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Regardless of whether the key driver is climate change or peak Oil and coal, the bottom line is that we need sustainable energy sources to replace lost carbon sources, and we need to put the infrastructure for this in place before Oil/coal becomes prohibitively scarce/expensive.  

So who cares if some of the climate scenarios are based on unrealistic assumptions?  If they succeed in mobilising political forces to support sustainable energy production what is the problem?

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 7th, 2009 at 12:06:05 PM EST
There are plenty of things which are relevant from a climate perspective, but which hurts us energetically speaking, making the entire situation even worse. For example CCS. And there are several energy projects which help us but are bad from a climate perspective. Like CNG, tarsands, liquefied coal and ultradeep offshore oil.

Furthermore, as the op-ed illustrates, the IPCC has fooled the public on a massive scale, which hardly helps its credibility when it comes to dealing with other pressing issues like Peak Oil, and also wasted huge amounts of reseach efforts and money, which could have been used in a far better way in eg developing alternative energy.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Mon Dec 7th, 2009 at 01:23:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you validate the "wasted lots of research time" assertion?  As I understand it there is a huge amount of work in developing a computerised climate model, but once built you can plug in all sorts of scenarios, likely or unlikely to see what impact they would have on climate variables.  Indeed sensitivity  analysis to various factors is just that - plugging in a huge number of values for any given variable to see if you can identify tipping points or other multiplier effects.

I would expect research institutes to be doing this on an ongoing basis - adjusting their models when - e.g. India - adjusts its estimates for coal deposits - and I would expect the outputs/predictions to change over time.  This does not invalidate the science - this is how the science is done.

AS I understand it earlier estimates have proved unduly optimistic and later predictions are more alarming in terms of the pace of climate change.  If anything the predictions are more alarming as the data and the models improve.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 7th, 2009 at 03:07:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is nonsense, Starvid. The IPCC has not fooled the public simply because it is not proccupied with the notion of peak hydrocarbons. They model BAU development scenarios which the VAST MAJORITY of the world accepts. I happen to agree with you that the majority is incorrect, luckily for us.

But to accuse them, and Climate Science, of engaging in some kind of deception, as you appear to be doing, is just plain wrong.

As for "wasted huge amounts of research effort and money"....oh, please. On the scale of redeveloping entire economies, the amount spent on climate science and modelling, does not even register.

Then, too, fossil fuels account for 57% of GHG, sez the article. That other 43% is enough to cook our goose, just a little more slowly. Especially as its absolute magnitude is likely to increase.

Peak Oil is important. It is not the only important thing.

by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Tue Dec 8th, 2009 at 06:53:54 AM EST
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