Common ground?

Judith Curry testified before the US House of Representatives. You can read her evidence and post. In a follow up post Judith suggests that there is some common ground that we can build on. I’m not really convinced that there is. I’ll try to explain why here.

For starters, Judith’s evidence starts with the claim that

…, there is considerable disagreement about the most consequential issues: whether the recent warming has been dominated by human causes versus natural variability

This is simply not true. A vast majority of relevant experts accept that human factors are the dominant cause of recent warming. As an aside, I would still like to better understand what those who dislike consensus messaging think we should do to address such claims.

The bit I wanted to highlight, though, was the following

[o]verreaction to a possible catastrophic threat may cause more harm than benefits and introduce new systemic risks, which are difficult to foresee for a wicked problem.

Firstly, I don’t agree that this is really a wicked problem. At least, not in the sense that we don’t know what needs to be done (get emissions to zero). It’s probably true that if we overreact, then we could do more harm than good. However, few who argue that we should be reducing emissions are suggesting that we should do so in a way that produces catastrophic economic damages.

Patrick Brown has a nice post that illustrates a key point. It’s already clear that there are economic (and other) benefits to emitting less than we otherwise could. Of course, this doesn’t tell us how much less we should emit, but it does tell us that some kind of optimal pathway involves some level of emission reductions.

However, if you want to see an actual estimate of an optimal pathway, you can consider a recent paper by the winner of the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. As I discussed in this post, I don’t really think that this is some kind of definitive optimal pathway; I think there are too many factors that can’t be properly incorporated into these models, and it doesn’t even rule out warming above 4K. However, apart from this still potentially leading to substantial warming by 2100, this is not all that relevant to what I’m trying to get at here.

Credit: Nordhaus (2016)

Consider the emission pathway associated with Nordhaus’s optimal pathway (Figure on right). Bear in mind that this is an optimal pathway that is expected to lead to about 3.5K of warming by 2100, with an uncertainty of about 0.9K (i.e., it doesn’t rule out warming by more than 4.5K). Yet, even this optimal pathway still has emissions increasing slowly for a couple of decades, peaking around 2040, and then reducing towards zero.

So, even an optimal pathway that potentially leads to quite substantial warming would still require starting to decouple emission increases from economic growth very soon, peaking emissions in ~20 years, followed by substantial emission reductions. It’s hard to see how this could happen without some kind of explicit intervention (a combination of a carbon tax, investment in innovation, and incentivising some changes in behaviour). I don’t think that no regrets policies, that essentially everyone is happy with, is going to be sufficient.

It’s hard to see how there can be common ground if some don’t even seem to accept the basis for the discussion. We can certainly argue about how to reduce emissions, when to start reducing emissions, and how fast to reduce them. It’s hard to do so with those who argue that

[a]ttempting to use carbon dioxide as a control knob to regulate climate on decadal to century timescales is arguably futile.

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243 Responses to Common ground?

  1. For completeness, Judith’s policy suggestion seems to be to accelerate energy innovation, buildresilience to extreme events, pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures. All of these are indeed reasonable things to do. I think, however, that you also need to be willing to discuss what sort goal one has in terms of emission reductions and how these things will impact emissions (and, also, what others things might also need to be considered).

  2. verytallguy says:

    From what I read, Judith’s definition of “no regrets” would be radically different to mine.

    It’s just a sound bite to make an intellectually unsupportable position seem reasonable. It has no meaning.

  3. verytallguy says:

    Just for instance, I would regret a policy which cooked* the Great Barrier Reef. Judith would not, by her definition.

    *a technical term meaning to cause irreversible damage through rapid temperature rise and ocean acidification.

  4. Richard Arrett says:

    I also think we should be willing to discuss how much it is realistic it to really reduce CO2 emissions.

    How low can you really go.

    I think fossil fuels provide 80% of the world’s energy.

    So we are talking about replacing 80% of the world’s energy (to get to zero emissions).

    I still think nuclear is going to have to be a large part of the solution.

    Getting started on doubling the amount of energy produced by nuclear would be one no regrets action. Nuclear waste is a problem – but is it a bigger problem than CO2 emissions?

    Lets build a thorium reactor. That could be a no regrets action.

    Lets reprocess the spent nuclear fuel – after all, it is just sitting around producing heat which is being wasted. That could be a no regrets action.

    We have to be very very realistic, and stop pretending we can replace 80% of the worlds energy with wind and solar.

    My 2 cents.

  5. Willard says:

    > I still think nuclear […]

    As promised:

    [I]n the Nature Climate Change study–made up of two parts–researchers showed that a group of more than 1000 consumers consistently underestimated the greenhouse gas impact and the energy consumption of 19 different food products.

    While these participants did usually understand that foods like beef had a higher impact than, say, vegetables, typically they didn’t show a grasp of just how much greater that impact was. In particular, consumers underestimated the impact of red meat by the widest margin, despite it having a greater footprint than probably any other food.

    […]

    The analysis showed that when people were armed with this information, they ended up buying more of the vegetable than the beef soups.

    […]

    Overall, people underestimated both. But interestingly they underestimated food’s impact much more so than appliances.

    http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2018/12/armed-with-information-consumers-do-make-better-choices-for-the-planet/

  6. Richard Arrett says:

    Willard:

    Not sure what your post has to do with mine.

    I was talking about energy – not food.

  7. Curry is suggesting a No Regrets policy, which was described in an early IPCC report. No Regrets in terms of reducing fossil fuel usage will reduce pollution and wean ourselves off of a rapidly depleting finite & non-renewable resource, even if climate change isn’t as severe as predicted.

    She has boxed herself in a corner with that one.

  8. Joshua says:

    I’m not sure how searching for common ground is consistent with how Judith describes those who disagree with her about the science:

    Sometimes I think these people don’t really want to make progress in addressing climate change, but rather are using the issue as a club to enforce their tribalism and/or achieve social justice objectives. I think they actually LIKE the gridlock and climate wars.

    She actually pulled out a “these people.”

    How would Judith reach common ground with people she thinks don’t really want to make progress on climate change?

    If she thinks “these people” actually like gridlock and climate wars., then she is making it clear that she does not accept them as engaged in his faith. IMO, such a perspective on her part means, by definition, that she is not seeking common ground with them (unless she, also, seeks gridlock and climate wars).

    I agree with Judith that tribalism is an important obstacle to overcome in the development of climate change policy, but I think that little progress will be made to mitigate the impact of that tribalism as long as people, in the fashion of Judith (and indeed, many of those who agree and disagree we with her sbout the science): (1) act as if the problem exists only with those who disagree with them about the science and, (2) use blanket characterizations and pejorative descriptions to characterize those who disagree with them about the science.

    It seems plainly obvious to me that Judith’s approach offers zero potential to mitigate the impact of tribalism on climate change policy development.

  9. Joshua,
    I did have a brief Twitter discussion with Judith that included the following

    David, it seems that the primary card carrying qualification for membership in this scientific 'tribe' is to trash and delegitimize the three J's: Judy, John, Jr. Rationale climate policy will need to move forward without this tribe.— Judith Curry (@curryja) February 7, 2019

  10. Keith McClary says:

    I had to look up what this means:
    “No-Regrets Policy

    as defined in Climate Change Synthesis Report: Annex B
    by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    One that would generate net social benefits whether or not there is climate change. No-regrets opportunities for greenhouse gas emissions reduction are defined as those options whose benefits such as reduced energy costs and reduced emissions of local/regional pollutants equal or exceed their costs to society, excluding the benefits of avoided climate change. No-regrets potential is defined as the gap between the market potential and the socio-economic potential.”

    So, is JC saying that we should not take account of the costs of things like SLR and glacier loss, which even the 3J tribe don’t deny (or do they?).

  11. Willard says:

    > Not sure what your post has to do with mine.

    Allow me to clarify by recalling the deal I offered you one month ago, RickA:

    A simple counterexample to the Iron Law is to reduce meat consumption. So here’s the deal: every time you’ll be peddling, I’ll mention a vegan factoid. After one or two iterations, I’ll start to snip.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/what-bothers-and-confuses-me-about-climate-change/#comment-135559

    Your two cents can be interpreted as a common ground, but just about any post could become a good reason for your usual drive-by. We already have many commenters with their usual drive-bys. Hope you understand.

  12. Steven Mosher says:

    “It’s probably true that if we overreact, then we could do more harm than good. However, few who argue that we should be reducing emissions are suggesting that we should do so in a way that produces catastrophic economic damages.”

    You mean like the new green deal proposals.?

    Question? will you go as hard against the new green deal nonsense as you go against judith
    or look for common ground with it

  13. Willard says:

    > will you go as hard against the new green deal nonsense

    You might as well ask when was the last time AT was punching hippies.

    Try it with JonathanG, whom I should soon interview:

    After that, you could try AndyA.

  14. Everett F Sargent says:

    “unless she, also, seeks gridlock and climate wars”
    +1
    “new green deal nonsense”
    -666

  15. JCH says:

    You don’t need a New Green Deal when your Sunday school teacher sez gawd will soon send a stadium wave to cool a planet in your neighborhood.

  16. Steven Mosher says:

    That poll Jonathan cites is hilarious.

    Now ask people if they support this

    ‘ upgrading all existing buildings in the
    United States and building new buildings to
    achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification; ”

    Just read that., Upgrade ALL buildings to achieve maximum efficiency, comfort, And affordability!
    and durability!

    There isnt a person in this room who believes you can MAXIMIZE, efficiency, durability, comfort, and safety and affordability. You gunna go to the midwest and make homes safe from tornados, make homes in FL maximally safe from huricanes? and energy efficient and comfortable?
    and affordable.

    Skeptics say some really dumb shit about the science of climate. And the paragraph above probably eclipses all their stupidity in a few short sentences.

  17. Willard says:

    > Now ask people […]

    As I was saying elsewhere:

    A joyful exchange has been sparked on the tweeter, with JonathanG, mt, PeterJ, and other guests.

  18. Phil Scadden says:

    So goals A to D are things you nod and agree with as fine aspirations – the devil is in the detail. And then there is goal E. Hmm. Looks to me like a starting place for a discussion but the argument is really about the implementation. If a town is based on mining and the mine ends, then the town goes away. As farming has become intensified, then rural population drops. You have to be a proverbial Canute to try and change this kind of thing and it’s kind of irrelevant to real green objectives. Having a plan for something that desparately needs to be done and then trying to hide a load of red-flag partisan values into the implementation seems a sure way to fail.

  19. Keith McClary says:

    From the “Evidence”:
    “we do not have sufficient understanding to project future … volcanic eruptions”
    She knows perfectly well that the Greenhouse effect will catch up within a few years, as if the eruptions had never happened. I guess she is counting on the congresscritters not bothering their little heads with the concept of radiative equilibrium.

  20. verytallguy says:

    I did have a brief Twitter discussion with Judith that included the following

    That’s pretty funny.

    “If only those foul mouthed fuckers would cut out their foul fucking language for a fucking second we could have a civilised fucking dialogue!!”

  21. verytallguy says:

    Bugger. By all means redact the profanities but pretty please correct the block quotes if you don’t.

    [Mod: fixed]

  22. izen says:

    @-SM
    “You gunna go to the midwest and make homes safe from tornados, make homes in FL maximally safe from huricanes? and energy efficient and comfortable?”

    I am trying to find some downside to making these improvements. It sounds like it would be good for jobs, manufacturing and the state of the social infrastructure.

    @-“and affordable.”

    Given the political inertia on emission reductions JC’s suggestion of building resilience to extreme events looks like the necessary option.

  23. verytallguy says:

    “[Mod: fixed]”

    Um. The first para should be in quotes too. I’ll stick to “””” I think.

    [Mod: fixed, again :-)]

  24. dikranmarsupial says:

    Part of the problem is that the general population is not going to adopt a rational cost-benefit analysis to the situation, so it isn’t too surprising that some are likely to provide more extreme presentations of what is likely in order to break out of the status quo. This is a point where it isn’t about the science, but politics and economics, where we can’t expect the aim of strict objectivity. Unfortunately this can be spun by those arguing in the opposite direction as “alarmist”. They don’t really have the backing of science, but since the general public don’t have a sufficient understanding of the science, they don’t know that and are swayed by the rhetoric one direction or another (on non-scientific issues, I suspect that is just as true of me). Sadly that is why I think there will be only the most limited action on climate change. There is common ground, but too few people want to find it, rather than “win” the politics.

  25. Chubbs says:

    You would think we could come to agreement on common sense energy and climate policies. Here is a list that seem like no-brainers to me even if you thought ECS was <2C:

    1) gas/nuclear favored over coal,
    2) strong energy efficiency standards for new products,
    3) increased incentives for solar/wind/EVs and other new low-carbon technologies,
    4) substitute carbon for income tax.

    Think these would quickly get us a pathway with less angst.

  26. John Ridgway says:

    By any definition, the management of climate change impact is a wicked problem; indeed, it is usually cited as the classic example. Getting ‘emissions to zero’ is not something we know needs to be done; it is something that might be proposed if one accepts one formulation of the problem whilst disregarding others. To my mind, the common ground is to be found in Robust Decision-making, as propounded by the Rand Corporation. It seems to be a pragmatic approach to decision-making under uncertainty; it embraces the uncertainty and takes full cognisance of the manner in which risks can interact. It isn’t about ‘keeping everyone happy’, it is about the formulation of action plans that remain valid for the widest range of possible futures.

  27. John,

    Getting ‘emissions to zero’ is not something we know needs to be done; it is something that might be proposed if one accepts one formulation of the problem whilst disregarding others.

    Except that the evidence indicates that if we don’t get emissions to ~zero, then CO2 will continue to accumulate, the climate will continue to warm/change, and the impacts will probably become increasingly severe. Therefore if we want to do something to avoid this, the solution is to get net emissions to ~zero. There is a solution. Hence, by the simple definition of a wicked problem, this is not one of them. This doesn’t mean that you have to accept that we must do this (you can, of course, argue that we should take the risk and keep emitting) or that achieving this will be easy (complex doesn’t mean wicked).

  28. JCH says:

    I don’t think there is any common ground. The message from Louisiana to Massachusetts was simple: we can freeze you, and you’ll have to walk to warmth.

  29. John Ridgway says:

    ATTP,

    It’s not that I dispute the details of your argument for CO2 reduction (though on another day, I might), it’s just that your chosen formulation of the problem focuses upon the risks of environmental damage and how they may be avoided. With that focus, one could argue that the problem is not wicked (or at least, less so). However, if one formulates the problem in socio-economic terms, and one concedes that adaptation to impact may represent a legitimate risk management option, then the full wickedness of the problem emerges – it doesn’t even have a universally accepted formulation. Far from agreeing with you that climate change is not a wicked problem, there are those (Kelly Levin, Benjamin Cashore, Graeme Auld and Steven Bernstein) who have labelled climate change a ‘super wicked problem’. I am inclined to agree.

    As for complexity, it may help if I were to provide a little background to my thinking. Much of my career was spent in a variety of corporate assurance roles, each requiring an understanding of the mechanics of risk management and decision-making under uncertainty. This included the understanding that risks are often interconnected, in the sense that the actions taken to reduce one risk could result in the increase of another. One would often model such risks as a network, in which both positive and negative feedback loops might feature. When proposing a risk management intervention, one could not focus upon one risk in isolation; rather, one would look at how the intervention might affect the aggregated risk-level for the network. This principle is captured by the acronym GALE (Globally At Least Equivalent), as used in the rail industry. In this case, the objective is to ensure that system modifications leave safety risks at least no worse than they were prior to the modification. When making such calculations one would often need to take a wide perspective when modelling risks. For example, a rail network modification designed to reduce rail safety risk would be self-defeating if the required investment were to drive up travelling costs so much so that passengers opted to transfer to higher risk modes of transport. When modelling such risks, it didn’t take too long before the complexities and uncertainties would render the problem ‘wicked’, especially when tradeoffs were attempted between risks of varying nature. It strikes me that the political, social, economic and even scientific issues surrounding climate change make the problems I had to deal with look like child’s play. And that’s before we factor in the ethics of risk transfer between stakeholders!

  30. Joshua says:

    Just came across this description, which I thought speaks to Judith’s approach to reaching common ground, and lays out a nice frame along a parallel track:

    Plenty of scholars and writers have challenged feminist talking points. The economist Claudia Goldin wasn’t tossed out of Harvard for her work on the gender pay gap, pinpointing childcare, not gender directly, as the cause. Sommers likes to position herself as a Goldin, a noble academic who questions received wisdom to further a worthy cause. The difference between the two is that Goldin offers both better data and solutions to nuanced issues while Sommers only offers naysaying. In interviews and recorded talks, a soft-spoken Sommers emphasizes the importance of being reasonable and polite, tut-tutting meanness. But her stance toward those with whom she disagrees is mostly derisive, serving up red meat to a social-media following rabid for the denigration of feminist and minority causes.

    Indeed, IMO the description above of Sommers’ (whom, I believe, Judith is a fan of) engagement rather well fits Judith’s engagement on issues such as “tribalism” and “motivated reasoning” and the dangers of “activist scientists” and the impact of “experts,” and the hopefulness of reaching “common ground,” where indeed, rather than engaging as we might expect an academic would – and interrogating these issues in a thorough manner and through engagement with other academics – instead she throws out read meat primarily through social-media, in the atomized form of arguments by assertion, to her applauding audience of hard core partisans and politicians.

    Again, I”m not talking here about Judith’s engagement on the science of climate science – where I’d say that she does engage (at least somewhat) more in an “academic” manner, but her engagement in the public discussion about climate change policy, and in the public discussion about the public discussion of climate change policy.

    It is interesting that I came to that excerpt from a link in Judith’s Twitter

    https://heterodoxacademy.org/academic-freedom-campus-craziness/

    Which linked to this other article:

    https://www.gq.com/story/free-speech-grifting

  31. Joshua says:

    At some point, it seems to me that the discussion of reaching “common ground” on the issue of climate change, at least in the US, given the rather profound signal of political ideology in the public’s views, should at least pay due diligence to evidence such as described in this article:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/the-yuck-factor/580465/

    That said, I am reflexively skeptical of theories of attribute asymmetry across the climate change divide – you know, the whole there is more variability within each of groups than there is difference between the means comparing the two groups thingy (can anyone suggest a concise, but not overly technical, phrase to describe that mathematical relationship?) – but the effect of attribute asymmetry across the great climate divide is often referenced and discussed, but relatively rarely does it happen in an “academic” manner.

  32. Lukewarmers have spent years looking for potential common ground between skeptics and the climate concerned. Given the reception of Hartwell and Fast Mitigation by the climate concerned, it is clear that common ground will have to be proposed by their side. Which they have been singularly unwilling to do.

    In fact, the climate concerned spent most of the past decade moving the goalposts, from an acceptable warming of 2C to 1.5C, rather the opposite of identifying common ground. The climate concerned have stubbornly held onto an archaic estimation of atmospheric sensitivity of 3C (and often, like ATTP, reminding us all that those estimates don’t ‘rule out 4.5C!!!!!’ (exclamation points added). This moving of the goal posts was not based on analysis of the impacts of either 1.5C or 2C. It just happened.

    And despite ATTP’s protestations, there is not an ‘overwhelming consensus’ on whether recent warming has been dominated by human emissions of CO2. Repeated surveys of climate scientists clearly show a substantial majority (66%) of published climate scientists believe half or more of the current warming period is caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.

    This substantial majority is perfectly adequate for science as it is practiced today. Efforts to label it an overwhelming consensus are political, not scientific.

    I don’t believe that a laissez faire approach to achieving an optimal path for fossil fuel consumption is appropriate. (Although nor do I think governments are capable of identifying one either.) Those who closely follow energy policy point out the obvious mechanism for bending the emission curve–nuclear power. However that does not seem acceptable to much of the general population, and particularly not acceptable to many of those who are most concerned about climate change. Which creates a dilemma. But that is a dilemma that will need to be addressed internally by the climate concerned community.

    It is a dilemma because all other solutions will be much slower, just as expensive and will carry their own negative externalities.

    I would again offer Hartwell and Fast Mitigation as at least a starter for ten approach while the climate concerned get their act together. When the most public solutions come from Jacobson and his like, there’s really no one to negotiate with in good faith. The fact that skeptics have exactly the same problem is just as worrying. Both sides are far too willing to tolerate fools in their camp.

    Not helping.

  33. Joshua says:

    Tom’s prescription for reaching common ground: Pointing the finger at others, using pejorative terms to describe those he disagrees with, etc.

    Looks much more to me like something someone would do if they’re seeking to aggravate, atomize, and alienate, than to reach common ground. Rather like a child on a playground.

  34. Tom,
    You’re kind of making my point. You’re insistent that high levels of warming aren’t possible. This simply is not true. Why should people accept what you believe (for whatever reason) to be true, when they don’t accept that it’s true? There’s not really point in advancing policy on the basis of climate sensitivity being low if there is a reasonable chance of this not being the case. The goal isn’t to reach agreement; the goal is to actually do something that might effectively address this issue (in my view, at least).

  35. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    I can’t really understand why you’d respond to Tom on the question of policy, as it seems to me his main focus here is on being devisive. That said:

    . The goal isn’t to reach agreement; the goal is to actually do something that might effectively address this issue (in my view, at least).

    How do you see doing something to be an achievable goal if agreement isn’t reached?

  36. Joshua,
    Okay, what I was getting is what is the point in agreeing with something if you don’t think the what you’re agreeing with is true. Tom’s argument seems to be that he thinks that there isn’t strong agreement (he’s wrong) climate sensitivity is probably low, and substantial warming isn’t possible. If this is true, then we have plenty of time, and it isn’t a particularly difficult problem to address. Many people disagree. How does agreeing with Tom’s position really help? It would be more congenial, but that’s not really the goal.

  37. ATTP, I nowhere say or even intimate that substantial warming isn’t possible.

    I am saying that planning should aim to address central estimates, not outliers, with safety margins added in to policy to address the fact that outliers do in fact happen.

    I do recognize that the direction of recent studies on sensitivity is downwards and that policy planning should recognize it as well.

    You are very invested in describing the level of agreement with your perception of climate change. But you have to ignore the stated opinions of climate scientists to maintain that, well, fiction is the word that comes to mind. You should stick to the joyous news that public opinion has swung dramatically to your side, with 70% plus in the US climbing on the bandwagon.

  38. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    Tom’s argument seems to be that he thinks that there isn’t strong agreement (he’s wrong) climate sensitivity is probably low, and substantial warming isn’t possible.

    I think he’s baiting you there rather than really discussing a meaningful issue. This is ground that has been walked on thousands of times with those who like to style themselves as lukewarmers. But notice the structure underlying that aspect of what Tom said: he distinguishes himself from those he calls “climate concerned,” as if he isn’t “climate concerned.” The points fingers (IMO, an outgrowth of past grievances), and he then disavows any responsibility for reaching common ground by saying that (1) the obstacles lie only outside himself and those he identifies with and (2) says that the solutions can only come from what he describes as the “climate concerned community.”

    He says that there is no one to negotiate with in good faith, as if he’s ever done anything to demonstrate good faith, or indeed, not almost exclusively demonstrated, time after time, that he extends no good faith on his part.

    It would seem to me that it’s rather pointless to discuss the more technical aspects of his comment unless you first address the underlying, fundamental confusion and contradiction in his basic approach.

    If this is true, then we have plenty of time, and it isn’t a particularly difficult problem to address. Many people disagree. How does agreeing with Tom’s position really help? It would be more congenial, but that’s not really the goal.

    Dealing with the arguments of many who call themselves lukewarmers is problematic, IMO, because (IMO) it their arguments lack an internal consistency: As you are referencing, they claim that they are “concerned,” yet proffer an argument that effectively truncates the probabilities such that it eliminates any real reason for concern (and imply ridicule of those who are “concerned” through use of terms like “alarmist” and “climate concerned community.”

    The logical contradictions in the comment Tom just posted are fundamental (IMO).

    But then again, there is an aspect which I’m kind of interested in pursuing, which is why I responded to your comment – it has to do with a larger structural question of how to reach common ground.

    It seems to me that there are two basic pathways forward. One is more of a power struggle, through which to leverage legislative change. The other is one more geared towards reaching common ground. This basic tension is rising to the surface in the US, with respect to climate change policy in particular, and coming to a bit of a head. I think this is a basic question that should be addressed head on. I’m not prescribing an answer, but I hope that people really think this through, as to really investigate how best to move forward.

  39. Tom,

    I am saying that planning should aim to address central estimates, not outliers, with safety margins added in to policy to address the fact that outliers do in fact happen.

    Okay, this your view. Others can disagree. Also, risk assessments are typically not based on median estimates; they’re typically based on avoiding extreme outcomes. Also, there are two key factors; climate sensitivity *and* how much we end up emitting.

    I do recognize that the direction of recent studies on sensitivity is downwards and that policy planning should recognize it as well.

    This is not true. There are recent studies indicating higher climate sensitivity.

    You should stick to the joyous news that public opinion has swung dramatically to your side, with 70% plus in the US climbing on the bandwagon.

    i didn’t say “public” I said “relevant experts”.

  40. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    How does agreeing with Tom’s position really help? It would be more congenial, but that’s not really the goal.

    There is a significant # of people out there who are relatively unconcerned about the risks of climate change. The number who twist themselves into technical seeming pretzels – like those who engage in climate blogs from under the label of “lukewarmers” – are a tiny outlier. Their influence outsizes their numbers, but I would argue that engaging them in technical discussion over their scientific pretzel twisting will not significantly affecct their influence.

    It seems to me that one way forward is, indeed, to find “common ground” with those tho are unconcerned about the risks of climate change – but who, maybe, aren’t so invested in that lack of concern that it becomes a defining feature (as it has become with those to style themselves as lukewarmers).

    Another way forward, maybe, is to engage in a power struggle through leveraging the identifications of those who are relatively concerned about the risks of climate change.

    I’m interested in how people see grappling with the tension of those two basic approaches.

    (Then, there’s another important group of people who are relatively concerned about the risks of climate change, but who don’t see a clear policy pathway forward for addressing the risks – another question, perhaps).

  41. ATTP, you say that “Also, risk assessments are typically not based on median estimates; they’re typically based on avoiding extreme outcomes.” My experience with clients is quite different and I’m interested in what has informed your view on this subject, if you’d care to elaborate.

  42. verytallguy says:

    Lukewarmers have spent years looking for potential common ground between skeptics and the climate concerned.

    Gosh, how noble. And to think I missed it!

  43. John Ridgway says:

    ATTP,

    “Also, risk assessments are typically not based on median estimates; they’re typically based on avoiding extreme outcomes.”

    I feel my toes curling. Would you care to discuss how risk assessments are made with a risk management professional of some 20 years standing? Would you like to know why you don’t appear to even understand the basics?

    I was disappointed that you did not take me up on the suggestion that RDM may offer a suitable road to common ground. I’m beginning to suspect it is because you didn’t have the first clue what I was talking about.

  44. John,

    Would you like to know why you don’t appear to even understand the basics?

    I would suggest that someone who spends their time at cliscep.com should be careful of throwing out claims that other people don’t understand the basics.

    My point is that the evidence provides a range of possible outcomes that depend (in a simple sense) on how sensitive our climate is to radiative perturbations and on how much we emit. We can use this to assess the impact of various future pathways. Maybe “extremes” was too strong, but a typical risk assessment doesn’t involve simply checking what you think will happen. You typically want to consider what might go wrong and what you might do to avoid that outcome. If the chances of this outcome is very small, you may well simply accept the risk. If the cost of mitigating against it is very high, you may decide that it’s not worth doing anything (you could, as a result, also conclude that the activity isn’t worth doing). What you don’t do is simply go “probably be fine. Carry on.”

  45. Dave_Geologist says:

    The climate concerned have stubbornly held onto an archaic estimation of atmospheric sensitivity of 3C

    You’re right Tom, it’s time to move to a more realistic central estimate of greater than 3C and ditch all the sub-2C, stuff, probably the sub-2.5C. Now we know that the energy-balance models those low-ball estimates were based on had fundamental structural problems and are invalid. In fact, I’m surprised there are any lukewarmers left. Perhaps they haven’t been paying attention?

  46. ProfJ says:

    Except that the evidence indicates that if we don’t get emissions to ~zero, then CO2 will continue to accumulate, the climate will continue to warm/change, and the impacts will probably become increasingly severe.

    I don’t think that’s quite right. Only about 1/2 of the CO2 we put in the atmosphere stays there, the rest is rather quickly goes into the ocean and land. So once we reduce CO2 emissions to below 1/2 you can expect atmospheric CO2 to start decreasing. There are feedbacks, of course, that would change this. And any CO2 we emit slows the recovery back to preindustrial levels. But I think CO2 will stop accumulating long before we get to zero emissions.

  47. Joshua says:

    John –

    I’m beginning to suspect it is because you didn’t have the first clue what I was talking about.

    I see you employ an interesting method for reaching common ground.

    Do you happen to identify as a lukewarmer? ‘Cause you know, they’ve spent years looking for common ground.

    And the only reason why they’ve had no demonstrable success is presumably because there’s no one out there to negotiate with in good faith, because the “climate concerned” need to get their act together, “don’t want to make progress,” “LIKE” gridlock, etc.

  48. Dave_Geologist says:

    I am saying that planning should aim to address central estimates, not outliers

    Now you’re talking Tom! Glad to see you’ve ditched outliers like Lewis & Curry and are in the mainstream 3C range.

    Oh, I see. As per ATTP’s post you’re not there; you just believe in a version of the world that doesn’t conform to the real world. I’m kinda with ATTP on that one. Compromising (splitting the difference?) with someone who denies reality is a recipe for disaster.

  49. ProfJ,

    I don’t think that’s quite right. Only about 1/2 of the CO2 we put in the atmosphere stays there, the rest is rather quickly goes into the ocean and land. So once we reduce CO2 emissions to below 1/2 you can expect atmospheric CO2 to start decreasing.

    No, this isn’t correct. If we keep emitting, then the atmospheric CO2 would keep rising. If we halved it, then it would rise more slowly, but it would still keep rising (if we instantaneously halved it, then there may be an initial period where it dropped, but it would soon start rising again).

  50. ProfJ,
    I wrote this post that discussed the suggestion that stablising emissions at half our current level would stabilise concentrations.

  51. Joshua says:

    Geo Dave –

    Compromising (splitting the difference?) with someone who denies reality is a recipe for disaster.

    Splitting the difference with Tom is irrelevant to implementing climate change policy. In fact, I’d argue thst reaching agreement with Tom and other hardcore “skeptics” is not only likely impossible, it is also likely irrelevant (as in total they represent a relatively insignificant number).

    Do you see reaching common ground (not with outliers, but across a majority of the voting pubkic), on policy implementation, as an important or necessary goal? If so, how do you see reaching such a goal as possible?

  52. Dave_Geologist says:

    Dealing with the arguments of many who call themselves lukewarmers is problematic, IMO, because (IMO) it their arguments lack an internal consistency

    That’s why, Joshua, Tom and I had a round-robin a few months ago where I explained my rations for considering him a luckwarmer, not a lukewarmer. IMHO the only true lukewarmers are people like (perhaps) Lewis and Curry who have the expertise to understand their own model and the arrogance to believe their model is the One True Model. I personally think that is hubris, but you can make a self-consistent case for assessing all the data available, and believing that you’ve done it right and everyone else has done it wrong. Consider Cold Fusion and the Steady State Theory.

    Lay lukewarmers are not competent to judge between competing ECS estimates. They have no rational basis for excluding the ones they don’t like, other than the fact that they don’t like them. They’re no different from old-Earth Creationists who say they’re not science-deniers because they accept that the Universe is 14 By old and the earth 4.5 By old. Or Creationists who say they don’t deny evolution because they accept micro-evolution within Kinds. Accepting the bits of science you like doesn’t absolve you from the charge of science denial. Creationists accept that the Earth is round and gravity works as advertised. It’s rejecting the science you don’t like that convicts you. In Tom’s case, the evidence that we are responsible for most, probably all of the warming, that consensus to that effect among persons having ordinary skill in the art is in the high 90%’s, that ECS is as likely to be 4.5C as 1.5C, and is probably in between, a tad above the middle, and that the consequences of BAU emissions will be a substantial temperature increase, well above 3C, where persons having ordinary skill in the art identify substantial risks to the environment and to human populations.

    I see I was a bit generous before in separating out luckwarmer as a category. I should probably reserve that for Joe Soap who just gets his information from the telly. An informed luckwarmer should probably be a sub-category of denier.

  53. Joshua,
    I do find it interesting that Judith, and Tom and even John seem keen on finding some kind of common group. It’s not obvious why. We don’t need common ground to actually develop/implement policy. Partly because we’re all irrelevant (well Judith might not be) but also because policy is implemented by politicians and this requires enough of a consensus amongst them, not some kind of consensus amongst us. In some sense, what would be more effective is to “win” the political battle, not reach some kind of common ground.

    My impression (which may be wrong) is that the apparent desire for some kind of common ground is to provide plausible deniability. If things do go badly wrong, then those who argued for common ground can blame those who they claim had an opportunity to reach common ground and chose not to take it. I don’t think they really want common ground. What I suspect is wanted is an excuse to point fingers at those they claim hampered our ability to reach this common ground that they don’t really want.

  54. Dave_Geologist says:

    Joshua, I do see reaching common ground as important. Indeed, it’s part of what the IPCC, for all its faults, does. As you say, there are some who are so wedded to unreality that it’s hard to see how we could persuade them to split the difference, even if splitting the difference was an acceptable outcome. We have to reach common ground with the undecided and the indifferent, who are not wedded to a version of (un)reality that lets them believe we can do little or nothing, or little or nothing until 2050, and it will all be OK. And with the concerned, who are concerned about the reefs and concerned about the world their grandchildren will live in, but also concerned about how they’ll pay the mortgage and feed their children next week.The only viable outcome is one where the deniers get outvoted and go to their graves unpersuaded; as did Fred Hoyle, IIRC.

    I don’t have a magic-bullet solution. I accept that we’ll end up making compromises, which is why I’d aim for 2C in the hope that we’ll get 3C despite the compromises; which compromises will be with people who don’t deny the science but who follow the normal human behaviour of putting off until tomorrow what we should really have done today.

  55. Dave_Geologist says:

    Such normal human behaviour that I do it myself. Submitting my tax return a couple of days before the deadline, even though I knew HMRC owed me money because they’d based my tax code on a previous year where I’d received taxable share options. Knowing that if I’ve got off my butt earlier, I could have had the money in my bank account before Christmas. Wicked! 😉

  56. Joshua
    “Then, there’s another important group of people who are relatively concerned about the risks of climate change, but who don’t see a clear policy pathway forward for addressing the risks..”

    The Green New Deal’s problem is not a lack of clarity. You will not win a “power struggle” for the concerned with bad policy proposals.

    People concerned about the risks of climate change have told you, repeatedly, what the clear pathway forward is- reduce emissions in the most reliable, cost-effective way. This has been going on for 30 years. They will not power down, they won’t abandon capitalism, there is a very low limit on what they’ll pay for it, and they won’t ban cows and rebuild every structure in 10 years.

    We see these facts borne out in countries that are almost unanimously in favor of climate action and those that are not. You can’t even sustain the concerned’s “good first start” policy preferences in France of all places. Tom is right, the concerned need to face this.

  57. Jeff said:

    “We see these facts borne out in countries that are almost unanimously in favor of climate action and those that are not. You can’t even sustain the concerned’s “good first start” policy preferences in France of all places. Tom is right, the concerned need to face this.”

    Tom and Jeff,
    The problems in France are related to rapid depletion of crude oil resources and the price sensitivity that impacts on the lowest income class in society, who can spend 50% of their income on energy.

    Curry just admitted that she is supporting a No Regrets policy, which simultaneously addresses the big 3 concerns of (1) peak oil (2) climate change and (3) pollution.

  58. Paul
    Oil trade is global. The complaint was about a tax increase Macron said was for climate change policy purposes. You could argue that Macron should have insisted on the tax or blamed it on the claim that there is no oil on the global market, but I’m not sure that would’ve helped.
    For the record, I don’t doubt that oil is finite resource, I am skeptical of the accuracy of peak oil forecasts.

  59. ProfJ,
    You can also play around with this Geologial Carbon Cycle model. The 7.5 x 10^{12} is about 0.1 GtC per year and is meant to represent volcanic outgassing. If you set the transition CO2 spike to about 300 GtC, that will start atmospheric CO2 at about 400ppm. You can then vary the simulation CO2 degassing rate. Setting it to about 375 would be about half our current annual emissions (about 5GtC per year). Atmospheric CO2 continues rising. To get it to stabilise on century timescales (i.e., to not rise for centuries) you need to reduce emissions to below 10% of current emissions.

  60. Jeff said,

    “For the record, I don’t doubt that oil is finite resource, I am skeptical of the accuracy of peak oil forecasts”

    So you will have no regrets if it doesn’t quite pan out as you expect, since climate change will bite us anyways. See how that works? You’re catching on as to how the No Regrets policy works.

  61. John Ridgway says:

    ATTP,

    “I would suggest that someone who spends their time at cliscep.com should be careful of throwing out claims that other people don’t understand the basics.”

    And I would suggest that we stick to the point. You made a statement regarding what the ‘typical’ risk assessment is based upon, and in doing so you made a very basic error. Rather than making cheap jibes about my cliscep.com patronage, you should be taking me up on my offer to share the benefits of my professional background. We are not talking climatology here, we are talking about basic risk management principles. If you get them wrong in the presence of a risk management professional then you must expect to be pulled up on it.

    Joshua,

    “I see you employ an interesting method for reaching common ground.”

    Actually, my method for reaching common ground was to draw attention to a risk management methodology that should appeal to everyone, irrespective of their areas of concern. The comment addressed to ATTP may have come across as snide, but it wasn’t meant to be. In my experience, where the mention of a risk management methodology is met with stony silence, it is because the individual being addressed has not appreciated its pertinence. Either that, or ATTP was being unduly dismissive.

  62. John,
    Did you read my next comment in full? I did clarify what I was getting at. Also, my point about cliscep.com is that it is a site that largely disputes a scientific understanding built up over many years and accepted by a vast majority of experts. If you think that people should listen to those who have (or profess) expertise, then maybe you should demonstrate this by doing so yourself, and by encouraging more of it at cliscep.com. Also, you should bear in mind that you’re only known to me through your posts and comments on cliscep.com. Anyone can claim expertise on the internet.

  63. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Curry:

    [a]ttempting to use carbon dioxide as a control knob to regulate climate on decadal to century timescales is arguably futile.

    I sometimes wish that Dr Curry would actually make “arguably” into an actual argument.
    You know, with premises citing scientific evidence, logical form, and a conclusion.

    But then I remember that Curry is the go-to-expert on epistemic wait in climate science.

    Plus, we all know that attempting to “regulate” anything is, by definition, Very Bad.

    Arguably, the free market will sort it out. And if it doesn’t, well, it was arguably futile anyway.

  64. Willard says:

    > my method for reaching common ground was to draw attention to a risk management methodology that should appeal to everyone, irrespective of their areas of concern.

    That might not be the method applied in that post, JohnR:

    I don’t know about you, but I am getting pretty fed up with psychologists proclaiming the irrationality of climate change scepticism. Eagerly, they waste no opportunity in hurling accusations of cognitive bias which, strangely enough, only seems to afflict those who find issue with the consensus view.

    Well, I think it is high time that someone redressed the imbalance. So, I offer here my own commentary on the common cognitive biases and how they relate to the climate change controversy. In so doing, I hope to demonstrate how easy it is to conjecture upon a group’s psychological state and how easy it is to turn the tables and place the advocates of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) hypothesis under scrutiny. The result may be so much psychological flimflam but I consider it no less worthy than the dubious speculation emanating from the supposed experts and the IPCC.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/23/playing-the-cognitive-game-the-climate-skeptics-guide-to-cognitive-biases/

    The good ol’ “but CAGW” provides a little background to your thinking.

    In any event, I’m not sure how you get from “it’s all so wicked” to suggesting we should adopt this framework:

    Thank you for your concerns.

  65. Paul said:
    “So you will have no regrets if it doesn’t quite pan out as you expect, since climate change will bite us anyways. See how that works? You’re catching on as to how the No Regrets policy works.”

    A relative of mine was an energetic follower of the Oil Drum in “99 and 2000. He got me to read some of the books and look at the site. He bought a lot of non perishable food and other things for the collapse and tried to get me to do the same. He has more regrets than I.
    And I will clarify a bit- I have more skepticism of alarmist forecasts.
    No regrets topic today is emissions reductions- cost effective, reliable alternatives is the answer. They exist.

  66. Willard says:

    > And I will clarify a bit- I have more skepticism of alarmist forecasts.

    I too prefer when forecasts do not contain excessive or exaggerated alarm, JeffN. You might need to clarify how you know that the alarm is excessive or exaggerated. You begged a similar question earlier when you claimed that you will not win a “power struggle” for the concerned with bad policy proposals. Not sure where you got your “bad” take.

    Punching hippies has little impact on the tears of the world. However hard you’ll punch, they’ll remain in a constant quantity. The same is true of lulzing at them.

  67. John Ridgway says:

    ATTP,

    “Anyone can claim expertise on the internet.”

    The expertise will be demonstrated should you ever take up my offer to explain the basic principles of risk assessment and why your initial statement was wrong. [Chill. -W]

  68. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    We don’t need common ground to actually develop/implement policy.

    I think that’s arguable…depending on what we mean by common ground….Common ground doesn’t mean that we have to agree on interpretation of the evidence. Indeed, I think there isn’t much indication that’s going to happen.

    But I think that to have policy implemented, one possibility is that it requires reaching some agreement, by a sufficient number of people on policy choices. The alternative to that is that one group has sufficient internal agreement on policy choices along with sufficient power on those policy choices, to implement those policy choices.

    That is essentially what we have now with the Trump administration, which is what makes it kind of amusing that Judith and Tome and other “skeptics” seem to view themselves as some kind of victimized and downtrodden group, denied enfranchisement by those big bad “activists scientists.”

    Partly because we’re all irrelevant (well Judith might not be) but also because policy is implemented by politicians and this requires enough of a consensus amongst them, not some kind of consensus amongst us.

    I think you’re creating a false dichotomy there. Politicians don’t act completely independently of the policy preferences of “us.” Yes, the rich and powerful have an outsized influence on the choices of politicians, but I think that reaching common ground on policy choices with those who are less concerned about the risks of ACO2 is probably the best way for those who are relatively more concerned about the risks of ACO2 to influence policy outcomes. Of course, another possibility is that those more concerned can accrue enough political power to implement policy choices irrespective of the powerful forces aligned against them and the weight of opposing public opinion

    In some sense, what would be more effective is to “win” the political battle, not reach some kind of common ground.

    So I think that is a political choice. And we may be seeing what will play out with a choice in line with your assessment of what is more effective in the next couple of years, in the US. I have some trepidation about the viability of that choice…

    My impression (which may be wrong) is that the apparent desire for some kind of common ground is to provide plausible deniability.

    I don’t think I’ve seen much of any authentic attempts to reach common ground so as to make an assessment. I wouldn’t want to judge the option of trying to reach common ground of those who are, by definition, acting in bad faith and undermining attempts to reach common ground.

    If we read Judith’s comments, and Tom’s comments above, we see explicit statements that are logically inconsistent with attempts to reach common ground. I’ve elaborated on that in my comments.

    I actually don’t think that ultimately, they [aren’t] reaching for common ground, but are caught up in their own identity-defense and identity-aggression to realize the internal illogic and explicit contradictions in what they’ve said, and the obvious ways that what they’ve said, explicitly, works at cross-purposes with reaching common ground.

    You don’t reach common ground by referencing people that disagree with you degrading and demeaning terms, or saying that they “actually LIKE gridlock” or are “enforcing tribalism,” or aren’t good faith negotiation partners, or are responsible for all of the problems in reaching common ground. That’s just simple common sense, well supported by all kinds of literature on negotiation and basic effective communication.

    I don’t think they really want common ground.

    So consistent with what I’ve said above, if you have reached that conclusion, then by definition ytou couldn’t reach common ground with them, even if somehow it were possible (if someone other than you, who disagrees with that assessment, were engaged with them).

    What I suspect is wanted is an excuse to point fingers at those they claim hampered our ability to reach this common ground that they don’t really want.

    I think that’s a hard call to make – but one thing I think we should be careful about is generalizing from an outlier sampling, like Judith or Tom or other “skeptics” who are actively engaged in social media.

  69. John,
    Rather than sniping, why don’t actually explain what you’re getting at? My risk assessment point was aimed at Tom’s claim that planning should address central estimates. This would be fine if you were very confident in these central estimates, but you would normally consider some kind of worst case scenarios, how likely they are, and what it would take to address these. This doesn’t mean that we would definitely act to address these worst case scenarios, but we still wouldn’t ignore them, or pretend they weren’t possible. So, why don’t you actually make a substantive comment that demonstrates your expertise in this context?

  70. Joshua,
    Yes, I agree that the political aspects is more complex than I suggested. I guess at some point one needs to become pragmatic and try to work out what you can actually implement, rather than what you want to implement.

  71. “You begged a similar question earlier when you claimed that you will not win a “power struggle” for the concerned with bad policy proposals. Not sure where you got your “bad” take.”

    You should read the Green New Deal, and the coverage of it. “Bad” is… polite.
    But by all means promote it. I’m sure it will work well for you. Very common groundish.

  72. Willard says:

    > You should read the Green New Deal […]

    Not sure why I should do your homework, JeffN, more so that it won’t help me replicate your own thinking.

  73. Here is a summary of the Green New Deal with my comments. Hopefully JeffN and others can add their own.

    Commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions within ten years. (Not physically possible.)

    Provide “millions” of good, high-wage jobs. (I support this and note that we have been moving forcefully in this direction since about 2012.)

    Repair and upgrade US infrastructure (I support this with the caveat that I don’t want any of Trump’s public/private partnership scams.)

    Provide everyone with access to clean air and clean water. (Support this but think the numbers affected are so low that it is a) easy to do and b) all about Flint.)

    Repair historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth. (I support this, but wonder at mechanisms and timelines.)

    Protect against extreme weather events (I support this–adaptation works.)

    Eliminate pollution and greenhouse gases “as much as technologically feasible” (I support this whole heartedly. Good luck finding consensus on the word ‘feasible.’)

    Meet 100 percent of power demand via renewable and zero-emission sources (Not possible, probably not desireable and heavily dependent on what is considered renewable and zero-emissions. If nuclear qualifies then there is a chance…)

    Upgrade to smart grids (Agree whole heartedly).

    Upgrade all existing buildings for maximum energy efficiency (Agree half-heartedly. Better to roll out EE in buildings in stages, taking into account life cycle of wood frame and concrete buildings.)

    Invest in public transit and high-speed rail (I agree whole heartedly.)

    Mitigate the long-term health effects of pollution and climate change (I agree in principle, but think climate change is difficult to mitigate against at a national level.)

    Restore fragile ecosystems (Agree 100%)

    Clean up hazardous waste sites (Agree 100%)

    Provide higher education to all (I would reword to say make it available to all…)

    Invest in R&D of new energy technologies (Agree 100%)

    Build wealth, community ownership, and good jobs in marginalized communities (Great–but how?)

    Create union jobs that pay prevailing wages (Agree 100%)

    Guarantee living wage to everyone (Agree 100%)

    Guarantee family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to everyone (Agree 100%)

    Improve union bargaining strength (Agree 100%)

    Strengthen labor and workplace safety standards (Agree 100%)

    Enact trade rules that increase jobs but don’t transfer pollution overseas (Agree 100%)

    Reform the use of eminent domain (Agree 100%)

    Ensure that all business are free from unfair competition (Define unfair. I don’t agree with this.)

    Provide all people of the United States with high-quality health care (Agree 100%)

    Provide all people of the United States with good housing (Agree 100%)

    Provide all people of the United States with economic security (Agree in principle–I think that economic security is more or less a mirage)

    Provide all people of the United States with healthy and affordable food (Agree 100%)

    Provide all people of the United States with access to nature (Agree 100%)

  74. Willard says:

    I point at this:

    The Green New Deal (GND) is any of several proposed economic stimulus programs in the United States that aim to address both economic inequality and climate change.

    That is all.

  75. Jeff said:

    “A relative of mine was an energetic follower of the Oil Drum in “99 and 2000. He got me to read some of the books and look at the site. He bought a lot of non perishable food and other things for the collapse and tried to get me to do the same. He has more regrets than I.”

    The Oil Drum didn’t exist then, and it was never a doomer site. It was essentially a community blog that accepted technical analysis of oil production projections — for example, it explained how fracked wells deplete so rapidly.

  76. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    It’s nice to see you post something other than your personal grievances, finger-pointing, demonizing, antagonizing, making self-contradictory arguments, explaining why you should get pat on the back for your common ground approach, etc., and instead post on something approaching the issue of common ground from a productive angle. .

    So, you say:
    Commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions within ten years. (Not physically possible.)

    What do you think is possible – on what basis do you make that determination?

    Beyond what might be possible (given a very high level of public commitment), what do you think is a plausible goal w/r/t greenhouse emissions within ten years, and what kind of a commitment do you think that would take?

  77. Joshua says:

    Geo Dave –

    which is why I’d aim for 2C in the hope that we’ll get 3C despite the compromises;

    What would be common ground policies, achievable through compromise, that might achieve the 3C that you think are feasible?

  78. Joshua says:

    John –

    Actually, my method for reaching common ground was to draw attention to a risk management methodology that should appeal to everyone, irrespective of their areas of concern.

    Define “should.” That seems a bit dictatorial to me. It sounds like you have a methodology in mind, and are determining that your particular methodology is what should appeal to everyone. Isn’t it possible that people from different perspectives would have different ideas as to risk management methodology?

    The comment addressed to ATTP may have come across as snide, but it wasn’t meant to be.

    Hmmm. My guess is that pretty much anyone would see your comment as explicitly snide. As such, I have a hard time seeing how someone would make that comment without intending it to be so. I’m not stating as a fact that you intended it to be so (I couldn’t make that call), but I’m curious as to how you could make such a comment without intention of being snide.

    In my experience, where the mention of a risk management methodology is met with stony silence, it is because the individual being addressed has not appreciated its pertinence.

    Your characterization of “stony silence” seems a bit presumptuous to me. There are often many reasons why people don’t respond to comments on blog threads. A lack of response does not always equal “stony silence.” Maybe they had a different perspective on its pertinence than you.

    Maybe there are other explanations.

    Right. Maybe there are. Maybe you should challenge yourself to think of what they might be, rather than make uncharitable assumption for something that you’re really not in a position to judge (unless you’re a mind-reader).

    Either that, or ATTP was being unduly dismissive.

    I don’t see how drawing binary conclusions – that either people don’t appreciate the pertinence of your perspective, or are being unduly dismissive, is logically consistent with a goal of reaching common ground. This is pretty simple stuff, IMO. There are certain pretty obvious ground rules, IMO, to the practice of trying to reach common ground. Sometime people violate those rules because they’re responding emotionally, or are triggered in some other fashion. But in that case, the trick for getting back on track towards common ground is to walk it back rather than double down. Accept responsibility. Show accountability. Those steps go a long way towards establishing the space to establish common ground.

    You did move a bit in the right direction, IMO, by explaining that it wasn’t your intent to be snide, but, IMO, you need to go further. FWIW.

  79. Keith McClary says:

    thomaswfuller2:
    “there is not an ‘overwhelming consensus’ on whether recent warming has been dominated by human emissions of CO2. Repeated surveys of climate scientists clearly show a substantial majority (66%) of published climate scientists believe half or more of the current warming period is caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.”

    Who are all these skeptical climate climate scientists and where are they publishing?
    Wikipedia has this short section:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution_of_recent_climate_change#Non-consensus_views
    and can only find a handful of actual living, working, non-emeritus climate scientists who disagree:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_who_disagree_with_the_scientific_consensus_on_global_warming
    What is Wikipedia missing?

  80. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    The Green New Deal’s problem is not a lack of clarity. You will not win a “power struggle” for the concerned with bad policy proposals.

    I’m not sure why you put “power struggle” in quotes. I think that on a purely functional basis, you are wrong. I think that history is replete with many examples of people winning power struggles with bad policy proposals. In fact, I’d say it’s more the rule than the exception to the rule.

    People concerned about the risks of climate change have told you, repeatedly, what the clear pathway forward is- reduce emissions in the most reliable, cost-effective way.

    People who are concerned about the risks of climate change have told me, repeatedly, of many pathways they think is the most reliable and cost-effective way to reduce emissions (and address the risks of climate change).

    They will not power down, they won’t abandon capitalism,

    So, putting your sentences together, it seems that you believe that the people who are concerned about the risks of climate change are the “they” who won’t “power down,” or “abandon capitalism.”
    I guess from that I can conclude that you are differentiating them from people who don’t actually want to address the risks of climate change, and presumably merely want to power down and abandon capitalism.”

    Such an attitude doesn’t seem very useful for reaching common ground, IMO. No doubt, there are some people who wish to “power down” and “abandon capitalism,” and use addressing the risks of climate change as a pretense for achieving those goals. I think those people are unlikely to win a power struggle in the near future. Instead, I would say that there’s likely a middle ground, with whom it is possible to reach common ground, and who, while they may have concerns about run amok capitalism and who think that “powering down” to some measure is a viable goal, actually are concerned about the risks of climate change.

    Like with Tom, and Judith, I think that the frame that you’re presenting can’t be logically consistent with reaching common ground.

    there is a very low limit on what they’ll pay for it, and they won’t ban cows and rebuild every structure in 10 years.

    See my comments above. Generalizing from extreme outliers, or insinuating guild by association, or creating straw men, seems more to me like playing identity-defense and identity-aggression than anything that resembles productive search for common ground.

    We see these facts borne out in countries that are almost unanimously in favor of climate action and those that are not. You can’t even sustain the concerned’s “good first start” policy preferences in France of all places. Tom is right, the concerned need to face this.

    See comments above. FWIW, in your comment, I see nothing approaching a method for reaching common ground that has any reasonable chance of success.

  81. Joshua says:

    Hey Willard –

    Can I get an end italics after “rule.” in the comment above?

  82. Joshua says:

    John –
    In my 12:41 comment, I amusingly confused myself and thought that something that I wrote was something that you wrote (“maybe there are other explanations”). Apologies.

  83. izen says:

    A large part of the modern risk management assessment process is concerned with ensuring conformity with regulations set by a central authority. That can be National government or a Trade association.
    Often both when regulatory capture occurs.
    But that is how we eliminated most of the risk from asbestos, Lead, CFCs, SOx and a whole host of carcinogenic agents.

    Whatever policy is chosen, or accidentally stumbled into, as a response to AGW it will inevitably require some form of regulation that impacts CO2 emissions. Unless we remain entirely adaptive with no mitigation.
    There is a alliance of convenience between business that oppose regulation for reasons of self-interest, and ideologues who oppose them out of principle.
    Because Utopia has no regulations…

    I see little opportunity for finding common ground on regulations that the various ‘sides’ could compromise on. Except perhaps the build-up in resilience of infrastructure.
    (Any common ground we found would be bound to be over-grazed.)

  84. dikranmarsupial says:

    thomaswfuller2 says: February 8, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    I am saying that planning should aim to address central estimates, not outliers, with safety margins added in to policy to address the fact that outliers do in fact happen.

    I don’t think anybody is actually doing otherwise, however I think the thing you are missing is that the impacts grow rapidly with ECS and a rational analysis needs to take that into account as well. A good starting point is to minimise the expected loss (Berger, “Statistical Decision Theory and Bayesian Analysis”, Springer), which is the integral of the product of the p.d.f. for ECS and the loss as a function of ECS. If you do that, then the lower tail of the p.d.f. of ECS has very little impact on the decision as the associated loss is low. However, the upper tail of the p.d.f. (which is longer) has a much greater impact on the decision as while the probability of ECS being very high is low, the losses associated with that happening are very large. That would be applying safety margins in a rational an accountable manner, and I suspect the basic idea (if not the detailed mathematics) that the IPCC and others suggest.

  85. Dikran,
    Indeed, you’ve reminded me that I wrote this post about low-probability, high-impact outcomes. As you say, since we expect the impacts to grow non-linearly with warming, it’s the low-probability events that will likely have a high (negative) impact that would typically be expected dominate decision making.

  86. dikranmarsupial says:

    Indeed, that was an excellent post (pictures are a better way of making the point). Of course the central estimates of ECS have a substantial impact on the decision as well as that is where the p.d.f. is maximised. However in setting the “safety margins” we don’t have to do it by a rule of thumb or intuition, there are rational approaches. Unfortunately they may not agree with your desired course of inaction (including mine, I don’t want to forgo my fossil fuel supported lifestyle without good reason – but who does?).

  87. Dave_Geologist says:

    Joshua, I basically mean more of the same, with bits added on; or at least more of what we’re doing in Europe. Target dates for eliminating non-hybrid or non-electric cars. Lower sales or road taxes on hybrid and electric cars. Oil-rich Norway is a good model, the UK an OK model backsliding to a bad model. Ditto public transport. Maybe hydrogen rather than electric (oil city Aberdeen has an EU-subsidised pilot). They’ve proven very unreliable in service, but so were early versions of every new technology. Experience and economies of scale should make them cheaper and more reliable. That’s been true of every technology but civil nuclear. But yes, more nuclear. Not as many as we need, because cost and because moral panic. More diesels in the transition to electric (Euro 6 diesel is cleaner in terms of non-CO2 emissions than Euro 5 diesel hybrid, and emits less CO2 than petrol). But again, moral panic. The public has an idée fixe which will take a decade to shift. Germany and Greece need to shift off lignite. But Germany has shot itself in the foot over nuclear and Greece has shot itself in the foot financially. The compromise will be delayed implementation. Ireland has got off peat, but the compromise is to import LNG to substitute for declining domestic gas production. Wind would be better, but cost and build-out time. Macron’s fuel tax, now compromised. Fracced gas displacing coal and oil. Moral panic over fraccing will get in the way (and no, Paul it won’t run out in 2030; and I used to visit The Oil drum, but quickly learned that any technical articles about the nitty-gritty of Upstream were Just Plain Wrong and clearly written from a position of ignorance). More wind farms and PHES. But too little too late for 2C because NIMBYs. The compromise is not to sweat all your political capital on the toughest. An electricity pricing system like the old UK gas market. Yes it means gas-fired power stations get paid five times as much per therm as wind to compensate them for forced intermittency, but this is too important to get bogged down in a desire to punish the nasty corporations. Battery farms. Cross our fingers for things like battery breakthroughs or thorium rectors developing past the pipe-dream stage. But don’t count them in the base, just as an upside to mitigate slippage elsewhere. Stop deforestation; but focus on jailing the big lawbreakers not bankrupting the peasant farmers. Dietary incentives – taxes or duties on the worst foodstuffs; most of would gain health benefits by eating less of them anyway.

    I could go on, but basically keep doing what we’ve started to do or promised to do. Add an escalating carbon tax and redistribute some of the proceeds to mitigate the impact on the poor and those with a wind farm next door. The compromise comes when we say “OK, you can’t afford it this year”, or “OK, we’ll redistribute the tax to the poor”, or “OK, the US has a religious objection to redistribution, you can do it differently and remain compliant with treaties”. Another compromise is implicit in the fact that consumers are directly or indirectly responsible for most of our emissions. So you can’t just do it by taxing the corporations (their profits are a hundred times too small anyway). Consumers have to be induced to change their habits by price and regulation, including the little guy. They’ll notice. The rural poor have to cut their fuel consumption too, so you can’t redistribute to the point where they don’t feel any pain. Subsidise rural bus services and re-open closed train lines. As things start to cost or hurt, voters will complain and politicians will back down. So set an ambitious target, plan the implementations required to meet that target, but in the expectation you’ll fall short. On the mitigation side, it’s cliched but hope for the best, plan for the most likely and prepare for the worst.

  88. John Ridgway says:

    ATTP,

    “So, why don’t you actually make a substantive comment that demonstrates your expertise in this context?”

    Your last observation on the subject was to the effect that you cannot see how anyone with a cliscep.com background could possibly have anything substantive to say. Anyway, that’s water under the bridge. So let us start by recapping the statement in which the error occurs:

    “Also, risk assessments are typically not based on median estimates; they’re typically based on avoiding extreme outcomes.”

    In point of fact, risk assessments are typically based on avoiding unacceptable risk. This first requires a calculation of risk level for each of the various posited outcomes so that they can be evaluated against the threshold for acceptability. Since risk (or utility, if you will) is a function of both likelihood and impact, it follows that the ‘extreme outcomes’ do not necessarily represent the greatest level of risk, nor indeed is there any guarantee that the level of risk represented exceeds the chosen acceptability threshold. On the other hand, the ‘median estimate’ risk might very well do so if it is sufficiently more likely. If two or more risks exceed the threshold of acceptability then the order in which they are tackled will depend upon practicalities and political considerations, although, inter alia, the greater risks are normally tackled first.

    Instead of making an incorrect statement regarding what is typical for a risk assessment, you would have been far better off making the case that typical risk assessment does not apply in the context of climate change risk. To quote UNESCO:

    “When both the utility and the probability of the various outcomes of a decision are known, maximizing expected utility is generally advocated as a rational decision rule. However, this is not the case with the Precautionary Principle, which applies to decisions under uncertainty… Because the PP applies to those cases where serious adverse effects and surprises can occur with an unknown probability, it is rational to follow a ‘better safe than sorry’ strategy.”

    It is the application of the PP that legitimises avoidance of ‘extreme outcomes’, not the application of risk assessment. Unfortunately, however, the application of the PP in the context of wicked problems is problematic to many sceptics – hence my advocating the application of Robust Decision-making. So far, however, you have completely blanked my efforts to raise this subject. I think we need to get over this thing about me being a Cliscep.com contributor.

  89. Chubbs says:

    In my view the lukewarmers are making three errors: 1) Underestimating climate impacts (well demonstrated above), 2) Ignoring the irreversible nature of carbon emissions, and 3) Overemphasizing the difficulty/cost of de-carbonization.

    Because of #2 it is important to bank low-cost emission reductions now vs. wasting the opportunity to provide some future breathing room. Natural gas is plentiful and solar/wind/battery costs are decreasing on well established learning curves. So shifting to a pathway with declining emissions is not going to cripple the global economy. On the contrary having low-cost and more equitably distributed energy to compete with fossil fuels could facilitate economic growth in the long-term.

    We are beginning to transition away from fossil fuels even without strong climate policy. Prolonging/delaying the transition merely ensures a mediocre outcome.

  90. dikranmarsupial says:

    John Ridgeway says “It is the application of the PP that legitimises avoidance of ‘extreme outcomes’, not the application of risk assessment. ”

    No, that is not correct. In this case as the impact loss function escalates rapidly as a function of ECS, minimising the expected loss also results in aiming to avoid extreme outcomes, if that dominates the expected loss, without having to introduce PP.

  91. John Ridgway says:

    Dikranmarsupial,

    “In this case as the impact loss function escalates rapidly as a function of ECS, minimising the expected loss also results in aiming to avoid extreme outcomes, if that dominates the expected loss, without having to introduce PP.”

    Yes. That is a good point. But it is also an argument that begs a lot of issues, such as how well understood the relationship is between the impact loss function and the ECS and how well the uncertainties are captured by the ECS range upon which one is working. As uncertainties increase there comes a point where conventional risk assessment is abandoned in favour of ambiguity aversion. The posited domination of the expected loss doesn’t require too much uncertainty before the PP kicks in.

  92. John,

    Your last observation on the subject was to the effect that you cannot see how anyone with a cliscep.com background could possibly have anything substantive to say.

    No, that isn’t really what I was saying. I was suggesting that given that cliscep.com largely specialises in being dismissive of people with expertise, maybe you should be slightly more circumspect when it comes to demanding that others listen to you because of your expertise. This is the internet, though, so it was just a suggestion. Do as you please, obviously.

    In point of fact, risk assessments are typically based on avoiding unacceptable risk. This first requires a calculation of risk level for each of the various posited outcomes so that they can be evaluated against the threshold for acceptability.

    Yes, this seems fair enough. I’m really not sure what you think I was trying to say. Since this is a post about reaching common ground, I will say that I largely agree with your description of risk assessment. Actually, quite hard to see how what you’ve said is wildly different to what I said here, but maybe I didn’t explain myself clearly. Dikran does make a good point above, though, that if the tail risks are very high, then we may well end up deciding that these should be avoided.

    It is the application of the PP that legitimises avoidance of ‘extreme outcomes’, not the application of risk assessment.

    Oh, I see, you were focussing on my use of “avoiding extreme outcomes”. Fair enough, but I was mostly trying to highight that you do need to consider the low-probability, high-impact outcomes. I was largely responding to Tom’s claim that we should focus on central estimates, which even your description seems to disagree with (i.e., assessing risk requires considering the various posited outcomes and evaluating them against a threshold of acceptability). Interesting that in a post about common ground, you seem to have kicked up a big fuss about one sentence I wrote. Oh well, it’s the internet, so expecting better is probably unrealistic.

  93. dikranmarsupial says:

    Yes, we can always introduce meta-uncertainties if we like. However, our best estimates of the p.d.f. of ECS and of the loss function suggests we take action to avoid the consequences of the upper tail without PP. You could always integrate over the meta-uncertainties and see if that makes any difference (I suspect it doesn’t).

  94. izen says:

    @-JR
    “Since risk (or utility, if you will) is a function of both likelihood and impact, it follows that the ‘extreme outcomes’ do not necessarily represent the greatest level of risk, nor indeed is there any guarantee that the level of risk represented exceeds the chosen acceptability threshold.”

    Both likelihood and impact are a function of the cumulative total of CO2 emissions. The more we emit, the greater the likelihood and impact of extreme outcomes.
    Therefore ANY effective response that can reduce risk will require a reduction in emissions. There is nothing unknown about that probability that justifies invoking the PP.

    I get the distinct impression that the level of acceptability you have chosen is one that regards as unacceptable any government regulation of fossil fuels that is intended to reduce consumption.

  95. dikranmarsupial says:

    “But it is also an argument that begs a lot of issues, such as how well understood the relationship is between the impact loss function and the ECS and how well the uncertainties are captured by the ECS range upon which one is working.”

    I should point out that these things are the inputs to any rational risk assessment procedure. It is a bit like Prof. Curry’s uncertainty monster, for which AFAICS there is little evidence to suggest it is more than, say, an ewok. Are the uncertainties large enough to affect the outcome of a minimum expected loss decision?

  96. I should add that the risk assessment discussion is probably not all that relevant to mitigation, given that this probably relies more on some kind of cost-benefit analysis. Certainly, a carbon tax is based on including the price of future damages – discounted to today – associated with our emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. The idea being that if we include all the costs, the market can function efficiently. You could include an element of risk assessment, given that there will be some chance of the damages being much higher than the central esimates suggests. Consequently, you might decide to implement a higher carbon tax than the central estimate in order to further reduce the possibility of these more severe outcomes, but the fundamental idea behind a carbon tax is to simply let the market decide, rather than us specifying a specific pathway.

  97. dikranmarsupial says:

    The minimum expected loss framework can potentially be used for cost-benefit analysis, essentially the cost of a particular course of action is factored into the impact function (so that there would be an impact even for ECS=0 because of the cost of taking unnecessary action).

    However, we would first need to find common ground on the basic science (most of the scientists did so a fair while back) but the politicians and electorate are somewhat lagging.

  98. izen says:

    @-JR
    “But it is also an argument that begs a lot of issues, such as how well understood the relationship is between the impact loss function and the ECS and how well the uncertainties are captured by the ECS range upon which one is working.”

    ECS is probably a red herring or largely irrelevant in assessing the risk and impact. It is after all a global metric derived from modelling, a bikini statistic.
    Impacts are much more likely to scale with OHC or with the amount and rate of energy gained by the system. This is because impacts are largely local events divorced from specific levels of ECS.

    ECS can change because of the distribution of temperature, hotter poles can lead to a lower global temperature rise and lower apparent ECS. This does not result in lower impacts, it can even increase them by disrupting local climate as the US has seen this year with fire, flood and freezing.

  99. Dave_Geologist says:

    John, why are you quoting UNESCO? Why not the IPCC? Or the output of the international session a couple of months ago.

    I’m familiar with risk analysis carried out in (my part of) the oil and gas industry. We tended to use discrete scenarios rather than a continuous PDF as dikran was describing, but the outcome is essentially the same. You have Risk = Probability x Impact. We found it useful to have discrete outcomes because you typically have distinct events with discontinuous steps between them, with different mitigations and consequences. For example: gas influx (raise mud weight, circulate out gas); kick (raise pump rate, pump a heavy pill, shut in well); blowout (shut in BOP, evacuate non-essential personnel); BOP works or fails (monitor or activate emergency disconnect); fire or no fire (evacuate and spray water from tenders or escalate). Climate is more like that, at least once you get to the high end. For example, based on past, similar events, PETM conditions (about 8C warmer) are incompatible with modern civilisation; early Triassic conditions (10C+) are incompatible with reptile or fish life in the tropics (mammals, of course, would have gone earlier).

    One reason for keeping them discrete is it helps you to distinguish between risks which are continuous trade-offs, and existential risks. IOW between run-of-the-mill AGW, and genuinely catastrophic AGW (not the denier straw-man CAGW which is dishonestly used to traduce any discussion of climate impacts). For example, financial loss which can be absorbed and weighed again prevention cost in a conventional cost-benefit analysis; events which can get you banned from a country, as Occidental was effectively banned from the UK (they were quietly told they’d never get an operating licence again, ever, and sold up); potential company-killers (Deepwater Horizon). Events which might incur time off work; events like losing a finger; one death; multiple deaths; deaths to third parties like neighbouring householders. You can read diagonally across the matrix, staying with events having the same Probability x Impact, but we also had a colour code which defined the level at which a risk had to be accepted or mitigation* undertaken. That wasn’t strictly diagonal, because it included a perception of company impact as well. One DWH every twenty years ranks higher than an event ten times smaller every year, because the small annual events can be absorbed, but the one big event potentially exceeds a threshold that means there are no future years.

    I would apply the precautionary principle to catastrophic events. A one in a million chance of an Early Triassic climate is one too many. We can debate whether drowning Kiribati is OK (apparently), but rendering Dubai and NW India/SE Pakistan uninhabitable without 24/7 aircon, and unfarmable, is not. For the lower temperatures, we can apply a more conventional Probability x Impact approach. Know what? I bet it’s been done. And I bet it’s been published. And I bet they consulted proper risk experts. You might start by searching the IPCC (but be sure to drill down below the Summary For Policymakers type documents for proper risk analysis, just as you should for the climate stuff – the SPMs are a lowest-common-denominator couched in deliberately non-scary language).

    * In our context, mitigation referred to reducing the probability or impact of the risk as opposed to dealing with the consequences, which seems to be its lukewarmer usage in ClimateBall (e.g. raising sea defences). In the example I gave in a previous thread, the mitigation against sealing the well to take a leak-of test (mini-frac), which made us unable to detect a gas influx below the tool which could have kicked when we released the seals, was to configure the tool with sensitive gauges below the packer. That allowed us to monitor both the absolute pressure and the pressure gradient, giving early warning of baryte sag in the mud as well as gas influx. In the worst case scenario, where we’d failed to respond or the packers were stuck, we’d at least have known whether there was a gas bubble below the tool or not.

  100. Finding common ground is politics.
    Finding evidence is science.

    The problem of the climate branch of the US culture war is not the available evidence.

  101. Victor,
    Yes, there’s a difference between having different opinions about something for which there isn’t a definitive answer and a realisation that some kind of common ground needs to be reached in order to move forward, and trying find common ground when there is over-whelming evidence for one position.

  102. Willard says:

    > It is the application of the PP that legitimises avoidance of ‘extreme outcomes’, not the application of risk assessment.

    Looks like a Freedom Fighters’ talking point more than anything.

    First, because it is one, e.g.:

    The question I’ve been posed is whether the precautionary principle is equivalent to risk assessment. My answer is: No.

    https://cei.org/outreach-regulatory-comments-and-testimony/are-risk-assessment-and-precautionary-principle-equivale-0

    Second, because the precautionary principle has been put forward exactly because risk management isn’t as objective or flawless as may be intimated by JohnR, not the other way around:

    Originating from a criticism of traditional risk assessment, the key element of the precautionary principle is the justification for acting in the face of uncertain knowledge about risks.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15924501

    Third, just saying “PP” does not tell us which concept we’re talking about, i.e. there are many formulations available, some less handwavy than others, e.g.:

    This non-naive version of the PP allows us to avoid paranoiaand paralysis by confining precaution to specific domains and problems. Here we formalize PP, placing it within the statistical and probabilistic structure of “ruin” problems, in which a system is at risk of total failure, and in place of risk we use a formal “fragility” based approach.

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1410.5787.pdf

    Fourth, it’s far from clear that “extreme outcomes” are limited to the fat tail, e.g.:

    Considering all this, it might be best to clarify claims such as the posited domination of the expected loss doesn’t require too much uncertainty before the PP kicks in, which look to me worse than POMO.

  103. Mike M. says:

    It looks to me like there is something funny in the Nordhaus numbers. For the base scenario, he seems to have about 75% of CO2 remaining in the atmosphere. With exponential growth in emissions, that number has been more like 50%. Slowing growth should reduce the percentage remaining in the atmosphere. So his 2100 atmospheric concentration appears to be much too high.

    Nordhaus says he uses an ECS of 3.1K and a TCR of 1.7K. That implies an ocean heat uptake coefficient of about 0.9 W/m^2/K. The actual value is more like 0.7 W/m^2/K. His base case numbers for 2100 imply a response of 2.6K. That is much to close to ECS for that time scale.

    Using 50% CO2 in the atmosphere and a TCR of 1.7K, the warming in 2100 is 2.2K above pre-industrial. Using the observational TCR of 1.3K gives warming of 1.7K for the base scenario. Not so bad.

  104. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    … and trying find common ground when there is over-whelming evidence for one position.

    The problem is that at least to some extent, you’re possibly trying to find common ground with people who don’t agree with your assessment of the state of the evidence.

    That said, most of the people you’re potentially trying to find common ground with don’t really have a strong knowledge of the state of the evidence (although they may think they have an understanding of the evidence).

    As such, again, I think the point of finding common ground isn’t with respect to a “common” understanding the state of the evidence, but with respect to reaching some level of mutual acceptance over policy options.

    Reaching common ground may never happen, but (IMO) it is certainly unlikely to happen if it means reaching a common perspective on the science (with those who are heavily identified with a different interpretation of the science).

    A fundamental tenet of “win/win” conflict resolution is the idea of differentiating positions from interests. I’d say that interpretations of the science falls into the positons category, whereas reaching common ground on policy falls into the (shared) interests category.

  105. Joshua says:

    Geo Dave –

    Thanks for your 10:29 above. That way common ground lies.

    How confident do you believe that those policy options would restrict temp rise to 3c?

  106. Joshua says:

    Or I guess I should say sensitivity to 3c?

  107. MikeM,
    The airborne fraction depends on the emission pathway. If the base scenarioi something like RCP8.5, then an airborne fraction of around 0.7 is what is expected. i.e.,

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by the ocean heat uptake coefficient, and it seems pretty unlikely that the TCR will be as low as 1.3C.

  108. Mike M. says:

    Thanks, ATTP. Your figure shows what I expected: Higher rates of emission growth give higher fractions in the atmosphere.

    The base case from Nordhaus shows about 70 Gt CO2/year in 2100. The figure is labelled GtC, but the numbers are CO2; current emissions are about 35 Gt CO and 9.5 Gt C. From van Vuuren et al. 2011 (the official publication on the RCPs), emission in 2100 are about 110 Gt CO2 for RCP 8.5 and about 60-70 for RCP 6.0. So your graph would imply that the fraction should stay around where it has been.

    TCR of 1.3K is from observational data, e.g. Nic Lewis. All the models are higher.

    In a box climate model, for equilibrium:
    C* dT/dt = F(t) – lambda*T
    For transient:
    C* dT/dt = F(t) – lambda*T – kappa*T
    Kappa is the ocean heat uptake coefficient.

  109. Dave_Geologist says:

    Not super-confident Joshua. But it’s a non-exhaustive list 😉 . And more of examples where seeking common ground can mean phasing things in gradually is a way of seeking common ground with people who are not in denial but concerned about upfront costs to themselves. IIRC the IPCC’s projections say we’d require some form of CCS and/or atmospheric capture. But that in itself reflects a seeking of common ground or consensus. I would presume there were discussions that went “cold turkey by 2050”; “no, impossible, even if it’s technically possible we’ll never get the world to do it”; “OK how about we add some CO2 removal?”; “well, OK, no completely blue-sky stuff but it doesn’t have to be field-ready, just more likely than everyone on the planet giving up beef within a generation”.

    Deniers and luckwarmers like to phrase it as “give up my car tomorrow” or “give up steak from next week”. Pointing out that in reality it will be gradual is part of showing there is common ground to be sought. In the power sector, the long time-frame of investments is a blessing as well as a curse. People won’t want to retire serviceable plant, so we need to building now what we’ll be using in twenty years’ time. OTOH companies can see the writing on the wall, and don’t want to build stranded assets. Would you build a new US power plant reliant on sulphur-rich coal, even if Trump guts the regulations? You’d be gambling on them staying gutted through 2040 or 2050.

    We should never forget that 2C is better than 3C is better than 4C is better than 5C. If we fail to hit a specific target it’s not the end of the world, just a few more floods and fires and dead people. But still fewer than if we’d done nothing. Whereas if we do nothing and follow RCP8.5 and there’s a high ECS, we’re potentially heading for a PETM, which would be the end of civilisation as we know it, although not of the world itself. And don’t forget, models plateauing after 100 years or so is an artefact of their omitting long term feedbacks, which from geological analogues look to make ESS about double ECS. We can probably ignore that if we keep things at a reasonable temperature, because hundreds of years of technical advance means we probably will do CO2 capture. But if we blunder into a PETM through ECS and lose our civilisation and technology, ESS could send us the way of Neanderthals

  110. Dave_Geologist says:

    I like the idea of “ruin” problems Willard. It’s kinda what I was calling existential problems. Ones where the consequences are so severe, you do everything in your power to stop them, regardless of how low the probability of occurrence is. Anything non-zero is too high, and the Precautionary Principle is exactly the right approach.

  111. Chubbs says:

    Mike,

    “TCR of 1.3K is from observational data, e.g. Nic Lewis. All the models are higher.”

    Nic’s estimates are also based on a model, a simple energy balance model. Climate models, with an average TCR of 1.8, match the temperature obs well when the proper comparison is made. So the obs are completely consistent with a TCR of 1.8.

  112. John Ridgway says:

    @All,

    That’s a lot of feedback, all of a sudden, and it leaves me a bit thinly spread. So I hope you will forgive me if my responses do not fully address the points that you have all raised.

    ATTP,

    “Dikran does make a good point above, though, that if the tail risks are very high, then we may well end up deciding that these should be avoided.”

    Yes, I think I have already acknowledged the effect introduced by fat tails. Nevertheless, my comment had been an objection to your characterization of ‘typical’ risk assessment, i.e. with no assumptions being made regarding the risk profile. The sort of risk profile that Dikran draws attention to is interesting and appears to be relevant to climate change risk but it cannot be taken as typical for the general case.

    “Interesting that in a post about common ground, you seem to have kicked up a big fuss about one sentence I wrote.”

    Yes, but it was a pivotal sentence. I don’t think I kicked up a big fuss. I simply say that, taken at face value, it was making a basic error.

    Dikran,

    It is interesting that you refer to the pdf of the ECS. If I may quote a climate modeller, working way back in 1990 for the IPCC:

    “What they were very keen for us to do at IPCC [1990], and modellers refused and we didn’t do it, was to say we’ve got this range 1.5 – 4.5°C, what are the probability limits of that? You can’t do it. It’s not the same as experimental error. The range is nothing to do with probability – it is not a normal distribution or a skewed distribution. Who knows what it is?”

    Of course, folk are not so circumspect about this sort of thing now, but perhaps they should be.

    “Are the uncertainties large enough to affect the outcome of a minimum expected loss decision?”

    Don’t ask me. The whole problem with risk profiles that feature high impact/low probability elements is that the uncertainties associated with probability tend to dominate as the probability decreases. Similarly, impact levels that vary rapidly with probability tend to be very sensitive to such errors in probability. The shame is that as one approaches the high impact end of the loss function, the uncertainties tend to preclude its accurate determination. Cue the PP.

    Izen,

    “There is nothing unknown about that probability that justifies invoking the PP.”

    But there is no probability that justifies the invoking of the PP. The PP is invoked in the absence of reliable probabilities. It is not the principle of reducing emission as a means of reducing risk that is at issue here.

    “I get the distinct impression that the level of acceptability you have chosen is one that regards as unacceptable any government regulation of fossil fuels that is intended to reduce consumption.”

    I’m not sure where that impression comes from.

    Dave_Geologist,

    “John, why are you quoting UNESCO? Why not the IPCC? Or the output of the international session a couple of months ago.”

    Because I was making a general statement about the PP and it is UNESCO (in the guise of The World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology) who had sought, on behalf of the scientific community as a whole, to clarify the principles behind the application of the PP within the environmental risk context.

    I’m sorry, Dave, but there was a little too much extraneous detail in your posting, so I failed to understand your central point. Other than to say that the approach you described was not dissimilar to the one employed within the transport industry, I don’t quite know what to say.

    I am aware of what the IPCC says regarding the quantification and communication of risk and uncertainty (see for example AR5, Chapter 2), and I have already investigated the identities and backgrounds of the experts involved, thank you.

    Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that this discussion regarding the applicability of risk assessment and the PP is very interesting but it has nothing to do with my beliefs regarding where common ground may be found. Instead, may I refer you to my opening post and its reference to Robust Decision-making. Any further dialogue I would prefer to be focussed upon that point. That is what I really came here to discuss.

  113. BBD says:

    Who knows what it is?”

    Very unlikely below 2C and likely about 3C. There’s reams of evidence, from palaeoclimate to modelling. Things have come a long way since 1990.

  114. Willard says:

    > I am aware of what the IPCC says regarding the quantification and communication of risk and uncertainty

    Of course you are, JohnR:

    [W]hen it comes to CAGW and calculations of uncertainty, three categories of technical error have been made:

    a) Errors that facilitate the cultural hi-jacking of the science. […]

    b) Errors that result from the cultural hi-jacking of the science. […]

    c) Errors in which the cultural hi-jacking of the science is irrelevant. […]

    https://cliscep.com/2018/10/31/the-victims-of-climate-alarmism/#comment-29548

    ***

    > I’d like to remind everyone that this discussion regarding the applicability of risk assessment and the PP is very interesting but it has nothing to do with my beliefs regarding where common ground may be found

    Please, call me “Willard.” Let me remind you that comment threads are not parlor games where you can have one-to-one private conversations, and that it is you who introduced “precaution” in the thread with the following:

    Instead of making an incorrect statement regarding what is typical for a risk assessment, you would have been far better off making the case that typical risk assessment does not apply in the context of climate change risk. To quote UNESCO […]

    I don’t think “oh, but that’s not a common ground so I’m just gonna leave it here” counts as a valid justification. At the very least peddling talking points does not bode well for the framework you promised. Speaking of which, your may I refer you to my opening post and its reference to Robust Decision-making has already been met, i.e.:

    I predict this too will be something over which we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  115. izen says:

    @-Mike M.
    “Using 50% CO2 in the atmosphere and a TCR of 1.7K, the warming in 2100 is 2.2K above pre-industrial. Using the observational TCR of 1.3K gives warming of 1.7K for the base scenario. Not so bad.”

    But profoundly unconvincing.
    You sound like a financial scammer telling investors that if you take the best possible figures for growth and return they will make a fortune. Hoping to hide in the small print the fact that there are equally credible figures to those you choose that means they could lose their shirt.

    You may have concluded that the figures you picked for TCR etc are the best and most accurate, but this is not common ground which can be shared, the value of all these metrics are not fixed.
    This is a system in which the specific value for an end state is difficult to predict. We know what makes things worse, but not by how much.
    We only know one way to avoid it getting worse, and it isn’t by selecting the ‘not so bad’ sensitivity/TCR/ECS numbers.

  116. izen says:

    @-W

    Re the paper you cite; “Deep Decarbonization as a Risk Management Challenge”.
    Am I the only person who finds it slightly creepy that it is the RAND organisation that is the source ?
    An institution that should never live down its role as a front for the CIA and US foreign policy interests that poured research money into university sociology departments. Research primarily aimed at influencing foreign democracies to reduce communist/socialist/social democratic or ‘left wing’, representation.

    And then it is not reassuring to find the author’s previous expertise is in the field of terrorism. One has published work claiming that terrorist opposition in Iraq could be reduced by ‘re-branding’ the American image over there…

  117. Willard says:

    > Am I the only person who finds it slightly creepy that it is the RAND organisation that is the source ?

    No:

  118. John Ridgway says:

    Willard,

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have attempted to respond to most comments but not yours. There’s a reason for that, but I’m sure you don’t need me to provide the explanation – the Willard explanation will always suffice.

  119. Steven Mosher says:

    here

  120. Dave_Geologist says:

    John, I’ll be briefer this time. 1990 was a long time ago. Maybe the scientists have learned stuff. Just sayin’. A 1990 IPCC quote and a UNESCO quote with no context butter very few parsnips. Having seen you cherry-pick ECS, why should I not assume you’ve cherry-picked those quotes for rhetorical purposes? Is there something in recent IPCC risk assessments that you’re afraid to show us? I presume you’ve read them. I would take a very dim view of a risk assessment consultant who relied on 30-year old information from my company and a quote from somewhere else as the basis for his recommendations. In fact, I’d run him off the premise and refuse to pay his bills.

  121. dikranmarsupial says:

    I asked: “Are the uncertainties large enough to affect the outcome of a minimum expected loss decision?”

    John replied “Don’t ask me.”

    No, you raised the objection of meta-uncertainty, so the onus is on you to provide evidence that the standard minimum expected loss framework is inappropriate. Simply re-asserting that the uncertainties dominate is unconvincing. Raising arguments without caring about their validity is what Harry Frankfurt would describe as “bullshitting”.

    BTW I was only using ECS as a single-variable placeholder for all of the other dimensions of the problem. However I have noticed that it is very common in on-line discussions for people to avoid the key point by questioning the irrelevant details. Plus ca change…

  122. Steven Mosher says:

    my favorite weasel phrase is now “technologically feasible”

  123. dikranmarsupial says:

    ““What they were very keen for us to do at IPCC [1990], and modellers refused and we didn’t do it, was to say we’ve got this range 1.5 – 4.5°C, what are the probability limits of that? You can’t do it. It’s not the same as experimental error. The range is nothing to do with probability – it is not a normal distribution or a skewed distribution. Who knows what it is?””

    I should add, that minimum expected loss analyses work just fine with subjectivist Bayesian probabilites. There is no reason the p.d.f. of ECS composed from estimates obtained via different means cannot be interpreted as subjectivist Bayes measures of relative plausibility.

    “The sort of risk profile that Dikran draws attention to is interesting and appears to be relevant to climate change risk but it cannot be taken as typical for the general case.”

    of course we are not talking about the general case here, we are talking about the risk associated with climate change.

  124. Willard says:

    > I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have attempted to respond to most comments but not yours.

    Yet your “I’d like to remind everyone” specically addressed me, JohnR, and your “attempted to respond” may not mean what you make it mean.

    Please close the door behind you.

  125. John Ridgway says:

    Willard,

    Oh Willard! Oscar Wilde will be turning in his grave. You can only imagine how sad I am to be leaving.

  126. Willard says:

    > my favorite weasel phrase

    You might also like:

  127. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    What about a revenue neural carbon tax? Can everyone at least agree that that is a reasonable idea?

  128. William Connolley says:

    > Fuller
    > Create union jobs that pay prevailing wages (Agree 100%)
    > Guarantee living wage to everyone (Agree 100%)
    > Improve union bargaining strength (Agree 100%)
    > Strengthen labor and workplace safety standards (Agree 100%)
    > Enact trade rules that increase jobs but don’t transfer pollution overseas (Agree 100%)
    > Provide all people of the United States with good housing (Agree 100%)
    We’ve been agreeing far too much recently; I’m so pleased to find something to disagree with you about.

  129. Well, WMC, it’s easier to don the garb of Ye Olde Labour over here in the States. Nobody recognizes it.

  130. WMC,
    I haven’t actually read much about the GND, so don’t have strong views at this stage. I’m interested, though, in what sense you disagree with Tom. Do you disagree with those goals in the sense that they’re things we shouldn’t be aiming to achieve, or is it that you disagree with the manner in which the GND would aim to achieve them (I’m assuming here, that Tom has correctly represented the goals of the GND)?

  131. izen says:

    It may be unwise to discuss the GND as if it was a coherent body of policy options.
    It looks more like a marketing and branding exercise for a single issue political campaign. Any common ground it may contain with the ‘other side’ will be purely coincidental. It is designed to press as many positive buttons with its target audience as possible.
    Not by proposing any policy to achieve positive aspirations, just affirming they support them.

    Treating it as a serious contribution to climate change policy would be like treating a toothpaste advertising jingle as a comprehensive oral hygiene regime.

  132. I like AOC and want her to succeed. (I also like Nancy Pelosi–she used to be my representative and I want her to succeed as well.) I look at the GND as a set of aspirational goals, obviously not fleshed out, obviously not costed, perhaps not even prioritized.

    I like it that Progressives have put a stake in the ground. Republicans did it for decades and it helped them get no small measure of what they wanted. The fact that the Trump administration has pushed Republicans into the realm of caricature should not hide their previous success with things like the Contract For (and also On) America.

  133. Willard says:

    > A 1990 IPCC quote and a UNESCO quote with no context butter very few parsnips.

    The second quote was only meant to peddle “but PP,” Dave. The first one isn’t from the IPCC but from an old STS paper

    Exploiting the dual effect of mentioning uncertainty is a staple of the following lukewarm Dutch book: (a) when facing categorical claims, mention that uncertainty is a part of science, (b) when facing claims that include modalities, lulz about weasel words.

    It should be easy to find boundary-ordering ClimateBall devices. The most important one is “thank you for your concerns.”

  134. “I think there are too many factors that can’t be properly incorporated into these models, and it doesn’t even rule out warming above 4K.”
    Why should the cosmic microwave background radiation increase from 2.7 K above 4 K?

  135. Paul,
    That’s either very funny, or very confused. I can’t quite tell which.

  136. Steven Mosher says:

    ‘What about a revenue neural carbon tax? Can everyone at least agree that that is a reasonable idea?

    I would have agreed before. But now that I studied mondrn monetary theory and know that deficiets dont matter, I am for abolishing all taxes and just tlet the government print money for whatever we decide to do.

  137. Steven Mosher says:

    The weasel word “technologically feasible” is just too precious.

    Lets say one of these 100% renewable only bozo’s reads that. He thinks.. ya, its technologically feasible, we can get rid of cars, planes, steel, cement.. its all tecnologically feasible.
    We can rebuild every building and mximize safety, efficienciy, affordability and comfort..
    its technologically feasible .. And this person is happy with the document.

    Then hard headed realist reads it.. 100% of X, where technologically feasible.
    The thing is He is happy TOO.. because he knows the crazy shit will never happen.

    So he gets to virtue signal by agreeing.. ‘Yes we should have free safe comfortable buildings for all, where technologically feasible.. ( grnning in the inside cause he knows this is never gunna happen)
    And on the other side the poor dope who thinks uptopia is just around the corner gets to claim victory before the battle has even started.

    Meanwhile cynical folks note that all they really wanted to do was move the overton window
    and watch people jump out of it

  138. Ken Fabian says:

    If we wait until we are certain what we should be doing and know how much it will cost it will be too late. I’m of the view that committing to fixing a problem makes a lot of what is technically feasible work – and sorts out what won’t along the way. Any policy commitment – call it a Green New Deal if you like – is going to have to evolve and change along the way. Whilst a focus on wind and solar is to be expected at this point that can change.

    Better yet to try for pigouvian carbon pricing and let market choice sort out which low emissions choices to take – but the Australian experience is that it has been the green-left leaning “side” that put this kind of market based solution up and the free-marketeer conservative-right “side” that pulled it back down. I think the role of extremist politics has been greatly exaggerated; that green-left side was and is far more middle and mainstream than fringe and extremist – and very much in favour of applying democracy and the rule of law to the problem.

  139. dikranmarsupial says:

    John Ridgeway wrote “The sort of risk profile that Dikran draws attention to is interesting and appears to be relevant to climate change risk but it cannot be taken as typical for the general case”

    It strikes me that sort of risk profile is likely to be quite common, e.g. wind damage, flood, earthquakes, accidents at nuclear plants … However John is apparently the expert in risk assessment, so he is presumably correct ;o)

  140. Joshua says:

    Some people are just miserable SOB’s.

  141. “The weasel word “technologically feasible” is just too precious.”

    All Rube Goldberg machines are “technologically feasible” and Venezuela’s economic model works great on paper.
    Those who are concerned about climate change have an interest in serious proposals. Unserious proposals that over-reach can set back a cause significantly.

    For example
    Mr. Fuller supports the circa 1968 liberal platform (the Democrats carried 13 states that year in the presidential election).
    > Create union jobs that pay prevailing wages (Agree 100%)- the oil and gas and auto industries are unionized, they may have issues with this. They did in 2016,
    > Guarantee living wage to everyone (Agree 100%)- Noah Smith in Bloomberg- a man of the left – estimates the GND would cost $6.6 Trillion a year- four times the total current US income tax revenue. You can call this the “Delinpole Was Right, We’re Watermelons Act”
    > Improve union bargaining strength (Agree 100%)- What’s the bargaining strength of an unemployed union worker? What’s the economic rationale for improving the bargaining strength of government workers?
    > Strengthen labor and workplace safety standards (Agree 100%) Why is this in a climate bill?
    > Enact trade rules that increase jobs but don’t transfer pollution overseas (Agree 100%)- Trade war with China, India, Brazil etc is now the official Dem position? From an international framework perspective, how does this compare to the Paris Accords?
    > Provide all people of the United States with good housing (Agree 100%). But no fossil fuel-powered construction equipment or concrete for all these new houses, right? We can test if this is really a progressive goal by examining the rapid growth in new housing units in progressive strongholds, like San Francisco. (For our non-US friends, progressives have all but shut down the construction of housing in progressive strongholds such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, etc etc etc.)

  142. JCH says:

    I would have agreed before. But now that I studied mondrn monetary theory and know that deficiets dont matter, I am for abolishing all taxes and just tlet the government print money for whatever we decide to do. …

    Of course, this is essentially what the USA already does. We have a conduit system that supposedly encourages participation and good citizenship. Each earner gets an extra bit of money that he seemingly pays back to the government in a charade called taxation (some bozos on the right actually believe this was their money: never was.)

    It’s just two tiny little steps to perfection; deficit equals printshop output; and finally, because the deficit never existed in the first place, just printshop output.

  143. Dave_Geologist says:

    You should read the Green New Deal, and the coverage of it. “Bad” is… polite.

    Have you read the Green New Deal jeff? Or just the coverage on Fox, Breitbart, Alex Jones etc? I would agree that “Bad” is a good word to describe them if you’re looking for reliable sources, but there’s nothing more reliable than the horse’s mouth:The Green New Deal.

    The Guardian summary is pretty much in line with Tom’s, so props Tom, for accessing what I presume was an earlier draft (this one says FINAL). They’ve conveniently sliced out the climate-y bits:

    The goals of the document include a “10-year national mobilization” to:

    build resiliency against climate change-related disasters

    upgrade infrastructure

    meet power demand with “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources”

    expand energy efficiency and access to power

    work with farmers to cut emissions

    overhaul the transportation sector with electric vehicles, public transportation and high-speed rail

    remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by bolstering forests

    Most of it is no-regrets motherhood and apple pie. The devil would be in the details. On fossil fuel replacement, you can pick your own version of “technologically feasible” and hide behind the absence of “completely” (I wouldn’t call that weasel-words, more all-things-to-all-men or a get-out clause). Technological feasibility, in practice, always has a social and economic element. For example, it’s technologically feasible to go to Mars. It would cost an arm and a leg and we’d probably kill a few crews, but if we can build the ISS we could build a ship in orbit and shuttle fuel to it. It’s technologically feasible to build a thousand dams and flood a thousand valleys. We know how to build dams. There’s enough limestone and sand in the world to make the concrete.

  144. Willard says:

    > Noah Smith in Bloomberg- a man of the left […]

    You might need to check out that political compass, JeffN. Meanwhile, it’s nice to see that your “bad” take is substantiated by questions you’re “just asking.”

    But speaking of Noah, he recently linked to an analysis by Trolly McTrollface:

    Following the great crypto crash of 2018, human nature being what it is, these communities witnessed the emergence of aggressive sub-groups, eager to attack anyone who might criticise their beloved coin. Just have a look at the Twitter feeds of Nouriel Roubini, Frances Coppola, or Izabella Kaminska.

    After being myself attacked by an aggressive group of Ripple supporters who like to call themselves the “XRP Army”, I pieced together a quick and dirty algorithm to crawl Twitter, and identified its members: […]

    […]

    Battling OPGs [Onlike Propaganda Groups] is complicated, for they are mostly made up of real people, who don’t exactly act against social network Terms of Service. They’re simply willing to waste unimaginable amounts of their time polluting and distorting existing conversations, protected by the anonymity of their online accounts.

    http://www.tr0lly.com/twitter/online-propaganda-group-tactics-explained/

    Had the author spent a day watching ClimateBall he’d have recognized that anonymity is facultative. Witness our recent guest’s performance. Take the Moshpit’s recent snark. A few minutes reading from the Contrarian Matrix‘ tweets suffices to recognize an intriguing overlap between contrarians and Freedom Fighters. Freedom Fighters poisoning wells daily. Who’d thunk?

    The beauty of it all is that none of ClimateBall needs to be automated.

  145. “Most of it is no-regrets motherhood and apple pie. The devil would be in the details.”

    Yes. I’ve read the Green New Deal, including the FAQ that it’s author provided to NPR and posted on her own website. And then removed when people started making fun of it. And then falsely claimed over the weekend that Republicans had written it (today’s Washington Post reluctantly explains that the FAQ really was written by her and her staff). And then arm-waved away by essentially saying that all the stuff you like will happen, but nothing you don’t like because… vagueness.
    Short answer is that she provided the “details,” I and many others who are actually interested have read them, there are many devils in them. It is not a serious proposal. Be serious about serious issues.

  146. Willard says:

    > Be serious about serious issues.

    You go first, JeffN. Claiming it’s bad without any argument, then Just Asking Questions, then shifting to “be serious.” At least you’re not turning to Douthatian smarm:

    It’s in the NYT, so it must be “from the left”

  147. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    Be serious about serious issues.

    What issue are you “serious” about? Since reaching common ground was referenced in the OP, I wonder if you are serious about reaching common ground. It looks to me like what you’re more serious about is fighting identity warfare.

    I’m curious as to what are your ideas about reaching common ground?

    (Here’s a hint, in order to write a comment heading towards common ground, rather than finger-pointing about why it hasn’t, or won’t be reached because, well, because others, you’d logically have to write a comment that’s free of finger pointing and identity aggression. Can you do that?)

  148. Joshua says:

    Regarding Jeff’s comments, Tom’s use of “climate concerned” , Douthat’s op-ed, and the GND… Seems to me that people who are serious about addressing climate change (you know, are concerned about climate change) have two fundamental pathways forward:

    1} fight a political battle to gain sufficient power to force their preferred policy options forward. By explicitly coupling standard leftist politics with climate change policy proposals, the GND moves in that direction. Such a move engenders a political power play response. Take a look at Breitbart or fox news.com, pretty much any day this week and you’ll see the political power play response (or actually, you’ll see those power plays anyway, they don’t only exist in response . In some ways, the GND is just as much a response to power plays from the right). Or read WUWT or Judith’s or Lucia’s or Jeff’s comments here. Maybe if the power battle isn’t won outright the Overton window can be shifted.

    2). Look for common ground policy options.

  149. Willard says:

    Wait, Joshua – how can one not look for common ground policy options by injecting the Green New Deal in a thread about common grounds?

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I’d leave grounding to ontologists:

    Background:

    (It’s actually a formal paper – don’t think POMO.)

    What better grounding than a green grounding?

  150. Dave_Geologist says:

    There may well be devils in the details of OAC’s FAQs jeff. But if a Bill is passed, the law is based on the content of the Bill, not on an FAQ written by one of its sponsors, however influential that sponsor may have been in drafting the Bill. At most you can regard her FAQs as saying “this is how I would implement it if I was in charge”. A personal manifesto. And since the watered-down, all-things-to-all-men wording is probably down to negotiation with lawmakers to her right, a dog-whistle to her supporters: “this is what the Bill would have said if I hadn’t had to make compromises with less progressive members of the caucus”.

  151. Joshua says:

    Willard –

    I tried…but I need a translation.

    But in the meantime…here’s something of a thought…with stimulated by your question

    What better grounding than a green grounding?

    I was listening to this…

    https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/theezrakleinshow?selected=VMP5363455172

    ….the one on the core contradiction in American politics…which, not assuming anyone will take the time to listen…goes something like…Pubz are about shared ideology and Demz are about a coalition of groups…

    I’m a bit skeptical (i.e., Pubz aren’t about identity? Really?)…and didn’t think the dude ever really answered Ezra’s questions about whether the “contradiction” stands up….but…

    Let’s say it’s stands up to scrutiny…then perhaps the GND is a serious attempt to make Demz about ideology…

    It’s an interesting strategy…but then a question might be whether an economic grounding is better than a green grounding.

  152. Taking serious issues seriously.
    Some choice comments from Dave Roberts’ write up on it in Vox. Roberts avoids the FAQs provided with the GND and focuses only on the resolution- applauding the decision to be vague. Yet still:

    “As I said, most of the resolution consists of goals and policies that anyone who takes climate change seriously will find necessary. But down toward the bottom of the list of projects, the resolution really lets its hair down and gets funky. Readers who make it that far into the document will find some eyebrow-raising doozies.”

    If you’re raising Dave Roberts’ eyebrows, are you aiming at common ground? And more Roberts…

    “But at some point, we have to grapple with the fact that a solution to climate change will require the support of people who may not be ready to join the democratic socialist revolution.”

    Well, that last question of mine is answered. Nope.

    Roberts column is interesting.. He acknowledges that all the stuff about free houses, college, and guaranteed income is necessary because, as he frames it, climate advocacy really hurts the poor. Or, as he puts it: “Frontline and vulnerable communities stand to get it coming and going, from the problem and from the solutions.”

    It does have a strange dodge. He swears the resolution allows the pro-nuke crowd to propose nukes. AOC (the author) released the FAQs that pointedly notes all nukes gone in 10 years or as close to that as “technically feasible.”
    The FAQ also goes full “monetary policy”- ie print money like Zimbabwe and Venezuela and hope that this time, unlike every other time it’s been tried, it doesn’t result in million percent inflation and starvation. Roberts basically says yay, but let’s spring economic collapse on everyone after they vote for the free pony (I paraphrase).

    Details and Devils.

    Me? You will not de-carbonize electricity and transportation without reliable, cost effective, electricity generation at much higher levels than we have today (to cover charging vehicles). Renewables, with the exception of hydro, will not do that.
    Other interesting points not discussed. Since the US would be spending all it’s money on itself and refusing trade with nations that emit CO2, the developing world will be in a world of hurt. Maybe we’ll just print more money for them too. Might the cutoff of trade result in wars? Can solar tanks and a sail-powered Navy take on the Chinese military? How will the world, which buys US treasury debt, react when inflation wipes out bond assets held by international businesses and governments? Europe is good, though, nothing to the east of them that’s troubling such as a well-armed petro state run by an oligarch. You’ve got this on your own while we build our unicorns, right?

    Here’s the Roberts’ column: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/2/7/18211709/green-new-deal-resolution-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-markey

  153. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    If you’re raising Dave Roberts’ eyebrows, are you aiming at common ground?

    Questioning people’s aims isn’t a part of finding common ground. Especially when you do so indirectly by way of a moderator (talk about how weasel methodology).

    It’s kind of a fundamental aspect of finding common ground.

    Can you write a comment without interjecting pieces that are fundamental to the process of finding common ground?

  154. Joshua says:

    Arrrgh…

    …without interjecting pieces that are fundamentally antithetical to the process of finding common ground?

  155. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    I’ll offer you a place to start.

    You will not de-carbonize electricity and transportation without reliable, cost effective, electricity generation at much higher levels than we have today (to cover charging vehicles). Renewables, with the exception of hydro, will not do that.

    So what do you propose for reaching common ground with people who have any variety of reasons for not wanting to rely on nuclear energy?

    Remember, the sentence you pulled out of Roberts’ article, as a fundamental principle:

    “But at some point, we have to grapple with the fact that a solution to climate change will require the support of people who may not be ready to join the democratic socialist revolution.”

    But let’s modify it a bit. As some point we have to grapple with the fact that a solution to climate change will require the support of people who may not be ready to join the nuclear power revolution.

    Now turn all your epithets and finger-pointing around to answer that question. Or at least start. Can you do that?

  156. verytallguy says:

    Me? You will not de-carbonize electricity and transportation without reliable, cost effective, electricity generation at much higher levels than we have today (to cover charging vehicles). Renewables, with the exception of hydro, will not do that.

    So, given that nuclear will also not do this, what is your serious solution to this serious problem?

    It appears from what you write that this is “technology R&D”, but as you’re taking the problem seriously, I expect I’ve misinterpreted.

    So, over to you, Mr Serious. What’s your serious proposal?

  157. Joshua, I made no epithet. Roberts is who he is and I, for one, applaud people who are proud and clear about their political stripe. It makes them more enjoyable to read. Roberts is, IMO, one of the few people who both advocate for renewables and directly addresses both the cost and the fact that they will require “lifestyle changes” that so many like to gloss over.
    I’m merely noting that Roberts is nobody’s idea of politically middle of the road when it comes to climate change. If you’re raising his eyebrows by going a bridge too far, you aren’t aiming at common ground.

    “But let’s modify it a bit. As some point we have to grapple with the fact that a solution to climate change will require the support of people who may not be ready to join the nuclear power revolution.”

    I wrote: “You will not de-carbonize electricity and transportation without reliable, cost effective, electricity generation at much higher levels than we have today (to cover charging vehicles). Renewables, with the exception of hydro, will not do that.”

    So yeah, I gave one non-nuclear option and here are more. You can, as I pointed out, build dams. The Hudson is a nice, big river by a city. For Washington DC and Baltimore you could dam the Potomac and perhaps flood the Catoctin Valley or Clark County. Los Angeles will be more difficult. Will the Sierra Club sign on to the hydro revolution?
    You could power the industrial and residential needs of 320 million Americans by burning trees- the UK says that’s renewable. Will tree-huggers join the clear-cut revolution?
    You could spend money figuring out carbon capture and storage for natural gas and coal. Will Bill McKibben join the clean-coal revolution?
    Or you could build nukes.

    Funny thing about revolutions, there’s always someone unhappy with the outcome.
    Your turn, tell us why the “never-nukes” crowd has the only sacrosanct position in a world where everyone has to step up.

  158. Ben McMillan says:

    I thought Ken Fabian’s and Dave’s contributions, now considerably upthread, pretty convincing as potentially viable approaches and going towards possible ‘serious proposals’.

    The idea of making a policy commitment, and sorting out what works along the way, seems like a pretty essential part of making sure an essential goal is met. Sitting and waiting for a perfect tech to come along without providing at least some incentive is clearly a recipe for inaction.

  159. VTG: So, over to you, Mr Serious. What’s your serious proposal?

    At a high level the challenge is to significantly reduce emissions in developed nations buying time for reductions in developing nations. I do think nuclear power would reduce emissions in developed nations though you could certainly build more dams, burn more trees and nibble a bit at the edges with renewables. There are promising designs for nuclear that can be used in some developing nations. China and India have nukes and could significantly impact global emissions with more of it. CCS is a pipe-dream IMO, but worth some more R&D. Renewables- particularly hydro – could help but 100% is a non-starter.

    https://money.cnn.com/2018/03/08/news/volkswagen-coal-wolfsburg-factory/index.html

    I believe Volkswagen is dropping a half-billion dollars on this switch to gas because they joined the government in looking for the most technically feasible way to power a factory (and heat the neighboring town) with the least amount of emissions at a cost that would keep Volkswagen in business and it came down to gas or nukes. The latter was politically impossible and probably less cost-effective than gas as long as Paul is wrong about peak fossil fuels (they are betting a lot of money on Paul being wrong). Nukes are less effective at heating the town than gas, but orders of magnitude better than solar and wind. They could have decided to burn trees or build dams or install CCS, but I presume there were technical, cost and/or environmental issues with those options. If wind and solar could have done it, they would’ve picked it and had the support of the German government. One thing that didn’t drive the decision was Republicans and lukewarmers.

  160. Chubbs says:

    Why would I trust someone on energy policy when they have with an inaccurate view on climate science.

    https://www.pv-tech.org/news/100mwh-battery-added-to-chinas-largest-mixed-renewables-power-plant

    Not that the above is a panacea mind you, but there is plenty of opportunity to innovate our way to a non-fossil future.

  161. izen says:

    There is a fundamental error in the whole concept of seeking ‘common ground’ to address the divergence of views on climate change.
    And how to respond with policy and actions to AGW.

    We seek common ground with potential allies against a common enemy or problem.
    We do NOT seek common ground with an opponent with whom we have a direct conflict.

    Historically and in the present; slavery was not abolished because abolitionists and slave-owners found common ground. The Allies did not find common ground withe the enemy to end WW1 and WW2. There is no common ground between pro-choice and pro-life positions that will resolve the conflict over abortion.

    For there to be common ground between the ‘climate concerned’ and the apathetic and luckwarmers would mean that they share a view of a common threat over which they can form an alliance to carry out a mutually agreed response.

    But getting an admission that warming IS a threat can be hard enough. And as some contributors have made evident on this thread, while mitigation is the preferred response by many of the ‘climate concerned’, it is mitigation that is seen as the larger and primary threat by otters which precludes the existence of any common ground.
    Apparently any disruption that climate change can inflict is insignificant compared to the chaos that would be caused by regulating and reducing fossil fuel use. (?!)

  162. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    Joshua, I made no epithet.

    Ok, a poor choice of terms on my part. But this is the kind o’ stuff I was referring to:

    They will not power down, they won’t abandon capitalism…and they won’t ban cows and rebuild every structure in 10 years…. “Bad” is… polite…But by all means promote it. I’m sure it will work well for you. Those who are concerned about climate change have an interest in serious proposals. Unserious proposals that over-reach can set back a cause significantly.

    Which, IMO, effectively serve the function of epithets; a negative word or phrase used to describe people with a goal of expressing contempt, hostility, or antipathy. It seems to me to part of exploiting extreme beliefs to assign guilt by association and, well, follow practices antithetical to common ground practices.

    But we needed keep going over old ground, as on top of prolly never reaching a common perspective on that issue, past behavior doesn’t necessarily predict future behavior.

    hmmm.

    Roberts is, IMO, one of the few people who both advocate for renewables and directly addresses both the cost and the fact that they will require “lifestyle changes” that so many like to gloss over.

    In other words, the implication being, that while you may not agree with Roberts’ politics, you like him because he isn’t a hypocrite like everyone else, outside of yourself, of course.

    ‘m beginning to wonder if you just can ‘t do it. Once again, you reference people with a set of beliefs,and express your antipathy (once gain, both directly and indirectly by using Roberts as some kind of moderator). In doing so, you violate fundamental rules for reaching common ground.

    I’m merely noting that Roberts is nobody’s idea of politically middle of the road when it comes to climate change. If you’re raising his eyebrows by going a bridge too far, you aren’t aiming at common ground.

    But I don’t interpret that as what you were “merely” doing. What I interpret you doing as focusing on a practice of taking people with a certain set of beliefs and labeling them as extremists. That can sometimes be a useful practice in discussions, but at other times such practices look more like ends to themselves, and that’s what it looks like to me here. Once again, what are you “serious” about? Do you have to focus so much on extremes in order to put forth common ground ideas? I don’t see why that would be necessary.

    I wrote: “You will not de-carbonize electricity and transportation without reliable, cost effective, electricity generation at much higher levels than we have today (to cover charging vehicles). Renewables, with the exception of hydro, will not do that.”

    So what is your proposal for how to do that, and reach common ground, with those who we must ready to join the nuclear power revolution?

    The devil is in the details.

    You can, as I pointed out, build dams. The Hudson is a nice, big river by a city. For Washington DC and Baltimore you could dam the Potomac and perhaps flood the Catoctin Valley or Clark County. Los Angeles will be more difficult.

    That’s getting closer. Where do you suggest getting the funding for such massive infrastructure development? Is that a realistic goal, given the feasibility of funding? I know you don’t like “weasel” wording, but is financing such massive infrastructure projects financially feasible?
    Don’t forget: At some point we have to grapple with the fact that a solution to climate change will require the support of people who may not be ready to fund massive infrastructure projects

    Will the Sierra Club sign on to the hydro revolution?

    I dunno. Will the Club For Growth? Will any significant portion of the Republican voting public?

    You could power the industrial and residential needs of 320 million Americans by burning trees- the UK says that’s renewable. Will tree-huggers join the clear-cut revolution?

    At this point, I have to ask…WTF are you even talking about? Is that about anything than identity-aggression? Is there anything serious there by was of common ground solutions?

    You could spend money figuring out carbon capture and storage for natural gas and coal. Will Bill McKibben join the clean-coal revolution?

    I gotta say…at this point it looks to me like basically all your doing is running down a list of proposals that you think are not politically or perhaps technically viable, only so you can make the same point over and over again. That point being….? Well, it looks to me like you’re making the same point as Judith and Tom…that you don’t see anyone to negotiate with in good faith. That you think that the people who disagree with you “LIKE gridlock” and “don’t want to make progress” and only want to “enforce tribalism.”

    Why do you think making that point, over and over, will move an advance into common ground? In fact, making that point over and over is antithetical to reaching common ground.

    Or you could build nukes.

    At some point we have to grapple with the fact that a solution to climate change will require the support of people who may not be ready to join the nuclear power revolution.”

    Your turn, tell us why the “never-nukes” crowd has the only sacrosanct position in a world where everyone has to step up.

    I’d be happy to answer that, as absurd a question as it is, if you could first explain WTF asking that question, and having it answered, has to do with reaching common ground.

  163. Joshua says:

    izen –

    We seek common ground with potential allies against a common enemy or problem.
    We do NOT seek common ground with an opponent with whom we have a direct conflict.

    There’s no reason why you have to want to reach common ground. Perhaps there is a better way to achieve your goals.

    But by way of answering the question, it seems to me to be a rather empty question, as it assumes the antecedent (not sure if that’s the right expression there).

    You’re assuming that the everyone you’re in discussion with don’t share your interests. You’re assuming that positions and interests, in this context, are one and the same. I’m not so sure that’s true.

    Historically and in the present; slavery was not abolished because abolitionists and slave-owners found common ground.

    It’s funny that you choose that example, as I would say it’s a very good example of showing why seeking common ground can be a productive engagement. Seems to me that while slavery wasn’t ended because common ground was found between abolitionists and slave-owners (btw, it strikes me that you left out slaves from that equation) but between large swaths of the public who weren’t slave-owners but who shared an interest with abolitionists – economic interests and security interests (by virtue of winning the war) and, to some extent the moral interests of members of the public who weren’t outright abolitionists but found some slavery morally problematic.

    The Allies did not find common ground withe the enemy to end WW1 and WW2.

    No, but people who had a vast array of interests, worked to find common ground and shared interests to as to ally.

    Seems to me that if we extent your logic, you’re essentially saying that everyone who isn’t “concerned” enough to implement policies to mitigate ACO2 emissions on a relatively short-term timescale, is a slave-owner, or a Nazi. Maybe I’ve gone to far with that (I’m sure you wouldn’t accept that as a description of your position) – so then please explain how I”m wrong. Not with reference to your logic, but with respect to the larger point about the importance of finding common ground, not with your “enemies” but with enough people with whom you can establish common interests.

    is the alternative is to marshal the power of those people who have a similar position as you, and leverage the political power of that group? Maybe so, but then you’d better hope that you have sufficient power.

    There is no common ground between pro-choice and pro-life positions that will resolve the conflict over abortion.

    For there to be common ground between the ‘climate concerned’ and the apathetic and luckwarmers would mean that they share a view of a common threat over which they can form an alliance to carry out a mutually agreed response.

    So this seems to be problematic. First, it lumps “lukewarmers” in with the “apathetic.” I think that is way too broad an association. “Lukewarmers” are a group that are identified by their identity-orientation (basically, they identify as a group as being in opposition to a hated group) much more than by any actual, fleshed-out technical standpoint – even though they also share the characteristic as claiming a (vague and inconsistent) technical standpoint as a defining characteristic That seems entirely distinct from the vast majority of people who are “apathetic” about climate change.

    Second, it puts a whole lot of folks into the “enemy” camp. You may win a power struggle with such a large enemy. But maybe you’d be better to try to divide group up a bit, and see if there are enough who could agree that you share some common interests with them – interests such as wanting to avoid large-scale risk on a long-term scale.

    But getting an admission that warming IS a threat can be hard enough. And as some contributors have made evident on this thread, while mitigation is the preferred response by many of the ‘climate concerned’, it is mitigation that is seen as the larger and primary threat by otters which precludes the existence of any common ground.

    See my comments above.

    Apparently any disruption that climate change can inflict is insignificant compared to the chaos that would be caused by regulating and reducing fossil fuel use. (?!)

    While such a view may characterize a certain group of folks, I think that for a great deal of the “apathetic,” their views are much more inchoate.

  164. Tesla quotes $25 million, not counting installation or delivery, for a 100MWh battery. Volkswagen is replacing 424 megawatts of coal plant capacity. Per your link, the batteries last 15 years. So, figure a true cost is somewhere around $1.7 million a year for replacement costs for each 100MWh battery that is only necessary to prevent the expensive solar panels from shutting down the factory and town.

    Perhaps this is why you link to a demonstration project of how to provide power on a geologic fault.

    You have, of course, called Volkswagen and the German government, to explain their obvious failure to understand energy. If Germans would only put some thought into energy and emissions, perhaps they could have established an energy policy like energiewende.

  165. Willard says:

    > perhaps they could have established an energy policy like energiewende.

    Alright, JeffN. Rope-a-doping from one talking point to the next stops here.

  166. jeff,
    Don’t you have to do the full calculation? They’re replacing 424 MW (according to you) at a cost of around $500 million (according to the article). That’s 3.7 billion kWh per year. That’s 55 billion kWh over 15 years. That sounds like about 9c per kWh. It’s getting late, so maybe I’ve done my sums wrong, and I don’t know what the running costs would be. However, if I have got it about right, it doesn’t sound like a particularly expensive option.

  167. “I’d be happy to answer that, as absurd a question as it is, if you could first explain WTF asking that question, and having it answered, has to do with reaching common ground.”

    Someone will be unhappy with anything that’s picked. I gave four reliable alternatives to fossil fuels, only one of them is nuclear. Which is your favorite? All four have identifiable interest groups in opposition to them, why are these groups’ concerns less interesting to you than anti-nuke groups?
    Common ground: To save the planet, it’s appropriate to ask conservatives to sign on to the democratic-socialist revolution (Dave Roberts’ phrase) but it’s just way too much to ask anti-nuke advocates to rethink a bit?

  168. “However, if I have got it about right, it doesn’t sound like a particularly expensive option.”
    The battery is one backup. It doesn’t produce power. You have to charge it with the solar panels, which also cost money and you wouldn’t need the battery if you didn’t use solar. But, again, Germany is serious about global warming (that’s not sarcasm), I assume they are thinking about these things when they approved the new gas plant. So, why gas?

  169. Jeff,
    As far as I’m aware, the numbers I was using was the full cost, not just the cost of the batteries.

  170. Willard says:

    > Common ground: To save the planet, it’s appropriate to ask conservatives to sign on to the democratic-socialist revolution (Dave Roberts’ phrase) but it’s just way too much to ask anti-nuke advocates to rethink a bit?

    Nothing spells like common ground than punching hippies.

    Let’s recall what Dave says:

    Given all those demands, the resolution does a remarkably good job of threading the needle. It is bold and unmistakably progressive, matched to the problem as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while avoiding a few needless fights and leaving room for plenty of debate over priorities and policy tools.

    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/2/7/18211709/green-new-deal-resolution-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-markey

    Instead of building on some common ground, JeffN emphasizes the discord between Dave and the Green New Deal. As if that deal was meant to seek a common ground with Freedom Fighters in the first place. Hint: it’s a Green deal.

    And so the tears of the world remain in equal quantity.

  171. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    … but it’s just way too much to ask anti-nuke advocates to rethink a bit?

    Have you stopped beating your wife?

  172. Willard says:

    Please, J –

    Have you stopped punching hippies.

    The times, they are changin’.

  173. Dave_Geologist says:

    jeff, our posts probably crossed but I repeat, because that is what a lot of the subsequent discussion was about: OAC’s FAQs are not the Bill. They’re what she’d have liked the Bill to be, and how she would like to implement the Bill if she had the power. Her personal manifesto, not proposed Law. It’s telling that conservative commentators focus on them, not the Bill. It’s almost as if there’s not much in the Bill that they can challenge with a straight face.

    Focus on the bill. It’s been drafted to achieve or explore common ground. That’s why it’s non-specific. I find it reasonably in line with my comment earlier. Agree to progressively reduce fossil fuel emissions. Do it piece-by-piece, adapting as some technologies prosper and others turn out to be dead ends. Debate nuclear or wind on their merits; don’t use one or the other to argue for inaction. Otherwise we might suspect you don’t believe global warming is real, or that the resulting climate change won’t be harmful, and that everything you’ve written on this thread is just a smokescreen. If that is the case, there’s no point in looking for common ground. Any more than I’d seek common ground with a Flat-Earther about flying to Australia then east to the USA. AGW denial is Flat-Earth wrong and CC harm denial is evolution-denial wrong. There is no middle ground. Actions which don’t include a damage-mitigation element in their calculations will be too slow. Essentially, business-as-usual and we’ll bust Paris big-time. All we can do is outvote you. And when that happens, as it will because eventually it will be impossible to deny by anyone other than the truly tribally committed, Republicans will be out of power for so long that all the others things they’re concerned about (abortion, gun control, universal healthcare ….) will go against them as well.

    At least engage with the topic: finding common ground. Punching hippies is so last-century. At least outside the USA. We find it tedious, like arguing over Bobby Ewing’s resurrection.

  174. “Agree to progressively reduce fossil fuel emissions. Do it piece-by-piece, adapting as some technologies prosper and others turn out to be dead ends. ”

    She sets a deadline. 10 years. If we have the luxury of progressively doing this and trying out different technologies, the time frame isn’t serious.
    The FAQs wasn’t some toss-away document. She sent it to the press as an explainer of what the GND would do- NPR published it online when she handed it to them (NPR is not a right-wing news outlet). There is nothing sinister in claiming “this is what they intend to do” when they say “this is what we intend to do.” The FAQ was also not fake- major news outlets, including the Washington Post, investigated that claim and determined it is false.

    She is AOC, not OAC- a typo I’m sure but I’ve seen it a few times on this thread. Her name is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez D-NY. The leader of the Democrats’ serious approach to global warming is a bartender with no connection to energy policy or science who got elected on a platform to bring socialism to the US (her words).

    Joshua- I’ve given four reliable alternatives to fossil fuels. There are six big ones with wind and solar (yes, yes, tide, hydrogen, geo-thermal, algae, fermented grains and plants etc.) All six of the main ones have reasonable, rationale objections including cost, reliability, environmental impact, and safety. Your turn, which of the six do you like and why should we ignore the people who object to them? Can you see that the people you choose to ignore won’t like it?

    ATTP, sorry I misread, I thought you were commenting on battery costs. Volkswagen’s decision developed over years of review with Energiewende officials who have a demonstrated commitment to solar, emissions reductions, combating climate change and economics. Why gas? One possible answer is that it’s a quick reduction of some GHG emissions – a bridge to CCS or better renewables. One answer we know isn’t true in Germany is climate skepticism or ignorance of the effectiveness of renewables.

  175. BBD says:

    Why gas?

    Probably because the project requirement is for 24/7 operation of an industrial process, rather than the more easily manageable domestic load, which lends itself more readily to a combination of VRE, batteries and demand management.

  176. Dave_Geologist says:

    She sets a deadline. 10 years

    Was I being overly charitable in my previous comment, jeff, when I pointed out that FAQs written by one of the sponsors of a Bill will not be passed into law unless they’re part of the Bill? You quote from my second post so there’s no excuse now. I searched the text of the Bill and the word “years” only occurs twice. Both historical references, and nothing to do with your “ten years”. You also conveniently ignored “technologically feasible”, which actually is in the Bill. Since you clearly believe that ten years is not technologically feasible, you must also believe that it’s pie-in-the-sky, even if the Bill became law. So you have nothing to worry about.

    Again, focus on the Bill, not the FAQ. The pea, not the shell. Perhaps that’s the first piece of common ground we have to reach. That it’s the pea that’s important, not the shell.

  177. Dave, there is no “bill” there is a resolution offered by a neophyte that gets vaguer with every telling of what it aims to do.
    Here is the lede of the New York Times story on the GND- they see the time limit.

    WASHINGTON — Liberal Democrats put flesh on their “Green New Deal” slogan on Thursday with a sweeping resolution intended to redefine the national debate on climate change by calling for the United States to eliminate additional emissions of carbon by 2030.

    Here is the NYTimes again noting the time limit in the same story:

    “It includes a 10-year commitment to convert “100 percent of the power demand in the United States” to “clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources,” to upgrade “all existing buildings” to meet energy efficiency requirements, and to expand high-speed rail so broadly that most air travel would be rendered obsolete.”

    And here is the link to the story in America’s most prominent newspaper so you can search for the phrase yourself: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/climate/green-new-deal.html

    Willard calls this climate ball, but I call it the press two-step: Step 1- Here’s a detailed proposal to solve AGW. Step 2. Did we say there would be costs? No way! We promise unspecified action, and vague costs less than you are willing to pay with stupendous undefined results!

  178. BBD says:

    Common ground would be to admit that:

    – BAU emissions is extremely dangerous

    – Not enough is being done about this

    – We need to be more ambitious in what we do

    – Relentlessly opposing any and all *talk* of more ambitions action is extremely foolish

  179. BBD, I agree with what you just wrote. I have also noted this day in my calendar.

  180. Dave_Geologist says:

    Bill, resolution, whatever jeff. I don’t grok US lawmaking procedures. If it’s passed, that will be the text that’s in the record. With no mention of ten years. But with mention of technological feasibility.

  181. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    I’m happy to share perspectives, but before I do so, I”d expect you to actually respond to my comments because that would be the first step of you actually showing that you’re interested in sharing perspectives. I honestly don’t get what you’re doing. It looks to me like it’s clear that each and every comment you’ve made in this thread is primarily about expressing your antipathy. Yet you also seem interested in having a discussion about reaching common ground – so I’m confused. I’ve pointed out, numerous times, which of your comments look antipathy-focused, and yet you keep making the same kinds of comments.

    For example:

    Your turn, which of the six do you like and why should we ignore the people who object to them?

    When did you stop beating your wife punching hippies?

    Can you see that the people you choose to ignore won’t like it?

    When did you stop beating your wife punching hippies?

    There’s no way for me to respond to those comments, because they aren’t actually related to anything I’ve said or that I believe.

  182. Joshua- What is the path forward- what do we as a nation do?
    This started as an exchange on the GND which I called unserious because it’s author said 100% renewable, decommission all nuclear, end fossil fuels and a grab bag of socialist add-ons within 10 years. This started a long string of claims the GND proposes none of those things. To which I show NPR reporting on the 100% renewable and no nukes, the New York Times recording the 10 year deadline and Dave Roberts writing up the bits about the socialist revolution. I note Roberts disagrees with NPRs reporting on the nukes, but the Washington Post fact checker found NPR et al cited a fact sheet written by the author of the GND. Common ground- I will concede that someone might have got her to change her mind on nuclear, though nobody has specifically asked her yet to my knowledge.
    I support nuclear, I’m fine with the other three reliable forms of alternative energy I mentioned. I’m fine with all the above (which is the status quo) I’m not fine with 100% renewable or her time frame or the socialist revolution.
    Your turn. Nobody disputes she wants to spend a lot of money over the next decade building stuff that’s not coal or gas. What do you think that should be? Props to AOC- before she changed her mind, she at least picked something and wrote it down. Have you?

  183. BBD says:

    Wind and solar are the obviously scalable choices and can displace quite considerable amounts of coal and gas from the US energy mix. There’s a fair degree of agreement that getting to 100% renewables will be a considerable technical challenge, but >50% in a couple of decades ought to be achievable. Maybe closer to 70% if there’s a real effort.

    Why is this such a big problem for you?

  184. BBD- because we’ve been hearing it since 1992. Several nations have been investing heavily in it for at least the last 20 years. We’ve learned a great deal in that time – including that 100% renewable proposals are ridiculous and even 40% is extraordinarily expensive.
    And there is the great unmentionable- if you need to remove 100% of fossil fuels and wind/solar could almost handle 50% of that at great cost while alternative X could handle almost 100% of the job at lower cost and you’d need it anyway to finish the job wind and solar can’t handle then…. why put up wind and solar installations you don’t need? It’s almost a feel good or status thing. I want a $7 sandwich for lunch- ah, but you must have this $30 thimble-full of lobster thermidor on the side to placate the lobster advocates! No thanks, just the sandwich, please.
    Use wind and solar for mid-day peaking, maybe some hydrogen production or something approximating baseload in select geographical areas. Use them for remote villages. Use something else for the heavily populated Washington DC to Boston corridor and don’t keep telling people you’d be able to use rooftop solar if the GOP would just die and Pielke would go away.

  185. BBD says:

    And there is the great unmentionable- if you need to remove 100% of fossil fuels and wind/solar could almost handle 50% of that at great cost while alternative X could handle almost 100% of the job at lower cost and you’d need it anyway to finish the job wind and solar can’t handle then…

    What is ‘alternative x’? If you are claiming that nuclear could decarbonise the electricity supply, it’s just BS.

  186. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    Props to AOC- before she changed her mind, she at least picked something and wrote it down. Have you?

    This looks like more of the same to me. It looks to me like you’re interested in playing gotcha; like you have some interest in painting me into a order or boxing me in. It looks to me like you’re trying to establish, here, who’s right and who’s wrong (without, btw, even really finding out what my view is, and instead just responding on the basis of [wrong] assumptions about what my view is).

    That is not a prescription for reaching common ground. It is not a way to go for win/win outcomes. Once again, I’m not offering to get involved in that kind of an exchange. There are plenty of folks here for you to play out the monotonous exercise of win/lose pissing matches.

    You don’t seem (to me) to have taken what I’ve said to heart. I don’t really see a change in your approach.

    I still haven’t seen a comment from you, directed towards me, that doesn’t leave me with that impression. Now maybe that’s on me. Maybe I’m paranoid. Maybe you really do want to here my perspective as an exercise in sharing views, to see if there’s some chance of finding common ground. But really do think that you could write a comment that doesn’t leave me with that impression, and still make your points about what you’d like to see happen, and leave me with the impression that you’re welcoming of my perspective (after all, we can’t reach common ground if I haven’t shared my perspective, now can we?).

  187. Joshua, What do you think the US should build?

    BBD- Alternative X options that work- hydro (dams), CCS (gas and coal), certain types of bio (burn trees) and nuclear. At one point nuclear power supplied 80% of the electricity in France. New York City gets 95% of its electricity from natural gas, nuclear and hydro-electric in that order. What would you replace the gas with? Do you think a climate plan should also replace the nuclear?

  188. Ken Fabian says:

    The Climate Concerned are where the common ground has to be – not anyplace between us and the climate science deniers and obstructionists. The notion that it takes being especially leftish or anti-nuclear to join – and you have to adopt those to be legit – is utter nonsense. The Climate Concerned are the most inclusive club you could find – it has room for disagreement about favouring nuclear, and in my experience, that has been a mostly civil discussion.

    Yes, the pro-nuclear folk are a minority within that widely varied group I am happy to name The Climate Concerned, but that’s because rightish, pro-nuclear folk have been too standoffish – and gullible about climate science denier memes – to join. When they do join there will be a bigger proportion who are optimistic about nuclear and will be able to draw on existing support within it for nuclear. As long as they stay behind the conservative-right’s Wall of Denial, support from either side of that divide can’t be mobilised effectively.

    Being one of The Climate Concerned does mean accepting what mainstream science is telling us about how our climate system work. Note, not what Greenpeace or Friend of the Earth says, but what The Royal Society and long running science agencies and institutions say – in the studies and reports they have been asked to provide policy makers and public. Long running science programs, with a lot of broad, non-partisan support, have long featured the finding out if we really could mess up our atmosphere so bad we could really regret it, even before the 1970’s Global Cooling Scare ( and thanks for that for giving climate science a big profile boost! But knowing exactly WHY we don’t have to worry about Imminent Global Cooling didn’t turn out quite as relieving as people thought.)

    Being an active participant in undermining public trust in that advice – which has not substantially changed in nearly 3 decades, whether commissioned by Left or Right – does tend to invalidate membership. That, on the whole, it is a group that has more leftiness just reflects that green-left types got onboard early and mainstream left leaning politics gave up on denial in the face of consistent expert advice as well – and only when mainstream conservative-right types follow suit will it be more reflective of broader political affiliations. Conservatives agreeing with the expert advice became framed as agreeing with green-lefties – rather than being a case of green-lefties agreeing with mainstream experts.

    (Mostly written last night – today we face out of control bushfires locally. The past two summer months have seen much less raining water than raining dead leaves, as trees shed leaves in more extreme drought conditions than I have seen here in 20 years; less than 10mm of rain, total, in that period – with drought only eased occasionally by inadequate rainfall before that.

    Conditions have gone past what being prepared to defend homes can hope to cope with. We are very likely to be advised to leave – if not ordered – and potentially all road access to this area could be cut off as well, just to add to the problems. Only significant rainfall will stop these fires now – and our BoM is not predicting any. But our local conservatives will not budge from their position that climate change is irrelevant to this – and are still dedicated to devising ways to subsidise new coal power stations as well. Sigh.)

  189. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    I’m an all of the above kind of guy. Plus, I’m not smart or knowledgeable enough to make well-informed suggestions. I’m more in the realm of listening to smart and knowlwdgeable people, and trying to evaluate the viability of competing claims, largely based on the structure of their argumentation more so than on the technical merits.

    Keep in mind, I think a lot of the arguments about “cost” are overly-certain, and likely reflective of ideological bias, because of the massive variables of externalities (positive and negative) that include but are not limited to the externalities directly associated with warming or extreme weather.

    Likewise, I think that there are a ton of arguments made about “feasibility” that amount o tautologies, because feasibility is largely, although not completely, a function of commitment – which is largely a function of ideological orientation. There is a massive range of what is “feasible” depending on your starting assumptions.

    That is all part of why I think that arguing about positions, rather than seeking synergistic interests, is rather a waste of time. If you’re arguing about positions, then you’re likely playing a zero sum power game. You’re appealing to your constituencies, part of which, for some, entails demonizing others and their positions, and proving your own positions to be intellectually and morally superior. In the end, that may be an effective strategy (it certainly has been for Trump,, and for the Republicans in the US for a long time as they have dominated climate-related policy development for a long time. OAC and company are making a power move in the other direction. I reflexively and constitutionally prefer a common ground approach, but I certainly can’t blame them for making a power move. I’m fairly agnostic about their chances of success, especially considering the possibility of a form of success through moving the Overton window. I heard a political science analysis recently that suggests that there is a built in legislative advantage to advocating change as opposed to maintaining the status quo.

    https://megaphone.link/VMP5363455172

    Who knows, maybe that’s right.

  190. Joshua says:

    Also, AOC.

  191. BBD says:

    JeffN

    BBD- Alternative X options that work- hydro (dams), CCS (gas and coal), certain types of bio (burn trees) and nuclear.

    Large (dam) hydro has very little if any expansion potential in the US. CCS is unproven. Burning trees may not even be carbon neutral and is controversial from an environmental impact POV.

    At one point nuclear power supplied 80% of the electricity in France.

    Nuclear cannot seem to get built either in the US or in the UK, which has just witnessed the collapse of its nuclear build-out strategy. The mess in the nuclear industry looks likely to inhibit large scale and rapid build out over the next couple of decades, which is when it is needed.

    So, the only viable, rapidily scalable alternative x appears to be wind and solar, with the necessary infrastructure of HVDC grid interconnetion / long distance transmission capacity expansion, PHES and battery reserves, smart local grids etc etc.

    Expensive yes, but one has to consider the fully externally costed use of FFs, especially going forward. When apples are compared with apples, the cost of an energy transition appears increasingly reasonable in context.

    A search for common ground needs to focus on this ground truth, alongside the fact that we will all get clobbered by climate impacts if we don’t get on and do something about decarbonsiation. Quickly.

  192. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    FWIW, from my not terribly informed perspective, I agree what BBD just wrote. His comments in response to your aspirational but completely un-fleshed out suggestions for hydro, and burning trees, in particular (in fact, I had a hard time believing you were serious with those suggestions, and I’m surprised he took them seriously enough to respond to them).

    And I believe we’ve discussed before some of my views about the economic “feasibility” of funding a massive build out of nuclear. In fact, as much as AOC’s first month congressional rep’s resolution is a long way from a fleshed-out proposal of policy legislation that will actually get voted on with a chance of passing, I. Think it’s a more meaningful statement of objective than your appeal to address AGW by burning more trees.

  193. BBD says:

    Ken F

    (Mostly written last night – today we face out of control bushfires locally. […]

    Conditions have gone past what being prepared to defend homes can hope to cope with. We are very likely to be advised to leave – if not ordered – and potentially all road access to this area could be cut off as well, just to add to the problems. Only significant rainfall will stop these fires now – and our BoM is not predicting any.

    This is awful and I’m extremely sorry to hear what is happening. I can only wish you and your family luck and safety over the coming hours and days.

  194. Steven Mosher says:

    “Focus on the bill. It’s been drafted to achieve or explore common ground. That’s why it’s non-specific. ”

    Now that is damn funny.

  195. Ken F- the problem for the climate concerned, if I may be permitted to use the term and I do not do so derisively, is that there is bi-partisan support for nuclear power in the US (and globally). In other words, it’s not possible to blame Republicans if you don’t build it.

    Joshua- I think you have the right approach. I do have concerns about the over-reliance on externality costs. They are real. But so is the fact that people will evaluate plans based on the formula that “my power bill is $200 a month today, how much will it be after this?” Regardless of the true price of externalities politicians will focus on making that delta as low as possible.

    Thanks BBD, I’m chewing on that and will respond. Gut response is that I don’t think people will accept the argument that wind/solar are the only options. Because they really aren’t.

  196. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    I agree that the price of energy (as distinct from the cost) is a very real issue for those who are explicitly linking climate change to leftist economics. Increasing the price works in tension with motivating lower income voters. Negotiating how to adresss the “cost” by pricing in externalities without increasing the price for lower income people a formidable obstacle, and I think that many of the people who are advocating for sweeping reforms need to develop strategies to prioritize overcoming that obstacle as they move their way forward. I think it is rather closed-minded to hold them against a standard of having worked it all out – as the alternatives (e. g., the status quo) are likewise very problematic (i. e., not accounting for externalities).

    In the end, I think that climate change, especially in a globs scale but also on a national scale, presents as a non-zero sum problem. I think we are pretty much locked into a zero sum framework, however, and I’m not sure what will get us out of that framework short of large scale, and unambiguous climate impact – who h may well only manifest after addressing the problems become exponentially more expensive.

    Some parallel discussion here about a non-zero sum background, and how it projects onto “progressive” views on foreign policy from across the spectrum.

  197. BBD says:

    Thanks BBD, I’m chewing on that and will respond. Gut response is that I don’t think people will accept the argument that wind/solar are the only options. Because they really aren’t.

    Far better minds than mine have pondered this question and arrived at the conclusion that they really are. Feel free to make alternative suggestions, but be aware that I know this topic well.

  198. BBD says:

    Ken F- the problem for the climate concerned, if I may be permitted to use the term and I do not do so derisively, is that there is bi-partisan support for nuclear power in the US (and globally). In other words, it’s not possible to blame Republicans if you don’t build it.

    Enough of the nuclear misdirection, I think. Nuclear is not the solution to climate change. You need not take my word for it of course. Here is the nuclear industry trade body’s optimistic take on what nuclear might bring by mid-century under favourable assumptions – which are not being met now (my bold):

    World Nuclear Association Harmony programme

    The World Nuclear Association has published its Harmony vision for the future of electricity, developed from the International Energy Agency’s ‘2°C Scenario’ (2DS) in reducing CO2 emissions*. This IEA scenario adds 680 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2050, giving 930 GWe then (after 150 GWe retirements from 2014’s 396 GWe), providing 17% of world electricity. Harmony sets a further goal for the nuclear industry, drawing on the experience of nuclear construction in the 1980s.

    * See section above on the 2015 edition of the International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Perspectives.

    The Harmony goal is for the nuclear industry to provide 25% of global electricity and build 1000 GWe of new nuclear capacity by 2050. The World Nuclear Association says this requires an economic and technological level playing field, harmonised regulatory processes to streamline nuclear construction, and an effective safety paradigm which focuses safety efforts on measures that make the most difference to public wellbeing. The build schedule would involve adding 10 GWe per year to 2020, 25 GWe per year to 2025, and 33 GWe per year from then. This rate compares with 31 GWe per year in the mid-1980s. The Harmony goal is put forward at a time when the limitations, costs and unreliability of other low-carbon sources of electricity are becoming politically high-profile in several countries.

    Source: WNA

    Yes, that’s correct: even the WNA estimates just 25% of global electricity generation from nuclear by 2050, and that’s under favourable assumptions. So 75% of global electricity generation must come from other low-carbon sources. Wind and solar are market-ready, rapidly scalable choices for providing much of the required capacity. Neither are perfect and fully costed, neither will be cheap, as often claimed, but it is very difficult to see what else could be used to fill the low-carbon capacity deficit.

  199. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    Ken F- the problem for the climate concerned, if I may be permitted to use the term and I do not do so derisively, is that there is bi-partisan support for nuclear power in the US (and globally). In other words, it’s not possible to blame Republicans if you don’t build it.

    My impression is that Republicans are in favor nuclear in the abstract, especially since it is a convenient way to politically demonize the left (i.e., hippie punch) for the oppostion that resides in that side of the climate divide. In the reality of having to finance nuclear – including dealing with the waste – and putting it in their back yards, the support is likely to drop rather steeply, IMO – especially considering that the financing and other logistical aspects will require an elaborate and highly functional government and highly centralized energy policy planning and implementation.

    But regardless, demonizing and ridiculing the left for its opposition, and [lumping] all left-leaning opposition as mere tribalism (as I see very often), is once again antithetical to a common ground approach.

    If you believe in a zero sum/scorched earth approach, then have at it but just know that in these eyes, what you’re saying there looks to be primarily identity politics.

  200. Joshua- agree, but I would say it’s not just low income people. The middle class and even upper middle class are energy price sensitive. A significant increase in energy prices would have a noticeable impact on the monthly budget of a family with a house and two cars in the suburbs.

    BBD- I’ve seen you reference the Harmony goal before. The word “global” is pretty important. 25% of global electricity generation would be heavily focused on densely populated western nations and industrial centers of developing economies in China and India.
    For those following along, the Harmony goal would more than double world nuclear energy
    production- from 11% to 25%. Given where that would happen, it would have more impact on global emissions than would posing the question of how to use solar power to reduce emissions in, say, Montana or Congo. In short, it means most of Europe and the heavily populated areas of the United States, Canada, Australia, China, India and Brazil will be nuclear. The debate then would probably be that, with hydro, gas and some geographically favorable wind and solar and Harmony, have we ended the climate crisis?

    I’m not convinced a consensus of even those most concerned and knowledgeable about climate change agrees with the “only viable” phrasing in your statement: “So, the only viable, rapidily scalable alternative x appears to be wind and solar, with the necessary infrastructure….”

  201. “My impression is that Republicans are in favor nuclear in the abstract, especially since it is a convenient way to politically demonize the left (i.e., hippie punch) for the oppostion that resides in that side of the climate divide. ”

    I think this is a problem of hyper-partisanship adopted by both tribes. The GOP tends toward that which is economically favorable. Currently that is natural gas. They will always resist the highest-price alternative, especially if it’s not necessary, and they won’t join the socialist revolution. You’re welcome to call that “hippie punching” if you like, but that would be part of the problem- because the GOP position is rational.

  202. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    but I would say it’s not just low income people. The middle class and even upper middle class are energy price sensitive.

    I was trying to make the point that climate policies that will increase the oeixd of energy for lower income people (not them only, of course) couples with other economic policies to benefit lower income people, has a problematic contradiction. GND folks are hoping to get political support from minorities and the young. It is a key component – animating “the base.” increasing the price of energy would have to be directly dealt with in some fashion. Lefties with more money would be more inclined to accept a higher price for energy in trade for accountability for the cost of pricing in externalities, IMO. I know I would.

  203. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    The GOP tends toward that which is economically favorable.

    Both tribes tend towards what they consider to be economically favorable. And both tribes filter evidence about economics through their tribalistic preferences. Look at how the tribes leverage concern about deficits, for example, or the economics of immigration.

    Currently that is natural gas. They will always resist the highest-price alternative, especially if it’s not necessary, and they won’t join the socialist revolution. You’re welcome to call that “hippie punching” if you like,

    You seem to have misunderstood what I was referring to as hippie punching. What I am referring to is the use of convenient extreme examples and mischaracterizations to assign guilt by association. AOC is a great example.

    but that would be part of the problem- .

    Sure, there are many parts to the problem

    because the GOP position is rational.

    As opposed to Demz?

    With such a belief, you rule out a common ground approach. Again, I don’t know why you, repeatedly, suggest you’re interested in a common ground approach (as indicated by your criticism of others for their tribalism – indicating you consider it inherently counterproductive) and then make comments like that.

    What’s the point of that?

  204. Willard says:

    > You’re welcome to call that “hippie punching” if you like, but that would be part of the problem- because the GOP position is rational.

    Are you suggesting that to punch hippies is irrational, JeffN?

    Here’s how we luckwarmingly seek a common ground:

  205. BBD says:

    JeffN

    BBD- I’ve seen you reference the Harmony goal before. The word “global” is pretty important. 25% of global electricity generation would be heavily focused on densely populated western nations and industrial centers of developing economies in China and India.

    […]

    In short, it means most of Europe and the heavily populated areas of the United States, Canada, Australia, China, India and Brazil will be nuclear.

    All the available evidence strongly indicates that this is not going to happen. Furthermore, if 75% of global electricity generation will *not* be nuclear, then it needs to be some other low-carbon technology. Wind and solar remain the only currently market-ready technologies with the potential to scale to do the job. This leaves you exactly where you started off: objecting to the most obvious solution to the problem for no concrete reason while pushing nuclear which is clearly only going to deal with a modest part of the challenge.

    That’s not seeking common ground.

  206. “As opposed to Demz?”
    I made no comment on Demz. I said the GOP position is rational. It is. That’s a stand alone proposition. The GOP is not opposing the on-going switch to natural gas from coal in the United States. They did not oppose the rapid switch to nuclear power in the ’70s and ’80s. Both the gas and nuclear switch were done because they made economic sense.

    Since you asked for my thoughts on Demz. The GND* is less rational that the GOP position on energy and pays no attention at all to economically favorable policy. Many, many Demz hold rational positions and are enthusiastically running far, far away from the GND. This is a good thing. Common ground.

    *this refers to the GND as described by it’s author yet later disavowed which now is to be understood as solving global warming and providing housing and economic security, health care and free college in a non-binding cost-free manner where technologically feasible.

  207. BBD- “All the available evidence strongly indicates that this is not going to happen. ”

    I confess I must be confused about your position. You seem to accept if not support the Harmony goal. The Harmony goal specifically calls for more than doubling global nuclear power production. Where do you think this doubling will take place? Me? I think it will be in wealthy developed nations + industrial areas of developing nations. I don’t think it will be in Montana or Congo.
    Once wealthy developed nations and industrial sectors of developing nations are switched to nuclear (with some gas, hydro maybe with some solar or wind for peaking), it is an interesting question if we care at that point what powers the Congo and Montana. Gas may be just fine.

  208. BBD says:

    Where do you think this doubling will take place?

    At present, it’s difficult to see it taking place anywhere. Which I agree is unfortunate.

  209. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    I said the GOP position is rational. It is.

    Of course it’s rational. It is based on their view of economic benefit, to themselves, or perhaps to society as a whole.

    That is no different than anyone else. Passing judgement on someone else’s “rationality” is a tricky business, IMO.

    But the bottom line is that if you’re assessing other people’s views as being irrational, then you are by definition dismissing the goal of reaching common ground with you. It’s simple common sense that a person will not be open to reaching common ground with you a long as you are so convinced that their views are irrational.

    The GND* is less rational that the GOP position on energy and pays no attention at all to economically favorable policy.

    Yes, you’ve made it clear that you feel that way. And I have repeatedly indicated that as long as you take that stance, and even further, seek to leverage what you consider to be irrationality to gain tribal advantage, you will not advance further onto common ground – at least with anyone who agrees with specifics of the GND (to the extent they are as yet specified), who agrees with the basic aspirational goals of the GND, or likely even anyone who identifies with the people who are advocating for the GND even if they don’t align with the specifics or the aspirational goals. That seems to me to eliminate a very wide swath of the people you’d need to gain common ground with in order to make progress.

    It seems rather clear to me that you’re purpose in focusing on the GND is to, specifically, leverage what you consider to be their irrationality and their extremism. Of course, I allow for the possibility that I”m wrong about that, but your (what appears to me to be) obstinance in repeating the same rhetorical frame only reinforces my beginning impressions.

    the Many, many Demz hold rational positions and are enthusiastically running far, far away from the GND. This is a good thing. Common ground.

    I think that seeking to exploit AOC, the GND, etc., by calling her/it “irrational” is a rather flawed means for gaining common ground. It’s clear, for one, that is the approach of Trump, Fox News, WUWT and the “skept-o-sphere” more generally. So for one, you are adopting the same position as those who are clearly not seeking common ground, but seeking to exploit a zero sum frame in order to win a political/ideological/tribal engagement.

    So in the very least, you are exposing yourself to a potential misunderstanding that you are in fact, engaging in a zero sum game in the same manner as they are.

    But even more, you have narrowed your partners on any common ground, significantly, and I’d say to a tiny sliver. You’ve reduced your potential partners to only those who are explicitly concerned about climate change, but who are attracted to your style of ridicule and pejorative labeling.

    That does seem a bit illogical to me (I won’t call it irrational, as it’s an irrational way to accomplish certain goals), since you also seem to believe (through your criticism of tribalism in others) that tribalism is inherently contradictory to reaching common ground – but yet persist in exacerbating tribalism. Again, some might call that irrational. But doing so would mean to pass judgement on what your goal is. Maybe your repeated pattern of acting that way is entirely rational, even if it is inconsistent with some of the beliefs you have expressed.

    *this refers to the GND as described by it’s author yet later disavowed which now is to be understood as solving global warming and providing housing and economic security, health care and free college in a non-binding cost-free manner where technologically feasible.

    Once again, you seem to display in interest in leveraging ridicule, patronizing and poor-faith engagement. And once again, I will say that is not, IMO, anything that is likely to advance any goals of reaching common ground. In the least, it is an opportunity lost and a waste of time, but actually I think that negative impact is more significant than that. You won’t gain trust and favor with anyone who doesn’t engage in a similar approach, but even more, you will foster distrust n them – and you’ve already established common ground with the tribe who likewise engages in such a pattern of behavior (bringing no added benefit – again, it seems at best to be a waste of time in that it brings no net benefit).

    OK. That seems like enough. I give. Clearly, despite repeating myself over and over, I haven’t been able to get my point across convincingly. Such is life, eh?

  210. BBD- Ah. I get it now. Yes, I think you are right and agree that it is unfortunate.

    Joshua- “And I have repeatedly indicated that as long as you take that stance, and even further, seek to leverage what you consider to be irrationality to gain tribal advantage, you will not advance further onto common ground…”

    Sometimes you have to say no to crazy in order to find common ground. Both tribes have “crazy”. On the right, we need to say no to Inhofe, “hoax” and sky dragons. And I invite you to make fun of them. Flying your own dragons and protecting them won’t help.

  211. Joshua says:

    And I invite you to make fun of them.

    Making fun of Inhofe has produced dramatic, positive results? How are you measuring that?

    Plus, consider the subjectivity in how you determine who is “crazy.” F

    For some people, calling other people crazy and focusing on them as a substantive component of their discussion, becomes an end in and of itself, IMO. I don’t get the impression that it has much association with positive outcomes, and in particular with respect to reaching common ground.

    There’s a certain level of personal satisfaction that people feel from calling others “crazy,” from calling others “stupid,” from including ridicule in their engagement. It seems that it makes people feel better about themselves, and feel more solidarity with their tribe. Given your repeated interest in engaging at that level, despite your recognition of the counterproductivity of tribalism, you seem to get something out of it. You may find some additional benefit in addition to some personal sense of satisfaction…needless to say, I”m skeptical.

  212. Ken Fabian says:

    Jeff, if US Republicans have a policy of addressing climate change with nuclear it is news to me -more like acting like it is entirely up to others to fix the climate problem and then criticising them for not doing it the way they prefer. As long as US Republicans lie about climate change to justify opposing strong action they cannot use the truth about it to promote strong action using nuclear. There is nothing good about climate science denial and no rational policy is going to come from those who are engaging in it; for The Climate concerned to trust such people with such demonstrable poor judgement to know what technologies will fix the problem best is a real stretch.

    I will stand by what I said above – being Climate Concerned IS the middle ground, and it is not intrinsically left or anti-nuclear. Any appearance of being so is a consequence of the non-participation of the pro-nuclear right, not the early and noisy participation of unreasoning anti-nuclear activists.The idea that a fringe minority of extremists are why others who are climate concerned aren’t enthusiastic promoters of nuclear underestimates our ability to seek to be well informed about our energy options and think for ourselves. I suspect that when the pro-nuclear Right give up the denial the “just use nuclear, problem fixed” rhetoric will take a big hit; instead of being an article of faith, it will get examined – and the bottom line that RE gives more immediate results at lower cost will become apparent.

    Looking past the “just use nuclear, problem fixed” rhetoric, we have found legitimate reasons to raise solar and wind above nuclear in our immediate priorities. Isn’t that one of the key themes of climate obstructionist rhetoric, that we are unthinking followers of fads without substance? Earlier rhetoric treated global warming itself as the fad without substance, now it has morphed into renewable energy as the fad without substance. But I think climate science denial is the fad without substance.

    Thanks BBD for the good wishes. The immediate fire situation has eased somewhat for us – cooler conditions. And the ongoing efforts of volunteer firefighters have made some gains between us and the nearest blaze. With recurring extreme high temperatures and no rain it is likely to be only a temporary reprieve – not sure, but I think that it has been this dry before, but never so hot with it. It does bring home just how serious adding another 3 C or more to the global surface temperature will get in places that already have extreme summer heat – a very large proportion of the human population. A very different view of it to those in cold places, who may imagine warming as harmless or even an improvement.

  213. Ben McMillan says:

    It has been quite interesting seeing the debate and outcomes on new power generation in the UK for the last decade or so.

    In fact the political opposition to nuclear has been pretty weak and ineffectual: the protests about the third airport at Heathrow have been much more prominent, for example, and have had an impact on the MPs. I think in fact a lot of the UK are pretty pragmatic about nuclear, including many of those who are ‘climate concerned’.

    Indeed, the Tory government has managed to get Hinckley C construction started, but all the other new nuclear in the UK look doomed. Basically this is a financial problem: there have been very strong incentives given to new nuclear, but despite these, no-one can make the finances work.

    On the other hand offshore wind now looks increasingly attractive. Projects don’t involve very large risks to constructors, and the time delay between planning and power to the grid is only a couple of years. Partly as a result, in the last 10 years, wind+solar have gone from basically nothing to generating about as much electricity as the UK nuclear fleet.

    So at least in the UK, I don’t think “why don’t we just do nuclear” as a talking point is really very effective. We know why it isn’t being done, and it is not primarily a political issue.

    It looks on the other hand as though local pollution (dirty diesel) is starting to become an important political issue: hopefully this is good news on the climate front in terms of electrified transport. I guess it provides common ground between the “climate concerned” and those who just want their children to breathe clean air.

  214. BBD says:

    Indeed, the Tory government has managed to get Hinckley C construction started, but all the other new nuclear in the UK look doomed. Basically this is a financial problem: there have been very strong incentives given to new nuclear, but despite these, no-one can make the finances work.

    Yup – JeffN, please take note.

    Sometimes you have to say no to crazy in order to find common ground.

    So we are going to need to generate >75% of global electricity using non-nuclear low-carbon technology. Wind and solar are the obvious candidates (and you cannot provide alternatives when asked) but you oppose them, which is illogical and disruptive of progress towards the common ground of avoiding climate impacts. So who’s crazy?

  215. BBD says:

    Ken F

    Thanks BBD for the good wishes. The immediate fire situation has eased somewhat for us – cooler conditions. And the ongoing efforts of volunteer firefighters have made some gains between us and the nearest blaze. With recurring extreme high temperatures and no rain it is likely to be only a temporary reprieve – not sure, but I think that it has been this dry before, but never so hot with it.

    Very glad to hear that you have escaped the worst. Once again, I can only wish you all the best over the next days and hope that the fires come no nearer.

  216. BBD- “(and you cannot provide alternatives when asked) ” I provided three renewable, one nuclear, and natural gas. All are not wind and solar. Take note.

    Ken, best wishes as well on the fires. “As long as US Republicans lie about climate change to justify opposing strong action…”

    US Democrats doubled American oil and gas production under President Obama. Nuclear doesn’t make economic sense as a result of the cheap gas that is reducing US emissions as we speak. We’re exporting coal- just like Oz. The Republican position is that you are welcome to replace gas (and coal) with whatever costs it’s users roughly the same amount. If wind/solar could do that, have at it. Texas – a bright red state – has either the highest or one of the highest penetrations of wind/solar in the US. The Democrats current official reply is that they may (or may not) do something about climate, but only after the “socialist revolution.” Good luck.
    As an aside, that doubling of fossil fuel production in the US was a globally transformational technical revolution. Huge reserves are now recorded from South Africa to Israel to Mexico and Venezuela. The US EIA projects American daily oil production will be higher than it is today through at least 2050. The yellow vests in France are noting that $7/gallon motor fuel, dependence on Russia, and shifting CO2 emissions to China (with the result of increasing global emissions) are now purely political choices that don’t make sense.

  217. BBD says:

    BBD- “(and you cannot provide alternatives when asked) ” I provided three renewable, one nuclear, and natural gas. All are not wind and solar. Take note.

    You incorrectly stated that dam hydro, tree biomass and vapourware CCS were ‘alternatives’ implicitly capable of very large-scale deployment. I pointed out the triple error at the time. Take note. It’s also clear that nuclear is a long way from the silver bullet you keep trying to claim it is. Again, please take note.

    Which brings us back to wind and solar, the logical choices for large-scale deployment for reasons now repeatedly stated and never seriously challenged by you.

    We are going to need to generate >75% of global electricity using non-nuclear low-carbon technology. Wind and solar are the obvious candidates (and you cannot provide alternatives when asked) but you oppose them, which is illogical and disruptive of progress towards the common ground of avoiding climate impacts. So who’s crazy?

  218. anoilman says:

    Actually, you don’t need to solve the problem completely now, with a 12 stage roll out plan. 🙂 That would be stupid. No one credible talks like that.

    You need to stop emitting carbon.. Yeah I know… we can’t… but you need to cut back. (Efficiency)

    You need to start rolling out low carbon.. As you do this you’ll find a way forward. (Note.. all solar/wind is baaad for carbon. We need to go lower.)

    As an engineer, I find it best to aim for perfection because I’ll probably fall short of that.

  219. anoilman says:

    jeffnsails850: SO many things you presenting badly.
    “US Democrats doubled American oil and gas production under President Obama. Nuclear doesn’t make economic sense as a result of the cheap gas that is reducing US emissions as we speak. “
    The US was printing money (from previous economic collapse) and shoveling it into unconventional fuels. You still haven’t paid for that oil, and its being sold at a loss.
    https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/04/18/finances-great-american-fracking-bubble

    Trump gave them back all their losses, so they are doubling down; SMART!
    https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/04/26/gop-tax-law-bails-out-fracking-companies-debt-eog-hamm

    “The Democrats current official reply is that they may (or may not) do something about climate, but only after the “socialist revolution.”” Really? When did they say that? I can’t imagine that being some sort of mantra, and of course, its not like socilizm is required, especially when trillions of actual US dollars are being pumped into money losers like oil. According to you, all we need is corporate welfare.
    https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/02/07/north-america-natural-gas-fracking-financial-crisis-investors

    “As an aside, that doubling of fossil fuel production in the US was a globally transformational technical revolution. “ WHAT! Really! Where! Where is the new technology! LOL You don’t know what you are talking about. Don’t take my word for it, take the CEO of Schlumberger’s word for it;
    https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/10/30/peak-shale-us-fracking-industry-permian-decline

    “The yellow vests in France are noting that $7/gallon motor fuel, dependence on Russia, and shifting CO2 emissions to China (with the result of increasing global emissions) are now purely political choices that don’t make sense.” Yeah whatever… try to keep up with reality. Natural Gas and Oil in Europe… Look up that pipeline from Azerbaijan, and how about all that natural gas in Israel.

    Interesting that you think of the Yellow Vests, clearly you dno’t mind of foreigners try to undermine your country. I’d be ticked myself;
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/annalisagirardi/2019/02/13/the-economic-consequences-of-the-france-italy-diplomatic-crisis-might-be-worse-than-expected/

  220. ““ WHAT! Really! Where! Where is the new technology! LOL”

    US domestic production of oil doubled between 2008 and 2016 – Obama’s presidency. It’s gone up since then and set records in 2018 not seen since 1970. But sure, a blog says it never happened.

    Oil and natural gas production in Texas alone in 2018 had a higher revenue value than the global revenue of Google. Exxon owned companies are the largest producers in the state- Exxon is publicly owned and paid $3.28 per share in 2018. Its largest shareholders are the retirement and pension funds of some 10-20 million American families. Google, home of billionaire and millionaire executives, is also publicly owned but has never paid a dime to shareholders and is currently dodging tax collectors around the globe. Google requires the services of millions of internet servers powered by coal.

    Schlumberger- which refers to the recent growth in production as a technology driven “revolution” on its website: is a provider of oil drilling services – particularly deep water. As proof that there was no revolution you cite an oil drilling services company that acknowledges the revolution and is urging the industry to spend more on oil drilling services! Oh my! LOL. But I’m sure DeSmogBlog is right- show us the link to the story about Schlumberger getting out of this dead business model and diversifying into solar panels.

  221. Willard says:

    > Oh my! LOL. But I’m sure DeSmogBlog is right- show us the link to the story about Schlumberger getting out of this dead business model and diversifying into solar panels.

    See, Oilman? That’s what lulzing gets you. Notice how JeffN synchronizes with the interlocutors he picks. With Joshua, the peddling was longwinded and polite. With BBD, it was more assertive. Nothing much will change his hippie punching, and if you grant him incredibilism, it may never end.

    In ClimateBall, well poisoning is asymmetric – it favors visitors. Don’t let JeffN poison AT’s well.

  222. anoilman says:

    “The US was printing money (from previous economic collapse) and shoveling it into unconventional fuels. You still haven’t paid for that oil, and its being sold at a loss.”
    https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/04/18/finances-great-american-fracking-bubble

    Yup, it’s a trialogue.

  223. anoilman says:

    Meh..jeffnsails850 didn’t even defend his own thesis that there was new technology. He also confuses stock value with actual profits. They aren’t the same, just look up Tesla.

    I guess I will just have to munch my chill pill confident he publicly refuses to defend his views.

    Paul Pukite: I’m actually more concerned about the long term side effects of all that drilling. We still don’t have ‘forever cement’, so everywhere there has been drilling is a perpetual risk of leaking.

    Cutting edge tech here is 1000 year cement, which means we can expect to see wells oozing away in 100. If you consider just how many wells there are, this will be a SWAGGY (?) whack a mole contest for future generations to pay for. What’s the big deal? Capping wells isn’t cheap $200k each, and of course the original land owners will be stuck with the bills and property damage.

    Of course, this concern is an excellent contrast of deniers wanting exact specific solutions priced to the penny to all issues of renewable energy, while at the same time supporting airy unplanned shortsighted messing around by the oil industry.

  224. Willard says:

    > I will just have to munch my chill pill confident he publicly refuses to defend his views.

    Well, Oilman, you could use JeffN’s talking points to reinforce your own points, as they’re the ones that matter most, at least to you. It also gives readers something else to ponder on than tit for tats. For instance:

    From a fundamental perspective, ExxonMobil does have some challenges to overcome. Declining production rates have plagued the energy giant in recent years, indicating that management is having trouble finding the highly lucrative projects that it prefers to emphasize in allocating capital resources. Although Exxon’s cost structure is fairly resilient to falling oil prices, it doesn’t make the impact on profitability any less severe when crude drops significantly.

    […]

    In the past, when ExxonMobil has needed to commit to large investments in order to stay financially healthy, it’s toned down its dividend increases for the year. I think that’s likely for 2019, and so I suspect that shareholders will see just a $0.02-per-share boost near midyear to bring the new payout to $0.84 per share. That’ll give Exxon plenty of flexibility to keep investing available cash back into its business while still meeting its commitment to shareholders.

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/01/17/will-exxonmobil-raise-its-dividend-in-2019.aspx

    At around 4,5% earning-per-share, it does not look like a bad swing trading move. For institutional holders or as a buy-and-hold move, it sucks big time – its share price did not increase the last ten years while the S&P gained 200%. And it fell the last five years.

    It’s not too hard to find good .UN stocks in the electricity sector that offer a similar dividend as XOM with more interesting share profit prospects.

  225. Hi Willard
    Exxon stock price has a couple problems. First, they were late to the US shale revolution
    https://money.cnn.com/2017/01/17/investing/exxon-buys-permian-basin-shale-oil/index.html
    Of course CNN is wrong there because anoilman says there was no revolution.
    Second problem was the drop in oil prices that reduced profit margins as Motley Fool notes in several stories about Exxon. But, of course, that dip didn’t happen either because as anoilman notes, there’s no oil left so prices must have been high.
    Motley Fool reports on Exxon’s long range plans – especially the production from the “massive” (their word) recent oil find in Guyana that will be producing by 2025 (which also couldn’t have happened per anoilman).

    Meanwhile in your zeal to play climateball you dodged the issue. There was a revolution in oil and gas production, it happened under the watch of President Obama, this revolution is global, it changed the market outlook for energy, it’s killing coal making wind/solar ridiculous and dropping the price of gasoline and diesel globally. It makes folks like rural Frenchmen ask disturbing questions such as: “tell me again why I’m paying ze $7 a gallon when everyone else pays ze $2? Ze Climate Change? Ze Climate Change you zaid to China is okay to burn as much as zey want for ze next decade?”

  226. JCH says:

    It’s worse than it looks. ExxMob has repurchased a gigantic number of shares. At one point a financial analyst wrote they were on a pace to become a private company in less than 6 years. They’ve backed off on that.

    They paid too much for XTO.

    Ultimately, grooming successors simply elevates hapless brown nosers.

  227. BBD says:

    How does burning oil and gas and emitting CO2 make low-carbon W&S ‘ridiculous’? Burning fossil fuels engages the laws of physics, not suspends them.

    Or do you reject the physics of climatology in favour [of] pure economics?

  228. Willard says:

    > you dodged the issue.

    One does not simply rope-a-dope from one talking point to the next in the ClimateBall ring and then complain about Ze Issue, dear JeffN. Paying due diligence to your claims regarding Exxon shows they’re misleading at best. What you’re still peddling right is loud and clear:

    Remember when “sophomoric” was defined as immature foolishness? Now we have a whole political party organized to appeal to sophomores! What could go wrong?

    https://judithcurry.com/2019/02/07/climate-hypochondria-and-tribalism-vs-winning/#comment-889339

    Considering that the typical Fox News viewer is a 68 years old white conservative man and the teh Donald speaks at the level of an 8 years old, you’re in no position to punch much hippies right now.

  229. jeffnsails80 said

    “Exxon stock price has a couple problems. First, they were late to the US shale revolution
    https://money.cnn.com/2017/01/17/investing/exxon-buys-permian-basin-shale-oil/index.html
    Of course CNN is wrong there because anoilman says there was no revolution.”

    Fracking for oil is as much a “revolution” as the gold rush in the 1800’s was a revolution. Like the gold rush, it will last a few years and then will transition to ghost towns. And worse, as anoilman related, they will be leaky ghost towns.

  230. At around 4,5% earning-per-share…

    That’s the dividend yield (now about 4.3%), not the “profit” yield (at a p/e of 15.63, that would be 6.4%).

    its share price did not increase the last ten years… And it fell the last five years.

    If the large long-horizon institutional shareholders work with the large integrated oil companies on an orderly wind-up/standing of their assets – i.e. a terminal share price of $0 in, say, 20 years – these will be excellent investments. (Although there is a good chance that they will not be public companies for much of that process). Similarly, a few of them may make successfully make a transition to to a different line of business, although, again, that will be difficult to do as public companies.

  231. anoilman says:

    The issue with oil these days is debt… Its like credit cards you never have to pay it back! Right now 29% of production is paying debt.
    https://www.oilystuffblog.com/single-post/2018/10/19/Deep-The-Denial

    And this isn’t you know… some blogger saying it;
    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/US-Shale-Has-A-Glaring-Problem.html
    http://www.kallanishenergy.com/2018/10/10/north-american-og-industry-faces-240b-of-maturities-through-2023/

    A sea of RED;
    http://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Red-Flags-on-U.S.-Fracking_October-2018.pdf

    How could you say no to this little fella?

  232. Willard says:

    > If the large long-horizon institutional shareholders work with the large integrated oil companies on an orderly wind-up/standing of their assets – i.e. a terminal share price of $0 in, say, 20 years – these will be excellent investments.

    Haven’t considered this. Might be a good idea for really big institutions to step in. Looks more sustainable for the public than invading yet another foreign country. Also, reminds me of this interpretation of a common ground:

    Instead of trying to find an action A over which everybody would agree (there’s a set of results against that idea), we could try to find what works elsewhere and steal it (there’s another a set of results for that idea.) Here is a simulator one could play with:

    https://us.energypolicy.solutions/scenarios/home#

    Maybe Alpha should stop playing stupid games and start helping us for real.

  233. [Alright. Thank you for your concerns, JeffN. -W]

  234. I agree with pretty much everything in the post. I believe the motives of the climate deniers are more sinister than mere ignorance. In any case, to me, “finding common ground” does NOT mean you necessarily begin with the topic at hand. BEFORE getting into that at all, you need to find real common ground which need not immediately have anything to do with climate, petroleum, political power, etc. A myth about this …. https://petersironwood.com/2018/08/03/the-myths-of-the-veritas-the-forgotten-field/

  235. Ben McMillan says:

    That energy policy solutions tool in Willard’s last post is pretty cool.

  236. Pingback: Open thread: Youth strike for climate | …and Then There's Physics

  237. Willard says:

    Manual pingback:

    Gather round boys and girls, because I want to tell you a story. It is a tale of two fearsome warriors engaged in a battle for your ecological soul. The first was an esteemed expert in all matters climatological and psychological. For the purposes of the tale, I will call him Stephan Lewandowsky. The second was a notorious denier of science who sought to overthrow the received wisdom of the many, with specious hand-waving arguments that flew in the face of all that is known of physics and basic mathematics. For the purposes of the tale, I will call him Ben Pile. Hear me now as I recount the day when they duelled at dawn, ably refereed by the world’s most impartial and open-minded moderator, who, for the purposes of the tale, I will call Willard. If you want to know who emerges victorious, you can cheat and go straight to this article’s punchline. But if you want to know why, then you are going to have to be more patient.

    https://cliscep.com/2019/03/15/tales-of-the-unexpected/

    It seems that JohnR revised his policy.

  238. Steven Mosher says:

    “Instead of trying to find an action A over which everybody would agree (there’s a set of results against that idea), we could try to find what works elsewhere and steal it (there’s another a set of results for that idea.) Here is a simulator one could play with:”

    stop being pragmatic.
    think of the children

  239. Joshua says:

    Instead of trying to find an action A over which everybody would agree.

    That suggests a limited view of what it means to reach common ground.

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