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22 June 2015


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cville reader

Different Clue--

The 30% is actually the estimate that applies to Virginia as computed by its state utility regulator. I have seen different estimates for different states.

Do you think that personal residences are the only consumers of electricty? How do you suggest that industrial consumers cut back by 30%? (Hint: If they could, they probably already would have, because they are motivated by making a profit).

A 30% increase in electricty rates would probably be catastrophic to the economy because it is a major input into so many different products and services in the economy. It would cause major ripple effects throughout the economy, and not just to homeowners' electric bills.

Also, a lot of people cannot afford to pay 30% more than they currently do. You are assuming that everyone can reduce their usage by the same percentage. Green energy policies would hurt the poor disproportionately.

But that isn't the only issue-- most experts in the utility industry think that the EPAs current plans could cause systemic failure in our electricity grid because demand would outpace supply, which would cause rolling blackouts. In other words, EPA's plan is to cause artificial scarcity, because only then do the costs of renewables and the attendant smart grid begin to make economic sense.

And none of this will make a beanhill's worth of difference to worldwide CO2 levels.

Babak Makkinejad

In Europe, from the Urals to the Atlantic Ocean there exist only a single source of news that is not government controlled - the BBC.

I feel that I must mention this singular achievement of the Perfidious Albion lest other accuse me of being another colored-person from the colonies or semi-colonies whose antipathy to the ex-colonialist/imperialist has clouded his better judgment.

By the way, all throughout the War Between the American States, the Southern press were free - as opposed to the press in the North.

Babak Makkinejad

You are quibbling.

There is only so much of any substance can be dissolved in a fluid - try it with sugar and water at a fixed and constant temperature.

Babak Makkinejad

Thanks Valissa.

I hope that this site could find reason to expand its scope to include a suitable version of Diesel-Lister Engine that "different clue" indicated.

In rural Africa, women do all this manual work; men are sitting and chatting away - just like the Ancient Greek's symposia; Wine, Talk, Girls/Boys.

Some things never change...

different clue

cville reader,

You raise some good questions. Actually, yes, I supposed that electro-using businesses, factories, etc. could also either reduce usage by 30% or pay 30% more or some combination of the two. Yes, bussinesses would pass their cost onto us the consumer. That is only fair. The consumer should pay the full cost of his/her consumption. There should be truth-in-pricing.

Global warming's local heat waves will also disproportionately hurt the poor. Future higher heat waves such as are happening just now in India and Pakistan for example, or happened in Australia's last summer, will exceed what the poor can afford to pay for that much more electricity for that much more air conditioning. And those poor who are too poor to afford air conditioning at all will face greater risks than now in tomorrow's hotter-than-now heat waves. So the poor are at disproportionate risk either way. Which risk would they most rather avoid? And if we care about the poor we can always pay taxes to donate to the poor for survival-electricity subsidies. Welfare-Wattage, so to speak.

The grid stability problem is the realest problem mentioned. We must either keep producing enough electricurrent to keep the grid we have stable, or we must shrink the grid down to where we can keep it stable with less current, or we must create non-coal sources of current for whatever coal-derived current we retire from production.

And yes, by itself Plan EPA will make zero difference to global carbon skydumping. It would have to be added together with many other things, each of which would make no difference by themself but would all add up together to make a difference. Every idea should be suggested. No idea is necessarily too dumm to mention, if only to define the outer bounds of reality-based thought. The problem is too important for cavalier pre-dismissal of any idea out of fear that someone might find it distasteful.

cville reader

Different clue,

I suspect most Americans would not agree with you, nor would most members of Congress. That is why this agenda was illegally rammed through by the EPA, under a deliberate misreading of the Clean Air Act.

This will be tied up in the Supreme Court for years to come.

In the meantime, let us all pray that the fools who run this administration do no more harm.


Fro all who might actually be interested in a human-readable version of the actual science, please check out the Skeptical Science website:


Along the left side of the Home Page is a set of links which discuss the top 10 Climate Myths which are often used to muddle the issue.

The website deals primarily with the science behind the phrase "Anthropogenic Global Warming":
- yes, the atmosphere & hydrosphere are heating up
- yes, the recent changes (100 yrs) are primarily due to CO2 (& CH4)
- yes, the increase in CO2 concentration is primarily due to humans digging up petrochemicals & burning them
- yes, global warming causes regional/local climate change
- and yes, it's very likely to cause some serious trouble if we don't turn it around.

Apparently, the Pope & his advisors have looked at the data and found that they agree with the scientists.

Some here deny these scientific conclusions. Please check that website, specifically regarding their perspective on specific reservations you may have. I have found this to be a very reasonable source, with the only caveat being that the comment threads can get contentious (big surprise, eh?).

Still, the real problem is what to do about it. The obvious answer is to stop adding CO2 (etc) to the atmosphere, then if possible, draw down some of the extra that we've added. In practical terms, my solution would be to stop burning coal, ASAP. I think that liquid fuels will be with us for a while longer, because it's much harder to find good substitutes.

Most other countries have recognized that we - they! - will have to do this in order to provide a decent life for their people in the future. I hope the Pope's new Encyclical will help move the USA to join this consensus.

The Twisted Genius


You're missing something. Methane released from permafrost, the ocean floor or any other source does not dissolve into the atmosphere. It just becomes part of it, just a higher percentage of methane in the atmospheric mix. You're right about any substance dissolving into a liquid to form saturated or super saturated solution. But that does not apply to methane released into the atmosphere.

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

And all that CO2 mixed in with the other gases in the Venusian atmosphere helps "greenouse" the temperature all the way up to 700 degrees or so. It goes to show what enough aerial CO2 can do.

different clue

cville reader,

I suspect you are correct about most Americans in or out of Congress not agreeing with me at this time. All that I and/or people like me can do is to state our case the best way we can state it, and explain why we think we know what we think we know - - and why we think it means what we think it means. We can also submit our ideas about what to do about it on forums like this and see which if any are accepted as making sense.

People who consider carbon skydumping to be a serious problem will also have to do what they (we) can to live a visibly lo-carbon lifestyle in a hi-carbon output world. If we can show a reasonably tolerable lifestyle livable on a visibly smaller carbon skydumping budget than the average per capita, then we will at least earn the personal credibility to be given a respectful hearing for what we think about it all. "Freezing in the dark" won't impress anybody. Concerned individuals will have to demonstrate keeping tolerably warm in enough light to see by . . . on visibly less energy than is devoted to these things on average.

different clue

cville reader,

Oh, but . . . if global heating and its resultant Climate d'Chaos Decay proceed as I think they will, more and more Americans will become receptive to concerns voiced about carbon skydumping under the pressure of "natural events" in their own lives. I suspect even the "toughest customer" will be ready to think about these things if he/she finds himself dodging hailstones the size of bowling balls and portable TV sets. (That's an exaggeration for effect to overmake the point. . . )

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

I am not quibbling. I am pointing to a huge difference which you seem to be not seeing. I fully understand that only so much sugar will dissolve in water at a fixed constant temperature. That is why we speak of sugar as "dissolving" in the water. It is a solution.

Whereas nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, etc. are all already equally gaseous gases at prevailing earth-troposphere temperatures. They don't have to "dissolve" into eachother. All they have to do is inertly mix with eachother. If you took a totally airtight jar and half-filled it with nitrogen and half filled it with carbon dioxide, that the two gases would not evenly diffuse their molecules between eachother till there was a 50-50 concentration of N and CO2 in every sample-able part of the jar? And if you kept pumping in more CO2 while removing more N, are you telling me that there is some point at which the CO2 will just refuse to mix any further, and the unmixable over-threshhold amount of CO2 will just sit there in an unhappy lump in the corner of the jar? Do you really mean to say that? Really? Really?
As a Man of Science . . . Really?


Just a minor quibble. Viruses are not considered a form of life.
The rest of your posts stands.

An interesting fact that learned in a course on viruses is that if you stack up viruses and viroid particles one on top of each other, there are enough such particles on planet that that can span the entire milky way. Given this ubiquity it is a very hard problem to create vaccine against all potentially harmful RNA particles.


You have my thanks...


William R. Cumming

Atmospheric chemistry and even temperatures make for difficult modeling. The Pope has a Master's degree in Chemistry.

But thanks to aerial photos and ice depth measurements we do know hat is happening to the ice sheets over Greenland and West Anarctica [sic]. The are shrinking. Ice sheets like those in the Arctic Ocean are largely over water and will not impact sea level as they melt. Those in Greenland and West Anarctica are over land and will.

I have spoken to a few Climatologists personally and they tell me in the next Century they will guarantee a one [1] meter rise in sea levels world wide. Possibly as much as eleven [11] meters. And possibly as much as sixty [60] meters.

The cause is Greenland and other ice sheets over land at current melt rates.

William R. Cumming

And about 8-11,000 years ago sea levels were about 400 feet lower due to glaciers and ice largely in the Northern Hemisphere.

cville reader

Different clue--

I doubt they will be receptive, but the burden is open the greenies to debate the issue fairly and openly. Unfortunately, you guys have an abysmal record of doing so.

Sen Whitehouse even recently recommended use RICO statutes to shut down any organized support for those that challenge climate change orthodoxy.

Nowhere do I find anyone from the green movement willing to openly denounce, or even to address, these despicable tactics, or the egregious lawlessness coming from the EPA. That is quite evident from the comments on this thread.

I will leave you with this from Roger Scruton, a real conservative who cares about the environment:

In the course of writing Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously about the Planet (Oxford University Press, 2011) I studied the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and the literature that has grown around them, much of it supportive, much of it also critical. I concluded that ‘climate change science’ is not one thing, but the amalgamation of many disciplines and that its predictions, such as they are, depend at every point on disputed ‘models’ rather than established theories. The greenhouse effect has been known for over a century and a half, and implies that, other things being equal, the accelerating production of carbon dioxide will cause the earth to warm. But will other things be equal? That is where the disagreements begin. There is geological and fossil evidence of major and rapid fluctuations in temperature, prior to the relatively stable Holocene period in which we are living, and the causes remain uncertain. Greenhouse gas emissions are only one factor in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing radiation on which the earth’s temperature depends. And among other relevant factors there are some for which the science is incomplete or in its infancy – such as the fluctuations in solar energy, which probably had much to do with those brief but devastating ice ages in the recorded history of Europe. In these circumstances, for a politician to insist on ‘collective responsibility’ for a particular view of our planet’s future, and to describe that orthodoxy as ‘science’, is an affront to human intelligence. It is also a reminder of those previous attempts to mask ideological censorship as scientific proof, inspired by the ‘scientific socialism’ of Marx.

Read the whole thing here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerscruton/2014/04/08/the-new-politics-of-climate-change-no-space-for-deniers/


Tidewater to YT, Farooq, Babak Makkinejad, Elkern, Oofda, Ex-PFC Chuck and All,

Thank you all your recent observations. A little lift.

Pope Frank's Encyclical reminds me of the hilarity I felt the time the Smothers Brothers destroyed their careers when they had Pete Seeger on and he sang 'Waist Deep In the Big Muddy.' I simply couldn't believe they would dare to do it. Bully for him!

Farooq, I will look at your suggestions when I can, and thanks, but I have a question. Is there any particular reason why you didn't mention Arctic News?

There is that thing about 'the shock of recognition.' (As in art.) I think I now recognize that Arctic News is powerful! I don't know why I had some sort of reservation. I have no further reservation. This blog is the one to read about what is happening in the world of climate change. This is my answer to YT. I doubt you'll be grateful. It is oddly beautiful, though.

Why is Arctic News important?

Because the global climate is doing one thing, and the Arctic climate is doing another. So the question is, if the Arctic climate spins out of control, while the global climate is moving upwards in a more steady and predictable way --and also leaving time to try to fix it-- is it possible that the Arctic climate will destabilize the whole thing.

Meaning, as one of the contributors to Arctic News thinks, this being Dr. Malcolm Light, that we are in a great national emergency.

Arctic News has three graphs. One shows where the parts per million or billion will be in 2020 in Arctic; the other shows where the parts will be globally; and the third shows what might happen with a methane hydrate explosion. The interesting thing is that the methane will dissipate over say twenty years; by then, though it will have done its work, and it will be too late. Please look at these graphs.

I am actually not the one to be expositating on this.

I am an artist, as Mehitabel also complained, and in her immortal words (or at least good for thirty more years) which I just reread: "Life is just one damn kitten after the other."

These being in my case mostly the Cossack's. Danushka is lost and probably dying. She got out of her carrier going to the vet. Incredible. My guys are staying close to me as I type. I wonder if they know I have to go away. I am blanking it out, but it doesn't look good. This is going to crash the Cossack if the little cat doesn't come back.

Incidentally, continuing to try to give some respectable suggestions to YT about sources on climate change (as far as I understand it), I think the "personal" matters. I like biography. Some of these climate scientists seem to me to be heroic. Dr. Lonnie Thompson. He is the one, who, on his own, with his university's support, of course, followed through on the idea that the glaciers were the crickets in the coal mine. Something like that. A first check might be Wikipedia. I would also suggest seeing if you can link with some of the Wiki footnotes. Sometimes they are quite interesting. Of course, just google 'Dr. Lonnie Thompson.'

It's remarkable to me about Dr. Thompson that he is the man who has spent more time above eighteen thousand feet than anyone else. A colleague remarked that he could hear him gasping for breath starting out in the mornings. He was destroying his heart. He got weaker and weaker over the years. He did in fact destroy his heart for science.

They gave him a new one!

I had to google your Byron quote, YT, which you sent back to Ex-PFC Chuck and his Fermi quote, and I was disappointed in myself that I did not recognize Don Juan right away, because I am supposed to. By the way, did you recognize my Mehitabel quote? (The great Don Marquis.)

Funding is not good or not good yet in climate science as it ought to be, as Dr. Makkinejad observes. The funding is going to change. It has to. I refuse to state what I have read about this as far as costs are concerned if the Arctic goes really haywire. But please read Nafeez Ahmed in The Guardian, "Seven facts you need to know about the Arctic methane timebomb."

Another important scientist is Dr. James (?) Lovelock. He is the one who suspected the ozone layer was being damaged by CFC's and using his own money built a device that could read the amount of CFC's in the wind off of Western Ireland. Result of this work? They banned CFC's. He is also the one who invented the Gaia Hypothesis. Wiki and Google; he has a website.

Oofda suggested Elizabeth Kolbert, and I agree. His recommendation was 'The Sixth Extinction.' I am really out of the loop. She won a Pulitzer Prize? The book is a best seller?

I have just ordered her 'Field Notes From A Catastrophe'. Also, 'The Best American Science and Nature Writing'. Also, 'The Ends of the Earth, an anthology of the finest writing about the Arctic and Antarctic.' She is an editor. (Bread and butter.) This is just on a whim, with the exception of 'Field Notes From A Catastrophe.' Incidentally, I paid very little on Amazon for these books; essentially, the price of the postage. I am waiting on the price of 'The Sixth Extinction' to go down.

Then I noticed her 'The Prophet of Love and other tales of Power and Deceit.'


See, there it is again, right there, just like I said about geology being the way it is, etc.

I find that I have been sticking to the internet on my learning curve. And as I said, Arctic News seems to be moving into real time. The blog seems to me to be highly sophisticated technically. It sends you off in all directions. It recommends the documentary films and videos that are being made by these new scientists who seem to me by and large to be in their early forties. In fighting trim. Youtube is important. These guys sit down in front of the camera in their studies and just start talking. (I tend to notice the Canadian accent.)

It's kinda academically pure.

I think Patricia Highsmith would put in a little tension. A little suspense:

Beckwith is lecturing to the computer. A shadow moves by. A door shuts. A girl's laugh in the background. The sound of a mandolin? (Perhaps that is a bit much.) You know she's there. By lecture three, a slightly querulous voice. "Paul?" The lecture on ice ending with the tinkle of ice in a glass. By lecture 10. A cork popping. "When is he coming back?" "We have a little time." "Oh God." Computer screen goes black. An awareness of women snogging. The lovely but unfamiliar voice asks, "Is that where he keeps the new algorhithms?"

Lecture 12. "Well, I must cut this a little short today. We have some very important visitors here at Montreal Maximum Technoschule, ey! But I'll leave you with the scroll down of the temperatures in the Barents this afternoon." A pretty hand moves across scren. It goes black. Voice. "Did you see how he looked at Shakhova? He couldn't keep his eyes off her!" "She has slimmed down rather nicely." "Well, if you just trekked across half of Nunavut..." (Laughter.) "You know, I think the ship got a new sauna." (Laughter.) "Do you know how they met? Shakhova thought she was going into a lecture on the other Laventriev, the Tsar Bomba dude. She couldn't understand what was going on, and you know, she was best in the five oblasts. She kept asking herself what does an oxygen isotope ratio have to do with Sakharov's Second Idea!" (Tinkling laughter.) "Oh, that's funny. Kiss me." Sounds. Sighs. "Do you know what Angela told me? There's an amazing lot of nose the way Eskimos do it." (Laughter.) Later. "You know what is bothering me. I think there's a glitch in the Meinhoven. Particularly at the seventy fifth parallel." Sound of automobile. "Well, Papa is back! Quick in the kitchen. Don't forget the sweater! Slip it back on and just come in and ask. We'll see what he thinks." "Cool."

A heart-stopping glimpse of a slender back struggling into sweater. Advertisement for Dale of Norway pops up... #

Danuskhka was found at the front door to the Gazebo of Colony One. Very weak but alive.


"Farooq, I will look at your suggestions when I can, and thanks, but I have a question. Is there any particular reason why you didn't mention Arctic News?"

I was not aware of it, so my gratitude for bringing it to my notice. Honestly speaking, i haven't paid too much attention to climate debate as i find the almost religious nature of debate unappealing. Your previous post was very edifying and it made me a little sad that you had put it down so succinctly and yet it will be for naught given the hardened positions that are common in this debate.

My own positions on what is happening to climate are more in sync with your and different clue's positions. However i think i am more in the camp that says it is already too late. In my opinion we better start worrying about how to deal with droughts and protection for dense urban areas along world coastlines and organize engineering efforts to minimize damage from calamities that are about to hit us.

On the subject of extinctions and how to survive them i read a book by Annalee Newitz that i enjoyed very much. Its title is:
"Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction"

William R. Cumming

YUP! And Methane a clear and present danger IMO!

William R. Cumming

Thanks for this interesting comment!

different clue

cville reader,

I am responsible for how I discuss carbon skydumping, global heating, etc. I am not responsible for how any other greenie discuss it. My own fairness level, such as it is . . . will be reflected in my comments, such as they are.


Tidewater to Farooq, William R. Cumming, Babak Makkinejad, C-Ville Reader and All,

C-Ville Reader: I haven't read Roger Scruton. But I will say one thing. If you check Wiki on Holocene v. Anthropocene, there is a group of serious scientists who want the modern era defined as Anthropocene. (As J. Jackson seems to have spent some time on.) One group dates the start of the Anthropocene with the nuclear testing called Trinity that began in 1945. If one writes about climate change and insists on using the term "Holocene" and all that it implies--you might find in its meaning 'stability'-- when the very word 'Anthropocene' is fraught with 'clear and present danger',then I would think your Forbes writer might be problematic. (Unless he has dealt with Anthropocene.)

If "war" is declared, I would assume great sums of citizen's assets will be confiscated by the government to pay for "Geo-Engineering.' Spirited argument will then be no longer possible. 'Defeatism' is how that would be defined--legally. I think there will be people in the US and elsewhere incarcerated in FEMA camps or the equivalent till they are sorted out. My paternal great grandfather was arrested in Baltimore as a southern sympathizer on orders of General Butler. He was imprisoned at Ft. Delaware. There was no due process. The US Army conducted a round-up. Something he might have said or even intended.He survived.

One hears constant reference to the lack of scientific knowledge about the effect of the sun, solar flares etc.; how external sources of radiation heat might effect the earth's climate. It would seem to me that if temperatures were taken in the troposphere and stratosphere, with focus on how heat data on the inside of the "blanket" compares to heat data on the outside of the "blanket", then the question of whether the sun is causing any temperature anomalies could be settled. I think it has been settled. But can't spec ref. Is it inside out or outside in? Answer. It is INSIDE OUT.

William R. Cumming-- I appreciate that. One thing about Antarctica. I discovered that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives an Overview of Greenhouse Gases. What I am interested in here is the question of how accurate that isolating of a small piece of 'ancient climate' in a vaccuum chamber and somehow breaking it wide open as far as its gases are concerned--how accurate would the results from that concerning oxygen and methane levels be? Would the results apply only locally, as for example in West Antarctica, or would it apply globally? Interesting. It is global! That ice core from Antarctica is really useful. That means the answer to the question about climate in certain latitudes, in different areas of the earth, is good if you can get it, but they can work around its absence.

Babak Makkinejad--I think the question of how methane gets in, how (or if) it gets out, is much to the point. I noted the exchange about mix. So, I think, yes, it is all about gases mixing; while at the same time gases having a different effect on the climate even from within the mix because each gas puissance varies; and also, even though thoroughly mixed together, still slowly disintegrating. At different rates. (Is this chemistry 101 or earlier?)

I quote here rather stubbornly. We all know that methane is worse than CO2 regarding the GWP(Global Warming Potential). I have trouble with some of these readouts. Still: "Over a period of 20 years methane's GWP rises to 72; over a period of 500 years, it falls to just 7.6." Under normal conditions methane doesn't last long. It does what--evaporates? Certainly it can be absorbed in the ocean. I wrote 'twenty years' in one of my last posts; actually under whatever normal circumstances might be or might have been, I assume methane that comes up, comes out of the animal, whatever--it only lasts twelve years.

Compare it to nitrous oxide or the superpotent F gases. Nitrous oxide comes in at 298. The Fluorinate gases score more than 10,000.

This is very interesting. The whole Arctic question is that a huge amount of methane will come up into the atmosphere and cause some sort of result. And then go away? Or not go away, there's been too much, fifty gigatonnes? If you got through twelve years would things get better? Malcolm Light doesn't think so.

By the way, you know that Omar the Alarmer is a 'fellow traveller' of Sam Carana and the guys on Arctic News? Look at the Rogue's Gallery.

I had the shock of recognition that is said to come when suddenly you see modern art and actually understand it. (I've never had much trouble with that, by the way. De gustibus...) These scientists on Arctic News--they look in their early to late forties, in fighting trim, good faces. Who are these guys? (Definitely not Mr. Harriman's boys.)

I thought, these are THE YOUNG TURKS.

So I googled this idea, who are the young turks in the climate change debate, or something like that, to see what popped up. Up popped Pope Frank! That was funny.

Farooq. Thanks. I ordered the "Adapt and Survive," it might even have a dust cover. Hardback. I thought the web sites you recommended were hilarious. Some far over my head. The idea that you could predict an event like cholera in say, Cuba, from some kind of study of internet data searches etc. reminded me of an playful idea I had. That one would compile and track steadily over years the sales of real estate in auspicious northern climes, like Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, or say, Trondheim, Norway. You would study in particular land sales. Your system would red flag anomalies like huge land purchases. You would find out who was privately buying control of an area. You would want to study why. What's good about the area? At some point literally in the next five years there might be some very surprising data. Say, fifty billion euros, or dollars, etc. secretly going into the Hardangervidda.

Maybe it would be better as a detective story.

different clue


Aren't viruses the coolest thing? Life or non-life? Reproducible or just replicatable? It almost reminds me of the question whether light is a particle or a wave. Perhaps it is a waveicle.

Certainly viruses are not life on their own. But in the presence of life, they become active in a way that totally non-alive non-life just doesn't. Prions seem to come closest. Perhaps there is no good word to capture their lurking presence along the ragged edge between life and non-life. They are certainly not alive enough to be killed. And they can never be made extinct in this modern age of genome mapping. I have read that the polio virus and the smallpox virus have been thoroughly and totally genome-mapped and sequenced. That means that the polio virus and the smallpox virus can be re-fabricated back into existence using their genome-maps as the instructions and a DNA base-pair sequencer re-assembler ( or whatever those things are called) to reassemble the fabrication instructions-to-the-cell for polio and smallpox, just sitting there ready to be re-introduced into society any time a mad scientist wants to do that. (Or am I wrong?)

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