Lust for suing

PXL_20211117_194725826 That nice SR is lusting after a bit more suing. Because the existing suing has gone so well, presumbably. The source of this optimism is the ever-reliable WaPo, Drowning nations disappointed with the outcome of U.N. climate summit may have one move left: Lawsuits. Just to make it clear from the outset how hopeless all this is, the article begins: For the Chagossians, the island of Diego Garcia became a paradise lost. In the late 1960s, Britain began forcibly removing the inhabitants of the Indian Ocean atoll — most of them the descendants of enslaved people and laborers — to make way for a U.S. military base. Suing for restitution to this day, the expelled Chagossians would suffer lives as second-class citizens far from their impossibly turquoise shores. I'm not sure Our Hero has actually relised what he is saying here, but I'll make it explicit: if you can't get restitution for obvious clear direct and undisputed harm, what hope GW?

Just to make it clear that Our Hero really isn't thinking, he continues This much we do know: Sea level rise within the next century could submerge entire Pacific nations... Tuvalu, midway between Hawaii and Australia, has an average land elevation of 6 feet 6 inches above mean sea level, with the water rising at almost 0.2 inches each year. Do the math, and those apocalyptic predictions seem conservative. "Do the math" appears to be shorthand for "please do not do the math", or possibly "I'm a Journalist and Thinker, I can't  number": because 0.2 inches a year is 2 inches a decade is two feet in 120 years.

Meh. The article is non-serious. It fails to actually explore the possible suing options in any kind of depth, for the obvious reason that the author really doesn't know anything other than what he reads in the meeja, which is worthless. Still, it is saying the kind of things that SR wants to hear ("sue the bastards") so gets pushed anyway.

Other stupid ideas

However, Stupid Idea Of The Day goes to Peter Kalmus for "If a genie appeared and said "I can make all fossil fuel and FF infrastructure disappear if you choose" I'd say yes, even knowing the chaos it would sadly cause. Because it would still be far less than the irreversible damage and chaos we're heading toward". Even DmcN is capable of realising this is unhelpful, even if he isn't brave enough to say the obvious: it is fuckwitted. If all FF infrastrucutre disappeared, we would all die. Because civilisation would collapse. PK has other dumb ideas that SR is dumb enough to like.

RS makes a good effort with To Fight Climate Change, Los Angeles Bans Unsolicited Ketchup Packets but can't beat PK.

Biden is also a rich source of stupidity.


Climate change: Conspiracy theories found on foreign-language Wikipedia.

Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.

Activists take court action against Boris Johnson over climate crisis - yet more shite, this time in the UK from the Graun.

* The Economist on the growth of government by Alberto Mingardi


Who knew what when - 1992 edition

PXL_20211105_084010113 When I wrote Who knew what when? I lightly skipped over the 1992 supplement. Because, it didn't really say much. I can prove that, cos wiki sez The major conclusion was that research since 1990 did "not affect our fundamental understanding of the science of the greenhouse effect and either confirm or do not justify alteration of the major conclusions of the first IPCC scientific assessment" - though as it happens I wrote that. My recollection is that 1992 added transient simulations. Which means that 

the evidence from the modelling studies, from observations and the sensitivity analyses indicate that the sensitivity of global mean surface temperature to doubling CO 2 is unlikely to lie outside the range 1.5 to 4.5°C


global mean surface air temperature has increased by 0.3 to 0.6°C over the last 100 years; the size of this warming is broadly consistent with predictions of climate models, but it is also of the same magnitude as natural climate variability. Thus the observed increase could be largely due to this natural variability; alternatively this variability and other human factors could have offset a still larger human-induced greenhouse warming; the unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observations is not likely for a decade or more

were unchanged. That then leads me to need to explain away (because I've been going on about it recently, wrt 1995) The Economist's

In 1992, when the CO2 level had reached 356ppm and evidence of anthropogenic warming was, if not overwhelming, definitely discernible, the leaders of the world agreed to do something about the potentially catastrophic course they had more or less unwittingly embarked on. In the un Framework Convention on Climate Change (unfccc) agreed upon at a summit in Rio de Janeiro that year, they committed themselves to the “stabilisation of greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”

How do I do that? I go with my previous although human-caused warming wasn't clearly visible by, say, 1990; nonetheless the principle that emitting large and increasing amounts of CO2 was indeed clearly visible by then, and well agreed on. So the Economist is wrong, if by "definitely discernable" they are referring to the anthropogenic signal in the climate; and this is the most natural interpretation. But if you were to mean the principle that increasing GHGs would affect the climate, then yes that was already "discernable" by 1992; enough to explain people being bothered enough to set up the UNFCCC.

Pic: a late sweet pea from a week or so ago.


* Law is Hell by Bryan Caplan

* Thoughts on Democratic Choice by Donald J. Boudreaux


Make extreme wealth extinct: it’s the only way to avoid climate breakdown?

255187755_10158664043408869_8825490267948243956_n This is Monbiot, in the Graun via Timmy. M is riffing off the Oxfam report which I don't really believe, since I think they essentailly use wealth as a proxy for CO2, but feel free to persuade me that I'm wrong about that. M's conclusion is I’ve come to believe that the most important of all environmental measures are wealth taxes. Preventing systemic environmental collapse means driving extreme wealth to extinction. But as Timmy points out, this doesn't work even if you do believe Oxfam, unless you believe that wealth taxes destroy wealth, rather than redistributing it. Because CO2 emissions are (waves hands) sub-linear with wealth, just as consumption is: there's only so many flights you can take and yachts you can own and food you can eat. So redistributing the wealth, without destroying it, would lead to increased emissions rather than a decrease.

My suspicion (other than a total failure of thought on M's part, which I can't rule out) is that M is thinking that redistributing wealth from Nasty Millionaires down to Nice Middle Class People Like Him will work, because the NMCPLH will not consume the wealth, instead they will, errm, just put it in their bank accounts and look at it. And the banks will not of course loan that money out to people who will use it, errrm.

Another possibility (that M hiself does not explore) is that the taxed wealth might be spent on CO2 abatement, somehow, presumably by the taxing govts. It isn't impossible; but then again neither is the idea that the NM's might do that themselves.

I also think While the emissions of the world’s middle classes are expected to fall sharply over the next decade, thanks to the general decarbonisation of our economies, the amount produced by the richest will scarcely decline at all is voodoo. Because... I doubt I believe their methodology. They don't make it easy to find it, either; but I waded through it before. And we end up with We assume, based on numerous studies at national, regional and global levels, that emissions rise in proportion to income, above a minimum emissions floor and to a maximum emissions ceiling. "In proportion" (in their terms, elasticity = 1) doesn't seem too plausible to me; but I now realise I need to find their "ceiling" number... rootles around... aha, here: 300 tCO2/person/y; about 15 times the average USAnian. I notice that M says The richest 1% of the world’s people (those earning more than $172,000 a year) produce 15% of the world’s carbon emissions: twice the combined impact of the poorest 50%. On average, they emit over 70 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person every year, and he is semi-quoting the report here, but he is wrong: the 172k figure comes from "Annual income in 2030 ($2011PPP) of richest 1%: >$172k" and 2030 is not now1. The 70 figures is also 2030; the figure for now is ~73. But my point is then that the 300 number leaves a lot of headroom in the 1%, if the average is ~70. And if the economy decarbonises for the NMCPLH, it will likely decarbonise for the NM too.

Is this (I mean M, not me, obvs) anything but noise: does he really expect to be read and influence people? Or is it just filler for the Graun?


1. According to a crappy WAPO calculator, which was the best I could find, income of ~$80k/y puts you in the top 1%. Or did, in 2018. Which puts me in the global top 1%. But not close to the UK top 1%.


Climate Shock Bet: Daniel Reeves Responds. See-also: Book review: Climate Shlock.


Equilibrium climate sensitivity is...

PXL_20211103_095829745 Something I missed from the AR6 - because, of course, I didn't read it - was

The equilibrium climate sensitivity... Based on multiple lines of evidence21, the very likely range of equilibrium climate sensitivity is between 2°C (high confidence) and 5°C (medium confidence). The AR6 assessed best estimate is 3°C with a likely range of 2.5°C to 4°C (high confidence), compared to 1.5°C to 4.5°C in AR5, which did not provide a best estimate.

Though to be fair to me I didn't notice anyone else blogging it (because I was asleep in summer? ATTP did, but quietly. Also - whippersnapper - noted that he'd been around at least since AR5. But Gavin didn't mention it in his six-of-the-best, even if he did elsewhere). I notice now because of PF's Twit. Of course, we've known that ECS is 3 oC for some time, but the narrower range is interesting.

Pic: globally warmed tomatoes still going in November despite our first frost. But they are quite sheltered.