After WWII, movies made in the US and UK that involved strange phenomena had scientists explicate the possible reason and suggest experiments or solutions. Most importantly they were listened too. Any person engaging in denials was treated as comedic moment. By the time of the 1975 movie "Jaws", the denier (the Amity Island mayor) was clearly motivated by commercial interests. This seems to be almost coincident of the fossil fuel industry hiding their scientists' reports on teh consequences of fossil fuel burning. This went into top gear, especially after Hansen's Congressional statement. The useful idiots were paid to create doubt, as well documented by Naomi Orestes.

I find it of little value to listen to pundits, rather than domain experts, douubly so is they have little knowledge. I vaguely still recall a rant by Limbaugh about some science topic (energy I think) that was so ignorant of facts that it made me wonder if any of his claimed knowledge was accurate.

Hansen has proved remarkably prescient, including his claim of rapid loss of sea ice that was far less conservative than the consnsus of his peers.

Apart from Fred Singer, almost every climate denier is clueless about climate modeling and the science behind it. What I find interesting is that the deniers fixate on one detail - global temperatures - trying to find "gotchas" like creationists denying evolution. But as you showed with the Janaese tracking of the onset of the cherry blossom blooms, there is a host of orthoganal data supporting climate change, for example species changes and movements in response to warming - the global "canaries in the coal mine".

Any measured "technological dividend" isn't going to be worth much is the planet looks like the landscape depicted in Blade Runner 2049, or worse, Soylent Green, or any scifi books of the eco or cli-fi genre. As a culture, we pay far too litle regard to the state of the biosphere. It cannot be kept pristine, but there is no good reason to accept allowing it to degrade as we treat it as an exploitable resource. Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" (1970) has the 2 lines that we should remember:

Don't it always seem to go

That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?

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Mar 27·edited Mar 27

Here is an excellent article from the New Yorker featuring a scientist who is a climate realistic. His analysis shows we will probably come up short in our attempts to stop global warming, and we'll have to learn to cope with a warmer climate. Ironically, he's a professor at the Univesity in Winnipeg, so his city will be one of the few places on earth that might benefit. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/persons-of-interest/vaclav-smil-and-the-value-of-doubt

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for certain, finding a path to full sustainability is critical.

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Back in that era my thinking was along the lines of: what would we forgo economically if global warming was attacked at great cost and the warming did not happen and what would the cost be of dealing with the after effects of the warming. I had no tools to work the problem but it seemed to me that the world would not suffered irreparable damage in the first case and would suffer irreparable damage in the later case.

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Well, yes, the big-bad Oil corps and not-so-thoughtful thought "leaders" are easy targets. But at the end of the day, they were just the pimps, we ourselves the Johns. To this day, a rising cost of gasoline results in everyone voted out ASAP.

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I'm not as worried at you, but I wish that everyone who DOES understand that CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere has significant costs would get serious about lighting a fire under politicians to adopt least cost solutions.

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Poor Roger Pielke! He is still so traumatized by over-the top criticism, he can't bring himself to go beyond refuting Climate Change exaggeration, for whihc there is still a lively market.

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"How expensive will the costs of changing our energy system so that in fifty years global warming will stop be?"

It depends. If addressed with a global tax on net emissions of CO2, not much in deadweight loss, certainly less that years of failure to execute FAIT a la Bernanke-Yellen. If addressed through NIMBY-McKibbenism, impeding random fossil fuel production or transpiration projects in Western democracies, the cost will be so much that in 50 years CO2 concentration will still be rising.






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And not the AI effect on work and productivity and/or AI prodded changes in biology/materials science? [Plagiarizing Mindscape, here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1qxJI9nc2g&list=PLrxfgDEc2NxY_fRExpDXr87tzRbPCaA5x&index=1 ]

I hope not, because optimizing the CO2 content of the atmosphere ought to be just a lot of investment projects being executed along with gradual shifts in consumer baskets. If it IS a big story it will because we are NOT optimizing the CO2 content of the atmosphere.

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Powerful vested interests in the US, China, India, and Russia continue to deny global warming, if not in word, then in deed. Future generations will hate us, and they will have every right to.

How much of 2023-4 is an El Nino outlier, and how much is the start of a vicious cycle caused by arctic heat that is melting the reflective ice, thawing methane, and altering atmospheric and ocean circulation? Once we enter disequilibrium, can we stop at any point? Or are there stretches of global temperature where long-term equilibrium is now impossible? I fear we cannot stop at 2 or 3 degrees regardless of what we do now.

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I no longer take the bait. This is a loser's game and highly unproductive: "For every (tut-tut) 'fact' you can find supporting your silly position I can find TWO facts supporting mine. So there." A winner's game is from Teddy R et. al.: do what you can where you are with what. you have". (There's no oh shut up in there but it comes close.) Anyway, baring hubris and megalomania and thermodynamics that are flat-out wrong, Mr. Entrepreneur (ahem) has figured out cooling, renewable water, and air- and plastic-pollution (not all THAT difficult) such that it has a favorable LCOE (that was nasssty, nasssty, nassty). (I'm saving efficiency over unity for next week.) The upshot, "Code Red for Humanity!" or no, is we don't have the tools. The same was true pre- cotton gin, Wright brothers, Henry Ford, and so on. I can't say that I invent snarky apothegms. They pop in there. An applicable one here is, "The volume of blame is inversely proportional to the availability of workable, shared solutions." This -- where the antecedent of mud-slinging is, to be delicate, not mud -- too shall pass.

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Adding to the argument, over here [ https://privatebank.jpmorgan.com/content/dam/jpm-wm-aem/global/pb/en/insights/eye-on-the-market/Vaclav.pdf ] Vaclav Smil finds that there's no feasible path for an energy transition that would get us to net zero by 2050 or close to that (or, to put it in another way, that the cost of doing so would be so big that there's no politically feasible way to make it happen). He's not arguing that we shouldn't do it as fast as possible, but that "as fast as possible" still leaves as with a lot of damage to deal with along the way.

One of my fears is that as things deteriorate the "we don't need to do anything" side will switch to misrepresenting "we can't do this cheaply and avoiding all damage" to "there's nothing that can be done" --- there are severe collective actions problems here, so if you dedicate all resources to mitigation and adaptation (and/or sociopolitical control, border patrols, and so on) instead of decarbonification, we might get to even higher emissions than we're accounting for.

For the record I don't think it's the most likely outcome in this extreme way; there's probably enough money in the energy transition, and the cultural shift is relatively strong enough, that it won't be stopped, but I don't see a surfeit of strategic maturity and long-term planning going around across the biggest countries and/or most influential uber-rich.

(Side question: I almost typed "oligarch"; would it make sense to stop using it mainly for the ones in Russia and include Musk et al? They have much more power and independence that their financial peers in Russia --- or just less of a tendency to fall out of windows.)

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This seems worthy of wide(r) distribution, in which case I suggest you first get some friendly editor to remove the FT’s T&C nattering about your fair-use quotation and some ragged sentences

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