"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?"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New National Assessment

While the denialists are in full-court press even as Exxon tries to quietly change its stripes, the US government issues a new national assessment (PDF available) with a sobering set of regional climate predictions.

The NYTimes reports:

The report also reflects a recent, significant shift by the Bush administration on climate science. During Mr. Bush’s first term, administration officials worked to play down a national assessment of climate effects conducted mainly during the Clinton administration, but released in 2000.

The new report, which includes some findings that are more sobering and definitive than those in the 2000 climate report, holds the signatures of three cabinet secretaries.
...
The report also emphasized that the country’s capacity to detect climate shifts and related effects was eroding, as budgets and plans for long-term monitoring of air, water and land changes — both on the ground and from satellites — shrank.


Drying of the southwest is probably the most robust and consequential result.

4 comments:

Dano said...

Drying of the southwest is probably the most robust and consequential result.

People around here don't want to believe a good portion of the southwest will depopulate, starting before mid-century. Mark my words.

Best,

D

tidal said...

It feels like "piling on", but parts of the midwest are going to have similar and roughly contemporaneous problems of their own, if predictions for depleting of the Ogallala aquifer prove crudely accurate. Large parts of the grain and corn belts would have to revert to grazing operations.

S Molnar said...

I like the description "a national assessment of climate effects conducted mainly during the Clinton administration, but released in 2000" from the newspaper of record. Which administration do they think was in office in 2000?

Michael Tobis said...

Yeah I noticed that.

No question the Bush Administration was working hard to put as much daylight between themselves and the report as possible in the early days though. It's pretty odd for them to release pretty much the same thing.