[ExI] Climate Models and Public Policy

jameschoate at austin.rr.com jameschoate at austin.rr.com
Tue Aug 4 19:52:13 UTC 2009

You're both coming at the same solution from opposite sides but doing too much dancing around to get there...

"The notion of saving the planet has nothing to do with intellectual honesty or science. The fact is that the planet was here long before us and will be here long after us. The planet is running fine. What people are talking about is saving themselves and saving their middle-class lifestyles and saving their cash flow."

Lynn Margulis

The planet is going to change. We have to live here. Those are the two fundamental axioms. Everything else is politics.

So, what does that mean? For models to be useful (ie predictive) we'd need to instrument the planet to a degree that we'd not have any place to live. To observe means to change. Live with it.

The real crux isn't to modify the global environment, it's to reduce the human impact to 'near zero sum'. What you take out, put back when you're done. Don't leave anything that didn't come from there. As the hikers say "leave only footprints".

We need to be looking at our environment and asking how to use it in a sustainable manner real time, not come back some time in the future and clean it up, or tax producers in the hope that it will modify their behavior to be more long term. None of that is going to happen.

We need to change the way we build cities, roads, etc.

Instead of strip mining resources (be they trees, corn, pavement, or ore) meaning to strip an area and cover it over, it needs to change to strips of used and unused lands. These strips need to be asymptotic to zero width. It needs to be a grating sort of layout.

With regard to water and air; take it out, put it back. Not later, now. An advanced society is going to use their natural environment as a catalyst and not as the fodder.

---- John K Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net> wrote: 
> "Alfio Puglisi" <alfio.puglisi at gmail.com>
> > all known physics tells us that, if you put enough CO2 in the atmosphere,
> > global warming will result.
> If it were that simple making good climate models would be easy. It isn't.
> During the late Ordovician period, 450 million years ago, there was a huge
> amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, about 4400 ppm verses 380 today, and yet
> the world was in the grip of a severe ice age.
> >  we are seeing a clear rise in temperature.
> It hasn't been very clear during the last decade!
> > we know that the current rise in CO2 and temperature would be a
> > *vertical line* on any climate graph of the known Earth history,
> > unlike anything we have seen before.
> That is simply untrue. During the last 600 million years the atmosphere has
> almost always had far more CO2 than now, abut 3000 ppm on average. The only
> exception was a period that lasted from 315 million years ago to 270 where
> there was about the same amount of CO2 as we have now. The temperature was
> about the same then as it is now too, and during the late Ordovician that I
> mentioned before it was much colder, but other than a few very brief ice
> ages during the last few million years the temperature has always been
> warmer than now, or at least during the last 600 million years it has.
> > Can you show this numerically? If you can show, quantitatively, that one
> > or more of the current unknowns in the models are enough to mask the
> > cumulative (in the time axis) effect of CO2, water wapor and other
> > GHGs, you will have a point, but not yet.
> Can you show me a climate model that has accurately predicted anything?
> These things have no track record but you expect us to stake our lives on
> them.
> > Somehow the clouds have failed to materialize to save the situation.
> I'm not saying clouds are going to save us, for all I know they could make
> things worse, but I am saying that love them or hate them clouds are vitally
> important to climate. So how much confidence can you have in a computer
> model that doesn't even try to deal with them?
>  John K Clark
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Venimus, Vidimus, Dolavimus

James Choate
jameschoate at austin.rr.com
james.choate at twcable.com

Adapt, Adopt, Improvise
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