Gerry Canavan :- Meanwhile, in Russia (and Greenland)

I had the following extensive conversation at http://gerrycanavan.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/meanwhile-in-russia/

Good on Alex for being prepared to discuss the issues, we started off about the duplicity in claiming that the hot Russian summer proves global warming, but as you will read, he has trouble accepting the facts that I point out and especially in the issue where we discuss whether the IPCC ever discusses the cost to the normal citizen of the western world, of attaining the required CO2 emission reductions, he tries to sidetrack me by pretending the discussions of the mitigation of global warming are what we are looking for.

He also resorts several times to ad hominem attacks by calling me unscientific and comparing my argument with excrement, but in the end, like me, he was unable to find any IPCC reference to the economic cost to us in the western world, of meeting the IPCC emission requirements and wealth transfers.

For a while I thought he had found some IPCC commentary on the costs of emission reductions, so I waited till I had time to read and digest them properly. Unfortunately when I tried to find the articles (he refused to give me the links) I found that they only appeared to be dealing with the mitigation of climate change, which is quite a different subject from the cost of emission reductions.

So it appears in order to get the last word, Gerry/Alex was prepared to use deceit and lies. Well where have I encountered that before?

What an irresponsible set of documents  the IPCC reports are!

 

Yup I know, and last winter was just bad weather as well, nothing to do with global cooling right?

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2010/pr201
00301.html
http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKPEK161570._CH_.24202008020
4
http://www.climatelogic.com/forecasts/winter-2010-forecast-e
urope.html
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0105/Cold-weather-winter-i
s-chilliest-in-many-people-s-memory
http://www.theage.com.au/world/siberian-winds-usher-in-recor
d-lows-in-beijing-20100103-lna6.html
http://www.sott.net/articles/show/205582-Russia-s-top-weathe
rman-says-winter-in-Siberia-may-be-coldest-on-record
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5427974,00.html
http://www.mongolianviews.com/2010/01/coldest-winter-in-last
-thirty-years.html
http://econotwist.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/coldest-january-i
n-norwegian-history/
http://language.globaltimes.cn/bilingual/2010-03/515841.html

http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/sport-news/footbal
l/world-cup-2010-south-africa/06/17/coldest-world-cup-ever/f
reezing-winter-games-in-south-africa.html

rogerthesurf

August 10, 2010 at 6:01 am

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  • Of course you don’t model climate by stacking cold winters against hot summers and seeing which there’s more of. But that’s not what climate scientists do, and it’s not what I’m doing here. My point is that what’s happening in Russia, Greenland, and Pakistan right now is consistent with the claims of climate scientists that extreme weather events of this sort will occur, and increase, as we continue to damage the climate through the release of CO2. My point is that reality continues to be real, despite denialism.

    There’s no countervailing theory of “global cooling” for which your links provide evidentiary support. Nobody thinks “global cooling” is happening except a handful of Republican Party leaders. It’s not a scientific hypothesis; as Wolfgang Pauli would say it’s not even wrong. In fact my guess is that most or all of your links, properly contextualized, are actually suggestive of the extreme weather patterns and “climate weirding” that climate scientists tell us will occur and increase as a result of anthropogenic climate change. If the Gulf Stream were to slow or shut down, for instance, England would get *very* cold, even as the rest of the planet on average got hotter.

    gerrycanavan

    August 10, 2010 at 6:25 am

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  • necessary caveats: Obviously we should always keep in mind the difference between weather and climate. Obviously this post is more poke in the eye than rigorous scientific proof.

    But the trends are the trends — bad-faith skepticism and cherry-picking cold winters won’t change that.

    gerrycanavan

    August 10, 2010 at 6:28 am

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  • Oops How about cherry picking hot summers then?

    rogerthesurf

    August 10, 2010 at 6:34 am

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  • Some would say (myself included) that they disagree global warming is necessarily a direct result of man’s activities. I base this not on circumstantial evidence, but on my distrust of certain institutions and political groups with vested financial interests in the manmade version of global warming and a general lack of incontrovertible evidence coming from those same institutions and political groups that ‘people did this’. I see smoking guns all over the world, but no actual gunmen.

    There can be absolutely no doubt that climate change is happening.

    August 10, 2010 at 6:35 am

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  • Some would say (myself included) that they disagree global warming is necessarily a direct result of man’s activities. I base this not on circumstantial evidence, but on my distrust of certain institutions and political groups with vested financial interests in the manmade version of global warming and a general lack of incontrovertible evidence coming from those same institutions and political groups that ‘people did this’. I see smoking guns all over the world, but no actual gunmen.

    Yes, this is the “bad faith skepticism” I was talking about. If I may restate what you say above:

    “I don’t like the people who say climate change is anthropogenic, so I don’t think it is.”

    Nobody can provide you with “incontrovertible evidence” of something you admit you’re choosing to reject for political reasons. Given that no evidence was required for you to reject climate change — only personal prejudice against “certain institutions and political groups” — no amount of evidence will ever be good enough to make you change your mind.

    There can be absolutely no doubt that climate change is happening.

    Well, I’m glad we got that sorted out.

    gerrycanavan

    August 10, 2010 at 6:43 am

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  • Oops, sorry for the nasty tone, gr8oldgrumpy1 — I had thought both posts were from rogerthesurf and that he was completely shifting the goalposts.

    But though I wish I’d said it more politely, I’d still say the same basic thing: when you can admit that you’re a climate skeptic just because you don’t like “certain institutions and political groups,” you’ve taken yourself out of reasoned debate on the subject.

    gerrycanavan

    August 10, 2010 at 6:48 am

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  • Keep up the acerbic tone, Canavan. It’s good for the soul.

    @rogerthesurf: Oops How about cherry picking hot summers then?

    He already responded to that:

    Obviously this post is more poke in the eye than rigorous scientific proof.

    Person A: Global warming is real. The global mean temperature has been increasing for a very long time now. Scientific evidence supports this. There is no dissensus on this. The most convincing models suggest that it is manmade. The unbelievably hot summers are a sign that it is happening.

    Person B: It was really cold this winter . Where’s your global warming?

    Person A: The temperature this winter has nothing to do with it, because global mean temperature is about climate trends, not weather patterns.

    Person B: But you just said, “Global warming exists because it’s a hot summer.”

    Person A: No, I said that the hot summer is a piece of evidence. The proof of global warming is long-term climate data and modeling. But numbskulls like you refuse to accept that data. So I throw in hot summers and melting ice caps just to help you understand better.

    Person B: Hot summers don’t prove global warming.

    Person A: [Sigh]

    NB: This winter wasn’t, overall, cooler than average; just in North America, Europe, and Russia; you’ll notice that every one of your links mentions specific places – Siberia, Europe, North America. The rest of the world was slightly warmer than average: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=6&sat=4&sst=1&type=anoms&mean_gen=1203&year1=2009&year2=2010&base1=1951&base2=2010&radius=1200&pol=reg.

    Alex

    August 10, 2010 at 11:14 am

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  • Also, rogerthesurf, a note for future argumentation: fifty news stories that all use the same AP byline (or the same 3 AP bylines) do not constitute fifty unique pieces of evidence. They constitute one piece of evidence repeated 50 times.

    Alex

    August 10, 2010 at 11:18 am

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  • Now, Alex, don’t complicate matters by bringing *facts* into this.

    gerrycanavan

    August 10, 2010 at 11:22 am

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  • The point I was trying to make is that whenever we have a hot event such as in Russia it “proves” global warming, but when we have a cold event which in this case covered all of the northern hemisphere except parts of Canada, it is explained away as a local event and meaningless in terms of the overall climate.

    Personally I think such observations do not prove AGW either way, all they can possibly prove, if the data is accurate, is the the climate is changing. Invariably any reasonable evidence or lack of it, with regard to actual causation, is omitted or ignored or as I believe does not actually exist.

    Cheers

    Roger
    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    rogerthesurf

    August 10, 2010 at 6:06 pm

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  • The point I was trying to make is that whenever we have a hot event such as in Russia it “proves” global warming, but when we have a cold event which in this case covered all of the northern hemisphere except parts of Canada, it is explained away as a local event and meaningless in terms of the overall climate.

    [Sigh]

    Alex

    August 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm

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  • With regard to your second point, climate measurements prove the globe is warming, and models of solar forcing demonstrate the human impact. Could other causes lead to massive planetary warming? Yes, but they’re not. We know that GHGs in the environment trap energy, and we even know – within certain parameters and allowing for various anomalies – how much energy each PPM of GHGs trap, and therefore how much impact they will have on a square meter of the earth’s surface. There are anomalies, there are uknowns, there are uncertainties (especially when you project the models far into the future), but we do understand the causal relationship between greenhouse gasses and rises in temperature – the greenhouse effect. This isn’t like theories on the origin of the universe or time travel. We can observe the interactions between light energy and greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and in controlled settings (you can do it yourself: set up a box, put a certain amount of carbon fumes in it, and point a heat lamp at it; do the same with an empty box; see which one is hotter after an hour [nb: the heat will escape the empty box faster than the one with carbon fumes in it, and it will thus stay cooler]). So stop pretending that you’re just a humble skeptic who doesn’t think humans can be so presumptuous as to render the atmosphere unfit for organic life, and realize that you’re just someone who thinks that because they don’t understand something it must not exist.

    Alex

    August 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm

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  • “So stop pretending that you’re just a humble skeptic who doesn’t think humans can be so presumptuous as to render the atmosphere unfit for organic life, and realize that you’re just someone who thinks that because they don’t understand something it must not exist.”

    Sorry to disappoint you, but I have an excellent undersgtanding of AGW arguments.

    The achilles heel of the unproven “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis is that I have yet to find any empirical facts that support it.
    I have seen many empirical observations and I have seen the results of many models (which assume the above hypothesis as their basis) and there appears to be some possible correlation. However none of these are reasonable proof of the hypothesis.
    However in spite of what you think,I do have an open mind, and if I can see all the other hypothesis that also fit the observations disproved, the disproofs of the current hypothesis explained and some empirical research on actual causation, I must conclude that there is no proof that justifies the economic chaos which the IPCC’s proposed emission reductions and economic transfers will cause to our way of life.

    cheers

    Roger
    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    rogerthesurf

    August 10, 2010 at 9:59 pm

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  • Sorry correction to above. Please read

    “However in spite of what you think,I do have an open mind, and unless I can see all the other hypothesis that also fit the observations disproved, the disproofs of the current hypothesis explained and some empirical research on actual causation, I must conclude that there is no proof that justifies the economic chaos which the IPCC’s proposed emission reductions and economic transfers will cause to our way of life.

    rogerthesurf

    August 10, 2010 at 10:01 pm

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  • However in spite of what you think,I do have an open mind, and unless I can see all the other hypothesis that also fit the observations disproved, the disproofs of the current hypothesis explained and some empirical research on actual causation, I must conclude that there is no proof that justifies the economic chaos which the IPCC’s proposed emission reductions and economic transfers will cause to our way of life.

    This is an impossible standard of proof that you hold in no other aspect of your life, much less for any other sort of science. No one asks their doctor to see “all other hypotheses that also fit the observations disproved and the [crackpot] disproofs of the current hypothesis explained and some empirical research on actual causation” before starting treatment. You recognize that the experts in the field have done that work and come up with the best hypothesis for the facts available — which is exactly what has happened with regard to climate change.

    The absolute standard of proof you demand doesn’t even hold for the evidence you’ve submitted in this thread: “But last winter was cold!” And that evidence, as Alex showed in one of his links, wasn’t even right.

    gerrycanavan

    August 11, 2010 at 4:24 am

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    • I have not submitted any evidence in this thread, The links I gave initially were to point out that Alarmists are claiming the heat in Russia is a result of global warming whereas when it was claimed that the cold winter contradicted global warming, this was passed off as not significant enough to effect the trend. In otherwords I was pointing out the double standards in play here.

      “best hypothesis for the facts available”

      There is some truth in that statement, although attempts to change history in order to try to erase the Medieval Warm Period, The Roman Warm Period and the Holocene Maximum from history tend to suggest that there may be better hypothesis around.
      http://rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com/porky-no-3-ipcc-attempts-to-change-history/

      However the point is (and you are quite correct), that all this palaver about anthropogenic co2 induced climate change is based on a hypothesis without any actual empirical proof.

      Now this may be fine if it was simply an arguement about evolution vs creationalism or techtonic plate movement or whatever, BUT IN THIS CASE in order to meet the IPCC emission standards ie a 40% reduction from 1990 levels (thats about 57% from todays emissions) plus the proposed transfers of wealth, we will simply ruin our economies.
      What does ruining our economies mean? Well in simple terms it means that there will be poverty, unemployment and possibly starvation in my country and yours.
      As an economist I can assure you that this a certain outcome, and very much more certain than the AGW consequences appear at the present.

      So maybe we do need to starve ourselves and our children in order to save the planet, but if the cost of doing so is so extreme WE NEED BETTER PROOF THAN JUST A MERE “BEST HYPOTHESIS” BEFORE WE START PAYING! Don’t you think?

      Cheers

      Roger

      http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

      rogerthesurf

      August 11, 2010 at 6:49 pm

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      • That’s stupid. How about, given the overwhelming evidence that anthropogenic global warming exists and will cause significant damage to human beings, how can you justify not acting on it based on a flimsy, poorly-tested hypothesis about economic harm?

        Alex

        August 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm

  • “I don’t like the people who say climate change is anthropogenic, so I don’t think it is.”

    “I like to reiterate other peoples’ statements in my own words and thereby miss the point completely.”

    Give me evidence from a reliable source and I will believe the moon is made of cheese and God exists. I have still not discounted either possibility to date 😉

    August 11, 2010 at 8:42 am

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  • I would add to Gerry’s last comment that people have tested most of the alternate theories of global warming. Solar flares, for example, have been written about in numerous papers, and the overwhelming conclusion is that they do not contribute to global warming. Here’s a summary with a link to a pdf review paper (not sure you’ll be able to download the paper, itself, unless you want to pay for it or you’re at a university with a subscription): http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/the-trouble-with-sunspots/. Nobody decided one night that global warming would be caused by GHGs and that would be the end of the story. The firmness of their conclusion has come after 60 years of measuring and hypothesis testing (and it was dismissed by Fox News, et. al. after one night of deciding they didn’t like the economic prescriptions). I’m sure the Fifth IPCC Assessment will have a massive section discussing alternative explanations for global warming and explaining why they’re not true. In fact, the Fourth Assessment does have explanations of modeling and why climate scientists do not give credit to many of the other hypotheses, although there’s no particular section called “Why Alternate Hypotheses do not Account for Global Warming.” Here’s the chapter if you want to look through it in more depth: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8.html. In short, the scientific community cares about the alternative hypotheses, even if they are outlandish. They want the public to understand the science, and they want to cover all their bases.

    It is also seems worth noting that the IPCC is a massive review panel on climate change, involving a good portion of the climate science community and supported by most people practicing in that field (allowing for differences of interpretation at certain specific points, e.g., degree of warming [with many people predicting much more warming than IPCC allows for]), whereas the most important work that argues against action on climate change – The Stern Report – has not had the backing of the majority of the economics profession. I would also add that even the Stern Report is not anti-climate change mitigation and trusts the physical science (of course, it’s using the third IPCC, which was less dire in its predictions than the fourth): “Tackling climate change is the pro-growth strategy for the longer term and it can be done in a way that does not cap the aspirations for growth of rich or poor countries” and “Central estimates of the annual costs of achieving stabilisation between 500 and 550ppm CO2e are around 1% of global GDP, if we start to take strong action now. […] It would already be very difficult and costly to aim to stabilise at 450ppm CO2e. If we delay, the opportunity to stabilise at 500-550ppm CO2e may slip away.”
    The Stern Report is the major work that started the economics-based reaction to climate science. You may not realize that that’s where your views on economic damage from the IPCC prescriptions comes from, but it is. But the problem is, lay people reading the Stern Report have not faithfully reproduced its conclusions, and instead ran with them to their reductio ad absurdam, built up a climate science denial movement, and recruited a few fringe physicists and geologists to support them.
    (We should add that the Stern Report was written in a time of high growth levels, and the report assumes that these growth levels will remain stable; reality has had other things to say in the mean time.)

    P.S. My favorite instance of a scientist saying we shouldn’t worry about climate change was a geologist writing an op-ed about how we should think of this in geological time: human-induced climate change may be important to the welfare of humans on the planet earth, but when we look at it from the perspective of 3 billion years, humans probably won’t be around then anyway; nihilism at its finest!

    Alex

    August 11, 2010 at 11:00 am

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  • The point is not that the evidence isn’t there. It’s that you refuse to look for it.

    Alex

    August 11, 2010 at 11:01 am

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  • Here’s a link to the most recent large-scale paper on climate change, the American Meteorilogical Society’s State of the Climate in 2009: http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/

    Alex

    August 11, 2010 at 11:07 am

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  • As far as testing outlandish hypotheses goes, look at the last paragraph in the Real Climate link that I gave you:

    “Slightly more novel is the description in the News section of a new experiment at CERN that is attempting to test the cosmic-ray/cloud hypothesis by building a large cloud chamber mimicking the atmosphere and firing high energy particles at it. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the idea, but given the $11 million to spend on climate change research, we would have tended to favour projects that, unlike this one, have at least some empirical support within the observations….”

    In short, they’re spending $11 million dollars to test one of the crackpot hypotheses. And you still complain that they ignore alternative explanations!

    Alex

    August 11, 2010 at 11:11 am

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  • Other commonly-proffered claims that are false:

    Claim: Climate scientists base their theory of global warming on surface temperature measurements and ignore satellite and weather balloon data.
    Reality: Climate scientists look at all three and extensively debate the merits of each and model to account for differences.

    Claim: Climate change is cyclical. We had a medieval warming period that was comparable.
    Reality: “Claims that global average temperatures during Medieval times were warmer than present-day are based on a number of false premises that a) confuse past evidence of drought/precipitation with temperature evidence, b) fail to disinguish regional from global-scale temperature variations, and c) use the entire “20th century” to describe “modern” conditions , fail to differentiate between relatively cool early 20th century conditions and the anomalously warm late 20th century conditions.”

    Claim: Only geological or cosmic events can have impacts on the earth’s temperature
    Reality: For a similar reason (i.e., light spectrum absorption) as to why a large volcano will cause cooler temperatures, carbon in the atmosphere will cause warmer temperatures (sulphur dioxide is reflective; carbon dioxide absorptive; solar forcing is not a constant, but it is more constant than carbon levels, which are generally increasing over time).

    Claim: Climategate showed that the scientists were hiding information from the public, and that warming was exaggerated.
    Reality: The scientists involved climategate were using technical terms that can be found in published papers (“hide the decline” is a method introduced by Keith Briffa in a 1998 paper that demonstrates how to deal with the fact that tree ring evidence for temperatures is different from actually-observed temperatures from 1960 onwards; and “Mike’s Nature trick” refers to a rather ingenuous heuristic device from another 1998 Nature paper by Mann, et. al., in which they map climate reconstructions alongside recorded temperatures in order to contextualize the evidence, i.e., in order to help the reader out). There were two independent inquiries into the CRU scientists, and both exonerated them of all wrong-doing. Climategate, like the takedown of ACORN, was a false scandal. The people who hyped it up were liars or delusional or both. That is the extent of it. http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements?notFound=true

    Alex

    August 11, 2010 at 11:45 am

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  • Well Alex,

    Lets use our own brains on this shall we.

    A little lesson in basic economic.

    Fact: The great economic depression of the 1930′s saw about a 30% drop in economic activity. (Milton Freidman)

    Consider this. If we wanted to for example restrict our usage of Electricity, gas, petrol and diesel to about 50% of current usage, what would this do to the economy.
    First of all our governments could restrict supply through legislation which would mean a price rise to the consumer of something like at least 500%.
    Because almost This cost would immediately trickle through every part of our economy ranging from food prices to consumer goods and building materials as almost every economic activity uses at least one of these forms of energy.
    The obvious industry that would founder would be the automotive industry. That means considerable unemployment trickling throughout the economy when you consider related industries.
    Flying would be at an impossible price so the Airline industry would founder = more unemployment.
    Farm prices would rocket so the cost of food would multiply.
    The cost of tranporting goods would sky rocket which adds to the cost of everything.
    The cost of heating and air/con would be restricted to the very wealthy.
    Government GDP would drop and governments would neccesarily need to withdraw services.
    Even things like pumping sewerage and fresh water would become incedibly expensive. etc etc.

    Alternative energies theoretically would ameliorate this a little, but the progress is somewhat meager at the moment.

    Sequestering carbon via forests such as being attempted in my country at the moment will result in long term lost food production.

    Rationing would have the same effect except there would be shortages which really the same as price rises only worse.

    Try and think of a solution, and I am probably being very conservative in my estimation of the neccesary price rise of energy as traditionally, price rises have had very little effect on the consumption-esp petrol and diesel, but it is easy to see that the economy would shrink by more than the 30% estimated for the 1930′s.

    Cheers

    Roger

    rogerthesurf

    August 11, 2010 at 8:52 pm

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  • As long as we’re making unwarranted, untested claims based on pure speculation, I’ll give it a try: If we don’t stop global warming, the earth will warm a gajillion degrees, and flies will grow to the size of baseballs and be able to process rational thought and they will conquer the world, and tidal waves will sink North Dakota, and we’ll all be living in a North Dakota-less, fly-ridden world. But all the humans will be dead because they will have cooked to death. Just use your brain, man. Fact: Milton Friedman was an economist. Fact: There are thirteen stripes on the American flag. Wake up, sheeple.

    Alex

    August 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm

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    • So long as you are prepared to starve yourself and your family over an unproven hypothesis, go for it.

      Cheers

      Roger

      rogerthesurf

      August 12, 2010 at 1:18 am

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  • Remember that doing nothing is also a choice. Our
    choice to deal with the climate crisis is, by your own statements, in accordance with “the best hypothesis for the facts available.” Your choice — again by your own concessions — violates that very same “best hypothesis,” and in fact you admit that doing nothing doesn’t have a similarly compelling scientific basis. You don’t have any real counter-evidence; you just want to be absolutely sure before we start messing with the economy.

    This is the cognitive bias called status quo bias which irrationally favors stasis over change. It sounds to me as if there’s a bit of loss aversion in there too.

    Well, we have to do one or the other, and we can’t ever be “sure” to the standard you demand. And we only have our various hypotheses to go on. So: we can follow the “best hypothesis” available (our course), or we can abandon what science tells us, cross our fingers, and hope for the best (your course). So going *only on your own statements*, a person reading this thread should conclude that the “best hypothesis” available compels us to deal with climate change, and that the person arguing for inaction is irrationally risk-averse, allowing the cognitive bias towards stasis to skew their judgment of costs and benefits. By your own admission, you’re not following the best scientific hypothesis, or indeed any scientific hypothesis — so why should we listen to you?

    gerrycanavan

    August 12, 2010 at 3:39 am

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  • “So long as you are prepared to starve yourself and your family over an unproven hypothesis, go for it.”

    Now, now, let’s not be Alarmist.

    gerrycanavan

    August 12, 2010 at 3:40 am

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  • In all seriousness, there are a lot of assumptions you are making in claiming that the economic and human impact of mitigating carbon in the atmosphere will be greater than the economic and human impact of not doing so. You’re committing a classical logical fallacy (in fact, it’s one that classical economists were very prone to) namely, you’re treating the economic system as a strictly bounded entity, in which GDP/production suddenly becomes the same everywhere and at all times. Here are some of the assumptions that come to mind, and I’m sure you have answers (although slim evidence) to all of them, and I’m sure your answers will also be riddled with logical fallacies: 1) You assume, with no margin of confidence, that some of the more dire prediction models of global warming are wrong (in fact, you assume that some of the least dire prediction models are wrong, again with no margin of confidence). In your model, things like rising sea levels, drought, other problems caused by heat (like a human inability to work for long periods of time), etc., simply do not exist. There is only one factor: oil and its impact on the economy. 2) You assume that there are no other problems with a high-carbon economy. You assume that things like oil spills, oil wars, etc., have a negligible impact on the economy. You also assume that peak oil is also a myth and that it will not become more scarce as time goes on. 3) You assume that there will be no amplification effects on the global warming side (although you assume there will be amplification effects if we curb carbon use). In other words, the less-carbon economy behaves according to laws of supply and demand, creating systemic effects when you curb use of one part of the system, but the more-carbon economy does not operate in that manner; things like drought and rising sea levels will not have ripple effects throughout the system. 4) You assume that there will be no slack taken up in other parts of the system. You assume that a carbon tax that went directly to fund alternative energy development would not create alternative forms of energy (this seems like a very strange assumption). You assume that things like more efficient use of space – urban gardens, trains instead of cars, etc. – could not be implemented. 5) You assume that production will continue unmitigated, regardless of what happens outside (unless what happens outside is government interference). You assume that growth levels will continue unchecked; you assume that nothing except the government can stop the infinite growth of the free market. You seem not to understand why infinite growth models are completely idiotic, at every level. They make no sense; infinite growth is possible only in a system without inertia (which is why it exists in neoclassical models; they love their inertia-free systems). “Let’s use our brains, here.”

    Alex

    August 12, 2010 at 11:57 am

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  • which is why it exists in neoclassical models; they love their inertia-free systems

    Or rather, I should say that in neoclassical models the only form of inertia is the government (and nefarious leftist social organizations that support it).

    Alex

    August 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm

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  • Rather cheeky for an economist to call climatology junk science, don’t you think?

    R. B. Blair

    August 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

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  • Economics may not be a perfect science, but we can recognise things that will cause economic decline, and the IPCC emission reduction requirements (and wealth transfers which I did not include in my brief explanation above)and the inescapeable roll on effects, are very obvious examples.

    I think it is important that everyone understands everything that is really at stake, and the fact that the IPCC sidesteps the economic consequences in their publications is a serious omission.

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    rogerthesurf

    August 12, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Reply
  • the fact that the IPCC sidesteps the economic consequences in their publications is a serious omission.

    Once again, he makes a claim that is demonstrably false, just because he has an opinion. It may not be to your liking, and it may not be a thorough-enough review of climate economics, but the IPCC absolutely does not “omit” the economic consequences of climate change mitigation:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch17.html
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch18.html
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/contents.html

    The fifth IPCC will have an entire chapter entitled “Economics of Adaptation,” which, I presume will more thoroughly deal with the advances in environmental economics that have occurred since the 4th IPCC. Here is an outline of the fifth IPCC (pdf): http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ar5/ar5-outline-compilation.pdf

    Making shit up is not a legitimate form of argumentation.

    Alex

    August 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Reply
  • “Making shit up is not a legitimate form of argumentation.”

    Couldn’t agree more! Our differences lie in where the shit is coming from.

    OK you gave me a bunch of links from the IPCC. Now would you care to point me and the other readers to where in those links the economic consequences of the emission reductions and wealth transfers on the normal person like you and me are considered.

    I for one am genuinely interested to know exactly where you have found it.

    Cheers

    Roger

    rogerthesurf

    August 12, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Reply
  • Well, since what you were primarily concerned with in your post above is increasing costs of agriculture, transportation, construction, etc., I would direct your attention to Working Group III. In the list of chapters from Working Group III that I’ve listed below, you’ll notice a number of them with the word “Costs of mitigation” or “costs and benefits of mitigation” in the title. I assume that such a chapter would touch on the costs of mitigation. I would especially draw your attention to Working Group III, Chapter 11, “Mitigation from a cross-sectoral perspective.” Here you have subsections like “Macro-economic effects,” etc. Again, these may not be to your liking, but I can’t help that, and your claim that there’s an “omission” of economics is flatly false.
    Additionally, as I mentioned, there will be a special chapter just for you in the Fifth IPCC Report, called “The Economics of Climate Change.”

    If you continue to insist that there is no discussion of economic impacts of GHG mitigation in the IPCC report, given that that is one of the dominant themes of Working Group III, I will have no other alternative but to conclude that you are arguing in bad faith.

    Working Group II:
    17.2.3: “Assessment of Adaptation Costs and Benefits”
    17.3: “Assessment of Adaptation Constraints”
    17.4.2: “Limits and Barriers to Adaptation”
    18.3: “Decision processes, stakeholder objectives and scale”
    18.4.1: “Trade-offs and synergies in global-scale analysis”
    18.4.2: “Consideration of costs and damages avoided and/or benefits gained”
    18.4.3: “Interrelationships within regions and sectors”
    Working Group III:
    3.1, esp. 3.1.3 “Development Trends and the lock-in effect of infrastructure choices,” 3.1.4 “Economic Growth and Convergence,” 3.1.5 “Development pathways and GHG emissions,” 3.1.6 “Institutional frameworks”
    3.6.1 “Insights into the choice of a short-term hedging strategy in the context of long-term uncertainty”
    3.6.2 “Evaluation of short-term mitigation opportunities in long-term stabilization scenarios.”
    4.4 “Mitigation costs and potentials of energy supply”
    5.4.2 “Estimate of World Mitigation costs and potentials in 2030″
    6.5 “Potential for and costs of greenhouse gas mitigation in buildings”
    7.5 “Short- and medium-term mitigation potential and cost”
    8.4 “Description and assessment of mitigation technologies and practices, options and potentials, costs and sustainability”
    9.7.2 “Ancillary effects of GHG mitigation policies”
    11.3 “Overall mitigation potential and costs, including portfolio analysis and cross-sectoral analysis”
    11.4 “Macro-economic effects”
    11.5 “Technology and the costs of mitigation”
    11.6 “From medium-term to long-term mitigation costs and potentials”
    11.8.2 “Impacts of GHG mitigation on employment”
    11.8.3 “Impacts of GHG mitigation on energy security”
    12.2 “Implications of development choices for climate change mitigation”
    12.3 “Implications of mitigation choices for sustainable development goals”

    Alex

    August 12, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Reply
  • Alex,

    I checked those links briefly by searching for key words.

    Considering my brief economic analysis was to do with things like “cost of living”, “energy price”, “unemployment”, “decline in GDP”, “economic effect of wealth transfers” etc. if these things were dealt with, you would expect to get some search results for those words and phrases within the IPCC documents, so why dont you do a search in those documents for something like I suggest above and then see how you get on.

    Better still lead me and the other readers to a specific paragraph where it talks about the economic effect of meeting emission requirements.

    If I said there was nothing there you wouldn’t believe me, and I assure you my mind is always open if you do find something.

    Cheers

    Roger

    rogerthesurf

    August 13, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Reply
  • I’m sorry they didn’t use words that you like. Maybe you can write to them, explain that you’re too lazy to find this stuff on your own, and could they please make their text accord with your vocabulary next time. Below are the texts of summaries from the html. If you download the pdfs, they go into much more detail. These are simply examples; there are many more instances of each throughout the text.
    You know you’ve reached a point of absurdity when someone appeals to the absence of their own terms (terms culled from a subset of a subset of economic literature) “proves” the absence discussions of certain effects (like GDP impact).

    Cost of living: This can be extrapolated from the information available in 11.3, for instance.

    Energy (cf. 4.4.2): “A summary of cost-estimate ranges for the specific technologies as discussed in Section 4.3 is presented in Table 4.7. Costs and technical potentials out to 2030 show that abundant supplies of primary-energy resources will remain available.”

    Employment (cf. 11.8.2): “The net impact on employment in Europe in the manufacturing and construction industries of a 1% annual improvement in energy efficiency has been shown to induce a positive effect on total employment (Jeeninga et al., 1999). The effect has been shown to be substantially positive, even after taking into account all direct and indirect macro-economic factors such as the reduced consumption of energy, impact on energy prices, reduced VAT, etc. (European Commission, 2003) The strongest effects are seen in the area of semi-skilled labour in the building trades, which also accounts for the strongest regional policy effects.”

    GDP: (Cf 11.4.3): “GDP costs of Kyoto for 2010 without US participation, with Annex B trading, but without use of ‘hot air’ are estimated at 0.03% for Annex B (without US) for a carbon price of 13 US$/tCO2, with a 6.6% reduction in total Annex-B CO2. Regional GDP costs are 0.05% for the EU15 and Japan, and 0.1% for Canada, with benefits of 0.2% for the European Economies in Transition and 0.4% for Russia and other countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Without Annex B trading, the costs are estimated at 0.08% for Annex B (without US).” Also 11.4.4, “Post-Kyoto studies”.

    “Wealth transfers”: Although they have not been so kind as to entitle one of their chapters “wealth transfers”, if you look through sections 3-11, you will see sectorial analyses of climate change mitigation – Energy, Agriculture, Forestry, Transportation, etc. I’m sure you can find some writing on wealth transfers.

    Alex

    August 13, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Reply
  • Reply
  • @Gerry: This blog post has officially reached epic proportions.

    Alex

    August 13, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Reply
    • Yes, it has. An anxious world watches and wonders: Whose resolve will break first?

      gerrycanavan

      August 13, 2010 at 6:18 am

      Reply
  • Oh I can understand economic explanations very well, and I can also recognise meaningless waffle when I see it.

    Where do they make a meaningful estimate on the cost of energy to the consumer once emission reductions of 40% of 1990 level reductions have been achieved.
    That would be a good start dont you think?

    Cheers

    Roger

    rogerthesurf

    August 13, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Reply
  • Chapter 4: “A summary of cost-estimate ranges for the specific technologies as discussed in Section 4.3 is presented in Table 4.7. Costs and technical potentials out to 2030 show that abundant
    supplies of primary-energy resources will remain available.” You can infer consumer prices from there.

    Roger, your argument has become downright despicable. Given that the IPCC recommendations are for a variety of policy measure taken at a variety of points in the economy, it would make no sense to make apodictic claims about what 40% less carbon would do to the economy. Instead, they discuss mitigation effects on industries and GDP, looking at those industries that would be affected, looking at past effects of climate change mitigation (Kyoto), etc.

    Alex

    August 13, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Reply
  • I have never discussed mitigation measures needed to combat the effects of global warming. That is an absolutely different subject. Why would I bother to discuss it when I believe such measures will never be needed?

    What I see is that the IPCC waffles around the most important subjects by using obscure language to avoid the real issues.

    The real most important issue is the cost of the emission reductions and wealth transfers to you and me.

    Keep looking to see if this is reasonably discussed and prove me wrong. Believe it or not my mind is open on this one.

    I am actually happy to be proven wrong.

    Cheers

    Roger

    rogerthesurf

    August 13, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Reply
  • This conversation is beginning to sound like another conversation I saw recently. http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2010/08/12/ac.gohmert.terror.cnn

    Alex

    August 13, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Reply
  • “The real most important issue is the cost of the emission reductions and wealth transfers to you and me.”

    “I think it is important that everyone understands everything that is really at stake, and the fact that the IPCC sidesteps the economic consequences in their publications is a serious omission.”

    The whole point of the conversation is whether the IPCC addresses the above issues and they do actually address the economic consequences of attaining the emission reductions and wealth transfers.

    Can you find such a discussion?

    I say there is no such discussion, but I will change my mind if you can point out such a discussion to me and the readers.

    Alex as this is a good and critical discussion, I have posted the whole conversation on my site at http://www.globalwarmingsupporter.wordpress.com and will continue to post your answers there.

    Cheers

    Roger”

    “The real most important issue is the cost of the emission reductions and wealth transfers to you and me.”

    I’m not going to concede that point (I would say, the most important issue is how damaging global warming is going to be to human life vs. how damaging dealing with global warming would be to human life), but let’s assume it’s true. It does not follow that the best way to tackle that question would be through grandiose, unscientific claims about the economic impact of a 40% reduction in carbon. It’s not as if the IPCC has a one size fits all recommendation for carbon mitigation: it recommends a 40% reduction and then gives recommendation as to how that could be accomplished. And so to look at the economic consequences, you also should not pretend that the IPCC is offering a one size fits all carbon mitigation plan, and instead go point-by-point through the different suggestions. This is what the IPCC does, and what I have shown you it does. It looks at the effect of switching out coal for other forms of electricity generation; it looks at the effects on different industries of imposing taxes and fines; etc. I am guessing that in IPCC 5, the economic discussion will be more detailed and to the point, but you also have to remember that it’s a working paper, and climate science, climate economics, and climate policy don’t stop at the IPCC.

    Alex

    August 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm

     

    “The real most important issue is the cost of the emission reductions and wealth transfers to you and me.”

    At the very least it is an extremely important issue. If the IPCC has its way, the consequences will be with us whether or not AGW is a fact.

    We have shown that the issue is not addressed by the IPCC and as I said before, IT IS A VERY VERY SERIOUS OMISSION.

    Now I dont think for a moment that the United Nations and its various departments are so ill informed and ignorant that they have not considered or are unaware of the economic issues and have some idea of the consequences of the cost of their emission reductions on the world economy,particularly the western world.

    Therefore the fact that they are not addressed, to me says that we, the normal people of this world are being subjected to a terrible case of duplicity. On one hand we are given exaggerated descriptions of what is in store if AGW is true, but on the other hand we are not told what the cost to stop this happening will be to ourselves, a cost that we are expected to incurr even if the unprove AGW hypothesis never becomes fact.

    I am guessing that in IPCC 5, the economic discussion will be more detailed and to the point, but you also have to remember that it’s a working paper, and climate science, climate economics, and climate policy don’t stop at the IPCC.”

    Well the IPCC has the best resources in the world to deal with these issues, should it see so fit, so why are you making excuses for an agency with such wonderful resources?”

    “The fact that they are not addressed.” I really don’t know what you’re talking about. They are addressed. There’s no duplicity going on here. It’s a working paper, for fuck’s sake. IPCC 5 will have an entire section on climate economics.

    Alex,

    I’m not going to belabour the point any more.
    But I am going to give you some personal advice.

    1. I suggest you start thinking for yourself and using that brain of yours instead of blindly believing what you are told about global warming. If something does not quite make sense get out there and try and find the answer.

    2. The economic issues I raised are demonstrably not addressed by the IPCC. You could not find where they are addressed either. In fact they are not as you have confirmed, so why do you imply that they are addressed? hence my second piece of advice. If you see a verifiable fact in front of you, accept it even if it goes against your faith, because ignoring facts will get you nowhere, and if that fact contradicts your faith and belief, you should seek a reconciliation.

    3. Try not to feign ignorance, you know what I am talking about, the only person you fool is yourself.

    Cheers

    Roger

    rogerthesurf

    August 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Reply
  • Point 2 is wrong, but I’m not going to repeat what I said before.

    Alex

    August 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Reply
  • As for point 1 and 3, i’m not even going to bother.

    Alex

    August 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Reply
  • If point 2 is wrong, simply paste the relevant paragraphs here and quote the source. I am waiting.

    rogerthesurf

    August 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Reply
  • From above:

    I’m sorry they didn’t use words that you like. Maybe you can write to them, explain that you’re too lazy to find this stuff on your own, and could they please make their text accord with your vocabulary next time. Below are the texts of summaries from the html. If you download the pdfs, they go into much more detail. These are simply examples; there are many more instances of each throughout the text.
    You know you’ve reached a point of absurdity when someone appeals to the absence of their own terms (terms culled from a subset of a subset of economic literature) “proves” the absence discussions of certain effects (like GDP impact).

    Cost of living: This can be extrapolated from the information available in 11.3, for instance.

    Energy (cf. 4.4.2): “A summary of cost-estimate ranges for the specific technologies as discussed in Section 4.3 is presented in Table 4.7. Costs and technical potentials out to 2030 show that abundant supplies of primary-energy resources will remain available.”

    Employment (cf. 11.8.2): “The net impact on employment in Europe in the manufacturing and construction industries of a 1% annual improvement in energy efficiency has been shown to induce a positive effect on total employment (Jeeninga et al., 1999). The effect has been shown to be substantially positive, even after taking into account all direct and indirect macro-economic factors such as the reduced consumption of energy, impact on energy prices, reduced VAT, etc. (European Commission, 2003) The strongest effects are seen in the area of semi-skilled labour in the building trades, which also accounts for the strongest regional policy effects.”

    GDP: (Cf 11.4.3): “GDP costs of Kyoto for 2010 without US participation, with Annex B trading, but without use of ‘hot air’ are estimated at 0.03% for Annex B (without US) for a carbon price of 13 US$/tCO2, with a 6.6% reduction in total Annex-B CO2. Regional GDP costs are 0.05% for the EU15 and Japan, and 0.1% for Canada, with benefits of 0.2% for the European Economies in Transition and 0.4% for Russia and other countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Without Annex B trading, the costs are estimated at 0.08% for Annex B (without US).” Also 11.4.4, “Post-Kyoto studies”.

    “Wealth transfers”: Although they have not been so kind as to entitle one of their chapters “wealth transfers”, if you look through sections 3-11, you will see sectorial analyses of climate change mitigation – Energy, Agriculture, Forestry, Transportation, etc. I’m sure you can find some writing on wealth transfers.

    Alex

    August 15, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Reply
  • To ask them to respond to a completely hypothetical scenario that they’re not even recommending as a policy option (40% reduction of carbon based purely on a taxation system and nothing else) would be counterproductive and pointless.

    Alex

    August 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Reply
  • Great work! So where are the sources so I can read the pdf’s then?

    Puzzled though? “(40% reduction of carbon based purely on a taxation system and nothing else”

    Where did I say that again?

    Cheers

    Roger

    rogerthesurf

    August 16, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Sorry Alex,
    In reference to your extracts regarding economic effects of meeting CO2 reduction criteria.

    I am extremely interested to read them if they are relevant,and waited until I had the time to study them properly.

    Seeing as how you declined to give me the actual links I tried to find them by other means. Unfortunately all I found were commentaries on the mitigation costs of global warming which is not the subject we are broaching at all.
    Either you are deceiving myself and the readers or I found the wrong publications.
    I suggest in order to show me it is not either of the above that you give me the correct links as soon as possible.

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

  • 2 Responses to “Gerry Canavan :- Meanwhile, in Russia (and Greenland)”

    1. seeker401 Says:

      IPCC 5..god help us..

      • rogerthesurf Says:

        Thanks Seeker,

        We did find some IPCC reference to the subject after all. I’m trying to get the source so I can study it some more.
        Considering the importance of the subject though, it deals with it in an almost offhand manner from what I can see so far. Certainly does not appear to mention the effect of a 57% remission reduction and wealth transfers from western countries though.

        Cheers

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