46 Comments

Thank you for tracking this. Micheal Pollan, the respected food journalist, estimates we burn 10 calories of energy for every one calorie we consume. This is highly unsustainable.

One of the best ways we citizens can combat climate change is to eat as much as possible locally, especially from organic and regenerative farms. This is for a number of reasons:

-most conventional ag uses a great deal of heavy machinery, oil based chemicals, and is grown in huge monoculture plots then trucked hundreds or even thousands of miles to stores.

-by repeatedly tilling soils and drenching them in fossil fuel based chemicals, the soil biome is destroyed, and crops can no longer properly access nutrients latent in soils, nor resist pests and diseases as well- so more chemicals are needed to keep crops alive.

-This is a very energy intensive and expensive way to grow food, and these chemicals have been proven to harm humans as well as the ecosystem.

-Further, tilling releases carbon as well as moisture in soils. The oceans, forests and soils can sequester carbon. We are so heavily disturbing our soils with tillage, pollution and development, we are rapidly losing a significant carbon sink- our healthy soil biome.

-Our farm bills, heavily impacted by corporate ag, reward conventional ag with huge subsidies, which prop up with our tax dollars these highly inefficient and climate damaging practices.

-Even "organic" ag found in most big box stores, is grown in huge heavily tilled monoculture plots, or grown in massive greenhouses, often with exploited labor, with a lot of imported amendments -then shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to stores.

Compare this with locally grown regenerative biodiverse plots- where ecosystems are not damaged by poisonous chemical or fertilizer inputs, where ecosystem macro and micro organisms (birds, bees, bats, worms etc) are nourished by diverse crop flowers, seeds and roots and leaves, and by the vast diverse creatures which thrive in this more complex system.

II am a small scale regenerative organic farmer.

We see daily the impacts of extreme ongoing heat on our crops, water supplies,pollinators, birds, and labor- most people don't realize that crop productivity starts to tumble when temperatures remain over 85-90 degrees F for extended periods.

We will see leaps in our food costs and declines in our crop production as climate chaos progresses.

I urge everyone to make efforts to eat organically, regeneratively and locally as much as possible. Look online for your local farmers and support them. The crops will be fresher and very likely more delicious and nutritious, as well. Thank you.

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Oct 23, 2023·edited Oct 23, 2023

I definitely recommend that everyone take a look at the Carbon Brief article. I definitely see similar sawtooth-like temperature excursions for the 1998 and 2016 El Nino events. Only time will tell what the 2023-2024 El Nino temperature excursion looks like. Let’s just hope that the Multimodel forecast holds up.

One almost has to take a step back and remain a somewhat objective observer about the whole situation. We may need to approach this as many people approach the stock market, i.e., we are in this for the long haul and not worry so much about the short-term fluctuations.

In the end, these short-term excursions are already in the “pipeline” and there is very little we can do except record the data and try to understand it. In my opinion, it is only helpful if these “unnerving, mind-boggling” excursions drive a deeper sense of urgency about taking action.

I for one wish the National Academies report released last week, https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2023/10/new-report-provides-comprehensive-plan-to-meet-u-s-net-zero-goals-and-ensure-fair-and-equitable-energy-transition, that provides a plan for meeting U.S. net-zero goals by 2050, was getting more press and attention from the media and the climate science community. I believe that is where we really need to be focusing our attention. We need to call on policymakers in Washington to adopt the recommendations laid out in that plan.

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Loeb et al (2121):

ASR, .65 W/m2/decade 2002-2022

CO2 and all other trace GHGs, .22 W/m2/decade

Factually incorrect?

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I fully realize Jim Hansen does not recognize the importance of his admission. His attempt to limit it to 2015 is telling, as ASR clearly dominates warming for the entire CERES record. Nevertheless, for the godfather of CO2 to acknowledge the CERES attribution and admit that for any period CO2 is not the main driver of warming, indeed not even close, is an enormous step forward for science.

The reality is we have no reason to believe CO2 in aggregate, including sources larger than human combustion to the atmosphere, EVER controlled warming. Surely you will not argue the lower concentrations of the past controlled warming when the current levels, the highest is several million years, are unable to do so.

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Oct 29, 2023·edited Oct 29, 2023

Zeke and Andrew,

I would like to circle back to the discussion of natural gas. Maybe you can address this in a future post.

1. What is your latest thinking about natural gas as a bridge or transition fuel away from coal to renewables?

2. Zeke's 2015 study seems somewhat at odds with a recent paper by Deborah Gordon et al. where they claim that a leakage rate as low as 0.2% puts natural gas "on par with coal.' Thoughts?

3. I personally feel that we should be doing everything we can to leave coal behind up to and including exporting natural gas if that helps eliminate coal elsewhere in the world. I'm also willing to let Joe Manchin have his pipeline if it allows permitting reform for easing expansion of the national grid required for renewables. My thinking hinges somewhat on your answers to 1 and 2.

Thanks,

Dean

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If it were possible, how much impact do you think removing all fossil fuels by 2030 would have?

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We live in an interglacial period of the Pleistocene ice age. The last 4 interglacials were warmer than today even without the ~5% boost from human CO2. Why are you surprised the planet is naturally warming?

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Great information. I found you through Climate and Economy which posted a link to your post today https://climateandeconomy.com/2023/10/24/24th-october-2023-todays-round-up-of-climate-news/

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Thank you for presenting your re-analyses. Obviously the 2023 trend is robust and appears to have lots of momentum. I'm pleased that your results are being published in the more widely circulated news media. Good information is required for making informed policy that is available to the voting public. Big Oil is consolidating via huge mergers and the US Congress is not the most hopeful source of "informed policy". Yet, hope reigns.

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rainfall, impacts of drought on global breadbaskets/

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"a picture is worth a thousand words" and your graphs tell the horrible truth so completely.

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