Species Extinction is Nothing New

Species Extinction is Nothing New (2012-06-04). Anthony Watts thinks that Australian denialist Viv Forbes’ reviewed scientific paper unposted Letter to (no particular) Editor deserves a wide audience, so he makes it a “Top Post”. “Steam engines” didn’t kill the mammoths, so why would a few puffing coal plants? This is pure stupidity being given a gold star.

DId you know that them “professional alarmists” are trying to replace the “deflating” “global warming bubble” with a crazy new scam called “species extinction”? Anything to force us back into caves with the commies, I guess.

Humans (well a few of them at least) will be able to use their “freedom” to innovate out of any theoretical environmental crisis, so them animals should stop complaining and start innovating too. Otherwise tough luck and rightly so.

Anthony with his usual acumen uses a Dodo (unequivocally hunted to extinction by humans) to mis-illustrate Viv’s deep environmental insight, but I think he just forgot about the Ostrich.

Anthony’s proudly ignorant commenters are near universal in espousing libertarian tough love for the critters…

Potential breakthrough: electrical power from waste heat generated at the quantum level

Potential breakthrough: electrical power from waste heat generated at the quantum level. Anthony Watts has found a press release from the University of Arizona that says physicists have discovered a new way of harvesting waste heat and turning it into electrical power.

We’re saved! Thermocouples to the rescue! Who cares about Global Warming now?

Like Anthony I hope that some unexpected technological development solves our energy needs. But I’m not willing to bet on it, nor am I willing to dismiss the environmental consequences.

Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud

Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud“. Willis Eschenbach takes the opportunity to mock funding that billionaire Bill Gates has provided to the Silver Lining Project to investigate cloud-generating technologies.

Isn’t this kind of wildly optimistic geo-engineering one of the distractions that denialists like to try on when “it’s not happening” crumbles again?

The Climate Crash of 2009

The Climate Crash of 2009“. Anthony Watts points us to denialist Pierre Gosselin’s website called “NoTricksZone“. Naturally the page Anthony especially likes is reporting on how “leading scientists and professors are calling for a completely new direction in climate policy“. Naturally this is denialist bullshit, “tricks” from top to bottom.

The Hartwell Paper, A new direction for climate policy after the crash of 2009” is published by the Institute for Science, Innovation & Society, part of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. The Institute opposes the Kyoto Protocol, thinks we can adapt to climate change anyway, and considers “Climategate” a real ethical issue. The authors, mainly economists, sociologists and industry representatives, include rabid denialist Roger Pielke Jr. Effectively the Hartwell Paper advocates reducing or dropping proposed carbon taxes and crossing our fingers that non-carbon energy sources become cost-competitive.

Yeah, that’ll work.

‘Foamenting’ climate change

‘Foamenting’ climate change“. Anthony Watts finds, and pastes in, a geo-engineering article in AAAS that suggests that even if global warming is happening (it isn’t of course because it’s all a trick) we can fix it by spreading micro-bubbles throughout the oceans. Thus solving the Global Warming problem once and for all.

I can’t believe that Anthony set himself up for a punch-line from Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth!

Solving Global Warming once and for all!

There are good reasons for caution about geo-engineering solutions. Here are a few.

  • We have little idea of what the unexpected consequences might be for these interventions.
  • They will almost certainly be wildly expensive and/or disruptive.
  • They encourage increased CO2 generation that will eventually overwhelm the each geo-engineering solution.

Sea change in climate journalism: The Guardian and the D-word

Sea change in climate journalism: The Guardian and the D-word“. It’s always interesting when Anthony tries to take the “high road.” Lately he’s been trying to get The Guardian to stop describing climate change denialists as “sceptics.”

They’re thinking about it. The money quote from The Guardian’s correspondence with him is this (emphasis mine):

The ’sceptics’ label is almost too generous a badge as very few are genuinely sceptical about the science but I think we have to accept the name is now common parlance.

Anthony ‘reciprocates’ by making a hollow call to “dial back and treat others with the same respect in conversation as you might treat dinner guests having a discussion at home.”

As he does on occasion, Anthony takes a moment to try to distance himself from his own posts:

My position has been that there is no debate that the earth has warmed over the past 100+ years, but that the magnitude of the measured warming and the cause(s) remain in debate. The question of whether such warming is beneficial or detrimental depends on who you ask. I’ll also point out that it took our modern society about 150 years of science and technology advances to get where we are now. Doing it cleaner and better won’t be an overnight solution either.