Lenin on Climate Change

Just a quick reminder: we could well be finished soon. Yes, the WWF are back with new results that confirm the worst: the arctic ice caps are melting even faster than we thought. As the ice melts and more of the surface is water, the temperatures rises more because the water can absorbe heat that would be reflected by the ice. The climate doesn\’t change in a linear fashion: it has sudden flips. It can sustain stability, like a canoeist, under immense pressure from different fluctuations. But beyond a certain point, it capsizes. The tipping point as far as arctic ice is concerned is that elusive point when nothing we can do can make any difference at all, and it has just got closer. If the tipping point is reached soon, then the arctic ice is gone for good.

Apart from the blithering ignorance of the science (the arctic ice floats, you see, so melting would not lead to higher sea levels, as one example) there are really only two questions for Lenin:

1) Will all of this happen before or after Captialism collapses of its own inherent contradictions.

2) Will this happen before or after the inevitable arrival of true communism?

21 thoughts on “Lenin on Climate Change”

  1. (the arctic ice floats, you see, so melting would not lead to higher sea levels, as one example)

    Is that really true? Or does that apply only to the portion of the ice pack that’s under the current surface level of the water? In which case if what’s above the surface or on land melts, that would raise the sea levels…

    Being scientific, am waiting for the ice cubes in my gin and tonic to melt, having made one specially.

  2. Weight of iceberg = weight of water displaced (the 9/10ths). That’s Archimedes Law. The iceberg will not change weight as it converts from ice to water, and it will be the same water as the sea, so it will be the same volume as the sea displaced.

    In other words, the iceberg (ice + water) volume shrinks as it melts.

  3. Eva, twenty minutes later now, you should have found the melting of the cubes made no difference.

    Now, still in the spirit of scientific enquiry, you may drink your G&T.

    I cannot believe, sometimes, the lies the Warmers feel free to tell.

  4. I’m still researching this, after receiving responses from both Nigel Calder and the BBC’s Richard Black, but provisionally it looks as though Arctic ice has been redistributing itself rather than melting, and that this is normal.

  5. Experimental G&Ts notwithstanding, there’s no argument that in the past sea levels have occasionally been much higher – and lower – than they are now.

    Where did that water go if it isn’t locked up in ice (on land)?

  6. To be fair, this guy did not claim that the melting ice itself would lead to higher levels water levels directly, but rather the loss of a surface with higher reflectivity would lead to more heat being absorbed as the water would absorb heat that would otherwise be reflected. Still, that said, the guy is a communist and buys into climate change hysteria so is a blithering idiot.

  7. A non-trivial effect on sea levels vs. temperature is thermal expansion. Water achieves maximum density at around 4 °C. Either side of this point a given mass of water occupies a larger volume. If the density of a given mass of water falls by x%, its volume increases by x%, and its linear dimensions increase by the cube root of (1 + x/100). However the oceans are constrained in two dimensions so actual sea level rise for x% of expansion would be closer to x%. This is potentially troublesome, except for the fact that even the believers in ‘catastrophic’ sea level rise concede we are talking time periods of the order of centuries.

  8. I trust that Eva adjusted the post-melting level of her G&T for the fact that some of it will have evaporated compared to the pre-melting level.

    And then adjusted the overall result for the small expansion in volume as the temperature approaches 4 deg C, and subsequent contraction if it gets even warmer than that.

    Which is as good an excuse as any to have another, I suppose.

  9. the arctic ice floats, you see, so melting would not lead to higher sea levels, as one example

    Well, that’s the only example you provide of my ‘blithering ignorance’ (actually I was drawing directly from the expert work of Mark Lynas, as I made clear in the post), and it’s totally estranged from anything I actually said. I did not state or imply that sea levels would rise due to arctic ice melting. I stated that temperatures would rise, certainly, and this is true.

    I might add in response to your questions that I don’t believe in the inevitability of socialism, and the thesis of ‘inevitability’ has not guided most serious socialists since the First International. Secondly, I don’t believe that capitalism will collapse due its own internal ‘contradictions’. I do not believe that such ‘contradictions’ exist, for a start (to contradict is to gainsay, and that plainly has nothing to do with the fall in the rate of return, for example), and moreover I don’t believe that any social order can ‘collapse’ without an agency prepared to bring about is collapse and replace it with a viable alternative.

    I realise it’s a hobby of yours to affect weary condescension, but you have to know what you’re talking about before you engage in that. All you are demonstrating here is your stupidity and lack of thought.

  10. It has just occurred to me that you aren’t addressing your point to what you have quoted here, although your presentation would suggest otherwise. You are addressing the point made elsewhere that certain islands may be subsumed. And that does clearly imply a rise in sea levels due to some cause related to climate change. I happily withdraw the earlier claim that you were merely talking hallucinatory nonsense. You are talking nonsense, of course, but you are not hallucinating. There are a few points I would make about this:

    1) There are already examples of this phenomenon at work. The Lohachara island has been subsumed entirely, for example. The sea levels are rising by 2mm per year.

    2) The explanations given here (both in your post and in follow-up comments) as to why it couldn’t possibly be so are bunk, and bunk confected by industry lobbies to be dispensed by half-wits. Water expands as it warms and contracts when it cools. The volume of frozen water expands because of hydrogen bonding, which is the basis for the red herring example of ice and water. What is happening is that the temperature of the seas is rising, and thus the total volume of water is rising. That is causing the subsumption that we are witnessing. If you want to refute the IPCC findings, you will have to do better than this gimcrack home science.

    Tim adds: Indeed Lenin. Thermal expansion it’s called. The IPCC expects it to be a problem in 2300 AD, maybe 2500 AD. That’s rather different than Mark Lynas’ idiocy that we’re all going to drown by 2100 as a result of a 1 oC temperature rise.

    You see, I have actually read the IPCC reports. And Stern. And the SRES upon which the IPCC is based.

    Can you say the same?

  11. The Lohachara “subsumed” about 24 years ago and the cause was entirely due to erosion. Except for the erosion, sea level there is still significantly lower than the island’s prior elevation . This myth has been debunked previously to the point that it is surprising that anyone advances it anymore.
    The most recent measurements of the upper levels of the seas indicates no warming -zilch, nada, none.
    Mean sea level has been rising more-or-less steadily since about 1850 and the rate of rise is decreasing compared to the highest rate which was during 1920-1945. At 2 mm/year, or about 3/4 inch in ten years, 8 inches in 100 years-hard to get very upset about it.

  12. The volume of frozen water expands because of hydrogen bonding, which is the basis for the red herring example of ice and water.

    The volume of frozen water expands because of air trapped within it, any increase in volume due to hydrogen bonding is negligible.

  13. The Lohachara “subsumed” about 24 years ago and the cause was entirely due to erosion.

    1) This is, to understate quite drastically, quite glib. As you will undoubtedly have guessed, I was referring to a report in 2006 in The Independent which indicated that the island was finally subsumed. In other words, it wasn’t a reference to an event from the 1980s.

    2) The reason why it was reported in The Independent as a victim of rising sea levels is because, contrary to what you are claiming, the evidence is that rising sea levels was a factor in the final submergence of this previously populated island.

    Mean sea level has been rising more-or-less steadily since about 1850 and the rate of rise is decreasing compared to the highest rate which was during 1920-1945. At 2 mm/year, or about 3/4 inch in ten years, 8 inches in 100 years-hard to get very upset about it.

    A mean of 2mm per year is actually quite a serious matter, and your flip dismissal only discloses what an airhead you are. If it is related to melting ice, as the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence suggests that it is, then the rate of increase will logically accelerate. The IPCC’s assumptions are, of course, quite conservative – its estimate is 59 inches in 100 years (not eight inches), which is bad enough. On the other hand, as George Monbiot has pointed out, the non-linear nature of climate change means we can’t take the IPCC’s figures for granted. Hansen et al’s NASA study anticipates a sudden drastic reversal in climate fortunes and thus a sudden alteration in the rate at which water is expanding.

  14. I saw a TV program that said that the gulf stream, which warms europe,
    – at the point where it sort of ducks down to the sea floor (and gets another name ) – will change its flow if the water becomes less salty from melting ice . And this leads to an ice age.
    True or false – I don’t know.

  15. I saw a TV program that said that the gulf stream, which warms europe,
    – at the point where it sort of ducks down to the sea floor (and gets another name ) – will change its flow if the water becomes less salty from melting ice . And this leads to an ice age.

    Realistically, it is unlikely that there will be an ice age. There are tendencies in global climate which may disable the ‘gulf stream’ conveyor belt. But this will attenuate rather than negate the increases in temperatures that are taking place across the planet as a result of global warming. The most likely outcome on present predictions is a contraction of the wet climate to the far north of England and Scotland.

    My basic point was, and is, that this problem is best solved by radically democratising the mechanisms of global power – the more people are empowered to act in their own interests, the more they will do so.

    Tim adds: “My basic point was, and is, that this problem is best solved by radically democratising the mechanisms of global power – the more people are empowered to act in their own interests, the more they will do so.”

    Erm, Lenin, I really think you need to look up The Tragedy of the Commons again. Almost all environmental problems start there. And it is all about people acting in their own interests that actually causes the problem. Overfishing is because the incentives are there to do so: Marxian access to the resource. Climate change is the same: Marxian access to the atmosphere for the emissions of an individual’s activities. As Hardin pointed out, when the demand for a resource outgrows the ability of such Marxian access to supply the resource then that access must be managed. That is, that we have to put limitations upon people acting in their own self-interest. We can do it in either a social (socialist) manner or a private (capitalist…those are Hardin’s own descriptions) but limit access to the resource we must, by specifically limiting people’s ability to act in their own self-interest.

    You’ve entirely grasped the wrong end of the stick, not for the first time.

  16. “I saw a TV program that said that the gulf stream, which warms europe”

    You’re talking about thermohaline circulation (THC):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation

    There is a hypothesis that the system shutdown about 12,000 years ago (due to an ice dam breaking and allowing fresh meltwater into the North Atlantic) and caused the Younger Dryas, a return to ice age conditions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas

    The climate change occurred extremely rapidly: less than a decade. There is a possibility that if the Atlantic THC shuts down we will rapidly return to ice age conditions in Europe (London is on about the same latitude as Labrador in Canada – but has a rather different climate thanks to the Atlantic THC bringing warm waters to the coast).

  17. BlacquesJacquesShellacques

    “Just a quick reminder: we could well be finished soon.”

    Finished? What’s that? Is it when coastal communities need to move to new coastal communities? Or rebuild a few seaside structures or dyke them?

    Soon? What’s that? Is it 200 years? 500? 1000? What?

    On both points, can you say ‘present value’? Can you understand it? Doubt it.

    “Yes, the WWF are back with new results that confirm the worst: the arctic ice caps are melting even faster than we thought.”

    Jeez, I don’t have the time to fisk everything so I’ll just say that every word in that ‘report’ was a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’, and wholly designed to increase the wealth of its perpetrators and let them swank around preening about how they are saving the planet and using the money and the preening to get laid. They are witch doctor con-men representing the lowest of humanity.

    “As the ice melts and more of the surface is water, the temperatures rises more because the water can absorbe heat that would be reflected by the ice.”

    Close, but as usual, overblown and exaggerated. There isn’t a lot of heat for the arctic ice to reflect.

    “The climate doesn’t change in a linear fashion: it has sudden flips.”

    There is not one shred of evidence to support this statement except the entirely discredited hockey stick software.

    “It can sustain stability, like a canoeist, under immense pressure from different fluctuations. But beyond a certain point, it capsizes.”

    How do you know this? You don’t.

    “The tipping point as far as arctic ice is concerned is that elusive point when nothing we can do can make any difference at all, and it has just got closer.”

    Ditto.

    “If the tipping point is reached soon, then the arctic ice is gone for good.”

    For good? As in forever? Really?

    ‘And the seasons they go round and round
    And the painted ponies go up and down
    We’re captive on the carousel of time’

    “It will gradually eliminate many populous islands, of course, but we could handle that.”

    Populous? Like where? How many? How many people? Are all leftoids innumerate? The latter was of course just another rhetorical question.

    “Like most refugees, the residents will be pushed about from country to country and forced to live and die in shit and misery, and hated for the oxygen they waste.”

    Well, only if leftoids run the operation.

    “And we could presumably live with the destruction of the non-commercial forms of life that thrive in the Queensland Wetlands, the Kilimanjaro and the Amazon basin. “

    What are you babbling about? Life moves. We are talking about mm per year by your own admission. Where did the polar bears go last time? What were they doing when Greenland was warm?

    “And, as the ice melts and the Alps crumble because their sub-zero cohesive has trickled away, we can all expect a hearty laugh as mountaineers and cabin-dwellers are crushed to death under avalanches.”

    Sub-zero cohesive? What are you on about? Just making shit up again?

    The Alps are not going to crumble under any climate change scenario short of a super-nova.

    “However, we may not be as happy with one third of the planet becoming uninhabitable by 2100.”

    NOSOE.

    I’m getting tired so I’m gong to repeat that a bit. It’s for ‘Not One Shred of Evidence’, and by evidence I mean something other than the moonbat shriekings of one or more murdering Rachel Carsons.

    “ And we may be uncomfortable with hurricanes striking hitherto unprecedented zones, such as the recent one that swept into Brazil.”

    NOSOE on the suggestion that one hurricane is a trend.

    “One of the bases for hurricane development is a sea with a surface water temperature of higher than 26.5C, which is why the phenomenon has hitherto been so familiar in the Carribean.”

    Holy shit, a true statement.

    “Raise global temperatures, increase the total amount of warm water, and you get more hurricanes.”

    Clause 1 does not imply clause 2. Indeed even the moonbats agree that the tropics will stay the same temperature and the north will grow warmer, accepting their lunatic ideas, which I don’t.

    I live in the North and I approve of this message.

    “The hurricane that barrelled toward Spain only to die out may be the first of a new Mediterranean breed of deadly storm.”

    May be? May be? It ‘may be’ the first mighty wind that blows a thunderbolt up your ass, but what kind of argument is ‘may be’?

    “ America will find its fertile crescents turned into dustbowls again, but this time on an unimaginably greater scale.”

    America has fertile plains, not crescents. As for the rest of your gibberish, NOSOE.

    “Southern Africa will dry up and, while the Sahel region will get more rainfall, it will come in Monsoons that simply destroy the surface earth and provide little basis for agriculture.”

    NOSOE.

    Oh, and fuck off, fucking alarmist.

    “You think today’s food prices are high?”

    No, and only a fool would suggest they are.

    “Then, of course, you have to consider the interaction of these scarcities with global markets and the geopolitical structure supporting them.”

    Meaningless socialist cant.

    “Scarcity and destruction is not only a moneyspinner for a privileged elite that could comfortably fit in a small football stadium.”

    Ditto.

    “It is a driver of war too.”

    Ditto.

    “Who, faced with failing crops and desolate land, would not be tempted by Lebensraum?”

    NOSOE.

    If I’m wrong, and there is some climate problem and land becomes too hard to live on despite human effort and ingenuity (from which I exclude you) then all evidence suggests there will be migrations.

    Do the Mexicans make war on the USA? No they embrace it and migrate in.

    Do the Africans make war on the EU? Same answer.

    Do socialists ever learn?

    “All of that is based on a one degree rise in temperature, the most optimistic scenario, the first circle of hell in Mark Lynas’ Six Degrees.”

    NOSOE.

    “Add a couple of degrees, and it gets a lot more grim.”

    NOSOE.

    “This is not about mother earth or the various species of plant and animal life that one may or may not eat. The planet will overcome all this, probably even if we drop the big one.”

    ‘Drop the big one’? Nukes? Are you socialists still banging that drum? You mean little tiny firecrackers releasing one millionth as much energy as Pinatubo when it farts?

    OFO, which is of course short for Oh Fuck Off, denoting merely manly bar room talk for ‘what nonsense’

    “It is our viability as a species that is in question”

    True, true, allowing you to breed might well project serious genetic flaws into the pool.

    “Perhaps the best solution is to rely on the people who gave us “

    “colonialism, “

    By any measure colonialism was a good thing. Two word: Zimbabwe. Mugabe. OK five words: OFO.

    “the arms race, “

    Socialists for 100 please.

    “the arms industry, “

    A good thing. Makes a 5 foot 90 pound woman the complete equal of an asshole like you and hopefully lets her blow you to hell when you and your socialist friends make your next active attack.

    “death squads, “

    Socialists for 200 please.

    “aerial bombardment, “

    Socialists again for 300 please. What is ‘National Socialist Workers Party’.

    “genocide”

    Socialists for 300. Who are be Stalin, Hitler and Mao.

    “and nuclear annihilation”

    Well by thunder that would be socialists for 400 and it’s the daily double.

    “to come up with a neat market-based solution to our imminent demise. “

    If you expect the market to save you, you’re in trouble, because you are worthless.

    “Perhaps we should wait and see if they can develop a technological solution.”

    We have. It’s called ‘do nothing’ because there is NOSOE.

    “Bear in mind that, as with pharmaceuticals, they may be more interested in giving us something that can help us live with our horrible condition for a while rather than curing the problem.”

    So develop your own drugs Mr. Big Brain. And do it for free to. And when you do, I’m coming to take the drugs and their formulas and I’m giving you fuck all for it no matter how much you worked or how much money you spent.

    “I don’t know if it wouldn’t be better to just take over the whole system ourselves and see what we can do about it.”

    You and whose army? See the point about the ‘armaments industry’. It won’t be like 1917 me boy. There will be extremely violent defenses of freedom and ‘the system’. The ghetto jews got guns this time me boy and the scenarios will be different.

    “If it calls for a reduction in economic output, then I’m sure we can handle it.”

    More socialism. ‘Let’s you and him reduce your economic output, I need to drive the Zil limousine down my private lane to my private office to “plan”’

    “If Lafargue’s ‘right to be lazy’ becomes a duty, I can’t imagine too many complaints. “

    Socialist cant.

    “Why not?”

    Because it’s another stupid socialist fad that will be passe in 5 years and you’ll be tilting at your next windmill.

  18. So Much For Subtlety

    lenin – “There are tendencies in global climate which may disable the ‘gulf stream’ conveyor belt. But this will attenuate rather than negate the increases in temperatures that are taking place across the planet as a result of global warming. The most likely outcome on present predictions is a contraction of the wet climate to the far north of England and Scotland.”

    Which tendencies are these then? There was once a massive outflow of fresh water from what is now Canada that deflected the Gulf Stream with dire consequences. But we are unlikely to see that level of fresh water being added to the system. The Gulf Stream is driven by a simple heat pump type mechanism – the polar regions are cold, the tropics are warm and the planet spins from West ot East. It follows, therefore, that warm water will flow north to cooler regions and will have a slight eastwards spin. I find it hard to believe that anything could stop this in the near future. If the tropics heat less than the northern climes, well, good. Either way, no ice age.

    lenin – “The most likely outcome on present predictions is a contraction of the wet climate to the far north of England and Scotland.”

    Good. Tim W will be able to come back from Portugual. Hull may be pushing it but Bristol will be nice and Mediterranean-like.

    lenin – “My basic point was, and is, that this problem is best solved by radically democratising the mechanisms of global power – the more people are empowered to act in their own interests, the more they will do so.”

    That is not a point. It is a hope. And a feeble one. If the British environment teaches us anything it is that the Upper Classes, the more feudal the better, preserve the environment best. Why do we have New Forest? Royal hunting. Why have deer survived in Scotland? Hunting by the Upper Classes. Why have large parts of the country side not been cut up into small farms which are intensively used as in China? – capitalist land owners and their desire for a nice vista. Why does so much British fauna survive? Fox hunting. Where does the European Bison still exist? Where the Tsars used to hunt them. Where is the European Bear being pushed into extinction? Where there is no Royal Family (or Communist Party Secretary) to hunt them any more.

    As far as the environment goes the rule is simple – the more feudal a country is, the better its environment is. Compare China, Italy and Egypt with Britain, Russia, Germany, and Japan.

  19. One could mention, just as a by the way, that the Antartic ice extent is increasing at least as fast as the Arctic ice is putatively shrinking. I say putatively because there is redistribution going on, and that needs to be correctly factored in. What we are perhaps seeing is a regional redistribution, and as the North warms, the South cools.

    What seems so odd, is that although the maybe real shrinkage of the Artic gets headlines at regular intervals, one never hears how much the Antartic has expanded, despite it being far larger. Could there be some bias in the reporting do you think ?

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