Dana Nuccitelli has it in for skeptics, whom he lovingly calls ‘climate deniers.’ He doesn’t like us Lukewarmers much either, saying we’re in the ‘third stage of climate denial.‘
The UK’s Guardian, which is so sloppy it is nicknamed ‘The Grauniad’, testimony to its many typos (Nuccitelli is lucky they haven’t misspelled his byline–they like Nutella over there), has given Nuccitelli free rein at its publication. As Nuccitelli is funded by a private consultancy, I doubt if the Guardian has to pay too much.
Nuccitelli has responded by attacking opponents of the Krazed Klimate Konsensus he represents. In recent days he has lambasted Ecomodernists, conservative journalists, the Republican Party (three times–you would think he might remember that the Grauniad is published in the UK), the fossil fuel industry, etc.
His most recent diatribe is against Indur Goklayn’s paper published by the skeptic organization GWPF, which I always want to think stands for Global Wymen for Peaches And Freedom, but probably doesn’t.
Goklany’s paper, with an excellent forward by Freeman Dyson, is about the benefits the CO2 is bringing to us, principally through Global Greening. Titled ‘Carbon Dioxide–The Good News‘, the paper is certainly one-sided–focusing on the benefits of CO2, trusting us to have been exposed to adequate information on the horrors of the thing.
CO2 has led more or less directly to a 14% rise in the productivity of Earth’s biosphere, a notable rise in agricultural yields and has reduced our need for new land for farming by between 11% and 17%. This is important. It’s happening now, it’s helping those among us who most need the help and is a useful counter to those intent on demonizing the substance.
And Nuccitelli is livid. So livid, in fact, that he makes a fool of himself. His first point about the paper is that Indur Goklany is funded by the GWPF–just the same way that Nuccitelli is funded by a private consultancy. To be clear, I don’t care that Nuccitelli is funded by a private consultancy, any more than I care that Indur Goklany gets the jaw-dropping figure of… $1,000 a month from the GWPF. The fact that Nuccitelli’s employer is directly funded by Exxon is something I find funny, but not relevant to the discussion. What I care about is whether Goklany and Nuccitelli are correct.
In the Guardian blogpost, Nuccitelli knowingly tells an untruth. He writes, “Unfortunately the bad consequences far outweigh the good, as even the GWPF’s own economic advisor Richard Tol has concluded.” Both links in the quote go to… Nuccitelli’s assessment of what Tol wrote.
In the comments to Nuccitelli’s madness, Tol writes, “Intriguingly, Mr Nuccitelli writes that I “conclude” that “bad consequences far outweigh the good”. As evidence, Mr Nuccitelli refers to a piece written by Mr Nuccitelli. Mr Nuccitelli could have referred to my work instead. Had he read that paper, he would have noticed that I do not support said conclusion.”
What Nuccitelli said Tol wrote: “Unfortunately the bad consequences far outweigh the good, as even the GWPF’s own economic advisor Richard Tol has concluded.”
What Tol wrote: “Climate change will probably have a limited impact on the economy and human welfare in the 21st century. The initial impacts of climate change may well be positive. In the long run, the negative impacts dominate the positive ones. Negative impacts will be substantially greater in poorer, hotter, and lower-lying countries. Poverty reduction complements greenhouse gas emissions reduction as a means to reduce climate change impacts. Climate change may affect the growth rate of the economy and may trap more people in poverty but quantification is difficult. The optimal carbon tax in the near term is somewhere between a few tens and a few hundreds of dollars per tonne of carbon.”
Human emissions of CO2 bring us benefits in the present and near term future. They also contribute to warming the climate. Goklany’s paper could have included a more even-handed assessment.
But given the relentless attacks, diatribes, rants and personalized attacks–and yes, deliberate lies to obfuscate the issue–regarding CO2 and those who don’t agree with consensus policies to prepare for, minimize and adapt to whatever warming may come, to blame Goklany for not including the over-publicized hype about it is not just disingenuous. It’s downright hypocritical. Although real scientists will note that increased CO2 does bring benefits, those of the KKK would rather slit their throats than admit it. If they never write about the benefits of CO2 (and Nuccitelli hasn’t said a nice thing about CO2 in his life) why should Goklany be excoriated for focusing on its benefits?
One final note–Nuccitelli makes a big deal out of the fact that Goklany’s paper was peer-reviewed by the GWPF, which does include people qualified to do so. Given Nuccitelli’s co-authorship of John Cook’s trainwreck of a paper on the 97% consensus, here’s some advice for Nuccitelli–next time you write a paper, get the GWPF to review it for you. They’ll do a better job.