Trump, And Climate

Thoughts from Judith Curry. tl;dr He’s not crazy:

In my post Trumping the elites, I stated that Trump’s election provided an opportunity for a more rational energy and climate policy. Many in the blog comments and the twitosphere found this to be an incomprehensible statement.

Here is what I think needs to be done, and I do see opportunities for these in a Trump administration:

  • a review of climate science that includes a faithful and transparent representation of uncertainties in 21st century projections of global and regional climate change
  • reopening of the ‘endangerment’ issue, as to whether warming is ‘dangerous’
  • a do-over on assessing the social cost of carbon, that accounts for full uncertainty in the climate model simulations, the integrated assessment models and their inputs.
  • support funding for Earth observing systems (satellite, surface, ocean) and research on natural climate variability.

Even if politics are to ‘trump’ the conclusions of these analyses, it would be clear that the Trump administration has done its due diligence on this issue in terms of gathering and assessing information. If the Trump administration were to accomplish the first 3 items, they might have a scientifically and economically defensible basis for pulling out of the Paris agreement and canceling Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

I noted the other day on Twitter that if Myron is the new EPA administrator, we’ll finally have one who is not a rabid environmentalist, and will follow the law, doing actual cost/benefit analyses. As a bonus, many EPA employees may quit (though it’s unclear if they have any marketable skills outside of government).

24 thoughts on “Trump, And Climate”

  1. Send out grants to perform this one piece of research:

    Evaluate and then calibrate between the satellite measurements of the lower troposphere and specific long-term surface stations. Not in an “Overall” comparisons of the global aggregates sense, but is a direct “If I have -this-, what is my actual instrumental error in judging -that- for this one specific site” sense. This would involve carpet-bombing some gridcell -somewhere- with thermometers to evaluate what, exactly -is- the gridcell temperature.

    The so-called ‘instrumental period’ is predominantly point-source measurements that are only proxies for the ‘gridcell temperature’.

  2. As a bonus, many EPA employees may quit (though it’s unclear if they have any marketable skills outside of government).

    They will go right back into activism from whence they came.

    1. They will go right back into activism from whence they came.

      Government positions are the exit strategy for activism, not vice versa. Here’s hoping that we see a sudden surge in competition for these jobs followed by a mass exodus of anyone remotely competent into real jobs.

  3. Was it Glenn Reynolds who stated that he will “believe in” Global Warming when the right people act as if they believe in it.

    Hypocrisy is the approach of jetting all over everyplace and boasting that one has purchased “carbon offsets.” Stupidity is believing that the environmental damage is already irrevocable and yet hanging on to your beachfront property. Unless privately you know this is all a ‘tude and there is no pressing need to sell?

  4. How ’bout we identify an old-growth forest near the “frost line” that has never had tree ring samples cored and analyzed, then send a crew to GET such samples and data?

    If the paleo-dendro-chrono-climatologists are correct, the tree ring data from the new samples will show a hockey stick. If the “shaft” of the past 2000 years is uneven and variable, or if the “blade” of the last hundred years is flat, falling, or risen followed by falls (“divergence”) then the whole paleo-dendro-whatever branch of “physics” may need to revoke some PhDs.

    Beats the heck out of applying a new theory or a new computer program to the same old samples one more go’round. (Yamal, anybody?)

    How hard or expensive could it be to get new Canadian or Alaskan data of this sort?

    1. How hard or expensive could it be to get new Canadian or Alaskan data of this sort?

      It would be dirt cheap compared to everything else, but you know going in it would be tossed under the rug and ignored. See: Dr Mann’s own graduate student’s results and Steve McIntyre’s ‘Starbucks Sampling’.

      There are enough problems with the entire field that the line distinguishing between “Blatant cherry picking” and “Finding just the relevant anecdotal information” has been removed entirely.

  5. This really is an opportunity to ask the questions about climate that have not been asked (and hence, not answered). For example, what is the cost in human life for a lower per capita energy usage? What is the real cost of installing enough solar and wind capacity to provide our needs? What are the real effects of higher versus lower temperatures? What is the justification for the assertion that higher temperature is bad?

    These things are independent of the question of whether AGW is real, but they have never been established. Without proof, they should not be considered.

  6. One relatively cheap step that could be done would be to do a rewrite of the climate models using professional coders working from written specs. And make the whole thing – specs, meeting notes, code, raw data, transforms of raw data, etc. open source.

    NB: Having a BA in Astronomy and done some planetary science coursework, I am willing to believe that global warming is happening, is caused by CO2 emissions, and it could have major, negative consequences. I just don’t trust the models.

        1. I believe Ed was referring to Mann’s famous claim that the original raw data had been lost, and conveniently all that he had left was the corrected version.

          Because Top Men, and all.

    1. That would hardly be cheap or easy. A cheaper alternative would be to bring in a bunch of engineers who have used CFD in the design of airplanes, ducts, valves, etc., and ask them if it is possible to use a coarser mesh to model the outside of a 42 million foot diameter sphere than they would use to model a foot-long wind tunnel model, start a time-marching solution having over 2,600,000 time steps, and have results of 0.5% accuracy at the end. After they all stopped laughing…no, wait, they would never stop laughing.

  7. What’s the actual danger and are they doing anything to mitigate that?

    It would be run away heating or cooling right? (Venus and mars.) If not, then it’s just a migration issue which humans have been doing for thousands of years. So studies mean almost nothing. Practical experience without risking our planet would suggest we terraform venus (mars is just fine the way it is for now.)

    If cooling venus isn’t a priority, then the earth warming is a BS issue… but we already knew that. It’s just another way to tax the stupid sheeple.

    It’s time we quit enabling the children.

    1. “If not, then it’s just a migration issue which humans have been doing for thousands of years.”

      Migration issue? I think you just lobbed a slow ball right over the middle of the plate.

      1. Think deeper Paul. Climate changes everywhere every second and humans adapt to it every second. We don’t need to care if global warming is true or not. We only need to care if we can handle whatever level of changes occur or not. We handled ice ages and are better equipped today to handle even more extreme changes.

        I got to tell ya. When Texas has a heat wave and people are reported to die from it, people living in Phoenix are all thinking the same thing… what kind of wimps live in Texas! We here about TX having 2 weeks of triple digit temperatures (and how will anyone survive!!!) when Phx has had 4 months.

        It’s not ‘dry heat’ either.

        It’s only run away conditions we need to be most concerned about and earth is not the place to risk major changes which would be like sawing the tree branch you’re sitting on. The good news is carbon levels are nothing compared to water levels which they would be laughed at if they suggested vapor credits!

  8. Wasn’t climate change solved in 2008? I’m pretty sure we were told that we would be able to look back and say, “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” So with that out of the way, what is the issue now?

    What needs to happen is the EPA’s budget get cut. Here’s a search on the words court finds EPA. The pending on your point of view, the only negative word is court, yet here are the headings:
    * U.S. court finds EPA was wrong to approve Dow pesticide
    * Court Finds EPA Rules Fail To Protect Children From Rat Poison
    * Supreme Court ruled that the EPA unreasonably interpreted the Clean Air Act
    * Court finds EPA wronged farmers
    * Court Finds EPA Inappropriately Approved Bee-Killing Pesticide (probably related to the first, but so far only repeat case)
    * Court finds in favor of EPA’s SO2 designations (the first positive heading for the EPA, except this was overturned by SCOTUS in previous heading)
    * Court Finds That EPA Exceeded Its Authority in Attempting to “Veto”

    This is an organization with only 15,000 employees, and they have made this many bad decisions in the past 8 years. Then you have the EPA polluting the Animas River. Being against the EPA doesn’t mean you are against the environment. It is simply acknowledging that the people that care about their environment are the people that live there, not some bureaucrats sitting in an office in DC.

    Actually, don’t cut the EPA budget. Simply dissolve it, and move certain bits such as air and water quality monitoring under NOAA. NOAA doesn’t enforce laws. They simply report. I’m pretty sure if the EPA had reported about Flint’s poor water supply, the people living there would have taken all the enforcement action necessary.

    1. Simply dissolve it, and move certain bits such as air and water quality monitoring under NOAA. NOAA doesn’t enforce laws. They simply report.

      Laws were supposed to be made by people subject to the vote. This is today’s crime.

  9. I see so many parallels with the situation in 1980. I gather from a lot of comments that many of you are in my age cohort. I was in high school in the 1970’s, and I vividly remember having to write reports about what we were going to do about the looming energy shortage.

    I remember the 55 mph speed limit, and the admonishments to dial back our thermostats and wear sweaters around the house. Everyone, except a few cranks, just knew we were about to run out of oil.

    Then, Reagan came forward and said it was a bunch of hooey, and for this apostasy was roundly lambasted, vilified, and mocked. What a maroon. What a throwback. What a dangerous cowboy.

    Thirty six years later, here we are, virtually floating on a sea of oil. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. Which is French for, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

    1. We must all use bottled water because tap water is dangerous but now bottled water is the sin. We must all use plastic bags to save the trees but now plastic bags are the sin. It is safe to say that shortly wind turbines will be out of favor for bird genocide, solar fields for ruining desert habitat for rare animals, and electric cars for how toxic their construction is.

      It is sort of like being a hipster. As soon as something catches on with the general public, it’s no longer cool and must be supplanted by something else. Or in Marxist terms, it is the endless revolution.

  10. “though it’s unclear if they have any marketable skills outside of government”

    Who cares? They don’t have any useful (to the taxpayers paying their salaries) skills IN government either. How hard is it to learn to say, “Do you want fries with that?”

    Or they can go live in Mommy’s basement . . . .

    1. Or they can go live in Mommy’s basement . . . .

      Don’t you think their poor mothers have suffered enough?

      1. To answer that question, how responsible are they for the destruction of the family?

        If woman are generally globalists and men are generally nationalist… I vote anti-fascist.

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