Paddy Morris on the economics of climate change Post author By Richard Tol Post date October 11, 2010 Over at Think or Swim, Paddy Morris accurately summarizes my work on the economics of climate change pre-Anthoff and pre-Weitzman. The comments are interesting too. Categories In Environment Tags climate policy 64 Comments on Paddy Morris on the economics of climate change ← McCarthy and Varadkar on Fiscal Strategy → Ricardo Strikes Back: The Net Effect of the Irish Credit Bubble on Cumulative GDP 64 replies on “Paddy Morris on the economics of climate change” If that’s an accurate summary, it’s pretty sad that you would provide a notorious charlatan like Bjorn Lomborg with ammunition for his disinformation campaigns. Yale University press lists Friel’s expose of Lomborg under the category “Fraud in Science”, btw, and I’m sure you’re aware of your colleague Gary Yohe’s vituperative — and richly deserved — criticism of him. The concept of discounting follows from the finite span of a human life. It makes no sense to applied it to humanity as a whole. @Adrian I’m a co-author on the paper by Yohe you refer to. What about the physics of ‘climate change’? A leading US physicist points out that the science is not ‘incontrovertible’. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100058265/us-physics-professor-global-warming-is-the-greatest-and-most-successful-pseudoscientific-fraud-i-have-seen-in-my-long-life/ Ciaran, careful there my friend – no questioning of the party line will be tolerated here! test @Ciaran You can read Hal Lewis’ letter here: http://www.thegwpf.org/ipcc-news/1670-hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society.html He is upset with the shenanigans of particular scientists, as he should be. He does not question the science — he only demands the right to question the science. @Alan No worries. No red buttons here. @ Ciaran What about the physics of ‘climate change’? A leading US physicist points out that the science is not ‘incontrovertible’. No need to tell RTol about that in the thread; he’s already part of the GWPF circus as it is. @Richard I didn’t refer to any paper. Yohe’s blistering attacks on Lomborg which extracted a humiliating admission from him in the pages of the Guardian about the “faulty design” of his GHG plans have never been echoed by you. On the contrary, you were back on the plane to Copenhagen the next year and you even contributed a chapter to Lomborg’s latest book. Oddly enough, Lomborg did not renew his invite to Yohe in 2009. Friel’s book means Lomborg is an ex-parrot and it would be wise to disown his antics. (contd.) If I were to say “Jack is a mechanic, he follows Man Utd, likes crisps, murders babies, follows Corrie on TV and hopes to climb Kilimanjaro”, I could hardly act surprised if listeners then focussed one point in particular. You have provided Lomborg with masses of material wide open to exploitation; don’t act surprised with the uses he has put it to. A declaration regarding the financial and other arrangements the Copenhagen Consensus Center provides for delegates would be very welcome. PS Yohe’s remarks about Lomborg were about his “highly selective memory” and “persistent, repetitive and pervasive misrepresentation”. The security filter doesn’t like these words which prevented posting a single coherent message. @Adrian The joint paper is here: http://ideas.repec.org/a/wsi/ccexxx/v01y2010i02p135-140.html Yohe was invited to CCC09, but declined. He does not question the science — he only demands the right to question the science. If it cannot be questioned, then it is not science but opinion. Professors are currently resigning because they now realize that they have been espousing the fraud of global warming. As always, the MSM are way behind. Their model is being damaged even more than the pseudscientific one they created. @Richard So now, two years later, you’ve had a change of heart. Well I have news for you: that bird has flown the coop. While the Copenhagen conference was in preparation, Lomborg was touting *your* results in support of his quackery, results that were ready made for exploitation. All your work conforms to a pattern. Your numerical results strive for strict correctness, albeit while obscuring as much as they reveal. Thus a hypothetical €500 p/a gain for a European and €500 p/a loss for an African becomes a break-even scenario. Humankind purportedly ‘benefits’ from climate change in the brief interlude between the onset and runaway phases of warming even though AGW, a problem of massive inertia, will likely build irresistable momentum during that period. The value of biodiversity including species facing extinction and, say, coral reefs with a regeneration period measurable in the hundreds of thousands of years, is “uncertain” and can be ignored. (more) The qualitative side to your work, each and every interpretative statement, would make Professor Pangloss blush. Apparently unembarrassed by your failure to foresee the financial collapse three months in advance — with three-way splits being the order of the day in central banks worldwide, oil tipping $145/barrel and paranoia born of terror sweeping the banking industry — you make confident projections about the world 90 years hence. Uncertainties are ignored when inconvenient, though the risks are incalculable and are credibly reported to have devastating potential. While superficially endorsing climate science, you frequently lend credibility to fringe ideas. On this very website you suggested that another proven fraud, Ian Plimer, who simply reverses the conclusions of papers’ cited when it suits him “may well be correct” in claiming a 10,000% error in the measurements of undersea CO2 emissions. Instead of denouncing Lomborg’s fraud, you chose to attack the IPCC in the pages of Der Spiegel and elsewhere. You were swift to jump on the East-Anglia emails bandwagon, another smoke and mirrors routine, while knowingly permitting Lomborg’s distortions to go uncorrected. Gary Yohe, certainly no ‘alarmist’, found time to confront him; why not you? As Friel has shown, Lomborg can’t put two words side by side without telling a lie. You knew this but seized upon points of detail in the IPCC report instead of the blanket “fraud in science”, to quote Yale University Press, being perpetrated by Lomborg with your assistance. (more) Lomborg’s treatment of AGW has been consistent if nothing else: he keeps tight control of the plans to be tested, sets them up to fail and then trumpets the result in every newspaper, TV and radio station that will have him. He draws a false dichotomy between climate change and a random selection of unrelated issues then talks exclusively about what is supposedly a waste of money while barely mentioning those good causes he professes to care about. Even so, this is not enough to twist reality sufficiently to support his arguments. He must still add downright lies to the mix to arrive at the answers he needs. What’s most extraordinary is that *you deny none of this* and have even (very very quietly) endorsed most of these facts. You’ve repeatedly called for Pachauri’s resignation, capitalizing on the smears of serial-crank Christopher Booker; where was this zeal in dealing with Lomborg? Shouldn’t it have been Lomborg’s Wikipedia page you edited rather than Pachauri’s (not to mention your own)? Booker and North produced plenty of innuendo but no factual information in their attacks on Pachauri. The Telegraph has since apologised to him. Even after rifling through their mail, the unknown hackers of the CRU emails couldn’t find any dirt. CRU operations may have been opaque — though not anymore — but its integrity and conclusions have been vindicated. (more) On 7/12/’09 you wrote in The Irish Times that the emails “suggesting global warming evidence has been fabricated” had been revealed. You added that “a key result, the instrumental record of the global mean temperature since 1850, cannot be reproduced” and concluded by writing “environmentalists assembling today in Copenhagen know that one of their champions is a cheat”. None of these claims was correct, as all subsequent scientific and parliamentary inquiries have shown. Why were you so quick to denounce CRU? Why let those column inches go to waste without pointing out the deception Lomborg was carrying out in front of your face? On the very eve of the Copenhagen conference, you were launching baseless attacks on climate science and ignoring blatant dishonesty by Lomborg, dishonesty from which you can never disentangle yourself. It’s too late to have a change of heart at this stage: you’ve nailed your colours to the mast. People will not forget. Nobody will fund you for the IPCC because your credibility is spent. @Edmund That is exactly Lewis’ point. He argues that concerns about career prospects and funding have become more important than the quest for truth. I would add that there is a millenarian zeal to some of the adherents of the new religion of anthrogenic global warming. @Adrian Pachauri is the head of a UN organization. He should resign. Lomborg is the head of his own organization. He should do whatever he likes. As I wrote, we just published a critique of CC08. Here’s an earlier response: http://www.fnu.zmaw.de/fileadmin/fnu-files/publication/tol/Lomborg.pdf I stand by my comments on the Climate Research Unit. I have lost all faith in their reconstruction of the global mean surface air temperature. I look forward to the publication of the Hadley Centre’s record. @ Richard He is upset with the shenanigans of particular scientists, as he should be. He does not question the science — he only demands the right to question the science. Sorry Richard but that is a very selective interpretation of his letter (see below) “It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud” If that is not questioning the science I don’t know what is. Adrian, Well said, sir. Tol has been spewing out bogus assessments, touting for quacks and making a mockery of his association withe the ESRI. The unadulterated propaganda crap dressed up as a ‘Research Bulletin’ needs to be read in it’s entirety to fully enter the tortured mind of its author: http://www.esri.ie/UserFiles/publications/20090421154843/RB20090101.pdf If Pachauri “should resign”, the Tol should be fired. But we live in a State where no one in a position of power is ever, ever held accountable, so he’ll sit in his little taxpayer-funded sinecure, busily spinning his webs. Still, if you enjoy blood sports, drop over to Thinkorswim.ie and witness Tol being skinned alive: http://www.thinkorswim.ie/?p=1000&cpage=1#comment-4947 @Paddy Orwell Lewis co-signed a letter to Congress last year, alongside Singer, Lindzen etc, making the exact same claims. How is this news? His APS resignation letter contains no science whatsoever, just ad-hominem attacks and politics. @ Adrian. Never claimed that the letter contains science, nor would one expect it to. It is a resignation letter not a scientific paper. The author does however question the science of global warming, contrary to what Richard Tol implied in an earlier post. Is the resignation of a prominent physicist from a well respected scientific body newsworthy over a dispute about the validity of AGW newsworthy? Well its still in the top 5 viewed articles on the telegraph website and has had 2500 responses. @Paddy Lewis’ complains about procedures at the APS, about the use of the word “incontrovertible” in an APS document, and about zealots and corruption. He also refers to Climategate, which is about the reliability of two data-sets and their interpretation, about peer-review and about the IPCC. So, the letter is really about the conduct of scientists rather about the science itself. Of course, the evidence is tainted by scientists behaving badly — but Lewis’ prime concern is the behaviour rather than the evidence. @ Richard Again, ““the global warming scam….the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud” While the letter is primarily about the conduct of the ‘scientists’ you can’t disentangle it from the pseudoscience. @Paddy Orwell Lewis 87 and hasn’t been a prominent in science in decades. Still, at least he’s not oil-funded like Singer. The number of credible sceptics is up to, what, four now? The Telegraph hasn’t been a serious broadsheet since Conrad Black took it over. The Economist or FT can be taken seriously — not so the Telegraph. I’d have thought anyone with any economic sensibilities would find the prospect of encountering Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s drivel too much to bear? If a conspiracy fantasist like Evans-Pritchard is a heavyweight, what are their lightweights like? @ Adrian. Thanks for the parental guidance. I’ll ditch the Telegraph so and concentrate those papers of record such as the FT, which has so successfully called the downturn and has been a thorn in the side of the establishment. @Richard (multi post due to bugs directing other versions to moderation queue) Regarding Lomborg, you accept his commissions, write chapters in his books and make media appearances alongside him even though you knew his analyses varied between distortion and downright lies. Never have you criticised him in any media outlet — Der Spiegel, The Irish Times, NPR etc., outlets with somewhat broader reach than “Climate Change Economics”. To all appearances, yours is a symbiotic relationship with you content to take his money and provide quotable quotes while nursing your dubious credibility in the peer-reviewed literature. It is noticable, btw, that you have simply ignored most of the points raised. Regarding the CRU, Sir Muir Russell’s investigation concluded that CRU’s “rigour and honesty” was not in question. Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/07/climategate-review-clears-scientists-dishonesty Allegations opponents were censored or peer review manipulated were dismissed. It’s data was freely available to any “competent” researcher — doesn’t that include you, given that you insisted the data could not be reproduced? And why should anyone care what a ‘climate scientist’ such as yourself who cannot tell the difference between radioactive decay and nuclear fission thinks about science? Please let us know where exactly in the earth’s core you felt the nuclear reactor supposedly powering geothermal energy might have been located. The International Panel set up by UEA found CRU’s work to be “carried out with integrity” and “fair and satisfactory”. “No hint of tailoring results to a particular agenda” was found. Link: http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/SAP The UK Science and Technology Select Committee found that “”even if the data that CRU used were not publicly available—which they mostly are—or the methods not published—which they have been—its published results would still be credible: the results from CRU agree with those drawn from other international data sets; in other words, the analyses have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified.” @Richard Here’s Lomborg announcing the results of the Copenhagen Consensus project 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfa3fExNMuk Tom Schelling listens with approval at the conference’s conclusions, conclusions you contributed to and which you finally acknowledge were grossly misleading. Schelling — not previously noted for his interest in nutritional supplements or African girls’ educations — worked directly on policy only once in his life: in encouraging Lyndon Johnson’s disastrous entry into the Vietnam war. In spite of his contributions to game theory, he is not destined for an honourable place in history. “If people have an influence on whether the war is continued or on the terms of a truce,” Schelling wrote in Arms and Influence, “making war hurt people serves a purpose… If a modern war were a clean one, the violence would not be ruled out but merely saved for the postwar period.” The hurting wasn’t just theoretical: in Vietnam he turned it into a practical matter. Now war is a difficult business, so maybe Schelling was unfortunate. This would be believable if it weren’t for the ludicrous certainty Schelling, McNamara et al expressed to Johnson. So confident was he of his insights, he never thought to consider alternatives. That his exact thinking was already known to the N Vietnamese before the war started never bothered him. Sam Cohen, inventor of the neutron bomb, described Schelling and his RAND colleagues as “through the looking glass”. They employed, he said, “the most perverse kind of logic imaginable and yet claimed to have the most precise understanding of everything”. Johnson was assured no more than a three week air campaign would be needed to discourage N Vietnamese aggression against S Vietnam but, once in, he found it impossible to get out. The “rational” campaign plan Schelling devised for Johnson was designed to wear down the N Vietnamese. Instead it simply exhausted the will of the USA to continue the fight without bothering the Vietnamese at all. Before Johnson understood what was happening, his brains trust had involved him in a national disaster. The involvement actually lasted 9 years, resulting a maximum commitment of 500,000 and in 58,000 US dead. Whereas Robert McNamara et al have since found the decency to accept apologise for their errors of judgement on Vietnam, truly clever person’s mistakes in that no ten year old would dream of such stupidity, Schelling’s conscience has never moved him to do so. In addition to blood, Schelling’s counsel also resulted in the waste of immense quantities of treasure. On RAND’s advice, the absurd number of 2500 heavy bombers and tens of thousands of strategic missiles were constructed. The self-evident absurdity of this bothered nobody. China rather more sensibly decided that, after the first few hundred, diminishing returns made further investments not worthwhile. The Powell Doctrine governing US involvement in overseas conflicts is a direct reaction to the disaster Schelling and RAND brought down on Johnson’s head. Schelling’s proven ineptitude has not tamed his ego in any way. Absurdly, he characterises AGW as a ‘foreign aid’ problem. Of course Lomborg hand-picks his people, and knows who he’s dealing with. A consensus arrived at with Schelling can have no more validity than the kind of consensus some foxes might arrive at about a chicken coop. You describe him as a “sound commentator on climate policy”. These aren’t the sort of words that spring to a historian’s mind when Schelling’s name is mentioned. “Unreconstructed warmonger” would be more accurate, or “megalomaniac”. @Adrian You may want to read up on Schelling’s work. @Richard This seems to be your lowest common denominator, catch-all reply. I am certain that if you had any *specific* criticisms you would make them. Schelling is no doubt a genius but his arrogance an capriciousness impair his judgement. He wasn’t just wrong on Vietnam, he was wrong with absolute, dangerous certainty, truly the mark of a megalomaniac. You call him a “sound commentator” — care to provide a few examples of this soundness? Schelling offered Johnson a safe 3-week air campaign but instead embroiled him in a national disaster. The bizarre certainties of the RAND theorists were tested by history and found wanting. He has never apologised his enthusiasm to “hurt people” and his thinking remains frozen in the cold war era. The truth is he never had any facility either for war or international relations. The psychology of the N Vietnamese (more nationalist and anti-colonialist than communist) remained misunderstood in US govt circles until the war was over. In fact they made barely any effort to understand: why look for answers if they knew already all they needed to? Lomborg’s chosen favourites don’t represent a cross-section of democratic opinion, or even of psychological normality, as Schelling’s example shows. @Adrian I often advise uninformed people to stop embarrassing and start educating themselves. In your case, it is a strong advice. @Richard A fatuous remark if I ever saw one. Any time you feel like making a factual contribution of any sort, go right ahead. The theories of limited war were intended to permit the initiation of war, and soon Schelling was advising McNamara and Johnson to do just that. http://www.slate.com/id/2127862/ …details how bombing was begun on Schelling’s advice, initiating direct US involvement in the war. RAND and the game theorists had legendary status… at this point. What he didn’t grasp, was that if his three week campaign failed, no US President would be in a position to withdraw in the face of a third-world enemy. This simple mistake contributed to the deaths of millions and he has never even expressed remorse. It was arguably the single greatest miscalculation in US history. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~worldoutlook/archives/spring08/liu_ellsberg.pdf Horror at Schelling’s arrogance in heedlessly tranferring theories about nuclear war over to an actual war in progress contributed to Daniel Ellsberg’s decision to release the Pentagon Papers. http://www.cirst.uqam.ca/Portals/0/docs/Diplomes/Memoire_Lebonnois.pdf Offers greater detail and explains McNaughton’s role as Schelling’s protege in the Whitehouse after Schelling himself turned the job down. @Adrian Kelleher: “He wasn’t just wrong on Vietnam, he was wrong with absolute, dangerous certainty, truly the mark of a megalomaniac.” Oh, I dunno. I remember being wrong once, and that with “absolute, dangerous certainty”, but I’m a megalomaniac only on the nights of the full moon. The rest of the time, I’m rather shy and retiring. bjg RT – As I wrote, we just published a critique of CC08. Here’s an earlier response: http://www.fnu.zmaw.de/fileadmin/fnu-files/publication/tol/Lomborg.pdf that link is to a paper in a furren language @fergaloh Dansk, to be precise, the language in which Lomborg spouted nonsense then RT:I often advise uninformed people to stop embarrassing and start educating themselves. In your case, it is a strong advice. Anybody can see for themselves who’s getting taken to school. RT:…the language in which Lomborg spouted nonsense then Just to digest your views into one nice package: You say Lomborg “spout(s) nonsense” and “gives a misleading impression of the severity of climate change”, “plays a useful role in the debate on climate policy” and “successfully punches holes in climate hysteria”. Clear everyone? @Adrian Most people do good things and bad. Do other, more useful, contributers to the Irish Economy blog not find that it is becoming primarily a platform for Mr. Tol’s ego and career? @Pope Epopt, I’m not a contributor here but to me it looks like the site is becoming a platform for people who don’t really know what they’re talking about to have a go at Tol for any reason they can think of. The assumptions and conclusions in his work are up for debate (like all others) but only at a much higher level than people like Adrian Kelleher are mustering. Trying to remain polite here, Adrian: you’re not coming across very well. (And no, I have no association with Prof. Tol whatsoever.) @Enda H Your logically unsound appeal-to-credentials hides the lack of any content in your message. How I come across is of no interest to me. You’ll encounter different opinions at Think or Swim at any rate. Let’s review the facts: 1) Tol, Yohe and Schelling participated in CC 2008. 2) All participants were hand-picked by Lomborg. The criteria — assuming they exist — for selecting candidates are not specified. The only certainty is that triggering a war with a punishment bombing campaign which ultimately kills millions of civilians does not disqualify. …contd. 3) The GHG abatement options examined by Yohe, Tol et al were discounted at a rate gradually declining from 5% whereas the rules specified a 3% discount rate. The abatement proposals were then ranked against 28 others all of which employed the 3% rate, distorting the results. 4) Scientific uncertainty about positive feedbacks was ignored for the rankings, as were political risk, biodiversity etc. etc. Attempting to arrive at a cost/benefit analysis when its constituent factors are completely dominated by uncertainties that cannot by definition be established violates the rudiments of the scientific method. 5) In a bitter exchange, Lomborg was subsequently forced by Yohe to accept in the pages of the Guardian that the “failure” of his GHG plans “could be traced to faulty design”. This was not only inevitable from the start but obviously so given the bizarre structure imposed on the process, a fact Prof Tol belatedly accepts. 6) Meanwhile Tol remained completely silent. In fact he continued to make media appearances alongside Lomborg and to contribute to his systematic falsification of science. …contd. 7) With breathtaking hypocrisy, Tol simultaneously jumped on the bandwagon to attack the CRU in the press over the email hacking controversy. Numerous independent investigations have since rejected all the accusations of scientific malpractice against CRU, including those echoed by Tol. CRU’s data remains uncontested in the scientific literature, a fact deniers resort to conspiracy theories in order to explain away. Tol sticks to his line, but provides no evidence or argumentation in support of his point of view. 8) Tol accepted an invitation to CCC once more in 2009, unlike Yohe who refused. 9) In spite of lacking any training in the physical sciences, Tol regularly calls expert opinion into question. He claims Ian Plimer “may well be correct” in claiming a 10,000% measurement error of natural CO2 emissions. This would be fine if he didn’t simultaneously try to represent himself as accepting orthodox, peer-reviewed scientific findings. 10) Tol, in fact, regularly alters his message to suit a given audience. Depending on the day of the week, it seems, climate change is either “a serious problem” or a “new religion of anthrogenic global warming”. …contd. Now unlike moderates like Von Storch or credible sceptics such as Richard Lindzen, Plimer and Lomborg are straightforward frauds. The gulf between the two groups couldn’t be more extreme in fact. George Monbiot found Plimer had simply reversed the conclusions of one paper cited and, having listed innumerable errors, Michael Ashley wrote in The Australian that it “deserves to languish on the shelves along with similar pseudo-science such as the writings of Immanuel Velikovsky and Erich von Daniken”. Howard Friel devoted an entire book to Lomborg’s dissembling which has received universally favourable reviews. One or two media outlets (e.g. Newsweek) took the time to analyse Friel’s claims one by one and substantiated his findings in every case. Yohe’s review stated that “Howard Friel’s careful documentation of persistent, repetitive and pervasive misrepresentation in The Lomborg Deception should diminish significantly the credibility of Bjørn Lomborg’s contributions to the false-scientific debate about climate change that has become dangerously politicized.” …contd. Stanford’s Stephen Schneider wrote that “Bjorn Lomborg’s claims that environmental scientists mislead society into wasting money on non-problems is based on hundreds of out of context citations, dozens of straw men, selective inattention to inconvenient science, and the illusion of careful scholarship — Friel documents this deception brilliantly.” You won’t hear criticism remotely like that levelled at CRU, or at Von Storch or Lindzen for that matter. Of course neither Von Storch or Lindzen would associate themselves with scientific fraud, let alone the transparent crookery of bottom feeders like Plimer and Lomborg. …contd. Only systematic and deliberate bias can explain Tol’s preference for Lomborg and Plimer over peer-reviewed science conducted by qualified individuals. Yohe, a moderate who employs the exact same methodology as Tol but without the media grandstanding, endeavours to arrive at scientific conclusions and has shown integrity and consistency. His statements are identical whether they apppear in the press or in academic journals. Tol by contrast varies his message constantly and aggravates the “dangerous politicization” of climate science. His association with political pressure groups like the GWPF confirms this. It speaks volumes that this difference relates to two individuals hand-picked by Lomborg himself. Having waited until after his sponsor’s corruption was exposed, it’s too late for Tol to dissociate himself from him now. (Ends; security filter prevented single post) Thus spoke Adrian Kelleher Whether I come across as nice or nasty or repetitive or vindictive is of no concern to me. You haven’t a word to say and that says it all. I wouldn’t make accusations like this against anyone else on this site. They’re people I respect, you see. Jeepers, and people call me a loon? I refuse to post on many of Mr. Tol’s threads as there’s little or nothing to disagree with him on. That takes the fun out of it for me… @hoganmahew Our green friends are indeed challenged. Adrian here argues that Tom Schelling caused ‘Nam! John Gibbons argues at Thinkorswim that someone said that a friend of a friend of a friend of Prof P is a fascist so that we cannot trust Prof P’s research! And don’t forget the little gem by a senior researcher at the IIEA and master (with distinction!) in pol sci from LSE: jc: I think A because of B. rt: But B is not true. jc: Sure. I think A because of C. rt: But C is not true. jc: Okay. I think A because of D. rt: But D is not true. jc: Alright. B, C, and D are not true. But I think A nonetheless! Al Gore said so, and politicians never lie, so it must be true! @Adrian’s short novel, tl:dr, but in particular: “Your logically unsound appeal-to-credentials hides the lack of any content in your message.” – I made no such appeal to his credentials. When I said “[his work should be debated at a] higher level” I did not mean in terms of professional status. I meant intellectual capacity. “How I come across is of no interest to me.” – I’ve noticed. @ Richard Is that your take on this discussion? http://www.thinkorswim.ie/?p=546#comments The two degree target has been recognized by thousands of climate scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/big_picture_solutions/a-target-for-us-emissions.html, the EU, the US, the G8 major economies forum etc. It was most recently cited twice in the Copenhagen Accord which was signed by 180-odd countries. It is the current best guess of what would constitute dangerous climate change. Your retort is that two degrees is and infeasible target. I think that most people (though they would not publicly like to admit it) are aware of the difficulties associated with 2 degrees, but that does not mean that the target should be abandoned. That would be very silly. to have a go at Tol for any reason they can think of And RTol offers up so many of them – and of particular fun are the efforts to both have his cake (academic respectability) and eat it (associating with Lomborg and the clowns at the GWPF). @EWI I talk with people from all political colours. I am associated with no political movement. walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck or … you can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses… @Enda H, Hoganmayhew When the personal abuse is thickest and meaningful content wholly absent, I always know the home stretch is in sight. @Richard Tom Schelling didn’t “cause” the Vietnam War and nowhere was it stated that he did. He did advise Johnson to start bombing and the (supposedly) strategic tenets of the campaign were based entirely on his designs. Firing off amused exclamation points here and on twitter won’t alter this fact. http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a787026281 See, e.g. In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam by McNamara. Ironically, this book by an infamous Sec of Defense is on the reading lists for US officers. Not so any of Schelling’s works. The word “quagmire” is frequently associated with the outcome of his campaign. The phrase “exit strategy” was coined to ensure similar blunders would be avoided in future. The Powell Doctrine is a direct reaction to the misadventures of McNamara, Schelling et al. Incidentally, have you heard of Schelling’s friend and RAND colleague Herman Kahn? The review of his 1960 book On Thermonuclear War in Scientific American called it “a moral tract on mass murder: how to plan it, how to commit it, how to get away with it, how to justify it.” He was the model for Dr Strangelove. “If there are ninety million dead then there are ninety million alive and I think that’s a pretty strong nation, don’t you?” he once told the BBC, referring to the likely condition of the USA in the wake of “victory” in a nuclear exchange. Read Schelling’s introduction to the 2005 edition of On Escalation for a more positive interpretation of Kahn’s virtues. Another RAND Alumnus, the great mathematician John Von Neumann, was a strong advocate of a nuclear attack on the USSR in the 1950s. I could go into fantastic detail about the bizarre intellectual hall of mirrors that was RAND but let’s get back to the meat of the issue. You have mounted no defense for your baseless attacks on the integrity of Phil Jones in the Irish Times carried out at a time when you were accepting the patronage of a proven scientific fraud. http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2010/10/11/paddy-morris-on-the-economics-of-climate-change/#comment-83728 I talk with people from all political colours. I am associated with no political movement. …an answer to a different charge, as always. @EWI You “accuse” me of talking to people you do not like. That is not a crime. I respond to your silliness because you insinuate that I talk to certain people only. That is not true. @ RTol I have ‘accused’ you of nothing of the sort. I have merely pointed out that you have tied yourself to a group that you apparently cannot defend in public without tying yourself in knots. So the Professor is just going to leave unanswered serious questions about the probity of exploiting his position with the ESRI for the purpose of partisan advocacy, the scholarly integrity of fuelling the campaigns of a notorious charlatan like Lomborg and the defensibility of using this platform for unfounded personal attacks on people like Michael Smith. In this thread and elsewhere he seems pathologically incapable of responding to anything without either misrepresenting everything that’s said or just flying off on a tangent. He’s now reduced to goading Ciaran Cuffe on twitter. His defenders adopt a tone resembling Leave Brittney Alone! only without the intellectual finesse. Nobody has even attempted to respond to the substantive issues. @Adrian Your remark about partisan advocacy is misplaced. We give the same advice to everyone. If that includes people you do not like, so be it. Note that is my policy to not feed the trolls. @Richard So a statement like “Our green friends are indeed challenged” is not partisan advocacy? Or calling Michael Smith “disingenuous”? Or repeatedly posting info in favour of Covanta/DCC while ignoring info against (dioxins/law cases etc)? Yet again, you’re off on a tangent. It’s possible to offer consistent advice and still be partisan. It’s rich you’d talk of trolls after your embarrassing and underhanded self-indulgence on twitter. Note that is my policy to not feed the trolls. Someone with a legitimate beef about ‘trolls’ wouldn’t be writing the sort of flamebait posts that RTol does on the Internet. That is all. Comments are closed.