2019-08-22

A dangerous new form of climate denialism is making the rounds?

MVIMG_20190806_080736 So says Twatter, pointing to an exciting Op-Ed in Newsweek. But the newness turns out to be not-so-new (you're astonished, aren't you?): it's just Marco Rubio opining We should choose adaptive solutions. In some ways MR's rather useless article is a step forward, since he is obliged to start Florida will be forced to continue making adjustments in the coming decades because of the changing climate. Trend lines suggest sunny day flooding will become increasingly common as local sea levels rise from a variety of causes. So despite the tell-tale signs of denialism ("continue", suggesting the familiar "climate has always changed" trope; the weaselly "a variety of causes") he's still obliged to confess the reality of sea level rise.

There's then a rather illogical through a carbon tax... The cost would set our state back, depriving us of the resources we desperately need to continue to adapt. So apparently the state raising tax revenue would deprive the state of tax revenue for use in adaption? Or perhaps he imagines that all adaption will be done by private individuals. I bet his retiree-constituents are looking for "the state" aka someone else to pick up the tab, not them as private individuals.

Then comes the interesting Through proactive adaptation alone, the Environmental Protection Agency predicted in 2017, Americans could reduce damage caused by climate change to coastal property through 2099 by 90%. 90% seems a touch on the optimistic side, even for a pol trying to reassure people. Via FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT: CHAPTER 29: REDUCING RISKS THROUGH EMISSIONS MITIGATION AND SHOUTING A LOT (More than half of damages to coastal property are estimated to be avoidable through well-timed adaptation measures, such as shoreline protection and beach replenishment.2,5,196) I get (it's ref 2) Multi-Model Framework for Quantitative Sectoral Impacts Analysis: A Technical Report for the Fourth National Climate Assessment. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. which says
Without adaptation, cumulative discounted damages to coastal property in the contiguous U.S. are estimated at $3.6 trillion through 2100 under both RCPs. Damages under RCP4.5 are reduced by $92 billion compared to RCP8.5. 
Well-timed adaptation measures significantly reduce cumulative discounted costs to an estimated $820 billion under RCP8.5 and $800 billion under RCP4.5. In comparison, reductions in damages under RCP4.5 are modest, with the majority of benefits projected to occur late in the century.
Ter be onest I have some problems with that. The most obvious is the trivial difference in costs between RCP8.5 and 4.5. That just doesn't seem believable1. Also, I can't really parse the second sentence in the second paragraph. However, overall, while 820 isn't 10% of 3600 it isn't far off, indeed in pol terms it is spot on, so ol' MR isn't totally full of it.

Notes


1. They do notice though, and say:  Global sea level rise is similar under the RCPs scenarios through mid-century. It is not until the second half of the century when the benefits of reduced sea level rise under RCP4.5 become apparent, which are more heavily affected by discounting. In addition, some of the effects on coastal property are due to land subsidence which is assumed to occur at an equal rate under the sea level rise projections of the two RCPs. Could be.

Refs


We need to save the Amazon, but not for the sake of oxygen
* PC – As In “Patriotically Correct” by DON BOUDREAUX from Alex Nowrasteh
Harold Demsetz’s 1982 lecture “Competition in the Public Sector” via CH
Voters can only choose process characteristics and hope for results. Consumers buy results and leave the process to those with specialized knowledge of such things - Thomas Sowell

2019-08-16

Monckers him jump shark

68426185_1226120984250886_2337706435279847424_o You might object that Monckers has already saltated the Chondrichthye but I submit that his most recent missive, faithfully conveyed to wider public attention by the esteemed Dr Seitz pushes absurdity so far that one cannot but wonder if this is not a False Flag Operation.

Stripped of the windbaggery - which is to strip out almost everything - Monckers is sad that the recent somewhat weird Nurture piece "Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians" calls him a denier and so on; whether it does I don't know because obviously I didn't bother read it, because it was tedious dull and unoriginal. He wants an apology and threatens legal action if not satisfied; since he won't get his apology but has posted his screed in full public view, one wonders how he will disguise his inevitable climb down. Probably he won't disguise it; the Watties will give him a free pass.

Well, if you didn't like that you can always enjoy the picture. As the caption says, "Confusing medieval depiction of Roman god Saturn devouring his son, which mixes the Greek Chronos (Χρόνος), the personification of time in pre-Socratic philosophy and later literature, known for devouring his own children, with the Titan Cronus (Κρόνος), who castrated his father Uranus with a scythe". I'll skip the bit about what Aphrodite is bathing in.

Update 2019/08/30: Monkers keeps going. I didn't bother read it though.

Alpine climbing routes crumble as climate crisis continues

Notes the Graun, and I won't quibble. The most obvious thing you notice when going up is that the glaciers have retreated away from the huts and paths. Here's a sign above the Mer de Glace:

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(regrettably it isn't in any other way interesting as a photo). That's above about 100 m of path leading down to about 100 m of ladders leading down to the moraine (the ladders on the other side up to Couvercle are even more exciting) from which you scramble onto the glacier. Looking across from the L (Couvercle) side (as you go up), here's a view across to the Aiguilles, and (if you click for the enlarged version and know what to look for) you can just see the refuge Envers des Aiguilles on the rock rib in the center of the pic.

MVIMG_20190727_091718

You can also see how massively the glacier has retreated (though to be fair not all of that is recent; it was a long way up the Envers ladders in 1992). As for the old things melting out of the ice, here's part of what I assume is a helicopter crash, unknown vintage, Talefre glacier.

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Also speaking of melting out, the ridge down from the Aiguille du Midi telepherique onto the glacier now has old bales of straw and bits of wood appearing, instead of the pure snow it used to be. Perhaps the residue of some old hut.

The Mer de Glace is bare and excitingly striped. You can just make out the Requin hut on the ridgeline in the center, in front of the icefall.

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It is sad that the ice is melting, and the character of so many routes is changing. One of the reasons we went to Chamonix this summer is that by comparison, elsewhere, it can be hard to find reliable snow and ice. Mostly the changes are making things harder: the Dome de Neige des Ecrins is no longer Facile due to opening up of crevasses high up; a route we did this year on Pointe Isabella is now icy glacier; glacier; brief ice; rock ridge; snow ridge; rock; snow; and rock; whereas my old guide book shows it as continuous snow before brief summit rock. Though to be fair, that makes the route more interesting.

MVIMG_20190726_075354

Pointe Isabella (the peak on the skyline half-right; the one half-left, apparently lower but actually a bit higher, is the Aiguille du Triolet). Go up the glacier, take the snow-ramp to the R before the ice-fall, get over the icy bit and take the snow ridge (not seen) to the visible snow ridge, leave that to the R for the rock ridge (excellent views of the ice-fall) and then you're on the near-summit ice slopes. Though if you're us you've got to 3650 m at noon, and prudently decide to turn around cos bad weather is forecast.

But the Graun's assertion that everything is falling apart is dubious, I think. The ice is retreating, yes, of course. But there are still acres of good granite to climb on. Here's some of it - there was so much I didn't bother to take proper pix. This is on the way from Cosmiques (Aig Midi on the skyline) to Torino.

MVIMG_20190806_100530

Yes, this post was just a thinly-disguised excuse for some holiday snaps.

Refs


The Antarctic ice sheet is melting and, yeah, it’s probably our fault - Eric at RC. Refs me!
Iceland's Okjokull glacier commemorated with plaque

2019-08-10

Another one bites the dust: Theodor Landscheidt

MVIMG_20190728_160940 Those from ye olde dayes will - indeed, it is practically a test of whether you were around then - recall Theodor "don't mention astrology" Landscheidt. He doesn't show up on "mustelid" and only appears in the scienceblogs era via comments, and asides at that, so interest in him faded rather quickly post-death (I only really know of his existence from sci.env, and even then he was curiously shy). But! He is about to die a second time, how malign is fate: WP:AFD will take him down this time (I can't be bothered to !vote; he survived in 2008). There's a User:Landscheidt who apparently coincidentally has been recently adding gumpf to Planet Nine.

Speaking of wiki: if interested you should see the disastrous WP:FRAM.

Anyway, for the records, here is:

* the page history,
* the state of the page when most useful,
* the current page state.

Image: from the tour Batiaz in Martigny; the abeilliary (right); vines (left) and the track up to the tower (center).

Refs


Freedom Is Not Protected By Its Violation - CafeHayek
This lack of motivation is connected to another important psychology – the willingness to fail conventionally - Dominic Cummings (yes him)
My days among the dead - Southey
* The Persistence of Poverty: It's Complicated - by Bryan Caplan
* For Most Things, Recycling Harms the Environment? by Michael Munger; see-also Chasing Rainbows: How the Green agenda defeats its aims

2019-08-08

I'm back

I've been on holiday. You may have noticed the lack of action here. But I'm back now so the usual diet of thinly spread out ill-informed opinions interspersed with bees can resume.

PANO_20190803_102625.vr

You'll immeadiately recognise the summit of Mt Blanc, 'twas a glorious sunny day though bitterly cold and windy. But don't worry I'll be boring you with more of that anon.

Of course when I say "you'll recognise", I now realise it's pretty hard for me, and I took it. Foreground, left, Miranda in red crouches against the wind and Daniel leans on his ski stick. Further left background is the Aiguille du Midi. So the track leading off left-forward is the top of the Trois Monts route, and the Gouter route goes back behind the pile of people on the right. I'm moderately sure that the peak near-center is Mt Blanc de Courmayeur. We took the Gouter route, but, starting from Tete Rousse.

Refs


Capitalists need friends - TF.
* France 2019: notes and Troyes.