Why our Hair is not on Fire about Cutting Emissions, and what to do about it (Giesen)

Tom Giesen writes in a guest column for Informed Comment:

Multiple reasons why global warming mitigation will fail

Greenhouse gas emissions are still increasing. The yearly increases look like this:

• 1990s 2.7%,
• 2000 – 2007 3.5%,
• 2009 – 2010 5.6%,

No action to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the scale or pace needed has begun. Avoiding a 4 degrees Centrigrade (7.2 degrees F.) warming appears impossible due to global inaction, yet that kind of climate change would be a catastrophe. Here are the top ten reasons why:

1. Delayed consequences. Warming is a current phenomenon, but most of the damage is in the future, like a time-delayed bomb – we emit now and suffer the consequences later. Because it is a future event, neither citizens nor politicians feel sufficient urgency. If we thought we had to take drastic action to save New Orleans from disappearing a decade hence, we might be more likely to try. But if the time scale is 50 or 100 years, we have difficulty getting our heads around that. Reducing emissions must start now – we cannot wait for dramatic events, as by then it will be too late. Remember: on any human time scale, warming is irreversible. It will take 100,000 years for the extra carbon to be washed out of the atmosphere by the oceans and certain kinds of rock on the earth’s surface.

2. Belief in the necessity of growth! The sanctity of growth in the economy and in population is the real American religion. What all cities/communities want is more economic and population growth. In the 19th and 20th centuries, economic and population growth were enabled by oil, coal and (later) gas, which all became critically important to our economy. But growth is now impossible without cheap and abundant fossil fuels, and they are finite and becoming prohibitively expensive – causing recessions. But we still believe in unlimited growth and resource abundance – geology and physics be damned!

3. Energy cornucopia! Big Carbon boosters claim that we will have greatly increased production from fracked oil and gas wells. In the short term, fracked oil and gas is lowering prices, which hurts green energy entrepreneurs. The sad thing is that the fracking “miracle” is a mirage in the longer term. Depletion rates for hydraulically fractured (fracked) wells in shale are high (oil: 40%/year on year; gas: 75% year on year). Drilling is financed by Wall Street, and drillers are not disclosing depletion rates, as that would make financing difficult. There is not enough inexpensive petroleum in North America to actually make the US anything like energy-independent, regardless of what the boosters say. The cost of just producing fracked oil (much less making a profit) is about today’s price on futures markets – $85 -90/bbl. The “booms” in oil and gas are mostly just Wall Street bubbles like the real estate and internet bubbles of recent years. Conventional (cheap) fossil fuels are declining resources, and fracked, deep water, oil sands and arctic sources are prohibitively expensive. But no matter – the press is still full of empty chatter about the US out-producing Saudi Arabia and being energy independent.

4. Individualism. Devotees of individualism dislike cooperative processes, preferring go-it-alone methods. Cutting emissions requires a globally cooperative effort, and such cooperative projects might feel to individualists like unacceptable collectivism, and hence resisted. Many in the US demonize any multi-nation cooperation.

5. Anti-intellectualism. Many in America have not moved beyond medieval science. Most Americans accept using the fruits of modern science (cars, airplanes, modern medicine, imaging tools (MRI, etc.), exotic drugs, the internet, remote sensing, etc.), but that does not imply an understanding or acceptance of scientific discipline, processes or of scientists. Rationality does not often apply in scientific issues with political overtones, or with personal preferences, and hence global warming, the end of cheap oil, and other issues are falsely labeled as scientific frauds by opponents of science.

6. American exceptionalism. We imagine we are different from other nations, an exception to many of the rules that govern other people and other nations. Some of that exceptionalism is a repudiation of European social/political customs, from which some colonial settlers fled. Some of it is home-grown, as exemplified by the American Dream myth. Some of it stems from the hugeness of our economy and of our military. But in all cases what many Americans accept is that we are not subject to the same rules as other nations, and that is reflected in our reluctance to participate equally (or at all) in international treaties and other agreements – such as those related to land mines, cluster bombs, and (even more destructive) CO2 emissions.

7. Failure of international cooperation. It is nearly universally believed that the solution to the problem of warming lies in global treaties involving all nations and dealing with emissions reductions and related equity/financial issues. Warming cannot be mitigated nation-by-nation, as cheating would be rampant, with efforts to gain advantage at other nations’ expense. But international negotiations to agree to a treaty to reduce emissions have so far proved useless, as the process is long on rhetoric and intention, and bereft of action. For example, if we wish to avoid a climate warmed by 4 degrees Centigrade, many if not most scientists feel that emissions reductions must begin now. But the new agreement in Doha is to have a new treaty by 2015 to start reducing emissions in 2020 – 8 years from now. The process seems a farce, completely disconnected from the science that ought to inform it, and it fails to reflect the incredible urgency of the issue. It’s now 25 years since James Hansen warned Congress, and we have done nothing. Nothing.

8. Difficulties of monitoring and assuring compliance. Samuel Hays, the environmental historian, famously wrote that passing a law is just half of the process – implementing and enforcing the law is the other half. That will be true for any emissions treaty ever adopted. How do you closely monitor emissions of a gas which quickly diffuses globally in the atmosphere? How do you closely monitor all production and use of fossil fuels? How do you monitor and control land use change (deforestation) before the deed is done? Etc.

9. Greed. The production of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) is at historic high levels, and much of the resource now being sold was developed at a time when developing wells and mines was much cheaper than today. But the price of crude oil is 3 times higher today than it was just 13 years ago, and the price of coal is increasing. That leaves lots of “room” for incredible profits. Demand is outstripping supply: prices, over time, will continue to rise. Greed permeates political life as well: worldwide, governments’ subsidies to fossil fuel producers now total $100,000,000,000 a year, and subsidies to consumers are $675,000,000,000. The subsidies are like crack cocaine – the addiction is extremely difficult to treat.

10. Disinformation. The fossil fuel industry lavishly funds global warming deniers and skeptics – the “lavish” funding is chump change in view of current profits. At the same moment as they fund deniers and skeptics, oil companies now claim to support global warming science (see their websites), but minimize the risks of high levels of cumulative emissions. Hypocrisy reigns!

If we follow the path we are on, the path of no cutting back on emissions, and in fact the path of continued increases in the rate of increase of emissions, our civilization will very possibly collapse. We need campaigns to contact legislators, marches in the streets, and, in the likely event those fail, civil disobedience. We must get policy-makers’ attention and secure significant reductions in emissions of greenhouse gasses. A carbon fee rebated to taxpayers is the most effective means to do that. And although big cuts in emissions will largely come from changes in government and corporate policy, in our own households, we must strive to reduce reduce our energy use. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to create a new, smaller, low-energy, and humane society.


Tom Giesen has a BA, MFA and MS (Forestry), and has been teaching a course on Global Change at the University of Oregon as an adjunct.

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Responses | Print |

21 Responses

  1. Tom Giesen states ten cogent and completely valid reasons why so little is being done to counter the enormous threat to the world posed by the inexorable rise in emissions of greenhouse gases. I have no argument whatsoever with these rational explanations. To them, however, I would like to suggest the existence of irrational forces at work in our psyches that may also play a role. There is a a strange kind of desire to witness, for example, an increasing frequency of extreme weather conditions and coastal flooding of increasing magnitude, a kind of fascination and excitement in contemplating a coming global catastrophe of enormous proportions. One reason for this may be the horror we all have of our own deaths and the closing of the small windows in time in which we are conscious, with the world continuing on in its richness without our being here to experience it. Some of this horror may be reduced if the world as we know it will be coming to an end. We won’t be missing so much by not being alive. These are speculations, of course. I don’t know how big a role, if any, these irrational forces may play in making it more difficult for concerted action to be taken in countering global warming. But I sense them at work in myself and would not be surprised to know that they are present in many of us although we may not want to admit to ourselves that they are there.

    • Yes indeed. A side by side comparison of “rational” versus “irrational” forces in human history sure does not give one much confidence! It is, however, important that up to this hour we have not seen a nuclear Armageddon. It may still come but not yet. So may be we can put some weight on the rational side: press Obama, call Ottawa, send flowers to Bejing, text message New Dehli, etc. and reduce our consumption right here: one man one woman one child at a time! Our mantra can be something like: we can do this yes we can together we can. Peace.

  2. And reasons why things are worse than most people realize: synergism, feedback loops, and unintended consequences. Example of synergism–rising temperatures release methane from permafrost and methane is even a worse greenhouse gas than CO2 (20 times worse), increasing warming even more. Feedback loops–as more ice melts, less albedo effect speeding up warming, melting more ice, and so on. Unintended consequences–Climate change will most likely change deep sea currents affecting such things as the gulf stream, possibly bringing cooler, more unstable weather to places like the British Isles. These are just a few things we can consider likely, there may be other things even worse we can’t even yet suspect.

  3. Thank God you mentioned well depletion rates. Nobody understands how important the depletion rate is with these exotic extraction technologies. Generally, gas wells deplete very fast no matter what type, and the new enhanced recovery oil wells deplete faster than the earlier types. Ignoring this creates the illusion that cumulative growth in production is possible for long.

  4. Thanks for this informative piece!

    On Anti-Intellectualism: Yes, a major major problem. And there is nothing to be done about it. I’m a university professor. When I confront my wingnut sister (who has only books by equally wingnut pundits in her house) with basic facts concerning history or science or economics that contradict her views she literally refuses to absorb them and shakes her head saying “no, no”, usually followed with an attack on the fact that I’m well-read while she is not, and usually ending with a feeble “well you can read all you want, but I just believe . . .” She doesn’t need information; she just knows (it is presented in terms of those who have “common sense” as opposed to others who have “book learning” [yes, in this day and age she still uses this term]).

    This mindset, I suspect, is fairly common amongst the GOP, since we see it particularly with the deniers of global warming in congress.

    It is what I have come to term “Dead Parrot Politics”, after the Monty Python skit in which John Cleese (qua customer) confronts Michael Palin (qua clerk in a pet shop), with the fact that he just sold him a parrot which is as dead as a door-nail. Even after Cleese bangs the parrot on the sales counter and continually shouts “Polly!” in its ears, Palin refuses to accept the parrot as dead.

    This is the politics the GOP practices. Prove Keynesian economics works and they will deny it. Prove torture took place and they will deny it. Show them melting glaciers and ice caps and they will deny it. Show them all the medical and sociological studies that indicate proliferation of guns is a problem and they will deny it. Show them ill advised foreign adventures will diminish our standing, cost trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and result in possible blowback for our country and they will deny it (and I promise most will not care about the lives). Show them their candidate for president is about to go down big time and they will deny it.

    It was not always this way. I can actually remember a time when the GOP embraced many things that were shown to be for the common good (just read their 1956 presidential platform). I remember a time when the nefarious Nixon even embraced health care reform and environmental protection, when parties came together in the 1970s to protect the ozone from aerosols. Growing up in Oregon we had a Republican governor, Tom McCall, who was eager to maintain the states natural beauty and environment.

    But back in the 1970s the two parties worked from a common set of facts and could come to consensus on them in general. No one, I think, foresaw then the complete dismissal of scientific, economic, or historical fact that would make governing the country intelligently, efficiently, and humanely impossible. By the 1980s it was evident though, what was happening. Throw on to that massive funding of conservative “think tanks” which willfully sow disinformation and put out position papers that receive legitimacy through mainstream press coverage and you have, well, Gotterdamerung.

    The usurpation of the GOP by the Birchers and the corrupt corporatized proto-facist granny-starving zombie-eyed Randians is now pretty complete. Dead Parrot Politics has taken over the Republican party – it must in order to hold the party line and the identity politics it practices. But it should no longer be known as the GOP, but the DPP (Dead Parrot Party).

  5. Too bad not enough of us human critters “get it.” Anyone paying attention to a wide selection of what the worst of us, and the most of us, are up, to kind of has to come to the conclusion that humans are indeed a self-limiting plague species, and that what we do to please and feed and “advance” ourselves is ultimately fatal to our offspring. Which at smaller scales, our biology was formed to try to protect, if for no other reason than to have a family or tribe to care for us in our old age.

    “World of Warcraft,” “Call of Duty.” A quarter of the world’s money spent on aggrandizing the various militaries, which have far more in common with each other than with the populations that “support” them and that they pretend to be “defending.”

    Gasoline-powered “leaf blowers” to whoosh your yard crap onto the neighbors’ lawns and into the public streets and sewers. Pipelines siphon away the “wealth” to the few, and the many are too stupid or desperate to recognize the consequences of drilling a hole into a gasoline-filled 20-inch conduit. And the take of the Few, when hundreds die trying to get “free fuel,” is this:

    Vandalised 2B pipeline at Arepo in Ogun State have been described by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as a big set back to the distribution of petroleum products across the country.

    According to NNPC spokesperson, the development has cut off its distribution channel to about five petrol depots, thus, necessitating its reliance on bridging of products through trucks which have also been increased to cushion effects of the situation on product availability and distribution.

    Responding to Business and Maritime’s enquiry on the current position of petroleum distribution owing to ceaseless scarcity of petrol in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, the Acting Group General Manager Public Affairs of the corporation, Mr. Fidel Pepple, said the country had before the Arepo incident contended with delicate situations in supplies and distribution of petroleum products.

    He said: “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has been able to discharge its duties effectively since January when the oil marketing firms stopped importing PMS by making up for the shortfall in supply through increased importation and increased production from our refineries. That was why when people began to spread rumours of fuel scarcity in early August, we came out to inform the public that we had up to 36 to 40 days fuel sufficiency and that people should not engage in panic buying.

    “That no one noticed any shortfall in supply until three months ago in August when the unfortunate incident of the Arepo Pipeline fire occurred is a testimony to the proactive measures put in place by the corporation to ensure that Nigerians do not suffer fuel scarcity again.
    But the Arepo incident compounded an already fragile situation by cutting off the distribution channel to about five depots. With this situation, we have to rely on bridging by trucks. Obviously, lifting products by trucks across a vast country like Nigeria cannot be as efficient as pumping products through pipelines and that is where the problem really lies.”

    Giving an update on the status of work at the Vandalised site, Pepple explained: “Not much has changed about the situation in Arepo. You would recall that we immediately deployed our engineers and technicians to site to effect repairs shortly after the fire incident. They were attacked by suspected product thieves and three of them were killed.

    “Others are still receiving treatment for various degrees of gunshot wounds at various hospitals. At this point, we are waiting for the security agencies to give us adequate security cover, the moment we get that we will mobilised to site and fix the pipeline and get it running. It would be irresponsible to mobilised people to Arepo for repair works without guaranteeing their safety under the circumstance.”

    link to businessandmaritimewestafrica.com (Yeah, a “setback:” The vast majority of the pumped oil and fuel profits the usual tiny fraction of Nigeria’s ruling oligarchy, leaving the mass to piracy and “accidental” self-immolation.)

    One tiny episode in the panorama, a scene that can’t honestly even be called “tragic” because there’s no larger-than-life protagonist suffering a massive change in circumstances via some act of pride or middle-fingering of the gods. Just a lot of little people “advancing themselves” or just trying to stay alive, a little “advanced” above the many humans who get their daily bread by scavenging the garbage dumps of the world…

  6. American greenhouse gas emissions have been falling – not increasing, falling – for years.

    link to green.blogs.nytimes.com

    They are now at a 20-year low. The United States leads the world in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions?

    The figures showing increases at the top of the piece show the global increase. Why, then, is this piece written as a criticism of the United States?

    The relevant “American exceptionalism” here is the exceptional leadership the United States has shown in how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s too bad the rest of the world isn’t following that lead.

    It’s also too bad that the author’s commitment to America-bashing override his commitment to environmentalism. Or truth.

    • It isn’t important that US emissions have fallen slightly. It is important that the US is the second biggest source of emissions, putting tons and tons of carbon into the atmosphere annually

    • Art thou shitting me? “Exceptional leadership?” Does that include, um, the XLpipeline? Fracking, well, um, everywhere. Attempting to shove coal up the Columbia to China for the love of a lousy buck? Dissing small countries that beg for help when they start, literally, to sink? Destroying West Virginia Mountain Momma by masectomotizing her mountains?

      They might be at a 20 year low, but that does not mean that we still do not leave a disproportionate footprint per capita. And by the way, please read the article you cite – there are damned good reasons they are down this year, in part due to a RECORD WARM WINTER due, gosh, to excess carbon emission maybe?

      Good grief!

      • The numbers don’t lie.

        The United States has had the largest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of any country on earth.

        The XL Pipeline – you mean the one that wasn’t approved?

        The West Virginia mountains – you mean the ones that are watching the coal industry die out because we’re shutting all the coal plants?

        As for fracking, the natural gas boom is the biggest reason why the United States is THE WORLD LEADER IN GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTIONS. And you want to give that up, because you care far more about being an awesome leftist protest person than about actually bringing down carbon emissions.

        How do I know this? Because, faced with the REALITY that THE UNITED STATES LEADS THE WORLD IN GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTIONS, your reaction was to make up reasons why greenhouse gas reductions don’t matter.

  7. “Belief in the necessity of growth! The sanctity of growth in the economy and in population is the real American religion.” This is the most intractable issue and by no means is it specifically American. Almost every nation on earth promotes growth that raises its standard of living. Are we to tell the Indians and the Chinese and the Africans that they should stop improving the lives of their citizens? Substantial increases in energy efficiency could make some difference. Expanding alternative energy production will help, but there’s a very low probability that it will replace the bulk of fossil fuel use over the next several decades. By that time we may have reached a tipping point.

    This is a deeply pessimistic analysis. I know of no way to resolve the conflict between growth and emissions, but I hope that those who are younger, smarter and better educated than I am will take this dilemma serious and attempt to address it. In addition to science, technology, politics and economics it will require profound cultural and ethical changes around the world.

    • “Almost every nation on earth promotes growth that raises its standard of living. Are we to tell the Indians and the Chinese and the Africans that they should stop improving the lives of their citizens?”

      I believe the better question is whether growth actually does raise the standard of living. Do we need to continue growing, and therefore consuming, at such a rapid rate in order to improve quality of life?

    • There’s an assumption by Ungar and a whole lot of others, that “growth” equals equals “emissions and other horrific externalities” equals “improving the lives of citizens.” That ought to be recognized as yet another idiocy. First, things “improve” in places (those convenient and sick reifications called “nations”) like China and India and the sorry states of sub-Saharan Africa, (and of course in our own wonderful nation blessed with gigatons of extractables that the prior inhabitants could not defend and mostly did not use,) most of it, only for a tiny few “citizens” in a world that runs on the kleptocratic mantra that “some animals are more equal than others.” “We humans,” a pretty few of us, have only in tiny ways started to bend our massive and inertia-bound intellects to the possibility of making the planet more of a garden across its surface, and less of a garbage dump with swank and exotic high-rises cozying a tiny minority of the various national populations. Who actually are “citizens” of their own stinking group of parasites, that “shadow government” that more people are starting to sense, with their peripheral vision at least.

      There’s a huge momentum, and inertia, to “the way things are.” Maybe young people will put their minds to “the way things could be,” in a world where everybody knows we are really and truly all in this together, and that we have a mutual vulnerability that just gets worse every day, with every new toxin, every new virus, every new nanomachine, every “advance” in robotics toward that “Terminator” future, every new Counterfeit Funny Munny derivative contract. Sure looks to me like the seductions we all are vulnerable to, sex and money and power and the ability to kill our fellows and/or steal their stuff in big or small ways, are kind of winning, big time, over the notions of commensalism and stability and sustainability that might give us a prayer of surviving as a species, after the coming collapse that we do not know the shape of yet. Not for everyone, but for enough of us. But most of the smart young people are buying into the game that’s running, and the others are just, like the rest of us, “productive consumers” to keep the game running. Wal-E, not Wal-mart.

      Because each individual is driven to a greater or lesser degree by that pleasure principle, throughout their lives, lives which only last a tiny span of all the lives of humans in the parade of time. And stuff gets better or worse at a pace that individuals either don’t perceive, or simply don’t care about since they are either born or have learned how to be good at predation and parasitism or are struggling just to stay alive. One of my 3×5 cards is for “Apres moi le deluge,” of which the best explication I’ve found is here: link to tradicionclasica.blogspot.com People who don’t give a hoot about what happens after they’re dead and fully beyond either the pain their their present behaviors cause, or the horrors that will come after they’re gone, well, they don’t give a hoot and know they are immune to any consequences, if they’re rich enough.

      The reasons the processes that produce “emissions” are so seductive are because the “profit” to be extracted by extraction and combustion are all from externalities. Too bad you can’t “make as much money” from sustainable farming (not the kind the Monsanto and Dupont monsters are forcing on us) and water conservation and working on efficiency and all that stuff that’s not sexy and doesn’t lead to $200,000 champagne brunches with attractive bon vivants at snotty-ass restaurants in various imperial capitals. Financial or political, though they tend to be the same…

      Truth: There is enough of everything that matters to go all the way around the table, to feed all of us and give us the rest of Maslow’s first couple of tiers. But not if we keep letting the very few take everything on the plates, and sucker us into thinking that we might be one of them someday, and trick us into fighting over the scraps and crumbs while forgetting who took the best and most of it.

  8. I’m trying to think of a place and time when humans behaved rationally.

    I’m not doing too well.

    Any offers?

  9. And why is America leading the world in greenhouse gas reduction?

    Because we are shutting down coal-fired power plants and replacing them with gas-fired power plants.

    Not CAFE standards. Not green buildings. Not wind farms or solar collectors. Not electric cars, mass transit, or fluorescent lights bulbs. Those are all wonderful things, and will produce great advances over the next few decades, but they have played almost no role in achieving America’s world-leading reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

    The expansion of natural gas-fired power plants is the single greatest factor in making that happen. If the world manages over the next few years to stop and reverse the frightening rates of increase depicted in the top of this thread, it will be through the replacement of existing coal-fired energy with natural gas.

    If you are an environmentalist, and if you take climate change seriously, you will not advocate for throwing out the only tool that has ever accomplished your stated goal of reducing carbon emissions.

      • I wonder if Joe read the EPA’s mandated and massaged “U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report.” I used to work for EPA, still have friends there, and I know how these reports get worked over, slimmed down and”improved” by, e.g., cautious careerists and industry reps. And if he read it, might he agree that his outspoken statements of non-fact regarding the wonderful benefits of burning “natural” gas and supposed reductions of “greenhouse” gas are, well, just wrong.

        There is no factual reason to cheer-lead for Our Sacred Land in this arena, any more than in any other area of “bad for the planet and our fellow humans.” It is not “Anti-American” to point up the flaws in what our oligarchy and other bits of “leadership” are doing, day to day, to steal food off our plates, steal the roofs over our heads, and bankrupt the REAL economy to protect and enrich themselves.

        Hint: The Koch brothers, the CIA and the rest of State Security, the MIC, our Congress and the other branches and local governments, may be using their buggy whips to drive us laboring beasts of burden ever faster toward the big cliff, for ever less food, toting ever larger burdens, with ever less return to us for our “productive labor.” But while they may “own” America, they (I hope) are NOT AMERICA, and are as “traitorous” and “un-American” as any Benedict Arnold or Jonathan Pollard.

      • read and weep, Joe

        A two-year old report that doesn’t include the latest data, but happened to be published during the period of a spike that was immediately reversed. That nice. Are you taking lessons from the global warming deniers, because that is one of their favorite tactics.

        Once again, in 2012, the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions were back to 1990 levels, making the United States the world leader in GHG reductions.

        link to green.blogs.nytimes.com

        • Of course, you can see the small increase from Juan’s “read it and weep” (lol) link from 2009-2010 in the graph I linked to: link to green.blogs.nytimes.com

          But you can also see that that 2009 level was dramatically below the 2008 level; that the little wobble between 2009 and 2010 was tiny compared to the drop that preceded it; that even that small increase was immediately reversed; and that the 2012 level is, indeed, back down to the 1990.

          I would expect to see that chart a lot, Perfesser, if you won’t keep the discussion here honest.

        • Joe, our per capita carbon output is the greatest in the world and we are on track to dump 50 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere over the next decade. Our 2011 output matched Russia, India and Canada taken together! It is nice that output has been somewhat reduced, mainly by the recession, for 2 years, but as recently as 2010 we were up 10% over our output of 1990. If the economy comes roaring back the very recent slight reduction could easily disappear. All this is more than the planet can bear and we aren’t reducing at nearly the rate necessary to avoid catastrophe.

      • One more point: the good Perfesser describes a drop in carbon emissions of greater than 15% as “falling slightly,” but he used the phrase “read and weep” to introduce a report showing a 3.2% increase.

        This is not an honest way to engage with the evidence.

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