Profile picture
Jonathan Koomey @jgkoomey
, 18 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
@ScipioAcheronus The highest level argument is that warming of 3+ C undercuts the environmental underpinnings of the economy in ways that are unpredictable with precision but predictably big. Economists assume that growth can continue with warming, but it's an assumption, not a fact.
@ScipioAcheronus Those BAU scenarios with 2-3% growth in real GDP over the next century simply ASSUME that this can happen with warming, but it's not based on the reality of how warming will affect the environmental underpinnings of economic growth.
@ScipioAcheronus Consider the wildfires we just experienced in CA. The economic models simply can't predict these kinds of extreme events with precision, but it's the extremes that are the hardest to adapt to and the most difficult to predict.
@ScipioAcheronus Part of the problem is that economic modelers think that with enough $, graduate students, time, and coffee that they can predict the future of the economy with precision, but that's just not true. Hard to get them to accept this reality, but they need to face it.
@ScipioAcheronus A key article that talks about lack of structural constancy in econ systems: Scher, Irene, and Jonathan G. Koomey. 2011. "Is Accurate Forecasting of Economic Systems Possible?" Climatic Change. vol. 104, no. 3-4. February. pp. 473-479. […]
@ScipioAcheronus More general discussion: Koomey, Jonathan G., Paul Craig, Ashok Gadgil, and David Lorenzetti. 2003. "Improving long-range energy modeling: A plea for historical retrospectives." The Energy Journal (also LBNL-52448). vol. 24, no. 4. October. pp. 75-92. […]
@ScipioAcheronus Ch4 in Cold Cash, Cool Climate: Science-based Advice for Ecological Entrepreneurs sums up all the reasons why I think predicting the future of economic systems is impossible:…
@ScipioAcheronus For a really deep dive, see DeCanio, Stephen J. 2003. Economic Models of Climate Change: A Critique. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave-Macmillan. []
@ScipioAcheronus A pertinent quotation from DeCanio's book, which describes the the illusory precision of most economic models. DeCanio is an emeritus professor in economics from UCSB, + his critique is firmly rooted in economic theory. His book has mostly been ignored by econ modelers, however.
@ScipioAcheronus Also useful: Ackerman, Frank , Stephen J. DeCanio, Richard B. Howarth, and Kristen Sheeran. 2009. "Limitations of Integrated Assessment Models of Climate Change." Climatic Change. vol. 95, no. 3-4. August. pp. 297-315. […]
@ScipioAcheronus Also relevant: Rosen, Richard A., and Edeltraud Guenther. 2015. "The economics of mitigating climate change: What can we know?" Technological Forecasting and Social Change. vol. 91, no. 0. 2//. pp. 93-106. […]
@ScipioAcheronus Another inside critique: Pindyck, Robert S. 2017. "The Use and Misuse of Models for Climate Policy." Review of Environmental Economics and Policy. vol. 11, no. 1. pp. 100-114. […]
@ScipioAcheronus And if you're wondering what we CAN do with models to assess options for reducing emissions, see Koomey, Jonathan. 2013. "Moving Beyond Benefit-Cost Analysis of Climate Change." Environmental Research Letters. vol. 8, no. 4. December 2. […]
@ScipioAcheronus To wrap it all up, I like this timeless quotation from EF Schumacher.
@ScipioAcheronus A thread offshoot reminded my of this really important article: Moore, Frances C., and Delavane B. Diaz. 2015. "Temperature impacts on economic growth warrant stringent mitigation policy." Nature Clim. Change. vol. 5, no. 2. 02//print. pp. 127-131.…
@ScipioAcheronus Moore and Diaz show that minor and sensible changes to the assumptions built into the damage functions of IAMs have huge effects on what C prices are justified. The damage functions are where the bodies (I mean assumptions) are buried, and it's not a pretty sight.
@ScipioAcheronus Full disclosure, @ClimateFran was my student when I was a visiting professor at Yale in 2009 and moved to Stanford to do her Ph.D. in part at my urging (and no doubt for many other great reasons).
@ScipioAcheronus @threadreaderapp please unroll this thread
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Jonathan Koomey
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!