I agree with Steve Koonin’s core point in @wsj (deep uncertainty in global warming beyond basics). But here’s where I told him we differ: 
a) Your piece makes the important point that, on vital questions, there’s enduring deep uncertainty behind the “97 Percent of Climate Scientists Agree” headlines and IPCC report summary language. That was the point of my pieces on the many “shapes" of climate knowledge.
But I think your piece implies too much that further scientific inquiry can improve the picture. On regional forecasting, extremes (hurricanes), sensitivity to doubled CO2, and other key questions, further science - if anything - has clarified that some of these uncertainties aren’t going anywhere. 

b) You also imply that you can’t have “good” climate policy in the face of deep persistent uncertainty. In other endeavors, society has figured this out and some sustained inquiry is going into how to take a least-regrets policy on the greenhouse buildup. See the World Bank paper on “Investment Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty - Application to Climate Change.”

Koonin offered these replies:

a) Agree that regional and extremes are probably hopeless.  But I would suppose that ECS/TCR and even GMST on a decadal scale could be better nailed down by model pruning and better ocean data.  An interesting way to test that (which I don’t think has ever been done, but don’t know for sure) is to assume one of the models is the truth, downscale the sampling of the data to what we might reasonably observe in the real world, and see to what extent that can be used to recover the truth.  The results would give some indication of the extent to which more observations would help.

b) This is indeed implied by the tagline, which I didn’t write or even see until publication.  As I hoped to imply in the last few paragraphs of the article, we can get to good climate policies, but they will depend as much (or even more) upon “values” than upon science, given the latter’s uncertainties.

I agree with Steve Koonin’s core point in @wsj (deep uncertainty in global warming beyond basics). But here’s where I told him we differ: 

a) Your piece makes the important point that, on vital questions, there’s enduring deep uncertainty behind the “97 Percent of Climate Scientists Agree” headlines and IPCC report summary language. That was the point of my pieces on the many “shapes" of climate knowledge.

But I think your piece implies too much that further scientific inquiry can improve the picture. On regional forecasting, extremes (hurricanes), sensitivity to doubled CO2, and other key questions, further science - if anything - has clarified that some of these uncertainties aren’t going anywhere. 
b) You also imply that you can’t have “good” climate policy in the face of deep persistent uncertainty. In other endeavors, society has figured this out and some sustained inquiry is going into how to take a least-regrets policy on the greenhouse buildup. See the World Bank paper on “Investment Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty - Application to Climate Change.”
Koonin offered these replies:
a) Agree that regional and extremes are probably hopeless.  But I would suppose that ECS/TCR and even GMST on a decadal scale could be better nailed down by model pruning and better ocean data.  An interesting way to test that (which I don’t think has ever been done, but don’t know for sure) is to assume one of the models is the truth, downscale the sampling of the data to what we might reasonably observe in the real world, and see to what extent that can be used to recover the truth.  The results would give some indication of the extent to which more observations would help.
b) This is indeed implied by the tagline, which I didn’t write or even see until publication.  As I hoped to imply in the last few paragraphs of the article, we can get to good climate policies, but they will depend as much (or even more) upon “values” than upon science, given the latter’s uncertainties.

Revisiting @stevedavisUCI @kencaldeira CO2 outsourcing study via @andrereichel. ~11% US consumption-related emissions occur outside US borders; 33-50% for European countries.

Encouraging conclusions for musicians, artists, filmmakers? Study finds: “file-sharing can actually benefit the creative industries in various ways. The report mentions the success of the SoundCloud service where artists can share their work for free through Creative Commons licenses, the promotional effect of YouTube where copyrighted songs are shared to promote sales, and the fact that research shows that file-sharers actually spend more money on entertainment than those who don’t share….”

Jim Hansen seeks a third political party centered on fee-dividend climate approach:  ”[W]e are near a point when the American people should contemplate a centrist third party…

I was in government 40 years, long enough to understand how aging organizations can evolve into self-licking ice cream cones, organizations whose main purpose becomes self-perpetuation rather than accomplishment of their supposed objectives. The public can see this tendency in our politicians, our Congress, and our major political parties.

Our government has failed to address climate, energy, and economic challenges. These challenges, addressed together, actually can be a great opportunity. Our democracy and economic system still have great potential for innovation and rapid adoption of improved technologies, if the government provides the right conditions and gets out of the way.

The Solution is Not Rocket Science

Conservatives and liberals alike can recognize the merit of honest pricing of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels today receive subsidies and do not pay their costs to society. Human health costs of pollution from fossil fuel burning and fossil fuel mining are borne by the public. Climate disruption costs are borne by the victims and all taxpayers.

This market distortion makes our economy less efficient and less competitive. Fixing this problem is not rocket science. The solution can be simple and transparent….  READ ON

Welcome words from @VolokhC: [E]ven if a doubling of CO2-equivalent will produce warming at the low end of conventional projections, it is still a serious concern (even from a libertarian perspective). 


@Levi_M offers valuable insights in a look at the new oil age. Under IEA scenarios for cheap, medium and costly oil, the resulting tracks for CO2 emissions barely differ. Much more here.

@Levi_M offers valuable insights in a look at the new oil age. Under IEA scenarios for cheap, medium and costly oil, the resulting tracks for CO2 emissions barely differ. Much more here.

50 years of federal spending in one chart (@NPRnews @PlanetMoney).

Fun cartoon from @malekanoms on why US gas price is high despite ample supply, low demand. Answer? Bernanke monetary policy. Evidence? Chart of stock prices relative to gas prices. Bernanke has different view. Omid Malekan made headlines in 2010 with explainer on “quantitative easing.”

Post on @TheEconomist Schumpeter blog charts dark side of hyperconnectedness: ‘Blizzard of buzz.’ http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20111231_WBD000_0.jpg I see upside swamping such issues, particularly if/when media (to stay alive) provide filters for overloaded public.

Post on @TheEconomist Schumpeter blog charts dark side of hyperconnectedness: ‘Blizzard of buzz.’ http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20111231_WBD000_0.jpg I see upside swamping such issues, particularly if/when media (to stay alive) provide filters for overloaded public.

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