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Dr. Judith Curry, Monday, 8-24-15 August 25, 2015

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Dr. Judith Curry, Monday, 8-24-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2540-BWB-2015-08-24.mp3

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Guest: Dr. Judith Curry. Topic: Climate science, policy and politics. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm. For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed Dr. Judith Curry to the show to discuss climate science as Dr. Curry is a noted climate scientist from Georgia Institute of Technology. Follow Dr. Curry on her exceptional blog, Climate Etc. @ http://judithcurry.com. Her faculty page website at Georgia Tech is http://curry.eas.gatech.edu .

In the first few minutes of our 55 minute discussion with Dr. Curry, I asked her for a brief history & time line of when the issue of climate science got the attention of the public and started to be highly politicized. Dr. Curry traced it back to the late 90s and then the 2001 UN Assessment. I asked her about the partisanship, the public being confused, and more and she said these were normal states to be in regarding climate science which she said several times during the show was a “wicked mess.” Dr. Curry then gave us a brief history of warming trends going back hundreds of years, their possible causes and then she talked about the complexity of climate data and how hard it was to correlate, make assumptions with, and to draw useful conclusions for sound policy making. We talked about multiple sources of data collection from space resources to climate models. Regarding climate models, she said they run hot, everyone knows it, but it is very hard to fix the problem and then she explained why. Listeners asked about bias in the data, news reports, even with other scientists. Bias and the use of proxies to spread this or that perspective on climate science was all too common and is a problem. Another of Dr. Curry’s points was that given the problems with climate data, there are “deep uncertainties” regarding the state of climate science but that does not mean the risks should be ignored. The balancing act is to understand the data as objectively as possible to manage the risks in the best way possible. When asked by listeners about regulations, she said that a better way to mitigate possible climate problems was through the use of technology and innovation. Don’t miss her comments about this, especially as she applied them to the energy business. She also brought up the risk of serious unintended consequences to whatever we do, whatever policies we put in place, again because there is so much uncertainty with the data and the subject is very complex and not lending itself to simple solutions. Dr. Doug called the show to ask about solar cycles. Doug kept asking the question though our guest did respond. Specifically, I believe Doug was asking her how solar cycle length correlates with global surface temperatures. Listen to the exchange and see what you think about this mini-discussion. Later Doug sent me a graphical image related to his series of questions but our discussion had moved on plus I had no way of getting the graph to Dr. Curry for discussion. Listeners asked Dr. Curry about emissions, CO2, regulatory mandates and policy. Another question for Dr. Curry focused on scientific consensus regarding climate change issues. Don’t miss this discussion. BJohn asked about planetary science & solar system climate studies. Later, she was asked about testifying before Congress. Dr. Curry said there was a difference between testifying in the House as compared to the Senate. I asked if she had ever given a presentation to the UN or elsewhere. In response, she talked about her recent experience speaking before Parliament in the UK to the House of Commons. Compare what she said about the UK experience to her congressional experience. Near the end of our discussion, Dr. Curry spoke about her climate change and science blog, Climate Etc. per the above URL. If you are interested in these subjects, following her blog would be highly beneficial. Before the program ended, I asked if her graduate students came to the classes with a bias or if they were open minded in their climate science studies. I then asked if climate science in the U.S. was dependent on who the president was and what party was in power. Dr. Curry had very interesting comments on this plus she gave us the recent history of what happened to the field over the past several administrations, both Democratic and Republican. Finally, I asked how important it might be for the general public to have a good, bias free understanding of climate issues. Her response might surprise you so make sure you hear what she had to say about this and science education in general. A last minute question was asked about the famous hockey stick graph, then our guest provided us with good, solid closing comments.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can email Dr. Curry through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Brent Sherwood, Monday, 8-3-15 August 4, 2015

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Brent Sherwood, Monday, 8-3-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2519-BWB-2015-08-03.mp3

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Guest: Brent Sherwood. Topics: Space Solar Power (SSP), climate change, SSP demos, SSP economics. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm. For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

 

We welcomed Brent Sherwood back to the show to discuss the rational, potential, and economics for the use of space solar power (SSP). During the first segment of our 1 hour 27 minute discussion, Brent first introduced us to Dr. David MacKay from Cambridge University who in 2009 was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Brent talked about Dr. MacKay’s book during our discussion, “Sustainable Energy-Without The Hot Air” which is available for free on the internet. You should follow along in the book with Brent’s discussion, especially in the first segment, as our guest referred to pages and visuals frequently. Check it out at http://withouthotair.com. Most of the first segment was spent using information from Professor MacKay’s book to explain the current energy and climate situation on Earth and to justifying moving away from petroleum, eventually to SSP. Brent talked about CO2, energy disruption, the transition to something other than fossil fuels, and how to develop SSP. Dr. MacKay used modeling for the UK which Brent referenced, especially from page 215 with the UK map. Brent then talked economics, again referring to the work by Dr. MacKay suggesting an SSP system costing $1.4 trillion! Spread out over a number of years, that price was not much different from what is spent on several government departments and policies, including NASA at this time. Brent listed several examples of this so don’t miss this discussion. Brent then suggested the least path of disruption would focus on the key which would have to be electricity. This took us to our next topic which addressed how to generate the amount of electricity needed, including his identifying several newer technologies that could lower some industry costs. He talked about some of the main challenges including transportation, storage, transmission, & operations. Later in the segment, Brent delved into the cost per kWh for electricity. Marshal called to talk about key new technologies including advancements in related and applicable photo voltaics and more.

 

In the much shorter second segment, Brent talked about macro engineering projects and huge platforms in GEO space. He said that such SSP GEO platforms would be around 7,000 sq. km. or three times the size of the paved U.S. national highway surface. Brent then addressed why none of this ever happens and he pointed to this not being a purpose of NASA as an example. To counter this, he advocated for a serious demo project, even suggesting the use of the ISS for the demo. Our guest talked about the challenge in attracting private capital to this because it is so futuristic right now. However, private capital has flowed to the futuristic industry of asteroid mining. We both asked why to one and not to the other? The last email question of the day was from Carol who pointed out that government policy to regulate coal and CO2 over 30 years is off point. Instead, government policy should produce a serious demo project that confirms the technology and the potential market, then let the markets and industry self-regulate and invest for the future.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Brent can be reached through me if you want to contact him.