[ExI] Global cooling: Arctic ice caps grows by 60% against global warming predictions | Mail Online

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Sep 12 14:33:51 UTC 2013

On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 05:54:25PM -0400, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 1:01 PM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> >
> > You're still not getting it. There is no cure.
> ### Coal. Oil. Gas. Photovoltaic. Wind. Thorium. Uranium. Other weird

Oil and gas are past peak. Total fossil and nonbreeder
fissible peak is expected roughly 2020 -- the exact 
time is not important, since we're already in an
energy hunger situation, while the population is growing,
and the population of high-resource consumption subpopulation
is also growing, within the constraints of the total available
energy envelope. Negawatts by way of efficiency is
negligible, so your only option is austerity -- rationing,
and limiting blood perfusion to the critical core, leaving
periphery anemic and cold while the patient continues
exsanguinating at a runaway rate.  

Renewables are not making a difference -- we need about
1 TW/year effective substition rate, or 1000 new nuclear
reactors/year equivalent for the next 40 years. We're
deploying a factor of 100 too little, and the processes
are not exponential past a nonegligible (5-10%) substitution

The real problem is that surplus energy results in adaptive
increase of numbers of potential consumers, while we've been
in serious and accelerating overshoot for last three decades, 
cruising on inertia, building up ecological debt. The pressure 
within the pressure cooker is building. The safety valve is stuck.
This thing is going to blow.

(Sorry for the metaphor overload. Some people get that
better than numbers and trends).

> not yet invented shit. All are cures, lasting for between 50 and

Not yet invented shit is irrelevant, since invention-to-deployment
in sufficient numbers is 30+ years. Despite widespread belief that
innovation happens quicker now empirically it's untrue. Infrastructure
work takes 30-40 years, assuming the invention is already ready
for deployment. There was a pretty good thing going in 1970s,
but everybody aborted Carter's plans but Germany. Germany is not
doing nearly enough, especially lately due to political meddling.
Some small countries are doing a lot more than Germany, but these
are special cases. 

> 500,000,000 years at current usage levels. Isn't this, like, an
> open-and-shut case?

Many believe that, which is why we're in this situation.
This is one of the ubiquitous antipatterns described in the 
collapse literature. Fire isn't real until it's burning you.
Once on fire, rational thought completely shuts down and
counterproductive behavior starts. Being poor makes you
measurably more stupid, as most of your energy goes towards
obtaining basic necessities.

> > The course of global warming is graven in stone. Not a damn
> > thing can be done about it at this point, especially now that
> > we have multiple feedback mechanisms kicking in.
> ### Seriously, you believe in this story? Global warming? Even the

Seriously, I believe that not a damn thing is going to change
about the CO2 emission curve. It's going to go up as long as
there are fossil carbon sources in the ground which can be
extracted at sufficient profit and sufficient net energy.
It might grow even faster if some buffering stops due to

> eco-nuts don't say "global warming" anymore, now it's "climate
> change".

I'm not going to argue about the finer points or errors
in the current climate models. I'm talking
about the CO2 emissions, and the detected outgassing of
methane hydrate clathrates in the permafrost and shelf,
and loss of ice, reduction of ice thickness and reduction
of polar albedo due to loss of reflective ice. All these
mechanisms are happening, and all of them are positive-feedback.
> The first half of this century will be remembered as the Great
> Greening, not due to ecofreaks overrunning the planet but due to
> improved plant growth from carbon dioxide fertilization.

Ecosystem is not binding CO2 in any relevant numbers, at
least sustainably. Ocean acidification is not preventable.

Oceans will become marginal sources of food. Total food
production is already stalling due to multiple factors.
The bad old times of mass famines and starvation across
poor areas of the world are coming back with a vengeance.

Long-term, war. India/Pakistan/China triangle looks
likely, but it doesn't mean it's going to start there.
Africa and parts of Asia will be first, but it 
will be localized due to lack of long-distance WoMD,
unless we've got multiple powers present in the area
into conflict about access to fertile land and mineral
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