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A few sites I've stumbled across recently....
This is well worth a look...
It is helpful to have the slides to hand too.
Keith Kloor wonders why commenters here are so agitated about Pielke Jr's position.
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On Pielke Jr.'s site the slides are embedded into the lecture - easier watching.
Link to above with slides : http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.ca/2012/04/climate-fix-lecture-with-slides.html
An example of closed-mindedness would be the two US atmospheric scientists who refused to watch the video because Pielke supposedly does not "acknowledge atmospheric science data," whatever that means.
The worrying thing is that, if the numpties in Westminster and Holyrood were to watch this video, and catch on to the implications of the talk, the immediate reaction from all of them would be:
You see, we were right all along, windmills are the way to go because it takes too long to do nuclear and we are too late anyway for nuclear to have any effect, therefore, we now realise that we need even more windmills in order to meet the targets that we have put into law.
Sorry, I have lost all respect for Roger Pielke Jr.
Roger did some great work debunking hurricane hysteria and he is often reasonable on other topics.
But...I have been trying for almost three years to get Roger to explain why he believes it is necessary for governments to regulate CO2. He has repeatedly refused to do so (even though he promised he would).
Hoping he might offer an explanation, I recently watched the first 18 minute of his video (on his site). In that first 18 minutes, Roger spent a few seconds waving his hands about (laughable) IPCC computer models and then proceeded to dive into the vipers nest of government regulation.
IPCC computer models? Sorry, no sale! The RSS data now show over 15 years of global cooling. As I noted in the following post, that is the standard NOAA established for (with a 95% confidence level) invalidating these computer models:
First, I think that this is as close you can get to a 180 degree difference from the latest RS advocacy piece. I think RPJr's view is more realistic, but when's that mattered when there are $$$$$s to be made?
Second, SBVOR, surely RPJr was saying, in effect, that regulating CO2 is a waste of time, being impossible anyway.
Thought provoking talk. Thanks for the link.
I was not happy with some of his assumptions at the start of the talk that allowed RP Jr to get to his main points, though.
However, assuming CO2 is the big problem, the points about what was relevant and not relevant were interesting and showed that there was a "bigger picture". Also, the amount of work to be done was illustrated well.
He also indicated the disingenuousness of governments to raise carbon taxes without wanting to spend any of it to fix the problem.
There was a lot to take in. I may have to watch it again.
"surely RPJr was saying, in effect, that regulating CO2 is a waste of time, being impossible anyway"
No, Roger has, repeatedly, for many years, made it perfectly clear that he sees a need for government policies aimed at "decarbonization". Roger is very much a big government "Progressive". He is, however, also a realist. The best we can say about Roger is that he does not live in a total fantasy world. He understands the challenges of accomplishing what he would very much like to "accomplish".
Click here to see the question I posed (on 7/31/2009) and the answer Roger offered.
Click here to see that Roger claims to address my question in his book (but, to this day, refuses to post his answer on his blog). I have no intention of buying Roger's book.
Roger ends up by saying that the argument over science distracts people from considering the policy options i.e. another way of saying the science is settled (one way or the other) now we need to consider the policy options regardless of what the science tells us.
Then he also advocates a carbon tax as a means of providing cheaper energy ... really? here was me thinking that the object of these feed-in tariffs and so forth was to raise the price of energy until the more expensive options become more palatable. I haven't seen any sign of energy prices coming down and I think the government has given up trying to convince the electorate that switching our light bulbs and paying some Europhile to assess the energy spec of our house is actually going to result in cheaper energy. Or more jobs.
And I think part of what Roger is doing is perpetuating that myth.
What this tells us is that the policies for dealing with the problem are as poor as the science used to define the problem. Merde puissance deux.
Something akin to this topic came up on the BBC news at 1pm today - worth posting the audio clip if available. In it a spokeswoman from the RS of Engineering pointed out that the UK decarbonising objectives were unattainable. It was also pointed out that the MPs who voted for the Climate Change Act had no idea how it was to be achieved and they still have no idea.
This fact seems to have passed entirely over the head of the Energy minister who spoke later on the new energy bill expected shortly, with its unilateral carbon tax that will help put the UK out of business.
Truly we have chumps in charge.
You're on the right track...If AGW is not a threat, then Roger is no longer in the limelight -- nobody pays him to fly all over the world telling politicians how to run our lives and nobody buys his books.
So, IMO...Roger is, of necessity, firmly in the camp of those who consider the debate to be over. He apparently considers all skeptics to be "deniers" unworthy of his time or trouble.
Click here and draw your own conclusion.
A few observations.The video was a bit poor in that a look at the slides would have been fairly easy to incorporate but weren't. I saw the link provided by No2BS after I finished watching.
He discussed the question of how much people might be prepared to pay to mitigate Climate Change and looked at the question from lots of different angles. He failed to address what would have been my very first question, will it work? Let's say for argument's sake that I do believe that we have a looming disaster and I am being asked to accept a reduction in income to prevent it, the first and most obvious consideration is whether my sacrifice is going to help. Judging by the figures he gave later about nuclear and solar power, the answer appears to be no, not in the slightest.
He also at one point mentioned an ideal of reducing human CO2 emissions to zero. My understanding is that 97% of the world's CO2 emissions are from natural causes, so even this ideal would result in an overall reduction of 3%.
The part of the talk that explained how many nuclear or solar facilities would be needed to reach current emissions targets seemed to me to be a bald statement that reducing emissions by an amount that would make the slightest bit of difference is impossible. Given that impossibility, it would seem that all the money spent so far by the world's governments on subsidising wind and solar power and various other schemes, has been completely wasted. Solar power is a bit of a problem in that it stops working at night.
He repeatedly used the word 'carbon' when refering to CO2.
After spelling out the utter impossibility of significantly reducing CO2 emissions at all, he then contradicted himself by advocating a 95% reduction. Apparently this is going to be acheived by new, as yet unknown technology that will be miraculously brought into existence by throwing 'carbon tax' money at it.
He thinks that electric have something to do with the solution.
It is almost May and in the UK it is absolutely bloody freezing.
I don't think people should get hung up on Pielke's apparent advocacy of a carbon tax. He's not proposing a carbon tax in any form as it is currently understood, but (with Lomborg) has suggested the possibility of a micro tax, which would likely be virtually invisible to the consumer. The point is one we'd expect from policy analyses, which cannot begin by taking issue with the intended aims of the policies in question; its emphasis is on the means.
The question of energy R&D is a good one, because we know that producing more and cheaper energy can produce a good. My criticism of P&L's carbon micro-tax is that the good that expanding access to energy would produce is sufficient to make the argument, all by itself; so why bring climate change into it? The interesting thing is that some people seem to need climate change to make a case for doing something; it doesn't seem to be enough for some people that that billions of people could enjoy longer, healthier, wealthier lives. That suggests to me that some moral compasses are kaput. But again, it's not a problem for Pielke's analysis.
I interviewed Pielke about his criticism of the UK's Climate Change Act in 2009 here.
On his profile page, Pielke describes himself as "a Senior Fellow of The Breakthrough Institute, a progressive think tank".
Click here for Pielke's profile.
Click here & examine the mission of this so-called "progressive" think tank (Pielke also links to this site from his profile page).
Any tax intended to jump start the next generation of energy innovation will (as always) ONLY serve to subsidize failure, incompetence, sloth and corruption. Witness the abject failures of ethanol, wind and solar.
What is needed is the rigors of competition in the private market.
"They defend their errors as if they were defending their inheritance."Edmund Burke
SBVOR, the subsidisation of the renewables sector is a different order of intervention. Pielke is critical of creating an artificial market by setting punitive targets, and says that IF (NB: IF) lowering the carbon intensity of the economy is a worthwhile end, then it is better driven technology-up, rather than policy-down.
To people who do not believe that the market is a panacea, your call for the rigours of competition will look like faith. I think there's a perfectly good argument that any application of technology should be able to compete -- and Pielke makes the point that if they don't, the policies to force them will ultimately fail. But we're talking about R&D, not the market.
There is a debate to be had about how R&D should be funded. It seems obvious to me that there is an energy crisis, and a lack of investment in energy R&D, as the lack of access to energy that much of the world suffers. You could make the argument that the thing which most besets such progress as would see everyone enjoying abundant and cheap energy is various forms of government intervention -- and your right to make such a point is not in doubt. But I don't see why we should, a priori, rule out policies such as Pielke has proposed. People want to see the progress that it promises, and I expect that if such a microtax were implemented, you'd find bigger things to worry about.
Here's an article from the Breakthrough lot that you may find lots to disagree with. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/04/INB61NEVD2.DTL&ao=all I would probably agree with some of your criticism. For instance, they seem to believe that all potential technology revolutions are created equal, and forget some lame ducks -- such as renewable energy, of course.
My point, however, is that you can't expect everyone in the climate debate to produce arguments you agree with all the time. Pielke's criticism is of the UK's climate change Act, and it's a pretty neat demolition of what the likes of Huhne, Miliband, Blair, Brown, etc have created, in their own terms. We can't rule out that criticism, just because Pielke isn't a free market evangelist.
Roger Pielke, Jr. has positioned himself as a reasonable "centrist" lukewarmer in the climate debate. He often attacks over-the-top alarmist claims and draws attention to legitimate skeptical criticism of the CAGW position.
However, he often consciously goes out of his way to attack perceived "right wing" figures, sometimes for unjustified or petty reasons, and apparently for the primary purpose of boosting his left wing political credentials.
I think he is an opportunist, quite capable of self-delusion when it fits the political/media image he is seeking for himself. He nevertheless happens to have defensible positions on various aspects of the climate debate, some of which he may believe, others of which I suspect are deliberately understated (ie, insufficiently skeptical) for political reasons. He is in my opinion anything but an "Honest Broker" (the title of his book on the climate debate published in 2007).
He does rather take the CO2 issue as a given, but then he's more interested in the economics and policy, so that's fair enough. As Ben Pile mentions above, there is an interesting thread through his talk which shows the disconnect between alleviation of poverty and the usual stance of the climatomaniacs. Many of these are driven by an unfocused concern for the third world poor (often quoting natural disasters as caused by climate change) and using this as a reason for us promoting 'sustainability' or the multiplicity of ineffective but economically damaging policies. Pielke's talk shows quite clearly that the easiest way to relieve poverty is to allow economic development, not hold it back. (Interestingly this was also the conclusion of Prof Paul Rogers of Bradford Uni who I had the opportunity to listen to recently). This, tied in with his graphic illustrations of why the current Climate Change Act in the UK, and the equivalents elsewhere, have not a hope in hades of working should part of a high profile message to the policy wonks. Whilst I would not agree with his initial comments on the CO2 problem per se, he has a valuable message to policy makers. Interesting that he has in the past talked to the Climate Change committee in the UK, though obviously they didn't hear properly. Perhaps now would be a better time for him to try again.
I'm afraid Pielke jr is in the Hansen camp and always has been. He uses Hansen et al to support his armwaving, says nothing about the derivation of his absorbtion figures. It is poorly put together and appeals to the usual IPCC cabal.
It is all far to vague, IMHO. Sorry jnr.
I am glad that Pielke Jr's ideas are getting the once-over.
They are self-contradictory. They are far more dangerous than the open alarmist, who, at least has the virtue of straightforwardness in his game.
The open alarmist in pressing for his/her case purely on a scientific basis can be refuted or confronted at several stages. Pielke Jr and his kind - 'policymakers' working silently behind the scenes - virtually cannot be stopped. The damage will be wrought, and the bill sent to your doorstep.
The only option is a deep examination of the basic underlying forces that drive their ambition, and call it to question. This may seem hard, and as friendly fire, as Pielke Jr is usually thought to be supportive of sceptical thought. This is an untenable notion.
Shub, is that some kind of reds-under-the-bed revision you're working on there: alarmists who don't actually alarm? And working silently... Behind the scenes... Oh, but in presentations, such as the video you can see above, last week in Scotland, and the one I saw in Birmingham.
Good luck with that mind probe, and the 'deep examinations of underlying forces'.
He seems to start from the assumption that more CO2 is bad ie if we hit 450ppm then all is lost. He doesn't explain (or I didn't hear) why that is a problem. If he means the heating of the planet then he is ignoring the last decade's experience where CO2 is rising without a rise in global temperature. If he didn't mean that then what is the issue?
Jihnbuk: He seems to start from the assumption that more CO2 is bad ie if we hit 450ppm then all is lost. He doesn't explain (or I didn't hear) why that is a problem.
At around 7 minutes in, he explains that he disagrees with the framing of the issue around the 2 degrees limit, and the claim that 'science dictates...'. He points out that science doesn't dictate anything. He calls the charts referred to as 'scientific performance art'.
He doesn't assume what you seem to believe he has assumed. You seem to have got his position 180 degrees out.
Interesting comments ;-) ... I'd be happy to respond to questions etc. Also, some may be interested in this debate with Benny Peiser in which I made the case that an aggressive approach to energy innovation needed no climate justification:
You can also see a similar argument in The Hartwell Paper. Thanks all ...
Ben Pile ... "You seem to have got his position 180 degrees out" Indeed, lots of that in this comment thread ;-) Thanks for helping to set the record straight ;-)
1) Anytime you expect government to accomplish anything more than ensuring the defense of personal liberties, you will ALWAYS be VERY disappointed. The outcome is virtually always the exact opposite of what was promised. All governments, including the USA government, do a sorry enough job of defending personal liberties. Every government does an absolutely awful job with everything else -- always have, always will.
2) The superior performance of private markets (in ALL arenas) is not -- as you wrongly suggest -- an article of "faith". It is an objective, empirical, quantifiable REALITY!
3) There is NO “lack of investment in energy R&D”. Energy companies are investing BILLIONS in energy R&D.
Government “investment” in energy R&D is virtually never any more productive than the utterly corrupt and abysmal failure seen with the Solyndra fiasco. So, the FACT is that governments are wasting enormous amounts of other people’s money on nothing more than political payoffs.
4) You're dead wrong about your alleged "energy crisis". What we have is a governance crisis. First, we have the explosion of shale gas production worldwide (just now getting ramped up in England). Second, we have the ENORMOUS potential for shale oil. The USA alone has almost twice as much oil shale as the entire proven reserves of the whole planet:
A) Click here and see the last chart and the cited sources.
B) Click here and put USA resources into further perspective.
Ben Pile"He doesn't assume what you seem to believe he has assumed. You seem to have got his position 180 degrees out."Ok, many apologies, I was trying to download the slides at the same time on a slow link and suspect I lost part of the plot as it were.JB
Roger Pielke Jr. says:
"I'd be happy to respond to questions"
Tell it to somebody who has NOT been waiting almost three years for you to keep this promise:http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/07/please-read-climate-progress.html?showComment=1249057468307#c6191695106256689047
SBVOR- This will be my one and only response to you. I have written an entire book on why action to decarbonize the economy makes sense. If you don't want to buy a copy, then check it out from your library. You can also read The Hartwell Paper freely online. My blog has discussed the issue of decarbonization (including the importance of oblique approaches) ad naseum. You are free of course to disagree with every word I've written, but those words are out there, more than anyone probably wants ;-) Thanks
Ben Pile,I have never seen you criticise someone who had the opportunity to be interviewed by you. You did the same with Mike Hulme.
Pielke Jr and his ideas, and the not-so terribly resonant ideas presented in the so-called Hartwell paper are available for everyone for examine and dissect.
I can challenge you - Roger Pielke Jr will NOT stand his ground and argue, without dropping smilies in his wake as he has done above.
I believe Pielke Jr is a humanitarian, and a basically honest person - let us get that out of the way. But these are serious matters at hand.
Cross post there!! :)
See, Pielke NEVER answers the question.He NEVER offers a link.He ALWAYS obfuscates and pimps his book.I once respected Roger, not anymore.
As I said above, I don't agree with all Dr Pielke's assumptions, but that notwithstanding the argument on the impracticality of hitting CO2 reduction targets is cogent and important. The need for new forms of energy may well be less urgent than many claim, but it's still there. [Fifty years from fusion anybody?].
Shub -I have never seen you criticise someone who had the opportunity to be interviewed by you. You did the same with Mike Hulme.
Well, I happen to agree with a lot of what Mike Hulme says -- and I think many of his critics are particularly shallow in their criticism. Ditto with Roger. And if you take care to read my article on Roger's presentation in 2009, you'll see I also interviewed Julia King the same day -- an individual whose views I found repugnant, and who I criticised. I have interviewed many people for my blog, and for articles elsewhere, and I have criticised them. I've also criticised people I know personally, and even one or two who are in my extended family. I think you perhaps only register the instances where you are annoyed by my agreement.
What bothers me is that there seems to be a reluctance to accept any nuance to the debate: any form of state intervention must be just one goose step away from global fascism; anyone not completely attached to the idea that there's no such thing as global warming is in bed with M. Mann, and probably helped him draw the HS. It's an attempt to impose lines over a debate which is messy, and has many dimensions. Frankly, it reminds me of the excesses of environmentalism.
Roger Pielke Jr.,
If you expect reasonable people to embrace the need for your purported "solutions", it would behoove you to first convince us of the "problem" you purport to "solve".
As you suggested, I've pulled up the Hartwell Paper:http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/1/HartwellPaper_English_version.pdf
Now, I'm not interested in reading all 42 pages of your policy [Snip -manners]. So, how about referring me to a page number wherein you purport to convince me of the "problem"?
Oh, yeah, I forgot, you're not speaking to me.
Ben,The fundamental premise/purpose of 'The Climate Fix' can be stated: to allay climate policymaker anxieties.
It is absolutely unclear - what the book's recommendations mean to the 'man on the street'.
The book is appreciated by bureaucrats and policymakers who find themselves in the final conundrum of the climate debate - how does one bleed humanity without making the cut? Pielke's book whispers the required sweet-nothings - 'yes, it can be done, yes, don't listen to the skeptics, yes, you have lots of public support'. There is then the additional: 'yes, you can go ahead and do it, even if you don't have much public support, just do it little-by-little, step-by-step.'
I am not making this up. It is there in his book. He refers to it above. In the Hartwell language - it is called obliquity.
I believe that such ideas, though not actively pursued on their own, contain the element of a threat to liberty and open democracy.
My reading of the HP paper is, take away the issue of AGW, and you are left with global access to energy as the argument to decarbonise. This seems to follow from the logic fossils fuels are apparently costly. Secondary to this are other carbon fuel related pollution issues - for example a reference is given that "Shine and Sturges estimated that 40% of the heat trapped by anthropogenicgreenhouse gases (GHGs) in the Earth’s atmosphere is due to gases other thanCO2"
A search on the HP pdf does not come up with anything for "shale". The references include this March 09 paper: http://www.cps.org.uk/publications/reports/step-off-the-gas-why-overdependence-on-gas-is-bad-for-the-uk/
Quick search of Roger's site comes up with some links from which it is hard to tell what he thinks on shale and the potential for cheap fossil fuels - the direct question for his views from commenter "dljvjbsl" is left unanswered. Maybe his answer is elsewhere on his site - I didn't see a referernce to shale in his presentation slides linked above. Nor do I see any contributions from him on the thread at Climate etc and from a quick skim there are several who seem unconvinced by the "decarbonise now" mantra.
Shub - 'The fundamental premise/purpose of 'The Climate Fix' can be stated: to allay climate policymaker anxieties.
I watched Julia King -- policy-maker, member of the Committee on Climate Change... a bureaucrat... a technocrat -- shift anxiously in her seat as Roger gave his presentation in Aston University in 2009. She was furious. He had said that the policies she had helped to author were going to fail, hadn't been tested, and had no precedent for success.
I don't see how THB, or any of Roger's analyses can be seen as a palliative to King's palpable discomfort. In my review of the event, there is criticism, however, of Roger's approach:
Pielke’s analysis may not be able to explain what lies behind the political establishment’s desire to control behaviour, or the legitimacy of the process by which the Climate Change Bill became an Act. But his criticism stands out against the widespread failure of parliament, journalists and academics to subject this act to any scrutiny. Just six MPs voted against the Bill, and the few objections that were raised in parliament barely registered and were casually dismissed.
I don't see how any but 5 of the UK's MPs can find comfort in Roger's analysis either.
There's a lot of narrative in your criticism of Roger, but not much explaining. It's an obstacle to understanding what your criticism is actually about. You've not said anything I recognise. Maybe you should explain how you move from what Roger has actually written, towards your conclusion.
Not surprisingly…In briefly skimming The Hartwell Paper (recommended by Pielke), I found nothing that even remotely resembled an answer to the question I posed almost three years ago.
To the contrary, the Hartwell Paper explicitly asserts (emphasis is mine):
“It is now plain that it is not possible to have a ‘climate policy’ that has emissions reductions as the all encompassing goal… the Paper advocates a radical reframing – an inverting – of approach: accepting that decarbonisation will only be achieved successfully as a benefit contingent upon other goals which are politically attractive”
Apparently, Pielke and crew have abandoned any effort to convince anybody that there is a need for governments to regulate CO2 (or that any such policy would ever be even remotely productive).
Rather, these big government “Progressives” suggest that (emphasis is mine):
“the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.”
First, are they implicitly presuming that fossil fuels “undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system”? WOW! Talk about alarmist (without offering a SHRED of evidence)!
Second, anybody who thinks government bureaucrats can ensure “energy access for all” is both terminally gullible and hopelessly naïve.
Third, ask the victims of Katrina how much precedent we have for government bureaucrats “ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from [crap beyond our control]”. Every government bureaucrat at every level quite predictably utterly FAILED every one of those victims (and ALWAYS WILL). Who helped them? The PRIVATE SECTOR -- The Red Cross!
This Hartwell Paper is academic hubris at its WORST (typical Pielke).
The reference to Cambridge Econometrics and Terry Barker in the Guardian and quoted in the slides, plays down the fact that Cambridge Econometrics was founded by him and some colleagues: . "the consultancy, a private company owned by a charity and chaired by the Cambridge University academic, Terry Barker".
Terry Barker has been a major inflluence on the IPCC process for many years via Tyndall and Cambridge. He was writing about sustainability and mitigation as far back as 2001 for the new Climate and Social Science Institute (Tyndall), founded by Mike Hulme. This Cambridge press release is from 2006, "Government Scientist opens Climate Change Centre January 2006:
"Sir David King, Chief Scientific Advisor to HM Government, was in Cambridge on Friday for the official opening if the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research in the University’s Department of Land Economy, or ‘4CMR’ as it will be known."
The Director is Dr Terry Barker. Here are a few extracts from Dr. Barker's speech at that opening:
"The Centre is focussed on computer modelling of mitigation, or slowing down, of climate change. It would be better to stop the change, but that is impossible. We are committed to it (sic). But hopefully future generations are not yet committed to catastrophic change. The science suggests that there is an increasing chance that they will be, unless we cut and eventually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and tropical forests.
The foundering (sic) members of the Centre, all of whom are here, have backgrounds in many disciplines: economics, engineering, mathematics, physics, ecology and geography. But the focus of our research is the special intersection of economics and engineering concerned with climate change mitigation – particularly by economic policies inducingb low-carbon technological change.
Perhaps surprisingly, we are one of a very few teams anywhere whose energy-economy models are based on an annual series of data. It may seem astonishing, but the global climate models, providing governments with estimates of the costs of climate stabilisation are nearly all reliant on one year’s data.
I also want to thank Cambridge Econometrics, who is (sic) working closely with us to support the research programme. We would not have been able to build our global model without the company’s help." It was effectively his own company.
This was the entry for Terry Barker on the web site of the Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge, on a page updated May 18th 2006: (‘4CMR’ had opened in January).
"Dr Terry Barker is Chairman of Cambridge Econometrics, the company originally formed by DAE researchers under his leadership to apply the Cambridge Multisectoral Dynamic Model (MDM) of the British Economy. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of Economic Systems Research.
He was a Co-ordinating Lead Author (CLA) for the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report taking responsibility for the chapter on the effects of greenhouse gas mitigation policies on the global energy industries and a member of the core writing team for the Synthesis Report Climate Change 2001. He was CLA for the Fourth Assessment Report, for the chapter on cross-sectoral mitigation."
A brief reminder of some of the comments from the Tyndall Web site re Dr Barker and the Stern Review:
"Terry Barker, leader of Tyndall’s CIAS programme of research (Community Integrated Assessment System) and Director of 4CMR, set up a project to conduct a meta-analysis of the literature on the costs of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) mitigation with induced technological change, funded by HM Treasury. This generated a report for the Stern Review."
"Terry Barker, Rachel Warren, Robert Nicholls and Nigel Arnell were asked for their comments on various parts of the draft Stern report. Finally Terry Barker read and edited the Modelling Costs Chapter of the Stern Review."
He is very proud of his influence within the IPCC, in his cv he says:
"At the meeting of experts to start the 2001 process, I proposed that a new chapter (i.e. one that was not in the Second Assessment Report) on the global sectoral costs of mitigation (i.e. the costs for the world’s oil and coal industries) be included in the Working Group III Report. This was accepted by the meeting and I was appointed by a peer-review process to be one of the two Co-ordinating Leading Authors for Chapter (Sector Costs and Ancillary Benefits of Mitigation).
I instigated an IPCC Expert Workshop to stimulate research and publications. The proceedings were published and the new knowledge was taken on board in the various meetings. This is a demonstration of world leadership of which I am proud.
As an impartial, unbiased academic expert, I was involved in the highly politically charged discussions on text for the Policymakers’ Summary between representatives of the UK, Australia, Saudi Arabia and the US.
I was also chosen to lead the writing team for Question 9 of the Synthesis Report (chaired by Bob Watson, Chief Scientist of the World Bank." (Yes, that Bob Watson).
Pielke Jr, and the Hartwell positioning, can be explained as follows: "The pursuit of aggressive, head-on approaches to carbon control - a la Copenhagen and cap-and-trade, have failed. Close to twenty years of international politicking for carbon-control via the UN-driven multipolar process, has failed. These approaches have virtually deprived all others' ideas of oxygen. We hereby present an alternative way."
The failure of Copenhagen and cap-and-trade should/could serve as a wake-up call to the artificially constructed edifice of carbon control technocracy that has sprung into existence, courtesy UNFCCC.
Instead, in the hands of the Hartwell group, it serves as an instrument of resuscitation. For them, it is an opportunity to push for their own approaches to be picked up by governments and given a shot.
I can quote relevant passages from the Hartwell report, if you like.
For instance, from their executive summary:
The Hartwell Paper follows the advice that a good crisis should not be wasted
The framing of the characteristics of Hartwell's policy:
[A climate policy] should be politically attractive, ... politically inclusive, ... and, ... relentlessly pragmatic, ...
One might read the above and go: "Wow! Isn't that such a nice thing, compared to say, a carbon policy under UN auspices or a cap-and-trade mechanism". What is to be realized is, for the Hatwell group, attributes of attractiveness, and inclusivity are to be pursued toward the larger goal of 'decarbonization', and not toward citizen welfare.
This is important because the rock-bottom denominator that is pursued in the abysmal politics of the UNFCCC - 'controlling carbon' - is so low, that anyone within their circles who provides the faintest glimmer of opposing insight, is considered visionary. Such insight may however simply be commonsense to anyone who's tried to put food on the table on fill up a tank of gas. 'Don't play with a man's livelihood' - does not even require a second's thought. In the climate world however, it needs to be stated to the environmentalists in the form of an 'iron law'
Dr. Pielke Jr. is convinced the science is settled and has moved on with all haste to the remedy phase which he freely admits is unachievable. He is all about decarbonizing the economies of the world without so much as a word as to the appropriateness of such an action, nor the folly. He's part of the problem in that he expects a miracle will occur in which all competing nations will settle down around the energy efficient campfire alternative and hash out in very altruistic ways all the energy problems facing mankind.
Sorry for that blaring claxon alarm you hear - that is my BS alarm going off again.
I thought the argument in the Hartwell Paper was that we should be led by climate Guardians on a merry wander (Capability Browns Gardens), and then as if by magic, arrive at the gates of the global Republic (Hartwell), radically decarbonised, and in an amused frame of mind to boot - presumably anaesthetised by climatosis - whilst being taxed to hilt as much as was "politically acceptable".What gets my sphincter twitching, is the thought of all the liberty-crushing political and economic machinery that will invariably be required to manoevre the entire population of the planet to this point, how much it is all going to cost, how long it's all going to take, only to find out it's just all a wild goose chase because bettlejuice just went supernova, or it actually got really chilly everywhere, or worse... some bright spark ;) has another really good, revolutionary argument, and the co2 paradigm is overthrown.Roger, are you suggesting that "the journey" you want us to take is more about the means than the end?Ben Pile, I too raised an eyebrow at your comment that we are in an energy crisis with a lack of r&d, in so far as the crisis - if there is one - I would describe as really a crisis created by intervention, and that surely investment in r&d has actually resulted in shale deposits becoming economically viable leading to a boom?
Dr. Pielke Jr takes the position that the scientific 'consensus' on AGW is basically correct. If so, he discusses the political, economic and social implications of attempting to decarbonize. You might not like that assumption, but often it is constructive to accept an argument as true, and then do an analysis of the implications anyway.
I have followed RPjr 's weblog for sometime and have found much to agree with. However, as an Australian with a totally dysfunctional socialist coalition government hell bent on taxing its citizens into oblivion on the premise of carbon dioxide being a worthy tax target, I found his presentation somewhat confronting ... maybe his introduction was poorly put across.
To my mind there is no compelling argument that CO2 at 450ppm is a threat to mankind, if anything, it will be a boon to food production and people living in cold regions - Hello Minneapolis! In fact there is little to compel me to believe that the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 is largely a consequence of mankind ... mankind only influences 3% of the total volume of CO2 in the atmosphere. Indeed, CO2 content in early centuries is known to be have been greater than it is now and life thrived. I don't advocate wholesale dirty fossil fuel burning and we do need to watch what we are putting into the atmosphere.
His comment regarding CO2 being bad news for changing the chemistry of the ocean is far fetched ... there is tons of literature out there that refutes the "ocean acidification" argument.
If the target is alternative fuels ... other than wind and solar ... then lets put funding into that. BUT, take that funding away from the CAGW where it is thieved and squandered by those who consider themselves as the 'elites'. Enough money globally has been wasted on 'pie in the sky' wind and solar projects and like voodoo energy projects. That must stop in order to fix the broken economies ... and I add, socialist economies that have squandered their hard working citizens taxes and left their countries destitute. Hello EU, easy wasting other peoples money, eh ? I don't feel inclined to have my taxes going to pay for your failures.
RP jr appears to lend credence to our government's Carbon (Dioxide) Tax ... the tax that we were never to have. In doing so he has not endeared himself to the Australian man in the street but rather to his audience at the Australian National University.
Shub, I'm not convinced by your analysis of two lines from the Heartland Paper; especially since it has moved the emphasis away from your criticism of Pielke.
You have read far too much into the two lines you quote. The first is simple enough: the COP process failed, and the failure represents an opportunity to reflect on the failure for those people who believe it is necessary to deal with climate change. The second is equally simple. The authors are amongst those who believe that climate change is a problem, which needs a response in policy, noting the failures of the previous attempt to respond to the problem, chiefly: that they exclude dissenting opinion and ignore political reality, and thus encompass your concern that they don't address 'citizen welfare'.
This is a move away from the arguments for more monolithic, anti-democratic institutions along the lines of the UNFCCC process. The basis on which such political projects are founded is that normal, democratic politics cannot respond to climate change: in the activist vernacular: global problems need global solutions, which has the obvious implication, global solutions need global problems.
Your issue appears to be that the HP apparently contradicts your imperative, "do not play with a man's livelihood". That's a perfectly reasonable position to hold, but you don't seem to hold it in a way that lets you treat people with other views with grace. Instead you seem to attribute to them all sorts of nasty motivations. Indeed, you seem to claim that it's somehow worse that the HP makes an appeal for a plurality of views (including yours!) to be allowed into the discussion, and says that a fundamental problem of the policies so far is that their development has excluded alternative views (such as yours) from the debate.
There are aspects of the HP that I would criticise. And I find some of it and the attempts to work from it somewhat frustrating. But I can't see any reason to believe that it's worse than what preceded it at all. On the contrary, I find its authors far more accommodating to criticism, and inclined towards debate. The issue with climate change alarmism and alarmists is not that they were wrong; the issue was that they refused to permit debate. What concerns me about what you've written is that it mirrors those excesses, and does not consider that there is a debate to be had -- nobody who has a different view holds a legitimate view, but is an advocate of some dark political project. It strikes me as paranoid.
Justin - Ben Pile, I too raised an eyebrow at your comment that we are in an energy crisis with a lack of r&d, in so far as the crisis - if there is one - I would describe as really a crisis created by intervention, and that surely investment in r&d has actually resulted in shale deposits becoming economically viable leading to a boom?
My argument was that many in the world do not have sufficient access to energy, and that this is a sufficient basis to make an argument for more energy R&D. I anticipated the answer that a crisis could be conceived of as being the result of too much intervention:
You could make the argument that the thing which most besets such progress as would see everyone enjoying abundant and cheap energy is various forms of government intervention -- and your right to make such a point is not in doubt. But I don't see why we should, a priori, rule out policies such as Pielke has proposed. People want to see the progress that it promises, and I expect that if such a microtax were implemented, you'd find bigger things to worry about.
My answer to SBVOR, which seems to have gone missing, is that not everyone is convinced in the idea of the market as a panacea, and that economics is not a 'science' consisting of objects as concrete as, for instance Newtonian physics. Notice that the point Pielke and Lomborg make is for R&D, not for commercialisation of any given application. I don't see the problem in filling the gap left by the whims of the market in R&D. It could expand the number of experimental pathways where the market doesn't seem to be so interested. Fusion, for instance, which requires significant capital investment from the point of view of any commercial organisation, with no immediate returns on investment in the medium term. Fusion research -- some of it state-funded -- has led to the possibility of commercial applications, e.g. fusion-fission hybrid. There are a number of other possibilities considered in Lomborg's 'cool it'.
Shale gas is great, of course. But is it enough? I don't think it is. And the Breakthrough lot make the point that its development wasn't as spontaneous a product of the market as many claim. I don't know if their arguments are decisive, and that they don't over state the point in some respects, but I'm pretty sure they have a point.
My argument was that many in the world do not have sufficient access to energy, and that this is a sufficient basis to make an argument for more energy R&D. I anticipated the answer that a crisis could be conceived of as being the result of too much intervention:
You could make the argument that the thing which most besets such progress as would see everyone enjoying abundant and cheap energy is various forms of government intervention -- and your right to make such a point is not in doubt. But I don't see why we should, a priori, rule out policies such as Pielke has proposed. People want to see the progress that it promises, and I expect that if such a microtax were implemented, you'd find bigger things to worry about.My answer to SBVOR, which seems to have gone missing, is that not everyone is convinced in the idea of the market as a panacea, and that economics is not a 'science' consisting of objects as concrete as, for instance Newtonian physics. Notice that the point Pielke and Lomborg make is for R&D, not for commercialisation of any given application. I don't see the problem in filling the gap left by the whims of the market in R&D. It could expand the number of experimental pathways where the market doesn't seem to be so interested. Fusion, for instance, which requires significant capital investment from the point of view of any commercial organisation, with no immediate returns on investment in the medium term. Fusion research -- some of it state-funded -- has led to the possibility of commercial applications, e.g. fusion-fission hybrid. There are a number of other possibilities considered in Lomborg's 'cool it'.
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