Five trillion is a red line. Cross it and the environment crashes!

By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website.

Summary: Here are three stories about environmental destruction, all featuring “five trillion” as the horrific number. Scary stories. Are they accurate?

To understand a trillion, look at it in cash (an example of giving context)

clip_image001

(1) Five trillion tons of ice has melted!

5 Trillion Tons of Ice Lost Since 2002” by climate propagandist Phil Plait at Slate.

“…land ice loss is perhaps most important as a political trigger; the sheer amount of land ice being lost every year is immediate, here, now. And the numbers are staggering … From 2002 to mid-November 2014 — less than 13 years — the combined land ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland is more than 5 trillion tons. Five. Trillion. Tons. That’s beyond staggering; that’s almost incomprehensible. It’s a volume of about 5,700 cubic kilometers, a cube of ice nearly 18 kilometers — more than 11 miles — on a side.”

This is vintage propaganda, giving big numbers with no context. Much as the Right does with the Federal deficit (which if converted into pennies could build a bridge to Mars!).

The total mass of Earth’s ice is roughly 33 thousand trillion metric tons (per table 2 of 2013 USGS; other estimates differ). Five trillion metric tons over 13 years is 0.112% per year.  At that rate the Earth’s ice will melt in 6,600 86,000 years. What level of technology will we have in a thousand years? Children in the year 3,000 will probably consider conflate burning oil and cow dung, both things done by primitive people in the dark ages.

Also, estimates of Antarctica’s ice loss differ widely. A December 2015 NASA study found that Antarctica gained ice mass from 1992-2008 (see the press release).

clip_image002

(2) Five trillion pieces of plastic choke the oceans

The Ocean Contains Over Five Trillion Pieces of Plastic Weighing More than 250,000 Tons” by Rachel Nuwer at the Smithsonian — “These frightening figures represent the most robust estimate of marine plastic pollution calculated to date.” Based on a paper by Marcus Eriksen et al in PLOS One, 10 December 2014. Lots of scary articles misrepresenting this useful study.

Again, five trillion — this time it is pieces of plastic. Of course 92% of those are smaller than 4.75mm (0.18″); only 0.17% are larger than 8″. The 250 thousand tons is spread among 1.4 billion tons of water on Earth.

Are we “choking the ocean with plastic”? No. See the origin of this myth. It’s a problem, but a minor one compared to the things we’re doing to wreck the oceans.

clip_image003

(3) We will burn five trillion tons of carbon and scorch the world

The climate response to five trillion tonnes of carbon” by Katarzyna B. Tokarska et al, Nature Climate Change, in press. This produced the usual hysteria. It would “scorch” the Earth. It paints the “Bleakest Picture of Our Future to Date“.

“Burning all known reserves of oil, gas and coal would inject about five trillion tonnes of heat-trapping carbon into the atmosphere … This number — about ten times the 540 billion tonnes of carbon emitted since the start of industrialisation — would be reached near the end of the 22nd century if fossil fuel trends go unchanged, it added. Most of the UN climate science panel’s projections for greenhouse gas emissions do not forecast beyond two trillion tonnes of carbon …” {From Phys.org.}

This study is based on RCP8.5 (worst of the four scenarios in the IPCC’s AR5), like almost all climate nightmare forecasts. It extrapolates the RCP8.5 scenario through 2300. Like most climate nightmare forecasts, it describes RCP8.5 as a “business as usual scenario… in the absence of any climate change mitigation policy”.

This misrepresents the papers creating RCPC8.5 and its use in the IPCC’s AR5. It does not mention RCP8.5’s unlikely assumption that technological progress stagnates (through 2300!). Nor does it mention the likely population crash starting in the late 21st century as the current decline in fertility eventually has effect. See this for more information about RCP8.5.

Conclusions

We are ignorant because we read the news, which overflows with propaganda. Journalists pay for their love of politically appropriate narratives with the loss of their profession’s credibility — contributing to their industry’s loss of revenue — and layoffs (US newsroom jobs down 40% since 2006-2014).

The exaggerated reporting of environmental problems — many of which range from serious to existential — has similarly eroded away the public’s concern about these risks (Gallup’s poll ranking most important concerns, and concerns about specific environmental risks). We pay a high price for the journalists’ lust for clicks.

Also note that scientists are in effect complicit in these misreported stories by their silence.

For More Information

To see the data and forecasts for the various RCP’s go to the RCP Database. See historical data about atmospheric CO2 at the DoE’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center.

For more information see The keys to understanding climate change, My posts about climate change, and especially these about the rumored coal-driven climate apocalypse…

  1. Is our certain fate a coal-burning climate apocalypse? No!
  2. Manufacturing climate nightmares: misusing science to create horrific predictions.
  3. Good news! Coal bankruptcies point to a better future for our climate.
  4. Good news from China about climate change!
  5. Britain joins the shift from coal, taking us away from the climate nightmare.
  6. Good news from America about climate change, leading the way to success.
Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Rick K

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”
Thomas Jefferson
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”
Mark Twain

Rick,
Great quotes! Thanks for posting them.

Steve Case

That means that Will Rogers …

bernie1815

I can see using these again and again. Many thanks!

rogerknights

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.
—H.L. Mencken

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)

From the original Russian: “There is no ‘truth’ in Pravda, no ‘news’ in Izvestia.”

Liberals give thought to issues, because it is free and it makes them look good. Conservatives give solutions to issues because they KNOW it is NOT the thought that counts,

CodeTech

ON that note: If you want to anger a conservative, tell him a lie. If you want to anger a liberal, tell him the truth.

Five trillion metric tons over 13 years is 0.112% is incorrect. The decimal point should be two points over, 0.0012% ice loss/year. The 86,000 year to completely melt is correct.

Tom,
Thanks for catching that!

PiperPaul

Being off by two magnitudes of order is considered being highly accurate in #ClimateScience™!

Pop Piasa

Yes Piper Paul, that would be still within the “robust” range I think.

As the old joke goes about magnitudes:

Two astrophysicists are discussing their research in a bar one evening when a drunk who overheard them in the next seat turns and says in a very worried voice, “What was that you just said?”
“We were discussion stellar evolution, and I said to my colleague here that the Sun would run out of nuclear fuel and turn into a red giant star in about 5 billion years, possibly melting the Earth.”
“Whew!” says the drunk, “You really had me worried. I thought you said 5 million.”

5 divided by 33 thousand multiplied by 100 is 0.01515% according to calculator; mind you it is about 40 years old. I’ll check using excel or long division.

Auto

“The 250 thousand tons is spread among 1.4 billion tons of water on Earth.”
Is that fresh water?
Oceans – globally – are about 120 million square miles – so about 300 million square kilometres.
Average depth is about 12,000 feet – say 3,5 kilometres; so about 1050 million cubic kilometres volume, therefore.
Say 1000 million – that’s a billion – cubic kilometres volume.
Each Kilometre cube is one billion cubic metres – each of which weighs – on average, for surface sea water – about 1025 kilograms – about one metric tonne [yeah, slightly more . . . .].
A billion billion cubic metres of water weigh – roughly – a billion billion metric tonnes.
.Now, plastic – especially because it is mostly not very biodegradable – is indeed bad for the oceans, and for some or much of the life therein.
But the oceans are pretty vast – a quintillion or so tonnes of water.
[All numbers above are approximations – to make easy mental arithmetic. So?]
Fewer people, even now, have reached the bottom of the Marianas Trench than have stood on the Moon [and don’t forget the lunar orbiter pilots, too].
Auto

Is the total inventory of water on earth, liquid or solid ice, constant over time or is it steadily increasing as hydrogen in hydrocarbons is converted to water vapour by combustion and hydrogen in carbohydrates is converted to water and CO2 in the animal kingdom. It probably remains constant (dynamic equilibrium) as water vapour and CO2 are taken back into the environment in plant growth by photosynthesis.

Just as 5 trillion, though large, pales compared with the total ice of 33000 trillion tonnes; so, anthraprogenic CO2 and moisture (probably) pale into insignificance when compared with the massive natural flows in and out of the environment. C.a. global warming is just (must be) a fatuous concept.

hunter

It is a wee bit circular:
Dumb down education, delete critical thinking training, compromise journalism by way of revolving doors and open checkbooks from extremist anti-science groups like Greenpeace, WWF and their backers, and then sell the fear- feel the burn, so to speak.

Goldrider

Follow the money. “Qui bono?” as always. Nobody ever wrote out a guilt-check to a dot-org because the sky was NOT falling, extinction was NOT imminent, humans are becoming better stewards of the Earth.
It’s like disease-mongering, only in a different context, that’s all. Pushing the buttons of people educated “just enough” to accept arguments from authority, but not enough to realize they need to fact-check.
In short, crap for the birds!

RoHa

PsssT “Cui bono” Dative case singular.

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)

@RoHa:
I’m sure he was using the more modern “La Casa Nostra” idiom, rather than the earlier Latin. ;-D

1.4 billion tons of water in the oceans sounds a bit low to me. If that’s right, the plastic would make a noticeable difference. I’ll guess that’s many orders of magnitude off.

michael hammer

I agree. The diameter of earth is about 6400 km so the surface area is 6400 *pi/4 = 3.2e7 km^2 or 3.2e13 m^2. About 2/3 is water so an area of about 2e13meters^2. Average depth, not sure but lets guess about 2 km or 2000 meters. That would make the volume about 4e16 meters^3 or 4e16 tons. 1.4 billion = 1.4e9 which is 3 million time smaller. If a trillion =1e12 then the mass of water in the oceans is more like 40,000 trillion metric tons or 40 quadrillion metric tons.

Average ocean depth is ~4000 meters (well, ok, more exactly ~3800 meters. Whats an order of magnitude amongst friends?

The diameter of earth is 12,800 kms and the average depth of oceans is 4 kms, last time I looked.

gnomish

is there a Muphry’s Law of stupid metaphors?
a million dollars in 100s is 10,000 bills which stacks as high as 20 reams of stationery –
the pics are all off
this is ” (an example of giving context)” because it’s a stupid analogy and it’s completely wrong in every way.
that defines this essay and totally illustrates the point of it at the same time…
the irony

george e. smith

Better recalculate that surface area Michael.
The surface area of a sphere is NOT D.pi/4
You can google Wikipedia to find out what the formula for the surface area of a sphere is.
G
I’m too lazy to look it up.

More like 1.4 Million billion tons.

Tom Yoke

Correct.

Tom Yoke

Sorry, I read it wrong too. It is 1.4 billion billion tons.
It is 1.4 billion cubic kilometers, not metric tonnes.

JohnKnight

mothcatcher,
“1.4 billion tons of water in the oceans sounds a bit low to me.”
Especially if the Wiki is anywhere near correct about this;
“The oceans contain around 36,000 gigatons {geek-speak for billions of tons} of carbon, mostly in the form of bicarbonate ion (over 90%, with most of the remainder being carbonate).”
So, around 36,000 billion tons of carbon, and about 1.4 billion tons of water. Apparently the oceans are filled with crude oil . . Well, I suppose we can dispense with fraking ; )
But seriously, I am of the opinion that a great many people simply have no clue as to how immense the Earth is, and that this lack of realistic scale awareness allows things like the CAGW (and various other “Malthusian” type projections) to flourish, when logically speaking, skepticism ought to be the default attitude.
(PS~ Shouldn’t it be sagantons? ; )

Mothcatcher,
You are correct, of course. The USGS tables in that report use different scales. One was gigatonnes, which I didn’t catch. I dashed this off at 1 am.

How big is five trillion?
One trillion is a million million, 1,000,000,000,000 ; twelve zeros or 10^12.
We all know how long is one second, so what happened five trillion seconds ago?
The second migration from Africa begins, involving at some time the ancestors of modern man.

Pat from country Vic

Five trillion? That’s nothing!
How about six-hundred-trillion-trillion?
That’s the number of atoms in a gram of hydrogen.

Avagadro’s number is 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd, you are off quite a ways. Articles about arithmetic are boring…

John Harmsworth

Actual climate change refugees!

Gamecock

‘The 250 thousand tons is spread among 1.4 billion tons of water on Earth.’
There is vastly more water on earth:
‘The total mass of the hydrosphere is about 1.4 quintillion metric tons’ – Wikipedia

RHS

Out of curiosity, how much of that has re-froze elsewhere?

Shanghai Dan

Why, none of it! EVERYONE knows that once you melt ice from CO2, it’s physically impossible to remelt that water. It’s forever liquid, never to be solid again…

Tom

You can remelt it, but you have to unthaw it first.

Robert Wykoff

The OMG 5 trillion tons of “carbon” in the atmosphere seems to assume that it accumulates in perpetuity and is not absorbed into trees and oceans and whatnot.

Robert,
Good point. Lots of assumptions — mostly unstated — going into these models.

Pop Piasa

Yet, the biggest unfounded assumption of all is anthropogenic runaway warming on a global scale. That is what the “it’s worse than we thought” pop-science uses as its foundation.

Samuel C Cogar

Fabius, with all of the trillion of tons of “carbon” that humans have added to the atmosphere since the IR began, ….. when is the “yearly average” air pressure at sea level slated to begin increasing?

Lauren R.

“The 250 thousand tons is spread among 1.4 billion tons of water on Earth”
I think that’s 1.5 quintillion tons of seawater. Or 1.5 million trillion tons.
321,000,000 cubic miles of seawater x 64 pounds per cubic foot x 5280 feet x 5280 feet x 5280 feet ÷ 2000 lbs (in a ton). Is my math right?
The plastic pollution is a problem, but it’s minuscule compared to the vastness of the oceans.

Actually, not. Once the plastic is reduced sufficiently in size by wave agitation and UV decomposition, it is consumed by ocean micro-organisms. Gone. Just another ‘carbohydrate’ food source when sufficiently small. Very interesting observational support if you google around for it.

expat

Plastic pollution is a problem and not minuscule. Walk a 3rd world beach sometime. I know you were talking about the oceans as a whole but our land.water interface has serious issues. A couple of years ago a I was walking on a Thai beach and counted bic lighters (among other things) every 3 paces. Seems all Asians smoke and bic lighters are indestructible. They’ll no doubt be better than carbon dating for future archeologists.

Steve Case

Thanks for pointing that out. Cleaning up the world’s beaches is a job that funds currently directed to “Climate Change” could easily accomplish.

Why don’t we pay poor people say a nickel for each piece of plastic collected from the beach? Isn’t that better than paying climate model developers for code that doesn’t work?

george e. smith

So you found some lighters on a Thai beach.
I’ve been on plenty of beaches in various parts of the world.
I have never ever found a cigarette lighter of ANY brand name on any beach I’ve ever been on.
Obviously cigarette lighter on the beach are not a global problem; may be a Thai problem.
But then how many Thai beaches have you been on.
G

TheLastDemocrat

expat: what’s the problem?
it is an aesthetics problem.
the cig lighter is largely made of hydrocarbons, from the ground, and they have returned to the ground. Also, metal from the ground, returned to the ground.
In the ground, they will either be inert or undergo change until they become useful (to humans) resource again.
this myth of “pollution” harming us is a myth, unless you pony up and tell me how 500 lighters on a mile of beach harm anything but aesthetics.
and if they do pose such a harm, then there is a dollar value on that harm.
getting urchins to pick them up sounds wonderful.
as a youth, i gathered many a soda bottle for the return from the grocery store. we scavenged the neighborhood.
if you believe lighters are a one-way ticket to destroying the earth, then spell it out.
—i deal with this all the time as my kids come home with this unsubstantiated propaganda.

Bruce Cobb

5 trillion tons of carbon has got to be a bazillion hiroshimas at least.

It’s about the same as the mass of all the carbon sequestered in the planets biomass. A giant impact event would release all that carbon back into the atmosphere from world wide fire storms, but aren’t impact events associated with dramatic cooling caused by significant albedo increases from aerosols? Based on IPCC conclusions, all that dangerous carbon should more than offset any nuclear winter effects.

CO2,
That’s a fascinating point. I’ve read for decades, off and on, articles about nuclear winter and asteroid impacts — but don’t recall anyone mentioning effects of the carbon burned.

Editor,
“but don’t recall anyone mentioning effects of the carbon burned.”
There’s no evidence of abnormal post apocalyptic warming due to the trillions of tons of carbon released into the atmosphere, so why would anyone want to bring this up?

co2,
Because models — from Carl Sagan’s to the current ones — modeling such events should include effects of CO2 released. That is, constructing them on the basis of relevant factors.

Editor,
Since when are climate models based on ALL relevant factors? If such a beast existed, there would be no controversy about a sensitivity range of 0.25 +/- .075 C per W/m^2 instead of the most controversial 0.8 +/- 0.4C per W/m^2 claimed by the IPCC and supported by models that are not based on ALL relevant factors.
Dr. Sagan was my astronomy professor and he was a lot more objective than you might give him credit for, he believed in the scientific method and was even concerned about mixing science with politics and/or religion. While he leaned towards the precautionary principle in the face of unknowns, I’m pretty sure that he would have been persuaded to believe differently given all that we know now and in a small way contributed to why I became skeptical of scientific claims made by the IPCC that violate the laws of physics and are readily falsified.

expat

I’d say we’d have other things to worry about if a giant impact occurred. For a few hours anyway. After that not so much.

Pop Piasa

Expat, I think most of the worrying would go on prior to impact…

Chris

“So you found some lighters on a Thai beach. I’ve been on plenty of beaches in various parts of the world.
I have never ever found a cigarette lighter of ANY brand name on any beach I’ve ever been on.”
I’ve seen substantial plastic litter on multiple beaches in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China, Hong Kong. So yeah, it’s a real issue.

gnomish

“but don’t recall anyone mentioning effects of the carbon burned.”
cuz when there was an actual empirical test in qatar when saddam burned the oil fields, carl sagan stfu and went into hiding
he was the role model for rock star scientists of the noble lie – but the world was not yet screwed up enough to award nobel prizes for it. back in the day, lying was frowned upon.

H.R.

[emphasis mine]

Five trillion metric tons over 13 years is 0.112% per year. At that rate the Earth’s ice will melt in 6,600 86,000 years. What level of technology will we have in a thousand years? Children in the year 3,000 will probably consider conflate burning oil and cow dung, both things done by primitive people in the dark ages.

In a thousand years, who knows if our current level of technology won’t be lost due to to the usual collapses that occur to all civilizations at some point?
In which case, the people best equipped to deal with a collapse of our technological civilization are already burning dung to cook bush meat and planting seeds by using sticks to poke holes in the ground. Perhaps the meek shall inherit the Earth.

The machines will inherit the Earth as man becomes a footnote in history as the mythical creator.

Samuel C Cogar

“DUH”, the “machines” did not inherit the Earth the last time that the earth’s civilizations all collapsed.

There were no machines then. When machines inevitably start to autonomously reproduce, the singularity will be upon us. Machines are more robust than biology, thus Darwinism would seem to imply that machines will survive better then man.

Samuel C Cogar

“IF”, there were no machines then, then please explain to me how it was possible for the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt …… or the construction of these stone artifacts situate at Puma Punku, Bolivia?
http://www.paranormalstories.com/images/Puma-Punku-Stone-Carving.jpg
The “tools” necessary for the construction of both of the aforementioned items are “missing” and thus no one can explain how they were constructed.

Brian H

“Meek” in Elizabethan/King James English meant sanguine, slow to anger. Not “timid”.

Gary

In a few thousand years the Earth will be in another ice age due to the orbital factors, so this is melting extrapolation is pointless because it ignores relevant data.
And Plait is a self-unaware, celebrity fanboy whose skepticism is limited by his political ideology. He criticizes those who won’t look at data rationally and then commits the same error regarding climate. it would be hypocrisy except he’s so self-blinded he doesn’t even recognize it. He cautions people to interact politely with each other, yet calls climate propaganda skeptics the D-word.

Latitude

more than 11 miles — on a side….
St Vincent..the island…is 11 miles wide…
….try to find it
http://www.fmc.gov/assets/1/Page/Boundaries_NorthAmericanEmissionControlArea.jpg

Latltude,
That’s is an effective way to put this huuuge number in a meaningful context!

Latitude

Thought you’d like that… 😉

TonyL

I See It!
It’s right there, just below St. Lucia and to the left of Barbados.

Latitude

You would!!! LOL

JohnWho

I suspect it is the same people that named it a “newspaper” that named it a “green house effect”.
I could be wrong.

Gentle Tramp

The rather insane picture of a burning globe above is quite fitting to the mindset of these alarmist scaremongers, because their cult is psychologically likewise rooted as the witchhunt cult :
AD 1600 such people shouted:
BURN THE WITCH, BURN THE WITCH !!!
THEY ARE GUILTY FOR BAD WEATHER AND CROP FAILURE !!!
AD 2016 the same sort of people shout constantly:
WE BURN THE WOLRD, WE BURN THE WORLD !!!
WE ARE GUILTY FOR BAD WEATHER AND ANY OTHER FAILURES !!!

Gentle Tramp

Talking of “BURN THE WITCH”, I’m not quite sure if this song and its funny video is somehow related to my first comment but the curious storyline is certainly entertaining…
https://youtu.be/yI2oS2hoL0k

PiperPaul

comment image

Goldrider

Ya think? 😉 Progressives think they won’t EVER die, if they can just lower their carbon footprint and jog enough while sucking down kale and chia seed smoothies . . .

Pop Piasa

I wish them cholla seed roughies instead of chia smoothies.

commieBob

Good news from China about climate change!

China is starting to waste its time with ‘renewable’ energy. That means it will be less competitive and will lose jobs. Maybe we can get some of our old jobs back … not.
Darn, I think I may have taken two cynical pills this morning.

Bindidon
Bindidon

(1) Five trillion tons of ice has melted!
There is a rather simple test to determine if a guest poster really doesn’t know what happens in that area: the presence of a link to the probably most misunderstood article concerning the ice gain/loss situation in the Antarctic.
http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses
Simply because in even in this article’s presentation you can read:
But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years — I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”
And further:
Zwally said that while other scientists have assumed that the gains in elevation seen in East Antarctica are due to recent increases in snow accumulation, his team used meteorological data beginning in 1979 to show that the snowfall in East Antarctica actually decreased by 11 billion tons per year during both the ERS and ICESat periods. They also used information on snow accumulation for tens of thousands of years, derived by other scientists from ice cores, to conclude that East Antarctica has been thickening for a very long time.
But by far more interesting is this:
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/greenland_ice_sheet.html
where you can read
Ice mass loss of 186 Gt over the entire ice sheet between April 2014 and April 2015 was 22% below the average mass loss of 238 Gt for the 2002- 2015 period, but was 6.4 times higher than the 29 Gt loss of the preceding 2013-2014 season.
And here you see that – what a luck! – the most recent ice loss in the Greenland ice sheet is a bit lower than the 2002-2015 average. That’s fine!
But an average loss of 238 Gt per year during 14 years in fact means 3.3 trillions of tons, Mr Kummer… And that only for the Greenland ice sheet…
Are you really sure that Phil Plait at Slate is a climate propagandist?

Marcus

…Do you weep and moan every Spring when the snow and ice melts from around your little world ?? Oh, the horror !!!

Bindidon ,
Wow. That’s an impressive reading FAIL! Try reading the post again to get the point made about those huuuge numbers.

Bindidon

Maybe you better try to reread my comment, this time a bit more carefully.

Willis Eschenbach

Bindidon May 31, 2016 at 2:09 pm says:

But by far more interesting is this:
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/greenland_ice_sheet.html
where you can read

Ice mass loss of 186 Gt over the entire ice sheet between April 2014 and April 2015 was 22% below the average mass loss of 238 Gt for the 2002- 2015 period, but was 6.4 times higher than the 29 Gt loss of the preceding 2013-2014 season.

And here you see that – what a luck! – the most recent ice loss in the Greenland ice sheet is a bit lower than the 2002-2015 average. That’s fine!
But an average loss of 238 Gt per year during 14 years in fact means 3.3 trillions of tons, Mr Kummer… And that only for the Greenland ice sheet…
Are you really sure that Phil Plait at Slate is a climate propagandist?

Thanks, Bindidon. Your number of 238 Gt per year ice loss from Greenland is quite close to that pf Phil Plait. He says 287 Gt per year. The reason he is an alarmist is not that his numbers are incorrect. It is because they are without context.
The context in this case is that yes, we’ve lost five trillion tons of ice since 2002 … but there are 33 thousand trillion metric tons of ice. So at what Plait claims is the terrifying rate of loss of five trillion tonnes in fourteen years, it would take more than eighty THOUSAND years to melt all of the ice.
Or to look at it another way, a hundred years from now there will be 1% less ice … not so terrifying, right?
That’s why Phil is an alarmist. He’s taking a short-term record showing a trivial rate of loss and acting like it’s a harbinger of certain doom and a sure sign of a long-foretold but late-arriving Thermageddon …
w.

4TimesAYear

“The context in this case is that yes, we’ve lost five trillion tons of ice since 2002 … but there are 33 thousand trillion metric tons of ice. So at what Plait claims is the terrifying rate of loss of five trillion tonnes in fourteen years, it would take more than eighty THOUSAND years to melt all of the ice.”
Thank you for putting it into perspective!

Bindidon

Sorry, Willis Eschenbach.
I guess you didn’t understand what I meant. Please reread my comment, from top to bottom (the forgotten link to polarportal.dk included of course).
I’m not interested at all in Phil plait! What is relevant is
– the recurrent manipulation concerning Jay Zwally’s article;
– the meaning of the Danish people who are all you want but alarmists.

Bindinon,
“– the recurrent manipulation concerning Jay Zwally’s article;
– the meaning of the Danish people who are all you want but alarmists.”
I don’t understand either point. The only reference relevant to Zwally’s article is my comment that “estimates differ”, which they do. But by all estimates the current rate of melting — the subject of Slate’s alarming article — is trivial over any time scale relevant to us.
As for “the meaning of the Danish people who are all you want but alarmists” — Should I use Google Translate?

Willis Eschenbach

Bindidon May 31, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Sorry, Willis Eschenbach.
I guess you didn’t understand what I meant. Please reread my comment, from top to bottom (the forgotten link to polarportal.dk included of course).
I’m not interested at all in Phil plait! What is relevant is
– the recurrent manipulation concerning Jay Zwally’s article;
– the meaning of the Danish people who are all you want but alarmists.

I’m sorry, Bindidon, but I still don’t understand your point. I have no idea which “Danish people” you are referring to.
If you’d be so kind as to quote the passage(s) that you disagree with, and tell us exactly why you disagree with them, then we would all be clear about the precise nature of your objections.
As it stands … I’m at a loss.
w.

Bindidon

As it stands … I’m at a loss.
Yes Willis… but to formulate a proper answer needs time, and at the hobby line I’m actually 100% busy with an evaluation of the complete IGRA dataset and with trying to understand why the anomalies there are so much higher than those of the two RATPACs (though they are themselves originating from that bigger source).

Bindidon

As for “the meaning of the Danish people who are all you want but alarmists” — Should I use Google Translate?>/i>
No. Because this tool doesn’t understand the sentence better than you did… maybe “all you want but…” has become over the years a bit too ancient.
That’s a point I don’t wonder about, Editor! Journalists writing in my native tongue seem to loose 5 % of it per decade :-))

Willis Eschenbach

No, I understand “all you want but”. I just don’t understand which “Danish people” you’re talking about.
w.

Bindidon

Sorry Willis for the late answer, it was time to visit the bedroom 🙂
http://polarportal.dk/en/home/

Brian H

lose
Sounds like use.
Loose sounds like goose.

Bindidon

Thanks Brian H for the correction. I apologize: english is only my 3rd language, far behind german and french. Je fais ce que je peux 🙂

Bob Boder

Bindidon
“Thanks Brian H for the correction. I apologize: english is only my 3rd language, far behind german and french. Je fais ce que je peux :-)”
I am pretty sure you are just as incomprehensible in the other 2 as your are in English. Logic is logic no matter what langue and there you speak gibberish.

george e. smith

So how much ice has formed in that same amount of time.
They just said how much has melted. Said nothing about the annual new growth of ice.
g

Mark - Helsinki

Exactly what I thought, no mention of natural variability over the next few hundred years 😀 Greenland is losing ice, but not inland and that’s not likely to change soon.
Same for Antarctica. They gotta dig themselves out every spring.
.. but that’s just weather :p
We know environmental whackos want the natural world to stay exactly how it was when they were children, and also their superstitions too apparently

Bindidon

I understand what you mean, george e. smith. But it is not correct.
Please have a look at this web page published by DMI, the Danish Meteorology Institute:
http://www.dmi.dk/en/groenland/maalinger/greenland-ice-sheet-surface-mass-budget/
And therein you may read somewhere that
The calving loss is greater than the gain from surface mass balance, and Greenland is losing mass at about 200 Gt/yr.
Is it dramatic? That’s not the point I guess. It is a fact we should not ignore, that’s all. The same is valid for the Antarctic, even if melting there is a bit slower than on Greenland’s inlandsis.
It might appear ridiculous to care about such deltas when comparing them to the rest. The same applies for the discussion about CO2’s influence.
Instead of losing time in fruitless discussions, we should carefully track all that stuff and be prepared for bigger anomalies.

Bob Boder

Bindidon
So you are arguing for perpetual ice gain? You seem to think ice lose is somehow a bad thing and I am guessing you understand that the ice got there somehow (not sure you do) so it wasn’t always there so from that I can only infer that you think ice gain is the proper state of the global environment is that correct?

Bindidon

Bob Boder on June 1, 2016 at 5:27 am
No idea about what you mean.
My comment (June 1, 2016 at 3:44 am) was an answer to george e. smith:
They just said how much has melted. Said nothing about the annual new growth of ice.
Not more, not less.
All the rest is your (wrong) interpretation of my words.

Bloke down the pub

Also note that scientists are in effect complicit in these misreported stories by their silence.
Not that there aren’t a lot of scientists deserving of some stick but, for the sake of balance, it should be noticed that journos like to take things out of context and then deny the opportunity to rectify the impression their reporting has made.

Bloke,
I agree. But scientists have multiple other media to express their disagreement. So far as I can, even the most exaggerated alarmism tends to get mild treatment from scientists.

george e. smith

The responsible scientific response refuting this rubbish need to be published in the very same media that publishes all this crap.
The people who read these parrot cage rags don’t read any scientific journals.
G

John Harmsworth

I don’t understand your English English. Please translate first into Danish, then back into English ( preferably Canadian, eh?)

5 Trillion is probably used the way I use a google or a google-plex which is as a very large number outside of normal experience and a good shorthand for infinity.

Bindidon

Maybe this helps you a bit to understand how far from reality your understanding of infinity actually seems to be:
http://education.jlab.org/qa/mathatom_03.html
How many atoms are in the human head?
This is 456 trillion trillion atoms!

Horace Jason Oxboggle

This just in! Five trillion percent of the Great Barrier Reef was destroyed overnight by spontaneous combustion!

John Harmsworth

I use Climasized for (any ridiculous assertion)

george e. smith

Well you are confusing google with googol.
Or do you even know which one you mean ??
G

Marcus

..Well, this is one one way to get people to visit your Website !! LOL
[??? .mod]

Marcus

..Dear mod, that was directed towards Larry, not WUWT ..

Macrus,
Yes. Facts and context are ways to get people to visit a website. Thank you for the complement.

Marcus

..Just so you know, in case you took my comment the wrong way,I have added your website to my “Favorites list, so I guess it was a COMPLIMENT !

Bryan A

Here is another “5 billion tons of Plastic waste”
http://waste360.com/need-know/earth-covered-5-billion-tons-plastic-waste
Or from 2012 “The 5 trillion dollar Debt man”
http://www.teaparty.org/the-5-trillion-dollar-debt-man-5656/
Or this
“China and the South China Sea dispute: The $5 trillion lie
By Peter Lee on January 27, 2016 in AT Opinion, China, Japan, Koreas, Southeast Asia
Great News! The world doesn’t need to worry about the South China Sea!
There has been a concerted campaign to depict the South China Sea (SCS) as an indispensable artery for commercial shipping and, therefore, a justifiable object of US attention and meddling.
This public relations effort is typified by the declaration that “$5 trillion dollars” worth of goods pass through the SCS each year. Reuters, in particular, is addicted to this formula. For instance, two minutes with the Google turned up seven articles filed by five Reuters bureaus throughout Asia-Pacific on PRC misbehavior in the South China Sea in the last month employing the $5 trillion reference.”
http://atimes.com/2016/01/china-and-the-south-china-sea-dispute-the-5-trillion-lie/

whiten

“Ministry of silly walks”……does this ring any bells!… 🙂

Marcus

Have they figured out if this was “New Water Ice” or Old Water Ice” ?? Please send me grant money so I can personally study this while playing idiotic online video games !! Thank you….

Marcus

Also, I just added myself to your Email list….so, ummm. …does that mean I’m forgiven for any “misunderstanding” LOL…

Marcus

..5 Trillion is probably the amount of debt each U.S. family will owe in the year 2020 if Hillary gets elected !!

J. Keith Johnson

Marcus, I believe the five trillion would be the amount each individual would be willing to pay to get his/her individual liberty back.

beng135

Bleak news indeed that Phys dot org can’t resist getting in on the scam.

4TimesAYear

Maybe I missed it, but did they balance the ice loss with the gains? Some glaciers *are* growing.

4Times,
By volume — Greenland is aprox 8% of Earth’s ice. Antarctica is 92%. Glaciers are ~0.5%. Doesn’t matter, in a global sense (e.g., sea level) if the glaciers grow or shrink.
Source: Table 2 of the 2013 USGS report I cited.

Pop Piasa

That’s a good sense of perspective, to me. Thanks, I’ll keep that handy.

John Harmsworth

Could you convert that into trillions of tonnes and describe what that would do to a cute puppy if it fell on it? Just for pathos. Then describe likewise if it fell on a cat. Just for laughs. Please include a description of cat’s facial expression for extra marks.

4TimesAYear

Thank you – 🙂

Bernie

Five trillion metric tons since 2002 works out to be about a billion tonnes per day. A commercial ice machine can make about a tonne per day. With as many ice machines in the world as automobiles, we could match that rate of loss … and hide the heat in the deep oceans.

John Harmsworth

The brotherhood of refrigeration technicians salute you, sir! “One tech per machine”- our motto!

Complaining about 5 trillion tons of ice lost on planet earth is like a billionaire losing a PENNY…

george e. smith

A billionaire would never lose a penny. That’s why they are rich.
G

Stephen Mcdonald

Their science is mind blowingly complex.
Their motive is simple and as old as humanity.
Massive power and unimaginable wealth right now.

John Harmsworth

Our other motto!

Marcus

..Does 5 trillion tons of extra CO2 in the atmosphere mean that the Earth can support 5 trillion extra trees ?

Some people just love scary stories, and do not much care how credible they are. Some of this is part of the reason people buy lottery tickets, despite the odds. They just do not have a feel for the math.

Graham Evans

I think you’ll find that the 1.4 billion refers to cubic kilometers of water, not tons.
Just sayin’

Graham Evans

Or should refer to….

Graham Evans

Which by my reckoning equates to 5.6 lbs of plastic per cubic kilometre….

Anthony

“Are we “choking the ocean with plastic”? No. See the origin of this myth. It’s a problem, but a minor one compared to the things we’re doing to wreck the oceans.”
Bravo. After reading your two articles that were linked, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Bravo.

csanborn

Don’t agree with George Carlin on belief in Christ Jesus, but he chimed in well on plastics in one of his live on stage “Saving The Planet” bits…

WBWilson

100 trillion picograms of ice have melted in my drink since I started reading this thread. Pretty scary.

Pop Piasa

Cold beer needs no ice.

@ Pop, and ice in scotch and whisky is a sin ( and add bourbon to that).

Joe Crawford

“We pay a high price for the journalists’ lust for clicks.” Noop… The journalists (and their employers) pay a high price for those actions. And, it you take a hard look at it, the main stream media (MSM) is starting to rate right up(?) there with Congress, lawyers, news on the internet, and the school systems (including academia). The people here in ‘fly-over country’ are pretty well fed up with those on left coasts trying to tell ’em what to thing and how to act. This next election just might surprise a few people.

Joe,
” Noop… The journalists (and their employers) pay a high price for those actions.”
That’s an odd “noop”, since the very first paragraph in the conclusions says much the same thing, but with more detail. The line you quote is a second effect, and they are mutually exclusive.

” Journalists pay for their love of politically appropriate narratives with the loss of their profession’s credibility — contributing to their industry’s loss of revenue — and layoffs (US newsroom jobs down 40% since 2006-2014).”

Joe Crawford

Thanks Fab, You are right of course. Probably dyslexia that got me. Guess I didn’t follow the subject jump from us to them in the first two sentences of that paragraph.

Goldrider

Any “scientist” or “journalist” who spews this disinformation ought to be hit with a big, fat snowball right in the teeth–and left outside the igloo during the next glaciation. Ugh!

Marcus

…Goldrider, as a Northern Canadian that lived in Southern Florida for 10 years as a young snot…I, personally, would not shed a single frozen tear if it never snowed again !! After all, I don’t whine when the ice melts in my glass of beer !!..Oh wait, that was Florida…No need for ice in Canada…because it’s $%#ing cold ! LOL

Notanist

The bottom graphic x 4 represents the $20 trillion U.S. national debt, which is a bigger threat than too few ice cubes in whatever the Greens are drinking.

skeohane

I was going to suggest they need to pick a much larger number than 5 trillion, as we are already inured to the reality of the much larger national debt.

That is just the federal debt, add in all debt and the figure is meaningless.

n.n

We’ve already passed the red line of 20 trillion with devaluation of capital and labor, progressive wars, impulsive regime changes, mass exodus, selective exclusion (“=”), and several million human lives aborted and cannibalized annually in clinics and Planned Parenthood offices. Thanks in part to human, civil, and environmental activists. Then there are non-renewable, low-density, intermittent, gray technologies offered by a desperate industry, politicians, and their environmental lobbies.

Marcus

Dealing with Leftist bullies…(understanding your enemy is the first step to moving forward)
https://youtu.be/V1iPVlEDck4

usurbrain

Now do the math and determine how many $Trillions need to be spent on wind turbines, Solar, Hydro,Transmission lines & Smart meters to achieve the environmentalists goal of 90 – 100% Renewables? Don`t forget the needed backup fossil power & the elimination of all nuclear in the calculatio & power storage, I.e., batteries, pumped storage & dead weight electric trains on an.incline.
It will be around $5 Trillion – for just the USA!

“This study is based on RCP8.5 (worst of the four scenarios in the IPCC’s AR5)”
I see no evidence of that. There is nothing about that in the article. It’s simply based on burning 5000 Gtons C. They did their own calculations.
But it is a sobering thought. We’ve had modest warming and associated effects so far. But ten times more? OK, some reduction for logarithmic effect, but also enhancement for the “pipeline” effect of current CO2.

Alan Robertson

And… (why you left this part out is anyone’s guess) reduced CO2 due to massive herbage increase.
Feed me Seymour.
Ps And herbivores. And Limestone.

Nick,
“I see no evidence of that. There is nothing about that in the article.”
Even for you that is strange. Here is the opening paragraph of the paper:

“We analyse prescribed-concentration simulations from the Fifth Coupled Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMP5) driven by the Representation Concentration Pathway 8.5 Extension scenario, which represents a scenario of strongly increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the absence of climate mitigation policies…”

Editor,
OK, you’re right, apologies. But there was nothing in the article to say that.

Bob Boder

BREAKING NEWS
In a historical first Nick Stokes says someone else is right , inferring that he was incorrect about something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now I know the world is coming to an end

Nick takes a lot of Stick deserved by his Trick…s

Nick,
Let’s run the tape.
My post says: “This study is based on RCP8.5 (worst of the four scenarios in the IPCC’s AR5)”
You say: “I see no evidence of that. There is nothing about that in the article.”
I point to the very first paragraph in this study which states that it uses RCP8.5.
You reply: “But there was nothing in the article to say that.”
It’s explicitly said in both my post and in the study.
As usual, your rebuttals make little sense. I show that you’re wrong, then you come back with something else that is wrong — a pattern which in the past you’ve repeated again, and again.

Here is the Phys.org article that you cited and quoted from. It says nothing about RCP8.5.

Nor indeed does the abstract. The Journal article is behind a paywall.

Bindidon

Sorry Editor… Nick is completely right here, and that’s not the first time he is.
Moreover, feel free to compare the quality of his comments with that many many others writing their little nonsense, and who evidently don’t even have 1/1000th of Nick’s knowledge concerning climate.

Nick,
I said what was in the paper. If you don’t have access to the paper, don’t accuse me of incorrectly describing the paper. That’s low, but quite typical for you.
If you question what I wrote, then you should have asked for a quote from the paper to support my statement (which in fact I provided in response to your malicious and incorrect accusation).
“Here is the Phys.org article that you cited and quoted from. It says nothing about RCP8.5.”
What other sources failed to say about the paper is not relevant. It’s a daft basis to criticize.
Also, referring to “the article” without specifying which article is deliberate misdirection. Again, typical for you.

Bindidon ,
Of course you support Nick’s absurd comments. Judging from your unjustified criticism above — which you failed to support, culminating in gibberish — you are a troll. Trolls flock together.

Bob Boder

NEWS BREAK
Correction to a our previous news break, Nick Stokes has once again back tracked and tried to cover his mistakes.
Whew that was close, I was sure the world was doomed but all is back to normal.

gnomish

paywall? that stops you? ja ja ja
http://sci-hub.bz/10.1038/nclimate3036

Brian H

No evidence of any warming beyond recovery from the LIA, which may be ending. CO2 changes FOLLOW temperature changes, IAC.

MarkW

“We’ve had modest warming and associated effects so far”
Most of which was caused by things not called CO2.

Gary Hladik

“Burning all known reserves of oil, gas and coal would inject about five trillion tonnes of heat-trapping carbon into the atmosphere … This number — about ten times the 540 billion tonnes of carbon emitted since the start of industrialization…”
Wait, we still have nine times as much fossil fuel as we’ve already burned? Aren’t we supposed to be running out? /sarc

MarkW

What they don’t mention is that it will take 100’s of years at current burn rates to convert the known reserves into CO2. During which time nature will be quite happily removing CO2 from the atmosphere as fast as it can.

Christopher Hanley

“It does not mention RCP8.5’s unlikely assumption that technological progress stagnates (through 2300!). Nor does it mention the likely population crash starting in the late 21st century as the current decline in fertility eventually has effect. See this for more information about RCP8.5 …”.
===========================================
From Riahi, Rao, Krey et al. 2011:
“The primary energy mix of RCP8.5 is dominated by fossil fuels, leading to the extraction of large amounts of unconventional hydrocarbon resources well beyond presently extractable reserves. GHG emissions grow thus by about a factor of three over the course of the century, mainly as a result of both high demand and high fossil-intensity of the energy sector as well as increasing population and associated high demand for food …”
Apart from the assumed population projections which are probably overestimated, the current obsession with dead-end useless technologies forestalling a concerted development of nuclear together with the boom in fracking, RCP8.5 is still ‘business as usual’.
You either accept the IPCC ‘business as usual’ model predictions based on strong water vapour feedbacks leading to high sensitivity for which there is no empirical evidence or you don’t.
I see no reason to let the IPCC modellers off the hook.

Christopher,
(1) The IPCC AR5 WGI report does not describe RCP8.5 as a “business as usual scenario.”
(2) The papers using models are cited by the IPCC, but the IPCC does not do models. There are no “IPCC modelers”.
(3) “You either accept the IPCC ‘business as usual’ model predictions based on strong water vapour feedbacks leading to high sensitivity for which there is no empirical evidence or you don’t.”
That has nothing to do with my quote that you cite. The RCP8.5 scenario describes a path (not a unique path) to a specific GHG levels. It an is unlikely due to its assumptions of high population growth and technological stagnation.
The accuracy of the GCMs — for which the RCPs are inputs — is an entirely distinct issue. If the RCP input is wrong, the GCM’s output prediction will prove to be wrong — no matter how the model handles water feedbacks.

Christopher Hanley

“The IPCC AR5 WGI report does not describe RCP8.5 as a “business as usual scenario …”.
================================
Maybe not but you do.

Christopher,
“Maybe not but you do.”
That too is false. Here is the only such mention in my post. I say the opposite of what you allege.

“Like most climate nightmare forecasts, it describes RCP8.5 as a “business as usual scenario… in the absence of any climate change mitigation policy”.
“This misrepresents the papers creating RCPC8.5 and its use in the IPCC’s AR5. It does not mention RCP8.5’s unlikely assumption that technological progress stagnates (through 2300!). Nor does it mention the likely population crash starting in the late 21st century as the current decline in fertility eventually has effect. See this for more information about RCP8.5.”

Christopher Hanley

My apologies I misread the paragraph.
My point was and still is that,, the RCP8.5 is junk because it assumes high climate sensitivity due to an increase in GHG forcing which includes a strong water vapour (a GHG) and other positive feedbacks, not because of presumed faulty population or future technology assumptions:
http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/wp-content/IPCC-AR5-Fig-12.5.png

Christopher,
“the RCP8.5 is junk because it assumes high climate sensitivity due to an increase in GHG forcing which includes a strong water vapour (a GHG)”
RCP’s make no assumptions about climate sensitivity. You confuse the models which convert socio-economic factors into scenarios with specific forcings, and the GCM’s which convert those scenarios into temperatures (aka GCMs).

Christopher Hanley

“You confuse the models which convert socio-economic factors into scenarios with specific forcings, and the GCM’s which convert those scenarios into temperatures (aka GCMs) …”.
============================================
I’m not at all confused, how else do you think they can predict ~3.5C rise as a result of an approximate doubling of CO2 alone by 2100?
http://ar5-syr.ipcc.ch/ipcc/sites/default/files/AR5_SYR_Figure_2.8.png

Christopher,
“I’m not at all confused, how else do you think they can predict ~3.5C rise as a result of an approximate doubling of CO2 alone by 2100?”
They do so using GCMs. RCPs have nothing to do with the internal workings of these models (e.g., water feedback); RCPs are inputs to these models .
Your statements about RCP8.5 & climate sensitivity are just wrong. I can’t understand why you find this difficult to understand.

Christopher Hanley

‘Your statements about RCP8.5 & climate sensitivity are just wrong. I can’t understand why you find this difficult to understand …”.
====================================
Well could you simply answer my question so maybe I can understand better, I’ll repeat it: how else do you think they can predict ~3.5C rise as a result of an approximate of doubling of CO2 alone by 2100 as indicated on the diagrams above?

Mjw

Is five trillion the new 97%?

Proud Skeptic

“the combined land ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland is more than 5 trillion tons. Five. Trillion. Tons. That’s beyond staggering; that’s almost incomprehensible. ”
If you find this difficult to understand, then the complexities of climate science must be well beyond your comprehension.

Proud SKeptic,
I suspect that Plait — a professional astronomer — understands these magnitudes quite well. He just does not want his readers to do so.

Reality Observer

The first picture is the best – that is how many dollars the Green Mafia is planning to defraud the world of. (Actually, a bit more, by some estimates…)
Of course, you have to stack even that one five times higher.

Paul Westhaver

Anthony OK?

Now for the bad news — the important context
These stories — unquestioned by journalists, climate scientists, and the millions who read them — show that the alarmists are winning. Every day yields its crop of skillfully written alarmist propaganda. The people reading this at WUWT are already convinced (one way or another).
Slow and steady wins the race for public support. The already control the key institutions — the climate agencies, academia, the NGOs, the relevant government agencies. They’ve build the infrastructure of coordinated experts, publishing through countless websites and the general media.
Now they need only some spectacular extreme weather events to scare the public into compliance. Time will probably provide that.

JohnKnight

Larry,
“The already control the key institutions — the climate agencies, academia, the NGOs, the relevant government agencies. They’ve build the infrastructure of coordinated experts, publishing through countless websites and the general media.”
It seems to me that the critical control aspect, is the media. With that “hammer” in place, climate alarm skeptics are pounded into “science deniers”, in the minds of those who still think the TV talking heads are just “free press”. And, those who oppose open borders are pounded into racist xenophobes, or, men in the women’s restrooms/lockerooms into sexist homophobes, etc, etc. … and I think one of the most insidious impressions generated by those “presstitutes, is that a sizable majority of people still think the TV talking heads are just “free press”.
Without that hammer raining down blows on anyone who opposes/questions the narratives the mass media presents as if edicts from some godlike super humans, I seriously doubt any of them would even be taken seriously by most people. But, to disarm the crazy hammer wielder on high, one must confront what to me is it’s greatest charade; the (to me) ridiculously silly idea that people with great wealth and/or power, would never ever conspire against the common folk.
You come pretty close to confronting that charade here, it seems to me, and for that I commend you.

Reason

by climate propagandist Phil Plait at Slate.

If you read his blog you’ll realise that he’s a science communicator with good standing in the skeptical community.
He touches on climate very occasionally, and when he does, he does it in exactly the same way he touches on all the topics he posts about: from a scientific basis.
You’re turning people off calling a general science communicator a “climate propagandist” from a blog that deals in climate solely, and always with articles that only recommend inaction on reducing emissions.

Reason,
When you refer to ‘the skeptical community’, you’re not referring to a community of scientific skeptics. That community is here.

Reason,
“If you read his blog you’ll realise that he’s a science communicator …”
I have. See five examples of Phil Plait’s exaggerations and misrepresentations. In fact most of his climate articles are more propaganda than “communication”. Note all of his articles mocking the “pause” — while scores of peer-reviewed papers were being published discussing its nature and possible causes (oddly, readers of Plait never learned of this literature).
“with good standing in the skeptical community.”
Can you provide some evidence of this?

South River Independent

You need to be careful with your throwaway lines. There is a difference between the federal deficit and the federal debt (mentioned above by other commenters). Why bring it up in this context? The debt is what the Government owes to its creditors. These are individuals, businesses, other governments, and organizations that own federal debt securities. The government pays the creditors with money collected through taxes, fees, and other sources (including issuing more debt securities). As long as we have annual deficits (i.e., spending exceeds revenue with the difference made up through borrowing), the debt will continue to increase. Eventually the debt will be disavowed when some future generation understands that the debt was run up by past generations who are dead and gone and that the living have no moral obligation to pay it (or at least most of it). The creditors will discover that they made bad loans. Knowing that nothing (except the universe) can expand forever, does anyone know how the debt can be paid off to avoid the default that I predict? (Inflating the currency is another option sometimes suggested, but I think that is just default by another name.) If you are thinking raise taxes and reduce spending (including benefits and entitlements) to generate annual surpluses, how likely do you think that is?

RoHa

Incidentally, if no-one is using that trillion dollars in the graphic, could I borrow it for a while?