Talking about Climate Change and “Fixing it”

March 12, 2016

I was at a conference earlier this week, the topic being power generation. The focus of most speakers (and many of the attendees that I was able to chat with) was about how all these alternative methods of generating electrical power are proposed on the basis of our “reduced carbon [sic] future”.

At the break I asked one of the speakers how life would be different in, say 2030, when we transform everything to a world where we get power from “carbon free” methods? He was unable to say other than to agree with me that he would “feel good.”.

I then explored with him the idea of scrapping the goal of conflating power generation with carbon reduction, and I did get an earful about how the ice caps are melting, that the root cause of the “Arab Spring” could be attributed to “climate change”, and that the flooding and record high temperatures are “proof” and we *must* do something. “All scientists in the world think it’s a problem!”, he said.

This guy had the podium at a major conference on power production, hosted by the power industry, and attended by many so-called “informed” professionals! Sigh. Big Sigh.

Another person, a person who was previously a speaker on a topic of importance, was defending to me the grave need to “tackle climate change.” I asked him to please define what he meant by “climate change” so that we could then agree what we are talking about. He told me that he could not really define that as it’s much to complicated to define, “but we gotta tackle it!”. Sigh.

I seemed to be the only one wondering what the heck is going on?


Scotland Gagging on Wind Power

January 12, 2015

Terrific article by Euan Mearns Scotland Gagging on Wind Power. Read the whole thing. He focuses on “the vast electricity surplus that Scotland will produce on windy days in the years ahead. That surplus has to be paid for. Where will it go and how will it be used?”

“It seems likely that Scotland’s beautiful landscape is being wrecked in pursuit of an ideological, empty dream.”

All it takes is simple arithmetic, a bit of understanding of energy and power to see where this is heading. Not good.


“Climate Engineer” – New Term

July 14, 2014

Scottish Sceptic at http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2014/07/13/why-climate-engineers-beat-the-climate-academics has conceived a new term (at least to me)–Climate Engineer. He is distinguishing the term “Climate Engineering” with the term “Climate Scientist”–which has been in long-term use, particularly by people who don’t really know what it means. He asks the question

Why is it that people from a general engineering/science background like us skeptics could have known that the academics would get it wrong?

He boils it down to:

Engineers cannot draw an abstract line around what someone deems to be the “science”, and pretend the rest doesn’t matter.

I particularly like his table of comparison, which is worthy of consideration. What does this all mean? To me, it summaries how society has ended up down this blind alley. We’ve mis-placed our trust.

ScientistVsEngineer


Another scare? Giant Kelp Sea Forests “Gone by 2100” Declare Experts. Oh No.

June 22, 2014

In today’s Sunday Times (UK), page 3, front main section (“News”):

Britain’s giant kelp forests–the sea weed that cover vast stretches of its surrounding seabeds–are being wiped out by human activities and will disappear within a few decades, marine biologists have warned.

Screen Shot 2014 06 22 at 10 24 15

They go on to explain how they create a rich environment “for thousands of other marine creatures, including many commercially valuable species”.

They say that the kelp forests are likely to disappear by 2100, “destroyed by a combination of climate change and ocean acidification, both caused by CO2 generated by humans burning fossil fuels”. The leader of the study, Juliet Brodie, professor of Botany at the Natural History Museum in London also said that more storms caused by climate change would add to the destruction. Professor Jason Hall-Spencer from Plymouth University, a co-author of the paper, was also quoted “What is staggering is how fast warming and the spread of corrosive waters are changing marine life around our coasts.”

The author of the piece was by Jonathan Leaker, Science Editor of the Times.

The report was also discussed in NERC’s publication “The Planet Earth Online” at http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/news/story.aspx?id=1709 where they conclude with a paragraph saying something different (my bold):

The results of these changes will be complex, though, and not all organisms will lose out. Seagrasses and kelp forests may thrive at high latitudes due to increases in CO2. These are productive ecosystems that raise seawater pH as they grow. If we look after these habitats properly they should continue to store carbon and provide bio-diverse habitats for commercially important fish and shellfish.

Humm. It must feel good to be so certain about all this. Any uncertainty is not mentioned.

I’m going to have to do some more reading as I don’t recall reading very many definitive papers on how the oceans are warming, how pH of oceans will actually become acidic (the sea is already corrosive and the pH is well north of acidic), or how more storms will be caused by climate change, nor how storms in deep water affect the bottom. Lots of things to learn, I guess. A lot of this doesn’t make sense to me and it’s not because I don’t already have a lot of knowledge of these issues.

How did this article make it to page 3 of the Sunday Times? This is just sensationalism. Oh … Now I understand how it got on page 3.


Renewable Energy Industry Faces “Shelf” in Growth in 2019..

March 19, 2014

In today’s Scotsman paper, reporting on what was said at the recent Scottish Renewables Conference in Edinburgh.

Speakers at the Scottish Renewables conference in Edinburgh said the UK government needs to extend the pricing guarantees offered by its recent electricity market reform (EMR) into the next decade to give investors in wind farms and other green energy projects more certainty.

Mike Thompson, head of carbon budgets at the committee on climate change, said: “It’s a cliff edge for the power industry after 2019. The government have not said where we are going. When a new government comes in next year, the priority is to get EMR extended.”

Further confirmation of sustainability risks for the “sustainable” solution?


Internal Waves. Continuing the meme of Everything Affected by Global Warming. Sigh.

March 4, 2014

Last evening I attended an enjoyable presentation on ocean dynamics at the Royal Society of Edinburgh by Professor Peter Davies, Professor of Fluid Dynamics, University of Dundee.

He spoke about “internal gravity waves” which propagate due to water density stratifications. While I was aware of such waves from my days a grad school studying ocean waves, I was not aware of their power as discussed by Professor Davies. He also told us about “dead water”, caused by internal waves, in which a boat may experience strong resistance to forward motion in apparently calm conditions. I was unaware of such a phenomenon.

I was pleased that not once during his presentation he mentioned those two words “global warming”. That is unusual for a presentation at the RSE. It took until the third question during Q&A for someone in the audience to ask if global warming had any affect. Using many words, Professor Davies basically said “no”. That didn’t stop a second follow-up question by someone else who prefixed that question with something about “global warming, which has melted the polar ice caps …”.

At that point I decided to leave. Perhaps I missed the next big risk to civilisation–huge and larger anthropogenic internal ocean waves.


How Much Money Should We Spend?

January 17, 2014

I like this from http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/i-already-have-a-climate-bet-with-a-brian-schmidt-id-like-to-do-another/

How much money should we spend?

Let’s spend nothing. Scrap all the carbon clauses, the subsidies to inefficient energy, the grants to climate models we know are broken. One-sided funding to scientists seeking a crisis has done more harm than good to science, but it has engendered a lot of namecalling. Unless there is a change, climate science will advance faster if the government gets out of the way. I have yet to see a single observational study suggesting we will improve the weather with carbon credits or windmills and solar panels. We could save lives and spend the money on medical research instead. The opportunity cost is ignored.