- #1722371Hero42 June 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm
For a glimpse into the life of a research scientist, let’s see what Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech. has to say on the subject.
As a top-notch atmospheric scientist, evangelical Christian, and adept communicator, Hayhoe offers an unusually well rounded outlook. She’s a frequent spokesperson for building awareness about climate change.
First, Hayhoe personalizes the message by sharing her perspective as a scientist.
One of the most frequent objections I hear is, “you scientists are just in it for the money.”
What many people don’t realize, though, is that most of us could easily have chosen a different field – like astrophysics, where I began my education – where we’d make exactly the same money. Or, we could use our skills in industry, working for a fossil fuel company (I interned at Exxon during my master’s degree and published several papers with Exxon scientists), and earn easily ten times what we do now. If I wanted to make more money, there are a lot of ways smart people with technical skills could do that without putting up with the harassment climate scientists receive every day.
Then she adds the facts: money from research grants isn’t making people rich. It just covers basic costs, sometimes just barely.
None of the research money I receive goes into my personal pocket; instead, it’s used to pay graduate students the princely sum of about $25k per year and around $2,000 a pop to publish our research papers.
Cheers 🙂#1722373Hero42 June 13, 2019 at 1:19 pm
Wonder why some of these climate myths stick around forever, despite their being wrong? That’s because they’re designed with a strong understanding of how human brains hang onto information. These messages offer the precise fodder their intended audience wants to hear (irrespective of whether the information is true or not), and they are “sticky.” That is, they are short, simple, and easy to remember and repeat. Repeatable messages beget even more repeating, and pretty soon the refrain seems so familiar that it must be true.
So let’s follow the money.
Interests opposed to action on climate change have spent nearly $3 billion on disinformation campaigns, plus over $2 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions in just 10 years from 2008 to 2018, according to investigations by InsideClimate News.
That kind of cash buys some well-designed and well-distributed messaging. Clearly some people are making a lot of money disseminating false information.
Cheers 🙂#1722374Hero42 June 13, 2019 at 1:25 pm
Let’s follow the money some more by returning to Katharine Hayhoe.
While some scientists report their research results and leave it at that, others wade directly into the public conversation. Hayhoe has nearly 54,000 Twitter followers, and her Global Weirding video series illustrates key elements of persuasion.
To grapple with the influences of money in climate science, Hayhoe doesn’t shy away from exposing the real financial forces in play – corporate powers that, for decades, have attempted to derail the climate change conversation.
“Let’s look at who really has the most to lose when it comes to weaning ourselves off the old, dirty ways of getting energy.
Take the 10 richest corporations in the world. Eight of them depend partially or even totally on the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels for their bottom line. Yes, 80% of the richest corporations in the world have everything to lose from giving up fossil fuels.
So yes, I absolutely agree: let’s follow the money. I think we can see where it leads!”
Lastly, Hayhoe offers solutions, with a blend of inspiration, optimism, and patriotism.
“But let’s also consider this: we are currently undergoing as big a transition as we did when we went from horse-drawn buggies to the Model T Ford. Globally, renewable energy investment has outstripped fossil fuel investment since 2014. And China and India know this. They’re not investing in fossil fuels. They’re shutting down coal-fired plants and flooding coal mines and covering them in solar panels.
The money of the future IS in green energy. We are being left behind. Did you know that China already leads the world in wind and solar energy production? Are you okay with that?”
One of Hayhoe’s hallmarks is her optimism about clean energy solutions. Paradoxically, concern for a low-carbon economy is what drove fossil fuel interests to cast doubt on the science of climate change in the first place. But as it turns out, most people actually like the idea of clean energy. Few would advocate for a life with more pollution.
“Acknowledge their objection, respect it, answer it, but then turn the conversation to the real issue: solutions,” advises Hayhoe. “As long as we can agree on the solutions, what’s the problem?”
Cheers 🙂#1722375Hero42 June 13, 2019 at 1:47 pm
On the other hand why not look at how what was predicted is happening.
Torrential downpours have flooded huge swaths of the Midwest and the Southeast since last week. Rain over the weekend triggered flash floods in several states, including Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Florida. In some states, more than a month’s worth of rain fell in a day.
In Illinois, flooding this past week has closed roads and bridges. Atlanta broke a single-day rainfall record on Saturday with 4 inches of rain. Nebraska issued a second disaster declaration last week in response to the floods.
But as with the rash of tornadoes we saw in recent weeks, the factors that fueled the heavy rains were brewing months in advance. More extreme rainfall aligns with what scientists expect as the climate changes. And forecasters warned weeks ago that “unprecedented” flooding was on the way.
The cold temperatures this winter, including a polar vortex extending further south as a result of climate change, froze rivers across many parts of the United States and allowed all that snow and ice to persist into the spring. With rains in March and April, ice on rivers created ice jams, effectively creating dams that allowed water levels to rise and overtop banks and levees. This was the key driver behind the spring floods. Even as floodwaters receded, rivers remained swollen as late-season snow continued to thaw into May.
And the rain in recent weeks was anything but typical. Severe thunderstorms cropped up across the United States over the past week, with many spawning destructive and deadly tornadoes. NOAA reported last week that this past May was the second-wettest May on record. It also capped the wettest 12-month span on record.
No individual weather event can be attributed to climate change. However, the recent severe rainfall comports with what scientists expect to happen due to global warming. As average temperatures rise, air can hold on to more moisture. Roughly every degree Celsius of temperature increase allows a parcel of air to hold on to 7 percent more water. That moisture is then released as an increasing amount of precipitation.
The warming the planet has experienced so far is already driving up the likelihood of extreme rainfall events. And as temperatures continue to rise, the odds of heavy rain will continue to increase. The number of one-in-five-year rainfall events is on the rise. And the amount of rain poured out in a once-every-30-years precipitation event is going up too.
London and southern England got a months rain in a day and has suffered massive floods as a result.
In two northern provinces, Golestan and Mazandaran with the former province receiving as much as 70% of annual rainfall in a single day.
Paraguay declared a state of emergency on Wednesday in a province along the border with Argentina as torrential rains continued to swell rivers and cause floods.
Mozambique, Turkey, Indonesia, Canada, South Africa, the list goes on.
And if you think these foods don’t effect us wait until you see the insurance costs go up as insurance is a global industry and disasters overseas effect premiums here.#1722376supergoldMemberMember since: May 9, 2009
Replies: 9017supergold June 13, 2019 at 2:22 pm
About the author of this c&p
MSc, FIEE, FIMechE, FIPENZ, MRSNZ Brian is a consulting engineer specializing in electricity generation and transmission. He is part owner and operator of a small hydro power scheme. He is Chairman of the economics panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.
The Zero Carbon Bill will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Posted on June 9, 2019
By Bryan Leyland
The government claims that the Zero Carbon Bill “…will develop and implement clear and stable climate change policies… under the Paris Agreement to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”
The government also has an expectation that it will reduce New Zealand’s emissions of carbon dioxide and agricultural methane without damaging the economy.
These policies will succeed only if they result in a reduction in global emissions and benefit the economy. In fact they will lead to an increase in global emissions, higher electricity prices and do serious damage to many of our efficient and productive industries. The Green Party, Greenpeace and others are clamouring for more. The poor will suffer most.
We are entitled to expect that the Bill has been drafted by people who have some expertise in climate science and have read the Paris Agreement. Dream on!
If they had read the Paris Agreement they would have come across Article 2 which says “… Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change… in a matter that does not threaten food production”.
The Government’s attack on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions will reduce food production, so, by including agricultural emissions New Zealand is ignoring its obligations under the Agreement. We would do more to reduce worldwide emissions by increasing agricultural production – after all, we are the most efficient in the world.
The Bill also seeks to “reduce net emissions of all other greenhouse gases to zero by 2050. Impossible! Water vapour is the most powerful greenhouse gas and is responsible for 70% to 80% of the greenhouse effect? If it was reduced to zero the earth would become a lifeless desert.
The policy on agricultural emissions does not make sense. There is considerable debate worldwide on whether or not methane is a significant greenhouse gas. Some estimates say that it has about 80 times the effect of the same weight of CO2, NIWA says 25, others say that it is only 6 and some are sure it has no effect. If the effect is small, it is not worth bothering about because methane emissions are much smaller than those of carbon dioxide. A wise government would make sure that all the whole scenario – including the Paris requirement to not reduce agricultural output – was properly analysed.
Over the last six months wholesale electricity prices have nearly doubled because of problems with not enough coal in reserve, gas supply, low lake levels in October and. gas supply constraints. Hedge prices as far ahead as Dec 2022 have increased by about 3 cents so a 10% increase in residential prices seems to be inevitable. This will result in about $1 billion of windfall profits to the generators. All because of a problem in October that would never have occurred if the system had been properly managed.
The ban on future gas and oil exploration has paralysed the industry and is likely to mean that we will have to start importing gas. Increased imports of coal will be needed to make up for the gas shortfall and to keep the lights on in a dry year. Higher gas prices will lead to another major increase in electricity prices. We should aim to produce more gas and store some of it for use in dry years and thus eliminate the burning of coal at Huntly.
The most critical factor in power supply in New Zealand is keeping the lights on in a dry year when hydropower energy generation drops by 10% of total demand. Transpower has already warned of a high risk of dry year shortages. To mitigate the dry year risk Huntly needs to have about 1 million tons of coal on its stockpile as a national insurance policy. This will only happen if Genesis is compensated for the annual cost of maintaining an adequate stockpile.
Increasing the tax on CO2 emissions will further increase the cost of power. Whenever Huntly is burning coal it is likely to jack up the wholesale price that is paid to every generator. Hydro and other generators will then reap windfall profits. Every dollar paid in CO2 tax by Huntly will spawn something like $10 of windfall profits. So the perverse outcome will be that the generators will have a strong financial incentive to make sure that Huntly continues to burn coal.
Wind and solar will do little to mitigate CO2 because they require backup from thermal stations when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The records show that wind power is least during the critical autumn and early winter period and solar power is least in the wintertime. Both increase the risk of blackouts in a dry year.
Expensive policies encouraging and subsidising electric cars are likely to have little effect because the power they need will largely come from extra generation at gas and coal fired stations and battery manufacture results in significant emissions of CO2. Replacing old cars with newer, cleaner and more efficient conventional cars would be cheaper and more effective.
If the government really wanted to reduce emissions from power generation, it would be consider nuclear power generation. Small modular nuclear reactors that are inherently safe and produce cheap and reliable power will soon be available. Worldwide, 170,000 MW of nuclear generation is under construction or proposed. Our geothermal power comes from the nuclear reactor at the centre of the earth so why shouldn’t New Zealand build nuclear stations?
Another options is to seriously consider shutting down tourism because air travel, New Zealand transport and supporting services is responsible for more than 10% of New Zealand’s total emissions.
Bearing in mind the tiny effect New Zealand can have on global emissions and the huge uncertainties surrounding almost every aspect of climate change, any rational government would first make sure that man-made global warming is real and dangerous and, only if it is, adopt policies that would reduce global emissions in a cost effective manner.
 !.5 deg is nonsense. Temperatures have already increased 1 deg. To suggest that another 0.5 deg would bring climatic disaster is ridiculous.
 The embargo on gas exploration rules out the alternative of gas storage at Ahuroa even though it could provide the dry year reserve with lower emissions.
Supergold-Wainuiomata (Wellington)#1722380Hero42 June 13, 2019 at 3:38 pm
An interesting read.
Lets start with the author so we know where he is coming from and if his arguments will be unbiased or not.
He is Chairman of the economics panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.
The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition is a climate change denial organisation based in New Zealand which has the aim of “refuting what it believes are unfounded claims about anthropogenic global warming”.
A little history:
In March 2008, the New Zealand Listener reported that Owen McShane and Bryan Leyland and the Coalition were lobbying business journalists to cover their denial of climate change science in order to create an illusion of greater disagreement over the science than actually exists.
In August 2010, the Coalition commenced legal action against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, asking the High Court to invalidate its official temperature record, to prevent it using the temperature record when advising Government and to require the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research to produce a “full and accurate” temperature record.
In 2012, the High Court declined all claims and ruled that the Coalition pay NIWA’s costs.
In response to the ruling, the Coalition liquidated the trust fund it administered to handle the court case, in an attempt to avoid financial liability.
Following the money:
The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition has been funded by the American Heartland Institute, a conservative/libertarian political think tank and leading organization in the organized climate change denial. The Heartland Institute rejects mainstream scientific information about man-made climate change, has funded New Zealand’s most prominent anti-climate-science groups. In 2007, Heartland granted US$25,000 (NZ$32,000) to the NZ Climate Science Coalition. They also gifted the International Climate Science Coalition US$45,000 (NZ$59,000).
Now the article:
It doesn’t present many facts, mainly opinions.
True the NZ agriculture industry is one of the most efficient in the world, although not necessarily the most efficient. The reason they are in that position is because they had to innovate when their subsidies were vastly reduced back in the 80s.
They have continued to innovate since then and it would be foolish to think they won’t continue to innovate with the changes facing the industry. These are climate change which is effecting productivity, law changes requiring net reduction of greenhouse gases and the approaching challenge of the bio tech industry.
Power prices, yes the spot prices went up but they have gone down again, something he chooses to ignore as it would damage his argument.
He ignores the largest generating power in NZ which is hydro and focuses on thermal.
Then he advocates for nuclear power which is the more expensive again. The cost is mainly in the construction costs which would be higher in NZ due to earthquake strengthening and construction takes about 8 years.
It is hard to estimate the construction cost because of the added complexities of NZ but a recent construction in Georgia was $14B. Combine that with an already stretched construction industry, a strong case of NIMBY and that is a non starter.
He is incorrect in stating that our geothermal power comes from the nuclear reactor at the centre of the earth as there is no nuclear reactor at the centre of the earth. The evidence actually says all the earth’s heating takes place in the mantle and crust, not the core.
Which makes you wonder if his knowledge is up to date and applicable to what he is discussing.
As for his assertion that another 0.5 degrees is negligible is ignoring the tipping point problem when climate change will start to accelerate once a certain point is reached and we will be unable to do anything about it.
Cheers 🙂#1722384Hero42 June 13, 2019 at 3:48 pm
This will be a bigger risk to NZ agriculture:
Scary things are coming down the road for New Zealand’s food industry. Like Glyph “molecular” whiskey.
Take his example of Glyph whiskey, synthesised by San Francisco start-up, Endless West. Its approach is shockingly simple.
Last year it used the latest tech to pull apart a fine malt at the molecular level, then found matching sugars, esters and acids to reconstruct it, note for note, when mixed with pure grain alcohol in the laboratory.
“They analysed in extensive detail 30-year-old sherry barrel-aged whiskey which sells for US$2000 to US$3000 a bottle. And overnight, they can make a 30-year-old sherry barrel-aged whiskey that they can sell for 50 bucks a bottle.”
Glyph is now on sale. And McCauley says the worst people are saying about the replica is it is “surprisingly good”.
Apply that to lab grown beef and lamb tasting as good as our natural beef and lamb but selling at a fraction of the price.
Our farmers are going to have to be innovative and adapt to the world markets as that comes on stream, which will start with market resistance and higher costs but will change as people accept the taste and like the falling prices.
Cheers 🙂#1722681Hero42 June 17, 2019 at 1:37 pm
More bad news on ice melt.
Check the graphs in the report to see how much ice the arctic is losing this year.
Greenland’s annual ice melt has started much earlier and faster than in previous years, with temperatures around 20C warmer than usual for mid-June.
Two billion tonnes of ice were lost in a single day, the Danish Meteorological Institute said, with melting taking place across almost half the world’s biggest island.
Real-time data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center shows the extent of the melting was relatively normal up until the start of June, but has quickly reached near-unprecedented levels.
Ice across the Arctic as a whole is also heading in the wrong direction, set for its lowest level since satellite monitoring began in 1979.
With less ice in the Arctic and Greenland’s snow turning to liquid, the continent’s ability to reflect heat back into space is weakened, University of Georgia climate researcher Thomas Mote told CNN. This means the rate of melting is likely to speed up as the northern hemisphere summer kicks in.
So much for the claims that the arctic was gaining ice.#1722855Hero42 June 19, 2019 at 1:02 pm
Here is story on why science never stops and is always looking for more facts to improve our understanding of how the world works.
Boaty’s investigations can now confirm that turbulence is causing warm water at mid-depths to mix down and raise the temperature of the colder, denser water running along the ocean floor.
This helps explain the anomaly that one would think warm water would rise and not mix with the colder deeper waters.
The turbulence comes in part from these changing winds acting on the surface of the ocean, but also from the interaction of the currents as they run across rugged topography of the seafloor.
Boaty’s insights are important because they can now be used to fine-tune the models that describe the climate system and how it may change in the future.
Southampton’s University’s Prof Alberto Naveira Garabato, who led the project, said: “Our study is an important step in understanding how the climate change happening in remote and inhospitable Antarctic waters will impact the warming of the oceans and future sea-level rise.”
Cheers 🙂#1723105mommabear70MemberMember since: February 20, 2017
Replies: 1963mommabear70 June 21, 2019 at 10:29 pm
Have been reading an interesting piece written by someone in regards to the striking students demanding the end of all fossil fuels use.
It’s quite amazing how much plastic (oil) is in things like solar panels.
And who’d have known that to get electricity to your living room requires quite a lot of oil.
The piece is very detailed and from what I’ve read so far, the next generation will be living in like a back to the future style of living in caves, scrounging for scraps of edible plants.
It looks like an excellent way of reducing this planet’s over-population of humans.
The writer obviously has a good sense of humour “The next generation of cave dwellers might discover oil and through that, advance themselves to live longer than an average 25 years.”
Teachers showed that striking for long enough paid off in the end.
Now students should do the same and lay on their couches watching tv and txting for as long as it takes for their demands to be met and the electricity to be switched off for ever.
Let’s do it.
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