Tyler Cowen seems less impressed - on marginalrevolution. His review seems like a straw man attack to me. It's not so much that we will need more oil and gas forever - it's that we need more oil and gas now. He seems to think that a "climate apocalyse" is a "standard" position. I do not think that is the case. The news is full of "climate apocalyse" - but the news is not a balanced source of information.

Economists seem to be some off the few able to perform a cost-benefit analysis. It could be a filter bubble, but many economists seem to be quite positive about AGW. Thomas Gale Moore, David Freidman - and here we seem to have Hanson and Caplan. Maybe more should weigh in - considering how many dollars are invested in the issue.

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Alex Epstein proposes several times in the video that we make grid suppliers supply "reliable" energy. That seems like an utterly ridiculous proposal to me. Paying different prices at different times results in more complex billing - but it is still perfectly manageable, and billing systems are easier to manage and change than electricity providing systems. Love most of Alex's content, but IMO, he should drop this bad idea.

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Near the start is a discussion of the possibility of negative externalities of fossil fuels - and whether that might justify a "pigovian" carbon tax. The problem is that CO2 production has positive externalities too - as Alex mentions and as I discuss in another comment here. Part of carbon's value is because it is scarce. So: we have to dig it out of the ground because we don't have enough of it and we desperately need more. I think that in discussions of negative externalities of fossil fuels it is better to focus on the "air pollution" issue. It is a much more obvious and less controversial topic. There was quite a bit of discussion of that. I don't mean to suggest that air pollution was forgotten about.

Caplan seems to keep assuming that fossil fuel externalities are negative and that those justify "pigovian" taxes. He seems to think that that Alex doesn't get this sort of "marginal" thinking. What we currently have in many areas is the opposite of carbon taxes: fossil fuel subsidies - which very sensibly encourage use and production. There are substantial fossil fuel positive externalities that outweigh their negative externalities. One acknowledged negative externality is air pollution - but taxing fossil fuels is a pretty terrible way to deal with that issue. The automobile industry offers a useful example of reducing air pollution without directly taxing fuel: the catalytic converter. Refs: Fossil fuel subsidies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...Catalytic converter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

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"Fossil Future: The Epstein/Caplan/Hanson Conversation" - https://www.youtube.com/wat...

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I think this is very short sighted. Putting aside that non-human biological entities (~nature) have moral value as well (at least for the vast majority of humans), in aggregate they have a huge potential hidden monetary value. Nature has been the inspiration for many human developments (and art) and there is no reason to believe it won't continue to be. Biomimicry actively attempts to emulate nature to solve human problems, many medicines come from plants or other biological entities, we know about materials, ways to get organised, to solve maths problems, etc. Who knows how much knowledge is outside our reach because a particular species is extinct or too rare for us to notice. Decreasing the biodiversity means possibly losing out an incredible amount of future economic value. Yes, there is a small chance that we would have never created more knowledge thanks to nature, but it seems incredibly unlikely. Probably the problem is that it is impossible to give any reliable estimation on how much value we could generate like this, but the fact the something is difficult or impossible to measure does not mean it is not very important.

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Moisture greenhouse (+40C to mean T) in waterworlds could appear in 4-40 years according to models.

Higher temperatures increases water content in atmosphere, but is some scenarios, as I think, it could negatively affect clod formation as warmer air will prevent formation of clouds. I think I have seen some research about it, will add link if I found.

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I don't think we need to worry very much about runaway warming causing civilization-level extinction. The reasons are:

1. Clouds have high albedo. The warmer we make the planet, the more they reflect sunlight back into space. They also damp surface activity by restricting solar power. It's a large negative feedback cycle.2. A big source of positive feedback in the climate system today comes from ice and snow (which also have high albedo) as ice and snow thaw and melt away, this positive feedback cycle diminishes in power.3. Climate change is glacially slow. The oceans have enormous thermal inertia. It means there is plenty of time to see what is happening and adjust.4. Any climate-driven harm to civization is likely to happen slowly. Before climate apocalypse, there will be climate stress. Stress is going to interfere with industrial processes before it extinguishes them. Since industrial processes are an important source of warming, this will act as a negative feedback cycle.

If runaway warming was actually a significant risk to civilization, scientists would likely let us know about it. However few scientists are ringing this alarm bell. It's because it would make them look like crazy kooks.

While climate change is not an important risk, we have plenty of other things to worry about. Machine superintelligence controlling energy production, nanotechnology, robotics and biotechnology seems likely to be much more disruptive. IMO, we should get our priorities straightened out. AGW is fluff. It's a distraction from other things that are actually much more important.

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We can survive next interglacial, so there is less anthropic pressure producing underestimating of cooling, but it still here: civiliation is possible only during very stable interglacial. Runaway warming has no theoretical limit until 1600C, so there will be no survivors.

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I guess I don't know what you mean by machine takeover. The GOP is staunchly opposed to government attempts to deal with climate change. The Dems try, but the Repubs usually (Biden has one exception passed into law) successfully block them. That is about as political as it can get.

I don't understand your comment about neo-Luddite parties.

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I don't see the machine takeover as being much of a red vs blue issue. I doubt whether it will make much difference which US political party does better in terms of the resulting timescale. There are people who are trying to speed things up and other people who are trying to slow things down, but voting and politics do not seem to be high on their list of priorities. Neither party is much of a neo-Luddite party.

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The evidence I am aware of says anthropomorphic climate change is fast, occurring on the scale of a few centuries. We disagree on what 'fast' means. Like I said, I've seen it in the last two years. That's hyper-fast.

How is climate change relevant?

IMHO, it is very relevant and urgent. The evidence I've seen is convincing. As a non-climate science expert I have to and do accept climate science expert opinion. For me climate change is not a matter of politics, religion or personal morals/beliefs. It is a matter of science. I believe what overwhelming consensus expert opinion says. I will never be a climate science expert, so I have to rely on the best source of knowledge I am aware of.

The best source of knowledge I am aware of does not include the Republican Party, energy sector businesses that profit from polluting, climate change deniers or outliers, QAnon, crackpots or liars, Rick Scott, etc.

In Rick Scott's alleged 11-Point plan to save America the only thing said about climate change in the entire radical right red meat document ( https://www.politico.com/f/... ) is this:

The weather is always changing. We take climate change seriously, but not hysterically. We will not adopt nutty policies that harm our economy or our jobs.

My translation: We do take climate change seriously when any attempts are made to try to deal with it. Then we will fight tooth, claw and poison dagger to block taking it seriously.

So, yeah, today's plants, animals and fungi look set to take a back seat to unregulated, engineered machines serving corporate profits if the Republican Party gets it's way.

One needs to disentangle the science issue from the political issue to better see reality. If one does not do that, one misses and excuses a major part of the controversy.

Or, are my facts or reasoning flawed? If what is the flaw(s)?

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While I can see you are interested in climate change, it is a glacially slow process and won't matter much for a long time. IMO what's much more pressing is the ecological transition to machine labor. Today's plants, animals and fungi look set to take a back seat to engineered machines. It looks as though it will probably be the biggest ecological revolution in hundreds of millions of years. How is climate change relevant? As a early sign of this transition. Or - perhaps - as a distraction from it.

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Climate change is causing more than trivial damage. Extinct species one serious source of damage. More intense hurricanes and floods is another.

Economic cost is another. A 2020 paper abstract:

Forecasts by economists of the economic damage from climate change have been notably sanguine, compared to warnings by scientists about damage to the biosphere. This is because economists made their own predictions of damages, using three spurious methods: assuming that about 90% of GDP will be unaffected by climate change, because it happens indoors; using the relationship between temperature and GDP today as a proxy for the impact of global warming over time; and using surveys that diluted extreme warnings from scientists with optimistic expectations from economists. Nordhaus has misrepresented the scientific literature to justify the using a smooth function to describe the damage to GDP from climate change. Correcting for these errors makes it feasible that the economic damages from climate change are at least an order of magnitude worse than forecast by economists, and may be so great as to threaten the survival of human civilization. https://www.researchgate.ne...

That leads me to wonder what the cost is. I doubt modest. It's bad. But at this point, I suspect it's moot. It's pretty clear now that mankind and the US are very likely not going to get their act together. We'll bicker our oblivious way into catastrophe. So, we're going to find out just how bad things will get. With any luck, I'll be dead before the bad stuff really hits the fan. I pity my kids. I've tried for years, but just can't save them.

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I also like nuclear power. Species diversity too - though the main causes of problems there are imported diseases, invasive species and land use changes. Humans have stirred up the environment and lots of creatures are facing new diseases and new competitors. Climate change is an insignificant factor by comparison. As for arid desertification, if I was in charge of a budget to fight that it would almost all go on land and water management issues - irrigation, dams, plantings, surface treatments, etc. Climate change would be way down the list. My expectation is that - on average - a warmer planet will be a less arid one, with more humidity, evaporation, transpiration, and precipitation. Some places will be more arid - but not overall. Arid and icy deserts are an ice age phenomenon. Africa and even Antarctica were jungles in the past - and with our help they can be so again.

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You and I see different realities.

People want their oil and gas, and don't appreciate attempts to prevent their access.

Maybe so. But I'm certainly not advocating attempts to prevent access to energy. I advocate the opposite. I am all for vast amounts of low cost but sustainable, low polluting energy for everyone. My preferred source is nuclear power and lots of it. Spewing CO2 into the air is not the only way to low cost energy. I actually value species diversity and clean air. I hate the drying out of already pretty dry southern California due to climate change.

As far as I know, most Americans still say they are concerned about climate change. Republican propaganda is working hard and ruthless to change that. Nonetheless, it seems that radical right demagogues still have a way to go on that massive con job.

I also put low a probability on civilization collapse. But low isn't zero. Civilization collapse is possible. In my opinion, it more likely today than it has been since the Cuban missile crisis. If it happens, me and my family will be dead in a few months. Given the staggeringly high stakes, I am a huge fan of erring on the side of reasonable caution.

Re: 24 months - that's nonsense. It depends on what you are trying to predict.

Yes, you're right. It does depend on what one tries to predict. I thought that was apparent from the context of my comments. Guess not.

Anyway, Tetlock researched real world scenarios relevant to politics and commerce, e.g., will a war break out between two countries in the next year, will there be a spike in oil prices in the next year, etc. He did not inquire about things like 'will the Sun rise in the east five years from now'? His research findings shook the American and global intelligence agencies and corporations to their foundations. For obvious reasons, his data set off a huge scramble to find and train those few people with the innate talent to hit the outer limit of human capacity to predict. His data also showed how awful most experts, politicians and pundits are. They are barely better than random guessing.

I highly recommend his book, Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. It was a real eye-opener for me. Tetlock's research has been discussed on this blog multiple times, e.g., here.

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I don't think I am "ignoring" any of that. The success of one species negatively impacts other species who share the ecosystem in the fight for resources. However, I do not want humans to be less successful. Civilization collapse is possible, but I assign it a low probability. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground won't help with that. If anything the reverse. People want their oil and gas, and don't appreciate attempts to prevent their access. Lack of heating oil is a source of stress, conflict and harm. There's less poverty than ever before. Part of that is innovation, but part of it is also the cheap and plentiful fossil fuels that innovations like fracking bring. Re: 24 months - that's nonsense. It depends on what you are trying to predict.

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