On the Prometheus website, Andrew Dessler wrote "Until a counter example is provided, I stand by my statement that there is not a 'single advocate arguing against action on climate change (which he later clarified as being 'mandatory reduction of GHG emissions') that uses legitimate *scientific* claims as the basis of their argument.'"I responded that I don't support mandatory reduction of GHG emissions, and provided 9 scientific claims to support my argument. Here are my claims #3 and #4, and Andrew Dessler's responses:
I wrote, "3) A preponderance of evidence suggests that CO2 emissions will peak circa mid-century, or earlier, and will decline by the end of the century to a value that causes atmospheric concentrations to plateau at a value below 560 ppm (i.e., double pre-industrial concentration). This will happen through normal technological evolution…"
He responded, "Some of your points are scientific, but they have no merit. I was especially amused by number 3, that CO2 will peak mid-century w/o any policy to reduce GHGs. You say the "preponderance" of evidence supports you, when I think "no evidence" would be more appropriate."
I wrote, "4) The resultant temperature increase (approximately 90% probability of lower tropospheric temperature increase from 0 to 2.2 degrees Celsius above current value) will be such that a preponderance of evidence supports either minimal net harm, or even net benefit."
"We discussed your number 4 before, so you know I think it's balderdash. I won't repeat that discussion here."
Probably psychology books and any understanding at all of human behavior would counsel, "Don't reward bad behavior." But I haven't read any psychology books, and have never understood human behavior...so I'm going to respond by offering you, Dr. Andrew Dessler, a Fabulous Free Money Offer.
First, I will give you $10 if you answer the following 3 questions…but only if you answer the first 2 correctly. To show you that I’m not attempting any trick questions, I will even give you helpful links to where you might find some answers to the first 2 questions:
1) What were the approximate worldwide per-capita industrial CO2 emissions (i.e., from the consumption and flaring of fossil fuels) in 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005?
2) What are the projected worldwide per-capita CO2 emissions in the IPCC TAR for the years 2030, 2050, 2070, and 2100 under the following scenarios: A1F1, IS92a, B2, and B1? Here is a helpful site for CO2 emissions: IPCC Third Assessment Report Emissions. Also, to answer this question, I want you to use the following assumed world populations: 2030: 8.2 billion; 2050: 9.1 billion; 2070: 10 billion; 2100: 11 billion. (See “Medium Variant” on this site, if you’re interested in the general basis those numbers: U.N. population projections.)
3) What is your scientific opinion of the implications, if any, of the correct answers to those first two questions?
I'm offering you an additional $10 to provide your BEST estimate values for worldwide industrial CO2 emissions (i.e., not including land use changes) every decade from 1990 to 2100, in the form of 5 percent probability, 50 percent probability, and 95 percent probability estimates. (The meaning of the probability numbers is that that's the probability that the number will be BELOW the value you estimate. See the blank template table below for the form I want. You can use a value of 6.0 gigatons as carbon for the 1990 value, if you want (that would be 22 gigatons of CO2). I want to emphasize that I want your BEST estimates. I don't know if Texas A&M has an honor system, but before I give you any money, I want you to certify, on your honor, that the estimates are the BEST you can come up with at present.
Finally, I am offering you another $10 (that's $30, total) if you will provide me your BEST estimates of average temperature changes in the lower troposphere (as measured by satellites) every decade from 1990 to 2100. I also want them in the form of "5 percent probability, 50 percent probability, and 90 percent probability" estimates. And once again, I want you to certify, on your honor, that they are your BEST estimates. You should of course start the 1990 values with all zeros.
So there it is...a Fabulous Free Money Offer of $30. You obvious think you're a real hot shot (no global warming pun intended). I'm willing to pay $30 to be dazzled by your brilliance.
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