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  • By Tatiana Schlossberg
    TOKYO — At 12:30 p.m. on a recent Wednesday, the Ministry of the Environment offices here were almost completely in darkness, lit only by the silver-blue glow of computer screens.
    All of t […]

    • @OP The New York Times Headline! – Japan Is Obsessed With Climate Change. Young People Don’t Get It.

      It would appear that the The New York Times “does not get it”, and has cherry-picked out a minority of air-head irresponsible youngsters, who like many youngsters, have not yet grasped the responsibilities of adult citizenship!
      (Rather like many uneducated American politicians and journalists – stuck in the “rebellious youth stage” of mental development, – who worship profligate consumer consumption as a fashion status symbol!)

      @OP – link – In a 2007-8 Gallup World Poll, Japan had some of the world’s highest levels of awareness and understanding of climate change — at 99 and 91 percent, respectively — and the fifth-highest level when it came to thinking climate change was a serious problem (around 80 percent), possibly because climate change is taught in most schools.

      Japanese energy consumption has fallen every year for the past five years, but the government wants to cut energy use more deeply and faster to meet pledges made under the 2015 Paris climate accord.

    • Select the 100 most pressing problems you face, including problems for the world. Number them on a White Board…. Look at it. Now rub them all out. Write this up.

      Civilization must be sustainable for the next thousand years.

      Anything else you think is important, isn’t. Because if Civilization is not sustainable, you can’t do any of your other 100 most important tasks. Every decision we make must be made with a view to saving civilization from itself. Your football teams season doesn’t matter. Elections don’t matter. Nothing matters, if you don’t have a sustainable civilized world to carrying out all of the wonderful things we can now do.

      The issued that need to be addressed to make the world sustainable are myriad, but achievable. Chief among them is a sustainable population. One might posit global warming, but you need to ask the question.

      Is Global warming caused by burning too much carbon. Or is it the result of too many people burning some carbon.

      So lock your tray tables in the upright position and straighten your seats and hang on, because it will be a wild ride.

      Or… we might just the only intelligent species in the universe to commit voluntary mass self inflicted preventable suicide.

    • Here’s the terrifying statistic of the day. Mull this over. In the next decade it is projected that 100,000,000 people will join the fray as new automobile drivers. They will own the first car in their blood line. A whole lotta people “coming online” and adding to the issue. If it is not readily apparent right this minute and some people need some further convincing… This is going to be a disaster.

    • AHHH!!! Alan 4,
      the eternal optimist! Good show. The 100 million are primarily in China and I am not sure of the automobile industry’s initiatives in China. But certainly a potential spike in emissions.

    • What is going wrong? People have been encouraged to make up their mind on climate change based on personal intuition. It is as grandiose as Rush Limbaugh having an intuition-based opinion on the mass of the Higgs-Boson.

      Most people now agree that the world is warming. What they disagree on is whether man could cause it. What none of them know is Svante Arrhenius worked out the formula between CO2 concentration and warming way back in the 1800s. It did not become controversial until the 1980s. We know the CO2 concentration is man-made because we know how much fuel we burned. We have the receipts. When we burn a litre of gasoline, we know to three decimal points how much CO2 we release. This is not rocket science. It is very old, very established science. Arrhenius is also the guy who discovered ions. That is how old this science is.

    • From The New York Times Article: An inherent tension between the seeming ineffectiveness of immediate and individual action and the long view the government is trying to take here may be common to every society trying to reduce emissions and to encourage participation.

      From New York Times Article: Campaigns and voluntary programs like the ones Japan has started are “relatively small bore,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, a research scientist at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the director of its climate change communication program. “It’s very difficult for individual people to see how those behaviors relate to climate change.”
      That seems to be part of the problem for many young Japanese like Shota Kanai, 23, an analyst at an e-commerce company in Tokyo.
      “This issue is too big,” he wrote in an email, “and I feel my actions cannot make any difference.”

      The case for what may be called pragmatic indifference to climate change is once more made. The growing fossil fuel infrastructure served by growing production and consumption of fossil fuels -oil, natural gas, and coal ( exception: global coal consumption will certainly decline) will be with the world for many decades to come despite significant penetration by renewable fuel sources generating clean energy.

      Global warming climate science has become a basket case of muddled alarmist warnings, statistics and uncertain projections. Millennials give a mandatory nod to concerns after each stale polemic against inaction then sensibly return to the business and pleasure of daily life under the status quo. Until scientists invent technology that will disseminate sources of clean affordable energy that will power everything that the world depends on, concentrations of anthropogenic CO2 will remain more or less the same for generations. Scolding Japanese kids and castigating global warming deniers are part and parcel of the same impotent public relations strategy.

    • Melvin #9
      Dec 17, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      Global warming climate science has become a basket case of muddled alarmist warnings, statistics and uncertain projections.

      This is utter nonsense, for which there is no credible evidence.
      The belief by the gullible and deceived in lies and nonsense circulated by dishonest media, has nothing to do with the validity of the warnings given by reputable science sources.

      Millennials give a mandatory nod to concerns after each stale polemic against inaction

      The more gullible and irresponsible ones do!
      Fortunately many governments do seek expert advice and are now starting to address climate management problems seriously, so legally impose requirements on the stupid, selfish, and irresponsible.

      then sensibly return to the business and pleasure of daily life under the status quo.

      I think you perhaps meant then stupidly return to the business and pleasure of daily life under the status quo. – where reckless, irresponsible, or corrupt, governments permit this.

      Until scientists invent technology that will disseminate sources of clean affordable energy that will power everything that the world depends on, concentrations of anthropogenic CO2 will remain more or less the same for generations.

      “Everything” is a very tall order, but given that extensive technology that disseminates sources of clean affordable energy, has already been invented or is at advanced stages of development, continued high CO2 emissions can only be attributed to short-sighted human stupidity!

      Scolding Japanese kids and castigating global warming deniers are part and parcel of the same impotent public relations strategy.

      Not at all!
      It is the dishonest denialist propagandists and the short-sighted selfishly stupid, who are the problem!
      Impotent and ineffective governments who are incompetent at environmental and economic management, are a feature of ignorant and backward populations who support such governments.

    • Scolding Japanese kids and castigating global warming deniers are part and parcel of the same impotent public relations strategy.
      It is the dishonest denialist propagandists and the short-sighted selfishly stupid, who are the problem!
      Impotent and ineffective governments who are incompetent at environmental and economic management, are a feature of ignorant and backward populations who support such governments.

      The conversation needs to shift from vitriol to human behavior. If individual or collective stupidity is the only obstacle to fighting climate change we’d be home free. More attention should be focused on why the masses of humanity in both developed and developing countries care so little about actually “fighting” climate change or only making piecemeal progress with renewable energy. Adding another rant using the stabbed-in-the-back
      propaganda above goes nowhere.

    • Melvin #11
      Dec 17, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      The conversation needs to shift from vitriol to human behavior.

      Not really! Reprimanding anti-social and wilfully destructive behaviour, is a feature of responsible societies with a moral outlook and an enforced legal system which looks after the interests of the community.

      If individual or collective stupidity is the only obstacle to fighting climate change we’d be home free.

      This is yet another strawman!
      Numerous posts have explained quite clearly that the stupidity is combined and generated by wilful deceitful irresponsible greedy people, propagating denial and false assurances based on ignorance and wilful ignorance!

      More attention should be focused on why the masses of humanity in both developed and developing countries

      I realise that in a whole series of posts you have sought to focus attention anywhere except back home, where you could take action!

      More attention should be focused on why the masses of humanity in both developed and developing countries care so little about actually “fighting” climate change

      Many of them do care, but their corrupt politicians are in the pocket of profiteering polluters.
      Others are simply uneducated, unaware of the evidence and wilfully misled by others.
      The real rogues, are those who do know, but sit in denial because THEY don’t want to bother taking responsibility for the actions they CAN take.

      care so little about actually “fighting” climate change or only making piecemeal progress with renewable energy.

      It should be obvious that the progress with renewable energy will move one technology, one industry, and one step at a time, in each location according to local conditions and opportunities, as it replaces the old obsolete polluting industries.
      All major changes in infrastructure have to be organised by leaders of government and leaders of industry, with both technological and educational preparations.
      Individuals can only do their small parts in co-operating, supporting change, educating themselves, and taking what actions they can within their own spheres of influence.

      Adding another rant using the stabbed-in-the-back propaganda above goes nowhere.

      Ranting denial, and describing educational material as “propaganda”, does not help, while projecting emotional irrationality onto critics of denial and deception, is counter-productive self-deception.

      Those causing massive future damage and liabilities to everyone else on the planet, DO need to be smacked down for their irresponsible selfish behaviour.
      Unfortunately at present in the USA as in many right-wing dictatorships, the bandits seem to be taking over the government, so they can continue to rob the people with impunity!

      However, (as I explained @#1), the OP set-back among the young in Japan – which is probably a result of the influence of the global dishonest media, is only a minor one in terms of world ratings of countries for climate adaptation and preparation.

    • The threshold we need to overcome with this problem is mainly those people who endlessly seek the deferral of committing to the task… (The dogmatically selfish, those who feel a particular religious or nationalistic entitlement, deafen themselves to evidence and reason and are beyond reach.) Those deferers who will not step up to the plate

      …Until scientists invent technology.

      …are the pull-able lever.

      We seemingly can neither fix the planet nor step off it until the solution is tied up in a bow and presented on a silver platter, keeping people’s lives continually serene and protected from the least disturbance.

      The technology available now is the technology that will prevail in the immediate decades to come. Its refinement and value engineering depend only on sustained and volume adoption and use and the courage of a government and an electorate to endorse and commit to supporting it.

      The over-arching argument is in favour of sustainability, creating topical viable solutions for all resources, through more efficient use of energy and material. This is needed now to manage our temporary topical population catastrophes and to bequeath our kids a future without squandering their inheritance. AGW is just one consequence of failing to do this.

      This means we have two utterly compelling reasons to do exactly the same thing. Those who continue to defer from loud endorsement and a personal transition to treading more lightly on the planet are doubly shamed.

    • Melvin #11
      Dec 17, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      actually “fighting” climate change or only making piecemeal progress with renewable energy.

      That’s the thing about “making piecemeal progress” in a diversified system:

      It progresses one LED light at a time, one wind turbine at a time, one coal plant closure at a time, one solar panel at a time, one hydro-dam at at time, one tidal turbine at a time, one insulated building at a time, one prohibition or taxation of polluters at a time, one geothermal bore-hole at a time, one biofuel production plant at a time, one polluting vehicle at a time, taken off the road and scrapped, (@#6), and one new electric vehicle at a time, ONCE THE OVERARCHING POLICIES, MECHANISMS, PRODUCTION FACILITIES, MARKET MECHANISMS AND LEGAL FRAMEWORKS HAVE BEEN PUT IN PLACE.

    • Phil #13: The technology available now is the technology that will prevail in the immediate decades to come.

      A statistical thought experiment. ( Okay, guys it’s late at night so check my math and logic))

      In 1990 European Union carbon dioxide emissions measured 5,735,100,000 tons. EU policy mandates an 80% drop in those emissions by 2050 or [100% -80% = %20] or .2 X 5,735,100,000 tones = 1,147,020,000 tons by 2050. EU population is projected to grow by 9 million from 506,000,000 to 515,000,000. 515,000,000 people divided by by 1,147,020,000 tone = 2.27 tons per capita.

      2016 Sub-Saharan Africa population is 974,000,000. Per capita emissions are .8 ton for a total of
      .8 X 974,000,000 = 779,200,00 tons.

      By 2050, African economies should achieve parity with European per capita energy consumption at the high-tech reduced rate of only 2.227 tons of carbon emissions per person. By 2050 Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to have 2,128,000,000. 2,128,000,000 people X 2.227 tone per capita = 4,739,056,000 tons.

      In 2050, therefore, the combined carbon emissions of the United Kingdom and Sub-Saharan Africa will be: 1,147,020,000 + 4,739,056,000 = 5,886,076,000.

      The combined UK and Sub-Saharan emissiond in 2016 are around

    • COMMENT #15 ABOVE CONTINUED… In 2016 the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa emitted around
      4,419,200,000 tons + 779,200,000 tons = 5,198,400,000 tones.

      By 2050 the two entities will emit [5,886,076,000 tons – 5,198,400,000 =] 687,676,000 more tons than in 2016.

      Sorry for some typos . The calculations seem correct. 2050 would include the several decades Phil allows for technological innovations to work effective reductions. Because rapidly increasing regions of world population use so little energy, net reductions may fall abysmally short even granting 60%, 70%, 80% cut backs on the part of Europeans while the energy poor achieve energy-use parity, and decent living standards with their western counterparts. If either or both developed and developing countries fall slightly behind on achieving emissions targets reliant on green technology, the net result could mean little effective change, perhaps likely increases in greenhouse gas emissions by mid century.

    • Melvin

      Before you finish this, let me say I think your understanding of my comment is entirely flawed. My

      … technology available now is the technology that will prevail in the immediate decades to come.

      reflects what technology choices will be available to us immediately and is a comment on your prevaricating over the arrival of some new marvelous technology..

      By 2050, African economies should achieve parity with European per capita energy consumption at the high-tech reduced rate of only 2.227 tons of carbon emissions per person.

      is a logical nonesense projecting many decades into the future suggesting regions with entirely different legacies of old technologies and no technologies would converge on the same technology mix and economic outcomes. Should this happen by some astonishing means then you have also to entirely remodel the demographic projections to show this early uptick in wealth, one dollar a day to ten and ten to a hundred, utterly crashing the total fertility rate of 5.5 births to down below 2.3 to 2.1 (the current replacement rates poor and rich).

      In the immediate decades, if you can sell an ebike with a means to charge it for free forever more for only 30% more than the bike alone to folk who currently walk, why should they end up consuming as much as persuading some inadequate dick in an truck to trade it in for a modern efficient compact? The legacy technology situation will always be the slower to adopt the new potentials as a percentage of all technology. Legacy technology depends on vast infrastructures that are less easy to wind down and have expectations and habits that are less tractable. Technologies that are infrastructure free and more applicable to topical, piecemeal adoption in countries chronically unable to organise infrastructure even last century’s technology upon which the west still depends, will be the technology that makes the most rapid progress.

      Ah some more to read.

      Let me peruse.

    • If either or both developed and developing countries fall slightly behind on achieving emissions targets reliant on green technology.

      Whilst I think your model hopelessly simplistic we will always under-perform what potential actually exists. Folly and prevarication abound.

      We’ve hit the iceberg. Its already too late. The job is to mitigate the catastrophe. You counsel “wait” for new technology? Why?

    • Melvin #15
      Dec 19, 2016 at 2:27 am

      2016 Sub-Saharan Africa population is 974,000,000. Per capita emissions are .8 ton for a total of
      .8 X 974,000,000 = 779,200,00 tons.

      Your figures do not show what percentage of this low figure, is generated by the traditional African heating and cooking processes of burning firewood, cow dung, etc. where CO2 biologically taken from the atmosphere, is recycled through the combustion process.

      Alan @#12 – I realise that in a whole series of posts you have sought to focus attention anywhere except back home, where you could take action!

      Melvin @ #15 -2016 Sub-Saharan Africa population is 974,000,000. Per capita emissions are .8 ton

      Do you see the connection??

      It should be obvious in the sunny tropics, that solar power is likely to dominate in rational planning of new developments!

    • Phil #18: Whilst I think your model hopelessly simplistic we will always under-perform what potential actually exists. Folly and prevarication abound.

      Better to address the substance of models in argument than to label them “simplistic.” Assertions have no explanatory power.

      If we look at the per capita and total CO2 emissions of world countries, usually represented in metric tons, we see wide variations even within regions that share similar collective policies. In the EU, overall energy use and CO2 emissions have dropped significantly from 1990 levels -emissions falling about 23% on the whole. Nonetheless EU nations still rely heavily on fossil fuel. Evidence of decoupling of economic growth from emissions is ambiguous. Germany, France and the UK still account for 45% of total EU CO2, with Germany leading by far with 23% over half the 45%. UK per capita emissions are 30% less than Germany’s. Mature post industrial service economies confined within small geographic spaces -insular in the case of Britain – inhabited by stable or declining small populations are going to show better performance on paper.

      Projecting out to 2050 using 1990 base numbers calculating an 80% reduction, Germany would produce 3.107 tons of CO2 per capita, an astounding reduction (-66%) from the current 9.2 tons per capita. And this accomplished in 33 years! But the nasty surprise awaits in poor developing countries. Reducing carbon emissions to only 3 tons per capita on a global scale would still be catastrophic when adjustments for parity are made. India with 1.6 tons per capita and a current population of 1,328,900,000 emits 2,126,240,000 tons (1.6 X 1,328,900,000 = 2,126,240,000). If per capita emissions rose to 3 tons meeting the radical reduction EU target for Germany, by 2050 Indian population, projected to increase to 1,708,000,000, would result in (3 X 1,708,000,000 =) 5,124,000,000 tons = an increase of 2,997,760,000 tons in 33 years and more than double the emissions in 2016. Both enlightened Germany and developed India would emit CO2 on a per capita par of 3 tons. Who could point fingers?

      We’ve hit the iceberg. Its already too late. The job is to mitigate the catastrophe. You counsel “wait” for new technology? Why?*

      Nowhere do I counsel waiting for new technology. Numbers are numbers. Why the accusation?

    • Alan4 #Your figures do not show what percentage of this low figure, is generated by the traditional African heating and cooking processes of burning firewood, cow dung, etc. where CO2 biologically taken from the atmosphere, is recycled through the combustion process.

      Millions do burn wood and cow dung in keeping with traditions of subsistence farming, deforestation and poverty. Anyone can reduce their carbon footprint by living simpler and simpler or, most simply of all, by just dying.

      Alan @#12 – I realise that in a whole series of posts you have sought to focus attention anywhere except back home, where you could take action!
      Melvin @ #15 -2016 Sub-Saharan Africa population is 974,000,000. Per capita emissions are .8 ton Do you see the connection??

      Here back home in California, I leave a small carbon footprint by driving a fuel efficient car, consuming modestly, traveling little, conscientiously recycling, insulating my small house, and supporting the Paris Agreement. I’m also a skeptic about proposed wind, solar, and battery powered car devices promised as solutions by people who are oblivious to the growing billions of people who will come on the scene to wipe out most if any progress in reducing year-on-year anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Melvin,

      This must be getting tiresome for many here. The fact that after a couple of posts detailing why your model is crude (societies with entirely different starting conditions, climates and immediate needs, and a failure to create consistent demographic modelling) you subsequently post this

      Better to address the substance of models in argument than to label them “simplistic.”

      and then repeat exactly the same model. This is fatuous.

      The disingenuous plea that you don’t counsel waiting for new technology counts for nothing given your repeated calls for new technology being needed. This simply undercuts the wholehearted adoption of what we have got at present. These technologies are a few decades old at most and all on some satisfyingly quick downward slope of levelised cost per MWh, and needing only the maturing that comes with experience for its optimisation.

    • Melvin

      I’m also a skeptic about proposed wind, solar, and battery powered car devices promised as solutions by people who are oblivious to the growing billions of people who will come on the scene to wipe out most if any progress in reducing year-on-year anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

      This is meaningless.

    • rocket888 #26: The poster was simply saying that it doesn’t accomplish much if you reduce each person’s carbon footprint but then you also add more persons into the mix and get the same carbon output. What’s meaningless about that?

      Exactly. Many thanks.

    • Rocket

      The poster was simply saying that it doesn’t accomplish much if you reduce each person’s carbon footprint but then you also add more persons into the mix and get the same carbon output. What’s meaningless about that?

      OK. Parse this for me

      I’m also a skeptic about proposed wind, solar, and battery powered car devices promised as solutions by people who are oblivious to the growing billions of people who will come on the scene to wipe out most if any progress in reducing year-on-year anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

      Explain how good things become bad because because bad other things happen too. What part of “worse” don’t you get?

      Rocket, I could go on at extreme length about Melvin’s failure to endorse pulling all the levers without conditionality. This whole eco set of threads kicked off with the prevaricators making eco-tech endorsement conditional on population control as a prerequisite. As patiently explained several times local population explosions with very high total fertility rates currently are absolutely exclusive to areas of extreme poverty, and ill-health with short lifespans and high infant mortality rates. As Melinda Gates is finding merely promising health wealth and happiness if you use contraception is a hard sell. If you see neighbours with few or no kids suffer by having fewer biddable folk bring food into the household when one or another is poorly or they become old and a burden rather than an asset, you will find it hard to follow their lighter planetary tread. Being part of a larger super loyal group is THE selfish gene’s survival strategy when on the edge of survival. This is why the Gates Foundation invest far more in lifting people out of ill health (most particularly when young) than supplying condoms and education. As Melinda herself said back in 2010 or thereabouts, no woman is going to have fewer kids until she sees that they will live.

      Now pushing up health is a double edged sword and population-first folk don’t think through how this could work in practice. To make people biddable to the idea of population control you have to reassure them that their older age will not be cut short by mere ill health and a failure to grow or gather food that does for them. Better health and better wealth will soothe those fears and make people accept lower fertility rates. (The correlation between total fertility rates and poverty is nearly unity, only occasionally disturbed by religion…) If lifespans were lifted by modest improvements to health and wealth (and demographers know it doesn’t take much to make dramatic differences) we create a temporary (usually two generation) worse population dynamic. Moving lifespan from 40 to 80 years (China moved from 42 to 74 in a few decades under Mao!) doubles your future population.

      Unless war pestilence or holocaust prevail, civilised population control cannot deliver the goods until this multigenerational bulge/transition has been absorbed. In contrast, eco-tech and sustainable tech can soften the population blow that we must go through in this protracted journey. Learning to use solar in its modest forms, learning to use simple biodigesters to eliminate 25 times worse methane release from dung and plant waste to deliver sustainable green gas, growing algae in ponds for water purification and creating nitrogen fixing fertiliser when mixed with clay and spread on fields to lift their attrocious yields (currently 54% of western performance), blah, blah (long list here). Eco-tech (in its simplest forms) can of itself bring wealth and health and consequent drops in fertility rates whilst managing that inevitable temporary population surge, the price of compassion, by lightening all our carbon footprints.

      Is this the panacea for all our ills, that Melvin maddeningly claims we eco-techers claim? The fuck it is. A generation or seven of a crowded hell awaits but we have to start doing the fast and decent things first, getting the trick of sustainability as quickly as possible to prepare ourselves for this horrible last squeeze.

      We richer countries most responsible for squandering mineral wealth of great value by crassly burning it, whilst bathed in 1.5 trillion barrels of oil equivalent per day shine upon us, are the most able to breath in a bit to help us all past the squash.

    • A sentence lost its second half in #28.

      ” Learning to use solar in its modest forms, ….(blah, blah)…etc.” is an essential ingredient to manage civilised population control.

      And just to underline, the feelgood of improving wealth, health and nutrition is essential to continue to drive down the total fertility rate as early as possible. This must be done as far as possible using sustainable technology to not compound the disaster.

    • @Melvin – I’m also a skeptic about proposed wind, solar, and battery powered car devices promised as solutions

      Skeptical is not an alternative word for ignorant!

      by people who are oblivious to the growing billions of people who will come on the scene to wipe out most if any progress in reducing year-on-year anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

      This is laughable after various discussions on why third-world countries with very LOW per-capita carbon foot-prints, need to be educated in family planning, why religious and denialist propagandists, need to be challenged when they try to spread their stupidity, and why the profligates with giant boot carbon-footprints must be restrained from spreading their commercialised antiquated stupidity into the third world.
      There is every reason to actively promote reductions in carbon footprints everywhere, and no reason for those with low carbon footprints to be held back from the green technologies, which can improve their lives, and reduce their carbon-footprints further.

      But we have been over this many times before, so hopefully you can switch off the “re-set button”, learn about effective and economical clean energy, systems, and move forward!

    • Phil #29: Is this the panacea for all our ills, that Melvin maddeningly claims we eco-techers claim? The fuck it is. A generation or seven of a crowded hell awaits but we have to start doing the fast and decent things first, getting the trick of sustainability as quickly as possible to prepare ourselves for this horrible last squeeze.

      I’ve never made any such “panacea” claim about eco-techers’ claims. Based on the mix of fossil fuel and renewable (wind and solar) energy sources projected to be produced, disseminated, and consumed on a global scale to 2050, I’m skeptical that world CO2 emissions can be significantly reduced from current levels adjusting for the factor of about 3 billion “extra” people added to the global consumer base. Optimistically, I can foresee technological progress proceeding at a rapid pace to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions sometime after 2050.

      Projections for world population growth embody good news and bad news categories for the period 2000 to 2100.

      Good News: The Malthusian principle of exponential doubling will probably end in the 21st century. The 6 billion of the year 2000 will probably never double to 12 billion. Infant and childhood mortality in sub-Saharan Africa saw annual reductions of 1.6% in the 1990s then make a quantum leap to annual reductions of 4.1% since 2000. Declining infant/childhood mortality and rising life expectancy in the least developed parts of the world are swiftly coming into parity with those of the developed world. Global total fertility rate will probably drop to replacement level around mid-century.

      Bad News: The 6 billion of the year 2000 will probably reach 10 billion after 2050 and likely 11 billion by 2100. That’s around an 80% increase. If total fertility rate remains at replacement level (if people on average have enough children to replace themselves), world population will stabilize at the highest point -10 to 11 billion. Whatever environmental, political, economic and social challenges confront people living after 2050, after 2100, those challenges will be exacerbated by living in a horribly overcrowded degraded world.

      The prolonged discussion has led me to become skeptical about the scope and destructive intensity of global warming. Statistics, projections and predictions are all over the map and not born out by real world consequences affecting ordinary people’s lives. The Japanese youth indifference reflects pragmatic indifference among the vast majority of world population. When global warming hysteria began ramping up around 1995, some climate-science voices amplified through the media megaphone inflated the “crisis” to comparisons with World War II in general and D-Day in particular. Nations had to Marshall unprecedented resources collectively targeted and coordinated to meet the threat with emergency-response expediency – at any cost and sacrifice. Of course some small developed countries, notably on the EU peninsula, took measures to reduce carbon emissions below 1990 levels that meant nothing in the global picture. To the contrary, developing countries made the 15-year period from 1995 to 2015 the Golden Age of CO2 Atmospheric Concentration. I suspect that further mitigation, advances in clean energy technology, deployed throughout the next 70 years of the 21st century will make significant global progress. Chagrined climate-scientists will initially proclaim that this progress saved our species from fiery extinction. On review and reflection with 20-20 hindsight, the scientific consensus will conclude that global warming was not the doomsday threat it was hyped up to be back in 1990.

    • Correction to #31 above: the period from 1995 to 2015 is 20 years not 15.

    • Melvin,

      You seem to be saying things that just come into your head. I have deduced over the months you are not a scientist of any pertinent stripe so without any supporting evidence your skepticism is pretty much irrelevant.

      I must thank you, at least, for the opportunity afforded Alan and myself to inject as many facts from experts in the field into these threads.

      Personally I don’t lead with AGW arguments to justify my work and my actions. Methane clathrate forcing and the like seems beyond most that aren’t already conspiracy theorists and averse to the concept or possibility of expertise, I lead with the morality of sustainability and not stealing from my kids….or theirs and the argument for political and economic stability that comes for nations having energy security.

      Welcome to the new steam age Trump will usher in on a wave of coal fired steampunk nostalgia. The Chinese nor the rest of us will weep too much that a mere 5% of the population want to mess up their cities and bring back smog. The Chinese will be delighted to see the burgeoning business opportunities in renewable fall mainly to them.

    • phil rimmer #34
      Dec 20, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      The Chinese will be delighted to see the burgeoning business opportunities in renewable fall mainly to them.

      . . . . . . and the Japanese will be delighted to continue to be world leaders in some high-tec specialist areas of this – with less competition!

    • Phil #34: You seem to be saying things that just come into your head. I have deduced over the months you are not a scientist of any pertinent stripe so without any supporting evidence your skepticism is pretty much irrelevant. I must thank you, at least, for the opportunity afforded Alan and myself to inject as many facts from experts in the field into these threads…Welcome to the new steam age Trump will usher in on a wave of coal fired steampunk nostalgia.

      I do not love Donald Trump nor the new steam age Trump will usher in on a wave of coal fired steampunk nostalgia. Coal is filthy. Incipient, pending signs that global consumption may be stabilizing, even falling off is heartening. If India, China, Asia and Africa do not collectively spur renewed rising demand for coal over the next 5 to 10 years -we may be on our way to decoupling that reduces annual global emissions. It may be helpful to recognize that China ushered in the new steam age on a wave of coal fired steampunk real carbon-sulfur spewing plants around 40 years ago. China = one country burns about half the world’s coal. Bless the new generation of clean energy experts in science, technology, government, finance and business bursting on the Chines national scene to reverse the process that the obsolete experts pursued to give us the manufacturing cornucopia and pollution nightmare of the last 10 years. I wish them every success.

      Certainly, CO2, methane, nitrous oxides and other human-generated greenhouse gas emissions have grown alarmingly from 280 ppm in 1800 to 402 ppm in 2015. The rate of growth was 3 ppm in 2015. Slowing this rate to 0 growth would appear statistically impossible over the next 30 to 40 years. Thereafter from around the year 2050 to 2100 emerging annual (gross) global reductions from the rapid dissemination of renewable energy sources to all energy sectors worldwide, may stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentration and initiate a long-term dissipation back to pre-industrial levels.

      In any event, climate scientists are telling us that under the best case scenario the atmosphere will probably be embedded with at least 450 ppm and a global temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Under the best case scenario, subsequent centuries will be required to significantly diminish the concentration and the elevated temperature. If current global warming science is defective in the accuracy of predictions about the harm these measured changes will inflict on the natural and the human environment, the current outlook might be over-alarming. Exhortations to support conservation, fuel efficiency and changing out fossil fuels for carbon-neutral renewable energy in private and public life is both commendable and necessary.

    • Melvin #36
      Dec 22, 2016 at 1:29 am

      If current global warming science is defective in the accuracy of predictions about the harm these measured changes will inflict on the natural and the human environment, the current outlook might be over-alarming.

      The predictions of global warming science in many instances, have already been shown by subsequent events, to be serious UNDERESTIMATES! – despite ignoramus howls of “alarmism” at the time!

      Why do you wishfully regularly assume inaccuracy (beyond the stated error bars), and that the inaccuracies will be OVER-ESTIMATES.

      If they are UNDERESTIMATES and trigger feed-backs sooner than expected, they will be absolutely catastrophic!!! over and above the anticipated damage (tropical desertification, loss of irrigation water, coastal flooding from rising seas, intensified storms, floods, crop-failures, droughts, and wild-fires etc.) which is already expected!

      I think some serious study of #33 is required!

    • Alan #37: The predictions of global warming science in many instances, have already been shown by subsequent events, to be serious UNDERESTIMATES! – despite ignoramus howls of “alarmism” at the time!

      Underestimates? Climate scientists have given us two tentative scenarios: 1) 450 ppm atmospheric CO2 concentration by 2050 with 2 degrees Celsius rise in temperature for certain by 2050; and 2) A tenuous chance to stabilize 450 ppm concentration by 2100 with a wait of several centuries to restore atmospheric temperatures/climate conditions to a normal range. Those were the measured projections referred to. The assortment of dire predictions of the harmful consequences: continental crop failures, flooding of land masses from rising sea levels, famines, droughts, floods and super hurricanes sweeping huge swathes of humanity toward extinction within a century or two…that is the topic under discussion. The article on Japaneses millennials placing a low priority on taking immediate, drastic, radical action to bring CO2 emissions down over the next 30 or 40 years is a place marker for the pragmatic indifference of world populations who live in favor of getting on with daily concerns of making money and improving standards of living within the current fossil fuel infrastructure. Climate scientists are projecting an extinction event set in place by global warming over the next 50 to 100 years if we don’t reverse carbon emissions rapidly and immediately. Time frames of millions of years referred to in comment 33 has no practical connection to what some scientists are claiming about the urgency of global warming and its near-term extinction potential for our species

    • Melvin #38
      Dec 22, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Climate scientists are projecting an extinction event set in place by global warming over the next 50 to 100 years if we don’t reverse carbon emissions rapidly and immediately. Time frames of millions of years referred to in comment 33 has no practical connection to what some scientists are claiming about the urgency of global warming and its near-term extinction potential for our species

      The millions of years @#33, is the time taken for the planet and its life to recover after feed-back warming has been activated!

      NOT the time scale required to initially trigger the feed-backs or for the anoxia to kick in!
      It is possible we have already set enough warming in process to trigger feed-backs in the near future, so we really do need to start taking these issues seriously.
      Persistent denial is the road to extinction!
      The physics of the atmosphere and the oceans, is the same, regardless of if fossil coal, gas, and oil deposits are converted into CO2 by volcanoes, meteorites or humans!

    • The millions of years @#33, is the time taken for the planet and its life to recover after feed-back warming has been activated!
      NOT the time scale required to initially trigger the feed-backs or for the anoxia to kick in!
      *It is possible we have already set enough warming in process to trigger feed-backs in the near future, so we really do need to start taking these issues seriously.

      Persistent denial is the road to extinction!
      The physics of the atmosphere and the oceans, is the same, regardless of if fossil coal, gas, and oil deposits are converted into CO2 by volcanoes, meteorites or humans!*

      I’ve read articles about the feed-back warming process that exasperates and hastens temperatures into the extinction zone. No comfort. No mercy. Yep, we need to get really really serious about starting to talk about global warming and make a new year’s resolution about really, really doing something about those ever so obese CO2 emissions in 2017…Look, if the projections are correct the time for talking, making resolutions and signing pen-and-paper non-binding agreements is over.

      Our species has done what many large animal species have done. We’ve overbred but overbred uniquely with no natural checks on continuous population growth into the billions. Overpopulated herds of deer in the absence of predators that check multiplying numbers have killed stands of autumnal trees by feeding on the bark. We humans have brought our atmospheric industrial warming into the picture with a vengeance on a planetary scale of rising carbon concentration. In my view our discussion boils down to the fatal question of how rapidly we can stabilize concentration at 400 to 450ppm. Actual reductions can only take place centuries after stabilization. The brutal reality is that it is statistically impossible to keep the concentration under 450 ppm around 2050.

      If the climate science projections provide reliable evidence to justify the descriptions cited then we’d better kiss our asses goodbye now. It’s all mathematical after all despite how much we love our kids. Speaking of kids, that brings us back to an implicit theme of the article: It will effectively be up to millennials to bight the bullet or take the bullet. As the 18th century English critic, Samuel Johnson, said, “when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”. Time to spread to word and accomplish the deeds.

    • Correction: Line #1 of my comment above should read “exacerbates” not “exasperates” (exacerbates and hastens). Sorry for the malapropism.

    • Sadly,

      when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”

      this is not the case. It is our children and theirs who are to be untimely hanged. This generationally delayed disaster is what confounds the necessary mental concentration. Besides it is the children of the poor will suffer generations before our rich great grandchildren.

    • Melvin #38
      Dec 22, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Our species has done what many large animal species have done. We’ve overbred but overbred uniquely with no natural checks on continuous population growth into the billions.
      Overpopulated herds of deer in the absence of predators that check multiplying numbers have killed stands of autumnal trees by feeding on the bark.

      Indeed so! – You pick a very good example here!

      In fact, I studied the ecology of misguided deer conservation projects back in the 1960s, and those were precisely the over-protection mistakes they made!
      They killed off predators and removed competing cattle from the reserves, so without predation or competition, the deer populations exploded, and over a period of years, destroyed their food plants, reducing their food supply, and encouraging deer-resistant thorn bushes to take their place.
      After a massive expansion of numbers, disease and starvation, brought the numbers down to about half of the stable initial population level when it was balanced by predators.

      On human consumption and population on a finite planet, the key question is:-
      “Can humans collectively manage their population and resources with more intelligence than a yeast culture in a barrel of fruit-juice?”

      The yeast of course, with a massive food supply and exploding population numbers, consumes all there is to consume, and all it can consume for a few months, until it dies of starvation, pickled in its own waste products, when there is nothing left for it to consume!

    • http://www.ecowatch.com/this-country-isnt-just-carbon-neutral-its-carbon-negative-1882195367.html

      “Many have credited its Gross National Happiness index as part of the reason for the country’s strong commitment to environmental stewardship”