Sunday, December 08, 2019

Robert Rapier: Indisputable Facts About Climate Change

Nothing really new here, I guess.
And nothing there undermines the grounds for skepticism. Much of the climate hysteriacs case (though Rapier certainly doesn't seem to be one of those) basically comes down to the same kind of risk aversion that drove Dick Cheney's views about terrorism: it's really a "zero tolerance" premise doing the work.
   I guess zero tolerance makes more sense in the climate case than in the terrorism case, since the worst-case scenario is apocalyptic. But people who actually know about risk assessment would have to tell us what to think about that. Intuitively, my guess would be that there aren't many plausible cases in which zero tolerance is a rational position. But, again: that's off the top of my ignorant head.
   I continue--currently--to think something like: we simply aren't going to agree on the more radical scenarios and remedies in the near term. But there are a fair number of more moderate courses of action we might all agree on--e.g. raising CAFE standards, reducing the use of coal. So let's do the stuff we can agree about and hope for the best. In fact, if the climate-change skeptics are right, we don't have to hope for the best--just for the not-in-the-vicinity-of-worst. So: the ambitious goals will never be met; more modest goals could be met; more modest goals could be good enough--so let's shoot for those more modest goals. And: more evidence will emerge in the future. That evidence will likely either show us that things are worse or better than we think/fear. If worse, we're screwed anyway--allegedly now we only have ten years to change. If it drops to five, there's less than no hope. If better, then resources expended on radical solutions may have been wasted.
   Eh...objection to that argument are pretty easy to spot...but it may not be worthless.


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