Another Sunday Stroll Through The Blogosphere

…and again, this will be another quick glance. My schedule is not my own to make these days.


We start with Bishop Hill, who recently blogged on a debate held at the Oxford Union. Participants included skeptical scientist Richard Lindzen, as well as David Rose, Mark Lynas and Myles Allen. Bishop’s not-quite-objective view of the debate is that Lindzen more than held his own. Lindzen’s low-key style may have provided a needed contrast to the more frenetic pronouncements of others in the climate arena–I’m looking forward to reading the transcript or seeing the recordings, both to be released at a somewhat vague point in the future.

Watt’s Up With That links to some very long media pieces on an important subject–the other part of human contributions to climate change. These constitute a variety of human practices: Deforestation, dam (and reservoir) building, agricultural changes and urbanization. In this case, however, the subject is management of domestic animals.

Sadly, the material Anthony links to is too long for me to look at in this frantic period of my life–maybe on a plane this evening or at the airport if I get there early. But considering that much of the Middle East was severely affected by animal husbandry practices starting 5,000 years ago, I’m certainly willing to believe that managing sheep especially can have an impact on climate overall. I’m looking forward to diving in.

In addition to her first haiku of 2013, Lucia Liljegren at the Blackboard continues a battle that promises to be never-ending, that of keeping both sides honest in the discussion of models, temperature records and statistical treatment thereof.

Planet 3 has a number of pieces up this past week, few of which I agree with overall, all of which are actually quite interesting. My view of Planet 3 is similar to my view of Watts Up With That–there’s a lot there that frustrates me but an awful lot that interests me. And I’ll be the operators of both blogs are horrified by my comparing the two.

The big news this week, of course, was the unveiling of a new statue of a new Hockey Stick, this one using a wide variety of proxies that extend back through the 12,000 years since the end of the last Ice Age. It’s discussed everywhere, but I’ll link to Andrew Revkin’s account at Dot Earth to get you started. This is one that will be carefully looked at and both praise and criticism has issued forth, almost before it would be possible to carefully read and assess the work. Hmm. No change in the treatment of real news, then.

Well, here in San Francisco, the fog is breaking, it’s early morn, the taxi’s waiting outside my door…

It’ll be another difficult week for me in terms of posting, but I managed to get a couple up last week. I’ll try and do better.

Happy Sunday to all!


8 responses to “Another Sunday Stroll Through The Blogosphere

  1. I am grateful to Anthony Watts for the link to Dr. Allan Savory’s TED talk. Savory’s discussion of desertification is very intriguing.

    Like you say about WattsUpWithThat, “there’s a lot there that frustrates me but an awful lot that interests me.”

  2. Best wishes for great success on your busy schedule.

  3. A good but brief analysis of Marcott here:

    The rest of the blog is unfortunately religious and political advocacy though not quite as extreme as stevengoddard. (I read desmogblog mainly to give myself permission to read goddard for “balance.” He’s highly amusing sometimes.)

  4. I work in finance.

    In 1987, if one looks at the annual return to US stocks, the year looks unexceptional. If one looks at the daily returns, it was an extreme year including the worst down day in the history of the US stock market. The lesson one learns is the danger of using two different lengths of time periods in one analysis.

    Marcott’s analysis seems to suffer from this problem.

  5. Pielke, Jr. has excellent article on why China shows the start energy choices faced worldwide: either push hard now on gas and nuclear, or else recognize that high pollution is inevitable for the forseeable future (including CO2 if someone regards that as a ‘pollutant’ which I don’t). I suppose the 3rd path, which the UK is pursuing, is potentially massive failures of grid energy supply.

    Pielke, Jr. on “Learning from China: Coal and its Nukes”
    [emphasis added]

    “…China can be thought of as a microcosm of the global economy. As China becomes richer and further sees its energy intensive activities shift offshore, its pollution problems will migrate to the next generation of developing economies, perhaps elsewhere in Asia and eventually in Africa. As I have argued, the energy demands of the future are likely to be massive, and to meet this demand coal (and other dirty energy technologies) are just not going to work — as the image at the top of this post shows — despite its dominance in the energy mixes of China and India today.

    “The bottom line from these excellent reports and analyses should be abundantly clear: Looking to the energy future, one is necessarily either pro-nuclear and pro-gas (fracking) OR one is pro-carbon dioxide and pro-pollution. Which are you?”

    • Quoting Pielke jr.

      China becomes richer and further sees its energy intensive activities shift offshore, its pollution problems will migrate to the next generation

      Coal is expensive to ship overland.

      Peabody coal can dig coal out of the ground for $10/tonne in Wyoming. By the time it makes it to an overseas destination if costs(corrected for thermal content) $90/ton.

      China was exporting coal for $22/ton in China in 2002. The attraction of cheap energy + cheap labor lead a lot of industry moving to China.

      Coal sells for $100/ton in Africa and India is already dependent on imported coal.

      North America is the place to move for industry’s interested in ‘cheap energy’.

    • Despite all the spin about “big oil” etc, You can pretty much trace the political split on climate change to the moment the concerned made belief in solar and wind a prerequisite for climate concern and made Al Gore their spokesman. Recall, the claim was that both climate was a big issue and that a switch to wind and solar would be cheap and easy and we only lacked political will to do it.
      The argument was the justification for carbon taxes and cap-n-trade (which were pointless without an alternative to coal). Conservatives called BS and it’s been a stalemate ever since while a proxy argument is fought over whether sensitivity is at the high or low end of the IPCC’s absurdly huge range.
      Pilke’s contribution here is to politely point out the conservatives were right and reminding greens – “the world will get serious about global warming if the climate concerned ever get serious about global warming.”
      Luckily, there’s no evidence that will happen anytime soon. The left – especially the enviro left – is walking away from it. Sure McKibben can get a handful out for a Quixotic anti big-oil protest, but the GMO crowd proves you can draw flakes to any anti corporate party.

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