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AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

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  • 1.  AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-25-2019 09:27
    No replies, thread closed.
    I'm a chemical engineer and long time AIChE member who is very concerned about the lack of focus within the Institute on sustainability and alternative energy.  Developments in those areas will profoundly affect the chemical industry and many other industries.  Yet these topics are barely mentioned in Institute publications such as Chemical Engineering Progress.

    I was dismayed to read in the July issue of CEP that the new AIChE policy on climate change now reads that "non-natural climate change is occurring and has been strongly influenced by human-caused releases of greenhouse gases".  According to the article, the AIChE Board arrived at this wishy-washy statement based on member participation in the ChEnected blog and discussions on this forum.  I was completely unaware that the PAIC-sponsored discussion was happening, even though I read CEP religiously.  I tried reading back in the various discussions on this topic but found that I was "not eligible" to read the messages.

    I have several concerns about this process:
    • How broad was the participation of the AIChE membership?  I could find only 10 people who participated in the AIChE Engage discussion.
    • Why does AIChE feel it is qualified to make a scientific analysis of climate science?  We don't expect climate scientists to review and give opinions on chemical process safety, for example.  Is there a reason for AIChE to question the IPCC consensus?
    • The conclusion of the various discussions appears to have been that human activity is responsible for CO2 emissions and therefore, for non-natural climate change.  Why then did the AIChE Board approve a policy that states that non-natural climate change is "influenced" by human GHG emissions?  Why not say "caused"?  Who came up with this language?

    In my opinion, AIChE and the chemical community have a responsibility to be at the forefront of sustainability and emissions reductions.  A large, if not the largest share of emissions have been produced by the chemical and oil and gas industry.  For example, the iconic Haber-Bosch process is responsible for 5% of global CO2 emissions.  Who else will come up with CCS technologies and alternative carbon-negative processes other than chemical engineers?

    ------------------------------
    Dr. Marc de Mul
    Innovation Manager
    Weston CT
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    Posted 07-26-2019 03:04
    No replies, thread closed.
    Thank you Dr. Marc de Mul.              25 Jul 19     PM

    The AIChE policy statement and most discussions about our simplification of "climate change" lack several dimensions, which we should all do our best to overcome, professionally and personally:

    1.  A sense of emergency.  All the trends are in the wrong direction.  The climate modelers give us at best a few decades to reach carbon neutrality, before we're in the grip of positive feedback loops that can be arrested only by risky geoengineering.

    2.  A sense of complexity.  "Climate change" embraces at least:
    >  Global warming from anthropogenic GHG emissions, primarily CO2 and CH4
    >  Rapid sea level rise
    >  Ocean acidification
    >  Extinction of thousands of species
    >  Violent human conflicts
    >  Severe weather events

    3.  A sense of magnitude.  Our responsibility, as professionals and citizens, is nothing less than:
    a. Transforming the world's largest industry, from ~ 85% fossil to ~ 100% CO2-emission-free energy sources, as quickly as we prudently and profitably can;
    b. Near-total decarbonization of humanity's entire energy system, economy, industry, and economic sector, including reduction of iron oxide to iron and NH3 synthesis;
    c.  Preventing the extinction of a million or more of our fellow species;
    d.  Running the world on renewables;
    e.  Conceiving, designing, and building a global energy system which is at once:
    >  Benign:  CO2-emission-free (CEF), greenhouse-gas-emission (GHG) free
    >  Inexhaustible
    >  Affordable: competitive in price and cost -- including external costs
    >  Baseload
    >  Firm and dispatchable
    >  Storage inherently free, low-cost, or unnecessary
    >  Resilient, as subjected to acts of God and man
    >  Cyberattack resistant
    >  Unobtrusive infrastructure; aesthetically welcome
    >  Safe:  acceptable dangers spectrum, locally and globally
    >  Equitable: free of monopoly potential
    >  Distributed: minimizing transmission and distribution infrastructure
    >  Ubiquitous on Earth

    4.  A sense of enormous economic potential to achieve this transformation.  The very large capital required will flow only to those investments with attractive reward-to-risk ratios.  Accommodating millions of people fleeing sea level rise, within a few decades, will require us to overlay on the low-density regions of cities -- especially in USA -- high-population-density car-free loops based on contra-rotating, concentric transit loops, finally correcting our post - WW 2 mistake of building cities for cars, not for people.

    5.  A sense of community, from our shared periodic table and diversity of life, among all humans and all species, on Earth and beyond.

    6.  A sense of hope,  Although humans may suffer and demise for a century or so, this is the "twitchiness" that Nobelist Ilya Prigogine observed as a necessary stage of advancement, from chemical reactions to population dynamics.  We are not exceptional, immune to the twitch, but our fewer ancestors will be better stewards.

    7.  A sense of technology optimism for much greater efficiency in energy, materials, and human time, and in new CEF energy sources.  The variable generation (VG) energy sources, such as wind and solar, that prevail today will yield to ubiquitous, deep, hot dry rock geothermal energy, as soon as we invent a way to bore deep enough, cheap enough, to access it. The ultimate in distributed energy resources (DER), this will obviate needs for costly transmission and energy storage infrastructure.

    Without that sense of community, we may be just another evolutionary dead end, a weedy species best shrugged off by Gaia.  Engineers should show the way; help us imagine, yearn for, and vote for a technically and spiritually better future, Beyond War.

    See MIT Technology Review, May-June 2019, "The Climate Issue"

    See the Ted Nordhaus article in recent NAS Issue in Science and Technology, "Empty Radicalism about the Climate Catastrophe:  What would it take to get serious about Climate Change ?"

    Please see my work, pro bono for The Leighty Foundation:    www.leightyfoundation.org/earth.php  Thank you.


    ------------------------------
    [Bill Leighty]
    [The Leighty Foundation www.leightyfoundation.org/earth.php]
    [Director]
    [Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc. www.AlaskaAppliedSciences.com]
    [Juneau] [AK 99801]
    [Principal]
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-27-2019 14:31
    No replies, thread closed.

    Well said, Bill Leighty.  This should be published on a broader scale with a global audience.

    So far in homo sapiens' 350,000 years of existence, we have been living on a very "lucky" * planet and we have been clever enough to ride out numerous major climate changes and a few geological catastrophes.  I suspect we'll get through this one, especially if we get on board with the program the Bill has outlined.

    *  There's a lot of new science on "luck", however, and most of it revolves around hard work and maximizing chance opportunities.

    Bill Stuble, PE
    Cora, WY
    Design20FIRST.com



    ------------------------------
    William Stuble PE
    Design20FIRST
    Cora WY
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-26-2019 06:00
    No replies, thread closed.

    As a chemical engineer (I have been in this field for 45 years) I feel we need to urgently address the concerns on climate change, pollution and biodiversity disruption as expressed many times over recent years in the media, by government agencies, policymakers and more generally by the public. I agree fundamentally with Dr de Mul on each of his points in this regard and professionally we need to be focused on the practical engineering and scientific solutions of these issues using our specific expertise as Chemical Engineers. This is an issue which I have long felt and was the primary reason why I was in direct contact in 2016-2017 with the AIChE concerning its Climate Change Policy statement at that time (AIChE AND CLIMATE CHANGE: A Public Affairs and Information Committee Paper - Approved by AIChE's Board of Directors -June 2014). In response to my query, I was informed that the PAIC had initiated a discussion with the ultimate goal of  establishing a new policy statement. Much of the discussion that ensued centered around a debate on Climate Science and the veracity of the reports by the IPCC and other scientific studies. While the content of these discussions was informative, very few addressed the central issue as highlighted by Dr de Mul – we need to bring our own skills to bear to solve these problems. Based on the recently published policy statement (which I was unaware of and in which I had little or no part in composing) by the AIChE as cited by Dr de Mul it is clear the AIChE PAIC have decided not to emphasise this important aspect of our existence (which may be clear to many but needs to be stated nonetheless). Chemical Engineering as well as the other Engineering disciplines have benefited greatly from the rapid growth in chemical technology over the last two centuries (particularly in developing chemical fuels, petrochemicals, polymers, pesticides …)  and we should now look very closely at where we are going and at what we need to be doing technically to mitigate the harmful side-effects of these products in addition to promoting their value.



    ------------------------------
    James MacElroy FIChemEUK
    Professor and Chair of Chemical Engineering
    University College Dublin
    Dublin
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-26-2019 10:19
    No replies, thread closed.
    I participated in the discussions on the Engage board last year on Climate Change. I say about 10-15 people participated in those discussion. In my opinion, it was conclusively proven that CO2 induced climate change is occuring and is an existential threat to humanity.

    There was a PAIC sponsored discussion to come up with a new AIChE policy on climate change. The creators of the discussion had rules and structured the discussions that made participation -- to say the least -- difficult. In other words, it was a failure. If you took the time to write somthing there was a good chance that it would not be published and they'd ask you to revise it. After making revisions, it still may not have been good enough. You were at the mercy of the moderator. It wasn't worth the trouble.

    You have to realize that only about 30% of practicing engineers are members of the AIChE. The AIChE mostly represents the interests of academia and the CPI.  What it comes down to is the AIChE is nothing more than a glorified industry trade group. That's why the "wishy-washy" revision of their position on climate change. There original position was the science was contradictory and they had no position. The new statement is a step in the right direction, but barely.

    If you read my posts in the climate discussions of last year, you would know that climate change is all about, energy, energy balances, the first law of thermodynamics, and radiative heat transfer. Chemical engineers are more than qualified to discuss those issues. Chemical engineers approach the problem from a diffeernt angle than climate scientists, but get to the same conclusions.

    Since the oil industry is now admitting that climate change is occuring and in part due to CO2, the AIChE is just catching up to the industry position. The oil industry is, once again, embarking on a disinformation campaign. This time they are trying to convince the public that we will be able to mitigate and adapt to the consequences of our addition to fossil fuels. That's like telling someone with lung cancer that it's okay to keep smoking because science can mitigate the effects and your body will adapt to your addiction.

    If you want to do something about climate change, the AIChE is not the organization to be involved with. They are followers -- not leaders. Look into a group like 350.org

    ------------------------------
    John Braccili
    Wallingford, PA
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    FELLOW
    Posted 07-27-2019 22:26
    No replies, thread closed.
    The newly announced AIChE policy statement on climate change is a step in the right direction but it has an inclusion that could be misleading.  Climate change is not "influenced" by human activity; it is CAUSED by human activity.  The dumping of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels is causing the planet to heat up.  Nothing else is doing that.  The only other things affecting the Earth's average temperature, that is, the natural effects, are tending to cool the planet, but they are being overwhelmed by the CO2 humanity is producing.  A careful reading of the Engage postings during the PAIC sponsored discussions, and, more easily seen, the discussions not subjected to the PAIC moderation, will show that not a single objection to this reality has withstood scrutiny.  Those AIChE members who posted on the subject on AIChE Engage who truly understood the subject were unanimous in their support of the consensus of the qualified professionals.
     
    Readers are urged to refer to the first five postings on this thread.

    Neil Yeoman, PE, FAIChE





  • 7.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-28-2019 13:00
    No replies, thread closed.
    The revised policy statement is a disappointment to me as well.  It should state that global climate change is occurring, that it is detrimental to the food and water supply and living conditions of millions of human beings, that human activities are the main cause, and that it will get worse if the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues to rise.

    It disturbs me that AIChE isn't wholly supportive of science.  Science is the foundation of our profession.  If the Institute only does one thing, it should support science.  It is time for leadership that recognizes this.

    I call for the current candidates for AIChE office to provide their position on climate science and climate change.  Here's what we have so far:

    Deb Grubbe (President):  In 2017, she posted this to Engage:  "As for climate change, I don't personally care about the subject. In my view, the science is not fully formed, and if we think we really understand the earth and its variables, then I wonder why cannot we predict earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and our weather?"

    Robert Kiss (Director):  In his candidate statement, he says "We now understand that the basis upon which we have built much progress is compromising future human habitability of our planet. In my view, chemical engineers and AIChE are key resources that can and will drive the technical activities needed to avoid dramatic climate change. As an AIChE director, I would look to leverage the role, in concert with my NAE membership, to further AIChE's efforts in this critical strategic area. Let's work together to drive the necessary changes in how human societies are fueled and powered so that we can sustain this wonderful planet as we know it."

    I don't know where the other eight candidates stand.


    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten (Virtual Local Section Chair)

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    FELLOW
    Posted 07-26-2019 22:56
      |   view attached
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi, Marc

    I agree with you that AIChE and the chemical community should be at the forefront of sustainability and emissions reductions. The AIChE Board of Directors has taken a major step, as I will explain below, beginning with the text in red.

    I agree with everyone who has posted in this discussion.

    I agree with Bill that we find ourselves in an immense emergency. As Bill says, we need to conceive, design and build a global energy system that transforms the world's largest industry from fossil energy to CO2 neutral energy. Bill is not only correct that there is enormous economic potential in this transition, but also that without all hands-on-deck it cannot be done, and those hands must include the oil and gas majors. At an April 2nd workshop of The Climate Solutions Community, a presenter wanted to include in his conclusions "to hell with corporate profits." At my insistence, he removed this conclusion. We cannot solve this problem without immense capital. Even though we are in an emergency, economies around the globe must continue to function or we invite anarchy. The transformation must be in partnership with oil and gas majors, in great part through their leadership. We are all addicted to oil and gas products. Without oil and gas leading the transition, most of the public, in the U.S. and elsewhere, will continue to consume them.

    A close colleague, with a PhD in electrical engineering, suggested to me several months ago that oil and gas majors must transition to true energy companies, from being suppliers of fossil energy to suppliers of CO2 neutral energy. This cannot be done overnight. The transition will not occur by 2030. It will take a few decades. However, to make this transition requires that immediate long range planning commence. Oil and gas majors are not sitting idly by now, although most of us would like greater progress. Most of them are investing billions; https://oilandgasclimateinitiative.com/climate-investments/

    Professor MacElroy advises that chemical engineers and other engineering disciplines need to work together to mitigate harmful side-effects of products arising over the last two centuries of chemical technology development. I agree. All disciplines must work together.

    John contributed significantly to the PAIC discussion series with instruction on our planet's energy imbalance. Yes, he was frustrated more than once by moderators asking him to rewrite a post; I was one of them. Thank you, John, for exercising great patience during those discussions.

    In October 2018, the AIChE Board of Directors approved the formation of The Climate Solutions Community (TCSC). On March 31, 2019, AIChE launched TCSC. I have attached the press release. We have the beginnings of a website. It is still quite bare but I am hopeful that within a month it will be a live website with several main menu links, including a link to three proposed studies to engage members. These studies will have the objective of forming TCSC opinions on the commercial viability of technical solutions. These first three studies will all focus on electricity generation and distribution, as any mix of solutions must be heavily weighted toward electrification.

    It is not a simple matter to launch a global initiative such as The Climate Solutions Community. Therefore, local initiatives are springing up. In southeast Texas, several colleagues are working with me to organize Climate Solutions for Texas. In Nigeria, several engineers are working to organize Climate Solutions for Nigeria.

    Last week I attended the Carbon Management Technology (CMT) Conference in Houston. It was devoted primarily to carbon capture and sequestration, which of course is a solution of great interest. Is it the best solution? As with every proposed solution, there are uncertainties. And as with every proposed solution there is a need for immense capital. There is probably insufficient capital to attempt every possible solution, and necessary new infrastructure required in many cases. Which solutions should be commercialized? Is the best mix of solutions in southeast Texas going to be the same mix of solutions that is best for Nigeria? Certainly not. The optimum mix is a local/regional challenge.

    While at the CMT Conference, I attended a presentation by Geoffrey Maitland, Professor of Energy Engineering at Imperial College, London UK. His presentation focused on climate solutions based on the economics of Industrial UK Regions and Clusters. It seemed a useful model to follow.

    Just yesterday, I attended a stakeholder meeting at the Houston City Hall regarding the City of Houston Climate Action Plan (CAP), currently in draft form. Mayor Sylvester Turner is co-chair of Climate Mayors, an organization of 472 U.S. cities who want to independently meet the objectives of the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement; http://climatemayors.org/. Although we are not the first from industry involved in the development of the Houston Climate Action Plan, Mayor Turner welcomed Climate Solutions for Texas as a contributor to the discussion on industry solutions, which of course is critical for the economy of southeast Texas.

    I invite you and any others reading the posts of this discussion to join The Climate Solutions Community; https://www.aiche.org/community/sites/climate-solutions-community. It has the support of the AIChE Board of Directors. I and my colleagues in the steering committee will do our best to expedite the involvement of members in this new community to engage with industry, other technical societies, and municipalities in the work on solutions. Which way should we steer our Titanic? We need smart people working together to answer that question.



    ------------------------------
    Thomas Rehm PE,CCPSC,CSP
    Chair, Steering Committee
    TERehm Consulting LLC
    Humble TX
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-27-2019 15:43
    No replies, thread closed.

    I read the AIChE's "new policy" on climate change. It boils down to one sentence: "Scientific analysis finds that non-natural climate change is occurring and has been strongly influenced by human-caused releases of greenhouse gases." Strongly influenced? This implies there are other possible causes. There aren't. No mention of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. No mention of CO2. I guess they are unaware of what every other scientific and technical organization in the world knows – CO2 is the only cause of climate change that is rapidly increasing. This might as well have been a press release from ExxonMobil.

    At least they admit climate change is occurring. That's a step from pretending they couldn't figure it out. I imagine there was a great debate on how much they could water down this statement and not look ridiculous to the scientific community. They still look ridiculous, and they do dishonor to the chemical engineering profession.

    I couldn't disagree with Tom more on the role the AIChE should take on climate change. In my opinion, it has no role. The AIChE is compromised by its association with the fossil fuel industry.

    The AIChE is a small organization with no significant political lobbying operation. They don't represent the majority of chemical engineers. Climate science was settled over 30 years ago, and they still haven't made a strong statement in support of the science.

    The fossil fuel industry has dragged the climate change issue into the political and legal arenas. Change is only going to come through political grassroots activism. The AIChE has never shown an interest in being involved in that type of issue. They will do nothing other than providing group therapy sessions for members concerned with the issue of climate change. If you want to actually do something about climate change and not just vent, get involved with an organization that intends to do something. There are several fine organizations, but the one I would recommend is 350.org.

    Tom said:" The transformation must be in partnership with oil and gas majors, in great part through their leadership." This is wishful thinking. If the oil and gas majors really wanted to do something about climate change, they wouldn't have embarked on a massive disinformation campaign in the 90s to prevent any action from being taken on climate change.

    Besides the new mitigate and adapt disinformation strategy the fossil fuel industry is pursuing, what's most on their mind are the lawsuits that are beginning to pile up. Think they'll confess to what they did to discredit climate science? Of course not, they want a political solution. They formed a new group of conservative politicians to come up with a conservative "solution to climate change. You can read about it here.

    It sounds great. The fossil fuel industry is willing to accept a carbon tax. Of course, the carbon tax is a fraction of what is necessary to curb fossil fuel use. Then, buried under "Significant Regulatory Simplification" is this gem:

    "Much of the EPA's regulatory authority over carbon dioxide emissions would be phased out, including an outright repeal of the Clean Power Plan. Robust carbon taxes would also make possible an end to federal and state tort liability for emitters."

    What a deal! For a "toothless" carbon tax that could be revoked at any time, the fossil fuel industry gets freedom from EPA regulation of CO2 and total immunity from legal liability. It brings tears to of gratitude to my eyes.

    What else have the oil companies proposed to address climate change? Take a look at a company called Carbon Engineering. Sounds Great! Scrub CO2 out of the atmosphere, and produce a carbon-neutral liquid fuel that oil companies can sell at an inflated price. Everybody, at least the oil companies, is happy. Of course, there are a few "minor" problems with this "solution".

    A typical plant will process 1MM tons per year of CO2. In 2017 we dumped 45 Billion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. That's number is projected to increase by 2% per year. You will need 45,000 plants initially and an additional 900 plants built every year to handle the load.

    Let's forget about that, and let's look at an even bigger problem. When CO2 is formed from a fuel, energy is released. To make an equivalent fuel from CO2 means the same amount of energy must be supplied. That has to come from renewables or nuclear. It also means we keep the internal combustion engine. An electric motor is 2 to 3Xs more efficient than an internal combustion engine. That means, to perform the same task, an electric motor uses 1/2 to 2/3 less energy. Not only do you have to build a new energy infrastructure, but it has to be much larger than necessary. Of course, the oil companies expect the public to pay for all this. I know I'm THRILLED to pay for the privilege of buying fuel from an oil company. How do you feel?

    I could go on and on with why the solutions the fossil fuel industry propose are bad ideas. They can't be at the table when solutions for climate change are discussed. They can't be trusted. The best and safest way to solve our climate change problem is to stop using fossil fuels. If this ends the fossil fuel industry and you want to call me a socialist, so be it.

    I give a heartfelt THUMBS UP to the presenter who wanted to include "to hell with corporate profits" in his presentation. Corporations chasing profits is what got us into this mess.

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    John Braccili
    Wallingford, PA
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    Posted 07-29-2019 00:32
    No replies, thread closed.
    Dear Marc,

    Thanks for your speaking out about your concerns. From my personal observations of AIChE's path on this matter, I can help allay at least some of them.

    First, AIChE's revised policy explicitly backs the consensus science that greenhouse gases are causing adverse climate change. "Strongly influenced" didn't refer to whether greenhouse gases (GHG) are the source but instead to the science we analyzed about "human-caused releases"; IPCC's analysis found mixed sources of GHG. I believe that AIChE should revise that sentence in the policy to make the contribution of anthropogenic GHG clearer. I understand that the Board has said it will continue to evaluate its statement in the upcoming year. Nevertheless, through the new policy, AIChE clearly means to affirm the scientific reality and causes of climate change. 

    It's the last sentence of the paragraph that is definitive:
    "Scientific analysis finds that non-natural climate change is occurring and has been strongly influenced by human-caused releases of greenhouse gases. Using an open, moderated process in 2017-18, AIChE members were provided an opportunity to critique the current consensus climate science as captured in the US EPA's Endangerment Findings. After listening to all points of view and challenges, assessing the climate science based on documented evidence, their analysis supported the credibility of this science."
    EPA's summary of the Endangerment Finding is: "The Administrator finds that the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases-carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)-in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations."

    The final conclusion from AIChE's year-long analysis process was that this analysis supported the credibility of this Endangerment Finding, as stated in the revised policy and described in CEP articles of October 2018, May 2019, as well as July 2019. The Board of Directors requested this process, open to all members,
    in response to the reality that members of AIChE and society disagree about aspects of climate science, climate change, and potential climate impacts.

    AIChE members are well prepared to evaluate and to take a stance on the validity of the "consensus science" as expressed in the EPA's Endangerment Finding and the IPCC reports and models that it cited as a basis. Approximately 200 AIChE members took part by contributing to or monitoring the discussion and findings and by shaping the statement itself: 102 Engaged registrants, the Environmental Division, Institute for Sustainability, the 20 PAIC members, and the 16 AIChE officers and Board members. Participating AIChE members included distinguished climate scientists, an environmental-law attorney, and regular members who were willing to analyze scientific arguments that have been proposed against anthropogenic climate change. A team of moderators carefully considered each contribution to ensure that each met the rigorous standards of science and peer-reviewed fact. There was extensive consultation within the 20-person Task Force and the AIChE leadership to make sure that no fact-based point of view was blocked.

    Second, the full two pages of the policy make it clear that AIChE's most important role is to inform and empower its individual members for action, around the world. AIChE must refrain from partisan political advocacy, and many of the opinions about climate change have become politically partisan. However, our scientific analysis was nonpartisan, and advocating for science and for engineering solutions is nonpartisan. Science and engineering also inevitably face uncertainties: Is sea level going to decrease six inches or rise three feet at a given place by a given date? Does that range of uncertainty mean we shouldn't accept the most probable prediction that sea level is going to increase? Of course not. As engineers, we must help educate the public that analyses of likelihood and danger -- incorporating uncertainties -- must drive our determined actions.

    As you recognize, a policy must be paired with action. As you wrote, "AIChE and the chemical community have a responsibility to be at the forefront of sustainability and emissions reductions." AIChE now has to focus on solutions. Its formal policy, by affirming the consensus science on climate change, helps us move toward productive focus on mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.

    Please do continue to be a voice for action, and please join AIChE's thrusts on the issues and practicalities of sustainability, alternative energy, and climate change. Consider participating actively in the AIChE's Institute for Sustainability, International Society for Water Solutions, Environmental Division, and especially its new Climate Solutions Community.

    Thanks for providing your perspective. I'm sure you speak for others who would like to better understand the process and direction that AIChE has taken, to shape its future actions, and to take action themselves... Phil Westmoreland



    ------------------------------
    Phillip Westmoreland FAIChE
    Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    North Carolina State University
    Raleigh NC
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-29-2019 13:26
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi, Phillip.  It is a shame that so much effort was put into the policy statement revision for such a weak result.  It is not enough to say that "Scientific analysis finds that non-natural climate change is occurring and has been strongly influenced by human-caused releases of greenhouse gases."  That could be describing the scientific analysis of three know-nothings working from outdated data in a basement with no access to the literature.  The new policy statement is a science denier's delight.

    It is a fact that there is scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and that human influences are clear, based on decades of research and multiple lines of evidence.  The policy statement leaves this fact out.  Instead, the policy statement says that a few chemical engineers presented "both sides" and then another small group of chemical engineers decided that the science side was credible.  It's outrageous that putting science on trial was ever a part of this process.

    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten (Virtual Local Section Chair)

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-29-2019 15:19
    No replies, thread closed.

    I don't know Dr. Westmoreland. I mean that in the sense that I don't remember him posting anything in the discussions we had on climate change over the last two years. I'm going to address him as Phil. No disrespect intended. I don't want to type out his name every time I mention it.

    Phil has done a commendable job of trying to put "lipstick on a pig", but after all is said and done it's still a pig. In the short press release that the AIChE issued, there is only one paragraph that matters:

    "Scientific analysis finds that non-natural climate change is occurring and has been strongly influenced by human-caused releases of greenhouse gases. Using an open, moderated process in 2017-18, AIChE members were provided an opportunity to critique the current consensus climate science as captured in the US EPA's Endangerment Findings. After listening to all points of view and challenges, assessing the climate science based on documented evidence, their analysis supported the credibility of this science."

    Phil wants us to infer more than what's there. Phil hangs his hat on the US EPA's Endangerment Findings. Phil may be unaware, but that's currently under partisan political attack. There's a good chance it is going to be gutted by the current administration, and the findings on greenhouse gases reversed. Will the AIChE change its position too?

    Phil mentions the IPCC report, but there is no mention of the IPCC in the official statement. Does the AIChE support the IPCC position that human production of greenhouse gases must be reduced by 50% by 2030 and there must be 0 net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change?

    What is the AIChE's position on Exxon's plan to ramp up oil production by 25% by 2025? That pretty much makes the IPCC's goal unattainable.

    Phil said:

    "Approximately 200 AIChE members took part by contributing to or monitoring the discussion and findings and by shaping the statement itself: 102 Engaged registrants, the Environmental Division, Institute for Sustainability, the 20 PAIC members, and the 16 AIChE officers and Board members. Participating AIChE members included distinguished climate scientists, an environmental-law attorney, and regular members who were willing to analyze scientific arguments that have been proposed against anthropogenic climate change. A team of moderators carefully considered each contribution to ensure that each met the rigorous standards of science and peer-reviewed fact. There was extensive consultation within the 20-person Task Force and the AIChE leadership to make sure that no fact-based point of view was blocked."

    I take issue with the last sentence, but that's my opinion.

    With all that "work" done over an entire year by all those people, there must be a mountain of memos, reports, and analysis. Where are they? I'm sure members on both sides of the issue would like to see how you arrived at this "monumental" change in policy. If the AIChE wants this policy to be accepted, it needs to be completely transparent.

    Phil, you can start with that. I've probably forgotten a few things. If I think of any more, I'll be sure to let you know.

    ------------------------------
    John Braccili
    Wallingford, PA
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-30-2019 18:09
    No replies, thread closed.
    Thank you for a well reasoned comment on the process and path forward.

    ---------------------------------
    Philip Russell


    McComb MS
    ---------------------------------





  • 14.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    Posted 07-30-2019 22:52
    No replies, thread closed.
    Dear Marc,

    The effort expended in achieving the new policy, AIChE's affirmation of the consensus climate science, was substantial. Certain topics took a lot of digging and analysis. Each topic had two moderators and at least two topical experts reviewing the proposed posts, plus overview by the PAIC officers. We aimed to ensure fair consideration of all proposed posts and fair treatment of all fact-backed opinions as best we could. I did not add any posts of my own, instead participating in the oversight as PAIC chair and then past chair. I did have an up-close-and-personal view of the dedicated and conscientious efforts of all the participants.

    I note that some members have had difficulty locating AIChE Engage discussions 2 through 6, but those posts are online and available to all AIChE members (see this link). As Mary Ellen Ternes described in her CEP summary of the discussions' findings, "After the initial discussion, to better respond to the overwhelming member response to the general topic of climate change, AIChE staff created two separate discussion groups, one general unmoderated Engage group, 'Climate Change Open Discussion,' and a second closed (until opting in) Engage group, 'PAIC Climate Task Force,' narrowly moderated to ensure contribution of the requested input." AIChE Engage discussions 2 through 6 constitute that second set.

    ---

    To me, the central update of the policy is AIChE's affirmation of the scientific findings that non-natural climate change is real and that "Adverse climate change poses threats to all of us." Not everyone in society or AIChE agrees. However, it is an important step from the 2014 policy that I co-drafted, which said "AIChE does not plan to make any statements assessing the extent or causes of climate change." There, we took the approach that AIChE should not spend time or energy fighting over what we thought were the generally recognized existence and and dangers of climate change, but instead should focus on informing and on developing technological solutions. That seemed sufficient in 2014.

    By Spring 2017, the AIChE Board of Directors faced a mix of messages: New insistence by some members to make such a statement, and vocal opposition by other members. AIChE is a nonpartisan and international organization, and it must speak to and for its membership. The Board instructed PAIC to conduct a review of the science around climate change in which all proponents and skeptics alike could have the opportunity to support or challenge the science. That happened. The outcome was a thoughtful consideration that found some flaws but none that substantively affected the validity of the IPCC analyses and EPA Endangerment Findings.

    Much of this present discussion thread has been on the statement by which AIChE affirms the reality of climate change and the impact of greenhouse gases (GHGs): "Scientific analysis finds that non-natural climate change is occurring and has been strongly influenced by human-caused releases of greenhouse gases." Some expressed concerns have included:
    • It could be stated more strongly or explicitly (like "AIChE affirms the scientific analysis" rather than AIChE's simply stating it; that seems a reasonable opinion to me);
    • CO2 wasn't stated as the only GHG that matters (but note that the EPA Endangerment Findings called out CO2 and CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, and SF6 as impactful greenhouse gases);
    • The phrase "strongly influenced by human-caused release of GHGs" has been questioned in the spirit that GHG emissions are the sole issue. (However, consider that mass deforestation is not itself a release of GHGs, yet it raises CO2 by reducing natural CO2 capture. Often the biomass is burned, making it also a major source of global CO2);
    • It doesn't say explicitly that all nonnatural climate change is caused by human activity (but to me, that's what "nonnatural" means).
    In response to our July CEP "ChE in Context" column, I have received other criticisms of the policy from members who disagree that there is any real threat or any non-natural climate change. I find it hard to accept denial of vetted science, but I understand how disbelief can be a response to predictions of undesirable change. Science advances through raising questions -- and testing them with facts, improving models and predictions, and reducing uncertainties in data and predictions. At the same time, engineers take uncertainty into account and then act on hazards in proportion to their dangers and costs.

    Our representatives on the AIChE Board have concluded that the member analysis was broad enough and bore out the science sufficiently for them to approve this statement as an AIChE-wide policy. The new policy is too strong for some and too modest for others, but I believe the most important activity now for AIChE and its members should be communicating and mitigating the recognized risks and dangers of climate change. I find it positive that many contributors to this thread have made that same judgment and are conscientiously writing and acting to effect change... Phil

    ------------------------------
    Phillip Westmoreland FAIChE
    Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    North Carolina State University
    Raleigh NC
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-31-2019 08:47
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi, Phillip.  It does not help to hear you say that AIChE's policy statement on climate change was crafted to spare the feelings of members who are climate science deniers.

    The revisions to the policy statement are out of alignment with AIChE's vision and mission.  Part of AIChE's vision (from https://www.aiche.org/about/mission-vision) is to be the foremost catalyst in applying chemical engineering expertise in meeting societal needs. What societal need is more important than climate change?  It is AIChE's vision to be a lifetime center for professional growth.  If there are members who don't accept science, it is incumbent upon AIChE to try and lead them to the light, not pander to them.  AIChE's mission is to advance the development and exchange of relevant information, with no exclusion given in the case of climate science.  AIChE's mission is to advocate public policy that embraces sound technical and economic information and that represents the interest of chemical engineers. Supporting climate science is in everyone's interest, including the interest of chemical engineers who deny the science.

    It is apparent that AIChE leadership is anxious to preserve the notion that climate change and its primary causes are a matter of debate, in spite of AIChE's mission and vision statements.  I wish to have leadership that would not do this.  In order to do that I need to know where the current candidates for office stand on climate science.  We have information about two of them.  Deb Grubbe is running for President and in 2017 she posted this to Discussion Central:  "As for climate change, I don't personally care about the subject. In my view, the science is not fully formed, and if we think we really understand the earth and its variables, then I wonder why cannot we predict earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and our weather?"  Robert Kiss is running for Director In his candidate statement, he says "We now understand that the basis upon which we have built much progress is compromising future human habitability of our planet. In my view, chemical engineers and AIChE are key resources that can and will drive the technical activities needed to avoid dramatic climate change. As an AIChE director, I would look to leverage the role, in concert with my NAE membership, to further AIChE's efforts in this critical strategic area. Let's work together to drive the necessary changes in how human societies are fueled and powered so that we can sustain this wonderful planet as we know it."

    If the other 8 candidates could let us know where they stand, that would be great.

    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten (Virtual Local Section Chair)

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-31-2019 18:35
    No replies, thread closed.

    Phil,

    I think you're confused. It's been Kirsten and I who have been posing the questions – not Marc.

    "The effort expended in achieving the new policy, AIChE's affirmation of the consensus climate science, was substantial. Certain topics took a lot of digging and analysis. Each topic had two moderators and at least two topical experts reviewing the proposed posts, plus overview by the PAIC officers. We aimed to ensure fair consideration of all proposed posts and fair treatment of all fact-backed opinions as best we could. I did not add any posts of my own, instead participating in the oversight as PAIC chair and then past chair. I did have an up-close-and-personal view of the dedicated and conscientious efforts of all the participants."

    Without the proper documentation, your remarks are unsubstantiated claims. I can't speak for others, but that doesn't work for me.

    Our climate change problem is a two-issue problem. The first issue is that the earth absorbs energy from the sun and radiates energy into space. If the earth absorbs more energy than it radiates, energy builds on the planet. As it does, temperatures rise, ice melts, extreme weather events become more severe and more frequent. The second issue is than the sun does not heat the earth evenly. That sets up mini energy imbalances across the globe. Temperatures vary, ice freezes and melts in different locations, weather is unpredictable. The interesting part is that the second issue has no impact on the first, but the first issue impacts temperatures, melting ice, and extreme weather events.

    The first issue can tell us if climate change is occurring and what's causing it. I refer you to my Engage posts on the subject. It is conclusive evidence. The interesting thing is, not a single temperature measurement is required to do so. All that's needed is a group of satellites monitoring the incoming and outgoing radiation to and from the planet. NASA has an unfunded project to do exactly that.

    The second issue is the source of the climate change "controversies". Temperatures vary all over the planet. That means statistical sampling and weighting are required. That always causes arguments over methodology. Temperature changes are small. That leaves plenty of room for different interpretations of the same data. It may make fodder for debate over the science, but, in reality, it's an unnecessary argument over noise.

    Most of the topics of the PAIC discussions were irrelevant for the reason I just stated. The only topic that was relevant was titled: "Attribution of Observed Climate Change." A couple of "theories" were allowed to be posted that can be found on websites that traffic in "junk" science. The "theories" proffered I would put in the class of "junk" science. The moderator of that discussion tried to justify the use of information from the website "wattsupwiththat" by claiming the website had references from legitimate sources. That didn't make the "science" any more legitimate. I and others thought that it wasn't hard to get "junk" science thrown into the discussion. The first issue I cited doesn't appear in the discussions. I had given up trying to steer the discussions in that direction because I was continually being moderated. I'm pretty sure the "moderator" had no idea what I was talking about.

    Phil, the "experts" who were doing all the "digging and analysis" completely missed the most important issue that proves that the scientific community is completely vindicated in its view of the climate change issue. I'll leave it to others to judge their competency.

    It's pretty hard to believe that one topic of the PAIC discussion was dedicated to the measurement of GHG concentrations. Concentration has little or no impact on the "greenhouse" effect. Take Venus and Mars. Venus's atmosphere is 97% CO2. Mars atmosphere is 95% CO2. The average temperature on Venus is 460 Deg C. The average temperature on Mars is -60 Deg C. If concentration had any impact, Mars should be a lot warmer. What the difference? Pressure on Venus is 90 atm. Pressure on Mars is 0.006 atm. Even though the gravitational force on Mars is 40% of the force on Venus, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere of Mars is considerably less than the amount in the atmosphere of Venus. This phenomenon is a function of the actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere – not the concentration. I refer you to my Engage posts where I discuss the issue.

    There were only two topics that received more than 10 responses. The others received 5 or less. There were maybe 5 to 10 actual respondents. Not exactly a robust sample to make a decision on. In my opinion, the exercise was an abysmal failure.

    You want us to infer things that are not expressly stated in the AIChE policy. That policy is exactly one sentence. It is vague and easily misinterpreted. Further expansion and clarification are required.

    Let me ask a few more questions:

    Even think of surveying the membership to elicit their opinion on climate change? Was the AIChE worried about what they might say, and force the AIChE to take a stronger position?

    Did you look at the policy statements of other organizations? Here's what ACS has to say. Not strong enough for my taste, but infinitely better than AIChE's position. Frankly, AIChE's statement is an embarrassment.

    These questions you still haven't answered:

    If the current administration manages to reverse the EPA Endangerment Finding, will the AIChE reverse its position as well?

    Where's the work product for this "monumental" change in position?

    Does the AIChE support the current IPCC recommendation of a 50% cut in GHG emissions by 2030 and net-zero GHG carbon emissions by 2050?

    What is the AIChE's opinion on ExxonMobil increasing its production of fossil fuels by 25% by 2025?

    We, who are very concerned about the impact of climate change on future generations, are waiting for your reply.

    ------------------------------
    John Braccili
    Wallingford, PA
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    LIFE MEMBER
    Posted 07-31-2019 10:32
    No replies, thread closed.

    I would hope that if there was one thing engineers and scientists could agree on, it is that science is not done by consensus - never has been, never will be.



    ------------------------------
    Mitchell Zimmer
    Assistant Professor
    Penn States Berks
    Reading PA
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-31-2019 12:05
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi, Mitchell.  Of course science is not done by consensus.  Science is the systematic building up of knowledge by gathering data and testing theories in order to explain observed phenomena and create predictions.  However, consensus among scientists about a scientific theory does occur when the theory is tested by thousands of scientists around the world and the theory is found to explain multiple lines of evidence.  This is the case with the findings of climate science -- thousands of climate scientists all over the world have found that multiple lines of climate change evidence are explained by human activity.  Our fingerprints are all over the place.  These multiple lines of evidence are not explained by any other theories that have been put forward.

    A consensus among experts has real life significance.  The science is clear.  AIChE chose to emphasize the diversity of opinions about climate change among non-experts in their revised policy statement.  I would rather have AIChE leadership that supports science.  Supporting science supports chemical engineers, no matter what they believe about climate change.

    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten (Virtual Local Section Chair)

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    FELLOW
    Posted 07-31-2019 23:10
    No replies, thread closed.

    Re July 31 post by Michael Zimmer:

    Michael seems to misunderstand the use of "consensus" in this matter.  The validity of AGW is based on solid theory and all the available evidence.  "Consensus" is used to differentiate those that accept the evidence and the obvious conclusions that flow from the evidence from that tiny group that has chosen to ignore the evidence.

    Neil Yeoman, PE, FAIChE







  • 20.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    LIFE MEMBER
    Posted 08-01-2019 12:00
    No replies, thread closed.

    My response to many of the last day's emails.


    First, my name is Mitchell, or if you prefer, Mitch.


    Second, I do not appreciate the term "denier" that is thrown around.  Its general connotation is the Holocaust and the implication of many posts, not just to me, is that we are some evil people who through stupidity or politics refuse to accept the "truth".


    I first got interested in meteorology at age 10.  That has never gone away, and as a ChE student at Penn I took two courses specifically about the environment.  Professor Giegengack's intro to Env Sci and Dr. Daniel Perlmutter's senior level ChE course in Env Engineering.   Both fine professors who taught us to look at both sides of every issue.  A few years ago I even purchased and read Dan's book on the science and politics of climate change.  Just because I hold him in extremely high regard doesn't mean I have to agree with his conclusions.


    In my professional life in the late 70s I remember discussing how my employer might help mitigate global cooling.  I have witnessed many situations where engineering, economic (I now have an MBA), political, statistical, and meteorological models have failed.  Sometimes spectacularly.


    I do not know if the globe is warming or cooling, although personal observations show it could go either way and calculations of delta H for all the fuels we burn say (my calcs) 0.03 deg F a year assuming no heat loss to land, water, or space.  My real issue comes from the conclusions of the studies.  If CO2 is really a problem, and has been for 20+ years, then we should have been building as many nuclear plants as we could, but we will be lucky to stop the shrinkage in the total number in the US.  Hydro should also be popular, but all I ever read about is environmentalists applauding the latest dam being removed.  All the solutions proposed are either wildly expensive, or not feasible, or involve large taxes, with the results unlikely to change anything.


    I remain skeptical, and would be interested in a summary of the position of all the candidates in the upcoming election.


    Mitch Zimmer
     







  • 21.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-01-2019 12:29
    No replies, thread closed.
    I agree, Mitch.  If the remaining seven candidates could chime in and say whether or not they support the science, that would be great.  Thanks so much to Pete Lodal for doing so.  If any readers personally know the missing candidates, lobby them to post their position to this thread.  They are

    Gregory Frank of Amgen (president-elect)
    Linda Broadbelt at Northwestern (director)
    Douglas Clark at Berkeley (director)
    Brian Davison at Oak Ridge (director)
    Bob Kelly at North Carolina State University (director)
    Ann Lee at Celgene (director)
    Todd Przybycien at Rensselaer (director)

    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten (Virtual Local Section Chair)

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-01-2019 20:39
    No replies, thread closed.
    Mitch,

    Global cooling was never scientific consensus. The earliest offical mention of global warming was in a report to the president in 1965.

    Human production of energy is too small to have any impact on climate. What's causing climate change is the ability of a CO2 moleule to absorb and reradiate a portion of the earth's IR radiant energy. Last week I wrote a piece on Quora Digest that makes the case for CO2 induced climate change. Here's a link. Hopefully, this will help you understand the problem.

    You don't need models or temperature trends to show climate change is occuring and caused by burning fossil fuels. The modesl predict the when --  not the if.

    The cost estimate I've seen to change the energy infrastructure worldwide is $50-100 trillion. It will require worldwide cooperation the likes of which we haven't seen since WWII. Expensive? Absolutely! The alternative is a mass extinction event. This problem will get resolved one way or another. We either resolve it or let it resolve itself and suffer the consequences.

    My own belief is that the planet goes through its sixth mass extinction event. People are too greedy and stupid to believe otherwise.

    ------------------------------
    John Braccili
    Wallingford, PA
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    FELLOW
    Posted 08-01-2019 21:03
    No replies, thread closed.
    Re August 1 post by Mitchel Zimmer:

    Mitch,
         
    That you still think the Earth may be cooling rather than warming suggests that you really haven't been giving this issue the attention it deserves.  Perhaps the attachments to this message might help.

    The basis of the consensus is not the heat release from the burning of fossil fuels.  The Earth is heating up because of the imbalance between incoming and outgoing radiation. 

    I suggest that you consider seeing what the National Association of Sciences has to say on this matter at http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/events/a-discussion-on-climate-change-evidence-and-causes/  It will help you understand why there will be negative reactions to your post.

    Neil Yeoman, PE, FAIChE







  • 24.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-02-2019 12:46
    No replies, thread closed.
    There is an interesting article in the July 11 2018 issue of Nature, titled "Unmasking the negative greenhouse effect over the Antarctic Plateau" by Sergio A. Sejas, Patrict C. Taylor and Ming Cai.  The URL is https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0031-y

    The abstract is as follows: A paradoxical negative greenhouse effect has been found over the Antarctic Plateau, indicating that greenhouse gases enhance energy loss to space. Using 13 years of NASA satellite observations, we verify the existence of the negative greenhouse effect and find that the magnitude and sign of the effect varies seasonally and spectrally. A previous explanation attributes this effect solely to stratospheric CO2; however, we surprisingly find that the negative greenhouse effect is predominantly caused by tropospheric water vapor. A recently developed principle-based concept is used to provide a complete account of the Antarctic Plateau's negative greenhouse effect indicating that it is controlled by the vertical variation of temperature and greenhouse gas absorption. Our findings indicate that unique climatological conditions over the Antarctic Plateau-a strong surface-based temperature inversion and scarcity of free tropospheric water vapor-cause the negative greenhouse effect.


    ------------------------------
    Paul Stobbe
    Pearland TX
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-03-2019 17:30
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi, Paul.  That is an interesting article.  In their discussion section, Sejas et al point out that "As the global climate warms, the redistribution of heat and water vapor by large-scale dynamics could potentially reverse the sign of the [greenhouse effect] over the Antarctic Plateau causing the negative [greenhouse effect] to disappear entirely from the climatological annual cycle. A positive [greenhouse effect] throughout the year over all of Antarctica could potentially make it more similar to the Arctic, which has experienced an amplified warming 2–3 times greater than the global-mean warming over the past 50 years.25 Global climate models' future projections corroborate this speculation, as large warming over the Antarctic continent is projected by the second half of the 21st century.26,27 A worrisome prospect as locked up in Antarctica is enough ice to raise sea level by ~73 meters,28 melting even a small percentage of that ice would have significant societal impacts."

    25.  Chylek, P., Folland, C. K., Lesins, G., Dubey, M. K. & Wang, M. Arctic air temperature change amplification and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L14801 (2009).
    26.  Chapman, W. L. & Walsh, J. E. A synthesis of Antarctic temperatures. J. Clim. 20, 4096–4117 (2007).
    27.  Shindell, D. T. & Schmidt, G. A. Southern Hemisphere climate response to ozone changes and greenhouse gas increases. Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L18209 (2004).
    28.  Williams, R. S., Ferrigno, J. G. & Foley, K. M. Coastal-Change and Glaciological Maps of Antarctica. 2 (U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2005-3055, 2005).



    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten (Virtual Local Section Chair)

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    FELLOW
    Posted 08-03-2019 17:47
    Edited by Thomas Rehm 08-04-2019 17:49
    No replies, thread closed.

    Hi, Paul

    I hope that all readers of this discussion will carefully review the article that you recommended concerning negative greenhouse gas emissions over the Antarctic; https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0031-y. Without a careful review, some may wonder about the validity of the greenhouse effect. However, the Antarctic data indicate a miniscule affect. The negative GHE regions (blue) are overwhelmed by the positive GHE regions. The negative GHE affect appears over East Antarctica, not West Antarctica. Yes, East Antarctica is gaining ice, and therefore such data is used as a citation by climate skeptics. I'm not accusing you. I'm just saying it is a common citation. It is important to know that Antarctica overall is losing ice rapidly: https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/06/chart-of-the-day-the-south-pole-is-shrinking-fast/.

    Regarding Kirsten's call for AIChE national candidates to weigh in on their climate positions, I think it important that everyone who visits this discussion weigh in with their view. We cannot solve this problem without an all-hands-on-deck effort. If you are new to the evidence surrounding global warming, this discussion lays out much of the evidence. Within this post, I am adding to it.

    The greenhouse gas effect

    Without GHGs our planet would be uninhabitable. We would be at an average of -18 degrees Celsius: http://joannenova.com.au/2015/10/new-science-8-applying-the-stefan-boltzmann-law-to-earth/. Thankfully, we are 33 degrees Celsius warmer due to the greenhouse gas effect, i.e., it's real.

    Global temperature is rising at an unacceptable rate. Perhaps because climate scientists are regularly pummeled by their critics, they conservatively present the warming of our planet as 0.9 degrees Celsius since 1880. The truth is that we have warmed about 0.9 degrees Celsius in the last 50 years. My colleague John Braccili told me when I saw him in Philadelphia June last year that focusing on global temperatures is not the way to go. John has been at this a lot longer than I have, so I don't blame him since cherry picking temperature data is common. In 2017, when I decided to see if global warming was really happening, a colleague said, "It's been hot in Texas forever. Nothing's changed." So I decided to look at southeast Texas. If you want my analysis, I can provide it to you (numerous data and analyses files). Of 12 southeast Texas locations where currently active meteorological stations have been measuring temperature for at least 20 years, 77% of 144 month-station data sets are trending upward, with many showing multiple degrees Fahrenheit trends over 20-40 years; only 17% are trending downward.

    It is important to realize that the rate of global temperature rise is unprecedented. Some say we should worry about the next ice age. They say a few degrees of warming is nothing to worry about. See my attachment for an analysis. Using cooling periods following peak high temperatures during Milankovitch cycles, it will take at least 3,000 years of similar cooling to cancel the 0.9 degrees Celsius temperature rise we have seen in the last 50 years. Global warming is the concern, not the next ice age.

    It is true that only about 26% of the greenhouse effect is attributable to CO2. The rest is due to water vapor. CO2 is a forcing greenhouse gas. Water vapor is a feedback greenhouse gas. https://web.archive.org/web/20060330013311/http://www.atmo.arizona.edu/students/courselinks/spring04/atmo451b/pdf/RadiationBudget.pdf. If water vapor was forcing temperature to rise, based on the past fifty years of temperature rise, the temperature of our planet would be increasing at a rate of about 1.8 degrees Celsius per century, or 18 degrees Celsius per millennium, which would have made the planet uninhabitable a long time ago; the last glacial period ended 11,700 years ago. Our planet is still habitable. Global warming today is due to CO2 and other forcing GHGs in the atmosphere, not water vapor.

    Are temperature measurements reliable? Some say they are unreliable due to the urban heat island effect. Certainly urban temperatures are higher than nearby rural temperatures due to concrete and steel. However, where urban populations have not grown, the trend in temperature should not show increasing temperature. They do. See my analysis attached.

    There are many other rabbit holes that we can explore. At some point we must put this to the side and begin devoting our many talents to climate solutions. If you want to pursue the other 150+ rabbit holes: https://skepticalscience.com/

    Should the AIChE be engaged in solutions?

    Certainly. We develop oil/gas/chemical processing. We design the processes. We operate the plants. We manage the companies. We manage the industries. We must be involved. And the AIChE is involved. We have a stronger AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement now than we did in 2014. Could it have been worded differently? Perhaps.

    We have done much more than update our Climate Change Policy Statement. In addition to numerous established AIChE initiatives such as the Institute for Sustainability, the Sustainable Engineering Forum, the Environmental Division, and others, and AIChE involvement in multi-institution organizations such as Carbon Management, on March 31, 2019 AIChE launched The Climate Solutions Community. Is it up and running? No, but our steering committee is working on it. Help us to stand up and make a difference. Join us at: https://www.aiche.org/community/sites/climate-solutions-community

    Is the AIChE walking a tightrope?

    Yes. This will not be easy. Industries that we support produce hydrocarbon-sourced fossil fuel products, and emit carbon dioxide from manufacturing operations, which are major contributors to constantly increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. There are no if's, and's or but's about it.

    So what should AIChE members do? Should we protest outside the headquarters of oil and gas majors? If so, what should we tell them? Shut down all exploration, production, refining, and fuels distribution? Tomorrow? If not tomorrow, then when? If this seem unreasonable to you, then what is your recommendation for action?

    The AIChE must do something and do it responsibly. There are many challenges:

    • Long range planning by companies engaged in fuels production has begun and has been in the works for many years. Shell's Sky Scenario is one such plan. Others also have plans, e.g., ExxonMobil. Are these plans compatible with 2030 climate catastrophe predictions? No. They cannot be. Oil and gas exploration involves very long range planning. Industry assets with decades-long lives are economic facts of life. If commercially viable alternatives existed today to replace fossil fuels, we should perhaps take our protest signs and demand the shutdown of all oil and gas operations. There are no such commercially viable alternatives. Oil and gas majors are members of OGCI, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, with an investments branch in which billions of dollars of money are being dedicated to alternatives. Are those viable alternatives? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
    • Societies around the world are on solutions paths which may not be viable. Everyone understands renewable intermittency. However, does everyone understand its consequence relative to electrical grid stability? This is not just an EE concern. This very much affects the direction that climate solutions must take. We are not EE's but nevertheless this is a crucial factor in choosing a solutions path and this will affect our role in solutions. If the AIChE is to lead in climate solutions, which in my view we must, then we must understand electrical grid stability. Can EE's who understand this issue affect the operations of oil and gas majors? No. I suggest that ChE's and EE's working together can figure this out. While we're at it, let's pull in all other engineering and industrial scientific disciplines. I have many colleagues ready to do it.
    • Let's look at two irrational limiting choices:
      • Continue with business as usual, hoping that global warming is not happening or is not really a serious concern.
      • Support solutions tracks with an objective of carbon-neutral energy by 2030.
    • Why are they irrational?
      • The first flies in the face of the physics of greenhouse gas warming: The correlation of temperature increase with atmospheric CO2 concentration, an unprecedented rate of temperature rise since the 1960s, and sober projections through to 2100.
      • The second is reckless, most probably resulting in expenditures of capital that may not solve the problem and may leave societies without sufficient residual resources to take a proper solutions track.


    If you are reading this post and want to contribute toward solutions, please join The Climate Solutions Community.
    https://www.aiche.org/community/sites/climate-solutions-community

    If you have a leadership position within the AIChE at the national or local level or in an AIChE Operating Council, Division or Forum, or as an AIChE representative within an industry association, it is important that you express your position on climate change.

    ------------------------------
    Thomas Rehm
    PhD, PE, CCPSC, CSP
    Chair, The Climate Solutions Community Steering Committee
    Humble TX
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-05-2019 10:58
    No replies, thread closed.

    Tom,

    IPCC recommends carbon neutral by 2050 and a 50% GHG reduction by 2030.

    The exact words I used are: "Making arguments with temperatures is a waste of time and a loser." The problem with temperatures is they have to be sampled and weighted, changes from year to year are very small, and they are lagging indicators. It's not only that it's very easy to cherry-pick the data. Here's a quote from a post that Keith Dackson, a PhD chemical engineer, made on this forum on July 31st: "The Institute has adopted an unverifiable theory based on adjusted (i.e., fabricated) data and the supposed "scientists" will not allow anyone to see the inner workings of their models."  Do you see the problem?

    Water vapor in the atmosphere is not the cause of climate change. It has to be something that is building in the atmosphere – only CO2 is doing that. Why do I say that? If the driving factor isn't constantly increasing, the earth's energy balance will approach equilibrium and derivative with respect to time of all the climate change indicators would approach zero. Currently, that's not happening. The CO2 greenhouse effect warms the atmosphere. Warmer air can hold more water. CO2 indirectly controls the greenhouse effect of water. CO2 is the current controlling factor of climate change.

    "Are temperature measurements reliable? Some say they are unreliable due to the urban heat island effect. Certainly urban temperatures are higher than nearly rural temperatures due to concrete and steel. However, where urban populations have not grown, the trend in temperature should not show increasing temperature. They do. See my analysis attached."

    My question is, why are you bothering with this? Whatever the urban island effect is doing, it doesn't matter.

    Look where the energy is going. Ever hear the term: "follow the money?" In climate change its: "follow the energy." The currency of climate change is energy.

    Ocean heating is important for a couple of reasons. It causes water to expand, which increases sea levels, and it pumps water into the atmosphere – the fuel for massive storms.

    Does the AIChE have a role in the climate change fight? NO! They're to close to the fossil fuel industry. The fossil fuel industry should not get a seat at the table. In my view, the best metaphor for the fossil fuel industry is a rabid dog that needs to be put down. It comes down to the continued existence of the fossil fuel industry or the human race.

    "Long range planning by companies engaged in fuels production has begun and has been in the works for many years. Shell's Sky Scenario is one such plan. Others also have plans, e.g., ExxonMobil. Are these plans compatible with 2030 climate catastrophe predictions? No."

    Their short-range plans aren't any better. Exxon plans to produce 25% more oil by 2025. They're making major investments in both their upstream and downstream operations.

    "Support solutions tracks with an objective of carbon-neutral energy by 2030.

    The second is reckless, most probably resulting in expenditures of capital that may not solve the problem and may leave societies without sufficient residual resources to take a proper solutions track."

    It's by 2050. So, what's the alternative? Invest in adaption and mitigation technologies that keeps the fossil fuel industry going? They're just band-aids. They may slow the inevitable down, but they won't stop it. NOT ONE taxpayer dime should go into propping up the fossil fuel industry. If they want to pursue this nonsense, it should be with their own money.

    Did you know the oil companies have plans to tap the oil under the arctic ice when it melts? If that happens, the only customers they will have are cockroaches. They survive anything. At least they will be dealing with their own kind.

    There is no scenario where the fossil fuel industry survives that doesn't have catastrophic consequences for the human race. Climate change is the greatest challenge ever faced by the human race. That's because the "enemy" is us.

    ------------------------------
    John Braccili
    Wallingford, PA
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-31-2019 15:22
    No replies, thread closed.
    Well, I am glad that is settled.  The Institute has adopted an unverifiable theory based on adjusted (i.e., fabricated) data and the supposed "scientists" will not allow anyone to see the inner workings of their models.  I guess that makes me a "denier" (nice ad hominem) in the view of the acolytes.  We even have at least one member who states categorically that "Climate change is not "influenced" by human activity; it is CAUSED by human activity. " Well, please enlighten us as to how the last Ice Age ended due to human activity?

    My question is when will the Institute stop holding meetings (annual or otherwise) since this is now a CRISIS that must be dealt with immediately.  Why stop meetings?  Because of the CO2 emissions that are generated by the virtue of air travel to these events.

    If the Institute continues to hold large gatherings, then the Institute, as well as the attendees, are rank hypocrites on this subject.

    ------------------------------
    Dr. Keith Dackson , P.E.
    East Aurora NY
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-31-2019 16:26
    No replies, thread closed.
    Dr. Dackson proves my point.  The Institute has done nothing to inoculate its members against the five main categories of fallacies that science denial relies on (all science denial, not just climate science denial).    These categories are 1) fake experts (magnifying the minority), 2) logical fallacies (such as red herrings, misrepresentation, jumping to conclusions, and false dichotomies), 3) impossible expectations, 4) cherry picking, and 5) conspiracy theories.

    It's a fact that there are many influences on the earth's climate, and it's also a fact that current climate change is largely influenced by human activities.  To say that climate has changed in the past without human influences and therefore cannot be changing now due to human activities is a false dichotomy.

    It's a fact that it would be impossible to coordinate the research of thousands of scientists working all over the globe in order to alter all of the data for all of the lines of evidence such that it would consistently paint a fake picture.  That's a conspiracy theory.

    It's a fact that the models climate scientists use are documented and are available.  To say that climate scientists don't allow anyone to see the inner workings of their models is a misrepresentation.

    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten (Virtual Local Section Chair)

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-31-2019 17:14
    No replies, thread closed.
    Hi, everyone.  Peter Lodal is one of the eight candidates for Director in this year's AIChE elections.  I asked him to share his position on climate change and he gave me permission to post this on his behalf:

    "Hello to all. As requested, here is how I stand on the AIChE Climate Change Policy. I would refer you to Phil Westmoreland's July 29 response in AIChE Engage, including his links, as I think that effectively outlined the process as well as the outcome.

    "To me, the statement does three equally important things:
    1. It declares that AIChE's policy is to recognize and affirm climate-change science and its implications as expressed by the EPA Endangerment Findings, which incorporate the IPCC data and modeling.
    2. It did so by a vetting process that recognized differences in viewpoints, invited and encouraged fact-based criticism of the science by all viewpoints, yet ultimately validated the science.
    3. It also recognizes that there is work to be done, particularly in prediction, adaptation, and new technologies, which will engage chemical engineers far beyond those with specific climate expertise.

    "By way of background, my experience and expertise lie not in climate science but in the process design and process safety arenas. I cannot recall an incident investigation (large or small) where the investigating team did not say, "Wow, I never knew THAT could happen" or something similar. This is a recognition that we must keep probing and assessing new developments, keeping the lines of communication and discussion open and active.

    "At the same time, the importance of the statement is that AIChE has declared as policy its science-based affirmation of the existence, causes, and dangers of non-natural climate change. Now is the time to shift our focus toward action."

    Again, that was Peter Lodal, who is running for Director of AIChE this year.  We now know the positions of three out of ten candidates (Deb Grubbe, Peter Lodal, and Robert Kiss).  We are still waiting to hear from @Gregory Frank , @Linda Broadbelt , @Douglas Clark ,  @Brian Davison , @Robert Kelly , @Ann Lee , and @Todd Przybycien .  Our votes are due by October 14.  We will be electing a President-Elect and four Directors.  (I misspoke earlier.  Deb Grubbe and Gregory Frank are running for President-Elect, not President.)​​​​​​​​​​​

    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten (Virtual Local Section Chair)

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-31-2019 17:31
    No replies, thread closed.
    I'm so sorry, I didn't realize that I wasn't getting unique hits as I typed in candidate names, I was just getting offered one option for every combination of each first and last name.

    I gave you the wrong link for Gregory Frank who is running for President-Elect, he is at  https://engage.aiche.org/network/community-directory/profile?UserKey=6fad38fa-b2ab-45e0-b8de-2f76b98ec3b3

    I gave you the wrong link for Douglas S. Clark, candidate for Director, he is at https://engage.aiche.org/network/community-directory/profile?UserKey=a0034629-0b8e-4d23-8e58-3a217bcb98c6

    I gave you the wrong link for Brian H. Davison, candidate for Director, he is at https://engage.aiche.org/network/community-directory/profile?UserKey=614cfefa-07a8-4b4c-8919-639753e7512e

    I gave you the wrong link for Robert M. Kelly, candidate for Director, he is at https://engage.aiche.org/network/community-directory/profile?UserKey=e1570e10-1682-4628-85d1-df20999775c3

    I gave you the wrong link for Ann Lee, candidate for Director, she is at https://engage.aiche.org/network/community-directory/profile?UserKey=550a9fca-f665-42da-9c1f-215b9e463b0a

    My apologies, and my special apologies to the folks whose links I incorrectly included.  Thanks to their unusual names, the links for Linda Broadbelt and Todd Przybycien came out right.








    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten (Virtual Local Section Chair)

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    FELLOW
    Posted 07-31-2019 23:25
    No replies, thread closed.
    Re July 31 post by Keith Dackson:

    Thanks, Keith, for catching my error.  The climate change that the Earth is currently undergoing is caused by human activity.  Before humans started adding CO2 to the atmosphere in such huge amounts climate was driven by other factors, generally "natural."  Those natural phenomena are still occurring but they have been overwhelmed by the human activity. 

    The attachments to this message should help you understand the issues a little better.

    Your other comments are not productive.

    Neil Yeoman, PE, FAIChE





  • 33.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-02-2019 13:49
    No replies, thread closed.
    Neil:

    Please do not make the mistake to assume I do not understand just because we disagree; it is condescending.

    ------------------------------
    Dr. Keith Dackson , P.E.
    East Aurora NY
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    FELLOW
    Posted 08-02-2019 23:28
    No replies, thread closed.
    Re August 2 post by Keith Dackson at 1:49pm:

    Keith,

    I am sorry that you feel that my attempt to supply information you didn't have to be condescending.  It was meant to be informative.  Your remarks suggested to me that you were not aware that CO2 has recently spiked to levels never before seen during human existence and that you were unaware that the Earth was warming even though it was getting less radiation from the Sun. 

    Neil Yeoman, PE, FAIChE





  • 35.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-02-2019 14:57
    No replies, thread closed.
    His comments are only unhelpful if you disagree, I guess.  The only climate change deniers that I know are folks who believe in the "young earth" theory.  That probably does not include very many AIChE members.  But I have met a number of Chem Es and geologists who believe, based on their own analyses, that the major driver of climate change is natural, and that anthropogenic change is an exacerbation of the natural cycle.  After all, in the geologic history of the earth polar ice seems to have been infrequent, Antarctica was forested, etc.  There still seems to be room for some debate about the details.  
    Plus, there is a sociological debate in the background of all this that is exceeding politically incorrect.  As population increases in lands that are marginally productive, the global affect on climate can be exceedingly severe.  For instance, Burkina Faso now has over 19 million inhabitants with modest rainfall limited to half a year.  Naturally, desertification is increasing, with the dust of West Africa blowing all the way across the Atlantic.  Does this dust make a contribution to the Atlantic weather patterns?  The loss of the Oxygen producing Amazon forest, some argue, has also been the loss of a considerable heat sink.  It goes on.  But some believe that the almost religious like focus on industrial greenhouse gases masks many other equally or nearly equally contributors to the natural cycle exacerbation.
    Personally, I am merely a confused observer.

    William T. Hall, P.E.








  • 36.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-02-2019 16:09
    No replies, thread closed.
    There are a number of factors that affect climate. The principle being solar radiation. Any of the factors can be the controlling one at any point in time. We can eliminate the others as the source of the current variation in climate. There is only one of the sources that is continually increasing and causing what we are seeing. Read my analysis.

    ------------------------------
    John Braccili
    Wallingford, PA
    ------------------------------



  • 37.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    FELLOW
    Posted 08-02-2019 23:08
    No replies, thread closed.
    Re August 2 post by William Hall:
    William,
         If you really are confused, and I am not sure that you are, there is no reason to stay confused.  If you would carefully read all the posts in this thread you will find answers to your questions, at least most of them, and if there are questions you have that haven't been answered there are sources of information available to deal with that.  The easiest sources to use are the people who posted who showed some disappointment with the policy statement, disappointment that it wasn't stronger.  I know a few of them and they are very knowledgeable, people such as Tom Rehm, Kirsten Rosselot, John Braccili, and Jimmy Kumana.  More importantly, they understand the threat that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) poses and are passionate about seeing something meaningful done about it. 
         To accuse those who recognize the reality of AGW of a religious like focus as some people, indeed, do is disingenuous. AGW is a scientific theory and it must meet the requirements of being a valid scientific theory to be so considered, and it has.  The science is rock solid; every bit of legitimate evidence supports the theory; and nobody has ever raised an objection to the theory that has withstood scrutiny.  The Earth is warming and there has never been identified another reason for that happening other than the buildup of GHGs in the atmosphere.  There is a focus on that, but only because that is all there is.
         There no doubt are things to be learned, but the likelihood that anything new will successfully challenge the theory is vanishingly small.
         Chemical engineers are like everybody else in many ways.  There are chemical engineers who reject the Theory of Evolution because they see it as conflicting with their religious beliefs, and other engineers are no different.  And, yes, there is an overlap of those who reject the AGW theory and those who reject the Theory of Evolution, probably for different reasons, but that is better discussed elsewhere. 
         Neil Yeoman, PE, FAIChE





  • 38.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-02-2019 19:42
    No replies, thread closed.
    Well John, we just had a Democrat presidential candidate proposing to eliminate fossil fuels.  If you read the Green New Deal, they also want to go to 100% renewables.  Even NYS is considering going GHG free for energy.

    So according to the true believers, we need to return to a pre Industrial Revolution economy.

    I will start believing it is a crisis when people who claim it is a crisis behave as if it were a crisis.

    ------------------------------
    Dr. Keith Dackson , P.E.
    East Aurora NY
    ------------------------------



  • 39.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-02-2019 20:45
    No replies, thread closed.
    Keith,

    I'm with the true believers, but I think nuclear power has to be part of the solution.

    All we're doing is moving from fossil fuels to a new source of energy. If we don't do this, things will be a lot worse, and a pre Industrial Revolution economy will seem desirable to the alternative.

    The problem with climate change is that it is slow moving. People aren't to the panic level yet. I guess it will take a couple of category 5 hurricanes flattening TX or FL, and causing $1 trillion of damage or more with a lot of deaths and casualities to get people's attention. I can't tell you when that will occur, only that it will.

    This will only keep getting worse until we move away from fossil fuels.

    ------------------------------
    John Braccili
    Wallingford, PA
    ------------------------------



  • 40.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    FELLOW
    Posted 08-03-2019 01:11
    No replies, thread closed.
    Re August 2 post by Keith Dackson at 7:42pm:

    What any politician says has no effect on the reality of AGW and the threat it poses, and certainly John has no responsibility for what any politician says.  The goal must be to absolutely minimize the use of fossil fuels for energy.  It is a lot easier for the pol to say 100% renewables than go into the details of what is achievable, and to the unsophisticated public "100% renewables" and "minimize the use of fossil fuels" is pretty much the same thing.  If the best that can be done is 45%renewables and 50% nuclear it would be a lot better than the way we are now going.  We won't know exactly what can be done until the proper study is done and that will only happen when a responsible federal administration is in place.

    The term "true believers" is inaccurate for those who accept the AGW reality and some would consider ti insulting.  "Belief" implies the acceptance of something for which there is no hard evdience.  That is not the case with AGW since it is a totally valid scientific theory that has met the accepted criteria for being a valid scientific theory.  The best terms for people like John might be "realists," "concerned realists," or "legitimately concerned realists."  The place where realists like John want us to go is one much like what we now have but with the energy supply mostly from sources other than fossil fuels, such as wind, solar, and nuclear, hardly a pre-industrial revolution situation.

    Keith and John probably define "crisis" differently.  It is a crisis now because if the world does not act responsibly now the future will be very bleak for humanity.  People like John are acting like we have a crisis upon us, because we do.  The biggest single problem we now face is a lack of total public acceptance of the AGW reality and John is doing his reasonable best to educate those who need to be educated.  

     Neil Yeoman, PE, FAIChE





  • 41.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 08-02-2019 16:08
    No replies, thread closed.
    Keith,

    "The Institute has adopted an unverifiable theory based on adjusted (i.e., fabricated) data and the supposed "scientists" will not allow anyone to see the inner workings of their models."

    The theory is verifiable read my analysis. I don't use temperature data until I prove climate change is occuring and link it to CO2. NOTHING is adjusted.

    The models are about the when -- not the if. Saying that AGW is not occuring because the models don't always match the data is a straw man argument. In my analysis I never even mention the models. As scientists understand the phenomenon, the models  get better. The weather models of today are much better than they were 20 years ago.

    The member who said: "Climate change is not "influenced" by human activity; it is CAUSED by human activity. " is wrong.

    "Well, please enlighten us as to how the last Ice Age ended due to human activity?"

    It didn't. Other factors (most notably solar radiation) can effect climate. Looking at a graph of temperature/CO2 by year, without taking into account all the other factors that could be involved, is conjecture and nothing else.

    "Why stop meetings?  Because of the CO2 emissions that are generated by the virtue of air travel to these events."


    Total % of GHG emissions by commerical aircraft is 1%. Hardly worth the effort. Besides, who cares about how much energy anyone uses. The problem is how it is produced.


    ------------------------------
    John Braccili
    Wallingford, PA
    ------------------------------



  • 42.  RE: AIChE Climate Change Policy Statement

    Posted 08-01-2019 08:42
    No replies, thread closed.
    I believe Chemical Engineers should lead the campaign on the changes in our environment due to the outrageous quantity of CO2 released into the atmosphere because we understand most of the sources of this compound better

    ---------------------------------
    Ojiaku Ojiaku CSP


    Owerri
    ---------------------------------