November 11, 2012

Will we relocate hundreds of millions of people...

... if the low-lying islands of the world are swallowed by rising oceans?

Maybe you think it won't happen, but what if it does? Can you picture the relocation that will be needed? Or do you picture storms or waves suddenly devouring whole populations before any full-scale relocation effort takes place? What does the island in your mental picture look like? Does it look like Manhattan?

ADDED: Why is this on my mind? I've been reading "The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific."

273 comments:

1 – 200 of 273   Newer›   Newest»
jimbino said...

We could just stop the rampant breeding, which would cost much less.

Eustace Chilke said...

The energy for the heroic work of relocation will depend on coffee, which will be in such short supply that only the one percent will be able to afford any. Do you suppose the one percent are going to change their evil ways to rescue islanders threatened by global warming?

sane_voter said...

So the oceans are rising ever faster, yet I read elsewhere that temperatures haven't risen for the last 16 years. How can that be?

mesquito said...

Damn. The Political Class really really really REALLY wants that carbon tax, don't it?

http://asiancorrespondent.com/52189/what-happened-to-the-climate-refugees/

rhhardin said...

Put them to work in Canadian coffee plantations.

Shouting Thomas said...

Many years ago, I met the staff and editors of National Geo, during (of all things) the 1968 Vietnam anti-war march on Washington.

The Editor in Chief graciously put up many protesters, like me, in his Georgetown mansion. He served us some extraordinary wines.

In 1968, Nat Geo was a obviously a liberal branch of the Democratic Party. I thought that that was a good thing when I was a kid, being unable at the time to understand the long term potential manifestations. At the time, I just thought it was swell that they agreed with me about what "nice" people thought.

I would guess that Nat Geo has become even more a subsidiary of the Democratic Party as time has passed.

They do print some very nice pictures.

kcom said...

I'll just repeat what Wyo Sis said in the coffee post:

If you're in a con game and you don't know who the mark is...

Maguro said...

The oceans are indeed rising...at a steady 2mm per year. Scary, eh? Maybe we can make it stop if we give Al Gore a bunch of money.

rhhardin said...

The amazing thing is that the ocean comes up to exactly the shoreline, with no gaps or overlaps.

Right is right! said...
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Chip S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip S. said...

If I were a president who truly believed that our coastal cities would be flooded by the end of the century, I'd spend stimulus money on seawalls instead of trains.

Right is right! said...

This country would be much better off without NYC. So, the loss of these low lying areas would probably be a good thing. These are the areas that vote for the Democrats. That is probably why they are making such a big deal about it. Jews, blacks, Asians, homos, live in these areas and they throw the elections to the Dems. No big loss if they disappeared. IMHO.

wyo sis said...

Dang, kcom, you beat me to it.

This won't happen. The oceans are going to start receding any day now, because Obama got his second chance and now he can deliver on all his promises.

Kchiker said...

Ann, do you ever feel despair regarding the opinions offered by your your median commenter? (Not just the fringe)?

The Godfather said...

Ever hear of the Netherlands? With even old-fashioned technology it's possible to preserve islands or mainlands from rising oceans (or sinking land) if it's worthwhile to do so. We've been trying to do the same thing in New Orleans. Perhaps in some cases relocation makes sense. It depends on the situation.

Suppose that a decade or so ago, the New York City government had adopted reasonable measures to protect against storm-caused flooding? No one would be asking the question Ann asked about Manhatten.

Chip S. said...

I will be grateful for the opportunity to forego the use of fossil fuels in order to preserve the property values of the 1%ers who own all that coastal property.

Shouting Thomas said...

FEMA insures people who build their homes on sand bar islands that are washed away every decade or so.

Some of these homeowners have rebuilt two or three times at the taxpayers' expense.

Maybe it's not such a good idea to build on coastal lowlands.

But, what the hey! Not so bad if somebody else pays the bill. Right?

tim maguire said...

Oceans have been rising since we came out of the last ice age. Civilization has been dealing with it for as long as there has been civilization. On the plus side, the rate of rise is slowing.

On the negative side, it's slowing because we are no longer coming out of the last ice age and at some in the next thousand years or so (roughly) we will slide back into an ice age.

Alarmists can take heart that at that point, the ocean levels will recede.

As for relocation, every generation will gve up a little bit of land. Big deal, it'll mostly be the rich whose waterfront property is affected. Mass relocation? No.

Texan99 said...

We don't even relocate the people who live at or below sea level now, no matter how many times they get flooded. Instead, we subsidize their flood insurance and pour money into their reconstruction schemes. If they live anywhere near New York, we give them exhaustive coverage on the news every night for weeks on end. (News flash! People lose power for weeks after particularly bad hurricanes!) Why would any of this change?

Sam L. said...

As the not-so-old perfesser sayeth, I might believe in global warming if those who say it's coming lived their lives the way they tell us to.

Kchiker said...

"As the not-so-old perfesser sayeth, I might believe in global warming if those who say it's coming lived their lives the way they tell us to."

Global warming certainly cannot exist because Al Gore has a big house. Or something.

wyo sis said...

Kchicker
What you are seeing is known in the biz as conservative commenter sardonic humor. It's harder for the median no humor liberal to comprehend so it serves as a kind of code, or dog whistle if you will.

Shouting Thomas said...

That "Sex Life of the Cannibals" book looks worth reading, Althouse.

I'm looking for things to read that have absolutely nothing to do with politics, science or tech.

Been making my living in science and tech forever. Politics is really worn out.

My mind is searching for something fresh and original.

Darrell said...

The setup for the coming tsunami of climate change taxes the fucking Democrats are getting ready to impose. Fuck them all sideways.

Kchiker said...

"What you are seeing is known in the biz as conservative commenter sardonic humor. It's harder for the median no humor liberal to comprehend so it serves as a kind of code, or dog whistle if you will."

I had no one commenter in mind here but instead the general mindset. I'm all for sardonic but I get the impression that many here idolize Reagan (partly) due to the fact that he took the solar panels off the White House...not despite it.

Rusty said...

If they're on islands in the middle of the ocean thousands of miles from anyplace and the water is getting higher so they have to wade from place to place. How are you going to land an airplane?

KenK said...

Or we could just let 'em drown. Darwin and all.

Chip S. said...

What about the libs who idolize Obama even tho he has failed to install windmills on the South Lawn?

wyo sis said...

Oh, Kchiker you broke the code! That's exactly what I was thinking. Those damn solar panels have been bugging the hell out of me for years.

Pastafarian said...

Oh for fuck's sake.

What if the oceans instead recede? What will those poor dears along the coast do if they wake up one day and find themselves no longer ocean-front, but (shudder) second row?

I don't take this liberal equivalent to Red Dawn post apocalyptic fantasy seriously, because they wouldn't wake up one day to discover this horror. Instead, whichever direction the shoreline moves, it will move millimeters a year, and these people's distant descendants will have to face the nightmare.

So what will actually happen if, over the course of five hundred years, the shoreline advances, say, twenty feet?

Then over the course of those five centuries, people will tend to locate any new buildings they happen to build about twenty feet farther back than they would otherwise have built them. And people will relocate themselves, naturally and imperceptibly. This is a non problem.

Here's a real problem I've thought about lately, with respect to coastal cities: We've chosen to locate most of our largest urban concentrations along the coasts, in tall buildings separated by narrow streets, right at sea level. What if the next hurricane is worse?

What if we have less warning, or another weather event (snow, say) prevents evacuation? What if the power outages are more widespread and last longer? People (particularly older people) are at real risk of dying of thirst, forgotten on the thirtieth floor of a fifty floor building. There must be tens of thousands of people in a genuinely precarious situation.

Rusty said...

Kchiker said...
"As the not-so-old perfesser sayeth, I might believe in global warming if those who say it's coming lived their lives the way they tell us to."

Global warming certainly cannot exist because Al Gore has a big house. Or something.

I'm sure it exists. I'm just not sure anything we can do will change it.
You see it has a lot to do with that firy ball of gas that appears in the sky every day.

Bob Ellison said...

It's a good question, because it could keep stupid lefties occupied. They might do less damage because they're wondering about this.

Now if only we could get them riled up about UFOs...maybe Sasquatch...

Paco Wové said...

Sorry, Kchiker, you don't do the concern troll thing nearly as well as Phx.

Bob Ellison said...

Rusty, that firey ball of gas is a good point. I wonder how many people know how it burns. Probably most people think it's a giant fireplace.

McTriumph said...

I love the way eastern elites ridicule flyover country, we are all hillbillies, north and south. Then you watch their performance concerning Katrina on the Hudson. At least hillbillies have common sense, the eastern elites are just arrogant douche nozzles. New York, couldn't have happened in a more friendly place.

LilyBart said...

I love how they show a picture of Venice. Venice is a city built on marshlands - it's building built on stilts. Venice is a beautiful disaster.

1. We don't really know if destructive AGL is actually happening (the earth has always been in flux in terms of climate and yes, even ocean levels. There is no 'set' level of anything around here.)

2. If it is happening, we don't know that dramatically changing the way we live will really fix the 'problem'.

Dante said...

The oceans are indeed rising...at a steady 2mm per year. Scary, eh? Maybe we can make it stop if we give Al Gore a bunch of money.

He will simply buy more beachfront property. SF, CA, Montecito CA, and one somewhere in Florida.

http://algorelied.com/?p=1585

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/17/photos-al-goree-new-8875_n_579286.html#s91253

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100624134004AA2uBwA

Maguro said...

Anyway, wasn't Obama supposed to have taken care of the rising oceans thing in his first term?

Chip S. said...

Instead of subsidizing solar panels, I say we throw that money at desalinization technology. Then all that extra seawater could be used to solve our biggest looming crisis by growing Arabica coffee hydroponically.

wyo sis said...

Maguro
Oh, he did. Are you going to believe the elite media or your own lying eyes?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Maybe you think it won't happen, but what if it does?

I think your commentariat's prefabricated answer to that sort of question is, So WHAT if it does?! They should have prayed to Jesus to save their souls anyway, THAT'S WHAT! The government has NO business saving lives! Only The Lord can do that!!!

Darrell said...

Just remember that climate conference a few years ago where the participants said "fuck the numbers and that science shit--let's get talking about our share of the money pot from those climate taxes." Paraphrased. of course. But bang on accurate.

Bob Ellison said...

Chip S., that's crazy talk. Clean water would only save a few million people a year. So would DDT. Don't be stupid.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Anyway, wasn't Obama supposed to have taken care of the rising oceans thing in his first term?

No Maggie. The Lord will do that. The Lord - Maker, Revealer and Interventionist on Behalf of ALL SCIENTIFIC TRUTH!!1!111 Courtesy of his special little book.

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell said...

Shitmo brings in religion to deflect.

When will our sea of Lefties recede?

Chip S. said...

Dante, let's be fair. Al Gore's Montecito villa is on a hillside w/ ocean views, not on the coast itself.

What we really need to worry about is the imminent loss of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Human beings have no business attempting to determine ways of understanding and intervening in the workings of the natural universe. Only God can do the former and only economics can do the latter.

It says so right in the Good Book.

garage mahal said...

We must be able to drill our way out of this problem!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Next thing you know the crazy libs will be cutting down Trees of Knowledge and Trees of Life to make dikes and damns to stave off any rising tides. BLASPHEMOUS ASSHOLES, RETRIBUTION AWAITS!!!!

Chip S. said...

I think I've finally figured out
where to invest
my paltry savings.

tim maguire said...

Nice one Ritmo! I love how the first person to bring up god is a liberal castigating the conservatives for not shutting up about god.

Typical.

Darrell said...

It's amazing that our Lefties believe that their victory last Tuesday means they were right about any fact they presented on this blog--save for Obama winning.
That must be that consensus thing they are talking about. No, Shitmo. Your "climate expperts" were shown to be liars fudging with the raw data to prove their theory. Their email were confessions--one cocksucker telling another to fudge harder because the numbers still don't look compelling. Their credibility was lost forever.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

No, Shitmo. Your "climate expperts" were shown to be liars fudging with the raw data to prove their theory. Their email were confessions--one cocksucker telling another to fudge harder because the numbers still don't look compelling. Their credibility was lost forever.

Galileo Galilei, I THUS CONDEMN THEE!!!

tim maguire said...

Oh, i get it. Ritmo is performance art. America's Politico, or his close cousin if not him.

David said...

At some point the ocean levels are going to rise or fall significantly from present conditions. Important highly populated coastal areas will either become landlocked or become inundated. It's an old story but it's going to happen to far larger populations this time.

Ditto with climate.

These people are radical conservatives. They want everything to stay as it is. It won't.

edutcher said...

Hey, those people in Gotham and Jersey voted for Choom.

Let 'em live with the consequences.

jimbino said...

We could just stop the rampant breeding, which would cost much less.

Or we could have retroactive abortions.

I say start with the Lefties.

jimbino first, 'cause it was his idea.

Michael K said...



11/11/12 9:00 AM
Blogger O Ritmo Segundo said...

" Maybe you think it won't happen, but what if it does?

I think your commentariat's prefabricated answer to that sort of question is, So WHAT if it does?! They should have prayed to Jesus to save their souls anyway, THAT'S WHAT! The government has NO business saving lives! Only The Lord can do that!!!"

Here is a nice example of the left's delusions about Republicans. The delusions have been pushed by the sort of political campaigns they run and the easily deluded buy the theory that all Republicans are Bible thumping fundamentalists who don't believe in science. Consequently, the deluded ignore such things as the coming financial collapse and worry about their lady parts or some creative concept of global warming caused by civilization.

The solution for them is to vote Democrat and end civilization. The first has been accomplished. The second is a lot harder but they are trying.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Yep. That's what the Good Lord says. How are the numbers? Do they "look" "compelling"? What does your "gut" tell you about them? Do you "perceive" truth in them? From a purely, you know, "aesthetic", psychological standpoint, how do you "feel" about the numbers? Do they remind you of what we "felt" of the polling in Ohio?

Please, tell me more about this lens of "look", like and feeling that determines your theological pronouncement on any and all things scientific, Papa Bear "Darrell" (which is only the nerdiest name in the world. If anyone could be expected to be a reality-embracing nerd, it would be you. I guess you're more the comic book geek fanboy, though, living in your own special form of fantasy.)

So how's the Brony-Con convention for next year shaping up?

wyo sis said...

"At some point the ocean levels are going to rise or fall significantly from present conditions. Important highly populated coastal areas will either become landlocked or become inundated. It's an old story but it's going to happen to far larger populations this time."

I believe this point has been made by conservatives.

tim maguire said...

I wonder how many of the "New York deserves it" commenters ever reflect on the fact that New York City has the greatest concentration of conservative Republicans in the country.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Oh, Michael K.! It must be, like, so difficult making one's way through life with the left's caricatures of the right-wing. Especially when they are SUCH rational, non-hyperbolic, believers if reason, and, and, and yes, SCIENCE!

Which is why your take on:

1. Embryology
2. Geophysics
3. Keynesian Macroeconomics
4. Evolution

Must surely be very mainstream and in-line with scientific fact, rather than what Darrell takes to be the "look", feel and propaganda value of what you can make of any finding in those fields.

elkh1 said...

Don't worry, he is just given four more years to keep his promise to stop the oceans from rising. Be patient.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Or do you picture storms or waves suddenly devouring whole populations before any full-scale relocation effort takes place?

We can always hope.

Darrell said...

Don't the Lefties--including several in the Obama cabinet--want to reduct the Earth's population to a "sustainable" 1.5 billion? Of course that would mean getting rid of 5.5 billion (and yes, they were talking about using biological warfare to do it.). But Obama did use that omelette analogy--so it's OK.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I don't know about the libs, but I put as much faith in the RNC take on climate change as I do in Karl Rove's/Dick Morris's/George Will's/Michael Barone's polling analyses. AMAZINGLY AWESOME ABSOLUTE FAITH! Screw that little "effeminate" nerdy number Nate Silver! Who NEEDS statistical analysis? THE LOOK AND THE FEEL OF THE OHIO RETURNS TELLS US EVERYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW EVER ABOUT ELECTIONS!11!1!!!!!!

Chip S. said...

1. Embryology
2. Geophysics
3. Keynesian Macroeconomics
4. Evolution


One of these things is not like the others.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Which one, Chip. I checked out that old thread from last night and Friday this morning again and Rusty's telling me (along with ignoring every salient point) that the "rules that govern the marketplace are as unbending as those that govern physics". Direct quote. I shit you not. Is that the "unlike" thing or did you have another, cryptic answer in mind. Please tell me, in that Sesame Street singsong way that the Republicans tell me is such a drag on the budget...

Darrell said...

The Right's positions are all of those are in line perfectly with genuine science, not ideologically-driven science. For example, the only reason that Big Pharm objected to the embroyo bank was that they would have problems patenting their progress. You need unique cell lines to have the DNA proof that other companies have stolen your work.

In other words, Shitmo backs Big Pharm's lies about why Bush's system wouldn't work. Imagine that. Btw, we use cell lines for medical testing that were first taken after WWII, and they are still doing fine.

Maguro said...

One thing people need to understand is that catastrophic sea level rise predictions are based 100% on speculative computer models and 0% on actual, uh, sea level measurements. See, for instance, this.

If you're the type who believes that Nate Silver just validated every computer model everywhere, forever, then that probably doesn't matter to you. Others might find it interesting, though.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Wherein Darrell mistakes immortalized cancer cell lines from the days of yore with anything having to do with modern stem cell research.

He also can't tell at which point in embryonic development that a nerve cell develops, a nervous system takes root, or what the ethical significance of those events might be.

I presume that is because he is a shit-head. Or a BRONY!!!

Chip S. said...

"Keynesian Macroeconomics" in its essential form was rejected by economists nearly 3 decades ago.

What remains of it today is a patchwork of poorly specified models designed solely to conform to well-known correlations.

In any other context you'd call it junk science. And you'd be right.

garage mahal said...

I don't know about the libs, but I put as much faith in the RNC take on climate change as I do in Karl Rove's/Dick Morris's/George Will's/Michael Barone's polling analyses

But it's never ever their fault. It becomes the perfect feedback loop for conservatives. Enact bad policies, policies fail, blame liberals, enact even worse polices, policies fail even more, and blame liberals even louder. The end result is Rush Limbaugh broadcasting from the Rockies surrounded by oceans blaming the whole thing on Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi.

Chip S. said...

Ritmo, I'll bite: What's a BRONY?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

If you're the type who believes that Nate Silver just validated...

He seems to conclusively invalidated people who get their absolute numerical analysis truth from Rasmussen and their ideas of science from the RNC.

KenK said...

F*** them. Yeah, now that Bloomberg and Obama are zeroed out-by term limits who needs NY & NJ? Just sayin'.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Oh, Chip. You don't want to know. I found out from some people I know whose co-worker's into that. Check out the Urban Dictionary. It has to do with male fans who take geek fandom to new and absurd levels and even fantasize about a young girl's pony toy franchise. Weird, weird weird. But proud to try for relevance. Just like Darrell.

Darrell said...

If there was a real problem in the techniques used to preserve a few of the cell lines that interfered with research, then a reasonable logical person changes the method of preservation that is causing the problems. The whole issue was about patenting--companies paying for a unique embryo so that they would "own" that DNA for later court cases.

Shitmo lives up to his moniker again.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

But it's never ever their fault. It becomes the perfect feedback loop for conservatives. Enact bad policies, policies fail, blame liberals, enact even worse polices, policies fail even more, and blame liberals even louder.

Yes. People who claim to hate government sure seem to do a shit job of running it.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Whatever, Brony guy.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Darrell's latest conspiracy theory sounds like the biotech era version of the soylent green scare.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

He couldn't prove that stem cells were people so he went the "THEY'RE OUT TO OWN YOUR DNA" route.

Sounds like a good Plan B.

Crimso said...

"Galileo Galilei, I THUS CONDEMN THEE!!!"

Hansen's the one calling for trials.

"Especially when they are SUCH rational, non-hyperbolic, believers if reason, and, and, and yes, SCIENCE!"

I don't think you're generally full of shit, but what I've seen from you on this thread is pretty much bullshit. I'm an agnostic (IMO, an atheist is an agnostic with a poor grasp of science). So your juvenile religion-bashing doesn't work on me. Got another, perhaps scientifically-based, argument? An hypothesis which can be tested and at least potentially found to be incorrect would be a good jumping-off point.

Darrell said...

If fact looks like fiction to you, Shitmo, you need to adjust your meds.

And stop looking at Teletubby porn.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

It's fun when the far-right merges with the far-left. Can we now expect Darrell to start ranting against Monsanto for patenting seed lines that die every year despite making it into adjacent fields, requiring non-purchasing farmers to avoid lawsuits for growing proprietary seed?

Balfegor said...

Hundreds of millions sounds like a lot, but when one compares it with the immense scale of population expansion in the 20th century, and the extraordinary migration from rural to urban centers that has accompanied that population expansion (particularly in China and India, but also in Africa) it's not particularly difficult to imagine that scale of migration.

Between 1950 and 2005, the world's urban population increased from 732 million to over 3 billion. That means construction over over 2 billion urban residential accommodations, and considering how few people live in old buildings, probably most of the 3 billion live in new construction anyhow. The problem of migration from islands and lowlands is simply a problem of where that new construction gets built in the next century. The scale -- measured in mere hundreds of millions -- is not really the obstacle it seems.

As a practical matter, though, no one at all behaves as though they think climate change is real, because beachfront property, Manhattan apartments, etc. all remain extraordinarily expensive. Absolutely no one is pricing in catastrophic sea level rise.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

O thank you, Crimso. I am so grateful for that caveat.

Anyway, I just think that people who chose to embrace Rovian/Rasmussian polling over the available alternatives might not be credible on numerical issues of any sort. And as for theologies, (which have nothing to do with science either way), it's interesting that you'd castigate the work of Richard Dawkins that way. Should we do the same with theists like Francis Collins, or is it just the atheists who get it?

Darrell said...

Not good at analogies, are you Shitmo?

But numbers out of your ass like a sustainable population of 1.5 billion for the Earth is real science. OK. We have nothing to talk about, because you can't differentiate fact from conjecture, ideology from science.

chickelit said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...
It's fun when the far-right merges with the far-left. Can we now expect Darrell to start ranting against Monsanto for patenting seed lines that die every year despite making it into adjacent fields, requiring non-purchasing farmers to avoid lawsuits for growing proprietary seed?

Monsanto stock has been a bright spot in my portfolio. Stop dissing them, Ritmo.

Borepatch said...

There is a major effort under way by the IPCC to ramp up the scare stories in preparation to the release of the next Assessment Report. Politics has been moving against them for the last several years, but the UN's motivation for policies that increase its relevance haven't changed at all.

Thus the entire lack of reform of the IPCC process, and continued hyping of one side of the science.

Interestingly, there's quite a lot more balanced scientific work going on then there used to be, and much of this runs counter to the hype. See Dr. Judith Curry's No Consensus On Consensus. Dr. Curry heads up Georgia Tech's climate science program.

Expect a lot more of these "We're all going to die" stories over the next few months, and be skeptical about the rigor of the peer-review they went through.

MathMom said...

My friend lived in Mauritius for 20 years, in a beach house 12 inches above sea level. It's still 12 inches above sea level. We're not going to have to evacuate anyone from low-lying areas because of rising sea levels caused by global warming.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Monsanto stock has been a bright spot in my portfolio. Stop dissing them, Ritmo.

Darrell seems to be doing that just fine.

You are like a mobster in your belief that money makes things moral.

Darrell said...

Our Little Shitmo--a separate area for Ritmo comments coming to Althouse soon. Hopefully.

His/her/its own little pen.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Sounds like you need to adjust your portfolio, too.

CWJ said...

Garage, what bad policies that have failed do you have in mind?

Balfegor said...

Also, one might add that the new construction built these days is not built to last. It's all fancy glass-walled skyscrapers and "green" construction frippery. We're not talking the Pantheon here. Almost all of that modern construction is going to have to be torn down at some point in the next century -- the natural churn in those kinds of buildings offers ample opportunity for relocation if necessary.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Darrell, you're so cute. A shining example unto the Althousians. You're like your own brony-riding little cowboy commenter. No one (and no thing!) gets to you! You make up your own facts and that's that! Fuck anyone who stands in the way of Darrell's make-believe.

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell said...

Shitmo's 1984. Redefining everything to get and keep his fascist overlords in power. Does that Segundo mean you are an actual clone? Why the Hell would anyone want to do that?

Better keep him in his own pen--just for safety's sake.

Crimso said...

"Should we do the same with theists like Francis Collins, or is it just the atheists who get it?"

Does Collins claim a scientific basis for his beliefs? I don't care what Dawkins believes, but don't dress up your belief as science when it clearly isn't.

AllenS said...

If we got rid of the moon, we'd stop those nasty high tides.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Are you almost done Darrell or does your last word here always have to be about me?

You seem even lonelier today.

creeley23 said...

Maybe you think it won't happen, but what if it does?

There's no end to such scenarios.

* There are still thousands of nuclear weapons ready to launch on warning. It's not as bad as the tens of thousands of nukes at the height of the Cold War, but it's bad enough to wreck most of the civilized world and kill billions of people.

* Whatever might happen with global warming, we are overdue for the next ice age, which makes relocating a hundred million people from the coasts look like a day at the beach, so to speak. Imagine relocating billions of people from the northern hemisphere as it is buried in sheets of ice hundreds and thousands of feet thick.

* Each year technological creep makes WMD cheaper and easier. Who knows what sort of horror will be available to terrorists and rogue nations within fifty years? Airborne ebola? EMP bursters launched from hobbyist gear? Ricin as cheap and easy as Minute Rice?

I'm an optimist at heart but there are many good arguments that we will experience terrible cataclysms wiping out immense numbers of people by the end of the century.

"But what if it does" is a valid question, worth considering and taking reasonable action upon, but the notion that climate change is the supreme threat we face in the 21st century is basically stupid.

Lyle said...

Native Americans just didn't establish villages along the Gulf of Mexico... because of hurricanes.

Whole islands won't be inundated quickly though and coastal regions will lose land by feet over long periods of time. So moving inland doesn't need to be rushed.









Rusty said...

Bob Ellison said...
Rusty, that firey ball of gas is a good point. I wonder how many people know how it burns. Probably most people think it's a giant fireplace.

The sun people shovel coal into it.

Rusty said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...
Which one, Chip. I checked out that old thread from last night and Friday this morning again and Rusty's telling me (along with ignoring every salient point) that the "rules that govern the marketplace are as unbending as those that govern physics". Direct quote. I shit you not. Is that the "unlike" thing or did you have another, cryptic answer in mind. Please tell me, in that Sesame Street singsong way that the Republicans tell me is such a drag on the budget...

Rather than merely assert where I'm wrong, why don't you give precise examples of how I am wrong. Tell me. What rules govern the marketplace? How fungible are these rules? How have taxes and regulations increased economic growth? How do markets react to these taxes and regulations in a positive way?
You know an awful lot about political policy, but political policy isn't improving the economy. just because you can't refute my answers to your assertions doesn't mean I'm wrong.

Joe said...

The bigger problem is subsidence, which accounts for the most dramatic "ocean rise". In geologically stable areas the ocean isn't doing much of anything.

Big Mike said...

Maybe you think it won't happen,

It won't

but what if it does?

Worry about it then. Right now I'm a lot more concerned about the poor people in Appalachia now that the electorate has given Obama free reign in the war on coal.

chuck said...

Oh, that's a trivial problem compared to relocating the northern hemisphere when the glaciers return. Time to burn another candle to the carbon god.

Writ Small said...

I wonder if some of Ann's re-thinking has to do with conservatives being spectacularly wrong in their election predictions - predictions which were based in part on questioning specifics of the science behind the polling that were contrary to desired outcomes.

Conservatives have had a pretty good track record in correctly identifying when the left has let ideology cloud it's judgment. Conservatives correctly criticized leftist alarmism on the spread of heterosexual Aids. The California Democratic party endorsed (just defeated) prop 37, which was based on the unscientific notion that bio-engineered foods are dangerous. Meanwhile many Democrats ignore real danger and oppose childhood vaccination. The adherents of nonsensical New Age treatments such as homeopathy are also disproportionately on the political left.

Political, tribal loyalties override critical thinking. Which side is deluding themselves over man-caused climate change? I found it interesting that when the Freakonomics guys - two Obama voters dedicated to critical thinking - proposed global warming remedies not based on carbon reduction but rather inexpensive geo-engineering solutions (putting reflective particles in the upper atmosphere, pumping cooler sea water to the surface, etc.), they were blasted by the left. Time and again, the left is only willing to address global warming in a fashion that advances their ideology. Something to consider when judging which side is the ideologically compromised.

jr565 said...

Chip S wrote:
If I were a president who truly believed that our coastal cities would be flooded by the end of the century, I'd spend stimulus money on seawalls instead of trains.

Exactly!
If you are truly a believer in man made global warming and think it's a given, and further think that various effects will occur, why not spend the money to deal with the effects that might occur rather than try to stop it from occuring. It would be a lot cheaper and a lot more doable.
Trying to reverse cliamte change by jiggering with human behavior will cost trillions and after all that expenditure (which no one wil make since it will so effect their economies) it will not fundamentally change anything. Whereas, if you did things like build sea walls that would cost fractions of that amount and would actually address what the global warming advocates say will happen.

Emil Blatz said...

The blueprints to my home in South Florida indicate that the floor of the main level is "14.5 feet (174 inches) above MSL." At .14 inches/year, I have nearly 1,250 years before the carpets get wet. I'm not only going to file this in Shit I Don't Have Time To Worry About, I'm going to shove it in that small compartment way in the back corner of Shit I Don't Have Time To Worry About.

jr565 said...

Besides, it may not be warming at all but cooling that we really have to worry about.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2093264/Forget-global-warming--Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html

As per recently released temperature data it's revealed that we haven't actually had any warming in 15 years. And further that we are about to head into a cooling phase, not a warming phase.


Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.


Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food.



Solar output goes through 11-year cycles, with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak.
We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.
Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.



We’re now well into the second decade of the pause,’ said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. ‘If we don’t see convincing evidence of global warming by 2015, it will start to become clear whether the models are bunk. And, if they are, the implications for some scientists could be very serious.’
Thats only a few years off.

chickelit said...

jr565 said...
Besides, it may not be warming at all but cooling that we really have to worry about.

It's win-win for the carbon taxers because we'll burn fossil fuels to stay warm!

Dante said...

Ritmo,

Please EDUCATE yourself. Let's say all the terrible possibilities of global warming are just as they are described, and it's on account of C02. Now, what solution is going to make a difference? Who is the largest C02 producer?

Nor do I buy into this global warming hocus pocus, because the Global Warming crowd's estimates for atmospheric temperature increase have been EVEN WORSE than the pro-republican pollsters.

Maguro said...

I wonder if some of Ann's re-thinking has to do with conservatives being spectacularly wrong in their election predictions - predictions which were based in part on questioning specifics of the science behind the polling that were contrary to desired outcomes.

Obviously, there is a lot of this going on right now. Questioning liberal beliefs now brings immediate screams of "Nate Silver! Nate Silver! Nate Silver!", as if Silver's election model has anything to do with Michael Mann's climate model or Paul Krugman's macroeconomic models.

I think the main thing to remember through all this is that political polling in this country has a good (though not perfect) track record, so it was reasonable for Silver to base his election forecasts on the polling consensus. But the climate models also have a track record, and it's absolutely pathetic. So basing our economic policies on the predictions of the climate modelers is not rational at all.

ricpic said...

Since the exceptionalness of the United States is being deliberately murdered by Obama and his marxist minions, in future millions will drown or die of disaster caused disease rather than be given succor and then relocated by the exceptional nation, as was always the case in the past.

YoungHegelian said...

The other cause of sinking coastlines is the movement of tectonic plates.

Tectonic plates can be thought of like couch cushions. When you sit on one end of a couch cushion the other side rises. This is what's happening (e.g.) as the Indian plate continues to smash into the southern Asian plate, pushing the Himalayas higher, but poor Bangladesh just gets lower & lower.

Scandinavia has risen several hundred feet in the past 3000 years because the weight of the Ice Age glaciers no longer presses down on it. At the other end of the plate (i.e. the English Channel & surroundings) it gets lower & lower. 19 thousand years ago, the Last Glacial Maxiumum (LGM), there was no English Channel and no North Sea, and the British Islands were connected to the mainland (an area called Doggerland). Within 3000 years of the LGM the melting glaciers filled it in to more or less what the map is today.

bagoh20 said...

I'm 1 mile from the Pacific and 120 ft up. Can we hurry the rising seas a little? I want my patio to be beachfront before I die. Obama's policy of personally stopping this rising was the only reason I voted against him.

To the see the ocean now, I need to get on my roof, and stand on a pile of dead kittens, and then jump as high as I can. It's not optimal.

bagoh20 said...

Obama is planning a big speech on how to overcome our biggest problems.

Energy: Inflate your tires
Rising seas: Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

We can do this people. It's time to come together and solve some shit instead of fighting all the time.

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

There was one of those paper signs stapled to a telephone pole that said: "Wanna be your own boss? Wanna get rich without punching a clock or risking your own saving? Call 1-800-876-5309.

Al Gore tore it down, went home and called the number. That's how Global Warming was created. What a country!

elkh1 said...

KenK, term-limit? What term-limit?

The MSM were afraid Giuliani would change NYC's law to run again soon after 911. He didn't. Then came Nanny B who pretended to be a Republican and inherited Gracie Mansion. When Nanny B's 2nd term was up, somehow he extended that to three terms, not a peep.

One thing for sure is Christie is toast, a one termer. Leftists hate him, Rightists don't care much for him now. Another Scott Brown who sold out to the leftists and got his just deserts. Lovely!

LilyBart said...

Global warming certainly cannot exist because Al Gore has a big house. Or something.

Al Gore bought a big, expensive house on the coast of California.

Wise advice from my mother: Don't listen to what people say, watch what they do.

EMD said...

Shouldn't the question be: Are people willing to relocate themselves?

bagoh20 said...

"I wonder if some of Ann's re-thinking has to do with conservatives being spectacularly wrong in their election predictions - predictions which were based in part on questioning specifics of the science behind the polling that were contrary to desired outcomes."

So if your doctor thought Romney was gonna win, you can ignore his diagnoses. That's science!

From now on the smart thing to do is to accept all claims by the left. After all - they won!

harrogate said...

I have never understood the hostility of conservatives to ecological issues, to even bringing them up. It is not only liberals' kids' futures at stake after all.

I mean, it seems that to be a conservative is to simply write off any suggestion that we are harming the planet. I am not just talking about conservative political junkies. People who vote GOP just refuse to even consider it. They demonize scientific reports they would never read as though it were no big thing.

Bizarro.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

"Global warming certainly cannot exist because Al Gore has a big house. Or something."

Al Gore bought a big, expensive house on the coast of California.

Wise advice from my mother: Don't listen to what people say, watch what they do.


Re-translated: Global warming certainly cannot exist because Al Gore has a big house.

There are other versions of this:

Soldiers believe that killing is an unmitigated good.

Soda manufacturers are pro-obesity.

Tobacco companies wish there were more lung cancer.

Conservatives believe in the liberal causes that their intransigence encourages.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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LilyBart said...


Re-translated: Global warming certainly cannot exist because Al Gore has a big house.

Re-Re-translated: Why should I let our economy be wrecked by silly global warming 'experts' and politians, if they are so unconcerned about it that they purchase shockingly expensive property on the coast (that they tell us will be flooded out of exististance in a few, short years)?

bagoh20 said...

"I have never understood the hostility of conservatives to ecological issues"

And we can't understand how people on the left allow their brains fall out anytime someones says "it's bad for the environment." As soon as something is suggested to be bad for the environment the left will eat their own arms off to resist it. No sense of scale, compromise, or skepticism at all.

The right doesn't distrust science, it distrusts scientists, because they are people, and people lie, make mistakes, and exaggerate.

We especially distrust the left on the issue. Environmentalism has used "science" to do some awful things in the past through it's use of the political process. Things that led to the deaths of millions.

Skepticism is smart, wise and a basis for the scientific method. The lack of it is unacceptable among scientists. Science is being poisoned by the same thing that journalism has been: the pursuit of changing the world over finding the truth.

Politics doesn't give a shit about the truth, and if you let it in your science, then you are not trustworthy.

It's all simple: If you want people to accept your arguments, you can't be lying and exaggerating every time you make one.

Coketown said...

This has been a perennial prediction of environmentalists for twenty years. It was originally 50 million climate refugees by 2010. The passage of time offered a chance to test that theory, and it was wrong. The green lobby has wised up and now insinuates merely that at some point in the future there will be many millions of climate refugees. When and from where, we don't know--but it will happen!

These people make Adventists look reliable. Wait! Maybe climate change has already come and gone, and we're all merely the Remnants of that great event. Progressives should write a "Left Behind" type of adventure series based on this idea.

But to address harrogate's deep distress at conservatives being reflexively hostile to "ecological issues," let me clarify for him: Liberals don't care about ecological issues. They care about social justice issues. Climate change is a social justice issue masquerading as an ecological issues. That's why every remedy for climate change happens also to be the same remedy progressives have been championing for fifty years to address social justice issues. Tax the rich. Lower consumption of luxury goods. Transfer money from rich nations to poor nations. Defer to international legislative bodies rather than nation-states alone. And on an on.

That's also why the left treats it with as much urgency as a leaking faucet. Even they don't believe the doomsday bullshit. Otherwise they'd be a little more insistent on addressing this ASAP instead of casually talking about next year maybe having a Climate Summit at some new location to discuss forming a committee to plan another summit to address possible solutions to the problem of not being able to plan a committee to solve the issue of climate change. At some point. But we really do need to raise those taxes NOW! NOW NOW NOW!!

Coketown said...

The world has been strangely fortunate in narrowly escaping every dire catastrophe the left has prophesied over the last 100 years.

Chip S. said...

@LilyBart, Al Gore's Montecito villa is certainly evidence that he's made a lot of money off of AGW, but I don't think it's in danger of being washed away by the ocean's rise.

Freeman Hunt said...

Wouldn't people naturally start moving away as the sea slowly rose?

LilyBart said...

I'm not a Climate Expert, but I am an expert in modeling and projecting data. So, it makes me laugh that people are so willing to completely change their lives and allow their standard of living to be eroded based on someone’s computer models and projections.

My co-workers and I used to joke that, when asked to run projections, we should ask, "What would you like them to say?" Because, in truth, you can make projections say just about anything you want. Good, bad, stable. Whatever. Basically, projections use historical data that the Analyst selects. (You can be choosy about the source of the data and the timeframe of the data you use) And then they make assumptions for future change (will it increase? Decrease? At lot? At little?). It is easy to manipulate these factors to your liking. Most people find this an irresistible temptation. I’ve seen people ‘goal seek’ on the assumptions to get the end result they wanted! And they always have a reason they did it.

So, when someone shows you projections or modeled data, your first questions should be - what data did you use? and what were your assumptions? And you should analyze these answers.

Part of the problem for me it that the 'climate experts' have been so very close to the vest about their assumptions and the data they used. They don't want to share it. And they don't want to reveal the assumptions and methods they used to 'adjust' the historical data. And they *did* adjust the historical data. But they do not reveal the whys and the hows of it. This should be a big RED FLAG for anyone reviewing the data.

And now, of course, ANY bad weather is PROOF POSTIVE that we are under the threat of ruinous climate change, and now those horrible deniers must finally admit the climate is changing! But, bad weather and climate change have always been a feature of this planet. That’s nothing new.

Rusty said...

Freeman Hunt said...
Wouldn't people naturally start moving away as the sea slowly rose?

No. They need a government program to tell them to.

jr565 said...

Freeman Hunt wrote:
Wouldn't people naturally start moving away as the sea slowly rose?

You would think so.

damikesc said...

Ritmo, I'll bite: What's a BRONY?

A dude who likes My Little Pony. Don't know how this is supposed to be an insult because mockery needs some semblance of reality.

jr565 said...

I love how the dems go after price gouging when it comes to hurricanes and think thats bad, but environmentalists and advocates think that gas should be 8 dollars a gallon out of a sense of fairness and that's ok.

Here's a story of Lucy Lawless actually boarding a ship to try to stop it from going to Alaska. Her goal to get gas prices to be higher!

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57384177/actress-lucy-lawless-climbs-oil-drilling-ship/

THen you look at all the people in ny now who can't get gas, and who are paying 8 dollars a gallon.

And I bet that dems are pissed off at the price gouging going on. What hypocrites.

elkh1 said...

bagoh20 said...
"And we can't understand how people on the left allow their brains fall out..."

I don't understand why you assume they have brains. They don't need much of those to regurgitate talking points.

elkh1 said...

Freeman Hunt wrote:
Wouldn't people naturally start moving away as the sea slowly rose?

How far away can people move on an island? Stay in NYC subways to shelter from the storm, yes?

jr565 said...

I have a friend who was without power for a week due to the storm. He vowed to never take power for granted again. He of course voted for Obama.
But we can see the effect of high gas prices and limited access to fuel. and it's not a happy existence. Environmental policies are not without pain. High gas prices will raise the cost of fuel,making it harder for people to get around but also the cost of goods, meaning it will cost more to feed your kids. And yet the enviros somehow think this is a good idea. They WANT to NECESSARILY bankrupt the coal indsutries and make gas be more expensive, and refuse to build pipelines and cut off production in this country.
Meanwhile Obama is pumping money into so called green energy and what does he have to show for it? Bankrupt companies.

Texan99 said...

Wouldn't people naturally start moving away as the sea slowly rose?

No. They need a government program to tell them to.


No. They need a government program to pay them to.

John Duncan said...

This is why I cancelled my 35 year subscriptions to Natl Geo (and Popular Science). Pure BS.

John Duncan said...

This is why I cancelled my 35 year subscriptions to Natl Geo (and Popular Science). Pure BS.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Why should I let our economy be wrecked by silly global warming 'experts' and politians, if they are so unconcerned about it that they purchase shockingly expensive property on the coast (that they tell us will be flooded out of exististance in a few, short years)?

Smart people might leave economics to economists and science to scientists, but I could see why you'd get confused by how to understand an issue and how to politicize it. Seems like that happens a lot these days.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

We need better computer models for understanding how arsenic and lead poisons people, because right now there just isn't enough data!!11!1!1! ANYONE want to volunteer for my awesomely stupendous scientific trial to get us the proof-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard that such an issue of public policy requires? If not then we'll just have to let the chemical companies who have a stake in leaving these products dispersed and unregulated that their suggestion provides the economically superior form of absolute truth.

LilyBart said...

Smart people might leave economics to economists and science to scientists, but I could see why you'd get confused by how to understand an issue and how to politicize it

Actually, I am an economist - both by training and, for a while, by profession.

You just spew venom and that’s about all you do.

Balfegor said...

re: elkh1:

How far away can people move on an island? Stay in NYC subways to shelter from the storm, yes?

The sea level rise predicted in even the most dire global warming models is slow enough to let people leave and move all their movable possessions elsewhere with ample time. Years of time.

Chip S. said...

The sea level rise predicted in even the most dire global warming models is slow enough to let people leave and move all their movable possessions elsewhere with ample time.

Maybe the question was, how are we going to build a high-speed rail line to every island to evacuate people in time?

Paco Wové said...

"Actually, I am an economist - both by training and, for a while, by profession.

You just spew venom and that’s about all you do."


Which raises an interesting question - what is your area of expertise, Ritmo?

I'll go first - my doctorate is in biology, and I did academia for a while, but now I work in industry as a programmer.

Ok, now it's your turn.

KenK said...

I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who say it's a crisis act like it's a crisis.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Chip S. said...

Ritmo, I'll bite: What's a BRONY?



Ach! Es geht ein licht an!

Because it just dawned on me.

Brony = Byro. It's almost an anagram.

You old-timers will know what I mean.

Texan99 said...

I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who say it's a crisis act like it's a crisis.

That will tell us only when the people who say it's a crisis are subjectively serious, instead of engaging in a deliberate fraud. It will remain to be seen whether they're right. For that, we'll need data that confirms the models' predictions.

ambienisevil said...

I think of this a lot since I'm near the ocean and am thankful I'm in and up a bit. The ocean is my view, more than my backyard. During the Tsunami I calculated several times how far the water would reach if I were in a similar situation.

@Freeman asked: Wouldn't people start to move?

No. Moving is a big deal financially and emotionally. Until something threatens you, you have desirable real estate and naturally wish to continue enjoying it. If something does suddenly threaten your home, there is no way you'll be able to make any of your $ back on a sale because it will be devalued. Suddenly losing a large chunk of your net worth is not conducive to a move.

It's not like the water would inch up and you'd brightly say, "Hey gang, I've got an idea! It'd be wise to move inland about now because the water will be at our door by next spring! I'm sure there's a willing buyer!

harrogate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KenK said...

When the weathies start abandoning their ocean front properties in Malibu and relocate to Aspen or buy houseboats. When I here of the millionaire greenies wiping their assholes with one ply. When they do I'll know. Right now it's like the rest of their agenda: for us to follow and for them to work around or ignore altogether.

harrogate said...

Any credible vision of the future, if humans are to survive for any significant duration anyway, is going to have to take ecological issues into account in the most serious ways possible.

It is almost offensively laughable for an adult human being in 2012 to believe, for example, that the future does not involve building up, rather than building out. Working hard to keep water clean. Addressing air pollution, toxic emissions, etc. These will be mandates for survival, howeversomuch you want it not to be true.

So too does it defy brain level north of Shiavo, to believe that "drill baby drill" will be a political rallying cry for sane people.

Sustainability and responsible stewardship of the earth are important issues, maybe the most important if you really are concerned about the future. No matter how many times people like the commenters here wave their arms and scream "irrelevant," it will nevertheless be that way and, as judge Holden might have put it, not some other way.

KenK said...

harrowgate

Most of us couldnot care less about you find offensive if we tried. Guilt trip somebody else. No sale here.

harrogate said...

KenK,

Prideful ignorance won't make it some other way, either.

KenK said...

Neither will prideful arrogance on your part. No sale.

HT said...

The sea level rise predicted in even the most dire global warming models is slow enough to let people leave and move all their movable possessions elsewhere with ample time. Years of time.

Now the frog feels the warm water as he sits in the pot.

This is progress.

Paco Wové said...

"the future does not involve building up, rather than building out"

Catchy. Get that off a bumpersticker somewhere?

"Working hard to keep water clean."

Yes, we do that now.

"Addressing air pollution, toxic emissions, etc."

Yes, we do that now, too.

"These will be mandates for survival, howeversomuch you want it not to be true."

Who are you addressing here?

"drill baby drill"

Are you saying we shouldn't drill for oil? At all? I'd prefer we replace as much hydrocarbon burning as we can with nuclear power, but I don't think not drilling is feasible. And I doubt that our not drilling is going to have much impact on CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

"Sustainability and responsible stewardship of the earth are important issues, maybe the most important if you really are concerned about the future. No matter how many times people like the commenters here wave their arms and scream "irrelevant""

I don't think it's useful to use the "climate change" shibboleth as a proxy for all environmental concerns. Who is making the earth-raping case here?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Actually, I am an economist - both by training and, for a while, by profession.

You just spew venom and that’s about all you do.


Translation: Waaaahhhhh! I'm too butthurt by the political implications and rhetorical value of a comment to consider its objective meaning. Waaaahhh!!!!

Molecular biology for me, Paco - for one at least. Is Lily Bart's econ degree a doctorate, like you say yours is? And as a biologist, what's your view of the carbon cycle, just for the sake of a less, you know, "hurtful" conversation. Maybe focusing on some facts would be helpful.

Paco Wové said...

"as a biologist, what's your view of the carbon cycle,"

I approve of it, 100%.

Synova said...

Even the most dramatic scenarios aren't instant and the sea levels of the most dramatic scenarios aren't that much, really.

Leap-frogging new construction away from coastlines doesn't cost any more than replacing old buildings with new ones in the same locations.

Also, a great deal of Manhattan is rubble filled in beyond historic coast-lines. Just in case people didn't realize that. We, as an intelligent species, have been building out INTO the ocean for centuries at least.

I won't argue that rising ocean levels wouldn't be a human problem... but it would be a HUMAN problem on a human scale and a on a human time-line.

Paco Wové said...

Sorry, couldn't resist. But I assume you mean the global carbon cycle in relation to the discussion of potential global warming.

It's definitely a concern. We've been pulling geological carbon out of the ground and pumping it into the atmosphere at an accelerated rate for several hundred years now. I think reducing the rate at which we do this would be a very good idea, thus my support of nuclear power. Nuclear seems like the most reliable non-carbon based source of energy available at present.
Wind and solar have their uses, and should be pursued, but at this point are generally more useful for niche purposes.

Getting back to the cycle: at the other end, there has been some work on ways of sequestering CO2 from the air, which is a nice idea, but nowhere near scalable at this point.

HT said...

Not sure what you mean by "I'm not sure rising levels wouldn't be a problem?"

Are you saying you're not sure the ocean levels are rising?

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

Thank you for replying honestly, Paco.

Maguro said...

Not sure what you mean by "I'm not sure rising levels wouldn't be a problem?"

Are you saying you're not sure the ocean levels are rising?


Global ocean levels have been slowly and steadily rising since the end of the last ice age. In many places, like eastern England, land subsidence has been occuring at a much greater rate than the global sea level and people have had to abandon homes built close to the coastline. People in other sinking places, like the Netherlands, have elected to use dikes and pumps to live on land that is actually below sea level. Either way, it's not a novel problem for humanity to deal with.

Crimso said...

"ANYONE want to volunteer for my awesomely stupendous scientific trial to get us the proof-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard that such an issue of public policy requires?"

Then as a biologist, surely you agree that it would be idiocy to begin treating humans with someone that looks A-OK in a computer model of human metabolism.

Synova said...

Because "deniers" don't stampede to the same economy-killing conclusions the answer is they don't care, don't think, love Reagan, and only God could do it?

A rational person considers a series of if/then decision trees and risk assessments.

Is the globe warming or not? Is it anthropogenic or not? You take the branch based on the seriousness of being wrong... so if the globe isn't warming but I take the warming branch of the tree because of which direction I prefer to err, which is caution, then I have to ask... is it bad? Yes/no. If it's bad is it caused by humans? Yes/no. Assume humans. Can we stop doing what is causing it? Yes/no. If it's caused by humans 8000 years ago growing rice... probably not. If it's caused by humans now burning CO2, then perhaps. Likely a combo of yes/no.

At which point we're at the decision branches of what to attempt to do about it.

And it quickly becomes clear that the alarmists don't want to do anything that might actually work.

I'm persuadable, very much so, to a "just in case we're right" argument. But not when the demanded solutions are based on political and philosophical preferences and haven't a snowball's chance in hell of doing anything about the supposed problem.

Synova said...

Nuclear. At the minimum.

The Chemists at my school have developed a process to bind CO2 (dirty CO2, not just pure chemicals for lab experiments) into a crystal form and then release it again. Then there was that announcement from Europe (England?) that they'd found a way to turn CO2 into Methane (or some other 'thane) and burn it again. Which means we might be able to, at some point, pull our "carbon fuel" right from the air itself.

Maybe after starting to push Nuclear as a good first step the Luddite brigade can stop demonizing Big Chemical.

Paco Wové said...

Now that I'm on the subject... What troubles me, personally, about anthropogenic global warming is not the hypothesis, which is perfectly reasonable and may very well prove to be correct. It is the decision on the part of the scientist promoters of the hypothesis - and if you don't think scientists promote their pet hypotheses, you don't know science - to enlist the aid of politicians to push their ideas. They probably have done this from what they think is the best of motives. But it is utterly poisonous to the scientific method. Essentially, by pulling in political partners, Hansen et al. have yoked themselves to a professional liar class.

Also, as an ex-professor, I have had the experience of teaching controversial topics to not-entirely-receptive students (e.g., evolution) and the apocalyptic fire-and-brimstone approach of most AGW advocates makes me cringe. IT DOES NOT WORK. I don't know why this is so hard to learn, but (to paraphrase Lincoln) you cannot insult people into agreeing with you.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Then as a biologist, surely you agree that it would be idiocy to begin treating humans with someone that looks A-OK in a computer model of human metabolism.

1. We have better models (actual study subjects).

2. We have many more of them, but only one planet.

So the stakes are, you know, a bit different. You can only make a comparison if you propose to build thousands of earths upon which the conduct the experiment that it's already being subjected to.

Synova said...

Paco... my conclusion is that it's not about "working" it's about being right and being seen to be on the right side and getting to hate those other people.

The world can burn.

Synova said...

Because if it was about *working* then those who supposedly care so much would care about that first.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
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O Ritmo Segundo said...

But it is utterly poisonous to the scientific method.

Paco, that would be fair enough, if that were as far as the case were to go. But Crimso, who even has a professional biochemistry background (if I remember correctly) is already trying to compare the non-controlled conditions to which we're subjecting the planet to a randomized, controlled trial of people, which typically measures in the thousands.

So at what point does one accept that since no viable experimental model that would satisfy everyone to an absolute degree of certainty exists (i.e. multiple earths upon which to subject unfettered carbon exposure), the conservative approach is to assume that it will do what it does in smaller models - i.e. change the temperature?

When in science is there ever a widespread, baseline assumption that introducing an experimental variable will have no outcome at variance with the control model, regardless of whether the observed outcome is the expected one or accords with the correlation being tested?

It seems to me that assuming no change is the riskier approach intellectually, as well as (potentially - if you want to see it that way) in reality.

Paco Wové said...

"When in science is there ever a widespread, baseline assumption that introducing an experimental variable will have no outcome at variance with the control model, regardless of whether the observed outcome is the expected one or accords with the correlation being tested?"

There wouldn't be such an assumption, which is why I said that the hypothesis is "perfectly reasonable and may very well prove to be correct". However, once you get around to testing your hypotheses, you often find that your assumptions about what variables are important, and how they will interact, are incorrect. At this point, we have a lot of data that are so messy they could support mutually exclusive hypotheses.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Then I guess we're just going to have to accept differing responses on what kind of action is reasonable when it comes to hypotheses regarding planetary phenomena and human activity that are, also, "perfectly reasonable".

As far as making something "seem" more controversial or alarmist than you think is warranted, you should understand that AGW is unique in this regard specifically because:

1. It is (or "would be", if you prefer) a planetary phenomenon. No good large scale models are possible for this, yet, very difficult to reverse if true, phenomenon.

2. That planetary phenomenon affects coastlines, where most of our major population centers are located.

My own, third, point would be that this generation would face harsher judgment for doing nothing to prevent a probable harm that it would have exacerbated than for spurring the (likely inevitable, in any event) development and widespread adoption of cleaner energy resources, anyway. Wind and wind-based resources are growing much faster than traditional fossil fuel-based sources (except mebbe "fracking") - I now get 100% of my energy from wind for a cheaper price, and the cost of solar keeps decreasing at a rate that the fossils can't keep up with.

Every large-scale industry was pushed through and blessed with the support of a government or similarly powerful actor so it seems like a disingenuous argument to say that "pure" market forces (if there ever were such a thing) should determine the outcome of our response. And yet, even when it comes to the rate of change of market trends, the adoption of non-carbon based industries seem to be killing their competitors.

Nathan Alexander said...

Let's be scientific about this.

Let's do an experiment.

We need an experiment group, and a control group.

The experiment group can be all those who believe in AGW.

They can immediately stop all carbon energy-based activity.

They can stop driving cars, stop heating their homes, stop watching TV, stop listening to music (except live acoustic music), stop accessing the internet, stop flying places, etc. Basically, they can live like the Amish.

Those who don't believe AGW is a serious issue can continue to go about their lives as normal.

Since there is such a huge consensus of people who are convinced that AGW is a serious threat, then there should be plenty of people to sign up for the experiment group. That should have a huge impact in stopping global warming.

In about 300 years, we can look at all the data.

If the "AGW is a serious problem" crowd is correct, then they will have reduced global warming by the proportion they make up of human population...which should be at least 50%, if the "consensus" arguments are accurate. Then we in the control group can follow suit.

But if global warming does not stop, then we know they are all full of shit.

The best thing is, either we get 300 years of freedom from upper class twits like ritmo, ARM, CBS, NPR, MSNBC, et al, adding falsehoods, inaccuracies, and socio-economic illiteracy to the global information system.

Paco Wové said...

...or...?

Michael said...

Ritmo. You have your own wind power or you buy it from the utility?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

They can stop driving cars, stop heating their homes, stop watching TV, stop listening to music (except live acoustic music), stop accessing the internet, stop flying places, etc. Basically, they can live like the Amish.

Well, Nathan, the needlessly insulting, if presumptuously self-described "non-twit", I do all that without contributing to AGW by getting 100% of my energy through wind, and at a lower cost. That's what a truly free market can do for you; it's what "deregulation" did for me. And I don't live like an Amish, however much I do appreciate being resourceful in general. You should look into it.

I still drive, but not that much and get better mileage than you might care to. That also cuts down on my gasoline expenses and the amount of money in America that props up aggressive tyrants in parts of the world where civilation is scarce (something you can relate to, perchance?), but I'm sure you'll try to find some reason to make me feel like a jerk for that, too.

As for the rest of your dia-screed, I'll ignore it as just another uninformed bit of proud, political junk cluttering up what is otherwise intelligent and civil thread among people who don't necessarily agree on everything. But if your industry is suasion and taking things by force alone, maybe your livelihood depends on not understanding how that works.

Best of luck to you, Sir.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Ritmo. You have your own wind power or you buy it from the utility?

I buy it from the utility. My utility is now the supplier alone and contracts(?) with several generators from which the consumer can now pick. However, I'd be glad to install my own if that option had come by me as conveniently as my current situation did.

I'd be happy to answer anything else you'd like to know about it.

Paco Wové said...

"If it's caused by humans now burning CO2, then perhaps. Likely a combo of yes/no.

At which point we're at the decision branches of what to attempt to do about it.

And it quickly becomes clear that the alarmists don't want to do anything that might actually work."


This is pretty much what I see, also. Most of what I see proposed as "solutions" to the AGW problem seem to be either too small to make a difference, or largely irrelevant to the alleged problem, and more like somebody taking their favorite hobby horse out for a ride.

Maguro said...
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Paco Wové said...

"Support my agenda, or the planet gets it!"

Maguro said...

If you're buying from the utility, it's not 100% wind power, chump. Prolly more like 5-7%.

You have no idea how an electricity grid works, do you?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You have no idea how an electricity grid works, do you?

I know how a generator works, asshole. And for every kWh mark on my meter one kWh came from the generator that I paid to produce that from wind.

Don't be a douchebag.

Michael said...

Ritmo. In the UK onshore wind power is subsidized by the govt at 100% and offshore at 200%. Do you know what the subsidy is here in the US for land based wind power? I tried it on a small scale commercial real estate project in the Caribbean about 20 years ago to supplement solar. Spotty success. Storage was then and is now the problem for both wind and solar.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I do understand that wind is not constant and requires back-up, but that's only a good argument for developing storage forms. The idea of using hydrogen to fuel cars gave root to the idea of using solid hydrides that would be less cumbersome to work with than gas.

But Maguro had a point to make. Oh well.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Do you know what the subsidy is here in the US for land based wind power?

No, but probably less than for coal.

I tried it on a small scale commercial real estate project in the Caribbean about 20 years ago to supplement solar. Spotty success.

I wouldn't be surprised. It's developed quite a bit since then. Even the windmills in California from the 70s or 80s are nothing like the models used nowadays.

Storage was then and is now the problem for both wind and solar.

Yeah, looks like Maguro caught onto that one. Storage mediums will be developed as are the generating units themselves. As I said, hydrides will probably be a good route. There are such things in the world as "batteries", and we will do the same with non-constant renewables. In the meantime, places like Denmark that have surpassed 20% of the grid with it now have the "problem" of excess power being generated than they can use, with the "horrible solution" being that of selling it off to Germany. Doesn't sound like a disaster to me, although as I say, developing better storage mediums will be key and a good industry to invest in as we continue to progress, screaming cries of regression by some notwithstanding.

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