Clean Power By The Numbers

I am skeptical about climate models since most of the models have proven to be terrible at predicting anything. I have to admire the chutzpah of the EPA for advocating new regulations while ignoring the IPCC forecasting problem. This irony was not lost on the folks over at Watts Up With That who wrote, EPA leaves out the most vital number in their fact sheet, and are more than willing to provide the “temperature change avoided” metric. It is hard for me to imagine how we can plan our work and work our plan without using the temperature change metric as one of our key goals. The problem is that it is only 0.018°C and considering our measurement error this would make this goal indistinguishable from zero. In the annals of government failure this is one of those times where we achieved our objective before we have even started and are still going ahead with the plan.

The EPA highlighted what the plan would achieve in their “By the Numbers” Fact Sheet that accompanied their big announcement.

For some reason, they left off their Fact Sheet how much climate change would be averted by the plan. Seems like a strange omission since, after all, without the threat of climate change, there would be no one thinking about the forced abridgement of our primary source of power production in the first place, and the Administration’s new emissions restriction scheme wouldn’t even be a gleam in this or any other president’s eye.

But no worries.  What the EPA left out, we’ll fill in.

Using a simple, publically-available, climate model emulator called MAGICC that was in part developed through support of the EPA, we ran the numbers as to how much future temperature rise would be averted by a complete adoption and adherence to the EPA’s new carbon dioxide restrictions*.

The answer? Less than two one-hundredths of a degree Celsius by the year 2100.

0.018°C to be exact.

We’re not even sure how to put such a small number into practical terms, because, basically, the number is so small as to be undetectable.