"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

 While I am a bit disengaged on climate right now, largely because I think we have more immediate existential threats than climate, I want to say a few things in case we don't succumb to our present dysfunctions.

In brief, I am NOT saying we don't need cost-benefit analysis, nor am I saying that money isn't important. What I AM saying is, hmm, five things.

===

mt's position summarized:

1) Money tells you nothing on century time scales.

2) Even if money did tell you something on long time scales, IAMs tell you nothing about money on those timescales.

3) If we take climate change seriously, we are entering a HIGH growth period, not a low growth one! People get this backwards.

4) Every decarbonization policy is a carbon tax. We're only debating details.

5) Economics as currently constituted can help us reach our objective but can't help us set it. We should just just stick to 2 C.

===


1) Money tells you nothing on century time scales.

Money is a metric that is valuable in the short term but meaningless in the long. We don't know what the cost function we ought to be that we're optimizing for. Total dollar equivalent wealth or total dollar equivalent economic throughput are signs of thriving in the short run but there is no reason to believe that across scenarios the world with the greatest gross economic product or the greatest constant-dollar denominated wealth will be the one we prefer. 


2) Even if money did tell you something on long time scales, IAMs tell you nothing about money on those timescales.

We need economists to think about these things, and we need ways to evaluate tradeoffs and outcomes over the long run, but I see very little sign that economics (or the IAM community if regarded as separate from economics) as currently constituted has any meaningful skill at doing so. The fact that we WISH IAMs were useful, and that IAMs are indeed an inevitable exercise, in no way indicates that their results are useful. I have looked under the hood of DICE. Its approach is risible, and anyone familiar with conceptual modeling and simulation of physical systems would (or at least should) dismiss it as worthless. 

Look. I read Asimov's Foundation series as a child. I love the idea that the future could somehow be predictable using statistical methods. But Salvor Hardin's dream is obviously impossible. And even if in some universe it were possible, it wouldn't be possible in an Excel spreadsheet taking ten year time steps. 

IAMs are toys. You can't be basing policy on them. Just because you wish they were useful doesn't make them so.


3) If we take climate change seriously, we are entering a HIGH growth period, not a low growth one! People get this backwards.

Following on point 1, there's a bit of a conundrum in the observation that short term policy (to me, obviously) optimizes for increasing economic throughput aka "growth" and long term policy (to me, obviously) does not. This requires a direction of serious thinking from specialists of which I have seen precisely none; instead there's some rather simple-minded polarization between "pro" and "anti" growth. I despair for the academy sometimes. It may have once been a bit less stupid; I suspect so.

Fortunately, as Tidal has convinced me in our conversations, there is no rush in resolving this if we take decarbonization seriously. The amount of economic activity required to replace our energy infrastructure in a reasonable time is immense. If we take this on, it will be an enormous, sustained, multi-decadal stimulus to growth, whether we should or do wish it were so or not. 

This is a recent change in my perspective.


4) Every decarbonization policy is a carbon tax. We're only debating details.

I'm opposed to relying on a direct proportional carbon tax as the sole method to achieve carbon neutrality; it puts the burden on small users rather than large ones. It will exacerbate already fierce competition between rural conservative/reactionary impulses and urban liber/radical ones. It basically amounts to a wealth transfer from rural areas to urban ones. It's only going to make the politics of the situation that much harder.

But that said, some people think it's a bad thing when the price of fossil energy goes up and at the same time are concerned about climate. This doesn't work. Any adequate policy of any sort *will* create an artificial scarcity which *will* drive prices up. Any policy which keeps prices down will encourage continued use. This totally obvious to anyone with the slightest sense of what economics is. It isn't Nobel-worthy economics! (I'm not sure, though, that anything is.) 


5) Economics as currently constituted can help us reach our objective but can't help us set it. We should just just stick to 2 C.

One might wish that it were otherwise, but (see points 1 and 2) we don't have enough skill in economics to set a target. Consequently we need to set a target (GMST, CO2 concentration, emissions pathway) more or less intuitively. For a number of reasons I think 2 C is a good one. I would suggest that one reason for using it as a stretch goal is that twenty years ago it was being talked about as a worst case. 


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

A conversation with Google support

 You’re connected with agent Grace.

3:59 PM
2-4213000032568

Hi Michael Tobis. Thanks for being a Google One member. My name is Grace. How are you today?
Grace · 3:59 PM
OK thanks
I'm getting emails from an account hosted elsewhere flagged by gmail.
Gmail could not verify that it actually came from electricstreet.art. Avoid clicking links, downloading attachments, or replying with personal information.
This is interfering with my relationships with customers and vendors
My hosting service says DKIM is set up correctly
4:01 PM
I see, don't worry we will check on that.
I’ll do my best to help you. If we can’t find a solution, I will collect feedback for our developers and give you an external resource you might be able to use.
Can you please provide me with a screenshot of the error message you were getting when trying to send email messages?
Grace · 4:04 PM
The messages go through but they are flagged as quoted above...
Checking, thanks.
Alright, may i know when this issue started? And are you getting the same message when trying to send to other recipients?
Grace · 4:09 PM
Yes, all email from electricstreet.art is being flagged in this way; I have such an account and my wife has another. This was working fine until last weekend.
I have admin privileges at the host. These emails have all been sent via gmail via the 3rd party host
4:11 PM
Okay, and may I know if this email is a G=suite account or under Google My business?
Grace · 4:12 PM
I have no idea...
4:13 PM
I mean this electricstreet.art account, is it a Workspace account?
Grace · 4:13 PM
My screen says "Google One" and I have a "Google My Business" account and I never have any idea what these terms mean.
4:15 PM
Alright, but the email you were having issues with is a Google My business email, right?
Sorry for the delays as I experience technical issues.
Grace · 4:20 PM
I'm sorry but I am confused. I manage a small business listing through Google My Business. I am looking to see if the emails are listed there, but I don't recall connecting any email to this listing.
The domain is managed by a2hosting
4:22 PM
Alright.
Grace · 4:22 PM
You guys are flagging emails from there suddenly and they don't see anything wrong on theor end
4:23 PM
Please check your emails (both body and signature) for spammy content e.g. lots of exclamation marks; "must read"; attention getting, large and/or gaudy coloured text; text the same colour as the background; tiny text; [almost] zero height images; links hidden under text, images or links with a different URL; etc. All or any of these may mark you as a spammer at Google.
Grace · 4:23 PM
Promise there is nothing. We are a very staid little business. We sell original artworks and we communicate in plain text.
But the domain extension is ".art"
I am thinking this may have been a mistake!
4:24 PM
I see.
Also, if your recipients have previously marked your email as Spam, Google will have learnt from this. The recipients will need to mark as "Not Spam".
Grace · 4:26 PM
Look, this isn't marked as spam, it is marked as "not authenticated"
4:27 PM
Okay.
MIchael, when you create or set up the gallerista@electricstreet.art email account, have you done this via Google My business?
Grace · 4:28 PM
no
Just through gmail settings
4:29 PM
Do you mean the gallerista@electricstreet.art is not an actual email?
Grace · 4:31 PM
It is an email account at a2hosting; gmail is set up to interface to it.
We send from gmail; it authenticates with a third party host; then other people's gmail accounts flag it as illegitimate.
Or, to be fair "unverified beware of the rabid tiger"
I *need* to know how to turn this off. Your help screen says something about DKIM, but DKIM is set up.
4:36 PM
Alright, here is what we are going to do since your emails seem to be business email accounts which I have limited access to, we have a separate team that can help you further with this.
I'll provide you with the contact link for better help.
Grace · 4:37 PM
I'm not sure that "business email accounts" is correct from your point of view. These are just accounts.
However if you wish to put me in touch with somone else I will be fine with trying again.
4:39 PM
Grace · 4:39 PM
I do not have a google workspace account
So that won't work
The hosting service says everything is OK on their end. I need to get Google to stop flagging me.
4:41 PM
Okay, however your email does not have a Gmail domain, so this might be the issue preventing me from digging deeper in sorting things out.
Kindly provide me the page where you originally created the email?
Grace · 4:43 PM
page?
This are ordinary gmail messages
4:44 PM
Yes, the site where you created gallerista@electricstreet.art account.
Grace · 4:44 PM
you mean the host service? a2hosting.com
4:44 PM
Checking,
Okay, I’d like to be respectful of your time and point you to the best resource to have your issue resolved. The Help Center is the same resource we’d use on our end.
I'll check possible reasons why your email is being flagged.
Grace · 4:48 PM
Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
spf=softfail (google.com: domain of transitioning gallerista@electricstreet.art does not designate 209.85.161.48 as permitted sender) smtp.mailfrom=gallerista@electricstreet.art
Received-SPF: softfail (google.com: domain of transitioning gallerista@electricstreet.art does not designate 209.85.161.48 as permitted sender) client-ip=209.85.161.48;
4:48 PM
Michael, can you please try to send screenshot instead?
Grace · 4:49 PM
Of the headers?
I already sent a screenshot of the warning
4:49 PM
No, the authentication settings page.
Grace · 4:49 PM
here it is again
Look I found a clue "(google.com: domain of transitioning gallerista@electricstreet.art does not designate 209.85.161.48 as permitted sender"
I am not sure what you are looking for, though
My gmail settings for the account?
4:51 PM
Yes, the authentication results.
Grace · 4:51 PM
I am sorry, what do you mean?
4:52 PM
And upon further checking, if this is about more on email forwarding issues , just note that some email software or services change the envelope sender to your domain when forwarding messages. If the envelope sender is changed to your domain for forwarded spam, Gmail might learn that your domain sends spam. Gmail might treat future messages from your domain as spam.
I am referring to the authentication results that you have sent above, if you can send a screenshot instead of pasting the text.
Grace · 4:52 PM
Again, this isn't about spam. It's about "does not designate 209.85.161.48 as permitted sender"
4:53 PM
You can see possible reasons there why you are being flagged.
Grace · 4:54 PM
This is not being marked as spam
I'm sorry but I have already said this several times. This is not a spam filter issue.
I am asking how to resolve "does not designate 209.85.161.48 as permitted sende
4:56 PM
We have established that 209.85.161.48 belongs to Google. So what is happening seems to be that Google does not trust Google.
4:58 PM
It seems that this might have something to do with your email domain. Gmail doesn't accept allowlist requests from third-party email senders. We can't guarantee messages will pass Gmail’s spam filters.
Grace · 5:00 PM
This has nothing to do with spam.
Two different gmail loging have both started sending out error messages to my customers telling them to beware of me.
and my partner
Pretty much simultaneously.
Alright, let me further check on this.
Please allow me 3 - 5 minutes.
Grace · 5:06 PM
I guess I need an IP range to permit
5:06 PM
Let's see.
And when you try to send out using your personal email are you getting the same messages saying that it's been flagged?
Grace · 5:08 PM
no, if I use mtobis@gmail.com as far as I know there is no problem. The problem is pretty clearly authentication at a2hosting.com accourding to the link I found (through your excellent search engine!)
It appears I have to greenlight some google IP addresses
5:10 PM
Okay, thanks.
Thanks for patiently waiting.
Can we please try to add the email address in your contact and see if it's not blocked?
Grace · 5:17 PM
Again I don't understand your question
5:18 PM
Can we please try to add the email address in your contact?.
Grace · 5:20 PM
"the email address in your contact"? I do not know what you mean
You probably should be pointing me to https://support.google.com/a/answer/10684623?hl=en
5:23 PM
Oh, please try these steps.
Please open the email from the sender you want to add to your contacts.
Grace · 5:25 PM
I think you're typing into the wrong conversation at this point.
There is no "sender" other than myself
5:29 PM
I mean the recipient.
Then please tap the three dots icon to the right of the message.
Please let me know if you need more time.
Grace · 5:35 PM
You want me to open the headers of the message I sent?
5:35 PM
The email where you get the error message.
Grace · 5:36 PM
I have clicked the 3 dots
The sender doesn't see the message; the recipient does. I can give you either one as I have two accounts open in 2 browsers
5:36 PM
Then please click Add to Contacts list and it will be saved instantly.
Grace · 5:37 PM
I'm sorry, add whom to whose contacts?
5:38 PM
To your contact please.
Grace · 5:39 PM
The sender or the recipient? I have both accounts open.
But I do not have access to the account of my customers and vendors, so cannot add a contact. Further, this will not resolve the issue with the SPF record.
This is not a spam filter issue.