A Science-Based Approach to Dealing with Climate Change in Washington State

From The Cliff Mass Weather and Climate Blog

Thursday, December 19, 2019

A Science-Based Approach to Dealing with Climate Change in Washington State

Sometimes I muse about it–if I were in control of Washington State’s response to global warming, what would I do?  What would a rational, science-based approach look like, devoid of the hype and politics that is hindering progress today?
I would start by noting few principles:
1.  The implications of global warming for the Northwest is serious (more extreme rainfall, warmer temperatures, less mountain snowpack, rising sea level in place) but it won’t be existential and changes will initially be relatively small, accelerating later in the century.

2.  Scientists and politicians must communicate the truth–the best estimates of our science.   Exaggeration and hyping impacts “to get people to do the right thing” is both unethical and counterproductive.  It produces unnecessary fear or turning away from the problem.
3.  The effort MUST be bipartisan.  Nothing major is ever accomplished by one party, something particularly true of our divided state and nation.  We must not mix political goals (e.g., social engineering) with dealing with what is essentially a scientific/technical problem (increasing concentrations of one gas).

Last presidential election.  Red is Republican.  Blue Democrat.

4.  Few people are willing to sacrifice today to stop global warming tomorrow (including climate scientists with huge travel-related carbon footprints).  Thus, all steps should provide benefits in the short run or not produce large additional costs.
5.  Global warming and its impacts will be solved with science and technology.

My Plan
My approach to the problem can be divided into three parts:
1.  A research program to better understand the implications of global warming for the region.
2.  Promoting resilience and adaptation
3.  Carbon emissions reduction (also known as mitigation)
1.  Research:  Understanding the implications of global warming for the Northwest
Global warming produced by increasing levels of CO2 is already influencing our area, although they are subtle at this point.   Since additional warming is inevitable, it is important that we understand the expected changes and the associated uncertainties.  This will give us the information we need for adaptation/resilience that will reduce impacts.
There has been some research by UW and NOAA scientists regarding the projected regional effects of global warming that provides a broad outline of expected changes, but MUCH more research is needed.  For example, we need to understand the uncertainties in current global model forecasts and run high-resolution climate models to better understand the local implications of global warming.   
I have been working quite a bit on this as part of my group’s research, securing some support from Amazon to run many regional climate model simulations.  The results are fascinating with some surprises (see example below, which show drying in the lee of major mountains, but wetter everywhere else).  Much more needs to be done (and unfortunately the Amazon grant has ended).  Hopefully, we will find more support to do the analysis and continue such simulations (if you want to help, go here).

map_diff_203001_206012_annual_PREC_Z1

To summarize, task number one is to do the necessary research to gain a better idea of what will happen during the next century over the Northwest as the planet warms, and how this warming will vary with different emissions amounts.   Support of such research should be bipartisan.
2.  Adaptation and Resilience
As noted above, substantial warming of the planet and region is inevitable, with implications not only for  temperature, but precipitation, snowpack, and flooding as well.  The atmosphere hasn’t caught up with the CO2 up there right now and global emissions are still rising rapidly.  And there are the associated problems of wildfires, air quality, water supply, and agriculture.   We need to take steps to protect our people and economy.
Importantly we are not adapted and resilient to our CURRENT climate.  Flooding has caused I-5 to close, a landslide has destroyed Oso, Washington, dry summers (e.g. 2015) have contributed in wildfires and agricultural losses, and minor rain events have resulted in massive sewer outflows in King County (there are many more examples).  To a great degree, by making ourselves resilient to current weather/climate threats, we will do much to protect ourselves from the impacts of climate change (and vice versa!).

Importantly, work on resilience can be bipartisan.  Some example include:
a.  Invest in the infrastructure to prevent sewage overflows during heavy rain events. In addition, treat more of the water draining off our roadways  This will also help improve the health of Puget Sound, and thus the survival of salmon and orcas.

b.  Begin a massive project to repair our overgrown east-side forests.  This will including thinning, removal of slash and debris, and bringing back fire (prescribed burns).  It is estimated that 2.5-3 million acres need attention and the costs will be in the billions.   Thinning/prescribed fire is the only way to restore the ecology of our dry-side forests and to prevent some of the huge catastrophic fires evident during the last decade.  What we have been doing the past decade is pittance compared to what is necessary.  A thinning/healthy forest program could also be an economic boon for eastern Washington, and will reduce the big smoke events.    A win-win for everyone.

c.  Building more reservoir capacity to serve agriculture in eastern Washington. Global warming will increase annual precipitation in our area, but lessen snowpack that supplies water later in the summer; thus, water must be stored in winter in expanded reservoirs to deal with the problem.  Some efforts have been started in this direction with the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan.  A substantial effort to increase storage capacity is needed.

d.   A rational plan for selling/trading water rights is required, in contrast to the ineffective junior/senior rights approach of today that results in wasted water.  Furthermore, the crop mix in eastern WA must shift to agriculture that is less water intensive, and the leaky, poorly constructed water distribution infrastructure of eastern WA must be fixed.  Less hay.

e.   The state must begin moving people away from vulnerable locations susceptible to flooding and landslides, such as areas next to rivers or adjacent to potentially unstable slopes.  This will be costly, since property will need to be purchased.

Does Big Bend, Washington make sense?

f.  Development in fire-prone areas on the wildland/urban interface should be stopped, and isolated homes bought out.  Such areas should NOT have protective services that risk the lives of young firefighters.

This should not be encouraged.

g.  Crops should be developed that are more heat and drought resistantWashington State University is working on this approach actively.

3.  Mitigation:  Reduction of Emissions of CO2
     Mitigation is the most controversial aspect of the global warming problem, since CO2 knows no state or national boundary and costs can be immense for even small reductions in CO2 emissions.  Furthermore, Washington State, rich in hydrogeneration resources, is one of best states in the union for low-carbon electricity, so any improvements would be modest.   Transportation is our biggest source of carbon emissions, and our potential for solar and wind generation is limited by our cloudy northern climate and modest areas of consistent wind.  And folks rarely talk about the IMMENSE carbon footprints associated with our major industries, such as Boeing and Amazon.

Huge carbon footprint that politicians and others don’t talk about

The population of our state is clearly cool carbon taxes and fees, with two voter initiatives defeated and the legislation unable to pass cap and trade legislation.  This is not going to change.  And even if we passed such measures, the impacts on global carbon emissions would be small at best.  That is not argument against them…everyone has to do their part if it makes sense.

With all that said, there is much that we can do that does makes economic sense and would provide multiple benefits immediately.

1.  More nuclear power.  Although hydropower is king in the Northwest, there is still substantial fossil fuel use, including coal (about 13% of electricity generation).  Adding an additional nuclear power facility could fill this gap.  Many environmental activists are against nuclear power, worried about safety and waste.  But new nuclear power plant designs are inherently safe and waste can be dealt with responsibly.  Consider France, where most of their power is from nuclear.  Turning against nuclear power is one of the great mistakes of the climate activist movement.
And there is something else:  fusion power, which does not have the waste problem, is probably only a decade or so away.  Dozens of companies are working the problem (including Helion here in the Northwest).  Don’t believe that fusion will be available within 10 years?  Make it 30 years.  But once it is available the whole game changes.  We have an unlimited source of clean energy.  And with energy we can also pull CO2 out of the atmosphere.  Problem solved.


2.  Natural gas for marine applications.
Most marine traffic burns oil.  And not just any oil, but dirty bunker fuel, that is highly polluting.  You can see the smoke with your own eyes when one of the cruise ships comes into Seattle.    But there is a cost-effective option: liquified natural gas (LNG), which burns clean and produces less CO2 for the same energy.  So we need to move marine traffic to LNG, particularly for coastal applications (like Puget Sound).  Unfortunately, some climate advocacy groups like Seattle’s 350.org are against LNG and doing what they can to prevent the LNG facility in Tacoma.  They are hurting our attempts to lessen local air pollution and to reduce CO2 emissions.

3.  Improved agricultural practices to restore carbon to our soils
There is tremendous potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere by restoring organic matter to our depleted soils. UW Professor David Montgomery has written several excellent books describing the potential of carbon addition to soils through improved agricultural practices, and a local company, Nori is working on such agricultural carbon removal using a market-based approach. A substantial amount of CO2 can be removed from the atmosphere this way, while improving our soils. Another win-win.

4.  Expand rail and mass transit much more quickly
Let me be blunt–the rate of expansion of rail transportation in the Northwest is pathetically slow and ineffective.   The very limited Sound Transit system won’t be finished until around 2040.  Crazy slow.  Sounder trains to Tacoma and Everett are infrequent and unreliable, with even modest rain causing slides that close down rail traffic.  Light rail from Seattle to the airport is horrendously slow, with too many stops.  Our region needs to get serious about rail, with frequent service up and down the Sound, with more east-west routes.  We also need rail service into the mountains (imagine going skiing by rail as in Europe?)  What takes a decade in China takes 50 years in the Northwest… assuming it even gets done.
An obvious and powerful approach has been neglected–running commuter boats up and down the Sound and across Lake Washington.  Ironically, such service used to be available–the old mosquito fleet.  Now that our roads are locking up, marine transportation is needed more than ever.  Seattle can be the Venice of the U.S (without the flooding).

1909

5.  Reduce traffic
The increasing traffic in our region has a huge carbon footprint, and there are immediate steps that could reduce it.  In Seattle and elsewhere, some municipalities have deliberately throttled traffic by reducing the number of lanes.  A huge mistake that has contributed to fuel-burning traffic jams.  Traffic light timing needs to optimized on more streets to foster better flow.  And then there are the increased number of accidents due to distracted drivers playing with their phones, food, and other distractions.  More effective steps are needed to deal with such distracted driving, which already illegal in most localities.  Better law enforcement, requirement that smartphone texting and other interactions will not work in moving vehicles.  We need creative solutions. Less traffic, lives saved, less carbon emission.   Cars are not going to disappear from our roads–they will simply go electric.


6.   Most important of all, science and technology development
Washington State is only a small part of the global warming problem through our direct emissions, with our indirect emissions (e.g., Boeing jets, Amazon worldwide transportation infrastructure) probably being larger.  If we are REALLY going to make a big contribution to reducing CO2 in the atmosphere, there is only one way to do so–to develop the technologies the will result in less emissions, from battery technology, to fusion, to better agriculture, to improved renewables, and more.  Developing the technology of sequestration (pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere will also be important.  In fact, I suspect the solution to the global warming problem will end up fusion power coupled with sequestration of CO2 from the atmosphere, injecting it deep into the earth.

A local company, Carbon Engineering, is working on industrial size carbon capture facilities.

This blog is getting long, and there is many more things that could be done regarding mitigation.  There is much we can do, with some approaches having nearly immediate benefits (less traffic, more rail, less pollution).
The optimistic bottom line.  There are so many local politicians, media outlets, and activist groups that are painting a depressing, fearful picture of our future regarding global warming.  They are simply wrong.  There is so much that can be done to prepare and mitigate global warming, and the impacts will me more gradual than some are suggesting.  This is a scientific/technological problem that can be solved in a rational way, together.

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131 thoughts on “A Science-Based Approach to Dealing with Climate Change in Washington State

    • Bad dog, Walter, no biscuit. This nice man wants to help, and even though he starts with the premise that the Global Change meme is correct and serious, he is trying to help us poor souls save ourselves. OK, he is full of BS, but if he likes Nuclear I give him a pass, also I like Walters question.

      • Ron
        Yes, it does seem that Mass implicitly buys into the premise that drastic reductions in CO2 are a necessity. We are still arguing about the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2, and there is good evidence that CO2 follows warming, rather than causing it. Until those fundamental issues are resolved, any proscriptions are premature.

        • Yes, he does implicitly accept Catastrophic, Anthropogenic Global Warming.

          He says he wants science to rule, but then he throws science under the bus. As he goes about outlining what “WE NEED” to do, he is showing that he is of the same totalitarian stripe as the other CAGW nutcases.

          This is a war. If we start to work with the enemy, then we are lost. While we can individually accept that CAGW is real or not, once we allow a politically mandated set of cures for a problem which is far from being proven real, then we allow them to do anything to us in the name of saving humanity or planet earth.

          • But Nick, if we fix the surface temperature at 15C, the amount of IR heat leaving the surface to cold outer space with only an IR transparent N2 + O2 atmosphere would be 390 watts per sq.M. However, an intermediate layer of warmer-than-outer-space greenhouse gases and clouds reduce the net radiation loss from the ground to an average of about 70 watts. That’s the effect of RGHE, much larger than zero, fortunately.

          • Bob,
            I understand your “this is a war” meme, but add that allowing people to practice their religion (greenism in this case) while only really giving them the power to do good but not bad….is a strategy that is fundamental to the great democracies of the past and present.

    • Respond to that sort of climate change in exactly the same ways, mostly.
      Resilience building and adaptation. Inappropriate land use can be phased out. Energy made cheaper.
      Improvements in EROEI.
      All good , although none of it will affect the climate of planet Earth.

  1. CO2 levels follow temperature levels. That seems to me to blow all this global warming nonsense to hell in a handbasket.

    • Any effort, time or money spent on reducing CO2 emissions is patently wasted, as CO2 is not a pollutant and no gas at any concentration in the atmosphere can warm the climate. The idea that CO2 has any detectable effect on climate is junk science cobbled up to push a political agenda.

      One needs to disabuse oneself from thinking emissions, emissions, emissions of CO2 as a problem. IT IS NOT.

      CO2 IS PLANT FOOD. We need more not less, as it is greening the planet and bolstering our food supply. Renewable energies are not sustainable in any way. They seem good while being used but the manufacture, maintenance, removal infrastructure, and footprint of wind and solar are terrible for the environment, expensive for the people, and unreliable at best. The powers that be KNOW that it is not sustainable, as they have an antihuman agenda.

      YOU CANNOT BUILD A RELIABLE ENERGY SUPPLY FROM UNRELIABLE ENERGY SOURCES.

      Nuclear is the greenest energy on the planet and has the smallest foot print of all. Fifty major plants and the US would be done. The UK is beginning to develop modular, factory-produced nuclear reactors such that, when you need more electricity for an area, you just pop in another module.

    • Indeed. Does anyone know the mechanism of how 400 CO2 molecules cause 999,600 other molecules to demonstrate a measurable increase in heat when subjected to infrared radiation?

      • One molecule of CO2 absorbs a photon if IR energy and thermalizes it. Withing a few microseconds it transfers this energy to another molecule in the atmosphere. It then repeats this process a few million times a second.

        • No it doesn’t. The enthalpy involved gets rapidly less and less the further away the receiving molecule is from the original and its specific heat determines the resulting temperature.

          • How about this:
            Thermalization refutes CO2 influence on climate. (rev 10/21/16)
            The relaxation time (amount of time that passes between absorption and emission of a photon by a molecule) for CO2 in the atmosphere is about 6 µsec [5, 6]. The elapsed time between collisions between gaseous molecules at sea level average temperature and pressure is about 0.0002 µsec[7]. Thus, at sea level conditions, it is approximately 6/0.0002 = 30,000 times more likely that a CO2 molecule, after it has absorbed a photon, will bump into another molecule, losing at least part of the momentum and energy it acquired from the photon. After multiple collisions, essentially all of the added photonic energy becomes distributed among other molecules and the probability of the CO2 molecule emitting a photon at sea level conditions becomes negligible. The process of distribution of the energy to other molecules is thermal conduction in the gas. The process of absorbing photons and conducting the absorbed energy to other molecules is thermalization. Thermalized energy carries no identity of the molecule that absorbed it.

            Source:
            http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2016/12/solar-activity-oceans-cycles-water.html

      • Babsy,
        Because each cubic meter of air at ground level contains 25.44 x 10^24 molecules of CO2, which is a rather huge number, and that the odds are that in about 25 meters, each IR photon will have struck a CO2 molecule. Some CO2 molecules re-emit a photon, half down, half up, some just jiggle faster and hit the other molecules arount them, transferring their kinetic energy to the other molecules around them, ie heating them.

      • Babsy’s key word was “measurable“. I seriously doubt that 4 CO2 molecules can measurably increase the temp of 9996 molecules, and that anyone has done that measurement.

        • But that’s what we’re told. You put CO2 in the air and the air heats up. It heats the air to the point that glaciers will melt and the oceans will boil, yet no one can measure this effect.

          • … and did the lab have a small sphere surrounded with an atmosphere, thinning to just a few atoms per cubic meter as in space? … or did the lab measure the effect within some container — i.e. acting somewhat like a greenhouse?

        • Since that one molecule repeatedly absorbs photons and transfers that resulting energy to the surrounding molecules it’s trivial for one molecule to affect many.

          • MarkW
            Yes, that is the key concept. It is not a one-time event, but rather something happening continuously.

          • Doesn’t water vapor already block about 55% of the wavelengths that CO2 absorbs? Water vapor can hit levels of 1% of the atmosphere, which would be what, 10,000 ppm? So if there is already a 50X greater wall of water vapor, busily absorbing the same wavelengths as does CO2, wouldn’t the effective (for heating) proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere be closer to 185 ppm?

        • Icisil,
          So put a few hundred ppm of CO2 in a glass tube with mirrored ends. Say 2” by 10 feet long. Aim a 2000 watt metal cutting CO2 laser down the tube just to make sure it is the CO2 molecules you are exciting. In a very short time you will reconsider your hypothesis that 4 molecules can heat the other 9996. Wear gloves and eye protection.

          • You totally mischaracterized what I said. Under normal conditions (not your unrealistic scenario) 4 CO2 molecules can heat 9996 air molecules, but is it measurable?

          • Icisil,
            that CO2 absorbs IR has been laboratory tested thousands of times…that’s how those absorption curves are obtained….that absorbed energy causes temperature rise has been tested thousands of times in high schools alone….obviously when you are dealing with heat input of a single Christmas tree bulb over the surface area of your office desk, its difficult to find accurate enough instruments in the supply cabinet. But add enough bulbs to be measurable, and you can interpolate the effect of one bulb. Plus there are instruments today that are up to the job.

      • Graeme,
        Start about 1 minute into this video
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bX4eOg2LaSY
        Then explain in your own mind the fundamental fact of what absorbed the candle’s heat….
        Then compare to your above claimed fundamental fact. Oops…
        By the way, my opinion is that doubling of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere will cause temperature rise at the very low end of that stated by the IPCC.

  2. “3. Mitigation: Reduction of Emissions of CO2”

    “5. Reduce traffic
    The increasing traffic in our region has a huge carbon footprint, and there are immediate steps that could reduce it…”

    “6. Most important of all, science and technology development
    Washington State is only a small part of the global warming problem through our direct emissions,…”

    Reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions may not have any noticeable impact on the climate, so why waste time and effort on it, when, as you describe, there all so many other things that can be done?

  3. In this century, the Pacific NW has suffered two prolonged droughts, one per decade, during which snowpack was dangerously low, but also has enjoyed high snowpacks, as during last winter’s Snowmaggedon.

    https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JHM-D-15-0142.1

    The 1977-78 drought was due to the PDO flip of 1977.

    The 2015 drought was not, as below, a harbinger of things to come. The winters of 2017-18 and 2018-19 were historically snowy, although the drought did persist into the summer of 2018.

    So we have experienced the opposite of “extreme rainfall” and “less mountain snowpack”, which are in any case contradictory predictions. Most rain in the PNW falls during autumn, winter and spring, during which rain in Portland and Seattle brings snow to the Cascades.

    It’s just weather, with an ENSO and PDO beat. The 1930s and 1890s were hotter, and the ’30s the droughtiest. A fourth molecule of plant food per 10,000 dry air molecules in this century vs. the early 20th century has however benefitted our forests and fields.

    • Rainfall in Northern California was average or greater than average in every winter from 2015/16 onward. The winter of 2016/17 was the one where 250,000 people in the northern end of the Sacramento Valley had to evacuate their homes due to the danger posed by the damaged spillway at Oroville. The snows in the Sierras were huge that winter as well.

  4. Mitigation of a non problem… scam must be running out of OPM …
    addiction as powerful as a narcotic one ?

  5. “Global warming produced by increasing levels of CO2 is already influencing our area, although they are subtle at this point. Since additional warming is inevitable, it is important that we understand the expected changes and the associated uncertainties.”

    This is not a scientific statement as defined by Karl Popper! (as it cannot be falsified) It’s also not a correct sentence, but I think I follow your meaning. It is also wildly incorrect – inevitable! (who do you think you are? King Knut!)

    Without a good strong scientific case for a first statement – the rest is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

    • Agreed!
      Although Dr, Mass’ article contains many rational thoughts, it still is based on an unproven premise; that significant warming will occur as a result of anthropogenic CO2 emissions and that warming will increase natural weather extremes.

      The implications of global warming for the Northwest is (sic) serious (more extreme rainfall, warmer temperatures, less mountain snowpack, rising sea level in place….)

      Some of Dr. Mass’ “remedies” are big government solutions. For example, if someone decides to live in a flood plain like the “Big Bend” after appropriate reminders of the hazard it is their problem; don’t use my tax dollars to buy them out, or even subsidize federal flood insurance.

  6. Somehow, pretending to “science” leads to the same conclusions as climate religion with socialism attached.
    “science” probably shouldn’t presume a carbon dioxide issue in the first place.
    By all means, lets do some science. Start with the failure of the warmist hypothesis as presumed by the IPCC models.
    If we are going to talk about climate change, lets start with a definition of what a climate is and how we are going to measure same.
    You are free to independently and politically flog your causes from moving people out of the wilderness to mass transit…all can be argued without the climate bogeyman and pretend worship of science. To escape from “because climate change” eschew the use of “because climate change”. Carbondioxide phobia destrys your pretend reasonableness.

    • Notable is the fact that the major source on climate research, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is not a scientific organization, but a politcal one. The Panel was established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC). The Convention was established by the United Nations Environment Program(UNEP) and the World Meteorololgical Organization(UN) which grew out of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, having met at Stockholm from 5 to 16 June 1972,

      The typically voluminous work of these UN efforts, in the usual high flown UN bureaucratese, started a new UN Bureau to direct mutiple programs on environment, population, international development, and along the way through the IPCC, to establish parameters for UN control of the world environment.

      From the IPCC website/history:

      “The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.”

      In assuming it’s results before starting, “understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change”, the IPCC by definition does not do any scientific work on understanding the climate and how it changes. It’s only purview is “risk of human-induced climate change”.

      So it is no wonder that the activities of the UN, the IPCC, and the WMO there has evolved quite a lot of controversy surrounding the earth’s climate and how it changes. The biased(by design) performance of the IPCC has generated much contrary opinion and research. Many scientists have obviously come to different conclusions than the IPCC and are rightfully skeptical of its reports, methods, and results. Many other people strongly disagree with its conclusions, the biased manner in making them, and the political policies implemented by the UN process.

      The latest IPCC report(6-?) does finally say, in many words, that the climate model predictions do not match with observations. Almost all of the models “run too hot” compared to temperature measurements over the same period. It takes a great deal of fiddling with the temperature data to produce even the modest warming already seen.

    • Part of the reason why he will not be getting a lot of support is his beliefs of a modeled future, he really believes that we are in for a bad period many decades from now.

      “I would start by noting few principles:
      1. The implications of global warming for the Northwest is serious (more extreme rainfall, warmer temperatures, less mountain snowpack, rising sea level in place) but it won’t be existential and changes will initially be relatively small, accelerating later in the century.”

      and,

      “4. Few people are willing to sacrifice today to stop global warming tomorrow (including climate scientists with huge travel-related carbon footprints). Thus, all steps should provide benefits in the short run or not produce large additional costs.”

      That is not good science at all, as he has fallen for the idea that a lot of untestable climate models is a credible crystal ball method to follow.

      People for the most part can see the unsupportable B.S. in far into the future climate scenarios. They will not throw money onto something that is not credible, supportable.

      • “Part of the reason why he will not be getting a lot of support is his beliefs of a modeled future, he really believes that we are in for a bad period many decades from now.”

        It all boils down to faith: faith in measured, empirical data, or faith in anthropogenic data (created by computers. alteration, homogenization, etc).

        Which of the two provide evidence of a climate problem? Which is scientific? Case closed.

    • Not so, Bob. I think Cliff’s suggestions are partially right and workable. But the big issue is that Cliff is a rather mild mannered fellow whose views can be manipulated into helping the “cause” by the panicking crowd just cherry-picking what they want from his post. There seems no point, for example, to moving people away from coasts. Stop subsidizing building in flood plains and at shorelines, and facilities will be moved back from these locations naturally as they are replaced. They don’t last forever, do they? Yet, Cliff provides support for this which a recipe for trouble (coercive government mandate) and unnecessary expense (i.e. new taxes).

    • The problem is that in WA state, Climate Change is a POLITICAL issue based on carbon mitigation.
      They want a Carbon tax for the revenue. They need the revenue to increase the size of their runaway social safety net which will attract more “users” and increase the costs.
      It is a never ending cycle.
      Changing the focus to adaptation raises the ugly question of how to pay for it without having the Carbon boogey man to tax.
      The dark forces have worked very hard to perpetrate the evil Carbon myth, it may be impossible to overcome the groupthink.

  7. It would be easier to promote the solution to a problem with a science based approach if the problem itself was science based. It may be 1% science based, but it’s 99% hype.

  8. First law or requirement should be to tax the heck out on anyone how breaths out more CO2 than they breath in. Maybe then they will start to realize the importance of increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere for the health of all living matter. For example Eastern Washington would need less water for plant growth. Anything Missing?

    • Joe
      You said, “First law or requirement should be to tax the heck out on anyone how breaths out more CO2 than they breath in.” That is already the state of affairs. At issue is how to keep it from getting worsel

      • Clyde, thanks for the reply. I was making jest of the fact that we are carbon based life forms and breath out approximately 100 times as much CO2 as we breath in. I assume you were indicating that we are taxed to much already. I agree. Perhaps I got to cute with my phraseology.

        • Joe
          I have observed that there is a wide range of education and logic exhibited by commenters. Some, like Middleton, I automatically assume that 97% of what he says is intended to be sarcastic. For others that I don’t know, it is sometimes a toss up as to whether they are being sarcastic or demonstrating why they aren’t in Mensa. I apologize for misjudging you.

  9. … substantial warming of the planet and region is inevitable …

    This foundational premise is not proven beyond reasonable uncertainties. Neither is it proven that CO2 is the probable cause of most current and future warming. What should be done is to develop greater efficiency in energy production and use and better resilience no matter what kind of weather occurs.

  10. None of this matters!

    By reflecting 30% of the ISR the earth is cooler with an atmosphere not warmer.

    The non-radiative properties of the atmosphere render upwelling BB LWIR impossible.

    These two points alone refute RGHE theory.

    Zero RGHE + Zero GHG warming = Zero CAGW.

    • But Nick, if we fix the surface temperature at 15C, the amount of IR heat leaving the surface to cold outer space with only an IR transparent N2 + O2 atmosphere would be 390 watts per sq.M. However, an intermediate layer of warmer-than-outer-space greenhouse gases and clouds reduce the net radiation loss from the ground to an average of about 70 watts. That’s the effect of RGHE, much larger than zero, fortunately.

  11. Cliff–

    Could you find a common metric that will allow evaluating your 3 categories? Maybe an economic one? Probably not GDP, but maybe per capita value. I believe a reasonable metric would value your first two categories far above the third (reduction of CO2), given the increase in coal-fired plants in developing countries.

  12. You could start with an investigation of just how much of a problem CO2 is. From what I’ve seen, not at all.
    If that is the case, what is the problem?

  13. Agreed!
    Although Dr, Mass’ article contains many rational thoughts, it still is based on an unproven premise; that significant warming will occur as a result of anthropogenic CO2 emissions and that warming will increase natural weather extremes.

    The implications of global warming for the Northwest is (sic) serious (more extreme rainfall, warmer temperatures, less mountain snowpack, rising sea level in place….)

    Some of Dr. Mass’ “remedies” are big government solutions. For example, if someone decides to live in a flood plain like the “Big Bend” after appropriate reminders of the hazard it is their problem; don’t use my tax dollars to buy them out, or even subsidize federal flood insurance.

  14. From the article: “Global warming produced by increasing levels of CO2 is already influencing our area, although they are subtle at this point. Since additional warming is inevitable”

    How can “global warming” be influencing the Washington State area when temperatures there today are cooler than in the past? It was warmer in the 1930’s in Washington State than it is today.

    As for “Since additional warming is inevitable”, I wouldn’t bet money on that.

    I like most of what is in Cliff’s article, but the big flaw in his thinking is that CO2 will “inevitably” cause additional warming. The truth is we don’t know if CO2 will cause additional warming, it may have caused all the warming its going to cause already, and/or CO2 warming may be offset by negative feedbacks. To say unequivocally that additional warming from CO2 is inevitable cannot be supported by the available evidence. That’s a pretty big flaw, Cliff. Your whole thought process about what to do in the future flows from that flawed premise. Of course, you are certainly not alone, as all alarmists suffer from this flawed way of thinking: Assuming things not in evidence.

  15. … Scientists and politicians must communicate the truth–….

    I hold a Ph.D. in a geoscience, two other science degrees, and a professional engineers license. I have also been an elected official and had to deal with bureaucrats. The only group I mention in the prior sentence which I trust is engineers.

    A huge part of the problem is the known corruption and squandered trust. I don’t see a means of rebuilding trust.

  16. How about before spending anything on adaptation we first figure out what fraction of the inconsequential warming since the bottom of the Little Ice Age was caused by CO2 or natural causes?

    Until that question is answered we have no idea whether the proposed adaptations are enough, or too much.

    • Why don’t we first insist that they provide evidence there’s a climate problem? Computer models and the edicts of activist scientists are not evidence.

  17. Cloff: More research needed. Send *more* money.

    Me: B/S. Climate change is a non-problem. Even if it is a minor problem, the SJWs and socialists have hijacked any reasonable fossil fuel replacement strategies with needs for “climate justice”, a nebulous do-whatever-I-tell-you march to fascist-communist totalitarianism. So ignore the whole thing and let the scam collapse under the Left’s deranged demand for money that never comes.
    Engineering continued infrastructure resilience, something real civil engineers have been doing for 150 years anyway, is the only way forward.
    The only part I agree with Cliff about is the need for vastly more fission nuclear power. His hope for fusion power merely is fanciful daydreaming. Scientists do not even know what basic fusion methods will work to produce breakeven energy out. Then even if a basic design is validated, Material and technical engineering problems are enormous with fusion, 50 years away at best, so far out as to require it be ignored for energy policy. No adult alive today will likely ever see a commercially viable, grid scale fusion reactor power plant.

  18. Meanwhile ….

    Berkeley Earth Land and Ocean dataset says….
    Seattle — Mean Rate of Change in the last 30 years = -1.27( +/- .67) degrees C/century (yes.. it is minus)
    Washington state Mean rate of Change in the last 30 years = -.54(=/- .41) degrees C/century (also minus)

    See –http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/locations/47.42N-121.97W

    Note: This may only include data up until and including 2013. Hard to tell.

    • Thanks for those statistics, Lee. I wonder where Cliff gets the idea that CO2 is warming Washington State?

      Cliff is assuming things not in evidence, like all alarmists. Then they go on to build up huge extrapolations from these guesses, which is ok, unless they expect us to believe all that unsubstantiated stuff, or if they expect for us to pay them money for their extrapolations. Then, it’s not ok.

  19. You do not seem to envision a future Northwest with much allowance of individual liberty. Lots of government controls and mandates, not much free choice.

  20. Blah, blah, blah!

    Now that I am retired and only spend time in the PNW when the weather is nice, I get easily bored.

    To prevent a problem, first a problem must exist, second you must address the root cause. This article is about root blame. Root Blame: blame man for causing the climate to change.

    A simple example is landslides. First it is a natural geologic thing. It is only a problem when you fail to call a geologist to evaluate a construction project before you start changing the hillside. If a hillside is unstable and drainage can not be provided, down comes the hill.

    It has nothing to do with the climate.

    I could go on but will avoid Blah, blah, blah!

    The point is that a long list of bogus claims is just boring.

    • If the atmosphere was a 100 meter sprint

      3 – methane 0.2mm

      2 – carbon dioxide 4cm

      1 – water vapour 2 to 3 meters

  21. “I would start by noting few principles:
    1. The implications of global warming for the Northwest is serious (more extreme rainfall, warmer temperatures, less mountain snowpack, rising sea level in place) but it won’t be existential and changes will initially be relatively small, accelerating later in the century.”

    “There has been some research by UW and NOAA scientists regarding the projected regional effects of global warming that provides a broad outline of expected changes, but MUCH more research is needed.”

    One of these two sentences is wrong.

    If the second sentence is correct (and as far as I know, it is correct even if it largely understates reality) then the first principle is baseless and the house of cards collapses !

  22. “next century over the Northwest as the planet warms”

    That ASSumes a lot; the earth warms, and then cools, and then warms, and then cools, and then . . . ., ad nauseum. Why not leave the so-called “climate” alone and let it do its thing, as it’s going to do anyway, no matter how many SUVs the “deplorables” drive (apparently it’s OK for the Leftist elites [but I repeat myself] to drive them, and jet all over the world, while bitching about the rest of us driving and flying, etc.). Any changes these clowns manage to make will undoubtedly screw up the weather and/or the climate and screw us over, big-time. 🙁

  23. “Science-Based Approach to Dealing with Climate Change” what a phrase!

    The American Geophysical Union (AGU), a once respectable professional geoscience organization, has taken this phrase to even lower levels of meaning with the most recent post in their weekly EOS Buzz Newsletter. See “Scientists and Activists Examine Need for Climate Action” by Randy Showstack (AGU science writer from the very climate change un-biased Columbia School of Journalism) https://eos.org/articles/scientists-and-activists-examine-need-for-climate-action?utm_source=eos&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EosBuzz122019

    Consider this excerpt from the article:

    For Varshini Prakash, the climate crisis “is obviously very depressing” and “terrifying with the timeline that we’re working on” to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

    However, Prakash isn’t letting that stop her as she works to organize and mobilize youth and others to stop climate change. She is the cofounder of the Sunrise Movement, an organization that advocates for climate action and supports the Green New Deal initiative.

    She spoke at a 9 December session at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2019 in San Francisco, Calif., on aligning U.S. energy policy with a 1.5°C climate limit above preindustrial levels. The session included climate scientists and activists.

    This is the public face of the American Geoadvocacy Union today…..so so so sad.

    • Notable is the fact that the major source on climate research, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is not a scientific organization, but a politcal one. The Panel was established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC). The Convention was established by the United Nations Environment Program(UNEP) and the World Meteorololgical Organization(UN) which grew out of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, having met at Stockholm from 5 to 16 June 1972,

      The typically voluminous work of these UN efforts, in the usual high flown UN bureaucratese, started a new UN Bureau to direct mutiple programs on environment, population, international development, and along the way through the IPCC, to establish parameters for UN control of the world environment.

      From the IPCC website/history:

      “The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.”

      In assuming it’s results before starting, “understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change”, the IPCC by definition does not do any scientifc work on understanding the climate and how it changes. It’s only purview is “risk of human-induced climate change”.

      So it is no wonder that the activities of the UN, the IPCC, and the WMO there has evolved quite a lot of controversy surrounding the earth’s climate and how it changes. The biased(by design) performance of the IPCC has generated much contrary opinion and research. Many scientists have obviously come to different conclusions than the IPCC and are rightfully skeptical of its reports, methods, and results. Many other people strongly disagree with its conclusions, the biased manner in making them, and the political policies implemented by the UN process.

      The last IPCC report admitted, in many many words and obfuscations, that the climate model predictions do not match the observed temperatures over the same time period. The models run significantly “hotter”, thus proving their current uselessness for scientific understanding.

  24. *Adaptation to Climate Change is just a rebranding of increasing resilience to extreme weather.
    *Reducing CO2 emissions is just common sense economics, reducing waste and reliance on imports.
    *Nuclear and hydro power make sense simply through diversity of fuels, giving greater security of supply.

    Climate Change is an irrelevant distraction, with the hysteria leading to poor outcomes, and many distressed citizens.

  25. Sometimes I muse about it–if I were in control of Washington State’s response to global warming, what would I do?

    I would do absolutely nothing. All the whining, whingeing supplicants who came before me would be sent away with a flea in their ear.

    Honestly, when there are so many real problems in the world, it really does make me want to weep when I see such waste of human time, thought, effort, and expense that is spent in search of the climate Jabberwock.

  26. Sounds like you want gov’t to micromanage every facet of our lives. I don’t think you will get bi-partisan support, at least I hope not. How do you know additional warming is inevitable. So called climate scientist can even agree on past temperatures, but you know future temps are going up.

  27. As soon as I read about increasing warming I glanced over the rest.
    My plan is two fold:
    1. Do not worry about CO2.
    2. Prepare for WEATHER events. Build better buildings in the right places.

  28. Cliff Mass’ career and livelihood has been associated with finding, sustaining, and defending ‘Man Made Climate Change’, while supporting and marketing the trillion dollar Climate Change industry. All of it is predicated on the unproven and unprovable hypothesis that ‘man made CO2’ is causing ‘global warming’. He accepts the unproven hypothesis as fact and lists his personal Climate Change Catechism in the article posted above. It is a many trillion dollar diktat for a nonsolution to a nonproblem. While he may not be as shrill as many of the climate change alarmists, he is just as dogmatic in his defense of it.

    I am not swayed… in the least.

  29. The only approach to dealing with “climate change,” anywhere, is called “adaptation.” That is, you simply adapt to the changes to the climate. And since the wealthiest societies are the most capable of doing so, what you absolutely, positively do NOT do is cripple your economy by making energy scarce, unreliable, and expensive – which is the bone-headed prescription of every Eco-Nazi “climate” activist.

    Sorry, Cliff, but you’re still chasing non-solutions to a non-existent “problem.”

  30. Now we have an anti-science post based on repeated CO2 media hearsay.

    I advice the author to read historical texts about weather for a start.

    • On a positive note , this sort of thinking does offer a way out for the alarmists.
      Cornered rats are dangerous.
      (I’m avoiding drawing parallels with politics in the U.S.A. LOL)

  31. “Begin a massive project to repair our overgrown east-side forests. This will including thinning, removal of slash and debris, and bringing back fire (prescribed burns). It is estimated that 2.5-3 million acres need attention and the costs will be in the billions. Thinning/prescribed fire is the only way to restore the ecology of our dry-side forests and to prevent some of the huge catastrophic fires evident during the last decade. What we have been doing the past decade is pittance compared to what is necessary. A thinning/healthy forest program could also be an economic boon for eastern Washington, and will reduce the big smoke events.”

    But the cost will be far less if the wood/brush from this work can go to biomass burners for heat and power. Otherwise, what will you do with all this material? Some of the forest thinning may be able to go to timber markets- but not all of it.

  32. This article is a mixed bag of sensible adaptations to a changing climate and foolish attempts to “mitigate” a non-problem.

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting to build more commuter trains in densely-populated areas. Trains usually consume much less fuel (both directly and indirectly) per passenger-mile than cars, so that any fuel saved can prolong the time that fossil fuels will be available, even if CO2 emissions are not really a problem. The trick is to do an honest economic analysis to determine the routes which can recuperate the construction costs in a reasonable number of years at a fare price that commuters are willing to pay (less than the cost of driving their cars the same distance). This has to be done without political bias or rose-colored glasses, such as deliberately underestimating the costs of acquiring land or avoiding obstacles, or deliberately over-estimating the demand (such as what was done in California).

    In the Puget Sound area, where several large cities surround a large body of water, consideration should also be given to ferries, which could save time by taking a “water shortcut” even if they travel more slowly than cars, buses, or trains.

    Washington State has many mountains and a very wet climate west of the Cascades, so that hydroelectric power is competitive with other power generation technologies, and has the advantage of not causing any pollution, so it should be favored in that region. However, what works in Washington State may not be applicable in other areas with less mountains and/or lower rainfall.

    If Washington State has periods of “excessive flooding” but also droughts east of the Cascades, this requires an emphasis on water management, so that some of the flood waters, and snow melt from the Cascades, can be directed to reservoirs east of the Cascades for irrigation. This is nothing new, as people living in dry climates have been transporting water from where it is abundant to where it is needed since the aqueducts of Julius Caesar’s time. The early settlers of the Salt Lake Valley in the 1840’s found a wide, dry valley bounded on the east and west by snow-capped mountains, and a fresh-water lake to the south (Utah Lake). They built many irrigation canals running north from Utah Lake at various levels of elevation in the valley, which slowed down the spring runoff from the mountains and used it to irrigate farms during the hot, dry summers, and many of these canals are still in use today.

    Human beings really can’t do much about the climate or weather, but we can adapt ourselves to the climate we receive, and gather water from places and times when it is abundant, so it is available when it would otherwise be scarce.

  33. The following excerpt from a National Geographic article shows that the Oso, Wa landslide had no links to climate change. It had everything to do with government arrogance and developing land that will surely cause major problems at some future point.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/7/140722-oso-washington-mudslide-science-logging/

    “The slide plowed through part of the town of Oso, in the Cascade Mountain foothills northwest of Seattle, shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 22. It killed 43 people and demolished sections of State Highway 530.

    The new report raises questions about how local governments take into account risks of this sort, and how the newest, best science finds its way to the local level. The hillside that collapsed had been the scene of multiple smaller slides since the first housing development was built there in the 1960s. Government agencies repeatedly attempted to buttress the hillside, though engineers warned it might do little good.

    At the time of the slide, scientists were shocked at its speed and the distance it traveled—more than half a mile (over a kilometer). Yet recent images of the valley taken using LIDAR, a laser-based technology that can “see” through vegetation to the rock below, revealed multiple ancient landslides, including one more massive than the Oso slide. The GEER team also found the landslide’s magnitude wasn’t unusual for slides of this type.

    “I don’t think it was fully comprehended how far out that landslide could have run. So I don’t think that even local officials understood the gravity of that,” Wartman says.”

  34. Dr. Mass, Thank you for your effort in applying rationality to your outline of problems and solutions. This sure beats the herd behaviors championed by the politically manipulative. But in addition to the cautions already addressed in the comments here, narrow confidence in the fruits of a rote applied science can fall well short of the higher wisdom for life decisions that hasn’t been much of our schooling.

    For instance consider entertaining the epiphany that may affect your premises should you discover that the global average of high and low temperatures (currently sweater weather for the ‘average’ global resident at barely over 58 F. degrees and little changed over the past century of reasonably widespread thermometry anywhere outside of the semi-arctic northern hemisphere — a very well-kept secret) will inevitably mask what the variations of the (unaltered) constituent actual top and bottom measured temperature data have been doing over multi-decadal time spans. And as you have been most drawn to be concerned about the high end (unlike half a century ago), you’ll be stunned to find that high temperatures (aside from short term weather, both globally and regionally across our American continent) have been remarkably stable for over a century (any warming trend of the ‘average’ attributable to considerably greater beneficial upward variations in the nightly lows).

    You might then more readily see that for distinctly partisan power-wielding reasons of their own, many politicians and even some scientists are not interested in the perspective you may gain from their sharing these truths and those mentioned by others with you (like the U.S. and Europe are already decreasing their CO2 emissions, for whatever that’s worth, when several underdeveloped nations are greatly increasing theirs). And the divergence of soaring computer modeled global temperature forecasts beyond the recent measured record should signal their true competence for prediction that underlies so many other lies.
    Best wishes for your enlightened new year.

  35. If you want to cut down on air industry CO2 emissions, which is of the same order as the emissions from agricultural machinery worldwide, all you would have to do is cancel all “travel miles” programs. It would cut emissions from air travel in half. Strangely is never mentioned by anyone, but everyone has lots of ideas to restrict agricultural practices…..

  36. The implications of global warming for the Northwest is serious

    Assertion without evidence. The very first principle to solving any problem is
    1) prove that the problem exists and is indeed a problem.

    blind assertions, such as yours, fails that very first principle. Not surprising since CAGW alarmist “science” (which you’ve clearly bought into hook line and sinker) has continually failed that very first principle.

  37. Here’s my take: mankind’s impact on the climate is currently unknown and unknowable within the bounds of what we can accurately measure, which means it must be relatively small. Climate also changes slowly compared to human lifespans, therefore the best strategy to deal with these changes is to do what we have always done: adapt as necessary. Mitigation assumes that we A) can make big enough changes to affect the climate in a measurable way, and B) can accurately predict the outcome of those changes. Neither is true in a practical sense at the moment, so no mitigation strategies are appropriate. Worrying and fretting about the future is self defeating and should always be avoided. Feel free march and protest all you want (it’s your time to waste), but it won’t have effect on the climate.

  38. So we need to move marine traffic to LNG, particularly for coastal applications (like Puget Sound).

    Diesel oil remains stable in tanks for years; LNG boils off unless actively refrigerated. LNG tankers use the boil-off to run the engines and as soon as they arrive in port start offloading their tanks. Regular cargo ships would end up venting or flaring the boil-off while in port.

  39. What is missing from this analysis is a proper assessment of the uncertainties, and based on that a risk based approach to managing our response to potential future clients.

    Just one example of the uncertainties ignored comes from projecting regional climates. There is no attempt to describe this which is a pity given the author’s experience in validating weather model projections. The point of this is that I’ve yet to see any projection of regional climate impacts (or the type mentioned), sea level rise aside, that can be separated from the noise.

    Under these circumstances our efforts should turn to actions to address possible adverse futures that can be shown to have low cost, or better still benefits, regardless. In Washington this would appear to be EVs infrastructure, nuclear and forest management. For the rest careful monitoring of leading indicators that things might go pear shape, and work to reduce the uncertainties makes sense.

    But mindless repetition of research and government regulation (eg in face of unlikely sea level rise) that ignores the uncertainties should be resisted as poor quality high cost activities.

  40. What should we do about climate change? Absolutely Nothing. Zip, Nada, Zero. Nothing we can do about c02 emissions, especially locally, matters to the climate. The only thing co2 mitigation will do is transfer wealth from the poor and middle class to the already wealthy, reduce people’s freedom, and further empower governments.

  41. I quit reading when the computer modeling became reality. Sad.

    Suggestion: Call California psychics. Cheaper and probably just as accurate. Save lots of time and money and be far more honest.

  42. I really have no objection to most of this plan. most of adheres to Bjorn Lomborg’s no regrets principal. Most of these projects, such as forest management and better reservoirs are simply prudent and will benefit us no matter what the future climate is. If this were the green new deal, I would have no problem with woeking towards it.

    • I agree Walter, that much of what Dr. Mass says about prudent projects makes sense. However, I would emphasize fusion power (even though that is a ways off in the future). After all, mankind will need it if we all wake up one day and see the next Ice Age just around the corner.

      Our thoughts and actions regarding future climate must remain resilient. How to pound resilience into the heads of politicians remains a head scratcher.

      • “However, I would emphasize fusion power (even though that is always off in the future).”

        I fixed your sentence for you.

  43. I reject the premise that a forest can only be “healthy” when tended to by humans. It may be “safer” but health is relative and subjective.

    • “I reject the premise that a forest can only be “healthy” when tended to by humans. It may be “safer” but health is relative and subjective.”

      If early thinning of the beetle-infested lodgepole forests had been permitted, they would not all have reached low-resistence-to-beetles senescence at the same time (40 years), and so the beetles would not have be able to easily migrate from tree to tree. A thinner forest, and/or one intermixed with younger trees, and/or one intermixed with different species, would have had far fewer beetle problems.

  44. Dr Mass can pontificate and proffer remedies but he knows there are difficult questions to be answered on the greenhouse effect. A discussion of heat radiation physics would be a good start.
    Just skip that part eh . . . that’s what all the Dr masses do.
    In any event, there’s only one solution to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.
    Start with yourself and stop emitting then let others make up their own mind.

  45. I stopped reading the approach when number 1 action was “more research”.
    The Research Industry has become the monster.

    • If he’s saying we need more research, then the science clearly isn’t settled, which means his statement that it will get inevitably warmer due to CO2 emissions sometime in the vague future, is illogical.

  46. Cliff,
    You lost me when you advocate I give up my car for a 1/4 mile walk to a train station in the snow, rain, or blazing sun through drug gang infested neighborhoods, only to have to seat with criminals, homeless and the insane on government subsidized trains that do not go where I need to go in any reasonable amount of time.

    Further, although trains use less energy per-passenger-mile than cars, the buses that ARE REQUIRED TO FEED THEM use much more energy than cars, so systems like Portland’s use more energy per passenger-mile than cars.
    Transit also takes twice as much time to get people to work than cars. Have you looked at any actual transit data?
    See DebunkingPortland.com

    As to the CO2 scam, see DebunkingClimate.com

    • “Light rail” has been a failure everywhere, but (in a play world, like building a model (toy) railroad layout) it provides emotionally kicks to would-be “social engineers.”

      Cars have recently become more attractive for performing ancillary driving (to unfamiliar or rarely visited destination) with the arrival of driver route-driving apps like Garmins, and driver-assist features (especially automatic parking). And cars have become more reliable and longer-lasting, as well as more feature-risch and luxurious inside. Their efficiency and cleanliness has increased notably, and is continuing to do so: Toyota’s new Dynamic Force engine gets 40 MPG; Mazda’s new Skyactiv-X engine gets 45.

      Attractive new serial hybrids like Nissan’s e-energy series cost less than the Prius and provide good milage. The ones coming next year, or late this year, from the Toyota/Mazda JV new factory in Alabama, will possibly get 65 MPG. Fully electric cars will not be much cleaner, all things considered, and can’t be used by the half of the population that lacks a garage, and the half of the remaining half that can’t afford one.

  47. I got an idea… There is a very high probability that a tsunami will hit populated regions in Washington State over the next 100 years…how about building a sea wall to help reduce the extent of that expected future disaster? If the sea wall can withstand a 50 foot wave, it should be able to stand up to a 12 inch increase in water levels over the next 100 years.

    Oh, and stop building next to the ocean…that would help out a lot!

    Guess practical solutions are too hard, lets force the entire world to stop using energy instead. Not “me” mind you, just everyone else.

    • “how about building a sea wall to help reduce the extent of that expected future disaster? If the sea wall can withstand a 50 foot wave, it should be able to stand up to a 12 inch increase in water levels over the next 100 years.”

      It won’t be nearly that high, due to the steep drop-off in the sea floor away from the coast. But a sea wall, even in places where it can be built at low cost and/or provide a high benefit, would be worthwhile.

  48. The difficult truth is that Seattle … Washington … Portland and northward terrains are unsuitable for human habitation. Situated between the rising seas, and dangerous Cascadian volcanism, the real solution is that Seattle, Portland, and everything in between needs to be de-populated for safety.

  49. “3. Carbon emissions reduction (also known as mitigation)”

    Not correct. Reducing emissions is known as prevention. Mitigation would be things like building sea walls to prevent storm damage, making electricity cheap enough so that pensioners could afford air conditioning. You know, the sort of things that nobody is doing.

    • “Not correct. Reducing emissions is known as prevention. ”

      Wrong. Reducing CO2 emissions is (universally within the climate-controversy realm) KNOWN AS mitigation.

      • You are both wrong. Reducing emissions is (universally within the sane, rational realm) is known as *a waste of time, energy, and resources* 😉

  50. There’s no science there. If there was, they’d have long ago followed the scientific method and deep-sixed the AGW hypothesis for failure to live up to its predictions. No one should ever confuse “Seattle nice” with reason. Think of Mass as a climate cultist with a smiley-face sticker, and you won’t be too far off.

  51. Here’s an inspiring 12-minute video on 5 innovative clean energy sources; “5 amazing renewable energy ideas”: Made in 2017 (at least one of the segments):
    https://youtu.be/JKXnQnaiqI8

    1: carbon fiber heat transmission from the mantle;
    2: turbulent vortex turbines for small rivers http://www.turbulent.BE ;
    3. Altaeros Energies — wind turbine in the center of a blimp, “the bat” [should be called the donut] — enables power provision to remote areas and for disaster relief. At height, winds are stronger and more consistent, so output is twice that of an ordinary turbine. Also offers a platform for wireless Internet and weather monitoring. designed for rapid deployment. http://www.altaerosenergies.com
    4. Dynamic tidal power. Coalition of Dutch and Chinese. A long barrier parallel to the shore with a T at the end (s?) funnels water into 2000 smart turbines. High output is promised.
    5. Floating solar. The Hydrelio System. Already in operation.

    At the end, links to three videos on innovative similar stuff appear.

    Items 1 & 3 seem the most promising.

  52. CBS, 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl, Jan. 6, 2019 show on biofuel pioneer Medoff. H/T Skip181sg

    https://www.youtube.com/redirect?redir_token=qUZwhUDpUaj4n1kl3arotTaCTNR8MTU0ODI5MDU4MUAxNTQ4MjA0MTgx

    What Masterman helped implement was Medoff’s novel idea of using these large blue machines called electron accelerators to break apart nature’s chokehold on the valuable sugars inside plant life – or biomass. Machines like these are typically used to strengthen materials such as wiring and cable. Medoff’s invention was to use the accelerator the opposite way – to break biomass apart.
    …………
    His inventive use of the accelerators caught the attention of investors who saw a potential goldmine in the technology.They gave Medoff’s company – Xyleco – hundreds of millions of dollars, allowing him to scale up and build this factory – IN MOSES LAKE, WASHINGTON – so he could turn his invention into reality. It’s scheduled to be fully operational this spring.

    Here, agricultural residue, like these corn cobs [OR CUTTINGS FROM THINNED FORESTS?] [HOPEFULLY DONE BY ANKLE-BRACELETED CONVICTS, TO CUT COSTS], is trucked in from nearby farms, ground up, blasted by the electron accelerator and then combined with a proprietary enzyme mix.

    This process, Medoff’s remarkable invention, releases plant sugars that he’s now using to make products he claims will solve some of the world’s most intractable problems, affecting not just the environment but also our health. One of the plant sugars is called xylose and Medoff says it could reduce obesity and diabetes, since it is consumable, and low in calories.

    Craig Masterman: Xylose is called wood sugar And it has an unusual property that your oral bacteria cannot use it. So it won’t decay your teeth.
    …………
    With the investor funds, Medoff also opened a $45 million testing facility in Wakefield, Massachusetts, a far cry from the garage. And he hired more than 70 scientists and engineers who have come up with a sugar-based product aimed at another impervious problem, some call it a plague, the accumulation of plastic debris.
    ……………..
    Perhaps Medoff’s most consequential discovery is how to extract the plant sugars and convert them into to environmentally-friendly biofuels: ethanol, gasoline and jet fuel.
    ………………
    Medoff’s ethanol is much better than regular corn ethanol in terms of greenhouse gas emissions – 77 percent better, according to a study that was independently reviewed.
    ………………
    Robert Armstrong, the former head of MIT’s chemical engineering department, joined Xyleco’s board of directors after Medoff told him about the electron beam accelerator, his inventive way of breaking down biomass.
    ……………….
    A possible 30 percent dent in the petroleum market, according to a report by the Department of Energy. But the question is: can Marshall Medoff scale up his operation enough to compete with the oil industry?
    ……………
    John Jennings: It won’t turn off oil and gas overnight, obviously. It won’t turn off coal. It won’t turn off nuclear. It won’t turn off all the other sources of energy. But it will find its place. And I think it will find it relatively quickly because of all the boxes that it ticks.

  53. Could the mothballed, cost-overrun and terminated WHOOPS (?) nuclear plants of former governor Dixy Lee Ray be made use of in some way?

  54. Here’s a no-regrets measure: strengthen the electrical grid. (Against hacking and Carrington events.) Another one: require gas stations to have back-up generators, so they can stay open in emergencies when the grid is down.

    Regarding Amazon’s delivery system. It creates far fewer emissions to have one van make 100 deliveries per day than to have 100 customers do 100 product pick-ups. (Anyway, Amazon has committed to buying 100,000 pure-electric (BEV) delivery vans from Rivian.)

  55. “This blog is getting long, and there is many more things that could be done regarding mitigation. There is much we can do, with some approaches having nearly immediate benefits (less traffic, more rail, less pollution).

    The optimistic bottom line.

    There are so many local politicians, media outlets, and activist groups that are painting a depressing, fearful picture of our future regarding global warming. They are simply wrong. There is so much that can be done to prepare and mitigate global warming, and the impacts will me more gradual than some are suggesting. This is a scientific/technological problem that can be solved in a rational way, together.”

    https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-huawei&sxsrf=ACYBGNSKR_ZhUghpTFAp-tAyzBr6plkqRw%3A1577942227060&ei=03wNXqenA-WWjga8uK-gAg&q=somewhere+over+the+rainbow+judy+garland&gs_ssp=eJzj4tFP1zcsNjAtzsooNDdgBAAfyQQD&oq=somewhere+over+the+rainbow+judy&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.

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