The Other Form of Climate Denial

There are few political epithets that are as marginalizing as being called a “denier,” because that word naturally evokes in our minds the crackpots that deny the Holocaust. It can be inappropriate in a scientific context to marginalize doubters, because true science has always been driven by skepticism and the falsification of conventional wisdom, not dogmatic adherence to a consensus.

However, given the available evidence, it’s certainly an absurd position for anyone to claim that the probability is zero that the carbon we emit warms our atmosphere. Similarly, it’s also an absurd position to hold that the probability is 100%. Climate change is a risk, and like all risk, it’s inherently uncertain.

In a debate about probabilities, it’s been unwise to frame this as a binary conflict between the common folk that don’t believe in climate change and an establishment that does, because among the set of people who do believe in climate change, there are many environmental extremists that deviate just as far from the scientific consensus as the so-called deniers. The latest forecast of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is really quite modest compared to the doomsday imaginations of street-marching activists.

Having a belief that we face a far larger increase in temperature than the IPCC actually forecasts should then be considered just as unscientific as those who have beliefs below that consensus. They’re given a pass in the broader narrative, because conservatives so poorly position themselves on this issue.

Were we to take as a hypothetical given that the status quo rate of emitting greenhouse gasses will warm our planet by about two degrees Celcius a century from now as the IPCC thinks is likely, that’s not the end of the conversation as to what to do about it as a matter of policy. Yale University economist Matthew Kotchen really drove that point home to me last week as I sat listening to his delivery of Portland State University’s annual Harold Vatter Memorial Lecture.

Kotchen told an audience, filled mostly with environmentally friendly progressives, that the social cost of carbon is only $40 per metric ton. That’s the scientific consensus, and it’s a remarkably low number. I have seen other economists warn Portland State audiences that any tax on carbon pricing it below $80 will have no material impact on our regular use of fossil fuels.

Were we to tax carbon at $40, that would almost amount to doing nothing. A Pigovian tax like that would be a total policy solution. Carbon’s cost, as a negative externality, would then be priced into our economic decision making. There would no longer be a rational need to worry about our “carbon footprint,” no need for command and control regulations saying how fuel efficient automobiles must be, no mandating our utilities buy a certain amount of wind and solar electric generation, no need to subsidize “green” energy either, and no need to block LNG terminals and pipelines for the sake of reducing carbon emissions.

If you look at the cost per ton of carbon saved by most environmental policy today, you’ll find the price we’re paying tends to be higher than $40. Were we to implement a revenue-neutral national carbon tax, it could put an end to that and would probably be one of the greatest free-market economic reforms that would be passed in a bipartisan fashion.

Fossil fuels would, of course, become a bit more expensive than they are today. The quantity demanded would decline some, or at least its rate of growth would decline.

That quantity of fossil fuels consumed at the after-tax price would be the socially optimal amount, according to the scientific consensus. It would probably not be a radical departure from the amount we burn today. One big thing that would change, however, is that there would be only one kind of climate denier left: activists demanding that we do more, people who reject the scientific consensus that it’s possible for a climate policy’s costs to exceed its benefits.

Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is the author of A Brief History of Political Cultural Change.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Green Energy, Taxes, Uncategorized | Tagged | 27 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • OregonCityTom

    Eric, we don’t even know if the effect of CO2 is in the least a warming effect. Since CO2 is a fundamental radiating gas, essential at high altitudes for expelling heat into space, it might very well turn out that CO2 has a net chilling effect. For you to say that it’s absurd to suggest that CO2 has zero warming effect is a clear illustration that you have accepted unscientific propaganda. What is entirely clear is that over geological time CO2 has never been the driver of climate, since the earth has been both much warmer and somewhat colder than today, with CO2 both higher and lower in both temperature conditions.

    So perhaps you will back off your assertion that we need to do something about plant fertilizer, playing right into the hands of the alarmists.

    • Eric Shierman

      Can you share any peer-reviewed research that presents evidence CO2 is more likely to have a net chilling effect?

      I did not say that it’s absurd to suggest CO2 has zero warming effect. My use of the word “zero” was in reference to probability: “it’s certainly an absurd position for anyone to claim that the probability is zero that the carbon we emit warms our atmosphere.”

      Do you think the probability is zero? Your word choices in this comment suggest you do not: “might well turn out..”

      Are you sure that I’ve “accepted unscientific propaganda?” Did you read what I wrote to the end? I’m not playing into the hands of alarmists. I’m challenging them in a more broadly persuasive way than you are.

      • OregonCityTom

        Boy, you sure do miss the point a lot. You wrote, “it’s certainly an absurd position for anyone to claim that the probability is zero that the carbon we emit warms our atmosphere.” If “absurd”, then you claim it is obviously true that it does in fact warm the atmosphere. From there, you agree that there is a “cost” to carbon, and therefore we should pay a tax. This is NUTS, since (a) nobody can certify either a “global” temperature or a CO2 level which is optimal, (b) climate science is so devoid of data collection methods that it’s unlikely that we will be able to successfully MODEL the atmosphere in the foreseeable future (not enough data points to fill a thimble, and not enough computing power to even model the atmosphere in a small warehouse, let alone a planet), (c) and in spite of that, we know that the earth has an upward bound temperature (about 10C hotter than now) and that it does not care how much CO2 is in the atmosphere when it reaches that temperature.

        Here’s a chart, well accepted (data source in lower left corner): https://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif

        And you would have to be blind not to know that there has been no “warming” outside of the error bars of measurement for 20 years, even though CO2 has not stopped rising. You can look that up yourself.

        Here’s the nuttiest line in what you wrote: “That quantity of fossil fuels consumed at the after-tax price would be
        the socially optimal amount, according to the scientific consensus.”

        In that statement, you assume (a) that “consensus” is how science works, (b) that such a “consensus” actually exists, when I can point to a list of 31,000 qualified scientists (holding degrees in relevant disciplines, including 9,000 PhDs) who reject the IPCC position absolutely, (c) and that, by inference, the precautionary principle is more effective than adaptation (I note the adaptation of the last 100 years has been startling, from the horse and buggy to the moon and back as only one example).

        I don’t know the net effect of CO2, and neither do you, because neither of us has feedback effect validation on water vapor (which is about 50 times more important at near surface energy retention), neither of us has a complete picture of the hydrological cycle, neither of us has a complete picture of the effect of the sun’s magnetic field variability, or of the effect of increased CO2, on earth’s albedo-caused reflection of incoming insolation, or about a hundred other atmospheric variables that are not well understood.

        So when you say “absurd”, you are being political, not scientific. And that’s just a waste of ink, trying to make policy when the political animals don’t even CARE what the facts of science will yet reveal.

        • Eric Shierman

          It’s ironic for you to suggest that I missed the point, when you are commenting under an article that’s actually critical of environmental extremists, but you misinterpret my trivial point about a zero probability as meaning that I think “it is obviously true that [carbon] does in fact warm the atmosphere.”

          You seem to be missing the point because you seem to miss the point of probability. When I say that it’s absurd to hold the position that the probability of an event happening is zero, that does not imply I hold the position the probability of the event is 1. For example, were I to say that it’s absurd for someone to say that the probability is zero that flipping the coin in my pocket will land heads, that does not imply I hold the position that the probability is zero that it will be tails.

          There is nothing “NUTS” about employing probability in public policy analysis. However, we might use that adjective of yours to describe YOUR claim that we have no data for which to model the climate, because you follow that claim with a chart depicting data you claimed does not exist.

          I didn’t say it’s absurd for people outside the mainstream of a field to question its stylized facts. That is not the same thing as claiming a corner solution to a probability problem.

          There’s nothing absurd for you to make claims about how what we don’t know might compromise the accuracy of our best estimates. That does not serve as a valid premise for the conclusion that the probability of the prevailing view on climate change among specialists in this field has zero probability of being true.

          Perhaps you think that my rather straight forward application of Arthur Pigou’s market approach to environmental regulation is the “nuttiest” thing that I said, because you don’t understand that it’s using the tax code to put the third party costs into the price of commercial transactions. What exactly is nutty about that?

          Consensus plays a big part in how science works. Have you ever read Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions?” Science advances when someone overturns the consensus, creating a new paradigm, and it also advances when scientists try to overthrow the consensus, but fail to. As I said in the article above: “true science has always been driven by skepticism and the falsification of conventional wisdom, not dogmatic adherence to a consensus.”

          When I defer to the prevailing literature, it’s not because I posses a dogmatic adherence to it, but (assuming you’re familiar with statistics) we defer to the current paradigm by making its unwarranted rejection a type I error and our failure to reject it when false a type II error. Science is driven forward by formulating WARRANTED rejections of that dominant paradigm.

          I think you get this. That’s what prompted you to describe your chart as “well accepted.”

          And regarding that chart, just looking at it, I’m pretty sure that if I had the data, I could regress carbon onto temperature and the coefficient of determination would be significantly greater than zero. Do you agree with that?

          Finally, I asked you to share some peer reviewed research indicating CO2 is more likely to have a net chilling effect. Is there any?

          • OregonCityTom

            Yeah, really no point. Like I said, your suggestion that it is absurd to suggest the probability is zero that CO2 warms the atmosphere indicates no affection for science at all. That is precisely the debate that is going on right now, even though most skeptics suggest approx. ~1C for doubling CO2 and some warmists suggesting above 10C. There are also skeptics arguing increased albedo and radiative emission overwhelm the small amount of surface warming (but that, based upon reduced insolation), so suggest the net effect from CO2 is negative, even though the effect from water vapor is positive and much stronger.

            “Prevailing literature” refers, in your case, to warmist literature. In the rest of the world, there are two sides to the discussion, for example the IPCC vs. the NIPCC.

            As for the chart, go ahead and do it. I see it as a demonstration that CO2 is not the causal agent.

            Did you even bother to read the explanation that we simply to not have data, either in sufficient density of data points, or in complexity of variables, to fully model the system and thus pin down CO2 — which still is the small player on the field — to whether or not it is a slight warming, or a slight cooling, agent? Do you understand that the warmist position is based upon the belief that increased CO2 will cause increased water vapor, and that the increase in water vapor is then responsible the future warming? Do you understand that such is postulated but not demonstrated in nature, and that the postulation was done without regard to other correlative factors?

            Or you just busy with the bone-headed idea of instituting a carbon tax before there’s any surety of there being any sort of problem, just because the short-term climate variation in the first third of the 20th century warmed by about a degree (out of approximately 33 degrees of warming due to atmospheric effects), and we’ve been bobbing up and down by about a half degree since then, with the last 20 years being flat?

            Eric, you are not thinking clearly, and you don’t understand how sparse the data is, or how corrupt the political process is that’s using what data we have.

            I’m done. Stop being so foolish as to suggest a policy before you have the remotest comprehension of the nature of the complexity of the atmosphere, now reduced to “the sky is on fire!”

            I continue to have zero respect for you methods.

          • Eric Shierman

            It’s a mistake for you to say: “like I said” when saying something that you did not say before.

            It seems like you’re claiming the existence of dissenting views about the the likenesses of an event leads to the conclusion that the probability is zero the event will occur. Were we to apply that to some disputed things you think will occur, I suspect you would not consistently apply this heuristic.

            The prevailing literature refers to the top peer reviewed scientific journals. Since the existence of global warming and carbon’s link to it prevails on these pages, we might call it the “warmist” literature, but that’s just a pejorative way of saying that the warmist school reflects the mainstream.

            The IPCC responds to this literature. I don’t deny the existence of two sides. Do you deny the asymmetry between the IPCC and the NIPCC (which does not even have a Wikipedia entry)? The place for dissenters to change that dynamic is to publish their evidence in journals like Nature and Science which have served as referees for all kinds of scientific debates for more than a century.

            I did read your points about us not having data, but since you refuted that claim yourself with a graph that required data to exist, I merely pointed out the contradiction.

            I did not read any evidence that CO2 might be a global cooling agent, because after I’ve asked twice, you still have not provided any. Again what peer reviewed research supports that assertion of yours? I add to that request a reference backing up to your claim that no relationship between CO2 and water vapor is observed in nature.

            I’m looking into getting the data from that graph of yours. I sent Christopher Scotese an email asking where I can get his 600 million year data set. Another method could be for me to print out the graph and take down the data using a ruler and markers. I’ve had to do that before. Just looking at that graph, what do you predict the coefficient of determination will be?

            It’s strange that you would refer to anything I’ve written as a “sky on fire” perspective. The beauty of mainstream climate science is that it’s better described as global luke-warming. Using this fact to put an end to most carbon mitigation policy, flatten our tax structure, marginalize radical environmentalists as the ones outside the mainstream is an opportunity you seem to miss by tripping on the stumbling block of defending this quixotic zero probability position.

          • OregonCityTom

            You are so far outside intelligent review of this subject, we are back at the whole “talking to a brick wall” thing. Hello, brick.

            You wrote: “It’s not absurd to reject the assertion that the probability of an event’s occurrence is zero when the mainstream of experts in a given field think is likely to occur simply because views outside that mainstream exist.”

            “Mainstream of experts” And you know this, how? Because it’s been reported as such. And yet, the number of expertise-qualified scientists, myself included, in three areas of education, who absolutely OPPOSE the IPCC direction number at least 32000 published, and perhaps twice that number if you count the ones who are signatories but not verified. I’m on the published list, vetted by Art Robinson personally. So if you actually think numbers are important, or even relevant, you picked the wrong side.

            You should also know that there was no such thing as a “Climate Scientist” a couple decades ago. Instead, there were biologists, physicists, geologists, etc. “Climate Science” educations are watered down introductions to many areas of science deemed relevant, but without the depth to be an expert in any. Not exactly a bell-ringing endorsement of “97% of climate scientists”, now is it?

            And you ought to have figured out that no science operates by consensus, they operate by disproving existing theory. Only in the sciences like mathematics do we get to “prove” a theorem.

            Your claim that the graph contradicts my points is simply a howler: it shows that CO2 does not correlate with long term climate — at all. It also shows that the earth has an effective upper bound of temperature, oddly at just about the level proclaimed by the warmists as the worst it can get, and ironically at the level when LIFE on the earth was expanding most rapidly and robustly.

            A hint here: NOBODY disagrees with the idea that CO2 goes up AFTER temperature goes up — the real “inconvenient truth” that was right in plain sight as Al Gore did his on-stage schtick — as a short term correlation with temperature but with the opposite causation direction. The warmist claim is, well, “this time is different” — hence your claim that this cycle is unusual, more rapid — even though ALL agree that CO2 didn’t start rising until after the little ice age was ending. And that claim? Short term spikes are lost in the blur of proxy data, as diffusion makes absolute measurements even by decades simply guess work. Even so, there is enough history to show the claim false. Look up Bob Carter yourself.

            Any half-brained scientist might ask, “Gee, I wonder why?”

            And any half-baked self-satisfied statistician MIGHT just wonder what other things might be going on, since until a decade ago, when NASA started “adjusting” past temperatures down and eliminating ground temperature stations that were not showing proper warming, 1933 was, and still should be, the warmest year on record in the US.

            All that aside, you completely fail in this blather of a carbon tax in several ways, but chief among them is the belief that it’s somehow proven that warmer is worse, and that more CO2 is worse.

            Water vapor is the most significant radiative gas, with CO2 second, at 1/50th the density: water vapor averages 2% at the surface, and tapers off with altitude. CO2 is well-mixed at all altitudes, but is only 0.04%. The “global warming” almost no one disagrees with is near the surface, where radiative return can be 50% of surface emissions outward. From the surface upward, the probability of immediate escape into space of a photon in the absorptive bands of water vapor and CO2 increases from near zero at the surface, to near unity at TOA, partly because of the low density of the atmosphere and partly because water vapor is much less likely to be involved near TOA. The usual number suggested is +33C for the average effect near the surface, hence a livable planet.

            Now observe the effect of doubling of CO2 from this point forward: the surface density of radiative gases near the surface goes from 20400ppm to 20800ppm, an increase of less than 2%. If the effect were linear and no other variables mattered, you would expect a warming increase of +0.65C, hardly an issue. But the effect is not linear, it’s logarithmic: you would have to have 40800ppm of radiative gases to get another 33C of warming. Optical depth and full spherical re-radiation is the reason for that.

            And that’s before we examine the level of insolation upon which that “increased warming” — which is absolutely dependent on the level of incoming radiation — is acting: this is where the other effects in the atmosphere, such as albedo and TOA capture and re-radiation out to space, influence the amount of energy even reaching the surface, which then can be “trapped” (another wrong description, because it’s merely delayed in its departure).

            In other words, if CO2 doesn’t cause TOA changes to cool the planet, and albedo is not changed to limit insolation and also cool the planet, CO2 might just have a tiny effect on temperature. IF.

            The Japanese and Russians have been predicting a solar magnetic field minimum for a decade now, with resulting global cooling, while NASA wastes time fiddling with the past temperature records (as if many archived copies of their released data set revisions did not exist) to make the past cooler, because the current satellite and weather balloon records protect against their tampering with the CURRENT temperatures.

            And instead of recognizing the absolutely political function of government grant-funded “scientists”, you plow straight ahead and recommend a tax, without proof of any harm, or even proof that MAN caused the temperatures to rise, since there is no way to blame the increases up to 1933 on man, and that’s the temperature level we are at now (before NASA tampered with the original observations). And the ugliest part of that: making “acceptable” a new channel of taxation.

            For all your education, you write as if it all leaked out, to be replaced with unchallenged propaganda, itself devoid of science.

            I’m done dealing with you arrogant way of thinking on this thread. Go ahead and blather some more if you like, but I’m done.

      • David Clark

        Eric Shierman —-“Can you share any peer-reviewed research that presents evidence CO2 is more likely to have a net chilling effect?
        ME—- Hopefully you realize that about 50% of the peer reviewed “science “ is wrong. It is even worse in the climate field. They have published a series of absolute garbage like Mann’s hockeystick, and Karl’s pausebuster.

        Here is an indication that CO2 has ZERO effect:
        1. NASA arctic temperature chart shows it warmed faster and more in the early part of this century than recently. https://www.debunkingclimate.com/co2_didnt_warm_arctic.html

        2. Today’s UAH temperature is lower than it was in 1988. Sure I am comparing a peak to a dip, but that shows that any CO2 warming in that 1/3 century is LESS THAN THE NATURAL VARIATION because natural variation managed to overcome all of the CO2 warming. https://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/05/uah-global-temperature-update-for-April-2017-0-27-deg-c/

        3. Natural factors explain 100% of observed warming. https://www.debunkingclimate.com/co2_solar_corrlations.html

        4. Thermometer readings show that we are cooler now than in the 1930s while man’s CO2 has increased dramatically. It only the “adjusted” data that shows warming: https://www.debunkingclimate.com/data_adjustments.html
        Note that the lead graph is from NOAA.

        5. Long term stations show ZERO warming. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/24/unadjusted-data-of-long-period-stations-in-giss-show-a-virtually-flat-century-scale-trend/

  • Bob Clark

    Hi, Eric. At $40 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions, the additional charge to motor gasoline looks like about roughly 32 cents per gallon (Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review for April 2016 pieced together from motor gasoline supplied in the U.S for all of 2016 (9.3 million barrels per day of motor gasoline consumption with 42 gallons to the barrel) and a total carbon dioxide emissions from motor gasoline approximated at 1,146 million metric tons, page 179).

    But Eric the problem is political. Even with a $40 per ton tax on carbon, odds are very high the subsidies keeping solar and wind afloat would not end as these things are now deeply entrenched although there is some possibility of slowing with the Trump administration. With existing coal plants using Wyoming and Montana surface mined coal, you can generate a KWH for less than probably 3 cents. $40 per metric ton could cause a rather sharp jump in the cost of generating a KWH from coal, as it would add about 4 cents, making Northwest coal power cost more like 7 cents per KWH (using rough approximation from Energy Information Administration data, same monthly series). But even this would still leave existing coal plants more than competitive with solar and wind generated power if the latter are left un-subsidized by things like saleable tax credits and wind generation credit payments. The Progressives would not leave coal to continue living; and the elevated subsidies for renewable energy would continue un-phased.

    Of course, the unicorn believers want us to believe fossil fuels are even more subsidized than renewable energy like solar and wind. But the General Accounting Office report GAO-14-836 demonstrates about a third of the cost of wind and solar is subsidized by the U.S federal government whereas fossil fuels get not even 1% of their costs subsidized. And this GAO report doesn’t even include the income taxes paid by the fossil fuel industry amounting in the billions of dollars per year versus not much of anything but “lost leader” income losses out of wind and solar.
    Even with the $40 metric ton tax, which Europe has been hard pressed in carbon trading to elevate it to this level through government measures after the fact (recalling a few years back reading); coal power from existing Northwest Coal plants would still be more than competitive with non-subsidized solar and wind; especially considering wind and solar are not base load generation like coal; but require backing up increasingly by natural gas turbines; until sometime in a generation or two, if lucky, you get a battery which can economically store intermittent solar and wind power generation.

    So, in conclusion, my dear Eric; I think you are opening yourself to being used by the sinister green washing carpet bagger types. (p.s. the Citizens Utility Board which supposedly represents utility rate payers has a preponderance of environmental and renewable energy types making up its Board of Directors. PSU much the same.)

    There are so many problems with trying to focus scarce government dollars on carbon dioxide, it’s almost useless to try.

    I am much more worried about nuclear holocaust, making it of utmost highest priority than I am about global carbon dioxide emissions. The idea we can demonstrate such love for all countries if we fight the “good fight” on climate change that dictators will lay down their nuclear arms and join us in a rendition of Kumbaya…is simply ludicrous even if Obama doctrine.

    • Eric Shierman

      Thank you for running the numbers. Doesn’t 32 cents a gallon confirm my point? We will keep burning gas, and inelastically pay that 32 cents. Naomi Klein wrote a book about the need to replace capitalism to fight climate change, but all it takes is a form of taxation that distorts our economy less than taxing income.

      Sure the problem is political, but better policy is better politics. Having Yale University economists on our side would be symptomatic of an improved political position. There is no better way to eliminate the inefficient command and control regulations than a Pigovian Tax.

      • OregonCityTom

        OK, here’s another case of an assumption that is not “fact”: you write that we should “fight climate change” using “a form of taxation that distorts our economy less than taxing income”, when (a) climate change is always happening (see chart above, covering millions of years of changing temperatures and environment), (b) nothing of recent climate behavior is in the least outside of the range of natural variation (in fact, it’s pretty much stuck right in the middle), (c) NOBODY has produced evidence that the current climate conditions are optimal, and (d) NOBODY can demonstrate that ANY BEHAVIOR of man will keep it like it is now (see chart above, again).

        You make assumptions like a warmist devoid of a shred of geological history, Eric. You should stop.

        • Eric Shierman

          It’s not clear what assumption of mine you are referring to, but I’ll go ahead and address each of these lettered points of yours, keeping in mind there’s some overlap with our conversation below.

          (a) & (b) That the level of the earth’s temperature has always been changing over millions of years does not mean the second derivative of our temperatures now is similar to the historical record. (You know what a derivative is right?) Are you sure that the acceleration of temperatures we’ve seen since the 1950s is as you say: “stuck right in the middle” of natural variation? Again, I’m not talking about the level; I’m referring to the second derivative.

          (c) Nicholas Stern is certainly somebody, and he did produce some evidence that the costs of the estimated higher temperatures would exceed the benefits. That would make it sub-optimal to today’s temperatures.

          (d) As I mentioned below, your chart actually seems to confirm a relationship between carbon concentration and temperature.

          • OregonCityTom

            Not much point in continuing, with that last remark (d).

            Your assumption is that we should DO SOMETHING with regard to climate. That is simply absurd, given that we are stuck pretty much smack dab in the middle of natural variation, with zero evidence that the climate is doing anything that it does not do naturally. You talk about variation being somewhat radical, the late Bob Carter and others have long since debunked such nonsense.

            And enough with your smart-ass remarks like “you know what a derivative is, right?” Yeah, and I’ve tutored Calculus and Physics besides taking a degree in those arts, so stuff it.

            Likewise the reference to Stern, since he covers only the things he sees as negatives, with absolutely no way to reference the full picture — for example, that more evaporation means more rain, not less. But that’s beside the point: STERN ASSUMES WARMING.

            Arrogance, to suggest taxing of billions without cause.

          • Eric Shierman

            Since the graph that you shared with us contradicts several points that you’re making, that might imply that there is no point in your continuing.

            Saying that we should do something is a conclusion, not an assumption. Assumptions are premises.

            It’s not absurd to reject the assertion that the probability of an event’s occurrence is zero when the mainstream of experts in a given field think is likely to occur simply because views outside that mainstream exist.

            Given the trouble that you were having with probability in our conversation down below, it seemed relevant to ask if you knew what a derivative is. Can you share any peer reviewed work by Bob Carter that shows the 2nd derivative of temperature since the 1950s is in the range of natural variation?

            I don’t think Stern’s work is the best estimate of the costs. Matthew Kotchen uses a lower estimate, but I mentioned Stern because he was the first to present a comprehensive estimate from an integrated assessment model. Are you sure Stern never said anything about higher precipitation? That’s where he got higher cost from an increase in flooding. And of course Stern is “somebody.”

            His assuming warming does not disqualify a cost assessment of global warming. Since you get offended if I ask if you know things, I won’t ask you if you know what conditional probability is. I’ll simply point out that if we were to assess the cost of any event, however improbable that event is, taking its occurrence as a given is a necessary condition for the math involved.

            Regarding taxes, notice that we’re not talking about taxing more money from the economy. The policy goal is to tax the same, or even less, but to do so with less harm to the economy. The form of tax that does the most harm is the income tax. A carbon tax is a flat consumption tax, so it does not have added costs of its own over the status quo.

          • David Clark

            I find that people who demand peer review do not understand peer review. It is NOT as Al Gore says (nothing is) peer review is supposed to tell an editor if the work contains enough new material to warrant publishing. It is not a check on accuracy. This shows that much peer review is crap:
            https://nypost.com/2017/05/06/medical-studies-are-almost-always-bogus/

            Eric Shierman —-“Can you share any peer reviewed work by Bob Carter that shows the 2nd derivative of temperature since the 1950s is in the range of natural variation?
            ME—Don’t you mean the rate of change of temperature? That is the first derivative, not the second. As to your challenge, look at CET in the 1600s and see the Phil Jones BBC interview.

            Eric Shierman —-“…I mentioned Stern because he was the first to present a comprehensive estimate from an integrated assessment model”
            ME—-He was also thoroughly discredited for using unrealistic assumptions among other things. The truth is that reducing CO2 emission is very expensive because there is NO VIABLE ALTERNATIVE. (Well, except nuclear, which the eco nuts forbid.) Stern tried to pretend CO2 reduction was cheap and easy, so we might as well do it. BTW, I seem to recall him being is some business that makes money from CO2 reduction.

  • David Clark

    Eric, please show us some actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing serious global warming.
    While you’re at it also explain why previous warm periods were warmer than now without man’s CO2 and why whatever caused them is NOT the cause of today’s warming.
    I also noticed below that you claim we are warming unusually fast. That is pure BS. 1. See Phil Jones BBC interview; 2. Look at the Central England record around 1650. Much faster than today. In fact, look at this NASA graph to see 1. It warmed faster and more in the 1930s than now; 2. NASA (and hence the government) is lying to us about climate. https://www.debunkingclimate.com/co2_didnt_warm_arctic.html
    https://www.debunkingclimate.com/jonesinterview.html
    https://www.debunkingclimate.com/climatefacts.html

    • Eric Shierman

      Here you go:
      https://science.sciencemag.org.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/content/289/5477/270

      Notice I did not have to share a link to a blog article, but rather America’s top science journal. Can you do the same?

      The previous time periods you refer to, where the Earth was hotter, had a great deal more volcanic activity than the human era of the past 30,000 years.

      In my conversation below with Tom Harrison, the context was over the past 600 million years. So I was asking him if we’ve seen similar accelerations before what’s now affectionately called the “Anthropocene,” let alone before the industrial revolution. So a higher slope in temperature changes in the 1930s is not what I was asking him for.

      Those links you shared are more orientated against the alarmist position of environmental extremists than the fairly modest predictions of mainstream scientists that are referred to in the article that were’re chatting under. Perhaps you’re missing the point of the article, that it’s the alarmists that are the other “deniers.” I suggest the best way to fight bad environmental policy is to embrace mainstream science which suggests the social cost of carbon is a mere $40 per metric ton, which is a remarkably low number that contradicts the fear mongering of the folks that block pipelines and LNG terminals.

      • David Clark

        Eric Shierman —-“Here you go:
        https://science.sciencemag.o
        ME—Got a link that works? One that does not require PSU sign in?

        Eric Shierman —–“Notice I did not have to share a link to a blog article, but rather America’s top science journal. Can you do the same?
        ME–Top science Journal?? You mean the one that published Michael Mann’s fraudulent hockeystick crap? Got right past pal (not peer) review. He hid his data for years while your top journal looked the other way.

        Eric Shierman —–“The previous time periods you refer to, where the Earth was hotter, had a great deal more volcanic activity than the human era of the past 30,000 years.
        ME—WRONG. I was referring top the Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods. See
        Grootes, P.M., Stuiver, M., White, J.W.C., Johnsen, S.J., Jouzel J., Comparison of oxygen isotope records from the GISP and GRIP Greenland ice cores. Nature 366,1993, pp. 552-554. Graphed at: https://www.sustainableoregon.com/temphist.html

        See: R.B. Alley, The Younger Dryas cold interval as viewed from central Greenland. Journal of Quaternary Science Reviews 19:213-226 graphed at https://www.sustainableoregon.com/climatehistory.html

        Eric Shierman —–“So a higher slope in temperature changes in the 1930s is not what I was asking him for.
        ME—Since the 1930 were BEFORE most of man’s CO2, there was little CO2 effect then. But you ignore the statistically indistinguishable slopes of 1860-1880 and 1910-1940. See interview with CUR head, Phil Jones linked from https://www.debunkingclimate.com/jonesinterview.html Also loof at the CET – it warmed faster in the 1600s

        Eric Shierman —–“I suggest the best way to fight bad environmental policy is to embrace mainstream science which suggests the social cost of carbon is a mere $40 per metric ton, which is a remarkably low number that contradicts the fear mongering of the folks that block pipelines and LNG terminals.
        ME–NO!!! The best way to fight this crap is to point out the fact that it is almost certainly a massive fraud. Here are some basic facts that expose the fraud:
        1. Without “adjustments” the actual thermometer readings show that we are not cooler than the 1930s which was BEFORE man’s CO2 could have had an effect on climate.

        2. There is utterly NOTHING unusual about today’s climate. It was warmer in the past. It was cooler in the past. see: An Estimate of The Centennial Variability of Global Temperatures, Philip J. Lloyd, DOI: 10.1260/0958-305X.26.3.417, https://multi-science.atypon.com/doi/abs/10.1260/0958-305X.26.3.417

        3. Solar cycles are a better match to climate than CO2. See: https://www.debunkingclimate.com/co2_solar_corrlations.html and https://www.debunkingclimate.com/thesun.html

        If you know of any actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing serious global warming, please share it. Then apply for your Nobel prize.

        You would learn a lot by studying: https://www.debunkingclimate.com/thesun.html

  • David Clark

    MIT atmospheric science professor Richard Lindzen suggests that many
    claims regarding climate change are exaggerated and unnecessarily
    alarmist.
    https://merionwest.com/2017/04/25/richard-lindzen-thoughts-on-the-public-discourse-over-climate-change/

  • David Clark

    While we are waiting for Eric to defend his position, here is some interesting reading:
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2011/05/adventures_in_the_climate_trad.html

  • David Clark

    Eirc, we are still waiting for you to answer one simple question:
    Eric, please show us some actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing serious global warming. While you’re at it also explain why previous warm periods were warmer
    than now without man’s CO2 and why whatever caused them is NOT the cause
    of today’s warming.
    I also noticed below that you claim we are
    warming unusually fast. That is pure BS. 1. See Phil Jones BBC
    interview; 2. Look at the Central England record around 1650. Much
    faster than today. In fact, look at this NASA graph to see 1. It warmed
    faster and more in the 1930s than now; 2. NASA (and hence the
    government) is lying to us about climate.
    http://www.debunkingclimate.com/co2_didnt_warm_arctic.html
    http://www.debunkingclimate.com/jonesinterview.html
    http://www.debunkingclimate.com/climatefacts.html

  • David Clark

    Eric, why have you gone silent? Did you finally realize that our climate is normal and there is nothing that needs to be fixed?

    • William Butterfeld

      I’m not Eric, but I believe several things are at work here.

      1) You’ve reached that stage in a discussion where you are just chasing each other’s tails. Nothing new is added, and you’re just talking past each other. Evidently Eric has less time and desire for that?

      2) You’re not really interested in a discussion as much as you want a bare knuckle brawl where the one is still standing wins.

      So, with #2 in mind, and speaking entirely for myself, you win! You yelled the loudest and the longest. In fact, you’re still yelling. Not sure why, but maybe you have a lot of time on your hands?

      • David Clark

        No, William, he was unable to show any evidence to support his position.
        The fact that I kept presenting solid evidence IS NOT YELLING.
        BTW, can you show any actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing serious global warming?

  • David Clark

    Record cold in Portland:

    RECORD EVENT REPORT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OREGON
    0118 AM PDT SUNDAY MAY 14 2017
    …RECORD DAILY LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE AT PORTLAND
    AIRPORT OR…
    THE MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE OF 53 DEGREES AT THE PORTLAND AIRPORT ON SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2017 WAS THE COOLEST ON RECORD FOR THAT DATE. THE PREVIOUS RECORD LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE FOR MAY 13, WAS 54 DEGREES SET IN 1999

    • William Butterfeld

      You lose credibility when you deliberately ignore the difference between weather and climate.

      Yes, you are yelling, and now you just yelled some more.

      I declared you the winner, why isn’t that good enough for you? I learned, a long time ago, to not spend too much time arguing with true believers. Or, in this case, true deniers?

      • David Clark

        Nice display of you total ignorance.
        I am NOT shouting – that is a copy & paste from the US Weather service. They use all caps.
        As to weather vs climate – record cold is consistent with global cooling. Just like the climate scammers tell us hot weather is consistent with global warming.
        BTW, the globe has been cooling for many decades if you look at thermometers. It is only after “adjustments” by the climate zealots at NOAA that we get warming.
        see https://www.debunkingclimate.com/data_adjustments.html

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