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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Comments 601 to 650:

  1. wilddouglascounty at 01:32 AM on 2 September 2018
    New research, August 20-26, 2018

    I just read my post and I meant to say November 2011, not 2012 as the date you initiated your efforts.  It may have well preceded this in a less formal way, for all I know.....thanks!

  2. wilddouglascounty at 01:30 AM on 2 September 2018
    New research, August 20-26, 2018

    Ari,

    I just want to say how useful your "New Research" columns have been and continue to be.  I think it is beyond the scope of any one person to keep up with the flood of research on climate change, and I'm sure it feels that way for you, too. But that makes it all the more useful for any attempts such as yours to try to highlight the research you bring to this website, something it appears that you began in 2012. 

    I just read your initial introduction to this series that your wrote back then and saw that you invited feedback, so am writing my appreciation today, almost 6 years later! 

    If you have the time/inclination, I'd love to hear your persective on your efforts to glean the "cream of the crop," and any other impressions that you've gained during your disciplined exercise of research winnowing and sharing over these years that you've provided this service.

    And thanks so much for your efforts once again!

  3. One Planet Only Forever at 00:22 AM on 2 September 2018
    The silver lining of fake news

    nigelj,
    I agree with you points.

    I will continue to think more about this, but I can point out that promoting a carbon fee and dividend, as helpful as that mechanism would be, is unlikely to result in the required correction to limit major negative impacts on future generations.

    The main problem is that the mechanism does not significantly deter the inconsiderate people who are wealthier or more influential. The wealthier still get to benefit from businesses related to the burning of fossil fuels, and they can afford the nominal personal extra costs. The people who need to be most significantly corrected are not corrected in any meaningful way by that measure.

    And as you note, actually less expensive truly sustainable usable energy methods are developed (the alternatives being developed have real material limits and can create accumulating harmful consequences either in initial production, transmission, use or end of use, better than fossil fuels burning but not truly sustainable ways for people to live no matter how wealthy they are relative to others).

    So a carbon fee and rebate system can stall out before achieving the required correction. And without other significant corrections of the socioeconomic-political systems that have developed (particularly the correction of the way that people are able to be tempted to allow their primitive selfish human nature overwhelm their ability to do the harder work of GHAR), the winning developed alternatives to fossil fuels are likely to not be the most sustainable of the possible options.

    And getting a carbon fee and rebate implemented will not happen without other corrections occurring. In Alberta, the war chants against the carbon tax are loud. And they will not be quelled by having the carbon levy and rebate program continue. The cries of anger in Alberta get louder when it becomes more apparent that trying to benefit from burning fossil fuels is unacceptable and being effectively impeded.

    A large number of people in Alberta are angrier as a result of the recent Federal Appeal Court ruling that the evaluation that the Federal Government had based its approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion on was seriously flawed. The court decision not only required the specifically identified corrections of the evaluation to be done, the construction was stopped until those corrections were performed because the corrected evaluation, properly performed, may change the final decision (the angry people do not like the idea that the initial decision could actually have been unjustified). And the anger is growing support for ending the carbon levy and rebate program in Alberta. And there is an election in less than a year to determine who decides if the Carbon Tax (as it will be called in the election advertising) will continue given that Alberta is declared by many to be 'the' economic engine of Canada (even though it isn't, and undeniably isn't even a significant sustainable contributor to wealth in Canada since pursuit of benefit from fossil fuels is a dead-end activity, no matter how beneficial it is to the people who benefit from it today).

  4. The silver lining of fake news

    I think we have three important issues at the heart of the climate problem:

    1) Capitalism is useful machine that promotes efficiency, but it doesn't put a cost on environmental damage, particularly long term damage and so we end up with problems. The usual way of dealing with this problem is government legislation, and this worked well enough to deal with the ozone problem.

    But the profit motive is strong, and wealthy business people reject government legislation in many cases. The wealthy in business have an iron grip on governments,  and influence how ordinary people think with media campaigns that seek to attack environmentalism, spread climate denial, and reject the need for government involvement. Its leading to the fundamental rejection of science, empirical evidence and facts particularly by one side of politics. The end result is fake news, ignorance and nonsense that denies solid evidence.

    2) Humans are mostly not great long term thinkers. We want a comfortable life right now, and we put off problems. We respond best to short term threats. People struggle to think about complex long term processes. People think their children will be able to buy their way out of climate problems, or there will be magical low cost solutions, when there won't be.

    3) Nobody will reduce their carbon footprint unless everyone does, so nobody does. Even if one cares deeply for the environment and future of humanity, it doesn't make a lot of sense to drastically reduce consumption, and be one of the few people doing this. This is not to say people shouldn't try. It simply reflects the problem we have on our hands.

    Having said all that, the best single solution to all three problems is carbon fee and dividend because it has leverage. It is the one mechanism that impels everyone to change their behaviour, if its structured correctly. It is attacked by the mega rich in many cases, but we should persist with it anyway. Of course its not the only solution required, but its a key solution.

    It may also be possible to get the mega rich and the corporate sector to think more ethically, but it will only happen if the general public think ethically and a little more longer term, and  put the pressure on, especially if they are share holders. Its good to see this appears to be happening in some cases, but theres a long way to go.

  5. Unprecedented summer heat in Europe ‘every other year’ under 1.5C of warming

    Before long, this sort of weather will be un-precidented.

  6. One Planet Only Forever at 01:26 AM on 1 September 2018
    The silver lining of fake news

    Another way of expressing the root part of the problem I presented in my comment @11 is: In many developed socioeconomic political systems people who increase awareness and understanding of what is going on and try to help advance humanity to a more sustainable future are less likely to be seen as valuable, less likely to be rewarded, than others who tell people stories that excuse them being less helpful or even harmful.

    In many of the developed systems people are encouraged to allow their primitive human nature over-power their ability to develop modern considerate thoughtful humanity (everyone is capable of personally developing that, but they may be reluctant to do that if it may not be as rewarding). And the required corrections of popular and profitable developed activities identified by helpful people can result in a significant portion of the population unjustifiably perceiving helpful people to be threats.

    Many of the developed systems have developed ways of living that are understandably unsustainable and harmful to collective humanity, particularly harmful to the future of humanity because the future of humanity has no influence in the systems what has been developed. And those systems make up understandably unjustified stories to excuse the unsustainable and harmful developed activities. A very appealing story is that the activities develop good results (never admitting the lack of sustainability and ignoring or understating the harm being done). Another appealing story is that everyone freer to do as they please will produce Good Results (significant evidence contradicts that story - and no sport that has ever developed has accepted that story - even Aussie rules football has some rules and some degree of self-limiting of behaviour by the competitors).

    Climate science, and the visceral negative reaction to it, undeniably exposes the requirement for significant corrections of what has developed in order for humanity to have a lasting improving future. And the required corrections are not just the curtailing of the burning of fossil fuels. And the required curtailing of the burning of fossil fuels is unlikely to occur in a way that is significantly beneficial to the future of humanity without significant correction of those other incorrect developments, particularly the correction of the freedom for wealthy or powerful people to claim whatever they want and be believed by enough people to be able to get away with significantly influencing what is going on.

  7. One Planet Only Forever at 08:19 AM on 31 August 2018
    The silver lining of fake news

    CBDunkerson @4
    I see similar things in Alberta and other parts of Canada, with some regions headed as significantly in the incorrect direction as many parts of the USA.

    When GW Bush announced that the USA would not ratify Kyoto he proudly stated that the American people did not have to change the way they lived. Republicans have continued to present the same claim to Americans, a claim many Americans like to hear. It is an unjustified claim because the way they are living, trying to maximize their benefit from harmful burning of fossil fuels, is undeniably an unsustainable and harmful dead-end (though undeniably popular and profitable for some for as long as it can be gotten away with).

    My engineering experience has taught me that accurately identifying the root parts of a problem is critical to developing a sustainable solution or sustainable correction of a problem.

    A root part of the problem in the USA and many other locations (in developed and developing nations), is leaders and wanna-be-leaders hoping to unjustifiably win leadership in many unjustified ways:

    • They abuse how easily many people can be tempted to believe unjustified perceptions of popularity, profitability, prosperity, or superiority relative to others. And the unjustified perceptions of superiority include perceptions that their beliefs are superior to other beliefs. The unjustified pursuers of winning that way tempt people into allowing their selfish primitive human nature over-rule their modern human ability to have Good Helpful Altruistic Reasoning (GHAR) govern their beliefs and actions.
    • Their bias in favour of their preferred beliefs is spun in their minds in order to justify why they won't accept actual improved awareness and understanding. Improved awareness and understanding is declared to just be beliefs expressed by someone else who thinks they are superior. They will even declare that their own beliefs are superior to the improved actual awareness and understanding of what is actually going on (without legitimate justification).
    • They then hope to get those people who have allowed themselves to develop unjustified and unsustainable perceptions of: prosperity, opportunity for prosperity, and superiority relative to others to vote.
    • They creatively make-up laws in the hopes of keeping 'those others not tempted to like them' from voting.
    • They also abuse critical and scientific thinking to Gerrymander voting districts in their favour.

    Rather than improving the awareness and understanding of the population, the unjustified pursuers of Winning deliberately mislead people by making unjustified claims that support unjustified developed perceptions of superiority relative to others (or unjustified perceptions that they are being denied their right to that superiority relative to others).

    Those types of unjustified leadership actions can be seen to apply to groups like ISIS as well as Unite the Right groups around the planet (not just the current USA Republican Party).

    The real problem is the number of people growing up with a small worldview, uninterested in the effort, changes and corrections required to have a larger worldview. Those small-worldview people are happy to be told things by people they consider to be leaders worthy of their loyalty and support. They like people who tell them things that sound like what they want to hear. They dislike the complications of reality-based justification. Improved awareness and understanding of reality, including the need to everyone to have their actions governed by GHAR, makes it more difficult to believe what is otherwise easy for them to believe. That is similar to your reference to know-nothingism, which can also be called freedom-to-believe-whatever-you-likeism (the key words being that Freedom one, and Freedom of belief).

    Freedom needs to be understood to only be deserved by people who responsibly pursue improved awareness and understanding of what is going on and responsibly pursue helping to develop the required conditions to sustain a robust diversity of humanity fitting in as sustainable parts of a robust diversity of life on this or any other amazing planet. Freedom is reserved for and deserved by people who consistently show they are acting based on GHAR. (a potential answer to the question I posed in my comment @10)

    Many of the current winners in the games people play clearly would not like that type of correction to occur during 'their lifetime'.

  8. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    MA Rodgers. Interesting. I havent had time to look at it, and probably wont till next week, but my first issue is actually reproducing the GR from that data. A 5 minute play in Excel in lunchtime isnt the way to do it.

  9. Global warming is intensifying El Niño weather

    With more precipitation during the wet phase and less precipitation during the 'dry', we need our glaciers to store water and release it when it is needed.  Not going to happen.  The glaciers are disappearing so what is the solution.  California has to get fanatic about encouraging and protecting beavers in all her catchments.  Beavers are natures furry little glaciers with respect to their effect on evening out eratic water supplies.  http://mtkass.blogspot.com/2007/07/canadian-beaver-pest-or-benefactor.html

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Off-topic link snipped.

  10. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    scaddenp @91,

    The data pointed-to @92 attached to Garrett (2014) 'The Long Run Evoluton of the Global Economy: Part 1 The Physical Basis' is non-controversial except the two-millenium record of World Energy Use (the quantity a) presented in the third of the Supporting Information links. This link does give a smooth exponential-type record for Cumulative gGDP which is the sort of thing you see in other presentations, like the graph below from HERE

    GDP 1AD to 2016AD

    Where things start looking very controversial is the data for World Energy Use in that third link. It stitches on a smooth exponential-type record for AD1 to AD1969 onto the as-expected 1970-to-date data. World Energy Use is not a smooth exponential for AD1 to AD1969. It remains essentially linear from the present day back to 1950. The graph below (gleaned from the internet, another referenced version Fig1.3 HERE) shows this linearity. Using CO2 emissions to calculate World Energy Use gives the same linearity (as well as reproducing the 1970-to-date record accurately).

    World Energy 1850-2000

    I think indy222 is having problems addressing this evident mismatch between the exponential Cumulative gGDP data and the linear (back to 1950) World Energy Use data.

  11. One Planet Only Forever at 14:43 PM on 30 August 2018
    The silver lining of fake news

    nigelj.

    Though "Reality will have the last laugh", what is really going on is no laughing matter.

    Uncaring undeserving people are getting away with enjoying their lives more. They are developing unjustified perceptions of superiority relative to others by getting away with harming the development of a sustainable better future for humanity. And they can get away with it because the future of humanity has no chance to vote for representation, no purchasing power, no marketing power, no legal power. The future of humanity can do nothing in retaliation against those doing harm to them.

    When did the global leadership of humanity stop caring about its future? It certainly seemed to collectively care more in the late 1960s and early 1970s. And the global pursuit of improved awareness and understanding has continued since then. But that increased awareness and understanding has not been embraced by all of the leadership contenders in the supposedly 'most advanced nations', because they have only developed perceptions of advancement.

    What will need to happen for all leadership contenders in the supposedly more advanced nations to embrace the understanding of, and urgency of, the required corrections of what has developed?

  12. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    On the XKCD cartoon; I find it rather "rich" that an economist would toss that at Garrett, when the best that economists have come up with in characterizing a relationship is the Cobb-Douglas relation, which is so clearly a mere fitting function with arbitrary exponents and no thought of getting the physical units even right. It's a confession they don't know how to think about the subject. Also, it entirely leaves out the importance of energy - as if energy is merely something lying around free and its availability plays no role. Garrett's made an attempt to find a more defensible theoretical relationship between energy and economic growth. I find it interesting that the GR is so closely obeyed, and at this point a few percent here or there, compared to the massive changes in civilization along the way, appears not to justify a debunking even if perfect data were to still show them. Clearly in a system with at least some sort of human agency, I think it would not be expected that the GR would be obeyed to the last decimal even in a perfect dataset with no errors at all. When I ponder what does it MEAN that the GR is so closely followed? What I am thinking is this - that the human system and human genetic nature is finely evolved to strive valiantly for the maximum possible efficiency in GROWTH. So that even distant past spending counts every bit as much as recent past spending in the total "Wealth" which is so closely proportional to current Power. It's as if we didn't waste any efforts in spending in the past to bootstrap ourselves to today's massive civilization. That the guiding principle is GROWTH UBER ALLES, and that all energy we can lay hands on, as efficiently as possible, will be put to use to make that growth happen as quickly as possible. Clearly it is in each individual's advantage to grow to his maximum potential regardless of consequences to the environment, because environmental degradation, especially climate, is only evident from the sum total of vast others whom that individual does not control. Dumping my CO2 to the atmosphere has NO impact on climate. Only dumping 7 billion people's CO2 does. But dumping MY CO2 to the environment can have a big improvement in my family's financial well being. So of course - I do just that. These thoughts I believe are embodied in the evident close proportionality Power/Wealth.

  13. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    The data Garrett used is from the usual official sources, and can be found in the "supplements" to his paper "The Long Run Evoluton of the Global Economy: Part 1 The Physical Basis"

    I got GDP stats from UN data

    with the link indicating it is using Market Exchange Rate (MER) accounting, which is appropriate. Perhaps your source is using PPP (purchasing power parity) conversion accounting? As you saw in my pptx, I argue that MER accounting is the proper accounting as it best includes an estimate of the future network building expected possible in that country. PPP accounting ends up putting a higher weight on poorer countries and since so many of them are growing faster, it ends up giving a spuriously larger global GDP growth.  Garrett derived a conversion between global GDP using PPP vs MER accounting, in the link supplement, derived during the ~2 decades of time when they overlap. The much earlier global GDP estimates from distant history are from Maddison's classic work, but those are in PPP accounting and need a (very small) adjustment to MER accounting.

  14. The silver lining of fake news

    Republicans have an anti intellectual tendency. "Republicans are increasingly antagonistic toward experts. Here’s why that matters." One way to try to drown out uncomfortable messages is obviously fake news, but it won't change reality. Reality will have the last laugh.

  15. The silver lining of fake news

    "Climate change used to be the sole target of this."

    No as others have said,  fake news has a very old history. Refer fake news on wikipedia.

    Earliest example quoted: "In the 13th century BC, Rameses the Great spread lies and propaganda portraying the Battle of Kadesh as a stunning victory for the Egyptians; he depicted scenes of himself smiting his foes during the battle on the walls of nearly all his temples."

    Obviously the internet has multiplied the quantity and spread of such material, and unfortunately this has coincided with the climate science denialism.

  16. The silver lining of fake news

    I first got worried about denialism as a grad student studying philosophy of science, as religious fanatics and politicians in the US began promoting 'creation science'.  Some colleagues thought paying attention to that absurd movement was foolish, but it seems I'm now having the last (somewhat bitter) laugh.  The threat posed by such points of view lies in the policy implications— largely educational in the case of evolution denial, but truly frightening in vaccine and climate denial.  When public authorities declare their independence from facts and evidence, we are all in danger... @dkeierleber, Paul Krugman has commented forcefully on the fictional 'economics' that dominates public economic discourse... Improving education is generally a slow, uphill effort, but when causes and effects are not obviously linked to voters, working connect the dots for them seems to be part of what needs doing.  

  17. The silver lining of fake news

    This website talks a lot about 'inoculation' against fake news, as a method of countering it.  So, I guess there is a 'silver lining' to fake news, in the same way that typhoid fever led to the 'silver lining' of a vaccine.  Still, surrounded by people screaming from a raging infection of 'truthiness', its hard not to mourn what was, and is no longer.  We can innoculate against fake news, but we can never put that demon back in the box.

  18. The silver lining of fake news

    I think this is being oversimplified. It’s a complex issue. It is enticing to dismiss those who mistrust science as being uneducated on the subject. But that leads us to the same dead end of thinking all we have to do is tell the real facts and people will come around to the right way of thinking. Research doesn’t support that view.

    As reported here in the past, regarding climate change, the more educated a conservative is the less likely they are to be persuaded by facts. Presentation of science facts drives deniers further into denial. So I don’t think the problem lies with denialist falsehoods. In my experience, climate change denialists are in love with the lamest over-simplifications. How often have you read the comment about how temperatures could have risen in the past if the cavemen had no SUVs to drive? Ever hear any denialist try to use Roy Spencer’s argument about natural variation tied to the Pacific multi-decadal oscillation?

    Things are even worse on the economic front. Workers who have been profoundly hurt by supply side fiction insist that the wealthy pay too much in taxes. Educated upper middle class conservatives think the top tax rate in America’s Golden Age (the 2 decades after WWII) was 20%. Trying to explain the idea of a progressive tax to young conservatives shows how our education system has changed over the years. We were too distracted by defending evolution in public education to notice that the curricula on basic economic theory took a wrong turn somewhere. Now it seems the age old divide between property rights and majority rule is becoming an economic war and the rich are winning. That doesn’t bode well for the sanctity of our democracy.

    Research has shown physical differences in brain patterns between conservatives and liberals. So part of the problem is that some of us tend to believe those in positions of authority while others tend to ask how they rose to that position.

  19. The silver lining of fake news

    "Climate change used to be the sole target of this."

    Unfortunately, that just isn't true. Evolution is an obvious example, but there are many others. The largest and longest running is likely the whole Southern delusion about their 'noble' Civil War ancestors. The most impactful would probably be the insanity of supply-side / trickle-down / 'give all the money to the rich so they can hire more people' / feudalism 'economic theory'... which HAD nearly died out after the Great Depression, but then came roaring back after the oil embargo and Reagan.

    Et cetera.

    Know nothingism is not some new phenomena in US life. It has been with us for a very long time and has been steadily growing to swallow the Republican party for my entire lifetime (starting with Nixon's 'southern strategy' to embrace the racist narrative rather than letting it politically die when the Democrats finally grew out of it). Climate change was never more than a side skirmish in this ongoing war of reality vs delusion.

    I was warning about this growing problem 20 years ago... it is just that we have finally reached the inevitable end stage where a Republican president has to constantly deny observed reality because that is the only way to pretend their policy positions make sense.

  20. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    indy222 @89.
    Yes, the message about the quantity being used as the denominator to calculate the Garrett Relation constant λ being cumulative global GDP has been recieved. I even discovered what your GWP acronym means - 'Gross World Product' (= global GDP) which was useful as the Wikkithing page on 'Gross World Product' gives a table of gGDP (1990 prices) from 2014 back to one million BC allowing a calculation of Cumulative gGDP. It has a slower accumlation than that shown by the graphic in Frame 241 of your presentation but the general scheme of things is apparent.
    And while the cumulative trace sits higher up the graph because it is a "more sharply upwardly moving curve", the acceleration of an exponential function remains proportionately in tact. So Cumulatiive gGDP (C) will be accelerating at 3% per annum and as Global Energy Use (a) is showing no signs of acceleration but is instead rising in a linear fashion, the Garrett Relation constant λ cannot be constant for  a = λC  to hold. And that has far more significance that a "lost in the weeds" argument.
    Of course, the Garrett hypothesis, in attempting to narrow projected Global Energy Use, it does not entirely rely on λ being constant (rather the slowness of that acceleration would suffice). But his analysis does need to set out the acceleration if it is to be considered useful.
    And beyond that, while the Garrett hypothesis appears an interesting idea, I would question the theoretical basis of it on a number of grounds (which is of course off-topic for this thread).

  21. The silver lining of fake news

    The Nixon administration was not Americas finest hour, and indeed  started the backlash against the sensible altruist economics that started with the "New Deal",  but Nixon was surprisingly good with environmental legislation, and he started the EPA and vehicle emissions standards.

    At that time there was a level of political consensus in America on environmental matters, but a coalition of ranchers and miners then started to oppose environmentalism in the late 1970's. Anti environmentalism really gained traction with Ronald Reagon, and he downgraded some environmental legislation, and it has unfortunately now become a GOP core ideology culminating with their climate science denial but clearly not limited to this as anyone looking at people like Scot Pruitt would know (and his replacement). 

    I was reading this yesterday. From Vox news : How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism.

  22. One Planet Only Forever at 13:31 PM on 29 August 2018
    The silver lining of fake news

    I agree that things are slowly being corrected, slowly improving the development of a sustainable better future for humanity. And I am also aware that there are many powerful wealthy people who understand that their unjustified developed perceptions of superiority relative to others are threatened by that improving understanding of the required correction of what has developed.

    Primitive human nature is a limited worldview (more self-interested, more tribal-limited, less interested in actions being sustainable or in avoiding harm to others). Modern Civilization is the development of expanded worldviews (more altruistic, accepting of other sub-tribes based on altruistic evaluation of the actions of those sub-tribes).

    Tragically, Modern Civilization is still full of plundering bandits who try to get away with benefiting from harmful unsustainable actions, or who fight against correcting unsustainable unjustified social beliefs. And many of those type of people have become very powerful, particularly with the assistance of misdirected critical-thinking and science-minded approaches to misleading advertising developed to appeal to people who are willing to be easily impressed (and by the uniting the diversity of social and fiscal conservatives, all right-wings, to support each other's unjustified interests in a last ditch hope to still win regionally).

    Developing civilization is always challenged by the ease with which people can devolve to a more limited worldview. It is hard work to ensure that actions are governed by good helpful altruistic reasoning (GHAR).

    Improving awareness and understanding and acting altruistically is hard work for a self-governing individual (especially when understandably harmful and unsustainable activity is allowed to compete for popularity and profitability, and worse when the employment and tax revenue of such activities result in regional leaders trying to promote and protect those activities rather than correct things). It is even harder for the responsible members of a society trying to responsibly govern or limit the behaviour of all of its members. John Stuart Mill identified the problem in “On Liberty” when presenting that a society had the collective ability to properly educate all of its members. He stated: “If society lets a considerable number of its members grow up mere children, incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant motives, society has itself to blame for the consequences.”

    But the harder work of GHAR in pursuit of improved awareness and understanding of what is really going on, and how to collaborate to develop a lasting better future for all of humanity's diversity of tribes, has always been worth the effort.

    Many people have written about the unsustainable damaging ways that things have been developing, particularly in the USA, particularly since the Nixon Presidency, and particularly whenever the Right-wing have won significant control of power in the USA. And that unsustainable and damaging direction of USA development has been contaminating what happens elsewhere in the world. Admittedly there was a lot of bad stuff done by international leadership including the USA before Nixon's time, but people were starting to become more aware. And even today there are many people doing the harder work of becoming more aware, having a larger worldview. Climate science and the need to curtail the burning of fossil fuels is an example of a developed problem with signs that the problem is slowly being overcome, with occasional damaging set-backs.

    There seems to be a correlation between the way that USA Right-wing leadership changed and the timing of the UN report about significant strides made by the global collaborative effort to figure out what was going wrong globally and the corrections required for the benefit of the future of humanity. The Stockholm Conference in 1972 unmistakably indicated that many of the developed profitable and popular activities were unsustainable and harmful. Those unsustainable and harmful activities developed 'because of freedom to do things' (because of a lack of regulation or restriction by global leadership in business and politics). That undeniable understanding of what was going on was a threat to the ideology of fiscal conservatives (and social conservatives). They wanted more freedom to do as they pleased, and to impose their 'being discovered to be unreasonable and harmful beliefs' on others.

    In addition to increased public awareness of the unacceptability of what the fiscal and social conservatives did not want to give up, there was improved awareness that some winners were undeserving. That improved awareness would be a serious threat to the perceptions of superiority they had gotten away with developing. The outrage of the Right-wing against the developing understanding of the required corrections starts at about that time, at the time of the Nixon Presidency, at the time of the UN Stockholm Conference.

    Al Gore wrote about it in “The Assault on Reason”. And I am currently reading Jonah Goldberg's “Suicide of the West - How the rebirth of tribalism, populism, nationalism, and identity politics is destroying American Democracy”. Neither book makes a connection between the improving global altruism and the increased aggressiveness of the Right-wing against being corrected, that is a connection that I am speculating about.

    Developing improved and sustainable perceptions, services, products or means of production (improved meaning: more fact-based, less waste, less harm, and less unsustainable consumption), needs to be more highly-valued than creating unjustified desires and getting more popularity or profit the easiest possible way for as long as can be gotten away with.

    Enjoying a life in ways that are understood to be sustainable and helpful, not harmful, to others (especially all future generations) is hard work. It is also hard work to protect democracy in politics and the marketplace from the damaging influence of secrecy/ignorance, manipulation by misleading advertising, or other gross distortions of Adam Smith's Invisible Hand that requires all participants to be fully aware, wanting to be helpful, and not wanting any harm done by anyone to anyone.

    Undeniably, it can be easier and more personally beneficial to simply do what is thought to be possible to be gotten away with, without putting effort into figuring out if what is being done is sustainable, or if it is helpful or harmful to others. And it can be very beneficial to deliberately try to be secretive or to mislead others about the decency of what is happening.

    Cooperative collaborative human activity is the most beneficial thing humans have developed the ability to do. To be sustained, any collaboration or cooperative action must be governed by Good Helpful Altruistic Reasoning. Competing to improve awareness and understanding of what is going on and to develop sustainable improved ways of living is at a disadvantage if less helpful and actually harmful ways of living are allowed to compete.

    Without GHAR governing and limiting what is done, the actions will corrupt into harmful unsustainable pursuits (tip of the hat to Jonah Goldberg, author of “Suicide of the West”, for helping me understand the possible applications of the term - corrupt). Without GHAR the sub-collectives (tribes) of humanity will devolve into greedier and less tolerant entities (groups of greedier and less tolerant participants). Corrupting to that primitive human nature selfish small worldview is easier than the harder work of improving collective civilization governed by GHAR with everyone pursuing an expanded world-view, harder than embracing and supporting a robust diversity of humanity fitting sustainably into a robust diversity of all other life.

    Critical-thinking science-minded people can also be misdirected into pursuits of new ways to be more profitable or personally beneficial that rely on secrecy (ignorance among the public), or unjustified permission (marketing created social licence/popularity or political leadership allowing/promoting it) to get away with harmful actions for as long as possible. Technology can be a particularly insidious and damaging distraction. It is the result of hard work, but that work can be misdirected into creating appealing distractions from the harder work of GHAR. And that misdirection can develop unjustified desires for unsustainable and harmful to make-use-tossaway “New Amazing Gadgets” or “New ways to Harm or Threaten to Harm Others that can be excused as New Defensive Capabilities”.

    Developing a sustainable constantly improved future for humanity is possible. The UN development of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals is proof that helpful developments of improved awareness and understanding can occur in spite of temporary regional set-backs from the push-backs by the right-wing. It is hard work that can never stop, because the right-wing attempts to get people to corrupt into primitive divisive tribal selfishness. will never go away.

    GHAR needs to govern everyone everywhere forevermore, never allowing primitive human nature to significantly influence things without being evaluated by GHAR for acceptability, only allowing actions that are sustainable and harmless to compete for popularity and profitability.

    That change is developing, in spite of temporary regional set-backs. Sadly, the future of humanity suffers more every time anyone allows their primitive human nature to over-rule their modern human ability to be considerate, reasonable, helpful, altruistic.

  23. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    Dr. Garrott copied this XKCD in his blog post complaining about how the journal treated him.  Someone had suggested that it applied to his paper.

    Perhaps if more peer reviewed papers and less blog posts were cited in this discussion we could reach a better understanding of the situation.

    Since this is supposed to be a scientific board peer reviewed papers are strongly preferred over blog posts.

    xkcd cartoon

  24. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    I will explain a bit why I think this point is important. Your argumentation has been based on GR holding, and regard this is an immutable "law of universe" (well a reflection of the law of thermodynamics). I am holding that if it is purely byproduct of underlying mathematical structure (and it formulation), then the only information expressed is the exponential nature of GDP and dependence on power.  To use this information as a guide to the future, then need to consider whether GDP as an exponential is immutable and whether its relation to power is immutable.

  25. The silver lining of fake news

    Maybe you are right and people are increasingly accepting that the climate is changing, and are seeing through the fake news on this aspect of things. I put any increasing acceptance down to relentlessly increasing temperatures more than anything finally registering with people. Fake news can't really hide this, and it can't hide peoples personal experience of bad weather, and a strong sense it is getting worse.

    But given only 58% of people in America think humans are 'causing' climate change after all we have gone through, its hard for me to see this aspect of the issue changing much more. About the same numbers of 40% are still sceptical about evolution 100 years after the discovery of the thing. Fake news has a long history, even as the internet has obviosly multiplied it all.

    One of the problems is some people go by instincts and so called 'truthiness' while others look more at scientific evidence. Only one of these groups can be looking at information the right way.

  26. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    My criticism on the mathematical structure applies if the whole GDP can be a approximated by a single exponential function and if the relation between GDP and energy production is approximately linear. A quick fit of data that I have shows those conditions are met although linearity of GDP to Energy starting to change.

    If you are willing to share the raw GDP and Power data on which are working (with whatever corrections you feel appropriate), I am happy to check the mathematical structure.

  27. Climate Science blogs around the world

    In French: Chroniques du têtard mouillé (http://sogeco31.blogspot.com/).

    The author is not a scientist, but the content is solidly science based. Some french politics, some hiking, but for the most part, climate related news, and critics of the "skeptics" french-speaking scene. Feel free to review and publish or not.

  28. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    to MA Rodger: In my slide 241 showing the Garrett Relation with the refinments to the biases in the data.... you must pause and realize something Mr Rodger. Pause and realize.... One more time - I use the word "wealth" in the same way that Garrett does. Wealth = time integrated GDP. So when I label a curve "Wealth (GDP+shadow)" that means I'm plotting time integrated GDP, not GDP, and together with the spending that is not included in GDP, which Oztunali and many others refer to as the "shadow economy". Yes time-integrated GDP indeed goes up roughtly exponentially. The integral of an upwardly moving function is an even more sharply upwardly moving curve. GDP has, since the discovery of oil, been, on average, an increasing function. Recessions clearly slow that, but only for a year or so before it resumes typically with renewed vigor. And yet once again, neither Garrett nor I are arguing for a fundamental physics unchangable relation between atmospheric CO2 and global GDP. That graph is only possible when FF's are your ~sole source of energy and given the way CO2 source+sinks behave in the environment. I have already said in my ppt's that I expect that curve will shallow when (if!) renewables begin to make a dent in our FF use. How much renewables begin to make a dent is going to depend on a race - a race between when climate chaos begins to seriously degrade civilization in a rapid way (thus perhaps derailing our attention away from renewables conversion in favor of just hanging on to what we have), and when the "S" curve of adoption of renewables somehow kicks in and FF power plants already built become uneconomical to maintain.

    As for "GWP" as Global Warming Potential, that's a communication point I hadn't considered. I'll tell you why I go back and forth with using it - I'm writing a chapter for a book on the economics of climate change right now, and being confronted with staying inside a word count (!) and "global GDP" is 2 words, and "GWP"  is one word!  Yeah. Sorry, I'll try to use "global GDP" here.

    You can get lost in the weeds of arguing whether Power/Wealth is truly constant. The data that goes into it has biases, and there are no 1-sigma, 2-sigma or other statistical error estimates given by those nefarious economists to Power or GDP(!). Garrett spends a great deal of time making a case for a constancy based on seeing Civilization as a thermodynamics system. I think it has great insight. I've reframed it slightly differently by using "entropy" whereas Garrett frames more in terms of potential energy flows from higher to lower. Each way hopefully will trigger light bulbs in at least some people.  Is the relation PROVEN, in some sort of uncontestable mathematical way, like the Pythagorean Theorem? No - civilization is ruled by human laws as much as by physics, and this is not a closed and perfectly defined and delimited and known logical system like mathematics (at least, not until we reduce biology and the resulting psychology to their quantum mechanical base layer!). Garrett has made a case, and checked to see whether the prediction Power/Wealth=constant holds in the data, and it does. I've looked for flaws in the reasoning and the data, as I started out as a skeptic myself. Instead of finding that the relationship is only a product of flawed data, I find that it is flawed data that makes the small deviations from flatness, and that if we remove those biases the relationship looks even stronger than Garrett thought. Very strong in the historical data. I've not yet seen a case to be made from good reasoning that the GR relationship will be broken. We must not be guilty of "magical thinking", to quote Garrett and to quote a good friend and NAS astrophysicist Sandra Faber. Again, constantly improving energy efficiency is not in either mathematical or logical conflict with Power/Wealth=constant. The complaints here in SkSci seem to be based on misunderstandings in what Garrett is saying. The rest of the reason why Garrett's work has not gotten a wider look may be because - his biggest proponent seems to be the Apostle of Apocalypse: Guy McPherson. As an aside, I've gone out of my way to emphasize criticism of McPherson's clear misunderstanding of Garrett's work and of climate (esp methane) in general and that his belief that all humanity will be extinct in 8 years is ludicrous.... and cruel to those naive enough to buy into his past life as a professor of ecology as sufficient justification to believe him. The last thing that I want, is for McPherson to praise my thoughts or work! I don't need friends like that. The future is grim enough without having the true situation dismissed baby/bathwater along with bogus NearTermHumanExtinction. My sympathies to Garrett.

  29. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    indy222 @79,
    May we park any rebuttal while the more basic criticisms of Garrett (2011) are addressed here?

    The finer points of something being either a "constant ratio" or a "correlation" are not the issue. Anything presented as a linear correlation that ignores an evident acceleration is poorly presented and especially so if that acceleration throws the correlation beyond its stated confidence levels.
    Your graph of Global Primary Energy on your Slide 241 shows no significant acceleration. Your two traces of World GDP both show a strong acceleration, GDP advancing over three-times more quickly at the end of the 35 years of data relative to the start. (That is a 3% annual acceleration.) Dividing GDP into Primary Energy does not disappear the acceleration. And achieving a better level of linearity for half the data through adjustment of inflation calculations is not the immediate step I would take to illiminate the unwanted acceleration.
    Your final comments @79 throw a whole set of %s around, seeming to suggest that there is a lack of linearity in something but it is less than the noise within the input data so the lack of linearity can be dismissed as not relevant. I would insist on a more reasoned description before considering such an argument.

    indy222 @82,
    Concerning the use or otherwise of "time-integrated real GWP", note that GWP would be taken to mean Global Warming Potential in an AGW context (as you would expect here @SkS). I am unfamiliar with the acronym GWP as used but the expression from Garrett (2011) a = λC would put it (the quantity C) as some measure of Global Present Worth which becomes worthless were civilisation to disappear, and if Global Power Use (a) were to drop to zero, this disappearance would occur as the assertion is that λ is a constant. In Garrett (2011) the quantity C is actually defined in terms of P (Real Economic Annual Production) thus "C is civilization’s historical accumulation of real (inflation-adjusted) economic production of economic value P = dC//dt." Give this relationship, I am not sure why we see a Garrett graphic of Atmospheric CO2 levels against accumulative World GDP in-thread @55 above, the graphic I took for my guide when I plotted Annual dCO2 against Annual World GDP (as linked @77) which would be a more sensitive way of demonstrating the a = λC relationship. Perhaps I should have plotted da/dt = λP  to test for the constancy of λ.

  30. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    Indy222 , in 2010 Dr Garrett stated that he was "coming from a physics background, and being totally naive in economics ..."     (And I myself, being an economics cynic, am likewise in danger of a Dunning-Kruger approach to the Dismal Science.)

    In 2014 , Dr Garrett stated that "[his] core finding is that economic wealth or capital is not a static quantity that simply exists, but rather it requires continual energy consumption for its sustenance.  Like a living organism, energy is required not just to grow civilization but also to maintain its current size."

    Many decades ago, Dr Isaac Asimov & other commentators drew attention to the fact that the so-called advance of civilization has required both an increase in leisure time combined with the "power-multiplying" effect of harnessing draught animals & wind-power & water-mills — later, steam-power, internal combustion & electric motors.

    Yet Dr Garrett's mathematical lucubrations seem merely to re-invent the wheel in this regard.  So far, so good.  But wrong-headedly, he seems to feel the CO2 tail is wagging the dog.

    Ultimately, the choice is ours in how we power our civilization.  We are not inevitably constrained to follow the current trajectory.  The "Garrett Relationship" is largely a pointless exercise.

    And we should also debate what is meant by "wealth".  But that is a topic for another day.

  31. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    Scaddenp #84: No, I'm not insisting that decarbonizing will force a recession. I'm saying that if the GR remains true, it means that a long term recession, no matter how initiated, will carry with it a trend for energy efficiency to stop improving, but instead to get worse. And I'm saying that when you look at the Federal Reserve's papers on the political biases in the China data (and also I've found in Mongolia data - only ones I've tracked down so far) you indeed see a dramatic over-statement in official GDP growth vs the actual GDP evident from more reliable proxies (again, it's in the slides on my pdf), and this supports that achieving energy efficiencies is either not done, or can't be done, during recessions. This makes trying to halt CO2 growth via an engineered long term recession, as Kevin Anderson has suggested as what's needed, must also carry with it a determination for us to force ourselves to spend what GDP we still achieve towards continued energy efficiences, against our usual tendencies. My hypothesis is that the Garrett Relation is telling us something fundamental about how human nature, and if it is deeply embedded in human nature to behave this way, then simply telling happy stories about energy efficiencies being our salvation - is just not realistic. We grow faster when we get more efficient, and that fights against what's needed - lowering CO2 emissions.

  32. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    scaddenp: Your criticism only works if the exponential has the same constants in the exponent throughout the time of interest. But that is not the case here. The exponential power has varied greatly not only during the times before fossil fuels, but even during just the past century, and even just the past decades. The growth rate of Wealth (hence Power) was moribund until the late 1900's, took another slight hiatus during WWII, and then had a huge sharp change beginning in 1950, then shallowed again as the 21st century got going and continuing till now.

  33. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    Actually you dont need to take integral either to get convergance but it will converge much quicker if you do.

    Also, you seem to be insisting that decarbonizing will force a recession. I dont buy it.

  34. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    " Are you trying to say that we could choose ANY time integral and any non-integral which are both functions of time, and get a constant ratio to the extent seen in the GR?"


    Not quite. I am saying time integral of any exponential time series divided by time series that is positively proportional to that same series will converge to a constant.

    y1 = a.Exp(b.t)

    Int(y1) = a.Exp(b.t)/b

    y2 = c.y1 + d

    Int(y1)/y2 =  a.Exp(b.t)/(b.c.y1 + b.d) = a.Exp(b.t)/(b.c.Exp(b.t) + bd)

    as Exp(bt) get large, then approximates to a.Exp(b.t)/b.cExp(b.t) = a/bc

  35. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    Scaddenp at least gets the point that the GR has to do with TIME INTEGRATED GWP. Re-reading once again MA Rodgers, I see no appreciation of this, as he continually refers to power vs GDP(t) or some other GDP, not Integral(GDP) (t=0 to now)     apologies for the very awkward quick-o attempt to put an integral in this !

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please curtail your all-caps usage (shouting is unhelpful).

  36. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    The other important point, is that if you look at World Bank data on the efficiency of energy to generate GDP, you'll see Joules/$GWP steadily dropping. But not completely steadily (see my slide 253), it flattens during recessions. I don't have China data or articles going back to those past recessions, but just the near-recession of '15 in China shows the point - that GDP is significantly overstated, and so energy efficiency progress in fact reverses during recessions, as the GR says it must. In human terms - we abandon the luxury of further improving energy efficiency in favor of just trying to support what we already have with what energy we have. That paints a sobering prospect of what would happen in an engineered long term recession as Prof Kevin Anderson has called for. W/o a massive change in who we are as a responsible species, we won't get out of this as cavalierly as so many would like you to believe.  Of course, it doesn't have to be an engineered (graceful?) long term recession  - climate decay could force it on us unwillingly, as I think it probably will. Climate decay, and our exponentially rising debt finally becoming impossible to support.

  37. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    To scaddenp: "wealth" = time-integrated real GWP is growing at 2% / year in the 21st century, on average. That's the INTEGRAL growing at 2%/yr. Power consumption is not money. It's a totally different thing - it's the energy consumption rate to support that GDP. That Power/Wealth should be end up being so closely constant over most of the accumulated history of all GWP since pre-history, is making a worthwhile statement. Are you trying to say that we could choose ANY time integral and any non-integral which are both functions of time, and get a constant ratio to the extent seen in the GR? That makes no sense.

    On the SRES scenarios, maybe our conflict is in just how realistic are. Garrett makes the observation that population, for example, is not an independent variable, it is a dependent variable - we grow to the maximum extent that we can. Improve energy efficiency, and we can grow FASTER, including population, and that's exactly what we do. It's the very creation of energy efficiencies which ENABLE growth, and then FORCE us to spend more ongoing energy to support that new growth, and enable FASTER exploitation of energy we can find because now we're a bigger industrial entity. Which we must, to support all past growth too against the forces of decay, into the future.  It's what we do. It's how we're built. Now, how do you take a world which lives off FF's and convert it to renewables at the pace indicated, without generating far more CO2 than shown in the graphs? FF and CO2 IS our energy source right now, and we're stuck with it. All the efforts we've so far done have doubled power consumption rates and yet CO2 generating FF's comprise an unchanged 87% of primary energy supply since 1973.  Could we do better? If we became a different species, perhaps, that CARED enough about the future to lower our FF consumption at the same time that we poured every dollar we could into decarbonizing. If we actually SACRIFICED our current comforts for the sake of future generations. But we don't want to do that, nor will we tolerate a government that tries to tell us that. Instead we install the kind of governments we see around us. But the GR shows that power consumption is closely proportional to Wealth, so all this spending is going to produce a lot of CO2 in the near term. 

    And too, none of this includes the inadequate climate physics in the "carbon budgets" cobbled by the IPCC at the insistence of the U.N. political representatives, whereby we grow more than we should now, in favor of kicking the can down the road so that later generations have to deal with figuring out how to massively pull CO2 out of the atmosphere and permanently sequester it. What kind of species does that?  Listen to the work of Kevin Anderson, of Vaclav Smil, of many other scientists and energy experts and IPCC members complaining of the UN interference in the IPCC process and how the carbon budgets that emerged are just wrong. And the missing physics: The rising ECS with climate state. The permafrost melt from much more dramatic Arctic Ocean ice loss than early models predicted, and resulting CO2 and methane emissions, etc.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Sloganeering snipped.

  38. Trump’s Dirty Power Plan is much worse for kids’ health than for climate change

    Relevant article: Anti-Environmentalism/ Green Backlash
    Sharon Beder. 

    "Anti-environmentalism refers to the way that corporations and conservative groups in society have sought to counter the gains made by environmentalists, to redirect and diminish public concern about the environment, to attack environmentalists, and to persuade politicians against increased environmental regulation."

  39. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    to MA Rodger: your 1st para: Garrett (and I now too, several times) have addressed why the Cullenword criticism was invalid. Garrett was not allowed to respond (which is pretty outlandish, and against policy, and with no explanation), after those criticisms were sandwiched on either side of his paper, but he responded in the (peer-reviewed) "No Way Out..." paper.

    Again, GDP vs Power is only correlated, not a constant ratio. Nevertheless, there is  tendency for that curve you plotted to have a shallower slope after the first '70's decade, but it was nearly entirely done early on, and not in recent decades. I address this by looking closer at the data. See http://www.cabrillo.edu/~rnolthenius/Apowers/A7-K43-Garrett.pdf    slides 214 - 260. The slight down tilt in Power/Wealth disappears when you correct for: (1) under-estimated inflation (2) over-reported GDP (3) un-included "shadow economy", which makes up a continually smaller fraction of reported GDP and hence total spencing is not growing as fast as reported GDP....  all of which I document with good sources (not apocalypto bloggers, in case you're wondering). Look at the results for Power/Wealth in slide 241. The first point in the blue curve is identical to the most recent, and that is using only the most conservative and likely under-estimated correction to CPI inflation, from the MIT Business School. Instead considering the mid '90's Boskin Commission switchover to changing baskets, the estimate effect would be to remove the slight down tilt since ~'94 entirely.  In generating the atmospheric CO2 curves, Garrett does NOT assume GDP is proportional to Power, Improving energy efficiency is not in conflict, not a noise issue, with the GR. As long as GDP is growing faster than energy efficiency, it's quite possible to have Power/Wealth remain constant. Now, you argue about "constant", and neglect that economists don't provide any error bars on their numbers. How "constant" must it be before it is usable as a principle from which to consider the future? You provide no answer, appearing to look for tiny deviations which neglect the closer-look, in order to throw out the entire thesis. That the ratio remains so closely constant, even with the data quality what it is, in a range of only 13% total top to bottom, and much less than 3% in determining the value of the ratio, while oil prices have gyrated wildly by an order of magnitude, while inflation has gone from 0 to 18% and back down, and up and back etc in the U.S., and we've gone from a declining CO2 per joule of energy to a halt in 2001 and rise and stabilize since then, and population rise by more than double, etc etc.... I find that impressive.  

  40. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    Indy222, "However, this is not the case with global GDP. It is HEAVILY weighted towards the present."

    Rate of convergence to a constant more about the size proportionality of y2 to y1.

    If you have series that is exponential, and divide integral of series by a series that is positively proportional, then it will converge to a constant. As far as I can see the GR is nothing more than a statement of the mathematical structure. It adds no new information. It doesnt matter what errors there are in GDP or power, so long as exponentation and proportionality are maintained then ratio will be constant.

    There's no appreciation in the SRES scenarios of how Draconian must be the constraints on global freedoms and desires in order to actually make happen the curves they simply cobble together as "representative".


    Huh? Carbon tax or ETS  is a draconian contraint on global freedoms and desires? If renewables are cheaper (and take away FF subsidies and they are in many parts of the world), then that will wreck economies to decarbonize? Does China care about "global freedoms" -what exactly do you mean?

    In one breath, you are saying that climate change will damage economy, and next, they we will squander everything to maintain global economic growth and that is inevitable. I really dont get it. I dont think you get what SRES are for either. All the meeting minutes are online. I dont see any nefarious UN polical outcomes at play there. They are done to provide policy makers information on the climate that various forcing pathways will lead them to. Do you that there is a forcing pathway that is not within the range considered by SRES?

  41. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    Indy222 @76,
    Let me add to your puzzlement. It may assist your gaining a resolution.


    I am afraid I see no evident rebuttal of the criticisms levelled at Garrett (2011) in the two papers within Climate Change issue 104. You say you yourself provide such a rebuttal but you have have presented a lot in this thread and I have not forensically examined your commenting here, commenting which does need such examination as it is poorly set out. Yet given that, I would not recommend addressing Garrett (2011) in such a manner when it appears to have such basic errors elsewhere.


    So addressing what appear to be very basic errors:
    What relevant difference do you see between the World GDP data 1960-to-date presented by the World Bank and the GDP data used by Garrett (2011)? I see none. What technical issue have I managed to overlook?
    I did point to why CO2 was an important variable in Garrett (2011). Look no further than the title! And you reinforce that importance by criticising "Koomey and Cullenward" for not being "climate experts". The CO2 relationship is certainly is no straw man.
    As a sop to your criticism that Garrett (2011) solely considers energy use, I append to the graphic of CO2-rise v World GDP a graph of World primary energy v World GDP (two clicks to download, normally). The trace is evidently not straight but curving down towards the horizontal. The assertion in Garrett (2011) that the Garrett Relationship (Primary Energy = f[GDP]) is linear +/-3% is evidently wrong. Note that the final decade of data graphed slopes just 43% of the initial decade forty years before. That is rather a lot. (And note that within the first paragraph @26 your description of this Garrett Relationship and its employment is entirely garbled.)

    Turning to your second paragraph, any difficulties in the assessment of annual CO2 emissions is not an issue here. You will note that I have been graphing MLO CO2, the ESRL data which is indistinguishable from the Keeling curve you recommend.
    And while Garrett (2011) does not use CO2-rise in its Garrett Relationship, the whole relevance of that Relationship is set out in terms of rising atmospheric CO2 levels. The CO2/GDP ratio is is dipping down toward the hirizontal. And so too is your much-vaunted GR if it is analysed properly. I see no other conclusion.

  42. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    I'm continually puzzled why people insist on mis-representing what Garrett's work shows, despite his patient rebuttal to Cullenward, Koomey, and despite my doing the same here. The graph that MA Roger links to above is GDP vs CO2. The Garrett Relation does NOT make a statement about GDP, but instead the total integrated global GDP over all history. And it does NOT make a statement about CO2, it instead says the current POWER (from any source, renewable or not) is proportional to time-integrated GDP. Stop constructing a phony straw man in order to justify dismissing the work, it only shows a lack of objectivity. It is the GR as stated above which is included in the forward projections curves, and those curves have a wide range of possible civilization resiliance to climate change crippling, and decarbonization rates. The point is that all of them show rising CO2 because we cannot accomplish anything, and for a given assumed growth rate of "Wealth"(=time integrated global GDP), more reslient civilization means HIGHER atmospheric CO2. Those curves are including decarbonization. Note that FF's have remained 87% of our global energy mix since 1973 right up through 2015. You have failed to justify why economists (not thermodynamics experts and not climate experts) Koomey and Cullenward's wrong-headed and dismissive commentary should not itself be dismissed. I've not found any substantive criticism of Garrett's work - only straw-man snipe'ing such as I am now seeing here.

    As to Garrett's comment "It looks unlikely that there will be any substantial near-term departure from the recently observed aceleration in CO2 emission rates", there was a flattening in REPORTED emission rates in the '14/'15 area, but (1) China has been caught under-reporting their emissions (look it up!), (2) China goes through 5-year cycles of overbuilding (think "Ghost Cities") and then fallow periods, and you must average over those. (3) Look at the Keeling Curve, updated almost daily, at their website. It is as smooth an exponential as anyone could hope. (4) Even if CO2 emission rates take a meaningful turn downward and stay down as we more dramatically go towards renewables, that does not violate the work. The Garrett Relation is between ENERGY and TIME INTEGRATED GDP, it is not with FOSSIL FUEL ENERGY.  So yes, a log/log plot shows how closely atmospheric CO2 has followed GDP, but Garrett himself puts no importance on this, it's really just a statement that since virtually all of our energy has been FF energy, then there's not much surprise at the close correlation. If we make FF's a strongly diminishing part of the energy mix, neither he nor  I nor anyone else would be surpised to see that curve start to bend.

  43. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    This thread has seen a lot of blather on the subject of Garrett (2011) 'Are there basic physical constraints on future anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide?'   which has been seemingly shoddily treated by its publishers. Yet, if Garrett (2011) had merit, the author should simply have addressed the criticisms of Cullenward et al (2011) and Scher & Koomey (2011). I do not see evidence of such work. Indeed, the content of Garrett is very poor and should never have been published. In my view it is simple nonsense cloaked by scientific smoke & mirrors with no merit what ever.

    While the major conclusion of Garrett (2011) is the GDP/Energy-Use relationship, its title sets out an that it is examining projections of CO2 emissions and proclaims "it looks unlikely that there will be any substantial near-term departure from recently observed acceleration in CO2 emission rates" a message that is evidently wrong. The GDP/dCO2 relationship is far from linear. The level has halved 1985-2017 relative to 1960-85. See here a graph (usually 2 clicks to 'download your attachment') of MLO CO2 increases ploted against World Bank global GDP. And even the GDP/Energy-Use relationship is far less linear than Garrett (2011) asserts, the relationship seeing an 8% drop 1985-2017 relatibe to 1965-85. An 8% drop is way outside the findings of Garrett (2011). So how can Garrett (2011) be anything other than nonsense?

  44. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    To Scaddenp entry #68. Nowhere does Garrett or I adopt BAU as the inevitable. Again, the renewables fraction is a tunable parameter. So is the resiliance of civilization to the ravages of CO2-linked climate change. What is constrained, is that energy efficiencies permit and enable economic growth and that that growth WILL be engaged in. Neither as individuals nor as nations nor as a globe, do we take savings from our efficiencies and then burn those savings. And all spending results in encumbering future ongoing power consumption. Yes, I too once felt this must contradict the reality of improving energy efficiencies. But I was wrong. It does not. The details are in my .pdf already linked. The Garrett Relation's constancy is consistent with constantly improving energy efficiency as long as the rate of improved efficiency is less than the rate of economic growth. That indeed is what has happened. We put a portion of our economic growth into finding new efficiencies, but we prefer to enjoy a lot of our new-found efficiency-gained cash in other ways as well. And what about in recessions? The math says that improving energy efficiency will be scuttled in favor of just supporting against decay what we already have. And that too is what history shows. While individual country data doesn't really tell a true tale, so many people seem to want  to consider the US, that I'll relate the following anyway. Since 1960 the efficiency with which a joule of energy can generate a dollar of GDP has improved a stunning 63%. Has this resulted in a reduction in our power consumption rate? Not even close! Our power consumption has gone UP by 300%. What do we do when we are given new cash from our efficiencies? WE SPEND IT! It's as simple as that, and hard to see how that will change w/o repressive government intervention - which would seem quite unlikely to be tolerated, frankly.

  45. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    To Scaddenp; the point of Garrett's work vs the SRES scenarios, is that the SRES scenarios show fantasic economic growth and no consequences in CO2 harming the economy. No appreciation of what people do with savings, with efficiency gains. I call it "checkers thinking" vs "chess thinking" or "reflexivity" if you like George Soros' formulation of the concept. "Checkers thinking" assumes that if you improve the efficiency of some process, that the savings in energy is a pure gain and is not re-spent elsewhere. That's not what history shows. There's no appreciation in the SRES scenarios of how Draconian must be the constraints on global freedoms and desires in order to actually make happen the curves they simply cobble together as "representative". If we're to remain true to human civilization and human nature as it actually is, then realize that savings will be spent, or worse - leveraged with debt and THEN spent, so we're spending the present and future generations resources to fund what we spend it on. All spending makes "order" out of "disorder" which then must be continually supported with future energy to preserve against the 2nd law of Thermodynamics. Economic growth must be powered and that power must begin 87% as FF energy, and then try to decarbonize from there, but decarbonizing itself will take much energy to accomplish - FF energy. We're in a difficult place, to have to support 7.5 billion who have currently been supported by constantly increasing CO2 emissions, in some other non-CO2 generating way. It's not just me, now, that is recognizing the absurdity of these rosy scenarios. A new entry here is the work of Dunlop, Spratt, and Schellnhuber  https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/08/20/we-are-climbing-rapidly-out-humankinds-safe-zone-new-report-warns-dire-climate

  46. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    To Michael Sweet's disparaging comment. Clearly you have no interest in actually reading the criticism. Otherwise you would notice that the criticism showed the reviewer hadn't even bothered to understand that the Power/Wealth=constant) relationship defines Wealth as an integral over all time, NOT current GDP! That changes everything. Your comment likewise shows no interest in actually understanding this issue, but only band-wagon hopping on invalid criticisms. I too started out thinking Garrett must be a dismissable "apocalypto" when I hadn't actually read and digested his work, given that I heard about it from Uber Apocalypto (of no credibility) Guy McPherson. With "friends" like McPherson, who needs enemies? I think McPherson's hyping (w/o understanding even what a "heat engine" is) Garrett's work simply because it sounds apocalyptic enough to "support" McPherson's agenda, is a real problem for having Garrett's work digested for what is actually says and shows.

  47. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    In your example, when the large majority of the integral has already been accumulated, then the ratio can't change much. However, this is not the case with global GDP. It is HEAVILY weighted towards the present. Most of the sum total of all civilizations GDP since cave-man days, has happened since 1970. So the argument above doesn't carry much weight. It is indeed still remarkable that the ratio is so constant during a period when there has been such radical changes in society, in oil prices, in population, in technology, in everything.... and during a time when most of the total GDP every generated was in fact generated.

  48. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #34

    Just to note for some geographical accuracy that NSW is NOT in northern or western Australia. It is in south eastern Australia. Fire patterns are changing differently across different parts of Australia as one might expect in a continent that streches from the tropics to cold temperate environments. And despite our Federal Government (once again in unbelievable termoil and still dominated by climate change deniers), individuals, some State governments and commercial interests are very rapidly building billions of dollars worth of renewable power generators including solar, wind, solar thermal,  many linked to battery storage or pumped water systems. 

  49. Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy

    Indy222, If I have understood your statement of the Garrett relationship, then I am still not certain it is saying very much.

    Take an exponential series. eg y1=a*EXP(b*t) (ie GDP)

    Take y2 as a linear relation of y1 eg y2 = c*y2 + d (Power)

    Divide the Integral of y1 wrt t by y2 and the result converges towards constant. Rate of convergence dependent on relative values of b and c.

    And no, I havent looked at this rigorously from mathematical viewpoint but it looks suspicious to me.

  50. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #34

    Aus is such a disappointment.  If there is one country in the world that could rapidly and completely become carbon neutral it is Australia.  Their resources of wind and solar are unmatched anywhere in the world.  There is one ring that controls them all and if we don't get this one sorted, none of the rest will bear fruit.  We must get vested interest money out of politics.  "Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune" was never as true as in politics.  As long as the coal industry and others are financing the politicians, why we surprised that they do their bidding.

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