A dangerous new form of climate denialism is making the rounds?

MVIMG_20190806_080736 So says Twatter, pointing to an exciting Op-Ed in Newsweek. But the newness turns out to be not-so-new (you're astonished, aren't you?): it's just Marco Rubio opining We should choose adaptive solutions. In some ways MR's rather useless article is a step forward, since he is obliged to start Florida will be forced to continue making adjustments in the coming decades because of the changing climate. Trend lines suggest sunny day flooding will become increasingly common as local sea levels rise from a variety of causes. So despite the tell-tale signs of denialism ("continue", suggesting the familiar "climate has always changed" trope; the weaselly "a variety of causes") he's still obliged to confess the reality of sea level rise.

There's then a rather illogical through a carbon tax... The cost would set our state back, depriving us of the resources we desperately need to continue to adapt. So apparently the state raising tax revenue would deprive the state of tax revenue for use in adaption? Or perhaps he imagines that all adaption will be done by private individuals. I bet his retiree-constituents are looking for "the state" aka someone else to pick up the tab, not them as private individuals.

Then comes the interesting Through proactive adaptation alone, the Environmental Protection Agency predicted in 2017, Americans could reduce damage caused by climate change to coastal property through 2099 by 90%. 90% seems a touch on the optimistic side, even for a pol trying to reassure people. Via FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT: CHAPTER 29: REDUCING RISKS THROUGH EMISSIONS MITIGATION AND SHOUTING A LOT (More than half of damages to coastal property are estimated to be avoidable through well-timed adaptation measures, such as shoreline protection and beach replenishment.2,5,196) I get (it's ref 2) Multi-Model Framework for Quantitative Sectoral Impacts Analysis: A Technical Report for the Fourth National Climate Assessment. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. which says
Without adaptation, cumulative discounted damages to coastal property in the contiguous U.S. are estimated at $3.6 trillion through 2100 under both RCPs. Damages under RCP4.5 are reduced by $92 billion compared to RCP8.5. 
Well-timed adaptation measures significantly reduce cumulative discounted costs to an estimated $820 billion under RCP8.5 and $800 billion under RCP4.5. In comparison, reductions in damages under RCP4.5 are modest, with the majority of benefits projected to occur late in the century.
Ter be onest I have some problems with that. The most obvious is the trivial difference in costs between RCP8.5 and 4.5. That just doesn't seem believable1. Also, I can't really parse the second sentence in the second paragraph. However, overall, while 820 isn't 10% of 3600 it isn't far off, indeed in pol terms it is spot on, so ol' MR isn't totally full of it.


1. They do notice though, and say:  Global sea level rise is similar under the RCPs scenarios through mid-century. It is not until the second half of the century when the benefits of reduced sea level rise under RCP4.5 become apparent, which are more heavily affected by discounting. In addition, some of the effects on coastal property are due to land subsidence which is assumed to occur at an equal rate under the sea level rise projections of the two RCPs. Could be.


We need to save the Amazon, but not for the sake of oxygen
* PC – As In “Patriotically Correct” by DON BOUDREAUX from Alex Nowrasteh
Harold Demsetz’s 1982 lecture “Competition in the Public Sector” via CH
Voters can only choose process characteristics and hope for results. Consumers buy results and leave the process to those with specialized knowledge of such things - Thomas Sowell


Phil said...

Isn't this just part of the

Climate doesn't change.
The climate changes for natural reasons, but no change now.
The climate is changing for natural reasons.
Humans might change the climate, but natural change is larger.
Humans are changing the climate, change is harmless or good.
Humans are changing the climate, we can't do anything about it.
Humans are changing the climate, all we can do is adapt.
Goto loop

Andy Mitchell said...

I look forward to the next step from MR's latest position: how to responsibly manage the climate holocaust.

Billovitch said...

And what's the obvious way to adapt to areas of the world, like. S. Florida, not baeing able to sustain their current populations?

Answer: Migration


Tom said...

I believe contrarians would look at Marco Rubio and wonder why the consensus still likes Markey...

Yes, let's look at politicians and their opinions on climate change.

Victor Venema said...

Sounds like Rubio goes for an adaptation only strategy. In other words, he is creating a problem for everyone and then only protects himself for the consequences. Not the finest libertarian or conservative way of dealing with property rights and hard to see this as a voluntary exchange.

It is the mixture of authoritarianism and crony capitalism that is symbolized by Trump. A cop shooting someone, not administering first aid, not calling 911, but watching from a distance how someone bleeds to death.

There's then a rather illogical through a carbon tax... The cost would set our state back, depriving us of the resources we desperately need to continue to adapt. So apparently the state raising tax revenue would deprive the state of tax revenue for use in adaption?

An adaptation only strategy would save the money you would spend on mitigation. In the long run you pay more for damages and adaptation, but why would Marco Adaptation Only Rubio care about that? His donors surely do not; they expect a return on investment in Rubio for the quarterly figures.

Florida will be forced to continue making adjustments in the coming decades because of the changing climate.

In case of sea level rise, it makes sense to speak of continuing to make adjustments. International climate negotiations are about stabilizing the temperature increase, not about going back to the pre-industrial temperature. So sea level rise will continue.


"Florida will be forced to continue making adjustments in the coming decades because of the changing climate. Trend lines suggest sunny day flooding will become increasingly common as local sea levels rise from a variety of causes. "

Doss this mean Trump is sucking sand from under the Bath And Tennis Club to shore up Mar Del Lago?.



The Democrats at Science are retreating in pursuit of Rubio in an orderly fashion.



Phil said...

Adaption or mitigation?

We need to do both.


After decades of carbon footprint consciouness-raising , it's hard for many preople to adapt to the idea that mitigation can mean anything else.

crandles said...


petition passed 100,000 most in last hour (did say 66000 in last hour but may change rapidly)

Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled.

Tadaaa said...


signed (obvs)

but for the "bants" I would call Cummings bluff

Phil said...


Trump would love to prorogue the House.

William M. Connolley said...

OK, I signed the petition, now up to 1.7 M, but I doubt it matters much. The last one passed 6 M after all. As for Cummings, you should fear him; but with luck Boris will enough to sack him.

David B. Benson said...

British parliamentary maneuvers too arcane for me to follow. A guide to go with the popcorn?

William M. Connolley said...

Tricky, no? I leave the country for a few days and this is what happens. As near as I can tell though rather little has actually happened yet. Unless I'm a day out. Das Beeb say On Tuesday, politicians opposed to "no-deal" grabbed the steering wheel to block this outcome. They voted to seize control of the parliamentary agenda on Wednesday. Seizing the agenda is a major step but they have yet to demonstrate they know what to do with it. And it remains an open question of what happens if parliament votes for a delay, but the executive refuses to ask for it.

David B. Benson said...

The popcorn is tasty anyway.

crandles said...

I have heard the BBC describe the bill as comprehensive and very prescriptive.

It seems some people are starting to bet on BoJo being suspended from HofC at 50:1

So pretty unlikely. So seems more likely to try to call election/resign/obey.

But losing vote 328 - 301, larger than expected after all that deselection arm twisting. Also expelling tory rebels to becoming 43 short of majority makes it look like anti no dealers have the numbers and BoJo actions are not conciliatory.

Major immediate questions seem more like:
Do they have sufficient time in parliament? Does it matter if not law until late October? Can 92 amendments in Lords talk it out?

Yes, doubt petition matters much. But still impressive to go from under 10,000 to over 1,040,000 in a day.

David B. Benson said...

Does not look well for Merry Old England from this remove...

Unknown said...

Do the SLR cost estimates take into account the acceleration of ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica?

In 2009, Velicogna showed "The combined contribution of Greenland and Antarctica to global sea level rise is accelerating at a rate of 56 ± 17 Gt/yr2 during April 2002–February 2009, which corresponds to an equivalent acceleration in sea level rise of 0.17 ± 0.05 mm/yr2 during this time" and "The F-test show that the improvement obtained with the quadratic fit is statistical significant at a very high confidence level." doi:10.1029/2009GL040222

Later - An improved mass budget for the Greenland ice sheet; Ellyn M. Enderlin, Ian M. Howat, Seongsu Jeong, Myoung-Jong Noh, Jan H. van Angelen, and Michiel R. van den Broeke4; Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 866–872, doi:10.1002/2013GL059010
"The rate of loss increased from 153 ± 33 Gt/a over the period 2000–2005 to 265 ± 18 Gt/a from 2005 to 2009 and 378 ± 50 Gt/a between 2009 and 2012, giving a total acceleration of 27.0 ± 9.0 Gt/a2 since 2000. This acceleration is in good agreement with the 2003–2012 acceleration of 25 ± 9 Gt/a2 detected by GRACE [Wouters et al., 2013]"

And more recently, another accelerating region of ice loss - Dynamic thinning of glaciers on the Southern Antarctic Peninsula; B. Wouters1,*, A. Martin-EspaƱol1, V. Helm2, T. Flament3, J. M. van Wessem4, S. R. M. Ligtenberg4, M. R. van den Broeke4, J. L. Bamber1 http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6237/899.full - "We use satellite altimetry and gravity observations to show that a major portion of the region has, since 2009, destabilized. Ice mass loss of the marine-terminating glaciers has rapidly accelerated from close to balance in the 2000s to a sustained rate of –56 ± 8 gigatons per year, constituting a major fraction of Antarctica’s contribution to rising sea level. The widespread, simultaneous nature of the acceleration, in the absence of a persistent atmospheric forcing, points to an oceanic driving mechanism."

Plus there is http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n6/full/nclimate2635.html
"First, the GMSL rate (1993 to mid-2014) is systematically reduced to between +2.6 ± 0.4 mm yr-1 and +2.9 ± 0.4 mm yr-1, depending on the choice of VLM applied. These rates are in closer agreement with the rate derived from the sum of the observed contributions2, GMSL estimated from a comprehensive network of tide gauges with GPS-based VLM applied (updated from ref. 8) and reprocessed ERS-2/Envisat altimetry9. Second, in contrast to the previously reported slowing in the rate during the past two decades1, our corrected GMSL data set indicates an acceleration in sea-level rise (independent of the VLM used), which is of opposite sign to previous estimates and comparable to the accelerated loss of ice from Greenland and to recent projections2, 10, and larger than the twentieth-century acceleration2, 8, 10."

William M. Connolley said...

> the acceleration

Yes, or rather they can; whether they've picked the ones you give I don't know. I'd expect them to have used the std.IPCC ones, which can be mree conservative.