"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Friday, June 29, 2007

Good News Bad News

I was flattered to receive a review copy of Chris Mooney's new book, Storm World.

I haven't read it all, but so far I agree with the very favorable RC review.

Matt Huber is not given a lot of space, but the space he gets hits the nail on the head. You can (well, probably) take this quote from him to the bank, folks. As I mentioned earlier, this ties up a lot of loose ends in paleoclimate:
"The good news is the world may have a tropical thermostat that helps keep the planet cool. And the bad news is that that may be tropical cyclones running around all the time."
That's the physics fact to take home if you don't have time to read the book soon.

There's a lot more to this book, though, and it's wonderful to see such good work in science journalism.



Just stumbled across your site. I argue with the deniers at Newsvine on climate change quite a bit.

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Nice to find this quiver of arrows.

Steve Bloom said...

Let's not forget that much of that tropical heat will end up at the poles, with unpleasant consequences (although uninhabitably hot tropics would probably be worse on the whole).

Michael Tobis said...

Steve, yes indeed.

It's also good news, though, from the point of view that our understanding of the system changes notably as a consequence. This will resolve the inability of paleoclimate models to get the warm periods (notably the Eocene) right.