Shorter Heartland Conference

Allow me to shorten Heartland’s 2009 International Conference on Climate Change for you.

Joseph L. Bast: Bray’s survey shows that there is no consensus.

Vaclav Klaus: Environmentalists have a secret plan to “return mankind centuries back”.

Richard Lindzen: It is an error to say “It’s the sun!”

Tom McClintock: Al Gore is fat. And, it’s the sun!

Lawrence Solomon: Environmental organizations are pawns of the foundations that fund them.

Tom Segalstad: Total human emissions of CO2 are twice the alleged increase in atmospheric CO2, therefore human emissions cannot be the cause of the increase.
Syun Akasofu: The warming has a natural cause and I don’t have to tell you what that cause is.

David Evans: After I got beat up for not knowing what the hot spot is or what causes it, I have a new theory – it is produced by water vapour feedback. [Editor's note: Still wrong]

Terry Dunleavy: The Oregon Petition proves that there is no consensus.

Craig Idso: Higher temperatures and CO2 levels help coral reefs.

Jan Veizer: It’s the sun!

Harrison Schmitt: It’s the sun!

Art Robinson: Genocidal emission reduction policies will kill hundreds of millions.

Dennis Avery: It’s the sun!

Joe D’Aleo: It’s the sun!

Richard Keen: It’s volcanoes!

Steve McIntyre: I’m going to pretend that when Mann referred to “heavy equipment” being needed to update proxies, he was referring to tree corers rather than drills for ice cores.

John Sununu: We need a ‘Fairness Doctrine’ for the publication of scientific research.

Willie Soon: It’s the sun!

Piers Corbyn: It’s the sun!

Roy Spencer: It’s the PDO!

William Gray: It’s salinity-induced deep ocean circulation changes!

Larry Gould had 108 slides for a 20 minute talk, including one cite Monckton as proof that the DDT ban had killed 40 million people.

Don Easterbrook: Beginning this year, global cooling will cause crop failures and food shortages.

Rob Bradley: Look! I photoshopped Barack Obama’s head on Jimmy Carter’s body!

i-150d146a6c487a89240562474e4e7880-joannenovaattacksquad.jpgJoanne Nova: I have trained my children to attack and destroy copies of New Scientist.

Bob Carter: We must prepare for the possiblility that 2020 will be another Little Ice Age.

John Theon: Jim Hansen should be fired. And then prosecuted for his crimes.

Christopher Monckton: Bed-wetting Greens are too yellow to admit they’re really Reds and want to kill millions by shutting down 90% of our economy.

Notes: I shortened all the keynote addresses using the videos. The other summaries are based on the Powerpoint slides. Some Powerpoints

Credits: “Shorter” concept was invented by Daniel Davies.

Update: Christopher Booker: The scare about CO2 is just like the scare about white asbestos.

Russell Seitz sends his own summary:

i-9424473fa26cef9fa540808ead60ec8e-heartlandposter.jpg

Comments

  1. #1 bi -- IJI
    March 17, 2009

    What… the videos are up already? That’s fast.

  2. #2 aw
    March 17, 2009

    Your problem is that you are not from the Heartland.

    You are from Spleenland. Meanwhile, I want to hear more about the secret plan to turn Slovakia centuries back.

  3. #3 James Haughton
    March 17, 2009

    What happened to Singer’s “it’s not the sun” talk?

  4. #4 Tim Lambert
    March 17, 2009

    Singer only had about five slides and I couldn’t tell from those what his main argument was.

  5. #5 Stu
    March 17, 2009

    From his summary at Quadrant I got the idea that Bob Carter had switched from “no warming since 1998″, to “look at all of these obvious signs of warming, clearly it’s too late to stop it so we’ll just have to adapt”.

  6. #6 Ken Miles
    March 17, 2009

    David Evans’ slide number 8 states

    IPCC produces signatures, but vigorously ignores non-human causes and so does not calculate signatures for them

    Yet on slide 7, he shows an IPCC diagram showing the calculated signatures for solar and volcanic effects…

  7. #7 Magnus W
    March 17, 2009

    F. Goldberg?

  8. #8 bi -- IJI
    March 17, 2009

    Just looked through the presentation by the IC”S”C’s Terry Dunleavy.

    It was underwhelming. :|

  9. #9 MikeM
    March 17, 2009

    In [a paper](http://www.eap-journal.com/index.html) published (amazingly) in the Journal of the Australian Economics Society – Queensland, Carter writes in the Conclusion:

    That human-caused climate change will prove dangerous is under strong dispute
    amongst equally well qualified scientific groups. The null hypothesis, which is yet
    to be contradicted, is that observed changes in climate or climate-related phenomena
    are natural unless and until it can be shown otherwise. [...]

    application of the principles of ‘do no harm’ and ‘precaution’ implies that
    the correct climate policy is one of monitoring climate change as it happens, adapting
    to any deleterious trends that emerge, and compensating those who are disadvantaged
    through no fault of their own.

    I think he still wants to have a bet both ways.

  10. #10 MikeM
    March 17, 2009

    I should have added that Carter’s paper I cited was recent – appearing September last year.

  11. #11 bi -- IJI
    March 17, 2009

    I see Lindzen’s Mother of All Climate Conspiracies in JoNova’s slide 13. Oy!

  12. #12 David Marjanović
    March 17, 2009

    The photo is so cute… :-}

  13. #13 Eli Rabett
    March 17, 2009

    IOKIYAAD. Art Robinson talks about Gore wanting to kill hundreds of millions. Monckton sputters about evil greens

  14. #14 P. Lewis
    March 17, 2009

    Credits: “Shorter” concept was invented by Daniel Davies.

    I thought William Little got there a bit earlier than that with the SOED ;-)

  15. #15 ben
    March 17, 2009

    Er, Robinson also said that we could produce a giant pile of energy from nuclear plants, with no additional production of CO2, but the greens won’t let us.

  16. #16 dhogaza
    March 17, 2009

    Er, Robinson also said that we could produce a giant pile of energy from nuclear plants, with no additional production of CO2, but the greens won’t let us.

    The opposition to Yucca Mountain in Nevada is hardly due to “greens”…

    I don’t see utility companies clamoring to build more nukes, many of them found the last round to be a financial pain in the ass.

  17. #17 ben
    March 17, 2009

    Yucca Mountain is a specific example. Robinson was talking in general about the development of nuke power.

    Financial pain in the ass, right, and why was that dhogaza? Maybe because of all the lawsuits? Maybe because they couldn’t even break ground for 10 years? The problem isn’t the generation of the electricity, it’s the maze of hoops, red tape, and lawsuits.

  18. #18 dhogaza
    March 17, 2009

    Yucca Mountain is a specific example. Robinson was talking in general about the development of nuke power.

    Ain’t going to happen until the waste disposal issue is resolved. Yes, Yucca Mountain is a specific example, specifically, the example that blocks any resurgence in interest in nuke power.

    Financial pain in the ass, right, and why was that dhogaza? Maybe because of all the lawsuits?

    Well, Trojan here north of PDX never reached anything near the operating efficiency promised for it. Constant annoying breakdowns in the cooling system, etc, caused the thing to go down for extremely lengthy and expensive repairs almost constantly. Now, Trojan’s a particularly bad example but it’s certainly not a unique one.

    Utilities were far too sanguine regarding their ability to reliably operate that generation of nuclear power plant. Their bottom-line calculations used to justify the investment often turned out to be pure fantasy.

    The problem isn’t the generation of the electricity…

    No, it’s been the non-generation of electricity.

    Non-generation is expensive … big money-sucking pile of machinery there sucking up dollars needed to repair it.

    Trojan, at least, wasn’t closed due to lawsuits etc. It closed because finally, after a couple of decades of struggle, the utility said “fuck it”.

  19. #19 bi -- IJI
    March 17, 2009

    ben and other conlibertarians seem to believe that

    1. nuclear plants are a dime a dozen, and
    2. they can produce gazillions of kWh super-ultra-über cheap electricity
    3. if only those filthy enviromarxgreenazis will get out of the way.

    Yeah, right.

  20. #20 bi -- IJI
    March 17, 2009

    Or perhaps ben simply thinks that nuclear power is Patriotic?, and any thing that is Patriotic? is obviously Good? in every way, like magical ponies.

  21. #21 bi -- IJI
    March 17, 2009

    David Marjanović:

    :) :) :)

  22. #22 Richard Mercer
    March 17, 2009

    ben

    “The problem isn’t the generation of the electricity, it’s the maze of hoops, red tape, and lawsuits.”

    Yeah, we should have no control over the spread of radioactive substances or nuclear arms proliferation. Let the free market dictate which species go extinct and hope for the best.

    We should emulate France with it’s immaculate record with nuclear energy.

    “France’s decision to reprocess reactor fuel has contaminated the seas as far as the Artic Circle and may have led to leukemia clusters near the reprocessing plant. Its decision to try breeder reactors was an expensive failure. Its plutonium fuel program has not reduced its surplus stockpile of plutonium which is calculated at greater than 80 metric tons sitting in tens of thousands of vulnerable containers and with no disposal option. France has no radioactive waste repository.”

    “In the summer of 2008, France experienced a cascade of accidents at its nuclear facilities. While leaks and spills, including uranium that contaminated groundwater, caused a ban on drinking and bathing and local vintners to change the labels on their bottles, Areva downplayed the gravity of the releases. But the black summer of radioactive leaks and spills shed doubt on the nuclear industry’s – and in particular Areva’s – ability to uphold fundamental safety standards according to an article in the International Herald Tribune.”

    “A new video – Everything you always wanted to know about nuclear power…but were afraid to ask – found on the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility Web site, debunks various nuclear myths including the notion that France “recycles” its radioactive waste. ”
    view here:
    http://www.everythingnuclear.org/french.html

    “Read here about Areva’s 40-year uranium mining track record in the Niger and support the collective”Areva Shall Not Make the Law in Niger” of which Beyond Nuclear is a member.”
    http://www.beyondnuclear.org/images/documents/a_region_pillaged_1.pdf

    Who needs red tape, right?

    Nuclear power is a stepping stone to nuclear weapons.

    We import 90% of our uranium, and have signed up with Russia to supply 20% of future uranium. So much for energy independence.

    If nuclear is so safe, why did the nuclear industry hand over the liability to the public, with the Price Anderson act?

  23. #23 ben
    March 17, 2009

    I thought you guys all love France. Aren’t they a hyper-liberal utopia?

    True, nuclear has its problems. How about Fusion? The experts I know in my old department at the University of Washington say it can be done, but the cost per MW is about double that for carbon based approaches and hydro. But if we’d just commit to a massive fusion effort, it could happen. Eventually the technology could be perfected.

  24. #24 dhogaza
    March 17, 2009

    How about Fusion? The experts I know in my old department at the University of Washington say it can be done, but the cost per MW is about double that for carbon based approaches and hydro.

    Cough. I don’t believe you when you say experts in your old department of UW say that.

    We don’t know how to build one, and if we don’t know how to build one, there’s no way in the world one can assign a cost per MW. Your experts – assuming they’re experts in physics – know this. Maybe you asked experts in the polisci department by mistake?

    Fusion power is at best 20 years in the future, just as it was 20 years ago, and will be 20 years from now.

  25. #25 John Mashey
    March 17, 2009

    Fusion:

    I’m afraid dhogaza is more optimistic than Nobel physicist Burton Richter, who says no earlier than 50 years to commercial use, in: Gambling with the future, a good talk on climate+energy.

  26. #26 DavidCOG
    March 17, 2009

    > Allow me to shorten Heartland’s 2009 International Conference on Climate Change for you.

    Thanks for suffering, Tim, so that we didn’t have to. :)

    I see that Discount Monckton went for a Latin title for his piece – “Magna est veritas, et praevalet (Great Is Truth, and Mighty Above All Things)”. The man’s pomposity – and delusion – knows no bounds. He’s a gem!

  27. #27 dhogaza
    March 17, 2009

    John, my last sentence essentially says “never” …

  28. #28 Ezzthetic
    March 17, 2009

    Al Gore is fat. And, it’s the sun

    It seems to me that we could easily solve this whole problem just by using Al Gore to block out the sun.

  29. #29 John Mashey
    March 17, 2009

    re: #27
    Well, that only added to 40 years, without the “repeat indefinitely” qualifier :-)

    In high school, I was planning on pursuing a career in fusion physics, and I read the 1958 book “Project Sherwood – The U.S. Program in Controlled Fusion”, at which time the hope was for a power producing device within 1-2 decades, with some hope for later commercial application.

    Put another way, 50 years ago, the expectation was approximately 20-30 years, but Burton at least thinks the delay time has increased to 50 years, not stayed constant at +20 years, which is why I said you were more optimistic.

    I looked at UW’s web pages, and it still looks like R1, maybe R2 work to me, which is fine to do.

    However, unlike those who seem to think we should put most our R&D money into fusion, I think we’re saying about the same thing, so peace.

  30. #30 dhogaza
    March 18, 2009

    re: #27 Well, that only added to 40 years, without the “repeat indefinitely” qualifier :-)

    Think iteratively, or recursively, your choice since they’re mathematically equivalent. +20 years, repeated, is no different than +50 years, repeated. It’s always 20 or 50 years in the future. Forever.

    I meant it to be subtle, but not *that* subtle. I certainly meant to imply it to be repeated.

  31. #31 James Haughton
    March 18, 2009

    It seems only fair to point out that Barry Brook, Hansen and Lovelock are all very pro-nuclear these days. No doubt finding himself in such company will cause Ben to change his mind.

  32. #32 bigcitylib
    March 18, 2009

    So has the new Bray survey been released? Seems he was working a little harder to keep it secure this time.

  33. #33 Patrick Caldon
    March 18, 2009

    The issue with nuclear is nothing more or less than the cost of debt.

    Nuclear power is mostly capital costs, practically zero fuel costs with a very long plant life. You can only fund that kind of cost by taking on a lot of debt. If debt is cheap (as it was 2-3 years ago) nuclear possibly makes a lot of sense (and there were a couple of projects getting up).

    Today with BBB rated spreads costing 400 odd basis points there’s no way that nuclear makes any sense.

  34. #34 MSimon
    March 18, 2009

    Fusion in Five years. Sponsored by the US Navy:

    Bussard’s IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained
    Why hasn’t Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

  35. #35 dhogaza
    March 18, 2009

    Why hasn’t Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

    Because maybe the Nobel physicist mentioned above, and other realists, are more … realist?

  36. #36 ben
    March 18, 2009

    We don’t know how to build one, and if we don’t know how to build one, there’s no way in the world one can assign a cost per MW. Your experts – assuming they’re experts in physics – know this. Maybe you asked experts in the polisci department by mistake?

    The Aerospace dept. at UW has an entire energy group that focuses on a couple different methods for fusion. Yes, they are physicists.

    http://www.psicenter.org/
    http://www.aa.washington.edu/AERP/HIT/hit.html
    http://www.aa.washington.edu/AERP/ZaP/index.html

    The claim was that fusion is possible, but you’d have to build a massive reactor and nobody is willing to put up the funds for anything big enough to produce excess energy. The other problem is that after you amortize the costs of creating the facility, theoretically, you’d still be at least 2x more expensive per MW than any other conventional means.

    But it would be clean and the fuel is abundant.

  37. #37 ben
    March 18, 2009

    We don’t know how to build one, and if we don’t know how to build one, there’s no way in the world one can assign a cost per MW. Your experts – assuming they’re experts in physics – know this. Maybe you asked experts in the polisci department by mistake?

    The Aerospace dept. at UW has an entire energy group that focuses on a couple different methods for fusion. Yes, they are physicists.

    http://www.psicenter.org/
    http://www.aa.washington.edu/AERP/HIT/hit.html
    http://www.aa.washington.edu/AERP/ZaP/index.html

    The claim was that fusion is possible, but you’d have to build a massive reactor and nobody is willing to put up the funds for anything big enough to produce excess energy. The other problem is that after you amortize the costs of creating the facility, theoretically, you’d still be at least 2x more expensive per MW than any other conventional means.

    But it would be clean and the fuel is abundant.

  38. #38 Hank Roberts
    March 18, 2009

    Another answer:

    if it’s practical, and the Navy funding develops it, it will be a strategic secret for as long as they can keep it that way. The same sites say they’re building tiny little superconducting motors — all-electric power — for ships that will have lots more room for munitions.

    Not to mention that if there’s a way to make fusion work on that scale, it might be something that would fit inside a torpedo and go bang instead of whirrrrr.

  39. #39 Paul
    March 18, 2009

    re: superconducting electric motors.

    They are already being trialed by the US Navy.
    See American Superconducting Corporation.

    ASC are also working on a wind turbine using superconducting windings in the generator.

    They aren’t exactly tiny, about half the size, but then they are using todays technology.

  40. #40 dhogaza
    March 18, 2009

    The claim was that fusion is possible, but you’d have to build a massive reactor and nobody is willing to put up the funds for anything big enough to produce excess energy

    It’s not fusion itself that’s so difficult, it’s the production of excess energy. The physicist in charge of the polywell fusion program mentioned above states that what they’ve learned, as of 2008, is in essence no physics issues that prevent success, but also says that’s not to say they’ve learned enough to say that the approach will work.

    The other problem is that after you amortize the costs of creating the facility, theoretically, you’d still be at least 2x more expensive per MW than any other conventional means.

    Estimating the costs at this point in time are a bit like a pre-wright brothers transportation export trying to estimate the costs of building the airbus 380 …

  41. #41 guthrie
    March 18, 2009

    Meanwhile in old Eeurope, there is this tiny wee project called ITER, which is planning on being the prototype for full scale fusion power plants. But its still being built and it’ll take another 10 years to get real power out of it.
    So in the meantime we’ll need some fission, as well as lots of renewables and conservation efforts.

  42. #42 Dyskolos
    March 18, 2009

    International Conference on Climate Change?

    Huh. That’s funny…

    I read that as Irrationalist Conference on Climate Change.

  43. #43 John Mashey
    March 18, 2009

    re: $41 guthrie

    See ITER schedule, which says:

    “Such a plan shows why it will be very difficult to commission the first commercial-sized tokamak before 2050.”

  44. #44 mz
    March 18, 2009

    I’ve changed in my opinions of light water reactor (LWR) nuclear power from mild opposition to mild proposition.
    It’s hard to get good information of nuclear power, but I have my sources nowadays.

    I do believe it might be overregulated in some countries. That does not mean “regulation is not needed”. Just that it should be sensible. I don’t really get too deep into that.

    I certainly understand the need to have tough regulations at nuke plants.

    It’s a bit the same with spaceflight – after you get big agencies etc and sufficient institutional and bureaucratic inertia, it gets harder and harder to accomplish the original goal: not only to get something done but to do it reasonably safely.

    In the future, funding and politics permitting, completely new kinds of nuclear power can be developed. We are living the “first nuclear age”, only meant as a short transition time by the geniuses behind the reactor concepts. We are depending on the rare U-235, needing lots of fuel and generating lots of waste, long lived at that. You can look up Alvin Weinberg – the guy who patented light water reactors and developed them for the navy, which eventually lead to the current nukes, and start your own path of revelations of future possibilities from his work after that. Few know that the real future of nuclear power was cut off over 30 years ago already.

  45. #45 MikeB
    March 18, 2009

    It seems that nuclear just doesn’t think its fair that anything else should be allowed to compete with it, so they want the UK government to put a cap on how much wind and other renewables the UK can have http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/mar/16/nuclear-power-renewables-edf . So much for that free-market competition stuff. But that’s OK, because their will be lots of nukes everywhere http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/16/nuclearpower-nuclear-waste, all of them potential security threats. Every time nukes come up, its the same fantasies – clean, safe, reliable, profitable. Or, even worse, someone goes on about fusion or some esoteric nuke that always ‘just around the corner’. Its almost as bad as the denalists…

  46. #46 Crust
    March 19, 2009

    Veizer (slide 22):

    atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are the consequence of climate change

    Wow. That’s a remarkable claim if applied to the period since the Industrial Revolution. Maybe he didn’t mean it as a universal claim, but at least from the Powerpoint there’s no indication.

  47. #47 TallDave
    March 19, 2009

    ITER is a bad, expensive joke. Look at the plant power densities for their most advanced designs (I’m talking post-ITER, post-DEMO) and then tell me how these ever compete with current light water fission reactors, let alone 50 years from now. We have at bare minimum 1,000 years of fission fuels, so ITER will be useless till then.

    Polywell fusion is still unproven, but it does offer a legitimate prospect at economic power generation. ITER is nothing more than a science project.

  48. #48 guthrie
    March 19, 2009

    John Mashey #43- so thats what you get when you read further. Its a while since I read about it, but didn’t realise they were being that cautious.

  49. #49 bi -- IJI
    March 20, 2009

    > Tom McClintock: Al Gore is fat.

    That’s severely understating the stupidity of Tom’s talk.

  50. #50 bi -- IJI
    March 20, 2009

    McClintock’s talk: Stupid, as in this stupid.

  51. #51 James Haughton
    March 22, 2009

    William Gibson (the cyberpunk guy) also gives a summary of a remarkably similar institutional conference [here](http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/blog/2009_03_01_archive.asp#3835085200158543137).

  52. #52 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 23, 2009

    Did Sununu really say that? Was he arguing that the government should require journals to include dissenting papers even if they don’t meet peer review? What exactly was he claiming?

  53. #53 bi -- IJI
    March 24, 2009

    Quick-and-dirty remix of Monckton’s speech by yours truly.

  54. #54 bi -- IJI
    March 25, 2009

    Quick heads-up: Heartland has now uploaded videos for many more of the talks.

  55. #55 bi -- IJI
    March 27, 2009

    Heartland has audios for some more of the talks too…

  56. #56 bi -- IJI
    March 27, 2009

    Shorter Roy Innis: Cheap oil and coal is the new Civil Rights Movement! T. Boone Pickens is part of the Worldwide Global Warming Conspiracy-Religion! Also, Lenin artificially created the conditions leading to the Russian Revolution.

  57. #57 bi -- IJI
    March 27, 2009

    > Shorter Roy Innis:

    …oh, and McCain should’ve called Obama by his middle name.

  58. #58 Aylwin Forbes
    November 17, 2009

    Thank you for taking the time to listen to all that drivel so that I don’t have to. Yet even this morning I was listening to some dope from the Cornwall Alliance talking about “Lord” Monckton in almost reverential tones. It is very maddening and slightly terrifying.

  59. #59 Marion Delgado
    May 29, 2010

    aw: By tricking them into electing Vaclav Klaus, we’ve knocked them back at least 65 years.

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