Global Warming

Recently at Reason.tv: Bjorn Lomborg explains how to get our priorities right on climate change and other global issues

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At Reason's 40th anniversary event, held in Hollywood on November 14 and 15, "Skeptical Environmentalist" Bjorn Lomborg kicked things off with an engrossing 30-minute presentation about man-made climate change and the best ways to prioritize and solve global problems ranging from water shortages to poverty to malaria.

The author most recently of Cool It, Lomborg is also the force behind The Copenhagen Consensus, a path-breaking approach toward effecting efficient solutions to the planet's most pressing issues. "At the end of the day," says Lomborg, "this is about saying, Yes, global warming is real. It's often massively exaggerated, which is why we need smarter solutions…. Let's pick them smart, rather than stupidly. And also, let's remember that they are many other problems in the world that we can fix so much cheaper and do so much more good….If this is really a question about doing good in the world, then let's do real good-and not just make ourselves feel good about what we do."

Go here for Reason magazine's recent interview with Lomborg, who has been named one of the "100 the most influential people on the planet" by Time, a "global leader for tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum, and "one of the 50 people who could save the planet" by The Guardian.

For Reason's coverage of Lomborg, go here. For our environmental coverage, go here.

To embed this video at your own site, go here.

For an audio podcast, go here.

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  1. “Global warming is real”. What a bunch of cosmotarians! Reason once again capitulates to the “science” of global warming, which will lead to big government interventions, to be popular with their liberal cocktail party friends no doubt.

    When will libertarians wake up and see that “science” and its “findings” in general should be rejected as the excuses for big government intervention that they are? Just look at how the “science” that mosquito’s breed in pools of water on people’s God-protected private property and carry malaria leads to big government public health measures. We all know malaria is a curse from God on bad people. And how the “science” of animal aggression leads to big government animal control units in every county! We all know that the real reasons why dogs bite and are ornery is because they got all them teeth and no toothbrush! C’mon Reason, it’s the libertarian’s solemn duty to reject all this “science” and it’s socialistic implications. Stand for something!

  2. First, the globe’s climate is changing as it has done for billions of years. To state that the climate is not changing just because one fears the political arguments that might follow is essentially burying your head in the sand.

    Second, the question of whether human activity is causing climate change is an interesting one that warrants study. Again, we shouldn’t be covering our eyes screaming “LA! LA! LA! I CAN”T HEAR YOU” merely because we are afraid of the political arguments it generates is just plain stupid.

    Third, Refusing to study the matter essentially destroys the credibility of those who want to argue against the idiocy of government attempts to control the Earth’s climate through economic destruction.

    The science and the political questions of what to do about the findings of the science are completely separate.

    Incidentally, I’m interested in researching the matter, but don’t have gobs of free time to throw at the matter and so want to start with a short list of informative sites. I am more interested in wonky science blogs rather than websites popularizing the science.

    Does anybody have any recommendations?

  3. I gotta say, as far as trolls go, that was fairly funny.

    For a troll.

  4. Obviously that’s not directed at you, tarran.

  5. tarran,

    Some Reason associate pointed this one out some time ago. TLTG up what staff yokel alerted me.

    It’s a good place for a skeptical, open-minded* person to start.

    * The terms are NOT mutually exclusive.

  6. How about a thread honoring the Iraqi guy who just tried to hit Bush with his shoes?

    Note to self: if you ever see Bush anywhere, throw your shoes. That was the best thing I ever saw. I don’t even care that he didn’t hit him. Just seeing those shoes flying made me laugh my ass off.

  7. It’s fucking cold up here, today. I wish I had some heretics to burn.

  8. Fluffy-

    No fucking way- did the Blackwater Boys begin indiscriminately machine-gunning the crowd?

    From whacking the statue of Saddam with their shoes to heaving them at their liberator. That’s progress!

  9. If only more people had thrown shoes at Bush back when he was just a dumbfuck President’s son.

  10. Lomborg–the great White Hope of Libertarian Lunatics.

  11. Bush getting that shoe thrown at him looked just like Ben Stiller in
    “There’s Something About Mary.” Just replace the shoe with a meth-crazed terrier. (Maybe that’s next?)

  12. Shoes, weapons of mass destruction, aimed at Americans! I knew we’d find them!

  13. Video of the other shoe dropping in Iraq (after a 30 sec commercial). TMZ has the video without the commercial but they’re a bunch of cockbites.

  14. I did the anti-science troll. But it was meant to make a serious point: that to accept or reject any empirical scientific claim based in any part on whether the thing in contention would have “un-libertarian” implications (or “un-unitarian”, “un-liberal”, etc) is daft.

    I’ve had people tell this very week on this site that they are reject a consensus of GW but not, say, plate tectonics, because “no one wants to restrict my liberty over plate tectonics.”

    Not buying the scientific consensus on GW because it may justify government intervention is similar to those liberals who deny an IQ-crime or IQ-stratification connection because it may undermine policy they favor.

    A sensible libertarian policy maker, when faced with a majority of scientists telling them that certain activities are contributing to a process which will likely harm everyone should not say “oh, that would mean some government coercion, so I’m not going to buy that” but would say “ok, how can we head this off in a way that effects liberty and choice the least?”

  15. Of course from my last post, I seemingly firmly reject the tenents of grammar, for liberal reasons of course 😉

  16. Funny you should use mosquito control as an example Crow Eating Dumbass. A quick look at the history of the CDC shows they started with a focus on malaria control in 1946 with a budget of 1 million dollars and a staff of entomologists and engineers.DDT was their main weapon.

    Now they have a budget of nearly 9 billion a year and in addition to communicable diseases they deal with all sorts of “public health” concerns such as obesity,gun control, workplace safety, automobile safety,chronic disease, exercise, and all forms of “behavioral risk”.

  17. It is noteworthy that Bjorn Lomborg has no scientific background whatsoever. He is a political science major, not a climatologist.

    I’m not a person who feels that only specialists can comment on global issues in a particular field, but it does bother me that Lomborg gets standing in the press alongside people who are climate specialists. I have to say – he is good at getting press coverage. Maybe that’s what having a political science degree gives you?

  18. http://www.anti-lomborg.com

    Who are we?
    This site was started by a bunch of environmental writers, academics and activists in Oxford, England, who were mildly irritated by the publication in The Guardian newspaper of a series of ‘green wash’ articles written by Bjorn Lomborg.

    Lomborg is author of the much criticised tome ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’ (Cambridge University Press 2001) which claims that many of society’s concerns about the environment are “phantom problems” created and perpetuated by the environmental movement for its own ends.

    On this web site we hope to present our alternative views on the deteriorating state of our environment. We do not wish to personally attack Lomborg – but we do wish to show how some of his analyses are flawed.

    Libertarians may just want to keep their vlinkers on.

  19. Why Lomborg is wrong about Kyoto
    Mark Lynas, writer and pie-man

    Specifically with regard to Kyoto, Lomborg makes great play of the fact that if implemented the cuts it mandates in CO2 emissions will have almost no effect on the climate. Well, we all knew that already, which is why many people (including myself) have criticised it as being inadequate. Since greater cuts, involving more countries, are likely to be agreed to take effect during the ‘second compliance period’ after 2012, Lomborg’s exercise of calculating Kyoto’s effect on the climate by 2100 is at best irrelevant and at worst intentionally misleading.

    In fact this is one of his central problems – in consistently choosing facts and figures which support his arguments, and ignoring those which don’t, his claim to be a neutral statistician investigating the ‘real state of the world’ is shown to be laughable. In fact, Lomborg’s clearly on a political exercise, producing an anti-environment polemic not entirely different from the kinds of statements emanating from the current Bush White House – just with more footnotes.

    Lomborg specialises in presenting the reader with false choices – such as the assertion that money not spent on preventing climate change could be spent on bringing clean water to the developing world, thereby saving more lives per dollar of expenditure. Of course, in the real world, these are not the kind of choices we are faced with. Why not take the $60 billion from George Bush’s stupid Son of Star Wars program and use that cash to save lives in Ethiopia? Because in a world where political choices are not made democratically at a global level, but by a small number of rich countries and corporations, the poor and the environment are never going to be a priority.

    I would argue that the only way we can live in a fair and sustainable way in the future is to spend resources both on stopping climate change and other environmental problems. There is plenty of money available – it just needs to be accessed by reducing inequalities between the rich and poor.

    So the choice which Lomborg presents us with, of whether to save a drowning Tuvaluan (climate change) or a dying Somalian (water and sanitation) is not a choice at all – in fact we need to do both, and not least because one is unlikely to be successful without the other.

    TOP This page is maintained and automatically published using http://www.mylinkspage.com TOP

  20. When we take our shoes off to go through airport security, maybe we should, altogether, throw our shoes at the TSA employees and they will stop making us take them off.

  21. Oh how I enjoy a warm cleveland steamer on a chilly winter evening! When I was a young lad, nothing was better than sitting in front of a roaring fire while mom dropped logs on my chest!

  22. Why not take the $60 billion from George Bush’s stupid Son of Star Wars program and use that cash to save lives in Ethiopia? Because in a world where political choices are not made democratically at a global level, but by a small number of rich countries and corporations, the poor and the environment are never going to be a priority.

    This guy must be completely ignorant if he believes democracy is somehow going to bring about wise government. Democracy is what brought Preicles to power. It’s what brought Teddy Roosevelt to power. It got us Nixon, FDR, Herber Hoover, Woodrow Wilson, LBJ, Kennedy and George Bush.

    This moron thinks that somehow elites aren’t going to manipulate public opinion in a democracy to suit them?

    And, the other hting this tool seems to be ignorant of is the fact that in free markets, inequalities in wealth are reduced. He wants politicians making economic decisions that distribute wealth around based on what is pleasing to the politicians. Historically this has led to splitting society into two classes, those who have political power and most of the wealth, and the peasants who labor for them with little or no chance of getting ahead.

  23. I’ve had people tell this very week on this site that they are reject a consensus of GW but not, say, plate tectonics, because “no one wants to restrict my liberty over plate tectonics.”

    This is nonsense, MNG. Plate tectonic theory stemmed from historical and geological evidence, while AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) parts from the predictive powers of climate models; you are NOT comparing same things.

  24. From Lefiti’s cited article by Mark Lynas
    I would argue that the only way we can live in a fair and sustainable way in the future is to spend resources both on stopping climate change and other environmental problems.

    Where would that person start?

    There is plenty of money available – it just needs to be accessed by reducing inequalities between the rich and poor.

    This is evidence that economic ignorance is rampant among environmentalistssocialists. If you spend resources to “fix” those phony problems, how then are the supposed inequalities between rich and poor to be reduced? I have an answer, and I believe is what Lefiti would want for all of us: make everybody EQUALLY poor, by wasting resources chasing chimeras.

  25. Earliest start to European ski season in years

    Thank you, Al Gore!

    Also, it’s -40 with the Wind in Winnipeg. In December. It’s not supposed to be this cold until late January.

  26. I did the anti-science troll.

  27. I did the anti-science troll.

    That explains why it was neither funny nor true.

    when faced with a majority of scientists telling them that certain activities are contributing to a process which will likely harm everyone should not say “oh, that would mean some government coercion, so I’m not going to buy that” but would say “ok, how can we head this off in a way that effects liberty and choice the least?”

    *ahem*. Saying that AGW exists and saying that government should do something about it are two different things. It says a lot about your intellectual prowess that you would conflate the two.

    For one, that would require saying that AGW is harmful. For two, it would require that the “harm caused” by AGW is greater than the harm that would be caused with ill-conceived policies to “fight” it.

  28. You reasonids just do propaganda, but you do it mostly among yourselves. Fucking pathetic.

  29. Let’s end this thread with a prayer:

    Hail Market,
    Full of grace,
    Prosperity is with thee.
    Blessed art thou among systems,
    and blessed is the fruit
    of thy womb, Capital.
    Holy Market,
    Mother of Goods,
    pray for us consumers now,
    and at the hour of our bankruptcy.
    Amen.

  30. When will libertarians wake up and see that “science” and its “findings” in general should be rejected as the excuses for big government intervention that they are?

    When such rejections start appearing in the journals Science and Nature. Anyone who rejects “science” before the scientists do is just blinded by their own ideology and should be duly ignored or ridiculed.

    That being said, Lomborg is wrong, for two reasons:

    1: The calculations he bases his arguments off are worthless. They just plain leave out anything that is hard to calculate, such as the value of species or ecosystems, happily ignores catastrophic risks, while over-estimate costs. Worse yet, the whole concept of cost-benefit analysis fails when spread over long time-frames, because the outcome of the calculation is far more dependant on the discount rate that you choose than any fact regarding the system being studied. The proper discount rate is highly controversial and is not science by any means. Of course, Lomborg chooses a high discount rate that makes his argument look favorable.

    2: Comparing climate change to providing micronutrients or clean water to the poor suffers from a fundamental flaw: one is charity, one is not. There is a great difference between the government requiring that people pay to clean up their messes, and requiring them to give money to those in need. Even Lomborg and the dullest of libertarians should see that.

  31. The Angry Optimist | December 14, 2008, 10:13pm | #

    *ahem*. Saying that AGW exists and saying that government should do something about it are two different things. It says a lot about your intellectual prowess that you would conflate the two.

    When dealing with a public good, such as the environment, they ARE pretty much interchangable. It would be a pretty rare that a significant externality would exist but should be ignored. This is definitely not one of them.

    For one, that would require saying that AGW is harmful. For two, it would require that the “harm caused” by AGW is greater than the harm that would be caused with ill-conceived policies to “fight” it.

    Hell, even Lomborg himself concedes that many plans to fight climate change pass his own cost-benefit plans by a country mile. And that is with a lot of assumptions running AGAINST finding such a conclusion. You don’t even seem to get his “point”, which is that we could do even more good doing charity. But of course, that logic could extend to anything…I hope you like Danish tax rates, because I am sure we could do a lot more good with $250,000 than your McMansion and SUV.

  32. Ah, you ruined the sense of the sacred.

  33. Ronald Bailey confessed two years ago that his position on the science wasn’t based on the science at all but instead on wishful thinking. A road to Damascus moment, he saw the light, he decided to actually be honest about this, ok, ok, etc…but what about the rest of Reason? Lomborg gets fawned over like bobby-soxers adored Sinatra; you’d never think that this is the guy who got off the hook for scientific dishonesty in much the same way Irwin Schiff got off the hook on his tax charges.

  34. From Wikipedia

    Accusations of scientific dishonesty
    After the publication of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Lomborg was accused of scientific dishonesty. Several environmental scientists brought a total of three complaints against Lomborg to the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD), a body under Denmark’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The charges claimed that The Skeptical Environmentalist contained deliberately misleading data and flawed conclusions. Due to the similarity of the complaints, the DCSD decided to proceed on the three cases under one investigation.

    DCSD investigation
    On January 6, 2003 the DCSD reached a decision on the complaints. The ruling was a mixed message, deciding the book to be scientifically dishonest, but Lomborg himself not guilty because of LACK OF EXPERTISE in the fields in question:[4]

    Objectively speaking, the publication of the work under consideration is deemed to fall within the concept of scientific dishonesty. …In view of the subjective requirements made in terms of intent or gross negligence, however, Bj?rn Lomborg’s publication cannot fall within the bounds of this characterization. Conversely, the publication is deemed clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice.
    The DCSD cited The Skeptical Environmentalist for:

    Fabrication of data;
    Selective discarding of unwanted results (selective citation)–He picked this up from Radley Balko, et al.
    Deliberately misleading use of statistical methods;
    Distorted interpretation of conclusions;
    Plagiarism;
    Deliberate misinterpretation of others’ results.

    Great guy!

  35. What the fuck kind of country prosecutes people for “scientific dishonesty”?

    Why am I reminded of Galileo and the Catholic Church?

  36. Leftiti, this is from the FAQ on Lomborg’s website:

    Q. Wasn’t Bjorn Lomborg proved scientifically dishonest?
    A: No. Using a critique written by Lomborg’s critics in the Scientific American (January 2002), the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD) found that The Skeptical Environmentalist was objectively scientifically dishonest on January 7 2003. However, on December 17 2003, the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation completely rescinded this finding. It released a 70-page evaluation criticizing at least 13 points in the DCSD report, three of which individually would have led to it being rescinded.

    It found the DCSD verdict “dissatisfactory”, “deserving [of] criticism” and “emotional.” Most importantly, the Ministry found “that the DCSD has not documented where [Lomborg] has allegedly been biased in his choice of data and in his argumentation, and that the [DCSD] ruling is completely void of argumentation.” The case was finally dropped by DCSD March 12 2004.

    While Lomborg’s critics continue to quote the DCSD’s 2003 verdict, it has been rescinded and found to be “dissatisfactory,” “emotional” and “completely void of argumentation.” An independent Dutch group of scientists analyzed the DCSD verdict and found that the comittee “delivered an almost totally political verdict.”

  37. Hell, even Lomborg himself concedes that many plans to fight climate change pass his own cost-benefit plans by a country mile

    So? How is Lomborg qualified to evaluate the political, economical and social costs of his policies?

    Most people, even highly-intelligent scientists, do not know basic economics nor policy-making principles.

  38. They just plain leave out anything that is hard to calculate, such as the value of species…

    There’s someone somewhere who knows how to calculate the values of non-domesticated species?

  39. Worse yet, the whole concept of cost-benefit analysis fails when spread over long time-frames, because the outcome of the calculation is far more dependant on the discount rate that you choose than any fact regarding the system being studied. The proper discount rate is highly controversial and is not science by any means. Of course, Lomborg chooses a high discount rate that makes his argument look favorable.

    Are you arguing that he chose the wrong discount rate or that we shouldn’t try to do cost-benefit analysis at all?

  40. I humbly submit that we decide the winner of the presidential debate by throwing shoes at both candidates. The one with the smaller pile wins.

  41. From the Faq on Lomborg’s webpage! Just where I would go for accurate information on a handmaiden of right-wing ideology…er, I mean, a scientist.

  42. Bjorn Lomborg is neither sceptical nor an environmentalist
    By Ian Lowe – posted Wednesday, 8 October 2003 The controversial book by Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg is called The Skeptical Environmentalist. I have read it. He is neither sceptical nor an environmentalist in any normal sense of those words. A better title might have been “The Gullible Economist”.

    In fairness, the book has some good points. It correctly points out that some environmentalists are either selective in their use of evidence or not rigorous in their thinking. If Lomborg had applied the rigorous thinking he advocates, he would have extended that criticism to some industrialists, many economists and most politicians – but he didn’t. He is very selective in his scepticism. As another example, he analyses the limits of global climate models, but accepts uncritically the much shakier claims of economic models.

    In other cases, Lomborg is just wrong. He claims that the 1972 Club of Rome report Limits to Growth predicted we would run out of resources. It actually said that limits to growth would be reached within a hundred years if all of the trends of increasing population, resource use, industrial production, agricultural output and production of waste were to continue, before showing that it is possible to re-direct development onto a sustainable path. Lomborg claims that the UN climate projections are “worst case” scenarios, when the scientific panel said its estimates could be wrong in either direction.

    Lomborg lists the broad litany of environmental problems: “forests are shrinking, water tables are falling, soils are eroding, wetlands are disappearing, fisheries are collapsing, rangelands are deteriorating, rivers are running dry, temperatures are rising, coral reefs are dying, and plant and animal species are disappearing”. He then claims to have refuted them. In fact, almost all of those statements are true for Australia. Most of them are also true globally. The second national report on the state of the environment noted some good signs before stating that the environment “has improved very little since 1996, and in some critical aspects has worsened”, blaming the compounding pressures of growing population and increasing material demands per person.

    The third UN report on the Global Environmental Outlook found “indisputable evidence of continuing and widespread environmental degradation”. It said policy measures have not been able to counter the pressures of unsustainable consumption levels in rich countries and increasing numbers of desperately poor people in the developing world. It specifically noted problems of water stress, species extinction, depletion of fish stocks, land degradation, forest loss, urban air pollution in developing countries and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. That is the very depressing picture that comes from scientific analysis. Lomborg argues that we are not losing biodiversity because the lowest of the credible estimates for species extinction is only 1500 times the planet’s long-run average. Biologists like Lord Robert May, President of the Royal Society, say that figure is typical of major extinction events.

    The fundamental belief driving Lomborg’s argument is that “it is imperative that we focus primarily on the economy” – the environmental equivalent of the discredited trickle-down model of economic development. It suggests our environmental problems will be solved if we get rich enough. The book has a graph showing wealthier countries are more likely to have clean environments. The actual data reveal that some nations with a GDP below $1000 per head have better environmental quality than others with over $20,000 per head. So there isn’t a simple link.

    The second problem is a logical fallacy. A similarity between two changes doesn’t mean one is causing the other. The number of lawyers in Australia is growing and so is the number of drug addicts, but there is no reason to suggest the changes are linked. Even if there is a connection, as in the fact that taller people tend to be heavier than shorter people, it doesn’t necessarily suggest a policy response; you won’t become taller if you put on weight! If the best way to clean up the environment was to increase the rate of economic growth, it would actually be sensible to trash the environment to get rich because we could then afford to clean up the mess. That has been our approach. It is now clear that some environmental problems are effectively irreversible. No amount of wealth will bring back an extinct species, or restore saline land on any human time scale.

    Politicians and industrialists like to believe that things are getting better. So Lomborg’s claims are being hailed by the usual suspects: those on the right of the political spectrum and the ecologically illiterate. But the scientific evidence is clear: we have very serious problems which demand urgent attention. As the UNEP report GEO2000 said, the present course is unsustainable; “doing nothing is no longer an option”.

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2002 report Measuring Australia’s Progress found all the economic indicators for the 1990s were positive, but social indicators were mixed with worrying trends. All the environmental indicators measured by the ABS were getting worse, except for urban air quality. So economic growth is not delivering better social conditions and environmental improvements. In fact, our economic growth is running down our natural and social capital. That is no basis for a sustainable future.

    As the first national report on the state of the environment said, achieving our stated goal of sustainable development requires the integration of ecological thinking into all our social and economic planning. A na?ve faith in the magic of the market or the power of growth is no substitute for considered policies that nurture our natural and social systems. Propaganda units like the Institute of Public Affairs fund the travel of people like Lomborg to muddy the water and obscure the harsh reality that we are not using our natural resources sustainably. The facts show that we desperately need a new approach. Trusting business and the magic of markets has caused the problem; it cannot solve it, even in principle.

  43. I am starting to miss Dondero. The trolls on this blog are getting too verbose.

  44. Hay Edweirdooo,

    I have no truck with your posts hier, save for this one “Lefiti | December 14, 2008, 11:00pm”.

    The Danish committee, at least in the 90s when I lived there, was highly political. They had many junk science rulings that were passed off as fact. That’s not exactly the best group to cite…

    and what tard cited weather stats to “prove” something? moron.

  45. From the Faq on Lomborg’s webpage! Just where I would go for accurate information on a handmaiden of right-wing ideology…er, I mean, a scientist.

    Yeah, right. This from a guy who’s copying & pasting from Wikipedia.

  46. It would be a pretty rare that a significant externality would exist but should be ignored. This is definitely not one of them.

    Multiple assumptions built into this assertion, namely:

    (1) AGW exists.

    (2) It is a significant driver of the warming trend that ended around 1999.

    (3) The former warming trend will resume.

    (4) That we can do anything about it if it does.

    (5) That what we can do about it is something we should do, given the likely externalities and certain costs.

  47. RC Dean,

    If you look to the comments from that first article I posted a link to…you will find that climate trends are typically based on 30 year averages…we will need to wait until 2029 to find out whether the trend has slowed, reversed, stopped, flattened or whatever in this century if we use 1999 as our turning point.

    You aren’t usually that disingenuous.

  48. R C Dean,

    Excellent points. Lefti and Neu Mejican would do well to pay careful attention to your point five.

    Especially given the massive negative externalities caused by policies global warming advocates have put in place to try and reduce carbon emissions.

    Unintended Consequences ,the Politics of Biofuels

    A study published in the latest issue of Science finds that corn-based ethanol … will nearly double the output of greenhouse-gas emissions instead of reducing them

  49. TJIT,

    I was addressing RC’s points 1 thru 3.

    Point 4, we certainly can.
    Point 5, it has not been determined what the costs for addressing the problem are, but it is as likely that the overall effect on the economy will be positive as negative.

    As for ethanol…environmentalists worth their salt have opposed it as a bad solution for AGW for a long time. What’s your point?

  50. And TJIT…

    In case you missed it…

    RC’s points 1 through 3 are indeed assumptions, but they are more likely to be correct assumptions than not.

  51. And to be really complete.

    RC’s “assumption” includes an error.

    There is no evidence that the warming trend ended in 1999..

    Assumption number 2 needs,therefore, to be re-written as “It is a significant driver of the observed warming trend.”

    Assumption number 3 also needs to be re-written as “The warming trend will continue”

    But with those corrections, he has made an important point with 4 & 5.

  52. 1. Assumption: AGW is real.

    This is an assumption. Most of the evidence suggests it is correct.

    2. Human activity is a significant driver of the observed warming trend.

    Again, an assumption with the evidence leaning in its favor.

    3. Since there is no evidence the trend has reversed, we will use the correct assumption, that it will continue.

    Given the lack of significant reductions in c02 output, it is a fair assumption that it will continue unless those conditions are changed.

    4. Since 1 and 2 seem to be more likely correct assumptions than incorrect assumptions, we have control over the conditions that are causing the effect.

    i.e. we can do something about it.

    5. “That what we can do about it is something we should do, given the likely externalities and certain costs.”

    This requires careful study, but it is not an assumption as such…it is the crux of the issue. There are some assumptions in RC’s point. The major one being that the costs will out-weigh the benefits.

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