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But if the USA continues to allow the current policy, which is of, by and for the looters, he is right and the Chinese will eat our lunch, n'est pas?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 10:21:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but for the looters, its doesn't much matter who eats our lunch, as long as we are not getting the damn fool idea in our head that citizens in a high income country should not be worried about having a lunch to eat.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 10:33:04 PM EST
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Bruce,

Do you really think it can go on for even another 20 yrs?  The other thing this policy is facilitating is massive climate degradation.  All that CO2 isn't going to stay in China.

Does anyone have a map showing what the continents will look like after a 70 meter rise in sea level from the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets?

We may be at Peak Oil, but how about Peak Coal?

I believe most of the climate models assume that the ice sheets will melt slowly, in a linear fashion.  What if that is not correct and the process is non-linear and catastrophic?  I'm about 700 ft above current sea level.  How about the rest of you?  But this is getting seriously off topic.  Perhaps it would better serve as a separate diary.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 10:56:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... to maintain as close to 10% economic growth as they can for the next ten years at least ... I don't know that its necessary for them to maintain the same breakneck pace for 20 years. At a certain point, the massive growth rates in the Chinese labor force begins to slow.

Anything we in the West can do to contribute to a reduction in the CO2 impact of large scale construction projects in China ... we should do. For our own sake.

As long as the US furiously subsidizes the most energy inefficient transport and settlement system we can, our "contribution" to CO2 is secure, entirely independent of how many tube socks and $10 PSP rip-offs we buy from China.

The relevance to the climate crisis is less direct ... an international economic policy which places the median household in increasing stress in service of corporate profits makes for a policy environment where it is harder to pursue broader national interests like not drowning most of the eastern and western and southern seaboard cities.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 11:35:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of the climate models seem to have modelled the ice sheets as ice cubes when they behave more like a drop of honey. Ice cubes are very poor heat conductors, insulate their own interior, and only melt on the surface. A drop of honey gets less viscous and flows more easily as it warms up. But I am not an expert on climate modelling.

On Peak Coal, when people throw around estimates that there are 200 years' worth of reserves at current extraction rates, they forget that at, say, 3% yearly growth of extraction rates there's barely 50 years' worth, and if coal starts picking up the oil slack the growth rate of use will be larger than 3%. We should worry about peak fossil carbon.

Or then again, maybe not. Burning all the fossil carbon is one of the stupides things we can do, climate-wise.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 at 07:05:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

A lot of the climate models seem to have modelled the ice sheets as ice cubes when they behave more like a drop of honey.

Lately I have been reading articles in Science News and elsewhere about glacial lakes melting holes through very thick glaciers and disappearing through said holes. It appears that this additional water further lubricates the interface between the ice and the rock below, increasing the rate of glacier flow. Such processes have been observed both in Greenland and West Antarctica.  I believe that the melting of the two ice sheets would product an increase of about 70 meters in sea level.

I recall an article arguing that the break-up of the North American Ice Sheet at the end of the last ice age had occured quite rapidly and that the influx of fresh water had temporarily disrupted the Gulf Stream and that this accounted for an unexplained episode of re-glaciation in Western Europe.  Non-linear processes can proceed quite rapidly.  This is what makes me worry that it may be later than we think.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 4th, 2008 at 10:14:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lately I have been reading articles in Science News and elsewhere about glacial lakes melting holes through very thick glaciers and disappearing through said holes. It appears that this additional water further lubricates the interface between the ice and the rock below, increasing the rate of glacier flow.
Right! In hindsight, this should have been predictable.

Since ice floats in water, a water lake on top of a glacier is metastable and really wants to be under the glacier. The question is, how does it get there without freezing over?

As you know, around the ice/water phase transition a pressure increase can induce melting (due to the lower specific volume of water). Thus, if the lake is deep enough, hydrostatic pressure at the boundary may be large enough to induce melting. The open boundary of the lake will probably undergo some freezing, but once frozen over the ice layer acts as a thermal insulator and this process slows down. The pressure melting of ice at the bottom is a runaway process.


When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 5th, 2008 at 02:41:35 AM EST
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