2.12.2006

Heatup Roundup: You Give Hockey A Bad Name Edition

John Fleck and William Connolley are both sick of the Hockey Stick debate (where the temperature graph suddenly jerks upward right around our time). "It's just not as important as people think it is," says the Stoatster. The polar bears agree. Me, I just don't like hockey, known around the world as "the beautiful game," used in this fashion.

• Number of posts over to Promethus over whether the goverment has the right to shut Hansen the fuck up (note: not a quote). Why doesn't Hansen resign? Don't comment here -- I'm not that interested.

• Via Kit Stolz, Malcolm Gladwell weighs in on getting rid of the most dirty cars, and why we should be doing more of it. I think this will become a bigger deal as we get more serious about emissions, probably around the time when a hurricane hits Philadelphia or something.

UPDATE: Surprising non-technical post at RealClimate on James "You Killed Gaia! You bastard!" Lovelock's bad mood. Sample quote:

We should be very clear. No one, not Lovelock or anyone else, has proposed a specific, quantitative scenario for a climate-driven, all out, blow the doors off, civilization ending catastrophe. Mr. Lovelock has a feeling in his gut that something terrible is going to happen. He could be right, but for what it's worth, there aren't any models that explode as catastrophically as this. We can never say that it's impossible that something might fall out of balance, something we haven't thought of. But I think in general the consensus gut feeling among small-minded working scientists like me is that the odds of such a catastrophe are low.

Low odds of catastrophe does not imply negligible. Nordhaus [2001] considered the possibility of catastrophe in his analysis of the economics of climate change. He defined catastrophe as comparable to the Great Depression, a 25% decrease in global economic activity that lasts for a long time. The probability of such an event he estimated by polling the gut instincts of a group of climate scientists; for what it's worth, they came up with probabilities of a few percent.

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