Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Eli Rabett's Five Fold Way to Deal with Climate Change

(with a few changes)
Adaptation, Amelioration, Conservation, Substitution, Mitigation

Eli has never been a shy bunny, for example, Eli Rabett's Simple Plan to Save the World, with a codicil for India and China. In this tradition, the Rabett wishes to tell the annonomice how to deal with the mess we are in because of the denialists and the delayers.

The world needs a four pronged strategy

  • Adaptation to deal with the damage already done
  • Amelioration, eliminating harmful effects of our actions
  • Conservation with needed and desired but not wasteful usage
  • Substitution of green systems for destructive ones
  • Mitigation reversing our thoughtless abuse
Conservation includes energy efficiency, amelioration covers such things as CO2 capture and storage, substitution increased nuclear, solar, and wind energy replacing fossil fuels, mitigation is reserved for things that actually decrease the concentrations of greenhouse gases and reverse damaging land use changes.

Encourage the others. Eli will know his own.


Anonymous said...


I mostly agree but why to you think we are in a mess (only?) "thanks to denialists or delayers"? Arent we in a mess thanks to the *people*, who are simply careless about climate change, and peak oil for that matter?

Alexander Ač

Anonymous said...

One more point,

energy efficiency *alone* has never led to emmisions reductions, in might only slow down the emissions increase. In fact, energy efficiency more or less increases since the invention of electricity and steam engine, which, by the way, could be employed thanks to high efficiency!


Anonymous said...

Substitution of destructive systems with green ones

with regards

Horatio Algeranon said...

"energy efficiency *alone* has never led to emmisions reductions, in might only slow down the emissions increase"

Energy efficiency (especially "end use energy efficiency") improvement is a gate opener.

It allows one to pursue and realize "futures" -- eg, along "soft energy paths" (Lovins) -- that would otherwise not be possible (physically or economically).

As Lovins says, today the US economy uses only half the energy for every dollar of GDP that it used in 1975 - -and that DESPITE many profligate policies that our government and car companies have pursued since then.

See this video ("Reinventing Fire"), especially Lovins, starting at about 19:38

Phil Clarke said...

Off topic, but Richard Courtney just jumped the shark ...


comment at 02:42:00

Phil Clarke said...

For archival purposes I deposit the following here. I suspect it may not see the light of day at the home of our friend the Moustachioed Meteorologist

Hateful speech and boorishness are of course to be universally condemned, however it sets an interesting precedent if one must first seek out and challenge every example of such elsewhere in order to avoid being the recipient of such here. No?

And if one must first 'clean up' the internet how about raising standards of honesty while we're about it? A modest suggestion: before we take Mr Courtney seriously we should perhaps ask him to correct the various open letters and petitions where he signs himself Dr Richard Courtney, or Richard Courtney PhD. For example here or here . After all he has never actually been awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

It could of course, be a completely different Richard Courtney. Perhaps the man himself would take this opportunity to clear this up, is he the Dr Richard Courtney in this petition and open letter? Does he in fact, hold a Doctorate?

Or do we conclude that overstating one's credentials in an attempt to influence public opinion is now acceptable?

EliRabett said...

Dickie Diplom Phil Is the shark

Anonymous said...

The reason that energy efficiency has often not led to decrease in consumption is that energy prices are kept artificially low and are not reflective of their true cost. Market irregularities of the oil cartel notwithstanding, this is why it is of minimal benefit for individuals to stop being "careless" other than as an example to others or to pioneer a new way of life (which is very important, actually). Decrease in demand is offset by lowering the price further for others. Economics 101.

The Wonderer

Marion Delgado said...

Our secret weapon against global warming is Mitigation!

[goes out. returns]

Our two weapons are Conservation and Mitigation...

[starts to leave]

Our three main weapons are Conservation, Mitigation, and Amelioration ...

Among our weapons are ..

SCM said...

Hmm isn't that a five pronged strategy?

Adrian Cockcroft said...

Steve Bell has an amusing series of cartoons on global warming going at the moment. Seems that the Polar Bears are trying to stop the Cows from farting...

Anonymous said...

"do we conclude that overstating one's credentials in an attempt to influence public opinion is now acceptable?"

Resume' embellishment is nothing new.

What's new is that some people are actually checking, though I'm not sure what effect that is having, if any.

The American public don't seem to care much about whether folks make stuff up (because most do it themselves?) Hell, our leaders have been doing it forever and we keep electing them (over and over).

Let's face it, in our society, there is no reward for telling the truth, usually a rather high penalty, in fact.

Horatio Algeranon said...

Adaptation, Amelioration, Conservation, Substitution, Mitigation

Eli, I think you left out a key one:


(and we won't talk about the giant rabbit in the room: "procreation" (or, god forbid, mention the quite effective alternative, which starts with an "m" and also ends with "tion").

Hank Roberts said...

Of course other species than H. sap. are also going to be taking these same steps, and may well be ahead of us in adapting, accepting, accentuating the positive, and acquiescing gratefully:

"... No one is sure about the reasons for the slimy plague. One theory is that climate change is heating up the sea water and encouraging them to breed. Another blames effluent from rivers in China, which carries nutrients on which the jellyfish feed. Another blames over-fishing of other species, leaving a surfeit of plankton for the Echizen kurage to feed on."

.... Enormous Jellyfish Sink Japanese Fishing Boat
Monday, November 02, 2009

GFW said...

I was going to say what SCM did, but Marion Delgado said it better :-)

... such diverse tactics as ...

Anonymous said...

A bit off-topic, but I thought I'd chime in here anyway...

I'm really taking one for the team here -- currently listening to "Lord" Monckton on the Glenn Beck show.

The show has gone into "full tinfoil-hat" mode -- I'm sure that the rubes who are listening to this are getting angrier and angrier by the minute. It's the UN going after the US, I tell ya. They are going to take away US sovereignty and place Americans under the thumb of a one-world government!

If you thought the teabaggers have been going ape-sh*t over health-insurance reform, just wait until the debate turns to climate-change!

If I were an Earth-science teacher in a red part of the USA, I'd seriously consider applying for a concealed-carry permit.

I dare ya to watch this video as long as you can stomach it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMe5dOgbu40

--caerbannog the anonybunny

Marion Delgado said...

The idea that energy efficiency alone has never led to a reduction in emissions implies emissions were in a state of stasis, and that energy efficience had no effect. I think neither are true, and one reinforces the other.

Thad said...

Dear Ethon and fellow rabbiteers:

This is the talk I alluded to in an earlier post. Looks like the talented Dr. Pielke has a similar plan to save the world! Whoohoo!

Anonymous said...


Isn't there five items in the list?


Rattus Norvegicus said...


I took the Discount Viscount challenge and survived. If he had only broken down crying about the US "losing its' sovereignty" he could have *been* Glenn Beck! Are you sure they're not the same person?

Anonymous said...

So more solar/wind power falls under the heading substitution in your proposed taxonomy? What's left for the name mitigation? It seems a very general term.

IMHO, the following offers a clearer distinction of which part of the (cause-effect) chain is tackled by what kind of measures:

Emissions -> emission reduction

Concentrations -> air capture and storage

Global warming -> intentional cooling (geoengineering)

Impacts -> adaptation


EliRabett said...

Mitigation is when you remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Since their forcing is cumulative, substitution does not decrease the forcing except over a very long period of time.

Paul Kelly said...

I'm most interested in substitution. About a year and a half ago, I had an idea for a "build a watt a month" energy club. I booked the theater at a local arts center and put on a 21st Century Energy Forum. There were expert presentations on architecture, solar water heating, photo voltaics, and government programs. I talked about the idea for a replacing fossil fuel association. Over the next few months we had informal energy meet-ups where it was decided that the best way forward was to form as a 501C3 non profit. That process is just now going forward.

When I started talking to people interested in replacing fossil fuel as our energy source, two things jumped out at me. First, most wish there was a way for individuals to speed the transition to 21st century energy sources. Second, there are many good reasons to replace fossil fuel. Too much effort is wasted arguing about which reason is most important.