Saturday, November 15, 2008

How to mitigate adaptation

Ethon, has not been dining well owing to his usual hunting ground being abandoned by all except the very usual suspects whom everyone else has dispaired of dealing with. It is sad to see that a long thread now has 2, 3 maybe 6 posts. Having invented climate blogging, RPJr decided to ban anyone from the church who didn't hold with him. RP Sr went one better and banned everyone. When you tell folk that it is your way or the highway, well, Eli always did like Rte. 66. Ethon OTOH enjoys the tasty bile.

It's too bad, because especially Dave Bruggeman is writing interesting things and Roger knows what is going on. Eli disagrees with much of it, but still, civilized bunnies could take part in even intempered but amusing exchanges. Roger still is feeding his multiple jones, the IPCC, air capture, and adaptation ueber alles. It is to the last that we point as a springboard to the UNEP survey mentioned immediately below. About a week ago (yes Ethon instant messages Eli often about what is happening on the Front Range) RPJr put up a post entitled Adaptation is now cool says ipcc authors which crows about how Michael D. Mastrandrea and Stephen H. Schneider wrote in the Boston Review that

Mitigation, however, will not suffice. Even with aggressive global efforts to reduce emissions, the Earth’s climate will continue to change significantly for many decades because of the magnitude of past emissions and the inertia of social and physical systems. Of course, many uncertainties remain about how best to reduce emissions and how the climate system will respond. But we can now say with confidence that rapid climate change and its impacts are at hand. As a result, we face immediate choices about how to temper its worst consequences for vulnerable populations and regions.

Alongside mitigation, then, we also need policies focused on adaptation, on making sensible adjustments in the face of unavoidable changes.

Roger brags on trumpeting adaptation from the year dot without the self-awareness that his trumpeting contributed substantially to the urgent need for adaptation that Mastrandrea and Schneider now find. RPJr is the patricide who pleads for mercy as an orphan.

One of the most interesting questions in the UNEP survey (ah, the Rabett follows wondering paths, but he does get there sometimes) was what percentage of resources should be put into mitigation or adaptation

____% Mitigation
____% Adaptation

Eli's answer is below, what is yours?

60% Mitigation
40% Adaptation

Ten years ago, Eli's answer was

120 % mitigation and
-20% adaptation,

because there was so much low hanging fruit around in increasing efficiency, helping China, India and the rest of the under-developed world industiralize that we could have gotten a net benefit from the process.

The world has simply spent 30 years doing nothing or worse than nothing and damage from climate change which is inevitable now, but not then requires adaptation.


Magnus said...


However we still need money to help less fortuned countries... just as before.

Anonymous said...

"Having invented climate blogging, RPJr..."

Is that like Al Gore inventing the internet?

Don't make Roger's head any bigger than it already is, Eli.

Ethon (and the rest of us) might not be able to stomach it.

RP already thinks he invented adaptation (even though Darwin talked about that a long time ago, I believe)

Anonymous said...

Mitigation%: 100% - adaptation%
Adaptation%: 100% - mitigation%

If I am not mistaken, RPJr would agree with me.

There, I (we) made my(our) contribution.

Where's my(our) Nobel Peace Prize?

Anonymous said...

I wish it would hurry up. I want Richmond to have a climate like Charleston SC. Want palmettos and alligators. And the damn winters are not warming. Grrr. Let me fire up my leaf blower!

Marion Delgado said...



Even the trolls:

Voting with feet.

Hank Roberts said...

> writing interesting things

Like this? Impenetrable, I'd say.

" ... none of the campaign science advisers noted earlier this year aren’t mentioned in the transition teams for the relevant agencies. Presumably this will keep them in play .... "

Anonymous said...

Al Gore was the person who got the bill through congress which created the funding which turned the old ARPANET into the internet. So in that sense, he darn well DID invent the internet, though a little research will show he never used the phrase attributed to him.

Anonymous said...

The ref to Gore was a joke.

But "inventing" and "making possible" are two completely different things.

Anyone who has ever applied for a patent understands this (or at least should).

Al gore did not "invent" the internet and I realize he never claimed as much.

The one thing RPJr and Al gore do have in common, however, is a big head.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I misinterpreted.

cynthia said...

Hi Eli,

If food becomes increasingly scarce for Ethon, he oughta consider using his knowledge of adaption to evolve himself into a vulture. This would enable him to feast off the wide array of roadkill on Route 66.

Dano said...

Adaptive management folk (what the IPCC is getting to but not doing a good job) would say that there is an initial target and subsequent metrics drive the flexible number.

That said, the low-hanging fruit having fallen and rotted, I think we're 60:40



EliRabett said...

There is still a lot of low hanging stuff out there, esp in the US and in underdeveloped countries, but Eli repeats himself

Anonymous said...

The GM SUV's are hanging real low these days -- as are the jobs of GM workers.

But for some reason, the jobs of the incompetent, moronic GM execs who pursued gas-guzzling trucks for all those years and doomed the company are still too high to reach.

Anonymous said...

Eli and all,

the adaptation/mitigation ratio of risk management is subject to how far in the future one puts the target. It is dynamic.

Now: 100% reactive adaptation to ongoing change
Mitigation - aim for reaching the overshoot point asap (this is a tough ask)

And this is what we need to anticipate at the very least for various adaptation planning horizons

2030: Mitigation may have reduced 10% of the global warming-related risk

2050: Mitigation may have reduced 40% of the global warming-related risk

2100: if reactive adaptation is dealing with 20% of the residual global warming-related risk, it has been largely sucessful. Yet this may occur and despite all efforts we could still be headed for dangerous climate change

This is a more dynamic picture than managing for long-term stabilisation

Roger Jones

EliRabett said...

Roger, Eli thinks that Uncle J. Willard Rabett kinda is on your wavelength with his four laws of climate change policy

J. Willard Rabett has sent Eli a set of laws to guide climate change policy makers

1. Adaptation responds to current losses.
2. Mitigation responds to future losses
3. Adaptation plus future costs is more expensive than mitigation,
4. Adaptation without mitigation drives procrastination penalties to infinity.

Bunny Labs would appreciate the acolytes spreading the gospel.