Monday, November 14, 2016

Krugman Does It Again

From today's New York Times:

And he has an almost school-boyish, smartest-kid-in-the-class aversion to ever being called wrong:

Trump was elected on 11/8. That night the Dow futures tanked, as did the Nikkei Index. But on 11/9 the S&P 500 went up 1.1% from its previous close. The next day it was up another 0.2%. At that point Krugman cried "uncle." Not very impressive.

But he's sure in the long run Trump will be a disaster. I'd like to think so too, but it's not clear to me at this point. Already he is showing signs of compromising his campaign promises -- on the wall, on the Affordable Care Act, on a Muslim ban, and on same-sex marriage.

Anyway, Krugman says Trump will bring "runaway climate change." If he means "runaway" in the scientific sense, a la Venus, he's wrong -- the Earth isn't close enough to the Sun to undergo such a runaway (but only by a few million km). Even if we burn all the fossil fuels available -- about 12,500 Pg carbon, according to Swart and Weaver 2012 -- we'd get 9 to 33 C of warming. Serious shit, but not runaway.

Maybe Krugman thinks Trump will keep us on RCP 8.5. Probably, but the world is on that anyway. Nothing the US can do individually to stop it, and I don't see the US killing the Paris agreement alone. If anything there might be some retaliation. I hope there is -- that's the best way to enforce a global carbon tax.

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