About that 7 degrees temperature rise by 2100

Ambrose Evans Pritchard tells us of new climate change research:

We have a choice. Either we fight runaway climate change with liberal market policies and capitalist creativity, or we cede the field to Malthusians and the Green Taliban.

Retreating into denialism - or more corrosive these days, into shoulder-shrugging nihilism - will not cut it. Last week the France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) warned that global warming could reach seven degrees by the end of the century under current policies.

As we’ve been saying for a long time now - and as people shout at us for saying - something is going to be done about climate change. The political head of steam exists and the idiots are going to enact something or other. The task therefore is to push that enacting over to something that would actually solve the problem if it exists while also doing the least damage by doing so. You know, the carbon tax rather than the destruction of civilisation.

We can also be critical in our comments on the claims. This one, of 7 degrees or example. It comes from here:

In the most pessimistic scenario (SSP5 8.5 – rapid economic growth driven by fossil fuels), the rise in mean global temperature is likely to reach 6 to 7 °C by 2100, which is 1 °C higher than in previous estimates.

The thing being that we know, absolutely, that RCP 8.5 simply isn’t going to happen. Look here at the assumptions behind it. It simply isn’t true that we’re going to be using 5 or 10 times as much coal as we do now. It’s equally not true that we’re going to be using more coal as a portion of energy output than we do now. We’ve already done the things that mean wee’re not going to be using coal in those volumes.

Sure, solar - just to take an example - may or may not be all that economic presently in high latitudes and so on but it’s also still reducing in costs at 20% per annum, as it has been for decades now.

The wilder estimates of the future simply are not true. For they’re entirely ignoring the changes we’ve already made. Evans Pritchard is right, we need to be taking the fight to the Taliban on what to do. The first step being to remind people of their own estimates, their own models.

It is not logically possible both that renewables are currently economic and also that we’re going to be using coal as the major power source for civilisation in 80 years’ time. We should at least demand they tell us which of the two they think is true.