Climate Change

It's 'Time to Panic' Over Climate Change, Asserts New York Times Op-Ed

That's wrong. Promoting fear hinders more than helps environmental progress.

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PanicVolodymyrMelnykDreamstime
VolodyrmyrMelnyk/Dreamstime

Unabated man-made climate change would likely pose problems, many significant, for humanity during the course of this century. But is it "time to panic" about it, as David Wallace-Wells writes in a recent New York Times op-ed?

"The age of climate panic is here," declares the author of the forthcoming The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. Although he thinks it's not nearly enough, Wallace-Wells suggests that the newly proposed Green New Deal is "what the beginning of a solution looks like."

To support his call for panic, Wallace-Wells cites the so-called Doomsday report, which the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued last fall. That special report aimed to analyze the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. It projected that if no policies aimed specifically at reducing carbon dioxide emissions are adopted, average global temperature will rise by 3.66°C by 2100, resulting in a global GDP loss of 2.6 percent from what it would otherwise have been. (In the 2°C and 1.5°C scenarios, global GDP would be reduced by 0.5 percent or 0.3 percent, respectively.)

The global GDP currently stands at about $80 trillion. Growing at 3 percent annually, it would rise to $903 trillion by 2100. A 2.6 percent reduction means that it would only be $880 trillion by 2100. A 0.3 percent decrease implies a global GDP of $900 trillion. The IPCC report recommends that the world spend more than $45 trillion between now and 2035 in order to endow $2.7 trillion more in annual income on people living three generations hence.

Assuming the worst-case loss of 2.6 percent, that would mean that a world with a population of 10 billion would have to scrape by on an average income of just $88,000 per year. (The average global GDP per capita now is $10,500.)

Meanwhile, the worst-case scenario laid out in the appropriate chapter of the federal government's Fourth National Climate Assessment indicates that Americans living in 2090 would be about $500 billion poorer than they would have been without climate change. Citing the even more dire projections of outside researchers, the assessment suggested that at 10°F of warming, the U.S. economy would be about 10 percent smaller than it would otherwise have been. For context, consider that today's $20 trillion GDP, growing at a 3 percent rate, would rise to $226 trillion by 2100. Pondering both worst-case climate scenarios, GDP would instead rise to either $225.5 billion or $203 trillion. Americans living at the end of this century would be about 10 times richer on average than we are now, albeit in a much warmer world.

These numbers, derived from integrated assessment models that combine econometric and climate projections for the next eight decades, need to be eyed with enormous skepticism. Nevertheless, neither suggests that climate change will make the earth uninhabitable by the end of this century.

An intriguing sidebar to Wallace-Wells' op-ed helpfully provides three examples that aim to illustrate what happes when environmentalist rhetoric succeded in ratcheting up fear. These cases of panic promotion "marked turning points on major environmental issues and inspired change." The moments? Silent Spring, Love Canal, and Three Mile Island. The "inspired change" stemming from these cases has not, shall we say, been wholly beneficial.

"Fear can mobilize, even change the world. When Rachel Carson published her landmark anti-pesticide polemic Silent Spring, Life magazine said she had 'overstated her case,' and The Saturday Evening Post dismissed the book as 'alarmist,'" Wallace-Wells writes. "But it almost single-handedly led to a nationwide ban on DDT." He's quite right about the DDT ban, but as history has now shown that Life's assessment was largely correct.

In Silent Spring, Carson described the choice humanity faced as a fork in the road to the future. "The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress at great speed, but at its end lies disaster," she declared. "The other fork of the road—the one 'less traveled by'—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth." As Wallace-Wells' op-ed amply shows, this kind of apocalyptic rhetoric is now standard fare in environmental policy debates.

Carson was correct that the popular pesticide DDT disrupted reproduction in some raptor species and that some insect pests were developing resistance to it, making it less useful for protecting crops and preventing insect-borne infections in people. But Carson's most worrying claim was that exposure to trace amounts of synthetic chemicals like DDT would set off a cancer epidemic. For a time, cancer incidence rates did indeed rise, but largely as a result of an increase of Americans living past age 65 and the residual effects of extensive tobacco use and hormone replacement therapy.

The most recent American Cancer Society report on cancer trends finds that U.S. cancer incidence and death rates have fallen to a 25-year low. Nevertheless, hypercautious Environmental Protection Agency regulations aiming to protect consumers from supposed cancer risks posed by slight exposures to synthetic chemicals continue to multipy. Whether the benefits outweigh the costs of EPA regulation is an ongoing controversy.

What about Love Canal? In 1978, residents of that neighborhood outside Buffalo, New York, found that their homes had been built on top of an area where a chemical company had sequestered and sealed tons of toxic wastes in an abandoned canal. The company, under threat of eminent domain, had sold the land for $1 to the local school board warning that it should never be developed. The chemicals began leaking out only after local and state agencies willfully breached the dump site's clay seal as part of a development scheme. Obviously, none of us wants toxic chemicals leaking into our basements, so it was entirely reasonable for the residents to react with alarm when that happened to them.

A local Environmental Protection Agency administrator declared this "one of the most appalling environmental tragedies in American history." Happily, it turned out not to be such an "appalling environmental tragedy" after all, at least with respect to the former residents' health. The New York State Health Department tracked about 6,000 former residents. In its last report issued in 2009, the agency found that their "overall mortality rates were similar to those of New York State and Niagara County." More specifically, the final report noted, "For cancer incidence, the results of the external comparisons indicated that the total number of cancers observed among Love Canal residents was within the range expected for New York State and Niagara County." The report also found that "rates of preterm and small-for-gestational age (SGA) births among [emergency area] women were similar to those in New York State and Niagara County, and the rates of low (LBW) and very low (VLBW) birth weight tended to be lower." The department did report a slight change in the sex ratio of births, favoring girls over boys.

"The nightmare led to the creation of the federal Superfund program to clean up Love Canal and other toxic waste dumps around the country," the Times sidebar notes. Like many policies driven by panic, this has proven less than optimal. The Superfund program has pleased neither environmentalists nor industry. The litigation that it sparks both boosts costs and slows cleanups. One 1999 study estimated that Superfund remediation would on average avert less than 0.1 case of cancer per site, and that the cost per cancer case averted is more than $100 million.

The third moment of panic that supposedly led to progress was the partial meltdown in 1979 of a nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. "Thousands fled the area around the plant," notes the Times sidebar, "and though very little radiation escaped, the accident hurt the industry and raised public apprehension about nuclear power." Indeed it did.

The accident did release a very small amount of radionuclides into the environment. These consisted of radioactive isotopes of the noble gases krypton and xenon and a bit of iodine, all of which have half-lives measured in days. Whatever amount did escape decayed into background undetectability within a few weeks.

The Pennsylvania Health Department monitored the health of a cohort of nearly 60,000 local residents between 1982 and 1995. Its final report, released in 2011, found "no evidence of an increased risk for all malignant neoplasms." A more recent study using very subtle molecular techniques reports that a slight increase in thyroid cancer rates among former residents might be attributed to the radiation exposures.

Although the U.S. nuclear power industry was already pulling back, due largely to increasing regulatory pressure, the Three Mile Island accident basically ended the construction of new nuclear power plants in the U.S. for the next three decades. In the 1960s, the Atomic Energy Commission had anticipated that more than 1,000 nuclear reactors would generating electricity in the United States by the year 2000. By now that number would have replaced all coal and natural gas power generation, and U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would be 34 percent lower than they are currently

The Australian economist Peter Lang calculates that nuclear power would have outcompeted most fossil fuel generation at one-tenth of nuclear's current cost. Folks concerned about global warming—and I include myself among them—may reasonably conclude that the panic over nuclear power did not result in overall environmental progress.

Wallace-Wells ends by asking, "What creates more sense of urgency than fear?" Nothing. But as those three examples of past panic suggest, fear doesn't produce clear thinking either. It thus may actually hinder rather than help environmental progress.

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233 responses to “It's 'Time to Panic' Over Climate Change, Asserts New York Times Op-Ed

  1. Do something. I don’t care what it is or even if it will work, but if we’re not doing something, we’re all guilty.

    Mother Nature will recognize our good intentions and spare us, as long as we do something.

    1. But it has to be an expensive do something, or it won’t count.

      1. Naturally, and in real emergencies we are willing to spend the money it takes to get the problem solved. Law enforcement operations such as the one that stopped the criminal “parody” we were confronted with several years ago at NYU are a case in point. The “criticism” to which we were subjected really was something to panic over, and we took the necessary steps, regardless of any cost (over a million dollars in some estimates) in taxpayer dollars. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

        https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

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    2. “Mother Nature will recognize our good intentions and spare us, as long as we do something.”

      Is human sacrifice good enough? It seems to have a precedent.

      1. Indigenous people precedent! Let’s throw a few hundred progressives in a volcano and note the results.

        1. Indigenous people precedent! Let’s throw a few hundred progressives in a volcano and note the results.

          No need to go overboard, CDR.

        2. “Let’s throw a few hundred progressives in a volcano”
          Because they have to be virgins, right?

    3. Oh Jeez. Let’s go about conventional funding for alternative energy. I’m all in support of that. There is no correlation between global mean temperature and CO2, unless you isolate the 80s through 1998. Hey, why not emit more actual pollution (soot)? That will create cooling. I don’t see temperature spikes in Beijing.

      In any event, I wouldn’t rely on Mother Nature to spare us. Maybe, actual scientists can help, but they aren’t talking to the hyperbolist media on the subject.

  2. 3% growth? We were told not long ago that 2% was the new normal.

    1. Dlam: At 2% people in 2100 would only be 4-times richer on average than folks are today.

          1. Assuming growth is beyond inflation,
            1.02 ^ 100 = 7.24
            1.03 ^ 100 = 19.21

          2. 1.02 ^ 81 = 4.97
            1.03 ^ 81 = 10.96

            So not too far off

    2. I guess we can get to 10% growth if we cool everything off about 8 degrees

      1. You can never have too much ice at a party, so…

    3. however, I think it is a lot

  3. Panic is pretty much the Left’s default mode. I imagine they’re hoping they can get the rest of us to imitate them.

    1. “I imagine they’re hoping they can get the rest of us to imitate them.”

      If they got the right to imitate them, we’d probably build a wall somewhere because of a trumped up emergency. No pun intended.

      1. Fair to say. I was thinking at that moment of the Left’s pet issues such as climate, but the Right certainly has its own collection of Panic Buttons.

        1. @ Sandwich – Yeah, thanks for getting my point. Sincerely. The way internet message boards go I was expecting to be yelled at.

          Immigration is not even a problem. Illegal immigration is a problem, but it’s not an emergency.

          Climate Change is a problem. It’s not a crisis.

          Smart people figure out solutions to problems. Idiot zealots draw lines in the sand and yell at each other about problems from their side of the line.

          1. Being an old git, I see the illegal immigration issue as more of a chronic condition than an emergency. The American people have been very divided on this issue as long as I can remember, and politicians have exploited this fact for as long as I can remember. I don’t expect either the people or the politicians to change.

            1. “Being an old git, I see the illegal immigration issue as more of a chronic condition than an emergency.”

              Yep. I’ve lived in Texas since 1974, and illegal immigrants have been here since long before that. It’s an issue that flairs up every once in a while, then goes away again. Meanwhile, people out in the real world just keep on keepin’ on.

              1. Remember that if your ancestors were where you are now, they were immigrants to Mexico.

      2. The wall is a nonsense solution to an imaginary problem. Immigrants aren’t a threat, they’re vital if the US wants to maintain its economic edge.

        It’s just more of the post 9/11 security theater implemented to placate the xenophobes. They need protection against all the scary brown people who want to hurt them.

        So yah, the Right employs fear too. It’s easier to scare people than reason with them.

        1. After you read the U.S. Constitution and evaluate how far off our government is today — then come back and tell everyone, “Its fine”.

        2. Nothing maintains your economic edge like big government voters!
          Just look at how well it worked out for Venezuela!

    2. They need the world to be a dangerous declining place so they can save us.

      The world is getting richer, safer and more tolerant. In every measurable way our lives our better than our ancestors and our decedents lives will be even better. Which contradicts their narrative. So, they manufacture crises, tell us that the bad news is the norm, put a negative spin on good news (Like Trump supporting LGBT rights) and tell us the world will end unless we let them save us.

      “Just give us your guns, cars, rights and control over every aspect of you lives and we’ll save you from yourselves.”

  4. How can these guys be talking about GDP in the same breadth they’re saying the GND is just a starting point. To a socialist the GDP is just proof there’s more to be taxed away to fund their pet projects. Hell, to most Green socialists, the GDP is directly correlated to climate change: only a negative GDP is acceptable until we get back to a 1750 level of industry.

    1. ” the GDP is directly correlated to climate change: only a negative GDP is acceptable until we get back to a 1750 level of industry.”

      In 1750, they burned whale oil to light their homes. They no longer do. Because substitute fuels have been found. Don’t make the assumption that fossil fuels can’t be replaced by a substitute fuel source. Like the sun, for example.

      1. “Don’t make the assumption that fossil fuels can’t be replaced by a substitute fuel source. Like the sun, for example.”

        It’s possible that it’ll happen someday. Hell, it’s likely.

        The panic comes in forcing the use of the substitute before it’s technically and economically ready.

        1. “The panic comes in forcing the use of the substitute before it’s technically and economically ready.”

          Given the convenience and density of fossil fuels, the lack of any immediate and noticeable consequences of burning them, and the lack of free market alternatives. I’m afraid that being forced to use the substitute is pretty much a sure thing. Thing is though, not to panic. Adapt or die: the cruelest law mother nature enforces.

          1. “and the lack of free market alternatives. I’m afraid that being forced to use the substitute is pretty much a sure thing”

            And that’s ultimately the issue. They aren’t nearly as economic, so people will be harmed by the change. And it won’t be me that’s harmed, it’ll be people that don’t have the spare income to cover the incremental cost. You know, poor and lower middle class people.

            But more fundamentally, there isn’t a renewable alternative that will be technically ready to reliably cover our energy usage for the near/intermediate future.

            1. “But more fundamentally, there isn’t a renewable alternative that will be technically ready to reliably cover our energy usage for the near/intermediate future.”

              If you can imagine being forced to use solar derived energy, you shouldn’t have trouble being forced to use less energy, or being forced to use whatever energy you do use more efficiently.

              Any kind of disruption like the switch between fossil fuels and a solar derived substitute is bound to cause suffering. You can adapt to the new circumstances, perhaps even thrive, or die. The choice is yours. Some of those unemployed whalers drank themselves to bitter death. Others went on to pen literature that lives on to this day.

              1. “Any kind of disruption like the switch between fossil fuels and a solar derived substitute is bound to cause suffering. You can adapt to the new circumstances, perhaps even thrive, or die.”

                Oooh. “You’re going to walk and you’re going to like it, buddy”.

                And Let the Poor Freeze to Death is probably not gonna be a winner of a campaign slogan.

                1. “And Let the Poor Freeze to Death is probably not gonna be a winner of a campaign slogan”

                  The poor will vote with their feet. Migration has always been the first and foremost choice among those wishing to escape poverty.


            2. But more fundamentally, there isn’t a renewable alternative that will be technically ready to reliably cover our energy usage for the near/intermediate future.

              And, if the truth be told, there is no such thing as renewable energy at all. That word is used because morons seem to believe a perpetual motion machine is possible.

              1. BYODB is the one who when pressed on the nature of ‘the natural cycles’ responsible for increased temperatures and atmospheric CO2 came up with the sun spot cycle. He’s probably also Chinese Hoax believer as well. In for a penny in for a pound.

                “there is no such thing as renewable energy at all.”

                Look at the Hoover dam. If that water wasn’t renewed on a regular basis, it would no longer be able to produce the electricity that warms us when we’re cold and cools us when we’re hot. We can thank the water cycle for that. The clouds in the sky, the rivers, they’re all part of mother gaia’s divine plan.

                1. Look at the Hoover dam. If that water wasn’t renewed on a regular basis, it would no longer be able to produce the electricity that warms us when we’re cold and cools us when we’re hot.

                  Please. Hoover dam would never be built today if it was proposed. The EIS would be bigger than the dam itself and leftists would be filing lawsuit after lawsuit to keep construction from taking place.

                  The only reason we have “renewable energy” from Hoover’s generators, amongst all the other hydroelectric power programs that are still operational today, is because that generation didn’t give two shits about “environmental justice.”

                  1. Tell that to BYODB. He’s the one who doesn’t believe in the water cycle. And if you’re in the mood, you can add a word or two about the cycle of sun spots and the Chinese Hoax.

                    “. Hoover dam would never be built today if it was proposed. ”

                    Communists build the dam back in the day. Communists would do the same today. They can’t help themselves. The thirst for economic growth is shared by almost the entire country, whether we consider ourselves left or right, such is the extent of our intellectual bankruptcy.

                    1. Lake Mead water level continues to drop and the Colorado River no longer reaches the gulf of California because of Hoover Dam. Additionally, invasive mussels are in danger of rendering Hoover dam no longer cost effective to operate as an electricity producer. So tell me again how it is renewable (not counting the other major damage to the environment that dams cause).

                    2. “So tell me again how it is renewable”

                      Gravity pulls the river water down to the sea where it evaporates and forms clouds in the sky. After a little while it comes down in the form of precipitation, some of it landing in the river’s catchment area. As the good book says, you can’t put your foot in the same river twice. All is flow, all is renewal.

                    3. No it isn’t dumbfuck, yes water does return to the Earth but not necessarily in the same spot. Ask I pointed out the Colorado River output is decreasing and Lake Mead is going sry. Therefore it is not renewable in that area.

                    4. Communists build the dam back in the day.

                      Once again you demonstrate how little history you actually read.

          2. I have nothing to base it on, but I tend to think the burning of coal will become more and more “green” with new methods of extracting CO2 from it. How soon those methods would be economical is another matter.

            1. “How soon those methods would be economical is another matter.”

              I don’t think anyone is going to make money extracting CO2 from burning coal. The process will cost you and the producers.

              1. Unless the CO2 can be turned into a marketable product. I think natural gas would be a better option than coal for this but there have been some huge advancements over the past decades in reducing the cost of producing methane and or gasoline from CO2 and water. Currently the energy cost is high but newer catalyst are proving to drastically reduce this. Some companies are even advancing to proof of concept models. Carbon has a huge use industrially besides as a fuel source. The ability to extract carbon from CO2 is fairly easy it is becoming much less energy intensive (thus less costly) to do this.

        2. “The panic comes in forcing the use of the substitute before it’s technically and economically ready.”

          The rent seeking profit comes in forcing the use of the substitute before it’s technically and economically ready.

  5. I’ve been panicking on this for 20 years. I can’t panic any harder.

    1. You gotta pace yourself, build up a tolerance. Start by panicking over rock and roll music and violent video games, work your way up to sex trafficking, the opioid epidemic and the proliferation of Elvis impersonators before you tackle a full-body global warming panic.

      1. Elvis is real!

    2. You must be exhausted.

  6. >>>Unabated man-made climate change would likely pose problems, many significant, for humanity during the course of this century

    sure would if it was a thing. you should write comics or some other fiction. panic on the streets of London!

    1. Ron, to his detriment, is a believer. Sad, really, since he is considered sciency here at Reazun.

      1. >>>is a believer.

        Ron chose the wrong hill for his flag. imho

        1. Not really. The climate has always changed. Look back thousands of years and then millions?it was changing.

          Earth creatures simply adapt or die. That’s how it is. The truth is, apart from CO2, we as a species are polluting LESS than we did just decades ago. That’s a good thing that no one apart from Bailey acknowledges.

          This panicked push to tax enormous amounts so governments can reverse climate change is, if it’s taken to be sincere (which I’m not convinced it is except among the common folks who are not in office) is foolhardy and doomed to fail. We can and should use more nuclear energy, IMO, but trying to halt much less reverse climate change is about as feasible as halting continental drift.

          Where is the panic over continental drift, BTW? Tectonic plate shift causes earthquakes, damn it! Earthquakes!

  7. “The accident did release a very small amount of radionuclides into the environment. These consisted of radioactive isotopes of the noble gases krypton and xenon and a bit of iodine, all of which have half-lives measured in days.”

    As I understand, short-lived isotopes are the ones most dangerous to human life. An isotope with a half life of 100,000 years is fairly benign. Small amounts of cesium or iodine isotopes with a half life of a week or so can easily cause cancers.

    1. Since there’s no evidence of harm can we assume your ‘understanding’ of this is as minuscule as your ‘understanding’ of many other subjects?

      1. “can we assume ”

        You may assume what you like. You don’t need my permission.

        1. mtrueman|2.21.19 @ 2:04PM|#
          “You may assume what you like. You don’t need my permission.”

          Thank you. No assumption required: You’re a fucking imbecile.

    2. You understand incorrectly. It is true that short-halflife isotopes decay faster than long-halflife isotopes. And if each decay event produced exactly the same amount of radioactive energy, then 100 atoms of stuff with a halflife of a week would expose you to more energy than the same number of atoms of stuff with a halflife of centuries – but only because you’d be dead of something else before you got the full dose. However, that long halflife stuff will sit around in the environment for a long time, accumulating and eventually exposing lots of people over time. The short halflife stuff will be dangerous for the very few people in the immediate vicinity, then is gone forever.

      1. (continued) Second, the assumption that the amount of energy from each decay event is identical is untrue. Some decay events involve alpha or beta radiation, both of which are comparatively harmless. Alpha radiation, for example, is stopped by a few centimeters of air or by the skin. Beta radiation can be stopped by a piece of tinfoil. Gamma radiation, on the other hand, is deeply penetrating and harder to stop. Different isotope decays release different kinds of radiation – a factor that has a LOT to do with its danger.

        It should also be noted that the breakdown products of radioactive krypton, xenon and iodine are smaller, safer and non-toxic elements while the breakdown products of longer halflife elements are often still dangerous, either because they are also radioactive or because they are heavy metals and highly toxic even in their non-radioactive form.

      2. “The short halflife stuff will be dangerous for the very few people in the immediate vicinity, then is gone forever.”

        This was my point. Ron wrote as though a short half life meant less danger. The opposite is true, as you outlined here.

        1. “This was my point. Ron wrote as though a short half life meant less danger. The opposite is true, as you outlined here.”

          Wherein you again prove yourself to be a fucking imbecile.

          1. I promise you exposure to short-lived isotopes can be more risky than exposure to longer-lived isotopes. That’s why I advise leaving the area of an accident despite the elevated risk of being trampled.

            1. As pointed out it depends on the type of radiation. Some such as alpha and beta are fairly benign. Gamma is pretty dangerous. Not only are you an idiot you’re a Luddite as well.

              1. “Not only are you an idiot you’re a Luddite as well.”

                I admire Luddites. Not only were they among the most technically adept of their times, fashioning and maintaining the tools of their respective trades, they kicked ass, as well.

                “Gamma is pretty dangerous. ”

                During the next nuclear catastrophe, I’ll make sure I avoid that one. Only alpha and beta for me, thank you very much.

                1. Gamma radiation in low doses is used in radiation therapy, is formed by sun bursts and lightening, radioactive isotope decay, etc. For the most part nuclear reactors don’t release significant gamma radiation,and life long nuclear workers have only slightly increased risk of cancer. If, however, you survived a nuclear blast (which is different than a full blown meltdown) you risk of cancer increases by 32% based upon survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That doesn’t mean you have a 32% chance of getting cancer, just your risk increases (but advanced age increases your risk even higher than gamma radiation).

        2. No, Ron’s point was true. All else being equal, a shorter half life does generally mean less danger. Your assertion that the opposite is true is valid only for a narrow and very specific subset of scenarios – a subset which does not include any of the actual nuclear accidents which have occurred to date.

        3. The dangerous isotopes with short half-lives are dangerous because they can become incorporated into human metabolism.

          Ultimately the issue is are there humans nearby that will get these isotopes which are harmless in a matter of days.

          Yes, their radioactive output can be alpha or beta radiation which is generally harmless but can be dangerous if incorporated into a human organ, but again, they would have to enter the body shortly after released from an atomic facility.

          No one was hurt at Three Mile and to the best of my knowledge it is the only incident where radioactive isotopes were released. Consider the untold hours of nuclear usage in the U.S. in power plants, submarines, etc. with no one injured.

          Now consider the sky-is-falling crowd telling us if we do nothing the earth will perish in 10 years, but won’t accept nuclear to reduce CO2. These are the true idiots.

          1. “Ultimately the issue is are there humans nearby that will get these isotopes which are harmless in a matter of days.”

            Thousands fled the area in panic. Had they stayed there would undoubtedly been more exposure and more suffering. That’s not a good thing, however brightly you want to paint it.

            “Consider the untold hours of nuclear usage in the U.S. in power plants, submarines, etc. with no one injured.”

            Why the U.S? What about the other countries in the world, Iran, Mexico, Africa, Afghanistan… Are you cool with the technology in the hands of others you distrust and despise?

            1. I would be cool with it, yes. That’s the second biggest lie about nuclear power in the minds of the deluded masses: that atomic energy plants are nothing more than stationary atomic bombs and anyone who can build a power plant can build a warhead.

              In reality, it’s orders of magnitude more difficult to go from U235 to U238. You might as well argue that letting kids play with a cap gun (assuming those even exist for kids anymore) just means those kids will build a functional machine gun a few weeks later. It doesn’t work that way!

              Either educate yourself about peaceful atomic energy and modem reactor technology or shut up.

              1. “In reality, it’s orders of magnitude more difficult to go from U235 to U238.”

                You gotta start somewhere. Pakistan started with light water reactors from Canada. Iran is weeks away from bombs derived from similar sources.

                ” anyone who can build a power plant can build a warhead.”

                Anyone with time, money and motivation. Like the Americans, British, North Koreans, Indians, Israelis, French, Chinese and others besides.

                1. Heard of thorium dumbfuck. It can be used as a nuclear fuel but can’t be weaponised.

                  1. Tell that to the ayatollah.

                    1. Non-sequitor. We tried he refused to build reactors that can’t create weapons grade uranium, because they want a nuclear bomb plain and simple.

          2. I would have more sympathy for these true idiots if they didn’t wholeheartedly reject nuclear power as a categorically unacceptable alternative energy source. It’s breathtakingly stupid, if they were sincere in their belief of the need to “do something” right away.

            Even if Three Mile Island had actually been a deadly disaster, it happened in the 1970s FFS. Do people honestly believe that technology, especially safety tech, has not evolved since the 70s? Just think about the differences between an average family car in 1978 versus a 2019 model. These people have their heads so far up their asses they are personally inhaling tons of CO2 and methane.

            1. “especially safety tech, has not evolved since the 70s? ”

              Damn it don’t you know that nuclear experts studied the issue for years and concluded that an earthquake greater than mag 8.6 was impossible. They designed Fukushima to withstand a mag 8.6 quake to be extra safe. Unfortunately Fukushima was hit by a mag 9.1 quake and caused the meltdown of 3 reactors in a single day. Safety equipment, however shiny and new, would not have prevented that. You’d need to rebuild the place from the ground up to more robust specifications.

              1. So you’re saying scientists failed to predict the future?

                1. Engineers and architects, more likely. Scientists do science.

    3. Iodine-131 has a half life of 8 days. I131 can easily be protected against by potassium iodide tablets (regularly supplied to homes around nuclear power plants) since the primary damage of I131 is done to the thyroid, and the stable iodine in the pellets saturates the thyroid.

      Cobalt-60 has a half life of 5.3 years.
      Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 are very dangerous isotopes (the main reason that spent nuclear fuel is so much worse than new fuel). Cs137 has a half life of 30 years. Sr90 about 29 years.

      There are no Cesium isotopes with half-lives in days.

      So no, short lived isotopes are not necessarily the most dangerous.

      There have been no studies which show any statistically significant increase in cancers in and around the TMI area. According to the American Nuclear Society, there was an average dose of 8 Rem to the people within 10 miles of the plant. By way of comparison, the average natural background dose to people in the US each year is 310 mRem.

      1. Fuck 8mREM!!!!!

      2. Granite emits radiation. I was wondering, do you think this is an issue in Washington, D.C.?
        Inquiring minds want to know.

        1. Possibly all those granite edifices are the reason for the high levels of retardation found in DC? It’s like lead poisoning, except it afflicts authoritarian bullies on power trips.

  8. It says something about this day and age when the guy who was diagnosed with schizophrenia was walking around Newark trying to convince people that the Earth is not about to be destroyed. But enough about my week …

    If you’re in New Jersey, try to be at our NJLP convention this year. I put my hat into the ring to run for office. We need to deregulate home construction so that developers can build new homes farther from the shoreline. It’s called managed retreat.

    1. I put my hat into the ring to run for office.

      So did I!

  9. A number of scientists are expecting a Little Ice Age replay over the next half-century. If that comes to pass, and I suspect it will, all this hand-wringing over shutting down the industrial state to keep temps from rising nearly 4C this century will be a cheap punch line for late night comics.

    1. The left doesn’t live in REALITY — The climate has been cooling for the last 5-years and cooled the fasted during WWII when more gasoline was burned in non-emission control motors than ever before.

      Its purely a climate hoax at all angles.

    2. “all this hand-wringing over shutting down the industrial state to keep temps from rising nearly 4C this century will be a cheap punch line”

      It will all disappear into the Memory Hole, and the Establishment will be castigating those Climate Deniers who refused to believe the scientists in the 70s who warned that Global Cooling was imminent.

  10. If this guy thinks the GND is “not nearly enough,” then he’s a doofus who can safely be ignored for the foreseeable future.

    1. No, the GND is not harmless and to be ignored. It is dangerous and would push tens of thousands in the US into poverty, and commit millions around the world to extreme poverty. To mention nothing of the deaths.

      The GND is to be resisted, subverted, and destroyed at every turn.

      1. I’m saying the guy can be ignored. Because he thinks the GND doesn’t go far enough.

  11. Why, just a week or so ago, a new study suggested that if we don’t adopt some economically-disastrous policies that the climate of San Francisco would change to be that of San Diego by the end of the century!

    1. How about in two centuries or ten?

      1. 1. Sevo overestimates a bit. Assuming the IPCC estimates, it’s probably more closer to say that the climate of San Francisco would change to that of Bakersfield by the end of the century.

        2. Since the temperature response to atmospheric CO2 concentration is logarithmic, assuming that the trend continued for two centuries would move the SF climate to about that of Anaheim. Still not quite to San Diego. Ten centuries might get you to San Diego, though. Again, logarithmic response curve.

        3. Of course to do that, you’d have to burn more fossil fuels than actually exist in the earth. Several multiples of the total amount of fossil fuels available, in fact.

        1. ” Ten centuries might get you to San Diego,”

          You can predict the climate of San Francisco ten centuries from now? Your talents are wasted here.

          1. No, I merely claim to be able to drop the IPCC’s predictions into simple algorithms and to compare the results to simple maps.

            1. In that case, stick to your day job.

              1. HaHa!

                mtrueman is pretending he knows what ‘logarithmic’ means!

                1. At times I pretend to have invented them.

  12. This is certainly a serious enough crisis that the NYT needs to give up the cutting of trees, the pulping of lumber, the production of newsprint, and the transport of said newsprint in order to save the CO2 emissions that such activities produce. Such action will inspire the rest of the print industry to lead the way to a more climate friendly tomorrow

    1. They also need to stop buying all the energy necessary to run the servers that host and publish their electronic content. Reporters can still have their computers but only if they run them on bicycle-powered generators in the press room.

      And by the way, let’s also cut out all those travel budgets that use any kind of fossil fuels. No airplane trips to IPCC conferences, car trips to investigate their stories, etc.

    2. Their responsibility, like Democrats, ends with talking the talk and expecting more is just racist, sexist, anti-gay, yada yada yada.

      1. It’s always the same. We have a problem, so you must do something.

    3. They should go with an all megaphone edition, because the founders never foresaw the internet or electronic printing presses.

  13. This article is spot-on. Hysterical fear-mongering is MORE likely to lead to bad decisions, instead of leading to good solutions.

    1. “Hysterical fear-mongering is MORE likely to lead to bad decisions, instead of leading to good solutions.”

      I don’t think the decision to leave the area of a nuclear accident is a bad decision. That’s what many in Chernobyl and Fukushima did, and I’d do the same.

      1. Leaving the scene of an accident is not hysterical fear-mongering.

        You are an idiot.

      2. I think the panic that Bailey is referring to is how the memory of an ultimately minor accident that didn’t harm anyone has lead to a taint on nuclear energy, to the extent that even 40 years later a plan that purports to try to be carbon free will not even consider its use.

        1. “to the extent that even 40 years later a plan that purports to try to be carbon free will not even consider its use.”

          America is still the world’s number one consumer of nuclear power, I believe. I don’t see any panic, aside from the 1000s fleeing the meltdown as Ron mentioned.

          1. “America is still the world’s number one consumer of nuclear power,”

            Per capita? I wouldn’t think that was true but I admit I don’t know.

            As to the “panic”, why then does the Green New Deal that’s going to save us all explicitly disallow the use of nuclear, which is the only currently existing technology that could actually achieve something while emitting zero carbon?

            1. “why then does the Green New Deal that’s going to save us all explicitly disallow the use of nuclear”

              I’d have to read the Green New Deal, or maybe you could read it and save me the trouble. Offhand I’d say that people are more concerned about the toxic nuclear waste products than they are about CO2. Nuclear power is not zero carbon. The concrete that is required for the 1000s of reactors envisioned if nuclear is to become a real alternative will mean plenty of carbon. Same goes with any plans to develop solar sources or hydrogen. Also there is the matter of nuclear weapons proliferation. I believe that the weapons programmes of both India and Pakistan had their genesis in civilian power generating facilities. I don’t think the public is concerned about the risks of weapons derived from solar power at the moment.

              1. Look up thorium and other salt reactors and mini-reactor designs. Also, concrete is not a continuous CO2 producer and CO2 is recycled in the atmosphere. Thus if we build a series of large nuclear reactors, there may be a short lived increase in CO2 but it would be offset quickly compared to a similar size power plant utilizing fossil fuels, even NG.

                1. “Look up thorium and other salt reactors and mini-reactor designs.”

                  Designs? Tell me when they get past the design stage, and can point to a full scale working reactor that came in under budget.

                  1. They are past the design stage, asshole. But they are not in wide spread usage yet.

                    1. “They are past the design stage, asshole.”

                      Why so hostile?

    2. Rule #1: “Don’t Panic!”

      1. When in danger
        When in doubt
        Run in circles
        Scream and shout

  14. “”Thousands fled the area around the plant,” ”

    This is the panic that Ron warns against? My advice, if there’s a partial or full meltdown of a nuclear reactor happens in your neighbourhood, try to put some distance between yourself and the meltdown. Ron will say you are panicking. Maybe so, but you may also be saving your life. A brief exposure to a small amount of the escaping isotopes can cause cancer, and may kill you.

    1. And your advice would be wrong. The danger of getting trampled (if on foot) or killed in a car accident are vastly greater than the incremental danger of a Three Mile Island like event.

      1. You’re an imbecile.

      2. love Trampled Under Foot.

      3. ” The danger of getting trampled (if on foot) or killed in a car accident are vastly greater than the incremental danger of a Three Mile Island like event.”

        The number of deaths due to trampling or stampeding in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island meltdown is zero. You can’t get much safer than that. If you would prefer to remain in Fukushima or Chernobyl for fear of being trampled by others fleeing, that’s your decision.

        1. Fucking imbecile posts:

          mtrueman|2.21.19 @ 3:13PM|#
          “The number of deaths due to trampling or stampeding in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island meltdown is zero. You can’t get much safer than that. If you would prefer to remain in Fukushima or Chernobyl for fear of being trampled by others fleeing, that’s your decision.”

        2. Trampling, I will give you. But the number of auto-related deaths was non-zero and the number of radiation-related deaths due to Three Mile Island was precisely zero.

          But if you prefer to run around in an ignorant panic because of cognitive biases (specifically, the tendency to overweight low-probability risks while underweighing routine exposures), that’s your decision.

          1. It is also well known that in a situation of radioactive fallout, it is far better to remain indoors, than to be outside breathing in whatever has been ejected into the air. So yes, panicking and going outside to outrun a cloud of radioactive material that can move as fast as the wind while you are stuck in gridlock can be a bad idea.

          2. “tendency to overweight low-probability risks ”

            One particle is all it takes. If you don’t like the prospect of being trampled you can take your chances with the short lived particles.

            1. re: “One particle is all it takes.”

              Now you are demonstrating your ignorance. The dose makes the poison. Always has, always will.

              1. “The dose makes the poison. ”

                Don’t you think you’d risk a bigger dose by not fleeing the nuclear meltdown in your neighbourhood?

                1. No it doesn’t. Again it depends. Also, a single particle is just fucking stupid statement. You do realize that you already have radioactive particles naturally in your body don’t you? And that your computer, lights, phone etc are constantly bombarding you with radiation. In fact some functions actually require exposure to certain types and doses of radiation to function, i.e. the formation of cholecalciferol from cholesterol.

                  1. I’m not sure what your point is. Because our electric appliances are bombarding our bodies with particles, we have no need to flee from nuclear meltdowns like TMI Chernobyl and Fukushima? Fine. You’re free to stay, as far as I’m concerned. I’ll take the road and all the risks that go with that choice.

                    1. You are a fucking moron who thinks he is smarter than he actually is. You haven’t yet made a salient point but continue to blather about shit you obviously know nothing about.

                    2. “You haven’t yet made a salient point but continue to blather about shit you obviously know nothing about.”

                      I’m smart enough to know to escape an accident like Fukushima or TMI.

    2. Jesus you are dense. Ron wasn’t warning about the dangers of evacuation necessarily. He was talking about the effect of overreaction to that event had on the nuclear industry. Especially when compared to the fact that there was no net negative effect on the population due to the accident.

      And keep in mind that is the worst accident in US commercial nuclear power history.

    3. Did Ron refer to this as a panic or was it a statement of fact?

      1. Ron wrote of thousands fleeing the scene of the accident. It’s the only thing in the article that remotely resembles panic. What panic did you think he was referring to?

        1. Fucking imbecile posts:

          mtrueman|2.21.19 @ 3:15PM|#
          “Ron wrote of thousands fleeing the scene of the accident. It’s the only thing in the article that remotely resembles panic. What panic did you think he was referring to?”

          1. Fucking imbecile posts:

            Fucking imbecile posts:

            mtrueman|2.21.19 @ 3:15PM|#
            “Ron wrote of thousands fleeing the scene of the accident. It’s the only thing in the article that remotely resembles panic. What panic did you think he was referring to?”

        2. The regulatory aftermath was the panic.

            1. Increased public concern after an unprecedented accident is not panic. Panic is thousands fleeing the site of an accident.

              1. Unprecedented doesn’t make it dangerous. People reacted to the novelty of it, not to the actual risks. More specifically, they overreacted to a perceived threat, i.e. they panicked.

                1. “Unprecedented doesn’t make it dangerous.”

                  A melt down is dangerous. And expensive, inconvenient and scary. In the wake of Fukushima, the government shut down every nuclear plant in the country for something like two years. And after TMI, it was essentially the end of America’s civilian programme. The risks are just too damn high. People can profit more putting their money into Cayman island banks than sinking it into nuclear white elephants.

                  What have you got against the sun, or the moon, who gives us her energy in the form of tides, the twice daily swishing back and forth of coastal waters. Or any other of the heavenly bodies. Venus for example, whose 500 degree temperature gives us a text book example of the dreaded run away greenhouse effect.

                  1. “A melt down is dangerous.”

                    Not really. Containment did exactly what it was supposed to. Even after the event the *other* reactors at TMI ran for years afterwards. Literally right next door.

                    “In the wake of Fukushima, the government shut down every nuclear plant in the country for something like two years.”

                    Yes, now what part of “panic” do you not understand?

                    “The risks are just too damn high.”

                    Based on… your panic? Per TWh, nuclear is the safest form of power generation we have ever had. It’s not even close. The number of deaths due to civilian nuclear power generation in the US is very easy to remember. Care to guess why?

                    “What have you got against the sun, or the moon, who gives us her energy in the form of tides, the twice daily swishing back and forth of coastal waters.”

                    You mean the same sun that gives us -30F winter storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and floods? That sun? Controlling energy means controlling our own destiny, i.e. we can stop the universe from killing us when it rolls over in bed.

                    “Venus for example, whose 500 degree temperature gives us a text book example of the dreaded run away greenhouse effect.”

                    Actually it gives us a textbook example of what a thick atmosphere does. Good thing we don’t have one of those. Fun fact: Mars has more CO2 in its thin atmosphere than Earth does. Not a higher proportion (that too), a higher absolute mass of CO2. And it’s an ice ball…

                    1. ” Containment did exactly what it was supposed to. ”

                      Too bad we can’t say the same thing about the melted down reactor. It wasn’t supposed to melt down. It was supposed to continue producing electricity without a hitch.

                      “You mean the same sun that gives us -30F winter storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and floods? That sun?”

                      Yes that sun. Whining about the sun has got to be a new low, even for an ingrate like yourself.

                      A melt down is indeed dangerous. There are many highly toxic chemicals released that are best avoided. That’s why safety is such a concern.

                  2. Holy shit, you are stupid

                    And/or just love to hear yourself type

              2. m: I guess I need to point out that Wallace-Wells is the one who used the word “panic” in this context.

                1. Admit it, the only reason you glommed on to the article is because of the word ‘panic.’

                  1. Mtrueman, your lack of basic science knowledge in regards to radiation and risk assessment, is astounding. You have not yet produced a single argument that cannot be considered anything but Luddite in nature. You are pushing for what is called the precautionary principle, which is considered to be one of the least scientific stances one can take. You lack evidence of actual danger but instead you are using your perception (overblown btw) of danger to oppose a proven technology with A near unprecedented safety record. You use three isolated events as evidence of some great danger, but you lack understanding of basic particle physics. You have been corrected multiple times by people with far better knowledge yet you continue to argue for scientifically u sound policies. I am also willing to bet you oppose the use of pesticides, concentrated animal feeding operations and GMOs despite the volumes of evidence that these actually decrease input and decrease overall environmental impact.

                    1. “You have not yet produced a single argument that cannot be considered anything but Luddite in nature.”

                      I admire Luddites. A rare mixture of technical geekiness and kickassedness. High complements from someone who has only seen fit to insult me in the past. But enough about me. Time you got back to singing the praises of the nation’s nuclear bureaucrats.

                    2. Only seen fit to insult you? I provided you counter arguments with actual science but you ridicule them so why bother? You obviously know nothing about science but are completely happy in your ignorance.

                    3. And, unlike you, I actually have a background in science and understand the difference between educated risk and risk aversion. I pointed out the fallacy of your argument, but if you choose to consider someone pointing out the limitations of your knowledge as an insult, you obviously don’t debate in good faith. You instead just throw shit and hope no one calls you on it.

                    4. I appreciate your efforts. And if you feel it necessary to insult me, I accept that.

  15. If the NY Times wants to do something about climate change I recommend the following, which doesn’t have to be done by government but by each individual.

    Sell your car and walk, bike, or take a bus.

  16. A much more significant event was when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire in 1969. It led to the Clean Water Act and the EPA. Those both have had some good impacts, but, as usual, many unintended consequences and problems due to over-regulation.

    https://tinyurl.com/y8ws7lat

  17. The way to address GW seems to always come down to restricting CO2 output be people. The practicality of this is never addressed. Somehow I don’t see China, India, etc., as being to thrilled at the prospect of being relegated to poverty, or at least less affluence than nations in the West. The other side of the equation, absorption of CO2, is never addressed.

    LINK HERE

    In short:
    Fake “trees” to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
    Each one removed 1,000 times that of a real tree.
    100 million trees would be needed to remove all CO2 emissions.
    Initial cost: $20,000 per tree.
    100,000,000 x $20,000 = = 2 trillion dollars
    Much cheaper than the estimate for significantly reducing CO2 output worldwide, which may not even be possible.

    1. We are currently at around 400ppm of CO2.

      Plants stop being able to photosynthesize at around 150ppm

      Our periods of highest biodiversity had the CO2 in the air at thousands of PPM.

      Sequestering CO2 when we are so close to the terminal point seems counter-productive (unless, of course, what you’re trying to produce is the extinction of most life on the planet.)

  18. so, yeah, GDP loss is only one aspect of the the cost of global warming – i.e. the part you can objectively measure in dollars and cents. If global warming destroys a forest, if the only cost you’re counting is the loss of logging revenue, you’re focusing only on costs/benefits that can be easily quantified. Global warming is going to cost a lot more than a trivial 3% of GDP in the next 80 years.

    However, it’s clear we will not reduce CO2 emissions voluntarily, or via government intervention. And even if we did everything the IPCC recommends immediately, it wouldn’t be enough to meet the 1.5 degree goal. Americans barely save for retirement or for their next $500 emergency expense. They aren’t going to change their behavior today to save the climate 50 years from now.

    Geoengineering is the answer. We need to find a profitable way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

    1. “We need to find a profitable way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.”

      More profitable than planting trees and grass and stuff? I think the more likely alternative is to make it unprofitable to add CO2 to the atmosphere.

      1. per the latest report, we’re already past the point where reducing emissions could hold the line at 1.5 degrees. We need a net reduction in emissions. Trying to internalize the cost of CO2 pollution on emitters would have been a great step 20 years ago, and still is probably a good one today, but from what the IPCC is telling us, that’s no longer going to be sufficient.

        1. We need a net reduction in emissions.
          How are you going to enforce that? Moreover, how are you going to get buy-in from emerging economies that simply cannot afford this first-world luxury of a problem?

          from what the IPCC is telling us,
          This is a problem, more of a problem than skepticism being cast as denial. You are making a huge appeal to authority to a group with a vested interest in the issue. And that doesn’t even factor the belief that elected officials will be the planet’s salvation.

          1. “How are you going to enforce that? Moreover, how are you going to get buy-in from emerging economies that simply cannot afford this first-world luxury of a problem?”

            -i don’t have a perfect solution. i’m just noting that CO2 reductions alone will not suffice at this point. Also, characterizing this as a luxury problem is incredibly naive, considering places what will happen to places like, say, Bangladesh. Is increased flooding in an area with a billion people a luxury problem? really? Kill yourself.

            ” You are making a huge appeal to authority to a group with a vested interest in the issue.”

            -Formal appeals to authority are fallacious. Does the fact that most experts support the IPCC conclusions mean said conclusions are NECESSARILY true? no, but it’s still a strong indicator that they are. Informal appeals to authority are not fallacious, and, informally, can provide strong support to someone’s argument. see wikipedia for a primer. Don’t be that kid who just got done with logic 101, labeling everything fallacies willy nilly.

            “to a group with a vested interest in the issue.”

            – everyone has a vested issue in this. the IPCC is still made up of the foremost experts in the field. If you’re not a climate scientist, and neither of us are, it’s really irrationally not to believe the consensus of experts on an issue if all your objuects are “but they have a vested interested” and characterizing things as formal appeals to authority.

            1. Is increased flooding in an area with a billion people a luxury problem?
              Is there increased flooding? Should I worry about it because the IPCC says it might possibly at some point in the future happen? When a group repeatedly warns of Armageddon and that does not occur, the group loses credibility. Second, absolutely a luxury problem when speaking of an area with a grinding level of poverty the West cannot fathom.

              Kill yourself.
              According to the latest scare, that’s gonna happen in a decade or so anyway.

              Does the fact that most experts support the IPCC conclusions mean said conclusions are NECESSARILY true? no, but it’s still a strong indicator that they are.
              People support conclusions it is in their self-interest to support. And these people’s every apocalyptic warning is couched in some weasel wording variation of ‘might happen’ or ‘is possible’ or ‘could occur’. Then it does not occur.

              the IPCC is still made up of the foremost experts in the field
              So expert, in fact, that they refuse to falsify their own theory. In their minds, there’s only one culprit and the apparent solution is reverting to a 19th-century standard. It’s a religion, more like a cult. It’s why the first and, usually, only question is “do you believe?” It’s why skeptics are called deniers, as though their claims are a self-evident truth. When you inject ‘consensus’ into science, yeah it’s getting to irrational territory.

              1. “Is there increased flooding?” – bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to rises in the ocean.

                “Should I worry about it because the IPCC says it might possibly at some point in the future happen?” – yes, they know about this, and you don’t.

                “When a group repeatedly warns of Armageddon and that does not occur, the group loses credibility” – i agree, good thing they haven’t been warning of armageddon. I’m not aware of any report from the IPCC that does.

                “People support conclusions it is in their self-interest to support. And these people’s every apocalyptic warning is couched in some weasel wording variation of ‘might happen’ or ‘is possible’ or ‘could occur’. Then it does not occur.” – retarded thought, consider rescinding.

                “So expert, in fact, that they refuse to falsify their own theory….” – [multiple citations missing]

                1. bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to rises in the ocean.
                  Bangladesh has always been vulnerable to flooding.

                  yes, they know about this, and you don’t.
                  so their past predictions that did not pan should be shoved into the memory hole?

                  retarded thought, consider rescinding.
                  heal thyself, buckwheat. There is not a single report from the alarmists that isn’t couched with some qualifier.

                  “So expert, in fact, that they refuse to falsify their own theory….” – [multiple citations missing]
                  so you can point me to the studies whose hypothesis excluded human activity as the primary variable?

                  1. No, he can’t because they don’t exist.

          2. “You are making a huge appeal to authority to a group with a vested interest in the issue.”

            But it’s probably a good bet to make. The giant fossil fuel corporations have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and they also have the money it takes to fund their own research. Companies such as Shell and Exxon are pretty much in consonance with the findings of the IPCC.

            My advice, consider the source. If Shell is saying the same thing as the IPCC, that makes it a good bet. Two authorities with conflicting interests saying the same thing. What more can you ask for?

            1. i agree. I don’t see how people are still trying to convince themselves this is some big conspiracy. Completely irrational to not believe the consensus of almost all experts on the issue when you’re not an expert on the issue. Maybe i’m not making my hat out of the right type of tin foil.

              1. your experts are still trafficking in the “97% consensus” myth that has disproven more times than JFK conspiracy theories.

            2. Are they conflicting interests? Shell and Exxon are just as vested in their operations as those scientists dependent on govt grants. If they had something as profitable as oil, we might have known about it by now. As it is, a tremendous amount of coal is needed for the materials to construct a single wind turbine.

              Two things here: 1) the insistence that no other cause is possible, that nuclear is off the table, and that anyone not on board is a lunatic are good clues about the source. 2) The weapons-grade hubris required to believe that politicians and bureaucrats can, by policy, fix the climate is astounding. The only thing more astounding that otherwise rational people would cede their lives to these TopMen.

              1. shh, the adults are talking. why don’t you go jerk off to the Fountainhead or something?

                “the insistence that no other cause is possible, that nuclear is off the table, and that anyone not on board is a lunatic are good clues about the source” – [citations missing again]

                “The weapons-grade hubris required to believe that politicians and bureaucrats can, by policy, fix the climate is astounding. The only thing more astounding that otherwise rational people would cede their lives to these TopMen.”

                – yeah, next they’ll convince us they’re capable of planning and executing a planned trip to the moon without the aid of modern computers. Or maybe they’ll try to tell us they’re able to come up with a new super weapon if we give them money for research in New Mexico. Totally crazy, right?

                1. shh, the adults are talking. why don’t you go jerk off to the Fountainhead or something?
                  Ah, yes; the profanity-free ad hominem, still the leading sign of having lost an argument.

                  “the insistence that no other cause is possible, that nuclear is off the table, and that anyone not on board is a lunatic are good clues about the source” – [citations missing again]
                  The citation for nuclear rests within the NYT piece, as Ron pointed out. You actually need a source wherein skeptics were treated as silly people? Whoever read this to you did not do a very good job.

                  next they’ll convince us they’re capable of planning and executing a planned trip to the moon without the aid of modern computers
                  did that involve govt actors making decisions about your quality of life? No. Next.

                  1. “Ah, yes; the profanity-free ad hominem, still the leading sign of having lost an argument.” –

                    An ad hominem is more than just an insult. Like if i said, you’re a stupid child, and therefore your argument is wrong, that would be an ad hominem fallacy. If i just said, “hey you’re a stupid child.” – just an insult. No fallacy. Sorry dude.

                    “The citation for nuclear rests within the NYT piece, as Ron pointed out. You actually need a source wherein skeptics were treated as silly people? Whoever read this to you did not do a very good job.” – try again. don’t see where it says people like me are against nuclear and think that only humans affect the climate.

                    “did that involve govt actors making decisions about your quality of life? No. Next.” – you don’t think the technology they developed to pull this off hasn’t affected quality of life? Like advances in telemetry. What about the atomic bomb? Can you not think of anything that resulted from that that improved quality of life, such as nuclear power?

                    Please, for the love of god, you’re not good at this. just stop.

                    1. just an insult. No fallacy.
                      Ad hominem is directed toward the person. You should put down the shovel now.

                      don’t see where it says people like me are against nuclear and think that only humans affect the climate.
                      Since it’s commonly called AGW, what’s the non-human part? Please stop embarrassing yourself by insinuating the warmists see some factor other than human behavior.

                      you don’t think the technology they developed to pull this off hasn’t affected quality of life?
                      Not what I said, but please, keep arguing against points no one is making. Quite the straw man, too, equating going to the moon and the nuclear bomb to climate change hysteria.

                      Please, for the love of god, you’re not good at this. just stop.
                      Take a look up and down the thread; the minority viewpoint is yours and it rests almost exclusively on the IPCC is still made up of the foremost experts in the field.
                      There is a term for that but it apparently hurts your feelz.

                    2. “short for argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself. ” – since it was an isolated insult, nope, not an ad hominem. sorry, trashley.

                      “Since it’s commonly called AGW, what’s the non-human part?” – yup, AGW doesn’t stand for ONLY anthro global warming, but rather, the case of global warming caused by humans, which, and i’m surprised i have to point this out, doesn’t imply that other things can’t warm the planet.

                      “you don’t think the technology they developed to pull this off hasn’t affected quality of life?” – goal posts shifting now, eh?

                      “Take a look up and down the thread; the minority viewpoint is yours and it rests almost exclusively ” – can you say sampling bias?

                      “There is a term for that but it apparently hurts your feelz.” – don’t be a pussy. use your words.

                    3. Where did you learn to lick the boots of the man, man? You’re really good at it. Imbecile is an apt description.

                    4. “yup, AGW doesn’t stand for ONLY anthro global warming,”

                      Yes, it actually does. Literally.

                      “doesn’t imply that other things can’t warm the planet.”

                      To what degree? IPCC AR5 has “increased certainty” that the “majority of warming is caused by humans” at the exact same time that they have *widened* their confidence intervals on ECS and TCR. It takes a pair of brass to simultaneously increase your CI and proclaim that you are more certain than ever.

                      “don’t be a pussy. use your words.”

                      He did. And he didn’t even have to consult the expert consensus shamans holy church for his talking points.

              2. Shhhh, don’t tell Mtrueman but shell and Exxon are two of the biggest investors in solar and wind, and have spent considerable amount of money researching and deploying these technologies (thanks to government subsidies) and they still remain basically unprofitable unless they are heavily subsidized, and even then many windmills are being abandoned because the upkeep is extremely expensive.

                1. The finding of the scientists they fund are not in conflict with IPCC. Whether they can build a decent windmill is beside the point.

                  1. So they are not in conflict so what’s your problem then with shell and Exxon? And no one can build a decent windmill. They have terrible records in regards to profitability and upkeep.

                    1. “So they are not in conflict so what’s your problem then with shell and Exxon? ”

                      Who said I had a problem? I admire the integrity that lets them fund research that undermines their business model.

                      “And no one can build a decent windmill. ”

                      In the business world, this is an opportunity.

  19. We need Top People to be given ridiculous amounts of taxpayer money to research this, immediately! Oh, and ignore any conflict of interest – for the children.

    1. ^Perfectly summarized.

    2. We need Top People to be given ridiculous amounts of taxpayer money as a slush fund for “mitigation efforts”, immediately!

  20. Curiously, the NYT only cites environmental cause c?l?bre involving private concerns and no government environmental disasters.

    But governments are particularly talented at screwing up the environment on a truly monumental scale:

    1) One-third of the enormous Department of Energy budget is spent on cleaning up radioactive environmental disasters that US government weapons programs created.
    2) Love Canal wouldn’t have been a problem at all if the local government complied with warnings in the transfer of title.
    3) The government’s prosecution of wars creates an unparalleled number of small-scale environmental disasters.
    4) If you believe in global warming, consider that the extent of US coal-fueled power generation was pretty much mandated by the Carter/Schlesinger Department of Energy. Back in the late 70s, the consensus among government scientist (sound familiar) was that the US only had a few years of natural gas supplies. Financing for natgas-fired plants dried up. Carter launched the $5 billion (about $20 billion today) Synfuels Program to make syngas from coal. Coal gasification emits vast quantities of CO2 (one mole CO2/one mole CH4 stoichiometric process emissions alone), but like most government “investment” programs it failed. It turned out to be more economic just to burn the coal to produce power. As a result, the US unnecessarily emitted millions upon millions of tons of CO2/year relative to natural gas for the past forty years.

  21. Although he thinks it’s not nearly enough, Wallace-Wells suggests that the newly proposed Green New Deal is “what the beginning of a solution looks like.”

    Seriously, what more could he possibly want? For famines to be an *explicit* part of the plan?

    1. I think famine is a key element of the plan. Once they thin the herd a bit it will be a lot easier to deal with who’s left.

  22. Climate change is a false premise for regulating or taxing carbon dioxide emissions. Political or business leaders who advocate unwarranted taxes and regulations on fossil fuels will be seen as fools or knaves. Climate change is NOT caused by human fossil fuels use. There is no empirical evidence that fossil fuels use affects climate. Earth naturally recycles all carbon dioxide into carbonate.

    Fossil fuels emit only 3% of total CO2 emissions. All the ambient CO2 in the atmosphere is promptly converted in the oceans to calcite (limestone) and other carbonates, mostly through biological paths. CO2 + CaO => CaCO3. 99.84% of all carbon on earth is already sequestered as sediments in earth’s crust. The lithosphere is a massive hungry carbon sink that converts ambient CO2 to carbonate almost as soon as it is emitted.

    The Paris Treaty is now estimated to cost more than $100 trillion — $15,000 per human being. A colossal mistake. All the wealth that ever existed. And will not affect climate at all. A modern coal power plant emits few air effluents except water vapor and carbon dioxide. Coal remains the lowest cost and most reliable source of electric energy, along with natural gas.

    Coal & gas dominate electric energy generation because they are cheap and reliable. Without the CO2-driven global-warming boogeyman, wind and solar power will be relegated to the niches they deserve.Using renewable energy is like paying first-class airfare to fly standby.

  23. The problem is we’ve all seen this movie before and that strips any credibility from this alarmist. When all of your predictions and dire warnings fail to happen, people might eventually notice that you’re largely full of shit. And that does not even consider the massive hubris that, by policy initiative, elected officials and bureaucrats can control or ‘fix’ climate.

    This is the embodiment of first-world problems. America is wealthy and comfortable enough to have time navel-gazing over how to “save the planet.” The guy wondering what tonight’s dinner will be or if there will be one at all does not have that luxury. Factor in the fanciful, if not farcical, notion that the nations will unite in service to this cause and the NYT piece is more hoakum.

    1. simple google search would do you people good.

      The Unfolding Tragedy of Climate Change in Bangladesh (scientific american) 4/21/17

      “Climate change in Bangladesh has started what may become the largest mass migration in human history. In recent years, riverbank erosion has annually displaced between 50,000 and 200,000 people. The population of what the Bangladesh government calls “immediately threatened” islands, called “chars,” exceeds four million.”

      please, don’t vote.

      1. A man-caused natural disaster? You can’t even hear how idiotic that sounds.

        please, don’t vote
        it’s my best weapon against you climate fetishists.

        1. you realize science doesn’t care what you think? you can go on the internet and find your little white trash climate change denier group and feel good about yourself, and the climate still changes

        2. you realize science doesn’t care what you think? you can go on the internet and find your little white trash climate change denier group and feel good about yourself, and the climate still changes

          1. Climate “models” aren’t science, you fucking moron.

      2. Do you honestly think riverbanks are static? But please cite more from that powerhouse of scientific american.

    2. w: I will just mention that I did write a whole book relevant to this topic, The End of Doom.

  24. Many environmentalists tell us that everything is coming to an end in 10 years or so. Our whole planet will be destroyed unless we do something. Well tell me environmentalists is using more nuclear worse than having the whole world be destroyed. Let’s see, destruction of all living things on earth vs. using an energy source that has killed no one in the U.S.A.? Hmmmm… Perhaps something else is at play instead of saving the earth?

    Of course, for the sake of argument, I am assuming that the environmental world-will-end types are correct about “climate change”.

    1. Exactly. When use of Nuclear Power is a non-starter against saving the world from imminent destruction, you know you aren’t dealing with honest actors.

      1. or you’re dealing with people, who, for reasons that you and i probably don’t agree with, honestly think nuclear power is worse than CO2 pollution? That’s a simpler explanation, than the one yours. Like, people you don’t understand don’t necessarily have malicious intent. You get that, right?

        1. So you’re saying that dying of CAGW in 12 years is less scary than maybe dying of cancer from a radioactive release 30 years from now?

          Now it all makes sense.

    2. “Many environmentalists tell us that everything is coming to an end in 10 years or so. Our whole planet will be destroyed unless we do something.”

      We have to stop China and India before they destroy the planet. We only have 10 years.

      If it takes WWIII, that’s a small price to pay to Save The Planet.

  25. Seeing as how the Climate Change Industry started with panic it’s a little hard to maintain the level of intensity required. We’ve been approaching Armageddon Any Day Now for at least the past 15-20 years. Predictions have come and gone, been adjusted and reissued and despite some warmer weather here and there people seem to be adapting. I’d accept that it’s something to look at, but “crisis” seems overstated.

  26. Man can’t change the climate. It’s hubris to believe otherwise and will bring the wrath of the Gods. Today, that wrath would be in the form of extreme cooling.

    1. Man can definitely change the climate, but it would not be advantageous to do so. Cooling (as you maybe inadvertently suggest), would be much easier to do. Simply block direct sunlight in the atmosphere (just burn everything), and you can forget about greenhouse gases…not that I’m worried too much about those in the first place. This is precisely why CO2 is the worst bogeyman, because its byproducts would normally be environmentally-cooling particles, except for US-led clean air regulations…a good thing that has been taken too far.

  27. But the Drag-Queen Incubus Singer look-a-like told me the world was going to end in 12 years!

  28. Professor, would you say it’s time to crack open each other’s heads and feast on the goo inside?

  29. The key to fixing climate is free education and healthcare for everyone, massive affirmative action, banning guns, and raising taxes on the rich.

    1. You missed the most important fix. Universal female literacy and numeracy. In all seriousness, that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. It can be accomplished in a timely fashion and it’s a good thing to do. Anyone professing the values of the Enlightenment, like Libertarians, should be right on board with this.

      1. there are libertarians on this comment board? where? all is see is a bunch of trashy conservatives who are ok with weed.

        1. Nothing says independent thinker more than following the herd, er, “consensus.”

          1. I heard you were a herd.

  30. Dilbert seems reluctant to join the Times Ed Board

    https://tinyurl.com/y4ybsjq8

  31. “The age of climate panic is here”

    The Sun has gone Nazi! Run for your lives!

  32. CO2 is visibly greening the planet and increasing agricultural yields .

    The equationless AlGoreWarming paradigm literally denies Newton’s Law of gravity which quantitatively explains why and by how much the bottoms of atmospheres are hotter than what they absorb from the Sun , the ~33c claimed by this anti-science fraud in the case of the Earth .

  33. “likely”

    As I’m fond of asking both junior engineers and Sr. Directors, where in the set of real numbers lies “likely?”

    1. “where in the set of real numbers lies “likely?”

      On a standard number line, to the right of 0.5. In Israel it’s to the left.

  34. Once again media reports that emotion trumps facts in our post truth age. We must be kept primed for propaganda.

    If this was a concern facing the people in a Mars habitat, would they want to make decisions based on emotion or science the hell out of it to understand the details and then develop the single best plan to utilize available resources to survive?

    If the corrupt obstructed the development of a plan for everyone to maximize their personal benefit, push them out an airlock. Fear media propaganda.

  35. “Unabated man-made climate change would likely pose problems, many significant, for humanity during the course of this century”

    If it indeed existed, no definitive, actionable proof of which does…

  36. In a sign of solidarity, the New York Times has immediately discontinued the use of delivery trucks, heat and air conditioning, all electricity, and cell phones. They will instead hire laid off Uber drivers to verbally announce the ‘news that fits’ from street corners.

  37. Fear is not used to motivate positive change but to enable unreasonable control, the kind which non-fearful citizens would not tolerate under normal conditions. FEAR has been successfully used to allow for all kinds of egregious government oversight from Homeland security (Terror attacks) to Abuses by Law Enforcement (To fight the drug war) to climate fear to allow for more government control over daily lives.

  38. In the sixth paragraph, you have

    “For context, consider that today’s $20 trillion GDP, growing at a 3 percent rate, would rise to $226 trillion by 2100. Pondering both worst-case climate scenarios, GDP would instead rise to either $225.5 billion or $203 trillion. Americans living at the end of this century would be about 10 times richer on average than we are now, albeit in a much warmer world.”

    Should that be $225.5 trillion instead of $225.5 billion?

  39. “The global GDP currently stands at about $80 trillion. Growing at 3 percent annually, it would rise to $903 trillion by 2100. A 2.6 percent reduction means that it would only be $880 trillion by 2100. A 0.3 percent decrease implies a global GDP of $900 trillion. The IPCC report recommends that the world spend more than $45 trillion between now and 2035 in order to endow $2.7 trillion more in annual income on people living three generations hence.”

    Where does the $2.7 trillion come from?

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  41. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.

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  42. Is it true they have a pending bill to transport all skeptics in re-purposed cattle cars running on high-speed rail to forced-labor lithium mines?

  43. “It projected that if no policies aimed specifically at reducing carbon dioxide emissions are adopted, average global temperature will rise by 3.66?C by 2100, resulting in a global GDP loss of 2.6 percent from what it would otherwise have been. (In the 2?C and 1.5?C scenarios, global GDP would be reduced by 0.5 percent or 0.3 percent, respectively.)
    The global GDP currently stands at about $80 trillion. Growing at 3 percent annually, it would rise to $903 trillion by 2100. A 2.6 percent reduction means that it would only be $880 trillion by 2100. A 0.3 percent decrease implies a global GDP of $900 trillion. The IPCC report recommends that the world spend more than $45 trillion between now and 2035 in order to endow $2.7 trillion more in annual income on people living three generations hence. ”

    Ron, thanks for giving a precise analysis of the assumed GDP loss, and the proposed alternative.

    Though I am puzzled. Are they actually claiming that the $45trillion in mitigation efforts will actually hold the increase to 1.5C? I thought that was impossible at this point.

  44. “Time to panic” should refer to REAL issues such as climate change, mass shootings, and our overall self-destructive militarized economy enabling guns to be placed on store shelves for toxic profit. Worse, the radical 3rd world-like thought process that goes into putting guns into our teacher’s hands to “protecting the kids.” Our violence-for-profit economy has to stop now.

    The blind apathetic masses fell for the political rhetoric claiming the USA has been “fighting against terrorism” for 17+ years or the fear tactic claiming Muslims “hate us for our freedom.” The hidden motive of our rogue leaders decades ago was to destroy Mid-East Nationalism for its oil and other resources including poppies, The fear-mongering is with the “9/11 Never forget” nonsense. American exceptionalism, militarism, imperialism, nationalism and resultantly increased fascism driven by socially irresponsible corporate kingpins is where you should “panic.”

    Perhaps if we stopped using “GDP” as the main measure of “growth” and instead focused on education, environment, happiness, social services, and overall social good we would not be having this discussion. USA is the biggest arms dealer in the world, NOT something to be proud of.

  45. I am also willing to bet you oppose the use of pesticides, concentrated animal feeding operations and GMOs despite the volumes of evidence that these actually decrease input and decrease overall environmental impact.

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