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Comments 51 to 100:

  1. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    nigelj @ 21

    We obviously have some similar interests.  I have "Behave" by Robert Sapolsky sitting at home in Vancouver.  Too heavy to lug down here.  Instead I brought along Steven Pinker's new book "Enlightenment Now".

    One of the interesting parts of spending some time down south (for us in Canada) is the chance to "rub shoulders" with some real Republicans.  Last night we were seated at a restaurant by a retired internist and his wife from Oregon.  They were clear Trump supporters but clearly acknowledging that Trump had personality disorders (sounds like Paul Ryan).  But he actually described American society as an "eat what you kill" society and seemed happy with it.  For a medical doctor to espouse this view was somewhat surprising and disappointing.  His only justification for "gerrymongering" was "that is the way it has always been" (again very happy with it).  Although we did not have time to get into it, I think he rolled his eyes when he (not me) mentioned climate change.  So Trump supporters are not just the ones alienated from globalization.  A little "anecdotal" but there are some pretty wide gaps in US society.  He blames the media on both sides for the disconnect that has developed between Democrats and Republicans over the last 30 years.   On the other hand, there was another couple from Washington state who, when they found we were Canadian, were very apologetic about the US and Trump.  The fellow had a fleecy on with the word "Canada" emblazoned on it. He said he bought it in Vancouver and planned to wear it on their upcoming trip to Great Britain.  Pretty scary to see this gap in the most powerful democracy in the world.

  2. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM @ 119,

    I like your story of Bob Woodward and his "sole exception of Richard Nixon".

    The story is somewhat dated now, for I gather Woodward has just recently added a "second exception".

    All the same, it illustrates how those who are evil-doers can still believe (at least in some small part of their brain) that they they are working towards the public good. 

  3. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    Jef @3

    I dont see where your lack of clarity is. The "article" is actually mostly on Antarctic ice loss, and the considerable dangers of this. You are missing this fundamental point. You claim its got no references, but its full of links.

    I dont really know what you are referring to on technology. Theres a link to something on blended hydrogen, but its hardly the main point of the article. You seem a little off topic to me.

    You say " I have personally worked on several biofuel, syngas, biochar, and other projects alongside university efforts over the last 10 to 15 years and none of them are still active, all were essentially failures or a net wash at best. In other words as much is saved as is generated."

    Your claims of experiments are not compelling and are anecdotal. Provide a link so I can check. We have a highly profitable synthetic methanol plant in my country and biofuels are actually quite well established now.

    "Most if not all “renewable” energy is 100% dependent on FFs. They are a FF extender at best."

    Only in their production, and studies show they reduce CO2 over time. Refer below.

    www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2010/09/the-facts-about-wind-energy-and-emissions.html

    www.scientificamerican.com/article/wind-power-proves-effective-co2-saver/

    You sir just post a lot of claims, but not much in the way of peer reviewed analysis, or something from a recognised mainstream science magazine to back it up.

    Like Riduna says there are ways of reducing emissions significantly, and that is whats important. I have mixed thoughts about BECCS, and I posted something on some other article recently. The best negative emissions systems appear to be tree planting and soil sequestration of carbon. Soil sequestration can certainly be scaled up in physical terms, its mainly a question of relatively simple changes to farming techniques, incentives and education. 

    Regarding the antarctic (the actual point  of the article) there are a lot of issues pointing at possibility of more rapid sea level rise than currently anticipated. I dont like the sheer number of possible problems when you combine the antarctic and greenland etc. This suggests use of the precautionary principle.

  4. One Planet Only Forever at 13:54 PM on 21 February 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    John Hartz@111,

    Thank you for the informative reference. It helps me better understand how 'competition to appear to be better off than others' developed desires/excuses for things that are understandably harmful to the future of humanity, Personal/Private Interests that are understandably unsustainable.

    A nit-pick with the author's Headline. The play on words with Comfortable/Uncomfortable is cute. But the study is not about 'comfort'. The study's concern is “Humanity faces the challenge of how to achieve a high quality of life for over 7 billion people without destabilizing critical planetary processes.” (the opening statement of the abstract for the report). Comfort may be a part of the life satisfaction goal that is in the study. But it is a term that is wide-open to interpretation. And even if it was more precisely defined, how significant it is could vary a lot among the population, even among the population of a single nation.

    The study is limited to evaluating measurements of what has developed in nations based on 2011 data. Admittedly, data is required for an analytical analysis. But the developed data pool is not the full spectrum of possible ways people can live. It is only the results of the current global domination of human activity by competitive materialism and consumerism. The result has been competition/fighting to develop perceptions of superiority relative to others any way that can be gotten away with, generally ruled by popularity, profitability or social/financial/warfare power. A different result would develop if helping to advance humanity to a sustainable better future was the understood measure of success and acceptability (a justified Golden Set of Rules/Goals globally understood and accepted by the majority of humans to increase the chances of a helpful result developing, such as the set of sustainability goals mentioned in the report).

    The required changes to have a better chance of a future for humanity will not be developed in the same socio-economic-political 'attitude environment'. In fact, the evidence is that deliberate actions in opposition to such changes are to be expected to be able to unjustifiably win in the existing developed system.

    A global change of understanding regarding what is acceptable will be required. Games of power, popularity and profitability with everyone freer to believe what they want and do as they please will not develop the required changes. In fact, the developed evidence measured in the study shows that people freer to believe what they want and do as they please in pursuit of Private Interest can be expected to develop less sustainable ways of living.

    A second nit-pick is in the following quote in the article (and repeated in your comment).

    "Unfortunately, the same is not true for other social goals that go beyond basic subsistence such as secondary education and high life satisfaction. Meeting these goals could require a level of resource use that is two to six times the sustainable level."

    The study Abstract states 'life satisfaction' as the example of goals that requires high resources. The following quote is from the Abstract: “However, the universal achievement of more qualitative goals (for example, high life satisfaction) would require a level of resource use that is 2–6 times the sustainable level, based on current relationships.”
    In the report the following is stated: “The social goals with the highest associated resource use, ranging from about two to six times the per capita biophysical boundary, are democratic quality, equality, social support, secondary education and life satisfaction.”

    It makes sense that those items are measured as 'highly achieved goals in high resource use nations'. But the correlation exists in the socio-economic-political 'attitude environment' that has developed. It is not a required correlation.

    They are the Winner Nations of the competition to gather as much benefit as possible in the games people play. The fact that there is serious poverty in many of the Biggest Winner Nations exposes that there are serious flaws in the ways things have developed, flaws in the play of, or enforcement of rules in, the games/competitions.

    Clearly, changing attitudes through global education can change the resulting development. But the real change has to occur among the perceived Winners. All of the most powerful, most popular, and wealthiest need to have their helpfulness/harmfulness evaluated, with penalties personally assessed accordingly.

    Things boil down to needing to correct the incorrectly developed perceptions of "Life Satisfaction" and correcting the incorrect admiration for Masters of Illusion/Deception, the undeserving winners.

    And everyone can understand that unsustainability is due to the total actions of the total population. So, although the total population is a concern, the developed over-consumption and highest harm creating ways of life of the 'Biggest Winners in the competition to be perceived to be superior to, or more successful than, others' can clearly be the real problem.

    Also, the problem is not 'Nations', it is people who play to Win any way they can get away with, including deliberately attacking increased awareness and better understanding that would expose the unacceptability of the way they play the game, exposing how harmful they have been. Those type of people can be Harmful Winners in any nation (rich or poor).

    The entire global population needs to be educated to admire and desire actions that help sustainably improve life for others (and sustainably means able to continue to be a help into the far future, only retired/replaced when a better sustainable way is developed). The converse is for the entire global population to understand the importance of no longer being impressed by anyone who tries to 'get ahead, Win a harmful Private Interest pursuit, in an unhelpful/deceptive/secretive way', no matter how powerful, popular, or rich they appear to regionally temporarily currently be.

  5. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Yes, activism by both sides can increase polarity but I think there needs to be distinction between right-wing activists and paid disinformers. Someone lying for money is not a moral actor.

    Agreed too that there is good data suggesting general public is less polarized than elites but elites act to lead opinion so it matters. Also data the importance of the middle ground. The civil rights movement didnt convince hard line racists (still hasnt), but it did influence more flexible thinkers who in turn influenced the next level down eventually creating a new norm.

  6. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    jef @ 3

    I think your criticism of BECCS and some of the other ‘schemes’ you have come across is quite right. You may be interested in my comment here.

    You sound very frustrated that their isn’t an instant cure to halt global warming. Well, there isn’t!  But there are ways of significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, such as transitioning away from coal fired electricity generation (in progress) electrification of transport (in progress) and increasing the efficiency with which we use electricity (also in progress).

    I know they are not overnight cures but they are among several effective ways of reducing emissions. Over the coming decade you will see them beginning to work. We need to do more and I believe we will – because if we don’t?   Well, as they say, ‘nothing concentrates the mind so much as the prospect of being hanged’.

  7. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Scaddenp @120

    Yes I did allude to the fact incrementalism doesn't apply to everything.

    Growth in fossil fuels use, population and economic growth all looks exponential. Just out of curiosity would you consider that "incremental"? It doesn't seem so to me.

    I think you have explained the the purity issue very well and its not meant to be taken offensively or as a bad thing in principle. I think it depends how its applied, and whether application has some sensible basis.  I do also understand Norris point of view on it.

    But I would suggest politics is being polarised by activists on both left and right and feedbacks set in. The leftists are seen as disloyal etc, and the right wing activists (tea party, heartland people) are seen as not caring about fairness, and evidence based science. Its all very unfortunate.

    However I read an interesting article in the Economist that researched political attitudes with Americas population. The partisan division is much stronger between politicians and elite groups than the general population overall. Of course there are big red / blue partisan state divisions, and divisions within states, but the biggest divisions are in the leadership. Apparently many people in small town america voted on gut instincts on the leaders style and personality, rather than policy or democratic / republican divisions. This is all contrary to my impression. Complicated. But the polarisation is apparently more at the top than the bottom. Don't know what it all means, but its not good.

    All the moral foundations in the theory seem to have value. It just seems to me all become toxic when taken to extremes, for example excessive authoritarianism. Children need authoritarian parenting to a point, but treating adults this way can go too far. However fairness seems unique and something that is more clear cut. It seems hard to say that unfairness is ever a good thing. 

    I have read some moral philosophy like aristotle, kant, mill, rand (please forgive me about rand, I must have been crazy).

    I also have a book you may find interesting, but I have not read much of it yet: "Behave" by Robert Sapolsky. "The biology of humans at their best and worst". This was the main point in my replying to your post. You are a busy guy so I dont expect a reply. We are possibly talked out on the issues for now anyway.

  8. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #7

    I thought the article was long on words and short, to the point of non-existence, on cost and the benefits to farmers and electricity consumers.

    The problem with “BECCS”, as with coal-fired electricity generation, is the essential element involving sequestration and secure storage of CO2. This requires capture of the CO2 produced at the combustion point. Technology enables about 80% of it to be captured. It then has to be compressed into a liquid so that it can be transported by pipeline to a burial destination. That destination has to be located at a site where the liquid CO2 can be pumped into geological strata able to hold it securely for millennia.

    This process has been trialled and found so expensive that it increases the cost of electricity by over 50% and, as noted above, still results in some CO2 emissions.

    The question not asked in the article is: Why would any sane financier invest in wood-fired electricity generation fitted with carbon capture and storage when solar and wind generators with energy storage have a lower capital cost and can sell the electricity they generate much cheaper – and do so without producing, let alone emitting CO2?

  9. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    The language is far from clear. Broad generalizations completely without reference (the onus is on the authors of the article not me).
    Simply stating there is a problem then saying we need to ...oh I don't know... make it less of a problem?
    It is a life threatening catastrophe that requires massive world wide action NOW!
    Where is the attribution to successful beccs operations that show the potential to scale…none. I have personally worked on several biofuel, syngas, biochar, and other projects alongside university efforts over the last 10 to 15 years and none of them are still active, all were essentially failures or a net wash at best. In other words as much is saved as is generated.
    Most if not all “renewable” energy is 100% dependent on FFs. They are a FF extender at best.
    Oh plastics… yes thats not a problem is it?
    So yes… magical thinking/technocopianism. You sir are the problem not the solution. We need real solutions not just a slight adjustment of the dial.

  10. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    nigelj - while incrementalism is generally good in governance, we also have to be aware that nature doesnt follow those rules and shouldnt necessarily be a guide in all circumstances - particularly we have ignored incrementalism to begin with.

    Norrism - in MFT, the purity foundation is also called sanctity. Maybe a better term? However, forget what the term is called, and consider more it's influence on instant subconscious judgements about something. This foundation is behind why racists consider themselves moral actors. It is also believed to behind the appeal to preserve virgin forest. There is no judgement involved here on the moral foundations. Sanctity is not immoral for instance. The binding moral foundations give a very clear evolutionary advantage. However, I am noting that there is a clear left/right difference in the influence of moral foundations.

    Climate change opinions are now strongly influenced by identity politics in the US which is unfortunately rather intractable. Once something becomes polarized, then feedbacks work to increase polarization. It is all to common for left-wing activists to indulge in behaviour which alienates the right where what they do can be perceived as disloyal, disrepectful or even unclean. This is one of the feedback that creates or builds polarization.

  11. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    scaddenp @ 115 and nigelj @ 115

    I think we have pretty well exhausted this topic.  But I think you agree that the use of the word "pure" has just too many contexts related to fascism and its modern version the "alt right" to be used in a conversation to describe conservative viewpoints on climate change.  I think nigelj makes this point.  There is an aspect of evil (whatever that term really means) in the views of fascists and their racist views that should have nothing to do with a discussion of climate change.

    I once attended a fairly small gathering in Vancouver with Bob Woodward (in town promoting his latest book at the time I believe) where he expressed the view that of all the US presidents he had interviewed, notwithstanding their differing political viewpoints, they all had the best interests of the American public at heart with the sole exception of Richard Nixon.

  12. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    I have to say Singapores incrementalism looks a bit like a very timid little snail. However it shows how many countries are at least doing something. Or maybe its a reasonable tax measured against their level of economic output.

  13. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Incrementalism seems like a good philosophy as a general rule. The problem Karl Popper has is there are far more exceptions than he is willing to acknowledge. That's just the reality.

    However incrementalism is pretty applicable obviously to things like carbon taxes, provided we start right now. The longer its left, the shorter the window of opportunity becomes, and then there could be a need for a far more drastic solution to climate change, as panic sets in, and fossil fuel companies will really be feeling pain. New research has shown strong evidence of an acceleration in sea level rise over the last 20 years, and projecting that takes us to about half a metre by end of century. Now even just a small additional acceleration this decade or so will get to a metre or more and this is what models predict, conservatively.

    And there was nothing too incremental about growing fossil fuel use. Looks more like an exponential growth curve to me.

  14. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    nigelj,

    if it was global temperatures that came back after a 5-year slumber with a new all–time record, you'd think it would be news at least somewhere on the planet.

    Not so for Arctic sea ice, apparently. But I do agree with you that this omission is on Axel Schweiger & the PIOMAS project, who didn't want to do the math until February 8th. Journalists follow published facts from scientists, and when there is none, there's nothing to report.

  15. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    Riduna @8

    Yes. In hindsight in terms of serious problems the decrease in sea ice area is probably more significant that changes in thickness / total volume. Its a problem for endless reasons as you say, and it also has large implications for N hemisphere weather patterns.

    A lot of sinkholes are opening up in northern russia. I saw a fantastic video of this by a russian scientist, showing these things in detail, and also a lecture on the issue, but I just cant find it again. However I'm pretty sure it was releasing methane and also CO2 in quantity. Soil carbon  can be metres deep. Wish I could find that video.

  16. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Speaking of carbon taxes...

    INDUSTRY observers welcomed Singapore's soft start in its implementation of a carbon tax through an initial price lower than the range provided earlier by the government, though some affected companies continue to hope for benchmarks to be used together with the tax.

    The gradual increase upwards will help companies to decide whether they want to pay the tax or spend on projects to reduce their carbon emissions, said Nanyang Technological University (NTU) department of economics head Euston Quah.

    Singapore's carbon tax will start at S$5 a tonne for five years from 2019, and, following a review in 2023, eventually be raised to between S$10 and S$15 a tonne by 2030, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

    Singapore Budget 2018: Singapore's carbon tax to start at S$5 a tonne by Andrea Soh, Energy & Commodities, The Busines Times, Feb 20, 2018

  17. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM - I actually dont dispute incrementalism as a good idea. Would just like conservatives to take a first step - even killing FF subsidies is a good first step. However, as indicated, I also think we have used FF to breach incrementalism and are flailing to cope with consequences. If we want to rapidly reduce (30 year timeframe), then time to start was long ago.

    "Purity" is just a word - teasing out its meaning in Moral foundation theory really means looking at how it is measured. I am not advocating using the word in framing (white supremicists do however, appealing to that foundation) but appealing to that foundation in environmental advocacy is effective for gaining wider support. eg clean air, preservation of "virgin" forest etc.

    I have to thank my son's master's dissertation for making me aware of this and I am digesting the material on effective communication. Nonetheless, I feel it is pretty hard to have a dialogue when one side has little respect for facts or logic and leap to rhetoric and FUD instead.

    Storage issues are tightly linked to the actual mix of generation available and the ability of the transmission network to move power from distant sources. Having any hydro is a plus, because you can do zero cost storage by holding back water when sun shines, wind blows, and generate from it when it doesnt. While a lot has been made of storage issues as an excuse for sitting on hands, in places where need is arising, I see a rush by technology to meet the need. One of the points of measures like banning FF from a certain date, carbon taxes etc. is to actually stimulate that technology development.

  18. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    jef @1

    "...major reduction in greenhouse gases", "...reduce CO₂ levels now...", "...new ways to reduce CO₂ emissions..."."Wiggly wormy weasle words that muddle the truth."

    They don't muddle the truth, because the language is clear enough and is based on what we know is possible. You also don't explain why you think the statements in the article muddle the truth, so you are just posting empty propaganda.

    "technological innovations are providing new ways to reduce CO₂ emissions..."."There are currently none that have any prospect what so ever at scaling to a degree that is even 1% of what will be necessary, but don't let that stand in the way of "magic happens aka technology"

    You give no evidence that these things can't be scaled up. Theres no technical reason because the technology exists. The only thing standing in the way is perhaps human motivation, but people have found the will in the past to tackle major projects. Of course nobody said it would be easy. Where does the article say it would be easy? So you are just posting empty cynicism.

    Of course one other thing standing in the way are campaigns of climate science denialism and also attacks on renewable energy, mainly from self promoting lobby groups. Maybe have a look in the mirror?

    "...a low-carbon future."Which is it, negative carbon/removing carbon in massive giga, trillion, mega amounts, or just lower?"

    The article said low carbon, so presumably they mean low carbon. Humanity will always use fossil fuels for things like plastic manufacture, had you not thought of that?

    "What is needed is speaking truth to the masses. Difficult? hell yes, but absolutely good will happen until we take on that herculean task first.'

    Yes, and you are not communicating anything very well to the masses,  because you make wild, one sided, unsupported, cynical claims.

  19. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM @112

    Yes pumped storage is the main current bulk storage option. There is also molten salt storage associated with some forms of solar power as below.

    www.solarreserve.com/en/technology/molten-salt-energy-storage

    Bulk battery storage is actually technically feasible, but the cost is too high. However we have good certainty that battery costs will fall very considerably.

    Im not a person who normally buys into some of the technology hype we see, however I think theres good evidence that battery costs will fall and numerous new technologies are already in working prototype stage such as aluminium batteries.

    I just take a general interest in the climate issue, and I try to make considered statements, but theres never enough time to tackle every aspect in the detail it really needs. Im sure you find the same. I rely on people being smart enough to "join the dots" sometimes. My real point was storage options do exist already.

  20. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    Nigelj @ 2

    Are you also interested in the area covered by sea ice since this affects albedo, solar energy absorbed by the Arctic Ocean and its effect on thinning of sea ice? Continuing loss of albedo in summer (doesn’t matter in winter) means Arctic ocean warming which may prove problematic on 2 counts: coastal erosion and methane release.

  21. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    scaddenp @ 108 and 109

    "How about it takes time? But if you never start, you will never get there."

    Sounds like incrementalism to me.    

    If you are trying to build a consensus with conservatives using a heavily laden word like "purity" is counter productive.   And if you are not, then are we not into "echo chamber" issues? 

  22. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    nigelj @95 and 106

    Firstly, in answer to your question at 106, I have a number of times indicated that I would be happy starting with US$20/tonne and even perhaps US$30/tonne and see what happens.  For that reason I would not "sign on" to a possible $80/tonne tax until we saw what happened at $30.  Again, I personally have no real idea what the right level of carbon tax should be as I suspect is the case for most on this website because none of us have the economic resources to make rational judgments on such an issue.  If there is a "peer reviewed" paper on this I would be happy to review same. Governments have those resources so I will choose to trust our federal government in Canada on what level of carbon tax can work without "complicating the economy".

    But given the additional information provided by John Hartz above,  the carbon taxes implemented so far are not having the effect required just as I suspected.  Having said this, the answer I assume is to give them some time to work.  I am happy with that but time is not on our side in the view of many on this website.

    But I have intended to ask you a question related to the following comment you made in 95:

    "The storage problem is largely solved in terms of technology. Look at the huge Tesla lithium battery complex in southern Australia, that is now saving them money."

    My understanding that with respect to "bulk storage" this statement is incorrect.  The Tesla installation has not solved the bulk storage issue associated with wind and solar power so that "pumped storage" is still the only viable source of bulk storage at present.

    This view is based upon the comments of other contributors on this website.  I would be happy to be proved wrong on this.

  23. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    "...major reduction in greenhouse gases", "...reduce CO₂ levels now...", "...new ways to reduce CO₂ emissions...".

    Wiggly wormy weasle words that muddle the truth. 

    "technological innovations are providing new ways to reduce CO₂ emissions...".

    There are currently none that have any prospect what so ever at scaling to a degree that is even 1% of what will be necessary, but don't let that stand in the way of "magic happens aka technology".

    "...a low-carbon future."

    Which is it, negative carbon/removing carbon in massive giga, trillion, mega amounts, or just lower?

    What is needed is speaking truth to the masses. Difficult? hell yes, but absolutely good will happen until we take on that herculean task first.

  24. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Here's a synopsis of the harsh reality and hard choices that now confront the human race...


    There are now so many of us on Earth that the planet just doesn't have enough resources for us all to live comfortably, which means we require a radical rethink of how we could start living within our means.

    That's the conclusion of a new study which looked at 151 nations and found not a single one was running itself in a sustainable way – ensuring a decent life for its inhabitants without taking more than it gives back in terms of natural resources.

    The international team of researchers has even put together a website showing how each country is performing in terms of balancing the well-being of its citizens against figures such as land use, CO2 emissions, ecological footprint, and phosphorus emissions.

    "Almost everything we do, from having dinner to surfing the internet, uses resources in some way, but the connections between resource use and human well-being are not always visible to us," says one of the team, Daniel O'Neill from the University of Leeds in the UK.

    "We examined international relationships between the sustainability of resource use and the achievement of social goals, and found that basic needs, such as nutrition, sanitation, and the elimination of extreme poverty, could most likely be achieved in all countries without exceeding global environmental limits."

    "Unfortunately, the same is not true for other social goals that go beyond basic subsistence such as secondary education and high life satisfaction. Meeting these goals could require a level of resource use that is two to six times the sustainable level."


    There Might Be No Way to Live Comfortably Without Also Ruining The Planet: It's time to face an uncomfortable truth. by David Nield, Science Alert, Feb 10, 2018

  25. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Scaddenp @109, I hadn't heard of the Moral Foundation Theory, but I had a quick scan on wikipedia. I think it sounds broadly correct, and agree with your comments. Many of these differences are known anyway as part of the general discourse.

    I had heard of the "purity" issue associated with conservatives, in the sense that they react very strongly to bad body habits and things like homosexuality, where liberals do also react also but not quite as strongly. So I can believe right wingers would be concerned about very optically visible forms of air pollution.

    Nixon passed some great environmental law, despite his other failings. But times have changed and Republicans seem prepared to scale back all environmental laws, possibly because the liberty, loyalty and authority "foundations" seem to now over rule the purity foundation? But Norris is possibly reacting to the purity thing more like Nixon did in the old days.

    However the theory as a whole is many shades of grey, because liberals also dont like visible forms of air pollution. 

    I'm a consensus seeker. I recognise these sorts of moral differences between left and right, (as you probably already know) but prefer to see the gap closed. Wikipedia made the point we mistake these differences for evil intent. Unfortunately differences in America are starting to spiral out of control, and it looks like I'm on the wrong side of history, in a way.

    However I would still hope that conservatives (and anyone else)  see the CO2 emissions problem as a "dirty" form of problem, even if its invisible and odourless.

  26. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    Going South @6

    I agree it's easy enough to grasp, but do you really think someone like National Geographic would deliberately hide information. It  seems unlikely in their case, or do you know something I dont know.

    To be sure I can see Fox playing down this sort of thing, or most general news media really. Regardless whether its seasonal sea ice extent, or ice volume, it will be buried in the fine print on the back page.

  27. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    Hm, have you ever heard people say 2016 was the warmest year, or 2014 setting a new global temperature record, then 2015 broke that record and then 2016, etc? Those are annual averages. Not so hard concept to grasp, man. Don't underestimate the reading public.

  28. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Nigel, you may have heard of Moral Foundation theory? Haidt? One interesting feature of it, is the observation across cultures that left-wingers make gut moral judgements based on just care and fairness foundations. Right-wingers also use what are called binding foundations (loyalty, respect for heirarchies/authority, and purity). The last one means you have right-wing more ready to deal with pollution than rising sealevel.

  29. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    "My point was that if Germany, Sweden and France have not fully implemented the necessary changes to meet the Paris goals, there is a reason why they have not."

    How about it takes time? But if you never start, you will never get there. The OECD report looked only at taxes and only to 2015. Post-Paris there has been a raft of additional measures, in EU and other places (but not Canada or US) and it remains to be seen whether these will be sufficient. In countries which dont have neoliberal governments, measures other than carbon taxes are acceptable to the electorate. If you dont want to advocate for those, then you had been be ready to advocate for carbon tax.

    Disruption to the economy is inevitable - either from decarbonizing or from adaption to a new climate. Why would you not choose to take the cheapest route?

  30. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM @ 101:

    The third "arbitrary group" was "or some other group", which gives you free form to explain why you are not part of the first two. I can't see why that has been so hard.

    You say "To try to do some kind of "weigh scale" measurement of costs and benefits as between different groups would be impossible." That is exactly what economic analysis attempts to do. When they do it, they try to clearly state assumptions, and provide explicit definitions for the terms they use. DIfferent assumptions end up with somewhat different results, but they nearly all indicate that future costs will outweigh future benefits.

    At this point, I can only conclude that all your attempts to say things like "bring the economy down", "materially damage the economy", "put the economy into trouble", "industries that would immediately suffer greatly ", "a massive transfer of wealth", "out of a job", "all those direct costs you allege", etc. really were just rhetoric, and had nothing to do with an actual cost/benefit analysis (which you now say is impossible).

  31. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM @101

    "Again, to the extent we are talking pollution rather than the consequences of rising temperatures and rising sea levels I think measurements can and should be made."

    Nobody here is likely interested in a carbon tax based purely on particulate emissions and their relation to lung problems. That's just a non starter, and too contrived for words.

    And the public might find such a strategy confusing and devious. 

    It also doesn't make sense  because theres a huge difference between health effects of burning coal, gas and oil. It would be a nightmare practically.

    If anything, a carbon tax should include the effects of both climate change and something limited added on for respiratory health effects. And it just goes to show a carbon tax has several justifications.

    However, just my opinion, others may disagree.

    Norris M @104, you are just spamming, and repeating yourself.

    You have also not answered my question: do you accept a carbon tax and dividend scheme starting at about $30, and ramped up to about $80?

  32. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM: I posted a link to the Reuters article about the new OECD report as a commenter and author of the OP, not as a Moderator. For your edification here is the complete OECD news release that prompted the Reuters article. 

    Governments should make better use of energy taxation to address climate change

    14/02/2018 -Taxes are effective at cutting harmful emissions from energy use, but governments could make better use of them. Greater reliance on energy taxation is needed to strengthen efforts to tackle the principal source of both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, according to a new OECD report.

    Taxing Energy Use 2018 describes patterns of energy taxation in 42 OECD and G20 countries (representing approximately 80% of global energy use), by fuels and sectors over the 2012-2015 period.

    New data shows that energy taxes remain poorly aligned with the negative side effects of energy use. Taxes provide only limited incentives to reduce energy use, improve energy efficiency and drive a shift towards less harmful forms of energy. Emissions trading systems, which are not discussed in this publication, but are included in the OECD’s Effective Carbon Rates, are having little impact on this broad picture.

    “Comparing taxes between 2012 and 2015 yields a disconcerting result,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “Efforts have been made, or are underway, in several jurisdictions to apply the ‘polluter-pays’ principle, but on the whole progress towards the more effective use of taxes to cut harmful emissions is slow and piecemeal. Governments should do more and better.”

    In 2015, outside of road transport, 81% of emissions were untaxed, according to the report. Tax rates were below the low-end estimate of climate costs (EUR 30/tCO2) for 97% of emissions.

    Meaningful tax rate increases have largely been limited to the road sector. Fuel tax reforms in some large low-to-middle income economies have increased the share of emissions taxed above climate costs from 46% in 2012 to 50% in 2015. Encouragingly, some countries are removing lower tax rates on diesel compared to gasoline. However, fuel tax rates remain well below the levels needed to cover non-climate external costs in nearly all countries.

    Coal, characterised by high levels of harmful emissions and accounting for almost half of carbon emissions from energy use in the 42 countries, is taxed at the lowest rates or fully untaxed in almost all countries.

    While the intense debate on carbon taxation has sparked action in some countries, actual carbon tax rates remain low. Carbon tax coverage increased from 1% to 6% in 2015, but carbon taxes reflect climate costs for just 0.3% of emissions. Excise taxes dominate overall tax rates by far.

    “The damage to climate and air quality resulting from fossil fuel combustion can be contained, but the longer action is delayed the more difficult and expensive it becomes to tackle this challenge,” Mr Gurria said. “Aligning energy prices with the costs of climate change and air pollution is a core element of cost-effective policy, and vast improvements are urgently needed. While in some cases compensation for higher energy costs faced by households or firms may be deemed necessary, especially to those more vulnerable, lower tax rates or exemptions are not the way to provide it – targeted transfers should be favoured.”

    Further information on Taxing Energy Use, including graphical profiles of energy use and taxation in the 42 countries is available at: http://oe.cd/TEU2018

    An embeddable version of the report is available, together with information about downloadable and print versions of the report.

  33. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    scaddenp @ 96

    Where did I say anything about comparing Germany, Sweden and France on the one hand and North America on the other?

    My point was that if Germany, Sweden and France have not fully implemented the necessary changes to meet the Paris goals, there is a reason why they have not.   And the best guess is that the politicians are concerned that the required changes would bring with them substantial changes to the economy that would not be accepted by their electorates.  I used the term "harm the economy" but if you want to say "significant changes to the economy" then so be it.  But if these changes were not costly changes (or impractical at this time) I am sure Angela Merkel would moved on them by now. 

    Governments are clearly taking steps but they will not be sufficient to meet the Paris goals.  As noted by the Moderator, the OECD has so much as said that.  But they are doing what they can based upon political realities.  Nothing profound here but it is stating the obvious. 

  34. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Whoops! Not into clouds but on to Page 3.

  35. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Bob Loblaw

    I hit the Submit button with a reply but it seems to have disappeared into the clouds.  I will wait to see if it appears before I try to replicate it.  I agree that your question was not a yes/no. 

  36. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Bob Loblaw @ 93

    My apologies.  Your question was obviously not a yes or no answer.  My answer should have simply stated that I cannot pick one of your arbitrary groups.   We simply have to let the chips fall where they may on a cost/benefit analysis (outside of pollution costs) when it comes to the use of fossil fuels over the last 150 years because all groups however you classify them have benefitted.  To try to do some kind of "weigh scale" measurement of costs and benefits as between different groups would be impossible.  Again, to the extent we are talking pollution rather than the consequences of rising temperatures and rising sea levels I think measurements can and should be made.

  37. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    I said "it depends on whos axe gets gored". I  meant of course whos "ox gets gored". I think I got confused with people having axes to grind.

    Anyway, on the subject of the ox,  have a break, have cup of tea, and read the parable of the ox and have a good laugh:

    www.johnkay.com/2012/07/25/the-parable-of-the-ox/

  38. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Norris M made the claim that fossil fuels reduced poverty, and so on.

    They have in a broad sense over time, and nobody disputes that fossil fuels have  been a benefit in the past. Quite what this has to do with the issue at hand eludes me. Asbestos was a great benefit, until we discovered it had serious problems.

    Anyway, its also misleading to claim the reduction in third world poverty since the 1980's (related to the numbers in MA Rodgers comments) is somehow a miracle caused by using fossil fuels. Eonomists say its strongly related to free trade and more open investment. (Something else America seems determined to dismantle). 

    And progress is driven more by 'energy', and we have options.

    Ironically its arguably more practical to drive poverty reduction in Africa with solar power anyway.

  39. One Planet Only Forever at 06:41 AM on 20 February 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM@89,

    Poverty elimination that is sustainable, not just temporary perceptions of reduction, is just one of the set of comprehensive objectives in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    What is understandable is the need for all of the SDGs to be achieved, not just some of them. And another one of the SDGs is Climate Action. So, the rapid curtailing of negative climate impacts created by the burning of fossil fuels is one of the required actions to 'sustainably reduce poverty'. That will mean the more fortunate changing their ways to sustainably improve conditions for the less fortunate and also changing their ways to stop personally benefiting from the creation of increased climate change challenges.

    The key is sustaining any perceived improvement. And what cannot be shown is how any fossil fuel burning activity has created a 'sustainable improvement for the least fortunate', an improvement that will continue after the unsustainable and harmful burning of fossil fuels is terminated (to put it a little absurdly but to make the point, I would want to see the proof of 'how people being able to enjoy burning fossil fuels to race around on water for pleasure' sustainably makes anything better for the less fortunate).

    Also, Poverty is a tricky thing to talk about. There is Extreme Poverty which is being reduced, but not because of the burning of fossil fuels. And there is also Poverty which may actually be increasing in spite of Extreme Poverty being reduced.

    In spite of those complications of discussing poverty, Global GDP has grown at rates greater than the global population increased (even in Africa the GDP has grown faster than the population), yet a significant portion of the population remains desperately poor, suffering horrible brief existences (never really living).

    So any claim of the improvement being a benefit for the poorest is challenged by the reality that the poorest, the most in need of improvement of living circumstances, have not actually been the dominant recipients of the increased perceptions of prosperity. And claims that the burning of fossil fuels are the reason for any actual reduced poverty are hard to substantiate. Poverty reduction is due to more equitable distribution of opportunity to benefit which is completely independent of the form of energy involved. In fact, it can be more successfully argued that the continued ability of more fortunate people to benefit from burning fossil fuels has delayed the development of sustainable improvements for the least fortunate, delayed the development of truly sustainable ways of living better.

  40. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    And further clarity:

    A failure to end emissions ahead of your timeline is not evidence that you cannot achieve your timeline.

    A requirement that other countries reduce their emissions to zero before you will start to implement measures to reduce emissions is unreasonable.

    Attacking an $150/tonne carbon tax is tilting at windmills.

  41. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    "why Germany, France and Sweden (I can probably add NZ) have not fully dealt with the issues of moving from fossil fuels to other sources of energy?"

    Seriously, you are trying to defend North America doing nothing about CO2 emissions, by saying the Sweden, Germany, NZ have not managed to completely go FF yet? That is absurb. Sweden is committed to by FF free by 2045, wants end of FF cars by 2030, is using ETS instead of carbon tax and thinks they are poster child for increasing economic growth while reducing emissions. Germany's emission reduction is more modest but chose to try and get off nuclear as well which masks the scale of their renewable investments. NZ is at 80% renewable and well on track to its targets for 100% generation. NZ problem is that 50% of its GHG emissions are from ruminants which is much tougher problem to tackle.

    Other countries might be far away but they are rapidly changing that. And by comparison, North America has made what steps????

    Your objection that carbon tax wont compensate other countries affected by climate change is ludicrous. No one suggested it should. The best way to help other countries is stop emitting so they arent adversely affected in the first place. Carbon tax is a mechanism, supposedly more acceptable to right-winger who dont like more direct measures, for encouraging an energy transition, nothing more.

    As has been pointed out to you before, noone is denying that FF have brought benefits in the past, but for the future they clearly bring problems. Claiming past benefits as reason for doing nothing is yet another piece of rhetoric, substituting for a logical reason.

    Are you trying to convince us that North American should do nothing (you are failing miserably) or trying to justify yourself?

  42. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM @91

    Thank's for the comments, however I didn't say "The so called "harm the economy" issue is meaningless". I said harm the economy is "meaningless and scarmongering until you define exactly what you mean". I defined the points that need consideration for you.

    Like Bob Loblow says, it "depends on whos axe gets gored". Fossil fuel producers will hurt, but as I pointed out thousands of companies go bankrup each year. Its part of the "creative destruction" of capitalism that the Republicans "say" they support (only when it suits of course, when their favourite oxe isn't being gored).

    I think the main risk is inflation, but this can be easily managed and contained to low levels. The risk is because obviously a very high carbon price abruptly introduced would push up fuel costs considerably and abruptly, and for example the supply of electic cars would not keep up. So you have a lower starting point for carbon and ramp it up, so the supply side of the economy has time to expand. On that basis do you have an objection to starting moderate at about $30 and ramping up to $80 over time of a decade? (To pick a middle ground example, for the sake of simplicity). This is your incrementalism, so I struggle to see why you would object.

    "If concerns about the effects of major impacts on the economy are meaningless, then please respond to my question as to why Germany, France and Sweden (I can probably add NZ) have not fully dealt with the issues of moving from fossil fuels to other sources of energy?"

    All these countries have made at least some some progress with renewable electricity. Germany has a unique problem where they took all their nuclear offline, after Fukushima, and went back to coal because it was just easier. However Germany is now back to building wind and solar farms.

    The UK has actually done much better with renewable electricity, particularly wind farms, because it has separated the decision making process from government , by creating an independent body, and it has a a reasonable sort of carbon tax as well. It's a good model of development.

    New Zealand has 80% renewable electricity already, mostly hydro and geothermal, and with some wind power. We have plans being consented to build more wind and geothermal power.

    Of course none of this is proceeding fast enough, and needs more incentives like a carbon tax and dividend scheme. People are perhaps understandably nervous, and politicians are scared of change, in case it upsets anyone including their campaign donors. And we have had a misleading , scaremongering campaign against climate science and renewable energy. But things like this inevitably change, for example the new government in New Zealand was elected with quite a strong climate policy platform, by facing down industry lobby groups.

    People will see through the climate denialist nonsense, and it will happen with a huge rush. Just a couple more years of record temperatures. It's just how human psychology works.

    Nobody in industries affected by a carbon tax will starve to death. Most industries will adjust fine, looking at other historical disruptions, and the renewable electricity industry by its nature tends to create a lot of jobs and with good salaries, so if anything its a bit of a "win win" situation for society as a whole. I'm not saying it won't hurt, but I haven't seen any compelling actual hard evidence of huge harm to the economy, just idle speculation on biased think tank websites, dressed up to sound superficially convincing. 

    "Perhaps part of the answer is that until the storage problem is solved there is no adequate solution. But surely Sweden does not have a storage issue with its abundant hydroelectric power. I suspect it is making too much money selling it to Germany when the wind is not blowing."

    The storage problem is largely solved in terms of technology. Look at the huge Tesla lithium battery complex in southern Australia, that is now saving them money. Sweden does indeed have planty of hydro storage, and the issue is rather obviosly slow implementation of wind power. Its reasonable to expect battery storage costs to fall over time. Again the issue is more politics getting in the way as mentioned above.

  43. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM @ 91:

    Now you are just engaging in "whataboutery".

  44. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM:

    Please learn to be more specific. The question posed in #23 (repeated in #84) is not a "yes/no" question. Your answer of "yes" does not answer it, unless you are accepting my impression stated in #84 that "you want to be part of the group that is happy to let someone else pay for damage caused by your use of fossil fuels while you get the benefits." (That contradicts your closing statement that you want polluters to pay.)

    As to your request for me to "reconcile" what you see as contradictory statements: you are creating strawmen positions. I have told you that I want a higher carbon tax than $30, and I want it introduced incrementally, and that I want observations of its effects to dictate how high it goes. I have told you that "all costs" is not my position, I have also told you that a carbon tax is not enough - other actions will be needed.

    You talk again about wealth transfer. You have not, from what I remember, ever addressed the fact that I mention in #23 - that the externality of having costs of fossil fuels borne by people other than the consumers represents a transfer of wealth. You only seem concerned about transfers of wealth away from your small portion of the economy. As long as the poor people got a few crumbs, why apologize for eating most of the cake?

    Action on climate change is not about righting past wrongs. It is about preventing future wrongs. The primary benefit of a carbon tax and other actions would be to prevent much of the future fossil fuel use, and thus avoiding much of the future damage.

    Ideally, technology will allow us to use other sources of energy, without carbon, and in the long run a carbon tax would provide little revenue (whether it is held by governmnent or transferred to others). If we don't burn carbon, a carbon tax has little effect. I would be very happy if 50 years from now nobody is paying a significant carbon tax (although I won't live to see it).

    Any of the economic analyses you have been pointed to will indicate that past fossil fuel use has been a net benefit, but it will become a net loss as atmospheric CO2 and climate change become more severe. Ask someone in Houston if their fossil-fuel-based job will continue to be a benefit if it means getting flooded every ten years like they did last year.

    Those analyses also indicate that poor countries will bear much of those future costs, with benefits concentrated in rich counties. Ask someone in Houston how their rebuilding is going. Then ask someone in Puerto Rico. If there is a difference, think about why. And when asking someone in Houston, make sure it isn't someone who sells building materials or does construction work or mold remediation - I bet their businesses are booming (and at least a few aren't apologizing for it).

  45. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    And growing plants for carbon removal only works if it is charred and buried underground, currently requiring even more diesel to dig the holes and transport the logs and/or the charcoal. We would be trying to replicate coal formation...better to leave the damn stuff where it is.

  46. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    It's a 10-day-old multiple-choice question and the troll still cannot aswer it.

    Question @23 - Do you want to belong to group A, group B or group C?

    Answer @89 - Yes!!

    While the industrialised society we belong to has pulled many from poverty creating a post-Malthusian world, to suggest that the poverty figure set by the World Bank (actually 'extreme poverty' figures with income levels $1:00-a-day in 1990, $1:90-a-day today, which shows the 1990 level of 35% in extreme poverty shrinking to 10% by 2013) is properly showing the achieving of the World Bank Group’s mission “Our Dream is a World Free of Poverty” is naive in the extreme. And then the follow-on suggestion that this give the industrialised world licence to pump CO2 into the atmosphere for ever-and-a-day is a rather distasteful one.

    Poverty levels

    Also the choice @91 of 'litmus test' countries France, Germany & Sweden appears designed to be annoying.

  47. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    nigelj @ 80

    "The so called "harm the economy" issue is meaningless"

    If concerns about the effects of major impacts on the economy are meaningless, then please respond to my question as to why Germany, France and Sweden (I can probably add NZ) have not fully dealt with the issues of moving from fossil fuels to other sources of energy?

    Is that not the litmus test?

    The Moderator has provided a commentary from the OECD that supports my assumption that these nations are far away from what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

    Perhaps part of the answer is that until the storage problem is solved there is no adequate solution. But surely Sweden does not have a storage issue with its abundant hydroelectric power.  I suspect it is making too much money selling it to Germany when the wind is not blowing.

  48. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    So Saudi Arabia exports oil, while building greenhouses to absorb C02. They will need to build about a billions greenhouses to cancel out their oil exports.

    What about all the water the greenhouses will use, where will they source that? Latst time I checked the middle east was not a high rainfall area. And the CO2 emissions in the manufacture of the building materials?

    Some of these technical fixes are the very definition of stupid.

  49. One Planet Only Forever at 04:42 AM on 20 February 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    The more that NorrisM presents, the more certain I am that his thoughts are personally motivated in the way I described in my recent post on the "How to Change Your Mind About Climate Science" OP.

    "Regional socio-economics can result in indoctrination/brainwashing of many people including people who have completed high levels of education. To change their minds, they would have to admit they have allowed themselves to desire unacceptable things, admit their developed desired ways to pursue benefit are harmful to others, and admit that their perceived success/superiority relative to others is not deserved. Those can be powerful motivations to not change their minds."

    NorrisM is still pursuing additional income from the burning of fossil fuels (unless his comment about going to Alberta for a light crude oil related business matter was Pro-Bono). It is also likely he desires the ability to obtain other benefits from the activity rather than dramatically reduce his personal benefit from the burning of fossil fuels.

    As observed by others, his arguments have to be selective. And they may not even be accurate presentations of the selective points he raises. His objective is to justify his position that a 'business as usual' approach to the 'required correction of the development of popularity and profitability of an understandably harmful and ultimately unsustainable activity' simply has to be accepted.

    His claims have to over-look the fact that business and political leaders have been well aware of the need to correct the way things were developing for over 30 years. His argument is that 'very little should be done now because very little has been done previously'. That is not how he presents it but that is what it is. It is almost comical when presented the way it really is. It is a claim that a lack of corrective action in the past justifies a lack of corrective action today, rather than admitting that the lack of responsible action by the most fortunate in the past has created the need for more dramatic correction today. And it side-steps the reality that the correction must be to the detriment of some of the most fortunate today, the ones who inconsiderately gambled on getting away with behaving less acceptably.

    His presented views are a good insight into the ways that 'made-up minds that are determined to continue to benefit any way they can get away with' will attempt to argue a case. Admittedly that is the way some lawyers (not all of them) learn to win, it is a developed skill. And with many lawyers Winning political leadership roles, the way NorrisM approaches this matter is likely similar to those elected representatives (so many Republicans still claiming to be, or acting as if they were, ignorant/dismissive regarding the corrections that climate science has indicated are required for the benefit of the future of humanity).

    NorrisM correctly identifies that understandably unacceptable pursuits can be popular and profitable. However, his claim that 'that just has to be the way it has to be' cannot be defended. Note hat he offers no suggestion of action that would correct the problem. The most obvious required corrective action is more correctly educating the population, which will require the creation of new measures that will effectively promote/reward Helpful Winners (educators) and penalize/discourage Harmful Winners (indoctrinators/misleaders - people who argue/fight against developing awareness and understanding that is contrary to their Private Interests).

    Harmful economic activities get shut down all the time. Popular opinion in support of understandably unacceptable activity that is artificially propped up to prolong the unacceptable activity just leads to a more dramatic required correction. The recent curtailing of viability of the town of Asbestos in Quebec is an example of what happens when unacceptable pursuits are regionally propped up and prolonged, people in the future eventually suffer the inevitable consequence. The unfortunate current reality faced by USA coal workers is another example.

    NorrisM appears to be OK with the unacceptable activity continuing to a more dramatic correction 'in the future, when it is less likely to affect him'. That way of thinking is understandable. And it is understandably unacceptable, in need of help to correct, challenged by motivations to resist change.

  50. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Bob Loblaw @84

    I will answer your question if you answer mine.  My question to you is how you can reconcile a carbon tax at levels presently suggested by other commentators on this thread with a carbon tax levied on industrialized societies at a rate that will make those societies pay for all the direct damages these societies have or are about to wreak on lesser developed nations.   I assume your suggested solution is to then transfer a large portion of the proceeds from this high level of carbon tax to those societies in some sort of wealth transfer.  But are you not effectively proposing a carbon tax on developed nations at a level much higher than $30-$80?

    If you do not propose such a solution then what is all this talk implicit in your question at #23?

    So here is my answer to your  question posed at #23.  The answer is yes.  And the reason is that fossil fuel use throughout the world has transformed this world to the benefit of everyone in this world, not just the developed nations.  What has happened is just a cost of our industrialized society up until now. 

    Although I only heard this figure on a Sam Harris podcast on some topic entirely separate from any discussion of climate change, this commentator said that today only 10% of the world's population exists at a poverty level whereas 90% are above that poverty level (I know there are many measurements of poverty but we are talking generalities here).  However, 150 years ago, those figures were reversed.  90% of the world population lived in poverty. 

    I trust you get my point.  Our industrialized society has lifted 80% of the world's population out of poverty.  So I do not think we have anything to apologize for when it comes to past use of fossil fuels which has propelled us to where we are today.

    When it comes to pollution I am completely in the camp of charging those who have polluted.  As an example, I think the plastics in our ocean are a travesty.  If we could figure out where it came from proportionately, then I would be all in favour of some UN Convention to get nations to pay up based upon their contribution to clean up this mess.

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