Source: http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2017/06/04/scott-adams-is-a-tosser-part-2/

18813361_1533741416678444_8062868971593521307_n Scott Adams is suddenly interested in global warming. Why? It isn’t a new issue and he doesn’t really have anything new to say about it. I think the answer is that he has become a Trump fanboi and is running cover for Trump; or is still over-obsessed by his own perspicacity; or perhaps it is just a momentary interest. Or like covfefe we may never know.

Aanyway, having cartooned it once – and not again, and my patience is now exhausted – he’s blogged it a bit, and has finally said something sensible1. Or at least, sensible compared to the rest. And since it is close to one of my hobby horses, I thought I’d parade it in the ring.

SA starts badly with “What the heck is “climate denialâ€�? Is that even a thing?”. Ermm, yes it is. If only all the world’s knotty conundrums could so easily be unravelled. He then continues, in somewhat self-aggrandising terms, to attempt to distinguish GW science from the economics. And if you think that’s a distinction that doesn’t need to be made, then try reading climatecrocks report on the cartoon (although irritatingly cc seems to have just copied then garbled P Z Meyers take; and more irritatingly freethoughtblogs is currently down for me, so that’s an archive of Google’s cache, oh this modern world is so complicated). Anyway, that’s kinda my point. I thought – but didn’t say at the time so I can’t prove this in any convincing way – that the correct answer to SA’s cartoon argument was to point out that not trusting the economic models doesn’t make you a science denier4. The economic models are different, and require different understanding. Arguably, most-to-all states today are indeed economics deniers, because they insist on tariffs not free trade, and on subsidies not carbon taxes3. But you’ve heard that one before.

Trexit

I didn’t really want to say much about Trexit because everyone else already has. How about I just point you at ATTP’s Trump and Paris, which you’ve already read, and say that I agree with most of it. The important thing to do is to not waste your time analysing the reasons Trump gave for leaving. They are all fluff, chaff, smoke and mirrors, and of no importance. The real reasons are the obvious ones: he promised his fanbase he would; Repubs on the whole dislike it and Dems like it; it was an Obama policy. What more reason does he need? This isn’t a thinking president.

Notes

1. Part of what he said that is sensible is hidden in another post, which is Disclosure: My current view on climate science is that the climate scientists are probably right on the basic science, and their climate models are probably directionally right too2. But no one has created a credible economic model around climate change…. It is weak and I think deliberately vague, but at least accepts the science – or fails to dispute it – whilst worrying about the economics.

2. Note that in the cartoon, SA rather obscures this point, by having his scientist say “dozens of different climate models and ignore the ones that look wrong to us”. That’s not quite totally incorrect, but definitely at least misleading in context.

3. And so, dear reader, I suspect, are you. But that doesn’t worry you because of <excuses>. Of course your excuses are good excuses and in no way resemble the excuses that Bad people make for things that you dislike.

4. His continuing point, that this argument is a killer because there are no credible economic models, is simply stupid. Economic models are used all the time for policy making because, imperfect as they are, they are better than nothing.

Refs

* Us at Peterborough, IM3 heat. Sadly we came third. I’m just visible at 7.