"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?"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Texas Pride

I am immensely proud of the Texas climate science community today, and particularly of my young boss at the Institute for Geophysics, Charles S. Jackson, who helped lead the charge to get this clear, forthright, substantive and substantively article into the Houston Chronicle today, along with first author Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University; Katharine Hayhoe, research associate professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas Tech University; Gerry North, distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University; André Droxler, professor of earth science and director of the Center for the Study of Environment and Society, Rice University; and Rong Fu, professor, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin.

In summary, the article asserts:
• • The global climate is changing.
• • Human activities produce heat-trapping gases.
• • Heat-trapping gases are very likely responsible for most of the warming observed over the past half century. No one has been able to propose a credible alternative.
• • The higher the levels of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the higher the risk of potentially dangerous consequences for humans and our environment.
Emphasis added.

The entire faculty of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M as well as the Climate System Science group at the University of Texas have issued their own statements endorsing these views (atmo.tamu.edu/weather-and-climate/climate-change-statement; www.ig.utexas.edu/jsg/css/statement.html). In fact, to the best of our knowledge, there are no climate scientists in Texas who disagree with the mainstream view of climate science.
These are strange times indeed, but the article is something we in Texas can take pride in.

The only sad part is that this totally factual article is published as an "opinion" piece.

Still, as Brad Johnson has pointed out, this is exactly the sort of thing climate scientists ought to be doing. I'm almost giddy with delight that it's Texans who have the gumption to show the way.


Stephen said...

The reader comments on that article are depressing. Every climate denial argument in the playbook gets trotted out within the first dozen comments.

James Annan said...

Minor quibble jumped out at me, Jan 2010 was not one of the hottest months, it was one of the hottest handful of Januaries, and maybe even had one of the N largest anomalies over all months for some modest N, I haven't checked. But NH winter is still cold in absolute terms.

Nice article anyway though. /aol Stephen on the comments too.

Armani said...
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