Matt Ridley's new article in the WSJ – a dose of pragmatism about revelations from the new IPCC report

Art for WSJ by David Klein

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Climate Forecast: Muting the Alarm

Even while it exaggerates the amount of warming, the IPCC is becoming more cautious about its effects.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will shortly publish the second part of its latest report, on the likely impact of climate change. Government representatives are meeting with scientists in Japan to sex up—sorry, rewrite—a summary of the scientists’ accounts of storms, droughts and diseases to come.

But the actual report, known as AR5-WGII, is less frightening than its predecessor seven years ago.

The 2007 report was riddled with errors about Himalayan glaciers, the Amazon rain forest, African agriculture, water shortages and other matters, all of which erred in the direction of alarm. This led to a critical appraisal of the report-writing process from a council of national science academies, some of whose recommendations were simply ignored.

Others, however, hit home. According to leaks, this time the full report is much more cautious and vague about worsening cyclones, changes in rainfall, climate-change refugees, and the overall cost of global warming.

It puts the overall cost at less than 2% of GDP for a 2.5 degrees Centigrade (or 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature increase during this century. This is vastly less than the much heralded prediction of Lord Stern, who said climate change would cost 5%-20% of world GDP in his influential 2006 report for the British government.  (See WUWT report about Stern who gets asked some tough questions by Australia’s ABC)

In climate science, the real debate has never been between “deniers” and the rest, but between “lukewarmers,” who think man-made climate change is real but fairly harmless, and those who think the future is alarming. Scientists like Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Richard Lindzen of MIT  have moved steadily toward lukewarm views in recent years.

Even with its too-high, too-fast assumptions, the recently leaked draft of the IPCC impacts report makes clear that when it comes to the effect on human welfare, “for most economic sectors, the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers,” such as economic growth and technology, for the rest of this century. If temperatures change by about 1C degrees between now and 2090, as Mr. Lewis calculates, then the effects will be even smaller.

Indeed, a small amount of warming spread over a long period will, most experts think, bring net improvements to human welfare. Studies such as by the IPCC author and economist Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University in Britain show that global warming has probably done so already. People can adapt to such change—which essentially means capture the benefits but minimize the harm. Satellites have recorded a roughly 14% increase in greenery on the planet over the past 30 years, in all types of ecosystems, partly as a result of man-made CO2 emissions, which enable plants to grow faster and use less water.

I liked this part the best:

Almost every global environmental scare of the past half century proved exaggerated including the population “bomb,” pesticides, acid rain, the ozone hole, falling sperm counts, genetically engineered crops and killer bees. In every case, institutional scientists gained a lot of funding from the scare and then quietly converged on the view that the problem was much more moderate than the extreme voices had argued. Global warming is no different.

Full article here:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303725404579460973643962840?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303725404579460973643962840.html

===============================================================

Indeed, so many environmental scares have gone the way of the dodo, and yet here we are again, watching some people freak out about another one, and with wholesale planetary warming not cooperating as predicted, they are starting to see climate bogey-men in every weather event. It seems the fear of weather from the dark ages has returned to the mindset of some irrational thinkers.

This one little fact though is a deal breaker for alarm:

It puts the overall cost at less than 2% of GDP for a 2.5 degrees Centigrade (or 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature increase during this century.

Hang on to that thought, James Delingpole  writes:

Previous reports – notably the hugely influential 2006 Stern Review – have put the costs to the global economy caused by ‘climate change’ at between 5 and 20 percent of world GDP.

But the latest estimates, to be published by Working Group II of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, say that a 2.5 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures by the end of the century will cost the world economy between just 0.2 and 2 percent of its GDP.

If the lower estimate is correct, then all it would take is an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent (currently it’s around 3 percent) for the economic costs of climate change to be wiped out within a month.

Ouch. Game over for climate alarm.

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cnxtim

I’ll accept -2% to +2%

Jimmy Haigh.

So. Can we all get our money back now please?

Santa Baby

Global warming going to cost us 0.2-2.0 % GDP? For this to have any meaning at all what are the gains? Food production, less heating, less storms etc etc? I think there is a great chance that we will benefit from global warming. What I doubt is that we actually get this global warming.

albertalad

This couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people than the IPCC. They have terrorized more people on planet earth then all the other terrorists groups combined.

Peter Whale

You would think the “Greens” would like the planet to be more green. Are they that stupid?

The prove predict-standard of science is replaced by castles made of sand.
[castles made of sand.- slips into the sea -eventually’ Jimi Hendrix]

Latimer Alder

Please add the UK scare about BSE and Creutzfeld-Jakob disease in the 1990s
Influential scientists predicted millions of young people dying prematurely. The total has turned out to be about 200.

0.2 to 2.0 percent of GDP? That is so small an amount that it just has to be ignored in order to keep the pressure up on the steam engine of funding. And funding is just about all that counts in the AGW game. That and political power.

Peter Whale says:
You would think the “Greens” would like the planet to be more green. Are they that stupid?
Not stupid at all. But nor are they environmentalists. ‘Greens’ are self-serving politicians funded by credulous lemmings trying to ‘Save the Planet’. They are just another group of politicians.

It would be a mighty step in the right direction if indeed it is ‘game over’ for climate alarm. There was was a huge wave of it to ride for many people who saw advantage in the scaremongering. How many of them have won positions and /or wealth as a result? How easy will it be for them to go ‘quietly’? The scientists involved could manage it. After all their papers have generally been far more cautious than their campaigns and the claims of those exploiting them. But the rest?

kim

Read it and weep, peeps; this is what it was all about.
==================

Matt Ridley

Latimer Adler.
I did have the BSE/vCJD scare in the list of failed apocalypses in my original draft, but it was left on the cutting room floor (total deaths 178). As was peak oil. I could have added Ebola, swine flu, SARS and other diseases. Even AIDS, though terrible, never reached the levels predicted, especially outside Africa. There is usually a grain of truth to these scares, but it’s always been safe to bet against the exaggerated claims.

Herbert

Before we get too excited ,note Richard Tol’s comment on Bishop Hill.This is only the Draft WG II Summary for Policy Makers.Excuse my cynicism, but the 0.2-2% can be revised or excised.Remember that in the June draft of the Summary for Policy Makers for WG I, the acknowledgement that GCMs had failed to predict the last 10-15 years warming was later deleted.

PMT

This is a great line from Matt’s WSJ article:- ” in our efforts to combat warming we may have been taking the economic equivalent of chemotherapy for a cold”
It is a nice counterpoint to the multiple-oncologist alarming diagnosis analogy.

JJM Gommers

This is good news, a plot of the IPCC predictions shows that over 10 years the costs become zero and after that profitable. Think about that, more agriculture, more forests, decreasing deserts and less heating costs. Ha,ha,ha!!

Hilarious – if we want to feed the world, we have to release more CO2. If the net effect of the total global warming to date + CO2 emissions is a 14% greening of the Earth, bring it on.

Sasha

See the Stern interview here
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-27/back-tracking-on-carbon-pricing-will-damage/5350724
(This is exactly what you would expect from a banker who wants to become a billionaire on the back of the man-made global warming scam.)

pat

no pragmatism here:
28 March: BBC: Matt McGrath: Is Japan playing hunger games with climate change?
As environment correspondent Matt McGrath reports, a changing climate is one of a number of issues pushing Japan towards a food crisis.
In the historic Ueno Park in the middle of Tokyo, seemingly normal people are earnestly staring at trees…
But bear hugs from drunken businessmen are a minor threat to the cherries compared to a warming world, according to research.
“There are already reports that the cherry trees are not doing as well as they usually do because the climate is changing,” said long time Tokyo resident Martin Frid, who works on food safety issues for the Consumer’s Union of Japan…
Because of their cultural significance, the appearance of the blossoms has been recorded in some parts of Japan for over a thousand years.
These records have enabled scientists to work out the impact of global warming on the trees: In recent years they’ve been blossoming about four days earlier than the long term average.
Experts fear that under some warming scenarios, it could be a fortnight earlier by the end of this century…
Martin Frid takes inspiration from the next generation that the challenges of providing enough to eat in a warming world can be met.
“Kids in Japan don’t grow up wanting a car anymore, car ownership among young people is going down, partly because of the environment and the climate,” he says.
“The car industry is having a lot of problems, because young people don’t see it as a trendy thing to do.”…
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26756005

Peter Miller

The climate industry is only interested in its own self-perpetuation and anything which helps keep the financial troughs full to overflowing.
This, in turn, means the conclusions of their ‘research’ are beginning to morph from being outright scary to being inconclusive and “definitely requiring much more research”.
As the real facts are relatively benign, they have to be manipulated. The Distinguished Professor and the land based temperature data prior to the satellite era bear witness to that.
However, there is another problem: left wing politicians require a cause to justify their existence and saving the world from so called climate change/global warming was an ideal one. The fact that this cause had no substance was irrelevant, because it could be used to show they care, while their political opponents took a much more pragmatic view and therefore could be shown “to not care about the environment and the world we will give to our grandchildren”.
Bottom line: The IPCC report’s conclusions will be directed towards the needs of left wing politicians and not to those of the real world.

NikFromNYC

You’re welcome, skeptics, from us New Yorkers. NYC’s Wall Street Journal joins The Investment Business Daily in calling the hockey stick team’s bluff. Our Fox News channel on the Avenue of the Americas is also on the case, my Upper West Side prickly neighbors be damned.
-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in carbon chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

Kev-in-Uk

What really winds me up about the ‘lukewarmers’ – is that many were happy to accept the alarmist stance (or the precautionary principle) despite the clear and apparent lack of direct evidence. That is not really a valid scientific standpoint. Indeed, perhaps the ‘lukewarmer’ climate scientists were the ‘worst’ of the bunch – because they were essentially fence-sitters? When, really, they should have been the ones shouting the loudest (from ‘inside’) for better evidence, Manns’ workings, etc, etc, and standing up for proper debate – or in other words, being ‘deniers’ ?
The fact that some are moving in that direction, whilst demostrating that at least some(!) out there are still thinking scientifically (i.e. skeptically) – is encouraging – but perhaps not necessarily for the right reasons? The AGW ship has sailed, and is sinking, with a bunch of fools upon it – I confess that I view many lukewarmers as ‘rats’ who are swimming desparately away from said ship in the hope they can salvage some respect? About the only good of it will be if we eventually get the truth about the seedier side of the last couple of decades of CS bullsh!t?

Ed_B

Matt Ridley – excellent article, very balanced and measured. My favourite line came at the end:
[I]t appears that in our efforts to combat warming we may have been taking the economic equivalent of chemotherapy for a cold
Excellent – a brilliant one liner to encapsulate the debate between mitigation and adaptation.

klem

It’s hilarious that anyone thinks they can estimate the world’s GDP to within 2% in 100 years. The worlds GDP can’t be estimated to within 2% NOW.

Geoff Sherrington

To the list of past alarms, add a sprinkle –
*Global cancer epidemic from man-made chemicals. (Read Edith Efron “The Apocalyptics” for a beautiful, logic rich book of 600 pages with no industry references, only papers etc by the Establishment and its officials.)
*Lung cancer and smoking – in the strict sense that the problem was overstated at first, and from the poor science sense that the cause of the observed cancers has yet to be found. Correlation & causation.
*Pb Lead poisoning affecting the IQ of children, this one so neatly stitched up by authorities who have yet to finally show the claimed effect. Ref http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9069038
*Cadmium ingestion by humans leads to permanent mental disorder with high stress.
*Electromagnetism from cell phones causing cancer in the skull & elsewhere.
*Excessive male ejaculation causes zinc loss & dietary deficiency.
*Trails from aircraft affect weather below.
*Light radiation from TV screens harms children.
These are off the top of my head because I find them so boring and contrived that they are of little interest. If my summaries have become out dated, let me know & I’ll correct, particularly for lead.
The first one, Man-made chemicals/Efron, is instructive for those interested in the IPCC because there are close analogues. The play out of the end game of the cancer scare was marked by changes of advice by lead Establishment figures like Bruce Ames. Those who are thinking of changing their climate change emphasis, like Richard Tol has done for some small aspects, might gain courage by knowing how the cancer scare was stopped abruptly by ‘defections’. Is there a better word than ‘defection’? Those with the courage to change were rewarded afterwards by being shown correct and were not labelled ‘losers’ with a ‘fail’ label to live with in their remaining years.

MikeUK

Ocean “acidification” is a new front in the Great Anti-CO2 Campaign, we will be told that mass extinction may have begun, looks like people will need to brush on their chemistry:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26746039

Matt Ridley

Eric Worrall,
Re the 14% greening, it’s well worth looking up Ranga Myneni’s slides from a presentation on this topic, and especially the table for the different ecosystem types, which it would be interesting to reproduce for comment. On the seventh page of the presentation:
http://probing.vegetation.be/sites/default/files/pdf/dag1/1100-Ranga%20Myneni-myneni-probing-vegetation-talk-2.pdf.
As far as I can tell he has not published this in the peer-reviewed literature so far for the globe as a whole. I am not sure why not.

kim

A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life.
============

gbaikie

“The Greenhouse Effect also happens to the Earth; the Sun warms the ground and the atmosphere prevents some of the heat from escaping into space at night. The Moon, by contrast, has no atmosphere; its temperature soars to 123 degrees Celsius (253 degrees Fahrenheit) when the Sun shines and drops to -233 degrees Celsius (-387 degrees Fahrenheit) almost immediately when darkness falls.”
Read more: http://www.ehow.com/info_12318971_green-house-effect-theory.html#ixzz2xF0ducIB
The Moon does not fall from 123 C to -233 C almost immediately. Unless many hours and days is considered almost immediately.
The Moon surface does get as cold as -233 C [40 K] but in polar regions- in dark craters which not had sunlight for millions of years. During about 2 weeks of night lunar surface gets to about -180 C [95 K].
So It does get far colder temperature than compared to Earth even if compare the arctic region during it’s 6 months of night.
But idea that the Moon very dramatically and swiftly cools is false.
And reason Earth does not get as cold is because Earth has atmosphere.
Or per 1 square meter there is 10 tonnes of atmosphere above it.
So similarly if you in 10 meter deep lake which has water which is 20 C, during the night it will remain around 20 C.
Unlike slow transitional of lunar day into night [Moon day is about 29 earth days in duration]
one look at time when Earth blocks the sunlight reaching the Moon to see how quickly heat leaves the Moon:
“As the Moon passes into Earth’s shadow on June 15th, its dayside will be plunged into darkness, resulting in a rapid cooling of its surface. However, not all parts of the Moon’s surface will cool equally; rocks and boulders for example, because of their smaller surface area relative to their mass, will cool more slowly than fine-grained dust and sand.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to learn more about the uppermost few millimeters of the Moon,” says David Paige, principal investigator for Diviner. “Unlike on Earth, which takes 24 hours to rotate through one full day, the typical day-night cycle on the Moon lasts around 29 Earth days, so lunar dusk and dawn usually extend over a number of days.

The data show an average decrease in surface temperature during the eclipse of around 100K, with some locations remaining warmer than others.”
http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/blog/?m=201106
So Moon is mostly covered with dust. And if there were bare rocks they take longer to cool- slightly similar to the length time 10 tonnes atmosphere over each square meter takes time to cool.
So in couple hours from darkness from Eclipse the fluffy dusty surface lowers by 100 C.
But it starting hotter than found on surface on Earth. If one had such a hot surface
on earth it also cools quickly- until reach the air temperature.
Heat a frying up to 120 C and it will cool to 60 C faster than 120 C frying pan put in shade on the Moon- because on Earth it addition to radiating heat it would also warm the air around it- you have air convection heat lost.
The hot frying pan will transfer heat to the air, and once frying pan is cooled the warm air keeps the frying from cooling to lower temperatures.
And you do get fairly warm surfaces from sunlight on Earth, and before the sun sets on Earth that surface may cool by 30 to 40 C. So such a surface may get as hot as 70 C and be around say 30 to 40 C near sunset.
So sand on beach will be warmest in a sunny day in the hours around noon, and cool significantly by late afternoon, And on the Moon this transition from “late afternoon” to sunset takes days.

Dodgy Geezer

@Ed_B
My favourite line came at the end:
[I]t appears that in our efforts to combat warming we may have been taking the economic equivalent of chemotherapy for a cold

Actually, it’s a lot worse. What was proposed was rather like a head amputation to cure a runny nose…

Farmer Gez

As a farmer, I’m far more worried about the world supply of Phosphorus than I am about climate change. Very few suppliers, cannot be synthesised and yet our highly productive farming systems are utterly dependant on its availability. Do any bright sparks on this blog know an answer?

Keitho

Thanks for a great article Matt. It brings to mind the scientific consensus surrounding fat in our diet, that it was absolutely certain to kill us. Now it seems the low fat alternatives are going to kill us.
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/23/everything-you-know-about-unhealthy-foods-is-wrong
No wonder we are sceptical.

Bingo: “every global environmental scare of the past half century proved exaggerated including the population “bomb,” pesticides, acid rain, the ozone hole, falling sperm counts, genetically engineered crops and killer bees. In every case, institutional scientists gained a lot of funding from the scare and then quietly converged on the view that the problem was much more moderate than the extreme voices had argued. Global warming is no different.”
Globaloneywarming. No worries, another end of the world scenario from the rebranded Marxists/Communists will be forthcoming. All to save little Gaia.

sleepingbear dunes

The key to understanding global warming is to first understand the mentality of the warmist. Once you nail that, it all crystalizes in a grand epiphany.

mike fowle

Farmer Gez, the alarmism about phosphorus seems to come from Jeremy Grantham, whose mouthpiece is Bob Ward, (nuff said). I expect there will be improved ways to recover it from pee and bone ash etc.

Farmer Gez says: March 28, 2014 at 4:05 am

As a farmer, I’m far more worried about the world supply of Phosphorus than I am about climate change. Very few suppliers, cannot be synthesised and yet our highly productive farming systems are utterly dependant on its availability. Do any bright sparks on this blog know an answer?

Does this help? :
http://www.potashcorp.com/overview/nutrients#nutrients-phosphate
Did you listen to BBC radio4 recently by any chance?
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/03/the-next-great-famineor-age-of-abundance/#comment-108759

Coach Springer

I’ll go with net positive economic return on global warming of 1 to 2 degrees per century. Hey, it’s not science, but neither are the forecasts of negative returns.

D. Cohen

Almost every global environmental scare of the past half century proved exaggerated including the population “bomb,” pesticides, acid rain, the ozone hole, falling sperm counts, genetically engineered crops and killer bees. In every case, institutional scientists gained a lot of funding from the scare and then quietly converged on the view that the problem was much more moderate than the extreme voices had argued.
Murphy’s law suggests that the most profound “environmental” damage could be occurring unnoticed all around us I cannot help wondering whether the steadily dropping birthrate worldwide with the growing availability of contraceptives and pornography won’t turn out to be exactly this sort of thing — it is, after all, a gross interference with a natural cycle in order to maximize profit. Evolution has fine-tuned human reproduction to work efficiently in that “state of nature” that environmentalism is always trying to protect. Using the power of modern industrialized civilization to maximize the number of consequence-free orgasms is a completely different proposition…

SCheesman

Matt Ridley: Re the 14% greening. On page 7 of that linked report there is a column that ADDs to 14%, but that does not give the total increase over all the earth, just the sum of the increase in 12 different cover types. Surely a global average would use the area-weighted average of those values, not the sum? It looks like there might be a 1% increase.

Jimbo

BBC News is getting into frighten mode again. It has 3 items about ‘climate change’ on its home page with one specially prepared for Japanese cherry blossom blooming date. It’s happened before though and some have in the past blamed the Urban Heat Island effect.

PDF
Yukio Omoto et al
Estimation of Change in Blooming Dates of Cherry Flower by Urban Warming

We must get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.

Abstract – 2010
Yasuyuki Aono et al
Clarifying springtime temperature reconstructions of the medieval period by gap-filling the cherry blossom phenological data series at Kyoto, Japan
………….We also attempted to estimate cherry full-flowering dates from phenological records of other deciduous species, adding further data for 6 years in the tenth and eleventh centuries by using the flowering phenology of Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda). The reconstructed tenth century March mean temperatures were around 7°C, indicating warmer conditions than at present. Temperatures then fell until the 1180s, recovered gradually until the 1310s, and then declined again in the mid-fourteenth century.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00484-009-0272-x

H/t Steven Goddard

I think there’s a very good chance Matt has hit the nail on the head here, and this is how the whole edifice ends: those with the least emotional attachment to Alarmism gently slide away from the scare stories and climatology gradually recovers its legitimacy, while the politically motivated and emotionally overwrought plough on into ever decreasing circles.

KevinM

So climate science is claiming to be more accurate in predicting GDP than the federal reserve bank of the united states?
The fed’s prediction six months out are barely that accurate, forget years out.
If they can call the economy that cleanly, they should stop talking about taxes and self fund with options trading.

Jimbo

It puts the overall cost at less than 2% of GDP for a 2.5 degrees Centigrade (or 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature increase during this century. This is vastly less than the much heralded prediction of Lord Stern, who said climate change would cost 5%-20% of world GDP in his influential 2006 report for the British government.

Lord Stern has become a climate crackpot for very good reason. Follow the carbon money.

UK Parliament
Register of Interests
…….
2: Remunerated employment, office, profession etc.
IG Patel Professor of Economics & Government, London School of Economics (includes LSE academic posts: Director, India Observatory; Chairman, Asia Research Centre; Chairman, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment; Chairman, Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy)
Member, International Advisory Panel, Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (Australia)
Member, International Advisory Board, Abengoa SA (Spain)
Remunerated speaking engagements are organised through CSA Celebrity Speakers Ltd,
Burnham SL1 7JT; the Member’s speaking engagements form the main activity of NS Economics Limited (see category 1)
Speaking Engagement, 1 February 2013, Thomas Lloyd CleanTech Congress
Speaking Engagement, 12 March 2013, Grosvenor Group Corporate Event
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-stern-of-brentford/3846

[Abengoa SA (Spain) is engaged in concentrated solar power, 2nd generation biofuels, biomass and wave energy.]
Since the Stern Review was released in 2006 he suddenly shifted to producing publications on climate change in a big wary. See the date shift since 2006.
http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/Experts/profile.aspx?KeyValue=n.stern%40lse.ac.uk

Jimbo

Oooops! It should read
“….publications on climate change in a big WAY. See the date shift since 2006.”

Bill Illis

The positive impact on crop production of increased CO2 is many times higher than the 2.0% of GDP touted here.

Jimbo

2c warming over this century will be net beneficial. No one can attack my assertion as none of us can see into the future.
Greening biosphere in recent decades.
Wild and lethal weather in 1935, when co2 was below the safe 350ppm level.
Extreme weather of 1936, when co2 was below the safe 350ppm level.
Lower winter mortality in cold climes.
Less violent storms due to warming in higher latitudes (that’s what I’m told) reducing temp difference.
Longer growing seasons (just ask the people in Medieval England).

Jimbo

April 2013
Abstract
Terrestrial satellite records for climate studies: how long is long enough? A test case for the Sahel
As an example, the Sahelian drought and the subsequent recovery in precipitation and vegetation will be analyzed in detail using observations of precipitation, surface albedo, vegetation index, as well as ocean indices.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00704-013-0880-6

Jimbo

“…..and with wholesale planetary warming not cooperating as predicted, they are starting to see climate bogey-men in every weather event. It seems the fear of weather from the dark ages has returned to the mindset of some irrational thinkers.”

Hang the witch! Or is that burn? Both actually, depending in which country in Europe. The Little Ice Age in Europe was a wonderful time of bountiful crops, fat children, low disease levels and happiness all round.

Abstract
Bohringer – pp 335-351 – 1999
Climatic Change and Witch-Hunting: The Impact of the Little Ice Age on Mentalities
…During the late 14th and 15th centuries the traditional conception of witchcraft was transformed into the idea of a great conspiracy of witches, to explain “unnatural” climatic phenomena……Scapegoat reactions may be observed by the early 1560s…..extended witch-hunts took place at the various peaks of the Little Ice Age because a part of society held the witches directly responsibile [sic] for the high frequency of climatic anomalies and the impacts thereof……
doi:10.1007/978-94-015-9259-8_13
Abstract
Christian Pfister et. al. – 1999
Climatic Variability in Sixteenth-Century Europe and its Social Dimension: A Synthesis
Peasant communities which were suffering large collective damage from the effects of climatic change pressed authorities for the organization of witch-hunts. Seemingly most witches were burnt as scapegoats of climatic change.
doi:10.1023/A:1005585931899
Abstract
Christian Pfister – 2012
Climatic Extremes, Recurrent Crises and Witch Hunts
Strategies of European Societies in Coping with Exogenous Shocks in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries
Finally, by confirming the thesis advanced by Wolfgang Behringer relating extensive witch hunts during that period to climatic change and recurrent subsistence crises, this article makes a plea for bridging the gap separating studies of climate from those of culture.
doi: 10.1177/097194580701000202

Book
Climatic Variability in Sixteenth-Century Europe and Its Social Dimension
Pfister, Christian; Brázdil, Rudolf; Glaser, Rüdiger (Eds.)
Book – 1999, VI, 351 p.
…Moreover, the impact of climate change on grain prices and wine production is assessed. Finally, it is convincingly argued that witches at that time were burnt as scapegoats for climatic change.
http://tinyurl.com/lrjczsb

Bill_W

It won’t stay at 0.2 to 2% It will be adjusted upward to 2 to 5% That way it will be consistent with the earlier claims and still scary.

John W. Garrett

The McDonalds banner advertisement is somehow fouling up the formatting of WUWT in IE11.
I cannot make it go away and it makes it impossible to read the blog.
There’s something wrong and WordPress should be informed.

Mike M

If they think they can get away with their crystal ball projections about GDP one hundred years from now then let’s hear from ANY of them why it would not be fair to hindcast what would have happened to GDP by now had we shackled coal and other fossil fuels to “green” energy policies 150 years years ago?
I contend that the only fair baseline to begin such a comparison is to examine what would have happened had there been ZERO coal, crude and gas – look at what our and world economy would be right now if those simply did not exist in the ground at all. There would be no electricity, no steel, no forests left standing, we’d still be whipping horses/oxen/mules/people to death to grow food and delivery it, water would be coming only from untreated open wells/springs, ETC…. What would have been the growth of GDP over the last 150 years without ANY fossil fuels? (And I’ll be kind to them and even allow them to reatin human slavery in place of some missing farming machine functions that cannot be performed by other animals. )
Fossil fuel has been the goose laying the golden ‘cheap energy’ eggs all along. Even an economist who wants us to consider only a difference of a glass 100% full versus one 98% full is WRONG when they refuse to consider the history that increased the SIZE of that glass to be 1000 times bigger than what any economist could have possibly imagined 150 years ago.