"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, July 28, 2011

Odd Phenomenon

Nation's Climatologists Exhibiting Strange Behavior

(Sorry, put up with the ad, it's worth it.)


Steve Bloom said...

I was going to suggest that you not grasp the nettle profferred by the tarbaby, but I see I'm too late.

Reading that thread through to the end as long as I was already there, I learn that the climate system will conform itself to our economic needs. Or at least that RP Jr. has to say so to keep up that Japanese funding stream. Clever ploy, that.

BTW, speaking of nettles, I did read the book a few weeks ago. It contains absolutely nothing new, and he even admits it.

Michael Tobis said...

Steve is referring to this and this.

susan said...

The clip is priceless thanks. Says something subtle in an elegant minimal way.

how do they get these wvs:
proustic (ian verbosity i guess)

Michael Tobis said...

Steve, Roger protests in email that he's never received a penny from Japan. In fact he calls it a "lie" and asks me to remove your posting.

I don't know whether it is that but it certainly is a substantive claim carrying some implicit weight of disapproval.

So please show your cards or back down. What are you talking about?

Steve Bloom said...

Gosh, Michael, you really do treat your friends worse. Is that a matter of principle? And how's that critique of Klotzbach et al. coming, BTW?

But to answer, even though I don't really feel like doing so:

The HP flogged the hell out of the KI, and the primary funding was from Japanese industry (of the heavy CO2-emitting variety). I don't especially care whether Roger technically got funds for his HP work from that pot or from Cummings or from anywhere else, the fact remains that he benefited from Japanese funding. I pointedly did not say that it went to him personally.

Whether the funding continues or not, of course I have no means of knowing.

But now that I've had a chance to glance over the new Hartwell effort, I see that the Japanese funding is gone (as stated in the paper, anyway, Cummings apparently having funded the whole thing this time) along with *any* reference to the KI. Not a coincidence, perhaps, but odd even so given the extent to which the first paper leaned on the KI.

Dan Olner said...

"Sorry, put up with the ad, it's worth it."

Or don't put up with the ad, if you're using Firefox. Get adblock plus! I have no idea how it does it, but it cuts out ads from videos as well as from webpages generally. (Be sure to use one of its filter subscriptions.)

Of course, if everyone did this, the entire financial foundation of the internet would disappear. Luckily pretty much no-one does, which is great: I'm happy for other people's eyeballs to subsidise my internets.

Still, it's kind of deeply disturbing: the billions of google and facebook built entirely on access to people's eyeballs. Not mine though!

Andy Eichmann said...

So RPJr invites you to comment on something, and then chides you for commenting on it. Nice.

Alexander Ac said...

Sorry Michael, OT but one commenter economist on my blog postet mathematical evidence of endless economic growth on finite planet:

Productive function to be Y(t) = A(t) * X(t).Let the productivity grow exponentially, i.e. A(t+1) = k * A(t), k > 1. If the resource use is X(t+1) = c * X(t), and given that 1/k < c < 1, the result will be exponential growth Y(t+1) = (c*k) * Y(t), where (c*k) > 1. And at the same time use of the finite resource till infinity will be X(0) * 1/(1-c), which is finite number.


Alexander Ac said...

sory, here is the rest:

Y = GDP, X = utilization of finite resource A = productivity, t = time

Neven said...

Am I mistaken, or is the first of those nervous scientists they show that idiot Al Robinson from the Oregon Petition?

Michael Tobis said...

"Michael, you really do treat your friends worse. Is that a matter of principle?"

In a sense, yes. What matters in this case is that Roger made a reasonable request for clarification. (I thought his request that I remove your posting was excessive.)

I have no idea what HP or KI mean. Perhaps Roger does.

The Klotzbach thing was a worthless mess, reflecting more badly on RP Sr. than on RP Jr. I consider that matter settled. What else did you want me to say about it?

Roger wants me to review his work. Based on past experience and preliminary evidence that likely won't turn out to his advantage (though I always endeavor to keep an open mind).

I am willing to take that on. Somebody ought to, and maybe Joe isn't the right person. He does have a temper on him.

Michael Tobis said...

Roger writes: Thanks, his response shows what he has got .... Just to be absolutely clear, I have received no funding or compensation for my role as a co-author in the Hartwell Paper or Climate Pragmatism -- I wouldn't mind it being otherwise of course, but that is how it is ;-) Both efforts were run out of institutions other than mine and, thankfully, I had no role in their administration.

Bloom's comments are especially rich on a blog titled "only in it for the gold";-)

manuel "moe" g said...

What I admire most about MT is his infinite patience. Tobis has chosen a hard road by refusing to renounce the possibility of communication with the other side. That means MT must respond to every emphysemic wheeze from every cross-eyed "realist" or apologist or pathological contrarian.

[A very select set of fortunate environmental factors allow humans to move beyond hunter gatherers. The discussion of economic activity that destroys those fortunate environmental factors in the name of further economic growth is as interesting as taking about the theoretical horsepower of an engine inside a cubed car fresh from the junkyard crusher.]

And, on top of these indignities, Michael gets grief from idiot grumps like myself that want him to preach more effectively to the choir.

I have seen no evidence that we can avoid a collapse of much greater magnitude than the collapse of the Roman Empire. We are marching towards an ecological eye of the needle, and no large land mammals may make it out the other side. But I also pray to Jude the Apostle, the patron saint of lost causes, and I admire MT's patience + science + morality + humane policy + communication.

[From the comment thread linked, it was interesting to learn that if you try to take the barrel of the gun out of someone's mouth, you are practicing totalitarianism. Message for Mr. Stalin: take a lesson from a real monster -- Mr. Tobis. ;-) ]

Steve Bloom said...

Note that Roger managed to avoid addressing directly the question of who paid for his trip to and stay in London for the Hartwell conference. But perhaps he got a grant for that BBC drive-by instead, and the HP was just collateral damage.

Anyway, I'll accept the implied concession re the Japanese support for the HP and Roger's benefit therefrom.

Michael, HP is Hartwell Paper, KI is Kaya Identity.

Returning to Roger's post, in point 2 he references "any low level, but let's say 350 ppm to 550 ppm." This is an obscenity relative to the current science.

Farther down he says "climate idealism holds that a comprehensive solution implemented all at once is the only acceptable course of action, and absent the ideal, even moving in the wrong direction is preferable." Oddly, I'm aware of only one person sufficiently obtuse to hold such a view, and that person's extensive publications make clear that he doesn't. Well, OK, two people. Is this some sort of genetic problem, or is there an "iron law" at work?

Michael, it won't surprise you at all that The Climate Fix is loaded with ridiculous assertions along the lines of the foregoing. If you have to review it, at least use a library copy so Roger doesn't get a royalty.

Useful prior reviews here and especially here.

Pangolin said...

"Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber’s point stands regardless; “Political reality must be grounded in physical reality or it’s completely useless.”

If political realism is inconsistent with physical realism, we have the very difficult job of changing the politics ahead of us, because the physics is not going to compromise under any circumstances."_Michael Tobis

Best two paragraphs you've written.

The physical reality is that every living thing on this planet has had 300k years to evolve an accomidation with atmospheric CO2 of 280 ppm or less. We have blown past that CO2 concentration by 50% in 200 years and are on the road to doubling it.

The pretense that Earth's biosphere will support continued human civilization or even human life in the new regime is just a pretense. Two hundred years ago there were more Whitebark Pine trees on the planet than humans; now they are on the road to extinction after untold millions of years of evolutionary success.

Past results do not indicate future success in changing conditions because the conditions have changed.

Conversations, like this one that start with basic refutations of reality are useless. They have as much validity as "angels are going to save us" arguments. Why go there?

Marion Delgado said...

We the pro-science crowd are a less-powerful minority and have to work twice as hard. And a request for documentation of a claim is almost never out of order.

Steve Bloom said...

In principle I agree, Marion, but serial fabricators/obfuscators/self-promoters like RP Jr. are in a class of their own.

And of course he knew exactly what I was referring to.