|Prickly Pear Qld 1930s. |
Viv Forbes is a climate disinformer from Australia. He's no longer a director of Stanmore Coal, but he used to be. As he's done before, his article is in the form of a letter to some unnamed editor of an unnamed publication. I guess it's to the "editor" of WUWT.
Viv lists "social benefits" of burning fossil fuels in the following terms:
Greens seem unaware that “carbon” coming from man-made CO2 is beneficial plant food supporting all life on Earth including polar bears, cane toads, prickly pear, rain forests and wheat.
Cane toads and prickly pear are benefits? Huh?
Let's look at those items from the perspective of social cost. (Environmental costs are also a social cost.):
- Polar bears are in dire straits in Hudson Bay and elsewhere, because the ice is melting.
- Cane toads are costing Australia's agriculture and environment a huge amount. The government is investing $1 billion through Landcare over four years to help control these pests.
- Prickly pear is also a bane on Australia's environment, and has been "Acknowledged as one of the greatest biological invasions of modern times". It has been largely controlled by importing the moth cactoblastus.
- Rain forests in some places are drying up and burning down as global warming kicks in.
- Wheat yield improvements may not keep pace with climate change. A lot of effort is going into selective breeding for drought tolerance and high temperatures. These research efforts are paid for by wheat farmers (via a levy) matched by a contribution from Australian taxpayers. (More positive social cost.)
From the WUWT comments
The very first person to respond picked up on the fact that Anthony Watts' headline was about a positive social cost of carbon. brians356 wrote:
December 22, 2016 at 12:28 pm
You mean the social cost of of carbon is not a negative number?
commieBob wryly observed:
December 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm
Someone clearly didn’t study accounting. :-)
thingodonta thinks that because he or she is ignorant the whole world must be ignorant. That's a logical fallacy. At the current 400 ppm, the world has already become more dangerous. At 1,000 ppm global surface temperature could rise by 10 degrees Celsius or more. As for 25,000 ppm, the generally accepted standard average for an 8 hour work period is no more than 5,000 ppm.
December 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm
I think the idea is like Vitamin A. A little is good, too much will kill you, however nobody knows how much CO2 in the atmosphere is ‘too much’ before it starts to become a net negative, 350ppm? 1,000ppm? 25,000ppm?.
There isn’t enough verifiable evidence to make a conclusion, however life on earth has apparently thrived at around 1000-2000ppm CO2.
It’s also a very typical case of lack of proportion within academic research; those whose job is too monitor the health of markets and people sometimes inflate their field out of all proportion to its’ relevance. This is a common problem within academic research. Research is both a competitive and sometimes political game, and balance is not one of its strong points.
The idea that carbon has a significant social cost is basically a theory, until more evidence comes in on exactly if and when it becomes dangerous.
TA is worried about the cost of the deterioration in mental health of conspiracy theorising climate deniers. Oh that's not it, he's a denier himself. (I wonder what he pays for psychotherapy these days? Is the rug about to be pulled by the GOP dismantling medicare?):
December 22, 2016 at 1:19 pm
The social costs of CO2 are all the money that has been spend on harebrained schemes like windmills and solar thermal. The money spent on these things could actually have been spent on something useful to people, instead of restricting the action and options and opportunities of people.
And what are the costs of treating the poor people who have been driven insane with fear by these false claims of human-caused global warming/climate change. That’s got to be a huge amount of money.
richard verney agrees there is a huge positive cost of carbon. Then proceeds to show that he doesn't understand the concept.
December 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm (excerpt)
Of course the social cost of ‘carbon’ is positive. It is hugely positive.
Richard Tol (@RichardTol) wrote:
December 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm
Viv Forbes mixes up the private benefit with the social cost.
SMC responded to a change of topic, and showed the dangers of only reading disinformation blogs like WUWT. (It was the alleged defamers who sought to delay the trial, not Michael Mann. Heck, he's the one suing them. He wouldn't want to delay this.).
December 22, 2016 at 5:00 pm
I was under the impression that Mann was trying to delay things to prevent discovery. Why would he do something that would essentially obligate him to proceed with a trial? I guess I’m confused.
tony mcleod referred to the opening line in Viv's "letter" and said:
December 22, 2016 at 3:58 pm
Whenever I see the word evil used like this I know the person using it is a kook. Either a religious, ideological or philosophical but a kook all the same. This one is a particular breed of mining industry kook.
The above comments aren't a random sample. They give a skewed view of WUWT readers. Many if not most of them aren't just climate science deniers, they are greenhouse effect deniers and temperature rise deniers. You can read more here.