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No Giving Thanks On Carbon Emissions: ‘Business as Usual’ Strategy Literally Doesn’t Cut It


No Giving Thanks On Carbon Emissions: ‘Business as Usual’ Strategy Literally Doesn’t Cut It

Gabe Mandell

I didn’t travel anywhere for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, yet I am counting my blessings because, together with other petitioners under age 18, I was back in King County Superior Court Tuesday at a contempt hearing against the Washington State Department of Ecology. This was our fourth and maybe final chance make Ecology act to protect our constitutional rights by limiting State carbon emissions in line with current and best climate science.


Gabe, there are adults who are parents and grandparents or who plan to have children and yet are paying no attention and giving no support to you and your petitioners or to any of the others who are working so hard and unselfishly. Scientists asked us more than 30 years ago to start building a fossil-fuel-free society, and those parents paid no attention. They let themselves be fooled by the owners of mines, oil wells, pipelines, refineries, the media, and the governments of first world countries, including ours. It seems they believe their children will be all right, but It might already be too late to prevent the chaos a rising temperature will bring. The next president and Congress aren't on your side. I hope there are still enough decent people to support you and all the other activists. I wish you every success, not only with this court but with whatever comes later. You will be a survivor, I know that.


Ya know,

If Republican's hair were all on fire and all their Florida vacation homes were underwater, they still wouldn't believe in Greenhouse Warming.

Well, they win. The Fundies have set us all up for a self-fulfilling prophecy. We will have a "Tribulation", end-times, Armageddon, since they won't quit driving private autos and denying that population is a problem. Probably in a few short years.

And it's too late, according to some scientists. Nothing we can do will impact the fact that the oceans, our only natural "heat sink" (place to get rid of excessive atmospheric heat) is now red-hot almost all the way down the water column.

Expect massive "heat domes' where the whole continent is over 100 degrees F.


I'm sorry to say I agree with this.

Yet another article today about tipping points and the disaster that is unfolding in the arctic right now. Do you think "could" is the correct/ truthful word in this title? I think the truthful word is "will" trigger or "is triggering":


The really bad news, is that the whole Western Antarctic, (the South Pole) is now apparently unstable and surrounded by extremely hot seas. So if by some extreme luck that the Greenland Ice Sheet, which keeps thawing out for the first time in centuries, doesn't break up to the North and cause a 21 foot average sea level rise, Antarctic will likely cause a 440 foot rise, and did in the past.

The last time the Earth was at 380ppm CO2, the oceans were 80 feet higher than they are right now. The theory of Abrupt Climate Change holds that this can happen very rapidly since we didn't have millions of tailpipes and smokestacks pumping CO2 last time.

We need to cool off the Oceans, and the only way to do that is get rid of the CO2. But there's no way to do that in our lifetimes. It takes 1000 years for CO2 to be absorbed into the seas and turned into limestone at the bottom. And that's with an ocean that is functioning correctly, not acidic like ours.

Thermodynamics. We cannot violate the laws of thermodynamics.


Not all of the West Antarctic ice-sheet is grounded. Some floats.Ice has less density than water so if the floating ice melted sea-level would fall. Apart from splitting hairs, modelling in around 1977, and if of course I remember it correctly, showed that Greenland has the capacity to raise sea-level by 10metres, and the whole of Antarctica would give a sea-level rise of 55metres making 65metres total. Which is around 209 feet. Which suits me as I will be able to put a jetty at the bottom of my garden and enjoy the sea air whilst sipping cool fizzy drinks under my sunshade.

However, anticipating such a nice future belies the question that at least 600 million Asians are going to want to live somewhere else and so my jetty might become a liability rather than an asset.

A 1metre sea-level rise in Vietnam has been shown to wipe out 67% of the Mekong delta, and 45% of the Red River delta. There are 99 million Vietnamese most of whom live in and around those two deltas and which host most of Vietnam's rice production. Shanghai, 20 million people. The Yellow River runs in levees; when the Yellow River backs up and the levees burst, millions will die or migrate as happened when the Nationalists broke the levees in the 1930s to stop the Communists. Ah, Bangladesh........ One could go on....but yes, we have passed too many tipping points to be happy. And Trump is an effing idiot following a long line of idiots.

As for those kids taking people to court. I like the USA's revolutionary tradition. We need more of it.


Yes George,

I've got the coordinates to your jetty and will be moving in with 100 family members soon! I sleep in till noon, so try to keep the coast guard racket to a minimum!

Those Chinese are already migrating to my island, since they can't breathe or fish anymore on the toxic mainland. And these shoals and islets keep turning Red from one billion hungry chinese mouths across the pirate infested West Philippine Sea. We seem to lose two each year or so.

I used to enjoy boating out here, until I kept running into armed desperate people, so I stay home now...

I suspect your calculations of sea level rise are correct. I was thinking that in the past inter-glacial the combined total sea level rise was 440 feet higher than today. Not just from Antarctica as I incorrectly inferred. That included all the world's mountain glaciers IIRC.

Himalayan Real Estate's going to be all the rage...


At a rental of $300USD per plank, per week your relatives could well keep me in the style to which I aspire. But I suspect they might haggle with me.

HImalayan real estate. Consider the consequences of the loss of the Himalayan ice caps and glaciers. The monsoon rains, instead of freezing as a reservoir, will all run off at once so there will be massive flooding and huge rain-induced landslides, then total drought.Thus the Indus, Ganges, Mekong and Yangtze will have widely varying water levels from extreme flooding to a trickle. Which will de-stabilise farming quite effectively.Pakistan and India will continue and probably worsen their current water wars and both have nuclear weapons.

No; my jetty will be a better proposition for you and your relatives.I will take the opportunity to let you all buy space off the plan for a mere $500 000USD a head. Who said AGH would be a disaster? It is an opportunity!

That, of course, assumes that Athropogenic Global Heating will not alter the monsoons.

PS. Vietnam. By 2050 they are thinking that temperatures in the hot season will be 10 degrees C higher. Hanoi is already bloody awful in the hot wet season with temperatures there last time I visited hitting 38 Centigrade at very sweaty humidities.48 Centigrade with 90% humidity would not be pleasant. And those temperatures wouldn't be too good for growing whatever sea-level rise leaves available for the rice crop. Buy Laotian real estate now; some 90 million Vietnamese might need a new home. As I said, AGH is an opportunity.............


I'd "like" your comment and George's comments as well but I'm so depressed about the rapidity of environmental collapse, the fact that today is "black friday"(and humans are behaving like complete idiots), the oligarchy a la Drumpf is at the helm of this failing empire and the woods are devoid of birds unlike I've ever experienced.

Yes, it's November but the forests/savannas look/sound dead except for the thriving invasive species of buckthorn, honeysuckle and russian olive that still have all their leaves!

With that said, I appreciate your thoughtful responses.

Hard to like anything today except of course my friends, family, border collie and the (very) few birds showing up at the bird feeders. Can't imagine life without chickadees.

There really is no place to go is there? As of Dec. 29, I will have sold my home and am free to go anywhere. Free?

Some say; "go to Mexico" (cheaper health care, happier people who haven't caved to the capitalist monoculture dominated by iPhones etc.)

Can't afford Canada which seems impossible to get in (and hopefully that cranky poster from Canada won't chime in here . . ..)

I was reading about this young couple, with young children (that's too bad) who are starting an off the grid, permaculture-ish community in Uruguay. But isn't Uruguay susceptible to massive droughts?

Was going to settle in an area of N. Wisconsin where there are many community organic farms/orchards etc. but Wisconsin seems to be infiltrated with angry white men in camouflage who are rabid Drumpf supporters which frankly gives me the creeps----to say the least.

There is no where to go is there?


Actually, sea level would rise, but the amount would be small.



Yes George, your global-warming prices are acceptable. I trust you will accept our Asian-style currency of dried fish heads and fermented chicken eggs as payment! Better buy a forklift and warehouse for that kind of plank action!

The 2050 thing is another underestimation, I'm afraid. It doesn't count the known 65 feedback loops that make the melt exponential, like massive observed methane bubbling up in Siberia that's 30-100 times the effect of the same amount of CO2. I don't know if you watched my Dr. Doom video or not. The NSA is after this Professor from Arizona for telling the truth about it! Recommend a strong beverage and a dark quiet room for this video:



How do you work that out?


AGGGH! Dried fish heads and fermented chicken eggs! Vietnamese fish sauce and boiled chicken with cabbage is bad enough; no wonder you Yankees lost that one......... If you and your relatives promise not to bring them I will settle you all in my garden free! I surrender! You have threatened what George Washington never could!

I don't want to watch your video; I would need to stay permanently drunk afterwards. I have read the assorted horror stories about methane and methane clathrates and and and......I have no illusions about what is inevitable and what we can only hope to mitigate by whatever sane policies we can put together. Unfortuneately the world is run by the insane and most of the rest of the world wants cars and air conditioners and and and and and...........

The CO2 greenhouse effect and Anthropogenic Global Heating were taught as an idea at my British primary school in 1959 and also in my first years at secondary school. It was seen as a possibility then .Indeed, it had been modelled in 1894. In 1974, a latter-day British explorer and adventurer, Wally Herbert, sledged across the north pole from one side to the other and remarked on how wet the place was compared with Peary's days, reporting ice melt that was unusual.And it was around that time that science began to take the AGH notion seriously, drilling holes in Antarctica to get a handle on past climatic changes. And it was when I started to wonder about the rapid rate of glacial melt in the mountains where I was working at the time.

I gather that the 2050 thing about Vietnam came from Vietnamese government research. But the Vietnamese discovered the SUV and aircon only 20 years ago so things can only get worse. There is a 200% tax on buying a new car, which only gives it greater status. Hanoi didn't used to have gridlock.


Yeah Caroline,

I don't have a magic answer here I'm afraid. In my case, since I was off-shored to them and got married out here, I'm addicted to Pacific Islands. I don't do well in cold slippery climates. So the typhoons, floods, droughts, price extortion, vodoo and threat of revolt and war are constant threats in paradise that come with the territory. The extreme contrasts are what make it spectacular, however. A great discovery in my life was losing everything in the states, and discovering I'm much happier poor on mysterious islands where being homeless or poor is not a crime.

A thousandaire is a millionaire in the poorest countries in SE Asia. Everyone loves Americans here as they don't watch any Wall Street propaganda except NBA basketball and tons of American music, which is comforting hearing it everywhere. But our poitically correct ideas must be left at home. These places are very different than the USA (example: cockfighting is common) and living overseas happily means not trying to change how millions of people live in their democratic home.

Here's an interesting Pew Research blurb on Americans overseas that you may find interesting:


Well, I did watch the video. That EPA guy: I just loved the reaction he provoked among the young ladies in the TV room. He was superb. I wonder when he lost his job.

I have long consoled myself with the thought that we are only one of nature's feedback mechanisms, returning the planet to a benefical habitat for blue green algae and cyanobacteria. They messed up their atmosphere around 2 billion years ago when they poisoned it with oxygen.

However, we will leave an interesting legacy for future aliens; footprints and space junk on the Moon, space junk on Mars, and a layer of variably shaped Coca-Cola bottles in every possible environment coupled with a thin radioactive layer containing plastic globules. The alien geologist will write learned papers to its planetary version of Nature and Physical Sciences speculating on the evolutionary shapes of the Coca-Cola bottle and wondering how such a strange organism could possibly leave footprints on the Moon, let alone build space-craft. No doubt such an alien scientist would become highly respected and win assorted academic accolades. And of course, the shift from glass carapace to polycarbonate carapace will be found to coincide with ice-core data indicating rapid global heating so that the polycarbonate carapace will be seen as a last minute adaptation to cope with Cocacolianensis sapiens sapiens-induced global heating.

Now for that bottle and a dark room; I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.



I'll have one with you. Love your practical English/Aussie perspective. I have greatly enjoyed our friendship.



Roughly speaking, solid ice has a density of .92 grams per cubic centimeter, where pure water is 1 gram per CC. So 1 gram of ice takes up around 1.087 CC's, but because it weighs 1 gram, it will displace only 1 CC of pure water (from Archimedes), which means .087 CC (8% of the total volume of ice) will be floating above the water level. If this were all there were to it, then when the ice melted, it would simply shrink down to fit into the 1 CC it previously displaced, and there would be no change to the water level. But sea ice is more buoyant than this.

Typically, around 13% of sea ice is above water level. The main reason is that salt water is denser than pure water. A fairly typical density near the surface is 1.025 grams per CC, or .975 CC per gram. So when the ice melts and the part above water descends into the water, it won't fit into the amount of seawater it displaced, so the volume of water below the surface must increase to accommodate the extra--which is around 2.4% of the volume of the melted water.

Another, though smaller, reason is secondary buoyancy. Each cubic kilometer of ice above seawater still has about 1.2 million metric tonnes of atmospheric buoyancy. That decreases the amount of seawater displaced by the same mass, and thereby increases the volume of ice above the water level by the same volume as the reduced seawater displacement. When that ice melts, atmospheric buoyancy is lost, and the extra ice above water level melts and drops into the sea, and the volume of the sea has to increase to accommodate the surplus. And if the ice has much entrained air, this effect is increased.

One other factor has to do with saline density. Perhaps you already know that if you add salt to pure water slowly enough for it to dissolve as you add it, the water level actually decreases (until it approaches saturation). But there is a reverse of this effect if you add fresh water to brine. The final volume will be greater than the sum of the two volumes. As the seas become less saline from ice melt, they become less dense, which again means their volume has to increase.

For the scenario you describe to work--where sea levels go down as a result of floating ice melting--it would have to be the case that the volume of the ice melt was less than the volume of the seawater it previously displaced. For that to work, the ice would have to be less buoyant than the pure water example. Either the fluid it is floating in has to be less dense than pure water (definitely not the case with seawater), or the ice must have a net density that is closer to the fluid it is floating in. And there actually is a way that can happen. If a chunk of ice is carrying a great load of entrained rock--as sometimes happens with glacial ice--it has a higher net density, it floats lower, and thereby displace more seawater. (This is the opposite of the entrained air effect.) If it is carrying enough rock for less than 8% of the ice to be above water, then when it melts (and shrinks) the resulting smaller volume of the melt doesn't quite fill the volume it previously displaced, and the net water level goes down. But most of the floating sea ice is not glacial ice, and about the only source of rock I can think of for floating polar ice is meteorites, which isn't nearly enough on average to submerge ice below the 8% mark.

Those are the dominant relevant factors I can think of, but if you had in mind some other reason as to why sea levels should go down when floating sea ice melts, I would, of course, be interested to hear about it.


Thanks for the detail and the effort you have put into your reply.


Alas. But my offer of room on the jetty seems to have been in vain. My GPS has just told me, after about 4 hours keeping watch, that we live at 201 feet a.s.l. Which just isn't good enough even given a potential few feet of error either way. There may be space on the roof however...........But on further reflection it may be of little use as, when civilisation goes down, there will remain around 460 to maybe 520 untended nuclear power stations bubbling away. It seems that Vietnam has put their plans for a nuclear reactor on hold, possibly because they are less confident than others that the rising seas won't flood it.