23 May 2014

Don’t Trust Joe Romm to Interpret IPCC Tables

Climate Change, Shameless Self-Promotion 8 Comments

That’s the moral in my latest IER post. (Thanks to Josiah Neeley who helped me find some of the stuff in the IPCC reports.) Here’s the conclusion, but if this is “your thing” I really encourage you to follow the link:

Romm and his interventionist allies can’t have it both ways. The IPCC is reporting that whatever the economic costs of immediate stabilization policies are, they will increase by 28 to 44 percent (as best guesses) if governments around the world wait until 2030 to begin implementing them. So which is it, Romm & Company? If you are telling us that waiting until 2030 would mean humanity is screwed, then that means we’re screwed right now: We might only make ourselves 28 percent better off by starting now, rather than in 2030—what’s 0.72 times “totally screwed”?

On the other hand, if it’s true as Romm says that taking immediate action will be “super cheap,” then delaying until 2030 will only raise the price tag of those “super cheap” climate fixes by 28 to 44 percent, and so our best guess is that Romm’s climate fixes would be—what?—“still pretty darn cheap” or maybe “hey, not too shabby” at that time.

To repeat, this is the rhetorical corner into which the alarmists have painted themselves. They want to scare everybody into thinking that governments need to take immediate and aggressive action to avoid the literal disruption of human life as we know it. On the other hand, they want to assure us that their draconian policy proposals—if implemented next Tuesday—will only cause a slight hiccup in our present standard of living. Those two pictures do not fit together, and that’s why Romm & Company have to cherry-pick from the IPCC’s reports on the published literature.

8 Responses to “Don’t Trust Joe Romm to Interpret IPCC Tables”

  1. Harold says:

    There is something I don’t understand. From the CO2 graph, current rise in concentrations is 2.45ppm/yr. If we wait until 2030 and the trend continues, the level will be about 440ppm of CO2 alone. In fact the rate of increase is rising. By 2030 we will be already at 450ppm or thereabouts. In this scenario, how is it possible to keep CO2 levels below 450ppm? Surely it will require an almost instant cessation of emissions?

    • Bitter Clinger says:

      Harold, I don’t believe global warming will be bad. Svante Arrhenius over a hundred years ago proposed increasing the CO2 to promote global warming to feed the teeming millions in the coming century. The IPCC predicts extreme weather, tornado, hurricanes, and typhoons, but it is NOT true. CO2 (molecular weight 44) is a BUFFER. Weather, on a minute by minute basis, is analyzed by mechanical engineers not Paleoclimatologists. Weather is a power cycle. It is thermodynamics. If global warming is caused by the reduction of the heat flux (speed at which heat moves from the surface to outer space) due to CO2 in the atmosphere, that reduction of the heat flux HAS to mean milder weather (at least on average). If the present warming trend (if there is one) is cause by Natural Causes (increased output of the sun or the nuclear reactions in the Earth’s core) then the IPCC predictions may be correct because we will be seeing an increased heat flux. In this case, irrespective and regardless of what you may believe; natural is bad and “man made” is good. PBS had a special, which looked at the temperature variation during the week after 9/11 when planes weren’t flying. showed that the temperature variation increased significantly when there was no buffering layer of jet contrails. Large temperature variations cause large storms, small temperature variations cause mild weather. I pray that any temperature rise we are seeing is man made global warming. Think of the millions of acres in North America and Russia that will be able to be used to grow corn and soybeans where only oats and wheat can be grown now. (Corn and soybeans have ten times the energy density per acre compared to oats and wheat) Millions of acres of permafrost where nothing grows but moss and lichen that will grow oats and wheat. The opening of inexpensive transportation routes across the arctic pole to ship oil and grain from the Ural Mountains of Russia and Siberia, a time of mild weather and universal prosperity. http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore/301627/hillary-arctic-finds-900-trillion-untapped-oil-reserves-greg-pollowitz Let me see if I can make an analogy. You come home form work one night and it is 75 degrees inside your house. You start screaming at the kids for playing with the furnace, believing that the amount of time the furnace is running is proportional to the heat flux and represents the number of storms, hurricanes and tornadoes we experience. Then your kids explain that the landlord put insulation in the walls and ceiling and installed all new windows and the furnace was running EXACTLY as much as before. Of course this doesn’t meet your apocalyptic view of the world and you beat the hell out of your kids and call them all sorts of names. The rotten little deniers, who do they think they are? We, of course, don’t necessarily have to worry till the CO2 levels exceed 1,500 ppm, where long-term exposure MIGHT lead to cognitive problems. But since the vast majority of the population has above average intelligence (even more so for Progressives) http://today.yougov.com/news/2014/05/11/intelligence/ that should not be a problem.

      • Harold says:

        “But since the vast majority of the population has above average intelligence. ” Interesting survey – and yet some people think people are rational.

        Notwithstanding you speculations about the benefits of warming, this is besides the point. IF we wanted to keep CO2 to less than 450ppm, then how can it only be 28 t0 44% more expensive to have to completely stop all emissions in 2030 than to cut back now? It sounds unlikely.

  2. manso says:

    We all know that the dinosaur saddle discovery proves global warming is a hoax. We also know that the slave states did not secede from the Union to preserve the Institution of Slavery. The Civil War was about a tariff. It was all about taxation without representation, just like the American revolution. Never mind that the slave states had representation. They really did not. If you don’t understand that then you need to read Rothbard.

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