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Pierre Goselin is discussing a remarkable interview with the top German climate ideologue in Spiegel:
But of course, it's nothing compared to the segment of the interview that focuses on carbon dioxide:
SPIEGEL: Are you worried that the government's new anti-nuclear course will lead to higher CO2 emissions because more coal will be burned once again?Well, in the Universe where I live, just the opposite development has occurred: after the recent years that have proved the economic irrationality of the biofuels; photovoltaic power plants; windmills, and a few others, every sane person in the world has, on the contrary, realized that the bulk of our energy in coming decades has to come from a combination of fossil and nuclear fuels - exactly from the set that the German man claims to have "no future".
Schellnhuber: Actually, I'm convinced that this is precisely what Chancellor Angela Merkel will not allow. Now everyone is starting to realize that society's entire fossil-nuclear operating system has no future and that massive investments have to be made in renewable sources of energy.
I don't claim that there are no people who disagree but I do find it important to emphasize that they're profoundly deluded individuals who should only be listened to by their psychiatrists.
SPIEGEL: Do you feel that the government's abrupt change of course in relation to its energy policy is adequate?Wow, what a modest choice of words. Those maniacs will soon "unveil a master plan" for a transformation of society. It may be a good idea for the German - or other - intelligence services to physically deal with Herr Schellnhuber and his thugs before it's too late. I assure you, Mr Schellnhuber, that if you will try to apply just a fraction of this insane megalomania on the territory of the Czech Republic, we will give you the same treatment as we offered to the Herr who was a de facto leader of the Czech lands until 1942.
Schellnhuber: No. It can only be the beginning of a deep-seated shift. The German Advisory Council on Global Change, [of which I am the Führer], will soon unveil a master plan for a transformation of society. Precisely because of Fukushima, we believe that a new basis of our coexistence is needed.
This Schellnhuber's lookalike, soulmate, and countrymate was serving in the years 1941-1942. Because it turned out that he was trying to help the set of people who would live in the 1000-year empire in the future, rather than the living generations of the Czech lands, our democratically elected government in London (representing the living generations of the Czech lands, rather than hypothetical future generations of the Third Reich) fired this blonde beast in May 1942 - by fireguns. Goodbye, Mr Heydrich.
SPIEGEL: What does that mean?A transformation of society apparently wasn't enough for him. He also needs a new social contract, to replace the contracts with God and Jesus known to the Christians.
Schellnhuber: We need a social contract for the 21st century that seals the common desire to create a sustainable industrial metabolism. We must resolve, once and for all, to leave our descendants more than a legacy of nuclear hazards and climate change. This requires empathy across space and time. To promote this, the rights of future generations should be enshrined in the German constitution.
The notion of empathy across spacetime is a truly crackpot invention. One may have "empathy" - ability to feel in a similar way - with anyone because it is a purely subjective process. To "empathize" means to feel in a particular way.
However, to use these subjective feelings to decide about our present behavior is utterly irrational if our present behavior cannot influence the fate of the beings with whom we "empathize" or if those people whose feeling we "share" don't exist at all. And our present behavior cannot influence the lives of the people in the past - because of causality. Also, we can't empathize with people who will be born in the future because we don't know who they are and we can't have any information about their lives and needs at all - again because of the arrow of time.
In other words, we only know about the people who lived in the past and who live in the present; and we can only influence the people who live now or in the future. If you take the intersection of these two sets, you will get the people whose needs are known to us and whose life we can influence: it is just the people who live at the present.
Everything else is just irrational bullshit. There can't be any empathy across the spacetime. By the way, this notion of empathy across spacetime, or a democracy that holds in all of spacetime, is also sometimes being used by the proponents of the anthropic lack of principles. It is irrational for the very same reason. Causality and the arrow of time prevent one from organizing "democracy" etc. in between different moments.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that "The Earth belongs to the living", and he knew very well why this principle is important. Countries can't be controlled by people or zombies who have already died; and countries can't be controlled by people whose existence and interests are just speculations. The former category includes the people who have lived but who are dead today; the latter category includes people who will be born - or begin their independent lives - in the future.
Just to be sure, I don't claim that those people (of the future) won't exist. What I claim is that their opinions, problems, and interests are inevitably unknown today, and it is utterly unacceptable for power-thirsty maniacs of Schellnhuber's type to declare themselves the spokesmen of the people who will live in the future.
Such grandiose declarations what the future people will think - or have to think - have always turned out to be preposterous. The idea that German politicians of the 1940s should be working for the Germans who would live in the 1000-year empire is a major example. It took a few years and it became clear that the majority of Europe wouldn't ever be occupied by Germans, and even the Germans in the shrunk territories would have no wishes overlapping with the Nazi predictions.
So if Herr Schellnhuber or his Nazi predecessors can't be the spokesmen for the future generations, are there any? In fact, I am the spokesman ;-) but what I will say is going to be very modest and general.
And the people in the future will agree with me that we should eliminate Schellnhuber et al. away from any influence on the Earth to prevent the civilization from repeating similar things that Germany ignited in the 1930s and 1940s. Pretty much all people in the future agree with me, not with fanatical proponents of authoritarianism in the early 21st century (whose followers will have been nuked out in 2030 because it will have been necessary), and I won't allow the German Nazis who calls himself a physicist to misinterpret the basic fact.
And that's the memo.
There have been lots of recent news that have something to do with life and carbon in Antarctica:
Antarctica going green due to climate change (The Telegraph)The first report is about a paper claiming that Antarctic hairgrass has spread over Antarctica since 1960: the only other "plant" living there is Antarctic pearlwort. Well, don't expect terribly welcoming conditions as the temperature remains dozens of degrees below the freezing point and it's unthinkable that any warming could do anything about it.
Antarctic ice breakup makes ocean absorb more CO2 (The Register)
Antarctic Icebergs Play a Previously Unknown Role in Global Carbon Cycle, Climate (NSF)
The last two links are about a recent paper unmasking a powerful feedback. If there were a significant warming - it's very likely that there won't be any - and this warming would make significant changes to the ice sheets, the decomposing ice sheet would also automatically be able to absorb much more CO2, which would eventually reduce its concentration and undo some of the warming that was blamed on CO2 in the first place.
The message is that the prediction for the long-term CO2-induced warming has to be significantly reduced. Of course, this insight is just an example of a "negative feedback" that ultimately prevail in all stable systems in Nature, and the Earth's atmosphere and the world ocean are surely examples of such systems.
Every time when someone is promoting positive feedbacks, it's pretty much guaranteed that they were cherry-picked and that he has neglected negative feedbacks that are ultimately more important.