George’s mistake

In the climate emergency, our aim should be to maximise both the reduction of emissions and the drawing down of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. There is no safe level of global heating: every increment kills.

Maximisation is implicit in the Paris agreement

No, it’s to optimise.

Set off all the H Bombs tomorrow after lunch and we’ll have no human caused emissions by March. That would be maximisation. There would also be a certain cost to this. Thus we don;t want to maximise, do we? We want to optimise.

This means growing wood to burn in power stations, then capturing and burying the carbon emissions. It is likely to cause more harm than good. Could the committee’s enthusiasm have anything to do with the fact that one of its members works for Drax, the energy company pioneering this disastrous technology? Throughout the report, business appears to come first; nature and climate last.

Which is why we shouldn’t use bureaucracy or markets to do the optimising. Just reset prices and let the market chew through it.

39 comments on “George’s mistake

  1. “There is no safe level of global heating: every increment kills.”

    I expect that some of those increments have resulted in a billion people being lifted out of absolute poverty in the last 20 years. A billion people living longer, healthier lives.

    I guess that’s not an important part of the equation when compared to virtue signalling and the plight of the snow leopard.

  2. As always, DocBud, with you on this one. If I am ever down under we need to have a beer and several bottles of good Spanish and Australian red.

    I have found NO, repeat NO evidence of a climate emergency. Merely speculation, ignorance and evil intent.

    I have found an abundance of information which backs up my (and that of hundreds of others far more qualified than me) hypothesis.

    Man-made CO2 is no problem. Everything done to mitigate it is useless or, in my opinion worse. We are at intolerably low levels for agriculture.

    Even recent history shows us there is NOTHING extreme about what is happening in the world.

    This article from an unfavourite magazine (despite postulating that CO2 is a/the problem) reminds us of how things are and have been.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2183901-a-freak-1870s-climate-event-caused-drought-across-three-continents/

    What would our Lords and Masters propose when (not if, ‘cos it will happen): exterminate the human race.

  3. What would our Lords and Masters propose when (not if,) ‘cos it will happen: exterminate the human race?

    That’s better! And among other things I graduated in English!

  4. The most important thing I learnt while studying engineering was that (almost) everything is about trade-offs. Whoever someone refutes this concept then it’s a clear sign that they are wrong or do not have anything implementable to suggest

  5. More than happy to host you, bilbaoboy, always plenty of beer, wine, gin and whisky available to enjoy while looking over the Coral Sea and the Cumberland Group of Islands from our patio, but do come within the next 1000 years before we’re inundated by the 3mm/year sea level rise.

  6. A 50ppm rise in CO2 concentration causes catastrophic global warming. There are two premises here that need to be reexamined but instead form the foundation of the Gretastrophe.

  7. “But do come within the next 1000 years before we’re inundated by the 3mm/year sea level rise”

    You might not have that long (according to Al-Ja-Beeb):

    “Antarctica melting”
    Glaciologists have described Thwaites as the “most important” glacier in the world There is enough water locked up in it to raise world sea level by more than half a metre”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51097309

    But then further down you read this:

    “Snow on the ice runway delays my flight”

  8. Dave: even more bizzare, the glacier was described as containing yuuuuge amounts of fresh water, which would be lost if it melted into the sea.

    Remind me, how much of our drinking water comes from Antarctic glaciers?

  9. What is it with Moonbat and woods? He’s obsessed with covering Britain with them.

    Re-wooding and then burning said wood seems a bit backward though. If Britain wasn’t run by morons we’d be fracking away while a dozen nuclear reactors were constructed.

  10. [repost – too slow, too slow, too slow, then disappeared]

    ‘There is no safe level of global heating: every increment kills.’

    Sue God.

  11. “This means growing wood to burn in power stations, then capturing and burying the carbon emissions. It is likely to cause more harm than good.

    Can’t argue with the last sentence. Most likely all the energy produced would be used in getting the wood to the power station & subsequently capturing the CO². You’re trying to reverse a process that was originally driven by large amounts of sunlight. It’s hard to see how you can do so without equivalent amount of energy.
    But a thought did occur. If you did want to sequestrate carbon permanently, why not harvest your trees, dump ’em in one of those big holes left from opencast mining, when it’s full bulldoze 50 foot of earth over it? You could likely get enough biodiesel out of chipping & fermenting the bits ‘n pieces to provide the energy input. If you’re really into long term planning, come back a few million years later, you’ve got a coal mine ready & waiting.
    Too simple?

  12. OK, let’s say we could snap our fingers and reduce the atmospheric CO2 level to whatever we wanted.

    So what figure does Gerogie Boy suggest?

    I bet he’d come up with a figure below the limit for photosynthesis…

  13. Correct, NNick. It’s about 20 to 1, cold killing more than hot.

    But facts/science don’t matter. Climate whatever is political. Arguing science against the political will get you nowhere. Climate whatever can be only be slayed by politics. The impotent right isn’t going to do it, though Trump is trying against great headwind.

  14. “Great News chaps! We’ve cut the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere by more than half!”

    “That is good news, George. I’d suggest a celebration but have you seen the price of caviar and champagne lately? Or anything else to eat or drink for that matter. It’s probably because of the famine. How many dead is it now? Last I heard it was four billion but since the net went down and the power went out I’ve lost track.”

    “Never mind how many – omelettes and eggs and all that – we’ve saved the planet!”

    “Well yes of course. Apart from all the plants dying because of carbon dioxide shortage. And all the animals who live off the plants who are starving to death. Still, the scavengers are doing well… For the moment, anyway.”

    “Stop being such a wet blanket. We said we’d save the planet and we did it! Now stop whining and keep rubbing those sticks together to start the fire. I’m not eating raw badger again!”

  15. We want to optimise… …. …Which is why we shouldn’t use bureaucracy or markets to do the optimising. Just reset prices and let the market chew through it.

    Is this a typo (fair enough, if so). Is market chew-through different from market optimisation?

  16. The market is not gonna work when the catastrophe is imaginary and the reputed cause has no visible link to the claimed result. You think we are talking market forces but we are only measuring by mal-informed public opinion.

    A good idea would be a soddit market, designed for those who give not a toss for the con and opt out of it. You can buy ‘green’ electricity, who not black? Why am I not allowed to ignore the Moonbats of the world if I don’t believe their obsessive mutterings?

  17. “Which is why we shouldn’t use bureaucracy or markets to do the optimising. Just reset prices and let the market chew through it.”
    But you never explain how the prices are set, do you Tim? Based on what costs? The made up figures by the IPCC? You’re just writing politicians a blank check to tax whatever they feel like..

  18. As I keep trying to point out, a carbon tax even at the wrong rate – a too high one – would be less damaging than the shit the idiots are doing already.

  19. Tim, they’ll just set it as high as they can get away with. But the danger is, they’ll deny responsibility. Not us, they’ll say. It’s Gaia asking. It’s taxation without democratic accountability. The Great Climate Change Fraud.

  20. Surely a warmer planet pushes the tree line further north leading to increased forest action and sequestering of Co2 in the new trees, it’s almost as if the entire thing is some sort of system or cycle

  21. There is no safe level of global heating: every increment kills

    Moonbat believes end of last ice age resulted in mass ‘heat deaths’?

    Nukes – about time RR did this, been running in Derby for decades
    Rolls-Royce to install modular nuclear reactors in UK by 2029

    @Tim W

    There is no Climate Emergency or AGW/ACC and no need for punitive punishment of people for being alive

    Which is why we shouldn’t use bureaucracy or markets to do the optimising. Just reset prices and let the market chew through it.

    No. Let markets optimise Without Gov’t interfering in prices.

    Want Green Energy? Fine pay for it, same as paying for organic food. Stop making me pay for your choice. Result: real preference revealed

    @Kevin B

    Nice one Kevin

    @rhoda klapp, bis, BniC

    Spot on

  22. Just following up on BiS “But a thought did occur…”. If the numbers below are correct (please do check) then growing trees and putting them in a big hole would surely “solve climate change” (or at least take as much CO2 from the atmosphere as you like). It’s really just putting the carbon back where it came from.

    Anyway, here goes…

    Amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is currently 622 ppm by mass.

    Mass of atmosphere is ~5 x 10^18 kg so mass of CO2 is 622 x 5 x 10^12 kg.

    Mass of C is 12/44 x mass of CO2 (1 C for 2 Os in a CO2 molecule) so mass of C in atmosphere is ~ 10^15 kg

    Density of wood is ~500 kg/m^3. Concentration of C in wood is ~50%, so density of C in wood is ~250 kg /m^3.

    So to reduce CO2 in atmosphere by ~25% (which is about 100ppm by volume, roughly back to pre-industrial levels), need to take out ~2.5 x 10^14 kg of C which is ~10^12 m^3 of wood.

    So a big hole (or several smaller holes) with a volume of ~10^12 m^3 would be able to store enough wood to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by 25%.

    If the hole was a km deep, it would need to be about 32km on each side. Which sounds like a big hole but isn’t really, particularly if several hundred smaller holes are used instead.

    Mass of carbon in all plants currently on Earth is ~4.5 x 10^14 kg so it’s comparable to the amount of C to be stored.

    So grow vast amounts of trees; cut them down and put them in a big hole. Repeat as needed. If subsequently things get cold, take out the wood and burn it.

    Does that do it or have I missed a factor of a billion here or there?

    Who will break the news to Greta?

  23. Global warming good. How many people are likely to survive an ice age? Unfortunately neither are within our gift. Nature walks its own path.

  24. A bit more. I was wondering about the energy needed to dig the hole. It’s 10^12 m^3 of rock, density ~3,000 kg /m^3. If it’s 1km deep, the average height which the rock has to be lifted is 500m so the total energy needed is 500×10(gravity)x10^12x3x10^3 J = 1.5×10^19 J.

    Annual world energy consumption a few years ago was ~5.7×10^20. So digging this hole would need an extra ~3% of annual energy production.

    But that could be spread out over, say, 10 years (after all, it’ll take time to grow the trees) so an increase of only 0.3% would be needed. And if the area of the hole is increased a further 10-fold (maybe by digging lots of shallower holes in lots of countries, all say 100m deep) the extra energy could be negligible.

    Of course there are overheads, mainly transport of the trees, but (unless the numbers are badly wrong – quite possible with all those factors of 10) it looks quite feasible. Is there a fatal flaw?

  25. bloke in spain said:
    But a thought did occur. If you did want to sequestrate carbon permanently, why not harvest your trees, dump ’em in one of those big holes left from opencast mining, when it’s full bulldoze 50 foot of earth over it? … If you’re really into long term planning, come back a few million years later, you’ve got a coal mine ready & waiting.”

    Sounds like a good idea (if we ever did need to do it).

    I thought something similar about plastic waste. People insist on it being recycled, but it’s not worth recycling at the moment, so it ends up as litter. But if we dump it all in a big hole in the ground and cover it up, once the oil starts running out (as the greenies keep telling us it will) we can dig it up and recycle it then when it’s worth doing.

  26. There is no safe level of global heating: every increment kills.

    Well, so does every increment you reduce global temperatures to. And as there is a maximum temperature at which everything dies, there is also a minimum temperature.

    People talk like this but expect us to take them seriously on the subject they are talking about.

  27. SJA: My favourite here is:

    all energy is produced by breeder reactors (there’s plenty of depleted uranium and spent fuel to run them – I understand the Yanks have about 900 years worth on hand)

    since the CO2 in the surface of the ocean and the atmosphere are in equilibrium, extract the CO2 and some hydrogen and turn it all into hydrocarbon fuel

    when this is burnt the CO2 is automatically recycled into the ocean and reused.

    If we wish to reduce the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, simply make more oil and pump it down into depleted oilfields. The petroleum coke from the synfuel plants can be dumped in worked out coal mines.

    That way there’ll be plenty of easily accessible ‘fossil’ fuels that we’ll need when civilization suffers a catastrophic collapse as a result of all the Green idiocy.

    MC: I’ve got to agree that your approach is simpler and cheaper though.

  28. Gamecock: SJA, how you gonna cover this hole? Putting the trees in does nothing; they must be sealed in.

    Cover with soil, put down a base and build a city of greenhouses. The CO2 produced by the decomposing wood will provide excellent growing conditions.

  29. Gamecock: The CO2 produced by the decomposing wood means burying it accomplished double-ought zero.

    Not so.

    The problem to be solved is that there is currently thought to be about 25% “too much” CO2 in the atmosphere. If you’re able to take that 25% from the atmosphere and store it, then the “problem” goes away. Ideally one would prefer a fixed store of C – blocks of graphite perhaps. But failing that, a dynamic store will effectively do the same job.

    The point is that you keep the holes filled with the “tree equivalent” of 25% of the atmospheric CO2. As some decay, you grow new trees, cut them down and replace the loss. Effectively you’ve increased the surface area of the Earth on which trees store C by putting a lot of it into the trees in the holes.

    If you continue this cycle, the result (given a big enough hole) is that you’ve removed the excess CO2 permanently.

  30. @RichardT

    The Inquiry “Is recycling broken?
    China has closed its doors and now country after country is refusing to process foreign waste. So is the international recycling system broken?”
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csyth9

    Yes, for plastic (& other worthless glass, paper, food etc) and it should never have started, bury it. BBC loathe to admit this.

    @SJA

    This CO2 from fossil fuels, where did it come from?

    The atmosphere, yes? Was Earth devoid of animal life before fossil fuel/CO2 sequestration started?

  31. The problem with landfill is that the EU have imposed a levy on it. This was done to create a ‘level playing field’ for countries like the Netherlands, where landfill isn’t an option. I assume we can get rid of this from tomorrow :).

  32. @Chris

    We can, but more tax and spend “Conservative” MPs won’t

    iirc UK Levy/Tax is x10 EU required; in effect it’s a hidden subsidy to waste of money recycling industry

  33. “This was done to create a ‘level playing field’ for countries like the Netherlands”

    Missed a trick there, they could have built themselves some hills.

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