2011-04-30 04:59:00Lindzen Illusion #3 & Christy Crock #5: Opposing Climate Solutions
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I put together a post combining Lindzen and Christy's recent comments trying to dissuade the USA and Australia from reducing emissions.  Let me know what you think.

Lindzen Illusion #3 & Christy Crock #5: Opposing Climate Solutions

2011-04-30 23:07:45I have a major criticism
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.193.203

Once again, I have to point out you’re assuming a climate sensitivity of 3°C. Although probably about right for fast feedbacks, it’s looking like the long-term sensitivity is way higher than that. If even just one slow feedback kicks in before CO2 can be brought back down to a safe level, we’re looking at a lot more warming than the fast-feedback estimates. When CO2 was at ~400 ppm in the Pliocene the global temperature was 3-4°C degrees higher. It’s not clear that 2°C is a magic limit for dangerous climate change anyway. To be sure of preventing dangerous climate change we have to get the Earth back in energy balance, and that means reducing CO2 to 350 ppm.

Much as I hate to give fodder to the deniers, we can’t honestly pretend that baby steps will be enough. At best they are only a start; at worst they are counterproductive to the real action that is urgently required. I don’t think I’m being particularly political here, I’m just pointing out what the science is saying.

So what can we honestly say the deniers are wrong about? If Lindzen is claiming that rapidly cutting the world’s emissions wouldn’t make a difference, then he’s just wrong. It would make all the difference; a rapid enough transition could prevent dangerous climate change. Your point about the indirect effect of triggering more widespread actions is also valid, and your broader point about the Tragedy of the Commons is correct. It is even true that a slower transition taking us well over 400 ppm would make a difference relative to BAU. But we shouldn’t claim that a slow transition would prevent dangerous climate change; that is based on a dangerous assumption.

Regarding the US legislation – how could the scheme have reduced fossil fuel burning without raising electricity bills?

2011-05-01 02:21:30thanks
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Fair enough, I'll add a discussion that I'm talking short-term, and we have to do even better in the long-term.  I'll add a link to your 350 ppm post.

Realistically I think 450 ppm is the best we can possibly do.  I'm hoping we can keep it around that level, then come up with a good atmospheric CO2 removal and sequestration technology.  If you look at the IPCC scenarios, most end up with CO2 at least above 560 ppm by 2100.  450 ppm would be a huge feat.

The US legislation offset the modestly higher energy prices (I don't think they really rise all that much) with investments in efficiency programs, and I think they might also have incorporated assistance for low income families to make sure their bills don't rise.  In fact low income household bills were projected to drop, on average, because they also tend to use less electricity to begin with.

2011-05-01 02:33:27revised
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Okay, all set James.  I also added a link to your 6°C sensitivity post, and John's recent "last time CO2 levels were this high" post.

2011-05-01 05:22:12
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Looks pretty good to me.  While I think 450 is starry-eyed dreaming, it's a worthy goal. People need to have hope: a numerical target number remotely close to today's, even if unattainable, will at least not rule out inaction.

All I found was this:


From:

"We’re talking about less than a hundredth of a degree [if California cuts emissions by 26% by 2016]. It’s just so minesule; I mean the global temperature changes by more than that from day to day. So this is what we call in Alabama “spitting in the ocean”."

To:

"We’re talking about less than a hundredth of a degree [if California cuts emissions by 26% by 2016]. It’s just so minescule; I mean the global temperature changes by more than that from day to day. So this is what we call in Alabama “spitting in the ocean”."


From:

Current global CO2 emissions total approximately 30 billion tons (Gt) per year, with the USA contributing approximaterly 20% (5.8 Gt per year).

To:

Current global CO2 emissions total approximately 30 billion tons (Gt) per year, with the USA contributing approximately 20% (5.8 Gt per year).


I like your closing sentence.  Bet the readers don't know that the bullets being used have hollow points...


2011-05-01 05:26:09
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.225

minuscule

2011-05-01 05:34:58
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Thanks, Neal.  Someone gobbed my spellcheck dictionary.  And I'm down a quart of caffeine in the blood at the moment...

2011-05-01 06:19:51
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

I kind of like this simple model on how to achieve less than 2 degrees:

http://www.chalmers.se/ee/EN/research/research-divisions/physical-resource-theory

Click on Chalmers Climate Calculator in right column. Gives you an idea of what it takes...

Oh, and I like the post dana, and agree on adding comments on long term sensitivity.

2011-05-01 12:29:13thanks
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Thanks guys, changes made.  Anything else?

2011-05-01 14:30:02Understatement
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.142.28

“So we really should aim to eventually stabilize atmospheric CO2 at no higher than 350 ppmv, and the more CO2 we emit now, the more difficult that will be” is an understatement. Every year at current rates, we add another 2 ppm to the atmosphere, and the 350 goal slips further from our grasp.

2011-05-01 14:40:57
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

At some point, people will have to be made to understand that 350 lives only in our memories, and that no living person will ever see 350 again.  That doesn't mean we should give up on it as a target.

It's like some poor schmo working the assembly line for $40,000 a year, who comes home one day to find his spouse has gambled away their life savings and their house to the goons from the Mob...and they're so far in debt now that it will take them 20 years to pay it all back.  I mean, it's achievable, but it ain't gonna happen overnight.  An da Boys ain't gonna let ya walk...unless it's in dem concrete overshoes...

2011-05-01 19:33:00
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.10.171

Great post. Thumbs up from me brutha.

2011-05-02 04:28:13thanks
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Thanks Rob.  James, I added a note about adding 2 ppmv per year.  I don't want to make it too pessimistic though.  Daniel, interesting analogy :-)