Is Climate Change the “Defining Challenge of Our Age”? Part 2 of 3

Part II: Where does global warming rank among future risks to public health?

challenges_of_civilization

Guest essay by Indur M. Goklany

In Part 1, we saw that at present climate change is responsible for less than 0.3% of the global death toll. At least 12 other factors related to food, nutrition and the environment contribute more. All this, despite using the World Health Organization’s scientifically suspect estimates of the present-day death toll “attributable” to climate change,

Here I will examine whether climate change is likely to be the most important global public health problem if not today, at least in the foreseeable future.

This examination draws upon results generated by researchers who are prominent contributors to the IPCC consensus view of climate change.  I do this despite the tendency of their analyses to overstate the net negative impacts of climate change as detailed, for instance, here, here and here.

Specifically, I will use estimates of the global impacts of climate change from the British-government sponsored “Fast Track Assessments” (FTAs) which have been published in the peer reviewed literature. Significantly, they share many authors with the IPCC’s latest assessment. For example, the lead author of the FTA’s study on agricultural and hunger impacts is Professor Martin Parry, the Co-Chairman of the IPCC Work Group 2 during the preparation of the IPCC’s latest (2007) assessment.  This Work Group was responsible for the volume of the IPCC report that deals with impacts, vulnerability and adaptation.

I will consider “the foreseeable future” to extend to 2085 since the FTAs purport to provide estimates for that date, despite reservations.  In fact, a paper commissioned for the Stern Review (p.74) noted that “changes in socioeconomic systems cannot be projected semi-realistically for more than 5-10 years at a time.” [Despite this caution, Stern's climate change analysis extended to at least 2200.]

In the following figure, using mortality statistics from the WHO, I have converted the FTAs’ estimates of the populations at risk for hunger, malaria, and coastal flooding into annual mortality. Details of the methodology are provided here.

In this figure, the left-most bar shows cumulative global mortality for the three risk categories in 1990 (the baseline year used in the FTAs). The four “stacked” bars on the right provide mortality estimates projected for 2085 for each of the four main IPCC scenarios. These scenarios are arranged from the warmest on the left (for the so-called A1FI scenario which is projected to increase the average global temperature by 4.0°C as indicated by the number below the stacked bar) to the coolest on the right (for the B1 scenario; projected temperature increase of 2.1°C).  Each stacked bar gives estimates of the additional global mortality due to climate change on the top, and that due to other non-climate change-related factors on the bottom. The entire bar gives the total global mortality estimate.

To keep the figure simple, I only show estimates for the maximum (upper bound) estimates of the mortality due to climate change for the three risk factors under consideration.

This figure shows that climate change’s maximum estimated contribution to mortality from hunger, malaria and coastal flooding in 2085 will vary from 4%-10%, depending on the scenario.

In the next figure I show the global population at risk (PAR) of water stress for the base year (1990) and 2085 for the four scenarios.

A population is deemed to be at risk if available water supplies fall below 1,000 cubic meters per capita per year.

For 2085, two bars are shown for each scenario. The left bar shows the net change in the population at risk due to climate change alone, while the right bar shows the total population at risk after accounting for both climate change and non-climate-change related factors. The vertical lines, where they exist, indicate the “spread” in projections of the additional PAR due to climate change.

This figure shows that climate change reduces the population at risk of water stress! This is because global warming will decrease rainfall in some areas but serendipitously increase it in other, but more populated, areas.

The figure also suggests that the warmest scenario would result in the greatest reduction in net population at risk.

[Remarkably, both the IPCC's Summary for Policy Makers and the original source were reticent to explicitly point out that climate change might reduce the net population at risk for water stress. See here and here (pages 12-14 or 1034-1036).].  Thus, through the foreseeable future (very optimistically 2085), other factors will continue to outweigh climate change with respect to human welfare as characterized by (a) mortality for hunger, malaria and coastal flooding, and (b) population at risk for waters stress.

In the next post in this series, I will look at a couple of ecological indicators to determine whether climate change may over the “foreseeable future” be the most important problem from the ecological perspective, if not, as we saw here, from the public health perspective.

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64 thoughts on “Is Climate Change the “Defining Challenge of Our Age”? Part 2 of 3

  1. Important in all this is how we got here, to the 21st Century with a population far in excess of what the Earth supported in non-Industrial society.
    The drivers in the extra population support are energy, medicine and pesticides.
    All 3 are currently near peak output or effectiveness, or nearing peak.
    While we can survive climate change given ample energy, effective medicines and pesticides (you can grow food indoors, get water from desalination) the Earth’s energy reserves are finite in terms of how much population it can support.
    Agendas aside, there are still forces in the world that seek to exert total control, as it always was. That is mankinds biggest failure. We have not learned to live with in our means, and the means to endless expansion are finite.
    The adversity of resouce exhaustion outwieghs, but is subservient to, agenda.
    Climate change has found man before, it will find us again should we fail to change.
    We cannot control the Sun, nor can we control Climate.
    AGW is just another agenda.

  2. Climate change is the “defining challenge” or “defining enabler” of nearly ANY age if you look back in history. Homo Sapien appeared at about the time of the start of the last period of glaciation. We developed civilization and agriculture during the Holocene Optimum. The Roman Empire expanded during the Roman Warm Period. An eruption of Krakatoa in 535 probably led to the Dark Ages. The Medieval Warm Period brought the Renaissance. The Little Ice Age brought the American and French revolutions.

    Our species has not faced a turn from interglacial to glacial before. The impact will be dramatic.

    Also, we are but a single volcanic eruption away from mayhem. We basically live “hand to mouth” as a people on this planet. We do not have enough food stored, collectively, to last us through a widespread failed harvest. People around the globe are dependent on food produced in a relatively small area of the planet’s surface. Should we have a repeat of a Krakatoa, there is a good possibility of a failed grain harvest in the US Midwest and Eastern European Steppes.

    Unlike a hundred years ago when grain markets were local, today the markets are global. A failed harvest in the US will inflate food prices globally as people attempt to secure whatever supply is available from whatever source. As they bid the prices of these foods up, they will rise out of reach for many. So even areas where the harvest is abundant may find hunger as food is priced out of the reach of many residents or shipped elsewhere to the highest bidder.

    Climate always has and probably always will be THE defining challenge of the human existence. We have prospered in this interglacial with its temperate climate, long growing seasons, abundance of food, and access to resources. How we will fare with shorter seasons, summer frosts, resources under a mile of ice, etc. remains to be seen.

  3. Dr. Goklany,
    I hope you obtain a large readership for this material. These reports show a massive amount of work. I especially applaud the many comments pointing out the problems of using the numbers – the reservations you mention.

    I notice you use the term “climate change” but like the multitude of US State Climate Profiles

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/state_climate_profiles.html

    you only consider the several warming scenarios. While your main argument would likely still hold if the world cooled by 4 degrees C., I have read that many think cooling would be more problematic than warming.

    I am looking forward to your ecological perspective.

  4. Looking at Table 1. of the methodology it seems that GDP per capita declines with population growth and a cooling scenario. This does seem gloomy as third world per capita income is now rising only to be reversed if a cooling planet is achieved.
    Just as well our capacity to control planetary temperature is limited.

  5. In the first chart, isn’t the only difference between the four stacked bars the level of warming? If that’s the case surely all the differences in the bars is down to climate change?

  6. Surely the population of the planet is a reflection only of it’s health. Like natural climate variation we will see natural population variation based on how positively we view the future. Temperature and sea level rises, catastrophic weather and droughts will not happen overnight, if it ever happens the population will adjust to match the conditions. The planet is incredibly healthy at the moment and we will see further population rises to reflect that especially as it continues to be so. It will stop when wealth has spread to those who produce large families to support them in old age (or when we can’t grow enough food due to climate “catastrophe”.

  7. Only a bureaucrat living on a planet where 70% of the surface
    is water, would make such a stupid assertion. This is at best
    a simple engineering problem. Even Rome had a solution
    2500 years ago. California put in an aqueduct, and when
    it is finally insufficient, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco
    can all desalinate. These people think they live in a static
    world, the climate never changes, and if there is not enough
    fresh water we’ll all just die. I’m sorry, but it’s time for these
    people to get real jobs!

  8. Good work, Mr. Goklany. Any figures coming out of an official New Labour government department have to be treated as suspect. Their track record for producing honest, unbiased information is poor to none existant. It doesn’t surprise me that any contra-indication of adverse climate change has been omitted. After all, it isn’t in N(EU) Labour’s interests (or their prospective Conservative successors apparently) to have us discover that green taxes and carbon credits are nothing short of fraudulent.

    At the moment the UK media and government are getting their collective knickers in a twist, not on climate change but on the figures predicting mass deaths from a swine flu pandemic. Another day, another alarmist front page story.

    I think I’m detecting a pattern here…

  9. We don’t know if the swine flu is going to be a pandemic any more than we know that the Sun will stay out to lunch for X number of years and freeze our tootsies off.
    Did you know, for instance, that West Nile Virus can exist quite well and potently in very cold climates?
    We do know that currently there is a virus and there is a global cooldown in progress.
    I can tell you that if you inadvertantly drive the wrong way on the freeway, there won’t be enough time for you to react properly. That requires paying attention at all steps along the way.
    Ooh, look, a huge meteor! Pretty!

  10. .
    >>How can local (African for example) farmers compete with
    >>EU subsidies where imported food is cheaper than locally
    >>grown food?

    Simple – they subsidise their own food prices. What, they cannot, you say?

    Well the full answer is that Africa is poor and cannot subside food prices, but that is only so because of political and social corruption, and the fact that Africans cannot/will not work as hard or efficiently as Westerners.

    By rights Africa should be the richest continent in the world, as it has every resource possible. It has also has had self-determination for thousands of years prior to the Empire and 50 years post the Empire. Yet Africa still cannot feed itself, let alone produce wealth.

    And let us not fall into the Liberal trap of saying the Empire held Africa back. The Empire built nearly all of the infrastructure that Africa still uses today, plus installed tried and trusted political and social management structures, so that Africa might prosper.

    However – under the Empire, Rhodesia used to feed much of Africa, while under local rule it survives on hand-outs from the UN World Food Program.

    The plight of Africa in NOT the West’s problem, it is an African problem.

  11. Fine article, Indur. I look forward to Part III.

    And a very good post, crosspatch (23:04:53). [My only quibble: Krakatoa erupted in the 1800's].

    I’m also concerned that the U.S. has depleted its food reserves. I remember maybe 25 – 35 years ago, the Dep’t. of Agriculture drew down its stocks of cheese, grain and other foods, giving them to non-profits, to be handed out. I still remember the recipients’ complaints about the quality of the rock hard [but indestructible and edible] free cheese by the recipients. I guess they would have preferred Big Macs.

    It is always a good idea to have plenty of food in reserve. Because the universe issues no guarantees.

  12. “ralph ellis (03:31:13) :

    .
    >>How can local (African for example) farmers compete with
    >>EU subsidies where imported food is cheaper than locally
    >>grown food?

    Simple – they subsidise their own food prices. What, they cannot, you say?

    Well the full answer is that Africa is poor and cannot subside food prices, but that is only so because of political and social corruption, and the fact that Africans cannot/will not work as hard or efficiently as Westerners.

    By rights Africa should be the richest continent in the world, as it has every resource possible. It has also has had self-determination for thousands of years prior to the Empire and 50 years post the Empire. Yet Africa still cannot feed itself, let alone produce wealth.

    And let us not fall into the Liberal trap of saying the Empire held Africa back. The Empire built nearly all of the infrastructure that Africa still uses today, plus installed tried and trusted political and social management structures, so that Africa might prosper.

    However – under the Empire, Rhodesia used to feed much of Africa, while under local rule it survives on hand-outs from the UN World Food Program.

    The plight of Africa in NOT the West’s problem, it is an African problem.”

    You raise some very good points however, Africa is a problem *created* largely by the “west”. African’s did not know what “borders” were until the whiteman arrived. The term “to draw a line in the sand” originated *IN* Africa and it was a white man who said it.

    Australia, *also* cannot compete with EU farmers with EU subsidies and, by your logic, that’s not a “western” problem either. What ignorance!

  13. Excerpt from today’s CCNet – enjoy the irony – China and India want climate $billions$ from you and me, Obama is the new GWBush according to Europe, British windmill maker shuts doors, and the Russians say Earth is cooling.

    An early Happy May Day to all enviro-lefties out there. May you all compel someone else to pay for your unhappy existence, and find the political means to tell everyone else how to live their lives.

    8^)

    *****************************

    CCNet 67/2009 – 30 April 2009 — Audiatur et altera pars

    CHINA, INDIA DEMAND TRANSFER OF CAP AND TRADE BILLIONS
    ——————————————————

    The Obama administration issued a mea culpa today on America’s role in causing climate change, in a move to get the major economies working together on a global warming treaty. The admission by Hillary Clinton at a two-day meeting of the world’s biggest polluters was intended to ease some of the obstacles towards a deal at UN talks in Copenhagen in December.
    –Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, 27 April 2009

    India today said it will not accept any cap on its development in the name of climate change. Developed countries simply can’t absolve of their historic responsibilities and talk about current emissions only.
    –Business Standard, 29 April 2009

    Developing countries called on industrialised countries to commit around 0.5-2% of their GDP to funding mitigation and adaptation measures in poor countries. Moreover, the idea of using revenue from emission allowance auctioning to do so was floated by China, India and Indonesia, among others.
    –EurActiv, 29 April 2009

    Developing countries generally insisted that industrialised countries should commit to cuts of at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.China insisted that it made no sense to talk about long-term targets for all parties before developed countries had agreed to such reductions.
    –EurActiv, 29 April 2009

    Rich countries, meanwhile, have been slow to come up with concrete proposals. The EU’s stance is that the bulk of such financing will have to come from the private sector and carbon markets, and the bloc is yet to commit concrete sums to aiding developing countries.
    –EurActiv, 29 April 2009

    International wind-turbine maker Vestas has announced that it will lay off 1900 employees including 600 in the UK. The news was well received by markets, with Vestas raising £700m in a Danish share issue the next day and announcing investments in Chinese plants. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper to make wind turbines in India or China, just like most manufactured goods. So forget about a glorious future of British windmill makers winning orders from around the globe.
    –Lewis Page, The Register, 29 April 2009

    “Predictions of global warming in the foreseeable future may not be justified.” This opinion was expressed today in an interview with Professor Lev Karlin – the director of the St. Petersburg Hydro-Meteorological University, a regional hub of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
    –ITAR-TASS, 28 April 2009

  14. Slightly O/T.

    http://joannenova.com.au/globalwarming/skeptics_handbook_2-0.pdf

    I’m sure there are a lot of non-scientific readers of this blog and, I suspect, their numbers are growing as AGW scepticism spreads. While they may not fully understand the graphs and jargon that appear on WUWT, this publication will introduce them to the basic facts of atmospheric CO2. It’s informative without being boring.

    It would help for them to understand why it is not CO2 that’s the enemy.

  15. There was an article in thescientific american many years ago that showed population curves versus prosperity. When nations reach a certain prosperity per capita, they stop reproducing and even start diminishing in numbers. It was evident that the solution was prosperity for all, and then the human population would stabilize and even start declining.

    I would go a further step. Suppose we reach the much expected and continually delayed commercial fusion goal. This will mean unlimited safe energy for the foreseeable future. At the same time, technology and robotics are growing in leaps and bounds making redundant more and more workers at low grade jobs.

    In the end, this future stable population will have to learn how to live without the puritan ethic and compulsion of a job. There will be enough food, produced by robots, and enough shelters and clothing, produced by robots, for everybody.

    The problem humanity will be facing will be a problem of occupation for the hoi polloi. One could take lessons from the adjustment of the feudal classes to unlimited leisure during the middle ages. Everybody will belong to the leisure class by then, if the world does not destroy itself in the AGW wars that will be sure to errupt once a real cap and trade takes off.

  16. As much as it pains me, I’m starting to hope that the alarmists are correct and that GHG is the elephant in the room where climate change is concerned.
    Come hell or high water, we will be implementing measures to control our emissions.
    We will just have to swallow the unpalatable consequences and fallout. If the ‘settled science’ is correct, then we are doing the right thing.

    Let us hope that the ‘settled science’ is correct because, otherwise, the best we will get is enormous pain for minimal gain.
    At worst and if the predictions of some, that we are at the beginning of a protracted cooling period, come true, then we are in deep trouble!

    The ‘Precautionary Principle’ is frequently cited as a wise mechanism to apply to balance risk with action. I agree but not when it is applied unilaterally!

    Now that Global Warming has transformed into Global Climate Change where are the figures from the WHO that show the likely effects of a possible Global Cooling?

    Where are the recent peer-reviewed studies and computer projections that must be factored into the ‘Precautionary Principle’ to include the possibility of Global Cooling? The last ones are nearly 40 years out of date!

    Dress it up however you like, but Climate Change means warming or cooling!

    Climate change has changed our pasts. Warming has improved our lot. Cooling has destroyed civilizations. The challenge we face will indeed define our future – Nature may take any fork in the climate road ahead. Why do we only see one?

  17. The West and East and North (Russia) have been involved in African spheres of influences since WW2 at least. Plenty of “aid” is tied up in contracts that are not beneficial to the country. War and corruption has been a perreniel problem. Empire had benefits and downsides.
    There is a touch of victim-hood status about some african leaders. But all politicians look to blame others for problems.
    IN UK and EU we see more and more how corruption in politicians can fester and grow. It is not a racial thing, nor especially cultural as we have seen corruption grow in our politicians. To do the right thing has been replaced by Do it if it is within the limits of the law. By no means the same thing!

  18. Pat (03:52:01) :
    African’s did not know what “borders” were until the whiteman arrived.

    That’s naiive. Africans had borders, but the borders were boundaries they recognized. Westerners redrew the borders in accordance to their whims when they carved Africa into colonies, which often ignored what had been the traditional borders. The Masai knew what constituted their traditional lands, as did the Hutus, Tutsis and all the others. The Zulu Empire was built on conquest. To argue that Africans were one big happy family sharing the continent without regard to borders until Westerners came along is fanciful revisionism.

  19. The UK Met Office has just issued it’s long range forecast for the summer.

    “Met Office forecasters said it was “odds-on for a barbecue summer” with warmer than average temperatures and near or below-average rainfall.

    And that will come as music to the ears of the millions that have chosen to holiday in the UK.

    Ewen McCallum, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “After two disappointingly wet summers, the signs are much more promising this year.

    “We can expect times when temperatures will be above 30C, something we hardly saw at all last year.”

    The Met Office said that while there may be showers, a repeat of the miserable summers of 2007 and 2008 is unlikely.”

    Are these “signs” from the same source that told the Met Office that we were in for a mild winter earlier this year? Should we buy in shrimp and fish for our barbies rather than chicken and sausages? I think we should be told…

    :0)

  20. Water stress??, Come on!!. Earth is 71% water!!. Is there around somebody who sells inverse osmosis membranes?, in case you are in a desert..but do you know that most of the rivers in the world send its water to the seas whithout being used at all?, do you know that only by using better technologies for irrigating lands for crops cultivation greatly improves its economy?
    And…last but not least, if GWRs. theories were to become a reality, increased temperatures, such as predicted, would originate a new world deluge!
    Let me tell you that most of the asparagus you eat in the USA were cultivated on deserts along the south american coast (deserts which, by the way, are what they are because of the COLD Humboldt´s current).
    This issue of the “Water Stress”it is but one more of the terrorist´s propaganda, intended and directed to fools and ignorant people, to scare them and drive them to where THEY want to take them: A Brave New World.

  21. Robert Bateman (23:01:02) :
    The drivers in the extra population support are energy, medicine and pesticides. All 3 are currently near peak output or effectiveness, or nearing peak.

    Based on what measure?

  22. Here we go again.

    “The UK is “odds on for a barbecue summer”, with no repeat of the washouts of the last two years, according to Met Office forecasters.

    Temperatures are likely to be warmer than average across the UK, topping 30C at times.

    Rainfall should be “near or below average” for the three months of summer, the forecasters say.

    However, they warn that heavy downpours cannot be ruled out.

    Chief meteorologist at the Met Office, Ewen McCallum, said a repeat of the wet summers of 2007 and 2008 is unlikely.

    “After two disappointingly wet summers the signs are much more promising this year,” he said.

    “We can expect times when temperatures will be above 30C, something we hardly saw at all last year.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8026668.stm

    Are these people sane? Here in NW London, it’s a grey sky and 15 degrees Celsius. The BBC weather site no longer displays temperatures. It uses colours, mainly green and orange and no key to interpret the temperatures. Is this a ruse to prevent the public taking them to task in October, because numbers were not declared?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/

  23. It is far better to have your neighbor think you are a fool than to open your mouth and prove it. Blame statements based on belief is the hallmark of a fool. Blame statements based on knowledge derived from serious objective study is the hallmark of wisdom. Ask yourself, is the statement I am about to make (IE, “its education, the Sun, CO2, no work ethic, poor parenting, liberals, conservatives, soot, corn for ethanol, whatever) based primarily on my belief? Or have I spent the time necessary to study the issue, (IE its history, research, observation, objectiveness, etc)? To be sure, if I do the former, learning will not occur thus there is no risk involved. If I do the latter, newly acquired information may force me to change my views, thus much risk is involved. Only timid people make statements based on beliefs. Courageous leaders risk learning something that has the potential to change their thinking.

  24. The trouble is that their PROPHET and their apprentices predicted high temperatures, big showers, gigantic hurricanes, etc, but, reality is telling themselves (because of the PDO and La Nina) that these ARE NOT GOING TO HAPPEND but instead drought, and nothing of the kind of an armaggedon, but drought as the one in the 1930´s and will probably affect much less because of irrigations developed in all these years.
    However they are prepared to blame (you won´t believe it) GLOBAL WARMING as the cause, and cry aloud that the world is about to end if we don´t stop burning fossil fuels.!!!!

  25. .
    >>You raise some very good points however, Africa is a
    >>problem *created* largely by the “west”. African’s did
    >>not know what “borders” were until the whiteman arrived.

    This is Liberal naivety in its extreme. Africa has always had borders – tribal borders – with border disputes and tribal wars the same as any other group of nation states. Besides, Africa has had self-determination for over 50 years, and if it were the utopian nirvana you appear to describe it could have formed a United States of Africa long ago. The reason it has not is that tribal animosities are as strong now as they were before the Empire. Indeed, it was the Empire that unified large parts of Africa, rather than the pre-Empire tribal societies.

    .

    >>Australia, *also* cannot compete with EU farmers with
    >>EU subsidies and, by your logic, that’s not a “western”
    >>problem either. What ignorance!

    I would dispute that statement. If you are talking about grain, the problem Australia has is climate, which is not so conducive to grain production as temperate Europe or America.

    However, if you are talking about wine, then Australia has all but decimated many of the European wine producing regions. Australian wine is now the biggest supplier of wine to the UK market.

    With regards to lamb, Aus and NZ between them control 85% of world lamb exports. I call that competing effectively.

    http://www.nzfarmersweekly.co.nz/article/5236.html

    What is the scale of African wine and lamb exports in comparison? And where do those small ‘African’ wine exports come from. Yes, precisely.

    .

  26. Good post Indur, I am looking forward to Part 3.

    Re: ralph ellis (03:31:13)
    Well stated sir, well stated.

  27. crosspatch (23:04:53) : “Our species has not faced a turn from interglacial to glacial before. The impact will be dramatic.”

    If our species has been around for 2 Ma, we most certainly have survived the transition from interglacial to glacial before.

    Perhaps not in our current numbers, nor as a civilized society per our modern condition, but we have survived a good portion of the Quaternary by adapting better than whatever hominid preceded us.

    As a species we might reasonably be called homo climaticus for our adaptive traits. AGW certainly argues against using homo sapiens.

  28. I’ll paraphrase something I read:

    Your ability to persuade somebody using logic and reason depends upon how much logic and reason were used to form their opinion.

    There are far greater problems in the world than warming. Let’s say the climate warms as predicted. Then what, Kansas City becomes as warm as Dallas? People seem to live OK in Dallas, so I’m sure Kansas City can cope with some warming. Is it really that bad if the northern plains have the same climate that the southern plains have now?

    Warmer means a longer growing season. Warmer means less home heating in winter, less energy and less emissions. The USA actually lowered it’s CO2 emissions after warmer winters earlier this decade but emissions bounced back after the last few winters.

    Stopping greenhouse gas emissions is just tilting at windmills. The air and water in this country are cleaner than a century ago. There more acres of forest. As our wealth increases, so does our ability and desire to clean up the environment.

    Fighting climate change is just nonsense. The very words are meaningless. The climate is supposed to change and our ability to stop it is limited to the amount that it’s man-made.

  29. Countries that embrace Capitalism create wealth, those who don’t are poor.

    Africa after the Imperial age embraced socialism and now suffer the consequences.

    Maybe the return of a new kind of Empire, based on constitutional law and order and capitalism can renew Africa once again.

    People are people and if given the right tools can do wonders no matter where they live. IMHO.

  30. That the AGW fear mongers are now calling their apocalyptic belief system ‘climate change’ proves how unimportant in the objective, fact based world, their hysteria is.
    To imply that the climate has been unchanging is as stupid as Mann’s hockey stick- iow, very.
    Do not even give the AGW fear machine the credibility they seek by letting them call AGW- which everyone sees as not happening- ‘climate change’ which is so generic, so undefinable, and even more non-falsifiable than most of the rest of AGW hype.

  31. crosspatch (23:04:53): “An eruption of Krakatoa in 535 probably led to the Dark Ages.”

    Smokey (03:31:43) : “And a very good post, crosspatch (23:04:53). [My only quibble: Krakatoa erupted in the 1800's].”

    The fine point, fellas: The two events are related. The Sunda Caldera set off in 535 (estimated, possibly 416). Krakatoa was a relatively small volcano that arose in what was left in the Sunda Caldera. The best known eruption of Krakatoa was in 1883, but it also set off in 1680. David Keys’ excellently researched book, Catastrophe, chronicles the worldwide social upheaval in the wake of the Sunda event ostensibly in 535 (including the conditions that led to the establishment of Islam and the collapse of several civilizations in Central and South America).

  32. Dr. Goklany, thank you for the extensive research into U.N.-defined global problems and the various climate change scenarios — mostly warming — that involve false claims. I am grateful to Anthony for bringing your research and publications to us and have ordered two of your books for further reading.

    Something rankles, however, and it is the global world view, the envision-for-everyone, analyze-for-everyone, speak-for-everyone perspective that most economists-scientists coming from your background take. One quote: “Specifically, climate change is easily outranked by threats such as hunger, malnutrition and other nutrition-related problems, lack of access to safe water and sanitation, indoor air pollution, malaria, urban air pollution”.

    There are so many complexities involved in the issues you are researching and they all begin with the way each society (and their governing elites) organizes its natural resources, education, opportunity for enterprise and inventiveness, rewards for diligent labor, and health practices.

    I think Crosspatch, D. King, Ralph Ellis, Smokey, and Pat express some of my consternation. The issues you investigate have been “globalized” and corporations, governmental elites, NGO managers — through the United Nations — are hoping to make their fortunes by “solving them”, aka, eliminating individual societies and individual initiative. Unfortunately, the majority involved in global-speak have authoritarian tendencies, no matter how well intentioned.

    Population is one of the key issues. I respectfully disagree with Robert Bateman (23:01). Everywhere that all citizens — this means including women equally with a recognition of what it takes for families to raise children well — have had access to opportunity for education and economic resources, the birth rate has declined to something like “sustainability”. It is not simply a warm earth and development that have permitted so many billions of us. Authoritarians and patriarchal religions (Catholics, Muslims, etc) are responsible for most of the world’s “overpopulation”.

  33. P Folkens, Denis Hopkins, MikeW,

    Well, I learned something new. Thanks for that. I guess crosspatch was right after all. Shoulda known.

  34. deadwood (06:56:25) : “If our species has been around for 2 Ma, we most certainly have survived the transition from interglacial to glacial before.”

    Another fine point . . . “Our species” has NOT been around for 2 Ma. Anatomically modern humans only go back to around 180 Kya; the genus (Homo) may reach back 2 Mya. But you are correct about surviving an interglacial/glacial transition before. The important period is the Eemian Intergacial around 135 Kya – 105 Kya which preceded the deepest glacial of the Pleistocene. This is a bit OT, but . . . the Eemian saw the first signs of human culture in the area of the Es Skhul cave system in Mt. Carmel in Israel. Back then, the sea level was quite a bit higher than now, perhaps five meters higher, and the sea shore was nearer the caves than now. If the definition of history begins with the earliest signs of culture, then Mr. Gore’s statement that the past few years have been the warmest in history doesn’t hold. Also, “our species” almost didn’t survive the Toba pyroclastic event around 74.6 Kya and the cataclysmic affect that had on the world climate.

  35. Pat: Australia, *also* cannot compete with EU farmers with EU subsidies and, by your logic, that’s not a “western” problem either. What ignorance!

    What ignorance???? What kind of comment is that?
    Does it come from a now well-established tradition of moralising indignation?
    Empathy is not something you can lay claim to by self-righteous whining, but since the height of the British empire a sentiment has bubbled through ‘Western’ culture, that is fraught with guilt and always couched in the language of earnest concern for the well-being of others.
    It seems that prosperity affords us the luxury of self-examination. That can give rise to philosophical insight, philanthropy, and many good works, but it also seems to produce, in some, a dread of losing what they have, combined with an overly apologetic, finger-pointing inability to dispassionately look at a problem and think of a solution.

  36. A slight correction: Our species, homo sapiens sapiens, has only been around for about 120,000 years. Our genus probably began around 2 million years ago with homo habilus.

  37. Tamara: Check out Tim White’s Herto fossil, reliably dated to 160 kya. It is anatomically modern. New dating of Richard Leakey’s Omo fossils is putting it back to 195 kya. There is some controversy about that date. 180 kya is a nice middle ground since the existence of the Herto fossil suggests its origins may go back at least that far.

  38. .

    >>Countries that embrace Capitalism create wealth, those
    >>who don’t are poor.

    Not entirely true. Many countries that have adopted a semi-socialist/capitalist model have also prospered. I am thinking here of Sweden and France, who have integrated both systems quite well.

    It is true, however, that a socialist/communist economic model has proved to be an absolute failure, as the system does not provide enough motivation for people to work harder and succeed. Surprisingly, most of the communist Israeli kibutzes have also failed and now become farmers cooperatives instead, and this despite the high ideals of a strong and historic culture and religion.

    .

  39. At this time, the political corruption of science is the “Defining Challenge of Our Age.”
    ——————————————————-
    Obama’s energy, climate plans would drag U.S. back to 1905 – or 1862

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/OpEd-Contributor/Obamas-energy-climate-plans-would-drag-US-back-to-1905–or-1862–44042137.html

    Few Americans will be thrilled with returning to 1905 – or the impact that climate change laws will have on their freedoms, budgets, jobs, living standards and environment.

  40. Interesting link, Ed Scott.

    In 1905 “Coal and wood heated homes. Few had telephones or electricity. New York City’s vehicle emissions were 900,000 tons of horse manure annually. Life expectancy was 47.”

    That’s what the Waxman/Obama/Gore/Hansen proposal could do to us.

  41. Good writing contains straightforward declarative sentences. Not everything in this should be so elliptically-phrased as to “prove” the complexity of its subject. I’m trying to read it carefully – and not getting much.

    A persuasive essay should have comprehensible graphs. Mr. Goklany, are you answering questions?

    Are you assserting that mankind is better off in a warmer or cooler world?

  42. As someone who lives in an endemic malaria climate, I must point out that any attribution of excess deaths to malaria is spurious. Malaria deaths track much more closely the abatement of mosquitos and the rapid treatment of folks who do become ill (so they don’t become carriers), that is, public health, rather than temperature.

    When I grew up (in N. California) we had regular rants from the mosquito abatement district about what we ought to be doing. We had spray trucks driving the streets of town making toxic fog (that we kids would go play in despite the admonishment not to…). We had free mosquito fish programs.

    The result? Despite the climate being the same (or slightly warmer, LIA and all) malaria has gone from the scourge of the ’49ers gold miners to a minor issue in the awareness of the general public. Few folks think of Sacramento as the capital of a Malaria State.

    Notes from when this topic came around on a prior thread:

    Malaria is not about the temperature (as historic malaria outbreaks in Europe, Britain and Russia attest) and is all about the public health and mosquito abatement efforts.

    The history of malaria in California is long, strong, and interesting, and the native mosquito is quite a nice vector.

    Since I live in a historic malaria area (every year their are still a few cases) I can assure you that the present lack of malaria here (and in Europe for that matter) has NOTHING to do with temperature and everything to do with pesticides and antibiotics; and a wee bit with draining swamps. Period.

    I have lived in areas with a long history of malaria but at hospital we saw only a few cases each year. The reason was not nets; it was spray trucks, water trap draining, swamp draining, mosquito fish, and antibiotics. Good public health systems and mosquito abatement districts. This in a place where winters were in the teens F. Hardly ‘warm’. Summers were 100F+ though.

    The AGW Malaria thesis amounts to asserting that malaria is running rampant in Florida and the rest of the southeast states along with the central valley of California. They all have plenty of warmth and humidity. And please explain the historic malaria outbreaks in cold climates, like Britain and Russia, if it’s about the warmth.

    The notion that a warmer planet means more malaria is fundamentally broken. It’s just scare mongering.

    (Then, jcbmack did a very nice job of demonstrating how malaria can easily over winter in cold places and cause malaria even in cold climates when public health systems are lacking:)

    From jcbmack (23:05:22) : I can explain in detail why malaria can, has and will at times spread in cold northern climate regions and potentially other cold areas as well: summer dormancy of hypnozoites and transmission of sporozoites indoors by semiactive hibernating mosquitoes. Variable climate conditions did not change this relationshipe textbook [...]
    -end jcbmack quote

    (The central valley of California can be either dry or humid depending on weather. It always has mosquitos though, unless controlled.)

    From: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ucmrp/news/malariaawarenessevent.html

    UC Davis’ first chancellor, entomologist Stanley Freeborn (1891-1960), wrote the first comprehensive review of mosquitoes in California, Vanderhoef noted. A California mosquito that transmits malaria (Anopheles freeborni), bears Freeborn’s name.

    UC Davis spearheaded the formation of the statewide UC Malaria Research and Control Group, part of the UC Mosquito Research Program, both directed by Lanzaro. The group, formed in February 2006, is comprised of 21 scientists from five UC campuses, partnering with MVCAC, which includes more than 60 mosquito abatement districts in California.
    [...]
    UC Davis medical entomologist Robert Washino, introduced as “the person who knows more about mosquitoes than anyone else in California,” said that six U.S. presidents, from George Washington to John F. Kennedy, contracted malaria.

    “Malaria was introduced in California in 1833,” Washino said, “and it shaped the history of our state.”

    Malaria swept through fur trapper, native Indian, pioneer and gold miner populations, Washino noted. It was eradicated in the 1950s, but outbreaks still occur; the most recent outbreaks surfaced in San Diego County in 1986-89.
    [...]
    “We have to be vigilant,” Washino warned. “Five of the Anopheline mosquitoes that transmit malaria are still here in California.”

    and
    Lanzaro predicted the UC Malaria Research and Control Group, with its noted scientists and mosquito abatement experts, will be hugely successful in combating malaria in Africa. “The Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California has the most sophisticated mosquito-control program in the world, and we’re taking that over to Africa,” Lanzaro said.

    and further down
    Mosquito abatement experts helped wipe out malaria in California and Mulligan predicted “we can do the same in Africa.”

    I’m sure you are aware of why California has such a capable vector control program.

    From: http://iier.isciii.es/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000251.htm we have a couple of cases of malaria from the 1980’s in the central valley of Ca.

    Editorial Note: Considering the average 14-day incubation period for vivax malaria, and the travel history of the 2 patients, the infections reported here were most likely acquired in the northern part of California’s Sacramento (Central) Valley. Historically, mosquito-transmitted malaria in California has been confined to the Central Valley where ecologic habitats provided by irrigated farmlands–including fruit orchards and rice fields–are ideal for the breeding of A. freeborni, a highly susceptible vector of vivax malaria. In addition, non-refugee agricultural workers from malarious countries provide a reservoir of vivax parasites in such areas as Sutter and Yuba counties.
    and

    The patient lives 3 miles south of Marysville in a semi-rural setting next to the Feather River and within 1/4 mile of rice fields and orchards. He had not been employed regularly since December 1980. In the spring and summer of 1981 he did extensive fishing and camping throughout Sutter and Yuba counties, and often received many mosquito bites.

    Yes, C.V. California IS a malaria zone, though controlled via pesticides, water control, and (as the cases in the above link demonstrate) prompt control of active cases with antibiotics (antimalarials) to control sources of parasites. And we’re taking that road show to Africa.

    [...] We clearly both agree that malaria can live in cold and warm, wet and dry, and that good public health and modern medicine are more important to disease control than anything else.

  43. Robert Bateman (23:01:02) : the Earth’s energy reserves are finite in terms of how much population it can support.

    Robert, while I agree with much of your posting, we are simply no where near a limit in the energy available for our consumption by several orders of magnitude. Energy is just not a limitation for hundreds, thousands, or perhaps even millions of years:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/

    By the time we are consuming energy at anywhere near the upper limit on earth, we will have the ability to move large parts of the population into space colonies and get another few orders of magnitude increase in energy available to us.

  44. Dr. Tim Ball has written a series of articles, published in the Canadian Free Press, that outlines the history of the global warming alarmism initiated by the UN/IPCC.
    ——————————————————-

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/3618

    At a 2004 conference of the Russian National Academy of Sciences Sir David King, Chief Scientific Adviser to Tony Blair’s government made the startling statement that, “Global warming is worse than terrorism.” He was right, but not as he intended. The false premise promoted by the IPCC that human CO2 was causing global warming was being used to terrorize and undermine developed nations in pursuit of Maurice Strong’s goal of getting rid of them.

    “I am afraid there are people who want to stop the economic growth, the rise in the standard of living (though not their own) and the ability of man to use the expanding wealth, science and technology for solving the actual pressing problems of mankind, especially of the developing countries. This ambition goes very much against past human experience which has always been connected with a strong motivation to better human conditions. There is no reason to make the change just now, especially with arguments based on such incomplete and faulty science.” (The Australian)

    “Maurice Strong is the fox that was invited into the henhouse—and given the tools to redesign it for his own interests.”

    Actually, he invited himself in and his redesign through the UN and the IPCC did not stop global warming or climate change, but has brought serious global problems. IPCC identification of CO2 as the major culprit of environmental damage has;

    Allowed an unfounded and unwarranted attack on fossil fuels and exploitation of the false idea we are running out, especially of oil.

    Caused governments to promote alternate fuels as if they are the replacement solution when most are not viable alternatives.

    Caused governments to provide massive direct or indirect subsidies that distort the value of these alternatives so that accurate cost benefit analysis is essentially impossible.

    Caused governments to provide subsidies for biofuels so world food production is seriously impeded and people are starving.

    Caused governments to identify CO2 as a pollutant and seek its reduction when it is essential to plants and a reduction would put them in jeopardy.

    Caused many governments to restrict or ban development of most fossil fuel energy sources.

    Caused governments to spend billions on climate research to stop climate change when it is impossible.

    Caused diversion of money to climate research better spent on real and identified pollution problems.

    Allowed environmentalists to bully whole societies into adopting inappropriate policies and ideas.

    Caused unnecessary increases in transportation costs that results in a higher cost of living that especially impacts the poor and middle class.

    Caused increase in travel costs that were beginning to become affordable for most people.

    Caused extensive and unnecessary fear among people, but especially children.

  45. crosspatch (23:04:53) : Also, we are but a single volcanic eruption away from mayhem. We basically live “hand to mouth” as a people on this planet. We do not have enough food stored, collectively, to last us through a widespread failed harvest.

    Absolutely! See:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/food-storage-systems/

    for a simple and cheap way you can be prepared for the normal cycle of crop crisis that happens when a volcano burps, a rock from space hits, or some bug figures out how to eat our monocultured crops. (There was a corn rust plague that broke out one year in the midwest somewhere around the ’70s. It was demolishing the corn crop at nearly 100% effectiveness. We managed to get a new cultivar planted the next year that was resistant; but the world was basically 1/2 season away from a global corn (maize) failure. Things are somewhat worse now, with more concentration of food in fewer varieties and much lower stored grain inventories…)

    The Climate Change I worry about has nothing to do with people, and everything to do with sudden cold from a volcano, an asteroid, or similar completely nature events that are guaranteed to happen again as they always have.

  46. Robert Bateman (03:14:23) : We don’t know if the swine flu is going to be a pandemic any more than

    Um, I think we can make a good guess, though. Given that every day we’ve had a rough doubling of the number of cases and number of countries with cases; this flu is clearly highly contagious and infective. A pandemic is virtually guaranteed at this point. The major open issue is will it be a lethal variant (as seen in Mexico City) or a more benign variant (as seen in the rest of the world so far).

    West Nile Virus can exist quite well and potently in very cold climates?

    Yeah, I was a bit worried by the early news when WNV first showed up. Then I looked into it and found out it was virtually identical to a N. American virus (Saint Louis virus? something like that). Gee, so we’re going to get a “new” bug almost identical to the one we’ve had for 200 years and didn’t even notice…

    Ooh, look, a huge meteor! Pretty!

    A far more likely “oh poo!” for the planet. The probability is that we get one big enough for global crop failures and a “year without a summer” about every 1000 years and it’s been a long time since the last one… (Tunguska was the every couple of hundred year baby rock from space…)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event

    from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_Earth_object

    The annual background frequency used in the Palermo scale for impacts of energy greater than E megatonnes is estimated as:

    For instance, this formula implies that the expected value of the time from now till the next impact greater than 1 megatonne is 33 years, and that when it occurs, there is a 50% chance that it will be above 2.4 megatonnes. This formula is only valid over a certain range of E.

    Though when it happens over water, folks don’t get as excited:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Mediterranean_Event

  47. Looks like the formula was swallowed by the wordpress HTML monster… There ought to be a formula for “E” in my prior post, roughly:

    integral sub B = 0.03E to the -0.8 power.

  48. “My only quibble: Krakatoa erupted in the 1800’s”

    It *also* erupted in 535 in an eruption that was probably larger than the one in the 1800’s.

    Procopius, as quoted by Stothers and Rampino[3], says of 536 AD that …

    “during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness … and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”

    John Lydus says …

    “The sun became dim … for nearly the whole year … so that the fruits were killed at an unseasonable time.”

    Michael the Syrian says …

    “the sun became dark and its darkness lasted for eighteen months. Each day it shone for about four hours, and still this light was only a feeble shadow … the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes.” ( To counter this, sugar of lead was used to sweeten the wine. — Tommy C — )

    Rampino[2] et al quotes a report from Cassiodorus stating …

    “The sun … seems to have lost its wonted light, and appears of a bluish colour. We marvel to see no shadows of our bodies at noon, to feel the mighty vigour of the sun’s heat wasted into feebleness, and the phenomena which accompany an eclipse prolonged through almost a whole year. We have had … a summer without heat … the crops have been chilled by north winds … the rain is denied …”

    “Now tree-ring data, published by Professor Mike Baillie of Queens University of Belfast, has brought catastrophes almost into modern times. The tree rings show that in the mid 530s — just about the time civilisation on Earth suffered a sharp setback — there was a sudden decline in the rate of tree growth which lasted about 15 years. Clearly, something dramatic had happened.

    Catastrophe! Part II (PBS)
    NARRATOR
    535AD has come and gone- the world has been hit by a catastrophe.
    Now comes bizarre weather – the sun is darkened, skies are turbulent, rain is red and snow falls yellow.
    There is frost and famine.
    Seasons are blurred.
    In some places great drought destroys the land. In others floods bring chaos.
    The world will never be the same.

    and the list goes on

  49. “If our species has been around for 2 Ma, we most certainly have survived the transition from interglacial to glacial before.”

    That is Homo Erectus. Homo Sapiens have only been around for about 100K years.

  50. Phillip Stott’s blog: The Clamour of the Times

    No Consensus, Much Propaganda

    http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Entries/2009/4/24_No_Consensus%2C_Much_Propaganda.html

    First, here are three quotations taken from a splendid article, ‘Climate change science isn’t settled’, by the brilliant geophysicist, Jan Veizer, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Ottawa, Canada, who has long researched on the use of chemical and isotopic techniques in determining the climate history of the Earth: MANY people think the science of climate change is settled. It isn’t. And the issue is not whether there has been an overall warming during the past century. There has, although it was not uniform and none was observed during the past decade. The geologic record provides us with abundant evidence for such perpetual natural climate variability, from icecaps reaching almost to the equator to none at all, even at the poles.

    The climate debate is, in reality, about a 1.6 watts per square metre or 0.5 per cent discrepancy in the poorly known planetary energy balance.

    +Then, secondly, here is a quotation from a most important statement emanating from the Geological Science Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences [the original (.pdf), in Polish, is here]:
    “Experiments in natural science show that one-sided observations, those that take no account of the multiplicity of factors determining certain processes in the geo-system, lead to unwarranted simplifications and wrong conclusions when trying to explain natural phenomena. Thus, politicians who rely on incomplete data may take wrong decisions. It makes room for politically correct lobbying, especially on the side of business marketing of exceptionally expensive, so called eco-friendly, energy technologies or those offering CO2 storage (sequestration) in exploited deposits. It has little to do with what is objective in nature. Taking radical and expensive economic measures aiming at implementing the emission only of few greenhouse gases, with no multi-sided research into climate change, may turn out counterproductive.”

    +Thirdly, I recommend you read this comment on the nonsense over the current status of Antarctic sea-ice – here is a quotation: “The AGW [anthropogenic global warming] standard for broad acceptance of new theories seems to be ‘not completely implausible – if you avoid actually looking at the body of data or what you might have said last week.’

    +Fourthly, exactly as I predicted, Old King Coal is back in the UK, and with a glossy political sheen that it will come with carbon-capture-and-storage (CCS) attached. Commentators are rightly sceptical.

    +Finally, just in case one is still tempted to believe the nonsense propagated by today’s doomsters and gloomsters, it might be enlightening to review the hilarious set of quotations taken from the great and the good in the 1970s that have been so helpfully gathered together for us by I Hate The Media. Enjoy!

  51. There was an earlier eruption of a different volcano in the area of what is now Naples, Italy known as the Campanian eruption that would have happened at right about the same time that the Neanderthal disappeared and probably delayed/disrupted Homo Sapien migration into Europe. But overall, every major period of feast or famine is climate related and our current system of existence is actually quite fragile and relies on an absolutely huge infrastructure. Human beings are so far removed from things now that it might be impossible to “bootstrap” things back to how they are now if a major global catastrophe were to strike. Who could produce copper wire by hand and then wind a generator to make electricity from a water wheel? Who could even make a hammer from scratch, let alone making bread from wheat grain and clothing from raw cotton. We might very well be right at the zenith of human culture. We are ultimately at the mercy of Mother Nature. She often throws a curve ball to life on this planet and sometimes it’s a “bean ball”. The eruption of 535 set us back for a very long time and the same kind of thing will happen again … repeatedly … in the future.

    And storing your own food isn’t going to make any difference because when someone finds out that you are healthy when they are starving, they are probably going to take your food or willing to die trying because they will figure they have nothing to lose and will likely die of starvation if they don’t try. You are going to need to not only have a store of food, but you are going to also need to hide because there are going to be people looking for people like you.

  52. E.M.Smith (11:52:46) :
    “Yeah, I was a bit worried by the early news when WNV first showed up. Then I looked into it and found out it was virtually identical to a N. American virus (Saint Louis virus? something like that). Gee, so we’re going to get a “new” bug almost identical to the one we’ve had for 200 years and didn’t even notice…”
    ————————————————————-
    This has been very beneficial to the local government. There is now a charge on my property tax for mosquito abatement.

  53. Keith Minto (00:40:07) :
    Looking at Table 1. of the methodology it seems that GDP per capita declines with population growth and a cooling scenario.

    RESPONSE: Regarding GDP per capita and population growth, as suggested by anna v (04:36:06), cross country analysis shows that, in general, higher GDP per capita is associated with lower total fertility rate (TFR), which is a measure of children per woman of child-bearing age. [Take a look at Section 3 of this paper. ]

    With respect to GDP per capita and cooling, I think it’s more accurate to say that GDP (and welfare per capita) is highest for the warmest scenario, but the coolest doesn’t necessarily have the lowest GDP per capita (see the post at WUWT titled Are today’s poorer generations morally obliged …

    Tony Rogers (01:04:29) :
    In the first chart, isn’t the only difference between the four stacked bars the level of warming? If that’s the case surely all the differences in the bars is down to climate change?

    RESPONSE: The different scenarios also differ in their population (although A1FI and B1 have the same populations. The differences between the scenarios are laid out in Table 1 of the paper at: http://goklany.org/library/Goklany%202009%20EE%2020-3_1.pdf

    pyromancer76 (07:36:21) : [I have taken the liberty of numbering your comments, for efficiency of response.]

    1) … thank you …
    RESPONSE: No, thank you!

    2) Something rankles, however, and it is the global world view, the envision-for-everyone, analyze-for-everyone, speak-for-everyone perspective that most economists-scientists coming from your background take. One quote: “Specifically, climate change is easily outranked by threats such as hunger, malnutrition and other nutrition-related problems…”
    There are so many complexities involved in the issues you are researching and they all begin with the way each society (and their governing elites) organizes its natural resources, education, opportunity for enterprise and inventiveness, rewards for diligent labor, and health practices…
    The issues you investigate have been “globalized” and corporations, governmental elites, NGO managers — through the United Nations — are hoping to make their fortunes by “solving them”, aka, eliminating individual societies and individual initiative. Unfortunately, the majority involved in global-speak have authoritarian tendencies, no matter how well intentioned.

    RESPONSE: You may recall that what I have done is respond to claims that climate change is the “defining challenge” facing the world, or as others have put, one of the most, if not the most, important environmental problem facing the world today. Because these claims are made with respect to the global scale, my analysis is also at the global scale. If someone had claimed that it was the biggest problem facing the US, then my analysis would have been done for the US (assuming such an analysis was doable).

    3) Population is one of the key issues. I respectfully disagree with Robert Bateman (23:01). Everywhere that all citizens — this means including women equally with a recognition of what it takes for families to raise children well — have had access to opportunity for education and economic resources, the birth rate has declined to something like “sustainability”. It is not simply a warm earth and development that have permitted so many billions of us. Authoritarians and patriarchal religions (Catholics, Muslims, etc) are responsible for most of the world’s “overpopulation”.

    RESPONSE: Certainly culture and religion are very important factors in determining birth rates and total fertility rates (TFRs). However, some of the historically most Catholic countries (e.g., Italy, Spain) have some of the lowest TFRs in the world. [I talk about this in the last chapter of my book, The Improving State of the World .] I haven’t looked at the TFR data recently, but last I checked it was dropping in Muslim countries as well.

    Bill P (11:04:11) :
    Mr. Goklany, are you answering questions? …Are you assserting that mankind is better off in a warmer or cooler world?

    RESPONSE: What I’m saying in this series of posts is that even if the world warms, other problems will outweigh the problem of climate change through the foreseeable future. In an earlier post at WUWT titled Are today’s poorer generations morally obliged …, I showed that, based on the Stern Review’s analysis, human welfare should be highest under the warmest-but-richest scenario and lower under cooler scenarios.

    BTW my html is quite rusty, so pl. forgive any problems in this response on that score.

  54. This is an estimate (of deaths) based on old computer forecasts giving AGW consequences from older climate data. We now have more recent climate data (some of which has already advanced beyond its projections in those old forecasts). And, we have better computer programs. This analysis does not
    forecast today’s future.

    “…global warming will decrease rainfall in some areas but serendipitously increase it in other, but more populated, areas.”
    This statement optimistically sees a benefit in the increased rainfall areas…even though populated areas obviously already have enough water to have become populated. The usual generalization has dry areas getting drier, and wet areas getting wetter.

  55. An interesting reality jumps out when you study Mann’s bristlecone proxy data and the infamous “hockey stick” graphic his process produces. The reality the tree ring data and Mann’s graphic reveal is that nothing has done more to “GREEN” the planet in the past few decades than elevated levels of CO2 in the presence of mild sun-driven warming. That’s the natural science. In the face of huge volumes of data and studies to the contrary, political science has twisted this reality in a truly breath-taking Orwellian manner into 1) warming similar to the Roman Warm Period and Medieval Warm Period is bad, 2) warming is caused by an infinitesimal trace gas essential to life supporting photosynthesis, 3) human’s 3% annual contribution to a CO2 starved biosphere is putting the planet at some sort of risk. Just how high would fuel bills have to be elevated by Cap Tax to cut world hydrocarbon output by 1/3, or net 1%? What would such a reduction do to accumulations of CO2? That’s right, it’s quite literally in the noise, if you know anything about control theory. The cost is off the page. Like this recession? Then just wait for Cap&Tax. All of this then begs the question, “If humans can’t reasonably be expected to control the production of CO2, how they can possibly be responsible for the, as yet unproven, horrors of Global Warming?” The answer is, “they cannot and are not responsible.” The true proxy is the political science myth of Global Warming, foisted on a scientifically illiterate public as a distracting red herring to deal with the operational and economic exigencies of permanently declining oil production worldwide without actually revealing or discussing in the open media the most critical national security issue of our time. Doubt this assertion? Then just read all of the IPCC technical reports together with the most recent IEA oil production forecast. Too hard and time consuming? Okay, then just relax and believe the propaganda.

  56. “RESPONSE: The different scenarios also differ in their population (although A1FI and B1 have the same populations. The differences between the scenarios are laid out in Table 1 of the paper at: http://goklany.org/library/Goklany%202009%20EE%2020-3_1.pdf

    Please excuse my ignorance! I had not appreciated that the different model scenarios included so many other variables such as population levels and technology usage and development. I thought they merely modelled different assumptions about how much GHG we produced and what it effect it would have on climate. My bad.

  57. Crosspatch, it is true that initially, when people are fending for themselves, local fights break out. But soon enough, when word spreads of plenty in some distance place, outsiders come looking. That catalyst causes community and cooperation. There is strength in numbers, a concept we humans are genetically configured to figure out.

    The second thing that occurs in times of extreme hardship, is that communities separates according to natural land forms and barriers. Marginal growing areas are abandoned and become wilderness once more, separating human groups who must travel through inhospitable territory to arrive in lands of plenty. Few try. Those that make it through either die in a fight, or discover that to live, they have to contribute to the community they initially wanted to steal from.

    From these seeds of community, prosperity begins again. Revolution and civil wars (skirmishes at first, major ones later) soon follow when communities become large enough to control other communities. It is a process that best works when self-initiative and individual responsibility is lifted up as the model of expected behavior in the community.

  58. Francis (21:52:57):
    This is an estimate (of deaths) based on old computer forecasts …from older climate data. We now have more recent climate data (some of which has already advanced beyond its projections in those old forecasts).

    RESPONSE: I would appreciate getting references. In fact, since life is short, I would appreciate receiving the reprints/preprints. My contact information is available at goklany.org. Thanks.

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