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Re: Greta Thunberg and the climate change

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:55 pm
by Ariel
And if that was not enough, the girl has also been given an award by Amnesty International.

The Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, an activist for climate change, and the movement build up from the ranks of secondary school pupils and students Fridays for Future, have been given the 2019 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience award, the human rights organisation announced on Friday.

Created in 2002, the Ambassador of Conscience award rewards those who, individually or collectively, “have advanced the cause of human rights by following their conscience, standing up to injustice and making use of their talents to encourage others to act,” Amnesty International explained.

The Fridays for Future movement was launched by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager who decided in August 2018 to ditch school every Friday to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament until it took strong measures to combat climate disruption. Her initiative to make people aware of the climate crisis spread like wildfire. On May 24, more than a million young people throughout the world took part in a day of school strikes in support of Fridays for Future. Demonstrations took place in over 100 countries.

Amnesty International is inviting states to strengthen significantly the measures being taken in support of the climate, while respecting human rights.

Previous recipients of the award include Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, Harry Belafonte, Ai Weiwei, Alicia Keys and Colin Kaepernick.

Re: Greta Thunberg and the climate change

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:13 pm
by Ariel
LOL. ‘Now I Am Speaking to the Whole World.’ the girl says.


Re: Greta Thunberg and the climate change

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:41 pm
by Ariel

Re: Greta Thunberg and the climate change

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:08 am
by Fernando
Ariel wrote:And if that was not enough, the girl has also been given an award by Amnesty International.
That's nothing - there will no doubt calls for Theresa May to be sanctified (probably by the German and Chinese coal merchants, who will be laughing all the way to the bank.)

Re: Greta Thunberg and the climate change

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:21 pm
by Ariel
New Study Finds a Modest Carbon Tax Would Hurt All Humanity for Two Generations

One of the main themes of my writings on climate change at IER has been warning the public that the “consensus science” they are hearing from the media, pundits, and certain political figures is utterly divorced from the actual published literature, especially when it comes to the economic analysis of government policy. A new, cutting edge working paper from some big-name economists — including Laurence Kotlikoff and Jeffrey Sachs — confirms my point.

In this case, here is the shocking fact that their paper tries to grapple with: Even with a relatively modest carbon tax, the rise in energy prices is so painful that it swamps the benefits of slower climate change, and this is true for our kids and grandkids. It is only when we get to our great-grandchildren that humanity on net would start to actually benefit from even a modest carbon tax introduced today. So the next time you hear someone say, “We need to take vigorous action on the climate for future generations!” you can clarify, “Actually, your proposals would hurt the next two future generations. You want to hurt us, our kids, and our grandkids, in order to help our great-grandkids and beyond — who will all be fantastically rich compared to us, by the way.”

The Kotlikoff et al. paper is quite technical, so I’ll just summarize the take-away points for a lay audience. I will also spend time at the end of the article explaining what their proposed solution is, for this thorny problem. To avoid confusion, I want to be clear: The authors of this new paper are for a (modest) carbon tax. But they are warning that the current discussion, even among economists, tends to look at “what’s best for humanity from now until the end of time,” rather than checking to make sure each generation gains from a new climate policy. As we’ll see, Kotlikoff et al. suggest a massive fiscal transfer that allows present generations to run up a huge (additional) government debt that our descendants must then effectively pay back with higher taxes, in order to compensate their forebears for suffering through higher energy prices due to a carbon tax.

The point of my article isn’t to endorse the overall recommendation of Kotlikoff et al.; along with climate scientists at Cato, I’ve published a comprehensive critique of the usual economist’s case for a carbon tax. Rather, by shining a spotlight on the cutting edge in the development of the literature on carbon taxation, I want readers to see just how detached the actual discussion among experts is from the breezy claims about “we have 12 years left to save our children” that we hear from pundits and political officials.

How An “Optimal” Carbon Tax Can Punish Into the Third Generation
To set the stage for my interpretation, let’s first quote from the authors’ own description of their results. (Note, readers who don’t have access through the NBER link above can also see a version of the paper posted at Kotlikoff’s website.) The title of the paper is, “MAKING CARBON TAXATION A GENERATIONAL WIN WIN.” Here’s an excerpt from the Abstract:

    Carbon taxation has been studied primarily in social planner or infinitely lived agent models, which trade off the welfare of future and current generations.Such frameworks obscure the potential for carbon taxation to produce a generational win-win. This paper develops a large-scale, dynamic 55-period, OLG [Overlapping Generations — rpm] model to calculate the carbon tax policy delivering the highest uniform welfare gain to all generations. The OLG framework, with its selfish generations, seems far more natural for studying climate damage. Our model features coal, oil, and gas, each extracted subject to increasing costs, a clean energy sector, technical and demographic change, and Nordhaus (2017)’s temperature/damage functions. Our model’s optimal uniform welfare increasing (UWI) carbon tax starts at $30 tax, rises annually at 1.5 percent and raises the welfare of all current and future generations by 0.73 percent on a consumption-equivalent basis. Sharing efficiency gains evenly requires, however, taxing future generations by as much as 8.1 percent and subsidizing early generations by as much as 1.2 percent of lifetime consumption. Without such redistribution (the Nordhaus “optimum”), the carbon tax constitutes a win-lose policy with current generations experiencing an up to 0.84 percent welfare loss and future generations experiencing an up to 7.54 percent welfare gain. [Kotlikoff et al., bold added.]

Although I realize this is difficult technical language for the layperson to parse, here’s what the authors are saying: If we take the “gold standard” (their term later on) in this literature and use Nordhaus’s 2017 model calibration, it will recommend an “optimal carbon tax” that correctly — according to standard economic theory and the best estimates from the climate science research — balances the tradeoff between reducing emissions and harming economic growth.

However — and this is a huge caveat — Nordhaus’s approach assumes there is a benevolent, overarching “social planner” who lumps all of humanity together, and only makes a technical allowance for a (modest) discount on the happiness of future generations in accordance with standard economic theory.

In practice, the authors point out, Nordhaus’s “optimal carbon tax” would actually mean that people living or born today and in the near future will be harmed on net by the policy, because they will suffer worse economic harm from higher energy prices, than they will be spared in climate change damages from reduced emissions. It’s only when we get several generations into the future, that Nordhaus’s “optimal carbon tax” actually starts making human beings better off, compared to the status quo.

This is a critical point for Americans to realize. They are constantly being hectored that if they “cared for their children” they would support a large carbon tax and other aggressive interventions. But we see that this isn’t true: If we even adopt a modest carbon tax — one that still allows 4 degrees Celsius warming (over twice the 1.5 degree currently touted by climate activists as the necessary target), according to the authors (p. 22)1 — then we are harming ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren, relative to the “do nothing” baseline. It’s only our great-grandchildren, who (on average) are going to be fantastically wealthy compared to us, who will actually start reaping net benefits from even this modest reduction in the path of emissions.

The Specifics
The general point of this new paper has been made before; I myself have frequently pointed out to audiences that the entire climate change approach involves making relatively poor people (i.e., us) even poorer, in order to shower benefits on relatively rich people (i.e. future generations). However, the benefit of the Kotlikoff et al. paper is that they quantify exactly how much each generation wins or loses under the latest Nordhaus calibration, by taking his (Nobel-Prize winning) model and changing as little as possible to make their calculations. Furthermore, since Jeffrey Sachs (one of the co-authors) is a prominent proponent of “action against climate change,” the skeptical outsider can be reassured that these results are genuine and not the result of bias or disinformation.


Re: Greta Thunberg and the climate change

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:47 pm
by Fernando
The Kotlikoff et al. paper is quite technical
I remember sitting listening to the radio many years ago. Someone was explaining the jobs of political advisers. It went something like this:
Politicians need information and advice, so they order an investigation.
The researchers set to work, and produce a report equivalent to a Ph.D. thesis.
This is too much for the politicians to digest,so the researchers reduce it to the equivalent of an academic paper.
This is too much for the politicians to digest, so the advisers condense it to one side of A4 paper.
This takes too long for the politicians to read, so the advisers condense it onto the back of a postcard.
The politicians read it and act upon it.

Thus are our laws made.

Re: Greta Thunberg and the climate change

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:53 pm
by Ariel
What next :clueless: Global warming’s impact ranges from PTSD after extreme weather to general ‘ecoanxiety’

The negative impact of climate change on our mental health

While on holiday in Western Canada last month I had what you might call my first personal brush with climate change.

A day after we left accommodation on the coast of British Columbia, the village we had stayed in was placed under evacuation alert. A wildfire had started just above it, leading to the evacuation warning and the closure of the only road serving that portion of the coast. The area had been remarkably dry and dusty, to the obvious concern of locals.

Further confirmation of global warning has been the inexorable increase in wildfires across the province in recent years. And while we hadn’t actually been there for the fire, it was unsettling, and a reminder that the planet, which is warming due to human activity, is progressively becoming less livable.

What does medical research tell us about mental-health issues arising from the ongoing wave of bad climate-change news?

Poor air quality increases asthma and allergy attacks and can cause other respiratory problems leading to hospitalization
The World Health Organisation has predicted some 250,000 deaths per year between 2030 and 2050 due to climate change. And the UN has predicted that the average 4 degree Celsius rise in temperature by the end of the century means sea levels would rise enough to drown coastal cities, and crop yields would decline precipitously.

Direct traumatic experiences such as losing a home to a hurricane have mental-health consequences. After Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf Coast in 2005, suicide and suicidal ideation among residents of areas affected by the disaster more than doubled, while one in six met the criteria for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Rates of depression also doubled in New Orleans, with a disproportionate impact on the mental health of those with the lowest incomes. Elevated PTSD levels have also been found among people who live through wildfires and severe storms.

Less acute exposure can have still some effect. In 2017, the American Psychological Association validated “ecoanxiety” as a legitimate affliction. “Some of the most resounding chronic psychological consequences” of climate change will stem from slower-moving disasters, like the “unrelenting day-by-day despair” of a prolonged drought, the APA said. “Gradual, long-term changes in climate can also surface a number of different emotions, including fear, anger, feelings of powerlessness, or exhaustion.”

Spread of bacteria
There is no denying that global warming causes increases in heat waves, humidity, and air pollution, and increases rainfall – leading to flooding and mudslides. Extreme heat can cause heat-related illness and death from heat stroke and dehydration. Poor air quality increases asthma and allergy attacks and can cause other respiratory problems leading to hospitalization. A rise in temperature can also extend the geographic range of disease-carrying mosquitos and ticks, resulting in faster and wider spread of a variety of diseases.

Rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions make it easier for food and water to become contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other toxins. Heavy downpours and flooding can spread bacteria from animal and human faeces into waterways and fields where crops are growing.

A nebulous ecoanxiety may be harder to deal with than facing the harsh reality of climate change
Speaking to the annual meeting of the Irish Medical Organisation earlier this year, Dr Ina Kelly, Consultant in Public Health Medicine in HSE Midlands, emphasised the particular vulnerability of Ireland to climate-induced waterborne disease.

“We have very significant vulnerabilities to climate change: for example, our susceptibility to serious waterborne disease from severe rainfall events is very high, with 170,000 private wells around the country providing untreated and sometimes contaminated drinking water; drought can also have a huge effect on farmers, who themselves are under pressure to consider the impacts of cattle density and the subsequent effect that has on our carbon emissions and on water contamination,” she said.

It’s strange, but reflecting back on our brush with climate-change reality, it was easier to cope with than the everyday sense of despair that pervades the overall narrative.

A nebulous ecoanxiety may be harder to deal with than facing the harsh reality of climate change.

Re: Greta Thunberg and the climate change

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:52 pm
by Fernando
Less acute exposure can have still some effect. In 2017, the American Psychological Association validated “ecoanxiety” as a legitimate affliction.
Like the way that Trumpanxiety induces Trump Derangement Syndrome in people with less acute exposure to Trump - such as UK politicians and journalists.