The Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis: report

 Via Twatter. Being pols, they are delusionally optimistic; from the intro:

What we are describing is a future with an improved quality of life, more fairness, and better products. Cars will be better—safer, cleaner, quieter, and you will never need an oil change. Indoor air quality will improve. Windows will be solar panels so that whole skyscrapers, and not just roofs, generate clean electricity.5 The materials used to build homes and office buildings will store carbon instead of being a significant source of carbon pollution.6,7 By powering American homes with clean energy, electricity prices will be more affordable and more stable. Clean energy is already cheaper in many instances, and prices continue to drop fast.8

(my bold). The windows stuff is work-in-progress and my prediction is that it will never amount to much, since it's pointless. The "renewables are cheaper" stuff has the usual problem: if renewables genuinely are cheaper, they will be quickly adopted, and the useless interferring pols should just get out of the way. But actually they aren't, quite, yet. Very likely they will be soon, for some not-too-distant definition of the word "soon", but we're not quite as far forward as these happy folk would like to think. Which is why the entire process won't be as cheap and painless as their intro appears to suggest. ACHIEVING A CLEAN ECONOMY WILL CREATE MILLIONS OF NEW JOBS in our country and positively impact household income.12. Unfortunately ref 12 is a 404 (and from the URL didn't look desperately high quality anyway. Also, jobs are a cost not a benefit; but you either knew that already or won't believe it).

But enough tedious snark, what of the actual content?

[Note: published at end of year at review, but it looks like I didn't bother with the actual content and I presume the whole report has been forgotten now anyway.]


Coronavirus days: France

IMG_20200725_080843 We went on holiday to France at the end of July / beginning of August. This isn't about the holiday, but about the Covid aspects. Nothing dramatic, but it may be of interest.

We drove, via Eurotunnel. That probably involves the least human contact. For fans of CO2 accounting, it was about three tanks of diesel, about 240 litres or a little less. For Covid reasons, Eurotunnel doesn't let you out of your car on the trip, and for bonus points someone wanders around during the transit cleaning the sides of the carriage that you can't touch cos you can't get out... Before you go, Eurotunnel solemnly tells you on the website that you need to fill out a form for the French govt solemnly swearing that you haven't got Covid, and so on. We solemnly did this, and it was a total waste of time, as absolutely no-one looked at them. 

The French mountain huts website told us to fill out a similar form, and it too was a total waste of time. Somewhat more annoyingly, the sites told us that due to Covid there would be no blankets and we needed to bring up our own sleeping bag. That turned out to be nonsense too but cost us 1 kg each. As it happened, it was a fairly warm period, and I just slept in my sheet liner anyway.

IMG_20200802_074936Within the refuges, the sense was of having rules, but not really caring about them. Here are the Glacier Blanc's. They carefully have a "circulation system" that makes no sense at all, because there is only one staircase, and only one entrance. People tended to wear a mask when they first went in, realise no-one else was, and then stop. They did make some attempt to enforce "only 10 people in the lobby" but although it is a fairly expansive boot-room, you can barely fit more than 10 even if you try.

In practice, we were outdoors by ourselves almost all day most days; or in the valley in our own apartment (which I chose slightly at random but was better for lack of human contact than a hotel). In the evening the huts did group meals as usual and as usual made no attempt to use all of the tables.

Supermarkets tended to have hand-san. Restaurants, supermarkets, cathedrals, buildings in general were mask-obligatoire indoors, and everyone did that. Since it was mostly rather warm, eating outdoors was hardly a restriction. On the drive back it was so hot in Dijon that it would have been quite nice to go inside into the air-conned restos, but we decided not to. Here's a pic of Vallouise's weekly outdoor market.

We may have got out just in time. The papers tell me that the govt is considering adding France to the quarantine list; not that it is clear that the UK quarantine means anything. But, we can all sleep better knowing that "Matt Hancock [is] closely monitoring [the] situation". Update: it's happened.

I think that's it. I leave you with a pic: walking up to Les Bans.



* What’s Destroying Our Culture?
* You Will Not Stampede Me by Bryan Caplan
* A blurb too far - Kerry Emanuel on Schellenburger.
* The new McCarthyism by Scott Sumner


Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Hockey stick controversy

IMG_20200725_082845_240 Alas poor HSC, I knew it well. Too well perhaps. You can still view its magnificent bloated final state at archive.is, but if you visit the original wiki URL you'll now get redirected to Hockey stick graph. The delete discussion is at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Hockey stick controversy. I think the decision itself is arguably wrong, and indeed I argued against it; certainly some of the arguments for delete were weird.

My keep rational was
I think the controversy is notable. Arguably the article is too long, but that can be fixed by shortening, not deleting it. Also I don't think its a fork; it is its own subject. Saying it gives undue weight to the political debate is somewhat odd, because the political debate is the main point of the controversy.
G replied but the political debate was not in good faith, that's the point. The "controversy" was engineered and sustained by the climate change denial industry which to my mind is just wrong, because, as I said That the controversy was not in good faith is irrelevant to the deletion debate; that's a discussion about the page content. FWIW, though, I do not believe that the debate was entirely or originally "engineered"; it would be better to say that the flames of what could have been a valid scientific discussion were fanned out of all proportion. And of course the degree of plausibility of debate has changed over time; nowadays, with multiple independent repros, there's nothing left, scientifically, but this article isn't (shouldn't be) about the science. You are I think right that the page is too huge and doubtless duplicates much that is in the HS page.

But maybe this is a sign o' the times: all these controversies we so lovingly participated in, in the olde dayes, are of no interest to yoof today: the HS is just accepted, unless you're a nutter.


* Pic: cat of Troyes.


Did you miss me yeah, while I was away?


I'm back. Did you miss me? Well no probably not. We were back in the Ecrins, I shall bore you with more pix later, but for now this is a placeholder to excuse my failure to respond to comments and posts.

This pic largely summarises our holiday, if you know where to look.  Taken from the Montagne des Agneaux which I have finally got up. It is a good route, but long. Center: Glacier Blanc, and high point slightly L is the Barre des Ecrins. Sadly, bits of serac had fallen off not long ago and so it was strongly deconseillee. Instead we did the Pic du Glacier D'Arsine - on the spine to the R of the Gl Blanc - and Point Louise - again on the spine but further back. Before the Agneaux we did the Dome du Monetier, well sort of, actually the Pic du Rif, which is above the snowy glacier to the L, from the Lac d'Eychauda, which is off the pic and too low to see L. Peaking out off R are just visible two milky blue lakes at the Col d'Arsine, where we walked up to camp for our last night up. Looming darkly mid-L are the dents of the Pelvoux, which we once again didn't even attempt.