Monday, January 05, 2015

Hole Digging

Eli has been out holidaying with the relatives and, as everybunny knows, Rabetts have many.  To fill the blog until he gets back to business, Eli will outsource to ATTP, more specifically to John, who in the comments about Let's all just get rich brings Vlad and Est into the climate blogosphere.

Vlad: Shouldn’t we devise a way to climb out of this hole we’ve dug ourselves into?
Est: What hole? There is no hole.
Vlad: Yes there is. We are standing in it. And digging it deeper, no less.
Est: Oh, this isn’t a hole. It’s a natural variation in the landscape.
Vlad: It’s getting deeper and deeper.
Est: Yes, but not because we are digging. It is deepening due to other factors.
Vlad: Shouldn’t we at least dig more slowly.
Est: Digging more slowly is not an option. I think, perhaps, a more prudent solution would be to dig much faster.
Vlad: What!?
Est: The faster we dig, the faster we’ll find a way out of the hole.
Vlad: That doesn’t make any sense.
Est: Of course it does, you are just too thick-headed to understand.
Vlad: Please elaborate, then.
Est: The deeper and faster we dig, the more time we’ll have to think of solutions that might get us out of the hole – er, I mean, natural variation in the landscape.
Vlad: Yes, we’ll have more time to think of solutions, but we’ll also be that much deeper.
Est: Shut up and keep digging.

Vlad: Aren’t you concerned about what life will be like at the bottom of this hole?
Est: Not in the slightest.
Vlad: Well, there’s a risk that conditions might not be so good down here.
Est: No one can say with any certainty what the conditions will be like. I am, therefore, positive that everything will be fine.
Vlad: Huh?!
Est: Bull up. Think of it as an adventure.
Vlad: I was quite comfortable before, thank you.
Est: And you’ll be quite comfortable in the hole, as well.
Vlad: Are you sure?
Est: You’ll adapt.
Vlad: How much will that cost?
Est: Less than getting out of the hole.
Vlad: I thought you said there was uncertainty?
Est: Oh, yes. A great deal of it.
Vlad: Then, how can you be so certain things will be fine?
Est: OMG, look! A squirrel!

Vlad: I’ve just done some analysis. If we keep digging down deeper, there will come a point where we’ll no longer be able to see the sky.
Est: So what?
Vlad: What do you mean,“so what?”
Est: What’s the sky ever done for you, huh? Ever made a dollar off it?
Vlad: Well, no…
Est: See? It’s utterly, completely void of value.
Vlad: I think you’re missing the point. It’s just kind of nice to look at sometimes.
Est: Here, then.
Vlad: What’s this?
Est: It’s a picture of the sky.
Vlad: Ah. It’s lovely, but it’s not quite the same.
Est: Of course it’s not the same. Unlike the sky, the picture has value. It cost two whole dollars.
Vlad: How did you afford it?
Est: I had a speaking engagement.
Vlad: Oh, where?
Est: I gave the keynote address at the American Policy and Legislation Think Tank for Freedom and Prosperity and Liberty Foundation.
Vlad: Oh, I see. Wait, aren’t they funded by a shovel-making company?

From Andrew in the comments

Est: The geothermal gradient is just a theory endorsed by the anti-shovel lobby, as shown by these emails which hide the decline. Really, it's cool down there.
Vlad: Are you crazy? Look, if we dig any deeper the mantle will start to melt by decompression and the hole will fill with lava, how do we adapt to that? 
Est: Well, the last time there was a pit full of molten lava, our ancestors survived by not living in it.
Vlad: But there's far too many of us living in the pit now to move out, and it'll cost far more than stopping digging.
Est: But that's probably more than 87 years in the future, and nothing bad happens more than 86 years in the future. Because economics.

From Lars Karlsson in the comments

Est: Can you hold the ladder?
Vlad: We don't have a ladder, only a spade.
Est: Don't twist my words!

From Kyle Splawn

Vlad: All I'm saying is, what do you think is going to happen if we keep digging with our shovels?
Est: There you go again with the a priori assumption that digging is related to hole depth! 
Vlad: You know, you don't have to be in denial about this digging business. 
Est: How dare you call me a Holocaust denier!!!


--------------------------------------------------
Eli has made a start at linking Vlad and Est  to the underlying discussion, perhaps others would like to help?  Added:  Need not be to ATTP or the post at ATTP

21 comments:

rab said...

It's brilliant. But do lines have to link to the one ATTP thread? I can think of many analogues.

Matt M said...

Vlad and Est were great.

Interesting little project although agree with rab. One thread is a little limiting.

I don't think it would take too many threads to fill out the rest. Reckon I heard all (or most) of these sentiments just at ATTPs over the last month.

Russell Seitz said...

If you dig fast enough, the hole will get warmer from the increasing geothermal flux than climate change, and soon after you pass the mantle-core boundary, you will get to the heliopause, where the walls of the hole are as incandesecent as the surface of the sun, so you won't be able to see the sky anyway.

Pictures of the heliopause may be commissioned for $1.00 per degree K of color temperature per square meter by transmitting funds to Mnestheus@paypal.com

Payment in giant clams is also accepted

Johnny Vector said...

We just have to hope we get Lucky.

Andrew said...

Est: The geothermal gradient is just a theory endorsed by the anti-shovel lobby, as shown by these emails which hide the decline. Really, it's cool down there.

Vlad: Are you crazy? Look, if we dig any deeper the mantle will start to melt by decompression and the hole will fill with lava, how do we adapt to that?

Est: Well, the last time there was a pit full of molten lava, our ancestors survived by not living in it.

Vlad: But there's far too many of us living in the pit now to move out, and it'll cost far more than stopping digging.

Est: But that's probably more than 87 years in the future, and nothing bad happens more than 86 years in the future. Because economics.

EliRabett said...

In answer to Rab no, but to avoid all slots being taken Andrew has added a few

-Eli

Lars Karlsson said...

Est: Can you hold the ladder?
Vlad: We don't have a ladder, only a spade.
Est: Don't twist my words!

Kyle Splawn said...

Vlad: All I'm saying is, what do you think is going to happen if we keep digging with our shovels?
Est: There you go again with the a priori assumption that digging is related to hole depth!

Vlad: You know, you don't have to be in denial about this digging business.
Est: How dare you call me a Holocaust denier!!1!

Matt M said...

VPs sentiments here kinda fits, although he ruins it with a little self reflection.
----
Est: Bull up. Think of it as an adventure.

victorpetri says:
...

Your common denominator, I believe, the reason why you guys are so passionate in your ideas that climate change is a great danger that should be battled, is that you are the type of risk averse persons.

I am also [like Ridley] a too great of a risk taker, I must acknowledge it, it is what makes me quite a good poker player as well, but it probably makes me someone that underestimates climate change problems...

[M]an to the moon, it was a very risky thing to do, for which, rationally little arguments could be made then. It would be risk takers that enabled it, I think, just like flying the Atlantic before it, or colonizing Mars in the future will.

https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/talk-politics-not-science/#comment-40193

neverendingaudit said...

Was there first:

http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/106837074159

There's even a tag:

http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/WaitingForGodot

Matt M said...

Hmmm...

The parallels between Est/Vlad and the linked comments are much easier seen in context. This is harder than I thought it would be.

Aaron said...

Once you dig below soil levels, you run out of earthworms and unless somebody sends food down (in return for fossil fuel up) and the diggers starve in a pool of shit.

With everybody digging, there is nobody at the top to send food down (or run the pumps), and everybody is in deep shit. Conversation ceases as shit rises above nose level. (It is hard to tread liquid while holding a spade.)

If you are at the top of the hole looking down, there is no problem. Shut off the pumps and walk away -- the folks at the bottom will stop digging. Then, the (grave) will collapse and over time, disappear.

Susan Anderson said...

chortle!

neverendingaudit said...

If infinite growth is possible, infinite digging is possible too. The trick is to dig without digging. Kalpa powered, so to speak.

The tears of the world are a constant quantity.

Russell Seitz said...

Once you've dug down to the heliopause, it's smooth sailing .

With the walls at 6,000K , hafnium carbide solar cells can run your steamshovel and lava pumps 24-7, allowing Vlad and Est to dig a low - cost replacement for the Panama Canal 3,000 miles under the present one.

Hank Roberts said...

If we don't keep up the pace, the Chinese digging from the other side will get there before we do!

David B. Benson said...

Fresh air supplied by
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pozzo_(Waiting_for_Godot)

Russell Seitz said...

As one of John Holdren's predecessors was wont to say before he went into the supercnducting power line business a quarter century ago, " With enough shovels..."

Brian said...

A non-ATTP link for:

Est: Less than getting out of the hole.

http://marcovisscher.com/adaptation/

"A common argument advanced by proponents of adaptation is that the alternative, mitigation, is much harder on developing nations. Emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil have made it clear that they are not interested in tempering their explosive growth by lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Poor countries are equally uninterested and have subtly noted that they are not the source of the problem in any case, an understandable viewpoint. Here, people hope to become more affluent as quickly as possible. Reserving money to solve a problem slated for the future doesn’t feel like a priority. In Lawson’s words, 'It’s immoral to ask the people in developing countries to cut back on their carbon emissions when they are dealing with poverty and disease.'"

Russell Seitz said...

Est: There you go again with the a priori
assumption that digging is related to hole depth!

Vlad: You know, you don't have to be in denial about this digging business.

Est: How dare you call me a Holocaust denier!!!

Vlad: You've got to consider more than cost effectiveness- whole ecologies are at risk ...

Est: There you go calling me a holistic cost denier again- I'm getting out of here!

Russell Seitz said...

Est: There you go again with the a priori
assumption that digging is related to hole depth!

Vlad: You know, you don't have to be in denial about this digging business.

Est: How dare you call me a Holocaust denier!!!

Vlad: You've got to consider more than cost effectiveness- whole ecologies are at risk ...

Est: There you go calling me a holistic cost denier again- I'm getting out of here!