Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Flora Faun September 2012

Flora Faun has another letter published today...
"With predictions of climate change ranging from impending doom... to serious impacts... to no impact at all, maybe it is time to review the science of climate change."
Maybe. Or maybe it is simply time for Flora to remind everyone that the science is settled, the consensus is massive and there is, and never was, anything to debate or argue over... 
"First, as Jeffrey Sachs points out correctly, climate is not weather, just like one swallow does not make a spring."
Excuse me. Who was it who claimed, in a letter published - shockingly - just last month that the typhoons making landfall in Taiwan every year are "global-warming strengthened"? A claim she presented, of course, without reference to any evidence whatsoever.
"Second, carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas."
Hmm. I know the little troll looks at my blog because she regularly leaves unprintably rude, stupid and irrelevant comments which get filtered out, but I wasn't aware she had actually graduated to reading what I say (I had knocked back professor Chi Chun-chieh (紀駿傑) claim that anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, rather than water vapour, is the most significant greenhouse gas). There is, however, more...
"Third, climate change is based on physics, not on the observation of global temperature increase. We know that most greenhouse gases are increasing and that they all trap heat, just like a blanket does, and two blankets trap more heat than one blanket. This is the physics behind climate change, while the observed temperate [sic - ed] change (as, for example, the much maligned hockey stick graph) is just the expected response to, but not the proof for, man-made climate change."
Actually, the "much maligned" hockey stick graph is much maligned because it deals with fraudulent temperature proxy reconstructions, and not on account of the very limited observational data that it includes. So she has got that bit wrong. She has also got the main bit wrong - the argument is not about the physics of the greenhouse effect, but about its significance - its relative contribution - as a causal factor in average global temperatures over time.
"Finally, the accumulating evidence for climate change already happening is not just evident in the observed global (and not necessarily local) atmospheric temperature increase, but a number of other related observations...higher ocean temperatures, rising sea-levels..."
Like rising sea levels around the coast of Taiwan? Where have I seen that claim before? The problem with this sort of catagloguing of observations, aside from the dubious value of the closed-door peer-review process by which such observations are "validated", is the fact that the cataloguing itself is no more than an exercise in confirmation bias.
"While atmospheric temperature increases happen within decades, and will, for example, soon impact food security in Asia, temperature increases of oceans, melting of continental ice sheets and the resulting rise of sea level will take centuries..."
They will take centuries, and yet somehow Flora Faun is already able to enter sea level rises into her hodge-podge catalogue of "other related observations".
"...especially given that renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind or geothermal, are relatively cheap, widely and sufficiently available, and have much lower environmental impacts than fossil fuels or nuclear energy."
Mmm, "relatively cheap"... that must be why so very few people in Taiwan have chosen to buy solar panels for their houses (looking outside I can see solar panels installed on the rooftops of seven houses - from what must be a total of several hundred such rooftops). That renewable energy is "relatively cheap" must also be why the poorest people in Germany are struggling to cope with the electricity price inflation needed to subsidize the German "energy revolution".
"It is therefore utter stupidity and negligence not to jump onto the renewable energy train that is about to leave the station..."
Nobody is stopping you from "train-jumping" Flora, I merely demand that you quit insisting everyone else should be ankle-chained to you and your chums when you do take that leap. 
"Investment in research and development of renewable energy and subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency, possibly directly financed by an energy tax, would set up Taiwan nicely in the race for renewable energy installation all around the world."
The race for rent-seeking more like. According to a new study published in Ruhr Economic Papers concerning the German State's aggressive "race" toward installing greater numbers of renewable energy power plants...
"...we document that the immense costs foreseen by Frondel and colleagues have materialized: Our updated estimate of the subsidies for PV [solar photo-voltaic - ed], at 100 Bn €, exceeds their expectations by about 60%. Moreover, with installed PV capacities growing at a rapid rate, these costs will continue to accumulate, diverting resources from more cost-effective climate protection instruments." 
It really does sound like a "race" with cost estimates exceeding expectations by 60%. Meanwhile of course, the global demand for coal will steadily keep increasing.
"We must reinvent our productive systems, and Taiwan should not stand by idly."
Those "productive systems" are not your property Flora, nor are they collective property, and nor is "Taiwan" a human hive as implied by your ascribing of human agency to a (sort-of) nation-state.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment moderation is now in place, as of April 2012. Rules:

1) Be aware that your right to say what you want is circumscribed by my right of ownership here.

2) Make your comments relevant to the post to which they are attached.

3) Be careful what you presume: always be prepared to evince your point with logic and/or facts.

4) Do not transgress Blogger's rules regarding content, i.e. do not express hatred for other people on account of their ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation or nationality.

5) Remember that only the best are prepared to concede, and only the worst are prepared to smear.