Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ethon looks in on PR Jr

Eli was in the process of getting his act together when Ethon stuck his beak through the door.  PR Jr is at it again the bird said.  He just had a message from Phil Clarke, pointing out that Roger was parking his car on John Christy's lawn.  The lad (PR Jr, not Phil) had tweeted

pointing to a new article in Global Environmental Change.  So Eli walked out the door with Ethon and went to take a look.  For the masochists amongst the bunnies, this can be had for reading w/o paywall.

Interestingly, that figure, shown in the tweet is not in the paper, and guess what Roger's Internet habits showed up in John Podesta's email
Date: 2014-07-28 12:35
Subject: Climate Progress In Action

In March, Nate Silver hired Roger Pielke, Jr. to write about climate change for his new website. Pielke basically has made a career of "accepting" climate change but disputing that we can really do anything about it or that it has much of an impact. The new 538 was perhaps the most hyped website to launch in years -- and it's partnership with ESPN gave it the potential to reach a broad new audience.

Prior to Pielke writing anything, ClimateProgress published piece reviewing his disputes with climate scientists and the problems with his approach. The piece included numerous quotes from climate scientists:

Quickly, Pielke wrote a piece questioning the link between climate change and extreme weather. Within hours, ClimateProgress published a comprehensive debunk, with quotes from many prominent climate scientists:

Pielke was so upset with our piece, he called the scientists we quoted and threatened to sue them.

Silver was forced to apologize:

Embarrassed, Silver was forced to publish a rebuttal to Pielke piece by an actual climate scientist, which was also devastating:

Pielke never wrote another piece on climate change for 538. Today, he confirmed that he left the site because Silver wouldn't publish his stuff any more:

I think it's fair say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538. He would be providing important cover for climate deniers backed by Silver's very respected brand. But because of our work, he is not.

I don't think there is another site on the internet having this kind of impact on the climate debate. Thanks for your support of this work. Looking forward to doing even more in the coming months.

-- Judd

Whatever said Ethon and had another peck

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Your freezer is a battery of coldness

File this under the category of things I don't know much about but will talk about anyway, but it seems like home refrigerators and especially freezers could be much better managed for power variability that we'd see in a system dominated by solar and wind. They use more power than anything in the home other than heating and cooling, so adapting to variability seems like a big deal.

Received knowledge is the ideal maximum temps are -18C for the freezer and 5C for the refrigerator. My oh-so-genius insight is they could both get colder, especially the freezer, when power is available and then allowed to drift upward when it's not. So in power system with lots of solar, both the fridge and freezer should kick in at mid-afternoon. The fridge drops to 1C and the freezer to -23C or maybe colder, and then power demand is ended or sharply reduced by late afternoon, when solar is disappearing and other power demands are ramping up.

My other maybe/maybe-not insight is that if the max temps are constant temps, maybe those maximums could be exceeded periodically during the daily cycle without limiting food storage times. Maybe a freezer could spend two hours daily rising -18C to -13C without too much of an issue, and maybe a refrigerator could drift up to 7C before it has to start cooling back to 5C.

Refrigerators get opened a lot and can't be cooled as much as freezers, so the benefit isn't as great, but still exists. For freezers, ones that aren't opened or rarely opened might get through to sunrise without demanding power.

Systems with just a clock and a calendar could make use of solar availability to store coldness. Smart systems on the internet could do even more, especially with wind. If wind turbines somewhere start dumping extra power in the system at 10 p.m., your fridge and freezer turn on and run as long as the power lasts or until they get as cold as they should go.

Just a thought.

More info on managing power availability here. Also here on commercial scale storage of coldness.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Arctic Cruises

There has been some tweeting about how Arctic sea ice regrowth has been, well anemic, weak, and so forth.  Indeed it is back in 2012/2007 territory, well below what is normal even in these abnormal times.

so Eli decided he would go look at the maps to check if he and Ms. Rabett could still book that Arctic cruise.

and well, sort of.  A narrow block in both the Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage, but otherwise clear sailing.  Next year should be very interesting

My Saturday Night Live skit excerpt


(Skit opens on the stage of the third Clinton-Trump presidential debate, in the middle of the debate)

TRUMP: Look, Putin...from everything I see, has no respect for this person.

CLINTON: Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United States.

TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.

CLINTON: And it's pretty clear...

TRUMP: You're the puppet!

CLINTON: (pauses)

CLINTON: Trump is unfit, and he proves it every time he talks.

TRUMP: No, you are the one that's unfit.

CLINTON: (hesitantly) Donald is a tall, orange-faced man-gasbag who cheats his workers and assaults his wife?

TRUMP: No, you are the tall, orange-faced man-gasbag who cheats his workers and assaults his wife!

 CLINTON: (to audience)  Well, the next five minutes are going to be interesting.

(end excerpt)

It's interesting that other than mugging for the camera, a SNL skit could mostly use the actual debate dialog, like the vast majority of what's written above.

More from Kevin Drum, who called out the debate excerpts. 

In other news, I did my civic duty last weekend in Reno, going door-to-door for the Democrats. Keeping the Nevada Senate seat is crucial too. People were pretty friendly for the most part, so I recommend it as a good weekend activity.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Answering the Question

A bit over a week ago in the so called town hall debate between major party presidential candidates, a character by the name of Ken Bone asked an interesting question
What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil plant workers?
Mr. Bone has had to answer to a few femurs tossed at him for this and that reason, some of the usual stuff that he posted on line here and there previously, his employment in the coal industry, etc. but be that as it may, it is not a bad question.  Eli will put up links to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's answers, but here he is more interested in providing a useful answer.

First, what appears to have been missed in the discussions that Eli has seen is that the question itself assumes that fossil fuels are going away, that, by itself was important.  It slipped through with nary a whimper from the denial industry.  Eli's answer (remember the candidates only had a minute or so, would go something like this.

"Thank you for that question Mr. Bone (even Eli can be polite on occasion).  I would like to start by discussing some of its deeper implications.  As you acknowledge, the changes we are making to the atmosphere and oceans by burning huge amounts of fossil fuel cannot continue without causing immense harm to creation and the creatures in it including us. We must replace them.

This will be difficult but the challenge contains within itself opportunities which, if we are serious, can be used to support those displaced from the fossil fuel industry and build new industries.  We will need millions of workers to erect and maintain the new energy sources and their supporting infrastructure, solar, wind, hydro and nuclear and the new smart electrical transmission and transportation networks.  New industries are being built. Let us build them here.

In closing let me provide a bit of historical background.  The fossil fuel industries which were, and I stress were, necessary for the creation of the industrial world are not old.  The coal industry is roughly 200 years oil,  oil  about 100 and gas pipelines only about 50.  Given that history we can see that building new energy systems to replace them in a 50 year time frame can be done, given the best science we have we can see that it must be done.  Economics and ethics tells us how it can be done while improving the lives of all in this country and on the Earth."

Anybunny else want to try?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Trump, staff, and surrogates are illegally defaming private individuals accusing Trump of assault

Not a defamation specialist, but -

Falsely labeling people as liars in public media is an obvious damage to their reputation, so the only remaining question is whether the people calling these women liars had any obligation to look for the truth before they made the statements. I'll assume here they did one of two things:  no investigation at all/just started calling the women liars, or that they asked Trump in general if anything like this happened and he said no.

Proving defamation against a public figure is hard, you have to go beyond being stupid or incompetent in your attack. Defamation against private figures means the lower bar of negligence - if you did not meet a reasonable standard of care in making your statement, then you've committed defamation. Doing no research at all before make false claims is clearly defamatory against private figures (and I think probably against public figures too); doing only a little research is a gray area.

Some of Trump's accusers are undoubtedly private figures (woman on the plane, the staffer in his office building). Some are more borderline (the journalist, the beauty pageant contestant), but even the borderline ones aren't public political/mass media figures. Regardless, the negligence standard applies in at least some cases.

I think a cursory question to Trump:  "Did you ever do this stuff? No? Great, we're just going to call them all liars no matter the number of accusers, their details, or their personal credibility" isn't enough to be non-negligent. There was plenty of information indicating otherwise prior to the Trump-Billy tape, plus the tape, plus each credible accusation afterwards in sequence, all making the blanket claim that all the women are liars to be defamatory.

The ones who should be suing for defamation aren't Trump and his ludicrous threat to the NY Times, it's these women against Trump, the campaign, his staffers possibly, and definitely his surrogates for lying about them.

The barrier against winning is the he said/she said nature of the claim, but discovery and relative credibility of Trump and his accusers can put that to the test.

Legally you'd want to wait to get your ducks lined up. Politically it would be great to get the complaints filed ASAP.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mitrovica redux

A prior post refers, regarding some law professor wasting time in Congress by saying Mitrovica's work - showing reduced sea level within 2000 km of melting ice caps, because gravity - means there's nothing to worry about. The professor was unable to read the next sentence in Mitrovica's work that the effect means more water ends up further away from the ice cap after melting occurs.

What I couldn't figure out from the limited information in the magazine article was whether no sea level rise at 2000km was a net effect that considered the effect of added meltwater or was just the tipping point for the gravitational effect.

Tamino did a great post on the same issue linking to a video from Dr. Mitrovica, and above is a screencap. It's hard to read the legend, but the video itself is clear: his analysis is a net effect that includes meltwater volume. The legend measures the net effect of an ice melt amount sufficient to raise seas one meter, and only the darker oranges and red are above average. If Greenland melted, and only Greenland melted but nowhere else, then northwestern Europe wouldn't be too badly affected, and a few parts of Norway, Scotland, and Ireland would have no effect. Europe in general doesn't escape unscathed from Greenland's melt, however, and that ignores the other effects like Antarctica and thermal expansion.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Tiny Hands Hauls Out His Index Finger and Shoots Clinton

Everybody, including Eli is going on with the stalking of Hillary, 

but there is a moment, a majic moment when Tiny Hands Trump hauls out his index finger and shoots her.