Climate Change skeptics? [ot]

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Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jul 5, 2013 - 07:56am PT
Good luck with that.

Good observation. I'm with you in pointing out the huge vulnerability of a huge number of communities sited in semi arid environments that are predicted to become fully arid. It will be interesting to see just how successfully they can adapt. Likely more so than say, Florida.... or Bangladesh. There are some serious mass migration implications looming and I'd say West Pueblo or Palm Springs may not be the most serious examples.

One thing is for sure though which I'm sure the good residents of Pueblo would agree. Any increase in temperature and aridity will only add to their already shakey existence. There is no stopping the increase..... but there is still a chance of slowing the rate and possibly even the total amount.

Even if they can ever come to this conclusion (which you apparently doubt, to their detriment) Pueblo can't do anything about it alone. They need the great secret of American success to spring into action - technical ingenuity, economy of scale and a return to a belief and mutual reliance in community that extends beyond the city limits as opposed to the cynical tribal isolationist red state attitudes of hunker down with your guns and await the apocalypse.

The most obvious thing to do is get Pueblo off of that coal fired power. Big coal needs a nice fat carbon tax with legislated controls on user rates. Funnel the revenue into alternatives, maybe even send a little grease up north to your Canadian brothers and sisters for a little juice from our hydro power. Thats right - community can even extend beyond borders. I know I'll catch hell from my Nimby isolationist neighbors for such a suggestion but like I've said before, if our temperature goes up, our salmon are not going to survive, dams or no dams.

Or perhaps Pueblo (and Squamish) would prefer to stick their head in the sand and pretend that all that coal fired CO2 is just good plant food.


Rick - we said our good byes a couple of days ago. Unless you have something new to say - which means something compellingly of substance - you better just stick to your hi energy efficiency housing projects.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 08:50am PT
jgill, it is an interesting problem you spotlight. How do we, on a micro level, deal with a problem that is macro in nature?


Because the economy is directly tied to energy and its cost, any bump to the energy supply will resonate with the economies of the world.

As you say, the latest recession is still bouncing off the walls, and while the DOW just hit its all-time high, the under-structure is rotten to the core. People with skills can't find work and people without skills are in a worse way.

And now, we're hit with some crazy problem with our energy source?

Yeah, we are.




DMT, 123,123,123. I loved that--Brilliant!
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 5, 2013 - 09:06am PT
all for an unproven disaster that may occur (according to a minority of scientists)many decades in the future.

And here is the lie, in all it's glory.

I AM a member of the scientific community. I personally meet climate scientists.

"according to a minority of scientists" is bald-faced rubbish. You can find a very small number of climate deniers among climate scientists, but those consist almost exclusively of those on the payrolls of industry, earning their bucks.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 5, 2013 - 09:17am PT
k-man,

If I might take a stab at your question:

The old adage in hiking might apply: If you take care of the oz, the lbs take care of themselves.

An example might be the Kyoto treaty, which the US has not signed. My city, Los Angeles, HAS signed the treaty.....and HAS met the established goals of the treaty.....as have a number of cities.

LA has a plan to be off all coal-fired electricity, and it is making it's way in that direction at breakneck speed...we'll be off in 12 years.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/20/los-angeles-wants-nothing-to-do-with-coal-fired-power/

Ironic the way the Mayor describes it:

“I believe the only way to get the goal is to set aggressive timetables,” Villaraigosa said. “Climbing mountains that have never been climbed before [isn't] easy.”


LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa initially set twin goals, to achieve 20 percent renewable energy in the city’s mix by 2010, and to get LA off of coal by 2020.

The city has reached the 20 percent renewables goal.

The Sierra Club’s Evan Gillespie likes that quitting coal will bring L.A.’s greenhouse gas emissions 60 percent below 1990 levels.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 5, 2013 - 10:23am PT
The most obvious thing to do is get Pueblo off of that coal fired power

My first glimpse of Pueblo occurred 51 years ago when my first wife and I drove south on the new I-25. Smoke was billowing from the furnaces of CF&I that early evening drifting to the south along the freeway, in a leisurely fashion - 90 miles to Trinidad. I was impressed, but back then the paper mill on the Black Warrior was still emitting a far more lethal product, so I wasn't shocked.

About 10 years later I moved to Pueblo, and the air seemed a little cleaner. Then, some years later, the steel mill went electric, and suddenly Pueblo had amazingly clean air, far better than Aspen, Colorado Springs, Denver, or Fort Collins. Back in Tuscaloosa the paper mill shut down and air quality improved enormously.

Those of you who are younger perhaps have not lived through such remarkable advances and your baselines are quite high from my perspective. I'm not being critical, but only mentioning this so you might recognize that older people sometimes see things a bit differently.

The Commanche (coal) plant is actually pretty clean these days. I would not recommend advocating its closure or conversion anytime soon. Although, from the distant reaches of Canada you might be safe doing so.


;>)
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jul 5, 2013 - 10:47am PT
ha ha! Touche`!

Yep its easy for us frost backs to gloat up here in the steady 20 to 28 centigrade and cool ocean breezes. Maybe thats why we have a federal government populated by christian evangelist science deniers. Canadians and americans are really not so far apart as some might like to think.

All the same I'm not kidding about the need for a global neighborly effort. If the middle east roasts any more than they already are and they start thinking that us fat cat north americans are content to let them either fry or sink then maybe they'll figure sending a few nukes our way aint so bad an idea.

Or something like that. But lets start with baby steps. You guys promise to deactivate a few coal fired power plants and we'll sell you some cheap hydro power. In the mean time you better decide what you like more - nuclear or solar.... or both.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:12am PT

LA has a plan to be off all coal-fired electricity, and it is making it's way in that direction at breakneck speed...we'll be off in 12 years.

Amazing news - good to see! Unless.....it's just a conversion to natural gas.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:24am PT
Here is an interesting article somewhat in contradiction of Rick Sumners endorsement of our resident ST expert opinion on wild fires and Spotted Owls:


Western wildfires are becoming more immense and explosive than in the past - experts


BY ALICIA CHANG AND SETH BORENSTEIN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS JULY 5, 2013 7:52 AM


LOS ANGELES, Calif. - There's a dangerous but basic equation behind the killer Yarnell Hill wildfire and other blazes raging across the West this summer: More heat, more drought, more fuel and more people in the way are adding up to increasingly ferocious fires.

Scientists say a hotter planet will only increase the risk.

More than two dozen wildland fires are burning from Alaska to New Mexico, fueled by triple-digit temperatures and arid conditions. In the Arizona mountain town of Yarnell, a blaze apparently sparked by lightning killed 19 members of an elite firefighting squad who had deployed their emergency shelters Sunday when erratic monsoon winds sent flames racing in their direction.

While no single wildfire can be pinned solely on climate change, researchers say there are signs that fires are becoming bigger and more common in an increasingly hot and bone-dry West.

"Twenty years ago, I would have said this was a highly unusual, fast-moving, dangerous fire," said fire history expert Don Falk at the University of Arizona at Tucson, referring to the Yarnell Hill fire. "Now unfortunately, it's not unusual at all."

Wildfires are chewing through twice as many acres per year on average in the United States compared with 40 years ago, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told a Senate hearing last month. Since Jan. 1, 2000, about 145,000 square miles have burned, roughly the size of New York, New England, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland combined, according to federal records.

A draft federal report released earlier this year said climate change is stressing Western forests, making them more vulnerable to fires.

What's happening now "is not new to us," said climate scientist Don Wuebbles of the University of Illinois, one of the main authors of the federal report. "We've been saying this for some time."

Communities nestled next to wilderness are used to girding for fire season, which typically occurs in the summer. Compared with decades past, however, the traditional fire season now lasts two months longer and first responders sometimes find themselves beating back flames in the winter.

Rising temperatures all over the West, for one, have created dangerous, dry conditions.

Over the past 35 years, Arizona has seen dramatic warming, with the state's 10-year average temperature jumping from 59.1 degrees Fahrenheit in 1977 to 61.4 degrees last year — an increase of 2.3 degrees. By comparison, the entire continental U.S.' 10-year average temperature jumped only 1.6 degrees during the same period. Experts say every little spike in temperature makes a big difference.

"Even a degree or so warmer, day in day out, evaporates water faster and that desiccates the system more," said fire ecologist Steve Running of the University of Montana.

In Arizona, where a drought has persisted for nearly two decades, the manzanita, evergreen, mount mahogany and oak in the Yarnell area were so crispy Sunday that a nearby state fire-monitoring station recorded a near-maximum level of potential fuel in area vegetation.

In many places, decades of aggressively snuffing out wildfires also have led to a buildup of fuel ready to ignite. On top of that, more people are living in fire-prone areas near forests, grasslands and shrub lands, which complicates firefighting logistics.

Over the past years, firefighters on the front lines have complained about how flames "go berserk in ways they never used to see," Running said.

Though the Yarnell Hill Fire, at 13 square miles, was not considered huge compared with previous fires in Arizona, its ferociousness caught many off guard. Investigators said it appeared the Granite Mountain Hotshots were overrun by flames fanned by erratic winds.

At one point, the fire raced four miles in just 20 minutes, fed by the dry brush and 41 mph winds that suddenly switched direction, said Yavapai County Sheriff's Capt. Jeff Newnum.

Climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona said unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed, huge, fierce wildfires will become the norm.

"We owe it to the men and women who put themselves in harm's way to do everything we can to make their firefighting jobs safer," Overpeck said in an email.

Governments also need to rethink the way they deal with fires, which could mean just letting some burn rather than sending fire crews into increasingly intense and unpredictable situations, said University of Montana fire scientist and elite firefighter Carl Seielstad.

"I think it's inevitable," he said. "We're going to have to accept defeat when we're defeated."

As residents across the West learn to cope, scientists point to the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in 2007 predicted that warmer summer temperatures were expected to increase fire risk.

Six years later, "we keep seeing more and more amazing fire dynamics," the University of Montana's Running said. "And there's just no reason to believe overall that this is going to go back ... We better be ready for more of it."

___

Online:

National Interagency Fire Center: http://www.nifc.gov

Draft National Climate Assessment: http://ncadac.globalchange.gov

Arizona State Climate office: http://azclimate.asu.edu/index.php



Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Experts+Western+wildfires+becoming+more+immense+explosive+than/8620854/story.html#ixzz2YCBeLUNS



Perhaps Ron Anderson can explain what we are all missing here, especially in relation to the statistics.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:32am PT
The WEAKEST stuff ever..


OF COURSE warmer temps mean harder burning fires.. But a a degree or so diff ISNT going to make or break ANYTHING in wildifires.

It is THE FUEL MOISTURES that are lacking in many areas.. The same areas where a hundred years of build up of fuels also exist.

So yeah,, ANY "scientist" can claim climate change is affecting wildfire. But that is as smart as saying they dont happen in the dead of winters.



Wildfires have been "explosive" at times sine they were recorded in the 1800s. Mann Gulch fire of the 1940s was every bit as explosive as the Yarnell burn just the other day.


command error

Trad climber
Colorado
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:35am PT
Aerosols from wildfires and volcano's and my burned chicken wings are all
helping to cool the climate.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:42am PT
Those of you who are younger perhaps have not lived through such remarkable advances and your baselines are quite high from my perspective. I'm not being critical, but only mentioning this so you might recognize that older people sometimes see things a bit differently.


I find this an interesting statement. I think you could apply this to even us "youngsters". The problem of such a perspective is that it incorporates assumptions from a different era. The rate of change however is not constant over time, and assumptions of "adaptation" formed in the stone age of the sixties, seventies or eighties are not pertinent here and now. Nor is the magnitude of the problem. It wasn't that long ago that Rachel Carson was nagging us about a silent spring, which in retrospect was kinda small potatoes. The first big "Whoa Fuk" moment was Ozone depletion. Now we have something that is similar but far more complex in terms of solution.

Combine that with a rather tight time frame that has already lost a full decade due to stupidity and dithering and I think it is safe to say we don't have time for any whimsical tips of the hat to the wisdom of past eras that got us into this mess in the first place.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:49am PT
Yes we follow that Ron but as I said could you comment in regard to the statistical greater prevailance of events.


Also, now that I got your attention, did you listen to that Spotted Owl / trraige podcast i posted a ways back? I thought you'd be all over that like flies on....
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:57am PT
Bruce,, the statistics are developed from the factuals. THEN COMES THEORIES.

But there is only one thing that fuels our fires. BUILD UP OF FUELS.

Fires today behave exactly as they did 80 yrs ago. Thunder storms will still blow them up in a 306 degree style.

Some of the largest fires in history occurred LONG ago. Even before the industrial=ial revolution.

In fact, the investigators in AZ ARE comparing this latest tragedy to the MANN GULCH fire in Montana in the 1940s as the similarity is striking.


ANd i breezed through that link you posted but it was so long i did not get to any owl issues in it.



k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 12:02pm PT
Ron plays card #1:

The WEAKEST stuff ever..

I agree Ron, your argument is as weak as a left jab from a toddler.


OF COURSE warmer temps mean harder burning fires.. But a a degree or so diff ISNT going to make or break ANYTHING in wildifires.

Sounds like opinion to me. For me, I'd sooner listed to somebody who knows what they're talking about, and would pay extra attention to somebody who studies the subject for a living:

"Even a degree or so warmer, day in day out, evaporates water faster and that desiccates the system more," said fire ecologist Steve Running of the University of Montana.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 5, 2013 - 12:04pm PT
kman ive forgotten more about wildfire that youll ever know.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jul 5, 2013 - 12:09pm PT
you breezed through it?

You the man infatuated with the missmanagement of spotted owl conservation vis a vis forestry practices breezed through it and didn't notice a thing in regard to Spotted Owls?

Do you take me for an idiot? If you listened to it at all you would have been fascinated. That is exactly why I posted it!


This stuff is right up your alley man! It laid the case for exactly what you ( and to an extent myself) were arguing in the first place - triage the issue. Weigh the cost benefit ratio. My position is a little different but the essential philosophy is the same.

Give it another shot. You won't regret it.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
Funny Ron, we're talking climate change and how it has an effect on wild fires.

Your prior knowledge on wild fires doesn't give your opinion traction.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 5, 2013 - 12:25pm PT
YOUR knowledge of wildfire could fit under my little finger nail with plenty of room left over for buggars.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
Ron, tell me how you know about the scope of my wild fire knowledge?

More hot air and ad-hoc opinion. Keep at it, the respect for your writings dwindles with each of your baseless posts.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jul 5, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
The word is BOOGERS


Now listen to the podcast..... if you have any guts at all
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