What if global warming ends up being greater than we thought?

I recently wrote a post about the Brown & Caldeira paper which suggests that climate sensitivity may be on the high side of the range. Rather predictably, Nic Lewis has a guest post on Climate Etc in which he looks at the Brown & Caldeira analysis and claims that global warming will not be greater than we thought.

I think this claim is simply wrong. Even if he has found some issue with the analysis in Brown & Caldeira, that still would not justify a claim that global warming will not be greater than we thought. At a basic level, all that the Brown & Caldeira paper is suggesting is that the models that most closely match some observed properties of the climate system tend to have climate sensitivities on the high side of the range. This also isn’t the first time this has been suggested.

One could argue that there are also studies that suggest that climate sensitivity could be on the low side of the range. Also, as Ray Pierrehumbert says in this comment, it’s not necessarily the case that models that do best at representing short-term fluctuations will also do best when it comes to the feedbacks that determine ECS. One might then argue that we should really just stick with something like the IPCC range for climate sensitivity; it is almost certainly a reasonable representation of what is likely.

The debate, in my view, therefore should not really be about whether climate sensitivity could be high, or low, but what we should do in case it is high (which, to be clear, is not to say that people shouldn’t study this). The impact of climate change almost certainly increases with warming and, if we can quantify this impact, probably increases non-linearly. In other words, the impact of 3oC of warming is likely to be more than twice as great as the impact of 1.5oC. If addressing climate change carried more risks than the risks associated with climate sensitivity being high, then maybe we would do nothing and hope it was low. This, however, seems very unlikely.

One of the key things is simply to emit less CO2 into the atmosphere than we could, and this seems quite possible, if maybe not easy. There are many possible ways to do so and if one is concerned about big government and too much regulation, then just promote something like a carbon tax. Even if you’re not particularly concerned, one could still consider that an economically optimal pathway suggests peaking emissions by about 2040 and not increasing them much between now and then (see Figure 2).

Unless one assumes that climate sensitivity is very low and ocean acidification will have no adverse impacts (and there’s a word for those who think this), I can’t see a scenario under which we shouldn’t be thinking about how reduce our emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. The irony, I think, is that what probably leads people to avoid considering ways to reduce our emissions (big government, too much regulation, interfering in the market,….) is precisely what we will get if climate sensitivity does turn out to be high and we decide, in the future, that we need to rapidly reduce our emissions. This doesn’t seem very sensible.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Climate change, Climate sensitivity, ClimateBall, Global warming, GRRRROWTH, Science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to What if global warming ends up being greater than we thought?

  1. Joshua says:

    We could just play the “lukewarmer’s” gambit: Don’t directly deny that the risk might be high, but assume that it is low and label anyone who points out that the risk may be high with an epithet (“alarmist,” “warmista,” etc.)

    After all, this is the best of all pod Dib worlds (once we got that b in sck man out of office).

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/the-nationalists-delusion/546356/?utm_source=masthead-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=member-newsletter-20171206-81&silverid=MzEwMTU3MzQ0MTA2S0

  2. Joshua says:

    Wow….best of all possible worlds (once we got that black man out of office).

  3. Chubbs says:

    Unfortunately, mis-information about climate science and “alarmism” about what it will take to reduce CO2 emissions go hand-in-hand. I don’t want to minimize the difficulty of eventually getting to zero CO2 emissions, but taking more aggressive near-term steps is not going to wreck the global economy. On-the-contrary, technologies with positive cost curves: solar, wind, batteries, LEDs etc. are going to provide economic benefits if pushed faster, within reason. While resource-limited fossil fuels are going to be lower cost in the future if used at a slower pace.

  4. Chubbs says:

    Even among fossil fuels, hard to see the economic down-side of properly accounting for carbon impact and giving gas a credit vs coal.

  5. verytallguy says:

    While resource-limited fossil fuels are going to be lower cost in the future if used at a slower pace.

    Precisely. Or to be blunter, “even if you want to, you can’t rely on them – they’re going to *run out* FFS”

  6. vtg,
    Indeed, it seems there are many reasons why we would want to be thinking about alternatives to fossil fuels. Climate change may set a timescale for doing so, but I doubt that that timescale is wildly different to other relevant timescales.

  7. Mal Adapted says:

    Chubbs:

    Even among fossil fuels, hard to see the economic down-side of properly accounting for carbon impact and giving gas a credit vs coal.

    Hmm, from the particular economic perspective of fossil fuel producers, there’s a huge downside to accounting for the social cost of carbon in their production costs. It raises the minimum price they can charge for their products and still make a profit, thereby shifting market demand to carbon-neutral alternatives. While gas producers would have a relative advantage over coal producers, profits to all fossil carbon producers would be curtailed.

    Therefore, it’s in the economic interest of fossil fuel billionaires to re-invest a small fraction of their profits in flooding the public sphere with AGW-denial, in order to hold off collective intervention in the ‘free’ market for energy (e.g. Carbon Fee and Dividend with Border Adjustment Tariff) as long as possible. Perhaps the lukewarmers Joshua mentions are more sought-after as physical verification of the AGW consensus accumulates. Every day of delay is worth $millions, after all.

  8. Jai Mitchell says:

    Yale link is bad, needs fixing

    [Mod: Done, thanks.]

  9. Jai Mitchell says:

    What if, the projection of warming is understated and the projection of likely impacts is also understated? Historically, the projections of climate responses like sea level rise, the likelihood of flooding and drought impacts and arctic amplification have all been revised toward the more dangerous over the last 3 AR cycles.

    The lack of inclusion of frozen soil carbon feedbacks, the impact of Asian aerosol emissions on the Interdecedal Pacific Oscillation (leading to more prevalent La Ninos and weaker El Ninos) the projected 50% reduction of ocean-sourced Dimethyl Sulfide Production under acidification and the poor treatment of Arctic albedo responses under ice free conditions in the models all indicate a much stronger climate response going forward. Both directly in terms of warming and indirectly in terms of unaccounted feedbacks and rapid shifts in global atmospheric circulation patterns. (i.e. winter arctic warming as has been observed these last 3 years)

  10. “The lack of inclusion of frozen soil carbon feedbacks, the impact of Asian aerosol emissions on the Interdecedal Pacific Oscillation (leading to more prevalent La Ninos and weaker El Ninos) “

    There is no indication that aerosols have ever had any impact on the El Nino cycle.

    And since Pierrehumbert was mentioned, don’t forget that he wrote this piece on oil depletion which has implications for emission projections and the transition off of fossil fuel :
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/02/u_s_shale_oil_are_we_headed_to_a_new_era_of_oil_abundance.html

  11. The thing I always find interesting about this hyper-focus on establishing an exact (Sure that’s unrealistic but its what Republicans demand.) climate sensitivity number is that we don’t have the understanding to know what it means. The difference between 1.5 and 2 or 2.5? There are undereducated guesses at best, can point at some rough temperature estimates, but what does that really tell about how our living environment will be reacting to those temperatures?

    All we really have for certain, is the changes we have observed over the past half century, and a promise that those changes will be accelerating. What I don’t understand is why that hasn’t been enough.

    From an Earth Centrist’s perspective what we have been witnessing is terrifying enough and tells us all we need to know. Namely we our society’s infrastructure and circulation arteries are in very deep dodo already if we don’t put on the brakes.

    Actually don’t even need to be an Earth Centrists, having a sober respect for Math should have been enough. I’m sure some older folks here remember Albert Allen Bartlett and his valiant efforts to explain the simple unassailable mathematics, “Arithmetic, Population, and Energy” 1969,
    “The Essential Exponential For the Future of Our Planet” a collection of essays by Professor Bartlett (2004). YouTube preserves many of his lectures.

  12. Namely we our society’s infrastructure and circulation arteries are in very deep dodo already.
    If we don’t put on the brakes it will lead to complete destruction of the biosphere as we know it; and as our survival depends on.

  13. Jai Mitchell says:

    Paul,

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/aerosol-forcing-and-the-pdo/
    The basic idea is that the supposed slowdown in surface warming is largely driven by a negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and partly by a recovery from Pinatubo. However, as illustrated in the figure below, at least some of the negative phase of the PDO is forced by aerosol emissions, mainly from China.

    See Paper here: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3058.html

    Our results suggest that a slowdown in GMST trends could have been predicted in advance, and that future reduction of anthropogenic aerosol emissions, particularly from China, would promote a positive PDO and increased GMST trends over the coming years.

    -Positive PDO = more El Ninos – The “Pacific Decadal Oscillation” (PDO) is a long-lived El Niño-like pattern of Pacific climate variability.

  14. Ragnaar says:

    “…with positive cost curves: solar, wind…”

    I spent an hour last night trying to get a cost on an about 2 kilowatt complete solar system. A low cost system was $2000 per kilowatt without installation. An installed system with good reviews about $4000 per kilowatt. In Minnesota, exempt from sales and property taxes. Xcel apparently giving me no money at start up, but buying the excess, but I wasn’t looking at a system size that would have much excess to sell.

    Articles can claim costs as low as $1000 per kilowatt or less. But for that you have panels still sitting at the factory.

    It’s my understanding, a pass through entity such as a partnership or S-Corp can pass through the 30% federal tax credit to its owners and write off most of the price as well. So it would not be unusual for half the system to be paid for by government in the long run. I still haven’t seen a business or a home solar credit yet though by any of my Minnesota tax clients. Maybe that’s my signal to go ahead.

    I guessed on average I’d harvest 6 kilowatts a day. I’d save 11 cents per kilowatt. So I’d save about $20/month without subsidies for a 400 month payback on the good system. Half of that with subsidies, for a business as described above. But this all depends on my average daily harvest. 4 ½ ideal hours at 2 kilowatts/hour makes things a lot better.

    Has this anything to do with anything? We’re making decisions like this. This may be what it will take. My bias with a smaller system is to provide for my own needs and not impact the grid more than needed. If I wanted to lessen my impact, I’d pay for batteries as well and then try to draw on them when spot prices are highest.

    I bit about a subsidy. Say I write most of the system off at a 25% Federal tax rate (Most because you subtract half the 30% credit from its basis). I save on electricity and pay more taxes in the future because I have more income. So this subsidy reverses itself more or less. A future subsidy reversal argues strongly for no net subsidy, ignoring the time value of money with low current interest rates…

  15. Marco says:

    Ragnaar, Minnesota must be one of the worst places in the US if you only get 6 kW a day:
    https://news.energysage.com/3-kw-solar-panel-systems-prices-installers/
    If you scroll down, the lowest estimate in that list is 9 kW a day, and the highest >14.

  16. Al says:

    This is simply hand waving. You say he might be wring then change the subject.

  17. jacksmith4tx says:

    Ragnaar,
    My advice:
    #1 Slash your electricity consumption using every possible technique – LEDs, Zoned heating and air conditioning, insulate and weatherize your house, tankless water heater, induction cooking and smart appliances (especially the washer/dryer).
    #2 After you have done #1 install a whole house energy monitoring system so you will know exactly how much and when you use electricity. I like the eGauge system (http://www.egauge.net/). You can then use that data to calculate the right size solar system to meet you needs. Take the final number and add 15% to compensate for 25 years of panel degradation and maybe an additional 15% for future demand if you ever add more people living in you home or get a electric car.
    #3 Go with a ground mount system if you can. They can be aimed to get the maximum energy generation (either fixed angel or even better a 2 axis tracker that can add 20% to annual production). Super easy to service and you won’t have to worry about the extra cost of reinstalling them when you replace your roof.
    #4 Go with 300+ watt panels and either micro-inverter or per-panel optimizes. You get the benefit of having individual panel monitoring plus if you have a single panel failure or any shading issues it won’t degrade the whole array like string inverters do.
    #5 You can do this yourself. Subcontract each part of the project. A 2 man crew can set the mounting hardware in 1 day, the panels bolt on to the racking with common hand tools, you will need to run a large gauge buried conductor from the array to your service panel, an electrician can install the new circuit breakers and connect the PV array to the service panel. You will also need to install the PV monitoring device which will be connected to your internet system.

    It seems to me that consumer costs of the hardware side of the system has hit bottom. Any cost savings from better technology will be offset by increases in the so called soft costs – labor, fees, trade tariffs etc.. Until really cheap energy storage becomes available (less than $100 KWH with 10,000 cycles) going solar is not quite ready for the general population.

  18. Ron Graf says:

    The debate, in my view, therefore should not really be about whether climate sensitivity could be high, or low, but what we should do in case it is high (which, to be clear, is not to say that people shouldn’t study this).

    Just like their are potentially social costs of carbon there are social costs (and benefits) to every decision, whether by governments or by consumers. The key is finding the right balance to optimize current economies to enable and encourage investment that will continue that optimization of use of resources (minimizing costs) into the continuous future. If we all agree that this is the goal there is a start for building a consensus on assigning values and probabilities to all the complex metrics to create the best projections and optimal policies. For example, I think all agree that fossil fuel is non-renewable. That being the case it will become more scarce and expensive to extract with time. Renewable OTOH will come down in price as technology improves and production scales increase.

  19. Ron,
    The point about a carbon tax is that there is strong agreement that there are costs associated with emitting CO2 into the atmosphere that are not included in the price of doing so. Therefore, energy sources that emit CO2 into the atmosphere have an advantage over others. Therefore the market should be less efficient than if a carbon tax (of the right price) was included. In principle it is a mechanism that minimises direct intervention and should, ideally, allow the market to operate in as efficient a way as possible.

  20. pete best says:

    None of this changes anything in relation to ACC: its just another paper stating the same even if to academics in the field it appears important to the whole ACC issue does appear to be. we are still looking at the abyss of 3C or warming for a pre industrial doubling of CO2 (550 PPMV of CO2). Oddly the only thing that seems to really matter is when we will reach this atmospheric CO2 level, presently at 405 PPMV and increasing to 2 PPMV per annum on average so its still 80 years away whilst 450 PPMV which is 2C is only 25 years away presently so peaking emissions by 2040 appears to suggest we have given up on 1.5 -2C (Kevin Anderson type scenarios and language) and 3-4C is a more likely realistic scenario.

    Oddly enough I came across a very odd statement by Stephen Hawking of all people whose Hyperbole does not appear to do anyone any good. When climate scientists fear to say things that can constantly be misconstrued do cosmologists and other oracles of science (well known) say such things. Science communication of a politically sensitive nature nature needs to be addressed. For anyone wondering about what he said it was the whole notion of earth becoming like Venus if we continue on our existing path.

  21. John Hartz says:

    [Mod: No problem, done.]

  22. Ron Graf says:

    ATTP, the only problem I have with a carbon tax is that any tax has a cost related to its collection and a risk of being abused. I would rather subsidize clean, renewable energy (and we are doing that) and create benchmark prizes to provide incentives for private sector research.

    Speaking from the conservative perspective, I can tell you that the greatest impediment to building wider consensus toward anti-carbon policies is lack of trust in government to act effectively rather than cosmetically or symbolically (and inefficiently). The lesson of the Maginot Line is not so much the blindness of changing military strategy with advancing technology but the hazard of mitigating any future risks via projections of current technology. I am not saying it should not be done. We just should be showing respect for those risks.

  23. BBD says:

    I am not saying it should not be done. We just should be showing respect for those risks.

    Which means what, exactly?

  24. Ron,

    I would rather subsidize clean, renewable energy (and we are doing that) and create benchmark prizes to provide incentives for private sector research.

    But how will this be less intrusive than a carbon tax that – ideally – will simply let the market decide on the optimal pathway (to be clear, I probably lean towards subsidizing energy and creating incentives, but this would seem to involve more government intervention than something like a carbon tax).

    The other point I was making in the post, though, was that the longer we wait to do something effective, the more likely it becomes that what we will end up doing will be pretty close to what is currently discouraging many conservatives from engaging with solutions (a concern about big government, too much regulation, and too much intervention in the market). It would seem to me that becoming more involved in finding viable solutions would help to avoid this outcome (which I don’t particularly want either).

  25. verytallguy says:

    Ron,

    Speaking from the conservative perspective, I can tell you that the greatest impediment to building wider consensus toward anti-carbon policies is lack of trust in government to act effectively rather than cosmetically or symbolically (and inefficiently)

    Thank you four the insight.

    For one outside the conservative perspective, it’s unfathomable to me why a lack of trust extends to a government raising a carbon tax but does not extend to the same government subsidising things.

  26. Mal Adapted says:

    citzenschallenge:

    All we really have for certain, is the changes we have observed over the past half century, and a promise that those changes will be accelerating. What I don’t understand is why that hasn’t been enough.

    Your comment was very well said. I trained in the earth sciences, biology and economics to the ‘semi-doctoral’ level, before stumbling into an easier way to make a bourgeois living. I’ve never actually worked as a scientist, but I’m scientifically meta-literate enough to verify the following to my satisfaction:

    – the globe is warming, i.e. a rising trend in GMST is readily detectable above empirical noise;

    – the current rapid warming is entirely anthropogenic, a result of the economically-driven transfer of fossil carbon to the ‘greenhouse’ pool;

    – the global cost of AGW to society is already being paid in money and lives, and will increase in rough proportion to GMST.

    That much is enough to convince me that AGW is a clear and present threat to my maximum personal utility. I’ve further concluded it can only be mitigated by leaving as much remaining fossil carbon as possible in the ground. I’m uncomfortably aware of my own fossil carbon emissions, but I’m not willing to deny my responsibility; still, I have a faint shadow of sympathy for people who cling to a delusion they’re somehow entitled to socialize their private marginal climate-change costs, though fainter when they’re educated enough to reason their way through it. I’m not giving up on reason though, and there is some evidence that recent weather disasters are eroding AGW-denial in the US.

    There will never, OTOH, be enough evidence to persuade the individuals, families and corporations who’ve acquired private wealth “beyond the dreams of avarice” by removing fossil carbon from geologic sequestration by the petatonne and selling it for all the traffic will bear, while holding the climate-change costs of their business external to their production costs. Sympathies aside, assembling an effective electoral plurality in the US to collectively cap our aggregate AGW bill requires overcoming the obstructive power of the Koch Klub.

    IOW, AGW is fundamentally a political problem. My personal solution is to promote a US Carbon Fee and Dividend with Border Adjustment Tariff at every opportunity 8^)!

  27. Too much hand-waving regarding PSO, Jai. I am working with Laplace’s tidal equations with the known natural forcings to solve for the El Nino oscillations. I don’t see any indication of anthro-forcing with this approach, and if I thought I did in my results, the onset of a possible cyclic change wouldn’t be enough to convince anyone else.

    http://contextearth.com/2017/12/03/derivation-of-an-enso-model-using-laplaces-tidal-equations/

    In physics, the first-order effect needs to be determined before second-order impacts are evaluated. There are way too many papers that are jumping the gun in attributing an AGW causality to behaviors such as ENSO and PDO that are by themselves not understood to first order. These kinds of presentations were very common at AGU.

  28. Windchaser says:

    the longer we wait to do something effective, the more likely it becomes that what we will end up doing will be pretty close to what is currently discouraging many conservatives from engaging with solution

    Sure. But the conservatives see climate change as a hoax, so they think time is on their side; that time will show that the Earth isn’t really warming or it isn’t really our fault.

  29. Windchaser,
    Indeed, I’m sure that is what they’re hoping. My current hope is that some will at least consider the implications of being wrong.

  30. Mal Adapted says:

    Ron Graf:

    Speaking from the conservative perspective, I can tell you that the greatest impediment to building wider consensus toward anti-carbon policies is lack of trust in government to act effectively rather than cosmetically or symbolically (and inefficiently).

    While I decline to place myself on a one-dimensional conservative-liberal axis, I broadly sympathize with you on this. OTOH:

    verytallguy:

    For one outside the conservative perspective, it’s unfathomable to me why a lack of trust extends to a government raising a carbon tax but does not extend to the same government subsidising things.

    Thanks VTG, that’s always baffled me too. A principal appeal of CF&D-BAT in the US is that its simplicity makes it hard to game!

    Fossil fuel producers would pay a per-tonne-carbon fee (i.e. tax, duh) for their products as they come out of the ground or across our borders, while importers of manufactured goods would pay a tariff per tonne of embodied fossil carbon. The combined fee and tariff revenue would periodically be divided by the number of federal taxpayers, and returned to each of us in equal-sized dividends.

    Producers and importers would still decide privately on how much of their additional cost to pass on to customers. Consumers would still buy all the fossil carbon they want more than they want something else at the same price, just as always.

    The fee and tariff need only be high enough to eliminate the price advantage fossil fuels have over currently available alternatives, and probably not as high as a justifiable lower estimate of the marginal social cost of carbon. The dividend provision means that people who use more fuel than the national average would, in effect, pay those who use less, with no net cost to the average consumer. Meanwhile, the invisible hand of the market would drive the build-out of the carbon-neutral economy.

    CF&D-BAT is revenue-neutral to the US government as long as Σ(revenue in) = Σ(dividends out), easily audited by all parties. Nearly all the administrative apparatus to efficiently collect the revenues and disburse the dividends is already in place. Why wouldn’t a self-styled ‘conservative’ support CF&D-BAT over gubmint subsidies?

  31. Ragnaar says:

    Marco:

    Taking the high and low number and then averaging them and stepping them down to 2 kilowatts I get about 7.5 kilowatts per day. My alleged panels would match my roof slope so as to have the greatest high wind resilience. We are not as bad as Seattle. Almost as dry as Eastern South Dakota.

    jacksmith4tx:

    My office is on a small lake shore lot. Back in the old days, minimum lot size codes weren’t much of a thing and this is typical of my town. The roof catches sun, and this is the day to check it with the Sun lowest in the sky. It’s roof or nothing and the roof shingles age is one more thing to consider. What you’ve told me is that farmers are better off with a ground mount system.

  32. Ron Graf says:

    BBD, planning to mitigate future risks needs to be done but it is a lower priority (all being equal) than managing clear and present dangers, which “deniers” don’t count AGW as one. Part of the problem is older and conservative demographics have seen too many false alarms, fake news and unintended consequences of political initiatives. They are naturally skeptical and for good reason. I believe an ECS of 3 or greater would imply a need for government policy considerations. What those policies are would be another discussion. However, the science in my opinion does not yet justify the IPCC’s steady increase in certainty, mainly from studying of models.

    Even if climate science did not have regular embarrassments of inflated or false claims the issue is so politically sensitive that there needs to be much stricter protocols. Medical research has much higher standards even though in that field it’s easier to expose false claims and also to assign penalties for them.

    Back to carbon tax. ATTP, I would support a carbon tax if I saw one designed to be resistant to fraud, abuse, adding additional burden to free commerce, etc. My main objection is that we already can address the issue with subsidy. I agree that subsidies have many of the same perils of inefficiency as tax collecting but we are already doing it so I’m satisfied.

    My question to all is do you think that a carbon tax would achieve a noticeable reduction in use of carbon? The price of heating oil and gasoline have fluctuated over 200% over the last decade but I doubt there was much fluctuation in consumption. And, even if we doubled the rate of cross-over to renewables I don’t know what affect it would have on climate because I think ECS is likely ~1.5 (as many of you groan).

    All that said, I support Argo and all the GIS remote sensing we can muster to constrain certainty on the Earth’s energy budget and response feedbacks. I also support research for geo-engineering solutions. Why? Because most of us are forgetting that although global cooling seems unlikely it is a far greater danger to humanity and the ecosystem (and it was due to happen save of AGW). Geo-engineering could promise a temperature knob that can be turned in either direction as needed.

  33. Ron Graf says:

    Here’s an idea to help sell a carbon tax: earmark the tax revenues toward geo-engineering and alternative energy research since there seems to be a sizable support among lukewarmers for geo-engineering and alternative energy research, (I am in the minority for supporting subsidies).

  34. Ragnaar says:

    “… to eliminate the price advantage fossil fuels have over currently available alternatives…”

    What’s the alternative to gasoline for transportation? It might be electricity that is primarily from fossil fuels meaning the price of electricity is going up for the EVs too. Can we come up with how this would work?

  35. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    My current hope is that some will at least consider the implications of being wrong.

    That would be nice, but I think entirely uncharacteristic. The evidence is that most, if not necessarily all, double down in the face of any uncertainty. I like to hope that a new paradigm of dialog will start taking place. But that’s just pie in the sky also.

  36. Joshua says:

    … the greatest impediment to building wider consensus toward anti-carbon policies is lack of trust in government to act effectively rather than cosmetically or symbolically (and inefficiently).

    But the vast majority in the US voted for the man saying that we should just trust him, as he alone can restore law and order, make America great again, and enact all manner of effective government policies. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

  37. Willard says:

    > the vast majority in the US voted for [teh Donald]

    I don’t think so:

  38. Joshua says:

    Ok the vast of conservatives who voted, voted for [teh Donald]

  39. Ron Graf says:

    “Ok the vast of conservatives who voted, voted for [teh Donald]”

    Nope. The vast majority of conservative who voted were voting against Hillary. During the primary there were 16 other favorites that split the vote but any one of them would have gotten my vote over Hillary, so I guess I was voting against her too. Even Susan Surandon voted against her, and I’m not certain about Donna Brazile.

    “It might be electricity, that is primarily from fossil fuels, meaning the price of electricity is going up for the EVs too. Can we come up with how this would work?”

    The attraction for the carbon tax by liberals, IMO, is that it slaps the fossil fuel industry with the “true cost” of carbon. They would love to dent their profits. The only problem is that history shows that the higher the price for fossil fuel the more profitable it is for the oil industry. Demand is inflexible.

  40. Ron,
    In principle, what you say at the end of your comment is irrelevant. The idea behind a carbon tax is to properly price carbon emissions. If this leads to more profit for the fossil fuel industry, then that would imply that they’ve provided the optimal energy solution. On the other hand, if alternatives can compete, then they might start to dominate the market. The idea is to allow the market to operate efficiently, not to choose solutions.

  41. BBD says:

    Ron G

    BBD, planning to mitigate future risks needs to be done but it is a lower priority (all being equal) than managing clear and present dangers

    Says who?

    Part of the problem is older and conservative demographics have seen too many false alarms, fake news and unintended consequences of political initiatives. They are naturally skeptical and for good reason.

    First, these ‘false alarms’ are usually *not* false alarms and only didn’t get really nasty because action was taken to prevent worse outcomes. Second, this makes old, suspicious, enviro-hating right wingers a problem for the rest of the world, not vice versa.

    I believe an ECS of 3 or greater would imply a need for government policy considerations.

    Well that’s a relief.

    What those policies are would be another discussion.

    In a word: ‘decarbonisation’.

    However, the science in my opinion does not yet justify the IPCC’s steady increase in certainty, mainly from studying of models.

    Which places you outside the very strong scientific consensus on AGW and so discounts the weight that can be given to your views.

  42. BBD says:

    The attraction for the carbon tax by liberals, IMO, is that it slaps the fossil fuel industry with the “true cost” of carbon. They would love to dent their profits.

    I couldn’t give a shit about FF industry profits and I think this is a misrepresentation designed to impute a vindictive motive where none exists. Most people who understand the problem understand that the solution is decarbonisation. Everything flows from that, not some emotive war on the FF industry itself. This is just Teh Donald’s divisive ‘war on coal’ rhetoric. Enough already.

  43. Joshua says:

    Ron –

    Nope. The vast majority of conservative who voted were voting against Hillary.

    So that’s why Trump clobbered the other Republican candidates?

    Tell the truth, is that kind of logic really satisfactory when you use it with yourself, or are you just throwing any shit at the wall and hoping it sticks?

  44. Eli Rabett says:

    For CO2 the radiative lifetime is ~ 1 s. The time btw collisions @atm pressure is ~ 100 ps. As a rough rule each collision can change the rotational state of the molecule but not the vibrational state. That requires ~ 100,000 collisions or about 10 us. There are experiments and theory.

  45. Eli Rabett says:

    Wrong place. Eli blames the phone.

    [Mod: I’ve added a link from where I think you were intending to make the comment.]

  46. Ron Graf says:

    Joshua, this is not just my analysis. Many people agree that the large number of GOP candidates resulted in splitting the conservative electorate, making it easier for Trump to round up a plurality by appealing to anti-establishment sentiment, himself not being a career politician. Of the three outsiders Trump by far had more name recognition and public familiarity to stay in the lead throughout the campaign and to withstand MSM belittlement and vilification. His fame particularly allowed his brand to resist comedic skewering that the others could not. So ironically, the left helped knock off his competition.

  47. Ron Graf says:

    Anders: The idea behind a carbon tax is to properly price carbon emissions. If this leads to more profit for the fossil fuel industry, then that would imply that they’ve provided the optimal energy solution. On the other hand, if alternatives can compete, then they might start to dominate the market. The idea is to allow the market to operate efficiently, not to choose solutions.

    As we both agree that alternatives can be helped to compete with subsidies. My only point about raising the price of fossil fuel is that whenever this happened in the past all aspects of the industry prospered. Demand was fairly resistant to the higher price. I would grant, however, that the more permanent the industry believed the cost adjustment (tax or subsidy) to be the more likely long-term investment capital would be expended based on that calculation. The biggest concern about any government tinkering is the law of unintended consequences of central planning, i.e. bloated administration, corruption, smuggling, black markets, impediment to enterprise, degradation of law.

  48. Ron Graf says:

    Ron G

    BBD, planning to mitigate future risks needs to be done but it is a lower priority (all being equal) than managing clear and present dangers

    Says who?

    The old hunter’s saying “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” is a realization that action on present and material evidence needs to be weighted more than on circumstantial projections.

  49. Joshua says:

    Ron –

    Joshua, this is not just my analysis. Many people agree that the large number of GOP candidates resulted in splitting the conservative electorate…

    You and the vast majority of people trying to soft-peddle your support for Trump, voted for Trump. So that means you voted for Trump, as I said, and that you supported Trump.

    Polls uniformly show that Trump was very popular after the election among the Republican electorate. Those polls weren’t asking respondents to evaluate Trump in comparison to Clinton or other Republican candidates, they were being asked to respond on his favorability and job performance. And although his numbers have dipped somewhat among that constituency, and the level of “string support” has gone down, the vast majority support him to this day.

    Of course, one can always say that in theory there might have been a candidate to their liking, but the fact remains that the vast majority of conservatives voted to elect a man, who engaged in provably authoritarian rhetoric, to the most powerful political office in the world. There is a reason why social scientists can identity an association between authoritarianism and Trump voters.

    I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that you’re dissembling on this issue in one thread even as angech dissembles on “skeptics” beliefs about the GHE on the thread downstairs.

    And Btw,

    “Many people agree…”

    I love that you engage in Trump level rhetoric as you try to distance yourself from voting for Trump.

    Can we move on now to talking about your conspiratorial ideation about the Clinton’s murdering Vince Foster?

  50. John Hartz says:

    Ron Graf wrties:

    The biggest concern about any government tinkering is the law of unintended consequences of central planning, i.e. bloated administration, corruption, smuggling, black markets, impediment to enterprise, degradation of law.

    All of the negative consequences that you have listed seem to be business as usual for the unregulated fossil fuel extraction industry. Think Nigeria and Venezuela,

  51. BBD says:

    Ron G

    The old hunter’s saying “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” is a realization that action on present and material evidence needs to be weighted more than on circumstantial projections.

    So it’s just the no-weight opinion of a right wing ‘sceptic’ on the internet, then.

    Thanks for clearing this up.

  52. Ron Graf says:

    Joshua, for the record I voted for Trump and am pleased with his degree of loyalty to his campaign promises because I support stronger border enforcement, lower taxes, a better private health insurance system and a strong-toed, yet non-interventionist, foreign policy. I think the polls showing displeasure with Trump reflective of having an non-politician in office. I would rather he make more eloquent speeches and less off-the-cuff tweets but If his policies are effective I will appreciate the peace and prosperity and forgive the bluntness. How about you? (Never mind.)

    John Hartz, funny you should bring up Venezuela as an example of failure. It reminds to paraphrase Churchill: Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried.

    BBD, I respect you too.

  53. Ron Graf says:
    “Joshua, for the record I voted for Trump”

    A list of the next ten instances of climate deniers who are also Trump supporters would be far more convincing, especially if it came true.

  54. Ron Graf says:

    [Sorry, RonG. I know Joshua baited you, but the buck stops here. – Willard]

  55. Willard says:

    > Can we move on now to talking about your conspiratorial ideation about the Clinton’s murdering Vince Foster?

    Elsewhere, please.

  56. Joshua says:

    Ron –


    Joshua, for the record I voted for Trump and am pleased with his degree of loyalty to his campaign promises…

    Perhaps this article might serve as an object lesson for gullible people who previously, unskeptically fell for the orange carnival barker’s self promotion with respect to what he has and hasn’t accomplished?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-cameras-go-off-and-then-comes-the-collapse/2017/12/22/1c200bb2-e721-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-b%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.8e9fd8f5b0e7

    … but based on past experience, I do rather doubt it.

  57. …ATTP, to some this may seem beside the point, though seems to me the core of today’s crisis in citizenship and constructive communication.

    From the above Washington Post article: “… Trump comes in with razzle-dazzle and self-congratulation, promising great things to come. Then, when the cameras are off, comes the quiet collapse.

    The prototype is the Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City. In April 1990, it opened with much fanfare as the world’s largest casino-hotel complex. Six months later, it defaulted on payments. Nine months after that, it filed for bankruptcy. {** Keep in mind Trump used bankruptcy as a ‘profit strategy’ – who cares about all the regular folks that got cheated out of their just payments}

    Now this happens on a world scale.
    Trump promises an easy peace in the Middle East but winds up setting off a new wave of violence.
    He promises a tax cut for the middle class and winds up with a giveaway to corporations and millionaires.
    He promises to improve upon Obamacare but ravages the program with no replacement.

    In business, when Trump attended the ribbon cutting and then moved on while deals went south, people lost their investments. But when the United States walks away from promises, people lose rather more.”
    _______________________________
    I wish someone could explain how a thinking person can embrace a gold-plated promoter who makes premises for show, and who’s a serial liar with contempt for truth and differing thoughts.

    While were at it, how about this gut level hatred for taxes?
    Why do so many not recognize that taxes pay for the services we use*?
    Improve the people administering the taxes, serious public engagement can solve the real problems with poor tax administration.
    But, destroying the government certainly won’t help any of us.

    * Well except for those taxes that go into munitions and destroying stuff – after all our recent wars of convenience and profit have created more threats to freedom and created more problems than they’ve solved.

  58. John Hartz says:

    citezenschallenge: Tthe short answer to the questions that you have posed:

    Propagnda campaigns work!

    In other words, people who rely on Faux News as their sole source of information have been brainwashed.

    Regardless, we must coninue to focus on educating and mobilizing the rest of the US population — which is the overwhelming majority.

  59. Agreed! But I’m still trying to figure out the mental landscape of the type that willfully embraces objectively demonstrable lies. One that is okay with the construction of an entire alt-reality,’ global warming is a left wing plot’ and all that, …

  60. John Hartz says:

    citizenschallenge: Research <em<tribalism.

  61. What do you think I been trying to do for the past couple decades? I may suck at it, but still … ; )
    Gimme a link, I’ll read what you offer.

  62. John Hartz says:

    citizenschallenge: Google “tribalism” and start with Wikepedia.

  63. Everett F Sargent says:

    I’m pretty sure territorial instincts evolved before tribal instincts.

    In ethology, territory is the sociographical area that homo sapiens consistently defends against conspecifics. Homo sapiens that defend territories in this way are referred to as territorial.

    More commonly, an individual or a group of homo sapiens has an area that it habitually uses but does not necessarily defend; this is called the home range. The home ranges of different groups of homo sapiens often overlap, or in the overlap areas, the groups tend to avoid each other rather than seeking to expel each other. Within the home range there may be a core area (e. g. a stationary trailer mounted upon vertically stacked cinder blocks occupied by indigenous white trash most often seen on American teevee after a EF5 tornado) that no other individual group uses, but, again, this is as a result of avoidance.

    Territorial_(homo sapiens)

  64. vtg,
    Thanks. I think I saw some comments from Andrew from quite a few days ago, and then everything seemed to somewhat degenerate, so I assumed he’d given up.

  65. JCH says:

    Oh, they’re trying their best to drive him away.

    New method: 2.4 to 4.4.

  66. “informative comments from Dessler over at SoD”

    SoD has no way to deal with David Young. Over and over, Young’s essential point is that climate science can’t reproduce non-seasonal natural variability more than a few weeks in advance. Young believes this is because of current science’s inability to compute turbulence over wide scales. SoD never responds to him because I don’t think he knows how to.

    It’s actually very easy to dismiss Young, all we have to do is use a geophysics model for natural variability. Young will then have to go somewhere else to pout.

  67. Mal Adapted says:

    David Young is a motivated denier of anthropogenic global warming. He’ll repeatedly rebunk any undead AGW-denier meme that sounds remotely sciencey, and accuse commenters who respond with appropriately-gobsmacked phrasing of incivility.

    However, Paul Pukite (@WHUT):

    It’s actually very easy to dismiss Young, all we have to do is use a geophysics model for natural variability. Young will then have to go somewhere else to pout.

    I’m pretty sure Mr. Young won’ go somewhere else to pout. Taking him at face value traps one into iteratively rebutting the same nonsense. One brief dismissal per thread is perhaps the best response.

  68. Maybe we could stop discussing someone whose comments I’d probably prefer to not have to deal with.

  69. Mal Adapted says:

    You got it, mine host! Your way is better anyway 8^D!

  70. He is what is called engaging in a moot point. A GSM is actually not required to model what appears to be erratic natural variability. Just like it’s not required to do a full tidal analysis. Can do nearly as good a cross-validation with temperature cycles as with tidal cycles.

    I talked to Dessler at his AGU poster session about his ECS model described here:
    https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/292097
    He said he had been having trouble getting the paper accepted but is continuing to work on it. One guy he was talking to claimed it was all model-driven. I butted in and said at least some model is needed if you assume that it is a forced response. The response function has to be a model, otherwise one can’t get from a forcing to a response.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s