Cap And Trade Economists' views on US government's estimated of social cost of carbon valuation (policyintegrity.org)

Published on January 14th, 2016 | by Sandy Dechert

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NYU Study: Economics Of Climate Change Is A No-Brainer

January 14th, 2016 by  

As shown in numerous polls, most people in the US and elsewhere are concerned about the ecological effects of anthropogenic climate change. However, another aspect of the phenomenon will impact the stability of human systems around the globe more immediately than profound environmental changes. That is the economics of climate change. A new study by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law casts needed light on the socioeconomic factors and indicates consensus among economists on most critical subjects. It also reinforces a wider statement made by 2,500 economists almost 20 years ago, in 1997.

Peter Howard, economics director of IPI, and Derek Sylvan, strategy director, wrote about the survey methods in the New Year’s issue of The Hill:

List of economic journals consulted (policyintegrity.org)

Economic journals consulted (policyintegrity.org)

“In the lead-up to the Paris conference, we surveyed a large sample of expert economists–all those who published an article related to climate change in a highly ranked economics journal over the past 20 years. We asked for their views on likely climate change impacts and appropriate policy responses, and we received 365 completed surveys (roughly a third of the group responded – a strong response rate for this type of survey).”

The lists here represent all the major journals consulted, with specialist publications environmental economics listed below.

List of environmental economics journals consulted (policyintegrity.org)

Environmental economics journals consulted (policyintegrity.org)

 

 

 

 

The IPI/NYU study came to four conclusions based on these summary data about the economics of climate change:

  • Carbon pollution cuts are needed regardless of what other countries do,
  • Climate change is already hurting the global economy,
  • Climate change will hurt economic growth, and
  • Carbon pricing is an efficient way to cut pollution.

A slew of clear graphics revealing the views of 365 expert economists accompanies the discussion.

Carbon pollution cuts are needed regardless of what other countries do.

More than three out of four economists agreed that the US should take action to limit global warming no matter what response other nations have. Another 18% declared that the US should follow the global norm if other countries decide to cut their own emissions. In other words, 95% of expert climate economists feel that the US should follow through with the carbon-cutting pledges we made at the international meeting in Paris last December.

Climate change is already hurting the global economy.

Effects of climate change on the global economy (policyintegrity.org)The survey asked when the economic benefits the world experienced up to 1980 would be wiped out, given business-as-usual pollution and existing climate change. The experts saw a GDP loss of 10% by the end of this century, and a 20% chance of a “catastrophic” loss of one-quarter of global GDP. Almost half (40%) of those surveyed felt that this had already occurred. Had Americans made necessary changes in the Carter administration of 1980, we might have preserved this financial progress. As it is, we now have to face the negative effects of the past 35 years.

Climate change will hurt economic growth.

A huge gap exists in our current economic forecasting according to this study. “Most current integrated economic-climate assessment models assume that economic growth will continue regardless of climate change impacts.” “Wrong,” say over three-quarters (78%) of economists counted in this study. Most expert economists agree that climate change will restrict global economic growth. Long-term global economic effects of climate change (policyintegrity.org)

A major downside of this finding is that to date, the US government’s estimate for the “social cost of carbon” ($37 per metric ton) is likely way too low.

 

Not only will climate change (a 3% increase by 2090) hamper economic growth, say most economists, but it may also reduce global income indefinitely by 25% or more. This outcome would be similar to the effects of the Great Depression almost 100 years ago.

Catastrophic impact on global output of a global decline of 25% or more (policyintegrity.org)

Carbon pricing is the most efficient way to cut pollution.

Getting a read on the most cost-effective means of decarbonization may be the greatest contribution economists have to make to the climate change conundrum. A huge majority (81%) of responders in this study of the economics of climate change found a market-based emissions trading system (carbon tax or cap and trade) most useful. This confirms the agreement of over 2500 economists (including nine Nobel Laureates) in the 1997 Economists’ Statement On Climate Change.

Only 13% of those polled in the IPI/NYU study said that we should leave the problem to prioritizing cleaner fuels and energy efficiency and coordinating performance standards. In the US, political divisions have stymied attempts to institute carbon pricing, the clear choice of the economists, the people, and many progressive leaders, including the President. Twenty-three individual states have created or joined market-based compacts to date. Price Carbon from Martenlaw indicates that nearly 50% of Americans and Canadians are now living in states with some sort of carbon pricing rule.

Other findings

Economists' views on US government's estimated of social cost of carbon valuation (policyintegrity.org)In terms of the social cost of carbon from 2010 to mid-century, the IPI/NYU results overtop those of previous reports by a huge margin.

The study of economics of climate changeis also particularly revealing when compared to the results of a similar report from 2009 by the same institute. The recent study found that over 50% of economists thought that six major US economic sectors were most likely to be negatively affected by climate change.

Domestic economic sectors negatively affected by climate change (policyintegrity.org)Domestic economic sectors negatively affected by climate change, 2009 and 2015 (policyintegrity.org)The 2009 study revealed similar results, but at a lower order of magnitude. Primary findings indicate dramatic upticks in effects on the real estate industry and transportation; smaller increases in the analysis of agriculture, mining, fishing, forestry, construction, and manufacturing; no change in health services; and a slight improvement for the insurance industry.

None of the Democratic candidates for president of the United States argues with major climate change predictions. Unfortunately, Marco Rubio and many other Republican candidates have chosen to disagree with the calculated results. These conservative politicians seem determined to cling to the notion and spread a gospel that taking action against climate change will cripple the economy. Rubio has opined:

“This kind of unilateral disarmament in our economy is reckless, and it is hurting the American Dream.”

This study shows clearly that an overwhelming majority of economists are more concerned about the American reality. “If we fail to cut carbon pollution and instead continue with business-as-usual, it will badly stunt economic growth and may potentially lead to catastrophic economic consequences.”

Says Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist and Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York:

“Until very recently there were two huge roadblocks in the way of any kind of global deal on climate: China’s soaring consumption of coal, and the implacable opposition of America’s Republican Party. …But there have been important changes on both fronts.”

Krugman cites the visible shift in both mainstream Chinese attitudes and national policy, thanks largely to the poisoning of the nation’s air by fossil-fueled industry. As for the US political arguments, Krugman says that “denial and anti-science conspiracy theorizing” may not matter as much as previously thought, considering that new technology has fundamentally changed the economic rules of electric power generation.

“President Cruz or President Rubio might scuttle the whole deal, and by the time we get another chance to do something about climate it could be too late. But it doesn’t have to happen. I don’t think it’s naïve to suggest that what came out of Paris gives us real reason to hope in an area where hope has been all too scarce. Maybe we’re not doomed after all.”

From the IPI/NYU report:

“[W]e can still solve the problem while creating jobs and growing the economy, if our political leaders will listen to the economic experts and their voters. So far, convincing Republican Party leaders to listen to an expert climate consensus has been a fruitless task, but there are signs that the party is starting to move in the right direction.”

The 2015 Paris Agreement of 195 countries now gives Republican dissenters, formerly in the minority of this US political group and almost universally outshouted, a powerful new financial reason to support climate change measures like the President’s Clean Power Plan, and even to take a lead in suggesting new ways of curbing the negative effects of climate change through profitable enterprises.

 
 
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About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."



  • eveee

    On a serious note, is there anyone sane left who doesn’t think drought, floods, fires, and sea level rise have serious negative economic consequences and sustainable practices have beyond economic benefits. We can be even more healthy, happy, and prosperous than we ever were before, breathing cleaner air, drinking cleaner water, and enjoying quiet, peaceful sources of energy and means of using same while providing a better future and present for all of us.

  • Bob_Wallace

    It’s posted twice now.

    • Felicity Barringer Taubman

      Thanks. I couldn’t find the first post. Maybe the moderator can delete one.

      • Bob_Wallace

        It be gone….

        • Felicity Barringer Taubman

          Thanks.

  • Bob_Wallace

    OK, the topic is climate change. It is not religion. Let’s stay on topic.

    And this site does not furnish space for climate change denial stupidity.

    Get on topic. Take the denier BS to a site with low standards or educate yourself.

  • DaleCutler

    I may be a bit odd. Ü

    On the other hand, unlike many, I think the Bible speaks to climate change, and it is not going to get better. The “distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves” of Luke 21:25 does not conflict with climate change and weather extremes. Megacryometeors may be a result of climate change, so it would not be a surprise if they became more frequent (cf. Revelation 16:21). Bloody red algae blooming seas, fire and floods are also mentioned (earthquakes, too). Since the accepted cosmology of the Big Bang – that space and time(!) had a beginning – fits nicely with Genesis 1:1, I’m inclined to believe more of the Book, as well.

    Given the brokenness of people (all of us) and the corruption in governments – first and third world, it doesn’t seem likely that climate change is fixable, even if it were all anthropogenic.

    But, counterintuitively, perhaps, the most frequent mandate in the Bible is “Don’t be afraid” (or one of its several variations, e.g., “Fret not” and “Be anxious for nothing”). That would include not being anxious about climate change and terrorism. Father is in control, like it or not. It would be better to like it. Also counterintuitive, perhaps: he is a lovable Father.

    • TreeParty

      People made this problem; people have to solve it. Relying on the bible for guidance in matters of science is beyond odd, all the way to stupid. Sorry – I believe you mean well, but “Father” is an absent father. The ozone hole was fixable, so is AGW if we summon the political will. Awareness comes first; if you can help provide awareness of the problem, your contribution is welcome. If you just throw up your hands and “trust Father”, that is not welcome.

      • I’m not denying that AGW has a concatenation of various solution-strategies. I’m not optimistic that AGW has a government narrated political solution. In my opinion, AGW represents a genuine progress trap. I have enjoyed this book: DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall.

        • Bob_Wallace

          ” In my opinion, AGW represents a genuine progress trap.”

          In that case it appears that it would be best for the world to ignore your opinion.

          We can continue to progress while switching energy sources. We’ll end up with cheaper electricity and save ourselves a bundle of money on the external costs of fossil fuels.

          Progress will not only continue, it should accelerate with less of our money wasted and with a healthier population.

          • Blind faith in progress is like unto superstition.
            Progress is an article of faith in the Religion of Humanity.
            This Religion’s salvific dystopian vision is the vanity of politics.
            I have no illusions about separating Bob Wallace from his beliefs.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You probably couldn’t. Especially as you have no idea what Bob Wallace’s beliefs might be.

            Now let’s get back on topic and drop this crap.

          • The topic being the political will to effectively address a GLOBAL economic system of exploitation and growth-for-growth’s-sake (which temporarily enhances greater “quality of life” for more and more people) which is changing the GLOBAL climate.
            Like our internet commentary about AGW is doing anything more than musing about the myth of human progress.
            Mea culpa for attempting to bring your beliefs or opinions or conventions into the mix.

          • TreeParty

            The entire issue of AGW is about as far from religion as it gets. AGW is a demonstrable, observable physical phenomenon with potentially damaging consequences to the entire ecosphere, and to human civilization in particular. So say many biological scientists, and now we see that so say many economists who concern themselves with issues of climate change.
            Look; I am not religious in the slightest, but I already have great-grandchildren, and I would like the world they inherit to be habitable. Yes, humans have made some considerable “progress” in our few short centuries here, and we risk making considerable “regress” if we continue on the path of runaway greenhouse gases. By the way, there are several good precedents for successful “government narrated political solutions” to environmental issues, not least the Montreal Protocol. It is a lead pipe cinch that the “free market” will not briskly bring the problem under control…

          • Hopium re solving “environmental issues” can infect both religious humanism and the social process/emergent method called science. Anthropogenic climate disruption is a clarion call for a change in human values. How is this change going to be effected, in your opinion.

          • TreeParty

            Hopium: ha ha. Is that a typo or a neologism? Assuming the latter, I should point out that it is the (non-“humanist”) religionists that are more likely to abdicate their agency in the thrall of a dreamlike trust in the beneficence of a “higher power” (be it “god” or “the invisible hand ot the market”), than those of a humanist or scientific persuasion..
            You raise a troubling and important point: how is this change (in human values) to be effected? Let me preface my remarks by acknowledging the power of hope, that hope that springs eternal in the human breast. My belief is that humans (including you) are hardwired to have hope, to believe that even in the darkest circumstances, things CAN get better. Absent defective brain chemistry, hope is an indispensable element of human consciousness; denigration of hope is not helpful. (One further point is that I have not used the word “hope” in my comments to this point, for what it’s worth to you.)
            But as to the change in human values that would be required to “save the world”, obviously education is paramount. Education in the scientific method and in relevant scientific disciplines such as physics, chemistry, geology, evolution, ecology, etc; and education in fundamental beliefs about how the world works, such as the Tragedy of the Commons and the value of the Precautionary Principle. I have no illusions that this will happen overnight; but one can certainly hope that it will happen over time. The evolution of public sentiment about gay marriage is a good example of a very significant “change in human values” that happened relatively quickly.
            Education in schools; education in the media; education in the churches that profess a divinely decreed responsibility for “sterwardship” of the planet; education in the discussion forums on the worldwide internet.
            A full-court press to convert the energy regime to renewable sources will be helpful as well. This makes sense economically, to live off our income instead of our energetic “savings” (in the form of fossil fuels). If more economists can weigh in on the wisdom of keeping some fossil fuels in “storage” instead of just burning them off as quickly as possible for short term advantage, we can begin to change course toward a sustainable economy from a ruthlessly and exhaustive extractive economy.
            So: education; government “regulation” (mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon); more forceful advocacy by any and all self-interested parties; and growing public awareness as the effects continue to proliferate – flooding, wildfires, species extinctions, etc. etc.
            I gotta hope…

          • Hopium: (noun) irrational or unwarranted optimism.
            False hope: confident feelings about something that might not be true.
            Genuine hope: realistic expectation not based on optimism bias.
            I try to be as realistic as possible without EITHER unwarranted pessimism OR unwarranted optimism when it comes to my expectations or desires for anthropogenic climate disruption (along with the political and economic systems which are driving climate change) to be meaningfully and effectively and substantively addressed globally.
            I’m optimistic that global benign change CAN happen. I’m realistic that global benign change IS happening. I’m skeptical that global benign change WILL happen in time to avert the sudden collapse of an established global economic system based on exploitation and growth. I hope that my skepticism regarding collapse is rational and warranted.

      • DaleCutler

        The ozone hole was fixable… by legislating a new refrigerant that is a worse greenhouse gas than Freon. Ü

      • DaleCutler

        “All the way to stupid.” Thanks for that. Ü

        The etymology of “religion” is shares a root with ligament and ligature, denoting a binding. You are bound to, your religion is, philosophical naturalism? There are some epistemological and ontological issues with that.

        That space and time had a beginning is an interesting piece of evidence. Think Occam’s Razor.

        A couple of books worth noting, and they all deal with evidence:
        You might look at Eric Metaxas’ book, Miracles (fairly accessible) and CS Lewis’ by the same name (not a particularly easy read), or Tim Keller’s The Reason for God. Lee Strobel’s The Case for a Creator presents evidence, as well. (His style takes a little getting used to, but the interviews are good.)

      • DaleCutler

        I think this says it pretty well about the US:
        www dot politicalhumor dot about dot com slash od/Funny-Memes/ig/Funniest-Political-Memes/Republicans-on-Climate-Change.htm#step-heading.
        Throwing money and technology at it won’t stop it, though. You might observe: it sunk.

        From earlier: “Given the brokenness of people (all of us) and the corruption in governments – first and third world, it doesn’t seem likely that climate change is fixable, even if it were all anthropogenic.”

        And it isn’t all anthrogenic, and is probably even now in an unstoppable positive feedback loop. So you should be anxious, unless you know the Good News. The Book says we live in a dying world. Get used to it.

        Maybe AGW can be slowed… some. I’m all for reducing air pollution (Beijing and Delhi, in particular), and we have a water sourced heat pump, I drive a small car (an ’02), avoid driving my truck (a ’95) and we recycle very conscientiously.

        But there is something else we all can do now: we should be about taking care to spend our resources taking care of justice for the poor (and not increasing the disparity with the wealthy) and helping the helpless.

      • DaleCutler

        I think this says it pretty well about the US:
        www dot politicalhumor dot about dot com slash od/Funny-Memes/ig/Funniest-Political-Memes/Republicans-on-Climate-Change.htm#step-heading.
        Throwing money and technology at it won’t stop it, though. You might observe: it sunk.

        From earlier: “Given the brokenness of people (all of us) and the corruption in governments – first and third world, it doesn’t seem likely that climate change is fixable, even if it were all anthropogenic.”

        And it isn’t all anthropogenic, and is probably even now in an unstoppable positive feedback loop. So you should be anxious, unless you know the Good News. The Book says we live in a dying world. Get used to it.

        Maybe AGW can be slowed… some. I’m all for reducing air pollution (Beijing and Delhi, in particular), and we have a water sourced heat pump, I drive a small ’02 car, avoid driving my full size 1995 truck and we recycle assiduously.

        But there is something else we all can do now: we should be about taking care to spend our resources taking care of justice for the poor (and not increasing the disparity with the wealthy) and helping the helpless.

        • Bob_Wallace

          The topic is not religion.

  • Where’s the big money in adaptation and mitigation? Surely it’s more than just solar and wind power. How about architectural design and services to refugees.

    • Felicity Barringer Taubman

      Low-lying seaside cities can take their cue from the Netherlands. They are both a long-time business-oriented society — John Adams was sent to the Dutch for loans for the just-formed United States — and have adapted to a very threatening geography. I’m guessing that the adaptations, like dykes and canals and dams, were community/government projects more often than they were the result of individual initiative or entrepreneurship. If business-oriented culture like the Netherlands can mix capitalist and government-driven initiatives to keep itself safe within a changing environment, why not us?

  • Roger Lambert

    Stop the presses! Economists think a market-based strategy is best to fight AGW!!

    Not one of them thinks that government-mandated renewable infrastructure construction, ie building and deploying, might be worth a teensy little mention?

    Imagine what it would cost to travel across the country if a market-based strategy was used to develop the U.S. Interstate highway system. Or if every child had to be educated in a private school – would that improve things for the average family? Imagine if every Fire Department was private – and you only got service if were pre-paid.

    Market-based strategies are based on the market(!) And the market is not a level playing field. Which is why, of course, the market has failed miserably at addressing AGW for the past thirty years

    As I have mentioned before, there is a huge need to keep our next energy system – the renewable electricity system – built at the lowest possible cost and delivering electricity at the lowest possible cost. If we, the people, don’t own that new system, there is little chance that we can keep retail prices low.

    Let’s not trust in the market to give us the system we need in time. Government mandate has a major, if not predominant, role to play.

    • TedKidd

      I think the problem is we need to keep accelerating.

      Yes we need energy democratization, and that’s happening. Yes we need incentives to deploy, that’s happening too. But to really accelerate we need to price in externalities, or FF just stays too cheap.

      Elon on FF Stupidity, our crazy climate experiment: – bit.ly/FFstupidity

  • nakedChimp

    Wow, the shills are out in force on this one.. how many different writers (anti CC) are this? 6-7? Quite impressive.. we had far more controversial articles here in the past and way less commitment from that side of the population..

    Seems CT finally appeared on their ‘radar’..

    Good job Zach?

    🙂

  • Daniel Chase

    Classic fallacy: Appeal to the supposed majority.

  • Contrarianthefirst

    Do you make much money, writing this clap trap?

    • Takeshi

      Go back to the kids’ table.

      • Contrarianthefirst

        Can’t; ManBearPig is taking all the room.

  • willabeest

    funny thing – i think agriculture in Canada and Russia will increase exponentially with global warming. i keep reading about all the negative aspects of global warming – OK – but if you want to really get my attention – start talking about the positive aspects. why – because no one else is – and i hate reading the same thing over and over. Canada is huge – and most of it is really cold. warm it up and maybe it will get better.
    when we see a balanced approach THEN you can tell us the negatives outweigh the positives – but until then – looks like inane one sided propaganda. my two cents.

    • TreeParty

      Funny thing – “I think” you are just making stuff up! “Warm it up and maybe it will get better.” Well, “maybe” it will get worse, with wildfires, disease, a tipping point to a much hotter world if massive methane releases occur, etc. By the way, Canada is very much on board with efforts to rein in global warming. You know: Canada, the country. Not the cartoon image in your head….

      • willabeest

        of course i am making stuff up! no one is paying me to write this. i am not even getting any credit for this – my real name is (obviously) not willabeest. but if you want to see things from my perspective – i think there may be quite a lucrative movement in real estate from population migration to areas that will be cooler in the future. similarly for agriculture. for example – i am successfully growing an avocado tree in my backyard, i had quite a harvest in 2015. this is the first successful avocado tree in my area of northern california that anyone can recall. clearly – large areas of Canada will someday be suitable for agriculture that now are not. yes all sorts of economic and environmental problems are also on the way, tropical diseases in the USA etc etc. i agree! and life will get more difficult for many if not most people. but lets see a balanced approach to this. SOME PLACES ON PLANET EARTH ARE GOING TO BENEFIT from global warming. there may be a real estate boom in Homer, Alaska. open your mind a little.

    • Ross

      Most people and wildlife live further south. The costs of a northern shift in climate zones will be massively disruptive and costly.

      • willabeest

        i totally agree. this does not in any way contradict my post.

    • Takeshi

      You must not be Canadian, because anyone who lives here would be able to tell you why climate change will not help us in the least. Quite the opposite.

      Also, the “balanced approach” leads to the unequivocal conclusion that the negatives drastically, calamitously, alarmingly outweigh the positives. This isn’t news. Catch up.

      • willabeest

        i am not Canadian. i admit it. i like Vancouver a lot, but not enough to move there. but i disagree that climate change will be 100% bad for 100% Canadian citizens. when you can grow oranges in Toronto, orange tree lovers in Toronto will be little happier.

    • just_jim

      No you don’t ‘think’, think implies looking at evidence which you clearly haven’t done. If you want to think about Canadian agriculture and climate change start by googling ‘Canadian Shield’, and move on from there. Until you do the research your opinions about climate change and global warming are based purely on feelings, and are worthless.

  • Carl Ellis

    Silly article filled with bias. The first sentence is a lie. Most surveys show people don’t believe climate change is in the top 30 issues. Most think anthropological effects are negligible and don’t want to destroy jobs to possibly accomplish a .01 degree reduction in the earth’s temperature 100 years from now. They know the climate models have been wrong every single time.

    The bias that makes this article trite is obvious. Only economists that wrote articles indicating they believed in anthropological effects on climate are included in the article. That is like surveying only Patriot football fans wearing Tom Brady jerseys who they think will win the Super Bowl.

    Silly article. Writer worth ignoring.

    • TreeParty

      Silly comment. Writer worth ignoring. Writer apparently does not understand the difference between anthropogenic and anthropological, yet presumes to blithely dismiss actual scholarly findings. Jeez!

    • Takeshi

      Troll elsewhere.

  • halslater

    We need to destroy the “Myth of Reagan”. As the author notes, had we stuck to Carter’s Energy Independence plan we would have continued the growth of the middle class. Reagan destroyed all of that when he sold our future out to OPEC and the Saudis. The more you know about Reagan, the more you gotta hate him.

    • Matt

      Oh Halslater, don’t you know that to many in USA, it is Saint Reagan and they will not believe when you show the thing he really did. That is things he worked to pass and signed.

      • halslater

        I know, I met Reagan a few times while he was CA governor and was surprised that such a dull man became president. Dumber than a bag of hammers as my Dad liked to say. His handlers were quite smart, though, especially Nancy.

  • sandrala

    Remember, the major reason humans have been such successful survivors is our inherent ability to adapt. We’ve survived eons of climate change simply by moving on or adapting accordingly. We are NOT quite so dumb and helpless that we must be protected by socialistic intervention….

    • Ronald Brakels

      Yes, I remember when Imperial Japan started dropping bombs on us and we adapted to that on an individual level by growing thick shrapnel resistant hides.

      • Carl Ellis

        Nonsequetors are always appreciated. They make you look stupid, but that is why they are appreciated.

        • TreeParty

          Misspelling non sequitur makes you look stupid. Missing the irony, ditto.
          Humans are very adaptable. Entire ecosystems and food chains, not so much. Try to see the big picture, like the economists do..

    • Matt

      That is the same line the Exxon CEO used. People will adapt and migrate.

    • halslater

      You call it “socialistic intervention” we call it working together. That doesn’t make us dumb and helpless so hold your dog whistles.

      • Carl Ellis

        It makes you a tool (useful idiot is a better term) to Al Gore and his desciples who want power.

        • halslater

          More stupid BS. You can envision this abstract grab for power by Gore and scientists working to protect the planet but cannot see the unfettered greed of the Koch’s and their ilk that are ACTUALLY making billions by raping the planet. You are the tool of their very real greed. Wake the f**k up.

    • Kevin McKinney

      The ability to adapt begins with rational thought about the problems faced.

    • Carl Ellis

      Exactly. If the temperature really rises the “catestrophic” 1 degree, I’ll move 200 yards north. Geez.

      • TreeParty

        So it’s all about you? So what is 200 yards north of where you currently live?

        • Ronald Brakels

          He lives where moving 5 kilometers north drops the temperature by 25 degrees. It’s a very unique place.

          • willabeest

            well… if he lived on the south slope of a mountain, it might!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Apparently he lives about 150 yards from the mouth of a deep cave.

          • eveee

            Not really. He works in a refrigerated warehouse.

    • Takeshi

      One does not adapt to planetary collapse. Sorry to tell you, but this is an existential threat unlike anything faced by humans since the invention of agriculture.

      • Felicity Barringer Taubman

        Agreed.

    • Mike

      Some day, and that day may never come, but you may have to put your life together after a fire, flood, car crash, bullet damage, cancer treatment. Have insurance? That’s how socializing risk works. Cheers.

    • Felicity Barringer Taubman

      The earth’s climate has never changed as rapidly as now since early societies organized around agriculture, which this study indicates is one of the economic fields most vulnerable to climate change. And cap-and-trade is hardly socialist — a successful cap-and-trade program for SO2, which was developed under George H.W. Bush, helped vastly reduce acid rain. Cap-and-trade originally was a Republican idea, not a socialist one. So humans may again be successful survivors, but only if they can survive massive hits to their food supply and the current economic architecture.

      • sandrala

        Where might I find the studies that determine how fast or slow the major climate changes occurred? Who can say how long it took to create and then melt the last ice age around 12000 years ago?

        • Bob_Wallace

          Here’s a place to start…

          https://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period-basic.htm

          And give this a look ….

          https://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-natural-cycle.htm

          If you want more then look around on the NASA and NOAA sites.

          • sandrala

            Thanks, but the first two are only someone’s interpretations… not proof. With NASA and NOAA, we read that this or that “probably” occurred a “few” million years ago or so, and was “probably” caused by such and such. But where’s the proof?

            Indeed, ice core samples have shown that CO2 levels do rise and fall with temperature, but haven’t been fine tuned enough to prove which came first…

          • TreeParty

            Because we do not have accurately calibrated temperature and CO2 data from prehistoric times; and because no one alive today was around 12,000 years ago, or 800,000 years ago; we cannot have “proof” of what you are asking about. But we do have reasonably dependable approximations of all that data as reconstructed from ice cores, etc. You must have seen those records on the Skeptical Science site; they do show, for the last 800,000 years, “how fast or slow the major climate changes occur.” . The short answer is, nowhere near as fast as the present global warming is occurring (~10 degrees C per millenium). Whereas you have admitted that temps and CO2 levels are synchronized (clearly!), ask yourself this: Which makes more sense? That a pre-existing, unobservable rise in global temperatures caused humans to emit massive amounts of greenhouse gasses, increasing the CO2 fraction from 280 PPM to 400 PPM? Or that massive fossil fuel combustion, combined with deforestation, has increased the fraction of a potent greenhouse gas by 43%, thereby raising the planet’s temperature? I assume you are aware of the consensus of actual climate scientists about the direction of the causality. What would be your “interpretation”?

          • Bob_Wallace

            My interpretation is that you are a climate change denier and a waste of space on this site.

            Begone….

          • TreeParty

            Hey Bob_Wallace, Did you just delete my response to sandrala because you think I’m a denier?!?! Please, reread my post and reconsider! Nothing could be further from the truth!

          • Bob_Wallace

            My bad, sorry.

            I didn’t read carefully. I’m really tired of dealing with deniers….

          • TreeParty

            Thanks for restoring! I completely sympathize with your frustration – it is like dealing with (willfully perverse) childish personalities in adult bodies – very frustrating..But persevere, please; awareness is the first step toward improvement, and you are helping to spread awareness.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I totally understand the mission. I’ve played at least a small role in defining it.

            I’m making no excuses for screwing up from time to time.

          • Felicity Barringer Taubman

            When someone has an open enough mind to ask for citations, it’s worth the effort to provide them. As we both did. Only coming here occasionally, I can imagine your frustration.

          • TreeParty

            Let me try this response to sandrala again:

            Because we do not have accurately calibrated temperature and CO2 data from prehistoric times; and because no one alive today was around 12,000 years ago, or 800,000 years ago; we cannot have “proof” of what you are asking about. But we do have reasonably dependable approximations of all that data as reconstructed from ice cores, etc. You must have seen those records on the Skeptical Science site; they do show, for the last 800,000 years, “how fast or slow the major climate changes occur.” . The short answer is, nowhere near as fast as the present global warming is occurring (~10 degrees C per millenium). Whereas you have admitted that temps and CO2 levels are synchronized (clearly!), ask yourself this: Which makes more sense? That a pre-existing, unobservable rise in global temperatures caused humans to emit massive amounts of greenhouse gasses, increasing the CO2 fraction from 280 PPM to 400 PPM? Or that massive fossil fuel combustion, combined with deforestation, has increased the fraction of a potent greenhouse gas by 43%, thereby raising the planet’s temperature? I assume you are aware of the consensus of actual climate scientists about the direction of the causality. What would be your “interpretation”?
            P.S. Here is a link that shows the temp record with decent resolution for the last 20,000 years; N.B. the time axis is quasi-log….

            http://www.global-greenhouse-w

          • Bob_Wallace

            Those articles are full of links. Spend some time and read the science.

            If you don’t understand global warming then expend the effort to learn. If you want to stink the place up with a bunch of denier crap then just go away.

        • Felicity Barringer Taubman

          Good question. I”m getting cites and will post them as soon as I have a few for you to choose from.

        • Felicity Barringer Taubman

          Here;s a compendium of a few items, some with links:

          1) Nature – April 2012 by Jeremy Shakun et al: Global warming preceded by
          increasing carbon dioxide concentrations during the last deglaciation
          2) Science – August 2013 by Noah S. Diffenbaugh* and Christopher B. Field: Changes in
          Ecologically Critical Terrestrial Climate Conditions
          3) The Stern report, 2007, from British economist Nicholas Stern. URL for overview chapter: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130129110402/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/3/6/Chapter_1_The_Science_of_Climate_Change.pdf
          4) The velocity of climate change by Scott R. Loarie1, Philip B. Duffy1,2, Healy Hamilton3, Gregory P. Asner1, Christopher B. Field1 & David D. Ackerly4

          Nature, 24 December 2009
          http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v462/n7276/abs/nature08649.html

          5) Brian Fagan: The LongSummer: How Climate Changed Civilisation
          Partial Review from London Review of Books at http://www.lrb.co.uk/v26/n12/tim-flannery/behaving-like-spiders.
          Review says in part “His second hypothesis, introduced in the book’s opening pages, involves
          our increasing vulnerability to climatic events: ‘In our efforts to cushion
          ourselves against smaller, more frequent climate stresses, we have consistently
          made ourselves more vulnerable to rare but larger catastrophes. The whole
          course of civilisation . . . may be seen as a process of trading up on the
          scale of vulnerability’ ”

          6) Dipesh Chakrabarty: “The Climate of History” http://www.law.uvic.ca/demcon/2013%20readings/Chakrabarty%20-%20Climate%20of%20History.pdfhttp://www.law.uvic.ca/demcon/2013%20readings/Chakrabarty%20-%20Climate%20of%20History.pdf

          An excerpt: “Geologists and climate scientists may explain why the current phase of
          global warming—as distinct from the warming of the planet that has happened
          before—is anthropogenic in nature, but the ensuing crisis for humans is not
          understandable unless one works out the consequences of that warming. The
          consequences make sense only if we think of humans as a form of life and look
          on human history as part of the history of life on this planet. For,
          ultimately, what the warming of the planet threatens is not the geological
          planet itself but the very conditions, both biological and geological, on which
          the survival of human life as developed in the Holocene period depends.”

  • sjc_1

    Climate change will hurt economic growth

    The irony is all the damage repair will show up as higher GDP.

    • JamesWimberley

      Which? GDP includes the cost of prisons and ERs, which we would do without if we could. There is no Platonic “economic growth” independent of the flawed indicators we actually have.

      • sjc_1

        Not a productive expenditure, not an investment, an expense that should never have to be made. A zero sum game.

    • Carl Ellis

      Wasted money. See Spain. See Solendra.

  • Brian Stump

    Very pathetic story/article.

  • JamesWimberley

    The trolls have poisoned the comment thread, but I’ll have a go at a real discussion.
    Since the economists’ preferred policy of carbon pricing seems to be infeasible, it’s a pity they weren’t asked for their views on the second-best policies that are feasible and are doing the work all over the world: emissions regulations, tax breaks for renewables, FITs and net metering, reserved auctions, CfDs, funding for R&D. That’s where the policy action is, and where advice might actually be useful.

    • Kevin McKinney

      I wouldn’t be too certain that carbon pricing is infeasible in the US. It’s in line with conservative principles, and organizations like the Citizen’s Climate Lobby–which is experiencing rapid growth, by the way–are detecting progress in making that case to the GOP.

    • Ross

      Probably best to poll them about those areas separately so that it doesn’t dilute the main message.

    • TedKidd

      Don’t give up on Fee and Dividend, the movement is growing and gathering strength.

      What will make it work is having a powerful “what’s in it for me” argument.

      $1-200 a month Dividend from Exxon and other FF producers into your savings account, like the Alaska Dividend, is a very attractive offer, particularly for those who don’t spend a lot on energy.

      “You get this money, and participation helps reduce the cost of solar power, and helps the planet. Huge win for everyone except FF, and even for them its a clear and level playing field. One some of them are even advocating for!”

      bit.ly/CCLCarbonFeeAndDividend

      Elon- FF Stupid Experiment: bit.ly/FFstupidity

  • dufas_duck

    Brussels: Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

    “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

    Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

    • JamesWimberley

      Dear God. Do you idiots know anything about Figueres? She’s a Central American oligarch: her daddy seized power in 1948 in a liberal revolution, which he secured by abolishing the army, but still a child of privilege. More important, a career high-level UN bureaucrat. By “economic development model” she means, surprise surprise, “model of economic development”, viz. one based on industrialization powered by fossil fuels. Alfred Marshall would have recognized this truism just as much as Karl Marx.

      • dufas_duck

        Yep, know all about that……she is for herself and her kind, but wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to bring western societies down to third world level as long as she and her cronies are not hurt and remain in power…

        • TedKidd

          Let”s stick with land lines and typewriters because…. They’re more efficient? (That way of thinking would have been brilliant!)

          …or don’t evolve or progress because those of marginal intellect have complete lack of vision, total cowardice and fear of change?

          • dufas_duck

            It would depend on what direction the change is, wouldn’t it?? Unless you think tearing down western society for something like a Cuban or a Brazilian society is the way to go? Maybe a police state would suit you, we are almost there…

          • JamesWimberley

            Costa Rica consistently scores among the highest countries in the world on the UN’s human development index. It’s a Central American Switzerland, democratic, peaceful, orderly, prosperous, with strong environmental protections. Like I said, they got rid of the army. The neighbours have not tried to invade.

          • dufas_duck

            Let’s get rid of our military then, close the DHS and HSA. I am not worried about Canada invading. Mexico might become an irritant with many wanting to move half of California, plus Texas, and Arizona back to Mexican control. Other than Mexico, there shouldn’t be any problems, correct???

          • TedKidd

            What a frightening world you live in! Sounds like your critical thought process consists of looking at “what’s the worst possible outcome,” then presuming that’s the likely case.

            At best that’s intellectually lazy. Your conclusions are not epistemologically justifiable.

            Here’s a good Republican’s viewpoint you should appreciate: http://bit.ly/bobinglisTEDx

          • dufas_duck

            So, it is intellectually lazy to look at all sides of a situation. To have no view but up, you will fail to see what you are going to trip over. There are many avenues to unintended consequences or does that even matter??

            By the way, I’m not a Republican so your accusation has no merit…. Are you a socialist??

          • TedKidd

            Your “all sides” isn’t even two dimensional.

            Burn baby burn, because the status quo makes you feel safe. Learning about alternatives frightens you, but arguing against something you’ve spent little effort to understand seems normal?

            Dufas is laughingly accurate. Look, I thought you might be interested in learning. But clearly you are an imbicile rigid in his schemas, a troll cowardly hiding behind Internet anonymity. Others sharper than I correctly gauged to and left. Now I’m done too.

          • dufas_duck

            In other words, unless someone grovels at your views, they are abnormal… and it frightens you..

          • dufas_duck

            Actually, I am proud of the dufas_duck handle. It was given to me by a class of school kids. I was helping them write and organize an
            illustrated book concerning how to be polite and generous with other people. The kids did all the writing, illustrating, printing, and
            binding. They all did a marvelous job. The main character that they came up with was Dufas Duck. They began calling me Mr. Dufas Duck. Many of them are in college now and I occasionally see them. They still smile and greet me as Mr. Dufas Duck..

            Too bad I can’t get you a copy…………

        • Kevin McKinney

          Seriously? Obviously, the model to be created is one *not* based on fossil fuel… which is what this blog is about. If you want to natter on about political paranoid fantasy, I sure there’s a blog for that, too.

          • dufas_duck

            The comment was “By “economic development model” she means, surprise surprise, “model of
            economic development”, viz. one based on industrialization powered by
            fossil fuels..”

            I thought ‘fossil fuels’ meant oil, it must be something else in your world….

          • Kevin McKinney

            No. The point is to create an economy not powered by oil, coal, or even the relatively cleaner natural gas–‘fossil fuels.’

          • dufas_duck

            Then it should have been …..”…..one based on industrialization ‘NOT’ powered by fossil fuels..”

          • Kevin McKinney

            Sigh. Let’s review. The relevant bit from the original quote was this:

            “…to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution…”

            The clarified version of this, quoted by you two posts back was this:

            “”By “economic development model” she means, surprise surprise, “model of economic development”, viz. one based on industrialization powered by fossil fuels..”

            So, since the task is to change the “reigning model”–ie., the one “powered by fossil fuels”–yes, the goal is to get to “…an economy not powered by oil, coal, or even the relatively cleaner natural gas–‘fossil fuels.'”

            IOW, you confused the ‘reigning model’ with the aspirational one.

  • respect your liberty

    the poor correlation between CO2 concentrations and global temperatures, particularly when factoring the heat-island effect out of the equation, is SO in contrast with the old theoretical models that CO2 based anthroprogenic global warming theories’ invalidation is a no-brainer.

    • srsly

      slightly mis-typed.
      correction: *old theoretical model_ of predicted CO2 based global warming AMOUNT’s apparent invalidation

    • JamesWimberley

      Is this supposed to be an argument? Siri could do better.

      • BigWu

        “I’m sorry. I couldn’t find anything about the old theocratic model of tempurpedic mattresses” – Siri

        • JamesWimberley

          When the ayatollahs hit the mattresses, it’s for keeps.

    • vensonata

      “…CO2 based anthroprogenic global warming theories’ invalidation is a no-brainer.” Right you are, you have no brain. I admire your humility though, for stating it in public.

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