[FRIAM] Bad news about the climate

Jochen Fromm jofr at cas-group.net
Mon Jan 29 17:41:27 EST 2024

I saw this article mentioned by Eliot Jacobson on his X/Twitter profile which argues that our actions will most likely not be enough until there is a big shock which motivates real change. It also uses the Covid pandemic to illustrate that people are able to change if they are convinced their lives are at stakehttps://time.com/6565499/apocalyptic-optimism-climate-change/It fits to my own observations here in Europe: there are more and more EVs and charging stations, but not enough. There are more heat pumps replacing gas heatings, but not enough. There is more use of renewable energy but not enough. I fear people will only start to change fundamentally if they feel their life is at stake. Will it be too late then? I don't know. Let's be optimistic. "Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you" https://quoteinvestigator.com/2019/03/05/sunshine/-J.
-------- Original message --------From: Steve Smith <sasmyth at swcp.com> Date: 1/28/24  8:16 PM  (GMT+01:00) To: friam at redfish.com Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Bad news about the climate 
    I love me a good dose of Sabine... her flat-delivery of equally
      serious and glib lines is killer IMO... and for the most part I
      feel compelled to defer to her facts and analyses (almost) without
      reserve. (around 13:30 she said "so mind-f#%#%ingly stupid" ).  
      I'm surprised she didn't actually invoke the biblical "four
      horsemen"!  Her closing statement with the "stop gluing yourself
      to things" sorta made Sabine the anti-Greta?  Both of those made
      me choke on my coffee <grin>.
    The whole North-Atlantic circulation thing (AMOC tipping point)
      threatening to undermine the British Isles and Scandinavia's
      relatively mild winters (moderated by oceanic heat transport from
      the equator) is one of the things I expect to crash a lot of
      expectations (and economies and ???) around the industrial
      north.   New England is also implicated in a major/abrupt local
      climate change from this as well.
    I did a short stint with a pre-climate (atmospheric-ocean model
      coupling) modeling team at LANL in the 90s and what I enjoyed most
      was the cognitive dissonance amongst the researchers who on one
      hand felt they couldn't predict *anything* confidently but
      recognized the incredibly high stakes and the emerging awareness
      of the implications of dynamical systems theory on the domain...
      how many bifurcation points likely surrounded the relatively
      linear "basin" the climate has been wandering in since the Younger
    Without exception, every scientist I worked with then privately
      declared "we have a problem!" even though they didn't feel they
      had anywhere near the evidence to say anything that strongly in
      their publications.
    Anecdotally, I've been experiencing a fairly steady
      winter-warming at my high-desert location 20 miles outside Santa
      Fe at about 5400ft where I catch the cold-air flow off of both the
      Sangre de Christo and the Jemez mtns.   Winters have gotten drier
      for the most part and while the lows still maintain (see above),
      the highs during the winter (and dead of summer) have risen
      consistently for the last 20 years I've lived at this location.   
    The climate and long-range weather forecasts for the area that
      I've checked out are somewhat mutually contradictory and my
      half-full/half-empty biases lead me to smug satisfaction when my
      fruit trees promise to do better than historically, even if my
      tomatoes freeze on Oct 1 no matter what (I've tossed plastic film
      over them and had them keep on growing/ripening until Thanksgiving
      a few years when I've bothered)...  root vegetables can now stay
      in the ground until I dig to eat and winter squash on the vine
      outside longer and longer.  
    On the half-empty side, surface water is becoming more and more
      dear here, my AC-free summers are getting more uncomfortable and
      it is likely enough that all of this is a minor perturbation
      compared to what might hit this region in the next few decades as
      various major tipping points tip.
    <virtue signal> 
      If I were younger, I'd probably be more (personally) worried. 
        I tell my 40-something progeny that they should plan on the
        possibility that they might live forever and their children are
        even more likely to.  Me, I'm just happy that when my
        hand-carved wooden chompers get too slimy and splintery to use
        that the folks with drills and novacaine can make me a "screw-in
        set" like Nicks!   
      Meanwhile the only thing I can think to do is keep lowering my
        own personal footprint and readying my home(stead) for another
        generation to pick up wherever I leave off with an equally
        lowered (residence-induced) footprint.  I'm not vegan (yet) but
        I try to buy my eggs from local home-raised sources and keep my
        agri-industry consumption of milk/cheese/butter down to a
        fraction of my former appetite.   
      I've lowered my heating demand (via wood-burning) to near
        net-zero, burning (almost) only the prunings and trimmings from
        my own (1.5 acre high desert) property (and some from neighbors
        who CBB).   PV tech is mature enough that *used* gear on the
        order of $10k investment can probably allow me to quit spinning
        the hydro-turbines up the river (Abiqui Lake) and spewing
        coal-smoke out of the 4-corners plant my co-op draws primarily
        from.   A couple of mini-split heat-pumps might give me both
        relief from the worst summer heat and displace yet-more of the
        cellulose I (grow) and burn.   A little more PV and I can
        displace the 20lb propane cylinder I burn for cooking in the
        summer into induction cooking?
      Nevertheless, I'm still a big "part of the problem" just by
        being a member of the first-world economy...   even if I quit
        burning any transportation fuel (jet or train or private auto)
        entirely and eat mostly plants (not too much as M. Pollan
    </virtue signal>
    On 1/27/24 1:59 PM, Russ Abbott wrote:
          apologize for this relatively mass email. It was prompted by a video by Sabine Hossenfelder, 
          Sabine is a theoretical physicist who has spent much of her
          recent life as a popular science writer and video maker. See
          her Wikipedia page.
          video linked to above talks about climate models. The bottom
          line is that it appears that most of the current models have
          underestimated how quickly earth will warm. The consequences
          are frightening.
                                                          -- Russ
                                                          Los Angeles
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