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To make predictions on a non-linear, chaotic system for years 100 to 300 years hence takes, how shall I say this, a certain lack of humility. Hubris. That's the word I was looking for. Hubris.

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Thank you for this insight into the world of climate policy sausage making. The unquestioned acceptance of a significant set of assumptions is fantastic. The choice to stay with an extreme anti-scientific projection says a lot. The instructions to us civilians, who have 0 influence on climate policy, irt our ignorance of net 0 is fascinating. Especially when compared to the near complete lack of understanding the political "leaders" on climate demonstrate daily. The lack of critique of the political/big green policy maker's understanding of net 0, energy, data, etc. is even more instructional.

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One very important distinction to keep in mind is that there are two "Net Zeros". There is the scientific definition whereby human GHG contributions - human GHG removals are equal to zero. That is not the Net Zero that is being promoted. What is being promoted is the Carbon Trading Scam called "Net Zero". That is just a devious effort to make giant government guaranteed profits for the uber-wealthy investors, to unscrupulous corporations to greenwash their emissions and virtue signalling for the ultra-rich, while facilitating massive wealth transfer from the Western Middle Class to the Ruling Class Elites. Kleptocracy at its finest. A couple good examples:

And all these companies like Apple that buy wind & solar RECs so they can falsely claim they are "carbon neutral". Sorry, but that's not how the electrical grid works. They are consuming avg grid mix same as every other electricity consumer.

And all their wind & solar does is reduce the efficiency of the electrical grid, which means they don't reduce emissions. In fact, they drastically INCREASE emissions, when you consider their very high opportunity cost.

And consume ~50X the raw materials that Nuclear does for the same amount of energy. I guess Mother Nature doesn't care because most of that is in China. With an overall EROI that is so low that they are a physically impossible replacement for fossil fuel.

You need only compare the emissions reductions failure that is Germany with the emissions reductions success that is France, France with 10X lower GHG emissions per kwh of electricity than Germany. Much lower than that in materials consumed and waste generated. France partially reprocesses their Spent Nuclear Fuel so they only consume 5oz of uranium per person per year for 88% of their domestic electrify supply. About $15 per person per year. While Germany consumed over 80M tonnes of Coal in 2022. About 2200lbs per person for 31% of their electricity production. Equivalent to 5500lbs/person compared to France @ 78% of their electricity production.

As for Apple's forest carbon offsets claims. Read this & weep, Tim Cook:

The Biggest Green SCAM In ESG | Breaking Points, Krystal breaks down the corporate scam of ESG and carbon offset programs in the USA:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXxqjjgH0Ec&t=2s

Revealed: more than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets by biggest certifier are worthless, analysis shows:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/18/revealed-forest-carbon-offsets-biggest-provider-worthless-verra-aoe

https://nakedemperor.substack.com/p/apple-calms-angry-mother-nature-bu

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It is with a feeling of irony that I read this just after reading the Risk Monger’s latest. There seems more than a bit of “scientism” here. Figuring out whether we CAN reach Paris’ artificial target is less important than answering whether we SHOULD. And climate modeling - in whichever direction- can’t answer that.

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If Paris targets can't be achieved, they won't be. And they can't be w/o China, Russia, India, etc full participation. Adaptation is the only reasonable road.

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All of this presumes that anthropogenic GHG are the control knob of climate. To which I ask, what part of Wijngaarden & Happer, 2020 do you disagree with? The curtailment of anthropogenic CO2 is causing great harm to the poor; the rise in atmospheric CO2 and modest temperature is highly beneficial to the biosphere and hence humanity, while the imposition of weather-dependent and low energy dense wind and solar and EVs only benefit the vested interests.

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Thanks for enlarging the scope of the discussion, Roger. Wallace Stevens is right: There are “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”

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If the goal is to use inverse modelling to assess emissions that meet or get close to Paris targets of 1.5 or 2.0 C, then the choice of value(s) for climate sensitivity must reflect the range of uncertainties associated with climate sensitivity. It would seem that to be reasonably confident of meeting the Paris targets one is compelled to invoke the maximum plausible value for climate sensitivity in the inversion calculations. This might mean including the recently disparaged RCP8.5. Otherwise, its plausible that the goal might not be achieved. How do you deal with these uncertainties in your inverse modelling?

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There is zero chance their goal will be achieved because it almost entirely consists of scams that do nothing to reduce emissions: wind, solar, hydrogen, CCS, grid storage batteries, gasoline replacing EVs, biomass burning, ITER, agrofuels. All they really do is cause enforced poverty which does reduce emissions through human suffering, but also decimates Mother Nature. The World is being run by Malthusian Psychopaths.

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The graphs look great, but how realistic are the projections? If atmospheric carbon dioxide exceeds 450 ppm by 2050 (likely!), we won't make Paris.

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"We'll always have Paris".

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Oct 30, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

"The results depend on the value chosen for climate sensitivity..." What value is assumed in creating these charts?

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author

From Wigley 2018:

"For the climate model, I use best estimate model parameters, which include a climate sensitivity of 3.0 °C warming for a CO2 doubling (Wigley et al. 2009; Wigley and Santer 2013; Armour 2017). A number of recent assessments have suggested that the climate sensitivity is less than 3 °C. My choice, justified by the above references, is conservative in that it would require lower (and more challenging) emissions reductions than would a lower sensitivity."

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Roger,

This seems inconsistent with your criticisms of using RCP 8.5. Isn't using a too high emissions scenario and a too high climate sensitivity similar, each resulting a over-estimation of global warming and need for draconian mitigation strategies? I'd like to hear both your and Wigley's defense of this because both of you are key players in the efforts to understand, attribute, and mitigate harm from global warming.

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author

Hi Doug, I am happy to hear more, but this post by Wigley is independent of RCP8.5. But tell me more, and I'm happy to discuss.

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Wigley's work is widely applauded, but I think you miss my point, or do I misunderstand? Wigley writes "Emissions scenarios are the foundation for making projections of future climate change." And yes, you have criticized the unrealistically high RCP8.5 emissions scenario. My point is that climate sensitivity scenarios are also the foundation for making projections of future climate change,, and his assumption of 3.0 C, while the same as the IPCC's, is, like the 8.5 emissions scenario, well above what appears to be the climate sensitivity reality based on several decades of data. It appears to be much closer to 2.0. Now, admittedly, inferring climate sensitivity is much harder than estimating the emissions scenario because there's no way to determine how much of the warming is anthropogenic and how much natural. The IPCC has, for two decades, suggested "at least half of global warming is anthropogenic. As we know, Lindzen and some others think that most of recent warming is natural, and climate sensitivity is only around 0.6 degrees for a doubling. My point is that climate sensitivity, like emissions scenarios, are foundational for making projections of future climate change and the evidence, problematic as it is, suggests a lower sensitivity than 3.0. If this is correct, and the data suggests a significantly lower climate sensitivity than 3.0, why is this not discussed, and why is the climate sensitivity of 3.0 C not subject to the same criticism as the exaggerated RCP8.5 scenario?

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Thank Doug. Yes, climate sensitivity is often discussed over at Judy Curry's blog. I don't discuss it because it is not something I have much expectation that differing estimates of the value can be resolved with certainty.

But even so, the specific climate sensitivity value is irrelevant to this particular post, as net-zero CO2 will not mean zero CO2 under any assumed climate sensitivity.

More generally, this classic paper was written 25 years ago:

https://doi.org/10.1177/030631298028002004

Today's the range of estimates are pretty much the same.

For me, the sorts of policy responses that make good sense are insensitive to this range, which has been pretty stable for going on 50 years.

RCP8.5 on the other hand is much more readily evaluated.

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Thanks! The quote reflects a view that there's little danger societies efforts to achieve the targets will cause more harm than would result from missing the targets. That’s assuming the charts are meant as a guide to policymakers.

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I appreciate the message in this post, but

Leaving all that aside, recently the alarmist/activist crowd has started shifting the conversation to the next goal, zero combustion.

So forget emissions levels, net zero etc now zero combustion is the coming thing.

As with how these things work we will see more and more “peer reviewed science” that will take this up and then the alarmists will use this “science” to push ever more ludicrous policy that captured governments will try to enact.

An ever widening catastrophe.

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I have heard it said that the forests in Canada absorb much more CO2 than we emit from human causes. Does that mean that Canada is already below net zero?

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If you include the offsets resulting from uranium exports enabling low carbon generation equalling 1/3 of our emissions this seems quite possible

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If we didn’t have a brain dead government we would be dramatically accelerating LNG and nuclear, two things we have in spades, and we could offset multiples of our emissions.

If that is important to people.

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author

You can see the latest estimates by country here:

https://robbieandrew.github.io/GCB2022/

Canada-specific:

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/greenhouse-gas-emissions/sources-sinks-executive-summary-2022.html

The role of the natural C cycle (i.e., non-managed) has been a subject of much debate in the international discussions, as you'd guess.

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Net zero is defined in the article as "the sum of the sources ---- anthropogenic and positive feedbacks ---- offset by sinks of CO2 into the ocean and terrestrial biosphere". By this definition, it is obvious that Canada's efforts to lower our own emissions (which account for only 1.5% of total emissions globally) are of no consequence, from a global perspective. Canada's efforts to reduce emissions by the imposition of carbon taxes do not help, but are detrimental to the global cause since it discourages the development of our oil and gas sector. If we are really serious about reducing GHG emissions globally, we should be doing everything we can to ramp up production of cleaner burning fuels for export to Asian countries to reduce their reliance on coal. If this argument is not sound, please point out the flaws. If it does have merit, please tell me the most effective way of getting it through to our government.

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You analysis has tons of merit. The way to get it through to our government is to replace this government because it is entirely captured by rigid ideologues who are incapable of change..

The only possibility today, as shown by the Maritimes home heating oil carbon tax flipflop fiasco late last week is to convince voters in Montreal and the GTA that expanding gas and nuclear are the only sensible policies.

Its quite clear that the only thing stronger inOttawa than the "climate emergency" is favored voting blocks wandering off to vote conservative.

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All of these studies assume the truth of the hypothesis That more CO2 will absorb more of earth's radiation.

In 30 years of belief, no one has ever shown a proof of this hypothesis. Could it be that the hypothesis is not true?

NASA performed a study in 1991 on the atmospheric transmission/absorption of earth's radiation. It revealed that, in the only wavelength band that CO2 effectively affects, 14-16 microns, the present atmosphere already absorbs ALL the energy, none gets to space. So more CO2 can have no effect.

This study (NASA Technical Memorandum 103957, Lord 1992) lay hidden for 30 years and is only now publicly available. Also now to be found on Kindle.

During this period, it was made available to the infra-red astronomy NASA program Gemini. Its successful use here for decades has proven its reliability.

This disqualifies all the models and predictions to-date.

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Thanks. This is not the thread for discussion of the radiative effects of CO2. I'm happy to focus that discussion on this post: https://rogerpielkejr.substack.com/p/how-carbon-dioxide-emissions-change

If we all work to keep discussions focused and on-topic, it'll be better for everyone. Thanks!

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Respectfully, I would point out that assumptions are everything. The learned Knights of Monty Python's Holy Grail testing for witches comes to mind.

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Great. this assumption has not been proven or even tested in 30 years. This is enough to call into question the spending of trillions of dollars on an unproven assumption.

I do think people who blindly assume the truth of this assumption should be called to face facts, scientific facts, not just climatological blather.

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Oct 30, 2023·edited Oct 30, 2023

While I found the post valuable for the non-expert, I think the information in the following para could have been a bit more complete: "The CO2 budget that determines future CO2 concentrations is the sum of sources — anthropogenic emissions and positive feedbacks — offset by sinks of CO2 into the ocean and terrestrial biosphere". As you know well, while the ocean sink is considered fully natural, the terrestrial biosphere's sink is partly natural and partly anthropogenic. In the 2nd half of the century, models assume that the natural terrestrial sink will essentially disappear (or even turn into a source), while they rely on the build-up of anthropogenic terrestrial sinks to offset any remaining (hard-to-abate) fossil emissions. Therefore, to complement your post, I think it's useful to remind to all that 'net-zero' refers to 'anthropogenic emissions + sinks' (i.e. not only emissions).

Closely linked to this is how to define 'anthropogenic sink'. As you know, this is my area of expertise. For any reader interested to know more, I suggest the following papers, which explore the different approaches used by global models (and IPCC AR6) and national GHG inventories in defining what anthropogenic sinks are:

- https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01033-6.pdf (a summary is here: https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-a-rosetta-stone-for-bringing-land-mitigation-pathways-into-line/)

- https://essd.copernicus.org/articles/15/1093/2023/

Another paper on this issue will come out in a few weeks in a top-level journal.

The implications of different definitions of 'anthropogenic sink' are huge, as they may jeopardise an accurate assessment of the collective climate progress, equity of efforts among countries, and confidence in land use GHG estimates.

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There seems to be a wide discrepancy on reported values for these various carbon sink strategies such as tree planting, greening of desert areas, ocean fertilization, land use avoidance, wildfire prevention etc. Going all the way from negative to high positive effectiveness. Researchers need to drastically improve their analysis of these methods. And they are heavily compromised by the fact they are widely being abused by various carbon credit, carbon trading, Net zero schemes which are mostly just highly profitable greenwashing scams, virtue signalling for the ultra-rich and giant corporations.

And almost always missing in these analyses is their carbon abatement cost, i.e. $/tonne of CO2eq avoided or removed. It is pointless to promote carbon abatement methods without an measure of their economic efficiency. Capital is limited and a knowledge of what methods are most cost effective is essential. We are seeing an incredible abuse of public funds misdirected at schemes that have abysmal or even negative cost effectiveness. That's just crazy.

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William Cronon had a great essay on this in 1997. “Why, for instance, is the ” wilderness experience” so often conceived as a form of recreation best enjoyed by those whose class privileges give them the time and resources to leave their jobs behind and “get away from it all?” Why does the protection of wilderness so often seem to pit urban recreationists against rural people who actually earn their living from the land (excepting those who sell goods and services to the tourists themselves)? Why in the debates about pristine natural areas are “primitive” peoples idealized, even sentimentalized, until the moment they do something unprimitive, modern, and unnatural, and thereby fall from environmental grace? What are the consequences of a wilderness ideology that devalues productive labor and the very concrete knowledge that comes from working the land with one’s own hands? (37) All of these questions imply conflicts among different groups of people, conflicts that are obscured behind the deceptive clarity of “human” vs. “nonhuman.” If in answering these knotty questions we resort to so simplistic an opposition, we are almost certain to ignore the very subtleties and complexities we need to understand.”https://www.williamcronon.net/writing/Trouble_with_Wilderness_Main.html

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At its heart, the climate/big green consensus is imperialistic and reactionary.

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So I am a forest person.. I attended a presentation given by Jerry Melillo on his climate modeling.. I happened to be familiar with maps of my home state. What he mapped as “protected” made no sense so I asked him.. he got it from IUCN maps. Now there are two problems with this.. first, they don’t keep up with political designations and use political designations, and second that political designations of protected may have little biological meaning. In the US, we’ve developed increasing awareness of Indigenous management especially fire, such that all forests have been affected by humans. So all this being said, the idea of separating anthropogenic from natural seems impossible just in terms of too many possibly explanatory variables. It’s fascinating to me that climate scientist chose to go down this rabbit hole, where we have mostly given up. To what end? For international reporting on warming, I guess. It seems like focusing on that tends to move observations to satellites, the sciences from forest to climate, and the politics from local to international. Perhaps some of the mistrust of climate policy interventions has to do with these forces.

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Oct 30, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

I largely agree with your statement that "the idea of separating anthropogenic from natural seems impossible" (for terrestrial biosphere). Even the IPCC guidelines for national GHG inventories reach the same conclusion. However, the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement focus only on anthropogenic emissions and removals. The (understandable) reason is that countries will never commit to something which they consider outside their control (natural GHG fluxes).

To address this, the IPCC guidelines adopted the ’managed land’ concept as a pragmatic proxy for anthropogenic GHG fluxes to be reported by countries. According to the IPCC, “managed land is land where human interventions and practices have been applied to perform production, ecological or social functions. All land definitions and classifications should be specified at the national level, described in a transparent manner, and be applied consistently over time”.

Most countries (included in the EU, and USA) consider most of the land as 'managed', and thus all is considered 'anthropogenic' (with the possible exception of some exceptional natural disturbances, but that's another story). Only Canada, Brazil and Russia report large areas as 'unmanaged' and thus not included in their GHG inventories

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Informed energy policy decision making requires something more important than climate change modelling. More important are study and analysis of the cost/benefit ratio of implementing Article 2 of the Paris Agreement, and fair representation of both the benefits and detriments of global warming. Climate science and energy policy have become the handmaiden of political narratives and inadequately examined aspirational goals, and are, in a word- surreal.

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