2018-07-09

Unlike deniers, climate alarmists are not influential?

Having burnished my credentials just recently, I can go back to attacking my own side with a sigh of relief. In There are genuine climate alarmists, but they're not in the same league as deniers, Dana Nuccitelli tries to defend SKS's - and his - habit of attacking only the septics, whilst rarely going after those he calls "alarmists". Not something you can accuse me of. I don't much attack the septics anymore because it's all far too dull. But while SKS may be in the process of renaming their "Climate Misinformers" page "Climate misinformation by source", it still hasn't got Wadhams on it.

Blah blah blah; aanyway, the bit I wanted was
Unlike deniers, climate alarmists are not influential. Climate deniers are obviously incredibly influential. Despite their lack of supporting evidence or facts, not only do 28% of Americans continue to believe that global warming is natural and 14% that it’s not even happening, but deniers also dictate Republican Party policy. Republican policymakers constantly invite deniers to testify in congressional hearings, including many of those featured on the Skeptical Science misinformers page. There is no symmetry on the other side of the aisle. In those same congressional hearings, Democratic Party policymakers invite mainstream climate scientists to testify. Their party policy is based on the consensus of 97% of the climate science community.
And so on. If you're not thinking carefully this will all pass by on the nod and your bubble-world view will have been revalidated and you can snooze off with your cocoa and slippers in front of the telly. And of course it isn't totally false. But it also isn't as true as you think. The denialists exist and peddle lies, but to a ready audience. People want to be told that their fat livestyle is perfectly fine, and they don't want to be told otherwise. The Dems are happy to have scientists come and tell them what they want to hear, but you don't notice them asking economists what the best solution would be, because the last thing they want is to pushing for a carbon tax that would scare the horses.

Part of it is people's inability to see the things they've got; they can only see the things they are missing. So the EU's policy on GW is almost everything DN could want, except it is useless and ineffectual, but clearly they believe: isn't that next to godliness, and 95%of virtue?

Refs


* The Betts Test - Eli
Climate misinformers - ATTP

16 comments:

Everett F Sargent said...

Is there an Alarmist list?

I'm sort of guessing that all climate scientists would be alarmist on any denier list.

Hansen, activist or alarmist?

I wonder if teh wiki would allow a "Climate Alarm" list.
Gore? The Pope? Joe Romm? Bill McKibben?

Andy Mitchell said...

At this stage, is there all that much room to be an alarmist?

rconnor said...

Speaking of sensationalist alarmism and ideologically blinders hindering your [c]ra[p]dar, check out Timmy’s article on how Britain under the NHS’s tyrannical rule is, basically, “no different in basic philosophy from” Soviet Russia, that WMC approvingly directed us to in Why Carbon Pricing Isnt Working.

Here’s a gem:

> “New Soviet Man, that non-human that would make centrally planned socialism work, is no different in basic philosophy from NHS Man”

Today: programs to encourage healthy living. Tomorrow: gulags in Wales!

Phil Hays said...

Carbon fee is of course not acceptable, needs to be a tax, eh?

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/fight-heats-up-over-washington-state-carbon-fee-likely-to-make-fall-ballot/

"Initiative proponents said they opted for a carbon fee — rather than a tax — so the spending of this revenue could be tied to spending on projects that could help reduce carbon emissions from fossil-fuel combustion and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Money raised from a tax can be spent more broadly through legislative action. Fees, like those charged at state parks, are spent more narrowly."

William Connolley said...

> is there all that much room to be an alarmist?

Among scientists they are few; Wadhams comes to mind, obvs; and Hansen but more weakly.

However, New Justice Nominee will Aim to Kill Climate Protection, People, and Planet by "Climate Denial Crock of the Week", who I believe is often thought of favourably by folks comes conveniently to mind.

The idea that Kavanaugh aims to kill people and the planet is wildest alarmism. D'y'wanna bet how many people will call Crocky out for that one?

William Connolley said...

A fee is just a tax that dare not say it's a tax. I consider that rather pathetic weaselling, but functionally it is fine. However, is that actually National Dem policy? It looks local.

izen said...

@-"The idea that Kavanaugh aims to kill people and the planet is wildest alarmism."

Killing the Planet is certainly hyperbole.
Do you consider it wildest alarmism because the effect of his choices wont kill people, or because the effect is not intentional, just the consequence of his aim at Climate protection regulations ?

Consider the similar case of Scott Pruitt who removed a cap on glider trucks just before resigning. His aim was to remove a regulation stopping the reuse of thousands of old diesel engines that produce pollution that does kill. His intention was to ensure the survival of the businesses that carry out this industrial recycling.
Does his lack of intention to cause death absolve him from culpability?

William Connolley said...

That would be an entirely different question. In the case of K, quite what he might asked to rule on, and what his answers might be, are entirely unclear. If you'd care to offer some kind of example, I might be able to guess whether his choices will kill people. But notice that "your choice will kill people" is not a killer argument. Soldiers are trained to kill people, but this is considered good, because we consider that the overall result will be better. Driving will, on average, kill people; each of us has, by driving, an expected number of deaths, which will be a small fraction. Nonetheless we drive, because we have other things we consider more important.

As to the glider trucks. Sigh. From Vox "So under Obama, the EPA moved to throttle the loophole and limit the number of glider trucks produced each year to 300". This is stupid, no wonder people hate it and want it removed. The correct answer is uniform standards, if that's what you want. Is Pruitt culpable? For the brief period before his successor takes office, maybe, but as soon as he has a successor who could reverse it if they desired, then that other person (and/or chain of command) is responsible.

Mind you, is even that true? There is, let us say, a certain amount of blame for the deaths these trucks would cause, taken as granted for now those deaths. How do you distribute that blame between govt, manufacturers, operators and drivers? I don't see why you'd assign all of it to govt.

Phil Hays said...

A uniform standard for glider trucks would be zero. Or a uniform requirement that glider trucks needed to pass current air pollution restrictions.

Or the Libertarian Universe, no pollution restrictions. The Tragedy of the Commons doesn't exist in that universe.

William Connolley said...

> Or a uniform requirement that glider trucks needed to pass

Exactly. That would be uniform. When the trucks are registered as operation, they need to pass certain standards.

> Or the Libertarian Universe, no pollution restrictions

Why do you make up that stuff?

Phil Hays said...

Somethings I just could not make up. Regardless of how hard I might try.

I suggest you don't watch this, as you can't unwatch it. From the Libertarian National Convention.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obs7w44hQhw

William Connolley said...

Good as far as it went but should have gone further.

Phil Hays said...

Ok, I'll explain.

"How do you distribute that blame between govt, manufacturers, operators and drivers? I don't see why you'd assign all of it to govt. "

All to government. Why? Because the problem of air pollution is a Commons. Manufacturers, operators and drivers have economic incentives to pollute.

Manufacturers profit more with more pollution, as building a reliable engine without worrying about pollution is cheaper and easier. Even if they wanted to reduce pollution, the possible gain to them is a tiny fraction of the gain to all of society, and the cost to them would make their products less competitive.

Operators profit more with more pollution, as an engine with pollution is cheaper, might be more efficient and might be more reliable. Even if they wanted to reduce pollution, the gain to them is a tiny fraction of the gain to all of society, and the cost to them would make their operations less competitive.

Drivers are be paid by the hour. They have no market power to change the industry, unless they unionize, and likely not even then. Assign blame to them is cruel and absurd, unless you are a Libertarian.

Perhaps there is some Libertarian that really understands the implications of Commons problems and has integrated that into his/her political writing. If anyone knows of one, point me to them.

William Connolley said...

> Because the problem of air pollution is a Commons

For things like CO2, yes. For things like diesel fumes, which I think are the issue here, that's not clear. They are toxic, you are damaged at any level; anyone emitting is causing some level of damage to people; the total damage is the sum of the parts.

But I doubt that matters, because I don't think the concept you're looking for is commons. The relevant concept is the plain old negative externalities. For which a std solution exists.

Phil Hays said...

"Std solution"? Doesn't that depend on which Libertarian Universe we are discussing?

One version would be to sue them. Seriously. No joke, I can't make this stuff up.

Another version, and perhaps closer to your ideas, would be to tax pollution. So just how would a tax on the driver who is actually releasing the diesel fumes work to reduce pollution?


The solution that works in our universe is regulations/laws on manufacturing of vehicles and periodic testing to verify proper maintenance.


I'm not interested in quibbling about which externalities are Commons problems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_commons#Atmosphere

Phil Hays said...

Oh and there is a perhaps better solution than regulation of diesel fumes, which only reduces the problem.

Subsidize the development of a new technology, such as battery powered trucks for local deliveries. Once the production history and production volume has reduced the cost of BEV trucks, then tax diesel fuel at increasing rates until there is little or no diesel fuel to tax.