[ExI] cure for global warming is working

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue Dec 21 21:31:11 UTC 2010

On 2010-12-21 17:36, spike wrote:
> But Anders, I am so puzzled.  We were assured the science was *settled* on
> all this.  When I looked at it, the science sure as hell didn't look settled
> to me.  Doesn't still now.

Yup. But I think professor Steve Rayner (one of our stars over in 
Oxford, big name in sociology, climate and geoengineering) nailed it 
when he was asked about climate during a meeting with some business 
people. He said roughly: "The climate models are crappy. [succinct rant 
about their main failures] However, as decision-making aids they have 
been *better* than the kind of input we accept as relevant input for 
business decisions since the middle 90's."

The fact that the politicized climate industry is going to go on raving 
about how settled things are is irrelevant. I find it more interesting 
to talk to the real climate scientists and discuss real science with 
them. They do have some pretty nifty forecasting methods, a lot of 
knowledge of different kinds of uncertainty and their individual 
problems, even some very cool large-scale simulation tools. Very useful 
for completely different domains.

> Any solution to global warming must be market driven as opposed to
> politically driven.  It might not work, but it must sell.  Local freak warm
> snaps will help them sell.  Cold spells will hurt sales.  The critical point
> is overall sales.

An interesting issue is that the markets do not seem to be pricing like 
they expect climate to be a big problem. Either they are very 
shortsighted, investors are mis-investing, or they do not "believe" (as 
information markets) in major climate change. Either way, there is 
likely arbitrage to be made.

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford University

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