by Judith Curry
A few things that caught my eye this past week.
While I have been critical of Muller’s recent op-ed and attribution arguments, here are two interviews that remind me of why I like Muller:
Barry Woods has transcribed Muller’s interview with the Progressive Radio Network. Muller speaks his mind about climategate, Al Gore, Bill McKibben etc., he doesn’t hold any punches. This is definitely worth reading for entertainment value. I appreciate that Barry Woods has transcribed this, since it is much quicker to read than to listen to.
That said, this youtube interview with Muller is superb. It is one hour long – I would rarely last this long listening to an interview, but he held my attention the entire time. In the first half, Muller discusses his approach to science and how he came to critique of the hockey stick. In the second half he discusses energy issues, and he is clearly very knowledgeable. This is highly recommended.
As a follow up to blogospheric critiques of their recent paper re volcanic forcing, Rohde, Mosher and Zeke have a post at the Blackboard entitled Volcanoes and Their Climate Response.
Department of unintended consequences
This one is painful. The NYTimes has an article entitled Profits on carbon credits drives output of a harmful gas. Excerpts:
But where the United Nations envisioned environmental reform, some manufacturers of gases used in air-conditioning and refrigeration saw a lucrative business opportunity.
They quickly figured out that they could earn one carbon credit by eliminating one ton of carbon dioxide, but could earn more than 11,000 credits by simply destroying a ton of an obscure waste gas normally released in the manufacturing of a widely used coolant gas. That is because that byproduct has a huge global warming effect. The credits could be sold on international markets, earning tens of millions of dollars a year.
So since 2005 the 19 plants receiving the waste gas payments have profited handsomely from an unlikely business: churning out more harmful coolant gas so they can be paid to destroy its waste byproduct. The high output keeps the prices of the coolant gas irresistibly low, discouraging air-conditioning companies from switching to less-damaging alternative gases. That means, critics say, that United Nations subsidies intended to improve the environment are instead creating their own damage.
The Fleetowner blog has an article titled Dams not diesel now in climate change crosshairs. Excerpts:
In a story published on the WSU website and now getting wide distribution Deemer said she measured dissolved gases in the water column of Lacamas Lake in Clark County and found that methane emissions – a substance 25 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere – jumped 20-fold when the water level was drawn down.
A fellow WSU-Vancouver student, Maria Glavin, went on to sample bubbles rising from the lake mud and measured a 36-fold increase in methane during a “draw down,” which is when water is taken out of the reservoir by the local municipality to supply fluid for drinking, washing clothes, fire suppression, etc.
Deemer went on to say that while dams and the water behind them cover only a small portion of the earth’s surface, they harbor “biological activity” that can produce large amounts of greenhouse gases.
“Reservoirs have typically been looked at as a green energy source,” Deemer told WSU science writer Eric Sorenson. “But their role in greenhouse gas emissions has been overlooked.”
At Huffington Post Green: “Cattle are being bred with genes from their African cousins who are accustomed to hot weather. New corn varieties are emerging with larger roots for gathering water in a drought. Someday, the plants may even be able to “resurrect” themselves after a long dry spell, recovering quickly when rain returns.”
This is an article you won’t want to miss: Climate Activism With Tattoos. Excerpts:
Social responsibility doesn’t usually jive with a macho image and Edwin Stafford and Cathy Hartman argue here that climate communication needs to be more macho if it is to reach new audiences.
In my part of the world, tattooed Rugby League players are the epitome of macho.
With his ever-accurate social radar, Bill Clinton put his finger on it recently when he said -
The more people with visible tattoos who advocate for clean energy, the more success it will have in Washington. You win the tattooed vote and we’ll have the damnedest environmental policy anybody ever saw.
And finally, check out Josh’s latest cartoon Climate Olympics.