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Poll: What to do about climate change? 

What are the top priorities for climate change?
No action needed 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Cut Emissions 29%  29%  [ 7 ]
Tax Carbon 13%  13%  [ 3 ]
Remove Carbon Dioxide from Atmosphere 25%  25%  [ 6 ]
Manage Solar Radiation 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Reduce Personal Carbon Footprint 17%  17%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 24

Poll: What to do about climate change? 
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Post Re: Poll: What to do about climate change?
Robert Tulip wrote:
The debate is about whether conservatives can have any useful views on climate change.
I disagree. I think the question is whether denialists have any useful views on climate change. Serious conservatives took a stand for market-like approaches to mitigating CO2 emissions and other GHGs long ago - at latest in 1990. Then something else happened.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Harry has likened them to creationists who apply magical talismanic thinking to exclude any views outside their cult. I understand the comparison, but in both cases there is a danger that the obvious error in their views leads to an inability to explain or respect why they hold that view.
As with Creationists, I am interested in understanding their motivated reasoning process. Respect is too much to ask in either case.
Robert Tulip wrote:
for climate conservatives it touches strongly on the theme of the new Booktalk non-fiction selection, the epic struggle between individual liberty and the common good.
Liberty is part of the common good. We know with a high degree of confidence when it is not worth sacrificing the common good for the sake of a utopian ideal of unlimited liberty. Rhetorical appeal is not at all the same thing as intellectual respectability.

Robert Tulip wrote:
I particularly liked his [Sixsmith's] comment that “conservative premises could have lent themselves to environmentalism. Conservatives believe—or ought to believe—in low time preferences, prudence and restraint, the fragility of order, and the love of home. The Left’s apparent use of environmental matters as Trojan horses for egalitarian and internationalist ambitions has no doubt raised hackles on the Right.”
That is so much eyewash. Milton Friedman, George Schultz and James Baker were not smuggling in any secret agendas, much less secret longings for equality and internationalism, when they advocated charging an appropriate price for the damage done by GHG's. This business of trying to turn denialism into a defense against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not credible, and I will not mention what I think of the morality of it.

Robert Tulip wrote:
So it seems curious that conservatives are so suspicious of climate action. Sixsmith exactly nails the politics with his observation of how the left uses climate to conceal its real egalitarian and internationalist ambitions.
Sorry, but the not-so-secret agenda of Murdoch, the Koch Brothers, Exxon-Mobil and Newt Gingrich played a direct and devastating role in prying America's conservative party away from responsible conservatism, and blather trying to blame it on "internationalism" is a sick self-deception that does not warrant even the least consideration. Sure, anybody can gin up oppositional rhetoric by demonizing hypothetical conspiracies, but the policies began in the hands of Republicans because the appeal was to reason, not secret agendas, and nothing short of the force of unreason is responsible for undoing that.

Robert Tulip wrote:
analysing left wing condescension toward right wing perceived stupidity, concluding that "if skeptical conservatives are to be convinced, the Left must learn to reframe the issue in a way that is more palatable to their worldview."
Their worldview is of a place the sun doesn't shine. Motivated reasoning may be politically powerful (see Antebellum Slavery for a fairly complete example) but it has nothing to do with morality or, in this case, rationality. If skeptical conservatives are to be convinced, they are going to have to gather the moral courage to face facts.

There have been, for decades, reasonable conservative arguments and considerations favoring a moderate response. If such reasonable analysis had been listened to, we would not be in the fix that you so often cite. I am not sure why you can't see that the same idiocy that blocked reasonable action when it had a chance of making a difference is probably also going to block geoengineering. The ass-inine worldview is the problem, not something that will be magically gotten around by proposing a more right-friendly approach.

The casual willingness of the super-rich to sacrifice the truth and the public good for the sake of another billion dollars is not something history will remember them with respect for. Sometimes people who extract at the expense of others are just wrong. The question is beginning to be whether there will be anyone left studying history in 100 years. What is near certain already is that the Florida peninsula will be underwater in the lifetime of my students, and our actions to stop it will continue to be an average of diddley with squat.

Robert Tulip wrote:
The close alignment between climate advocacy and the renewable energy industry is one example of such a barrier. Creationism is obviously far worse, with its contempt for evidence and logic as moral values.
If you genuinely believe Creationism is worse than climate denialism, I think I would like to try some of what you've been smoking.

There. Dopamine fix arranged.

But really, I have no time for arguments trying to blame the left for denialism. Yes, they ought to give serious attention to the opportunities provided by geoengineering issues. I'm sure there are people thinking that anyone who advocates a larger role for government is more insidious than the special interests who have made a hostage of the earth itself. Speaking of motivated reasoning.



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Post Re: Poll: What to do about climate change?
To unleash the military industrial complex on anthropogenic global warming would seem to be in line with the current economic trend of sovereign security first. Strange how in this current version of history with all this lament for the supposed loss of individual liberty and that most gov’t is bad. The go to solution is the growth of that military industrial state. It’s become a bore and fatiguing. Massive industrial complexes are the stuff of science fiction nightmares, yet here we are entertaining notions of just that. I am in a quandary? Do I allow my inner misanthrope to just resign itself to the almost certain extinction of the human species? Or do I accept RT’s dystopian version of the lifestyles of the libertarian rich and morally dysfunctional?.

That second question is a bit harsh, I do credit RT with his presentation of the moral authority the libertarian right could capture would they champion AGW and I suppose we may just see some form of lip service towards AGW during the run up to the 2020 campaign by PSfB in desperation, but as I wrote, There is fatigue in the U.S. and his name is Trump. :x . The right wing is going to be steamrolled come November 2020 and along with that will be these false notions about industry voluntarily stepping up to the plate to do what needs to be done to alleviate a problem that they are largely responsible for, by which I mean, Both AGW and Trump.

That mighty military industrial complex has simply got to put its money where their mouth is. Fat lot that will happen. But the real moral question is...Governance. Libertarianism cannot answer the question of governance because it cannot reconcile the global need of individual rights and a solution to AGW, only social democracy has the moral flexibility to accomplish what needs to be done. The hypocrisy invariably, by necessity, would come from the political right, in particular, the libertarian right, what I call.. Economic Social Darwinist, For them it would be a hypocrisy of a philosophical level that is and strangely would be... unacceptable.



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Post Re: Poll: What to do about climate change?
Harry Marks wrote:
the question is whether denialists have any useful views on climate change. Serious conservatives took a stand for market-like approaches to mitigating CO2 emissions and other GHGs long ago - at latest in 1990. Then something else happened.
Hi Harry, many thanks for these comments, even if you find it hard to suppress your irritation at my perceived obtuseness. Well I am not being obtuse. The facts are that this so-called ‘market-like approach to mitigating CO2 emissions’ has a snowball’s chance in hell of slowing down climate change, and that is due to its inherent defects, not the opposition of denialists. Mitigating emissions, slowing the speed at which we add carbon to the air, can at best remove 1.5% of the carbon problem of anthropogenic radiative forcing each year, not even enough to stop the situation getting continually worse. Emission reduction is a failed paradigm that has to be junked.

Denialists are not always the sharpest tools in the shed, but they can see a crock of shit when one is served up for dinner. Not only does emission reduction fail manifestly to fix the problem it sets out to fix, but it fails at the cost of enormous expense and disruption. Renewables have some great benefits - cleaner air, economic efficiencies and industrial innovation. But their theory of change on global warming does not exist. Meanwhile the planet will keep cooking until we bite the geoengineering bullet. That needs to reverse the taboo against direct climate management, which will need the fossil fuel industries and military to manage it.
Harry Marks wrote:
As with Creationists, I am interested in understanding their motivated reasoning process. Respect is too much to ask in either case.
Sure. The motivated reasoning for climate denial has a number of pertinent factors whose relative weight can be debated. The distrust of elitist progressive culture has been carefully cultivated by the agitprop wing of the political right, with echoes of the fascist mentality of belonging to local place and fearing cosmopolitan values.

Trump set out the issues fairly clearly in his speech announcing the decision to leave the Paris Accord. The Paris agreement is not fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers; it punishes the United States while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters; it transfers jobs from the USA to other countries; it creates high risk of energy shortages; and, in the most crucial statement of all,
President Trump wrote:
“Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree — think of that; this much — Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. Tiny, tiny amount. In fact, 14 days of carbon emissions from China alone would wipe out the gains from America — and this is an incredible statistic — would totally wipe out the gains from America’s expected reductions in the year 2030, after we have had to spend billions and billions of dollars, lost jobs, closed factories, and suffered much higher energy costs for our businesses and for our homes.”


I appreciate that people don’t like hearing these arguments from Trump, but they seem to me to be evidence based, and to provide a fairly cogent explanation for why so many people are unwilling to accept scientific arguments about climate change when these are packaged to require ignoring the problems the President has outlined.

Further to these points, I also believe that religious fundamentalism has an intimate connection to climate denial, due to the ideological separation between spirit and nature creating a rapturous belief in heaven that overrides empirical observation.
Harry Marks wrote:
Liberty is part of the common good.
There is massive political tension and difference between concepts of freedom and equality. Freedom is associated with individual liberty and equality is widely seen as the main goal of the common good. Liberty and the common good serve as primary structuring factors for the political spectrum from extreme equality on the extreme left to extreme liberty on the extreme right, with the centre involving both in balance. Woodard makes the good point that ideologies of the common good have often been perceived as unduly constraining personal liberty, with communism the extreme case.
Harry Marks wrote:
We know with a high degree of confidence when it is not worth sacrificing the common good for the sake of a utopian ideal of unlimited liberty.
Really? The gun debate in the USA shows how contested such ‘a high degree of confidence’ can be. Reasonable as it may seem to say gun nuts are mad, some respect for their perspective is needed in efforts to achieve a negotiated solution. One person’s reasonable choice is another’s utopian fantasy. Similar issues arise with climate change, with perceptions that the elitism of the United Nations and its progressive culture creates unacceptable risks to liberty and local decision making power.
Harry Marks wrote:
Rhetorical appeal is not at all the same thing as intellectual respectability.
True, but their boundary is quite fluid. When you have an emotional distaste for a person’s argument, you will dismiss their reasoning as rhetoric. In climate change there are rival echo chambers, denial and emission reduction. Both engage in mythological thinking with a weak basis in evidence. The climate movement uses the intellectual respectability of climate science to claim its politics are objective, when its decarbonisation policies actually have no prospect of achieving their stated goal of preventing warming.
Harry Marks wrote:
Milton Friedman, George Schultz and James Baker were not smuggling in any secret agendas, much less secret longings for equality and internationalism, when they advocated charging an appropriate price for the damage done by GHG's. This business of trying to turn denialism into a defense against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not credible, and I will not mention what I think of the morality of it.
There is no question a carbon tax has an economic elegance that is attractive to the mainstream conservative attitude. The problems are that taxing carbon is just too small, slow, expensive and divisive to offer much useful contribution in the war on warming. Too small: taxing carbon only slows the speed at which we add to the warming problem, doing nothing about the massive committed warming due to past emissions. Too slow: there is major risk of dangerous tipping points being crossed in the Arctic in the next decade, which presents a primary planetary security problem that can only be addressed through immediate geoengineering, driven by political decision, not abstract economic incentive. Too expensive: an energy tax puts sand in the gears of the world economy, forcing a shift away from fossil fuels at a faster rate than is needed, with massive transition costs. Far cheaper to mine carbon from the air than to stop people burning stuff. Too divisive: the broad conservative mistrust will not be turned around by Baker and Schultz, and nor will the global momentum of ongoing fossil fuels be slowed. New ideas are needed that put these divisive debates about decarbonising the economy to one side, and instead look to profitable methods to mine carbon while also re-freezing the North Pole.
Harry Marks wrote:
the not-so-secret agenda of Murdoch, the Koch Brothers, Exxon-Mobil and Newt Gingrich played a direct and devastating role in prying America's conservative party away from responsible conservatism, and blather trying to blame it on "internationalism" is a sick self-deception that does not warrant even the least consideration. Sure, anybody can gin up oppositional rhetoric by demonizing hypothetical conspiracies, but the policies began in the hands of Republicans because the appeal was to reason, not secret agendas, and nothing short of the force of unreason is responsible for undoing that.
The political debate on climate change is not between reason and irrationality. The so-called rational side of decarbonisers simply ignore the evidence that their policies have no prospect of stopping warming, and largely refuse to countenance discussion of methods that would achieve their goals.
Harry Marks wrote:
Motivated reasoning may be politically powerful (see Antebellum Slavery for a fairly complete example) but it has nothing to do with morality or, in this case, rationality. If skeptical conservatives are to be convinced, they are going to have to gather the moral courage to face facts.
That analysis applies equally to the motivated reasoning of decarbonisation, with its political attitude of speeding up the end of fossil fuels leading to an irrational rejection of geoengineering. The moral courage to face facts is as absent on the left as on the right.
Harry Marks wrote:
There have been, for decades, reasonable conservative arguments and considerations favoring a moderate response. If such reasonable analysis had been listened to, we would not be in the fix that you so often cite.
No, that is just not true. People have listened to emission reduction advocacy, and have concluded that its costs are too high and its benefits too uncertain. As I mentioned, the warming problem is due to the 635 billion tonnes of carbon that people have already added to the air, with the sensitivity of the climate system to this change of conditions. That is a fix that no amount of emission reduction can solve. Until the climate movement grasps the key counter-intuitive point that slowing the speed at which we add to this committed warming is marginal to stopping it, on the sanitation model, the two sides of politics will continue to talk past each other on climate change. Again, we don’t fix sanitation by cutting faecal emissions, and nor can we fix climate by cutting carbon emissions.
Harry Marks wrote:
I am not sure why you can't see that the same idiocy that blocked reasonable action when it had a chance of making a difference is probably also going to block geoengineering.
No, it is a different idiocy that is blocking geoengineering. Geoengineering offers a practical path to salvage and sustain the capitalist business model of fossil fuel extraction. Carbon removal has major direct benefits for industries such as shipping, insurance, mining, energy, agriculture and fisheries, enabling them to continue business as usual by investing in offsets that will be bigger than their total emissions, achieving a regulatory model that makes profit and biodiversity compatible, and also working to reverse the worsening business risks of warming, such as the greater intensity of storms, droughts, floods, fires and sea level rise. The idiocy that is stopping geoengineering research is the inability to discuss a pro-capitalist model that is entirely factual about the security risks of climate change.
Harry Marks wrote:
The casual willingness of the super-rich to sacrifice the truth and the public good for the sake of another billion dollars is not something history will remember them with respect for. Sometimes people who extract at the expense of others are just wrong.
That critique of the capitalist system is far too simplistic, bitter, resentful and oppositional to provide a practical way to stop climate change. The public benefits of the products that have generated super profits are immense. Far better to try to forgive the capitalist system for its mistakes, and look to work constructively to use capitalist processes to solve climate change.
Harry Marks wrote:
What is near certain already is that the Florida peninsula will be underwater in the lifetime of my students, and our actions to stop it will continue to be an average of diddley with squat.
It is entirely possible to achieve net zero by 2030 and a restored climate by 2050, but not via emission reduction. We need a different paradigm to stop the looming danger of sea level rise.
Harry Marks wrote:
If you genuinely believe Creationism is worse than climate denialism
You misread my comment. I was saying creationism is worse than the myth that emission reduction can solve climate change.
Harry Marks wrote:
I have no time for arguments trying to blame the left for denialism.
There is certainly some very confusing and complicated political psychology at work in generating people’s opinions about climate change. I don’t see blame as a constructive theme since we are all in the same boat. Denialism has arisen as a psychological and political defence mechanism against the false claim that massive cuts to emissions is a sensible public policy. Both are equally irrational, and can only be overcome by geoengineering as a new climate paradigm.
Harry Marks wrote:
Yes, they ought to give serious attention to the opportunities provided by geoengineering issues. I'm sure there are people thinking that anyone who advocates a larger role for government is more insidious than the special interests who have made a hostage of the earth itself. Speaking of motivated reasoning.
Actually, both sides of the climate debate are now holding the earth hostage. It would really help if the IPCC could develop a constructive approach to climate engineering. The UN tried to progress serious attention to geoengineering this year via UNEP. People blame the US and the Saudis for blocking this proposal, but the situation is not clear. The toxic partisan lack of trust in this space is illustrated by the analysis suggesting that the political agenda of the UNEP proposal was just to prevent any geoengineering deployment, which is an option that the Trump government would prefer to manage unilaterally. Given the craziness of the Trump administration, vetoing the UNEP proposal was a mistake, since any such global system is intrinsically multilateral. Hopefully the next US administration will be able to put fears of UN over-reach aside and work constructively on this global problem.


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Post Re: Poll: What to do about climate change?
Robert Tulip wrote:
The facts are that this so-called ‘market-like approach to mitigating CO2 emissions’ has a snowball’s chance in hell of slowing down climate change, and that is due to its inherent defects, not the opposition of denialists. Mitigating emissions, slowing the speed at which we add carbon to the air, can at best remove 1.5% of the carbon problem of anthropogenic radiative forcing each year, not even enough to stop the situation getting continually worse. Emission reduction is a failed paradigm that has to be junked.
You've made these claims before, of course, but in this case it is a shift of the terms of the discussion, as well as being wrong-headed. My point was that the opposition to inaction on the climate was not a left-wing initiative but a level-headed conservative and Republican response to scientific findings. You are trying to paper over that to suit your rhetorical purposes, but it's essentially a dishonest move.

Furthermore, your "at best" claim is an attempt to smuggle the question of political practicality into an assessment of technical possibility, all in an attempt to sell a politically nowhere effort whose technical workability remains unproved.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Denialists are not always the sharpest tools in the shed, but they can see a crock of shit when one is served up for dinner.
In fact they have detected 27 of the last 2 crocks served to them.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Not only does emission reduction fail manifestly to fix the problem it sets out to fix, but it fails at the cost of enormous expense and disruption.
Not at all. First, as I observed already, it would have fixed the problem by now if wealthy corporate special interests had not interfered with a realistic response. So it is not an inappropriate strategy, just an appropriate strategy that was rejected for inappropriate reasons. Second, the expense and disruption are not necessarily implied, since the implementation of incentives will generate cost-effective responses not recognized as of yet. For example, the strategy you claim to be a net positive fiscal benefit would be provided with adequate incentive to motivate its implementation, while a do-nothing or Hail Mary response would simply let the problem get worse.

Just as happened with acid rain, the emissions will be confronted with whatever cost-effective means the private sector can find, but only when they have incentives. Innovation such as the approach you advocate is likely to lead to mitigation at a fraction of the cost estimates made so far, because they necessarily are made without benefit of the technological improvements that are waiting to be unleashed.

Robert Tulip wrote:
The distrust of elitist progressive culture has been carefully cultivated by the agitprop wing of the political right, with echoes of the fascist mentality of belonging to local place and fearing cosmopolitan values.
You think? Then whence comes this business of blaming it on flaming socialists (like Milton Friedman)?

Robert Tulip wrote:
The Paris agreement is not fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers; it punishes the United States while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters; it transfers jobs from the USA to other countries; it creates high risk of energy shortages;
That is the usual pack of lies coming from a jerk-off who has done his level best to make the problem worse and has done nothing to address the Agreement's perceived shortcomings.
Robert Tulip wrote:
in the most crucial statement of all,
President Trump wrote:
“Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree — think of that; this much — Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. Tiny, tiny amount. In fact, 14 days of carbon emissions from China alone would wipe out the gains from America — and this is an incredible statistic — would totally wipe out the gains from America’s expected reductions in the year 2030, after we have had to spend billions and billions of dollars, lost jobs, closed factories, and suffered much higher energy costs for our businesses and for our homes.”
We all know Paris was inadequate, but that does not argue for doing even less.

Robert Tulip wrote:
I appreciate that people don’t like hearing these arguments from Trump, but they seem to me to be evidence based, and to provide a fairly cogent explanation for why so many people are unwilling to accept scientific arguments about climate change when these are packaged to require ignoring the problems the President has outlined.
You find them "evidence-based" because you have put all your intellectual eggs in the geo-engineering basket. Speaking of motivated reasoning.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Liberty is part of the common good.
There is massive political tension and difference between concepts of freedom and equality. Freedom is associated with individual liberty and equality is widely seen as the main goal of the common good.
By whom? It is a secondary goal at best. The common good can be framed entirely in terms of efficiency of resource allocation and still argues loudly for intervention against externalities, a point Friedman made many times.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Liberty and the common good serve as primary structuring factors for the political spectrum from extreme equality on the extreme left to extreme liberty on the extreme right, with the centre involving both in balance. Woodard makes the good point that ideologies of the common good have often been perceived as unduly constraining personal liberty, with communism the extreme case.
A red herring. Or would that be a Red herring?

Robert Tulip wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
We know with a high degree of confidence when it is not worth sacrificing the common good for the sake of a utopian ideal of unlimited liberty.
Really? The gun debate in the USA shows how contested such ‘a high degree of confidence’ can be.
I do not argue that goals for the common good win every debate or tension with liberty, and I have already pointed out that liberty is part of the common good. Rather I argue that there is a totally unrealistic ideal of complete liberty advocated on the right in the U.S. (and guns make a good example) that idealogues promote without regard to rational balancing. The result is obvious in the loss of albedo that has been cooking the Northern Hemisphere countries in summer, the runaway release of methane from the permafrost, and the dangerous acidification of the oceans.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Reasonable as it may seem to say gun nuts are mad, some respect for their perspective is needed in efforts to achieve a negotiated solution.
Respect for their perspective has been shown over and over in our country. Single-issue voters tend to command inordinate power. Unfortunately in this case their "perspective" has been created by an industry so consumed with its own profits that they have taken to advocating the arming of teachers as the solution to our mass-murder problems. Anyone who has been a teacher for a year knows this would lead to an increase in the problem, not a decrease, but then Wayne LaPierre and the gun lobby would not at all be unhappy to see teachers killing their students.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Similar issues arise with climate change, with perceptions that the elitism of the United Nations and its progressive culture creates unacceptable risks to liberty and local decision making power.
Kinda weird to have you quoting the Rupert Murdoch talking points. The problem so far has been doing nothing, not threatening liberty, and the claims of threats to liberty have been a smokescreen financed by special interests who mean "my profits" when they say "our rights."

Robert Tulip wrote:
which presents a primary planetary security problem that can only be addressed through immediate geoengineering, driven by political decision, not abstract economic incentive.
Economic incentives are the opposite of abstract.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Far cheaper to mine carbon from the air than to stop people burning stuff.
Fine, bring on the incentives and lets do it the cheap way. Or we can talk about what we wish the government would do, "by political decision," as if we know all the answers.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Too divisive: the broad conservative mistrust will not be turned around by Baker and Schultz,
That's been proved definitively, but it does not change the fact that Murdoch and his cronies are gutting the environment and the "broad conservative mistrust" consists of a lot of paranoiacs being led around by the nose by plutocrats who laugh at them the whole time. There's a sucker born every minute.
Robert Tulip wrote:
New ideas are needed that put these divisive debates about decarbonising the economy to one side, and instead look to profitable methods to mine carbon while also re-freezing the North Pole.
You have contributed, and are contributing, more than your fair share to the divisiveness of the debate.
Robert Tulip wrote:
The political debate on climate change is not between reason and irrationality. The so-called rational side of decarbonisers simply ignore the evidence that their policies have no prospect of stopping warming, and largely refuse to countenance discussion of methods that would achieve their goals.
I have responded to your false dichotomy many times, including in this post. I am not going to repeat the reasons why this is fallacious just because you insist on repeating the rhetoric.
Robert Tulip wrote:
That analysis applies equally to the motivated reasoning of decarbonisation, with its political attitude of speeding up the end of fossil fuels leading to an irrational rejection of geoengineering. The moral courage to face facts is as absent on the left as on the right.
Good point, but what-aboutism doesn't justify lack of moral courage on either side.
Robert Tulip wrote:
People have listened to emission reduction advocacy, and have concluded that its costs are too high and its benefits too uncertain.
Most of the economists, such as Geoffrey Heal, who disputed the report led by Nicholas Stern on intellectual grounds have since repented. They meant to argue for moderation, and instead their arguments led to squandering an opportunity to actually face the problem.

Robert Tulip wrote:
nor can we fix climate by cutting carbon emissions.
Well, actually we can, and the technology is already within our grasp. Germany has 26% of its energy from renewables, and France has even lower carbon emissions. That with pitifully small incentives and (in Germany's case) a foolish decision to phase out nuclear power. The incentives for technological response are ridiculously weak, so the requirements of carbon neutrality might turn out to be, as the esteemed Robert Tulip argues, nil. But we will never see them, because ideologues talk people out of their own self-interest on the risible claim that it is bad because it is only for the public good.
Robert Tulip wrote:
The idiocy that is stopping geoengineering research is the inability to discuss a pro-capitalist model that is entirely factual about the security risks of climate change.
Sure, the academics and activists who are most committed to de-carbonisation may, for the most part, have this "inability". But even in an Administration supposedly committed to conservative ideology, there is no action, because they drank the "there is no problem" Kool-Aid served up by Murdoch and the Koch brothers. Engineering departments, by contrast, are interested and getting more so.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
The casual willingness of the super-rich to sacrifice the truth and the public good for the sake of another billion dollars is not something history will remember them with respect for. Sometimes people who extract at the expense of others are just wrong.
That critique of the capitalist system is far too simplistic, bitter, resentful and oppositional
No, it isn't nearly bitter or resentful enough. These are the Huns and the Mongols of our day. They are proud to pile up the skulls of Syrians and Yemenis and pat themselves on the back for it. These are evil people, and their pretense to be value creators does not make them less evil.
Robert Tulip wrote:
The public benefits of the products that have generated super profits are immense.
Sure, and they will still be piling up benefits after we force them to pay for the damage they are doing, just as the opioid makers will. That doesn't excuse us for ignoring the damage and listening to their lies.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Far better to try to forgive the capitalist system for its mistakes, and look to work constructively to use capitalist processes to solve climate change.
This is a non-sensical formulation. Forgive them when they repent and make restitution? Sure. But their criminal fraud and political manipulation is doing real harm, has done real harm, and they do not deserve to be let off from it for having earned some profits any more than the rapist who is also an athlete should be forgiven his misdeeds for the sake of his athletic career. False dichotomy sounds appealing if you phrase it just so, but the fact is they could be paying for the full costs they are imposing and still contribute to the common good. In fact, of course, they would contribute more and have some actual reason for pride.
Robert Tulip wrote:
It is entirely possible to achieve net zero by 2030 and a restored climate by 2050, but not via emission reduction. We need a different paradigm to stop the looming danger of sea level rise.
We need every paradigm we can lay our hands on, and above all the one that respects the true strengths of capitalism by providing it with the proper incentive to provide value to its customers.
Robert Tulip wrote:
People blame the US and the Saudis for blocking this proposal, but the situation is not clear.
Yes, and Jamal Kashoggi may have dismembered himself. It isn't clear. Unless you are willing to face facts.



Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:38 pm
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Post Re: Poll: What to do about climate change?
Harry Marks wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
The facts are that this so-called ‘market-like approach to mitigating CO2 emissions’ has a snowball’s chance in hell of slowing down climate change, and that is due to its inherent defects, not the opposition of denialists. Mitigating emissions, slowing the speed at which we add carbon to the air, can at best remove 1.5% of the carbon problem of anthropogenic radiative forcing each year, not even enough to stop the situation getting continually worse. Emission reduction is a failed paradigm that has to be junked.
You've made these claims before, of course, but in this case it is a shift of the terms of the discussion, as well as being wrong-headed. Opposition to inaction on the climate was not a left-wing initiative but a level-headed conservative and Republican response to scientific findings. You are trying to paper over that to suit your rhetorical purposes, but it's essentially a dishonest move. Furthermore, your "at best" claim is an attempt to smuggle the question of political practicality into an assessment of technical possibility, all in an attempt to sell a politically nowhere effort whose technical workability remains unproved.
Harry, you continue to misunderstand the empirical critique I am presenting of emission reduction as a primary strategy to fight climate change. The basic arithmetic, considered at planetary aggregate level, shows that the “technical workability” of emission mitigation is marginal to effective climate response. The 1.5% figure is the ratio between annual emissions of ten cubic kilometres of carbon (km3 C) and the total carbon content of the extra radiative forcing that humans have caused (635 km3 C).

Emission reduction only addresses the 1.5%, one sixtieth of the annual warming problem. Even within this marginal quantity, we are going backwards, with the annual emission rate increasing by about 5% per year, under both Paris Accord and Business As Usual (BAU). The intense political and economic drivers for continued emissions illustrate that taxing carbon offers no hope to incentivise change, and other methods are needed.

Some good analysis putting this debate into a scientific context is in an excellent book published this year, The Climate Question, by Australian ocean science professor Dr Eelco Rohling. The key observation is that the IPCC has severely underestimated the sensitivity of the earth system to the committed warming from past emissions. Even if all emission stopped today, the 635 billion tonnes of carbon that we have already added to the air would still cause at least two degrees of warming this century, due to the accelerating feedbacks that are inherent to climate systems, such as the loss of Arctic ice. That would eventually stabilise the sea level at about sixty feet above the present shores, while sending many species extinct by changing their habitat much faster than they can evolve or move.

That means the concept of the ‘carbon budget’ central to the emission reduction theory is intellectually bankrupt. Our real carbon budget is massively negative, contrary to the complacent quixotic fantasy that says we have a decade to change policy and shut down fossil fuels. If we want a stable climate, carbon removal is the main game, alongside solar radiation management, while emission reduction is marginal.

To stay below two degrees of warming the only option is to remove a lot more carbon from the air than we add. But efforts to do so are stymied by the vacuous political argument that it would undermine emission reduction. Tail wags dog.

Consider the rival scenarios.

Scenario A: Carbon removal is attempted at scale. Under this scenario, the world agrees a climate policy to mine sixteen km3 of carbon from the air every year by 2030. This would deliver net zero emissions, even while fossil emissions continue with Business As Usual (BAU), and would create a trajectory and momentum towards mining fifty km3/y C by 2050, enabling climate restoration (280 ppm CO2) this century, even with emissions continuing at BAU.

This trajectory pulls back from the climate precipice, but depends on the trade-off that we stop pretending emission reduction is the main climate game. Climate stability would be helped at the margin (<1.5 km3 C) by current Paris commitments where these make economic sense, but harmed by trying to speed up emission reduction plans beyond what makes economic sense. Subsidising the shift from fossil to renewable power has appalling wasteful opportunity cost. Such funds should be used for climate repair, targeted at least cost abatement.

Scenario B: Carbon removal is not attempted at scale. Under this scenario, nothing is done to invest in physically removing carbon from the air except small tokenistic measures such as planting trees. The planet puts all our eggs in the basket of doubling down on emission reduction. Even if we heroically achieve triple the emission reduction now agreed under the Paris Accord, the result by 2030 will be annual increase of ten cubic kilometres of carbon in the air. If we miraculously cut emissions by 60% from BAU, the annual increase would still be six cubic km of C, with no method in place to reduce that number quickly.

Unlike the carbon removal path, this trajectory creates no momentum to build a transformative carbon mining industry on the scale of aviation. The 2030 situation would be the world has no mechanism in place to stabilise the climate. Like a canoe caught in the current, civilization then goes straight over the waterfall.

These numbers show that without carbon removal at scale, the planetary future is entirely bleak, whereas carbon removal offers prospect for sustained shared abundance, even while emissions continue with business as usual.


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Post Re: Poll: What to do about climate change?
Taylor wrote:
To unleash the military industrial complex on anthropogenic global warming would seem to be in line with the current economic trend of sovereign security first.
Yes, and the UN attempt to defy the sovereign primacy of the nation state through its futile efforts to broker global agreement on emission reduction is a recipe for climate disaster. Workable solutions must build on existing institutions and systems, not seek to dismantle them.
Taylor wrote:
Strange how in this current version of history with all this lament for the supposed loss of individual liberty and that most gov’t is bad, the go to solution is the growth of that military industrial state.
Calling my suggestion “the go to solution” is getting ahead of things, since nobody in public that I have seen agrees with me.
Taylor wrote:
It’s become a bore and fatiguing. Massive industrial complexes are the stuff of science fiction nightmares, yet here we are entertaining notions of just that.
A sustainable global civilization inherently requires massive industrial complexes.
Taylor wrote:
I am in a quandary? Do I allow my inner misanthrope to just resign itself to the almost certain extinction of the human species? Or do I accept RT’s dystopian version of the lifestyles of the libertarian rich and morally dysfunctional?
Thank you Taylor, that presents the existential dilemma very well, to be or not to be. If we choose to be, we have to accept that our planetary situation is already very dystopian, or as Christians put it, fallen from grace into corruption. The path of repair is long, narrow and hard. The reality is that political and economic power to reverse climate change sits with this libertarian rich and morally dysfunctional elite, so they need to be convinced of a strategy that will secure their interests. That means geoengineering. Anything else, and especially a frontal attack on fossil fuels, is bleating in the wind, choosing not to be.
Taylor wrote:

That second question is a bit harsh, I do credit RT with his presentation of the moral authority the libertarian right could capture would they champion AGW and I suppose we may just see some form of lip service towards AGW during the run up to the 2020 campaign by PSfB in desperation, but as I wrote, There is fatigue in the U.S. and his name is Trump. :x . The right wing is going to be steamrolled come November 2020 and along with that will be these false notions about industry voluntarily stepping up to the plate to do what needs to be done to alleviate a problem that they are largely responsible for, by which I mean, Both AGW and Trump.
You are right that the initiative will probably not come from industry. I think the most likely path of salvation is that a Democrat US President sets a moonshot goal of net zero global emissions by 2030, to be achieved by carbon removal, not emission reduction.
Taylor wrote:
That mighty military industrial complex has simply got to put its money where their mouth is. Fat lot that will happen. But the real moral question is...Governance. Libertarianism cannot answer the question of governance because it cannot reconcile the global need of individual rights and a solution to AGW, only social democracy has the moral flexibility to accomplish what needs to be done. The hypocrisy invariably, by necessity, would come from the political right, in particular, the libertarian right, what I call.. Economic Social Darwinist, For them it would be a hypocrisy of a philosophical level that is and strangely would be... unacceptable.
Social democracy is just as constrained as libertarian conservatism in finding climate solutions. The big albatross around the neck of social democracy is the Green New Deal, which subordinates climate to social justice and prosecutes a class war agenda through grossly unrealistic decarbonisation proposals.

The really strange thing is that we see hurricanes as bad as nuclear bombs and yet there is an apparent complete separation between the conversations about security and climate. Recognising climate as a security problem that can be solved by alliance between fossil fuel companies and the military is a practical solution that might best be delivered by Biden.


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