What is the Social Cost of Carbon Emissions? + Why Climate Deniers Are Plain Wrong

Young female polar bear, approaching the ship

Image by mfmb_bentley via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews on Sep 30, 2013

James Boyce: Cost-benefit analysis of carbon emissions has shortcomings.


Why Climate Deniers Are Plain Wrong

TheRealNews on Sep 30, 2013

Arctic sea ice, Greenland ice sheet, Arctic methane are all key to climate change.


from the archives:

Saving the Earth from Ourselves + IPCC report: Human-caused warming is ‘unequivocal’

Why Labor Unions Need to Join the Climate Fight by Naomi Klein

Extreme weather, more extreme greenhouse gas emissions beckon urgent activism by Patrick Bond

The Seeds of Hope by Tristan A. Shaw

Shift — Beyond the Numbers of the Climate Crisis + Coalition Of The Willing

Global Heat Emergency by Alex Smith

13 thoughts on “What is the Social Cost of Carbon Emissions? + Why Climate Deniers Are Plain Wrong

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  6. This controversy over climate is a nightmare to disentangle.

    Obviously, there are those who are simply shouting and thumping the table, but there are others who dispute the givens, and have every right to do so, providing they can exercise intellectual equivalence..

    Science takes time and analysis is difficult. Plausible interpretation is even more contentious. The biggest problem is that we are, of necessity, extrapolating from general data to particular conclusions, and the inferences are uncertain. Also the data must and should be challenged by individuals who are competent to do so who do not share any demonstrable interest in the findings.

    Moreover, the huge corporate interests who are investing and exacerbating the confusion are playing a double game. Big business wants to win whatever the outcomes, trading in ignorance is every bit as profitable as plausible hypotheses.

    I would suggest there are two serious issues that ought to be taken into account.

    The first is the high probability, indeed, virtual,certainty, that whatever humans do must affect the world in some way, much of it for the worse.

    The second is the problem of consensus and localisation.

    All of Nature seems to operate on a fine principle of meticulous (indeed, very likely, metaphysical) adjustment; so, no matter what we think, there has to be a consequence for every action, at some level of complexity or other.

    The problem is we really don’t know enough. To infer the knowable from the unknown is simply folly. All probabilities must be calculated from givens. Human knowledge is very limited. It is estimated for example that we have but scarce understanding of even 2/3% of microbial life.

    Vast sums, reputations and wealthy interests are at stake. When government owned and operated “scientific bodies” declare unanimous agreement, the grim reality is that they are also promoting a political stance and an institutional bias.

    The only way to evaluate the quality of any “science” (even “political science”) is to analyse what has been excluded, elided, ignored or obfuscated.

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