At the Carbon Brief, there's a full transcript of an interview of Richard Tol by Roger Harrabin of the BBC. Readers of HotWhopper won't recognise him. The Richard Tol who was interviewed by Roger Harrabin is a completely different man to the person who has behaved in an unhinged obsessive manner when he has visited HotWhopper in the past (see below). He is quite a different person to the man who for more than two years has been obsessed with fatigued abstracts, date stamps and 97 per cents, trying to find flaws in the research study by Cook et al, and failing.
Adverse effects of climate change are about to outweigh any benefits
The newly emerged Richard Tol says things like adverse affects of climate change will very soon outweigh any benefits of warming (within months, not years):
- According to my latest calculations, it’s sort of around 1.1 degrees of warming relative to pre-industrial, so that’s … referring to the boundary between net positive benefits from warming, and negatives, which means we are at the boundary.
- We should be looking towards three, four, five degrees. - telling Roger Harrabin, who mentioned a 2 °C rise, that the world is heading for much hotter than that
- ...we should be trying to decarbonise the economy as fast as we can but I think we will need a century to do so.
- I’m probably a bit of an outlier in the general population that I care more about marine animals than most people do, yeah.
A carbon tax is the best option
Richard Tol advocates a carbon tax:
- A simple carbon price. From the perspective of the atmosphere, it doesn’t matter where the CO2 comes from and therefore it also doesn’t matter where the CO2 reduction comes from. If you impose a carbon price then you give everybody who emits CO2 an incentive to emit less and you let the market and the households and companies sort out what is the best way to do it, or pay the price if it can’t be done.
- Yes, a simple carbon tax. A carbon tax can be managed by perhaps ten civil servants in the Treasury, that’s all you need. Instead we have a large department of climate change that employs many, many civil servants, all of whom are making up silly rules. And I would simply abolish that whole department and replace them with a working group of ten civil servants or so in the Treasury and that’s all we need.
- The advantage of a carbon tax is that you have government revenue and you can use that revenue to actually counter the regressive effects.
Good governance is important
- ...many of the more dramatic impacts of climate change are really symptoms of mismanagement and poverty and can be controlled if we had better governance
Compare and contrast
Go ahead and read it for yourself. Contrast the Richard Tol who spoke with Roger Harrabin with the Richard Tol who has visited here in the past:
- The fall and fall of Gish galloping Richard Tol's smear campaign
- The Evolution of a 97% Conspiracy Theory - The Case of the Abstract IDs
- Deconstructing the 97% self-destructed Richard Tol
- and more here.
In case anyone comes across a suggestion that Richard Tol didn't mean what he said about the 1.1 °C boundary, below is the transcribed interview of the relevant section:
RT [Richard Tol]: ...of course when you have positives and negatives and you start adding them up, you may end up with a net positive or a net negative. And the literature is divided on that one: if you add up all these things, is it positive or negative? Most people would argue that slight warming is probably beneficial for human welfare on net, if you measure it in dollars, but more pronounced warming is probably a net negative.
RH [Roger Harrabin]: And where do you put the boundary line between those two?
RT: According to my latest calculations, it’s sort of around 1.1 degrees of warming relative to pre-industrial, so that’s …
RH: OK so we’re almost there already.
RT: We’re <chuckles> almost there, yes.
RH: We’re almost at the point where the benefits start to get outweighed by the consequences.
RT: Yes. So in academic circles, this is actually an uncontroversial finding. The …
As for what "pre-industrial" means, the average temperature of 1850 seems to be a reasonable benchmark. According to Berkeley Earth analysis, the global mean land surface temperature from 1750 to 1850 was mostly at or below that of 1850 (land only). As of this year, the global mean surface temperature (land and ocean) is just over 1 °C above the average from 1851 to 1880.
|Data source: Hadley Centre, UK Met Office|