“Off Target”: Bad Economics of the Climate Crusade (mitigation not supported by mainstream analysis)

Reposted from MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr. — July 30, 2021

“Although advocacy of aggressive climate-change policies is often draped with the mantle of science, mainstream economists who follow the scientific literature have shown that the popular 1.5°C policy target will pose costs that far exceed the benefits, and that the emission reductions flowing from strict adherence to the 1.5°C target would be worse for the world than doing nothing at all.” (Murphy and McKitrick, below)

Adaptation, not mitigation, has long been the answer of climate economics for climate policy. In fact, at lower climate sensitivity estimates, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are thought to be a positive externality, in the jargon of economics, not a negative requiring government correction.

A new study by Robert P. Murphy and Ross McKitrick, Off Target: The Economics Literature Does Not Support the 1.5C Climate Ceiling, explains this to professional economists and the climate intelligentia alike. Released by the Fraser Institute (Canada), their short-and-sweet study uses the peer-reviewed literature to undermine a key assumption/goal of the United Nations Climate Conference of Parties (COP26), which is set for November in Glasgow, UK.

Note that the climate has warmed, it is believed, by about 1.2°C since pre-industrial times, something that happily ended the Little Ice Age. So the magical 1.5°C gives the world just 0.3°C of permitted warming, as if we are doomed by any bigger increase. [1]

The summary of the report follows:

Executive Summary

Many advocates of government intervention to curb greenhouse-gas emissions have called for a temperature ceiling on global warming. The consensus was originally 2 degrees Celsius, but advocates of more aggressive action succeeded in shifting the goal to 1.5 degrees, at least as an aspirational target.

This new goal is epitomized in a 2018 report issued by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) titled Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR1.5). In the present report, we leave aside the extremely difficult issue of translating a temperature goal into an emissions target, and focus on the temperature goal itself.

It is widely but mistakenly believed that the SR1.5 recommended the 1.5°C target on the basis that it was needed to avoid large net economic and social losses. But in fact the report specifically eschewed cost-benefit analysis, and made no assertions about what such an analysis would conclude. For the most part, the IPCC simply tried to compare the model-projected impacts of a 2.0°C warming to that of 1.5°C, and not surprisingly concluded that the former would be larger.

In this report, we argue that pursuit of the 1.5°C ceiling on global warming is incompatible with mainstream economic analysis. Indeed the 1.5°C goal did not arise from the economics literature or from formal cost-benefit analysis. The SR1.5 simply took the goal as given externally. Our report provides several lines of argument to show that the economics literature as a whole does not support the 1.5°C target.

For example, on the same weekend that the UN released its Special Report, William Nordhaus was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize for his pioneering work on the economics of climate change. Major media treated the two events as complementary, assuming Nordhaus’ work supported the 1.5°C goal.

Yet, on the contrary, his then most recent (2016) modeling work projected that the “optimal” global warming by the year 2100 would be 3.5°C, a full two degrees higher than the popular target. In fact, Nordhaus’ model estimated that a 1.5°C ceiling would be so harmful to the economy that it would be better for humanity if governments did nothing at all about climate change rather than pursue such a draconian policy.

Or, consider the “social cost of carbon,” which economists define as the present value in dollar terms of future damages caused by the emission of an additional metric tonne of carbon dioxide. The Biden Administration’s EPA in February 2021 estimated the social cost of carbon for the year 2030 at US$62. Yet, the SR1.5 admitted that the fraserinstitute.org policies it detailed for achieving the 1.5°C goal would only be justified for a social cost of carbon in 2030 ranging from $135 to $5,500 per ton, costs that are 2 to 89 times the EPA’s estimate.

The SR1.5 in many respects represented a departure from views the IPCC had expressed in its 2014 Fifth Assessment Report about the economic effects of climate change. We show that the UN chose a very different team of authors for the SR1.5.

The Fifth Assessment Report, Volume II summarized, among other things, the economic consequences associated with climate change projections. Notwithstanding the similarity of that topic to the SR1.5, and the short interval between the reports, comparing the relevant chapter from the Fifth Assessment Report (Chapter 10) to that of the SR1.5 (Chapter 3), there was no overlap between the Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors, Review Editors, or Chapter Scientists. Among the 69 Contributing Authors to the Special Report, Chapter 3, there was only one who had also contributed to the Fifth Assessment Report’s chapter on the impact of climate change.

Finally, we show that the UN Special Report based its reversal of the earlier consensus largely on the basis of two new studies that asserted a much larger drag on economic growth from climate change compared to that found in many previous studies. In doing so, the SR1.5 overlooked other new studies that had upheld the earlier consensus. The two new studies have, in the years since the Special Report, been criticized on methodological grounds, and other authors have not confirmed their findings.

Although advocacy of aggressive climate-change policies is often draped with the mantle of science, mainstream economists who follow the scientific literature have shown that the popular 1.5°C policy target will pose costs that far exceed the benefits, and that the emission reductions flowing from strict adherence to the 1.5°C target would be worse for the world than doing nothing at all.


As the coronavirus pandemic subsides, the world’s attention is returning to the threat of climate change, with many governments making commitments to drastically reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions. Those pushing for aggressive action have largely coalesced around a target, or at least aspirational goal, of limiting total global warming to 1.5°C.

The discussion among policy experts, government officials, and major media would naturally lead the average Canadian to assume that the 1.5°C target was grounded in the peer-reviewed literature.

However, this is not at all the case, as we have demonstrated in this study. For example, William Nordhaus argues that a much more lenient target of 3.5°C would be optimal, and indeed that the 1.5°C target is so costly that it would be better for governments to do nothing at all rather than enforce such a draconian limit.

The United Nation’s own 2018 Special Report, which lays out the ostensible scientific rationale for the 1.5°C target, does not even attempt to justify the 1.5°C ceiling by arguing its benefits outweigh its costs. Furthermore, the 2018 report departs from the consensus summarized in the UN’s own earlier document from 2014. The small number of studies that the 2018 Special Report emphasizes are outliers in the literature, and achieve their large estimates of climate change damage through dubious methods that other researchers have criticized.

Canadian policy makers and the public should be wary of pursuing aggressive climate targets, in particular the 1.5°C ceiling, when such goals have been derived politically, not scientifically.


[1] David Roberts in VOX stated:

In short, there is no “safe” level of global warming. Climate change is not something bad that might happen, it’s something bad that’s happening. Global average temperatures have risen about 1.3˚C from pre-industrial levels and California and Australia are already burning.

This is the deep ecology view that any human influence on climate is bad, that nature is optimal, a view I criticize here.

Why is such a temperature change bad? I can walk across the street and not notice the temperature change of the accumulated warming of the last century or more–and that has put us in a crisis?

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July 31, 2021 11:14 pm

What’s wrong with the natural recovery from the LIA? Maybe the Sahara can bloom again as it did 7000 years ago?

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
August 1, 2021 1:42 pm

Probably not for many thousands of years

Tom Foley
July 31, 2021 11:18 pm

I too would be happy if I could walk across the street and only experience a 1.5 degree increase in temperature (except maybe in midsummer when the temperature already hits 40-46 degrees here.) But can I expect that day and night, autumn, winter, spring, summer? That 1.5 degree increase is a global figure. The question how in reality will that play out for me, in inland semi-arid Australia, and for people who live in other places, such as Indonesia, or Siberia, or the Sahara fringes or Florida?

It might be useful if we stopped talking just about a global increase of 1.5 degrees, and were more specific about how that will play out in different locations. Perhaps some reviews on WUWT on such research?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Tom Foley
July 31, 2021 11:38 pm

It’s not a global figure. All this nonsense about averages that shouldn’t have been averaged in the first place.

Steve Case
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 1, 2021 12:39 am

Dixie Lee Ray a former governor of the state of Washington said, “Beware of averages. The average person has one breast and one testicle.

That aside, the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report Chapter ten Page 750 says:

Almost everywhere, daily minimum temperatures are projected to increase faster than daily maximum temperatures, leading to a decrease in diurnal temperature range. Decreases in frost days are projected to occur almost everywhere in the middle and high latitudes, with a comparable increase in growing season length.

Globally averaged mean water vapour, evaporation and precipitation are projected to increase. 

So the warming will be at night, in winter, in the Arctic, and there should be more rain. Not exactly a recipe for a catastrophic disaster or reason why anybody needs to ride the bus, live in a 650 square foot flat and eat tofu.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Steve Case
August 1, 2021 12:52 am

The average person has one breast and one testicle.

I think the average person has less than one testicle

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 1, 2021 3:28 am

I think the average person has two breasts, but we know what he meant

Rich Davis
Reply to  Redge
August 1, 2021 5:39 am


Don Perry
Reply to  Redge
August 1, 2021 5:53 am


Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 1, 2021 12:11 pm

About half of the average persons are likely to be females, and, therefore, to have ZERO testicles. Even accounting for transgender crowd!

Tom Foley
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 1, 2021 2:45 am

That was exactly the point I was making. Giving a single figure and calling it ‘global’ is meaningless. What matters is what change, if any, there will be at different places on the globe.

Ron Long
Reply to  Tom Foley
August 1, 2021 3:33 am

Tom Foley, I agree with your comments about “global, but here’s another one. NASA has declared that there has been a “10 % greening of the earth”, and others have rightly attributed that to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide content. I’m guessing that “10%” is not equally distributed. Australia? Can you tell us what “tie me kangaroo down, sport” really means?

Tom Foley
Reply to  Ron Long
August 1, 2021 7:17 am

Well, ya gotta tie yer kangaroos down, or otherwise they’ll just keep hopping off!

The song’s about a dying stockman telling his mates what to do with his animals when he dies. Sport is another term for mate. I think Rolf Harris himself said don’t take the song too seriously.

Australia greening? Where I live we’ve had the best winter rains for years, just slow regular rainfall and green grass instead of red sand everywhere. Most of the last 20 years has been dry (Millennial Drought 2000-10, then 2017-2019). My ‘favorite’ year was 2006, when we had about 160 mm (6 in) – average is 265 mm (10.5 in). But it was a bit uneven: 4 inches spread over the first 364 days, and the other 2 inches falling between 6pm and midnight on 31st December. Don’t get much greening when rainfall is that erratic.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Tom Foley
August 1, 2021 9:02 am

Are they really going to tan his hide when he’s dead?

John Hultquist
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 1, 2021 9:25 am

The wishful concept is expressed in a “country” song by Joe Diffie:
I want to go on being me once my eulogy’s been read”

Title: “Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox (If I Die)”

Reply to  Tom Foley
August 1, 2021 1:50 pm

Rainfall is uneven over short time periods almost everywhere.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Tom Foley
August 1, 2021 11:06 am

“Will be” is alot different than “UN IPCC CliSciFi arbitrarily tuned model output.”

Reply to  Tom Foley
August 1, 2021 1:54 am

Here’s the anomalies for June 2021 from UAH with a 1991-2020 baseline. You can see hardly any difference near the equator and more so near the poles. North and South frequently have out-of-phase behaviour, another indication CO2 isn’t a climate control knob. Anyways, you can see the variation is greater at the poles. From what I can remember, if the world average went up 2°C then about 5°C was expected at the poles. But that doesn’t sense as more CO2 apparently cools the south pole and Greenland.

Tom Foley
Reply to  PCman99
August 1, 2021 2:53 am

Thank you. I live in the pale blue bit of Australia, where it has been just a bit cooler than average this winter, apart from a couple of rather warm days. Where are similar maps for other months/years available?

John Hultquist
Reply to  PCman99
August 1, 2021 9:30 am

Find the orange (hot) spot on the west side of North America.
I’m planted in the center of that. I think the numbers will show July was warmer than June.
We call this summer.

Reply to  John Hultquist
August 1, 2021 12:15 pm

Yep, we always have!

Reply to  Tom Foley
August 1, 2021 7:38 am

I live in a place where 41 C is the normal for today 28 C happens about once or twice each summer. Of course I live in a desert. I move from a place where -40 in not unusual during the winter and 40 can happen every once and a while, funny I did not melt in either place. Here in the desert I now actually live in a place where the temperature swing between summer and winter is less. Yet I suppose to be afraid of +2 C increase when I liven in a place that could swing around 88C in one year!

Reply to  Tom Foley
August 1, 2021 1:47 pm

There is so much information from so many sources that temperatures have been much higher in the past, including during this interglacial. The world and everything in it are still here. Well, maybe not those big animals that apparently were so tasty but is it unlikely that temperatures had much to do with their demise.

July 31, 2021 11:26 pm

“Although advocacy of aggressive climate-change policies is often draped with the mantle of science,”

Well we know why the watermelons do that and you don’t need a Psych degree to figure it out-
Trust in Science Can Ironically Lead to False Beliefs. Luckily, There’s a Solution (msn.com)

Zig Zag Wanderer
August 1, 2021 12:47 am

Indeed the 1.5°C goal did not arise from the economics literature or from formal cost-benefit analysis. The SR1.5 simply took the goal as given externally.

The 1.5°C goal was extracted from some place internally

Last edited 1 year ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Dave Fair
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 1, 2021 11:30 am

To placate the vast majority of the UN member states that anticipate a windfall from the West. Leftists/Marxists believe that is a small price to pay for socialist control worldwide. It seems, however, that the voting public at large reject the schemes to pay for it. Voters appear to accept the political virtue signaling as long as it doesn’t cost much, if anything. While not being familiar with the fractured voting patterns of the UK and Europe, I assume conservative (in the U.S. sense) fringe parties will make some headway and alarm the larger political groups.

BTW, the general adoption of the 1.5 C figure is just another example of the Leftists tendency to push things too far.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 1, 2021 11:32 am

In the movie Deadpool 2 it was called a “prison wallet.”

Dean Gardiner
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 1, 2021 3:06 pm

1.5 degrees was chosen because anything less would not be very scary, and anything more would be increasingly ridiculous as time goes on. 1.5 is the sweet spot for climate alarm, not the tipping point for global disaster.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dean Gardiner
August 2, 2021 5:49 am

“1.5 is the sweet spot for climate alarm, not the tipping point for global disaster.”

Exactly. They can’t justify going any higher, and going lower means they can’t claim it is a threat.

Meanwhile, temperatures are cooling.

M Courtney
August 1, 2021 12:50 am

The IPCC principle is that the climate must be optmised for our industrial society or we would never have developed that society. Therefore any change from that position will make our modern world unviable. Easter Island is often cited as a case study. Incorrectly. That argument fails.

The alternative view is that mankind (like beavers and bees) alters the local environment to suit their needs. And that our modern technology makes us more capable and this less susceptible to climate change than before. The decline in deaths from natural disasters over the 20th century supports that view.

So then it comes down to costs. Can we adapt without bankrupting society? This review says “Yes”. Until recently the answer was obviously “Yes”.
But thinking about the costs of the alternative to adaptation there is a deeper answer. It doesn’t matter.
Adaptation is still the cheapest option. So it’s the only sensible strategy.

Reply to  M Courtney
August 1, 2021 8:00 am

And adaptation will be a multi generation effort, unlike WWI or WWII, which alarmists often invoke when spruiking their “fight against climate change”

August 1, 2021 1:16 am

CMIP6 will no longer depend on the average of models. There is a big change afoot to weight the model outputs. Weighting factors include, but not limited to, such things as the number of citations for particular models and the number of PhDs held by the group involved in the modelling.

This is the epitome of consensus science in climate model world. The targets will be agreed beforehand and then the ones that are closest to target will get the highest weighting:

This recipe implements the Climate model Weighting by Independence and Performance (ClimWIP) method. It is based on work by Knutti et al. (2017)Lorenz et al. (2018)Brunner et al. (2019)Merrifield et al. (2020)Brunner et al. (2020). Weights are calculated based on historical model performance in several metrics (which can be defined by the performance_contributionsparameter) as well as by their independence to all the other models in the ensemble based on their output fields in several metrics (which can be defined by the independence_contributionsparameter). These weights can be used in subsequent evaluation scripts (some of which are implemented as part of this diagnostic).

The ClimWIP process will reduce the variation in predictions that had plagued climate modellers. It will give the data homogenisers clear guidance on how the past should be adjusted.

One of the interesting features of the CMIP6 models is that it is getting more challenging to cool the past. The problem is that all models have to show an agreed warming trend but they base the history that they tune to on a contrived warming trend. That means that each round of CMIPs has to deal with ever exaggerated upward temperature trend. It also means that the homogenising formulas need to be adjusted with each CMIP cycle. In a way it is becoming absurd even for the modellers and their homogenising counterparts within their organisations. How can climate modellers keep a straight face in the midst of all this absurdity.

Actually the real world no longer plays a role in climate models. They are striving to achieve the same trend using different computer code and different tuning parameters. If they all produce the same result then the only dissenting view will be the real world and that lost relevance in about 1988.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RickWill
August 1, 2021 11:47 am

They are embarked upon a Fools Errand. There is a 3 C average global temperature spread among the individual models; they are not modeling the same physics. One of the indications of the fundamental inability to reconcile each of the “independent” models is the fact that their outputs “neck-down” in the late 20th Century tuning period but vary wildly in both hindcasts and forecasts.

Historical model inputs cannot be the same values for every model. They are all modeling different imaginary Earths. Assumed values of the differing input metrics cannot be standardized for use in the different models because of the models’ fundamentally different physics assumptions.

Reply to  Dave Fair
August 1, 2021 9:33 pm

not modeling the same physics.

That statement is wrong. models are unphysical nonsense – there are physics free code. At best they are extrapolations of temperature/CO2 correlation going back to last century being strongly influenced by a single El Nino event.

Once it became clear that the 1997/98 El Nino had passed, the modellers joined forces with the weather observers to maintain an upward trend in temperature by cooling the past. That has now developed into a circus that produces ever more ridiculous predictions.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  RickWill
August 2, 2021 5:58 am

“Once it became clear that the 1997/98 El Nino had passed, the modellers joined forces with the weather observers to maintain an upward trend in temperature by cooling the past. That has now developed into a circus that produces ever more ridiculous predictions.”

Yes, the Data Manipulators didn’t have much reason to modify the satellite-era temperature profile because the temperature trend was going the way the alarmists thought it would go: Up.

The temperatures climbed from the 1980’s to 1998, and the alarmists assumed they would continue to climb because of CO2, but Mother Nature threw them a curve, and the temperatures started cooling, so then the Data Manipulators stepped in and started cooling the past in their computers.

Then came the high temperatures of 2016 which equalled the high temperatures of 1998, and again the alarmists assumed the temperatures would continue to climb because of CO2, but again, Mother Nature has thrown them a curve, and temperatures are starting to cool again, like they did after 1998.

No doubt more alarmist Data Manipulation is in our future.

Peta of Newark
August 1, 2021 1:46 am

Never going to happen..
Climate is The Perfect Hobgoblin.

Especially for a population that have been programmed/railroaded into a state of chronic depression by the food & drink they are recommended/coerced into eating.
This leads into a constant state of fear, anxiety and paranoia which the inescapable media cash in on and further stoke/promote/exaggerate.

The People do try to escape but their only route is via ‘drugs’ – which happen to be the very things that caused the situation. (sugar booze trash TV)

The People then become ‘Sheeple’ and are summarily fleeced


  1. A few heads on spikes. Metaphorically (of course) starting with Boris, Joe, Michael, Al, Angela, Ursula and Naomi
  2. Quit eating sugar. Everybody wants to, we are not intrinsically drawn to addictive and self-harming behaviours – we all still do have a natural instinct of what’s Good to Eat.
  3. Put the brakes on the media – a few random power cuts would concentrate a few minds but if Points 1 & 2 come to pass, might not even be needed

An epic start would be, as I’ve ventured previously, physical and mental health guidelines on Politicians, Senior administrators, Scientists & Teachers and Senior Medics

viz: Tee-total for at least the last 5 years and no Body Mass Index above 27.5. That’s all.

Its that simple – it has to be because The Root Cause of our current woe is That Simple.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 1, 2021 2:04 am

Missed the edit but only just..

Get this as a lovely example of my rant:

From an insurance company as well – the halls of which are The Last Places lambs see before they are turned into ‘chops’, casseroles and Rogan Josh (my ‘all time’ fave curry)

Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 1, 2021 3:31 am

An architect friend of mine suggested the rush to convert shops and offices to apartments was the rush to create future slums in our city centres

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 1, 2021 9:07 am

Just because you want it to be that simple in no way means that it is.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 1, 2021 9:52 am

Quit eating sugar. Everybody wants to, …
It is appropriate to shy away from processed isolated sugar (eg., table sugar). However, the fructose (sugar) in fruits, and other foods, comes packaged with fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. These, together, provide for necessary body functions.

Chris Hanley
August 1, 2021 2:21 am

‘… California and Australia are already burning …’.
A very silly hysterical comment of course as has been demonstrated at this website many times.
Studies over the years have found ~80%+ of Australia’s wildfires in populated areas are manmade i.e. the result of arson or negligence.
The climate has warmed maybe ~1C (probably less) over 100 years so conditions have become slightly more fire-prone but population growth greater mobility and many other confounding factors play a part.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hanley
John Hultquist
Reply to  Chris Hanley
August 1, 2021 10:06 am

Further, in the western USA — today — lands involving wildfire are 900,000 acres less than the 10 year average, and less than 1/2 of 2011.
National Fire News | National Interagency Fire Center (nifc.gov)

And I will “second” the confounding factors.
Nearest fire to my house this year — 1.6 miles. (cause: fireworks)
Another, but farther away was caused by a tire coming off a boat trailer and the iron on the road surface sent sparks into dry grass. The several others still are of undetermined causes — at least to me.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Chris Hanley
August 2, 2021 11:55 am

The climate has warmed maybe ~1C (probably less) over 100 years so conditions have become slightly more fire-prone

I don’t see that as a valid assumption on its face, though the “climate” deluded would certainly be nodding their heads. What if higher temps gets you more rain and less dry stuff ready to burn? Or less rain with less growth of potential fuel? There are just too many other issues beyond the near meaningless “average” temperature increase (especially when most of that is accounted for in cold, dry areas, and at night, not by “hotter” weather) to make such generalizations.

Let’s stop helping them fan the flames of climate propaganda. (Pun intended)

oebele bruinsma
August 1, 2021 3:02 am

“Beware of averages. The average person has one breast and one testicle.” Averages are opinions: rounding up or rounding down, that is the question……

Coach Springer
Reply to  oebele bruinsma
August 1, 2021 7:06 am

Hmmm. I wonder if trans people are just trying be exceptionally average.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  oebele bruinsma
August 2, 2021 11:57 am

Averages are also just a midpoint of extremes – and there’s nothing unusual or anomalous or new about the extremes or anything in between.

August 1, 2021 3:12 am

Sorry, but the URL for the string “the report” is nonsense. (It’s actually part of a sentence.)

August 1, 2021 4:19 am

“In short, there is no “safe” level of global warming. Climate change is not something bad that might happen, it’s something bad that’s happening.” David Roberts is a moron who needs to be ridiculed into silence. Derision and scorn are the weapons to defeat these anti-human scumbags, get the comedians on it, stat!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  2hotel9
August 2, 2021 12:00 pm

I’d like him to be beamed back into the Little Ice Age and see how he likes THAT!

How deluded to you have to be to think that “warming” during an interglacial period during an ice age is anything but GOOD news, compared with the alternative?!

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
August 3, 2021 9:41 am

To be perfectly honest I like cold, snowy winters and we here in western PA have been getting ripped off the last couple of decades! 😉 That said warmer is better for humans and most other species on the planet. More people die in colder weather than warmer, and FAR more will die if the greentards actually get their way.

August 1, 2021 4:43 am

The link to the full paper doesn’t seem to be working. Here it is, on the Fraser Institute website: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/economics-literature-does-not-support-1.5c-climate-ceiling.pdf

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Steve
August 1, 2021 10:18 am

It was malformed. Fortunately Google hadn’t censored it yet.

August 1, 2021 5:44 am

So far the costs of adaptation to climate include lower heating costs and less winter driving hazard and far lower Cat 5 tornado destruction costs which have dropped in frequency to zero per year…

August 1, 2021 5:50 am

Cost benefit analyses are of no use when you have a stated aim, no matter what.

The [UK] lockdown was one of the first things to jettison any notion of CBA (and herd immunity theory) in favour of tight social controls.

The Guardian remains heavily pro-lockdown and restrictions yet even the Guardian knows that the economic costs have far outweighed any benefits. It manages to weasel it’s way out admitting that by stating:

An obvious answer is that this is the wrong question to ask, because you can’t measure the value of a human life in terms of gross domestic product”


Never mind all those who have lost businesses, jobs and homes as a result. Possibly even their minds or their lives. Real human costs the Guardian would prefer not to measure.

The climate thing is no different, and the beauty of their alleged precautionary stance is: even if they are wrong, it’s still the right thing to do. (Copyright C Figueres)

Andy Pattullo
August 1, 2021 6:26 am

Any human induced surface temperature change is said to be “bad” if the pundits can gain money, power and prestige by falsely claiming to prevent it. Any investigation of this shell game is “the devil’s work” if it open’s voters’ eyes to how they are been robbed and enslaved by lies.

Voters will almost certainly reverse their support of the scoundrels who are destroying modern western economies, but I fear, that reversal may only happen after the damage is done.

Gary Pearse
August 1, 2021 7:27 am

The cost/benefit analyses being done actually assumes zero benefit to increased CO2 despite the elephant in the room of doubled and redoubled harvests and ~20% “leafing out” over the past 40 years, largely due to a 60% growth in atmospheric carbon dioxide (the Philistines attribute it all to the slight warming). Newly forested areas in arid regions comprise 18% additions to world forested areas, and existing forest stock is increasing in mass and health.

This is expanded habitat for the eco diversity that is blabbed about continuously. Bengal tigers in India have increased 38% in northern India and 10% in the Ganges Delta of Bangladesh over the past decade.

The oceans have also enjoyed productivity increase courtesy of elevated CO2. So, showing that doing nothing (which is how it will work out anyway with the meme already collapsing around us) is fine vis à vis a zero benefit to carbon in cost benefit. But with elecated carbon dioxide hugely beneficial, we will do enormous harm if we restrict this green magic. Moreover, probabilities are significant that we won’t exceed 1.5 to 2.0C more anyway with a do nothing approach. Even James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt have been forced to recognize that odds are we may well be 6 years into a 30yr cooling phase! Rejoining the old “Pause” and deepening it we may erase the piddling 18 years warming that caused all this harmful hype.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 2, 2021 12:10 pm

When you consider that the entirety of modern society is built upon fossil fuel use, I don’t see how you can ever get to a “cost,” vs. a “benefit” from CO2 emissions resulting from fossil fuel use. Unless you don’t like modern homes with electric lights, central heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, transport, telecommunications, anything made of metal or plastics, and are instead eager and ready to go back to chasing down your meals with nothing but rocks and sticks, there IS no “cost” of carbon after netting against the “benefits” which are near infinite – and the “costs” aren’t real anyway, they are just speculative bullshit based on junk science.

Bruce Cobb
August 1, 2021 7:47 am

Global average temperatures have risen about 1.3˚C from pre-industrial levels and California and Australia are already burning.

Eh? Is the guy really that stupid? Rhetorical question. Of course he is. And yet, hordes of brainless and brainwashed morons will listen with bated breath.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 2, 2021 6:09 am

I’ve seen that 1.3C figure come up in several different articles. I don’t know who came up with it first, but the rest are probably copycats.

The 1.3C figure is completely made up as far as I can see. NASA Climate and NOAA say the highest temperature in 2016 was equal to being 1.0C warmer than the pre-industrial baseline, and we have cooled off by about 0.6C since that time, so the 1.3C figure has no basis in fact.

willem post
August 1, 2021 8:47 am


Wind- and sun-dependent wind and solar place extra burdens on the design, and operation and maintenance, of electric grids. 
The variable, intermittent output of wind has to be counteracted by the other generators, 24/7/365. 
The variable, intermittent output of solar has to be counteracted by the other generators during daylight hours, especially around noon-time.

CCGTs in Counteracting Mode

Most of the other generators are fossil fuel-fired, mostly gas-fired, combined-cycle, gas-turbine plants, CCGTs. 
CCGTs are quick-starting, and can rapidly vary their outputs between 45- 50 and 100%; below 45% gas-turbines become unstable, i.e., their practical counteracting output range is about 50% of capacity. 
CCGTs, in counteracting mode, are less efficient, i.e., more Btu/kWh, more CO2/kWh, more $/kWh, more wear and tear.
The more wind and solar on the grid, the greater their inefficiencies.

Ireland had an “island” electric grid, with a minor connection to the UK grid, about 10 years ago.
Ireland had about 17% wind on its grid, and CCGTs fired with imported gas, performed the counteracting of the wind output.
The CCGTs were about 50% efficient at 0% wind on the grid
The CCGTs were about 42% efficient at 17% wind on the grid
One MWh of wind did offset the CO2 of only 0.58 MWh of fossil fuel, based on several studies of the electric system operating data, performed by private, PhD-level investigators.


Because quantities of imported gas had not decreased with increased wind, as predicted by RE folks, based on their false/feel-good assumptions, such as “one MWh of wind offsets the CO2 of one MWH of dirty fossil fuel”, the government, after much public pressure, finally launched a forensic investigation of the electric system operating data, which explained the inefficiencies.

After the EU in Brussels was informed, it provided Ireland with funds to build strong connections to the UK and French grids, which are much larger than the Ireland grid. 
The solution of local disturbances is to spread those disturbances over a large area, so they become invisible. The result was:

1) The Irish wind variations disappeared in the noise of the UK and French grids
2) The Irish CCGTs regained their efficiency
3) Ireland could build more wind turbines to meet RE goals.
4) An EU PR problem was “solved”.

Hydro Plants in Counteracting Mode

Some geographic areas, such as Quebec and Norway, obtain 98% of their electricity from hydro plants.
The output of run-of-river hydro plants, such as on the Connecticut River, varies with the seasons, as does their counteracting capability.
The output of hydro plants, with reservoir storage, such as in Quebec and Norway, can have near-constant output, 24/7/365

Hydro-plants are quick-starting, and can vary their outputs between 0 and 100%, by merely varying the waterflow through the hydro turbines, i.e., their practical counteracting range is 100% of available capacity; the available capacity is high in spring, minimal in summer.
Hydro plants, in counteracting mode, are less efficient, but the water is for free, plus there is no CO2, and no additional wear and rear.

Running Out of Counteracting Capacity

There are limits to wind and solar presence on any grid. Much depends on the capacity of the generators, tied to the grid, to quickly vary their outputs, and do so at low cost/kWh. 

Building out more wind and solar systems requires increased use of the counteracting capacity of the generators on a grid, i.e., if more wind and solar is desired, than adequate counteracting capacity must be available, including during extreme conditions, such as during: 

1) Seasonal variations, i.e., run-of river hydro plants
2) Multi-day, simultaneous wind/solar lulls, which may last 5 to 7 days, and occur throughout the year, in New England 
3) Occasional periods of low rainfall and snowfall, or droughts, etc.


Political pressures to reduce CO2, often lead to grid operators having to close down highly reliable fossil fuel plants, while wind and solar build-outs continue to proceed, which, by definition, requires increased counteracting capacity by other generators. This scenario pushed California into a vulnerable position, regarding electricity supply, during frequently occurring multi-day heat waves.

Energy systems analysts, in an out of government, had warned the scenario would lead to vulnerabilities, but their advice was not heeded by RE folks, and drowned out by the never-ending barrage of messages from wind and solar lobbies, including financial services lobbies.

An epic case of virtue-signaling: RE folks in California achieved the closing of 15 of 19, clean-burning (no particulates), low-CO2/kWh, low-cost/kWh, highly efficient, CCGT plants, on the Pacific Coast, because they were heating the Pacific Ocean. Those plants had been needed to provide electricity 24/7/365, and to counteract solar output bulges during midday hours.

The net result of electricity supply shortages was rolling black-outs for several days, during a multi-day heat wave, with outdoor temperatures at 115F, i.e., no air conditioning. 

California had been importing electricity from the US northwest and from nearby states, but those nearby states had almost nothing to export, because the electricity was needed for their own users.

RE folks had claimed grid-scale battery systems would perform the counteracting role of the CCGTs. That claim was based on false/feel-good assumptions, because at least 2 billion kWh of much-needed electricity was not generated by the California electric system, during the multi-day heat wave. 

Any Li-ion batteries would need to be operated from 20 to 80% charge, to ensure a 15-y life, with low degradation, to counteract: 

1) Daily midday solar bulges  
2) Perform peaking, fill-in and balancing services, in case of generation and import shortages.

The turnkey capital cost of the site-specific, custom-designed battery systems would be at least 2 billion kWh x $600/kWh x 1/0.6 = $2,000 billion. 

What energy sources would fill these batteries, in case of another heat wave?

August 1, 2021 10:53 am

There is a new breed of racist in Canada, The KKK, Keep Kanata Kold. They discriminate against anyone who cannot grow a thick fur coat. Polar bears are very white but I am not sure they are protestant. A new elite following the glaciers southward. And just when we thought we had won.
P.S. Our Prime minister appears to be a charter member along with Gerald Butts (yes that is his real name.)

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rick
August 1, 2021 12:02 pm

The old childhood joke: “The newspaper wedding announcement identifies the new bride as Mrs. Ophelia Harry Butts.”

Reply to  Dave Fair
August 1, 2021 1:24 pm

Good targets for a frozen boot

Smart Rock
August 1, 2021 11:16 am

I hate the term “pre-industrial”, which now means pre-1750. Very good choice of words to convey an unspoken message. It has subtle overtones that imply that the early 18th century was some sort of bucolic, Arcadian paradise where rosy-cheeked peasant shared the fields with fat, contented cattle, birds twittered, butterflies fluttered by, winsome maidens danced around the maypole, puffy white clouds drifted across a cerulean blue sky – you get the picture. It resonates with William Blake, whose “green and pleasant land” was blighted by “dark satanic mills”. Well, guess what.

I’ve been reading recently about the history of Scotland, particularly about the background to the Scots government’s request to join the UK, which was consummated in the 1707 Act of Union. There were multiple reasons, including the failure of the Darien colony (which used up most the the free capital in a country of only 1.2 million) and worries about the warlike Highlanders (and the need for the English army to put them in their place). But one factor, possibly the most important was the great famine of the 1690s.

The 1690s were the coldest decade of the millenium. Four, possibly seven failed harvests. Up to 15 percent of the population died of hunger and disease. People ate grass. Finland had it worse, with a third of the population dying. It takes a lot to recover from something like that.

And it wasn’t over. By the 1730s, potatoes had partly replaced oats as the main staple in Scotland. Then there was the 1739-1740 potato famine. Unlike the Irish potato famine of the 1840s, which was caused by a fungal infection, this was a purely climatic event, with severe frosts that froze potatoes in the ground. It happened all across northern Europe, from Ireland to Finland. More people starved.

Sure, with our fossil-fuelled industrial society, we can usually survive those kinds of climate events without undue suffering, as long as they’re “local”. But without abundant fossil fuels, it might get a bit sketchy. No thanks, you can keep your pre-industrial paradise; I’ll take the 1.5° with the 2° bonus coupon attached.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 1, 2021 12:06 pm

Whenever someone refers to “pre-industrial” we must counter immediately with “you mean during the Little Ice Age.”

Reply to  Dave Fair
August 1, 2021 8:04 pm

Like the Medieval warm period, about 6 degrees warmer than now?

August 1, 2021 11:36 am

Haven’t we been told that there’s like a degree’s worth of warming already “locked in” that we can’t do anything about?

Dave Fair
Reply to  TonyG
August 1, 2021 12:08 pm

Or that the experiment will be run with the future CO2 output of Asia, Africa, South America and etc.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  TonyG
August 2, 2021 12:20 pm

Yes – of course that assumes CO2 actually does something to temperature here in the real, as opposed to climate model, world. Which it has never been empirically shown to do.

Matthew Sykes
August 1, 2021 10:51 pm

During the Holocene Climatic Optimum, when it was about 3 C warmer, the Sahara was green.

If thats the climate change we are going to get, whats the problem?

We always knew 3 C warmer was an optimum, we were taught this, it was common knowledge.

Mike Dubrasich
August 2, 2021 12:20 am

The benefits of warming outweigh the costs.Overall, a warmer world would be more productive, with longer growing seasons, more rain, less drought, greener, with greater biodiversity, with less costs associated with cold weather.

The benefits would be felt more in colder, boreal countries, while warm tropical countries would experience little or no change. That’s because the Ice Age climate variations have always affected polar regions more than tropical, as is demonstrated in ice cores vs. deep sea cores and also reflected by paleobotanical evidence.

This is not what the authors of the paper argue. They claim that standard cost/benefit analyses either have not been made or are not used by the IPPC. Further, the cost/benefit analyses they take issue with are based on the cost of emission reduction policies versus the likely benefits of those policies.

I’m not arguing policies but the actual economic effects of a warmer world. If Planet Earth warmed 1.5 or even 3.5°C, the Gross World Product would rise substantially. The flaw in the Alarmist position is their claim that warmer would be costly. Just the opposite is true.

The post author, Mr. Bradley, hints at this position when he states “…carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are thought to be a positive externality, in the jargon of economics…” and in his linked blog post, “After all, the CO2 fertilization effect is a strong positive, and warmer and wetter is going in the right direction for the biosphere…”.

I couldn’t agree more. Warmer Is Better. Alarmobots: get off the sky-is-falling mass paranoia bandwagon and join the rational positivists. Embrace warmth. It’s good for you, for everybody, and for the entire planet.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
August 2, 2021 12:22 pm

Especially on a planet that is, geologically speaking, in an interglacial period during an ice age.

Tom Abbott
August 2, 2021 5:34 am

From the article: “In short, there is no “safe” level of global warming. Climate change is not something bad that might happen, it’s something bad that’s happening. Global average temperatures have risen about 1.3˚C from pre-industrial levels”


The only way this could be true is if the author wrote it in the decade of the 1930’s. The high temperature of the year 1934, in the U.S. was equivalent to a temperature of 1.5C above the pre-industrial NASA/NOAA baseline.

The highest temperatures in the years 1998, and 2016, were equivalent to a temperature of 1.0C above the pre-industrial baseline.

Currently, the global temperatures have cooled by about 0.6C since the 2016, highpoint, so this author claiming we are currently at 1.3C above the pre-industrial average is incorrect, by a lot.

The author is presenting a false picture of our reality, wittingly or unwittingly.

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Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Abbott
August 3, 2021 11:36 pm

In short, there is no “safe” level of global warming. 
This assumes that there must be an optimum temperature and even the slightest deviation from that is “not safe”. It does even allow for a range.
Presumably this dipstick can tell us what that temperature and when Earth has been at that temperature and for how long it stayed at that temperature. I challenge him to name a year or a decade.
I am absolutely confident that any year he names will have heat waves, cold snaps, storms, tempests, cyclones, tornados, drought, famine, plagues, or pestilence somewhere on this planet.

Last edited 1 year ago by ripshin
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