Climate Change

When It Comes to Climate Change, Wealth Equals Adaptation

New U.N. report says we are about to "miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all."

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"Time Is Running Out to Avert A Harrowing Future, Climate Panel Warns," ran the front page headline in The New York Times earlier this week. The Washington Post's front page similarly read, "Humanity has a 'brief and rapidly closing window' to avoid hotter, deadly future, U.N. climate report says." Both newspapers are citing claims and data from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) new report Climate Change 2022: Impact, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the report an "atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership." He added, "Delay means death."

Is humanity's situation as dire as the headlines suggest?

"The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health," urgently cautions the IPCC Adaptation report, which is nearly 3,700 pages long and is the second part of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) on climate change and follows that agency's Physical Science Basis report issued last August. (The third part of the AR6 report on the mitigation of climate change will be issued in April.)

Let's be clear: man-made climate change is happening and humanity is already adapting to it and will continue to have to do so. Largely as the result of the rising atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, global average temperature has increased by about 1.1°C (about 2°F) since the late 19th century. Consequently, heatwaves on land and in the oceans have become more intense and more common, downpours have become more frequent, and the rise in sea level is accelerating.

One not too startling finding of the report is that bad and worsening weather poses the biggest risks for poor people ruled over by corrupt kleptocratic elites. "Vulnerability is higher in locations with poverty, governance challenges and limited access to basic services and resources, violent conflict and high levels of climate-sensitive livelihoods (e.g., smallholder farmers, pastoralists, fishing communities)," notes the report's Summary for Policymakers.

As an example of the vulnerability, the Summary observes that between 2010 and 2020 that deaths from flooding, droughts, and storms were 15-times higher in poorer regions than they were in economically developed areas. To get that figure the report specifically compares weather mortality in Mozambique ($450 GDP per capita), Somalia ($310), Nigeria ($2,100), Afghanistan ($509), and Haiti ($1,177) versus the U.K. ($40,284), Australia ($51,812), Canada ($43,241), and Sweden ($51,925). When bad weather meets poverty, it kills people.

However, deep in its text the IPCC report gets around to citing the remarkable 2019 study in Global Environmental Change by two European researchers that found "a clear decreasing trend in both human and economic vulnerability, with global average mortality and economic loss rates that have dropped by 6.5 and nearly 5 times, respectively, from 1980–1989 to 2007–2016." Keep in mind that falling mortality and economic loss rates occurred as world population grew and people built lots more stuff.

The researchers additionally report that mortality and economic losses stemming from bad weather have declined faster in poor countries as they have grown richer. "This has led to a convergence in vulnerability between higher and lower income countries," they note. Despite the fast and steep decline, vulnerability to weather hazards remains higher in poorer regions.

In his 2020 article in Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Copenhagen Consensus Center founder Bjorn Lomborg noted that the "global death risk from extreme weather has declined 99% over 100 years and global costs have declined 26% over the last 28 years." Simply put: People around the world have already been rapidly and successfully adapting to changes in the weather.

Probably the most costly concern stemming from climate change is coastal inundation as sea level rises due to melting glaciers and thermal expansion. A 2018 study calculated that, if no efforts were made to adapt to rising seas, damages from coastal flooding would reach $14 trillion annually by 2100. Of course, people will not blithely let higher tides sweep over them and their property; they will adapt.

Estimates of how much it will cost to fend off rising seas vary considerably depending on projections of just how high the oceans will rise; how many people live near the coasts; and how much they build along the shorelines. A 2021 analysis in Climatic Change looking at best-case to worst-case temperature increases estimated that the total costs of building and maintaining seawalls, dikes, and other coastal protections ranged from 0.03 to 0.18 percent of global GDP. A 2019 World Bank analysis of best- and worst-case sea level increases calculated that the cumulative costs for coastal defense would range, in inflation-adjusted dollars between $2.9 and $18.2 trillion by 2100. Assuming a relatively modest 2 percent annual economic growth rate, annual global GDP will rise from $94 trillion now to $440 trillion by the end of this century which suggests that much richer and more technically adept generations will be able to adapt to rising seas.

"Climate change will increasingly put pressure on food production and access," according to the Adaptation report. In fact, the report asserts, "Human-induced warming has slowed growth of agricultural productivity over the past 50 years in mid- and low-latitudes." These claims rely chiefly on recent research that models what crop yields might have been absent climate change. In the meantime, global average cereal yields per hectare rose from 1,428 kilograms in 1961 to 4,070 kilograms in 2018, nearly a 300 percent increase. Global cereal production rose four-fold, from 744 million tons in 1961 to nearly 3 billion tons in 2018.

As the result of greatly improved agricultural productivity, the share of the world's population suffering from undernourishment has fallen from about one-third in 1960 to around about 9 percent today. Clearly farmers around the world have, on average, been more than able to keep ahead of whatever deleterious effects that current climate change may have on their crops.

What about the future? Plant breeders are already developing crops that can withstand higher temperatures, drought, and can grow in salty soils. The application of modern biotechnology techniques such as genome editing will speed up the process of identifying and developing new crop varieties that can better cope with the vagaries of a changing climate. In addition, crop and livestock production is likely to be disrupted by novel food technologies such as alternative proteinsvat-grown meat, yeast-fermented milk, and vertical farming, which will have concomitant benefits of reducing the emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases.

The Adaptation report further warns, "Climate-sensitive food-borne, water-borne, and vector-borne disease risks are projected to increase under all levels of warming without additional adaptation." The report specifically cites the risk dengue fever spreading to billions more people by the end of the century.

First, of course, there will certainly be additional adaptation to disease risks. Since development of the germ theory of disease in the late 19th century, the chief "adaptations" to communicable diseases have been sanitation and vaccines. Even while implausibly spinning out scenarios of climate change-boosted epidemics, the report does acknowledge both sanitation and vaccines as "effective adaptation options." Just taking a short snapshot of trends, the number of people dying annually of food-borne and water-borne diarrheal diseases has been cut in half since 1990. In 1990, more than 34 percent of global deaths were the result of communicable diseases. By 2019 that had dropped to 18 percent. Access to clean water and sanitation strongly tracks per capita GDP.

With respect to vector-borne illnesses, the good news is that the number of annual deaths (mostly children) from mosquito-borne malaria has been trending down for the past 15 years or so. The really good news is that a vaccine against the parasite was approved for the first time last year and others are in the works. Hailed as a "game-changer," the new vaccine, in combination with other control measures, could reduce malaria deaths among children by 70 percent.

What about mosquito-borne dengue? Again, progress is being made toward developing a vaccine that significantly reduces the risks of hospitalization and death from contracting the virus. Research on developing even more effective dengue vaccines is ongoing. Another approach toward protecting people from vector-borne diseases would be to control the vectors. For example, mosquitoes could be genetically modified so that their populations crash or they themselves become immune to the disease organisms.

The Adaptation report offers a worst-case projection that high man-made temperature increase exceeding 5°C could result in the extinction nearly half of all land-dwelling species; in the best case where temperature is reined in at 1.5°C perhaps only 3 percent will die out.

Given the extremely poor record to mass extinction predictions, these projections should be taken with a grain of salt. Even if the extinction projections turn out to be ballpark correct, George Washington University biologist R. Alexander Pyron has argued that "both the planet and humanity can probably survive or even thrive in a world with fewer species." He added, "Developed human societies can exist and function in harmony with diverse natural communities, even if those communities are less diverse than they were before humanity."

On the other, happier, hand, the trends toward greater agricultural productivity, dematerialization, and urbanization suggests that humanity will be able to set aside increasing amounts of land and ocean for the natural world.

University of Colorado climate change policy researcher Roger Pielke Jr. points out that many of the headlined worst-case projections in the Adaptation report are based on highly implausible scenarios in which humanity would burn enough coal and oil to triple the amount of carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere by the end of this century. In fact, Pielke and his colleagues argue that instead of heading toward a global average temperature of around 4°C by 2100, the world is on a more moderate track where temperatures would be around 2.2°C by 2100. Obviously, a lower temperature trajectory will make it easier for humanity to adapt to climate change.

Adaptation and the development of low-carbon energy generation technologies will both be required to address and mitigate the challenges of man-made climate change. And yes, the world is slated to get warmer, but humanity is not running out of time to avert a harrowing climate future.

Again, when bad weather meets poverty, people die. The recipe for successfully adapting to climate change is continued economic growth and technological progress.

NEXT: Several Justices Seem Dismayed at the Idea That Doctors Can Be Accidentally Guilty of Drug Trafficking

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  1. Let's be clear: man-made climate change is happening and humanity is already adapting to it and will continue to have to do so.

    Yes, let's be clear —

    * The science is not settled; if it's settled, it's not science, and if it's science, it's not settled.
    * There is more evidence of natural climate warming than of man-made climate warming. Or to put it another way, almost all of the evidence for climate warming was applicable back when even the alarmunists admit it wasn't man-made.
    * Olive trees were being cultivated higher up mountains in several past warming periods; thus it was warmer then than now.
    * A retreating glacier uncovered a forest it had buried 1000+ years ago, and the trees were several hundred years old. Thus it was warmer then for several hundred years than it is now.
    * The IPPCC models are bunk which can't even predict the past 20-30 years of climate change.
    * The IPPCC-derived "talking points" use the 8.5°C (?) climate rise model as if it were likely.
    * The sea level rise claims are bunk. One report listed a dozen or two US Atlantic coast cities, all with remarkably different rises for the same ocean. Obviously they were relative to sinking / rising land, but this was nowhere acknowledged.

    There is far too much dishonesty from the AGW crowd to put any credence in them.

    1. Your comment has more facts in it than the last dozen UN conferences on climate. Somewhere they must pay by the word for climate alarm bullshit, there's so much of it.

    2. Your factoid salad sounds like a defense lawyer for CO2 reading an obsolete brief from a Russian gas company.

      Ron cogently notes that "worsening weather poses the biggest risks for poor people ruled over by corrupt kleptocratic elites."

      The greatest risk we presently face arises from an autocrat trying to re-assemble Russia's energy empire by invading his neighbors to grab their gas pipelines.

      https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2022/02/a-brief-history-of-russian-climate.html

      1. Man, you're pounding that table really hard. What did it ever do to you?

        1. As a matter of record, I pounded Carl Sagan rather hard.
          So don't be un-Reasonable
          What did he , or Q-Anon grade climate pseudoskepticism ever do for you?

          1. Admittedly it doesn't line one's pockets quite like being the scientifically illiterate attack dog of the IPCC like you, Russ, but it does come with the satisfaction of being correct in every single instance simply by saying the opposite of your death cult based on the same models that can't predict my local weather more than 3 days in advance. So thank you for providing that opportunity to everyone.

      2. Nobody reads your shitty web 1.0 blog that looks like something a junior high school student whipped up in Geocities, Russell Seitz. And considering that you look like a mutilated penis, you should probably lighten up on constantly attacking the superficial characteristics of your "enemies", like their hearing.

        1. Link to Russ's rage-induced vile name-calling in place of any actual argument because he is a pathetic, spineless, pig ignorant piece of shit who got his fee fees hurt because his plan to carbonate the oceans (yes, really) met with skepticism. Keep this kind of shit in mind when these watermelons try to frame their apocalyptic death cult as some sort of humanitarian concern for others. Unless you worship them like the gods they imagine themselves to be, they have no use for you and will happily watch you die for their cause. In fact, these twisted pieces of shit are the same warmed over Malthusians who have been calling for genocide and mass death to keep the population at a "sustainable" level for 300 years now.

          1. God's teeth, this tone-deaf Fahey gibbers mightily as a Moldovan NeoMoonie.

            Might he be a climate crank of some sort?

            1. re: "Might he be a climate crank of some sort?"

              Pot, meet Kettle.

      3. Yeah...no. Anthropogenic climate change is caused by one overriding factor: Global political and financial elites (hello John Kerry!) have invested heavily in green technologies and in Chinese infrastructure and political agreements (bribery, etc.). Their quality of life will suffer greatly if we do not immediately alter energy policy. Except for China, who can safely continue to build 15,000 new coal-fired power plants.

        1. That 15,000 number is not hyperbole, by the way.

    3. Well stated. I used to think that AGW was mostly hype, and I still do, but the topic is WAY more nuanced than that. I just finished the excellent book "Unsettled" by Steven Koonin. My takeaway from the book is the topic is VERY complicated and that adaptation is the most likely pathway for humanity. Unless you reduce CO2 emissions to ZERO and/or figure out a way to draw down the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to ZERO, CO2 concentrations will continue to rise. There is simply NO WAY to stop CO2 emissions from increasing, so we have to figure out how to live with it.
      The only possible exception to a slightly warming earth is if we are truly entering into a solar minimum similar to what ended in 1816, the year without a summer.

      1. Steve is a very smart guy, who went from being Cal Tech provost to Chief Scientist of British Petroleum . He, like Ron and me , is a staunch advocate of curbing CO2 growth by replacing coal fired electricity with nuclear power ASAP.

        The American coal boom that arose of necessity from the OPEC induced "Energy Crisis" is petering out as wind and solar grow cheaper , but, witness Koonin's work on the subject when he was Number Two in Obama's DOE, it will take advances in energy storage as well as nuclear and fusion research to get to the end of the age of steam.

        1. it will take advances in energy storage as well as nuclear and fusion research to get to the end of the age of steam

          End of the age of steam?

          How exactly do you think a nuclear power plant generates electricity? Witchcraft?

          1. Unicorn farts.

        2. Wind and solar? Like a couple of winters ago in Texas? That wind and solar? Pull the other one.

    4. The science is not settled; if it's settled, it's not science, and if it's science, it's not settled.

      This shows up a lot in climate science threads, but it is overly simplifying how science works. Ideas, theories, and models in science are not ever "proven" in the same sense that a theorem in mathematics can have a proof that shows it to be true. Once a valid proof for a theorem has been made, then that theorem is going to be true. Doubting it would only be reasonable if there was doubt as to the validity of the proof or of the truth of the postulates used in the proof. Essentially, science works to disprove hypotheses. When a hypothesis is not disproved by an experiment or observation, then scientists look for other ways to test the hypothesis, maybe try the same experiment again to verify the results, or look for other implications of the hypothesis to work on. Eventually, many hypotheses and models that have survived testing can be synthesized into one broad idea or framework, and that is usually what scientists mean by a theory.

      Scientists and science teachers, like myself, will get annoyed when people talk about something being "just a theory". Scientists aren't always perfectly consistent in this, but the Theory of Evolution is not "just a theory" that is a guess about how biology works. It is extremely well tested, having survived 150+ years of observations and experiments in biology. It is "settled" in the sense that there is no value in continuing to test its fundamental principles. On the other hand, it is not "settled" in the sense that biologists are always working on expanding it, trying to understand its implications, both for the big picture as well as details, and looking for new ways to use it to explain things observed in living organisms.

      Additionally, if something they see as they do this work contradicts the fundamental principles of the theory, then they will look at that quite closely, and with excitement. Nothing would be as thrilling to a scientist as a discovery that would prove something established like Evolution wrong. Virtually all of the scientists whose names we remember were people that did exactly that.

      All scientific knowledge is provisional. It is always possible that a future observation or experiment will contradict something considered to be true. But at some point, the path forward is to provisionally accept that something is correct and work on the details rather than continue to question the core. The greenhouse effect is like that. There is just too much observed for over a century that lines up with the existence of the greenhouse effect and CO2's role in it to bother questioning it now. No one that wants a career studying climate is going to waste their time doing that, any more than someone that wants a career in paleontology is going to question evolution.

  2. Did not Carl Sagan publish a mathematical theorem back in 1983 that humans could drastically reduce global temperatures overnight?

    Why has this not been done already?

    1. There's a guy in Russia threatening help out with that.

      1. Where’s his Nobel prize for saving the earth?

        1. Ukraine stole it.

  3. "miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all."

    Something tipping point.

    1. Which of the hundreds of tipping points is at stake now? I've lost track.

      1. Which of the hundreds of tipping points is at stake now?

        You tip once, after dessert and the check have arrived. Not several times and not at the main course.

  4. White House unveils new plan to move America past covid crisis, says shutdowns, school closures no longer necessary

    Looks like Biden shut the virus down.

    1. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

    2. I would be deeply disappointed if the American public bought this revisionist bullshit, but since I lived through the last two years, I’m pretty sure they will.

      1. Two years to flatten your memory.

        1. Damn, that was a good one.

  5. Of course, people will not blithely let higher tides sweep over them and their property; they will adapt.

    But only if the proper adaptations are mandated by government, a la COVID.

  6. Is humanity's situation as dire as the headlines suggest?

    Of course it is! It's well known fact that nobody on earth has seen a single snowflake in over 12 years!

  7. Let's be clear: man-made climate change is happening

    14 days to flatten the temp curve!

    1. $14 trillion to flatten the curve!

  8. The UN is as trustworthy as the CDC.
    They have been lying about this for half a century now; their 'models' have never been correct.

    1. China builds a new coal plant every damn day. That isn’t a problem though.

      1. Actually, about one per week, which is a lot for a country that pretends to care about climate change. Possibly they don't really believe in it or care.

        1. China generates more power through coal, than the US does through all sources.

          When the UN tells China to sit the fuck down, I'll start maybe pretending to care. Until then, fuck off watermelon.

          1. Yeah. China has more coal fired power plants under construction than the US has and could therefore possibly close. We could go completely black other than "renewables" and it wouldn't make a lick of difference as far as solving the claimed Climate Change Problem.

            1. You've figured out that the US can't solve climate change on her own and it requires an international solution. That seems to be progress.

        2. They only care when they are not asked to reduce emissions. Like now.

  9. And yes Obama just bought ocean front property.

    1. You forgot that he has the power to lower the sea level.

      1. I thought it was walk on water. Maybe he needs a teleprompter for that.

  10. SO Misanthropic Global Warmunism lost traction and is now being renamed "Climate Change?" The 1961 Soviet storyboard with the sharknados and desperate shortage of coercion remains unchanged.

    1. Hank seems to be confusing MGW with Intelligent Design. For state of the art incoherence in the Climate Wars you can't beat the alliance of the Moldovan Moonies with The Heartland Institute:

      https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2022/02/watch-moldovan-neomoonies-cover-climate.html

      1. Yeah, but Hank has been known to confuse a cauliflower for a poodle, too.

        And the time he riced the neighbor's dog is better left unmentioned.

        1. The more Ron learns and writes, the less Hank does either.

          1. Well, like you, Ron has no training of any kind in climate science yet opines on the topic endlessly, so it's understandable why you find him such a kindred spirit. Unlike you, Ron has no training in any sort of science whatsoever. His terminal degree was a BA in philosophy. So at least he has an excuse for being a boorish, stupid, apocalyptic death cultist.

            1. If Fahey wishes to beclown himself by denying authors of papers on climate science in Climatic Change, Nature, & the journals of the American Geophysical Union "have no training of any kind in climate science," no true libertarian should stand in his way.

              1. L. Ron Hubbard was also an author.

      2. Hank is a lunatic in the throes of late-stage dementia, and he's still somehow less incoherent than you, Russ. It's actually quite remarkable that ANYONE can out-batshit that fucking nutcase, but you're nothing if not dogged in the pursuit of that crown. I guess the 3 spambots that autoclick your shitty blogspot links probably does increase your average weekly traffic by about 2,000% though. If you extrapolated that rate of growth the same way that you do seasonal weather events every year, your blog may just be the thing that causes the climate catastrophe you've been warning us about for 45 years.

        1. What climatic catastrophe do you imagine I was I warning of in 1977?

          1. Probably Global Cooling. It was all the rage back then. Icebergs were going to drop into the ocean and cool the gulf streams destroying every undersea creature in its wake. Sound about right?

            1. "Sound about right?"

              Don't quit your day job.

              1. I've had many great jobs since 1977. None of them were in science. But I sure have seen my share of 'theories' about the weather in that time.

            2. I'm old enough to have been reading Natl Geographic and Time mag back then, and yes, that's what they were saying. So f off, slavers.

              1. "and Time mag back then,"

                That's your problem. Time is horrible, always has been.

  11. In the Northeast Climate Change is now responsible for more potholes. The sporadic cooling and heating of the pavement makes the potholes more prevalent. Not the shitty construction or the neverending traffic. It's Climate Change.

    Good to know the Gov still can't get it together enough to fix potholes but has a much clearer idea of why!

    Go get 'em!

  12. "The recipe for successfully adapting to climate change is continued economic growth and technological progress."

    That's a recipe for sticking to the status quo. It's avoiding adaption to climate change. The recipe nonsensically calls for increased burning of fossil fuels as the way to reduce green house emissions.

    1. The recipe nonsensically calls for increased burning of fossil fuels as the way to reduce green house emissions.

      Fossil Fuels are still the most efficient way to drive our planes, trains and automobiles so we can continue economic growth and progress. Tell me about the alternatives. Nuclear? Not green enough for the green crowd. Rechargeable Batteries? Where do THEY all go when they wear out? Where do the raw materials come from again? What kind of energy does it take to mine them? To provide the Electricity for your EV world? How about Solar and Wind? Boy for some planet enthusiasts you sure have your eyes on ways to really alter the landscapes and skyscapes of all of the other creatures we share this planet with.

      You're probably still throwing all of your trash into landfills, ordering paper instead of plastic at the grocery store, packing your kids lunches with plastic baggies and lining up in the school parking lot with the rest of the idling SUVs (though yours may be EV now) while you wait to drop your little darlings off at school.

      Let me know when you have a solution that makes a serious change in behavior without compromising lifestyle.

      1. "Let me know when you have a solution that makes a serious change in behavior without compromising lifestyle."

        The solution is to burn less fossil fuel or even stop altogether, something that will inevitably affect our lifestyle. There are no alternatives at the moment that would let us continue our energy demands. Technology improvements in alternatives and nuclear fusion may help as well as social leveling and international co-operation.

        1. The solution is to burn less fossil fuel or even stop altogether, something that will inevitably affect our lifestyle.

          Oh, it will do far more than that: it will completely destroy our ability to adapt to climate change, climate change that is inevitable. It will also plunge the world into poverty. Adapting to climate change requires technologies, raw materials and manufacturing that we can only produce via fossil fuels.

          There are no alternatives at the moment that would let us continue our energy demands. Technology improvements in alternatives and nuclear fusion may help as well as social leveling and international co-operation.

          None of that addresses the problems you're claiming to address. In fact, you are simply using climate change as an excuse to impose international socialism, and you are using weasel words to do it ("social leveling and international co-operation"). Fuck you and your ilk: you are as evil as your predecessors, from Stalin to Hitler to Xi.

          1. "Oh, it will do far more than that: it will completely destroy our ability to adapt to climate change, climate change that is inevitable. "

            Humans have managed to survive on thrive on the planet in all but one continent without relying on burning fossil fuels for hundreds of thousands of years. Don't underestimate our capabilities.

            "In fact, you are simply using climate change as an excuse to impose international socialism, and you are using weasel words to do it ("social leveling and international co-operation")."

            I'm afraid International Capitalism isn't going to do it. Read the 'solutions' offered in these pages for confirmation. And you can set your mind at ease about International Socialism. We already have a system of socialism around the world, and I'm afraid it's not going to do it. We will need a hybrid mixture of the best (or worse) elements of Anarchism and Communism.

        2. I'm all for nuclear fusion. Why don't you grab a rocket (Bezos has one he's not using, might smell like Shatner, though), go to the sun, get some fusion (grab a little for me while you're there), bring it back. I can put some in the basement for winter. For god's sake, man, we only have 10 years!

          1. My mistake. I meant controlled fusion.

    2. "The recipe for successfully adapting to climate change is continued economic growth and technological progress."

      That's a recipe for sticking to the status quo. It's avoiding adaption to climate change. The recipe nonsensically calls for increased burning of fossil fuels as the way to reduce green house emissions.

      You make no sense. There is "reducing green house emissions" and there is "adaptation". The two are different.

      The Netherlands building dikes is adapting to high sea levels. It takes wealth, wealth generated by burning fossil fuels. We call that "adaptation". It works.

      Germany killing off its nuclear plants and going solar is an attempt at "reducing greenhouse gas emissions". It will do nothing for CO2 levels or climate change. It will not benefit Germany or the world.

      The "status quo" is fine: rapid economic growth around the world, until all nations are wealthy enough that climate change simply isn't an issue.

      People like you want to destroy this status quo and plunge the world into poverty and misery for no rational reason.

      1. "The two are different."

        I was aware of that.

        "Germany killing off its nuclear plants and going solar "

        We need an international approach as I mentioned. One nation isn't going to be enough.

        "People like you want to destroy this status quo and plunge the world into poverty and misery for no rational reason."

        The reason is that refraining from burning fossil fuels will eventually lead to a reduction of green house gases. You are being overly shrill and pessimistic. Incredible as it seems, all life on the planet, including human life, has managed to thrive without burning fossil fuels.

  13. "man-made climate change is happening"
    -
    Natural climate change is also happening, more so than the man-made portion, and nobody is able to say definitively how it is apportioned.
    There's a lot of BS promoting AGW hysteria in order to panic the public into handing control of energy over to political authorities.
    -
    There is no existential threat from climate change, but there may be one from political constriction of energy production.

    1. You are contradicting yourself. How can you say that most of the warming is 'natural?'

      1. That's not contradictory. Are you so brainwashed (or stupid) that you think warming/cooling (or nothing) could only come from humans (anthropological)? Do you also think truth only comes from, or could be ascertained by the government?
        ...oh wait, nm.

        1. It is a contradiction. In one sentence he says 'natural' climate change is greater than man made climate change. In the next sentence he says nobody is able to apportion the causes. Hence the contradiction.

      2. How can you say that most of the warming is 'natural?'

        Because the current warming cycle started long before humanity started using fossil fuels?

        1. How does that make 'natural' warming greater than man made warming?

  14. Putting aside the reference to Pielke, an outlier among climate scientists, progress is a great antidote to all problems and despite the almost universal pessimism among humans - it may be a universal trait - most measurable criteria has shown steady improvement for us all, including the poor. Unfortunatelt, the great strides in agricultural production go along with the "green revolution" which relies heavily on fossil fuel based fertilizer production, and fossils fuels are non-renewable. Further, phosphate mining - one of the 3 necessary of fertilizers has also peaked with no known replacement. Our continued survival will probably require a much smaller population and hopefully we get there in a slow measured way and not a huge die-off.

    1. Putting aside the reference to Pielke, an outlier among climate scientists...

      Roger Pielke Jr. is not a climate scientist. (His father, Sr., is.) He is a political science professor that looks at the public policy implications of climate science. I will say that he seems to generally understand the scientific issues reasonably well for a non-scientist, though.

      I hope that you are wrong about the requirement for a smaller human population, but given everything I say below about our ecological footprint, pessimism isn't unwarranted. I would love to not care about how much plastic I use, how low I set my AC (living in Florida), how far I drive each day and in what kind of car, what foods I eat and how it is grown, and so on. But the simple fact is that not caring is having serious impacts on ecosystems on a global scale now. It's only going to get worse, and more rapidly, if we all continue with that kind of thinking.

  15. Adaptation and the development of low-carbon energy generation technologies will both be required to address and mitigate the challenges of man-made climate change. And yes, the world is slated to get warmer, but humanity is not running out of time to avert a harrowing climate future.

    Again, when bad weather meets poverty, people die. The recipe for successfully adapting to climate change is continued economic growth and technological progress.

    I didn't see any facts or analysis of the science in Bailey's article to dispute. He summarizes that fairly well. But with this conclusion, he is misunderstanding the nature of our environmental problems in a big way.

    Wealth is great for improving people's lives and ability to adapt to or even overcome adversity. But what else comes along with wealth is consumption. Bailey is ignoring or ignorant of the concept of an ecological footprint. You may be familiar with the term 'carbon footprint', but that is the impact only on the basis of human alteration of the carbon cycle. Ecological footprint considers all impacts of human civilization. It is expressed in terms of land area.

    Taking all of the biologically productive land area (whether it is being used by humans currently or not) and dividing by the human population, there is 1.7 hectares available per person. (1 hectare = 10,000 sq. meters = approx 2.5 acres). Try a tool online to calculate your ecological footprint, and you'll probably find that your footprint is several hectares even before considering the impact of carbon emissions. Just growing, manufacturing, and transporting the food, clothes, building materials, electronics, and everything else you consume requires far more than the globally average available land area per capita.

    This means that if everyone on Earth had the same standard of leaving that people in wealthy countries have, we would need at least several Earths to provide us with everything we would consume. There is simply no possible way for the poor of the world to catch up with our modern standard of living without increasing the rate at which we run out of options to obtain the resources we consume, unless we make huge technological advances and large changes in how much we consume as part of that modern standard of living.

    We definitely want to see people living in abject poverty in developing countries, as well as our own country, benefit from modern technology the way that we do. But the question isn't whether we are running out of time to change the way we live before it starts impacting everyone negatively. We passed that boundary a long time ago. We (citizens of wealthy countries) have to find a way to live much more sustainably now. We then have to share those advances with the developing world as we make them so that their increases in wealth don't compound the existing trends.

    1. Dude. My 8 yr. old knows what a carbon footprint and an ecological footprint is. My 13 yr. old would see through the rest of your bullshit. My 14 yr. old would categorize you in with Malthus and The Club of Rome. I didn't teach any of them about any of it. What gives you the impression Ron doesn't understand what an ecological footprint is? I think the Dude's an abject science hack but he grew up on/around dairy farms, he probably has a better idea of what an ecological footprint is than you do. Who do you think you're fooling with this stupidity?

      The Earth currently has 15M sq. km of arable land. Permafrost covers more than 22M sq. km. If we get twice as land efficient in the time it takes to thaw 22M sq. km of permafrost which, according to the UN, we have between 3 and 4X in the last 100 yrs., that's at least 10 more Earths right there. And that's just arable land mass and ancillary or "ambient" production increases and doesn't take into account the demonstrated higher yields and lower water consumption from C3 crops in CO2 concentrations more than double those currently found in the atmosphere. Let alone even more far out ancillary benefits like advances in nuclear power production or orbital solar power.

      GTFO. Or stay around and continue to demonstrate your complete stupidity and lack of understanding. I don't care.

      1. I'm unconvinced that thawed permafrost = arable land. Most of the world's surface is covered by ocean. Our future agriculture may depend on harvesting the plant life of the seas. I never ate seaweed until I went to Japan. They love the stuff. Nori, wakame, kombu and others. It is vegan, healthy, tasty, and UN claims it good for the atmosphere.

      2. What gives you the impression Ron doesn't understand what an ecological footprint is?

        I had no indication of what Ron Bailey does or doesn't know about an ecological footprint. That is why I said that he was either ignorant of the concept or that he ignored it, since dealing with it in his article would have undercut his conclusion that I quoted.

        The Earth currently has 15M sq. km of arable land. Permafrost covers more than 22M sq. km. If we get twice as land efficient in the time it takes to thaw 22M sq. km of permafrost which, according to the UN, we have between 3 and 4X in the last 100 yrs., that's at least 10 more Earths right there.

        Um, what? That was kind of confusing. If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that if we assume getting twice as efficient in land use over the course of time that would thaw 22 million square kilometers of permafrost, that would solve our problems. Hmm, all the permafrost melts, that increases arable land by a factor of 2.5, (using your numbers). Doubling land use efficiency would increase that to a factor of 5 increase in potential production. How did you arrive at "an extra 10 Earths?"

        Of course, what happens to the climate when all of that permafrost thaws? (How long would that take, anyway?) It releases a shit ton of methane, increasing the greenhouse effect even more. Also, what happens to land that is currently productive, especially in lower latitudes, in that warmer world?

        ...the demonstrated higher yields and lower water consumption from C3 crops in CO2 concentrations more than double those currently found in the atmosphere.

        C3 plants also do worse in hot and dry conditions, as they can only take in CO2 while their stomata are open, which also lets out water vapor. Thus, they don't take in as much CO2 as they could otherwise use in hot and dry conditions as they are conserving water.

        I found this from a research group studying this:

        The RIPE project is also working to improve photosynthesis in C3 crops to ensure greater food security under future climate scenarios. C3 plants are limited by carbon dioxide and may benefit from increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting from the climate crisis. However, this benefit may be offset by a simultaneous increase in temperature that may cause stomatal stress.

        C3 plants include some of the most important sources of calories all over the world: cowpea, cassava, soybean, and rice. The regions where these crops are grown in are often hot and dry, meaning they could benefit from the energy-saving mechanisms of C4 photosynthesis. While C3 photosynthesis has more room for improvement, our computer models suggest that we can improve both types of photosynthesis to increase crop production.

        So, breeding or genetically engineering C3 crops could take advantage of higher CO2 levels, but it is an open question where those gains would be a net positive once changes in temperature and rainfall are considered.

        GTFO. Or stay around and continue to demonstrate your complete stupidity and lack of understanding. I don't care.

        You cared enough to reply, so I don't believe you on that last statement. It seems that you are just convinced of your superior understanding and knowledge and aren't interested in testing whether you really know as much as you think you do. I am not going to GTFO.

        1. Um, what? That was kind of confusing. If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that if we assume getting twice as efficient in land use over the course of time that would thaw 22 million square kilometers of permafrost, that would solve our problems. Hmm, all the permafrost melts, that increases arable land by a factor of 2.5, (using your numbers). Doubling land use efficiency would increase that to a factor of 5 increase in potential production. How did you arrive at "an extra 10 Earths?"

          Sorry, I knew you were slow, I didn't know how slow. OK,
          Currently: 15M sq. km.
          Permafrost: 22M sq. km.
          Total: 2.5 current arable Earths
          But! The permafrost hasn't all thawed yet and no model has it completely thawed in the next hundred years. In the last hundred years we had (at least) 3 doublings of agricultural capacity. Now, most uneducated ameteur scientists, lot of teenagers, and even plenty of pre-secondary students (seriously, I've got the first hand experience) know that means and 8-fold increase. Lots of even low-level white collar positions wouldn't hire candidates who didn't know that but this is the internet, stupidity it welcome.

          So, for homework, you get to answer; 2.5 Earths times and 8-fold increase is how many total current arable Earth equivalents?

          Assuming we do absolutely nothing with the current arable Earth, how many current arable Earth equivalents would we gain?

          1. Sorry, I knew you were slow, I didn't know how slow.

            Not slow, just not following what you said that I quoted, since it wasn't clearly stated. I'll quote it again if you forgot what you wrote, and break down how I was trying to follow it.

            If we get twice as land efficient in the time it takes to thaw 22M sq. km of permafrost

            That sounded to me like you were talking about doubling "land efficien[cy]".

            which, according to the UN, we have between 3 and 4X in the last 100 yrs.,

            This was the part that I wasn't sure about. You were saying about how many times it had doubled in the last 100 years, but you weren't saying explicitly that you were going to assume the same increase in next 100 years. Is it likely that crop yields per unit area will double 3-4 times over the next 100 years as it did in the past century? That seems like a pretty big assumption. I would like to see a link to research that suggests that would be probable. So, grammatically, I read your sentence as assuming a doubling, and that you were just mentioning how many times it had doubled in the last 100 years as an aside. If you want to be understood, then you should be sure to be clear.

            Since you brought up having once helped grade papers for your mother when you were in 2nd grade below, I should share that I am a HS teacher as well. Science, though, not math. Specifically physics and chemistry. (M.S. Physics) When grading a student response that requires calculations or written explanations, I do not try and guess what a student was thinking in determining the score. The rubric will be specific for what a student needs to show in the work or what they need to clearly state to get points. (If you look at the scoring guidelines for AP Physics exams, that is how it is done. They don't want the HS AP Physics teachers and college professors that score the FRQs to having to try and mind read what students are trying to say. If they clearly state or show what they needed to, then give them the points. If they don't state it clearly enough, then don't give them the points. That is part of teaching. Having students express their thinking, either in writing or verbally, is what helps them develop their understanding as well as helping you evaluate what they know or don't know.

            Also, as you said just now, melting all of the permafrost won't happen in the next 100 years anyway, so why are you using 22 sq km of permafrost as part of your calculation for the next 100 years? As a question about definitions, arable land seems to mean land used for growing crops, from what I could find. Thus, increasing crop yields isn't the only factor to consider in thinking about how much food could be produced per unit land area from all types of agriculture. Non-arable land used in agriculture would include pastures used for grazing livestock orchards growing fruit, and trees harvested for nuts. So, would all of that melted permafrost even be arable, let alone useful for any sort of agriculture? How does all of this figure into your calculations?

            All of this suggests to me, that maybe we are both using back-of-the-envelope calculations to make our case, when the problem really requires more than this simple kind of estimation. (In physics, we refer to this as a fermi problem, typically only meant to be accurate to the nearest order of magnitude.)

        2. C3 plants also do worse in hot and dry conditions, as they can only take in CO2 while their stomata are open, which also lets out water vapor. Thus, they don't take in as much CO2 as they could otherwise use in hot and dry conditions as they are conserving water.

          Right. But we aren't talking about *only* hot and dry conditions. If you increase the amount of C02 in the atmosphere, their stomata don't have to stay open as long to collect the same amount of CO2. Thus they get the same amount of CO2 (or more) and consume less water (or the same or more water and are more tolerant to drought and excessive temps). The only way crop production goes down in a warmer Earth model is if you assume less water, higher temps, *and* the same CO2 and no model predicts that on a global scale.

          NASA, Deryng, and others go on to clarify this further by explicitly saying that if we keep CO2 concentrations at the year 2000 levels and the globe does warm and dry out, the resulting crop yields would be far, far more catastrophic than if we incur the warming, drying (which the models don't predict), *with* CO2.

          I found this from a research group studying this:

          There are many, many, many research groups studying this all over the world and have been doing so since the 1930s, if not before, both in silico, in vitro, and in feras. All of them demonstrate the conclusive phenomena to which I am referring. The only losses incurred are incurred by the expansion of desert regions and the climate models don't predict widespread desertification, especially in the regions I noted that are currently covered by permafrost. On the contrary, the vast majority of models indicate a wetter, hotter climate. Moreover, the models always note (at least) no losses for wheat and soy *and* assume no advancement in the ability to farm arid or cold regions for such crops.

          Yes, if we don't advance *any* technology in the next 100 yrs. *and* the Earth gets warmer *and* dryer (meaning the ice caps would have to grow). We're doomed to catastrophe. But we're similarly doomed if an asteroid slams into the Earth 5 yrs. from now.

          cowpea, cassava, soybean, and rice. The regions where these crops are grown in are often hot and dry

          Did you just try and tell me that wheat, soybeans, and rice *only* grow in hot dry climates?

          Cowpea only accounts for something like ~1-2% of worldwide crop production in terms of land mass. It's on par with oat production except, it's not unusual to have a 90% drop in worldwide cowpea production one year to the next due, not to heat or water or CO2, but insects. The countries that primarily grow cowpea don't have the technology or infrastructure to maintain pest populations the way Western countries largely do. They *could* but that would mean consuming more fossil fuels to do it. Either way, to act like it's a staple without which catastrophe ensues today, let alone into the future is dumb.

          So, breeding or genetically engineering C3 crops could take advantage of higher CO2 levels

          No, right now, with no genetic alterations, all of the crops you mentioned (and more) are more productive with less water in higher CO2 concentrations both in completely controlled environments and in open-field CO2 studies.

          It seems that you are just convinced of your superior understanding and knowledge and aren't interested in testing whether you really know as much as you think you do. I am not going to GTFO.

          I'm not "just convinced". I didn't have any idea before you typed anything. You convinced me. And I didn't say I don't care that you're stupid. I said I don't care whether you remain stupid or whether you want to stay and look stupid.

          1. I feel this part bears repeating to anyone reading:

            NASA, Deryng, and others go on to clarify this further by explicitly saying that if we keep CO2 concentrations at the year 2000 levels and the globe does warm and dry out, the resulting crop yields would be far, far more catastrophic than if we incur the warming, drying (which the models don't predict), *with* CO2.

            If the world is going to warm and dry out, reducing CO2 to 2000 levels would be far more catastrophic in terms of crop yields than if we allow or force them to rise. It's been known since at least the 70s that plants starve for CO2 at around 200 ppm and aren't smothered by CO2 until we get to above 5-8000 ppm (CO2 becomes toxic to humans in the range of 1000-5000 ppm) and we're currently at 400 ppm.

          2. Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) are expected to enhance photosynthesis and reduce crop water use1. However, there is high uncertainty about the global implications of these effects for future crop production and agricultural water requirements under climate change. Here we combine results from networks of field experiments1,2 and global crop models3 to present a spatially explicit global perspective on crop water productivity (CWP, the ratio of crop yield to evapotranspiration) for wheat, maize, rice and soybean under elevated [CO2] and associated climate change projected for a high-end greenhouse gas emissions scenario. We find CO2 effects increase global CWP by 10[0;47]%–27[7;37]% (median[interquartile range] across the model ensemble) by the 2080s depending on crop types, with particularly large increases in arid regions (by up to 48[25;56]% for rainfed wheat). If realized in the fields, the effects of elevated [CO2] could considerably mitigate global yield losses whilst reducing agricultural consumptive water use (4–17%). We identify regional disparities driven by differences in growing conditions across agro-ecosystems that could have implications for increasing food production without compromising water security. Finally, our results demonstrate the need to expand field experiments and encourage greater consistency in modelling the effects of rising [CO2] across crop and hydrological modelling communities.

            I found this abstract of a paper published in Nature in 2016 with Delphine Deryng as the lead author. This is the kind of research you are referring to, correct? That seems like a relatively modest gain over the next 60 years compared to what you are claiming. Then there was also this published in Science a couple of years later.

            Theory predicts and evidence shows that plant species that use the C4 photosynthetic pathway (C4 species) are less responsive to elevated carbon dioxide (eCO2) than species that use only the C3 pathway (C3 species). We document a reversal from this expected C3-C4 contrast. Over the first 12 years of a 20-year free-air CO2 enrichment experiment with 88 C3 or C4 grassland plots, we found that biomass was markedly enhanced at eCO2 relative to ambient CO2 in C3 but not C4 plots, as expected. During the subsequent 8 years, the pattern reversed: Biomass was markedly enhanced at eCO2 relative to ambient CO2 in C4 but not C3 plots. Soil net nitrogen mineralization rates, an index of soil nitrogen supply, exhibited a similar shift: eCO2 first enhanced but later depressed rates in C3 plots, with the opposite true in C4 plots, partially explaining the reversal of the eCO2 biomass response. These findings challenge the current C3-C4 eCO2 paradigm and show that even the best-supported short-term drivers of plant response to global change might not predict long-term results.

            There seems to be a fair amount of uncertainty about what would be likely to actually happen in a higher CO2 world.

            Did you just try and tell me that wheat, soybeans, and rice *only* grow in hot dry climates?

            Sorry, that paragraph was supposed to also be in italics to indicate it was part of what I was quoting, not something I wrote myself. And, that isn't what it said, anyway. It said that those crops are often grown in regions that are hot and dry, not that they "*only*" grow under those conditions.

            No, right now, with no genetic alterations, all of the crops you mentioned (and more) are more productive with less water in higher CO2 concentrations both in completely controlled environments and in open-field CO2 studies.

            By how much, and will that hold true over the long term? Will something else (like nitrogen fixation) start limiting increases in yields before the increasing CO2 can do much?

            I'm not "just convinced". I didn't have any idea before you typed anything. You convinced me. And I didn't say I don't care that you're stupid. I said I don't care whether you remain stupid or whether you want to stay and look stupid.

            I've managed to reply to everything you've said without calling you stupid. If you won't do me the same courtesy, then I won't bother replying again.

    2. That’s complete bullshit

      1. From all manner of angles. Mom taught HS math and I used to help grade papers when I was young. I remember one of the first times, circa 2nd grade, "x=3" was the answer to one of the problems I was 'grading'. If the answer didn't have that, I put an 'x' by the answer. So proud of myself, I went to my teacher the next day and said, "I learned algebra last night!" When she replied, "You did?! What did you learn?" I replied, "x=3!"

        This is the level at which JasonT20 is with regard to climate. He learned that an ecological footprint is 1.7 ha per person and now knows climatology.

  16. Wow... Sure glad so much manufacturing, energy and monopolizing for "the weather changes" took place..... Ya; that fixed it....

    Oh nope; seems it didn't do a d*mn thing but kill the economy - but I guess that's no reason to acknowledge it as complete B.S. and just an excuse to grow the Nazi-Empire. Keep the fear mongering going; only fearful people listen to Nazi's.

  17. Why is there a fuss over 1+ degree of warming since the late 19th century? Who decided that the temperature in that era was optimal for life on earth? The planet's temperature has varied throughout history... there have been ice ages and warm periods... virtually all of them prior to the Industrial Revolution. The current carbon dioxide concentration is about 1/2000. That's up from approximately 1/4000 150 years ago. With these concentration levels, how can the doubling of a benign gas like CO2 (a gas essential for life on earth, by the way) cause cataclysmic warming? There is no experiment anyone can conduct which shows a shift from 280ppm to 400ppm having any type of impact on temperature.

    1. " how can the doubling of a benign gas like CO2 (a gas essential for life on earth, by the way) cause cataclysmic warming?"

      The heat trapping character of CO2 and other green house gases have been well understood for almost 200 years.

      "There is no experiment anyone can conduct which shows a shift from 280ppm to 400ppm having any type of impact on temperature."

      That'll remain until we can manufacture an exact copy of the planet to be used as a subject for experimentation. In other words, never. A Dyson Sphere would be better.

      1. Stay tuned on Amazon for next year's debut of Larry Niven's Ringworld

        The March of Days spoiler ran in the last aied episode of The Mandalorian.

  18. For the 1000th time, climate is not well understood. Multiple non-linear systems are at play which can't be isolated for testing in the lab (real science)..instead we are relying on modeling with assumptions of how this factor or that impacts to some degree. The truth is we really don't know if the very small concentration of CO2 goes up a bit what the implications are. Maybe good, maybe bad..maybe it has no effect or not a measurable one on climate. For gosh sakes climate science is not on the level of say newtonian mechanics, or Maxwell's equations or quantum mechanics...it just isn't. So, we are forced to model and look for empirical data which might have meant or not (this or that biological change to this or that species for example). The impact of CO2 increases should be studied but at this point we need to stop the cult like religion around what in the end is just another marxist fad to control people and their actions.

    1. "So, we are forced to model "

      No, the heat trapping character of green house gases is well understood, has been for almost two centuries, is firmly founded in contemporary chemistry and physical theory, and is both observable and measurable. What more can you ask of a science?

      1. Never-mind that "firmly founded" science PROVED entirely to be false by 1/2-Century of observable reality.

        Someday; it "might" be true right?????? So what other Nazi-Law can be made using the "it might happen" narrative?

        1. You're not making yourself clearly understood.

          1. That's because he's more interested in calling people on the other side Nazis than communicating clearly.

            1. Nazi is an acronym for National Socialist. There's many on that other-side that are self-proclaimed Nazi's whether they use the acronym or not to describe their government ideology.

              The "Global Warming" predictions of the 70s had multiple dated predictions; none of which materialized at all.... Every model ever produced was proven FALSE by the test of time. So; predictably it become "Climate Changes" as in the weather changes...

              It baffles me such simple concepts of logic become complex calculus to an indoctrinated society... Open the freak-en front door; do you see a climate disaster occurring? Look up the definition of Nazi..... This is 1st grade level common-sense.

              More clarity?
              https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/NAZI
              Nazi = Nationalsozialist (German Acronym).

      2. Heat trapping character of CO2 in a lab under very controlled conditions where you can control the dependent variables yes, in the very dynamic non adiabatic read world, no.

        The Earth is 4 billion years old. The various systems/sub systems which have produced the current "climate" can't be isolated in a lab.

        Is it worth studying? Yes. Is it worth believing it is the most serious problem on the planet? No..not by a long shot

        1. "Heat trapping character of CO2 in a lab under very controlled conditions where you can control the dependent variables yes,"

          I agree. CO2 has been identified as a green house gas. Has been since the 19th century. We don't live under laboratory conditions, and never will. Don't let that blind you to the underlying chemistry and physics, though. Increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere have led scientists to predict higher temperatures. (Remember CO2's heat trapping character) Lo and behold, higher temperatures have been observed, measured and reported, repeatedly, just as the science predicts. Really, what more can you ask of a scientific pursuit? It sounds like you won't take 'yes' for an answer.

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