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View Diary: Go Home, Arctic. You're Drunk. (57 comments)

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  •  Report 5 is out from the IPCC (5+ / 0-)

    Sea ice is a dead man walking, rising sea levels will be measured in meters rather than feet by 2050, more than 100 East coast cities in the US with populations over 100,000 won't be able to build high enough sea walls or levees and have the choice either to relocate back to the Appalachians, or slip beneath the waves like Atlantis, the Hurricane Katrina's and Sandy's will become 10 year rather than 100 years storms and we could be looking at global temperatures going into the range where global nuclear war or a meteor strike like the one that took out the dinosaurs would be a relief.

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 02:54:38 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  The full report has a lot more nuance (0+ / 0-)

      than the summary for policy makers.

      This is as you might expect - the summary for policy makers is a political document whereas the full report is a scientific document.

      One of the things I am finding frustrating about the whole global warming debate is that global warming is becoming unfalsifiable.  If we have hotter than usual weather, it is due to global warming.  If we have colder than usual weather it is because of global warming.

      If this crazy cold is because of global warming, does that mean that a warm winter next year would be evidence against global warming?  Or is any kind of winter next year evidence for global warming?

      Sea ice is a dead man walking, rising sea levels will be measured in meters rather than feet by 2050, more than 100 East coast cities in the US with populations over 100,000 won't be able to build high enough sea walls or levees and have the choice either to relocate back to the Appalachians, or slip beneath the waves like Atlantis,
      These are measurable predictions that are supposed to happen within the lifetime of many existing financial instruments.  For example, Walt Disney and Coca Cola have both issued 100 year bonds.

      Maybe it's time to issue climate change bonds.  For example, what about a bond that pays out in 2050 $1,000 for every centimeter that sea level is above -5cm from current level up to 200cm above current level measured at a specific point (ie. the tip of Manhattan)?  And another bond that pays out $1,000 for every centimeter that sea level is below 2 meters above current sea level up to 205cm below 2 meters above current level at that point?

      These bonds form a perfect hedge - for example, if Goldman Sachs issues one of each bond then if the sea level is 50cm above current sea level then the first bond will pay out $55,000 and the second bond will pay out $150,000.  If the sea level is 150 cm above current sea level then the first bond will pay out $155,000 and the second bond will pay out $50,000.  Total is always $205,000.  So you have an SPV with no other activities that issues the exactly offsetting bonds, puts the money it raises into Treasuries, and pays out in 2050.  It is as safe as US Treasuries.

      This would let people put their money where their mouths are - let the skeptics buy bonds that pay off if sea levels are low and the believers buy bonds that pay off if sea levels are high.

      Lets look at what they actually buy - if Al Gore doesn't put a big chunk of his money into the high sea level bonds I want to know why not... and the same for the Kochs if they don't buy low sea level bonds.

      I would also be very interested in seeing what the market price of these bonds ended up being - what does Wall Street think is really going to happen with global warming?

      I also think it is time for both sides to make some falsifiable predictions.

      What kinds of weather patterns does the IPCC predict over the next 10 years?  What kinds of weather patterns would support their long term predictions?  What kinds of weather patterns would indicate that we need to take a step back, do more research, and investigate whether or not they have made a mistake?  For example, should the next 10 years northern hemisphere winters be warmer or colder than the average for the last 10 years?  Or do they want to get more granular and just talk about North America or what?

      •  The final draft of Report 5 came out in June (0+ / 0-)

        restricted so you can't quote from it

        You might want to go have a look for yourself

        Full Report

        Its labeled to different degrees of confidence for all the various parts of the different scenarios, and if you go have a look at it there is such a range of opinion that it can be very hard to point to any conclusions, and I absolutely hate their cross hatched graphics which supposedly show where they express confidence

        I thought the graphic above expressed it pretty well. You can look at predictions that range from 1 to 9 or from safe don't worry about it to its way past time to panic.

        RCP 8.5 is looking at 9 degrees C by 2150 and no slowdown because at plus 9 degrees C Antarctica has melted and wall street is 300 feet under the sea.

        For someone like me who considers the IPCC to be expressing the consensus of over 1000 scientists who are trying to be conservative in their assessments I'm going to have more confidence in the left side of RCP 8.5.

        For the IPCC itself you are probably looking at the dark grey area. By 2050 they expect the temperature to have risen one degree.

        Your plan to have people put their money where their mouth is wouldn't really solve the problem if say for example by 2050 the sea level has been raised a foot because by then wall street is  flooded and 100 East Coast cities with populations of 100,000 or more are desperately trying to relocate back to the Appalachians. Actual IPCC projections range from 5 to 10 meters by 2100 for their worst case analysis.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 02:19:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, financial bets don't solve real world (0+ / 0-)

          problems.

          Your plan to have people put their money where their mouth is wouldn't really solve the problem if say for example by 2050 the sea level has been raised a foot because by then wall street is  flooded and 100 East Coast cities with populations of 100,000 or more are desperately trying to relocate back to the Appalachians. Actual IPCC projections range from 5 to 10 meters by 2100 for their worst case analysis.
          What a financial bet will do is force people to be much more realistic with their predictions.

          For example, how much of their retirement funds are the IPCC scientists willing to invest in an instrument that will pay off in 2100 if sea levels have increased more than 5 meters?  (This can be adjusted based on atmospheric CO2 levels so the trigger drops if CO2 levels drop.)

          The IPCC is suggesting that the world spend trillions of dollars to avoid these outcomes.  That is the equivalent of investing trillions of dollars in one of these instruments - if anthropogenic warming has been seriously overestimated then the money is lost, otherwise the payoff is very high.  If the scientists themselves are not willing to make similar investments that's got to be a red flag.

          •  Please stop lying. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rube Goldberg
            The IPCC is suggesting that the world spend trillions of dollars to avoid these outcomes.
            No it isn't. The IPCC is an advisory body that is making scientific assessments. The notion that scientists should make financial bets on their predictions and that this would make their predictions more realistic is stupid and vile and is some radical right wing conspiracy mongering.  The fact is that scientists, and the IPCC in particular, have been overly conservative in their estimates.
            •  The IPCC is advocating drastic measures to (0+ / 0-)

              cut CO2 emissions that will cost trillions of dollars.  That's a fact.

              The notion that scientists should make financial bets on their predictions and that this would make their predictions more realistic is stupid and vile
              Why?  Seems very reasonable to me.  There is strong evidence that when people make financial bets they are much more realistic and much more likely to make accurate predictions.  For example, political prediction markets do much better than political analysts in predicting election results.  This is unsurprising.  Predicting a 10 meter rise in sea level by 2050 can get you a lot of newspaper headlines now, and by 2050 it is unlikely anyone will remember and anyway you will be dead or retired.  Betting your retirement and the financial legacy you leave to your children on that prediction is a whole different kettle of fish.

              The same applies in reverse - let climate skeptics make similar bets in the opposite direction.

              A great example of this was the Simon Ehrlich resource scarcity $1,000 bet.  Ehrlich and his colleagues, the environmentalists, lost decisively - 5 out of the 5 metals they picked decreased in price over 5 years as Simon had predicted, rather than increasing as Ehrlich and his colleagues predicted.  When Ehrlich claimed that "the five metals in the proposed wager were not critical indicators" and that "that the depletion of so-called renewable resources — environmental resources such as soils, forests, species diversity, and groundwater — is much more indicative of the deteriorating state of society's life-support systems" Simon responded by offering to use any five resources Ehrlich chose and to increase the bet to $20,000.  Ehrlich refused.

              I think that story indicates that the first bet actually taught Ehrlich more about resource economics than he wanted to admit.

              Interestingly, Simon and Ehrlich were apparently debating a climate change bet when Simon died.  The primary area of disagreement was that Ehrlich wanted to use environmental measures (ie. CO2 levels in the atmosphere) whereas Simon demanded direct measures of human welfare (ie. life expectancies).  

              I wouldn't take Ehrlich's bet either - I fully expect CO2 levels in the atmosphere to go up.  The real question is what the impact of that will be, how severe it will be, and how we will either adapt to a warming planet or take action to cool the planet.

      •  Intellectual dishonesty here. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rube Goldberg
        If we have hotter than usual weather, it is due to global warming.  If we have colder than usual weather it is because of global warming.
        No, that's not the argument at all. The actual arguments are based on overwhelming scientific evidence and physics, which is why there is not a single reputable scientific organization that rejects it. You apparently have no understanding whatsover of this science, and willfully misrepresent it.
        If this crazy cold is because of global warming
        The crazy cold is caused by displacement of the Polar Vortex. That displacement is caused by changes in the jet stream. Global warming contributes to such changes. Its contribution to this current event is unknown, but what is known is that it statistically increases the likelihood and severity of extreme weather events.
        does that mean that a warm winter next year would be evidence against global warming?
        No, not at all. Your reasoning is terribly shoddy and is based on gross ignorance. There is a warm winter, right now, in Alaska and other northern areas for the same reason that it is cold in Minnesota ... because the Polar Vortex moved. If not anything like "warm implies GW" or "cold implies GW", it all depends on specific mechanisms ... and there is overwhelming scientific evidence of the greenhouse mechanisms that cause GW. the notion that it's not falsifilable is absurd and ignorant, and arrogant because you don't know anything about climate science but imagine that your uninformed imaginings are worth anything.
        I also think it is time for both sides to make some falsifiable predictions.
        You're an ignoramus who knows nothing about climate science, which is chock full of falsifiable predictions that have been confirmed, not found false. And there aren't two sides, any more than there are two sides to evolution or whether the earth is flat ... there is science, and there is the ignorant, dishonest, and ideologically and financially motivated denialsphere.

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