Blarney from Carney

Mark Carney’s claim that between two-thirds and four-fifths of the world’s proven global oil, gas and coal reserves could be left “stranded” because of climate change action is not supported by the data. All of the oil and gas reserves plus about 20% of the coal reserves could be consumed without exceeding the IPCC’s trillion-tonne carbon emissions limit.


As reported in Blowout Week 92 Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, recently delivered a speech on climate change at Lloyds of London. The first part of his speech consisted of the obligatory recital of the litany of catastrophes that are going to befall humanity (in particular insurance companies like Lloyds) if no action is taken to combat it. It attracted little attention. The second part, which addressed how climate change action might impact investment in the energy industries, attracted a lot more. What really set the cat among the pigeons was Mr. Carney’s warning that investors are risking huge losses because it could force the world to leave most of its oil, coal and gas reserves unburnt in the ground. As the Financial Times put it:

The governor of the Bank of England has thrown down the gauntlet to the fossil fuel industry with a blunt warning that investors face “potentially huge” losses from climate change action that could make vast reserves of oil, coal and gas “literally unburnable”.

How large is “vast”? According to Mr. Carney we are talking about between two-thirds and four-fifths of the world’s current proven oil, gas and coal reserves:

Take, for example, the IPCC’s estimate of a carbon budget that would likely limit global temperature rises to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. That budget amounts to between one fifth and one third of world’s proven reserves of oil, gas and coal.

In this post I’m not going to discuss the propriety of Mr. Carney’s remarks nor the voodoo science that backs the 2˚C limit up. Instead I’m going to assume that climate change action could in fact be carried to the point where the nations of the world commit to emissions targets that force them to leave fossil fuel reserves in the ground (an outcome that would delight many of the delegates to the Paris Conference) and address the question of how large these “stranded” reserves would actually be. Is Mr. Carney’s estimate of two-thirds to four fifths of known proven reserves correct? Or is it exaggerated?

First we must assemble the facts.

What are proven global oil, gas and coal reserves?

Mr. Carney’s comments specify “proven” reserves, and according to the 2015 BP Statistical Review proven global reserves at the end of 2014 were:

  • Oil: 1700.1 billion barrels
  • Gas: 187.1 trillion cubic meters
  • Coal: 891.5 billion tonnes

How much carbon will these reserves emit if we burn them all?

I made two estimates, first using the carbon dioxide emissions coefficients supplied by EIA which after conversion from short tons, gallons and cubic feet to metric units give:

  • 1 barrel of oil emits 0.41 tonnes of CO2.
  • 1000 cubic meters of gas emits 1.91 tonnes of CO2
  • 1 tonne of coal emits 2.31 tonnes of CO2

Multiplying these numbers by reserves gives 848 billion tonnes of total carbon emissions (note that carbon = CO2/3.67):

The second estimate used two other sources for oil and gas here and here and a different EIA estimate for coal. It gives the following factors:

  • 1 barrel of oil emits 0.317 tonnes of CO2.
  • 1000 cubic meters of gas emits 1.96 tonnes of CO2
  • 1 tonne of coal emits 2.86 tonnes of CO2

And yields 942 billion tonnes of total carbon emissions:

The two estimates are similar and average 895 billion tonnes of carbon. For the purposes of further discussion I have rounded this off to 900 billion tonnes, with 170 coming from oil, 100 from gas and 630 from coal.

How much more carbon can the world therefore emit?

Mr Carney states that his numbers are based on “the IPCC’s estimate of a carbon budget that would likely limit global temperature rises to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels”. What is the IPCC’s estimate? There have been a number of different ones, but it’s now generally accepted that according to the IPCC the world can emit no more than a trillion tonnes of carbon in total, including carbon already emitted, as discussed here and here.

How much carbon has already been emitted? Estimates of the amount emitted since industrialization (updated at least ten times a second) are given at The current estimate shows cumulative carbon emissions approaching 595 billion tonnes. This number includes emissions from land use changes which are little better than guesses but I will use it anyway.

And if cumulative carbon emissions total 595 billion tonnes the world can emit 405 billion tonnes more before hitting the trillion tonne ceiling, meaning that it can still burn 405/900 = 45% of proven oil, gas and coal reserves.

But global oil and gas reserves contribute only 270 billion tonnes between them, so the world will be able to burn all of them and still stay below the trillion-ton ceiling, and there’s enough space left over to burn 20% of the coal reserves too. So all the world actually has to leave in the ground to stay below the trillion tonne threshold is 700 billion tonnes of coal, representing 30% of the usable energy contained in current global fossil fuel reserves. The remaining 70%, including all the oil and gas, can be burnt.


Mr. Carney has not done his homework. His estimate of between 67% and 80% of the world’s proven global oil, gas and coal reserves being left “stranded” because of climate change action is an exaggeration, as is his conclusion that the oil and gas industries are under immediate threat. Coal is indeed threatened, but the coal miners already know this.

Other analytical fallout

Other fallout from this brief analysis provides some insights into the IPCC’s CO2 emissions scenarios.

The relationship between emissions and atmospheric CO2 content has remained quite consistent over time. Cumulative global carbon emissions since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution amount to 595 billion tonnes and atmospheric CO2 has increased by 120 ppm over the same period (from 280 to 400ppm), giving an increase of 0.20 ppm in atmospheric CO2 for each billion tonnes of carbon emitted, and as shown in the XY plot below a trend line drawn through the annual data between 1959 and 2010 gives the same number:

Now let us assume that we burn all of the world’s proven fossil fuel reserves, emitting 900 billion tonnes of carbon in the process. How much CO2 does this add to the atmosphere? Using the 0.20 ratio gives 0.2 * 900 = 180 ppm, meaning that atmospheric CO2 will have risen from its present value of 400 ppm to 580 ppm by the time all the reserves are gone.

Now visualize 580ppm on the IPCC graphic below, which shows the CO2 concentrations assumed by the IPCC’s emissions scenarios. Pay particular attention to the “worst case” RCP 8.5 scenario, because this is the one that underpins the temperature projections that underpin the predictions of climate catastrophe that induced Mr. Carney to say what he said:

In a guest post published in April last year Professor Dave Rutledge made the following observation concerning RCP 8.5:

… world coal reserves are a good upper bound on future production. An IPCC scenario that burns two times or seven times the reserves is utterly at odds with the historical experience.

Now RCP8.5 does it again, assuming a CO2 concentration that can be achieved only by burning 4.6 times global reserves, and not just the coal reserves but the oil and gas reserves too.

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42 Responses to Blarney from Carney

  1. Joe Public says:

    “First we must assemble the facts.”

    One fact omitted is the influence exerted by Diane Carney, his wife.

    Her ‘official’ website:

    Maybe a modern-day one-woman Lysistrata?

  2. That linked Carbon Brief article mentions other GHGs which effectively reduce the budget to an estimated 800 billion tonnes. It also mentions probabilities with 800 billion tonnes being the best guess for a 66% chance of staying under 2C. So, there is a one in 3 chance that 800 billion tonnes would exceed 2C. But all of these estimates have error bars. In addition, oil and gas companies continue to explore for oil and gas, as you might expect, so you’d have to do this calculation every year. At some point, you may find that Carney’s words turn out to be correct, even if they’re not now.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      When you take on board the fact that in AR5, climate sensitivity estimates ranged from 1.5 to 4.5 ˚C then you’ll realise that these probability statements are pure baloney. At 1.5˚C or below, there is near 100% probability that we can burn everything we can get our hands on with impunity. At 4.5˚C it probably too late already to make a meaningful difference.

      • Yes, it’s a wide range but there is a lot of discussion on ECS and TCR in AR5, so it’s not quite that simple. Given the uncertainty and risk (I know, you, personally, don’t accept that there is a risk, but let’s go with the 97%, as far as Carney is concerned), should we assume a low ECS or a high ECS or something in the middle?

        • Euan Mearns says:

          should we assume a low ECS or a high ECS or something in the middle?

          Neither, we should employ a group of proper scientists to work out what is going on. The current group has made zero progress in 30 years of research.

  3. PhilH says:

    There could be 2 ways that much of the FF reserves get left in place.

    The one that most talk is about (like above) is that we choose to do so to lessen AGW.

    The other, that seems more likely to me, is along the lines of Sheik Yamani’s “the Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones”. When (and I use that word rather than ‘if’) the costs of alternatives to FFs fall below the costs of FFs, the FFs will get increasingly left behind. The main contender is surely solar, with or without some coupled storage. Up to 2010 it was a very niche technology that only made sense for spacecraft, and required large subsidies to make it competitive against even retail-cost electricity. In 2015, unsubsidised, it’s undercutting diesel for remote operations and even making economic sense for urban locations at low-latitudes ( What will be the comparison of costs in 2020? And in 2030??

  4. Maybe Mark Caraney read the literature, e.g.:

    Anyway, I don’t know why you converted CO2 to C, since emissions targets are about carbon dioxide (‘carbon’ is the default shorthand for ‘carbon dioxide’). Taking the CO2 numbers in your tables, this gives around 12% burnable, which means an awful lot of reserves need to be left untouched, if 2C is the aim.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      (‘carbon’ is the default shorthand for ‘carbon dioxide’)

      Not in proper scientific circles its not. Myself and Roger have done a lot of work on the C cycle and while both C and CO2 are used, I don’t believe we ever came across an instance where C was used as shorthand for CO2.

      • JerryC says:

        “Not in proper scientific circles its not.”

        But in Green activist circles it is. Now, in which circle does Mr. Carney reside?

      • Andrew Thickpenny says:

        Since it’s the CO2 molecule (not the C atom) that absorbs the heat energy radiated from the earth, surely the CO2 emissions from burning FF are more relevant than the C emissions.

        • Euan Mearns says:

          C and CO2 are proportional. CO2 = C * 3.7. (C = 12 amu and CO2 = 44 amu; 44/12 = 3.7) The CC community moves effortlessly between the two which is OK so long as it is made clear what they are talking about.

  5. Euan Mearns says:

    The chart, based on BP 1P data, shows the oil and gas reserves that the OECD has jurisdiction over. Some OECD companies do of course have reserves in non-OECD countries. If these companies were forced to relinquish these reserves then they would probably elect to become non-OECD companies. Or the reserves would transfer to NOCs, for example in Nigeria and Algeria, and be produced in any case.

    Without the agreement of OPEC, Russia and FSU to leave their oil and gas reserves in the ground, Mark Carney and others are simply posturing. It would be a pointless act of self destruction by the OECD. What chance Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Russia abandoning their oil and gas production upon which the prosperity of their people is founded? I’d say zero.

    Coal we see is different where the OECD has a larger share. The USA may be forgoing coal consumption today in favour of using shale gas. But they would have to pass a law determining that their coal reserves would never ever be produced to have any meaningful impact. I just don’t see Australia doing same – I have lost track of Australia’s position on emissions. And again, what is the point without multi-lateral agreement that will, IMO, never be reached?

    • Elvis says:

      If there is effective action to reduce carbon emissions by imposing a price on them, which producers will be more affected, those that produce cheap oil like the Middle East or those that produce expensive oil?

      In other words, which oil reserves will be the first to become uneconomical to produce?

      Who owns those reserves, NOCs or O&G majors?

      How much of the value of OECD O&G companies is dependent upon those expensive and risky (in the face of emissions taxes) reserves?

      If the answers to those questions point to the OECD O&G majors being first in line for a fall, the Carney is right to express concern – concern that western financial firms that rely on the O&G sector to meet their future liabilities may suffer big losses and need state rescue etc. In that case, Carney would be negligent if he didn’t call out the risk.

      • Euan Mearns says:

        If there is effective action to reduce carbon emissions by imposing a price on them, which producers will be more affected, those that produce cheap oil like the Middle East or those that produce expensive oil?

        You don’t seem to get it Elvis. The ME producers are all state owned (more or less). They are never going to impose OECD style taxes since the money from the enterprise goes straight into State coffers in any case.

        If the OECD operates unilaterally to impose even higher production taxes putting their companies out of business leading to their reserves being left in the ground, then we will have to import more oil from over seas, placing severe upwards pressure on prices, and as we know, the higher the price goes, the more other countries will be able to produce.

        This is best characterised as Green pie in the sky BS, where the fantasy is based around Greens controlling global resources, the global economy and seeing to an end of capitalism. This is the drivel that Carney is promoting. He should be sacked.

        • Elvis says:

          At 10 giga-tonne carbon per year, current emissions use up Roger’s assumed 405GTC allowance in just 40 years, so if we were to take it seriously (the premise of the article) the FF industries cease at that point anyway.

          Of that 10GtC about a third is from non-FF sources, such as agriculture and forestry, so only around 270 GtC is available for FF emissions. That equals the sum of reserves from oil and gas (stated by Roger above), but to say this means we can burn all of the oil and gas is to assume coal use falls from 8 billion tonnes to zero immediately. So subtract the inevitable emissions from coal use and your 405 is nearer to 200 GtC, well below available reserves of oil and gas. And none of that mentions CH4, NO and other GHGs which make up 20% of emissions. From that you can see that a large part of the oil and gas reserves cannot be burned. As the OECD companies own the expensive-to-produce stuff it is their reserves that will remain in the ground and the OECD oil and gas sector is consequently a risk to investors.

          So the idea that we can burn all the oil and gas with room to spare for coal looks quite wrong. Carney’s warning is looking stronger the more I look at it.

          None of that is a value judgement or a preference on my part to close down capitalism. It is just an analysis of the situation. Of course it can all be made to go away if the trillion tonne carbon limit is discarded.

          • From that you can see that a large part of the oil and gas reserves cannot be burned.

            Okay, let’s assume you’re right and they can’t.

            So what do we replace them with?

          • Elvis says:

            Fast breeders would do the job. But that is a separate issue from whether Carney is talking blarney, or drivel that should lead to his sacking or whether his warnings are apt. A large scale international program of electrification and reactor building, replacing oil, gas and coal over 30 years would also hit the oil majors. One way or other they should be a dying breed.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            the oil majors. One way or other they should be a dying breed.

            Yes, they are a dying breed, we and they all know it. And its not a matter of whether or they should be, its just a simple matter of fact. The markets are fully aware of the range of possibilities linked to that fact and do not require reminding. But what Carney is warning about is a treacherous ambush.

  6. A blanket response to various above comments.

    I based my calculations on ‘’the IPCC’s estimate of a carbon budget that would likely limit global temperature rises to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels”, which is a direct quote from Carney. The “likely” most probably refers to the IPCC’s 66% probability estimate, which is widely interpreted to give an emissions limit of a trillion tonnes of carbon. There is no that I know of.

    Then I plugged the BP proven reserve estimates in and with a little bit of simple arithmetic showed that Carney’s assessment of the FF reserves that would have to be left in the ground to stay below the one trillion tonne limit is just flat wrong. I would agree that he is at liberty – maybe even has a duty – to issue a warning about a potential asset crisis, but only if he gets his facts right, and he hasn’t.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      maybe even has a duty – to issue a warning about a potential asset crisis

      Hey you oil industry chaps, you are one of the most important strategic industries we have. But we have nonetheless decided to make trading conditions all but impossible for you out of shear spite. Tough luck!


    • There is no that I know of

      I’m not sure how that’s relevant (though i guess it was an attempt at humour) but you did link to the Carbon Brief article as a source for some of your information and it states quite clearly in there that given other GHGs, that leaves about 800 billion tonnes to be burned. Of course, you can choose to ignore that and other nuances.

  7. jacobress says:

    “maybe even has a duty – to issue a warning about a potential asset crisis”

    Maybe a potential asset crisis that is imminent – therefore – possibly – predictable.

    The “fossil fuels left in the ground” crisis isn’t going to happen, in no case, in the next 30 years.
    Good luck with predicting the financial crises 30 years ahead….

  8. Bernard Durand says:

    Euan, an extensive work has be done on ultimate reserves of fossil fuels by Jean Laherrère at ASPO France. Roughly, 1500 GtC (5500 GtCO2) can be emitted as a whole. If you deduce the quantity already emitted, about 400 GtC, 600 GtC would be emitted from now to 2100 on a BAU scenario, and the rest from 2100 to 2200.The most important point is to realise than the emission scenario would be a little below the RCP 4,5, which means approximatey a 2,5 °C of temperature increase from 1850 to 2100!
    So you are perfectly right, the job can be done with no reduction of oil and gas, but with a strong reduction of coal. This reduction can be obtained by the replacement of coal-fired power plants by nuclear power plants.
    The data used by Carney are pure fantasy!

  9. Euan

    Different topic but similar analysis. Shows the CO2 from developing resources versus a limit.

    Para-phrasing a comment from the aquthor in the comments “[Oil needs help to get to the red line, coal does not]”

  10. Bernard Durand says:

    Euan, the figures I gave were not exact: In fact, the true figures are 1300 GtC (4800 GtCO2) for the ultimate, 400 already emitted, 900 to be emitted, 700 of those being emitted from now to 2100 in a BAU scenario

  11. Stuart says:

    This is a very interesting exercise and it’s always good to play with the numbers as it provides much needed context which the climate debate always lacks.

    Personally I think anthropological climate change is probably real, but I don’t think we should really do anything about it.

    I haven’t seen any evidence that 2°C is apocalyptic, everyone just accepts that it is. What are the terrible outcomes of a 2°C warming?

    According to Stern 2007 and IPCC 2007 then a 2°C warming results in the following…

    1). 20-30% water supply decrease in some regions (Southern Africa and Med)
    2). 5-10% decrease in crop yields (10% in Africa)
    3). 40-60 million more people exposed to malaria
    4). 10 million more people exposed to coastal flooding
    5). 15% of species face extinction

    All of the 2°C threats can be solved with current engineering and at far less cost to humanity than shunning fossil fuels.

    For example;
    1). Is decreased water supply an issue? What is the current surplus/deficit? How much does it cost to pipe more water?
    2). GPS and smart farming is enough to increase crop yields more than climate change will offset and then there is the GM option beyond that.
    3). Thanks to a huge humanitarian effort Malaria is on course to be eradicated.
    4). 10 million people out of 7 billion people is not many people, over the course of the next 100 years natural migration will rebalance/totally overshadow this issue.
    5). There are always 10% of species facing extinction purely because of natural selection.

    If climate change creates an increased demand for freshwater then the free market will find an appropriate freshwater solution. If climate change creates demand for increased crop yields then the free market will find a suitable solution for that too.

    We should be extremely wary of anyone who tries to project the future because they are always forced to make a large number of assumptions which ultimately cannot be known.

    Why doesn’t Greenpeace just start a hedge fund and short sell all of the insurance companies and oil companies? Then build their Utopia with the proceeds. If you are certain of something and you are right the market will reward you.

    The problem is that the future cannot be known.

    For example in all of the climate change models, what year do they assume the male contraceptive pill will be introduced? They just assume no such product will ever exist. Even though people are already working on it.
    That’s the problem with command and control economics, it doesn’t work, you cannot foresee everything, you just have to follow the market and roll with the prices.

    If climate change creates dislocations around the world those will be expressed as prices and somebody will find a solution that is not known today, and be duly rewarded. This is a good thing, it’s how we get things done.

    The entire climate change policy engine is thinly veiled communism, not that I have a problem with that. I just think it’s impossible to solve the real problems of the world in in such a way. Until the market prices those problems accordingly there is no way you can determine the best course of action with the resources available. In fact there is no evidence that the problems are real problems until they are expressed as prices.

    If freshwater becomes a big problem, it will be priced accordingly. If food security becomes a big problem, it will be priced accordingly. If coastal flooding becomes a big problem, it will be priced accordingly.

    Climate Change has been talking about rising sea levels for 40 years now. But beachfront properties are still some of the most expensive. Buyers don’t care about the supposed risk, so what is the problem? Where does the responsibility lie when the buyer is well informed of the risk and continues regardless? There is no need to save the buyer from an informed decision made by the buyer.

    Climate change policy is an attempt to save us from risk that we already know about but don’t care enough about to modify our behaviour. We do not need saving we have acknowledged and accepted the risk and we have chosen to continue living our lives as we wish.

    It all just appears to be a very loud 40 years endeavour of not much, that gives a rallying call to the eternal pessimists and modern day apocalypse fans. All of whom still buy products made of plastic and still fly on aeroplanes.

    Climate change is a story that exalts that simplistic non-material existence. Something that is readily available to everyone but which nobody will choose unless everyone else chooses it too. The problem is that some people just don’t want that and will never choose it. So abandon the dream or force people to conform.

    If climate change policy does cross the Rubicon and become so aggressive and prescriptive as to force people to conform to the command and control policies then our entire civilisation will be all the worse for it.

    The best thing we have is capitalism, if climate change becomes a problem capitalism will solve it for us.

    • Elvis says:

      I haven’t seen any evidence that 2°C is apocalyptic, everyone just accepts that it is.

      Everyone? There is huge uncertainty about the level of climate change that can be expected and the effects of these changes. The 2°C/1000GtC is a stab in the dark. The hope is that temperatures rise less than this; the worry is that they might rise more. The need for action is driven by this worry and by the fact that acting sooner is easier than acting later.

      The fact that the public and governments do not take it seriously comes from the degree of uncertainty and “tragedy of the commons” nature of the problem. It is a classic market failure. It can be fixed ether by regulating, or by putting a price on, emissions (the externality that cause climate change). Would you prefer emissions to be priced correctly* or more regulation?

      [* of course ‘correctly’ is rather hard to define here, but unless you think climate change will do no harm at all, you’d have to say that the price should be non-zero]

      • Stuart says:

        Why is acting sooner easier than acting later? That is not a fact.

        30 years from now the economy will be 2.5 times the size it is today and we will have far more technology and data to guide our actions.

        Is it easier to travel to Alpha Centauri today? Or in 300 years time from now? Will you get there sooner if you set off today or in 300 years time? Are you better off with the head start or better off waiting for faster propulsion technology?

        Timing is important. Address climate change prematurely and we address it at greater cost, address it too late and again the cost is greater. We don’t even understand the problem sufficiently to know when and how is the most effective way to address it.

        There is no need to do anything. When a problem arises prices will reflect it. This might be collapsing land values or it might be soaring food prices… We don’t know.

        P.S. Would the male contraceptive pill solve climate change? What if global fertility rates dropped to less than 2.0? We already have the tools to solve the problem and in a less disruptive manner.

      • There is huge uncertainty about the level of climate change that can be expected and the effects of these changes. The 2°C/1000GtC is a stab in the dark.The hope is that temperatures rise less than this; the worry is that they might rise more. The need for action is driven by this worry

        Whatever happened to the “settled science”?

      • Elvis says:

        Stuart, assuming 2C/1000GtC, 2C warming can be avoided by cutting emissions from now by about 2.5% annually. If we wait 10 years we have to cut at 4%; wait 20 years and we must cut at 10% annually. Wait 30 years and it is effectively impossible using emissions reductions (see The Closing Doors of Climate Targets).

        As for male pills, I presume you are joking.

        Roger, I’ve seen things like the GHE described with reason as “settled science”, but I have not seen the term applied more widely as you imply (e.g. to feedbacks, sensitivities or the 2C/1000GtC). Where have you seen this?

        • Euan Mearns says:

          If we wait 10 years we

          Who is “we”?

          Global emissions are going to continue to rise for decades regardless of what the OECD does. So this is pure fantasy talk.

          • Elvis says:

            It is imaginable. A revenue neutral carbon tax applied by the US on all goods, applied also to goods imported from countries that had no equivalent tax, would very quickly spread worldwide as countries scrambled to impose qualifying taxes (so that they captured the tax and not the US). But it is hard, indeed perhaps fantasy, to imagine the current congress implementing such a tax.

          • Take a look at this graphic from the IEA post

            You have to put your imagination into overdrive.

    • Stuart, you do realise, don’t you, that if we do nothing about it (as you suggest) warming won’t stop at 2 degrees and that all of the effects will continue to increase? As you accept that AGW is probably real, then do you think that any level of warming is OK? If not, then something must be done to avoid the level that you think is dangerous, unless you think that it will all peter out without causing a dangerous level of warming and without causing problems that humans will never be able to solve. If so, then please advise us what that level is and how it can be avoided.

      • you do realise, don’t you, that if we do nothing about it (as you suggest) warming won’t stop at 2 degrees and that all of the effects will continue to increase?

        Could you please:

        1. Cite a scientific paper that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that warming won’t stop at 2 degrees if we “do nothing about it”.

        2. Cite a scientific paper that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that more than 2C of warming will have negative economic, environmental and societal impacts.

        3. Name a single person who can be conclusively shown to have been killed, injured, sickened or displaced by anthropogenic climate change.

        4. Name a single species that can be conclusively shown to have gone extinct because of anthropogenic climate change.

        5. Name an extreme weather event that can be conclusively shown to have been caused by anthropogenic climate change.

        6. Name a specific Island or low-lying area that is threatened with immediate inundation by rising sea levels caused by anthropogenic climate change.

        6. Specify how you would reduce global GHG emissions to what you consider “safe” levels.

        Thank you.

        • Roger, I was responding to Stuart’s comment, not yours. My comment applies to what Stuart wrote.

          By the way, “reasonable doubt” varies according to the person. We’re already at 1C above preindustrial and the earth (for the sake of argument, let’s say the whole earth) continues to warm. and the energy imbalance continues. Until the energy imbalance is removed or changes sign, the earth will continue to warm. If we do nothing about that warming, then it will continue to warm, until the energy out equals the energy in. Hoping that the surface doesn’t get to 2C or that one only needs to consider the danger, or otherwise, of only 2C is not rational, since doing nothing about it will result in continued warming until equilibrium is reached. There are papers that show such warming will be detrimental, but I don’t suppose you’d accept them, beyond “reasonable doubt” and perhaps because some are authored by scientists you think are frauds.

          As for your questions 3, 4, 5, 6 and … err … 6, well, you want absolute proof, that you will accept. But the questions are irrelevant anyway. Even if you could prove that none of those things have happened, it doesn’t mean that they won’t happen. And with continued warming … well, perhaps you could provide conclusive evidence that nothing bad can ever come of that? Oh, hold on, you don’t think that human emitted GHGs cause warming, so I guess the point is moot.

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