Sunday, July 18, 2010

A hat tip to Joe Romm, Words of warning from Barry Brook

Joe Romm is a confusing figure. He usually is spot on about climate change data, while his pronouncements on energy frequently veer into the total idiocy range. Here we have some data from Joe Romm the smart. Is the sun responsible for climate change? Joe provides us with evidence that it is not.


Now look at the temperature trend:


June was, by the way, the hottest June on record. Heat wave records are getting smashed:
“Total number of daily high and low temperature records set in the U.S., data from NOAA National Climatic Data Center, background image © Kevin Ambrose. Includes historical daily observations archived in NCDC’s Cooperative Summary of the Day data set and preliminary reports from Cooperative Observers and First Order National Weather Service stations. All stations have a Period of Record of at least 30 years.”

Barry Brook offers a new view of climate science and its predictions. Barry is a very sober and rational person, and thus it is wise to listen when he writes ,
Under a business-as-usual scenario, which assume a continued reliance on fossil fuels as our primary energy source, these models predict 1.8°C to 6.4°C of further global warming during the 21st century. There is also a real danger that we have reached or will soon reach tipping points that will cascade uncontrollably and take the future out of our hands. But much of the uncertainty represented in this wide range of possibilities relates to our inability to forecast the probable economic and technological development pathway global societies will take over the next few decades.

South Asia as had the hottest heatwave ever this year,


Jason Ribeiro said...

Charles, I think you could go further to compare and contrast Barry Brook to Joe Romm. Barry might not have the recognition that Joe has here in the United States, but Barry's rational view of nuclear energy as an imperative need to mitigate climate change offers a far better optimistic opportunity in my opinion.

As I commented on the NEI blog last night, we need not have melting ice caps to have catastrophic effects from heat waves. Every summer heat waves cause thousands of deaths on the scale of other natural disasters like a major earthquake or flood. Yet most of us do not think of heat waves as a natural disaster like a tsunami or earthquake.

Entomologists have noted small changes in temperature have affected butterfly populations and migration patterns. These subtle changes are happening slowly enough that most do not notice anything significant occurring but our sense of time is far different than nature's.

In my opinion we are not trying hard enough take a long term view of things and act accordingly to move to non-carbon based energy systems. Joe Romm and others who subscribe to his brand are correct to be concerned about climate change but are seriously misguided in their dogmatic stance against nuclear energy.

DocForesight said...

To inquire again, have you read the articles at that describe "How to build 6,000 nuclear plants by 2050" (and why) or "Why electrified rail is superior" (and how to supply it)?

You are likely to disagree with their climate change perspective, but their approach to meeting the expanding global need of energy (see: "The Astounding high cost of 'Free' energy") is right up your alley.

Hope you are feeling better, Charles!

Charles Barton said...

Doc, it is more important that we agree on taking certain practical steps, than to agree with why we are taking those steps. Not everyone who makes a common cause does so for the same reason.

DocForesight said...

Charles, I agreed entirely. I simply found their "How to Build..." article informative in its recognition of the need, the ramp-up needed in industrial capacity, the economic expansion that would bring and the environmental impact such an expansion would possibly result in.

Obviously, they were not aware of the LFTR technology (or they didn't think it was worthy of mention?) but should have been.

I find the 40-50 year perspective refreshing but we need to start in earnest now.


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