Morning Ed: The Planet {2017.11.27.M}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

32 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Pl9: The IEA has a long history of miserably wrong forecasts. The fundamental problem appears to be their methodology: they forecast economic growth at rates that make the countries that fund them happy, then work backwards from that to get energy demand, then — as near as I can tell — guess about where that energy will come from. They hate technologies that disrupt business as usual. I figure that oil production from fracking must be close to its maximum sustainable level, since the IEA’s latest forecast has abruptly changed to predicting massive growth in that supply.Report

    • Avatar j r says:

      Does the IEA do their own global growth forecasts? I always assumed that they just used the IMF’s forecasts.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Am I the only one who sees ‘IMF’, and instead of thinking “bank”, sees Peter Graves & Tom Cruise?Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain says:

          As a westerner who spent time working for a state government at a level involving policy, I have a similar problem with BLM. I’ll probably die still thinking that “Did you see what those BLM d*ckheads did now?” is a knock on the federal government.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        The last time I looked, they did their own. The IMF is a broad organization with approaching 200 members. The IEA is a creature of the OECD, with membership restricted to those 35 countries, and with a charter to do policy work for the benefit of those 35.Report

  2. Avatar j r says:

    [Pl4] Among other things, this article really doesn’t understand the relationship between people and Earth.

    Agreed. And as someone who has studied and works in the social sciences, there is some language in there that is really grating. “Several years ago, scientists showed that having a child, especially for the world’s wealthy, is one of the worst things you can do for the environment.” I didn’t have to click the link to know that the scientists in question didn’t “show” any such thing; rather, it’s a paper that developed a framework to estimate the carbon emissions of someone’s descendants relative to their own.

    Someone says this every time an article like this makes the rounds, but it can bear repeating: bioethicists routinely display some of the poorest ethical thinking around.Report

  3. p15 Besides playing “a crucial role in the Earth’s carbon cycle” peat plays a crucial role in the world’s Scotch cycle. Nothing better than grilling burgers in the dark in the cold with a bit of Laphroig.Report

    • Avatar Damon says:


      Ugh. Highland Park or Lagavulin is about as strong as I can handle-and I actually don’t mind the taste of Listerine.Report

        • Avatar Damon says:

          That shit sounds nice. Course I love me some Balvenie too. Thanks for the tip!Report

          • D & J – all great whiskies. For me, something about the dark, cold and charcoal smoke makes the Laphroig especially good just then. All assuming good company of course.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain says:

              More power to you. Grandpa Cain let me sample bourbon when I was 12, and I personally have never had any use for scotch. Perhaps it’s because there’s a Solomon Cain from eastern Kentucky way back in my family tree.Report

            • Avatar Damon says:

              Yeah, I’ve had the 10 year old Laphroig…just too much peat and astringency. About as far as I can go is Highland Park or Lagavulin, and even then, I’m adding some water. I know a guy at work who’s the opposite and considers Laphroig “simple” and prefers more peat. Nope…just nope.

              But hey, good company and good booze (regardless of what) is always good.Report

          • Avatar Jason says:

            You’re welcome. My brother-in-law is a Scotch fan, and he got me hooked on Glenmorangie. I’ve really enjoyed the Balvenie (double cask is great), so you’d probably dig Glenmorangie.Report

            • Avatar Damon says:

              Yeah, if I had more money, I’d buy Balvenie Doublewood 18 (or there abouts) a LOT.

              But hey, the GF bought me Jameson Gold and it was awesome too.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Pi6: Coastal flooding could happen over 20-50 years and that is too fast for humanity to adapt? Really? I’ve seen humanity adapt pretty damn quick when’s needs demand.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Case in point, see Pi7.

      Also, given all the mocking Seasteading had taken, they are seriously looking at the problem of “what happens if we need to live on water?”Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Seasteading as a means of freedom and independence is a joke.

        Living on the water within the system of the nation state neoliberal order is perfectly fine. (and where the rich people will live in fact). (I’m pretty sure it’s how many rich people live now)Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Humanity will adapt, absolutely.

      The question is what form that adaptation will take.

      Will it be one that treats people with dignity and respect, or will it be some dystopian nightmare?Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Most likely somewhere in between.Report

      • Avatar bookdragon says:

        Sadly the record on adaption by humanity seems to trend in the direction of reducing the population through starvation, disease, and war over dwindling land/resources.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          The record from 1933-1945 records also a lot of ugly spillover effects of global instability.Report

          • Avatar bookdragon says:

            History seems to head toward repeating, or maybe retreading, too much lately.

            I used to be an optimist, but I have hard time feeling positive anymore.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              Most of the discussion about climate change revolves around disappearing coastline and the effects on low lying nations like Bangladesh and the Marshall islands.
              But less discussed is what the Guardian article points to, the political impact of widespread famine and cascading wars and dislocations, even on the wealthy nations.

              Liberal democracy is a fragile thing, and economic ruin and chaos are the perfect breeding grounds for fascism of a dozen different varieties.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                My interests are unabashedly parochial.

                That said, I am particularly interested in the North American Monsoon. Last week I came across the first academic paper I’ve seen that includes an estimate of the effect on the monsoon: a 60% average increase in thunderstorm rainfall, more to the south and less to the north. I assert that the proper policy response to this prediction is increased capture and management for multiple reasons, primarily flood control and increased irrigation needs.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Liberal democracy is a fragile thing, and economic ruin and chaos are the perfect breeding grounds for fascism of a dozen different varieties.

                The fragility is something those political theorists should really be working to try to correct.

                Although, when I think about it, there is a robustness to liberal democracy, as long as you have a majority who view the system as just, and feel that it is working for them. The fascism has a hard time taking root if the population trusts the society they live in to at least try to consider their needs and wants. If enough people, for whatever reason, feel they are grist for the mill…Report

  5. Avatar Damon says:

    [Pl1] This really isn’t a climate change problem, it’s a migration problem, and that only because people refuse to actually prevent migrants from entering their country.

    [Pl4] Yeah..I’ve heard this argument before. I’m surprised they didn’t talk about the economics–when the population starts to crater you import foreigners to do your work and keep the economy growing, thereby relieving the higher breeding/polluting third world of some the pressure! Everyone’s happy!Report

  6. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Pi3: If the sensor package is integrated fully into the can, then the teamster is right, this will probably be a waste of money; but if an undamaged sensor can be pulled off a damaged can & installed on to a new one with relative ease…Report

  7. Avatar Lyle says:

    On the migration of global ocean circulation from the equatorial regions to the southern ocean. Note that the same thing appears to have happened in the Carboniferous when Gonwandaland blocked equatorial currents and there were glaciers. Although not as certain it could be one of the causes of slushball earth in the later Proterozoic (late Pre Cambrian).
    Note that in addition to Panama it was also the closing of the Teythan Ocean (the Mediterranean is a remnant) that also closed off the equatorial current.
    Today we have the west wind drift that goes south of Cape Horn around the world, and also relates to antarctic ice.

    All this is fairly new geology, arising from plate tectonic reconstructions which in the recent times are pretty accurate.Report

  8. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    slightly less bad worse than rail when it comes to spillage but slightly better than rail when it comes to human casualties.Report