* On global solar power growth and its prospects – “Many existing markets – in particular China, the USA and Japan, but also India – have addressed only a very small part of their enormous potential for PV development. Moreover, several countries from large sunbelt regions like Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and South America are on the brink of starting their development, pushed by an increasing awareness of solar PV potential. As a whole, the global PV market will grow more sustainably, driven by the competitiveness of PV solutions rather than mainly by financial support schemes. But this Paradigm Shift will not happen overnight.”
* The earth could be nearing a point at which sweeping environmental changes, possibly including mass extinctions, would undermine human welfare, 22 prominent biologists and ecologists warned on Wednesday. Shame the actual Nature paper is behind a paywall. Obviously, this is a planetary emergency but not one severe enough for Nature to offer the info for free. I say that lightly, of course, but it is a thought. I need to pay more attention to ecological problems – this is where any this-century major disasters (no, Katrina wasn’t a major disaster, not on the scale we’re talking about) are going to come from, after all, not physical effects. von S blogs it but isn’t impressed, worrying that this is just lo-d eco modelling, subject to problems like the much-hyped THC collapse that disappears in real GCMs. OTOH one of his commentors usefully provides a full link.
* Timmy chats about discount rates but it isn’t the piece I wanted to see; its fluff, really.
* The bees will be a separate post.
* There is a nice piece about septic lies at Skeptical Science (h/t HT) where Don Easterbrook invents an “IPCC prediction”. Such things are ten-a-penny, but I think we need to remember them every now and again.
* The Gleick stuff rumbles on. After the PI’s not-very-convincing press release, The Volokh Conspiracy actually tries reading it, and finds that the important questions have been deliberately evaded and disguised. JA is skeptical (watch for time order here) but probably the best comment is from BB: What this development undoubtedly means is that the Pacific Institute is confident enough in Peter Gleick’s story that they aren’t afraid of getting sued if they reinstate him after publicly announcing that his story held up to an independent review. I don’t think anyone can say much beyond that. BCL is, errm, more vigourous.
* Smartphones and rowing: I now have the Talos rowing app on my phone. Its pretty cool, the accelerometer graph is particularly good, though knowing the rating and being able to second-guess stroke is good too. Here is a fragment of the trace (only two strokes, but we’re very consistent, apart from the obvious noise, which varies a bit). Its the arrowed pink dip after the catch and first drive I’m interested in… is it real, or an artifact of the phone moving (its only velcroed down)? The graph here suggests it is real, and expected; but that is a scull at 32, not an VIII at (from memory) about 24.

talos-detail

Comments

  1. #1 Harry
    2012/06/12

    “I say that lightly, of course, but it is a thought. I need to pay more attention to ecological problems – this is where any this-century major disasters (no, Katrina wasn’t a major disaster, not on the scale we’re talking about) are going to come from, after all, not physical effects. ”

    Seems to me this is the point the majority are missing. We have rock solid physics to back much of the science, the newer and more fragile paleo, but the impact on ecological systems is our real concern. Otherwise, we would all just agree with Vaclave Klaus that it would be nice if things got a little warmer. Ecosystems are numerous, varied, and largely not well understood. We do know that past mass extinctions have coincided with large variations in temperature (such as we are predicted to expect). This is quite distinct from the mass extinctions we are causing at present due to over intensive natural resource extraction (such as fishing), and land use (replacing natural systems with cultivation).

  2. #2 grypo
    2012/06/12

    The Volokh article is pretty silly. While the details are non-existent, it can’t be evaluated any other way than the PI believes investigation says Gleick is telling the truth.

    [Sorry, but I can’t agree with you. The V article looks very sensible to me. The PI statement is clearly very very carefully worded, which is a very bad sign. I think V are correct: they have worded it so that you can’t tell whether G faking the memo is covered or not -W]

    As Barry points out, the confidence level must be fairly high.

    [No. You’ve misread what Barry is saying. When he says “they aren’t afraid of getting sued if they reinstate him after publicly announcing that his story held up to an independent review” it means that and no more – in particular, they aren’t saying they know he didn’t fake the memo. I, too, don’t know if he faked the memo or not -W]

    It’s just not in their best interest to whitewash this, in fact, they’d have to be collectively more stupid than Gleick would have been if he had actually forged the memo.

    [I admire your optimism but can’t share it. Stupidity over cover-ups is endemic in this world -W]

    Nancy Ross has even stated the same without the supposed caveat to Appell:
    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2012/06/gleick-review-wont-be-made-public.html
    “The independent review conducted by outside counsel on behalf of the Pacific Institute has supported what Dr. Gleick stated publicly”

    [I don’t think you can rely on that.

    Face it: the fact that we’re arguing over the entrails like this means that not enough info has been released -W]

    To be clear in my own views, the details in the report pertaining to Gleick and the provenance of the memo should be released. I don’t see any reason why some deal can’t be made to get this info out there as a matter of public interest and still retain personnel confidentiality.

    [Agreed. The argument that this is personnel and therefore shouldn’t be released is spurious -W]

  3. #3 grypo
    2012/06/12

    “Face it: the fact that we’re arguing over the entrails like this means that not enough info has been released”

    Why are you asking me to face something I said in the next sentence repeating what I said in the first sentence. I am merely stating my opinion that PI believes Gleick is being truthful. Why? Because is it not in their best interest to try and cover this up.

    And saying we can’t rely on what Ross has said to reporters, and that we can only rely on the “very very carefully worded” press release is unnecessarily limiting. Especially since it’s the same person saying both.

  4. #4 grypo
    2012/06/12

    And she also released the same line without the caveat to Watts.

  5. #5 Tom Fid
    Bozeman, MT
    2012/06/12

    There’s a copy of the Nature paper here:
    http://www.stanford.edu/group/hadlylab/publications/index.html

  6. #6 mgr
    Sacramento, CA
    2012/06/12

    Re: Nature paper. The shock value of this is with the lead author. Tony Barnosky’s a paleontologist, and most in the IB programme were, twenty years ago, blase to say the least about the signifigance of mass extinction associated with global warming.

    Mike

  7. #7 Hank Roberts
    http://hankroberts.wordpress.com
    2012/06/12

    Solar: even the minimal small panel, small battery, and one LED is a major change for villages using kerosene and spending a third of their income for the kerosene.
    Examples:
    http://www.greenlightplanet.com/products.html
    http://www.good.is/post/let-there-be-light-an-affordable-solar-powered-lantern-beams-in-off-grid-communities/

  8. #8 Steve Bloom
    2012/06/12

    “Obviously, this is a planetary emergency but not one severe enough for Nature to offer the info for free.”

    Well, that’s a big part of the problem, isn’t it? The scientific establishment (of which Nature is very much a part) still is not for the most part acting as if there’s a real emergency, and the public does not fail to pick up on that. Much of the relevant polling and social science research seems to neglect this seemingly key point, although perhaps it’s too difficult to quantify.

    The trend in the the science community does seem to be shifting, but unfortunately only after we’ve seen a hardening of denialist attitudes at one end of the social/political spectrum.

  9. #9 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2012/06/12

    Kool Kidz is everywhere.

  10. #10 James Annan
    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/
    2012/06/14

    But that app doesn’t work on a Jesus phone!

    (or even the poor friendless man’s alternative of an iPod Touch, which I have of course)

    [Come to the Dark Side… My son has an iPod Touch, from which he is inseparable -W]

  11. #11 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2012/06/14

    Given the cost of setting up a transmission and distribution system solar is not a bad thing for isolated vilages.

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