Given that my recent thread on the possibility of an upcoming real estate crisis has been derailed by Global Warming conversation, I am starting this thread to discuss the economics of global warming to either:
a) Shift the global warming conversation from my real estate crash thread over here to free that thread up.
b) Incite people who like to derail threads to use this global warming thread to discuss an upcoming real estate crash so I can partake in that discussion here.
No doubt to me and my gardening records that the climate is warming where I live in DC. Fewer than 30 years ago, we experienced peak autumn foliage color on or before Columbus Day. This year the trees are mostly green two weeks after Columbus Day. Our growing season has expanded by at least three weeks a year with first frost not occurring until November in most years (Mid October is historically when first frost occurs).
What’s less evident to me is the cause and the surety that scientists proffer based on a scan 150 years of records. Earth over its life of some 4.5 billion years has certainly gone through warming and cooling periods long before the Industrial Age and carbon-based fuel consumption. In fact, most of the carbon-based fuels we consume today were created during warm-Earth eras, no?
What’s not evident at all is what we can, should, and must do to safely preserve a livable environment. None of the solutions I have seen or read seem plausible or achievable given what’s now been deemed a shorter-than-ever doomsday.
Instead of meaningless, uninformed, back and forth I will provide some resources so you can educate yourself. Perhaps others can do the same:
The Great Climate Debate:
Dr. Happer is a physicist who has specialized in the interactions of radiation with matter, a key issue in greenhouse warming and optics. Happer, Princeton physics professor emeritus, invented the sodium laser guide used by astronomers and the military to reduce atmospheric distortion of light and was a co-author of an early book on global warming, The Long-Term Impacts of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels (MacDonald 1981). Dr. Karoly, University of Melbourne (Australia) professor, is a climate scientist who has been heavily involved in several IPCC reports and first described the famous “atmospheric fingerprint” (cooling in the stratosphere and warming in the troposphere) that shows rising greenhouse gas concentrations have an impact on recent surface warming. Although the fingerprint does not allow the magnitude of human climate impacts to be computed, it does allow us to infer that human CO2 emissions have some finite impact on climate.
The giant gorilla in the climate debate is the ice ages. For example, we have strong evidence that Chicago was under a mile of ice around 12,000 years ago. John Gribbin, a physicist, wrote a great little book discussing the history of how we discovered this and the science behind it
One factor that is not often discussed is that carbon dioxide has many beneficial effects. It is necessary for plant growth so an increase causes an increase in plant coverage of the earth that is easily measurable. Also most of the warming predicted by the models occurs near the polar regions. This will make them suitable for agriculture that increases the world food supply.
Any discussion on contentious issue regarding science is sort of pointless unless both side come to the table with some basic understanding of logic and the scientific method. I have some very lively debate with my coworkers on engineering problem all the time but every time we come to a consensus. Fact and logic dictate it.
I have good personal friend that believe all sort of weird stuff. Rather than telling them off about their conspiracy theory, I work with them on the “HOW” part of thinking. Over time, I have had some good success. Obviously, this is much easier in person than in a forum. But I recall back in FWF days I do see some maturing of the thinking process from some members from when they first shoot off some non-sense to better reasoned post after a while when people challenge their reasoning. So, there’s hope.
I should clarify. I meant a serious debate on the economic / financial effects of global warming (decarbonization of energy base, rising of sea levels, increasing weird weather and insurance premiums, hotter summers, et cetera) and our reactions to it.
I did NOT mean a debate about the underlying science explaining or predicting said warming. I’m actually OK with that too, but that’s clearly OT for this forum.
Before anyone goes and says “Faux News,” note the Dr. Michaels’ credentials:
Director of the Center for Study of Science at the Cato Institute.
AB and SM in Biology, Sciences and Plant Ecology from the University of Chicago
PhD in Ecological Climatology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, 1979
Past President of the American Association of State Climatologists
Past Program Chairman for the Committee on Applied Climatology at the American Meteorological Society. a Research Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia for 30 years
Contributing author and a reviewer of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
I agree that the first item you mention (#1 above) is already happening big time. Governments are spending taxpayers’ money in huge amounts with subsidies for solar power installs, electric battery cars, so-called carbon taxes, and many others.
So-called “green energy” is having huge effects in places like Germany and California. In Germany, which went into this big time, their utility bills have increased by a huge amount and are much higher then their EU competitors like France. They closed all their nuclear plants. Because the “green energy” is too intermittent and unreliable for practical use, they are replacing the nuclear plants with coal and also with imported natural gas from their good friends the Russians.
California also has gone into this big time and we pay among the highest electric power rates in the US. The state government has added huge taxes to gasoline so again we pay among the highest gas prices in the US. The power utilities have to keep NatGAs power plants running on standby to step in when solar and wind power drop below the demand on the grid.
Silicon Valley no longer builds stuff–all that was exported overseas–but they now make huge profits stealing peoples’ information and selling it to the highest bidder.
But the rest of CA is in a recession. Depending on how you measure it, we have the highest poverty rate of any state in the country.
And I am sure there are many other parts of the economy affected by government regulations and taxes in the name of global warming.
As to your list of second items, the scientific/engineering jury is still out. As an example, the claim is that extreme weather events have increased. But prior to this hurricane year the US had over a decade with much lower damage to the US mainland. Extreme weather is random and you need sophisticated statistical tests to say they are changing–not English major newspaper writers claiming it.
There thing about science is that, there are legit science debate with every new topic. EVERY TIME. with smart people on both side.
Over time, however, as evidence and data stacks up. One side either concedes or … eventually… pass away.
Regarding extreme weather is not completely random. Just like tornado in US Midwest is not completely random. To understand this point one has to understand that science is about probability. The PROBABILITY of a tornado in Tokyo is less than in Kansas City due to the climate. Extremely weather events chance of happening is increasing but it would not be accurate to say that any one storm is caused by global warming (funny, i got called denier in Phatwallet for saying that).