But RCPs

Just as I thought I was out the ClimateBall Gods pull me back in. The “but RCP” flythe club got the best of me. For the time lost I found talking points for my Bingo. More on this project in due time. Here are the main ones:

  1. 8.5 is bollocks
  2. 8.5 is not BAU
  3. The IPCC calls 8.5 “BAU”
  4. The IPCC uses it as such
  5. Centuries or millennia separate 8.5 and when we might see 8.5W/m2
  6. We never were on an 8.5 path
  7. Only using 8.5 is bad science
  8. Without 8.5, there is no huge alarm
  9. Don’t present a < 1% scenario like the IPCC does
  10. It is not about blame

RCP stands for Representative Concentration Pathway. The acronym is usually followed with the numbers 2.6, 4.5, 6, or 8.5. Stating numbers will suffice in what follows. BAU stands for business-as-usual and IPCC for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Now, for the experimental part of the post. One short paragraph for each talking point. I defer to ClimateBall authorities as much as I can. With your feedback I will revise the responses. I will also add secondary talking points in the comments.

One important caveat. “But RCPs” should not deflect from the main takeaway: global warming will continue until CO2 emissions reach zero. We will need to adapt to warming levels of 1.5C, likely more [Glen]. The answers start with a variation on the main take away, parry the contrarian deflection, correct the misleading information or the falsity, and repeat the main takeaway. A truth sandwich if you please, with a relevant salad, a clarifying soup, and a call to action dessert.

***

§1. It is common knowledge that getting to 8.5 is unlikely . It has been introduced to depict a relatively conservative business as usual case with low income, high population and high energy demand due to only modest improvements in energy intensity [Keywan & alii]. Things changed since 2011, and some might suggest that 3C is the new BAU. In effect, every dollar spent on mitigation now makes RCP8.5 emissions even more unlikely [Justin]. Scenario selection is not so important for impacts in the next decade or two [Glen]. If you don’t like 8.5, add 10 years [Gernot]. If you think that 8.5 is bollocks, well, that’s your unarticulated opinion.

§2. While 8.5 emissions are not BAU, the 8.5 concentration pathway can still arise from a lower emissions scenario if feedbacks are strong [Richard]. We also need to distinguish between emissions pathways and warming outcomes, which depend on emissions, carbon cycle feedbacks, and climate sensitivity [Zeke]. Without getting to net zero a radiative forcing of 8.5W/m2 will happen eventually [SteveE].

§3. It’s also important to call them “concentration pathways” as they’re named since over a decade ago, and to realise that over a decade ago it was already the extreme case with also bio-physical assumptions that differ from the other three RCPs. They never were “business as usual” [Joris]. Most climate modelling studies that use RCP8.5 are using the scenario in the form defined in terms of concentrations (the amount of CO2 & other GHGs bulding up in the atmosphere), not the form defined in terms of emissions (the amount humans are releasing) [Richard]. While the public and politicians at large discuss if and how we can get on a 2.6, to talk semantics about if we should rename “BAU” may be well intended, but is absurd [August].

§4. It would be incorrect to claim that the IPCC used 8.5 as BAU. First, 8.5 has a much faster rise in emissions than 1970-2010 [Richard]. Second, AR5 explicitly said “the term BAU has fallen out of favour because the idea of business as usual in century-long socio-economic projections is hard to fathom” [AT]. Scenarios without additional efforts to constrain emissions (’baseline scenarios’) lead to pathways ranging between 6.0 and 8.5 [IPCC]. Even the family of SSP5 baseline scenarios don’t all end up at 8.5 w/m^2 [Zeke].

§5. The idea that we might see 8.5W/m2 in centuries or millennia is bollocks. The remaining carbon budget in SSP5-8.5 is 7700 GtCO2, so 192 years of current emissions. If emissions increase, we reach it faster. Hence why it’s super important countries meet their Paris agreement commitments. For instance, in the high-end of the current policies estimates you’d get to 8.5 w/m^2 concentrations by 2150, assuming constant emissions of ~65 GtCO2 after 2100 [Zeke]. Its all based on MAGICC model runs. The 8.5 w/m^2 scenario being used in CMIP6 is the SSP5 REMIND Baseline [Zeke].

§6. While we may dispute the likeliness of getting to 8.5W/m2 in 2100, we are indeed in an 8.5 path [Kathryn]. Despite its long term aggressiveness, to date our cumulative emissions are closest to RCP 8.5 [Bob]:

§7. RCP8.5 is popular because trying it first is the best use of finite computational resources. If an effect can’t be found in 8.5, then there’s no point in trying the lower RCPs. However, if 2.6 is tried first, and there’s no effect, it says nothing about the higher RCPs [PaulW]. Anyone saying that 8.5 is a standalone forecast is at best in error; those who know the facts should be held to a higher standard [Bill].

§8. The fact remains that 5C is the baseline warming [Zeke]. Five degrees less is what separates us from the ice age [Gavin]. The claim that without 8.5 there is no “huge alarm” implies that *any” lower value would not be a huge alarm [me]. There will be ONE takeaway from this whole “but RCPs” thing, for most people in policy, business & media, and it will be this: “We can worry less about the effects of climate change!” Great work, guys. Really good stuff [Kate].

§9. If the IPCC could attribute a valid statistic to scenarios, they would make predictions, not scenarios. The that there is a 1% probability to 8.5 certainly doesn’t come from the IPCC [PaulS].

§10. Some may pretend that “but RCP” isn’t about blame. Yet they can’t prevent themselves from appealing to INTEGRITY, credibility or whatnot. (Examples on demand.) The following meme format should reveal how our usual suspects are squirreling with “but RCPs”:

  • Tired – arguing about 8.5
  • Wired – working toward 2.6 [Costa]
  • Inspired – 2.6 is just a milestone, not a final goal [Jonathan]
  • Bored – let’s just get a policy in place that seriously limits emissions and drives toward a broad international emissions trading system [Kevin].

Srsly, the obsession with RCPs is misplaced [mt]. Who cares about “but RCPs” if the conclusion is that we need to stop using fossil fuels no matter what scenario [Somite]. Getting to carbon zero is key in every way. In any event, those who still care about the “but RPCs” ClimateBall fight could take a look at Pietro’s synopsis:

https://pitmonticone.github.io/rcp85-debate/

About Willard

neverendingaudit.tumblr.com
This entry was posted in ClimateBall, ClimateBall Bingo. Bookmark the permalink.

194 Responses to But RCPs

  1. Willard says:

    Here:

    Tell me if you can see the tweet, David. My Chrome does not display it anymore.

  2. angech says:

    I have always taken the view that BAU is merely the middle of the road, not the top end.
    From what I see and hear I can only imagine it is going along swimmingly.
    It is not a 1% scenario, it is what is happening now.
    Not happy with those here who want to underplay it.
    The questions are what is it doing and is it as bad as what was scenariorised?

  3. Steven Mosher says:

    I hope you guys enjoy parasite

  4. verytallguy says:

    “For instance, in the high-end of the current policies estimates you’d get to 8.5 w/m^2 concentrations by 2150”

    This.

    One of my major gripes with climate science is the tendency to assume to world ends at 2100.

  5. David B. Benson says:

    verytallguy — What leads you to opine that “the world”, i.e., civilization, won’t end buy 2100 or 2150?

  6. John Hartz says:

    Willard: Does the “reality” scenario described in this article fall outside the bounds of your paradigm? If it does, you might want to add a new category.

    Worst Case Climate Change Scenario Is Scary, But The Reality Could Be Even Worse by Steve Hanley, CleanTechnica, Feb 5, 2020

  7. Willard says:

    > If it does, you might want to add a new category.

    No.

    I stopped at

    First of all, it is just that — a commentary, not a peer-reviewed scientific article. That must be kept in mind by anyone somehow thinking this overthrows conventional scientific thinking. It doesn’t. It’s basically an opinion piece.

    Since that comes from a blog post, I will apply the author’s own logic and disregard what he says.

    Thanks.

  8. “One of my major gripes with climate science is the tendency to assume to world ends at 2100.”

    It doesn’t make that assumption. It accepts that predicting energy sources 100 years out is not a useful exercise. To put the year 2150 in perspective, we’re currently living the plan written in the year 1890. (The horse tax worked!)

  9. John Hartz says:

    Willard: Thanks for your prompt response. I suspect there may be published, peer-reviewed papers that present outlier scenarios at both ends of your spectrum. They may, however, be irrelevant for your particular purpose

  10. John Hartz says:

    Speaking of published, peer-reviewed, scientific papers about climate change l and related matters, Doug Bostrom creates and publishes a weekly compendium of just released papers on the Skeptical Science website. Here’s the url for last week’s.

    https://skepticalscience.com/new_research_5_2020.html

  11. Willard says:

    > It accepts that predicting energy sources 100 years out is not a useful exercise.

    Not in the way you’re implying, JeffN.

    You only have a second chance to say stuff. Use it well.

  12. Willard says:

    Doc,

    All your claims are misleading at best:

    1. I have always taken the view that BAU is merely the middle of the road, not the top end.

    8.5 was first advertized as a conservative BAU pathway. At the time there was no realistic middle of the road. We were following the top end. We still are, in fact, and only our prognostics regarding future fossil fuel usage make us doubt we’ll reach 8.5 in 2100.

    In other words, BAU changed.

    ***

    2. From what I see and hear I can only imagine it is going along swimmingly.

    A 5C world provides even more water for you to swim.

    ***

    3. It is not a 1% scenario, it is what is happening now.

    The IPCC has yet to apply likelihoods to scenarios. That’s a fabrication that has been peddled here by Junior, HAS, and others. It would be nice to have such statistics, and researchers are working on it as we speak.

    To give you an idea, even BillN gives a 35% odds to 8.5 concentrations:

    ***

    4. Not happy with those here who want to underplay it.

    Since “but RCPs” has nothing to do with the question if things are going swimingly or not, that’s just your way to remind that “but CAGW” is the central square in the ClimateBall bingo.

    ***

    5. The questions are what is it doing and is it as bad as what was scenariorised?

    The pronoun “it” does a lot of implicit work here.

    If we knew the answer to your question, we would not need scenarios. In other words, scenarios are there to help us deal with variables we can’t determine. The only thing we can say for sure is that a lower BAU makes investing in getting to carbon zero more profitable.

  13. Joshua says:

    FWIW –

    (and Willard if you delete this because my repetition is annoying, no hard feelings).

    As a non-expert who isn’t particularly smart, I always thought that business as usual would mean “unless anything changes significantly going forward.”

    Doing such an estimate seems very worthwhile to me when evaluating the risks of various future scenarios. Attacking the idea of such an analysis seems rather silly to me – although the outcomes of such an analysis should be fair game for critique.

    By definition, such an analysis would necessarily change as you advance forward in time – as it is likely that changes in the interim would change the basis of “unless anything changes going forward.’

    I get that term “BAU” could be used in misleading ways (if it is highly unlikely that we’ll go forward without significant changes taking place). It that happens, then it seems to me that the discussion should be about how to make the understanding of the term IN SPECIFIC CONTEXT more precise, not about whether the term should be used, or generic arguments about what the term actually means, or finger-pointing about use of the term.

    I dunno. That all seems like basic common sense to me. Imo, point-scoring and bickering about “BAU” is like bickering about “consensus” or bickering about “denier.”

    That bickering. IMO, is much more about the way that discussions of climate change are often predominantly proxy battles in a tribal war.

    I think we’d be better served if more people spent more time thinking about how their tribal nature affects them when they’re discussing issues like climate change.

  14. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    Since that comes from a blog post, I will apply the author’s own logic and disregard what he says.

    Checkmate. This is the kind of reflexive logic that the world needs way more of.

    I would elaborate on this form of ClimateBall end-gaming, but anything I could say here would be deservingly disregarded.

  15. Willard says:

    > the discussion should be about how to make the understanding of the term IN SPECIFIC CONTEXT more precise, not about whether the term should be used, or generic arguments about what the term actually means, or finger-pointing about use of the term.

    As I like to study the history of how concepts came to be used, I don’t mind doing just that. But I don’t think it matters much for the main objective, which is to focus on getting to carbon zero.

    In all my ClimateBall career I never once had to invoke RCPs. They are meant for policymakers, not ClimateBall players. Getting to carbon zero applies to any pathway possible.

    So once again scientists are being suckered in by contrarians on futilities.

  16. Willard says:

    > This is the kind of reflexive logic that the world needs way more of.

    It’s more a personal policy about bloggers with attitudes. I expect the same from those who dislike mine. It’s a big world. There are many voices. We all have one life.

  17. John Hartz says:

    Joshua: From my perspective, the BAU label, by definition, can only be used in making short-term projections, e.g., five years or so. As the horizon year for a projection period is increased, the more likely significant changes in the current situation will occur. I therefore suggest that the concept of a “flexible BAU” is inherently flawed.

  18. Willard says:

    > From my perspective, the BAU label, by definition, can only be used in making short-term projections, e.g., five years or so.

    That’s an important point, at least insofar as BAU is related to policy-making, e.g.

  19. Joshua says:

    JH –

    > Joshua: From my perspective, the BAU label, by definition, can only be used in making short-term projections, e.g., five years or so.

    Maybe. But it’s almost impossible to resist projecting further into the future even if, just like we don’t know what will be the “current” situation 50 years from now, we don’t really know what it will be six years from now either.

    And I think we still HAVE to make decisions now on the basis of what might be the “current” situation 6 years from now AND 50 years from now. Even if that’s because deciding to do nothing because we dont have crystal balls is svtuslly deciding to do something (despite not having crystal balls – which is what Judith and many other “skeptics” avoid gaming out).

    I mean I suppose we could just resist, say it “makes no sense” to project the current status out beyond 5 years, and leave it at that. But that seems to me to be contra- human nature.

    And I also think it’s questionable whether such a method for evaluating future risk (not projecting current status beyond give years) would more advisable (less error prone in average) than trying to estimate what changes might take place more than five years out, and then doing projections based on those kinds of estomates. Maybe someone smarter tban me can bring math or statistical skill to that question.

    It seems to me that it’s messy whatever we do. So then what’s best is to look at all options together and do the best that we can and work from the premise that our results MAY be the least suboptimal. And in the mean time we can stop pretending that the choices that most closely matches our biases is the most valid, and asserting that others pick other options because they want to starve children.

  20. John Hartz says:

    Joshua: You missed my point completely. I am not against making long-range forecasts. In fact, I actively engaged in doing so during my professional career in transportation planning. I do, however, believe the BAU label. by definition, can only be applied to short-range planning.

  21. Joshua says:

    JH –

    OK. Gotya. So then what would we call a (level) line extended forward beyond five years from the current state, as a way to examine different possible risks?

  22. Jon Kirwan says:

    I apologize for the following “rant,” but the blog’s closing “Getting to carbon zero is key in every way,” comment made me do it. So blame the comment. 😉

    ***

    I have spent a lot of personal time studying everything from Dr. Lovejoy’s work product on the quilting of Brazilian forests and its impact on species to my own playing around with fine-grained slab models of incoming and outgoing radiation models of the Earth’s atmosphere — starting when first working on Dobson column-UV instruments in the mid 1980’s. But I’ve concluded, after all this time, that climate is but **one** symptom of a terrible disease that no one is addressing, squarely.

    That disease is population. We humans and our domesticated animals now represent, by mass ratio alone, almost all of the land-based vertebrates. And that’s not by any stretch all of our impacts (other than climate.) If we don’t get a wrap on population (which actually needs to be **lower** than it already is), then ocean and land ecologies will continue to disappear, forest systems will be further quilted and criss-crossed by roads and fencing and also replaced by savanna (or worse), and the required diversity of multi-celled species will continue to dwindle (bacteria seems to be able to find a way to survive almost anywhere — as evidenced by the recent report on Chicxulub.) We really are in a new rapid age of “the dying.” The beautiful quilt of interwoven life on this planet is frayed from human machete hacks through it and is literally unwinding as we watch.

    Climate is one of several “smoke detectors” that are going off and sounding the alarm that there’s a fire. But rather than go look for the fire and deal with it, we look for how to reduce the smoke reaching the “climate detector,” instead. (Or we just decide to remove the batteries in it, so that it stops bugging us.) But there are so many other smoke detectors, other than climate. And even if we focus on removing the smoke reaching the climate detector, by closing a door, it does nothing at all for the smoke that’s reaching all of the other detectors and alarms going off. Population is the issue. Address it and you begin to address **all** of the rest of the alarms. And I think then it also makes sense to more directly address each of the alarm systems once the fire is out and we can divide our attention to the rest.

    Addressing climate will relieve some of the pressures. Admitted. But it won’t address deforestation for construction and business uses. It won’t address over-fishing and the loss of healthy fisheries. It won’t address the conversion of complex ecologies developed over millions of years into vast monocultures that serve our food needs. That isn’t to say that addressing climate won’t help stay the destruction of corals (it will help a lot, there.) But the over-arching theme is over-population of humans and the continued conversion of an entire planet without a whit of long term planning and nothing but the short-term views towards supporting the next quarter’s or the next year’s business needs. (What “owner” prefers to sit around allowing a forest to grow at 2% a year in value, if they can get an easy 10% or more return on investment if they just harvest the whole thing right now and use the money elsewhere?)

    I enjoy listening to, and learning from, what I read here. But it doesn’t address the cause. I spent a lot of time arguing and debating these issues in the 1990’s with scientists and engineers I worked with and around. But I’ve come around to realizing the core issue and the fact that we can do a yeoman’s job with climate and still have a world we don’t recognize anymore. Dr. Lovejoy’s recent comment, last month, that the tipping point for the vast stretches of earlier forest systems in Brazil has been reached and exceeded and that he sees it turning inevitably into savanna now, is far more about the human destruction using heavy equipment than it is about climate change. His work back in the late 1970’s and 1980’s quite clearly documents what was happening long, long before any of modern climate change effects showed up. It was already happening then. It’s just that combined effects now have pushed things over perhaps a little earlier than later. But the result would be the same, regardless.

    I respect the contributions I see here and the thought that often goes into them. So it’s worth a relaxing moment of my time to skim through. But in no way am I confused about the source of the fire that’s setting off so many different alarm systems. It’s population. Lasting solutions will flow out of squarely addressing that issue. The rest is but temporary if population isn’t addressed.

    (And it will be addressed, one way or another. I’m very confident of that fact. It’s just the several not-so-good manners by which it will be likely addressed that worries me, for my grandchildren.)

    Rant over and I’ll go back to “mostly reading and learning” from your excellent discussions.

  23. jacksmith4tx says:

    Jon Kirwan;
    “That disease is population.” An excellent summary of my own thoughts.
    As a fellow mammal (homo sapian) I would like to refer to the readers to the Mouse Utopia (AKA The Behavioral Sink) experiments from the 1960s. Many years after John B Calhoun’s experiment psychologists have extended his research and added important theories to include the effects of compressed social networks. I think the introduction of social media has accelerated the process. The seeds of our destruction were encoded in our brains 100,000 years ago, Monsters of the Id* indeed.
    *Pop culture reference to the 1950s SiFy film “Forbidden Planet”

  24. It’s problematic to cite population as THE issue since the highest income folks on the planet are truly responsible for such a large slice of the devastation, but yes, I agree with you JK. Population and population pressure is a problem.

  25. Jon Kirwan says:

    @smallbluemike

    The very subject of population is complex. No question. And there are large “nuances” to any discussion — including the one you bring up. Some time could be bought. I won’t argue.

    But just to keep things in context here, the Boxing Day tsunami that took place off the Indonesian coast of Sumatra on Dec. 26, 2004 was “one of the world’s worst disasters.” It killed a quarter of a million people.

    Do you know how long it took to replace that horrible and tragic loss of human life?

    One day.

  26. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    Interesting post, as is your follow in comment.

    So here’s a question. If, as you point out, even if the tragedy of deaths looks different in the context of how long it takes to “replace” them (the choice of “replace” assumes a certain perspective that I don’t think I share), then what is the crux of your concern about population?

    The planet itself will survive our destruction. I would think that some forms of life, sustained within an infinitely complex web, will survive as well. The specifics will certain be different (although maybe not from the perspective of bacteria – which given their numbers also provide a perspective of scale), but in one sense it will be a kind of same same but different.

    So in the context of 250,000 lives being quickly replaced, in what sense is this a tragic disease-like scenario? Why isn’t it just a value-less transformation?

  27. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    As a kind of follow up.

    You say:

    > bacteria seems to be able to find a way to survive almost anywhere

    And you say:

    > We humans and our domesticated animals now represent, by mass ratio alone, almost all of the land-based vertebrates.

    Wikipedia gave me this:

    > The total live biomass of bacteria may be as much as that of plants and animals or may be much less.

    Does the crux of your framing boil down to the distinction between different degrees of sentience, or consciousness?

  28. Jon Kirwan says:

    @Joshua, “Why isn’t it just a value-less transformation?”
    @Joshua, “Does the crux of your framing boil down to the distinction between different degrees of sentience, or consciousness?”

    Many decades ago, I might try to argue such things with you. I’d have taken them more seriously. But I don’t now. Such questions simply exist in the minds of those who hold them. But it’s beyond my pay grade. So I leave those things to philosophers.

    My points remain. The value one assigns them is their own, of course.

  29. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    FWIW, i’m not asking for an argument. I’m curious what your thinking is.

  30. izen says:

    @-vtg
    “One of my major gripes with climate science is the tendency to assume to world ends at 2100.”

    That assumption is made because it is certain that for all discussing the issue, the world will have ended.
    They will be dead.

    It is extremely rare for people to seriously consider the future beyond their own lifetime.
    Except as speculative philosophy.

  31. Jon Kirwan says:

    @Joshua “I’m curious what your thinking is.”

    Thinking about what? I seem to have lost the question and cannot seem to work it out from what you earlier wrote. Perhaps you could re-phrase it?

  32. Ben McMillan says:

    The silliest thing about Ritchie’s comment is that deciding whether you should try to follow a low emissions path (eg by funding low-emissions technology deployment) or instead just adapt to/suffer the consequences of RCP8.5 is exactly why these scenarios exist.

    As far as I can tell, RCP8.5 derangement syndrome is mostly about failing to understand over and over again why it is useful to consider a range of pathways to plan how we should respond to climate change. The RCPs are not predictions!

    Instead, pathways like RCP8.5, where fossil fuel usage continues to grow at historic rates (actually slower than the last 60 years), are meant to teach us something useful: we need to choose a different future. You only know that choosing RCP8.5 is a bad idea, and therefore make it a low probability outcome, once you have studied what the consequences would be.

  33. David B. Benson says:

    Ben McMillan, well stated!

  34. Dave_Geologist says:

    First of all, it is just that — a commentary, not a peer-reviewed scientific article.

    Why Willard?? That’s exactly what it is. It says so on the tin:

    nature
    COMMENT 29 JANUARY 2020
    Emissions – the ‘business as usual’ story is misleading

    “It appeared in Nature” ≠ “It’s a peer-reviewed scientific paper (Article or Letter in Nature-speak)”.

    Nature also publishes Correspondence (letters in normal-speak), Book Reviews, News, general-interest summaries of some of its own articles, and editorial opinion. Zeke’s comment is none of the above. It’s a commentary. A commentary by a practitioner more than ordinarily skilled in the art, but nevertheless a commentary. Zeke’s opinion.

  35. verytallguy says:

    verytallguy — What leads you to opine that “the world”, i.e., civilization, won’t end buy 2100 or 2150?

    It might. In which case we don’t need to worry about climate science ‘coz all the worst impacts are beyond 2100.

  36. Chubbs says:

    Ben – Well put.

    Another way to construct scenarios: assume a certain amount of warming after strong climate policies are introduced – for the sake of argument say 1C. If strong policy started today, scenario warming would flat line around 2.2C = TEMP2.2. TEMP3.2 starts strong policy at 2.2C. TEMP4 starts strong policy at 3C and so on. At minimum would make the scenario discussion more policy relevant.

  37. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    I’ll let it lie for now – not wanting to further divert from the post’s topic. If you check, I’ll try to circle back in a few days

  38. Willard says:

    > That’s exactly what it is.

    I suspect you already know that stating a true fact isn’t enough to make a good argument, Dave. So I take it that you’re simply asking a rhetorical question. A rhetorical question to return to a topic I don’t want to discuss. That’s just great.

    Mike’s argument sucks because the distinction that matters here isn’t between peer review and commentaries, but between what the IPCC says and what researchers say. And the resarchers keep saying what the IPCC already stopped to say – 8.5 is not BAU. Mike made me waste too much time in the past. In this episode he won’t.

    ***

    > Zeke’s opinion

    Commentaries contain facts. You present them as opinion. Yet you don’t underline that Mike’s commentary isn’t opinion. Why is that?? If you dismiss Zeke’s argument as mere opinion, it is perfectly fine to do the same with Mike’s blog post.

  39. Willard says:

    > not wanting to further divert from the post’s topic

    Once one enters the ClimateBall bingo, it’s hard to delimit topics. All the “but X” claims are interconnected. For instance, once Mike is on the table contrarians could come and try “but Mike,” which is indeed a square in the Bingo. They could also try related ones. The Habs are not doing great this year and I’d rather forget hockey until next September.

    Digressions are fine as long as they remain digressions. They can dominate for a while, but they should not hinder commenters from discussing more central topics. I think this works the same way real-life conversations work. Turn-taking is tried and true.

  40. Dave_Geologist says:

    I wasn’t dismissing it as an opinion Willard. That’s why I said it was the opinion of a practitioner more than ordinarily skilled in the art. An expert opinion and so worth more than a random opinion, more than my opinion, more than mike’s opinion and more than your opinion (in the context in which he wrote it). From a ClimateBall perspective he may of course be rather inexpert when it comes to rhetoric as opposed to science… but as a BESTie who “let the side down” I expect he’s been exposed to a fair amount himself. And it’s given an additional imprimatur in that Nature has its scientific reputation to think about and will have given it editorial review. Mann’s rebuttal or whatever you want to call it is also an expert opinion, and worth more than ours. But I seem to have blundered into a pre-existing argument so will leave it there.

    Actually I think neither piece had much in the way of facts. It’s hard to predict, especially about the future. Cumulatively we’re still on an 8.5 path, if only just, but do seem to be flattening out so maybe we’re at last diverging. Too soon to tell IMO, especially given political developments around the world. If Trumpo/Bolsonaro/Duterte are re-elected? If China is hurting badly this year economically, I can see a lot of its green efforts being de-prioritised. And forests are not looking good.

    I agree that BAU is a bad choice of words, because we each get to define our own “usual”. Unfortunately absent-mitigation, with barebones Paris, with Paris plus additional commitments, with Paris plus additional commitments plus help for developing countries to follow a low-carbon path to development, etc. don’t exactly trip off the tongue.

  41. Willard says:

    > I wasn’t dismissing it as an opinion

    Sure. I don’t always say “Zeke’s opinion” but when I do it’s just to state a fact. That’s the kind of infelicity that makes me dismiss everything else you say.

    ***

    > Unfortunately absent-mitigation, with barebones Paris, with Paris plus additional commitments, with Paris plus additional commitments plus help for developing countries to follow a low-carbon path to development, etc. don’t exactly trip off the tongue.

    And now ridicule. Prfct.

  42. Willard says:

    Here’s a proposal. The baseline for our high-end scenario (SSP5) is 5C:

    The IPCC talks about baselines. Use it. “Baseline” is shorter than “business-as-usual.” It’s not an acronym. It’s punchy. It circumvents the absurdity of taking our highest scenario as our safest bet out of inertia.

    Even if we are onto 3C, we really really really do not want 5C.

  43. John Hartz says:

    Willard:

    Even if we are onto 3C, we really really really do not want 5C.

    Given what went down last year and what’s projected to go down this year, I doubt we really want to reach 1.5C either.

    For example, here in Columbia SC, this winter has been one big roller coaster with periods of normal winter temperatures followed by periods of abnormally high temperatures that used to occur in late spring. Because of this cycle, plant life and insects are going bonkers responding to it. It’s also been an abnormally wet winter.

  44. Willard says:

    Yes, John. Things definitely could get worse. My inner businessman still does not hear “most plausible worst-case” when listening to “BAU.”

    Perhaps I should make clear that I’m looking for a playbook that *I* would use against contrarians. (You, dear Reader, should use it too – but I know You, and let’s say I’m not holding my breath.) Coming with a wordology that would be contrarian-proof is a hard problem. Since Richard does not like that we speak of baselines, I asked for his suggestion:

    I like that “current policies” is made explicit. I like “on track” above all – a prfct metaphor for commitment. I asked him for a title, after all it’s “BAU is 3C” or “The High-End Baseline is 5C” that he needs to top.

    Will report.

  45. John Hartz says:

    Willard,

    Very interesting indeed.

    Lest there be any misunderstanding, my primary point was that even if the human race were to find the where-with-all to hold the line at 1.5C, the biosphere would not be the warm and fuzzy environment that it has been. James Hansen had it right years ago when he warned it would be dangerous to exceed a CO2 concentration of 350 ppm.

  46. Jon Kirwan says:

    @John Hartz: “James Hansen had it right years ago when he warned it would be dangerous to exceed a CO2 concentration of 350 ppm.”

    Even if that were achieved, we’d still face a radically changed planet since climate is only one of many symptoms of exceeding the Earth’s carrying capacity given our current patterns of resource consumption and habitat conversion. So even that isn’t sufficient. It’s just necessary.

  47. Willard says:

    > even if the human race were to find the where-with-all to hold the line at 1.5C, the biosphere would not be the warm and fuzzy environment that it has been.

    We *will* need to adapt to warming levels of 1.5C, John, likely more. With the actual policies we’re on track to a 2-4C world by 2100. That’s not ideal. Which is why we need to get to carbon zero as soon as we can.

    Notice how I respond to your comment by rewording what you said in a way that coheres with my own framing. The title I suggested to Richard was On Track to 2-4C with Current Policies, with “2100” to be added in subtitle. It could be shortened.

  48. Joshua says:

    FWIW –

    > There is a growing need to analyse the knowledge controversies about climate change. Human geography has a role in understanding of the motivations and sources of the participants in the debate. In this study, we explore the scientific background of the contrarian arguments, using Climate Change Reconsidered published by the conservative think tank Heartland Institute, in comparison with the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change The Physical Science Basis. Firstly, we surveyed the reference lists, which showed that in general the contrarian report used the same journals, as their most important sources. However, the differences are in the details: journals dealing with paleo-issues are more important for the contrarian report. Further, it is noteworthy that we found only 262 identical references (4.4% of all references) in the reports and their contextual analyses revealed that the rhetoric can be remarkably different, as can the way in which an article is used. These results indicate that we cannot state that the opponents use completely different sources, but the complementarity of their reference list raised some questions which are discussed in the last section of the paper. Should we take the ‘contrarians’ and their arguments seriously or not?

    https://www.academia.edu/8651032/Reviewing_the_climate_change_reviewers?

  49. John Hartz says:

    Willard: The human race’s ability to adapt to 1.5C will not be a walk in the woods as we will soon find out.. It’s ability to adapt to 2.0C will be exponentially harder.

    Here’s a disheartening forecast of what is likely to happen in the Upper Midwest of the US this coming Spring while we are still under the 1.5C mark.

    Second Year of Major Spring Floods Forecast for U.S. Heartland by Thomas Frank, E&E News/Scientific American, Feb 10, 2020

  50. David B. Benson says:

    A 4-fold increase in extreme heat periods:
    http://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/159/climate-change-emergency?page=4#post-6244

    Can’t cool off at night.

  51. Willard says:

    > [W]e found only 262 identical references (4.4% of all references) in the reports and their contextual analyses revealed that the rhetoric can be remarkably different, as can the way in which an article is used.

    Ouch.

  52. Willard says:

    > The human race’s ability to adapt to 1.5C will not be a walk in the woods as we will soon find out..

    Good point. It may not be easy. But consider – “ButRCPs” is mostly about high-end projections. In response to that concern, we could invoke lower ones, e.g. to underline that our contrarians are less incredulous about all the Carbon and Capture Storage that lower RCPs like 2.6 are presuming.

    (I raised the issue twice with Justin. He failed to respond twice. That told me all I needed to know about Justin.)

    Compare our arguments. The CCS argument implies no commitment whatsoever. Yours would force me to claim that even the increase already in the pipeline will be problematic, and it’s only indirectly related to the questions of RCPs. Without adjudicating your claim, I already know it bends both relevance and economy.

  53. Jon Kirwan says:

    @Joshua says: “I’ll let it lie for now – not wanting to further divert from the post’s topic. If you check, I’ll try to circle back in a few days”

    Agreed. I’ll keep an eye out. If in a few days you still have an interest in asking, I’ll gladly see if I can satisfy you.

    I do still remember your mentioning of “tribal affiliation and policy preferences”:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/the-scicomm-merry-go-round/

    Perhaps you’ll do me a favor and expand a little on that, in return.

  54. David B. Benson says:

    https://m.phys.org/news/2020-02-ancient-antarctic-ice-sea-metersand.html

    So even less than 2 °C higher than now results in 3+ meters of sea level rise just from WAIS.

  55. angech says:

    Willard. Think I replied to you but maybe I forgot to hit send. If I did the thank you for reading it.
    I am a bit forgetful at times.
    “In all my ClimateBall career I never once had to invoke RCPs. They are meant for policymakers, not ClimateBall players. Getting to carbon zero applies to any pathway possible.”
    “Perhaps I should make clear that I’m looking for a playbook that *I* would use against contrarians. (You, dear Reader, should use it too – but I know You, and let’s say I’m not holding my breath.)”

    I would like to say that sometimes I just do not get where you are coming from or what you are achieving. Comments like that above help clarify.
    You may be far more left field than I am which is a fantastic achievement.
    The touch of Loki in your writing about Ragnarok though leaves me still confused.
    “ Let them come to you” might fit the playbook. But then I am a contrarian, not a strategist.

  56. Joshua says:

    I think this article gets to the root of why arguing with with “but RCP”ers may be futile:

    > Even if there is little evidence that this stuff can be persuasive in terms of getting many people to really change their views, there is some reason to suspect that it can have consequences for their second order beliefs about others’ beliefs, and about whether the system is fair or not.

    ***

    Zero sum engagement on technical points, in the end, may be counterproductive. The effective outcome of “skepticism” (as opposed to skepticism) is that the zone is flooded with conflicting information. It’s not so much that people need to believe in the climate change hoax, but that mitigation won’t occur as long as people don’t know what to believe.

    I think that arguing that we don’t have mitigation because people are resisting change, largely misses the point.

    > An illustration of the effectiveness of the Trump truth-defying operation can be found in an article by McKay Coppins in the current issue of The Atlantic, “The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Re-elect the President.”

    Using a false name and portraying himself as an unwavering Trump loyalist, Coppins inserted himself into the digital underworld of the Trump campaign and its maze of interlocking websites, data analytics, text messaging and novel electronic paraphernalia.

    Coppins, an astute critic of the Trump administration, found he was becoming strangely and unexpectedly disoriented:

    There were days when I would watch, live on TV, an impeachment hearing filled with damning testimony about the president’s conduct, only to look at my phone later and find a slickly edited video — served up by the Trump campaign — that used out-of-context clips to recast the same testimony as an exoneration. Wait, I caught myself wondering more than once, is that what happened today?
    Coppins “assumed that my skepticism and media literacy would inoculate me against such distortions. But I soon found myself reflexively questioning every headline. It wasn’t that I believed Trump and his boosters were telling the truth. It was that, in this state of heightened suspicion, truth itself — about Ukraine, impeachment, or anything else — felt more and more difficult to locate. With each swipe, the notion of observable reality drifted further out of reach.”

    ***

    Given the mechanics of the “deficit model” shortcomings, (the deficits of the deficit model)…whats the way to deal with the flood the zone effect?

  57. Willard says:

    > The touch of Loki in your writing about Ragnarok though leaves me still confused.

    You are not alone.

    What I just did is what a serious game player would need to do as a preparation for a tournament. It’s called a repertoire. Games and sports are based on resource attrition. Time is the most crucial resource. Knowing what to play in advance is key. Only preparing cheap tricks is the best recipe to finish last. So one prepares for the most frequent moves. They often are the best ones.

    This kind of habit instills objectivity. It reduces the number of commitments to a minimum. This leads to a kind of detachment that may be confusing in a game like ClimateBall, where partisanship rules.

  58. Willard says:

    > Given the mechanics of the “deficit model” shortcomings, (the deficits of the deficit model)…whats the way to deal with the flood the zone effect?

    The same way disinformation campaign are done, i.e. by keeping the eye on the ball, by framing your message properly, and by repeating it over and over again.

    My current hypothesis is that the information needs to be repeated long enough to learn it like a foreign word. Something like 10 times in a week or so. Recall then becomes rediscovery, and people start to believe they’re the ones coming up with the idea.

    The only way people are convinced by anything is when they think the idea comes from them or when they emulate role models. We can’t expect much cooperation from contrarian role models. It needs to come from contrarian themselves.

    And if that does not come up, it won’t matter much if one has kept the eye on the ball. To keep the eye on the ball is independent from convincing anyone but yourself.

  59. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    “It’s not so much that people need to believe in the climate change hoax, but that mitigation won’t occur as long as people don’t know what to believe.”

    You might want to look into the career of Vladislav Surkov.
    This is Putin’s PR man who is credited with the technique of funding both pro, and anti Putin groups and leaking both positive and negative stories about Putin.
    It was not to persuade people that Putin was good, but to make it impossible for any negative messaging to be trusted or credible.
    His ideological fans would continue to support Putin despite the ‘poisoning of the well’.

  60. Willard says:

    ML and his crew keeps ignoring the elephant in the “but RCPs” room:

    A good sign they’re losing.

  61. Ben McMillan says:

    Lets imagine that the ‘no way can we use that much coal’ people are right, and the relative proportion of fossil fuels used stays constant over the 21st century. So for the same energy use, a bit more gas gets used, and a bit less coal than RCP8.5. How much difference does it make to future emissions? Maybe 10%. So we are at RCP7.8. Hurrah!

    I’m betting that the RCP8.5-is-bollocks squad aren’t arguing that we should retire 8.5 and replace it with 7.8.

    How much difference does it make to climate policy? Pretty much none. If we were going to run out of fossil fuels before we got to RCP4.5, then maybe that would change things.

    So if you think RCP8.5 isn’t physically plausible, what do you think is? Because if the answer is RCP7.8, then who cares.

  62. Willard says:

    > I’m betting that the RCP8.5-is-bollocks squad aren’t arguing that we should retire 8.5 and replace it with 7.8.

    I’ve seen two lines of argument. At first both Judy and ML claimed that without 8.5 there would not be alarm. Then ML changed his tune and went for “but INTEGRITY” instead, e.g.:

    I asked Judy twice to clarify to be on record that any pathway under 8.5 would be a piece of cake. No cookie.

    You might like Zeke’s numbers comparing various SSPs and IEA’s of cumulative GtCO2 estimates from 2020-2100:

    IEA STPS – 3056 to 3188
    IEA CPS – 3456 to 4171
    SSP1-2.6 – 1098
    SSP2-4.5 – 2785
    SSP4-6.0 – 3313
    SSP3-7.0 – 5156
    SSP5-8.5 – 7705

    I have another backstory with ML. Later.

  63. izen says:

    @-Ben
    “I’m betting that the RCP8.5-is-bollocks squad aren’t arguing that we should retire 8.5 and replace it with 7.8.”

    Of course not.
    The whole point of the RCP8.5-is-bollocks trope is to disparage by implication ANY RCP projection.
    BY mounting a speciously credible attack on one RCP they hope by association to discredit all possible usage of modelled future CO2 accumulation -> temperature predictions as a basis for policy decisions.
    They certainly do NOT want to replace RCP8.5 with any other supposedly more credible number, the intention is to, by inference, invalidate ALL numerical arguments.

  64. izen says:

    @-W
    “I asked Judy twice to clarify to be on record that any pathway under 8.5 would be a piece of cake. No cookie.”

    I would wager you would not even get a crumb if you suggest that as RCP2.6 is at least as improbable as RCP8.5 this meant that the most benign outcome is excluded.

  65. Ben McMillan says:

    So, stated/current policy is somewhere between 4.5 and 7.0 with substantial (but inadequate) mitigation. Almost as if the people setting up RCP8.5 had some idea about what an unmitigated scenario might look like.

    Izen: yep. I’m just repeatedly pointing out that the objections to RCP8.5 are irrelevant for any practical purposes.

  66. John Hartz says:

    The headline of this story says it all…

    ‘The Saddest Thing Is That It Won’t Be Breaking News’: Concentration of CO2 Hits Record High of 416 ppm by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, Feb 12, 2020

    Remind me again why we spend show much time jawboning about stuff like RCPs, CS, etc.?

    We just might accomplish more by marching in the streets.

  67. Willard says:

    Kate for the win:

  68. angech says:

    John Hartz says:
    ” Concentration of CO2 Hits Record High of 416 ppm”.
    Thanks for putting that up John.
    Along with CO2 is a GHG that is the other factor most important to everyone’s views.
    Still disagree with most everything but it is nice to have a stable reference point or 2 to argue from.
    Willard.
    “My inner businessman still does not hear “most plausible worst-case” when listening to “BAU.”
    BAU possible cause of CO2.
    “Games and sports are based on resource attrition. Time is the most crucial resource.”
    That is very clear.
    Lets hope for some resource attrition?
    Shame it is not a game.

  69. John Hartz says:

    The human race seems hell bent on self-extinction. Here’s just one example its collective inability to control its appetite for natural resources and to ignore the external costs, i.e., damage being done to the biosphere. As the saying goes, “Mother Nature always bats last.

    Deforested parts of Amazon ’emitting more CO2 than they absorb’ by Gabriel Gatehouse, Science & Environment, BBC News, Feb 11, 2020

  70. David B. Benson says:

    rustneversleeps will especially appreciate
    https://m.phys.org/news/2020-02-smaller-lighter-shielding.html

  71. David B. Benson says:

    Fracking failure:
    https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/12/17/us-fracking-shale-wood-mackenzie-child-wells

    Better not to start down this path.

  72. Willard says:

    I’ll be damned:

    > What really struck me, though, was that it would be fantastic article for playing something like Climate Wars Bingo. I’d only read the first few paragraphs before encountering a discussion of Lysenkoism. There’s the obligatory mention of Green funding. There’s Greenpeace. There’s alarmism. I haven’t waded my way through the whole article, but it seems to cover all possible bases. Is anything missing?

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/climate-wars-bingo/

  73. angech says:

    Willard says: May 12, 2018 at 12:04 am
    “On January 2016, between the 5th and the 7th, there was an exchange at the Auditor’s involving HAS and the Editor (edited for conviviality):
    [Andre] Since climate talks usually take rcp85 as business as usual, maybe an explicit comparison for that would be interesting?
    [HAS] RCP8.5 isn’t business as usual. It is an upper bound on the IPCC AR5 scenarios, in general reflecting the 75% upper limit of the scenario drivers.
    [Doc] It is the 50% marker, as Business worse than usual which makes up the other 50% is not modeled [I thought]. Consequently any average of models is already missing 50% of predictions on the high side as they were never made.
    [HAS] Not business as usual.” [edited by me]
    “Doc is our own Doc. Good ol’ Doc”.
    Steven did most of the blogging I thought. Was it really that long ago?

  74. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    I’ll be damned:

    Not that surprising…
    ClimateBall bingo’s conceptual history could be traced all the way back to Protagoras.
    Sharelle Jabobs likely studied ClimateBall bingo call-outs under the venerable Matt Ridley.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.


    Is anything missing?

    The first, and still the best, modern ClimateBall call-out: But Al Gore.

  75. “I’ll be damned:”

    I skimmed through your link. It’s remarkable how little the debate has changed in five years. Every one of the comments could have been written yesterday. Keep digging, though, you and your friends have been playing some version of climate ball bingo for a lot longer than this! But congratulations on how thoroughly you crushed old Matt Ridley a half decade ago in the realm of public opinion! Has anyone even seen the poor man or anyone else from his silly party ever since this post? PM Corbyn should send a search party!

  76. Joshua says:

    > you and your friends…

    Sums it all up right there. Shows exactly what this is about.

  77. Joshua says:

    Lest you think it’s about climate change, economics, etc.

  78. Willard says:

    Speaking of search parties, JeffN, if you could find back Junior, that’d be great. I miss him already:

  79. You got junior deleted from Twitter? Congrats! I’l bet you miss him.

    The last obstacle to making Germany 100% solar and wind is gone! You must be excited that, now, finally, everyone can focus on the mitigation plan. Is it too early to change the 2050 targets to 2025? Or do you need to wait until they shut down ClimateEtc?
    Tick tock!

  80. Willard says:

    > You got junior deleted from Twitter

    He deleted himself, JeffN. In a tweet he claims retiring from ClimateBall. Once again. Must be his third or fourth time. Getting a gig at Forbes was too good to pass, perhaps. Look at his titles:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke

    Lots of bingo squares.

    Oh, and “but nukes” drive-by done.

  81. izen says:

    @-W
    Junior’s Forbes articles show a classic trope of the luckwarmist position.

    He spends a lot of effort comparing the cost assessments of damage from extreme weather events between the Insurance businesses reported by Aon and Munich Re.
    Or at least he spends a lot of effort investigating why the estimates from Aon are higher than Munich Re by questioning the Aon methodology. He makes no comparable investigation into the methodology of Munich Re.
    The overt implication is that Aon are inflating their estimates, while Munich Re are more accurate because lower.
    As so often is the case (cf RCP8.5) the higher estimates are targeted with the implication they are dubious while any low estimate is left unexamined.
    Auditing is selectively applied.

  82. Willard says:

    Izen,

    Just for you:

  83. izen says:

    @-W
    Thanks of the list of juniors’ Forbes articles…. I think.
    Ugh. He fits Forbes.

    The ClimateBall(tm) matrix provides a nice descriptive list of the features or characteristics that can be found in the analysis and debate about AGW.
    It is akin to the anatomical features used in biological systems of classification.

    I wonder if it can be used not just as a ‘bingo’ exercise, but to identify the taxonomy of the debate.
    Whether the structure and form of a dissertation on the subject can be determined from which climateball features are used, and how they are put together.

    So ‘but CAGW’ is a common domain feature, but are there different species of argument that perhaps always include ‘but AlGore’, but never ‘but Goldilocks’ and vice-versa ?

  84. Willard says:

    > So ‘but CAGW’ is a common domain feature, but are there different species of argument that perhaps always include ‘but AlGore’, but never ‘but Goldilocks’ and vice-versa ?

    Yes. Most contrarians have their own playbook. They all string their buts differently, but as you suggest we can observe various realms of concerns. Ideally these would correspond to the levels of the contrarian matrix:

    http://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com

    The Matrix echoes Gorgias’ proof of inexistence:

    1. Nothing exists;
    2. Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and
    3. Even if something can be known about it, knowledge about it can’t be communicated to others.
    4. Even if it can be communicated, it cannot be understood.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorgias#On_the_Non-Existent

    Rev had thus the right of it when he mentioned Protagoras earlier.

    ***

    That said, most bingo squares can be used by any contrarian. A contrarian could accept that AGW is real and still raise concern about the Sun’s time series, say because Nir is the new Galileo. Witness Sherelle:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2020/01/25/sherelle-s-bingo-squares/

    But you’re right – there could be contrarian profiles or archetypes. The bingo squares would be the genetic makeup, so to speak.

    There are two different usages we could make of the Bingo. The first is to register the “surface grammar” of the contrarian memes. The second is as a classifier. This usage means that choices need to be made. For instance, a contrarian recently mentioned the Minoan Warm Period. I told him I had “but Holocene” for that. He disagreed. Then I showed him Jo’s post:

    Of course if contrarians start to spam me with Minoan crap, I would need to revise my classifier!

  85. Willard says:

    The “centuries or millennia separate 8.5 and when we might see 8.5W/m2” claim is from ML:

    This makes little sense, as there’s only 50 years between 2100 and 2150, the year where 8.5 can hit according to Zeke’s calculations.

    Today’s blunder from ML is to infer that getting to 8.5 at a lower ppm level would be a Good Thing:

    ML is more successful than most of us. Yet he keeps saying stuff. Either rationality and truthfulness are overrated, or SpeedoScience is misunderestimated:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/speedoscience/

  86. John Hartz says:

    Willard: Out of curiosity, have you given any thought to joining the Extinction Rebellion? I’ve been mulling over doing so.

  87. Willard says:

    > have you given any thought to joining the Extinction Rebellion

    I’m giving more than enough, in fact I will need to cut ClimateBall ice time for a new project. If I ever wanted to do activism, I’d contemplate

    https://art.350.org/

    as I believe only art can save us. This extends to scientific products, which I believe ought to be more artistic in general. Or at least more mediatic. If young rascals can make money by being watched playing video games, there needs to be a market for more sciencey stuff. TED talks ought to have reduced talks length already. One can subscribe to master classes. The list goes on and on. We like to see people telling stories that move us. Without good scientific stories, I hope God kept a copy of His bootstrap procedure.

  88. John Hartz says:

    Willard: Thanks for your thoughtful response. I will ponder what you said,

  89. David B. Benson says:

    Encore!

  90. Willard says:

    Via David Brooks, yes *that* David Brooks:

    I spent time with a Georgian peach farmer who faced a failed crop because the winter never got cold enough to set the fruit. I met ranchers in North Dakota who’d been devastated by a sudden and severe drought that had turned spring grass into stubble that left their cattle starved. A “frustrated Republican” fly fisherman from Montana longed for the conservation-minded Teddy Roosevelts of his party who might care about the increasing number of rivers closed to fishing because the waters are too low to fish, and too warm. There were a dogsledding father and daughter losing their sport because of erratic snowfall, a coal-country community struggling to explain why eight of their citizens were swept away in a flood, and young evangelicals turning to God to justify climate action. I sought them out because I wanted to see what climate change looks like up close, see its impacts on those who grow our food or fuel our power, the uncertainty it causes for people who live to race their dogs through snow or spend their afternoons fishing. What are the perceptions of those experiencing the changes under way to every aspect of American life?

    Of human life.
    Of life.

    https://orionmagazine.org/article/united-in-change/

    ClimateBall is not about point scoring. It has never been.

  91. angech says:

    “Willard: Out of curiosity, have you given any thought to joining the Extinction Rebellion? “

    I have been rebelling all my life.
    The alternative is not good.

  92. David B. Benson says:

    Off-topic:

    Computers @ JPL in 1957.

  93. Nice Green New Deal posters, Willard. But it looks like ClimateBall will continue in the project.

    “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” Chakrabarti (chief of staff to the author, Rep. Cortez) said to Inslee’s climate director, Sam Ricketts, according to a Washington Post reporter who attended the meeting for a profile published Wednesday.

    “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing,” he added.

    https://news.yahoo.com/aoc-chief-staff-admits-green-124408358.html

  94. Willard says:

    Yes, JeffN. Universal health care and basic decency are not exactly climate-related. I thought you knew, but then:

    The Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., quietly shut down a program that for years sought to raise uncertainty about climate science, leaving the libertarian think tank co-founded by Charles Koch without an office dedicated to global warming.

    The move came after Pat Michaels, a climate scientist who rejects mainstream researchers’ concerns about rising temperatures, left Cato earlier this year amid disagreements with officials in the organization.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/us-think-tank-shuts-down-prominent-center-challenged-climate-science

    RyanM’s page is still there, however:

    https://www.cato.org/people/ryan-maue

  95. dikranmarsupial says:

    “I have been rebelling all my life.
    The alternative is not good.”

    No, accepting the truth is a good thing, and rebelling against it is pointless and destructive.

  96. Cato still blogs about climate- like the recent failed court cases. Not much need for a special department if the former climate campaigners are transitioning to be advocates for universal health care.
    The interesting part about the shift to “justice!” and away from that “climate thing” is the fact that justice often demands the opposite of climate concern. No regressive taxes on the poor, like the carbon tax. No subsidies for rich people, like government checks for rooftop solar and Tesla buyers. An emphasis on government spending for existing national social programs instead of new jobs programs, ie put the money into French pensions instead of an army of people to erect cheap Chinese panels and windmills. Not to mention, of course, the justice league’s fight for the right of developing nations to take their turn building lots and lots of new smokestacks.
    And so.. “it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all” makes perfect sense.

  97. Joshua says:

    > No regressive taxes on the poor, like the carbon tax.

    Typically facile. There is no inherent reason that a carbon tax needs to be regressive.

    > No subsidies for rich people, like government checks for rooftop solar and Tesla buyers.

    Subsidies for wealthy people CAN mitigate risk and improve conditions for poor people. If you want to argue such points , give yourself the respect to make your arguments meaningful.

    > An emphasis on government spending for existing national social programs instead of new jobs programs, ie put the money into French pensions instead of an army of people to erect cheap Chinese panels and windmills.

    This sets up a facile false binary.

    > Not to mention, of course, the justice league’s fight for the right of developing nations to take their turn building lots and lots of new smokestacks.

    There are a variety of ways that people in developing countries can have access to energy without smokestacks.

    Hippie punching never gets old for some people.

  98. Jon Kirwan says:

    @Joshua

    >> No regressive taxes on the poor, like the carbon tax.

    > Typically facile. There is no inherent reason that a carbon tax needs to be regressive.

    Long ago (from a millennial’s perspective), Dr. Hansen proposed 100% distribution of all carbon tax revenues back to U.S. residents. Dr. Hansen also added his thoughts that because households using below-average amounts of fossil fuel would receive more in dividends than they paid in higher energy costs, his program would help the vast majority of middle- and lower- income Americans.

    I have spent my entire adult life self-employed — in my mind. (Technically, an active, executive co-founder is by definition a “statutory employee” under IRS regulations passed many years ago and this is a whole other story for some other day.) I currently employ others on a full annual basis. But in my earlier roles as a contractor, I’ve been artificially escalated into contact with the more senior or executive staff of companies I work with — which is the point for now.

    In one case, I was working on a project in the same office (which was elevated with an overview of the manufacturing floor below) as the president/owner of a manufacturing company with about 200 employees and I had a chance to just talk about the ongoing politics of the day. At that time, President Reagan was pushing for cutting capital gains taxes to one-half the usual tax rate.

    I took an opposing position with the owner, that day. He, of course, took the opposite. And so we talked for a while about our worldviews and perspectives. But after listening to each other for a while (and he was about twice my age at the time), he decided to just tell me the bottom line. And it has stuck with me ever since that day.

    He said, “Look, Jon. Look out that window at the employees working for me, below. Each and every single one of them stands between me and the IRS. I can fire someone or not hire someone else. I change the health program for my employees. I change other benefits or put their hourly wage below where I might otherwise have done, next year. I have 200 people, more or less, whose livelihood I control. The IRS has to come plowing first through each and every one of those 200 employees in order to reach me. They will suffer far, far more than I will. That’s a promise I can and will keep.”

    I was stumped and didn’t have much to add. He was right. I could see the fact of it directly in front of me. I didn’t need some abstraction. I could see those people down there working. And I knew the wealth he possessed and the control he had. Those employees would suffer far more than he would. I didn’t have a response.

    (It’s similarly true for economic restrictions placed upon a country by many other countries, too. The poorest in that country will suffer first, suffer the most, and suffer the longest. Those at the top will notice it the least. It’s the way of things.)

    Forbes’ argument: “A carbon tax is a bad idea. It would not deter the ultra-wealthy from using their private jets to fly around the world,” may sound reasonable (to those of us who aren’t ultra-wealthy and are therefore too ignorant to know one way or another about it.), but it’s a bad argument.

    Dr. Hansen’s point is that the carbon tax, distributed back 100%, will provide more meaningful returns to those of lower-income than to the ultra-wealthy. Several different groups, around the time of Dr. Hansen’s testimony in 2009, estimated that a $115/ton carbon tax would provide the ‘average family of four’ with a $7,500 annual dividend.

    I think you are right: “There is no inherent reason that a carbon tax needs to be regressive.” jeffnsails’ point is facile.

  99. David B. Benson says:

    Jon Kirwan et al., please ask the economists how “fee & dividend” will work out. As for me, I advocate only a partial dividend, the remainder to use in eliminating, as rapidly as may be, the excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

  100. Jon Kirwan says:

    @David Benson “Please ask the economists how “fee & dividend” will work out.”

    Your suggestion about how I should use my time has been noted.

    @David Benson “As for me, I advocate only a partial dividend, the remainder to use in eliminating, as rapidly as may be, the excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

    Your opinion is also noted.

    Now let’s address ourselves to something that might deal comprehensively with all of the other machete slashes upon the marvelous and exceptional tapestry of life on this wonderful planet.

  101. “….estimated that a $115/ton carbon tax would provide the ‘average family of four’ with a $7,500 annual dividend.”

    Who’s going to pay that $7,500 per family? A carbon tax, by definition, impacts those who can’t afford to avoid it- the people who rely on older used cars to get to work, who can’t afford to replace their fully functional HVAC system and weatherize their rental place, who will have to pay higher prices at the store because there is no obvious replacement for the trucks and ships stores use to stock the shelves.
    How do you help them avoid the carbon tax? You could use the money to subsidize new, clean power plants, battery development, and vastly expand bus and light rail. But, of course, that means not handing it out in dividend checks . And, if you don’t hand it out in dividend checks, that means the people who most feel the pinch from that $115/ton in carbon tax will be poor and middle class people.
    But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that you’ve found some way to pay the average family of four $7,500 a year from a carbon tax that raises much less from them. There are political interests that prefer the government spends its tax revenue in other ways- health care, schools, a fund to help developing nations address the impacts of climate change, etc etc etc. How do you tell people who believe in social spending that they cannot access a new tax windfall because you prefer to hand it out universally in dividend checks to wealthy and poor alike?

    I think you either misunderstood or misrepresented your friend the factory owner. HIs point was that if he cannot make a living putting his money into building a factory, he won’t. That decision has far greater impact on the 200 people who want to work in a factory than it does on the one guy who decides to do something else with his money.

  102. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    > Long ago (from a millennial’s perspective), Dr. Hansen proposed 100% distribution of all carbon tax revenues back to U.S. residents.

    Anyone who has much interest in actually exploring the idea of a carbon tax is aware of the non-regressive tax proposals.

    Jeff isn’t actually interested. He’s all hippie-punching/lob-hating all the time. Apparently he gains some measure of satisfaction from it.

  103. Joshua says:

    Lib-hating.

  104. Joshua says:

    David –

    > As for me, I advocate only a partial dividend, the remainder to use in eliminating, as rapidly as may be, the excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    So do you accept a regressive tax as a policy goal? If not, would a partial dividend be sufficient to offset the regressive nature of taxif poorer people a higher percentage of their income than richer people?

  105. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    To pick up where we left off:

    > Thinking about what? I seem to have lost the question and cannot seem to work it out from what you earlier wrote. Perhaps you could re-phrase it?

    I guess I’m asking in what basis do you see a future planet, with a vastly different climate and dominated by bacteria with no humans present, as a more disturbing outcome than a planet more like the one we have now, or that which existed decades/centuries/some millenia ago? Is it the suffering of humans and other non-bacteria life forms that would take place during the interim? My question was prompted by your point about the lives lost in the tsunami in Indonesia being “replaced” in a day. It suggested to me that the suffering of those people loses priority in the grand scale of the planet. I mean it does, but that’s a hard concept to integrate. One of the difficulties then is how does that play into your level of concern about population growth? Certainly population growth affects the planetary status quo. But along what axis do you assess a value to the changes?

  106. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    As for this

    > I do still remember your mentioning of “tribal affiliation and policy preferences”:

    My point there was that basically, people’s views on economics are not really values-based, but identity-based. A good example is how the “individual mandate” was seen by many conservatives to embody a conservative ideal of “personal responsibility” until it was promoted by Obama, at which point it became by many conservatives as unconstitutional and a sign of a tyrannical, over-reaching government.

    I think this kind of identity-driven reasoning as largely explanatory for where people set up shop on many issues that are located close to the center gravity in the partisan universe. People typically assume that differing values explains where people locate themselves. I see values as more likely, often, a rationalization – a method by which people justify to themselves where they are located based on identity-orientation. Such a method allows them to be confident in the superiority of themselves and their partisan cohort, and the inferiority of those who are in disagreement.

    Does that make sense (not that you have to agree for it to make sense)?

  107. Ben McMillan says:

    A $115/tonne carbon tax would give an annual dividend of ~$2000 per capita at current rates of US emission, but that would be enough to cause a massive reduction in emissions, so the actual amount of tax paid (and reimbursed) would be much less.

    What is happening at the moment is a massive redistribution of wealth and wellbeing from the young, future generations and poor people who will suffer most of the effects of climate change, to rich people in developed countries with unsustainable lifestyles. A carbon tax reduces that regressive act of theft. It doesn’t make sense to analyse the impact of a carbon tax but ignore the impact of carbon.

    In Germany, the increase in the EU carbon price to 25EUR has driven a massive drop in coal power generation in the last two years. Now coal power production is at ~50% of values 20 years ago. So you don’t need very high carbon taxes to make a significant difference.

  108. Willard says:

    > Lib-hating.

    Thanks. There is enough Löb hating in the world as is.

  109. Chubbs says:

    A carbon tax could be progressive. For instance, a carbon tax with the tax revenue rebated to the poor.

  110. Willard says:

    Nothing progressive much here:

    http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/

    Punching hippies is easier.

  111. John Hartz says:

    This headline is a stark reminder of what will likely happen to the biosphere if the human race cannot get its act together to mitigate man-made climate change. (Of course, Homo Sapiens will first need to muddle its way through the impending Coronavirus global pandemic.)

    As Planet Burns, One Million Species in World’s Eco-System in Danger of Extinction by Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service (IPS), Feb 18, 2020

  112. Jon Kirwan says:

    @Joshua “Anyone who has much interest in actually exploring the idea of a carbon tax is aware of the non-regressive tax proposals. Jeff isn’t actually interested.”

    Yes, I gathered that.

    My focus is on the larger picture. Discussions here (and elsewhere) have the appearances to me of the old blinkered horses used to pull carts — they don’t see the larger perspective around them because they only see what is immediately (placed) in front of them. Climate matters. But it’s sucking the oxygen out of the “third rail of politics” — population. We are rapidly and systematically destroying life’s tapestry on this fantastic planet. We need to address it. And I have no idea how we seriously engage the ONE THING that really, really matters.

  113. Jon Kirwan says:

    @jeffnsails850 “Who’s going to pay that $7,500 per family?”

    Perhaps you misunderstood? That’s a DIVIDEND. Not an expense.

    You are way to blinkered to even read text with any understanding, it seems. It must go through some truly impressive filters before it reaches your consciousness. Sometimes, I could wish I had as impressive a skill as yours.

  114. jacksmith4tx says:

    Financial tipping point?
    Following last months announcement that the 7 trillion dollar Blackrock Investments will shift investments to environmentally responsible investments today we have Jeff Bezos giving 10 billion dollars to Climate Change research I think there might be a trend starting. While the Blackrock move to join the Climate Action 100 will not eliminate FF and ruinous resource extraction at least Bezos money will mostly go to R&D. Feel free to express your skepticism, it might just be a publicity stunt.
    Climate Action 100 has over 450 investors with more than USD $39 trillion in assets under management have signed on to the initiative.
    http://www.climateaction100.org/

  115. David B. Benson says:

    Joshua — The dividend could be adjusted according to income. My point is that considerable $$ are required to remove the excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

  116. Jon Kirwan says:

    @Joshua “I guess I’m asking in what basis do you see a future planet, with a vastly different climate and dominated by bacteria with no humans present, as a more disturbing outcome than a planet more like the one we have now, or that which existed decades/centuries/some millenia ago? Is it the suffering of humans and other non-bacteria life forms that would take place during the interim? My question was prompted by your point about the lives lost in the tsunami in Indonesia being “replaced” in a day. It suggested to me that the suffering of those people loses priority in the grand scale of the planet. I mean it does, but that’s a hard concept to integrate. One of the difficulties then is how does that play into your level of concern about population growth? Certainly population growth affects the planetary status quo. But along what axis do you assess a value to the changes?”

    That’s a long question which generates so many visual resonances in my mind. I wrote perhaps five or six longish sections, all of which I’ve now cut out. Even the pretext section, which I feel you need in order to even partially appreciate the words I’m posting, is removed. So feel free to inquire further if you feel more is needed.

    It matters to me because of the Earth’s orbit about our sun and the state of the sun in its hydrogen-burning stage. We have perhaps 50 to 100 million years left here on Earth for life to re-invent itself before the oceans boil off. That’s long enough for some things. But it’s not that much when you look backwards. The Chicxulub impactor re-invented a lot of life on Earth; and it’s come back from that. (Heck, some bacteria it seems managed to take hold into the center of that impact in a matter of days, if the last report I saw has any useful thing to say about it.) But a truly interesting world exists right now (what’s left of it) and I’m not entirely sure there will be enough time for another serious go at it. Especially, not after humans have desperately extracted every last drop in every nook and corner in order to hold on for a few seconds longer. (And we can do it, too.) So things are wrapping up for astronomical reasons

    I’d personally like to see this place hang in there just a bit longer. I’ve grown to appreciate how it operates over the years — and even where some may consider it ugly on some surface view, I find it only that much more a part of its majesty and beauty. I know much of how it interacts and works, much more than once anyway, and it has a very special beauty to it now that I follow more of the details here and there. It’s quite impressive.

    (The above is less than 4% of what I wrote before pruning it. I had a hard time deciding which point to take to the top. What you see is the winner I selected with some uncertainty about it.)

  117. Willard says:

    > The above is less than 4% of what I wrote before pruning it.

    Guest posts can be arranged, wink wink.

    A diversity of voices is good.

  118. David B. Benson says:

    Jon Kirwan, tch! More like a billion years to oceans boiling:
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.livescience.com/amp/64822-could-oceans-boil-away.html

  119. David B. Benson says:

    Will Homo sapiens even last a million years?
    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/2/l_032_04.html

  120. Dave_Geologist says:

    Probably more like a couple of billion David, assuming a linear increase in solar irradiance. The article links to the Goldberg paper I mentioned in the previous thread, but because of structural weaknesses in the 1D model relative to a 3D model (Hadley cells ensure that parts of the atmosphere remain undersaturated and can radiate more efficiently), it underestimates the insolation threshold required. A moving-the-planet-in approach gives 0.97 vs 0.95 A.U. for 1D vs. 3D. Inverse-square law makes that 0.94 vs. 0.90, so 0.06 vs. 0.10 and roughly double.

    Of course in either case it will happen long after we care. And Earth will be uninhabitable other than by microbes long before the oceans boil.

  121. David B. Benson says:

    Dave_Geologist, please say more about Hadley cells!

  122. Dave_Geologist says:

    Kinda OT perhaps, but I came across a good-news story which supports an every-little-bit helps, don’t-let-the-perfect-be-the-enemy-of-the-good, don’t-be-dispirited-by-slow-system-response-and-naysayers narrative. And has a vegetation-cover so presumably carbon-fixation as well as habitat-restoration bonus.

    Early reports from attempts to remediate Chesapeake Bay (dead zones, run-off from fertilisers etc.): Long-term reductions in anthropogenic nutrients link to improvements in Chesapeake Bay habitat.

    Efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay are often viewed as failing. Overall nutrient reduction and SAV [submerged aquatic vegetation] restoration goals have not been met. In the Potomac River, however, reduced in situ nutrients, wastewater-treatment effluent nitrogen, and total suspended solids were significantly correlated to increased SAV abundance and diversity. Species composition and relative abundance also correlated with nutrient and water-quality conditions, indicating declining fitness of exotic species relative to native species during restoration. Our results suggest that environmental policies that reduce anthropogenic nutrient inputs do result in improved habitat quality, with increased diversity and native species abundances. The results also help elucidate why SAV cover has improved only in some areas of the Chesapeake Bay.

    Nice, but no cigar. Analogously, half of Paris is better than no Paris, Paris is better than half of Paris, Paris+ is better than Paris, and Paris++ (needed for 1.5°C) is better than Paris+.

    A decade later: Long-term nutrient reductions lead to the unprecedented recovery of a temperate coastal region.

    Human actions, including nutrient pollution, are causing the widespread degradation of coastal habitats, and efforts to restore these valuable ecosystems have been largely unsuccessful or of limited scope. We provide an example of successful restoration linking effective management of nutrients to the successful recovery of submersed aquatic vegetation along thousands of kilometers of coastline in Chesapeake Bay, United States. We also show that biodiversity conservation can be an effective path toward recovery of coastal systems. Our study validates 30 years of environmental policy and provides a road map for future ecological restoration.

    I wonder how many vested interests were saying in the 2000s: “it’s not working, it’s not worth it”? Or “but fertiliser is plant food, I thought you wanted to fix CO2?”.

  123. Dave_Geologist says:

    David, see: Increased insolation threshold for runaway greenhouse processes on Earth-like planets.

    The 1D models typically assume 100% relative humidity, and a fixed cloud level. The Hadley cells and convection become more active in a hotter world, pushing the top of the troposphere and the cloud level higher. That actually has a net warming effect, with the greenhouse effect outweighing the albedo change, the opposite of 1D models with fixed clouds. But it’s outweighed by the fact that in a convecting atmosphere, saturation can’t stay at 100% as warm air rises and cools and clouds rain out, then cool air warms as it descends. There are large areas of the tropics and subtropics where relative humidity is well below 50%, locally down to about 25%. That outweighs the cloud effect and means that the atmosphere’s globally averaged GHG inventory is much smaller than 100% relative humidity would suggest. Since Hadley cells or equivalent should be a feature of any Earthlike convecting atmosphere, I would expect it to be robust under pretty much all forcings.

  124. “Perhaps you misunderstood? That’s a DIVIDEND. Not an expense.”

    For goodness sakes, if you’re going to “rebate” the tax money collected, someone has to pay the tax money. Who? Math is not “hippie punching.”

  125. Dave_Geologist says:

    But Chesapeake bay is not all good news:

    The President’s fiscal year 2019 budget included a 90% reduction in US Environmental Protection Agency funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program and, last fall, the House of Representatives approved an appropriations amendment that would prohibit the US Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing the pollution diet (also known as the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load) that is central to restoration of the Bay. [Written in April 2018 before the midterms.]

    Nothing like sabotaging something that’s working if you want to persuade people it’s not working and not worth it. And I presume anything the current House passes will be blocked by the current President or by his placemen in the Agency.

    The Members write, “We were deeply disturbed by reports that, at the January 3, 2020 meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Director Dana Aunkst reportedly said that the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was ‘aspirational’ and that the 2025 targets were ‘not enforceable.’ This is totally contrary to the intent of this decade-long effort and, if it is the position of the EPA, risks critical progress to restore the Chesapeake Bay.”

  126. Joshua says:

    > For goodness sakes, if you’re going to “rebate” the tax money collected, someone has to pay the tax money. Who? Math is not “hippie punching.”

    For goodness sakes, let’s consider the logic being put into play here.

    If you charge a factory owner (for example) a carbon tax, then it will just mean that they will charge their poor consumers more or pay their needy workers less. Thus, a carbon tax is regressive and hit poor people the hardest – even if you provide dividends based on income or scale the tax based on income.

    And now let’s extend that logic in the other direction. If you provide tax rebates or tax subsidies, or municipal services, or anything at all to employers, if you reduce their regulations and let them pollute at no cost, and completely ignore any negative externalities, they will reduce the prices of their goods, and increase the wages of their employees indefinitely. No way those factory owners will pocket extra profits, or engage in financial engineer to make money off their increased capital. THAT NEVER HAPPENS.

    If left alone, with nothing like carbon taxes, eventually manufacturers will provide their goods for free and make all of their employees millionaires.

    And if we can just get those kumbaya hippies out of the way we can get this done.

  127. izen says:

    @-jeffn
    “For goodness sakes, if you’re going to “rebate” the tax money collected, someone has to pay the tax money.”

    Everyone pays according to their carbon footprint. But because the amount of CO2 generated is grossly disporoportionate between high and low usage individuals, the rebate more than offsets the payment for those with lower usage.

    I understand that you may be ideologically opposed to re-distributive economics in society, but the rebate from a carbon tax would operate in this manner.
    Rather like the socialist model of road building and maintenance in the US that is mostly paid out of general taxation on the population and business community according to their ability to pay, with the result that the least well off get a much greater benefit from the existence of the roads than they actually pay for.

  128. Willard says:

    > Math is not “hippie punching.”

    Math is 2+2=4.

    Economics is 2+2=4, therefore GRRRRROWTH.

    Hippie punching is 2+2=4, therefore China, Nuclear, and XR.

  129. Joshua:

    As Ben pointed out: “A $115/tonne carbon tax would give an annual dividend of ~$2000 per capita at current rates of US emissions…”
    That’s a little over $660 billion a year in new carbon taxes in the US that someone has to pay. If nobody pays it, nobody will try to avoid it and it will have no impact on emissions.
    Now that you’ve shifted to a dividend only for lower income people, it would be reasonable to pay it out the same way the government currently rebates taxes to the poor- medicaid, food stamps, income-based tuition and housing grants, etc.
    So who pays the new $660 billon in carbon taxes? Under your plan, the middle class would pay the bulk of it thanks to statistics. But wait, since that carbon tax revenue is “rebated,” what”s the revenue stream for the energy transformation?

  130. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    > So who pays the new $660 billon in carbon taxes? Under your plan, the middle class would pay the bulk of it thanks to statistics. But wait, since that carbon tax revenue is “rebated,” what”s the revenue stream for the energy transformation?

    Those look like rhetorical questions to me. IOW, I think you already have an answer.

    I actually don’t. I have some ideas – mostly based on what some other people have said, and an overriding belief/faith that if enormously rich people have the will, the horizon of what can happen moves very far out into the distance.

    As to how realistic different possibilities are in the real world, well, that’s another matter. Some people are dedicated hippie-punchers and lib-haters, and it would take a lot of energy to overcome the inertia they create before we could get more forward momentum. I suspect it will only happen if a signal of significant threat becomes unambiguous to wealthy people who love in rich countries.

    At any rate, give me some reason to believe those aren’t rhetorical questions. Show me an honest and good faith attempt to illustrate a sophisticated naysayer argument to your preferred answers to those questionable.

    If you do, you will give me reason to believe you are seriously engaged in finding answers/sharing views.

  131. Joshua says:

    Who live (and love) in rich countries.

    Answers to those questions.

  132. Joshua says:

    Here’s a place for you to start. What’s a good faith description of the answers to your questions found in this article?

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/energy-and-environment/2018/7/20/17584376/carbon-tax-congress-republicans-cost-economy

  133. Ben McMillan says:

    It’s interesting to compare the size of a carbon tax per capita in the UK with the US: because of much lower per capita emissions, the per capita transfer would be under 500GBP (if the tax were $115 per tonne CO2). That doesn’t sound particularly dramatic given some rebate (or reduction in other taxes).

    But you wouldn’t start out at that price anyway, and per-capita emissions are dropping pretty quickly. So the transfer will always be considerably less than that.

    The reason a carbon tax reduces emissions is that the tax depends on your personal emissions but the rebate doesn’t (e.g. a flat rebate is just some fixed amount). So you might decide not to buy any coal-powered electricity when it becomes 10c per kWh more expensive, and buy zero-emissions electricity instead.

  134. Joshua says:

    Well, since a non-regressive carbon tax is a mathematical impossibility, I say we go with the next best thing – banning cat videos:

    > Data centres processing and storing data, from sending emails to streaming videos, could account for up to 8% of the world’s total power demand by 2030, warn experts

    https://news.trust.org/item/20200218092436-91ado/

  135. John Hartz says:

    Jodhus: We (the human race) could drink the Kool-Aid and let AI take our place. Other life forms would most likely welcome that scenario. (One’s brain gets addled after living three years under the reign of the Orange Boy King.)

  136. Willard says:

    Why stop there. If taxes are regressive by necessity, then by necessity prices are. Costs are regressive too. Subsidies. Dividends. Interest rates. The Fed. GRRRRROWTH itself is regressive. Z’obvious.

    Look! Hippies!

  137. Jon Kirwan says:

    @David B. Benson “More like a billion years to oceans boiling…”

    I didn’t use LiveScience as my source. The higher end number (and range) I gave actually came from a personal dialog with an astrophysicist associate, a year back or so. All models have problems, of course, but he was working on advancing towards asymmetric stellar forms (which impressed me), such as Betelgeuse. I could ask him for more details, I suppose. But I’m not inclined to bother him about it, right now. Perhaps later. For now, I’ll stay with my prior discussion with him. (But I also think we may have an expert here, too? Perhaps ATTP? I’d definitely accept good information on the best estimates.)

    Assuming your LiveScience trumps my source (which is fine), the worst that happens is that I pull out one of my other reasonings from that long list I wrote up. Which wouldn’t bother me at all. I was just trying to help answer Joshua. Not get into an argument over a number. But have at it. I may learn something interesting.

  138. John Hartz says:

    Joshua: My apology for misspelling your name.

  139. izen says:

    @-jeffn
    “Now that you’ve shifted to a dividend only for lower income people, it would be reasonable to pay it out the same way the government currently rebates taxes to the poor- medicaid, food stamps, income-based tuition and housing grants, etc.”

    Those are the obvious, and frequently attacked, redistributive rebates from taxes for lower income people. But roads, policing and the clean water/waste water systems are also often redistributive. Even in the US.

    @-“But wait, since that carbon tax revenue is “rebated,” what”s the revenue stream for the energy transformation?”

    There are various versions of a carbon tax.
    Some proposals are intended to be revenue neutral, that is exactly the same amount is paid back as a flat rebate to everyone as is received in the tax take. That maximises the direct redistributive effect. It is also possible to take some percentage of the carbon tax take out and use it in promoting the energy transfer to carbon neutral power generation. In that case part of the common flat rebate is in the form of the communal benefit to the shared environment.. In that way the rich benefit equally with the poor.

    As Ben has mentioned the other intention of a carbon tax beyond its redistributive benefit, is to discourage high carbon consumption and encourage and/or support efficiency savings and alternative energy sources.
    Obviously this reverses the current pattern of government regulation and taxation/rebate within the energy industry that has encouraged/supported consumption and growth of existing fossil fuel sources or power.
    This change in the status quo may be a reason for the concerted opposition to such change from established vested interests.

  140. mrkenfabian says:

    Joshua – “If you charge a factory owner (for example) a carbon tax, then it will just mean that they will charge their poor consumers more or pay their needy workers less.”

    I disagree, as, I believe, do lots of economists; subsidies too will have a burden of costs that, whilst not necessarily payed directly by the high emitters, will be no less over the whole economy than carbon pricing. To be effective, subsidies must make those that do not take them up less competitive to have the desired effect. They will end up charging poor consumers more or workers less either way if they don’t change.

    But a well made carbon pricing regime will provide incentive for a future of emissions lowering investment choices by factory owners; such a carbon tax will be designed to be avoidable – and seeks to encourage that avoidance. That is the point. Once upon a time, not that long ago, there were few emissions lowering options that could become lower cost than BAU by such means. Now there are options.

    If up to me such carbon pricing would begin low to avoid economic shocks and the simplistic “pass the costs to consumers” response, but increase inexorably at a predictable rate; it is not aimed at end consumers, so THEY choose lower emissions, but commercial energy users, to influence THEIR forward investment choices.

    Carbon pricing could, of course, come with subsidy support for effected businesses, or compensations to deflect impacts on vulnerable consumers, or just used to (temporarily) lower overall tax burdens – but personally, I am not a big fan of mandated uses for specific taxes, preferring our government’s hands not be tied (whilst taxation and spending is kept under constant, unrelenting scrutiny and review). I see that the created price difference itself as the principle mechanism and needs to do so without reliance on where those funds get directed. Best if they are directed to best effect, of course.

  141. Steven Mosher says:

    Here’s betting that RCP 8.5 dies before Coal Dies.

  142. Joshua says:

    Mark –

    That was a Poe. I thought that rhe extenion of the argument to manufacturers giving away their products and paying their employees millions would give it away.

    JH –

    Given that I have multiple misspellings, typos, or nonsensical autocorrects in virtually every comment I make, I’m in no position to get upset if someone has a typo when they post my name.

    Thanks for the apology, but none necessary.

  143. Steven Mosher says:

    “Will Homo sapiens even last a million years?”
    weird to think that the value of a species is connected to how long it lasts.

  144. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Will Homo sapiens even last a million years?”

    hopefully not, hopefully Homo rationalis will make an appearance by then… H. sensumcommunem would be a good start ;o)

  145. verytallguy says:

    “Here’s betting that RCP 8.5 dies before Coal Dies.”

    Here’s betting that all the fossil fuel is extracted until there is none left.

    I like this “assertion through gambling” logical fallacy. It’s a new one on me.

  146. Dave_Geologist says:

    Or, John and dikran, we could upload ourselves into the AI and last until the heat death of the Universe (via intermediate steps of Planetary AI (AC in the quote), Galactic AI, Universal AI and Cosmic AI).

    One by one Man fused with AC, each physical body losing its mental identity in a manner that was somehow not a loss but a gain.

    Man’s last mind paused before fusion, looking over a space that included nothing but the dregs of one last dark star and nothing besides but incredibly thin matter, agitated randomly by the tag ends of heat wearing out, asymptotically, to the absolute zero.

    Man said, “AC, is this the end? Can this chaos not be reversed into the Universe once more? Can that not be done?”

    AC said, “THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER.”

    Man’s last mind fused and only AC existed — and that in hyperspace.

    Read the story to find out What Humanity Did Next (OK, the AI which had subsumed humanity). No spoilers. The Last Question by Isaac Asimov.

    He later explored Stage One of the process in Gaia.

    Gaia is a fictional planet described in the book Foundation’s Edge (1982) and referred to in Foundation and Earth (1986), by Isaac Asimov. The name is derived from the Gaia hypothesis, which is itself eponymous to Gaia, the Earth Goddess.

    In this fictional universe, Gaia is located in the Sayshell Sector, about ten parsecs (32 light years) from the system Sayshell itself. It orbits a G-4 class star, and has one natural satellite (50 km or 31 miles in diameter). Its axial inclination is 12°, and a Gaian day lasts 0.92 Galactic Standard Days.

    In its course of settlement, the human beings on Gaia, under robotic guidance, not only evolved their ability to form an ongoing group consciousness, but also extended this consciousness to the fauna and flora of the planet itself, even including inanimate matter. As a result the entire planet became a super-organism.

    Ah, if only we could be imaginative in our real-world solutions as we are in our fiction! Guess the laws of physics get in the way, as well as politics and economics.

  147. dikranmarsupial says:

    not sure I would enjoy the prospect of my own company for eternity…

  148. Willard says:

    Since 8.5 implies we burn lots of coal, if coal disappears we’ll be past 8.5.

  149. Steven Mosher says:

    “Since 8.5 implies we burn lots of coal, if coal disappears we’ll be past 8.5”

    “Here’s betting that RCP 8.5 dies before Coal Dies.”

    more explicitly. RCP 8.5 will die as a scare tactic before we stop using coal.
    if RCP 8.5 looks improbable now, wait five 5years and see how silly it looks.

  150. John Hartz says:

    We all should be like Rip Van Winkle. (My fondest wish is to go to sleep until the Orange Boy-King no longer occupies the Oval Office.)

  151. John Hartz says:

    The winner of last night’s food fight between Dem Presidential candidates:

    Tom Steyer

  152. Joshua says:

    A: if you keep consuming sugar at that rate, it will likely have negative health outcomes…

    B: That’s silly.

  153. John Hartz says:

    Here’s betting that most of us are hoping ATTP will post a new OP sooner rather than later. This thread has pretty much run its course. 🙂

  154. Willard says:

    > RCP 8.5 will die as a scare tactic

    Luckwarmers will die before they stop using “but RCPs” as a scare tactic.

  155. “Show me an honest and good faith attempt to illustrate a sophisticated naysayer argument to your preferred answers to those questionable.’

    There were two questions. I answered the first one- who pays the $660 billion? Statistically the middle class under your plan to rebate to lower income.
    The second question was “what’s the revenue stream for the energy transformation?” The answer is- under your plan, either there isn’t one or there will be another new tax.

    Best case for a carbon tax- don’t rebate it, put it to avoidance options. Politically difficult because it’s regressive and heavy on the middle class (both the left and right will fight it).

  156. izen says:

    @-jeffn
    “I answered the first one- who pays the $660 billion? Statistically the middle class under your plan to rebate to lower income.”

    I suspect your statistics have to be quite skewed to make this claim.
    It depends on your definition of the ‘Middle Class’. It has shrunk precipitously since the 1970s.
    The ‘middle Class’ by most definitions would be the central 20% of the income/assets distribution. Because of the growing skew in the distribution of income and assets, the majority of the population, including those in the middle class, earn/own less than the average or median income. They are unlikely to be net contributors, at worst they would break even.
    Because most of the income/assets reside in the top quintile, they would be the significant net contributors, the remaining 80% of the population, including by most definitions the middle class, would be beneficiaries.

  157. Hi Izen,
    It depends on the structure of the plan. Joshua indicated paying the dividend to low income people.
    If you use quintiles and low income is the bottom 20%, then 80% of residents will pay the tax. But, a rich person can only “use” so much more carbon than a middle class person. I’m assuming this includes lower-middle, middle and upper middle- 60% of the population is “middle class”.
    Wealthy people have larger homes to heat and cool, but that’s about it. The plumber with a pickup uses the same amount of gas or more going back and forth to work as the rich lady in a Porche. The rich person will probably fly more often as well, but he eats the same amount of corn and chicken and the plumber and billionaire spend about the same amount of time streaming movies or video games on the internet.
    I’d be open to seeing other stats- but I would expect the middle 60% of the population will pay only marginally less than 60% of the tax revenue. The top 20% in the US starts around $100,000 a year- which is not “rich” in most US cities by any stretch. Which means the people who pay this $660 billion will really notice it and not have the money to avoid it, which politically means either they get something real for it- emissions reductions instead of a bigger payout to medicaid- or it’s a tough sell.
    In the US, support for climate action drops significantly if you get above $10 a month in cost- much less than the $2,000/year per capita that Ben figures a $115/tonne carbon tax would yield
    If you don’t use the carbon tax money for energy transformation, and you still expect public spending on energy transformation, then we’re talking about two taxes for Climate Change- the rebated carbon tax and something else for energy.
    The other thing about avoidance- utilities around here are regulated monopolies. Charge my power company $115/tonne carbon tax that you send off to poor people and they simply tack it on to the bill they send me every month. Want them to shut down the coal plant and replace it with something else? They’ll just stick that on my bill too, right on top of the carbon tax. If they replace it with something expensive- I’m paying a ton of money in both carbon tax and new expensive stuff until it comes online at which point I just pay a lot more than I was for new expensive stuff (but no carbon tax).
    When I do get to stop paying the carbon tax, do you think they’ll cut $660 billion in medicaid and food stamps that was funded by the carbon tax? Of course not. The carbon tax will be permanent if it is a social program, though it may morph into a sales tax or higher income tax.

  158. John Hartz says:

    Someone at USA Today must be following this thread because its Editorial Board published this op-ed in today’s edition,,,

    Climate change: Put a price on carbon pollution, then refund the money to consumers, Opinion by Editorial Board, USA Today, Feb 20, 2020

    More often than not, USA Today also publishes an “in opposition” op-ed, In this particular case, it is,,,

    >Climate solutions include free-market innovation, not taxation, Opinion by John Barrasso*, USA Today, Feb 20, 2020

    *Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  159. Joshua says:

    Jeff –

    I linked that article because contained in that article are fairly obvious answers to your rhetorical questions. I’m interested in seeing whether ior not you can accurately convey those answers in the article. Can you do that? I’m not interested in reading your own answers to your rhetorical questions.

  160. Joshua says:

    >. But, a rich person can only “use” so much more carbon than a middle class

    For goodness sakes – you can have a progressive tax. In other words, it isn’t required for rich people to use X amoint more carbon if they pay at a higher rate per unit of carbon used.

    The math here really isn’t too difficult.

  161. izen says:

    @-jeffn
    “I’d be open to seeing other stats- but I would expect the middle 60% of the population will pay only marginally less than 60% of the tax revenue.”

    While I take your point that the carbon footprint of the very rich may not be as disproportionately skewed as their wealth advantage over the lower 90%, repeated studies show that the amount of CO2 a person generates is proportional to their wealth. This is not just in terms of the heating and fuel for transport, but in the indirect CO2 used to make and maintain the larger houses, bigger cars and consumer goods they use. The government head of US education, Betsy DeVos has 10 yatchs and 2 helicopters…

    On the basis of ability to pay the top few percent are most able, the middle 60% of the population pay less than 15% of the tax at present.
    Consider this graph, 2016 seem to be the most recent figures, strangely it seems difficult to find anything authoritative since Trump was elected, but it seems unwise to presume society has become LESS unequal.

    This is now 8 years out of date, but again, it is unlikely that the skew has reduced.
    The GND has a point that until this dis proportionality is addressed, with a return to something closer to the distribution in the 1970s at least, a simplistic carbon tax may not be sufficient. As Joshua suggests the carbon tax rate could be linked to level of wealth.

    Grrrooowth has not been a balanced experience from the low, middle to top percentiles.

  162. Steven Mosher says:

    “Luckwarmers will die before they stop using “but RCPs” as a scare tactic.

    Not likely since RCP 8.5 is one of the things that allows for luckwarmism
    Already people who are not luckwarmers have adopted the argument without even
    knowing it. which is basically
    It will be bad, but not RCP 8.5 bad, so we should take action.
    in fact you are all becoming luckwarmers, you havent yet realized it.

  163. izen says:

    @-SM
    “It will be bad, but not RCP 8.5 bad, so we should take action.”

    The refutation(?) of RCP 8.5 is that there is insufficient, or it will be uneconomic, to extract and burn enough fossil carbon to reach an atmospheric concentration causing 8.5 W/m2 AFAIK.
    But the energy imbalance does no have to be caused exclusively by CO2. Human dis-ingenuity could find other ways of reaching that level of GHG effect without it all coming from CO2.

    https://ktvz.com/news/environment/2020/02/19/study-fossil-fuel-methane-emissions-vastly-underestimated/

  164. Ben McMillan says:

    The main problem with carbon taxes/trading schemes in practise is that:
    1) Usually huge number of permits given away for free or ‘compensation’ to existing industry, instead of entirely a rebate to citizens.
    2) Setting the price is hard and has been far too low in EU (because industry pushed for low targets).
    3) Normally only works at the margins, so doesn’t drive transformative change like EV adoption or wind/solar until they are already at scale and fairly competetive.
    4) Complicated financial economics mumbo-jumbo that no-one understands leaves everyone with the feeling that they are being ripped off by slick gits in suits. It is a lot easier to understand “we will build 3GW of offshore wind every year”.

  165. Chubbs says:

    Coal and oil-state Barrosso’s comments are ironic, if you want free-market innovation, a carbon tax is the way to go. Per Ben’s comments, a tax should to be simple, global, and to ramp to a high enough value to fully offset climate damage. Won’t solve all climate problems; but, would get us on a much more sustainable pathway both for the environment and the global economy.

  166. Joshua says:

    Ben –

    > 3) Normally only works at the margins, so doesn’t drive transformative change like EV adoption or wind/solar until they are already at scale and fairly competetive.

    In lieu of the successful implementation of a policy that does drive transformative change, I don’t see that as a problem.

    As for the successful implementation of a carbon text – one obstacle is bullshit from conservatives that it would necessarily hurt the poor and middle class.

  167. Joshua says:

    Carbon taxt. Oy.

  168. Joshua says:

    I give up.

  169. JCH says:

    What is this extraction cost that is too high when people are cold?

  170. Chubbs says:

    if the free-market advocates don’t want a free-market solution, they won’t get one.

  171. Ben McMillan says:

    Joshua: I think actually some of the other existing policies have driven pretty radical change, in the sense that things like solar and wind and batteries and EVs are now competitive. Places like the UK/Germany have a broad range of ‘direct action’ type policies in place that have mandated deployment of large quantities of zero-carbon infrastructure, and the resulting low cost of renewables is one of the big reasons it now looks like we will avoid RCP8.5. Large incentives for EVs in the US and elsewhere have also played a role.

    But a carbon tax, even a low one like in the EU, is a pretty good complement to those kind of policies, because driving change at the margins is also important (and cheap).

  172. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    It will be bad, but not RCP 8.5 bad, so we should take action.

    Dumb argument. The “but not RCP 8.5 bad” kinda begs the question.


    in fact you are all becoming luckwarmers, you havent yet realized it.

    And you’re becoming a social-categorical subliminal-psychologist, but you haven’t yet realized that you’re wrong.

    I’m with George Carlin and Kurt Vonnegut Jr and James Hansen and Greta on this.

    My bet, based on the all evidence before me, combined with Finagle’s law of dynamic negatives, is that the Earth will be a hot, stinking, polluted, and radioactive desert-planet before 2070. There might be humans around, but they’ll wear stillsuits whenever they go outside. Rats, roaches, and mutated racoons will rule the land – the oceans, though deeper, will be dead.

    Arrakis – but with no sand-worms and no spice.

  173. Izen: “On the basis of ability to pay the top few percent are most able, the middle 60% of the population pay less than 15% of the tax at present.”

    Yes, because the tax you’re referring to is progressive. The only way to achieve the same results from a regressive carbon tax would be selective application. You could, for example, institute something akin to a luxury tax- high rates on air travel, consumer goods over a certain value, or applying the carbon tax only to household energy use over some baseline amount. To a certain extent this is being done now with a different approach- there are subsidies available to those who can afford to put solar panels on their large roofs or purchase the more expensive electric cars.
    But this would not reduce emissions significantly. The reason high cigarette taxes achieve their goal of reducing smoking is because they triple the price of smoking for everyone. Panhandlers, plumbers, upper middle class code writers, and billionaires pay the same price for a pack of coffin nails. Because there are a whole lot more non-billionaires than billionaires, the number of cigarettes consumed significantly declines. If only billionaires paid the smokes tax, there would be no detectable change. By the by, if Joshua were clever he could note that some make the argument that cigarette taxes are “rebated” to the poor in the form of medicaid funding. If you assume money’s not fungible.
    That said, a selectively applied carbon/luxury tax could be formulated to reduce emissions if you do not rebate it, but instead use the revenue for energy transformation. That would work, you’d have more political support for it, left and right. One possible -important caveat that word – problem would be the temptation among policy makers to take that large, new revenue stream and spend it on something other than what you want them to spend it on.
    And then, of course, they may opt to spend it on energy you don’t like- natural gas for one example.

  174. Willard says:

    > Already people who are not luckwarmers have adopted the argument without even knowing it.

    I’d say it’s the other way around. Remove the first line of the Contrarian Matrix and there’s a luckwarmer somewhere who made the argument:

    https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/

    Ecological opportunism applied to memes.

  175. Joshua says:

    Ben –

    How do you estimate the likelihood that “direct action” policies will be implemented in the US?

    Hard to assess, obviously – but since I’m not confident either way, in the context of that uncertainty I look at the marginal benefits of a carbon tax (I think the range of the margin is pretty wide, there) as a more constructive focus than its limitations. If course we don’t have to choose one focus or the other.

  176. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    …and there’s a luckwarmer somewhere who made the argument…

    Ecological opportunism applied to memes.

    More precisely: r-selection theory applied to memes.
    High fecundity, early maturity onset, short generation time, and the ability to disperse rapidly and widely.
    Minimal parental investment.
    Some luckwarm memes even “go viral”.

    K-selection meme traits would involve larger intellectual resource investments and smaller future discount-your-rhetoric rates than luckwarmers can tolerate.

  177. Ben McMillan says:

    Joshua: no idea about how likely increased ‘direct action’ is in the US. I get the impression current progress is driven by groups of states rather than at the national level. That’s certainly what’s happened in Australia: at the state level, even some conservative governments are moving towards setting targets on CO2 emissions. Carbon taxes on a sub-national level would be tricky.

    I’m not intending to dissuade people from pursuing a carbon tax. Maybe I should just be praising its positive features, but I like examining how these things work in practice: there are issues that have come to light in real-world carbon tax implementations that are more interesting than an unproductive back-and-forth about distribution.

  178. Joshua says:

    Ben. OK, I got it.

  179. Steven Mosher says:

    “It will be bad, but not RCP 8.5 bad, so we should take action.

    Dumb argument. The “but not RCP 8.5 bad” kinda begs the question.

    But Rev it’s not an argument, it’s an observation.
    lets say the two dominant stories were
    1. its a hoax
    2. It will be very bad (points to RCP 8.5)

    I observe that shifting to
    1. Its a hoax, or Ice age is coming!
    2. Its EXTINCTION, panic and do something!!!
    3. It will be bad, but not RCP 8.5 Bad, we need to take responsible action.

    In short, You have two unhinged wings each trying to shift the window.
    and the folks standing above their silly ranting. variants of luckwarming.

    but the folks making argument #3 will be mainstream climate scientists, energy analysts,
    ect. You woul not call them luckwarmers, but they are.

  180. mrkenfabian says:

    When it comes to rich people, I think it is not their lifestyle choices that really matter, but their investment and business choices. Even extravagant consumption looks small in comparison. When paying for negative emissions become a component of the price of extravagant consumption it should come out right; no-one gets prevented from flying their private jet or driving supercharged fuel guzzlers but the externalised costs need to be internalised. And low emissions extravagance needs to be on the menu. Carbon pricing does seem to be a key measure.

  181. dikranmarsupial says:

    SM wrote “and the folks standing above their silly ranting. variants of luckwarming.

    but the folks making argument #3 will be mainstream climate scientists, energy analysts,”

    November, by any meaningful definition of “luckwarming ” the IPCC are not “luckwarmers”. Also several mainstream climate scientists have been explaining that (including carbon cycle feedback) we can’t rule out RCP8.5.

  182. Dave_Geologist says:

    4. But in the 1970s scientists said there would be an Ice Age!

    Broecker 1975. In one of the two most prestigious scientific journals.

    Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?

  183. David B. Benson says:

    Dave_Geologist, well done!

  184. David B. Benson says:

    A reminder that quite a bit of energy & also climate information links are found @
    https://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/
    where you may register to comment. Moderation is post-facto.

  185. Willard says:

    > But in the 1970s scientists said there would be an Ice Age!

  186. John Hartz says:

    In the context of the OP and the ensuing discussion, this article caught my eye. I cannot help but wonder if the Chase Morgan analysts who wrote this report brought RCP’s into the discussion. We can easily find out once the report is finalized and published. The article is based on a leaked draft copy of the report.

    JP Morgan economists warn climate crisis is threat to human race by Patrick Greenfield and Jonathan Watts, Environment, Guardian, Feb 21, 2020

  187. Joshua says:

    In all fairness, Stevie-Mac may not have been a Russian asset on this one:

    https://bloggingheads.tv/videos/58279

  188. mrkenfabian says:

    1975 National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Report “Understanding Climatic Change: A Program for Action”, from the Foreword – (Broecker again?) –

    “Unfortunately, we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what deter- mines its course. Without this fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate neither in its short-term variations nor in its larger long-term changes.”

    I suspect the 1970’s global cooling hype gave extra impetus to that “Program for Action” intended to remedy that lack of quantitative understanding, to make it possible to predict. Understanding exactly why we need not be alarmed about an imminent ice age turned out to be not nearly so reassuring as we might have hoped. We really needed to know, so thank you ice age alarmists for raising the profile of climate science.

  189. Dave_Geologist says:

    ken, from the Broeker paper, what we did understand in the 1970s was that the CO2 with water vapour feedback combined to give 2-4°C of warming per CO2 doubling (plus ça change…).

    What we didn’t understand was how the half of emissions that doesn’t stay in the atmosphere was partitioned between biomass and the oceans (he thought more of a biomass weighting than we now do, hence more concern about biomass absorption saturating, and less about ocean acidification), the impact of particulates and the net cloud feedback, and the scale of natural centennial-scale cycles (although he recognised that in the decades leading up up to the 1970s they were on a cooling trend, counteracting some of our warming but that that would reverse). It also looks to me that the weighting of cooling counteracting warming before the 1970s was too heavy on natural cycles and too light on particulates (and man-made aerosols, which were not mentioned). And missing the reduction in those to combat acid rain, partially counteracted by ignoring CFCs, and their surge and then control to save the ozone layer.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.