Climate Change

A War on Climate Change?

We are supposed trust government technocrats - what could possibly go wrong?

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UncleSamClimateWar
The Atlantic

Various folks have analogized their proposals for solving the man-made climate change problem to the Apollo moon landing program, the Manhattan Project's development of atomic bombs, or the Marshall Plan's rescue of Western Europe from communism.

Last week, over at The Atlantic Venkatesh Rao suggested the war analogy; specifically, the U.S. total mobilization of personnel and materiel for World War II. The climate change war needs to be declared with the adoption of a Universal Climate Treaty at the UN Climate Change conference in Paris this December. As Rao argues:

Properly qualified, there is only one successful precedent for the kind of technological mobilization we are contemplating: the mobilization of American industry during World War II.

The proposed climate change war—and no other term is suitable given the scale, complexity, and speed of the task—requires a level of trust in academic and energy-sector public institutions (including international ones) comparable to the trust placed in military institutions during times of war. …

We either trust public institutions, based on specialized expertise, and accept the risk that they might be wrong, as in the case of the intelligence establishment and WMDs in Iraq—or we limit collective action to issues where it is possible to achieve informed consensus among laypersons. …

We are not being asked to understand, en masse, the intricacies of climate science and technology deployment any more than the population of a nation at war is asked to understand the intricacies of intelligence gathering or military campaign planning. We are being asked to trust the integrity and declared intentions of institutions that do understand the intricacies. We are being asked to trust that despite any de facto ideological biases, professionalism will prevail.

In the war against climate change, powerful technocrats will be far more consequential than energy-sector technologists. …

Climate change is not a game for amateurs. The evolving nature of the science, and the possibility (always present in science) that some of today's beliefs might be overturned by new evidence and models, is not a reason to second guess scientists or trust conspiracy theorists instead. That doesn't mean we don't risk corporatist corruption, cronyism, and outright wartime profiteering. But we do not yet know how to act beyond a certain scale and speed without those risks.

So a technocrat-led, government-coordinated international response is probably necessary.

An interesting perspective no doubt, but Rao does not try to answer the critical question: Will government solutions to global warming be worse than global warming itself?

Even the reports from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggest that with regard to the welfare of future generations the costs of doing nothing about climate change could well equal the costs of doing something now about climate change

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138 responses to “A War on Climate Change?

  1. You know who else went to war on flimsy pretenses…

    1. Edwin Starr?

    2. Same person who went to war on economic problems?

    3. Rob Stark?

      1. Tony Stark?

        1. Tony?

      1. Renly Baratheon, too?

    4. The Duchy of Grand Fenwick?

      1. Nice.

      2. They had a pretty well worked-out plan, though.

        1. Which they screwed up by winning the war.

    5. Pretty much everyone who ever went to war, ever?

    6. Guys, come on. It’s HITLER.

    7. “You know who else went to war on flimsy pretenses…”

      These guys

      Wait, a ‘pretense’ is like a nerf-bat, right?

      1. (Allow me to rewrite your joke.)

        The Great Society?

    8. People who use unapproved drugs?

  2. I’m so glad that people like this exist and somehow manage to get published.

    Forget Al Gore. I want THIS guy to be the face of the Climate Change movement. I hope he mentions WMDs early and often as he’s trying to build up public trust.

    1. Indeed. I read and reread the quote — I am still not sure he isn’t a troll.

      1. I’m not sure either, especially when you take into account his target audience.

      2. I read and reread the quote — I am still not sure he isn’t a troll.

        I’m with him! Bomb the shit out of Europe, take control of the South Pacific, vaporize a couple of Japanese cities and tell Russia and China that we’re ‘mad as hell and we’re not gonna take this anymore’.

  3. We are being asked to trust that despite any de facto ideological biases, professionalism will prevail.

    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

    Every year, the empirical evidence that the Earth’s climate is not very sensitive to CO2 concentrations builds up! Yet all those institutions keep tripping over themselves with ever more slobberringly implausible claims that “it’s worse than we thought!”

    BECAUSE IT’S A RELIGION!!!!!!!!! Global Warming is their version of “the coming of the great white handkerchief”!

    1. No No. They understand the intricacies even as their models fail spectacularly and not a single doomsday prediction has survived a real world rest.

      Science, bitches!

      Oh, and still no write-up on the RICO20. Too bad because this would have been an ideal segue.

        1. SF’ed the link, Ron.

    2. +1 hottest year EVAR!

  4. and the possibility (always present in science) that some of today’s beliefs might be overturned by new evidence and models

    Except that climate science is not science. No new evidence or models will change their beliefs. New evidence that contradicts the desired result will be ignored, discounted, hidden, and otherwise not used. Any model that doesn’t predict a predetermined result is wrong. There is very little science going on here. It’s all politics. Consensus, hiding information, arriving at predetermined conclusions, personally attacking those who don’t agree… those are all tools of politics.

    No science to see here. Move along.

    1. Yeah, climate science stagnated a few decades ago. Who knows where the field would be today if it had never been politicized…

  5. An unwinnable war that will go on forever. We’ve always been at war with Climate Change!

    I for one find the whole analogy double-plus good!

    1. “An unwinnable war that will go on forever”

      Like LBJ’s so-called “war on poverty”.

      And with the same underlying purpose – a massive expansion of state power.

  6. OT, but tangentially related: In my daughter’s first grade class they are not allowed to called the card game “War” by its proper name. Rather, they have to call it “Competition”. I promised my daughter a ShopKin if, the next time they play it, she calls it “Kinetic Military Action”.

    1. Can we start calling the events in Syria “competition”?

    2. “In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the fictional language Newspeak attempts to eliminate personal thought by restricting the expressiveness of the English language.”

      1. Uh, yeah. Yeah.

    3. I had a War card deck with whimsical cartoon pictures of soldiers, tanks, etc.

      I’m sure that’d give the teacher a heart attack.

        1. That’s pretty neat! It would get her expelled, but it is cool.

          1. That’s the deck I played War with growing up?

    4. Still too violent. Use “Humanitarian Intervention.”

  7. “requires a level of trust in academic and energy-sector public institutions (including international ones) comparable to the trust placed in military institutions during times of war. …”

    This from the same types of people who railed against the military industrial complex when they were undergrads.

  8. What does Venkatesh Rao suggest we do about Jupiter’s Climate Change?

    1. Cut our carbon emissions. Duh!

    2. Shut down all of the SUV dealerships.

      1. Shut down all of the SUV dealerships.

        Or open more. I can’t remember which way it is with Jupiter. Either way, it doesn’t have exactly the right amount of SUV dealerships.

  9. The closer Paris CarbonCon ’15 approaches, harder it gets keeping the lefty statism impulses contained. By time of the actual conference, it is going to be full-on Mao pajamas all around.

  10. An interesting perspective no doubt, but Rao does not try to answer the critical question: Will government solutions to global warming be worse than global warming itself?

    Ron, what part of “trust the technocrats” don’t you understand?

    1. The part where they’re telling me to stand in front of that wall and offering me a blindfold, but denying me a cigarette because it’s bad for my health.

        1. Lead poisoning!

  11. “…is not a reason to second guess scientists or trust conspiracy theorists instead.”
    ?or trust conspiracy theorists?

    No Witch hunt here…

  12. proposals for solving the man-made climate change problem

    *barf*

    1. Best handle link ever. I expect big things from the new and improved barman 2015.

      1. Sheesh, are you kidding me? The 2016 model came out in August: it has much bigger chunks and runs on completely renewable fuel.

  13. No, the critical question is this:

    Are recent climate fluctuations resulting from human activity, and if so, is there any reason to believe that they will cause problems that might require a government response?

    Your question begs the real issue, of whether “global warming” is a problem at all.

    1. When you’re in the business of attempting to control everything, everything is a potential “problem”.

  14. We either trust public institutions, based on specialized expertise, and accept the risk that they might be wrong, as in the case of the intelligence establishment and WMDs in Iraq?or we limit collective action to issues where it is possible to achieve informed consensus among laypersons.

    I actually had to read the quote several times to figure out that he’s actually arguing in favor of putting blind faith, unlimited tax revenue, and sweeping powers in the hands of unelected bureaucrats. For a second I was like, “Yeah, limit government action to issues where consensus among laypersons can be achieved. Couldn’t put it better myself.”

    Also, “laypersons”? “Deniers”? Are the climate change proponents consciously using religious imagery or is it a subconscious thing?

    1. I think it’s subconscious, except where the politicians are involved.

    2. It’s important to remember that Venkatesh Rao is a professional blogger. I’m not ready to put the resources of all humanity towards something that a guy who posts shit to a Bulletin Board System with Graphics for a living.

      1. …says we should.

        Kind of slammed the door shut on that thought before it was all out.

    1. You half of his argument:

      TRUST THE GOVERNMENT!!! BTW DO YOU REMEMBER THE IRAQ WAR?!?

    2. Who can I trust if not for Top Men who don’t give me a choice?

  15. I’ll continue using the “magic sky friend” analogy.

    1. Enough about ‘The Never Ending Story’.

    2. I figured that you got friend zoned.

  16. “the costs of doing nothing about climate change could well equal the costs of doing something now about climate change. “

    YOU JUST PROVED WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING!!

    1. From the founder:

      Humans have a remarkable capacity for imagination and fantasy. This precious
      gift allows us to create marvelous technological breakthroughs and brilliant
      works of fiction. Our imagination gives us the capacity to re-make the world, a
      unique ability in the living world. The downside, however, is that our powerful,
      flexible, creative minds can also readily deceive us.

      Projection rules supreme once again

      1. I can’t do the article justice. You really should read it for yourself.

        Martin Luther King famously said, “The arc of history is long, but it bends
        towards justice.” If we do not stop climate change, we will never be able
        to build a just, free, healthy, loving society. The arc of history will be
        abruptly cut off. It will be “game over”? the experiment of humanity organizing
        into civilizations will have failed.

        That, and comparisons of accepting climate truth with lesbians coming out of the closet.

        1. Jeebus on a crutch. Apocalyptic fantasies about the end of the world, with a quasi-Messianic complex thrown in. This is reaching clinical levels of delusion.

      2. Kat Baumgartner exemplifies this. Kat had been concerned about climate change for several years, but felt hopeless and was not engaged in politics or activism. After taking the Pledge to Mobilize, and becoming more engaged in The Climate Mobilization over several months, becoming one of our top organizers. Kat found leadership, courage, and dedication within herself that she was previously unaware of! Kat described her experience in a letter to friends:

        “After retiring from the fire department and being lost for awhile, I am so grateful to have found another purpose in life. I didn’t think it was possible for me to find anything that I could
        feel as passionate about as I did about being a firefighter….

        Our Pledge calls on the Federal Government to respond to the crisis we are facing in a way very similar to the response to World War II. Experts agree that only this type of response will save civilization from collapse and we believe that the Pledge to Mobilize strategy can fundamentally alter what is politically feasible!”

        Transformations like Kat’s are vitally important because only people who allow themselves to be transformed by climate truth can provide the fuel for a heroic, dedicated, and successful social movement.

        Totally not a religion.

        1. Is this Kat’s way of Bearing Witness to Climate Change?

          1. Meet the Planeteers

            Margaret Klein Salamon, Ph.D.

            Founder and Director. Margaret earned her PHD in clinical psychology in June from Adelphi University and also holds a BA in Social Anthropology from Harvard. Though she loved being a therapist, Margaret felt called to apply her psychological and anthropological knowledge to solving climate change. She is the author of the blog The Climate Psychologist.

          2. At least one of them sees a way to make a buck:

            Michael Hoexter is a climate and energy policy analyst and marketing consultant for energy efficiency and renewable energy, serving individuals, organizations, governments and enterprises. In addition to writing for New Economic Perspectives, he blogs about climate change and energy transformations at http://www.greenthoughts.us. He is developing a combined climate/energy and full employment wartime-style mobilization policy framework called “the Pedal-to-the-Metal Plan”. He received a Ph.D. in Psychology from University of Michigan and a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University.

        2. That reads like a Scientology promotional pamphlet.

          1. The piece in The Atlantic Bailey is quoting reads like a Scientology promotional pamphlet. The Climate Change millenarists all sound like they were brainwashed.

  17. Fascists gotta fascate.

  18. Shouldn’t we win the Wars on Poverty, Terror, and Women first?

    1. D: Don’t forget the War on Christmas.

  19. Last week, over at The Atlantic[,] Venkatesh Rao suggested the war analogy; specifically, the U.S. total mobilization of personnel and materiel for World War II.

    Progressives and leftists have always appreciated the command-and-control possibilities that come with placing a society on a war footing, ever since World War I.

    The analogy is actually not that far off, Bailey: Leftists would want nothing better than to impose the rationing and privation upon a whole population that exists in a war economy, never mind the justification or even the purpose itself. I don’t believe Marxians really care about the environment at all, so long it keeps serving their political purpose of scaring people into compliance.

    1. Marx originally sold his ideology to the proletarian masses on the basis that its implementation was necessary to save them from their certain doom under capitalism and that it would improve their standard of living. The 20th Century proved that Marxism led to near-universal poverty wherever it was tried.

      New Marxists had to modify the original ideology when the masses recognized that it leads to a diminished standard of living. So the new Marxists adopted the environmental cause, and argued that near-universal poverty of their ideology is a feature, not a bug, necessary to save the masses from the certain doom of catastrophic climate change inherent to capitalism.

      Never mind the fact that the USSR, China, and other Marxist regimes left behind the most polluted places on the planet.

  20. We either trust public institutions, based on specialized expertise, and accept the risk that they might be wrong, as in the case of the intelligence establishment and WMDs in Iraq?or we limit collective action to issues where it is possible to achieve informed consensus among laypersons.

    He’s so close to putting his finger on it, then he punts. Here’s a hint: the establishment didn’t go to war in Iraq because they were working off of bad intelligence; they worked off bad intelligence because they wanted to go to war in Iraq.

    1. It’s particularly interesting that he blithely references the mobilization of “public” resources to fight climate change as though it were a war, as “war is the health of the state” has been a liberal mantra for a century now. Admittedly, we meant that as a warning rather than a win-win.

      It’s almost like these people graduated university and possibly graduate school with zero exposure to classical liberal arguments and then spend the rest of their careers making absurd statement after absurd statement. Can’t fathom how something like that might’ve happened.

  21. I have an even better idea. Why not declare a state of emergency? That way Obama can simply issue executive orders for everything and we don’t have to worry about those pesky Republicans in Congress,

    1. Oh, come one! That could never happen here! Why, what are y….

      …. Oh, wait….

  22. We are not being asked to understand, en masse, the intricacies of climate science and technology deployment any more than the population of a nation at war is asked to understand the intricacies of intelligence gathering or military campaign planning.

    This is a very curious and interesting proposition from the author, Bailey, considering that the action of asking for the gathered intelligence (whether intricate or not) and for military plans would undoubtedly be justification enough to place you in a jail cell to rot, one has to ponder exactly what would be the fate of those of us who would dare question the intricacies of climate science and where the spending for the “technology deployment” would come from (besides the obvious question of just how intricate can the placement of giant pin wheels and silicon sunflowers could be compared to multistage steam turbines.)

  23. Climate change is not a game for amateurs. The evolving nature of the science, and the possibility (always present in science) that some of today’s beliefs might be overturned by new evidence and models, is not a reason to second guess scientists or trust conspiracy theorists instead.

    “Just because they could be wrong does not mean you get to say they were wrong, you peasants! Only true Experten can and should make that call! So shut up and obey thy masters!”

  24. We can fix climate change with this one weird trick.

  25. Rao does not try to answer the critical question: Will government solutions to global warming be worse than global warming itself?

    Or the critical question: How much climate change do we get for what cost? If you run the numbers of the even the most starry-eyed climate change types, it always seems to turn out that we are supposed to spend hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars, and end up lowering the average temperature of the Earth by some fraction of a degree. I’m not opposed to doing things that are worth it, but that would not be.

  26. climate change war … requires a level of trust in academic and energy-sector public institutions … comparable to the trust placed in military institutions during times of war. …

    Sounds about right, but why on earth would anybody trust a military institution in times of war? Especially a phony war.

  27. As someone who believes that that global warming is a real problem, I gotta say…

    It isn’t a lack of faith in institutions that makes average people question climate science and technology. It’s a lack of faith in environmentalists’ appreciation for the following three things:

    1) How the economy works.

    Listening to progressive environmentalists talk about how the economy works is like listening to fundamentalist Christians talk about evolution–and average people know it. That’s why so many of them reject “the science”. They know that if they accept “the science”, it will mean giving a mandate to progressive politicians to rearrange the economy–and they don’t know the first thing about how economies work.

    2) Qualitative considerations.

    How could academics and institutions have greater expertise on the qualitative preferences of each individual–more so than the individuals themselves?

    Why should I care more about polar bears than coal miners or oil drillers?

    Even if I do care more about polar bears than anything else, how could an academic or institution know how much, in terms of quality of life, I or anyone else is willing to sacrifice in order to save the first polar bear?

    1. 1. There is never an excuse to reject science. All you’re saying is you can’t think of a decent solution based on the science that doesn’t involve progressive meddling with economies. Well, why not?

      2. Who’s to say being shot dead by a cop actually harms a person? It’s all just so subjective and individual! Come on now. The radical action is to unthinkingly and vastly remake the chemistry of the earth’s atmosphere and oceans. That is the initial violation of precaution. It doesn’t become benign just because we did it ignorantly and over 100 years.

      1. “There is never an excuse to reject science.”

        Whatever you say, Dr. Mengele.

        “Who’s to say being shot dead by a cop actually harms a person?”

        You certainly don’t have the right to harm people that way against their will.

        Are you saying the government does?

        1. Apparently BP and Exxon do.

          1. BP and Exxon sell their products to willing customers. The people who BP and Exxon harm can and do sue them in court.

            If you can’t tell the difference between that and a government inflicting oppression on an unwilling populace, then I don’t know what to say. In fact, you seem to think it’s a virtue specifically because the sacrifices are made unwillingly…

            You’ve always been an authoritarian, and you haven’t changed a bit.

          2. The difference is that BP and Exxon have to pay out to the people they harm.

            At least, that’s how it works when the government doesn’t shake them down first, all while saying how they’ll make sure the people get it.

      2. Actually if you follow Ronald Bailey’s posts there are actually alternatives to progressives proposed solutions (centralized control of the economy). The problem is that so many people on the left seem to care more about gaining control of the economy and seems to be using climate change as pretext for seizing it.
        For example, why not just allow lots more nuclear plants to be built? If climate change is such an imminent catastrophe that we have to mobilize the entire economy as if a war was going on, then why the fuck can’t we handle a little nuclear waste?

        Instead, progressives seem intently focused on forcing everyone to radically alter their lifestyles. They are way more interested in the social engineering opportunities than they are in actually realistically dealing with climate change.

  28. 3) This is a synthesis of points 1 and 2: how much will we need to sacrifice in terms of our quality of life in order to turn global warming around?

    Has anyone even bothered to calculate that?

    The worst possible outcome is that we make giant sacrifices in our standard of living–and it doesn’t make any difference. Again, how much will we need to sacrifice in terms of our standard of living (GDP per capita) before we save the very first polar bear?

    Will saving that that first polar bear cost us a $100 billion? $1 trillion? What will saving that first polar bear cost us in terms of unemployment and other social costs?

    And why would we trust institutions to make qualitative decisions for us about the the sacrifices we’re willing to make in our standard of living–when there is no rational reason to believe that one person can make qualitative choices for someone else with any accuracy or consistency?

    1. 3. You’re pretty much assuming no real sacrifice of standard of living associated with climate change. Losing your city is a cost, wouldn’t you say? There are countless ways the American standard of living will be negatively affected, before we even get to the fact that the first to suffer will be poor countries who didn’t even cause the problem. But lots of them provide very cheap labor to buttress the American standard of living, so maybe they’re used to it and it’s OK?

      1. “You’re pretty much assuming no real sacrifice of standard of living associated with climate change.”

        No, I’m not.

        I’m asking how big the sacrifice must be to fix the problem. It’s a rational question.

        Certainly, no one can claim that we should make sacrifices–no matter how large–and then turn around and claim to be rational.

        1. Doing nothing is to make the biggest sacrifices.

          1. You don’t know that. It’s something you just made up.

            Show me a scientific study showing how much it will cost in GDP per capita to fix global warming, and, conversely, how much it will cost in terms of GDP per capita to do nothing.

            I’m betting you don’t have those numbers. You don’t know that doing nothing means making the bigger sacrifice. I think you just made that up.

            1. Forget it Ken, the science is settled and you’re a libertarian so inherently evil and wrong on all subjects.

              1. He made a factual claim with no factual basis whatsoever.

                He has no idea if doing nothing will cost more than whatever it takes to fix global warming. He has no idea what it will cost to fix global warming.

                And yet he claim it will cost less than doing nothing?

                It’s ridiculous to make a firm factual claim that can’t be substantiated like that.

                He’s claiming that one unknown variable is less and that another unknown variable is more.

                On what basis?!

                Well, if we don’t believe him, then maybe we’re all a bunch of stupid global warming deniers–except that I don’t have a problem with global warming per se. I just don’t want the government trying to fix it with stupid authoritarianism and blatant disregard for simple economics. And that seems to be Tony’s two favorite go to solutions for everything. He’s a moron.

      2. What if there was an energy source that would allow us to radically reduce carbon emissions WITHOUT radically reducing our standard of living?

        Such as … say … nuclear power.

  29. “We are being asked to trust the integrity and declared intentions of institutions that do understand the intricacies. We are being asked to trust that despite any de facto ideological biases, professionalism will prevail.”

    So, TOP. MEN. basically? Because if so, I’ll pass, thanks.

  30. The eternal progressive dream of rationalizing the need for war socialism without the messy necessity of there being an honest to God total shooting war to fight.

    I do not trust the government agencies ability to understand the problem. I do not trust their integrity. And past experience makes me deny the existence of their professsionalism.

  31. The fact is the private sector has failed to deal with this problem, as anyone who’s not a free-market dogmatist easily could have predicted. It will take large-scale mobilization of resources comparable only to WWII (boy did the US government fuck that one up). If you don’t like it, blame the market that failed to sufficiently appreciate long-term costs, or that quite happily redistributed those costs in an unjust way. Sure government can fail to solve a big problem, but it can also succeed. We should not pin the future of the human species to desperate and pollyanish Bjorn Lomborg hogwash. That’s even more radical and reckless an idea.

    1. Tony|10.19.15 @ 5:20PM|#
      “The fact is the private sector has failed to deal with this problem, as anyone who’s not a free-market dogmatist easily could have predicted.”

      It is a fantasy of the left to presume an assertion will be accepted as an argument.
      No, it won’t Tony.

    2. It is easy not to fuck things up when your goal is merely killing people and laying much of the civilized and uncivilized world to ruin. That is why war is government’s main area of competence.

      1. Redistributing resources to clean energy is child’s play compared to the wholesale invention of new technologies and revolutions in science (and yes, warmaking) that came out of WWII.

        1. What clean energy would you direct it to? And have you considered how to implement these?

        2. Tony|10.19.15 @ 7:11PM|#
          “Redistributing resources to clean energy is child’s play compared to the wholesale invention of new technologies and revolutions in science (and yes, warmaking) that came out of WWII.”

          It is a fantasy of the left to presume an assertion will be accepted as an argument.
          No, it won’t Tony.

    3. The fact is the private sector has failed to deal with this problem

      Even if it were some problem that needed attention right now, CO2 emissions have decreased significantly in most advanced economies without government mandates to do so.

      1. Thanks to economic recession plus government mandates you’re denying.

        1. So problem solved already

    4. OR, we could just let people build a bunch of new nuclear plants….

      But wait, that wouldn’t force us all to radically alter our lifestyles by giving up air conditioning and automobiles! Which is what is REALLY important! It’s time for humanity to stop being so materialistic and commodified. We should all live in sustainable agrarian communes and ride bicycles. Any solution that doesn’t involved forced conversion of the economy to an agrarian communist utopia has to be rejected!

  32. Tony, at what levels do we need to reduce and be at to abate this looming disaster? How did you make the determination that your proposal will do such a thing?

  33. Tony when is the point of no return? Lay out the drop dead point and what your plan is?

  34. Tony do you use fossil fuels at all?

  35. So, am I too assume, Ronald, that you believe man is changing climate by CO2 emissions? It sounds like that is your assumption since you are arguing about the costs of adaptation, mitigation, and doing nothing. Seems you accept that which science is telling us.

    If so, you should understand that there isn’t anything magical about the year 2100. The emissions and subsequent warming doesn’t stop in that year, particularly if we follow your suggestion to do nothing. More CO2 is added, the earth continues to warm, and costs go up. Further, that IPCC report you reference assumes 2 degrees of warming. We are headed past that, maybe well past that.

    It’s amazing your suggestion is to just roll the dice, let it all unfold, and watch the show.

    1. Jackand Ace|10.19.15 @ 9:49PM|#
      [flap-jaw assumptions and dooms-day predictions]
      “It’s amazing your suggestion is to just roll the dice, let it all unfold, and watch the show.”

      Compared to letting ignoramuses like you and Tony run things? Hell a random reading of sheep guts would be preferable let alone the amazing power of the market.
      Fuck off, slaver.

    2. “It’s amazing your suggestion is to just roll the dice, let it all unfold, and watch the show.”

      There’s this thing called a false dichotomy.

      It means the choices aren’t really limited to just either buying the Malthusian narrative or doing nothing.

      In this case, someone is arguing for what amounts to autocratic government. There are actually more options than just autocratic government, on the one hand, and environmental devastation on the other.

      “We are not being asked to understand, en masse, the intricacies of climate science and technology deployment any more than the population of a nation at war is asked to understand the intricacies of intelligence gathering or military campaign planning. We are being asked to trust the integrity and declared intentions of institutions that do understand the intricacies.”

      So he wants us to forgo the right to elect our representatives holding the purse strings for the supposed benefits of a war on global warming fought by a government that isn’t responsive to the American people?

      There are more choices than just academic autocracy and environmental devastation.

      1. P.S. What does he mean the American people aren’t asked to understand the intricacies of intelligence gathering?

        Is the President using the NSA to violate the Fourth Amendment rights of millions of Americans?

        Is the President violating the Constitution and our treaties by torturing prisoners for intelligence?

        Fuck you, I’m not asked to understand the intricacies of intelligence gathering!

      2. Ken, I’m pretty sure Jack, at one point, claimed to have run a business which was VERY successful, such that he sold it, and was by the next week involved in another business (and Jack, if you’re going to deny that, believe me, I’ve got good files).
        Now this claim from someone who presumes allowing the market to function with the combined knowledge and data of millions is equivalent to ‘just roll the dice’.
        Either:
        1) He was a lying POS regarding his business acumen.
        or
        2) His business was successful because of luck or a staff ‘way smarter than Jack.

        1. Yeah, Bloom, Tesla, and all the solar, geothermal heat pump, and wind companies out there–they’re all doing nothing all day.

          How many people know that greenhouse gas emissions have been dropping steadily in this country since 2008–mostly due to expanded use of natural gas?

          Nobody’s doing anything. We’re just sitting back and watching stuff happen. That’s what running a company is all about–if you’re a government bureaucrat.

          1. “How many people know that greenhouse gas emissions have been dropping steadily in this country since 2008–mostly due to expanded use of natural gas?”

            Dunno if Jack knows that, but Jack is certainly opposed to fracking, ’cause it’s bad. Right Jack? It’s B-A-D, bad, ’cause it’s bad. Oh, and some almost immeasurable earthquakes have been located near fracking sites.
            So it’s BAD!

            1. Just for the record, natural gas releases about 40% less CO2 than the coal it’s displacing.

              According to the Energy Department, our greenhouse gas emissions are projected to continue to drop for the foreseeable future because of natural gas, which will always be cheaper than coal because bringing it out of the ground doesn’t require as much labor as coal, no miners, etc.

              I wonder if people like Tony or Jack and Ace have considered what will happen to the elderly on fixed incomes and other poor people in the northeast come winter without a plentiful supply of natural gas. That’s a lot of suffering we’re talking about inflicting on people just to avoid using an energy source that can help us drive our CO2 emissions down by as much as 40%.

          2. BUT FRACKING IS EVIL!

            GLOBAL WARMING CAN’T BE SOLVED BY ANYTHING OTHER THAN WINDMILLS AND SOLAR PANELS! ALL OTHER SOURCES OF ENERGY ARE EVIL INCARNATE!

  36. The solution was invented 50 years ago by the governemnt no less, the molten salt thorium reactor.

    1. BUT NUCLEAR ENERGY! WE’LL ALL HAVE THREE HEADED BABIES!

      ANY SOLUTION THAT DOESN’T INVOLVE GIVING UP AIR CONDITIONING IS MORALLY SUSPECT!

  37. Solve global warming?

    Fix global warming? Reverse global warming?

    Why?

    We’re still in an ice age–how about getting the planet back to normal before trying to wrap it in ice again.

    How about we go for that?

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