But What About Positive Feedbacks?

Just what we need — in order to solve a problem greatly exaggerated by computer models that likely will prove to have little predictive ability — we are asked to adopt a “solution” whose costs are just forty cents a day per person.  That’s right — global warming averted for 40 cents a day.  And how do we know the costs will be low?  A computer model of course, from the EPA, which says the economic impact of substantially raising energy prices will be low.

Update: I found the trick.  Apparently the model gets a 50% reduction in greenhouse gasses in the US with a trivial (e.g. 25-cent per gallon of gas, 3-cent per kwh of electricity) affect on prices.  See updates to this post.  Wow, that must be a really high sensitivity of output to prices.  Where have we heard issues about overly high sensitivity assumptions in computer models before?

  • sean

    It was a simple typograpical error. What the meant to put in the model was 3x more for gas and electricity at $0.25 per kilowatt hour.

  • ADiff

    Perhaps language should be included in such bills to the effect that once those market costs were reached the effect of the legislation would automatically cease. So we pass the APA with provision for an independent auditing authority reporting on these, and once these reached the predicted maximums, the bill’s application ended.

    What does anyone figure the chances are they’d be willing to ‘put their money where their mouths are’?

  • I have designed and tested computer models professionally and I am always amazed at the reverence the non knowledgeable hold them in.

    They cannot do anything that a man and a spiral notebook can’t do, they just do it faster, somehow by running the calculations through a model holy water is sprinkled on them.

    There are three things you don’t want to see being made sausages, laws, and computer models. If you do you will never trust them.

    Somehow the technically illiterate think that the more complicated a model is the MORE likely it is to be right when the exact opposite is true. The more complicated it is the LESS LIKELY it is to be right.

    The sensitivity numbers are obviously pulled out of someones A**. [Just like the CO2 sensitivity ?]

  • Waldopoor

    A whole 40 cents a day per family. Right, now I see where all the concern over restructuring the economy comes from.

  • LoneSnark

    This seems like a lucky break to me. Who knew that what makes climate alarmists doomsayers would also make them unambitious?

    It is as if what made Hitler want to kill the Jews also made him want to be nothing more than mayor of a jewless town in Bavaria.

  • Pat Moffitt

    A great overview at Scientific American about the ongoing impacts of global warming disrupting current food production. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=experts-warn-climate-change-disrupts-agriculture. Never said how this could be true given the factd wheat production per hectare has increased almost tenfold in the last sixty years in the developing world and US corn production has increased from 30 bushels per acre in 1900 to 130 in 2004.

    Amazingly, the researchers say that by spending $7Bn a year Globally on research, irrigation and training we can adapt to the increasing temperatures. As such I will stipulate to an impact of global warming and a world wide annual bill of $7Bn per year to go to agriculture research if these people take the money, go away and never mention CO2 or green again.

  • Neo

    The amount seems so small that John Kerry’s wife should pay for us all.

  • The folks at the Treasury who devise new taxes should be asked to comment on these proposals. In Britain, it has always been possible to put a few more pence tax on gasoline without reducing demand. That is because demand in highly inelastic with respect to price. For this very reason, reducing carbon emissions by taxation is likely to be very painful financially for those dependent on cars for work, or who like to avoid hypothermia in winter.