How Much Does It Cost: What Can I Do? (6)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:18 AM GMT on May 09, 2013

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How Much Does It Cost: What Can I Do? (6)

This is the continuation of a series in response to the question, “What can I do about climate change?” Links to the previous entries are listed at the end.

Last week rather than taking the conventional view of looking at greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, I presented an accounting of the emissions associated with agriculture. My primary points were that agriculture was a major emitter of greenhouse gases, and, therefore, the choices we make individually and collectively about what we eat have large environmental consequences.

I want to explore more the impact of agriculture, particularly livestock. First, however, I want to remind folks of the series on calculating budgets. Last summer I did a series where I compared the basic methods of climate science to keeping a budget – just like a checking and savings accounts. One of the entries in that series looked specifically at complexity. The idea being that despite the fact that maintaining a budget is a relatively simple matter of addition and subtraction, if you consider all of the ways we get and spend money, then it can become remarkably complex.

I implied the complexity of accounting for the greenhouse gas emissions of agriculture in the previous entry. The amount of emissions from the direct use of fossil fuels is relatively small. Big sources of emissions come from removing trees and changing forests to agricultural lands and soil management. Many aspects of soil management influence how much carbon and nitrogen is stored in the soil. There is also the need to consider greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide: for example, methane associated with ruminates and solid waste from livestock and nitrous oxide associated with fertilizer. Emissions also depend on:

- what crops are grown and what animals are raised

- agricultural practice, for example, whether the land is plowed or no-till methods are used

- policy, for example, renewable energy policy provides incentives and disincentives on what to grow

- biological processes that are different from field to field, region to region, year to year, and that are not highly quantified

The calculation of the budget of emissions from agriculture is a difficult problem. We can say with certainty the emissions are large and they change based on many factors. We can also say that the impact of agriculture on the environment is more far reaching than climate change. Anecdotally, most people think of the impacts of pesticides and herbicides, the issues of genetically modified organisms, soil erosion and water quality before they think of how agriculture and climate change play together. Agriculture is also a major focus of those who think about sustainability.

I ended the previous entry with a relatively weak statement that what we chose to eat or not eat does make a difference. I stated that at the top of the list, perhaps, the easiest decision is to eat less meat. The issue of eating meat, of course, steps into a set of the more controversial subjects of our society. For example, there are the issues of personal choice and intrusion into individual's lives. Also, there are those who place high value on the ethics of raising and slaughtering animals. There is no doubt, however, that livestock production uses immense resources.

The source of much of the material in my previous entry was Livestock’s Long Shadow a 2006 publication of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In that report they conclude:

“Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large. The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency. Major reduction in impact could be achieved at reasonable cost.”

As strong as this statement is, there is a school of thought that Livestock’s Long Shadow is a significant underestimation of the emissions due to livestock. Most notably is an analysis by Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, Livestock and Climate Change, which does a different accounting of the budget of emissions of greenhouse gases. In Livestock and Climate Change it is maintained that there is significant undercounting and misallocation in the United Nations budget calculation. A point that is particularly important is that the proliferation of livestock production is human-made just as much as any building, road or power plant. Therefore, for example, the carbon dioxide of respiration of the animals needs to be considered in the budget calculation. Taking all of the budget changes in Livestock and Climate Change, the conclusion is that livestock is responsible for 51 percent of the total emissions. With this number, a far larger intervention is needed than “eat less meat.”

In December 2009, I took a group of students to the 15th Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen. When I got off the subway at the conference center, there were two loud groups of advocates. One was People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who had gone around Copenhagen and placed markers on utility poles and in trees where sea level would be if the Greenland ice sheet melted. Another group claimed that if we were all vegetarian, then we could reduce global warming by 70 percent.

The numbers in Livestock and Climate Change follow from a well-reasoned argument in the calculation of the budget of the emissions due to livestock. However, they are not without controversy. This controversy can be found in a number of places on the web: Columbia Journalism Review and Lifting Livestock's Long Shadow, Nature Climate Change and Measuring Livestock's Long Shadow, NYTimes. At the center of the controversy is another accounting of the impact of livestock, Cleaning the Air: Livestock's Contribution to Climate Change by Maurice Pitesky and others. This paper takes a vastly different accounting and concludes that impact of livestock is much smaller than in the United Nations Report, Livestock’s Long Shadow. An interesting aspect of its argument is that “The fact that land-use changes associated with livestock (i.e., forested land converted to pasture or cropland used for feed production) are a significant source of anthropogenic GHGs in Latin America and other parts of the developing world is apparent. However, it is likely that any kind of land-use change from the original forestland will lead to great increases in global warming.” The argument being that development in countries with growing population will lead to deforestation. Their argument is carried further “The United States and most other developed countries have not experienced significant land-use change practices around livestock production within the last few decades. Instead, over the last 25 years forestland has increased by approximately 25 percent in the United States and livestock production has been intensified (concentrated geographically), thus reducing its geographical footprint.”

The line of reasoning in Cleaning the Air: Livestock's Contribution to Climate Change contributes to the argument that concentration into highly efficient, mass producing farms is a more practical way forward than reducing consumption (Livestock production and the global environment: Consume less or produce better?, by Henning Steinfeld and Pierre Gerber).

In this food niche of strategies to mitigate climate change, we see the same arguments emerge as in the discussion of fossil fuels. We could be more efficient in our use of resources. With efficiency, however, in the face of a growing population and growing consumption, we are still faced with a growth of emissions of greenhouse gases. Therefore, if climate-change and broader environmental issues are given priority, then we must consume less of those products that are responsible for our largest greenhouse emissions. We can conceive of sources of renewable energy that are free of carbon dioxide emissions. However, it is more difficult to imagine how we raise livestock without the methane and nitrous oxide emissions, and these greenhouse gases cannot be dismissed.

My original list topper on diet was eat less meat. If we take the high emissions scenario as correct, then a climate priority calls for an intervention into our dietary practices that is comparable to the intervention required for reducing fossil fuels. This is a change in diet that I assert will be more difficult than the change in our energy system. Therefore, back to the original question, “What can I do about climate change?” – eat (a lot) less meat. Vegetarianism is good for the planet. This from a man who does eat a lot less meat than he used to, but has been, I maintain, overidentified with BBQ.

r

Some dietary resources: I have not checked these out too closely!

Environmental Working Group: Meat Eaters Guide (I do like this group’s approach to things.)

Climate Diet

Human Media: The Diet-Climate Connection


Previous Entries in 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 Counting agriculture and its emissions of greenhouse gases


Moderation of comments: I have been getting more and more complaints about what is going on in the comments. WU and I will be addressing this. To start, here is a modified version of Dr. Master’s Blog Contents Rules.

Rood's Rules of the Road

1. Please do not carry on personal disputes.
2. Keep it civil. Personal attacks, bickering, flaming and general trollish behavior will not be tolerated. Disagreements are fine, but keep them civil.
3. No spam.
4. Stay on the topic of climate change or the entry topic.
5. Foul language is not allowed.
6. Please avoid topics that would be considered adults only. Many children come to this site looking for information.
7. Threats and intimidation, especially that which extends into the real world will be dealt with accordingly.
8. Do not circumvent a ban. Most bans last 24 hours or less; please accept the ban. If you create a new username to circumvent a ban, you will be blocked from the site completely.

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New oldest living tree identified last year. 5,063 years old. But will it last?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8868
Quoting JohnLonergan:
Fast emissions cuts could save species

Acting quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could provide more time for many species to adapt to the different conditions which climate change will bring to the zones where they can survive.

LONDON, 12 May – Without serious action to limit global warming, more than half of all land plants and a third of all animals could find their living space dramatically reduced later this century.

That is, if global average temperatures rise by 4°C the climatic regions in which these creatures thrive will shift towards the poles, habitats will dwindle, ecosystems will alter, and ever greater numbers of species will struggle to survive in ever more constrained conditions.

That’s the bad news. The somewhat less bad news is that stringent and dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions could buy time: about another four decades in which humanity’s fellow species could adapt to new circumstances.

Rachel Warren of the University of East Anglia and colleagues in the UK, Australia and Colombia report in Nature Climate Change that they used a 21st century creation, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), based in Copenhagen, Denmark, to examine the known ranges and habitats of more than 48,000 species of plant and animal and tried to calculate how these would be affected by “business as usual” scenarios for greenhouse gas emissions.

The GBIF provides access to 400 million biodiversity records from 10,000 datasets of common plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians provided by 460 research institutions around the world: the researchers sampled less than half of these.

They concluded that 55% of plants and 35% of animals could have their climatically suitable range at least halved by the 2080s. Unrestricted growth in carbon emissions could be expected to result in large contractions of range, even amongst common and widespread species.

However, losses could be reduced by 60% if, through mitigation policies, the growth in emissions is halted in 2016 or by 40% if halted in 2030.


This is correct....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20468
If the Oceans Die - We Die

http://truth-out.org

Thanks to our society's toxic addiction to fossil fuels, unprecedented levels of CO2 are being pumped into our environment each and every day.

But why have CO2 concentrations increased so much over the past few decades?

Part of it has to do with increased industrialization and reliance on dirty fossil fuels, but part of it also has to do with the world's oceans.

According to Richard Bellerby, Research Scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the oceans have "been performing a huge climate service over the last 200 years."

That's because oceans have the ability to absorb CO2, which prevents it from escaping into the atmosphere. By holding the CO2 in the oceans, they've been slowing, or at least postponing, the speed of global climate change.

In fact, the world's oceans, especially the coldest waters, have absorbed about 50 percent of the CO2 that we've emitted, and continue to take up about a quarter of the CO2 that we produce every day now.

But the oceans and the ecosystems within them are now paying a steep price for taking in all that CO2.

As the oceans become more acidic, they're less able to absorb CO2, which means more of what we're blowing out our tailpipes and smokestacks will stay in our atmosphere and speed up global warming and climate change.

But more importantly, ocean acidification leads to mass ocean species extinction.

One example of a possible species extinction that the scientists at the conference gave was of the brittle star.

When exposed to the ocean acidification conditions that can be expected in the decades to come, the eggs of the brittle star die within days.

If the brittle star dies off, than the species that feed on it could die off as well and there would be a massive chain reaction of oceanic species extinctions.

And if the oceans die, we die.

It's that simple.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just checking in from Dresden. Good news, it isn't some socialist wasteland or falling apart and broke, although it has been unseasonably warm both here and in Prague so far. Cheers!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Obama Administration Outlines New Policy for Arctic Issues

http://truth-out.org

The Obama administration on Friday released a national strategy for the Arctic in advance of Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip next week to Sweden to attend a conference of eight polar nations.

In the policy, the White House outlines its approach to some key Arctic issues, even as it acknowledges that there are conflicting – and even contradictory – goals and challenges as rapidly melting sea ice makes the region more accessible. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as other regions of the Earth.

"Our pioneering spirit is naturally drawn to this region for the economic opportunities it presents and in recognition of the need to protect and conserve this unique, valuable and changing environment," Obama said in the opening page of the strategy, released in advance of Wednesday’s Arctic Council meeting.

Some of the potential economic opportunities include the possibility of additional oil and gas exploration, new fishing territory and increased transit through previously inaccessible oceans, and even tourism. But they come as the United States has to grapple with the question of how much the oil and gas extraction will contribute to the very conditions that are opening the Arctic to more exploration. The president’s Arctic strategy came out even as scientists recorded the highest-ever daily mean concentrations of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.


Fridays are an interesting day for press releases
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Fast emissions cuts could save species

Acting quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could provide more time for many species to adapt to the different conditions which climate change will bring to the zones where they can survive.

LONDON, 12 May – Without serious action to limit global warming, more than half of all land plants and a third of all animals could find their living space dramatically reduced later this century.

That is, if global average temperatures rise by 4°C the climatic regions in which these creatures thrive will shift towards the poles, habitats will dwindle, ecosystems will alter, and ever greater numbers of species will struggle to survive in ever more constrained conditions.

That’s the bad news. The somewhat less bad news is that stringent and dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions could buy time: about another four decades in which humanity’s fellow species could adapt to new circumstances.

Rachel Warren of the University of East Anglia and colleagues in the UK, Australia and Colombia report in Nature Climate Change that they used a 21st century creation, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), based in Copenhagen, Denmark, to examine the known ranges and habitats of more than 48,000 species of plant and animal and tried to calculate how these would be affected by “business as usual” scenarios for greenhouse gas emissions.

The GBIF provides access to 400 million biodiversity records from 10,000 datasets of common plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians provided by 460 research institutions around the world: the researchers sampled less than half of these.

They concluded that 55% of plants and 35% of animals could have their climatically suitable range at least halved by the 2080s. Unrestricted growth in carbon emissions could be expected to result in large contractions of range, even amongst common and widespread species.

However, losses could be reduced by 60% if, through mitigation policies, the growth in emissions is halted in 2016 or by 40% if halted in 2030.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
I didn't know wheat is a C3 plant Daisyworld. Thanks!
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8868
Quoting goosegirl1:


Figs are thought to have been first, but wheat came right after: Link

If you haven't yet, check out "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond. There are some holes in his logic at times, but it's an interesting view of human culture and how the rise of agriculture played part.


I have bought and read that book as well as his books Collapse and The World Until Yesterday. All three are excellent.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8868



faster and faster
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Peter Hadfield is out with yet another awesome smackdown of denialists and denialism. It's a bit long at 16 minutes, which I realize is far beyond the baby-like attention span of the average WUWT-goer. But maybe they can watch it in small doses?


Glad others here watch Peter Hadfield. His ability to break down lies and the liars in climate science who tell them without appearing vindictive and petty is really amazing to watch (and informative) although he really seems to enjoy crushing creationist claptrap and people who use feelings to divine facts rather than science observation and experiment.

Speaking of which have you seen his one from a few months ago called 'Science vs. the Feelies'? It's a goodie. He takes a number of groups to task (climate science deniers, some well meaning but clearly clueless environmentalists, and creationists and it's hilarious ending about where 'Feelandia' would be on the map is truly hilarious and should be watched even for just that) and makes a really good point that many climate deniers will oscillate between how carbon dioxide is such a tiny part of the atmosphere that it is self evident that it cannot affect anything(like Harrison Schmitt does here in points one and two).....and yet somehow the fact that CO2 makes up a tiny amount of the atmosphere doesn't negate it's criticality to plant life as the same Harrison Schmitt does here in the Wall Street Journal.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
Quoting Neapolitan:
Peter Hadfield is out with yet another awesome smackdown of denialists and denialism. It's a bit long at 16 minutes, which I realize is far beyond the baby-like attention span of the average WUWT-goer. But maybe they can watch it in small doses?
I find it most hilarious that in that video, Hadfield pre-rebutted CEastwood's nonsense before it was even posted. Epic.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3320
Quoting CEastwood:
Another study disproving any correlation between CO2 and climate:

Link


Like we are going to believe another study from a guy who is not even one of the 3% climate scientists deniers????? LOL... Congratulations you just won the "Speak To The Chair Award" for the day...


Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20468
Quoting CEastwood:
Another study disavowing any correlation between CO2 and climate:

Link


I watched 'Shaun of the Dead' for the first time, the other week. It's a low budget UK comedy film about zombies taking over London.

The only way they could be stopped was if you cut off their heads. Even shotguns were no good against them. It was funny watching them devising ever more imaginative decapitation schemes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CEastwood:

Another study disproving any correlation between CO2 and climate:

Link



Another link explaining the correlation between CO2 and climate:



In summary:

(1) Measurements of the CO2 output from both volcanoes and fossil fuel burning show that fossil fuel burning far exceeds that of present-day volcanoes. (Link)

(2) The increase in atmospheric CO2 is proportional to a decrease in atmospheric O2, which shows that the CO2 is being created from combustion. (Link)

(3) The carbon isotope signature of the CO2 shows an increase in 12C, which comes from living organisms. There's NO relevant increase in 13C, which comes from melting rocks (volcanoes), and NO increase in 14C, which comes from recently dead living organisms. Therefore, the carbon in CO2 is coming from once living organisms that have been dead for a very long time… aka fossil fuels. (Link)

CEastwood: Please stop posting links to lies and disinformation.
Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 6 Comments: 878
Another study disproving any correlation between CO2 and climate:

Link
Member Since: April 17, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 144
Warm water is starting to flow into the Chukchi Sea on this picture.





Pretty soon you will start to see the drop in this graph..











...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20468
@John
The only thing that I can say is that the effects are starting to be seen, so whether the deniers are convinced or not by words and science, nature will convince them shortly. 
It isn't a happy thought but I think all of our words are slightly irrelevant given the time scales. It isn't like serious effects are 50 years away.

Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Peter Hadfield is out with yet another awesome smackdown of denialists and denialism. It's a bit long at 16 minutes, which I realize is far beyond the baby-like attention span of the average WUWT-goer. But maybe they can watch it in small doses?



From the transcript:

"To all those who don't accept the science, please don't respond with more predictable posts about how it's all an IPCC hoax, and a tax scam, and computer models are wrong, or that this all started with the Club of Rome, or Al Gore, and they're all getting rich.

"Try to address the evidence.

"Explain why you think the experiments showing the radiation absorption of CO2 are flawed, and explain how the earth thawed from its pre-Cambrian snowball, and explain why the earth was much hotter than today during the Cambrian even though solar output was much lower, and explain why there's a very good correlation between global temperatures and CO2 levels over the last 500 million years, and explain how the earth warmed enough to emerge from recent glaciations, and explain why we've had 35 years of warming even though solar irradiation has been lower.

"It's no good giving your feeling that CO2 isn't responsible, or that it's all a hoax, or Al Gore's getting rich, or CO2 always lags temperature change but never leads, or God is looking after the climate, or the sun did it.

"Making assertions is easy, but in science they have to be based on observations, not guesswork."
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13796
More from Hotwhopper revealing the mendacious lunacy at Watts:

Earth in the grip of a fever - CO2 at 400 ppm - deniers ecstatic

Unknown Territory - Never Since Humans Appeared on Earth
Yesterday we were told that at Mauna Loa, CO2 passed the 400 ppm mark. It hasn't been this high in more than 3 million years at least - never ever since humans evolved, let alone since humans evolved, let alone since human civilisation.[...]


This event, memorialised in a haiku tweet from NOAA, is a frightening reminder of how poorly we are doing in attempting to reduce CO2 emissions. The implications are awful. [...]

Deniers say "Bring it ON!"
On the anti-science blogs, people are positively gloating. On WUWT, Anthony Watts is heralding his triumph, offering T-Shirts in celebration. He and his band of Dismissives are trumpeting what they see as a milestone in their frantic efforts to make earth dangerously hot, writing:

Mauna Loa hits 400 PPM of CO2, alarmists wail and gnash teeth, Earth survives
Since the world hasn’t ended (just like what happened with Y2K) we can now go forward from here. T-shirts saying “I survived 400 PPM” will be made available if there’s enough interest in comments.

Much, much more

Commenter George Montgomery nails it:

"Watts' headline, ".. Earth survives" is perversely correct and irrelevant. The earth survives all ecological tragedies and geologic events up until the latter stages of the sun's lifecycle when it becomes a red giant and expands engulfing the earth. Unfortunately, the earth's organisms (including us) aren't as resilient. On another level, Watts ignores, oops .. either doesn't know about or can't comprehend radiative forcing, thermal lag and equilibrium temperature.
IMO, Watts et al should confine themselves to analysing the Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (apologies to Giacomo Balla) and leave blogging on Climate Change to those who not only understand the meaning of probity but also know what they're talking about. On a positive note, getting outdoors together in the fresh air will be a win-win situation for Anthony and Kenji, Steve and Cujo, Bob and Beethoven, Jo and Toto, ..."


Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
Quoting Neapolitan:
Snip

It's good to see that even WUWT folks are beginning to realize the profound ignorance of their denialism.


I'm not so sure that they are. Today on Hotwhopper, Sou posted this:
A better t-shirt for WUWT-ers
Sou | 12:40 PM 5 Comments - leave a comment
Anthony Watts has a t-shirt for sale, celebrating what deniers think of as success in making Earth more dangerous.

According to Anthony's t-shirt they didn't survive Y2K but those who are still around did survive 400 ppm of CO2.

Since science deniers are surprisingly into extreme risks, here's an even better t-shirt that would fit their jubilant mood and ambitions:






I don't know if they'll have the time (or attention span) to improve the t-shirt as I suggested. They are now busy arguing amongst each other over whether one denier camp's 'theory' that the earth is heading for an ice age is better or worse than the other denier camp's theory that the greenhouse effect doesn't exist and "all the physics is wrong" or another camp's theory that global warming is real but 'insignificant' and is caused by thunderstorms or another camp's theory that ENSO has suddenly decided to cause global warming.


comments

AnonymousMay :12, 2013 at 5:11 PM
If someone make your T-shirt, I'll buy one! Brilliant.


Wotts Up With That BlogMay 12, 2013 at 5:13 PM
The T-shirt is absurd. It's one thing to question and be skeptical of science. It's another to revel in anything that climate science regards as concerning.

What you say at the end of your post though is what I find most revealing. It seems as though those at WUWT will consider anything but the possibility that global warming will lead to catastrophic climate change. A new ice age is plausible. We'll get warmer, but that will be a good thing. It's being overestimated. All of these are acceptable, the only thing that isn't is the possibility that we should be concerned.

RepliesGeorge MontgomeryMay 12, 2013 at 10:03 PM

You're right. The tie that binds all skepticism is its anti-global warming stance but within their sceptical belief systems they have disparate, contrarian views that are at odds with each other's. The irony that there is no consensus among skeptics escapes them.

Putting it into the same mythological genre as their favourite, crackpot sceptical theories, scepticism is like the multi-headed Lernaean Hydra. Each head of the Hydra representing a different viewpoint. And every time a head is cut off? Another two grow in its place as per the Second Labour of Heracles. Going on the duelling egos in the skeptic blogosphere, there's been an awful lot of "head lopping" occurring out there in the aether.



Victor VenemaMay 12, 2013 at 6:00 PM

The children of the WUWT crowd will probably survive. They are the middle class in the USA, UK and Australia. They might not have it as good as the previous generation, but they will mostly survive. The children of the people who have more important things to do as blogging are more in danger.


RepliesWotts Up With That BlogMay 12, 2013 at 6:11 PM
Yes, I think you have a point. I regularly find WUWT people claiming that the "green agenda" is driving up the cost of energy bills and that this is hitting the poor particularly hard. At the same time, I've found comments complaining about some of the tax on energy bills being used to help those in fuel poverty and being used to insulate homes so as to reduce costs - why should they be paying to reduce other people's fuel bills. It certainly seems that those complaining about the "green agenda" driving up energy costs for the poor, are the same people who feel that taxation should not be used to redistribute wealth.


Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
Quoting allahgore:


Wow you avoided the market collapse calling it junk. Do you think that if the cost for a product is to high for consumtion can cause a collapse? Assuming that the Govt will not bail them out. We are at a point that too many people rely on the Govt to keep bailing them out. why are European countries failing? Could it be that there are to many laws and the free market concept is frowned upon? In America if we keep pushing away the free market concept we will collapse just like greece. Socialist agenda has proven to fail, even Russia and China have adopted the free market way of doing things because it has been proving to work. It helps the poor and middle class you know the working man! Now that I defined the scope of the problem, what path would you like to take? one that is proven to work? or the one that is proven to fail?


Sigh.

No I didn't. I accuratly described that paragraph. The problem was that you are basing all your conclusions in that paragraph on a point that was never part of the idea: changing the law.

To be clear, changing the law is your part idea. You can't add an idea to my idea and then say I am wrong.

If you want to have a free market discussion, I am possibly willing to do so but it is a different argument and based on your inability to handle a simply idea like webcams, I really have doubts about trying something complex with you.

So, let's return to where we left off:

In summation, we have proof of principle but with scaleability problems.

Note that this doesn't cover anywhere near the scope of the issue. So which do you want to solve first? Scalebility? Or defining the scope of the problem? (Hint, they are related, so go ahead and see what you can do with the situation.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting CEastwood:
AGW is literally freezing Minnesota. Of course, this is only "weather" as it always is unless it is warming. Well, cold "weather" like this is occurring all over the world. One of the comments in the below link said that someone should check the temperature of the ice in Minnesota. Perhaps all of that ice has a temperature much greater than that of regular ice. We all know that AGW defies the laws of physics in every other manner.

Link
First, I'd like to express my condolences for you having made it this far in life without learning about the difference between weather and climate.

Second, I'd also like to express my condolences for your computer's inability to browse to any but denialist sites. Such websites continue to fade into obscurity, with fewer and fewer people being able to remain contrarian in the face of increasing evidence of man-made warming. So unless you get your computer fixed, I'm afraid you're going to fall further and further behind.

Don't let that happen.

Lastly, though, I wish to thank you for reminding me of a comment I made about this very same subject just two days ago in Dr. Masters' forum. Here it is in its entirety:

---------------------------
More of that "whiplash" Dr. Masters and others have spoken of: thanks in large part to the unprecedentedly warm temperatures recorded in March, many lakes in Minnesota experienced their earliest ice-out dates ever last year, some by a very large margin (legend at the bottom of this comment):

IOD

This year is a very different story, of course, with many Minnesota lakes experiencing by far their latest ice-out dates ever:

IOD

IOD

It's interesting to note that a number of Minnesota lakes that melted completely last year by the final week in March are this year still at least partially frozen over.

---------------------------
It's good to see that even WUWT folks are beginning to realize the profound ignorance of their denialism.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13796
Climate change 'will make hundreds of millions homeless'

Carbon dioxide levels indicate rise in temperatures that could lead agriculture to fail on entire continents




It is increasingly likely that hundreds of millions of people will be displaced from their homelands in the near future as a result of global warming. That is the stark warning of economist and climate change expert Lord Stern following the news last week that concentrations of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere had reached a level of 400 parts per million (ppm).

Massive movements of people are likely to occur over the rest of the century because global temperatures are likely to rise to by up to 5C because carbon dioxide levels have risen unabated for 50 years, said Stern, who is head of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change.

"When temperatures rise to that level, we will have disrupted weather patterns and spreading deserts," he said. "Hundreds of millions of people will be forced to leave their homelands because their crops and animals will have died. The trouble will come when they try to migrate into new lands, however. That will bring them into armed conflict with people already living there. Nor will it be an occasional occurrence. It could become a permanent feature of life on Earth."

The news that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have reached 400ppm has been seized on by experts because that level brings the world close to the point where it becomes inevitable that it will experience a catastrophic rise in temperatures. Scientists have warned for decades of the danger of allowing industrial outputs of carbon dioxide to rise unchecked.

Instead, these outputs have accelerated. In the 1960s, carbon dioxide levels rose at a rate of 0.7ppm a year. Today, they rise at 2.1ppm, as more nations become industrialised and increase outputs from their factories and power plants. The last time the Earth's atmosphere had 400ppm carbon dioxide, the Arctic was ice-free and sea levels were 40 metres higher.

The prospect of Earth returning to these climatic conditions is causing major alarm. As temperatures rise, deserts will spread and life-sustaining weather patterns such as the North Indian monsoon could be disrupted. Agriculture could fail on a continent-wide basis and hundreds of millions of people would be rendered homeless, triggering widespread conflict.

There are likely to be severe physical consequences for the planet. Rising temperatures will shrink polar ice caps – the Arctic's is now at its lowest since records began – and so reduce the amount of solar heat they reflect back into space. Similarly, thawing of the permafrost lands of Alaska, Canada and Russia could release even more greenhouse gases, including methane, and further intensify global warming.





Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
AGW is literally freezing Minnesota. Of course, this is only "weather" as it always is unless it is warming. Well, cold "weather" like this is occurring all over the world. One of the comments in the below link said that someone should check the temperature of the ice in Minnesota. Perhaps all of that ice has a temperature much greater than that of regular ice. We all know that AGW defies the laws of physics in every other manner.

Link
Member Since: April 17, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 144
Quoting allahgore:



Well, if you are setting up 263 webcams to capture 100 head of cattle on 600 acres; The reason you would be doing this, would be that Mr cattle buyer will not take your word that you treat the cattle in a humane way or you might just like taking video of cattle. Now it might work with a small operation with 1 or 2 cattle because I know you can time lapse a video but with 263 webcams viewing 24-7-365 data most cattle buyers just don't have the time. Now if a law was passed and they were forced to watch the video beef will rise to 1500 per lb and the market will collapse. We can equate this with the cap & trade agenda that I am sure you support, in other words let's collapse the global market. Why not just shut down all fossil fuel consumption and let's pull down the electrical grid, let's go back to the dark ages this includes shutting down the internet also. Did you know every time that you hit the submitt button you are melting ice in the Artic? The big problem with the green agenda, the leaders of the green agenda motto is Do as I say not as I do!


Ok, it isn't complete, at all, but's go through with it line by line, your lines in bold:

Well, if you are setting up 263 webcams to capture 100 head of cattle on 600 acres;

I guess this counts as a line, the semicolon says no, but the capitol letter suggests a new line. Either way, for the sake of argument, i will accept your numbers: 263/100/600. However, in the future it would be nice to cite those numbers as I could just as easily say 8000/3/8000.


The reason you would be doing this, would be that Mr cattle buyer will not take your word that you treat the cattle in a humane way or you might just like taking video of cattle.

Poorly stated so I'll try to clean up a bit: video proves the cattle were treated humanly, assuming enough cameras, live feeds, etc. Note the 'might just like video' statement is contradictory to the circumstances, but let it go.


Now it might work with a small operation with 1 or 2 cattle because I know you can time lapse a video...

so proof of principle is established. Yes, for small operations but it still works. In fact, the principle does work and local markets prove it, although the camera idea hasn't been tried.

You also suggested time lapse. That is just one technology.


...but with 263 webcams viewing 24-7-365 data most cattle buyers just don't have the time.

That is an assumption. I don't mena the assumption that cattle buyers would have the time to watch years of video, I think that is safe. But you assume that this is necessary.


Now if a law was passed and they were forced to watch the video beef will rise to 1500 per lb and the market will collapse. We can equate this with the cap & trade agenda that I am sure you support, in other words let's collapse the global market. Why not just shut down all fossil fuel consumption and let's pull down the electrical grid, let's go back to the dark ages this includes shutting down the internet also. Did you know every time that you hit the submitt button you are melting ice in the Artic? The big problem with the green agenda, the leaders of the green agenda motto is Do as I say not as I do!

I didn't seperate out this paragraph because it is junk. You establish wild hypotheses and then go on a no doubt satisfying emotional attack complete with various statesments of consequences that are neither valid or supported. It is a common logical fallacy: fallacy of "quasi parvulus delicatus sex anniculum".

So, after wasting all of this blog space, you could have just stated the following:

"I can see this working on a small scale perhaps but it is a lot of video to process for large operations. Have you considered this problem?"

If you had given some form of that response, it would have been a short, direct and polite answer that would have made you look, if not intelligent, at least not the reverse.


In summation, we have proof of principle but with scaleability problems.

Note that this doesn't cover anywhere near the scope of the issue. So which do you want to solve first? Scalebility? Or defining the scope of the problem? (Hint, they are related, so go ahead and see what you can do with the situation.)
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Your response

Quoting allahgore:


How many local farmers did you get to do this?


to my post

"So that is how you see the problem and then just walk saying it can't be solved?"

which was in response to your post:

Quoting allahgore:



Well, Let's say you have 100 head of cattle on 600 acres of land, plenty of room to graze and grow before I buy them. Now you say hey Mr cattle buyer I treat my cows in a humane way, I even set up 236 web-cams and recoreded 24-7-365 to prove it. Now how long would it take me to review 236 web-cams with 24-7-365 data? This is just like the redlight camera debate; Just because my car ran thru a redlight does not mean I was the person driving the car!


I assume you are asking the question about how many farmers did I get to do this because you think that is somehow relevant to the idea. The answer is None, as I mentioned in the first blog post, which it sounds like you didn't read. But it really isn't relevant.

I can and will explain why but first I would really like to see you put your brain to work and do the due diligence required in responding to a post.

In general, all you have done is toss off one liners and paste and post the rubbish of denialist collage sites.

So far, what I've gotten from trying to sort through your posts is that:

1. There is a lot of video and no one will watch all of it.

2. Farmers don't want to do it.

Is there anything else? Please, post the entire situation as you see it all at once instead of one liner bits and pieces.

Then, to skip ahead, assume you have defined the problem. Is there no solution? Here, and this will be difficult for you, you have to think and understand (instead of relying on other people to do it for you, or just posting one liner comments that pass for logic with fox news arm chair quarterbacks but not to people actually trying to do something in the world.)

Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting goosegirl1:


Figs are thought to have been first, but wheat came right after: Link

If you haven't yet, check out "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond. There are some holes in his logic at times, but it's an interesting view of human culture and how the rise of agriculture played part.


Actually, wheat is a C3 plant, though important food crops are C4, especially corn:

from HyperPhysics at Georgia State University:

"About 85% of plant species are C3 plants. They include the cereal grains: wheat, rice, barley, oats. Peanuts, cotton, sugar beets, tobacco, spinach, soybeans, and most trees are C3 plants. Most lawn grasses such as rye and fescue are C3 plants.

...only about 0.4% of the 260,000 known species of plants are C4 plants. But that small percentage includes the important food crops corn, sorghum, sugarcane and millet. Also included are crabgrass and bermuda. Many tropical grasses and sedges are C4 plants."


Of course, this excludes CAM photosynthesis, which is a modification of C4 photosynthesis (and thus, evolved later), and includes plants like cacti and pineapple.
Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 6 Comments: 878
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


And without grass civilization might not exist. I'm not sure civilization could have arisen without productive food grasses that were relatively easy to grow.


Figs are thought to have been first, but wheat came right after: Link

If you haven't yet, check out "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond. There are some holes in his logic at times, but it's an interesting view of human culture and how the rise of agriculture played part.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Daisyworld:


In fact, if it weren't for lower CO2 levels 25 million years ago, it wouldn't have given rise to a whole new method of photosynthesis:

Nature's green revolution: the remarkable evolutionary rise of C4 plants


And without grass civilization might not exist. I'm not sure civilization could have arisen without productive food grasses that were relatively easy to grow.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8868
Quoting Daisyworld:


In fact, if it weren't for lower CO2 levels 25 million years ago, it wouldn't have given rise to a whole new method of photosynthesis:

Nature's green revolution: the remarkable evolutionary rise of C4 plants


Also higher carbon dioxide levels may make plants we and other species eat less nutritious (less protein) and possibly more toxic (more cyanide).
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


Not so. Plants did very well when CO2 levels were less than half today's. Experiments show that when plants are exposed to even higher levels of CO2 than today they don't absorb any more CO2


In fact, if it weren't for lower CO2 levels 25 million years ago, it wouldn't have given rise to a whole new method of photosynthesis:

Nature's green revolution: the remarkable evolutionary rise of C4 plants
Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 6 Comments: 878
Liebig's Law of the Minimum, often simply called Liebig's Law or the Law of the Minimum, is a principle developed in agricultural science by Carl Sprengel (1828) and later popularized by Justus von Liebig. It states that growth is controlled not by the total amount of resources available, but by the scarcest resource (limiting factor).

Exerpted from a comment by an ecologist at Deltoid:

"The “C02 is plant food and therefore increased concentrations of this gas will increase primary productivity and thus benefit ecological communities, systems and biomes” argument is so utterly asinine that qualified scientists don’t take it seriously."[...]

"CO2 is NOT a limiting nutrient for plant growth…. nitrogen and especially phosphorus are. Moreover, some plants will respond positively to increased C02 in the atmosphere but many will not. This will lead to competitive asymmetries amongst different plant groups – mono and dicots and larger vegetation leading to decidedly non-linear dynamics. Moreover, primary productivity is regulated by both bottom-up (plant-mediated) and top-down (consumer-mediated) processes. In this context, we must take a multi-trophic eco-physiological approach to the question."[...]

"[Deniers] try and forever to boil down and simplify nature to the lowest common denominator. I never see them discuss changes in plant tolerance and allelochemistry in their arguments, again because they don’t understand it. Nothing about changes in C or N based secondary metabolites, or of their consequences on consumer development, behavior and fitness, and how this will ripple its way through food webs and ecosystems. Nothing about how species-specific responses will lead to the competitive exclusion of the losers; nothing about rates of change, and how plants have evolved over very long time scales to relatively low ambient C02 concentrations, and that fact that the planet achieved the highest species (and genetic) richness in its history under these conditions. Sure, terrestrial plants (and by association, their consumers up the food chain) can adapt over evolutionary time to an increase in C02, but we are not talking about changes in concentrations that normally take tends if not hundreds of thousands of years, we are talking about a couple of centuries."
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
Quoting SouthernIllinois:
The more C02, the more the plants will absorb.


Yes, but the wrong types of plants:

Biomass and toxicity responses of poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) to elevated atmospheric CO2
Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 6 Comments: 878
Quoting SouthernIllinois:
The more C02, the more the plants will absorb.
Are you a greenhouse pot grower? In greenhouse situations where other factors are controlled, added CO2 can indeed increase growth.

However, in the outdoors - farms and nature, the situation is much more complex, and tropical plant biomass production may actually decrease with higher CO2 levels.

Oversimplification and attempting to treat complex systems as simple ones is a rookie mistake for those new to the study of AGW/CC. Use Google Scholar (not Google web search) and you will find lots of papers on the subject of CO2 levels and plant growth. If you've been following Dr. Rood's blog for a while, you will remember that he discussed breaking complex systems into subsystems to be able to study them.

It's good to remember what they say over at Skeptical Science - "None of the proposed methods stores carbon as safely and effectively as coal. Nature has already sequestered carbon for us. Let's leave it sequestered in those coal beds."

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SouthernIllinois:
The more C02, the more the plants will absorb.



It is hard for plants to grow in desert...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20468
Quoting SouthernIllinois:
The more C02, the more the plants will absorb.


Not so. Plants did very well when CO2 levels were less than half today's. Experiments show that when plants are exposed to even higher levels of CO2 than today they don't absorb any more CO2
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8868
200. AlwaysThinkin
11:38 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
Quoting JohnLonergan:
"Tired, disproven argument on %u201Cbenefits%u201D of CO2 resurfaces in Wall Street Journal"


Also this

USDA Links Gene Flow Between Weedy and Domesticated Rice to Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels
New research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirms that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide facilitates the flow of genes from wild or weedy rice plants to domesticated rice varieties. As a result, domesticated plants could take on undesirable weedy characteristics that may interfere with future rice production.

This is the first study to demonstrate that the effects of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations include not only an influence on gene flow between closely related domesticated and wild plant genotypes, but that this gene flow is not the same in both directions.


From this time last year, but doood carbon dioxide is like plant food n' stuff. The mud-puddle shallow thinking of deniers is repellent. None of those authors at the WSJ would know integrity if it blew it's nose on their shirt sleeve and couldn't find a relevant fact if it was hiding under their paycheck from Exxon Mobile and Koch Industries.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
199. NRAamy
11:33 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
Cat photos...hmmmmm yes...... I can totally see how that is relevant and on topic......good work.....
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
197. CEastwood
10:27 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
440 PPM, oh my!



Member Since: April 17, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 144
196. JohnLonergan
9:59 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
"Tired, disproven argument on %u201Cbenefits%u201D of CO2 resurfaces in Wall Street Journal"
Carbon dioxide concentrations are approaching 400 parts per million, higher than any found in at least 800,000 years. To commemorate the occasion, a Wall Street Journal op-ed has revived an old, repeatedly debunked argument about the benefits of CO2. Authors Harrison Schmitt and William Happer take the fact that plants need CO2 to grow and argue that more is better, ignoring both common sense and overwhelming scientific evidence.

The following is a guest post by Climate Nexus:


Tired, Disproven Argument on %u201CBenefits%u201D of CO2 Resurfaces in WSJ

Carbon dioxide concentrations are approaching 400 parts per million, higher than any found in at least 800,000 years. To commemorate the occasion, a Wall Street Journal op-ed has revived an old, repeatedly debunked argument about the benefits of CO2. The authors take the fact that plants need CO2 to grow, and argue that more is better, ignoring both common sense and overwhelming scientific evidence. Common sense says that it%u2019s possible to have too much of a necessary thing; for example, vitamin D is necessary for our health, but too much can cause permanent heart and kidney damage. And science tells us that the negative impacts of global warming far outweigh any isolated benefits.

The Claim:

The authors argue that plants use carbon dioxide to grow, and more carbon dioxide will make them grow faster. This will be good for agricultural yields. Also, in the distant past, there was even more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and %u201Clife flourished on land%u201D during those times. They rely on this generalized anecdote to claim that there are no negative side effects of excess carbon dioxide.

The Facts:

In reality, the negative effects of excess carbon dioxide are devastating, with more than enough impacts to wipe out any growth benefit crops might experience. The warming effects of CO2 have been verified by independent scientific studies, professional organizations, and government investigations all over the world. This warming will present serious problems for agriculture.

Here are a few reasons why we won%u2019t see an agricultural benefit from increased CO2:

%u25A0Extreme weather can devastate crop yields, and is linked to human-caused global warming despite Schmitt and Happer%u2019s unsourced assertions to the contrary. Both droughts and storms take their toll. The recent U.S. drought caused maize yields to drop by 45 million tons, and is consistent with projections that extreme droughts will be more frequent in a warmer world.

%u25A0Carbon dioxide and warmth can spur the activity of weeds and pests as well as agricultural crops. Studies have shown that beetles eat more crops in a high-carbon environment (both through modern experiments and studying prehistoric warming events). Weed-killing herbicides have also been found to lose effectiveness at high CO2 levels.

%u25A0Plants need water, sunlight, nitrogen, and other nutrients to grow, in addition to carbon dioxide. Many studies have found nitrogen to be a limiting factor in plant growth, negating the temporary growth boost caused by increased CO2. Other studies show that high nighttime temperatures cause plants to use up energy reserves faster, reducing corn yields. Water availability concerns are also projected to increase in a warmer future.

Plants exhibit a growth boost under increased CO2 conditions only when all other factors have been controlled for, and the real world is nothing like these greenhouse conditions. We are effectively conducting a %u201Creal-world%u201D experiment on our whole planet today, and have found food prices rising in response to higher temperatures and more extreme events. Adverse effects of global warming are so numerous that this kind of simplistic and repeatedly disproven argument has no place in our national debate.

Also see:

Media Matters: "Wall Street Journal 's Idiocracy: CO2 Is What Plants Crave"

Columbia Journalism Review: The WSJ editorial page hits rock bottom>
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
194. cyclonebuster
5:31 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
One more thing here the cherry pickers would have used cubes instead of spheres to make it look smaller...

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20468
193. greentortuloni
5:09 PM GMT on May 11, 2013

Quoting allahgore:



Well, Let's say you have 100 head of cattle on 600 acres of land, plenty of room to graze and grow before I buy them. Now you say hey Mr cattle buyer I treat my cows in a humane way, I even set up 236 web-cams and recoreded 24-7-365 to prove it. Now how long would it take me to review 236 web-cams with 24-7-365 data? This is just like the redlight camera debate; Just because my car ran thru a redlight does not mean I was the person driving the car!
So that is how you see the problem and then just walk saying it can't be solved?
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
192. pcola57
4:27 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
My apologies if this has been posted..
I took one paragraph for info purposes..
Complete study article in link below..

Earth's Current Warmth Not Seen in the Last 1,400 Years or More, Says Study

Earth Institute Columbia University

(Abstract)
The study is the latest to show that the Medieval Warm Period, from about 950 to 1250, may not have been global, and may not have happened at the same time in places that did grow warmer. While parts of Europe and North America were fairly warm between 950 and 1250, South America stayed relatively cold, the study says. Some people have argued that the natural warming that occurred during the medieval ages is happening today, and that humans are not responsible for modern day global warming. Scientists are nearly unanimous in their disagreement "If we went into another Medieval Warm Period again that extra warmth would be added on top of warming from greenhouse gases," said Cook.

To understand the above in the context the author intended, please click link above..
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6915
190. Birthmark
4:19 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
Quoting Skyepony:
Big AG wins again..who needs bees when everyone is being fed GMO corn & soy through processed foods anyways..

EPA Approves New Pesticide Highly Toxic to Bees

In apparent contradiction to its stated intention to protect pollinators and find solutions to the current pollinator crisis, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the unconditional registration of the new insecticide sulfoxaflor, which the agency classifies as highly toxic to honey bees. Despite warnings and concerns raised by beekeepers and environmental groups, sulfoxaflor will further endanger bees and beekeeping. The U.S. EPA continues to put industry interests first to exacerbate an already dire pollinator crisis.

Unbelievable! Or it would have been unbelievable a generation ago when there was at least some pretense that something other than money was important.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
189. greentortuloni
4:12 PM GMT on May 11, 2013

Quoting allahgore:



I provided how cattle are priced! Sorry but web -cams and video data for the life of the animal was not part of it. Maybe someone videos cows 24-7-365 now? But i could not find it.

Try going back and reading the whole thread. Your reply isn't just wrong it's nonsensical, although typical of your replies. (As well as being cut and pasted without bothering to format or explain how the content was related, also typical though normally you manage some formatting.)

Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220

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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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Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
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