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.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

New First Amendment Cases May Be Coming to a Crowded Barrier Island

Matthew, the hurricane, is hitting the Bahamas and bearing down on the eastern shores of Florida  Georgia, and even South Carolina.  While damage inland will be significant, the barrier islands are toast.  As Marshall Shepherd wrote

and the Weather Channel is scared of what will happen
as well as Rick Scott, the Governor of Florida and not somebody Eli would ever recommend is urging evacuation
but Matt DRUDGE thinks it is an evil plan of President Obama to scare folk about climate change
and his fans, well his fans vote, and they vote for the strangest things

Definitely playing by Lewandowsky rules here.

But Eli has a question.  If freedom of speech does not extend to yelling fire in a crowded theatre, what are the rules for tweeting don't evacuate from a low lying beach on a barrier island.  Should Matthew make landfall in Florida, it would be interesting to see how the family of victims pile on to Drudge and Co.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

And So the World Begins

News comes from the Secretary of the UNFCCC that the Paris Agreements have been ratified

Eli and Ms. Rabett will open a carbon dioxide producing beverage tonight and sequester some.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Chart of the Year.

Joe Romm was reading the 2016 update of US DOE's Revolution . . .  Now: The Future Arrives for Five Clean Energy Technologies  when he exclaimed: Chart of the Year

The must-read report reveals the game-changing progress core clean energy technologies have made over the last several years — specifically, solar, wind, LED lights, batteries, and electric cars. Accelerated deployment driven by smart government policies, both domestically and around the world, have created economies of scale and brought technologies down the learning curve faster than almost anyone expected.

The next time an opponent of climate action questions the cost-effectiveness and scalability of climate solutions — or the value of government clean energy policies — the top chart and indeed the whole report should be front and center in your response.

This was picked up all across the tweet zone, Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some, well some (actually all) of the luckwarmers have no rhythm,  Our good news is their embarrassment, and up stepped Andy Revkin to tweet

Eli, Eli OTOH is a strange cross between a chemist, a chemical physicist, a spectroscopist, a kineticist and, oh well a blogger, so what he saw is something that was better plotted elsewise.

Taking electrons in hand the bunny wrote to the drawer of the graph and person most responsible for the report, Paul Donohoo-Vallett at DOE HQ down the block for the data and Dr. Donohoo Vallett replied post haste

At a minimum the LED curve suggested a first order (exponential) fall off in cost, and to be honest the others looked sort of the same to Eli so he replotted it all as a semi-log plot and fit the decreases to straight lines

Not perfect but a lot better than force fitting to a Tolian (Tolian's being functions that go exactly where Richard Tol wants them to) with a lot less effort.  A bunny can fuss about this brute forcing, but not Eli.  The most interesting part of this is converting the slopes to half lives for each of the technologies.
Wind Utility Scale PV Residential PV  LEDs EV Batteries
Half Life/Yrs 7.68 4.50 5.68 1.70 3.21
r^2 0.94 0.98 0.98 0.98 0.97

Not too shabby and LEDs are beating the current version of Moore's law.