, 33 tweets, 45 min read Read on Twitter
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy I reviewed the thread from the beginning so I can respond most comprehensively. Let's begin by reviewing what I said earlier in the thread.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy Neither costs nor benefits can be estimated accurately decades hence, so the world "optimal" is stretched beyond what any reasonable person would consider reasonable.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy Economic systems are not the same as physical systems, but economists mistakenly seem to think they are. Scher, I, and J G. Koomey. 2011. "Is Accurate Forecasting of Economic Systems Possible?" Climatic Change. vol. 104, no. 3-4. February. pp. 473-479. link.springer.com/article/10.100…
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy I explore these issues more in Ch4 of Koomey, Jonathan G. 2012. Cold Cash, Cool Climate: Science-Based Advice for Ecological Entrepreneurs. Burlingame, CA: Analytics Press. [amzn.to/2eiZE2C ]
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy I present the implications of this line of thinking here: Koomey, Jonathan. 2013. "Moving Beyond Benefit-Cost Analysis of Climate Change." Environmental Research Letters. vol. 8, no. 4. December 2. [iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/4/… …]
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy A related article that I forgot to reference earlier: Koomey, Jonathan. 2002. "From My Perspective: Avoiding "The Big Mistake" in Forecasting Technology Adoption." Technological Forecasting and Social Change. vol. 69, no. 5. June. pp. 511-518. [enduse.lbl.gov/Info/LBNL-4538…]
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy Alain then asked what the significance of "structural constancy" is for climate change. Fair enough. I responded
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy Alain then asked me to explain that in simple terms, and invoked complexity as the reason for the inability to predict the future with accuracy. This is the 2nd instance of him trying to put words in my mouth.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy I explained that complexity isn't the same thing as structural inconstancy. He replied that we don't need the concept of structural inconstancy to conclude we can't predict with accuracy.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy I replied by saying, in essence: read the articles, and that people who understand modeling deeply understand this concept.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy Then Alain changed the subject again, conflating my statement about "people who understand modeling deeply" with how many instances of that exact phrase (structural inconstancy) appear in the literature.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy He also put words in my mouth for the 3rd time by conflating "people who understand modeling deeply" with the phrase "mainstream concept", then implied that structural inconstancy was instead a "niche concept".
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy Bill correctly replied that mainstream economic modeling is problematic in many ways.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy Bill also correctly pointed out the mistake of conflating "those who understand modeling deeply" with "mainstream concept".
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy One lesson from this exchange is that people interested in a concept should read tweets from experts about it and then read the actual articles supporting the statements.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy Don't put words in people's mouths, and don't dismiss concepts after demonstrating that you haven't put in the time to actually understand those concepts. Reading headlines doesn't cut it. Also, people's time is valuable, and you shouldn't waste it with trolling.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy In terms of people who understand modeling deeply, I am referring to the community of scholars who have been working on flaws in economic modeling for decades, not the mainstream modelers, who mostly have ignored these critiques for reasons that are unclear.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy I started working on energy forecasting in the mid 1980s. I founded and led the energy forecasting group at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (1991-2003). I've published many articles on this topic, and have been thinking about these issues for three decades.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy My group at LBNL was one of the few in the 1990s outside of EIA to get the EIA NEMS model up and running (after my pal Chris Marnay fished an old IBM mainframe out of a dumpster and got it running).
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy I recite this history not as an argument from authority but as an argument for why anyone who cares about these issues should at least engage with the statements I'm making in a serious way.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy Now let's turn to the community of scholars who understand the flaws in economic models. Some names, first, then I'll cite references.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy Emeritus prof. Stephen Decanio (UCSB), Richard Rosen (Tellus), Prof Rich Howarth (Dartmouth), @FrankAckerman12, Alan Sanstad (LBNL), Prof Eban Goodstein, Emeritus prof Richard Norgaard (UCB), are some of the top folks.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy @FrankAckerman12 One of the classics: DeCanio, Stephen J. 2003. Economic Models of Climate Change: A Critique. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave-Macmillan. [amzn.to/1wvkvDu]
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy @FrankAckerman12 A key reference: 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. [link.springer.com/article/10.100…]
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy @FrankAckerman12 I forgot about @EconSkip! Laitner, J A. "Skip", S J. Decanio, J G. Koomey, and A H. Sanstad. 2003. "Room for Improvement: Increasing the Value of Energy Modeling for Policy Analysis." Utilities Policy (also LBNL-50627). vol. 11, no. 2. June. pp. 87-94. sciencedirect.com/science/articl…
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy @FrankAckerman12 @EconSkip A barn burner of an article: 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. [sciencedirect.com/science/articl…]
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy @FrankAckerman12 @EconSkip I also forgot about Pindyck! 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. [dx.doi.org/10.1093/reep/r…]
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy @FrankAckerman12 @EconSkip And this one: Pindyck, Robert S. 2013. "Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us?" Journal of Economic Literature. vol. 51, no. 3. pp. 860-72. [aeaweb.org/articles?id=10…]
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy @FrankAckerman12 @EconSkip A related article that brings together top down and bottom up modeling in a revealing way. Sanstad, A H., S DeCanio, G Boyd, and J G. Koomey. 2001. "Estimating bounds on the economy-wide effects of the CEF policy scenarios." Energy Policy. v. 29, no. 14. Nov.. pp. 1299-1312.
@bbaue @Alain_Deckers @RThonig @jasonhickel @cognitivepolicy @FrankAckerman12 @EconSkip Another related article, on discount rates: Howarth, R B. 2011. "Chapter 23: Intergenerational Justice." In The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society. Edited by J. S. Dryzek, R. B. Norgaard and D. Schlosberg. Oxford, UK: Oxford U Press. pp. 338-352.
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