Fact mongering

I thought I would highlight an essay that some of my regulars might find of interest. It’s by Adam Briggle in Issues in Science and Technology and is about Fear mongering and fact mongering. The article is essentially about responsible research conduct. We typically regard research misconduct as being falsification, fraud or plagiarism. The article suggests that we should expand our sense of research ethics to include responsible research and innovation. The idea being that researchers should be conscious of the potential impact of their research and should do the right thing.

The article then focuses on responsible rhetoric of research. Researchers can engage in fact-mongering, where they present information that is factually correct, but that leads people to draw conclusions that are not really consistent with all the available evidence. In some sense, the suggestion is that researchers should be aware of how the manner in which they present information might influence how people interpret the significance of that information. On the other hand, some could engage in this type of rhetoric intentionally so as to encourage a conclusion that suits their narrative, even if it isn’t actually consistent with our best understanding. The examples provided might be of interest to regular readers of this blog.

Although I think that this is indeed an issue, I can’t see any way in which we could, in most cases, objectively determine if someone has engaged in irresponsible rhetoric. I also think that this runs the risk of challenging aspects of academia, such as academic freedom, that we regard as extremely important. I think we probably just have to accept that there will be cases where we disagree with the manner in which some people choose to engage publicly.

I do think, however, that the author is slightly too generous to some of those he uses as examples. The suggestion is that although they might be engaging in irresponsible rhetoric, their thesis is logically, or empirically, flawless. I don’t think this is true. I think there are many fundamental problems with the arguments of those highlighted. However, the topic is sufficiently complicated that this isn’t always obvious.

I think the problem is simpler than some engaging in irresponsible rhetoric; I think there are some who simply present flawed arguments that suit some preferred narrative. The real problem is how one deals with this, and I don’t think there is a simple way. If there are critiques from the scientific community, then there are accusations of bullying, consensus enforcement, and/or there being some kind of science police. If you ignore it, then people can get away with making potentially convincing, but flawed, arguments. Even though I’ve been writing about this kind of thing on this blog for quite some time, I don’t really have any good suggestions. Even I’ve found myself getting tired of dealing with this kind of thing.

You might think that this would be something that social science could help with, and the article I’m discussing is clearly an attempt to do that. However, I also think that many social scientists regard this as simply illustrating a diversity of views and that it is an indication of a vibrant social discourse. It’s hard to see how we can develop ways to deal with something if there isn’t even really agreement that it’s a problem worth addressing. I may be wrong about this impression, so happy to be corrected if I am.

As usual, I’ve gone on way too long. I do think that the article highlights something that is a real issue, but I don’t really see any simple way to deal with this. Although I agree that we should expect/encourage responsible research rhetoric, I don’t see any way in which we could introduce some kind of formal procedure that would censure those who are assessed as having engaged in fact-mongering.

Links:
Letters responding to the Briggle article (some of which might, again, be of interest to regular readers of this blog. Kate Marvel’s is particularly good).
Criticising the critics – an older post of mine about this kind of issue.
The Science Police.
Watt about climate models running way too hot – post highlighting one of Bjorn Lomborg’s slip-ups.
Bjorn Lomborg, just a scientist with a different opinin – Realclimate post highlighting some more of Bjorn Lomborg’s blunders.
Lukewarmers – a follow up – a post about some discussion of Lukewarmers.

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473 Responses to Fact mongering

  1. The article then focuses on responsible rhetoric of research. Researchers can engage in fact-mongering, where they present information that is factually correct, but that leads people to draw conclusions that are not really consistent with all the available evidence.

    The people in question do both. Is the argument that there is already a penalty for presenting facts to the public that are wrong, but not for cases where “only” the full argument is misleading?

    I am not aware of such penalties beyond your community downgrading your scientific reputation, which unfortunately does not translate into a reduced interest of the media.

    Is there a no reason to distinguish between the two cases? There may be a bit more room for subjectivity in the latter case and I am happy to give scientists the benefit of the doubt and use a generous interpretation, but misleading people is misleading people.

  2. Briggles writes, “Even if Lomborg avoided FFP and made solid arguments, a question still remained: were the sound arguments he made also the right ones?:

    Yes.

  3. Briggles writes about arguments that may be “logically, or empirically, flawless” but could “cause irrational calm and complacency.”

    Perhaps my vision is blurred, but I don’t seem much in the way of calm and complacency, rational or otherwise, on this planet. Someone please tell me where to look…

    More seriously, neither Lomborg nor Pielke are complacent. And when the activist community gets after them, as they so often do, they are often not calm.

    Both are broadly correct in their principal theses. And as I have been wont to repeat, they will never be forgiven for it.

  4. izen says:

    There may be a useful distinction to be made between facts and narrative, rather than rhetoric.
    Or I may be overly influenced by a Willard recommendation of the book, –
    ‘How History gets things wrong. Alex Rosenberg’

    The new fact just announced is the better estimate of the rate of ocean warming.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6578759/Ocean-temperatures-rising-faster-previously-thought-scientists.html

    People tend to reject facts when they disagree with the story that is woven from them.
    And embrace facts when they agree with the narrative they can be used to construct.

    There are multitude of ‘True’ stories that can be derived from a set of facts as I think the Whitman quote suggests. Lomberg and Pielke may be examples of story-tellers who use facts to compose a version of events that is welcome to some, and dismissed by many.

    But if we think the story is beautiful, we tend to reject the ugly fact that refutes it.

    One popular story is that the climate is stable and safe, little influenced by our actions, or that any changes will have minor impacts.
    The result of adopting that reassuring narrative can be seen in the reader responses to the above article.

    It is possible to find commentary that takes the opposite position and embraces the new fact as further support for their preferred narrative.
    https://thinkprogress.org/study-2018-is-shaping-up-to-be-the-hottest-year-on-record-as-ocean-warming-speeds-up-a08a85c8438a

    The misuse of rhetoric may be a tool in this process, but that is a symptom not the cause.

  5. “One popular story is that the climate is stable and safe, little influenced by our actions, or that any changes will have minor impacts.
    The result of adopting that reassuring narrative can be seen in the reader responses to the above article.”

    And yet neither Lomborg nor Pielke make those arguments. Both advocate near term and significant action to combat what they acknowledge is real, human-caused influences on this planet’s climate, and that the major influence is our emissions of greenhouse gases.

  6. And yet neither Lomborg nor Pielke make those arguments. Both advocate near term and significant action to combat what they acknowledge is real, human-caused influences on this planet’s climate, and that the major influence is our emissions of greenhouse gases.

    … so long as “near term and significant action” means so little as to never rise funding above “more important” ever-changing issues like malaria and border walls. Or, anything that might violate “The IRON LAW“. Of course.

    Of course. Just to be clear.

  7. Everett F Sargent says:

    Scientists issue dire warning in new study finding last year was likely the hottest on record
    “It is too late to stop serious global warming,” warns scientist.
    JOE ROMM JAN 10, 2019, 2:00 PM
    It is “too late to stop ocean warming in this century because ocean response” is so slow, warned Cheng. … But, she said, we can slow the rate of warming if we “act as soon as possible to reduce carbon emission.”

    But we are a long way from releasing zero emissions. (Understating things much?)

    “While there still is time to do something to slow this process down, it is too late to stop serious global warming,” study co-author John Abraham, a professor of thermal sciences at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, told ThinkProgress,
    Abraham warned that global warming “is happening faster than we previously thought.”
    “We are also seeing the impacts, from superstorm hurricanes and typhoons, to drought and deadly wildfires,” he continued. “We are paying the consequences for ignoring the science for decades. What a terrible legacy the denialists have left us and our children.”

    Fact mongering? Finger pointing? You decide.

    At least Romm, et. al. finally agree with RPSr, the founder. inventor and originator of OHC. :/

    We have 12 seconds. 🙂

  8. Tom,
    In a sense, I think you’re illustrating the point. You presumably think they’re broadly correct because you like what you can conclude from what they present.

  9. Tom,

    And yet neither Lomborg nor Pielke make those arguments. Both advocate near term and significant action to combat what they acknowledge is real, human-caused influences on this planet’s climate, and that the major influence is our emissions of greenhouse gases.

    I don’t think they advocate significant action. What I think they actually do is say a bunch of things that basically suggest that there isn’t really much to worry about and then, when challenge, say something like (I paraphrase) “climate change is real and we should do something about it”. This is essentially what the article is getting at; you might explicitly say one thing, but your overall rhetoric is really implying something else.

    Update: Roger is accusing of behaving unethically by making this comment. Just to clarify, what I was expressing above was my view of what is said (i.e., what is said often seems to suggest that there isn’t much to worry about). It wasn’t intended to necessarily represent the views of those who say it. I, of course, have no idea if this is the intent, or why it is said in a way that appears to suggest that there is little to worry about (as based on my judgement of what is said).

  10. Victor,

    Is the argument that there is already a penalty for presenting facts to the public that are wrong, but not for cases where “only” the full argument is misleading?

    I don’t think there is really a strong argument about this. I think the suggestion was that we should expect responsible rhetoric, but I have no idea how anything formal could be enforced. As you suggest, the main penalty is your community downgrading your scientific reputation.

  11. ATTP, as neither of them are in a position to make policy, they are in the same position as you or I–we can only state publicly and vote privately for what we believe.

    The rather obvious truth is that many of you most concerned about climate change disapprove of the policies they advocate. You extend that through to inferences about what they ‘believe,’ and your inferences are very different from what they write.

    Lomborg is the author of a book: ‘Smart Solutions For Climate Change.’ Pielke is a contributor to The Hartwell Paper. Both publications accept the IPCC findings about climate change, as do both authors in other publications of theirs. They simply offer different policy prescriptions. Those prescriptions do, however, amount to ‘significant actions’ and nowhere do they ever suggest that climate change is, in your words, nothing to ‘really worry about.’ What does it say about your line of argumentation when you have to put words in their mouth in order to criticize them?

    You are perfectly free to disagree with their prescriptions. And you do. But if you invent skeptical positions as a pigeonhole to put them in, I submit you are not doing the right thing. And isn’t that what Briggles was really writing about?

  12. Tom,

    You are perfectly free to disagree with their prescriptions. And you do. But if you invent skeptical positions as a pigeonhole to put them in, I submit you are not doing the right thing. And isn’t that what Briggles was really writing about?

    As I said in the post, I don’t think there is a viable way to censure those who are regarded as engaging in rhetoric that implies a conclusion that many would disagree with. How would you decide, and how would you avoid this being mis-used? However, I do think his point about rhetoric is valid; what we say, and how we say it, can influence what people conclude from that information. It seems clear that some of those he highlights say things that appeal to people who regard climate change as not all that serious an issue. I’m not trying to pigeon-hole them, but I do think this is a reasonable description of the situation. In some sense I find it quite interesting that they seem to object to this being pointed out; if it isn’t a problem, or anything to be embarassed about, why do they care?

  13. Because their positions and prescriptions are falsely characterized. In the same way you do here.

  14. You write, “What I think they actually do is say a bunch of things that basically suggest that there isn’t really much to worry about and then, when challenge, say something like (I paraphrase) “climate change is real and we should do something about it”

    Perhaps you could cite examples of this to prove me wrong.

  15. Tom,
    Here’s Bjorn Lomborg’s article which has “Don’t panic” in the title and says

    This is unjustified. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its latest major global analysis, estimated that the total impact of unmitigated climate change from extreme weather, changes in agriculture, rising sea levels and so on would be equivalent to reducing the average person’s income by between 0.2 and 2 percent in the 2070s.

    So, not really a big deal. It also includes

    Climate change is real and man-made, and it requires action.

    So, an article that basically suggests that it’s not such a big deal, also includes a comment about it being real and requiring action. In my experience, this is pretty standard. The rhetoric implies that there’s nothing much to worry about, but there is typically a disclaimer about climate change being real and requiring action.

    In fact, Adam Briggles article provides other potential examples (highlighting the need for some kind of carbon tax at the end of a presentation that largely suggested that things were going pretty well).

  16. ATTP, the IPCC and Nicholas Stern agree with Lomborg on the effect of climate change on income.

    Climate change is expected to reduce the growth of incomes, not reduce incomes, up to a certain level. If we take no action regarding mitigation or adaptation, eventually the effects of ACC will prove to be a bigger drag on incomes.

    The threat of ACC, as acknowledged by both Lomborg and Pielke, is not to incomes. It is to overall well-being. Loss of marshland and waterfronts won’t make us poorer financially. It will make us poorer in other ways.

  17. Tom,
    Except, if you read the IPCC documents, or listen to Nicholas Stern, the overall is message is not really consistent with the impact being fairly small. For starters, there are large uncertainties associated with the estimates. Secondly, there are lots of impacts that are not easily quantifiable. This is kind of the point about rhetoric. We can take some information that appears consistent with, for example, the IPCC and suggest that it’s not such a big deal. However, this kind of message largely ignores that there is a possibility that the impact could be severely negative and that there are many factors that are not necessarily considered by the estimates that suggest that the impact will probably be quite small.

    As far as Nicholas Stern is concerned he said

    Climate change is a result of the greatest market failure that the world has seen

    and

    The evidence on the seriousness of the risks from inaction or delayed action is now overwhelming. We risk damages on a scale larger than the two world wars of the last century. The problem is global and the response must be a collaboration on a global scale

    I don’t think anyone would suggest that this is somehow a similar message to that being presented by Lomborg (this is from 2007, but I don’t think Stern’s become more optimistic since then).

  18. No, but as Tol and many others have pointed out, Stern is essentially being hyperbolic, vitiating much of the good work he otherwise did.

    Of course if climate change is as severe as the decidedly outlier projections describe, a drop in incomes will be the least of our worries. Thankfully, work done by climate scientists over the past decade has shown outlier projections to be just that. Cutting off the fat tails of the PDFs has been hugely important and should reorient discussion of impacts to damaging, mess, expensive–but not catastrophic.

  19. BBD says:

    Loss of marshland and waterfronts won’t make us poorer financially. It will make us poorer in other ways.

    A very Lomborgian misrepresentation, Tom. Reduction in agricultural productivity because of inundation, salination, drought, heatwaves and pest proliferation *will* make us poorer, by driving up food prices globally.

  20. The IPCC is much closer to Pielke and Lomborg than to Stern.

  21. BBD says:

    No, but as Tol and many others have pointed out, Stern is essentially being hyperbolic, vitiating much of the good work he otherwise did.

    And that sort of nonsense isn’t going to fly here either.

  22. BBD, ATTP was in fact discussing incomes, not the cost of living.

  23. BBD says:

    The IPCC is much closer to Pielke and Lomborg than to Stern.

    Nor is that.

  24. Ah, the arbiter speaks. Oh, wait–you’re not the arbiter. Whence the authoritative tone?

  25. BBD says:

    BBD, ATTP was in fact discussing incomes, not the cost of living.

    Difference in real terms?

  26. BBD says:

    Whence the authoritative tone?

    From you, hilarious.

  27. BBD, I offer as evidence (yet again) the IPCC itself: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/

  28. BBD says:

    Going to have to be rather more specific than that, Tom.

  29. BBD says:

    And what is the difference, in real terms, between income and the cost of living?

  30. BBD, I will give you a chance to actually think about your last comment.

  31. BBD says:

    That’s cool Tom. I gave you the chance to answer the question and you dodged, so we’re done.

    Both [Pielke and Lomborg] advocate near term and significant action

    Ah, the St Augustine gambit: “[…] but not yet” 🙂

    * * *

    Also, for the thread, the author in the article is called Briggle, not Briggles, as Tom rather cheekily slipped in.

  32. izen says:

    @-tf
    “The threat of ACC, as acknowledged by both Lomborg and Pielke, is not to incomes. It is to overall well-being.”

    Sometimes that damage to overall well-being is because of the loss of income. And home. And neighbourhood. And family and friends.

  33. Tom,

    No, but as Tol and many others have pointed out, Stern is essentially being hyperbolic, vitiating much of the good work he otherwise did.

    You’re kind of making the point. There are some who think Stern is being hyperbolic, and others who think those who criticise Stern are underplaying the risks. It’s essentially highlighting how rhetoric can influence what people conclude from information.

    Of course, Richard Tol’s argument includes.

    People live on the equator and in the Arctic, in the desert and in the rainforest.

    Of course, he’s saying this to highlight that climate change doesn’t present an existential threat to humankind, which is probably true. But if all we would worry about is the possibility of something wiping us out completely, then climate change probably doesn’t present that kind of risk. This does not mean that it couldn’t be severely disruptive, which is what concerns most people.

  34. Why would it be relevant for a discussion on scientists that they (officially) advocate for the “right” policies. That is politics.

    What matters whether the science is accurate. Lomborg repeats the same lies over and over again. That is science and it is atrocious.

    There is no reason to see him as a member of the scientific community and it is a pity the media presents him as anything else than an industry lobbyist.

  35. Victor makes a good point. There is no real reason to regard Lomborg as a researcher/scientist. He’s published virtually no independent research, does not belong to any formal research organisation, and regularly promotes information that is simply incorrect.

  36. That may well be because he is a statistician, not a scientist, something he cheerfully acknowledges.

    Lomborg doesn’t repeat the same lies over and over again. He quotes the scientific community and organizations such as the IPCC, FAO, WHO etc. You may not like the conclusions he draws after citing their publications. But calling him a serial liar is venomous. Just say you disagree with his conclusions.

  37. Ah, moderated again. For what?

  38. izen says:

    @-ATTP
    “There is no real reason to regard Lomborg as a researcher/scientist. ”

    But because his rhetoric, or narrative, is politically favoured by some, an attempt was made to give him the status/authority of a researcher/scientist by the Turnball Australian Federal government (a grant of $4 million) with the cooperation of the administration of an Australian University.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-08/bjorn-lomborg-uwa-consensus-centre-contract-cancelled/6456708

  39. Tom,

    Ah, moderated again. For what?

    The word lies

    He quotes the scientific community and organizations such as the IPCC, FAO, WHO etc.

    Except he once claimed sea level had stopped rising based on a year or so of data. He claimed models were ever-predicting warming by many percent based on the anomaly baseline. These might not be lies, but they’re embarassingly silly mistakes and clearly do not qualify as simply quoting the scientific community.

    Izen,

    But because his rhetoric, or narrative, is politically favoured by some, an attempt was made to give him the status/authority of a researcher/scientist by the Turnball Australian Federal government (a grant of $4 million) with the cooperation of the administration of an Australian University.

    Yes, I remember that.

  40. dikranmarsupial says:

    “That may well be because he is a statistician, not a scientist, something he cheerfully acknowledges.”

    It’s equally clear that a lot of scientists (and a few economists) aren’t statisticians ;o)

  41. ATTP, serious question–did he claim that sea level had stopped rising or did he say it had returned to its previous rate of increase? My admittedly imperfect memory is that it was the latter and also that there was at least one paper that said so. In which case he was just wrong, something that might be true of most participants to this thread on occasion.

  42. izen says:

    Pielke’s narrative seems to be that as we get richer we can afford the extra damage from more extreme events.

    This might work if everyone was richer and more than one person spent that money on making their property resilient.

  43. Tom,
    According to this, he said

    Over the past two years, sea levels have not increased at all – actually, they show a slight drop

    You could argue that what he said was true, but anyone who understands these kind of datasets knows that this kind of variability is natural and we don’t expect monotonic increase, year after year. If it’s not intended to be deceptive, it indicates a significant lack of understanding of these basics.

  44. dikranmarsupial says:

    He said worse things than that in the Grauniad piece

    But this is not at all what we have seen. And this is true for all surface temperature measures, and even more so for both satellite measures. Temperatures in this decade have not been worse than expected; in fact, they have not even been increasing. They have actually decreased by between 0.01 and 0.1C per decade. On the most important indicator of global warming, temperature development, we ought to hear that the data are actually much better than expected.

    I think a fairly extreme bit of cherry picking is require to make that factually correct (if, even then, utterly misleading).

  45. dikranmarsupial says:

    That Grauniad peice seems a bit of a factmongery tour-de-force!

  46. I guess this question is inevitable–do you think that the activist community is more/less/the same guilty of that which you impute to Pielke and Lomborg?

  47. dikranmarsupial says:

    Tomaswfuller2 do you agree Lomborg is factmongering in that Grauniad article?

  48. izen says:

    @-tf
    “I guess this question is inevitable–do you think that the activist community is more/less/the same guilty of that which you impute to Pielke and Lomborg?”

    Less.
    It is very difficult to find any in the activist community (?!) who have consistently misrepresented the science over time and subjects as Pielke and Lomberg. And Soon, Happer, Singer, Lindzen, …
    But then there are not powerful business and political interests prepared to fund the activist position.

    Can you think of anybody without credentials in the field that have been offered a new University department to pursue their views that ACC could be catastrophic ?

  49. BBD says:

    do you think that the activist community is more/less/the same guilty of that which you impute to Pielke and Lomborg?

    What Izen said.

  50. Tom,
    I think there are some who do misrepresent the science (Wadhams, McPherson, to name a couple) but from what I’ve seen they get called out too.

  51. BBD says:

    but from what I’ve seen they get called out too.

    I have yet to find a ‘sceptical’ resource like this:

    https://climatefeedback.org/

    I don’t think one exists.

  52. Marco says:

    “That may well be because he is a statistician”

    He isn’t. He is a political scientist. He has lectured in statistics to political scientists at the University of Aarhus, but that still doesn’t make him a statistician. I have a colleague who lectures in mathematics. Does that make her a mathematician? She wouldn’t dare make that claim.

    “You may not like the conclusions he draws after citing their publications.”
    Citing is one thing. Accurately presenting their results is another: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/08/bjorn-lomborg-just-a-scientist-with-a-different-opinion. Note in particular the sea level issue (again). Lomborg *cited* the IPCC, but did not accurately present them to his audience.

    This is standard with Lomborg. His entry into the environmental debate was a book filled with citations to research, and indeed the numbers they presented…but in the end consisted of a long misrepresentation of that same cited research. You just don’t get to only take the lowest or highest number (depending on which of the two helps to present a picture of “nothing go on here, just walk on”), and present that as *the* data.

    Regarding “Smart Solutions For Climate Change” Martin Weitzmann had a good book review in Nature: https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/weitzman/files/467784a.pdf.

  53. Ken Rice: You’ve blocked me on Twitter, so I will respond once here. This is bullsh*t:

    “What I think they actually do is say a bunch of things that basically suggest that there isn’t really much to worry about and then, when challenge, say something like (I paraphrase) “climate change is real and we should do something about it”. ”

    I’ve never said anything remotely like that and much to the contrary. This is not irresponsible rhetoric, for a professor this is just unethical, full stop.

  54. Roger,
    I’m sorry you’re annoyed that I blocked you. I had decided that I wanted to improve my social media experience (I haven’t really succeeded). One reason is probably illustrated by your comment; an accusation that I’m behaving unethically. For starters, my comment was a general comment about the issue highlighted in the article. I provided an example of Bjorn Lomborg doing pretty much that a few comments later. In addition, my comment starts with “What I think they actually do…”, which is – unfortunately – what I think. As far as I’m aware, it’s not unethical to express my views on my blog, even if they are bullshit, and even if doing so does annoy you.

    A serious question for you. Can you explain why going around accusing people of behaving unethically and telling them to stop isn’t an attempt to silence them?

  55. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    Of course if climate change is as severe as the decidedly outlier projections describe, a drop in incomes will be the least of our worries. Thankfully, work done by climate scientists over the past decade has shown outlier projections to be just that. Cutting off the fat tails of the PDFs has been hugely important and should reorient discussion of impacts to damaging, mess, expensive–but not catastrophic.

    Does the upper range of the projected estimates of the vast majority of scientists studying in the field eliminate “catastrophic” climate change as a concern?

    I think your rhetorical framing is more important than playing identity politics by arguing about particular individuals.

  56. I’d like you to stop misrepresenting my political views on climate change.
    If you’d like to accurately represent my views and critique them, that’d be great, but perhaps too much to ask for. At a minimum I’d respectfully ask that you not continue to misrepresent them regardless of what you might (incorrectly) believe to be the case. If you do not understand my views or are not yet fully aware of them, you simply need ask. Continued misrepresentation of my views is indeed unethical.

  57. Roger,
    The problem is that I’ve never represented your political views on climate change. So, I don’t know how to stop doing what I haven’t started doing. What I have done is express my own views about things other people say. This is not the same as mis-representing their views. So, if you’re going to accuse me of doing something, I’d like you to at least point out where I’ve done it. I am more than happy to correct anything I’ve got wrong. I’m not willing to change my own views just because you don’t like them.

    In fact this post didn’t even mention you (which was intentional, I will admit). It only came up in the comments and I responded to one that had mentioned you.

    You also still haven’t answered my question. Why isn’t telling me stop presenting my own views on my blog an attempt to silence me?

  58. Joshua says:

    Roger –

    Have you ever made systems in blog posts or comment sections stating opinions that others might reasonably disagree with?

    How about when you insinuated that you were removed from a journal editorial board because of your scientific beliefs?

  59. You misrepresented my political views in this thread at
    January 11, 2019 at 7:32 am
    In regards to your question: If you interpret my request that you stop misrepresenting my views as an effort to silence you, when faced with a choice about misrepresenting my views or being silent, please chose the latter. Thanks.

  60. Joshua says:

    Ugh…

    …. made comments… Not “made systems”

  61. Q: “Can you explain why going around accusing people of behaving unethically and telling them to stop isn’t an attempt to silence them?”

    A1: Umm, it’s your blog.

    A2: He’s not trying to silence you. He’s trying to persuade you to stop lying about his position.

    He doesn’t care what you think of him. I don’t care what you think of him. But lying about his position is wrong, pathetic and a partial explanation of why you people are trapped in your World War One trenches.

  62. Roger,

    You misrepresented my political views in this thread at
    January 11, 2019 at 7:32 am

    No, I didn’t. I expressed my own view. The comment is

    What I think they actually do is say a bunch of things that basically suggest that there isn’t really much to worry about and then, when challenge, say something like (I paraphrase) “climate change is real and we should do something about it”. This is essentially what the article is getting at; you might explicitly say one thing, but your overall rhetoric is really implying something else.

    Nowhere in the above is there any representation of your views. It expresses my view and then a representation of what I think is done, which is not the same as a representation of their views. Seriously, I’m sorry you don’t like that I have the view above. I do have it, though, and I’m not about to change it just because you’re accusing me of behaving unethically and telling me to stop.

  63. Joshua, Reasonable people can certainly have differing views on what my political beliefs may be, and they should be free to debate those different views. However, when it comes to my political beliefs there is in fact an ultimate authority – me. There is no debate to be had as to what I have written and what I have meant when writing those words, as I know the answers with unimpeachable authority. So when I ask Ken to stop misrepresenting my views, it is not a matter of differences of opinion as to what my views are. It is odd that this has to be spelled out.

  64. Tom,

    He’s trying to persuade you to stop lying about his position.

    Except I haven’t said anything about his position. I’ve expressed my own view of what is said.

  65. Joshua says:

    Roger –

    Do you think that many “skeptics” think your work supports their views that (1) the risks of climate change are not so severe that we should mitigate emissions, and that (2) alarmist and self-serving “activists” are misleading the public into thinking we sold be alarmed about the risks?

    If you think such an interpretion of your work is common, do you think there is nothing you could do, short of misrepresenting the science, to disabuse them of that view of your work?

  66. Roger,

    It is odd that this has to be spelled out.

    What is odd is that you can’t seem to distinguish between me expressing my view (which I have done) and me representing your view (which I haven’t done).

  67. dikranmarsupial says:

    RogerPielkeJr says:

    In regards to your question: If you interpret my request that you stop misrepresenting my views as an effort to silence you, when faced with a choice about misrepresenting my views or being silent, please chose the latter. Thanks.

    Evasion. This is not answering the question. I’m not even sure whether it is even a coherent statement.

  68. Joshua says:

    Roger –

    However, when it comes to my political beliefs there is in fact an ultimate authority – me.

    I think there was an ultimate authority s to why you were removed from that editorial board. Perhaps 538 would be another example where you questioned the ultimate authority.

    I agree that people should spend more time asking for clarifications. I’m not trying to say “you did it first” as a kind of excuse. I’m suggesting some circumspection about characterizing people’s ethics.

  69. I can hear you all singing–It’s a long way to Tipperary…

    Fools.

  70. Thanks all for the exchange!

  71. verytallguy says:

    But lying about his position is wrong, pathetic and a partial explanation of why you people are trapped in your World War One trenches.

    Such a beautifully honed hybrid of moral outrage and lack of self awareness surely deserves to be framed.

  72. Joshua,
    I agree that there are times when it would be useful to get clarifications, but the topic here is how rhetoric can influence (intentionally, or not) how people interpret information. I do think that many people use (or interpret) what Roger says as suggesting that climate change isn’t a particularly big issue. This may well not be what Roger intended. This may not even be consistent with what was actually said. From what I’ve seen, however, it does happen. I don’t think you need to get clarification about what was intended so as to comment on what then appeared to happen. I also don’t think one should necessarily avoid mentioning this just because it might annoy someone.

  73. Roger,

    Thanks all for the exchange!

    Would be quite nice to resolve your accusation of me behaving unethically. It’s now out there. It’s public. If I have ever misrepresented your views, I would quite like to fix it. If I haven’t I would quite like you to withdraw your accusation.

  74. dikranmarsupial says:

    It is worth pointing out that Prof Pielke Jr has argued for a less hostile/partisan approach to the climate debate, but is often rather partisan and hostile in his own interactions. I’m not sure that his authority on what he means is all that unimpeachable. Rashomon…

  75. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    He doesn’t care what you think of him. I don’t care what you think of him. But lying about his position is wrong, pathetic

    Interesting. Is there anyone here reading this exchange that hasn’t already made up their mind on these issues? Is anyone gong to change their views based on your or Roger’s calling Anders a liar or unethical?

    Or not, then why do you care about whether Anders “lied” about Rogers views?

    Oh, and can you respond to this comment?

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/fact-mongering/#comment-135848

  76. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    . I do think that many people use (or interpret) what Roger says as suggesting that climate change isn’t a particularly big issue.

    I think that is obvious.

    I also think it’s significant that Roger often responds with hostility when a “realist” interprets his work in that fashion, but I have yet to see him respond with such hostility (or even negatively?) when “skeptics” do so.

    What might explain such s difference?

    I once asked Roger why he focuses so exclusively on critiquing the work of “realist” scientists. He said it’s because they have disproportionate power. I questioned him about the logic of that response. As I recall, it was at that point he thanked me for the exchange and then moved on. Perhaps a pattern?

  77. Ken,

    You may believe this: “what is said often seems to suggest that there isn’t much to worry about”

    But I’ve written two books, many dozens of papers and testified before Congress many times on the importance of climate policy, in support of the IPCC and presenting adaptation and mitigation policy options that might actually work. Your facile and pejorative characterization of my views is incorrect and unfair. But as you say, you have every right to continue to misrepresent my views based on your misunderstandings. And similarly, I have every right to label your doing so as unethical, given that I have offered you the chance to inform your beliefs. So I guess we end here where we started, but I appreciate the chance to share my views.

  78. BBD says:

    why you people are trapped in your World War One trenches.

    Project much?

    Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, the toad,
    the tadpole, the wall-newt and the water; that in
    the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages,
    eats cow-dung for sallets; swallows the old rat and
    the ditch-dog; drinks the green mantle of the
    standing pool; who is whipped from tithing to
    tithing, and stock- punished, and imprisoned; who
    hath had three suits to his back, six shirts to his
    body, horse to ride, and weapon to wear;
    But mice and rats, and such small deer,
    Have been Tom’s food for seven long year.
    Beware my follower. Peace, Smulkin; peace, thou fiend!

    – Shakespeare King Lear

    And Edgar was faking it.

  79. Maybe we can summarise where we stand. I made what I thought was a reasonably benign comment which – unless I’m reading it wrong – mostly expressed my views about what is sometimes said (I have added an update to clarify what I was getting at). I appreciate that it might annoy some, but it wasn’t intended to misrepresent anyone else’s views. I now have another Professor publicly accusing me of behaving unethically. Hmmm…..

  80. PS. I’m off to work, so dropping out of the discussion… Got 2 syllabi to finalize today.

  81. Joshua says:

    Notice, also, that when I asked Roger for clarification, he just thanked and moved on, but did not clarify (I’m not suggesting causality).

    In my experience, Roger often declines invitations to clarify his views. If course, there might be many reasons for that, but it is interesting in light of this discussion. I wonder about the selectivity in his interest in clarification.

  82. Roger,

    But as you say, you have every right to continue to misrepresent my views based on your misunderstandings. And similarly, I have every right to label your doing so as unethical, given that I have offered you the chance to inform your beliefs. So I guess we end here where we started, but I appreciate the chance to share my views.

    But I’m not representing your views, I’m presenting my views. Why is this so hard for you to understand and why does me presenting my views entitle you to make accusations against me? If I was representing your views, it would start with something like “Roger thinks…”, or “In Roger’s view..”. When the sentence starts with “What I think…” then that is self-evidently my view, not your view.

  83. dikranmarsupial says:

    Roger Pielke Jr wrote: “But I’ve written two books”

    well the one I read certainly seemed to me to suggest that damages caused by climate change were likely to be less than the mainstream scientific/economic communities were suggesting (and indeed, IIRC, that you had been attacked by that community for saying so).

  84. Steven Mosher says:

    Adam Briggle?

    I think he should be brought up on charges for really horrible rhetoric.
    Everyone knows that mentioning Jr or Lomborg causes fights and bad feelings, Adam what the hell
    were you thinking? dunce.

    As long as we are lynching folks for rhetoric we probably need to lynch the fear mongers and
    guys who write we only have x years to save the planet.

    willard go slap adam for trying to play the ref.

  85. Steven Mosher says:

    “PS. I’m off to work, so dropping out of the discussion… Got 2 syllabi to finalize today.”

    Bleats, shoots, and leaves

  86. Everyone knows that mentioning Jr or Lomborg causes fights and bad feelings

    Indeed, one reason I avoided explicit mentions in the post. The comments messed that strategy up 😉

  87. Joshua says:

    Roger –

    and testified before Congress many times

    Do you think that the Republicans who asked you to testify look to your testimony to help justify inaction on climate change (including, but not limited to, opposition to a carbon tax)?

    I do. And so I wonder about the rhetorical impact of your input on the debate about policy to address climate change, and whether if you changed your rhetorical approach, your work might be less likely to be used to justify infection.

    Could you clarify your views on the rhetorical impact of your work on the development of climate change policy?

  88. dikranmarsupial says:

    Joshua wrote “Notice, also, that when I asked Roger for clarification, he just thanked and moved on, but did not clarify (I’m not suggesting causality). “

    Could be worse, when I do that he usually complains about the SkS misinformers page, that I had nothing to do with, had no power to change and had actively argued against. He has done this on the majority of interactions I have had with him on Twitter, to the extent that it seems clearly a rhetorical ploy rather than a genuine grievance against what (little) was written about him on that page.

    Sadly on-line discussions about climate change seem to have a conspicuous absence of people willing to give straight answers to direct questions, or to clarify their actual position.

  89. Joshua says:

    dikran –

    My impression that Roger’s “thanks” are often more rhetorical than they are an expression of gratitude. It’s kind of a trademark.

  90. Roger,

    You may believe this: “what is said often seems to suggest that there isn’t much to worry about”

    Just to be clear, the suggest refered to the said not to the intent (there was also a seems in the sentence). I have no idea what people’s intents are when they say something, but it is possible that how something is interpreted isn’t the same as what was intended. To accuse someone of behaving unethically when they express a view about how things are interpreted seems a bit over the top, especially if you’re someone who has – in the past – complained about people trying to silence you.

  91. dikranmarsupial says:

    Joshua, well quite. In this case I enjoyed the irony of thanking us for the exchange ;o)

  92. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    I would suspect many actively publishing climate scientists would consider the IPCC findings to be conservative. My wife certainly does.

  93. izen says:

    It must be most frustrating when as a scientist and researcher you work to clearly express your views about the subject, only to find that the mainstream finds your statements dubious.
    And the only groups who quote and use your work approvingly are the fringe contrarians who dispute the mainstream.
    However much you claim that you do NOT share that rejection of the science, and are merely pointing out aspects of the problem you view as insufficiently covered, you still get tainted by the fact that your fans are powerful politicians with an animus against the very scientific consensus you support.

    If only these people would read all your books, papers, articles, op eds, blog posts…
    (/sarc)

  94. > I guess this question is inevitable–do you think that the activist community […]

    Holy tu quoque, strawman!

    ***

    > He’s trying to persuade you to stop lying about his position.

    Does it mean we can persuade Junior to stop punching hippies too? Before begging the question, providing a quote for the accusation and some evidence regarding Junior’s position instead of simply handwaving to his overall corpus might bring more persuasion fire power.

    Just take his “testified before Congress many times on the importance of climate policy, in support of the IPCC and presenting adaptation and mitigation policy options that might actually work.” At the very least there’s the omission that he was invited by the Republicans. This should put the in support of the IPCC into perspective.

    Also, if the Republicans invited him, it should at the very least be because even they heard of the grievances he expressed toward the IPCC. Which begs the question – why not include Junior in the “activist community”?

    So much to do, so little time.

  95. I mean, think about it for a second.

    We’re talking about James Inhofe here, James of the Inhofe cheeseburger fame:

    So we now should believe James invited Junior in support of the IPCC?

    There’s no first-person authority in the world that can cover for that kind of disingenuousness.

    To borrow from Adam’s wording, Junior already slid into misrepresentation.

  96. ATTP writes: “However, I do think his point about rhetoric is valid; what we say, and how we say it, can influence what people conclude from that information.”

    Apply that standard to this thread. And weep.

  97. Tom,

    Apply that standard to this thread. And weep.

    Why? Do you think we can engage in discussions that somehow avoid any kind of rhetoric? What do you think should have happened differently?

  98. BBD says:

    Apply that standard to this thread. And weep.

    Why weep, Tom? You are saying stuff, but it isn’t congruent with reality.

  99. > Everyone knows that mentioning Jr

    I believe Adam has a good biographical reason to do so:

    A second example comes from an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by the science policy analyst [Junior], published in August 2018, that proclaimed “good news” about climate and natural disasters. Some 15 years ago, I was a graduate student in his class at the University of Colorado when he assigned [Bjorn]’s book as our first reading. The lesson I took from [Junior] back then was that the facts are not enough. In the [Bjorn] affair, everyone had their own facts assembled to suit their assumptions, priorities, risk tolerances, and so on.

    Thus, I was surprised to see his op-ed counseling us to be “factful” when it comes to climate change.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/fact-mongering/#comment-135894

    ClimateBall players should own what they do. Adam should too. His point about “sliding into misrepresentation” is hard to ignore – Junior just did.

  100. Joshua says:

    In a planet far, far away.

    Anderstron:

    I think there is a problem that arises sometimes when scientists provide accurate scientific information but can’t control, or fail to exercise control. or in effect take advantage of, the rhetorical impact of that information. Sometimes, that leads to a rather wide inaccuracies in how that information is interpreted – which naturally raises questions, and raises the possibility that sometimes the scientists are presenting information at a kind of rhetorical cross-purposes with the information itself.

    Tomtron:

    Well, I think that in other cases, people distort the information that the scientists present, also for rhetorical purposes, to diminish the value of the information they provide. Scientist X is an example, IMO, of such a situation

    Anderstron:

    Well, it is my impression that although Scientist X says that he’s concerned about the risks of climate change, and indeed advocates for a carbon tax, the way he presents his information suggests that we needn’t feel a sense of urgency to mitigating emissions – which seems to be at cross-purposes with concern about the risks of climate change. And more to the point, I certainly think that it’s obvious that many people interpret Scientist X’s work to indicate that there is no urgency. In effect, scientist X’s work winds up being used to justify inaction on climate change.

    Scientist X::

    I would like to clarify. I do think that there is an urgency to mitigating emissions. Perhaps we could explore more as to why you, and in your opinion other, interpret my work to have implications other than what I intend. We could also discuss whether or not I am responsible for people misinterpreting my work to justify inaction.

  101. Joshua,
    A planet very, very far away.

  102. I guess the question is inevitable –

    what about those syllabi?

  103. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    Hopefully one day you will find that planet during your day job. Then we can all move there.

  104. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Apply that standard to this thread. And weep.”

    Says Tom, who when faced with evidence of Lomborg’s fact-mongering refuses to acknowledge that Lomborg had fact-mongered with JAQing tu-quoque

    I guess this question is inevitable–do you think that the activist community is more/less/the same guilty of that which you impute to Pielke and Lomborg?

    If was weeping, it would be tears of laughter, but frankly I am so bored by this sort of bullshit, it isn’t even funny anymore.

  105. Meanwhile, on Planet ClimateBall, here’s how Junior’s Op-Ed starts:

    In his posthumously published book “Factfulness,” the Swedish statistician Hans Rosling describes a paradox: “The image of a dangerous world has never been broadcast more effectively than it is now, while the world has never been less violent and more safe.” A case in point: natural disasters. The earth will always be volatile, but despite recent fires, volcanoes and hurricanes, humanity currently is experiencing a stretch of good fortune when it comes to disasters.

    It’s difficult to be “factful” about disasters—the vivid trauma of each event distracts observers from the long-term decrease in destructiveness. But climate activists make the problem worse by blaming every extreme weather event on human-caused climate change, hoping to scare people into elevated concern.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/some-good-newsabout-natural-disasters-of-all-things-1533331596

    The title, which may not be Junior’s since editors usually have the final say on titles, is – Some Good News—About Natural Disasters, of All Things. We all know what “news” Junior brings regarding extreme weather events. The question then is – in what way are they good news?

    There’s an implicit argument at work here. It looks like this:

    [J1] I have some good news.
    [J2] But alarmists!
    [J3] We need more factfulness.

    There are implicit premises too:

    [J4] I am the king of factfulness.
    [J5] I am the one who provides evidence.
    [J6] Pay no attention to the fact that I’m punching hippies as we speak.

    In the list above, the “I” could be replaced with Junior, Bjorn, Matt King Coal for ClimateBall, but the line of argument extends to Freedom Fighters (or freeze peaches advocates) such as Steven Pinker, Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson.

    The argument needs further clarification, but I got dinner to prepare.

  106. Afor all the weepers, here’s my new favorite example of begging the question:

  107. Joshua says:

    Wiilard –

    Why would the likelihood of the “I” distribution be asymmetric or disproportionate across partisan lines?

  108. > Why would the likelihood of the “I” distribution be asymmetric or disproportionate across partisan lines?

    There’s no need to answer that question to observe that J2, i.e. “but alarmists!”, has some asymmetry built in. Being factful regarding partisan lines, distributions, likelihood functions, and proportionality looks like an open problem to me. It calls for a very different set of tools than the one needed for my points. Or Adam’s, for that matter. What were they?

    The first is simply that facts are always selected. This could lead to cherrypicking, as Adam suggests, but not necessarily. That point undermines the very idea of factfulness, hence why perhaps he chose that WSJ op-ed from Junior. I’ll return to the notion of factfulness. For now, take a moment to consider. An op-ed. In the Wall Street Journal. From Junior. By the usual definition, that counts as activism.

    The second of Adam’s point is that one can select facts to convey a conclusion that do not immediately follow from the facts. Inferences offered in op-eds are seldom closed under deduction. They never come with a complete semantics. Most of the times some dogwhistling is going on.

    Disputing these two points would be hard. From them should follow that the line of argument that Junior offers in his WSJ op-ed fails. One does not simply appeal to factfulness while holding fists in the air and crying “ALARMISTS!!!!!!!” and expect to be well received in Mordor.

  109. Jeffh says:

    Two things. First of all, Lomborg is not a scientist. Not even close.

    Second, anyone who claims that he is correct in most of what he says is seriously deluded in my opinion. His original book contains more flaws than pages. He doesn’t understand what ecosystem services are at all. He comes up with the most absurd prediction for near-future extinction rates based on completely incorrect inputs into the ‘models’ he used. He has not even a basic understanding of wealth inequality or the factors driving and maintaining it, and thus he ritually ignores it. He counts oil palm plantations and other forest monocultures as ‘forest cover’ which is absurd, since these are biological deserts. He tried – and failed – to belittle scenarios produced by the Club of Rome that showed our industrial civilization to be on the track of the worst case scenario some 30 years after publication (I get the impression that he didn’t even read it). His litany goes on and on. Scientists for the most part ignore him completely because we consider him something of a laughingstock. The mainstream corporate-state media adores him because he provides ‘false balance’ in most of the piffle he writes and because the media is owned, funded and managed by corporate elites anxious to dumb down the public and to retain the status quo. In this way the media systematically distorts everything they touch.

    Lomborg is the by-product of the Walter Lippmann approach to public relations. That is to target an audience that knows less than you do. This means that Lomborg, with his miniscule knowledge base, targets a gullible general audience with an even more miniscule knowledge base. When promoting any kind of propaganda its essential to target an audience that is uninformed.

  110. club… of… rome…it must be harvey

  111. Since this thread is already quite contentious, I plan to moderate strictly. Please bear that in mind.

  112. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    Since you don’t care about Anders’ opinions, then why do you care about whether Anders “lied” about Roger’s views?

    Oh, and also…

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/fact-mongering/#comment-135848

  113. What makes you think I don’t care about ATTP’s opinions? There are other subjects than Pielke fils.

  114. Of course there are other subjects:

    Next time you go back there, just change the subject. Don’t get banned for intransigence.

    https://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2017/08/10/economic-denialism#comment-1790250

  115. Joshua says:

    It seems to me that Tom and Roger might be more interested in outrage than in clarification or engagement.

    Here is why I think that:

    What is to be gained by impugning Anders’ ethics, or calling him a liar?

    Tom, for one, doesn’t care about Anders’ opinions about Roger. And, according to Tom, neither does Roger.

    So why are they engaging with Anders about his opinion of Roger if they don’t care about Anders’ opinions about Roger?

    A bit of a conundrum. Will calling Anders a liar or impugning Anders’ ethics have some beneficial outcome? Will it enhance Roger’s standing with someone? Will it provide insight for someone who is trying to assess Anders’ opinions?

    As someone who knows Tom personally, perhaps Steven can help me to understand Tom’s perspective.

    Here’s what I think is more likely: Both Tom and Roger get some measure of emotional satisfaction from hostile engagement with people who criticize them. Which is interesting, given that they both are critical of others for hostile engagement, and have discussed how they think that others’ hostile engagement is counterproductive to dealing with climate change.

    Is the logic that through hostile engagement, they will reduce the impact of hostile engagement?

  116. Joshua says:

    What makes you think I don’t care about ATTP’s opinions? There are other subjects than Pielke fils.

    Yeah, I thought of that after I posted my previous comment. See my next comment once it exits moderation.

  117. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    Can you briefly clarify your moderation standard?

  118. Joshua,
    I think liar triggers automatic moderation. Maybe I should remove that for this thread 🙂

  119. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    Yeah, I saw that earlier. I’m wondering what else from this thread might be a trigger. I mean obviously, the whole thing has more or less migrated away from the OP into food fight territory – but I was wondering if there was some other bright line that’s been crossed.

  120. Joshua says:

    Willard –

    Re your 5:31. Point taken, we don’t need to discuss asymmetry to discuss who replaces “I” in those statements. But looking at the lost of candidates, I was wondering if you think the set of candidates is asymmetric.

  121. Will get back to the asymmetry later, J. Meanwhile, here’s Hans’ paradox, again:

    The image of a dangerous world has never been broadcast more effectively than it is now, while the world has never been less violent and more safe.

    Two things spring to mind. First, the adjectives and the adverbs. Second, the nouns. The first stretch factivity: how do we establish dangerosity, effectiveness, violence and safety trends? The second indicate where the concept of factfulness seems to bend the paradox – the contrast between the image of the world being broadcasted and the world (i.e. itself). How does having more complete information, would make people less fearful?

    From a mere historical standpoint, the ancient image of a world where Evil really exists looks quite dangerous, an anxiety that God’s existence may help alleviate. But wait – is God’s existence a part of the image of the world, or part of the world itself?

    Hans’ paradox then seems to rest on something like the idea that we have direct access to the world. He’s pulling Plato’s trick over again. On the one hand, there is those to whom are broadcasted images of the world. On the other, there is him, with his charts and his TED talks.

  122. verytallguy says:

    Is this where we’re at?

  123. KiwiGriff says:

    “Similarly, long-term trends (1925-2003) of hydrologic droughts based on model derived soil moisture and runoff show that droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U.S. over the last century (Andreadis and Lettenmaier, 2006).”

    Forget to add in main text hide in the small print no one reads.

    “The main exception is the Southwest and parts of the interior of the West, where increased temperature has led to rising drought trends (Groisman et al., 2004; Andreadis and Lettenmaier, 2006).”

    Yet presents himself as an honest broker countering them alarmists.

    Hide the pea.

    [Mod: I’m just going to moderate the last part of this comment.]

  124. BBD says:

    A pattern which I think is consistent with both modelling and palaeoclimate evidence.

  125. BBD says:

    Not sure if the image link will work, but…

  126. There was a tweet I saw last year (I forgot from whom) pointing out that there were (expected to be) large changes in precipitation (and maybe evaporation) across the western USA, but that net overall change was small. Hence if you focused on the latter, you could make it appear that nothing had change when, in fact, the changes were actually quite substantial.

  127. If the southwest reverts to the millenial mean, with 200 year droughts punctuated by a few heavy rainy seasons, will you call that ACC?

  128. Tom,
    According to this

    There is a strong consensus that rising global temperatures forced by anthropogenic CO2 emissions will increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of droughts across the American Southwest. Increased evaporation due to warmer surface temperatures and decreased precipitation will drive significant reductions in soil moisture across the region.

    Just because some region is already susceptible to something doesn’t mean that ACC can’t impact it further.

  129. BBD says:

    If the southwest reverts to the millenial mean

    Why would you expect a reversion to a millennial mean given the ongoing, anthro-forced climate change?

  130. If the southwest reverts to the millenial mean, with 200 year droughts punctuated by a few heavy rainy seasons, will you call that ACC?

    This is exactly the kind of “Shrug? What me worry?” rhetoric that the original post is talking about.

    “Pfft? 200-year drought consistent with modelling? It could just be natural! By the way, for the record, climate change is real and I advocate a revenue-neutral carbon tax and I urge action.” – not a direct quote…

  131. Thought that might tweak someone. I don’t know if this will work, but…

    https://nca2009.globalchange.gov/southwest-drought-timeline/index.html

  132. I can never get the picture to show up. I’m just too word dependent.

  133. Tom,
    If you want a picture to show, you need to paste the url for an image.

    How about this

    Across much of the United States, surface soil moisture is projected to decrease as the climate warms, driven largely by increased evaporation rates due to warmer temperatures. This means that, all else being equal, future droughts in most regions will likely be stronger and potentially last longer. These trends are likely to be strongest in the Southwest and Southern Great Plains, where precipitation is projected to decrease in most seasons (Figure 2.5, right) and droughts may become more frequent.

  134. I found it, Tom!

    The chart that says:

    Models indicate that, in the future, droughts will continue to occur, but will become hotter, and thus more severe, over time

    That one?

    Off to check on the NCA4, 9 years and two reports hence…

  135. izen says:

    @-tf
    “If the southwest reverts to the millenial mean, with 200 year droughts punctuated by a few heavy rainy seasons”

    Your link is based on reconstructed river flow and does not appear to reference temperature or rainfall outside of this proxy.

    The research I can find indicates that there is a record of hot, ~10 year droughts interspersed with longer, cooler, wetter periods.
    There is in the paleo-record an indication that during the MWP temperatures rose to levels similar to those seen back in the 1990s and a widespread drought lasted for 20 years.
    But most of the record shows a strong anti-correlation between temperature and rainfall driven by the ENSO and PDO quasi-cycles interacting producing a pattern of variation with a decadel timescale, not 200 years.

    However that pattern of temperature variation is now dominated by a large rise in temperature over the instrumental record, well above any past levels, certainly for the last last 1000 years, and probably since the Holocene maximum ~8000 years ago.

    If the past is any guide to the future, the present temperatures will be accompanied by significantly reduced rainfall. However this may be dependent on how the observed anthropogenic rise in temperature impacts the ENSO and PDO quasi-cycles, and how it affects the Hadley cells convergence zones, as this is also a major driver for the local climate. However early indications suggest that this will make things worse over time.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/107/50/21283
    ” One projected (and possibly already detected) result of global warming is an extension of the poleward arm of the Hadley cell that will cause an expansion of the area under the drying influence of subtropical high pressure (2, 20). Whereas some of these large-scale responses to warming may not have operated in the past others, such as SSTs anomalies in the tropical oceans, have been critical drivers. Past droughts best suited as analogues for the future are those accompanied by hemispherical temperature changes favoring drought-inducing circulation and directly amplifying regional drought conditions and impacts.”

  136. Willard says:

    > Is this where we’re at?

    Almost, Very Tall:

    [Vladimir] Doing things right is fine, but we should also do the right things.

    [Pozzo] I dare you to say that Boy & Lucky don’t do the right things.

    [Vladimir] See their op-eds and their Congressional testimonies.

    [Pozzo] You just disapprove of their policies they advocate.

    [Vladimir] No, I disapprove of their irresponsible rhetoric.

    [Pozzo] You falsely characterize their position. Why are you lying?

    [Vladimir] For the same reason I punch hippies.

    [Pozzo] Perhaps you could give me a few examples of where Boy’s wrong.

    [Vladimir] Boy does what I say he does here and there.

    After a few more rounds, Lucky came in. Then Pozzo provided more diversion.

    One day Godot will come.

  137. izen says:

    Here is a more complete picture of past conditions from the link I gave above.
    Note the MWP drought around 1100 was exceptional, and that major droughts occur when both the Colorado and Sacramento river flows are reduced.
    (apologies if this comes out too big, the original is a HD file)

  138. Jeffh says:

    Lomborg is ‘not complacent’… ? Cue laughter. Most importantly, who are the people listening to him? Certainly not the vast majority of the scientific community. He is ignored. The backlash against him being appointed at a university in Australia reveal how much he is respected among most academics. If not for the metaphorical megaphone given to him by the corporate media he would already have vanished.

    Frankly, there should no longer be any ‘debate’ about the causes or severity of AGW. It’s happening and thanks to 30 years of procrastination our species is in deep trouble no matter what we now do. This is largely the result of being wedded to a rapaciously unsustainable, predatory form of capitalism called neoliberalism, along with a highly successful, well organized and well funded campaign of denial (as well detailed by Robert Brulle and others).

    In an earlier thread here I saw the word ‘adaptation’ being bandied about repeatedly. That is a word which has about as many meanings to people as the two word phrase ‘sustainable development’. Weasel words. What does adaptation mean? To those in denial, it essentially means business-as-usual and that human ingenuity will deal with any potentially harmful effects of warming: bigger and better sea walls, better irrigation in drought threatened regions, crops genetically modified to withstand increased droughts, heatwaves or intense rainfall events. This indeed in part is Lomborg’s vision: one tenet of neoclassical economic theory.

    But what about natural systems? They are not only confronted with a potential rise in surface temperatures some 20 times faster than occurred at the Permian-Triassic boundary, an event referred to as the ‘great dying’ where some 95% of marine and 75% of terrestrial biodiversity was wiped out over around 100-200 centuries. Humans have already poisoned, fragmented, eliminated, biologically homogenized and ultimately simplified ecosystems across the biosphere, thus inflicting other immense stresses on the species living in them. Then we throw rapid warming into the mix. These are complex adaptive systems that sustain life and permit humans to exist and to persist, in the words of Princeton ecologist Simon Levin.

    To ecologists like me, a good analogy is that humans are living on the fifth floor of a building. We pour gasoline and set fire to the first four floors and then hunker down in the fifth. We develop technologies that prevent the fire spreading to the fifth floor, and in our complacency feel that we are safe. But what happens if the fire burns too extensively through the first four floors? The house will collapse, taking us with it. We may not burn but we won’t survive or if we do it will be very tough going. Isn’t the most logical course of action not to have started the fire in the first place, or to put it out as quickly as possible? The first four floors represent that natural systems that we depend upon in a myriad of ways.

    Right now the fire is raging and we are doing little to extinguish it, instead delaying, avoiding, and lulling ourselves into the false belief that we will technologically deal with AGW. In my opinion it is madness. We are in deep trouble already, and I see little hope that we are equipped as a species to deal with it.

  139. BBD says:

    Tom

    Why would you expect a reversion to a millennial mean given the ongoing, anthro-forced climate change? I’m genuinely curious.

  140. Willard says:

    Let the data speak for itself:

    Wait, was it Zeke’s voice?

  141. Everett F Sargent says:

  142. angech says:

    …and Then There’s Physics says: January 11, 2019 at 7:32
    ” yet neither Lomborg nor Pielke make those arguments. Both advocate near term and significant action to combat what they acknowledge is real, human-caused influences on this planet’s climate, and that the major influence is our emissions of greenhouse gases.
    I don’t think they advocate significant action. What I think they actually do is say a bunch of things that basically suggest that there isn’t really much to worry about and then, when challenge, say something like (I paraphrase) “climate change is real and we should do something about it”.
    RPJ
    “I’ve never said anything remotely like that and much to the contrary. This is not irresponsible rhetoric, for a professor this is just unethical, full stop.”
    ATTP “Roger, The problem is that I’ve never represented your political views on climate change”
    “What I think they actually do is say a bunch of things that basically suggest that there isn’t really much to worry about”
    Sounds a little bit representative.
    Perhaps??

  143. Those who’ve followed this comment thread may find this article of interest. Apparently there are occasions when it’s okay for an academic to comment on, or criticise, what another academic says.

  144. Marco says:

    Gotta love Brad acknowledging Marc Morano for providing several of those quotes!

  145. Steven Mosher says:

    “As someone who knows Tom personally, perhaps Steven can help me to understand Tom’s perspective.”

    I would say in all my conversations with Tom he consistently puts concerns for the poor above everything else. For example, in the debates over cap and trade ( markeys stuff?) he was furious at obama for spending political capital on that when he thought the capital should be spent elsewhere on other fights for the poor.
    I imagine he supports Lomborg because Lomborg prioritizes other problems.

    As I saw it Tom is a lukewarmer which means he will emphasize mitigation less, and would
    rather see monies going into solving IMMMEDIATE PRESSING problems with the poor.

    Take homelessness in SF. If you asked either one of us while we lived there would we rather spend 1 dollar on climate change to avoid the future risk, or 1 dollar to house our friends living
    in tents, we both would prioritize the immediate problems of those tormented souls.

    That’s how I remember his position

    The other thing is Tom likes to make space for marginalized folks in debates, from what I saw.

  146. Steven Mosher says:

    “Here’s what I think is more likely: Both Tom and Roger get some measure of emotional satisfaction from hostile engagement with people who criticize them. ”

    I can’t speak for Roger, don’t know him. For Tom, definately does not like hostile engagement with folks.

    In any case there are a lot of un finished fights over the years on the internet with all of us
    arguing, a lot of harsh words, and mistakes, and hurt feelings.

    best suggestion I can make is keep your side of the street clean. 2019.

  147. dikranmarsupial says:

    ” For Tom, definately does not like hostile engagement with folks.”

    In that case, perhaps he should try acknowledging the evidence that contradicts his statements (e.g. blatant fact-mongering in the Grauiniad article by Lomborg) rather than evading it with a JAQ tu-quoque attack. That sort of rhetoric is frankly rather rude, and bound to incite hostility (as it suggests a substantial disrespect for your interlocutor).

    There are lots of people who discuss climate on-line who like the appearance of polite discussion, but are quite happy to engage in ostensibly polite, but nevertheless hostile and disingenuous arguments. I’m not a mind-reader, and try to assume that is not the case, so the above is offered as a suggestion for avoiding unnecessary hostility.

  148. Tom and I have had some relatively hostile exchanges in the past and I certainly didn’t get the sense that he didn’t like it. However, I will say that we do seem to be able to engage in dialogue these days, which I take as a positive. I actually have quite a lot of time for people who can simply move forward and try to engage more constructively, even if past engagements have not been. Some can. Some can’t.

  149. Steven Mosher says:

    2019.
    i will not insult BBD and will try to find common ground with joshua.
    and not give advice unless asked.

  150. angech says:

    best suggestion I can make is keep your side of the street clean. 2019.
    OK, for 1 person only, starting now, enjoy the rest of 2019.

  151. Dave_Geologist says:

    thomaswfuller2 says: Briggles writes, “Even if Lomborg avoided FFP and made solid arguments, a question still remained: were the sound arguments he made also the right ones?

    I suppose it depends on which example(s) you quote, but I seem to remember many where he was just plain wrong. And others where he was Not Even Wrong.

    In general, that question doesn’t remain. It was clinging on by its fingertips a decade ago and was settled years ago.

  152. Dave_Geologist says:

    More Lomborg: “That may well be because he is a statistician, not a scientist, something he cheerfully acknowledges.”

    I thought he was a political scientist? Which I agree doesn’t make him a scientist. Certainly not a climate scientist. According to Wiki that’s what his degree is in. And he “lectured in statistics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Aarhus as an assistant professor (1994–1996) and associate professor (1997–2005).” That sounds like a statistics-for-non-statisticians course, rather like the statistics-for-geologists course I assisted on as a classroom assistant while doing my geology PhD. I certainly wouldn’t claim to be a statistician. And nor would the mineralogist/structural geologist who taught the course. Although he did come up with some rather clever graphing protocols.

  153. Dave_Geologist says:

    BBD says: “Why would you expect a reversion to a millennial mean given the ongoing, anthro-forced climate change?”

    Of course, that presumes that “200 year droughts punctuated by a few heavy rainy seasons” really is the millennial mean, a fact that appears not to be in evidence 😉 .

  154. Dave_Geologist says:

    Oops, posted too soon. I see. There was a big drought in 1600, and by sometime before 2009 there hadn’t yet been as big a one. Maybe. As was pointed out earlier, taking a large enough area can hide localised changes like some places getting floods and others droughts, at the same time. And the Colorado River has a large catchment, although much of it is perhaps a bit far north to qualify as The Southwest. It’s certainly not geographically representative of huge swathes of the Southwest.

    But let’s ignore those caveats. Because there were big droughts in the past, we don’t have to worry about the bigger droughts predicted in the future? ‘Cos it’s only modulz? I thought you accepted the science thomas, and just disagreed over the action plan? Do you expect global temperatures to revert to the millennial mean? If not, do you expect Clausius-Clapeyron not to apply in the 21st Century?

  155. Joshua says:

    Steven –

    Tom he consistently puts concerns for the poor above everything else.

    I think eveyone here is concerned about the poor


    would
    rather see monies going into solving IMMMEDIATE PRESSING problems with the poor.

    Do you think he sees those concerns as dichotomous? I sure don’t. Not only that, although I think they might be in tensjon at some level, they aren’t in anything approaching diametric opposition.

    Immediate, pressing concerns of the poor are not sufficiently addressed for a variety of reasons, IMO, and concerns about the risks of ACO2 emissions tanks quite far down in the list. Mitigationists don’t explain the existence of poverty, or a lack of progress in addressing oroverty, in any meaningful sense, IMO.

    And problematic w/r/t the relationship of those concerns, IMO, is that anti-mitigationists promote a counterproductive and narritive (hippie punching) that mitigation comes anywhere near preventing progress in poverty relative to other concerns.

    In fact, the anti-mitigationist arguments that I see most, frequently, uniformly fail to address the negative impact on poverty from enriching and empowering misogynistic dictatorial governments in oil rich cointries, and devoting trillions of dollars to ensuring the global flow of oil.

    And to top thst off, I think it is important to consider that the set of people who embrace anti-mitigationism largely overlaps with the art of people who, IMO, who be most resistent to addressing poverty. As such, the falsely dichotomous rhetoric about the relationship between mitigation and poverty looks more to me like a convenient vehicle to carry ideological water.

    Which brings us back to the topic of the OP.

    And nine of which goes very far to helping me to understand why Tom seems to think that he will advance progress against poverty by wading in here and baiting people to create an identity politics framework for addressing the question of rhetorical impact, and then, calling Anders a liar.

  156. BBD says:

    2019.
    i will not insult BBD

    You know you love me really, Steven.

  157. BBD says:

    In fact, the anti-mitigationist arguments that I see most, frequently, uniformly fail to address the negative impact on poverty from enriching and empowering misogynistic dictatorial governments in oil rich cointries, and devoting trillions of dollars to ensuring the global flow of oil.

    +1

  158. Chubbs says:

    If you want to help the poor, collect a carbon tax and give the monies evenly to those below a certain income threshold.

  159. Pitting poors against AGW (i.e. “#ButThePoor!”) is part the Lomborg Collective’s brand. Here’s a synthetic example of how it works:

    > Bjørn Lomborg argues that we should focus our spending on immediate problems, such as ensuring Africans have access to clean water.

    A water well in Africa costs 7,000 USD and serves 2,000 persons:

    http://waterwellsforafrica.org/whats-the-cost/

    $4 million AUD is $3,2 million USD.

    Should we dig more than 450 water wells in Africa and provide fresh water to 900 000 Africans, or should we invest in the Lomborg Collective Consensus Center?

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/matt-ridley-on-coal/#comment-54474

    I don’t think we can call this rhetoric responsible.

  160. Mosh is very kind in his descriptions–I’m neither as nice nor as generous as portrayed.

    Chubb offers a practical solution to some of the back and forth about using a carbon tax for mitigation. It’s fine with me–let’s go for it. I anticipate difficulties getting such a proposal through legislatures, but I’ll vote for it.

    It addresses my primary concern regarding the intersection of poverty and climate change. Which is simply this: We can offer or use resources to help assure a habitable planet for future generations and I, like most, am for that. However, future generations cannot make sacrifices to assist the poor of today. Today’s poor are today’s problem.

    Hence I argue that we must evaluate the total sum of monies we are willing to use for ‘good’ causes and actually have a budget helping direct them.

    I acknowledge this is much easier for a lukewarmer such as myself. For good or ill, the data I have seen has convinced me that ACC is not a threat to human (or most animal) life or our various civilizations, so if I pull a dollar our of the mitigation pot to send to today’s poor I don’t feel like I’m threatening the planet. Those who the same data has convinced the problem of climate change is dramatically worse will doubtless be more reluctant to use monies they would like to see go for mitigation go somewhere–anywhere–else.

    But the data that pushes me to lukewarmerism is not climate data. It is economics–stuff like discount rates, cost benefit analyses, time series comparing economic growth with climate impacts, paleohistorical drought records from large geographic regions, etc. As these are the types of data people like Lomborg and Pielke work with (and which brings them to somewhat similar conclusions as myself) it is probably inevitable that I will be defending them against ill-natured and (IMO) ill-advised attacks.

  161. Quick addendum– when I write “But the data that pushes me to lukewarmerism is not climate data” I am speaking of policy regarding impacts, not the truth/falsity of climate change.

  162. > if I pull a dollar our of the mitigation pot to send to today’s poor I don’t feel like I’m threatening the planet

    One the one hand, it’s a buck. One the other, it’s not a buck but another scale altogether. More something in the range of a trillion. The difference between a trillion and a trillion and one is less significant than the argument portrays.

    Here is Ruddiman’s wording of the Lomborg Collective’s pet argument:

    [Lomborg asks whether it makes more sense committing a relatively large amount of money to try to reduce future global warming by suppressing carbon emissions or spending a smaller amount to deal with many of the problems that currently afflict humans and the environment.

    In my opinion, this argument sells well because it combines three ingredients. First, it reminds something that is plausible: we must tackle other societal challenges, which are important and less expensive. Second, it provides a dilemma: either we tackle these challenges or suppress carbon emissions. Third, this dilemma implies that if you are for suppressing carbon emissions, you are against tackling other societal challenges.

    There is an obvious problem with this argument. If these important societal challenges are inexpensive, tackling them should not prevent us from suppressing carbon emissions. When trying to put forth a dilemma, one usually tries to argue that doing both prongs is impossible. Lomborg can’t do that, since he wants to convey the idea that not trying to solve important societal problems first would be inhumane, as they cost next to nothing compared to cutting carbon emission.

    The simplest way to deal with Lomborg-like arguments is to agree with the most plausible premises and rebut the dilemma. We could also put Lomborg’s societal matters into perspective: no environmental challenge matters if there is no environment left.

    ***

    It’s not like we’ve never been here before.

  163. I watched John Schellnhuber speaking last month and he (and he’s not the first) made the analogy that if you are on a ship that has a hole in it’s hull and is taking on dangerous amounts of water, you don’t prioritize the nutritional value of next week’s menu or the upgrades to the staff quarters to the exclusion of dealing with the leak and water in the hold.

    The Lomborg-Ian prescription has always been farcical. And probably contributed as cover or cheering for exactly the de-prioritizing of decarbonization during the last decade+ when we could have done so much.

    And isn’t it odd that people like Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and on and on somehow manage to spend to deal with both climate change and “more urgent problems”.

  164. Oh, and the Ruddiman quote comes from this:

    https://atmos.washington.edu/2008Q2/111/Readings/Ruddiman2008_Lomborg_review.pdf

    He wasn’t fooled by the Lomborg Collective:

    At times, he [Lomborg] does undercut his credibility by recycling disingenuous arguments from global warming skeptics.

    Now, why would Paul have the same impression as Adam Briggle?

    Here would be a hint:

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=gwpf+lomborg

  165. BBD says:

    But the data that pushes me to lukewarmerism is not climate data.

    That’s illogical, captain.

  166. Joshua says:

    I anticipate difficulties getting such a proposal through legislatures, but I’ll vote for it.

    Which programs to address global poverty won’t encounter difficulties passing through legislatures?

    And more to the point, which of those programs won’t encounter difficulties from the same segments of legislatures that stand in the way of a carbon tax?

    Hence I argue that we must evaluate the total sum of monies we are willing to use for ‘good’ causes and actually have a budget helping direct them.

    This, it seems to me, is anunrealistic and fanciful, and ultimately useless argument.

    There is no distinct “total sum” of money which can or will be used for good causes. Instead, there is a set of beliefs about which programs are the most efficacious, and a set of beliefs about how much sacrifice on the part of the well-off should be made to benefit the less well-off. The “total sum of monies,” to the extent that one exists in some theoretical form, is dynamic, and it is the product of a wide range of factors that intersect in complicated ways.

    As such, the notion that if we direct money towards one program we’re taking away from some non-existent, theoretical program, in some counterfactual construction, serves not practical purpose. And I think it isn’t at all coincidental that we often see this argument constructed in the context of hippie punching.

    The notion that there is some simplistic zero sum gain dynamic that exists between mitigation and addressing poverty is…well.. simplistic – particularly when we begin to look at how externalities plays into the notion of “cost” w/r/t mitigation.

    It addresses my primary concern regarding the intersection of poverty and climate change.

    Another problem is that it is quite arguable that actually, mitigation and “climate justice” is, in fact, an inextricable element of comprehensive approach to addressing poverty – particularly as we move forward.

    For good or ill, the data I have seen has convinced me that ACC is not a threat to human (or most animal) life or our various civilizations, so if I pull a dollar our of the mitigation pot to send to today’s poor I don’t feel like I’m threatening the planet.

    :”Threatening the planet” is a vague and ultimately unfortunate term. One can be concerned about negative “costs” resulting from a lack of addressing climate change (i.e., negative externalities) without describing them as “threatening the planet.” So here we have built, on top of a foundation made of a false dilemma, a red herring.

    But once again, why is there a construction of pulling a dollar out of mitigation to send to the poor, rather than pulling a dollar out of the trillions of dollars spend to ensure the flow of oil, to send to the poor?

    Please, someone, provide a compelling reason why we’re limiting the discussion of the dollars to be spend on the poor from the set of dollars that would (arguably) be from the “cost” of mitigation!

    it is probably inevitable that I will be defending them against ill-natured and (IMO) ill-advised attacks.

    The question I have asked is why do you do so by calling Anders a li*r? Can you explain by what measure, calling Anders a li*r about RPJr.,, will help the poors?

  167. If willard’s and RNS’s arguments about the potential impacts of climate change hold true, so does their position on Lomborg, myself and how we should spend our surplus dollars.

    But the IPCC clearly does not agree with them regarding impacts. And I must say I have linked to their report frequently and yet nobody from willard’s and RNS’s side of the table have engaged on it, that I can recall.

    If the IPCC is right, the planet, our civilizations, are not threatened by climate change.

  168. Speaking of the economics that so persuades Tom, I think it is fair to say that most of the IAM’s are so crude that they are ripe for some rude awakenings.

    As I understand them, amongst the assumptions they make is simply excluding any potential for abrupt changes to damages – because the economic models aren’t designed to handle these situations, even though the physical models don’t rule them out.

    Amongst other crazy aspects of the IAM’s is the extremely limited interlinkages of economic damages across sectors of the economy. You are left with bizarre assumptions that damages to a sector are largely self-contained. So, if, say, the agriculture, fishing and forestry sectors of the US economy were to be completely wiped out (permanently even!), then the damage to the economy at large would be limited to their share of GDP, less than 3% or so. It doesn’t even make any sense. But there you go.

  169. BBD says:

    But the IPCC clearly does not agree with them regarding impacts.

    I’ve already asked on this thread that you be specific about this. Please, let’s have some specifics.

  170. It’s not like no one here has read what the IPCC says. That you think that, say, the IPCC SR1.5 suggests that ecosystems and humans and human activities and infrastructure “are not threatened by climate change” is an extreme outlier.

  171. Joshua says:

    Oh, and Tom –

    how we should spend our surplus dollars.

    Please define “surplus dollars,” and why you are constructing a zero sum gain between the supposed “cost” of mitigation and spending to alleviate poverty.

    If the IPCC is right, the planet, our civilizations, are not threatened by climate change.

    Please explain why you are focusing on the threat to the planet, our civilizations” rather than risks of significantly negative risks posed by continuing emissions.

    Catastrophizing is sub-optimal

  172. BBD says:

    If the IPCC is right, the planet, our civilizations, are not threatened by climate change.

    This is a very odd statement. Please provide specific examples where AR5 (any WG) states that AGW presents no threat to the environment or to human society.

  173. Joshua says:

    BBD –

    As I understand it, Tom is saying that AGW isn’t an existential “threat” to the planet or a threat to end our civilizations..

    Of course, I could be wrong. But if I”m not, what he’s doing is downplaying the risks short of such a (nebulous) catastrophic standard.

    If I’m right, we’ve seen this came played endlessly by “skeptics.”

  174. BBD, (and perhaps others), read the report and I’ll be happy to discuss. Joshua, it isn’t ‘Tom’ saying it. It is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

  175. BBD says:

    No Tom. You keep making the claim so you can provide specifics. Or you can walk it back.

  176. BBD says:

    As I understand it, Tom is saying that AGW isn’t an existential “threat” to the planet or a threat to end our civilizations..

    Not… not a strawman?? OMG.

  177. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    Please define what you mean by “threat to the planet, our civilizations.”

  178. BBD says:

    Give the chap a chance, Joshua. He’s got to go through the entire of AR5 trying to find it saying something it didn’t. Could take a few minutes…

  179. > If willard’s and RNS’s arguments about the potential impacts of climate change hold true, so does their position on Lomborg, myself and how we should spend our surplus dollars. But the IPCC clearly does not agree with them regarding impacts.

    Another switch and bait, this time helped by failing to identify these “arguments” and the IPCC’s position. The “arguments” I offered follow from the Lomborg Collective’s Master Argument itself. These “arguments” would refute the IPCC position if the IPCC held it.

    Shirt ripping is near.

  180. Joshua says:

    BBD –

    Give the chap a chance, Joshua.

    He should take all the time he wants

  181. > I think it is fair to say that most of the IAM’s are so crude that they are ripe for some rude awakenings.

  182. BBD says:

    What this site needs is those rolling, laughing emoticons.

  183. Joshua says:

    or one that cries.

  184. willard writes: “Another switch and bait, this time helped by failing to identify these “arguments” and the IPCC’s position.”

    thomaswfuller2 says:
    January 11, 2019 at 11:09 am
    BBD, I offer as evidence (yet again) the IPCC itself: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/

  185. I am under the impression that at least willard and BBD and perhaps Joshua are not Americans. So perhaps they don’t need this. Or perhaps they are too far gone to benefit from it.

    https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2019/01/be-nice-again-america-national-group-urges.html

    I however, need and benefit from it.

    “While it might seem that civility has been completely lost in politics and significantly eroded in both public and private life, one organization is trying to push back against the tsunami of toxicity and contention sweeping the country. It’s a development that, according to polls, Americans desperately want.

    The National Institute for Civil Discourse is urging Americans to be respectful of one another again. The institute and its new executive director, Keith Allred, are behind a push to engage elected officials and citizens toward civility at a time when discourse is degrading, with the hope that people will remember how to disagree with one another in good faith.

    “It’s not the difference of opinion on policy that makes us bitter,” Allred said. “But thinking they’re a bad person.”

  186. Before Joshua lapses into the tired trope of accusing ex-hippies of hippy punching, he writes:
    “There is no distinct “total sum” of money which can or will be used for good causes. Instead, there is a set of beliefs about which programs are the most efficacious, and a set of beliefs about how much sacrifice on the part of the well-off should be made to benefit the less well-off. The “total sum of monies,” to the extent that one exists in some theoretical form, is dynamic, and it is the product of a wide range of factors that intersect in complicated ways.

    As such, the notion that if we direct money towards one program we’re taking away from some non-existent, theoretical program, in some counterfactual construction, serves not practical purpose.”

    These are good points. However, the costed proposals I have seen for implementing global scale mitigation involve staggering sums. They will not only impact the well-being of wealth and middle class citizens of the over-developed world. They will consume monies that would otherwise be available for either charity or development in poor countries, as well as for the remaining poor in the rich world.

    No amount of dynamism can change that. We can of course spend money on ‘fig-leaf’ activities that purport to address climate change but in fact do very little, or we can spend about $23 trillion to either build out renewables or to construct a new fleet of nuclear power stations.

    I confess that when I looked at the math for serious mitigation, it depressed me. I would love to have an unlimited supply of money to address poverty, climate change and a host of other issues simultaneously. But I don’t see it.

  187. BBD says:

    Tom, despite repeated, polite requests, you have not identified the specifics in AR5 supporting your claim that:

    If the IPCC is right, the planet, our civilizations, are not threatened by climate change.

    Nor have you clarified what exactly it is you meant by:

    […] threat to the planet, our civilizations.

    Until you do these things, we can’t continue substantively. So please may we have some specifics.

  188. I get the impression that our luckwarm fellow doesn’t realize that AT’s is not an American website and that his other bait and switch may not work. His handwaving to the AR5 is far from being impressive either. More so that to the “arguments” he still hasn’t identified are quite compatible with the 23 trillions he just fished out.

    The long and the short of it is that 23 trillions is not at the same scale as the 75 billions our Lomborg Collective wants to prioritize elsewhere. It’s not one percent, and it doesn’t even come from the same budgetary decisions. But it’s not the false dilemma that sinks the Lomborg Collective’s Master Argument – it’s the fact that either you argue that the sums you need to solve Anything But Carbon is small change, or you argue that these sums will have an impact on how we’ll tackle AGW.

    Handwaving to the AR5 or trying to peddle in “but CAGW” does not counter this elementary point. Nevertheless, let’s ponder on this claim:

    Humans will use 3,000 Quads by 2075. If they all come from coal we’re ruined.

    https://3000quads.com/

    Is this compatible with the AR5 or with the Lomborg Collective’s Master Argument?

  189. izen says:

    The reason for spending money on mitigation is that it is cheaper than adaptation to the changing conditions.
    Making this house resilient in the face of increased storm energy meant it cost ~ twice as much as all the others that got destroyed.

    Whatever you think the IPCC says about impacts in the future, the current changes are already imposing costs. Nobody credible claims the increased floods, droughts , and storms are going to get LESS intense or frequent.
    The way its going we are going to have to mitigate AND adapt.

  190. Everett F Sargent says:

    Let’s see if these tweets even show up inline here …

    John Jackson’s tweets are one approach in an attempt to get an answer from RPJr, which RPJr fails to directly address, paradoxically given his self anointed The Honest Broker moniker/status. Irony meter explodes. 😦

  191. BBD, I furnished a link to the IPCC’s Special Report on the impacts of human contributions to climate change. I have summarized it for you: The projected impacts of human contributions to climate change will be damaging, expensive to remediate, lower the quality of life for those in littoral areas and will have a disproportionate impact on lesser developed countries.

    You can either accept that or read the report yourself and draw your own conclusions. Your apparent reluctance to read the report is sad, but supports a long-held belief of mine that those on your side of the fence exhibit a ‘will to ignorance’ regarding information that doesn’t fall lock step in line with your beliefs, a tendency (which I doubt is exclusive to your ‘team’) that I find dismaying. Why would I want to correspond regarding impacts with someone who refuses to read a relevant report by the IPCC on impacts?

  192. izen says:

    @-tf
    “…or we can spend about $23 trillion to either build out renewables or to construct a new fleet of nuclear power stations.”

    The figure is dubious, and would include positive advantages in expanding jobs and infrastructure which would help alleviate poverty.
    Although only political change will help the inequality problem, the bigger factor in poverty.

    But $23 trillion is just over double the current estimate of wealth lodged (hidden?) in off-shore banks and financial ‘Trusts’.

    Also your assumption that most of have NOT read the IPCC report wg2 may be unwarranted. I know there has been discussion before on the differences between the body of the report, and the SPM.

  193. EFS,
    There’s also a link at the end of the post to the letters about the article.

  194. izen says:

    @-tf
    “…that those on your side of the fence exhibit a ‘will to ignorance’ regarding information that doesn’t fall lock step in line with your beliefs,”

  195. Hi izen, the figure may be inaccurate–indeed almost certainly is. But it seems to have ‘the right number of zeros,’ which may be sufficient for discussions such as this one. It certainly will not be cheap. Nor will it exceed global GDP.

    I did not wish to give the impression that most have not read the IPCC report. What I specifically meant was that BBD’s insistence that I interpret the special report on impacts on his behalf rather than reading it himself was something I have seen with other climate activists on other subjects.

    As for money held in offshore accounts, I don’t see the relevance of it–unless you advocate confiscation (by which body and with what results?).

  196. izen, as I noted above, I don’t believe what I call a ‘will to ignorance’ is exclusively the property of climate activists. I note it primarily because I find it surprising in such a group, where I am not surprised to see it in others.

  197. izen says:

    @-tf
    “As for money held in offshore accounts, I don’t see the relevance of it–unless you advocate confiscation”

    No, I do not advocate confiscation. I am enough of a realist/pessimist/cycnic to see no prospect of that wealth being available in the general world economy. Certainly the >50% of wealth from mid-East oil that gets sequestered this way is not going to ‘trickle down’ into the world economy without radical political change.

    I cited the money held in offshore accounts to give some context of the $23 trillion in comparison with the amount of monies washing about in the global GDP.

  198. izen says:

    @-tf
    “What I specifically meant was that BBD’s insistence that I interpret the special report on impacts on his behalf rather than reading it himself was something I have seen with other climate activists on other subjects.”

    I cannot speak for BBD, but I have read the report, (back when it came out) and do not recognise the interpretation you advance. Perhaps that is why climate ‘activists'(?!) ask you to be a little more specific than just citing the whole thing.

    It is rather like saying that Christianity sanctions slavery, and when asked to justify that interpretation you just point to the bible rather than any specific argument or passage.

  199. izen, as I actually advocate spending the $23 trillion (or similar amounts) to revamp our energy infrastructure, I should also note that if that money was spent over the course of several decades it would not look as intimidating a figure when compared to global GDP. And I think, again with the caveat that it be spread out over 50+ years, that we could accomplish this and still have money left over to assist the poor.

    The problem I have is with trying to telescope this revolution in infrastructure into too short a timeframe. There is now discussion of trying to do it in 12 years. I think that would cause a lot of damage.

  200. izen, perhaps you or BBD can dredge up cites from the report that you think rebut my interpretation.

  201. Perhaps to make it easier, here are the ‘key risks’ as identified in the Summary for Policy Makers in the report.

    1) Unique and threatened systems: Some unique and threatened systems, including ecosystems and cultures, are already at risk
    from climate change (high confidence). The number of such systems at risk of severe consequences is higher with additional
    warming of around 1°C. Many species and systems with limited adaptive capacity are subject to very high risks with additional
    warming of 2°C, particularly Arctic-sea-ice and coral-reef systems.
    2) Extreme weather events: Climate-change-related risks from extreme events, such as heat waves, extreme precipitation, and
    coastal flooding, are already moderate (high confidence) and high with 1°C additional warming (medium confidence). Risks
    associated with some types of extreme events (e.g., extreme heat) increase further at higher temperatures (high confidence).
    3) Distribution of impacts: Risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in
    countries at all levels of development. Risks are already moderate because of regionally differentiated climate-change impacts on
    crop production in particular (medium to high confidence). Based on projected decreases in regional crop yields and water
    availability, risks of unevenly distributed impacts are high for additional warming above 2°C (medium confidence).
    4) Global aggregate impacts: Risks of global aggregate impacts are moderate for additional warming between 1–2°C, reflecting
    impacts to both Earth’s biodiversity and the overall global economy (medium confidence). Extensive biodiversity loss with associated
    loss of ecosystem goods and services results in high risks around 3°C additional warming (high confidence).Aggregate economic
    damages accelerate with increasing temperature (limited evidence, high agreement), but few quantitative estimates have been
    completed for additional warming around 3°C or above.
    5) Large-scale singular events:With increasing warming, some physical systems or ecosystems may be at risk of abrupt and
    irreversible changes. Risks associated with such tipping points become moderate between 0–1°C additional warming, due to early
    warning signs that both warm-water coral reef and Arctic ecosystems are already experiencing irreversible regime shifts (medium
    confidence). Risks increase disproportionately as temperature increases between 1–2°C additional warming and become high
    above 3°C, due to the potential for a large and irreversible sea level rise from ice sheet loss. For sustained warming greater than
    some threshold,
    35 near-complete loss of the Greenland ice sheet would occur over a millennium or more,contributing up to 7 m of
    global mean sea level rise.

  202. izen says:

    @-tf
    “here are the ‘key risks’ as identified in the Summary for Policy Makers in the report.”

    The SPM !!

    You are aware that the language in that is carefully constructed to underplay the severity of impacts? Try comparing some of those statements withe the actual passages in the body of the report from which they are derived.

  203. Everett F Sargent says:

    ATTP,

    “EFS,
    There’s also a link at the end of the post to the letters about the article.”

    Yes I’ve read them all + the original article + some of your other older links.

    But if you click on that twitter feed you will see two things (open it up in a new window): (1) Why does RPJr get associated with climate science deniers (or vice versa)? Mostly because twitter climate science deniers dominate his twitter feed (and all other forms of social media, for that matter), and (2) RPJr refuses to readily acknowledge that fundamental truth.

    I was in no way, shape or form supporting RPJr positions, just highlighting his evasive responses to John Jackson’s tweets and subsequent climate science deniers piling on.

    In one single word, I find RPJr disingenuous.

  204. Ken Fabian says:

    I am of the view that the direct climate impacts may be the least of our problems – that persistent mismanagement (including failure to commit to emissions reductions) exacerbates those impacts and will make the manageable unmanageable, the difficult more difficult, the resolvable conflicts unresolvable. And, of course, be so mixed in with other factors that the climate change contributions will continue to be denied.

  205. Ken, I have a parallel view that the effects of conventional pollution due to the increased consumption of coal will outweigh the impacts of climate change for the remainder of this century. willard likes to note that this is something that concerns me.

  206. izen, I used the SPM to provide you with a reference point. You are free to disagree with any of the points and use the full report to show how over optimistic the SPM was.

  207. izen says:

    @-tf
    “I used the SPM to provide you with a reference point.”

    My point is that it is a …misleading reference point.
    Take the 4th point you mention –

    4) Global aggregate impacts: Risks of global aggregate impacts are moderate for additional warming between 1–2°C, reflecting impacts to both Earth’s biodiversity and the overall global economy (medium confidence).

    I think that is an interpretation derived from the body of the report that is difficult to find support for. What aspects are adduced to come up with that conclusion is extremely unclear. The sections the overall global economy would seem to contradict such a conclusion. Here is a typical excerpt –

    “Estimates of global aggregate economic damages omit a number of factors (Yohe and Tirpak, 2008; Kopp and Mignone, 2012).While some studies of aggregate economic damages include market interactions between sectors in a computable general equilibrium framework (e.g., Bosello et al., 2012a; Roson and van der Mensbrugghe, 2012), none treat non-market interactions between impacts (Warren, 2011),such as the effects of the loss of biodiversity among pollinators and wild crops on agriculture or the effects of land conversions owing to shifts in agriculture on terrestrial ecosystems (see Sections 19.3-4). They do not include the effects of the degradation of ecosystem services by climate change (Section 19.3.2.1) and ocean acidification (Section 19.5.2), and in general assume that market services can substitute perfectly for degraded environmental services (Sterner and Persson, 2008;Weitzman, 2010; Kopp et al., 2012).The global aggregate damages associated with large-scale singular events (Section 19.6.3.6) are not well explored (Kopp and Mignone, 2012; Lenton and Ciscar, 2013)”
    (19.6.3.5)

    Does that really give you confidence in the SPM claim that impacts are moderate below 2C ?

  208. BBD says:

    Why do you think we will remain below 2C?

  209. Steven Mosher says:

    “Do you think he sees those concerns as dichotomous? I sure don’t. Not only that, although I think they might be in tensjon at some level, they aren’t in anything approaching diametric opposition.”

    who said they were.
    its a matter of focus, priority and political capital.

    take the new green deal.
    which part would you lose to save the rest.

    or take willards suggestion, that one way to work on climate change is to work the inequality question .

    I look at Tom ,Jr, and Lomborg, and would rather pull them toward my position than push them into a denier box. but

  210. Well, the SR1.5 SPM says, amongst many other similar things, this:

    limiting global warming to 1.5°C, compared with 2°C, could reduce the number of people both exposed to climate-related risks and susceptible to poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050

    Which probably qualifies as “not threatening” to some. Still, if dealing with poverty was a spending priority, it might make one go hmmm.

    Anyway, since we were looking at AR5 earlier, there’s also this:

    There are multiple lines of evidence that since AR5 the assessed levels of risk increased for four of the five Reasons for Concern (RFCs) for global warming to 2°C (high confidence). The risk transitions by degrees of global warming are now: from high to very high risk between 1.5°C and 2°C for RFC1 (Unique and threatened systems) (high confidence); from moderate to high risk between 1.0°C and 1.5°C for RFC2 (Extreme weather events) (medium confidence); from moderate to high risk between 1.5°C and 2°C for RFC3 (Distribution of impacts) (high confidence); from moderate to high risk between 1.5°C and 2.5°C for RFC4 (Global aggregate impacts) (medium confidence); and from moderate to high risk between 1°C and 2.5°C for RFC5 (Large-scale singular events)

    So the AR5 cut&paste upthread is also a bit dated… Just saying…

  211. Steven Mosher says:

    “Which probably qualifies as “not threatening” to some. Still, if dealing with poverty was a spending priority, it might make one go hmmm.”

    I dont question Toms commitment to the poor. That would require actual evidence strong enough to overturn years of data I have on his commitment and belief.

  212. I take it at face value myself, but it is hard to square with what the IPCC is saying about poverty impacts.

  213. I think it at least possible that the IPCC would focus on climate impacts on poverty rather than looking at all causes and remedies.

  214. Hmm, yes, that does seem possible.

    Your point?

  215. Just trying to offer a possible explanation for your previous comment.

  216. Steven Mosher says:

    question rust.

    if you had a dollar to spend how would you split it between adaptation, mitigation and research on innovation

  217. izen says:

    @-tf
    “I think it at least possible that the IPCC would focus on climate impacts on poverty rather than looking at all causes and remedies.”

    WG2 may focus on the fact that impacts focus on the poor. It highlights the fact that unless good decisions are made about mitigation and adaption any OTHER attempts to ‘help the poor’ is pretty much wasted.
    Causes are in WG1
    Remedies in WG3

  218. Good question, very good question, but I am going to sleep. Later, though.

  219. Steven Mosher says:

    question tom

    if you had a dollar to spend how would you split it between adaptation, mitigation and research on innovation

  220. izen says:

    @-SM
    “if you had a dollar to spend how would you split it between adaptation, mitigation and research on innovation”

    fun question, my answer;
    if it is only ‘a’ dollar, I’d buy chocolate.
    If it was an amount that had a chance of an impact, say $7 million,
    $1 million – adaption
    $2 million – mitigation
    $4 million – innovation
    (based on the odds of a useful payback)

  221. Charly PB says:

    ATTP thinks there is some merit in the IPCC documents,

    How quaint.

  222. thomaswfuller2 says:

    “Ken, I have a parallel view that the effects of conventional pollution due to the increased consumption of coal will outweigh the impacts of climate change for the remainder of this century. willard likes to note that this is something that concerns me.”

    It truly does not matter how we rationalize reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. You seem to think your rationalization is better than that of others that also show a concern. OK, it all falls under the umbrella of a No Regrets policy — unless all these rationalizations fail, we will have no regrets following a reduced FF policy.

    Consider this piece by petroleum engineering Prof. Tad Patzek who provides the most comprehensive perspective that I have recently read: http://patzek-lifeitself.blogspot.com/2018/12/a-requiem-for-beautiful-earth.html

    This part, based on some forthcoming shale oil research by Patzek:

    “All right, I might have woken you up from that hopeful stupor, punctuated by resentments from the perceived lack of privilege the fossil amoeba should have bestowed upon you, but didn’t because she lied. But if you remain in denial, you are in good company. The gangster from New York and a suspected Russian agent, our President, has just rejected the science in the latest UN report published in Katowice, 25 km from Gliwice, where I was born. He also claimed that the current “yellow vest” upheaval in France was linked directly to the Paris climate agreement.

    Not! The French riots are directly related to the depletion of many resources, but specifically to the intermediate distillates (abbreviated here as the naphtha fraction) that are disappearing from the refinery feedstock crudes worldwide. The ultralight condensates produced from the US shale plays have none. Naphtha is the petroleum fraction from which diesel fuel is produced. Since almost all trucks run on diesel fuel, which one would you rather have: food and other goods in stores or an unrestricted supply of fuel to private diesel cars?

    The fossil amoeba will never admit that she is limited by anything. She cannot violate her own principle of indiscriminate, eternal growth that will pay for the ginormous debt the rich took everywhere to bail themselves out. This debt is now sloshing around the world killing what remains of the healthy environment and speeding up the collapse of our civilization.”

  223. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    Before Joshua lapses into the tired trope of accusing ex-hippies of hippy punching, …

    Good point. Obviously, being an ex-hippie means that you can’t possibly hippie-punch. Why that would be as ridiculous suggesting an ex-smoker might criticize smoking, or an ex-Catholic criticizing the Catholic church.

    However, the costed proposals I have seen for implementing global scale mitigation involve staggering sums.

    Could you provide a link? Do they figure externalities into a bottom line “cost” assessment?

    They will not only impact the well-being of wealth and middle class citizens of the over-developed world. They will consume monies that would otherwise be available for either charity or development in poor countries, as well as for the remaining poor in the rich world.

    I’ve made the following point numerous times, but you haven’t addressed it. Hopefully you’ll do so now?

    We could circle any particular stream of money and say that the “cost” of mitigation would prevent that stream from being directed to help the global poor. The argument can’t be falsified. Yes, any particular stream of money could be directed towards helping the global poor. Indeed, the trillions we spend to keep oil flowing could be redirected towards helping the global poor. But that doesn’t mean that if the trillions weren’t spent to keep the oil flowing, it would be spent to help the global poor.

    So the question is why do you single out one particular category of “cost” – the category that can theoretically be targeted in an theoretical effort to mitigate emissions – as an opportunity cost for helping the global poor, as apposed to the myriad other categories of money which could be looked at in exactly the same fashion?

    We can of course spend money on ‘fig-leaf’ activities that purport to address climate change but in fact do very little,

    This is another argument; the discussion about how money might be best spent to mitigate emissions is a different argument. Yes, the money could be spent ineffectively. But that, in itself, isn’t an argument as to whether mitigating emissions is a worthwhile effort.

    it depressed me. I would love to have an unlimited supply of money to address poverty, climate change and a host of other issues simultaneously.

    Please stop with the strawmen arguments, and the false dichotmization. We can’t have a productive discussion if you continue to do so.

    And speaking of productive discussions, please address previous questions

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/fact-mongering/#comment-136012

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/fact-mongering/#comment-135848

  224. Joshua says:

    Steven –

    “Do you think he sees those concerns as dichotomous? I sure don’t. Not only that, although I think they might be in tensjon at some level, they aren’t in anything approaching diametric opposition.”

    who said they were.
    its a matter of focus, priority and political capital.

    I was referring to arguments such as the following:

    I confess that when I looked at the math for serious mitigation, it depressed me. I would love to have an unlimited supply of money to address poverty, climate change and a host of other issues simultaneously. But I don’t see it.

    I think the rhetorical framing is counter-productive, in that it suggest (at least to me) a framing that we need to make a choice between taking on “cost” for mitigation and helping poverty. No one is talking about an “unlimited supply of money” except Tom. He keeps throwing straw into the conversation. He sets up a dichotomous relationship, IMO. I wasn’t talking about your arguments, I was talking about his.

    Speaking of which…I look at Tom ,Jr, and Lomborg, and would rather pull them toward my position than push them into a denier box. but

    I don’t think that Tom, or RPJr.,, or Lomborg are likely to be “pushed” into a box on these issues. I see them as having agency, and as much more likely to be putting themselves into their box of choosing, irrespective of “pushing.”

    Now maybe you mean that you don’t want them to be pushed into a box from the perspective of an outside observer? You don’t want them to be falsely categorized so that a 3rd party might miss an important nuance or perspective in the larger discussion? Sure, I can go along with that. I think that it’s counterproductive to focus on categorizing people. Or worse, I think it is counterproductive to categorize arguments into tired, tribal frameworks. In other words, I think that the constant identity-protective and identity-defensive behaviors are counterproductive.

    That said, I think that Tom and RPjr., and prolly Lomborg, have quite a bit of agency also, in the likelihood of being counterproductively categorized. This thread is a good example of how they contribute to the problem. That isn’t meant as a defense of others (myself included) engaging in a similarly counterproductive fashion. I am merely say that sefl-victimizing or white-knighting or shirt-ripping is most definitely not a way through this.

    Speaking of which, could you go back to explain how coming to this thread, creating an identity politics thread, and calling Anders a li*r helps Tom to help the poors?

  225. “if you had a dollar to spend how would you split it between adaptation, mitigation and research on innovation”

    Leaving aside political ramifications, and assuming “a dollar” is “a dollar” at the margin, but rather stands for our entire spend, something like this.

    Given my understanding of the carbon budgets for, say, 2C, and the way the emissions reductions curves bend if we delay early so that the integral meets the budget… then I think the analogy upthread about a ship taking on water informing how to prioritize efforts is apt.

    So something like this (and using $10 to play the role of “a dollar”):
    Adaptation: $2.00
    Mitigation: $7.00
    Research & Innovation: $1.00

    I am not necessarily down on adaptation and research, but looking at the critical next 10-15 years, I don’t see them in play. No matter what we do on mitigation, the impacts we need to adapt to over the next decade won’t change much. So I see that as a long, permanent spend. And research – I really don’t see anything on the horizon in the next decade+ that could make a commercial difference. I don’t think we can wait, “Breakthrough Institute” notwithstanding.

    I would also carve out a piece of both the research and mitigation spending to look at behaviour/attitude change. We’ve flopped on exercise, obesity, retirement savings, done ok on smoking, etc. But I think plant-based diets, reduced car ownership, staycations and the like are going to need to be considered desirable and almost certainly would need to be a largely consumer-lead shift.

    By the way, I am pretty sure that this mix would mean significant price hikes for electricity and some other mitigation items.

  226. Dave_Geologist says:

    What this site needs is those rolling, laughing emoticons … or one that cries.

    Someone has to try 😆 😥 🙄

  227. Dave_Geologist says:

    Yay!

    lol, cry and roll, prepended and appended with : Remember to put a space before and after, so it doesn’t get read as part of a word.

    On the site where I found them these three are animated, but apparently that depends on what plugins the site has installed and whether an administrator has disabled the functionality.

  228. I think I need to upgrade the site if I want to be able to install plug-ins, so you may have to settle for static emoticons 🙂

  229. Joshua says:

    Or one that combines laughing and crying:

    😂

    It’s easy if you comment from your phone – not that, I’m guessing, it’s something that Anders particularly wants people doing.

  230. BBD says:

    Annoyingly, yet again, Tom hasn’t answered a question. It was this:

    Why do you think we will remain below 2C?

    I asked as Tom argues for a false dichotomy whereby mitigation is sidelined. So cumulative emissions will be increased vs. the currently hoped-for mitigation which will supposedly keep us below 2C.

    So how do we stay below 2C and avoid severe climate impacts? Tom’s lukewarm insouciance depends on avoiding these impacts and I don’t understand his reasoning.

    * * *

    ATTP: terribly disappointed by the absence of animated emojis, without which serious technical discussions are barely possible.

    🙂

  231. Dave_Geologist says:

    Quick condensation of BBD re thomasfuller2:

    But the data that pushes me to lukewarmerism is not climate data … That’s illogical, captain … Why do you think we will remain below 2C?

    ‘Cos he’s a luckwarmer. I don’t accept that Tom accepts the science. Or if he does, he believes for no logical reason that we can throw a pair of fair dice and always come up with a double-one. IIRC Science of Doom went down the same rabbit-hole about a year ago.

    We had a lengthy go-round about this a few months ago. Saying you accept AGW, but dismissing the mainstream science on ECS and believing that it’s at the bottom end without having a sound scientific justification, is functionally identical to the creationists who say they’re not science deniers because they accept micro-evolution, just not evolution across Kinds (God did that).

    It’s not necessary to deny all science to be a science denier. Nobody denies all science. Creationists and full-on AGW deniers don’t deny that the Earth is round, or that graphite and diamond are made from the same atoms. They just deny the science they don’t like. Accepting that AGW is real, but believing without evidence that ECS is small enough that we can emit a lot more than Paris and still stay below 2C, is still denying the science you don’t like. You accept just enough science to keep the consequences small enough that drastic, urgent action is unwarranted. And deny the rest.

  232. Steve, 33% each. My crystal ball is cloudy on prioritizing one approach over another.

    Somebody smart said we don’t prepare for the past. Adaptation can help do that and prepare for the future. Mitigation has to happen, as does research.

    A tougher question would have been when we should have spent those income streams.

  233. Umm, BBD, perhaps you can point me to where I said temperature rises would be below 2C. I don’t recall saying that. In fact, I recall saying something completely different. But maybe that’s just fact mongering. Like using the IPCC soooo unfairly to point out that mainstream science doesn’t predict the climate apocalypse.

    Joshua, nobody pushes Baby into a corner. Me and Pielke are Secret Agent Men. We push ourselves into our own corners, dammit! Or something like that. It’s kind of creepy to see you stealing willard’s jargon, but whatever. But! I have solved the funding conundrum! We’ll hijack the funding used for the border wall!

  234. GeoDave, we haven’t been acquainted long enough for you to say such stupid things about me.

  235. Happy Sunday, everyone!

  236. [Vladimir] If you had a dollar to spend between mitigating Godot’s coming or buckets to maintain the tears of the world in equal quantity, how would you divide it.

    [Estragon] It doesn’t matter much – Pozzo Collective’s own numbers show buckets would cost a tenth of a cent.

    [Vladimir] Come on, be kind to Pozzo or else he’ll rip off his shirt once again.

    [Pozzo, eavesdropping] Vlad, I’d go for 50% each, of course.

    [Estragon] So Pozzo would be willing to invest 500 times more on buckets than your own Collective suggests we need.

    [Vladimir] Don’t be such an alarmist, Estragon.

  237. Ma, al fondo del pozzo, cosa si trova? Si puo dire che si trova un cretino, un mostro, un filosofo cattivo… ma sicurament troverai delle monetini, no? Che si puo spender in trance di 33%, volendo…

    Ma al fondo dl pozzo c’e anche il vantaggio che no si puo sentire i sentiment ‘amateur’ di gente come qui… il Abraham, Martin e John di questo seicolo.

  238. Sorry about the misspellings and lack of accents.

  239. I wonder if binary trees exist in Italian:

    https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albero_binario

    Seems that they do.

    But wait – how can cretinous philosophers know that classification problems can oftentimes be solved using binary trees?

  240. BBD says:

    Umm, BBD, perhaps you can point me to where I said temperature rises would be below 2C. I don’t recall saying that.

    If temps go above 2C, then the quotes you gave from the highly conservative SPM are all about bad stuff happening. Something you deny will be a problem.

    There is a horrible problem with your argument. Can’t you see it?

  241. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    RPJr. spoke to the importance of clarifying,

    I agree that being given the opportunity to clarify, being asked to clarify, is important.

    That is what I meant about agency. If one is repeatedly asked to clarify, and they repeatedly decline to do so, then they are exercising their agency as to which boxes they enter.

    I have asked you numerous times to clarify. I’ll ask again.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/fact-mongering/#comment-136012

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/fact-mongering/#comment-135848

  242. Joshua says:

    Another point of clarification… which jargon…”the poors?”

  243. Joshua says:

    Methinks we have the Tom’s equivalent of RPJr.’s expression of gratitude for our discussion.

  244. Sorry Joshua, my comments are being deleted. Good-bye all, again.

  245. BBD says:

    Oh come on, Tom. Not impressed.

  246. Tom,
    Moderation happens. Let’s not play the Ref.

  247. Steven Mosher says:

    “Umm, BBD, perhaps you can point me to where I said temperature rises would be below 2C. I don’t recall saying that.”

    Circa 2009 -2011

    Tom’s position was that we should plan for 2.5 to 3C

  248. > my comments are being deleted

    Two contained insults in Italian, and the others were playing the ref. The one where you called me a cretin is still there. Once is funny enough. After that it’s just a way to take your leave while ripping off your shirt.

  249. Steven Mosher says:

    Tom. 33% each. I used to be at that point, but I have shifted to
    50% adaptation.. extremes in the
    25% mitigation
    25% innovation

    Any way?

    Joshua?
    BBD?
    Willard?
    ATTP?

    you each have a dollar to spend

  250. BBD says:

    Steven, Tom is essentially arguing that CC is not a threat. But everybody else seems to think that 2C is risky as hell and above is seriously tempting fate. So Tom’s position is internally inconsistent. I’m surprised you didn’t pick up on this.

  251. BBD says:

    Great plan Tom – get banned to avoid answering the questions.

  252. Steven,

    you each have a dollar to spend

    Well, I still think that a carbon tax should play some role, but I you really mean how would I spend each dollar that is allocated towards dealing with climate change, then it would probably be something like

    50% mitigation
    25% adaptation
    25% innovation

  253. Okay, to be clear, complaining about moderation is also something that is typically moderated. Let’s just move on.

  254. Steven Mosher says:

    “I asked as Tom argues for a false dichotomy whereby mitigation is sidelined. ”

    weird. sometimes it depends on how the question is asked and what your intentions are in asking
    it. Asked differently it is clear that Tom does not sideline mitigation. but then this was his answer to a Direct question rather than a speculative conclusion

  255. BBD says:

    Look, Tom claims that even the IPCC concludes that CC is not a threat:

    If the IPCC is right, the planet, our civilizations, are not threatened by climate change.

    First, this is essentially a misrepresentation and second it requires very low levels of warming over the rest of the century. But if Tom thinks there will be 2C or more, then his own complacency rests on nothing at all.

    I’m surprised you don’t see this, especially now it’s been drawn into focus several times.

  256. > you each have a dollar to spend

    Adaptation, mitigation, and innovation ain’t If you asked either one of us while we lived there would we rather spend 1 dollar on climate change to avoid the future risk, or 1 dollar to house our friends living anymore, Mosh.

    Are we talking about a dollar that comes from a carbon tax or from fossil fuel subsidies.

    Is it a dollar less from the DoD’s budget:

    In the 2010 United States federal budget, the Department of Defense was allocated a base budget of $533.7 billion, with a further $75.5 billion adjustment in respect of 2009, and $130 billion for overseas contingencies. The subsequent 2010 Department of Defense Financial Report shows the total budgetary resources for fiscal year 2010 were $1.2 trillion. Of these resources, $1.1 trillion were obligated and $994 billion were disbursed, with the remaining resources relating to multi-year modernization projects requiring additional time to procure. After over a decade of non-compliance, Congress has established a deadline of Fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Defense to achieve audit readiness.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Defense#Budget

    Perhaps is this dollar from the food advertizing industry:

    The foodservice industry is nearly equal in size to food retailing:

    The food marketing system, including food service and food retailing, supplied about $1.46 trillion worth of food in 2014.

    Of this total, $731 billion was supplied by foodservice facilities.

    Commercial foodservice establishments accounted for the bulk

    https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-markets-prices/food-service-industry/market-segments/

    If you believe in holism, you should know where I’m going with that.

  257. Steven Mosher says:

    “I don’t think that Tom, or RPJr.,, or Lomborg are likely to be “pushed” into a box on these issues. I see them as having agency, and as much more likely to be putting themselves into their box of choosing, irrespective of “pushing.”

    there are times when I observe that the hostility rained down on Jr and Tom far exceeds anything
    rained down on straight up deniers.

    that’s it.

    funny, rustnever sleeps wants to spend less on mitigation that Tom.

    sickem!

  258. Steven,

    there are times when I observe that the hostility rained down on Jr and Tom far exceeds anything
    rained down on straight up deniers.

    There may be some truth to this, but they seem to be quite capable of being hostile themselve and maybe it’s partly because noone really expects much from straight up deniers. I find that I don’t get particularly frustrated by those from whom I don’t really expect much.

  259. BBD says:

    Tom can be provocative, Steven. You know this. Let’s not get rhetorical.

  260. Joshua says:

    Steven –

    Asked differently it is clear that Tom does not sideline mitigation. but then this was his answer to a Direct question rather than a speculative conclusion.

    Tom has repeatedly declined to answer direct questions. But whatever. Same old same old.

    But with respect to your question, it is noteworthy asking that kind of question suggests more commonality than I would guess based on the discussion. Not to over-generalize from one example, but it reinforces my view that much of the discussion is more about identity than the actual issues.

    Your question suggests a stakeholder dialog frame, where the question is if we have to work together and reach a consensus/shared ownership on a policy, what would it look like?

    That’s why I believe in stakeholder dialog.

  261. Joshua says:

    there are times when I observe that the hostility rained down on Jr and Tom far exceeds anything
    rained down on straight up deniers.

    Are you sufgesting a one-directional mechanism? “rained down” suggests that to me.

    In my life experience, hostility is less likely one-directional than shared. I’d also suggest that is the case with RPJr., and Tom. I dunno about Lomborg.

    My own criticism of Tom and RPJr., is based on what I consider to be a lack of accountability for the hostile dynamic. But of course, that isn’t a problem on one side only, either.

  262. BBD says:

    if we have to work together and reach a consensus/shared ownership on a policy, what would it look like?

  263. Joshua says:

    BBD –

    I gather your not a fan of stakeholder dialog.

  264. I still think that a carbon tax should play some role

    Yes, a carbon tax plays a separate role. But if you have a tax that gets collected, you are necessarily still left with the decision as to how to spend it (“recycle the revenue” in the literature) so it is not clearly as separate as it initially seems.

    If you think most of that money should be directed to dealing with decarbonization/adaptation, you have various ways to go. But as I have said, if you are doing things like a dividend, or an across the board income tax reduction, or debt reduction, etc., then far, far less of it will be spent on decarbonization/climate adaptation.

    In any event, once a dollar finds it way into the mitigation/adaptation/research category, that’s a different decision. Sort of “% of spending” versus “amount we should spend”.

    I swear, there are people that think a carbon tax has somewhat magical powers. (not present company of course)

    It’s not unlike energy storage – Many people seem to think that adding storage to VRE sort of automatically creates a magic bullet that will kill off fossil-fuel baseline or peaker power emissions. But it is not at all clear that the biggest beneficiaries of storage wouldn’t be existing or new fossil fuel baseline/peakers. (Although, that is an example of where a carbon tax can play a vital role…)

  265. > funny, rustnever sleeps wants to spend less on mitigation that [Groundskeeper].

    Compare:

    So something like this (and using $10 to play the role of “a dollar”):
    Adaptation: $2.00
    Mitigation: $7.00
    Research & Innovation: $1.00

    Contrast:

    Steve, 33% each.

  266. BBD says:

    a lack of accountability for the hostile dynamic. But of course, that isn’t a problem on one side only, either.

    ANd:

    I gather your not a fan of stakeholder dialog.

    To be clear, that’s not a hostile dynamic. It’s supposed to be British humour.

  267. Joshua says:

    BBD –

    Thanks for the clarification, but unlike with Tom, no clarification was needed. I got the joke.

  268. BBD says:

    It’s not unlike energy storage – Many people seem to think that adding storage to VRE sort of automatically creates a magic bullet that will kill off fossil-fuel baseline or peaker power emissions. But it is not at all clear that the biggest beneficiaries of storage wouldn’t be existing or new fossil fuel baseline/peakers.

    +1

  269. BBD says:

    I got the joke.

    Good, good. I’d hate to give offense by accident. 😉

  270. Joshua says:

    As opposed to…😊

  271. BBD says:

    Yup 🙂

  272. funny, rustnever sleeps wants to spend less on mitigation that Tom.

    Don’t know where you are getting that from. My mitigation allocation is more than double his.

    And that is just considering the allocation of a dollar committed to a category encompassing “adaptation/mitigation/research”. In absolute terms, I would be calling for far, far more money to be spent on these items than he appears to be.

    He seems aghast at $23 trillion over some indefinite period of time but at least decades. Most economic literature – I will use Stern as an example – indicates that we need to spend about 2% of global GDP per year, so we would blow through that $23 trillion cumulative number well within the first decade (assuming GDP didn’t crater)….

    Mine is the really staggeringly big number, but that is essentially the point. This is going to be very expensive and many people are dodging that. The inactivists point to the cost, and the activists try to sort of disguise it by switching the topic to green jobs or using some comparative number (e.g. defence spending, etc.) to make it seem small. It’s not small, by any measure it is huge. That is just a fact.

  273. Joshua says:

    rust –

    This is going to be very expensive

    How are you accounting for externalities?

  274. Well, I am not accounting for externalities. In essence, I am saying that in order to deal with/avoid the externailities, we are going to incur a very large cost.

    This can’t really be a surprise, because the very definition of (negative) externalities implies that we aren’t properly currently accounting for them. I.e., things “should” cost more if we were accounting for them. Yes, that is more directly for carbon-intensive goods and services, but it also suggests that if we were fully accounting for them there, we would be willing to pay more for than we currently do for competitive low-carbon goods and services. I.e., their cost goes up as well.

    Again, activists often jump to “potentially avoided damages” or even “attribution of incurred damages” being imputed to high-carbon goods and services and saying that if we did that, then low-carbon alternatives wouldn’t relatively more expensive. Sure, that’s true. But in absolute terms, they are expected to be more expensive than what we are currently paying. Ergo, more expensive.

  275. Rust,
    I think Joshua’s point is that the externalities could be large too, and could become actual costs if we don’t actually do something. So, the cost may well be large either way.

  276. BBD says:

    So, the cost may well be large either way.

    For sure. I think RNS shares my disquiet over the cheap renewables meme but I doubt he thinks that decarbonisation will be more expensive than the consequences of BAU (or half-baked decarbonisation, come to that). It’s why the cost objection to PHES is so dispiriting. The current energy finance system isn’t capable of doing the right thing. It is functionally obsolete.

  277. Sure, and I get that entirely. I would think that if just one of “losing pollinators”, “losing West Antarctica”, “slowdown of the thermohaline circulation”, or several others – on their own – would be powerful “costs” to consider in a “cost-benefit” calculation.

    But if someone wants to know the actual financial costs of decarbonization, you can’t present them the costs of not-decarbonization. The direct costs of decarbonization are going to be enormous – and necessary.

  278. Rust,
    Okay, I got you. I agree, the cost of decarbonisation is not going to be small, and it’s not going to be a simple process.

  279. Joshua says:

    I actually think that externalities should be accounted for before making definitive statements about “cost” even without taking about the cost of warming.

    Pollution from fossil fuels costs a shit ton. We spend a lot on keeping oil flowing. There is a huge cost (e. g., opportunity cost in human capital) from enriching the governments that profit from fossil fuels. Environmental damage from harvesting fossil fuels is expensive.

    I don’t know what the net cost is, but I think we should be looking at decision-making in the face of uncertainty rather than making the decision on the basis of cost.

  280. BBD says:

    I don’t know what the net cost is, but I think we should be looking at decision-making in the face of uncertainty rather than making the decision on the basis of cost.

    If only. But tell it to the gas lobby.

  281. Willard says:

    > For [Groundskeeper], definately does not like hostile engagement with folks.

    Here is a “related note” that undermines that definiteness.

  282. Steven Mosher says:

    “Here is a “related note” that undermines that definiteness.

    Not sure how. My experience with Tom remains unchallenged. Not sure you could find ANY
    words on a page that undermine my experience with him.

  283. Steven Mosher says:

    “Are you sufgesting a one-directional mechanism? “rained down” suggests that to me.”

    Ah my bad, in apt metaphor. Questions about ‘who started it” and who is to blame, don’t really advance the ball. I just note the behavior I observe

    I will add this,, Tom and Jr also tend to give skeptics breaks they dont deserve.

  284. Steven Mosher says:

    “Don’t know where you are getting that from. My mitigation allocation is more than double his.”

    sorry my mistake. you are right.I should have double checked before hitting post

  285. Steven Mosher says:

    Question rust.

    You allocate 20% of your funds to adaptation.
    Can I take this mean that you dont think there will be an increase in near term ( say next 30
    years) in extreme weather events that will impact the most vulnerable folks among us?

  286. Steven Mosher says:

    Joshua
    ‘Tom has repeatedly declined to answer direct questions. But whatever. Same old same old.”

    huh? I asked him a direct question that was an honest search for information rather than a veiled attack and I got an answer

    did you answer my dollar question? checking

  287. Willard says:

    > Not sure you could find ANY words on a page that undermine my experience with him.

    The definiteness doesn’t refer to your experience, Mosh. It applies to Groundskeeper’s behavior. We’re talking about someone who spammed Keith’s, MT’s, and BartV’s for years. But let’s cut to the chase and quote from the definitively hostile thread at Eli’s

    I wish propaganda was that easy. Open quote. Insert statement. Close quote.

    Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeal.

    While we both have no access to inner states, it’s quite clear that food fights can rightly be described as hostile and that people who indulge in them for so long don’t seem to dislike them much. Besides, not sure how you can argue that writing the CG1 hit piece or getting a law named after his ClimateBall performances isn’t inimical.

  288. Steven Mosher says:

    “Your question suggests a stakeholder dialog frame, where the question is if we have to work together and reach a consensus/shared ownership on a policy, what would it look like?”

    Yes in part. At this stage I see skeptics answering the dollar question with “Give back my dollar”
    There really is no dialog with them. With folks like Tom and Jr they seem to value
    preventing present pain over say the pain folks in 2500 will suffer

    They tend, in my view, to care about actual present pain more than potential future pain. of course we can care about both. And of course folks can have rational disagreement about which is more
    important to them. And perhaps this disagreement cannot be solved by facts or calculus.
    perhaps it is just a negotiated settlement governed by what you can get done.

    It seems that if you have folks ( say Tom and Jr) who agree to action ( spend a dollar) it might
    be a good idea to find out how they weigh the various categories of action to see how far apart folks are in fact in these things. So, I’d rather wipe the slate clean of all past bickerings and try
    a different approach to dialog, planets at stake and all that.

    I think you and I have largely agreed on the idea of stakeholder dialogs. Ideally the scientist Kings would just decide for us all, or maybe the econ Lords will speak and magically the social cost of carbon will solve everything. Or maybe some politican will decide to go after coal companies and forget that they employ people. err.

  289. Steven Mosher says:

    “There may be some truth to this, but they seem to be quite capable of being hostile themselve and maybe it’s partly because noone really expects much from straight up deniers. I find that I don’t get particularly frustrated by those from whom I don’t really expect much.”

    I did find it shocking that someone would threaten Roger and his family. I also get that
    one would expect them to less hostile. Friendly fire and all that.

    Is it ever acceptable to frag Gore for example.

  290. Steven Mosher says:

    “While we both have no access to inner states, it’s quite clear that food fights can rightly be described as hostile and that people who indulge in them for so long don’t seem to dislike them much. ”

    I’m not talking about inner states.

  291. Steven Mosher says:

    “While we both have no access to inner states, it’s quite clear that food fights can rightly be described as hostile and that people who indulge in them for so long don’t seem to dislike them much.”

    we also both know that humans engage in behavior that they know is not good for them
    and that they dont enjoy. Of course, one can always look at sisyphus and conclude that he
    must enjoy pushing that rock. It get that, it is an easy explanation. We might say there was some secret enjoyment we have to posit to “make sense” of their behavior. Fully get that model of explaining behavior.

    Then again maybe fighting online is a disease and not a choice.

  292. Willard says:

    > I’m not talking about inner states.

    You said “not sure you could find ANY words on a page that undermine my experience with him.” Either your “experience” refers to your inner states, or it’s observable behavior.

    Maybe it’s a vocabulary thing.

  293. Steven Mosher says:

    “You said “not sure you could find ANY words on a page that undermine my experience with him.” Either your “experience” refers to your inner states, or it’s observable behavior.”

    Notice I said words on a page.

    I was in a blog fight one day and a friend DM’d me.

    ‘Dude, are you ok?”
    ” not really, how did you know?”
    “saw you fighting online, wondered what was really causing you to be upset”
    “Oh, ya that.. DMV”
    “DMV?”
    “ya, DMV line is horrible”
    ‘Youre at the DMV?’
    “Ya.”
    ‘you probably shouldnt be online while angry”
    “Ya think!”
    ‘ya, put down your phone”

    However, I totally get the need to construct rational pictures of peoples behaviors. It is hard not to give into the need. We read the words and we have to conclude that they must like doing X,maybe some secret benefit from doing X. I saw a tiger in a cage. It was constantly pacing. They must like that. In the wild the thing acted differently. What do I make of people who base their understanding of tigers by what they view when the animal is caged? Are they wrong? Hmm hard to say. Can their observations of caged behavior change my observations of tiger behavior in the wild? hmm, not really, but I am open to hearing how evidence from online verbal behavior can cancel out evidence from offline behavior.

  294. > Notice I said words on a page.

    Words on a page represent all kinds of things. Speech acts, for instance.

    If you’re referring to your experience IRL, then fair enough.

  295. izen says:

    @-SM
    “However, I totally get the need to construct rational pictures of peoples behaviors. ”

    Ha.
    https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/how-history-gets-things-wrong

  296. Steven Mosher says:

    “Ha.
    https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/how-history-gets-things-wrong

    Ya, Nice. You know you spend a few years studying the “logics” of story and you almost get to the point where you think stories have a mind of their own.

  297. Chubbs says:

    SM

    “With folks like Tom and Jr they seem to value preventing present pain over say the pain folks in 2500 will suffer”

    Yes, that is probably the crux of the issue. We can argue over an uncertain future pain, but the value of a $ today is very certain. Tom is saying that the pain won’t be that bad or is well worth the cost avoided. The hazier your view of the future pain, or if you avert your gaze, the easier it is to postpone paying the cost.

    My personal opinion is that we could do much more to reflect what climate science is telling us without tanking the economy, harming the poor, or meeting any other policy goal. Should we value coal, gas, nuclear, etc. without counting carbon content? I can’t provide quantification but it seems horribly non-optimal to do so.

    Tom obviously feels that the unseen hand of the market will guide us in the right direction. I generally agree with this as long as the game isn’t rigged. In the end though Nature is holding the cards, and she doesn’t care about market economics. Seems silly to avert our gaze when the cards have been dropped on the table. Seems even sillier to recognize them and expect them not to be played.

  298. Joshua says:

    BBD –

    If only. But tell it to the gas lobby

    Yeah, well, I don’t think we should be making mitigation decisions as if we know the cost because I think we don’t know the cost, but if you’re going to make the decisions based on cost, it sure seems clear to me that oil and coal present some major costs – pollution/particulates, environmental damage, and with oil, massive geopolitical costs – that don’t present on a similar scale with renewables, natgas, and nuclear.

  299. Joshua says:

    Steven –

    However, I totally get the need to construct rational pictures of peoples behaviors.

    That runs both ways.

    Perhaps it’s a mistake for me to try to construct a rational narrative for why Tom comes in here and calls Anders a liar. I think it isn’t logical from the standpoint of improving the discussion with RPJr. or w/r/t RPJr.’s work or in the topic of mitigation.

    I see no logical, rational explanation for RPJr.’s method of interaction with his critics from the standpoint of increasing meaningful interaction with his critics, if not for any other reasons. .

    It seems that RPJr. sees his treatment by critics as harmful and counterproductive, as reflective of problematic patterns in how people engage in these issues (and if so, in that I would agree), and yet, from what I’ve seen, his method of engagement, CLEARLY does nothing to reduce those types of interactions.

    Actually, very predictably, his rhetorical approach perpetuates, and perhaps only increases, those patterns of interaction.

    And so, given a tendency to try to impose a pattern of rationality on people’s behaviors, I think that maybe there is a (what I would consider to be) perverse rational, logical explanation that he is getting something else that seems positive to him but not to me. Maybe the explanation is that irrespective of the food fight pattern that has played out so many times in the past, he sees his behavior which results in the perpetuation of this patten as, rational and logical.

    But maybe not. And so maybe “but the poors” is not the rational,, logical explanation, and neither is the “he doesn’t think AGW is a problem” the rational, logical explanation, because like with the tiger in the zoo, our need to try to impose a rational, logical explanation, whether one that puts RPJr., in a good light or a bad light, is a variation on the bias that underlies anthromorphism.

  300. Joshua says:

    Steven –

    With folks like Tom and Jr they seem to value
    preventing present pain over say the pain folks in 2500 will suffer

    They tend, in my view, to care about actual present pain more than potential future pain. of course we can care about both. And of course folks can have rational disagreement about which is more
    important to them. And perhaps this disagreement cannot be solved by facts or calculus.
    perhaps it is just a negotiated settlement governed by what you can get done.

    My most recent model for seeing how the world works has many issues on which there is a spectrum of beliefs. The views at each end of that spectrum contain some salient truth, and the truths at the opposite ends of the spectrum can both be true at the same time. So how can we reconcile two contrasting truths? Or, do we break down into camps that form a loyalty around one truth and demonize the other truth?

    It is important to address modern day pain, and it is important to consider our actions w/r/t future pain they might cause. Both, IMO, are quite reasonable truths. And so we should work to figure out a reality that embraces their simultaneous existence.

    But that’s difficult. To do so, requires a tolerance of ambiguity. It’s much easier to be sure of oneself, to be right, to do the right thing.

    And so we have people construction narratives. One narrative is that hippies are oblivious to current suffering, and are willing to construct narratives that perpetuate current suffering so they can maintain their religion-like faith in a socialist utopia where flowers and bees reign supreme and humans only exist to the extent that they make life comfortable for flowers and bees.

    And so, mitigation is impossibly expensive, violates the lows of economic reality, is impractical and an unrealistic fantasy anyway, one only serves to advance the agenda of the hippies.

    And another narrative is that oil-lovers are oblivious to the future of the planet, and will never sacrifice their current, superficial and materialistic pleasures or consider anything beyond their narrow self-interest or the interests of their own select group.

    And so, mitigation must be resisted at all costs, because it would break down the current power hierarchy and spread happiness throughout the world, with the oil-lovers would hate more than death itself.

    And by focusing on those narratives, we can banish ambiguity.

    But here’s the thing. Putting people in boxes doesn’t really make the dilemma any less ambiguous.

    And perhaps this disagreement cannot be solved by facts or calculus.
    perhaps it is just a negotiated settlement governed by what you can get done.

    Well, that’s how I see it. Once again, I offer the positions vs. interests paradigm – something I borrow from the world of conflict resolution. It isn’t a perfect paradigm, but it’s pretty fucking useful, IMO. To the extent we can focus on synergistic interests as opposed to irreconcilable positions, I think we make some progress. Of course, there are dangers with such an approach – it’s possible, for example, that we will sacrifice the happiness of billions brown people today or children of tomorrow, for the excessive wealth or self-aggrandizement of oil barrons/elitist hippies, but I tend to think those dangers are often more imposed than real.

    That doesn’t mean that facts or calculus aren’t tools to be used towards a negotiated settlement, btw. Which speaks to another spectrum of simultaneous truths. Heh.

  301. Joshua says:

    Steven –

    huh? I asked him a direct question that was an honest search for information rather than a veiled attack and I got an answer

    I asked him a number direct questions, repeatedly, which received no answer. I suppose my questions might be seen as a veiled attack as opposed to an honest search for information. Or maybe your questions were veiled defenses as opposed to an honest search for information?

    The polarized context is a given. But it may not be destiny, and I don’t see how a discussion can proceed without agreed-upon definition of terms, and clarification of previous statements.

    did you answer my dollar question? checking

    No.

    “if you had a dollar to spend how would you split it between adaptation, mitigation and research on innovation”

    Hard to say, since I don’t really buy the whole “dollar to spend” paradigm. Are we spending dollars or saving dollars? I went to the store yesterday and the sale was so good I saved money by buying shit.

    Maybe 33%/33%/33%? But as someone mentions above, there isn’t some universal perspective on that. Someone with less ability than I to weather storms might have a reasonable argument for a very different proportional allotment. But maybe we need to just say “fuck it,” and accept that there is no perfect allocation calculation. Maybe we could just pick something that seems balance, like 33%/33%/33%, and say “good enough for jazz” and get on with it?

  302. > Maybe 33%/33%/33%? But as someone mentions above, there isn’t some universal perspective on that.

    Well, even from a purely universal perspective, it lacks information. Where does that buck comes from. How much is this buck compared to what I have. Is it the only I will ever have. Do I have a second chance. What do I lose if my bet goes South. Am I the only one who has a buck for that. Am I the only agent in the world. How much time do I have. Are martingales allowed.

    There’s a reason why thought experiments have become real experiments. How people interpret questions vary from one culture to the next. Values change. Concepts change too. We only have a few universal concepts in common, sixty or so if memory serves right.

  303. Joshua says:

    Willard –

    Well, even from a purely universal perspective, it lacks information.

    No doubt. But perhaps the the thought experiment has benefits beyond the immediate question of focus.

  304. Agreed, Joshua. Here are a few points we could develop.

    First, that the 33% distribution represents a lack of information more than knowledge.

    Second, that the concept of mitigation, adaptation, and R&D deserve due diligence.

    Third, consider the following breadcrumbs:

    http://blogs.worldbank.org/ppps/forecasting-infrastructure-investment-needs-50-countries-7-sectors-through-2040

    http://uis.unesco.org/apps/visualisations/research-and-development-spending/

    Fourth, that expectations regarding the clarity of that tripartition seem to differ from surveys about the AGW beliefs of scientists.

    Sixth, that this bypasses the Copenhagen Consensus’ thought experiment altogether.

  305. izen says:

    In some cases adaption is the only option, you have to spend on infrastructure, no amount of future mitigation or R&D has any traction on the problem.

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article224132115.html
    A $3 billion problem: Miami-Dade’s septic tanks are already failing due to sea rise
    …“The best response is sewer extension, but obviously that infrastructure takes quite a bit of planning and time,” said Katherine Hageman, the county’s resilience program manager.
    “And money,” County Chief Resilience Officer James Murley added.
    Ripping out every septic tank and laying down new pipes to connect the homes to the county’s sewer system won’t be cheap. The latest estimate put the price tag at $3.3 billion.
    “Who has that?” said Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, who called for the study. “We need to act as fast as possible. We need to get as much assistance as we can from the federal government, from the state.”

    Note that individuals cannot adapt, it has to be a State/Nation/Governance.

    Same for mitigation and R&D.
    But sea level rise is locked in, no amount of future mitigation or thermodynamically credible R&D will do anything more than slightly reduce the amount of adaption required in response.

  306. Joshua, you willard and BBD have badgered me for years. I do not pay attention to your requests because of past conversations. I’m sorry. That’s the truth of it. You may say it was not your intention to troll me. You may say I’ve given as good as I’ve gotten, which I certainly hope is true. But simply put, on a thread where there are many people writing, including me, I perceive your ‘requests’ as interruptions, not contributions.

  307. BBD says:

    What a load of self-serving twaddle.

  308. I think Tom has used up his “engage constructively” quotient for the moment. Let’s leave it to recharge and just move on.

  309. Steven Mosher says:

    “Or maybe your questions were veiled defenses as opposed to an honest search for information?”

    my hope was to see how far apart folks are on their priorities. I think that this stage of discussions on climate you cant even ask what time it is without someone thinking through the ulterior motives.

  310. Steven Mosher says:

    “Hard to say, since I don’t really buy the whole “dollar to spend” paradigm. Are we spending dollars or saving dollars? I went to the store yesterday and the sale was so good I saved money by buying shit.”

    Ah to clear, I am taking an extra dollar from you. Now you tell me how you like to spend it for you.

    You answered 1/3 1/3 1/3. That’s how I would have answered up until recently.
    It’s not so much a paradigm as it is a way of elucidating preferences in a quantifiable way.
    Also, it can help to undercover the actual agreement that exists underneath the stupid
    fights that happen at the social level.

    So lets take you and me. I’m at 50,25,25. You are at 33,33,33. pretty sure we could come to agreement on final allocation that was acceptable to both of us without either one of us resorting to attacks about each others character or motivations.

  311. Joshua says:

    My dollar… First..making it clear that the value I see in the exercise is in establishing space for sharing interests (my dollar has no practical meaning), and understanding that I think the exercise actually has little value other than creating a conversation space, and taking into consideration issues such as those Willard raises, I guess maybe 40/20/40.

    The reason being….infrastructure will synergistically build space for common ground. So I see added value there.

    Existing mitigation technologies are already polarized, so there is no likely added value there.

    New technologies could, possibly, have a fresh start (far from guaranteed, they could also just be folded into existing polarization) that creates space for common ground. So added value there.

    To be clear, that is a highly political calculation. If I didn’t see a primary need to be political, with no heavy conviction (I haven’t thought about this much or listened to arguments about it much), it would likely be something like 30/50/20, maybe 30/55/15.

    I think that if we accept the unknowability of cost (which I accept), what remains are clear upsides to replacing fossil fuels with renewables.

    I believe that redistribution of resources can help address the problematic obstacles to access to renewable energy for those in less developed regions, without unreasonable negative impact to those in more highly developed regions (you know, the whole aspect of using marginal return in happiness rather than gdp as a metric to measure wealth in societies).

    I think it’s probably a mistake to look at the development of new technologies as a constant return on dollars spent. More likely, with advances in AI and the patterns of acceleration in new technological development (e. g.,Moore’s law). So maybe we can gamble on a growth in rate of return on the same dollar.

  312. Joshua says:

    Btw –

    Related to the politics of adaptation…

    WhyTF Trump doesn’t maximize his popularity by jumping on infrastructure I will never understand. The tax cuts have made it clear that the Pubz’ concerns about debt are politically expedient (if it wasn’t obvious before), and that loyalty to Trump trumps concern about the debt. I think Demz would have to climb on board despite their aversion to Trump (even if it were crony capitalist infrastructure, they aren’t exactly unified in principled opposition to cronyism).

  313. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    “WhyTF Trump doesn’t maximize his popularity by jumping on infrastructure I will never understand.”

    Because it would alienate his base, and others who operate on the inverse politics of envy principle.
    They bitterly resent anyone less well of than them benefiting from ANY communal activity that has equal outcomes for all. Look at the resistance to universal healthcare systems.

    In the example I linked above on the damage sea level rise is having on sewage disposal, it is very unlikely that there will be a timely and significant contribution from State or Federal level because it would benefit the people who have less, more than the people who have more.
    While money for a wall hurts the poor.
    There is an element in the support for Trump that express approval of him because he ‘hurts those who deserve to be hurt’ rather than ‘helping those who need to be helped’.

  314. izen says:

    There is a classic experiment on that shows the ‘sense of fairness’ inherent in social animals.
    A Capuchin monkey is happy to reverie cucumber in return for a stone until it observes a companion get a grape. It then resents getting anything less.

    However a trait I think is present in US politics, and many others that are concerned with preserving hierarchy has the monkey resenting a lower status monkey getting equal rewards and resenting the other getting anything more than cucumber.

    As SM noted when asking how to spend ‘a dollar’ there are many that just want the dollar back.
    Because adaption and mitigation benefit all, even those who are too poor to contribute, it triggers resentment.

  315. Steven Mosher says:

    “WhyTF Trump doesn’t maximize his popularity by jumping on infrastructure I will never understand.”

    me either. boggles the mind.

  316. Steven Mosher says:

    Thank you all.

    Time to read WG 2.

    is this the document that spells out the certain disaster we face?

  317. Time to read WG 2.

    is this the document that spells out the certain disaster we face?

    No (mostly because we don’t face certain disaster).

  318. BBD says:

    More straw. You’d think that having watched Tom get skewered for this nonsense, Steven would have more sense than to engage in more of the same.

  319. Chubbs says:

    My own and everyone else’s $: 100% on mitigation. We have centuries for adaption spend and its too late for research.

  320. Ben McMillan says:

    Something like 80% mitigation 20% adaptation seems sensible. The research is ‘cheap’ in comparison, and most of it is ‘learning by doing’ when you actually start doing the mitigation.

    The mitigation not only reduces how much adaptation you need, it also reduces the suffering that can’t be adapted to. For example, wiping out a substantial fraction of the world’s ecosystems is not something you can fix after the fact.

  321. Joshua says:

    izen –

    Because it would alienate his base,

    I’m not so sure. A massive infrastructure program was a major plank of his campaign rhetoric. I didn’t notice his base criticizing that element of his rhetoric during the campaign, or since then.

    My sense is that Trump loyalism trumps policy, except perhaps with immigration policy (as we saw play out when he reversed course recently after Breitbart and Coulter started calling him a coward). Look at the reversals in his base on so many issues, like Russia or the private behaviors of politicians or the debt. or government “interference in the economy.” Just a few of the many issues where his base did a 180 on the policies out of a sense of loyalty to Trump.

    My sense is that immigration stands out, in part because of nativism and the general component you lay out in your mention of the experiments, but also because it would be a direct capitulation to the enemy – libural/commie/Democrats. This is about tribalism, and hating on “the left” more than anything else, IMO..

    With an infrastructure plan, the capitulation to the enemy wouldn’t be so stark and unambiguous. A large infrastructure plan isn’t caving in to what Demz want. Again, he ran on infrastructure as a big part of his platform. It isn’t a defining cleavage in political identity.

    Yes, there is an element of “those who deserve to be hurt” for some segment of his base, and no doubt, there is an element of “white resentment.” There’s plenty of evidence out there of the motivating force of “white resentment” and the nexus between that an the animating impact of his anti-immigration rhetoric. But I think that actually, hatred of libz is the more driving force. Look at the trends views towards immigration; even among Republicans support for immigration is near historic highs.

    I think it’s easy to overestimate the extent to which hatred towards equal benefit for all motivates his base (as opposed to hatred for Demz/libz).

  322. Jeffh says:

    Reading this thread in frustration, I reiterate what I said earlier. The word adaptation is loaded, much like the term ‘sustainable development’ and the word ‘civilization’. It seems to me that people are bandying it about recklessly while failing to understand the full dimensions of what it entails.

    I assume that the ‘adaptation’ most people here seem to be referring to is through technology; better defenses against sea level rise, genetically modified crops that withstand heat shocks, periodic floods and/or droughts, and better irrigation systems to maintain agricultural production in the face of other symptoms of climate change.

    It’s not enough. Not even close. To me, writing as an ecologist, an appropriate analogy is giving people aboard a sinking ship better lifejackets. For the umpteenth time, the crux of the matter is how nature responds to rapid warming; our ability to ‘adapt’ is largely irrelevant. It will only buy us a bit of time but it won’t prevent the inevitable. By now the empirical literature is filled with studies showing how natural systems generate conditions (services) that act as life-support for humans. Our fate hinges completely on how well complex ‘adaptive’ systems remain ‘adaptive’ in the face of the human assault. If they break down, we will go down with them, no ands, ifs or buts about it.

    The energy lobby has played a major role in nurturing public ambivalence towards climate change and thus we have procrastinated for the better part of three decades, during which time Rome has metaphorically continued to burn. If we don’t focus on mitigation, then Frank Fenner’s prediction of human extinction within a century sounds more and more plausible.

  323. Jeffh, perhaps that is why there are so very few arguing that cliimate change be addressed with 100% adaptation. Certainly not the authors highlighted in this post. Certainly not the commenters who have given their opinion here. Certainly not the skeptics and lukewarmers who have opined on the issue.

    Because our current infrastructure is decaying and because it does not address dangers offered by the current climate, money spent on infrastructure can also provide a safety margin to insure against the impacts of future climate change. Not to take advantage of it would be daft.

    As this money would in all probability be appropriated from different government ‘buckets’ it would not impact money dedicated for mitigation. Hence the strident calls for 100% mitigation seem off target.

  324. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    “I’m not so sure. A massive infrastructure program was a major plank of his campaign rhetoric. I didn’t notice his base criticizing that element of his rhetoric during the campaign, or since then.”

    You have a point, there is bipartisan agreement that infrastructure improvement is needed and Trump promised a $1 Trillion plan in the first 100 days.
    However that was quietly opposed by the GOP elements who decry any Federal spending, and it became something that was to be announced in the second 100 days.
    Then in the summer of 2017.
    Then in January of 2018.
    Eventually a $20o billion plan was announced in April 2018 after which his top adviser on infrastructure quit.

    Part of that plan, none of which has been actioned AFAIK, since was to reverse the ratio of monies from States and Federal bodies contribute for such projects from 20% State : 80% Federal to the opposite. 80% State : 20% Federal.
    Another element was to do it as ‘public-private partnerships. A system where a private company is given the job of building infrastructure in return for tax breaks and continued rent payments for its public use.
    This has not been a successful or cheap option in the UK.

    There is also the tribal problem that he and his base would be unwilling to support an infrastructure project if it gained strong support from Dems/liberrulz/socialists. It is difficult to see what he could propose that would not either be far too popular with Dems, or opposed by the anti-federal spending lobbyists within the GOP.

    A wall to stop brown people is clearly infrastructure that he favours far more than a wall to stop sea level rise.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/antarctic-ice-loss-is-already-happening-a-shocking-six-times-faster-than-in-the-1970s

  325. izen says:

    @-SM
    “is this the document that spells out the certain disaster we face?”

    It does spell out how inadequate and uncertain are our tools to analyse the full negative impacts on the economic systems. Describing how they are unable to fully cost the way impacts in one sector can have impacts across the whole economy. Shorn of its references, here is a passage from wg2 I posted to tf upthread, which did not appear to dent his medium confidence in no major harms below 2C

    “Estimates of global aggregate economic damages omit a number of factors.While some studies of aggregate economic damages include market interactions between sectors in a computable general equilibrium framework , none treat non-market interactions between impacts,such as the effects of the loss of biodiversity among pollinators and wild crops on agriculture or the effects of land conversions owing to shifts in agriculture on terrestrial ecosystems. They do not include the effects of the degradation of ecosystem services by climate change and ocean acidification, and in general assume that market services can substitute perfectly for degraded environmental services.The global aggregate damages associated with large-scale singular events are not well explored.”
    (19.6.3.5)

  326. verytallguy says:

    Thomasfuller

    there are so very few arguing that cliimate change be addressed with 100% adaptation.

    I really don’t think this is remotely true.

    Here’s Judith Curry, for instance:

    Curry: ‘Reducing CO2 emissions will do little or nothing to change the climate’

    http://www.climatedepot.com/2018/06/12/climatologist-dr-judith-curry-explains-her-conversion-to-skeptic-as-she-is-set-to-debate-michael-mann-curry-reducing-co2-emissions-will-do-little-or-nothing-to-change-the-climate/

  327. > perhaps that is why there are so very few arguing that cliimate change be addressed with 100% adaptation. Certainly not the authors highlighted in this post.

    What is “that” and how does this “why” work exactly. JeffH suggests that the concept of adaptation makes little ecological sense. He has a point. There are limits to what air conditioners may do. As for “one of the authors,” here’s the presentation of the Lomborg Collective’s rationale by the leader himself:

    Each day decisions are made about global political priorities. We choose to support some worthy causes while others are disregarded. Unfortunately, political decisions seldom take into account a comprehensive view of the effects and costs of solving one problem in relation to another. Priorities are often set in an obfuscated environment involving the conflicting demands of the media, the people, and politicians. Despite all good intentions, the decision-making process is marred by arbitrary and haphazard methods. The idea behind the Copenhagen Consensus is to render, in the future, this process less arbitrary, because political decisions should not be made arbitrarily, but should be based on facts and knowledge. The result stemming from the Copenhagen Consensus 2004 is very concrete: a ranked list of real challenges, for real people, in the real world.

    If we had an extra $50 billion to put to good use, which problems would we solve first? That was the question put to the participants of the Copenhagen Consensus.

    https://grist.org/article/bjorn-lomborg-and-climate-change-mitigation/

    This doesn’t even get the proper scale right, and it presents a false dilemma.

    Just like we said earlier.

  328. The analogy about priorities on a boat that is sinking still pertains. Which suggests mitigation as the very big first priority. And as someone else mentioned, mitigation is an investment in future avoided adaptation, but it does not work the other way around, so again, it argues for mitigation >> adaptation. For R&D, I don’t even know what “next big things” people are thinking of (except I do think people are prone to believe in unicorns, which tend not to exist in energy. Fusion, maybe, qualifies as a game changer, but it would arrive way too late if we piss away our budget waiting.)

    And I know that Steve’s thought experiment where a dollar is being taken from me and I am stating my preference for how it would be allocated. But I wanted to touch on this, just to put a sanity check on the discussion:

    As this money would in all probability be appropriated from different government ‘buckets’ it would not impact money dedicated for mitigation.

    US government spending is currently $4.4 trillion, about 21% of GDP. Sufficient mitigation/decarbonization spending is around 2% of GDP, from my read of the literature, net new from current levels. About $420 billion per year*.

    If you are calling for equal spending on all three areas, that would be almost $1.3 trillion/year. That is essentially equal to *ALL* current discretionary spending (i.e. ex- of social, Medicare, Medicaid, and other mandatory programs, plus interest on the debt). It’s almost double the defense budget. It’s not just a matter of tweaking a little here or there.

    So you are left with saying that $1.3 trillion is not feasible, but if we go to, say, $500 billion. Ok, but unless you are giving ~ 80% on mitigation, then you are basically committing to fail to address the crisis.

    Another thing is that if you want to spend, say, 1/3 on R&D, then you are talking about between $170 – $420 billion on research!! Research on what??? We couldn’t even find a fraction of that in research needs.

    Prioritizing mitigation is more than than just preferences. Some of it is just pragmatism.

    *Of course, not all of the spending need be by government, but if you see them as a major player, even just in subsidies alongside private spending, it still has to be fit in the government budget.

  329. The IPCC in their Assessment Reports gives no indication that they think the boat is sinking. Rather it seems clear that the analogy would be that the boat is leaking.

    All boats leak. Not all leaks require–what would the nautical equivalent of mitigation be? Changing course? Going into a shipyard for major repairs?–existential efforts to resolve. Some times you caulk the leak, sometimes you go over the side and put a patch on it. It depends on the size of the leak. Not to mention the displacement of the boat.

    To drag this out of the world of metaphor, I like RNS’s description of mitigation as avoiding future adaptation costs. If we properly calculate the costs for each it could be useful as a way of providing a sliding scale approach to how we divvy up Mosher’s Dollar.

    I advocated 1/3 each to adaptation, mitigation and R&D because I don’t believe the state of our knowledge is adequate to bet everything on one horse. And until the blessed day arrives when we have a clear picture of what atmospheric sensitivity is, I probably won’t believe our knowledge is sufficient.

    Because the IPCC does not project catastrophic outcomes, I believe my hesitancy is warranted. In fact i believe it is the most advantageous approach at this time.

    But I’m willing to spend a dollar. A lot more. I strongly support a carbon tax just to get the ball rolling.

  330. verytallguy says:

    Thomasfuller

    Because the IPCC does not project catastrophic outcomes…

    The IPCC gives a range of 2.1-5.8 degC for end of century temperature rise under RCP6. [WG3 table SPM.1]

    Are you seriously suggesting a six degree temperature rise is not catastrophic?

    Seriously?

  331. > I advocated 1/3 each to adaptation, mitigation and R&D because I don’t believe the state of our knowledge is adequate to bet everything on one horse.

    This betting scheme would be exactly the same if we knew nothing except normality. Add another thing and we’d bet 1/4 each. Another and we’re at 1/5. Choosing three buckets matters quite a bit.

    Back in my days, gradings were extended from A to F because it was too easy to exploit an A-D scheme. Ask your psychophysicist as to why. Those who pretend having constructed surveys for a living should not need to do so.

  332. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    Please define catastrophic.

  333. “The global mean surface temperature change for the period 2016– 2035 relative to 1986–2005 is similar for the four RCPs, and will likely be in the range 0.3°C to 0.7°C (medium confidence)3 ºC warmer than the period 1850-1900. {WGI SPM E, 2.4.3}*]. This range assumes no major volcanic eruptions or changes in some natural sources (e.g., methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O)), or unexpected changes in total solar irradiance. Future climate will depend on commited warming caused by anthropogenic emissions and natural climate variability. By the mid-21st century, the magnitude of the projected climate change is substantially affected by the choice of emissions scenarios. Climate change continted warming caused by past anthropogenic emissions, as well as future ues to diverge among the scenarios through to 2100 and beyond (Table 2.1, Figure 2.1). The ranges provided for particular RCPs (Table 2.1), and those given below in Section 2.2, primarily arise from differences in the sensitivity of climate models to the imposed forcing. {WGI SPM E.1, 11.3.2, 12.4.1}”

    https://ar5-syr.ipcc.ch/topic_futurechanges.php

    …primarily arise from differences in the sensitivity of climate models…

  334. And to put Bjorn’s “political decisions should not be made arbitrarily, but should be based on facts and knowledge” into perspective:

    How is the Lomborg Collective’s thought experiment not arbitrary?

  335. Joshua, (and VTG) I don’t know what is more disingenuous–Marc Morano’s headline or VTG’s blind acceptance of his characterization when he does not believe anything else Morano ever writes.

    Curry’s article is here: https://judithcurry.com/2018/06/12/the-debate-mann-titley-moore-curry/

    She does not say anything like what VTG put into quotes. As for the ‘catastrophic’ thing, this blog and many others have covered that ad tedium. You know exactly what I think of it and what I think of those who explicitly use the term and those who coyly dance around it.

  336. Tom,
    I really don’t get what you’re implying. Are you suggesting that because the IPCC projections include the possibility that the changes could be small, that we should ignore the possibility that could be very large?

  337. verytallguy says:

    Thomasfuller

    Morano’s headline is a direct quote, see section 5 here:

    https://judithcurry.com/2018/06/12/the-debate-mann-titley-moore-curry/

    Please acknowledge this truth.

  338. verytallguy says:

    Thomasfuller

    As for the ‘catastrophic’ thing, this blog and many others have covered that ad tedium. You know exactly what I think of it and what I think of those who explicitly use the term and those who coyly dance around it.

    Quit the blather and obfuscation.

    The IPCC project up to 5.8C temperature rise at 2100 for RCP6.

    Do you regard 5.8C rise as catastrophic.

    An actual answer to the question asked would be much appreciated.

  339. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    I like…
    I don’t believe…
    I probably won’t believe…
    I believe…
    In fact i believe…
    But I’m willing…
    I strongly support…
    I don’t know…
    …what I think of those who…

    Personally, I’ve always been a little skeptical of arguments from the first-person singular nominative case personal pronoun.

    Meanwhile, some fact-mongering:
    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/01/08/1812883116

  340. Mal Adapted says:

    rustneversleeps:

    I would also carve out a piece of both the research and mitigation spending to look at behaviour/attitude change. We’ve flopped on exercise, obesity, retirement savings, done ok on smoking, etc. I think plant-based diets, reduced car ownership, staycations and the like are going to need to be considered desirable and almost certainly would need to be a largely consumer-lead shift.

    By the way, I am pretty sure that this mix would mean significant price hikes for electricity and some other mitigation items.

    rsn, later:

    Yes, a carbon tax plays a separate role. But if you have a tax that gets collected, you are necessarily still left with the decision as to how to spend it (“recycle the revenue” in the literature) so it is not clearly as separate as it initially seems. If you think most of that money should be directed to dealing with decarbonization/adaptation, you have various ways to go. But as I have said, if you are doing things like a dividend, or an across the board income tax reduction, or debt reduction, etc., then far, far less of it will be spent on decarbonization/climate adaptation.

    I swear, there are people that think a carbon tax has somewhat magical powers. (not present company of course)

    I, for one, fully agree a carbon tax has no magical powers whatsoever. I support rsn’s recommendations for behavioral changes, too. Direct public spending on that could well be cost-effective: tobacco use declined substantially as Pigovian taxes raised its price to smokers, but enforcement of public smoking bans, anti-tobacco advertising, bans on commercial tobacco advertising, and help for smokers to quit are also credited. Regardless, I’m as sure as I need to be that behavior will change with significant price hikes for energy from fossil carbon and the goods and services it’s embodied in. That’s the case for any mix of expenditures on adaptation, mitigation and innovation. It’s what internalizing the marginal costs of climate change means for consumers: you want it, you pay for it.

    Like any carbon tax, a US national CF&D with BAT would accomplish the price hike. The fee per tonne of carbon will be taken from fossil-fuel producers at the mine/well/point-of-entry, and since they’ll still be competing with each other on price, they will each raise their prices as much as they dare, sacrificing profit margin for market share as they deem necessary, or else get out of the fossil carbon business altogether.

    rsn however, reasonably enough, is skeptical that the 100% dividend will provide the capital needed to build out the carbon-neutral economy. The political motivation for the dividend is acknowledged. To the best of my relatively educated understanding, the economic argument for a 100% dividend is as follows:

    First, the fee/tariff needs to be high enough to get consumers’ attention (the proportionate dividend will help), and should be expected to increase over time, as required to bring consumption of fossil fuels close to zero in a 30-100 year timeframe. As the fees raise prices for FF-fired electricity closer to current prices for carbon-neutral substitutes, consumers will start looking for ways to switch. At the outset, their numbers may be small, primarily those who already pay higher-than-average prices for fossil carbon. Well-crafted public information campaigns, as with tobacco, may help some consumers switch sooner than they might otherwise.

    Slowly at first but increasingly over time, the price signal will motivate owners of existing carbon-neutral energy sources to ramp up production, bringing economies of scale. Even current fossil fuel producers will invest in alternative energy. It will also motivate entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and his techno-optimist colleagues, beavering away at renewable-energy storage, or at improving efficiency throughout the economy – LED light bulbs, anyone? These are the people who know how to persuade bankers and venture capitalists of opportunities for profit. The expected profit will come from consumers trying to save money, to the extent it always has. The dividend adds a sporting element for consumers :), who may compete to reduce their personal carbon consumption!

    Dividending the fee/tariff revenue, IOW, recognizes the fundamental agency of consumers. It places the necessary internalization decisions squarely in their hands, under the relentless pressure of thrift as well as personal feelings about the morality of AGW, along with near-realtime availability of current, local energy prices. Nor does it rule out a range of other policy options, subject to the usual budget negotiations. So: debates about personal responsibility vs. government social engineering aside, and recognizing that ‘rational’ economic choices are influenced by all kinds of cognitive phenomena, I’m convinced that CF&D with BAT can make a critical difference in the slope of the GMST trend over the next few decades. Of course it won’t work just the way I’ve described it, because it remains for politics to implement, as with any policy. Here, of course, any proposed decarbonization policy runs up against the immense power of fossil-fuel wealth. Heaven help us :(!

  341. Ben McMillan says:

    The other reason that adaption spending should be relatively small over the next decade or two is that the (unmitigated) effects of climate change mostly occur later as the damage rapidly rises. Adaption money is therefore spent as needed, later in the 21st century (or forever if humans are sufficiently stupid), rather than now.

    Whereas a lot of the first steps in mitigation involve no-regret decisions or moderately low cost. i.e. Reducing carbon emissions by the first 50% is a lot easier than going from 50%-0%. Reducing emissions now reduces carbon stocks, and thus the damages at all future times.

  342. BBD says:

    …primarily arise from differences in the sensitivity of climate models…

    And we’re back to Tom’s unshakable belief in improbably low sensitivity. In the face of all the evidence to the contrary.

    Ho bloody hum.

  343. verytallguy says:

    The other reason that adaption spending should be relatively small over the next decade or two is that the (unmitigated) effects of climate change mostly occur later as the damage rapidly rises.

    And that projections of regional climate change are sufficiently uncertain that we don’t know what to adapt to.

  344. VTG, you ask, “Do you regard 5.8C rise as catastrophic.”

    Before I answer, do you regard 5.8C rise as even remotely likely? For I do not.

    Also, to steal from Joshua, what do you regard as catastrophic?

  345. BBD says:

    Whereas a lot of the first steps in mitigation involve no-regret decisions or moderately low cost. i.e. Reducing carbon emissions by the first 50% is a lot easier than going from 50%-0%. Reducing emissions now reduces carbon stocks, and thus the damages at all future times.

    Except when the chosen pathway involves a multi-decadal lock-in to gas which will have to be abandoned much later this century in favour of non-FF alternatives. Had the non-FF approach been implemented starting now, it would have resulted in significantly *reduced* total emissions by the end of the century.

    This is the fatal allure of ‘low cost’ when cost is ill-defined in terms of externalities.

  346. > Please acknowledge this truth.

    Good idea.

  347. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    As for the ‘catastrophic’ thing, this blog and many others have covered that ad tedium. You know exactly what I think of it and what I think of those who explicitly use the term and those who coyly dance around it.

    I don’t know what you mean my catastrophic. That’s why I asked. Above, you spoke about threat to the planet and civilizations. Is that what you mean?

    Judith seems to be pretty consistent in voicing the opinion that mitigation will have no meaningful impact in a time frame of a length that makes sense for planning purposes. She is far from the only influential “skeptic” who makes such an argument.

    At any rate, I don’t understand why you say the following:

    perhaps that is why there are so very few arguing that cliimate change be addressed with 100% adaptation.

    I see many prominent “skeptics” who argue that there is no valid rationale for mitigation although they speak favorably (IMO, in a convenient lip service sort of way) of adaptation.

    “So few,” is obviously a subjective quantification, but I think it is obvious that there are very powerful political forces in our country who lobby heavily against any form of mitigation, even to the point of making a carbon tax politically dubious in the near or middle-distance future. We needn’t focus exclusively on that political force, other forces exist also. But I think it is counterproductive to underestimate the political forces that reject any form of mitigation – and your statement, IMO, does exactly that.

    Underplaying extremes and overplaying extremes works at cross-purposes with creating space for productive dialog, IMO. So, I think that care in that regard is important, and much discussion should be focused on careful definition of terms as a result.

  348. verytallguy says:

    Thomasfuller,

    It’s the top end of the range. It’s possible but unlikely.

    Catastrophic is probably about half that, depending on trajectory and subject to considerable debate.

    Now, how about you start actually answering some questions for a change.

  349. VeryTallGuy, this is why conversations founder. You obviously went to the article and so you saw exactly what Judith Curry wrote. Why then do you say something about it that is so obviously untrue?

    You direct us to section 5 of the article in question, where Curry writes “If you assume that carbon dioxide is the control knob for climate, than you can control climate by reducing CO2emissions.

    If you assume that climate change primarily occurs naturally, then the Earth’s climate is largely uncontrollable, and reducing CO2emissions will do little or nothing to change the climate.”

    And you really want me to answer your questions?

  350. Ah. Moderation again.

    [Released. -W]

  351. BBD says:

    Tom

    Once again, I am obliged to remind you that an ecologist would point out that the rate of environmental change is potentially more damaging than the absolute magnitude. So if we manage to catapult ourselves out of Holocene norms by the end of the century (2C – 3C would comfortably do it) *and* significantly shift ocean pH at the same time, your rhetoric of minimisation is very likely to prove ill founded.

  352. Sorry, VTG. If I can’t get published here I can’t answer your questions.

  353. Joshua says:

    Rev –

    Personally, I’ve always been a little skeptical of arguments from the first-person singular nominative case personal pronoun.

    I disagree. I happen to think that trying to carefully identify opinion is important. Of course, it should go along with carefully delineating opinion from fact. When people present arguments that fail to make that delineation I become more skeptical.

  354. > If I can’t get published here I can’t answer your questions.

    I don’t think you can answer Very Tall’s question even if you do, for here’s what Judy wrote:

    5 Disagreement: cause of climate change

    So does this rather arcane scientific debate actually matter? Well, yes it does.

    If you assume that carbon dioxide is the control knob for climate, than you can control climate by reducing CO2 emissions.

    No, that’s not a valid representation. We already are controlling climate. The goal of reducing CO2 emissions is to reduce our influence on climate.

    If you assume that climate change primarily occurs naturally, then the Earth’s climate is largely uncontrollable, and reducing CO2 emissions will do little or nothing to change the climate.

    https://judithcurry.com/2018/06/12/the-debate-mann-titley-moore-curry/

    You better acknowledge this.

  355. verytallguy says:

    Sorry, VTG. If I can’t get published here I can’t answer your questions.

    Well, this was published, as was your prior obfuscation.

    I suggest you try again. Be sure not to breach moderation guidelines.

  356. I better, huh? You gonna choose me out after school?

    Here is the entirety of section 5 of her article:

    5 Disagreement: cause of climate change

    So does this rather arcane scientific debate actually matter? Well, yes it does.

    If you assume that carbon dioxide is the control knob for climate, than you can control climate by reducing CO2 emissions.

    If you assume that climate change primarily occurs naturally, then the Earth’s climate is largely uncontrollable, and reducing CO2emissions will do little or nothing to change the climate.

    My personal assessment aligns with the right-hand side, emphasizing natural variability. However, the IPCC and the so-called consensus aligns with the left hand side. About 10 years ago, I also aligned with left hand side, because I thought supporting the IPCC consensus was the responsible thing to do.

    Here is how and why I changed my mind.

  357. More moderation and accusations of obfuscation… I’ll come back when grown-ups are involved in the conversation. Bye for now.

  358. verytallguy says:

    Why then do you say something about it that is so obviously untrue?

    It’s a *direct quote*.

    It’s true.

    You’re denying facts.

  359. > Be sure not to breach moderation guidelines.

    FWIW, my last comment hit moderation too.

    So either it’s Akismet or some word filtered.

  360. Tom,
    1. Maybe count to 10. Sometimes moderation is automatic.

    2. If you would like the discussion to not include accusations of obfuscation, maybe you should avoid saying things like “I’ll come back when grown-ups are involved”? Just a thought, mind you.

  361. And again, FWIW, here’s where we’re at:

    I don’t know what is more disingenuous–Marc Morano’s headline or VTG’s blind acceptance of his characterization when he does not believe anything else Morano ever writes.

    Let’s repeat again Very Tall’s:

    It’s a *direct quote*.

    Groundskeeper better have a good reason to come back.

  362. > Here is the entirety of section 5 of her article:

    And in it we can read reducing CO2emissions will do little or nothing to change the climate.

    You can’t make this up.

  363. When skeptics cherry pick start and stop dates for temperature measurements, you rightly call them out.

    When Curry says, “If you assume that climate change primarily occurs naturally, then the Earth’s climate is largely uncontrollable, and reducing CO2 emissions will do little or nothing to change the climate” and you say she says “reducing CO2 emissions will do little or nothing to change the climate” you are doing the same thing.

    It’s wrong when skeptics cherry pick start and stop dates for temperature measurements. It is wrong when you truncate a relevant quote from Judith Curry.

    It’s also immature ClimateBall game playing.

  364. Tom,
    Even in that post, Judith claims to support the idea that natural processes play a dominant role. Below is a tweet with a video where Judith says

    it has some effect on very long timescales, but it’s nothing you can really dial up or down on the timescale of a century and change the climate. There’s a lot of natural forces in play here that determine the climate.

  365. Curry may well be correct. We do not know the answer as of yet. I personally think she goes too far, but I also think many activist scientists go too far in the opposite direction.

  366. verytallguy says:

    It’s also immature ClimateBall game playing

    Bullshit.

    It’s the truth, it’s just inconvenient for you to accept it.

    I answered your questions, your turn:

    5.8 degrees. Catastrophic or not?

    Let’s have a clear answer. No obfuscation.

  367. Tom,
    Whether or not Juith Curry is correct (I would argue that the chances of this is vanishingly small), it’s clear that she disputes that CO2 is a climate control knob, and that she has indeed said that reducing CO2 emissions will do little to influence the climate. Can you at least acknowledge this?

  368. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    It is wrong when you truncate a relevant quote from Judith Curry.

    Duly noted expert advice from a mature, grown-up who wrote an entire quicky-book based on out of context stolen e-mails.

    The moral high-ground is getting very difficult to see through the thick fog of hypocrisy.

  369. Lest that be construed as evasive, my belief (which I characterize as ‘belief’ as I don’t think existing data can move any sane person from belief to certitude) is that:

    Climate change is occurring
    A goodly amount of current climate change is attributable to human influences
    The strongest of those influences is human emissions of greenhouse gases
    That the potential impact of current climate change falls within a range that goes from a bit more than negligible to damaging.
    That the far end of realistic projections of impacts are messy, expensive and dangerous to those in certain regions, but does not extend to an existential threat to humanity or its various civilizations
    That wise policy would include substantial expenditures on mitigation and adaptation starting now
    That the amount of expenditures would start at roughly $100 billion USD annually
    That kickstarting mitigation by adoption of Fast Mitigation recommendatons would buffer immediate impacts of climate change and should be adopted to give alternative energy generation more time to develop

  370. Yes, Very Reverend. We quoted a handful of climate scientists that acted very badly. I would happily do so again. I would be very sad if scientists behaved in such a manner as to require me to do so.

  371. VTG, no bullshit. You answer my questions, then I’ll answer yours. How likely is 5.8C? (You offered a weaselly non-response above. Give me a percentage of likelihood.) How specifically do you define catastrophic?

  372. Tom,
    As we’ve discussed before, the likelihood of something like 5.8C depends quite strongly on how much we emit. If we keep on increasing emissions it could be quite likely. If we peak emissions and start reducing them soon, it would be very unlikely.

  373. verytallguy says:

    Thomasfuller,

    More obfuscation. Not impressive.

    I already answered your questions directly. Upthread.

    Try reading the posts.

    Now, your turn.

    5.8 degrees. Catastrophic? Or not?

    Why is this so difficult for you?

  374. ATTP, I don’t see science supporting your claim that increasing emissions make it quite likely. 5.8C is an outlier on current PDFs. We are a fifth of the way through this century and there is no indication that we will achieve that level of increase.

    The fat tails in projections have been truncated by people ranging from James Annan to Zeke Hausfather.

    We emitted one third of all human emissions during this fifth of a century. The muted and sluggish response of atmospheric temperatures is a clear sign that 5.8C is highly unlikely.

  375. VTG. What is catastrophic? What percentage of likelihood to you assign to 5.8C? ATTP says it is ‘quite likely.’ More precision, please.

    I am not going to tell you how high is up.

  376. verytallguy says:

    More obfuscation.

    5.8 degrees. Catastrophic? Or not?

  377. Tom,
    I didn’t say it was quite likely. I said that if we keep increasing emissions it could be quite likely. The TCRE is estimated to be between 0.8C and 2.5C per 1000GtC. I think this is the likely range, so that means that if we emit 2000 GtC, there is a bigger than 10% chance of more than 5C of warming.

  378. See what I did there? I truncated your quote–just like the bozos here did to Curry. I apologize to you for making you the unwitting victim of my experiment.

    10% at 0.8C TCRE or 10% chance at 2.5C TCRE? And how much more than 10%?

    (BTW, I disagree with you that there is a bigger than 10% chance of more than 5C of warming. I believe it is less than 1%.)

  379. Tom,
    If the likely range is the 66% range than it means about 15% on either side.

    (BTW, I disagree with you that there is a bigger than 10% chance of more than 5C of warming. I believe it is less than 1%.)

    I know you disagree and I’m not surprised you think it’s less than 1%.

  380. verytallguy says:

    Tom,

    5.8 degrees. Catastrophic? Or not?

  381. verytallguy says:

    No answer. Inconvenient truths I guess, Tom?

  382. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    I believe it is less than 1%.

    That’s very reassuring, coming as it does from a expert non-climate scientist.

    Probability calculus based on feelings.

    I believe it is less that a nano-percent. Do I win something?

  383. Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings. Just Potato Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings. Trying to forget youse, Preacher Hypotenuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse.

  384. izen says:

    I had not encountered Dr J Curry’s explanation for her transition to the ‘other side’ before.

    “About 10 years ago, I also aligned with left hand side, because I thought supporting the IPCC consensus was the responsible thing to do.”

    Does this mean that JC gave no consideration to facts or the scientific understanding of the consequences of those facts, but just thought it a ‘responsible thing to do’ ?
    It does seem to indicate that her previous acceptance of the consensus was just group-think, which is perhaps why she suggests everybody else who holds that position does so without serious reflection or understanding.

    Fact-mongering is most often a matter of denying ugly facts that undermine the beautiful theory (story) that you hold as immutable ‘Truth’. It denotes an unwillingness, or even inability to change your understanding of an issue in the face of new facts.
    Which perhaps explains why the recent observations that OHC is rising faster than previously suspected, and Antarctic ice loss is happening across the whole continent are received with suggestions of a conspiracy to fake the figures from the usual suspects.

  385. Okay, maybe we can avoid simply going back and forth without really achieving anything.

  386. Willard says:

    [Vlad.] Is this where we’re at?

    [Estr.] Almost, Vlad.

    [Pozzo] There are so very few arguing that we should address Godot’s problem with 100% buckets to maintain the tears of the world in equal quantity.

    [Vlad.] Here’s Lucky:

    [Lucky] Mitigating Godot’s coming will do little or nothing.

    [Pozzo] I don’t know what is more disingenuous–Boy’s headline or Vlad’s blind acceptance of his characterization.

    [Vlad.] It is a direct quote, see section 5 here. Please acknowledge this truth.

    [Pozzo] You direct us to section 5 of the article in question […]

    [Estr.] I don’t think you can answer Vlad’s question, for here’s what Lucky wrote:

    [Lucky] Mitigating Godot’s coming will do little or nothing.

    [Vlad.] Try again, please.

    [Estr.] You better acknowledge this.

    [Pozzo] I better, huh? You gonna choose me out after school?

    Pozzo starts to rip off his shirt.

    [Vlad.] More obfuscation, not impressive.

    [Pozzo] Context! Context!

    [Estr.] It’s worse in context, for here’s Lucky, again:

    [Lucky] My personal assessment aligns with the right-hand side, emphasizing that mitigating Godot’s coming will do little or nothing.

  387. verytallguy says:

    So,Tom, you asserted:

    1) IPCC projections are not catastrophic
    2) On sceptics there are “few arguing that cliimate change be addressed with 100% adaptation”

    Presented with direct evidence on (1) you refuse to acknowledge that a 5.8 degree rise would be catastrophic.

    Presented with direct quotes of a prominent sceptic on (2) you throw up squid ink and obfuscate.

    You can’t cope with facts that challenge your position. You’re not a sceptic. You’re in denial. Seriously.

  388. verytallguy says:

    Willard, we crossed.

    Yours is much better.

  389. Last time I used pozzo in a comment I got moderated. But it was nice to see clear evidence that willard is completely unfamiliar with the works of Samuel Beckett.

  390. Willard says:

    Perhaps, Very Tall, but I regret having missed:

    [Pozzo] Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings. Just Potato Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings.

    To make sure we are on the same page, here’s the latest challenge: one of us is not answering the other’s questions. This leads to this comment on January 15, 2019 at 9:07 pm:

    VTG. What is catastrophic? What percentage of likelihood to you assign to 5.8C? ATTP says it is ‘quite likely.’ More precision, please.

    I am not going to tell you how high is up.

    Here’s what you wrote at 6:47 pm.

    The IPCC gives a range of 2.1-5.8 degC for end of century temperature rise under RCP6. [WG3 table SPM.1]

    Are you seriously suggesting a six degree temperature rise is not catastrophic?

    Seriously?

    Somehow, I think that your question presumes you find that 6C might very well be catastrophic.

    In fact, I believe you also said at 7:46 pm:

    It’s the top end of the range. It’s possible but unlikely.

    Catastrophic is probably about half that, depending on trajectory and subject to considerable debate.

    Now, how about you start actually answering some questions for a change.

    Would it be fair to say that you believe having met Pozzo’s challenge more than an hour ago?

  391. verytallguy says:

    Answer the question Tom.

    Or is it just too inconvenient?

  392. verytallguy says:

    “Would it be fair to say that you believe having met Pozzo’s challenge more than an hour ago”

    C’est exact.

  393. izen says:

    @-ATTP
    “I didn’t say it was quite likely. I said that if we keep increasing emissions it could be quite likely.”

    Just to be pedantic, we do not need to increase emission to reach 2000GTC, merely continue with our present level of emissions, or slightly less, for a further few decades.
    Personally I see little chance we will get emission to zero without unicorns, or Carbon capture, some amount of CO2 emissions will be a consequence of a technological civilisation even with fusion and perfect storage. liquid fossil fuels are just too convenient and efficient and other processes, like concrete production, too useful to totally abandon.
    >5C of warming may be a long way off, but is probably a cost human civilisation will have to face eventually without radical geoengineering.

  394. izen,

    Just to be pedantic, we do not need to increase emission to reach 2000GTC, merely continue with our present level of emissions, or slightly less, for a further few decades.

    Well, this is GtC and we’re emitting about 10GtC per year. So, if we keep at that rate, we’ll add an extra ~800 GtC on top of the ~600GtC we’ve currently emitted. So, to get to ~2000 GtC by 2100, we’d have to increase emissions at some stage.

  395. Well, lunch time is almost over and I need to get back to work. Having seen no definition of catastrophe and no percentage likelihood of 5.8C rise in GAT, I’m afraid I will have to leave VTG’s thirst for knowledge unsatisfied.

  396. Willard says:

    > C’est exact.

    I believe that means esattamente in Italian and exactly in English.

  397. BBD says:

    Of course it is.

    And what difference does it make anyway? We all know that Tom is both sunk in denial and deeply disingenuous whenever challenged about the… inconsistencies in his rhetoric.

  398. BBD says:

    Eh? more comments… That was in response to vtg’s

    Answer the question Tom.

    Or is it just too inconvenient?

  399. verytallguy says:

    Well, lunch time is almost over and I need to get back to work. Having seen no definition of catastrophe and no percentage likelihood of 5.8C rise in GAT, I’m afraid I will have to leave VTG’s thirst for knowledge unsatisfied

    Obfuscation.

    And pathetic, to boot.

    Need a better class of sceptic.

  400. izen says:

    @-ATTP
    “So, to get to ~2000 GtC by 2100, we’d have to increase emissions at some stage.”

    Or just wait until 2190.

  401. Willard says:

    > Need a better class of sceptic.

    Contrarian always was more precise, Very Tall.

    Speaking of which, and to meet another of Pozzo’s challenges:

    Pozzo is a character from Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot. His name is Italian for “well” (as in “oil well”).

    On the surface he is a pompous, sometimes foppish, aristocrat (he claims to live in a manor, own many slaves and a Steinway piano), cruelly using and exploiting those around him (specifically his slave, Lucky and, to a lesser extent, Estragon).

    […]

    While by no means a villain in a conventional sense of the word, Pozzo is sometimes considered (nominally) the “antagonist” of Waiting for Godot. Although he is not technically in opposition to the so-called heroes of the play (Vladimir and Estragon) he does bring chaos into their sheltered world.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pozzo_(Waiting_for_Godot)

    Next Groundskeeper will argue that by identifying him to Samuel’s Pozzo I’m associating him to Mussolini.

  402. Ben McMillan says:

    Responding to BBD’s comment way upthread now, largely decarbonising the electricity sector right now by building a whole bunch of low-carbon power stations seems to be ‘on the pathway’ to pretty much any plausible end-state with near-zero emissions.

    If you want to argue that we should also be immediately ramping up to build ginormous storage then go ahead, but pretty much everything I’ve read suggests that huge storage (as in weeks of average power demand) is impossible (except as chemical energy) or at least non-optimal.

  403. willard, you may be ignorant of Beckett’s corpus, but I’ll grant you expertise in The Simpson’s. Why you would want to be expert in arcana such as that is an exercise best left to the reader.

  404. verytallguy says:

    I thought you’d left Tom.

    But as you’re still here answer the question please.

    I answered yours. Even though mine was asked first.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/fact-mongering/#comment-136338

    Have some self respect.

  405. Willard says:

    > you may be ignorant of Beckett’s corpus,

    Samuel est un auteur qui a écrit son théâtre surtout en français et je connais pas mal de monde à l’École Nationale.

    Je pourrais commencer à parler joual pour t’enfirouâper un ti-peu.

  406. izen says:

    @-tf
    “Why you would want to be expert in arcana such as that is an exercise best left to the reader.”

    An interest in the ‘arcana’ of Beckett’s corpus is the result of an interest in the Western philosophical examination of existential suffering.

    HAMM:
    What’s the weather like?
    CLOV:
    Warming.
    HAMM:
    Look at the earth.
    CLOV:
    I’ve looked.
    HAMM:
    With the ladder?
    CLOV:
    No need of the ladder.
    HAMM:
    Look at it with the ladder.
    CLOV:
    I’ll go and get the ladder. (gets small ladder to climb up and look out both windows)
    HAMM:
    What’s happening?
    CLOV:
    Something is taking its course.
    (Pause.)
    HAMM:
    What’s the weather like?
    CLOV:
    Warming.
    HAMM:
    Look at the earth.
    CLOV:
    I’ve looked.
    HAMM:
    With the glass
    CLOV:
    No need of the .
    HAMM:
    Look at it with the glass.
    CLOV:
    I’ll go and get the glass.
    HAMM:
    What’s happening?
    CLOV:
    Something is taking its course.
    (Pause.)
    HAMM:
    What?
    CLOV:
    It is getting hotter.
    HAMM:
    Why,
    CLOV (uses the ladder and telescope to look out both high windows)
    It’s us.
    HAMM:
    WE are causing the warming?
    interesting.
    CLOV:
    It could be bad.
    HAMM:
    You’d say so!
    CLOV:
    We should stop.
    HAMM:
    We cannot stop.
    CLOV:
    We need to do something to avoid it getting worse.
    (Pause.)

  407. It could be worse. It could be verse!

  408. izen says:

    @-tf
    “It could be worse. It could be verse!”

    It could be music, I would contend this is a much easier way into existentialism than wading through Sartre’s being and nothingness, or Saint Genet.
    But it is not easy listening ! (grin)

    http://www.mantlermusic.com/Records/Rec_comp/Rec_comp_sgles/noanswer.htm

    NO ANSWER
    WATT/2
    words by Samuel Beckett
    (from ‘How It Is’)
    Jack Bruce (voices, bass)
    Carla Bley (piano, clavinet, organs)
    Don Cherry (trumpet)
    recorded
    February, July, November 1973
    New York, London

  409. “Je pourrais commencer à parler joual pour t’enfirouâper un ti-peu.”

    不要打扰我

  410. Steven Mosher says:

    WG 2 is really slow reading and really horrible ( compared to WG1 ) ugg gray literature
    and bizzare references to SRES? weird.

    Does anyone have quick references to the catastrophic parts? Ambulance chasing here.

  411. Joshua says:

    Ugh –

    Been a while since I’ve seen anything quite this fugly.

    Speaking of which…if anyone has time…a podcast (ironically) on the demerits of social media. Lot’s o’ stuff very applicable to this thread.

    https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/vox/the-ezra-klein-show/e/cal-newport-on-doing-deep-work-and-escaping-social-media-49878016

  412. I don’t think of myself as a Climateball player (although I think the one time I recall looking, you can’t not be a player), but aren’t we ending up playing a game of “catastrophe gotcha”?

    Round 1. Alarmists say too often “catastrophe” so have no credibility! CAGW! The sky is falling! CAGW! Therefore, no catastrophe.
    Round 2. IPCC doesn’t specifically mention the word “catastrophe” often enough when discussing things like the loss of corals, potentially WAIS, GIS, etc. Therefore, no catastrophe.
    Final Score: No catastrophe.

    Didn’t someone write a paper about “scientific reticence”?

  413. “Duly noted expert advice from a mature, grown-up who wrote an entire quicky-book based on out of context stolen e-mails.”

    Looking at the release date, it must have taken the dynamic duo several weeks from start to release, as the email incident date was precisely defined, with Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year’s holidays in there as well. In contrast, the book that we recently published had a long gestation period of at least 12 years, with long gaps due to the peer-review process and other fits and starts associated with a major publishing house.

    In the software area, the quickie knock-off book is quite prevalent. Enterprising authors would typically take a user’s guide manual for some software product and barely rewrite it. Barnes&Noble were filled with these kinds of books. Inclined to think that was their business model — to get it out quick and take advantage of a rapidly closing window of climategate hysteria.

  414. Fuller said:

    “That wise policy would include substantial expenditures on mitigation and adaptation starting now
    That the amount of expenditures would start at roughly $100 billion USD annually
    That kickstarting mitigation by adoption of Fast Mitigation recommendatons would buffer immediate impacts of climate change and should be adopted to give alternative energy generation more time to develop”

    Something is definitely happening worldwide limiting growth. Ugo Bardi has a recent post up showing convincing declines in resource exploitation — https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2019/01/what-happened-in-2015-that-changed.html. In particular, what are the implications of this cement production curve?

  415. BBD says:

    RNS

    Didn’t someone write a paper about “scientific reticence”?

    It was that arch-alarmist Hansen, so we must pay no attention 🙂

  416. verytallguy says:

    Steven,

    There’s a summary table in the spm, discussion on it here:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/impacts/

    Note that impacts are only assessed up to 4C.

  417. Greg Robie says:

    uncertainly we face
    the certainty of our death
    so have a nice day

    In melodic verse:

    Catastrophic is
    And for the privileged, LOST
    A secure old age

    Also, and FYI, there is an outside chance that Chris Hall* will be analyzing his first decade of Svalbard SOUGY VHF radar data for trends in the seasonal rise in the Arctic tropopause that would help quantify the Inuit hunter observations concerning parallax. If such is there, it will [almost] be what Izen demanded back in the “”Hothouse” Earth” post’s comment thread for academic-type proof of Inuit the observations. And concerning Dave_G’s assertion in that thread that the Arctic tropopause is well understood and studied, Hall’s efforts in his 3/13 paper concerning his radar data, and trying to average the seasonal rise into an averaged annual value so as to generate data from the Svalbard data that would be applicable as climate models inputs, infers that whatever additional irradiance is generated by the seasonal rise in the Arctic troposphere, it is not included in current modeling.

    Back-of-the-envelope calculations I’ve attempted suggest there is a 0-1.4% range of additional forcings over the past ~70 years that could explain/close the current gap between modeled and observed Arctic sea ice loss. The draft paper I’ve started could involve, and benefit from, contributions from multiple fields of study and expertise represented in the ATTP community. Please indicate any interest in doing so as the knock-on effect of such missed/omitted irradiation is significant.

    * Chris Hall is the C.M. Hall of the paper Dave_G linked to in last August’s ATTP post comment thread.

  418. Willard says:

    > I don’t think of myself as a Climateball player (although I think the one time I recall looking, you can’t not be a player) […]

    Claiming not to play ClimateBall while playing ClimateBall looks infelicitous to me. It’s a bit like bragging about one’s humility. It’s something one should show for oneself, not something one should claim.

    Look at how Junior and Bjorn brand themselves in the above quotes. The former take the side of factfulness; we already know about his honest brokerage branding. The latter implores that we “cool it” and present his Lomborg Collective as being fact and knowledge based.

    We can generalize the abstract form of argument I made earlier and find a symmetry:

    [J1] I have some good news.
    [J2] But alarmists my opponents!
    [J3] We need more factfulness.

    Common substitutes to “opponents” are “alarmists” and “deniers.” The symmetry obtains because alarmism and minimization are reciprocal. The symmetry breaks down when we consider roles, e.g. the established view won’t appeal to factfulness the same way a contrarian crowd will.

    In any event, what truly matters is the factfulness exhibited or evidenced, not the one advertized.

  419. I have no idea what ClimateBall is and no interest in learning what it is. I’m not claiming I am not playing, I actually am not playing. You can characterize whatever you want however you want. Carry on.

  420. Willard says:

    > I’m not claiming I am not playing […]

    Right. You only said I don’t think of myself as a Climateball player. Unless you wish to argue that non-ClimateBall players can play ClimateBall, what you’re implying looks quite clear to me. While “one does not simply imply not being a ClimateBall player” may be more precise, it adds a layer of analysis that is not required here, and is inelegant.

    Nobody forces you to brand yourself.

  421. Yawn.

    Fact. I don’t know what ClimateBall is. If I had to answer on a test, the best I could do is “Something Willard seems to obsess over.” I don’t know what it is and I don’t care what it is. Hence, I don’t think I am playing and not aware if I am.

    Are your comments to me here are an example of it? If so, it seems kinda pointless and tedious, so, again, I don’t want to know anything more.

    Apologies to the other participants

  422. Willard says:

    > I don’t know what it is and I don’t care what it is.

    What I don’t care about, I don’t mention. What about you, rust?

    Whether you care about it or not, you’re here, in a comment thread about climate stuff, trading blows, like everybody else.

  423. Wow.

    I am pretty sure I have never mentioned it before and will be sure not to ever again. That should be very easy.

  424. Sigh. IMHO Climateball is a useful shortcut to describe obsessive back and forthing that wastes far too much time and is a distraction from effective action based on facts. For those who enjoy it, it is also an amusing game to play with what is otherwise distressing about humanity’s inability to address its shortcomings in a timely way in the face of real problems. Spiraling into argument saves us from having to face some awful truths about the way we live and our entitled assumptions. I blame Genesis and the like. Predators love to justify themselves, and court jesters make a living doing so.

    btw, OT, Pankaj Mishra nails the troubles of empire and its dupes: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/opinion/sunday/brexit-ireland-empire.html

  425. I wrote a post about Climateball. It’s not really meant to imply that this is just a fun game; it’s more about understanding the game.

  426. aTTP: it is distressing but true that words written in a passion of seriousness get buried by trivia. I didn’t mean to emphasize ‘game’ but the relief from the unbearable that making it into a kind of “ball” provides.

    No doubt your reference had a larger context, so please forgive me for grabbing the idea and taking it out of context … again. I know people here will move on anyway, and speak to what engages them (or not).

  427. Susan,
    It’s not a problem. I was just clarifying.

  428. Paul Pukite, I’m fairly sure that a good deal of the decline in cement production is from China. They have an overall softening of the economy and have overbuilt dramatically in the past decade. It is my understanding that there’s been a dramatic dropoff in their building.

    This might be exacerbated by the completion of a series of dams along major rivers in East Asia–Chinese contractors built a ton of them.

    I would love to say that new methods of CO2-lite or CO2-free cement production were having an impact, but I believe they are still just an asterisk in the totals.

  429. rustneversleeps, Climate Ball is willard’s invention to describe the ‘playing the dozens’ aspect of much of the climate conversation in blogs. He invented rules, invented his own description of the strategies, etc. It was really cute for about five minutes. Then he ran it into the ground.

    Much like Ogden Nash and American light verse, willard can be credited for the creation and destruction of Climate Ball. Unfortunately, I don’t believe he’s aware of the destruction part yet.

  430. Willard says:

    > He invented rules […]

    I don’t recall where. Citation needed. Here’s one thing I haven’t invented:

    Well, lunch time is almost over and I need to get back to work. Having seen no definition of catastrophe and no percentage likelihood of 5.8C rise in GAT, I’m afraid I will have to leave VTG’s thirst for knowledge unsatisfied

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/fact-mongering/#comment-136397

    That was two days ago.

  431. Hi willard, and if VTG provides me with a definition of catastrophe or catastrophic and a percentage likelihood of 5.8C rise in GAT, I will answer his question. As I said several times.

  432. Willard says:

    > if VTG provides me with a definition of catastrophe and a percentage likelihood of 5.8C

    It’s not exactly a matter of definition, and asking for a percentage is pure deflection. Answering the question looks like this:

    Humans will use 3,000 Quads by 2075. If they all come from coal we’re ruined.

    https://3000quads.com/

    Futhermore, you still haven’t acknowledged having misread Judy. That was more than 24 hours ago. I hope I don’t have to invent any rule to join Very Tall in imploring: Have some self respect.

  433. izen says:

    @-tf
    “Climate Ball is willard’s invention to describe the ‘playing the dozens’ aspect of much of the climate conversation in blogs. He invented rules, invented his own description of the strategies, etc.”

    You credit him with more creativity than he probably deserves.
    He may have coined the name, but the rules and strategies are largely derived from a tradition of linguistic meta-analysis of how language is used, (or classical ‘rules of rhetoric’).
    It is largely descriptive, concerned with the form of arguments rather than the content, and usually avoids attempts at making explanations of motive.

    Which I would regard as a feature rather than flaw.

    That you found it cute initially, but then tired of it, may be a subjective opinion rather than an accurate description.

  434. Steven Mosher says:

    rust.

    Best way to avoid climateball is …. opps I promised to give no advice in 2019

    BTW I did some searching for first mentions of climateball ( and calvin ball)

    This entailed reading a lot of willard.

    It made me think of the difference between authentic and authoritative.

  435. I think a more realistic engagement is not ClimateGame but something based on Limits to Growth. Many board games are based on that formulation https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/40129/limits-growth, inspired by the 1970s research of Forrester, Meadows, et al

    As indicated earlier in the thread, the dropoffs of global diesel, coal, and cement production are real and are easily captured by game rules and having differences in sizes of cultures, i.e. China >> others. It appears that Thom Fuller is marginalizing the effects of China but that is an accurate representation of how a hypothetical game would play out — the largest players would consume the most resources and typically suffer the limits of exponential growth the earliest. It’s perhaps one of the games where nobody wins and is thus not satisfying to the players. I personally don’t care for board and computer games, as is common with many SW developers.

  436. dikranmarsupial says:

    “I wrote a post about Climateball. It’s not really meant to imply that this is just a fun game; it’s more about understanding the game.”

    IMHO it doesn’t have to be a game, but it takes both sides not wanting to make it a game for it not to be a game. However, I think it applies to all topics, and isn’t particularly special to climate, as nobody wants to be shown they are wrong on any topic and well all have cognitive biases that will lead to gaming if we don’t make a conscious effort to avoid them. We do have rational logical processes, but we run them on pattern-recognition/intuitive hardware, but we have some ability to control our operating point on that spectrum.

    It is worth understanding the rules, mostly to limit the amount of it that there is in the discussion (assuming you actually want to seek the truth rather than just “win”).

  437. Willard says:

    > Can’t find it now.

    The Auditor tried to spin the concept of ClimateBall by making it a tribe. Some details are on this post:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/the-ghost-of-present-climateball-tm/

    After the Wegman Affair, he seems to have dropped the matter.

    ***

    The concept of ClimateBall has no definite meaning. It denotes what we all are doing right here, right now, and everywhere there are exchanges around climate matters. I speak of exchanges because it’s more general than debates, discussions or conversations.

    So I use this concept in an inclusive manner. It does not imply but obviously includes gainsaying and gamesmanship. Ideally, argumentative settings would be ruled by something that looks like Pragma-Dialectics:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragma-dialectics

    There are other frameworks, some more formal than others. That would be quite cumbersome to try to emulate Pragma-Dialectics. It would also be quite boring. Those who would prefer a non-gamefied interpretation of the concept could think of a dance. Ritualistic and expressive aspects to the practice should not be misunderestimated.

    The main thing, and perhaps the only thing that matters to me, is that it is something we all share. Like We Are Science, We All Play Climateball, each of us in our own ways, for better or worse, something that is hard to evaluate considering the thing:

    Sooner or later, “I’m not playing games, you are” will have to stop. What justifies Junior and Bjorn’s stance can’t be that constructive.

  438. verytallguy says:

    ThomasFuller,

    Hi willard, and if VTG provides me with a definition of catastrophe or catastrophic and a percentage likelihood of 5.8C rise in GAT, I will answer his question. As I said several times.

    you contributions on this thread have been most revealing. Let us start with

    But lying about his position is wrong, pathetic and a partial explanation of why you people are trapped in your World War One trenches.

    Yet here you are, dug in to to the lukewarm salient, doing anything you can to avoid actually engaging with the glaring contradiction in your position.

    You simultaneously claim (let us use direct quotes, yes?) the IPCC does not project catastrophic outcomes, yet when presented with a projection of up to 5.8C warming, something you know to be catastrophic, you evade the logical conclusion again and again and again and again.

    You don’t actually follow the science on the IPCC, you merely find it convenient to claim that you do. When presented with incontrovertible evidence of this, you evade it.

    Have some self respect and show some honesty. The logical conclusion of your claims is that you feel the IPCC overestimates potential warming, impacts, or both. Just say so, and cite the evidence which guides your thinking.

    Only then can you leave your redoubt, and actually engage meaningfully.

  439. izen says:

    It can be revealing to go back and look at discussions of the ‘facts’ 5, 8, 10, 15 years ago and see the the way things have changed, and stayed the same.
    https://t.co/IJvweAyspk

    There is still the advocacy of nuclear as a means of CO2 free energy production. Despite the clear move away from any new investment in this.
    There is still the opposition to wind and solar because intermitency makes them incapable of delivering more than X% of demand, although the percentage seems to have climbed from 5% to ~30%.

    What has disappeared are the lines of argument that it is NOT warming, it is NOT CO2 and it is NOT us. At least it is now rare to find those positions outside of the marginalised crank fringe.

    The argument that while it IS CO2 and IS us, but will not be as serious as the upper bound of projections suggest; is still going strong.

    In say 8 years time, what arguments will still be being made, and which will look as silly and outdated as the past claims that warming is a fraud, CO2 is innocent, and renewables are incapable of providing more than a small fraction of our energy use?
    Will any ‘Facts’ have changed, or just the mongering of them.

  440. Willard says:

    > [W]hat arguments will still be being made, and which will look as silly and outdated as the past claims that warming is a fraud, CO2 is innocent, and renewables are incapable of providing more than a small fraction of our energy use?

    Hard to tell. If there are others than what appears in the Contrarian Matrix, I’d like to know them:

    https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/

    My educated guess is that the trend slowly moves from Level 0 to Level 5. There are jumps here and there forward and backward, but I think it’s safe to say that contrarians cannot stop the economic and political sides of the argument to be brought to the fore anymore.

    ***

    I will add this small note about the indefiniteness of the concept of ClimateBall. It is a feature, not a bug. Many concepts are like that. Meanings change, and language is a social art. We don’t have a very robust definition of sealioning insofar as we cannot clearly distinguish all queries from it. It’s hard to establish when it’s warranted and when it’s not, e.g.:

    This indefiniteness goes a long way in the lexical food chain. We do not have a sealed tight definition of algorithm, computability, and effectiveness:

    That doesn’t prevent researchers to publish formal papers. On the contrary – the openness of most semantic fields is a boon for the one who’s after discoveries.

    I guess what I’m saying is that asking for definiteness is good, but only up to a point. Beware that Socrates might have been the first troll. Abusing his tricks may end as well as it did for him.

  441. [You’ve had your chances. Goodbye. – W]

  442. Just to add a serious note, somewhat back to topic, here’s Kevin Anderson. I probably cribbed it from somebody here: Capricious foes, Big Sister & high-carbon plutocrats: irreverent musings from Katowice’s COP24 https://kevinanderson.info/blog/capricious-foes-big-sister-high-carbon-plutocrats-irreverent-musings-from-katowices-cop24/

  443. Dave_Geologist says:

    Tom: “Curry may well be correct. We do not know the answer as of yet. I personally think she goes too far, but I also think many activist scientists go too far in the opposite direction.”
    I’d steered clear of Curry the last few years so hadn’t realised how far off-piste she’d gone. She’s not correct.In those recent statements. She’s wrong. Flat-Earth wrong. We do know the answer. CO2 is the control knob. On decadal timescales. To claim otherwise makes her a straight-up science denier.

    I agree there are a few climate scientists (actually, most are not practising climate scientists) who are as far off-piste on the other side. I could count them on the finger of one hand; maybe, at a stretch, two. And no, Mann and Hansen are not among them. I’m talking about the no-Arctic-Ice-by-2020 people. No serious climate scientists take them seriously. If you accept that Curry is in the same category, you also have to accept that, like them, she’s a member of the rightly-disregarded, nothing-to-offer fringe, not the mainstream science community.

  444. Dave_Geologist says:

    Paul: “In particular, what are the implications of this cement production curve?”

    China makes most of the cement. It uses it to build roads, factories and homes for the factory workers. Chinese economic growth has slowed from more than 10% p.a. to less than 10% p.a. Partly for endogenous reasons (see, anyone can pretend to be an economist!). Moving from catch-up to equilibrium, concerns over debt and an asset-price bubble. Partly for global reasons. Slow growth since 2007-8, and concern over trade wars,

  445. Dave said:
    “China makes most of the cement.”
    Makes sense as they also have most of the world’s population. But note how global diesel production also reached a peak in 2015. Common sense would suggest that little of this has to do with climate change mitigation, but of slowing growth due to resource limitations.

  446. Dave_Geologist says:

    On the endogenous bit, there was a paper I read last year which I looked for but can’t find now, which offered an explanation for the fast-then-slower-then-normal growth pattern in developing countries. Essentially, the idea was that human capital (education, better healthcare*, people moving to cities where they can do more productive things than peasant farming) can grow faster than physical capital. The latter due to the scale of build-out required as well as financial constraints. So a developing economy goes through a period where there are lots of people available who are overqualified for the available jobs, and growth is limited by how fast you can create those jobs. For example, when I was visiting Shenzen 20 years ago, graduates were working as hotel receptionists. But human capital hits a limit (at least per capita). The available qualified workforce can’t exceed the adult population, so eventually it comes into balance and they grow like a normal country. So, to invent numbers because I’m not an economist, if you can upskill at 25% p.a., increase investment at 15% p.a., but advance technology and efficiency at only 5% p.a., You pass naturally from 15% growth to 5% growth. You can only achieve 25% if you have enough external investment to keep pace with the upskilling.

    * Around 1990 we were exploring in northern India and the Serai part of Nepal (the hot, humid, non-mountainous part). We tended to assume that the locals had developed immunity to water-borne and insect-borne diseases. They hadn’t, and IIRC in the Serai, on a given day something like 40% of the agricultural workforce was unavailable or on restricted duties because of illness. Just fixing that with better healthcare, water quality etc. almost doubles the available workforce. Of course, if you’re a USAnian, chances are that the Tropics are on their way to a State near you in the not-too-distant future…

  447. Dave_Geologist says:

    Paul “Common sense would suggest that little of this has to do with climate change mitigation, [agreed] but of slowing growth due to resource limitations [I’m with James Carville on that one, but let’s not turn it into another Peak-Oil-fest]“.

  448. Dave_Geologist says:

    As emojiman. I’ll pass on the tip that you need to put a space after the code as well as before even if it’s at the end of a line (I presume the invisible CR or LF is detected). And between the code and a following punctuation mark.

    And for inline pictures, put it standalone on a line with no punctuation, with a blank line above and below. If it still doesn’t display, it’s probably forbidden by the site’s robots.txt, or your IP address (or ATTP’s?) triggers a blocker based on being in the EU, for example (GDPR non-compliance – companies self-censor if they don’t comply, rather than risk a fine).

    I believe you can tell something is stopped by Akismet because it disappears instantly as you post, as opposed to appearing after a slight delay, with or without an “awaiting moderation” notice. Although that may depend on your browser/computer speed/connection speed, and the size of page to refresh.

  449. Dave, Hard to disentangle fossil fuel consumption profiles from emission scenarios used for AGW projections.

    Just received substantiation of our shale oil depletion profile with this research
    https://phys.org/news/2019-01-physics-big-gains-shale-oil.html

    The idea is that much of the potential reserve is lost due to diffusive flow.

  450. Dave_Geologist says:

    Hmmm… Huff’n’puff is a pretty niche play Paul. I’m not aware of any shale oil production using it (although there is research so it’s obviously being thought about), and I’m only aware of one North Sea field, Magnus. Which has a particularly well-suited reservoir, and a supply of stranded gas which would otherwise probably have been flared. “The rather sparse literature on this topic typically models these tight reservoirs based on conventional reservoir processes and mechanisms, such as by convective transport using Darcy’s law” doesn’t bode well. A rather sparse literature on a huge subject rather suggests that most stuff is proprietary and unpublished. Convection is usually not modelled in simulators, except for unusual situations like steam flood. Darcy’s Law is, but driven by pressure differentials, not density differences (although density is modelled, because it influences the vertical pressure profile). OK the article was obviously neither written by nor reviewed by someone who understands rock physics, so maybe the paper is better (although it is a non-peer-reviewed conference presentation): “diffusion is when gas molecules move randomly within oil and reduces its density”, Really? By moving randomly? Free lunch, anyone? “This creates a concentration imbalance between oil within fractures and the oil in the shale formation contacting fractures, which increases oil transport into the well.” And there was me thinking it was the thousands of psi pressure differential between the matrix and the fractures. I suppose that at lower pressure, there are indeed fewer molecules per cubic centimetre. But due to PV=nRT. Or you could use fugacity as your measure of effective concentration, but there’s a reason fugacity has units of pressure. That’s modelled too in simulators, but they call the fugacity coefficients Z-factors. Ah, engineers and their terminology. Next they’ll be using j for the square root of minus one 😦 .

    From a quick skim, this author seems to know what he’s talking about, is not paywalled and is probably a better read: Optimization of huff-n-puff gas injection in shale oil reservoirs. Models including and excluding diffusion (in a commercial simulator 😉 ) were pretty much a wash. From an even quicker skim of the first paper, it looks a lot better than the phys.org article, which has garbled it. Diffusion-Dominated Proxy Model for Solvent Injection in Ultra-Tight Oil Reservoirs. Although I’m not sure about this: “Therefore, intense hydraulic fracture stimulation to reduce the characteristic length of a matrix block will accelerate depletion rates”. I don’t think most shale plays fracture intensively enough (have well spacings close enough) to completely frac the entire reservoir volume. They do acknowledge, but not solve, what I’ve always thought was a bigger problem with late-time modelling in dual-porosity reservoir simulators. The effective shape factor for the matrix blocks is generally treated as constant throughout the simulation, whereas in reality it varies a lot, whether you’re modelling diffusion, or imbibition which I’m more familiar with from waterfloods. Actually, there’s been a lot of work done in optimising fractured-reservoir water-imbibition codes; imbibition is a special case of diffusion so you can probably port stuff straight to gas diffusion. I bet someone’s already doing it.

    Anyway, insofar as it plays into the various RCPs, both papers say we can double or triple our shale oil recovery, but it will take 50 or 70 years to get the last of it out. Probably by then wells will be on their third or fourth owner, because the majors won’t want to hold onto stripper wells, and the hedge funds and dentists who piled in will settle for 80% of the income stream over 20% of the time. My generic point when we get peak-oily is that we can’t bank on it as a way of forestalling RCP8.5. And, at the the risk of being a bit mongery myself and considering the impact of what I say as well as the truth of what I say, for every person you persuade to support wind or solar because the oil’s going to run out anyway, you’ll have ten people who say that if it’s going to run out anyway, there’s no need for taxes, regulations or subsidies. The Market Will Provide.

  451. Dave said:

    ” A rather sparse literature on a huge subject rather suggests that most stuff is proprietary and unpublished. “

    Isn’t it grand that we have this diffusion model peer-reviewed and non-proprietary published? We presented at last month’s AGU as well.
    That’s also what we are doing over at the PeakOilBarrel blog, using the diffusional model and tracking shale oil production in the Bakken, Permian, and elsewhere. We are doing it because why would the oil companies do it?

  452. Dave_Geologist says:

    Perhaps, Paul, because they know that pressure-transient diffusion is far more important in most oilfield circumstances than molecular diffusion? BTW the paper I linked to is peer-reviewed but yours is not. Unlike most organisations which only publish abstracts and perhaps slides, SPE practice is that you submit a full paper for conference presentation, but that only gets a light review by the organisers. Which is as it should be, because to do otherwise would block innovation at the pre-publication stage. With SPE papers, you have to look and see if it says “peer reviewed” on the first page. If it doesn’t, it’s not. If a paper is particularly well received and you don’t submit a version for peer review, revised according to what you heard at the conference, the SPE writes inviting you to submit a revised version for peer review. It’s happened to me. It’s probably too soon for your paper to have gone through that process. My link, OTOH, is peer reviewed, from 2017, and models with and without diffusion, using one of those commercial simulators that allegedly don’t handle diffusion.

    How do you tell from history-matching a decline curve whether the underlying process is pressure diffusion, imbibition (immiscible phases) or molecular diffusion (miscible phases)? Or some combination? As Cronin et al. say, “the form of the equations for transport for both Fick’s and Darcy’s law are similar”. ISTM from a slightly less cursory look, that Cronin et al. have simply asserted that the matrix permeability is so low that Darcy flow can be ignored. If I was a reviewer, that’s something I’d want to see demonstrated, not asserted. Measurements exist, many using equipment developed by people I know at Rock Deformation Research (now part of Schlumberger). It was developed to measure fault rocks orders of magnitude less permeable than oil shales, but the fraccing boom gave them access to a more lucrative market. The equipment is actually over-specified for the fraccing market, so the results should be reliable. I’d also want to dig into this: “oil recovery by self-diffusion will only deplete the first 2-3 feet of matrix within the first 5-10 years of production. Therefore, recovery by diffusion requires tremendous contact area to achieve the high initial production rates observed in field data. The results demonstrate that these high recoveries are achievable based only on diffusive transport”. Are they having to invent an unrealistically high contact area to compensate for the fact that self-diffusion is too slow, and they’re wrong to ignore Darcy flow? In that case, their conclusion does not follow.

    I’ve seen hundreds, probably thousands of good history matches based on pressure-transient diffusion and Darcy flow. Just as there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there’s more than one way to match an output curve. Especially when multiple processes share the same functional form.

  453. Dave, It’s not the type of diffusion caused by interactions of molecules. It is correct to say that diffusion can present as different behavioral forms as long as the end result shows the same mathematical Laplacian divergence operator. This comes about because of the the circuitous path that oil has to travel through — via multiple fissures that are aligned in random 3D paths after fracking. It would be very presumptuous to think that fracking has any real control on fissure alignment.

    BTW, conceptually this is no different than the random path that ions take in Lithium batteries. One of the characteristics for Li-ion matrices is to select one that provides the most circuitous path possible. This spreads out in time the ions reaching the anode collector, so they create a more constant flow of current during discharge. Also have a chapter on the current transport in amorphous photovoltaic material, which also has a highly diffusive flow. All these behaviors are described in the book. It’s essentially the math of diffusion, which also occurs for fracked oil, with a similar spread of random flow.

    You may be mischaracterizing our work as well, as it is indeed peer-reviewed and published — we simply also presented it at last month’s AGU to get the word out. And we are not gearing the research to Society of Petroleum Engineers only, as it includes analysis of both non-renewable and renewable energy.

  454. Dave_Geologist says:

    Paul, it would be very presumptuous to think that anisotropic stress states have no control on fissure alignment. Or that the subsurface stress state is not anisotropic. Both would in fact be plain wrong. I know this stuff. I used to do it for a living. We know from pressure-transient analysis that fracced wells have highly aligned fractures. You can see that by comparing pre-frac tests (which fit radial-flow type-curves) with post-frac tests in the same well (which fit linear-flow type-curves). And from microseismic tracking of the fracturing events. And from focal-plane solutions for the fracturing events. It’s more complex in multi-fracced horizontal wells, or in the presence of natural fractures, but it’s not random.

    Apologies for my loose language. I was not suggesting that your paper was not peer reviewed. When I said “your paper” and “my paper” above, I was referring to the SPE conference paper you quoted (or rather the one referred to in the phys.org article), and the 2017 Petroleum paper I linked to.

  455. Doesn’t matter really, as even for 1-dimension, as long as the fractures both go deeper and shallower, you will get an effective diffusive behavior. The random walk will move deeper and shallower, resulting in something equivalent to an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process.

  456. Dave_Geologist says:

    It does matter Paul. For example, the decline rate of a fracced well changes when it transitions from linear flow to radial flow. That matters rather a lot to producers and investors.

    Of course you could represent it by something that bears more than a passing resemblance to the underlying geometry and physics, so is more reliable out-of-sample. Like the industry has been doing for decades, and is taught in textbooks. Where Box’s advice applies even more, because the commercial threshold for “good enough” is usually well below 95% confidence. For example, we don’t attempt to trace the paths and interactions of every molecule in a gas, but make do with Ideal Gas laws and Z-factors (fugacity coefficients).

  457. I think what “the industry” does is largely heuristics modeling. What I do and try to educate readers via the book is how the math and statistical physics of the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process works.

    In the end we can use either this O-U model or the heuristics of a hyberbolic decline model to estimate the progression of an aggregated set of wells by convolving the expected well decline well profile with the set of starts. Over at the peakoilbarrel blog and elsewhere, you can see people such as Rune Likvern, Enno Peters, my co-author Dennis Coyne work out models of light-tight oil decline and track these over time. This is one of Dennis’ convolutions

    Lots one can do with this type of model for projections of future production.

  458. Dave_Geologist says:

    I know what “the industry” does is largely geological, physical and chemical modeling. In some cases it may be “a practical method, not guaranteed to be optimal, perfect, logical, or rational, but instead sufficient for reaching an immediate goal”. The strikethroughs are there because observations and the laws of physics make some approaches rational and logical, but others not. I didn’t strike out optimal because sometimes people do go down blind alleys and dead ends. In the commercial environment, that tends to be self-limiting so is unlikely to apply to anything with a long track record.

    But let’s not get into a food-fight about it Paul. We’ve drifted ‘way off topic.

  459. Willard says:

    > let’s not get into a food-fight about it

    Thanks.

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