September 04, 2023

New Podcast: My Views on Global Warming and Climate Change

Several of you have asked for a summary of my views on global warming and climate change.   You will find it in my new podcast.

I start by describing the history of the discussion about global warming, noting that the first paper to describe the effects of global warming was published in 1898!

I note that there were few concerns about a warming world until roughly 1970.  In fact, some scientists worried about cooling and a potential ice age after a chilling period from roughly 1950-1970.

Temperature change from 1988-2022

But by 1980, concerns about a warming planet increased, with an estimate that the earth would warm by roughly 3°C (5F) by the time the concentration of CO2 doubled (about 2060-2070).   Interestingly, a sign of the effects of increasing CO2 is a COOLING of the stratosphere, something that has been observed.

In this podcast, I suggest that global warming is a serious problem but not an existential threat to humanity.   That there has been a lot of hype and exaggeration about global warming causing more extreme weather.   Poor information that has harmed individuals and undermined real progress.

I suggest that the problems can be greatly lessened by adaptation and better forecasting, as we reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases and learn how to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere.

To listen to my podcast, use the link below or access it through your favorite podcast service.


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35 comments:

  1. Indeed a lot of hype and exaggeration out there. Thanks for a good podcast. Here's my take on it. https://normanjansen.substack.com/p/climate-catastrophe

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  2. Hey Cliff, looking forward to listening to your podcast. I was wondering what your thoughts were on the climate change effects of aerosol usage from 1940-1970's. Aerosols absorb incoming solar radiation, trapping the outgoing long-wave radiation. Aerosols are also known to increase cloud coverage. As aerosols usage went down due to increased regulations and the Clean Air Act, climate seemed to start getting hotter from the 1970's to current day. Did aerosols mask the effects of elevated CO2 related climate change during those years and help create the "cooling" of the 70's?

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    1. I believe sulfur (and possibly other particulates?) from coal burning were a known factor in localized(?) cooling.

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  3. CO2 is not a pollutant, it is life for plants. Due to increased Co2 the earth is greening more and there are much fewer climate-related deaths. Many more people die from cold than from heat.

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    1. There was a brief ad campaign line for the oil industry in the 1980's called "Greening of Earth". It was a smart greenwashing approach toward this topic. High CO2 is great and a free fertilizer, even when they knew it would lead to increased temperatures, areas going dry, and rising sea levels. Interesting how that line is making a return. Wonder why?

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    2. Interestingly, NASA recently put out a study with a similar name, suggesting that the greening reduces surface warming: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/greening-of-the-earth-mitigates-surface-warming

      Why are you concerned about an oil industry campaign in the 1980s....not relevant to anything. Greening the earth is a real impact, including increased plant productivity.. Everything is not black and white.

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    3. "climate-related deaths"
      May I suggest "weather" (storms with high winds, trees down, flooding, and so on) because I have a hard time wrapping my mind around a climate-death.

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    4. Sure but there has also been plenty of research indicating a heat threshold where photosynthesis fails and carbon assimilation is negatively impacted. Heat stress occurs between 35-45C, indicating the increased and prolonged heat events are counterproductive to plant growth and carbon capture.

      "Environmental factors such as
      temperature, heat and drought enhanced the production of
      XuBP, which minimizes CO2 fixation, increases stomata closure and reduces both crop growth and productivity"

      (Hussain et al. (2021). Photosynthesis research under climate change. Photosynthesis Research, 150(1–3), 5–19.)

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    5. Excess CO2 makes it more difficult for plants to uptake minerals, causing food to be less nutritious.

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    6. Ammonia is not a poison, it's life for plants! Now go and drink a liter of anhydrous ammonia to get as much life as possible.

      The question is in the dose, as usual. Excess CO2 does NOT make plants much more productive, doubling the current CO2 level will increase most plants' productivity by about 10%. People who grow plants in greenhouses research this quite thoroughly.

      Although higher CO2 concentration does increase the plants' drought tolerance by a bit.

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  4. What is curious to me is that if we accept that CO2 is an existential threat, as many assert, that we should be throwing all our resources behind nuclear power, rather than trying to phase out both nuclear and hydroelectric, which are both very reliable and stable sources of power that produce no CO2.

    But yet, we get people obsessing about cars and solar panels, neither of which are going to solve the problem.

    I am, for the record, all for more nuclear plants, as well as throwing a lot more resources at solving the problem of fusion reactors.

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  5. The climate models are not ready for prime time. They don't model water vapor well, water vapor contributes 95% to the greenhouse effect. It would be like modeling an airplane, and not including the wings. A major miss.

    The correlation between CO2 and temperature is weak. CO2 is steadily increasing, but temperature goes up and down, and the years-long trends are flat at times, with near step rises when there's El Nino year. Climate models do not include variations in solar radiation, solar wind and magnetic coupling.

    The climate models are not validated against the historical record and until they are, they must be treated as garbage. Not useful for predictions.

    Temperatures since the end of the last glacier extent have been trending downward on a multi-century basis. Each successive warm period was cooler than the previous period. About 10,000 ya, the Artic was ice free during the summer, not today. There have been other warm periods when civilization flourished. The Minoan Warm Period saw the rise of the Bronze Age civilizations. They fell when the climate changed and the Sea People invaded. The Roman Warm Period saw the rise of Rome. After the RWP ended, the Western Empire fell. The Medieval Warm Period saw the Vikings settling Greenland and the rise of Western European civilizations. It ended around 1300 AD. The Black Plague struct ca. 1344 and devastated Europe. The Eastern Roman Empire fell in 1453 AD. The Little Ice Age was harsh on civilization. We are now in the Modern Warm Period.

    More CO2 is not harmful, it is beneficial. CO2 concentrations of 1,000 ppm are ideal for plants.

    The only crisis we have is created by the neobarbarian anti-civilization climate zealots. These worthies include many members of the Democrat Party, who want us huddling in cold houses and walking everywhere. I will not comply with their hysterics.

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    1. To be fair, they don't actually want people cold, but they do want people scared. That's their MO and it's how they of obtain and hold onto power and control. It's a story as old as the hills.

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    2. Very well put Mike, if they really got to the nitty-gritty of Co2, they being some politicians and most media outlets, then they would understand that about 94 percent of global Co2 emissions are from the Plankton in the Oceans, and that after every ice age the global Co2 dropps in ppm so the Earth will loose most plant life after a few more drop downs.

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    3. I appreciate the time Mike put into his post, but take issue with several statements. First, climate models are validated against past conditions (i.e., hind-casting) as a routine matter (see here; https://www.climate.gov/maps-data/climate-data-primer/predicting-climate/climate-models)

      Second, the correlation between CO2 and temperature isn’t particularly important, especially when there is ample evidence for a causal relation between CO2 and temperatures (e.g., https://www.nature.com/articles/srep21691).

      Third, I find it amusing that Mike finds the CO2-temperature covariation unconvincing yet goes on to make a bunch of dubious claims about past climate variability and the rise and fall of empires that imply causation.

      Lastly, the only hysterics regarding climate change I ever encounter come from right-wing activists who portray climate science as some liberal conspiracy to strip folks of modern amenities and exercise authoritarian control. Aside from being hyperbolic and paranoid, this also re-frames a scientific matter as a political debate, which implicitly equated the two “sides” as roughly equal. Anthropogenic climate change is not an abstract concept that be debated by two reasonable, but opposing arguments. Moreover, the insistence on framing climate change as a purely political matter betrays the primary motivation of skeptics – you don’t like the solutions presented (usually by the political left) that would address the problem and therefore you must deny the problem.

      I also I respect the commenters here, who I think are mainly conservative, who support nuclear power as a climate change solution and readily criticize those on the left who are opposed to nuclear. But we do need to grapple with climate change and Cliff himself makes this clear. I would love to have good faith and non-partisan discussion about the best path forward, but the hysteria on the right makes this impossible.

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    4. @SYoung, Cliff makes it clear that climate change is not an existential threat. That is what the hysteria of the left in media consistently claims. By far there is more hysteria every day from the climate change activists who even comment here and claim it's ok to exaggerate in the name of " saving the planet".

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    5. "Lastly, the only hysterics regarding climate change I ever encounter come from right-wing activists who portray climate science as some liberal conspiracy to strip folks of modern amenities and exercise authoritarian control."

      As per usual, I will give just a few of the thousands of examples proving your point fraudulent -

      "UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres told us ‘the climate time bomb is ticking’, and called for developed countries to commit to eliminating all net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 — a decade earlier than Britain’s already near-impossible net zero target." - Telegraph, 2022.

      "We have 12 years to act!" says Joe Biden.

      "The world is going to end in 12 years if we don't address climate change!" adds Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

      These truly "hysterical" claims took all of five minutes to find. If you wish I can give you thousands more, and all of these in just the past few years - if we look at the past few decades it could fill volumes of books.

      Now ask yourself - who actually is engaging in hysterics here?


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    6. @Caroline I wouldn't say that the media is monolithic, and depending on your source you can get a spectrum ranging from informative to more sensationalistic. Most articles are also written to be quickly consumable, outlining a couple facts backed by sources in a narrative format that doesn't lend itself well to painting a complete picture. That said, for the most part the "alarming" and "hysterical" headlines that we see are also being echoed by climate scientists. For all they get wrong, the general thesis outlined in these articles are at least informed by their sources. The existential threat relates to deaths from heat, crop failure, and other risks outlined by the IPCC and NIH; if it feels like the media is exaggerating, I would go look at the literature.

      @Eric I'd also like to point out that it wasn't Joe Biden that came up with 12 years to act on climate change, it was the 2021 Global Carbon Budget Report that stated that we must significantly reduce carbon emissions if we hope to keep warming to 1.5C 11 years from now. And AOC was being hyperbolic, but for the purpose of illustrating GenZ anxieties around climate change. Context matters.

      I argue that calling climate change an existential threat isn't saying that humanity is on the cusp of extinction, but rather there are real and important public health risks associated with climate change that will come if we don't act, and likely will come sooner than later.

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    7. @Eric Blair - "Fraudulent" is an odd word choice. This hints at the general conspiratorial mindset so prevalent on the right. You can just disagree with me and make your case without assuming that I'm committing an act of fraud. I don’t mind that you think I’m wrong, but why assume ill-intent? That itself is a bit hysterical. I’m not out to trick you or deceive anyone.

      Anyway, I'll spot you the AOC quote; she's irritating. Let's make a deal and agree that AOC and Marg Taylor Green roughly cancel each other out. But I'm otherwise able to go quote-for-quote here:

      “The Green New Deal will destroy the American energy industry as we know it.” -Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, April 20, 2021

      It’s a fear tactic utilized by politicians. I’ve got about 72 top-notch scientists who say it’s all a myth, a political ploy to frighten people to do things that are not really necessary.” -Republican Rep. Don Young, January 23, 2018

      “Biden’s plan to banish fossil fuels is a greater existential threat than climate change.” - Republican Rep. Ken Buck, Feb. 15, 2021

      (taken from a larger list here: https://gizmodo.com/9-quotes-from-republican-politicians-next-to-their-stat-1847140415)

      This again being a small sample of scientifically illiterate and hysterical quotes from elected Republicans. If you want to take another two minutes finding way crazier statements from right wing media I'm happy to do so.

      But aren't we also heading down an unproductive path here? Like I said up above, this is a scientific issue and not something than can or should be resolved through partisan sniping.

      @Caroline - I get what you're saying, but find it hard to believe you can read the comments here and see more left-wing hysteria than right-wing denial and conspiracy peddling. I didn't catch anyone arguing that it's "ok to exaggerate in the name of " saving the planet" but certainly don't advocate for that position myself. But it's also true that folks who deny climate change are also disinterested in environmental protection and conservation more generally, so it seems like there are people willing to lie (about the existence of climate change) in order to justify their indifference - if not hostility - to environmentalism more broadly (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272494423000282)

      With regard to the post that kicked off this discussion, I think Cliff’s position is reasonable, although a bit too sanguine. However, I also think there is way less daylight between my stance and Cliff’s than between yours and his; he plainly states that climate change is serious, but not civilization-ending, problem, and most folks in this comment section aren’t even willing to concede that point.

      Also, can we not all see how blatantly wrong @Mike from Snoqualmie was about nearly every premise in his post? It’s hard to take climate change skeptics seriously when they commit so many factual errors when arguing their case (see also Budd’s egregiously incorrect post about CO2 below).


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    8. and the hits jsut keep on coming -

      This just came out last year - https://www.amazon.com/Inconvenient-Apocalypse-Environmental-Collapse-Humanity/dp/0268203652

      Here's a collection of the "experts" warning of the coming apocalypse, dating back over the past 50 years -

      https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-of-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions/

      And how we can forget the ultimate climate doomsayer, Al Gore? He's been wrong on every single event he predicted, whether it's the arctic going to be ice - free by 2013, or Miami and the Eastern seaboard was going to be underwater within a few years. All wrong, yet these kinds of truly insane and hysterical statements continue unabated. This is not in any way, shape or form the kind of "civilized discussion" you seem to implore others to enjoin you with.

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    9. That CEI link leans pretty hard on Paul Ehrlich and I didn't see any good examples of peer-reviewed papers arguing for impending disaster. Glad to know that Time Magazine circa 1975 is not a trusting source for scientific information though. I'll stop consulting my back issues.

      The last example with ozone depletion is also not helping make your case. In fact, I think the restoration of the ozone layer after the Paris accord demonstrates the genuine value in multi-national, coordinated efforts to address serious climatic and environmental issues.

      Kudos for the Al Gore reference though. I'm surprised and a little impressed it took this long for his name to be mentioned. I was getting worried I wouldn't be able to check it off on my bingo card: https://bingobaker.com/view/2488063

      I wonder if you keep similar tabs on right wing predictions e.g., about Covid restrictions being permanent (because, of course, everything is a conspiracy) or Seattle dying any day now.

      Anyhow, I think we're actually both making similar points, just focusing on different actors. So with the aim of civility in mind, I'll acknowledge the existence of unhelpful and overheated (pun intended?) rhetoric from some on the left. I wonder if you're able to admit to the same on the right?

      My biggest point is that the science clearly points out the human-caused and problematic nature of climate change (a position that I think Cliff generally adheres to). Problems need solutions. At present, only one side of the political spectrum is willing to confront the problem and offer solutions. Instead of proposing viable alternatives, the right has decided to deny the problem, invoke conspiracies, and refuses to participate in productive discussions.

      The best way to counterbalance any liberal overreach on climate change is to take the matter seriously and offer alternative solutions that are more palatable to conservatives (e.g., nuclear is one example, and basically the only one). It's a bummer so few are able or willing to do that. This is the conversation I'm imploring people to have, but we all need to at least admit the existence of anthropogenic climate change. From there, we can size up the scale of the problem and work toward proportional solutions.

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    10. Thanks. Mike. Love the rational thinking. People lose their ability to reason the more they latch on to nonsense. House of Cards mentality. House built on lies.

      We must all keep in mind (in regards to climate) that we are a water-covered planet. It's the oceans (and the sun) that drive climate and climate stability. We often can't see the ocean for the Cs, I suppose.

      Oceans are an enormous climate buffer in many ways:
      -Store and release heat
      -Store and release carbon
      -Store and release clouds

      Even a hurricane is an example of this. The literal churning of a hurricane is an example of how ocean heat is buffered through conversion to kinetic energy.

      The earth system is buffered in so many ways. It's total arrogance to think we are causing an existential ecological crisis.

      The existential crisis is within, not without.

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    11. That's a reasonable comment, so here's one in return. We need to have a nationwide, televised public debate between scientists from both sides on this matter. True scientists (like one of the actual developers of climatology, Dr. Richard Lindzen from MIT), as well as others like him could represent the non - Armageddon predictors, while other prominent eminences like Dr. Hansen (from NASA) could come from the other side. The only problem is that over the past two decades when just such a debate has been proposed, those from the Armageddon side have refused to engage, with some actually calling those opposed to their viewpoints "deniers." They don't appear to be interested in having the US public hear both sides present their cases, and the public needs to know why. Here's just one example of why they supposedly won't engage -

      https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/hot-planet/why-i-wont-debate-science/

      The author claims that because he's "not a good debater" and that the discussion would "be boring," that it's not worth even one shot. This is not only ludicrous in the extreme, it's cowardly. Show the public your work (at long last), and stop hiding behind your credentials and your media lackeys. Allow the other side to analyze your data and conclusions, and you have the opportunity to do likewise. If this is such an urgent issue, the US public deserves no less.

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    12. I'll never understand the desire to hold debates to settle matters of science, or anything factual for that matter. Debates are adversarial and are won by convincing others that you are right, which doesn't require being truthful or accurate. Even if there was a well intentioned discussion around the severity and urgency of climate change, Lindzen wouldn't be a good pick. His focus is on the intersection of climate change and politics, and he very much aligns with an extreme partisan viewpoint as evidenced by his work with the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Judith Curry might provide a less politically compromised pick, although her views still do contrast with prevailing scientific consensus.

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    13. Chrometrails, you prove my point once again - the other side will never agree to any kind of a debate, nor will the allow people of opposing viewpoints to examine their method of data collection and analysis. This is the opposite of scientific inquiry.

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  6. Thanks Cliff,

    I think most most of the "climate deniers," me included, that need to change their perspective and fear climate change, according to some, just are skeptical that drastic measures that will cost us so much will do anything. No one can prove co2 and other gasses alone are heating the earth X degrees. There are correlation graphs, but that doesn't prove anything. Here is a question I don't hear asked a lot and is a form of infrared heat. Humans, is our population growth adding more heat to climate, sure it is but how much? If co2 isnt only or main driver and that is what they want us to stop, will it make a difference. Those type of questions and others need to be answered before I make life changing decisions and fork out the expense or put up with the expenses they expect us to. If those answers are out their they should be said more.

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    1. "No one can prove co2 and other gasses alone are heating the earth X degrees. "

      Wow. Just wow.

      Svante Arrhenius proven that in 1898. With a decent precision, I might add. You can do the required calculations by hand, it's so straightforward.

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    2. Hmmm. I would like you to do the calculations then and prove co2 or other greenhouse gasses are warming the planet. Straightforward ask.

      I think you misunderstood my comment, I was not saying co2 or GHG aren't afactor, just not sole factor and want hard evidence that going carbon neutral or even negative will have much effect. Waist heat from activities of humans could be far more harmful than the gasses trapping them. All I am saying. Sodont be so "wow, just wow" next time and just talk to me.

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    3. Budd asked: " Here is a question I don't hear asked a lot and is a form of infrared heat. Humans, is our population growth adding more heat to climate, sure it is but how much?"
      That actually a very common question. I just ran the numbers (again) since i hadn't done it for a decade. According to BP's annual Energy Outlook for 2023, humanity produced about 460 ExaJoules (EJ) last year. I'll round that up to 500 to cover things they might have missed. One EJ is 278 teraWatt-hours, so that 500 EJ becomes 139,000 TWh (a teraWatt-hour is a million megawatt-hours). Now we divide that by the number of hours in a year (24*365.25=) 8766, which gives 15.86 TW-h per hour. The hours cancel, leaving us with human production of 15.86 TW (a Watt is a joule-per-second).
      Now let's look at CO2 ... this post would get a lot longer if i detailed the calculations, but the average increased retained energy "achieved" by raising the atmosphere's concentration from 300 parts per million by volume (ppmv) to 400 ppmv is over 1.5 watts per square meter of surface. I'll call that just "1" watt per square meter (i'm trying to have all of my round-offs and short-cuts enlarge the human contribution and minimize the CO2 contribution). The entire earth's surface area is 510 million million square meters. (510 TeraSquareMeters). So that's 1 Watt multiplied by that area, which gives 510 TW from increased CO2 alone.
      The answer you sought is: Humanity is "radiating" at a rate of just under 16 teraWatts, CO2 is retaining 510 TW ... 31.875 times more than humanity.

      Expressed as Watts per square meter, humanity averages out to 31 milliWatts per square meter, compared to CO2's (understated) 1 full Watt per square meter.
      For comparison, the sun's input averages out to 340 Watts per square meter at the top of the atmosphere, which filters down to about 160 Watts per square meter being absorbed by the surface. (the actual measured "insolation" is 1360 Watts per sq meter at the top, but that's only on the sunlit side. Averaging out to the entire surface of the sphere divides that by 4)

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    4. Sorry. But anthropogenic CO2 and methane are the sole factors. It's not the Sun, it's not "water vapor", it's not geologic CO2, it's not aliens.

      We _know_ this. It can be shown easily. On the global scale, the Earth is easy to model. And I actually did that calculations back at university (I only used a computer to do numeric integration).

      This is absolutely settled basic science. You have the atmospheric absorption spectrum, and CO2 shifts it in such a way that the equilibrium temperature is higher. The higher equilibrium temperature increases the amount of water vapor, which in turn shifts the equilibrium temperature even higher.

      The exact _consequences_ of the rising equilibrium temperature are another story. They are extremely difficult to model in detail.

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    5. Thanks Rich, I have searched many times, but any time add global warming to mix Google tends to only show CO2 GHG ect.
      Cyberax, I think Rich just proved heating of earth is not solely co2, ghg, waist heat though significantly smaller it still contributes, also I never said I didn't think it's a major issue, just want more questions answered before committing to anything. I think that is fair and valid rather than being scolded or accosted.
      Now to my point of all this mess and maybe, you guys have the answer to this too, what our current proposed solutions to this problem do. Just thinking aloud, but feel that massive solar fields and solar panels on every roof top will increase human heat waist by an unknown factor. Will electric motors in cars and waist heat from charging batteries be less than combustion, lots of other examples . We know the gasses will remain for quite some time unless we get a viable solution. So we have to be careful that the solutions don't have a negative effect as well. To me and like cliff states, probably need to look more into technologies like nuclear, hydro, and carbon capture to be successful. To that I know I would gladly do.

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    6. Budd "but feel that massive solar fields and solar panels on every roof top will increase human heat waist by an unknown factor." They don't increase the heat. Remember the final "160 watts per sq meter" i mentioned? That's heating the planet directly. Putting a solar panel as the thing it hits doesn't change that. In fact, it "steals" 20% of it and turns it into electricity ... so the spot the panel occupies actually is cooler than it was before the panel existed (i've measured my roofs before and after). That 20% (as does all human-generated/consumed electricity) eventually ends up as heat, but it's not *more* heat.
      CO2 (both original and our added contribution) really is the main cause. Water vapor is only a secondary (though larger at the current levels) consequence of having CO2. Without CO2 the planet would be a frozen ball (it has gotten to the "slushball" state at least twice in its history)... only millions of years of volcanoes brought up the CO2 levels to allow it to thaw out. In those ice-bound states, there's almost no water vapor in the air (Antarctica is a *very* dry environment).
      The CO2 we're adding now is sourced from carbon the planet sequestered millions of years ago. Prior to that resource extraction, the planet had been staying fairly stable temperature-wise, with some long-term orbital cycles pushing us (slowly) into Ice Ages, glaciations and back. It had a fairly equal cycle of "emit CO2, consume CO2" ... but we're now tipping the scales towards a much more rapid tilt. As Cliff wrote, it won't wipe out humanity (we're adaptable), but it will certainly "inconvenience" a lot of us, perhaps fatally for the less wealthy. we're already seeing plants blooming before their pollinators are out and about... it will take evolution (far?) more than a century to sort those kind of things out. It WILL be expensive ... in a "pay me now" versus "pay up later" ... and it's well known that a penny spent on prevention can avoid a pound spent on remediation.
      Like Cyberax, i've "run the numbers" starting with the physics of CO2 (and other gasses). Remember that i used a low-ball estimate (1 watt per sq meter) instead of the 1.5 Watts that my calculations show. Since i don't have powerful computers at hand, i did NOT include "water vapor feedback", which could easily double that 1.5 Watts to 3. Those two additional computational steps alone (both of which are easily defended by the physics of the systems involved) would reduce the 500 exajoules of human production to 1% of the warming effect.
      There are quite a number of on-line college courses you can take (or just quietly audit) which cover everything from "how the planet's weather works" to "the physics of CO2 (and other) gasses". I've listened to a few, plus bought textbooks to dig deeper (warning: some are designed to take a couple of years of post-graduate study to plow through).
      But i was doing it from the "is it us? How does it work?" approach. Unfortunately that approach does NOT address "how to fix it?" (other than the obvious simplistic "decrease CO2 output"). I can (and do) peek into the economic consequences we're going to be facing, and some of the economics of trying different adaptations and remediations. It ain't going to be cheap, and a lot of the "knowing what we don't know" is cost-related. Both in terms of money, human suffering and dislocation.

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    7. Thanks Rich again. Are you just measuring heat under the panels? As you say it steals 20%, which you also know most turns into heat, the other 80% also turns into heat. Perhaps I am reading this wrong, but the heat in this PV experiment was higher than the surrounding. Taking grasslands forest etc. and lowering the albedo will have an effect. No?
      https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2020EGUGA..2218924S/abstract

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    8. Budd: The experiment you linked to measured less albedo (compared to desert), yet still figured that the Carbon (hence CO2) offset from the electricity production "broke even" in terms of net heat to the planet in 1.8 years (if you're burning coal) or 3.4 years if you're burning natural gas. After that short period, that solar farm was effectively "cooling the planet" by avoiding CO2 production. *Locally* it was creating a hot spot (compared to an open desert). Siting your solar farm as a "sun-shade" for an asphalt parking lot (or typical dark composition roof shingles) would probably be a hot-spot break-even from the get-go.
      The amount of albedo loss for grasslands would be less. Using their methods i think it would drop the natural albedo from 0.23 to a net of 0.14, a 0.10 net loss (compared to their 0.17 loss). Given the same 245 W/m2 input, that would add 24.5 W/m2, compared to their 42 W/m2. Less of a local hot-spot.
      (grassland albedo estimate from http://www.climatedata.info/forcing/albedo/ )
      Float your panels on a lake or 0.10 ocean and the hot-spot heat drops to 6.125 W/m2.
      As they say in real estate: location , location, location.
      No approach is "perfect", but one should not throw out "partial solutions" (such as solar, wind, nuclear, carbon-capture) in a blind pursuit of (or insistence on) perfection.

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  7. New York State is the nation's hotbed for legislated climate policy action, with California a close second. New York State and California are currently the nation's leading crash test dummies for how the Net Zero transition will work out in actual practice. As we will shortly see, Washington State is in the running to become the nation's third Net Zero crash test dummy.

    For those following the Net Zero transition, two blogs of special interest out of New York State are the Manhattan Contrarian (Francis Menton) and the
    Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York (Roger Caiazza). These recent articles are representative examples of the thinking and the analysis presented in these two blogs:

    Francis Menton: The Elites Directing The Energy Transition Really Have No Idea What They Are Doing

    The elites who push the world's transition to Net Zero carbon emissions don't have a clue how to accomplish this lofty goal. And they behave in ways which demonstrate they have no interest in figuring out the nitty-gritty details of how, specifically, to achieve it.

    Roger Caiazza: Reliability vs. Advocacy Dogma – Climate Act Conundrum, August 27th 2023

    Environmental justice warriors are bent on closing New York City's 'load pocket' peaker plants no later than 2030, earlier if they can swing it. These NYC peakers prevent blackouts during extreme heat and cold weather events. In theory, these plants can be replaced by storage batteries fed from new-build wind & solar farms to be located in upstate New York. However, neither the in-city battery backup capacity, nor the additional upstate wind & solar capacity, nor the additional in-state transmission capacity yet exists. No credible plan for procuring and installing this additional capacity yet exists.

    Roger Caiazza: Another Update on Micron Electric Needs, August 29th 2023

    Micron will be constructing a large computer chip facility in New York State which will eventually be consuming as much electric power as the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. The power is to be supplied by solar farms and by onshore & offshore wind. Nothing of the required wind & solar generation capacity plus the additional transmission capacity yet exists. No credible plan for procuring and installing this additional capacity yet exists.

    Roger Caiazza: Washington State Hints At New York Climate Act Future, September 7th 2023

    New York State passed the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act in 2019. The act affects every regulatory and planning process conducted in New York State. It is written in a way which gives little or no latitude to regulatory agencies in making their permitting decisions. New York State will be closing its gas-fired power generation capacity faster than it can be replaced by wind & solar. The state will be forcing a reduction in the use of natural gas for cooking and heating faster than electric equivalents can be procured and installed.

    Washington State is headed down the same pathway as New York State in adopting a highly coercive plan for imposing Net Zero on the state's citizens. As the decade of the 2020's moves forward, we who live in Washington State will be paying more for the energy we consume -- possibly much more -- and less of it will be available. And for no measurable impact on the rate of increase in global mean temperature.

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More Wildfire Misinformation at the Seattle Times

 The Seattle Times continues to shamelessly exaggerate and hype the regional effects of climate change. This week they really went overboard...