Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Citizens Response to Climate Change

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
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Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Citizens Response to Climate Change

Post by Leeuwenhoek2 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:04 pm

Focus on the social policy, the politics (as well as the technology) required to move to a less carbon intensive society.

Other threads focus on the science, measurement, attribution and prediction of climate change.
Another on specific issues such as nuclear power safety.
They are distinctly different topics and more technical than social and political. It's a mistake to politicize the science and scientize the politics. To hide our values and visions for a good society behind arguments that use science as a proxy.

But responding to global warming, clean air, and sustainability are as much social and political as they are about science and technology. Scientists, the IPCC, and engineers can advise but they are no more qualified than citizens, campaigners, and politicians when it comes to deciding how individuals, societies and governments should respond.

For example:
Review of a new book “Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet
Varun Sivaram, in his forthcoming “Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet” lays out this case in what may be the first important policy book of 2018. To be clear, Sivaram, who holds a doctorate in physics, is a solar expert and an energy adviser -- he’s no enemy of alternative energy sources. He thinks government should increase its support for energy research and development, aiming at diverse pathways, applied at various stages of technology development, and targeting game-changing breakthroughs. In other words, we need to recognize the limitations of today’s solar power if we are going to make it really work.

The first disquieting sign is that solar companies are spending only about 1 percent of their revenue on research and development, well below average for a potentially major industry. You might think that’s because things are going so great, but some major solar users may have already maxed out their technology. According to Sivaram’s estimates, four of the five most significant country users -- Italy, Greece, Germany and Spain -- have already seen solar energy flatten out in the range of 5 percent to 10 percent of total energy use. The fifth country, Japan, is only at 5 percent.

... A common view is that solar power will come into its own once batteries and other storage technologies make steady improvements. Yet Sivaram notes that lithium-ion batteries in particular are not well-designed for storage across days, weeks and months. Also note that about 95 percent of global energy storage capacity is from hydroelectric power, [pumped storage] a discouraging sign for the notion that solar energy storage is on a satisfactory track.

Promoting solar energy also isn’t in the interest of regulated utilities. They fear a scenario where many users deploy solar power to detach from the energy grid, either wholly or in part. Other customers’ bills would have to rise to cover the costs of the grid, and that in turn would encourage even more secession into solar and alternate energy sources. Because that scenario is a financial loser for the utilities, regulatory institutions discourage utilities from integrating solar power into the grid, which limits competition.

... Sivaram calls for “systemic innovation,” based on “refashioning entire energy systems -- including physical infrastructure, economic markets, and public policies -- to enable a high penetration of solar energy.” I would add that we should reconsider the abandonment of nuclear energy, a topic that Sivaram touches upon but does not emphasize.

One lesson is that marginal improvements aren’t always enough, and economic dynamism is more important than we have been realizing. A whole series of integrated breakthroughs may be required to move significantly closer to a green energy future. I do think the U.S. will eventually get there, but after reading “Taming the Sun,” I have to wonder if we are up to the challenge now.
-- ... n-it-seems
In summary a systemic response is called for where economics, regulation and public policy are just as important as technology.

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Re: Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Citizens Response to Climate Change

Post by Leeuwenhoek2 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:53 am

Subject: The social & political challenges of figuring out where to get reliable information.

If what some number of well known climate scientists used to claim was accurate I am a either a Nobel laureate or a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. No joke. There is a very good reason why I never embellished my resume that way.

If a climate scientist claims they are a Nobel laureate, Nobel prize winner, co-recipient or a Nobel Peace Prize winner statistically there is a high likely hood they are making a highly embellished claim, stretching the truth if not lying. No scientist was awarded the 2007 peace prize, not even as a co-recipient. Both the Nobel Prize committee and the UN's IPCC agree on that. The IPCC suggests using the language: “X contributed to the reports of the IPCC, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.” (see more below)

A Couple of Famous Examples of Nobel Embellishment
This bio for instance: ... eter-stott
Contains the claim: "Co-recipient of 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the IPCC"
What's surprising in 2018 is that the UK Met Office has yet to correct this false claim. A number of other claims have since between withdrawn. For instance ...

A Complaint filed 2012 in a federal court by Michael E. Mann, Ph.D. claims that:
"As a result of this research, Dr. Mann and his colleagues were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize."
-- ... plaint.pdf
Mann's facebook page made a similar claim.
I'm reminded of this issue as a result of this expert legal commentary on this nearly 7 year old case.
Whatever Happened to Michael Mann's Defamation Suit (2018 edition)
It's been over a year since a petition for rehearing en banc was filed and the D.C. Court of Appeals has yet to act.
-- ... anns-defam
A internet search on the search terms "2007 nobel peace prize false claims" finds a number of
claims to the Nobel prize that were taken down: ... -skeptics/ ... ience-com/

Again, No scientist was awarded the 2007 peace prize, not even as a co-recipient.
Also, the majority of scientists who could have made such claims didn't. Many of the remaining Nobel prize claims were changed only after pressure from skeptics and others ( others that were often labeled as "deniers"). In other words, without a healthy skeptical "opposition" the scientific community is only partly self-regulating.

Why Should You Care?
This situation illustrations what is wrong with some aspects of climate science and the larger climate debate. Motivated by a desire to influence political debates over climate change a few scientists and even more campaigners have embellished claims about climate change such as about extreme weather and disasters.

The ordinary citizen isn't a science expert but they can and do form reasonable judgments about credibility when claims are exposed as embellishments. A cadre of politically motivated scientists have fallen in with fellow travelers in the media, activist organizations and the blogosphere who are willing not only to look past such embellishments, but to amplify them and attack those who push back. In doing so small but vocal parts of the climate scientific community and their supporters deviate significantly from widely-held norms of scientific, and IMO ethical (sila), practice. The situation is reminiscent of arguments linking Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein, 9/11 and Iraq.

Some advocates defend their actions saying that use of the more technically “correct” term is actually less likely to convey the key implications to a lay audience. But in the context of a desire (read craving, desire, greed for) to shape public opinion, those who have to describe their speech as being "correct" in scare quotes will tend to face credibility and ethical problems.


IPCC on the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr.
-- ... press.html
IPCC Statement on the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize
The prize was awarded to the IPCC as an organization, and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner . It would be correct to describe a scientist who was involved with AR4 or earlier IPCC reports in this way: “X contributed to the reports of the IPCC, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.”
Disclosure: I believe in climate change, anthropocentric driven climate change, and support a source neutral carbon tax.


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