Zombie alert

We last encountered anti-Kyoto activist John Humphreys in this post when I tried to get him to correct a post that incorrectly claimed that satellites showed a cooling temperature trend and he responded by repeatedly accusing me of lying. Now he’s back with three more zombie arguments:

Humphreys’ comments on the Peiser affair are particularly misleading, since he is aware that Peiser admit that he had wrongly classified 33 of the 34 abstracts that he claimed disputed the consensus. Here’s what Humphreys wrote:

One part of the debate (used by Gore in his movie) comes from the study by Naomi Oreskes that claimed 0/928 abstracts for academic papers on global warming doubted the mainstream position and that 75% back the consensus view. Benny Peiser tried the same trick and found different results with less than 2% explicitly backing the consensus*, some showing skepticism and most giving no opinion (and 15 not even offering abstracts). Both papers have been criticised and both authors have admitted mistakes. Peiser continues to insist that Oreskes is wrong to claim unanimous support of the consensus view and cites numerous examples to the contrary.

Notice how he glosses over Peiser’s 97% error rate in classifying abstracts by saying that both authors had admitting mistakes. Oreskes’ mistakes* did not affect her point — that the debate about the consensus we see in newspapers does not exist in the scientific journals. Peiser’s mistakes, on the other hand, destroy his argument — the debate he claimed existed in the literature did not exist.

Humphreys also tells his readers that Peiser found that some of the abstracts showed skepticism without also telling them that Peiser eventually retracted this claim. As for Peiser’s claim that less than 2% (13 abstracts) explicitly supported the consensus, given how wrong Peiser was about the number that doubted the consensus you’d expect him to have gotten that wrong as well and he did. I did a quick check and looked at just two years worth of abstracts (2002 and 2003) and found 15 that explicitly accepted the consensus. And in any case, papers which implicitly accept the consensus, for example by proposing to mitigate global warming by sequestering CO2 should also count.

Humphreys then misrepresents Oreskes’ argument by suggesting that she said that there were no papers anywhere that disputed the consensus, when we she really said that there were no such papers in her sample, implying that such papers were very rare.

When I raised these points in Humphreys’ comments, true to form he responded by repeatedly accusing me of lying.

*For example, while there were 928 articles 24 28 did not have abstracts.

Comments

  1. #1 John Humphreys
    December 21, 2006

    Ian — http://alsblog.wordpress.com/2006/10/18/global-warming-debate-not-over/

    I note that the number would be a lot higher if I used a 0.1% time value of money and measured the costs several hundreds of years into the future.

    And I didn’t dismiss Jeff’s qualifications. Somebody said that he wasn’t an alarmist because he had qualifications and that’s a non-sequitor. He clearly is an alarmist.

    jb — if I don’t call myself an “economist” then what would I call myself? Besides delivering pizzas and teaching english for a month in Korea, economics is the only job I’ve ever had.

    I do have a post-grad and several years experience with govt and private consulting, working on public policy analysis & CBAs… but I didn’t mean to imply that you should accept an argument from authority. I’m not sure where I implied that or where I was “flaunting” my education. From reading this blog — it doesn’t seem that it’s me that has the pre-occupation with credentials or implies arguments from authority.

  2. #2 John Humphreys
    December 21, 2006

    Question for everybody — do you agree with the alarmist position put up by Jeff Harvey?

    I was under the impression that the alarmists made up a small (but loud) minority of the GW activists, but I’ve been a little suprised that people here seem to be fully in Jeff’s corner on this issue.

    Perhaps it is an embarassed silence, but it looks like an implicit endorsement of his comments. I would appreciate the resident pundits clarifying their position. Specifically I’m interested in opinions about whether future generations will be richer in the future irrespective of what happens on GW… or will GW lead to an absolute decline in living standards and human welfare?

  3. #3 jb
    December 21, 2006

    jb — if I don’t call myself an “economist” then what would I call myself? Besides delivering pizzas and teaching english for a month in Korea, economics is the only job I’ve ever had.

    why do you feel the need to call yourself anything on a blog?

    if you have the convincing arguments, by all means, please provide them. i reallky don’t care what your credentials are, quite frankly.

    a wrod for the wise; one must be careful when providing credentials. it can actually backfire. if i said i was a physicist and then proceeded to mangle one of newton’s laws, i would appear to be either 1) a liar or 2) someone who should know better.

    ‘Perhaps it is an embarassed silence, but it looks like an implicit endorsement of his [jeff harvey's] comments’

    i won’t speak for anyone else, but i’d say that with regard to arguments of science, jeff has made one hell of a lot more sense on this thread than you have.

    call that an endorsement if you will…and i love the way you phrase the question, by the way;
    ‘do you agree with the alarmist position put up by Jeff Harvey?’

  4. #4 Ian Gould
    December 21, 2006

    “I note that the number would be a lot higher if I used a 0.1% time value of money and measured the costs several hundreds of years into the future.”

    Yes, costs do tend to rise if your extend the time period.

    I’m about to leave for work so I will have to look at your post and respond to other issues at more length later.

    Tell me though, over the next several hundred years, who would be the cost of John Howard’s baby bonus; drought relief and first home owner’s bonus policies?

  5. #5 Ian Gould
    December 22, 2006

    I’ve now read some of John Humphreys post.

    I should really read it all but this is this the busiest time of the year for those of us who retail and one point stuck out so blatantly I needed to note it – ABARE (and I assume John Quiggins) are talking about a CUMULATIVE cost of around 5% of GDP not an annual cost.

  6. #6 John Humphreys
    December 23, 2006

    Ian — I’m not sure if you have me confused with somebody else but I have never been a supporter of John Howard. I voted for Latham. I wouldn’t dream of trying to defend his policies, especially the baby bonus, FHOS or drought relief. I’m not sure what the costs will end up being, but following standard CBA practice I wouldn’t analyse them over several hundreds of years anyway.

    ABARE & JQ were saying that GDP would be 5% lower. That is true for each year going into the future. You are correct that they are not predicting a continuing change in GDP, but even a once-off change in GDP has a continuous effect.

    jb — you’re the one harping on about me being an economist and about credentials (and now strangely saying you don’t care). Re-read the comments exchange and you’ll see that it is mostly the Lambert cheersquad that is worried about credentials.

  7. #7 John Humphreys
    December 23, 2006

    And Ian — I would be curious as to your views regarding Jeff Harvey’s predictions of gloom?

    And as a side point… changing the time period wouldn’t normally make much of a difference to a CBA done with a proper discount rate. But using 0.1% time-value-of-money makes a huge difference.

  8. #8 Ian Gould
    December 23, 2006

    John, as re. Jeff’s comments it really depends what part of them you’re talking about.

    I disagree with a lot of his political and economic analysis and have said so in the past.

    In this thread I would single out his claim that life expectancies are going to start to decline as a result of so-called neoliberal policies as something I disagree with.

    In regards to the potential for a collapse in natural environments and the ecosystem services they provide, I think he may well be correct – certainly its an opinion shared by many if not most ecologists.

    I also believe though that we can avoid that collapse if we choose.

    On another matter – I was pretty sure you would disagree with all those Howard polices I was just pointing out that the relatively minor cost in the short term of those policies would become astronomical if you applied you 0.1% value.

    BTW when Stern first came out I discussed the issue of his discounting with Tim Curtin – I agreed that the relevant sections of the report were extremely muddled. However notwithstanding Stern’s comments about the pure time value of money if you look at the supplementary report by the guy who actually ran the computer model, they didn’t use that as their discount rate.

    Another thought – if we accept that at some point in the next couple of hundred years we’ll probably need to replace oil and coal as our principal power sources then the “business as usual” case should build in the transition costs and carbon stabilisation scenario really involves shifting those costs forward in time rather than incurring costs which won’t occur in the business as usual case.

  9. #9 Chris O'Neill
    December 23, 2006

    “Question for everybody — do you agree with the alarmist position put up by Jeff Harvey?”

    I suppose when you run out of questions about whether or not anthropogenic CO2 is producing global warming, you then move on to whether it could cause serious effects. However, considering that:

    when the scientists said we were increasing the atmosphere’s CO2 significantly, they were right;

    when the scientists said the earth’s surface was warming significantly, they were right;

    when the scientists said the warming was mainly due to anthropogenic CO2, they were right;

    the question now is are the scientists right when they say that we are risking serious biospheric damage by, say, doubling the amount of CO2 that we have added to the atmosphere. The scientists might have been “alarmist” before but at least they were right.

  10. #10 andrew
    December 24, 2006

    *[Lameness filter applied. Tim]*

  11. #11 JB
    December 24, 2006

    John Humphries said: “jb – you’re the one harping on about me being an economist and about credentials (and now strangely saying you don’t care)”

    It should be quite clear (to most people) from the context of my statement above what I meant when I said “I don’t care”:

    Here’s what i said:
    “if you have the convincing arguments, by all means, please provide them. i reallky don’t care what your credentials are, quite frankly.”

    In other words, when it comes to deciding whether your arguments hold any water, I don’t care what your credentials are.

    But I do care about the fact that you are using your credentials to bolster those arguments.

    The distinction is really not that complex or subtle.

    For some reason, you missed it.

  12. #13 andrew
    December 24, 2006

    Come on – it wasn’t that bad.

  13. #14 John Humphreys
    December 26, 2006

    jb — I mentioned my job once and you decided to make it an issue. Leave it.

    Chris — I haven’t run out of questions but thanks for your answer.

    Ian — The 0.1% isn’t mine and I’ve never used it before for any analysis.

    I know that Stern didn’t use 0.1% as his discount rate because he also factored in the decreasing marginal utility from money. But that doesn’t justify his time-value-for-money estimate. Also, as others have noted, his methodology for working out his time value for money is inconsistent with his methodology for working out his rate of declining marginal utility from money. It was a poor effort.

    Regarding eventually shifting from oil/coal, the timing does matter. It is not the transition costs that are driving the costs from GW activism, but primarily the higher electricity costs (which is an input into a lot of production). Anything that changes the electricity cost now will change the GDP level now and that will go foward forever. Just because electricity price will return to market levels in the future doesn’t mean the shortfall will be made up as there is no change in growth rates (just a one-off* change in the GDP level).

    Speaking of the growth rate, I think that is one area where the costs of GW activism have been under-estimated (by assuming no lasting growth change)… but I haven’t progressed my thinking in this area enough to provide a better estimate.

    * of course, the “one-off” change doesn’t happen at one point in time

  14. #15 Ian Gould
    December 26, 2006

    “Regarding eventually shifting from oil/coal, the timing does matter.”

    Of course it does – but there’s a big difference between two scenarios where one involves incurring additional costs and two scenarios where one involves bringing forward unavoidable costs.

    Opponents of AGW mitigation usually imply that the costs of shifting away from coal will ONLY occur if we decide to address CO2 omissions.

    You are also making the assumption that the costs of transition will be high and that electricity costs will be raised significantly.

    In Japan – where conventional electricity prices are extremely high despite (or because of?)their reliance on that darling of the right nuclear power – solar energy is now cheaper than conventional electricity even without subsidies.

    In the next couple of years we’re going to see the first utility-scale solar energy plants – the Stirling engine facility being in California and the CPV plant in Victoria. If the claims of the promoters for either facility are correct, they’ll erase most of the price difference between solar energy and fossil fuels.

  15. #16 andrew
    December 27, 2006

    Dear Ian

    I am very interested in what you have to say re solar power.
    I am currently involved in the design of an energy efficient home in Auckland New Zealand
    I have been advised by my architect not to consider solar panels on the basis of cost benefit. Solar water heating is another matter.
    I know that this is a little off the topic but would be grateful for references.
    WRT nuclear – I am opposed to it in NZ because of geological instability.
    I can see that there my well be a case for it in some parts of the world – such as Australia – where most of the country is desert and also relatively geologically stable.
    Nuclear power makes me nervous – but in view of the alternatives – eg the Chinese Dam project and others – I can’t help but wonder whether it is not the lesser of various other evils.
    I must confess thatI have not read widely on the Chinese 3 georges project – but it would seem to be controversial on a number of ecological grounds.
    The instability of ecology , and the human contribution to this instability appears integral to the various concerns underlying AGW

    regards Andrew M

  16. #17 Ian Gould
    December 27, 2006

    Andrew,

    I remain skeptical of the economic case for nuclear power in Australia . While actual generation costs are hard to come by its worth noting that retail electricity prices in countries with a high dependence on nuclear power are 50-100% or more higher than in Australia.

    The two projects I mentioned are the size of conventional grid-connected power plants. But here are the references:

    http://www.stirlingenergy.com/default.asp
    http://www.advance.org/en/art/?625

    You might want to look at one of the new generation of micro wind turbines:

    http://news.com.com/Micro+wind+turbines+are+coming+to+town/2100-11398_3-6037539.html

  17. #18 Terje (say tay-a)
    December 29, 2006

    Wow that list of comments took a long time to read. I guess it serves me right for arriving late.

    I agree with the essence of Ians recent point:-

    In the next couple of years we’re going to see the first utility-scale solar energy plants – the Stirling engine facility being in California and the CPV plant in Victoria. If the claims of the promoters for either facility are correct, they’ll erase most of the price difference between solar energy and fossil fuels.

    Alternative energy technology is progressing in leaps and bounds (not just photovoltaics). I think that initiatives like Kyoto (or more specifically the protocol that evolves from Kyoto) will be mostly unnecessary to the process of humans changing energy sources. Technology, cost and consumer activism will achieve most of the reforms necessary to cut our reliance on fossil fuel sources, even without additional government imposed incentives.

    I find it ironic that it was free trade advocates like Margaret Thatcher that in Britian first started dismantling the subsidies enjoyed by the coal industry. I find it disappointing that governments around the world still feel the need to subsidies coal. In Australia for instance mineral rights are still essentially government owned and property that otherwise belongs to farmers can be acquired by compulsion to fascilitate coal extraction.

    There are plenty of significant reforms that would appeal to the anti-coal crowd as well as the property right and market purists. It seem like an untapped political opportunity.

  18. #19 z
    December 29, 2006

    “Opponents of AGW mitigation usually imply that the costs of shifting away from coal will ONLY occur if we decide to address CO2 omissions.”

    Precisely. What world do these folks live in? “If we can only shut up the global warming fanatics, fossil fuels will continue to provide us with cheap energy forever!”

  19. #20 Ian Gould
    December 29, 2006

    Terje: “Alternative energy technology is progressing in leaps and bounds (not just photovoltaics). I think that initiatives like Kyoto (or more specifically the protocol that evolves from Kyoto) will be mostly unnecessary to the process of humans changing energy sources.”

    This is only true if you assuem the billions of dollars invested in alternative energy research and the subsidies paid to non-fossil energy producers had no impact on the development of the technology.

    In this context it’s ironic that you mention Thatcher’s roel in reducing subsidies to the coal industry withotu mentioning her introduction of the Non-fossil fuel Obligation, oen of the first programs to subsidise renewable energy.

    In an ideal world, government market intervention to promote alternate energy woudl probably be unnecessary. Btu in an ideal world the fossil fuel industries wouldn’t be allowed to impose health costs and other economic costs on the general public without paying for those externaities and they wouldn’t have been in a position to abuse their market power to excldue new entrants.

  20. #21 JB
    December 29, 2006

    To add to Ian’s above comment,

    In an ideal world with truly free markets, most businesses and consumers would buy into anything that increased efficiency and therby saved them money.

    There is one group who are vehemently opposed to such efficiency improvements, of course: the oil industry.

    We have all seen the extent to which they will go to thwart initiatives to pursue such efficiency improvements (in vehicle gas mileage, for example).

    The oil companies actually have a lot in common with totalitarian governments. They will use propaganda, lobbying and other tactics to see to it that the market is not free.

  21. #22 Terje (say tay-a)
    December 31, 2006

    Ian,

    I don’t see why you think that my statement assumes that we ignore past subsidies to renewables. I was quite specific in referring to “additional” incentives being unnecessary which quite clearly leaves open the possibility that past and present subsidies were/are relevant.

    As for Thatcher subsidising renewables I didn’t know about that. So thanks for the insight. Any references would be appreciated.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  22. #23 Ian Gould
    December 31, 2006

    I think we can agree that the first thing governments should do is eliminate existing subsidies on fossil fuel use and other economic distortions – like the exemption of American SUVs from many of the pollution and safety laws imposed on passenger vehicles.

  23. #24 andrew
    January 1, 2007

    I am against subsidies from first principles and so I agree. For anyone interested in economics and the distortions created by subsidies – and the consequences folowing their removal – I suggest a study of New Zealand’s economic reforms of the 1980s. (I am a New Zealander).

  24. #25 Chris O'Neill
    January 1, 2007

    “I suppose when you run out of questions about whether or not anthropogenic CO2 is producing global warming, you then move on to whether it could cause serious effects.”

    “Chris — I haven’t run out of questions but thanks for your answer.”

    And one day we’ll hear what those questions are (the ones about whether or not anthropogenic CO2 is producing global warming).

  25. #26 Terje (say tay-a)
    January 1, 2007

    Ian & Andrew,

    If removing fossil fuel subsidies is clearly the first priority why does it barely rank in policy debates. Why is Kyoto the centre piece on the table when there are pro-liberalism reforms options sitting idle? Why do we go for more coersion when clearly there are areas where less coersion would be helpful? I kind of think that the big stick approach should be the last option considered instead of always being reflexively offered up as the first option. Instead of policy makers asking what new rules will improve things maybe they should first look at which existing rules are contributing to the problem.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  26. #27 Ian Gould
    January 1, 2007

    Well see this is where theory gets run over by reality.

    The existing subsidies didn’t just happen. In general very well-funded and well-organised lobby groups fought to get them implemented and to keep them.

    Let’s take a specific example – the US subsidies and legal exemptions to SUVs arose largely because American automakers found a way to effectively evade safety and pollution laws by selling consumers “commercial vehicles”. Legislators let them get away with it because it was a legal way to effectively subsidize US carmakers. (Of course that only worked until foreign automakers realised they could do the same.)

    When it became clear that SUVs were contributing to declining fuel efficiency and rising dependance on foreign oil the legislators didn’t close the loopholes – they gave a subsidy to hybrids as well.

    The US automakers and their employees are happy (or happier than they would be if, for example, all small business owners were no longer able to get a tax deduction every year for buying an SUV). The small business people are happy. The hybrid makers are happy, the hybrid owners are happy.

    Of course, the US tax code is a bigger mess than ever and the US government is paying to try and fix some of the consequences of its own policies.

    Here’s what my professional life as an economist in the public service was like:

    1. The Minister goes “do something about X.”

    2. We research X and conclude that X is the result of current government policy combined with, for example, an industry cartel out to protect its market power. (One reason for the scare campaign against ethanol a few years back was that ethanol is primarily marketed by the small independent wholesalers and it gives them a source of supply other than the major refiners, who also happen to be their main competitors. The oil majors had a vested interest in keeping ethanol off the market.)

    3. Starting from economic first principles, we come up with policy recommendations as to how to get rid of the market distortions causing X. The first question we ask is whether
    there’s a need to do anything at all. (Usual answer: politically there’s a need to at least be seen to be doing something.) The next option we look for is always the one involving reducing taxes and reducing regulation and allowing more freedom to market forces. (Sometimes there is no such option though: there’s a minimum efficient size to oil refineries that means there will only ever be a relatively small number of refineries in Australia. Import competition is limited by costs; shipping times and limited unloadign capacity (most of which is controlled by the refiners). Left to themselves in the absence of anti-trust laws, the refiners would, sooner or later, exploit that fact to wipe out their smaller competitors, establish a price-fixing cartel and jack up the price of fuel. It’s the rational way to maximise their profits.)

    4. We present the Minister with a series of options.

    5. Industry lobbyists and other special interest groups get to work on “their” ministers (i.e. the mining companies effectively control the Department of Mines and Energy; the farmers effectively control the DPI. Anyway who doubts this has never sat in on a meeting between DPI and Agforce.)

    6. All our options are dumped in favor of either further consultation or some sort of hand-out or symbolic gesture to mollify the people whose complaints started the whole process.

    So far, virtually all action to address global warming has taken the form of government hand-outs, variously dressed up.

    For example, the Howard government has tossed a couple of billion dollars to industry, much of it to the coal industry. They haven’t, for example, removed the farm deisel excise exemption. (Which might be tough on farmers but would be equitable and reduce economic inefficiency if the additional revenue raised was used to lower the rate of fuel excise for all road users.)

  27. #28 Terje (say tay-a)
    January 1, 2007

    Ian,

    Thanks for that. What do you think we can/should do about this never ending creep in government excess?

    Regards,
    Terje.

  28. #29 Ian Gould
    January 1, 2007

    Well, as I pointed out over on John Quiggin’s blog a while back in most countries the size of government is roughly static.

    As to how we get better public policy, the key is getting a more educated electorate and convince people to vote in the interests of the public at large rather than of the interest groups.

    Back in the 1980′s and 1990′s Australia really seemed to be making progress in that regard. Then John Howard got into office and decided that middle class welfare and hand-outs ot favored industries was the best way to win elections.

  29. #30 Ian Gould
    January 1, 2007

    “I cannot even shame it out of them.”

    Perhaps or perhaps they have better things to do with their time on New Year’s Day.

  30. #31 Terje (say tay-a)
    January 1, 2007

    Well, as I pointed out over on John Quiggin’s blog a while back in most countries the size of government is roughly static.

    No doubt your talking about tax revenue to GDP ratios.

    Back in the 1980′s and 1990′s Australia really seemed to be making progress in that regard.

    I agree. How did we get off track?

    Then John Howard got into office and decided that middle class welfare and hand-outs ot favored industries was the best way to win elections.

    No argument. We have not made any progress under Howard in reforming the excesses of government spending.

    As to how we get better public policy, the key is getting a more educated electorate and convince people to vote in the interests of the public at large rather than of the interest groups.

    I suspect that the electorate is reasonably smart. What they probably need is a better menu. If all major parties advocate more spending/taxation then the public does not have much of a real choice. However I would agree that the public in general has neither the time or the inclination to understand all the manouvering of special interest groups.

  31. #32 John Humphreys
    January 2, 2007

    Ian — “Opponents of AGW mitigation usually imply that the costs of shifting away from coal will ONLY occur if we decide to address CO2 omissions. You are also making the assumption that the costs of transition will be high and that electricity costs will be raised significantly.”

    I don’t assume that the cost will only occur if we do something now. You are still confusing a changed base with a changed flow.

    Once we move past the point where the oil/coal age would have ended anyway, there will be no additional cost from activism (measured against the base of no action). But the previous costs will still be with us in the form of lower GDP. I’m not measuring any continued deterioration vis-a-vis a non-activist situation, but I am continue to measure the welfare consequences of a lower GDP.

    I’m also not sure where you got the idea that AGW non-activists think that we will never shift away from oil/coal. I’ve certainly never said that & I can’t think of anybody who has. Most libertarians are technological optimists.

  32. #33 John Humphreys
    January 2, 2007

    Sorry for the double post. Feel free to delete the duplicate.

    Where did you work Ian? I’m wondering if our paths ever crossed in the dark old days when I was a corporate whore and a slave to the man…

    Size of government as tax/spending in real per capital terms has been growing pretty consistently. However, it is true that for the past few decades OECD tax & spending hasn’t grown much faster than the economy at large. In a few nordic countries (+Ireland) it has been declining.

  33. #34 andrew
    January 11, 2007

    The blog seems to have petered out.
    From casual observation – this seems to the fate of all blogs.
    I invite (if this an appropriate use of a blog) for the participants to advance their theories as to why this should be so.
    We have a strong assertion by a climatologist that 2007 will be the hottest on record.
    This assertion appears to be based upon the prediction that the El Nino effect will be superimposed upon all the causes of AGW.
    We are currently experiencing some of the coldest temperatures on record in New Zealand.
    Comments invited

  34. #35 Ian Gould
    January 11, 2007

    Sorry John just saw your question:

    “Where did you work Ian? I’m wondering if our paths ever crossed in the dark old days when I was a corporate whore and a slave to the man…”

    I worked for the Queensland EPA. So while I doubt we ever met we probably provided responses to the same Industry Commission draft reports and I may at some point have commented on some EIS’ to which you had contributed.

  35. #36 andrew
    February 3, 2007

    Looks like the experts all agree.
    I bow out of any debate. I still don’t fully undersrtand the C02 thing – but it is unthinkable that the overwhelming majority of scientists could have an ulterior motive.
    Hope we don’t all fry or get blown to bits by hurricanes.
    Can’t say I’m optimistic -but if there is a single upside it will be the Ozzies stop slagging us off for all the cold summers and frightful winters we have down in NZ – even in the warmer parts.
    It would seem highly likely that there will be a new kind of refugee – the filthy rich climate refugee – plus some poor ones from the Pacific.
    I think that we are already seeing that down here (plus of course refugees from terrorism and a fucked European economy.
    If the predictions from the IPCC are correct – then we are stuffed.
    Despite assertions made to the contrary I just can’t see that emerging economies such as China are suddenly going to reduce their emmissions to a safe level.
    The response to the problem will be largely reactive than proactive I would predict.
    The big losers will be the most impoverished – as always

  36. #37 ANDREW MONTGOMERY
    February 16, 2007

    I have surveyed many blogs
    I observe the following
    1. Fundamentalist AGW positions dressed up as science
    2. Dispassionate observers who are willing to consider and continue to moderate their views as new evidence comes to light
    3. The opposite of (1)

    I observe the same suspects recirculating their views wrt to 1 and 3

    I observe that 1 ridicules 2 and 3
    That 2 ridicules neither and
    That 3 ridicules 1.

    Hence my post wrt personality disorders.

    Category 2, by definition, do not have personality disorders.

    Category 1 and 3 are by definition more prone.

    Insight into the ways of the self is de rigeur wrt the advancement of this issue and indeed all other political and scientific issues.
    This insight is by definition largely absent in those that have personality disorders.
    Now I know that I am blacklisted by Tim Lambert.
    If Tim Lambert is possessed of any integrity then he would allow all relevant material – including this – to be posted.

    He has a choice to continue with his invective against those that disagree – or to open his mind to the possibility that he might be wrong.
    It is simply not sufficient to refer readers to sources of “scientific” information unless Tim Lambert has the ability to fully comprehend the information presented in these references.
    Currently he creates much more heat than light – as do his insecure acolytes.
    It is a fact that there is no scientist who has the intellect to fully understand the mathematics of the non-linear dynamics associated with GW or has a firm grasp on the subject
    They may well argue that the science has improved and is now more secure but the ranges offered for putative temperature increase are so broad as to be useless.
    Now if Tim Lambert or Eli Rabett or any of their sycophants understand what they are talking about – please do a two thousand word essay on the topic and cease citing references that they have no real comprehension of.
    I will read it with interest to the end.
    I am category 2.

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