What Climate Deniers fail to understand about the planet Earth. Part 3: The Ocean Cannot Absorb Much More CO2

great-barrier-reef-damage

Most carbon emissions are absorbed by the ocean, but it’s running out of capacity, which could make global temperatures rise even faster.

The bottom line is that there is no alternative non-anthropogenic theory to explain rising temperatures, melting glaciers, sea level rise and ocean acidification. If we don’t act, the existing mechanisms of the climate will only reinforce the damage already done.

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A Dangerous Crack in Economic Theory:

Why growth is slow and world trade is not always win-win.

robert-ayresAs Larry Summers and many other economists have lamented (and even Donald Trump has said in several campaign speeches), it is true that the global recovery from the financial collapse of 2008 has been extraordinarily slow. Explanations vary widely. My own explanation up to now has focused on the shift from growth based on the exploitation of natural resources (especially oil and gas) to growth based on ICT technologies incubated in Silicon Valley but employing very few people. Another explanation centers on the working class reaction (in the US) to globalization and “free trade deals” favoring the export of manufacturing jobs to low wage countries.

A related explanation centers on the rise of the financial industry, along with its preference for moving money into the creation of asset bubbles rather than investment in small businesses in the “real” economy. A cousin of this explanation is that the money available for investment by the richest few is increasingly devoted to increasing the power of money in the political process. There is probably some truth in each of them.

The end of the era of increasing debt, with near zero interest rates is coming very soon. When it does, the cost of those deficits will explode, and the pressures for a major revolution in economics, capitalism and democracy, will also explode.

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What Climate Deniers fail to understand about the planet Earth. Part 2. The Climate Could Be More Sensitive to CO2 Than We Think

Climate sensitivity could be underestimated, adding urgency to reducing carbon emissions

In my last article on this topic, I pointed out how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is improving its methods and research, and getting closer to proving the effects of man’s current lifestyle on the climate of our planet. Climate deniers, however, remain steadfast in their convictions that the IPCC’s science is wrong or that it’s all just a scam to increase government power. The fact that they have no proprietary research to substantiate their claims that rising CO2 levels are harmless or that human beings have nothing to do with it, doesn’t seem to stop them picking holes in the science.

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What Climate Deniers fail to understand about the planet Earth. Part 1: Settling the Debate on Climate Change

ipcc-2015-conference

Scientists are closer than ever to definitively proving that climate change exists and putting the deniers to rest. Despite the recent climate agreement in Paris (COP21), where 195 countries adopted the first legally binding treaty to curb climate change, the debate about whether climate change exists or whether it’s the fault of human beings still rages on.

The first article in a three-part series, originally based on an interview, followed by a publication in “INSEAD Knowledge”.  I undertook it, at first, to compensate for the influence of certain climate deniers on the faculty and among the readers.

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On EROI: Commentary by Professor Charles Hall

See “On EROI, as a measure of what’s left in the barrel” at http://wp.me/p55vqx-95

charles-a-s-hall-2Happy to see a website devoted to the (mostly) good ideas of Robert Ayres. As the originator of the term if not the concept of EROI I would like to clarify a few things from my own perspective. The energy invested is usually and appropriately considered the energy diverted from society to get energy to society. Thus natural gas used to pressurize an oil/gas field or energy used in society to make a drill bit or oil rig or fertilizer for corn-based ethanol would be considered part of the investment. Geological energy to make radioactive uranium or oil would not.

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HOW THIS SITE WORKS

man in front of blackboard wiht economic equasions - reversed

FINDING YOUR WAY

HEADERS:

A revolving collection of photos and graphics which are intended to capture/suggest the main themes and issues treated here.

TOP MENU

RUA top web page

To get full value from this somewhat ambitious web platform, we invite first-time visitors to spend a few minutes to work their way along the top menu from left to right to get a feeling for how each of these main sections works.  Taking them in order.

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On EROI, as a measure of what’s left in the barrel

RUA EROI

Source; Mason Inman. Scientific American. April. 2013. http://goo.gl/n57ZKG

This paper makes several points about the use of EROI as an indicator of future potential.

First, for comparability it is important to limit comparisons to specific end-use a products, such as gasoline for cars or electricity for the grid, or perhaps hydrogen for fuel cells. Comparisons between different end-uses are very dubious.

Second, it is important to avoid comparing EROIs for fossil fuels stored by geochemical processes in the Earth’s crust vs nuclear power (based on a single element, uranium) vs technologies based on energy directly or indirectly from the sun.

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