"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?"

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Top Ten List

Top ten climate change selections on Amazon (US site) today:
  1. denialist (#120 in sales)
  2. economist quasi-denialist (#834)
  3. denialist turned unstoppablist (#1180)
  4. competent (#6226)
  5. scientist (#8979 )
  6. denialist
  7. alarmist
  8. denialist
  9. not very competent
  10. unstoppablist
5 denialists/unstoppablists plus Lomborg in the top ten; nothing remotely sensible in the top three. Ranking vs sales is roughly logarithmic base 10 so Spencer is selling ten to a hundred times as many books as Broecker.

I wonder if there are people who have denialist book collections, though. I figure one global warming book every five years or so is good enough for most people who don't thrive on conspiracies. Interesting. If you buy only one global warming book every five years your most recent one should probably be Field Notes from a Catastrophe (#9504) by Elizabeth Kolbert, which for some reason didn't show up on the top ten list.


HenryBowman said...

I beg to differ, but Elizabeth Kolbert is one of the better examples of a complete nut case that I've ever read. She makes even the nutty Jean Bahr seem almost reasonable!

Michael Tobis said...

Would you care to be specific?

I think Kolbert fairly represents the mood in the various scientific communities that she talks to. What is nuts about that?

(I don't know who Jean Bahr is.)

Michael Tobis said...

Aha, Dr Barr is the chair of the geology department at U W Madison.

Surely a fringe case, no doubt.

HenryBowman said...

Michael, I happen to have known Jean Bahr for nearly 20 years, and I am not alone in regarding her as a nut case.

Michael Tobis said...


How does she get to be chair then? Presumably most of the geologists at UW don't think she has any greatly debilitating flaws.

(I suppose telling some undergrads about the CO2 problem twenty years ago might have seemed a bit implausible, but guess what...)

Seems we may have overlapped at UW. I showed up nearly twenty years ago, myself. There was plenty of concern next door at the meteorology department already.