All the Running You Can Do To Stay in the Same Place
Of course, now that there’s a heat wave in DC and NYC, global warming is back on
In other big climate news:
Big league pundits have been discussing AGW this week:
It all seems based on an absolutely ludicrous claim in WGIII (quoted at p 17 in AR4 WGII SPM
) that by 2100 global warming will have a total cost of 3% of GDP (not compounded annually, total). This is, as far as I am concerned, indistinguishable from noise; this is an annual compounded hit of 0.03%. Based on a 40 hour week, we can all just work an extra 36 minutes a year, send the proceeds to places like Bangladesh, and call it a wash.
I really wish I believed this but I don’t. So there is some SPM level stuff in AR4 that’s totally complacency-provoking. If it’s true, we really ought to find something better to worry about. Unfortunately it really doesn’t look true. On the one hand, so much for the idea that IPCC is alarmist. On the other hand, so much for the idea that IPCC is uniformly good.
The answer from the punditry to Manzi is not to call the absurdly small cost into question, but to say that we should take drastic action anyway, even though the risk is trivial.
(Update: TB does a better job answering Manzi.)
Press reports are wildly
, spectacularly inconsistent
, as the press tries to spectacularize a sober, unspectacular, genuine critique into a crisis or a triumph.
Lou Grinzo, in email, shrugs:
Honestly, these days I’m happy if the mass media can spell “IPCC” correctly.
On the other hand
The Guardian has, with a flourish, issued a pile of fetid middle-of-the-road bilge
as if it summarized anything. This is at least a wonderful who’s who of them what say nothing and get quoted for it. Hulme, Curry, RP Jr., Ravetz. This Pearce de resistance (as in Fred Pearce) may make you lose your lunch. Don’t read it within an hour of eating.
Anyway, “climategate” apparently has changed “everything”. Stop the presses. Please.
The Friends of Science
Or they could just try the Republican plan
, which is to cripple the economy quickly in the interest of electoral gains by simple straightforward idiocy. That would probably be more effective in reducing emissions in the short run.
Moderation in All Things, Especially Human Decency
Keith Kloor’s until-recently promising efforts to establish a middle ground for reasoned conversation, as well as recent efforts by David Brin
, are quickly overrun by the familiar horde of flying monkeys. In related tragicomedy Keith has decided that I am an extremist
, which is tedious in the extreme. On the other hand it seems to be increasing my notoriety, which will help once I have a book to flog, I suppose.
Unfortunately, as a diligently reasonable middle-of-the-roader, Keith is unable to accept the idea that the right target for carbon emissions is the same as the right target for mugging little old ladies. I am sure he is looking to split the difference.
If this journalistic moderating impulse were alive during the days of Lincoln, I figure we’d now have slavery Monday through Wednesday every week and on alternate Saturdays. (*)
Meanwhile, today, this very day, amid all this light comedy, an additional eighty million tons of fossil CO2
are being released into the biosphere. Tomorrow’s emissions are predicted to be similar.
And to all of you in the eastern time zone
I hope your AC holds out. Welcome to Texas.