Epic Interview: Paul 5.0


So Paul does not seem too vain (dk here)–and he is not–FYI the title was not chosen by him, but rather by his faithful servant, David Korn, Special Projects who has been with him from here day one, from eleven months ago.  This is a major peace of work.  I asked Paul:  “Do you know the meaning of epic?”  And he took a flier, being a serious movie buff as he is.  If you think being 41st in all of Canada for chess is a joke, try beating 300 people and winning a hefty movie ticket raffle for best answers in current cinema trivia.  But it was not to be.  He missed.  Instead:  “Paul, epic is often a term in alpine mountaineering, when maybe you are not roped in near a summit, but you climb all day, up and up and up, then, when you get there and look out as far as the eye can see, you know you did something which you might not do for another ten years, if ever again” (Paul will).

Without further ado, here the transcription of his his Epic Interview with Leehi Yona,of Dartmouth University [1].  Not only did she do a great job, but Paul bested by editing for correctness, additions, and making minor clarifications, and it REALLY shows.  He also took great care in adding images.  You will love this.  The more we look at it, the more impressed we are at his reach, depth, and power.  Gassho sir Paul!  Previously his big step was ‘Paul 4.0‘.  Now we have Paul 5.0:
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For full interview, click:  Interview with Leehi Yona.  Click 5052_LY_Interview Thirty-One_Paul Beckwith_02_23_16 edited final, and here for cloud version.  13,324 words, 26 pages in 12 pnt.  Here is a clip: 

Interview with Leehi Yona:

Interviewer (INT): Leehi Yona (Dartmouth University)
Responder (R): Paul Beckwith (University of Ottawa)
Date: February 23, 2016.  Transcribed by Leehi Yona, Light edits by Paul Beckwith for grammar, spelling, clarifications, readability (no significant content edits).  Images added by Paul Beckwith and David Korn for blog.
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INT:  So if you could please start just by telling me your name and what you do.

R:  Paul Beckwith. I’m a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa in the Department of Geography, Laboratory for Interactive Research on Environmental Change and Public Policy (previously Laboratory for Paleoclimatology and Climatology). I’ve taught six courses, mostly introductory climatology and meteorology (3 times), and designed and taught an oceanography course. The climatology courses are second year courses, the oceanography is a third year. I also teach a third year course called Geographical Approaches to Environmental Issues and I’m teaching that at the moment (February, 2016) and have taught it in the past. So I design and teach lots of courses.

I’m also a Ph.D. student myself at the university. My research area is abrupt climate system change in the past and present. My background: I’ve come back to school, since I’m very concerned about climate change. I studied Engineering Physics before and got an engineering degree years ago, and also studied laser physics/optics and did a Master’s degree (M.Sc.) in the science faculty years ago. I do lots of videos on climate change. I have a website at http://paulbeckwith.net. I think I’ve done well over 100 videos and lots of blogs and interviews and things and I’m very active on social media (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to educate people on the risks of climate change, more specifically on abrupt climate change.

INT:  What brought you into this work?

R:  I’ve always been interested and concerned about what’s happening to our climate and weather patterns and decided that I may as well go back to school and learn it in a formal setting and study it intensely, to become an expert on what’s happening with our climate change system.

INT:  So in your work on climate change, have you seen changes in public awareness on the issue?

R:  For the most part, the overall public is not aware of the great risks that we face present day and in the near term, like in the next few years, say five years. I think too many of the public thought that climate change was a year 2100 problem and now they’re slowly realizing that it’s not. So I have seen a shift. I’ve seen a shift from denial and not knowing too much about it, and not caring about it, and not thinking it would be a part of their lives, to realizing that it’s happening now, but the understanding of the risks are still not there now.


I think that very soon, we will lose the Arctic sea ice. We’ll have a “blue ocean event” (what I call it) and then the global extreme weather events that we see now, which are a manifestation of the latitudinal warming gradient, the greatly warming Arctic, will increase in severity, frequency and duration. They’re going to hit people’s wallets and security, and entire lives — well, they can hit the food supply for one thing, but it will also have a big impact on — I mean, it’s already having a big impact on the bottom line, the dollar, with the damage to infrastructure, flooding of cities, torrential rain events, the weather weirding and whiplashing, around weather variability and statistics in general.

So I think people will go from this state of thinking it was a long-term problem they didn’t have to worry about to thinking: “Hey, it’s happening now” to being utterly terrified about what’s happening and where we’re at. I think we’ll get an abrupt tipping point in human understanding of the problem.

INT:  And you think that the human understanding is then just tied directly to the weather events that people are noticing, right?

R:  I think the actual extreme weather events that are occurring today are sort of taking people by surprise. People tend to have a lot of linear thinking. They think that slow changes are happening and will continue to happen over time, but they don’t recognize the instability; the inherent instability in the climate system and we’ve been fortunate to be in a stable state for a long period of time. People just assume that’s going to continue, and yet, we’re crossing tipping points, especially in the Arctic. So I think people are going to get a number of progressively worse wake up calls, and I think that’s going to come very soon, when we have no ice in the Arctic. No ice and snow in the Arctic…

Complete Interview with Leehi Yona continues here (above is pages one and two of full 26 pages).
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[1] ‘Yona is doing her senior fellowship project on Arctic climate policy, and traveled to Alaska with funding from a’ Stamps Leadership Scholar Award.




About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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2 Responses to Epic Interview: Paul 5.0

  1. Paul, Thanks for the great interview. It has to be very painful to be able to connect the climate disaster dots, shout from the tree tops about the coming disaster, and yet find that the disaster itself has to be at humanity’s doorstep before any urgency develops at all. At least the lack of urgency wasn’t just complacency but the results of an active campaign by Exxon, Koch Brothers, Peabody Coal, and other fossil fuel monstrosities and their well paid minions. A campaign for Corporate Profit over the survivability of an entire planet. The fever of personal and corporate greed is about to burn up the earth. Part of the success of business is to privatise the profits and make the public unknowingly share the expenses. All of this may go away because of clever (by half) accounting.


  2. tony sinclair says:

    • Dr. Charles Keeling discovered the Keeling curve and concentrations and detection of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and its implications.
    • Known feedback loops for CC, Ice melt feedback, the hotter it gets the more ice melts; the hotter it gets the more carbon dioxide is released; albedo of the cloud and ice to hasten melting of the glaciers and ice sheets.
    • Venuses atmosphere is proof enough for manmade global warming, runaway greenhouse effect, won’t happen on earth they say.
    • Alarmist warn of global food shortages leading to human extinction in the near future.
    • Prof Guy McPherson, alarmist, warns, no humans after 2030 due to too many self-reinforcing feedback loops that have already been triggered.
    • Changes to our climate include the following, rise of mean sea surface temperatures, recent and future occurrences of drought, recent shifts in ocean currents, recent and more frequent disastrous weather events.
    • All of our future civil engineering plans must change to adapt to climate change somehow.
    • Climate change has symptoms affecting, temperature, rainfall, Plants and animals. As we can see from satellite imagery.
    • We can now prove human activity results in the current climate change.
    • An arbitrary base line for 1951-1958 was to mark the average temperature anomalies and change as seen, say 1.2 c for example o=above baseline.
    • It takes a long time for the oceans to globally warm due to thermal inertia.
    • The future of climate change lags past the present climate making the present invisible.
    • The current record breaking temperatures prove global warming.
    • Has the clathrate methane gun fired in the past leading to dramatic sudden climate change events?
    • Environmentally, coral reefs are the most fragile, making them the first to go away.
    • To discover change in GAT you need first a base line year or discover one.
    • One of the main players in the climate change discovery was the character of the biosphere to, process waste, remove co2, utilize chlorophyll and produce oxygen.
    • One of the loser in climate change was biodiversity and phenology tells us it’s been altered and the affect is, to move, adapt or perish. (so far over 2,000 species hopefully have migrated due to climate change). Biodiversity has mainly been, destroyed is by, loss of habitat, invasive species, over fishing and clear cutting and slash and burn of the rain forest.
    • To continue; air and water pollution, human caused climate change and destroying the environment for profit.
    • The doubling of co2 in the air will be the equivalent of a five-degree Celsius rise in GAT.
    • Water vapor acts as a GHG. Feedback loop happens when at higher temperatures rain and evaporation cause the atmosphere to hold more at higher temperatures. To continue, water vapor, GHG, fluctuates as to temperature making it hard to get a grip on.
    • Ocean upwelling will stop as a result of warmer water over colder.
    • “Business as Usual” refers to a paradigm of the statuesque of not being able to reduce GGE’S over the next few years leading to a catastrophe.
    • The worst case scenario is a (2 to 11 degree) increase in GAT.
    • Technological breakthroughs will happen if we are lucky. If we get discoveries and the best case scenarios co2 emissions and no further increase in future temperatures.
    • Possible feedback loop would occur were a rain on snow and ice falls on ice flows and mountain glaciers melting them even faster.
    • Climate change and access to resources puts us in an adapt or die scenario to, sea level rise, drought and dangerous feedback loops.
    • The economic cost of anthropogenic climate change is enormous.
    • Michael Mann warns of possible “heat doom” high pressure areas that could cause problems for, wildfires, super stress for the vulnerable among us and record heat. 1.) THE HOCKEY STICK AND CLIMATE WARS.
    • Citing Paul Beckwith, “we have gone to a chaotic weather pattern as the jet stream moves.” Apparently the jet stream now converges hemisphere for an unprecedented time in recent history and should be considered unstable.
    • The earth will get three times hotter compared to volcanic emissions of co2 and early concentrations of co2 in prehistoric times. Gives us a what and see how sensitive the earth is to a doubling of co2 emissions of present amounts.
    • How do we sacrifice our economy for the problem of solving climate change?
    • How will people act when faced with the horrors of climate change once the denier bubble has burst. “climate of despair.”
    • How will the carnage present itself and what will happen? ;( projected sea level rise, hydrogen sulfide releases, co2 in ppm is a GHG, loss of arable land, fisheries destroyed, and starvation and crop failure.) Leading to mass extinction of species.
    • If we choose not to act certain inevitable outcomes are emanate, economic collapse and mass extinction.
    • The so called Fifth mass extinction of the Permium era, is now followed by what is commonly referred to as the “6th mass extinction” which is a direct result of anthropomorphic causes or in layman’s terms simple day to day activities of humans in the civilized world.
    • The 6th mass extinction will be caused by, (methane clathrate releases, doubling of GHG and a 10 degree rise in GAT, over 400 ppm co2 and climbing exponentially, positive feedback loops that are irreversible and not well understood, fatal 5degreee rise in GAT, tundra melting cause release of even more methane, and civilized world release of co2.)
    • Going Venus is not possible in 2090 as predicted, better known as runaway greenhouse effect. 2009, from “CLIMATE WIERDNESS” the book.
    • Guy MacPherson, alarmist, suggests that the nuclear power plants will be left to their own devices and abandoned as thing get tough and subsequent radiation leaks will get us.
    • Changing weather patterns will be caused by changes in the flow directions of the jet stream which has already been documented by Paul Beckwith and others.
    • Problems in the Arctic will occur when the ocean currents warm the subsea hydrates stored in the submerged permafrost from previous eons.
    • Rapid climate change is especially fast over the arctic and the far north. It presents as an unprecedented; surface temperature over boreal forests and land based permafrost, disruption of ecosystems, stress for native hunters and gathers dependent on the ecosystems health and create many tipping point feedbacks.
    • Statically outliers in the global average temperature calculations are caused by the heat island effect which are weighed in the causations of GAT.
    • Published peer review papers are pure science and the observations and theories are quite certain that in the big picture climate change is real and is happening. Leading to accepted facts after much testing and reviewing reproducible procedures.
    • Public policies are affected by real science which has led to a denier industry which tries to discredit the science for pure greed and self-indulgence by a powerful few.
    • Measuring temperature in abandon well bore has indicated that there is a steady rise in surface to underground warming profile, because of the heat sink theory of earth.
    • The upper layers of the ocean are warming as well.
    • The upper atmosphere temperature can be measure as well by balloons or satellite remote sensing evidence can prove an atmospheric raise in temperature.
    • Most of the preceding and the outline is from non-fiction cd 551.6 Wolfson, “Earth’s CHANGING CLIMATE” REVIEW OF FORMER KNOWLEDGE. Lectures on tape.
    • The paleo record confirms the climate of past eons by studying; tree ring evidence in annual growth rings, coral reef like tree rings natural growth base on environmental factor, sedimentary cores buy sampling layers and analyzing spores and radioactive isotope ratios in elements of compounds.
    • Ice cores of Greenland ice show that bubbles in the ice can be analyzed for ratios of different gases that prove ancient atmosphere content of co2.
    • Today’s content of co2 greater than 400 ppm is unprecedented in the past, 1,000 years or so is an absolute given from records. Prove anthropogenic cause of climate change is a fact.
    • In the past 400000 years’ cycles of up and down co2 levels and cycle of glaciation have occurred as pointed out by denier’s industry is an example of cherry picking facts.
    • Interglacial and glacial periods in the past may have been cause by the tilted, elliptical eccentricities and feedback effects, is misinterpreted and expanded by the denier’s industry’s but in great enough to have caused today’s climate change.
    • Go back further in time to millions of year and evidence like shell, fossil leaves volumes of ice sea level sediments and ancient shorelines prove past climate anomalies again not the dramatic and fatal change we see today.
    • Climate change today is rapid compared to changes in the past.
    • As the planet begins to warm it will radiate more but reradiate more also, destabilizing the stable planet by GHG trapping that reradiated IR radiation up to 4 degrees Celsius.
    • Imagine no atmosphere on earth and most of the IR is radiated back to space then at 204 watts per the earth would be around GAT of 0 degrees fortunately co2 blankets the earth and warms it up to a livable temperature.
    • That delicate balance between IR radiating in all direction outgoing and incoming is being changed by global warming it is global warmings cause.
    • Laboratory results on the properties of these GHG prove they have the ability to store and absorb radiation it’s not a theory.
    • Historically 280 ppm was about the average co2 levels in our atmosphere proved by ice core readings and records of past co2 measurements since Keeling and others discovered it.
    • Models prove that the oceans absorb co2 in a feedback loop the dynamics of which are known to scientists.
    • In our orbit we are at the edge of the cinderilla ellipse distance from the sun. Venus is to close. Mars is too far away, but our atmosphere saved us from Mars like planet and Venus well it went Venus.
    • So, it’s a theory proven and tested by a consensus of pier reviewed and laboratory results that we are in a period of rapid climate change I just proved, See Naomi Klein book to see why we can’t do anything about it.


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