As somebunnies may have noticed, Paul Krugman had a comment yesterday on Ethon's foodgroup. Roger Dear published a letter in the Financial Times that Paul thought a bit, well a bit like Roger's last comment on Science at 538, basically pushing the idea that there is a rigid proportionality between carbon intensity and GDP, so if the former goes down so does the latter. This is called the Kaya Identity, well not really. Pielke's version as Krugman pointed out
This is actually kind of wonderful, in a bang-your-head-on-the-table sort of way. Pielke isn’t claiming that it’s hard in practice to limit emissions without halting economic growth, he’s arguing that it’s logically impossible. So let’s talk about why this is stupid.Since Ethon is busy dining, Eli will simply reprint a comment at the Times from one Sahuaro in Arizona
Buggy whips are the product of growth in the transportation sector of gross domestic product and of buggy utilization. More precisely, this relationship is called the Kaos Identity – after Horace Kaos, the Welsh stablemaster who first proposed it in the 1890s.If Bunnies need that translated, Susan Anderson at the same place can help you
Thus, by definition, a “buggy whip cap” necessarily means that a government is committing to either a cessation of transportation growth or to the systematic advancement of technological innovation in equine substitutes on a predictable schedule, such that economic growth is not constrained. Because halting economic growth is not an option, in Cambridge or anywhere else, and because horses don't move via fiat, there is in practice no such thing as a buggy whip cap.
The brawny promotion of we can't do anything, so we must do nothing, seems to be Roger Pielke Jr.'s stock in trade. He does a lot of harm, being so plausible and all.Some time ago Eli pointed out that Roger was of the Breakthrough institute lie back and enjoy it school of dealing with climate change. Roger did not take that well.