« E Day | Main | Pardon? »

August 28, 2017

Comments

I don’t think it can scale efficiently.

In a nutshell, this is 100% of my issue with the libertarian position.

I don't really have a moral or ethical issue with it, it sort of hangs together philosophically, it's appealing on a basic let's-all-just-be-our-bad-selves level.

I just don't see it working.

It's been 10,000 years since humans decided to organize themselves in settled communities. To my knowledge, there have never been any enduring libertarian polities.

Maybe there's a reason for that.

Yeah, specialization of labor has been kind of a big deal.

" what have we lost if we slow down our rate of burning fossil fuels? "

There is nothing to be lost in finding alternative fuel sources. In fact, most people don't have an issue with finding better more efficient and cheaper fuel.

In my experience, most people just accept that the earth is getting warmer. And yes, it is settled science that there is a theory that burning fossil fuel contributes to that increase, and most people don't really question that.

It is not settled how much it contributes or how much that increase would slow if we stopped burning fossil fuel altogether.

Which one was the short term variation again?

It is the urgency to stop burning fossil fuels based on cataclysmic predictions that people are skeptical about.

And, my point originally, the focus on the upper end of the IPCC range as a reason for dramatic changes NOW, makes people even more skeptical as those things don't happen.

And then even more skeptical as highly touted accords don't reduce emissions at all for decades.

When I say I hate climate scientists it is purely because they have been henny penny for the last forty years, which makes lots of rational people skeptics.

..., what have we lost if we slow down our rate of burning fossil fuels?

Whose heads does it fall on? Do people in first world countries live more modest lifestyles with those at the bottom suffering from energy poverty? Or do we tell people in the third world and developing countries that they'll have to continue living in their mud huts and washing their clothes by hand for another 50 years?

it's appealing on a basic let's-all-just-be-our-bad-selves level.

Posted by: russell | August 29, 2017 at 12:18 PM

I'll push back on this a bit. Libertarians are not all necessarily coming from a "greed is good" place. The idea being that if we are forced to deal with each other one-on-one, we'll actually be better to each other. The thinking is that the abstraction of relying on the government to take care of our disputes and negotiations contributes to callousness.

It is the urgency to stop burning fossil fuels based on cataclysmic predictions that people are skeptical about.

I'd wager that the great bulk of the "cataclysmic predictions" are coming from lay people, not scientists.

The implications for continued global warming are really quite dire. If you want to argue about when the 'direness' sets in, well fine.

But don't deny it will happen if present trends continue into the future.

If you are a "rational person" who accepts the science, but denies we should do much about it, well then it is tough to have a meaningful exchange other than to get to the bottom of why you believe that, your brickbats about "cataclysmic predictions" notwithstanding.

specialization of labor has been kind of a big deal.

You mean like specialized workers in figuring out what the law actually means? I.e. lawyers....

It is not settled how much it contributes or how much that increase would slow if we stopped burning fossil fuel altogether.

This claim is, for the most part, simply not true, and you have provided nothing in the way of evidence to back it up.

The history of our understanding in this area of scientific inquiry is far, far, from how you characterize it:

https://history.aip.org/climate/impacts.htm

The idea being that if we are forced to deal with each other one-on-one, we'll actually be better to each other.

as russell says, that's fine in a small group. but it doesn't scale. it doesn't take very many people before the community becomes far too big for us to know everyone we need to know.

plus, much of the history of mankind is "loosely governed group of people gets overrun by well-organized neighboring group."

You mean like specialized workers in figuring out what the law actually means? I.e. lawyers....
Posted by: wj | August 29, 2017 at 12:56 PM

Um, yeah, sure … my tricorder is detecting high levels of snark, but can’t pinpoint where the emissions are directed.

as russell says, that's fine in a small group

FWIW, I said the same thing.

Libertarians are not all necessarily coming from a "greed is good" place.

I don't see how you got that out of the sentence you quoted from russell. It sounded more of a "do your thing" deal - almost hippie-ish to me.

The idea being that if we are forced to deal with each other one-on-one, we'll actually be better to each other.

"forced"? Goodness gracious me. :)

You know what consumes the vast majority of our judicial system's time and resources? That's right, contract disputes.

Obviously, widening the applicability of contracts will lessen this? Put me down for 'doubtful'.

Further, the libertarian solution totally elides actual existing power relationships in our society, relationships that are pretty much determined and/or proscribed by "public policy", i.e., the terrible, terrible government.

I don't see how you got that out of the sentence you quoted from russell. It sounded more of a "do your thing" deal - almost hippie-ish to me.

Posted by: hairshirthedonist | August 29, 2017 at 01:04 PM

From "it's appealing on a basic let's-all-just-be-our-bad-selves level" I assumed "bad-selves" was referring to greed.

But perhaps I misunderstood russell or was projecting based on criticisms I see directed at libertarians in general.

I agree that the they can be hippie-ish.

Libertarians are not all necessarily coming from a "greed is good" place.

Perhaps, but confined to a very tiny part of the actually existing "libertarian" community.

If you didn't, read the Bruening link I provided above, and give us a response.

You know what consumes the vast majority of our judicial system's time and resources? That's right, contract disputes.
Posted by: bobbyp | August 29, 2017 at 01:07 PM

That does fit my observations as a commercial litigator at all, but Florida could be atypical. The *vast* majority of trials Florida state courts are criminal, family and PI. Commercial disputes are not high on the list at all. Unless the judges are lying to me, 98% of commercial disputes settle (as they should).

Also, keep in mind that I don’t subscribe to this level of libertarianism.

Sorry, typo ... "does *not* fit my observations ..."

Libertarians are not all necessarily coming from a "greed is good" place.

I do get that. When I said "bad self" I meant it in the James Brown sense.

I agree that the they can be hippie-ish.

Hence the appeal! :)

FWIW, I said the same thing.

Indeed you did!

much of the history of mankind is "loosely governed group of people gets overrun by well-organized neighboring group."

Been reading "Memories of the Mediterranean" by Braudel. See also Romans and Etruscans.

Or, Romans and pretty much anyone they could get to.

When I say I hate climate scientists it is purely because they have been henny penny for the last forty years, which makes lots of rational people skeptics.

Somehow we've traveled from "common sense tells us there's no there there" to "Al Gore is fat".

RE: this link: http://www.demos.org/blog/10/8/14/why-property-theft-and-why-it-matters

I think the crux of the article that bobbyp would like this lawyer/economist to address is: If we started from common-ownership, then how do we get to individual property rights without it being theft?

First of all, of course it all can be traced back to theft at some point. Whether you call it manifest destiny, or doctrine of discovery, or the more accurate and enduring property law concept of adverse possession, there is an element of theft.

The question is: What do you do about it? Almost all of these concepts are based on the assumption that the thieves will put the property to better use than the victims. The tough part is often times the assumption turned out to be accurate.

I’ve had these arguments with my extreme green party friends. I tell them we can’t go back to communal ownership where we all live in sustainable biospheres. The carrying capacity of the planet is much lower than the current population if we do that. Without a massive depopulating of the planet, we’re stuck giving priority to efficient use of resources and private property/capitalism the most efficient system we have for that.

Keep in mind that I didn’t say it was the “best” system in general, just the most efficient. Whenever I can find a reason to ditch free market economics, I do, e.g., single payer health care.

I do get that. When I said "bad self" I meant it in the James Brown sense.
Posted by: russell | August 29, 2017 at 01:37 PM

Apologies, I was projecting.

Been reading "Memories of the Mediterranean" by Braudel. See also Romans and Etruscans.
Or, Romans and pretty much anyone they could get to.

been listening to the "History Of English Podcast". he does a stretch of about a dozen episodes just on the history from the Indo-European tribes, through the, Greeks, the Romans and up to the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain. it does illustrate how the English language got its roots, but it might as well be called "the Romans kick everybody's ass for a thousand years."

unless you live in a backwater with no resources you're going to be governed, one way or another. might as well choose your government and defend it instead of letting someone else choose for you.

"When I say I hate climate scientists it is purely because they have been henny penny for the last forty years, which makes lots of rational people skeptics."

The CO2/Global warming connection was actually made close to a century ago, from simple theoretical calculations.

But I'm sure that when the "Giant Asteroid On Track To Destroy Humanity" is spotted, with a calculated ETA 40 years in the future, the GOP will sense a useful wedge issue/tribal marker™ and declare it all Fake News.

Damn those Planetary Scientists, ginning up fear to rake in the grant moolah, you know. Sure, they got eclipse tracks and timing right to incredible precision, but JoeBob Festis as Commern Sense that doesn't listen to any henny penny alarmists.

Up in Valhalla/Heaven, deities pause to look down and remark 'Fukkers were too stupid to live'

"Somehow we've traveled from "common sense tells us there's no there there" "

I would love for you to show me this.

the libertarian solution totally elides actual existing power relationships in our society

In particular, the power that comes from being able to afford some of those expert lawyers who can make a superior case in the course of a suit over a contract. (Yes, there are other forms of power in our society. But that is the one which would most directly clash with the libertarian vision.)

I don't think they have flood insurance in Somalia.

What did the poor Somalis do to deserve our libertarians?

"Somehow we've traveled from "common sense tells us there's no there there" "

I would love for you to show me this.

Im going to go with the best common sense answer I can decipher from a bunch of people telling me the world was coming to an end last year, or maybe 5 years, but certainly by the end of the century, maybe.

and

Skeptics say: Lets fix A street.

Perhaps I'm misreading you, but your argument throughout seems to be:

Scientists are going all henny penny, and that's why nobody wants to do anything to mitigate the human causes of climate change.

I may be misreading you again, but unless I'm mistaken, "nobody" here includes you.

You'd love for all the right things to happen, of course. You just don't think anyone should do anything to make them happen as a matter of public policy.

Maybe you're just bored today and are in the mood to wind up the liberals for entertainment.

It'd be nice if you'd actually own a point of view now and then.

It certainly doesn't say there is no there there. My point of view is that climate scientists, in order to gain attention and grants, started saying the world was coming to and end any day.

That didn't happen so we renamed global warming to climate change because the brand was sullied, but they didn't stop the hype.

Out of all the discernable facts common sense says there is a long term warming trend, multiple causes and little ability to determine the impact of removing one of them.

I am going to be for policy that makes incremental change in fossil fuel usage where it is economically replaceable and support research into how that can happen more.

I could get more people to come around to my policy position if the climate scientists would stop demanding that the, IMO false, apocalyptic choices are all we have. my original point.

None of that says there is no there there. It says lets fix A street, then when you get more data we can see if there are other things that are economically reasonable responses to the actual threat.

I may be misreading you again, but unless I'm mistaken, "nobody" here includes you.

I addressed this in my very first comment on the topic, "I am a climate change believer" which probably wasn't explicit enough I guess.

I addressed this in my very first comment on the topic, "I am a climate change believer" which probably wasn't explicit enough I guess.

But you wrote that the models were all wrong and there was no consensus.

???

Yes yes I did. The models have been consistently wrong, there is less consensus than regularly advertised, particularly on the timing, of the impact that burning fossil fuel has on the overall problem. The span of outcomes is pretty wide with the worst having low probability and little confidence. And yet, common sense says that there is something there that we should address with common sense solutions.

I wrote a model for software maintainability back in the day that predicted MTBMA and it turned out to be pretty far off in several ways. Common sense told me the code would still probably need to be fixed occasionally.

My point of view is that climate scientists, in order to gain attention and grants, started saying the world was coming to and end any day.

I would say that this is a less than accurate representation of the events under discussion.

Obviously, we disagree on that point.

Out of all the discernable facts common sense says there is a long term warming trend, multiple causes and little ability to determine the impact of removing one of them.

What are the other causes?

The models have been consistently wrong,

How? Not exactly right on the money in every detail (to the extent that the models go into specific detail)?

there is less consensus than regularly advertised, particularly on the timing, of the impact that burning fossil fuel has on the overall problem.

I don't think there's much advertised on consensus on those more specific points, rather on the general nature of the problem.

The span of outcomes is pretty wide with the worst having low probability and little confidence.

The same goes for the most optimistic outcomes, with the middle ones having the highest confidence. That's the consensus as far as I can tell. The span of outcomes is somewhat wide, because scientists are, themselves, skeptics. They don't generally claim to know what they don't know and present uncertainty as is appropriate.

I wrote a model for software maintainability back in the day that predicted MTBMA and it turned out to be pretty far off in several ways. Common sense told me the code would still probably need to be fixed occasionally.

Neat.

My point of view is that climate scientists, in order to gain attention and grants, started saying the world was coming to and end any day.

Sez' you. Perhaps you could back this up with some, you know, actual evidence.

The models have been consistently wrong

citation required.

The span of outcomes is pretty wide with the worst having low probability and little confidence.

citation required.

What did the poor Somalis do to deserve our libertarians?

Worse, they have been woefully inept in getting our libertarians to move over there, and it has to be something more than ineffective public relations.

I blame their culture.

For a long stretch of my career, I worked for a company in the weather space. We did not do modeling ourselves, but weather models were the source and destination of most of the information we trafficked in. Some of my co-workers ran academic weather models at home for fun and entertainment.

Models are just that, a model. They do not predict future events with pin-point accuracy. They are subject to constant refinement and improvement.

The stuff I worked around was weather prediction modeling. Meteorology. Climatology is that much more imprecise because of the scale of information, both in terms of time-span and volume.

Will X Y or Z happen tomorrow, ten years from now, or 100 years from now? From your and my perspective, a meaningful distinction. From the model's perspective, and in fact in the context of the time scale of the events we're talking about, a rounding error. Noise.

It's useful when thinking about things to consider the nature of the things you're thinking about.

Things are likely going to happen ten, twenty, and fifty years from now based on what is in the atmosphere now. We're not going to change that, it's baked in. We're along for the ride. The point of all of this hair-on-fire crap is to prevent that situation from getting any worse than what it's already, irreversibly, on track to be.

It could, actually, be fairly dramatic, depending on where you live and what your circumstances are. Whether "dramatic" equates to "disaster" depends. "Dramatic" does, however, mean a large change.

Temperatures have been as hot as they are now, even slightly hotter, during our human sojourn on earth. Right about the beginning of the Holocene. How many people on earth then? A hundred thousand? A million?

Now there are 7+ billion of us. Almost 10 billion by 2050.

The stakes are higher.

The way this needs to be approached at a public policy level is as an exercise in risk management. If the likelihood of occurrence * degree of harm is not so great, maybe mess around at the margins and see what happens. If the likelihood * degree of harm is large, more assertive, pro-active measures are probably indicated.

Do the math and see where it lands.

Shorter me:

If you watch the weather report on the news and do anything whatsoever in response, you're responding to a model that is probably going to be, more or less, wrong.

Not completely wrong, but not completely right either. Just sufficiently in the right direction that it's worth going out and rolling up the windows of your car.

Is a citation really needed for the proposition that the models have been inconsistent?

Just looking at sea level changes, a little googling shows the following from the IPCC:

The first assessment report (1990) showed a rising sea level range of 10-367 cm by the year 2100.

The second report (1996) narrowed the range to 3-124 cm by 2100.

The third report (2001) showed the range to be 11-77 cm by 2100.

The fourth report (2007) originally showed 14-43 cm in draft…then changed it to 18-59 cm in final printed version.

The fifth report (2013) projected a sea level rise by 2100 of 45-110 cm.

I'm not dogging the scientists, this is hard stuff, but overstating the results is not going to help persuade the skeptics.

The way this needs to be approached at a public policy level is as an exercise in risk management. If the likelihood of occurrence * degree of harm is not so great, maybe mess around at the margins and see what happens. If the likelihood * degree of harm is large, more assertive, pro-active measures are probably indicated.

Do the math and see where it lands.

Posted by: russell | August 29, 2017 at 05:20 PM

I completely agree with you from a risk management perspective. The problem comes in when advocates for mitigating against climate change oversell the science. Even someone like me who is not a skeptic rolls my eyes at the strident language used on occasion.

45 cm is a foot and a half.

110 cm is three and a half feet.

stupid scientists, can't they figure this stuff out?

not trying to stick it to you, pollo, just saying.

2100 is probably baked in. keep pumping that stuff out there and 2200 is when the fun begins.

we'll adjust.

But look at the 1990 high range of 367 cm.

Compare to Gore's 600 cm.

Again, I'm not dogging the scientists, but I don't think one should be tossed in with the "climate deniers" just for acknowledging that the science is not "settled".

The models have been consistently wrong...

I would say, rather, that the models are incomplete. With the most likely outcome that they're pointing in the proper direction, but timing and magnitude have significant error bars. Because of where I live, I pay a lot of attention to the North American Monsoon. How much water is available in parts of the Southwest depend very much on the strength and timing of the monsoon. We don't get it right as weather from year to year, or even from week to week, or where the thunderstorms will track from day to day.

My son's girlfriend is a climatologist specializing in the monsoon, working on integrating smaller fine-grained regional models forced by global models. She says we are still a long ways from being able to predict how the monsoon will change.

The science is settled that human behavior is contributing to global warming, and that carbon emissions is a huge factor. Whether or not "the world will come to an end", well - a lot of people in Harvey's way have their worlds coming to an end, as well as those suffering flooding and crazy weather in Asia (India, Bangladesh and Nepal).

We know that carbon emissions also cause ugly air pollution and associated problems. It seems sensible to turn to other technologies.

"The reality of human-caused climate change is increasingly clear for anyone to see. Last year was the hottest year on record, and the 12 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. 2017 is on track to be the second-warmest year on record; and this even in the absence of an El Niño warming event like 2016’s. According to NASA, the first six months of this year were 0.94°C above the 1950–1980 average. Meanwhile, CO2 levels are are 25 percent higher than they were in 1957, and still rising."

Whether sea levels have been predicted accurately - I'm sure scientists keep working on making better predictions - scientists are constantly learning.

But it's pretty obvious that cutting carbon emissions would be good for the planet, and the economic negatives mainly fall on fossil fuel corporations.

I just wonder why people who say they aren't "climate skeptics" are such concern trolls. Why not pick something besides ocean levels and help the rest of us fight for more sustainable energy options?

https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/08/29/alex-jones-president-trump-really-liked-roger-stone-s-prediction-there-will-be-violence-if-trump/217803

Again, I'm not dogging the scientists, but I don't think one should be tossed in with the "climate deniers" just for acknowledging that the science is not "settled".

Oh the science is settled; it's the predictions that one makes based on the science that bounces around.

You can make models of a how a (American) football is going to bounce and roll after a punt using plain ol' commonsensical known-for-centuries totally 'settled' Newtonian mechanics. Calculating predictions? Wild variations; every time.

That's just the Universe we live in. It's not set up for our convenience, and is perfectly capable of exterminating all life on Earth in a blast of gamma rays.

Perhaps we could encourage climate change deniers to take up smoking tobacco (for those that aren't already), since scientists/experts can't be trusted. Just need to get a logo for all the Common Sense Ashtrays I'm planning to sell (won't advertise that they're "green" ashtrays, that would probably put a big dent in sales).

But look at the 1990 high range of 367 cm.

Compare to Gore's 600 cm.

After comparing, note that Gore is a politician, not a climate scientist.

Certainly there are lots of folks, not just Gore, who are not climate scientists and who are making hair-on-fire predictions. Just as there are other folks, also not climate scientists, who are out there arguing that the entire thing is a hoax.

But among actual experts, who have a clue what they are talking about, there is minimal disagreement on the basic direction things are going. Or on the principal causes and the necessary sorts of things that need to be done to reduce how far it goes. Some disagreement on the details, of course -- everybody in the field has his own preferred model, with slightly different assumptions, etc. Science is like that. But the big picture? Pretty solid.

Again, I'm not dogging the scientists, but I don't think one should be tossed in with the "climate deniers" just for acknowledging that the science is not "settled".

We're discussing the scientific consensus over time and you bring up Al. Nice.

This is silly. The predictions are being refined over time as new data becomes available and new methods are tested and adopted.

But yes, blame scientists for not being 100% accurate in a field that has really only gotten its legs in the last 30-40 years.

For Christ's sake, really?

The problem comes in when advocates for mitigating against climate change oversell the science

No. That is not where the "problem comes in". The problem at heart is a concerted denial of the science itself(not just the predictions)by powerful vested interests.

By your logic, the wildly inaccurate claims of the proponents of the SE Asia "falling dominos" theory created the opposition to the Viet Nam war.

...but overstating the results is not going to help persuade the skeptics.

I look at those numbers, and I see:
a) A small sample
b) A bit of a narrowing of the range, and a rather consistent lower bound.

Skeptics to not take umbrage at the predictions. They try to undermine the validity of (a.) the underlying cause (sun spots!!!!) or (b.) the methodology.

They are fucking liars.

But emails.

jaysus fucking Christ.

Whose heads does it fall on? Do people in first world countries live more modest lifestyles with those at the bottom suffering from energy poverty?...

Since you ask: people in the top 1% of global incomes should take the small short-term cost.

But the question is misleading. We'll always have the option to burn the fossil fuels later, and someone will benefit from it. Whereas if we burn all the oil as quickly as possible, there's going to be a nasty crunch when supplies get scarce. Who do you want to suffer from that?

Who do you want to suffer from that?

To hear some here, let the market decide. it may not be fair, but it will be 'efficient' (a strangely undefined term), and maximizing utility is always for the greater good, ask anybody...Jeremey Bentham would be pleased.

But look at the 1990 high range of 367 cm.

Compare to Gore's 600 cm.

Al Gore is not a climate scientist. As a linguist, I do get frustrated with non-linguists taking research and drawing conclusions that aren't supported by the data. But you know what? It's a lot better that they have an interest that if they just say 'why the hell would you be interested in that?'.

Gore got quite a bit of residual damage from the jihad against Clinton. So much so that the folks who become apoplectic about them fanned out and sought to discredit not simply Gore, but any scientist that Gore drew on. (remember the hockey-stick model and the emails 'proving' that all this climate change was a hoax?) The skeptic's leap from 'they are wrong' to 'they must be lying because they want to protect their grants' was so quick that it suggests they are full of shit and have no idea how science operates.

Oh the science is settled; it's the predictions that one makes based on the science that bounces around.
Posted by: Snarki, child of Loki | August 29, 2017 at 07:10 PM

I’m not really interested in arguing where to draw the line between “science” and “applied science”.

But among actual experts, who have a clue what they are talking about, there is minimal disagreement on the basic direction things are going. Or on the principal causes and the necessary sorts of things that need to be done to reduce how far it goes. Some disagreement on the details, of course -- everybody in the field has his own preferred model, with slightly different assumptions, etc. Science is like that. But the big picture? Pretty solid.
Posted by: wj | August 29, 2017 at 07:18 PM

I limited my original comment to one Nobel prize winning group of scientists (IPCC) who have had a large range of predictions. Setting aside that Gore uses “scientists” for his pronouncements, I’m sorry that I got things off track by mentioning him.

My kingdom for an "edit" button.

This is silly. The predictions are being refined over time as new data becomes available and new methods are tested and adopted.
But yes, blame scientists for not being 100% accurate in a field that has really only gotten its legs in the last 30-40 years.
For Christ's sake, really?
Posted by: bobbyp | August 29, 2017 at 07:20 PM

This is all I’m saying … the “science” is evolving so don’t compare the sea level rise predictions with the schedule for the next eclipse (as some of have done). If you are making public policy decisions, it’s reasonable to factor in the accuracy of the predictive model.

Skeptics to not take umbrage at the predictions. They try to undermine the validity of (a.) the underlying cause (sun spots!!!!) or (b.) the methodology.
They are fucking liars.
Posted by: bobbyp | August 29, 2017 at 07:38 PM

Of course some of the deniers are operating in bad faith. Why give them easy talking points by overstating the accuracy of the predictive models.

If you are making public policy decisions, it’s reasonable to factor in the accuracy of the predictive model.

As I recall, you were also criticizing the predictive model of Charlottesville agencies, but you didn't have the time or inclination to offer what you would have relied on instead. Care to do that now?

To hear some here, let the market decide. it may not be fair, but it will be 'efficient' (a strangely undefined term), and maximizing utility is always for the greater good, ask anybody...Jeremey Bentham would be pleased.
Posted by: bobbyp | August 29, 2017 at 07:50 PM

If you are referring to me, that's pretty shitty. You asked me to read a link and comment. I did so (at some length) and your only response so far is to take pot shots while responding to another post.

An inaccurate pot shot at that.

I never advocated for a libertarian position. I even admitted that private property rights were based on the original sin of theft.

I did state that private property based capitalism is an efficient allocator of resources, but then ended with:

"Keep in mind that I didn’t say it was the “best” system in general, just the most efficient. Whenever I can find a reason to ditch free market economics, I do, e.g., single payer health care."

You can make fun of me all you want, but don't approach me with the pretense of having an honest conversation just to set up dig. That's tacky.

As I recall, you were also criticizing the predictive model of Charlottesville agencies, but you didn't have the time or inclination to offer what you would have relied on instead. Care to do that now?

Posted by: sapient | August 29, 2017 at 08:38 PM

That's a really bad comparison. C'ville got the prediction right and bungled how to handle it.

I explained in two separate posts what evidence I'd use.

Based on the last town hall, I'm not the only one who questions how C'ville handled the situation.

This is all I’m saying … the “science” is evolving so don’t compare the sea level rise predictions with the schedule for the next eclipse...

As a part-time systems and policy analyst, here's the problem. If the pessimists -- Hansen et. al. -- are right, the positive feedback loops have kicked in and our grandchildren and beyond are well and totally screwed no matter what we do. Eat, drink, and be merry, because civilization and possibly the human race are toast regardless.

Since I'm not interested in that answer, I deny it, and ask different questions: how much information, medical, etc technology can be saved? For how many people? Because I'm parochial and selfish, I don't ask whether I can save the human race everywhere. I don't even ask if I can save North America or the United States. I ask whether the Western Interconnect electric grid where my grandkids and I live can be saved. I ask if it can be saved if it's weighed down by the Eastern Interconnect, or 500M refuges from elsewhere. Other people may insist that more be saved, but proposing how to do it is their lookout.

Note that "saved" doesn't mean BAU. Lots of things have to change. It's all about picking and choosing.

Follow up to sapient ...

Just read this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/the-aftershocks-and-fingerpointing-continue-to-roil-charlottesville-weeks-after-white-supremacist-rally/2017/08/29/47a87222-8cce-11e7-84c0-02cc069f2c37_story.html

'In the leaked memo to Jones, council members asked the city manager to explain why he wasn’t more aggressive in pursuing an alternate location for the Unite the Right rally, why he took a vacation in the weeks immediately leading up to the rally, why more restrictions weren’t placed on rallygoers to make the event safer and why there was “apparent unwillingness of officers to directly intervene during overt assaults captured in many videos.”'

Again, I'm not trying to put down your hometown, but it's not unreasonable to say C'ville messed up.

Based on the last town hall, I'm not the only one who questions how C'ville handled the situation.

The blame game is widely enjoyed. The responsibility game is much harder.

From what I can glean from your comments here, you would have saved the day as counsel for Charlottesville City by bringing to the judge's attention Stormfront blogposts ("content" under 1st amendment) and examining Kessler on what he encouraged his folks to do (wouldn't the results of that have been "merely speculative"?). Do protest organizers have a duty to encourage their people to abandon their 2nd amendment rights?

There's one direction to point one's anger about what happened in C'ville: white supremacists, and those who encourage them. (I visited my Bosnian friends today. They have a business downtown, a few blocks from the murder. They are worried as hell. Blame C'ville? Blame fasicsts.)

Blame C'ville? Blame fasicsts.)

Posted by: sapient | August 29, 2017 at 09:01 PM

Where did I *ever* draw an equivalence between C'ville city officials and the racists?

Where did I *ever* draw an equivalence between C'ville city officials and the racists?

You blamed C'ville for screwing up. Fascist armies are a relatively new phenomenon. ACLU (which both of us support) supported the fascist army. ACLU screwed up.

By the way, the fascist army had perfectly competent (very well regarded0 legal representation in the form of John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute. He mostly represents conservative 1st amendment causes. My ACLU donation was wasted on representing Kessler and these fascists. But you support that expenditure, no? Or did I misunderstand?

I'm not sure how "new" a phenomenon this is, but I would have more sympathy for the public officials in C'ville if their story was "As God as my witness, I thought Fascists could march peacefully".

But that isn't what happened. They correctly saw the threat and proceeded to mess up the response.

As for the ACLU, they frequently show up in cases where their side is already represented. That's probably more common than the ACLU being the only counsel of record. And "yes", I think that was a proper expenditure of ACLU funds.

I'm also aware that the ACLU is changing their policy after this to be more careful when representing groups that pose a danger of violence when demonstrating. I can understand that decision even if I wish it was not the case.

They correctly saw the threat and proceeded to mess up the response.

They made a case in court that they couldn't respond adequately, but the ACLU screwed them over.

I don't disavow the ACLU. I've had many disagreements with their policies over the years, and my contributions wax and wane.

As for the ACLU, they frequently show up in cases where their side is already represented. That's probably more common than the ACLU being the only counsel of record. And "yes", I think that was a proper expenditure of ACLU funds.

Why? Rutherford Institute is good lawyering. Why would ACLU say "Facists Need Extra!". I didn't write to them, so the reason they're sheepish now is not my doing. I think they just get it.

So, regarding the ACLU:

Back in the'80's, I was representing a [gay maybe] woman in a custody case. The law at that time was that gay parents were presumptively unfit. I contacted the ACLU to ask for support. They thought that my client was being well represented. (Yay! I was a very young lawyer, and thought OMG, what a compliment!)

But y'know, they could have helped me (and especially the client) out on that. I was a nobody. John Whitehead? He's pretty well established.

I support ACLU, but sometimes I am perplexed.

The ACLU didn't "screw over" the city attorneys to my knowledge. We have an adversarial system of justice. The ACLU had a client to zealously represent and the C'ville showed up unprepared (based on reports and the judge's order).

As for why the ACLU would show up when Rutherford was already there, I don't know what happened this exact case but it could be any number of reasons, for example:

ACLU could have already been involved before Rutherford was on the scene;

ACLU feels they are better attorneys than Rutherford;

ACLU is concerned that Rutherford will stress legal concepts that are different or even adverse to the concepts that ACLU wants to advocate. Keep in mind that ACLU apparently thought they'd at least partially lose at the injunction hearing. In that situation, "how" you lose can be very important in an appeal or in future cases. ACLU would want to be part of that process, i.e., they don't want Rutherford to make bad law that will impact ACLU down the road.

The ACLU had a client to zealously represent and the C'ville showed up unprepared (based on reports and the judge's order).

Judges are never known to make bad decisions. < / snark>

C'ville had affidavits, which the judge ruled to be "speculative". Your proffer of Stormfront b.s. seems to go to "content of speech", which the judge would have ignored.

I guess you got nothin'.

ACLU was grandstanding with "we represent Nazis too!" ploy. I'm going to contribute to SPLC and my local legal advocates from now on.

I support ACLU, but sometimes I am perplexed.

It happens. Trial Lawyers for Public Justice came in on one of my cases back in the day at the state Supreme Court level and we got a really nice win for consumers that resulted in good press for them. Last year I tried to get them involved in a matter regarding a nasty foreclosure practice down here and they blew me off.

Sometimes it's based on the personal crusade of an individual attorney for the advocacy group and sometimes it's based on how the case will play with donors (or a specific large donor).

I've accepted that it is a crap shoot.

Also, Pollo, a local judge who supports ACLU stated goals would look at ACLU advocacy as authoritative. Judges aren't machines, and would definitely be influenced by the prestige of that organization.

Your argument is from a position of privilege.

The issue isn't that judges make bad decisions, it's that judges cover their ass in their decisions.

I'm much more persuaded by the fact that the ACLU was shocked at how poorly the C'ville attorneys were prepared. That policy change they made is a big deal.

The proffer of stormfront webpages would not go to the content of protected speech, but to the threat to public safety therein. Threats are not protected under the 1st Amendment.

I'm not here to convince you to donate to the ACLU. The SPLC and many other groups are just as deserving.

I've accepted that it is a crap shoot.

Sure, and that's the reason I still have sent money to ACLU.

But, really? Sure ACLU was a "zealous advocate" for Kessler. Of course. All lawyers will be zealous advocates [within the bounds of the law].

Lending that gravitas to the Nazi army, when they had a zealous and well known, well regarded advocate? Tremendous waste of resources. Screw up.

Like I said, the ACLU had an interest to make sure Rutherford didn't make bad law.

I really don't mean to dog C'ville in general. It's an awesome town.

I need to get some sleep, but I appreciate talk.

I need to get some sleep, but I appreciate talk.

Thanks. Me too.

not mentioned in this thread:

all the climatologists of any reputation who claim it's all BS.

all the climatologists of any reputation who say sea level rise will be zero in 2100.

all the folks who claim it's BS that get paid by folks with an interest in extracting fossil fuels, bringing them to market, and burning them.

sea levels have varied widely - very widely -
over the last 20,000 years, but have been stable for about the last 5000.

a foot and a half to three feet of sea level rise is probably noise to most folks reading this. to hundreds of millions of people, it's a calamity.

europe absorbed 5 million syrian refugees over the last few years, and it's got them flirting with fascism. 160+ million people live in bangladesh, most of them in the coastal plain, which ranges from about 10 meters above sea level to sea level.

who's gonna take them in?

apparently, about 1 in 10 people in the world live close to a coast at 30 feet or less above sea level.

it's a thing.

in 2100 pretty much everyone reading this will be gone, so it's all academic for us. in the immortal words of good old george W, we'll be dead. it'd be nice to not f*** it up for our grandkids.

If you are making public policy decisions, it’s reasonable to factor in the accuracy of the predictive model

risk analysis matrix. management 101.

multiply the likelihood of occurence times an estimate of what the harm will cost.

you're only looking at half the picture.

LOL ... if you make the estimate of harm "infinity", then what's the point of pretending to engage in risk analysis?

You're failing intellectual honesty 101 ;-)

Seriously though, I think you've illustrated the branding problem of the proponents of an aggressive response to AGW: honest skeptics can detect that many proponents don't really care about the models and predictions because the proponents have decided the "risk of harm" is so great that it doesn't matter.

Here's the thing: I don't necessarily disagree with you ...

*BUT*

that's a terrible way to go about changing hearts and minds.

You wouldn't know it from the reaction I get around here, but I'm in the business of convincing people to agree with me. I can tell you that if you don't believe in your argument, you need to either be a great actor or you need to find another argument.

When proponents of an aggressive response put down skeptics for being "anti-science" while not really caring about the science beyond the initial theory, then they've already lost the argument with the persuadables.

If the real argument is "The predictive science is evolving, but the risk of harm is so great that it doesn't matter", then go with that and stop pretending that improving the models will make a difference to the policy position.

That's probably not a great argument in terms of persuasion, but it's better than facially obvious intellectual dishonesty.

My perception is that "honest sceptics" are a tiny fraction of the people who need persuading. The POTUS says "Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax", and many other recent Republican candidates are with him on that.

Opinion polls suggest that only 70% of Americans think warming is even happening, and only a little over half of Americans think burning fossil fuels is responsible for it.

In the face of this sort of stupidity and ignorance, humming and hawing about the uncertainty in what is known is little more than self-indulgence.

Then just give up Negative Nancy.

I prefer to look at the trends, which are moving in a positive direction:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/206030/global-warming-concern-three-decade-high.aspx

The hard work is turning this vague sense of "there's a problem" into actual policy. It's not self-indulgence. It's important.

You're failing intellectual honesty 101

no, i'm not.

i'm saying the public debate about this should address it as a risk analysis, rather than tying to figure out which arcane climatological model is the really really right one.

as if anyone outside that discipline has a freaking clue.

none of the models are "right". they aren't meant to be "right", they're meant to be an approximation. they're models.

but when they all point in the same direction, there's probably something to it.

the risk is not infinity. the risk is merely very very large.

what i will also say is that the whole "yeah, i agree with what you're saying, but the way you're saying it is why nobody is listening to you" argument is getting old. people are saying this stuff in about 1000 different ways, ranging from stupid dystopian movies to fat old al gore on the tv to actual, real live scientists doing the math and calculating the probabilities.

people are lazy, not as a matter of moral failing but as a matter of inertia. stuff that is going to happen 100 or 200 years from now, or even 50 years from now, has no urgency. it doesn't register. unfortunately, to prevent harmful things 100 years from now we have to act now.

the other impediment, of course, is the money. a significant fraction of the book value of some very very large companies is oil and gas that is still in the ground. if we leave it there, somebody has to take a very large haircut.

somebody's taking a haircut either way, it's a question of who, and when.

and not for nothing, but if "back to before the bronze age" isn't a pile of alarmist hooey, nothing is.

physicians, heal yourselves. or at least stay out of the way.

On the militarization of local police forces:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/military-surplus-trump-let-our-police-armor-up-like-soldiers/

Arpaio let Steve Seagal, the actor with the facial emotive sensitivity of an overcooked rump roast, lead a savage assault on a cockfighter. They killed a puppy and 100 roosters, all decent people but now pollo de meurte. The roosters should have been armed and fired back.

The last time I saw Seagal's name in the news he was in Crimea, showing Putin how to kill a guy with his pinky finger.

Elect me President, and both Arpaio and Seagal will be out of our hair.

President for life:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-is-the-only-politician-who-matters-in-america-2017-08-30?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Very easily remedied.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/why-us-sanctions-are-very-bad-news-%e2%80%94-unless-youre-north-korea/ar-AAqXMpw

Word to the wise, and this goes for the rest of the world as well: Do NOT purchase a used or new automobile for the next year or so that has been anywhere near the American mainland.

They are probably underwater in Southeast Texas as we speak.

And, yeah, I know it's a little more difficult to peddle those wares than it use to be. But don't underestimate American ingenuity.

Of course, the thieving, lying ripoff-artist free marketeers running the deregulated gummints of the country, otherwise known as our fellow American citizens, will be enabling the captains of the auto/insurance industry to dry those suckers out and put you and the kids in one for a test drive within weeks.

What do you think those gorgeous, rippling, outsized American flags flying above the flooded car dealers' down South stand for?

Freedom, baby. Not honesty. Freedom, baby.

You'll need the undercoating with that sort of rusting, corrosive freedom.

On the other hand, thank you and congratulations to the Mattress kingpin in Houston providing shelter to the aggrieved.

More on chemicals. Yummy.

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/08/wetter-living-through-chemistry-by.html

Better call the EPA, hanh?

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/08/and-they-have-gall-to-call-themselves.html

Find a deadly chemical-saturated estuary in Southeast Texas. Transport the above murderers in cages to that estuary with their families and grab each one of them by the back of their necks and hold them under until the bubbles stop.

maybe cleek could make a pie filter that would translate "murder" to "cream pie" and "vermin" to "silly clown people".

or, random words, like a mad libs kind of thing.

"Find a [TICKLISH] chemical-saturated [BOWLING ALLEY] in Southeast Texas. Transport the above [CABBAGES] in cages to that [GAZEBO] with their families and grab each one of them by the back of their [HOLLYHOCKS] and hold them under until the [SHUFFLEBOARD] stops."

"and not for nothing, but if "back to before the bronze age" isn't a pile of alarmist hooey, nothing is."

Gosh sorry, I thought my exaggeration here would be recognized as intentional. I wont put that line in my NYT piece.

russell-

My PhD work was in financial economics with a concentration in insurance. I considered becoming an actuary before landing in law school. I'm not an expert, but I think I have a "freaking clue" about risk analysis.

That said, we probably don't disagree about the risk analysis, but on the messaging.

I'm sorry if you are tired of being told that your messaging is off, but apparently the advice is not sinking in. Please believe me that calling those who disagree with you stupid and then overstating the predictive value of current models is no way to win persuadables over.

At this point we are going in circles. I'm starting to believe that some of you would rather feel smug and look down on the lazy and stupid instead of wining the argument. That's one of the great lessons you learn as an attorney: juries are made up of 6 or 12 people who don't know shit about the case (by design). Your job is to persuade the ignorant and if you don't respect them, you'll be a shitty trial lawyer.

I may unresponsive for a bit. I have a lead on Steven Seagal's whereabouts and we have some unfinished business.

I'm sorry if you are tired of being told that your messaging is off...

It's not russell's messaging. He's not the (or even a) public face of climate science. It's a message that's come in from a number of places in a number of ways.

At this point we are going in circles. I'm starting to believe that some of you would rather feel smug and look down on the lazy and stupid instead of wining the argument.

I would love to win the argument (or, really, that the experts could win it). I would love even more that the argument was unnecessary and that climate change/AGW was not an issue in need of addressing. But it appears that it is, and it appears that some people actually are lazy and stupid, or have been hoodwinked, or are dishonest and just don't care, and there is no mode of persuasion that will sway them, short of their lives being at immediate risk.

"Find a [TICKLISH] chemical-saturated [BOWLING ALLEY] in Southeast Texas. Transport the above [CABBAGES] in cages to that [GAZEBO] with their families and grab each one of them by the back of their [HOLLYHOCKS] and hold them under until the [SHUFFLEBOARD] stops."

I can be Humpty Dumpty from now on.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/missile-gap-north-korea-soviet-threat-japan/

Scratch those itchy rutabagas.

(The NSA guy in charge of monitoring my OBWI output just made a note that Countme used the code word "Rutabaga" again.

Launch the drones.)

I'm starting to believe that some of you would rather feel smug and look down on the lazy and stupid instead of wining the argument.

.....

I may unresponsive for a bit. I have a lead on Steven Seagal's whereabouts and we have some unfinished business.

Oh well, even if you fail on the admission requirements for smugness, at least you have a sense of humour.

Count, have you heard anything from McKinney about his and family's safety and comfort? You may have already addressed this, but if so I missed it.

I wont put that line in my NYT piece.

Good plan.

I'm starting to believe that some of you would rather feel smug and look down on the lazy and stupid instead of wining the argument.

I'd like people who have opinions about the issue, and want their opinions to carry weight in the public discussion, to read the freaking article.

I'm sure that strikes some people as elitist or whatever. That says as much about those folks as it says about me.

The issue is characterized by technical, specialist knowledge. Not a lot of plasma physicists in the room, for most rooms I find myself in. If the folks that have that technical, specialist knowledge say that something's going on, maybe we should pay attention to that. Instead of bitching because they're going all "henny penny" on us.

The technical arcana are above most folks pay grade, so my suggestion about this stuff, always, is to address it as a risk management issue rather than a technical one. Comparing likelihood of harm to cost of harm is something we can all engage in.

If it bugs people that we have to include specialists in the conversation about the likelihood of harm, I have no answer for you. They are the ones who are in a position to have an informed opinion about it. I'm not, you probably are not, few if any people here on ObWi are. Folks try to weigh in about stuff that is miles above their pay grade, and we end up talking about chickens and light bulbs.

I don't pretend to be a climatologist. Not even on a blog. I don't pretend to be, I actually am, a person who has an interest in mitigating calamitous harm.

One in ten people on the planet will be affected by sea rise measured in multiple feet. That's a big dent.

If you agree with that, maybe quit giving me and people like me grief because we're "shrill" and do something constructive instead. Not saying you don't do constructive things, or don't have a constructive intent, just saying complaining because the scientists have their hair on fire is probably not one of the constructive things.

If the scientists have their hair on fire, it probably merits our attention.

In any case, I'm not the one saying the Statue of Liberty is going to be underwater. That's Hollywood. I'm the one saying millions of people are going to be affected. That's bad enough, I would think.

I haven't since before the storm hit, GFTNC.

I'll email him today.

Count, if you would, tell him all our thoughts and prayers are with them.

millions of people are going to be affected

at least millions. hundreds of millions, perhaps a billion will be directly affected.

there will be millions affected in Miami (less than 6' above sea level).

Count, if you would, tell him all our thoughts and prayers are with them.

yes, please.

Count, if you would, tell him all our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Me too, Count, and I'm guessing the same from every other commenter and lurker here.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200811/common-misconceptions-about-science-i-scientific-proof

You want hair-on-fire certainty about the ultimate mysteries, get a whiff of religious leaders' follicles bursting into flames over the centuries about Galileo and company.

Republican big-haired Christian grifters like Pat Robertson have exact times of the day notated for when storms such as we are experiencing right now will wipe out the LGBT swim team.

I'd like to go in the there and galivant their conch shells, and I mean precisely what those words mean, Alice.

Praying is what you do (well, before and during any old sporting event in America) when you are up to your necks in swirling storm sewer water because someone was too certain to consult the scientists' only too human models, and I don't mean Christie Brinkley, or maybe the EPA web page for zoning suggestions in the event of acts of God.

Of course, there are times when praying to the Gods seems about last resort right when scientists get their facts in a row at, say, Los Alamos. I think even Oppenheimer looked upward like a guy, or a 16th century angel in a painting, striking out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, as if to say, what, oh lord, have we done now.

Did a high priest invent the backstroke or was it an experimental, scientific sort of character who tried and tried again?

The priests suggested just walking on the water, even though they sink to the bottom immediately, pulled to the bottom by the overfilled offering plates they won't let go of.

I worked for a group of research meteorologists in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the federal government until Ronald Reagan's dim bulb decided to cut their budget, eventually to zero.

He couldn't understand why they didn't come up with something more instantly useful to the American people, like a better way of applying hair dye to his head.

Some of the same people who believe the entire concept of climate change is a hoax and evolution a heresy and government an imposition on their tender feelings, are now stuck under South Texas underpasses holding on to car fenders and wishing, by God, that instead of evolving from monkeys, they had evolved from amphibians, which they did, but won't admit it.


Count, if you would, tell him all our thoughts and prayers are with them.

yep

Email sent to McTX expressing the commentariat's concern.

I'll let you know, unless he shows up here first.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/harveys-ravaging-of-houston-is-perfect-reason-to-kill-the-flood-insurance-program-2017-08-30?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

OK, but who told Americans to be incentivized to lie (is it lie or lay? tell you what, whichever word choice someone pays me the most to use, is the one I will use, because I'm stupid that way) down in front of steamrollers anyway.

Don't our mothers warn us not to fall asleep in flood zones no matter how much money there might be in it?

Of course, our Dads, seeing the American main chance, always ask, "how much money can I recoup if the kids drown?"

They studied in MBA programs.

Seems like the government is going to have to FORCE those who can't afford the private flood insurance to move to higher ground, by not offering subsidized insurance to them. The rich can congregate in low-lying areas for the good bottom land.

It's a fact too that the incidence of heart attacks and cancer keeps rising as the numbers of the insured rise.

If we weren't forced to subsidize medical insurance, we'd be incentivized, because of the cost and the unavailability of the jackpots of those insurance payouts to doctors and hospitals, to just not have those heart attacks and tumors.

It's very simple, as Newt said one last time before I calypsoed his goiter.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad