back to article Cutting CO2 too difficult? Try these 4 simple tricks instead

Climate researchers - including one working for Wendy Schmidt, the campaigning wife of Google overlord Eric - have published research suggesting that there are other things apart from cutting CO2 emissions which would help to avoid disastrous rises in sea levels this century. According to Dr Claudia Tebaldi: "Without …

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  1. Jim O'Reilly
    Pint

    All hail the climate God!

    Science based on the idea that "it's happened but we can't measure any change but it will get worse" is suspect as cant and hypocrisy. I've seen articles saying there is no measurable worldwide temperature change change in 20 years, with a final sentence saying in effect, "Notwithstanding these facts, Anthropogenic Global Warming is a serious problem."

    If we look data gathered in the PRIOR 20 years, we see major distortions due to a preference for measuring near cities, which indeed warmed as they grew and threw more heat int the surrounding air.

    I think we need to stop talking BS about non-existent warming and get on with cleaning up the rest of the environment. MS Schmidt's soot ban makes sense, but to stop asthma problems. Methane however is PETA's dream, since cows are the main generator, and going meatless is the only fix. The fact that we would have to kill all the cows anyway to get the benefit is a minor irrelevance!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All hail the climate God!

      Gosh, I knew the met office had got it all wrong. And all the other scientists too, you are very clever. I bet you do stats or something. I was of the impression that my wages were going up but they seem to have stalled for the last five years so they probably haven't. In fact I expect to go back to £15k this year because obvioulsy there is no correlation between my experience and my rate of pay.

      The heat islands effect has been tested and you are wrong there though. And the hockey stick is true too unfortunately. So maybe you aren't so clever, just a bit gullable.

      I think the work being done is a good thing though, we should be looking at reducing pollution and waste wherever it is. But we need alternative power to, big oil is out to milk us otherwise.

      Just as well solar and wind is now becoming cheaper than oil and Texas and China are pouring money into it.

      1. Jim O'Reilly

        Re: All hail the climate God!

        Man, did you buy the Climate Bible or something? Even the Chief Priest and acolytes at IPCC will admit that there is no measurable worldwide warming in the last 20 years.

        And on the wind power, the UK govt's own assessments put the cost per KWH of those offshore wind farms at 500 percent higher than gas/oil electricity generation and 12x thorium cycle nuclear power. (and you still need the gas generators for days the wind doesn't blow!)

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: All hail the climate God!

          "Even the Chief Priest and acolytes at IPCC will admit that there is no measurable worldwide warming in the last 20 years."

          Why would they admit something that isn't true?

          http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/last:240/plot/uah/last:240/trend

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: All hail the climate God!

          I thought it was tern years and just the air, the water is continuing to warm at the accelerated rate. My point was perhaps a bit deep; in a chaotic system a (actually fuck that, we are forcing a chaotic system and somehow you appear to think everything will turn up rosy? It's the world, wet places will become dry and vice versa, we may have revolution, it may cost trillions, billions of people will move. Where is you risk aversion?)

          On the wind power, they are not cheap and springing up all over Scotland but with the hardware in place I think they will become cheap, long before the price of oil will.

          Thorium would be nice if they can stop it dissolving the plant and I would like to point out that gas is a bit slow too, so to cover spikes in supply we often provide hydro because it isn't.

          Where I live is not so good for solar :( The last place I heard predicting it to be cheaper than gas at the moment is Italy though; Oz, Texas and China appears to me to be self evident or they wouldn't be doing it.

          As for gas, I am glad I don't live halfway between sellafield and the fracking in Lancashire, I would much rather look at windmills.

          .

          1. Byham

            Re: All hail the climate God!

            "I thought it was tern years and just the air, the water is continuing to warm at the accelerated rate."

            The oceans are not continuing to warm - this was the reason for Trenberth to call it 'Travesty that they couldn't find the missing heat'. As soon as the ARGO floats were distributed it became apparent that the oceans were not warming as fast as had been claimed. Indeed, NONE of the predicted effects of _anthropogenic_ global warming have actually occurred. There was meant to be a tropical tropospheric hotspot the signature of the enhanced water vapor feedback - it is in every climate model - but it doesn't exist in the real atmosphere despite thousands of balloon sondes, satellite measures and aircraft flights - it's not there. The global temperatures did warm from 1975 - 1997 at a rate slower than from 1900 - 1940 (when CO2 could not have caused it) but since that time temperatures have not risen and are below what the AGW proponents forecast for what should happen if in 1995 all emissions of anthropogenic CO2 had stopped when they actually accelerated. So the hypothesis has been falsified. This won't stop people building subsidy farms marked by windmills but it has led to a huge rise in energy poverty and deaths from cold. 2000 extra deaths in UK in the first 2 weeks of March alone. That's about one person dead per windmill just in March. It was extremely close that there were no power cuts last winter however, as coal and oil fired generation is taken off line next winter there WILL be rolling power cuts - and more deaths. These are not projected deaths from a couple of millimeters a year rise in sea level - these are actual people dying due to green power policies based on a falsified hypothesis but making politicians and greens extremely rich.

            1. osseo

              Re: All hail the climate God!

              To be fair, I don't see that it's making Greens rich, but it does wonders for their self-esteem. "Half of the harm That is done in this world..."

            2. NomNomNom

              Re: All hail the climate God!

              "2000 extra deaths in UK in the first 2 weeks of March alone. That's about one person dead per windmill just in March."

              Faulty logic. What you need to do is show how many extra deaths there would have been without the energy policy you disagree with and compare that to the observed extra deaths this march. Not simply attribute all extra deaths to windmills!

              Some other notes:

              -the tropospheric hotspot is not a signature of enhanced water vapor feedback

              -"but since that time temperatures have not risen and are below what the AGW proponents forecast for what should happen if in 1995 all emissions of anthropogenic CO2 had stopped when they actually accelerated."

              That isn't true.

              "Indeed, NONE of the predicted effects of _anthropogenic_ global warming have actually occurred"

              Warming has occurred. No-one else predicted we would be warmer today than in the 80s. In fact others who dismissed CO2 were predicting the Earth would cool.

              Sea level has risen according to predictions. Arctic sea ice loss is greater than predicted (surprised you didn't mention this failed prediction!)

        3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: All hail the climate God!

          "cost per KWH..."

          Kelvin-Watt-Henries?

        4. MonkeyCee Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: All hail the climate God!

          Wait, there are working large scale thorium reactors? I've really behind on this, I thought they where still 1st generation units, and there where some significant corrosion issues to be overcome.

          Or is the cost for thorium reactors entirely theoretical at this time? Don't get me wrong, I think they are fantastic tech, even just for having something that we can actually get rid of nuclear waste with. But there's still a fair whack of engineering to do. I dimly recall fission reactors where supposed to produce so much power it wouldn't even be worth metering it. Hell, you could compare cost per KWH of a fusion generator, those always appear to be "40 years in the future" and have awesome stats :)

          The nuke industry is particularly opaque, so calculating things like deaths per KWH or actual cost per KWH, or even TCO is pretty much impossible. National security trumps all, but it does make it very hard to assess fission nukes actual worth as power plants. But if they are primarily as a way of making weapons grade fissile material then does it even matter? The state gets it's super bang weapons (which it can't ever really use) and assumes the responsibility for finding a way to deal with the waste. The power generation is just a bonus, and convenient smoke screen.

          I'm not the biggest fan of wind or solar (in UK) either. Well, large scale installations anyway, having them as local production seems sensible. I like me big plants to run when needed. I am a huge fan of hydro, especially low impact micro hydro from run-of-river or using existing infrastructure (mills and canals), but hydro does wreak havoc on ecosystems. And if you're using a dam and it breaks then you have a massive disaster and loss of life that gets squarely blamed on you (or your civil engineers). As compared to killing people by burning coal (and to a lessor extent other hydrocarbons) or producing toxic waste in the hope that someone will come up with a way of disposing of it, as those deaths can't be directly linked to you.

      2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: All hail the climate God!

        ... And the hockey stick is true too unfortunately....

        I really am interested in which paper you believe proves the hockey-stick. Do you just generally believe it to be true regardless of any disproof, or is there a specific dataset which you believe has not been disproved?

        Do you, for instance believe that Mann's original hockey-stick is still valid? Or Marcott's? Or some other?

        Enquiring minds would like to know...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: All hail the climate God!

          I don't know what browser you use, I'm on Chrome at the moment but I think this works with a few. Type in "Hockey stick graph". I just tried it and just went to the Wiki page and read to the bottom and it seems pretty certain to me.

          There are other places to go for good information though, I like New Scientist and PhysOrg, Let me know if you find a reliable source with your point (not Lewis obviously).

          Surely Divine beings should know this stuff?

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Time to start picking that low hanging fruit?

    Actually all of these are good idea wheather or not you believe in AGW.

    The nice thing about most of them is that they can wash out of the atmosphere fairly quickly.

    Unlike CO2 which will be around for a long time (unless active measures are taken).

    Historically the hard greens (Jades?) have not wanted to talk about these options, viewing them as a diversion from the real struggle of getting you to live in third world squalor reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

    Thumbs up for publicising these options.

    1. Richard Wharram
      Devil

      Re: Time to start picking that low hanging fruit?

      The hard greens do have a touch of the religious about them. They don't want there to be any easy solutions as we are supposed to be getting punished for our evil western ways :)

    2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Time to start picking that low hanging fruit?

      I thought the greens policy was that if we where all middle class things would be awesome. Get food done proper, and pay 3-4 times the price. Own your house, then make it as efficient as possible through investing in it (ground heat, insulation, heatpump, maybe solar panels and wind turbine if you're really keen). Use a car that's efficient.

      In NZ they at least take some reasonably good stances on social policies, and are the least disruptive political party. Which oddly makes them quite weak politically, as they rarely take a "adopt our policies or we walk" approach to coalition, usually offering confidence and supply votes to whoever can muster a majority. Oh, and they let their MPs conscience vote on anything really.

      Wouldn't mind hearing what they are like in other countries, there seems to a few MPs in various euro countries.

      But they are still a middle class party, with views and policies that just don't add up if you're getting by on less than $30k a year, which is about half the country. If the greens got on board with tax reform I'd have more time for them.

  3. Turtle

    Soot.

    I don't buy into the AGW scam at all, but personally I would support measure to reduce soot simply for the sake of reducing soot and nothing else, unless those measure and/or the reduction itself were found to be actually harmful.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Soot.

      The health benefits from eliminating soot would be large, too. So go on Big Industry, why shouldn't we eliminate soot?

      <--- Icon for something that produces soot.

      1. 100113.1537

        Re: Soot.

        I think the big problem is that the developed economies have already removed the vast majority of soot from their own industries - smokeless coal, power station scrubbers and low-particulate diesel have cleaned up the air in Europe and North America rather well. It is the developing world that is producing most soot now as there is still large amount of wood-based energy production and many, many new coal-fired power stations.

        The chances of getting China and India to reduce soot emissions rest with them having alternative power generation of similar density - which implies gas or nuclear and will probably happen anyway as the local inhabitants demand cleaner air. Cities in India have already banned diesel and two-stroke auto-rikshaws, mandating CNG engines, so it shows it can be done. I don't think we need to worry about supranational bodies mandating this change - which is probably why it is not all that popular......

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Boffin

        Re: Soot.

        "The health benefits from eliminating soot would be large, too. So go on Big Industry, why shouldn't we eliminate soot?"

        In this context "soot" includes subsistence farmers doing slash & burn framing on jungle areas and individual wood burning stoves whose fumes are the equivalent of a 60 cigarettes a day smoking habit.

        Collectively they add up to quite a bit of soot.

    2. JeffyPooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Soot.

      Soot.

      We need to get people out of their soot-belching public transit buses and into private automobiles.

      The diesel powered buses typically have smoke and soot belching from their prehistoric engines. Most modern cars engines burn so incredibly clean that they would actually clean soot out of the air.

      Getting rid of buses would also clear up the traffic jams, all of which have a bus at the front just behind a vast gap of empty tarmac stretching for miles.

      1. Chairo

        Re: Soot.

        Most modern cars engines burn so incredibly clean that they would actually clean soot out of the air.

        You DO know, that most modern gasoline engines are direct injection engines, do you? But do you know that direct injection engines work with inhomogenous combustion - which causes, erm, soot?

        And while modern diesel engines have soot filters, gasoline engines don't.

        So no, private automobiles are not the solution. I wished it would be otherwise, as I like driving my own car...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I keep coming back to the same thing....

    I keep coming back to the same thing, which is:

    IF those advocating all these cuts truly feel catastrophic change is coming unless we reduce atmospheric CO2

    and

    GIVEN that they seem to use that as a justification to do "anything, no matter how harmful" to correct the issue (destroying the economy, restricting the ability of the Third World to improve their lot via industrialization, dramatic reductions in the standard of living of the First World, dramatic reductions in the human population, etc.)

    THEN

    Why aren't those people demanding the suspension of the treaties against already nuclear nations (e.g. the US) using advanced nuclear power generation (breeder reactors, etc.) to create a large number of plants to convert CO2 into easily sequesterable carbon and free oxygen, and into motor fuels to quickly convert the existing motor fleet into carbon-neutral systems. It's not like the US building breeder reactors is going to increase the size of the US nuclear arsenal, and that route clearly can lead to CO2 reductions in very short order.

    1. Irk
      Holmes

      Re: I keep coming back to the same thing....

      The US has a poor history of toxic waste disposal, and that was widely publicized and mitigated against in the 80s. We call them superfund sites now due to the large federal project to clean up all that. Many private waste dumps were abandoned/not kept up right, and often placed near schools or buried and then built on, so now they're underneath actual communities. The lower 9th ward in New Orleans was one such site - when Katrina flooded it, the waste got into that water too, exacerbating hurricane cleanup. All low-income areas of course, we wouldn't make our rich people live on toxic land. There are some very interesting forms of cancer that come from New Orleans and surrounding areas that you just don't see in other places.

      One of those superfund sites was right next to my primary school before it was cleaned up. It was an abandoned field. Kids were just playing in it until something was done.

      All that to say: the sordid history of waste cleanup and regulations in the US is burned into memory. Anytime someone brings up nuclear, everyone worries about the waste. Whether or not that worrying is warranted is beside the point when an entire generation got forced to live in a prior generation's industrial sewage until the federal government had to step in. You remember that stuff happening when you were six, and then you get surrounded by a pro-eco movement in the late 80s/early 90s as you're developing most of your hard-set beliefs. The pro-eco movement was and still is a sort of religious fervor at times. In the face of all that it's hard to accept the hard science and embrace nuclear. The whipped cream on top is the news coverage on Fukushima.

      To be honest, this is a problem psychology/sociology could answer more easily than the safety numbers on nuclear reactors. Populations remember fear for a long time. As much as the Reg likes to call social scientists trick-cyclists, they're the ones best informed on how to change the attitudes of an entire populace when those attitudes are based more on feelings and deep-ingrained memories from old propaganda. Combine that with some work in the media and maybe we'll get attitudes changed.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: I keep coming back to the same thing....

        " Many private waste dumps were abandoned/not kept up right, and often placed near schools or buried and then built on, so now they're underneath actual communities. "

        Oh BTW some of the early nuclear hardware (IE WWII into the 1950s) was crushed up and used for road bedding in some parts of the US.

        Yes it's still detectable from the air with suitable sensors.

        And from the ground, where it's slow cooking the locals.

      2. MonkeyCee Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: I keep coming back to the same thing....

        Have a read of "Can I sell you a kilo of isopropyl bromide?" by Gergel.

        Pretty much every chemical plant/factory he ran is a superfund site now. The casual way he talks about dumping massive amounts of incredibly toxic waste. Mind you, he's pretty casual about his own safety too. One of those cat chemists who've used up a good portion of their nine lives.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I keep coming back to the same thing....

      "dramatic reductions in the human population"

      Yeah, because that would be really dumb, wouldn't it? When we can just build more land so easily.

  5. Irk
    Flame

    Ocean level rising isn't the only harm we need to mitigate

    Crops react to the temperature changes we're talking about as well. The types of grapes you can grow in the NW USA have shifted due to climate shift here - grapes that used to not grow in the climate due to cold are now able to be grown, but varieties that prefer the cold are now unable to flourish. So grape varieties for making wine are slowly shifting north as the temperature rises. This causes a shift in the wine industry. That's just one example, but climate change means many other things change accordingly, and perhaps faster than some are prepared for.

    There was an article last year about this causing coffee-growing areas to be depleted due to poor growing conditions in the future, and going on to suggest this might spell the end of coffee. Perhaps if we took the focus off of how much the ocean will rise, and shifted that focus onto no more coffee in the future, more people would prioritize the climate instead of writing off 2-10 degree temperature shifts as the cost of "progress".

    1. Jim O'Reilly
      Headmaster

      Re: Ocean level rising isn't the only harm we need to mitigate

      Warming isn't AWG. The Sun has a much bigger impact! The Brits grew wine grapes in the middle ages, then the colder weather stopped all that. It's just Nature's cycles, so it's safe to exhale!

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Ocean level rising isn't the only harm we need to mitigate

        "The Brits grew wine grapes in the middle ages"

        we grow wine grapes today

        Perhaps a factor in the a decline in wine grape growing was Henry VIII abolishing all the monestries which housed the vineyards where wine grapes were grown for religious wine. Better trade access to better quality wine from france wouldn't have helped local growers either.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ocean level rising isn't the only harm we need to mitigate

        Yeah, yeah, the Romans grew wine grapes, but no-one said they made drinkable wine. Also, cold weather viniculture is a thing... The growth of grapes says nothing about the quality of grape or temperature required to grow them.

  6. Graham Marsden
    Holmes

    "Climate Central openly confesses to being engaged in social engineering...

    "as much as anything else. The organisation states: We use proven social science methods to determine what messages resonate with our viewers"

    Well damn them! What a sneaky and underhanded method of getting their point across.

    Isn't it incredible that nobody has ever thought of this before...?

  7. Liam Thom
    Joke

    Comment

    I like the way you put the "comment" section at the bottom half of the page so that we know which half you have presented an opinion on and which half you have recreated without any bias or spin whatsoever.

  8. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    Rising sea

    Most of the population won't have a problem with the sea rising.

    Island nations will blink out of existence, etc, the Delta plan will have to be reinforced, etc, but apart from bringing poverty, it's not going to kill us.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      FAIL

      Re: Rising sea

      "Most of the population won't have a problem with the sea rising."

      Tell that to the citizens of London, New York, Venice or indeed any port city with a sizable population.

      Only someone with a deep ignorance of geography would say that.

    2. MonkeyCee Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Rising sea

      I concur, the rising waters won't kill us. They aren't rising that fast ;)

      The subsequent storms, changes of weather patterns might affect crops, so that might kill a few more of us.

      The wars over the remaining arable land and above water resources, now those will kill us.

  9. Ed DeJesus
    Thumb Down

    "Simple"?

    In what sense are these simple?

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: "Simple"?

      Because it's easier to stop making soot than it is to stop making CO2?

      Or because the effect of reducing soot and methane is more pronounced?

      Guesses on my part......

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: "Simple"?

        They are the low-hanging fruit.

        Reducing soot is easy - better filters on exhaust, higher quality fuels.

        Reducing methane is even better - cap landfill and oil wells to capture the gas and burn it. For bonus points you could do something useful with the methane.

        Unfortunately politicians do not actually care in the slightest about climate change. They want an excuse to do things.

        The greenies are even worse - they actually want almost everybody to quietly drop dead. Or rather, that's the effect of the "hair shirts" they want to impose.

    2. PensacolaJohn
      Pirate

      Re: "Simple"?

      You buy the white paint. You go on your roof. You spread out the paint. You watch your power bill fall. Simple

      1. Mad Chaz
        Linux

        Re: "Simple"?

        Doesn't work all that well here. I don't own an AC. Most of my power bill is to stay warm, not cold. Black roof ftw!!!

  10. PensacolaJohn
    Pirate

    I am 63 and I don't believe in climate change because of any thing I have read or heard,too many people are trying to make a buck from it. I BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE BECAUSE OF THE TWENTY FOOT WILD PALM TREES GROWING IN MY BACKYARD. I grew up here in the 50's and the wild palm tree line was about 100 miles south of Pensacola. We bought palms but it was too cold for them to reproduce and they froze to death after a few years. In the summer of 1995 I served on the USNS Tippicanoe in the Persian Gulf. We measured temps of 138 degrees F. I believe these are some of the highest measured on earth. At those temps our shoes would melt to the deck, hand tools blistered our hands, our air con did not work, we could not think, our coumputers stopped working and strong sailors began colapsing on deck. That is what climate change is. I recomend a simple step that you can take now; paint your roof white. I did that here 4 years ago and my power bills went from $300 to less than $100. It works, it is simple and you don't have to wait for the goverment to pass a law.

    1. Captain DaFt

      I'm not as old as you, but in my lifetime, I've seen Summer temperatures change from highs in the hundreds (f) being rare heat waves to normal highs for weeks; alligators, which only lived in states south of here, have established populations here now to the point that they're common roadkill in the coastal area. And yes, the palm trees that once only existed far south of here, now flourish, while some once common trees have virtually vanished.

      Global warming may not be a thing, but in regional warming in southern New England states is definitely real.

      1. NomNomNom

        I found a strange spider in the bath. I can't remember that happening before.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Curious

      From time to time, people complain that global warming doesn't seem to be making the weather in Britain any better, and that it recently seems to have been getting worse. The more flippant have been heard to say that we could do with some warmer weather. The rebuttal to this is always along the lines of "Don't be stupid: global warming doesn't mean the weather where you are gets warmer".

      But when people produce anecdotes about localised phenomena that seem to indicate the climate is getting warmer - palm trees in Pensacola etc - it's accepted as yet more proof that AGW is real.

      Not disagreeing. I just think it's curious.

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Curious

        Weird, I left the UK for 12 years, and been back for a couple now. There certainly seems to be more heat waves, or hotter summers than I remember, and also seems to be more moisture in winter. Seen more snow (in the south) in 2 years than I did in 16 growing up.

        I'm not sold (yet) on AGW, but cutting down CO2 emissions just seems sensible. Acidification is bad, mkay? But doing it in any sort of fair way is tricky. It would seem that helping (giving?) poorer countries low hanging fruit technology is a more effective way of cutting down CO2 emissions. Things like efficient wood/coal stoves.

        But regardless of that, climate change is real, is happening, has conclusively happened in the past, and is pretty certain to happen in the future. So we have to deal with it. I'm just not sure that telling people to "take care of their carbons" will make a lot of difference when we need to change crops, adapt housing and infrastructure to changing weather, and coping with more natural disasters.

        Or even have some sort of endgame plan for when it all goes south. Be it nuclear war, mega volcano or asteroid impact, a few years of nuclear winter will do us in. If we're not starving or killing each other, then the masses of rotting vegetation will poison us. Knocking us back to stone age levels of population if we even survive.

      2. Captain DaFt
        Unhappy

        @ Kubla Cant

        Unfortunately, if global warming is correct, England can expect more of the same, and worse!

        Deep ocean currents have continued climbing while the air temperatures have stalled. This has lead to a slowdown in ocean currents, like the Gulf stream, which keeps England warm.*

        Worse, with the moderating effects diminished, the weather becomes more severe as more heat is left to be carried to the poles from the tropics via atmosphere.

        Net effect: England gets colder, with more storms as global temperatures rise.

        *England is at the same latitude as Siberia, without the Gulf stream, it'd have the same temperatures.

  11. NoiTall
    Boffin

    Birth control is simple

    One glaring omission in the list is: To not have kids. No kids, no future heritage of pollution or any other way of altering the Earth. Add that birth control is actually simple. Most of the other ideas are maybe doable, but agreeing with EDJ: They're not all that simple.

    1. Michael Thibault
      Angel

      Re: Birth control is simple

      I gave you a finger... er, thumb. Do with it what you will.

      "To not have kids". Hmmm, yes, very easy to do, but very difficult to undo. Most will err on the side of having kids, as not having them and later discovering that things didn't go down/come up the drain--as had been suggested would happen--while not having any grey hair attributable to the raising of children would be a major downer. Better to err on the side of caution and drop a couple than be left with only one pair of hands to hold. Or wring.

      Birth control is simple, yes, but runs up hard *cough* against some rather deeply-entrenched dogmas on what though shalt and thou shalt not do. And there's the sticky *cough* problem of "Who's first? Anyone? Anyone?"

      Ultimately, though, if humans are on their penultimate (or near-ultimate) legs, the problem will solve itself, and, if that's the case, its all about the race to arrange for front-row seats to watch it all go down. If only the reel had a shuttle - we could speed things up, slow it down, go backwards...

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Meh

      Re: Birth control is simple

      "One glaring omission in the list is: To not have kids. No kids, no future heritage of pollution or any other way of altering the Earth. "

      An admirable idea.

      Now is the US Govt actually funding the WHO programme on population control or are the swivel eyed loons religious Republican right still blocking it?

    3. JeffyPooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Birth control is simple

      The population explosion is pretty much winding itself down already. Birth rates around most of the world are dropping so fast that's it's likely going to be a reverse problem in 60 years.

      1. Richard Wharram

        Re: Birth control is simple

        This is true. The population will not grow forever.

        Also, who the fuck is anyone to tell anyone whether they should OR shouldn't be using birth control?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Birth control is simple

          "Also, who the fuck is anyone to tell anyone whether they should OR shouldn't be using birth control?"

          And who does that? Religious Republicans. And, of course, Greens.

          Think about it.

  12. Antoinette Lacroix
    Meh

    Meh

    I'd suggest they just stop breathing.

    1. Jim O'Reilly
      Pint

      Re: Meh

      How about getting Congress to generate less hot air!

      1. Chairo

        Re: Meh

        How about getting Congress to generate less hot air!

        If we try to fight with natural powers, we should start with tasks that are more realistic. I vote for banning volcanoes as they are pretty much the only thing that blows enough soot (ok, ash, anyway...) in the athmosphere to have a measurable impact. When Mt. St. Helens blew up the earth cooled down half a degree.

        Wait, did you say global warming?

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Meh

      I have simple solutions for all these problems. Can I have my Nobel Prize and seats on the IPCC now please?

      Firstly we have CO2. Cutting emissions is too hard. However, if we carbonate all the tap water in the country, then we can use up lots of excess CO2 there. And who wouldn't want to bath or shower in fizzy water?

      Next, methane. We all know that cows are the problem here. It's vegetarians that do the most farting. So all we have to do, is get cows to eat more steak. Hey Presto! Problem solved.

      Now we've got sea level changes. Simple Archimedes will sort us out here. The problem is caused by whales. There's too many of them, and they're bloody enormous. Drop an enormous thing in water, water-level rises. So in reverse, if we eat more whales, the sea level will drop. Eureka! The Japanese are trying to save the world here, and we're stopping them. This also applies to sharks. And anyone swimming in the sea as well...

      Right, that's that done. Now I'm off to solve cosmology. That should take some of the afternoon. Do you want me to do religion tomorrow, or should I go for why cats always fall butter side down?

  13. Beachrider

    Global warming is not only something in ONE lifetime...

    Global warming is a long term thing. It doesn't mean that the next TWENTY years will be perceptibly hotter. It means that the coming centuries will be hotter. New England had a massive, late winter this year. That doesn't change the overall perception that there is global warming.

    I am not buying in to AGW as being a primary (or even major) cause, though. I think that sustainability argues for controlling carbon-loading, I just don't buy into AGW causing global warming, yet!

    1. david 63

      Re: Global warming is not only something in ONE lifetime...

      <quote>It means that the coming centuries will be hotter.</quote>

      Or colder, or stay roughly the same.

  14. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Hey hey hey !!!

    What's this abandoning of the Must-Wear-Hair-Shirt illogical approach and replacing it with some sort of logic based cost/benefit based prioritization? Crazy!! Crazy I say!!

  15. Herby

    Cost...

    Yes, there are some things that can be done for "low cost". The problem is that Governments WANT high cost items to justify their existence (laws, regulations, etc.). Government rarely does anything "on the cheap". It needs a big bureaucracy to feed off of and further its existence to get votes.

    If things were good ideas and cheap on their own, people would already do them. They would make economic sense to do them. We would have switched LONG ago to nice compact fluorescent lights if they made sense, but they really don't so why bother. No, a big government needs to enact laws because it "knows better" to demand their use. Now we have all sorts of disposal problems with the mercury they contain, and government will need to emit dictates for them as well, continuing the cycle.

    Some of this falls into the category: "be careful for what you ask for, you may just get it!".

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not exactly "news", the effect of other factors has been known for a long time. But the broohaha over CO2 has swamped everything else, particularly the effect that carbon particulates have.

    But if a relatively easy "fix" is available, then the panic is over and no more millions would be available for dubious research into anthropomorphic global warming and they'd have to find something else to cause a panic over. So don't expect this to make big headlines anytime soon.

  17. Joesandiego

    Are we Super Humans?

    Do you seriously think you can control the seas rising or falling? Ice ages or no Ice ages? Google may control many/most humans, but controlling the planet is a completely different thing. A true honest discussion should be made using Millenia as numbers not decades or years. One Millenia before we had a Mini-Ice age which kicked off the Dark ages, cold climate, crop failures, kicked off disease, plague, cholera, de-populating Europe by 60% over 300 years. Thankfully it has been warming since then. 7 Millenia ago there was a land bridge from Asia to Alaska. 15 Millenia ago Northern Europe and Northern America were covered in Ice. The Sahara used to be a grassland. 80% of Earth's history, we had no Ice. Redwood forests were plentiful in Alaska. So now we are so smart that we can control the weather??? If we could control it, Is colder really better, than warmer?? The tropics (between 23 degrees and equator) are the most life abundant areas on the planet, and the coldest areas have the least life. Or do we say that now is perfect, and all change would be bad. Unenlightened thought to the maximum. Foolish human clinging to control.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Are we Super Humans?

      It isn't true because you can't believe it?? broaden your knowledge perhaps.

      1. Mick Sheppard
        Pint

        Re: Are we Super Humans?

        We need a King Canute moment. Someone to stand there and say "look, the damage is done, the climate is changing, we can't control it". Then we can stop arguing about whether what we are doing is making it worse.

        Its arrogant beyond belief that we can stop climate change. There are so many factors that impact it only a fool or a zealot would make that claim. It doesn't matter whether climate change is wholly, partly, or not at all, caused by our actions. What matters is that we look to cope with the effects.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are we Super Humans?

        "It isn't true because you can't believe it?? broaden your knowledge perhaps."

        Or become as credulous as NomNomNom. That works too.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Boffin

      Re: Are we Super Humans?

      <long, very dense paragraph snipped>

      In a word yes.

      Ever looked at the history of the Ozone Hole?

      The data at which CFC were first produced is known precisely. As is it's effect on the Ozone layer. As is the effect on CFC bans.

      Human beings can bring about global atmospheric changes on a human time scale.

      It's not a theory its a fact.

      1. Fading
        FAIL

        Re: Are we Super Humans?

        I think you better look again at the Ozone layer and CFCs. Especially data from this century. Also I suggest you look at the role of Dupont in the Montreal Protocol.

        PS given the density of CFC how do you explain how it gets from the land masses of the northern hemisphere to the Antarctic Ozone Layer?

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: Are we Super Humans?

          " from the land masses of the northern hemisphere to the Antarctic Ozone Layer?"

          Perhaps you'd like to look at just where CFC's were use in their heyday.

          At one time nearly every piece of plastic foam was made using a CFC blowing agent and every aerosol spray used them. They were cheap, non flammable and inert except if exposed to UV, when they broke down to release Cl radicals. Either you did not know this or have forgotten. They were ubiquitous.

          As for "density" you forget their inter molecular bonding is close to non existent (low boiling points). You might like to look up "evaporation" and "Brownian motion."

          Perhaps you might like to study a little more chemistry?

          1. Fading
            FAIL

            Re: Are we Super Humans?

            Yes the northern hemisphere. You know where the population is. Step away from wikipedia and study some atmospheric chemistry yourself and you might realise that the Chlorine in the upper stratosphere is assumed to come from CFCs (also assumed the majority of natural sources from volcanoes etc are "washed out" ). Ozone level is frequently a function of atmospheric dynamics and not simple atmospheric chemistry.

            Low boiling points do not escape the density problem. If the CFC is broken down to chlorine before transportation to the upper atmosphere then it will get "washed out" in the same way volcanic Cl is removed (according to the current belief) . Brownian motion cannot escape convection currents and evaporation is for liquids (if it's got a low boiling point then we are discussing gases are we not?) Pehaps we need to revisit our understandings?

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: Are we Super Humans?

              Fading asks the question: "PS given the density of CFC how do you explain how it gets from the land masses of the northern hemisphere to the Antarctic Ozone Layer?"

              This is meant to make people doubt CFCs are responsible. What Fading HASNT told you is that CFCs have been directly measured in the atmosphere over Antarctica. That rather blows his insinuation that they can't get there out the water. Not only have they been measured, but like CO2, the measurement records show an increase in CFC levels over time.

              **It's also well known how heavier-than-air molecules can spread through the atmosphere and cross hemispheres.

              So either Fading knew this, or more likely he didn't know and he's just parroting what some CFC denial website told him. All his sciency-bluster is a charade. He doesn't understand this issue at an even basic level to justify his attempts to brainwash others.

  18. Pond

    Store the water in the desert

    OK, so climate change is more than just sea level rising but if those of us living in rich lowland cities like London and New York were to pay for the diversion of part of the River Congo's northern tributaries into the Chad basin it would kill two birds with one stone; a huge lake storing water that would otherwise be adding to sea level and a more fertile Sahel.

  19. ReduceGHGs

    Addressing the problem

    The more effective way to deal with climate change is to have policy makers in Washington DC that are willing to enact laws and regulations to reduce emissions. Currently we have too many obstructionists (mainly industry backed Republicans) in the Senate and House. Confront your policy maker and insist they take meaningful action. If they don't work to have them removed. Our future generations are at risk. Apathy, denial, and/or ignorance are poor excuses for inaction.

    1. Turtle

      @ReduceGHGs Re: Addressing the problem

      "The more effective way to deal with climate change is to have policy makers in Washington DC that are willing to enact laws and regulations to reduce emissions. Currently we have too many obstructionists (mainly industry backed Republicans) in the Senate and House."

      1) Yep. Washington is going to tell China and India to reduce omissions, and they will obey! No doubt about it!

      2) "Industry backed Republicans" are being "obstructionists"? Well then thank goodness for industry and thank gooodness for Republicans.

  20. Curly4
    Happy

    Well, If this climate warming will cause the oceans to rise flooding productive land it will be self correcting. The increased population has caused this rapid rise in global temperature which caused the flooding which causes the reduction in food which causes a reduction in the world population which causes a reduction in global warming pollutants which cause the temperature globally to return to normal. Now we (the earth and its population) are back at go and we the population can start all over again. Now all bets are off if the global warming is caused by something other than man.

  21. Zmodem

    fat people cant swim well, there would be less of them sitting around al day farting nonstop

  22. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Boffin

    Ocean Acidification

    Too bad reducing those other sources of warming will do nothing about the other huge problem caused by CO2: ocean acidification, which is wreaking serious havoc on marine ecosystems. And that is not just about losing pretty coral reefs, but may have serious economic impact on fishing and other seafood industry.

    Which is not to say that reducing methane etc. should not be done. I'm all for it. But it is not a substitute.

  23. Brad Arnold

    How about just adopting LENR?

    "A volume about the size of a #2 pencil eraser of water provides as much energy as two 48-gallon drums of gasoline. That is 355,000 times the amount of energy per volume – five orders of magnitude." ( http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/New-LENR-Machine-is-the-Best-Yet.html ).

    This phenomenon (LENR) has been confirmed in hundreds of published scientific papers: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJtallyofcol.pdf

    "Over 2 decades with over 100 experiments worldwide indicate LENR is real, much greater than chemical..." --Dennis M. Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

    "Total replacement of fossil fuels for everything but synthetic organic chemistry." --Dr. Joseph M. Zawodny, NASA

    By the way, here is a survey of some of the companies that are bringing LENR to commercialization: http://www.cleantechblog.com/2011/08/the-new-breed-of-energy-catalyzers-ready-for-commercialization.html

    For those who still aren't convinced, here is a paper I wrote that contains some pretty convincing evidence: http://coldfusionnow.org/the-evidence-for-lenr/

  24. Aldous
    Trollface

    Not working on CO2? LIES!

    Don't you read the press/listen to the news? CO2 is everything. Its the one universal measure so we can all focus on it.

    Now I am off to eat my five a day as that will counteract the deep fried battered lard sandwich with extra mayo i had, after all thats another SINGLE POINT OF FOCUS so it must be true! Plus i got out of breath walking to Bobs Greasy Emporium and thats good for you too. Yay Science!

  25. Seret

    How is this newsworthy?

    Lewis, this is not new information. The impact of GWGs are routinely published in units of CO2e, that's CO2 equivalent. This is a metric which takes account of the fact that there are other gasses (such as methane) that have a greater effect per unit. A lot of the time when you see figures published in terms of CO2 they're actually CO2e, the distinction isn't always made explicitly, even though it should be.

    A sensible climate change strategy targets all emissions with high GWP, not just CO2. That's why we've taken action on refrigerants, for example, and as you rightly point out doing so is very cost effective. It sounds like you're trying to suggest that climate change mitigation currently focuses solely on CO2, which is not the case. This paper merely reinforces a widely known fact.

    1. Fading
      Unhappy

      Re: How is this newsworthy?

      Ahhhh the GWP (global warming potential) what nice made up figures they are. Given as the increase in CO2 has led to a mere 0.8 degrees warming in the last 100 years (and not the 3 degrees predicted in the IPCC report the GWP are based one) then all GWP are out by a factor of 3.75 at least (not withstanding the poor assumptions used for each GWP) .

      Given as there is no measured incease of many GWP gases in the atmosphere how can they "trap more heat" - just because they are being emitted does not mean they have an effect. Poor theory, poor data, poor science and poor us (and getting poorer if this nonsense is not reversed soon) .

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: How is this newsworthy?

        "Ahhhh the GWP (global warming potential) what nice made up figures they are"

        "Made up" from infrared absorption experiments and measurements of gases.

        It's science. Get over it.

        1. Fading
          FAIL

          Re: How is this newsworthy?

          Nom - read my post. Made up because the GWP of CO2 has been over estimated and given as there is no build up of these other gases in the atmosphere their GWP = a bit fat nothing.

          1. NomNomNom

            Re: How is this newsworthy?

            "read my post. Made up because the GWP of CO2 has been over estimated"

            GWP is a measure relative to CO2. So the GWP of CO2 is always 1 by definition. So it cannot be overestimated.

            1. Fading
              FAIL

              Re: How is this newsworthy?

              Noms do you practice only reading one bit that you can disagree with and ignoring the rest? If the GWP of CO2 was rated as 1 but has been shown in real world conditions to be a factor of 3.75 out what does that make the real GWP of CO2? Answers on a postcard.

  26. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    I suspected the author was the usual idiot

    Saves reading time, but I hope he's young enough and retains his appetite when he has to eat his stupid words.

    Hey, baby, you need a sock puppet. That name is worn out.

  27. jetgraphics

    Climate changes, but

    I lack the true believer's assurance that opinions and consensus make for good science. I am not a "Carbonite" desperately counting carbon in the hopes of stemming catastrophe. And since the #1 greenhouse gas is (shudder) water vapor, it seems to be futile to be wrapped up in constraining a trace gas like CO2. Especially since the human contribution of CO2 is swamped by the outgassing of the planet's oceans.

    I believe the culprit for climate change is that nearby variable star we rely upon, and our interactions with said fusion reactor. But what do I know? I am not funded by governments who would enjoy the power and revenue from meddling about, selling and buying credits.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Climate changes, but

      "And since the #1 greenhouse gas is (shudder) water vapor, it seems to be futile to be wrapped up in constraining a trace gas like CO2"

      Water vapor is the #1 greenhouse gas. CO2 is #2. That doesn't mean CO2 is futile. The science shows CO2 to be a significant factor.

      "Especially since the human contribution of CO2 is swamped by the outgassing of the planet's oceans."

      The planet's oceans absorb more CO2 than they emit. The rise of CO2 in the atmosphere is due to man.

      "I believe the culprit for climate change is that nearby variable star we rely upon, and our interactions with said fusion reactor. But what do I know?"

      Not enough to be drawing such unwise and arrogant conclusions.

      1. Fading
        WTF?

        Re: Climate changes, but

        Noms back again with the myths? Oceans out-gas CO2 as they warm and sequester CO2 as they cool. This is real science not "Climate science" .

        Increasing CO2 had a brief correlation with temperature at the tail end of the last century. On all other occasions in the historic temperature record CO2 increase follows temperature increase (there's a bit of a lag). This is no longer the case hence no correlation = no causation QED. The majority of CO2 in the atmosphere is not linked to burning of fossil fuels (the isotope ratio proof is no such thing - too much wrong with it to be reliable) .

        Given as the reduced solar activity is considered the cause of the flat lining temperatures - with help from unmeasured soot etc. (according to your jolly fellows at RC and SkS) who is being arrogant and unwise?

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Climate changes, but

          "Oceans out-gas CO2 as they warm and sequester CO2 as they cool. This is real science not "Climate science" ."

          The oceans out-gas AND absorb all the time. The boundary between atmosphere and ocean is in constant flux. The net direction of flow is determined by temperature AND partial pressure. There some climate science for you.

          "Increasing CO2 had a brief correlation with temperature at the tail end of the last century. On all other occasions in the historic temperature record CO2 increase follows temperature increase (there's a bit of a lag). This is no longer the case hence no correlation = no causation QED."

          Only if you wrongly assume CO2 is the only thing affecting temperature. A mistake which real scientists (including climate scientists) don't make.

          "The majority of CO2 in the atmosphere is not linked to burning of fossil fuels (the isotope ratio proof is no such thing - too much wrong with it to be reliable)"

          About a quarter of CO2 in the atmosphere today (and rising) is due to human CO2 emissions over the last few centuries.

          1. Fading

            Re: Climate changes, but

            Ok Noms I concede the oceans as long as you give me the NET effect of ocean cooling is CO2 sequestion and the NET effect of Ocean warming is release of CO2? Given as Trenberth believes all his "missing heat" is in the oceans how does that affect your calculations?

            From your buddies http://www.skepticalscience.com/Carbon-Dioxide-the-Dominant-Control-on-Global-Temperature-and-Sea-Level-Over-the-Last-40-Million-Years.html

            No correlation equals not very dominant QED.

            So how did you get 25% of 392 ppm is human emissions?

  28. red death
    Facepalm

    Non-story

    What a complete non-story, it is not like any of this is "new" information. The Kyoto Protocol already covers things like methane (definitely) and refrigerants (possibly?).

    Things are expressed as CO2 equivalent (using global warming potential factors eg methane is 25 times more "potent" than CO2) to make things simpler to compare.

    1. Jedit Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      "What a complete non-story, it is not like any of this is "new" information"

      This is the internet. Its entire purpose is to distribute pornography, bad opinions and weird tricks discovered by housewives. This article has done the last and several commentards have done the second, so it was worthwhile.

      (Paris, because we may as well complete the trifecta.)

  29. BrentRBrian

    Please eliminate ALL C)2

    and kill every green thing on the planet ... then ... maybe ... people will quit listening to AL GORE and his posse about this STINKING BAD SCIENCE.

  30. BrentRBrian

    Please eliminate ALL CO2

    and kill every green thing on the planet ... then ... maybe ... people will quit listening to AL GORE and his posse about this STINKING BAD SCIENCE.

    1. red death
      Thumb Down

      Re: Please eliminate ALL CO2

      Why the need for the straw man argument? Who is talking about eliminating all CO2?

  31. b 3
    Happy

    don't worry about rising sea levels :)

    dam building is holding back rising sea levels. there are over 70 dams planned for the amazon basin alone, china has been building massive dams and turkey is also building dams (much to the consternation of the arabs down stream!)..

    "The new research suggests that, over the past 50 years, new dams and reservoirs have held back some 10,800 cubic kilometres of water, which would have been enough to raise global sea levels by about 30mm. In other words, the rises we have seen so far due to global warming might have been considerably larger if it were not for the huge numbers of dams and reservoirs built from the 1950s onwards."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/dams-deep-trouble-797711.html

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: don't worry about rising sea levels :)

      interesting. An opposite effect is the draining of aquifers. I wonder what the net impact has been.

  32. b 3
    Go

    what about desalination?

    why can't we get to the bottom of making sea water usable? if we can crack that we can just suck up huge quantities of sea water and turn the deserts green? cooling the planet and producing food, what could be better?!

    http://saharaforestproject.com/concept.html

  33. Dave Robinson
    Thumb Down

    Depressing

    What a depressing set of comments and upvotes/downvotes. The balance of commentards seems to be towards not believing in climate change, and encouraging the status quo. So we carry on burning limited resources instead of doing something useful with them, pumping out CO2, radiation from nuclear power stations, and shit in general. Hopefully the planet won't end up like Coruscant in my lifetime.

    1. Fading
      Happy

      Re: Depressing

      Catastrophic Anthropogenic climate change via CO2 emissions? Nope not enough evidence. Natural Climate change caused by many factors of which our understanding and reliable data is in a nascent stage - yep sign me up. The historic proxy record indicates the earths climate exists in two semi stable states - ice age and interglacial. The tipping points between the two are unknown (except that CO2 increases come after temperature increases). There is no indication of a thermageddon state even when CO2 levels have been higher than today. The AGW crowd insist the modern era is special yet evidence suggests (warming period of the 1930-40s) the only thing special is our ability to measure the earth from space.

      The limited resources concept is also a myth. The stone age didn't end when we ran out of stone - the oil age won't end due to lack of oil. Have some faith in us :)

      1. red death

        Re: Depressing

        > The limited resources concept is also a myth. The stone age didn't end when we ran out of stone - the oil age won't end due to lack of oil. Have some faith in us :)

        Are you arguing it is a myth on the grounds that we will find alternatives or that there are more resources to be found?

        An important distinction...

        We may well find alternatives though we use oil (and its by-products) for a heck of a lot of useful petro-chemicals which we don't currently have alternatives for.

        On available resources - that is a resource vs use equation. While we will continue to find new hydrocarbon sources the available supply is still finite (and ever more costly).

        1. Dave Robinson

          Re: Depressing

          We use petrol chemicals for virtually everything, from medicines to food. Burning it is pretty stupid. It will run out or become prohibitively expensive at some point.

          1. Fading
            Unhappy

            Re: Depressing

            There are other sources of petrol chemicals that only become financially viable if the basic price of crude exceeds a certain value. Given the price is pretty much set by the producers (as OPEC was set up to do) any shortage is more often than not a function of production (the USA, Russia, OPEC etc could flood the market but at around $100 a barrel everyone is happy - except the poor and hungry but they weren't buying much anyway - better to burn their food as fuel instead eh?)

            PS believing in a fuel shortage is supporting the high prices - it's only a shortage becuase the taps have been turned down.

            1. Dave Robinson

              Re: Depressing

              That's just ridiculous. Fossil oil (as is pretty much anything else that comes out of the ground) is a finite resource. Yes, we can cut down rainforest and plant biofuel crops on it, but if you think that's a good idea you must be mad. If we have an alternative to burning it, that's also sustainable and low CO2, then we should do that. You don't work for an oil company, do you?

            2. red death

              Re: Depressing

              What other sources do youhave for hydrocarbons? Fischer-Tropsch? You are still using finite fossil fuels and if you are using them faster than they can either be extracted or more importantly laid down then you ultimately have a problem.

  34. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Meh

    I will note that oil is a "cost plus" commodity.

    So any profit the companies make is a % of the cost +taxes

    It's not really like other commodities where companies may have to cut their profit margins in order to sell their goods.

    Oil companies run on a planned oil price, because that gives them a planned profit. Oil companies hate sudden price falls as they have to cancel investment plans (I've talked to oil companies when this has happened).

    As for the "We've only got reserves for 10 years" that's because oil companies tend to lay off their exploration teams as long as they've got those reserves. They tend to run there geophysical surveys through bigger processors (the RS6000 SP2 was the processor of choice back in the day) to find anything missing in the data. People appear to be starting to look at tar sands and shale oil slightly more seriously because of the price rise.

    But eventually oil will run out. As for alternatives. I quite like partial combustion of tobacco plants.

    Big Tobacco becomes the Big Oil of the 22nd century. Of course any remaining tobacco left for cigarettes will be hugely experience.

  35. Martin Budden Bronze badge

    What's the worst that could happen?

    From the El Reg article: "If no acceleration of sea level rise is happening, it simply isn't a problem, and the primary reason to worry about climate change goes away."

    Is sea level rise really the primary reason to worry about climate change? Not where I live, sea levels would have to rise more than 600m before I'd consider buying a surfboard. In fact for the majority of people on the planet sea level is not the biggest problem with climate change: things like drought and storms etc are much more relevant.

    p.s. please note that I have not said either way if I think climate change is real or not, this post is simply about where the biggest problem would be *if* climate change turns out to be real.

  36. Mr Spock

    Next week, Jamie Blandford on motor racing.

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