Idea for CCS: Change to to CCU

July 27, 2013

If we were really serious about managing the the risk of carbon dioxide release to the atmosphere, then we would consider another concept:

Change Carbon Capture and Storage to Carbon Capture and Use. Built multi-story green houses in cities. Pipe the carbon dioxide from places it’s not wanted to these green houses inside of cities. Grow food in these green houses. As the food grown near the population, then it reduces transportation costs too.

Meantime, I’d like to understand more fully the risk (which means articulating and evaluating probability and impact).


July 26, 2013

at “Niche Modeling” a story titled “How Did Climate Skeptics Know the Scare was not Real?” talks about how the climate scare is collapsing and how many scientists are renouncing their previous certainty.

It is instructive to look into ourselves and ask – how could the skeptics have been right – when the consensus of the learned experts thought differently?

My theory is that due to their scholarship in other fields – such as engineering, the hard sciences, and economics – skeptics are attuned to genuine scientific insight and not deceived by the “uninspired pastiche of catchphrases and clichés” that constitutes the majority of global warming research.

Correct, IMHO.

NYTimes on Polar Thaw

July 25, 2013

I get the distinct impression reading this that the NY Times find the idea of profit to be wrong. Of course benefits to us consumers of products shipped are not mentioned.

If ice is reducing in the Arctic, my hunch is that things will change.

Correlation of Arctic Ice with the Sun

July 19, 2013

Anthony Watts brings attention to a paper published by the Danish Meteorological Institue. As summarised by “Hockey Schtick”:

A paper published by the Danish Meteorological Institute finds a remarkable correlation of Arctic sea ice observations over the past 500 years to “the solar cycle length, which is a measure of solar activity. A close correlation (R=0.67) of high significance (0.5 % probability of a chance occurrence) is found between the two patterns, suggesting a link from solar activity to the Arctic Ocean climate.” The paper adds to several others demonstrating that Arctic sea ice extent and climate is controlled by natural variations in solar activity, ocean & atmospheric oscillations, winds & storm activity, not man-made CO2.

A quote from the paper’s abstract:

Thus we find that the recently reported retreat of the ice in the Greenland Sea may be related to the termination of the so-called Little Ice Age in the early twentieth century.

The paper is here.

The implications on our lives are obvious.

Health Risks for “Heatwave”

July 18, 2013

The Met Office has issued “heatwave warnings level 3” due to the recent summer temperatures experienced in the UK. The BBC reports:

The warning alerts healthcare services to help those in high-risk groups such as the elderly and young children.

They also say the temperature in south-west London was 32.2 degC yesterday in London, which is about 90 degF.

When this warning is reported, media jumps to tragic deaths caused by drowning–which as far as I know has nothing to do with temperature other than warm temperatures causes people to jump into water–prepared or not.

I’ve seen no reports (or data) on health issues or death caused by 32.2 degC temperatures compared to “normal” temperatures. That would be a good research topic for someone.

Update 19 July:

BBC reports “100 people in Wales could have died so far“, but further down the report, it says:

The figures were produced using Met Office temperature data, which was compared to studies conducted after previous heatwaves.

The estimates are based on the assumption the risk of death increases for every degree above a particular maximum threshold in individual areas.

The article goes on to talk about “incidents” related to outdoor activities … but then as the weather is nice people go outdoors and do “risky” things.

Again, the implied root cause is “carbon” and we gotta get rid if it all. 🙂

So much fuzzy thinking goes on in this heat, I guess.

Adaption to Weather Can be Shown to Work

July 16, 2013 has a article today “Long-forgotten seawall protected New Jersey homes from Hurricane Sandy’s powerful storm surges” which discusses how two residential communities on the Jersey shore withstood attack by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“A forgotten, 1,260-meter seawall buried beneath the beach helped Bay Head weather Sandy’s record storm surges and large waves over multiple high tides …”


“Despite the immense magnitude and duration of the storm, a relatively small coastal obstacle reduced potential wave loads by a factor of two and was the difference between widespread destruction and minor structural impacts, the researchers said.”

People are not intended to build and live on the Jersey Shore without risk. They do not have a “right” to build homes there and expect, without reservation, they will withstand the ravages of nature. They do not have the right to build on the Jersey Shore to have their property destroyed and then expect government (other people) to bale them out.

But with investment in storm and flood protection, including not building in areas not sufficiently protected against storms and floods, risk can be reduced. The above demonstrates that.

Nothing is for free.

Update 17 July 2013: Anthony Watts asks:

” … makes you wonder about past storm intensity and the need to protect shorelines from storms coming from the sea. With all the hype surrounding “Superstorm Sandy”, it is interesting to see that 150 years ago, simple engineering made the storm less intense in this one area.”

I wish I had thought of that angle.

Slate: “Why Don’t Farmers Believe in Climate Change?”

July 16, 2013

Slate has an interesting article today.

Take, as an example of skepticism, Iowa corn farmer Dave Miller, whose day job is as an economist for the Iowa Farm Bureau. As Miller is happy to explain, it’s not that farmers in Iowa don’t think climate change is happening; it’s that they think it’s always been happening and therefore is unlikely to have much to do with whatever us humans get up to down at ground level. Or, as the National Farm Bureau’s spokesman Mace Thornton puts it: “We’re not convinced that the climate change we’re seeing is anthropogenic in origin. We don’t think the science is there to show that in a convincing way.” (Given the basic physics of CO2 capturing heat that have been known for more than a century and the ever-larger amounts of CO2 put into the atmosphere by human activity, it’s not clear what “science” he’s holding out for.) The numbers back that up: When Iowa State University sociologists polled nearly 5,000 Corn Belt farmers on climate change, 66 percent believed climate change is occurring, but only 41 percent believed humans bore any part of the blame for global warming.

(My Bold)

A farmer is quoted:

The key to reaching farmers is bringing them practices that improve their farms. “If you can help me deal with weather variability,” Miller says, “I can probably adapt to climate variability.”

Makes sense.

Guardian Does Not Understand CCS

July 16, 2013

The Guardian’s Fiona Harvey has an article today “42% of UK population unaware of carbon capture and storage – poll” (see

Ms. Harvey says:

About 42% of people had no knowledge of CCS, which is posited by the government’s climate advisers as a way of helping the UK take carbon out of electricity generation, while continuting [sic] to use fossil fuels such as gas, within the next two decades.

First, CCS takes “carbon di-oxide” … a molecule with two oxygen atoms connected to one carbon atom … out of the exhaust of the power plant.

The purpose of CCS is not to remove carbon.

Second, I don’t think it important that the public know about CCS. It’s an industrial process and there are many very important industrial processes that 42% of the population are unaware and that causes no problem that I’m aware of.

Third, Ms. Harvey (and many others) are focusing on the wrong thing. They talk and promote the “how” without any discussion of the “what”. If CCS were to be implemented to the extent proposed, exactly how many degrees in C will the earth be “not warmed” by having removed a quantity of carbon dioxide missing from the exhaust of these power-plants? What is the benefit? How much will that benefit cost us now?

I have Never Known It So Average

July 15, 2013

Matt Ridley on the so-called abnormal extreme weather than people in some parts of the world say they are experiencing:

The fact that people have short memories about weather events is what enables this game to be played. The long Australian drought of 2001-7, the Brisbane floods of 2009-10 and the angry summer of 2012-13 stand out in people’s minds. People are reluctant to put them down to chance. Even here in mild England, people are always saying “I have never known it so cold/hot/mild/windy/wet/dry/changeable as it is this year”. One Christmas I noticed the seasons had been pretty average all year, neither too dry nor too wet nor too cold nor too warm. “I have never known it so average,” I said to somebody. I got a baffled look. Nobody ever calls the weather normal.

From and


July 11, 2013

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