted 334 against the reform, with 315 in favour. Technically the parliament vote gave its environmental committee the possibility to revisit the proposal but politically most observers agree that it would be very hard to save the reform proposal.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) called it "a dark day for European climate action and those pushing for a sustainable exit from the crisis."

The ETUC also expressed another fundamental concern saying the vote showed "that there is a majority which is ready to use the current crises to impose a short-sighted vision of competitiveness and on these grounds oppose progressive proposals in the fields of environment or social protection. The ETUC sees this conservative stance as extremely worrying at a time when ambition and long-term vision are needed to protect our climate as well as to exit the crisis through investments, sustainable growth and job creation."

ETUI senior researcher Bela Galgoczi also sees a worrying trend of a conservative view of economic competitiveness taking priority over the EUs green agenda: "Signs were already bad when the EU backed up from putting international air traffic under the ETS. Then we see ‘brainless’ cuts in public funding of renewable energy under the under the austerity dogma. Competitiveness improvements should be targeted via energy and resource productivity gains and not through making pollution cheaper. This is wrong, counterproductive and damaging both for long term competitiveness, employment gains and the climate."
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
Quoting JohnLonergan:
Who needs temperature stations anyway?

Independent confirmation of global land warming without the use of station temperatures

Abstract


[1] Confidence in estimates of anthropogenic climate change is limited by known issues with air temperature observations from land stations. Station siting, instrument changes, changing observing practices, urban effects, land cover, land use variations, and statistical processing have all been hypothesized as affecting the trends presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others. Any artifacts in the observed decadal and centennial variations associated with these issues could have important consequences for scientific understanding and climate policy. We use a completely different approach to investigate global land warming over the 20th century. We have ignored all air temperature observations and instead inferred them from observations of barometric pressure, sea surface temperature, and sea-ice concentration using a physically-based data assimilation system called the 20th Century Reanalysis. This independent dataset reproduces both annual variations and centennial trends in the temperature datasets, demonstrating the robustness of previous conclusions regarding global warming.

See Skeptical Science for a discussion of the paper.



Yeah who needs that old 1800's technology anyways when we have satellites these days?????
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20459
Who needs temperature stations anyway?

Independent confirmation of global land warming without the use of station temperatures

Abstract


[1] Confidence in estimates of anthropogenic climate change is limited by known issues with air temperature observations from land stations. Station siting, instrument changes, changing observing practices, urban effects, land cover, land use variations, and statistical processing have all been hypothesized as affecting the trends presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others. Any artifacts in the observed decadal and centennial variations associated with these issues could have important consequences for scientific understanding and climate policy. We use a completely different approach to investigate global land warming over the 20th century. We have ignored all air temperature observations and instead inferred them from observations of barometric pressure, sea surface temperature, and sea-ice concentration using a physically-based data assimilation system called the 20th Century Reanalysis. This independent dataset reproduces both annual variations and centennial trends in the temperature datasets, demonstrating the robustness of previous conclusions regarding global warming.

See Skeptical Science for a discussion of the paper.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3600
Quoting Neapolitan:
Say, that looks like fun! let me try:

I've asked the question before that seems to be the crux of the earth-to-moon distance argument: does anyone really believe that we can calculate the average distance of the moon to any reliable degree close enough to be talking about monthly distance fluctuations of a few dozen meters? Considering the horrible placement of our distance measuring stations, the lack of worldwide distance measuring calibrations, and lack of data--when is the last time someone used an actual ruler?--I think it's ridiculous for astronomers to claim they can arrive at an accurate measurement. Garbage in/garbage out.

Ah, well. It's kinda sad to see poor little Anthony sinking so deeply into the Swamps of Denial that he resorts to relying on laughable garbage like the Butina "paper". I mean, anyone with first-grade reading skills can see that there's not a lot any credibility in the "article". I was going to dissect things just for fun, but saw that Sou over at HotWhopper already did so, saving me the trouble.


Speed of light in centimeters 29,979,245,800.00019 centimeters per second (cm/sec. No way they can be this accurate either. LOL....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20459
Quoting Naga5000:


Yes we can. You choose to ignore that fact. To even be arguing that there is no warming is absolutely asinine. Also, in that link, that man is not measuring what he thinks he's measuring.



Richard Telford and others eviscerate Darko Butina acticle:

WUWT%u2019s Armagh silliness

One of the silliest posts to be published at WUWT since the %u201CDiatoms%u2026iiiiin spaaaaaaaaaaace!%u201D farce, has to be yesterday%u2019s article by Darko Butina based on his new paper. The paper apparently labours under the title


"Should We Worry About the Earth%u2019s Calculated Warming at 0.7C Over Last the Last 100 Years When the Observed Daily Variations Over the Last 161 Years Can Be as High as 24C?

in an unidentified %u201Cjournal that deals with data analysis and pattern recognition of data generated by a physical instrument%u201D. Presumably it is too embarrassing to mention the journal%u2019s name (at least it should be embarrassing for the editor who published this paper). We are told that the paper is 20 pages long %u2013 crucial information for evaluating how good it is. Anthony Watts obviously thought it merited promoting and invited Butina%u2019s contribution to WUWT. ...
...The method is encapsulated by this quote:


"So if one wants, for some bizarre reason, to compare two annual patterns then one year can be unequivocally declared as warmer only if each daily reading of that year is larger than each corresponding daily reading of another year.""

Just another illustration why no one with any credibility takes WTFUWT seriously.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3600
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
I've asked the question before that seems to be the crux of the AGW argument: does anyone really believe that we can calculate the average temperature of the earth to any reliable degree close enough to be talking about annual temperature fluxuations of a tenth of a degree? Considering the horrible placement of our temperature stations, the lack of worldwide temperature calibrations, and lack of data, I think it's ridiculous for climate scientists to claim they can arrive at an accurate measurement. Garbage in/garbage out.
Say, that looks like fun! let me try:

I've asked the question before that seems to be the crux of the earth-to-moon distance argument: does anyone really believe that we can calculate the average distance of the moon to any reliable degree close enough to be talking about monthly distance fluctuations of a few dozen meters? Considering the horrible placement of our distance measuring stations, the lack of worldwide distance measuring calibrations, and lack of data--when is the last time someone used an actual ruler?--I think it's ridiculous for astronomers to claim they can arrive at an accurate measurement. Garbage in/garbage out.

Ah, well. It's kinda sad to see poor little Anthony sinking so deeply into the Swamps of Denial that he resorts to relying on laughable garbage like the Butina "paper". I mean, anyone with first-grade reading skills can see that there's not a lot any credibility in the "article". I was going to dissect things just for fun, but saw that Sou over at HotWhopper already did so, saving me the trouble.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13743
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
does anyone really believe that we can calculate the average temperature of the earth to any reliable degree close enough to be talking about annual temperature fluxuations of a tenth of a degree?


Sure we can.
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Do oil companies want a carbon tax?

"The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has suggested the province target a 20-per-cent reduction in per-barrel emissions, and a $20-per-tonne tax on those unable to comply, according to a provincial document."

Yes, they want less than others are pushing for, but they seem to be supporting it in some form.
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Quoting NeapolitanFan:
I've asked the question before that seems to be the crux of the AGW argument: does anyone really believe that we can calculate the average temperature of the earth to any reliable degree close enough to be talking about annual temperature fluxuations of a tenth of a degree? Considering the horrible placement of our temperature stations, the lack of worldwide temperature calibrations, and lack of data, I think it's ridiculous for climate scientists to claim they can arrive at an accurate measurement. Garbage in/garbage out.

Link



Yes we can. You choose to ignore that fact. To even be arguing that there is no warming is absolutely asinine. Also, in that link, that man is not measuring what he thinks he's measuring.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3894
Quoting NeapolitanFan:


My point is that we are talking about changes of less than ONE degree in average global temperature as if they can calculate accurately. It's simply ludicrous.



They can but BIG BLUE can do it better to the nearest 100th of a degree...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20459
Quoting cyclonebuster:


I doubt any one person can but I am sure BIG blue can or some of his offspring can.......


My point is that we are talking about changes of less than ONE degree in average global temperature as if they can calculate accurately. It's simply ludicrous.
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Quoting NeapolitanFan:
I've asked the question before that seems to be the crux of the AGW argument: does anyone really believe that we can calculate the average temperature of the earth to any reliable degree close enough to be talking about annual temperature fluxuations of a tenth of a degree? Considering the horrible placement of our temperature stations, the lack of worldwide temperature calibrations, and lack of data, I think it's ridiculous for climate scientists to claim they can arrive at an accurate measurement. Garbage in/garbage out.

Link



I doubt any one person can but I am sure BIG blue can or some of his offspring can.......
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20459
I've asked the question before that seems to be the crux of the AGW argument: does anyone really believe that we can calculate the average temperature of the earth to any reliable degree close enough to be talking about annual temperature fluxuations of a tenth of a degree? Considering the horrible placement of our temperature stations, the lack of worldwide temperature calibrations, and lack of data, I think it's ridiculous for climate scientists to claim they can arrive at an accurate measurement. Garbage in/garbage out.

Link

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From The Price of Oil:

Cooking the Books: The True Climate Impact of Keystone XL

by David Turnbull

A new report out today from environmental groups shows that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would, if approved, be responsible for at least 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) each year, comparable to the tailpipe emissions from more than 37.7 million cars or 51 coal-fired power plants.

In documenting the emissions associated with the controversial pipeline project, the report makes real the scale of climate impact and the further hurdles the project would create for the battle against climate change, putting the State Department’s "business as usual" scenarios into doubt.

The major findings of "Cooking the Books: How The State Department Analysis Ignores the True Climate Impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline" are:

– The 181 million metric tons of (CO2e) from Keystone XL is equivalent to the tailpipe emissions from more than 37.7 million cars. This is more cars than are currently registered on the entire West Coast (California, Washington, and Oregon), plus Florida, Michigan, and New York – combined.

– Between 2015 and 2050, the pipeline alone would result in emissions of 6.34 billion metric tons of CO2e. This amount is greater than the 2011 total annual carbon dioxide emissions of the United States.

– The International Energy Agency has said that two-thirds of known fossil fuel reserves must remain undeveloped if we are to avoid a 2 degree C temperature rise. Constructing the Keystone XL pipeline and developing the tar sands make that goal far more difficult, if not impossible, to reach.

Read More>>


Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
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From Climate Progress:

Dirty Energy Fuels Climate Change Denier Ken Cuccinelli’s Campaign

By Josh Israel

In the first quarter of 2013, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) raised about $2.4 million for his gubernatorial campaign. Of that, a huge portion came from oil and gas interests — likely impressed by his long record of active climate denial.

A ThinkProgress review of data from the Virginia Public Access Project reveals that, by far, his largest donor in the period was the Republican Governors Association — a 527 political committee that works to aid Republican governors and gubernatorial candidates. While it is impossible to know the exact origin of the RGA’s $1 million contribution, the group receives a significant portion of its money from polluter interests.

In 2012, Koch Industries contributed more than $2 million, $800,000 from Devon Energy, and more than $639,000 from CONSOL Energy. According to a Center for Public Integrity investigation, oil and gas interests used the RGA to as a conduit for millions in donations in 2010, allowing them to circumvent campaign finance laws and invest heavily in electing candidates who supported fracking and other drilling expansion.

More directly, Cuccinelli accepted about $200,000 from energy companies and executives. These included:

1. Murray Energy Corporation, $50,000
2t. CONSOL Energy Inc., $25,000
2t. Dominion Political Action Committee (Dominion Resources, Inc.), $25,000
4t. Marvin Gilliam (retired VP of Cumberland Resources Corp.), $25,000
4t. Koch Industries Inc., $25,000
6t. American Electric Power Committee for Responsible Government (American Electric Power), $10,000
6t. William B. Holtzman (president and owner of Holtzman Oil), $10,000
6t. Range Resources Corporation, $10,000
9t. Thomas Farrell (CEO of Dominion Resources, Inc.), $5,000
9t. Michael G. Morris (President and CEO of American Electric Power), $5,000
9t. Baxter F. Phillips Jr. (an executive with Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.), $5,000
9t. Clyde E. Stacy (an executive with Pioneer Group/Rapoca Energy.), $5,000

Between these donations and the RGA’s funds, about half of Cuccinelli’s contributions over the reporting period were tied to oil, gas, and coal.

Read More>>

Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
Quoting JohnLonergan:
Editorial: Warmest regards

You really should just post a link--though I did enjoy reading it. Seems appropriate that it comes from a New Zealand source or somewhere down there.
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Snark Alert

Editorial: Warmest regards
OPINION: The monstrous conspiracy of global warming, perpetrated by a scandalously huge majority of the scientific world, persists.

The latest outrageous deception is the attempt to ascribe some sort of significance to the "fact" that Antarctic Peninsula is melting in summers at a level not seen for 1000 years. This requires us to take on blind faith the assumption that this so-called continent exists outside the minds of alarmists.

To point to Antarctica's presence on maps is a fatuous nonsense. When was the last time a scientist came out and acknowledged that Antarctica didn't feature in the early maps used by some of the world's most intrepid and admired explorers? Has anyone even asked who first added it, and for what reasons? Certainly not the uncritical mainstream news media. What proof do we have, beyond anecdotal reports from those who claim to have been there - a perfect way for any ne'er-do-well who needs to cover his tracks to disappear from scrutiny for long stretches at a time?

As for satellite imaging purporting to show the presence of some southern polar mass; it is already a well-established fact that images can be doctored. You could just as easily insert an Atlantis in the same space. The latest report describes the so-called continent as the "Antarctic Circle" when even those fabricated images show something that is far from perfectly round. The global warming brigade can't even get that part of their story straight.

Then there is the highly questionable issue of timing and the assumption that the world is more than 1000 years old. Nowhere in the Old or New Testament will you find references to the terms "BC" or "AD". The hands that wrote the scriptures under guidance from the Holy Spirit did not insert these misleading signposts; they were added centuries later by worldly monarchs taking their eyes off scripture and falling under the thrall of that most perilously fashionable of disciplines, mathematics. In any case, they got it wrong. Nowhere in these calendars do they allow for the year 0, rendering them mathematically unsound. Surely another kick in the credibility goolies for global warming.

The latest report also claims that the Antarctic Circle (sic) has seen the most extreme global warming on Earth since the 1960s - a decade widely associated with hallucinogenic drug-taking. Hardly a trustworthy basis for any serious comparison. Any evidence gathered in that decade must be dismissed out of hand. And how many of the scientists at present pleading with the world to react gained their so-called degrees in that decade? We shudder to think.



The breathtaking vanity of those who believe in anthropomorphic global warming must also be confronted and rejected. Not necessarily in that order. If history has taught us anything - and the jury is still out on that - it's that mankind's assumption that we could materially influence the glorious majesty of the natural world speaks of nothing other than our failure to accept our own insignificance. An unspeakable vanity. Whatever came of our attempts to influence the seasons by sacrificing beasts, virgins and the like? Nothing. Do rain dances end droughts? Of course not. Did all our teeny tiny attempts to split atoms in ways that might generate huge discharges of energy result in any explosions of truly global consequence? Not so far, buster.

We need to worry about today and let the future take care of itself. Should the day ever come that climatic calamity is upon us, and we are up to our armpits in hard evidence, that is the time to sit back in restful contemplation and give consideration as to what exactly we should or shouldn't have done. Until then it's all conjecture.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3600
Quoting JupiterKen:
And there is this...
Link

Let the adhom's begin

Nothing ad hominem about the fact that he just doesn't know what he is talking about and continues to suck in gullible people, some of which really should know better by now.

There is a wealth of information available on why certain data adjustments and corrections are made, and why they must be made for the data to be accurate. Goddard has yet to figure out how the satellite data has been corrupted to show the exact same temperature trend.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3296
Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities according to U.S. utilities


Grist.org


Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground.

That is not wild-eyed hippie talk. It is the assessment of the utilities themselves.

Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the (typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S. investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press. That’s a shame. It is one of the most prescient and brutally frank things I’ve ever read about the power sector. It is a rare thing to hear an industry tell the tale of its own incipient obsolescence.


How can we boost distributed solar and save utilities at the same time?

Grist.org

Yesterday I wrote that solar PV and other distributed-energy technologies pose a radical threat to U.S. power utilities and the centralized business model they’ve operated under for the last century. This is, I hasten to add, according to the utilities themselves.

So what should be done about it?

It’s complicated. On one hand, more distributed renewable energy is a good thing. It reduces carbon emissions, increases resilience, stimulates the growth of new industries with new jobs, and gives Americans a taste of energy democracy.

On the other hand, it just won’t do to have utilities view the spread of rooftop solar PV as an existential threat. Whatever you think of them, utilities still have tons of political power. If they want to slow the spread of distributed energy, they can. A lot.
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Quoting RevElvis:
Summer Ice Melt In Antarctica Is At The Highest Point In 1,000 Years

<.


Abstract:

Acceleration of snow melt in an Antarctic Peninsula ice core during the twentieth century
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3600
Summer Ice Melt In Antarctica Is At The Highest Point In 1,000 Years

Huffingtonpost.com (Reuters)

The summer ice melt in parts of Antarctica is at its highest level in 1,000 years, Australian and British researchers reported on Monday, adding new evidence of the impact of global warming on sensitive Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves.

Researchers from the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survey found data taken from an ice core also shows the summer ice melt has been 10 times more intense over the past 50 years compared with 600 years ago.

"It's definitely evidence that the climate and the environment is changing in this part of Antarctica," lead researcher Nerilie Abram said.

Abram and her team drilled a 364-metre (400-yard) deep ice core on James Ross Island, near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, to measure historical temperatures and compare them with summer ice melt levels in the area.

They found that, while the temperatures have gradually increased by 1.6 degrees Celsius (2.9 degrees Fahrenheit) over 600 years, the rate of ice melting has been most intense over the past 50 years.

That shows the ice melt can increase dramatically in climate terms once temperatures hit a tipping point.

"Once your climate is at that level where it is starting to go above zero degrees, the amount of melt that will happen is very sensitive to any further increase in temperature you may have," Abram said.

Robert Mulvaney, from the British Antarctic Survey, said the stronger ice melts are likely responsible for faster glacier ice loss and some of the dramatic collapses from the Antarctic ice shelf over the past 50 years.


Their research was published in the Nature Geoscience Journal.
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Some what dated post, but relevant.


http://www.monbiot.com/2009/11/16/if-nothing-else -save-farming/Link

........................Wyn Evans, who runs a mixed farm of 170 acres, has been trying to reduce his dependency on fossil fuels since 1977. He has installed an anaerobic digester, a wind turbine, solar panels and a ground-sourced heat pump. He has sought wherever possible to replace diesel with his own electricity. Instead of using his tractor to spread slurry, he pumps it from the digester onto nearby fields. He’s replaced his tractor-driven irrigation system with an electric one, and set up a new system for drying hay indoors, which means he has to turn it in the field only once. Whatever else he does is likely to produce smaller savings. But these innovations have reduced his use of diesel by only around 25%.

According to farm scientists at Cornell University, cultivating one hectare of maize in the United States requires 40 litres of petrol and 75 litres of diesel(3). The amazing productivity of modern farm labour has been purchased at the cost of a dependency on oil. Unless farmers can change the way it’s grown, a permanent oil shock would price food out of the mouths of many of the world’s people. Any responsible government would be asking urgent questions about how long we have got.....................
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Mi solución al cambio climático es el que va a trabajar. ¿Cuánto tiempo quiero estar aquí discutiendo cosas que nunca van a trabajar?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20459
Meine Lösung für den Klimawandel ist die eine, die funktioniert. Wie lange wollen Sie hier debattieren Dinge, die nie funktionieren wird?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20459
And there is this...
Link

Let the adhom's begin
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US companies issue declaration urging government to act on climate change

Sign the Climate Declaration


Click for larger image
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Hey guys, I posted a new blog today and would love some feedback and opinions. It's a meta discussion on climate change reporting and corporate responsibility. Have a great Monday!
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3894
One point to emphasize is that power is not control. The fossil fuel industries are very powerful because of their role in the economy, but they cannot control the consequences of putting so much CO2 in the atmosphere.
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Quoting RevElvis:
How Far Can Climate Change Go?

ScientificAmerican.com (preview - subscribers can view whole article)



Business, government or technology forecasts usually look five or 10 years out, 50 years at most. Among climate scientists, there is some talk of century's end. In reality, carbon dioxide dumped into the atmosphere today will affect Earth hundreds of thousands of years hence.

How will greenhouse gases change the far future? No one can say for sure exactly how Earth will respond, but climate scientists—using mathematical models built from knowledge of past climate systems, as well as the complex web of processes that impact climate and the laws of physics and chemistry—can make predictions about what Earth will look like.

Industrial civilization continues to pump out more and more greenhouse gases with each passing year, which will result in hotter temperatures, an acidified ocean and weirder weather by century's end.

The carbon dioxide emitted today will affect the planet for hundreds of thousands of years.

If humanity continues to spew greenhouse gases into the air at the current rate, we will re-create the hot, wet conditions of the Cretaceous era, some 100 million years ago.

At present, humanity is altering the climate 5,000 times faster than the pace of the most rapid natural warming episode in our planet’s past.

More. You're on a roll.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RevElvis:
The cost of new oil supply

SmartPlanet.com

Numerous factors affect oil prices, like supply and demand, geopolitical unrest, natural disasters, monetary policy, and speculation.

But there is another factor exerting a continuous upward pressure on prices: the substitution of unconventional resources for conventional crude.

When conventional oil hit its production plateau around 72 – 74 million barrels per day at the end of 2004, but demand kept growing, we turned to various unconventional liquid fuels to make up the difference, such as natural gas liquids, biofuels, and most recently, “tight oil” from shales like the Bakken Formation in the U.S.

Unconventional oil is currently just 3 percent of global supply. The IEA projects that it will make up 6.5 percent of supply by 2020, and 10 percent by 2035. As it gradually replaces cheap oil conventional oil, its real production costs will continue to push oil prices up. Eventually, those costs will cross with the pain tolerance limit of consumers.

Skrebowski sees rising costs outrunning the ability of economies to adapt to higher oil prices by 2014, producing an “economically determined peak” in oil production. After that point, prices will remain economically destructive, and render sustained economic growth impossible. At the same time, it will make new oil production harder to finance.

This matches well with numerous analyses of oil supply that project a major tipping point around 2014 – 2015. At that point, as I have reminded readers repeatedly, we will likely begin down the back of Hubbert’s Curve and see net losses in global oil supply every year.

Interesting things to think about.
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Quoting iceagecoming:
March 2013 was the joint second coldest in Northern Ireland since records began, alongside 1919, 1937 and 1962.

According to figures from the Met Office the mean temperature for the month was a cold 2.8C.


March was also colder than any of the preceding winter months of December, January and February.

December and January each had a mean temperature of 4.3C, while February was slightly cooler at 3.9C.

The amount of sunshine during the month was just 51.5 hours, well below the average 97 hours.

The salt mine just outside Carrickfergus, County Antrim, reported a rise in demand for grit to keep the roads clear from ice and snow, although not in the same scale as the big freeze of 2010.

A spokesperson said many local authorities had learned from that, and were well stocked up.

It is the only mine of its kind on the island and it is capable of bringing up to 4,000 tonnes of salt to the surface every day.

To get to it, you have to go deep underground. In fact, it is so far below the surface it is like scaling down the height of the Empire State Building in New York.

Huge boring machines chomp away at the huge salt walls from a seabed that dried up millions of years ago.

Where do we get the salt for NI roads?

The roads in the mine, if laid out straight, would stretch from Belfast to Newry. But they never need to be salted... it's warm underground all year round.

March in Britain, was also the joint second coldest on record along with 1947. It set the record for coldest Easter Sunday, with the lowest temperature recorded as -12.5C in Braemar, in the Scottish Highlands.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-220 16519

Link


Still did not break the cold record did it? Let us know when it does...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20459
March 2013 was the joint second coldest in Northern Ireland since records began, alongside 1919, 1937 and 1962.

According to figures from the Met Office the mean temperature for the month was a cold 2.8C.


March was also colder than any of the preceding winter months of December, January and February.

December and January each had a mean temperature of 4.3C, while February was slightly cooler at 3.9C.

The amount of sunshine during the month was just 51.5 hours, well below the average 97 hours.

The salt mine just outside Carrickfergus, County Antrim, reported a rise in demand for grit to keep the roads clear from ice and snow, although not in the same scale as the big freeze of 2010.

A spokesperson said many local authorities had learned from that, and were well stocked up.

It is the only mine of its kind on the island and it is capable of bringing up to 4,000 tonnes of salt to the surface every day.

To get to it, you have to go deep underground. In fact, it is so far below the surface it is like scaling down the height of the Empire State Building in New York.

Huge boring machines chomp away at the huge salt walls from a seabed that dried up millions of years ago.

Where do we get the salt for NI roads?

The roads in the mine, if laid out straight, would stretch from Belfast to Newry. But they never need to be salted... it's warm underground all year round.

March in Britain, was also the joint second coldest on record along with 1947. It set the record for coldest Easter Sunday, with the lowest temperature recorded as -12.5C in Braemar, in the Scottish Highlands.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-220 16519

Link
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1094
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Has Obama Already Given Up on Climate Change?



New pressing concerns; North Korea, Iran.
Time to do something.
Environment not in the top 10.


Op-Ed Contributor
Bomb North Korea, Before It’s Too Late
By JEREMI SURI
Published: April 12, 2013


AUSTIN, Tex.


The Korean crisis has now become a strategic threat to America’s core national interests. The best option is to destroy the North Korean missile on the ground before it is launched. The United States should use a precise airstrike to render the missile and its mobile launcher inoperable.

President Obama should state clearly and forthrightly that this is an act of self-defense in response to explicit threats from North Korea and clear evidence of a prepared weapon. He should give the leaders of South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan advance notice before acting. And he should explain that this is a limited defensive strike on a military target — an operation that poses no threat to civilians — and that America does not intend to bring about regime change. The purpose is to neutralize a clear and present danger. That is all.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/13/opinion/bomb-no rth-korea-before-its-too-late.html?_r=1&


Link


24 January 2013 Last updated at 09:44 ET


Davos 2013: Kissinger says Iran nuclear crisis close
Henry Kissinger A nuclear war in the Middle East would be a "turning point in human history," says Mr Kissinger
Continue reading the main story
Davos 2013



Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has warned that a crisis involving a nuclear Iran is in the "foreseeable future".


'Nuclear war'

In his assessment of the stand-off between Iran and Western powers over its nuclear programme - which Tehran argues is for peaceful and civilian purposes - Mr Kissinger called for "serious" negotiations on both sides to look for solutions.

"Unilateral intervention by Israel would be a desperate last resort, but the Iranians have to understand that if they keep using the negotiations to gain time to complete a nuclear programme then the situation will become extremely dangerous."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21177535

Link

Really amazing. if the washington times every ran something like this with our last CIC, Bush Derangement syndrome would reign supreme!
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1094
Summary and FAQ’s related to the study by Marcott et al. (2013, Science)

FAQ - RealClimate.org
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Missing the forest for the hockey sticks

ARStechnica.com


The response has been about what you'd expect. Steve McIntyre runs the "Climate Audit" website, and has devoted a lot of the material there to arguing against most of the scientific community's proxy reconstructions of historic temperatures. In the last month, he's published 10 blog posts that reference the Marcott paper. The less moderate "Watts Up With That" site has already run 19. Some of those are truly bizarre, such as one in which the global temperatures are compared to a single site in Greenland; the title of another asks, "How long before Science has to retract Marcott et al?"

Unfortunately, almost all of the controversy was completely off-target, and a lot of it displayed a significant misunderstanding of the claims of the Marcott paper.

Most of the ire is focused on the blade of the hockey stick, the sudden rise in temperatures that has occurred over the last century or so. We know it has happened because of the instrument record and a large number of global changes in ice volume, species ranges and migrations, etc. And some of the rise shows up in most proxy records, including the one generated in the Marcott paper.

But the uptick in the Marcott proxy records isn't the main point of the paper. In fact, the authors clearly say that their data there is pretty limited. To begin with, they had to stop their reconstruction in 1950 because the proxies more or less give out then (we'll get to that in more detail below). And, even in the decades before that, they note that the data is very uncertain because of "the [limited] temporal resolution of our data set and the small number of records that cover this interval." In fact, for the figure shown in the paper, the team interpolated some data in order to fill out the sparse records; if they hadn't, the warming would have been over half a degree Celsius higher. In other words, they took steps to underplay the recent warming.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The cost of new oil supply

SmartPlanet.com

Numerous factors affect oil prices, like supply and demand, geopolitical unrest, natural disasters, monetary policy, and speculation.

But there is another factor exerting a continuous upward pressure on prices: the substitution of unconventional resources for conventional crude.

When conventional oil hit its production plateau around 72 – 74 million barrels per day at the end of 2004, but demand kept growing, we turned to various unconventional liquid fuels to make up the difference, such as natural gas liquids, biofuels, and most recently, “tight oil” from shales like the Bakken Formation in the U.S.

Unconventional oil is currently just 3 percent of global supply. The IEA projects that it will make up 6.5 percent of supply by 2020, and 10 percent by 2035. As it gradually replaces cheap oil conventional oil, its real production costs will continue to push oil prices up. Eventually, those costs will cross with the pain tolerance limit of consumers.

Skrebowski sees rising costs outrunning the ability of economies to adapt to higher oil prices by 2014, producing an “economically determined peak” in oil production. After that point, prices will remain economically destructive, and render sustained economic growth impossible. At the same time, it will make new oil production harder to finance.

This matches well with numerous analyses of oil supply that project a major tipping point around 2014 – 2015. At that point, as I have reminded readers repeatedly, we will likely begin down the back of Hubbert’s Curve and see net losses in global oil supply every year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
How Far Can Climate Change Go?

ScientificAmerican.com (preview - subscribers can view whole article)



Business, government or technology forecasts usually look five or 10 years out, 50 years at most. Among climate scientists, there is some talk of century's end. In reality, carbon dioxide dumped into the atmosphere today will affect Earth hundreds of thousands of years hence.

How will greenhouse gases change the far future? No one can say for sure exactly how Earth will respond, but climate scientists—using mathematical models built from knowledge of past climate systems, as well as the complex web of processes that impact climate and the laws of physics and chemistry—can make predictions about what Earth will look like.

Industrial civilization continues to pump out more and more greenhouse gases with each passing year, which will result in hotter temperatures, an acidified ocean and weirder weather by century's end.

The carbon dioxide emitted today will affect the planet for hundreds of thousands of years.

If humanity continues to spew greenhouse gases into the air at the current rate, we will re-create the hot, wet conditions of the Cretaceous era, some 100 million years ago.

At present, humanity is altering the climate 5,000 times faster than the pace of the most rapid natural warming episode in our planet’s past.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MrsPerfect:
Study Reveals Global Warming Not To Blame For Last Year’s Crippling Drought

April 12, 2013 11:50 AM


ST. LOUIS (CBS St. Louis/AP) – A new federal study reveals that global warming is not to blame for last year’s extreme drought that crippled the central Great Plains.

The study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Drought Task Force places the blame on natural variations in weather patterns that caused the “flash drought.”
snip.....
Dr Masters' 4/12/13 blog discusses this report, including why some other climate scientists disagree with the some of the conclusions.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2424
Has Obama Already Given Up on Climate Change?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8802
Study Reveals Global Warming Not To Blame For Last Year’s Crippling Drought

April 12, 2013 11:50 AM


ST. LOUIS (CBS St. Louis/AP) – A new federal study reveals that global warming is not to blame for last year’s extreme drought that crippled the central Great Plains.

The study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Drought Task Force places the blame on natural variations in weather patterns that caused the “flash drought.”

The Plains saw very little rain last summer due to two key meteorological processes which NOAA states was a “sequence of unfortunate events.” First, the Plains states saw very little rain in May and June because low pressure systems that brought storms were shunted northward into Canada. Second, thunderstorms were infrequent in July and August and produced little precipitation.

The report states that there were “no strong indicators” a drought of this magnitude would have struck the Midwest last year.

“This is one of those events that comes along once every couple hundreds of years,” lead author Martin Hoerling, a research meteorologist at NOAA, said. “Climate change was not a significant part, if any, of the event.”

Researchers focused on six states – Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri and Iowa – but the drought spread much farther and eventually included nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states. For the six states, the drought was the worst four-month period for lack of rainfall since records started being kept in 1895, Hoerling said.



Other scientists have linked recent changes in the jet stream to shrinking Arctic sea ice, but Hoerling and study co-author Richard Seager of Columbia University said those global warming connections are not valid.

Hoerling used computer simulations to see if he could replicate the drought using man-made global warming conditions. He couldn’t. So that means it was a random event, he said.

A cool, rainy spring is easing dry conditions in parts of the nation’s farm belt that saw the worst of last year’s drought.

But optimism is being tempered, as that weather pattern has kept anxious farmers in most of Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, and Wisconsin from planting.

The latest drought monitor released Thursday shows snowmelt and rain replenished ground moisture in parts of eastern Iowa, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Central Iowa counties are improved but still short of moisture.

Rain has helped drought-parched areas of Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska, but many counties remain woefully dry.

There is enough topsoil moisture in much of the farm belt to allow plants to emerge, but no deep moisture to rely on if the rain stops again.
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Predicting Collapse

news.sciencemag.org

In 1990, North Atlantic fishers hauled in more than 200,000 metric tons of cod; in 1992 they caught almost none. The collapse cost thousands of Canadian fishers and plant workers their jobs, and the northern cod fishery has never recovered. Now, physicists studying laboratory yeast have found a new way to tell when such a collapse is imminent. The researchers hope their warning signal can help fishery and wildlife managers act in time to save stressed populations.

The team's work is "a really nice paper" that "could potentially lead to some new insights," says Stephen Carpenter, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin. Madison, who has studied similar early warning signals in lakes.

The key to preventing a population collapse is spotting early signs of trouble. One recognized warning signal is that unhealthy systems often take longer than healthy ones to recover from a disturbance. Scientists call this "critical slowing down." For example, Carpenter and colleagues found that algae levels were slow to return to normal in a lake to which they had added largemouth bass, a predatory fish.
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Quoting JohnLonergan:
Keeping Up With The Orwells
Thank you. After reading most of the articles linked today, plus working on my taxes, I needed a laugh.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2424
Keeping Up With The Orwells
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3600
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatheringpoints:


Chinese firms and Gulf sheiks are snatching up farmland worldwide. Why?

China's Interest in Farmland Makes Brazil Uneasy


next, they will need to secure the shipping channel...


I followed your links and found this:

Where the world’s running out of water, in one map

Many of the world’s most important food-producing regions depend on freshwater from massive underground aquifers that have built up over thousands of years. The Ogallala Aquifer in the midwestern United States. The Upper Ganges, sustaining India and Pakistan.


Going, going… gone? (Kevin Clark-AP)

Yet many of those aquifers are now being sucked dry by irrigation and other uses faster than they can be replenished by rainwater, according to a new study in Nature. It’s unclear when many of these aquifers will be completely emptied — scientists are still trying to measure how much “fossil water” these aquifers actually hold. But it’s a worrisome trend: About 1.7 billion people rely on aquifers that are rapidly being depleted. And once they’re gone, it would take thousands of years to refill them.

The Nature study, published by researchers at McGill and Utrecht University in the Netherlands, offers a map showing the regions where the use of water from these aquifers vastly exceeds the rate at which they’re being refilled by rain.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3600
Quoting allahgore:


So if he works at NOAA does that not mean anything? Do you really think people who work for NOAA can freelance?

Answer to first question: Not to the question of whether this particular piece of work is correct.

Answer to second question: I don't know, but I'm sure that people who work for NOAA are allowed to make mistakes and allowed to be wrong.
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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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