During the pandemic (in 2020) in most places around the world expressed public trust in science increased dramatically from 2018 (but not Central Asia/Russia and Sub-Saharan Africa), both in general & within regions
Climate cost-benefit analyses are going to look very different when the question is not from below: “what bad things happens when we exceed 1.5C?” But instead, from above: “what benefits will we see if we return to 1.5C?”
What happens if the world warms another 0.4C (from 1.1C today to 1.5C within a decade or so) and the world looks a lot like it does today?
Future temperature targets offer the political asset of uncertain impacts
Once those targets are exceeded that uncertainty goes away
The 1970s global average surface temperatures were about 1C less than today … no one I am aware of is making the case that the climate of the 1970s is one we should try to return to (for obvious reasons, 1970s were a decade of many global extremes)
I'm lecturing in class today on this brilliant paper by Mike Hulme
"Climate reductionism is the means by which the knowledge claims of the climate modelers are transferred, by proximity as it were, to the putative knowledge claims of the social, economic, and political analysts"
Hulme observes, correctly, that climate reductionism can be found in the scenarios of the IPCC which fix society and vary climate ... this is common in the climate impacts literature (eg, when adaptation is ignored)
We see climate reductionism in the IPCC15 report where societal impacts of 1.5C are compared to 2C (as reported yesterday by NYT below)
Little known is that almost all of these differences in impacts occur under scenarios that ignore human adaptation ... as if
Why are climate scientists so mad at me?
Here's one answer
For almost 30 yrs I've been writing abt the conflicts between (a) the special interests of the climate science community and (b) the broader social responsibilities of this community
With the IEA now projecting a near-term emissions trajectory <RCP4.5 I've been taking a peek at the gatekeeping on RCP8.5 debates over recent years
A rich vein to explore
Really remarkable public evidence of how scientific progress gets stunted by a few powerful people
Despite @bradplumer recognizing implausibility of RCP8.5 in 2017 (props!) the NYT has apparently never written anything critical about the misuse of the scenario (my NYT search finds only 6 articles that explicitly mention RCP8.5 or "RCP 8.5")
With powerful figures Mann & Hayhoe (they weren't alone) warning critique of RCP8.5 is "denial," no wonder it has taken so long for researchers and journalists to deem its discussion to be legitimate
The new UK Sports Councils report is a nice ink blot for passionate advocates on the far sides of the debate (ie, the blanket exclusion vs blanket inclusion folks), but it mostly just restates where the issue is currently at