Climate Change: The Keywords (Part 3 of 3)

Written by Geraldo Luís Lino, special to Climate Change Dispatch reposted at WUWT by request.

Climate Change: The Keywords (Part 1 of 3)

Climate Change: The Keywords (Part 2 of 3)

with that 150,000-plus years inheritance of accumulated knowledge, Mankind has no shortage of conditions for facing any environmental scenarios created by the natural oscillations of the climate dynamics

With 150,000-plus years inheritance of accumulated knowledge, Mankind has no shortage of conditions for facing any environmental scenarios created by the natural oscillations of the climate dynamics.

The word resilience can be described as the capacity of resistance, elasticity and recovery from physical shocks. This is a property that Mankind has always demonstrated to possess while facing all kinds of threats to its evolution, and this is also the third and most important keyword for the needed reassessment of the climate debate.

Despite some transitory interruptions in the civilizational process and a lot of setbacks and tragedies of all dimensions, the intrinsically creative, associative and synergetic nature of our species have granted Mankind the evolving capacity (in terms of knowledge and socio-political-economic relations) and the resilience needed for overcoming all sorts of challenges so far: adverse climatic conditions, food scarcity, epidemic and pandemic diseases, natural hazards, conflicts of all kinds, bad rulers, short-sighted leaders, and with unfortunate frequency, irrationality pandemics fed by exotic ideas disconnected from any coherent process of understanding of the universal laws – like environmentalism and its standard bearer the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory.

It is worth reminding that our species appeared in the penultimate Ice Age somewhere in Africa and set out from there to conquer all the continents under much more unfavorable climatic conditions than those prevailing in the Holocene period, the last 12,000 years. It was under the harsh conditions prevailing during most of that time span that our forebears developed the “physical” and “social” technologies needed not only for their mere survival, but also for the advent of civilized life: fire, tools, sophisticated hunting weapons, the taming of animals, articulated language, capacity for group action and even profound abstract concepts like the intuition of a principle of universal order and a refined artistic sense (exemplified by the magnificent paintings in the Altamira and Lascaux caves and by the 35,000 year-old flutes made out of animal bones found in Southeast Germany). Only agriculture had to wait for the onset of our warm interglacial the Holocene.

So, with that 150,000-plus years inheritance of accumulated knowledge, Mankind has no shortage of conditions for facing any environmental scenarios created by the natural oscillations of the climate dynamics, with all the temperature, humidity, ice cover, sea level and other changes that may be expected in a foreseeable future. The keyword is ensuring the needed resilience for such capacity – instead of sacrificing the wellbeing and progress perspectives of much of the world’s population for an irrational obsession with a tiny rising of the thermometers and tide gauges.

More than that: for the first time ever, Mankind holds the necessary and sufficient body of knowledge and technical and physical resources for providing the virtual totality of the material needs for a population even larger than the existing one, opening the possibility of universalizing – in an enduring and entirely sustainable way – the general wellbeing levels enjoyed by the most advanced countries, in terms of water, sanitation, energy, transportation and communications infrastructure, health and education services and other conquests of modern civilized life. Despite the fallacious neo-malthusian/environmentalist arguments against such perspective, the main obstacles to its fulfillment in less than two generations are political and mental, not physical or environmental.

On the other hand, it is ironic that cooling conditions have ever been much more troublesome for Mankind, specially in what regards to human health and agricultural impacts, traveling and infrastructure disruptions and many other negative effects. Thus, we are the first generation in History who are worried about the warming of the planet – a condition that has always proven to be favorable to most of the biosphere (indeed, before Climatology was converted into a “politicized science,” the warmest phases of the interglacial periods were named “climatic optima”).

In fact, there are some indications that the next two decades or so will bring a cooling trend, due to the coincidence of a cycle of weak solar activity and cool phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and other cycles of sea surface temperatures, a combination that helps to explain much of the temperature oscillation during the last century. [1, 2, 3]

It is an statistically-proven fact that the natural catastrophes (including the climatic ones) usually cause much more physical harm and human suffering in the less developed countries that are less provided with modern infrastructure, including efficient public services of all kinds. Hence, the most intelligent and efficient way of increasing Mankind’s overall resilience for facing the inexorable climate changes – warm or cool, dry or wet climates – is by means of raising its general wellbeing and progress to the levels permitted by modern science and technology, and not by their restriction or virtual “freezing” – condition that would arise from the insane “de-carbonization” of the economy advocated by the followers of the AGW cult.

Resilience means the redundance and flexibility of the societies’ physical conditions of survival and functioning, allowing them to reduce their overall vulnerability to the climate oscillations and other potentially dangerous natural phenomena. Such requisites include things like the availability of genetically modified seeds for all climatic conditions, the redundance of food sources, food storage capacity, transportation, energy and communications infrastructure, and many others.

A recent demonstration of such concept was provided by the disruption of the international air traffic by the ash clouds from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökul volcano. In that case, the flexibility that allowed Europe to cope with the troubles caused by the closing of its air space was partially provided by the continent’s dense and efficient land transportation grid.

By the way, the enormous disturbances caused by an eruption that barely reached 4 in the logarithmic Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 8 points should call into question the criteria of choice for the setting of Mankind’s collective efforts agenda. We can only think about the potential impacts of eventual mega-eruptions like the also Icelandic Laki’s in 1783 (VEI 6) or the Indonesia’s Tambora in 1815 (VEI 7), on a much more densely populated, urbanized and interdependent world, with its vulnerable transport, energy and communication grids. [4]

Obviously, phenomena like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes cannot be controlled, but a better knowledge about their causes and monitoring systems capable of detecting their forewarning signals could contribute quite a lot to mitigate their destructive impacts. In some countries there are promising researches aimed at improving this detection capacity with the help of terrestrial and space sensors. However, the scale of these initiatives is still limited and the same happens with the needed coordination of efforts at the international level (all such initiatives would also benefit from a tiny fraction of the concern and resources that have been wasted with the false emergency of the AGW).

In physical terms, Mankind’s wellbeing and resilience will depend pretty much on a meaningful increase of the per capita energy use by the less developed populations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, that will have to be multiplied by factors of 3 to 6 in order to reach at least the current levels of the former Soviet countries (about half of the OECD countries’). Such a goal cannot be reached without a large scale increase of the use of coal, oil and natural gas, which already provide over 80% of the world energy consumption and two thirds of the electricity generation [5] – and for which there won’t be large scale replacements until the second half of the century at least (the enhanced use of nuclear energy will also play an important role).

As for their physical availability, the recurring and pessimistic “Peak Oil” reports must be taken with the due grain of salt. The recent discoveries of ultra-deep oil deposits off the Brazilian coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and other places, besides the promising development of the technologies for exploring the vast and widespread reserves of shale gas, suggest that the alleged limits to the hydrocarbon production expansion are not at sight yet.

By the same token, the possibility of exploring ultra-deep abiotic hydrocarbons must be considered. Although it is contested by the Western mainstream geosciences thinking, the inorganic formation of hydrocarbons is admitted by Russian and Ukrainian scientists since the mid-20th century and certain non-sedimentary oil deposits have been successfully explored in those countries for decades. [6] Such promising possibilities were reinforced by experimental evidences of hydrocarbon formation in the Earth’s upper mantle, in recent experiments performed in the US and Sweden. [7, 8]

All these developments make still more relevant and urgent the neutralization of the AGW scare for the guidance of long-term political strategies.

Granted, the dismantling of the vast array of political, scientific, economic, mediatic and other interests grouped around the AGW scare is not an easy task, but it is fundamental for the future of Civilization and its improvement. Fortunately, the inconsistencies of the “warmist” scenario, the unscientific practices of many of its champions and the physical/economic unfeasibility of the “de-carbonization” agenda are becoming increasingly evident to the general public, as well as the quarrels among developed and developing countries on who should bear the brunt of the sacrifices to implement it and who should pay the bill. Besides that, an increasing number of undeterred scientists and motivated laymen all over the world have taken into their hands the crucial task of returning the discussion about climate change to the place it should never have been stolen from: the ground of real science, common sense and the common good.

As a way of conclusion, I share with the readers the inspiring words of two great scientists who have excelled in the struggle against the AGW irrationality and, above all, in the battle for giving back real science its due place in the guidance of the human affairs.

First, let’s hear Richard Lindzen in a 2001 testimony to the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, speaking about the really important priorities concerning the climate issues:

“The question of where do we go from here is an obvious and important one. From my provincial perspective, an important priority should be given to figuring out how to support and encourage science (and basic science underlying climate in particular) while removing incentives to promote alarmism. The benefits of leaving future generations a better understanding of nature would far outweigh the benefits (if any) of ill thought out attempts to regulate nature in the absence of such understanding.” [9]

Then, let’s call on Freeman Dyson, who reminds us of human nature itself and of our universal mission, both quite forgotten in these gloomy times of cultural pessimism and inconsequent and opportunistic catastrophism:

“Boiled down to one sentence, my message is the unboundedness of life and the consequent unboundedness of human destiny. As a working hypothesis to explain the riddle of our existence, I propose that our universe is the most interesting of all possible universes, and our fate as human beings is to make it so.” [10]

1. Luiz Carlos Baldicero Molion, “Aquecimento global, El Niños, manchas solares, vulcões e Oscilação Decadal do Pacífico” (Global Warming, El Niños, Sunspots, Volcanos and Pacific Decadal Oscillation), Revista Climanálise, Ano 3, No. 1., 1-5 (2006), http://climanalise.cptec.inpe.br/~rclimanl/revista/pdf/Artigo_Aquecimento_0805.pdf.

2. Joseph D’Aleo, “US Temperatures and Climate Factors since 1895” (2008), http://icecap.us/images/uploads/US_Temperatures_and_Climate_Factors_since_1895.pdf.

3. Horst Borchert, “Südpazifische Oszillation und Kosmische Strahlung” (South Pacific Oscillation and Cosmic Radiation) (2010), http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/SO_Borchert.pdf.

4. See the Wikipedia entry for “Volcanic Explosivity Index.”

5. See the International Energy Agency statistics page, http://www.iea.org/stats/index.asp.

6. See the session “Abiotic deep origin of hydrocarbons: Myth or reality?” of the 33rd International Geological Congress (Oslo, 2008), http://www.cprm.gov.br/33IGC/Sess_182.html.

7. Anton Kolesnikov, Vladimir G. Kutcherov and Alexander F. Goncharov, “Methane-derived hydrocarbons produced under upper-mantle conditions”, Nature Geoscience 2, 566-570 (2009).

8. Carnegie Institute for Science, “Hydrocarbons in Deep Earth?”, 7/27/2009, http://carnegiescience.edu/news/hydrocarbons_deep_earth.

9. Richard Lindzen, “Testimony of Richard S. Lindzen before the Senate Environment Public Works Committee on 2 May 2001”, http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/Testimony/Senate2001.pdf.

10. Freeman J. Dyson, Infinite in all Directions. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1988.

Geraldo Luís Lino is a Brazilian geologist and author of the book “The Global Warming Fraud: How a Natural Phenomenon was Converted into a False World Emergency” (published in 2009 in Portuguese and just published in Spanish in Mexico).

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45 Responses to Climate Change: The Keywords (Part 3 of 3)

  1. Alexander K says:

    Absolutely brilliant post which gives a much-needed dose of perspective. I agree that it will be hard to unwind the grip the AGW sect has on our political culture at this moment, but the pendulum is slowly gathering momentum toward the overcoming of climate alarmism. The author’s tone brings to mind the wisdom of 16th century English playwright and bon vivant, Ben Jonson, who said “I, too, have tried to be a philosopher, but cheerfulness kept breaking through!”

  2. Mike Haseler says:

    I was just reading the comments to an article on the economist (http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/11/global_warming) when I realised (yet again) that there wasn’t really any need to go through the hassle of registering to make the case against the global warming clap-trap because many people had already made a good case already.

    A paradigm shift

    A year ago the few ant- comments used to be desperate calls for sanity and even name-calling by people hard pressed to make a case let alone be heard. These days, the anti comments are in the majority, are well thought out, highly articulate and well argued.

    The real paradox of climategate

    And then it occurred to me. No one in the world believes that the global temperature data would underplay the extent of warming. Every one knows that if there were any chance those involved would “up-just” the data.

    The simple fact is that as when the global climate decides to take a dip down and the temperature figures start plummeting:

    No one will say: “that just some right wing government stooge trying to down-just the figures”.

    Haray for Corporal Jones! Haray for Captain Mann-wearing! Through their total incompetence and trickery – there will be no question that the figures are manipulated downward when the temperature falls!

  3. vukcevic says:

    I was surprised to the amount of time it was devoted to various feedbacks and sensitivities at Congressional testimony . CO2 was not a new component in the climate machine, its volume increased by some 30% or so.
    – If you accept that there is natural variation in the global temperatures, than all feedbacks and sensitivities are included in the process.
    – if you have a climate independent physical process with a mechanism to affect climate, that temp anomalies can be ‘correlated’ to in long term, and the last 50-60 years show some disagreement between two, than it can be assumed that the differential is the result of any new component’s contribution.
    Here is my analysis:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CETng.htm

    very few if any may agree and majority most likely would not, but science does not care for majority’s view, it is the facts and the data that drive science forward, not cosy cabal of consensus.

  4. pesadia says:

    “Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators” Albert Camus.
    I make no comment but i have read every interesting word.

  5. Mike Haseler says:

    Sorry I have to take you to task on this idea that more energy is necessary for wellbeing – because it fails to appreciate the real constraints and competing pressures on energy supply particularly when it applies to “wellbeing”.

    The simple fact is that much of the energy needs which we used to supply by farming: wood for fuel, and construction, animal feeds for horse power machinery, and if you go back further the opulence of the few provided by the many slaves. We now live in an age where our opulence is provided by mechanical “workers” which are not fed from farmland, by construction materials like brick and concrete that do not require farmland, but do require intensive energy.

    In real terms the “fossilisation” of the economy’s energy supply has freed up vast amounts of farming land enabling a staggering growth in the world’s population without there being competition between opulence (fossil fuel energy supply) and population (food energy supply).

    Indeed, far from food (population) and opulence (fossil fuel) being in conflict with each other as they had been in the land-constrained enerconomies of the past, the vast energy wealth of first coal and then oil allowed both population and opulence to grow at exponential rates, because fossil fuels were not only enabling more opulence through greater and greater domestic and commercial mechanisation, but fossil fuels enabled huge expansion of farming via energy-intensive fertilisers, pesticides and farm machinery. About half the energy output from a farm comes into the farm in fossil fuel – meaning fossil fuel use doubles farming output – or to put it another way, without fossil fuels, energy output from farming ignoring everything else would be halved. Which is another way of saying we could only feed half the people we do today!

    Whether or not we pre-empt the end of fossil fuels by forcing people to use agricultural land to replace fossil fuels or we simply wait until the lack of supply of fossil fuels leaves no choice but to stop growing food and grow energy/construction crops instead, sooner or later there is going to be a huge competition between food supply and energy supply or in other words between population levels and opulence.

    The paradigm of ever increasing energy supply that has created the myth that economic growth /opulence must always increase is coming to an end (bar something big like nuclear fusion). Based on hand-waving estimates (and given our appalling lack of knowledge on world energy supplies there’s not much point trying to do better) I estimate that oil and gas will run out (halve in supply) in perhaps 30 years times and then as coal becomes the main source of energy, that in turn will only last around 60 years.

    Basically, where I totally disagree is in the mad idea that energy is some kind of magic bullet to the world economy that we can somehow turn up the flow ad infinitum to solve every social and political problem. It isn’t (it never was) but as energy costs start increasing more and more through this century we will see that energy, population, opulence (GDP) and political stability are not independent and to think they are is the cloud cookoo land thinking of the global warming alarmists.

  6. Mike Haseler says:

    Oh dear … that should read

    as energy costs start increasing more and more through this century we will see that energy, population, opulence (GDP) and political stability are not independent and to think they are is the cloud cookoo land thinking of the global warming alarmists.

    [I have edited the original and inserted the above... bl57~mod]

  7. SteveE says:

    As for their physical availability, the recurring and pessimistic “Peak Oil” reports must be taken with the due grain of salt. The recent discoveries of ultra-deep oil deposits off the Brazilian coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and other places, besides the promising development of the technologies for exploring the vast and widespread reserves of shale gas, suggest that the alleged limits to the hydrocarbon production expansion are not at sight yet.

    ——————————–

    I agree that there are many discoveries of oil being made, and the exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons does provide further resources, however the reason these resources have not been utilised until now is the cost involved in there extraction and the exploration costs for them.

    The amount of oil reported in the deep water Brazil discovery must also be taken with a pinch of salt. Finding it in the ground doesn’t mean it’s economic to extract it, especially in the ultra-deep water where drilling costs are huge.

  8. John Whitman says:

    Geraldo Luís Lino,

    Thank you. Your part 3 lived up to expectations based on the part 1 & 2 tasty appetizers.

    One comment. The reference to the ‘common good’ weakened your argument somewhat.

    John

  9. John Marshall says:

    The planet is far more resilient than man. We will become extinct but the planet will carry on. Climates will STILL change.

  10. AusieDan says:

    vukcevic
    Hi thanks for your chart, I always find your work interesting.
    The things you have left out are UHI and “errors” in data compilation.
    UHI alone may well explain why your purple line is higher than the others.

  11. Pointman says:

    Today’s installment of the Cancun Week special is now available at

    http://ourmaninsichuan.wordpress.com/

    It is the third translation of selected portions of the Chinese book “Low Carbon Plot” and deals with the true national self-interest behind climate politics and finance.

    Pointman

  12. Archonix says:

    SteveE, the fact that my own country and others are currently attempting to have their territorial waters around southern holdings extended by several dozen miles tells me that there’s plenty of oil there to be extracted than these costs you mentioned.

  13. Pete says:

    A thought provoking piece.

    “As for their physical availability, the recurring and pessimistic “Peak Oil” reports must be taken with the due grain of salt. The recent discoveries of ultra-deep oil deposits off the Brazilian coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and other places, besides the promising development of the technologies for exploring the vast and widespread reserves of shale gas, suggest that the alleged limits to the hydrocarbon production expansion are not at sight yet.”

    Are you saying deposits in the GOM will hold off peak oil?

    “Gulf of Mexico. Proved field discoveries have added over 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent to Gulf of Mexico reserves, and unproved field discoveries may add an additional billion barrels of oil equivalent. ”

    http://www.gomr.boemre.gov/homepg/whatsnew/papers/gp9515.html

    Global oil consumption is C. 30 billion barrels per annum, even if we could produce the GOM to the speculative 2 billion total reserve tomorrow, global consumption would suck it dry in about 6 weeks.

    Your first abiotic reference hit a 404 error.

    The second seems inconclusive. ” Whether hydrocarbons can also be produced from abiogenic precursor molecules under the high-pressure, high-temperature conditions characteristic of the upper mantle remains an open question.” though I would like to see some production numbers for those”certain non-sedimentary oil deposits [which] have been successfully explored in those countries for decades.”

    Please see the “World oil production by type”graph on page 7 of this report http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/docs/weo2010/key_graphs.pdf please note the section for “crude oil fields yet to be developed, and yet to be found” and the dateline.

    Uless they start developing these fields now (10yr leadtime) or finding those “yet to be found” now(15 yrs leadtime?), it seems very likely we will see a decline in global production somewhere between 3-6% per annum in the very near future based on known depletion rates.

    Oil shale is hardly worth processing on an EROEI basis, shale gas fracking is contaminating the subterranean water reserves, these are not replacements for 30 billion barrels of oil per year.

    Peak Oil is about production not meeting demand. Please show me some production Vs demand numbers to back your statement ““Peak Oil” reports must be taken with the due grain of salt”.

  14. Roger Carr says:

    So much of Geraldo Luís Lino’s essay is memorable and worth positive comment, but for me this paragraph gives particular heart. It acknowledges those like myself, essentially ignorant but with a burning conviction that AGW is wrong — is in fact evil — do have a part to play in the defeat of madness if only by standing by in firm support of wisdom.

    Besides that, an increasing number of undeterred scientists and motivated laymen all over the world have taken into their hands the crucial task of returning the discussion about climate change to the place it should never have been stolen from: the ground of real science, common sense and the common good.

  15. Cassandra King says:

    The biggest enemy of humanity and our advanced industrial society is a lack of self confidence combined with our current generation of ‘professional’ political elites.

    A group self confidence, our near infinite capacity to evolve and adapt and dominate our environment means we have the ability to succeed beyond our wildest dreams as a species, nothing and I mean nothing is beyond our reach given the desire to achieve our dreams.

    We are a dynamic confident and aggressive species when we have the self confidence and intelligence to chase our destiny and master our surroundings HOWEVER there are elements, determined elements who are dragging us back, eroding our self confidence, injecting fear and uncertainty and keeping us back in the childish state we need to escape from.

    There comes a time in the evolution of every soul whether its the soul of one or the greater soul of our species when we must put aside childish things and the ways of the child and grow up, the time of our childhood has been enjoyed in an epoch of unparalleled climatic stability but that golden favour handed by pure chance has started to become a prison for us, we dare not leave the comfort and safety of the babies crib and that is natural. It is time we as a species grew up and begin the long,scary and difficult journey to adulthood. We really do not have anything to fear except fear itself, that is our biggest enemy and the one which has the capability to destroy us.

    We desperately need a leader class who can lead us from the front and inspire in us a confidence and eagerness to face the future, this is a gift our current leaders simply do not have. The future is ours to master if only we had the courage to fight for it, we have it within ourselves to be masters of the galaxy and that long road can only begin when we take the first difficult steps.

  16. vukcevic says:

    AusieDan says:
    November 19, 2010 at 2:51 am
    vukcevic ….Hi thanks for your chart, I always find your work interesting.
    The things you have left out are UHI and “errors” in data compilation…

    Good point, UHI is now added; probably each make some contribution but science will have problem in disentangling them. I consider error compilations (unless deliberate distortions, I take Met Office’s numbers as fair) are in both directions, 20 y m.a. would smooth out.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CETng.htm

  17. SteveE says:

    Archonix says:
    November 19, 2010 at 3:02 am
    SteveE, the fact that my own country and others are currently attempting to have their territorial waters around southern holdings extended by several dozen miles tells me that there’s plenty of oil there to be extracted than these costs you mentioned.

    ———————————

    The reason Governments do that is because they have nothing to lose by offering license blocks further and further offshore. That doesn’t mean there’s any oil to be found or that it would be economic to do so.

    And as Pete say above, the global demand for oil is about 30 billion bbls, the recent Brazilian discover is reported to be 8 billion bbls of recoverable oil and that is the largest discovery in the Western hemisphere for the last 30 years. If it was all produced it would supply current global demand for 3 months.

    And just for an idea of costs; an average deep water well would cost about $100 million to drill, the Tupi Field in Brazil would require about 300 wells to produce the 8 billion bbls, so development costs for just drilling the wells would be $30 billion without any of the infrastructure and processing facilities.

  18. Mike Haseler says:

    Pete says:
    November 19, 2010 at 3:08 am

    A thought provoking piece.

    “As for their physical availability, the recurring and pessimistic “Peak Oil” reports must be taken with the due grain of salt. The recent discoveries of ultra-deep oil deposits off the Brazilian coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and other places, besides the promising development of the technologies for exploring the vast and widespread reserves of shale gas, suggest that the alleged limits to the hydrocarbon production expansion are not at sight yet.”

    Are you saying deposits in the GOM will hold off peak oil?

    With peak oil, we run almost the same problems as the global warming scam:-
    * very poor raw data
    * absolutely ridiculously small amounts of money spent on improving the data
    * Politic paranoia and hype leading to alarmism
    * the use by commerical groups (wind & oil) to flame the fires of paranoia for their own self interest & profit
    *NGOs jumping on the bandwagon to spread their own propaganda.

    Overall we face the same media hype and political rhetoric based on poor information and another market bubble as we spend [cross out] waste trillions tackling the supposed outcome without ever knowing the real extent of the problem because no one bothered to get the basic facts right in the first place.

    The biggest danger we face is because global warming has been such a clear and obvious scam, and because the oil companies are clearly rubbing their hands at the prospect of using peak-oil rationing scares to raise prices/profits in the place of global warming oil-rationing scares, that we end up ignoring what would appear to be a real problem** with real political, economic and social consequences (unlike global warming which is hog-wash)

    Fortunately, in the case of peak-oil, peak-coal there is no need to do anything because the market will soon dictate whether or not it exists. Indeed, the very act of peak-oil becoming an accepted “norm” may precipitate the lack of oil supply because people begin to believe there isn’t any oil left – rather than it is just a lot more difficult to find.

    **Very clearly peak oil would be “the biggest problem facing humanity” — when oil/fossil fuel is necessary even to feed the present world population!

  19. Peter Taylor says:

    It is fashionable in the sceptical camp to decry ‘environmentalism’ and hence all knowledge accumulated by scientific ecology.

    A word of caution..just because the alarmists have a political agenda as well as an apparent technical and scientific, and are quite beyond self-reflection on their own vested interests, does not mean that sceptics are exempt from the same self-reflection and scholarship. There are very few professional ecologists who would share the view that we can happily accommodate another 3 billion people and raise ‘living standards’ for all those currently struggling with the very basic (2 billion at least) – and by happily, I mean, conserving indigenous culture and community, biodiversity and resilient soil, water and food production systems – especially during a cooling period.

    Denial is a widespread virus….sure the warmists are in denial of faulty models and of data that do not support their predictions, but the sceptical camp is just as much in denial of ecology if it thinks there is enough energy, space, soil, materials and a sufficiently stable economic model to create a decent future. There is much work to be done, and posturing is not going to contribute to it.

  20. KenB says:

    I am impressed that at least Geraldo Luís Lino’s expresses some hope of us moving on from this era of misguidance of climate science, and using science to work with mankind to develop new sources of energy, new methods of agriculture, extended food production, of working with nature and science on the next generation of energy.

    At this time I can only see the generation of electricity as the means to supplement gas, oil and coal, enhance food production and invent new materials while sustaining the environment and extending natural resources. To my mind only coal and eventually nuclear power generation can sustain new generations and perhaps also learn to emulate nature by converting waste to least polluting fuel.

    While traveling in Europe I have seen impressive advances in reuse and adaptation of waste into heating and other materials, there are inventive and innovative minds working towards a sustainable existence and reduction of waste, and if we can bury the climate hysteria and reward adaptation and smart environmental activity, then I am sure that Science will be at the forefront of extending the comfort of mankind in whatever world we inherit or leave for our children.

    In such a challenging future we need science to explore and test for the benefit of man and not be used by anyone to run a political agenda for selected survival. It is a worthwhile investment in the future and I thank Geraldo Luís Lino’s thought provoking essay, for providing hope and sustenance towards that ideal.

  21. Pete says:

    Mike Haseler says:
    November 19, 2010 at 4:18 am

    I agree about the data Mike, but you know the feeling we get that the temp data has been adjusted, in line with the AGW agenda, even from the poor data we do see? I get a similar feeling about oil reserves, specially the Saudi numbers which have step-changed many times to the advantage of their OPEC quotas, I agree it’s poor data, but it’s all we have to go on.

    I am not proposing a solution, I have yet to see one.

    “the market will soon dictate whether or not it exists”

    I think the market did in 2008. Continued demand destruction (“credit crunch” sovereign default – monetary collapse ) seems the only way to hide the decline.

    We live in interesting times, I don’t think anyone really knows what is going on with the climate, or oil supply/demand on a global level because of poor data quality. I weigh the data I find on both, I think climate is cyclical, natural, I’m expecting the same C.30 yr cool period a lot of other commentators describe, I think this will have a greater effect on NH energy supplies than has been anticipated.

  22. Pamela Gray says:

    This concept of forgoing opulence for sustainability as a doable concept is not found in human existence. Studies have clearly shown (using mitochondrial DNA) that human population can experience devastating reductions regardless of opulence or sustainable lifestyles. The trick is to figure out why some groups survived and others did not. I think the world is filled with both resilient groups and fragile groups. Our increasing population will of course lead to strife. Nature’s catastrophes will do likewise. There is no sustainable utopia (something greenies think exists if we would just all go back to nature). Nature-living is incredibly violent, filled with pollution, and leaves its inhabitants eeking out daily survival while filling cemetery after cemetery with babies, mothers, teens in the prime of life, and hardly old adults. The world wide use of soap did a tremendous job of helping the population survive longer, but have you ever tried making soap? Like every month? It is a stinky, sticky, hot, job that greenies would have no stomach for.

    You would be surprised who I think are among the fragile groups. City-bound rich folks are not necessarily among the resilient groups. Naive greenies likewise. These types will likely be the first to go in what they call a “sustainable” world.

    Human’s best bet is to develop self-reliance and hardiness. And then be prepared to protect your territory.

  23. Kev-in-UK says:

    excellent article content and well written.
    I personally feel that the climate scientists and their supporters should have their heads banged together!
    In respect of the future development of science and mankind – I strongly advocate that any ‘investment’, be it time, action or finance, needs to be positive in its outlook and intention.
    For example, it is alleged that something in excess of 100bn dollars has already been spent of the AGW BS? – I have no idea how much that is true (does anyone?). Anyway, the point is that this vast amount of time and resources has gained us what exactly??? To my mind it has gained NOTHING, we don’t have an answer, we don’t even really have a question – just a stupid AGW theory!
    Surely, it would be far more pragmatic and morally defensible to ‘invest’ in potential solutions to a possible problem rather than just assessing the possible problem itself? I am sure $100bn could have done a lot of good in other areas of development and especially in the development of microgeneration or localised renewable energy source development.
    IMO – The ‘lets cut CO2′ argument is slightly false on two sides – 1) it cannot be done in a small timescale without severe deprivation to millions of people and
    2) if the alarmist argument that the damage is done (i.e. future temp rises) and is already in the ‘system’ – then more efforts need to be directed to future mitigation measures.

    The logic of simply ‘investing’ in alternative energy (non CO2 producing) is the most direct route to any ‘final’ solution (if we accept that CO2 is a major problem – which I personally don’t). Moreover, this combats the loss of Fossil Fuel resource scenario also!

    Ergo, IMHO, not a single cent/penny/drachma/centime/etc more should be spent of AGW theory, analysis and study – it will change nothing. The sooner the politicians realise this, the sooner we can get away from the AGW bandwagon and develop advances into proper ‘productive’ science!

    And of course, one other advantage of stopping AGW research is that we wouldn’t have to read any more made up fabricated clap trap from the alarmist camp and their pet climatologists!

  24. UK Sceptic says:

    Yet another first class post!

  25. HaroldW says:

    I haven’t finished the article, so I can’t yet comment substantively, but I’d like to point out a minor mistake: “our species appeared in the penultimate Ice Age”. Our species appeared in the penultimate glacial period (not Ice Age).

  26. Dan says:

    It is obviously man-made global warming.
    Humans made the temperature sensors too close to other heat sources, humans fudged the data, humans pushed the agenda, humans push the ideology to spread the wealth thru climate legislation.
    Nature had nothing to do with any of it.

  27. JPeden says:

    Cassandra King says:
    November 19, 2010 at 3:20 am

    [Well said!]

    HOWEVER there are elements, determined elements who are dragging us back, eroding our self confidence, injecting fear and uncertainty and keeping us back in the childish state we need to escape from.

    One major group of these “determined elements” would be the Totalitarians – the Slavers – whose only interest is to redistribute wealth and power, to themselves. Consider that Communists, for example, not only don’t have any idea as to how to create wealth – or at least they have no interest whatsoever in creating wealth – but they also try to vilify anyone who does create wealth as an evil “Capitalist”, ripping the profit off the backs of “the workers” – but which is exactly what Communism does as proven wherever it has been tried, and failed, in comparison to Capitalism!

    Communism -whether it’s benignly called Socialism, Statism, or Progressivism – only has eyes for enslavement, and any existing wealth it seizes and “redistributes” ultimately degenerates back to its unorganized condition, leaving only the Slavers and the enslaved.

    Yes, I’m also talking about the Obama Administration and the “Progressives” – the cloaked Communists – who have essentially taken over the Democrat Party by a not very secret long term design.

  28. Anthony,

    Thank you for writing such a lucid testimony on human ingenuity.

    It illustrates that the truth shall set us free.

  29. DesertYote says:

    Mike Haseler
    November 19, 2010 at 4:18 am

    “Fortunately, in the case of peak-oil, peak-coal there is no need to do anything because the market will soon dictate whether or not it exists. Indeed, the very act of peak-oil becoming an accepted “norm” may precipitate the lack of oil supply because people begin to believe there isn’t any oil left – rather than it is just a lot more difficult to find.”
    #

    I sure wish I knew that this was Jevons conclusion a few weeks ago before I accused him of being a Marxist. Fortunately some other poster set me straight :D

  30. Alexander Vissers says:

    Indeed, how could and can so many educated people, despite the stunning lack of convincing evidence of the causality, lack of understanding of the climate system, the lack of any sensible cost benefit analysis of any potential consequences and the effects of any human “preventative or remedial” actions taken, have embraced and continue to embrace the AGW cult.

  31. Mr Lynn says:

    Mike Haseler says:
    November 19, 2010 at 2:05 am

    . . . Basically, where I totally disagree is in the mad idea that energy is some kind of magic bullet to the world economy that we can somehow turn up the flow ad infinitum to solve every social and political problem. It isn’t (it never was) but as energy costs start increasing more and more through this century we will see that energy, population, opulence (GDP) and political stability are not independent and to think they are is the cloud cookoo land thinking of the global warming alarmists.

    Nonsense. See E. M. Smith’s lucid discussion of the topic:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/

    The history of human progress is the history of using new sources of energy (from fire through draft animals, wind [sailing], coal, steam, petroleum, electricity, to nuclear fission) to support larger and more complex, and prosperous, civilizations. Cheap, plentiful energy is the key to raising the ‘developing’ world to the level of the West, as China and India realize. It is also the key to the expansion of the human race beyond the confines of Earth, to explore and settle the Solar System, and ultimately the stars.

    We are constantly uncovering new sources of coal, natural gas, and oil (the latter can also be produced by farming algae). Nuclear fission is for all practical purposes unbounded. Solar power from space awaits only cheap access to low-Earth orbit. The only impediments, at least in the self-indulgent West, are the Puritan ideologues who would turn off the lights, junk all the cars, and renounce all progress, in the name of ‘sustainability’.

    Send them off to monasteries where they may eat their gruel and wear their hair shirts without bothering the rest of us!

    /Mr Lynn

  32. Mike Haseler says:

    Mike Haseler says: “I agree about the data Mike, but you know the feeling we get that the temp data has been adjusted, in line with the AGW agenda, even from the poor data we do see? I get a similar feeling about oil reserves, specially the Saudi numbers which have step-changed many times to the advantage of their OPEC quotas, I agree it’s poor data, but it’s all we have to go on.

    The worst thing is there are good reasons to believe the oil reserves may be vastly overstated as well as good reasons to think they would be vastly understated.

    Vastly overstating supply means that bankers are very willing to lend without worrying how they will get the money back as there’s plenty of collateral in the ground.

    Vastly understating the supply will tend to drive up oil prices as speculators bank on supply reduction and buy in supplies.

    Hopefully at the end of the day, there are enough corrupt people selling enough state secrets and enough people with some common sense in the CIA to ensure at least the US secret service knows the score.

    … and then you are brought down to earth by the reality of the climate scam and the way so many people have bought into the group-think of global warming quite irrespective of the lack of evidence and you realise that the CIA are just like any other group of people – gullible enough to believe the “consensus”!

  33. “As for their physical availability, the recurring and pessimistic “Peak Oil” reports must be taken with the due grain of salt. The recent discoveries of ultra-deep oil deposits off the Brazilian coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and other places, besides the promising development of the technologies for exploring the vast and widespread reserves of shale gas”
    This kind of statement needs to be quantified, and considered in light of the potential extraction rate. There have been no significant deep water discoveries in absolute terms, and none that are readily extractable. Even if there had been how many years would it take to develop them. Peak oil is only 2 or 3 years away.

    Your link to the abiogenic section of the recent conference doesn’t work.
    Murray

  34. F. Ross says:


    vukcevic says:
    November 19, 2010 at 1:12 am

    …cosy cabal of consensus.”

    Nice alliterative phrase; sort of just rolls right off the tongue.

  35. Keith Minto says:

    Excellent article, perhaps there was a translation problem in the first paragraph.

    The word resilience can be described as the capacity of resistance, elasticity and recovery from physical shocks.

    Resistance is not resilience. Resistance is the ability to oppose a destabilising force while resilience is the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation, usually before the elastic limit is reached.

    I think using the term resilience to describe the progress of Mankind is more appropriate, we adapted rather than opposed, and lived to fight another day.

  36. Robert Blair says:

    This article completely misses the point – the resilience of humans is irrelevant. As an invasive, weed-like, organism of course they are resilient.

    The resilience and persistance of humans is the problem! This planet, and all the species on it, are being oppressed, exploited and exterminated by humans and humans alone. Remove the humans and this planet will revert back to the earthly paradise it once was.

  37. Smokey says:

    Robert Blair,

    Excellent! I always appreciate sarcasm.

    That was sarcasm …wasn’t it?

  38. Keith Minto says:

    Smokey says:
    November 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Robert Blair,

    Excellent! I always appreciate sarcasm.

    That was sarcasm …wasn’t it?

    Or attention seeking.

  39. Max Hugoson says:

    Although it’s nice to “spout” numbers, as the 35,000 year old flutes…etc. I would hasten to add that beyond about 10,000 years old, carbon dating is worthless.

    I’d also point people to the 2006 Discover Magazine article about “Dangerous Discovery”…pointing out that we should be CRITICAL OF ALL “ACCEPTED FACTS”…in “science”. I’m refering to the DNA discovered in the T.Rex bones.

    Since the Earth recieves 500 milliRad of Cosmic per year (and it’s mostly HARD stuff, which really penetrates deeply! Like a few hundred feet of loose soil or sedimentary rock..) and since at about 100,000 RAD bio-molecules become MUSH (O2, CO2, H2O, SO2, NOx), the maximum age of the T.Rex would be 200,000 years. (Compare standard “geological” age of 200,000,000 years.)

    Yes, I am an ICONOCLAST. And proudly so. I like throwing monkey wrenches in “fined tuned” theories, which really are Rube Goldberg devices…!

    Max

  40. DesertYote says:

    Keith Minto says:
    November 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Smokey says:
    November 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Robert Blair,

    Excellent! I always appreciate sarcasm.

    That was sarcasm …wasn’t it?

    Or attention seeking.
    ###

    Either way, there are plenty of people who really believe this sort of thing. I spent 10 years in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia and met a lot of them. They actually scared me.

  41. Robert Blair says:

    Keith and Smokey,
    It was sarcasm – unfortunately on WUWT the and tags are missing … perhaps somebody used them all up ?

  42. wsbriggs says:

    I love the sweeping statements from the proponents of Peak Oil. Shale oil is not economically viable, shale gas fracking is polluting the water supplies.

    1. The oil patch isn’t really fond of taking money from bankers and getting no return, that is the province of the “Sustainable Energy” crowd.
    2. Where local and state ordinances allow best practices, fracking doesn’t pollute anything, how ever the website YourLawyer.com ads sure make people think it does.
    3. Let’s just imagine that Fission wasn’t a dirty word – as it clearly isn’t in France, and some other countries – energy for the third world isn’t a problem with reactors which don’t breed.

    Bottom line, stop drinking the koolaid Jim, er Mike.

  43. pete says:

    Mike Haseler says:
    November 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    “Vastly overstating supply means that bankers are very willing to lend without worrying how they will get the money back as there’s plenty of collateral in the ground.”

    Mike, that statement would have more relevance if the money the bankers lend were based on anything tangible, risking money brought into existence within the fractional reserve banking system is not a real risk for central bankers, it’s only a risk for the people whose money supply is debased.

    wsbriggs says:
    November 20, 2010 at 7:29 am

    “I love the sweeping statements from the proponents of Peak Oil. Shale oil is not economically viable, shale gas fracking is polluting the water supplies.

    1. The oil patch isn’t really fond of taking money from bankers and getting no return, that is the province of the “Sustainable Energy” crowd.
    2. Where local and state ordinances allow best practices, fracking doesn’t pollute anything, how ever the website YourLawyer.com ads sure make people think it does.
    3. Let’s just imagine that Fission wasn’t a dirty word – as it clearly isn’t in France, and some other countries – energy for the third world isn’t a problem with reactors which don’t breed. ”

    I said shale oil was hardly worth it on an EROEI basis. If it takes 100 barrel of oil equivalent energy to produce 101 barrels of shale oil there would still be a profit, but the point I was making is that it’s hardly worth it.

    2. “where local and state ordinances allow best practices” All I can say is that there must be places were state ordinances don’t allow best practices, because shale fracking is contaminating the subterranean ground water reservoir.

    You will have to clarify any point you were trying to make re: item 3

  44. Brian W says:

    Vukcevic (Nov. 19, 2010 @ 1:12am)

    Your statement “CO2 was not a new component in the climate machine, its volume increased by some 30% or so.” is not quite accurate. The claimed increase of Co2 in the atmosphere is actually .01% (290ppm-390ppm) (100ppm=.01%) of total concentration by volume. Total of course includes N2, O2 and other trace. A 30% increase properly stated would be equal to a 30,000ppm (1%=10,000ppm) increase which of course is ridiculous. 30% is also wrong as 100/390 x 100 = 25.64%. An increase of 26% (rounded) is only true if you consider the atmosphere to be composed soley of Co2 at a starting concentration of 290ppm. Then and only then 100/390 x 100 = 26% (rounded) becomes true. ANYONE who states a 30% increase is scientifically inaccurate.

  45. Crispin in Singapore says:

    Thanks for mentioning the common good. There is too much anti-common good sentiment in the skeptic community for my liking. It is the common good argument that sells AGW so well among those who don’t care a hoot about GW but do care about uplifting the downtrodden.

    As anyone who reads the Copenhagen Agreement can see, it is really about the financing of Third World development that the OECD countries are not interested in handling in a balanced manner. This development motivation is coming out of the closet. Given the vast amonts spent on preparing for and conducting fruitless strife and warfare, it is not as if bringing clean water and sound education to the whole of humanity is expensive. It would cost less than an aircraft carrier. We are a pretty pathetic bunch, humans.

    It cannot help the cause of sensible science to endless repeat the meme that taking care of the oppressed, the deprived, the luckless and staying the hand of the oppressor is a commie plot. Grow up!

    Warming or cooling, peak oil, a limited continuous or depleting supply, people will need to be educated and be permitted to live productive lives. There are no island economies. There are no island energy markets. New forms of energy and dramatic improvements in the efficiency with which production takes place are as inevitable as the eventual realisation that no one on this planet as not moving away. We are permanent neighbours. It is time to get used to the idea.

    Peace.

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