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The Forum > Article Comments > Lost opportunities > Comments

Lost opportunities : Comments

By Peter McMahon, published 20/2/2020

Global warming threatens to destroy civilisation, runaway technology is taking over our lives, nuclear war remains an immediate existential threat, while the international system is wracked with bitter rivalries.

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dreamland stuff.

"Perhaps most importantly we need a global organisation where sustained debate can occur and national leaders be made to answer to each other. This was supposed to be what the UN, and before that the League of Nations, was for. We could revitalise the UN, or create some new body (the voting system in the UN is unfair to large population countries like India, China and Indonesia)".

This will probbaly never happen.

i also think criticising the past in hindsight is far too easy, and not really a contribution by serious academics.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Thursday, 20 February 2020 8:49:49 AM
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While there are always critics of emerging policy trends, few ever offer any realistic alternatives that prove successful with regard to our liberal democratic experience.

change in recent decades, imo, reflects the reality that there was always going to be limitations in terms of the development of the liberal democratic state in this world of very different states seeking to prosper from trade and capitalism.

For liberal democracies, our policy options are now much harder
Posted by Chris Lewis, Thursday, 20 February 2020 9:04:06 AM
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"Global warming threatens to destroy civilisation"

Rubbish. Global warming is probably net beneficial. Here are two recent paper on this subject:

Economic impact of energy consumption change caused by global warming

Abstract
This paper tests the validity of the FUND models energy impact functions, and the hypothesis that global warming of 2 C or more above pre-industrial times would negatively impact the global economy. Empirical data of energy expenditure and average temperatures of the US states and census divisions are compared with projections using the energy impact functions with non-temperature drivers held constant at their 2010 values. The empirical data indicates that energy expenditure decreases as temperatures increase, suggesting that global warming, by itself, may reduce US energy expenditure and thereby have a positive impact on US economic growth. These findings are then compared with FUND energy impact projections for the world at 3 C of global warming from 2000. The comparisons suggest that warming, by itself, may reduce global energy consumption. If these findings are correct, and if FUND projections for the non-energy impact sectors are valid, 3 C of global warming from 2000 would increase global economic growth. In this case, the hypothesis is false and policies to reduce global warming are detrimental to the global economy. We recommend the FUND energy impact functions be modified and recalibrated against best available empirical data. Our analysis and conclusions warrant further investigation.

Lang, P.A.; Gregory, K.B. Economic impact of energy consumption change caused by global warming. Energies 2019, 12, 3575. https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/12/18/3575
Posted by Peter Lang, Thursday, 20 February 2020 9:17:27 AM
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Climate sensitivity, agricultural productivity and the social cost of carbon in FUND

Abstract
We explore the implications of recent empirical findings about CO2 fertilization and climate sensitivity on the social cost of carbon (SCC) in the FUND model. New compilations of satellite and experimental evidence suggest larger agricultural productivity gains due to CO2 growth are being experienced than are reflected in FUND parameterization. We also discuss recent studies applying empirical constraints to the probability distribution of equilibrium climate sensitivity and we argue that previous Monte Carlo analyses in IAMs have not adequately reflected the findings of this literature. Updating the distributions of these parameters under varying discount rates is influential on SCC estimates. The lower bound of the social cost of carbon is likely negative and the upper bound is much lower than previously claimed, at least through the mid-twenty-first century. Also the choice of discount rate becomes much less important under the updated parameter distributions.

Dayaratna, K.D.; McKitrick, R.; Michaels, P.J. Climate sensitivity, agricultural productivity and the social cost of carbon in FUND. Environmental Economics and Policy Studies 2020,
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10018-020-00263-w
Posted by Peter Lang, Thursday, 20 February 2020 9:18:31 AM
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"Perhaps most importantly we need a global organisation where sustained debate can occur and national leaders be made to answer to each other."
Funny how I knew this was where it was going when I started reading the opinion piece.

And No, the computer modelling didn't get it right.
Posted by jamo, Thursday, 20 February 2020 9:18:55 AM
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Its examples like this nave view of the world that makes a mockery of Economics. Before Global Climate Modelling gave us the AGW movement, economists were the world's worst modellers. Like the AGW brigade, they believe their models over reality.

How anyone can ask for another go at a global body after the corruption and bloating found with the UN and its sub branches (including IPCC) is beyond me.

Looking to the past in this sphere of human endeavour is pointless. The world is a far more complex place than ever, and another elite, bureaucratic monster is the last thing we need. The world needs good clear flexible leadership, the total opposite of the likes of the UN.
Posted by Alison Jane, Thursday, 20 February 2020 9:39:39 AM
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