The Climate Show #21: carbon, coal and Cook on BEST

by Gareth on November 10, 2011

Bad news on carbon emissions balanced by good news on solar photovoltaics, a Medicane bringing dramatic flash flooding to Italy and France, a scientist who thinks the Arctic could be effectively ice free in late summer in only four years, and the inside story on what the New Zealand election might mean for climate policy down under. John Cook joins us to talk about the new BEST temperature record (great gifs, Dana!), and in the solutions section Gareth and Glenn talk about solar powered airships, China’s plans to ban incandescent light bulbs, and a continent spanning €400bn solar thermal power plan for North Africa, Europe and the Middle East. All this and more as The Climate Show comes of age with its 21st show…

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The Climate Show

News & commentary: [0:04:50]

Record carbon emissions

Levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago: The Guardian.

Chinese economic miracle fuels surge in carbon emissions – greenhouse gas output hits record high as China overtakes US to become world’s biggest polluter: The Independent.

Global carbon intensity on the rise for first time in a decade, and PwC Report here.

The Triumph of King Coal: Hardening Our Coal Addiction by Fred Pearce.

Still raining…

More on floods in Italy and France (not forgetting Thailand and Cambodia).

Six killed in Genoa: 356 mm of rain in 12 hours — Daily Telegraph, and photos from the Telegraph and the BBC.

Rare storm with tropical features forms in Mediterranean: Jeff Masters

Bering Sea storm, aka the snowicane: Jeff Masters and the Alaska Daily News.

Arctic forecast: Peter Wadhams thinks there’s a good chance the Arctic will be ice-free in summer by 2015:

“It is really showing the fall-off in ice volume is so fast that it is going to bring us to zero very quickly. 2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that’s when it will happen.”

[0:24:00]It’s election time in New Zealand:

Three years of “very serious” climate policy failure.

NATIONAL: From The Listener‘s excellent election blog:

The National party’s climate change policy, which is being released today in Nelson by the prime minister, has appeared. The important bit is this, from Key’s statement: “We intend to slow the phasing in of the emissions trading scheme from 2013 to 2015, at which point we will look to align our scheme with that adopted by Australia. Any change to our emissions trading scheme will be fiscally neutral.” Fiscally neutral, maybe, but not environmentally neutral. The door to a teal deal creaks closer to shutting.

Policy PDF.

LABOUR TV 3 News: The Labour Party will not allow Solid Energy to mine for liquid fuels in Southland because of the increase to greenhouse gas emissions, it has been announced today.
Full Labour climate policy here.

GREEN PARTY climate policy here.

Debunking the skeptic, John Cook from skepticalscience.com [0:38:40]

The BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) of times…

“I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong”
Anthony Watts, March 2011

DENIAL STAGE 1: “IT’S NOT HAPPENING”

“I consider the paper fatally flawed as it now stands, and thus I recommend it be removed from publication consideration by JGR until such time that it can be reworked….it appears they have circumvented the scientific process in favor of PR.”
Anthony Watts, October 2011

DENIAL STAGE 2: “IT’S HAPPENING BUT IT’S NOT US”

“All sceptics believe in “global warming” (depending on what time scale you use); what they doubt to various degrees is the “man made” element.”
James Delingpole

DENIAL STAGE 3: BACK TO “IT’S NOT HAPPENING”

Daily Mail showed cooling from BEST data (animated GIF):

Animated GIF of cooling trends throughout warming period:

http://sks.to/best

Australia joins the grown-ups.

Solutions [00:58:30]

China phasing out incandescent light bulbs

Paul Krugman in the NY Times: Here comes the sun. See also Bryan Walker’s post at Hot Topic: Let The Sun Shine In.

Desertec: how green energy could power Europe, north Africa and the Middle East – The Guardian, and Ecogeek.

Solar Ship Is Half Airship and Half Flying Wing.

Cloud computing can cut corporate carbon emissions.

Thanks to our media partners: Idealog Sustain, SciblogsScoop and KiwiFM.

Theme music: A Drop In The Ocean by The Bads.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

bill November 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Great show!

I was particularly interested to discover China not manufacturing its own incandescent bulbs. It’s a bit like those countries jumping straight to mobiles, rather than criss-crossing the country with poles and cables. Seems almost like cheating!…

One arena in which the LED is truly king (he says, staring at his 24″ LED Hi Def monitor) is the outdoor sporting – as in bushwalking, and particularly cycling.

LED headtorches are by far the most efficient way to light a bushwalking expedition, with up 150 hours of usable light gainable from one pair of tiny AAAs (and, yes, I use rechargeables!)

And for the cyclist the availability of cheap, almost-weightless weather-proof rubberised lights – made guess-where? – that cling snugly to handlebars, seatpost, or helmet seems almost miraculous to those of us old enough to remember the 15 knot headwind effect of whacking on the generator! (Which also didn’t work at the traffic lights! Not good.)

Glenn mentioned high-speed broadband in relation to the cloud. Labor here in Australia will also be rolling out the national broadband network, which will probably also prove to have been a wise decision in retrospect, the usual naysayer squawking notwithstanding. I believe the opportunity for efficencies should easily offset direct increased energy demand, including in areas you might not think of immediately; one tested example being home monitoring and supervision of patients without the need to physically report to clinics, also enabling far-more-rapid interventions in the event of, say, stroke. Remote real-time monitoring of your solar array and control of lighting and appliances is already possible – this trend should escalate. It’s not just all about gamers and watching iView in HD!

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