August 11, 2017

#ClimateChange news parsing, #ParisAccord BS, scientific punch-pulling

Katharine Hayhoe: more 'frenemy' than
true friend on real climate change action
like a carbon tax, and alarm levels.
Yes, this is one of those blog posts where I pull various ideas of the header together into a seamless whole.

The New York Times' "breathless" story Wednesday about the draft version of the latest installment of the the quadrennial National Climate Assessment is very good — but too breathless; as many media outlets have noted, like the WaPost, it wasn't "private." And, per a comment near the end of that blog, you've got to double-dot every "i" and double-cross every "t" with the current White House.

(Update, Nov. 3: And, the National Climate Assessment's first half, the Climate Science Special Report, has officially been released. And a draft version of the impact assessment is also out.)

So, this technically can't be about climate change censorship. However, per climate scientist Bob Kopp, also quoted at Erik Wemple's blog, the Trump Administration does face an Aug. 18 review deadline.

And, per the scientists who talked to the Old Gray Lady, it is possible that without publicity, it IS possible, Mr. Kopp, Mr. Wemple, et al, that Trump, Scott Pruitt, et al, would indeed have shit-canned, or butchered the hell out of, the version scheduled for release.

Update, Aug. 15: Andrew Revkin, who knows his way around the worlds of both climate change reporting and anti-climate change politics, reports at Pro Publica that this could indeed be the case, and cites the history of previous NCAs under Shrub Bush. In his piece, Revkin mentions Steve Koonin as calling for the "red team, blue team" approach to "critique" the NCA. Per Wiki, Koonin is, at a most charitable interpretation, a climate change minimalist. Per less charitable interpretations, he's a denialist. Add in that his op-ed was in the Wall Street Journal, going as far right as he could while still trying to plump for mainstream credibility.

I also finally got Kopp's attention. And, no, I didn't say you disagreed with a co-author of the report; I said, per Wemple's piece, you arguably were downplaying the suppression risks. That said, I wouldn't have cross-tweeted that co-author, Katharine Hayhoe, off Revkin's piece, today, if I had noticed her Tweets on Wemple's piece last week earlier. Because, she arguably did the same thing that Kopp arguably did.

And, per said Twitter exchange, both Hayhoe and Kopp? Nice, polite, Obamiac type climate scientists, as far as I can tell. Wouldn't surprise me if they've flung around the term "climate change alarmist" before, or at least words kind of like that. Whether or not that's in their particular book, I have decided that, if I ever hear that, not only addressed to myself, but wrongly addressed to others in the future, I'll use the phrase "climate change neoliberal."

(Update: Nov. 3 — per the link up top, Kopp was one of the commenters to the piece, talking about how "strong" it is. Maybe the leak helped, per the next few paragraphs below?)

Gary Yohe says that a Trump shit-canning of the NCA, referenced by him under alternate title of the Climate Science Special Report, would be worse than withdrawal from Paris.

 Hayhoe is a nice, polite Canadian who didn't suspect an underground agenda from eXXXon when it funded some of her graduate study. No wonder she's also gullible about Trump possibly shit-canning the NCA. And, the evangelical Christian misinterprets 1 Corinthians 15 as attempt to justify herself. She also ignores that Paul was even breaking "Noahide laws" that Jews considered to apply to all humanity, as far as meat needing to have the blood drained from it. That was NOT a "kosher law" for Jews only.

And, also, this ignores whatever differences existed between the January draft posted online for public comment and the July draft filed for final administrative review. The July draft is identified as a fifth-order draft, indicating right there it's not the same as the January one. And indeed they're not; the January draft is a third-order one. And Kopp and Hayhoe can choose to tell the general public, if they don't want to wade through the whole thing, what changes have been made.

That said, that's going to get us to other things.

First, Kopp himself is "breathless" in his optimism about how little damage Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will cause. That's because, in turn, he's breathlessly optimistic about the Paris Accord itself, even though it's ultimately aspirational bullshit, as I've called it before.

So, too, are domestic measures passed by Dear Leader. The tighter EPA mileage regs? Carmakers can pay fines — and will, with cheap gas prices — if they don't meet them. They also have loopholes for flex-fuel vehicles, which will almost never burn E85. In turn, that's actually good, perhaps, because the amount of climate change that would be caused by trying to grow enough corn to actually meet significant E85 use would itself be a problem.

Kopp either does know that, and is pulling his own punches, or he doesn't, and needs to do some more reading himself.

That said, per Counterpunch, the leaked, uncovered, revealed, or pointed-to National Climate Assessment is itself not much above the aspirational bullshit level.

First, it's based on the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2014 report, which itself is a matter of issue, and now we're going to get to the third part of the header.

The IPCC's reports in general are known for taking conservative stances on how much of a concern the present course of climate change is. (Cue Michael Mann and others worried about "alarmism.")

Second, per Counterpunch, that 2014 IPCC report has been overtaken by some events. More permafrost craters in Siberia, not only, surely, releasing carbon dioxide but possibly leaking methane too, which may indeed be causing some of the craters. Loss of another section of the Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

The only real answer is the one I said even before Paul Krugman did — carbon tax plus carbon tariff. And, no, Bob Kopp, neither the EU nor China is "taking the lead" on climate change until one or the other of them pushes this through if the US won't.

Oh, and claims that China has peaked in carbon emissions? Well, if President Xi Jinping plumps for more and more of a consumer sector economy, that means more polluting cars (if not electric), more polluting airline flights (no way to electrify), more Chinese consumer plastics, etc.

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