Pielke Jr. On The Biden Administration’s Social Cost of Carbon

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. has put up a new post.

The Biden Administration Just Failed its First Science Integrity Test

Pricing carbon makes good sense but should not come at the expense of scientific integrity

Which can be found here.

Here is a subsequent Twitter thread on the subject.

🧵Some technical details following my post on the SCC

Here are cumulative CO2 emissions (FFI) to 2300 for each of the 5 USG scenarios (4 are BAU & 1 is policy), along with the extended RCP8.5 & 2 net-zero scenarios (for 2100 and 2200)

Let me emphasize how ridiculous this is🤡

Looking at the high (USG2) and low (USG5) scenarios gives a 2300 temperature increase of as much as >9 degrees C

I have annotated the figure with the red line indicating 3 deg C which occurs as early as ~2070 under USG2

Ok, now let’s look at the IAM damage functions
Here I have annotated the figure by adding the red line denoting 3 deg C

Note that the vast majority of damage occurs >3 deg C (& up to 3C is ~0 +/-)

According to @climateactiontr current policies (BAU) has the world on track for a maximum 2.9C +/- increase

So if the world never sees a T increase of >3 deg, then the vast majority of the SCC damages are imaginary (under the current USG methodology)

And this analysis is insensitive to 3 deg C – that’s just a round number

Pick your favorite BAU value for peak T & invariably the majority of the SCC under the USG method will come from values above that peak

This is a fatal (& obvious) flaw, despite all the apparent complexity

Is climate policy so important that science abuses can be excused?

Or is climate policy so important that science abuses cannot be tolerated?

(Hint: No & Yes)

Read more: https://rogerpielkejr.substack.com/p/the-biden-administration-just-failed

And more generally: https://rogerpielkejr.substack.com/p/the-unstoppable-momentum-of-outdated


Found a typo in this figure at the top of the thread
Corrected version⬇️

Originally tweeted by Roger Pielke Jr. (@RogerPielkeJr) on March 1, 2021.

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Joel O'Bryan
March 2, 2021 6:25 am

Mencken’s observation about the “urge to save humanity” cannot be stated and then re-stated enough times as the Left hurtles us all towards their global fascist goals under the guise of a climate scam:
“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.”
― H.L. Mencken

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 2, 2021 6:51 am

There are those who sincerely believe in their cause and seek only to work for a better world. Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that those wonderful people will be replaced by the power hungry messiahs.

A very good example is Greenpeace. There were the original environmentalists like Patrick Moore. Then there were the people who took over the organization and run it (as far as I can tell) for their own benefit. To keep up the flow of donations, which pay these peoples’ salaries, they have to pump up all sorts of fake catastrophes. Like all kinds of other organizations, that means Greenpeace is divorced from its originally stated goals.

Bob boder
Reply to  commieBob
March 2, 2021 8:59 am

All good, but Greenpeace were not the original environmentalist. There is a long history of environmental concern. Theodore Roosevelt for a good example, and conservatism in general.
On the bad side the Nazi had a very militant environmental component, not unlike today’s left.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Bob boder
March 2, 2021 10:53 am

“On the bad side the Nazi had a very militant environmental component, not unlike today’s left.”
Yuh, they wanted to clean up their environment from the untermenchen. But, seriously- did they really have a militant enviro movement? What was it- clean the air and water and industrial pollution? How was it like today’s left? If so, this could be a good theme for another article here.

Leo Smith
Reply to  commieBob
March 2, 2021 10:45 am

The iron law of oligarchy is a lot older than that: Pournelle stole it

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 2, 2021 2:13 pm

Thanks for the ref Leo. That Iron Law sure describes whats happenning

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Joe Crawford
March 2, 2021 2:14 pm

(continued from above) what’s happening today.

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 3, 2021 7:02 am

‘Stole’ is harsh. Usually in any creative endeavor you’re riffing on previous work.

Compared to the Robert Michels version, Pournelle’s version has the advantage of simplicity and clarity.

Pournelle’s contribution is the realization that the focus and purpose of the organization changes. It starts with the purpose of attaining worthwhile goals. It ends up with the overriding purpose being the perpetuation of the organization itself.

Again, Greenpeace is the poster child. To assure the organization’s continued existence, it has to keep coming up with environmental cataclysms to campaign against. In fact, if it solved all the world’s environmental problems, it would cease to exist. As far as I can tell, no entrenched organization has ever worked itself out of a job and voted to dissolve.

Pournelle’s version also explains why climate warriors are so anti-nuclear. It’s crystal clear they don’t want to actually solve the supposed CO2 problem.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  commieBob
March 2, 2021 1:27 pm

Bob, my sister has a term for Pournelle’s second group: “Nonprofit Parasites.” As for Mencken’s statement, I’d have to modify it a bit to excluding the pre-adults of today. They just want to be social media stars.

ferd berple
Reply to  commieBob
March 3, 2021 10:42 am

wonderful people will be replaced by the power hungry messiahs.
Lenin and Stalin. Lenin led the revolution, but Stalin most likely eliminated Lenin and Trotsky via the secret police.

Denver C Fletcher
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 3, 2021 4:06 am

Mencken was a reckless Pollyanna. His “almost” does not belong there.

Reply to  Denver C Fletcher
March 5, 2021 7:37 am

LOL Sorry I didn’t notice that sooner.

Nick Schroeder
March 2, 2021 6:25 am

To move fluid through a hydraulic resistance requires a pressure difference.
To move current through an electrical resistance requires a voltage difference.
To move heat through a thermal resistance requires a temperature difference.
Physics be physics.

The complex thermal resistance of the atmosphere (esp albedo) is responsible for the temperature difference between the surface and the ToA.
And that involves ALL of the molecules not just 0.04% of them.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
March 2, 2021 4:39 pm

The thermal balance on Earth is powerfully trimmed by two temperature dependent processes. Formation of sea ice at -2C to limit heat loss and cyclic formation of atmospheric ice at 0C and cooler at an altitude above 7000m over a sea surface at 30C to reduce heat uptake by reflecting insolation. The rest is just noise until the Atlantic warm pools do not consistently reach 30C. Then the Atlantic goes cold causing mountains of ice on the adjacent land in the northern hemisphere.

Same temperature extremes today as a month ago, 30 years ago, 20,000 years ago and millions of years ago:
comment image

I do not put much faith in what John Kerry speaks but he happened to mention that the global surface temperate was 57F in a video link posted here a while back. I figure that is 13.9C – smack in the middle of the two extremes; who would have thought!

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
March 2, 2021 8:43 pm

Radiative physics seems to escape your physics.
Max Planck would not be amused.

March 2, 2021 6:32 am

Pricing carbon makes good sense but should not come at the expense of scientific integrity
B.S. Right from the beginning. It doesn’t make any sense at all if you have scientific integrity.

Reply to  NavarreAggie
March 2, 2021 6:33 am

Economic freedom IS political freedom. The aim, here, is to reduce both to a point on non-existence.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  NavarreAggie
March 2, 2021 6:50 am

Pricing carbon? Why? How much does a ton of carbon (coal) cost?

Reply to  Gregory Woods
March 2, 2021 7:30 am

For something so universally consumed, such as fuel, the social cost and benefit are already included in the “selling price” which is equal to what the purchaser is willing to pay for the benefit gained. We are not talking about back alley phentanyl in this case, where a few purchasers can inflict costs on society that are greater than the selling price.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 2, 2021 8:41 am

If you are going to do “Social Costs” then it out to be done with everything across the board.

Lets take VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS for example: They will cause people to live longer.

When people live longer, they consume more resources (and these are carbon intensive). They are more likely to reproduce (thus consuming more resources due to increased progeny). They will burden government retirement programs and cost the social security program. They will suffer more costly late onset diseases, that are expensive to treat: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc. They will put a productivity burden on younger generations to support (more assisted living facilities, time away from work). They will burden the medical system requiring it to care for more people with milder age related chronic illnesses. They will cost more lives in traffic accidents. They will retire at later ages, deriving young people of job opportunities. They are less efficient than young folks at work, driving up employer costs. And the inanity goes on an on… and the conclusion is “it makes good sense” to tax vitamins at $200 a ton to pay for all the harms vitamins do (lol).

The Social Cost scheme is like almost everything else the Left does. Take some issue, (eg minimum wage, UBI, etc), or make something up (white fragility, privilege, diversity, equity) then hermetically isolate it from the real world, thus inoculating it from criticism, and then use it to drive some pet agenda.

By even arguing social costs, you have admitted they are a “thing”, and are thus playing in the Left’s sandbox, and that is half the battle for them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
Bob boder
Reply to  Anon
March 2, 2021 9:01 am

Anon, you hit it right on the head. The left always wants to define the argument. When you let them you lose.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Anon
March 2, 2021 2:25 pm

Anon, Cuomo had a solution to the problem of people living longer…the Wuflue. Send a few infected to the nursing homes and prevent anyone over 80 from having access to the vacinne… a one-man Sarah Palin ‘Death Panel” :<)

Reply to  Gregory Woods
March 2, 2021 7:38 am

Pricing carbon? How much does a ton of carbon (diamond) cost? 😜

Rich Lambert
Reply to  Gregory Woods
March 2, 2021 10:32 am

Since carbon dioxide benefits nature you should get paid to release it.

Reply to  NavarreAggie
March 2, 2021 7:48 am

Pricing the cost of carbon without also pricing the benefits of carbon would also come at the expense of scientific integrity.

Poems of our Climate
Reply to  NavarreAggie
March 2, 2021 8:32 am

Scientists need to learn a little psychology. Carbon pricing, global warming, and countless other pseudo causes, are nothing but lame excuses for the autocratic rise of the non-contributers. All the fake problems must be aggressively scorned if we are to avoid the burgeoning global communism.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Poems of our Climate
March 3, 2021 12:04 pm

nothing but lame excuses for the autocratic rise of the non-contributers

Man, that sums it up nicely! The “saviors” here to “save” us from nothing, at gargantuan cost, of course – both in financial terms and in terms of our freedom to do as we please.

Reply to  NavarreAggie
March 2, 2021 4:45 pm

I can only add but a single “+”.

The scientific community is bereft of integrity. It appears that the prime requirement to enter into scientific study is compliance. Any curiosity gets left at the door as students enter labs or lecture rooms. They are being taught the “truth”.

Richard M
March 2, 2021 6:48 am

It makes no difference how much CO2 is emitted because GHGs will not increase the temperature of the planet beyond where it is today. The claimed 33 C warming from GHGs is bogus as are any claims of future warming .

The Earth emits radiation right at the S-B computed temperature. The reason the surface is warmer is the same reason the surface has a higher air pressure. There’s more mass due to gravity and the mass is what contains the energy we call temperature. It’s really that simple.

And no, gravity is not producing any extra energy. All the energy comes from the sun. Gravity just determines how it is distributed in the same matter it determines how the mass is distributed. More molecules, each energized by solar radiation, means a higher temperature. Hence the surface is warmer.

GHGs do participate in spreading energy around the atmosphere. They stabilize the structure of the atmosphere which is determined by the 1) incoming energy, 2) atmospheric mass and 3) Earth’s gravitational force. You can’t increase the temperature by any significant amount without changing one of those 3 values.

Yes, Zeller and Nikolov were right. They just got off track by trying to create energy from gravity when that is unneeded.

The biggest reason IR radiation can not warm the planet is it doesn’t penetrate the skin of the surface. The dynamic part of our planet’s life giving biosphere consists of both that skin and the atmosphere. They are essentially one thermodynamic pool which warms every day and cools every night. IR never reaches the deeper part of the planet’s energy base and hence no warming is possible.

Reply to  Richard M
March 2, 2021 8:41 am

Richard, that’s not a very concise scientific description. The adiabatic lapse rate is easily derivable from the laws of thermodynamics, and the ideal gas relations. For Venus, a couple of published papers even derive it for non-ideal dense phase CO2.
As molecules bounce amongst each other, they gain potential energy but lose kinetic energy as they go upwards, and vice versa. Temperature is simply a measure of kinetic energy, which is dependent on the average velocity of the molecules.
An analogy would be firing a canon ball straight upwards. Eventually, gravity saps its kinetic energy, and its velocity becomes zero. For a gas, that would correspond to a very cold temperature. And the temperature decrease works out the same if you assume rising parcels doing work on the surrounding parcels adiabatically (no heat transfer) as the atmospheric pressure decreases with altitude.

Interestingly, climate scientists seem stuck on IR radiation causing atmospheric effects, and only mention lapse rate as an afterthought, while meteorologists and airplane pilots talk about lapse rate while ignoring IR. And the situation has not really improved since Manabe and Strickler, 1964 paper’s initial stab at it.

Last edited 1 year ago by DMacKenzie
Bob boder
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 2, 2021 9:05 am

Just look out when the cannon ball starts it’s way back down

Richard M
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 2, 2021 6:16 pm

Temperature is simply a measure of kinetic energy, which is dependent on the average velocity of the molecules.

More than the average velocity. The number of molecules is also key. That’s why gravity comes into play. It keeps more molecules close to the surface. Hence, the surface is warmer.

Dale S
March 2, 2021 6:58 am

The insane part is that the damage functions are as a percentage of 2100 GDP — FUND/DICE/PAGE aren’t projecting that the world of 2100 will be 0%-3% less wealthy than the world of 2021 than we are now, they are projecting the world of 2100 will be 0-3% less wealthy *than it would’ve been without +3C”. The world of 2100 will be much, much richer than today’s, at least without ill-advised government control. All of climate policy is predicated on the (comparatively) poor people of today sacrificing for the benefit of the much richer people of the future.

The damage function for climate policy is much larger and more immediate. Intentionally and voluntarily transitioning to unreliable, more expensive power will harm the economy both now and in 2100, by much larger magnitudes. Current policies simultaneously harm the economy while only slightly delaying (not preventing) the projected temperature rise. Adaptation to climate change *by any cause* is inevitable, and much much cheaper than mitigation — it spends the money only when and where it is actually needed.

SRES projected a world (and based emissions on it) that by 2100 had expanded global GP between 9 and 25 times. Meanwhile, even at the fantastically ridiculous increase of +9C, the economic models project 25% damage, leaving at the low end an effective global GDP at least six times what it is today. Even if the increase and the damage were possible (it’s not), that’s not catastrophic, let alone existential.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Dale S
March 3, 2021 12:12 pm

Adaptation to climate change *by any cause* is inevitable, and much much cheaper than mitigation — it spends the money only when and where it is actually needed.

Not only that, but adaptation is actually effective; “mitigation” achieves as much effect on the real world climate as changing the angle of the exhaust pipe on your muffler has on which way the car goes when you turn the steering wheel.

March 2, 2021 7:31 am

 the vast majority of the SCC damages are imaginary 

The climate crisis is a mass psychogenic illness affecting members of a cohesive group.

Just look at Michael Mann.

Reply to  fretslider
March 2, 2021 8:10 am

The madness of crowds is….well….maddening, no? Another study reveals Atlantic current slowing down over last 1000 years….man again causing warming…..when will he just stop it? Are we all just Zucked?

Bob boder
Reply to  fretslider
March 2, 2021 9:07 am

7 billion people with cheaper food just because of CO2 fertilization is a lot of benefit to offset their so called cost.

Reply to  Bob boder
March 2, 2021 1:41 pm

Plant respiration must no longer be taught in schools.

Reply to  Sheepfart
March 2, 2021 1:59 pm

By the time they finish with the social justice stuff, there isn’t any time for anything else.

Reply to  fretslider
March 3, 2021 1:48 am

Urh, must I?

March 2, 2021 7:46 am

Even if you take all of the warming since 1850 and assume that it was caused by CO2, you only get an ECS of less than 1C.

Claims that the temperature is going to rise by 9C, or even 3C are perversions of science, all by themselves.

Reply to  MarkW
March 2, 2021 8:17 am

Professor William Happer points out that CO2 has reached a saturation level and further increases in CO2 will have little effect on temp. Therefore, any further warming would be attributed to natural cycles and since we have warmed from the Little Ice Age, the next move would be down….cold weather is not fun but is deadly.

Reply to  Anti_griff
March 2, 2021 2:27 pm

According to actual measurements,

CO2 reached saturation levels at about 280ppm

The IPCC “log” relationship is not actually correct

comment image

note lines are offset so they can be seen more easily.

Last edited 1 year ago by fred250
March 2, 2021 7:53 am

From Axios; there’s probably a better link, I’ll look.

Cities are starting to ban new gas stations
Jennifer A. Kingson, Mar 1, 2021 

Petaluma, California, has voted to outlaw new gas stations, the first of what climate activists hope will be numerous cities and counties to do so.

Reply to  OK S.
March 2, 2021 7:58 am

Sorry, too quick to post. This news was from last week.

Petaluma City Council moves to ban new gas stations
February 24, 2021, 2:50PM

The Petaluma City Council this week moved to ban new gas stations, cementing a nearly two-year moratorium as leaders accelerate ambitious climate action goals.

The prohibition, approved unanimously late Monday, caps a years-long effort by city leaders and climate activists who have pushed an ambitious, zero-emission-by-2030 timeline. The council must approve the ban during a second reading before it takes effect.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  OK S.
March 2, 2021 8:53 am

There are already about 15 gas stations in the city. I can understand if they feel that is enough for a population of about 60,000. But if they drive them out of town it will get inconvenient for those who can’t fill up on a regular commute.

Tony Sullivan
Reply to  OK S.
March 2, 2021 8:25 am

Meanwhile in Florida…

Buc-ee’s just opened their first location in St Augustine, just south of Jacksonville and boasts 104 fueling stations. California will continue to California until enough voters wake up and start reversing the madness.


Burgher King
Reply to  Tony Sullivan
March 2, 2021 8:38 am

“California will continue to California until enough voters wake up and start reversing the madness.”

It’ll never happen. A solid majority of Californians want their state to do just what it’s now doing. Not that it matters anyway. Climate agitators will steal all the votes they need to stay in power in that state.

Reply to  OK S.
March 2, 2021 11:29 am

I wonder if the owners of the existing gas stations approve of this ban.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  OK S.
March 3, 2021 12:59 pm

It’ll all be fun and games until they have to drive to Nevada to fuel up.

March 2, 2021 8:06 am

The RCP scenarios are based on a single selected Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity number. But the error bars on ECS are 1.5 to 4.5 degrees per CO2 doubling. So, credit can only be given to Pielke here for making nice graphs of logical extensions of faulty assumptions. Unfortunately, this might just show the believers of those faulty assumptions that they have to try harder….

Last edited 1 year ago by DMacKenzie
March 2, 2021 8:15 am

I thin he should have stopped at “the costs are imaginary.” SCC assumes no benefits, like increased food production, increased lifespan, this computer I’m using, medical miracles, heat, cooling, and on and on and on.

Reply to  Bob Greene
March 2, 2021 10:08 am

The costs are speculative up to +2.9 C… It’s only beyond 3.0 C that they become imaginary.

I might make a bet on speculation, but not on imagination.

Rick C
Reply to  Bob Greene
March 2, 2021 12:26 pm

Bob G. Nail hit on head. I’ve done many cost – benefit analyses and it’s traditional to have two columns on your spreadsheet, one for costs and one for benefits.

So what are the benefits of burning fossil fuels for energy in monetary terms? Is there value in being able to travel by air? What’s the benefit to of automobile production and use? The world’s total GDP (~$87T) is heavily tied to energy production and use. The benefit of CO2 production could probably be estimated based on a high percentage of global GDP divided by tons of CO2 produced (~30 gT). At 50% of GGDP the benefit of our use of fossil fuels would be about $1450/ton. Subtract that from whatever imaginary future costs you want to attribute to CO2 and you’ll still have a negative number – i.e. the benefits far outweigh the costs.

March 2, 2021 8:23 am

The social cost of carbon is a completely invalid idea. It is wrong both on the thermal properties of CO2 and on economics. If there is a cost of CO2 (e.g. an external cost), it is already factored into the price of all products produced now and in the future that are produced with fossil fuel energy. The cost of mitigating these external costs exceeds the harm done by CO2, if any, or the market would have already favored some way to remove CO2 from the environment.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  Bsl
March 2, 2021 8:41 am

I don’t think it is an “invalid idea”. You can calculate the cost of anything, but we usually calculate the net cost of actions. There is an essential difference between the cost of something and the net cost doing or not doing something. The cost of not buying food is really beneficial – you save 100% of your dietary expenditure. But the net cost is your life, within 30 days.

The cost of not buying any energy is positive! You save all that expense. The net cost (depending on the time of year) could be your life, within a few days.

They talk about the “”social cost of carbon” but invariably refer to the financial cost. The concept is so poorly termed that it almost defies definition. They mean “the financial cost of the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere”. They never give the net cost of such emissions, because that would force the argument to be about cost/benefit. People release carbon dioxide directly or indirectly for several very good reasons: warmth, goods, food and transport.

Clearly they will not be able to do this forever. At some point we will move to electrical power from unending sources, very likely to be atomic power of some kind. When that happens our energy problems will be solved and attention can be directed to other matters such as exploring the stars in the neighbourhood to visit more advanced civilizations. If we work out how to stop killing ourselves maybe they will share some interesting technologies. Before that happens why would they share anything! Think big.

Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
March 2, 2021 7:01 pm

Haven’t you heard? A cost/benefit analysis is “racist”!

Reply to  Bsl
March 2, 2021 8:58 am

No significant temp increase from here from CO2 will happen – CO2 is helping plants worldwide – I would like 800 ppm CO2 for a better world. Anti CO2 people should get a new hobby….maybe move to Cuba or Venezuela.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Bsl
March 2, 2021 10:08 am

Actually, the cost of CO2 is negative as it is wholly beneficial to Man and the ecosystem! Without human intervention CO2 levels will drop below the 150ppm threshold of plants dying in the near geologic future. Our efforts to preserve Life may be puny and ineffective at the moment, but hopefully we will improve. Maybe we will even discover how to stop the return of glaciation that any smart or sane person would prefer over a world of vastly expanded ice caps, shrunken tropical regions and lowered oceans!

What I’d like to know is where I have to go to get my check for all these many years of driving large, V8 powered SUVs and PUs!
For my unselfish actions to make the world warmer, wetter and more fertile a simple thank you will suffice!

Reply to  Bsl
March 2, 2021 2:17 pm

Reply to BsI .
I agree with you 100% .
The social cost of carbon is actually positive as without fossil fuel the world would still be in the stone age .
Taxing carbon fuels and other imagined carbon emissions will force up the price of every thing from basics such as food and shelter and include every thing else that is consumed in modern day living .
The populations of any country that introduces a carbon tax at a high rate will be worse off and the tax take from income tax and sales tax will plummet ,as the general population are forced to pay much more for their essential requirements .
Governments around the world are making grave mistakes going down this path and history will judge them when they destroy their standard of living in the vain quest of saving the world from The imagined threat of CO2

It doesn't add up...
March 2, 2021 8:37 am

The UK government long ago concluded there was no reliable methodology for establishing a social cost of carbon. So it doesn’t. It simply defines its carbon prices by what it thinks is necessary to achieve a given emissions target. The target is set in a largely arbitrary process. The cost of achieving it doesn’t enter into the calculation. No debate that way.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 2, 2021 9:07 am

A link to the document that drew this conclusion would be helpful and put this in context.


Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
March 2, 2021 1:07 pm
Bruce Cobb
March 2, 2021 8:39 am

I think it’s great that we’re learning how to fight climate change. It will be good practice for when we want to halt those nasty, pesky tides.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 2, 2021 8:44 am

Nuke the moon.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 2, 2021 11:32 am

The problem with tides is gradually solving itself.
Tides are causing the moon to gradually drift further away from the earth. Eventually the moos will reach a point where the gravity of the sun is greater than the gravity of the earth, and the moon will go into orbit around the sun.

Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  MarkW
March 2, 2021 1:09 pm

The moon already is in orbit around the sun…

March 2, 2021 8:47 am

The problem I have with this whole “Social Cost Of Carbon” debate is that it is only half of what it needs to be—a cost/benefit analysis. Without the “benefit” part of a cost/benefit, you’re just looking at half the picture. And this will lead you to wrong conclusions.

For example, suppose you’re thinking about buying a car. On the cost side, you have the costs of purchase, registration, insurance, maintenance, and operating expenses.

And if you stopped there, nobody would ever buy a car.

But when you add in the benefits of not having to hire an Uber to get to your job every day and to go grocery shopping or out to the beach on the weekends, it all looks very different.

I say again—half of a cost/benefit analysis is worse than nothing at all, because it is actively misleading.


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 2, 2021 8:51 am

Also, I added the link to the twitter thread in question to the head post.


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 2, 2021 10:17 am

Yep. Even if they can put a probabilistic estimate together for the social cost of carbon, they have to weigh it against not only the current benefits of fossil fuels… But also against the loss of those benefits in the future.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 2, 2021 12:06 pm

How much will “they” pay me to continue breathing?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 2, 2021 12:22 pm

Correct, as usual, Willis. Of greater importance, there’s also the problem that developing estimates for SCC requires jointly modeling two separate determinants – the climate and the economy. The former is a physical process that, to put it mildly, is very poorly modeled at present, and the latter is a non-physical process (human action), which not-withstanding the protestations of Keynesian Klowns (TM) can’t, and therefore shouldn’t, be modeled.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 2, 2021 2:48 pm

excellent comment.
Benefit Cost Ratio BCRs are used everyday to evaluate like projects.

Another way to look at it is to compare the costs for a given task in a set time.
For example
What would be the total cost ( materials, labour, injuries, port infrastructure, environmental impact), to ship one million TEU ( 20’) containers, 1000 kms, per year, for 50 years, using:-
a. Diesel powered ships
b. Nuclear powered ships
c. Battery powered ships
d. Sailing ships.

March 2, 2021 8:48 am

Social cost of carbon studies are just another false narrative for the brainwashed. By ignoring the benefits side of the equation they are engaging in pseudo-economics.

S. K.
March 2, 2021 9:03 am

If the open markets deems co2 a valuable commodity then the price should be determined by the demand and the cost of production (sequestration) not by a biased computer model created by a highly biased organization who has zero credibility has.

Dr. Ross McKitrick has calculated the social cost of a ton co2 at 60 cents with a 50/50 chance of it being a social benefit.

Richard M
Reply to  S. K.
March 2, 2021 1:25 pm

Unfortunately, all the luke warmers use the same basis for analyzing the green house effect. They look at the atmosphere and surface as two distinct parts of the picture. CO2 does lead to warming of the surface skin. However, the surface skin is really part of a larger thermodynamic system that includes the atmosphere. CO2 does not have any measurable effect outside this system and this system gives up its energy every day (on average).

As often happens when you let the opposition define the playing field, you will be at a huge disadvantage. Skeptics need to start developing this more realistic picture and get it published.

March 2, 2021 9:06 am

Nature is doing its bit to keep up the CO2 ‘plant’s food’ supply, despite those ‘orrible humans tryin’ to starve our veggies.
Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung erupted on Tuesday

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Vuk
March 2, 2021 11:29 am

Nice brief video. A probable nue’e ardente can be seen raging down the side of the volcano. Very deadly and you can not outrun such a thing. Pompei was buried by this type of eruption which is the product of a gaseous silica-rich magma, CO2-rich no doubt.

Reply to  Vuk
March 2, 2021 1:56 pm

Javas Merapi also started activity

March 2, 2021 9:06 am

Pricing carbon makes good sense…. I stopped reading there.

Jeffery P
March 2, 2021 9:35 am

Let’s be clear – this is a tax that will do nothing for the climate. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a tax that will only grow over time.

People who propose new taxes seem unaware of how government works. When the income tax was first introduced, it affected only the very well-to-do. Now it affects almost everyone.

Sales tax rates and property tax rates almost always increase (except where the citizens passed amendments to limit tax rate growth. Ever wonder why the property tax rate should be up when your home is appreciating in value?

Government is like the blood-sucking alien plant from Little Shop of Horrors. No matter how much you feed it, it craves more.

The political class would like nothing more than a new method to separate you from your money so it can be redistributed to those who are “more deserving” (like campaign donors and special interest voting groups.

No thank you.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Jeffery P
March 2, 2021 10:19 am

Governments start out as beneficial parasites; helping to protect the host from various ills.
If allowed to grow too large from ever increasing taxes and regulations, they morph into a predator that soon kills off the host in an orgy of destruction!
I wonder where we are on that spectrum?

Reply to  Abolition Man
March 2, 2021 11:34 am

Given the growth of cancel culture, I would say we are well into the savage predator stage.

Reply to  MarkW
March 2, 2021 1:40 pm

Yes. It’s clear that we’re well into the ‘parasite kills off the host’ stage right now. And don’t have much time left.

Jeffery P
March 2, 2021 9:51 am

How about the social cost of green energy? The social cost of green policies?

The increased cost of energy affects the poor and working class the most. As the cost get higher, government decides to fix the problem of expensive energy by subsidizing it. Government never undoes bad policy, they just slap another bad policy on top of it.

March 2, 2021 10:04 am

Pricing carbon makes good sense

No, it doesn’t make the least bit of sense, unless you’re a politician/regulator stealing ever-more taxpayer money.

Gordon A. Dressler
March 2, 2021 10:12 am

In the above article, Dr. Roger Pielke is quoted as saying: “Pricing carbon makes good sense . . .”

Sorry . . . while I have high regard for Dr. Pielke’s knowledge and scientific work, I could not disagree more strongly with his statement.

Dr. Pielke does not present any evidence that increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration is the cause of increasing global lower atmospheric temperatures.

Shockingly (at least to me), it appears that he buys into “correlation equals causation” . . . at least as regards the above-quoted statement and thrust of the above article.

Last edited 1 year ago by Gordon A. Dressler
don rady
March 2, 2021 10:29 am

a)  Has fossil fuels byproduct C02, caused net harm, or made things better for man, animals, and plants, overall?
b)  Is this net harm/benefit – material or insignificant?
If any of the six items below have an answer “no,” then the pro global warming side lose the debate, and therefore C02 from fossil fuels should not be regulated and taxed.
1)  Can scientists forecast the C02, heating, and cooling cycles of the world accurately, 2 – 100 years into the future, when you consider the huge size, massive complexity, and randomness within the atmosphere, oceans, and sun cycles?  
 2) Do fossil fuels cause almost the entire increase of C02 levels in the atmosphere?
                  3)Do we know which worldwide harms were caused or made worse by C02?
The mainstream press is constantly telling us about studies that link C02 and harm. But do we actually know what percentages and probabilities were caused by an increase of C02 toward these harms?
Do we know what percentage of C02 was from fossil fuels?
Does correlation always show causation?
Can we trust these studies to be unbiased (blinded)?
    to have used proper scientific and statistical methods?
    and not just rely on inaccurate computer model projections of the future as factual evidence?
 4) Do we really know all the benefits of man’s release back of C02 into the atmosphere as well as all the benefits of fossil fuels themselves, because they seem to be ignored? And have we quantified these benefits properly?
5) Have we determined that there is a very high probability that net harm exceeds net benefits from increase fossil fuel use?  
6) If the result is net harm, are the huge costs and the unintentional consequences of the solutions proposed to “fix things,” worth implementing, based on projected limited quality and quantity of results?
Again, if any of the answers to these six questions above are no, we should not regulate and tax C02.
In my opinion, not just one, but all six have an answer no, or close to 100% no, or almost for sure no, thus we absolutely should not regulate and tax C02, and the decision shouldn’t even be hard to make.

March 2, 2021 10:33 am

RCP8.5 isn’t a Business As Usual prediction, it’s a bounding case for radiative forcing, 8.5 w/m^2. It isn’t based on a BAU case, it’s a gross exaggeration and has no credibility. Whenever you see that used you can move on and you will not have missed anything.

Here’s a good video about the RCP8.5 scam on the Climate Discussion Nexus.

Steve Z
March 2, 2021 10:52 am

If we look at the RCP-8.5 scenario, which is considered worst-case, the chart predicts about 18,000 gigatonnes (GT) of CO2 emissions by the year 2300, or an average of 64.3 GT/yr, which is about double the current world emission rate. Where will these extra emissions come from in the future? From population growth or from increased CO2 emissions per capita?

Populations in industrialized countries are growing very slowly (mostly from immigration, not much from births minus deaths), and CO2 emissions per capita are stable (if energy is expensive, people will get by with the minimum).

The world’s most populous countries (China and India) will probably slow their population growth rate soon (China has had a one-child policy for decades, and India’s growth rate is slowing), so that most of the increase in energy consumption there would be in energy consumption per capita, due to economic growth and development of new fossil-fuel sources.

Most of the rest of Asia is sparsely populated, so that leaves Africa and South America as the other major sources for CO2 emission rate increases. Most of Africa is severely underdeveloped, but will the powers-that-be try to impose restrictions on CO2 emissions on countries who are trying to catch up to the standard of living of industrialized countries? Some parts of Africa (Nigeria in particular) have petroleum resources that they are eager to develop!

If all of the CO2 emitted to the atmosphere remained there, a mass balance on the atmosphere shows that 8 GT of CO2 would result in a 1 ppm increase in CO2 concentration. However, the CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa are increasing more slowly than would be expected, indicating that about 45% of current anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are removed from the atmosphere by natural processes. If these processes are first-order (removal rate proportional to concentration), then this ratio would not change in the future.

So, even if humanity managed to emit 18,000 GT of CO2 between now and the year 2300 (which it probably won’t, for the reasons described above), the increase in CO2 concentration would be 18,000 / (8 GT/ppm) * (1 – 0.45) = 1,238 ppm, reaching a concentration of about 1,650 ppm by the year 2300. At that concentration, the increase in plant growth rates would result in prolific production from farms, and some farms in marginal areas would probably be re-forested, which would increase the CO2 removal rate.

If we believe the IPCC “sensitivity” of 1.8 C per doubling, then we would see two doublings by the year 2300 and a 3.6 C increase in global temperatures.

But in the real world, temperature increases over the last 20 years have been less than half of what was predicted by most of the models, meaning that the models are neglecting some processes that occur in real-world nature that limit the temperature increase. If the actual temperature increase was half that predicted by the IPCC’s “sensitivity”, it would be about 1.8 C, which is less than their supposed 2.0 C “tipping point”–220 years from now!

The Arrhenius equation (proposed by Svante Arrhenius in 1906) used by the IPCC is fundamentally flawed, and does not represent physical reality. This equation proposes that

dT = k ln (C / C0)

where dT is the temperature increase, k is a constant, C = future CO2 concentration, and C0 is a baseline CO2 concentration in the past. The IPCC “sensitivity” to a doubling of CO2 concentration would be k / ln(2), or about 1.443 k.

There are two fundamental flaws in this equation. On the upside, the temperature increase is unlimited and unbounded, which is a flawed assumption, since if all the IR radiation emitted from earth in the CO2 absorption wavelengths is absorbed by CO2, additional CO2 will not increase the absorption rate. On the downside, if all CO2 was removed from the atmosphere, (C = 0), dT becomes negative infinity, which violates the Third Law of Thermodynamics (lowest possible temperature = 0 K). If there was no CO2 in the atmosphere, the “global warming” due to CO2 should be zero, not negative infinity!

The correct way of modeling warming of the atmosphere due to IR absorption by CO2 is the de Beers equation for absorption of radiation as a function of distance and concentration:

It = Io exp (-ACz)

where It = intensity of transmitted radiation
Io = intensity of emitted radiation from the earth’s surface
A = IR absorption coefficient, a function of wavelength
C = CO2 concentration
z = altitude above the earth’s surface

The energy absorbed (up to an altitude z) is Io – It, or

E(z) = Io [1 – exp(-ACz) ]

The actual equation is more complicated, because C should normally be expressed in molecules CO2 per m3, and one must take into account the variation of atmospheric pressure with altitude. Then this equation needs to be integrated over all wavelengths in the IR spectrum.

It should be noted that if C = 0 in this equation, E(z) becomes zero, which is to be expected physically.

But this equation illustrates that the total energy that can be absorbed by CO2 is bounded, and can never exceed Io, which is a function of surface temperature and wavelength only (Planck function). For wavelengths with the highest CO2 absorption coefficients, over 90% of the available energy is already absorbed in the lowest 100 meters of the atmosphere, and doubling the CO2 concentration would result in the same energy being absorbed in the lowest 50 meters, with very little energy left to be absorbed in the upper atmosphere.

Many of the wavelengths where CO2 absorbs IR radiation are also absorbed by water vapor, so the equation becomes

E(z) = Io {1 – exp [-(AcCc + AwCw)z}

Ac = absorption coefficient for CO2
Cc = CO2 concentration
Aw = absorption coefficient for water vapor
Cw = water vapor concentration

If the product AwCw is much greater than AcCc, then the IR absorption by water vapor dominates the total absorption, and doubling or quadrupling the CO2 concentration has little effect on total absorption. Over tropical oceans, where relative humidities are frequently 70 – 80% even in clear weather, the water vapor concentration can be 2.0 to 3.0 mol% (70% relative humidity at 25 C and sea level = 2.2 mol% = 22,000 ppm), or about 50 times higher than current CO2 concentrations. If CO2 concentrations quadruple by the year 2300, the water vapor concentrations over the tropical oceans would still be 10 to 15 times higher than CO2 concentrations. If AwCw = 10 AcCc for a certain wavelength, water vapor absorbs about 22,000 times the IR radiation as CO2, and an increase in CO2 concentration would have a negligible “drop in a bucket” effect on temperature.

This means that increasing CO2 concentrations will have very little effect on temperatures over tropical oceans (which represent a large fraction of the earth’s surface area) due to water vapor interference.

The Cw / Cc ratio will be lowest over arid land areas (low relative humidity) and very cold areas (cold air cannot hold much water vapor). But since surface temperatures (and Io) are higher in summer than in winter in temperate areas, with higher absolute humidity, the Cw / Cc ratio increases in warmer seasons (when outbound IR radiation is highest), and water vapor interference decreases in cold weather (when the outbound IR radiation is lower, due to the Stefan-Boltzmann effect).

In polar regions, Io is very low in winter, but higher in summer. Over the Arctic, which has some open water in summer, the higher humidity will limit the temperature rise, while over Antarctica, summer temperatures may warm slightly, but not enough to reach the freezing point at high altitude or melt the ice cap.

This means that greatly increased CO2 concentrations will have little effect on temperatures in the tropics, but may result in slightly warmer winters in temperate areas (with summers unchanged), and warmer summers in polar areas (but not warm enough to melt ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica), and warmer temperatures in arid regions (which are sparsely inhabited).

In polar regions, Io is very low in winter, but higher in summer. Over the Arctic, which has some open water in summer, the higher humidity will limit the temperature rise ( temperatures over the Arctic tend to plateau at 3 to 4 C in summer) while over Antarctica, summer temperatures may warm slightly, but not enough to reach the freezing point at high altitude or melt the ice cap.

At the same time, the people living in the year 2300 will enjoy abundant farm yields and lush plant growth due to the CO2-stimulated rapid plant growth, from plants that are more drought-resistant than those of today. Too bad we won’t live to see it!

March 2, 2021 12:41 pm

All of this reminds me of the Catholic Church selling indulgences prior to the Reformation. While I will not state that the Catholic Church is a cult, the Escathological Cargo Cult of the Church of the CAGW has all the earmarks of one. I sometimes wonder if I have recourse under the non-establishment clause of the First Amendment against these creeps.

Reply to  shrnfr
March 2, 2021 1:47 pm

Exactly. It’s just the modern version of medieval religious corruption.

March 2, 2021 1:05 pm

The social cost of carbon-based life.

March 2, 2021 1:10 pm

Who will “liberate” Greenland first?
Mining magnets: Arctic island finds green power can be a curse
Biden will be sending troops there immediately…

Rud Istvan
March 2, 2021 2:14 pm

A generic observation. We have let the warmunists twist word meanings to their advantage. Not that Pielke is a warmunist, but he plays their game in his comments.

Here, carbon pricing. They mean CO2 emissions pricing. C has a molecular mass of 8. O is 16. CO2 is 40. They want to price carbon instead of CO2?!?

Two other pet peeve examples.

  1. Global warming became climate change because it wasn’t warming. Since climate always changes, that is now becoming climate weirding, which actually just means extreme weather. Which is not becoming more extreme, so NOT weirder than it always was. See essay Extreme Extremes in ebook Blowing Smoke for some really funny examples.
  2. Ocean acidification sounds scary. But the oceans can never acidify because of buffering even tho fresh rainwater is often slightly acidic. Oceans can perhaps become slightly less basic, on the order of pH 8.2=>8.0. But the biologically driven seasonal range can be > than 1 pH. See several examples in essay Shell Games in ebook Blowing Smoke.

Lets not play along with unscientific warmunist twisted word meaning PR.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 2, 2021 4:10 pm

Semantic games, conceptual corruption, even conflation of logical domains, the social cost of carbon was preceded by the social cost of carbon-based life. The philosophers change, the faith persists, the religion is monotonic.

March 2, 2021 2:32 pm

The catistrophic global warming climate kooks keep spreading conspiracy theories about a climate emergency which doesn’t exist!

March 2, 2021 2:58 pm

Five words into the title, and I knew I could stop. “Carbon pricing” is anti-sense. Simply another hidden tax to sustain and grow bureaucratic fiefdoms while enriching the favored nobility.

Tom Abbott
March 2, 2021 4:20 pm

We are talking about carbon dioxide, not carbon.

If you are quoting and carbon is in the quote, it needs a [sic] out beside it, if you want to be accurate.

Science depends on defining things properly.

Pat from kerbob
March 2, 2021 5:42 pm

I figured bigoilbob would be on this again.

When I consider the social cost of CO2 I think more of the social benefit and then I think about world population graphs which show a true hockey stick, essentially flat forever then exponential growth.

All in sync with the hydrocarbon age and increasing use.

So to me, the social benefit is ~8-9 of every 10 people i see every day, who would not exist without it.

And of course that is really why the climate scientologists HATE hydrocarbons so much as that is the true social cost of hydrocarbons.
8 billion of us

Get rid of one, most of the other have to follow

March 2, 2021 7:15 pm

How many USG scenarios?

We’re used to hearing that an entire generation of so-called climate scientists has to go, but I’m beginning to think the same thing about so-called climate realists like Pielke Jr. who still give any credit to the IPCC CO2 global warming fake physics hoax and its fake “climate sensitivity” numbers, with or without the logarithmic modification.

Nobody seems to ‘get’ that the entire CO2 warming debate is over, finished, kaput. Why? Because CO’s weak puny 15 micron photons have a Planck radiation temperature of -80C and can’t melt an ice cube, much less cause global warming, heat waves, etc. CO2 radiation can’t raise global averages temperatures even 1 millionth of 1C, much less several degrees C. There’s just no heat in -80C. CO2 radiation in watts per square meter of -80C is irrelevant to Earth temperatures because it can’t raise the temperature of any molecules higher than -80C.

The game, set, and match is to wake the public up to CO2’s 15 micron -80C problem and let the IPCC that pushes it fall apart along with its plans to destroy Western capitalism by wasting hundreds of trillions of dollars.

The killer equation for CO2 global warming is so simple, but sadly few possess the background in radiative/thermal physics to deeply understand it and answer all IPCC objections. Only I provide a free online course patiently explaining the physics step-by-step, a better course than all of academia can come up with, if they weren’t under the control of the IPCC anyway. Study it or fall behind:


March 2, 2021 8:17 pm

Ideas such as as the social costs of carbon are often wrapped up in ideas such as “social justice.” However, energy taxes, all of them, are about the most unjust forms of taxation there can be, to the poor especially.

I saw a segment on TV today when they were taking carbon taxes to task based on the damage they could do to the economy. Then they said carbon pricing might be okay if the people were reimbursed by lower other taxes. But the proportions for the poor doesn’t work out so good. It’s just total hypocrisy on the part of the SJWs.

March 2, 2021 8:36 pm

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. wrote
Pricing carbon makes good sense…

…and he lost me right there, unless he was talking about coal, firewood, or lumber. I only skimmed and I didn’t see anything about that.

Pricing CO2 makes no sense unless you are buying it in bulk to use in some process.

I’m willing to pay good money for CO2 cartridges for my pellet gun.

Mickey Reno
March 3, 2021 3:25 am

I’m Looking forward to the day when Pielke Jr. and all carbon dioxide taxers and pricers embrace the pro-CO2 argument, seeing it as a net GOOD for our environment, and for all living things and start ADDING value to the environment for every human emission of this life-sustaining gas.

March 3, 2021 3:46 am

hmm pricing carbon does NOT make any sense
that idea belongs on the flat earth article;-)

Denver C Fletcher
March 3, 2021 4:05 am

I dunno about you but so-called carbon products, i.e. petrol for my car, mostly, already HAVE a price on them where I live. And the vast majority of that price is already taxes, so I’m unimpressed by the argument that paying more taxes is going to save the world, since we were already paying more in taxes on gas than for the gas itself and the tax-collectors still got us into the state we’re in now (that we allegedly need saving from, which I do not believe for a femtosecond).

Pat Smith
March 3, 2021 6:23 am

When we talk about loss of GDP percentages, it is worth remembering that the global economy will be much bigger in 2100. For instance, with a global GDP growth of 2% a year, the world would be nearly 5 times richer at the end of the century. 3% a year would lead to over 10 times bigger. Taking off even 10% of each of these (6 degrees temperature rise in the worse case above) gives us 4.5 times and over 9 times bigger world economies respectively. Global economic growth over the last 60 years has been about 2.75% (8.75 times bigger in 2100 if current trends continue). Is it possible that a massive massive spend ($2 trillion a year, 3, more?) in converting from reliable to weather-dependent energy might effect global growth? Probable? Might it go from 2.75% to 2%, for instance, in which case we do not lose 5 to 10% but 400%?

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