Don’t Worry – Just Ask the Right Questions

 

Last year at a local meet the candidate forum, the State House contender approached the lectern and said somberly and boldly, “Climate change is real.” 

He would have accomplished just as much had he said, “The sun rises” or “Dogs bark.” Yet another example of uncritical soundbite over meaningful distinctions.

So what are the meaningful distinctions? Recently I watched a ninety minute class on Climate Change by Dr. Jay Richards of the Catholic University of America. He pointed out that to talk meaningfully about climate change, you have to ask four questions:

  1. Is the Earth warming?
  2. Are we causing (or at least contributing to) it?
  3. Is it bad?
  4. Would the advised policies make any difference?

The first two questions are surprisingly uncontroversial. Is the Earth currently in a warming trend? Yes, just like there have been these slight up and down trends for as long as we could measure.

Are we contributing to it? Yes. Carbon does contribute to the well documented greenhouse effect. So does water condensation. Thank goodness for without the greenhouse effect, the planet would be uninhabitable. On the other hand, could it be too much of a good thing? So . . .

Is it bad? This is where things get controversial. The models project a dismal future even though observable reality does not. The frightful photos of the seasonal melting of glaciers should be coupled with the seasonal reforming of glaciers but that doesn’t sell magazines. (Also there is nothing concerning about photo of the polar bear on a small piece of ice – they do that to catch seals).

Here is the problem with models: Models depend upon assumptions beyond the measurable facts. For example, carbon in the atmosphere won’t raise the temperature so high so that the North Pole would collapse. However, we can add the following speculation to our model:

  1. Assume the temperature rises and some ice melts and becomes water.
  2. Water is darker than ice.
  3. Therefore the water should absorb even more heat.
  4. Therefore more ice will melt
  5. This cycle continues melting much more ice than the original change of temperature would melt.

It is not the worst of assumptions except for the fact that it does not play out in actuality. As a result, assumptions cause the models project a worse future than observable trends.

Would the advised policies make any difference? No and the class can go into the specifics of the Kyoto agreement to show that the billions of dollars would be a waste other than tepid comfort for the “just do something” crowd.

But a larger spiritual question is in view. Do we really think we can control everything, even the climate? Of course we should minimize pollution to the atmosphere but beyond that, how about the historical solution – adapt? You do know that land bridges that used to have foot traffic is now underwater so such an idea is not unheard of.

Worse case: Over time houses may need to be moved inland and sea walls added. The poor may need help insulating their homes. But that is different than doomsday “vote for me or die” scenarios. 

Further, climate change is not always negative. If things are really changing over time, deserts become farmland. Hot or cold areas could become tourist destinations. It works both ways.

Jumping from the phrase “climate changes” to catastrophe is a large, irrational leap. There are meaningful questions and solid steps in between.

If you would like to watch the class, message me and I’ll send you the link. The Colson Center is happy for us to share the link with friends but not post generally on social media.

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There are 27 comments.

  1. jaWes Inactive

    DavidBSable: Are we contributing to it? Yes. Carbon does contribute to the well documented greenhouse effect.

    How much of the warming trend can be attributed to increased CO2 due to human activity? Or asked the opposite way, in the absence of human activity, how much would the planet be warming anyways? I’d say your question #2 needs a 2b: to what degree are we contributing to it?

    • #1
    • August 16, 2019, at 9:51 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. TGR9898 Coolidge

    Jonah Goldberg’s “Everone’s a Conscript” essay goes to the heart of what all these issues are framed in the MEOW context….

    https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/02/25/everyone-a-conscript/

    In short:

    • In an emergency situation the normal order & rules must be suspended.
    • The Progressive seeks control over everything.
    • This framing every situation as an emergency gets the Progressive the control they desire.

    Using logic & reason as a response to this is unfortunately a fool’s errand.

    • #2
    • August 16, 2019, at 9:55 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. Old Bathos Member

    I marvel at the public appetite for for climate porn, the utterly nonsensical disaster scenarios routinely peddled by countless “news” sources. If what I have read on AOL and Yahoo and elsewhere was true, by now there should have been tidal waves from polar melts driven inland by weekly hurricanes carrying polar bear carcasses into central Texas.

    In much the same way, many bought into the “population bomb” or the prediction of unstoppable pollution. I think there must be some deeper things at work to create that appetite. It may be that the rapid pace of technological change and its social consequences are colliding with some deeper, slower part of ourselves that needs more predictable, comprehensible routines. Maybe there is a broadly felt sense that we are making war against some part of our own nature and to do so is wrong. So we invent a moral criticism to compensate. That some call this enterprise “#Science” is odd because it is clearly a moralistic, virtue-signalling endeavor unrelated to science and its prerequisite intellectual discipline and maturity.

    Paris, Kyoto, Copenhagen and the various enviro confabs at Davos and elsewhere remind me of medieval nobles who had the readies to purchase indulgences and spiritual merit badges not available to lesser folk.

    We don’t punish people for ‘crying wolf’ even when they are clearly cashing in on crisis babble. That is because they say that unlike us, their motives were pure and thus they are free to attach themselves to the next great moral narrative without consequence. Those who have perpetrated the Global Warming Hoax will likely move on without paying a price.

    • #3
    • August 16, 2019, at 10:39 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  4. Ralphie Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I marvel at the public appetite for for climate porn, the utterly nonsensical disaster scenarios routinely peddled by countless “news” sources. If what I have read on AOL and Yahoo and elsewhere was true, by now there should have been tidal waves from polar melts driven inland by weekly hurricanes carrying polar bear carcasses into central Texas.

    In much the same way, many bought into the “population bomb” or the prediction of unstoppable pollution. I think there must be some deeper things at work to create that appetite. It may be that the rapid pace of technological change and its social consequences are colliding with some deeper, slower part of ourselves that needs more predictable, comprehensible routines. Maybe there is a broadly felt sense that we are making war against some part of our own nature and to do so is wrong. So we invent a moral criticism to compensate. That some call this enterprise “#Science” is odd because it is clearly a moralistic, virtue-signalling endeavor unrelated to science and its prerequisite intellectual discipline and maturity.

    Paris, Kyoto, Copenhagen and the various enviro confabs at Davos and elsewhere remind me of medieval nobles who had the readies to purchase indulgences and spiritual merit badges not available to lesser folk.

    We don’t punish people for ‘crying wolf’ even when they are clearly cashing in on crisis babble. That is because they say that unlike us, their motives were pure and thus they are free to attach themselves to the next great moral narrative without consequence. Those who have perpetrated the Global Warming Hoax will likely move on without paying a price.

    I give you a dozen likes. I can’t imagine God needing my help to “save” the planet. I believe he created it. Perhaps air conditioning was discovered in time to address the increased heat. Just kidding, in a way, but I do think it is pretty presumptuous to believe one can out think or out act God. The wisdom of man is the foolishness of God, the proverb says.

    • #4
    • August 16, 2019, at 10:50 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Mike H Coolidge

    jaWes (View Comment):

    DavidBSable: Are we contributing to it? Yes. Carbon does contribute to the well documented greenhouse effect.

    How much of the warming trend can be attributed to increased CO2 due to human activity? Or asked the opposite way, in the absence of human activity, how much would the planet be warming anyways? I’d say your question #2 needs a 2b: to what degree are we contributing to it?

    I’ve been trying to figure this out. Over the last 40 years, the rate of warming exceeds what I believe we would expect from increases in CO2, even including feedback mechanisms. I currently believe we should get about 1.3 degrees Celcius increase for every doubling of CO2. (As you’ll see here I draw too strong of conclusions because temperature isn’t an “averagable” quantity, but I still like this analysis)

    https://ricochet.com/425144/archives/adjusting-for-publication-bias-reveals-true-climate-sensitivity/

    Since 1979, satellite measured temperatures have increased 0.52 C.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    Over that time, Co2 has increased 22%, which if my calculation is correct should lead to an increase of 0.37 C. 

    Now this is naive because there’s probably a delay between the increase in CO2 and it’s full warming consequences, which implies the calculation above overstates how much of the warming is explainable by CO2 rise.

    • #5
    • August 16, 2019, at 10:52 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher

    As someone who has spent a good chunk of his professional life to get real calibrated global data of the critical 17 parameters the climatologist said the needed back in the 1980, it have been dispiriting how the data has been quasi ignored. The real data suggest the models way over estimate the future.

    This graph is 5 years out of date, but the current data is on track to be almost flat.

    One of the most difficult parameters has been, and still is, how does the cloud formation flow into the energy balance. More heating creates more clouds, thick clouds reflect the energy back to space, heat to the surface reduced, nice feedback mechanism. A casual review of the 13 IPCC models (may be more models now) do not really address this effect because “modeling clouds is hard”. That is some transmit all of the sun’s spectrum, some reflect all of it back to space, and some its a split with the shorter wavelengths getting striped off first…. but it depends on altitude and other cloud structural particulars. NASA Langley has for over 35 years provide the science community a cloud measurement instrument and …. it’s still tricky to say how to model them.

    Also is seem there is a developing consensus that cosmic rays, whose’s penetration level in our atmosphere are effected by long term solar storm activity (because they impact the earth’s magnetic sphere that protects us from space radiation, quiet sun more cosmic rays, angry sun less cosmic radiation) which has a measurable effect on the global average temperature balance.

    But when some 20 something congressional weenie assures me that we have only 12 year to destroy our economy and material way of life, well then by golly I should just bet the farm on her notions.

    • #6
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:09 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  7. Old Bathos Member

    Mike H (View Comment):

    jaWes (View Comment):

    DavidBSable: Are we contributing to it? Yes. Carbon does contribute to the well documented greenhouse effect.

    How much of the warming trend can be attributed to increased CO2 due to human activity? Or asked the opposite way, in the absence of human activity, how much would the planet be warming anyways? I’d say your question #2 needs a 2b: to what degree are we contributing to it?

    I’ve been trying to figure this out. Over the last 40 years, the rate of warming exceeds what I believe we would expect from increases in CO2, even including feedback mechanisms. I currently believe we should get about 1.3 degrees Celcius increase for every doubling of CO2. (As you’ll see here I draw too strong of conclusions because temperature isn’t an “averagable” quantity, but I still like this analysis)

    https://ricochet.com/425144/archives/adjusting-for-publication-bias-reveals-true-climate-sensitivity/

    Since 1979, satellite measured temperatures have increased 0.52 C.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    Over that time, Co2 has increased 22%, which if my calculation is correct should lead to an increase of 0.37 C.

    Now this is naive because there’s probably a delay between the increase in CO2 and it’s full warming consequences, which implies the calculation above overstates how much of the warming is explainable by CO2 rise.

    If you look at the upward curve in the models that should be taking place already, we are warming much slower than that. From 335 ppm to 410 ppm CO2 is 60% of a doubling which means very roughly about 0.8 degrees using your sensitivity figure of 1.3 (which is a tad high for just the radiative physics of CO2 alone) but we got around 0.5 instead. (There is a difference between TCS and ECS with lots of wiggle room for how fast total warming should happen but this part should be quick). The model ensemble (but not all models) assume double the simple forcing factor for CO2 and that assumption is simply not panning out.

    In terms of impact, long term solar and long term ocean cycles dwarf anything in the atmosphere. we are using a very short term, very selective, highly politicized lens to evaluate an enormously complex reality.

     

    • #7
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Mike H Coolidge

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Mike H (View Comment):

    I’ve been trying to figure this out. Over the last 40 years, the rate of warming exceeds what I believe we would expect from increases in CO2, even including feedback mechanisms. I currently believe we should get about 1.3 degrees Celcius increase for every doubling of CO2. (As you’ll see here I draw too strong of conclusions because temperature isn’t an “averagable” quantity, but I still like this analysis)

    https://ricochet.com/425144/archives/adjusting-for-publication-bias-reveals-true-climate-sensitivity/

    Since 1979, satellite measured temperatures have increased 0.52 C.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    Over that time, Co2 has increased 22%, which if my calculation is correct should lead to an increase of 0.37 C.

    Now this is naive because there’s probably a delay between the increase in CO2 and it’s full warming consequences, which implies the calculation above overstates how much of the warming is explainable by CO2 rise.

    If you look at the upward curve in the models that should be taking place already, we are warming much slower than that. From 335 ppm to 410 ppm CO2 is 60% of a doubling which means very roughly about 0.8 degrees using your sensitivity figure of 1.3 (which is a tad high for just the radiative physics of CO2 alone) but we got around 0.5 instead. (There is a difference between TCS and ECS with lots of wiggle room for how fast total warming should happen but this part should be quick). The model ensemble (but not all models) assume double the simple forcing factor for CO2 and that assumption is simply not panning out.

    In terms of impact, long term solar and long term ocean cycles dwarf anything in the atmosphere. we are using a very short term, very selective, highly politicized lens to evaluate an enormously complex reality.

     

    Right, the models are bogus. Can you show me how you calculate the proportion of a doubling? I tried to back-of-the-envelope it and I was getting around 30% of a doubling from 335 to 410, but I wasn’t confident in my calculation.

    If you clicked on my link, the 1.3 figure is a little bit higher than the 1.0 for radiative CO2 physics, but it seems to be consistent with the actual literature and it’s a reasonably small deviation from radiative, which is more believable than the massive forcing assumed by the models. I wouldn’t be surprised if the true figure is somewhat less than 1.0, but 1.3 seems like a reasonably conservative estimate of what’s going on based on the current information.

    • #8
    • August 16, 2019, at 1:08 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Mark Camp Member

    DavidBSable: The first two questions are surprisingly uncontroversial. Is the Earth currently in a warming trend? Yes, just like there have been these slight up and down trends for as long as we could measure.

    (Emphasis added). 

    This is incorrect. Earth has in fact undergone large periodic oscillations in surface temperature.

    • #9
    • August 16, 2019, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Mark Camp Member

    DavidBSable: Is it bad? This is where things get controversial.

    I think that it isn’t controversial among serious economists that significant changes in global temperatures have bad transient effects: they create imbalances in the capital structure.

    • #10
    • August 16, 2019, at 1:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Western Chauvinist Member

    DavidBSable:

    • Is the Earth warming?
    • Are we causing (or at least contributing to) it?
    • Is it bad?
    • Would the advised policies make any difference?

    Is the Earth warming? 

    The Earth is in an inter-glacial period. We better hope it’s warming or we should all invest in long underwear and canned food.

     Are we causing (or at least contributing to) it?

    I’d say this is a definite maybe. CO2 makes up a tiny fraction of the Earth’s atmosphere (less than 1%) and is third in line for forcing effect behind water vapor and methane. Not to mention it is a lagging indicator of warming. In other words, maybe warming causes atmospheric CO2 to concentrate. We don’t know. Further, if you believe NOAA on this (and I’m skeptical of our ability to know these numbers), the last time CO2 concentrations were this high was 3 million years ago. On the geologic time-scale, that’s yesterday. Industrialization was a second ago. Why were CO2 concentrations so high yesterday and how can we predict what’s going to happen in the future based on the last second of experience?

    Is it bad?

    Bad for whom or what? People tend to do better in marginally warmer conditions (which is all warmists are predicting — 2 degrees C over a century). Plants love CO2. It’s plant food. On a planet sustaining almost entirely carbon-based lifeforms (some exceptions on the bottom of the ocean near volcanic vents), carbon and CO2 aren’t pollutants — they’re life!

    Would the advised policies make any difference?

    Yes. They’d impoverish us and have us living under socialist tyranny. 

    • #11
    • August 16, 2019, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Mark Camp Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    DavidBSable:

    • Is the Earth warming?
    • Are we causing (or at least contributing to) it?
    • Is it bad?
    • Would the advised policies make any difference?

    Is the Earth warming?

    The Earth is in an inter-glacial period. We better hope it’s warming or we should all invest in long underwear and canned food.

    Are we causing (or at least contributing to) it?

    I’d say this is a definite maybe. CO2 makes up a tiny fraction of the Earth’s atmosphere (less than 1%) and is third in line for forcing effect behind water vapor and methane. Not to mention it is a lagging indicator of warming. In other words, maybe warming causes atmospheric CO2 to concentrate. We don’t know. Further, if you believe NOAA on this (and I’m skeptical of our ability to know these numbers), the last time CO2 concentrations were this high was 3 million years ago. On the geologic time-scale, that’s yesterday. Industrialization was a second ago. Why were CO2 concentrations so high yesterday and how can we predict what’s going to happen in the future based on the last second of experience?

    Is it bad?

    Bad for whom or what? People tend to do better in marginally warmer conditions (which is all warmists are predicting — 2 degrees C over a century). Plants love CO2. It’s plant food. On a planet sustaining almost entirely carbon-based lifeforms (some exceptions on the bottom of the ocean near volcanic vents), carbon and CO2 aren’t pollutants — they’re life!

    Would the advised policies make any difference?

    Yes. They’d impoverish us and have us living under socialist tyranny.

    Best post on the Global Warming initiative I’ve read here in a while, thanks. You understand the relevant fundamentals of scientific inquiry that so few commentators on either side of the controversy seem to have even the slightest grasp of.

    • #12
    • August 16, 2019, at 2:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. DonG Coolidge

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    DavidBSable: Is it bad? This is where things get controversial.

    I think that it isn’t controversial among serious economists that significant changes in global temperatures have bad transient effects: they create imbalances in the capital structure.

    Economists are hardly qualified to determine the weather changes of warming. In fact, there are no accurate models, so nobody is qualified. More snow; less snow; more rain; less rain … nobody knows. Without accurate predictions of the changes to weather patterns, no economist can even begin to assess the impacts.

    • #13
    • August 16, 2019, at 8:49 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. DonG Coolidge

    DavidBSable:

    • Is the Earth warming?
    • Are we causing (or at least contributing to) it?
    • Is it bad?
    • Would the advised policies make any difference?

    There last question, should be “would changes be economically prudent?” After all, if we judge policies based on lives saved, we would scrap all renewable energy projects and build coal plants in Africa, were 4 million people die each year for lack of cheap electricity. That is 4 orders of magnitude more lives than would be lost under worst-base alarmist models. If we judge by prosperity, the answer is the same now. Cheap energy is prosperity and coal is king of cheap.

     

    • #14
    • August 16, 2019, at 8:54 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  15. DonG Coolidge

    DavidBSable: Are we contributing to it? Yes. Carbon does contribute to the well documented greenhouse effect.

    Nope. Greenhouse gas theory has not been proven and not been measured. There guesses based on bad assumptions, but nothing about greenhouse gas warming is “documented”. Remember, the only documents and experimental evidence deal with gases in a closed tube. Anything about the circulating atmosphere of mixed gases is speculation.

    • #15
    • August 16, 2019, at 8:57 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Mike H (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Mike H (View Comment):

    I’ve been trying to figure this out. Over the last 40 years, the rate of warming exceeds what I believe we would expect from increases in CO2, even including feedback mechanisms. I currently believe we should get about 1.3 degrees Celcius increase for every doubling of CO2. (As you’ll see here I draw too strong of conclusions because temperature isn’t an “averagable” quantity, but I still like this analysis)

    https://ricochet.com/425144/archives/adjusting-for-publication-bias-reveals-true-climate-sensitivity/

    Since 1979, satellite measured temperatures have increased 0.52 C.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    Over that time, Co2 has increased 22%, which if my calculation is correct should lead to an increase of 0.37 C.

    Now this is naive because there’s probably a delay between the increase in CO2 and it’s full warming consequences, which implies the calculation above overstates how much of the warming is explainable by CO2 rise.

    If you look at the upward curve in the models that should be taking place already, we are warming much slower than that. From 335 ppm to 410 ppm CO2 is 60% of a doubling which means very roughly about 0.8 degrees using your sensitivity figure of 1.3 (which is a tad high for just the radiative physics of CO2 alone) but we got around 0.5 instead. (There is a difference between TCS and ECS with lots of wiggle room for how fast total warming should happen but this part should be quick). The model ensemble (but not all models) assume double the simple forcing factor for CO2 and that assumption is simply not panning out.

    In terms of impact, long term solar and long term ocean cycles dwarf anything in the atmosphere. we are using a very short term, very selective, highly politicized lens to evaluate an enormously complex reality.

     

    Right, the models are bogus. Can you show me how you calculate the proportion of a doubling? I tried to back-of-the-envelope it and I was getting around 30% of a doubling from 335 to 410, but I wasn’t confident in my calculation.

    If you clicked on my link, the 1.3 figure is a little bit higher than the 1.0 for radiative CO2 physics, but it seems to be consistent with the actual literature and it’s a reasonably small deviation from radiative, which is more believable than the massive forcing assumed by the models. I wouldn’t be surprised if the true figure is somewhat less than 1.0, but 1.3 seems like a reasonably conservative estimate of what’s going on based on the current information.

    1.0 C. is about what we would expect from a CO2 doubling, a figure originally calculated more than a century ago. It’s also an amount so small it would be swallowed up in the normal variation of climate. The models are bogus because they all depend on the effect of hypothetical multiple and all positive feedback impacts of CO2 increasing, which is what is needed to get the 2, 3, 4 and higher C. impacts used to scare folks. The actual climate seems to be stubbornly resisting all, or most of, these modeled positive feedbacks.

    • #16
    • August 16, 2019, at 10:47 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Old Bathos Member

    Mike H (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    If you look at the upward curve in the models that should be taking place already, we are warming much slower than that. From 335 ppm to 410 ppm CO2 is 60% of a doubling which means very roughly about 0.8 degrees using your sensitivity figure of 1.3 (which is a tad high for just the radiative physics of CO2 alone) but we got around 0.5 instead. (There is a difference between TCS and ECS with lots of wiggle room for how fast total warming should happen but this part should be quick). The model ensemble (but not all models) assume double the simple forcing factor for CO2 and that assumption is simply not panning out.

    In terms of impact, long term solar and long term ocean cycles dwarf anything in the atmosphere. we are using a very short term, very selective, highly politicized lens to evaluate an enormously complex reality.

    Right, the models are bogus. Can you show me how you calculate the proportion of a doubling? I tried to back-of-the-envelope it and I was getting around 30% of a doubling from 335 to 410, but I wasn’t confident in my calculation.

    If you clicked on my link, the 1.3 figure is a little bit higher than the 1.0 for radiative CO2 physics, but it seems to be consistent with the actual literature and it’s a reasonably small deviation from radiative, which is more believable than the massive forcing assumed by the models. I wouldn’t be surprised if the true figure is somewhat less than 1.0, but 1.3 seems like a reasonably conservative estimate of what’s going on based on the current information.

    For back of the envelope estimate, divide current CO2 by starting point CO2. Divide result by two. That is the fraction or multiple of a doubling that has occurred in the selected period. Multiply that times the putative sensitivity figure and that is the predicted warming.

    There is not an exact figure for sensitivity from just CO2. It is greater than one, maybe as high as 1.25. Roy Spencer explained that somewhere why it can’t be more precise. I forget where I saw that.

    The entire climate change shtick is based on the weak assumption that water vapor will act (in an almost uniform forcing) to rapidly double (or more) whatever warming comes from CO2. Lukewarmers (like me and proud of it) think that the net warming will average around a net 1.4 forcing, not 2.0 and up.

    Moreover that net warming will raise daily minimum temps more than max, and will affect colder, drier climes more. So the supposed catastrophe will wind up being mostly about warmer nights in Saskatchewan and Siberia.

    So far, reality is agreeing with us lukewarmers.

    • #17
    • August 17, 2019, at 6:15 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. Mark Camp Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    DavidBSable: Is it bad? This is where things get controversial.

    I think that it isn’t controversial among serious economists that significant changes in global temperatures have bad transient effects: they create imbalances in the capital structure.

    Economists are hardly qualified to determine the weather changes of warming.

    Very true. No economists would venture to claim such a thing. They are only qualified to determine economic changes, like the above-mentioned imbalances in the capital structure.

    In fact, there are no accurate models, so nobody is qualified.

    True, there are no accurate climate models, so even climate scientists can’t predict climate changes, let alone economists.

    More snow; less snow; more rain; less rain … nobody knows.

    Correct.

    Without accurate predictions of the changes to weather patterns, no economist can even begin to assess the impacts.

    Incorrect. Significant global warming or cooling will reduce or eliminate the productivity of some capital investments, and increase the productivity of others. This is absolutely certain.

    For example, if sea levels rise due to global warning, some capital like beachfront property will stop producing scarce goods and services.

     

    • #18
    • August 17, 2019, at 12:51 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Western Chauvinist Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    For example, if sea levels rise due to global warning, some capital like beachfront property will stop producing scarce goods and services.

    Yabbut, formerly inland property will also become beachfront. Lose-win.

    • #19
    • August 17, 2019, at 12:55 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Old Bathos Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    For example, if sea levels rise due to global warning, some capital like beachfront property will stop producing scarce goods and services.

    Yabbut, formerly inland property will also become beachfront. Lose-win.

    If the rich greenies really believed the narrative, they would be bidding up the value of higher ground inland sites up from the shore–the Lex Luthor acquisition approach. 

    • #20
    • August 17, 2019, at 1:33 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Mark Camp Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    For example, if sea levels rise due to global warning, some capital like beachfront property will stop producing scarce goods and services.

    Yabbut, formerly inland property will also become beachfront. Lose-win.

    That would be nice! But unfortunately, economics tells us that it doesn’t work that way.

    Structures on land and other capital which were producing wealth will cease to produce wealth. That is a net destruction of wealth to society.

    So, significant changes in global temperature will destroy capital. There is not much we can do about it to make it better, but we will definitely try, doing all the wrong things:

    1. Voters will demand that politicians intervene to prevent the painful adjustments of markets, which would naturally and efficiently restore the health of the productive structure, to the extent that they are left alone.
    2. Politicians will obey the demands for interventionist policies
    3. The pain will be far greater and last far longer as a result.

    This is the cost of widespread economic ignorance, multiplied by arrogance and anti-rational impudence.

    • #21
    • August 17, 2019, at 1:52 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. DonG Coolidge

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    1.0 C. is about what we would expect from a CO2 doubling,

    “we”? Not me. I am full cynic. I expect the most likely equilibrium climate sensitivity to be zero and that for it to more likely be negative than positive in value.

    • #22
    • August 17, 2019, at 2:23 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. Mark Camp Member

    DonG (View Comment):
    “we”? Not me. I am full cynic. I expect the most likely equilibrium climate sensitivity to be zero and that for it to more likely be negative than positive in value.

    Are you saying that you have discovered a scientifically plausible method of calculating the equilibrium sensitivity?

    • #23
    • August 17, 2019, at 2:39 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. DonG Coolidge

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):
    “we”? Not me. I am full cynic. I expect the most likely equilibrium climate sensitivity to be zero and that for it to more likely be negative than positive in value.

    Are you saying that you have discovered a scientifically plausible method of calculating the equilibrium sensitivity?

    Nope. I am saying that the upper atmosphere blocks the sun and cools the earth and that maybe more CO2 will make the thermosphere more effective and thus cool the troposphere and the ECS will be negative. Or most likely, CO2 has no effect and ECS is zero. I don’t know, but since we are all just guessing, I am putting my bet on the double-zero of the roulette wheel of climate “science”.

    • #24
    • August 18, 2019, at 7:05 AM PDT
    • Like
  25. WillowSpring Member

    DavidBSable:

    1. Is the Earth warming?
    2. Are we causing (or at least contributing to) it?
    3. Is it bad?
    4. Would the advised policies make any difference?

     

    First – I agree that @westernchauvinist response in #11 is a great reply, but I will plow ahead.

    Trying for format an answer in a 1.a, 1.b, … is beyond me, so here goes..

    1 (a,b,c)

    • Is the data based on the more recent satellite data or the older ground station data
    • Are “adjustments” to the data open and transparent?
    • Does the data cover the entire Earth or is it extrapolated somehow? Is the extrapolation algorithm made public?

    2 (a,b)

    • Is this based on models? Have the models been subject to any sort of real (i.e. not crony) review?
    • Do the models match real data after they were created?

    3(a)

    • Is ‘bad’ based on models or actual measurements? That is, if you are predicting Polar Bear die-offs, what does the data say. If you are predicting sea level increases, does the data show any increase in the rate of increase?

    4(a)

    • Has the political atmosphere about CO2 based warming constrained looking into other policies for change or mitigation

    In short, “Thank God we are coming our of the last Ice Age. Next question”

     

     

    • #25
    • August 18, 2019, at 10:51 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. DonG Coolidge

    WillowSpring (View Comment):
    In short, “Thank God we are coming our of the last Ice Age. Next question”

    We are at the tail end of this inter-glacial period and the overall trend is cooling and ice ahead. Or not, since we cannot guess what humans will do with surface of the earth in 3000 years in the future. After all, Zefram Cochrane will invent warp drive in 2063. Once we have an “unlimited” source of energy, we can heat and cool the planet like a Buick.

    • #26
    • August 18, 2019, at 3:57 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Mark Camp Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):
    “we”? Not me. I am full cynic. I expect the most likely equilibrium climate sensitivity to be zero and that for it to more likely be negative than positive in value.

    Are you saying that you have discovered a scientifically plausible method of calculating the equilibrium sensitivity?

    Nope. I am saying that the upper atmosphere blocks the sun and cools the earth and that maybe more CO2 will make the thermosphere more effective and thus cool the troposphere and the ECS will be negative. Or most likely, CO2 has no effect and ECS is zero. I don’t know, but since we are all just guessing, I am putting my bet on the double-zero of the roulette wheel of climate “science”.

    Thanks, Don. If I read you correctly, you believe

    • the equilibrium climate sensitivity equals around zero, and that it’s more likely a negative number, if it’s not zero.
    • you have no scientific basis for making these quantitative statements

    In my opinion, this is an example of the problem with the public debate over the global warming controversy: a misunderstanding of the scientific method of thinking. The left are exploiting this.

    • #27
    • August 19, 2019, at 6:58 AM PDT
    • 2 likes