Pielke Jr and 13 other authors have published a paper advocating a “re-framing” of climate policy. Co-authors that may be somewhat familiar to CA readers include Atte Korhola and Mike Hulme (a seemingly anomalous search term in the Climategate letters). Daniel Sarewitz checked in briefly at CA a few years ago. The coauthors tend to be economists.

They observe the lack of accomplishment of climate policy over the past 15 years and argue that policy has been too heavily focused on mechanisms like cap-and-trade and demand targets and insufficiently focused on supply-side (they express it a little differently, but I think that this characterization is fair.)

They argue that the confluence of Copenhagen and Climategate creates an excellent opportunity for re-framing.

Contrary to much present spin, they say that Climategate was an extremely important event, calling it, together with the Copenhagen, one of two “watersheds” in climate policy:

The second watershed is to be found within the science of climate change. It was crossed on 17th November. The climate science community has experienced an accelerated erosion of public trust following the posting on that date of more than a 1,000 emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit.[2] These emails, whose authenticity is not denied, suggested that scientists may have been acting outside publicly understood norms of science in their efforts to bolster their own views and to discredit the views of those with whom they disagreed.[3]

They provide a nice citation [3] of Andrew Montford’s book:

The principal e-mails of concern are reproduced and discussed in A.W. Montford, The Hockey Stick Illusion, London: Stacey International, 2010, pp. 402–49. This work conveniently relates the topics back to a detailed narrative of the major disputes in climate science, and specifically paleoclimate studies, with which much of the Climatic Research Unit archive is concerned.

They repudiate the disinformation from the climate science community that any of the inquiries have actually investigated matters at issue:

Hitherto, none of the specific critiques of this work by those auditing it have been adjudicated by reviews of the matter, and indeed were explicitly not investigated by the Oxburgh review (para. 9)

They dance around nuclear power, arguing that radical new technologies are needed to meet acceptable cost targets, but do not mention that Deutch et al 2009 url (which they cite) had observed that there were then about 44 nuclear plants under construction around the world in 12 countries, principally China, Russia, India and Korea – which suggests to me that a major reason why there were no new nuclear plants then under construction in the U.S. (one was being refurbished) is due at least in part to self-imposed regulatory issues and the huge costs associated with running the gauntlet of the present U.S. regulatory system.

I haven’t examined the policy options closely and the following point is an opinion that is a general impression only – one in which I’m speaking as a (Canadian) citizen rather than a specialist. Surely one of the nettles that has to be grasped by the environmental movement in the U.S. and Europe is confronting the fact that prescribing feel-good remedies like wind power and tree-planting carbon credits as a solution for present energy and climate problems is no better than prescribing Laetrile for cancer. (They may not do any actual harm, but, to the extent that people are tricked into thinking that they might be a solution, they do do harm.) Once this nettle is grasped, then there would probably be an opportunity to reform the regulatory system so that nuclear plants can be built in the U.S. as well as in Pakistan and the Ukraine.

Peter Gleick and his claque say that we have to do “something” right away – though the “something” seems all too often to be Laetrile or the sale of indulgences. Better that we have “change we can believe in”.

Source: Climate Audit

More on ecology:

  1. Women’s role in a warming world
  2. Case needs to be made for science now
  3. Conservative – Liberal Democrat announce coalition agreements
  4. Phase Out of Incandescent Lamps- Implications for International Supply and Demand for Regulatory Compliant Lamps
  5. MN professor eviscerates Monckton in must-see video – TVMOB’s talk proves "how easy it is to fabricate data."