The IPCC fourth assessment report did not give any upper bound to sea level rise this century. But in a spectacularly bad piece of science communication they gave a range of 18 to 59cm excluding effects from accelerating ice sheet flows. Which are potentially the biggest contributors to sea level rise this century. However, a study last year by Siddal et al did come up with an upper bound of 82 cm. But now their study has been retracted, so sea level rise this century may well be more than 82 cm.

In the topsy-turvy world that is the denialists’ planet, where up is down and black is white, the retraction proved that sea level rise wasn’t going to be a problem and global warming is nothing to worry about. Thers points to a particularly egregious example from Ann Althouse, who holds down a job as a law professor.

Comments

  1. #1 jakerman
    April 5, 2010

    Dave Andrews writes:

    >*You are so literal. I have not switched from ‘humans to ants’. My question to BJ was based upon his post about ecology. It changes not a jot my earlier posts about the futility of mitigation.*

    Dave, Truth Machine has rightly called you on this:

    >*[Bernard's] post was about human options, not those of ants, so you’re a liar, a fool, or both.*

    Lets take Dave Andrews back to where he last even tried to base his comments on the consequences of climate risks to humans. Here is the challenge where you got stuck (from where you diverted to state your hopelessly new low goal):

    >You are simply pushing [your] own unsupported opinion. Dave you have failed in your supposed to attempt to respond to a [challenge for evidence](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/bad_news_sea_level_rise_may_be.php#comment-2396837).

  2. #2 Lotharsson
    April 5, 2010

    If the UK ceased all its CO2 emissions tomorrow it would only be a few months before those emissions were replaced by the growing emissions from China and India.

    This is a fallacious argument for delay (i.e. no one can significantly impact the numbers via unilateral action except a couple of big players, and they allegedly won’t do so, therefore everyone else should do nothing – and we just won’t speak of the possibility of political or multi-lateral achievements that ultimately have a significant impact on the numbers and/or pressure the big players into doing something tangible.)

    It relies on presumeing that China & India simply won’t participate in emissions reduction schemes. And yet (as one example) China have indicated they are interested in doing so, even as they do a smart end-run around the rest of the “delaying action” world by busily developing green industries and technologies.

    China, now the world’s largest and fastest-growing source of global-warming pollution, had privately signaled early last year that if the United States passed meaningful legislation, it would join in serious efforts to produce an effective treaty. When the Senate failed to follow the lead of the House of Representatives, forcing the president to go to Copenhagen without a new law in hand, the Chinese balked.

    I believe India has signalled interest too, but I don’t have a reference at hand.

  3. #3 jakerman
    April 5, 2010

    Mitigation is clearly not futile. Pricing carbon is achievable and will have demonstrable mitigation consequences. The longstanding difference in [fuel prices and environmental taxes](http://comparativetaxation.treasury.gov.au/content/report/html/10_Chapter_8-03.asp) in Europe and the US/Can/Au have shown the impact higher energy prices in driving efficiency. The price effect in Europe has lead to [greater energy efficicny for comparable economic activity](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Energy_consumption_versus_GDP.png).

    >*Driving one mile in the United States currently requires 37 percent more fuel on average than in Europe, due to both the larger average size of vehicles and to less efficient engine technology.* [McKinsey Inst, 2007](http://www.compete.org/images/uploads/File/ESIS%20Progressive%20Downloads/McKinsey%20-%20Wasted%20Energy-%20How%20the%20U.S.%20Can%20Reach%20its%20Energy%20Productivity%20Potential.pdf)

    The pricing of carbon should be implemented with counter regressive measures to ensure that the burden doesn’t disproportionately affect the poor. The counter regressive measures can even be used to over compensate the poor if there is sufficient political will.

    In the UK VAT is 17.5%. Why not tax the ‘unsustainable’ more than the sustainable? Remove the VAT (or GST, or sales tax, etc.) and reapply it on the highest carbon emitting activities to promote adaptive mitigation, drive and reward sustainable development.

    3) Government need to require the WTO to develop a multilateral carbon treaties (treaties sensitive to the needs of poor);

    2) Until then, nations need specific trade agreements to prevent ‘off-shoring’ of emissions to China etc.;

    1) In the absence of trade agreements, governments need to apply [‘border adjustments’]( http://www.garnautreview.org.au/chp10.htm#10_6 ) a carbon tariff to imports from non-complying nations, and remove carbon taxes from exports to non-complying nations.

  4. #4 Dave Andrews
    April 6, 2010

    Lotharsson,

    Yes China and India will probably eventually embrace emissions reduction schemes, but at present their major concern is development and improving the well being of their large populations. (Nothing wrong with that) So, therefore, their emissions are on an exceedingly upward trajectory and in a few short years the two, between them, will be responsible for the majority of the earth’s CO2 emissions.

    Other developing countries are quite likely to follow the example of China and India. This is why I say mitigation is futile and we should be concentrating resources upon adaptation.

  5. #5 Dave Andrews
    April 6, 2010

    Jakerman,

    You obviously missed, as I mentioned earlier, that the EC emissions trading scheme (ETS) has been a complete fiasco.

    Most of these schemes result in companies and ‘chancers’ making a lot of money on the back of ordinary taxpayers.

    Your belief in some kind of fairy godmother who will introduce and oversee the measures you mention is touching but naive.

  6. #6 jakerman
    April 6, 2010

    Dave, you demonstrate a strong preference towards rebutting strawmen?

    You obvious missed, as I mentioned earlier that I support a price via a direct tax on carbon. Which I showed has been associated with significantly higher energy efficiency.

    Any potential future emissions trading scheme would need to be wrapped up in a new economic/political paradigm, not our current paradigm that is so resistant to regulation and so resistant to the reforms which are still waiting and want post the GFC. Further more getting a universal global ETS would be a major feat requiring many rounds and possibly a decade of negotiations.

    If we can’t count on an ETS, the potential good parts of an ETS (where you can make money from sequestering carbon) can be constructed via other national and multinational agreements, ie via contribution to a pool for grant allocation (funded via carbon tax). With a similar range of funding models to current NGO service providers and government departments.

  7. #7 Vince Whirlwind
    April 6, 2010

    Dave Andrews: “Most of these schemes result in companies and ‘chancers’ making a lot of money on the back of ordinary taxpayers.”

    Gosh – that’s awful. I bet you’ll be addressing Dick Cheney’s massive taxpayer-rip-offs over the years next.

    Or maybe you won’t.

  8. #8 Lotharsson
    April 6, 2010

    Shorter Dave Andrews – China is lying because I say so.

    Dave, do you think the Chinese leadership considers food supply security a key part of the “wellbeing of their large population”? What impact has mass industrialisation in China already had on agriculture, with particular reference to water supplies, industrial use of prime agricultural land and rapidly increasing levels of meat consumption?

    Given all of that, what further impact might climate change have on food supply security?

  9. #9 Dave Andrews
    April 7, 2010

    Vince Whirlwind,

    Didn’t Obama get rid of Cheney then?

  10. #10 Dave Andrews
    April 7, 2010

    Lotharsson,

    Of course the Chinese leadership, as all other leaderships, factor many things into their deliberations. But it is clear that economic growth is their major priority and they very largely base that economic growth on energy supplied by coal. That is simple fact and you can’t wish it away.

  11. #11 Dave Andrews
    April 7, 2010

    jakerman,

    “would need to be wrapped up in a new economic/political paradigm,”

    On an idealistic level I would not disagree with you, but practically this is not going to come to pass in the near or even medium term. So we have to adopt realistic solutions and promote measures for adaptation.

  12. #12 jakerman
    April 7, 2010

    >>”would need to be wrapped up in a new economic/political paradigm,”

    >*On an idealistic level I would not disagree with you, but practically this is not going to come to pass in the near or even medium term. So we have to adopt realistic solutions and promote measures for adaptation.*

    Which is exactly why I laid out a pragmatic tax with demonstrable positive results. We adapt our economy to mitigation processes.

  13. #13 Lotharsson
    April 7, 2010

    But it is clear that economic growth is their major priority and they very largely base that economic growth on energy supplied by coal. That is simple fact and you can’t wish it away.

    Shorter Dave Andrews: emissions reduction schemes that China would participate in are stupid because China won’t participate.

  14. #14 Vince Whirlwind
    April 7, 2010

    No Dave, Cheney is still stealing Oxygen, somewhere.

  15. #15 Lotharsson
    April 7, 2010

    Speaking of the merits of reductions regardless of whether China signs up…

    McKinsey – hardly part of any pinko commie anti-business leftie de-industrialisation conspiracy – reported some time ago that the US could meet the 2020 reductions targets in the Waxman-Markey bill AND SAVE HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS at the very same time. And that’s WITHOUT going for any emissions reductions in the transport sector.

    Seems like a win-win with a possible extra win (more pressure on China and India to reduce their emissions), hence the US would be stupid NOT to do it.

  16. #16 Lotharsson
    April 7, 2010

    Updated McKinsey report. Summary:

    * The potential exists to reduce GHG emissions by just enough to stay on track until 2030 to contain global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

    * Opportunities can be grouped into three categories of technical measures: energy efficiency, low-carbon energy supply, and terrestrial carbon.

    * Capturing all the potential will be a major challenge: it will require change on a massive scale, strong global cross-sectoral action and commitment, and a strong policy framework.

    * While the costs and investments seem manageable at a global level, they are likely to be challenging for individual sectors.

    * Delays in action of even 10 years would mean missing the 2 degrees Celsius target.

  17. #17 Dave Andrews
    April 8, 2010

    Lotharsson,

    McKinsey have been employed to look at the UK NHS a number of times. Their reports are generally totally unrealistic about what can actually be achieved. Not surprising actually as their consultants tend to know little of the way the NHS operates nor the realities on the ground.

    Of course they could be sooo much better on GHG reduction in China!

  18. #18 Vince Whirlwind
    April 8, 2010

    Dave, I’d say that having been paid £1,270,000,000.00 (approx.) to analyse the NHS, McKinsey know more about the NHS than the NHS does itself.

    Having worked across the several dozen sites of one of the largest NHS Trusts, I would say it is entirely credible for McKinsey to suggest that the NHS could lose a bit of Real Estate along with some of their large army of non-productive non-clinical staff and to cut back on some of the unnecessary care provided, such as the fact that a very significant minority of Maternity healthcare provided by the NHS is provided to non-european citizens visiting the UK on spurious tourist or student visas for the purpose of obtaining free healthcare.

  19. #19 Lotharsson
    April 8, 2010

    Of course they could be sooo much better on GHG reduction in China!

    Shorter Dave Andrews: any comment (or report) explicitly disregarding China is to be presumed to apply to China.

  20. #20 jakerman
    April 8, 2010

    Dave Andrews rather than your vague generalised Ad Hom attack on McKinsey, why not just produce your evidence to support your claim of where/how McKinsey are wrong on GHG reductions?

  21. #21 Dave Andrews
    April 9, 2010

    Vince Whirlwind,

    Wow you open up a veritable hornets nest with that last post about the NHS, which I’m sure Tim will not want to digress into.

    Suffice it to say that your assertions about ‘non productive clinical staff’ are rubbish and your comment about provision of maternity services is bordering on racist.

  22. #22 jakerman
    April 10, 2010

    Hand waving and distraction Dave.

    Dave Andrews obviously declines to support his claims regarding GHGs and mitigation.

  23. #23 Dave Andrews
    April 10, 2010

    jakerman,

    I was responding directly to VW’s post. How can that be
    “Hand waving and distraction”?

  24. #24 Lee
    April 10, 2010

    Andrews, it is ibvious that you are now responding to everything EXCEPT stuff that is on topic for this thread.

  25. #25 Dave Andrews
    April 10, 2010

    Jakerman,

    Ok, I missed out a ‘non’ from VWs !non productive non-clinical staff’ but I guess he knew what I meant.

    Still nothing to do with handwaving distraction, however.

  26. #26 jakerman
    April 11, 2010

    More hand waving Dave. As I said,

    >*rather than your vague generalised Ad Hom attack on McKinsey, why not just produce your evidence to support your claim of where/how McKinsey are wrong on GHG reductions?*

  27. #27 Dave Andrews
    April 12, 2010

    Lee,
    I didn’t raise Mckinsey, that was Lotharsson. I did respond with observations on McKinsey based upon my knowledge of their work in the NHS. Vince W then came back with disparaging, and worse, remarks about NHS workers and policies.

    Sorry it was OT and not to your liking but it followed a logical trend in the posts.

  28. #28 Dave Andrews
    April 12, 2010

    jakerman,

    Imagine, you call in a firm to advise you on how to improve the working of your enterprise. Their advice costs a lot (and I mean a lot) of money but their advice proves to be of little use.

    Would you then call on the same people to advise you about other things?

  29. #29 Chris W
    April 12, 2010

    Dave Andrews, still waiting for “your evidence to support your claim of where/how McKinsey are wrong on GHG reductions”. Can you please try and focus a bit ? You must have done some analysis which backs up the dribbling flatulence you produced above … surely ?

  30. #30 jakerman
    April 12, 2010

    More hand waving Dave, a tactic for avoidace. Is that a white flag in that hand you are waving?

  31. #31 Dave Andrews
    April 15, 2010

    jakerman,

    Let’s take a look at McKinsey’s report ‘China’s green revolution’

    As one expects from consultants it contains a lot of weasel words – could, might, possible etc – plus the inevitable ‘recognition’ that more research is needed.

    But in relation to the nitty-gritty it says China would need to spend up to 150 – 200 billion euros on average each year over the next 20 years to achieve the abatement target. (p11). By my reckoning this is roughly equal to 4-6% of China’s current GDP.

    No society can immediately find that kind of money to begin a new investment track and as the report acknowledges ‘ just a 5 year delay in starting to implement the abatement technologies would result in a loss of as much as one third of the total abatement potential by 2030.’ A ten year delay ‘could lose up to 60% of the —potential’ (p13)

    But these are not the total costs China will face, they represent only the’capital, operating and maintenance costs’ (p5) They exclude all social costs, administrative costs, transaction costs of switching to new technologies, and communication costs (p5)

    So, in the real world, Mckinsey are actually saying that their abatement scenario is unrealistic

    But even if China achieved the abatement targets it would still be consuming 4.4 billion tons of coal and 900million tons of oil in 2030. (p9) This is a 61% increase in coal use over China’s 2.7 billion tons in 2007.

    Other factors that will be required to achieve the abatement scenario are a huge expansion of nuclear power ( up to 182GW by 2030) and an even greater expansion of large-scale hydro-electric power From 80GW to 350GW) both of which are not only very costly in their own terms but also perhaps controversial.

    Mckinsey, themselves, even acknowledge that the report is unrealistic. “We do not intend our findings to serve in any way as a forecast or target for GHG emissions abatement”(p6)

  32. #32 Vince Whirlwind
    April 15, 2010

    Dave – in what way does that analysis of yours show that McKinsey are wrong about anything?

    It understand as little about McKinsey as you do about the NHS.

  33. #33 Lotharsson
    April 15, 2010

    We do not intend our findings to serve in any way as a forecast or target for GHG emissions abatement.

    Presumably because they can’t predict what actions China will take, or how much abatement will be considered sufficient.

    Which rather undercuts the reason you provided this quote.

  34. #34 jakerman
    April 16, 2010

    >*Mckinsey, themselves, even acknowledge that the report is unrealistic.*

    Dave this is an untruth on your part, even the quote you select does not substantiate your claim. How about some honesty Dave? Talk about weasels!

    4% of GDP is the average over the next twenty years. Of course it can start lower and built to make the average.

    And the figure not unrealistic in the slightest given their GDP is growing at 9% pa.

  35. #35 jakerman
    April 16, 2010

    More untruths from Dave Andrews:

    >*But even if China achieved the abatement targets it would still be consuming 4.4 billion tons of coal and 900million tons of oil in 2030. (p9) This is a 61% increase in coal use over China’s 2.7 billion tons in 2007.*

    No Dave you quote the baseline scenario. For the abatement beyond the baseline you had to look on the next couple of pages: See a 40% drop in coal and ~30% drop in oil. Reducing the proportion of coal in the overall power mix to 34% by 2030.

    < http://www.mckinsey.com/locations/greaterchina/mckonchina/reports/china_green_revolution_report.pdf>

  36. #36 jakerman
    April 16, 2010

    Whopsy! What else did Dave leave out in his urge to make his case:

    Of the 150-200 billion Euros per year cost of abatement (average over 20 years) 1/3 will have positive economic returns, 1/3 will have slight to moderate costs, and 1/3 high cost. (p. 11)

    So that hardly sounds unrealistic, especially given the risks of inaction. It should also help by picking the low hanging fruit early in the ramp up stage.

    Dave, so many errors on your part and I’m only at page 11.

  37. #37 jakerman
    April 16, 2010

    Dave writes:

    >*No society can immediately find that kind of money to begin a new investment track and as the report acknowledges ‘ just a 5 year delay in starting to implement the abatement technologies would result in a loss of as much as one third of the total abatement potential by 2030.’ A ten year delay ‘could lose up to 60% of the —potential’ (p13)*

    Big not sequitur on your part here Dave: The reason fort the urgency is the projected expansion in housing. Getting the housing right at the start will maximize efficiency.

    Yet your bogus argument is that *”[n]o society can immediately find that kind of money to begin a new investment”*

    Yes they can Dave, the new investment is set to go, it only needs efficiency standards, which will have a positive economic return as well.

    Gosh you are so dishonest Dave.

  38. #38 Dave Andrews
    April 16, 2010

    Vince Whirlwind,

    In way way does the Mckinsey report actually show they are ever right about anything? They are dealing, as always in ‘what if scenarios’.Such scenarios rarely come to pass. Trouble is no one ever goes back and looks at how bad their prognostications actually were in the first place.

    As regards the NHS I have long experience of working in it as do other members of my family and I know a great deal about it.

  39. #39 stepanovich
    April 16, 2010

    Shorter Dave Andrews:

    There’s nothing in the McKinsey report which indicates they’re right, therefore I’m free to misrepresent its contents.

  40. #40 Dave Andrews
    April 16, 2010

    jakerman,

    Still in cloud cuckoo land, I see. Two thirds of the 150 -200 billion euros investment each year will have no economic return – why would China want to follow such a strategy?

    You are also wrong on the reason for urgency being the projected expansion of housing. It is much wider than this including rapid expansion of China’s ‘commercial and residential buildings’, ‘industrial capacity’, and construction of ‘new power plants’.

    China’s priority is economic growth and improving the lot of its people, many of whom are living in considerable poverty. Not long ago you were arguing that reducing poverty should be a priority. China seems to want to do this.

  41. #41 stepanovich
    April 16, 2010

    Shorter Dave Andrews:

    There’s nothing in the McKinsey report which indicates they’re right, therefore I’m free to misrepresent its contents.

    In addition, most businesses tend to fail, therefore one should never try to start a business. Therefore, global warming is a hoax.

  42. #42 Dave Andrews
    April 16, 2010

    Lotharsson,

    “Presumably because they can’t predict what actions China will take, or how much abatement will be considered sufficient.”

    You misunderstand what consultants do. They deal in scenarios very few of which, if any, actally come to pass. They make a lot of money doing this and the sad thing is governments, especially, continue to shell out millions to them every year.

  43. #43 jakerman
    April 17, 2010

    >*Two thirds of the 150 -200 billion euros investment each year will have no economic return – why would China want to follow such a strategy?*

    The answer is straight forward Dave, but what ever lead you to (dishonestly) misrepresent the McKinsey report, is an obvious barrier for you seeing the answer.

    The costs of mitigation are appropriate insurance against the extreme risk (including extreme costs) of climate change.

  44. #44 Lotharsson
    April 17, 2010

    They are dealing, as always in ‘what if scenarios’.

    Of course – and they must!.

    What else do you expect them to do for exogenous parameters, i.e. parameters that can be varied at will (e.g. by government policy) – as contrasted with metrics that respond in relatively deterministic fashion to known parameters?

    The IPCC also deals in what-if global emissions scenarios. For exactly the same reasons.

  45. #45 Dave Andrews
    April 17, 2010

    jakerman,

    “The costs of mitigation are appropriate insurance against the extreme risk (including extreme costs) of climate change.”

    Is this a quote from the Mckinsey report? I don’t remember seeing it.

  46. #46 Dave Andrews
    April 17, 2010

    Lotharsson,

    Yes there is a great deal of similarity between the IPCC and Consultants. The mystery is why you think the former should be any better at forecasting the future than the latter.

  47. #47 Lotharsson
    April 17, 2010

    The mystery is why you think the former should be any better at forecasting the future than the latter.

    “Whooooooooooooosh” – the sound of my point going straight over your head.

  48. #48 jakerman
    April 17, 2010

    >”The costs of mitigation are appropriate insurance against the extreme risk (including extreme costs) of climate change.”

    >*Is this a quote from the Mckinsey report? I don’t remember seeing it.*

    This a pattern isn’t it Dave, you become obtuse when once again you are exposed for being blinded by your own bias.

    In case this is anything but faux obtuseness, a guide to the answer to your question is in may previous post, the answer is obvious for all to see, that is if they are not affected in the way you demonstrate:

    >*The answer is straight forward Dave, but what ever lead you to (dishonestly) misrepresent the McKinsey report, is an obvious barrier for you seeing the answer.*

    You need only have looked at the WG2 assessment on impacts that I cited earlier in this thread to see at hint of devastation that is likely with BAU (approach).

    If you wanted to look past the cost in human terms you look look at the number from assessments like Stern’s. Though Stern should be criticized for being [too conservative](http://www.sei-us.org/WorkingPapers/WorkingPaperUS08-02.pdf). Even so, Stern still comes out with the cost of BAU being as high as [20% or more](http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/Summary_of_Conclusions.pdf) of global GDP.

    But I choose not to look past the [human cost](http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091123152224.htm), across [the planet](http://www.wbgu.de/wbgu_jg2007_kurz_engl.html).

  49. #49 Dave Andrews
    April 18, 2010

    jakerman,

    Wow, the WBGU!. Naturally all eminent people but hardly unbiased in their outlook. Still we should just trust them, shouldn’t we?

  50. #50 jakerman
    April 18, 2010

    Trust? No look at the evidence?

    All eminent people? In a appeal to authority you lose big time.

    Crank.

    Empty and typical Dave Andrews.