Thoughts on economics and liberty

Solid facts and cost-benefit analysis would be more helpful

Today in The Age, Mr Ross Garnout has been cited as saying:

"It is an awful reality that no major developments in the science hold out realistic hope that the judgments of the 2008 review erred in the direction of overestimating the risks," Professor Garnaut said.

He said he feared scientific projections to date might have been overly conservative.

I'm afraid, this contradicts what I have been reading and learning about the underlying science over these  years. 

I've formed a view, supported by sufficiently persuasive evidence, that man-made global warming exists, but its ability to cause serious harm is merely a hypothesis, not scientifically proven truth. The following, in brief, is what I understand:

a) the current episode of MILD warming is PRIMARILY natural;

b) the impact of manmade CO2 is real but minimal, and unlikely to accelerate with increased CO2;

c) the benefits of increased CO2 appear to be significantly greater than costs;

d)  the Earth held far greater levels of CO2 in its atmosphere in the past and did not experience runaway global warming. A large number of natural processes (plants, primarily) exist on Earth that check runaway effects;

e) projections of warming and sea-level rise by climate models have, so far, been grossly exaggerated; and

f) IPCC and many senior scientists from reputed institutions have published numerous false reports and ACTIVELY prevented healthy scientific debate .

Government funded institutions on this subject have lost credibility, particularly given the large number of independent scientific views that contradict government-supported findings. Group think is a common flaw in all governments, given strong incentives to shut out internal debate.

On a matter as important as this, everyone needs to know the details and fully understand what is going on.

May I therefore request Mr Garnout to point out the precise data that contradicts my findings (a) to (f) above?

In particular I'd need to see clear graphical evidence of correlations between CO2 and global warming over the past 100 million years. A good multivariate model with PROVEN predictive power (to predict ALL previous episodes of climate change) would help. 

I'd also like to see a RIGOROUS and well-supported (with 100% proven facts) cost-benefit analysis.

Based on all the evidence to date, I have formed the view that benefits of CO2 EXCEED costs.

Let's all keep our critical thinking hats on. As always, I remain open to changing my mind should theoretical and empirical evidence motivate such change. Listening to exhortations from anyone, now matter how respectable, is NOT the way I reach the truth.

Addendum: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/a-brilliant-career-but-certainly-not-perfect/story-e6frgd0x-1226032264504

Garnaut turns out to be a highly questionable economist – details here.

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2 thoughts on “Solid facts and cost-benefit analysis would be more helpful
  1. Tim Curtin

    Great stuff on Garnaut, well said!
    And you are spot on when you ask for "A good multivariate model with PROVEN predictive power (to predict ALL previous episodes of climate change) would help". Garnaut  is no more capable of doing that than the entire climate science fraternity, not one of whom has ever published the results of such a model, for the very good reason that they would disprove their total belief system. Do contact me for my paper demonstrating that (tcurtin at bigblue dot net dot au)

     
  2. Tim Curtin

    Great stuff on Garnaut, well said!
    And you are spot on when you ask for "A good multivariate model with PROVEN predictive power (to predict ALL previous episodes of climate change) would help". Garnaut  is no more capable of doing that than the entire climate science fraternity, not one of whom has ever published the results of such a model, for the very good reason that they would disprove their total belief system. Do contact me for my paper demonstrating that (tcurtin at bigblue dot net dot au)

     
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