date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 16:07:21 +0200
from: Arnulf GRUBLER <gruebleratXYZxyzsa.ac.at>
subject: Re: Storylines
This is a comment on your writeup of the storylines. I think you have done
a good job on the introductory material explaining the process and the
why's of storylines. Conversely I feel you have gone overboard in
introducing highly negative and politicised languages in some storylines,
partcularly in A1 that were
1. never part of any draft storylines produced so far
2. add neither interprative nor explanatory power to the A1 quantification
in terms of GHG emissions
3. make no reference that the "balanced" variant represents tha marker A1
scenario, but alternative path dependent resource/technological
configurations are equally feasible
(clean coal, oil/gas forever, "bionuc").
4. introduce an inconsistent statement on economic growth.
Ad 1 and 2.
To be blunt, I consider to put statements like:
"a global underclass develops.. crime, drug dependence, homelessness and
suicide rates increase...religous cults spring up everywhere....etc.." is
guarantee to kill the entire SRES process and all work done thus far. Your
literary "creativity" drive risks of destroying the entire hard work put
into this by a large number of people, without any intellectual/scientific
basis. I distance myself strongly from such statements and I guess others
feel like that too.
I request that you delete the entire paragraph beginning with
"While international economic....." and ending with "...social malaise of
As you are one of the lead authors on technology, I think it is worth an
effort of trying to capture the idea of path dependency and of the fact
that near-term choices can introduce long-term irreversibilities into the
text, plus explain that the marker is characterized by a "balanced"
If growth rates to 2100 are the same as since 1850, how can the conditions
be unparallelled in history? What is indeed unprecendented in A1 compared
to history is that over the long-term no region/country is excluded from
economic catch-up. Hence, the convergence characteristic of the scenario,
that compares only with conditional convergence (i.e. Japan or Western
Europe have joined the productivity/affluence frontier of the US, but many
developing countries not) seen in the historical record. Or using Hugh's
terminology, what may be called unprecedented in history is that all
regions catch up
to the labor productivity frontier resulting in an aggregate growth of 3
%/yr, whereas historically only a limited number of countries have
cought-up with yet higher rates than assumed in the scenario, resulting
also in a 3%/yr GWP growth.
Thanks for your consideration of my comments in the revised text.
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