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After Lifetime of Discoveries, Climatologist Asks: 'Now That You Know, What Will You Do?'


After Lifetime of Discoveries, Climatologist Asks: 'Now That You Know, What Will You Do?'

Jon Queally, staff writer

Though all the awards had been announced and a week of celebrity sightings and red carpet fanfare was nearly complete, the final word at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday night was not from a famous actor, producer or director but from an octogenerian French glaciologist who in a documentary film about his life exploring the icy depths of the Antarctica issued a stark—yet hopeful—plea to humanity over the perils of planetary climate change.


"Now that you know, what will you do"?

Those who have the ability to make things happen will do nothing to jeopardize the profit center. The rest of us will continue to wonder how someone is willing to destroy the future for a bit of money in the short term.


"Now that you know, what will you do?"

I'm a solar inventor. I can now tell you how you can heat your buildings at night. I can explain how to generate inexpensive solar-based electricity at night. New for 2015, I can show you how to build a commercial-scale solar water distillation plant. It will run on wastewater or on seawater. Then there's the world's best greenhouse.

I'm rich in ideas, but not in money. However, I don't believe in exploitation of the climate just so that I can be rich. Nor do I have any more of our retirement money to invest in prototypes.

And so, I'm going to beg for certain things from everybody else.

First, we need research and development of climate inventions even more than we needed a polio vaccine in the 1930s. Millions of people gave of themselves to the March of Dimes. Jonas Salk eventually developed the first polio vaccine. He could have made lots of money off of the vaccine but he gave those rights away.

I'm telling you that many partial cures for climate exist. It's a matter of not-too-hard solar engineering, and then it's a matter of getting the products out.

Next, we need a climate social entrepreneurship that creates good jobs as part of its contract with the community, and also continues to research and develop new solar advances. With any luck at all, the social entrepreneurship will be self-sustaining, it will spread to all sorts of communities for local construction and it will deliberately try to keep costs low and service high as part of its social contract.

You want food? Organize a CSA. You want lots of energy jobs and no fossil fuel use? Build a CSE, community supported energy.

Or you could always know and continue to not do. You can sit there for as long as you can stand that moral dilemma. Have fun!


From the article:

'...As the Guardian's Adam Pulver writes:

' Jacquet presents his film very much as a head-on challenge to climate change deniers: by simply talking us through Lorius’s career, and the progress of his work, we understand the methodical processes by which he came to his conclusions. Essentially, it’s a rebuttal to background-noise deniers’ complaints about flawed science: Lorius says what he found, and what it means, with calm, unflappable detachment. We are taken through the stages: Lorius’s first trip to Antarctica to study snow; the realisation that the ratio of “light” hydrogen atoms to “heavy” in each snowflake corresponds precisely to the ambient temperature of the day of the snowfall; then decision to take core samples to study the change in temperature over time. Jacquet decribes a rather entertaining eureka moment: when ancient ice is used for a celebratory whisky, Lorius realised the trapped air that escapes can be analysed too, for its gas content....'

Such hyperbole is not conducive to rational analysis of climate change. It's well-known that the protium/deuterium ratio in precipitation is less than that in the underlying waters. Ditto for the O-16/O-18 ratio. Also well-known is the fact that as air temperature falls, the ratios also decrease. But those ratios can hardly be used to determine even roughly, air temperature millennia ago. There are too many other factors involved. The temperature lapse rate is not constant throughout the troposphere.

But more importantly, how does one verify a temperature so purported? There are many many indirect measurement methods. But all are verified using direct measurements. And I have a hunch that Claude Lorius would wholeheartedly agree with that.


Hopefully, the careful research reported here will continue, but for now there is nothing to warrant any vast, worldwide expenditure of resources to control so-called man-made global warming. The balance of evidence does not support anthropogenic global warming. Hopefully, continued research will afford a much greater understanding of how climate changes occur.


The world spent 240 billion dollars last year. Renewable energy getting cheaper and fossil fuels getting more expensive this will have a crossing where it is no longer viable to stay on fossil fuels.


Hi PaulK,

... Well, I can appreciate your orientation... I do think it would be great if we can keep enough renewable energy going... to have at least some good medical care... as for "doing it my self" ... between money and know how... I will probably be one of those without electricity someday.... I also, have been excited, in the past, about CSE.... I wanted to convince the people in our very rural area... that we should do that....
At this point in time.... I do wonder... about the overall environmental impact of solar/renewables...on the environment.... I know that must drive you crazy... it kind o' does me too....
I will say this .... I just finished a whole day in my garden.... I have one....that has a perimeter of about
200 ft..... and another with a perimeter of maybe 100ft.... grapes fines take up some space in the big one..Yesterday, I put in 32 tomato plants.... and I still have more... that I started my self.... and they are all heirloom.... I also have peppers, eggplant.... peas... green beans, including the pretty purple pole ones... also, lettuce, spinach, carrots..... cilantro and some lavender my daughter got me for mother's day.... so, I am at least working on one part of your idea.... I've been having a garden here now since we bought this house... 2004 I do not think I could deal with having a year in which I did not grow a garden...I am 57 and half ... and hope I will be growing for at least a couple of decades more....