"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?"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Progress in Pop Climatology

Wunderground, long my preferred weather site, has a series of pop science articles on climate and climate change that are really first rate.

Meanwhile I am slapping together a series on Correlations, about the global mean radiative balance. The delivery schedule is tight. Consider it a rough draft. Definitely not as well thought out or polished as the Wunderground stuff, but I hope you see the germ of a good approach there.

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

I hope to find time to do this approach justice some day. I worry that most people simply will lose patience with the numbers, though, even though the concepts are simple enough.

2 comments:

EliRabett said...

You have some typos in Part 3. The "two layer" idea is very cool, it brings out the idea that most of the absorbed energy in the atmosphere never gets out.

tidal said...

That's a good series, mt.

It's interesting that both you and Eli ( 1, 2)have undertaken recent simple "back to basics" posts on the science.

"Revere" over at Effect Measures on Scienceblogs has also recently done the same: here, here and here. It's an excellent series too, although some of the resulting comment posts (to parts 1 and 3) are soooo maddeningly/depressingly frustrating: "Could we be microwaving the water/ice off of the planet from power lines, cellphones, TV's, radio, etc.?" "I also recognize some of the same people pushing global warming on us in MSM are the same who gave us the lies about the GWOT and Iraq. The beneficiaries of carbon cap and trading in the war on climate change will be the same people who finance conventional wars." Sheesh, he's talking about electromagnetic radiation and black bodies and Wien's displacement, and this is the discourse he gets back????!!!

Nevertheless, I think the effort is worth it. As more and more people find accessible ways to delve into the underlying science, the inanity of the denialist talking points becomes increasingly evident to more and more people.