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On a Finite Planet Nothing Grows Forever

Richard Heinberg joins Juliet Jacobs at BFM radio to discuss realistic avenues for transitioning to renewable energy, the environmental implications of economic growth, and how we can build more resiliency into the sustainability movement.

 BFM Malaysia

10 Comments on "On a Finite Planet Nothing Grows Forever"

  1. dave thompson on Thu, 20th Jul 2017 12:10 pm 

    For those of you that missed it.

  2. GregT on Thu, 20th Jul 2017 12:49 pm 

    Those who missed it are not likely to read it Dave. Much more comforting to live in a state of denial, than to face stark realities.

  3. Apneaman on Thu, 20th Jul 2017 12:55 pm 

    Nothing Grows Forever except AGW jacked wildfires and the amount of money to fight them and the valuable resources/lumber and infrastructure and homes they destroy. Well maybe not forever, but just until there is nothing left.

    States of Emergency in California and British Columbia from Raging Wildfires

    “One of the largest evacuations in British Columbia history is underway, thanks to 155 wildfires—including fifteen major wildfires that threaten populated areas—that have forced more than 45,000 people from their homes. According to CBC News, the number of evacuations is approaching the province’s record set in 2003, when 50,000 people were forced out of their homes by a wildfire near Kelowna. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre reported on July 19 that the nation was operating at the highest level of wildfire response, Level 5, and that international assistance would likely be needed, since “national resource levels are insufficient to meet occurring and anticipated wildland fire activity.” A state of emergency was declared for the province on July 7, and has been extended through the end of July.

    The fires have created suffocating smoke in British Columbia and Alberta all week, causing dangerous levels of tiny particles known as PM2.5 (less than 2.5 microns or 0.0001 inch in diameter). PM2.5 pollution causes over 80,000 premature deaths each year in the United States. The worst PM2.5 air pollution levels on Wednesday were at Williams Lake Columneetza School, in Central British Columbia, which reported 24-hour average levels of 308 micrograms per cubic meter. This is nearly nine times higher than the U.S. EPA 24-hour standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter, and falls solidly in the highest level of alert category, “Hazardous.” Air pollution levels in the “Hazardous” range can cause serious health effects in the entire population, leading to health warnings of emergency conditions.”

  4. Cloggie on Thu, 20th Jul 2017 3:21 pm 

    Global warming in the Netherlands – NOT:

  5. Cloggie on Thu, 20th Jul 2017 3:22 pm 

    Fritz Vahrenholt – There is no Man Made Climate Change

  6. Apneaman on Thu, 20th Jul 2017 3:56 pm 

    clog, good luck gaining new disciples with your ‘Flat Earth’ missionary work.

    Somehow methinks you are wasting your time.

    Probably has something to do with scientific predictions, dating back to the 1800’s, coming true.

    The History of Climate Science

    “In the beginning…

    To pick up the scientific trail of what is today known as the Greenhouse Effect, we need to travel back in time to France in the 1820s. Napoleon, defeated at the Battle of Waterloo just a few years previously, had just died, but somebody who had at one time undertaken significant engineering and academic projects for the late Emperor was now busily engaged on his investigations of the physical world, with a specific interest in the behaviour of heat. This was Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768–1830).”

    1860s: Tyndall and heat-trapping gases

    Some 40 years later, the thread was picked up again. To Victorian natural historian and pioneer in Alpine climbing, John Tyndall (1820-1893), the evidence, controversial at the time but now mainstream, clearly indicated that at one time much of northern Europe had been covered by ice-sheets. However, what was far from clear was how the climate could change in such a drastic manner. Among the possibilities Tyndall considered was variations in the composition of the atmosphere, and via a series of experiments he made the discovery that water-vapour was an important heat-trapping agent. He also found that carbon dioxide was very good at trapping heat, despite being a trace gas occurring in the hundreds of parts per million (ppm) range. Hundreds of parts per million may not sound like a lot, but some compounds have important properties at such concentrations: for example, 500ppm of hydrogen sulphide in air may lead to asphyxia, as any health and safety fact-sheet on the gas will tell you.

    Carbon dioxide: Arrhenius makes a discovery

    Tyndall’s interesting discovery did not completely solve the riddle of the ice ages: that came much later. But it planted the seed of an idea that was revisited towards the end of the 19th Century by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927). Reasoning that, because it fluctuated daily, water vapour was continually recycling itself in and out of the atmosphere, he turned his attention to carbon dioxide, a gas resident for a long time in the atmosphere whose concentration was only (at that time) dramatically changed by major sources such as volcanoes or major drawdowns such as unusual and massive episodes of mineral weathering or the evolution of photosynthetic plants: events that occur on very long, geological timescales. Arrhenius figured out that an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would result in a certain amount of warming. In addition, it was already known via the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, that warmer air can hold more water vapour: the amount is about 7% more per degree Celsius of warming. And that additional water vapour would in turn cause further warming – this being a positive feedback, in which carbon dioxide acts as a direct regulator of temperature, and is then joined in that role by more water vapour as temperatures increase.

    Through further work Arrhenius determined that if you halved the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the temperature of Europe could drop by as much as 4-5°C. But could such a change, big enough to cause an ice age, occur? He turned to colleague Arvid Hogbom (1857-1940), who had been investigating natural carbon dioxide cycles, to see if it could. Hogbom had, at the time, started to consider carbon dioxide emissions from factories (simple enough if you know, for example, how many tons of coal each factory burns a year). He had been surprised to find that man-made emission rates were very similar to those occurring in nature. Back in the 1890s, that of course represented a tiny fraction of the fossil fuels that we burn today; but what, they asked themselves, might happen if mankind burnt ever-increasing amounts over many centuries? Side-tracking from the ice-age research, Arrhenius ran calculations to see what a doubling of carbon dioxide levels might do to temperatures. He came up with an answer of 5-6°C of warming as a globally-averaged figure.”

  7. Apneaman on Thu, 20th Jul 2017 4:00 pm 

    Climate Change: What Happens If The World Warms Up By 5°C? – 2:40

  8. dave thompson on Thu, 20th Jul 2017 4:29 pm The latest from the good DR.

  9. Apneaman on Fri, 21st Jul 2017 12:13 pm 

    Nothing Grows Forever except refugees infesting Europe

    French Government Overwhelmed In Migration Crisis

    ‘Everything will collapse’: German courts ‘overwhelmed’ by asylum seeker claims

    Keep it over there.

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