Le spin! Cartoon notes by Josh

Josh writes: Last night a few of us sceptics bravely attended the UK’s Walker Institute Annual Lecture given by Sir David King which was titled “The Paris Climate Summit – hopes and expectations”. I must thank the Walker Institute for the opportunity to be there and for the excellent refreshments afterwards.

The lecture itself was something of a gruelling series of alarmist doom and gloom factoids followed by an upbeat assessment of what will actually happen at the Paris summit – and the answer is… well, you can read for yourself and, if you were there please do add your own recollections. You can also listen to the event and download Sir David King’s slides.


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Cartoons by Josh

68 thoughts on “Le spin! Cartoon notes by Josh

  1. The decision by G.W.Bush to stop stock-piling helium was undoubtedly one of his most short-sighted.

    • Bloke:
      Well that maybe was to be expected from an average student: “And as I like to tell the C-students: You too, can be President,” Obviously they misunderestimated him.
      And his cohort Cheney: “After twice flunking out of Yale University, due to bad grades and accruing discipline notices (this by his own admission) he went on to secure his BA and MA in Political Science from the University of Wyoming.” Really it was no wonder, considering,,,,,,,

      • And yet he has a higher IQ as measured by the military than Francois Kerry and made better grades than Algore. So it is understandable that Barack Obama seems like the smartest guy in the room.

    • The Helium Privatization Act of 1996 is what got the USG out of the helium refining business and set a schedule for ‘offering for sale’ helium from the government-owned helium reserve. The Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 has set the timetable to finish to helium sales job and get the USG out of the helium storage business. GWB had nothing to do with it (despite the name of the field where the helium reserve is stored is called the ‘Bush Dome’–long before the Bushes came to Texas).

      • Tim_in_VA

        The Helium Privatization Act of 1996 is what got the USG out of the helium refining business and set a schedule for ‘offering for sale’ helium from the government-owned helium reserve. The Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 has set the timetable to finish to helium sales job and get the USG out of the helium storage business.

        But before you accept this as a “good idea” remember very well that – of ALL of the elements ever found on earth, and of ALL of the elements on earth ever mined since the Roman started taking salt and lead and iron and silver and gold out of the earth – ONLY Helium is the element that cannot be re-cycled nor recovered from our old dumps and mine pits and junkyards. Once Helium floats into the atmosphere, it diffuses ever upward and outward, and drifts unstoppably into space once released from underground.
        Used once welding, in shielding, or in simple coolant and piping flushes and inert gassing for safety and explosion prevention, in reactions and in chemistry experiments, in rockets or in cryogenics and magnets … it is lost forever. Now, should the US just continue blindly selling it at today’s low prices – or recognize that for once, the enviro’s are right about the coming Helium “peak”?

  2. “Hopes and expectations”? I expect they’ll neither advocate nuclear or going to war with China. Which is fine either way. The latter would destroy the planet to save it. The latter would subject us to endless whinging about ‘Peak Radiation’ and the GHG effect of all those cooling ponds.

    • As for going “nuclear”, (I will assume you meant to write “former.”) cheap limitless electricity is the only hope for Africa and most of the rest of the poor 3rd world.
      Selling electricity to the vast poor slums of African cities will never work. Corruption and theft are too embedded in those societies. The only way to keep them from stealing (and electrocuting many along the way) is to make it free. The only way to make it free is to generate it from a handful of large, heavily subsidized nuclear reactor generation complexes, and then distribute it widely and for free.

      • Too bloody right!
        Happily, Africa is blessed with abundant supplies of uranium, the production which provides jobs, as would the construction of the energy plants and power delivery lines.
        Access to TV might even slow the birth rate a bit.

      • “The only way to keep them from stealing (and electrocuting many along the way) is to make it free.”
        As that would apply to everything, not only electricity, what you’re saying is that they live in the State Of Nature as defined by Hobbes, a.k.a. a Hobbesian Hell, for which Hobbes’ solution was an Absolutist State.
        So… Hobbes proposes the Absolutist State… you propose Free Stuff ((c) Obama)…. I’d rather go with Hobbes, the track record is better.

      • If the people stealing electricity end up electrocuting themselves, isn’t that a form of self resolving problem?

      • Dirk,
        Once a civil society were established, then there could be a charge for power.
        As life is in many African cities, Joel is right, IMO. There’s no mechanism for subsidizing the poorest and charging the slightly better off something. The state could pay the companies for building the projects out of whatever tax receipt streams they had, in short, a blanket subsidy for the townships and slums.

      • I read a report in a S. African newspaper that said only 1/3 of electricity to [the] townships was paid for. It also said that investment in electrical infrastructure had been so poor since Apartheid ended, that the entire grid was hanging on a knife-edge and could fail at any time. They could not even clear the ash, which was choking the furnaces in many plants. So much for the bold new S. Africa.

      • “…cheap limitless electricity is the only hope for Africa and most of the rest of the poor 3rd world.”
        It’s not like they once had cheap limitless electricity and someone took it away from them…

    • Don’t you hate not being able to edit comments? “The latter…The latter…”
      ‘Peak Radiation’, I heard medical isotopes are in short supply? Are we past peak already? It’s worse than we thought.

      • “I heard medical isotopes are in short supply?”
        The Osiris CEA (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique) reactor at Saclay (near Paris), one of the few Tc-99m producing reactors, should be stopped soon, and the more complex and expensive Jules Horowitz reactor (with CEA, Areva, DNCS, EDF, Vattenfall, … too many organisations?) will not be ready.
        Safety regulation are killing the nuclear industry, AFAICS.

    • Start here for a little education about modern nuclear-energy potential.
      The old, problematic model is based on uranium – with many problems
      The future must be based on thorium – which has essentially no potential for melt-down, transuranic waste, or nuclear-weapons proliferation
      see also: http://energyfromthorium.com/
      and: http://www.thoriumpowercanada.com/
      Reliable, abundant, and cheap energy is the great equalizer around the world, and the surest way to reduce poverty and privation. Fossil fuels will work perfectly well for hundreds of years (if not regulated/banned out of existence), but thorium is virtually limitless as a source of energy for mankind

      • I resent the idea that uranium power is a problem, not a solution. I get that Thorium power is the new hotness, but most of the problems related to uranium power are political and solvable. It’s also proven and tested, with many, many years of experience. For example, nuclear waste can be recycled, and the fission products separated out for use in irradiation, RTGs, and more.

  3. Given the results at Bonn, last week, I’d say that Paris is already well off the tracks and headed into a ravine.

  4. I didn’t appreciate that an expanding Earth was a serious proposal. It does make sense if you don’t fancy the Big Bang that if you want to find where the stuff is coming from then you should look in the middle of all the spherical things that are already here.

      • It seems like a serious proposal. Things do appear to be 3 dimensional in a 3 dimensional space so if you want to find where everything came from where best to look ?
        Perhaps we could find a smallish planet and drill a hole through it ?

      • Jquip,
        True. The CACCA hypothesis, for instance, although it can’t be dignified as a theory.
        However, if the scientific method is allowed to function, eventually the frivolous should be weeded out from the serious.
        It is not a serious proposal. Our planet has been drilled into and probed sufficiently to know that its mass has been essentially constant since early in its history, after the Late Heavy Bombardment and the probably moon-making impact.
        Just two questions for you: if you seriously imagine that the earth expanded some 200 million years ago from a condition in which all the continents were contiguous, where do you suppose the water to fill the newly-created ocean basins came from? And in what medium did all the sea creatures from before 200 Ma live? Bear in mind that it’s obvious that all the continents were not covered by water before 200 Ma, so the seawater didn’t drain off them. Thanks.

      • hi sturgishooper,
        I dunno concerning the water, presumably from inside or from a collision with a planet of water or from wherever is inputting stuff into our space. I think the size relationship water to Earth is like o to .
        and then about life that exists in water, well I think things evolve to survive in the conditions and I imagine even in the lifetime of an organism.
        Do you imagine the moon used to be where the Pacific Ocean is now and it was so hot from the impact that it became fluid to form a sphere ?

      • sturgishooper
        June 11, 2015 at 12:06 pm
        “It is not a serious proposal. Our planet has been drilled into and probed sufficiently to know that its mass has been essentially constant since early in its history, after the Late Heavy Bombardment and the probably moon-making impact.”
        First, that looks like circular reasoning. Second, even if the mass stayed nearly constant, expansion would just mean that density decreased. For instance, decay of radioactive heavy elements into lighter ones should do that.

  5. So, what does the term “Legally Binding Treaty” mean?
    Are we going to have international sanctions against countries that try and raise their people out of poverty by burning coal? Are we going to go to war if these sanctions don’t work?
    How are we going to enforce the “Legally Binding Treaty”?

    • “So, what does the term “Legally Binding Treaty” mean?”
      SOOOO different from their usual kind of treaty! (Like Schengen/ Dublin II which is violated daily and no one cares)

    • By flying signatory parties to a vacation spot to assemble a committee to possibly send an almost sternly worded letter to the offending party. The letter will close with a grim hope that the offender doesn’t make the rest of the signatories fly to a vacation spot again.

    • According to the U.N. a legally binding agreement is one signed by a head of state or their appointed representative. According to every member of the U.N. Security Council a legally binding agreement is one that is properly ratified by the government of the nation. For the U.S. that’s the Senate, for Great Britain it’s the House of Commons, for Russia it’s the Federation Council. For China, it’s whatever they want it to be this week. For France it requires both their National Assembly and the Senate. For the other 10 rotating members, really, no one cares.
      Seems like we have a bit of a conundrum here, since the nations that created the U.N. are not quite on the same page as the U.N. in regard to what is or is not binding.

    • Any treaty can be rescinded at any time. A treaty can be ignored. Chat happens when China does diddly-squat – which I hope we all do.

  6. Ah, Copenhagen is mentioned.
    So let’s see whether the EU Kommissars again carts 10,000 brainwashed Greenshirts Kids into the conference halls.

  7. Here’s a little song for them, borrowed from Ella Fitzgerald.
    It don’t mean a thin’,
    If it aint got that spin
    (doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah)
    It don’t mean a thing all you got to do is sing
    (doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah)
    It makes no difference
    If it’s right or not
    Just give that Summit
    Everything you’ve got
    It don’t mean a thin’,
    If it aint got that spin
    (doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah)

  8. Josh, I read your entire poster. Looks like it was a rather long talk and must have felt even longer. I’m glad I wasn’t there, thanks for the summary.
    I don’t recall there being this much work leading up to any other COP (and it seems Karl et al needs to be considered some of that work). I get the sense there’s going to be immense pressure on this COP to actually do something.
    http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en says in part:

    COP21/CMP11, which will be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris – Le Bourget, should be a decisive step in the negotiation of the future international post-2020 agreement. For the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, this future climate agreement will be universal and legally binding for all major GHG emitters, including both developed and developing countries. Subsequent COPs will finalize the details of the agreement so that it may enter into force from 2020, when the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends.

    Let’s hope for an early winter!

    • What is the UN going to do with countries who miss their CO2 targets?
      I know! Get some climatologists to make some adjustments to the figures; Tom Karl has a job for life. Earlier emissions of CO2 will be adjusted up and more recent emissions adjusted down.
      Problem solved used the well-known techniques of climate science.

  9. I dare say that most people, including Catholics, will rely on the media to find out what the Pope has said in his forthcoming Encyclical. If so, then they are relying on somebody’s reporting of somebody else’s immediate and unauthorised translation of what the Encyclical said. We know that relying on the secular media for reports is a bit dodgy but the secular media relying on somebody’s immediate and unauthorised translation of the Encyclical might be even dodgier.

  10. I like the Q&A FInance at the bottom, “Avoid Spain”.
    In 2007, Spain started paying $556 per megawatt-hour for electricity compared with the $52 average paid to coal or gas power plants. Yes they really did pay over 10 times the market value for the energy produced by solar panels. If you were an investor it was definitely time to invest in solar. It was…free money! Wahoo! And solar grew quickly.
    But what could go wrong?
    Well other than transforming its electricity system without a remotely credible financial model to pay for it, leading to economic disaster, nothing I guess. So solar power energy did increase in Spain, but Revelations in the Bible has a more optimistic outlook than Spain’s energy economy.
    The benefit of this disaster is difficult to measure. Solar’s actual contribution to the grid has been difficult to find. Any figures I found lump solar in with either wind, hydro, nuclear, bio, etc, in various combinations with no breakdowns. You’d think it would be easy to produce a two column table with an energy-source column and Percent column. Maybe it’s the politically charged emotional battlefield of green energy that makes the simple so difficult. Maybe.

  11. I was going to make a post at the Guardian, but I thought the material was too good to waste on the people there.
    If you have a problem, do you try to resolve it, or do you try to change the weather and hope that fixes it?
    Josh can put that to work I suspect.

    • I read the link and then the comments. It seems people believe we will be saved by biofuels.
      How do we substitute for diesel? With bio-diesel, made from corn.
      How do you make the fertilizer? Using biofuel power from corn.
      What will the tractors run on? Biofuel, from corn.
      The only question remaining is how many acres of corn it takes to grow one acre of corn?

      • I read the [comments] too. To me it seems most of those who commented are [seriously] deluded.

      • The only figure that I needed to see was this: “In 2005, it took 14.3% of the US corn production was used to replace a mere 1.72% of gasoline usage (Hill et al., 2006)”.
        Then factor in the effects of competition for food resources pushing up food prices, and the massive subsidies required – and you can call me a skeptic.
        As far as I am concerned biofuels can do little but harm to both the industrial nations that produce them, and to the world’s poor, who will find themselves competing with engines for food.
        Pretty much everything is wrong with biofuels.
        It’s hard to find an upside.

  12. Driving from Ottawa to Toronto on the 401 I was slowed down by all the construction. Kilometers and kilometers of new asphalt and concrete with recently planted fields on either side. I wondered how we will build roads or plant fields without fossil fuels. I’m sure some engineer will come up with an answer in 2099.

  13. Josh – Thanks for the entertaining perspective.
    It would be great to see one focused on the Tour De Climate in Paris. Perfect analogy with the recent ‘doping’ of the climate data sets.

  14. Did you have a chance to ask questions?

  15. Actually climate science seems reasonable to me, they pretend to prove their case and I will pretend to send them money in return.
    The current situation is unreasonable where idiot bureaucrats and their political flunkies send boat loads of our money and the Cult of Calamitous Climate pretends to support these idiotic policies.
    Perhaps as sanity returns individual by individual,a tipping point will be reached, where the perpetuators of this mass hysteria will be outed.
    Publicly tagged and removed from the trough.

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