Scientific Skepticism | Dr. Steven J. Allen

97% is a number you might have heard a lot in the last few years. That’s the number of scientists who supposedly believe in global warming theory. That 97% claim is questionable, but let’s ask the more important question: why do we find the idea of consensus convincing at all? The terms “Global Warming Skeptic” and “Climate Change Skeptic” are insults, but those who use this line of attack ignore that science only works when there are skeptics. Science is rooted in replicable research and experimentation. A scientist examines an existing set of facts, and concocts a theory that explains those facts. He or she makes a prediction to test that theory. If the prediction comes true, that constitutes evidence to support the theory. If the prediction fails, that undermines the theory, and the scientist goes back to the drawing board. It doesn’t matter whether a scientist is on the payroll of the American Cancer Society or a tobacco company, whether he is a Communist, or a Jew or a Baptist, beats her spouse, or volunteers at a soup kitchen. Only the evidence counts.

But what happens when someone gets the evidence wrong and it needs correction? That’s what critical peer review, aka “skepticism,” is for. In biomedical sciences, non-replication rates are estimated to range between 75 to 90 percent. Venture capital firms now take it for granted that 50 percent of published academic studies cannot be replicated. Imagine what would be done in those cases if there were no skeptics. Business and medicine would be at a standstill. If climate skeptics end up being correct, those attempting to silence them will go down in history alongside the members of the “scientific consensus” that, in years past, agreed that the earth was the center of the universe, that continental drift was impossible, that canals existed on Mars, and that evils such as white supremacy and eugenics were scientifically true.

When told of a publication entitled “100 Authors Against Einstein,” Albert Einstein reputedly said, “Why one hundred? If I were wrong, one would have been enough.” Science cannot function if skeptics are harassed and ostracized. When someone is challenging a scientific consensus with facts and logic, that’s to be encouraged, not dismissed due to politics. Argument, not anathemas, is the way to approach scientific issues surrounding climate changes. To learn more, you can read our study on Climate Change advocacy at climatedollars.org. I’m Dr. Steven J. Allen, thanks for watching..

Convincing the Climate Change Skeptics

Almost any scientist looking at a new idea views it with deep skepticism and doubts it, and that skepticism is only overcome by a consistent preponderance of evidence that keeps supporting the idea that that might be important – that global climate change driven by humans might actually be occurring. As that evidence has been accumulated, skeptic after skeptic among the scientists have decided, "Well, I'd better pay more attention to this." The physics of this is much more well understood. The models that incorporate all of our known aspects of physics and atmospheric chemistry and and climatology and so on, all predict that what we're doing is going to lead to climate change. All these bits of evidence keep falling into place. They all keep saying, "Gee, we'd better pay more attention to this global climate change idea," because when we look at some data that maybe would have rejected it, it doesn't. It supports that idea. I guess what I would say is that the idea is so real now.

There have been so many attempts to test it, so many attempts to reject the idea that we might be causing climate change which have not been successful, which keep supporting that hypothesis. I think it is now incumbent upon us to take it seriously and to do things to help slow the rate of climate change and hopefully stop it. If we find out in the long-term that climate change is not going to happen, we won't have done much to harm ourselves. But if we don't act now, we could have a runaway climate change that could basically greatly decrease the livability of the earth. The science is now solid enough that any reasonable person examining the scientific evidence would decide, "We have to pay attention to it. It's time to have some action.".

Climate Change Will Impact Health

People probably know that scientists have been studying climate change for years and looking at how a changing climate affects global temperatures and sea level rise, and that's important, but I think that most people don't know that there's hundreds of studies now connecting the dots between climate change and human health, and that's a big concern. Climate change is fueling more frequent—and more intense—and longer-lasting heat waves, and that heat is not just an inconvenience to people. It kills people. Some of the people who are most vulnerable to that extreme heat include children, and older adults, and households that are economically disadvantaged, and that's not just a few people; that amounts to many millions of people in the U.S. Another concern is air pollution. The warmer temperatures are, the higher the concentration of some really important air pollutants. Breathing ground-level ozone smog can irritate your eyes and your throat, and really damage your lungs and airways. There are other kinds of air pollutants that are also affected by climate change. Take the kind of pollens that can make allergy symptoms much, much worse, or even trigger an asthma attack. The longer our warm weather seasons, the more pollen is produced in the air.

So, it's like a double whammy for health: ozone smog, and pollen. There's another way, a third way, that climate change is affecting people's health, and that's insects and the illnesses that they can carry, like dengue fever, like West Nile virus, like Zika virus, that are carried by mosquitoes and Lyme disease that's carried by certain kinds of ticks. The thing is, people don't think often about how much those illnesses caused by climate change cost, and not just in human suffering and pain and illness, but in dollars and cents. It's big dollars. NRDC looked at just six of those kinds of events that have occurred very recently: a wildfire episode, a hurricane season, a flooding episode, a West Nile virus outbreak, and air pollution episode, a heat wave, and found that it costs over 14 billion dollars just to people's health. Those are costs that we don't think about and we need to.

I guess my hope as a scientist who studies climate change and health is not that people will get super bummed out listening to all of these effects, but that they'll be energized and demand preparedness and demand cleaner energy and demand building healthier and more secure communities for their children's future..

The Bright Side History – The Benefits of Global Warming – @midnight with Chris Hardwick

We all know that global warming is perhaps the biggest threat facing humanity over the next 50 years, but it's not all bad news according to Yahoo. According to a recent study, rising temperatures will actually be good for getting folks in North Dakota out of the house. You never even thought about that part of it. -(applause and cheering) -We never even thought about it. You, selfish, underwater Hawaiians, it's not all about you all of the time! ORLANDO JONES: Yeah. -What about North Dakota? -Yeah. -Yeah. -Yeah. For some people, global warming is a good thing. There are at least 40 meth-addicted frackers and a dozen or so buffalo veterinarians who stand to benefit from it being a little nicer outside for once. -So maybe open your (bleep) minds… -(applause, cheering) …and think of some of the benefits of global warming. I mean sure, sure, the mosquito population will skyrocket and give most of the southern hemisphere super Ebola, but for a lucky few, they'll get to sit out on their porch on a balmy February night in North Dakota and get radiated by the sunset with their pet polar bear who now will look like this, -and great, I say.

Fun. -(laughter, applause) That's what they look like when you shave them. -Every polar bear. -(cheers and applause) Polar bears look all scary, but underneath, just a little wiener. -Just… -(laughter) So, comedians, I've listed a couple, but I'm sure there are a lot more ways to approach this very optimistically. What are some other benefits of global warming? -Orlan… I'm sorry. Nimesh. -Donald Trump will spend his winters in Swamp Mar-a-Lago. -HARDWICK: Yes. Points. Very good. -(laughter) -(applause and cheering) -Orlando. Well, if it's hot as balls, we know nudist colonies are gonna be lit. -HARDWICK: All right. Points. -(laughter) -Yeah. -Very good. -Lit! -(applause and cheering) -Arden. -Um, it'll only take 15 minutes to fly from coast to coast, Chris. -HARDWICK: Yes. -(laughter) -Points. -Yes! -Finally.

In-flight movie's just gonna be a clip -of the Cash Me Outside Girl. -HARDWICK: Nope. -(laughter).

Why humans are so bad at thinking about climate change

"We are hurtling toward the day when climate change could be irreversible." "Rising sea levels already altering this nation’s coast." "China’s capital is choking in its worst pollution of the year." "5% of species will become extinct." "Sea levels rising, glaciers melting." Okay. Enough. I get it. It’s not like I don’t care about polar bears and melting ice caps. I’m a conservation scientist, so of course I care. I’ve dedicated my entire career to this. But over the years, one thing has become clear to me: We need to change the way we talk about climate change. This doom-and-gloom messaging just isn’t working; we seem to want to tune it out. And this fear, this guilt, we know from psychology is not conducive to engagement. It's rather the opposite. It makes people passive, because when I feel fearful or guilt-full, I will withdraw from the issue and try to think about something else that makes me feel better. And with a problem this overwhelming, it’s pretty easy to just turn away and kick the can down the road. Somebody else can deal with it.

So it’s no wonder that scientists and policymakers have been struggling with this issue too. So I like to say that climate change is the policy problem from hell. You almost couldn't design a worse problem as a fit with our underlying psychology or the way our institutions make decisions. Many Americans continue to think of climate change as a distant problem: distant in time, that the impacts won't be felt for a generation or more; and distant in space, that this is about polar bears or maybe some developing countries. Again, it’s not like we don’t care about these things — it’s just such a complicated problem. But the thing is, we’ve faced enormous, scary climate issues before. Remember the hole in the ozone layer? As insurmountable as that seemed in the 1970s and ’80s, we were able to wrap our heads around that and take action.

People got this very simple, easy to understand, concrete image of this protective layer around the Earth, kind of like a roof, protecting us, in this case, from ultraviolet light, which by the way has the direct health consequence of potentially giving you skin cancer. Okay, so now you've got my attention. And so then they came up with this fabulous term, the “ozone hole.” Terrible problem, great term. People also got a concrete image of how we even ended up with this problem. For decades, chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, were the main ingredient in a lot of products, like aerosol spray cans. Then scientists discovered that CFCs were actually destroying the atmospheric ozone. People could look at their own hairspray and say, “Do I want to destroy the planet because of my hairspray? I mean, god no.” And so what's interesting is that sales of hairspray and those kinds of products and underarm aerosols started dropping quite dramatically.

People listened to scientists and took action. Now scientists predict that the hole in the ozone layer will be healed around 2050. That’s actually pretty amazing. And while stopping the use of one product is actually pretty easy, climate change caused by greenhouse gases … that’s much trickier. Because the sources are more complicated, and for the most part, they’re totally invisible. Right now, there is CO2 pouring out of tailpipes, there is CO2 pouring out of buildings, there is CO2 pouring out of smokestacks, but you can't see it. The fundamental cause of this problem is largely invisible to most of us. I mean, if CO2 was black, we would have dealt with this issue a long time ago. So CO2 touches every part of our lives — our cars, the places we work, the food we eat.

For now, let’s just focus on one thing: our energy use. How do we make that visible? That was the initial goal of UCLA’s Engage project, one of the nation’s largest behavioral experiments in energy conservation. What we're trying to do is to figure out how to frame information about electricity usage so that people save energy and conserve electricity. The idea is that electricity is relatively invisible to people. The research team outfitted part of a student housing complex with meters that tracked real-time usage of appliances and then sent them weekly reports. So you can see how much energy the stove used versus the dishwasher or the fridge. We realized, because of this project, the fridge was like the monster. So lucky for them, their landlord upgraded their fridge to an energy-efficient one. They also learned other energy-saving tips, like unplugging their dishwasher when not in use and air-drying their clothes during the summer months. And researchers, in turn, discovered where people were willing to cut back. The Engage project wanted to know what types of messaging could motivate people to change their behavior. We wanted to see over time over a year and with repeated messages, how do people, behave? How does that impact the consumer behavior? And what we found is that it's very different.

Some households were sent personalized emails with their energy bill about how they could save money; others learned how their energy usage impacted the environment and children’s health. Those who received messages about saving money did nothing. It was totally ineffective because electricity is relatively cheap. But emails sent that linked the amount of pollutants produced to rates of childhood asthma and cancer — well, those led to an 8% drop in energy use, and 19% in households with kids. Now, in a separate study, researchers brought social competition into the mix. First, they hung posters around a dorm building to publicly showcase how students were really doing: red dots for energy wasters, green for those doing a good job, and a shiny gold star for those going above and beyond. This social pressure approach led to a 20% reduction in energy use. This strategy was also used at Paulina’s complex, and it definitely brought out her competitive streak. For me, the competition was what motivated me, because seeing your apartment number and telling you that you are doing at the average, but you are not the best, was like, Why? I’m doing everything you are telling me to do.

I always wanted the gold star, because it was like, “Oh, my god, I want to be like the less consumption of energy in the whole building.” And psychology studies have proved this. We are social creatures, and as individualistic as we can be, turns out we do care about how we compare to others. And yes, we do like to be the best. Some people don’t want to say, Oh, I'm like the average. No, my usage is different and I want to be able to act on it. And people can act on it because with these meters, they can now see their exact impact. A company called Opower is playing with this idea of social competition. They work with over 100 utility companies to provide personalized energy reports to millions of customers around the world. Now consumers can not only see their energy use but how it compares to their neighbors’. Like the UCLA study found, this subtle social pressure encourages consumers to save energy.

It’s been so effective that in 2016, Opower was able to generate the equivalent of two terawatt-hours of electricity savings. That’s enough to power every home in Miami for more than a year. And they’re not alone. Even large companies are tapping into behavioral science to move the dial. Virgin Atlantic Airways gave a select group of pilots feedback on their fuel use. Over the course of a year, they collectively saved over 6,800 tons of fuel by making some simple changes: Adjusting their altitudes, routes, and speed reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by over 21,000 tons. These behavioral “nudges” do seem to be advancing how we as a society deal with some pretty complicated climate change issues, but it turns out we’re just getting started. There is no “quick fix.” We need people changing their companies, changing their business models, changing the products and services they provide. This is about broader-scale change. And part of this change includes embracing what makes us human.

That it can’t just be a guilt trip about dying polar bears or driving around in gas guzzlers. We need to talk about our wins, as well — like how we’re making progress, really being aware of our energy use, and taking advantage of that competitive spirit we all have in order to really move us from a state of apathy to action. Global warming is by far the biggest issue of our time. Climate Lab is a new series from Vox and the University of California, and we’ll be exploring some surprising ways we can tackle this problem. If you want to learn more, head to climate.universityofcalifornia.edu..

Hackers Back Up US Climate Data So Trump Can’t Delete It

On Friday, January 20th, as Donald Trump was taking the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States a group of 60 scientists, computer programmers and hackers met at UCLA to completely comb through government archives, the whitehouse.gov website and copy and collect and back up any data that the government has on climate change. They then took all this data and stored it on servers housed in Europe so that the Trump Administration could not touch it. The reason they did this is because they were terrified that the Trump Administration was going to go through and delete all of this data once the swearing in ceremony was finished. To be honest this was something that the scientists and federal employees had worried about a few weeks ago, so they began doing the same thing long before the inauguration even took place. What they're planning to do now is keep this data, go through it, analyze it and then compare it to what is still available on the government websites.

Essentially if the Trump Administration attempts to falsify any data, any reports or scrub anything, these scientists, these hackers, these computer programmers are going to call them out on it. That is probably one of the most positive things I've seen in quite a while. Here's the other side of this, they were right because immediately following the swearing in ceremony the term climate change disappeared from the whitehouse.gov website. I know Trump supporters are out there saying, "No it didn't, it's still there." Well, no there were plenty of search engines, images out there, articles written. The term did completely disappear at least for a little bit. Maybe they've put it back up on a couple pages now. Trump people attempted to write this off by saying, "Of course he believes in climate change.

He's said it over and over again for months." Kellyanne Conway said that. No, Kellyanne, he never said that. He hasn't been saying it for months. Really the last thing we heard from him on climate change is that he believes it's a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Don't try to tell us with your alternative facts that he has always been a believer in climate change. She verified this by saying because the climate always changes. What idiot Conway is confusing at the moment is climate and weather. The weather changes from day to day. Republicans aren't smart enough to understand that the weather is not climate. They think that if it's snowing one day climate change, global warming, can't be real. Oh God no. Look at the climate outside. They're just not smart enough to understand the difference between weather and climate. That's why the scientists and programmers and hackers had to get together and copy this data and back it up and store it so that we do not lose it for the next four years.

This is decades worth of research and scientific analysis that the Trump Administration is attempting to get rid of. Luckily we do have people out there that took action, they got the data. Hopefully they will call Donald Trump out every single time his administration attempts to falsify, remove or otherwise bastardize decades worth of research on climate change..

8 Negative Effects of Climate Change

Climate change is real, and it’s affecting us all. From severe heat waves to extreme flooding, here are 8 negative effects of climate change. You’d wish it was all just a hoax… Number 8: Destruction of archeological sites We often think about how changes in the climate are threatening the lives of humans, animals, and plants on the planet. But we fail to realize that it’s not only the living that are affected by climate change. In fact, archeological sites – priceless windows to our past – are suffering as well. High sea waves are hitting Easter Island, the famous site of the moai – mysterious giant head-and-torso statues built by ancient Polynesians. The platforms supporting the moai are slowly being damaged by sea water, and if this continues, the monolithic figures might fall off and end up at the bottom of the ocean one day. Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is also at risk, and is cited as one of the places most vulnerable to climate change in the US.

There are thousands of archeological sites here, constructed by the ancient Puebloans thousands of years ago. But rising temperatures have caused frequent wildfires, and with it the destruction of rock carvings. This also causes the exposure of new sites and artifacts that become vulnerable to erosion and flooding. These are just two examples of many priceless ancient artifacts and ancient archeological sites in the world that are at risk. Archeologists seem to be in a race against time to document and protect these places before they are gone forever. Number 7: Food shortages We’ve mentioned how climate change and global warming leads to drought, deforestation, and pest infestation. All of this combined causes one major problem – it inhibits the ability of farmers to grow food. In order to grow, crops need to be on fertile land, which becomes largely unavailable due to water shortages.

Food shortages have not occurred widely yet, and international trade will likely prevent any major famine to affect us soon – at least not in the near future. But at the rate we’re going, food prices will soon skyrocket, both due to shortages and the need for refrigeration when extreme heat waves come hitting. Third World countries on the other hand, have it harder. In less developed countries, drought equates to star facial and suffrage sing. Prolonged drought and conflict have left 16 million people across East Africa on the brink of star facial and in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment. Number 6: Rising CO2 levels Since the Industrial Revolution over 2 centuries ago, we’ve gradually been producing more and more Carbon Dioxide on a regular basis. With large scale industrialization and the burning of fossil fuels, we’ve put a total of 2000 gigatons of CO2 in the atmosphere, and about 40% of it has stayed there.

Humans have only been roaming this planet for a relatively short period, yet today’s CO2 levels are the highest they have ever been for millions of years. C02 is one of the main gases contributing to the greenhouse effect, the process by which radiation from the atmosphere heats the planet’s surface. The greenhouse effect is essential for supporting life on the planet, but its extreme intensification has led to global warming. Number 5: Global Warming Global warming – it is the main form of climate changing, and the 2 terms are even often used interchangeably. As of right now, the Earth is warming at a scary rate, 10 times faster than at the end of the Ice Age. Since we started measuring global surface temperature in 1850, each decade seems to surpass the previous, and that rate does not seem to be slowing down. This directly affects us in a number of ways, mainly in the form of drought and extreme weathers. Since the previous century, mega droughts have been appearing everywhere all over the Earth.

Rainfall has been scarce, farms get deserted, and lakes are drying up. Some lakes have even dried up completely, and are no longer existent. An example is Bolivia’s Lake Poopo, which was once its country’s second largest lake. The process of global warming brought increased temperatures to the region, and its evaporation rate multiplied exponentially since the 1990s. By December 2015, Lake Poopo had completely dried up, leaving only a few marshy areas. According to scientists, it is unlikely that it will ever recover. While some places are affected by drought, other places are more vulnerable to extreme weathers in the form of heat waves and storms. The frequency and duration of heat waves has increased greatly within the past half century, and are only going to get worse. Heat waves alone kill more people in the United States compared to natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods combined. Global warming also affects storm formation, by decreasing the temperature difference between the poles and the equator.

Some experts have found a correlation between global warming and the intensity of recent Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclones such as Katrina, Wilma, and Sandy. Number 4: Losing our forests Climate change affects all life on the planet, and this includes forest ecosystems, many of which have been destroyed indirectly by global warming. Bark beetles are major pests that feed and breed between the bark and wood of various tree species, damaging them in the process. These insects thrive in warm temperatures, and as a consequence of global warming, have expanded their ranges and proliferated widely in the forests of North America and Europe. Millions of acres of forest have been destroyed due to bark beetle infestation in recent years. Another cause of widespread deforestation is wildfire. While climate change does not directly cause trees to burn up, wildfires are generally the result of forests getting extremely dry.

Global warming lessens the humidity of forest areas, making them vulnerable to catch on fire. Forests in the western coast of USA, particularly in California, get set ablaze often during dry seasons. If rain fell more often, these forest fires would be extinguished much quicker. There has indeed been a notable increase in wildfires in California within the last decade compared to the decade before, meaning a correlation with climate change is very much likely, and would probably get worse with rising temperatures. Number 3: Insufficient energy to meet demands Since the dawn of mankind, people have learnt of various ways to keep themselves warm – from starting simple fires to creating electric-powered heaters. One of the main reasons for energy demand used to be heating, as people needed to survive long and chilly winters. But a global trend that started in the past century has seen a reversal, especially with the invention of cooling devices like refrigerators and air conditioners.

With the climate getting warmer and warmer, the demand for cooling has skyrocketed. With the increase in carbon emissions and the resulting hot temperatures, the demand for more energy to produce cooling is getting out of control. The worse thing is that this creates a neverending heat-producing cycle. More demand results in more power plants and cooling devices being created, which when used, emits more carbon that heats up the environment. Our only hope is the creation and use of clean energy sources that could keep up with the demands while breaking this vicious cycle. Research and development in solar power shows promise. On the other hand, hydro-electric power is expected to fall behind, as global warming and droughts have caused a decrease in river water levels. Without enough water flow, generators at the dams will not be able to provide energy.

Meanwhile, sea levels are rising, creating a potential risk of flood and storms that could cripple power generators along coastlines. This would disrupt power transmission to entire cities, and create a more desperate demand for energy. Number 2: Melting ice caps & rising sea levels Water covers more than 70% of our planet, and they absorb most of the heat added to the atmosphere. So it’s only natural that is where the extreme changes of climate change are seen. Sea levels around the world have been rising a 10th of an inch every year, and they’re already up 8 inches since 100 years ago. There are two reasons for this. One water expands as it gets warmer. Two, because glaciers, ice caps and icebergs are melting, so they add up to the ocean’s water volume. White sea ice is essential in reflecting sun rays back up into the atmosphere.

Without an ice layer, the dark ocean absorbs the heat rays, feeding the cycle forward. Summer sea ice in the Arctic has decreased a staggering 40% since just 40 years ago, making it the lowest in 1400 years. Antarctica is also experiencing a similar thing, with its western glaciers melting at an alarming rate. At this current rate, the oceans would be up a meter higher by the end of this century. Coastal settlements would be flooded, and many of them would become uninhabitable. And it’s not just cities, but entire nations are also at risk of being wiped off the map. The island country of Maldives is particularly endangered, and is at risk of being swallowed up by the ocean within the next few decades. Their leaders’ pleas to the world to cut global greenhouse gas emissions have been generally ignored, and they are already looking into purchasing new land from neighboring countries to settle their people in the future. Number 1: Animal extinction All the damages caused by climate change is not only affecting us humans, but nearly all the other species on the planet are also struggling to adapt to these changes that we have caused. A lot of animals, mostly birds, are seen beginning their seasonal migrations a lot earlier.

For instance, scientists have found that the Icelandic black-tailed godwits have started migrating 2 weeks earlier than normal to escape the summer heat. Some animals are moving away from their natural habitats towards cooler areas in higher elevations. The distribution patterns of Adelie penguins across Antarctica have also changed significantly. They are known to mainly feed on Antarctic krills, which are small crustaceans that stay under ice caps. But with fewer ice caps remaining, Adelie penguins find themselves in short of food supply leading to mass migrations. All this migration of various animal species is indeed a sign of the climate getting warmer every year. We have also seen a disturbing change within the behavior of several animals. The melting of polar ice in the summer has led to Polar bears channel arising their own cubs out of desperation in order to stay alive. The ocean is our planet’s largest carbon sink. With more Carbon Dioxide released into the atmosphere, more of it ends up dissolving into the ocean, causing a decrease in the water’s pH levels.

Although still far away from turning the ocean into acid, creatures with calcium shells are really sensitive to these slight changes. The ocean is on the course of hitting a pH level of 7.8 within a century, which would mean the end of about one third of the ocean’s species. The Orange-spotted filefish has already gone locally extinct around Japan due to extensive coral bleaching and hypersensitivity to warm waters. Some animal species have already gone totally extinct. The Golden toad that was once native to the forests of Costa Rica was last sighted in 1989, having likely all bite off due to high temperatures. They were known to mate in wet conditions, and the repeated dry seasons presumably ended their species..

Tragedy of the Commons │ The Problem with Open Access

This is a model called the tragedy of the commons. Which should be called the problem with open access, since it has little to do with a commons. And tragedy is a kind of dramatic. Let's say there's some land with grass on it that people use as pasture for their animals. Nobody owns it and anyone can come and graze their livestock here. We're assuming that people don't communicate or work together. So we would call this an open access field. Let's assume the number of animals this field can feed is based on the quantity and quality of the grass, which is based on the health of the soil and it can only hold this many animals. This is the carrying capacity. If animals are added beyond this, the grass can't re-grow fast enough to support them all. Also the grass protects the soil from erosion. If too many animals are around eating the field may decline in productivity lowering the carrying capacity. The animals will be less healthy and provide lesser quality products lowering the profit each animal provides.

So it's in this group's best interest to keep the number of animals on the field at or below the carrying capacity. But every herdsman that puts animals on the field will get the direct benefit that that animal provides for them. But they would only share a portion of the costs of the degraded field. If the field were at carrying capacity and a herdsmen decides to add an extra animal. The added animals takes some of the food that would have gone to the others. This reduces their value. The owner of that additional animal comes out ahead because even though all his animals also are less healthy, he has more of them. But each herdsmen acts under these incentives and will keep adding animals to their herd or let their animals graze longer, so long as it's profitable to themselves. But really they are all losing out.

Kind of like the prisoner's dilemma. Contrast this to a situation where one person owns it. If they add extra animal, they're only hurting themselves so they don't do it. Since new people can't be excluded from using the field, there's almost no point in boycotting use because someone else could just come in. None of the herdsmen own the field and they can see the field may not be around forever. They see no point in conservation and just try to use it before someone else does. OK so we go on to can apply this model to unregulated open access fisheries, open access forests, an unregulated college dorm dish sink. But the problem with applying this model to the real world, is that we have to assume, among other things, that people don't communicate or work together. Which isn't true…. With a field like this, people will generally get together and make plans together and make plans about its use. They may act as a single unit, or just partition it sections, and they'll regulate the number of people that can use it. And if people are working together and communicating then it's not really open access.

It's not like every management situation is open access until somebody does something about it. So you don't tend to see the open access problem because people don't work together. You tend to see it in situations where people can't work together. The open access problem tends to appear not where people don't communicate or don't work together, but where they can't communicate or can't work together. Sometimes people are forced into a situation where they're not allowed to work together. Check out this video. Also the larger the management area is the more difficult communication and influencing each other becomes. For example the global management of greenhouse gas emissions tends to take on some open access properties. Basically this model is a way of communicating that: when people can't work together on a resource you call it open access..

. and it's bad. Which is why the model should have been called, the problem with open access. This episode is brought to you by, Hardin's canned animal meat. Now orphan free..

Environmental Econ: Crash Course Economics #22

Adriene: Welcome to Crash Course Economics. I’m Adriene Hill Jacob: And I’m Jacob Clifford. Economics is about choices, and how we use our scarce resources. It’s not just about producing and consuming, it can also be about conserving. Adriene: Maybe counterintuitively, economics has a lot to add to discussions of how we can balance our desire for prosperity and growth, with the need to protect our natural resources. Today we're going to look at environmental economics and think about how economics can help us keep our planet livable. [Theme Music] Pollution is going to happen, it’s a by-product of human existence and there is no way that we can get rid of it all. In fact, one of the ways we know about earliest the societies is by looking at their trash heap, something archaeologists call middens, because it sounds better than “dumps.” But the fact that humans produce all kinds of waste doesn’t mean that we have to embrace islands of trash floating in the oceans, a layer of smog over industrial cities, and toxic chemicals in our rivers. For sake of simplicity though, we’re going to focus on one type of pollution: carbon dioxide emissions. They’re one of the primary greenhouse gases.

These greenhouse gases basically blanket the earth and are causing climate change. CO2 levels are the highest they've been for millions years which is why environmentalists consider it a “planetary emergency.” There's a lot of effort going into how to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, how to make cities more resilient to climate change, but in the interest of time we’re going to focus on efforts to reduce the amount of new pollutants getting spewed into our atmosphere. Jacob: The economic solution is pretty simple. Step one, identify the sources of the most air pollution. Done. We know exactly what it is. It’s factories that burn fossil fuels for energy, industries that use oil and coal to produce things, and vehicles with internal combustion engines. Step two, decrease the supply of these technologies and products or decrease the demand for them. That’s it, it’s simple.

But, the implementation of these policies gets complicated. Let’s look at decreasing supply. As we mentioned in the last video, one of the biggest problems with having countries independently enforce environmental regulations is the Tragedy of the Commons. No one owns the atmosphere, so there is very little incentive for countries to keep it clean and switch to expensive green technologies if no one else is going to. It’s not like there is some global environmental police punishing countries for polluting. While a country like Trinidad and Tobago has a huge carbon output per capita, its small population means it’s only producing a small fraction of global CO2. The other option is to decrease the demand for fossil fuels, possibly by finding alternate green energy sources. But we’re already very reliant on fossil fuels, and markets have made the production of those fuels very cheap. So, any new type of energy will have a hard time beating the established system.

So we can either wait patiently for new technologies to develop and get cheaper, or we can speed up the process by manipulating markets with government subsidies, taxes, and regulations. Adriene: In the case of pollution, there are long-term side effects, like climate change, that consumers often don’t take into account when they buy products. Remember negative externalities? When the full cost of a product doesn’t line up with the costs that manufacturers or consumers pay? Pollution represents a market failure — a situation where markets fail to produce the amount that society wants. To address this, some economists argue that government intervention is not only justified, but essential. There are all kinds of different ways intervention can happen — all of them meant to encourage producers and consumers to choose to pollute less.

One solution is for the government to come out and set very specific rules about how much specific industries can pollute. Forget markets. You're gonna follow our pollution rules. Another way governments encourage people to pollute less is by providing price incentives. Those incentives can encourage individuals to make choices that are better for the environment. The government could add taxes to gasoline purchases, or, on the other hand, provide subsidies for people who drive electric cars. Governments can also create permit markets — basically setting a limit on how much firms can pollute, and allowing those firms to buy and sell pollution permits. You’ve probably heard these called “cap and trade”. Proponents of cap and trade argue that it can successfully limit emissions, without creating hard and fast rules that might hinder economic growth.

And, governments can subsidize the development of a specific technology or industry—in an effort to make that technology more competitive with the alternatives. A country might help support the development of solar or wind energy. As of 2014, around 10% of the energy consumed in the United States came from renewable sources, which is pretty much in line with the global average. Current predictions are that by 2040 15% of the world energy consumption will come from renewable sources. But, alternative energy sources, for the most part, just aren’t cheap enough yet, so the majority of our energy is likely to continue to come from non-renewable sources, at least for now. Jacob: We don’t have the time to sit back and wait for new technologies to get cheaper, and there's no guarantee that the technologies that the government picks will be cost effective. Perhaps the solution is not to get rid of fossil fuels, but instead be more efficient with those fuels. But that has drawbacks, too. Some energy economists argue that the expected gains from energy saving technologies, are offset by something called the rebound effect. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble.

Adriene: Let’s say Hank uses a gallon of gas to drive to work everyday. Then, partially to help the planet but mostly to help his wallet, he buys a new fuel efficient car that only takes half a gallon of gas for the same commute. He saves money and there's less pollution. It is a win-win. But the rebound effect says that the benefits of energy efficiency might be reduced as people change their behavior. With the money he saves, Hank might start driving more than he normally would or he might go on a vacation in Hawaii. That leads to more consumption and possibly even more emissions. Also, if greater fuel-efficiency makes driving less expensive it might encourage more people to buy cars and increase the overall use of gasoline. And even if people didn't increase their driving, the new fuel efficiency could decrease the demand for gas, making fossil fuels cheaper and more readily available for other uses. The possibility of the rebound effect doesn’t mean we shouldn’t invest in energy saving technologies. It just means that we have to keep in mind how consumers will behave. It’s also the reason why it's important to have economists involved in the discussion of environmental policy.

The tools of economics can help analyze the incentives and figure out what might work best. Thanks Thought Bubble. Okay, so we’ve identified another problem. But before you get so angry that you kick over a barrel of oil and light it on fire, keep in mind that there is hope. Most countries are actively trying to address the problem of greenhouse gases. The international community has been trying for decades to work together to protect the environment with varying success. There are international treaties that commit countries to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. UN negotiations are underway to create a new climate change agreement — that could be adopted in December 2015. Private companies and governments are also funding research into green technology. In the U.S. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allocated billions to fund renewable energy.

China is also vowing to clean things up, and, in fact, leads the world in renewable energy investment. So, now that most countries recognize there is a problem, the hope is that they’ll figure out a way, or more likely a lot of ways, to start addressing it. Environmental economists say that is not just governments and producers that need to change, it’s also consumers. Conserving and consuming more thoughtfully likely need to be a part of our daily lives if we want to protect the environment. But just bringing our reusable grocery bags to the store isn’t going to save the planet, even if it says it on the bag. Bigger and more costly interventions like improving insulation and changing thermostats might have more impact, but we need to recognize individual action alone isn’t going to be enough. Industries, governments, and individuals; we’re in this together. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next week.

Crash Course Economics is made with the help of all these fine people. You can support Crash Course at Patreon, a voluntary subscription service where your support helps keep Crash Course free for everyone forever. And you get great rewards! Thanks for watching and DFTBA..

Trump pulls U S out of non binding Paris Climate Accord — Here’s why he was right to do it

Trump pulls U.S. out of non-binding Paris Climate Accord � Here�s why he was right to do it by: JD Heyes Far-Left Democrats and so-called �environmentalists� who still believe the global warming hoax are furious at President Donald J. Trump for keeping his campaign pledge to withdraw the United States from the �non-binding� Paris Climate Accords signed onto by the Obama administration. But perhaps after they calm down and allow their blood pressure to return to normal, they can take a rational, reasoned look at why the president made his decision; if they afford him that courtesy, there is no way they can conclude that his decision was wrong. In making the announcement from the White House Rose Garden Thursday afternoon, Trump stated that he felt obligated to withdraw from the agreement � which should have been sent to the U.

S. Senate by Obama to be ratified as a treaty, because that�s what it was, in both style and substance � because it is �a bad deal� for American workers, taxpayers and companies. (RELATED: The Paris Climate Accord is GENOCIDE against plants, forests and all life on our planet) Trump also knocked the cost of the agreement � which will rise to some $450 billion a year, much of which would have to come from the U.S. � while major polluters who are also signatories to the deal do not have to comply with the accords� emissions limitations for more than a decade. Meanwhile, the U.S. has to comply immediately. The president also lashed out at his critics who said pulling out of the deal would be a disaster for the country, noting that remaining in the agreement would cost American families and businesses billions per year. Also, he said, the agreement prohibited the U.S. from �conducting its own domestic economic affairs� by preventing the development of our own natural resources, like clean coal and natural gas, both of which create far fewer emissions than other forms of energy.

�I was elected to represent the people of Pittsburg, not Paris,� Trump said. �It�s time to pursue a new deal that protects� the environment, as well as the American people. Trump, according to various experts and analyses, was right to withdraw from the current agreement as written. �Through a litany of regulations stemming from the agreement, Obama has essentially offered up the U.S. economy as a sacrificial lamb to further his own legacy,� Americans for Tax Reform noted Wednesday in a post on its website. �Sadly, the agreement will not just hurt the country�s growth as a whole, but will trickle down to low-and-middle income Americans. As a result of the agreement, energy costs will skyrocket, in turn raising the cost of utility bills for families and increasing the costs of consumer goods.

� (RELATED: UN official actually ADMITS that �global warming� is a scam designed to �change world�s economic model�) A study of the agreement by the Heritage Foundation, released in April 2016, found that the agreement would have resulted in the adoption of government policies that dramatically increased electricity costs for a family of four between 13 and 20 percent annually. In addition, the analysis found that American families would lose out on some $20,000 in income by 2035, regressive (not progressive) economic policies that no doubt would hit the nation�s poorest the hardest. [Meanwhile, we�re sure that Obama won�t have any trouble paying his electric bill, no matter what it costs] Other analysts, as Trump noted in his speech, noted that the loss of U.S. annual gross domestic product would be close to $3 trillion by 2035, while reducing employment in the U.S.

by about 400,000 jobs, half of which would be in manufacturing. But perhaps most galling of all is the fact that even the far Left admitted that the agreement would accomplish virtually nothing � and certainly was not the global carbon emissions destroyer its principle advocates made it out to be. Politico Europe reported: In fact, emissions reductions are barely on the table at all. Instead, the talks are rigged to ensure an agreement is reached regardless of how little action countries plan to take. The developing world, projected to account for four-fifths of all carbon-dioxide emissions this century, will earn applause for what amounts to a promise to stay on their pre-existing trajectory of emissions-intensive growth. As Trump said, �The agreement is a massive redistribution of wealth from the U.S. to other countries.� There is no good reason to remain in it, just as there was no good reason for Obama to have signed it..