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Patrick Chappatte, The International Herald Tribune

24 Hours of Reality Forgot About People

Climate Change Efforts Should Focus on Adaptation


Sunday, November 10, 2013
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Every year since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change came into force in 1994, the UN has held massive international conferences of representatives from countries that are Parties to the Convention. The Convention has been signed by nearly all the world’s nations, including the United States, and sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to “tackle the challenge posed by climate change.” The most important part of these conferences is the Conference of the Parties (COP), the “supreme body” of the Convention. From November 11–22, 2013, the 19th annual COP takes place at the next UNFCCC meeting in Warsaw, Poland.

Nicely timed to broadcast in advance of the next United Nations conference on climate change, Al Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality — which showed October 22-23 — ironically had little to say about helping people adapt to climate change.

Across the globe, many people suffer and die from extreme weather and, ultimately, dangerous climate change. These phenomena are a normal part of our planet’s dynamic environment, one we must properly prepare for and adapt to or suffer the consequences. History is littered with examples of societies that failed largely because they could not cope with extreme climate change. A good example was the once prosperous Greenland Viking colonies which perished when the Medieval Warm Period ended in the mid 14th century. Even today, indigenous populations in the Arctic and the Sahel region of Africa experience severe hardship due in part to natural climate change.

In the 24 Hours of Reality broadcast, Gore’s primary “solution” to the alleged global warming crisis is to drastically cut back on our emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) that he believes are causing climate problems. This will eventually mitigate, or stop, the climate crisis, he tells us. When the program’s guests brought up adaptation, the hosts usually steered the conversation back to mitigation. Gore himself said little about helping vulnerable populations cope with climate change that we see happening today.

Most sensible people see Gore’s approach as backward. Helping people suffering from climate change in the present, however caused, is obviously far more important than helping people yet to be born who may experience climate problems in the future.

Yet according to a report just issued from the San Francisco–based Climate Policy Initiative, only 6 percent of the approximately $359 billion spent each year across the world on climate finance goes to helping people adapt to climate change today. The rest goes to trying to stop dangerous manmade global warming that computer simulations forecast may happen decades in the future. This is in direct contradiction to the approach agreed to in Copenhagen, where participants in the 2009 United Nations climate conference committed to a 50-50 funding split between adaptation and mitigation.

Even in the developed world, it is far more productive to focus on adaptation than spending vast sums on mitigation no matter what you believe about the causes of climate change. The New York Times published a letter to the editor from a Manhattan-based lawyer who explained that, even in the middle of Hurricane Sandy, he had uninterrupted Internet, telephone, and electric power because all of his cables were buried underground. This is one example of how we need to harden our societies to withstand extreme events, independent of their causes. We need to reinforce buildings and strengthen public infrastructure by building levees and upgrading our irrigation systems where needed. We also need to relocate populations living on flood plains or at risk from tornadoes and hurricanes. The cost will be huge, but recent studies show that it is far cheaper than trying to stop these events from happening. Regardless, we have no other responsible choice. Our expanding population will continue to put increasing numbers of people in harm’s way if we do not undertake major adaptation projects.

Yet mitigation has received the lion’s share of climate finance for several reasons. First, it is highly profitable for large corporations engaged in carbon trading and alternative energy generation through wind and solar power. Growing biofuels also leads to windfall profits for large agri-business conglomerates. Mitigation expands government control of the economy and gives politicians an excuse to raise taxes to cover society’s CO2 emissions. It also furthers the objectives of one-world government advocates since international mitigation agreements increasingly bring oil, coal, and natural gas combustion, 85 percent of all energy generation in the world, under UN control. Finally, since mitigation, not adaptation, is the focus of loud environmental lobby groups and most climate researchers, politicians feel they must craft “global solutions to a global problem” to generate favorable media coverage.

By comparison, adaptation involves local actions to solve local problems. For example, building a dike is only necessary if local sea level rise is a problem. Trends in mean sea level across the world are immaterial. Similarly, providing air conditioners to senior citizens is only necessary if heat waves are problematic in regions where seniors actually live. It makes no difference whether the planet as a whole is warming or cooling.

The sort of boots-on-the-ground approach needed for many adaptation projects is not attractive for politicians and activists intent on saving the planet. Adaptation projects are generally not very profitable for multinational corporations. Adaptation does not prop up multimillion-dollar computerized climate research, does nothing to further government or UN control of the economy, and offers little for media seeking exciting headlines.

Adaptation takes leadership and hard, grinding work to make happen. It may not be glamorous, but it is something successful societies have always had to do. It is the real climate reality Al Gore should focus on.

Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada–based International Climate Science Coalition (climatescienceinternational.org).

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Pound of cure?

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
November 11, 2013 at 7:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Kinda weird telling Gore what he should focus on. Obviously mitigation and help in adapting to current conditions are both vital, but why should Gore focus on both?

rubenken (anonymous profile)
November 11, 2013 at 12:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

None of us, including Al Gore, should accept as credible, anything concerning Global Climate change that is promoted by a phony coalition funded entirely by the fossil fuel industry.

This propaganda is nothing but complete climate denier BS and obfuscation, written by Tom Harris who is a full time bought and paid for climate change denier.

RobEgenolf (anonymous profile)
November 11, 2013 at 6:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Even if the points made by RobEgenolf were correct (and they are certainly not), none of his statements have any relevance to the climate change policy debate whatsoever. All that matters is whether or not carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activities are currently causing, or, in the foreseeable future, are likely to cause dangerous global warming and other climate problems.

It certainly has not happened yet since any appreciable global warming stopped 17 years ago and warming during the 20th century was very modest (about 0.7 deg C).

So, the question is, will continued rise in CO2 cause dangerous climate change in the future? No one knows because we do not yet understand the science well enough to know how to program the computer models that are the basis of the climate scare. All we can do at present is guess the future and see what guesses work as the future unfolds.

In the meantime, we know with absolute certainty that climate change, whatever the cause, affects people, the poor being the most vulnerable. Yet almost all of the world’s funding for climate change goes to the possibility of “stopping (mitigating) global warming” that might happen decades from now. That this is immoral when people who are suffering and dying right now due to climate change are receiving little or no support was the main point of our article. Rather than “propaganda”, sensible people see the current climate funding distribution between mitigation and adaptation a tragedy. Many African representatives I spoke with at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference agreed that the current mitigation focus of international efforts is entirely backwards.

However, that said, I am glad to see it when our opponents have nothing of value to bring up, just logical fallacies such as guilt by association, motive intent and ad hominem. A good start to correct these problems would be for people like RobEgenolf to actually read the article and tell us where he disagrees with the argument being presented. At the same time, he would then see we are anything but a climate change denier, whatever that means.

TomHarrisICSC (anonymous profile)
November 11, 2013 at 8:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Tom wins the argument about adaptation being necessary. However, I have trouble believing that we are unable to measure whether or not man's activities on the planet are changing the weather or not.
With the human population approaching such vast numbers, it seems that it would be ignorant to think we don't have an affect on the planet in some capacity if bovine flatulence has one. My problem with what you have laid out above Tom is how short sighted you come off with statements like: "Most sensible people see Gore’s approach as backward. Helping people suffering from climate change in the present, however caused, is obviously far more important than helping people yet to be born who may experience climate problems in the future." First you dis some people as backward (not bad if they are factually incorrect, yours is opinion), yet you can't seem to look forward either. Here are some 'duh' moments:
"For example, building a dike is only necessary if local sea level rise is a problem. "
and another
"Similarly, providing air conditioners to senior citizens is only necessary if heat waves are problematic in regions where seniors actually live." You really are aiming for the intelligentsia with this.
"Growing biofuels also leads to windfall profits for large agri-business conglomerates. Mitigation expands government control of the economy and gives politicians an excuse to raise taxes to cover society’s CO2 emissions. It also furthers the objectives of one-world government advocates since international mitigation agreements increasingly bring oil, coal, and natural gas combustion, 85 percent of all energy generation in the world, under UN control." And there it is, the people you are trying to reach. Can we have our fear for the real bad guys (Big Oil) before the sequel or the parallel sequel hits theaters? One world government..... oh boy. Conspiracy too mixed in with a bunch of poo.
"The cost will be huge, but recent studies show that it is far cheaper than trying to stop these events from happening." You give up too easy. Of course, economics trumps everything in corporate world. Problem is if science proves drastic climate change is due to burning fossil fuels, which business has profited the most and could afford the bill?
Hating on Al Gore and refusing to ponder the root cause of climate change makes you look like every other guy who does what he wants without care for the cause and effect on future generations (juvenile delinquent). You couldn't be a vampire with such lack of foresight, but you just might be a lizard.

spacey (anonymous profile)
November 11, 2013 at 10:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why do I also feel like you really don't care about the people right now as much as you say you do when you don't give a hoot about the unborn? Diversion from your one world oil conglomerate?

spacey (anonymous profile)
November 11, 2013 at 11:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A surprising alternative is being born. It can illuminate a way to transform the energy arena!

“The thermal energy content of the atmosphere, ocean, and upper crust is estimated to be more than 10,000 times that of the world's fossil fuel reserves, making it a potentially inexhaustible reservoir of green energy.” Daniel P. Sheehan University of San Diego

AESOP Institute is prototyping THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COOLS. This engine will run on the thermal energy content of the atmosphere, a form of solar energy.

See www.aesopinstitute.org to learn more about this hard to believe NO FUEL ENGINE.

It will exhaust cold air. Think of it as a refrigerator that generates electricity.

A 24/7 inexpensive power producing alternative to radioactive and fossil fuels.

The possibility of such an engine is denied by a few scientists who seem to fear experimentation that would prove engines running on atmospheric heat are possible.

Once validated by independent labs, the prototype will provide an exciting path to new science that could slow, and perhaps open a path to reverse, Global Warming.

MarkGoldes (anonymous profile)
November 11, 2013 at 11:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Stacey: You seem to have made some unjustifed leaps in faith here.

I didn't say whether I like or dislike Al Gore.

I didn't advocate ignoring the possible problems of people yet to be born. Otherwise, why would I advocate harding our infrastructure for future problems

I didn't advocate not pondering "the root cause of climate change.

I am not a lizard.

My point was simply that, in my opinion, and in that of an increasing number of people around the world, left, right and center, it is immoral to care for the concerns of people yet to be born almost 20 times as much as caring for those suffering and dying right now. That is what the current funding ratio indicates. Do you think this is right?

TomHarrisICSC (anonymous profile)
November 12, 2013 at 12:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It is all our plot to expand our territory. When refuse is thrown into the ocean, we eat it, and we create flatulence. We then submerge deeper into water, "break wind" (not to use the "F" word) and the distance the bubbles travel after we pass gas has a different gas quality as opposed to when we expel gas at the higher water levels. The gas then dissipates into the atmosphere, and it creates global warming. Fast forward about 100 years then the coastal areas of the U.S. (certainly the most desirable) are flooded, but it happens so gradually that humans have plenty of time to move further inland, (thus redefining "coastal") and then WE take over the coastal areas by swimming in to them.

In 100 years dolphins will be swimming through the courtyard!

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
November 12, 2013 at 5:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

By the way, what's with the Thai Buddha cartoon?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
November 12, 2013 at 5:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Tommy Boy, you mistake a challenge of the very credibility of what you write with an ad hominem attack on you.

As for your clear biases, that horse left the barn years ago and anyone who spends a few easy minutes on google can validate concerns about your funding and background

You probably are indeed a myopic fool, (there I now have attacked you personally) but the problem I have is with your propaganda piece that has as it very goal the diversion you now accuse in others in your comments above.

“Please don’t try to prevent climate disaster any longer but instead look only at the impact on the impact poor (while your supporters continue to spew fossil fuel byproducts into the atmosphere)”

That attempt is all the more laughable when one realizes your support is from the 1% who care not one whit about the real issues impacting the poor.

Your stated philosophy no different than falling from an airplane and instead of trying to find a an effective way to make your parachute slow you down before you hit the ground, you instead want to decide what method should be used to clean up the mess after you hit the ground.

We still need to find ways to slow that destructive descent before we focus only on the mess it will leave when it hits.

RobEgenolf (anonymous profile)
November 12, 2013 at 8:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Tom Harris and his group are "climate change deniers" with ties to the Heartland Institute:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Harr...)

http://climatesight.org/tag/internati...

http://deepclimate.org/tag/internatio...

This guy is not to be trusted.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 12, 2013 at 9:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

EastBeach - what would you expect groups who's very purpose is to discredit anyone who disagrees with political correctness about climate change to say about groups like ICSC? Exactly what they say. I have tried to correct them but they don't care since they assume people like you will use their material to throw around accusations without even asking how much of it is true (or even relevant).

The fact that Heartland supposedly gave ICSC some funds in 2007 (before I was even with ICSC so I don't have the records to even check if it is true) makes no difference to our actions 6 years later. If we tried to tell the scientists who work with us what to say based on what a funder wanted, they would quite immediately.

What in my piece do you agree or disagree with? That is all that counts.

TomHarrisICSC (anonymous profile)
November 12, 2013 at 4:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I note that RobEgenolf is still throwing darts at me instead of constructively discussing what he agrees with or disagrees with in the article. Presumably RobEgenolf is happy with the current situation where only 6% of the roughly $1 billion a day that goes to climate finance actually goes to helping real people suffering today from real problems. Pretty sad. All the rest of red herrings.

TomHarrisICSC (anonymous profile)
November 12, 2013 at 4:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There are other issues of flatulence as well coming from humpbacked whales, as this short video explains. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isxuT2...

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
November 13, 2013 at 5:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

That thin, Thai-style Buddha (as opposed to the rotund Chinese ones) sort of looks like O.J. Simpson defense attorney Robert Shapira.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
November 13, 2013 at 5:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why The Second Law of Thermodynamics Rules Out Strictly Ambient Heat Engines

Expecting an ambient heat engine to do any work, with only one heat reservoir, is exactly equivalent to expecting a teapot to boil water by absorbing heat from a block of ice.

Both processes are ruled out by the very same law - the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

An ambient heat engine, with only one heat reservoir, would not merely have to "circumvent" the Second Law of Thermodynamics - it would actually have to DISPROVE the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

An engine that only uses ambient heat would need to be able to DECREASE the entropy of the universe. The Second Law tells us that we can never decrease the entropy of the universe, or of an isolated system.

As a consequence of this law:

"It is impossible for any device operating on a cycle to produce net work from a single temperature reservoir; the production of net work requires flow of heat from a hotter reservoir to a colder reservoir."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy#...

In a strictly ambient heat engine there are not two heat reservoirs at different temperatures; no reservoir would be available at any temperature other than the ambient temperature. Therefore the engine would have to DECREASE the total entropy - and therefore we know for certain that the engine will disappoint us. It will never be able to do any work.

Flow of heat from a block of ice to lukewarm water would also result in a DECREASE of the total entropy.

Once again: Expecting an ambient heat engine to do any work, with only one heat reservoir, is exactly equivalent to expecting a teapot to boil water by absorbing heat from a block of ice. Anyone who claims to be developing a "prototype" of such an engine is only developing a pretense, and nothing more.

http://physicsreviewboard.wordpress.c...

http://physicsreviewboard.wordpress.c...

PhysicsReviewBoard (anonymous profile)
November 23, 2013 at 4:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mark Goldes' make-believe "refrigerator that generates electricity" would have to DISPROVE the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

A "refrigerator that generates electricity" from strictly ambient heat would need to be able to DECREASE the entropy of the universe. The Second Law tells us that we can never decrease the entropy of the universe.

As a consequence of this law:

"It is impossible for any device operating on a cycle to produce net work from a single temperature reservoir; the production of net work requires flow of heat from a hotter reservoir to a colder reservoir."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy#...

In Goldes' make-believe strictly ambient heat engine there are not two heat reservoirs at different temperatures; no reservoir would be available at any temperature other than the ambient temperature. No matter what cycle we design with this constraint, we will find that the cycle would have to decrease the entropy of the universe in order to do any work.

In Mark Goldes' patent application for his "POWERGENIE" horn-powered tuning-rod engine, he described the tuning-rod as "an energy transfer and multiplier element."

But of course, for the tuning-rod to "multiply" energy, it would need to disprove the law of conservation of energy. (Obviously the Patent Office should never have allowed such a description.)

Goldes' use of the term "energy multiplier element" reflects his pretense that the "revolutionary breakthrough" of the amazing "POWERGENIE" could disprove the law of conservation of energy, by presenting the world with a working "energy multiplier."

But it seems that most people, for some reason, had difficulty accepting the notion that the law of conservation of energy could be proven false.

And Goldes no doubt noticed that the Second Law of Thermodynamics - that "the entropy of an isolated system tends to increase with time and can never decrease" - is much less clear to most people than the conservation of energy.

So now, after leaving aside the pretense that he could somehow "multiply energy" with a magnetized tuning-rod, Goldes has chosen to focus, instead, on the pretense that he can disprove the Second Law with an engine powered by ambient heat only.

There is no "new science" in any of Goldes' "revolutionary breakthroughs." There is only pseudoscience and pretense - and nothing new, at all.

http://physicsreviewboard.wordpress.c...

PhysicsReviewBoard (anonymous profile)
November 23, 2013 at 5:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Aesop Institute’s Most Laughable Pseudotype

Aesop Institute’s Perpetual Flimflam Generator, Mark Goldes, has made continual declarations over the past decade that Aesop Institute is “developing prototypes” of various amazing “NO FUEL ENGINES” engines utilizing “revolutionary new technology.”

In fact, Goldes and his companies have never developed any true prototypes – they has only ever developed pseudotypes. We define “pseudotype” as simply an elaborate but false pretense that there exists a true prototype as described by the pseudotype.

For example, let’s take a look at one of Goldes’ most laughable offerings in “revolutionary new technology” – the ludicrous pseudotype he called the “POWERGENIE.”

The “POWERGENIE” – perhaps the most laughable of Mark Goldes’ many invention scams – is actually a pseudotype horn-powered generator. The brilliant idea of this revolutionary breakthrough is to blow a horn at a magnetized tuning rod, designed to resonate at the frequency of the horn, and then collect the electromotive energy produced by the vibrations of the rod.

I’m not making this up.

POWERGENIE tuning rod engine explained – from the patent:

[The device incorporates] “an energy transfer and multiplier element being constructed of a ferromagnetic substance… having a natural resonance, due to a physical structure whose dimensions are directly proportional to the wavelength of the resonance frequency…”

“In this resonant condition, the rod material functions as a tuned waveguide, or longitudinal resonator, for acoustic energy.”

“Ferrite rod 800 is driven to acoustic resonance at the second harmonic of its fundamental resonant frequency by acoustic horn 811, resulting in acoustic wave 816 within the rod having two nodal points… Bias magnet 801 produces magnetic flux 802 extending axially through both nodal points developed within rod 800… The sum electromotive force of coils 820 and 821 develops electrical current and power in resistive load 830.”

- But the patent doesn’t tell us who is going to volunteer to blow the horn at the rod all day. Perhaps it will come with an elephant.

Goldes claimed in 2008 that this wonderful triumph of human genius would bring his company, Magnetic Power Inc, one billion dollars in annual revenue by 2012. Magnetic Power Inc is now defunct, having never produced any “Magnetic Power Modules” – just as his company called “Room Temperature Superconductors Inc” is also now defunct, having never produced any “room temperature superconductors.”

There is no “new science” in any of Goldes’ “revolutionary breakthroughs.” There is only pseudoscience and pretense – and nothing new, at all.

http://physicsreviewboard.wordpress.c...

http://physicsreviewboard.wordpress.c...

PhysicsReviewBoard (anonymous profile)
November 25, 2013 at 6:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Aesop Institute is a wonderfully elaborate fraud, operated by Mark Goldes.

Mark Goldes, starting in the mid-seventies, engaged for several years in the pretense that his company SunWind Ltd was developing a nearly production-ready, road-worthy, wind-powered "windmobile," based on the windmobile invented by James Amick; and that therefore SunWind would be a wonderful investment opportunity.

After SunWind "dried up" in 1983, Goldes embarked on the long-running pretense that his company Room Temperature Superconductors Inc was developing room-temperature superconductors; and that therefore Room Temperature Superconductors Inc would be a wonderful investment opportunity. He continues the pretense that the company developed something useful, even to this day.

And then Goldes embarked on the pretense that his company Magnetic Power Inc was developing "NO FUEL ENGINES" based on "Virtual Photon Flux;" and then, on the pretense that MPI was developing horn-powered "NO FUEL ENGINES" based on the resonance of magnetized tuning-rods; and then, on the pretense that his company Chava Energy was developing water-fueled engines based on "collapsing hydrogen orbitals" (which are ruled out by quantum physics); and then, on the pretense that he was developing ambient-heat-powered "NO FUEL ENGINES" (which are ruled out by the Second Law of Thermodynamics).

Goldes' forty-year career of "revolutionary invention" pretense has nothing to do with science, but only with pseudoscience and pseudophysics - his lifelong stock-in-trade.

Goldes' current favorite scam is an engine that would run on ambient heat only - which is ruled out by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But of course, the laws of physics always make an exception for the scams of Mark Goldes.

Mark Goldes is a textbook-ready example of a highly talented con artist who clearly takes pleasure in fooling people with his ludicrous claims, artfully peppered with pseudoscientific rubbish.

http://physicsreviewboard.wordpress.c...

http://physicsreviewboard.wordpress.c...

PhysicsReviewBoard (anonymous profile)
November 25, 2013 at 6:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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