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October 21, 2009

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Matthew G. Saroff

While this guy sounds convincing, he's full of it.

In many areas in his book, the authors use contrarianism as an excuse to do sloppy and dishonest work.

It's not that they are evil, just that they want to sell books, and contrarianism sells books, even when it's incredibly wrong.

A good place to start is http://tinyurl.com/yhuma26 Brad Delong's posts on super Freakonomics, which link to a bunch of other authors.

This guy is upset because people called him out for being deliberately desceptive on global warming.

For example, he writes that Ken Caldeira says that "Carbon Dioxide is not the right villain."

Caldeira's response,
http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab/ "Carbon dioxide is the right villain, insofar as inanimate objects can be villains".

Also, he says that he does not support a global cooling theory when http://tinyurl.com/yjenanu global cooling is on the cover.

There is also their http://tinyurl.com/yfaj2lk lies about the consensus on a coming new ice age in the 1970s.

There was no consensus, but a small minority of climatologists who were unpersuasive.

ShaMao

Thanks for your comment. My reason for posting these links on climate change is not because I agree or disagree necessarily with the science involved. It is frankly beyond my knowledge of such things.

My point is that I definitely do not like the certainty that many of the climate activists seem to exhibit. The various inputs, outputs, and interactions involved are simply to complex I believe to warrant such certitude. In the absence of certainty, I am skeptical that the overall good of humanity is well served by denying the world's poor modernity.

Matthew G. Saroff

From the perspective of the LDCs, addressing CO2 emissions when you build the infrastructure will be on the order of 10x cheaper than retrofitting it later, so I think that it is a win for them.

The world's poor would do better, and do better faster, if we did not have an international trade/finance system that is colonialism with a local face.

As to the potential costs here, you have 4 outcomes which we can review on relative utility

Well, I come from the utility angle.

Either there is anthropogenic warming or there isn't.

Either we reduce C02 emmisions or we don't.

If there is not anthropogenic warming, and we do nothing, everyone wins, until we hit peak oil in 5-15 years, with the resulting economic shocks, wars, etc.


If there is no anthropogenic warming and we reduce CO2 emissions we spend a lot of money, but we reduce the inevitable shocks that come when we run out of oil.

If there is anthropogenic and we reduce emissions, we spend a lot of money, but we prevent the worst effects of climate change (see below) and we reducing the coming peak oil shocks.

If there is anthropogenic warming and we do nothing, we are looking at hundreds of millions of deaths and massive refugee flows as well as the peak oil shocks.

In terms of any cost/benefit analysis, you cut emissions.

Matthew G. Saroff

I suggest that you read the following (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/an-open-letter-to-steve-levitt/)

It's pretty clear that these guys did not do any homework at all on their claims.

The "waste heat" from solar cells is roughly equal to that generated by coal, and, the effects of C02 are over 100 times greater.

I'm not sure if this is revocation of tenure bad, but it's pretty bad.

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