Book Review: Climate Pragmatism

Book Review by Kip Hansen


ClimatePragmatism_coverThe Rightful Place of Science:  CLIMATE PRAGMATISM

Edited by: Jason Lloyd, Daniel Sarewitz, Ted Nordhaus, Alex Trembath

129 pp.  Paperback. CSPO  $10.

“[T]he idea of climate pragmatism is kind of obvious:  let’s do the things that provide broad benefits regardless of one’s particular set of commitments in the climate debate.”

The Climate Pragmatism project is a partnership between the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes (CSPO) at Arizona State University and the Breakthrough Institute in Oakland, California.  Together they organized a series of three workshops over three years bringing together diverse experts to explore new approaches to the climate change challenge.  The workshops resulted in three reports (links here=[i]) that have been adapted to produce this volume which represents both a broad synopsis and an in-depth analysis of the prescriptions developed by the Climate Pragmatism project.   This review presents some of these ideas with a few illustrative quotes.

“The power of the Climate Pragmatism vision lies in its ability to abandon long-held dogmatic views about the relationship between energy and climate change in favor of a well-founded faith in human ingenuity.”

“It offers a way forward that helps policymakers, researchers, and practitioners escape the false and stultifying dichotomies between economic growth and sustainability, between energy consumption and climate change, and between climate mitigation and adaptation.”

Our High Energy Planet

The starting point for Climate Pragmatism is the understanding that it is entirely wrong-headed to attempt to force civilization to transition from societies with high-energy access — cheap, plentiful, ubiquitous electricity and liquid fuels — to societies with reduced access and consumption.  In the still-developing world, the key to successful and rapid human development is energy access — real energy access, not the nonsensical goals set by current UN and NGO programs that consider that “a household has achieved access to modern energy when consuming 50 to 100 kWh per person annually – less than the [consumption of] the average American’s cable television box”.

“Achieving negligible access thresholds with technologies like rooftop solar panels or cleaner cookstoves — rather than, for example, reliable grid connections leaves other human development goals far out of reach.”  In part because these technologies “have little capacity for scaling up and meeting the expanding needs of economically productive, non-household activities like manufacturing, transportation, or commercial agriculture”.

The argument is put forward that the starting place for achieving basic human development goals is “an explicit commitment to the kind of energy equity that enables an escape from subsistence living and fosters the capacity to prosper, adapt, and innovate.”   The Climate Pragmatism spoken of in this slim volume “combines a commitment to pragmatism — a clear-eyed focus on what works in practice, rather than what’s ideologically acceptable — with an insistence that all humans deserve access to sufficient energy services to achieve the quality of life enjoyed by people in economically developed regions of the world.  A high-energy planet with universal access to affordable, cleaner and plentiful energy is the most practical way to secure this socioeconomic development while ensuring environmental protection.”

Innovation and Adaptation

Readers will find themselves well-informed regarding the reasoning behind the call for Climate Pragmatism as it relates to the relationships between energy and societal innovation, meeting human development goals, and adaptation and resilience to existing weather and climate hazards — how improved energy access leads to local innovation and helps regions to adapt not only to future potential risks from changing weather and climatic conditions, but to innovating ways of adapting and bringing about a  deep resilience to existing conditions that already adversely affect human development, health, agriculture, and industry.

A Way Forward

Those looking to explore alternative paths to real world solutions to the troubling questions of dealing with local, regional, national and global effects of ever-changing weather — and potential future changes to climates — and how we can collectively shape international policy efforts to bring about a better future, without waiting for the uncertainties of global climate science to be resolved, should start with this well-organized, well-written presentation of a possible route to a better future for all.

Highly Recommended

This book is a terrific read for those with interests in international development policy and its intersection with climate change policy.  Even those with differing, contrary opinions will find it informative and enlightening, opening new vistas of potential.

# # # # #

[1] Our High-Energy Planet,   High-Energy Innovation,  and  Adaptation for a High-Energy PlanetThe Breakthrough Institute published the related paper:  Climate Pragmatism: Innovation, Resilience and No Regrets

 # # # # #

Author’s Comment Policy:

Always happy to answer your questions if I can, address your comment to me personally if you expect a response.  The purpose of this review is to inform readers here that the book is available and encourage those interested to read it, as I have.

This is a Book Review and the opinions and policy proposals contained in the quotes provided are those of the individual authors and editors of the book reviewed — not necessarily mine. If you have disagreements with quoted portions of the book, I strongly suggest obtaining a copy of the book (purchase or via your local library) and reading it in its entirety before taking a public stance — I have,  out of necessity, quoted only very short sections which may be missing important context and further explanation and justification.

Immediately above are links to full and free .pdf copies of the three underlying publications on which the book is based, and one further related publication from the Breakthrough Institute.  Enjoy.

# # # # #

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Tom Halla
July 5, 2017 12:10 pm

From the review, the deep greens will regard it as doubleplus ungood crimethink.

Willy Pete
July 5, 2017 12:15 pm

The developing world needs adopt no other energy system than had the developed world before the Green insanity, i.e. fossil fuels and nuclear, with controls on real pollution which actually does harm environments. Among those is not CO2 emission, which is an environmental benefit.

July 5, 2017 12:16 pm

With people like Ted Nordhaus, Bjorn Lomborg, etc, there is at least a basis to begin a discussion about climate pragmatism.

John Silver
July 5, 2017 12:40 pm

The debate is over:
”Mann’s now proven contempt of court means Ball is entitled to have the court serve upon Mann the fullest punishment.”

Reply to  John Silver
July 5, 2017 5:35 pm

Ouch! That’s gonna leave a mark ; )

Lance Wallace
July 5, 2017 12:45 pm

” The Breakthrough Institute published the related paper: Climate Pragmatism: Innovation, Resilience and No Regrets”
I checked out this paper, published in July of 2011, in which this statement appears:
“By the Cancún talks in late 2010, the emphasis of international negotiations
had shifted from efforts to establish legally binding emissions limits to more modest
agreements to invest in new energy technology, transfer technology among nations,
and support climate resilience efforts in the developing world.”
What a misreading of history! After 2010, the international approach continued to be agreements among nations (e.g., the Paris Agreement) to establish emissions limits. True, not legally binding as yet, but that is still the objective.
While I agree with the emphasis on providing cheap energy to those who need it, the fundamental driving force continues to be the UN, the G7, California, and others seeking to reduce emissions, often by putting a price on carbon (See today’s news on Gov Brown’s attempt to strengthen the cap and trade laws already passed to extend beyond 2020.)
Therefore the main effort as I see it is to overturn the Endangerment Finding, perhaps beginning with the Red Team/Blue team approach championed by Rick Perry and Scott Pruitt to knock out the CO2 theory. Many environmental regulations already depend on that unfortunate Supreme Court ruling upholding the proposed rule in 2009. That would set in motion forces making it more acceptable for countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, and even China to stop giving lip service to the CAGW doomsayers.

Reply to  Lance Wallace
July 5, 2017 1:12 pm

When are they going to hold one of these conferences in Novosibirsk, Ulaanbaatar, Timbuktu or Ouagadougou instead of Kyoto, Copenhagen, Paris or Cancun?

Reply to  Gabro
July 5, 2017 1:34 pm

Yes, by “they”, UN trough-feeders and their fellow rent-seeker is who I had in mind.
And I suspect you’re right.

Reply to  Lance Wallace
July 5, 2017 3:27 pm

Despite the large group of scientists that cast a huge plethora of contradictory evidence on the effects of manmade global warming, you still seem to be pushing for very unrealistic goals. If you haven’t noticed, unrealistic regulations are putting companies out of business and discouraging entrepreneurial innovation. We’ve lost 42,000 factories in just the last 15 years, and many more before that.
Is it your goal to put people out of work or just buy up the assets when they go bankrupt, close or just forced to move? People are leaving California at record rates. Nobody can afford to live there but the wealthy. San Franciso real estate prices are starting to collapse and of course, Inventories are increasing drastically.

tony mcleod
Reply to  HSkipRob
July 5, 2017 4:05 pm

“…the large group of scientists that cast a huge plethora of contradictory evidence on the effects of manmade global warming”.
Do you have any evidence for that statement? Or is it just what you have been led to beleive?

Reply to  HSkipRob
July 5, 2017 4:47 pm

The Mclode denying the Oregon Project, an actively skeptic American President, well visited, well commented web sites of skeptics; WUWT, Climate Audit, JoNova for starters.
While Mclode can point to the, er fraudsters, poorly visited web sites; sks, and other lousy sites devoted to alarmism and CO2 religious beliefs.
Then, Mclode is paid to disbelieve reality.

Reply to  HSkipRob
July 5, 2017 7:09 pm

McClod demonstrating once again that irony is lost on him.

tony mcleod
Reply to  HSkipRob
July 5, 2017 9:29 pm

When I ask for evidence for:
“…the large group of scientists that cast a huge plethora of contradictory evidence on the effects of manmade global warming”.
It’s obviously a rhetoric question given that: “cast a huge plethora of contradictory evidence” are not just un-scientific weasel words but amatuerish ones. Go and take notes from Paul Driessen. Paul is so good it’s hard to tell whether he actually believes his bs!
Really? You want to dredge up a decade old and thoughly discredited, unverifiable mess that was the Oregon Project, with it’s tiny fraction of anyone who had anything to do with the atmosphere? This is where the “plethora of contradictory evidence” comes from? Plus Donald Trump, plus some armchair expert blogs?
Hmmm, why aren’t all fields of science subject to this kind of intense, armchair expert review.
Oh, thats right amatuer, arrmchair experts generally know sfa.
So what are some of the links to this “huge plethora of contradictory evidence on the effects of manmade global warming”? There must be thousands.

Reply to  HSkipRob
July 6, 2017 4:52 am

What closes factories is companies moving them to where labor costs are lower…
Not regulations
[lol! no regulation EVER closed a factory, or power plant? -mod]

July 5, 2017 12:46 pm

The best thing we could do as a society to conserve energy and make our society inherently more durable would be to take advantage of Earth sheltered and underground building. Moving dirt is pretty easy and designs have improved to eliminate the problems such structures once had. It’s something that I think we will inevitably do. Mexico City is supposedly set to build their long planned 300 m earthscraper this year.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  RWturner
July 5, 2017 1:03 pm

Well I suppose when the next earthquake hits they can just leave the bodies where they are; instant tomb!

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 5, 2017 1:22 pm

I knew the inevitable sophistic replies would follow because it’s human nature
But underground structures are actually more earthquake resistant.
And I’m sure the architects are fully aware of the natural hazards in Mexico City.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 5, 2017 1:35 pm

A tunnel may be earthquake resistant. I remains to be seen if a network of tunnels or an area of excavation with vastly reduced supporting structure is earthquake resistant. And those portions of the underground structure that are in a liquefaction zone will require some particular attention. If you have a breakthrough of liquefied material into an occupied space survival might be problematic. And if you think architects have things sorted, I suggest you look to recent events at Grenfell Tower as commentary on that view.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 5, 2017 2:02 pm

It’s well established that underground structures are more resilient to seismic damage. Now how do you propose that an inground structure has “vastly reduced supporting structure”? Again, it’s the exact opposite. Whether your structure is above or below ground, the integrity of the underlying surface and soil prone to liquefaction should be considered
Some of these homes have better natural lighting than typical stick and nail homes.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 5, 2017 2:31 pm

Kip Hansen
July 5, 2017 at 1:29 pm
Rejected finally as she likes windows in the kitchen….

She can now have them with remote cameras and video monitors. Might be difficult to open but I am sure that can also be accommodated with a little ingenuity.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 5, 2017 2:55 pm

Imagine a rectangle sunk into the earth for 100 stories. Now, if it were a conventional skyscraper, how much of the floor plan is devoted to supporting the floors above and below? Could you maintain that same percentage of open area in a subterranean structure, or would it have to be more spread out to allow sufficient support for the burden overhead? Or, were you proposing to literally dig a hole 100 stories deep and then build a skyscraper in it?

Robert W Turner
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 5, 2017 3:39 pm

D.J. – The majority of supporting structure for a tall building is actually for lateral support to counter force applied by wind, so skyscrapers are already inherently overbuilt for vertical load. The load for an inverted skyscraper is even less of an issue because it will not have lateral forces acting on it.
I’m not sure what the architect’s design had to do with the poor choice (and illegal) of cladding on Grenfell Tower, it sounds like it was an accountant’s choice. But that might be another hurdle for inverted skyscrapers, fire escape and bean-counters. Regardless, one will likely be built soon.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 5, 2017 3:59 pm

Column supports are not primarily for resistance to overturning forces. Resistance to “racking” is achieved via diagonal bracing and energy absorption via displacement; the building bends. See the Sears Building in Chicago where those elements are incorporated into the visual design.
At Grenfell Tower the cladding choice was almost entirely up to the architect. Being in the fire and life safety field, I can tell you that frequently architects have to be led gently away from sub-optimal choices in building design as it concerns life safety. And you’re right, fire response/evacuation in the event of a fire is going to be a challenge for such a structure. It would be quite exciting to be on that design team.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 6, 2017 8:08 am

You have a source for that claim that the cladding choice was the architect’s? I have only heard that it was chosen for cost savings, was objected to by many, and was actually illegal to use on a building that size.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 6, 2017 6:06 pm


Studio E Architects
This south London practice that regularly works on public buildings was appointed by K&C TMO in July 2012. Studio E, run by award-winning duo Andrzej Kuszell and David Lloyd Jones, specified materials to be used in the refurbishment of the tower in a 2014 planning application and then provided drawings for proposed amendments such as repositioning the windows on the tower. Studio E did not respond to an email requesting comment. The Architects Registration Board, which has legal responsibility for regulating the profession, has said it will investigate the role of architects in the Grenfell disaster.

See below for the full article.

Reply to  RWturner
July 5, 2017 1:41 pm

So you’d have us become Morlocks? 🙂
The idea of a buried house is nothing new and has real advantages if sited well. They have their issues in areas with high ground water level, and areas where snow accumulation presents access problems.
The problem with multi story underground installations is flooding. If you lose power you’ll have a pumping/drainage issue.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  rocketscientist
July 5, 2017 3:16 pm

Morlocks didn’t have skylight technology, and maybe that’s why they were so angry.
Water is the biggest obstacle, you wouldn’t want your inverted tower to become a fancy stepwell. It’s certainly not insurmountable as subways have been operating daily for over 100 years.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  rocketscientist
July 5, 2017 7:12 pm

My paternal great grandparents raised their family in a sod house on the prairie of western Manitoba on Free homestead land. In Winnipeg, they were given an ox and ox cart with big diameter wheels with a kerchief tied to a spoke that the children took turns counting out the revolutions of the wheel to the number that would bring them to their land along a cart trail over a hundred miles long.
A land agent met them and showed them how to rig up a plow to the ox and he turned the sod over along the boundaries of their new property. A pit was dug into the Prairie soil to a depth 4ft or so to get below the frost line. The sod was laid in courses and cut to accommodate one window and one door and frames supplied by the land agent.
They were given seed and flour, tea, sugar, lard, salt, potatoes, salt pork etc., a heating, /cooking stove, etc. They wintered in this dwelling, half below the ground in very bitter cold. Yeah it can be done.

Reply to  RWturner
July 5, 2017 2:39 pm

Don’t think so. A novel and interesting form of habitation but the Earth is moving toward urbanization and vertical expansion which is why the human footprint on non urban environments is shrinking in many important ways. I don’t see how this new urban model is reproducible underground or how it would support the urban densities that will come as the undeveloped world develops.

Reply to  RWturner
July 5, 2017 4:50 pm

Ignoring the legions of people who find themselves working underground; in the many basements under tall building.
Legions that find working underground, depressing.
Imagine how cheerful they could be if they only lived underground.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 6, 2017 8:21 am

I didn’t consider this too off topic considering the topic of the book — this concerns both energy conservation and resilience to weather. I don’t know if there’s enough to make an entire article about it considering nothing but earth-sheltered homes have actually been built, but perhaps I will if the Mexican government breaks ground on their earthscraper.

Reply to  RWturner
July 5, 2017 7:21 pm

Lightening ridge an underground opal mining area in a hot hostile desert in Australia has many underground houses.

Reply to  RWturner
July 5, 2017 7:58 pm

Dear RWturner,
the Japanese had time to think about the best construction type suitable for seismically active areas and went for stick and nail houses. They flex when the world shakes. Unfortunately [for the residents] they were also vulnerable to fire bombing.
Underground/earth sheltered building also present maintenance difficulties compared with above ground construction…how to access that power/communication cable or water pipe for instance?
And there are a lot fewer sloping sites suitable for earth sheltered construction than there are flat sites suitable for nail and stick construction.
So ok if you can afford it.

Reply to  GregK
July 6, 2017 8:16 am

Moving dirt wasn’t very easy prior to large dirt moving machinery. An Earth-sheltered home built on flat land is called a berm style home. The cost is the most prohibitive thing to overcome but should be fully compensated on energy savings in a few years.

July 5, 2017 12:48 pm

Sounds like a good start…getting the outright misanthropes to self-identify by their reaction to such a remarkably reasonable idea will be interesting.

Bruce Cobb
July 5, 2017 1:03 pm

The phrase “Trojan Horse” springs to mind.

July 5, 2017 1:26 pm

The power of the Climate Pragmatism vision lies in its ability to abandon long-held dogmatic views about the relationship between energy and climate change in favor of a well-founded faith in human ingenuity.

America has been a wonderful example of how to enable innovation.
First you need a breakthrough for instance the invention of the gasoline engine.
You need a population of tinkerers who are prosperous enough to buy parts and who can spare the necessary time. You don’t get a lot of innovation from folks scrabbling just to get enough to keep from starving.
The Wright Brothers were bicycle mechanics who brought powered flight to the world. The industry literally took off from there.
Automobiles had been produced for a long time by small operations by the time Henry Ford introduced the production line. Even after that, innovation was continued by Hot Rodders. When I was young, most males were able to tinker with their cars.
Over time, as things become more sophisticated, individual tinkering ceases to be viable.
Another breakthrough was the computer chip. Starting in the 1970s everybody and their dog was building desktop computers in their garages and writing code in their mothers’ basements. We still have a lively Maker Movement enabled by things like the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and cheap 3D printing.
Given the right circumstances, innovation abounds. The one thing I’m seriously worried about is breakthroughs. Breakthroughs don’t happen on demand … no matter how desperately need them … or how much money you spend trying to achieve them. We’ve been working on alternate energy for a while and have spent buckets of money and all we’ve seen is incremental improvements … no real breakthroughs.
The other necessary thing is to lock up all the safety ninnies who don’t want our kids doing dangerous things like owning chemistry sets. When was the last time you saw one of those?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 5, 2017 1:39 pm

My scout (age 11) was capable of lighting a fire with flint and steel over a year ago. I don’t encourage matches as they are prone to get wet. 😉

Reply to  commieBob
July 5, 2017 1:41 pm

Renewables run into the wall of physics. Maybe battery technology will achieve a breakthrough, but submarine engineers have been working on that for over a century, with limited success. Electric windmill technology has, as you state, made incremental progress since 1887, but nothing close to a breakthrough.
Breakthroughs don’t happen often. Steam power was one. Electricity was another. Ditto the internal combustion engine. Nuclear power and the silicon chip. It has been a while.
For that matter fire and flint knapping aren’t all that far removed from nuclear energy and microchips.

Reply to  Gabro
July 6, 2017 4:51 am

Lets see: I am bombarded by ads for cordless hoovers, cordless power tools, cordless lawn mowers.
what technology has produced these?
Ah! The lithium ion battery.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Gabro
July 6, 2017 8:17 am

When cordless welders hit the market you might have a valid point. Maybe then my other cordless tools will last through a day of use without charging several batteries.

Michael darby
Reply to  commieBob
July 5, 2017 2:01 pm

commieBob: “America has been a wonderful example of how to enable innovation.
First you need a breakthrough for instance the invention of the gasoline engine.”
The first gasoline(petrol) engine was built in 1876 in Germany by Nikolaus August Otto.
It was not invented in America.

Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 2:06 pm

He didn’t say that it was. That’s where the breakthrough occurred. You seem to have missed the point that this breakthrough was exploited by Ford to mass produce cars affordable by the masses, as opposed to expensive machines hand-built by craftsmen, as coaches had been.

Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 2:10 pm

Nor was the steam engine invented in America, but Eli Whitney put one on a ship. Breakthroughs are followed by practical applications, at which the US used to excel. An American, Franklin, did contribute to the development of electricity, and others born or living here invented most of its major applications, ie telegraphy, the electric light, the phonograph, telephone and TV.
Since the 1940s, the breakthroughs have often been made in America, too, with the applications, as before.

Michael darby
Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 2:36 pm

LOL @ Gabro: its (electricity) major applications, ie telegraphy, the electric light, the phonograph, telephone and TV.

You are funny.

1) The first phonograph did not use electricity.
2) Georges Rignoux and Professor A. Fournier were not Americans

Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 2:40 pm

I guess I should have said electric phonograph, but in the context of electric inventions, I’d have thought that clear.

Michael darby
Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 2:41 pm

PS, The first working telegraph was built by the English inventor Francis Ronalds in 1816.

Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 2:41 pm

Besides, the gentlemen to whom you refer are credited with TV, not the phonograph.

Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 2:43 pm

There were electrical predecessors before that, too. But Morse’s design and code are what became adopted worldwide.

Michael darby
Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 2:54 pm

So Gabro there are other countries that apply “breakthroughs” before America. I guess what you are saying is that America was good at expropriating technology. Like China is doing now?

Michael darby
Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 2:58 pm

Yes, you are correct Gabro, the two mentioned regarding TV were not American. Nice to see you can understand the point I was making.

Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 3:00 pm

If you had read what I wrote, you’d have found that I said that other countries had in the past applied breakthroughs before the US. Britain developed water-powered mills and machinery before the US and built the first steam engine-powered rail roads.
I’m not aware however of any novel application of a breakthrough yet made in China since 1949. I might have missed something. I am aware OTOH that Clinton treasonably traded US secrets to China in return for campaign cash, and that Chinese agents have stolen sensitive US technology, particularly as to satellites and missiles.
China of course historically made some important breakthroughs and applications in previous millennia.

Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 3:03 pm

Michael darby July 5, 2017 at 2:58 pm
But their TV went nowhere.
All electronic TV as it became was an American invention, by Idaho farm boy Philo Farnsworth, born to Mormon parents in Utah.

Michael darby
Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 3:16 pm

” I am aware OTOH that Clinton treasonably traded US secrets to China in return for campaign cash”

I feel sorry for you, your grasp of “facts” are seriously compromised by political garbage.

Explosive bolts and satellite fuel are not “secret.”

You do realize you can’t reverse engineer either of these items right?

Michael darby
Reply to  Michael darby
July 5, 2017 3:23 pm

Gabro: “I’m not aware however of any novel application of a breakthrough yet made in China since 1949”
Here’s one: Sunway TaihuLight

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Michael darby
July 6, 2017 6:39 am

@Michael darby
Sunway TaihuLight
Is neither novel nor breakthrough.

July 5, 2017 1:37 pm

I for one will be glad when the molten salt/Thorium nuclear reactors go commercial and we can shatter the fixed idea that energy has to produce emissions to be cheap and safe and that lots of money is required to provide emission free energy and thta it is always primitive with exorbitant side effect costs due to its unreliability, which batteries will not alleviate.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 6, 2017 4:50 am

There was a post on this site somewhere yesterday with latest details

July 5, 2017 2:02 pm

If available as an ebook, will buy and read based on this recommendation.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 5, 2017 3:17 pm

Literally ran out of room for more physical books at both main residences. Plus, have gotten very spoiled by all the useful electronic annotation features in both Kindle but especially iBooks. Organized electronic post it notes, underlining, and more, with hot links.

July 5, 2017 2:20 pm

‘…not the nonsensical goals set by current UN and NGO programs that consider that “a household has achieved access to modern energy when consuming 50 to 100 kWh per person annually – less than the [consumption of] the average American’s cable television box”.”
But you must remember the progressive elitist goal – to imprison the third world in that third world and if possible push it into the fourth dimension..

July 5, 2017 2:38 pm

Not sure OT:
I recently read a theologian’s explanation of why Cataclysmic Anthropogenic Climate Change is difficult for the church to come to terms with. To paraphrase:
In Genesis after the great flood God said, “There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.” Wikipedia says there is a similar narrative in the Quran.
And 1st Thessalonians, “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly.” Not a lot of wiggle room for science to predict a manmade climate cataclysm.

Reply to  pmhinsc
July 5, 2017 3:07 pm

The fire next time:
2 Peter 3:3-7 (NIV): ‘First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘where is this “coming” he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and with water. By water also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.’

July 5, 2017 3:01 pm

I fully support the idea of pragmatism over idealism/fundamentalism. This is the route to progress. I doubt however that preaching pragmatism is going to overcome the “pseudo-consensus” of climate alarm. The starting point for negotiation from their perspective is “we must stop using fossil fuels.” So following that reasoning we need to let 7.5 billion people feed, cloth, shelter themselves without 85% of the energy they use now. Think about that for a bit from the standpoint of the environment that Greenpeace, FOTE, WWF, Suzuki Foundation and all the other claptrap environmental money pits say they are defending. Every twig, stick and tree is gone for firewood, every animal/fish/fruit/or vegetable is consumed for lack of industrial agriculture and civil war is everywhere and uncontainable as people struggle to survive. Environmentalists like to pretend the mas migration of people from the Middle East and Africa is due to human caused global warming – even when the past 20 years have seen little or no warming, but let’s see what happens when we starve civilization of energy. Their’s is not a logical argument but pure fundamentalism as in any radical religion. It can’t be reasoned with and it won’t compromise.
The fuel that allows this to continue is the supposed “scientific consensus” which is not supported by any objective read of the actual science. All the predictions made by the “human derived CO2 is the fundamental cause of global warming” theory have failed the scientific test. I think we are obliged to support a very public and objective post-mortem of the theory so that the excuses for environmental fundamentalism are exposed and the public support redirected to issues of real concern and value to humanity.

Reply to  andrewpattullo
July 5, 2017 3:20 pm

Blue team has spoken. Now it is the Red team’s turn.

July 5, 2017 3:41 pm

We’ll I know why my basement flooded the other day.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  jjs
July 5, 2017 4:44 pm

I recommend sarc tagging that. Sea ice melting doesn’t raise sea levels any more than melting ice cubes overflow your tea glass.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
July 5, 2017 5:00 pm

That graph was plotted April 7 of 17. Everything beyond that date on that graph is pure conjecture.

Geoff Sherrington
July 5, 2017 3:45 pm

Based on the summary above, the major advances cannot possibly proceed until this “climate” influence is relegated to its previous sideline position; and normal international development processes are freed to continue without the handicap of having to defer to this not so bright group of climate warriors. Talk about lead in the saddle!

Jean Parisot
July 5, 2017 4:39 pm

Why don’t we start with collecting good data? Establishing decent century + scale data set will allow our great-great grand children to start making some informed hypotheses about multi-decade, cyclical climate phenomenon.

Pop Piasa
July 5, 2017 4:40 pm

“The power of the Climate Pragmatism vision lies in its ability to abandon long-held dogmatic views about the relationship between energy and climate change in favor of a well-founded faith in human ingenuity.”
I can say that in less words:
“Let’s just forget what it took to get us where we are and wish ourselves into a brand new utopia!”
I also did not mention religious terms such as “faith” and “dogma” which reveal the true source of this line of BS. Not only should we believe in the link between industrialized nations and climate change, we must also put our faith in Man(n).

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 5, 2017 5:09 pm

10-4, I flew off the handle. Sorry about the shallow read.

Gary Pearse
July 5, 2017 6:34 pm

Kip, a very welcome initiative. I suspect that it will meet with a lot of resistance if it is correct the view that the strong proponents of coercive action are largely persuaded by ideological interests rather than a genuine fear for the plight of the planet.
Nevertheless, such resistance to pragmatism would reveal this as a fact and then we would know that engagement is fruitless and that we must go ahead without them. I believe there would be an added bonus that left alone, the planet would come to no real harm and their alarm would perforce evaporate.

July 5, 2017 7:15 pm

The thing about pragmatism, is that it doesn’t have to be promoted. All that is needed is for government to get out of the way.
If it makes economic sense to do, people will do it on their own without any encouragement from anyone.

Rob Bradley
Reply to  MarkW
July 5, 2017 7:38 pm

LOL @ MarkW, he claims that government can never be pragmatic.


I guess that is why private enterprise landed a man on the Moon.

Reply to  Rob Bradley
July 6, 2017 4:49 am

As I understand it private enterprise might land the next man on the moon – or Mars…

July 6, 2017 2:29 am

“Achieving negligible access thresholds with technologies like rooftop solar panels or cleaner cookstoves — rather than, for example, reliable grid connections — leaves other human development goals far out of reach.”
Well, there are still about 600 million Africans and 1.2 billion across the globe not on a reliable electricity grid.
and there seems little prospect of most of those being hooked up to one, especially a fossil fueled one.
so are we going to leave them suffering from smoke and condemned to scavenge brushwood and spending most of their income on kerosene for lighting, or are we going to do something practical like sell them a cheap efficient stove, sell them solar LED lighting with a phone charger, provide their village with a solar panel to provide community lighting?
which materially improves their lives, increases their disposable income right now.
Or why must they wait – how long? – for the pylon line to get from the coal plant to their village??
I do note though a number of nations pushing ahead in connecting all citizens to a grid – but note reenwables are a large percentage of such efforts. That is Kenya with its World Bank funded project, with a large renewable percentage and India, with its green bond funded efforts from its Rural Electrification dept.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 6, 2017 7:09 am

“a massive expansion of energy systems, primarily
carried out in the rapidly urbanizing global South, in combination with the rapid
acceleration of clean energy innovation, is a more pragmatic, just, and morally acceptable framework
for thinking about energy access. The time has come to embrace a high-energy planet.”
is what they say
And I agree, in principle.
It is just I don’t see much evidence of anybody doing that – sure Morocco, or India or Kenya are having a go.
But there is still going to be a long wait for most of the people off grid.
and a stove, some LED lights, a phone charger get them a massive boost, right now and people are actually doing that. So we can do that, we should do that, while also cheering any attempt to expand the grid. It is low cost and the means are there. It does not stop grid expansion.

South River Independent
Reply to  Griff
July 6, 2017 1:26 pm

Griff – there is an article on the solar power boom in Africa in the June 26 issue of the New Yorker by Bill McKibben. There are some benefits, but, in my opinion, this article by a believer in solar power, shows how inadequate solar power is in the best climate for it. I came away believing that Africa needs a boom in fossil fuel generated power.

July 6, 2017 11:10 am

MODERATOR ==> Do you have any idea why these bits from Tanya Zwick keep appearing in each post’s comment section….same format each time — no comment — some auto post thing?
Their purpose is unclear….
Reply: I was going to delete all of that spambot’s posts and banning it when I got home–which is now.~ctm

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