A Few Things Ill Considered

Experts, “plebs” and hope.

A very good video on the gulf that exists between the climate science experts and the general population in terms of awareness and alarm regarding anthropogenic climate change:

(from a comment on a P3 thread)

The essence of this impending calamity is, more than anything else, a story of betrayal: betrayal of a naively trusting population by its political leaders and even more by its news media.   When the denial of this crisis is finally seen to be as implausible and ludicrous as it already is, it may be too late.  It may be too late already to avoid truly terrible consequences, but we must remember that it is a question of degree and there are degrees of terrible. So just because we can’t avoid terrible altogether does not mean we should give up on avoiding horrifically terrible.

Now I feel I must offer an antidote to the rather bleak picture I just painted above.  This uplifting video offers us some hope:

Because, you know what?  We can change the world.  And maybe we will.


  1. #1 Eli Rabett
    March 20, 2014

    Forgive Eli Coby, the Rabett is going to so steal that video. . .

  2. #2 Ethan Vishniac
    March 20, 2014

    The comments on the youtube video are, as usual, profoundly depressing. There seems to be no amount of explanation which stops people from claiming that all the planets are warming, or that the anthropogenic contribution to atmospheric CO2 is negligible.

  3. #3 Russell
    March 20, 2014

    More beach time definitely in order.

  4. #4 PaulinMI
    Carbon Neutral Kingdom
    March 24, 2014

    Ok, so by the end of the century, 5, maybe 10%, of the human population will survive due to temp rise of 4, 6, 8 maybe 10C. And the vast majority may not be able to go on past mid century.
    We know we can change.
    Then to avoid this scenario, what is the goal to complete?
    Completion date – ?
    Action and result – ?

  5. #5 coby
    March 24, 2014

    That may be a bit of a pessimistic prediction, but I don’t think it can be ruled out as implausible.

    To avoid such a calamity the answers to your questions are as follows:

    Completion Date: as soon as possible
    Action: everything we can do
    Result: reduction in the risks of truly dire outcomes.

    Specific policies I support would include a carbon tax (probably ala Hansen’s tax and dividend approach) and the “climate wedges” concept.

  6. #6 PaulinMI
    Carbon Neutral Kingdom
    March 24, 2014

    So, a tax and a wedge concept can prevent global temps from rising?
    I think some of our US politicians could make that statement to satisfy their “feel good” type constituents without really committing to anything concrete.
    I’m not sure, but that doesn’t sound like it would get us there.
    Maybe, you could be more specific?

  7. #7 coby
    March 24, 2014

    I don’t think anything can prevent the global temperature for continuing to rise for a couple of decades, we’re probably committed to another oC, probably more considering the physics of the atmosphere and the practical realities of our civilization.

    What it can do is immediately start us heading the right direction, which is toward a carbon neutral economy. Nothing less than that will work.

  8. #8 PaulinMI
    Carbon Neutral Kingdom
    March 24, 2014

    Ok, carbon neutral.
    By what date, to prevent losing up to 90% of the human population by the end of century?
    What time line is required to stave off this calamity, to get to net zero?

  9. #9 coby
    March 24, 2014

    But I already answered this. “As soon as possible” is the only timeline I can offer and a reduction in risk is the only result I can promise,

  10. #10 PaulinMI
    Carbon Neutral Kingdom
    March 24, 2014

    Well, I thought this is the gravest problem facing the planet.
    Sounds kinda weak with the whole of humanity at risk, doesn’t it?
    Maybe, I’m wrong.

  11. #11 coby
    March 25, 2014

    I could write it in all caps I guess…

    What would sound strong enough for you?

  12. #12 Mack
    March 25, 2014

    “gravest problem facing the world” Nah, no worries mate.

  13. #13 Mack
    March 25, 2014

    If my previous comment gets past moderation, there were a couple of other comments I said to Roy Spencer which has probably caused and led up to the the “put up or shut up” posting by Roy. ie.
    and this..
    The incoming solar is non directional and should be regarded as covering the whole globe at the TOA. ie. it’s an average of about 1360w/sq.m. which results in 340w/sq.m. at the Earth’s surface. The “missing” about 1020w/sq.m. is mostly attenuated in that place of physical paradox called the THEMOSPHERE. Clmatologists and weathermen tend not to think much further than the clouds.

  14. #15 PaulinMI
    Carbon Neutral Kingdom
    March 25, 2014

    A date

  15. #16 coby
    March 26, 2014

    Paul, how about an analogy. You have a new mole on your back, large and irregular. I tell you you should see a doctor “as soon as possible” because it may end up killing you. Now, because I can not tell you the precise date by which you should get it removed to prevent your death by skin cancer you decide I am not serious.

    The situation is urgent, it would have been better if humanity had taken urgent actions 10 years ago, we should act as soon as possible, the more time that passes the more grave our situation becomes. What can a specific date add to that?

  16. #17 PaulinMI
    Carbon Neutral Kingdom
    March 26, 2014

    Ok, look at your calendar and tell me when you can go to the doctor.
    I’ll make the call and schedule the appointment.
    If it’s not scheduled, it won’t get done.
    Once we have the date, we can figure out how to get there.

  17. #18 mandas
    March 27, 2014

    Let me answer Paul’s question Coby.

    27 March 2014.

  18. #19 freddy
    March 27, 2014

    US Congress will never approve the contents of this over alarmistic video, and I am very happy and very thankful about this, because I don’t believe a single word of these alarmistic songs from leftist climate science.

  19. #20 PaulinMI
    Carbon Neutral Kingdom
    March 28, 2014

    Mandas, good clear answer.
    However I think it would near impossible to make it happen.
    I would propose a 5% of today’s value per year for 10 years, that would be 50% by 2024. Follow that with straight line 5% of the 2024 total per year for the next 20 years, which brings us to zero.

    As there is no expectation this would happen by voluntary agreement it would need to be unilaterally forced by the US military. The surest way to guarantee compliance would be shutting down fossil fuel sources and processing points. Mines, wells, refineries, etc. No alternatives, but alternatives will accelerate their development

  20. #21 mandas
    April 8, 2014

    “….I am very happy and very thankful about this, because I don’t believe a single word of these alarmistic songs from leftist climate science…..”

    Two points Freddy.

    Beliefs are what you have when you don’t have any evidence to support your position.

    No-one cares what you believe.

  21. #22 freddy
    April 8, 2014

    Again wrong, mandas: there are very many people who care what I say. Your problem is, that you don’t know, but believe rather your unfounded speculation. This is very poor argumentation style, actually no argumentation at all.

  22. #23 mandas
    April 13, 2014

    “….Again wrong, mandas: there are very many people who care what I say….”

    You are correct freddy. What I should have said was, no-one with an IQ above 50 cares what you say.

  23. #24 freddy
    April 15, 2014

    mandas, wrong: “… What I should have said was, no-one with an IQ above 50 cares what you say”

    Your statement is ridiculous, and you know it. Nevertheless you issue such crap. Poor guy