2019-09-28

New IPCC report considered dull

Is it just me or is the new IPCC report a bit dull? I'm talking about The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. I'm looking at the Summary for Policymakers, formally approved at the Second Joint Session of Working Groups I and II of the IPCC and accepted by the 51th Session of the IPCC, Principality of Monaco1, 24th September 2019.

The particularly boring bit is:
The global mean sea level (GMSL) rise under RCP2.6 is projected to be 0.39 m (0.26–0.53 m, likely range) for the period 2081–2100, and 0.43 m (0.29–0.59 m, likely range) in 2100 with respect to 1986–2005. For RCP8.5, the corresponding GMSL rise is 0.71 m (0.51–0.92 m, likely range) for 2081–2100 and 0.84 m (0.61–1.10 m, likely range) in 2100. Mean sea level rise projections are higher by 0.1 m compared to AR5 under RCP8.5 in 2100, and the likely range extends beyond 1 m in 2100 due to a larger projected ice loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet (medium confidence). The uncertainty at the end of the century is mainly determined by the ice sheets, especially in Antarctica {4.2.3; Figures SPM.1, SPM.5}
Didn't everyone agree the AR5 was a bit conservative and they'd do better next time? But these are hardly changed. I stopped at that point, so if there's something wildly exciting I missed in the second half, do let me know.

Update: reading with Carbonbrief


They're fairly enthusiastic about it, so I could read what they wrote: In-depth Q&A: The IPCC’s special report on the ocean and cryosphere. Well, I could skim it.

* these impacts are projected to have huge costs. In monetary terms, for example, “declines in ocean health and services are projected to cost the global economy $428bn per year by 2050”, the report says, “and $1.979tn per year by 2100”: meh yes, it's easy to get large numbers, but $2T is only 0.37% of global GDP.
Chapter two of the report describes how by the end of the century, glaciers are projected to lose around 18% of their mass compared to 2015 levels under a low-emissions scenario. This anticipated loss doubles to around a third under a high-emissions scenario: just for once I think they're underestimating the impact, by averaging. Those values might be correct globally but locally - e.g. in the Alps - losses will be much higher. Ah yes they continue: In non-polar regions with relatively little ice cover, such as Central Europe and North Asia, the projected outcomes are far more pronounced, according to the report, with on average more than 80% of their current glacier mass gone by 2100.

Or you can try their Explainer: How climate change is accelerating sea level rise (which of course does no such thing); wherein you can sense their frustration with the new report.

Refs


* Would you like to be told that IPCC report paints catastrophic picture of melting ice and rising sea levels – and reality may be even worse? Then read Mark Brandon at The Conversation.

Notes


1. Nice place, or so I'm told. Still, you can't expect the IPCC to meet in some grimy post-industrial northern city.

MVIMG_20190907_190608

2019-09-26

Demons Tormenting St. Anthony

Niklaus_Manuel_Deutsch_001The Dems have finally plucked up courage to impeach the Mango Mussolini2. Some people have been longing for this for ages; here for example is CNN being rather hopeful. But... will it work? I'm dubious. "Work" in this context means remove him from office, rather than just provide PR and talking points. The Dems are charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain. Which sounds bad, put like that. What appears to have happened is that in a phone call to the Ukraine, Trump rather strongly pushed them to pursue corruptions allegations against Biden(s). Many people will interpret this as CIP did. I do, too.

However, there are two obvious lines of defence: (1) Trump was merely expressing the opinion that the Ukraine should forcefully pursue corruption in the country1; and (2) that the connection to the national security of the US is rather weak. So while the Dems will be all for, I think any Repub that wants an excuse to be against will not find it hard to find one, unless something rather more damming comes out. At least, while opinion remains as it is. If in the course of the inquiry enough comes out to turn people against him, that would change things. But so much has already become public and not changed his base support, why would this?

Notes


1. Which is arguably entirely true - that they need to pursue corruption more strongly. What I don't think is true is that Trump gives a toss about that.

2. Per comments: not quite. This is an impeachment inquiry, not an actual impeachment, at the moment.

Refs


* Realignment, Not Upheaval, Defines Our Political Moment by Stephen Davies
* Politics is the problem---trade is the answer by Scott Sumner

2019-09-24

Boris Johnson is a tosser

48712863271_b6d44bbb98_o Bojo previously won an award for being the only person I've called a tosser twice; and now tops that by getting a third accolade. The context: Boris prorogued parliament, it-is-to-be-presumed in an effort to avoid parliamentary debate and scrutiny; in particular to avoid them seizing the order and passing a law to force him to ask for an extension to Brexit. That failed, so arguably the case was rather pointless, though we'll see.

My own opinion was that the judges would rule the matter justiciable, because it increases their remit. I'm doubtful that it is fundamentally as opposed to opportunistically good; and think that the matter is political and so outside the court's purview, as the govt argued. The court has an obvious conflict of interest, inevitably. However, given the tenor of the times, there will be general public and MP support for the judges, so they've picked their time well. Given that, Bojo was a fool for risking this1. Judges find law rather than making it at least in theory, and what they've "found" now gives them authority to intervene in pretty well anything they like. Per Hobbesthe Interpretation of all Lawes dependeth on the Authority Soveraign; and the Interpreters can be none but those, which the Soveraign, (to whom only the Subject oweth obedience) shall appoint. For else, by the craft of an Interpreter, the Law my be made to beare a sense, contrary to that of the Soveraign; by which means the Interpreter becomes the Legislator. Note that in this context "appoint" doesn't just mean fire-and-forget; it means control.

Tomorrow - as that wazzock Corbyn just said on the R4 10 pm news - parliament will resume. It will be interesting to see what they manage to do with that. Because arguably all they needed to do, has been done2. Will they manage to "scutinise" him? It would be fun if he had a meltdown.

The judgement itself carefully avoids saying Bojo lied to the Queen, presumably in an effort to keep her out of all this mess: We do not know what the Queen was told and cannot draw any conclusions about it. That is I think a small rebuke to the Scottish meninwigs. The two examples that the courts offer for justicability in para 32 are unconvincing, as well as very old, and don't obviously relate to the matter at hand (para 41 might be more convincing but I didn't look at any of those cases). I think they know they're on very thin ground here. Notice also the weaselly might have been accomplished in para 33; as they know full well, it's too late for that. para 35 points out that there is existing case-law that the analogous dissolution is non-justicable; they then spend a lot of words ignoring that. Para 50 then sets out a vague "standard" that could be interpreted by anyone any way, and para 51 somewhat dishonestly asserts that it's a good standard. After that I think it becomes uninteresting; they've made up their minds and will wrap some words around whatever they want to decide.

Side note: I think the lack of prorogation means there is no Queen's speech, which means if Bojo wanted to put anything tricky into that, he's probably stuffed.

Notes


1. Honesty compels me to confess that my prediction was that they wouldn't do anything like void the progation; but Bojo has higher paid advisers than me. Bojo's main sin is to be a lightweight piece of fluff at a time when someone competent was required; perhaps he was correct to back off last time.

2. Indeed, if they hadn't been prorogued, they'd probably still be vacillating.

3. Sumpers sounded sensible on R4 but what he wrote in the Times does not. Nost of it evades the issue, and the bit to the point (Yet the Supreme Court’s judgment should be welcomed even...) is wrong. As, of course, is "Parliament is the supreme source of law".

Refs


* See-also my comment at Is That Cricket? by Bryan Caplan
* Dems go for impeachment; pass the popcorn
Global schadenfreude shortage looms after huge surge in demand in UK

2019-09-22

Words for the word god

tumblr_osmlmgzKN01qi9bubo1_640
He moves in darkness as it seems to me, Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

A three part article, you lucky people. We start with IAMs: on no, not again (time and again I tell myself I'll stay clean tonight). Kevin Anderson - yes, I fear it is him again - rails that IAMs professionalized the analysis of climate-change mitigation by substituting messy and contextual politics with non-contextual mathematical formalism. ZOMG! "professionalised" used an insult. He'll be telling us that we don't need no steenkin' experts next. But there's a clue to his thinking there: he doesn't like the answers from the IAMs, and wants to wish them away. Rather like the Watties, who don't like the answers from the GCMs and want to wish them away. [Update: note that ATTP has an IAMs article; I'm in the comments.]

Nurture's lead in to the "debate" (not a debate; just two different views) is rather useful, if you read it carefully:
global warming... is one of the greatest threats facing humanity today...It is a complex issue that involves many social, technological and physical processes. To describe the intricate relationships between these processes, scientists have devised computer simulations known as integrated assessment models (IAMs). IAMs are used to generate pathways for climate-change mitigation that are consistent with global temperature targets. Some scientists have suggested that IAMs are no longer fit for purpose and that meeting climate targets will require a radical reinvention of industrial society that the models are not equipped to address.
The key word in there is consistent which "messy and contextual politics" very much isn't. KA's preferred messy stuff is a way of wishing away problems by preventing a consistent view. This is the epicycles stuff all over again. The IAMs are a way of keeping you honest; you can't ask for inconsistent things. To assert that For more than two decades, IAMs have been part of this accelerating failure [to tackle GW] is drivel; that's about as sensible as blaming GCMs for "failing to solve" the problems they show. Ultimately, none of this matters to KA, because he already knows that what is required is immediate and radical change across all facets of society. And so we're back to GND-ery. I don't think people like KA can talk clearly about "the current economic system". If he means overthrowing capitalism, he can fuck off. If he means replacing the current fossil fuel infrastructure with something that doesn't fill the atmosphere with CO2, then there's a conversation to be had, if he can avoid pre-judging how to do it. Pretending they are the same thing, or failing to clearly distinguish them, is going to lead to confusion.

For part two, Twatter again offers a thing, Vaclav Smil: ‘Growth must end. Our economist friends don’t seem to realise that’. It's a fawning2 interview with a guy with a book to sell. We start with the familiar (and probably wrong; depending on how he is defining things; being a Graun article, things are of course not defined): one crystal clarity: that growth must come to an end. Our economist friends don’t seem to realise that... The economists will tell you we can decouple growth from material consumption, but that is total nonsense. But at least it's nice of him to make it clear that he isn't an economist. Some things I at least half agree with: We could halve our energy and material consumption and this would put us back around the level of the 1960s. We could cut down without losing anything important. Life wasn’t horrible in 1960s or 70s Europe. I don't mean the longing for the goode olde dayes (stuff like We are buried under information. It’s not doing anyone any good. makes me think he does so long); I just mean that we could all live simpler lives and be happier. I certainly can't argue with his We are so fat in terms of material consumption. What's quite absent, though, is any suggestion of how to sell that to the masses. I don't think you can. He has no ideas: in reply to How do we move in that direction before the risks become unmanageable? he offers In some places we have to foster what economists call de-growth. In other places, we have to foster growth. This is not an answer, it is an evasion; neither he not his interviewer nor apparently the Graun;s editor seem to realise this.

And part three (and last, you'll be relieved to know): Stop obsessing over your environmental “sins.” Fight the oil and gas industry instead by Mary Annaise Heglar. In Vox, so probably wrong. People are struggling to work out what they should tell people to "do" about GW. There are two obvious temptations: to tell people to clean up their own act - aha, but then that "guilts" people and that's "bad" - or to blame "someone else" which is stupid and leads to people doing nothing. But seems to be where she's going: We need to let go of the idea that it’s all of our individual faults, then take on the collective responsibility of holding the true culprits accountable. But the point is that the composite of all our individual faults is the "true culprit". We are the people emitting CO2. Not fossil fuel companies; they just supply it. They supply it because we buy it. If we stopped buying it, they'd stop supplying it. Markets work like that (unlike, say, the German govt, which is ramming lignite down its citizens throats even though they don't want it3). When suggesting non-personal action the article rapdidy runs off the rails: Organizing neighbors to sue a power plant that’s poisoning the community is a personal action. Yes, but it's also irrelevant: CO2 is not a poison in that sense. Efforts to sue against CO2 are generally stupid and failing. And at the end the article rather than running off the rails just runs into the sand: All I need you to do is want a livable future is sweet, but not actionable1.

While I'm on that article, it has more wrongness, for example Once upon a time, perhaps, we needed a strong grasp of science to understand climate change, but now all we have to do is look at the daily headlines — or out our windows. This isn't true. Understanding GW takes just as much science now as it ever did. Perhaps the author means understanding the importance of GW. That, now, is commonplace in headlines. But cannot be seen out of the window, of course.

Notes


1. You might reasonably ask what my brilliant plan to save the world it. If anyone is kind enough to actually do this, I'll probably write a post on it. But in brief it is (a) education and (b) impose carbon taxes instead and hope that solar photovoltaic saves us.

2. You doubt me? How about You are the nerd’s nerd. There is perhaps no other academic who paints pictures with numbers like you. You dug up the astonishing statistic that... Your one-man statistical analysis is like the entire output of the World Bank.

3. Struck, because probably wrong. Hard coal was subsidised; it looks like lignite probably wasn't.

Refs


* Quiggin Needs a Third Lesson by David Henderson

2019-09-18

Mann vs Ball dismissal: the transcript

MVIMG_20190908_161528 That nice Prof Mann says The official court transcript for the Tim Ball defamation case is now with the validity of the Hockey Stick, data, code, or anything else of that matter. As the transcript shows, the dismissal was due to the fact that continuing litigation was too onerous given Ball's age, poor health & infirmity (and, as his own lawyers pleaded in their filings to the court, the irrelevance of his attacks on me given they were ignored by media): https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/19/15/2019BCSC1580.htm.

MM, whilst obviously correct that Ball hasn't won on the facts and definitely isn't exhonerated by the ruling, is somewhat evading the main reason for dismissal, excessive delay. As hizzoner puts it: The total time elapsed, from the filing of the notice of civil claim until the application to dismiss was filed, was eight years. It will be almost ten years by the time the matter goes to trial. There have been two periods, of approximately 35 months in total, where nothing was done. In my view, by any measure, this is an inordinate delay...  Additionally, based upon the evidence filed, the plaintiff and his counsel appear to have attended to other matters, both legal matters and professional matters in the case of the plaintiff, rather than give this matter any priority. The plaintiff appears to have been content to simply let this matter languish. Accordingly, I find that the delay is inexcusable.

Bizarrely, the maninawig also asserts that The parties are both in their eighties. Pardon? With echoes of Alsup, he also notes Before concluding, I wish to note that the materials that have been filed on this application are grossly excessive in relation to the matters in issue. I guess people watch too much TV and assume briefs must be enormous to be respectable. And lastly, he has occasion to refer to the case of Hughes v. Simpson‑Sears, as overseen by... Justice Twaddle. Yeesss!

Notes


1. My picture is a portrait of Mr Cooper Penrose by Jacques-Louis David, 1802. Somewhat more restrained than most of his stuff.

Transcript


Since these things seem to have vanished in the past, I'll copy the transcript in here.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

Citation:

Mann v. Ball,



2019 BCSC 1580

Date: 20190822

Docket: S111913

Registry: Vancouver

Between:

Michael Mann

Plaintiff

And:

Timothy ("Tim") Ball

Defendants

Before: The Honourable Mr. Justice Giaschi

Oral Reasons for Judgment

In Chambers

Counsel for the Plaintiff:

R. McConchie

Counsel for the Defendant, Timothy (“Tim”) Ball:

M. Scherr

D. Juteau

Place and Date of Hearing:

Vancouver, B.C.

May 27 and August 22, 2019

Place and Date of Judgment:

Vancouver, B.C.

August 22, 2019




[1]             THE COURT:  I will render my reasons on the application to dismiss. I reserve the right to amend these reasons for clarity and grammar, but the result will not change.

[2]             The defendant brings an application for an order dismissing the action for delay.

[3]             The plaintiff, Dr. Mann, and the defendant, Dr. Ball, have dramatically different opinions on climate change. I do not intend to address those differences. It is sufficient that one believes climate change is man-made and the other does not. As a result of the different opinions held, the two have been in near constant conflict for many years.

[4]             The underlying action concerns, first, a statement made by the defendant in an interview conducted on February 9, 2011. He said, “Michael Mann at Penn State should be in the state pen, not Penn State.” This statement was published on a website and is alleged to be defamatory of the plaintiff. The notice of civil claim also alleges multiple other statements published by Mr. Ball are defamatory. It is not necessary that I address the many alleged defamatory statements.

[5]             0690860 Manitoba Ltd. v. Country West Construction, 2009 BCCA 535, at paras. 27-28, sets out the four elements that need to be considered on a motion to dismiss. They are:

a)    Has there been inordinate delay in the prosecution of the matter?;

b)    If there has been inordinate delay, is it excusable in the circumstances?;

c)     Has the delay caused serious prejudice and, if so, does it create a substantial risk that a fair trial is not possible?; and

d)    Whether, on balance, justice requires that the action be dismissed.

[6]             I turn first to whether there has been inordinate delay. Some key dates in the litigation are:

a)    March 25, 2011, the action was commenced;

b)    July 7, 2011, the notice of civil claim was amended;

c)     June 5, 2012, the notice of civil claim was further amended;

d)    From approximately June of 2013 until November of 2014, there were no steps taken in the action;

e)    November 12, 2014, the plaintiff filed a notice of intention to proceed;

f)      February 20, 2017, the matter was initially supposed to go to trial, but that trial date was adjourned;

g)    July 20, 2017, the date of the last communication received from Mr. Mann or his counsel by the defendant. No steps were taken in the matter until March 21, 2019 when the application to dismiss was filed;

h)    April 10, 2019, a second notice of intention to proceed was filed; and

i)       August 9, 2019, after the first day of the hearing of this application, a new trial date was set for January 11, 2021.

[7]             There have been at least two extensive periods of delay. Commencing in approximately June 2013, there was a delay of approximately 15 months where nothing was done to move the matter ahead. There was a second extensive period of delay from July 20, 2017 until the filing of the application to dismiss on March 21, 2019, a delay of 20 months. Again, nothing was done during this period to move the matter ahead. The total time elapsed, from the filing of the notice of civil claim until the application to dismiss was filed, was eight years. It will be almost ten years by the time the matter goes to trial. There have been two periods, of approximately 35 months in total, where nothing was done. In my view, by any measure, this is an inordinate delay.

[8]             I now turn to whether the delay is excusable. In my view, it is not. There is no evidence from the plaintiff explaining the delay. Dr. Mann filed an affidavit but he provides no evidence whatsoever addressing the delay. Importantly, he does not provide any evidence saying that the delay was due to his counsel, nor does he provide evidence that he instructed his counsel to proceed diligently with the matter. He simply does not address delay at all.

[9]             Counsel for Dr. Mann submits that the delay was due to his being busy on other matters, but the affidavit evidence falls far short of establishing this. The affidavit of Jocelyn Molnar, filed April 10, 2019, simply addresses what matters plaintiff's counsel was involved in at various times. The affidavit does not connect those other matters to the delay here. It does not explain the lengthy delay in 2013 and 2014 and does not adequately explain the delay from July 2017. The evidence falls far short of establishing an excuse for the delay.

[10]         Even if I was satisfied that the evidence established the delay was solely due to plaintiff's counsel being busy with other matters, which I am not, I do not agree that this would be an adequate excuse. Counsel for the plaintiff was unable to provide any authority establishing that counsel's busy schedule is a valid excuse for delay. In contrast, the defendant refers me to Hughes v. Simpson‑Sears, [1988] 52 D.L.R. (4th) 553, where Justice Twaddle, writing on behalf of the Manitoba Court of Appeal, stated at p. 13 that:

...Freedman, J.A. said that the overriding principle in cases of this kind is “essential justice”. There is no doubt that that is so, but it must mean justice to both parties, not just to one of them.

In Law Society of Manitoba v. Eadie (judgment delivered on June 27, 1988), I stated my preference for a one-step application of the fundamental principle on which motions of this kind should be decided. The fundamental principle is that a plaintiff should not be deprived of his right to have his case decided on its merits unless he is responsible for undue delay which has prejudiced the other party. A plaintiff is responsible for delays occasioned by his solicitors. I have already dealt with the consequence of the solicitors' conduct being negligent. Once it is established that the delay is unreasonable having regard to the subject matter of the action, the complexity of the issues, and the explanation for it, the other matter to be considered is the prejudice to the defendant. It is in the task of balancing the plaintiff's right to proceed with the defendant's right not to be prejudiced by unreasonable delay that justice must be done.

[Emphasis added]

[11]         Additionally, based upon the evidence filed, the plaintiff and his counsel appear to have attended to other matters, both legal matters and professional matters in the case of the plaintiff, rather than give this matter any priority. The plaintiff appears to have been content to simply let this matter languish.

[12]         Accordingly, I find that the delay is inexcusable.

[13]         With respect to prejudice, such prejudice is presumed unless the prejudice is rebutted. Indeed, the presumption of prejudice is given even more weight in defamation cases: Samson v. Scaletta, 2016 BCSC 2598, at paras 40-43. The plaintiff has not filed any evidence rebutting the presumption of prejudice.

[14]         Moreover, the defendant has led actual evidence of actual prejudice. The evidence is that the defendant intended to call three witnesses at trial who would have provided evidence going to fair comment and malice. Those witnesses have now died. A fourth witness is no longer able to travel. Thus, in addition to finding that presumption of prejudice has not been rebutted, I also find that there has been actual prejudice to the defendant as a consequence of the delay.

[15]         Turning to the final factor, I have little hesitation in finding that, on balance, justice requires the action be dismissed. The parties are both in their eighties and Dr. Ball is in poor health. He has had this action hanging over his head like the sword of Damocles for eight years and he will need to wait until January 2021 before the matter proceeds to trial. That is a ten year delay from the original alleged defamatory statement. Other witnesses are also elderly or in poor health. The memories of all parties and witnesses will have faded by the time the matter goes to trial.

[16]         I find that, because of the delay, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for there to be a fair trial for the defendant. This is a relatively straightforward defamation action and should have been resolved long before now. That it has not been resolved is because the plaintiff has not given it the priority that he should have. In the circumstances, justice requires that the action be dismissed and, accordingly, I do hereby dismiss the action for delay.

[17]         Before concluding, I wish to note that the materials that have been filed on this application are grossly excessive in relation to the matters in issue. There are four large binders of materials filed by the plaintiff on the application to dismiss, plus one additional binder from the defendant. The binders contain multiple serial affidavits, many of which are replete with completely irrelevant evidence. In my view, this application could have been done and should have been done with one or two affidavits outlining the delay, the reasons for the delay, and the prejudice.

[18]         Those are my reasons, counsel. Costs?

[19]         MR. SCHERR:  I would, of course, ask for costs for the defendant, given the dismissal of the action.

[20]         MR. MCCONCHIE:  Costs follow the event. I have no quarrel with that.

[21]         THE COURT:  All right. I agree. The costs will follow the event, so the defendant will have his costs of the application and also the costs of the action, since the action is dismissed.

[22]         The outstanding application, I gather there is no reason to proceed with it now.

[23]         MR. MCCONCHIE:  It is academic, in light of –

[24]         THE COURT:  It is academic.

[25]         MR. MCCONCHIE:  – Your Lordship's ruling today.

[26]         THE COURT:  Right. Thank you, gentlemen. Anything else?

[27]         MR. SCHERR:  No, Your Honour.

[28]         THE COURT:  All right.

[29]         MR. SCHERR:  No, My Lord.

[30]         THE COURT:  Then, we are concluded and you shall have your materials back, which are these binders. Thank you, gentlemen.

“Giaschi J.”

2019-09-16

Twitterfest: Rhode, Maslin, Nelson

poorlyIt was a busy day on Twatter.

That nice RR twoteThe world transfers about $1,700,000,000,000 ($1.7 trillion) to oil producers every year. That seemed odd (in fact I mistook it for yet another weary round of the subsidy stuff) but no, it turns out what he really meant was "$1.7 trillion is the notional market value of producing 80 million barrels of crude per day with a current market price of ~$60 / barrel". I'm doubtful that's quite the correct calculation, because there will be various shipping, transfer, middlemen and markups in the way, but perhaps it isn't too far off. Does it tell you anything useful? It gives you a number for the size of the oil market; by comparison, global GDP is approximately $85T, so oil is about 2% of GDP. That makes it seem quite small, really2.

Mark Maslin asserted (via The Conversation): The science of climate change is more than 150 years old and it is probably the most tested area of modern science. In retrospect I feel a bit guilty about disturbing his nice thread with "Most-tested-of-modern-sci is surely bullshit". However, just because you want to emphasise that climate science isn't new, and isn't ill-tested; and because you feel that it has survived rabid attacks by ignorant fools; doesn't give you license to make things up.

All of that made me briefly the poster boy for the Dork Side; Tom Nelson twat: Infamous warmist 
@wmconnolley replies: "Most-tested-of-modern-sci is surely bullshit" #ClimateBrawl and asking for my opinionsjust checking: Do you believe that we are currently experiencing a "climate crisis"? What could I do but oblige him: Ha ha, you want my opinions? You're welcome to them. I'm sure you'll love http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2019/08/monckers-him-jump-shark.html; you might actually really like http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2019/06/should-judiciary-be-making-us-climate.html; as for you actual question, maybe http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2019/05/uk-parliament-declares-climate-change.html. This continued for a while, with him trying to force me to answer his silly question, and me trolling him, until he gave up.

FWIW, I think Do you believe that we are currently experiencing a "climate crisis"? isn't a good question. Do you "believe in" global warming? gets the instant and obvious reply "yes". Do you think the Green New Deal is stupid? also gets a "yes". Do you think it is worth debating with people who don't "believe in" global warming? gets "no"1. And for those hard of thinking, "believe in" so carefully placed in quotes amounts to "accept the generally accepted view, as represented by e.g. the IPCC WG 1 reports".

Notes


1. For those who will object "but you do it" the answer is "not very much any more" and I hardly seek out any such "debate". If anyone wants to come here and discuss, fine, they've made an effort and that distinguishes them from 99% of their fellows, so we can talk, until they veer off too obviously into the weeds.

2. By comparison, IT spending on services, infrastructure, and software is on track to rise to $3.8 trillion, according to Gartner's forecast, a 3.2 percent increase from $3.7 trillion in 2018 and you can pull out even bigger numbers if you want to3.

3. Another number, plucked from Mark Maslin's piece, is that "the world’s five largest publicly-owned oil and gas companies spend about US$200m each year on lobbying". Which, using these numbers, would appear to be about 0.01% of the global oil economy.

Refs


CPI Bias and Happiness
* Regulation and/or Geopolitics
* Money Is the Oxygen on Which the Fire of Global Warming Burns: What if the banking, asset-management, and insurance industries moved away from fossil fuels? by Bill McKibben
* A Celebration of the U.S. Constitution by David Henderson; Or, a reminder of the problems of constitutionalism in times of stress
On the coast of Yorkshire on a September day
* Sled driver
Rule of law vs GDP per capita, courtesy of the Lexis Nexis Rule of Law Foundation, via Paul Graham on Twatter.
Irish Court Rejects Demand for More Aggressive Climate Action

2019-09-15

Wind farms: Corbyn aka Trump

MVIMG_20190906_084903 Or so says the Beeb. Though not in those words; it's not the kind of thing Aunty would say, and indeed it isn't even the kind of thing that they're even capable of thinking; they have been well schooled. No, they write Corbyn says Fife wind farm contract plan 'not credible'. But in the end it amounts to the same thing: Corbyn and Trump both want to direct economic activity, and if allowed to, it would be to the detriment of the people.

Corbyn - well known Islington based expert on steel production, transport, and trade-offs in costs between transport and production - said it was not credible to "drag" manufactured parts 8,000 miles to the wind farm site. He is at least partly right; dragging the parts there would not be credible; but only an idiot of his ilk would think of doing so. Transport by sea, however, is quite efficient.

Corbyn is not the only idiot on this though; step forward Scottish Greens Fife MSP Mark Ruskell who addressed the STUC rally. He said there should be no offshore wind farm leases issued from the Crown Estate without the guarantee of local jobs... Why all this mania for local jobs, other than shameless politicking? It's obviously stupid when Trump does it, I think even the Beeb can see it then.

What then you might ask is the correct place to buy these bits from? The answer is obvious: you don't know. And neither do I. But to a first approximation, I'd guess that whoever offers the cheapest place subject to whatever criteria of reliability the purchasing company feels appropriate would be the best place. The idea that a bunch of idiot pols have anything useful to contribute to the analysis is laughable.

Notes


1. Photo: me, on my trusty hired bicycle "bike", at the back of Qualcomm building AC in San Diego. More exciting pix here.

2019-09-10

Cry havoc and let slip the grapes of boredom

MVIMG_20190909_190105 I'm off in Sunny San Diego in the Quangleplex having fun in the ocean, so have a few moments to post random links, in the absence of anything more exciting to talk about, like the UK turning into a dumpster fire bashing it's way down rocky rapids1.

So "French wines show hot dry years are now normal" from physicsworld floated by on Twatter, and triggered my interest in impacts in general and agriculture in particular. The finding is that Grapes in Burgundy are now picked 13 days earlier than the average for the last 664 years. And the advance in harvest dates has been dramatic: almost all since 1988. And, yes, this is a thing but the obvious question is: is this a problem in any way? Of course it isn't a direct problem; even the French are reactive enough to notice the change and set their calendars to "pick a bit earlier". The article can't bring itself to say this, because GW must always be a problem; it sez The wine industry is vulnerable... climate change had begun to warm southern England’s chalky soils to the a degree that made them yield sparkling wines to match qualities pursued in the Champagne region of France. Which is odd phrasing: the word "vulnerable" makes you think of problems; but being able to make decent wine is an advantage. It does link to something about grape picking being harder in higher temperatures, which is all very well, but i the grape harvest isn't falling I can't see that as a major issue.

In other news you won't like, there's Alex Tabarrok on Paul Krugman's Most Evil Idea. And - although this is something of a throwaway - there's a suggestion that an independent central bank might be another part of the separation of powers, which I haven't seen explicitly stated.

Are you interested in my lunch? Also, I've been cycling in San Diego (I am not totally alone; in fact their cycle lanes are pretty good but underused); see Strava which includes pix.

Refs


The Supreme Court and the administrative state

Notes


1. Image stolen from a metaphor I developed over a series of weekly reports a few months back.