Climate Progress And Christmas Cartoon

Opine away!

Note: Climate Progress will largely be on vacation this coming week at Walt Disney World and points North. So we will mostly be running cross-posts and favorite CP posts (and some more open threads for those who want to post news). Suggestions are welcome.


83 Responses to Climate Progress And Christmas Cartoon

  1. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    Attention Deficit Disorder: “It’s Global Warming Stupid” has been replaced with “26 Dead at Sandy Hook Elementary”. And the “Fiscal Cliff” has been made the replacement horse race that “Election 2012” was.

  2. Robert Callaghan says:

    A recent symposium of experts have dealt a deadly blow to the electric car dream.
    The conflict minerals used in green energy and cell phones is responsible for the killing of 2 million children in the Congo since 1998. Rare earth extraction is so poisonous it is only done in China where thousands die in mines each year. China is going to flatten 700 mountains to make way for a new city. We are on track for a 4°C by 2050. We haven’t even had 1°C yet and the arctic is in a meltdown that is irreversible and unstoppable. Earth’s food web is breaking down on land and sea. This is also irreversible and unstoppable. We are killing the earth.!

  3. prokaryotes says:

    Alarmist style here with a lot of claims and topics mixed into each other. Please 1 topic at a time, with source to assess your claims, ty.

  4. Once before, at a time when the political action of a few seemed fruitless in the face of the massive expenditures that we faced and volunteers were losing heart, I sent an email that was only the Saint Crispins Day speech from Henry V. As it worked for Henry, it worked for us and that band of brothers and sisters seemed to renew their energies. Richard Pombo was not returned to the House, replaced by a man with a PhD in Math and a career in wind energy.

    I feel a bit the same today. We have the holidays upon us, a time to rest and recharge for, come January, we must go “once more unto the breach.”

  5. I have, on several occasions, mentioned here that we should look at the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore following Superstorm Sandy as a sign of whether people are really willing to take climate change seriously, at least seriously enough to make a major change in what they do. It appears, according to this NY Times story, that they are not there yet.

    He knew that officials from the city, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Breezy Point cooperative were still negotiating over new building standards, revisions that could force him to tear apart the windows and doors he was installing to add expensive new safeguards against another onslaught from the ocean. But he would not, he could not, sit around.

    “How long can I wait?” Mr. Ryan said. “I’ve got to get back here and live.”

  6. Robert Callaghan says:

    Alarmist style. Is that like gangam style? Of course it’s alarmist. Call it a wake-up call, call it whatever you like. If just one topic were destroying life on earth, then I would list just one topic. Check out all the links and put it all together. All these links clearly show earth is heading towards disaster. Not just humans but all life on earth. See for yourself. You be the judge. Don’t be too lazy or afraid of the truth.

  7. Paul Klinkman says:

    Good Morning! This morning is the start of the new Mayan golden age, known to Indo-European astrologers as the Age of Aquarius, the scientific inquiry age. Christmas is at this time of year because its Roman precursor equally celebrates the turning of the sun, and the original Christmas was all about the new Age of Pisces (the ascent of Jerusalem, religion driving the world) coming in to supplant the old Age of Aries.

    The European oppressors have been on the Mayan’s necks for 500 years, ever since the last Mayan golden age ended. Good call so far for their prophets. Today the fiscal cliff has caught up to Europe and America. European/American economies are failing as we sit here, much as the Mayan economy once failed when the soil became worn out. The Americans in particular are going to have to cut back on Central American gunboat diplomacy.

    In other news, the Zeta drug cartel is getting pretty wealthy these days. Who says that the Mayans can’t rise up after 500 years of living in terror?

    The Mayans were worried about some type of deluge at this time. Perhaps that’s why they built so many tall, square temples out of stone. If the oceans rose 50 feet and if an occasional hurricane storm surge pushed another 30 feet of water on top of that, a thick square structure is almost the perfect structure to save the lives of a village of people. Nice architecture, nice looking ahead!

    Dr. Ray Kurzweil makes wonderful prophecies of solar taking over. He has just one little problem – he forgets how truly prophetic humans are. People regularly go into the lab to demonstrate ESP and they make a monkey out of science. Dr. Kurzweil’s dream of a man-machine singularity is fatally flawed by his inability to see how a prophetic human mind works. We can still build some nifty gadgets that hang on people’s ears and make them look fashionably Borg, but it’s not the same.

    There’s just one thing that I don’t get. Google pays Dr. Kurzweil a ton of money to prognosticate that breakthroughs will be made soon. I know for certain that Dr. Kurzweil is going to be almost proved right in the end, because I’m here sitting on a pile of actual first-rate bleeding solar breakthroughs. What’s wrong with this picture?

  8. Paul Klinkman says:

    Not a problem. The fix is really easy. We can go back to old crummy low-capacity batteries. We simply have to design our cars to drive 50 miles or so to a battery recharge station. At the station a machine grabs the old battery pack and plugs in a new battery pack. Then the car keeps on driving another 50 miles. has prototype machinery in use now.

    This task will get easier as our transportation system gradually gets automated. The stops will be quick and connected to the main highway.

    Or, we could simply jump ahead to the next fully automated above-grade transit system, which is just a couple of cables hung over the middle of every street. Recharging would be built into every stop.

  9. BBHY says:

    “A recent symposium of experts… ”

    And that was exactly?

  10. Robert Callaghan says:

    There are 1 billion cars on the planet earth. We would need several sets of batteries to operate each car. That sort of massive investment would not be without risk. We could easily spend ten years investing in something whose benefit does not outweigh its cost.

  11. Robert Callaghan says:

    embarrassing as it is regrettable.

  12. Ken Barrows says:

    Reading these comments makes me wonder about a few things. First, should we be committed to putting a car in every garage? If so, why? Second, are we committed to having a miniscule proportion of the population working in agriculture? If so, why?

    I take it that 24-7 electricity is a given here–for understandable reasons. I understand and agree solar is the future, but what kind of future. I skeptical, to say the least, of posters who think solar will give us the material life we have today. It won’t.

  13. prokaryotes says:

    The total lithium content of seawater is very large and is estimated as 230 billion tonnes, where the element exists at a relatively constant concentration of 0.14 to 0.25 parts per million (ppm), or 25 micromolar; higher concentrations approaching 7 ppm are found near hydrothermal vents.

    One of the largest reserve base of lithium is in the Salar de Uyuni area of Bolivia, which has 5.4 million tonnes. US Geological Survey, estimates that in 2010 Chile had the largest reserves by far (7.5 million tonnes) and the highest annual production (8,800 tonnes). Other major suppliers include Australia, Argentina and China.

    Lithium is the 25th most abundant element.

    There are much more deposits around the world, some recently discovered and undiscovered. And then there are other forms of electric storage.

  14. prokaryotes says:

    How Improved Batteries Will Make Electric Vehicles Competitive
    It will likely take a decade, but improvements to lithium-ion batteries could lead to much cheaper EVs.

  15. prokaryotes says:

    It would be interesting if the current record breaking cold (coldest winter in Russia since 70 years) is because of polar air intrusion, “winter weirding”.

  16. Theodore says:

    I have many questions about climate change that are not individual questions, but are one side of a conversation. Where could I find my own personal climate scientist who would be willing to have that conversation with me?

  17. Colorado Bob says:

    Peel-And-Stick Solar Panels: Decal-Like Application Process Allows Thin, Flexible Solar Panels to Be Applied to Virtually Any Surface

  18. Bob Lang says:

    I have many questions about aircraft design, like why do they put the engines below the wings instead of above or up front near the cockpit. After all, my opinions are just as valid as those of the people with PhD’s in the relevant fields and who have spent decades of their lives designing aircraft.
    Where could I find my own personal aircraft engineer who would be willing to have that conversation with me.

  19. Colorado Bob says:

    And the Southern hemisphere just booked the warmest Nov. on record.

  20. Nell says:

    My two cents:
    We need to be prepared to take care of ourselves, because all government resources will be consumed dealing with that which they have put off for 3 decades.

  21. prokaryotes says:

    I read a bit more and in Moscow it is unusual warm for the season. The cold is mainly in the Siberia region.

  22. Merrelyn Emery says:

    And Dec is shaping up to be a little beauty, ME

  23. Ken Barrows says:

    The next question: can this scale? Answer: the researchers aren’t looking at that or what the energy profit ratio is.

  24. Ken Barrows says:

    And how can this be produced for the masses?

  25. prokaryotes says:

    How Much Lithium Exists?

    The claims that there is only a finite amount of lithium are certainly true. But the claims that we can’t somehow have enough to build an infrastructure of electric vehicles is absurd, especially if we assume that electric vehicles won’t be the only kind of vehicles — there will be natural gas trucks, electric cars, and possibly other fuels going forward as well. And heck, yes, some vehicles will keep running on oil.

    All considered, even if we began to mass produce electric vehicles, “running out” of lithium is a silly and paranoid fear. From green-tech energy expert Nick Butcher:

    When you look at the details, it turns out that the only thing worth losing any sleep over is lithium. Here I was slightly concerned, as it’s one material that’s not already used in huge quantities. A USGS estimate puts lithium reserves at 10 million tons. That’d be a bit close for comfort! That was back in the 1970s, though — a more recent study by Evans put the figure at 30 million tons. That’s a bit better, but still tight (as you see above, 1.5 billion cars). But now, SQM estimates reserves may exceed 60 million tons! The evolution is outlined in this report, and the reason is clear. With USGS reserves already at 10 million tons, and annual demand currently only around 0.034 million tons, we have enough known reserves for 300 years at current extraction rates.

    It’s not that there’s a shortage, it’s that there’s so much that until the last few years, no one has bothered to look for more. In fact, lithium exists at similar concentration in the earth’s crust to lead and nickel. The question is only one of economic extraction and technology, and with current lithium prices only accounting for around 2 percent of the cost of a LiFePO4 battery in terms of $/kWh, that’s not something we need to worry about anytime soon.

    This isn’t just one source or something. Multiple studies have shown we have a century of lithium already, if we start mass producing EVs. Accounting for breakthroughs and new technology and even more alternatives, it is like it’s 1912 for oil.

    What This Means For Investors

    In 50 years, people who made big bets against the ability of the electric vehicle to survive and prosper will be lucky if they keep their shirts. The electric vehicle is the next logical step for transportation, and the rising cost of oil all but insures this.

    Investors looking for more direct exposure to electric vehicles can invest in:

    read more..

  26. Theodore says:

    Thinking that your opinions are just as valid as those who have spent a lifetime studying the topic marks you as a person who does not merit such attention from an expert. My question was sincere and resonable. Yours is not.

  27. prokaryotes says:

    Ken Barrows it is already produced for the masses, it is currently in the process of scaling. 2013 is the year when Electric Vehicles for the first time really make a difference. Because of models like Tesla S, Fitzer, QInfinity, or the BMWi series.

  28. prokaryotes says:

    And battery subsidies should be introduced world wide. When nuclear power was introduced, subsidies 10 times of current clean tech subs were paid.

  29. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Not a pure test of understanding of climate change – think of millions living on the San Andreas and sides of Vesuvius, ME

  30. prokaryotes says:

    Science and politics

    Despite a year of “global weirding” and some often harrowing physical evidence, the climate politics of 2012 showed no sign of shifting to close the gulf between observed climate impacts and urgent policy action.

    “It’s a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon,” says Kelly Rigg, executive director of the Global Campaign for Climate Action, more commonly referred to as tcktcktck. “The science tells us that the longer we wait, the more difficult and expensive it will be to keep temperature rise in check.”

    The conclusion of the UN climate change talks in Doha left many unsatisfied that the urgency of the process and the change it is meant to deliver, are not matching up to its founding principles.

    “There’s a reason why emissions reductions targets are pegged to 1990 as a base year – that was the year we drew a line in the sand; the year governments acknowledged the science and negotiated a treaty to address it. But sadly, global emissions still have yet to peak,” she told RTCC.

  31. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Reductionism is partly responsible for this mess and won’t get us out, ME

  32. prokaryotes says:

    An apps-eye view of global warming and climate change

    If you’re wondering what to make of the crazy weather of the past few years, maybe it’s time to check out some of the iPhone and Android apps you can use to study climate change and global warming.

  33. prokaryotes says:

    Theodore, the best would be to ask your question’s right away. Sometimes Climate Scientist comment here too. Though the best chance to get a direct respond from an expert is if you were asking your question here

  34. Nancy says:

    Coastal New England’s cod and flounder population has collapsed, because of a warming ocean (as well as overfishing).

    “With fishery regulators poised to impose devastating cuts Thursday on the New England fleet, blame for the disappearance of once-abundant cod and flounder populations is shifting from fishermen to a new culprit: the changing ocean.

    Warming waters and an evolving ocean ecosystem possibly related to man-made climate change are contributing to the anemic populations, not just decades of overfishing, government officials say.”

  35. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    The time for painless change has long past. Some very hard decisions must be made, and very soon, for us to have any chance of surviving what is ahead.

    WE are so close to having the climate system run out of control without further input from us. Already much nastiness is locked in.

  36. Paul Magnus says:

    Is a sane world…

  37. prokaryotes says:

    Ending Poverty

    Influential political philosopher Thomas Pogge argues for a new global institutional commitment to the swift and complete eradication of severe poverty.

  38. prokaryotes says:

    Climate Change: James Hansen on Tipping Points, Carbon Tax and organized Denial

  39. Ken Barrows says:

    The Tesla Roadster is not for the masses. Now there is a lot of lithium but the question, as always, is the net. Maybe we can make lithium batteries for hundreds of millions of vehicles, but do we want to? I have never seen anyone do an analysis. And when someone starts talking about a substance in seawater, I know he is not serious about net energy.

  40. prokaryotes says:

    “…we have enough known reserves for 300 years at current extraction rates.”

    Tesla Model S (starting at $49,900)

    Nissan Leaf (starting at $27,700)

    GM Volt (starting at $31,645)

    Electric Cars: More Models, Cheaper Prices Coming in 2013

  41. Chris Winter says:

    Well, if someone says the Earth’s food web is breaking down, and the breakdown is irreversible and unstoppable, that strikes me as defeatist rather than alarmist.

  42. Chris Winter says:


    I think your best bet is RealClimate. It’s run by climate scientists and features informed conversations.

    I’d also recommend reading some books. A good choice to start is The Climate Crisis by David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

  43. Chris Winter says:

    Oops! That book was published in 2010.

  44. David B. Benson says:

    Use a bicycle, the most efficient way to travel.

  45. prokaryotes says:

    “We no longer have the luxury of engaging in a debate that does not lead to action. We must put an end—an immediate end—to any discussion other than the one that will lead us forward. We simply have no choice but to face the facts, regardless of how unsettling they are. This is not just an ‘environmental’ issue; it is a moral issue and a matter of life and death.”

  46. prokaryotes says:

    Interesting movie on the history of climate denial (30 year old denial)

  47. Colorado Bob says:

    Joan –

    Death of Hemlock Trees Yields New Life for Hardwood Trees, but at What Cost to the Ecosystem?

    In the case of the loss of the hemlock tree, University of Illinois landscape and ecosystem ecologist Jennifer Fraterrigo uncovered a surprising benefit to hardwood species.

    Joan, this girl loves trees as much as you do.

  48. Colorado Bob says:

    Joan –
    I am worried , as you are, the entire world wide canopy will fall on it’s ass in the next 10 years.

    The irony here –
    Archaeologists Date World’s Oldest Timber Constructions

    The tests revealed that the wood comes from massive old oak trees felled by early Neolithic farmers with stone adzes between the years of 5206 and 5098 BC. The farmers cleaved the trunks into boards, assembling them to make chest-like well linings with complex corner joints. Using state-of-the-art laser scanning technology, the scientists collected data on the timbers and tool marks and documented the highly developed woodworking skills of the early Neolithic settlers. The very well-preserved tool marks and timber joints testify to unexpectedly sophisticated timber construction techniques.

  49. Colorado Bob says:

    Click that link, and see 7,200 year-old wood. Cribbing a well in Germany.

  50. prokaryotes says:

    Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar

    Ofc, denier arguments can be debunked with scientific facts, observed data but sometimes it is interesting to spot body language signs.

  51. Colorado Bob says:

    As soon as I saw that 7200 year old cribbing , I thought of the “Square-Set” on the Comstock. They cut every tree they could lay their hands on . And they did it by hand, by mule, and by steam. They stripped the mountains clean to support the silver mines. That Union silver paid for the Civil War.

  52. Colorado Bob says:

    If one visits Virginia City today , remember this, in 1850. Pine trees 3 feet at the stump cover the mountains above the town for as far as one can see.
    And there was no town in 1850 .
    We cut down the entire forest, and buried in our mines.

    By hand.

  53. Paul Magnus says:

    Weather gone rouge… Climate Chaos has arrived….—village-wonders-just-spent-1-2-million-flood-defences.html

    A Devon village was cut off from the outside world for hours in its worst flood for half a century despite having just spent £1.2 million on flood defences.

    …to defend agains 1 in 100yr flood. Upgraded from 1 in 20yr flood…..

  54. prokaryotes says:

    VOA: Climate Change 2012
    2012 Renews Public Focus on Climate Change

  55. Superman1 says:

    What’s wrong with being alarmist? Paul Revere was an alarmist; he sounded the alarm that the British were coming. If he were to ride through New England today, the ‘deniers’ would call him an alarmist and go back to wasting fossil fuel.

  56. Superman1 says:

    When are the posters here going to realize that the game is over? In what other field of endeavor could one have thirty years of complete inaction on a problem, and discuss the possibility of instituting the extreme sacrifice necessary to solve it?

  57. Superman1 says:


    Per your comment:

    “Let me be the first to register: I am on the fence, trying to decide which is closer: The Hansen-McKibben view that we can leave a livable planet if we take immediate and drastic action; and the Guy McPherson view that we’re all screwed.

    And I read the WSJ – the above ground portion. I pay no heed nor any attention to its editorial pages (the sewer).”

    I believe the reality is somewhere between Kevin Anderson and Guy McPherson. We probably still have a chance if we were willing to take the most extreme measures. But, given our trend line of fossil fuel action hasn’t budged in the past thirty years, any chance is completely ethereal.

  58. prokaryotes says:

    There is nothing wrong with being Alarmist, but you need a clear fact based message.

  59. prokaryotes says:

    Some interesting listening from 1984 (Michael McElroy)

  60. John McCormick says:

    Paul, I read your comments and I’m still scratching my head. “a couple of cables hung over the middle of every street.”

    I think about the fire trucks raising ladders and negotiating around the two cables. Pigeons would like that, though.

  61. catman306 says:

    I have read that the largest amount of wood harvested in America in one year happened near the beginning of the 1900s (1913?) BEFORE the invention of the chainsaw. Sorry, no link.

  62. prokaryotes says:

    Munich could reach 18C tomorrow ……….

  63. Ken Barrows says:

    Net energy and by extension analyzing if a solution is realistic really isn’t in your vocabulary, is it?

  64. Nell says:

    West Antarctica Warming Faster Than Thought, Study Finds

    Every single prediction has underestimated the effects altering our atmosphere will have.
    Is it time to recalibrate?

  65. Turboblocke says:

    Overhead cables are used to power trams in many European cities.

  66. prokaryotes says:


    Hansen (2007) suggested that a 10-year doubling time was plausible, pointing out that such a doubling time from a base of 1 mm per year ice sheet contribution to sea level in the decade 2005-2015 would lead to a cumulative 5 m sea level rise by 2095.”

    Nature: Antarctica Is Melting From Below, Which ‘May Already Have Triggered A Period of Unstable Glacier Retreat’

  67. Merrelyn Emery says:

    I thought it was a perceptive observation Dennis and explains a lot about the lack of concerted action. Superman seems so itchy for a fight, he is spraying ammo in all directions, ME

  68. Addicted says:

    This poster seems a little off the rocker. Rare earth mining is only done in China, but is killing millions in Congo?

    Rare earth mining has always been highly concentrated throughout history. A quick Wikipedia trip will tell you that in the past countries which dominated rare earth mining included Sputh Africa, India, etc. the reason is that despite its name, rare earth minerals are not rare at all, but are in fact widespread. The issue is that they are not highly concentrated so mining tends to become dominated by whichever individual country invests the most.

    Even outside of that, recycling technology is getting drastically cheaper, and will reduce the need for mining tremendously.

  69. Solar Jim says:

    Ditch the cables if necessary by using a synergistic combination of very high efficiency, clean energy, on-board electric drive technology. Road vehicles are already using many of these components, but more could be used for a rail vehicle.

  70. lemmonmc says:

    Fuse to the M-Bomb appears to have been lit.
    Dr. Shakhova is scaring the hell outta me at 14 minutes 09 seconds. Millions of square miles in the Laptev sea area beginning to release, vents some more than a kilometer across. Looks like the endgame has begun. Playing softball with the Obama Administration and that sell-out Stephen Chu is over.

  71. Seth says:

    Umm … Ending slavery?

  72. prokaryotes says:

    Wow, the weather in Germany is extreme! Flooding in parts, Temps around 8-16C today (still rising) atm and tomorrow winds with Hurricane strength(90 km/h).

  73. prokaryotes says:

    I guess we see events like doubling or tripling of current Methane emissions in short periods. I wonder how this will turn for the Oxygen content of the atmosphere.

    Although the further warming will take it’s toll on the psych of people, because heat induces more violent behavior, increases stress over resources etc. At one point we will be unable to function as a civilization, the system will break. The window to reduce emissions is closing.

  74. Spike says:

    I’m tempted to paraphrase Bill Shankly talking about football and say climate change isn’t a matter of life and death – it’s more important than that.

  75. Spike says:

    Poland really is on the way to becoming a pariah state for its climate change denialism.