Maybe Judith Curry will be more famous than Greta Thunberg …

Now, a substantive contribution to the post-COP26 debate.

Ted Nordhaus is the nephew of Nobel prize winner William Nordhaus (who got his “for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis”).  But it’s fair to say they don’t agree on everything.

You wonder what uncle might think about his surprisingly angry but nonetheless coolly rational attack on ‘big climate’ in the Economist.

Global climate policy is a gigantic mess, he thinks, and he mostly blames climate extremists.  

By extension, he excoriates politicians who truckle to them and the media which fail to question them adequately (hopefully no hard feelings from the Economist’s editorial brains trust for this one).

He can’t help being more nuanced, but if you had to reduce his argument to slogans, one reading might be as follows.

  • Global climate is in not bad shape right now (record low deaths from climate disasters etc).
  • Slowing growth in carbon emissions is good news. The scenario of a 5° rise in global temperatures is unlikely; a manageable 3° is on the cards.  
  • Something nearer to 2° is achievable and would represent a good outcome. 
  • Urgent net zero (in order to meet an implausible and unnecessary target of 1.5°) would be economically and socially disastrous. Which makes its proponents ideologues, mistaken or just a little bit unscrupulous.
  • Rich country governments need to use markets and technologies to lead the transition away from carbon. (Remember that uncle Nordhaus is the godfather of the carbon tax movement.)
  • This will give poorer countries cheaper access to carbon-based energy for one or two generations – which is essential if they are to have any chance of achieving greater human dignity for their people.

Which chimes with what Judith Curry (and the ‘lukewarmers’ for that matter) have been saying for some time now.

If he is right, the chances of a break in climate policy look more likely.

Which would leave politicians as diverse as Jacinda Ardern, Joe Biden, Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel at risk of looking like the archetypal ‘useful idiots’ of what may come to be seen as an authoritarian environmental socialism.

One thought on “Maybe Judith Curry will be more famous than Greta Thunberg …

  1. The IPCC’s modelling is driven by politics, not science. As Judith Curry notes in this post received today, the IPCC has downplayed and even ignored the importance of Total Solar Irradiance in driving climate change but it cannot be swept under the rug for much longer: Climate catastrophists like Ardern and Johnson are going to be exposed for the ridiculous frauds they are. So sad a generation of young children have been terrified out of their wits by the catastrophists’ doom-laden propaganda.


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