10 November 2016

Trumped up policies

I can't really put a limit on how many potential probable bad policies we're going to see from a three-way alliance of Trump in the executive office, Republicans holding the House and half the Senate, and 1-3 justices appointed by Trump to the Supreme Court, BUT I'll keep (and update) a list of predictions here:

Within 100 days:
  • Keystone XL approved
  • EPA ends regulation on CO2 emissions*
  • US withdraws from climate talks.*
Within one year:
  • ACA (Obamacare) repealed. Poor have Medicare; middle class screwed.
  • Republicans in the Senate routinely use "the nuclear option" to override Democratic filibusters, to give the Donald what he demands ("for the people," of course).
  • ICANN "freedom" is prevented by a R vote. Freedom arrived Oct 1, 2016. #thanksobama
Within one term:
  • Roe v Wade overturned.
Bottom Line: One man can do a lot of damage when strong (wrong) ideologies are set against weak institutions.

Addendum: Coyote predicts Rs will have "buyer's remorse" within 6 months, as Trump implements policies too radical for them. I think they will be too drunk with power to break off. Tyler Cowen is far less pessimistic than I am.

Addendum2: I may have been too optimistic: "Basically, Trump has promised an America-first, drill-baby-drill energy policy. He has promised unfettered production of coal, oil and natural gas and to "bring the coal industry back 100 percent." ... For his energy and environmental policy team, Trump has selected one of the nation's most prominent climate contrarians, Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, to head his EPA transition. Ebell worked on policy for the tobacco industry before his years of work opposing environmental regulations and sowing doubt on climate science. Trump is also reported to be considering Harold Hamm, chief executive of fracking industry leader Continental Resources, for energy secretary, and Forrest Lucas, co-founder of oil products company Lucas Oil, for interior secretary."


* Myron Ebell of CEI is leading the team to staff the EPA (a commenter said this on yesterday's post, but I read it elsewhere). I had a few emails with him at the end of Jun 2012. He's a skeptic of Anthropogenic CC (AGCC), i.e.,

Him:

I'm not sure what your point about climate change is here. Global warming does not lead to more extreme cold events, and global cooling does not lead to more extreme hot events. The longest and most extensive Arctic temperature data sets are in Alaska. Igor Polyakov has compiled them. They show that Alaska was warmer in the 1940s than in the 2000s. Temperatures the last few years are headed down again. That's why Nome was frozen up this fall and the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas have a lot more ice this summer than in the past couple decades. As for the other side of the Arctic, recent melting near Hudson's Bay has revealed tree lines much further north than today. That shows that some hundreds of years ago (ending about 800 years ago), it was warmer than today for an extended period. If warming hasn't stopped, then perhaps in a couple hundred years there will be trees growing there once again.

Me:
  1. That's not the most extensive temp record.
  2. Core-based records show warming
  3. Trees (or haddock) are not a good sign for an ecosystem built on another climate
  4. Your comments about warming/cooling and "extremes" makes no sense to me, in the context of thermodynamics...
More important, why are you guys arguing with scientists? Why not reduce the harm of policies that lead to more energy use, building in flood plains, agricultural subsides, etc.
  1. Are you funded by any of the "denialist" sources?
  2. Are you actually interested in US -- as opposed to global -- policies?
The only reason I talk to CEI is b/c I think we can make common cause in some areas, not b/c I see no role for government or international cooperation... and I'm a libertarian-environmental-economist!

Him:

Polyakov’s is the longest temperature station dataset record. The Arctic Climate Impact Commission report that the bureaucratic duffer Bob Correll chaired excluded the involvement of most Arctic experts and then published a temperature record that began in 1950. When challenged, Correll replied that there weren’t enough stations before the second World War. In fact, there were two to three times as many stations as there are today. I would be very careful about making assertions based on ice core records. The advance and retreat of the tree line is a very good indication of temperatures in the Arctic. When there is no ice cover and no permafrost, forests return over time. We are a long way away from Arctic temperatures that allowed the tree line to advance to where it was during the Medieval Warm Period.

We don’t argue with scientists. We follow the scientific debate. And we rely on a lot of the chapters in the IPCC Assessment Reports. They are of highly variable quality, so need to be used with care. The most discouraging things about the global warming scientific debate are the endless claims of the modelers (who use models that have no forecasting ability for GMT, regional change, or impacts) and the repeated readjusting of the temperature data by GISS and NCDC.

We have been one of the leaders in opposing policies that raise energy prices, reduce access to energy, and force people to use less energy. We have been active for decades opposing federal flood insurance and similar policies that subsidize building in flood plains and on beaches. We have always opposed the farm bill and have spent quite a lot of effort trying to get rid of environmentally destructive subsidies, such as the sugar program and the ethanol mandate.

Our funding comes from a wide variety of individuals, corporations, and foundations.

We spend a lot more time on U. S. than on international policies.

I’m very pleased you talk to us. We look forward to co-operating with you on those issues where we have much in common. We work on specific issues with people who are much further from us politically than you are. For example, we co-operate closely with Friends of the Earth in trying to get rid of the corn ethanol mandate and subsidies. They of course support the mandate for advanced (cellulosic) ethanol, which we of course oppose. And Greenpeace recently signed a joint letter with us, even though they spend a lot of time smearing us in the media.


Me:

Thanks for all the information. I am not going to get into the science debates, except to point out that any scientist who could show the huge majority of his fellows to be wrong would not only get massive attention and funding, but endless apologies, etc.

That's how the scientific method works, of course. We saw it recently with the debunking of the autism-vaccine claim.

I see zero sign of such debunking by AGCC deniers. There's no world conspiracy of scientists aimed at securing funding. There's not even a cabal of ideologues who want everyone to wear a hair shirt.

So, how about we make a gentleman's bet ($1) that AGCC is happening. We can close in some time in the next 20 years, I reckon.

Until then, let's work on the low hanging fruit:
We have been one of the leaders in opposing policies that raise energy prices, reduce access to energy, and force people to use less energy. We have been active for decades opposing federal flood insurance and similar policies that subsidize building in flood plains and on beaches. We have always opposed the farm bill and have spent quite a lot of effort trying to get rid of environmentally destructive subsidies, such as the sugar program and the ethanol mandate.
(do you support Pigouvian taxes aimed at local pollution resulting from energy? Burning coal, for example?)

Him:

[no reply]

4 comments:

  1. Care to make a bet on Roe v Wade? I doubt it gets overturned in the first term...

    ReplyDelete
  2. How long was plate tectonics ignored and derided? I am not saying that the current theory is incorrect, but there is precedent for a theory with evidence being ignored for over a generation. Second there are scientists (usually astrophysicsts or geologists and geophysists) who believe Milankovitch cycles and solar cycles have more influence than CO2, but nobody is willing to let that enter the debate. NASA even stated that Mars has been warming since the 1970s. So your claim is not necessarily correct.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Greenhouse gas theory is over 100 years old. There's nothing contradicting that idea (GHGs forcing global warming), so the presence of OTHER cycles (e.g., Mars warming) only reinforces the problem. OTOH, I'm also paying attention to facts (average annual temps rising, etc.), which are NOT falsifying the Greenhouse Theory. Thus, I think it's better to take it seriously. Clearly, there's nothing being done on a global (= effective) scale to reduce GHGs, so we'll now see how that develops. My bet is that adaptation is going to be rather important.

      Delete

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