CLIMATE CHANGE, ADAPTATION AND ALTRUISM

An interesting blog from someone well-informed in oil and gas. I do like the comments about deciding how much global warming is natural and how much human. Too often it is implied that all is human. IT IS NOT

Research Triangle Energy Consortium

The White House Science advisor John Holdren is credited with suggesting that responding to the threat of climate change ought to be some mix of mitigation, adaptation and suffering, and all that remained to be determined was the mix. This statement implies the inevitability of climate change and that preparing for it must be a part of the response.  I suspect this cheered the climate hawks more than the doves.  The suffering part is right out of the playbook of economists, the dismal science folks.  Bleak though it may be, it is recognition of a stark reality.  In fact the entire statement is an acknowledgement that doing nothing is in fact a choice for suffering.  Accordingly, climate hawks must not take too much comfort in the statement.

Even those who consider that climate change is a reality do not necessarily agree that climate science is “settled”, a characterization that is…

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3 thoughts on “CLIMATE CHANGE, ADAPTATION AND ALTRUISM

  1. Paul Braterman

    How much of current climate change is credibly assignable as natural? And, a heretical thought; this feels as if it is relevant to policy but isn’t. All that matters are future proections, and costs and benefits of mitigations and adaptations.

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    1. michaelroberts4004 Post author

      You have asked the $64000 unasked question in my view. It took me years to accept anthropogenic climate change as I was aware of great fluctuations over a billion years and at least 3 previous series of Ice ages. To often climate activists seem to presume all climate change is anthropogenic. As earth suddenly cooled in 1314 resulting in Little IceAge and almost certainly glaciers in the Cairngorms and then warming after 1810 or so and ever since, then some/much warming must be non-anthropogenic. But that spoils the simple activist story. However I have no competence to do much on this.
      I think it may be relevant to policies on mitigations and adaptations. It also may reduce the silly polarisation on climate

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      1. Paul Braterman

        My understanding is that the Little Ice Age was a North Atlantic, rather than global, phenomenon. And the polarisation of which you speak is, I fear, the result of paid propaganda (for an almost risible example, see my Denialgate; oil barons caught funding classroom anti-science http://wp.me/p21T1L-M) and of an understandable reluctance to accept a conclusion that implies painful action.

        One interesting development is the linking of climate change denial to creationism, both in the UK (Alastair Noble links climate change to evolution as what should not be taught as fact in schools), and the US (Ann Coulter, tea party, Jay Richards and the DI). No doubt in Australia, where now coal is king.

        Again as I understand it, the increase since, say, 1950 can be attributed initially to cleaner air, then to CO2, with a superposed 11 year solar cycle.

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