RealClimate logo


Note 3/23/2021: we had a few hiccups with comments after moving the site to https/SSL. Hopefully they're fixed now. Please let us know if there are remaining issues.

Don’t make a choice that your children will regret

Filed under: — group @ 4 November 2016

Dear US voters,

the world is holding its breath. The stakes are high in the upcoming US elections. At stake is a million times more than which email server one candidate used, or how another treated women. The future of humanity will be profoundly affected by your choice, for many generations to come.

The coming four years is the last term during which a US government still has the chance, jointly with the rest of the world, to do what is needed to stop global warming well below 2°C and closer to 1.5°C, as was unanimously decided by 195 nations in the Paris Agreement last December. The total amount of carbon dioxide the world can still emit in order to have at least a 50% chance to stop warming at 1.5 °C will, at the current rate of emissions, be all used up in under ten years! This time can only be stretched out by making emissions fall rapidly.

Even 2°C of global warming is very likely to spell the end of most coral reefs on Earth. 2°C would mean a largely ice-free Arctic ocean in summer, right up to the North Pole. Even 2°C of warming is likely to destabilize continental ice sheets and commit the world to many meters of sea-level rise, lasting for millennia. Further global warming will likely lead to increasing extreme weather, droughts, harvest failures, and the risk of armed conflict and mass migration.

greenland00037small

Meltwater on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Photo with kind permission by Ragnar Axelsson.

In case you have any doubts about the science: in the scientific community there is a long-standing consensus that humans are causing dangerous global warming, reflected in the clear statements of many scientific academies and societies from around the world. None of the 195 governments that signed the Paris Agreement saw any reasons for doubting the underlying scientific facts; doubts about the science that you see in some media are largely manufactured by interest groups trying to fool you.

You have a fateful choice to make. The policies of candidates and parties on climate change could hardly be more different. Hillary Clinton would continue to work with the international community to tackle the global warming crisis and help the transition to modern clean and renewable energies. Donald Trump denies that the problem even exists and has promised to go back to coal and to undo the Paris Agreement, which comes into force today, the 4th of November 2016, as culmination of over twenty years of negotiations.

Please consider this carefully. This is not an election about personalities, it is about policies that will determine our future for a long time to come. While the presidential race has gotten the most attention, voters should consider climate not just at the ‘top of the ticket’, but all the way down the ballot. Don’t make a choice that you, your children and your children’s children will regret forever.

David Archer, Rasmus Benestad, Ray Bradley, Michael Mann, Ray Pierrehumbert, Stefan Rahmstorf and Eric Steig

215 Responses to “Don’t make a choice that your children will regret”

  1. 151
    Marcus says:

    Now that Trump is elected, what shall we expect for climate research in the USA.
    Aside from climate policy, climate mitigation climate research of NASA, NOAA , universities and so forth is needed worldwide.
    Shall we expect that the people in charge will severely slow down or cripple the research by cutting down fundings?

    Cheers
    Marcus

  2. 152

    Mal Adapted #148, Barton Paul Levenson #145, I looked up the meaning of Externality, and I realised I used the incorrect term, I should have said: “Neo-Liberal Economics however, is a pseudo-Science as evidence by the propensity of its high Priests to dismiss anything that may disturb their cherished theories by dismissing them as irrelevant”. I am not a denialist of any sort. I base my understanding on objective reality. My comment was to another comment that was in support of the concept of so called “Free Trade”, which you two do not seem to have had any problem with.

    “Free Trade” as used in the comment I replied to, is a Euphemism, a better term would be “Corporate Monopoly Trading”. The purpose of “Free Trade” is to disempower Workers Unions and to render irrelevant any attempt to apply regulation to corporate production processes. Barton mentions experiment, I care to look at the experiment of neo-liberal economics that has been inflicted on the nation that I am a part of; Australia. Australia has de-industrialised, as a result, many things are now imported that used to be made here. To pay for those imports, Australia sells stuff, Coal, Iron ore, our forests. However the return from those items has not been very good, especially since we sell those mines and companies to foreign buyers, we have actually sold Coal mines to foreign Electricity companies, so you can correctly assume that the return to Australia is very poor, most likely in the negative. So, in order to pay for the things we no longer make, as the export of those items mentioned is not returning enough, our homes and farms are sold to foreign buyers. It is a very bleak future many young Australians, no home and no food. And yet according to all the mainstream economists: “Australia is following best Economic practices, free trade means Australians are benefiting from low cost imported goods”! I may not have read every every Economics text book, and I have not read any texts on Witch hunting either, nevertheless, I am a keen observer of Object reality, and I know that both are bullshit!

  3. 153
    Bruce Frykman says:

    I must confess I am somewhat confused, I have had dozens of comments snipped and deleted for question the process of this movement.

    The reason normally given was that this forum is not political and only discusses the science.

    Here we are with an entire thread that is 100% political.

    Here is a scientific question: What is the half life of this comment?

  4. 154
    Bruce Frykman says:

    RE: “Shall we expect that the people in charge will severely slow down or cripple the research by cutting down fundings?”

    I’m sorry Virginia, Santa Claus just died.

    I would expect that virtually NO more global warming “studies” will be funded. Zero.

    This means climatologists are going to have to go to work for the oil companies or the collieries or find some real work.

    Trump claims he going to have some shovel ready jobs, maybe employment can be found working on the road gangs.

  5. 155
    SecularAnimist says:

    Discussion of pre-election polls has nothing to do with climate science and nothing to do with climate change mitigation policy.

    It is about as far off-topic for this site as could be.

    There are plenty of blogs about electoral politics and polling for those who want to discuss such things.

  6. 156
    Thomas says:

    #155

    I repeat:
    “There’s a reason for everything and far too often, like with agw/cc drivers, those reasons are little known and poorly understood.
    Just as the most outspoken blame and attack climate scientists as liars engaged in a global conspiracy it is equally far easier to jump to false ‘logical’ conclusions and instead blame whole groups of people for how they voted. Then falsely labeling them as being the ‘other’, the ‘enemy’ and ‘the problem’ when they are not… and never were.”

    https://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/11/dont-make-a-choice-that-your-children-will-regret/comment-page-3/#comment-662602

    So I’m not boo-hooing the result at all. I am just surprised that it took so long. People seem to spend way too much time watching TV and getting programmed with what the 1% want people to hear. It contains precious little truth, because if you’re getting it from there then you really don’t matter.
    https://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/11/dont-make-a-choice-that-your-children-will-regret/comment-page-3/#comment-662640

    Polling, it’s a little bit like GCMs, natural biases, and the interpretations of various “pundits/experts” in the media and involved in Politic$
    https://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/11/dont-make-a-choice-that-your-children-will-regret/comment-page-3/#comment-662709

    My tip? Look at the original polling data, then look at the media reports/opinions and then all the politician sophistry. Look at the climate science data, then look at the media reports/opinions and then all the politician sophistry.

    Ignore the genuine data and the frailties of human psychology and morality at your peril. :-)

    The article said @ 4 November 2016
    “You have a fateful choice to make.” &
    “Hillary Clinton would continue to work with the international community to tackle the global warming crisis and help the transition to modern clean and renewable energies. Donald Trump denies that the problem even exists and has promised to go back to coal and to undo the Paris Agreement”

    ~5 million Democrats stayed home vs 2012
    ~9 million Democrats stayed home vs 2008
    Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Maine CD2, and almost Minnesota and New Hampshire, went Red.

    How, why and when that happened impacts the entire world and the future of climate science.

    To some this has nothing to do with climate science nor AGW – it is an irrelevant distraction and totally off-topic to ‘real climate science’ – but is it?

    Since when is the facts, evidence and data irrelevant when the article was about: “You have a fateful choice to make.”?

    There is no AGW/CC solution that does not include Politics and a high Public Awareness/Knowledge about climate science. Denial of reality and Ignorance is not Bliss.

    versus 72 SecularAnimist says:
    “With Trump’s election and continued Republican control of both the Senate and the House, I think that whatever chance there was to avoid 2°C warming has just vanished.”

    Quitter!

  7. 157
    Steve Fish says:

    I emphatically agree with SecularAnimist at ~#155.

    Steve

  8. 158
    S K says:

    Just wanted to say a post-election thank-you for the work you do here. I don’t have a scientific background, but it’s great to be able to have a resource that is so thoughtful, thorough and fair when I encounter claims, and have conversations, about climate change.

    One of the things I appreciate most about the site is the comments section– it’s great to see responses right after the comment, and to see the kinds of questions and conversations that get raised about any given study within the community of scientists who accept AGW.

    This site, and comment monitoring, must take a lot of labour– it’s very much appreciated.

  9. 159
    Marcus says:

    #154 Frykman the question was not so much what science denialist rightwing nutcases dream of, everybody following the threads here knows that for a long time.
    What I am interested in is what knowledgeable people think about it, fortunately there is a dedicated post now.

  10. 160
    Mikey says:

    Climate scientists have salable computer skills that would be welcomed assets working in the private sector such as crunching numbers relating trends to historical data, polling companies for example. Here’s one – https://gallup.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?job=03323

  11. 161

    LM 152: I may not have read every every Economics text book, and I have not read any texts on Witch hunting either, nevertheless, I am a keen observer of Object reality, and I know that both are bullshit!

    BPL: Treasure your ignorance. It will protect you.

  12. 162
    Charles Riordon says:

    Oh, crap! OK, so there may be some very bad feelings, but Trump was nominally elected in a democratic fashion. I agree he will likely be catastrophic for the GWCC agenda, but this is the culmination of a 50-year struggle, and there have been lots of lost opportunities in that time. Watch him like a hawk, if opportunity presents, impeach. If not he has 4 years. Americans need to talk with Trump, and with each other, and resolve their differences so they can work together. Read Per Espen Stoknes book “What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming” for suggestions as to how to achieve this. His YouTube lecture is very good, too.

    Anybody who has put off beginning a major term paper until 8:00 p.m. the night before its due date knows there is no room for error, and this is what the developed world has done, granted with a great deal of influence by the wealthy fossil fuel industry. While the actions these companies in the name of profit, using aggressive business practices was not and is not illegal, in light of our knowledge of the dangers, it surely is and has been immoral and now evil to deny the science.

    As we commit to anthropocide, and mass extinctions of species by xenocide and democide and other horrible acts against ourselves and the fellow inhabitants of our world, let us remember that it is inaction which has brought us to this point. I would even say it was inaction, voter apathy and overconfidence on the part of Democrats that allowed Trump this victory, so don’t look too far to lay blame. Victory goes to the Koch brothers this round.

    Violence never really solves anything, but cooperation moves mountains, so let’s get this done. Trump may be a hindrance, but he is hardly a barrier, and he has proven he can change his mind when he feels like it. 4 years. If you need a car by used or Tesla. Made in USA! Stop buying and using fossil machines. Stop flying. Consumers have a lot of power. Good luck and Godspeed. I’m from Canada. We had our oil patch PM with Stephen Harper, so I feel for you. Just stay calm and don’t forget your towel.

  13. 163
    Thomas says:

    Some little known election info.

    Jill Stein, Greens, increased her vote by 284% to 1.33 million votes or 1.01% of the total.

    To put that into perspective, in 2000 Ralph Nader got 2,882,955 votes nationally or 2.74%. The Greens still have little to no traction or appeal in US elections. Obviously neither did pro-action on AGW/CC issues get much play overall.

    However Gary Johnson, Libertarian, has increased his vote by 338% to 4.32 million or 3.28% nationally. That’s a three fold increase with an extra 3 million votes more than the 2012 election!

    Voter turnout SET A NEW RECORD in 2016 increasing by 2.55 million people or 2% more than 2012, and 577,000 more than the record set in 2008.

    While Clinton won the popular vote with 63 million she was down 2.9 million votes or -4.4% on the 2012 Presidential election. There was a 2.8% national swing against Democrats to the GOP. Trump increased the 2012 GOP vote by 677,000 or 1.1%. In the 13 major swinging key states it was a much higher 5.5% swing to Trump.

    In 2000 Al Gore only beat GW Bush by 540,000 in the popular vote. Despite being 1.4 million votes ahead Clinton still lost. The difference was in the swing states. There was a large swing against the Democrats/Clinton in 2016 despite the solid increase in voter turnout.

    One in 20 people voted for a Minor party candidate this year with 7 million votes for minority candidates, in particular Libertarian Gary Johnson with 4.3 million votes. Donald Trump only picked up an extra 677 thousand votes on Romney in 2012.

    This mainly came from the battleground States of WI, MN, MI, OH, PA, NH, ME, NC and FL. Anecdotal evidence suggests a significant percentage of these voters were registered Democrats who had not voted for a long time.

    Exit-Polling also suggests the 18–24 years old voter turnout went down by ~1% in 2016. However, their vote for Other/Minority parties more than doubled from 4% to 9%. The combined vote for Trump/Clinton dropped significantly by -5% among millennials with ~40% of those who did vote going for Trump.

    About one in 10 registered Democrats voted for Trump. Almost half, 48% of Registered Independents voted for Trump. 42% of women voted for Trump including 89% of Republican women. 62% of Non-married women voted for Clinton.

    14% of Mormons voted for Other and 60% voted for Trump. The Christian vote was split 57% Trump, 42% Clinton and 3% Other. White evangelical or born-again Christians voted 16% Clinton and 81% Trump and 3% for Other.

    Overall around 5% or 6 million voters moved away from the ‘progressive/climate action’ orientated parties. They either stayed at home or chose to vote for the more conservative/right side of politics and the Trump/GOP pro-fossil fuels and anti-climate science agenda.

    Registered Independents appear split 45/45/10 with GOP, Democrat and Libertarian Parties. I wonder what might motivate the majority ‘moderate middle’ to become a third force willing to cut their ties with the traditional two-party establishment and democratize the dysfunctional Political/MSM system?

    Or could 6 million progressive liberal (democrats and independents) show up to Vote in two years to rebalance the Congress demanding rational action on climate change, sensible immigration reform and border protection, a fairer taxation, sound national security policy, and economic equity for all? I have no idea. But BAU, more of the same, is probably far more likely than anything else happening.

    Michigan counts are final for Trump but won’t be officially declared until end of November apparently.

    The final result is: Trump/Pence 306 Clinton/Kaine 232

    Refs

    National Party Swings
    GOP +1.1%
    Democrat -4.4%
    Libertarian +2.3%
    Greens +0.6%
    Others +0.5%

    National Popular Vote Totals
    Clinton 63,049,607 47.9% +1,439,000 1.1%
    Trump 61,610,484 46.8%
    Johnson 4,320,306 3.3%
    Stein 1,333,983 1.0%
    Others 1,314,560 1.0%
    Sub 6,968,849 5.3%
    Total 131,628,940 100%

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/live_results/2016_general/president/
    http://cookpolitical.com/story/10174
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016#Results
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2012#Results
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008#Results
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008#Turnout
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016#Voter_demographics
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout_in_the_United_States_presidential_elections

  14. 164
    Mal Adapted says:

    Lawrence McLean:

    My comment was to another comment that was in support of the concept of so called “Free Trade”, which you two do not seem to have had any problem with.

    This is a blog about climate. I have problems with trade, “free” (quotes signifying a requirement for semantic unpacking) or otherwise, that externalizes its climate change costs. If you have problems with trade that aren’t directly related to climate change, there are blogs more appropriate than this one, where you can exercise your non-climate-focused outrage.

  15. 165
    Thomas says:

    Some little known election info.

    Jill Stein, Greens, increased her vote by 284% to 1.33 million votes or 1.01% of the total.

    To put that into perspective, in 2000 Ralph Nader got 2.9 million votes nationally or 2.74%.

    However Gary Johnson, Libertarian, has increased his vote by 338% to 4.32 million or 3.28% nationally. That’s a three fold increase with an extra 3 million votes more than the 2012 election!

    Voter turnout SET A NEW RECORD in 2016 increasing by 2.55 million people or 2% more than 2012, and 577,000 more than the record set in 2008.

    While Clinton won the popular vote with 63 million she was down 2.9 million votes or -4.4% on the 2012 Presidential election. There was a 2.8% national swing against Democrats to the GOP.

    Trump increased the 2012 GOP vote by 677,000 or 1.1%. In the 13 major swinging key states it was a much higher 5.5% swing to Trump.

    In 2000 Al Gore only beat GW Bush by 540,000 in the popular vote. Despite being 1.4 million votes ahead Clinton still lost. The difference was in the swing states where there was a large swing against the Democrats & Clinton despite the solid increase in voter turnout.

    One in 20 people voted for a Minor party candidate this year with 7 million votes for minority candidates, in particular Libertarian Gary Johnson with 4.3 million votes.

    Donald Trump only picked up an extra 677 thousand votes on Romney in 2012. This mainly came from the battleground States of WI, MN, MI, OH, PA, NH, ME, NC and FL. Anecdotal evidence suggests a significant percentage of these voters were registered Democrats who had not voted for a long time.

    Exit-Polling also suggests the 18–24 years old voter turnout went down by ~1% in 2016. However, their vote for Other/Minority parties more than doubled from 4% to 9%. The combined vote for Trump/Clinton dropped significantly by -5% among millennials with ~40% of those who did vote going for Trump.

    About one in 10 registered Democrats voted for Trump. Almost half, 48% of Registered Independents voted for Trump. 42% of women voted for Trump including 89% of Republican women. 62% of Non-married women voted for Clinton.

    14% of Mormons voted for Other and 60% voted for Trump. The Christian vote was split 57% Trump, 42% Clinton and 3% Other. White evangelical or born-again Christians voted 16% Clinton and 81% Trump and 3% for Other.

    Overall around 5% or 6 million voters moved away from the ‘progressive/ climate action’ orientated parties. They either stayed at home or chose to vote for the more conservative/right side of politics and the Trump/GOP pro-fossil fuels and anti-climate science agenda.

    Registered Independents appear split 45/45/10 with GOP, Democrat and Libertarian Parties. I wonder what might motivate the majority ‘moderate middle’ to think and vote differently next time?

    Michigan counts are final for Trump but won’t be officially declared until end of November apparently.

    The final result is: Trump/Pence 306 Clinton/Kaine 232

    Refs

    National Party Swings
    GOP +1.1%
    Democrat -4.4%
    Libertarian +2.3%
    Greens +0.6%
    Others +0.5%

    National Popular Vote Totals
    Clinton 63,049,607 47.9% +1,439,000 1.1%
    Trump 61,610,484 46.8%
    Johnson 4,320,306 3.3%
    Stein 1,333,983 1.0%
    Others 1,314,560 1.0%
    Sub 6,968,849 5.3%
    Total 131,628,940 100%

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/live_results/2016_general/president/
    http://cookpolitical.com/story/10174
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016#Results
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2012#Results
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008#Results
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008#Turnout
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016#Voter_demographics
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout_in_the_United_States_presidential_elections

  16. 166
    Digby Scorgie says:

    Charles Riordon @162

    Anthropocide? I think it would be more accurate to say “ecocide”. On the other hand, ecocide is effectively suicide.

  17. 167

    #161
    Barton Paul Levenson : I am not ignorant. Under neo-liberal economic policies, that free trade is a core plank of, half the people in the US are poor. Nurses cannot afford to live in the Cities that they have to work in. Farmers in Australia are being driven to suicide. For an effective political response to the impending catastrophe of Climate change, most people need to be in a situation where they don’t have to worry about getting paid this week or where they will sleep tonight without getting beat up by Police or thieves.

    The purpose of the neo-liberal economics is to provide a pseudo scientific narrative, the purpose of which is to provide an apparently cohesive justification for the administrative class to implement policies, the real purpose of which has been to unravel and render irrelevant the democratic advances of the last 200 years. In this it has been very successful. It has worked, I guess, because of the same human failings that allow magicians to earn a living.

    So you think that because I and not drunk the neo-liberal Kool-Aid, as you clearly have, that defines me as ignorant?

  18. 168
    patrick says:

    The Paris Agreement has now been signed by 193 Parties. It has been joined or otherwise ratified by 111 Parties, representing 77% of global emissions.

    http://cait.wri.org/indc/#/ratification

  19. 169

    LM 167: Under neo-liberal economic policies, that free trade is a core plank of, half the people in the US are poor. Nurses cannot afford to live in the Cities that they have to work in. Farmers in Australia are being driven to suicide. For an effective political response to the impending catastrophe of Climate change, most people need to be in a situation where they don’t have to worry about getting paid this week or where they will sleep tonight without getting beat up by Police or thieves.

    BPL: Now demonstrate that all this is due to “free trade,” and that we would be better off with tariffs and quotas. Show your work.

  20. 170
    Evan Smith says:

    i feel like climate change is something that most people don’t fully understand and we will continue to create high amounts of co2 regardless of who is elected president. it would have been nice to have a president who admits climate change is a problem instead of denying its existence. i feel like we wont try to stop climate change until its to late and everyone will say we should have done something sooner.

  21. 171

    Barton Paul Levenson, #169, I have already been told to shut up by Mal Adapted, so I do not feel that any further comment by me on this matter will be welcome on this site. I have not yet documented any of my theory, which would take a fair while to do. As others have said to me, I should get to work on it. The very brief answer regarding your tariffs and quotas question; is a most definite yes. As regards to show you work, that is reasonable, however it is to much to say and take to much time for me to do at this moment.

  22. 172
    Thomas says:

    #169: accuracy matters

    “Under neo-liberal economic policies…. half the people in the US are poor. Nurses cannot afford to live in the Cities that they have to work in. Farmers in Australia are being driven to suicide.”

    They did not say it was all due to “free-trade.”

  23. 173
    Thomas says:

    LM didn’t say all this was due to “free-trade”, either.

    re “the purpose of which is to provide an apparently cohesive justification for the administrative class to implement policies, the real purpose of which has been to unravel and render irrelevant the democratic advances of the last 200 years. In this it has been very successful.”

    It’s hard to judge intent (purpose). However, the effect is the same.

    Neo-Liberalism, Laissez-Faire Economics and the globalization Oligarchy are all fingers in the pie that blocks effective rational responses to agw/cc and causes many other harms and extreme inequality and people’s legitimate pursuit of happiness.

    The work of many economists / think tanks has been unconscionable.

  24. 174
    Thomas says:

    Oh that precious ‘Science’ of Economics and Globalization and Pseudo-Free Trade bullshit and oh my, the gullible who believe in the Holy Church of Illogical Lunacy.

    Thomas O’Reilly says: 6 Aug 2015 at 6:02 AM
    (in hindsight, a day late, and a dollar short)
    https://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/08/unforced-variations-aug-2015/comment-page-2/#comment-634403

    EXTRACT
    “In the book Taylor explains how from the late 1980s industry groups, free market advocates and climate contrarians got to work to RE-FRAME the issue from the science to the economics.

    By 1996 much of the damage was done. The advent of John Howard’s government ensured there would be no more genuine progress.

    Taylor charts how opponents helped reposition environment groups as being anti-jobs and against the national interest. The book documents how climate science deniers were promoted by “free market” thinktanks to push uncertainty instead of risk.

    She explains the shift to policies driven by “economic rationalism” meant that imposing regulations on polluting industries became close to impossible.”

  25. 175

    T 174: Oh that precious ‘Science’ of Economics and Globalization and Pseudo-Free Trade bullshit and oh my, the gullible who believe in the Holy Church of Illogical Lunacy.

    BPL: Note that Thomas appears to think economics (the science), globalization (the social phenomenon), and free trade (the policy) are all the same thing.

  26. 176
    Thomas says:

    BPL: Note that Thomas appears to think economics (the science), globalization (the social phenomenon), and free trade (the policy) are all the same thing.

    THOMAS: Well Thomas doesn’t think that – so there :-P

    But many thanks for sharing your insightful thoughts on the subject. ;-)

    P.S.

    She explains the shift to policies driven by “economic rationalism” (aka neo-liberalism, right wing liberatarianism, privatising govt activity, and self-regulation memes) meant that imposing regulations on polluting industries became close to impossible.”

  27. 177
    Thomas says:

    Economic Rationalism & Neoliberal Free-Market Ideology is to Economics what AGW/CC Denial is to Climate Science – Anathema!

    In fact the very same beliefs drive both political/ideological strategies. I had thought that every person who was aware and smart enough to accept the science of AGW/CC knew this already. Apparently not.

    The ideologue’s most effective weapon is in using pseudo-economic rhetoric – iow Lies, Distortions and Sophistry. (see prior refs to Lakoff, framing, psychology, morality etc)

    Around 2007, Taylor was asking herself that question. How did the corporate interest replace the public interest? How did climate science become “controversial” in the eyes of the public?
    Taylor, who is a journalist and newspaper publisher, wanted to know how Australians were “persuaded to doubt what they knew”.
    Taylor explains the shift to policies driven by “economic rationalism” meant that imposing regulations on polluting industries became close to impossible.”
    Taylor charts how opponents helped re-position environment groups as being anti-jobs and against the national interest.
    Taylor explains how industry groups, free market advocates and climate contrarians got to work to RE-FRAME the issue from the science to the economics.

    The book documents how climate science deniers were promoted by “free market” think tanks aka neo-liberal economic rationalists.

    Refs
    http://press.anu.edu.au/publications/global-warming-and-climate-change
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2015/aug/06/how-australians-were-ready-to-act-on-climate-science-25-years-ago-and-what-happened-next
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_rationalism
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Institute_of_Public_Affairs
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Centre_for_Independent_Studies
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/American_Legislative_Exchange_Council
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Cato_Institute
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Americans_for_Prosperity
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Competitive_Enterprise_Institute
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Competitive_Enterprise_Institute_And_Global_Warming

    Economic rationalism: Social philosophy masquerading as economic science by J. W. Nevile http://www.tai.org.au/documents/downloads/WP7.pdf

    Economic rationalism has largely been abandoned by academics, in favour of the term ‘neoliberalism’

    Intellectual and political contexts – Pertinent examples include business associations / neoliberal theorists such as Friedrich Hayek, and think tanks. For some, therefore, economic rationalism was the trimmed down rhetorical successor to that of the ‘New Right’. http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p291051/pdf/ch101.pdf

    What ‘federal Labor governments’ did in Oz, so too the Clinton Democrat Neoliberal Ideologues did in the 90s. It was carried on by GW Bush into the 2008 GFC economic crash and burn cycle.

    It helps to know your own history before assuming you already know so much about everything.

    Solutions to AGW and Climate Change are INSEPARABLE from Consumption, Economics, Finance, Business, Trade, Globalization, the Media, Politics, Voting and The Law.

    ‘Nothing exists in a Vacuum’ – not even a blog commentary site – it all matters ;-)

  28. 178
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    Thomas, you wrote: “Economic Rationalism & Neoliberal Free-Market Ideology is to Economics what AGW/CC Denial is to Climate Science – Anathema!

    In fact the very same beliefs drive both political/ideological strategies. I had thought that every person who was aware and smart enough to accept the science of AGW/CC knew this already. Apparently not.”

    Hilary Clinton was not smart enough to know that. That was why she lost the Rust Belt States. OTOH, Trump does understand that. As my old mother used to say “He’s not as green as he is cabbage looking.” :-(

  29. 179
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    Barton,

    There is a free market and the Free Market. With a free market, there are many traders in the market and competition keeps their prices low. If one trader raises his price he will not sell anything. In a Free Market where the traders are not regulated they all join together to raise the price and exploit the consumers. Actually, what happens is that a monopoly is formed, and all the small traders are under cut and driven out of the market.

    The Free Market has led to the CEOs getting gigantic salaries, while the little people have to live on subsistence wages, or even have their jobs sent abroad.

    It is all explained in Al Gores’s book “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change”.

  30. 180

    Thanks, guys. I’m well aware of the discrepancy between an ideal free market and the actual economic system in the U.S. However, the comments on this site have been directed against “economics” in general as being some kind of pseudoscience, though I see Thomas is now careful to be more specific. Economics is a real science, and markets really do exist, and analyzing supply and demand really is important. So is analyzing the externalities that arise from market exchanges. Because I defend economics does not mean I defend “Austrian economics” or externality-denying Libertarianism or other economic pseudoscience.

  31. 181
    Thomas says:

    By John Cook PhD: the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at The University of Queensland. He created the website SkepticalScience.com –

    “In the early 1990s, conservative think-tanks sprang to life on this issue. These are organisations promoting conservative ideals [iow IDEOLOGY not science] such as unregulated free markets and limited government.

    Their goal was to delay government regulation of polluting industries such as fossil fuel companies. Their main tactic was to cast doubt on climate science.

    [ but their GOAL was to maximize CORPORATE INCOME & PROFITS … & their POWER over the Political process to drive specific UNSCIENTIFIC NEOLIBERAL ECONOMIC POLICY including facilitating Corporate/Finance GLOBALIZATION opportunities for the 1% and Shareholders – including TAX AVOIDANCE strategies globally ]

    Using a constant stream of books, newspaper editorials and media appearances, they generated a glut of misinformation about climate science and scientists.

    The conservative think-tanks were assisted by corporate funding from the fossil fuel industry – a partnership that Naomi Oreskes poetically describes as an “unholy alliance”.

    Over the past few decades, conservative organisations that receive corporate funding have grown much more prolific in publishing polarising misinformation compared to groups that didn’t receive corporate funding.

    [..] The source for Walker’s (50%) consensus figure seems to be the National Association of Scholars, a conservative group that lists “multiculturalism”, “diversity” and “sustainability” in academia as sources of concerns.

    But Walker doesn’t appear to be interested in evidence.
    http://theconversation.com/trump-or-nasa-whos-really-politicising-climate-science-69349

    BPL doesn’t appear to be interested in evidence either.

    A question is: Does BPL (the scientist?) know the difference between a genuine science, something that’s accurately based on scientific & academic rigor, and plain old propaganda or ignorance?

    Apparently not. Buyer beware.

    Doesn’t hurt to compare the quality, accuracy, expertise and ATTITUDE of a Climate Communication Fellow against the dismissive belittling COMMENTS of some ‘scientists’ communicating their beliefs and opinions about the world to a blog site.

    The very same “think tanks” who promote climate science denial also BRIBE both GOP and Democrat politicians to vote for Laws that allow this kind of unconscionable behavior by Corporations – this is Globalization in action!

    Refs
    “…these corporations hold $2.5 trillion in profits offshore, effectively avoiding $717.8 billion in U.S. taxes.”
    http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/corporations-avoid-taxes-offshoring-25-trillion-more-gdp-france-2427041

    http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/a-third-of-top-australian-companies-pay-no-tax-ato-figures-show/7038232

    http://www.thenewcrossroads.com/2015/10/19/corporations-increase-offshoring-to-dodge-taxes/

    https://news.wsu.edu/2016/03/07/146259/

  32. 182
    Thomas says:

    Hoi, THE STUDY OF Economics is a science – real world Economics is NOT – it’s BULLSHIT. Similar to your opinions.

  33. 183
    Thomas says:

    “economic pseudoscience”

    Gosh what’s that?

    Tip: learn to read properly, follow the ref links, and then hopefully one day learn to think properly too.

  34. 184
    Logan says:

    I am posting this as an abstract for a paper I’m writing for school about the denial of climate change.

    Climate change poses a real threat to life as we know it; however, there are many individuals that believe climate change is not real. The reasons for denial vary based on person to person. Some believe that the government invented climate change as a way to garner more taxes and control personal and industrial rights. Others believe it is part of the natural cycle of our planet and humans are not speeding it up. And finally, some say that there is still a reasonable doubt in climate science that humans are causing an increase, if any, in global temperatures when in fact 98% of climate scientists agree that the earth is warming and, with 95% certainty, human activity is the dominant cause.

  35. 185
    Thomas says:

    180 Barton Paul Levenson says: “though I see Thomas is now careful to be more specific.”

    That’s rubbish, don’t blame me for your own incompetence and ignorance.

    Anyone with any sense at all knows that “Climate Science Denial” is Contrived!

    “Economics is a real science

    No it’s not – it is a Contrived Pseudo “social science”. The only thing ‘real’ about Economics are the numbers they use – and all those figures are manipulated mumbo jumbo.

    “markets really do exist” No they do not exist. There has never been anything real called a “free market” either. It’s another contrived Myth.

    I know, I used to be involved in developing and writing up Business Marketing Plans for Corporations.

    Economics is 100% IDEOLOGY – Ideology is 100% Beliefs – None of it is REAL.
    Not even the Financial System based on Economics – it is a manipulated Con game.

    The only thing that makes any of it it appear Real is that People BELIEVE it is – no different than People believe in the Koran, the Torah and the Bible or in Atheism.

    The Study of Religion is also a Social Science called Sociology https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology – it’s also taught at University.

    Because it is studied and researched scientifically does not make Religion “real” nor “scientific” like Atoms, the Planets, and the Climate is Real.

    “Because I defend economics does not mean I defend “Austrian economics” or externality-denying Libertarianism or other economic pseudoscience.”

    Either Economics is objectively real and is scientific where every part of it involves a Null Hypothesis backed by Objective Empirical Evidence or it does not.

    Sorry, but you don’t get to pick and choose between what TYPE OF ECONOMIC RELIGION you want to belong to.

    Because that is properly called identifying with a particular Political Ideology. As proven over history by examples like Karl Marx’s version of economics or the Joseph Stieglitz version of economics.

    Joseph Stiglitz, says that THE CONSENSUS surrounding neoliberal economic thought has come to an end.

    Stiglitz argued that neoliberalism, the dominant school of economic thinking in the West for the past 30 years or so, is on its last legs.
    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/joseph-stiglitz-says-neoliberalism-is-dead-2016-8?r=UK&IR=T

    Stiglitz is dreaming! The real world is completely different than his moral belief system.

    A consensus on Neoliberal Economics is NOT the same as a Consensus on the Science of AGW/CC — one is based on the scientific facts of reality – the other is based on an emotional belief system.

    One is a genuine Science, the other never was and never will be.

  36. 186

    T 181: BPL doesn’t appear to be interested in evidence either.

    BPL: As if you knew or cared what evidence meant. Physician, heal thyself.

  37. 187
  38. 188
    Thomas says:

    Logan a PS

    Prof. George Lakoff waffles on a bit but his cognitive science is cutting edge
    https://youtu.be/l8DU2Hjz1Zk?t=3m36s
    and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lakoff/sandy-climate-change_b_2042871.html
    and Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2013 – moral systems, politics, economics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjNwXx2DwcQ

    It’s unfortunate that there is so little information sharing and dialogue between Psychologists/Cognitive scientists with Climate scientists and Ethical Politicians/Economists

    Potholer54 makes good summaries about denial myths/lies vs the science
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNgqv4yVyDw

    and https://climatecrocks.com/2016/11/20/arctic-antarctic-ice-in-free-fall/
    and http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/page48.htm
    and http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/page4.htm

  39. 189
    patrick says:

    #146 Russell: > Constitutional norms of advice and consent…rebranding UNEP

    State your source and link it please.

    The US Senate advised and consented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 under the George H.W. Bush Administration, which subsequently ratified the Convention for the United States.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/paris-agreement-climate-change-legitimate-exercise-executive-agreement-power

    http://unfccc.int/essential_background/convention/status_of_ratification/items/2631.php

    Despite your disparagement and conflation, the UNFCC is not a rebranding of UNEP (United Nations Environment Program)–not by the simple matter of historical fact that UNEP precedes it (by 30 years), nor by any other fact.

    UNEP itself has done important work (ozone, mercury)–much-needed work, which it continues to do.

    Far from trampling on sovereignty, the process of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCC shows great respect for sovereignty. It is diverse and inclusive to an unprecedented degree. Otherwise it would not have succeeded so far. For this reason as well as for its express goal–to limit anthropogenic carbon emissions as stated–this treaty is a beacon for the future. It ought to receive the same kind of respect that it has shown to national sovereignty and world opinion throughout the long and exemplary process of agreement to date.

    It was historic that the U.S. and China sent an unprecedented signal of agreement by joining the Paris accord on the same day. This signal offers the prospect that the treaty can serve as a focus for building agreement further. For this reason, the advice and consent of the US Senate and ratification of 1992 should be upheld and should not be tampered with.

  40. 190
    patrick says:

    The Paris Agreement has been signed by 193 Parties and has been ratified or otherwise joined by 114 Parties, representing 79% of global emissions. [Update:]

    http://cait.wri.org/indc/#/ratification

    The Paris Agreement entered into force 4 November 2016 [update, more]…

    http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9444.php

    The Paris Agreement–like most other international agreements–goes through three stages before coming into effect: adoption, signing and joining. …

    The Paris Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015 at COP21 in Paris, France by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). …

    The next step is for Parties to sign the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement will be open for signature at the UN in New York from April 22, 2016 to April 21, 2017. Signing is important because it indicates a commitment by that country to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the Agreement. …

    After signing, Parties then formally join the Paris Agreement. This can be done by depositing one of several types of instruments with the Secretary-General to the UN–instruments of “ratification, acceptance or approval.” There is no time limit for when countries submit these instruments.

    http://www.wri.org/faqs-about-how-paris-agreement-enters-force

    COP21…was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_United_Nations_Climate_Change_Conference

  41. 191
    Alfred Jones says:

    SA: Discussion of pre-election polls has nothing to do with climate science and nothing to do with climate change mitigation policy.

    It is about as far off-topic for this site as could be.

    AJ: I take it you are whining about the owners of this site? I disagree with you. They can put up whatever thread they desire, and can change the thrust of this site at will. Frankly, I welcome their new stance and hope it continues. Coming down from the ivory tower and into the world was necessary long ago. As they said in another post, “We’re fracked.”

    Two points:

    1. That 1.2C above preindustrial is a mirage. It excludes aerosols. Add them in and we’re above 1.5C already.

    2. That reduction in emissions is very misleading. It was “achieved” by building tremendous amounts of natural gas infrastructure. Thus, the reduction in YEARLY emissions is actually an INCREASE in EVENTUAL emissions. Yes, we are well and truly fracked by fracking…

  42. 192
    Thomas says:

    186 Barton Paul Levenson says: “As if you knew or cared what evidence meant. Physician, heal thyself.”

    Bah humbug!

    Readers silently await an intelligent contribution of high value by BPL.

    Another Bible quote perhaps?

    Don’t make a choice that you will regret :-)

  43. 193
    Thomas says:

    NEWS: Big Casino Win for 1% – woo hoo – overnight their wealth increased from 2 to 4%.

    But a few of the really smart 1%, owners of “Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras” shares hit the Global Jackpot with a 10% instant Wealth Bonus to the tune of $6 Billion!

    Life is good again!

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a deal to cut production for the first time in eight years on Wednesday. Here’s what it means for markets, politics and economics.
    http://blogs.wsj.com/briefly/2016/11/30/the-opec-deal-at-a-glance/
    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-OPEC-Deal-Here-Are-The-Details.html

    Global Oil Production is cut by 1% – Oil prices increase by 8% – makes perfect sense!

    Every good PhD Economist will tell you that the Invisible Hand of the Market, is always Right!

    Right?

    For Logic and the profound Science of Economics informs us that now the Shale Oil and Gas Fracking Resource companies of America can start employing US workers all over again – now that’s what making America great again is all about, surely.

    What it means for the climate:

    Oil prices surged more than 8 percent on Wednesday – that’s a far better result than a Carbon Tax or F&D could ever achieve.

    An immediate 1% cut in global Oil Production in one day – that’s gotta be good, right?

    Now, sit back and watch global consumer behavior suddenly change overnight!

    Tomorrow GM will probably announce the roll out of higher fuel economy SUVs and Pickup Trucks as a direct result of these higher prices – right?

    I mean, this IS how the free market, consumer driven demand, big business and the everyday economy works – right?

    Note that OPEC has cut their “combined oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day, from its current 33.6 million barrels”

    That is a 3.57% cut in Oil Production – there’s less to be consumed by “Consumers” – that’s gotta be a good thing too, right?

    Now, if we could only get OPEC to cut it’s combined oil production by 50%, then this would be a win – win -win.

    The price will sore multiple times above what any Carbon Tax could ever hope to achieve – this will reduce CO2 emission faster than the COP21 Treaty will get in the next decade.

    And there’s no need for Big Taxing Gubmint to be involved by infringing on our personal Liberties as Consumers to choose and make our own decisions!

    Meanwhile all Petroleum Exporting Countries will get as much if not more Income by doing only half the work.

    That’s good for “productivity” – and as every good economists knows – increases in productivity are great for the Economy and for the People.

    And any increase in Economic productivity must further reduce fossil fuel use and therefore CO2 emissions by default, right?

    Besides all that, the Mega Wealthy 1% now have literally $ Billions spare to reinvest in other Productive Enterprises and therefore Boost Employment across America – making it Great Again!!!

    Trump isn’t even the President yet and he is already delivering on his promises. Amazing!

    This Gentleman, is the Economy in Action and another example of how Market Forces are able to solve the problem of AGW/CC and all future harms to Humanity.

    And more proof beyond all doubt that Gubmint Regulation is an Evil Curse and anathema to all Freedom Loving Voters.

    It’s a great day alright. :-)

  44. 194
    Digby Scorgie says:

    Logan @184

    You need to incorporate in your summation the fact that a large percentage of the people who deny the reality of climate change have actually been bamboozled into such erroneous thinking by the slick decades-long disinformation campaign waged by the fossil-fuel industry.

  45. 195
    Thomas says:

    PS

    OTHER BREAKING NEWS: “Other industries are fast catching on to these obvious economic truths and the role they can play in the fight against AGW/CC.”

    [AAP/Reuters] Livestock and Broadacre Farmers across the Mid-West America are meeting to institute new plans to cut their total production of Pork, Beef, and Wheat by 50% too.

    They expect a significant increase in their overall Profitability as Prices will soar – same income for half the work – that’s good news for any business, financial investment and ongoing Tax revenues.

    Their use of fossil fuels will decrease significantly and that’s a positive thing in the fight to REDUCE CO2 emissions in America and of course globally.

    This is how the Markets really work for the benefit of all citizens in our Globalized world of Free Market Capitalism and Economic Systems where Freedom is the #1 most important individual Right in a Democracy.

    What’s good for Business and the Economy is good for Humanity, as y’all no doubt already know for certain is absolutely true.

    You know it makes sense! :-)

    [[ Please do excuse the spamming (sic) – for many a court jester had his head removed by the King for less – but in the social media free world of today, everyone has the right to their opinion, right?

    Therefore, long live F&D Theory, Donald’s & Hillary’s Twitter feeds, the WUWT Blog, and Malcolm Robert’s Wisdom for a Free World and the MSM experts! ]]

  46. 196

    T 192: Readers silently await an intelligent contribution of high value by BPL.

    BPL: I’ll start one in the new open thread. It will be an introduction to economics.

  47. 197
    Thomas says:

    John Pilger: ‘The truth is… there was no one to vote for’ Nov. 2016
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1Ho8OrBzig

    John Pilger on Paris, ISIS and Media Propaganda back in Nov. 2015
    https://youtu.be/hLnjlx8zVRE?t=3m1s

    John Pilger on Obama & US Empire in 2013
    (aka Disinformation, Media, Marketing, Propaganda)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAmtNIC8zv0

  48. 198
    Thomas says:

    Noam Chomsky on the new Trump era – Al Jazeera English 25 Nov 2016
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB54XxbgI0E

    BBC Interviewer gets Schooled about Media Propaganda by Noam Chomsky circa 2000
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suFzznCHjko

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Marr

    There are multiple reasons why the public are never told the truth about AGW/CC. The denier cabal of people like Monckton, Curry, WUWT and Republicans like Inhofe is only the tip of an iceberg and not the real cause of the inaction these last 25 years.

    Obama himself was/is a huge part of the inaction blocking system of smoke and mirrors.

  49. 199
    Dan says:

    re: 198.
    “Obama himself was/is a huge part of the inaction blocking system of smoke and mirrors.”

    That may well be the most absurd comment of the month on many levels. A. You might want to actually read up about exactly what EPA has been doing and proposing. And B. your false equivalency is precisely one of the primary problems in the nation.

  50. 200
    MartinJB says:

    Thomas, regarding Obama being a “huge part of the inaction blocking system of smoke and mirrors” it has to be pointed out that he was fettered by an utterly intransigent Republican majority for the last six years of his presidency and a system of checks and balances that limits what a President can do unilaterally (especially if said President wants those actions to survive the transition of power.

    I think if he could have worked with congress to enact something like Hansen’s preferred strategy of Fee and Dividend he would have. But that was not in the cards.