Conservatives Who Think Seriously About the Planet

By Keith Kloor | June 5, 2012 10:33 am

Last month, in several exchanges that pivoted off this post, Scott Denning, a climate scientist at Colorado State University, observed:

There is an inexcusable silence from the political right about how to provide energy for 10 times as many people as we do today (almost all in China and India), without quadrupling CO2 for thousands of years to come. Listening to the public conversation, it seems the best our culture can come up with are cap-and-trade systems or ineffective industrial subsidies.

Where is the intellectual right? Where are Heritage or American Enterprise [Institute], or real economists or political scientists? If free-market thinkers restrict themselves to unpublishable blog posts on science, they leave the policy debate to the left.

As somebody who believes the next industrial revolution will be easier if we repeat the success of the last one, I find the total silence of the right to be inexcusable.

In another comment on that post, Denning also said (rather sweepingly):

The political left is arguing that we need to abandon capitalism and consumption to solve this problem! What’s missing is a set of careful and reasoned market-based solutions from the right. Instead we get vacuous statements that there is no problem to be solved.

This strikes me as a reasonable challenge that Jonathan Adler rises to meet in his recent Atlantic post titled, “A Conservative’s Approach to Combating Climate Change.” Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, says his “political leanings are most definitely right-of-center.” He begins:

No environmental issue is more polarizing than global climate change.  Many on the left fear increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases threaten an environmental apocalypse while many on the right believe anthropogenic global warming is much ado about nothing and, at worst, a hoax.  Both sides pretend as if the climate policy debate is, first and foremost, about science, rather than policy. This is not so. There is substantial uncertainty about the scope, scale, and consequences of anthropogenic warming, and will be for some time, but this is not sufficient justification for ignoring global warming or pretending that climate change is not a serious problem.

It would be interesting to gauge the reaction to this from conservatives who are engaged on some level with climate change. Moreover, would they agree with Adler when he says in the next paragraph that there “is sufficient evidence that global warming is a serious environmental concern”?

If so, then the debate would move forward to to a discussion, as Adler puts it, of policies “that will make it cheaper and easier to adopt low-carbon technologies.” He goes on to suggest four ways to do this: 1) Prizes for technology innovation; 2) Reduce regulatory barriers to alternative technologies (such wind power); 3) Institute a carbon neutral tax; and 4) Begin adaptation to climate change that is already “hard-wired into the system.”

At Grist, even David Roberts, the lefty climate combatant, was moved to write that Adler

makes an eloquent, principled case for the simple notion that “embrace of limited government principles need not entail the denial of environmental claims.” Conservatives could, if they wanted, spend their time arguing for their preferred solutions rather than denying scientific results.

He went on to say:

It’s interesting, intellectually, that there’s a history of green moderation in the [Republican] party; that there’s a conceptual space where titular conservative principles overlap with climate protection.

On that note, I happen to be participating in an event today at the American Enterprise Institute called, “How to think seriously about the planet: The case for environmental conservatism.” (Don’t anyone jump to conclusions. I’m someone who is more likely to pick up the latest issue of Mother Jones than The National Review.)

That said, I’m also a critic of dogma, extremist rhetoric and uncompromising partisanship, so I dish it out to all sides (as regular readers know). The title of the AEI event comes from Roger Scruton’s new book, which will be the topic of discussion. Scruton’s book is lucid, well argued, and very much worth reading for those those interested in engaging with conservatives on environmental issues.

I’ll have more to say about the book and the event in a follow-up post tomorrow.

 

  • grypo

    SkS (specifically me) also covered Alder and Denning.  I point to them only to give people an  idea of the response in the comment sections as SkS usually gets a decent mix of opinions.  I considered the comments mostly ambiguous, but some were reactive.  I tried to be fair.

  • Bobito

    (almost all in China and India)

    This is my main bugaboo (as a conservative) with the AGW Policy debate. India and China have more people than Europe and the United States combined… RESPECTIVELY!

    If the US and Europe were to invoke all of the CO2 reducing policies the greens wanted, it would only delay (insert future climate catastrophe here) from happening due to the amount of time CO2 stays in the atmosphere.

    Why should we play with one arm tied behind our backs in the global market place? Or, does somebody have a great idea on how to get China and India to play along?… I think one would have better odds of figuring out cold fusion than that one… ;)

    So, why rock capitalism boat? Does anyone doubt that BP and Exxon are not spending significant resources to find the “next energy source”? Or do you think they just plan on closing up shop after the Oil runs out?

  • Bobito

    Why do we need a policy when supply and demand will sort it out?

  • TanGeng

    First reaction. I have serious problems with invocation of “serious(tm) thoughts” because its use imposes strict boundaries on the spectrum of valid opinions. It is framing the question narrowly like many are won’t to do in public policy debates.By invoking “seriousness” KK delegitimizes misgivings about the urgency of carbon dioxide mitigation and selects out those who think something should be done. John Adler, for example, professes to be concerned about global warming. There are probably a few other examples of conservatives who are concerned about global warming and KK could cherry-pick them, too, but selecting a minority of the opposition camp as exemplary isn’t going to be effective.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > .By invoking “seriousness” KK delegitimizes misgivings [...]

    What is the title of AEI’s event, again?

  • harrywr2

    Conservatives could, if they wanted, spend their time arguing for their
    preferred solutions rather than denying scientific results

    Cancer is a bad disease, it will kill almost 1/4th of us. A lot of smart people are working on ‘cures’. The vast majority of the the ‘cures’ being investigated will ultimately prove to be failures.The cure I am in favor of is ‘the cheapest cure that works’.When someone can tell me which one that is I’ll advocate for it.Advocating for cures that haven’t been demonstrated to work, are worse then the disease doesn’t make all that much sense to me.Healthcare is already 15% of GDP. Advocating for more expensive cures doesn’t make that much sense to me and I’m pretty liberals are also against ‘more expensive’ healthcare.Energy isn’t far behind healthcare at 8.8% of GDP. The majority of the cures being proposed to solve the energy CO2 problem suffer from the same problems as cancers cures…they are going to either not work, be worse then the disease or are going to be substantially more expensive.If 15% for health care is breaking the ‘national piggy bank’ then so will 15% for energy.

  • Nullius in Verba

    There are plenty of conservatives quite prepared to take climate change seriously. They would require:

    1. Before any redress can be made, the damages would have to be both proven and quantified, with the quality of evidence normally expected of the judicial system in cases where such sums of money are concerned. That would mean fixing the science.

    2. Finances for adaptation should be raised using instruments dependent on climate outcomes – e.g. bonds that pay out with a high interest rate on a certain date unless sea level rise exceeds 1 metre.

    3. That once the case is properly made we go nuclear first, and switch to solar or other technologies only when they are economically viable without subsidy. Regulatory and planning obstacles should be cleared away.

    4. That the burden should fall on all parties and nations in proportion to their emissions. The climate doesn’t care where the CO2 comes from. Differential responsibilities distorts markets and leads to emission exporting and other cheats. And there are to be no carbon offsets – they’re too easily subject to fraud, and they’re essentially paying poor people to take the consequences of your policies.

    5. That advocates for reduction lead by example – without purchasing offsets, and especially without purchasing offsets with taxpayers money. That means all future climate conferences and talks are to be conducted online, for example, and governments and environmental organisations conduct their business without using fossil fuel energy. Show us how it is possible, within your existing budget.

    I could go on, but you get the idea. First fix the science and prove what you claim, then take only the most efficient, effective measures, pay only for real results, and no offloading the consequences of your policies onto other people.

  • Ed Forbes

    “No environmental issue is more polarizing than global climate change.”When someone wants to pick my pocket over a non issue, it does become “polarizing”As the MWP was as warm as today, nothing supports the contention that today’s climate is unusual.  

  • kdk33

    There is substantial uncertainty about the scope, scale, and consequences of anthropogenic warming, and will be for some time, but this is not sufficient justification for ignoring global warming or pretending that climate change is not a serious problem.

    Cognative dissonance. In spades.

  • huxley

    Who watches the watchmen?

    In accord with the previous topic, I am convinced that climate scientists and their advocates are “bending science to [their] beliefs.”

    Until this is substantially improved we are flying not blind, but impaired. There needs to be a serious housecleaning of climate science before we can trust our understanding of the problem.

    NiV’s list looks good to me.

  • BBD

    I object to NIV’s comment at # 7 because of the claims made that the scientific case for AGW is unsound or even fraudulent:

    That would mean fixing the science.

    First fix the science and prove what you claim

    This is dishonest, polarising and entirely unhelpful.

  • harrywr2

    Breaking news from the IEA.

    http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2012/may/name,27216,en.html

    US emissions have now fallen by 430 Mt (7.7%) since 2006, the largest reduction of all countries or regions

  • TanGeng

    @Willard 5

    AEI used the loaded “seriously(tm)” just like Roger Scruton. It’s not good when they do it, either. In fact, AEI and other Washington-based conservative organizations are usual suspects and serial abusers of “seriousness(tm)” and apply the “serious” test to civil liberties, energy policy, foreign policy, and a host of other issues. It’s a bad practice that is all too common.

  • BillC

    @#12 Harry – Wow! And also wow that China’s per capita CO2 emissions are 63% of OECD average! Therefore,@#7 NiV – Redress? What redress? All that is needed is a plan moving forward.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #11,If the science is sound, then it should be very easy for your lot to present a comprehensive fully-documented demonstration, with all the raw measurements and processing, with all the validation checks in place. And if that is the case, why are they still fighting FOI and full disclosure?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #14,

    “NiV ““ Redress? What redress? All that is needed is a plan moving forward.”

    Redress was discussed in the article, so worthy of a response. But the ‘plan moving forward’ is number 3.

  • huxley

    BBD@11: Given Climategate, Gleickgate, the Hockey Stick, the constant efforts to shut down debate, the current decade long temperature plateau, the climate conference junket mentality, and the inability of climate science to police itself, climate science looks broken to me and in need of fixing.

    What language would you use? Or do you not see any problem here?

  • Michael Larkin

    “There is an inexcusable silence from the political right about how to provide energy for 10 times as many people as we do today (almost all in China and India), without quadrupling CO2 for thousands of years to come.”

    If China and India choose to provide energy to 10 times the current number of their people, it doesn’t matter what Western people of any political persuasion think about that. It’s China’s and India’s business and there’s nothing can be done to stop them if they’ve a mind to plough on regardless.

    If providing the extra energy increases atmospheric CO2, what of it, the Chinese and Indians might say, if anthropogenic CO2 has only a marginal effect on atmospheric temperatures? What of it, if those marginal increases are beneficial rather than detrimental? And what about the extra benefits for growth of agricultural crops?

    It doesn’t matter if they’re right or wrong, all that matters is whether they think any risk is marginal and it’s worth going for it. I don’t get the impression that they’re hugely perturbed by Western sensibilities, or possess guilt-ridden angst against nuclear, which is sure to be in their energy mix.

    I don’t know what the truth is about AGW. I’m agnostic, a cynic, and equally pissed off with both left and right””politicians are mostly a bunch of self-serving liars and scoundrels. The question is: what if AGW turns out to be a storm in a teacup? What if the West ends up irreparably damaging its economies and ultimately its civilisation, and meanwhile China and India, having ploughed ahead regardless, end up sitting pretty?

    Oh, but no. That’s simply not possible. The alarmists have to be right. They’re in the West, and are so much smarter and influential than all those funny little yellow and brown people that outnumber them two or three times to one. You know, the ones with advanced civilisations when we were living in mud huts.

    Fooey. It’s distinctly possible. Who knows, maybe the time has come for the main thrust of civilisation to return eastwards, and maybe the West is about to be an unwitting catalyst for that process. I don’t think it has to be so (I’d prefer it if they caught up and the West didn’t regress), but it could turn out that way. I’d bet heavily on them going full steam ahead. And who can blame them, really? In their shoes, we’d very probably be doing the same.

  • BBD

    NIV @ 15

    Misdirection – where is the ‘sceptical’ case? The standard position is open to investigation from a myriad angles. More than enough to sink it if there were serious problems. But all we get from sceptics is misrepresentation and trivia.  No ‘sceptical’ case has ever emerged.

    Instead, there’s just an endless stream of dishonest, misleading claims that ‘the science is broken’.

    Tut, tut.

  • Nullius in Verba

    The case presented so far has been thoroughly sunk – people like you just refuse to accept it, claiming they’re “misleading”, or that the errors “don’t matter”, or that the real evidence is elsewhere.

    That’s not to say it’s been proven that making such a case is impossible. Which is one reason why it is so frustrating trying to deal with this obstructionism – if there really is a problem this time, all these silly games climate scientists are playing may turn out disastrously.

  • harrywr2

    #14 BillAll that is needed is a plan moving forward.

    The March 2012 US Electricity Generation statistics tell an even more compelling story. Coal was down to 34% of market share(48% is the pre-2010 average) and natural gas was up to a 29% market share.

  • jeffn

    Adler sums up the conservative concern with two sentences laying out an essential truth that the left willfully ignores:

    “The emission reductions (in the US) necessary for this to be achieved are enormous, and far beyond the capability of existing technologies… And even this would not be enough, for if equivalent emission reductions are not made elsewhere, it would all be for naught.”

    The “elsewhere” being developing nations, of course. Adler suggests a carbon tax, which suffers from two significant problems he fails to address-
    1. how much- give us a dollar amount – of a tax is necessary to create a technology that doesn’t exist? Given that its inventor would reap billions of dollars from her work – with our without a carbon tax – what’s the purpose of the carbon tax? and,
    2. Government has never, ever refunded a tax and is unlikely to do so now while it’s running trillion dollar annual deficits. Even if it were to try it, the tax would do little more than take money from rural pickups and suburban mini-vans and send it to urban users of subsidized mass-transit.
    So we’re left with this. Today we have available two technologies capable of reducing carbon emissions below what coal produces and powering modern society- natural gas and nuclear. Pretty much every conservative supports both.
    In other words, conservatives support the only rational action on climate change and it doesn’t really matter if they like Michael Mann or not.
    Beyond that, yes by all means fund R&D on batteries, next gen nuclear, and more. Tech transfer is the only thing that will reduce emissions in developing nations.

  • BBD

    NIV

    The case presented so far has been thoroughly sunk

    Poppycock! Classic ‘sceptic’ poppycock at that ;-) . Just keep repeating poppycock long and loud enough and some people will be convinced…

    if there really is a problem this time, all these silly games climate scientists are playing may turn out disastrously.

    Yes, of course nullius. It’s all the fault of climate scientists. ‘Sceptics’ are good, honest and true.

    Wow. Just wow.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > What if AGW turns out to be a storm in a teacup?

    What if we create a better world for nothing?

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/692102203

  • Nullius in Verba

    #24,

    If you’re telling me it’s going to cost “nothing”, then please, do go right ahead! Tell all those people approaching the taxpayer with their hands out for subsidies and favourable regulation that Willard can do it for “nothing”, and everyone will be so much better off.

    We’ll be sure to give you a medal, when you’re done.

  • huxley

    willard @24: For some of us that cartoon is a classic clue that climate scientists and their advocates are “bending science to their beliefs” in progressive green utopianism.

    It also a clue that the advocates fail to comprehend the huge challenge of reducing GHG emissions and the risks involved to the world economy.

    We are seeing the fanciful green energy programs crash and burn around us in the past few years.

    What if we create a worse world for nothing?

  • kdk33

    It really is a simple question Willard:  how many people are you williing to kill to save the world from CO2.

    “No”, you say, “that is unreasonable, why I won’t kill anybody”

    Poppycock (h/t to BBD).  The cost to rid the world of CO2 will be enormous.  Destroying that much wealth will bring suffering, primarily to the poor who can least afford suffering.  People will die as a direct result of denying them access to readily available low cost energy.

    When you are willing to frame the argument in those terms, perhaps folks will take you seriously. 

  • Anteros

    willard -

    kdk33′s question is succinct and worth asking. How many, specifically?

    ~20,000 children die every day that wouldn’t do if they had some very basic things provided by affordable energy. Isn’t that enough?

    The good news is that development provided by fossil fuel energy has halved the child death rate over the last 40 years.

    Some of us would like to see that trend continue.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Ah. ‘The poor’. Your philanthropy does you credit. But what will happen to ‘the poor’ when the crops start to be affected by drought and and extreme summer surface temperatures? Why they will die! In their millions and millions. Such a dilemma. To be sure, doing nothing (apart from endlessly posting contrarian crap on blogs, of course) is the best option. I recall you endorsing the notion that God won’t let it happen anyway so at least your conscience is clear. Lucky you.

  • harrywr2

    There is an inexcusable silence from the political right about how to
    provide energy for 10 times as many people as we do today (almost all in
    China and India)

    There is just a bit of a problem with that statement. The electrification rate in China was 99.3% in 2008. Worldwide the number of people without electricity is about 1.5 Billion(about 22%) with 400 million of them in India.

    http://www.ruralelec.org/9.0.html

    If 78% of the world population currently has electricity we are going to need a lot more people if our challenge is providing electricity to 10 times as many people as have electricity now.

  • BBD

    This notion that action taken by developed economies to reduce their emissions will involve depriving developing economies of ‘affordable energy’ is interesting.

    I would like to see it substantiated. Which means unequivocally shown to be the case *without reference* to contrarian blogs and the lies and distortions therein.

  • Jeffn

    Anteros, the effect of energy costs is just part of the problem. Adler’s other big idea was adaptation.
    In other words, ignore the things that are killing people today- lack of sanitation, health care – and blow the money on presumed calamities. “Oh dear, the sea will rise an inch over the next 50 years. Who will save that poor man standing on the beach!?!”

  • BBD

    harrywr2 @ 30

    Ah, never mind the nit-picking. Let’s just say the couple of billion at the bottom of the global pile by 2050. It’s a big enough number for me.

  • BBD

    jeffn

    In other words, ignore the things that are killing people today- lack of sanitation, health care ““ and blow the money on presumed calamities.

    Does Adler actually say that we should ignore sanitation and health care and spend all the money on dykes? Is there a quote?

  • Anteros

    In response to the article rather than the trolling, I’m amazed at the lack of understanding contained in this recommendation -

    4) Begin adaptation to climate change that is already “hard-wired into the system.”

    This is a very common idea and it is nonsense. Wherever in the world there is climate vulnerability ie people’s livelihoods or lives are threatened by the weather, then there is an obvious opportunity for development in the direction of climate resilience.

    In whatever case people imagine there to be a potential problem with a change in average weather, there is already a problem with the weather – an area is drought-prone, flood-prone, storm-prone, whatever and more importantly, people are vulnerable to those things. 

    It is absurd to think that a problem exists due to a gradual change in average weather [in as yet unpredictable ways] in a particular place, without there being a problem now because of climate vulnerability aka poverty/lack of development.

    It is a complete red herring to imagine and claim that in 50 years time a special category of climate change problems will appear. And as Mike Hulme observes, it is also an insult to people whose existence is contingent of the vagaries of the climate today.

    Only someone totally ignorant of the world of subsistence farming could imagine that climate change “already hard-wired into the system” [a couple of tenths of a degree temperature rise?] is something that humanity suddenly needs to begin adapting to.

    Climate is something that needs adapting to.

    And the word we use when this is occurring is ‘development’.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    This notion that action taken by developed economies to reduce their
    emissions will involve depriving developing economies of “˜affordable
    energy’ is interesting.

    I would like to see it substantiated. Which means unequivocally shown
    to be the case *without reference* to contrarian blogs and the lies and
    distortions therein.

    This notion that developing countries reducing their emissions will have any effect whatsoever on the total aggregate emissions is interesting.

    I would like to see it substantiated. Which means unequivocally shown to be the case *without reference* to alarmist blogs and the lies and distortions therein.

  • harrywr2

    #32 BBD<i>Ah, never mind the nit-picking. Let’s just say the couple of billion at the bottom of the global pile by 2050.</i>Actually, if you had read the report on Global Electrification the number of people without electricity is dropping rapidly …despite growth in population. Between 2002 and 2008 the number of people without electricity declined by 161 million.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Anteros,

    What if kdk33′s question was of the same kind as when he stopped eating his wife?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > This is a very common idea and it is nonsense.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_lapidem

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > If you’re telling me it’s going to cost “nothing” [...]

    What if “nothing” meant something else?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    What if Denning’s question:

    How to provide energy for 10 times as many people as we do today (almost all in China and India), without quadrupling CO2 for thousands of years to come?

    made sense?

  • Jeffn

    BBD at #34, Adler proposes budgeting for adaptation- not using carbon tax money of course, as that is ” refunded.”
    Adaptation money is typically proposed for developing nations, particularly low lying ones. This is part of Marlowes sacred “climate justice.”
    So unless you buy the Greek argument that tax money is an infinite resource, yes, he would have the contractors drive past the polluted wells, through the open sewers, around the overwhelmed Catholic clinic, to the waterfront to build a sea wall, just in case it’s needed.

  • kdk33

    BBD, I have neer endorsed the notin that “god wn’t let it happen”.  But I find if fascinating you would tell such a lie.  It reveals much about you.

  • kdk33

    I’m still waiting for the number:  how many people are you willing to kill. 

    It’s a very simple question and deaths as a direct result of any meaningful CO2 reduction policy are certain.  Claims to the contrary are beyond silly. 

    So, man up: how many?

  • TanGeng

    #40 willard

    > If you’re telling me it’s going to cost “nothing” [...]What if “nothing” meant something else?

    Perhaps you might define what “nothing” means.This sounds like you are suggesting that the only obstacle between the current world and the green utopia wish list of energy independence, conservation, healthy living, and the miracle green economy etc. is willpower. Mao thought the same about Chinese industrialization during the Great Leap Forward and it was disastrous delusional thinking. There are severe trade offs to be made to be able to cut carbon dioxide to a great degree and with current technology it is a huge drop off in standard of living with no guarantee of achieving any of the stated goals. Forced over-ambitious over-extended policy results in social collapse. Such a scenario would be even more disastrous than business-as-usual because the collapse would take down existing sensibilities on preserving the environment with it.

  • TanGeng

    In general Adler’s ideal proposal rests on three conditions.
    The international community will treat gaseous pollutants as a property rights and property damage issue.We will be able to develop the technology to accurately quantify the level of property damage for each bit of gaseous emission.We will have an efficient mechanism to equitably compensate victims of gaseous emissions for their losses.The first condition runs counter to the existing pattern in individual countries of well-connected interests given license to pollute the commons without cost. The new international community would be assessing costs for pollution of a far more benign pollutant, carbon dioxide.The second condition predicated on supreme understanding of the climate system, a level understanding that is inconceivable, at the moment.The third condition will require a global authority or clearinghouse, but to be efficient and equitable is hard to imagine. Unfortunately, among the three conditions, this is the probably the easiest.

  • kdk33

    The third condition will require a global authority

    Indeed.  What shall we do with the cheaters?

  • Bobito

    @Willard #41“What if… without quadrupling CO2 for thousands of years to come?… made sense?” 

    Given that there is ~100 years of Oil left and about ~250 years of Coal left and CO2 remains in the atmosphere ~100 years…. Ummmm…. Where is the “thousands of years” of CO2 coming from.

    I’ll assume Denning is reffering to all the exhailing.

  • Bobito

    @kdk33 #47

    SANCTIONS! Those always work! ;)

  • Tom Scharf

    Carbon taxes are NEVER going to make it through the US congress.  Just seriously considering them was a major factor in the 2010 blowout which lost the Democrats the house in one of the most historic rebukes in US election history.

    I can say with some confidence that there is near absolute zero trust that a “neutral” carbon tax that is in theory refunded to the public a la Hansen will ever pass muster on the right.  One of the main differences between the right and left in the US is the consideration that the government is an honest broker.

    The right is very correctly suspicious, dare I say paranoid, that any money collected by the IRS will be raided at the very earliest opportunity by a congress that feeds on revenue sources like mindless zombies.  Call me cynical.  Case in point is the social security trust fund.  

    This type of “looks good on paper” idea is a non-starter and should really be abandoned up front by anyone serious about making progress.  

    It never fails to amaze me that the climate solutions proposed by many follow a similar theme.  Collect the money first and the unspecified solutions will follow, but by all means start collecting the money now. These people are chasing unicorns and never seriously consider getting the right on board.   

    If you can’t convince Joe Six Pack to invest in your climate solution, then go back and get a better solution.  This is really lazy and ineffective thinking.   

    We.Will.Only.Fund.Specific.Economically.Viable.Proven.Solutions.

  • Jack Hughes

    Shock news: conservatives not rushing to get on left-wing bandwagon:-)

  • Anteros

    BBD @31

    This notion that action taken by developed economies to reduce their emissions will involve depriving developing economies of “˜affordable
    energy’ is interesting.

    I would like to see it substantiated. Which means unequivocally shown to be the case *without reference* to contrarian blogs and the lies and
    distortions therein.”

    This notion that developing countries reducing their emissions will have any effect whatsoever on the total aggregate emissions is
    interesting.

    I would like to see it substantiated. Which means unequivocally shown to be the case *without reference* to alarmist blogs and the lies and
    distortions therein.

  • Anteros

    Willard @38 it isn’t, so why ask “what if it is?” It doesn’t excuse you from needing to answer the problem inherent in your “What if we create a better world for nothing?”

    The problem being how much is it going to cost? See my comment above about the number of children dying needlessly today. Fossil fuel energy is the means whereby this number is decreasing over time.

    @39 I’m surprised you linked my comment “This is a very common idea and it is nonsense” to the argumentum ad lapidem as it is unconnected to such a purported fallacy..

    Following my comment I explain quite cogently – if I may say so – why the idea I was criticising is nonsense. If you have a problem with my reasoning well have at it, spit it out, and come forth!

  • BBD

    Anteros

    You and your fellow contrarians all claim that efforts by developed economies to reduce emissions will deprive developing economies of ‘affordable energy’. This claim usually escalates to ‘harming the poor’ and at its most extreme, ‘killing the poor’.

    This is the most serious charge imaginable.

    Please will you or kdk33 *substantiate* this claim using non-contrarian sources.

    No more dodging and posing questions instead of supplying referenced answers.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    It seems to me you want to pose a question because you can’t answer one.

    Feel free to debate with kdk33 whatever you were talking about.

    My question – unanswered – was how will developing nations reducing their emissions change the aggregate? You know, just like YOU said, which means unequivocally shown to be the case *without reference* to alarmist blogs and the lies and
    distortions therein.

    If you dish out sneering obnoxious rubbish, you should be surprised people even bother to respond to you.

    It’s hilarious that you accuse anybody who isn’t a blind fundamentalist as being a ‘contrarian’. I think the word you’re looking for is ‘realist’.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    You made the claim. Now back it up or admit that it’s bollocks.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    Feel free to debate with kdk33 whatever you were talking about.

    You @ 28:kdk33″²s question is succinct and worth asking. How many, specifically? [kdk33: It really is a simple question Willard:  how many people are you williing to kill to save the world from CO2.]

    ~20,000 children die every day that wouldn’t do if they had some very basic things provided by affordable energy. Isn’t that enough?

    The good news is that development provided by fossil fuel energy has halved the child death rate over the last 40 years.

    Some of us would like to see that trend continue.

    Please substantiate your claim that decarbonising developed economies kills people in developing economies.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Bobito,

    You say:

    I’ll assume Denning is reffering to all the exhailing.

    You can assume anything you want.

    If you don’t want readers to see what you are assuming, do as kdk33 and Anteros and inject your assumption in a question.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    TanGeng,

    I won’t tell you want “nothing” means, because that can’t be done.

    But I will say that in the cartoon, “nothing” means something like “for no reason” or “to no avail”, not “at no cost”.

    Nullius’ equivocation was an amusing derision.

    Notice how Anteros is wresting with the need to put alarming claims on the table without sounding alarming.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Unless you buy the Greek argument that tax money is an infinite resource [...]

    Citation needed:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/19967879122

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Anteros @53, yes it is.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > The good news is that development provided by fossil fuel energy has halved the child death rate over the last 40 years.

    Fuel fuel has not been mentioned by Hans Rosling in his study:

    http://planet3.org/2012/05/25/hans-rosling-religions-and-babies

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard
  • huxley

    Excess winter deaths are responsible for premature deaths of ten thousands of EU citizens each year. Healy examined excess winter deaths in 14 EU countries and demonstrated that countries with the poorest housing in terms of thermal efficiency showed the highest level of excess winter mortality (Portugal: 33% mortality increase; Spain: 21%, Ireland: 21%, UK: 19%). In-depth research undertaken in the UK showed that excess winter mortality is stronger expressed in residents of cold homes than warm homes, linking excess winter deaths to fuel poverty and thereby the less affluent population groups.

    http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/1/36.full.pdf

    This isn’t rocket science. Raise the cost of heating fuel with carbon taxes, more people enter “fuel poverty,” more people die.

    I obtained the above link by searching the World Health Organization website for “excess winter deaths.”

  • kdk33

    And that is why nobody takes you guys seriously.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    The conclusion, as stated in the abstract:

    The review indicates that social status and especially low income are strongly associated with increased exposure to environmental risks in the private home or related to residential location . However, due to the methodological variety of the available studies and the lack of data for many countries, it is not possible to provide a general assessment of the magnitude of inequity in Europe at the present time.

    The relationship emphasized is not about what was claimed earlier. What if there was an implicit premiss in what was claimed earlier?

    Interestingly, the limitations of the study does not seem to raise any concerns. What if applying double standards to these methodological concerns had impact on credibility?

  • huxley

    Make no mistake. Climate change mitigation is expensive and some people will die from those expenses. The path to green utopia in the cartoon Willard linked @24 will kill people.

    Worse yet, we don’t even know if the attempts at mitigation will work.

    We can be certain, however, that mitigation will reduce standards of living worldwide. In some cases this will blight lives; in others it will end lives.

    The climate orthodox argue that at some point the damages from climate change outweigh the damages from mitigation, and that’s a valid argument.

    But I want the orthodox to show their work for that argument meticulously, transparently, and completely.

  • kdk33

    The climate orthodox argue that at some point the damages from climate change outweigh the damages from mitigation

    They certainly should, but it seems that they don’t.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    A non-rocket science statement:

    Raise the cost of heating fuel with carbon taxes, more people enter “fuel poverty,” more people die.

    Another non-rocket science statement:

    There’s a lot of carbon to burn. At any reasonable sensitivity estimate, there will be substantial warming. And policy can’t just be based on the most optimistic estimates.

    http://climateaudit.org/2012/06/04/law-dome-in-mann-et-al-2008/#comment-336539

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    On a more charitable interpretation, the cartoon simply states a common objective: creating a better world.

    I do hope that we all share this goal.

    The green menace myth is being injected in the framing.

    Even if it’s wrong, the objective to inject the Green Menace in the discussion is being satisfied.

    Let’s hope huxley’s reading skills in #67 won’t kill anyone.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Yet another proof by assertion:

    We can be certain, however, that mitigation will reduce standards of living worldwide.

    Completely transparent and meticulous.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    The Department of Non Rocket Science just released another statement:

    Policy decisions should be based on the best information available. Inaction is a decision, and likewise should be supported by reliable and accurate information. And equally, you have to work with what you have.

    http://climateaudit.org/2012/06/04/law-dome-in-mann-et-al-2008/#comment-336554

  • TanGeng

    @Willard 59

    So what does it mean? Is it or is it not pointing to a “lack of willpower” as the main obstacle, so that if we could only get people to want to do it, it could be done?
    Or is it meaningless, and your contribution just a series of glib remarks that ultimately have no substance.

    @Willard 63

    Ugh, Stephan Lewandosky was mind-numbingly terrible on risk-management. Please excuse me while I try to forget that I ever read some parts of that.
    What was the point again?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    TanGeng,

    First, let me thank you about your comment #13.

    I believe that your analysis of the word “serious” can apply to any adjective whatsoever: the PR business exists because of adjectives like this one. That the AEI invests that much money on “serious” should make people wonder on the impact of adjectives.

    Second, I really wonder why you’re asking me to explain a cartoon. I believe you should work on this all by yourself. But the first part of your answer seems to coincide with what I said in #70.

    Third, please reread your comment, and especially the part about Lewandosky, while taking in consideration the first point above, about which we do seem to agree.

    Lewandosky’s point sounds a lot like the latest comment from the Department of Non-Rocket Science in #72.

    You’re all excused.

  • TanGeng

    Anyways, back to “Serious Thoughts about the Planet by Conservatives” ™.

    Pollution, water safety, ground water safety, deforestation, black carbon, smog, ozone, radioactivity, and urban sprawl are localized, immediate and addressable issues. These environmental issues could be the proving grounds for property rights mechanism that is part of the grandiose global solution for carbon dioxide.

    However, I have severe misgivings that it might not be “Serious” enough for AEI. (snark)

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Another note from the Union of Non Nonsense Denizens:

    The “actual facts” [...] are that some combination of influences drove the temperature up quite dramatically since 1970. The CO2 went up dramatically in that period, and we’ve known for a century that increasing CO2 drives up the temperature, and moreover we understand the mechanism by which it does so in considerable detail.

    Hence to rule out CO2 as the culprit you would need to propose an alternative cause with a comparably plausible mechanism. Your candidate?

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/03/conservative-perspectives-on-climate-change/#comment-206658

  • Michael Larkin

    willard Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    “What if we create a better world for nothing?”

    What if we spend a fortune on creating a worse world? A fortune that could have been spent making it better?

    In the end, the climate will pronounce the verdict and we will know the truth. But as I said, China and India will plough ahead and the posturings of Western politicians of any stripe will come to naught.

    If they do plough ahead, and the West remains determined to pursue its current energy policies, it’s quite likely to go down the plughole regardless of whether it’s a storm in a teacup. If there is damage through AGW, it’s very probably going to happen whatever the West does or doesn’t do. At best, Westerners will be able to group hug and feel righteous.

  • kdk33

    Funny thing about that revenue neutral carbon tax:  it only works if the tax isn’t collected.

  • Anteros

    BBD – you’re at it again. You’re making things up.

    “Please substantiate your claim that decarbonising developed economies kills people in developing economies.”

    You just plucked that straight out of your fevered imagination. I said precisely nothing about decarbonising in developed economies, except to ask you how it would change aggregate emmisions. Which of course you still haven’t answered.

    Come back to me when you’ve sorted out your reading comprehension, and you can face the question honestly.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Proposition:

    Nothing exists.

    First argument: Even if something exists, it cannot be known.

    Second argument: Even if it something be known, it cannot be communicated.

    Third argument: Even if something could be communicated, who cares anyway?

    Compare and constrast:

    AGW is not real; if AGW is real, we can’t know it; if we can know it, we can communicate it scientifically; if we can communicate it scientifically, there is no incentive to do so, i.e. it does not matter much.

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/872135681

  • Sashka

    @69

    The policy cannot be based on the optimistic or pessimistic estimates. It can only be based on the correct estimates. Unfortunately we don’t have that yet.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Correct estimates.

    I like that.

  • harrywr2

    #69 WillardNon rocket science statement…There’s a lot of carbon to burnWhat is relevant in a free market economy is not ‘how much carbon there is to burn’….but how much carbon can be burned to produce useful energy at a lower cost then alternatives.Rocket science -http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/more-bad-news-for-australian-coalminers/story-fnciihm9-1226386789484

    The “capital intensity” (that is, the cost of developing a mine per
    tonne of coal in the ground) is $US46 a tonne in China, $US56 a tonne in
    Indonesia, $US90 a tonne in Canada and $US99 a tonne in South Africa.
    And in Australia? All of $US141 a tonne.

    Then we have to add the per ton operating costs and transport costs. Humanity generally utilizes the most inexpensive resources closest to market first. The capital investment costs for new coal mines are rising as well as the transport and labor costs. Nuclear,Wind and Hydro compare favorably against coal at $80/ton. Solar compares favorably against coal at $200/ton.

    How much coal is left in the ground that can be extracted and transported to market for less then the cost of the alternatives?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    A 2009 study by the Environmental Law Institute[5] assessed the size and structure of U.S. energy subsidies over the 2002″“2008 period. The study estimated that subsidies to fossil-fuel based sources amounted to approximately $72 billion over this period and subsidies to renewable fuel sources totaled $29 billion. The study did not assess subsidies supporting nuclear energy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies

    Closest to market.

    As interesting as correct estimates.

  • kdk33

    Fascinating.  You realize that isn’t normalized.

  • Sashka

    Sarcastic comment issued, so the objection can be ignored. Sure, sure. Stick your head in the sand even deeper. Long live the department of bullshit projections.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Erica and Rully must bathe their daughter, age 5, in contaminated water that is the color of tea. Their water has been tested and contains high levels of arsenic. The family attributes this water problem primarily to the blasting which they believe has disrupted the water table and cracked the casing in their well, allowing seepage of heavy metals into their water, and also to the runoff from the mountaintop removal sites surrounding their home. The coal company that mines the land around their home has never admitted to causing this problem, but they do supply the family with bottled water for drinking and cooking. Contaminated and colored water has occurred in other coalfield communities as well where mountaintop mining is practiced.

    http://www.katiefalkenberg.com/#/the-human-toll–mountaintop-removal-mining/004

    Clean coal.

    Now, that’s a serious adjective.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    As if Sashka ever felt the need to answer anything.

  • kdk33

    Normalized subsidies?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    <p>What if theere was a <em>true</em> cost on coal?</p>http://www.beehivecollective.org/english/coal.htm

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Grrr. Second take:

    What if there was a true cost on coal?

    http://www.beehivecollective.org/english/coal.htm

  • John F. Pittman

    For those who think that energy (lack of) or money do not lead to more deaths need to read the Odum brothers’ works.Fundamentals of Ecology by the Odum brothers remains the introductory classic on the concepts of ecology. One of the basic concepts introduced by the Odums was the use of energy and money as an environmental input. They also, included the political considerations such as elections as a form of capital, generally related to feedback.To understand the point, a case of comparing farmers in India with farmers in the USA, among others was made. The most efficient were the farmers in India, yet many were starving. The least efficient were the USA farmers, yet had an abundance of excess. The correlation was energy put to farming such as tilling, fertilizer, and pesticides. The farmers used energy to maximize growth potential. Once energy was accounted, farming was equal. From this the relationship of Man, Energy, and his Environment concept was born. Later, money was brought in as a way to measure political influence, and differences in the energy relationship. Not surprisingly, they found politics as energy was to whether the political energy was directed towards the increased energy use and reducing the cost of energy or the opposite.
    The correlation is that cheap energy leads to increased food, unless political energy is used to prevent an action such as pesticides, or use of energized equipment.
    There are three corollaries to this. One is that, yes if one replaces cheap fuel with expensive fuel, it will lead to starvation. If one reduces energy input, without increasing effectiveness, this also leads to starvation. The third is that policies can affect the first two.
    There is no such thing as a carbon neutral tax that keeps the price the same. In fact, what is said is that energy costs will rise. And they should since the latest reports, numerous on the web by governments and scientists, is that “green” energy is about 3 times more than conventional fossil fuels. A carbon neutral tax will lead to starvation by the increase in energy costs, in the static sense.So without any unicornns to magically till that field, kill all the pests, the question remains valid, “Who are you and your policies going to kill?” The answer as WHO and others have documented is the poor. We will kill them now that is a known at our level of development, in order to prevent possible death of people who in the future should have better development and may not need our therefore useless guesture and sacrifice.
     
     

  • Jeffn

    Willard, good timing for this. You might be aware that this is an election year in the US. What better time to quantify that price increase you want to cover the true cost of coal and oil? In fact, what better time than now to loudly insist that people who believe in AGW must refuse to vote for any candidate who doesn’t promise the price hike!
    After all, we have no time left and certain blogs claim everyone supports action.
    Let’s make this years’ campaign slogan for a certain party: “vote for me, I’ll double your energy costs!”
    Please, please do this. Pretty please.

  • steven mosher
  • BBD

    Anteros @ 79

    You @ 28:

    kdk33″²s question is succinct and worth asking. How many, specifically?

    [kdk33's question: It really is a simple question Willard:  how many people are you williing to kill to save the world from CO2.]

    ~20,000 children die every day that wouldn’t do if they had some very basic things provided by affordable energy. Isn’t that enough?

    The good news is that development provided by fossil fuel energy has halved the child death rate over the last 40 years.

    Some of us would like to see that trend continue.

    Please substantiate the claim that climate policy proposals by developed countries will deprive developing countries of ‘affordable energy’ and kill children. What you are really saying is: ‘Green Menace kills poor children’.

    That’s the claim you are making.

    Stop being evasive and substantiate it or admit that it’s a strawman. 

    No more wriggling now. Substantiate.

  • hunter

    This is an example of the circular reasoning that plagues the self-appointed “climate concerened’:Your denial that skeptical arguments have any merit, or that the increasingly well proven predictions of financial harm from AGW policies are valid means that few ‘cliamte concerned’ ever even discuss the legitimate concerns about what the AGW movement pushes.Conservatives- and non-conservatives- who are skeptical of the extremist claims of the AGW movement are instead typically dismissed or worse by the believers.It seems most believers think this is a great situation for their cause. I would propose that it is the opposite. Your inability to seriously defend yourmovement only leaves you weaker and weaker.So please do continue.

  • BBD

    If Anteros is incapable of substantiating the above claim, will kdk33 please do so. He has made it enough times in comments here.

  • harrywr2

    #91 Willard

    What if there was a true cost on coal?

    The question isn’t what the true cost of coal is. The question is how much coal can be extracted and transported to market for less then the cost of the substitute good

    Without knowing the answer to that question any ‘emissions scenario’ is based on nothing more then pure speculation.

    I will cede the point that if all the geologically available coal is burned atmospheric CO2 concentration will be somewhere around 10,000 PPM and global average temperatures will rise between 10C and 30C causing a global extinction event.

    But if we are to informed as to the impact of a Carbon Tax we need to know at what total price, extraction + delivery + tax does coal become economically uncompetitive. If the tax isn’t high enough substitution won’t occur and we are just taxing for the sake of taxing. If the tax is too high then we are just taxing for the sake of taxing.

  • BBD

    Steve Mosher

    From the abstract, emphasis added:

    If sources of CH4 and O3 precursors were reduced in the future, the change in climate forcing by non-CO2 GHGs in the next 50 years could be near zero. Combined with a reduction
    of black carbon emissions and plausible success in slowing CO2 emissions, this reduction of non-CO2 GHGs could lead to a decline in the rate of global warming, reducing the danger of dramatic climate change.

    In other words, CH4 and ozone are GHGs. Shocker. I think the term ‘plausible success’ is intended aspirationally.

  • Sashka

    @88

    Of course I did and I will, as appropriate. I’m just not answering pseudo-philosophical questions.

    But never mind that. You’re not really trying to convince anybody who’s not in your camp already, are you? Wonderful. Carry on.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    harrywr2,

    Thank you for your response. As always, I learn a lot from your comments. You do underline an important aspect of our predicament: coal is cheap.

    I envision an ad that runs with this as a tagline.

    Cheap Coal.

    Or Coal – Because it’s cheap.

    We can’t deny that it’s cheap.

    ***

    I’m not sure the question exists.

    I don’t know the question to which I don’t have the answer anyway.

    But I do know that something like this can explain the difficulties we’re having deciding what to do or not do:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/laurie_santos.html

    Here’s the lead:

    Laurie Santos looks for the roots of human irrationality by watching the way our primate relatives make decisions. A clever series of experiments in “monkeynomics” shows that some of the silly choices we make, monkeys make too.

    What if we borrowed monkeynomics?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Thank you for your concerns, dear Sashka.

    If you have a formal definition of the correctness you have in mind, I’d be interested.

    Meanwhile, please beware that you used “bullshit” and “pseudo-philosophical” in about the moment in a discussion. Predictability can become boring.

  • Sashka

    @102

    Of course you would be. But I’m not answering pseudo-philosophical questions.

    You probably think you are less predictable because you supply a new link every time? OK, keep dreaming.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    The question was a formal one, Sashka. Correctness has a formal meaning. Please tell us what you mean by “correct estimates”.

    Meanwhile, a word from our sponsor:

    The aim of RECaBS is to estimate the costs and benefits of electricity from renewable energy sources compared to conventional technologies in a fully documented and transparent way.

    http://www.recabs.org/

  • TanGeng

    @willard 74
    I don’t believe the barrier to “creating a better world” is merely a lack of willpower. There is well-moneyed vested interests blocking the political path and there is lack of technology and know-how blocking the technical path.
    It’s very dangerous to attempt an ambitious revolution of the economy without acknowledging all of the challenges. There are real and important concerns about the operational viability of “making the world better” and it is folly to dismiss those as a simple “lack of willpower.” The cartoon trivializes issue and is an example of hubris.

    In addition, the optimal strategy in face of uncertainty and downside risk is stockpiling resources. Either it is waiting for a better understanding of the risk to deploy a solution or making preparations that would help weather the worst of the consequences, whatever form it might be.
    The worst strategy is doing something for the sake of “doing something about the risk.” It’s even worse to act ambitiously in the form of a grand project to do “something about the risk.” It is acting in a position of ignorance (this is what uncertainty is) and making the one of the biggest bets that could be made. On the flip side, in order to stockpile resources, all other ambitious projects should be reconsidered. For example, attempting waterfront condominiums would be a bad idea in face of uncertain risks of rising surf.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Looking for meanings of “correct” that might escape me, I stumbled upon this intriguing article:

    In a simple experimental environment a group of subjects was asked to give estimates of a second group’s choice frequencies in a set of lottery-choice tasks. The results show that subjects in the first group are on average able to correctly predict the option that is chosen with higher frequency by the second group, but the predictions are systematically inaccurate in that they are distorted toward the uniform prior. Two mechanisms to elicit the expectations were used in the experiment, a quadratic scoring rule and a bidding mechanism. Aggregate results being similar under both mechanisms, the use of the former mechanism consistently yields more accurate predictions.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268101001706

    The title: Do players correctly estimate what others do?: Evidence of conservatism in beliefs

    Serendipity.

    The players in theses studies seem to be doing better than #93 and #96.

    Join the bandwagon!

  • steven mosher

    BBD.

    huh? folks are wondering about plan that conservatives could get behind. I offered hansen’s plan. As Anthony said it’s one he could get behind.
    If you want to criticize hansens plan, go ahead.
    It would make my day for you to demonstrate how he was wrong.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    TanGeng,

    Thank you for your response, which I believe has many merits.

    I don’t think there is any need to interpret the cartoon as implying that the most important obstacle is the lack of willpower. On the contrary, I would tend the believe the opposite: the opposition to making the world a better place is certainly a matter of volition. You can consider this as my daily spiritual advice.

    Nor do I think that the cartoon entails any kind of hubris. It’s just a joke, really, but a powerful one. It carries an element of truth: we kinda tend to get distracted from the main objective, besides eternal bliss, when we follow all the jousts from climate blogland.

    As for your stockpile strategy, I suppose it has merits. As the Harvard Business School used to teach, there are three rules of doing business. Never run out of cash. Never run out of cash. And never run out of cash.

    So I guess that not wasting money must be of some value. But as a rule of thumb, it’s as unhelpful as saying to a chess student: do not make mistake! An answer to Keith’s challenge, which is why we’re supposed to be here, must be more nuanced than that.

    Since I have not put any link yet, please let me quote Dick, who says something not unlike what you say:

    You had an earthquake in Haiti how many dead? It’s over 100,000. You had a much worse earthquake
    in Chile far fewer dead. You had the tsunami in Japan it was pretty bad, 3,000, 4,000 dead. So here you have a modest thing in one place, 100,000, what’s the difference? The difference is, are these societies robust? What makes them robust? Wealth. So any time you cut prosperity and wealth you increase vulnerability of a society. That is important because you do have
    earthquakes, you do have tsunamis, you do have these things. They always occur.

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/changeyourmind/webextras/richardlindzen_transcript.pdf

    For now, most of what has been offered so far as an alternative to Adler’s proposal in this thread can be classified as footnotes to Lindzen.

    You have to admit that the granularity of these footnotes is light-years away from the decades of audits about the true statistical significance of “unprecedented”.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #107,

    I don’t think that’s really BBD’s intention.

    Keith has invited the conservatives around for a friendly chat. Is there any way that conservatives could offer suggestions, possible solutions, commentary, perspectives from their side of the fence? Are there conservative, free market ideas they could contribute, that they could get behind? What would they find more acceptable?

    Keith has sent out the party invitations, set out the refreshments, done everything he can to make his conservative guests feel welcome.

    And the troll twins are sat there waiting behind the door ready to make it clear that they’re not welcome, that their ideas are all contemptible rubbish, and any sort of detente with conservatives short of their unconditional surrender is unacceptable.

    And Keith wonders why conservatives are not willing to come forward and offer eco-conservative solutions in a spirit of friendly bipartisanship. Well, now he knows.

    I’m not saying it’s either side’s fault, but it’s what happens. Every time. This has been a very good demonstration.

  • BBD

    No nullius, I’m just saying that Hansen points out that there are other GHGs to limit. NOT that limiting them *by themselves* will have climatologically significant effects. For that, you would need ‘plausible success in slowing CO2 emissions’ *as well*. All Hansen is saying here is that every little bit helps. SM and AW are perhaps misplacing their emphasis here somewhat :-)

  • Sashka

    rapid warming in recent decades has been driven mainly by non-CO2 greenhouse gases

  • BBD

    This interpretation does not alter the desirability of limiting CO2 emissions, because the future balance of forcings is likely to shift toward dominance of CO2 over aerosols. However, we suggest that it is more practical to slow global warming than is sometimes assumed.

    Hansen et al. (2000).

    This is *not* an inactivist manifesto. And as far as I am aware, Hansen and co-workers such as Sato and Lacis are rather less sanguine now than 12 years ago.

    Perhaps more value would be extracted by reading more recent studies. I suggest Hansen & Sato (2011) Earth’s energy imbalance and implications.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #112,

    I don’t think it was suggested that it was an inactivist manifesto – just that it was a more reasonable one than his later extremism.

  • BBD

    You would have to demonstrate ‘extremism’ in Hansen and co-author’s more recent published scientific papers to have a point here nullius. Can you do that?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #114,

    Who said anything about published scientific papers?

  • TanGeng

    @willard 108I think I see, now. You’re speaking of motivation and good intentions. Others are speaking at the operational level. And so there is failure to communicate.Against uncertainty and downside risk, the idea is to get more flexible or durable. In finances, having no cash is basically death. Don’t die is certainly self-evident advice. HBS values holding more cash for the flexibility. The alternative is get more durable and clear the balance sheet of all liabilities so the entity doesn’t owe anyone anything. The best strategy could be a combination.In case of earthquakes, it means either building light expendable structures that can be abandoned and rebuilt quickly with reserved disaster recovery money or building highly durable structures that will be able to withstand the shocks and tremors of earthquakes. Dealing with climate change risk will have analogous strategies.As an aside, Haiti, Japan, and Chile and earthquakes is a poor choice to isolate wealth as the determining factor. Japan and Chile are well experienced with earthquakes and factored in the risk for building construction. The epicenter was out in the sparsely populate area. Haiti got blind-sighted by its earthquake and the epicenter was shallow and among dense population. If London got hit by the 8.0, would a wealthy London suffer large casualties?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    While we’re enjoying our daily Punch & Judy, we will raise our hat to NW at Judy’s, who submitted a while ago this Polycentric Approach for Coping with Climate Change:

    This paper proposes an alternative approach to addressing the complex problems of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. The author, who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, argues that single policies adopted only at a global scale are unlikely to generate sufficient trust among citizens and firms so that collective action can take place in a comprehensive and transparent manner that will effectively reduce global warming. Furthermore, simply recommending a single governmental unit to solve global collective action problems is inherently weak because of free-rider problems. For example, the Carbon Development Mechanism (CDM) can be ‘gamed’ in ways that hike up prices of natural resources and in some cases can lead to further natural resource exploitation. Some flaws are also noticeable in the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) program. Both the CDM and REDD are vulnerable to the free-rider problem. As an alternative, the paper proposes a polycentric approach at various levels with active oversight of local, regional, and national stakeholders. Efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions are a classic collective action problem that is best addressed at multiple scales and levels. Given the slowness and conflict involved in achieving a global solution to climate change, recognizing the potential for building a more effective way of reducing green house gas emissions at multiple levels is an important step forward. A polycentric approach has the main advantage of encouraging experimental efforts at multiple levels, leading to the development of methods for assessing the benefits and costs of particular strategies adopted in one type of ecosystem and compared to results obtained in other ecosystems. Building a strong commitment to find ways of reducing individual emissions is an important element for coping with this problem, and having others also take responsibility can be more effectively undertaken in small- to medium-scale governance units that are linked together through information networks and monitoring at all levels. This paper was prepared as a background paper for the 2010 World Development Report on Climate Change.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1494833

    What if Elinor Ostrom made sense?

  • Jeffn

    #112, BBD makes the common mistake that conservatives are necessarily “inactivists”
    Creative destruction is a hallmark of capitalism and we look forward to seeing it happen with energy again. Capitalism has replaced energy sources throughout the economy, very quickly, more than once. Horses and wind to wood to coal to oil and, almost, to the atom.
    The reason we wont do carbon taxes or windmills is very simple, they won’t do what you think they will. Period. It’s not because we hate Hansen or don’t oddly enjoy Willard’s impenetrable fog.
    Actually it’s a bit more nuanced than that. There are quite a few conservatives who support gas tax increases. Several good reasons for that. Writing checks to the Maldives isn’t one of them.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    TanGeng,

    Thank you showing how the hermeneutical process works. I’m glad we came to an understanding.

    Now, considering that we’re talking about a cartoon, please consider the reaction to it. Interpreting that cartoon at the operational level makes little sense to me. It misses the whole point of posting that cartoon, which in response to a What If question.

    I believe I get what you’re saying about the eartquakes. And I hope we can agree that Dick was a bit sleazy to compare Haiti with Japan. It would be interesting to compare the energy consumptiuon of both countries. Since I have a link to spare, here it is:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/compare/Haiti/Japan/Energy

    Haiti is so small that the FMI could pay for all his energy that it might not even show much on the macroeconomic scale. It would also be interesting to know how Haiti became how it is. I hope to find another explanation than socialim, but even that could be possible, if we’re willing to stretch definitions far enough.

    In any case, your comment points at the complexity to optimize our choices. This is more than welcome. Our problem description should justify why it’s a tough nut to crack and that we’re mostly fishing in the dark here.

  • BBD

    @ 115

    Who said anything about published scientific papers?

    I’ll take that as tacit agreement that Hansen’s formally published papers cannot be invalidated by a simple claim that they are ‘extremist’. So you would  have to show a disconnect between the scientific investigation and the opinion about its implications voiced by Hansen and co-authors. This would require a careful consideration of the scientific investigation and its implications. Where would you like to start?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Here’s the sentence from Hansen & al. that follows the sentence put in bold at Anthony’s:

    This interpretation does not alter the desirability of limiting CO2 emissions, because the future balance of forcings is likely to shift toward dominance of CO2 over aerosols.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    And here is the sentence that follows the one I just quoted:

    [W]e suggest that it is more practical to slow global warming than is sometimes assumed.

  • BBD

    see # 112!

  • Nullius in Verba

    #120,

    You shouldn’t take it as tacit agreement of anything of the sort. I just noticed you adding caveats – tacit agreement that Hansen’s pronouncements outside the formal literature are not so easy to defend…?

    Anyway, we’re trying to find things to agree on. We already have plenty where we don’t agree.

  • harrywr2

    #101,Willard,Your view of the price of coal is outdated. If I looked at capital investment costs, productivity trends and transportation costs for the coal industry in the year 2002 and the trend lines for the previous 20+ years I would have concluded(as many well intentioned individuals did) that the point at which economic substitution of an alternative energy source to coal would be ‘never’

    Looking at capital investments costs, productivity trends and transportation costs in the year 2012 paints a completely different picture.

    Coal remains ‘cheaper’ then alternatives in a very limited geographic area centered on Gillette,Wyoming in the US. The further you are from Gillette, Wyoming the more expensive coal becomes.

    If I use US EIA’s latest projections for relative cost of new generating technology.

    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

    Electricity from a new(including fuel costs)

    Coal Plant = $99/MWh.(Using an average cost of about $45/ton which is about 1/2 what the rest of the world pays)

    Nuclear Plant = $112/MWh
    Wind Farm = $96/MWh
    Hydro Plant = $90/MWh.
    Natural Gas = $65/MWh(US Natural gas prices are also about 1/2 to 1/3 of what the rest of the world pays)

    Coal Prices on the Eastern Seaboard of the US generally run about $80/Ton.

    So on the US Eastern Seaboard I have to add $17.50/Mwh to the cost of electricity from a new coal fired plant running the total up to $116.50.

    Coal prices in Wyoming are about $15/ton so I have to subtract about $15 from the price of the electricity for an average new coal plant so $84/MWh.

    <p?($20/ton difference in the price of coal ends up being about $10/ton difference in the price of a MWh

    Obviously, an old coal plant that is paid for will be cheaper then a ‘new’ something else..but last I checked the EPA will kill off about 25% of the existing coal plants in the US using soot,NOx and mercury rules. Most of them over 60 years old and need to be retired anyway but the usual suspects will complain….just like people complain when their cars in need of major engine work fail annual emissions tests and have to be retired.

    Lot’s of folks will point at how many coal fired plants China is building but hydro and nuclear take time and wind needs a backup power source(preferably hydro). It’s a ‘need it now’ problem rather then ‘it makes long term economic sense’.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    #109

    Here’s Keith’s invitation to conservatives:

    [W]ould they agree with Adler when he says in the next paragraph that there “is sufficient evidence that global warming is a serious environmental concern”?

    In the first comment, grypo points to other analysis of Adler and Denning.

    In the second, Bobito asks “why rock capitalism boat?”

    In the third, Bobito asks again: “why do we need a policy when supply and demand will sort it out?”

    In the fourth, TanGeng takes objections to Keith’s use of “seriously”.

    In the fifth, I note that the adjective serious was not (only) Keith’s.

    In the sixth, harrywr2 argues that we should stop fund cancer research that has no demonstrated effect and is not proven to be the cheapest.

    In the seventh, Nullius argues that we should “First fix the science and prove what you claim”, and thus answer no to Keith’s question.

    8-9-10 is more of the same. In the 11th, BBD considers that #7 starts with a divisive claim.

    Then we get into more of the same, with some What Ifs, to which a contributed a cartoon.

    But see #109.

    Sigh.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    harrywr2,

    Thanks for your analysis. I’m glad to have an outdated view. But please bear in mind that cheap could very be translated as “I need it now”. Please bear in mind that I’m only the gardener.

    Speaking of old coal plants, I’m not sure you saw that:

    A mandate requiring the utilities to get off their lazy butts, improve coal plant efficiency to match the best-in-class levels, and pass the savings on to customers sounds like a political winner to me. The Republicans will call it a slippery slope, but if you can’t fight them on this then the game’s over. Seems like a nice initiative to move forward this fall.

    http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2012/06/improving-existing-coal-plant.html

    Brian (perhaps not Eli) seems to be in a generous mood. It might be time to sell him some bipartisan bridge somewhere.

  • BBD

    nullius @ 124

    [# 120 BBD:] I’ll take that as tacit agreement that Hansen’s formally published papers cannot be invalidated by a simple claim that they are “˜extremist’.

    [# 124 nullius:] You shouldn’t take it as tacit agreement of anything of the sort. I just noticed you adding caveats ““ tacit agreement that Hansen’s pronouncements outside the formal literature are not so easy to defend”¦?

    Which formally published study would you like to discuss first? I assume that you have one in mind that is ‘extremist’ since you disagree with the statement at # 120. 

    We can then compare Hansen’s informal public statements with the formal and determine if the public statements are ‘extremist’.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #126,

    I was thinking of:

    “What’s missing is a set of careful and reasoned market-based solutions from the right.”About which Keith says:

    “It would be interesting to gauge the reaction to this from conservatives who are engaged on some level with climate change.”

    “Sigh”, indeed.

    “[W]ould they agree with Adler when he says in the next paragraph that there “is sufficient evidence that global warming is a serious environmental concern”?”

    I would agree that it’s of sufficient concern that only the best science will do, and that it is worth spending the time and money to look into it and deliver that. And that if/when they do, we should take it seriously, with measures directed at solving the problem rather than mucking about with gesture politics and using it to push a partisan agenda. As I said, “Which is one reason why it is so frustrating trying to deal with this obstructionism ““ if there really is a problem this time, all these silly games climate scientists are playing may turn out disastrously.”

  • Bobito

    @willard #126

    Isn’t deciding to do nothing, because action may be more damaging than inaction, a policy?

    As you may have put it: Is nothing something?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    #129

    I believe that

    I would agree that it’s of sufficient concern that only the best science will do, and that it is worth spending the time and money to look into it and deliver that. And that if/when they do, we should take it seriously, with measures directed at solving the problem rather than mucking about with gesture politics and using it to push a partisan agenda.

    answers Keith’s question by a no, which kinda defuses what I perceive to be the point of the post.

    And since we already know that all Nullius’ proposal are conditional on getting everything he needs to change this answer to a yes, which is identified for now as

    With the quality of evidence normally expected of the judicial system in cases where such sums of money are concerned.

    which we have no guarantee to be a Procrustes game, we are yet again waiting for Godot.

    I might have been wrong to presume that commenters have watched Denning’s presentation linked by grypo at the Heartland Institute. It’s here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/scott-denning-reaching-across-abyss-iccc6-heartland-conference.html

    Do not worry, Denning understands that “billions of people will need more energy to lift themselves out of poverty”. I believe we can all agree about that one.

    Enjoy,

    w

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Bobito,

    This will be my last answer this evening.

    Think about it:

    Suppose that “doing nothing” is a policy decision.

    And suppose that we need to have very, very good information to make a policy decision. Or, in other words, that we need “correct estimates”, correct meaning perhaps “with the quality of evidence normally expected”¦”, etc.

    What do you conclude?

    As the great chess player Mihaïl Tal used to say, if you don’t risk winning, you are still risking something.

    We have an energy problem. An increase of 400% is not quite acceptable. Please note harrywr2″²s concedo in #98:

    I will cede the point that if all the geologically available coal is burned atmospheric CO2 concentration will be somewhere around 10,000 PPM and global average temperatures will rise between 10C and 30C causing a global extinction event.

    Paraphrasing Denning, what if all the fussing about “fixing science” was just a way to hide one’s cowardice?

    Outside the Internet, armwaving invisible hands won’t do.

    Good night,

  • Bobito

    willard,

    For arguments sake, I’ll cede the same point on 10,000 PPM

    However, at some point, long before “all the geologically available coal” is mined, it will no longer be economically viable to do so.

    I trust the free market to find a way to make coal less economically viable by way of innovation. Do you doubt that the Evil (or rapacious) Big Oil companies are not highly motivated to find that solution? Certainly more so than a UN Organization that will be quickly corrupted. Do you like the idea of a UN body controlling all the cheap energy?

    I can just picture a Chinese energy ambassador standing in front of a dozen coal stacks saying “No, we aren’t burning coal here…”

    Call me paranoid, but it’s not like the Chinese, and other countries, have a problem with playing by their own rules.

    I think the best solution to the AGW issue is to take CO2 out of energy production (since it doesn’t need to be portable). If someone can tell me how we can implement, and police, that on a global scale and I’ll get behind it. If you ask me to come up with that plan, I’d tell you you are asking the impossible.

    Thus, no plan is the best plan at this point. The case for forcing a “solution” was easier made in 2000 when the temperature trend was up and seemingly in lock step with CO2 concentrations, but now that it’s leveled off (with CO2 rising), it seems we have some time to figure things out rather than forcing local solutions that, in the end, will have no affect other than pushing the problem back a few years…

  • Nullius in Verba

    #131,

    Keith is asking the question, seeking the conservative perspective. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in the precise form he wants to represent progress, and a way forward.

    What I’m doing is telling him exactly what needs to be done to make progress, and get conservatives on board. Isn’t that what he wants? Or is doing it only a certain way more important? What’s the point in asking conservatives, if you require that they be exactly the same as liberals?

    And what I’m asking for is what they should have done anyway, and what any serious liberal faced with global apocalypse should already be demanding! If you think it is serious, then act like you think it is serious! If the asteroid was headed for Earth, you wouldn’t be settling for vague, absent-minded amateurish astronomers losing the numbers and making bits up, calculating orbits with buggy software and refusing to reveal data and code because they want to get a few more papers out of it! No, you’d have every telescope in the world working on it, you’d have professional teams of software engineers and statisticians and a rigorous validation regime in place, as many eyes on the problem as you can get, every digit triple-checked, because that sort of stuff is necessary when it is the end of the world we’re talking about. Far from dismissing it, we want you to take this a lot more seriously.

    There should be a level of scientific quality in place that does not tolerate any error, any fudging, any manipulation or hiding adverse results. Nothing should get past without being checked in depth, and anything that fails to measure up should be ruthlessly pruned out. The evidence and reasoning should be bulletproof. Because this is too important. It’s more important than human drug trials, it’s more important than passenger jet avionics code, or life support machine software, or nuclear reactor safety measures. We do it every day for all those applications. So why the hell aren’t we doing it for climate change?!

    And the same goes for the impact assessments and the economics and the energy sector engineering and adaptation.

    So I want to ask you, do you liberals think there is a sufficient environmental concern to be doing all that? You want the conservative perspective? Well this is how conservatives who use science to make hundred million dollar decisions would approach the problem. Is our contribution of any use to you? Or would you prefer to keep doing this on your own?

  • BBD

    If the asteroid was headed for Earth, you wouldn’t be settling for
    vague, absent-minded amateurish
    astronomers losing the numbers and
    making bits up,
    calculating orbits with buggy software and refusing to
    reveal data and code because they want to get a few more papers out of
    it!
    No, you’d have every telescope in the world working on it, you’d
    have professional teams of software engineers and statisticians and a
    rigorous validation regime in place, as many eyes on the problem as you
    can get, every digit triple-checked, because that sort of stuff is
    necessary when it is the end of the world we’re talking about. Far from dismissing it, we want you to take this a lot more seriously.Same old. ‘Climate science is broken’. Which Hansen paper would you like to start with?

  • BBD

    Goodness me. Again:

    If the asteroid was headed for Earth, you wouldn’t be settling for vague, absent-minded amateurish astronomers losing the numbers and making bits up, calculating orbits with buggy software and refusing to
    reveal data and code because they want to get a few more papers out of it!
    No, you’d have every telescope in the world working on it, you’d have professional teams of software engineers and statisticians and a rigorous validation regime in place, as many eyes on the problem as you can get, every digit triple-checked, because that sort of stuff is
    necessary when it is the end of the world we’re talking about. Far from dismissing it, we want you to take this a lot more seriously.

    Same old “˜climate science is broken’. Which Hansen paper would you like to start with?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Mmmm, BBD, you are aware that climate science neither begins nor ends with James Hansen, are you not?

  • BBD

    We could start with this pretty picture.

    Should the public be able to recognize that climate is changing, despite the notorious variability of weather and climate from day to day and year to year? We investigate how the probability of unusually warm seasons has changed in recent decades, with emphasis on summer, when changes are likely to have the greatest practical effects. We show that the odds of an unusually warm season have increased greatly over the past three decades, but also the shape of the frequency distribution has changed so as to enhance the likelihood of extreme events. A new category of hot summertime outliers, more than three standard deviations (3s) warmer than climatology, has emerged, with the occurrence of these outliers having increased 1-2 orders of magnitude in the past three decades. Thus we can state with a high degree of confidence that extreme summers, such as those in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010, are a consequence of global warming, because global warming has dramatically increased their likelihood of occurrence.

  • BBD

    And continue with Tom and nullius’ explanations of Hansen’s methodological errors.

  • BBD

    Just for fun, before I go to bed, here’s the temperature chart posted at WUWT with this caption:REPLY: Yes as noted clearly in red, that was 2000. Twelve years without warming is a while.That was HADCRUT3, which is now obsolete.

  • BBD

    Fit the same 2000 – present trend to HADCRUT4 and…

    Now why did AW choose an obsolete series when the updated version is right at his fingertips?

  • harrywr2

    #127 WillardRegarding your quote from Eli’s place

    A mandate requiring the utilities to get off their lazy butts, improve coal plant efficiency to match the best-in-class level

    THe Utilities are going to do their best to ‘strech’ out the life of old coal plants. They will close them rather then spend on refurbishing.

    From an environmental activist standby I would think the preferable route would be to close them.

    Of course they have to be replaced with something else which takes time. So closing them in an orderly fashion will take time.

    As far as the 4X CO2 emissions I don’t see how it can happen. Just yesterday the Turkish Energy Minister announced a plan for 23 new nuclear reactors.

    The Chinese have a long term energy plan that was front loaded with coal plants. I think one of my first comments here at KK’s place was that the Chinese would need 960GW of coal fired plants in the short term. They’ve got 400GW of hydro, 200GW of wind and 80 GW of nuclear in the pipeline.

    If they weren’t planning on ‘going big’ with on nuclear they wouldn’t have bought the intellectual property rights from Westinghouse for the AP1000. They only have a staff of a few hundred at their version of the US NRC so approvals are necessarily slow until they can ramp up their regulatory staff.

  • huxley

    Whether the orthodox like it or not — and they don’t as BBD and willard amply demonstrate — the onus is upon them to get the science right in an honest, transparent manner, then make the arguments for mitigation using real technologies and real numbers, if they want the climate agenda happen.

    Instead they shift the onus and make nonsensical challenges to skeptics to prove that levying large taxes on fossil fuels and demanding that huge investments in energy infrastructure be abandoned and replaced will not reduce standards of living worldwide, in some cases pushing people into poverty that blights lives and ends lives.

    It’s exactly like the Obama administration’s claims that Obamacare would cover millions more people (often people with serious pre-existing conditions) but would not raise healthcare costs and would not change people’s insurance coverage, and would in fact reduce healthcare costs and be a solution to the current financial crisis.

    All lies, as we know now. But any person with any commonsense knew that immediately.

    If the climate orthodox want their agenda, they must persuade the rest of us. But they must make real arguments, not pretend that it won’t be expensive and difficult and exact serious costs worldwide upon people.

    Possibly the risks of climate change are serious enough that those costs must be borne. But the orthodox must make the arguments and lay out the plan.

  • BBD

    huxley @ 143

    Whether the orthodox like it or not “” and they don’t as BBD and willard amply demonstrate “” the onus is upon them to get the science right in an
    honest, transparent manner

    See #136 and #138. ‘Sceptics’ never stop claiming that ‘the science is broken’ but have never yet shown that it is. Not even when repeatedly asked to demolish old ‘Crazy Train’ Hansen as on this thread.

    However, there is an example of dishonesty we can look at together. You will find it at #140 and #141. Now I know AW isn’t a scientist, but I would have thought all you ‘sceptics’ with your astonishingly high standards of conduct and probity couldn’t possibly let AW’s misrepresentation pass uncriticised.

  • kdk33

    Executive Summary:

    If liberals think CAGW is serious, they ought act like it.

    If liberals want to “do something”, they ought acknowledge the (plainly obvious) costs of that something.

    Headline:  Liberals Lack Credibility on Climate Change

  • http://ejo-twitter.blogspot.com Ejo

    The evidence for climate change is my opinion overwhelming. It is a slow-going process for which we have no answer today or within one or more political cycles. Cutting off oil and coal now would be a solution but is undesirable because we behave like a bunch of little spoiled children. Turning off oil and coal a little bit is not really a problem and will go by itself because it is cost effective, but to turn off fossil fuel supplies by 90% is not accepted by us now. In the end we keep behaving like rabbits facing the headlights, the only sensible solution is to jump off the road, but what we do instead is to turn around running away while the car approaching us from behind. It is a battle that we are likely to lose, perhaps in the end the rabbit will jump off the road while the car races along. I think there is scientific evidence that we are already too late from preventing that Greenland and West Antarctica will melt away under our fingers. Within 1 or 2 millenniums mankind will face sea levels more than 10m above the present mean sea level, furthermore all easily explorable fossil fuel deposits will have disappeared. The sensible way forward is not to fight like little children over such facts, but instead to accept them and to become more sustainable. It is a multidisciplinary problem, it will be a challenge for the engineers and scientists, and skepticism is part of it.

  • hunter

    It is notable to see how just how immune AGW true believers are to any information that challenges the central role of CO2 in their mythos.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Gentlemen,

    Physics does not care about political affiliations. But since you do care about them, here’s what we know. Jim Hansen can be considered as a conservative. Kerry Emanuel is a Republican. Andy Lacis voted mostly for Republicans. And for good measures, Judith Curry voted for Obama.

    Nullius is an avowed libertarian. Even if he was conservative, which we have no reason to believe, he has no mandate here to speak for conservatives. As far as I am concerned, he’s reinventing Gaming Theory.

    My alter ego was a conservative. I myself am an independant, and I am saying against my belief that self-avowal on these matters are destructive or just plainly stupid. For all I know, I might be more conservative than Nullius on about everything. And even if I was a liberal, I would not dare to speak for the liberal collective.

    Here are five simple facts:

    Today is thursday.

    Billions of people will need more energy to lift themselves out of abject poverty.

    Burning coal, oil, and gas produces CO2.

    CO2 emits heat.

    Heats warms things up.

    I hope we agree about these facts and that we don’t need to process these facts through double-blind experiments, engineering tests, or micro-models, shields which we usually don’t need to consider these kinds of facts anyway.

    Everybody knows enough about climate. Details are not worth your time. Climate is going to change a lot, and policy will be enacted in response to perceived needs.

    We need decent quality of life for billions of people, and energy to provide wealth and well-being. Only mixed economies have been known to manking to bring this about, and these include marked-based solutions. Since I have a semi-random quote to spare, please consider how economics need to change its framing to deal with the kind of environmental concern we’re trying to adress right now:

    Conventional economics supposes that agents value the present vs. the future using an exponential discounting function. In contrast, experiments with animals and humans suggest that agents are better described as hyperbolic discounters, whose discount function decays much more slowly at large times, as a power law. This is generally regarded as being time inconsistent or irrational. We show that when agents cannot be sure of their own future one-period discount rates, then hyperbolic discounting can become rational and exponential discounting irrational. This has important implications for environmental economics, as it implies a much larger weight for the far future.

    http://ideas.repec.org/p/cwl/cwldpp/1719.html

    We’re not talking about the mid-term elections right now. We’re talking about a problem of a scale never encountered in our history as far as we know it. Will you stand up and offer solutions, or are you willing to be played by gaming theorists?

    The world needs you to be engaged. If you want to maintain people in the abject poverty that even Americans are now beginning to have a taste, please continue what you are doing.

    Thank you.

  • Sashka

    @146

    I think there is scientific evidence that we are already too late from preventing that Greenland and West Antarctica will melt away under our fingers. Within 1 or 2 millenniums mankind will face sea levels more than 10m above the present mean sea level

    Where is the evidence?

  • Sashka

    @147

    CO2 emits heat.

    Really? What about NO2 and what shall we do about it?

  • RickA

    @148 Williard:CO2 does not “emit” heat.  Sorry, I cannot agree with that, as phrased.CO2 absorbs radiation and re-emits radiation at a different wavelength – which is very different than emitting “heat”.CO2 atoms are not like little campfires, generating heat as fuel is burned.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    On the comment thread of a post linked in #1:

    I suppose “CO2 emits” heat is technically correct…but will mislead in some senses, leading the usual literalist types to go off down the expected roads. (Where does CO2 get the heat it emits, playing weasel words with “trapping heat”.) Actually, I rather like the dodge, but it needs more explanation.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/scott-denning-reaching-across-abyss-iccc6-heartland-conference.html#60645

  • Sashka

    Doyne Farmer is an intereting guy. One of the first chaoticians, he plays a noticable part in James Gleick’s book. For whatever reason he didn’t capitalize on his ground level entry academically. Instead he quit and (with friends) wrote some trading software that he managed to sell to one of the major investment banks. It took them a while to realize that the thing doesn’t work. Eventually they did and let him go but he’s probably all set by then. Now he wraps himself as “Santa Fe institute” where he and others continue their research in many things interesting (for them) and (probably) useless for the rest of us.

    As for discounting, the law of compounding (famously marveled by Einstein) inevitably leads to exponents. No matter how much the liberals want it to be otherwise.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    The Department of Non-Rocket Science just issued another brief

    [U]ninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts, up from a 25 percent excess death rate found in 1993.

    http://phys.org/news172424058.html

    Between Health Insurance and Mortality in U.S. Adults, some might posit an invisible finger of death.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    As for discounting, the law of compounding (famously marveled by Einstein) inevitably leads to exponents. No matter how much the liberals want it to be otherwise.

    Yes, like Paul Samuelson, whose nephew was incidentally Larry Summers:

    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1970/samuelson-bio.html

  • huxley

    BBD @144: See my comment @17 for why I consider climate science broken. It was addressed to you. I assumed you didn’t respond because you don’t really have an answer to my concerns except once again to stamp your feet, declare that the science isn’t broken and demand that skeptics prove that they know better than climate scientists.

    This is of no help to me. I’m a lukewarmer. I buy the broad strokes of climate change. My concerns at the science level are questions of degree — how much warmer, in how much time, how much risk, how much certainty, how much is anthropogenic? I’m not equipped to challenge Michael Mann that this number is 5% too big or that number is 7% too small.

    My problem is that I see the butcher’s thumb on the scale, one way or another, when he weighs the scientific meat. As KK’s earlier title put it, climate scientists and their advocates “bend science to their beliefs.”

    Climategate, Glieckgate or, frankly, the attack dog tactics you and your brethren embody, reinforce my suspicions that we are getting narrative, not science.

    You also keep missing my larger point: if the orthodox want support for their agenda, the onus is on the orthodox to persuade the rest of us that climate change science is sound and that their expensive, disruptive mitigation solutions are superior to adaptation.

  • BBD

    huxley

    I’m not equipped to challenge Michael Mann that this number is 5% too big or that number is 7% too small.

    My problem is that I see the butcher’s thumb on the scale, one way or another, when he weighs the scientific meat.

    This is contradictory. Sounds like narrative, not science, to me.

  • Sashka

    Where did Paul Samuelson say that discounting is or shouldn’t be exponential?

  • BBD

    huxley

    Nobody really cares why you ‘consider climate science to be broken’. What would help the contrarian cause is an actual scientific argument. Not fake controversy and empty rhetoric (#17). Let’s have some evidence please. See # 144.

    And *still* not a peep about that inexcusably misleading graph at WUWT. Bizarre ;-)

  • harrywr2

    Willard,<i>We’re talking about a problem of a scale never encountered in our history as far as we know it.</i>Unless I’ve got my history wrong the ‘Black Death’ of the 14th century wiped out somewhere between 20% and 30% of the global population.We know how to build nuclear power plants. Unfortunately to build a modern Gen III nuclear plant one needs a 14,000 ton press of which only 3 existed in the world in 2009. One in Japan and two in China.By 2013 nine 14,000t+ presses will be in existence world wide. 2 in Japan, 1 in South Korea, 3 in China, 2 in India and 1 in Russia.That will be enough presses to stamp out one nuclear pressure vessel per week.Then there is the need for regulatory infrastructure, fuel fabrication facilities, fuel recycling facilities etc etc etc.All of that is being built. Of course none of it makes the ‘news’ because the ‘media’ always has been and probably always will be focused on ‘events’ rather then ‘processes’.Hence, we get these dumb discussions that passing a law or signing a treaty will somehow simultaneously solve the worlds energy and environmental problems.

  • BBD

    Re the misrepresented Hansen (2000) paper. Here, testimony to Senators:

    1) You mentioned that your alternative scenario assumes that air pollution is not allowed to get any worse than it is today and that global use of fossil fuels will continue at about today’s rate. It also assumes no net growth of the other forcings.

    a) What are those other forcings?

    They are included in Figure 2 of my submitted testimony. Chief among them are methane, tropospheric ozone and black carbon (soot) aerosols.

    b) Does the IPCC business as usual scenario assume that air pollution is stable?

    No. They have ozone and methane increasing substantially. In addition, they grossly underestimate the climate forcing by black carbon, and thus their scenarios tend to ignore it. Since air pollution is excluded from the Kyoto Protocol, it receives little attention in the IPCC scenarios.

    c) Do these differences in assumption account for the differences in expected temperature increases in the next 50 years for the two scenarios? And again what are the temperature differences?

    As shown in Figure 5 of my submitted testimony the additional warming in the next 50 years is about 1.6C in the business-as-usual scenario and about 0.75C in our alternative scenario. Moreover, the business-as-usual scenario “builds in” a much larger later warming, which will appear in the latter half of the century.

    The smaller warming in the alternative scenario is due to the two assumptions: (1) it will be possible to stop further growth of non-CO2 forcings (loosely labeled “air pollution”), particularly ozone, black carbon and methane, (2) it will be possible to keep the growth of atmospheric CO2 to about 75 parts per million in the next 50 years, which
    would require that CO2 emissions remain roughly similar to today’s rate or
    decline slightly.

    2) You mentioned in your statement that the judge of science is observations. You also mentioned the potential educational value of
    keeping an annual public scorecard of measured changes. Can you elaborate on this idea?

    It is briefly elaborated upon in reference 22 of my submitted testimony, where I mention an annual public scorecard of (1) fossil fuel CO2 emissions, (2) atmospheric CO2 amount, (3) human made climate forcing, (4) global temperature. I will try to write a paper with a more comprehensive
    discussion in the near future. One obvious addition would be an annual measure of CH4 emissions and atmospheric amounts. However, the single most important benchmark for the United States is probably an annual update of
    the bar graph in Figure 11 of my testimony, i.e., the annual growth of CO2 emissions: the annual growth needs to be reduced to zero or slightly negative.

    3) Do you feel that your results were reviewed and properly considered as
    part of the IPCC process?

    No. IPCC’s size and review procedures make it inherently lethargic, so responding to a mid-2000 paper is difficult. However, the real problem is
    probably the close binding between IPCC and the Kyoto Protocol discussions. Kyoto excludes consideration of air pollution (such as tropospheric ozoneand black carbon), for example, so IPCC basically ignores these topics and
    downgrades them. The only IPCC “review” of our paper was by the IPCC leaders (as reported in the New York Times, for example), who saw our paper
    as potentially harmful to Kyoto discussions. They received the backing of organizations (such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, who commissioned a criticism of our paper that I respond to in reference 22) and publications (particularly Nature), who had previous editorial positions favoring the Kyoto Protocol. When I had difficulty publishing a response in Nature, I wrote an open letter that is available at
    http://naturalscience.com/ns/letters/ns_let25.html

  • steven mosher

    Niv
    Color me confused. I offer up a plan proposed by Hansen. It’s one most conservative could get behind.
    Does it do everything that BBD and willard want?
    No. Has hansen evolved from that position? sure.
    but, you can see that there is some common ground.
    yet, will BBD seize the common ground? nope. Somedays I wonder if BBD and others will be held accountable for their unwillingness to take half a loaf when it was offered. I suppose they can continue to fight for everything and get nothing. or, they could agree to what is agreeable and generate some good will. na.

    But let’s do something really responsible and go meta on the discourse. that’ll save the planet.

    cue willard.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    I’m not the one who needs to be convinced about that plan, Moshpit. I’m afraid you need to convince gaming theorists first.

    As if we were here negotiating anything here anyway.

    When those silly rhetorical tricks will stop, going meta will stop.

    Meanwhile, why not pay a last visit to Obamacare?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Samuelson is the father of the classical theory of discounting: the result is shown on the first page of the article that targets Sashka’s bad hominem in #159. And since

    [Samuelson] served as an advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and was a consultant to the United States Treasury, the Bureau of the Budget and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Samuelson wrote a weekly column for Newsweek magazine along with Chicago School economist Milton Friedman, where they represented opposing sides: Samuelson took the Keynesian perspective, and Friedman represented the Monetarist perspective.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Samuelson

    the jab at Liberals in #159 might be taken with a grain of salt.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Another message from our non-sponsors:

    aunching a lawsuit against the very company that is responsible for a farmer suicide every 30 minutes, 5 million farmers are now suing Monsanto for as much as 6.2 billion euros (around 7.7 billion US dollars). The reason? As with many other cases, such as the ones that led certain farming regions to be known as the “˜suicide belt’, Monsanto has been reportedly taxing the farmers to financial shambles with ridiculous royalty charges. The farmers state that Monsanto has been unfairly gathering exorbitant profits each year on a global scale from “renewal” seed harvests, which are crops planted using seed from the previous year’s harvest.

    http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/11795-5-million-farmers-sue-monsanto-for-77-billion

    The first paragraph of thy report:

    It is estimated that more than a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide
    in the last 16 years””the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history. A great number of
    those affected are cash crop farmers, and cotton farmers in particular. In 2009 alone, the most
    recent year for which official figures are available, 17,638 farmers committed suicide””that’s one farmer every 30 minutes. While striking on their own, these figures considerably underestimate the actual number of farmer suicides taking place. Women, for example, are often excluded from farmer suicide statistics because most do not have title to land””a common prerequisite for being recognized as a farmer in official statistics and programs.

    Some might be tempted to posit an invisible hand of death. We can’t be sure if the invisible finger of death referred earlier belongs to the same invisible hand.

  • Sashka

    Thanks, I know who Samuelson was. Now, did he say, as you alleged, that discounting is not or should not be exponential? Or was it a lie?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    You are imagining words, dear Sashka. My comment related to this last sentence:

    No matter how much the liberals want it to be otherwise.

    Considering that you now admit knowing who Samuelson, and presumably an outline of what he did during his life, we might wish to take that last jab with a grain of salt.

    Thank you for your concern.

  • Girma

    <i>Instead we get vacuous statements that there is no
    problem to be solved.</I>

    There has been no change in the uniform warming of the globe
    as shown => http://bit.ly/L5FSBg

     

    Or the uniform sea level rise as shown =>
    http://bit.ly/KBBlN9

     

    The real “political problem” is for the chattering class (MOSTLY
    THE LEFT) to fail to distinguish a problem from a non-problem.

  • Peter Lang

    <blockquote>There is an inexcusable silence from the political right about how to provide energy for 10 times as many people as we do today (almost all in China and India), without quadrupling CO2 for thousands of years to come.</blockquote>
     
    I disagree with that statement.  I believe the political right continually provides realistic and rational solutions and they are continually blocked by the political left.  My reaction is that until a reasonable proportion of the left can be educated to see the error of their ways, little progress can be made.  Somehow they have demonstrated and ability to lead a majority of voters in the western democracies to believe their irrational nonsense.  It’s been going on for over 50 years, as demonstrated by the effective anti-nuclear campaigns by the so called “˜environmental’ NGOs, Greenpeace, FoE, WWF, etc.
     

  • BBD

    Steve @ 162

    I didn’t object to Hansen’s plan. I objected to the misrepresentation of the proposal by Watts. I also object to your deliberate distortion of what I said.

    I object to the fact that you are directing your energy into misrepresenting me instead of correcting the contrarians here and elsewhere who have been misled into thinking that ‘it’s not CO2 it’s other GHGs and Hansen said so and now it’s being covered up’.

    What concerns me is why you did that. 

    Read the linked material at # 161. I posted it mainly for you.

  • Peter Lang

    “There is an inexcusable silence from the political right about how to provide energy for 10 times as many people as we do today (almost all in China and India), without quadrupling CO2 for thousands of years to come.”

    The answer is clear (IMO).  It’s nuclear generated electricity.  Cheap electricity provides water and produces liquid fuels for energy carriers for transport fuels.I suspect the mention of ‘cheap’ nuclear has stopped most people in their tracks.  Why?
     
    Regulatory ratcheting has increased the cost of nuclear by a factor of four to 1990 (according to Bernard Cohen) and probably double again since.  Nuclear has been regulated to its high price.  If not for the excessive regulation it has suffered for the past 50 odd years, it would be far cheaper.  It would also be safer.  It would have progressed through the development stages like other technologies have progressed through, but which have been prevented for nuclear. 
     
    The commercial airline industry is a good parallel.  It is also a complex system which has accidents and kills people.  It has accidents and kills hundreds of people at a time, thousands per year. But it is continually improving.  Air travel costs have been coming down and safety increasing for the past 50 years. We accept the small risk of being involved in an accident because of the enormous benefit of low cost air travel.  If we had regulated more stringently over the past 50 years, air travel would be more expensive now, there would be less air travel, the world would have lower GDP (because of less face to face communication and less commerce) and we’d be worse off.  Importantly, air travel would be less safe than it is now because it would have had less development.
     
    Development of the nuclear industry has been choked and constrained.  So nuclear generation is not as safe and it is more expensive than it would have been if it had been allowed to compete and develop on an equal footing with other electricity generation technologies.
     
    Nuclear fuel is 20,000 times more energy dense than coal and oil in the Gen III reactors and potentially up to 2 million times more energy dense in Gen IV reactors.  That means many things: nuclear fuel is virtually unlimited in the Earth’s crust so can power all our energy needs indefinitely.  A golf-ball size piece of uranium can provide all the energy needs of the average American for their whole life (that is all the energy needs for all the products, services and direct energy a person usesd for their whole life).  Secondly, high energy density means negligible mining, negligible transport of fuels, negligible storage space.  Negligible storage space and cost means the energy security problem is solved; i.e. countries can hold effectively unlimited energy in storage for as long as they want.
     
    In WWII, the US was building aircraft carriers in 100 days (from the start to fully equipped and fully loaded with aircraft and weapons).  If USA could do that 70 years ago, the industrial countries could certainly produce small modular nuclear power plants at whatever rate the world needs them.  They’d be built in factories, shipped to site and returned to factory for refuelling (similar to submarines refuelling cycle).
     
    How could we do this?
     
    Remove all the impediments we’ve imposed, over the past 50 years, that are preventing nuclear electricity generation from being cost competitive with fossil fuels.  This included the distortions we’ve imposed on our energy markets, such as tax breaks, subsidies, feed in tariffs, and masses of regulations to favour one technology or another.
     
    No other intervention in markets is needed.  All we have to do is remove the impediments we’ve imposed by 50 years of wrong-headed interventions.
     
    Once we have cheap electricity, then we’ll be able to produce water and energy carriers for transport fuels to meet our needs.
     

  • Sashka

    So, you are going to pretend that 155 meant something else?

  • BBD

    Peter Lang

    Agreed entirely. Thanks for that.

  • hunter

    Peter Lang,Well said. Thank you very much.

  • hunter

    As to Denning’s complaint- it is more than ironic that he is not asking this question of the lefties and self-declared ‘climate concerned. It is not conservatives who have stopped nuclear energy. It is not conservaitves who have squandered huge amounts of tax payer resources on wind and solar.

  • huxley

    BBD @157: Here’s my comment @ 17 again, summarizing why I think climate science is broken:

    BBD@11: Given Climategate, Gleickgate, the Hockey Stick, the constant efforts to shut down debate, the current decade long temperature plateau, the climate conference junket mentality, and the inability of climate science to police itself, climate science looks broken to me and in need of fixing.

    What language would you use? Or do you not see any problem here?

    That’s twice now you have ignored what I said, responding instead with attack dog snark. I understand. There is no justification for the behavior of these climate scientists.

    Moving on… You also ignore my larger point: if the orthodox want support for their agenda, the onus is on the orthodox to persuade the rest of us that climate change science is sound and that their expensive, disruptive mitigation solutions are superior to adaptation.

    I’ll take your non-response on that as agreement as well, but hey, snark away.

  • BBD

    huxley

    “BBD@11: Given Climategate [no evidence that standard position is wrong; no scientific papers withdrawn], Gleickgate [so... let's talk about billboards], the Hockey Stick [no impact on standard scientific position on AGW], the constant
    efforts to shut down debate [where's the robust, coherent, sceptical scientific argument *to debate*?], the current decade long temperature
    plateau [who said AGW would be monotonic?], the climate conference junket mentality [blah], and the inability of climate science to police itself [evidence that standard position is fraud?], climate science looks broken to me and in need of fixing.”

    Clearly one man’s fair comment is another’s ‘attack dog snark’. 

    the onus is on the orthodox to persuade the rest of us that climate change science is sound

    With the square brackets above in mind, talk of ‘onus’ is misplaced here. Where’s the robust, coherent sceptical case? 

  • TanGeng

    Such a useless discussion. This is like a Pro-Wrestling form of debating. Score a glancing blow and then go off celebrating the “big hit” except the opponent doesn’t even pretend to be fazed by the argument.

    But let’s do something really responsible and go meta on the discourse. that’ll save the planet.

    Skeptics will oblige, gladly go meta on climate science and its practitioners. It’s not exactly a winning formula anywhere.Naturally, we also get self-righteous moralizing from imputing motives and character flaws.kdkk3:It really is a simple question Willard:  how many people are you williing to kill to save the world from CO2. ””No”, you say, “that is unreasonable, why I won’t kill anybodyWillard:I believe I get what you’re saying about the eartquakes. And I hope we can agree that Dick was a bit sleazy to compare Haiti with Japan. It would be interesting to compare the energy consumptiuon of both countries. Since I have a link to spare, here it is:BBD:I object to the fact that you are directing your energy into misrepresenting me instead of correcting the contrarians here and elsewhere who have been misled into thinking that “˜it’s not CO2 it’s other GHGs and Hansen said so and now it’s being covered up’.What concerns me is why you did that. Differing priorities is equivalent to willful killing. Inexact logic is equivalent to being sleazy. Being argumentative and contradictory obliges an ulterior motive.Why, oh, why, oh, why. Indeed.

  • TanGeng

    Try again on the second group of block quoteskdkk3:

    It really is a simple question Willard:  how many people are you williing to kill to save the world from CO2. ””No”, you say, “that is unreasonable, why I won’t kill anybody

    Willard:

    I believe I get what you’re saying about the eartquakes. And I hope we can agree that Dick was a bit sleazy to compare Haiti with Japan. It would be interesting to compare the energy consumptiuon of both countries. Since I have a link to spare, here it is:

    BBD:

    I object to the fact that you are directing your energy into misrepresenting me instead of correcting the contrarians here and elsewhere who have been misled into thinking that “˜it’s not CO2 it’s other GHGs and Hansen said so and now it’s being covered up’.What concerns me is why you did that.

  • http://www.dysonreviews.net Ari

    It is called Global warming because it’s a Global issue which needs to be sorted globally, not nationally. If India and China, the most populated countries on this planet don’t play game, not sure how our planet will look like in the future. 

  • Nullius in Verba

    #180,

    “If India and China, the most populated countries on this planet don’t play game, not sure how our planet will look like in the future.”

    The answer is: “rapid and successful economic development, in which regional average income per capita converge – current distinctions between “poor” and “rich” countries eventually dissolve.” According to the IPCC, anyway.

    http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_sr/?src=/climate/ipcc/emission/093.htm

  • huxley

    Where’s the robust, coherent sceptical case?

    BBD: I’m not making a “case.”

    I’m pointing to political reality, which is the only reality where humans are going to act upon climate mitigation. If you want that mitigation, the onus is upon you and your side to persuade in terms meaningful to us that the science is right and the agenda is right.

    No, we do not have climate science doctorates. We will be persuaded by reasonable explanations, the appearance of good faith, and solutions based on real numbers and real technologies.

    So far, your side only has the first part but it is undermined by the other two parts. Again, the onus is on your side to persuade us.

    Do you understand what I am saying? I’m not asking if you agree. Do you understand?

  • BBD

    huxley

    We will be persuaded by reasonable explanations, the appearance of good faith, and solutions based on real numbers and real technologies.

    So far, your side has only the first part but is undermined by the other two parts.

    My understanding:

    -Reasonable explanations: you seem to accept the standard scientific position on AGW. But I don’t think you do, not least because…

    - Appearance of good faith: implies bad faith on part of climate scientists – a ‘sceptic’ construct. Don’t accept.

    - Solutions based on real numbers/technologies: confuses climate science with aspects of environmentalism biased against nuclear.

    I’m all for real-world solutions. I think a significant expansion of nuclear is an absolute necessity. I think renewables aren’t going to be enough by any means.

    I also think that there really is a problem. I’m not convinced that we agree on that. I see no evidence of systemic bad faith in climate science. I see no alternative scientific argument that casts doubt on the standard position.

    Therefore, I wonder why there is such certainty amongst sceptics that ‘the science is broken’.

    That I do not understand at all.

  • Nullius in Verba

    183,

    I agree. You do not understand why we are sure the science is broken, and we do not understand how you can think it isn’t. It’s probable that neither of us will ever persuade the other.

    But given that we clearly do think the science is broken, (even if you’re sure we’re wrong), and assuming that those calling for action want or need our support or input – as Keith’s post implies – then can you see that even if you’re sure we’re wrong, you won’t get any action until the way the science is done and presented is changed to avoid those things we see as problems?

    It’s not a question of whether we can persuade you that the science is broken – we neither want nor need to do so – it’s a question of whether you can persuade us that it’s been fixed – whether you think it needs fixing or not.

    Is taking action together on global warming important enough to you for you to do that? What is important here?

  • BBD

    The problem is that we aren’t having a symmetrical debate but you *think* we are.

    Sceptics assert that the science is broken but neither expose systemic misconduct nor explain why the standard position is flawed.

    Saying stuff in blog comments doesn’t count. 

    This is as asymmetrical as debate gets.

  • BBD

    This brings us to the argument on the ‘labels’ thread. When big money meets big insecurity, bad things can, and do, happen.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    185, you may have something there. Saying stuff in blog comments doesn’t count. Did you read what you wrote?

    It’s all bar talk.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    184, they don’t want our support. They want to break us if they can, silence us if they can’t. We are the enemy.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    183, I don’t think the science is broken. I think that some of the scientists are bent.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    @180

    kdk33′s stupid trick hides the fact that doing nothing also kills people.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #185,

    I’m not sure that we’re having a “debate” at all. Debate requires some degree of mutual comprehension. The problem is that we do explain why we think the science is broken, but it’s not an explanation that would persuade you that the science is broken, and you can’t seem to accept than an explanation that doesn’t persuade you is any sort of explanation at all.

    Just for example, take that bit in ‘Harry’ that starts “What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no ‘supposed’, I can make it up. So I have”.

    Harry is obviously bothered by it. “You can’t imagine what this has cost me – to actually allow the operator to assign false WMO codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a ‘Master’ database of dubious provenance (which, er, they all are and always will be).”

    And he understands the consequences: “This still meant an awful lot of encounters with naughty Master stations, when really I suspect nobody else gives a hoot about. So with a somewhat cynical shrug, I added the nuclear option – to match every WMO possible, and turn the rest into new stations (er, CLIMAT excepted). In other words, what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad, but I really don’t think people care enough to fix ‘em, and it’s the main reason the project is nearly a year late.”

    A simple, self-contained example, understandable without too much context. (Maybe. We’ll see.) We think it’s bad that the databases are corrupted, and dangerous to rely too much on them. We think it’s bad that scientists are making stuff up. We think it’s bad that code is being written to cover up problems, and that good databases will get corrupted. We think it’s good that Harry is bothered by it, and understands the implications for science, but bad that he doesn’t know the correct thing to do in response, and is evidently getting no support for doing it. And we think it’s bad that all the layers of quality checking and peer review and replication and challenge by the scientific community totally failed to pick it up. (It got into the IPCC reports.) It implies that they’re not checking – or that they are checking, but passing stuff they know is a problem. And if they’re not checking this one, they’re almost certainly not checking a lot of other stuff, too.

    It’s not this individual database that we’re bothered about so much, it’s what it says about the way climate science is done. That this is “In other words, what CRU usually do.”

    Now we would accept that there may be context we don’t know about – maybe this was an exceptional case, maybe there are checks in place that Harry doesn’t mention, so its inclusion in the IPCC reports is sound. But you’ve got to show us! It’s no use saying “you can’t prove there are no checks in place”, because the burden of proof is on the science to prove that there are. And it’s no use saying “but the mistakes don’t matter because the results are right” because we don’t know that they’re right if they haven’t been checked. If the results are unchecked, and indeed uncheckable by anyone outside the club, you’re relying on being lucky. Or faith.

    That’s an explanation of why we think the science is broken. Please don’t waste your time telling me that I’m wrong – I already know you think I’m wrong. Everyone else here knows you think I’m wrong. I already know you think it’s misleading and unjustified and crazy/incompetent/ignorant. But it is what it is.

    The question is, what do you think climate science should do about it? Make the changes we suggest would be needed to persuade us, unnecessary as you think they might be, or carry on as they are, knowing that we’ll continue to consider it broken? And moreover, have a very persuasive case?

  • kdk33

    Willard,

    My stupid question does nothing of the sort.  In fact, that is very close to the point.  Which I will elucidate for you:  Aggressive decarbonization will certainly kill people.  AGW might kill people, but those deaths, and their count, aren’t certain.

    So, when you are willing to frame the debate in corpses.  I’m willing to accept X certain deaths now rather than Y uncertain deaths later, then you will begin to have credibility.

    Your inability / unwillingness to answer my stupic question illustrates why you have no credibility.  Your #190 underscores the point.  So thanks.

  • BBD

    Tom @ 187

    It’s all bar talk.

    Factual statement:

    Sceptics assert that the science is broken but neither expose systemic misconduct nor explain why the standard position is flawed.

    Bar talk:

    183, I don’t think the science is broken. I think that some of the scientists are bent.

  • BBD

    NIV

    Remind me of a few things. What was the harry read me (HRM) project for? How does it relate to HADCRUT or CRUTEM? Which papers have been withdrawn as a result of this file being released to the public? Outside of CRU, which pillars of ‘climate science’ have fallen as a result?

    Now, assuming that nothing of any consequence emerges (it doesn’t; I checked), let’s still err on the side of caution. Let’s get rid of HADCRUT3 (and 4) and use only NOAA global, NOAA land, BEST and GISTEMP. What changes?

    Nothing.

    Only ‘sceptics’ think HRM matters. And as always, they are wrong. Disagree? Show me the evidence (see first paragraph).

    Claiming, endlessly, that HRM is a proxy for ‘climate science’ is the usual ‘sceptical’ bollocks. Disagree? Show me the evidence. 

    No evidence? Oh dear. This is not a symmetrical debate. 

    This begs the question: why are ‘sceptics’ so paranoid and angry? I’m ever-more interested in why ‘sceptics’ behave as they do. In the absence of an actual scientific argument, the root causes of the contrarianism are the most interesting things to examine.

  • kdk33

    gergis

  • BBD

    Out of curiosity, I compared BEST with CRUTEM4 1979 – present (the period for which a separate satellite-based reconstruction of tropospheric temperature exists). I wondered if there might be evidence that the CRU curve was the product of incompetent, slapdash and untrustworthy methodology.

    As we know, BEST and CRUTEM4 used different methodologies, and BEST has substantially more stations than CRUTEM. BEST was also done by a sceptical scientist (Muller) to test the accuracy of other surface temperature reconstructions.

    The agreement between BEST and CRUTEM4 over the last three decades for monthly, annual and decadal variation is remarkable. The decadal trends too, are virtually identical:

    BEST: 0.28C/decade

    CRUTEM4: 0.27C/decade.

    That’s rather higher than ‘sceptics’ and lukewarmers generally acknowledge.

    (Nit-pickers please note: BEST is truncated at 2010.2 to exclude the final two months of incomplete data which have a very large spurious cold bias. The CRUTEM4 data set available at WfT ends at 2010.92. I’m not sure if the full data are publicly available yet).

  • BBD

    kdk33

    What do you do when you haven’t got a scientific case?

    Create fake controversy and go after individual scientists. Personalise and smear.

    Gergis schmergis. I can’t even be bothered to follow up who the ‘sceptics’ are persecuting now. All I know is that this is something to do with paleo proxy archives and it’s bollocks.

    Give me some evidence that the standard position is wrong

    Or get stuffed :-)

  • BBD

    Okay, I checked (I always do, in the end :-) ). This is not evidence that the standard position is wrong.  

    Gergis schmergis.

  • harrywr2

    #198 BBD,

    Okay, I checked (I always do, in the end ). This is not evidence that the standard position is wrong.

    The Gergis paper is evidence of what is wrong with the way ‘climate science’ is communicated. Legitimate scientific journals are ‘debating forums’. A theory or hypothesis or a new way to analyze data is published…then other scientists spend time trying to find flaws in the methods or observations. The vast majority of published scientific papers fail to stand the test of time. But the corrections don’t always get done

    Here is just one of the ‘orginal’ reports related to the gergis paper

    http://scienceblog.com/54571/1000-years-of-climate-data-confirms-australias-unusual-warming/

     Lead researcher, Dr Joelle Gergis from the University of Melbourne said the results show that there are no other warm periods in the last 1000 years that match the warming experienced in Australasia since 1950……..The study published today in the Journal of Climate will form the Australasian region’s contribution to the 5th IPCC climate change assessment report chapter on past climate.

    Wow…that’s pretty confident stuff…and it will be Australasia’s contribution to the IPCC.

    The only problem with it is that it took all of a few days for ‘unpaid volunteers’ to find serious flaws in the statistical methodology of a report that took a ‘team of paid scientists’ more then three years to write.

  • BBD

    A brief word about science, chaps:

    There will be papers with errors in them.

    This happens in all fields. It does not overturn the standard position within an entire field.

    For that to happen, the main hypotheses underpinning the standard position have to be invalidated by a number of studies, ideally employing a variety of differing approaches.

    Do we see this with climate science? No. 

    Are ‘sceptics’ therefore making a nonsense claim when they assert that ‘the science is broken’? Yes.

    Is this evidence that the debate between ‘sceptics’ and scientists is asymmetrical? Yes.

    Is the absence of any ‘sceptical’ scientific case supported by a large and growing body of work further evidence that the debate is asymmetrical. Yes. 

  • Nullius in Verba

    #196,

    You’re doing what I said you would, and not answering the question. There are more things in climate science than CRUTEM and HADCRUT. And arguing that it “doesn’t matter” because it’s not one of those two particular products is an outstandingly pathetic argument.

    The ‘Harry’ file is about a “flagship” product called CRU TS – to be specific, it’s about the upgrade from CRU TS2.1 to CRU TS3.0. And there are results from CRU TS2.1 cited and shown in the IPCC AR4 WG1 report (figure 3-12, for example), via the peer-reviewed literature (Mitchell and Jones 2005, to be specific).

    So we’re really talking about the IPCC, here.

    (Your argument in #199 is a bit better, but still misses the point that it isn’t CRU TS2.1 that is at issue, but the entire peer-review system that passed it without even noticing. And again, it doesn’t answer the question. #199 deserves a longer answer, but I’ll maybe get to that if we can deal with the main question first.)

    Now, as I said, the point is not whether *you* find ‘Harry’ a persuasive argument or not – I already know you don’t. The *question* – read it carefully – is: given that *we* think stuff like this shows the science is broken, and assuming your side wants/needs some of the opposition to action on global warming to abate, is it better to do whatever is needed to bring that about, or would you prefer we all sat locked in unresolvable argument for the next twenty years, because you’d rather see global civilisation collapse in a cannibal apocalypse than give people like me the satisfaction?

    Remember, hypothetically, for the purposes of this question you can take it for granted that I’m wrong and the ‘Harry’ thing irrelevant and that we are indeed headed for Biblical floods and plagues of vampire moths o’er the land – the question is, should climate science do whatever is necessary (within the bounds of ethics) to confirm for people that they have got the science right, or is fighting the argument on your own terms more important?

    I will take any further attempt to try to say I’m wrong and not answer the question as a vote for endless unresolvable argument. Not as any sort of rhetorical trap, but simply because we’ll be here all night otherwise.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    Out of curiosity, do you know the Wti decadal trend since 1979?

    To save you the trouble of trying to work it out it is 0.14C/decade.

    That’s rather lower than catastrophists generally acknowledge ;)

  • BBD

    Anteros

    Thought you wouldn’t understand the importance of the land surface trend (what’s the heat capacity of the land vs the ocean? How well sampled is SST vs land surface T?).

    Thanks for the confirmation that you are a ‘sceptic’ rather than a sceptic.

  • BBD

    harrywr2

    I suggest we wait and see what the revised paper looks like rather than assuming that it is completely wrong and making a great song and dance about it. Also see # 200. Read closely.

  • BBD

    nullius

    You’re doing what I said you would, and not answering the question. There are more things in climate science than CRUTEM and HADCRUT. And
    arguing that it “doesn’t matter” because it’s not one of those two particular products is an outstandingly pathetic argument.

    That’s exactly what I said. It’s *false equivalence* to claim that HRM proves *anything* about ‘climate science’ as a whole. You also need to respond to the following, in detail, before we go on:

    Which papers have been withdrawn as a result of this file being released to the public? Outside of CRU, which pillars of “˜climate science’ have
    fallen as a result?

    Understand something, nullius. Your endless run of unsubstantiated crap is over in comments here. From now on, you will provide *evidence* for your claims or I will mock and deride them and you. For ever, and ever, amen.
    :-)

  • BBD

    Now, if all that CRU touches is crapola, somebody please explain # 196.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #205,

    You’re still avoiding the question.

  • BBD

    Anteros – sorry, forgot:

    0.28C/decade and 0.27C/decade.

    Care to explain?

  • BBD

    nullius

    No I’m not. And you are contemptible at times – this is one of them.

  • BBD

    Which papers have been withdrawn as a result of this file being
    released to the public? Outside of CRU, which pillars of “˜climate
    science’ have fallen as a result?

  • BBD

    Come on nullius – or have you got *nothing*… again?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #209,

    You’re still avoiding the question.

  • BBD

    sigh. nullis’ question:

    “given that *we* think stuff like this shows the science is broken, and assuming your side wants/needs some of the opposition to action on global warming to abate, is it better to do whatever is needed to bring that about, or would you prefer we all sat locked in unresolvable argument for the next twenty years, because you’d rather see global civilisation collapse in a cannibal apocalypse than give people like me the satisfaction?”

    Who cares what you *think*? Show me some evidence that the science is broken and you’ve got a symmetrical debate. Show me HRM and all the other ‘sceptic’ crap and we’ve got nothing much at all.

    Now start demonstrating that you have a case:

    Which papers have been withdrawn as a result of this file being released to the public? Outside of CRU, which pillars of “˜climate science’ have fallen as a result?

    Make your case. Otherwise why should you be accommodated to? Don’t you see the self-serving arrogance in your argument? You have nothing, but must be heard anyway? Like an aggrieved child bawling?

    You want symmetrical debate, bring evidence to the table. Start now – answer the questions in bold above.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    It’s the 0.14C/decade that needs explaining [by alarmists, anyway]

    Funnily enough it’s the global temperature change that was referred to by the FAR when they predicted 0.3C/decade in 1990.

    Which is a bit embarrassing [for alarmists] given the 0.15C/decade shown by the Wti since then.

    So much for the ‘conservative’ IPCC  :)

  • Nullius in Verba

    #213,

    “Who cares what you *think*?”

    Ah. So is that your answer, then? That you don’t care that anyone considers the science to be broken, and you’re quite happy for the opposition to continue? Excellent! I won’t worry about it then. You’re clearly not serious about it.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    It’s easy to explain: the RSS/UAH use essentially the same methodology and it is biased cool. This pulls the composite WfT average down.

    The best quality reconstructions we have (land surface) show warming *well above* the ~2C/decade estimate.

    Please, do explain.

  • BBD

    nullius

    I’m waiting for you to make some kind of a case here. Anything is better than nothing. Being evasive as above is *worse* than nothing.

    Now, do you have a substantive argument, or is it just the usual hollow booming?

    If you want me, or anyone, to care what you think, you need to give us reasons. You haven’t, so we don’t.

    It really is entirely up to the ‘sceptics’ to extract themselves from the laughing stock, wipe off the rotten tomato and *make a solid argument*.

    Otherwise: ha ha ha – splat!

  • BBD

    Once again:

    Which papers have been withdrawn as a result of this file being released to the public? Outside of CRU, which pillars of “˜climate science’ have fallen as a result?

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    You stick with your cherry-picking, not-up-to-date and ‘guess-work enhanced’ land temperatures.

    I’ll go with the IPCC choice of metric -

    IPCC predicts 0.3C/decade. Reality shows 0.15C/decade.

    So,

    You’re a cherry-picking alarmist,

    The IPCC is wrong, and

    I’m a realist :)

  • BBD

    Eh? AR4 says ~0.2C/decade for the next few, not 0.3C. NOAA land only trend is 0.27C/decade too, btw.

    I don’t really understand your comment. I asked you to *explain* a surface warming trend of 0.27 – 0.28C/decade over the last three decades. You haven’t. 

    How does anything I’ve said make me a ‘cherry picker’ (lie) – never mind an ‘alarmist’ (strawman).

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    BTW your link about ‘biasing cool’ says precisely nothing about the TLT measurements used in the Wti.

    You need to watch out for that kind of thing happening. It’s called ‘confirmation bias’ and afflicts fundamentalists quite badly.

  • BBD

    And UAH/RSS still looks as though it is biased low…

  • BBD

    The analysis reveals that the UAH TMT product has a positive bias of
    0.051 ± 0.031 in the warm target factor that artificially reduces the
    global TMT trend b
    y 0.042 K decade−1 for 1979″“2009. Accounting for this bias increases the global UAH TMT trend from 0.038 to 0.080 K decade−1,
    effectively eliminating the trend difference between UAH and RSS and
    decreasing the trend difference between UAH and NOAA by 47%. This warm
    target factor bias directly affects the UAH lower tropospheric (TLT)
    product
    and tropospheric temperature trends derived from a combination
    of TMT and lower stratospheric (TLS) channels.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    You evidently haven’t been reading attentively (if at all).

    My first comment @202 was about the Wti, it being 0.14 since 1979 and it being [obviously] less than alarmists like to admit.

    The important comparison is with the predictions of the IPCC. I clearly referenced the longest standing IPCC prediction of 0.3C/decade from the FAR. which was a prediction about global temperatures.

    And of course, I made the point that reality is trundling along at exactly half the IPCC prediction.

    As I said, I’ll take the IPCC metric, and you can choose something completely different [because you have an agenda]

  • Nullius in Verba

    #217,

    I already told you above, I’m not trying to make a case. There’s no point in trying – there’s nothing I could possibly say that you’d accept.

    At the moment, you’re busily trying to fend off the revelation by an insider that IPCC-cited results are corrupted and unreproducible even by the university department that produced it. You can’t even see anything wrong with that.

    I ought to be asking you that question. The Harry file shows that the CRU TS2.1 database is corrupted, bug-filled, and a mess. So where is the withdrawal of the paper? Where is the correction by the IPCC? Where is the scientific community on this?

    Because if there is no withdrawal, and no outcry, that means the climate science community is now knowingly continuing to support self-admitted unreliable crap. Not only did they fail to detect it in the first place, which could conceivably be innocent incompetence, they are now knowingly retaining bad science in the canon, which makes them corrupt. They’re not just sloppy, they’re actively bent.

    It destroys the credibility of anything that has not yet been independently checked – and that’s most of it. We simply can’t trust them to have told us if there were further horrors behind their other results.

    It also destroys the credibility of anyone who would seriously try to defend it. But that’s your style of climate science all over – “I can make it up. So I have”.

  • BBD

    More eh?

    The FAR was 1990. AR4 was 2007. And you want to use the obsolete estimate to prove a point?

    I’ve explained why Wti is probably biased cool. Remember that it uses *both* UAH and RSS vs GISTEMP and HADCRUT3, so the effect of the satellite bias is considerable. Also that Wti is still using HADCRUT3 *not* HADCRUT4 – more cool bias.

    I’ve pointed out that the land surface temperature is constrained by the low heat capacity of the surface vs the ocean and that it is also *far* better sampled. So it is a much more reliable indicator of the rate of global change.

    The decadal average is running very high – *nearly* 0.3C/decade in fact.

    Now, if you’ve been convincing yourself that you have some sort of lukwarmer case using Wti I can see why you might be resistant to revising your views. Sorry about that.

    And you are quite wrong about me having an ‘agenda’ – in the sense you imply at any rate. I’m just fed up with the misrepresentations, half-truths, half-baked arguments and downright lies that infest this asymmetrical ‘debate’.

    Now, you were going to explain the land surface trend over the last three decades from a lukewarm perspective…

  • BBD

    More ‘eh?’

  • BBD

    nullius

    What was done with this product? What did the IPCC use it for (you are supposed to be supporting your argument, so you tell me)? How important was this?

    What pillars of climate science *should* have fallen?

    You tell me. I want to know if HRM even proves that the final version of the product was fatally flawed. Do we know this? Or did most of the serious bugs get fixed *when the product was updated* to 2.1?

    You tell me.

    Stop fulminating but saying *nothing* and build your case.

  • BBD

    I already told you above, I’m not trying to make a case. There’s no point in trying ““ there’s nothing I could possibly say that you’d
    accept.

    Oh no. You’re not getting away with this sort of slippery nonsense. Not any more.

    Try me. Make your case.

  • harrywr2

    #204<i>I suggest we wait and see what the revised paper looks like rather than assuming that it is completely wrong</i>

    I would suggest Gergis et al should have waited quite some time before appearing on television news programs proclaiming they had ‘proof of something’.

    Scientific journals are the proper place to postulate new theories and methods. One publishes a hypothesis or theory and then others try to replicate or debunk your work. It’s only after a paper has survived ‘post publication’ review can it can then be elevated above the status of ‘postulation’.

    What’s broken is the idea the ‘pre-publication’ peer review is rigorous. It never was and never will be.

  • BBD

    harrywr2

    There will be papers with errors in them.

    This happens in all fields. It does not overturn the standard position within an entire field.

    For that to happen, the main hypotheses underpinning the standard position have to be invalidated by a number of studies, ideally
    employing a variety of differing approaches.

    Do we see this with climate science? No. 

    Are “˜sceptics’ therefore making a nonsense claim when they assert that “˜the science is broken’? Yes.

    Is this evidence that the debate between “˜sceptics’ and scientists is asymmetrical? Yes.

    Is the absence of any “˜sceptical’ scientific case supported by a large and growing body of work further evidence that the debate is asymmetrical.

    Yes.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    You seem somewhat misinformed. The highest trend in the composite Wti since 1990 is……..UAH!  

    The FAR is the most relevant IPPC prediction because it has had time to make a worthwhile comparison. We’ll see how the AR4 does in 20 years time.

    So the prediction [why is it you can't bring yourself to use the word the IPCC used? Why 'estimate'?] was 0.3C/decade, and the reality is 0.15C/decade [dragged up a bit by UAH of course].

    Why are you wittering on about land-based trends? Maybe you should take your cues more from the IPCC.

    BTW Are you going back to your old habits of making stuff up? You know, about lukewarmer etc? I’m the realist that you would have the potential to be if you weren’t so frightened of the future.

  • BBD

    The Royal Society’s motto ‘Nullius in verba’ roughly translates as ‘take nobody’s word for it’. It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment. 

  • Nullius in Verba

    #231,

    There are of course papers with errors in them, the entire point of publishing them in journals is so other scientists can try to find them. But when the errors are discovered, it’s not accepted scientific practice to ignore it and continue to support them, as you do. (And Karoly, to his credit, did not.) Nor is it normal scientific practice to refuse to share data so the results can’t be checked, as Gergis did.

    And it’s normally expected that if there are errors, that they be understandable ones that are hard to find. Not ones on the level of “we made up some numbers, knowing it would corrupt the databases, but who cares?” or “I calculated the r2 cross-validation test for my result, but it failed, so I just said it passed and hid the numbers.” Only climate scientists could defend those sorts of errors.

  • BBD

    nullius

    Missed a bit: your responses to #228 and #229. You know, the case you need to make if you want to be taken seriously.

    I’m trying to verify your statements by an appeal to facts.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    @kdk33′s “aggressive decarbonization” in #193 armwaves the usual deaths and taxes.

    Nestlé still sells powdered milk, whence it’s been known for 30 years to be a cause of deaths:

    “The reps are very aggressive – there are three or four companies, and they come in every two weeks or so,” he says. “Their main aim is to recommend their product. Sometimes they bring gifts – Nestlé brought me a big cake at new year. Some companies give things like pens and notebooks, with their brand name on them. They try very hard – even though they know I am not interested, that I always recommend breastfeeding, still they come.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/may/15/medicineandhealth.lifeandhealth

    But yes, deaths and taxes.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #235,

    “You know, the case you need to make if you want to be taken seriously.”

    But I don’t want to be taken seriously. Certainly not by you. That would be very worrying.

    “I’m trying to verify your statements by an appeal to facts.”

    No you’re not. You’re an adherent of a science founded on things like “I can make it up. So I have” and you’re trying to excuse it.

    There’s nothing I could conceivably say that would get through to someone who thinks “It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad, but I really don’t think people care enough to fix “˜em” is acceptable scientific practice, let alone suitable for inclusion in reports suporting decision-making by governments, so I’m not proposing to try.

    You carry on, BBD. It will make no difference in the end.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    You seem somewhat misinformed. The highest trend in the composite Wti since 1990 is”¦”¦..UAH!

    Wti is an average of the the full series of HADCRUT3, GISTEMP, UAH and RSS from 1979 – present.

    The Wti *full series* trend of 0.14C/decade reflects *full series* cool biases. You can’t just switch to looking at the 1990 – present trends.

    The 1979 – present decadal trends are:

    HADCRUT3, GISTEMP, UAH, RSS. 1979 ““ present; common 1981 ““ 2010 baseline; trend:

    HADCRUT3:  0.14
    GISTEMP:  0.15
    UAH:  0.13
    RSS:  0.13

    The probable cool bias in the satellite records is influencing the Wti full series trend. Especially as it is effectively *double-counted* by using both UAH and RSS. The use of HADCRUT3 instead of HADCRUT4 is definitely influencing the Wti trend (see next comment – remember the KK two link spam filter).

    Wrt FAR vs AR4, insisting that an obsolete prediction is better than a current estimate is just daft. So now we know more, the old estimate is best? Come on. Behave.

    I’ve explained why land surface trends are the most accurate records we have. Sorry if you’re not a lukewarmer. But nearly 0.3C a decade? That’s not trivial. You are trying hard not to address this. Noted.

  • BBD

    Do it again with HADCRUT4:

    HADCRUT4, GISTEMP, UAH, RSS. 1979 ““ present; common 1981 ““ 2010 baseline; trend:

    HADCRUT4:  0.17
    GISTEMP:  0.15
    UAH:  0.13
    RSS:  0.13

  • BBD

    nullius (so apt)

    So. No evidence. No case. No symmetrical debate for you then :-)

    And you’re a smart chap. You know what’s just been demonstrated here.No evidence. No case. Nothing.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #240,

    Only in your own imaginary universe, BBD. I hope you’re happy there.

  • BBD

    Ah nullius. What remains to be said?

    Shall I compare thee to a bag of wind?
    :-)

  • BBD

    #231…

    #?

  • TanGeng

    #236 willard”Nestlé still sells powdered milk, whence it’s been known for 30 years to be a cause of deaths:”That’s a complete misrepresentation of the article and of the situation. The salient issues is lack of clean water or lack of money to mix the formulas at the right concentration. Formula serves an important need to supplement in instances of the occasional difficulty to breastfeed of mothers.The marketing practice of Nestle reflects the broken consumer protection system in the countries where many of the marketing abuses occur. Nestle is hardly the only party engaging in such behavior. On the outside transnational corporations are easy targets. Inside the countries, these transnationals enjoy too much trust from the consumer and they should really treat the product peddlers just like they would treat a street corner vender.

  • BBD

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats’ feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    Shape without form, shade without colour,Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
    Remember us — if at all — not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.

  • Bobito

    @ 245I believe Willard and I recently exchanged comments about I blogger going up in a shower of sparks. . . .

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    TanGeng,

    Indeed, the issue it clean water.

    The water is not clean enough to feed babies with its magic powder.

    And yet, Nestlé still sells its magic powder.

    The link is not direct enough.

    And yet, it seems we have a more direct link between aggressive decarbonization and deaths.

    How direct is that link?

    While we know what stuff Nestlé was selling, and how aggressive they still sell it after 30 years of fighting their inhumane practice, we have yet to know what exactly is armwaved with the expression “aggressive decarbonization” in kdk33′s gaming trick, which has been sold as certain, to make sure that kdk33 believed in his smelf.

    ***

    To dogwhistle that “doing nothing” would be the best strategy makes no sense whatsoever when we consider climate change as an health issue:

    The benefits to India of replacement cookstoves would be more substantial. Indoor air pollution from inefficient cookstoves increases the risk of acute respiratory tract infections in children younger than 5 years and chronic respiratory and heart disease in adults older than 30 years. Globally, almost 1 million children are currently dying every year of respiratory infections induced or exacerbated by the inefficient burning of solid fuels.

    That’s from the executive summary of a study by the Lancet:

    http://www.thelancet.com/series/health-and-climate-change

    If nothing gets done, people die.

    Yes, but deaths and taxes, of course, of course.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Besides the health issue, there’s also the security issue, for instance:

    The costs of the War on Terror are often contested, as academics and critics of the component wars (including the Iraq War) have unearthed many hidden costs not represented in official estimates. The most recent major report on these costs come from Brown University in the form of the Costs of War project,[1] which said the total for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan is at least $3.2-4 trillion.[2] The report disavowed previous estimates of the Iraq War’s cost as being under $1 trillion, saying the Department of Defense’s direct spending on Iraq totaled at least $757.8 billion, but also highlighting the complementary costs at home, such as interest paid on the funds borrowed to finance the wars and a potential nearly $1 trillion in extra spending to care for veterans returning from combat through 2050.[3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_cost_of_the_2003_Iraq_Conflict

    The link between Occupy Iraq and the oil reserves in Iraq are not as direct and certain as the deaths and any kind of aggressive decarbonization, of course.

    But deaths and taxes.

    I know, I know.

  • kdk33

    Wow.  Just…. Wow!

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    245, I used Eliot’s poetry–the same lines–in an article I wrote describing Joe Romm. Interesting, that.

  • huxley

    I also think that there really is a problem. I’m not convinced that we agree on that. I see no evidence of systemic bad faith in climate science. I see no alternative scientific argument that casts doubt on the standard position.

    Therefore, I wonder why there is such certainty amongst sceptics that “˜the science is broken’.

    That I do not understand at all.

    BBD @ 183: Ah. So “systemic” is the pivot word for you.

    As it happens, we are approaching the 40th anniversary of the Watergate in which President Nixon and his top advisors were implicated in the burglary of Democratic Party headquarters, then the cover-up of that crime.

    If one took into account the thousands of people working for the Nixon administration, one could argue that there was no “systemic” misconduct during Nixon’s presidency. I imagine that 99.9% of the tasks performed and memos exchanged were good, solid, straightforward stuff.

    So what was the big deal about Watergate? Just a weird burglary, some lies and cover-up, and other irregularities. I have a friend who to this day argues that the only problem with Watergate is that Nixon got caught and he was already hated.

    Maybe.

    I argue that climate science lacks the appearance of good faith because scandals like Climategate happened at the top. It wasn’t some grad student in New Zealand who refused to honor FOI requests, saying “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?” It was the top guy in one of the top climate research centers.

    Furthermore, I would argue that climate science is in worse shape than Nixon’s presidency because Nixon was forced to step down. The Climategate Team got their hair mussed, but otherwise they are still in place.

    Clearly this doesn’t bother you as it does me and other skeptics. But if you are interested in why we say that the science is broken, that’s why. We are not saying that half of the published climate science papers are steeped in errors or whatever threshold you set for “systemic misconduct.”

  • huxley

    184, they don’t want our support. They want to break us if they can, silence us if they can’t. We are the enemy.

    Tom Fuller @ 188: That’s my impression too. It’s one reason (of many) I consider the climate change movement broken.

    Instead of looking for allies, they look for heretics, whom they then try to destroy.

    I can’t tell if it’s a failed strategy or whether it reflects their own doubts.

    In my experience, people who are confident of their positions do not behave as the climate orthodox often do.

  • huxley

    And, while I’m on a roll here, I don’t understand if climate change is the big hairy scary deal that we have to get right on top of NOW, why the Team is still in place.

    If the stakes are as high as we are told, they should have stepped down or been forced down, just to keep the climate change message clean.

    Lawyers are enjoined, not only to avoid misconduct, but to avoid the appearance of misconduct. Why not climate scientists too?

    Likewise all these big carbon footprint, climate conference junkets.

    If the climate orthodox want action now, they can behave like their message is more important than the usual academic, scientific, and political turf wars.

    But they don’t.

  • Peter Lang

    Nullius in Verba
     
    Persuasive and well presented argument throughout this thread.  Thank you
     
    Harrywr2, Thank you for your comments too. 
     
    Many other excellent comments on this thread too.
     

  • kdk33

    Yesbutfreedom.  Yesbutdeathandtaxes.  I don’t get it Willard.  You mock these ideas as if they are trivial and not worthy of consideration – I couldn’t disagree more – and I don’t see your rationale for these unusual claims.Yesbutfreedom:  Freedom matters, both for men and markets.  It is through freedom that we have effecient, growing economies that create wealth.  It is by creating wealth that we feed, house, clothe, and raise from poverty the poor.  Men who are fed, housed, clothed, and not in poverty have time to care about the environment and AGW and other stuff.  Others not so much; environmentalism is a luxury item.Yesbutdeathandtaxes:  Death matters (so do taxes, but it’s a red herring you’ve recently introduced).  You advocate for a policy to save the planet from the maybe CO2 problem, yet you trivialize that policies destructive impacts.  If your side is trivializing the difficulty of decarbonizing the global economies, why should anyone not accept that you are exagerating the potential danger – and there is evidence of such behavior.  You have to be credible on both counts.  Yes, I said “aggresive”.  Any decarbonization policy has to reduce CO2 emissions enough to have the desired effect.  You can offer up your own numbers,  IIRC California targets 80% carbon emissions reductions by 2020, and that is probably in the ball park.  Policies that raise the cost of energy, but don’t reduce CO2 enough to limit the temperature rise are worse than doing nothing.  There should be a special category for these.  You can pick the name.  Wealth Recution Initiatives, maybe.And if you wnat to peel one more layer off the onion, how would a global decarboniztion strategy be implemented.  For as far as we can see into the future, economies that stick with fossil fuels will be advantaged relative to those that go green.  But to matter the decarbonization has to be global, so everybody has to play along.  But who would do the accounting, the monitoring.  Who would enforce the rules.  What would we do with the cheaters – remember that cheaters are an existential threat to the species, so what would you consider an appropriate response.And then we get to the central question:  who writes the rules.  The rules will arbitrarily advanatage or disadvantage certain economies relative to others.  Who would you pick to play Solomon.Yesbutfreedom.  Yesbutdeathandtaxes.  Yes.  Exactly.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    You seem not to have noticed that Hadcrut4 has 18 months missing from it. That’s why the Wti doesn’t use it. Your 0.17 is utterly bogus. You need to ask yourself what Hadcrut3 is over the same period.

    You still haven’t explained [apart from cherry-picking] why you don’t use global temperatures when everybody else does. Including the IPCC

    Your biggest misunderstanding is the belief that the AR4 projections have greater import than those predictions of more than 20 years ago. By that reasoning, the only predictions that have any interest for 2100 temperatures will be those issued in the late 2090′s.

    The FAR predictions are the most useful in assessing the IPCC’s credibility. What you painfully fail to acknowledge is that they were awful – and wrong in an alarmist direction. Funny that.

    If you must obsess about recent trends [or AR4 hindcasts] see what you come up with with 21st Century warming. Or a Phil Jones 15 years [cooling in two of the 4 series] or a Santer 17…

    When you can admit that the FAR predictions were appalling you can then look anew at the AR4 [and 5] with some appropriate scepticism.

    Also you might like to do the same for sea level rise. 60mm/decade predicted by the FAR. That’s verging on Hansen-esque insanity! :)

  • kdk33

    Yesbutfreedom.  Yesbutdeathandtaxes.  I don’t get it Willard.  You mock these ideas as if they are trivial and not worthy of consideration ““ I couldn’t disagree more ““ and I don’t see your rationale for these unusual claims.

    Yesbutfreedom:  Freedom matters, both for men and markets.  It is through freedom that we have effecient, growing economies that create wealth.  It is by creating wealth that we feed, house, clothe, and raise from poverty the poor.  Men who are fed, housed, clothed, and not in poverty have time to care about the environment and AGW and other stuff.  Others not so much; environmentalism is a luxury item.

    Yesbutdeathandtaxes:  Death matters (so do taxes, but it’s a red herring you’ve recently introduced).  You advocate for a policy to save the planet from the maybe CO2 problem, yet you trivialize that policies destructive impacts.  If your side is trivializing the difficulty of decarbonizing the global economies, why should anyone not accept that you are exagerating the potential danger ““ and there is evidence of such behavior.  You have to be credible on both counts. 

    Yes, I said “aggresive”.  Any decarbonization policy has to reduce CO2 emissions enough to have the desired effect.  You can offer up your own numbers,  IIRC California targets 80% carbon emissions reductions by 2020, and that is probably in the ball park.  Policies that raise the cost of energy, but don’t reduce CO2 enough to limit the temperature rise are worse than doing nothing.  There should be a special category for these.  You can pick the name.  Wealth Recution Initiatives, maybe.

    And if you wnat to peel one more layer off the onion, how would a global decarboniztion strategy be implemented.  For as far as we can see into the future, economies that stick with fossil fuels will be advantaged relative to those that go green.  But to matter the decarbonization has to be global, so everybody has to play along.  But who would do the accounting, the monitoring.  Who would enforce the rules.  What would we do with the cheaters ““ remember that cheaters are an existential threat to the species, so what would you consider an appropriate response.

    And then we get to the central question:  who writes the rules.  The rules will arbitrarily advanatage or disadvantage certain economies relative to others.  Who would you pick to play Solomon.

    Yesbutfreedom.  Yesbutdeathandtaxes.  Yes.  Exactly.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Freedom is not YesButFreedom.

    Conflating the two is a trick.

    Gaming theorists use that trick a lot.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    How would a global decarbonization strategy be implemented according to conservatives is the point of the whole thread.

    All we have so far on the table is Hansen, Ostrom, going nuclear, and DeathsAndTaxes.

    DeathsAndTaxes, presented as a CERTAINTY, shovels the burden to come up with something constructive.

    Gaming theory strikes again.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Our in-house Capitalista was like talking.

    There was so much words.

    It was so cool so see him say:

    Let’s handwave all this to the Invisible hand.

    Invisible hands never play Solomon games.

    Or when they do, it’s never arbitrary.

    Wow. Just wow.

    And stuff.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    kdk33,

    Just in case you really wonder about my answer to your rhetorical question:

    You are the government.

    At least for the sake of our tribunal of reason.

    Get used to it.

    Death is part of playing dilemma games.

    So, when do you go public about your prediction about deaths in California?

  • BBD

    Anteros

    You seem not to have noticed that Hadcrut4 has 18 months missing from it. That’s why the Wti doesn’t use it.

    I noticed. And I knew somebody would try to make an ‘argument’ out of it – see # 196. The reason why Wti doesn’t use CRUTEM4 is irrelevant to the *effect* not using it has on the Wti 30 year trend. That’s what we need to think about when evaluating how useful Wti is (not at all, basically; IMO Clark should scrap it or make it strictly like for like: NOAA; GISTEMP; HADCRUT4 only).

    Your biggest misunderstanding is the belief that the AR4 projections have greater import than those predictions of more than 20 years ago.

    The misunderstanding here is that the advances in computer modelling (hardware and software) over twenty-five years are irrelevant. Also advances in all other areas of climate science and related fields. Think about it. You are arguing that progress is irrelevant. In fact you go even beyond that; you argue that by reviewing the improvements in our understanding accurately, the IPCC is dishonest.

    That, as I said earlier, is daft.

    You’ve also gone into rather obvious denial over the land surface trends because what they are telling you is not what you are prepared to hear. And they are the best data available, far superior to SST or OHC.

    Nearly 0.3C a decade over the last thirty years. Ouch.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    252, Huxley, at the end of the day these people are so committed to their cause that they are willing to go to any length to insure victory, from dishonesty in politics, science presentation and advocacy to intimidation in industry, politics and communication.

    The really sad thing is that once they made the commitment to go to any lengths, they immediately started looking for an excuse to do so.

    Once they bought into the concept that power flows from the barrel of a gun they ran down to the gun store.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Yes, but Black Helicopters.

  • BBD

    Tom

    But the energy industry went out and bought the Republican Party. Fair’s fair. Now where’s me gun?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    If the energy industry bought the Republican Party why are they giving so much money to Greenpeace and the Sierra Club? Why were they the first funders of CRU? 

    For that matter, if the energy industry bought the Republican Party, why did the 2008 Republican candidate for president support Cap and Trade?

    As a good Democrat, I’d like to know.

  • BBD

    Tom, as a good Democrat, you should do your homework. I’m an apolitical Brit and I know this stuff. For example, when I was reading one of the links on the ‘labels’ thread, the old, familiar figures cropped up again. Here’s the relevant quote (again):

    Here’s what has changed for Republican politicians: The rise of the tea party, its influence in the Republican Party, its crusade against government regulations, and the influx into electoral politics of vast sums of money from energy companies and sympathetic interest groups.

    Republicans have long had close financial ties to the fossil-fuel industry, of course. Between 1998 and 2010, the oil-and-gas industry gave 75 percent of its $284 million in political contributions to Republicans. But the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed unlimited corporate spending on campaign advertisements, opened up a whole new avenue for interest groups to influence campaigns by flooding the airwaves with ads that support a political candidate or position. In the 2010 elections alone, the top five conservative and pro-industry outside groups and political action committees””including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Karl Rove-backed PAC American Crossroads, which have close ties to fossil-fuel interests””spent a combined $105 million to support GOP candidates (compared with a combined $8 million that the top five environmental groups spent to back Democrats). Both sides could double those numbers in 2012.Among the most influential of the new breed of so-called super PACs is the tea party group Americans for Prosperity, founded by David and Charles Koch, the principal owners of Koch Industries, a major U.S. oil conglomerate. As Koch Industries has lobbied aggressively against climate-change policy, Americans for Prosperity has spearheaded an all-fronts campaign using advertising, social media, and cross-country events aimed at electing lawmakers who will ensure that the oil industry won’t have to worry about any new regulations.

    Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, says there’s no question that the influence of his group and others like it has been instrumental in the rise of Republican candidates who question or deny climate science. “If you look at where the situation was three years ago and where it is today, there’s been a dramatic turnaround. Most of these candidates have figured out that the science has become political,” he said. “We’ve made great headway. What it means for candidates on the Republican side is, if you “¦ buy into green energy or you play footsie on this issue, you do so at your political peril. The vast majority of people who are involved in the [Republican] nominating process””the conventions and the primaries””are suspect of the science. And that’s our influence. Groups like Americans for Prosperity have done it.”

  • BBD
  • Anteros

    BBD -

    You misunderstand me – I’ll be more than happy to use Hadcrut4 when it is up to date. I happen to think the fact that Wti doesn’t use like for like is actually an advantage. It avoids those who would choose  types of series to suit their preconceptions. As I indicated earlier, the highest trend relevant to the FAR predictions is UAH.

    I’m happy to wait and see about AR4, but just dismissing earlier predictions because ‘models have improved’ is deceptive. The reasons why FAR predictions were so wrong is definitely worth investigating. Otherwise it’ll be like the US Geo’ survey saying every ten years ‘We know what we’re doing now, oil will run out in 30 years time’. They started doing that in the (19) 20′s.

    I happen to think the reasons the IPCC got their predictions so wrong 22 years ago are still valid today, so AR4 projections need to be treated with the same caution. I hope you don’t think it was just chance that led the (global) temperature trend to be outside the given range of uncertainty in the direction of false alarm.?

    If you want to insist that land only trends are most accurate or most important, you’re going to have to explain why the IPCC doesn’t agree with you. If anyone else chose to insist on such a thing you’d be all strident and shouty -  back it up! Where’s your link! Cite the IPCC!

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, you may be an apolitical Brit, but you don’t know what’s going on here any  more than most Yanks know what’s going on in your country.And even apolitical Brits can be fools if they contribute towards making climate change a partisan issue. Are you also writing checks to Marc Morano?

  • Jeffn

    To underscore tom’s point, the tea party has existed for less than 25% of the time that the concerned have been pushing policy that nobody wants and Citizens United for less than 10%. To blame either is wishfull thinking from the cocoon.
    So you can either search for more excuses or develop
    Policies somebody wants.
    Conservatives suggest advocating for energy sources that produce the most energy at the lowest cost with the least emissions. This technology exists, but the concerned don’t want it for the most part. Conservatives ( and, frankly, they are not alone) will not agree to policies that demand use of sources that produce the least amount of energy at the highest cost. This is because those policies have a very real cost to people and because they don’t do what you think they will.

  • BBD

    Tom

    1/. Which facts and figures do you dispute in the quote? (Provided your references).

    2/.

    And even apolitical Brits can be fools if they contribute towards making climate change a partisan issue.

    And:

    at the end of the day these people are so committed to their cause that they are willing to go to any length to insure victory, from dishonesty
    in politics, science presentation and advocacy to intimidation in industry, politics and communication.

    Get stuffed, Tom (it’s an Eliot reference. Partly).

  • huxley

    Between 1998 and 2010, the oil-and-gas industry gave 75 percent of its $284 million in political contributions to Republicans.

    Gosh, that sounds scary! But let’s break it down — per annum and per party that works out:

    Total: $23.67 mil
    Republicans @ 75%: $17.75 mil
    Democrats @ 25%: $5.92 mil

    Keep in mind these numbers are for political contributions across the board, not just one particular race or state.

    Does BBD or anyone here believe that the Republican Party can be bought for $18 mil or the Democratic Party for $6 mil?

    Yes, those millions grease some palms and get lobbyists through some doors. But the notion that these are the “vast sums of money” which buy political parties is ridiculous.

    Perspective: Obama raised over $650 mil in 2008 for his race alone. Never mind all the other races at congress, state and city levels.

    Obama’s 2012 campaign is targeting $1 billion for 2012.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    I happen to think the reasons the IPCC got their predictions so wrong 22 years ago are still valid today, so AR4 projections need to be treated
    with the same caution. I hope you don’t think it was just
    chance that led the (global) temperature trend to be outside the given range of uncertainty in the direction of false alarm.?

    Then let’s see what your reasoning is based on.

    Please precis the changes in scientific understanding that have led to a reduction in what you claim is the 0.3C/decade projection in FAR (can we have a link for this as well, please).

    WRT to ‘chance’, if you are going to accuse the IPCC of serious misconduct, you are going to have to make a solid case. There’s far too much ‘saying stuff’ and not nearly enough evidence on this thread.

    If you want to insist that land only trends are most accurate or most important, you’re going to have to explain why the IPCC doesn’t agree
    with you.

    Reference please.

  • BBD

    That’s right huxley, wave it away. What about Tim Philips quote above? Your comments on that would be welcome too.

  • harrywr2

    #265 BBD,

    But the energy industry went out and bought the Republican Party

    Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virgina(where coal mining is a major industry) was the longest serving US Senator in history. He was arguably also one of the most powerful Senators in history.

    If may come as a surprise to you…but politicians of all stripes tend to defend the major industries and employers within their states.

    If we take the case of Oklahoma where the oil and gas industries are major employers.

    Senator Inhofe, Republican is probably the current staunchest defender of the energy industry.

    But lets look at the record of his Democratic Predecessor…Senator Boren

    From Wiki

    He opposed the Windfall profit tax on the domestic oil industry, which was repealed in 1988.

    So it would appear that Senators from Oklahoma, regardless of party affiliation are ‘strong supporters’ of the Oil and Gas Industry.

    Let’s look at Montana…another state where Energy is a major business. Senator Max Baucus, Democrat is the Senior Senator from Montana.

    From his webpage
    http://www.baucus.senate.gov/?p=issue&id=50

    I’m proud that we in Montana are doing our part to increase domestic oil production. I have been very supportive of the development of the Bakken Oil Formation, which, at 3.6 billion barrels, is the largest oil field discovered in the United States in the last 50 years. In addition, I have consistently voted in favor of drilling for oil and gas….

    Senators, regardless of party tend to support their major employers.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    harry, re BBD:

    Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.”

  • huxley

    That’s right huxley, wave it away.

    BBD @ 275: Earlier you said, “The energy industry went out and bought the Republican Party.”

    By this crack-brained reasoning any group that tosses ten million dollars or so at a major political party each year owns that party.

    Yes, I wave that away.

  • BBD

    Tom

    # 272.

  • BBD

    huxley

    Tim Philips. The donation asymmetry. The matters on record. The facts.

    Wave away. Nobody’s fooled.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    +1 @277

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    That’s one of the wildest misunderstandings you’ve ever foisted upon yourself, which is indeed saying something.

    I never made the slightest inference of misconduct concerning the IPCC. I never have. Ever. And I’m surprised you haven’t noticed such a thing.

    There are dozens of reasons a whole group of people will err in one particular direction. If you never got round to it before, check out Feynman’s talks about the significance of how estimates following Milikan’s oil drop experiment were all wrong in the same direction. No misconduct or malfeance. Just ‘objective’ physicists coming up with the wrong answer time after time for subjective, psychological and sociological reasons.

    Also you could study the USGS predictions for oil scarcity over 100 years. Always profoundly wrong in the same direction. There’s no need for any misconduct.

    The IPCC use global temperatures for their predictions and projections. If you want to make the case that they are wrong, it is you who needs to provide the references. Perhaps you should write to them and give them the benefit of your ‘understanding’

    Re the FAR prediction (not projection), just go to the Overview or the the Summary for Policymakers. It was the most significant prediction of 1990 and was the impetus behind the setting up of the Kyoto protocol. It matters that it was wrong (and it matters why).

    You’ll also find the prediction of 60mm sea level rise per decade (30-100). At least with that prediction the result is just within the range of uncertainty..

  • huxley

    BBD: I responded directly to your Tim Phillips quote. If you don’t like my response, tough.

  • BBD

    huxley

    I can’t see the words ‘Tim Phillips’ in any of your responses above. I can’t see any mention of the chap, even indirect.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    I happen to think the reasons the IPCC got their predictions so wrong 22 years ago are still valid today, so AR4 projections need to be
    treated with the same caution. I hope you don’t think it was just
    chance that led the (global) temperature trend to be outside the given range of uncertainty in the direction of false alarm.? 

    And:

    Re the FAR prediction (not projection), just go to the Overview or the the Summary for Policymakers. It was the most significant prediction of 1990 and was the impetus behind the setting up of the Kyoto protocol. It matters that it was wrong (and it matters why).

    Here’s a helpful passage from AR4 WG1:A recurring theme throughout this chapter is that climate science in recent decades has been characterised by the increasing rate of
    advancement of research in the field and by the notable evolution of scientific methodology and tools, including the models and observations
    that support and enable the research. During the last four decades, the rate at which scientists have added to the body of knowledge of atmospheric and oceanic processes has accelerated dramatically. As scientists incrementally increase the totality of knowledge, they publish their results in peer-reviewed journals. Between 1965 and 1995,
    the number of articles published per year in atmospheric science journals tripled (Geerts, 1999). Focusing more narrowly, Stanhill (2001) found that the climate change science literature grew approximately exponentially with a doubling time of 11 years for the period 1951 to
    1997. Furthermore, 95% of all the climate change science literature since 1834 was published after 1951. Because science is cumulative, this represents considerable growth in the knowledge of climate processes and in the complexity of climate research. An important example of this is the additional physics incorporated in climate models over the last several decades, as illustrated in Figure 1.2. As a result of the cumulative nature of science, climate science today is an interdisciplinary synthesis of countless tested and proven physical processes and principles painstakingly compiled and verified
    over several centuries of detailed laboratory measurements, observational experiments and theoretical analyses; and is now far more
    wide-ranging and physically comprehensive than was the case only a few decades ago.

    Click the link. Look at the pretty picture. Think. Now, perhaps, we can get beyond your Milikan fixation.

    Groupthink, misconduct, incompetence… so much crap gets thrown at ‘climate science’ and the IPCC. It doesn’t actually matter in any case. 

    The bottom line is always the same: these are all attempts to delegitimise the standard position without actually producing a scientific counter-argument.

    You should know – you do it *constantly*. Nor are you very subtle about it. You just called Hansen insane again and suggested that the IPCC FAR was verging on insanity. 

    My counter-argument is that you are demonstrably ignorant of the science but strongly biased against the standard postion (it doesn’t matter why). My proof is that you don’t actually discuss the science. Instead you attack individuals and institutions.

    You are reduced to doing this because you have no actual scientific case. Nothing. A rational observer could reasonably conclude that you aren’t worth listening to. 

  • BBD

    Oh yes, and the 0.1C/decade difference between FAR and AR4 isn’t exactly a show-stopper. It all depends on how you look at it.

  • BBD

    Nearly forgot. Here’s the summary AR4 position on land surface temperatures. All are noted to be rising faster than SSTs. I’ve struggled to interpret this as the IPCC ‘disagreeing’ with me and failed. I prefer my original take: you are shouting down the land surface trends because they drive a truck through your carefully nurtured fantasy that the entire standard position is wrong.

  • kdk33

    Just in case you really wonder about my answer to your rhetorical question:

    The answer is yes and no.  No, I don’t much care what you think and would be stunned if you agreed with anything.  OTOH, I almost always wonder about what you write.  And wonder, and wonder.  And wonder. 

    But you are sometimes amusing to play with.

    But not that amusing.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    You were stunned not long ago, kdk33. But then you tried to game BBD into thinking you were rescuing him and I was the meanie.

    So, how many deaths in California?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Oh, and to falsify your statement with a more recent comment: see #282.

    So let’s recap:

    1. kdk33 is certain

    2. about a direct link

    3. between deaths and some yet to be defined taxes

    4. not mentioning all the ceteris paribus clauses for that kind of statement to hold,

    5. dogwhistling that only an invisible hand will save us

    6. refusing to take up Denning’s challenge, because, well, we would need to know more,

    7. when doing nothing is still a decision and a choice

    8. which kills people today, contrary to what he assumes,

    9. but then YesButFreedom,

    10. and anyway he was not really interested in having an answer to his rhetorical question anyway.

    As Michael Specter said:

    Now, we love to wrap ourselves in lies. We love to do it. Everyone take their vitamins this morning? Echinacea, a little antioxidant to get you going. I know you did because half of Americans do every day. They take the stuff, and they take alternative medicines, and it doesn’t matter how often we find out that they’re useless. The data says it all the time. They darken your urine. They almost never do more than that. (Laughter) It’s okay, you want to pay 28 billion dollars for dark urine? I’m totally with you. (Laughter) Dark urine. Dark. Why do we do that? Why do we do that? Well, I think I understand, we hate Big Pharma. We hate Big Government. We don’t trust the Man. And we shouldn’t: Our health care system sucks. It’s cruel to millions of people. It’s absolutely astonishingly cold and soul-bending to those of us who can even afford it. So we run away from it, and where do we run? We leap into the arms of Big Placebo.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_specter_the_danger_of_science_denial.html

    YesButFreedom is a Big Placebo. And even cheaper. Gaming theorists provide it for free.

    At least let’s hope so.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    Important question for you – why do you make so much stuff up?

    I’ve pointed this out – specifically – a number of times. And as so many other people have noticed on this blog you simply sail on, ignoring the facts and plucking ridiculous assumptions straight out of the air.

    You make up that I think there is IPCC misconduct. You make up that I think the entire ‘standard position’ is wrong. You make up the false statement that I believe CS to be between 1 & 2C. You see anti-science where there is none, and if you looked more clearly you would instead see anti-catastrophism.

    The other side of the coin is that you can claim to witness a ‘Milikan fixation’ and yet not once have you acknowledged the relevance of Feynman’s observations. Why? Can’t be bothered to read?

    I’ve made it very clear that where I have disagreements with the IPCC predictions is where they are wrong. You would do well to acknowledge that reality even if it is very inconvenient. If you feel like putting the whole thing together, you would find out that Feynman’s insights go a long way to explaining why the IPCC has been wrong – which for open-minded people is an interesting discovery.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Anteros, BBD is a troll. He got booted out of Bishop Hill’s place and came over here. He is interested in obfuscation, not conversation and certainly not illumination.

  • BBD

    From the FAR Overview chapter

    [Emphasis added to remind us how far we've come. Well, some of us:]

    1.0.3 Based on current model results [ie 1990 vintage], we predict:An average rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0.3°C per decade (with

    an uncertainty range of 0.2″”0.5°C per decade) assuming the IPCC Scenario A (Business-as-Usual) emissions of greenhouse gases; this is a more rapid increase than seen over the past 10,000 years. This will result in a likely increase in the global mean temperature of about 1°C above the present value by 2025 (about 2°C above that in the pre-industrial period), and 3°C above today’s value before the end of the next century (about 4°C above pre-industrial). The rise will not be steady because of other factors.Under the other IPCC emissions scenarios which assume progressively increasing levels of controls, rates of increase in global mean temperature of about 0.2°C per decade (Scenario B), just above 0.1°C per decade (Scenario C) and about О.ГС per decade (Scenario D). The rise will not be steady because of other factors.

    Land surfaces warm more rapidly than the oceans,

    and higher northern latitudes warm more than the global mean in winter.
    :-)

  • BBD

    Anteros

    Your… perspective on the IPCC is unreliable. Like much else you say (let’s revisit your remarks on climate sensitivity soon; I have them bookmarked for reference).

    The correct explanation is simple and obvious: improved understanding leads to improved estimates. Occam would be delighted.

    The claim of groupthink-driven error is unfounded, baseless and unproven. It is the product of bias, perhaps even paranoia, but not hard evidence. Please remember that sceptical repetition of half-truths does not constitute evidence. Or at least, not the kind you imagine.

    One would only pursue what should be a scientific argument by instead attacking people and institutions if one did not have a scientific case.

    Can it be that you don’t actually recognise what you are doing?

    I begin to wonder.

  • BBD

    Tom

    You should learn to keep quiet when you have nothing to say. Malice breeds malice, remember.

    Night night.

  • kdk33

    Scott Walker

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    No malice, BBD. More sadness.

  • harrywr2

    #293 BBDassuming the IPCC Scenario A (Business-as-Usual) emissions of greenhouse gases

    My grandparents on my mothers side heated with wood.My grandparents on my fathers side heated with coal.My parents first heated with oil then switched to natural gas.

    In the last 100 years in the US the predominant home heating fuel has transitioned 4 times.

    Wood->Coal–>Oil->Natural Gas.

    So I can say based on my families historical record that  ‘Business as Usual’ is that every 25-40 years my family will switch ‘primary heat energy sources’.

    That’s ‘business as usual’ in the real world. We run what we have until it breaks then re-evaluate whatever options are available to replace the broken heating system at the time of replacement.

    Under the IPCC’s definition of ‘business as usual’, we just keep doing what we are doing indefinitely.

    If you read the TAR closely you will see that the ‘high emissions’ scenario was predicated on a world that remained ‘technologically divided’.

    The issue of ‘technological dvisision has already been addressed by the nuclear suppliers group…the IAEA and the nuclear suppliers group created a framework to facilitate ‘non-nuclear countries’ acquiring commercial nuclear reactors and a very long list of ‘non-nuclear countries’ is going to the painstaking work of complying with the requirements.

    I don’t know what our energy mix will look like in 2020 never mind 2050. Five years ago no sane person would have predicted that US coal consumption would drop by more then 100 million tons in the space of two years.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    since BBD has gone to bed, let me suggest that Tom Fuller calling anyone a troll is, well, a bit rich. :roll:

    Harry-coal-bot at least presents something resembling a semi-coherent argument against ‘alarmism’. He suggests (and has been for a while) that the invisible hand (i’m inferring here) makes the more extreme SRES (e.g. A1FI) scenarios implausible. Paging Castles and Henderson…

    The astute observer will of course notice that  the median projection of total fossil fuel  consumption — coal is king, but it isn’t the only player in town — is bad, bad news if one uses the most likely estimate of climate sensitivity.

    Harry-coal-bot’s hokey reference to the evolution of fuel switching coupled with the deliberate omission of the impacts of severe recession + credit crunch + ageing coal fleet + regulatory uncertainty makes one wonder what kind of story he is trying to sell….

    In the interest of clarity Harry, let me ask you a couple of questions:

    (a) given current circumstances, what is the most likely global emissions (CO2e) projection? 

     (b) what is the most likely value for climate sensitivity?

    Given a+b, what would you recommend?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    (b) the only question that mattersand nobody, not even Alcopop Johnson, knows the answer.

    For a troll to laugh at me for calling another troll a troll is just too delightfully meta.

    BBD may be asleep. Will Johnson ever experience consciousness?

  • Sashka

    @299

    The astute observer will of course notice that the notion of most likely estimate of climate sensitivity exists only in the imagination of certain group of people.

    The astute observer will of course notice that there are no (really none at all, zero, zilch) reasons to believe that CS of 3C is any more (or less) likely than 2.5C or 3.5C, for example.

    Which is why (b) is an example of trolling in one of its more pure forms. And of course calling someone else a troll preemptively would be a nice offense-defense strategy if we didn’t know you well enough already.

  • BBD

    Sashka

    The astute observer will of course notice that the notion of most likely estimate of climate sensitivity exists only in the imagination of certain group of people.

    The astute observer will of course notice that there are no (really none at all, zero, zilch) reasons to believe that CS of 3C is any more (or less) likely than 2.5C or 3.5C, for example.

    Bollocks. The astute observer will point to: Hansen & Sato (2012) (in press); Knutti & Hegerl (2008) and Annan & Hargreaves (2006).

    Saying stuff is not a scientific argument.

    The astute observer will require evidence supporting your apparently scientific claim.

    Please provide references. Make a scientific argument.

    Or admit that you are just saying stuff.

    (Note: bold is used to aid comprehension).

  • BBD

    Tom Fuller @ 300

    See # 302. 

    On a general note, I meant what I said to NIV. The days of you lot just saying stuff forever and ever amen are well and truly over.

    Time to up your game, gentlemen. If you wish to challenge the standard scientific position, you will do so with a referenced scientific argument or not at all.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Scott Walker.

    Money.

    The unions got outspent 10:1 by big corporate. I wonder what prompted the fat cats to do that?

    The unions, however, have struggled to keep up with Walker’s deep-pocketed, anti-union friends. They include the Republican Governors Association, which received a $1 million contribution from conservative billionaire David Koch in February, and billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson.

    Now that’s name’s oddly familiar.

  • Anteros

    Tom Fuller -

    Yes, I know [it's pretty obvious :) ]

    His trolling is tedious – as well as disrupting to sensible conversation – and the making stuff up also shows incredibly bad faith.

    The lesson to all is simple, though. Fundamentalism is always a barrier to communication.

  • kdk33

    Respect my authority!

    -Eric Cartman

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    If you want to put your money where your big mouth is, my offer of a wager on the estimate of CS still stands.

    I’m not holding my breath :)

  • BBD

    Anteros

    You have no scientific argument. You simply *make stuff up*. There is nothing to bet on.

    I notice that instead of responding to # 294 the talk is all of ‘trolling’ my bad faith, my ‘big mouth’ and supposed ‘fundamentalism’ and pointless wagers over nothing. 

    How instructive.

  • BBD

    Keith – I’ve got a comment stuck in moderation at #304.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Speaking of bets:

    Richard Lindzen will indeed accept a bet – but only if offered odds of 50:1 in his favour! He actually started out quoting 100:1 – but came down to 50:1 in what he described as a “special favor” to me. If the temperatures went down, I was to hand over $10,000, but in the event of a rise, I’d get a whopping $200. That’s worth around $8 per year on my pension. Whoop-de-doo. That’s not really quite what I had in mind. In fact, not only is $200 too small a win to be worth bothering with, but moreover I think that his side of the bet is probably more attractive than mine. Note that I certainly do not consider myself to be a sceptic, but on the contrary am just a bit-part player in climate research who thinks that the IPCC TAR (by which I really mean Working Group 1, “The Scientific Basis” which is the only bit I know much about) has basically got it right. Yet here is one of the most prominent sceptics who is apparently less confident about the chances of medium-term cooling than I am myself!

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070309094711/http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d5/jdannan/betting.html

    Dick’s wallet might be more conservative than his PR appearances.

  • kdk33

    Kenny

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Still waiting for someone to address the substance of my question. But maybe I wasn’t clear, so let me try again.

    Given current energy consumption forecasts under BAU and the most likely estimate of climate sensitivity, what policy approach would conservatives recommend? 

     Does it matter that we can’t precisely nail down the value of climate sensitivity or future energy consumption patterns? If so, what kind of policy do conservatives recommend in the face of enduring uncertainty?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Speaking of James Annan, our new Woodie Guthrie Awardee formulated Lewandowsky’s claim in a very simple way:

    [T]he expected cost of (uncertain) climate change is greater than the cost of the expected climate change. (This is using the concept of expectation in the mathematical sense – note that in the uncertain case, there is no possibility of the cost actually being 2.8%, it will either be 1.1 or 4.5, and we don’t know which.) The result is not specific to the particular example, of course, but applies widely. Increasing uncertainty (for any sensible definition of “increasing uncertainty”) will generally lead to an increase in the expected cost.

    http://julesandjames.blogspot.ca/2012/06/costs-of-uncertainty.html

    In the comments, Carrick provides the shorter version:

    Uncertainty costs money. Anybody who is involved in any sort of real R&D knows this. I don’t see this as a particularly controversial point.

    Perhaps not all South Park fans would agree about the last claim. In any case, Eli (who I’m sure says hi to Keith) provides an important caveat:

    The other asymmetry is that there is lots of stuff to do that you would want to do even if there was no threat of climate change, which means the loss of opportunity costs to dealing with the uncertainty on the high side is lower.

    Carrick plusoned that caveat. Perhaps not every South Part fans might be able to do the same.

    Sadly, no mentions of DeathsAndTaxes are to be found on that thread at James. Perhaps some South Park fans might indulge and pay James a visit, to remind him that we’d rather bid some souls.

  • BBD

    Marlowe

    I’m very interested too – harrywr2 has raised the ‘self-correcting problem’ argument with me as well. And my response was ‘look at the bigger picture’… US FF use is not global etc, etc…

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @BBDAgreed. To me it appears to be a variation of the ‘lukewarmer’ fallacy…

  • BBD

    Even the lukewarmer fallacy doesn’t invoke invisible hands. It only requires that we throw out everything we know about CS :-)

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    Let’s see. You won’t take a bet because you don’t think the person proposing the bet “has a scientific argument”.

    Too funny.

    Maybe the truth is that you have no confidence in your beliefs.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Yes, BBD, please have more no confidence in your beliefs.

    But not as much confidence as to become a fundamentalist, mind you.

  • harrywr2

    BBDUS FF use is not global etc, etc”¦The price of coal in Asia(where most of the worlds population lives ) is double the US price of coal.

    If the economics of burning coal in the US are ‘poor’. Then the economics of burning coal is poor just about everywhere.

    As recently as 2005 India was on the Nuclear Supplier Group blacklist…they couldn’t buy uranium for the reactors they had, never mind entertain the idea of building more. In 2004 China became a full member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

    The latest news on India’s nuclear power ambitions

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-06-01/news/31959068_1_npcil-chairman-nuclear-power-corporation-kakrapara

    CHENNAI: The Nuclear Power Corporation of India
    Ltd (NPCIL) will launch 16 reactors at an outlay of Rs 2.3 trillion
    ($40 billion) during the 12th Plan period (2012-17), a top official of
    the atomic power operator said.

    Building nuclear power plants at a price of $2.5 billion a piece(for 700 MW) or importing steam coal at $100/ton is a financial no brainier.(If you are allowed to buy uranium on the open market)

  • Sashka

    @311. It matters roughly in proportion to uncertainty. In this case the uncertainty is squared because you pose the problem in 2D. I’m not an expert in energy consumption, so I’ll leave it alone. But the CS is not only uncertain but alsi the magnitude of the uncertainty is indeterminate, as I explained to you before. Does this answer your question?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #312,

    “[T]he expected cost of (uncertain) climate change is greater than the cost of the expected climate change. (This is using the concept of expectation in the mathematical sense”

    The expected cost is the mean of the cost distribution. The uncertainty is measured by the standard deviation of the cost distribution. The two can vary independently – distributions exist with those parameters for any combination of mean and SD. (And there are also distributions where one or both is infinite.) Therefore the assertion is mathematically false.

    We might get cooling – if you’re less certain, it’s possible. And we can’t actually say for certain that warming wouldn’t be beneficial - a lot of people think it would be, up to a point. So the ‘cost’ may even be negative.

  • Nullius in Verba

    And you mustn’t forget to include the costs of the mitigation.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @318Not really, no. If uncertainty is enduring, what would the appropriate risk management policy be from a conservative’s POV?

  • BBD

    NIV

    Do me a modest favour. Go over to Annan’s blog and tell him that he’s made a huge booboo.

    Here’s the link.

    Get over there and set him straight.

    I will follow the exchange with great interest, as I’m sure will Marlowe and perhaps others too.

    Thanks.

  • Sashka

    @319. He probably means application of Jensen assuming convexity.

  • Sashka

    @322. I don’t know. First of all, I’m not conservative. More importantly, I didn’t solve this problem yet. I know it may be hard to accept but some questions don’t necessarily have good answers.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #324,

    Yes, he assumes convexity, and he assumes the uncertainty is expanded symmetrically. He says convexity is “natural” but I see no reason why it should hold even in the specific case he mentions, let alone in general.

    Why not some function like 14x^4 + 9x^3 – 116x^2 – 201x? Go out far enough and it’s convex, but close to zero you can get all sorts of complicated non-convex behaviour.

  • Nullius in Verba

    That should have been in reply to #325.

  • BBD

    Get over to Annan’s blog and take it up with him then. I’m sure he will engage. And you will get the answers you seek. So… off you go.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #329,

    Annan’s blog requires authenticated ID to comment, and I really can’t be bothered with that.

  • BBD

    You’re a fraud, NIV.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #331,

    Citation, please.

  • BBD

    It’s ‘reference’, in English. See # 330.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Here’s James:

    The cost of climate change is generally considered to be a nonlinear (convex – see comments) function of the magnitude of warming. This is a standard result of all attempts at economic modelling that I am aware of, and in my opinion is very intuitive and natural. [...] This function was directly based on the DICE model of Nordhaus. AIUI all credible economic modelling generates qualitatively similar results. (Incidentally, it doesn’t affect the argument in any way at all if the loss function actually has an optimum at some nonzero temperature change, as some others have found.)

    Here’s Nullius’ rendering of James:

    [Annan] says convexity is “natural” but I see no reason why it should hold even in the specific case he mentions, let alone in general.

    That rendering includes Nullius’ own judgement.

    Let us note the switch from “it is false” to “I see no reason for”.

    PS: The comment numbers are all messed up.

  • BBD

    willard

    Yes, I’d noticed the numbers were wonky. The comment I referenced above was the one where nullius said:

    I really can’t be bothered with that.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #333,

    Oh, dear. No peer reviewed reference for my fraudulence. And I thought you always insisted. :-)

    #334,

    The claim is made that “Increasing uncertainty (for any sensible definition of “increasing
    uncertainty”) will generally lead to an increase in the expected cost.” This statement is not true, because there are many circumstances where sensible definitions of increasing uncertainty can lead to reduced cost.

    Annan attempts to prove his statement by assuming something is always true for which there is no reason to believe it is always true, nor is any real argument or evidence offered. He simply offers some examples where it has been assumed as an approximation/simplification, and says he finds it natural/intuitive. That’s not proof. That doesn’t imply that the assumed convexity of the cost function is false, but it does imply that the statement about increasing uncertainty generally leading to increased cost is false, as it stands on an unfounded assumption.

    You’re welcome to obtain a good answer to me by asking James yourself. Tell him NiV said: “Why not C(T) = 5 x^4 – 56 x^3 + 100 x^2 – 340 x?” See what he says.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Already done.

    Seems that all that is needed is a WP account, secure enough for hackers to use.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Incidentally, the expression is an unfounded assumption seems to lie between is false and I see no reason for.

  • BBD

    nullius

    If you care for your intellectual reputation, I suggest you now defend it. At Annan’s blog.

  • harrywr2

    Marlowe,Given current energy consumption forecasts under BAU and the most likely estimate of climate sensitivity, what policy approach would conservatives recommend? 

    George W Bush already addressed most of what conservatives would do and included it in the energy act of 2005.

    We have full scale research/demonstration projects of every imaginable energy technology underway. We have a robust energy research effort. We removed the impediments for the developing world to acquire advanced technology.

    We still know what the ultimate impact of the Energy Act of 2005 will be.

    I would note that today is the 25th Anniversary of Reagan’s Berlin Wall Speech…I don’t think even he expected that wall to actually come down.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #337,

    Thanks! The polynomial in #336 is a better and more direct counter to Annan’s specific argument, but let’s see what he says.

    #338,

    Annan’s argument, let’s call it ‘A’ goes “B implies C, therefore C”.

    I assert A is false, because I see no reason why B should necessarily be true. They’re about different statements, so there is no inconsistency.

    #339,

    My intellectual reputation looks after itself.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Annan’s argument, let’s call it “˜A’ goes “B implies C, therefore C”. I assert A is false, because I see no reason why B should necessarily be true. They’re about different statements, so there is no inconsistency.

    That B is not necessary does not entail that A is false.

    Latin lovers will note that this trick is a non sequitur, not an “inconsistency”, and that “there is no inconsistency” is a red herring, which is a kind of ignoratio elenchi.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard
  • Peter Lang

    Marlowe Johnson asks:

    @299″In the interest of clarity Harry, let me ask you a couple of questions:
    (a) given current circumstances, what is the most likely global emissions (CO2e) projection? 
     (b) what is the most likely value for climate sensitivity?
    Given a+b, what would you recommend?

     
    I’d suggest these are not the key questions we need to ask.  They imply a presumption about the consequences of CO2 emissions.  But the premise about the relationship between CO2 emissions and damages has not been established.  There are enormous uncertainties.
     
    I think the key question is not about how much CO2 emissions will rise, what the CO2 concentrations may be in the future, or what the average global temperature may be, but what are the consequences ““ damage costs versus CO2 concentration.  I’d suggest the key questions are:
     

    What is the consequence?  (what is the damage function)?
     

    What effect will CO2 taxes and ETS have on the climate and sea levels?
     

    How do you know what effect CO2 tax and ETS will have on the climate and sea levels?  (What’s the evidence and what is the uncertainty as to whether these policy instruments will have the effect the proponents would have us believe)?
     

    What damage will these policies do to world GDP and, therefore, to human wellbeing across the world?
     

    Nordhaus (2008) http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf makes it clear that implementing a cost competitive alternative to fossil fuels is by far the least cost was to reduce emissions (less than 1/5 the cost of the optimal carbon price options), Tables 5-1, 5-3, 5-4. Therefore, shouldn’t we focus on solutions to provide a cost competitive solution to fossil fuels (such as advocated at #171), rather than on polices to price CO2 emissions.
     

    Since Nordhaus’s list of assumptions for an economically efficient carbon prices make it clear that no such system can be made to work in reality, why are climate alarmists pushing for CO2 pricing?  Why aren’t they pushing for the development and roll out of cost-competitive alternative to fossil fuels ““ as suggested @ #171.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #342,

    I thought they did Aristotelian logic in philosophy courses?

    The statement A is “B implies C, therefore C”. This does not follow. B being false does not imply that C is false too – that would indeed be denying the antecedent. But “B implies C” does not imply C. Statement A is false.

    The statement would only be excusable if B was a tautology so obvious that proof was unnecessary (as Annan seems to think it is). Then it would be implicitly modus ponens – “B implies C, [B], therefore C”.

    But B isn’t a tautology, it is contingent. The statement ‘extended-A’ is therefore contingent as well. And the claim that C is some sort of mathematical necessity (tautological) is not supported by this argument, and is, by plausible counterexample, false. (The polynomial is not only non-convex, but is also an example where increasing uncertainty decreases costs.)

    The bit you quoted over there is a counter to the general conclusion, the bit you quoted. The polynomial is a counter to the specific argument he tried to use to support the conclusion. I would agree this isn’t straightforward.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Sorry, that wasn’t clear. The bit of my argument you quoted over there is a counter to the general conclusion, the bit of Annan’s argument you quoted over here.

  • BBD

    nullius

    Why bother? You were exposed as a bullshitter the instant you refused to take your assertion of mathematical falsehood over to Annan’s blog. And you know it.

    It’s all downhill from here.

  • BBD

    Right. Here is Annan’s response. If you have a single shred of pride, not to mention a case, you have no choice: get over there and make your argument. You can see what the alternative means for your credibility. I’ve already repeatedly urged you to save what you can. This is your last chance.

    ***

    [Annan's response:]

    Willard, NiV is just waffling randomly, demonstrating again the value of John McCarthy’s quote. The uncertainty in the cost isn’t the issue. The argument that Stephan presents is that uncertainty in the magnitude of climate change directly affects the mean cost via the mechanism I described. If NiV thinks this is “mathematically falsified” by his verbiage, he has a different concept of both mathematics, and falsification, than I do.

    If he really does want to falsify the claim, all he has to do is come up with a plausible cost function (which will be convex), and reasonable distribution of climate outcomes, such that increasing the uncertainty of the climate outcome (while keeping the mean unchanged) does not increase the expected cost.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    ***

  • Peter Lang

    BBD,I am not sure what your challenge to NiV is about, but it is seems to me it has nothing to do with the subject under discussion.    My simple understanding of what has happened on this thread is as follows
     

    A question was asked: what should the socialists/progressives do to get conservatives to take climate change seriously and propose policies that would be acceptable to the political right?  (my interpretation of the question)
     

    NiV and others have answered this questions well (e.g., #7, #15, #107, #129, #134 and many others)
     

    However, BBD and others of Left persuasion apparentluy did not want to discuss NiV (and others) answer to the question posed.  Instead, BBD argued that the science is correct instead of discussing the solution NiV proposed.
     
    While the debate continues like this, little or no progress can be made.
     
    Upping the ante with pejorative statements, challenges and assertions about a side issue, instead of dealing with the conservatives’ responses to the question asked, is no help at all.  In fact is makes it almost impossible to move forward.
     
    Could I urge you to respond to NiV’s responses to the question asked?
     

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Nullius,

    Aristotle’s logic is a term logic, not a propositional logic.

    To falsify A, you need to show that C does not follow from B.

    In other words, A is false if and only C is false when B is true.

    By rejecting B, which is a standard result of all attempts at economic modelling that Annan is aware of you have no business stating anything about the validity of A.

    Another strategy would be to deny A because it’s justified:

    Denial Logic DL, a system of justification logic, is the logic of an agent whose justified beliefs are false, who cannot avow his own propositional attitudes or believe tautologies, but who can believe contradictions.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.0389

    This logic might appeal to gaming theorists.

  • Sashka

    Meta-trolling and philo-trolling. Metaphilotrolling.

  • kdk33

    NiV,

    The cost function is convex because everybody knows it is convex because that is what everybody says, at least everybody that counts, or more precisely anybody that wants to publish or have research funds, and if you don’t publish or have funds then you don’t get to have a say.  But if you play nicely you can sing along.

    Goin down to South Park, gonna have myself a timeGoin down to South park, gonna leave my woes behind 

    (everybody now)

    Headin down to south park, gonna see if I can’t unwind

  • Anteros

    Sashka -You getting close to defining a verb. ‘To willard’

  • BBD

    Noise

  • kdk33

    Indeed

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    The last five comments were meta.

    This one too is meta.

    My previous one was not.

    As Kurt said:

    We must be careful about what we pretend to be.

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/25021266241

    No, not Kurt Gödel.

  • Sashka

    Yet another thread had been brutally willardized.

  • BBD

    Whine

  • Sashka

    @kdk: If you assume nothing you typically get about as much. There is nothing wrong about assuming something reasonable. For example, convexity of the cost function in the right tail seems quite reasonable to me. For example, I find it very plausible that 10C warming will cost more than twice that of 5C warming. However precisely nothing follows from this observation unless we can calculate pdf – which we cannot.

    In addition, there is no indication that cost function will be convex for small or moderate warming. In fact, it’s not certain that there is any cost of a small warming.

  • harrywr2

    @Marlowe,”Most Likely CO2 projections”Somewhere between the IPCC A1B and A1T IPCC scenarios would be my best estimate. The IPCC did not assign probabilities to the scenario’s. A1B looks worse the A1F in the early years but peaks sooner and then declines.I’m pretty sure Joe Romm has written extensively that the ‘short term’ emissions are worse then the AIF(worst case) emissions scenarios which is what the AIB scenario projected.The emissions scenario’s were done in 2007 prior to the last big spike in coal and oil prices. Nuclear and Wind coupled with Hydro competes well against coal for baseload with a coal price of about $80/ton. There also has been a lot written about ‘fossil fuel lock-in’. India and China are both going to need at least 1,000 GW of fossil fueled peakers unless someone works out cheap energy storage Peakers only run 20-30% of the time. There is a big difference in emissions if China’s 900+ GW of coal fired plant is running 90% of the time or 20% of the time.Nuclear and Hydro have long lead times. If I’m Mr Central Planner in China I’m going to build 1,000GW of fossil and run them as baseload while my nuclear + hydro coupled with wind gradually shifts my fossil plants from baseload to peakers.I figure China’s planned 400GW of Hydro plus 200GW of wind will give them about 300GW of reliable base load. It will be 2020 until they manage to spin up nuclear building to the point of adding 24 GW/year of nuclear. 24 GW of nuclear replaces roughly 100 million tons of coal. They were at a build rate of 8 1GW plants/year prior to Fukushima. They have plans to modify the AP1000 to 1.5 GW. So doubling the build rate and increasing the capacity of each build by 50% in the next 8 years is humanly and technically doable and it also makes economic sense.India currently has coal production of about 475 million tons and is projected by India to reach 625 million tons by 2017. So a growth rate of about 30 million tons per year.(not including imports). Their current nuclear build rate is four 700MW plants per year for 2.8GW per year. 2.8 GW replaces about 11 million tons of coal. So they either need to quadruple their build rate or double the size of the plants and double their build rate. Quadrupling their build rate by  2020 probably isn’t possible due to human capital issues. Doubling the size of the plants and doubling the build rate is possible.If I accept CO2 emissions is a ‘long term’ problem that requires ‘long term’ solutions then I don’t see any inconsistency between what is actually happening and what needs to happen.Of course if Greenpeace is ultimately successful in their effort to stamp out nuclear power then all bets are off.

  • harrywr2

    @Marlowe,

    “Most Likely CO2 projections”

    Somewhere between the IPCC A1B and
    A1T IPCC scenarios would be my best estimate.

    The IPCC did not assign probabilities to the scenario’s. A1B looks worse then A1F in the early
    years but peaks sooner and then declines

    .I’m pretty sure Joe Romm has
    written extensively that the “˜short term’ emissions are worse then the AIF(worst case) emissions scenarios which is what the AIB scenario projected.Joe Romm probably left out the part of ‘that is what A1B projected

    The emissions scenario’s were done in 2007 prior to the last big spike in coal and oil prices.

    Nuclear and Wind coupled with Hydro competes well against coal for baseload with a coal price of about $80/ton. There also has been a lot written about “˜fossil fuel lock-in’.

    India and China are both going to need at least 1,000 GW of fossil fueled peakers unless someone works out cheap energy storage Peakers
    only run 20-30% of the time. There is a big difference in emissions if China’s 900+ GW of coal fired plant is running 90% of the time or 20% of the time.

    Nuclear and Hydro have long lead times. If I’m Mr Central Planner in China I’m going to build 1,000GW of fossil and run them as baseload while my nuclear + hydro coupled with wind gradually shifts my fossil plants from baseload to peakers.

    I figure China’s planned 400GW of Hydro plus 200GW of wind will give them about 300GW of reliable base load.It will be 2020 until they manage to spin up nuclear building to the point of adding 24 GW/year of nuclear. 24 GW of nuclear replaces roughly 100 million tons of coal. They were at a build rate of 8 1GW plants/year prior to Fukushima. They have plans to modify the AP1000 to 1.5 GW. So doubling the build rate and increasing the capacity of each build by 50% in the next 8 years is humanly and technically doable and it also makes economic sense.

    India currently has coal production of
    about 475 million tons and is projected by India to reach 625 million tons by 2017. So a growth rate of about 30 million tons per year.(not
    including imports). Their current nuclear build rate is four 700MW plants per year for 2.8GW per year. 2.8 GW replaces about 11 million
    tons of coal.So they either need to quadruple their build rate or double the size of the plants and double their build rate. Quadrupling
    their build rate by 2020 probably isn’t possible due to human capital issues. Doubling the size of the plants and doubling the build rate is
    possible.

    If I accept CO2 emissions is a “˜long term’ problem that requires “˜long term’ solutions then I don’t see any inconsistency between what is actually happening and what needs to happen.

    Of course if Greenpeace is ultimately successful in their effort to stamp out nuclear power then all bets are off. I would note that ‘stamping out nuclear power’ has been proposed to be part of the language for the Rio 20+ Earth Summit statement of goals.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Here’s what meta looks like:

    “Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation” yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quine%27s_paradox

    The thread has not been quined yet.

  • kdk33

    Sashka,This is different than the point I was making.  But since you brought it up….

    The function is convex in the large sense.  If the seas boil, that would be bad.  If the planet froze plum over, that too would be bad.  But for modest warming (or cooling) I agree with you: we simply don’t know. Ror all we do know, warming might be beneficial.  We could argue weather 5C met the ”modest” criteria, but, since neither of us knows, it would just be an argument, and neither of us could claim access to truth (which was actually the point I was trying to make).

    It is often times useful to make assumptions.  It is also proper to sometimes say “we don’t know”, especially when we don’t know.   

    Unless you live in South Park.

  • BBD

    The problems arise when you deny fairly well established knowledge. Like, for example, the most likely value for ECS being ~3C. Not a range of probabilities. *About 3C*. Funnily enough, James Annan (on whose blog none of you have the balls to discuss matters arising above) co-wrote a very interesting paper on this very topic in 2006.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #348,

    I had already provided a cost function to answer that point before Willard had even commented over there (see #336). Do pay attention, you guys.

    Willard decided not to pass it along, so I guess BBD will be doing his usual victory dance, shortly.

    #349,

    “To falsify A, you need to show that C does not follow from B.”

    No, I need to show that C does not follow from ‘B implies C’.

    “By rejecting B, which is a standard result of all attempts at economic modelling that Annan is aware of”

    Argument from ignorance. Jus because Annan is not aware of one does not mean that does not or can not exist.

    #351,

    Yeah. To be fair, I don’t have a problem with James Annan. There was this thing going on about Lewandowsky, he figured out what property would be needed to make it true, and thought it looked plausibly general – at which point confirmation bias took over. I expect he didn’t really think about it. He was at least clear about what assumptions he was making.

    No. The problem is Willard and BBD not understanding the argument either Annan or I was making, assuming that if we disagreed Annan must be right and I must be wrong and therefore this was a great opportunity to train the big guns on their opponent, and try to start a fight.

    Normally, I wouldn’t respond to BBD’s goading, but Annan is a respectable thinker and I did briefly consider putting in a short comment to let him know about the issue – with more context than I’d bother with for the trolls. But I’m not going to go to any special efforts if Annan is going to put obstacles in the way. It’s not like anyone cares what BBD thinks.

    #358,

    It’s not unreasonable that you could have a convex cost function, but there’s no particular reason to expect it, either. I think that when people do economic models, the uncertainties are so great that there’s no real point to putting in any fine details, and they put in only enough to get the right qualitative behaviour – e.g. by truncating the series at the quadratic term. It’s like doing an order-of-magnitude calculation.

    If you plot the function I suggested, does it look all that unreasonable, compared to the quadratic Annan suggested? Can you think of any reason why it couldn’t be of this form?

    Or another way to look at it is to measure the cost of living as a function of latitude. Since the climate warms by 1 C for every 100 miles you travel closer to the equator over much of the world, you can simply go on holiday to a warmer clime and observe directly how much more it costs you there.

  • BBD

    Funny how old Nothing just… vanished. And not for the first time either. SOP for him when things get a bit awkward. 

    Here’s a fun literature quiz to pass the time: which delusional and self-aggrandising old man in which Shakespeare play said:

    Nothing will come of nothing: speak again
    :-)

  • BBD

    Spoke too soon!

  • BBD

    Normally, I wouldn’t respond to BBD’s goading, but Annan is a respectable thinker and I did briefly consider putting in a short comment to let him know about the issue ““ with more context than I’d bother with for the trolls. But I’m not going to go to any special efforts if Annan is going to put obstacles in the way. It’s not like
    anyone cares what BBD thinks.

    You are priceless. Given an opportunity to stick the boot into an actual blogging climate scientist who (you claimed) had made an actual mistake, you do … nothing.

    A fighting man, as opposed to an inveterate bullshitter, would have been over there in a blink. You *do not* pass up opportunities to engage if you have a case. But you ‘couldn’t be bothered’.

    Conclusion: you knew full well you’d get shredded. You are a bullshitter nullius – exactly as I said to you all those months ago.

    Only now, we have proof. And you are too arrogant and foolish not to just disappear. Mistake.

  • BBD

    There’s only one way out of this, Nothing. Off you go.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Thanks for the reply Harry. So, given current information, which scenario do you think is most likely? and given the most likely estimate for climate sensitivity, are you concerned about future climate impacts? 

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    “Delusional and self-agrandising” completely misses the point. The man is finding his way through purgatory to self-knowledge and the truth. On the way he stumbles over many things – one of which is perhaps the most profound idea in the history of Western (and Eastern, for that matter) thought. Nothing comes from nothing.

    Perhaps it is you who should think again.

  • Sashka

    @NiV: It’s not unreasonable that you could have a convex cost function, but there’s no particular reason to expect it, either.

    The particular reason is that with temps growing (or falling) a lot not only the cost of problems already happening continues to grow linearly but you reasonably expect qualitatively new piece of shit to hit the fan from time to time.

    I haven’t read Annan for the reason mentioned in 359 but your function does look unreasonable to me because it assumes the optimum @ 7.5C. But with modes adjustment of the coefficients you can bring the min to a more modest value of, say, 2C and then there’s no way to say whose assumption is more reasonable.

    @ kdk: Historically, 5C is a large shift. If you want to argue that it’s modest then it would be with someone else.

  • BBD

    If you think the man was in possession of self-knowledge at the moment he said that line, you need to read the play again. More likely it was put in his mouth to underline the demonstrable lack of wisdom exhibited by the character at that point.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Nullius,

    You claimed that A was false. It is now quite clear that your argument does not support that claim. Strike one.

    You then claimed that “you saw no reason for B”, a claim which I purport was made to back up your claim about A’s falsity. It is now quite clear that this would be fallacious to make that inference. Strike two.

    Then you hinted at the fact that your argument rested on aristotelian logic. Since Aristotle’s logic inspects terms and not propositions, it is quite clear that this hint was false. Strike three.

    I’d like you to acknowledge these three strikes.

    ***

    By now, you should get that you I know fallacy theory. And yet you profer:

    Argument from ignorance. Just because Annan is not aware of one does not mean that does not or can not exist. Just because Annan is not aware of one does not mean that does not or can not exist.

    James is not arguing that it is B because it would be impossible to take another assumption. He simply says that he’s using the same assumption most economists use. It is thus quite clear that the accusation of arguing from ignorance has no merit. Fourth strike.

    To interpret this as an argument from ignorance is wonderfully completed in a comment where you come up with this gem:

    Can you think of any reason why it couldn’t be of this form?

    which is exactly what arguing from ignorance looks like. Strike five.

    These are enough strikes to really makes me yearn for stronger gaming theorists.

    ***

    Than an assumption is plausible, natural, intuitive, common, standard, and so on, can be strong enough to justify its use, more so considering that we’re dealing with conclusions that lie outside our formal apparatus. You yourself said this was contingent. I don’t believe that Annan is arguing otherwise.

    Annan is not depriving you of your right to compete and provide a better analysis. Nor does he deprive you of your right to argue against the plausibility of his assumption. All you need is to have one.

    And no, “yes, but it can be non-convex” is not good enough. Perhaps you could try to find stuff like that:

    The word “convexity” is ubiquitous in economics, but absent fromeconomics. In this paper we explain why, and show what differenceit makes to economic analysis if ecosystem non-convexities aretaken seriously. A simple proof is provided of the connectionbetween “self-similarity” and “power laws”. We also provide anintroduction to each of the papers in the Symposium and draw outthe way in which they form a linked set of contributions.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/j176267578837847/

    but I honestly doubt you will make any effort other than armwaving with your invisible hands.

    You can have all the floor. Please take the time to learn to read, some day. And please think before you type. And try to apply Postel’s law. And consider that you may be wrong.

    So long,

    w

  • Nullius in Verba

    #372,

    I was talking about the general shape rather than the detail, but why is a minimum at 7.5 C unreasonable? Why would you think it was close to 2 C? If you fly south, do things start to get more expensive beyond 200 miles? Is equatorial Africa, for example, an especially expensive place to live?

    Generally speaking, adapting to a new climate involves both one-off costs and ongoing costs – as well as one-off opportunities and ongoing opportunities. The one-off costs are paid and then you’re done, and will therefore always be zero at zero change, rising cumulatively either side. Yes, new ones will turn up, but they’re not always more expensive than the previous one. And there’s no reason why such ‘costs’ can’t be negative – e.g. if you move from Greenland to the south of France, you can sell your cold-weather gear at a one-time profit.

    Ongoing costs are not necessarily zero where you are, and may reduce when you move, so it’s far easier for these to go in either direction. You maybe pay less for heating, can grow crops more profitably (different crops, or longer growing season, or whatever), don’t have to import so much, get more tourist trade, etc.

    As you say, many of these will kick in at certain threshold values, so around the bottom the cost function is likely to be lumpy and bumpy. I consider a smooth quadratic to be very unlikely. It might even have several local minima. Shift the average temperature below 0 C or above 30 C, and survival starts to get expensive. The cost of living in Antarctica is very high. But humanity does not live in a strip around the globe 200 miles wide. We are quite tolerant. So whether the optimum is +2 C or +20 C from your current state will depend on where you live.

  • BBD

    Oh give me patience.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #374,

    Do you actually have an argument for any of that?

    #375,

    And what do you imagine negative wetness means?

  • huxley

    I’d like to see a slower, more gracious discussion of Lewandowsky’s thesis ideas on uncertainty and climate change, but that seems all but impossible with BBD’s constant attack dog snarling and barking.<br><br>Lewandowsky has a blog at Shaping Tomorrow’s World (“Discussing solutions to our climate, energy and resource crises”) which includes the two posts (<a href=http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyUncertainty_I.html>1</a>, <a href=http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyUncertainty.html>2</a>) on uncertainty upon which James Annan writes.<br><br>Lewandowsky describes himself as a cognitive scientist at the Univ of Western Australia, School of Psychology. He provides an attractive <i><a href=http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/Debunking-Handbook-now-freely-available-download.html>Debunking Handbook</a></i> with clear writing and good graphics that’s getting large numbers of downloads. I largely agree with him about the mind and communication, though from my point of view Lewandowsky, like most liberals, is oblivious to own biases.<br><br>Not surprisingly, Lewandowsky <a href=http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyNoNuke.html>opposes nuclear power</a>, one of the few areas I side with BBD.<br>

  • huxley

    I’d like to see a slower, more gracious discussion of Lewandowsky’s thesis ideas on uncertainty and climate change, but that seems all but impossible with BBD’s constant attack dog snarling and barking.

    Lewandowsky has a blog at Shaping Tomorrow’s World (“Discussing solutions to our cimate, energy and resource crises”) which includes the two posts (1, 2) on uncertainty upon which James Annan writes.

    Lewandowsky describes himself as a cognitive scientist at the Univ of Western Australia, School of Psychology. He provides an attractive Debunking Handbook with clear writing and good graphics that’s getting large numbers of downloads. I largely agree with him about the mind and communication, though from my point of view Lewandowsky, like most liberals, is oblivious to own biases.

    Not surprisingly, Lewandowsky opposes nuclear power, one of the few areas I side with BBD.

  • BBD

    nullius

    And what do you imagine negative wetness means?

    Expensive food. What do you think it means?

  • Nullius in Verba

    I think it means it’s not wetness, it’s an anomaly. Negative wetness?

    Anyway, what was your point?

  • BBD

    The data are from Dai (2010) and yes, the Palmer Drought Severity Index is renormalised to local conditions and is presented as anomalies.

    My point was that drought – which is looking more likely than not (I’m not going to do the denial tango about this tonight, so there’s no need to start up) will increase global food prices. And increase them. And increase them. It was simply intended to make you stop being glib as at #375 and *think*.

  • huxley

    For those interested in Roger Scruton’s conservative environmentalism, Powerline interviews Scruton here.

  • Jeffn

    Get that straight, niv, he’s not gonna do the “denial tango” only the catastrophist twist.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #382,

    I’m relieved you’re going to forego the tango – so I won’t bother, either.

    My own comments are also intended to get people to *think*. People get trapped in conventional thinking – like the way anomalies get confused with the values they are anomalies for. We so often see the anomaly, we forget the behaviour of the value itself, or lose track of the distinction.

    Whether that’s temperature (2 C anomaly versus values ranging globally from -30 C to +30 C) or precipitation.

    But bravo! on the *thinking* thing.

  • harrywr2

    #370,

    So, given current information, which scenario do you think is most likely?

    I personally ‘believe’ that scenario A1B with a more rapid decline in C02 emissions after 2025 then the IPCC projections is technically and economically feasable given a general acceptance of nuclear power.

    A ‘rapid’ rollout of nuclear power prior to 2020 just doesn’t appear feasable to me.  The US had a nuclear navy prior to civilian nuclear power..which provided a sizable trained workforce for civilian nuclear power. Developing countries don’t have nuclear navies. So the ‘human capital’ problem is the most time consuming to solve.

    That pretty much means CO2 emissions are going to rise with increases in the developing world GDP with some ‘moderating’ as China reaches various saturation levels…I.E. Almost everyone in China already has a TV and Refrigerator….and further GDP growth transitions from energy intensive hard goods to services.

    I would bet any amount of money that CO2 levels will reach 450ppm by 2050. Above 500 ppm doesn’t seem plausible to me.

    Encouraging signs in India just today

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Americas/Finally-India-breaks-civil-N-deal-logjam-with-US/Article1-871148.aspx

    US company Westinghouse and India’s Nuclear Power Corporation signed an early works agreement on Tuesday giving the civil nuclear deal its first commercial breakthrough.

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/06/13/areva-expects-to-sign-india-reactor-deal-by-december/

    Areva SA (AREVA.FR) expects to sign a contract by December to build two reactors for Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd., the chairman of the French company’s local unit said Wednesday.

  • BBD

    Noise.

  • BBD

    Damnation – that was for Jeffn; we crossed.

  • BBD

    Dai (2010). I can’t be bothered (!) to argue about it. You can read it or not.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    Sooner or later you’re going to have to admit you stumbled into an area about which you are entirely ignorant.

    It is precisely because Lear is losing the conceptual glue that was keeping him trapped that he is bestowed with the highest insights. He is becoming free.

    He is perhaps unaware of it but he sees further than all those around him. And the jewel in the crown – ably hidden and shielded from direct view by Shakespeare’s genius is – nothing comes from nothing.

    It’s the intellectual heart of the play.

  • kdk33

    Sashka,

    I won’t argue the consequences of 5C warming, but you certainly don’t know them. Neither does anyone else.

    You are free to your guess. But call it for what it is.

    Good luck.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    We seem to be talking past each other. Once again:

    If you think the man was in possession of self-knowledge at the moment he said that line, you need to read the play again. More likely it was put in his mouth to underline the demonstrable lack of wisdom exhibited by the character at that point.

    I’d also vigorously dispute your reading of the play, but what would be the point? I don’t care about your pretentious interpretations of Shakespeare at all. It’s the other stuff that worries me.

  • andrew adams

    I’m coming to this
    rather late but I can’t help commenting on the argument over the FAR
    projections. I don’t think BBD should insist on using land temperatures as the
    basis for defending the IPCC as the projections are based on overall surface
    temperatures. But Anteros is wrong because he insists on making the
    comparison between the observed temperature trends and the IPCC projection of
    0.3C ignoring the caveat that this figure is “assuming the IPCC Scenario A
    (Business-as-Usual) emissions of greenhouse gases”. But the BAU scenario didn’t
    happen, in reality CO2 levels and the overall GHG forcing were lower than in
    this scenario, and taking that into account the IPCC projection looks
    much better.  
    Leaving that aside,
    I think it is reasonable in principle to make the comparison – the FAR
    projections are, after all, the only ones which have been around long enough
    for any remotely meaningful comparison to be made. But it’s also perfectly valid
    to point out, as BBD does, that climate science has progressed since then and
    the FAR projections for the rest of this century have been superceded by those
    in AR4 (which in turn will be superceded by AR5). 

  • andrew adams

    I have to add that although I have seen King Lear I don’t feel qualified to judge whose interpretation is more correct. But if Lear had been faced with this text editor he might have gone mad a lot sooner. 

  • huxley

    andrew adams: Ain’t that the truth! Feel free to repost.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    I suppose that’s the closest admission anyone is going to hear from you that you’ve been talking out of your arse.

    ‘Oh it’s not important, anyway – I’m interested in other stuff…’

    It’s embarrassing watching you squirm rather than admit ignorance. And it is another little sign of the rigid, dogmatic fundamentalism that you’re known for.

    You’re not even prepared to learn.

    It’s pathetic.

  • harrywr2

    #393

    But the BAU scenario didn’t happen

    Yes…so the same group that I am supposed to believe can forecast global temperatures 50 years into the future based on ‘BAU’ was wrong in their forecast of ‘BAU’

    That is maybe because in ‘free markets’ business as usual is ‘adapting to changing circumstances’ rather then the IPCC definition of ‘continuing along the current trend lines’.

  • Anteros

    andrew adams -

    Firstly, part of the FAR predictions was that BAU was what would occur if steps weren’t taken to reduce GHG emissions. The important point is that the predictions were profoundly wrong – the reasons are necessarily secondary. Otherwise, why were the predictions taken so seriously [and were the pillars underneath the Kyoto Protocol]

    Of course it is also pertinent to note that GHG emissions have been less than predicted – which should be borne in mind if anyone ever hears the old canard that emissions are “worse than predicted”. You can’t have your disinformation both ways at once…

    The interesting point about the “new, improved, state-of-the-art” AR4 projections is that the average best estimate for the five most likely scenarios is (wait for it…) 0.3C/decade.

    Those of us who like to stick to data, and see the FAR prediction of 0.3C/decade running 100% too high obviously take the AR4 numbers with a big pinch of salt.

    But of course, I’m prepared to wait and see [as we did with the FAR predictions] Who knows how much warming there will be?

    Still, I’ll happily wager on my hunch that 21st Century warming will never reach 0.2C/decade.

  • Peter Lang

    NiV,
    @366
     
    I am interested to understand the basis of the damage function.
     
    What is the plot at Wolfram Alpha?  What does it mean?
     
    Can you tell me where I can find the estimates that underpin the damage function?
     
    It seems to me that the damage function is perhaps the most important parameter for deciding on climate policy yet has the greatest uncertainty (e.g. Nordhaus (2008) “A Question of Balance“ Table 7-2, p130 http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf )
     
    It also seems to me that the damage estimates that underpin this estimate are sparse and very likely to be biased towards a high estimate for the damage costs.  For example, the report which justifies the Australian Carbon Tax and ETS (Cap and Trade) is clearly an alarmist document.
    http://www.climatechange.gov.au/publications/coastline/climate-change-risks-to-australias-coasts.aspx
     
    It contains no proper estimate of the damage costs of a sea level rise. 
     
    It’s a scare mongering document through and through. 

    The report states that the high end of the IPCC’s AR4 estimate of sea level rise is 79 cm by 2100, but does not mention the central estimate.  It goes further with:”There is an increasing recognition that sea-level rise of up to a metre or more this century is plausible,

     
    And further still with:

    Recent research, presented at the Copenhagen climate congress in March 2009, projected sea-level rise from 75 centimetres to 190 centimetres relative to 1990, with 110″“120 centimetres the mid-range of the projection.
    Based on this recent science 1.1 metres was selected as a plausible value for sea-level rise for this risk assessment.

     
    And

    With a mid range sea-level rise of 0.5 metres in the 21st century, events that now happen every10 years would happen about every 10 days in 2100. The current 1-in-100 year event could occur several times a year.

     
    But, there is no proper estimate of the damages, let alone proper discounting applying over 100 years, and no allowance for the fact that infrastructure is continually renewed, upgraded, adapted for changing conditions.
     
    Is there any reliable, well documented estimate of the discounted damage costs attributable to increasing CO2 concentration, or to an increase in average global temperature?
     

  • BBD

    On the day you *demonstrate* ignorance Anteros, I’ll admit to it. All we have here – again – is you saying stuff. And that doesn’t constitute a compelling argument. Once you get your head around that, progress will be possible. 

    You might want to consider the following contradictory assertion:

    He is becoming free.

    He is perhaps unaware of it but he sees further than all those around him. And the jewel in the crown ““ ably hidden and shielded from
    direct view by Shakespeare’s genius is ““ nothing comes from nothing.

    It’s the intellectual heart of the play.

    How does ‘becoming free’ and ‘seeing further than all those around him’ (both evolutionary) equate with ‘nothing’?

    How then can ‘nothing comes from nothing’ be the ‘intellectual heart of the play’?

    Have a think.

  • BBD

    andrew adams

    Just to be clear – what I argue is that land surface temperatures are the best indicator we have of what’s really happening.

    As I said above, SSTs are problematic for two reasons. They are sparsely sampled and the huge heat capacity of the ocean coupled with uncertainty over the rate of mixing mean that for the foreseeable future land surface temperatures will provide the most accurate monitor of global change. That is not to say that they *are* global temperatures. Unfortunately, the distinctions here seem to have been lost on Anteros. I wouldn’t want the confusion to spread.

    Given that the land surface trends are 0.27C – 0.28C / decade, the AR4 *global* projection of 0.2C / decade does not seem at all far-fetched. As we know, land surface temperatures have been projected to rise faster than SSTs ever since the FAR (see quote upthread).

    Given the uncertainties over SST measurements and  synthetic estimates of tropospheric temperatures from satellite-flown MSUs, there is a real need for caution. Hence my resistance to the argument that a heavily biased composite curve like the Wti is a reliable indicator of what is really happening. Again, these modest subtleties passed Anteros by. 

    Agreed wrt the accursed comment editor. You can force it to work by typing in your comment then clicking the blue < > button and adding paragraph breaks manually. Position the cursor after each </p> and hit Enter twice. The breaks you put in like this will appear in your actual comment.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    The interesting point about the “new, improved, state-of-the-art” AR4 projections is that the average best estimate for the five most likely scenarios is (wait for it”¦) 0.3C/decade. 

    I think you are trying to confuse people. The AR4 *multi-model mean* projection is 0.2C / decade out to about 2050. Why are you introducing an average of SRES?

    To help avoid confusion, please provide a link to the section in the HTML version of WG1 that you have in mind above (not the full-chapter .pdf). Thanks.

  • Peter Lang

    Interesting article by Ziggy Switksowski on Business Spectator today “Oceans of opinion about climate change“.
     
    At the end he says:
     

    “One view notes that the development of Australian coastal infrastructure, and our preference for living by the seaside, is only 220 years old beginning with European settlement. Given a lead time of a 100 years or more to adapt to environmental shifts, an affluent society will do so comfortably assuming a collective willingness to act and sensible leadership. So the question becomes whether making adaptation the priority might be a better use of resources for a country like Australia?Frustratingly, scientists are confident in forecasting trends over centuries but are quite guarded about the near term. We are then confronted with the decision to deploy early 21st century technology and today’s money to mitigate the risks and potential damage predicted for the more capable and resourceful 22nd century society.Tough call.”http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/climate-change-sea-levels-global-warming-polar-ice-pd20120605-UXVQ4

     

  • Peter Lang

    BBDYour comment at #401, and virtually all your comments, are off topic (IMO).  You are trying to advocate what you believe the science says.  You seem to have completely misunderstood the question asked at the top of this thread.  The question asks the climate realists/conservatives what they would need the progressives/socialists/Left to do to get the conservatives to accept their beliefs?  NiV has answered the question very clearly.  But you are not discussing what he (and other conservatives) have suggested in answer to the question.  You want to argue about and justify your beliefs.  So your comments are off topic for this thread.  There are thousands of other sites and threads where your beliefs are discussed at enormous length.  So why are you attempting to drag this thread away from what could be a valuable discussion; i.e. the question posed? 

  • http://www.mutantblog.co.uk andrew adams

    Anteros, harrywr2
    If I say that in the event of x the outcome will be y but x does not actually occur then it is illogical to to claim the fact that y did not happen proves my prediction wrong. The 0.3C/decade projection was for a given level of emissions, the actual level of emissions was lower. The questions which then arise are firstly, were the projections reasonable for the level of emissions which actually did occur and secondly, was the projected level of emissions unreasonably pessimistic.
    On the first question the projections were still a little on the high side but not unreasonably so, especially given the limitations of the models at time. That’s why the IPCC process is an ongoing one – so that the latest advances can be included in assessments and our expectations adjusted accordingly. In AR4 only the two most pessimistic scenarios have temperature rises above 0.3C/decade and even then all scenarios are pretty constant at around 0.2C/decade until the middle of this century. FWIW I don’t believe either of the most extreme scenarios will occur, especially as one of them has the world’s population rising to 15bn.
    On the second question, the actual level of emissions will always depend on a number of factors which are outside of the IPCC’s ability to either control and to accurately predict, that’s why a range of scenarios are given. As Anteros says, the BAU scenario assumes that “steps weren’t taken to reduce GHG emissions” but of course steps were taken – OK, fairly tentative ones but policies have been enacted none the less (one also has to include the Montreal protocol even if it was not specificall designed to address AGW). I won’t claim the impact has been significant but neither is it zero. The IPCC also cannot be expected to forecase events such as  the collapse of the Soviet Union which had a negative impact on emissions, but the fact remains that in the absence of concerted action to reduce emissions the level of GHGs in the atmosphere will continue to rise steadily – economic shocks and the like might temporarily slow the rate of increase but  they don’t make the problem go away. So in the light of all the above I don’t think the IPCC BAU emissions scenario was unreasonably pessimistic.         The conclusion I would take from reviewing the FAR projections therefore is that in the short term we have a bit more breathing space than we might have expected but the conclusions are not fundamentally wrong.

  • http://www.mutantblog.co.uk andrew adams

    BBD,I agree that it is reasonable to consider the land surface temps in isolation when we are considering what is happening to our planet – the land is, after all, where we live. My point was just for the academic exercise of comparing the IPCC projections with observations we have to compare like with like, but that is only going to be of limited use – the point made by some skeptics that there is no such thing as “global average temperature” is not entirely incorrect and we do ultimately have to consider how increased temps are manifesting themselves in the real world.  

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Peter Lang,

    The question is Denning’s:

    Where is the intellectual right? Where are Heritage or American Enterprise [Institute], or real economists or political scientists? If free-market thinkers restrict themselves to unpublishable blog posts on science, they leave the policy debate to the left.

    Finding this question is at SAT level, and the argument makes it clear that the left should not care less about the right’s silence. In fact, Denning follows:

    As somebody who believes the next industrial revolution will be easier if we repeat the success of the last one, I find the total silence of the right to be inexcusable.

    It might be interesting to know how Denning would judge the quality of the reflexion offered so far.

  • kdk33

    Willard,

    are you implying that a tax on horse-manuer enacted by far-thinking left-wing politiians was the onus for the industrial revolution?

    (If so, this thread would certaintly indicate large revenues are in the offing.)

  • kdk33

    Peter,

    Welcome to South Park.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    Amazing – you don’t even understand that you don’t understand. I’m not sure there’s much hope for you unless that changes.

    What you don’t understand is the (profound) idea that ‘nothing can come from nothing’. As such, everything you say about Lear is just garbage. You know not of what you speak.

    ***

    The AR4 best estimate temperature change to the late 21st century  (excluding  B1) averages 3C. See table 3.1 in the SPM.

    Anything you don’t understand about that?

  • BBD

    peter lang

    Keith moderates this blog. Not you.

  • Anteros

    andrew adams -

    Just a couple of things (bearing in mind that of course the IPCC weren’t able to predict many things in the future. My point being that it was inevitable that their predictions would be on the high side)

    The Hartwell group’s analysis comes to the conclusion that the Kyoto protocol has had no discernable effect on GHG emissions. No fossil fuel remains in the ground that would otherwise have been burnt.

    You mention the Montreal protocol – it was signed prior to the FAR and largely taken into account in the predictions.

    If the IPCC was aware that its predictions were on shaky ground (for whatever reason) it is surprising that they expressed the limits of their uncertainty as 0.2-0.5C/decade.

    Although it might seem otherwise, I don’t have any beef with the IPCC – in whatever incarnation. But as an enormous institution it is subject to many unseen biases (as is the field from which it draws its information) The overly high predictions for both temperature rise and sea level rise are entirely understandable.

    I’m guessing you would hope that if true, the same ‘erring on the high side’ still remains, and future rises are also modest relative to projections.

  • Sashka

    NiV, 7.5C is a huge change that will likely require significant adaptation in many places. If nothing else, sea level will go up quite a bit (typing this in a bus, so can’t doing math is not convenient) by thermal expansion alone, probably a couple of feet. Plus whatever ice gets melted, likely a good chunk of GIS.Total is a meter conservatively. Adapting to this will cost a bundle.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    Ah. I see where your confusion lies. From the table you didn’t link to as requested we see that eg SRES A1B (moderately optimistic) projects +2.8C by century’s end.

    What you haven’t noticed is that the slope of the curve is flatter in the early part of the C21st than anywhere else except the end (where the reduction in emissions implicit in A1B begins to have an effect). Look at both A1B and A2 in SPM 5 immediately below Table SPM 3.

    If you were to look at the top of the linked page, you would see a highlighted box containing the following text:

    For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.

    Anything you don’t understand about that?

    I see you are now ranting and repeating on Lear. You have not answered the question I asked you at # 399. Abusive insistence that the other party has not ‘understood’ a point that you failed to make in the first place is not compelling argument.  

  • Sashka

    Using expansion coefficient 1.5*10^-4 (which is about right for thermocline) and applying it to the upper kilometer of the ocean only (implying the time scale of hundreds of years) we get a rise of a meter from thermal expansion alone. Unlike many, I won’t call this an end of the world but it will certainly require huge expenses for dykes and dams construction. I believe this is fairly incontrovercial.

    I am open to an argument that such a warming will bring some offsetting benefits but someone needs to show what these might be. My first thoughts would be that the cost of air-conditioning will go up drastically, especially for those who live within (roughly) 30 degrees latitude belt around equator because they won’t have have offsetting costs on winter heating. As someone who occasionally has a dubious pleasure of walking New York at near 100F degrees I can assure you that extra 15F take some older folks out of commission real quick. Considering that some people have to work in the open air I have to think that warming cannot be good for such workers who live in tropicks and subtropics.

    And let’s not forget about unknown unknowns. Perhaps I’m lacking imagination but I really don’t believe that those could turn out to be positive.

  • harrywr2

    #405

    but the fact remains that in the absence of concerted action to reduce
    emissions the level of GHGs in the atmosphere will continue to rise
    steadily

    If the price of coal rises above the price of ‘carbon free’ energy then what ‘concerted’ action would be required to reduce emissions beyond allowing ‘normal economic processes’ to unfold?

    Sorry…but no one in the IPCC predicted steam coal above $80/ton.

    I actually asked a scientist that did a post at Revkins place on emissions projections what economic substitution bounding did his study use.

    His answer was none…

    The fact is that both Wind Coupled with Hydro and Nuclear Power are cheaper ways to generate electricity then burning coal in China and India.

    That is one of the reasons why China plans on having 400GW of Hydro and 200GW of wind and 80GW of nuclear by 2020.

    The IPCC emissions scenario’s are conjecture. No probabilities have been assigned as to whether or not they actually occur absent ‘concerted action’.

    If I go rummage thru 5 or 10 year old projections as to the price of coal no ‘respected source’ managed to get even the sign right.

    In 2002 a ton of steam coal in the Chinese port of Qinhuangdao cost $22. In 2011 it cost $120, today it costs $80 because for some reason as yet unclear the Chinese appear to be ‘oversupplied’ with coal

    It’s impossible to make emissions projections unless you know the relative cost of coal compared to other forms of energy…there is ‘no respected source’ that has shown skill making those projections.

    In the US ‘Peak Coal’ occurred in 2006. In Europe ‘Peak Coal’ Occurred in 2003. The Chinese have publicly stated repeatedly they believe ‘Peak Coal’ will occur in China in 2014.

  • huxley

    Saschka @ 415: I’m under the impression that global warming is not applied linearly, but that it will show up primarily in warmer nights, warmer winters, and warmer higher latitudes, i.e. not in the summer and not in the tropics. Up to a point that sounds beneficial.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    If you want to learn something, I’m willing to help you out. However, displaying your ignorance in multiple ways without wanting to address that ignorance is just embarrassing.

    Your question is meaningless.

    What you need to do is understand the importance of ‘nothing comes from nothing’ and then you can start to see why Shakespeare chose Lear as the only one worthy of uttering those lines. Lear being the hero of course. You did know that did you?

    “How does “˜becoming free’ and “˜seeing further than all those around him’ (both evolutionary) equate with “˜nothing’?”

    You clearly have no idea how stupid that question is. Becoming free and seeing further than all those around him make him worthy of the intellectual idea that nothing ever comes out of nothing. What possible case could there be for equating such things?

    Look, it would be less painful if you simply admitted it is a subject about which you are entirely ignorant and ‘making it up as you go along’ works as poorly here as elsewhere.

    Incidentally you still don’t get the relationship between FAR and AR4 do you? The predictions of the former were for the duration of this century. The 3C from AR4 is the same. Why do you insist on comparing apples with oranges? Why introduce a completely different time frame? (apart from it suiting your dogmatic assertion of the moment)

    How I remember the days when you were gibbering on about how if I thought the predictions of the FAR were extreme I should take a look at the AR4!

    Hypocrisy much?

  • BBD

    Anteros

    Becoming free and seeing further than all those around him make him worthy of the intellectual idea that nothing ever comes out of nothing.

    I’m still chuckling. Nothing ever comes out of nothing.  Profound. I can see why we revere Shakespeare as we do.

    To the question that you misunderstood:

    How does “˜becoming free’ and “˜seeing further than all those around him’ (both evolutionary) equate with “˜nothing’?

    *You* are the one seeking to equate a play about actions and their consequences with the ‘intellectual idea’ that nothing comes of nothing.

    Yet Lear acts out of selfishness, and his world is destroyed, with terrible collateral damage. That is not nothing, and it happened because of something. Such insight as Lear acquires (and just how much is there, really?) is directly attributable to a chain of causality triggered by his own foolishness. He and Gloucester ‘learn’ that they were mistaken about the reality of things and pay a heavy price for it. Their viewpoints evolve. This is not nothing.

    Insisting on a meaningless interpretation that you only repeat but apparently cannot explain is ironically closer to the original sentiment.

    Oh, and Edgar is the ‘hero’, not Lear. This is getting boring.

    I note that despite being shown up as flat-out wrong about the AR4 decadal projection you just carry on saying stuff.

    I sense that this is a complete waste of time. As per usual.

    I really loathe these ‘conversations’. They have no analogue in my ‘real life’. 

  • Sashka

    huxley: It’s true that it’s nonlinear but everything else you said is mostly an extrapolation of what we observe today. I wouldn’t take all of this for granted. However, in terms of warming the ocean it shouldn’t nmatter to first order even if it’s all true.

  • huxley

    Sashka @ 420: Not sure of your point. Earlier you expressed concern about warming in the summer, warming during daylight hours, and warming in the tropics. According to global warming theory, those won’t be affected nearly as much as other times and places.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #415,

    “we get a rise of a meter from thermal expansion alone. Unlike many, I won’t call this an end of the world but it will certainly require huge expenses for dykes and dams construction. I believe this is fairly incontroversial.”

    It’s a good point. My argument doesn’t cover the question of sea level rise.

    So let’s have a think about this. We’re talking about a metre (possibly several) over a couple of hundred years.

    The first and most obvious solution to that is to simply move. Mass population shifts in years or even a decade or two are disruptive, but we would be talking here about a move over a century. Now given the finite span of human life, it’s fairly certain that everyone is going to move house at least once over that period anyway. Given the finite life span of most modern buildings, it’s likely that all the buildings and infrastructure will have to be renewed too. So if you simply started rebuilding it somewhere else, and when people moved they moved elsewhere, just how disruptive/expensive would it be?

    We think of floods as sudden events, and judge them expensive disasters as a result, but a lot of that is down to the inability to prepare for the unpredictable. It would cost, I’m sure, but I don’t think it would cost as much as people might expect. I don’t think this scenario would happen, but I cover it anyway to show that I’ve considered it, and to expand people’s thinking – to re-examine their assumptions.

    The second consideration is to have a think about how coastline erodes and forms naturally. Coasts are dynamic, ever-changing things. Towns built on top of cliffs gradually fall into the sea. And river deltas and flood plains are created and maintained by the continual deposition of silt by rivers, where they slow on reaching sea level. The compaction of silt means that most flood river deltas are sinking rapidly below sea level anyway, and only continued deposition keeps them above water.

    We have lived with these processes for millenia, and they are bound to continue in future. So to the extent that much of the flat and fertile land close to sea level has been formed in geologically recent times by these ongoing processes, we can’t simply tot up how much land is below the 1 metre elevation line and assume that’s what will be lost. As the position of the coastline is controlled by the balance of deposition and erosion/compaction/sea level rise, it is mainly the rate of rise that determines where the new coast will be, not the cumulative amount. These are complex processes, and hard to predict in detail, but it will certainly be true that a lot less land will be lost than many people fear.

    If the change happens slowly enough, it is even possible that people might not even notice. if you’ve ever seen an archaological dig, you will know that they frequently have to dig down some way to come to what used to be ground level, the depth increasing with age. (It’s called stratigraphy.)

    The extensive lands close to sea level have all formed in the last 7,000 years, when the ice melt from the last ice age slowed. (Over those 7,000 years it has only risen 7 metres, on average 1 mm/yr, but more variable over shorter intervals. Here we’d have a rate 5-10 times that.) The top layers are brand new. If sea level rose, new land would form, and if it rose slowly enough, it might never disappear.

    Having said all that, I’d like to emphasise that I’m not saying the optimum is that high, and I’m not saying it would be cheap or trivial to adapt. The curve I plotted was not intended as a serious estimate of the actual costs in detail at all. What I wanted people to look at was the shape of the curve, to see that it wasn’t ‘obvious’ that the cost function must be convex. By offering a shape that was concave in the neighbourhood of the predicted rise, and yet showed the expected economic behaviour for large enough values, I aimed to show Annan’s assumption was unjustified. If you prefer, you can reflect the shape left-to right, and put the minimum near zero. It doesn’t affect my argument.

    However, I would say that I genuinely don’t consider it obvious that the optimum could not be that high. People talk about disasters at 2 C or 3 C or 6 C as if it was a done deal, but I do not believe we know whether it would be a disaster, or how much of one it would be. Sea level rise excepted, we can already go and look at a climate several degrees warmer than we’ve got, and figure out what it would take to survive there. Most people consider it a nice place for a holiday. That’s something worth thinking about.

  • BBD

    nullius

    Where it gets interesting is when you put drought projections across the century together with accelerating SLR (remember the major WAIS glaciers on  retrograde beds). Throw in a couple more billion people and the usual human cooperativeness and tolerance and…

    One just has to *think*. As we appear to agree. I’m not exactly convinced that popping down to the Equator for a holiday is going to sell me on the upside potential.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    Well, possibly you’re about to learn something.

    If you loathe conversations where you behave like an obnoxious troll you can ask yourself why your behaviour (wherever you go on the internet) attracts the same. I can’t believe you enjoy having the reputation you do. Everyone you interact with merely mirrors your attitude (some, like me, consciously) You will always have the same, as long as your behaviour is the lowest common denominator.

    If you stop the unpleasant trolling you will be amazed at the possibilities. It is just that you’ve never noticed because of your attitude.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Trolls often, when you talk to them, turn out to be quite nice. One minute it’s all “when will you WAKE UP to the fact that your STINKING LIBERAL MANURE has DESTROYED THIS COUNTRY” and the next thing you know, you’ll get a message saying, “Sorry I was testy, I just got stuck in traffic on my way back from the garden centre.” It’s all about humanisation, which is the big conundrum facing this amendment ““ people behave badly online because they feel liberated, and they feel liberated because it’s virtual. Our standards of courtesy are bound to our corporeal selves; freed from one we’re freed from the other. Calling trolls “trolls” probably doesn’t help. We should call them rude people.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jun/12/what-is-an-internet-troll

  • BBD

    Anteros

    an obnoxious troll [...] Everyone you interact with merely mirrors your attitude (some, like me, consciously)

    Here’s an interesting exercise: count up the abusive terms directed at me in your comments then compare and contrast the language I use in mine. You might learn something. Namely that, as usual, you are wrong.

    You have failed to substantiate any of your assertions on this thread, and you have discredited yourself in the process. Nice work.

  • BBD

    Good evening, willard. More tea?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    The atmosphere of hospitality is something very intangible, and yet nothing is more actually felt””or missed. There are certain houses that seem to radiate warmth like an open wood fire, there are others that suggest an arrival by wireless at the North Pole, even though a much brighter actual fire may be burning on the hearth in the drawing-room of the second than of the first. Some people have the gift of hospitality; others whose intentions are just as kind and whose houses are perfection in luxury of appointments, seem to petrify every approach. Such people appearing at a picnic color the entire scene with the blue light of their austerity. Such people are usually not masters, but slaves, of etiquette. Their chief concern is whether this is correct, or whether that is properly done, or is this person or that such an one as they care to know? They seem, like Hermione (Don Marquis’s heroine), to be anxiously asking themselves, “Have I failed to-day, or have I not?”

    Introspective people who are fearful of others, fearful of themselves, are never successfully popular hosts or hostesses. If you for instance, are one of these, if you are really afraid of knowing some one who might some day prove unpleasant, if you are such a snob that you can’t take people at their face value, then why make the effort to bother with people at all? Why not shut your front door tight and pull down the blinds and, sitting before a mirror in your own drawing-room, order tea for two?

    http://www.bartleby.com/95/13.html

  • Peter Lang

    Nullius in Verba,Did you see my post addressed to you at #400.  It is regarding the damage function.  Also one at #404.

  • Peter Lang

    Nullus in Verba,You said:”we can’t simply tot up how much land is below the 1 metre elevation line”The land below 1 m elevation accounts for 0.1% of world population and 0.1% of output (Figure 7-5, p145, http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf ).

  • Peter Lang

    Sashka
    #416
     
    “but it [a meter sea level rise] will certainly require huge expenses for dykes and dams construction. I believe this is fairly incontrovercial.”
     
    Please quantify “huge”.  This is what is highly controversial because, as far as I know, there are no proper estimates of the net damage costs.  So we are left using adjectives like “huge”.  To a conservative, this is just nonsense, spin, scaremongering, alarmism “¦ pick your own adjective.
     
    In you own words:
     
    “but someone needs to show what these [damage costs] might be” 
    Actually we need good estimates for the discounted net costs over a 100 year period.  We need a proper basis of estimate like engineers and quantity surveyors do, and then properly discounted over time allowing for the normal replacement and upgrade cycle and our demonstrated ability to adapt.
     
    The rest of the comment is assertion and scaremongering.  Moe people die from cold than from heat.  A simple genealogical study by an economist of his family tree dating back to 1500 shows that 70% of his ancestors deaths occurred in winter.
     
    Let’s no forget the unknown unknowns about benefits of a warmer planet.  Big picture, the geological record shows that life thrives when the planet is warmer and struggles when colder. It also shows we are in an unusually cold period.  This is only the third “˜coldhouse’ phase since multi-cell life began to flourish, 550 million years ago.  For 75% of that period there has been no ice at the poles, demonstrating that the planet’s normal operating temperature is much warmer than now.  The climate is more stable when there is no ice at the poles.  And life thrives.  On this basis I’d argue the unknown unknowns of warming are more likely to be favourable than unfavourable.
     
    What I’d really argue for is what NiV said in his post #7.
     

  • BBD

    Should you like a drop of English humour with that, willard?

  • Sashka

    Peter, I’ll let you quantify “huge” as an exercise. Look up how much money it costed Dutch to do what they have done in the late XX century and prorate it to the length of densely inhabited coastline worlldwide. That’d give you a ball park estimate.

  • huxley

    Peter, I’ll let you quantify “huge” as an exercise.

    Sashka @ 433: That’s OK for blog sparring, but in the real world don’t forget that the onus is on your side to make the case that mitigation is less expensive than adaptation.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #429,

    Sorry, Peter, I missed your comments earlier.

    The damage function was made up, as an example of plausible non-convexity. Real costs are not easily calculable – they would need climate models accurate at a local level, the ability to predict future technology, and woulde in any case be dominated by non-climate factors. Nobody has convinced me the question is even feasible. But I think the function is likely to be lumpy, whatever it is.

    BBD doing his thing is OK with me. We drag away if it’s interesting/instructive to do so, and ignore him otherwise. Contrary voices are of inestimable value – they give us insight into our own blindspots, and we all have them. There are plenty of places where people would be more accepting of my views, but I come here because I get argued with.

    It doesn’t always work so well, and in this case they derailed what might have been a more interesting thread quite effectively. But I wouldn’t really want them to stop doing it. I often find their antics entertaining.

    Thanks for the support, though.

  • Peter Lang

    Nullius in Verba,Thank you for your reply.  And congratulations for your excellent demonstration of good humour.  What an example for me and others to follow.

  • Peter Lang

    Sashka,
    #434
     
    Funny you should ask that question.  I actually did that calculation.
     
    Bangladesh coastline = $580 km
    Levee bank construction at Australian cost rate = $135,000 per km
    Total cost = $78,300,000
    Discounted over a century (roughly $30,000,000)
    It’s trivial.
     
    Using the US estimates for Sacramento River East Levee (2011 US$) the cost would be ten times the above figure.  However, that sort of levee would not be built.  But even this cost (about $300,000,000 discounted over 100 years) is still trivial.
     
    I don’t claim this covers all the costs, but this rough, first cut estimate for the question you asked, shows the cost for levee banks is trivial.
     
    You can apply it to the length of the world coastline that would be worth.
     

  • Peter Lang

    The last sentence in my comment above was intended to say:”You can work out the cost for the length of the world coastline that would be worth protecting.”

  • kdk33

    The Netherlands is actually the exception that proves the rule.  They aren’t protecting themselves from rising seas, they are reclaiming land.  Even today the reclamation continues.  They find it cheaper than increasing population density.  Something like 30% is today below sealevel. The country is bigger than it used to be.

    Kind of diffuses the SLR scare meme.

  • kdk33

    Actually, a quick google search suggests the Dutch aren’t even that exceptional. 

  • kdk33

    And ,as was pointed out upthread, the warming seems to primarily be at night, in the winter, and at high latitudes.  And it is suposed to rain more. 

    More rain falling during longer growing seasons over expanded crop ranges with free fertilizer to boot. 

    The doom and gloom is mildly exagerated.  But people like to scare thmselves.  And some need a mission.  And some need  a lever to pry open the public coffers.  And some just want to do away with the status-quo (grass being greener and all). 

    AGW fits many bills, but it isn’t one we are willing to pay.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @431

    arguments from incredulity are boring. google is your friend. Tol puts the costs north of $1 trillion….

  • Peter Lang

    Marlowe Johnson,@431,Exactly.  Thank you for making my point.  $1 trillion total cost to the whole world, spread over 95 years is absolutely trivial.  To put the $1 trillion figure in perspectives, the Australian Treasury estimates (actually underestimates but that’s another story) the net cost (i.e. reduction in GDP) of the Australian CO2 tax and ETS to 2050 at $1.345 trillion (undiscounted), i.e. $0.390 trillion (discounted at the default discount rate in Nordhaus RICE (2012) model).  In other words, the total estimated damage to the whole world over 95 years is only 2.5 times the damage that Australia’s CO2 tax and ETS will do to Australia’s economy over 38 years.From a world perspective the $1 trillion is just 0.003% of world GDP over 95 years. World GDP was $79 trillion in 2011 (IMF).  At 3% growth rate (this is a low figure), the cumulative world GDP to 2100 would be $35,000 trillion.
    As the paper says:
     

    “While the damages from sea-level rise are substantial, they are small compared to the total economy, provided that coastal protection is built. This still holds for the largest 2-m rise scenario.”

     
    Yes.  Rather than “small compared with the economy”, a more appropriate adjective might be “negligible“.
     

  • Peter Lang

    Marlowe Johnson,@431,Exactly.  Thank you for making my point.  $1 trillion total cost to the whole world, spread over 95 years is absolutely trivial.  To put the $1 trillion figure in perspectives, the Australian Treasury estimates (actually underestimates but that’s another story) the net cost (i.e. reduction in GDP) of the Australian CO2 tax and ETS to 2050 at $1.345 trillion (undiscounted), i.e. $0.390 trillion (discounted at the default discount rate in Nordhaus RICE (2012) model).  In other words, the total estimated damage to the whole world over 95 years is only 2.5 times the damage that Australia’s CO2 tax and ETS will do to Australia’s economy over 38 years.From a world perspective the $1 trillion is just 0.003% of world GDP over 95 years. World GDP was $79 trillion in 2011 (IMF).  At 3% growth rate (this is a low figure), the cumulative world GDP to 2100 would be $35,000 trillion.
    As the paper says:
     

    “While the damages from sea-level rise are substantial, they are small compared to the total economy, provided that coastal protection is built. This still holds for the largest 2-m rise scenario.”

     
    Yes.  Rather than “small compared with the economy”, a more appropriate adjective might be “negligible“.
     

  • Peter Lang

    Sorry, I am losing all the paragraphs when I post the comment.  I don’t know why.  Also, my comment refers to #443, not #431

  • http://www.timcurtin.com Tim Curtin

    I am surprised that food gets only 3 mentions so far here, as even well meaning conservative approaches to the “problem” of CO2 will in all likelihood reduce world food supply, for which atmospheric CO2 is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition. It is fact (Knorr 2009 and Curtin 2009, see my website) that on average 55% of CO2 emissions get taken up by the biosphere, and that results in the very evident increases in world food production which have more than kept pace with population growth, especially since 1960. That means it is for both rightists and the leftists/greens to explain how reducing the atmospheric concentration to 350 ppm or less will promote the growth in world food production needed to feed 9 billion by 2050.

  • Peter Lang

    Woooops.From a world perspective, the $1 trillion is just 0.1% of world GDP over 95 years. World GDP was $79 trillion in 2011 (IMF).  At 3% growth rate (this is a low figure), the cumulative world GDP to 2100 would be $1,000 trillion.I should be more careful.  It’s still small.My apologies. 

  • Peter Lang

    Naaa.  Ignore, or delete, #447. Comments #444 and #445 (duplicates) are correct.

  • BBD

    Peter Lang

    The troubling gap in your analysis is that is appears to deal with a one-off rise in MSL of ~1m over ~1 century. That’s not what’s being argued by the specialists. They say that there will be a mixed contribution from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). The relative contributions from each are still uncertain, but the general view is that once fully under way, the discharge of ice will be unstoppable as it is driven by ice sheet dynamics (with gravity dominant over all). 

    MSL will carry on rising. You can argue a conservative ~1m/century or you can argue more, but what you can’t do is  argue that ‘the cost’ will be some roughly fixed amount. The cost will continue to rise as MSL continues to rise. The mainstream (and plausible) argument is that ever-increasing temperatures and ice-sheet dynamics combine to produce an accelerating rise in MSL from the mid-C21st.

    The port infrastructure supporting global trade will be remorselessly inundated, decade after decade. The coastal cities of the world likewise, along with the deltas and lowlands. The constant, endless retreat inland, throwing up temporary infrastructure all the while will be non-trivial. Consider the cost, logistics and the human problems of millions trying to relocate onto land already occupied by established populations.  

    Consider the effects on world trade.

    Meanwhile the temperate mid-latitudes where much of the world’s food production is done are being subjected to steadily intensifying drought with concomitant stress on agriculture and its effects on global food prices and ultimately, availability.

    Perhaps this sketch will help you see why it’s possible to find the treatment of cost you outline above complacent to the point of implausibility.

  • Peter Lang

    BBD,
     
    There are many predictions about rate of sea level rises (and sudden rises) and many calculations of the damage costs.  The actual rates are far less than the IPCC AR4 projections.  You’ve talked in alarmist tones about extreme high end possibilities and about the consequences of them.  But, like so many alarmists, you have not quantified the consequences (in $). 
     
    Richard Tol has been doing this for at least two decades and refining his estimates along the way.  (I believe they are all grossly on the high side, however they are much more realistic than many others, IMO).  
     
    William Nordhaus has modelled the best estimates of projections of climate change, and the uncertainties.  In his 2012 paper “Economic policy in the face of severe tail events” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9779.2011.01544.x/full , he concludes:
     
    “However, we conclude that no loaded gun of strong tail dominance has been uncovered to date.”
     
    That is, he titles the final section of his paper “Not So Dismal Conclusions“
     
    So I find your arguments entirely unpersuasive.
     

  • BBD

    Peter Lang

    The actual rates are far less than the IPCC AR4 projections.

    Wrong. The actual rates are at the upper bound of AR4 projections. And this is very early days. Give it time. This kind of misinformation/strawman combo undermines your position. The AR4 projections are flawed and conservative (you can find out why – see link to Church et al. (2011)a at bottom of linked page).

    Do we listen to Tol and Nordhaus or to the actual experts on glacier dynamics etc?

    You ignored the point that SLR *doesn’t stop* magically at the end of the century. You ignored drought projections (Dai 2010).

    I find your arguments unpersuasive.

  • BBD

    I’m not sure if you know, but this blog has an automated spam filter that will grab your comments if they include more than one link. So you have to work around it as best you can:

    Here’s the link to Dai (2010) Drought under global warming: a review.

    See # 423 for Katz & Grae Worster (2010) Stability of ice-sheet grounding lines.

  • Colin Davidson

    BBD said:”MSL will carry on rising. You can argue a conservative ~1m/century or you can argue more…” 1m/century is NOT conservative. It is an extreme prediction. Remember the IPCC prediction was 17 to 75cm. Currently the average, unchanged for the last 20 years,is 3mm/yr, or about 30cm/century. [And note well, you cannot make predictions on a short run of years, or cherry pick the start and end dates ( a common ploy). You need a minimum of 18.6 years of observations, and preferably double that, to get any reliable indication of sea level trend.]The recent work by the NSW expert, analysing the very long term (ie the best data) records from Sydney, Wellington and Fremantle found a DECREASING rate of rise. Many other sea level experts are saying the same thing. And they are all scathing about the cherry picking of short-run records.Then we have alarmist climate “scientists” (the same ones touting the unscientific “ocean acidification” slogan) who postulate that IF (and its a big if) a moderate increase in CO2 causes temperature to go through the roof, and IF that causes massive ice sheet break up (another big if) then sea levels might rise by a very large amount.Well, they have been making these wild predictions for 30 years. And so far, not one of them has come true. Not even close. Not the temperature, not the sea levels.  The time to start doing something about the sea, is when it becomes a problem. At present it is not and shows no signs of becoming one.

  • Colin Davidson

    Recent work has confirmed that atolls have nothing to fear from rising sea levels. As Darwin noted, atolls rise and fall with the mean sea level.Bangladesh is often cited as being at risk from sea level rise. Like Holland, it is located on a river delta (it’s about half as big again in terms of sea frontage).Lord Lawson makes the convincing point that Holland solved most of its sea level problems in the 18th,19th and 20th centuries using basic manual /horse labour. There appears to be no reason that Bangladesh could not do the same. And they have the added advantage of 21st century technologies powered by fossil fuels. Finally, what about the rest of us? Like the ancients we will adapt, and this, as Peter Lang has shown, is by far the most sensible economic policy.

  • BBD

    Peter Lang

    From Nordhaus’ perspective, a highly relevant tail event is rapid SLR toward the end of the Eemian interglacial. See Blanchon et al. (2009). I note this paper is not referenced by Nordhaus. In fact there are no relevant paleoclimate studies referenced, nothing on ice sheet dynamics, and nothing by Church that I can see. The references are dominated by studies of earthquakes. Had you noticed this? And if so, did it concern you?

  • Peter Lang

    BBD, No costs in any of your comments.  Therefore, they are irrelevant. 

  • Colin Davidson

    Will a warmer world be more drought-prone?There is only one reliable guide: What happened when the world was 2DegC warmer in the Neolithic? What happened in other warm(er) periods?It was rainier. There was less drought. The planetary biosphere loved it.On the other hand what happened in cold periods? Lots of droughts. The planet starved.Ask the Geologists, not the climate “scientists”. Geologists don’t make things up, they rely on the records in the rocks. And the geologists all say it is wetter and better when it’s warmer.Warm is comfortable and plentiful. Cold is deadly – if the ice don’t get you, starvation will.

  • Colin Davidson

    One of the difficulties in dealing with the current unscientific scare storues doing the rounds is that the proponents make up a plausible modelled scenario and then argue that this is the reality.But in most cases the modelled scenario is extreme, and is confounded by actual data.Predictions of massive sea level rises (above 30cm/century) – confounded by the actual readings.Predictions of massive coral reef extinctions and shellfish deaths due to “acidification” (they mean “neutralisation” but are too mendacious to be scientifically accurate)- confounded by the evidence from the CO2 bubblers off New Guinea.Predictions of inundation of atolls – confounded by satellite photos showing precisely the opposite.Predictions of more droughts – confounded by the geological record. Predictions of more extreme weather events – confounded by the actual record.I make a plea for argument from the data, not the model. If the model does not match the data then the model is WRONG. If there is no tropospheric “hotspot”, then the models are wrong. Making up scary but unsupported stories is fun, but it is not science and is not reality, it’s art and fantasy.

  • BBD

    PL

    BBD, No costs in any of your comments.  Therefore, they are irrelevant.

    No science in any of yours. First science, then costs.

    And I note that you haven’t yet acknowledged that you were wrong to claim that the actual rate of SLR is ‘far less’ than the AR4 projection. Misinformation/strawman. Bad start.

    And it doesn’t improve:

    - No acknowledgement of drought projections and their cost impacts.
    - No acknowledgement that SLR doesn’t magically stop and end of C21st.
    - No acknowledgement of synergistic negative effects (SLR *plus* drought) and cost implications.
    - Primary reference is an economist who doesn’t reference the relevant papers.

    Your argument remains unpersuasive.

  • kdk33

    Sea leve rise is decelerating, at least according to satellite data.  Some have teased a (very) small acceleration from tide gauge data, which is highly variable and much less reliable.

  • Sashka

    huxley: I never said that mitigation is cheaper and I don’t have a side.

  • Sashka

    Marlowe, thanks for the link to Tol et al paper.

    Peter: The $1T number is discounted so it’s not a trivial amount.

    NiV: if you wanted some sort of an argument in favor of cost function convexity you can find it therein. They get a lot of convexity between 0.5m and 1m rise which is what I would expect, as I said earlier.

  • Peter Lang

    Sashka,What GDP growth rate and what discount rate do you suggest (consistent with what Tol used)?What do you calculate to be the cumulative world GDP to 2100?Do you still say $1 trillion (estimated damage costs for a 1 m sea level rise) isn’t trivial/negligible compared with the cumulative world GDP to 2100?

  • Sashka

    Peter, I don’t know and neither does anyone else..

    The question is about inflation adjusted GDP. Current rates are 1.7% for EU, 1.5% for USA, -0.5% for Japan. 15-20 years ago these numbers looked a lot better. Don’t forget that inflation in the developed world is very low.

    China is 9.2%, India is 7.8%. For how long this will continue is anybody’s guess. Concievably, in a few decades they will stagnate just as the first world now.

    In addition, the constraction costs could well inflate a lot faster than everything else. I agree that it’s possible that $1T in const dollars would seem to be a trivial amount when spread over the time but I’m not entirely sure this is the case. BTW, I’m not sure how well this project will spread over time and space. The sea level will grow at the same rate everywhere so all these dykes would have to be constructed simultaneously which must affect the prices. Not sure if the paper takes it into account.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Peter,

    Let us know when you get that foot out of your mouth. When even Sashka says you’re wrong, you’re in trouble….

    The larger issue that BBD pointed out remains, however. 2100 is an arbitrary analytical cut-off that has no physical or socio-economic importance. Sea level rise will be much, much higher in an ice free world and will continue well beyond 2100. now add in the costs from ocean acidification, droughts, etc. and the costs are hardly ‘trivial’.

  • Sashka

    Marlow, I didn’t say he’s wrong. I said it’s not so simple. BTW, by that yardstick you’re in trouble all the time.

    Nobody cares what might happen in the ice-free world b/c it’s not happening. You can dick around Greenland but Antarctica is largely safe. Moreover it’s quite possible that in the warmer world there will be more precipitation in polar regions which will result in accumulation of ice in Antarctica.

    Droughts are just a model projection, no value there. Costs from ocean acidification – please go ahead with the estimate.

  • BBD

    Sashka

    You can dick around Greenland but Antarctica is largely safe.

    Read up on the WAIS. Nobody said the EAIS is the problem.

    Moreover it’s quite possible that in the warmer world there will be more precipitation in polar regions which will result in accumulation of ice in Antarctica. 

    Polar precipitation didn’t stop MSL rising by ~5m during the Eemian, when GAT was ~1C higher than the present. The water came from a combination of GIS and WAIS melt – probably with the WAIS dominant.

    Droughts are just a model projection, no value there.

    Your evidence for this sweeping assertion is what, exactly? 

    Denying OA? Denying basic chemistry. Not worth the argument.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Sea leve rise is decelerating, at least according to satellite data.

    Nope.

  • Sashka

    I have re-read the relevant paragrapg in the paper:

    PC is calculated assuming annual protection costs are constant, which is justified for the following three reasons: Firstly, the coastal protection decision makers anticipate a linear sea-level rise. Secondly, coastal protection entails large infrastructural works, which which have a life of decades. Thirdly, the considered costs are direct investments only, and technologies for coastal protection are mature. Throughout the analysis, a pure rate of time preference, ρ, of 1% per year is used. The actual discount rate lies thus 1% above the growth rate of per capita income of the economy, g.

    To be honest, I don’t get it. To me, none of these justify constant costs. I believe they should be undiscounted forward before discounting back. Keeping costs constant could be justified in const dollars but it doesn’t seem to be what’s happening.

  • kdk33

    Yep.But nice try.

  • BBD

    Thought you might :-)

    Is the wiggly blue line going up or going down at the end of the graph?

    Both reconstructions show the same thing. A clear upward trend with wiggles: 1997 dip and recovery. 2007 dip and recovery. 2011 dip and recovery.

    We can wave pretty pictures at each other all night and still wake up tomorrow with widely differing views as to what we saw.

    Same picture though.

  • kdk33

    Please.

  • kdk33

    We can wave pretty pictures at each other all night and still wake up tomorrow with widely differing views as to what we saw.

    Or we could use the data.

    The trend from 1992 to now is 3.14 mm/yr.  The trend from 2002 to now is 2.3 mm/yr. 

  • BBD

    Seen one pretty picture you’ve seen ‘em all.

  • kdk33

    Let’s just consider this an(other) instance of you “just sayin’ stuff”. 

  • Colin Davidson

    We can wave pretty pictures at each other all night and still wake up tomorrow with widely differing views as to what we saw.
    Or we could use the data.
    The trend from 1992 to now is 3.14 mm/yr.  The trend from 2002 to now is 2.3 mm/yr.” Cherry-Picking is Bad. KKD’s numbers are correct, but I think one must be very careful with something that bounces around as much as sea level does – you can’t take any recent start date (ie any date within the last 40 years) and get a statistically meaningful trend. Otherwise you can do what the climate “scientists” have done: choose a year when the reading was low as the start point, choose a year when the reading was high as the end point, have a short run, say 10 or 15 years, and then claim, quite erroneously, that there has been an acceleration in the rate. There has been widespread (and justified) criticism of this practice,  not the least because unless you take the data over a full lunar cycle (18.6 years) the data is contaminated by a tidal signal. And that’s just for starters. It is known that the PDO has a large effect, sloshing water back and forth across the Pacific – not a small lump, but 30cm or more. And there are likely long term unknown factors as well. For all these reasoms a very long record is essential when trying to estimate a trend. But hey, this is climate science – who cares about proper analysis when there is an alarming tale to be sold and grants are up for grabs?

  • kdk33

    Colin,

    You might wanna take a look at the data before you to “just say stuff:”.  Seriously.

  • harrywr2

    #449<i>The port infrastructure supporting global trade will be remorselessly inundated, decade after decade</i>

    I’m pretty sure all roads leading away from the ports of Tacoma and Seattle are pretty steep. That’s why they are consider good ports…they are in a ‘bowl’ and the weather just blows over them.

    If the sea level rises by 1 meter they will be able to handle BIGGER boats with 1 meter more draft.

  • Peter Lang

    Sashka,
    #465,
     
    Thank you for your comments #463, #465, #467, #470
     
    My comments at #444, #445, #448 and #449 are a mess and contained some comparison of apples and oranges.  Sorry. 
     
    I am not an economist so for me some of the economists terms are not at all clear.  I find the economists discussion of discount rate very confusing.
     
    For me, discount rate is equivalent to “˜Weighted Average Cost of Capital’ (WACC).  That is what we use for comparing between technology options (e.g. electricity generation technologies) at the policy development stage using Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE).  Recent estimates of LCOE for a range of electricity generation technologies for Australia have used a discount rate of 10.1%. 
     
    The economists doing climate damage and carbon pricing modelling are using much lower discount rates.  Stern and Garnaut used very low rates.  William Stern seems to me to be much more realistic (but still seems to me to be too low).  He uses an average discount rate for the US of 4.34% pa for the period 2005 to 2055 and 3.22% for the period 2005 to 2105 in his 2012 update of the Yale-RICE model.
     
    Regarding the economists’ discussion of “˜discount rate’ (from Creedy and Guest “Discounting and the time preference rate” http://www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/handle/10072/21590/52378_1.pdf?sequence=1 ) I think I have sorted out these terms
     
    δ,   ”˜social time preference rate’ = “˜consumption discount rate’ =
    δ = ρ + εgt
    where:
    ρ,  ”˜pure time preference rate’ = “˜utility discount rate’
    gt, growth rate of consumption,
    ε, “˜ absolute value of the elasticity of marginal valuation’
     
    If an economist would like to drop in and explain “˜discount rate’ and how to easily derive it from GDP growth rate and “˜pure time preference rate’ (otherwise called “˜utility discount rate’) in simple terms for a non specialist, it would be appreciated.  I am ignoring the social part because, from my perspective, it is applying value judgements that seem to be largely invented by those trying to justify very low discount rates so they can justify CO2 taxes and ETS.
     
     

  • Marlowe Johnson

    and i’m pretty sure not all ports around the world are built like Tacoma and Seattle. Your parochial debating tactics are becoming  a little predictable Harry. Time to up your game!

  • Peter Lang

    Sashka
     
    @ #465
     
    “The question is about inflation adjusted GDP.”
     
    I don’t believe inflation comes into it.  I used constant 2012 US$.  I removed the effect of inflation.  I believe that is how all these studies are done.
     
    What is relevant are the growth rate and the discount rate.
     
    @ #467
     
    “I didn’t say he’s wrong. I said it’s not so simple.”
     
    I totally agree “˜it’s not simple’.  However, it is better to attempt to quantify and make comparisons recognising the uncertainties, than to make sweeping statements using adjectives.
     
    There are many components to the damages, and they are brought together in the Nordhaus DICE and RICE models and explained in his book “A question of Balance”.
     
    Our discussion here is about just one component (but an important one) the cost of sea-level rise.
     
    The estimates by Tol and models, especially simplified models like RICE and DICE which are in Excel and available for download, and Nordhaus book “A Question of Balance”, are helpful for non specialists to understand many of the issues.  They help us to understand what parameters are most important – i.e. the parameters which the cost estimates are most sensitive to (which is the damage function).
     
    The uncertainties are enormous.  So all we are doing is trying to understand the relative importance and rankings.  From this we can see where most of the research should be placed to reduce the uncertainties.  I believe the focus on damage costs and the damage function is where most of the effort should be placed.
     
    Therefore, I suggest, adjectives like “huge” are emotive and unhelpful.  They do not advance our understanding.
     
    I agree with NiV’s post #7 and subsequent posts.  IMO, we should not waste our wealth on policies like CO2 tax and ETS until we have a much better understanding of the costs and benefits of mitigation and adaptation.  That is what this is all about.  It is helping to inform us to make better decisions.  The last thing we need is another bad policy like the Kyoto Protocol or another disaster like EU is in now.   Part of the EU’s problem is because of excessive control by socialist/progressives, bureaucrats, and excessive regulation, taxation, ETS and renewable energy subsidies.
     
    So, I am advocating for us understand the costs and benefits of the proposed policies before we make any more really bad decisions.
     

  • Peter Lang

    Anthoff, Nichols and Tol (2010) “The economic impact of substantial sea-level change“ http://www.springerlink.com/content/851112j434t26502/fulltext.pdf
    estimates the damage costs, for the whole world, for a 1 m sea level rise would be about $1 trillion (Figure 2).  This is present value using a discount rate of about 2% (I think), being the sum of 1% “˜pure rate of time preference’ and (my rough estimate) 1% per capita growth rate of consumption (average for the world for the period 2005 to 2100) (see text and equation (6), p325).
     
    Let us compare this $1 trillion estimated damage cost for a 1 m sea level rise with world cumulative GDP from 2005 to 2100 (the same time period).  First let’s calculate it without discounting, then we’ll discount.  I’ll assume a world GDP growth rate of 3% pa and use constant 2011 dollars (standard practice).
     
    World GDP in 2011, according to IMF was $79 trillion.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)
    World GDP in 2100, using 3% GDP growth rate, would be $1,095 trillion
    Cumulative world GDP for 2005 to 2100 would be $35,405 trillion
     
    If I apply a discount rate of 2%, the present value is $10,249 trillion
    I may have the discount rate wrong.  Nordhaus (2007) in DICE model used a discount rate of 5.5%
    If I apply discount rate of 5.5% pa, the present value is $2,377 trillion.
     
    The estimated damage cost of $1 trillion for a 1 m sea level rise over a century, is negligible compared with the world GDP of $10,249 trillion (or even compared with $2,377 at 5.5% discount rate).
     
    My conclusion remains as I first stated it. 
     
    “$1 trillion total cost to the whole world, spread over 95 years is absolutely trivial.”
     
    Anthoff, Nichols and Tol (2010) language is more cautions; they state (p325):
     
    “While the damages from sea-level rise are substantial, they are small compared to the
    total economy, provided that coastal protection is built. This remains true for the largest 2-m rise scenario.
     
    I’d welcome corrections.
     

  • Peter Lang

    By the way, I should have made it clear that the damage costs estimates are based on many assumptions about climate change over the next century, including assumptions about CO2 emissions, temperature sensitivity coefficient (climate sensitivity to 2xCO2), and many others.  I am not arguing for or against any of these assumptions.  I am saying that, even if we accept the assumptions (which are basically IPCC AR4), the damage costs are trivial.  Therefore, adaptation is the rational response, not mitigation policies, which will be very damaging to the world’s economies (such as CO2 tax, ETS, Cap and Trade, mandated and subsidised renewable energy and other policies justified as Green or “˜climate mitigation policies’)

  • Colin Davidson

    Environmental scientist James Lovelock:  “I’m not worried about sea-level rises,” he laughs. “At worst, I think it will be 2ft a century.”   http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/15/james-lovelock-interview-gaia-theory  He says being allowed to change your mind and follow the evidence is one of the liberating marvels of being an independent scientist…

  • Colin Davidson

    More Lovelock: “You only have to go to Singapore. You could not have chosen a worse climate in which to build a city. It’s a swamp with temperatures in the 90s every day, and very humid. But it is one of the most successful cities in the world. It seems to me that they are treading the path that we are all going to go. It’s so much cheaper to air-condition the cities and let Gaia take care of the world. It’s a much better route to go than so-called ‘sustainable development’, which is meaningless drivel…Whenever the UN puts its finger in, it seems to become a mess. “

  • hunter

    On the alleged costs of AGW-driven slr:The rates of change in all but he SF b movie plot projections by the likes of Hansen are at about the rate at which infrastructure gets replaced or upgraded any way.Lovelock is interesting: He seems to be having a late summer period of clarity and and is old enough to not care what the bustling crowds say. Is he senile or wise? He sounds coherent. Frankly more so than when when he was reprising the role of St. John of the Revelation.

  • Anteros

    hunter – spot on about infrastructure. Hansen has torn out the last of his hair about infrastructure “built for the prevailing climate” and also says civilisation is somehow adapted to the climate of the last 10,000 years. Nothing could be more ignorant or idiotic.

    The average house lasts ~30 years and already copes with a temperature range of what? Other infrastructure is replaced, improved, or fundamentally changed even more rapidly. The gradual  change in climate in that context is more irrelevant than insignificant.

    We are becoming better off re the climate at a rate vastly more rapid than climate is ever going to change – orders of magnitude over just a few generations.

    Climate catastrophes exist but they become much more prevalent as you look further back in time.

  • harrywr2

    #480 Marlowe

    Re: Ports Flooding..Your parochial debating tactics are becoming  a little predictable Harry.Please Marlowe.

    As a private business person I’ve lived in Japan,Spain,Great Britain, The Netherlands and visit  Istanbul frequently. I also did some time in the Middle East  in the service of my country long ago. ‘Parochial I’m not’

    Ship sizes are generally ranked as Panamax, Suezmax and Capesize. The limitations being the largest that can fit thru the Panama canal and Suez canals. Capesize is ‘unlimited’, but driving around Cape Hope is quite a long detour.

    To handle the largest ships the water depth pier side needs to be 20+ meters. Which generally means a long pier in those ports where the land ‘gradually’ drops off or a short pier where the geology is steep or  spending a lot of money dredging.

    If the arctic becomes ‘ice free’ then the size of container ships will no longer be limited by the Panama and Suez Canals. As a result most of the worlds ports will have to be rebuilt anyway to accommodate larger ships.

    If you can come up with a ‘Climate Change’ scenario where sea levels rises 1 Meter or more and the arctic doesn’t become ice free then I’m more then willing to listen.

    A warmer world with year round transit of the arctic will be a ‘boon’ to commercial shipping. Of course I suppose ‘boon’ could be characterized as ‘disruptive’ in the world of ‘climate speak’.

  • Sashka

    Peter, on the subject of avoiding emotive adjectives, I find your the uncertainties are enormous a bit ironic ;)

    Nitpicking aside, I got numbers similar to yours. So your conclusion will stand even if Tol is an order of magnitude off.

  • BBD

    What’s missing? 

    - EVERYTHING except SLR (see *drought projections and impacts on global agriculture* as but one absent variable)

    - An end point to the SLR (it doesn’t just stop dead at 2100)

    - Any realistic consideration of the infrastructural disruption (ports and port city inundation with no end-point)

    - Any realistic consideration of *social* as well as economic cost of relocating hundreds of millions out  of coastal cities, deltas, floodplains etc inland

    - Honesty. And that’s the really damning factor here.

    This is a dishonest caricature of estimating climate impacts. It is so incomplete and partial that *nothing* claimed to derive from it has the slightest value. Nothing.

    Garbage in, garbage out. 

    And note the response to pointing this out earlier? That’s right: it got blanked. There’s a word for that. It begins with ‘d’.

  • BBD

    References at 451, 452, 455

  • Nullius in Verba

    #490,

    And we forgot to mention the cannibals, too!

  • BBD

    nullius

    Thank you for corroborating my point.

  • kdk33

    Yes.  I think we have another example of “just sayin’ stuff”.

    The cannibals drowned.  See, they kept building their little renewable grass huts in the same place and sleeping on the groud.  Eventually the huts were sited in 1M of seawater.  They couldn’t start their renewable energy cooking devices (campfires) and later, when got sleepy from lack of nourishment, they drowned.  But they were green.  Never let it be said the weren’t green.

    Evolution.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #493,

    You’re very welcome.

  • BBD

    Scott Denning:

    What’s missing is a set of careful and reasoned market-based solutions from the right. Instead we get vacuous statements that there is no problem to be solved.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    When even your own pick you up for your nonsense you need to stop and have a think. See # 476:

    Cherry-picking is bad

    Emphasis as original (!)

  • Nullius in Verba

    #496,

    You got that at #7. But you chose to argue vociferously against the bits you didn’t like, and refuse to compromise on the prerequisites, instead of working towards a joint approach.

    I asked you back at #134 whether you took climate change seriously enough to do as we asked on the science, whether you thought it was necessary or not, and you apparently decided that you didn’t. You spent your time still trying to win the argument instead of moving towards a solution.

    So why should we go to the effort of providing market-based solutions from the right when you’re not willing to cooperate?

  • BBD

    nullius @ 498

    I objected to the ‘climate science is broken’ meme which you inserted in your first point at #7: That would mean fixing the science. 

    Since there is no evidence that the standard position in climate science is ‘broken’ there is no basis for the claim that I refuse to ‘compromise on the prerequisites’ and ‘cooperate’. We’re back to Denning’s statement quoted above.

    You know that I am convinced that nuclear is an essential component of rational policy response to CC. You know I am not anti plant science (aka GM). I’m not of the left, nor am I a caricature ‘green’. I am not trying to smuggle in any ideological baggage.

    All I am doing is drawing attention to the fact that your insistence that climate science is broken is unfounded. Your attempt to twist this round and claim that the problem is caused by unreasonable intransigence on my part is rather obviously self-serving.

    As I said earlier, if the science is broken we would see a growing body of robust studies invalidating the hypotheses on which the standard position rests. But we don’t.

    Any insinuation that this is because the entire field has been suborned by a global leftie conspiracy an extraordinary claim for which no extraordinary evidence exists. AKA tinfoil territory. 

    In summary:

    nullius:

    So why should we go to the effort of providing market-based solutions from the right when you’re not willing to cooperate?

    Denning:

    What’s missing is a set of careful and reasoned market-based solutions from the right. Instead we get vacuous statements that there is no problem to be solved.

  • kdk33

    BBD,

    Yes, you have mastered the art of “just saying stuff”.  Your “sayin stuff” notwithstanding, SLR is decelerating.  No cherry picking is required; just a quick run through the data on Excel. You have once again demonstrated your technical incompetence.  It was amusing once.  At ths point it is just repetitive.

    But, hey, feel free to keep “just sayin’ stuff”.  It’s not like novody notices.

  • BBD

    SLR is variable. Like all these wiggly climate things. You’re  doing this. Ye olde long term trende is the thing to watch.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #499,

    You keep on assuming that you’re the only one who needs to be convinced, the only one whose opinions matter.

    I’ve said repeatedly, we know you don’t agree, that you think I’m wrong, that you think it’s misleading and all the rest. We are in absolutely no doubt about it. But it’s not the issue.

    The issue is that we have a different opinion, and whether it’s right or wrong, it will need to be satisfied before you will be able to get many sceptics/conservatives on board.

    This does not require you to admit fault, or to admit that you were wrong, or to say anything that you don’t believe is true. All it requires is that henceforth the scientific case is made with complete transparency, with the utmost care for quality, with every line checked and passed by people motivated to find fault, so that we too may be absolutely sure that it is right, know exactly how much of a problem we are dealing with, and have the best possible information about the effects of any action we take.

    We’re being asked for market-based solutions – well one of the most important rules for surviving in the marketplace is to have good information. The one with the best information generally has the advantage. They know what price to ask, what risks to take, which options to pick to be most efficient. And when they seek the advice of scientists for hundred million dollar decisions, they have seriously high standards. You get the statistics wrong, and rich and powerful people are out a few million as a result – they are not happy bunnies! And they did not get where they are by having a relaxed attitude to incompetence or sloppiness.

    Now maybe when we test it they’ll prove you right. (I personally doubt it highly, but we have a clear difference of opinion here so I’ll keep an open mind.) But you are going to get precisely nowhere until you do. Because they are well used to people coming to them to tell them they’ve got a serious problem it’s going to cost a lot of money to fix, no you can’t look too closely at the evidence, there’s no time to check anything you’ve gottoactnowurgentlytoday!! It’s like having “SCAM” written in flashing neon letters across your forehead. And you wouldn’t want to do that, would you?

    If you’re right – and you do believe you’re right, don’t you? – you’ve got nothing to lose. Produce the data, produce the documentation, open the process up, make the case. And then we lose all our best excuses for delay.

  • kdk33

    Yes, BBD, you keep sayin stuff.  And satellite SLR data is decelerating.  But please continue. 

  • BBD

    nullius

    You keep on assuming that you’re the only one who needs to be convinced, the only one whose opinions matter.

    No I don’t :-)

    You’re trying to make me sound mad, bad and dangerous to know.

    If you’re right ““ and you do believe you’re right, don’t you? ““ you’ve got nothing to lose. Produce the data, produce the documentation, open the process up, make the case. And then we lose all our best excuses for delay.

    Everything rests on the insinuation that there is a cover-up or worse. But if something was broken we would see a growing body of robust studies invalidating the hypotheses on which the standard position rests. *But we don’t*.

    The only alternative is that the entire field has been suborned by a global leftie conspiracy. This is an extraordinary claim for which no extraordinary evidence exists.

    Uneasy lies the head that wears a tinfoil crown.

  • Colin Davidson

    The alarmist position on sea levels, that the normal, historical, monotonic increase in sea levels has recently increased, is a result of cherry picking a recent low value as a start point. Many sea level experts have derided this, pointing out that a long run is required to properly arrive at a trend estimate.    A long run is not  15 years or 20 years, but at least 40 years. If you choose a short period you can get any number you like for sea level change – same as usual, very fast increase, or decrease. Using short runs, and cherry-picking the start date is not scientific, it is however the standard in climate “science”.

  • Peter Lang

    Sashka,@ #490“Peter, on the subject of avoiding emotive adjectives, I find your the uncertainties are enormous a bit ironic”Fair point.  I have to admit, I do it a lot too.But. I’d argue, the alarmists should do as I say, not as I do :)

  • Peter Lang

    Nullius in Verba,@493,
    “And we forgot to mention the cannibals, too!”
     
    Did you mean “cannabis”?
     
     

  • Peter Lang

    Sashka,@490,Thank you for checking my numbers.  That is much appreciated.I’d still like to know what discount rate Anthoff, Nicholls and Tol used.  I’ve written to Tol and asked three questions, but I don’t really expect a reply.  However, he has been good at replying to questions on web sites – such as Judith Curry’s site – in the past.

  • Peter Lang

    BBD@497,I suggested a market based solution at #171.You supported it @ 173.  But not a word since to discuss it or develop it further.Don’t you think your comment at #497 is a bit inaccurate and hypocritical?

  • BBD

    Peter Lang @ 507

    Mad, bad and dangerous to know and at the jazz cigarettes?

    Extraordinary claims. Honi soit qui mal y pense :-)

    Don’t you think your comment at #497 is a bit inaccurate and hypocritical?

    Why inaccurate and how hypocritical? Extraordinary claims.

    I was wondering about your substantive response to # 490 though.

  • Peter Lang

    “nullius @ 498
     
    I objected to the “˜climate science is broken’ meme which you inserted in your first point at #7: That would mean fixing the science.”
     
    BBD, Two points,
     
    Firstly, in my view, the science is not sufficiently well documented to allow the sort of due diligence that should be done before million dolalr investments are made, let alone multi-trillion dollar investments.  The investment in climate related policies is (I’d like to use an adjective but dare not, so “¦) more than $100 billion so far, in the US alone, and the climate alarmists advocate expenditures of multi-trillion dollars on mitigation to 2100.  They have not demonstrated that the proposed mitigation actions will have the desired effect on the climate or sea levels.  They have not demonstrated it will not be another massive waste of money like the Kyoto Protocol and the EU ETS.
     
    Secondly, as Nullius in Verba has pointed out repeatedly and clearly, the conservatives want a proper cost-benefit analysis before investing.  They want due diligence of the relevant science and the economic case.  The relevant science needs to be presented in a way that conforms to standards for doing due diligence (as Nullius in Verba said very clearly in #7 and others comments).  In fact it needs to be at a much higher standard, because we are dealing with multi-trillion dollar investment decisions, not million dollar or billion dollar investment decisions.
     
    Here is a good letter to the Prime Minister of Australia by a retired engineer:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/07/spending-billions-why-not-do-a-due-diligence-study/
    It explains better than I can what I want done before I’d support the government wasting our money and damaging Australia’s economy ““ permanently.
     

  • Peter Lang

    BBD,
    #511
     
    “I was wondering about your substantive response to # 49[1] though.
     
    @#491 You said: “What’s missing?“  Then went on to list other potential impacts, (but as usual, you did not include damage estimates, so they amount to nothing more than assertions and scaremongering).
     
    Did you miss (or misunderstand) my comment @ #482 which addresses your question (or did you ignore it and now trying to divert the discussion to avoid the subject under discussion)?
     
    @ # 482
    “There are many components to the damages, and they are brought together in the Nordhaus DICE and RICE models and explained in his book “A question of Balance”. Our discussion here is about just one component (but an important one) the cost of sea-level rise. “¦.”
     
    I was wondering about your substantive response to # 483 though.
     
     

  • BBD

    Some links to the relevant science at 451, 452, 455.

    And on we go.

    Everything rests on the insinuation that there is a cover-up or worse. But if something was broken we would see a growing body of robust studies invalidating the hypotheses on which the standard position rests. Where are they?

    The only alternative is that the entire field is complicit in a global, political conspiracy. This is an extraordinary claim for which no extraordinary evidence exists.

    Businessmen don’t do tinfoil.

  • Peter Lang

    BBD,You continually miss the point.  I don’t understand why you can’t understand the point Nullius in Verba is making – unless you are being dishonest.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard
  • Peter Lang

    The Inter Academy Council (IAC) reviewed the IPCC’s processes and procedures. Their report is scathing. This http://tome22.info/IAC-Report/IAC-Report-Overview-Short.html summarises the statements in the text under:

    “¢ Political interference
    “¢ Bias
    “¢ Uncertainty
    “¢ Conflict of interest
    “¢ Management

  • BBD

    The IPCC is a review body. What you need are numerous studies invalidating the hypotheses on which the standard position is based. It all boils down to this.

  • Peter Lang

    Willard,
     
    So what?
     
    So what if the planet warms back towards its “˜normal operating temperature’?
     
    Mightn’t that be good?  How good versus how bad?
     
    What are the costs and benefits of warming?
     
    That is the question people like Nordhaus and Tol are trying to answer, quantitatively.
     
    It seems warming is not so bad:
     

    James Hansen (2010) (Figure 1) http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf shows the planet is cooling (bad) and has been for the past 50 million years.  This figures also shows that the climate (average global temperature) is much more variable when there is ice at the poles than when the poles are ice free.
     

    Schematic diagram http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm  showing that the planet’s operating temperature is much warmer than now, and showing there have been only three “˜coldhouse’ periods during the time multi-cell life has thrived on the planet (i.e. the past 550 million years).  We are currently in the third cold hour period.
     

    IPCC AR4, WG1, Chapter 6, Figure 6.1 http://accessipcc.com/AR4-WG1-6.html#6-3-1 shows the periods when there was ice at the poles, and the latitude to which ice sheets extended (for the past 400 million years).  The poles have been ice free for 75% of the time multi clell lefe has thrived on the planet (past 550 million years). 
     

    Chart of temperatures and dust in Antarctic ice cores http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok-ice-core-petit.png  demonstrates that the planet is much windier (more dust), bleak and dry when the planet is colder; loess dust when warmer ““ i.e. warmer is good
     

    IPCC AR4 WG1, Chapter 6 (buried in the text) states there is more carbon tied up in the atmosphere when the planet is warmer and less when colder (i.e. life thrives when the planet is warmer and struggles when colder)
     

    IPCC AR4 WG1, Chapter 6 (buried in the text) states the area of deserts shrinks when warmer and expands when colder (i.e. warmer is better for life than cold)
     

    Nordhaus (2012) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9779.2011.01544.x/full says “Not so dismal conclusions” and “We conclude that a loaded gun of strong tail dominance has not been discovered to date.”  I.e., not so scary after all, and not dangerous or catastrophic.
     
    So, what is so bad about warming?
     

  • kdk33

    it’s a conspiracy.  In the 60′s, the russians and the cubans brainwashed some children and sent them to the west.  They majored in “climate science”.  They have secret handlers.  They aren’t aware of their misdeeds as they respond to code words the handlers deliver via phone – use tree rings, feel the rings, be the rings – that kind of thing..  They have no memory of these. 

    Well known soviet bloc tactics.  Surprise is unfounded.  We just need to wait until the effects wear off.

    Republicans, of course, aren’t fooled.

  • kdk33

    What you need are numerous studies invalidating the hypotheses on which the standard position is based.

    No, you just need to be right.

  • Colin Davidson

    There are numerous sea level studies invalidating the CSIRO (and other climate “scientists”‘) research into sea level rise.  These rather more careful studies have shown as a minimum NO increase in the rate of change, and some, notably this last year by the NSW expert, show a decreasing trend.  No worries though, the IPCC will use non-skeptical scientists, true believers who are non-scientists, the WWF and Greenpeace. The IPCC will call that shower “expert scientists”, lie through its teeth about everything being peer-reviewed (only about 60% was in the last report), and will ensure that contrary (and better based) views are not aired. The IAC investigative report into the organisation was indeed scathing, and implied that AR4 is worthless. The IPCC has not implemented many of the IAC recommendations for change, in particular those relating to political interference, the management and personnel change required at the top of the IPCC, the documentation of conflict of interest, the author selection process, and the substantiation of likelihoods.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #504,

    “Everything rests on the insinuation that there is a cover-up or worse.”

    You still seem to be missing the point.

    You’re a businessman. When the accountants come round to audit the business accounts, are they insinuating by doing so that you’re a crook? Or are they in fact enabling to prove that you’re not? And if some organisation were to refuse to let external auditors in to see their accounts, would it be reasonable for them to say “if there was anything wrong with our accounts, there’d be another robust set of accounts invalidating the main set; the only alternative is that the entire accountancy department has been subborned by the mafia”?

    Having the numbers independently checked means you’re not a crook. Refusing to allow the numbers to be checked raises suspicions that you are. So why are you refusing?

    #507,

    It was a joking reference to this interview (at the 1m30 point).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mys_AQjM4U0

  • Colin Davidson

    Reading BBD’s recent comments it seems that he may be unaware of considerable peer-reviewed bodies of work which do not agree with the AGW hypothesis. For example, just on the question of temperature sensitivity (usually expressed as averge temperature rise per doubling of CO2) the warmist (or as I prefer, the “positive feedbackers”) range is between about 1.5 and 6 DegC, with a mean of around 3 DegC. But there are other views, published by prominent climate scientists in the PR literature. These “negative feedbackers” reckon a sensitivity of between 0 and 1DegC, with a mean of 0.5DegC. This matter is unresolved. You only have to go to Dr Roy Spencer’s site and read his defence of his latest paper to understand that the controversy in climate science is deep, bitter, personal, and unresolved. And of course it is central to the whole of the debate, is there a problem (“positive feedbackers” say yes) or not (“negative feedbackers” say no).BBD can have an opinion (it is no more than that) and so can I (and it is of no better status than BBD’s). The important matter of climate sensitivity is unresolved, and until it is it cannot be asserted that the science is solid.

  • Nullius in Verba

    While I wait for my last comment to clear moderation…

    “But if something was broken we would see a growing body of robust studies invalidating the hypotheses on which the standard position rests.”

    Not if the system was broken. A growing body of invalidating studies would only appear if the system was working as it should. In fact, if such a body were to appear, we’d be a lot less worried about the state of climate science.

    But if someone did write a paper invalidating the hypotheses on which the standard position rests, what would climate science do with it?

    Let’s see…

    “Hi Keith,

    Okay, today. Promise! Now something to ask from you. Actually somewhat important too. I got a paper to review (submitted to the Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Sciences), written by a Korean guy and someone from Berkeley, that claims that the method of reconstruction that we use in dendroclimatology (reverse regression) is wrong, biased, lousy, horrible, etc. They use your Tornetrask recon as the main whipping boy. I have a file that you gave me in 1993 that comes from your 1992 paper. Below is part of that file. Is this the right one? Also, is it possible to resurrect the column headings? I would like to play with it in an effort to refute their claims. If published as is, this paper could really do some damage. It is also an ugly paper to review because it is rather mathematical, with a lot of Box-Jenkins stuff in it. It won’t be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically, but it suffers from the classic problem of pointing out theoretical deficiencies, without showing that their improved inverse regression method is actually better in a practical sense. So they do lots of monte carlo stuff that shows the superiority of their method and the deficiencies of our way of doing things, but NEVER actually show how their method would change the Tornetrask reconstruction from what you produced. Your assistance here is greatly appreciated. Otherwise, I will let Tornetrask sink into the melting permafrost of northern Sweden (just kidding of course).

    Ed.”

    So there you go. The question now is, where is it? How could any body of robust invalidating studies possibly arise, when peer-review will be redefined to somehow keep them out?

  • Peter Lang

    And that dear BBD, is just one of many such examples.BTW, I also have a comment awaiting moderation, (#519, 10:23 pm) 

  • Colin Davidson

    There is a really damning review of the current state of sea level predictions by alarmist scientists (eg Rahmstorf, and Church & White) at http://www.macvspc.info/A_Different_Perspective-2.pdf In that review, the cherry picking and use of short runs are skewered. I particularly noted:” I can say with complete confidence that the Church/White paper is corrupt and deserving of ridicule…” and “I do not judge Rahmstorf’s model assessments of 2100 sea levels as being objective or reliable…” 

  • BBD

    nullius

    Another clanging misdirection. Why shouldn’t Cook look for flaws in the study? Especially as he has noticed that it is a bit of a cheeky one. Let’s try it with the emphasis in the relevant place this time:

    but it suffers from the classic problem of pointing out theoretical deficiencies, without showing that their improved inverse regression
    method is actually better in a practical sense.
    So they do lots of monte carlo stuff that shows the superiority of their method and the deficiencies of our way of doing things, but NEVER actually show how their method would change the Tornetrask reconstruction from what you produced.

    Only a ‘sceptic’ could claim that this was somehow sinister.

    Clearly in your case the tinfoil fits. You are a conspiracy theorist. You try to hide it, but it’s been obvious for a while now. It’s credibility-annihilating.

    By endorsing your nonsense, Peter (who needs to know that I am a long-time reader of BNC) has fallen on his sword. Again. The first auto-disembowelment was wrongly claiming that SLR was at the bottom of the AR4 projection range and then steadfastly *refusing to admit or even acknowledge* what he had done when challenged.

  • BBD

    Having the numbers independently checked means you’re not a crook. Refusing to allow the numbers to be checked raises suspicions that you are. So why are you refusing?

    Egregious false equivalence. You are insinuating that the entire field is systematically hiding data and methodology. Complete rubbish. What occasional intransigence under outside pressure does occur is totally understandable. Perhaps after two decades of abusive contrarianism, the truth is that a few scientists are sending a message: f*uck off, loons. You can argue that this is not the right approach, but that’s as far as we go here.

    Not if the system was broken. A growing body of invalidating studies would only appear if the system was working as it should. In fact, if
    such a body were to appear, we’d be a lot
    less worried about the state of climate science.

    Tinfoil. How you can expect to be taken seriously when you hint darkly that an entire field of science has been corrupted by a shadowy (but left-wing, yes?) conspiracy beggars belief.

    Don’t turn round and try and claim you aren’t a conspiracy theorist. For an entire field to be broken such that no dissenting voices can be raised requires that it be totally controlled. That requires an absolute, and absolutely successful, conspiracy. These exist only in the delusions of the clinically paranoid.

    What other conspiracy theories do you subscribe to btw? Or is this the only one?

  • Peter Lang

    BBD
     
    “Peter (who needs to know that I am a long-time reader of BNC) has fallen on his sword. Again. The first auto-disembowelment was wrongly claiming that SLR was at the bottom of the AR4 projection range and then steadfastly *refusing to admit or even acknowledge* what he had done when challenged.”
     
    Now I understand why you are an extremist CAGW alarmist, and why you continually obfuscate, divert and avoid questions you don’t want to deal with.  The issue under discussion on this thread is clear, yet you have continually tried to divert the discussion away from it.
     
    That the rate of sea level rise, as actually measured, is nowhere near what the “˜climate scientists’ predictions said they would be has been covered in a number of comments.  I don’t intend following your attempts to take us off topic.
     
    You have the hide to say “steadfastly *refusing to admit or even acknowledge* what he had done when challenged.”  If I’d made an error, I’d acknowledge it. You, on the other hand, have not acknowledged any of what you’ve done despite being challenged throughout the thread.  You simply keep retreating to repeating your same, nonsensical mantra.  You have not addressed the issues raised at the top of the thread, nor Nullius in Verba’s, clear statements about what it would take to get conservatives to take your alarmist claims seriously, nor have you addressed the key policy issue that the mitigation polices advocated by the alarmists are not justified and are bad policy.
     
    The comments policy says:
     
    “Please understand that some people live to provoke. If you engage such people in any way you make their day. They don’t care about winning an argument as much as getting your goat. So if you would rather not see comments by such people, the best strategy is to ignore them. “
     
    Yes.  You are a specialist at flaming.  I should have taken that advice from the beginning
     
    When you address the topic, leave out the provocations, and rudeness, you might be worth taking seriously.  However, I am sure that will never happen.  You’ll die in a ditch clinging to you dyeing faith.
     
    You’ll understand why I avoid your bating.  If you don’t then other readers will.
     

  • BBD

    PL

    That the rate of sea level rise, as actually measured, is nowhere near what the “˜climate scientists’ predictions said they would be has been covered in a number of comments.

    Rubbish! Why are you repeating nonsense? That link is the tide gauge and satellite data plotted against the range of AR4 projections. Observations are above scenario means and near the upper bound for the outer range. This is not a matter for ‘debate’ here in the real world. End of.

    I think we’ve hit bedrock here Peter. I’m not repeating my summary again. You will find it at # 490 with references at # 491. It stands.

    Now I understand why you are an extremist CAGW alarmist, and why you continually obfuscate, divert and avoid questions you don’t want to deal with.  The issue under discussion on this thread is clear, yet you have continually tried to divert the discussion away from it.

    The usual huffing and puffing you get from contrarians who have not been allowed to get away with it. It’s funny how whenever we get down to the conspiracy/tinfoil layer and just how absurd the ‘sceptics’ really are it suddenly gets nasty:

    You’ll die in a ditch clinging to you dyeing [!] faith.

    Lovely. Bye.

  • BBD

    Since Nordhaus has been comprehensively misrepresented on this thread, it seems only right to give him a say.

    This is point 6 from his detailed response to the contrarian open letter published in the WSJ in Feburary this year (emphasis added):

    ***

    A final point concerns economic analysis. The sixteen scientists argue, citing my research, that economics does not support policies to slow climate change in the next half-century:

        “A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now. Many other policy responses would have a negative return on investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet.”

    On this point, I do not need to reconstruct how climate scientists made their projections, or review the persecution of Soviet geneticists. I did the research and wrote the book on which they base their statement. The skeptics’ summary is based on poor analysis and on an incorrect reading of the results.

    The first problem is an elementary mistake in economic analysis. The authors cite the “benefit-to-cost ratio” to support their argument. Elementary cost-benefit and business economics teach that this is an incorrect criterion for selecting investments or policies. The appropriate criterion for decisions in this context is net benefits (that is, the difference between, and not the ratio of, benefits and costs).

    This point can be seen in a simple example, which would apply in the case of investments to slow climate change. Suppose we were thinking about two policies. Policy A has a small investment in abatement of CO2 emissions. It costs relatively little (say $1 billion) but has substantial benefits (say $10 billion), for a net benefit of $9 billion. Now compare this with a very effective and larger investment, Policy B. This second investment costs more (say $10 billion) but has substantial benefits (say $50 billion), for a net benefit of $40 billion. B is preferable because it has higher net benefits ($40 billion for B as compared with $9 for A), but A has a higher benefit-cost ratio (a ratio of 10 for A as compared with 5 for B). This example shows why we should, in designing the most effective policies, look at benefits minus costs, not benefits divided by costs.

    This leads to the second point, which is that the authors summarize my results incorrectly . My research shows that there are indeed substantial net benefits from acting now rather than waiting fifty years. A look at Table 5-1 in my study A Question of Balance (2008) shows that the cost of waiting fifty years to begin reducing CO2 emissions is $2.3 trillion in 2005 prices. If we bring that number to today’s economy and prices, the loss from waiting is $4.1 trillion. Wars have been started over smaller sums.10

    My study is just one of many economic studies showing that economic efficiency would point to the need to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions right now, and not to wait for a half-century. Waiting is not only economically costly, but will also make the transition much more costly when it eventually takes place. Current economic studies also suggest that the most efficient policy is to raise the cost of CO2 emissions substantially, either through cap-and-trade or carbon taxes, to provide appropriate incentives for businesses and households to move to low-carbon activities.

    One might argue that there are many uncertainties here, and we should wait until the uncertainties are resolved. Yes, there are many uncertainties. That does not imply that action should be delayed. Indeed, my experience in studying this subject for many years is that we have discovered more puzzles and greater uncertainties as researchers dig deeper into the field. There are continuing major questions about the future of the great ice sheets of Greenland and West Antarctica; the thawing of vast deposits of frozen methane; changes in the circulation patterns of the North Atlantic; the potential for runaway warming; and the impacts of ocean carbonization and acidification. Moreover, our economic models have great difficulties incorporating these major geophysical changes and their impacts in a reliable manner. Policies implemented today serve as a hedge against unsuspected future dangers that suddenly emerge to threaten our economies or environment. So, if anything, the uncertainties would point to a more rather than less forceful policy””and one starting sooner rather than later””to slow climate change.

    The group of sixteen scientists argues that we should avoid alarm about climate change. I am equally concerned by those who allege that we will incur economic catastrophes if we take steps to slow climate change. The claim that cap-and-trade legislation or carbon taxes would be ruinous or disastrous to our societies does not stand up to serious economic analysis. We need to approach the issues with a cool head and a warm heart. And with respect for sound logic and good science.

  • kdk33

    My goodness.  Did you cut and paste that whole passage.

  • BBD

    Yap yap yap. Just read the words.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #530,

    Nordhaus is pulling a fast one, there. Net benefit choice is based on the assumption that there are no alternative investment options. Benefit ratio is based on an assumed availability of more investment options than you have money for.

    Thus if you have $10bn to invest, you can invest $1bn at 1/10 and have $9bn left over to invest in other activities with high returns. If those activites give better than 5-for-1, they should be preferred to the 10/50 option. The rule is that you should always invest your money starting with the highest benefit/cost ratio and work your way down, until you run out of money.

    Thus, you’d start with $1bn at 1/10, and then invest only $9/bn in the 10/50 scheme, and get a return of 10+45 = $55bn. Or better, invest the $9bn in doing more of the 1/10 option. In any case, Nordhaus is essentially assuming we have no better uses for our money than combatting global warming, which is a bit of a startling assumption for an economist.

    Actual numbers from Nordhaus 2008 Table 5.3 are:
    50 year delay: $3.69tr reduced damage, $1.55tr abatement cost, benefit/cost = 2.4
    Limit to 1.5 C: $12.6tr reduced damage, $27.03tr abatement cost, benefit/cost = 0.5
    Limit to 2 C: $9.45tr reduced damage, $11.25tr abatement cost, benefit/cost = 0.8
    Limit to 2.5 C: $7.22tr reduced damage, $5.24tr abatement cost, benefit/cost = 1.4
    Limit to 3 C: $5.88tr reduced damage, $2.86tr abatement cost, benefit/cost = 2.1

    Nordhaus reckoned the optimal policy was actually an immediate carbon tax set at around $30/ton CO2, applied globally, which would work out at $150/yr for a typical American. $0.09/gallon on gasoline, 10% on the price of electricity.

  • BBD

    nullius

    Suddenly Nordhaus is not your friend? Oh, fickle you :-)

  • Nullius in Verba

    #534,

    Nordhaus is basically saying that global warming is going to happen and we’re stuck with it, it would cost far more than it would save to try to prevent it, but there is economic advantage in shaving off a small fraction of the damage at a modest cost. While I don’t accept his premises, which are to assume the IPCC is right about everything, I would agree that given those assumptions his proposals are more rational than mad schemes like Kyoto or Al Gore’s.

    Considered in isolation, his optimal scheme yields more benefit at a higher cost to give the same ratio as the 50-year delay, and if you ignore any other possible use to which the money could be put, or assume the background 4% discount rate covers it, then an argument could be made for it. But it’s a somewhat artificial simplification. In practice, there are lots of things we could spend the money on over the next 100 years that would give a better return.

    If by “friend” you mean a trusted authority I will side with automatically on everything they say, then no, he was never my “friend”.

  • BBD

    nullius

    The IPCC is a review body. Never mind the IPCC.

    Here’s what’s on the table:

    - ECS to 2xCO2 is ~3C

    - A perfect conspiracy has silenced scientific dissent

    - Science is gleefully, endemically adversarial and *still* the standard position remains unchallenged

    - Yeah but no but

    - Some tinfoil

    The challenge is to make a tennis court out of this in four hours and save the planet.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Save the planet from what? Stern projects worst case economic damages at what–5% of GDP? The IPCC projects sea level rise at between 18 and 59 cm this century? The UN projects climate refugees in a worst case scenario that is roughly equal to half of current migrant populations? WHO projects that malaria will extend its geographic range by less than 10%? Trenberth predicts extreme weather might rise by 10%. 

    These are the threats? 

    The planet is not threatened. We as a civilization are not threatened. We as a species are not threatened. Nobody is speaking of climate change as an extinction level event. Nobody sane, that is.

    What did I miss, BBD? What are the threats to human existence stemming from climate change?

  • Peter Lang

    BBD,Yap! Yap! Yap! describes your nonsense well.  You should look in the mirror (or re-read you diatribe – avoidance, diversion and obfuscation).  Nordhaus has not been mistrpresented. And his debate with the 16 scientists has been discussed to death on many sites. His discussion about science matters, which are out side his area of experitese, has been debunked by the sixteen scientists and many others.    Here is one site (and see the last two comments for your edification re the subject under discussion here):http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/4/4/nordhaus-and-the-sixteen.htmlYou are just yap yap yap with an irrational belief. 

  • Anteros

    Yap! Yap! Yap! has an nice ring to it, but equally appropriate might be Doom! Doom! Doom! :)

  • Peter Lang

     
     
    The assumptions that underpin the Nordhaus analysis (and Stern, Garnaut etc) are:
     

    Negligible leakage (of emissions between countries)
     

    All emission sources are included (all countries and all emissions in each country)
     

    Negligible compliance cost
     

    Negligible fraud
     

    An optimal carbon price
     

    The whole world implements the optimal carbon price in unison
     

    The whole world acts in unison to increase the optimal carbon price periodically
     

    The whole world continues to maintain the carbon price at the optimal level for all of this century (and thereafter)
     
    If these assumptions are not met, the net benefits estimated by Nordhaus cannot be achieved.  As Nordhaus says, http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf p198 
     
    “Moreover, the results here incorporate an estimate of the importance of participation for economic efficiency. Complete participation is important because the cost function for abatement appears to be highly convex. We preliminarily estimate that a participation rate of 50 percent instead of 100 percent will impose a cost penalty on abatement of 250 percent.”
     
    In other words, if only 50% of emissions are captured in the carbon pricing scheme, the cost penalty of the participants is 250%. The 50% participation could be achieved by 100% of countries participating in the scheme but only 50% of the emissions in total from within the countries are caught, or 50% of countries participate and 100% of the emissions within those countries are caught in the scheme (i.e. taxed or traded). 
     
    Given the above, you can see that the assumptions are theoretical and totally impracticable.  Can you imagine how Australia, for example, could capture in its CO2 tax and ETS 100% of emissions from 100% of emitters in Australia (every cow, sheep, goat and yap yap yaper)?
     
    Therefore, the advocacy of people like Stern, Garnaut, and Nordhaus that a CO2 price makes sense can be seen as theoretical, not practicable.
     

  • Peter Lang

    Nullius in Verba,#534There is one important correction needed in your last paragraph:
     
    “Nordhaus reckoned the optimal policy was actually an immediate carbon tax set at around $30/ton CO2, applied globally, …”
     
    His optimal policy is a carbon price of $30/ton C, not CO2.  That is, his proposed optimal policy is $8/ton CO2.That is important, because Australia’s starting price is $23/tonne/CO2 ($84/tonne C) which is about 3 times Nordhaus’s optimal carbon price – which, of course, only applies if the whole world acts together and all human emissions of CO2 and the other twenty three Kyoto gasses are all fully captured and priced, everywhere, throughout the whole world.  What a joke, eh?.
     
     

  • Nullius in Verba

    #537,

    “The IPCC is a review body. Never mind the IPCC.”

    Oh can we? Please?

    We’ve got it official from BBD, that the IPCC are only a ‘review body’, and can therefore be ignored. Make a note, everyone.

    #542,

    Good point. Correction noted.

  • Peter Lang

    I’ve just realised the comment numbering I am seeing is different to the numbering others are seeing.  One of my comments, (#349) is held in moderation.  That would explain why the comment numbers I’ve been quoting would be out by one.

  • MikeO

    BBD#517You state “The IPCC is a review body. What you need are numerous studies invalidating the hypotheses on which the standard position is based. It all boils down to this.“I think this is back to front a hypothesis is useless without an empirical proof. Before anyone tries to falsify it a proof must first be produced. Suppose there is a hypothesis the world is controlled by an entity who exists in a place unknown to all. It is ridiculous to say believe because it can not be disproven. To convince me what you say has any worth theories and hypnoses do not cut it. My assessment is that you are not that interested convincing me or anyone else on the blog but want to debate only. Which also has no worth since there is no overall judge keeping a score to tell you have won.There has been much about sea level so I will stay with Dr. Nils-Axel Morner until you can do better. As a skeptic I accept he may be very incorrect but certainly better than what you are presenting.

  • Peter Lang

    What is the policy impact of the Younger Dryas cooling event?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/16/younger-dryas-the-rest-of-the-story/ 
    Given the Younger Dryas happened so suddenly and given that if something similar happened again the consequences would be extremely bad for mankind, it seems to me a good risk management strategy would be to get as much insulation around the planet as possible and get rid of those hazardous polar ice caps as quickly as possible.
     
    Would a rational risk management approach be to burn more fossil fuels?
     

  • Peter Lang

    My comment #546 about the Younger Dryas rapid cooling event follows from my comment #519 (which was held in moderation over the weekend so many readers may have missed it).  Figure 1, in the first link (by Janes Hansen) shows that the climate is much more unstable when the planet has polar ice caps.  They are a major hazard; a serious disturbance to peace and tranquillity.

  • Peter Lang

    Money spent on climate mitigation would cause an estimated 219 fatalities for every life saved by climate mitigation policies – Bjorn Lomborg.http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/summit-striking-at-wrong-goal/story-e6frgd0x-1226398020777
     
    The article is behind a pay wall, so here is an extract
     
    “TENS of thousands of people will soon gather in Rio de Janeiro for the UN Earth Summit. The participants, from weary politicians to enthusiastic campaigners, are supposed to reignite global concern for the environment. Unfortunately, the summit is likely to be a wasted opportunity.
     
    The UN is showcasing the alluring promise of a “green economy”, focused on tackling global warming. In fact, the summit is striking at the wrong target, neglecting the much greater environmental concerns of the vast majority of the world.
     
    Global warming is by no means our main environmental threat. Even if we assumed unreasonably that it caused all deaths from floods, droughts, heatwaves, and storms, this total would amount to just 0.06 per cent of all deaths in developing countries. In comparison, 13 per cent of all Third World deaths result from water and air pollution.
     
    So, for each person who might die from global warming, about 210 people die from health problems that result from a lack of clean water and sanitation, from breathing smoke generated by burning dirty fuels (such as dried animal dung) indoors, and from breathing polluted air outdoors.
     
    By focusing on measures to prevent global warming, the advanced countries might help to prevent many people from dying. That sounds good until you realise that it means that 210 times as many people in poorer countries might die needlessly because the resources that could have saved them were spent on windmills, solar panels, biofuels, and other rich-world fixations.
     
    But of course, poor countries’ tangible pollution problems are not trendy, and they do not engage outspoken campaigners, media, and governments the way that global warming can.
     
    Nowhere are the failed priorities better illustrated than in the UN’s official, colourful “Rio+20″ leaflet. Here, the UN helpfully provides a layman’s explanation of the summit, along with examples of its envisioned “green economy” in action. We see scary pictures of dry riverbeds (the result of global warming), along with pretty solutions such as wind turbines and solar panels.
     
    The problem is that green energy mostly is still much more expensive, less effective and more intermittent than the alternatives. Yet, the summit literature claims that it will boost economic growth and eradicate poverty.
     
    But seriously, why do well-meaning First Worlders think that the Third World should have energy technologies that are more expensive, feebler and less reliable than their own?
     
    Without a hint of irony, the leaflet is called The Future We Want. But, in a world where a billion people go to bed hungry, and where six million die each year from air and water pollution, most of those in the developing world likely have a very different set of priorities for their future.
    “¦
     

  • harrywr2

    #537

    Here’s what’s on the table:- ECS to 2xCO2 is ~3C 

    The exact wording of the consensus climate sensitivity–emphasis mine

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/mains2-3.html

    Progress since the TAR enables an assessment that climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range of 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C.

    The word likely does not imply a factual certainty in the English Language. Why do you continue to deliberately misrepresent the ‘consensus’ by leaving out the word ‘likely’?

  • BBD

    harrywr2

    This is *at least* the second time you’d done this. Please make it the last.

    The range is not the most likely value. The most likely value is found within the range:

    Progress since the TAR enables an assessment that climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range of 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C

    As anyone but a moron can see without effort, I misrepresented nothing. I leave that to others.

    See also Hansen & Sato (2012) Paleoclimate implications for human made climate change; Annan & Hargreaves (2006); Knutti & Hegerl (2008).

    I provided you with these references last time you did this. Perhaps *reading them* would be advisable now.

  • BBD

    How absolutely typical of Tom to miss the obvious.

    Here you go again Tom, with water wings:

    The challenge is to make a tennis court out of this in four hours and ‘save the planet’ :-)

    Happy now?

  • Anteros

    Peter Lang -

    Thanks for the Lomborg excerpt. It echoes my own thinking on relative risk.

    I know the the Copenhagen Consensus have a more nuanced view of climate change mitigation than they did a few years ago, but there was a great deal of sound reasoning and understanding behind their placing it dead last in importance out of a list of 30 global issues.

  • BBD

    Anteros (and PL)

    Philip K. Dick says it best:

    Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

  • BBD

    And…

    We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.

    Ayn Rand
    :-)

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Is BBD still rambling on about what he believes is the climate sensitivity and how such beliefs are afirmed by repetition of the claims? How entertaining … :-)

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    Indeed. But when we talk about reality [failed IPCC predictions etc] you’re talking about your imagination. You need to understand that they’re very different things.

    People like you have been claiming that the end is nigh since man first learned to speak. Your track record is lousy!

    And yes, I know – it’s different this time. The thing is, it always look different.

    It’s imagination at work – it’s convincing.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    As and when you can demonstrate anything (other than your errors, of course), wake me up…

    Meanwhile, you just are saying stuff.

  • Sashka

    Some of you here are deeply mistaken to believe that you can make an absolutely clear & convincing point and win the argument. You can’t. You can never prove anything to a religious idiot. Seriously, please stop feeding the troll and he will eventually go away. We can talk amongst ourselves just fine.

  • BBD

    What is the group noun for contrarians? We should think about this.

    A malaise? A confusion?

    How about ‘a delusion of contrarians’? Or ‘a fallacy of contrarians’.

    ‘A Romero of contrarians’? Perhaps too esoteric for non-cineastes.

    ‘A hypocrisy of contrarians’. That might do.

    Needs thought.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    that’s easy.

    a ‘gaggle of contrarians’

    In military slang, a gaggle is an unorganized group doing nothing.

  • Anteros

    Sashka – nice idea, but he only ‘went away’ from BH when he was banned for his persistent trolling.

    Fundamentalists have always been with us, and probably always will.

  • BBD

    Marlowe

    For me, ‘gaggle’ is always going to be geese. Although there are some inter-group similarities: aggressive, territorial, no climate science PhDs etc…

    >>Anteros, I got banned from BH because I asked awkward questions about who funds the GWPF. A fascinating topic about which we will be hearing more in due course.

    The more you lot employ playground tactics to try and shut me down the more pleasure I take in twisting your tails. Perhaps you should consider another tack. You are smart enough to understand this, aren’t you?

  • MikeO

    BBD#556The quote from Ayn Rand is well put but why do you evade reality? She was very much a libertarian on the Right of politics long dead but still of influence through the Ayn Rand Center. Alex Epstein is a fellow of that organisation and he asked the following of Obama on Earth Day http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/04/22/alex-epstein-earth-day-obama-green-energy-nuclear-energy-solar-power/.1. Once that 80% cut in emissions becomes permanent, which hospitals will you shut down? 2. How much fuel will you allot us to drive to work? 3. How much computer time will we get? 4. Can we afford air-conditioning below 90 degrees–or heat above 40? 5. Will the hospital have electricity when we need it–or will we have “sustainable” hospitals like the ones in Africa that are powered by solar panels, where doctors must choose between refrigerating perishable medicines and powering the operating equipment? 6. And what about the 1.5 billion people around the world who are suffering and dying for lack of electricity–will they renounce coal, oil, and natural gas for the sake of a static global temperature?If Ayn was alive she would be telling you to stop evading reality and also saying there is no certainity in what you put forward.

  • MikeO

    BBD#556The quote from Ayn Rand is well put but why do you evade reality? She was very much a libertarian on the Right of politics long dead but still of influence through the Ayn Rand Center. Alex Epstein is a fellow of that organisation and he asked the following of Obama on Earth Day http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/04/22/alex-epstein-earth-day-obama-green-energy-nuclear-energy-solar-power/.1. Once that 80% cut in emissions becomes permanent, which hospitals will you shut down? 2. How much fuel will you allot us to drive to work? 3. How much computer time will we get? 4. Can we afford air-conditioning below 90 degrees–or heat above 40? 5. Will the hospital have electricity when we need it–or will we have “sustainable” hospitals like the ones in Africa that are powered by solar panels, where doctors must choose between refrigerating perishable medicines and powering the operating equipment? 6. And what about the 1.5 billion people around the world who are suffering and dying for lack of electricity–will they renounce coal, oil, and natural gas for the sake of a static global temperature?If Ayn was alive she would be telling you to stop evading reality and also saying there is no certainity in what you put forward.

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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