Eco – (post) modernism

by Judith Curry

Can we have a good, even great, anthropocene?

I’ve been planning a post on the Breakthrough Institute’s An Ecomodernist Manifesto,  Their main point is that   “knowledge and technology, applied with wisdom, might allow for a good, or even great, Anthropocene.”  The main principle is to work towards decoupling humankind’s material needs from nature.

The Manifesto has been widely discussed and critiqued, see some responses [here].  The Breakthrough Institute held their annual Breakthrough Dialogue last month on The Good Anthropocene.  I was invited to attend, but unfortunately the timing conflicted with my UK trip.  Relevant essays are in the current issue of Breakthrough Journal.

For some context, I’ve written a previous post Pondering the Anthropocene. A recent post by Andy Revkin (who attended last month’s Breakthrough Dialogue)   Varied views: dark, light and in between of Earth’s anthropocene age provides a convenient spring board for my post. Revkin’s post discusses a panel at the Breakthrough Dialogue with:

The focus of my post is Revkin’s summary of the perspective of Christian Schwägerl, a Berlin-based science journalist and author of “The Anthropocene: The Human Era and How It Shapes Our Planet.” Excerpts:

Apocalyptic and misanthropic environmental narratives, as Clive Hamilton represents them, have had an important role in stirring up the public. But they have also contributed to widespread resignation and cynicism. So far, they have fallen short of mobilizing enough people to bring about real political change. Constant warnings about an imminent ecological doomsday might turn out to be counterproductive as they encourage short-term thinking and an eleventh-hour panic. If I knew that the world would end tomorrow, would I really plant an apple tree? I, for one, would prefer to eat apple cake.

Defining the Anthropocene as “not good” discourages the development of concrete and attractive alternatives to the rampant destruction caused by the currently dominant economic ideology which is blind to the multi-dimensional values of nature.

Strangely, doomsday environmentalism and destructive capitalism have a couple of things in common: for one, a certain future-blindness. Capitalism devalues all future life with its emphasis on quarterly earnings. Likewise, certain environmentalists don’t think beyond a self-chosen threshold of predicted global self-destruction — be it a year, say, 2050 or a number like 2 (degrees Celsius of warming). Secondly, what current capitalism and doomsday environmentalists share is a tendency to frame nature and resources as scarce, when they aren’t. This raises prices for commodities and helps draw attention to scary eco-headlines, but it stops us from developing a really intimate relationship with the circular, networked and plentiful nature of living nature.

Framing nature as scarce and as doomed due to the existence of humans makes it hard for hundreds of millions of people in the younger generation to connect with the living world in a healthy and positive way and to experience its abundance and richness.

Ultimately what is needed are not more scenarios of Anthropocene Apocalypse but more ideas of how a “good Anthropocene” might emerge with the help of new societal values, new economic rules, landmark political decisions, individual behavior changes and, yes, new technologies.

But does this mean that the “Ecomodernist Manifesto” is a particularly convincing articulation of a good Anthropocene? Not at all. The Breakthrough Institute essay is full of outdated ideas that have actually contributed to the very problems we are faced with today. The manifesto’s central idea of “conscious decoupling” from nature by technological solutions independent from surrounding ecosystems is what has brought us over-industrialized agriculture with zero regard for the planet and the people around it. What is needed in the Anthropocene, in my view, is the opposite: “conscious coupling” – a re-integration of human civilization into the fabric of life.

True, the idea of “conscious decoupling” is deeply rooted in the environmental movement, as Michael Shellenberger from the Breakthrough Institute claims. As early as the 1970s, “deep ecologist” Paul Shephard, developed the misanthropic notion that the whole of humanity should be ghettoized in cities, giving the rest of the planet over to a nature devoid of humans.  Is this the ultimate goal of the Ecomodernist manifesto?

Another flaw in the manifesto is the way it mischaracterizes renewable energies and presses for building new nuclear power plants. While disguising itself as ecological, the manifesto tries to hijack the Anthropocene idea for the benefit of very centralized power structures like big ag and the nuclear industry. Finally, ending the manifesto with the vision of a “great” Anthropocene really is making nonsense of this precious idea. What is needed is less, not more hubris and boastfulness in the face of daunting problems.*

Taken together, the manifesto is “modernist” only in the sense of a 20th century modernism that saw the American Way of Life as the ultimate solution to everything. This type of modernity died conceptually some time ago but keeps producing zombie landscapes and zombie economic practices around the planet.

There’s a desperate need for eco-postmodernist strategies that reconnect our ways of life with Earth and help to turn consumerist materialism into what political scientist Jane Bennett has called “vital materialism” or what Pope Francis has described as an intimate connection with all beings alive in his recent encyclical “Laudato Si”. Moving beyond anthropocentrism is a central challenge. An anthropocentric Anthropocene would be short, ugly and, in the words of E.O. Wilson, lonely.

In my book and in a talk I gave at the Royal Institution in London in March this year, I explore a “good Anthropocene” ­based on conscious coupling, a renewable economy, bioadaptive technologies, decentralized power systems and a biocultural transformation.

There shouldn’t be only one “good Anthropocene”, however. The idea of a world with a homogenous eco-friendly lifestyle, a green version of Silicon Valley’s totalitarian Singularity ideology, is also a bit scary. What we need are millions of diverse and competing attempts to work towards good Anthropocene practices – and constant reminders that, at the moment, what we are heading for – because of a lack of deep economic, political, societal and technological changes – indeed appears to be some form of “dark Anthropocene.”

An interesting critique of ecomodernism (cited by Revkin) is also provided by Dave Ropeik in this article: A good, even great anthropocene?  Not if it depends on wisdom overcoming instinct.

JC reflections

I found the Ecomodernism Manifesto to be a refreshing antidote to the eco-alarmist perspective that wants to somehow get rid of 6 billion people, capitalism, etc.  And I also think that it is important to have a wide ranging discussion of these broad issues.

That said, my own perspective is closer to Schwägerl’s.  I am concerned by the over centralized approach promoted by ecomodernism.  I agree with Shwagerl that we need millions of diverse and competing attempts to work towards good Anthropocene practices.  Centralized approaches don’t work very well, viz. the UNFCCC treaties.  They don’t work because it is difficult to get international or even national agreement, and because there are no silver bullet solutions to wicked problems of global energy, food, water, environment, population (silver buckshot approach is preferred).

And the idea of ‘conscious coupling’ with nature speaks to me more so than the ideal of ‘conscious decoupling’ from nature – this is the one part of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si that I resonated with.

It seems to me that the workable/desired approaches will vary with geography/climate, natural resources, population, human development index and culture.  Much of the world lives a subsistence lifestyle that depends on rainfed agriculture.  In the rapidly developing world, there is a migration to cities, where economic opportunities abound.  However in the most developed parts of the world, there is a thread of yearning to connect more closely with nature, through locally sourced organic/pastured food.  Further, solar power is enabling people to live off the grid.  My niece Kelly, who recently graduated from college, is managing an organic goat farm and living off the grid (solar, well water), apart from when she leaves the farm.

My personal desire is to leave the city and live a life that is more connected to nature.  Whether or not this is ‘rational’ in context of planetary health, I don’t know.

 

 

528 responses to “Eco – (post) modernism

  1. Good to see you commenting on Pope Francis’ encyclical. Science and technology can be helpful, but nothing short of a “cultural revolution” can mitigate the complex issues of social an ecological injustice. See # 202 and 203. A “new order” of things is required!

  2. I can’t agree with Schwägerl’s assertion that the Western political and economic systems have failed us.

    In a free-market economy, the most important test of an idea is how well it competes with others. Blackberry vs Nokia vs Apple vs Samsung for example.

    Various economic and political systems compete with each other too and up to now, welfare capitalism is leaving the others for dead.

    A better political and economic system won’t be found by returning to one of the failed ideas. Fine-tuning isn’t going to help. Only a completely new system has any chance of success.

    • The whole thing stinks of dialectic materialism. There is a history of Marxists disputing findings of the natural sciences and laws of economics because they are inconvenient to Marxist thought, rather than adapting Marxism to the realities uncovered by the advancement of science. Marxism is a little like the Catholic Church in this regard.

      Ideas such as ” Shlovskii’s remarks to the effect that dialectical materialism requires there to be life on every planet.”

      • “Only a completely new system has any chance of success.” It is not new.
        Fascism, perhaps?
        Goldberg, Jonah. Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Change. 1st paperback ed. New York: Broadway Books, 2009.

      • Or perhaps a revival of this:
        Ehrlich, Paul R. The Population Bomb. Reprint edition. Cutchogue, N.Y.: Buccaneer Books, 1995

      • russellseitz

        Life on every planet? Does that evolutionary contingency make Giordano Bruno a Marxist, or Fred Hoyle a dialectical materialist ?

        Get. real.

  3. Pingback: Eco – (post) modernism | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  4. I find it really difficult to accept the parallels drawn between doomsday environmentalism and capitalism. eg. “what current capitalism and doomsday environmentalists share is a tendency to frame nature and resources as scarce, when they aren’t.” and “over-industrialized agriculture with zero regard for the planet and the people around it”.

    Note : They started with “destructive capitalism” but quickly switched to “current capitalism” as above.

    The overfishing of the oceans is an example of a finite resource being treated as unlimited – the opposite of the first statement (resources as scarce, when they aren’t”. The 20thC progress of agriculture, in which more and more food has been produced per acre and total food production has kept pace with population, is the opposite of “zero regard for the planet and the people around it.

    The reality is that it is primarily capitalism that has been able to look ahead – the opposite of what is claimed – and it has done it by driving research into things which will improve people’s standard of living. As living standards have improved dramatically in advanced nations, so have education, health and life expectancy increased and birth rate has declined. If ever you wanted to see a bright future for humanity and for people pressure to ease, that is where you would look.

    Obviously there have been other important factors. Democracy and good governance have clearly been crucial, and part of that is for capitalism to be subject to some controls. Bring those into the poorer parts of the planet (a lot easier said than done) and see the people lift out of poverty and the population stabilise. China is an interesting on-going experiment : improved governance [cf Mao, eg.] and capitalism are lifting vast numbers of people out of poverty very quickly. So far, they have been able to do it without democracy. The interesting question is how much further they can get without democracy.

    • I’m not so sure how important democracy is, democracy is mostly a way to slow goverment down growth and overreach from happening too fast.

      • Can you name one alternative that is better?

      • The real power of democracy isn’t the people putting in their chosen government, it’s that the people can throw them out.

      • “Can you name one alternative that is better?”

        The correct answer depends on where the particular society is in its development. Democracy can be less efficient if the goal is to modernize a society.

      • catweazle666

        fulltimetumbleweed/tumbleweedstumbling “Can you name one alternative that is better?”

        Depends on the culture, doesn’t it?

        Take the examples of Libya and Syria that are suffering from the much-vaunted “Arab Spring”, for example.

        It seems it takes a fairly mature culture to understand the difference between democracy and mob rule, for a start.

      • Nope, the reason Democracy works is because the losers are left alive.

      • “Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

      • Right, there are cultural aspects and structural aspects that allow democracy to be a disaster. Most of all are checks and balances. Democracy is a major aspect of our government, but there were major design elements that kept from being a disaster. The three branches, the representative republican structure which allowed democratic accountability but left the details to known knowledgeable people (voting for expert decision makers rather that specific policy).

      • Right, there are cultural aspects and structural aspects that allow democracy to not be a disaster.

      • Those “major design elements” to representative democracy define it as a constitutional republic.

      • Verdeviewer,

        “Those “major design elements” to representative democracy define it as a constitutional republic.”

        If you can keep it…

      • I fear a globalized version of Machiavelli’s Italy is already in place. Our Prez is a Prince.

    • Peak cropland, peak farming, forest transition and nature rebound are already spreading across the globe, despite the Enviro’s best efforts to stop it. Jesse Ausubel presents the evidence here –
      http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/journal/issue-5/the-return-of-nature
      One wonders if the Ecomodernists with their “Good Anthropocence” are just really trying to drag the rest of the Enviros up to catch-up-speed with what is happening, without them/in spite of them, now in the 21stC?

      • Peaking arable land is happening globally because there isn’t any more. The oft cited New England reforestation is because it was not good farmland in the beginning-too rocky, too steep. Gander Brazil’s Matto Grosso or Indonesia palm plantations for a better idea of what is actually going on. And except for maize (GMO in the Americas, drought resistant CIMMYT strains in Africa), most crop intensification stopped around the turn of the century. Wheat in the developing world. Potatoes in China (#1 producer) and India (#2). Rice in best practices Japan and China. Pulses in India (its main protein source). Sorghum in Africa a staple grain in the Sahel). Alfalfa in the US. Taro in SE Asia. All the data is buried in FAOSTAT to be dug out. Arable land, arable land/capita, irrigated land, yields by crop by country.
        Google the NASA images of the Haiti/Costa Rica border for Earth rebound. NOT. Or Sao Paulo sprawl. Data do not support the enviro warm fuzzies.

      • Rud, the border you are talking about is between Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola. See http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a002600/a002640/

    • “I find it really difficult to accept the parallels drawn between doomsday environmentalism and capitalism”

      Yup.

      Doomsday environmentalism seeks to reduce human impact by centralized control and impoverishment. Capitalism seeks to reduce the human impact by reducing the human impact.

      In theory both accomplish the same goal but under capitalism people are happier (except for the doomsday environmentalists).

    • Mob Rule? That is why the U.S. is framed as a Republic, not a Democracy.

    • Capitalism, like the Universe is indifferent. Unlike the Universe, capitalism can be altered by the laws of man.

      Democracy is meaningless without a super-majority requirement to make changes to it’s freedom-based republican foundation.

    • Mike,
      Agreed. They’re blaming Capitalism for human tendencies not to look beyond their current needs. When there were very few humans on the planet, they were nomads who moved on as local resources were depleted. However, humans develop a conservative mentality with experience. So longer lives will mitigate the youthful excesses.

      • @anng: However, humans develop a conservative mentality with experience.

        Experience can be used to argue either way.

        The further back your experience goes, the more you are inclined to rely on what you’ve learned on average from that experience. So a thousand years of experience equips you to emulate what your ancestors 500 years ago used to do. That makes you a conservative.

        But more experience equips you with more ability to turn on a dime to respond to change. That makes you a progressive.

        Whatever it is that separates conservatives from progressives, it’s not experience.

      • Vaughan,

        I meant that with age, people try not to destroy whatever’s been built and have the experience to be able to prevent destroying it. Older folk would normally rather preserve something than destroy it in order to innovate. On the other hand, they will have learnt that you need to change and move forwards in order not to lose everything.

        Sometimes I hate words that are used as political sound-bites. Here in UK, the Labour Party used to use the word Progressive all the time and I could never resist saying ‘Like a progressive disease’. Meanwhile, US, UK and Australian Conservatives seem to be completely different.

    • Plato (428 BC to 347 BC) on democracy:

      He theorized a natural cycle of political evolution: monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, dictatorship.

      The reasons: Democrats …. ” rejected temperance as unmanly, insolence they term breeding, anarchy is liberty, waste is magnificence, impudence is courage…

      The father descends to the level of his sons and fears them, the son has no shame or fear of the father.. the teacher fears and flatters his scholars, and the scholars despise their masters and tutors….. the old do not want to be thought as morose, and therefore imitate the young…. nor must I forget to tell you of the liberty and equality of the sexes….

      The citizens chafe impatiently at the least touch of authority, and cease to care for the laws, written and unwritten.

      The excessive increase of everything causes a reaction in the opposite direction … dictatorship arises out of democracy: the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery arises out of the most extreme form of liberty..”

      The Lessons of History – Will and Ariel Durant.

  5. “Apocalyptic and misanthropic environmental narratives, as Clive Hamilton represents them, have had an important role in stirring up the public. But they have also contributed to widespread resignation and cynicism.”

    That’s the heart of the problem. The daily bombardment of doomsday warnings leaves people feeling helpless, with the natural result of ignoring all warnings. Worse, to cut through the noise scientists’ press releases become ever more shrill, with less context.

    How many have we had this month? The over-the-top New Yorker about the doomed NW USA: “The Really Big One. An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one

    And this from U of GA:

    “Continued destruction of Earth’s plant life places humans in jeopardy – Unless humans slow the destruction of Earth’s declining supply of plant life, civilization like it is now may become completely unsustainable, according to a new article {in PNAS}.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150714160923.htm#

    There are risk control tools to help us put our risks in a useful operational context (esp shockwaves: low probability, high impact scenarios), but nothing will happen so long as the stage is dominated by special interest groups touting their own disease-disaster-conflict. It’s a competition where we’re all the losers.

    • You forgot the one about frogs becoming smaller.

      Not worth living in a world with small frogs.

      At some point the effort needed to get a full meal from ever shrinking frog legs becomes more than it is worth.

      • Fabius,

        I do not mean to be sarcastic.

        Well, I do, but not toward your point, which I agree with completely.

    • Editor

      One of these days it would be interesting to have a thread here whereby denizens could list their top ten concerns as regards the threats they perceive as being of greatest concern to the continued stability of the earth and the well being of its population

      Personally, agw would not be in my personal top ten of concerns. I think it takes up way too much of our time and money.

      Tonyb

      • ClimateReason,

        That is a brilliant idea. There are polls asking the public to rank their concerns from a list, but I’ve seen nothing open-ended.

        The key to success would be fencing it off from vandals and trolls.

      • Editor, do it at your site. I will contribute long, extensively referenced citations.

      • Ristvan,

        OK, you’re on. It’s going up at 5am EST tomorrow (Thursday). Your comments are appreciated, even if not long and extensively referenced!

      • +1 Tonyb. Climate change is a fact of life on this planet and something that communities need to adapt and plan for but it doesn’t warrant the special attention that it is getting from western governments.

      • 1. Peak debt/unfunded pension obligations (believe that’s a hot topic on your side of the pond now too!)
        2. Economic growth.
        3. Stemming the expansion of violent extremism (which I believe can be accomplished mostly non-violently).
        4. Meeting the challenge of ushering developing nations into 21st century market economies (which is a tremendous opportunity, shame an entire political movement wants to do it with 18th century energy options when green 21st century options are available).
        5. A global initiative to shame, challenge and replace corrupt government- (no more babbling about how climate change “contributed” to the disaster we all watched the latest tin-pot dictator create)
        6. Rapid, global expansion of education opportunities (go Internet!) The only reason this is down at 6 is because you can’t actually do this and the next four without #5 and you can’t do number 5 if you aren’t economically and politically strong)
        7. Prioritizing safe drinking water and sanitation globally,
        8. Sharing agricultural advancements and best practices
        9. Eradication of disease (which, I believe, along with #5 leads to family planning).
        10. Robust agreement on global nuclear non-proliferation.

        If I had to prioritize environmental issues- Ocean fisheries, particulate air pollution, water pollution and siltation. We know how to “solve” CO2 emissions, we’re just waiting for the left to accept it.

        If i had to prioritize science research- 1. antibiotics and infectious diseases 2. genetics 3. computer sciences and robotics 4 nuclear R&D

      • Tonyb,

        “Personally, agw would not be in my personal top ten of concerns. I think it takes up way too much of our time and money.”

        I totally agree. But then, I ask myself often why I bother logging into this blog several times a day. I guess being retired I have enough time to waste some. Money, enough but not so much.

      • David Wojick

        Tony, to my knowledge there are presently no threats to the “continued stability of the earth and the well being of its population,” nor have there ever been such. Some people find this to be a problem, but think about what you are asking.

      • ClimateReason,

        Here it is: The first step to protecting the world from its many dangers

        The daily news bombards us with stories about severe risks to us and the world. Countless well-meaning special interest groups publish incendiary stories, which journalists uncritically repeat. We can’t afford to prevent or mitigate them all, so we do little or nothing. Here’s a first step to rational action: list and describe each to see the big picture. Let’s start today! List your top fears in the comments, ranked high to low.

        Ristvan: I look forward to seeing your list!

        Jeffnsails850: Your list is the posted as the first comment!

      • Pooh, Dixie

        #1: Totalitarian Progressivism.

      • Jeff,

        Your #5 – 5. A global initiative to shame, challenge and replace corrupt government-

        Will never work. Mao had it right when he said power eminates from the barrel of a gun. For that matter George Washington recognized the same …

        “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. ”
        George Washington

        A corrupt government does not get replaced until someone replaces it by force. If shame worked on these people, they wouldn’t be corrupt
        in the first place.

    • The agricultural trick is to produce more and more using less and less. For example:
      Sykes, Frank. Humus and the Farmer. London: Faber and Faber limited, 1946

      • Dixie,

        I agree. Despite the resistance, genetically modified crops seem likely to begin a new “green revolution”. And beyond that in the future I believe lie new technology that will make our current agricultural practices seem as primitive as scattering seeds by hand on the ground.

        This might be “just in time” tech, since our current practices are fast playing out. Exhaustion of ground water around the world. Contamination of soil in southern China from misuse of fertilizer and poor irrigation methods. Etc.

  6. Matt Ridley’s most telling point was this:

    “The Ecomodernist Manifesto promises a much needed reformation in the green movement. Its 95 theses should be nailed to the door of the Vatican when the pope’s green-tinged encyclical comes out next month, because unlike the typical eco-wail, it contains good news for the poor. It says: no, we are not going to stop you getting rich and adopting new technologies and leaving behind the misery of cooking over wood fires in smoky huts with no artificial light. No, we do not want you to stay as subsistence farmers. Indeed, the quicker we can get you into a city apartment with a car, a phone, a fridge and a laptop, the better. Because then you won’t be taking wood and bushmeat from the forest.”

    And Mark Lynas addressed the Encyclical position:

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/ecomodernist-critiques-the-encyclical/

    These folks are saying we can use fossil fuels in a way that benefits both humans and nature, and in fact, if we don’t do so, our civilization is not sustainable. Using fossil fuels is good for people and the planet and is the only sustainable way forward.

  7. Consider also a time traveller. If he went back to 1900 when it was 1C cooler than now, what differences would he see in terms of climate compared to now? Knowing the future, would he opt to forego all the innovations of the 20th Century and still live like people did in 1900 in order to prevent 1C of climate increase. (I’m sure he’d notice that the World Wars were much more destructive, yet recovered from in about 20 years). Now put the time-traveller at today, looking forwards and thinking about how the environment has changed 1900-2015, what additional eco-changes should we expect to see from the next 1C (is there anything special about the next 1C compared to the last?)? Do we want to forego the next 70-80 years of development.

    The statement “Capitalism devalues all future life with its emphasis on quarterly earnings.” is also not true. Capitalists make great investments such as railways, building great boats or factories or great buildings – their aim is to satisfy a human need. They can go too far – corporatism seeking monopoly positions, sometimes helped by governments and regulations (it’s so much easier to sell to a single government buyer). Without consumers though capitalists are nothing.

    You also might consider that living in a city is less resource demanding than living in the country where the services you need are more scattered. The Marie-Antoinette dream is expensive unless you actually work the land.

    • Looking at the big picture is important.

      • Rob,
        By the way I left you a link about B612 asteroid testimony to Congress in 2013 by Dr Ed Lu, former astronaut. It details some of the satellite tracks and the $450 M estimate.

        I enjoy your discussions in general and am ok with letting it drop about this.

        I thought asteroids impacts are a way more realistic C problem than CAGW. With the new El Nino we have to brace for a slew on November hype. Should be more rain in CA but temps go higher.
        Scott

      • Scott- I did look at your other link. It stated that they plan on 1 satellite and hope to have the ability to detect 90% of the objects above a certain size (140 meters I think).

        Their goal is inadequate if the objective is to protect the planet. I doubt that even 1 satellite can be fielded for $480M. They will probably need more for adequate coverage. I do not wish to minimize that it is a good goal. They just can’t accomplish it for that amount.

      • I thought asteroids impacts are a way more realistic C problem than CAGW.

        I thought terrorists detonating a nuclear device in a major city before 2065 is a way more realistic problem than a major asteroid impact in that time frame.

      • Fastest asteroid impact on record was 28.6 kps.

        Earth is about 150 million km from the sun. Any asteroid trying to impact earth has an orbital period of a year or more. A ball of twine sky survey will find things.

        An asteroid has a 3-6 year period – comets have up to hundreds of years.

        NEOSATcost $12 million.
        MOST (known as the “Humble Space Telescope”) the NEOSAT predecessor cost $6 million
        WISE which was supposed to find alien planets cost $300 million. It was used for NEO search when it ran out of coolant.
        Anything more expensive than WISE is overkill.

        It isn’t rocket science (well it isn’t all rocket science). If you do a progressive exposure regime flips between successive frames find the objects.

      • The old song “It Never Rains in Southern California”, by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazleood, came out in 1972, long before Global Warming was even a gleam in Al Gore’s eyes, and is a generally true observation during the summer. Yet a Red Sox- LA/Anaheim Angels game was postponed last week, the first rain postponement in Anaheim in 20 years. Clearly a sign of the End Times! ;-)

    • The capitalist survives by providing humanity with goods and services that people want to have and will voluntarily purchase in an arms-length transaction. Being a capitalist is essentially being willing to invest your own time and energy in the hope of enriching the lives of others.

      • “The capitalist survives by providing humanity with goods and services that people want to have and will voluntarily purchase in an arms-length transaction.”
        +1

      • The capitalist survives because it is an efficient means for humanity to exchange goods and services. Capitalism thrives because of human nature.

      • …or, does the capitalist survive despite human nature and as such, represents a far less predatory “decoupling humanity’s material needs from nature,” than the approach we generally ever see taken in the animal or the political worlds?

      • “Capitalism” is a pejorative word to much of the progressive left. However, there is a Constitutional right to associate with others to earn a living at their own risk (business). “The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes.”

        Anonymous. “First Amendment | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia | LII / Legal Information Institute.” Legal. Legal Information Institute, n/d. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment

      • gjw2 | July 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm |
        “The capitalist survives by providing humanity with goods and services that people want to have and will voluntarily purchase in an arms-length transaction.”
        +1

        The socialist progressive survives by providing humanity with goods and services that the people don’t want and wouldn’t voluntarily purchase (particularly at the asking price) in a “hands in your pockets” transaction.

        Of course there is a bit of deception and coercion involved.

      • All capitalist societies include socialistic elements, some to a very high degree, so socialism is also human nature.

  8. Shorter Christian Schwägerl: “How can we reframe environmentalism to dilude yuppies into delaying the obviously needed nuclear reforms which they are coming around to, which will prevent serious sufferering and allow humanity to continue to develop and grow?”

    • Yuppies, trust fund babies, the generally sheltered and dillusional, etc.

      • Who think wilderness is their local city park.

      • And whose views on the natural world are shaped by Walt Disney.

        Which just now reminds me of the video short “Bambi meets Godzilla”

      • I wrote a children’s book about a boy who cried so hard when his mother took him to Bambi that he had to leave the theater (a true story about my brother-in-law, who grew up to become a rightwing judge). In the book the grows up to become a robotics engineer, and he creates a robotic deer that kills hunters. I called it Bambo.

      • Bambo sounds like an interesting read.

        Did Bambo kill all deer hunters, or just the human ones the young boy had been taught were evil? Did any of the hunters killed by Bambo have young children? How many coyotes, wolves, cougars, and bears broke teeth on Bambo’s neck?

        Would it be fair to say that Bambo was a leftwing judge?

  9. “Ultimately what is needed are not more scenarios of Anthropocene Apocalypse but more ideas of how a “good Anthropocene” might emerge with the help of new societal values, new economic rules, landmark political decisions, individual behavior changes and, yes, new technologies.”

    It’s always disappointing and jarring to see sentences like this one and the declaration that: “Capitalism devalues all future life with its emphasis on quarterly earnings. ”
    Disappointing because any actual journalist knows that the statement isn’t true and that predicating environmental action on “new societal values and new economic rules” is a guarantee for political stasis. Any science journalist in Germany would be familiar with Kyoto, including the simple fact that Europe pressed for certain dates and targets to get credit for their work after the fall of the Berlin Wall in cleaning up the horrifically filthy power plants built by the communists in eastern Europe. He also knows that millions died in the social engineering efforts in the GDR, the USSR and China and untold hundreds of thousands are now in North Korea. Those were all “new societal values, new economic rules, landmark political decisions, individual behavior changes.”
    Meanwhile the writer’s stroking his chin in a capitalist society that just blew billions on a futile attempt to power its nation with renewables and he just doesn’t understand why they won’t double it.

  10. I don’t think serious scientists should be giving any credibility to the Revkin inspired term Anthropocene. Leave that nonsense to the social scientists. There is a perfectly capable body in existence already to decide when a new epoch has begun.

  11. David L. Hagen

    Re: ” Moving beyond anthropocentrism is a central challenge.”
    The Cornwall Alliance calls us back to ethical concern for the poor while restoring biblical stewardship of earth, in their Landmark Documents. e.g.
    Protect the Poor: Ten Reasons to Oppose Harmful Climate Change Policies

    . . .6.Rising atmospheric CO2 benefits all life on Earth by improving plant growth and crop yields, making food more abundant and affordable, helping the poor most of all. . . .
    10.In developing countries, billions of the poor desperately need to replace dirty, inefficient cooking and heating fuels, pollution from which causes hundreds of millions of illnesses and about 4 million premature deaths every year, mostly among women and young children. To demand that they forgo the use of inexpensive fossil fuels and depend on expensive wind, solar, and other “Green” fuels to meet that need is to condemn them to more generations of poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that accompany it.

    A Call to Action
    In light of these facts,
    1.We call on Christians to practice creation stewardship out of love for God and love for our neighbors—especially the poor.
    2.We call on Christian leaders to study the issues and embrace sound scientific, economic, and ethical thinking on creation stewardship, particularly climate change.
    3.We call on political leaders to abandon fruitless and harmful policies to control global temperature and instead adopt policies that simultaneously reflect responsible environmental stewardship, make energy and all its benefits more affordable, and so free the poor to rise out of poverty.

    A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor 2014: The Case against Harmful Climate Policies Gets Stronger, PDF etc.

    Such stewardship presents the challenge of providing sustainable fuel for 1000 years, sufficient to grow and uphold our economies.

    • David L. Hagen

      Misreading Science
      Clive Hamilton ignores our Creator, rails against “misreading of the science of the Anthropocene”, and claims that “we are witnessing a rupture in Earth’s history – a rapid transition to a new geological epoch, or perhaps an era, that is permanent.”
      However, coral islands rising with sealevel. rebuts “the sinking Maldives” meme. John Christy reveals that Nature is not obeying climate models!
      Having already cooled from the Holocene Optimum to the Little Ice Age, our greater challenge is whether we can achieve enough global warming to prevent further glacial growth into the impending glaciation.
      Ecomoderism
      The Ecomodernist Manifesto brings a refreshing perspective from climate activists’ gloomy alarmism, by valuing “the liberal principles of democracy, tolerance, and pluralism in themselves” and holding that “plentiful access to modern energy is an essential prerequisite for human development . . .” It accurately observes that:

      “In the long run, next-generation solar, advanced nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion represent the most plausible pathways toward the joint goals of climate stabilization and radical decoupling of humans from nature. If the history of energy transitions is any guide, however, that transition will take time.”

      However, as Rivkin noted: “Moving beyond anthropocentrism is a central challenge.” See the Cornwall Alliance for a return to stewardship.

      • David, unfortunately the Cornwall Alliance promotes ID, and also those who promote ID. That rules them out of any reliable scientific discussion. Period.

      • “Intelligent Design”.

      • David L. Hagen

        ristvan
        Your comment on Intelligent Design an illogical ad hominem (genetic) fallacy i.e. rejecting A because someone believes an unrelated issue B. Your statement is equivalent to advocating that satellite microwave temperature measurements must be excluded because one of the developers has a particular belief about the origins of the universe.
        Your argument appears based on the false presupposition of “closed” science, presuming that science cannot model for test evidence for intelligent agents, or that it must presume only material causes. (i.e., logically you would also have to exclude arson investigation etc.)
        The USA was founded on an appeal to “the Creator” and to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” by the Declaration of Independence. Similarly the Magna Carta.
        If you exclude those, you have no moral basis for why you should help the poor or kill off “the surplus population”.
        The modern scientific revolution was led almost exclusively by Protestant Christians, (not atheists). You cannot thereby nullify their discoveries and developments.
        Try addressing the arguments presented, not your prejudices.

      • Your comment on Intelligent Design an illogical ad hominem (genetic) fallacy i.e. rejecting A because someone believes an unrelated issue B. Your statement is equivalent to advocating that satellite microwave temperature measurements must be excluded because one of the developers has a particular belief about the origins of the universe.

        False parallel.

        “Intelligent Design” isn’t science, and doesn’t belong in any scientific discussion. Anybody who treats it as “science” can’t be trusted. Before you listen to anything they say, you have to check every reference, not just to see what it says, but to assure that it hasn’t been misrepresented, or misinterpreted based on creationist assumptions.

      • David L. Hagen

        AK you perpetuate ristvan’s illogical arguments and presuppositions. You are saying in essence that that Isaac Newtons laws of motion and gravity are non-scientific because Newton wrote more on Revelation than he did on Physics. Try addressing the arguments rather than attacking the person. I presume you try to establish morality based on the four laws of physics and stochastic variations.

      • You are saying in essence that that Isaac Newtons laws of motion and gravity are non-scientific because Newton wrote more on Revelation than he did on Physics.

        Nope. First, Newton was involved in creating science as we know it today. Second, Newton’s “laws” have been demonstrated to be wrong.

        I presume you try to establish morality based on the four laws of physics and stochastic variations.

        Nope. Evolution

      • DH, read my ID example in published ebook The Arts of Truth. Then get back, if you can. The example discusses the acuite eye, the most ‘powerful’ example of ID ever offered. BS. On many levels.

      • @DLH: You are saying in essence that that Isaac Newtons laws of motion and gravity are non-scientific because Newton wrote more on Revelation than he did on Physics.

        This parallel would be more convincing if it included an example of a proponent of ID who (a) had contributed even a tenth as much to either science or mathematics as Newton and (b) was not dedicated to tearing down long-established science in order to replace it with ID founded on John 1:1 as a scientific concept. (Those proposing to debate this further here might do worse than to first familiarize themselves with that article’s talk page.)

      • David L. Hagen

        Vaughan Pratt
        Re: “a) had contributed even a tenth as much to either science or mathematics”
        Why is that not an illogical appeal to authority rather than addressing the argument?
        Re: “b) was not dedicated to tearing down long-established science”
        Why is that not contrary to foundational principles of science? “Established” does not mean correct models able to accurately predict. E.g. Galileo vs Aristoteleans, Plate Tectonics, bacterial cause of ulcers etc. See: Kuhn “Structure of Scientific Revolutions”. Is not “climate science” “established”? Yet CMIP5 model predictions (1979-2015) are running 500% too hot for mid tropospheric tropical temperatures! How is tolerating such enormous errors that “scientific”?
        (PS For some scientists contributing as well as researching ID see Evolutionary Informatics Lab.)

        Your Wedge link addresses philosophical issues. Conversely note the adamant materialistic presupposition stated by Richard Lewontin

        . . .We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. . . .Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. . . .

        For some scientific publications examining evolution and ID , see EvoInfo.org/publications, and writings by William Dembski at The Design Inference, Granville Sewell such as A second look at the second law. See also Henry F. Schaefer III and Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?
        These philosophical and presuppositional differences are core to the moral, philosophical and scientific issues in these current debates on anthroprogenic catastrophic global warming (aka “climate change”).

      • David L. Hagen

        ristvan
        Compliments on your patents issued and pending, and nanocarbon capacitative storage. Anything info public on that yet?
        On biochemical models that quantitatively challenge evolutionary explanation, see Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution: The search for the limits of Darwinism. William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II quantitatively find evolutionary searches no better than random searches. For open software see EvoInfo resources and Mendal’s Accountant
        Like CMIP5 models, there is much lacking between the hype and reality.

      • Steven Mosher

        “The USA was founded on an appeal to “the Creator” and to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” by the Declaration of Independence. Similarly the Magna Carta.
        If you exclude those, you have no moral basis for why you should help the poor ”

        HUH?

        the moral basis for helping the poor is simple and pragmatic.
        if people are too poor they have a nasty tendency to riot and revolt.
        Its in your self interest to keep their hope alive. no god needed, no magna carta, no declaration of independence.

        plus a morality based on a superior being is immoral.

      • Don Monfort

        You are slipping, Steven. You have given not a moral reason but a pragmatic reason for helping the poor. Helping the poor to keep them from rioting is self-serving. Another pragmatic method of keeping the poor from rioting that has been widely practiced is to suppress the crap out of them.

        “plus a morality based on a superior being is immoral.”

        There is no morality based on a superior being. The various forms of morality are constructs of humans. Some forms of morality feature the idea of a superior being. How does the feature of a superior being make any particular form of morality immoral?

      • Mosher, the HUH is for this drivel:

        “the moral basis for helping the poor is simple and pragmatic.
        if people are too poor they have a nasty tendency to riot and revolt.
        Its in your self interest to keep their hope alive. no god needed, no magna carta, no declaration of independence.

        If you believe the only or even just the primary reason for charity and helping the poor and down trodden is for selfish self interest, – so the masses don’t riot – you are both shallow and foolish.

        Why would a nation motivated as you believe invite the world’s poor, downtrodden, huddling masses to come and be welcomed as citizens? Oh, yeah, I know “Life is pretty boring without the occasional riot to put down. Let’s get a bunch of poor people to oppress.”

        If what you say is true, why shouldn’t all of us always do whatever it takes to get what we want and the hell with the other guy? I know why I don’t.

      • David L. Hagen

        Stephen Mosher
        How is your “morality” any different from the leaders of Communist countries who killed 100,000,000 of their own people during the 20th century?
        See The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression.
        Why should we not expect even more deaths based on advocating such “morality”?

      • David L. Hagen

        AK re: “I presume you try to establish morality based on the four laws of physics and stochastic variations.” “nope Evolution”
        Once you reject revelation from God for morality, your only other option is to appeal to the four laws and stochastic processes. Evolution has no other basis for morality – its “red in tooth and claw” aka “Might makes right”, more sex (projeny) justifies any relationship. Communists claimed “sacred” duty etc. and used it to kill off anyone they disagreed with, resulting in 100 million dead. How is your “evolution” any different? More than 117 million were killed or not born in the USA since Roe v Wade justified killing for “convenience”. Crocodile tears over “climate refugees” is superficial compared to this third holocaust.

      • mosher, “plus a morality based on a superior being is immoral.”

        Is that a Captain Planet quote?

      • “There can be no such thing as an ‘altruistic’ act that does not involve some element of self-interest, no such thing, for example, as an altruistic act that does not lead to some degree, no matter how small, of pride or satisfaction. Therefore, an act should not be written off as selfish or self-motivated simply because it includes some inevitable element of self-interest.”
        https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201203/does-true-altruism-exist
        A moderate approach. I’m more of an altruism skeptic. We should allow immigration for reasons of self-interest. There are people that can make meaningful contributions to our economy. There’s the argument that we care about K-12 education not for altruistic reasons but for capitalist reasons. If we save the children, we don’t have to lock them up and we can hire them to work and they’ll be qualified for that. We want the smartest students so that we can kick back and post on blogs while they do all the work.

      • Once you reject revelation from God for morality, your only other option is to appeal to the four laws and stochastic processes.

        Seems like the sort of nonsense you might hear from IDi0ts. The entire basis of ID is to start by defining some narrow boundary conditions, then insist that anything outside them must be caused by God some purposeful intelligence.

        Best evolutionary science suggests very strongly that the lineage leading to the great apes (including Homo sapiens) has been social for at least 50,000,000 years, perhaps 1/3 that many generations. Given that innate moral behavior could well be adaptive at the group level, it is entirely plausible that primates, perhaps most social lineages evolved from the common ancestor of primates and rodents, possessed some innate moral capacity due to evolution.

        Evolution has no other basis for morality – […]

        Of course it does. Given the high fraction of genes shared by members of the same social group, individual behavior that tends to enhance the fitness of that group can be adaptive even if it reduces the “fitness” of the individual expressing it.

        Thus the whole “‘red in tooth and claw’ aka ‘Might makes right’” thing is a straw man.

      • @DLH: Why is that not an illogical appeal to authority rather than addressing the argument?

        Given the choice between a universally accepted authority who has advanced science more than almost any other scientist ever, and a self-professed authority who has no scientific reputation whatsoever, what exactly do you find illogical about preferring the former over the latter?

        “was not dedicated to tearing down long-established science”
        Why is that not contrary to foundational principles of science?

        Please don’t quote me out of context. What I wrote was “was not dedicated to tearing down long-established science in order to replace it with ID founded on John 1:1 as a scientific concept.

        I have no objection to tearing down long-established science when there are scientifically solid grounds for doing so. ID makes the argument that John 1:1 is scientifically solid grounds for tearing down long-established science.

        Good luck getting 3% of scientists to agree with that.

      • David L. Hagen

        Vaughan Pratt and AK
        ID practioners address the observed evidence and comparing opposing models to explain that. While the results may be parallel to John 1:1, ID does not depend on or appeal revelation, nor is revelation discoverable from the observed facts. I gave you links above to scientific papers, and mathematical models. Those show that creative evolution is “incredible” in the technical sense – not quantitatively believable and contrary to evidence based on known laws of chemical interaction and probability.
        See William Dembski’s Explanatory Filter
        Complex specified information in the genome and biomolecular systems cannot have its origin in the 4 laws. Dembski and Marks show quantitatively that it cannot be arrived at by stochastic processes, aka “chance”. The evidence fits what we know of intelligent agents designing and developing factories, information systems etc. Consequently mathematically the observed evidence fits design as the cause, not law or chance.
        Howard Glicksman MD in his Exercise Your Wonder series graphically describes biological systems and evaluates the arguments used by evolutionists.
        If you like novels, see a skilfull depection of the issues by Frank Peretti in Monster.

        Similar arguments can be made on morality.
        The four laws of physics provide no basis for moral codes.
        Neither do stochastic processes. Evolutionary handwaving is seen to be quantitatively lacking and cannot quantitatively explain moral codes.
        There is historical evidence for the origin of the Judeo-Christian moral codes, which corresponds to causative agents.
        The 20th century evidence of 100 million dead shows that world views based on atheism / evolution happily murder those who do not agree with them.
        Back to the main topic, that is part of the problem with Eco-Modernism – in itself it has no moral compass. While more positive than climate alarmism, it relies on the cultural heritage of the Judeo Christian tradition in Western civilization for its moral arguments.

      • @David L. Hagen…

        Bunch of pseudo-scientific glop.

      • David L. Hagen

        AK
        Apparently you have not examined the evidence to understand that harmful mutations accumulate faster than beneficial ones using published parameters for population dynamics. See Mendel’s Accountant.
        Does not a scientist “tests all things” to see how well predictions match observations? Can you rise above denigration to professional objective evaluation? Or will you continue sinking?

      • Apparently you have not examined the evidence to understand that harmful mutations accumulate faster than beneficial ones using published parameters for population dynamics.

        Yes, under certain conditions. Not under others. Neither you nor the sites you link understand population dynamics and Adaptationism, and Adaptationism is only a small piece of evolutionary theory.

        All simplistic misrepresentations, like most creationist pseudo-science.

      • Well, there are always random errors in DNA and fewer than 1% are good.

        Survival pressure eliminates the 99+%. Evolution is random errors + survival pressure.

        If you eliminate survival pressure things get bad very quickly.

        Not sure what the solution is for a species without survival pressure.

      • David L. Hagen

        PA re “Survival pressure eliminates the 99+%. Evolution is random errors + survival pressure.”
        Wishful thinking. Reality is that survival pressure CANNOT eliminate the 99+%. Too many mutations, Insufficient harm to deselect them. Harmful random errors accumulate with each generation causing progressive degradation faster than finding any “beneficial” mutations.
        See papers on Mendel’s Accountant. e.g., Fig. 4.2. Check out the program yourself.
        Ecomodernism has no solution that I know of.

      • David L. Hagen

        AK & PA You would need an order of magnitude reduction in mutagens to reverse the trend by conventional population models. See Fig. 6.1. How do you propose that?

      • @David L. Hagen…

        Your incredibly simplistic and incorrect models of how real evolution works aren’t something I’m going to waste my time on. In fact, given your lack of understanding of how evolution works, I’m not going to waste my time on anything you say about climate either. Given that both involve hyper-complex non-linear systems, your notion that you can apply such simplistic models to one just demonstrates you aren’t qualified to talk about the other.

      • DLH has the right to believe what he wants, and to say it.

        That said, I don’t see why he should object to the simultaneous acceptance of evolution and superior beings of infinite patience. If such a being, or a committee thereof, had a mind to bring about great biodiversity, letting natural selection do all the hard detail work seems far more efficient than doing it all exhaustively by hand.

        Darwin did not claim any insight into the origin of life, only into the mechanism of speciation, namely natural selection. If one starts from a population of amoebas inhabiting the 1E27 cubic millimeters of ocean, and lets them compete with each other for resources for 1E16 seconds (about 300 million years), that’s a space-time product of 1E43 mm3.sec. In such an inconceivably huge space-time volume, only a tiny fraction of mutations need be beneficial in order to breed superior amoebas that can better ride out local famines and/or outcompete their colleagues. In due course muscles, sensors, etc. will be hit upon by chance and improved on by natural selection through successive generations, very primitive at first but with every slight improvement enhancing survivability of famine and predation.

        Perhaps there are biospheres out there somewhere in space that were built painstaking “by hand” by an intelligent designer. It is a pleasant thought that our universe’s designer if any has been even more intelligent and has fruitfully exploited the labor-saving device of natural selection. If space travelers of the future ever run across such a hand-built biosphere, it would be interesting to compare them for both scale and quality of their respective biodiversities.

      • David L. Hagen

        AK
        An impressive sounding response with fancy word – that but erects a facade on Evolution’s Potemkin village.
        Scientific models must withstand scrutiny of the data – at which evolutionary models fail even more severely than climate models.
        1) Mendel’s Accountant (above) shows near neutral modestly harmful mutations accumulating faster than selective pressure can remove them using realistic parameters.
        2) Novel genes require multiple mutations to occur sequentially in the correct order. Evolutionary models and arguments fail when examined against the realities of actual mutation rates, biochemical processes, and population dynamics. e.g. see:

        Gauger AK, Axe DD (2011) The evolutionary accessibility of new enzyme functions: a case study from the biotin pathway. BIO-Complexity 2011(1):1-17. doi:10.5048/BIO-C.2011.1

        Reeves MA, Gauger AK, Axe DD (2014) Enzyme families—Shared evolutionary history or shared design? A study of the GABA-aminotransferase family. BIO-Complexity 2014 (4):1−16. doi:10.5048/BIO-C.2014.4.

        Ewert W, Dembski WA, Gauger AK, Marks II RJ (2012) Time and information in evolution. BIO-Complexity 2012 (4):1–7. doi:10.5048/BIO-C.2012.4.

        I have yet to hear any real arguments that withstand the voluminous data either in Climate Change CMIP5 models or in quantitative evolutionary models.

      • Novel genes require multiple mutations to occur sequentially in the correct order.

        No they don’t. Thus, your whole thesis is rendered wrong.

      • Don Monfort

        Hagan’s pronouncement: “The evidence fits what we know of intelligent agents designing and developing factories, information systems etc. Consequently mathematically the observed evidence fits design as the cause, not law or chance.”

        What we know of intelligent agents is that we haven’t seen any intelligent agent who could have designed and constructed the universe. Put all the human heads and hands together and you ain’t got it. Can you offer your theory on where this super duper intelligent agent lives? What it looks like? How did it get to be so intelligent? Did it build the universe all by itself, or did it contract out?

        So far all you have prevented in the way of evidence is that “It looks like it was intelligently designed”. What is so intelligent about the design of the universe? What is the purpose of all that space, material and energy? Why would anybody do it? Is it a big light show designed and created for some very big critters amusement? Where did the ID guy get all the stuff to build it? Springer can’t answer these questions. You take a crack at it.

    • David L. Hagen

      Vaughan Pratt
      Thanks for standing up for free speech and belief.
      On mutations, see papers in the previous post to AK. Even if you increase the interaction rate by 1E43 sec-1 to inverse Plank time, for the entire universe of 1.5 E 17 sec, the “probabilistic resources” still come up woefully short for Darwinian evolution. Then you still have the greater problem of the origin of life of the first self reproducing cell able to receive and process photons and matter and accurately replicate a genome.
      William Dembski provides both popular explanations and state of the art quantitative mathematical papers. For a quantitative discussion see e.g., Searching Large Spaces: Displacement and the No Free Lunch Regress. vis also further papers with Marks

      • While agreeing with Dembski that creating a specific 100-amino-acid protein at random from individual amino acids is wildly improbable, namely p = 1E-130, his quantitative analysis would appear to neglect (a) the number of potentially useful 100-amino-acid proteins (he assumes life depends on stumbling across a specific protein) and (b) the possibility of much smaller polypeptides constituting stepping stones towards slightly larger ones, with vastly smaller spaces to search for small improvements.

        According to this source the smallest polypeptide that we recognize today as large enough to form a protein has a mere 40 amino acids, which already shrinks the space of Dembski’s 100-amino-acid proteins by an enormous factor of 1E78 (20^60), raising p to 1E-52. And if even only one in every quadrillion combinations of 40 amino acids is of any use for sustainable life of some kind (not necessarily life as we know it today), then provided the kind we do know isn’t there to compete with it, it will survive, which further increases p to a very manageable 1E-12.

        It is easier to find 40-amino-acid proteins in living or recently deceased organisms than in the fossil record, which seems capable of recording nothing smaller than cyanobacteria. Life as we know it today would appear to depend on proteins no smaller than 40 amino acids. But in a much earlier biosphere whose most complex polypeptides had only say 20 amino acids, those polypeptides could perfectly well constitute life as it was back in the day of less than 18 hours (how much less no one knows), more than 3.5 billion years ago, before there were cyanobacteria, too small to be recorded in the fossil record.

        And although 20^20 is 1E26, as noted above life doesn’t need to find the single optimal polypeptide in order to get started. The competition between the members of whatever region of that space is created at random is all that matters to get off the ground.

        1E43 mm3.sec is plenty large enough to support such activity. And it will be many decades if not centuries before we have computers powerful enough to simulate nature’s search of this space. When we do however, we may well discover a great many more useful proteins based on amino acids than those we associate with “life as we know it”, as well as a great many more alternatives to amino acids as a basis for novel life forms. If so it would show that life is a lot less special than we currently assume.

      • Don Monfort

        Hey doc, ask Hagan-Springer why an intelligent designer, who for some reason wanted to create carbon based life, would screw around starting out with something very small and crude and then sit around for billions of years, until something interesting developed.

        The whole schtick of these ID faithful is that stuff is just too complicated to have come into existence by chance. That is the extent of their argument. They ignore the fact that the possibilities for the creation of the universe are unlimited. Space and time are infinite. Our universe could be the trillionth that has existed.

        ID is a superstition that used to be prevailing wisdom in the age of ignorance. It has been going out of style for centuries. Still some clingers left. David seems to be a popular name with the remaining faithful.

        Primitive people made up stories to explain things they didn’t understand. Like the Egyptian god Ra who was the creator and drove the sun across the sky in a chariot or a boat, whatever.

      • David L. Hagen

        Vaughan Pratt
        Oh that it were so simple.
        Darwin’s mutations and selection presumes a self reproducing cell (autopoiesis). That is a far greater challenge. e.g., Pasquale Stano cites:

        the group of Moya (Gil et al. 2004). It defines the minimal cell in terms of 206 genes, classified as follows: (1) 16 genes for DNA processing, (2) 106 genes for RNA processing and protein synthesis, (3) 15 genes for protein processing, (4) five genes for cell processing, (5) 56 genes for basic metabolism, (6) eight poorly characterized genes.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2955203/pdf/11693_2010_Article_9054.pdf
        Synthetic biology of minimal living cells: primitive cell models
        and semi-synthetic cells Syst Synth Biol (2010) 4:149–156 DOI 10.1007/s11693-010-9054-3
        Abiogenesis requires forming those WITHOUT having a self reproducing cell to start with. That presents far greater demands than even forming one protein.

      • Don Monfort

        Two totally unrelated species created by the Intelligent Designer:

        http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=7b3_1437796622

        The one wearing clothing and doing most of the talking is human. The other specimen seems to be the clever one.

      • @DLH: Darwin’s mutations and selection presumes a self reproducing cell (autopoiesis).

        As I wrote earlier, Darwin claimed no insight into the origin of life, only into speciation. I did not mention Darwin at any point thereafter. I suggest we leave him out of this part of the discussion as these particular origin-of-life questions you’re raising in no way undermine his theory of speciation.

        Abiogenesis requires forming those WITHOUT having a self reproducing cell to start with. That presents far greater demands than even forming one protein.

        Absolutely, and this is an excellent point. One could ask (a) what is the smallest possible self-replicating polypeptide, and (b) what is the smallest such that has been synthesized in the laboratory and demonstrated to self-replicate with non-trivial growth?

        While I don’t know the answer to (a), in 1996 Lee et al designed and built a 32-amino-acid self-replicating polypeptide. Here’s the abstract from their Nature article. (“Residue” = “amino acid” in polypeptide lingo.)

        The production of amino acids and their condensation to polypeptides under plausibly prebiotic conditions have long been known. But despite the central importance of molecular self-replication in the origin of life, the feasibility of peptide self-replication has not been established experimentally. Here we report an example of a self-replicating peptide. We show that a 32-residue alpha-helical peptide based on the leucine-zipper domain of the yeast transcription factor GCN4 can act autocatalytically in templating its own synthesis by accelerating the thioester-promoted amide-bond condensation of 15- and 17-residue fragments in neutral, dilute aqueous solutions. The self-replication process displays parabolic growth pattern with the initial rates of product formation correlating with the square-root of initial template concentration.

        (Whew. Try saying that second-last sentence ten times quickly. :)

        While I don’t know if anyone has built a smaller one since then, 20^32 corresponds to p = 2.3E-42, and that’s before taking into account (a) how many other self-replicating 32-amino-acid polypeptides exist, (b) regularities in their structure (low Kolmogorov complexity) that would greatly reduce the search space, and (c) whether there are even smaller ones.

        In the absence of larger cellular life, self-replicating polypeptides can populate any habitat that suits them. In the beginning they would be at risk of habitat loss, and I don’t what else. Mutations that overcome unfavorable habitats would allow them to spread more widely while leading to greater biodiversity and hence stability of this very primordial Life on Earth. At some point cellular organisms would appear, but before then there may have been a great variety of self-replicating polypeptides. Since these would have been very small and long ago the prospects of finding any trace of them in the fossil record today is not promising..

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks Vaughan. Self replicating polypeptides are an example of natural law. That is far different from the code, grammar and language embedded in the genome/DNA that specifies each component as well as specifying the replication mechanism needed to form and error check the DNA itself. See Werner Gitt, In the Beginning was Information.

      • @Vaughan Pratt…

        If you’re actually going to get involved in discussions in this field, you might do well to study biochemistry more deeply. Most of the amino acid residues in most proteins aren’t specifically needed, they can be replaced with little or no change in function by related amino acids.

        Something else a careful study of the genetic code will show is that not only are many amino acids specified by only the first two bases in the triplet, but many of those sets of four are closely related to sets that specify similar amino acids.

        Just looking carefully at the genetic code offers manifold clues to its evolution, which is one reason I don’t waste my time with people looking for excuses to say it was “intelligently designed”.

        NB: There is existing evidence of evolution in the genetic code that has taken place since the last common ancestor of Eubacteria, Archaea, and EuKaryotes. I don’t have the ref”s at my fingertips, but Google is your friend, if you’re interested.

      • @DM: They ignore the fact that the possibilities for the creation of the universe are unlimited. Space and time are infinite.

        Excellent point, Don. Space is certainly vastly larger than our little planet, though time is only about 50x the 300 million years I picked.

        Here’s a simple-minded way to estimate what to blow Earth’s 1E43 mm3.sec space-time volume up to by taking other Earth-like planets into account.

        MASSES:
        Earth: 6E24 kg
        Solar system: 2E30 kg
        Universe: 3E52 kg
        Grain of salt: 1E-7 kg (what these figures should be taken with)

        So Earth is 3 millionths (3E-6) of the mass of the Solar System. So conceivably one ten-millionth (1E-7) of the universe is populated by Earth-like planets. That would be 3E52 * 1E-7 / 6E24 = 5E20 Earths, bringing 1E43 up to 5E63. Extending my 300 million year time frame to 6 billion years, a factor of 20, further extends this to 1E65.

        While I doubt if this line of reasoning can be pushed much further, this is enough space-time volume for “nature” to experiment with up to 50-amino-acid polypeptides if searching just for the perfect one, and much larger polypeptides if (a) many will serve and (b) regularities in structure reduce the search space. There’s also the possibility of life forms based on other molecules besides amino acids.

        One could expect the universe to be flooded with 32-amino-acid self-replicating polypeptides were they not at risk of being soon overrun by their larger mutant descendants.

      • Don Monfort

        the learned doc=> though time is only about 50x the 300 million years I picked.

        I have a problem grasping the idea of time starting, or stopping, so I am going to stubbornly assume it is infinite. Space same thing. Where does it end? What’s on the other side of where it ends?

        Was the Big Bang the start of everything? I don’t think so. Something was there that went Bang!

        Anyway doc, we are brave adults and we don’t need to make up bogus simplistic superstitions to explain what we don’t know.

      • @AK: Most of the amino acid residues in most proteins aren’t specifically needed, they can be replaced with little or no change in function by related amino acids.

        Thanks, AK, good to know. Biochemistry is well above my pay grade so I defer to the biochemists for good estimates of the impact of these sorts of facts on the rate at which new populations of self-replicating organisms are capable of popping up throughout the universe.

        Given that the universe has only been around for about 5E12 Earth days, one such new population per day seems likely to be a gross underestimate, even without a leg up from your friendly neighborhood superior being. Universally speaking, far from taking seven days, God may have less than an hour or even a minute to get one such population up and running before having to turn his attention to another one in another galaxy far away. He must have a terrible time with jet lag, not mention the boom from his breaking Einstein’s light barrier.

      • I defer to the biochemists for good estimates of the impact of these sorts of facts on the rate at which new populations of self-replicating organisms are capable of popping up throughout the universe.

        I would certainly advise against that. Most biochemists, IMO, are stuck in the paradigm that includes lonely little RNA molecules inventing replication in small cavities in black smokers. Highly unlikely, IMO, as the origin of life or at all really.

        The problem is that the IDi0ts have actually latched onto a good argument against the current paradigm. Thing is that they can’t see anything better to do with that argument than use it as “proof” that “Goddunnit”. Which means they’ve put themselves outside Science.

        But the people who’ve locked themselves into the tiny little box the paradigm represents (such as, IMO, Larry Moran) are more to blame. Lonely little RNA molecules inventing replication in black smokers is ridiculous, but that doesn’t make ID any more plausible.

      • From the article:

        Earlier forms of life probably needed a membrane compartment for many of the same reasons that modern cells do: to keep molecules that are important for cellular growth and survival readily accessible, and to keep unneeded or potentially harmful molecules outside of the cell. Rather than being made up of phospholipids, however, early membranes may have formed from fatty acids. Similar to phospholipids, fatty acids have a hydrophobic tail and hydrophilic head, and can thus form the same types of structures, such as bilayers, vesicles and micelles, but are structurally much simpler and may have formed more readily in a prebiotic environment.

        Without compartmentalization, RNA replicases would be unlikely to prosper.

        Fatty acids may have formed near hydrothermal vents. This animation shows a theoretical scenario where fatty acids are being produced in a geyser, and are later dispersed following the geyser’s explosion. The process by which fatty acid micelles may form a vesicle is shown in this animation. Fatty acids can enter and exit the vesicle membrane as well as flip between the inner and outer leaflets of the membrane bilayer. The Szostak lab has found that some small molecules, including nucleotides, may enter the vesicle through a mechanism which is thought to involve fatty acid flipping. Experiments in the Szostak lab have shown that vesicles grow rapidly in the presence of micelles. This animations shows a possible mechanism by which growth may occur.
        WHY LIFE NEEDS A MEMBRANE COMPARTMENT

        Why are membranes so important for the RNA World? An early RNA replicase probably would not have a built-in way of differentiating between a replicase or non-replicase sequence, and as a result, will make a copy of any RNA that happens to be close by. Without some means of separating the replicases from the non-replicases, the population of replicases is unlikely to grow and prosper. This issue can be resolved if the replicases are placed within a compartment, such as a vesicle, which can physically separate the replicases from other RNAs. This concept is illustrated in the animation on the left.

        http://exploringorigins.org/fattyacids.html

      • Without compartmentalization, RNA replicases would be unlikely to prosper.

        Yes. Which means the compartments may well have come first, and replicases later.

        But the notion that RNA was first is totally unwarranted. IMO.

      • David Springer

        Monfort is creating a straw man then beating up on it. Way to go, Donny.

        ID doesn’t say the universe has to be designed. It says it’s a better explanation that blind chance. Anything is possible. Some things are more possible than others.

        So if time and the universe are infinite doesn’t that mean that it must have produced a infinite number of gods too? You don’t have the chops for this debate. You don’t have the brain power to work out the consequences of infinities.

      • Well done, Springer. Now you are reduced to “it could be ID”. It could be Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. Grow TF up, davey.

      • David L. Hagen

        You are asking religious questions beyond the perview of ID. See:
        ID Defined

        The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. . . .Positive evidence of design in living systems consists of the semantic, meaningful or functional nature of biological information, the lack of any known law that can explain the sequence of symbols that carry the “messages,” and statistical and experimental evidence that tends to rule out chance as a plausible explanation. Other evidence challenges the adequacy of natural or material causes to explain both the origin and diversity of life.

        Frequently raised but weak arguments against Intelligent Design
        For questions about the Creator, see Genesis, John, Revelation etc.
        But remember, The Hound of Heaven pursues with steady pace.

      • Don Monfort

        Sorry Hagan, there is no theory of intelligent design. There is just a simplistic assertion by a few religious cranks that some stuff is just too complex to have resulted from natural processes. And it is religious BS, no matter how hard you try to hide the motivation. Intelligent design requires a supernatural being, unless you care to conjure up some other source for the intelligent design. A very brainy and massively powerful race of little green men, perhaps? The same crew that built the pyramids and that keeps making those annoying crop circles?

        Did you see below what Seth Lloyd said about Dumpski and your ID foolishness? That story didn’t do your cause any good.

      • @DS: Given law of entropy is true then entropy was never lower than at the instant of the big bang. Then from whence came all the order in the universe?

        A fair question (for a change).

        Andrew Grant gives a clear answer in this week’s Science News at

        https://www.sciencenews.org/article/arrow-time

        At the big bang the universe was highly ordered. Assuming its energy Q was the same then as now, and that order increases with decreasing entropy, for a really high degree of orderliness thermodynamics would demand a really high temperature.

        As the universe expanded it became less ordered, with the colder parts being less ordered. Any heat warming the colder parts back up gave them a little order back, like recharging their battery.

        In Earth’s case order in the form of thermal energy comes from the Sun. That energy can be put to use to create order.

        Calculation consumes energy to create information, which is why computers necessarily generate heat in the course of calculating. Likewise with the 1.5 l of human brain, which generates some 100 watts in order to operate.

        Gravity is another source of order. Water sprayed into a bucket is a disordered collection of droplets that gravity pulls down into a more ordered body of water.

        For more read Grant’s article. Yet more can be seen at Barbour et al’s article at http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.0917

      • @DLH: For questions about the Creator, see Genesis, John, Revelation etc. But remember, The Hound of Heaven pursues with steady pace.

        Look on the bright side, David. Recent estimates have found 2.18 billion Christians in the world. Given that there are only seven billion people altogether, you would therefore have at least a 2.18/7 = 31% chance of being smarter than them on average. There is therefore at least a fair chance that they would be your ideal audience, and possibly a very good one.

        And such a huge audience! Since you’ve been persuaded that science can be reliably based on Judeo-Christian literature from 2+ millennia ago, so can they.

        Go to it.

      • David L. Hagen

        Re: “science can be reliably based on Judeo-Christian literature”
        Strawman. I see science as objective evaluation of evidence to find the best models, without the bias of precluding intelligent agents. The identity of a creator would be outside the purview of science and Intelligent Design, thus my reference to revelation for those interested. (PS those with religious beliefs form 84% of the population.) After having been “Surprised by Joy”, Atheist CS Lewis warned:

        “A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.”

      • @DLH: I see science as objective evaluation of evidence to find the best models, without the bias of precluding intelligent agents.

        Any preclusion is entirely yours. You show your bias against evolution by arguing for its statistical impossibility. Nowhere have any of my arguments precluded intelligent agents, all I have argued is that the ID arguments purportedly precluding evolution are either statistically fallacious or based on literature that none but ID proponents have tried to argue as being “scientific”.

        I have exactly zero evidence for either the existence or nonexistence of what you refer to as “intelligent agents” and therefore have no occasion for bias either way on that particular question.

    • Don Monfort

      David, do you have anything beyond the assertion that it’s too complicated to have happened by chance? Any of the ID Davids have anything more that than that?

      • David L. Hagen

        Don
        Start by reading and digesting the numerous links above.
        For the simplest glimpse see The Inner Life of the Cell. For details of a few of the numerous components see Michael Behe where each step in the complex biochemical pathways is essential – further encoded in DNA – forming “complex specified information”.
        Then read Dr. Glicksman’s series Beyond Irreducible Complexity. Then study Werner Gitt In The Beginning was Information. for a glimpse into what Darwin’s hypothesis was unable to grasp or predict.

      • Don Monfort

        You just keep asserting complexity, David. We all recognize the complexity. Stipulated. Now how do you prove it didn’t happen by chance? How do you know that the earth isn’t just one of 4997.004 trillion billion gazillion planets that could support life and we got lucky?

        And you need to explain why an intelligent designer would design something so freaking complicated with so many parts that are designed to get broken and expire. Why include the feature of mutations in the genetic code, David? Why bother with evolution? Why not just make life forms perfect in their final form, indestructible, immortal, fun loving and kind to one another?

        Now I am going to watch you just assert that complexity proves intelligent design, again. Total BS.

      • @DM (to DLH): How do you know that the earth isn’t just one of 4997.004 trillion billion gazillion planets that could support life and we got lucky?

        Because it’s way too many. Drop the gazillion and change the trillion to billion and you have 5E21, which is 10x my estimate of 5E20. Which is itself probably on the high side.

      • Don Monfort

        I was just making a wild guess and adding some hyperbole, doc. It may be a little more extravagant that your conceivable extrapolation, but we are on the same page. The page of sanity over superstition.

      • @DM: Was the Big Bang the start of everything? I don’t think so. Something was there that went Bang!

        Indeed. A very nice article by Andrew Grant in this week’s Science News magazine arrived in my mailbox yesterday. It presents strong evidence for your point in the form of simulations by Barbour, Koslowski and Mercati. You can find Grant’s article online at

        https://www.sciencenews.org/article/arrow-time

        and the prepublication copy of Barbour et al from last September at

        http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.0917

        In their account you only get a factor of two increase, by looking backwards and forwards. But if you allow the universe to keep cycling through successive big bangs then you get the indefinite amount of time you’re looking for. All perfectly plausible.

      • Don Monfort

        Thanks, doc. I will have a look at that. Here is some recent news on calculations/guesses on the number of habitable planets in our Milky Way galaxy. I have seen other estimates of 40 billion.

        http://www.nbcnews.com/science/8-8-billion-habitable-earth-size-planets-exist-milky-way-8C11529186

        If I were the Intelligent Designer, I would have planted life on all of them there planet things. I am pro-life. And I would have left cancer and all other of life’s miseries out of my design.

      • David L. Hagen

        Vaughan Pratt
        In “Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence”, Dembski notes:

        Theoretical computer scientist Seth
        Lloyd has shown that 10^120 constitutes the maximal number of bit operations that the known, observable universe could have performed throughout its entire multi-billion year history.

        Seth Lloyd, “Computational Capacity of the Universe,” Physical Review Letters 88(23) (2002): 7901–4.

        Multiverses admits the impossibility within our universe so grasps at straws by appealing to infinity. Much simpler to appeal to an intelligent agent than chaos.

      • The 8.8 billion estimate in that article for number of Earth-like planets is only for the Milky Way, Don.

        Milky Way: 2E42 kg.

        My method gives 2E42 * 1E-7 / 6E24 = 3.3E10 Earths in the Milky Way, or 33 billion. That’s only 3.75x larger than their 8.8 billion estimate.

        Essentially they’re saying that 2.6E-8 is a better estimate than my 1E-7 of the fraction of the mass of the universe comprised of Earth-like planets, which I’m absolutely fine with.

        The 40 billion Earths figure also has to be for the Milky Way, since it’s way too low for the universe as a whole. It’s a bit high and I’d go with 8.8 billion, or rather 10 billion since 8.8 is way too much precision..

        A factor of 3.75x is less than half an amino acid (log(3.75)/log(20)), while a factor of 40/33 is about 6% of one. I.e. no difference at all when talking about polypeptides with 50 amino acids.

      • Don Monfort

        Actually David, you are appealing to Dumbski and Lloyd. And they are clowns. Where does the intelligent agent live? How big? Must be bigger than the universe and strong as hell. You need to flesh out your story, David.

      • Don Monfort

        Yes doc, I said it was for our Milky Way. Estimates of 8.8 and 40 billion for our Milky Way. And 10 billion is close enough for me. It’s a lot.

      • Theoretical computer scientist Seth
        Lloyd has shown that 10^120 constitutes the maximal number of bit operations that the known, observable universe could have performed throughout its entire multi-billion year history.

        Your argument would appear to be that only God could do more. So does that make him unknown or merely unobservable?

        If you know God then doesn’t that contradict Lloyd’s estimate?

      • Just now I tried deriving Lloyd’s bound of 1E120 on total bit operations to date. This would depend what he considers a “bit operation”. If we take it to be erasing one bit of information, this takes energy at least kT/2 where k is Boltzmann’s constant and T is the temperature at which the bit is erased.

        If e is the total energy available in the universe for performing bit operations, and they are performed at T > 2.7K (cosmic microwave background), that gives an upper bound of 2e/kT = 0.74e/k bit operations. Taking e = mc^2 where m = 3E52 kg gives e = 3E69 joules. Boltzmann’s constant is k = 1.4E-23, giving 0.74*3E69/1.4E-23 = 1.6E92 bit operations.

        I”ll have to look at his paper to see what assumptions gave him the much weaker upper bound of 1E120 bit operations.

      • Weren’t you aware of this book, Hagan? Seth Lloyd puts a boot up dumbski’s south end:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_Thought

        You might want to drop Seth Lloyd from your ID sales pitch, David.

      • David Springer

        Monfort calls a guy with two PhDs one in math and one in philosophy of science from University of Chicago “a clown” and calls him Dumbski. And a master’s in divinity from Princeton to top it off. That’s Doctor Doctor Reverend Dembski the way I make it.

        You’re an imbecile in comparison, Monfort. You’d need to take a giant step up the intellectual ladder to be a clown. Putz. ROFL

      • We are waiting for you and the other clown to show us some evidence for ID, davey. That Seth Lloyd story didn’t go over too well. Hagan is a lot smarter than you are. He might give up, now. Let’s see if he has the guts to admit the ID story is fantasy BS.

      • David Springer

        VP re; successive big bangs

        Yes, the big crunch theory.

        Just for grins let’s the law of entropy is true. Therefore all the order in the universe must have been present at the instant of the big bang. Otherwise it was imported from outside the universe. You, me, all our thoughts, the entire library of congress, all there concentrated into a singularity 14 billions years ago just waiting to unfold like an origami.

        Where did all that information come from?

        I have proposed that if information is like energy then it cannot be created nor destroyed. It only changes form. Even a big crunch would not destroy it and in the following big bounce it would still be there from the previous cycle.

        That still doesn’t explain where the order came from in the first place but it at least provides more time for it to accumulate.

        You probably want to read up on the great debate about whether information can ever be lost. It’s called the information paradox and brought on a bet between arguably the greatest living theoretical physicists of our time:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorne%E2%80%93Hawking%E2%80%93Preskill_bet

        Kip Thorne and Stephen Hawking bet John Preskill that a singularity, while not being able to destroy information per se, can at least hide it from the universe forever, which amounts to the same thing.

        Hawking conceded. Information is some durable stuff if not even a black hole, the most destructive thing in the known universe, can erase the blackboard.

        I’m not sure you have the chops for this either but you’re maybe a couple small steps above Monfort.

      • David Springer

        You have already been given the evidence, Donny. You don’t have either the integrity to acknowledge it or the brain power to understand it. I really don’t care which because in either case I won’t get down in the intellectual mud to wrestle with a stupid pig like you.

      • David Springer

        Hagen wrote: “Multiverses admits the impossibility within our universe so grasps at straws by appealing to infinity. Much simpler to appeal to an intelligent agent than chaos.”

        Yup. Even Donny the Dummy Monfort appealed to infinity right away. Maybe out of instinct. Certainly not out of calculation.

        Hey Donny, in an infinite universe there’s infinite number of nitwits named Don Monfort pecking out an infinite number of infinitely stupid comments on an infinite number of climate blogs.

        Infinities are fun. But ridiculous. Try this consequence on for size, it’s one of my favorites:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_brain

        Using the term “brain” loosely you might be one of those and I’m a figment of your false memory.

      • Don Monfort

        ” Our universe is a finely tuned construction at all scales from fundamental physics to the machinery of life. There is absolutely no precedent for construction like that to be merely happenstance.”

        That is not evidence, davey. That’s simplistic nonsense bordering on lunacy.

        You should at least be able to offer some half-way plausible speculation on what the ID critter looks like. It’s got to have a very, very, very big freaking brain, doesn’t it davey? How does it get around the universe? A sled and a gaggle of reindeer?

      • David Springer

        Don Monfort | July 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm |

        “And you need to explain why an intelligent designer would design something so freaking complicated with so many parts that are designed to get broken and expire.”

        Donny, donny, dondon… you’re arguing religion not science. I have no bloody idea what the motivation, desires, or limitations within which a designer of universes is constrained. Those are religious beliefs. Let’s stick to math and science. As I said I’m an agnostic. I readily concede that every religion that man has ever held to be true is not true. I used to be an atheist but after decades of following the evidence wherever it led I became an agnostic. It appears to me, not quite unequivocally, but close, that the universe is not an accident and life not a result of a random dance of atoms. The odds appear to weight heavily against that. One must appeal to infinity to make the numbers work. Infinities are a cosmic gag reel. Math and physics that we understand break down at infinity. In infinite number of absurd consequences emerge from infinities. As Hagen said it’s easier to accept the notion that the so-called illusion of design isn’t an illusion and then move along. There’s a gigantic leap of faith needed to go from ID to any of the world’s revealed religions. ID however is indeed like the proverbial camel’s nose in the tent insofar as religious belief goes. It’s enough to cast doubt on the atheist bedtime story that there’s no intent or purpose to anything just law and chance.

      • David Springer

        I can’t find any satisfactory evidence of what a creator of universes looks like, acts like, smells like, or thinks like.

        You’re trying to push me into making claims that belong to religious beliefs.

        What part of “I don’t know” don’t you understand?

      • Don Monfort

        ” I have no bloody idea what the motivation, desires, or limitations within which a designer of universes is constrained. Those are religious beliefs. Let’s stick to math and science.’

        Describe in terms of math and science the critter that is responsible for the proposed intelligent design of the universe. Doesn’t it have to have a physical form? Where is it located? What kind of brain power does it need to design universes? Is it also the builder of universes? How big does it need to be? Where did it get all the stuff it needed to build a universe? You think you can just ignore all those issues?

      • David Springer

        Again. Which part of “I don’t know” don’t you understand?

      • Don Monfort

        I will help you, Springer. Watch some of those old cheesy Star Trek episodes from the original TV series and you will get some ideas.

      • @DS: I have proposed that if information is like energy then it cannot be created nor destroyed.

        Oh no, Springer is back with yet another novel version of physics.

        This sounds rather like your proposal that Venus’s geothermal energy is being conducted through its crust at a rate of 15 kW (15,000 joules per second), when Earth is only able to conduct 0.08 joules per second through its crust. Or your proposal that atmospheric CO2 has been increasing at an exponential rate with a constant CAGR since careful measurements began in 1958, when in fact the CAGR doubled over that period.

        What you’re missing in your equation dS = dQ (bit rate dS/dt in bits per second is in proportion to energy rate dQ/dt in joules per second, aka watts) is the small matter of temperature T.

        Temperature is the thermodynamic counterpart of noise. The higher the temperature, the fewer bits get through for a given energy of transmission in watts.

        The formula you should be using is not dS = dQ but dS = dQ/T.

        Yes energy is conserved. However information, aka negentropy, is not.

        The entropy of the universe is increasing. This may be news to you, but in that case you should be studying thermodynamics instead of piping up here with your own theories of thermodynamics.

        Here’s an easy way to think about this. If heat dQ flows from an object at temperature T1 to an object at a lower temperature T2, the entropy of the first object decreases by dQ/T1, while the entropy of the second object increases by dQ/T2. Since T2 is less than T1, the first object loses less entropy than is gained by the second object.

        Capiche?

      • @DS: I’m not sure you have the chops for this either but you’re maybe a couple small steps above Monfort.

        A cat may look at a king.

      • @DS: You, me, all our thoughts, the entire library of congress, all there concentrated into a singularity 14 billions years ago just waiting to unfold like an origami. Where did all that information come from?

        One of your better questions. The simple answer is that the entropy of the universe 15 billion years ago was considerably more than now. However entropy is not uniformly distributed: there are hotspots such as Earth, fueled by the energy from its nearest star. But those too will eventually die away, the Library of Congress included.

        Ultimately thermodynamics erases everything, at least according to the conventional wisdom. Which you are just as welcome to rise above as a cat is welcome to look at a king. Good luck with that.

      • @me: entropy of the universe was considerably more than now

        Sorry, got the sign wrong. Considerably less than now.

      • David Springer

        Whooooooooooosh. Right over Vaughn’s head.

        How was the information “distributed” in the singularity at the instant of the big bang, Vaughn? LOL

        Given law of entropy is true then entropy was never lower than at the instant of the big bang. Then from whence came all the order in the universe?

        You and Monfort, two intellectual peas in a pod, appear to believe it came from nowhere. It just appeared by wonderful happenstance.

        In the end game, if you’ve got the chops to take it to the end, you must appeal to an infinity of universes each with a random allotment of order and then ride the anthropic principle to your great cosmic accidental conclusion. LOL

        That’s up to you of course. And an infinite number of other dipshiits in other universes who are exactly like you with an infinite number of minor variations. Silly atheists.

      • David Springer

        Whooooooooooosh. Right over Vaughn Pratt’s head.

        How was the information “distributed” in the singularity at the instant of the big bang, Vaughn? LOL

        Given law of entropy is true then entropy was never lower than at the instant of the big bang. Then from whence came all the order in the universe?

        You and Monfort, two intellectual peas in a pod, appear to believe it came from nowhere. It just appeared by wonderful happenstance.

        In the end game, if you’ve got the chops to take it to the end, you must appeal to an infinity of universes each with a random allotment of order and then ride the anthropic principle to your great cosmic accidental conclusion. LOL

        That’s up to you of course. And an infinite number of other dipshiits in other universes who are exactly like you with an infinite number of minor variations. Of course there must also be infinite number of Vaughn Pratt’s who believe in God and became the Pope. Silly atheists.

      • David Springer

        No more energy is emitted from Venus than is received from the sun. Not significantly more anyhow.

        The earth’s crust a few miles deep is as hot as the surface of Venus. When you can explain how that is possible the same explanation applies to the surface of Venus. It’s really simple. The troposphere on Venus does the same thing that a few miles of rock does on earth insofar as containing internal heat of the planet.

        Of course when it comes to being dense the troposphere of Venus doesn’t hold a candle to you.

      • davey babbling=>You and Monfort, two intellectual peas in a pod, appear to believe it came from nowhere. It just appeared by wonderful happenstance.

        davey babbling=>What part of “I don’t know” don’t you understand?

        We don’t know where it came from, davey. But there is a lot of evidence for what happened after the Big Bang. You got precisely no evidence for the ID BS. You can’t describe how ID happened. You refuse to even speculate on a description of the ID critter. You claim to be talking in terms of math and science, but the ID critter you are proposing must be supernatural. Is that not true, davey? If it isn’t supernatural you must have some idea for it’s physical dimensions and composition. If you don’t anything more than the universe is just too complicated to happen by chance, then you are just a raving clown.

        It looks like Hagan has more sense than Splinger. The Seth Lloyd story blew up in his face, so he took a powder.

      • @DM: I am pro-life.

        Does that make you opposed to choice, Don?

      • Don Monfort

        Depends on what the choice is, doc. Somewhere after 20 weeks or so, I say the kid has rights just like the rest of us. Let’s have a vigorous public debate on it and lay out all the evidence. Ultrasounds before and pictures after. We can get plenty of specimens from Planned Parenthood for about a hundred bucks each.

  12. Decoupling humanity’s material needs from nature sounds like living on air.

  13. I really do hate the classification of “serious scientists”. Just who decides which scientists are serious and which are lazy bums wasting everyone’s time? It is this whole concept of dividing “serious scientists” from “unserious scientists” that created the entire global warming alarmist movement in the first place.

    • Government scientists proved who was the wisest Beatle of them all: Everything government touches turns to crap. ~Ringo Starr

      • Personally I think every government agency should be shut down and rebuilt from scratch once every decade. I also think term limits for everyone in government should be mandatory.

      • David Wojick

        FTTW, I take it then that you would scrap the civil service and return to a system of political patronage?

      • ==> “I also think term limits for everyone in government should be mandatory.”

        Yes!!!

        What kind of a wacko idea it is to let the unwashed elect whomever they want for as long as they want?!?!?!

      • While we’re at it, bureaucrats charged with mis/malfeasance should be considered guilty until proven innocent. And until that proof is forthcoming, and has been judged adequate, they shouldn’t be allowed to draw a government salary again. Or exercise any government “authority”.

      • I think there should be a kind of lottery where periodically a large block of legislators are removed from office and put into prison for life.

      • This would be the other reading of “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.” As in the despair said to be occasioned by “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.”

    • Hey, don’t conflate lazy and unserious. Lots of lazy people can be very serious, there’s just not always a lot to be serious about.

      And I’ve often seen the most active people in an office are seriously unserious.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Just who decides which scientists are serious and which are lazy bums wasting everyone’s time? ”

      clue #1?

      not u

      • Right. A serious scientist is a scientist who works towards his political goals in his every effort.

      • Here’s one possible clue as to whether a scientist may be serious or not:

        Does he wear his underwear on the outside and thinks a bright red cape is fashionable attire.

      • Another clue.

        Does he see himself as a warrior on the front lines, risking his life to protect the rest of us ignorant masses.

      • Yet another.

        Does he predict 10 feet of sea level rise when he (should) know that 3 centuries of data show an average 1.7 mm/yr.

        Or if you prefer, 3 decades of data show a 3 mm / yr rise.

        Arithmatic – so tricky to master.

      • Or if you prefer, 3 decades of data show a 3 mm / yr rise.

        Arithmatic – so tricky to master.

        Then why did you flub it?

      • Steven Mosher

        You guys need to read harder.

        The question WASNT is he a serious scientist.

        the question was

        ‘Just who decides?”

        None of U. mean either. Your opinions dont count.

        if U want to trash talk take lessons

      • “Just who decides which scientists are serious and which are lazy bums wasting everyone’s time? ”

        I do. So does anybody who decides whether their time is being wasted. Some decide more wisely than others…

      • Steven Mosher

        Funny how people spend so much time on Hansen and they say he isnt serious.

        actions speak louder ya know

      • Don Monfort

        It doesn’t take much time to say that Hansen isn’t serious. What are you talking about, Steven? You could use a rest.

      • Steven Mosher

        its especially funny when your opinion doesnt count and u have zero power.

        but I love the penetrating questions people ask.. who decides?
        brilliant

      • Steven: For an English major, it’s a bit sad to see you continually diminish your point(s) with the slop that I can only hope you’re texting through a mid-90s flip phone. If you treat your programming the same way you treat the English language… Let’s just say it does not inspire confidence in either.

        When you find yourself using “U” all caps or no caps, it may be a good signal to step back and refactor before posting.

        Details matter in all languages, and it is far too easy to spread bad habits from one to another.

      • Don Monfort

        Shame on you, Steven. In this day and age you telling us we can’t decide which scientists are serious is un-American. People who were normal appearing men for 65 years get to decide that they are now unattractive older females and we all are expected to pretend that it’s great. You could at least pretend that each and every one of us can decide for ourselves if we want to take that clown-jailbird Hansen seriously. Do you believe that 10 feet BS, Steven?

        You may not have noticed that around 7 billion folks don’t take climate alarmism seriously enough to be losing sleep over it. They are very likely not going to take that 10 feet BS seriously. So you all are stuck with the hope and change king’s pen and phone. How is he doing?

        I will help you: One one hundredth of a freaking degree prevented is all he can decree. He was supposed to stop the seas from rising, now it’s up to 10 freaking feet. Hansen is making the hope and change king look bad.

      • Steven,

        I don’t need you as an arbitrater of what question I should answer. I am not required to answer any question.

        In this instance I simply offer possible means for judging seriousness. The question of who judges is left open.

        Pompacity is not a requirement for an English major, is it?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Steven: For an English major, it’s a bit sad to see you continually diminish your point(s) with the slop that I can only hope you’re texting through a mid-90s flip phone. ”

        How’d u guess?

        if you can’t distinguish having fun from serious dialog, then there is no hope for u. Style is a function of the rhetorical situation. Think about that.

        traffics moving BRB

      • Steven Mosher

        “Shame on you, Steven. In this day and age you telling us we can’t decide which scientists are serious is un-American.”

        I’m saying that you don’t decide as a matter of fact.

        The question was who decides?
        My response was that the OP doesn’t decide and neither do I.
        Basically a humbling point. I don’t decide. You don’t decide.
        Nobody here has an opinion that counts or the power to decide.

        I suppose 30 years from now those who write history and those who actually DO SCIENCE, will decide who was serious and who was not.

        nature will decide the debate. not you not me not AK or joshua or anyone on this thread. That should be humbling to folks.

        The same goes for blathering on about “who decides” which scientists are serious. not me. not you.. the arrogance of people on this thread is hilarious.

      • You may not have noticed that around 7 billion folks don’t take climate alarmism seriously enough to be losing sleep over it.

        What fantasy reality do you live in, Don? Why is almost every country in the world trying to work out a deal to address climate change? The only group significant group that appears to question climate change are right wing Republicans in the US.

      • David Springer

        Not non-zero if one votes and/or otherwise speaks out.

      • Joseph

        The Worlds chief alarmists-the UK Govt-is now rapidly backtracking on its green commitments

        http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article4507363.ece

        It won’t try and go further and faster than anyone else in cutting greenhouse emissions. Also the ‘Green deal’ has been put on ice after a poor public response.

        tonyb

      • Don Monfort

        Tell us how long every country in the world has been trying to work out a deal to address climate change, joey. You think right wing Republicans in the U.S. are responsible for the failure of the whole freaking world to do something meaningful? That is clownish irrational thinking, joey.

        Do you remember candidate Obama promising to stop the seas from rising, joey? The Obama regime started with control of both houses of Congress. What did they do about climate change, joey? What has Obama done up to now? One one hundredth of one degree. Pathetic. That’s almost exactly what the right wing Republicans have done. It’s next to nothing, joey.

      • Don Monfort

        You are wrong, Steven. Everybody here has an opinion that counts for something. Most are not alarmed by the alleged existential threat of climate change, or whatever they are calling it today. The vast majority of people in the world are not alarmed enough to be clamoring for substantive action. You know that. Put simply, the alarmism of climate scientists and fellow travelers is not taken seriously by the masses.

        How is this playing out in the good ole U.S.A.? The Obama regime has been powerless to do anything meaningful about climate change. One one hundredth of one degree. Power to the people.

      • Joseph

        “What fantasy reality do you live in, Don? Why is almost every country in the world trying to work out a deal to address climate change? The only group significant group that appears to question climate change are right wing Republicans in the US.”

        1. “Why … every country…deal?

        They want cash from the developed world, but the people know that their corrupt leaders will steal it.

        2 “… only group that…question climate change…Republicans…”

        Nobody cares, either in the US or the rest of the world. Obama and the Dems had two years to rule the US without the Republicans. What did you get out of it? If you like your doctor you can keep him…or her.

      • I suppose 30 years from now those who write history and those who actually DO SCIENCE, will decide who was serious and who was not.

        I am beyond tired of scaremongering predictions designed to herd people into supporting silly policies.

        A partial solution is the three strikes rule. Any bureaucrat/scientist that makes 3 incorrect “climate change”/environmental disaster predictions that prove wrong is fired/permanently debarred. This will reduce the scaremongering and give us more reasonable climate predictions.

      • Tell us how long every country in the world has been trying to work out a deal to address climate change, joey.

        The main stumbling block has been China to get a global deal. You still haven’t explained to me why if no one cares, they are trying to get a deal.

      • Nobody cares, either in the US or the rest of the world.

        I ask you the same question. Why are they trying to get an agreement on addressing climate change, if no one cares?

      • And Justin, it’s the developed world that is the driving force behind trying to get an agreement, not the developing world.

      • Don Monfort

        You are talking nonsense, joey. Now it’s the right wing Republicans and the commie Chinese, who are not co-operating.

        I didn’t say that nobody cares. Not enough people care, joey. You alarmists been hollering about his Chicken Little story for decades and it still ain’t working. The folks are tired of it. There is not going to be an international agreement that results in meaningful CO2 reduction, unless you get a few billion more people on board. You jokers need to up your game.

      • There is not going to be an international agreement that results in meaningful CO2 reduction, unless you get a few billion more people on board.

        It’s difficult to get a global agreement on anything, not because people aren’t concerned. If people weren’t concerned they would have given up. You have absolutely nothing to back up your statement.

      • Don Monfort

        I never said that people aren’t concerned, yoey. I said:

        “Not enough people care, joey.”

        The fact that there has been no agreement proves that not enough people care. Let’s see if this sinks in, yoey:

        If 97% of the world’s population believed that AGW is an existential threat, you probably would already have some kind of agreement to do something meaningful about it. We are nowhere near that, yoey. When the folks are asked by pollsters to rank their major worries, AGW is at the bottom of the list.

        Try to catch up, yoey. You all have to convince a lot more people. You don’t need everybody in the world to get on board. Just the folks in the major CO2 producing countries.

        It’s plain that you personally couldn’t convince anyone of anything, yoey. Your hope then is that the other Chicken Littles will up their game. I think they should drop the BS propaganda and scare tactics and try a vigorous honest and open debate, for a change. That’s all I have for you, yoey.

      • Steven: if you can’t distinguish having fun from serious dialog, then there is no hope for u. Style is a function of the rhetorical situation. Think about that.

        Does “serious dialog” include books that you co-author? If so, there’s no hope for you either; grammatically or factually, as it turns out. Too bad, really.

    • Just who decides which scientists are serious and which are lazy bums wasting everyone’s time?

      A fair question. It all boils down to whether you like collectivism or not.

      If you do, then conference reviewers, conference audiences, journal peer reviewers, journal editors, journal readers, appointments-and-promotions committees, recommendation letter writers, and prize committees account for the majority of these decision makers.

      If you don’t then God. The lazy bums wasting everyone’s time are turned away from the pearly gates.

  14. Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” beats the post-modernists’ “Anthropocene” in every respect.

  15. For over half a century, I’ve had the opportunity to travel or live all over the world. And I saw a lot. You can’t imagine the horrors I have seen.

    As a general rule, the grossest environmental damages were much worse in communist countries. I also had the opportunity to observe close up as the industry deteriorated under the communistoid Chavez regime in Venezuela. The tendency to ignore the environment is clearly displayed by China’s air, the terrible conditions we see today in Lake Maracaibo, the awful mess the soviets left behind in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia…

    I mention this point because I see many Marxists try to link the environment issues to attacks on capitalism and advocacy of communism (this includes the Pope et al). I think we are dealing with ivory tower types, theorists who never saw what really goes on under communist rule, and why ALWAYS turns out to be such a monstrosity. I lived in the belly of their monster, I know it guts, and I can assure you they got it backwards.

    • Plus lots. I traveled then East Germany extensively in 1982, long before the Wall came down. Stazi tour guides did not know my wife and I were neither religious (we were on a Luther tour with western Pastors ( her stepfather) and their wives) nor that we were fluent in German. Boy, oh boy. Baren shop shelves. Wonderment at simple cameras (Poloroid rumers!). Desolation and hardship everywhere compared to then West Germany where we lived (Munich) for nearly six years. Fernando, you describe our experiences exactly. Most have no idea.

      • David Springer

        Surely you have at least one chapter dealing with communism in one of your published ebooks…

    • David L. Hagen

      Fernando
      The danger of central control is detailed by Vaklev Klaus in Blue Planet in Green Shackles. What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?

      The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy, and prosperity at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century is no longer socialism or communism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism. This ideological stream has recently become a dominant alternative to those ideologies that are consistently and primarily oriented toward freedom. It is a movement that intends to change the world radically regardless of the consequences (at the cost of human lives and severe restrictions on individual freedom). It intends to change humankind, human behavior, the structure of society, the system of values – simply everything.

    • Greenspan also pointed out the Venezuelan disaster in his biography. Similar thing in Russia in the 90s when the bilked the IMF out vast amount of money. Lots of sloppy, leaky, wasteful, unambitious extraction.

      The surge in oil prices ironically allowed them to profit while the efficiency and enviromental safety declined, for a time.

    • It is one of those things. The social/progressive/environmentalist (S/P/E) faction is simply interested in control. They want their fellow man to do things their way.

      Since there is no legitimate reason to do things their way there is considerable deception and coercion involved.

      They have the bureaucrat mind set, and I get an earful about bureaucrat neighbors from REAL Marylanders, so I am familiar with the problem. The OTB (outside the beltway) population has no idea how toxic the S/P/E really are.

      The only solution is reducing the size of government. This gives them a smaller hammer to hit their fellow citizens with.

      It is pretty obvious the S/P/E faction doesn’t care about the environment since they expend a lot of energy on things that aren’t pollutants. S/P/E prefer cosmetic and symbolic solutions to faux problems, rather than real solutions to real problems.

  16. I firmly believe, “knowledge and technology, applied with wisdom, WILL allow for a good, or even great, Anthropocene” because that is our birthright from the creator, sustainer and destroyer of all atoms, lives and planets in the solar system.

  17. I am still trying to understand the nature of the ecological/climate/sustainability PROBLEM so many seem to be wringing their hands over. It seems to me that this is but another progressive attempt to mold/constrain society in a manner that suits progressive goals. The all out destructive frontal assault on capitalism by Francis, the UN and the green mafia is transparent.

    Much of the world lives so much better than they did 50 years ago and they will live even better in 50 years than we do today. Technology and natural resources exists today to assure that this will be so. The CO2 bogeyman is the only thing that could prevent this from happening. The huge uncertainty as to the nature of this bogeyman indicates to me that we ignore him until such time that someone can show that he is real.

    • It is so much easier to be sanguine and calm when you have heard all the hysteria and hand wringing for the last 50 years. We are miles beyond where we were in the 1950s. Some want society to believe it has never been worse. Time to just say “Oh boy, here we go again.”

    • Think you might have a point there, Mark.

      I rather like this quote:
      “In their haste to be wiser and nobler than others, the anointed have misconceived two basic issues. They seem to assume (1) that they have more knowledge than the average member of the benighted and (2) that this is the relevant comparison. The real comparison, however, is not between the knowledge possessed by the average member of the educated elite versus the average member of the general public, but rather the total direct knowledge brought to bear though social processes (the competition of the marketplace, social sorting, etc.), involving millions of people, versus the secondhand knowledge of generalities possessed by a smaller elite group.” — Thomas Sowell

  18. If we were living in a musical comedy, this would work! We will remake the world using the “Think System(TM)” and march down Main Street playing Seventy Six Trombones at the end!

  19. Judith,

    “My personal desire is to leave the city and live a life that is more connected to nature. Whether or not this is ‘rational’ in context of planetary health, I don’t know.”

    My advice – come to Oregon. I look across the road at farm fields, wetlands and woodlands. I’m also 15 minutes from downtown Portland. An hour drive east or west will get you to the coast, the mountains or the Gorge. Drive another hour or two and you are in high desert.

    • Judith will find what she needs much closer to home. Just leave the city boundary and move to the countryside with more land to look after and if you are very lucky, some unspoiled wildness nearby for frequent visits and recharging of your spirit.

      • errr ….wilderness. Its funny how 2 two misplaced letters can cause a sentence to become urined.

      • Peter,

        I’ve lived in both Georgia and SC. Two of my brothers and their families still live there. I love both places. Would have no problem if I had to move back.

        But they ain’t Oregon.

    • Great topography and ‘climate.’ Lousy political climate.

  20. Eco modernists are saying we can use fossil fuels in a way that benefits both humans and nature, and in fact, if we don’t do so, our civilization is not sustainable. Using fossil fuels is good for people and the planet and is the only sustainable way forward.

  21. Read all the links, some now for a second time. Some confusing and contradictory ‘fuzzy’ perspectives. Big picture, there are (at least) two dimensions. One dimension is ‘neoMalthusian’. There are those that believe technology eventually can solve all resource constraints for some substantially larger global human population, and those that don’t.
    The other dimension is ‘Nature’. There are those that believe much of Nature is best left natural, untrammeled by man, and those that think man and nature can coexist (with ‘conscious coupling’).
    This makes for a complicated set of often contradictory perspectives against a backdrop of growing total population. For the record, I don’t think technology can solve all future human carrying capacity problems in a timely fashion (more precisely, I think it unwise to risk that bet the way India, parts of Africa, and most of Southeast Asia are), and do think man and nature can coexist with proper ag and conservation policies.
    The ends of the neoMalthusian spectrum often talk past one another on belief, without examining the underlying data or considering the time frames in which new technology would have to be developed and deployed. Take food. Yes, selective breeding, hybridization, GMO, synthetic fertilizer, pesticides,… dramatically increased yields in the 20th century, but mostly not so far in the 21st (except corn where GMO is allowed). Those things can happen only once, and reach natural limits. More fertilizer beyond the optimum, or more pesticides once pests are gone, do not increase yields. GMO corn (Bt) against the corn borer increased yields and reduced pesticides, but the corn borer is starting to evolve resistance to the Bt genes because of improper over planting without leaving nonBt refugia. Roundup Ready GMO corn and soybeans increased yields (RR improved weed suppression), but 10 weeds have already evolved Roundup (glyphosate) resistance (because of improper overuse in monoculture) and now infest 10 million US acres. RR gains are now eroding in the US ag heartland. Borlaug’s green revolution in wheat was accomplished via dwarfing and rust resistance. Those cannot be done twice; wheat needs a certain amount of stem and leaf to photosynthesize the carbohydrate and protein for its seed head. UG99 rust has already evolved around the original Borlaug rust resistance genetics; only a massive breeding effort by CIMMYT over a decade to 2011 developed new UG99 strains; these are not yet regionally optimized cultivars, so their adoption in the Punjab to avoid UG99 catastrophe (yield reductions of 40-75% in infested fields) will reduce yields somewhat.
    If one assumes the availability of ‘virtual water’ (unlimited imports of food from plentiful water regions into water scarce regions with burgeoning populations), then constraints on additional arable land, additional irrigation, optimum fertilizer/pesticides, and future yield improvements across all crop types, diets (meat is a big calorie/protein issue), and caloric needs provide a soft food limit to human population at about 9.1-9.3 billion by about 2050. All the wishing for additional ag technology won’t change the basics of that global carrying capacity limit. The FAO study on “How to feed the world in 2050” is just that, wishes for miracles. Ebook Gaia’s Limits does the detailed carrying capacity calculation slog.
    The ends of the ‘Nature’ spectrum likewise talk past one another. The larger the natural ‘human exclusion zone’, the more human population is crowded into the remaining carrying capacity resource. Brazil can protect the Amazon basin’s southern fringe, or Brazil can be a major food exporter to Asia (soybeans for animal feed), but not both. Indonesia can protect its jungles and orangoutangs, or grow palm oil for European biodiesel, but not both.

    It is easier IMO to focus on bite sized problems, where the inherent inconsistencies in ‘Ecomodernist manifesto’ fuzzies become more apparent, and the actual choices we face more concrete.
    Take ocean fisheries. Yes, aquaculture provides shrimp and salmon. But not (ever?) bluefin tuna or cod. Those species are being or have been overfished. The ‘natural’ solution is large fishery refuges where no ‘industrial’ fishing is allowed. This will also drive up the price of sushi and fish&chips. The world as a whole has done little or nothing because ocean fisheries are a commons problem except in territorial waters. And because especially in Southeast Asia the population is desperate for fish protein, in part because of opposition to GMO golden rice that provides an alternative complete protein. Greenpeace is for the former, and against the latter. Completely inconsistent.

    A lot of the ‘Ecomanifesto’ seems like wanting a fuzzy set of things that are fundamentally incompatible. A subtle form of intellectual dishonesty. Ditto renewables versus reliable inexpensive electricity. Ditto Laudato Si on the natural environment versus population. (Catholic opposition to voluntary birth control while fretting about the expanding population’s impact on the natural environment and energy consumption.)

      • ristvan, there’s a company called Australian Fishing Enterprises that’s fish farming bluefin tuna that you may want to review. It’s a commercially viable business supplying the Japanese sushi market. There was a documentary on them awhile back. There’s others developing this market although I’m not aware of how far along they are.

      • JT, I will look this up. Knew about the yellowfin experiment in Hawaii, but not about bluefins. Thanks for the tip.

      • JT, read up on AFE. Had not known about it. They are netting wild spawned juveniles who school in the Australian Bight, then pen growing them to market weight. Not the whole reproductive cycle as with shrimp and salmon (or freshwater tilapia and catfish). I suppose AFE might improve on the wild survival rate (the site does not say) and probably improves the meat quality toward more prized fatty maguro. Seine netting wild herring as food. One of the nice things about farmed shrimp and salmon is the feed can some at least partly from conventional farming or farm byproducts (like rendered offal and soy protein supplement.
        Still and all, a nice first half step toward farming bluefins. Thanks for the education.

      • No problem, Ristvan, keep your eyes peeled for the documentary about them, it pops up from time to time. I want to say PBS, could have been discovery channel. It’s engaging.

    • Curious George

      The whole ecology is about a population explosion – a touchy subject that no one is willing to handle. There is no known Politically Correct solution.

      On a smaller scale, do you believe that Central American children smuggled illegally into United States are a U.S. problem rather than a problem of the countries they come from? Ditto for migrants crossing into Europe over the Mediterranean.

      • Curious,

        Yes, it’s a dilemma. It’s one thing to notice that the lifeboat is crowded, quite another to do something about it.

      • Lack of immigration control was the downfall of the American Aborigine (usually called Indians by people who don’t know what continent they are on).

        The current Americans don’t seem to have learned from history and appear doomed to repeat it.

      • CG, one thing I am reasonably confident of (per my above comments and the information and figurations in Gaia’s Limits) is that the food carrying capacity is exceeded by UN global population estimates somewhere around 2050 (give or take a few hundred million and years). I fear much worse than a illegal immigrant central American ‘inbasion’ into the US will then arise. Globally. And with internet visuals, it will be horrific. Yet is preventable if appropriate simple low/no cost policies are emplaced now. Not PC, and not in accordance with Catholic/Evangelical teaching. Chinese did it by brute force, which is not right.
        The basic notion of carrying capacity is the elephant in the room. And dubious notions of what innovation can and cannot practically do ( internet, yes. More arable land, not so much) are the blindfold that prevents us seeing the elephant.

    • David Springer

      ristvan | July 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Reply

      “Read all the links, some now for a second time. Some confusing and contradictory ‘fuzzy’ perspectives”

      You can’t imagine how comforted I am in knowing you’ve read all the links.

    • ristvan,

      Very true. As ever, we’ll just have to muddle through. Putting right unintended consequences, Using whatever technology we can lay our hands on. And careful assess the results e.g. GMO hasn’t provided the promised goodies yet; whereas hybridisation has continued to perform well. Solar panels use up precious farmland, while oil continues to provide cheap energy. The 1960s ‘Green Revolution’ of fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides has ‘desertified’ many farms while old fashioned mixed farming and crop rotation still has the wild flowers, birds and bees with productive soil. And so on.

      Good job we have government regulation of petrol additives, control of waste chemicals, etc – although sometimes it goes OTT. But in general, it’s best to have lots of different ideas being tried at any one time. This is what Capitalism is specially good at – diversity of effort.

      • @anng: Solar panels use up precious farmland

        Although solar panels are more often put on roofs than on farmland, it’s nevertheless an interesting question how much US farmland would have to be dedicated to solar panels capable of supplying 1/3 of the US’s total energy needs.

        In round numbers a 200W panel covers 1 m2 and, averaged over a year and over US latitudes, should produce about 30W on average. Total rate of US energy consumption is running around 3 TW (a bit less than a fifth of the world’s power), so 1/3 is 1 TW or 1E12 W. That would require 3.3E10 m2 of panels, or 3.3 million hectares, or 8.2 million acres.

        US farmland is currently around 900 million acres. Dedicating 8.2 million of that to PV would therefore consume 8.2/900 = 0.9%.

        Putting them on the least used 1% of US farmland would therefore seem unlikely to create a serious food shortage.

        However the contiguous US has a total of nearly 1900 million acres, so why would anyone want to put 8 million acres of panels on 900 million acres of farmland when there are over 1000 million other acres to choose from? Surely at least 1% of those must be suitable for PV.

        In practice most of them are more likely to end up on rooftops.

      • In the UK covering farmland with solar panels is big business – see map
        http://www.renewables-map.co.uk/Solar.asp

  22. A lot of people with what Beth the Serf would call a top-down approach, isn’t there? “We” means “they”…but in the nicest possible way. Plan an era! Why didn’t someone think of that before? (I mean, someone apart from those 20th century slave states.)

    Look, if the junta pope and the climate scientists and the eco philosophers want to sell us on a new order anthrowhatsy, why don’t they just join – or consciously couple with – Goop Magazine? They can be preening uber-activists, believe lots, know little, predict any old thing, cajole the public into imbecilic expense…and Gwynnie will pay them for it!

    • Gee thx moso. Agree re new order same ol’ we know
      what’s best so trust us. Here’s something from the
      beginnings of our great western liberal development
      more than a coupla’ thousand years before the life
      changing Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.

      From Pericles Funeral Oration:

      ‘Our political system does not compete with institutions
      which are elsewhere in force. We do not copy our
      neighbors but try to be an example. Our administration
      favours the many instead of the few.The laws afford equal
      justice to all in their private disputes, but we do not
      ignore the claims of excellence. When a citizen
      distinguishes himself, then he will be called to serve
      the state in preference to others, not as a matter of
      privilege but as a reward for merit and poverty is no bar …

      The freedom we enjoy extends into ordinary life; we are
      not suspicious of one another, and do not nag our
      neighbour if he chooses to go his own way …But this
      freedom does not make us lawless. We are taught to
      respect the magistrates and the laws, and never forget
      that we must protect the injured…

      An Athenian citizen does not neglect public affairs when
      attending his private business…We consider a man who
      takes no interest in the state, not as harmless but as
      useless,: and although only a few may originate policy,
      we are all able to judge it. We do not look upon
      discussion as a stumbling block in the way of political
      action, but as a preliminary to acting wisely..’

  23. Craig Loehle

    Capitalism does NOT only think about quarterly profits. Factories, dams, power plants, etc. are built with the assumption that they will last 30 to 60 years. People take out a 30 year loan on their home. Individuals are hired on the assumption that they will be kept on indefinitely.

    • Craig, as a lifelong practicing capitalist, I agree. Wall Street is not capitalism. Capitalism was Andrew Carnegie building a steel industry, Charles Goodyear building the rubber industry, Henry Foord building the auto industry. And it is your local restaurants and dry cleaners competing on quality and service for your business. Sure, it needs regulation to prevent excesses (monopoly) and to control externalities (pollution). Sure it produces winners and losers and Schumpeter’s ‘creative destruction’. Buggy whip manufacturers lost to Henry Ford and his ilk. But the the stagnation in socialist southern Europe (e.g. France) and the failure of true communism everywhere suggest we do not yet know of a better system for allocating resources and driving productivity.

  24. Capitalism devalues all future life with its emphasis on quarterly earnings.

    If this statement is at all amenable of revision to be even remotely close to truth it should be corrected to say –e.g., Capitalism discounts future earnings with its emphasis living (i.e., life in the real world).

  25. Craig Loehle

    There is a whiff of primitivism in this essay. Return to nature and all will be well. There is also an assumption that modern agriculture is some sort of disaster, when in fact by growing so much more food/acre it is possible to allow more land to be wild. The primitivist, while speaking to our physical nature, ignores economic realities.

    • I love the smell of agribusiness in the morning…it smells like…breakfast!

    • Like Plato’s ‘Noble Lie,’ there never was a Golden
      Age . For maybe 40, 000 years the standard of living
      for the average family in Europe, Africa, Asia improved
      little. It wasn’t much fun bein’ a peasant and bein’ a
      serf likely worse. In Germany and Switzerland in the
      Little Ice Age, twenty five peasant revolts were recorded.

      Life in the past centered on the daily struggle ter gather
      or produce sufficient food jest ter stay alive. Soup, gruel
      or grain porridge were the daily fare fer most and famines
      were a constant threat.

      The last food shortage in Europe, discounting political
      action like war, was in Finland and Sweden in 1866 -68.
      Here’s a list of past famines, though not all:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_famines

  26. Scientific American says climate change will be solved in the cities or not at all.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-will-be-solved-in-cities-or-not-at-all/

    I think the left would love to see everybody, except themselves, stuffed in cities – Agenda 21 and all that. Of course, the elite always have second homes in rural or semi-rural settings.

    • Plus ocean views on the newly created sea level rise beaches. Oh wait, they are buying actual beaches like Gore in CA and Clinton in the Hamptons.
      Scott

  27. The Mark Lynas article is interesting.

    Personally, I think we have a chance to have a great Anthropcene if we can accomplish two very challenging goals:

    1. Provide equal access to education, up to and including graduate level, to all the people of the earth. That means “decoupling” education from geography and socio-economic status.

    2. Ensure equal rights for women everywhere on the planet.

    I think #1 is easier than #2 given the cultural friction in some parts of the world.

  28. If Russian science is correct, everything will look a lot different in ~15 years: like the Anasazi culture in the American SW, government-funded climatists will be forced to abandon their shallow pueblo caves as the climate changes.

    • Are those the Russian scientists that used the same dodgy statistics that Mann used?

      • Those Ruskies have this crazy idea that it’s the sun, stupid. Mann is way too smart to believe something as simple as that when green eggs and ham explain everything just fine.

      • Dodge the question will you?

        A simple yes or no would suffice, the answer not being “it’s the sun, stupid”

        Unfortunately, the Little Ice Age started before the Maunder Minimum, and the Russian scientists are not the ones predicting another Little Ice Age.

        So do you believe the statistics used by the Russians are valid or not?

        It is possible that the Russians are correct, are using valid statistics, and that there will be a Maunder type minimum in the near future, and that this will have little to no effect on the continuation of the warming trend

      • David Springer

        Got a link for LIA beginning before sunspot number declined? A quick google finds this solar scientist at NASA disagrees with that.

        http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml

        The Maunder Minimum

        Early records of sunspots indicate that the Sun went through a period of inactivity in the late 17th century. Very few sunspots were seen on the Sun from about 1645 to 1715 (38 kb JPEG image). Although the observations were not as extensive as in later years, the Sun was in fact well observed during this time and this lack of sunspots is well documented. This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the “Little Ice Age” when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes. There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past. The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research.

        The problem is that good sunspot records began just a few decades before the Maunder minimum. Sunspot numbers were very low in those decades and as the article states there is evidence they were low in the more distant past as well.

      • Bob

        This graphic is from my recent article

        Lack of sunspots appears to coincide with some of the cooling periods but not all of them. Their lack appears to coincide with the Maunder Minimum however, the coldest and most extended period. The LIA was rather intermittent

        tonyb

  29. What better thread than review Neal Boortz’ most popular Commencement Address that was never given:

    I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It’s about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you’ll have enough smoke blown your way today. And you can bet your tassels I’m not here to impress the faculty and administration.

    You may not like much of what I have to say, and that’s fine. You will remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees.

    This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You’ve heard the old saying that those who can – do. Those who can’t – teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.

    By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn’t mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot’s license many years ago, he said, ‘Here, this is your ticket to learn.’ The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.

    Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all, you’re a compassionate and caring person, aren’t you now? Well, isn’t that just so extraordinarily special.

    Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a Liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in. Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast .. including your own assessment of just how much you really know.

    So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear “I feel.” From the Right you will hear “I think.” From the Liberals you will hear references to groups –The Blacks, The Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate.” From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.

    That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives and Libertarians think — and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual.

    (continued below)

    • David Springer

      The scroll wheel on my mouse broke trying to get through this diatribe as quickly as possible. Thanks Wagathon.

  30. (continued from above)

    Liberals feel that their favored groups, have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives (and Libertarians, myself among them I might add) think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.

    In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your name. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity starts now.

    If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a libertarian or a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven’t developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.

    Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You’re going to actually get a full time job! You’re also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn’t going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn’t want to share in your effort, you’re your earnings.

    Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent. An agent representing a strange and diverse group of people. An agent for every teenager with an illegitimate child. An agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor demented hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist … but who just can’t manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.

    Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills… but who wanted a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million-dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent’s for their personal enrichment and benefit.

    That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have. A power that no individual has, or will have. This agent has the legal power to use force deadly force to accomplish its goals.

    You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla. It will sleep anywhere it wants to.

    Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I’m sorry, there just isn’t any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can’t decrease it’s share of your income. That power rests with him, not you.

    So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Yes … a necessary evil, but dangerous nonetheless… somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.

    Now let’s address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world.

    First that favorite buzz word of the media, government and academia: Diversity!

    You have been taught that the real value of any group of people – be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever – is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individual’s abilities or character, but on a person’s identity and status as a member of a group. Yes it’s that liberal group identity thing again.

    Within the great diversity movement group identification – be it racial, gender based, or some other minority status – means more than the individual’s integrity, character or other qualifications.

    Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work. >From this day on every single time you hear the word “diversity” you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess.

    We also need to address this thing you seem to have about “rights.” We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called “rights” in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.

    You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right – the right to a Beemer, for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.

    Forget it. Forget those rights! I’ll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and to the results of your labor. I’ll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.

    You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn’t she? But you cannot receive health care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time – his life – to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that’s his choice. You have no “right” to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person’s life or to any portion thereof.

    You may also think you have some “right” to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? Sorry, forget it. I am sure you would scream if some urban outdoorsmen (that would be “homeless person” for those of you who don’t want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.

    The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs – the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn’t cost anyone else either property or time. It’s their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.

    By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase “less fortunate” a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you’ll understand why.

    (continued below)

    • Wagathon believes he has the right to impose the entire text of someone else’s long winded opinion on misguided liberals who feel their rights rule, into Judith’s blog.

      Oh the irony.

      • So?
        He does have that right.
        Just as you have the right NOT to read it.

        That is the problem with lots of people nowadays. Instead of simply ignoring texts, speech, video or pictures (cartoons of bearded prophets for instance) which they consider wrong or offensive, they want to take away to rights of other people to even publish them. Your comment is a perfect example.

      • Another numbnut who apparently doesn’t realize they can skip the comment.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Jeff:

        Much better had Wagathon shared a link than that messed up, lengthy, partial transcription.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Hmmm. And now I notice no mention of H.L. Mencken in the speech link I provided. Will the real faux commencement speech please make itself known?

    • David Springer

      The down button on my keyboard broke trying to get through the second half of this diatribe as quickly as possible. Thanks again Wagathon.

  31. Here are some my thoughts, for what it’s worth:

    “We” (Humanity) already have the technology for considerably lightening our footprint on the Earth, which will be necessary to support the population of 12-20 billion it will probably (IMO) have by 2100. By “lightening our footprint”, I mean not only controlling, and if necessary reducing, our fossil carbon signature, but the return of all but a small fraction of the “wild” land now allocated for agriculture to a feral state. “Rewilding”, if you will.

    With technological advance, and appropriate use of free-market capitalism, a great deal of industry and agriculture can be removed from parts of the Earth where they displace vibrant nature, and placed in areas, probably mostly oceanic, where they displace little if any life, and are out of sight of, or interference with (and by) human culture.

    Forms of power can be developed that do not require damaging nature, including solar power which can be isolated over lifeless ocean, dispersed at height where its fractional shadow would have little impact on ecosystems below, or, ultimately, in orbit, where its shadow and support structure wouldn’t even touch the earth.

    This is not the same as cramming everybody into big cities, nor does it require limiting people’s interactions with nature if they wish: those who don’t want a close interaction with nature can live in cities, with perhaps the occasional trip to the “country”, while those who wish, and are prepared, to live in harmony with nature.

    And there would be much more “country” to visit, or live in. With most agriculture removed, much of the land previously used for it could be allowed to return to (something like) its “natural” state, while other parts could be allowed to evolve to some intermediate state, with aspects of both human habitation and wilderness.

    In the great farms and factories floating on the ocean, however, “‘conscious decoupling’ from nature by technological solutions independent from surrounding eco[non]systems” would be carried to an extreme. Here, where sunlight, and perhaps rain, but no life due to lack of nutrients exist, mass-produced floating structures can contain crops, isolated from spores, seed, and the animals that spread them and compete with us for the crops. Thus, the need for pesticides of most forms would be eliminated, or substantially reduced.

    By inflating large roofs of strong, transparent plastic film (say, 1-5mm thick), the interior could be made impervious to all but the most severe weather, and building sizes could be measured in hundreds, or even thousands (for a long tube design) of meters. The support structures underneath could also be inflated structures, using higher-pressure air and water (at, say, 2-10 bar), combined with tensile members into a rigid tensegrity structure capable of supporting the overlying agricultural structures, and maintaining extreme stability.

    The great advantage of higher CO2 levels, especially for crops that have seen some careful genetic engineering to help them make better use of it, can be obtained without the need for raising CO2 levels across the planet. Temperatures can be controlled. Unneeded fractions if mid-day sunlight can be removed for solar PV, which mechanisms would be under the same plastic film as the crops.

    The soil might be in very large (but very thin) trays, which could be moved as needed to bring them under processing machines that, themselves, would not have to move. The actual energy needed to move those trays would be small if they are suspended on air cushions, which can themselves be made very low-power by using very flat surfaces, and proper skirt design. If guidance and propulsion are provided by light rails, feasible in the enclosed greenhouse space, most of the energy used could probably be recovered with regenerative braking.

    Alternatively, low-profile rails could be built into the support structure, allowing electrically powered equipment to move over the soil, again at much lower energy costs. Either way, the greatest energy usage would probably be for manipulating soil, plants, and products.

    Similar, but lighter, inflated support structures could be used for very light-weight solar PV, based perhaps on recent developments in proton induced exfoliation.

    Or, given the very low weight of such thin PV structures, perhaps they can be suspended in hydrogen filled balloons, perhaps even well above the tropopause, where winds are almost always lateral, see much less turbulence (AFAIK), and there are no clouds to obscure and diffuse sunlight.

    This might also be cost-effective for concentrating PV, where the mirrors could be sub-millimeter thick film, and the PV cells themselves would be tiny compared to the collector surface.

    • AK, you might be right. But probably not. Read the hard cruel facts on food and energy in Gia’s Limits. Get back with counter data, if you can find any.

      • Facts might be “hard” and “cruel”, but interpretations are a matter of opinion, and such opinions are almost always based on a host of tacit assumptions, usually not even recognized by the person doing the interpreting.

        I’ve seen how you react to out-of-the-box thinking, I’m not going to waste my time, and perhaps readers’ time and money.

      • AK, you personify the problems. Have any plausible solutions?
        No matter how good concentrated solar efficiency might become ( a speculative example you use) without storage it is irrelevant at night.
        You like out of box thinking. Me, I like to know about the box. Cause whatever Ma Nature provides has to be ‘shipped inside her boxes’.
        Not outside them.

      • Have any plausible solutions?

        Yes. Plenty. Many posted as comments right here at Climate Etc.

        No matter how good concentrated solar efficiency might become ( a speculative example you use) without storage it is irrelevant at night.

        Yup. Deep Sea pumped hydro. Right there under the floating solar power. That’s for near-term.

        Longer term, as the cost of PV, and energy gained from it, becomes an order of magnitude cheaper than any other power when the sun shines, use it to make fuel out of sea-water.

        You like out of box thinking. Me, I like to know about the box.

        So fine. Tell me about the box. After you’ve looked closely enough at solutions to see whether they’re actually still inside it. I’ll try to find something outside of it.

        Just don’t use it as a platform to try and sell your books. I don’t like paywalls. And, BTW, don’t tell me about Tellurium shortages. That’s taken care of, as you’ll know if you actually follow the link-chains starting above. And anyone else can, without having to use a credit card.

        As for other parts of the box, set ’em up: I’ll try to knock ’em down. Or link to somebody else who’s trying. Or already has.

      • David Springer

        AK +1

  32. Gak. Capitalism is very concerned with the future, far from being blind to it.

    The stock price is the present value of all future earnings. They’re all in the future.

    Equivalently the stock price is the present value of all future dividends. They’re all in the future too.

    The way you save endangered species is to let people raise and sell them.

    Who knows what they teach in economics in universities today, of course.

    • The stock price is the present value of all future earnings. They’re all in the future.

      FAIL!

      • Ah. A discussion. Fail how?

        The present value of all future earhings and the present value of all future dividends are the same, by the way. An interesting result, given that there are companies that don’t pay dividends and companies that pay out all earnings both.

      • Fail how?

        All market prices represent the aggregate of opinion regarding value. Opinions aren’t always independent. They aren’t always in tune with how reality’s going to play out.

      • Yes, well if you can guess better, you can make money.

        The present value thing is the price at which you’ll be right. If the price is not that, you can make money by correcting the market.

      • If the price is not that, you can make money by correcting the market.

        You can make money. Whether you correct the market depends on how much gets invested in your opinion. If the difference is small relative to the investment, the market corrects. If the difference is large, the correction is a crash (or perhaps an unexpected boom).

        Thing is, a whole herd of buffalo can run over a cliff. And humans 12,000 made a living running them there.

      • AK, read up on this business tool, Net Present Value. From the article:

        In finance, the net present value (NPV) or net present worth (NPW)[1] is defined as the sum of the present values (PVs) of incoming and outgoing cash flows over a period of time. Incoming and outgoing cash flows can also be described as benefit and cost cash flows, respectively.[2]
        Time value of money dictates that time has an impact on the value of cash flows. In other words, a lender may give you 99 cents for the promise of receiving $1.00 a month from now, but the promise to receive that same dollar 20 years in the future would be worth much less today to that same person (lender), even if the payback in both cases was equally certain. This decrease in the current value of future cash flows is based on the market dictated rate of return. More technically, cash flows of nominal equal value over a time series result in different effective value cash flows that makes future cash flows less valuable over time. If for example there exists a time series of identical cash flows, the cash flow in the present is the most valuable, with each future cash flow becoming less valuable than the previous cash flow. A cash flow today is more valuable than an identical cash flow in the future[3] because a present flow can be invested immediately and begin earning returns, while a future flow cannot.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_present_value

      • A cash flow today is more valuable than an identical cash flow in the future[3] because a present flow can be invested immediately and begin earning returns, while a future flow cannot.

        Exactly. In addition, future “cash flows” are speculative, and the value of that speculation is a matter of opinion. Which was my point. (Or rather, which is another way of restating my point.)

      • Just say perceived present value and everyone is happy.

      • David Springer

        rhardin understands market theory

        +1

        ak does not

        -1

      • ak does not

        Yes, I do. I just don’t agree with (parts of) it.

    • David Springer

      I live in endangered species habitat. I can’t imagine any free market activities that would preserve golden cheeked warblers or black capped vireos in numbers sufficient to protect their gene pool. Many wild species cannot even be raised in captivity. Your free market theory for preserving endangered species is grossly ill conconceived on the face of it.

  33. which is blind to the multi-dimensional values of nature.

    Which tells you it’s scientism. The jargon of science to cover cliche thinking.

    The way values theory breaks down is not due to dimension. It’s that it enters into a dual problem as well as the one before your eyes.

    What you do affects who you are as well as what you get. Value doesn’t cover it.

  34. Destructive Capitalism was a poor choice of words. A Google search returns things like this:
    “According to Schumpeter, creative destruction describes the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one”” – Wiki
    Regime changes. Man imitates Nature.
    “Capitalism devalues all future life with its emphasis on quarterly earnings.”
    The current regime evolves to the tipping point. Excessive behavior might be the only way to reach one and the following regime. If the goal is a mature situation and not an innovative one, regime changes are bad. I consider smart phones and tablets good, but they replaced other things. By and large I think the author’s ‘quarterly earnings’ was a required, tired cheap shot at capitalism.
    “This raises prices for commodities and helps draw attention to scary eco-headlines, but it stops us from developing a really intimate relationship with the circular, networked and plentiful nature of living nature.”
    The farmers I know have one business style. Maximum throughput. More yield is always better. ‘Trading Places’ aside, framing rarely effects commodity prices. There are X bushels of wheat no matter how loud someone shouts. What we have with farmers and the Green Giant company in an intimate relationship with nature. Two examples are sweet peas and sweet corn delivery to super markets. Peas canned and frozen I suppose about 3 weeks ago, corn soon if not currently. The things I see that are feeding people are mostly capitalism.
    What Schumpeter says at the top is what I think happens in nature all the time with and without additional CO2. Plants don’t stop evolving and striving to out compete when reaching some ideal level of maturity. 1850 was not an ideal level, some Garden of Eden and if it was, we have not been kicked out of it.

    • From seething particle brew
      of early universe
      evolution of star-lit galaxies.

      From Earth’s shifting plate tectonics,
      evolving mountains and continents
      (later morphing into Nation States.)

      From single cell life in oceans,
      evolution of species on Earth
      including us.

      From complex development of human
      language, evolution of knowledge
      more explanatory theories replacing less.

      Everywhere in nature flux,
      creative destruction, that’s how it works
      and Schumpeter rocks.

  35. Judith Curry

    “My personal desire is to leave the city and live a life that is more connected to nature.”

    My question: how cold do you like it? Here up on the 45th parallel I am already hearing people planning on going South for parts of the Winter. Conversations around cords of wood to lay in, how to better protect wells from freezing, and the ever “who gets the contract to plow which roads and when.” Elementary children are bussed to schools 37 miles away and arrangements are made for the children to stay in town when the snow gets too high. Middle and High Schoolers travel 63 miles one way and stay with accommodating families during the school week and come home for the weekend. Men speak of deer rifle hunting in the Fall; Bass fishing opening season favorite spots at the end of June; ice hockey and snowmobiles. Women speak of curling, canning and gardens and caring for their grandchildren whom they have acquired responsibility for rearing from their wayward children.

    I am speaking of course from a 3 season two bedroom cottage with a Canadian sunset every night and ideal summer outdoor living. Kids/grandchildren love to come up and visit grandma/grandpa. Year around neighbors visit every day/night because the rest of the non-summer year they are isolated. They make strawberry/rhubarb jam and raspberry jam during the season, and store away garden potatoes and beets for the winter. In February “sugaring” i.e., tapping maple trees, collecting maple syrup, boiling off the excess water, bottling maple syrup and selling it at local farmer’s markets, general stores, and with signs at the end of their driveway advertising “Maple Syrup.”

    I admire your desire to connect with nature, especially if you feel caged by Campus life and Academic politics. How some ever, the move to outside of your current environment carries some baggage you may not have considered. I’ve been doing the back to nature shtick for almost 60 years and suggest a trial run in the sticks before selling one’s suburban home.

    There have been many families I have met up here who have come and gone, with good intentions, but are not prepared for the long haul in the boondocks.

    • She is referring to leaving Atlanta (GT) for their place in the southern North Carolina mountains, no different than we want to leave south Florida for my significant other’s 2.5 acre 3 bedroom ‘cabin’ in the north Georgia mountains near the Toccoa river (complete with many black bears) or (colder winters) my beloved Wisconsin Uplands dairy farm near the W river near Spring Green (eagles, walleye, Taleisin) and class four trout streams.
      Rugged, go for the Wisconsin farm. No cell phone service. Heat with wood to avoid a fortune on propane (about 6 full cords/year when we are there full time). Lots of milk and cheese, beef, deer, and wild turkey,( plus we run about 40 feeder hogs in the third barn on a 9 month rotation, so half a hog is a nice annual ‘rent’). Summer put up garden veggies (we found blanch and freeze better than canning, except for fruits like our apples, pears, grapes, and blackberries). Snowmobiles and snowshoes/xcountry skies in winter. Morel mushrooms in the spring (bringing $80/# fresh in Chicago!). Coyotes, even random wandering grey wolf families year round for company. (Night howls are very different.) An occaisional black bear rambles through, bothering our saddle horses. Plus lots of dairy farm work 24/7. A different perspective than Naomi Oreskes or James Hansen has. More down to earth. Regards.

      • $80 lb mushrooms. Reminds me of my aunt walking out her door and in a liitle while coming back with gobs of them. No flavor is better than those mushrooms fried in butter. The price people pay for things that other people enjoy for nothing. Wow . A wonderful life.

      • I’ve been to Toccoa.

        Wisconsin as well. White ater rafting up north, a few months in Green Bay working at the nuke plant, trips to Oshcosh for the EAA airshows.

        I love Wisconsin. Georgia too for that matter.

        Still ain’t Oregon.

  36. There are a lot of unproved allegations concerning capitalism in that post. Most of them are out-and-out BS.

    • The Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution
      unleashed human freedom and energy allowing
      human innovation and human life to prosper, ending
      famine and increasing longevity in the West.

      The Industrial Revolution and technology developments
      were very much the result of trial and error tinkering and
      the curiosity of the enlightened amateur. The main
      technologies that led to the jump in living standards in
      the modern world were the empirical efforts of craftsmen
      like James Hargreaves and John Kay who developed
      mechanized spinning and weaving, Roger Arkwright who
      invented the water frame, and the Reverend Edmund
      Cartwright who invented the power loom.

      ‘Trial and error works in naychure’ said Darwin, the
      great exemplar of Enlightenment curiosity. And trial
      and error works in human enterprise, says Schumpeter,
      advocate ferfer open society.A capitalist economy,
      enables demand and supply feedbacks ter operate,
      fergit Keynes and EU top down ( unelected)
      bureaucrats messing up signals in the economy.
      Printing more money and guvuhmint creating jobs
      don’t fix problems but creates them. Ref, Jane Jacobs,
      study, ‘The Economy of Cities’ on messy cities like
      Birmingham where little industries adding new work
      split off into new organizations, while Manchester’s
      efficient specialization contained the seeds of it’s
      later stagnation.

      Top-down…sigh… think those unrealized predictions,
      5/10 year plans, think Ming Dynasty centralization
      effects, Marxist/Fascist societies, economic
      stagnation and unemployment, environmental cover
      ups, think EU supra guvuhmint (unelected) top down
      decision making within the Brussels ivory tower, the
      currency problems and unemployment… And think
      energy and liberties generated by the Enlightenment
      and Industrial Revolution trial and error feedback
      process

      bts rant.

    • jim2
      At times I have considered whether or not they are sore losers and it is just sour grapes. Not to get into the psychobabble too much, but when I hear this kind of thing from friends it makes me wonder.

  37. I know of a lady who moved from Michigan to Texas. She built a house in the middle of nowhere. It was solar powered, water supplied by a catchment. She milked goats and did her level best to live off the land. In the summer, she would lie on the tile floor in an attempt to stay cool because solar didn’t allow for air conditioning. In a word, she was miserable. But, each to his/her own.

    • My Aunt moved to Texas in 1960 and became rich. In 1965 she had central air installed in her house. When the bill came at the end of the month she turned it off and never used it again. She died at 88. About a year before that a friend of hers turned her son into APS for keeping his Mom in her house with no AC. She cussed out the caseworker.

  38. You can connect nicely with nature if you scythe your lawn instead of mowing it the usual way. No need to be in the sticks.

    I do an acre. Don’t do it all in one day.

    I use scythesupply.com. Start with an “outfit” and a 26″ grass blade.

    The 36″ blade is nice but takes some developed skill to use.

    The secret is keeping the blade edge very thin and sharp.

  39. Suck basement floor air upstairs with a solar powered 12v fan and a 12″ diameter flexible duct, for solar air conditioning.

    Effectiveness fades over a few weeks as you heat up the basement floor. But then it’s better for heating the house next winter.

  40. The ecomodernist manifesto highlights the correct things, like
    “A good Anthropocene demands that humans use their growing social, economic, and technological powers to make life better for people, stabilize the climate, and protect the natural world.”
    They even talk about mitigation and decarbonization. Having said that a “good” Anthropocene demands climate stabilization, they go on to say how difficult this will be, and are hinting at settling for a state that is less than “good”. My interpretation would be that a “better” Anthropocene is achieved with better mitigation. They have the right priority, but in the end are too pessimistic even about achieving the “good” state that they hope for, let alone “great”. Climate stabilization is possible, not tomorrow, but in the 50-year timeframe and any path towards this should be encouraged.

    • Curious George

      God created climate to be always stable. And whoever does not believe it is a damn Darwinist.

  41. Theodicy? Idiocy is what comes to mind when I see the name “Clive Hamilton.” Revkin notes that Hamilton’s representations have “contributed to widespread resignation and cynicism.” Par for the course with Clive, unfortunately.

    (I’ll suspend my usual courtesy for Clive.)

  42. http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/19/6-organic-food/

    Rated just below farmers markets but above diversity and Obama…

  43. Even the sane Lynas assumes a knowledge of what’s around the corner based on those lying things called trends. The Club of Rome got the future wrong but now some other Club is going to get it right? Because its mental frames are not stuck in the 70s but in the 2010s? So nukes might have stopped billions of tonnes of CO2. Hey, us humans got something for that CO2! By all means get out and lobby as hard for nukes as you lobbied against them in the 80s…but leave the lights on, guys. Sorry about over-populating, but can’t help making life hard for typhoid and cholera bugs.

    We’ve had a whole century of deadly elites to show that benevolent collectivism will go on to mangle the natural world as surely as it will mangle humans. There is no “we” in the collective. And there is no “Anthropocene”: one good blow from the Yellowstone Caldera would do away with that illusion.

    What’s real and dangerous are aspiring ayatollahs like Clive Hamilton at a time when scientific curiosity about the natural world is wilting in the face of fad and dogma. The New York Times has been promoting the latest collectivist guff for a century. Revkin’s reflections on an Ecomodernist Manifesto are part of a long and proud (or should I say tedious and stuck-up) journalistic tradition. Every awful philosophy has its sexiness and plausibility in its time, and the Times will be there to retail it.

    Better just enjoy this brief little geological epoch and its very temporary flora and fauna. Put a few bucks in the hat for Conservation to show appreciation. When I go into the scrub or down to the sea my ill-focused and unscientific mind hardly understands anything observed…but even I know it’s all a flux and always has been a flux.

  44. Good post as usual, moso. But I’d like to allay your fears that post modernism might preclude the erection of bamboo-supported structures. Indeed, a friend of mine built many in Nepal post-Earthquake.

  45. “Capitalism devalues all future life with its emphasis on quarterly earnings.”

    That aspect of capitalism, as far as it is actually exists, is very largely influenced by central governments tax systems and their drive to take as much of all created wealth as possible, as rapidly as possible, without totally killing the cash cow.

    And what is this god-awful nonsense about being required to created a WordPress site in order to post a comment on this blog?

  46. Geoff Sherrington

    Several surgeon friends have described to me over the years, the feeling of making that first scalpel cut into a living person. There are some who still cannot bring themselves to do it, so they might go to other branches of medicine. Apart from the incisions part of surgical training, there are other experiences and routines to be learned until proficiency can be demonstrated by examination. After passing the formal requitements, the surgeon is then allowed by society to do things to other people that would put amateur or non-surgeon enthusiasts into jail for some time. Ethics are a part of the training.
    Several environmental activist friends have described to me over the years, their emotions on first setting fire to material dragged together for a street barricade. Some baulked at seeing other people burned and never returned to the custom. Now here is the big difference. Environmental activists, after the first physical act of defiance, have been known to proceed to do a number of things, unapproved by society in general, that would send them to jail if caught. Some have been caught. Society approves of surgeons more than it approves of activists. People are not so stupid that they do not know which of the two is most likely to be helpful to them in the future.
    The story of the surgeon and the activist differs mostly in respect of one factor, public approval. The formal Certificates seen framed on the walls of surgeons’ rooms have no equivalent in the rooms of activists – unless they counterfeit them or tear them from comics.
    It has long been a private thesis of mine that people get into activism because they have realised that they lack an ingredient that is needed before they can be famous and respected. Perhaps they could not make the first incision. Infamous and non-respectable, at the opposite end of the spectrum of humankinds’ good to other humans, their second possible prize, remains appealing enough for them. Ethics is not a large part of the program.
    The paths that individuals take to satisfy their closeness to nature is not a matter for public affairs, like the national budget or the road safety rules. Governments long ago made a huge error by providing funding for the non-surgeon types – do surgeons get public funding in your country? Do activists?
    There are certain types of work that some people are permitted to perform; and there are far too many people doing tasks that society has not permitted them. Society should not enable them. It should not encourage them.
    A (minor) example is the new word “Anthropocene.” It has been tradition that eras and epochs are recognised and defined and named by Geologists.
    We should not use the word unless/until it passes the usual geology filter. Naming of eras was a geological idea originally, so far as I know, because it was useful to other geologists, just as much medical terminology is shorthand between surgeons to help them. There is no case for the recent period to be given that name, or any formal name, by a motley, unknown group that has not yet passed the equivalent of the exam of the first scalpel cut into a live body and which can show no benefit to society by its adoption.

    • Curious George

      We understand a surgeon’s responsibility. What is an activist’s responsibility?

  47. What does ‘working towards decoupling humankind’s
    material needs from nature,’ mean?

    • Very good question.
      Where would “humankind’s material needs” come from? From Heaven maybe?

    • Well, one possibility is to get energy, and most material needs, from parts of the planet where “nature” doesn’t go. Or at least, not enough to make a difference. Build farmland out at sea where nothing grows, rather than take land naturally brimming with ecological diversity.

      As technology improves, that option will become closer to cost-effective, just on grounds of ease of excluding parts of nature you don’t want.

  48. Sorry, but the term “Anthropocene” strikes me as hubris, excessive human pride. The Greek tragedies still have a lot to teach us: Nemesis appears chiefly as the avenger of crime and the punisher of hubris. Sooner or later the Holocene will end and that will be our Nemesis.

    (A theme appropriate for the Pope when discussing our role as stewards of Planet Earth.)

    Even the status of the Holocene as an “epoch” seems to me to reflect more the ignorance of geologists prior to Agassiz than the views of modern geologists.

    As an epoch, the Holocene has the same status as the Pleistocene Epoch. Which is nonsense, because we know now that the Holocene is just one of many interglacials during the 1.6 million years or so of the Pleistocene, an interglacial that may last longer than the Eemian, perhaps as long as MIS-11 (400,000 years or so ago) when sea level rose more than 20 meters (65 feet) higher than now.

    Hubris? Just plain ignorance? Or foolishness?

    If the Holocene were renamed the Anthropocene this would fit the notion that Man has become Godlike through technology. Another reason the Pope’s encyclical missed the mark.

  49. They are all insane. Increased CO2 is a climatic net benefit, the only climate problem there ever was or will be is from solar minima and ice ages.

    • David Springer

      +1

    • I can think of two ways that we could radically alter the weather and climate if they were technically feasible. A compressor-limiter-expander effect on the solar wind coupling in the polar regions to exert a control the AO//NAO and associated teleconnections. And introducing the right size asteroid in solar orbit inside Mercury to increase solar activity levels, ideally restoring the climate back to what it was like 2.5 million years ago.
      It’s not like we need ice ages.

  50. “Further, solar power is enabling people to live off the grid. My niece Kelly, who recently graduated from college, is managing an organic goat farm and living off the grid (solar, well water), apart from when she leaves the farm.”

    Living “off the grid” is no problem. No need for solar panels. About 2 billion people worldwide live “off the grid” (involuntarily). They use candles, wood and kerosene, and manage to survive.
    At least another 2 billion live with intermittent energy (electricity available only a few hours a day).

    Solar power is irrelevant to “living off the grid”.

    Modern life, industry, economy is impossible without energy, tons of energy. A few “off grid” nieces don’t change this fact.

    This whole “off grid” meme smacks of “back to the simple rural life” – utopian romanticism.

    • Kelly is living in northern california – off the grid.

      • Kelly is probably young, fit and enthusiastic. 7 billion people all can’t live off the grid. Good luck to those able and willing to do so.

        tonyb

      • You can live off the grid as long as there is a modern industrial-economic complex (on grid) to support you. (maybe some rich parents too…).

      • I understand the attraction. After a few years living in a major US city I was finished. I wanted hear birds singing, watch butterflies and hummingbirds nectar, and experience all the other surprises of semi-rural life. The city can wear you out with incessant noise, crime, grime, crowds, and the lack of peace and solitude. So instead we have pot growers ( MANY pot growers), wood rats ( wood stealers, not the rodent, but we have them too), noisy chain saws, gunfire, meth labs, honey oil labs, wood splitters, losers hiding from the police, and, worst of all, dense wood smoke pollution from poorly operated wood stoves. Lots of knuckleheads too, many have not read a book since the book they didn’t read when they were in high school from which they didn’t graduate. I still can’t find utopia. Where do I go? Rud’s Wisconsin sounds good – walleye, trout streams, I’m all for that. I dunno about the winter…

      • justinwonder: better add a bee-net bonnet to your bird watching gear in the north woods. “Mo-ski-toes” are casually referred to as the state bird in many of dem dar parts of the US of A ;>)

      • I forgot to mention the pot grower’s generators – big, loud, 24×7.., for the lit all night “off the grid” greenhouses. I wonder if they use a CO2 generator for improved yield… It’s a science now.

      • Joel,

        I grew up camping in New England, so there was a lot of my DNA floating around in mosquito and black fly bellies. Oh, and the horse flies near the Conn. River in northern New Hampshire – they chased me right out of a nice little brook trout stream.

      • justin,

        Sounds like N California.

        Or southern Oregon.

      • So delightful, the pastoral landscapes
        Of Claude Lorraine where bathed in misty haze
        In golden valleys, comely shepherds dressed
        In Grecian robes, graceful shepherdesses,
        With names like Philomene and Diocles,
        Beneath cerulean skies and splendid trees,
        Pass halcyon days in leisurely pursuits,
        Pipe madrigals, sing songs, enjoy the fruits
        That nature doth provide, each in its time,
        The early cherry and the later lime,
        While sheep an, lambs, bullocks, kine and fallow deer,
        On sweet pastures graze conveniently near.

        One wonders what they do when Winter comes?
        Retreat to those ancient ruins
        In the Claude Lorraine landscape, spend Winter
        Nights discussing Plato and playing chess,
        All so golden age and innocent.

        bts.

        http://www.claudelorrain.org/Pastoral-Landscape,-1645.html

    • David L. Hagen

      jacobress
      Illogical presuppositions, arguments.
      Why shouldn’t 4 billion be given the opportunity to raise their standard of living, to care for their children, obtain health care etc.?
      Fossil fuels are finite. ergo we need to transition to sustainable energy and fuels. That needs RD&D to develop sustainable fuels and deployable energy etc. cheaper than fossil fuels. Rather than “irrelevant”, such energy is “essential”.

      • What is irrelevant is current solar panels that produce little energy. When a better, viable alternative will be available it will be used.
        Current solar panels can replace the odd candle of Kelly, but not supply energy in significant quantities (forget about the price).

      • David L. Hagen

        ACWA Power selected for Dubai solar park contract

        jacobress
        Is 1000 MW “little energy” and 5.4 c/kWh “irrelevant”?

        ACWA Power selected for Dubai solar park contract

        Saudi firm named preferred bidder to build project upsized to 200MW ACWA Power-led consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder to build the first expansion phase of Dubai’s solar park which has been doubled in capacity to 200MW. . . .
        Reports suggested that ACWA had also offered to build the entire 1,000MW at a lower price of $5.4 per kWh. And today it was revealed that the winning bid for developing the upsized 200MW was $5.85 cents per kWh.

        Check the facts before ranting.

      • Which solar power park produces electricity some 1800 hours a year, or 20% of the time or less. And that is theoretical – there are sandstorms in Dubai… And they won’t build their wonderful park if they don’t get a guaranty that every kw produced is bought at that pre-fixed price.
        And Dubai has more natural gaz that it can sell or use… so what do they need the solar panels for? I’m sure that electricity produced by that gaz, 24/7 is cheaper than 5 cents, in Dubai/

      • Moreover, Dubai needs it’s gas powered utilities anyway, to produce electricity between 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. next morning, the hours when the sun does not shine, or is too low to produce any current.
        And, you cannot turn power plants off and on every few hours – if you do you burn much more fuel, and wear down the machines faster. So they probably keep the plants running (and the gas burning), even during the day, when there is sun electricity.

      • Curious George

        David – I sympathize with your approach, but please don’t mistake announcements for facts. Ivanpah solar plant has only reached some 50% of announced power so far.

    • I would live off the grid ok, I suppose, but I wouldn’t want to visit an off the grid dentist or have a child with a broken leg taken to an off the grid hospital.

      • “I would live off the grid ok, I suppose, but I wouldn’t want to visit an off the grid dentist or have a child with a broken leg taken to an off the grid hospital.”

        We should shift to a “sustainable” health care system, all organic, not genetically modified, preservative and pesticide free. We need to break away from big Pharma.

      • Big Pharma works.

  51. Richard Linn

    Suggestion, Go to the Far East from India to the Coast of China and Bring that up to the current US Reality First.

  52. Presumably the Pope believes in a whole system of moral rules, enforced by priests. Our treatment of trees and salamanders (one would think) would be a small part of that. In general, on this view, we shouldn’t focus on things like increasing food production, or material prosperity; we should focus on our souls, and an after-life which in some ways is dramatically different from this life. Cruelty to other living creatures may show there is something wrong with your soul. Destroying wilderness in order to grow food? I’m not sure.

    The mystery to me is why people who do not share much of the Pope’s agenda will still invest so much moral concern in the trees and the salamanders. Is this good for our souls? Do we have souls? If we do, is preserving wilderness some kind of high priority? Why? One kind of environmentalism suggests that in threatening “nature,” we are threatening our own (material) survival; we are just as short-sighted as the Easter Islanders were, etc. I would just say there is lots of evidence that we are getting away with it. Perhaps for this reason environmentalism always tends to shade into the view that non-human nature is somehow morally superior to humanity. How can any meaning be given to such a view, outside of a Disney movie?

  53. The individuals behind the ecomodernism movement seem to be a mish mash of personality types coming from disparate backgrounds politically, greenies that got a little more pragmatic yet still have whacked out ideas about how economies work and what capitalism is; but also techies and cosmopolitan types embracing a humanist back to nature theme.

    In a lot of ways I see ecomodernism as simply being a brand moniker for something that happens by default from advancing technology and common sense stewardship of resources, pragmatism. I guess everything needs a label. Yet when the movement sticks to describing technology to facilitate better stewardship of the environment and the advancement of humans as a species I find little to disagree with on that basis alone. Pragmatism is the operative word (a key tenet of the manifesto) which should be politically agnostic, but unfortunately it’s incompatible much of the time for political branding purposes.

    If one were able to get past most of the non sequitur arguments that stigmatize understanding of people at opposite ends of the political spectrum then much more common ground would be found on common sense issues, pragmatism, in dealing with humans interface with the environment. For example, the rights desire to develop the Keystone Pipeline doesn’t make the right anti environment, it’s a leap, this is what I mean by the non sequitur labeling of the opposition, not to get deeper into all that.

    Some of the Breakthough Institutes philosophy I’m very much in agreement with such as their conclusions about AGW:

    “any conflict between climate mitigation and the continuing development process through which billions of people around the world are achieving modern living standards will continue to be resolved resoundingly in favor of the latter”… “Climate change and other global ecological challenges are not the most important immediate concerns for the majority of the world’s people. Nor should they be. A new coal-fired power station in Bangladesh may bring air pollution and rising carbon dioxide emissions but will also save lives.” “Meaningful climate mitigation is fundamentally a technological challenge. By this we mean that even dramatic limits to per capita global consumption would be insufficient to achieve significant climate mitigation. Absent profound technological change there is no credible path to meaningful climate mitigation.” “The specific technological paths that people might take toward climate mitigation remain deeply contested. Theoretical scenarios for climate mitigation typically reflect their creators’ technological preferences and analytical assumptions while all too often failing to account for the cost, rate, and scale at which low-carbon energy technologies can be deployed.”

    I find this piece to be engaging: http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/journal/issue-5/the-return-of-nature to me the way the essay describes how technological advancement benefits the environment can be attributed mostly to serendipity stemming from common sense pragmatism rather than organized planning. An example is how efficient farming has led to less land use while increasing yields, leaving portions of land to be reclaimed by nature, win, win, win. How natural technological evolution has put less stress on certain commodities leading to peak use for a number of these. It simply boils down to efficiencies gained in natural technological progression and processes. Chicken winning out over beef as the protein of choice because it requires less energy to produce, more throughput per acre, feeding more people.

    From the manifesto; “people who depend on firewood and charcoal for fuel cut down and degrade forests; people who eat bush meat for food hunt mammal species to local extirpation … Low-yield farming increases land use.” This representing the stark differences between primitive environments or dystopian states juxtaposed to the reality of how advancing technology leads to less stress on the environment. One of the best examples is how deforestation continues to occur in third world countries, yet reforestation from reclaimed land is occurring in most developed nations; total ground cover having doubled in most developed countries in the last 100 years. The link describes the nature of this comprehensively.

    • Jungle,

      ‘From the manifesto; “people who depend on firewood and charcoal for fuel cut down and degrade forests; people who eat bush meat for food hunt mammal species to local extirpation … Low-yield farming increases land use.” This representing the stark differences between primitive environments or dystopian states juxtaposed to the reality of how advancing technology leads to less stress on the environment. One of the best examples is how deforestation continues to occur in third world countries, yet reforestation from reclaimed land is occurring in most developed nations; total ground cover having doubled in most developed countries in the last 100 years. The link describes the nature of this comprehensively.’

      Absolutely true! One caveat, some of the New England farmland that was returned to forest has now been eaten up by development, especially homes, including second homes for wealthy people from the city. The state of MA has been hit hard by suburban development. The states of Maine and Vermont by wealthy NYC refugees. The farm I grew up next to was split down the middle by a road and built out with densely packed, and expensive, single family homes. I grew up fishing in unamed ponds, building tree houses, catching frogs in the swamp, picking apples, scrounging wild strawberries, throwing rocks at beehives, and climbing trees. I feel sorry for my children – we will never have that world again.

      • I can appreciate what you’re saying justin. My parents experienced a similar circumstance to what you describe, sadly caused from the effects of urban sprawl, their country home became inner city. These sorts of issues provide more nuance to the cliché; “location, location, location”. Some things you can’t foresee.

  54. I agree with Judith’s comments that central control policies won’t succeed.

    However, I think key parts of Revkin’s article is cr@p. Arguing for renewables and opposing nuclear I ignorance. Renewables are not sustainable. They cannot provide the world’s energy needs – not even a substantial component, and will not be able to. This is because of physical constraints. The EROEI prevents it.

    • Yes I agree. I find a lot of what Revkin says to be BS, meshing leftist principles to the underpinnings of the synergistic, pragmatic benefits of tech enhancing the environment. It’s what I previously referred to as the disparate personality types embracing ecomodernism, I can just as easily see a right leaning spin embracing the underlying concept. There seems to be a great deal of dichotomy between reading Revkin’s essay that’s laced with a political bent when compared to the essay I reference from the Breakthough Institute; although I haven’t read most of their other essays; but their take on ecomodernism appears more balanced.

      • TSS jungle trunks,

        I am travelling so haven’t had a chance to follow all your comments, but agree with the message you state here.

    • Beta Blocker

      Peter, it is impossible for the world to greatly reduce its reliance on fossil fuels without greatly increasing the role of nuclear power. Unfortunately, as things stand today here in America, unless the US Government puts a price on carbon, I will be spending the remaining years of my career decommissioning nuclear plants rather than building new ones.

      • Hi beta blocker,

        I doubt there will be a carbon price. It will cost the global economy and the countries of any countries far more than the benefits, even using alarmists inputs. All countries know this, so that will not proceed, an EU’s ETS will eventually be dumped.

        However, all is not lost. Eventually sanity will prevail. The US and EU will progressively reduce and eventually remove the ridiculous impediments on nuclear power. The costs will come down. It will become the least cost option for power. It will replace fossil fuels, eventually.

      • I have a brother managing the building of two of the four new plants being built and a good friend involved with the construction of the other two.

        There are other options to encourage new plant construction besides a price on carbon.

      • I’m worried about those 16 large nuclear power plants they’ll want to build in Somalia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, and Kosovo.

  55. There is no misanthropocene. Straining credulity, the notion is even more arrogant than the hollowscene misconstrued to precede it.We live in a perfectly unremarkable interglacial. Nothing humans have yet done even remotely approaches the unknown “forcing” that causes glacial/interglacial fibrillations, much less the grander forcing of the fifth known glacial period, the Pleistocene. It is the only “cene”anyone alive today will ever live in. There is greater biomass of ants than humans on the planet.

  56. I’m about to be stoned by the faculty here. They’ve already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That’s OK, though. I still have my Ph.D. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It’s a trap. Think about it – the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you’ll be unable to deal with life, or the truth. So, get over it.

  57. The more I’ve looked into ecomodernism the more obvious it becomes that the movement, as described by the Breakthrough Institute, is being co-opted by the hard left because it represents a real threat to the underpinnings of their philosophical world view approach.

    If you review again Revkin’s remarks he disparages the Breakthrough Institute; if you wikipedia “ecomodernism” it redirects you to “Bright green environmentalism”. It uses some of the manifesto, but goes on “…people, all of whom will want to live with a reasonable amount of prosperity, and many of whom will want, at the very least, a European lifestyle. They will see escaping poverty as their nonnegotiable right…” So much BS. No wonder I was seeing so much dichotomy between Revkin and the Breakthrough Institute.

    That sealed it for me when reading that. The hard left is trying to co-opt the movement. How the Breakthorugh Institute describes tech contributions to global improvement, and looking at their take on AGW for example, is completely antithetical to how progressives want to move on the issue. The Breakthorugh Institute’s pragmatism is a threat pure and simple.

  58. David Springer

    JC SNIP

    • Springer– I am sure your post will be deleted by Judith shortly.

      Try disagreeing with what Rudd (or anyone else) writes here as it relates to AGW. You call the guy a ‘bigot” with no supporting information. The timing of his comment and his departure for Motorola as meaningless as I am sure you know.

      • David Springer

        “The timing of his comment and his departure for Motorola as meaningless as I am sure you know.”

        Yeah right. Like the timing of anthropogenic CO2 emission and rising level of CO2 in the well mixed atmosphere is meaningless. LOL

        The only real question is how he lasted as long as he did.

    • So Mosher, you reference the blog of some tard as evidence some other guy (Springer) is a tard?

      So Springer can be a tard. I am pretty sure anyone who can read has figured that one out.

    • David, I don’t know what gets into you. Have not kicked your dog. You do not know what you are talking about. I started Mot Biochips for then CEO Chris Galvin. First customer was the Mayo Clinics for cancer research. Speaking to yhe press was part of the corporate plan to raise shareholder awarness about CG’s initiative now that it was acheiving some initial commercial traction. Scripted by corporate comm and investor relations. After Mot got into cell phone and semiconducter trouble when the dotcom bubble burst, it was sold to Amersham in the UK who was our reagent supplier. AFAIK it is now part of GE Med Systems since GE bought Amersham for its radiological contrast agents.
      I resigned from Mot for two reasons. 1. Saw the bubble about to burst and wanted to cash out my considerable options. Did so at 3:1 split adjusted $60/share. A year later, the stock was $7 and a lot of senior officers who converted their guaranteed pensions to stock (which they had been insisting on until HR and the Board caved) were ruined. 2. Was offered an irrisistable ( and potentially much more remunative) opportunity to join a startup that my venture operations had put $10 million into with CG’s blessings, and on who’s Borad I had sat for almost two years. One of its products was wireless ECG (both 3 and 7 lead) invented at Mot, based on patents my team purchased from Germany, and spun into the startup for a 20% stake in the subsidiary plus royalties. Mot’s President (Growney at the time) and I just could not get Mot corporate legal comfortable with potential medical malpractice liability. Managed spinoff was a neat solution. After joining, I managed that development program through FDA approval in 2004, then handed off to the head of commercial operations. We had hired Goldman Sachs for an IPO, but the dotcom bubble burst closed the window before the company could get through it in 2002. Goldman’s valuation at the time for everything we had in the portfolio was over $500 million. None of which you could possibly have known before your deeply offensive post.
      Oh, and ID is just creationist pseudoscience. The federal courts have so ruled. A fact, not a personal opinion.
      Have a nice day.

      • Maybe we were all designed by aliens. They would have sent a tiny spaceship, landed, and sent tiny robots to inject us with a virus like device to alter our DNA, make us able to reproduce in huge quantities and develop a tendency to get fat so we can’t outrun them when they come back to eat us. That would be intelligent on their part.

      • Unilaterally declared that a large group of people, a majority in the US in fact, who believe that the universe was created for a purpose are not fit to participate in discussions involving science.

        I don’t understand how it could have happened naturally, so God must have done it,” has no place in a scientific discussion. Neither does appeal to “spirits”, “intelligent activity” or anything else in explaining pre-human nature.

        This isn’t so much because it’s obvious nonsense, as because it goes beyond the bounds of Science: once you invoke “intelligent design”, whether God&Angels or an immature kid with a spaceship and gengineering kit, there’s no way to explain anything.

        If you want to believe it, fine. But it’s not science, and anybody who says it is has no place in a scientific discussion. (Note you can believe it without trying to pollute Science with your belief.)

      • Oh, and ID is just creationist pseudoscience. The federal courts have so ruled. A fact, not a personal opinion.
        Smallest current living cell is 5e-19 grams, over 25 million atoms, and lives in undersea smokers. A tiny virus which lacks all the cell machinery for reproduction and energy capture/storage, basically raw DNA in a container is 200,000 atoms. It takes 60,000 atoms for the DNA itself. So perhaps 10 million atoms is the smallest a cell can get and be able to reproduce.

        Stupid design (the opposing philosophy to Intelligent Design) claims that our 10 million atoms bonded in the correct sequence in the correct chains to form self replicating life by self assembly.

        Statistical this doesn’t seem to be a great improvement on believing in God.

      • David Springer

        AK you have never heard me invoke a creator in an argument about science. I’m an agnostic. I merely acknowledge the overwhelming evidence of design in the universe and don’t go out of my way making up explanations about how it might have come about by law and chance. Maybe it did and maybe it didn’t. The odds are against it happening by chance. No machine or abstract code where the origin is known resulted from law and chance. All machines and abstract codes where the origin is known are the product of intelligent design. Therefore when considering a machine or abstract code where the origin is unknown the null hypothesis is it is yet another product of intelligent agency. An unknown agency if it predates the human mind.

      • David Springer

        Istvan: Federal courts I thought are filled with lawyers like you not physicists like Lee Smolin. Lawyers are not scientists. No matter how many ebooks they have “published” or narcissistic visions to the contrary they might hold. You’re an uninformed asshat with delusions of grandeur. Stop pretending to be something you are not.

        PA: there are two major forms of ID. You describe one of them; biological. The other form is cosmic ID and is based upon what’s called “The fine tuning problem”.

        Lee Smolin does a fine job of describing it here:

        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/blogs/physics/2012/12/scientific-approaches-to-the-fine-tuning-problem/

        Smolin is among the greatest theoretical physicists alive today.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Smolin

      • David Springer

        PA: I would however argue that Biological ID can be stated as a valid scientific hypothesis. Smolin only considers Cosmic ID. The Biological ID statement would be that no abstract code exists where its origin is law and chance. This can be falsified by an experiment where an abstract code is created by law and chance. Many experimental attempts have been made. None have been successful. That is how science works. Refusal to accept the facts on the ground and lack of success in attempts to falsify are based on dogmatic beliefs not the scientific method.

      • AK you have never heard me invoke a creator in an argument about science.

        Maybe not. But plenty of IDi0ts do. By implication if not explicitly.

        Therefore when considering a machine or abstract code where the origin is unknown the null hypothesis is it is yet another product of intelligent agency.

        Nope. Science as it’s currently constituted can’t work with explanations that depend on intelligent activity with unknown purpose. So it can’t be part of Science. That’s a limit in Science.

        Thus, Science has never “disproven” ID, any more than it’s ever “disproven” psychic phenomena. It just assumes they don’t exist, so it can work with what it can work with.

        For that matter, Science has never “disproven” YEC, just that if “Someody” created the Earth 6000 years ago, they did it with fossils and carbon-14 already in place.

      • AK, “For that matter, Science has never “disproven” YEC, just that if “Someody” created the Earth 6000 years ago, they did it with fossils and carbon-14 already in place.”

        Earth “as we know it”. The beauty of religion and climate change is the vagueness.

      • DS

        Cosmology is a story. Can’t prove much of it. Some of it is so far out of reach it might never be proved. It is just a story to explain things that are observed. New observations keep changing the story. There are multiple variations of the story.

        The story we just “got lucky” on universal constants isn’t very compelling.

        Our basic “theory of everything” isn’t very good.

        Can’t prove God did it. Significant holes in the story of what did happen.

        Bottom line – scientists don’t “know” and can’t “prove” much of cosmology.

        Most religions originated in earlier times so the complex nuanced description that a scientist would want aren’t available.


        It is possible that God created the universe as a art project. Much like realists can create paintings that look like photographs. Many of the crazy details that people go nuts explaining.were done deliberately. The fossil record may be a deliberately created easter egg hunt.

      • Don Monfort

        Springer, what is so intelligent about the design of the universe? With the only exception that we know about, which is life on earth, the universe doesn’t seem to serve any useful purpose. A lot of balls of hot gas and rocks floating around. What’s it all for, Springer? Who done it and why?

      • Don Monfort

        I will give you a hint, Springer. The universe was obviously not designed by a German. A German would have designed in some utility and would not have wasted so much space, time and materials.

  59. David,
    Lighten up on Rud. He is intelligent and adds interesting perspectives and issues to the obscure blog. Motorola after he left crashed and split before losing 80-90% of stock holders value. So the replacements didn’t do well and Gavlin? is still touting the early success. These issues come and go.

    Rud is intelligent, interesting and polite. Plus lots of good links.
    Scott

    • David Springer

      big·ot
      ˈbiɡət/
      noun
      a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
      “don’t let a few small-minded bigots destroy the good image of the city”
      synonyms: chauvinist, partisan, sectarian; More

      Istvan point blank said anyone who believes in Intelligent Design cannot be a reliable participant in science debate.

      He’s a bigot. No question about it. I loathe bigots.

      • “Istvan point blank said anyone who believes in Intelligent Design cannot be a reliable participant in science debate.”

        A deeper insight into the comment might be worthwhile. What specifically was meant by “Intelligent Design”? Did it mean-
        (a) That a supernatural being “magically” created the planet 6 or 7 thousand years ago?
        or
        (b) That a supernatural being had an unknown role in the creation of the universe.

        If someone believes in point “a” in your opinion can they be a reliable participant in a science debate that may involve carbon dating?

      • David Springer

        The latter is called “Young Earth Creation Science” not “Intelligent Design”. Someone who truly believes in YEC will have a difficult time constructively in debates about anything where paleo evidence is crucial and not seriously contested which is to say the vast majority of modern scientists.

        It’s a common tactic among religious bigots to conflate YEC and ID.

        Intelligent Design posits that certain features of the universe are so complex and interdependent that giving the cause as “law and chance” is a possible but not plausible explanation. Design via intelligent agency is a plausible explanation. The means and nature of any intelligent agency is not part of Intelligent Design. The universe demonstrably contains one intelligent agency already. ID posits more than one citing evidence that predates the known agency.

      • David Springer

        Sorry. The former not the latter is YEC.

      • David Springer

        6000 years ago it was “magic” but 14 billion years ago it isn’t “magic”?

        Sorry I don’t follow your logic or physics. The law of entropy states that order in the universe can only have declined from the point of its beginning. Whether that single event where all the order appeared was was 6,000 or 14,000,000,000 years ago is irrelevant. Time is an artifact of the law of entropy by the way. It’s a metric not a fundamental.

        You may not have faith in the laws of thermodynamics but I do.

      • “Sorry I don’t follow your logic or physics.”

        Yes you do, you explained the difference (in your opinion) of the difference between “Young Earth Creation Science” and “Intelligent Design”.

        I have not heard someone explain the distinction between the 2 beliefs as you have. Imo you simply like to try to be dramatic for attention.

      • David Springer

        Anyone who jumps on the bandwagon dissing intelligent design without bothering to do the small amount of reading necessary to distinguish it from young earth creation science deserves no respect. As a matter of logic and observation it’s absurd to assume the most likely source of complexity in our universe is mere happenstance. Our universe is a finely tuned construction at all scales from fundamental physics to the machinery of life. There is absolutely no precedent for construction like that to be merely happenstance.

        For instance everywhere we observe abstract codes the source of code is either unknown or a human construct. There is only one example of a non-human abstract code used to store and transmit information. That example is DNA and it’s close cousin RNA which both use a code very similar to morse to encode, store, transmit, and receive information. Presuming that an abstract code just came into existence by accident when all other examples were the result of intelligent agency is not the objective null hypothesis. The null hypothesis should be that the genetic code was created by an intelligent agency like every other code. The challenge is then to construct and validate hypotheses for a non-intelligent origin. That has not been accomplished. The null hypothesis still stands.

      • “There is absolutely no precedent for construction like that to be merely happenstance.”

        It would be interesting to see you explain how you know that.

      • I think it was Senator Whitehouse who brought up ID with Spencer. Honestly, I might have by the slightest amount, down weighted Spencer upon learning that. I have no doubts he is a competent climate scientist.

      • David Springer,

        Thanks for the perspective on IT. As a practicing infidel I hadn’t much considered the subject. I have made a mental note to be more circumspect in the future.

      • “ID” of course! (IT also has some fundamentalist fanatics ;-)

      • David Springer

        Don I’m always willing to yield to contrary evidence.

        Do you know of any abstract code or machine where the origin is known and it didn’t result from the actions of an intelligence?

        Speak right up when you have an example. I know about lots of machines and abstract codes. There is a single example where I don’t know the origin: the machinery of life which stores, transmits, and recalls information via an abstract genetic code. Then a whole bunch of other examples which are all the product of the only known intelligent agency in the universe: human-design.

        Absent a demonstration that abstract codes can come into existence without intelligent agency tell me why I should assume that the only code found in nature where the origin is unknown somehow came about by happenstance.

        Good luck!

      • davideisenstadt

        Climatereason
        Tony, as usual, your post is considered, on point and well reasoned.

      • If a person is intolerant of bigots is that person not a bigot? I was just wondering….

      • ID

        I am really surprised by you guys. Where’s the philosopher here? You guys are basically making the old argument from first cause – the watch and the watchmaker are constantly conjoined, hence there must be a watchmaker whenever there is a watch. The counter argument: there is only one universe. The universe is, by definition, everything.

        That the universe is beautiful and inspires awe is not a reason to assume there is an artist.

        I suspect, and I am just itty bitty me, is that the order, simplicity, and complexity of the last 4.5 billion years on earth that we marvel at is an example of bootstrapping. As for what was before the big bang … Who knows, but we can stand back and appreciate it’s beauty…just in wonder…;)

      • Don Monfort

        “Don I’m always willing to yield to contrary evidence.”

        You haven’t presented any evidence for intelligent design, David. That the universe is complicated and intricate and stuff fits together is not evidence for ID.

        What is your theory for ID of the universe, David? Who done it and why? If I had the power to create something that big, I would make myself a very big fine woman built like a brick …. house:

      • In order to prove ID, one would have to execute an appropriate controlled experiment. Otherwise, it ain’t science. Just like a lot of global warming constructs.

      • David Springer

        Actually Jim, that’s not quite how science works. Take this hypothesis: all machines are created through intelligent agency. This can be tested by observation and experiment. Showing a single machine where the origin is law and chance alone falsifies the hypothesis.

        Good luck.

        Science isn’t about proofs. It is about hypotheses which can be disproven by observation or experiment.

      • This appears to be the substance of Springer’s theory of and evidence for intelligent design, jim:

        “Our universe is a finely tuned construction at all scales from fundamental physics to the machinery of life. There is absolutely no precedent for construction like that to be merely happenstance.”

        It’s not really finely tuned. It has been evolving for 14 billion years. An intelligent designer with the capabilities that Springer is imagining could have made a finished product. There is a lot of randomness and chaos in the universe. Things crash into other things. Stuff explodes and other stuff collapses. Black holes eat a lot of stuff that probably doesn’t want to get eaten. What’s that all about? Why would an intelligent being go to the trouble and expense to build that?

        Life is especially random and chaotic. Other than the utility for providing precarious support for the only life that we know about, which for most living creatures is not at all pleasant, what is the use of all that stuff bouncing around, imploding and exploding? It really doesn’t make sense that an intelligent being would design such a contraption. A mad genius, perhaps?

      • David Springer

        Your brain is random and chaotic, Donny. And that’s putting it nicely.

      • Springer is also silent on how the intelligent designer actually created the universe. He/she must be one very big dude/dudess.

      • David Springer

        If you don’t know how something was created does it follow that it wasn’t created at all?

      • David Springer

        Yeah Don, it actually is evidence of design.

        Design detection is widely used in forensic sciences. There’s a lot of them. In a simple example how does one tell an arrowhead apart from a natural stone that looks like an arrowhead?

      • David Springer

        Donny got smart and took a powder rather than responding to forensic sciences employing design detection.

    • David Springer

      “Motorola after he left crashed and split before losing 80-90% of stock holders value.”

      Good point. It took about 10 years of stupid executive mistakes to do that. I highlighted just one stupid executive mistake near the end of the crescendo. It was particularly stupid. Sometimes the stupid has to get extreme before there’s a reaction to weed it out.

      • David Springer

        Does it sound plausible that I’d want to invite someone to my home to kill them with a chainsaw? LOL

      • David Springer

        The guy was actually a stalker leaving messages on my wife and children’s phone by the way. I probably could have got away with killing him if he showed up in person.

      • Steven Mosher

        ““Amused is all. I’m a barrel chested 5’10″ at 210 pounds with massive upper body strength kept up from logging and could knock your head clean off your shoulders with a single punch. But at my age it’s easier to just wave a snub-nose .38 in your face and call it a night without anyone going to the emergency room – me with a broken wrist or you with a broken face.”

        Spinger

      • davideisenstadt

        hey Mosh:
        what do you think of this?
        http://motls.blogspot.com/2015/07/identity-theft-thief-of-lubosmotl-turns.html
        Regarding Springer:
        Big man, little dogs.
        Little man, big dogs.

      • RE: I’m a barrel chested 5’10″ at 210 pounds with massive upper body strength kept up from loggin

        Must be a jarhead thing. Don Montfort from time to time will bring up the fact he is 6-4 and can do people bodily harm. One can try to point out how stup#d it sounds. However it shouldn’t necessarily impact how you evaluate their opinions on a particular topic. I think they both have a lot to offer and consider the other stuff immature. I also figure neither gives a fart what I think about their maturity.

      • Steven Mosher

        “hey Mosh:
        what do you think of this?
        http://motls.blogspot.com/2015/07/identity-theft-thief-of-lubosmotl-turns.html

        it looks like cook did some role playing in their secret forum.

        I cant tell because there are no links to the conversation.

        So.

        1.Suppose he did it in a private forum or private blog as a form of role play. Then what? hmm no big deal.

        2. Suppose he did it outside some sand box. That’s a problem.

        I am not terribly impressed with Cooks work.

      • davideisenstadt

        I read it a bit differently…
        my take was that cook was posting comments under motel’s name to elicit responses as part of his “experiment”
        take another look, if you have the time and interest.
        BTW Im not big on guys who threaten other people.
        there, adolescent,and dangerous (i dont mean to insult adolescents)…its the kind of reasoning that gets you hit with a murder conviction after you shoot up an SUV full of kids because they’re playing their music too loud for you.
        People with real problems dont have time for that kind of foolishness.

      • Steven Mosher

        “I read it a bit differently…
        my take was that cook was posting comments under motel’s name to elicit responses as part of his “experiment”
        take another look, if you have the time and interest.”

        1. YES
        2. But WHERE? in a sand box for Sks people? I think so
        I think in their private forums

        “BTW Im not big on guys who threaten other people.
        there, adolescent,and dangerous (i dont mean to insult adolescents)…its the kind of reasoning that gets you hit with a murder conviction after you shoot up an SUV full of kids because they’re playing their music too loud for you.”

        I think david like all of us says things he doesnt really mean

        People with real problems dont have time for that kind of foolishness.

      • This is big, Steven. John Cook admits to faking an identity to get comment levels up at blog sites he was using outside SS.
        He then encourages other Ss people to make up false blog entries for his research purposes.
        This needs widespread exposure and throws his whole ethics out the window.

      • Don Monfort

        Aw tim, I don’t recall giving anyone more than a very vague impression I might cause them bodily harm. I have on occasion indicated to those who seemed to be dreaming about getting physical that I probably wouldn’t be the right target for them. And I did promise Mosher that if I ran into him around one of his Bay Area haunts, I would tuck him under my arm, give him a dutch rub and carry him to the nearest bar to buy him a drink. I am sure he’s been looking forward to that.

        Anyway, these are words on a screen, tim. I do use AT&T, but you can’t really reach out and touch someone. I have no idea what any of these characters look like or where they hang out, except for my pal Mosher. Try to have some fun here, tim.

      • Don Monfort

        PS: I wasn’t a Marine, tim. I did other stuff, but I would have been proud to be a Marine.

      • Steven Mosher

        “This is big, Steven. John Cook admits to faking an identity to get comment levels up at blog sites he was using outside SS.
        He then encourages other Ss people to make up false blog entries for his research purposes.
        This needs widespread exposure and throws his whole ethics out the window.”

        I am still having a hard time finding a single fake comment posted any where.. just toss me a bone so I can see where this happened.

        cause it could be a big deal

      • Steven, Cook has admitted to/bragged about posting fake comments under Lubos’ name to some UWA experiment. That doesn’t sound like it was some SkS forum for giggles. It even caused irritation to the other SkS goons. He encouraged them to post comments so he wouldn’t have to post phony ones. What kind of an experiment is that for a University to conduct?:

        “John Cook: Sorry about the Lubos thing. Was posting some Lubos comments for the UWA experiment and forgot to log back in as John Cook.

        For the record, if just one or two of you SkSers jumped over to the Technical Forum and posted some comments to the 4 Experiment Conditions, I’d get my 10 comments and wouldn’t have to log in as Lubos anymore. Only one or two more comments required to get the quota. Just some incentive for you :-)

        EDIT: one of the conditions now has 10 comments, so only 3 more threads (with 2 of them only requiring one more comment). So Lubos very close to being put to bed :-)

        EDIT: only one more thread to go…”

        That looks like a clearcut case of manipulating a UWA experiment.

        Lubos said McIntyre informed him of the plot. Ask your friend Steve about it, if you are interested.

      • “John Cook: Sorry about the Lubos thing. Was posting some Lubos comments for the UWA experiment and forgot to log back in as John Cook.

        Scientific prediction: this will go viral.

      • I noticed this in a group of alleged comments:

        Tim Curtis: would you please stop posting as Lubos Motl. There is reason to doubt his sanity, so I don’t like seeing his name. Further, it is his name, and therefore one you are not entitled to use. …

        Who is Tim Curtis? I ask only because there is a Tom Curtis who comments frequently on several climate blogs. I cannot remember a Tim Curtis. Could be a typo, but by whom? Somebody impersonating Tom Curtis, and it does sound like something Tom Curtis would say, or maybe Tom accidentally typed Tim.

        Or maybe there is a Tim Curtis who comments on SS.

      • The Air Vent has it as “Tom”.

      • “Lubosgate”! Just in time for Paris.

      • Well, that means somewhere in the chain this was either typed as a copy of something on a screen by somebody or created by a typist.

        To be good evidence, it should be copied and pasted, and so far there are no links that I can see, which are essential.

        Love the skepticism. You can always count on Climate Etc. skeptics to never swallow anything hook, line, and sinker. They gots their radars turned on all the time.

      • The WUWT thread fleshes out the story. Barry Woods has the details in comments. It looks to me like they will be claiming that they didn’t need “real” skeptic comments for the “experiment”. This will likely go no where, given that Cookie and Lewandumpski have gotten away with so much crap already. They are Heroes of the Cause.

      • so far there are no links that I can see, which are essential.

        There’s none so blind as those who will not see. Google is your friend (at the moment), but here’s Luboš Motl’s post, and here’s WUWT. As for links to the original open posting of the SKS conversations, I guess we’re all waiting to see.

      • You should read what you write.

      • You should read what you write.

        I do. Carefully, with HTML resolved. Before I post. I also read what you write. And think about it.

      • JCH, your kneejerk reaction is showing. Read the WUWT thread and you can make up a credible defense for those clowns. Don’t worry, this won’t have any effect on Paris. It will still be a flop.

      • I meant plausible defense. There is nothing credible about those clowns.

      • My knee-jerk reaction is to wonder who the H tim Curtis is. It’s called skepticism.

        This link has evidentiary usefulness:

        http://www.hi-izuru.org/forum/Technical%20Stuff/2011-09-21-BLOG%20EXPERIMENT%20CONDITION%201_%20warmist%20post,%20warmist%20comments.html

      • Yes jch, your links show how goofy and probably harmless the experiment was. And you are still stuck on Tim vs. Tom Curtis. That is irrelevant.

      • My best guess is that “Tim” came from Luboš Motl while excerpting from the original conversation. Which is linked at the Air Vent. From which I would guess that Jeff Id went back and copy/pasted from the original, while all the rest copy/pasted from Luboš Motl.

        All this just a guess, of course. But the original has “Tom”.

      • Search for “Plus you may run into problems if any lab rats have ever heard of him”.

      • I rarely read Skeptical Science. Look at the thing maybe once a month or less. It’s a boring website.

        Meanwhile, the surface is getting hot as heck.

      • For what it’s worth, I don’t think the fact John Cook posted under another person’s name is a big deal. He only did so in the Skeptical Science forum. You can see the sort of comment he left on this page. I think it’s messed up he used a real person’s name rather than just a fake one, but… who cares? The only people he could have expected to see it were the Skeptical Science group. If he wants to pretend he’s Lubos Motl with them for a bit, whatever. It’s not like he was pretending to be a Nazi…

        If there’s a story to be had here, I think it’s in the reason Cook used the fake identity. It’s not like he did it just for kicks. He made the fake account to post comments for an experiment he was doing with the UWA to judge how reading comprehension is affected by skeptic/warmist comments. To repeat, in an attempt to judge how skeptic comments affect reader comprehension, John Cook made a fake account to make fake comments.

        The sad part is the “fake account” part is actually irrelevant. Cook invited the Skeptical Science group to make fake comments under their own names. He made the fake account because not enough of them did. He talked about the possibility of having to make a second fake account for the same reason. So really, all this comes down to is Cook needed to produce fake “skeptic” comments for an experiment so he and the UWA could try to draw conclusions about how skeptic comments affect reader comprehension.

        Which is really weird. I’m not sure how fake skeptic comments let you determine the effect actual skeptic comments would have on reader comprehension.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don
        I’m asking a simple question.
        Where was the fake post posted
        In their secret tree house? That only they read?
        Or on a public blog

      • It looks like it was only for internal use. Scan down to 2011-09-21 for the full 4 sets, and there is no hiding attempted with the real email right there next to the post. He uses “Lubos Motl” both as a skeptic and warmist.
        http://www.hi-izuru.org/forum/Technical%20Stuff/
        Meanwhile WUWT are freaking out.

      • Don Monfort

        Steven, look at the comments of Barry Woods on the WUWT thread about the Lubos caper. It was apparently not a public blog. It was an alleged “experiment” that most likely turned out to be not useful for their propaganda purpose of embarrassing and ridiculing skeptics. It would have been rather disengenuous, as they are playing the part of the skeptics. But it’s a nit, as far as I can tell.

      • Seems a bit of a storm in a tea cup if the Cook comments were intended for internal use and didn’t legitimise a piece of research.

        Presumably the name was used as Lobl is, more than many sceptics, a figure of hate, as much for his apparently right wing views and insulting demeanour as for his scepticism.

        I would imagine John Cook chose the name ironically as someone with the opposite values of what he stands for.

        tonyb

      • davideisenstadt

        Mosh and tonyb:
        i dont think the scale of the defamation is relevant…it would be objectionable if Cook sent this to one person, privately. It would also be an actionable bit of libel.
        For example, I write to you in a private email that some third party is a rapist…when he isn’t one. Even though its a private communication, meant for one person’s eyes, and not public, its still libelous.
        Your concerns go to damages, no the legality of the act itself.
        I dont believe that you are defending this practice, are you?
        I cant believe that you think any good science was done on using these fabricated quotes, do you?
        So…what is one to make of these clowns?

      • David

        No I don’t defend it but we need some perspective and context which Brandon supplied here

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/23/yes-why-does-john-cook-of-skepticalscience-and-the-97-have-to-use-identity-theft-in-his-research/#comment-1991962

        The whole thing is juvenile, from the study itself to calling yourself a particular sceptic in order to get yourself into the right mind set. The value of this sort of study is highly debatable and why the University gives it house room is perplexing. I guess if they are ‘progressives’ they think that anything to further their cause is ok.

        tonyb

  60. About Kelly living off grid in Northern California.
    I didn’t say it’s impossible – on the contrary, I said about 2 billion people in poor countries live “off grid” (a.k.a. lack access to electricity). They live in abject poverty (less than a dollar a day), that I would not wish on anyone.

    Kelly (which I don’t know and don’t wish to hurt in any way): I imagine she lives in a nice house, built by “on grid” contractors, using on grid produced materials. I guess she owns a nice, on grid produced, car, which she runs on roads (built by on grid machinery) at least twice a week to some on grid shops, where she buys supplies (such as food, clothes, tools) manufactured by on grid factories. She probably also owns some tractors and farm machinery like motor-saws. And, surely also a diesel (or gas) generator, for rainy days. Etc. She could very well live “off grid” without those solar panels, at most they save her a couple of gallons of gas a month and some candles. The solar panels are not really necessary for “off grid” life, that’s why I said they are irrelevant.

    I have no objection at all to Kelly’s (or anybody else’s) living off grid. I only hate to be sermonized at about the virtues of “off grid” life – which are non-existent.
    And, I bet, Kelly probably has some independent source of income… those solar panels don’t come cheap.

    • Curious George

      Let’s turn Hollywood into an organic goat farm. That should boost an average IQ there.

    • Some may be off the grid but, in the developed and prosperous parts of the world, all are OF the grid. Off-grid is an appealing technicality when you have the resources of a modern and industrialised society at your disposal. Natural living with money and resources is boutique living. The fact that a klutz like me can live in the bush without hardship or deprivation actually proves the superiority of heavy development and technology.

      Nehru complained of the enormous cost of keeping Gandhi in poverty. While there is nothing wrong with living away from town and enjoying the soil and the bush – it’s what I do! – we need to remember that solar panels and diesel generators are products of the grid and would not exist without it. That big 4WD tractor that comes in every winter to slash and make my place fire-safe doesn’t run on pixie dust. Large-scale, non-organic agriculture is why the tractor, the town, and the roads to the town are there for me.

      You’re right, jacobress. A guy like me is no more natural or alternative than the guy taking the morning bus from the ‘burbs to the city. Whoever can bring a bit of enthusiasm and interest to their day leads the way for me. Live where you like, it’s no big deal. Someone living out of town and off-grid probably has a concealed “carbon footprint” bigger than that of most town-dwellers – but good luck to all who punt on their aspirations!

      • + many. My own ‘off grid’ Wisconsin dairy farm also includes a second hand pump well into the first aquifer (meaning we never run out of water, 60 feet down, biologically tested pure, 20 feet from the old log kitchen), a thousand gallon diesel fuel tank, 2x 80 gallon gas tanks, and more. Not to mention the old diesel haying 4wd tractor and the log skidding chains on its 3 pt hitch. Now, to any of you all knowing those terms, rest in peace. The rest, be a bit concerned, because you have no clue how to survive if anything ‘modern’ goes ‘south’. Ponder that a bit. Then start building your own resilience. To each their own.

      • Rud, the miracles of capitalism, political freedom, tech advance and heavy industrialisation are enabling me right now to loaf about all morning. I can look out to Mount Banda Banda through the bamboo as I sip tea…and let my thoughts wander to admiration of the industry and tenacity of Wisconsin farmers. But then I have to lie down.

        If I was made to work like the dairy farmers further down river from here I’d be back living in the middle of Sydney within a day. They’re a good bunch, our dairy men. Half-mad, but you’d need to be.

        If I was a walking tax like some brutalised serf living under the Dalai Lama and his theocratic/aristocratic mates, or a drudging comrade under Maoist agricultural policies…I’d be glad never to look at the sky or any piece of ground that wasn’t paved. I’d inhale those coal fumes like they were perfume.

      • It’s only feasible to live well off the grid as long as 99.99% of your country is on the grid. The only off-grid diesel I’m aware of is made by ISIS in Syria. It’s nothing more than a Dude Ranch vacation… “sustainability for teabaggers.

      • mosomos and Rud – if you don’t have solar panels you should no boast about your off-grid credentials.

    • David Springer

      I grew up on a Seneca indian reservation in western New York State. Plenty of them live “off grid” and do not rely on western technology in the least way. Not me but it’s easy enough to do if you have the desire and cultural imprimaturs. Adjacent to the rez is Amish country. They all live off grid too, make their own clothes, and forge their own tools. I don’t think they mine and smelt their own iron though…

      • Steven Mosher

        Do they make their own chain saws?

      • David Springer

        No power tools.

        Any other stupid english-major questions or will that about do it for now?

      • Seneca Indians and the Amish don’t count as ‘real’ off-griders because they lack the token of virtue: solar panels.

      • David Springer

        I beg to differ. Amish are off the grid. They use electricity sparingly from other sources. Depends on the particular colony. Individual Senecas also range in how much they rough it. Some still live entirely off the land. Usually the men. It’s a matriarchal society and the women these days go to college, run casinos, and through communism provide a stipend to all tribe members so they don’t need to have a paying job if they don’t want one.

      • SM, no we don’t make chain saws. Just stock lots of replacement parts. But, did put up (to teach kids, more than anything) four black powder guns, a two handed whip saw, a grqin sythe, a big barn hand auger used to plug place timbers (with bits), a one sided ax ( used for squaring timber), a froe (used for making shingle shakes), and such. Took near 20 years scouring regional farm ‘yard auctions’. But got the complete kit.

  61. A legitimate post-modern eco approach to the AGW debate would be to put all of the hoopla aside for a couple of decades or more to see where we are — before destroying the economy and the culture — instead of being led over the cliff by Left and recognize that –e.g., Hey, trees are so bad — I kind ‘a like them a lot — and, trees like CO2 a lot, as does everything green, so… maybe CO2 isn’t so bad!

  62. There is a sort of “Good cop, bad cop” representation going on here that is not all that illuminating. I don’t think it is all that difficult to understand that people particularly wish to live in a clean environment and that they think it is bad to contaminate the air, water and soil. Well and good. The proper role of government is represent the aspirations of the governed and not do harm to their long term interests. The most effective form of accomplishing that has been the Constitutional Republican democracy modeled by the United States of America.

    Capitalism does not require “free trade” and “invisible hands” or any of the other apologies for piracy that have been made by folks more interested in the deeds and titles of their paper than in their industry (in the old sense of the word meaning work and the ability to do it) It is up to the nation state to foster the latter and block the former from having undue influence on policy.

    • The founders rightly feared government. We all need a little sensitivity to what toxicologists refer to as the concept of hormesis. We see that socio-economic behavior is essentially, a hermetic response –e.g., a low dose of government may trigger a quixotic reaction for the better; but, the higher the dose of government you have the more you can expect the opposite response from what the government ostensibly wants to achieve. On some level, we all know this is true. Even so, we refuse to admit it and cultivate the crazy idea that government has the answer to all our problems.

      • People who think government is the answer either didn’t understand the question or have poor analysis and reasoning skills.

      • Wagathon: I don’t know why you feel compelled to use obtuse vocabulary. Government does not answer all anyone’s problems. Government is supposed to be responsive to the governed, that is all. Our government these days is responsive to $ from lobbying interests and the super-rich though they acknowledge the requirement that they have to be able to “sell” it to the public or at least distance themselves from responsibility somehow for the results of bad policy. It’s a travesty

      • “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” ~Ronald Reagan

      • agreed, but even the Reagan Administration because so much of our government is run by technocrats couldn’t stop the pillaging of public funds by special interests. Two of the most despicable in my view were Cheney and Rumsfeld. They were made on the same assembly line as Henry Kissinger that (to quote Napoleon about Talleyrand) “piece of shit in silk stockings” I loved Reagan the compromises he had to make with “liberal” wing of the party did not serve us well

  63. Over at WUWT is an article on identity theft by John Cook.
    Not as big as Gliek but very important to us Australians.
    Seems the conspiracy skeptics in Lewindowsky’s UWA paper could even have been troll warmists fare all.
    Worth a look.

  64. How does the Left feel about the falling price of gas going into the future? Is reality conspiring against their socio-economic plans for socialized-statism?

    Researchers Estimate Significantly Larger Utica Shale Natural Gas Reserves. Research released at an Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium workshop has estimated that the Utica Shale play could contain over 782 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, up significantly from the 38 trillion cubic feet the U.S. Geological Survey estimated three years ago. At the same time, low crude prices have led the U.S. Energy Information Administration to predict that natural gas production within the top seven American shale basins will drop 0.6 percent from July to August, which would be the largest reduction in nearly a year and a half. ~Sidley

    • I love the smell…wait, I already said that…

    • The Utica study estimated resources, not reserves. In industry language reserves is defined as the recoverable volume using current technology and under current prices. Resources are more speculative, they allow use of much higher prices, and undefined costs. The true figure usually ranges between the estimated reserves and the speculative “technical resources” they have in this report.

      The USA is consuming around 25 TCF per year, and the Obama administration is trying to force a switch from coal to gas to reduce emissions. There’s also industry plans to export natural gas as LNG. This means national production can increase to say 35 TCF per year. Such a high depletion rate will require much higher prices to justify drilling the gas wells and installing the infrastructure.

      In recent years oil companies have reduced their oil exploration projects because we are running out of viable prospects. This has caused a gradual shift to unconventional “shale” gas. But the current gas prices aren’t that profitable. Many companies are drilling wells in what amounts to a huge “game of chicken”, waiting for the others to back off. They are also drilling to lock up the leases from the land owners (a mineral rights lease expires unless it’s held by production).

      Conclusion: USA natural gas prices will likely increase to allow the profit margin needed to move forward and continue producing 30 plus TCF per year. But even with higher prices the natural gas production rate will hit a limit. Furthermore, at the rate we expect (due to the shift from coal to gas) the current source plays will be exhausted in this century. This will require we move on to extremely expensive alternatives such as gas dissolved in high pressure brine aquifers. The future gas sources will require four to five times the current gas price to be producible, and eventually those will also run out.

  65. Too bad that the “RECENT COMMENTS” section of the CLIMATE ETC blog does not have a pre-section that allows one to select JC’s posting subjects that one wishes to see, or NOT see, the most recent comments on. It would be nice not to have the “RECENT COMMENTS” section filled completely with the commentaries that this post has degraded to.

    • You need good skills at quickly identifying and moving on from the dross – there are often very long sub-threads which I quickly determine to skip over; worth the cost of perhaps missing the odd gem – and picking up things of merit and interest to you. Vrrooom vrroooom. Faustino (without a dross filter)

    • https://judithcurry.com/comments/feed/

      It’s not actually HTML, so you’ll see a few formatting differences, and it doesn’t go back that far, but much more than the 10 in “recent comments”, and you can see enough of the text of the comments to see whether you care.

  66. Of course, cramming as many humans as possible in cities will save a lot more of “nature” than having a bunch of people try to live off the land. Grass for goats, firewood, a garden; it all takes land and nature’s resources. As a chemist, I don’t put much faith in the “organic” movement. It’s just an expensive way to get the food you need. The “green” of it goes into the likes of Whole Foods’ pocket.

  67. Some of the comments tonight made me think of The Church Lady when she said “Well, isn’t that special.”

  68. Revkin: “Ultimately what is needed are not more scenarios of Anthropocene Apocalypse but more ideas of how a “good Anthropocene” might emerge with the help of new societal values, new economic rules, landmark political decisions, individual behavior changes and, yes, new technologies. … has brought us over-industrialized agriculture with zero regard for the planet and the people around it.”

    Well, many of us would think that the so-called Anthropcene has been extremely good for billions of people, and even for the environment, one in which few have “zero regard” for the planet and the people around. “What is needed is less, not more hubris and boastfulness in the face of daunting problems.” Indeed, even if the problems aren’t as daunting as Revkin and those on whom he comments believes.

    “Conscious coupling with nature”? We are part of nature, the reality of the universe manifests in us as with everything, and, like all forms of energy, we interact with other energy around us. We are not separate.

    Judith: “My personal desire is to leave the city and live a life that is more connected to nature. Whether or not this is ‘rational’ in context of planetary health, I don’t know.” Well, fine, do as you wish, many others have chosen to do that. But we are always connected with nature – gravity, weather etc – you would just be connecting with different aspects of nature and in a different way. Those in wealthy societies have that choice, those in poor societies have far fewer choices, the warmist agenda would maintain that poverty of choice.

    Faustino

    • “We are part of nature” For such a simple truth it’s really amazing how so many have a hard time accepting the notion.

      Revkin’s politically truncated vision of ecomodernism as opposed to the way the Breakthrough Institute describes it is complete drivel, nonsense, hubris on steroids. But there’s a lot of merit and truth behind the Breakthrough Institutes general philosophy, albeit hubris too relative the concept of conscious decoupling.

      I think that the way we use technology in a general sense, relative to the ways where it benefits the planet, is better described as unconscious competence, leading to harmony with nature rather than decoupling from it. Where we develop technology to benefit humans directly is conscious competence, ultimately, but this welling up only after a bountiful supply of conscious incompetence.

      You don’t have to know how to sing to know whether something is in harmony. That’s true with most things, when technology is out of harmony, you tune it until it’s in harmony. When considering what’s ultimately good for humans is also good for the environment, and vice versa, it’s no surprise that as we’ve found ways to improve ourselves, the environment has come along for the ride.

      We are nature. We’re part of the ecosystem that creates cause and effect on a planetary scale just as termites and all fauna in general do. When we burn our hand, we pull our hand from the fire. When we get ill from pollution we develop technology to curb it. When we don’t like a flat landscape, we plant a tree. Technology is tools to get what we like, and fix what we don’t. We like the earth because it’s what enables us, so tools naturally evolve to where we harmonize with it.

      Technology is an ever evolving self correcting imperfect set of tools that always directs a path back towards the mean that represents harmony.

  69. I seem to be getting into moderation a lot recently. Is this a WP flaw?

  70. If you want to see what life can be like without petroleum, watch Naked and Afraid. Some people may believe this is just a “skin” show. If so, they really don’t have an appreciation for the difficulties encountered without modern conveniences. Trying to survive with primitive tools is hard enough. But when deprived of clothes, the difficulty goes up by an order of magnitude. The worst of it is not having shoes. More than one survivalist has gotten thorns in their feet. In one case, it became infected and he had to have it treated to continue. In a real life survival situation, he would have died.

    Major components of shoes, and other clothes, are made of petroleum. People who rail against petroleum really don’t have a clue the implications.

  71. Seems to me ‘Anthropocene’ connotes guilt over being a human being.
    Animal species succeed by exploiting their environment ( including other species ).
    Homo sapiens are animals, therefore…
    That doesn’t mean we should seek extinction – we’re better by preserving – but global warming probably doesn’t have anything to do with extinction anyway.
    And most notable extinction events occurred from predation ( Dodo, Carrier Pigeon, nearly American Bison, Mammoths? other Megafauna? ). Subsistence hunting – bad, even subsistence farming is less efficient than factory farming ( which seems to be moving indoors, now. These were ‘off the grid’ practices. Living in nature for a population as large as humans is inefficient and probably leads to a greater, not lesser footprint. Cities are more energy efficient and more time efficient and part of reduced CO2 is coming from the global urbanization trend.

    • The interesting thing about the anthropocene will probably the creation of new breeds and the extinction of breeds.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_dog_breeds

      and don’t forget our bacon buddies.

      I have no idea why pork wool never caught on, but the wooly pig’s demise just didn’t tug at the same heart strings as Mission Blue Butterflies.

    • russellseitz

      Haven’t actually read what Paul Crutzen said when he coined the phrase , have you ?

      • Not until you mentioned it. I assume you mean this.

        I find it most confirming of my opinion – guilt over being a human being.

        Full of emotional exaggeration about threat to the ‘environment’.

        We are part of the environment. Yes we are using it, though urbanization means we use less of it, not more, and using the environment is not ‘destroying’ the environment. In fact, as I mentioned, hunting in more ‘natural’ human existence is what was more responsible for extinctions.

        It’s pretty irrational, but then, humans are irrational.

  72. Time for a new post, Judith. This one seems to have run its course and is running on “GAS” (many entendres!).

    Fortunately, your weekend review should be on its way to save the day?

  73. I agree that the eco modernists manifesto is a most refreshing alternative to rampant alarmism. I have had witnessed great success with our watershed restorations demonstrating win win solutions for huans and wildlife. Wise environmental stewardship and a more optimistic view could unite both left and right on many issues. I outlined the reasons for optimism in a blog post Apocalyptic Fear-mongering: Sometimes Rush Limbaugh is Right!

    http://perhapsallnatural.blogspot.com/2015/06/apocalyptic-fear-mongering-sometimes.html

    also posted to WUWT

    • Jim,
      Thanks for the thought. The cleanup of water, air and hazardous waste since the 70’s is spectacular in the US. Not so much in China or India but they are independent countries and societies. The reallocation of water in the US and new conservation plans have also been productive. It is a time for optimism the US. Would appreciate helping third world countries clean the air that wafts across borders and the sewage and water treatment systems. High priorities. Instead we focus on the pretend issue of climate temp increase and sea level rise while the real dangers to the worlds populace go unaddressed.
      Scott

  74. David L. Hagen

    Evil vs environment
    How does Eco-modernism deal with the problem of evil?

    Corruption is a primary cause or amplifier of pollution

  75. Pooh, Dixie

    Bureaucratic control of energy? Hobbes had it right: “the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.
    Hobbes, Thomas. “Leviathan (book).” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, June 10, 2015.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Leviathan_(book)&oldid=666351743.

  76. Berényi Péter

    The Ecomodernist Manifesto fails to mention two decisive, foreseeable technologies.

    1. molecular nanotechnology, using programmable assemblers
    2. artificial intelligence

    These technologies, together, have the potential to redraw our eco landscape completely, eliminating all shortages and making full recycling cheap.

    However, both depends on a reliable long term power supply, which, on a planetary surface, can only be provided by nuclear sources.

    One ton of granite, the default stuff continents are made of, contains as much recoverable energy as fifty tons of coal. The technology to do it safely is not even new, it was available 50 years ago. It can provide energy for the rest of the lifetime of the solar system, so it is as good as renewable.

    It is not even necessarily centralized. Molten salt reactors can be made quite small, because they operate at atmospheric pressure.

    Of course, Deuterium in seawater is even more abundant, but we are still waiting for a proven fusion technology.

    Solar energy is excellent in space, in the inner solar system, because the sun is up for 7×24 a week, with neither clouds nor shadows, and real estate is cheap.

    On a planetary surface it is just the opposite.

    Still, with advanced molecular nanotechnology solar power may get usable. Only no electricity is to be generated directly, but some non toxic, not explosive, not even flammable, but still energy rich chemical, with a readily available feedstock. Like sugar from water and atmospheric CO2. It can be stored locally, then turned into water vapor, CO2 and electricity on demand by an array of micron sized fuel cells, designed and built with molecular precision.

    Sounds good, but no matter how advanced, this technology is still competing for sunshine with plants, which fact restricts its usefulness.

    The rest of so called “renewable” power schemes is just ridiculous.

    Otherwise, given these technologies, long term fate of a free political system depends on a single issue, Intellectual Property. It is quite easy to see, that abundance only follows from desktop manufacturing and automated design, if intellectual property rights are abolished once and for all.

    Otherwise, due to the recursive nature of these technologies, concentration of wealth can reach insane proportions; until the pitchforks are coming, that is. And God save us from nanotech pitchforks, designed by superhuman entities.

  77. Living off the land … from the article:

    Different parts of India have different styles of “patties”. Perhaps some anthropologist could make a study before these things disappear. Those from bengal are small and cute, the size of a hand, and bear the handprint of a Bengali woman or girlchild, never a man: ghoonte koodooni is a sociological term, and many women/widows earned [eked out] their living in this marginal niche. In the grazing plains of Bardhaman, Southern Bankura and northern medinipur, as late as the 1920s, there were bears and even leopards coming out in search of the odd weak calf and such, and maulings of the old women who followed the herds to collect every speck of dung were quite common.

    Even in my time, say as late as the early 70s in Nadia, I have seen large jackals and even the very rare hyena, right in broad daylight, beset the very small children set the task of following cattle and collecting their dung. In my childhood, and Jyotida will remember this, we used to have something called “pheu daaka” :the jackal that tails a tiger, calling in a peculiar note after a successful kill by its patron. It announces to all the animals to graze safely, thus not wasting nervous energy wondering if they are being stalked that evening. Wonderful balance/parsimony/compassion of Nature. You may have noticed that leopards or cheetahs that have fed will walk among herds of grazers with their tails raised up showing the white tips: it sends the message “I am not hunting”, and there is thus no disturbance, grazing and normal life proceeds without a hitch, very important, as life is always balanced on the knife edge, and there is need to acquire grazing and water as much as possible. Anyway, the pheu call used to come as dusk deepened into night, and we had no electricity, and scarcely any light, only a flickering kerosene lamp, and mud walls. Thick as they were, it felt really scary, although you knew it was coming from quite a distance. By the time I grew enough to make a Happy Meal for mama and bhagney [people never mentioned them by their real names, calling them Uncle and nephew], the former had long disappeared downriver.

    http://www.gourmetindia.com/topic/6161-cow-dung-cakes/

  78. “Capitalism devalues all future life with its emphasis on quarterly earnings.”

    No! It’s the only way to motivate people into creating the economic growth that pulls poor people out of poverty and provides the money for agriculture to produce more with less ecolological footprint. Then provides the science to re-create lost ecologies and undo unintended consequences of previous farming theories. Plus well-fed people to do the work.

    Socialists and Malthusian doomsayers only cause stagnation and gloom.

  79. It seems to me Schwägerl is missing the point of the Ecomodernist Manifesto

    Of course people prefer the idea of “conscious coupling” with nature rather than “conscious decoupling”. It is more romantic, and fits with the narrative we have been fed for 40 years or so. Like The Good Life. (Did Americans ever see that?)

    The point the Ecomodernists are making is that this has the greater impact on nature. I think they have the best of the argument on that, romantic or not.

    If you keep goats for a living you are either very poor, or (by global standards) very rich. It is not a solution for 8 billion people. That is no reason Kelly should not do it, good luck to her.

    When the poorer billions have safely moved into the cities, enjoying the benefits of clean water, electricity, health care, education and all the opportunities we take for granted, there will be more wilderness for the rich people to play in, whether that means shooting bears, or farming goats. Win-win surely?

    But Schwägerl worries this will benefit “big ag and the nuclear industry”. So what? That would not worry him, unless he is a watermelon.

  80. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #189 | Watts Up With That?