The key to understanding the greenhouse effect is that it is a problem of energy flows, not of energy per se. a zeroth order thermodynamical model in which there are two large (in thermo speak infinite) heat baths, the sun @ 6000 K and space at 3 K. The earth, stuck between these monsters is too small to be a heat bath is better though of as a heat engine, but a very lazy one producing no work on the external surroundings and therefore having to reject an equal amount of heat to space as it absorbs from the sun.
If the heat engine slows down because some thermal radiation is blocked by greenhouse gases, other parts of the spectrum have to heat up to compensate.
Monday, February 08, 2016
Saturday, February 06, 2016
The carbon-tax effort has also struggled to attract support from progressives and Democrats, who are concerned that the proposal isn’t really “revenue-neutral.” The latest news from the Evergreen State suggests that this effort may well be doomed:
[T]he Washington State Democratic Party [has gone] on record as opposed to CarbonWA’s I-732, joining the Washington State Labor Council and [the Washington Council of Machinists] in the no camp. I-732 is a complex tax swap proposal that would levy a carbon tax while also reducing sales and business & occupation taxes.
CarbonWA and other I-732 proponents contend that their tax swap is “revenue neutral” (meaning it would not increase or decrease state revenue). Nonpartisan legislative staff and the Department of Revenue don’t agree. According to DOR’s calculations, I-732 would reduce revenue by nearly $1 billion over the next four years....
CarbonWA’s endorsements page doesn’t list a single organization affiliated with the Republican Party or active in the conservative movement. And, as even CarbonWA has admitted, polling suggests right-leaning voters in Washington are incredibly hostile to the idea of levying a carbon tax.
I'm no expert in Washington state politics, but the Democratic Party is against it as not being truly revenue neutral, major unions are against, and no Republican leadership is for it. You're not going around these folks and getting a majority of the grassroots.
I think this thing is on the ballot and can't be changed. So support it and maybe some fluke will get it through, and if not then back to the drawing board.
Tom Steyer and friends have an alternate proposal for WA that I've heard about, but I suspect they're not going to get something on the same ballot. Maybe it'll be their turn next.
Posted by Brian at 11:52 PM
Monday, February 01, 2016
While Trump may well take Iowa tomorrow, it's widely acknowledged that Ted Cruz has the strongest grass-roots level of organization among conservative evangelicals and other conservatives, in contrast to Marco Rubio's weak organization that relies on media rather than putting people in the field. I'm not absolutely convinced that Rubio's strategy is wrong for this election, but the election's not the only thing that's in play.
Posted by Brian at 2:09 AM
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Given the recent initiation of criminal prosecution against the people who made the defamatory video about Planned Parenthood, I thought I'd quote what journalism says about undercover journalism:
Undercover reporting can be a powerful tool, but it’s one to be used cautiously: against only the most important targets, and even then only when accompanied by solid traditional reporting.And Society for Professional Journalists:
Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information unless traditional, open methods will not yield information vital to the public.So they're saying do it rarely, only when necessary, and do it well.
The prosecution against the undercover activists isn't for doing it badly, it's for doing it at all. It would apply equally to many groundbreaking investigations by true undercover journalists. And the line between journalist and activist is a slippery one that maybe doesn't matter (e.g., the people exposing animal cruelty at factory farms).
As a practical matter I don't see a good way to modify the law to say "don't use fake identification unless you're working undercover." That's where prosecutorial discretion comes into play. The grand jury has no role in that discretion and district attorney seemed to ignore her responsibility.
This indictment will be used to keep corporate crimes hidden. Go after these people for doing a bad job via defamation suits instead, but don't ban undercover operations.
Posted by Brian at 2:53 AM
Thursday, January 28, 2016
1. Should RR put up a donation box? After all income is required for trips to AGU, gifts for Ms. Rabett so she allows Eli to go to AGU and housing at AGU. The holes that the Rabett has been hutching up in San Francisco, are, to put it mildly, very 1950s motelish. Not quite rent by the hour but not . . .
2. Or should RR take advertising, which, since it requires that readers actually click on something is not a wealth generating activity either as Eli judges that his Rabett Run Readers are as cheap as he is. Sou appears to make a buck or two from this, but really, how low can Eli and Brian and John sink?
3. All in favor Eli's handing the keys over to Brian and slinking into the twittering sunset raise your paws. You will be ignored.
4. Anybunny interested in a book of RR's best takes showing how Eli was there before there was? Self publishing is a thing these days and one can pray for an Amazon review by George Taki
Posted by EliRabett at 11:50 PM
An easy blog post when Pat Michaels keeps reposting the same old thing, every time a new global temperature is associated with El Niño, or simply when the year after a new record happens to be slightly colder than the previous year. It's a recipe for cooking him, dating back to my early blog years of 2006:
How to cook Tim Blair, Andrew Bolt, and Patrick Michaels
1. Place Blair, Bolt, and Michaels in a large, water-filled pot equipped with a step ladder they can use to escape at any time. Set initial water temperature at average levels.
BLAIR/BOLT/MICHAELS: We're quite comfortable, thank you!!
2. Increase temperature to an unambigous, new historic high.
BLAIR/BOLT/MICHAELS: No big deal! Not going to last!
MICHAELS: Want to bet it won't be this warm again?
3. Drop temperature back down, but still far above average.
BLAIR/BOLT/MICHAELS: See!! Vindication!! There is no potboiler warming! Not a problem!
4. Gradually increase temperature to near or above the historic high.
BLAIR/BOLT/MICHAELS: We deny it's above the historic high! Deny it!
MICHAELS: And, uh, the bet offer is withdrawn.
5. Keep temperature very high, but a tiny bit below Step 4.
BLAIR/BOLT/MICHAELS: The science behind potboiler warming is bogus, and we'll stay here for as long as it takes to prove it!
BLAIR: I'm not feeling hot - crank it up, people!
BOLT: Me neither!
6. Repeat Steps 2 through 5 until done. Don't worry, they won't use the step ladder to get out. Process will be sped by the fact that their brains were already cooked.
Please, please, please, may some denialist point out to me that we haven't yet repeated Step 2 - just be prepared to put your money where your mouth is about what will happen in the near future.
(Hat tip: Deltoid.)
UPDATE [from 2006]: From RealClimate:
Most bizarre new contrarian claim:So we have repeated steps 2 through 5, multiple times.
"Global warming stopped in 1998".
By the same logic, it also stopped in 1973, 1983, and 1990 (only it didn't)
UPDATE 2016: you'd think the Wall Street Journal would want to publish something original, but maybe they're hard up for content.
Posted by Brian at 1:17 AM
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Eli has been going back through the Rabett Run archives fishing out some old drafts and finding this and that. Here is one of the thats.
THE USE AND MISUSE OF MODELS FOR CLIMATE POLICY * by Robert S. Pindyck
In a recent article, I argued that integrated assessment models (IAMs) “have crucial flaws that make them close to useless as tools for policy analysis.” In fact, I would argue that calling these models “close to useless” is generous: IAM-based analyses of climate policy create a perception of knowledge and precision that is illusory, and can fool policy-makers into thinking that the forecasts the models generate have some kind of scientific legitimacy. IAMs can be misleading – and are inappropriate – as guides for policy, and yet they have been used by the government to estimate the social cost of carbon (SCC) and evaluate tax and abatement policies.Pindyck's is indeed an argument for ignorance. He is quite pessimistic that anybunny, economist or climate scientist knows anything, from discount rate to climate sensitivity to damage functions. Choice of discount rate, of course can yield any answer the mythical anybunny might wish, but according to Pindyke it is worse because even probability distributions for any of these are improbable. Thus IAM's become computer driven fantasy
So what to do. Well, really really bad outcomes are so really bad that it doesn't matter what discount rate you chose if you lose the economy. Pindyck is an economist.
So Pindyck's idea is get a bunch of wise heads together and figure out what the most probable really really bad thing that might happen is and figure out how bad it really would be.
I have argued that the problem is somewhat simplified by the fact that what matters for policy is the possibility of a catastrophic climate outcome. How probable is such an outcome (or set of outcomes), and how bad would they be? And by how much would emissions have to be reduced to avoid these outcomes? I have argued that the best we can do at this point is come up with plausible answers to these questions, perhaps relying at least in part on consensus numbers supplied by climate scientists and environmental economists. This kind of analysis would be simple, transparent, and easy-to-understand. It might not inspire the kind of awe and sense of scientific legitimacy conveyed by a large-scale IAM, but that is exactly the point. It would draw back the curtain and clarify our beliefs about climate change and its impact.Discuss
Posted by EliRabett at 12:10 AM