Saturday, May 27, 2017

Arctic warming accelerating

Arctic News: "As ocean warming continues, prospects for the sea ice in the Arctic are grim.

Warmer water is melting the sea ice from below. The image on the right shows ever less sea ice volume in the Arctic, reflecting huge thinning of the sea ice over the years."

Oil glut IS #peakoil

Easy-to-extract oil peaked in 2005. It is now declining at about 6% a year. Hard-to-extract oil is replacing some of the loss, but at a price that is too high for consumers and too low for producers. This is why the price seems to fluctuate out of control.

There is a hot war over one last large reserve of easy oil under Kirkuk, Iraq. More money will eventually be spent on this war than can possibly be recouped in profits -- but profits are just a small part of oil. Oil is blood to modern society. Whoever controls it has tremendous power.

So we are in the impossible situation that money is being borrowed and lavished on getting oil, while the market is in a glut.

You can imagine how threatened the bankers are with all the debt that is in danger of default if they don't get the easy oil, or if recession deepens and demand falls even more.

Here are some of their nightmares.
  • reduced energy demand due to recession
  • free transit (notice how quickly they shut down the idea in Paris)
  • falling birth rates 
  • rebellion (which they call terrorism)
  • default 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Desperate oil troll trying to kill #publictransit

Metro Report: "‘The administration has made it clear that infrastructure investment is important for our country’s economic prosperity’, said Richard White, Acting President & CEO of APTA. ‘This budget proposal to eliminate public transportation infrastructure projects is inconsistent with addressing critical transportation needs and helping America’s economy prosper.’

APTA reports that the proposed infrastructure initiative would make $200bn available over 10 years to attract private-sector match funding worth up to $1tr. Yet there are no details on how that money would be prioritised or allocated, APTA warns.

‘Many of the public transit ballot initiatives that voters approved last year raised local and state dollars that would serve as a match to federal dollars’, explains White. ‘This significant cut in federal funding rejects the voters’ will because those projects were proposed with the expectation that the federal government would be a responsible funding partner.’"

Humans cannot survive 4 degrees rise in global avg temp

Nature Bats Last: "If you’re too busy to read the evidence presented below, here’s the bottom line: On a planet 4 C hotter than baseline, all we can prepare for is human extinction (from Oliver Tickell’s 2008 synthesis in the Guardian). Tickell is taking a conservative approach, considering humans have not been present at 3.3 C or more above baseline (i.e., the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, commonly accepted as 1750). I cannot imagine a scenario involving a rapid rise in global-average temperature and also retention of habitat for humans."

Monday, May 22, 2017

Abrupt #climatechange

Do you feel that we have entered the sharp turn of the exponential curve of warming? That there is no chance of turning back?

Ok. It is likely you are right. Now, what to do.

We should make our last years as painless as possible. Let's go into degrowth by stopping the waste and sharing what is left.

The private auto is probably the best example of waste. Not just because it is an anti-social wasteful consumer product. But because it promotes sprawl and growth. Let's abolish it.

#Heat or #Emissions?

The idea of reducing human carbon emissions is to reduce greenhouse effect and thereby reduce the temperature of the biosphere.

There are two ways to reduce human emissions. Stop producing them, or get energy from non-carbon sources.

The main problem with getting energy from non-carbon sources is that there is nothing about them that curbs growth. And as long as there is growth in human activity, there will be more heat. That heat will release stored natural carbon and generate more emissions, undoing all efforts.

We can address heat directly, and reduce human emissions at the same time by reversing growth, degrowth.

There is some low-hanging fruit for degrowth. The auto and sprawl system is very wasteful. It could be quickly and severely tightened up by abolishing the private auto. Along with this, comprehensive health care and education would accelerate falling birth rates.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Renewables and electric cars will increase carbon emissions

Cars promote sprawl. Sprawl wastes energy. Buildings are spread out. Each one needs separate heating, cooling, lawn-care, parking, sewer lines, roads, etc.

Sprawl is sacred to capitalism because it means growth. Even if that growth is mostly waste, capitalism doesn't care. More cars, more babies, more leaf-blowers... that is the goal.

All this waste. The people crowing about "renewables" are not suggesting ending the waste. They just want more fuel on the fire. To test this statement, ask them if they will openly advocate #freetransit as part of their "keep it in the ground" mantra.

There is nothing inherent to renewables that leads to degrowth. In fact, renewables contain fossil-fuels and depend on the fossil-fuel created system.

So, since renewables do not reduce growth, growth will continue in the new "green economy." Growth generates heat and heat melts clathrates. The carbon emitted from the clathrates will overwhelm any emission reduction from the renewables.

It can be said then, that renewables increase carbon emissions.

Melting soil in cold regions releasing long-held CO2

ScienceAlert: "That's an amount comparable to all the emissions from the US commercial sector in a single year.

The chief reason for the greater CO2 release was that as Alaska has warmed up, emissions from once frozen tundra in winter are increasing - presumably because the ground is not refreezing as quickly.

"The soils are warmer deeper, and as they freeze in the fall, the temperature of every soil depth has to come to zero before they hard freeze," Commane said."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Miles of Ice Collapsing Into the Sea

The New York Times: "A rapid disintegration of Antarctica might, in the worst case, cause the sea to rise so fast that tens of millions of coastal refugees would have to flee inland, potentially straining societies to the breaking point. Climate scientists used to regard that scenario as fit only for Hollywood disaster scripts. But these days, they cannot rule it out with any great confidence."